by wjw on January 25, 2022

Behold a proposed cover for the next Praxis book, launching next September. This isn’t the final cover, so the published version might be somewhat different.

In the meantime, Tor.com published a piece by James Nicoll on five novels featuring a depopulated Earth, with my Knight Moves among them. Depopulating the planet seems to be a motif in some of my fiction, as a small-population Earth features in other work, including Implied Spaces and Aristoi (where the original population was wiped out, and the planet repopulated from space settlements after the planet’s ecosystem was rebuilt).

Reducing the population would be a way to reduce adverse environmental impacts, and in the first two books I found a more benign way to decrease the population rather than simply wiping them out.

Though it’s not explicitly stated, Earth’s population is greatly reduced in the College of Mystery sequence of stories, including “The Green Leopard Plague” and “Lethe.” This is following an event I called the “Lightspeed War”— I know what the event was, but I haven’t yet found a way to make it interesting enough as a piece of fiction to write about it.

My Metropolitan books feature an opposite scenario, with the planet’s population risen to cheek-by-jowl, living-in-each-other’s armpits density, so crowded that the only way to keep them fed was by generating food by magic. (There’s something called “vat curd.”) I once calculated the population, but it was so absurdly huge that I never mentioned it. (Never point out the absurdities in your own work— that’s someone else’s job.)

Another lovely piece of art may drop in the next day or two.

John Appel January 26, 2022 at 7:38 pm

If the final cover looks anything like this, it’s going to be amazing. Very much looking forward to both this and Lord Quillifer.

Susan January 26, 2022 at 8:03 pm

Looking forward to the book, and I love the cover.

Bruce Arthurs January 27, 2022 at 2:01 am

Oh, cool. Added it to the list of pre-orders to make from B&N tomorrow. (25% off for pre-orders made thru 1/27/22, code PREORDER25 at checkout).

Glenn January 28, 2022 at 12:03 am

Is “Imperium Restored” the third volume of the trilogy that began with “The Accidental War” and continued with “Fleet Elements”?

wjw January 28, 2022 at 12:58 am

It is indeed.

DP January 28, 2022 at 8:18 pm

Nice cover and looking forward to it! Glad to see it’s a new novel. I was confused by the amazon pre-order page as it lists 130+ reader reviews on it, making me wonder if it was a reprint compilation. Presumably just a bug in amazon’s setup.

wjw January 29, 2022 at 6:38 pm

Looking at those 134 reviews, I see they’re actually about the short novel Impersonations. Don’t know how they ended up on this page.

I’ll alert the publisher and see what can be done.

At least the vast majority of the reviews are favorable.

DP January 31, 2022 at 7:31 pm

Impersonations was very enjoyable

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