The Other Good Guys

A few vignettes for any of you who happen to be curious about the missing time between Walk a Mile and Sidekicks. Naturally, this has a few spoilers for the end of Walk a Mile.

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Target Acquired #0

Some of the character study stuff written for X, early during development. Call it an issue #0.

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Good Guy #1

The first issue of Enemies Like These is Good Guy #50. The closest you'll see to an origin story in the trilogy will be in Sidekicks, but even that isn't the true 'discover your powers' sort of story. 


But... I did a lot of pre-writing while trying to establish character histories, including in a few cases, writing issue #1. One of my beta readers told me Alex was kind of a gloomy guy. I almost laughed at them, because well, check out Good Guy #1:

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Sidekicks Test Scene III

The final rejected test scene for Dodger's leg in Sidekicks. In a lot of ways, I actually like this one better than the one that made the story. However it made less thematic sense, so it landed on the cutting room floor. 

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Sidekicks Test Scene II

Another one of the test scenes written for Dodger's leg in Sidekicks. This one didn't stick either. It also might take place in the zombie apocalypse.

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Sidekicks Test Scene I

While I was writing Sidekicks, I wrote a bunch of demo snippets about Dodger visiting various parallel universes. Here is one that didn't stick:

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Sidekicks sneak peek

Thought we'd start off a snowy weekend with a snippet of Sidekicks.


Or at least, what was once a snippet of Sidekicks. The scene has been cut from the novel, but it's still a decent preview of what's to come. Beware thought, it does spoil some of the ending to Walk a Mile.

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Thanksgiving II: Homecoming

(That other Thanksgiving where Mal drags Alex home.)

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(Giant Killer) Turkey Day

The one Thanksgiving that Mal follows Alex home. (An extra scene for you readers, set sometime after Enemies Like These.)

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A Tale in Three Scenes

Enemies Like These went through almost two years of drafts and rewrites. I think there were maybe ten different versions of the opener, but if you want a look at the editing process, here were the most significant three:

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Ever raced a bullet?

The fastest one hundred meter dash was 9.58 seconds. A speed of about 23 mph.  

Maintaining that pace, you could run a mile in about two minutes and thirty four seconds, a marathon in an hour an seven minutes. The world record mile is three minutes and forty three seconds. The fastest marathon time is just over two hours. 

The fastest man alive runs about 23 mph, but not for very long. 

Malcolm Quick is that fastest you’ll find in the Enemies!verse. Believe it or not, there was a lot of thought put into how fast Mal can actually run. Mal’s not the kind of speedster who can hit light speed. He really isn’t even close. He’s outrun an explosion before, but that’s as fast as you’re ever going to see him move. And a chem lab explosion isn’t likely to detonate, just deflagrate, which means it doesn’t even hit the speed of sound. 

Mal has hit the speed of sound a few times, but it’s his top end. To manage it, he needs to be rested, he needs to have enough calories and he needs more than a little bit of adrenaline. He can only hold that speed for about ten seconds before he starts to fade. The speed of sound is 767 mph. Mal’s cruising speed is about 200 mph.  

The bullet in question? That hits 1700 mph. 

[Walk a Mile is out 12/20/15, you can pre-order it here]


Let's talk telepaths

Somewhere on my hard drive is a story about telepaths. In this universe, telepathic skill was rated via the TIPPER scale in order to gauge relative strength. The TIPPER scale evaluated Telekensis, Influence (mind-control), Precognicion, Projection, Empathy, and Reading (mind-reading). Each of the facets was ranked 1-10, with the theoretical best telepath ever at a 60. In that particular universe, the highest cumulative number recorded was 36.

I always had this in the back of my head while writing the Suzukis. The idea that all telepaths had different strengths. I even did a TIPPER workup for Dodger and Worst Nightmare.

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