Intersection Thirteen developed out of an idea I’d been knocking about
for some time with a tentative title of merely Intersection. That
original idea was for a series of stories that would feature a cast of
diverse characters who had come to inhabit an artificial universe. The
protagonist would be an explorer from Earth who stumbled upon it
accidentally. I even created character outlines for all the people that
the explorer character would meet in the artificial universe (or
“intersection”). However, Intersection never went anywhere because I
never found a reason or purpose for the universe to exist or anything
meaningful for the explorer to discover. Intersection never had a
When the first March 2020 Covid lockdown happened in Washington State, I
took this idea and modified it dramatically. What if the intersection’s
inhabitants weren’t a rag tag band of misfits, but an entire country’s
worth of people? And what if their artificial universe started inwardly
collapsing onto them faster than they were able to evacuate? And
what if my explorer from Earth were a collector of books, and it just so
happened that the intersection was treasure trove of literature?
All of the pieces finally came together, and I had a sound foundation
for a novel. In was inspired by lockdown, but Intersection Thirteen
turned out not to be about that, or even the experience of it. It’s not
even about disease. In fact, the more of it I wrote, the more I realized
that its real core was about issues cultural and economic. My
protagonist from Earth, Mira Rous, refused to stay put in the
intersection and demanded to take off in her ship and unravel the
mystery put forth to her by the intersection’s government. A less
experienced version of myself, one who more willingly absorbed bad
writing advice, might have invented some excuse for Mira’s ship to be
damaged or for her to be captured, but instead I let Mira take me where
she wanted to go. She was a compelling character to write, one of my
favorites so far, and I’m looking forward to putting her perspective
into the world.
Zhivko Zhelev returns with another cover. He did an extraordinary job
with this one, choosing to depict the intersection’s gyrospire, the
invention at the heart of the artificial universe, which allows it to
maintain the integrity of its physical spaces.
He also did another illustration, a scene in which Mira finds herself in
an unshielded part of the intersection at a time when the integrity of
its spaces is rapidly degrading.
At the time of this writing, I am still working on edits for
Intersection Thirteen, but I expect that to go out to readers soon. I
anticipate a release date sometime in February or March.