Friday, August 30, 2019

"Null Set"

S. L. Huang has a math degree from MIT and is a weapons expert and professional stuntwoman who has worked in Hollywood on Battlestar Galactica and a number of other productions. Her novels include the Cas Russell series (formerly known as Russel's Attic), which begins with Zero Sum Game.

Huang applied the Page 69 Test to Null Set, her new Cas Russell novel, and reported the following:
Null Set is a science fiction thriller, so page 69, being a pause for conversation between two characters, isn’t a perfect representation of the book as a whole. For that, you’d need a little more action and gun fighting.

But the heart of the conversation on page 69 is something that very much does represent the series and character arcs. And that’s my snarky, isolated protagonist’s decision to trust her friend with the plan she’s settled on:
There were plenty of good reasons not to tell Arthur what I was working on, the first and foremost of which was that there was a better than even chance he’d side with Checker and try to stop me.

Arthur had tried to stop me from doing things a couple of times in the past, and I’d always plowed right through his moral stance with a nice fuck-you and done them anyway. It usually resulted in people getting killed.

He was a hard man to read, but I was pretty sure he wasn’t going to keep tolerating it. I’d promised him I’d try to stop doing that shit.
After this internal reflection, my main character does something we haven’t seen her do before. Instead of playing her cards close to the vest, even from her friends—which is her usual MO—she finally decides to get Arthur’s opinion of her plan before going forward with it. And ask for his help.

Of course, there wouldn’t be a book if that meant everything got to go right for her. But at least it’s a step in the right direction!
Visit S. L. Huang's website.

The Page 69 Test: Zero Sum Game.

--Marshal Zeringue