Wednesday, February 17, 2021

"The Velocity of Revolution"

Marshall Ryan Maresca is a fantasy and science-fiction writer, author of the Maradaine Saga: Four braided series set amid the bustling streets and crime-ridden districts of the exotic city called Maradaine, which includes The Thorn of Dentonhill, A Murder of Mages, The Holver Alley Crew and The Way of the Shield, and a newly released dieselpunk fantasy, The Velocity of Revolution. He is also the co-host of the podcast Worldbuilding for Masochists, and has been a playwright, an actor, a delivery driver and an amateur chef. He lives in Austin, Texas with his family.

Maresca applied the Page 69 Test to The Velocity of Revolution and reported the following:
On page 69 of The Velocity of Revolution— my dieselpunk fantasy of colonialism, motorcycles, magic psychic mushrooms, a nation divided by a harsh caste system, and an undercover patrol office with a rebel’s voice in his head— we actually have a lynchpin of a scene. Wenthi Tung├ęt, a loyal patrol officer who has been assigned to go undercover with the undercastes to root out the rebellion, is told that not only must he use the myco— the mushroom-based magic that every authority figure has told him before is incredibly dangerous— but that it’s specifically going to be mixed and applied by the believed-dead war criminal from the last war.
“And as troubling as it is—I do understand your misgivings, Wenthi, about the doctor, about using the myco—we need to match them weapon for weapon. These rebels aren’t just nuisances stealing a bit of fuel to run their cycles and trucks. They are insurgents, looking to undo everything people like us have been building here since the end of the war. Your mother’s good work getting this country on its feet. Our part in the war effort.”

“Yes, of course.”

“You’re scared,” Canwei said. “I don’t blame you. It’s a big risk, I won’t pretend it’s not. We wouldn’t ask this of you if it wasn’t about the very security of the Alliance and the war effort.”

Wenthi let that sink in. He had still been thinking this was a normal patrol infiltration assignment, busting up a cycle crew of petrol thieves. The real scope of it was settling in his belly. “Are you sure I’m your man for this?”

“I am,” Canwei said. “I am sorry this is all a rush, but Doctor Shebiruht says we must act while the myco is active in the girl. But the rest of this will be handled clean and tight down the line, all right?”

“All right,” Wenthi said, swallowing his fear. He was needed. Everyone— Canwei, Sengej├║, Mother—was saying how important this was for the nation. How important it was that he did it. That only he could do it. He had to believe them. He had to try. “Let’s do this.”

The lieutenant snapped her fingers, and the nurses wheeled his gurney out of the room, then down the hall to another room with a series of complicated locks.
So, this scene is a great sample to gauge the rest of the book, I think, because it’s a microcosm of the coming challenges Wenthi will face. It shows you who he is, and who the people he’s working for are, and carries a lot of water for the worldbuilding and the plot in just this little bit. So, while I don’t know if the Page 69 test would work well for many of my other books, in this case? It’s an excellent test.
Visit Marshall Ryan Maresca's website.

--Marshal Zeringue