SOI Chapter 1: "The World Already in Progress"

This title had been kicking around in the back of my mind for years before it finally appeared at the opening of Spell of Intrigue. Until I started ransacking my old papers in storage, I had forgotten just how far I'd been carrying it around: the first limited draft of what later grew into Catastrophe, dated 1980, had this title. (I'll post this version, unedited, after I finish the main series.) It was inspired by what used to be the standard broadcast seque from a program interruption for some item of emergency news: "We return you now to the program already in progress."


One of the most enjoyable parts of doing a series is the opportunity to reintroduce your surviving characters in each new installment. One exemplar of whom I'm particularly font is Dorothy Dunnett. She  was one of the greatest practitioners of the art of clever character introductions; in at least three books (Niccolo Rising, Queen's Play, and King Hereafter) she concealed the introduction of her main character for a good stretch of each story, hiding him in plain sight but in disguise, under another name, or through other chameleonic subterfuges.

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