Behind the Scenes: SPINDOWN


Sholve at superintendent

Chapter 26: The Plan

"As she walked to the water observation deck, she rehearsed her plan. It would not be easy, but she was confident she knew of all the obstacles."

Reduction Center

Housing Compartments

Chapter 6: The Attack

"It took a moment for Fowler’s eyes to acclimate to the fiery orange light in the room. The light radiated from the various wall panels that encompassed the narrow room."


Sketch of water regulator

Chapter 18: The Farm

"Fowler saw Sholve reach for one of the buoy rods a few meters away, scrambling to get a handhold. He continued pulling himself toward her a few meters out. The icy water was numbing, and his waterlogged uniform fought against his every effort."

Orium V

(Oe on the periodic table)

Spindown Glossary

"As light as cork while being over two hundred fifty times more dense than lead, Orium V inhibits the emissions of ionized radiation from subatomic isotopes. Orium V’s inimitable properties led to many technological advances during the early part of the twenty-fourth century."

Roon 1893's Door

An impossible choice

Chapter 9: Forfeit

"Fowler rushed to the door and looked for a way to release it. He knew there was no way to open it from the inside when the trim was flashing red, but maybe there was a way on the outside. He feverishly scanned for a button or a release valve, but found nothing."

Symbolism of the 'O'

The ringbot metaphor

The book cover and chapter headings

"When Sholve caught Fowler looking at her, he quickly looked away until she turned back toward the ringbot. Fowler knew that, by accident or not, the four of them were “off the track” now. This concept was simultaneously both simultaneously horrifying and exhilarating."

"How would the four of them survive “off the tracks”? The only pod-car Fowler had ever witnessed off the rails was the one Sholve had crashed in. And that carrier had been destroyed by the spinners. Destroyed by Prinox."

Terrence Kimball

Arrival of the liberators

Chapter 3: The Debate

"Kimball interrupted, “I’m off in a bad way here. There’s no way I’m gonna make it without some medical. I need to go to a triage station, med-bots, or something."

Swept Away

Fowler in the current

Chapter 19: Through the Forest

"Fowler somersaulted beneath the surge several times before slamming headlong into one of the stalks. A chain of large bubbles erupted from Fowler’s mouth from the impact. Then the current hurled him along. Every time he hit more vegetation, he threw himself upward, letting the water carry him. Finally, he found the surface of the water and gasped in air. He was exhausted, battered, and freezing cold once again. "

Cleaning Bot

Fowler in corridor

Chapter 1: The Incident

"He passed the red-blinking doors of multiple housing compartments and rounded the corner to see a small hybri-vore cleaning bot. The spinning machine simultaneously scrubbed and buffed the floor and wall. Without slowing from its task, it greeted the passing worker. “Many days to you, Fowler 3085."


The Death Chamber

Chapter 6: The Attack

"...the structure that dominated the back of the chamber—a mammoth metal archway. The structure barely stopped short of making a full circle as it converged with the floor. Its curved alloy beams barely fit within the chamber wall panels."

McAllister's Backpack

Equipment Study

Chapter 1: The Incident

"From the other side, a form emerged. It had a bulky metal container on its back, making it appear taller than it really was. The figure, which wore a blue uniform, bent down to shed the over-sized pack and its attached hose and metal apparatus. It gripped its helmet with gloved hands and struggled with the headgear as it crossed over the magnetic track platform. The intruder moved toward the crowd that had gathered."

Reduction Center


Chapter 6: The Attack

"Prall was frozen in place beneath the plexiguine canopy. The conductor coil bands atop the metal curve began to gleam and come to life with a cool blue glow. Sparks danced and leaped from coil to coil, sometimes arching for a moment before a short crackle, then disappearing into the atmosphere."



Movement Study of Characters

"I sketched this out for myself to work out the logistics and blocking of the scenes in 2012."

The Catwalk

The Path to the Goliath

Chapter 25: The Excursion

"The metal grate beneath his feet reminded him of standing on the floor of the drained water area. Hundreds of thousands of slits in the titanium catwalk allowed him to look through the structure to the ground, but there was no ground—at least, none that he could see in the chasm below. It was as if the metal pathway floated recklessly on the air, forsaking the notion that the ground existed somewhere way down there."


A Study of the mechanism

Chapter 7: Reunion

"The ringbot’s outer covering began to accelerate as it glided along the short track to the archway. With flawless precision, the ringbot snapped into place within the larger mechanism. The enclosure had a suspended slab about the size of a person that jutted out near the bottom curve of the ringbot."

"In one fluid motion, the ringbot encircled the waist-high cot. It jutted halfway into the narrow gap between the wall-mount bracket and the bed. It spun its outer shell into position and detached the cot from the wall assembly. Two of its arms slid into slits on the sides of the bed frame, and the third arm clamped over the middle of Müne’s naked chest."

Buy Spindown Now