Mary Lou Mendum
The Price of Peace
Back in May of 2009, I was browsing through the new releases at my local
independent bookstore in search of new reading matter when I picked up a copy of
Catherine Asaroís novel Diamond Star.
I had looked at her previous Skolian Empire novel,
The Ruby Dice, the year before, but
had passed it by because it was very obviously an installment in a longer
Diamond Star, however, looked likely
to be understandable even by somebody who had not read the previous books, so I
decided to give it a try.
I finished the book in four days and immediately started tracking down
the previous installments of the saga.
I enjoyed the other books greatly, but
Diamond Star has remained my
favorite. Whatís not to enjoy about
a rock star whoís a prince in disguise, against a background of three warring
interstellar empires with drastically different, mutually incomprehensible
Diamond Star is a tightly
crafted book that resolves Prince Delís story nicely.
However, it left a few burning issues unsettled.
At the end of the book, most of the members of Delís band still donít
know who he is. He plans to buy an
estate, marry his lover, and live quietly on Earth, but how this might be
accomplished was left open. Would
Earthís government let him be, or would he be drawn into the diplomacy and
politics that heíd shunned previously?
When the next book Carnelians
was published in 2011, these issues were left unresolved because they didnít
impact the plot of that book, but an interesting tidbit was dropped regarding a
three-way peace treaty that had been signed about a year after
Diamond Starís end, as part of which
Delís hit protest song was made to disappear.
As I often do with a book I particularly like, I had sketched out scene
fragments resolving some of these questions.
I mentioned them to one of my fellow Sime~Gen gamers from the
scenario, Lexie Pakulak. Lexie, it
turned out, was also a fan of the Skolian Empire books, and she began nagging me
to turn my fragments into something coherent enough to share.
I started sending her chapters, which required more chapters, until I had
finally answered not only my questions but hers as well.
The resulting fanfiction isnít quite a novel, despite its length.
It wanders a little, exploring nooks and crannies that a well-crafted
novel would leave undisturbed because they arenít necessarily directly related
to the plot. It was also
deliberately designed like The Princess
Bride to maximize the ďgood partsĒ; both Lexie and I were at points in our
lives when we really needed a good laugh.
I hope the resulting story will give you some laughs as well.
If you enjoy it, let me know.
If you are already familiar with Asaroís books, my hope is that my story
will make the wait for the next installment,
Undercity, a bit easier.
And if you havenít discovered Catherine Asaroís Skolian Empire books yet,
you have a treat in store for you.
Mary Lou Mendum
COMMENTS can be addressed to Mary Lou as @ML MENDUM (all small letters) on
the Sime~Gen Group on Facebook.
After you join the Group, type
in the empty field at the top @Ml Mendum and enter your comment. There are many
in this Group who will be interested.
Index to The Price of Peace by Mary Lou Mendum
A Stranger in Her Own Home Town
Business as Usual, During Altercations
The Skolian Empire Strikes Back
The Bard of Dalvador
The Bard of Annandale
The Second Battle of Gettysburg
Some Enchanted Evening
The Price of Peace
Skolian Empire Fan