The Archivist: an update

The sabotage took effect just prior to entering this stretch of space, ensuring the engines had to remain on while we passed the black hole. We couldn’t Jump out of the laneway, and we couldn’t turn off the engines while travelling in this dimension or risk being pulled apart by multitudes of conflicting forces. Whoever planned this was either very clever, or very stupid.

Either way, they hadn’t counted on me.

Cassia Tan, The Archivist
A nine-image collage in blue-green colour scheme, showing elements to represent The Archivist visually.
An aesthetic for The Archivist, images from

Book Summary

Cassia Tan is a newly graduated Archivist: an augmented human charged with gathering data on everything in the galaxy. Heading to her first assignment, Cassia encounters a fugitive alien who shouldn’t exist, sending her on an adventure she could never have imagined. Suddenly Cassia is worlds away from home, surrounded by smugglers, aristocrats, hidden assassins, enigmatic aliens, spurned suitors, and master manipulators—all who’d kill to get their hands on Archivist knowledge. Soon Cassia will learn that out among the stars, you need more than information to survive…

The Archivist is the first book in a new adult space opera series. It features a sassy protagonist with a lot to learn, strong female characters, and a diverse cast. There’s also found family, a slow burn romance, dark themes, cyperpunk, and AI elements.

The Update

I finished the third major draft of The Archivist this weekend!

Just in time for submission to PitchWars. Phew. And now it’s off to my beta readers as well. Still a way to go before it is ready for publication, of course, but I’m still feeling pretty good about it. My aim now is to receive feedback, make additional changes as needed, and probably send out for editing before querying begins at the start of 2021. In the meantime, I’m taking a couple of courses from the Australian Writer’s Centre – more to come on those – and planning for NaNoWriMo in November, when I’ll be starting book two.

No rest for the wicked, hey.

Extra: Call for Readers

I mentioned beta readers. I’m still looking for one more. Fancy applying?

What I’m looking for: a sensitivity reader from an Asian background. What’s this, you say?

Background information: The Archivist features a young human woman from a metropolitan planet of multiple species, including aliens. Her genetic background is mixed East Asian. Her mother is from the metropolitan planet; her father from a planet where predominantly East Asian, Central Asian, and North-Eastern European humans settled in their Exodus from Old Earth. Many, many generations later, some cultural links remain. Two more of my major characters are from this planet. Another shares genetic traits with humans who originated from South Asia, though her cultural identity is fluid.

Why do I want a sensitivity reader? I’m a British-Australian white woman who is not from the group of people to whom these characters [somewhat] belong. I’m not writing an OwnVoices book, nor am I attempting to write about identity from a BIPOC point of view – I leave this to those authors who own and live these experiences. I also didn’t deliberately choose to write characters from a different background to myself, or choose them in order to offend. They simply walked into my head this way! And though arguments have been made both for and against writing main characters who are not your own culture, sexuality, gender, race, ability or other identity, I am not here to engage in these arguments.

What I do want, is to ensure that in my science fiction book I have not included any stereotypes, bias, false information, potentially harmful content, or inaccuracies. I intend to start with my first novel the way I mean to go on: by taking such elements into consideration and trying to avoid them to the best of my ability.

So if you like space opera, read the summary, and feel like you could be the sensitivity reader for me, then please get in touch! Thanks a lot.

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4 thoughts on “The Archivist: an update

      1. I’m already enthralled by the idea of Archivists as augmented humans who gather data. All the best with the querying and writing — I will stay tuned! 😀


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