I can’t reveal that.
Aaron Diaz is full of ideas, and it pains him when he can’t share with you an idea that’s not ready for inclusion in Dresden Codak. Concrete plans about books, sure; dinosaurs, he’s all over that conversation. But questions regarding the nature of science/speculative fiction that might reveal where he’s going with his current story arc, Dark Science? That’s where he draws the line. So let’s focus on what he will discuss.
Firstly, there is a Dresden Codak book in the works, which he hopes will be out for Christmas¹. So far, so good, people do books of their webcomics literally every week. But this book is from the man that puts minute detail into single “pages” that keep scrolling on and on, and that requires space. When I first met Diaz, he was musing about putting together a book for Hob, and I speculated it might require a size approaching that of a coffee table book. We chuckled.
Yeah, so the new book might have to be trimmed down by 15% or so, but right now he’s looking at a 17×23 inch treatment. In color. Hardcover. Covering from the first introduction of Kim (presumably this story) and every subsequent story prior to Dark Science (he didn’t say if the guest week that immediately preceded DS would be included), including all of Hob. I remarked the only book he could work on that would require more space would be a collection of Moebius tribute art, which caused an eye twinkle and a terse, “Don’t tempt me.”²
It is worth noting that while having this conversation, his exhibitor’s wristband was configured in a möbius strip, which he incessantly traced with his fingers. That prompted a discussion of spatial mathematics, which led to a discussion of the philosophy of science, and how he believes he’s on a unique track with Dark Science.
Some of what he said is pretty obvious: it’s about a third done (the last update fairly screams “end of first act reveal”). It’s in tribute to Metropolis. Ayn Rand is in for some mockery in Act II (which he described as “intense”) and Act III (“surreal”). The key concept of Dark Science hasn’t been revealed yet, but as far as he can tell, it’s not an idea that’s been done before in SF:
It’s not a “go here, get this, bring it back, fix the problem” kind of story. Hob was about having different points of view with respect to the unknown, Dark Science is about science, the philosophy of science, what it’s for.
That’s when I asked him if he was using “science” as a verb and not a noun, and that brings us back to his inability to reveal things up there at the top. Between now and us learning what he can’t reveal at this time, we’ve got four or five years, a hardcover (at least one), and a lot of days besotted by the newest discoveries in maniraptor locomotion and neck structures. The world comes rushing at Diaz, and comics are how he does science to it. Pretty, pretty science.
¹ Perhaps noting his update schedule, Diaz did not specify Christmas of which year.
² I continued to tempt him; while deep in a conversation about how coelurosaurs invaded every ecological niche, I remarked how I’d love to see him do a book containing the likes of the enormous Charles R Knight murals of dinosaurs that have been mainstays at natural history museums for half a century.
Knight worked from the best paleontological information of his times, and Diaz would certainly work from the state of today’s art, meaning feathers everywhere. “I want to see your take on pterosaurs,” I said. He got that twinkle again and muttered, “Ooooh. I could … you’re giving me an idea.”