I've been collaborating on The search for Kalid, a science fiction novel that explores the idea that telepathic communication is a newly evolved human mental capacity. "Newly evolved" in the sense that 5,000 years ago a small group of ancient Egyptians started performing artificial selection aimed at selecting for humans with the capacity to become consciously aware of telepathic signals. The story is now over 90,000 words and nearing a climax when all of the major characters will meet and the remaining mysteries will be revealed to the reader.
In some ways, the search for Kalid is like a conventional murder mystery. The "detective" is Leone, an experienced space traveler who sets out to defeat his rival, the "Evil" Set. Leone and Set have known each other for many years, but now they will finally have a showdown. Leone even has the equivalent of a sidekick, his companion in space travel, Aristark. Sometimes Leone rashly charges into danger, but Aristark is there as a steadying hand and cooler head.
The story starts out with its focus on Leone and Set, but it eventually becomes clear that they are little more than pawns in a larger game being played out on the galactic stage. The two "kings" in this game of chess are Kalid and Ketar. Leone is in search of Kalid because he wants Kalid's help. Leone has been told that Kalid has "mental powers", but Leone is a skeptic and does not believe that telepathy is possible. Ketar is something of an "evil mastermind" who has been working behind the scenes to stimulate the conflict between Leone and Set.
There are other minor characters as well. In keeping with the space opera aspect of The search for Kalid, there are "romantic" elements in the story. Leone narrowly escapes death after being drawn into danger by his friend, Sybil. Sybil is a priestess of a religious sect with connections all the way back to ancient Egypt. Kalid is the "Great Master" of Sybil's religious sect. Sybil's assistant, Portia, is a fun character. She is abducted and hauled deep into outer space by Set, but she bravely stands up to Set. Portia is not quite a damsel in distress, but she plays a role in allowing Set to recover from the death of his soul mate, Katerine. Set is in a deep pit of anger due to the murder of Katherine and it takes more than just Portia to snap him out of his funk. During a visit to the Moon, Set also meets Amethyst. But can a brief telepathic link between Set and Amethyst heal Set's warped mind? Tune in next week for the exciting conclusion!