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Status Report and Random Thoughts about Series Development

A few more chapters, a few more hours and Gaea Ascendant 3: “Confederation” will be ready for proof printing. I really dislike the editing phase right now, even though it allows me to tighten the prose and catch errors. The problem is that I’d rather be writing my next book.

I’ve got most of the planning done for the next one. It’ll be a single novel incorporating time travel into prehistory blended with a strong romantic theme. A little different for me, but it’s a story and I enjoy telling stories.

Meanwhile sales of the Gaea Ascendant series have slowed. I expect releasing “Confederation” (cover art above) will boost discovery a bit. The thing is, I like the money from sales, but I don’t have to have it. There’s a lot of easier ways to get paid.

Instead, I have this vision of entertaining people in much the same way I’m entertained by reading. I like the feeling that I get when I think that I’ve provided a few hours of enjoyable diversion for someone.

It occurs to me to mention that Gaea Ascendant started as an idea for a single, short novel of the kind that were written in the early days of science fiction. Then it morphed into a trilogy when it became apparent that the story was much longer than a single, reasonable sized book would hold.

Most people have no trouble reading something between 80-110k words, but 300k in 700 or 800 pages is a little too much. Besides, print costs for such a tomb are high. So, the trilogy came into existence.

Each book is stand-alone and complete in itself although there are enough clues leading to the next part of the story to maintain the thread from one to the next. I dislike books that end on a cliff-hanger note with the obvious intent of forcing the reader to buy the next installment. I actively rebel and refuse to read the next installment when I encounter that and I don’t want my readers to have the same feelings of exploitation that this tactic engenders in me.

While it might not be apparent when reading the first two books, the whole Gaea Ascendant series is oriented towards exploring the nature of human civilization. If our current civilization were destroyed and we had the power to remake it, how would we go about that task? What is important? I’m of the opinion that we need a different way of living with each other and the series explores that idea.

Of course, attack by aliens with evil intentions would probably have the effect of bringing humans together to a certain extent. The differences we commonly hold against each other would be exposed for the trivialities that they are if we were attacked by creatures who meant to destroy all of us.

After seeing the everyday hatred, terrorism, discrimination, repression, etc. in the news, I’m almost at the point of thinking that an alien attack would be a good thing. (Provided we would survive it — not a sure thing.)

All serious issues aside, I wrote the series to entertain people. The philosophical concepts are a little extra that may be easily ignored, since they’re buried in the story.


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