Or so it seems. It’s a rough draft finish, of course, and I think that I’ll probably polish it and release the polished version for sale in December.
Meanwhile, I’m going to make it available to my newsletter subscribers in rough draft form, with a cover that reflects that status. In some ways, this was a tough story to write while also being compelling. It was about death, and transition, and aging. Not sure I’m completely satisfied with the ending–I never am, especially in the roughs–but it did come to an end.
Will this be the final Netwalk Sequence work? To be honest, I’m not sure. I left some loose ends hanging because they’re relevant to the backstory in Star Shepherds (which is not going to be started until I get some other projects out of the way and do some necessary research). I may go back and tweak a few of those because one new character (who will be very relevant to Star Shepherds) doesn’t get enough foundation. But I couldn’t do that until I finished the story, and, well, gotta have time to format it into reading form and get it ready to go on BookFunnel.
But make no mistake, this is a transition story between Netwalk Sequence and Star Shepherds. I may write a few more stories set in this time period as world building for Star Shepherds. I just don’t know yet. There’s other writing I need to get done, which also includes some work on getting spec stories out instead of self-pub stories. And then there’s Beating the Apocalypse, which I’ve delayed starting because I thought I was going to have some conflicts that have now gone away.
I may still put off starting up Apocalypse until later in the month so I can get some short writing done. We shall see.
Um. Complications are happening today…here’s a little teaser. I swear, I didn’t know this was going to happen….
“That’s a relief.” Bess’s eyes narrowed and she stared at the globe. “Sarah. You’re worried about Kylee. Why?”
“If I could feel her so intensely before birth, what are these aliens going to think if they’re at all engaged in the virtual world? She’s got power in virtual. Untrained, unfocused, but she’s strong enough to get the attention of potential predators. We know the Nest claims that Earth’s early transmissions and virtual presence attracted them. What if Kylee is drawing these new aliens? What if they want to use her like the Nest wanted to do to you and Alex?”
Bess’s brown face went ash-gray. “I thought this was the kind of thing the Nest protected us from.”
“So did I.” Sarah’s form flickered and jagged flashes of green pixels pulsed from the top to the bottom of the hologlobe. “What’s up with the globe?”
Something slugged Melanie’s thoughts in virtual, an oppressive and hard blow almost as strong as her stroke had initially felt. She flailed back against the pressure and it eased. Her panic ebbed as the heaviness faded and she realized it wasn’t another stroke. Her head still throbbed but now she could identify the weight as a strong virtual presence.
So yeah. I’m going to make the rough draft version of this available to my newsletter subscribers on September 5th. It may not be finished, or I may decide that I’ve reached the end for now (I do plan on coming to a stopping place), then come back and revisit it in October/November to have it out as a full release in December.
Yummy. This story is getting to be very interesting…..
Like I said yesterday, I had no real intention of opening the Netwalk Sequence again.
But this story, I tell you…it’s at 4300 words and growing. At this point, I’m looking at a probable novelette length. I don’t think it’s a novella, but I’ve been putting down a lot of breadcrumbs that could sustain a longer story than just 5000 words.
In this story, we’re seeing Melanie after a stroke, with her brother Andrew near death from cancer, and…one more crisis is thrown at them, at the end of their lifespan. I started moving past the basic mechanism of that original story concept to deal with these characters who are facing the question of “do I upload into digital life and why”–where the why may affect the long-term survival of humanity.
The question of aging, in a world where digital life is possible. It’s…interesting.
In any case, I expect to have it ready in rough form for a newsletter giveaway. Actual publication will be probably in November or December. Totally unplanned, but…worth it, I think.