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.
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.
I hadn’t planned to write anything further in the Netwalk Sequence after I finished Netwalking Space, at least not for a while. Oh, a far future version was on the publishing schedule (Star Shepherds), but as for anything immediately after Space?
And then a particular scene kept popping into my head when I drowsed off to sleep. An old Melanie and Andrew on the Moon, Andrew near death, and in need of Melanie’s assistance.
The scene kept haunting me. Why did Andrew want Melanie to come to the Moon so urgently, at an age and fragility when it would be daunting? To say goodbye, true–but there was something more going on.
Well, it’s a story. Possibly an introduction or worldbuilding for the foundation of Star Shepherds. I should be done with it in time to give it away for my next newsletter release. Let’s just say it’s an interesting premise.
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