Novels to Come

I can write 'em much faster than my agent and publisher can shovel them out onto the world. I have the following stacked up in manuscript.



OUT OF THE ABYSS

This novel is a sequel to DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE. I wrote both books extremely quickly, each in only a couple months. What can I say? when youíre hot, youíre hot.

It was obvious when I thought about it that Edwin Barbarossaís problems were not going to surface in the short term. If youíre smart and keep your mouth shut, immortality doesnít start to go sour for quite a long time. But, sixty or seventy years down the pike, it might become less fun. So of course I had to go there immediately, and work out all the details. In this book Edwinís inevitable personal losses precipitate an emotional crisis. He joins the circus, goes to Hong Kong, is caught in the crossfire of a major civil war, and gets drawn into a few torrid clinches. This excerpt is from the first chapter.


OFF THE SCREEN

This novel is set 150-some years in the future, and is about societal change – the moral, artistic, and political evolution of American systems. And since Edwin Barbarossa is the hero, itís about how difficult it is to be left behind, as the world rolls on without you. As ABYSS was about his coming to an emotional accommodation with his situation, this is about his social adjustment. In this excerpt he is helping to compose a musical called A PASSION FOR JUSTICE, in an age when live theater has been dead and in its grave for some decades.

To let him do this, the simplest thing for me was to write my very own musical for him to stage. Negotiating for the rights to tinker with an existing work, THE KING AND I or OKLAHOMA or whatever, would be difficult and costly, and I wanted to adjust the subject and theme of the musical to fit the rest of the novel. In the way of these things, however, A PASSION FOR JUSTICE once written began to take on a life of its own. A composer is putting together the music and lyrics, and if all goes well the piece may actually achieve its own independent and separate career on stage. If this happens – gods of the theater, smile on us! – it will be the first time I know of that a musical written specifically for a novel has moved to the stage. Books transformed into musicals are nothing very much out of the way (consider LES MISERABLES or THE SOUND OF MUSIC), but I have never heard of a musical appearing in fiction and then jumping to the stage.


THE MEMORY ARTIST

This is a far-future post-Apocalypse novel, set at least ten thousand years from now. I got the idea from an article from SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN. A person who was into organization could put HOW LIKE A GOD and DOORS OF DEATH AND LIFE into one set or duology (if there is such a word), and OUT OF THE ABYSS and OFF THE SCREEN into another. This book is an oddball or wild card, still in the set but way off to one side.

I wanted to experiment with family structure, and also to resolve a couple of very long-term questions posed in the previous books. The simplest way to set this up was to wipe out most of the humans on Earth. In this excerpt Avven Coftura is guiding an-Lattine, an offworld visitor, to a remote farmstead.


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