Releasing stories backwards
Because I'm the time travel guy.
By now you all know that I can only function at maximum efficiency if I am spinning multiple book-shaped plates. That’s primarily because they all have something in common; a theme, a universe, or a character. I am writing all the books you’ve heard about simultaneously, which does mean I put them out a bit slower than other authors in comparable genres, but I like to think it makes my books more fun. Ideas which don’t fit perfectly in one book don’t go to waste, they often call out and ask to be moved elsewhere.
Lax Morales, for example, was originally a comic relief character in a universe adjacent to the Wooden Robots universe of WHO BUILT THE HUMANS? and Darlene was a teenager who poisoned him with some sushi. Lax’s coughing fit just so happened to be the exact same sound as an alien’s dimensional portal password, so they showed up and abducted him.
It was ridiculous, but I saw potential in Lax. He was crying out to be somewhere else. He kept his ridiculous name (and the graffiti inspired by it), and his little story universe collapsed in on itself, to be reborn in, you guessed it, WHO BUILT THE HUMANS? TWO. The coughing portal password returns.
I’m on the front cover of this one for two reasons.
I want to break genre expectations. This thing is in its own genre anyway so really I’m defining new expectations.
I’ve been told that I am the brand. So I’m being more Bowie. I’ll be featured somewhere on all the comedy book covers, including the poetry.
I am still looking into funding for WBTH2. Right now I am applying for a business loan for Halfplanet Press, but beyond that I have my eye on UnboundBooks as a publisher, or if they don’t take it, Crowdfundr. Whichever way it happens, I’m putting in a lot of time to make it as good as it can be before I even talk about a launch. But between you and me, I’m thinking September 2023 for the pre-orders to go live if I crowdfund it.
It’s a scary thing, trying to keep up with WBTH1, but
hologram kebab was a product of that fear, a book that was really, always, WBTH2.
Going back through time
The goal of WHO BUILT THE HUMANS? was to create a ‘best of’ collection from a writer who was not only not dead, but not published before this collection came out.
It was a subtle joke about time travel, a way to show the universe everything I could write in one neat package. It was a multiverse in one book; a book that could be read in any order, with each selection of stories offering a new feeling at the end.
And that was good. Artistically, I made the right decision. But ultimately I’d like more people to see the novellas inside WBTH. Not everyone who wants mindbending time travel adventures or lonely worldbuilding robots is going to pick up sci-fi comedy, so some of the audience for Lucy’s universe and the Furukawa universe are still out there, and they are missing out because those stories aren’t available anywhere else.
Make them available somewhere else.
So I’m going back through time. Rather than writing novellas and short stories that show up in magazines and later get collated into a ‘best of’ collection, I wrote the ‘best of’ collection first, and am now picking out the stories which my readers think deserve another lease of life.
And I’m not going to try to sell you something you’ve already read. These stories (in eBook form) are going to be permanently free, everywhere, forever.
It was hard to decide which of the 11 WBTH universes should be given a new life outside the book, but I think I’ve made a smart choice.
The first to release will be PROJECT FURUKAWA. This is the entire Furukawa universe from WBTH, repackaged as a standalone eBook, and given a little bit more content. The goal is to get people familiar with the universe before the EARTHLOOP TRILOGY comes out. I’m currently working on the first 5k of that so I can query it to Unbound books.
I’ve taken a handful of courses on book marketing and design. This picture looks a lot like how I imagined one of the scenes in Earthloop, so I’m happy with it.
You’ll be getting some bonus content for Brigid and Lax in this eBook, stuff that sadly did not fit in WBTH1.
I have a good feeling about this one.
The next one is BEYOND UNCERTAIN STARS. This is a repackaging of Lucy’s universe from WBTH. This one is a fan favourite, and one of the ‘core three’ universes which branched off after the Atanattat ship crashed into the barrier between worlds. This story has its own weird connections to THE STEPHANIE GLITCH and EARTHLOOP, and if you’ve read it carefully enough, you’ll know what I’m talking about. It was subtle, but it was there.
I plan to add a bit more to this story to solidify those links between books. Sarbrox gets to appear a bit earlier in the story, Lucy’s development gets a bit more screentime, and there’s a twist at the end which I won’t spoil.
Again, this one will be permafree. No sales pitch here.
Here’s COVER 1.
And here’s an alternate cover. Let’s call this one COVER 2.
I’m really excited to show this one to a new audience.
The final WBTH story to be republished is SOLIPSISM. This tale was at the end of WBTH1 (if you read it front-to-back), and is going to appear again in SEVEN STORIES ABOUT TIME TRAVEL whenever that comes out. But before then, I wanted to give it a new audience. I love it, and I think it’s a shame it hasn’t appeared on its own before because it has a real impact on people.
One of my early reviewers said she audibly gasped after reading it and had to sit still for a while to process it. That’s a good story. That’s a story that deserves to be in more than one book. So it’s coming out as a free eBook.
Again, I’m probably going to abandon the title font in favour of the more genre-specific one used for Project Furukawa.
One story which wasn’t in WBTH1, but which will be a free eBook, is WHALE. A few months back I posted the first draft of the story here (link will be at the bottom of this email) and it became my most popular post. WHALE is going to appear in SSATT, but again I thought this one deserves a wider audience. With Solipsism and Whale out in the wild, I should be able to cement myself as the time travel guy before SSATT comes out.
All four of these little projects are coming out before SSATT, WBTH2, TSG, ELT, etc. They aren’t adding any extra time to my development process, as I am re-reading them anyway to build up the next few books.
I have an editor on board for all of this, and I’m looking at different ways to get the next few physical books out there (as well as funding an audiobook studio with that Halfplanet Press business loan). But for now you can sit back and enjoy the free chapters and short stories headed your way.
Whilst Earthloop didn’t manage to get fully funded on Kickstarter last year, it made me realise that people do want my bigger stories, and that perhaps there are more unconventional ways to publish them.
Here’s to a few months of free eBooks, new stories, and new novels.
It’s going to get weirder.
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