An update on a longtime work in progress.
If you follow my Spacepage, you know I’ve been working on this and that it’s a real thing. If you don’t follow me on the social medias, that’s fine, so here’s the thing: I am working on After Terra 4 and have been for a long time, almost two years now.
At least, to me, nearly two years is a long time. The first words I placed into the file that is After Terra 4 were on March 21, 2017. By my most humble estimate, I am halfway finished with the manuscript. Fortunately, many hard edits have been done as I’ve gone, so the final revision processes will hopefully be shorter and less painful than usual. It will be, at minimum, approximately 50% larger than Lunacy in word count, and is considerably more ambitious and, shall we say, thorough, than anything I’ve written before. Almost anything and everything you might have been left wondering about or pondering on from previous novels in the series will be resolved in this one.
That isn’t to say that I purposely left certain plot threads dangling or cut certain things out in an attempt to then sell them to you later to get the “complete package.” I wrote Year 200, In the Baron’s Shadow, and Lunacy as stories with definitive arcs for the protagonists, and the stories’ POVs were tightly locked in to what they were doing. This sharp focus on character in favor over world-building and exposition was something that was important to me from the outset, as while I can and do enjoy hard sci-fi, the stories that have meant the most to me through my life are ones that put characters first. The sacrifice that gets made in the process is that many things that happen outside the protagonists’ bubbles can feel left by the wayside, the tech, culture, and history in this setting may feel underdeveloped to some, and the other stories this universe has to tell may feel neglected. I experimented a little bit with expanding on the lore and world-building in Lunacy, but it still revolved around what was happening to a certain character.
This time, the stakes are naturally higher than they’ve ever been for every character involved, and as the lives of everyone in the Solar System—meaning every last human alive—are changed because of the heroes’ preceding actions, my storytelling focus has broadened to include the bigger picture. This is no longer just one hero and heroine’s story; it’s everyone’s.
If you read all the way to end of Lunacy, you already know After Terra 4’s subtitle, and you have my thanks for checking out my work, as well. When I have some real marketing material, I will be doing a full prerelease reveal for After Terra 4, as this will be a proper book launch, unlike the quiet whispers that were the preceding three. I will have the manuscript done this year for sure, though whether or not the launch will happen in 2019 or 2020 is a bit foggy. However, in that span of time there will be more content coming to this site in different mediums, and there will be a short story collection based on After Terra characters, some of which I have or will have written by fan request (you know who you are, and thank you). That will likely be a Summer or Autumn 2019 release, so stay tuned.