Today I'd like to report that what started out five months ago as a collection of twelve short stories with large time gaps between the stories has turned into something more. How much more depends on how the current editing process continues to unfold, but it certainly looks like this book has turned into at least a novella. This happened by accident since I once had plans to release a handful of the short stories out onto Amazon before releasing the whole book. As I've continued to edit the stories, however, they have insisted on "growing" together and towards each other if that makes sense.
Although my technique for creating novels usually follows a much different path, I'm also letting this book run in the direction it wants to go. Here's what makes this so unusual: depending on how things go, I might...just might...turn this into part one of a trilogy.
So...what's this book about?
There are a lot of themes coming together in this book, but here's the short list: Mars, robotics, nanotechnology, and in a limited sense, fractals. The Mars aspect will be obvious as nine of the twelve stories take place there (the first three are on Earth). The robotics angle grows throughout the book and the nanotech themes come to life in the last four stories. The fractal ideas are more subtle and will be found in the structures of the book. I say "structures" as opposed to "structure" because although there is one large narrative arc to the book, there are multiple other arcs within groups of stories and even within the stories themselves. I've tried to align those arcs with one another, but this has proved to be far more difficult than I ever anticipated. The original goal was to write a book that could be chopped up into multiple pieces yet still essentially retain the same story.
Some of the story titles will be, "Racing the Anvil Crawlers", "The Peddler", "The Nanobot Sandbox", and "The Mines of Mars, Part II". Oh, and here's the opening line from the lead story, "Tales From the Front":
Gordyn and Alyssa held hands together in the cockpit for yet another last time.