For anyone who has read both ‘Regarding Mikhail’ and ‘Lioness’ and doesn’t know me personally, it may seem a little puzzling how two such completely different stories can possibly relate to one another. Most series’ (in general here, not purely in literature) tend to follow a sequential format, but I purposely tried to avoid that for two reasons; a) When I started the series I had trouble sticking at and completing projects, and I was worried that if I committed myself to one long story and one cast of characters I would throw in the towel, and b) I had always been intrigued by the idea of multiple story threads influencing one another without physically coming together and wanted to explore this in my own way. This idea was rooted in my mind during the first year of university where as part of my course I was required to read ‘Ghostwritten’ by David Mitchell, and is carried through several other reading experiences. George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series employs several central characters who never actually meet despite having huge impact on the world around them. Similarly the frame story format of Dan Simmons’ novel ‘Hyperion’ demonstrates how completely different individual stories told by completely different individual characters can eventually converge onto the same goal.
So long story short, The Authority of Stars I-IX will follow nine different stories told by nine different characters, but they will all be linked by spider’s threads. These threads will become more apparent as the series progresses, and each story will play its own important role when things come to a head in my planned sequel trilogy*. As to how said trilogy will work, it will more than likely follow a format similar to the aforementioned ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’ series where a set number of POV characters each take turns to narrate a chapter, but it doesn’t really bear to consider such tiny details at this time.
*Three is a magic number, but it may be only two books, or it may become five, who knows?
Without giving too much away, I will attempt to give an outline of sorts as to the overall relevance of each planned instalment. Assume as a given that each protagonist will return as a POV character in the sequel trilogy:
I – Regarding Mikhail: The first instalment introduces the universe and several key players.
II – Lioness: The second instalment fleshes out the universe in more detail and introduces several different ‘factions’ within the Authority. Unresolved plot points will be subsequently embellished upon in a big way.
III – The Theseus Paradox: The third instalment introduces what is possibly the main catalyst to the events of the sequel trilogy, as well as deepening our understanding of the more technological aspects of Authority life.
IV – Unchained Chaos: The fourth instalment examines the alien and the unfamiliar. A perhaps small number of nevertheless extremely pivotal characters are introduced.
V – Illustrator Aevum: The fifth instalment examines religious faith, corruption, subterfuge, and racism as well as delving into the less than pleasant aspects of the Authority’s history. Key political and philosophical concepts will be explored.
VI – Chroma: The sixth instalment examines lawlessness, freedom, and the consequences of one’s actions. Synthkind will be examined in detail, most notably their eccentricities, unpredictable nature, and potential danger to humankind. Introduces characters that will have a powerful impact on everyone’s future.
– – – I like to think of VII-IX as my ‘villain pieces’ as they introduce the sequel trilogy’s three key antagonistic forces – – –
VII – Anima: If ‘The Theseus Paradox’ is one side of a coin then ‘Anima’ will be the other. We’ll learn a lot more about what I am referring to here as the ‘catalyst’, and by the end of this novel the ball will most definitely be set rolling.
VIII – Sonata: The penultimate instalment will examine war, discipline, and creativity as well as returning to the potentially incredible power of synthkind and its impact on humankind.
IX – Shulamith’s Birdcage: The final chapter examines dreams, the neural network, and various aspects of neurology unique to humans. It introduces the third key (and perhaps most sinister) antagonist and will (hopefully) bring everything around full circle in time for everyone to reconvene in the sequel trilogy.
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The Sequel Trilogy… : I have a lot of ideas and a very loose plan, but with so much left of ‘Unchained Chaos’ and onwards to write, everything is subject to change. One step at a time eh?
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