Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roads Not Taken

I recently signed the contracts for Something Coming Through, and am nearing the end of the third draft. When it's published, it will be my twentieth novel. Which is some kind of achievement, I guess. Here are a few that didn't get finished, for various reasons. Every novelist will have similar stories of books scuttled because of bad timing, bad luck, or the realisation that there was a better novel to be written. On the whole, I think I've gotten off lightly.

Untitled sequel to Eternal Light - which would have been my fourth novel, until I realised, after writing a synopsis and a couple of chapters, that I had nothing useful to add to what had already been published. So I wrote something completely different - Red Dust, Tibetan cowboys on Mars - instead.

Pasquale's America - again, a synopis and a few chapters were written for this sequel to my Renaissance steampunk novel Pasquale's Angel, but I'd just changed publishers and couldn't get the rights back for Pasquale's Angel, so that, as they say, was that.

Alessi's Comet - a science fiction novel that was halfway through the first draft when my publishers decided they had no enthusiasm for publishing science fiction any more.

Gone Dead Train and Bad Genes.  Two thrillers. Gone Dead Train was a sequel to my surveillance thriller Whole Wide World, but I moved publishers (again) and had the same problem as with Pasquale's America. Bad Genes (terrible title) was a new direction that I gave up while halfway into the first draft when a publishing deal fell through. Hey ho.

The Disappeared was going to be the sequel to my MMORPG thriller Players, turned down by my then publisher.

Manswarm - an idea about a murder mystery set in a hyperpopulated London that never got further than a synopsis, because I decided to write The Quiet War instead. Good move.

London Endless - I've written several stories about Mr Carlyle, a long-lived private investigator with a great deal of knowledge about 'the matter of the dead'; I wrote a very detailed chapter-by-chapter synopsis for an American publishing deal that fell through when the enthusiastic editor lost his job because of bizarre publishing nonsense. The only orphan on this list I might return to, one day.


Anonymous Sergey said...

Anyway - return to each of these ideas could be refreshing - to have yourself 10-15 years younger as co-author could be interesting experience :)

November 22, 2013 5:42 pm  

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