“What happens next, Steve?”
“What happens next, Steve?” A couple of people have asked me that question about Hairy London, so here’s the state of play regarding sequels…
Memory Seed, Glass, Flowercrash
I did have vague plans for a fourth far-future novel called Papyrus, that existed for a year or so on a sheet of paper. But the scenario of these three books was done – everything had been said. Flowercrash tied up all the plot lines of the gynoids and there was nowhere else to go with any of the other characters. I also – very briefly – thought about a prequel to Memory Seed, as it intrigued me to think how the Earth got in that state, but it never progressed beyond an afternoon’s idle speculation. So no, I won’t return to this scenario.
This one really could go somewhere. After completing the novel I often found myself wondering what happened to Mnada; hideously treated by her awful mother, and having suffered from the brain event that ruined Muezzinland itself, I pondered what she might do. There is definitely scope for a work following her journey – perhaps along the North African coast, then down through Egypt and Sudan, then across to Ghana. I also have an incomplete work called Beautiful Intelligence that is set in the Muezzinland world a good few decades before that novel. I hope this will be completed by 2015.
Written for fans of festival and psychedelic music, this was a one-off that originally remained as a short story on my website, until I became re-interested in it. Then Sean Wallace at Wildside asked me to finish the book, which I did. For a few moments I thought about a sequel featuring American bands (The Byrds, The Mamas & The Papas, The Beach Boys, Strawberry Alarm Clock etc) but the idea was never a starter. So Hallucinating will remain untouched.
The Rat & The Serpent
This is another one that was a complete novel when it was written. There couldn’t be a sequel – nowhere to go. I did think about a second book set outside the constrained world of the Mavrosopolis, but the idea never got off the ground. So, no more black-and-white.
Urbis Morpheos had a complicated genesis. The first draft was written in 1998, and at the time it was almost double the length it is now. Eventually, two re-writes and eight years later, it existed as Urbis Morpheos – published by PS Publishing – and a second volume, Astra Gaia, which concludes Gularvhen’s story. At the moment (spring 2014) I am oscillating between the idea of leaving the novel be, or possibly publishing UM and AG as an omnibus ebook edition. Keith Brooke at Infinity Plus has said he would like to do this. This scenario of the Earth a million years hence however is done and dusted, and I’ll never go back there.
Quite well thought of, it seems! And I’ve had a few queries about “what happens next”. Well… the novel was written in a particular way at a particular time, and I don’t think there will be a sequel – I’m not sure I could return to that surreal, seat-of-the-pants way of working. It was a hot summer, and the novel came to me in a flash… what more can I say? Hmm… having said “no”, I did recently have a great idea for another book set in the same world. I’m not sure though. Maybe Hairy London should remain a one-off.