“After all, tomorrow is another day”

The following post was left on my Amazon page:

Jose Munoz-nieves says:

How many books in this series? It seems that almost everything you pick up is in this format which I try to avoid. There seems to be these interminable waiting for the next book and never seems to be a resolution. If there is a finish it almost always seems to be anticlimactic.

My response:

Believe it or not — and most readers don’t — I wrote this novel to be stand-alone, with the POSSIBILITY of one or more sequels.

Spoilers follow:

This is written as a coming of age story about Tommy and how he overcame great obstacles using his special abilities and knowledge to return to earth. (Not really relevant, but I used to daydream about leaving earth on an alien spaceship when I was a teenager, long ago. I was a voracious reader of science fiction and it was a natural thing to daydream about for someone who was clearly a geek or nerd, except those terms weren’t in common use then. I was a dork, which was in common use as I remember.) Anyway, Tommy is kidnapped, grows up, overcomes the obstacles (I sincerely hope you liked the way I did that) and returned to earth. However, I’m an adult now, I know that life, or a period in life, doesn’t end neatly with everything resolved. So, the possibility of a sequel, which probably won’t end neatly either.

I, also, don’t like stories that don’t have a beginning, middle, and end. I accept that you may disagree, but I believe this story about Tommy meets that requirement. Trying to tie up all the loose ends are a problem no matter what: For example, Tommy lands on earth, re-unites with his parents, marries his warrior girlfriend, writes a bestselling autobiography about his experiences, Potter becomes a fat housecat. WHAT ABOUT THE SPACESHIP? What about the people on the spaceship? What about the alien civilizations that Tommy’s actions have unleashed on the unsuspecting earth? In fact, I can’t think of any ending that doesn’t beg for sequels, but then again, I can’t think of a single science fiction book that I’ve ever read (except some really bad ones) that doesn’t beg for a sequel on those terms – the story is a series of events in a much longer series of events that are affected by the actions in the story. For example, I just re-read for the umpteenth time Heinlein’s “Citizen of the Galaxy.” It ends with his protagonist having returned to earth but having made very little progress toward finding and eliminating the pirates/slavers that captured him in the first place. He’s rich, but is not even sure “who done it.” No sequel. Didn’t Heinlein care that his readers would want to know?

The paperback of “A Larger Universe” is 356 pages. That’s long enough for one story. So, to answer your question, there is ONE book in this series, so far, so it is not really a series. BUT, since a number of readers liked Tommy’s story – I hope you did – I am working on a sequel. I wish writing a novel were like writing a computer program. I could give you a reasonably accurate answer about how long it will take, since I have a lot of experience with that. On a positive note, since I am sure I will be self-publishing my next novel rather than having it main-stream published (dream on) the time-line won’t include the minimum of one year of grinding through the processes in a publishing house.

I do hope you enjoyed my story, even if you don’t like my answer.

Jim Gillaspy