I was thinking yesterday about what novel to write when my ARIA trilogy is finished. It nearly is, just about 30-40,000 words to go with volume 3. My own reading has returned to gritty hard science fiction but with a literary feel. Hence I’m into China Mieville for style with Greg Bear and Alistair Reynolds for content. Not completely, of course, as there would be a cocktail of Stanislaw Lem, Asimov, and yes, the styles of Julian Barnes, and ironic humour of Tibor Fischer. All those inspire me and “inform my narrative” to use posh jargon. So, I’ve always had an urge to write a novel based on an enigmatic planet. Something not right with it and our team of misfits go to sort it out. I’ve written short stories happening out in space and enjoyed those – some have been published. Slow Crash for example won a commendation at the Hubbard Writers of the Future. Then yesterday, walking home in our mild minus 5 Celsius (mild compared to the rest of Europe with minus 30 and less in Germany and even Rome has snow with the Colliseum is closed because of the ice) I realised that there is such a mystery planet in ARIA. So is there a fourth book? Could be. There are enough survivors in the original main characters to make up a team and the aliens have headed for Earth. A planet swap has happened – hilarious yet deadly. You can’t wait to read it, can you? Ha ha, and it has an original premise, yes one which has not been used so far. There have been four book trilogies before – Hitchhiker’s Guide for example – so I follow a great precedent. On the other hand should it be a separate book on a mystery planet with new characters and settings? Issues, issues.