The sequel in the ARIA trilogy has May 31st 2013 as the release date! ARIA: Returning Left Luggage is in the final stages of proofing, the art has been painted by Award-winning Andy Bigwood, and the promo engine is cranking up. By sheer coincidence May 31st is the day a while ago that my wife, Gaynor, was born. Luckily, she smiled when I mentioned her birthday is on the same day as the release of ARIA 2. Not so much, as poet, artist and writer Catherine Edmunds comments, a competing celebration – more using my book release as part of Gaynor’s birthday celebration. Yeay!
Of course reading the sequel would make more sense if you read the first book in the series – ARIA: Left Luggage – links at the bottom of this page. Not unique but unusual for a science fiction trilogy is that the first volume has NO aliens, no battles in space, no Earth people going on interstellar travels. I believe it helped making the book more enjoyable as a medical mystery with the infectious amnesia for non-SF readers, although such plot aspects weren’t needed for book one either.
LL-Publications have asked me for a 800-word excerpt to hook readers and media into book 2. It was easy to do this for Left Luggage because the beginning was just right. The prologue told of Jack, who caught the infectious amnesia (ARIA) at work then spread it on the bus home. It was unique – and amazingly the idea of infectious amnesia still is unique in the fiction (and non-fiction) world. A reader tells me she lost some memory and other brain problems when she contracted meningitis so that is a kind of amnesia that is infectious but not retrograde, nor with everyone catching it within a few yards. Any day I am expecting an experienced science fiction reader to say, hey I read about infectious amnesia in this book in the 1950/60/70s by Niven/Heinlein/Asimov but they haven’t yet… Would it matter if they did? No, because it isn’t possible to have original ideas in absolutely every story – tens of thousands come out each year. Each story is unique because of the blend of characters, sub-plots, settings, writing style and factor X. Even so, it is rather cool to have an original idea and to have it published. Come on film makers, contact LL-Publications and buy the movie rights!
The 800-word excerpts for Returning Left Luggage is proving harder to pick. There are many many scenes that I like very much and whittled them down to five. One is of an ARIA victim trying to find his wife in an abandoned port in the South Pacific. It illustrates much of the dystopian problems and scenery created by ARIA. Butbutbut it involves shooting dogs. They are feral and maddened by starvation but even so, it might alienate [sic] dog-loving readers so while it remains part of the whole book it will not appear on the press releases! The others are too long so whichever I choose will involve even more lacerating than in the proofreading. I have enlisted the help of the Orbiter critique group, who helped me edit ARIA and still do so for volume three. So I’ve sent three possible excerpts to Mark Iles, James Odell, Chris Riley and James Steel for a poll on the one they think is best for a hook. Thanks – I’ll let you know the outcome. Daughter voted for a scene where Manuel seeks food in an abandoned shop and is caught – maybe.
I am slowly building up a twitter following at http://twitter.com/geoffnelder but I notice that some people have over 100,000 followers yet only follow a few hundred. Then I discovered that you can BUY thousands of fake twitter friends, youtube likes, and other social media connections. Such falsehood is probably excused by some a marketing ploy but it’s not one with which I would feel comfortable. It’s not much different to those authors who have fake identities to create their own ‘brilliant’ reviews on Amazon and fake blogs. I don’t have many followers on twitter – around 800 – the number goes up and down daily – but at least they are real. I think!