So a mysterious turn of events I better not get into…one day I had a job lined up and all of a sudden, days before I thought I was supposed to start, I didn’t. No explanation.
Well, lemons > lemonade. I’d been organizing my writing goals around the idea that I would be working full time, so “Less Than” had sort of fallen to the bottom of the priority list, since I’m trying to focus on things that might sell. But neither “Lion” nor “Dark O’Clock” has gone anywhere yet, so there’s no compelling reason to dash into the next volume of either one. Though of course typical me, I want to be “discovered” without having to go through the brutal process of marketing myself, so what should I reasonably expect? At this point, I’m still hoping some of the few buyers at least posts a review of one or the other.
So…given all this time on my hands, I realized now is the time to finish “Less Than.” And what do you know, I sat right down and blocked out the rest of the story. And then started writing. And so after four years, it looks pretty certain that it will be finished this month.
I feel really good about it. I’ve received positive feedback from three readers now, and one of them, my friend Ted, is a Ph.D. candidate in Human/Computer Interaction, so he vetted the AI bits and they passed the test. I’ve managed to solve the most vexing problem – i.e., the idea that once Alex becomes a corporate product, there is no way in Hell he can ever realistically be “freed.” That could only happen in a horrible Hollywood hacker movie, so we’re not going there. But I did realize how to provide a happy ending anyway. No more will I say now.
So yeah…I think finishing “Lion” after eight years in a drawer, or at least a serial episode of it, and doing “Dark,” really helped me get up the steam to do this. “Eli Outland” is like the brother I never had, and I’m sore tempted to publish “Less Than” under the name as well, and just leave “Orland” behind (people always thought my real name was a “preposterous pseudonym,” as one writer put it without doing any research). It’s not like anything Orland ever wrote, so why not?