As most of my readers will be aware, since 2016 I’ve been promoting the next span of upcoming titles in the Quantum Series! Through various updates and newsletters, I’ve kept you all informed about my progress in writing these next four books – more or less simultaneously – give or take a couple of breaks in between!
As you can imagine, it has been a gargantuan task! I’m happy to tell you that the first two, “Prodigal Sun” (published February 23, 2017) and the second “High Steaks“, are already available (published in June 2017)! The third title in what I’ve come to call “the Quantum Quadrilogy”, “Underground Movement”, is still in the works.
[NOTE: This article has been updated since it was originally published to reflect the addition of a fourth title to this next span of Quantum Series stories! Also, since this article is about a span of books within a series, some of which have yet to be published, be prepared to see it being referred to a lot in the future as it comes to subsequent release dates of the next three titles!]
In the meantime, I thought I would go into a little more detail about the story being told across these four books – “Prodigal Sun“, “High Steaks“, “Underground Movement” and “Moon Jockeys” – books 5, 6, 7 and 8 in the Quantum Series!
Those of you who have read the other books in this series will already be familiar with the quirky little Terran Colony called Deanna, where strange things can happen, and often do! Deanna is known throughout the Terran Empire as being the center of weirdness – and is even rumored to be categorized as a new element on the Periodic Table (under ‘Wr‘ for weirdness). It orbits a star called Ramalama, and is orbited by two little moons – named ‘Ding‘ and ‘Dong‘ respectively. (This is a local joke).
Readers may already be used to the happy-go-lucky style of Deanna and its inhabitants, having read them all through the first four titles:
…but they will find something quite different in these next four books.
In “Prodigal Sun“, book 5, it becomes evident that something strange – even stranger than usual – has been going on on Deanna for some time, and has only just become noticed by the main characters.
As the story progresses, readers may notice some striking parallels to some current events in the real world, such as increasing sentiments of segregation, separatism, xenophobia and homophobia – fueled by a mysterious organization working from the shadows. In some ways, these three stories are the author’s social commentary on what I’ve been seeing going on around us. The main characters, naturally, deal with all these puzzling events and mounting antagonism with their usual typical flair for the dramatic – and the comical.
As the title “Prodigal Sun” may hint, there may be more than one meaning intended! Deanna, in the throes of an attempt to hijack the colony away from the Terran Empire, and to make the star it orbits independent, represents the ‘Prodigal Sun’… and there is also a character in the story who has unresolved issues with his estranged father on Deanna, which is closer to the original implication of prodigal son.
As things gradually become darker and darker through the story line of “Prodigal Sun” and into “High Steaks“, the main characters knuckle down to become like the hard bedrock under the shifting sea sand, while the waves toss and surge during the storm – a storm they all know for certain will pass!
Naturally the main characters readers will remember – like Cindy-Mei Winter, Beck the Badfeller, Timaset Skooch, Dory, the crew of the loderunner Celeste, the Skegg’s Valley Dynamite Fishing Club, Fred, and of course, Johnathan Scrooby of the Time Saving Agency – treat all the issues addressed in the story with the appropriate sensitivity – albeit through their trademark determination, friendship, compassion, bravery, humanity, love – and the strength they draw from these emotions – and believe me, there are a lot of emotions in these three tales!
In these stories, readers will make the acquaintance of some new characters, including Tracey Ferris, a young bounty hunter who through an unfortunate set of circumstances becomes stranded on Deanna, and links up with the Grauffis family. Marla de Bris, is a 200 (going on 20) year old vampire who has lived on Deanna for the last 30 years, and has somehow managed to not really interact much with the Vampire – er, Underground on the planet. Vernon Carridene is another new face readers will enjoy. Extraordinary circumstances on Deanna result in this hidden community faced with the difficult decision to involve itself in mundane affairs, and having to pick sides.
Although I’ve written vampire characters into my sci-fi/fantasy stories before (“The Thirteenth Ship“) – and although I’ve written a vampire character into the setting of Deanna once before – in a short story, “Death By Vampire” – this is the first time I’ve got around to introducing the readers of the novels to these secretive and unusual characters! As the readers will discover, they have a huge capacity to entertain, aside from providing some very thought-provoking insights into events in the story!
Unlike the previous stories in this series, the scope of the story told in this trilogy is broad. If it were a movie, it would involve virtually all the characters in the previous stories – up to and including a certain Ruminarii refugee living secretly in the Grauffis family basement! Each of them manage to get an opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the story – with Fred the Arborian, the walking and talking sentient plant, getting the lion’s share!
Astute readers may find more than one hidden, or should I say ‘less obvious,’ message in my stories – and these three tales will be no different in that context! Although the context of the events in the story is quite dark – and at times, Stygian – the humor and the successes of the lead characters in slowly reversing the fortunes of the villains, lighten the mood a great deal and provide hope for both the reader and their favorite characters.
Every tale has its heroes and villains, and the villains – or ‘bad guys’ in these three stories are generally caricatures drawn from various conservative homophobic and bigot stereotypes prevalent in today’s world. Consequently, they behave in a certain way, and of course when their carefully laid plans go awry, or things happen to them, it is amusing, entertaining – and of course, satisfying! I usually don’t like to write two dimensional characters, and I feel that even the villains in this story – especially Brandon Carver and Sergeant-major Krant – have more depth to them than mere ordinary cardboard cut-out bad guys!
…and there you have it, without giving too many spoilers, you have a rough idea of what to expect when the last two books in this quadrilogy become available!
Yes, I know, it’s been quite a wait – and believe me, I can’t wait to start getting feedback from readers telling me what they thought of the story, their favorite bits, and of course, what it made them feel!
Meanwhile, I will be continuing my work on the third and fourth parts, which will be coming out – well, definitely before the end of the world (although considering all the weird shit in my news feed these days, I may have to hurry)!
If you haven’t yet read all of the previous titles in the Quantum Series, you still have some time to catch up before the others hit the shelves! You can find all my books on the Shop page. I will be posting more updates on progress etc. as time goes by!
Meanwhile, happy reading everyone!