So far, the 2020 editions of my books have largely been re-issues. There
have been only a few exceptions. Schrödinger’s City contains a new
a reflection on where my writing has been and where it is going. I split
Our Algorithm Who Art Perfection out of Transmutations into its own
book and gave it an
too. But these have both been relatively short pieces, and neither has
fundamentally altered the nature of the reading experience.
The 2020 edition of Voyage Embarkation will change that. While the
text itself is unchanged from previous editions (save for corrections of
a few minor typos), I have added fifty-four pages of new content. That
content is: 1) a new preface, 2) a history of the series’s development,
3) notes on each of the chapters, 4) a high-level outline of all four
books that would have filled out the Voyage series: Voyage
Windbound, Voyage Adrift, Voyage Wake, and Voyage Tempest.
As it currently stands, Voyage Embarkation is a published novel.
Voyage Windbound is a complete, edited publication-ready manuscript.
Voyage Adrift is two written chapters. The rest of Adrift, and all
of Wake and Tempest are merely outlines. With this new edition of
Voyage Embarkation, I am fully closing the door on the series ever
being published in the way I originally envisioned it.
The problem I ran into was that I had modeled Kal’s first romantic
relationship much too closely on a toxic ordeal I endured myself. It is
fine for art to imitate life, and writers absolutely should draw on
their own experiences, but I had yet to learn that “imitation” means
allegory and metaphor, not a mirror. Writing Windbound was
extraordinarily difficult, and over the last six years, I have gotten
close to publishing it many times, but I simply cannot do it.
What makes this all the more infuriating is that, because of the series
structure I chose, there are many individual stories within Windbound
only tangentially related to Kal’s boyfriend, and which I
absolutely love and wish could be in the world. These thoughts plagued
me as I put this new edition together—I would never get to share my
favorite parts of Windbound.
Another thought kept nagging at me, too, an annoying feeling that
Embarkation was getting much too long. It had already been a long
novel on its first publication in 2013. I had added in the additional
side-story All Hallows as a final chapter in 2017. And now I was
adding fifty-four more pages of bibliographical content. This version of
Voyage Embarkation will total 588 pages.
I thought also of the unpublished novella I wrote earlier this year,
The Demented, in which I set Kal in the alternate future Earth
timeline I invented for Intersection Thirteen. That Earth was never
blanketed with nanites, and so Kal was never forcibly moved to a
parallel world. He comes to parallel universe travel through entirely
different means, and in his early thirties rather than as a teenager. I
started and never finished another story in this vein, Blind Lead,
which introduces the reader to alternate versions of Ludo (the
antagonist in Voyage Embarkation) and Noom (Kal’s boyfriend from
Voyage Windbound). In this universe, they are only meeting Kal for the
first time. I think there’s a book to be made out of these stories.
Thinking through all of these things, I came up with a new plan. In
2021, I want to focus on getting Intersection Thirteen and Chronicles
of Ytria out into the world. In 2022, I will turn my attention back to
Voyage, and I think I have discovered a way to fit all these pieces
I will republish Voyage Embarkation as just the original fourteen
chapters. Nothing else, except perhaps a short afterword.
I will move all of the bibliographical and biographical content into
a separate edition called Voyage Expanded Material. To make this
worthwhile, this edition will also contain All Hallows, as well as
a selection of chapters from Windbound: Demon Snot (1), Archive
(2), Morpheus (5), Mirror (7), Edda (10), Vice (11), and
Premonition (13). I’ll also throw in the first two chapters of
Voyage Adrift: Fall and Incarceration. This selection of
Windbound chapters largely omits the arc of the narrative involving
Kal’s boyfriend. I am making a handful of exceptions. Morpheus I
am keeping anyway because I love the dream imagery I invented there,
and I think it will interest readers who have enjoyed Insomnium.
Edda and Vice are somewhat painful chapters to include, but the
former is set on Vanaheim from Embarkation’s Norselands, and the
latter contains my depiction of the “Authorship Room” on the
alternate Earth called Vestal, both of which seem much too good to
pass up. These will make for nice reading, I think, despite the
gaps. The presence of the series outline should mitigate that
I will put The Demented, Blind Lead, and 2-4 more new Voyage
stories into a collection called Voyage Redux. Many of these will
have character and alternate world tie-ins to the original Voyage
series, which will now all be accessible via the outline in the 2020
edition of Voyage Embarkation.
I concluded the new preface in Voyage Embarkation with this: “The
adventures of an eighteen-year-old Kal Anders are as complete as they
will ever be, but Kal in his thirties—and who knows, perhaps in even
later stages of life—still has much to share.”
Tags:Voyage EmbarkationVoyage WindboundThe DementedBlind LeadIntersection ThirteenChronicles of Ytria