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The Canonical Sequel FAQ

John Scalzi

Pretty much on a daily basis, I get asked on social media whether there will ever be a sequel to [insert one of my books/series here]. To reduce the amount of typing that I have to do each time this is asked, I now present The Canonical Sequel FAQ, which will tell you — at a glance! — whether you can expect a sequel to whatever book it is that you are hoping to have a sequel to. This will be updated from time to time.

THE BOOKS/SERIES I AM CURRENTLY CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGED TO WRITE SEQUELS FOR

I have to write these sequels, they’ve already paid me money for them!

The Old Man’s War Series (Currently includes: Old Man’s War, The Ghost Brigades, The Last Colony, Zoe’s Tale, The Human Division, The End of All Things, plus short works The Sagan Diary and Questions For a Soldier): There will be at least one more book in this series. No current timeframe for its release.

The Lock In Series (Currently includes Lock In and Head On, with the novella Unlocked): There will be at least one more book in this series. No current timeframe for its release.

The Dispatcher Series (Currently includes the novellas The Dispatcher and Murder By Other Means): The third novella in the series is completed and will be scheduled soon.

THE BOOKS/SERIES I AM NOT CURRENTLY CONTRACTUALLY OBLIGED TO WRITE SEQUELS FOR

This doesn’t mean I will never write a sequel in these universes, because I am often persuadable by very large sums of money. It means that currently I am not under contract to write sequels in these universes and have no current plans to do so:

Agent to the Stars

The Android’s Dream (there is a short story in this universe called “Judge Sn Goes Golfing”)

The God Engines

Fuzzy Nation

Redshirts

The Interdependency Series (The Collapsing Empire, The Consuming Fire, The Last Emperox)

The Kaiju Preservation Society

Literally anything else I’ve ever written, including short stories, anthologies, collections, non-fiction work, scripts, blog posts, reviews, essays, songs, tweets, etc.

BUT I REALLY NEED YOU TO WRITE A SEQUEL TO [INSERT BOOK/SERIES HERE]

I understand but I have other projects in development and/or no one has offered me very large sums of money for the title you want, including you and/or you’re not the boss of me, sorry.

I HAVE AN IDEA FOR A SEQUEL TO [INSERT BOOK/SERIES HERE] AND I WISH TO TELL YOU ABOUT IT

No. Never ever tell it to me. For legal reasons, and also because I find that shit annoying. You can go write that idea as fan fiction if you like. Never ever show that fan fiction to me, either.

YOU SHOULD MAKE A MOVIE/TV SERIES/VIDEO GAME/ETC ABOUT [INSERT BOOK/SERIES HERE]

Sadly I do not have the literally millions upon millions of dollars required to make a movie/TV series/video game about my works. Some of my work is currently under option for film/TV/etc, others not. It’s not up to me to have my work optioned, outside of saying “yes” or “no” to the people who ask for those options. Additionally, short of (again) someone giving me very large sums of money, I am not likely at this point to give up my job as a novelist to do any other line of work.

There, we’re all caught up now!

— JS

Categories
Big Idea

The Big Idea: Juliette Wade

Sometimes it feels like the choices we make don’t matter, and that in the grand scheme of things, the small things we do don’t make a big difference. Author Juliette Wade assures us in her Big Idea that even small things can ripple when we’re all connected. Read on to see how this plays a role in her newest novel, Transgressions of Power.

JULIETTE WADE:

In the nation of Varin, history is being made. 

The first book of The Broken Trust, Mazes of Power, introduced us to the ancient cavern city of Pelismara, and to the brothers Tagaret and Nekantor, whose opposing views about order and justice cast them into conflict when the noble caste chose a new Heir to the throne. Through their experiences, the book explored the stratified systems that make Varin’s society work the way it does, and looked at how those systems empower or confine the people who live inside them. 

In Transgressions of Power, Tagaret and Nekantor have become so entangled in their careful opposition that they have come to a near-standstill – and that means the people near them must push against Varin’s systems and create change. 

But what kind of change can people outside of power create, when Nekantor makes his move and everything starts to go wrong?  

Thirteen-year-old Adon, Tagaret and Nekantor’s youngest brother, has always felt like an outsider, but if he tries to change things, he’ll be in danger of becoming a pawn. 

Pyaras, Tagaret’s cousin, has spent much of his life being shamed for his friendship with a policeman from the Arissen caste; taking action will put himself and his friend in danger.

Della, Tagaret’s partner, has grand dreams of creating a new society, but she’s deliberately sidelined by the sexism of the noble Society, and her fragile health means she can become unable to act at unexpected moments.

Melín, a soldier, wants to be free to protect Pelismara’s food supplies from the wysps who make the surface uninhabitable, but because of her caste she’s required to take noblemen’s orders, even when they sideline her from her job and put her under Nekantor’s control.

In our own world, when we read about history, our eyes are guided to the roles of major players, great names whose heroism is laid out for us. When we look back on historical events with the advantage of distance, we know who heroes are and how they distinguish themselves. What happens, though, when we find ourselves right in the midst of historically significant events that are much larger than we are? Do we cope? Do we fight? What do we try to change, and how?

The big idea of Transgressions of Power is that a human being, in the moment of action, may not know what the significance of their choices might be; they might not be in a position of power that allows for drastic change; but their choices and actions matter. 

Acts may seem small when set against a huge societal system that was designed to self-regulate. However, because everything in the system is interconnected, small acts can resonate, and create cascades of influence with unexpected, often dangerous, results.

And the people outside the spotlight might become heroes.


Transgressions of Power: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s website. Follow her on Twitter.

 

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