Well, Turing Test is coming up on 25000 words, and though the end is in sight it’s still a few thousand words away. Which leaves me with a long novella that’s still well short of even the most liberal interpretation of the word “novel.”
Which is alright, because I’ve come to realize something in the last few days. Turing Test is probably not going to be a standalone story.
There are a few reasons. One is the odd length, which isn’t that big a deal, since I write to the length that feels right and then look for places to sell things and not the other way around. Another is that, even at the length it is, there’s a lot (and I mean a lot) going on, to the point where I’ve begun to wonder if the vessel at hand can hold it all in and still make narrative headway. And of course there’s also the fact that what I do (especially in regards to GoATDaD and the Army of Monkeys) doesn’t really fit genre categories all that well (I typically describe it as near-future speculative fiction with emergent magic realist elements), but is probably too genre-y for the “literary” markets, at least with regard to shorter fiction.
But the main reason is simply this: it turns out that I’m going to need this for the main story. Zephyrus is at the nexus of a lot of threads that are weaving themselves through the tapestry of the larger narrative, and some of the events in Turing Test are pretty integral to the story. I thought initially that I could cover them from someone else’s perspective once I got around to actually writing GoATDaD (again), which would leave Zephyrus’ tale free to find its own destiny in the market, later to be integrated into the omnibus edition once the rights reverted and the work was done. But I have some fear that if I try and release Turing Test on its own that I’ll run into problems if I need to use parts of it for GoATDaD, and that, honestly, it’ll just make more sense if it’s part of the larger narrative.
It was a pretty big relief when I realized that, let me tell you. But then I freaked out all over, because I realized what that meant.
It meant I’m working on GoATDaD again.*
* I realize that’s only going to be really significant to the handful of people who’ve beta-read the previous drafts and manuscripts. Long story short: I’ve been working on GoATDaD for almost ten years now, but I took the last couple off to work on other projects and let it simmer. I thought I’d ramp up to taking it on again with things like Turing Test, pieces broken off of the larger narrative that I could sell or at least submit separately from the main body of the story. And there are a couple of those in various stages of readiness and repair that I’ll polish up and get into circulation. But I’m realizing now that the larger process has begun, and I’m scared and excited in almost equal measure.