Thursday, January 27, 2011

American Apocalypse IV - Done

Thank you for reading and for your comments.

I am going to start on another book almost immediately.  This one is going to be a bit different as it will have minimal violence -- I think.  You might want to skip reading it as I am not sure if it is going to work out.  I still plan on going back and working on "The Mover" and "Chosen."  This one will probably have elements of both in them as there is a story I want to tell in there along with "The Lion."

Writing these books, especially when it works, is easy because it comes as fast as I can type.  Where it comes from and what direction it is going to take is totally unknown to my conscious brain. I hope some of you will stick around and read it.

I am thinking of dropping the AA IV from the title and instead making it a Gardener book.  What do you think?



  1. Thanks for the great stories. Will be anxiously waiting for more.

  2. AA is a good trilogy - it's OK to go another direction with new stories of protagonists even if the main character is the same.

    That said, violence is kind of Gardener's 'hook'.

  3. Man, I am going to have to go back and re-read IV. Tell me that eventually there will be a V? After your non-violent side venture? I have to know what Freya has up her sleeve and how the Horde progresses.

    But I also want to say thanks for this interesting form of publication. I can't imagine that it's easy allowing strangers to read a first draft as you write it, and to have a 'peanut gallery' constantly chiming in. However, as a faithful peanut in the aforementioned gallery, I just have to say thanks :)

  4. Now's the time for G and Max to go their separate ways, and for Max to take Freya with him. Give them some method to stay in touch 'cause they may need each other someday. G's the man and can stand alone. He did just fine searching for Zane. Carole has to fit in with G somewhere, as you should keep "your" Carole around. Great work so far. BTW - did she read your stuff?

  5. *cheers*
    Another fine tale sir.

    My only thought about making it a Gardner book, would be the time gap between the 1st and this one. Could be confusing to some. I like it as AA4, it really finalizes the family that started way back in AA1. Just my .02.

  6. PS In my opinion keep the AA - Three is the perfect number for a trilogy (duh) but a reader needs all four books in this series to get the whole story. Maybe add a line on the cover "A Gardner Tale" or some such so he can come back again.

  7. AA$ is a part of the entire story. It would be a shame to abandon Max, Freya, and The Horde without some resolution -- or, at least a hint about the direction they take.

    Gardner has had his "adventures", with Max, etc. as a unifying force. It's "home" as you put it. A place to go to, get feedback, recharge, gain strength, and get ready for the next quest.

    As some others have said, Gardner is defined by violence. His growth from "loser", from "regular guy" to a force to be reckoned with has been through violence.

    You have devised a violent world. Gardner is a part of it, and helps define it.

    In addition, there are "The Feds". Is the crisis over -- or is this just a lull.

    In other words, I do not think it's time to abandon Gardner, Max, etc., or this violent post-collapse society - yet.

  8. Hiya Nova,
    Nicely done. I suspected, but now I know how much I missed the group. Looking forward to seeing what else you have stewing in the 'ol cookpot(mind). Heck yeah, let one of your other muses takes center stage for a bit while you are, hopefully, headed into the rest of your home remodel. (End in sight yet?)(ha, on 2nd thought,I guess you got remodel going on all over the place (here&there)-hope that gets a grin out of ya :)
    When you get to it, consolidate some of those notes you been making on the AA universe and you'll see some more directions for the horde. There are always things that could cause them to divert,reduce,retreat,(Retract?)lol! That is part of the reality in the fantasy, and is an attractive element of the story.
    Rock on!

  9. Iam will continue reading right on thru the new book. You have way too many loose ends in thee current story. Why are the vehicles and food trucks being guarded is a huge question. Also, what IS the relationship between Carol, Max and Freya coming out of the church etc. I know the kid and Woof will stay together, as nature intends, a dog and his boy etc. You had better damn well write another and put this together. Also, the Colonel, the General, various militias, fruit cakes and wing nuts.
    Thank you for some wonderful reads, they have been an excellent break in my day and a pause from woofever troubles Iam may be having. Barc again soon ! Best Biscuits to you, Iam Nottadog

  10. nova, whaddaya mean 'you hope' your adoring fans will stick around? Your writing is like the Heineken after work. Non-negotiable. Of COURSE we will stick around!

    If you keep Carol in G's story, there are going to be some intense dynamics. I hope you can keep her alive, despite Night's inclination. You may have to turn her into a warrior woman to keep her alive, for Zane's sake.

    I just don't see IV turning all soft and fuzzy.
    If this era still operates under the law of the jungle forced by resource constraints, the first rule is diplomacy doesn't get much traction when you're up against a hungry lion.
    Not to say that I don't think you could pull it off!

    Best to you, zap

  11. err, not to say that I don't think you COULDN'T pull it off. Haven't had my Heineken yet.

  12. Thanks,Nova. Do whatever the hell you want with the stories, I'll keep reading. It did occur to me that having Carole hook up with thursday might add some balance.

  13. I think AA books one through four are roughly a complete story arc. AA4 could probably put into AA3 as a longer novel if you REALLY wanted it to be a trilogy, but I think it works fine as a 4 book series.

    It would be interesting to do more short stories from different perspectives in this universe that you've created (like The Chosen or The Mover), and the publish them as an 'anthology' type collection.

    I'd like to see a 'ranking government' official type perspective (maybe a governor's aid/secretary ?), something from the burner, maybe a campfire tale of the origins of AZLTAN told by a 'bard' type figure in the southwest at the bar in a pass-through / trading village. Maybe a story from Thursday's perspective.

    Whatever you write, we'll be here to read :D

  14. Nova,

    It's a good enough place to stop.

    But, like others here, I'm hoping that it's more of a pause. It's good to step away and let ideas simmer in the unconscious while you do something else.

    You asked once if I was a writer. I do write for a living but its legal writing. Even though it's technical in nature, I find that when I put down a project for a while and do something else, my unconscious mind apparently continues to chew away at the problems I couldn't figure out. After a break, the writing starts to flow again, one thought after another, even though I've spent no conscious thought working out how I would tackle the problem.

    AA does have an ending. In that ending, we'll find out if the horde reached its destination and how they've worked out their place vis-a-vis the new 'government.' Also the gods can't walk around in mortal form forever- they are gods, after all. Not to mention the the relationships of the main characters. Most fiction ends with death or marriage for a reason. ;)

    So, IMHO, I would love to see you take a break and let all these characters and their destinies simmer quietly somewhere back in the depths of your mind. To date, you've put out an amazing body of work at lightening speed. Most writers that I know tend to work in bursts. I've been floored by how fast you can work and it leads me to think that these ideas have been brewing for a long time.

    I'm looking forward to your next project.

  15. Nova,
    Well done....well, er...not quite...
    So many directions to go, you've created a World that doesn't end...
    But, anyway, I'll keep coming back...all your stuff is good, but, I MISSED Gardner when he was gone..


  16. Just keep doing what your doing. Drive on.

    Jim in MO.

  17. Carole has to fit in with G somewhere,

    Not while Night lives.

    Well, I shouldn't say that. Tempting Nova and fate....

    Even though it's technical in nature, I find that when I put down a project for a while and do something else, my unconscious mind apparently continues to chew away at the problems I couldn't figure out. After a break, the writing starts to flow again, one thought after another, even though I've spent no conscious thought working out how I would tackle the problem.

    That happens to me too, with technical things, such as programming, sometimes troubleshooting. I'll go to sleep vaguely unsatisfied with something and wake up, before the alarm clock, knowing it must be fixed and knowing how to fix it.

  18. Although some think that AA is a three or four part series and that we're close to the end, I suspect that it will take twice as long as we've traveled so far, seven or eight volumes, for this story to play out in full.

    When the series is done, we'll see this 4th volume as the interlude in the middle of the whole thing, where we found out how things started to settle out after the great catastrophe.

    It would be really disappointing to have the USA blow up catastrophically and then have it all puddle and self-assemble into a fascist travesty lead by a generalissimo.

    Also dismaying to think that it could stay fragmented during dogfights between freebooting warlords for a considerable time.

    Is that all Max and Gardener are going to be remembered as? Freya promised much more.

    Also, is it a good strategy to hitch your hopes to a reborn goddess? Is such a reincarnate teen going to remember old wisdom and figure out how to to grow a thriving and successful horde?

    How does a horde make its living? Are they just scavenging what was dropped on the roads during the great die off, until the scraps are all eaten, or are they going to find a new way to live that makes sense.

    Are these attempts to reorganize just another plateau, before the whole schmeer slides farther downhill? How apocalyptic can an apocalypse get?

    We've seen evidence of the four horsemen riding. Are their steeds already put out to pasture?

    Lot's of questions still to answer.

    During his roundabout G did a successful recon mission. He found lot's about the lay of the land and the near neighbors while he was away.

    If this is going to be its own volume, how about a title like "American Apocalypse: G's Wander"?

  19. Any chance of AA IV showing up on Kindle? or any electronic format I can jam into my Kindle? Loved the whole series!

  20. A single-action revolver? First G is training to be like a hitman, then he is a reserve cop? I thought this was a book about survival and life during the apocalypse, not G's thoughts, feelings, and troubles with his girlfried Tiffany. Your book sucks.