Wow. I don’t believe it.
You have to understand, that fact wasn’t anything like a foregone conclusion for a really long time. Too long.
For awhile I wasn’t even sure this story was going to exist. After finishing Inner Demons, which was by far the biggest mammoth of a story I’d ever written in my life, I wanted a good long rest. No more epics for awhile. Just some nice short stories, maybe a novella or two—after all, I had almost a year lead time on posting stuff now, so I could afford to rest, right?
Gabriel, as usual, had other ideas.
In the Author’s Notes for Inner Demons, I said that while I was writing it I wasn’t sure there would be a sequel, but then, when it was done, I was sure of it. That much was true. I didn’t realize it would take me almost two years to get the damn thing done, though. After taking about a month and a half for the first one and about five months for the second, I figured, What the heck? This one won’t be as long as Inner Demons...maybe three months tops.
I should realize I’m no good at all at estimating story sizes. Dan is, though. I told him I figured this one might hit four or five hundred pages but definitely not the six-plus of its predecessor. His reply: “Seven. Maybe eight.”
I scoffed at that. Eight hundred and seventy-four pages (and counting) later, I’m learning not to do that anymore.
Will there be a sequel to this one? Damn straight. And a sequel to that one, barring unforeseen circumstances (I never tempt fate by saying things will definitely happen, and there isn’t any wood around to knock on. Just Melamine, and I don’t think that works nearly as well). (Editor's Note: since these notes were written, I've also got a good line on Book Six of the series.) I’ve already got the basic ideas for both of them, so it’s just a matter of outlining and writing. Not for awhile, though. I really do need a rest this time and a lot of things (shorter things!) have been piling up waiting for my attention. All I’ll say right now about the sequel is that it’ll follow directly from two chapters in this story—and one of them is the second epilogue.
Here’s where I get to thank all the good folks who had a hand in the creation of this monster, even if it’s just to provide moral support. Sometimes moral support is the best thing of all, especially when it was starting to seem like I’d never get done with this and be able to move on.
First again, always first, is Dan. Hey, if he thought obsessive writerism was bad on the last two, this one was really a test of his patience. My best friend and sounding board, he once again proved up to the task. Plus, he was the one who identified the "Escher Bus" mistake before it got to print and embarrassed me.
Second, DeckerM, who’s once again provided me with numerous comments, someone to rant at and share the good stuff with, and someone who understands this how this obsessive writer thingy works better than anyone else I know. Particular thanks to DeckerM for one character who had a cameo in this story—the ramifications of that cameo will have a lot more importance in books 5 and 6 of this series, and I’m sure Gabriel is looking forward to it as much as I am.
Thanks again to Steve and Ken who have once more graciously agreed to allow their characters out to play. Sorry I had to cut ‘Wraith’s big scene, but this thing was getting freakin’ huge and I didn’t want to draw things out any more. Maybe next time.
Thanks to everyone else who’s sent me encouragement, comments, and feedback: Nitro (who was nice enough to let Gabriel, Stefan, and Winterhawk have cameos in her story Chrome Dragons), Mario Greymist (who was kind enough to send me some very long and appreciated comments on Crossfire and Inner Demons), Shapcano, Kenn, Doc', Boondocker, Keska, Pistons, Sasori, Bai Shen, and the rest of the crew on the Shadowrun Writers’ Forum. If I’ve left anyone out it’s because I’m getting old, not because I don’t value your comments.
Thanks to Steve Kenson for answering a very important question for me at Gen Con (and thereby setting my mind at ease), and to FASA(/FanPro/WizKids) for creating such a cool game that I’ve taken major liberties with. :)
Finally, thanks to my various musical influences while writing this monster. It’s a long one so there are a lot of them. Definitely way more than I list here, but these are the biggies:
Marilyn Manson - Mechanical Animals
Don Henley - Actual Miles
Marillion - Script for a Jester’s Tear
Strange Days - Soundtrack
Camel - Harbour of Tears
Alan Parsons Project - all sorts of things including Freudiana, The Time Machine, and Turn of a Friendly Card
Savatage - The Wake of Magellan
Loreena McKennitt - The Book of Secrets and Live in Paris and Toronto
Toad the Wet Sprocket - Fear and Coil
Midnight Syndicate - Born of the Night
Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Beethoven’s Last Night
Rush - Test for Echo and Presto
The Matrix - Soundtrack
Peter Gabriel - Us
Jethro Tull - Crest of a Knave and Songs from the Wood
Sisters of Mercy - A Slight Case of Overbombing
Yanni - Live at the Acropolis
The Crystal Method - Vegas (thanks, Greymist!)
Stabbing Westward - Darkest Days (thanks, Nitro!)
M. T. Decker - “Driving,” “Wiltshire Takedown,” and “Shadowrun (Mix 2)”
Windfalls - “Ghosts”
Well, that’s about it. I’ve prattled on long enough and I’d really like to put this thing to bed after two years of writing. Thanks for sticking around, and I hope you liked the story. Please send feedback—I really appreciate hearing from folks to see what they liked and didn’t like. It makes this all even more worthwhile.
August, 2000 (and a few random additions in August 2001)
Copyright ©1999, 2000 R. King-Nitschke. The Shadowrun universe is the property of FASA Corporation and Wizkids.
No part of this story may be reproduced without permission from the author.