Before anybody freaks out about the title: I’m not cancelling the book. I’m just replacing the upcoming chapter 3.5 with a better one.
See, a long time ago, someone gave me this bit of advice about creative work: Don’t be afraid to kill your darlings. Meaning if something isn’t working, if it’s bloated and reeks of failure no matter how much you simply adore the idea… you get rid of it.
Me, I don’t really like this saying, because it seems kinda negative. My spin on it is: Drop back fifty yards and punt. I have no idea if this is a legitimate football metaphor or not, but it describes a time when something just isn’t working, but rather than huck it in the trash, I back away from the idea that’s broken and try a different play.
And frankly, Floating Point chapter 3.5 is currently poopbutts.
(Like, poop, from a butt. That’s the worst kind of poop.)
I’ve been putting off writing it because so many other hobbies and self-care needs called out to me, but by this point, the honest truth is I don’t wanna write it because it’s poop. I’m eagerly looking forward to 3.6 but 3.5 is just utter poop.
The original idea called for Spark to be loaded into an Amazon Delivery Drone style robot, FTL herself back to Earth, and steal a 3-D printer that makes server hardware. Because Netwerk 2.o’s gonna need that, you know? I had this somewhat awkward adventure planned, with a fairly contrived reason why she wouldn’t just stuff a copy of herself into the drone and had to fully transfer herself, which is poop. As much as Spark hates copying herself for obvious reasons the idea of hurtling into the void and leaving everything behind when you could just multitask up another copy makes no sense, even for her. Plus, this’d keep her out of the endgame of the story, because in realtime she’d be on Earth while everything goes down in Netwerk.
So… yeah. Nothing about this works. It’s a neat idea, and it’d give me a chance to show an Earth utterly ravaged by climate change and capitalism gone wild, but I think we have enough hints of that through Juno’s dialogue already. A chance to see it in person — and not even really see it, as she’d be dorking around in a computer factory — isn’t worth the amount of flaming hoops of death I’d need to jump through.
Okay, so how do we make it less poopy?
We’ll take it as a given that Juno’s gonna be able to wrangle up a 3-D printer for our gang. Honestly that’s the only piece of the puzzle that’d matter by the end of 3.5, so we’ll just say it happens offscreen.
And meanwhile… I’m going to take some of the confusion, rage, fear, and anxiety that’s been building up in the world over the last few months and bring it to Netwerk. Because that’s what Netwerk is, it’s the worst of us and the best of us given life and form, mimicing our every move, holding up a mirror to human society. And I know how to make that make sense. I’ve got a workable idea… not a full plot outline, but the start of something that could really take off.
There’ll be more delays as I put together a complete replacement of this chapter. Hang in there, folks. Please be sure to check back here now and then and don’t forget your friends in Floating Point. They will return, and be all the stronger for it.