I've been asked a few times lately about the status of the sequel to Prelude to Ascension (title to be announced). I'm super excited about it. I'm on pace to finish the first draft by the end of this month, December 2022. I've also begun talking with Samuel Peery about the audio version.
I've been surprised by the amount of effort it took. Moving the story forward required that I solve a few problems. We're talking to aliens, which meant I had to think about units of measure, time and distance, coordinate systems, and even nuclear notation. I knew it would be necessary but didn't appreciate the effort that would be involved. I wanted the story to seem plausible, and that was the cost of it.
I've also made a judgment call. I wrote Prelude to Ascension and its sequel because I wanted to imagine what could be. We have plenty of stories about aliens coming to steal our water or our planet or to crush us with their superior weapons. It's not a criticism. Those stories are a lot of fun; I enjoy them myself sometimes. But I also like the idea of thinking a little deeper.
I wasn't far into this next book before realizing that I had to decide whether to simplify the story for more casual consumption or press ahead with what seems more realistic, even if it may be slightly more demanding for the reader. It's not a light read, but I hope lovers of science fiction will find it refreshingly thought-provoking. It may appeal to a smaller audience, but I hope that those who enjoy the story will enjoy it that much more.
The sequel is also a fair bit longer than the first book, which was also a surprise. I'm looking forward to getting it into the hands of readers who have waited patiently for so long. I truly hope it lives up to your expectations.