This has come up before. Being 1) lazy, and 2) busy writing when not being lazy, I’ve kicked the can down the road. It appears I have just ran out of road. So, here are two suggestions as to how you may choose to read the books of Machine Civilization, which stretches in time from now until, so far, about three generations hence.
“What order should I read your books in?” is a question I have fielded many times, in person and online. My glib answer is, “doesn’t matter, so long as you’ve paid for them.” My honest answer is to tell a story (imagine, me being a writer) and ask a question.
The story is this: when I stumbled into being a writer on November 2014, I just kept plowing on, meeting new ideas, new people, and dealing with them head-on in my former bull-headed engineering fashion. Understanding this was a coherent future history, it dawned on me after about four years that I, of all people, needed an Excel file to track the multiple interconnections. You can pull a thread in “The Fourth Law” and paragraphs twitch in “Friend and Ally,” and if your follow that thread, you hit the entire novella of “Crosses and Doublecrosses.” And that is one, single, example. There are dozens.
Having said all that to say this: below the fold are two groupings. The first is Order of Publication. What that allows you to do is follow me as this world and worlds were gifted to me and I came to understand and write them down. The second is Internal Chronological Order, and even that is tricky. For example, the very first event I record is a flashback of Lily Barrett and her father, looking at books in Jinbocho, Tokyo, Japan, in an early chapter of “The Fourth Law.” Then would be the first short in my collection, “Empire’s Agent,” about the creation of tribe Tohsaka; but that collection covers two generations. So, please take the ICO list with a grain of salt, slice of lime, and shot of tequila.
EDIT: I have also included a tiny descriptor of each book.Continue reading “Machine Civilization, Reading Order”