Science Fiction Serials: Quick Reads for Sci-Fi Fans

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Science Fiction Serials: Quick Reads for Sci-Fi Fans

Science Fiction Serials - Ardent Redux Saga Book Covers - Episodes 1 through 4

The Ardent Redux Saga is a space opera science fiction serial by J. L. Stowers.

Raise your hand if you’re busy. ✋ Who isn’t, right? But you know what? I enjoy being busy. In fact, I thrive when I’ve got too many balls in the air. It helps to keep me moving. For me, slowing down may as well be an open invitation to slack off. But just because I’m busy doesn’t mean I want to miss out on one of my favorite hobbies: reading. Unfortunately for me, getting through an epic science fiction novel is a bit of a challenge with my busy schedule. Enter the science fiction serials.

These bite-size binge worthy morsels of entertainment are my new favorite thing; so much so that I decided to write one myself. After all – writing what you love really shows in your work.

Now, I’ve seen various science fiction serials in circulation. However, I didn’t realize just how few there were until I launched the Ardent Redux Saga and found it was met with a little confusion. So I figured I would help get the word out about these great reads.

What are Science Fiction Serials?

Serialized fiction has actually been around for quite a while. In fact, in the 1800s and 1900s serials were very popular. During this time, without all the wonders of the internet, they were most often published through newspapers and literary magazines. Readers loved the short, affordable bits of entertainment.

One of the most well-known early serialized works of fiction were The Pickwick Papers. Charles Dickens wrote most of these which were published over the span of a little more than a year and a half in the 1800s. From there, a variety of popular titles were originally published in a serial format. So many, in fact, that I’m not going to even try to list them all here.

Now, it seems, serial works have faded into the background for the most part. However, many indie authors are working to bring the format back (me included). And, since my passion is for science fiction, my focus is on science fiction serials.

But Why do You Want to Bring Science Fiction Serials Back?

A big part of it, as I mentioned above, is that I enjoy them. When you enjoy something, you want to share it with the world. My idea for the Ardent Redux Saga is massive. If I were to roll the first “season” into one book it would be over 150,000 words long. That’s big.

Now, don’t get me wrong, some authors do put out epic works of that magnitude. Their fans love them and they do great. But it takes me a loooong time to read a book of that length, and I’m a fast reader. However, with three children, a handful of pets, a family business, the freelance writing I do, my day job, and my author career… there just aren’t enough hours in the day. A book that large wears me out just looking at it.

I do most of my reading in bed before I fall asleep. Depending on how little the kids slept the night before I might last ten minutes or thirty. An epic novel would take me ages to get through. Not to mention the fact that I’m somewhat bad about putting down a book if I’m not falling asleep and dropping it on my face. I’ve spent entire nights reading only to groan as the first rays of sunlight snuck between the curtains to remind me that I have a job I need to get up for.

I haven’t had that happen with a serial.

I’ve finished most science fiction serials in less than two hours.

I get a great, quick read that doesn’t keep me up all night (provided I don’t one-click order the next one!) and still gives me the feeling of accomplishment that I get when I close a good book.

Modern Science Fiction Serials

Today, science fiction serials more closely resemble a television show rather than a segmented novel. If you search “episode” under your favorite book genre you’ll likely find a few. Labeling the books as “episodes” helps the reader know that the book is part of a bigger whole. Of course the “episode” label isn’t a hard and fast rule, more of an author preference. It’s also common to see serials listed as “part” or even “book” and other descriptors. The truth is, we’re all just kind of feeling it out.

In the Ardent Redux Saga I chose to publish each serial as an episode. Each episode has my characters facing a distinct set of challenges while they work toward the overall conclusion of “season one.” In my universe, the first season will last five episodes.

One HUGE difference between book serials and television episodes is the cancelation factor. What was worse than when they canceled Firefly? What about the SyFy show DarkMatter? As fans, we demanded more and were let down. This is why I’m doing things differently.

The Fans Will Take Control of My Science Fiction Serials

Well guess what… here’s YOUR chance to be in control. The first “season” of my serial will last for 5 episodes of roughly 30k words each. You should be able to read these in about two hours or less. If you like them, leave a review. If the readers want more then I will write more. Like I said, I love writing in this universe. I’d be happy to take it to the next level with more seasons, spin offs, and everything else I have swirling around in my head… but only if my readers enjoy the series as much as I do. These characters want to live! So help them by leaving a review and telling me you want more.

If you don’t… well, there are only so many hours in the day and if you’ve read this far then you know how busy I am. I’ll go back to my idea board and pick which untold story I want to focus on next. I have a lot of ideas and I have a lot of fun writing about the characters in my head. Some stories come more easily than others, but that doesn’t do me any good if the fans aren’t on board.

So… What’s Next?

After the Ardent Redux Saga Episodes 1 – 5 are released into the world I’m turning my attention back to my first series, Genesis Rising. It’s a post-apocalyptic colonization trilogy and I still have two more books to write. My hopes are that the second book in the trilogy will be ready the winter of 2018/2019 with the third and final book following shortly thereafter.

From there, the reviews on the Ardent Redux Saga will determine what happens next. If fans enjoy it I can continue with a second season. If they’re ravenous for it then there’s the potential for two additional spin-offs (similar to the Stargate television shows with SG1, Atlantis, and Universe). And if not… well, I have a few other ideas I can choose from for my next project.

My hopes? I hope you love it as much as I do. That this series of quick, action-packed, binge-able reads will resonate with the fans so I can continue to follow Captain Dani Devereaux and her crew around the universe and share their stories with you.

The Ardent Redux Saga has the potential to become several science fiction serials and I hope you join me on the ride.

 

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