Well-Known Member
Aug 19, 2013
I am half way through the first draft of my second novel which forms what is best described as a 'sidequel'.

The first book is a science fiction that covers around 300 years of time, objectively and follows the adventures of one set of characters. (subjectively, due to the nature of their interstellar transportation method, it is merely a few years).

The second novel is set within the same universe, and forms part of the same story arc, and chronologically covers much of the same time period but follows a different set of characters on, at this point in the arc, a different adventure.

Either can be read first, as things stand one builds on the other and in essence the idea is that by the time the third book is written the two sets of characters will be antagonists and protagonists to each other (both sets of characters are 'goodies' it's just they will be on opposing sides).

The third book will be a clear cut sequel to the first two and both the first two books will be necessary to get the complete picture of the story arc although both are also fulfilling stories in their own right. There are events in each book which allude to the other, but the reader won't really understand them until they have read both.

The first book starts a little earlier chronologically, than the first, but also ends later.

In summary, there is no overwhelming reason to call either of the first two book one or book two in a trilogy, but book three, it will be necessary to have read both before. It's just it doesn't matter on the order they are read.

I'm undecided on just how to identify the series. The word series itself implies a linear experience and it's not that clear cut.

Any ideas?
If it's eventually going to matter which order they're read in, I would number them even though it doesn't matter to the first two. Anything else would just confuse people. There will be some people who manage to read the third one without the others, anyway, but numbering them will keep most people in line with your intentions.
I've seen such a thing marked off as book 1 and book 1.5 but if you want to contain these in the same universe and be identified as books that go together it should be considered a series or at least be hawked as books of the blah blah universe.
How about giving the book a sub-heading naming them Chronicles? eg THE BIBLE From The Chronicles of Adam.
The next book could still be called THE BIBLE but could include From The Chronicles of Eve.
It would still use the same universe that both books exist in and the same time frames, just from different perspectives?:D
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As ever some great points on here.

Tinker, to my somewhat analytical way of thinking, that makes the most sense to me, as well as I know you are somewhat familier with the material. I just don't think it's been done before and would like a gauge on the warmth or not of that style. My only issue is calling book 2: 1.5 may devalue the story and the trials they face in that, especially as arguably they are somewhat harsher than in the first book and that is what helps colour them as the more milateristic side; which is where the differences between the two camps come in.

Micheal, that is what I'm thinking at the moment, I just feel I need to give them some kind of ordering as well.

I suspect this may leave the brute force solution of just numbering them. My only concern is that that may leave people who want a more natural continuation of book 1's story to feel missold.

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