MORE ABOUT THE BOOK:
APPENDICES & MAPS:
Appendices & Maps from the book, free to download.
Appendices from book:
Appendices from book:
SPOILER ALERT! Easter Eggs:
If you have already read the book and want clues or answers to Easter Eggs in the book, click here.
The History of the book (25+ years in the making):
- The initial ideas for the book began in late high school and early college (circa 1992 -1994), likely influenced by reading "1984" and "Brave New World" in high school.
- At the start, much of it was written on paper, so it is difficult to date exactly when some of that initial outlining and ideas happened. The earliest electronic documentation I have was old WordPerfect files with file dates going back to October 1994 and January 1995. Looking at those files and the handwritten documents, the story idea was a lot different then, but there were elements that carried through to today, such as the splitting of the country by political philosophy, and a virtual utopia, likely similar to the "Sim City" computer game that was popular back then.
- College (1993 - 1998) likely took up too much of my time to really get going on the book, and at that time my hobbies focused more on composing music on my computer and writing song lyrics (At one point I even entered a song writing contest... I liked my own computer synthesized music and still think it was good, but now I think my lyrics were juvenile, and I've always known that my singing is awful... plus I was trying to record my singing in an apartment building, with a cheap computer microphone, without disturbing neighbors! The songs with my singing recorded would definitely land me on Jimmy Fallon's "Do Not Play" list.)
- Somewhere around 1999-2001 I started back up again and wrote four chapters. Two of the chapters were prologue about the splitting of the United States that later were condensed from a large, 3 chapter prologue into a mini-prologue plus appendix info. The other two chapters were the first two chapters of the NEUS section of the book, and were not drastically different from what they are today.
- Life got in the way again. 9/11/2001 happened while I was living in southwestern Connecticut, not too far from NYC. I moved to Boston in 2003. My social life improved drastically.
- In December of 2015 my mother-in-law came to stay at our house for her second 2-week visit of the year. I like my mother-in-law OK, but I can't handle my space being invaded for that long. A full month out of the year of someone staying in my home feels more like a roommate than a guest. I had been dealing with foot injuries, so I wasn't training for triathlons at the time, and exercise in general wasn't occupying as much of my time as it had in prior years. I retreated to my home-office, where needing something to do, I re-started the book. I gained momentum, and ended up writing regularly for the next 13 months. The first draft was produced in about a year. It was then the cycle of editing and re-writing that took way longer than I had anticipated: Gamma Readers (mostly my wife), self-editing, Beta Readers (three well-read friends), self-editing, a professional Developmental and Line Editor, self-editing, a professional Copy Editor, self-editing. Finally the book was ready for formatting in early 2020.