I have just placed the final chapter of What the Future May Bring into the queue for posting.
I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time to read my little story. Some 3100 different people had at least begun to read What the Future May Bring, with over half having stuck with the story through chapter 48. I found that to be amazing, especially considering how dry the first few chapters were as I was trying to set up the characters and the rest of the story. Thanks to you, this story has been in the top twenty weekly downloads almost from the beginning and has been moving between fourth and sixth places on that list for the past week or so.
I wish to thank all of the people who have written to me, even the two or three people who sent me flames, an incredibly low number considering how controversial some of the subjects were that I raised in the story. I have read each message that you sent to me, but have become bogged down by the sheer numbers of responses I have received. I am still going to try to reply to those of you who have written, but it may take a bit of time before I am able to do so.
This is the first major work I have ever published and I have learned a LOT from everyone who has written to me. Many people have written to let me know that they were glad to see that I will not be posting any stories until they are completed. Many others have told me that they like how quickly I post new chapters, which I am only able to do because I wait to finish a story before I begin posting it. This is how I plan to post any future stories I write.
When I was little, I remember my parents and grandparents telling me how they would go to the Saturday matinees to watch the serial movies, such as Buck Rogers, the Lone Ranger, etc. They told me how they would use foreshadowing and cliff hangars to get their audiences to return to the theater the next week to see what would happen. I was told by a number of people that, especially considering how frequently I was posting updated chapters, that I used entirely too much foreshadowing, which for them removed a great deal of the suspense which they otherwise would have had. These people were correct in their observations, and I will address that not only with What the Future May Bring, but on future works as well.
Over the next few months, I will be going through the feedback I received and making the corrections that are needed, not just to the text, but to technical issues regarding the military and other subjects where I made mistakes. Once I have finished that, I will be sending it to a gentleman in the UK, who is a professional editor, and who has generously volunteered to edit this and other stories I have written and will be posting in the future. After that is completed, I plan to post a revised edition of What the Future May Bring, keeping the original on SOL so that anyone who might be interested can compare the two versions. It is going to take some time to get to that point as I have several other stories on which I am currently working. Several of these stories are nearing completion, and I have one where I have finished the first draft and am beginning to edit it before sending it off to my new editor.
When I first began writing the story which would become What the Future May Bring back in 1983, I thought I would use it as a way of trying to flesh out some ideas I had for addressing some of the long term problems facing our country. As the ideas and the story developed, I began to think that a fictional work such as this could be used as a vehicle to expose these ideas to more people, to getting them to think about them and whether they might be feasible. From the feedback I have received, I think I have been successful in that regard.
What I hope will now happen is that people will begin to discuss some of these proposals with their friends, families and elected officials, and will come up with others on their own. What will REALLY be interesting is if any of these proposals were to be enacted, and to see if they work as well in real life as they do in theory. Just think, a whole movement could end up tracing its beginnings back to Stories Online.
Once again, thank you for reading What the Future May Bring and for your feedback. I REALLY do appreciate it and hope you will enjoy any future stories I may post.