With this, the sixth and last installment of Night Music, we reach the end of our journey. Not all questions are answered (are they ever?). Still, all the main character arcs are resolved, and I take my cue from some of my favorite SF books and films (2001, Rendez-Vous With Rama, Ringworld [the first one], etc.). In those works, I rather liked that questions were left hanging; the universe is not a place which lends itself to tidy resolutions to all of the queries we put to it.
Will I ever go back and revisit this tale, and flesh out some of the threads which dangle at the end of this one? Maybe. Time is not as forgiving as it was when I wrote those words (hell, it was borrowed time as it was!). I'd like to, and have rather extensive notes on a potential sequel. Still, all the best SF (and fiction in general) is less about the situation and the setting than it is about the characters, and I do think that Seth and Nadia have achieved a resolution to the journeys they were set up to take. I would love to get into Nick's Masai heritage, his love of speed, the tension between his promising athletic career and his love of space (a second part would probably start with Nick running round the rim of the backward crater lake, with the languid, low-gee waves of the Northern Sea rolling up to its shore, reflecting on his history and bringing us up to date...). I would love to get into Ellison's alcoholic family and the origins of his self-designated role as peace-maker and facilitator. I'd really like to get into Luczac a lot more (one of my favorite characters...could you tell?), and his rebellious early life of unwelcome privilege. And that's not even getting into the Zubrin Base inhabitants (I feel like I could do a lot with Yuri).
And what's up with the Waves and their Senders?
Yah, a lot there. But at some point you have to pare it down to the essentials, which in this case was these people and the things they have to learn in order to create the conditions for them to become the fully-integrated humans they were blocked by history and choice from developing into. I think the tale stands on its own...for now.
For those who have taken the trip with me, thanks! And for those who may have been waiting till all installments were up before diving in, please have at it now. Let me know what you think.
UPDATE: Since posting these, I have taken the step of self-publishing Night Music for the Kindle platform. Since it is now for sale ($3.00 US), it seemed a mite counterproductive to keep it up here for free (hence the now-broken links). But hey, if you read the rest of this blog, you'll see that the idea of being a Capitalist is not exactly alien to me! Hope you'll have a look at the sample, and, if you like what you see, download the Whole Thing. Here's a link to a suite of free Kindle reading apps for those who don't have a Kindle reader, but do have a smart phone, tablet, PC/MAC, or Blackberry.