Following is a list of my novels and novellas with terse little elevator pitch summaries and some notes as to their fates. If there are novel title links, they lead to their detailed info pages on the mothership, www.sortmind.com.
The Soul Institute, 2011
Himal Steina realizes his recurring dream of a mythic return to the sanctuary of a vast foggy university of Soul when he’s appointed Writer in Residence at the Soul Institute and falls in love with one of its numerous faculty goddesses. But as the Soul Institute splinters under the weight of its unhinged Director and his secret society of Overcrons, the Director’s teenage son consolidates command of the Paint Sniffing Gang, and panic and violence build in the small coastal Texas college town.
Published or About to be Published
The Martian Marauders, 2012
To be published Jan. 2012 by Double Dragon eBooks
After the evacuation of the Earth’s population to Mars, the crew of the Typhoon I spaceship must fight native Martian terrorists led by their new human Emperor, political agitator and traitor Sam Hergs. But Captain Jack Commer compromises the mission when he kidnaps the Emperor’s consort and falls in love with her. Book One of The Jack Commer series.
Jack Commer, Supreme Commander, 2012
To be published by Double Dragon eBooks
Jack Commer brings poor negotiating skills to the war with the fascist Alpha Centaurian Empire, losing his crew to Centaurian brainwashing as he and his wife are sent to be tortured on a barren planet. Book Two of The Jack Commer series.
Nonprofit Chronowar, 2012
To be published by Double Dragon eBooks
Ranna Kikken creates The Committee to End Suffering on Planet Earth at her nonprofit Cat Farm, but its first conference in 2020 is destroyed when intruder Joe Commer time travels from 2036 to lecture CTESOPE on the coming breakdown of the solar system and the destruction of the Earth itself in 2033. Book Three of The Jack Commer series.
The First Twenty Steps, 2011
Available as an eBook from amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com
(Novella) An ex-convict finds himself mixed up in a motorcycle gang’s plan to heist a hyperspatial supercomputer.
Queries Being Sent to Royalty Publishers
Akard Drearstone, 2011
A twelve year-old girl living at a rock commune near Austin, Texas in the summer of 1975 observes the rise and fall of the Akard Drearstone Group as she falls disastrously in love with the group’s severely disturbed bass player.
The CommWealth system, introduced just six months previously, has outlawed private property. Your house or your clothes can be demanded by anyone to be enjoyed for thirty days. As actors in the Forensic Squad theatrical troupe adapt to this giddy, chaotic society, CommWealth probes their breaking of the Four Rules, and several members find themselves leading a suicidal revolution.
What if the answer to any question could be delivered in a telepathic instant? And if a database of all our queries and responses were being used to track the progress of the coming apocalypse? High school art students Oliver and Sam struggle to define themselves in the face of urban terrorism and the malfunctioning, reality-altering Telepathic Database.
The Soul Institute, 2011
PubIt/Kindle Direct Publishing Plans
The University of Mars, 2009
In a dysfunctional 2065 where religious zealots restrict the world to outdated twentieth century technology, eighteen year-old Bill North seeks comrades dedicated to the further evolution of humanity. But is the impoverished university he finds in a bombed-out city just a satire of his urge for transcendence? And are alien beings using the university to research their own psychological flaw?
The University of Mars is a good novel, but for now I want to concentrate on the query and submission process for the four main novels shown above. And putting The University of Mars up on PubIt and Kindle Direct Publishing would be part of expanding my offerings on those venues.
A possible story collection, vaporware at this point; I haven’t decided which stories to put in. Part of the desire to make such a story collection is to renounce the idea of sending stories off to literary magazines, e-publications or otherwise. I am no longer geared to writing stories; all my energy is going into novels. While any I put into a collection would be good stuff, I have no more appetite for sending out stories in a misguided effort to gain recognition in the publishing world.
Any energy devoted to revising the following titles means that I’m aiming for eventual publication. I no longer need to go through old stuff and bring it up to date just to complete psychic gestalts or whatever it is you complete when you do something like that. This list is in order of revision preference.
Seven of Cups/Beyond DamnStar, 2011
Former Typhoon II ship’s engineer Phil Sperry struggles with his reversion to Alpha Centaurian brainwashing and his treason to the human race. Book Four of the Jack Commer series.
This one is still fresh in my mind and I’m looking forward to completing it and adding it to the Jack Commer series.
Ocean Singe Horror, 2008
Billy Bolamme, sixteen year-old star Junior Dropout Basketball League player, transmogrifies into avenging avatar Ocean Singe Horror after missing his 500th point in a row. In a temper tantrum he kills a taunting radio announcer with hand grenades, then blows up an entire sports arena in order to eliminate ten thousand witnesses to his crime. From here on out his fame and luck can only grow.
A short novel from three years ago which I’ve grown a bit cold on–which happens after a year or so of letting a Draft 1 sit. I need to assess how it can be rewritten.
The Psychobeauty, 1984
(Novella) Ninety-seven percent of the earth’s population inexplicably commits suicide, ending civilization and leaving scattered refugees struggling to resist their own suicidal urges.
This is a good shot and needs a revision which I don’t think will take very long. It might also be a candidate for PubIt and Kindle Direct Publishing. In a strange way, probably because the two were originally written at about the same time, I’ve often thought of it as a companion piece for The First Twenty Steps.
Parts I and II/Notice and Dream Topology, 1992
In Part I a naive and disconnected artist gives a party to celebrate his career, only to find himself drafted that same night into a mindless war. In Part II he becomes a sergeant leading frightened yuppies against an unstoppable Army of Evil.
A partial second draft, Notice and Dream Topology, was revised into a play titled Linstar, which unfortunately proved to be a bombastic failure. However, NADT, in cutting out Part II, the interminable war itself, has some promise and may be revised. And I might want to write a completely new Part II.
Strange Quirky Project
Akard Drearstone, the original 1976-1978 Draft 1
In May-July 2011, I finally realized a long-standing desire to scan in the 1976-1978 rough draft of Akard Drearstone, which was thoroughly altered in numerous subsequent versions to, by 2010, become a publishable novel. The sprawling 1,587 pages of Draft 1’s Chapters 1-31 come to 661,581 words, 2,298 pages in a single Word document. To that I’ve added two appendices: the fourteen songs Akard composed and a short story I wrote some years later called “Chapter 32,” bringing the total to 681,656 words in 2,376 pages. The 7/19/11 blog entry covers this obsessive project in much detail. I just need to proof the scanned document against the original. I’ve debated whether to place it on PubIt and Kindle Direct Publishing, but haven’t come to any decision yet.
Novels That Were Good to Have Written But I Will Never Consider Publishing
The Fifty-First State of Consciousness, 1973
The Governor of the Fifty-First State, in despair over a failed love affair, begins the Apocalypse at a shopping mall.
The Holy Dark Ages, 1994
(Novella) Jim Piston narrates his journey through a post-World War III Texas and his enslavement at a commune dedicated to making a plutonium bomb. Escaping, he befriends a dying Air Force flying saucer pilot, then gathers his own commune together and captains the pilot’s crippled saucer on a desperate ocean trip to South Carolina. He repairs the saucer with the help of another commune led by his old enemy Akard Drearstone, only to crash it in remote Alaska, stranding the few survivors of both communes there.
Nova Scotia, 1974
Two boys drive a 350 m.p.h. Corvette to Nova Scotia in one night in a demented quest to save the world.
Zarreich/The Galaxies Groan Within, 1983
An adolescent comes to live in a small town with his grandmother, only to discover that all his memories have been wiped out. He panics and commits a murder, then finds himself a member of a secret commune remembered only in dreams.
Copyright 2011 by Michael D. Smith