There were quite a few novels that I worked on and abandoned before Spiral Hunt sold, but aside from the Old Shame that never saw publication, I’m not sure I can consider any of them a completed work. They were all useful in their way, and working on them taught me a lot, but none ever reached that polished, finished stage. Heck, finishing the big clunky space opera taught me that I could finish a full novel and even revise it substantially; I just couldn’t make it readable yet. A few of the novels that came closest to completion were:
- Birdland, a short novel involving surrealist art and a different strain of Irish myth, which never quite got its cosmology right
- Equinox, a novel that was part screwed-up family dynamics and part Other World Intruding On This One
- The Gate Behind the Eyes, another big space opera with a decent central idea but no real strength in its characters
Given these choices, I’m very glad that Spiral Hunt was the one that clicked for me. As it is, what’s now interesting me are the short stories I’ve chosen not to revise. I can produce them, all right, but these days I’m spending less time wrestling with new revisions simply because I don’t have time. Which means that the stories I do send out are the ones I enjoy more — whether that translates to enjoyment on the reader’s part is just something I have to hope for.