The Past & Future of THE MINUS FACTION

Everyone always asks, is that really the end?

This series started life as a standalone novel tentatively titled LOVE AND THE ZOMBIE-CYBORG APOCALYPSE. The character who became Ian was named Garrett, and he was a comic reader and wannabe DJ. The character who became Xana was a 19 year-old Greek-American named Kera who weighed a hundred pounds soaking wet. John was darn near a Buddhist monk, and his last name was Williams. Or Argent. It kept changing through the manuscript. And he had an ex-wife from whom he was estranged. Wink didn't exist, the villains were alien, and Jay-Z and Beyonce were collaborators.

There were gods, demons trapped on the earth, teleporting castles, a race of ancient giants, and a tiny Asian dragon in an aquarium. The Oric was a slimelike biological mechanism, and—in a complete non-sequitur that read almost as horror—John actually projected his consciousness into hell.

It sucked. It really sucked. Which some polite people tried to explain to me. And after almost 110,000 words—that's about 350 pages printed—I tossed it away. It was the right decision. Because out of that, something better grew. And I even salvaged some of the ideas for my third novel, where they fit much better.

That work is actually mentioned in the text, by the way. At the end of Episode Two, when John has just recruited Xana on behalf of the Prophet, he mentions they were supposed to go to New York to talk to a chef, but that that "was always a long shot" and that "he's not really a team player," which is a reference to the central protagonist of my occult mystery, a shaman-chef named Etude Étranger. (And John is right. Etude is not in fact a team player. He is instead brash, reclusive, and genius.) If you're in need of something to read, I'd say check it out. It is without a doubt my best work to-date.

So is this really the end of the series? Will the team have new life as The Minus Force?

I mentioned earlier in these online extras -- you can scroll through them all at the bottom -- that superhero tales are mythic, that they're cyclic-eternal rather than linear-temporal. They never really end. For that reason, the plan was always to write THE MINUS FACTION as if it were going to continue regardless of whether I ever published another episode. Because in truth, it does continue. Somewhere out there, John & co. are keeping watch, making mistakes, doing the best they can to show the rest of us cretins the way.

As for more... you never know.