Now that hardcover editions are a reality at Powys, we can start working on the Special Editions of our books. What does that really mean? Mostly that these are the final editions of our books. The editions that should hold up to frequent re-readings as we all start to forget what’s in these books and revisit them occasionally. We proofread and get any lingering typographical errors fixed, perhaps add a new cover, and what’s most fun, we see if there’s anything left on the cutting room floor that we might share with our readers. In some cases, we might even add some goodies that weren’t in the original editions.
The Eternity Unbound Special Edition has a little of all of these. It’s the special edition of both Resurrection and Eternity Unleashed, first of all (Resurrection will likely not receive a separate special edition — what would be the point?). The End of Eternity novelization will be here (as well as in the Year One Omnibus once that’s ready). And then there’s Eternity Unhinged.
What, you may ask, is Eternity Unhinged?
Well, first let me lower some expectations. It’s not a novel, it’s not a novella. It’s not particularly long. If you have the existing edition of Eternity Unbound, I wouldn’t necessarily buy the new edition just to get Eternity Unhinged (I’d be more likely to recommend it for the extra goodies like old outlines). But I can tell you it will be totally worth reading! I’m not going to tell you what’s in it. But I will offer some hints.
First of all, it is not an epilogue to Resurrection — it takes place before Resurrection. Keep in mind, that could be at any point in Balor’s timeline — I’m not going to say which part.
Next, it will not rock your world. If a lost chapter of any famous novel were to be found, it would almost inevitably disappoint — the good stuff’s already out there. A newly recovered lost song by your favorite recording artist is never better than their other songs, is it? If we ever get to see “London After Midnight” — the lost Lon Chaney film, I can pretty much guarantee you it’s not going to eclipse “Hunchback of Notre Dame” or “Phantom of the Opera”. That’s just not the way the world works!
When you read “Eternity Unhinged” you will find that it is squeezed neatly between two existing paragraphs of something you have already read (if you’ve read “Eternity Unbound”). That doesn’t mean it’s one sentence long! It means I carved out something that already existed and expanded it.
So, why bother?
If you read “Eternity Unleashed” and “Resurrection”, there are characters and events that are mirrored between the two books. You could argue that Balor talking to Koenig is very similar to Balor talking to Talian. Some of that mirroring deserved a little more meat on it, at least according to your humble author, and what’s in the final thing that is “Eternity Unhinged” has been something germinating for a decade. Remember, it’s not earth shattering — but it will give you a look at something that deep down inside we all knew was there. In “Eternity Unhinged” you’ll finally get to see it.
So, what else is in this book?
The original author’s note from “Eternity Unbound” is included, along with a brand new author’s note. Including a little discussion about some humor at the end of “Resurrection” that didn’t please everyone! But most of the extra stuff included in this edition will be content that was either removed or rewritten from “Resurrection”, including some old outlines the include some of the early endings of the book.
Some of the removed content is from Balor’s discussion with Koenig before Koenig’s (spoiler alert!) immortality kicks in. I will talk about that briefly here. If I thought it were great stuff, it would still be in “Resurrection” — that doesn’t mean I think it’s bad stuff. That whole conversation between Balor and Koenig was more about timing than content — it’s a verbal fencing match (or was intended to be) where Balor is trying to keep Koenig off guard while planting little seeds in Koenig’s head, helping to push Koenig over the edge as part of Balor’s ultimate plan. That part of the book was the hardest to work on because there was always the danger of going on too long. I originally cut it back even deeper than what was published and Mateo asked me to put some of it back in. So I get that it’s not everybody’s favorite part of the book — it really wasn’t intended to be (although some people out there love it). It’s a slow burn, to use what is mostly cinema terminology these days. It was meant to have something in there to offend everybody, while all sticking within a common theme. Balor is really trying to do what demagogues do best — trying to make you lose your faith in reality, waiting for the moment to strike.
For anybody out there who would complain that we’re not spending enough time working on new stuff while we revisit the old, there’s only so much new stuff you can write in a day. These special editions are more editing projects than anything else, and they can be done in parallel with doing the new stuff.
So anyway, that’s what you can expect — along with a new Ken Scott cover…