Discover more from The Elysian
I'm writing a utopian novel
With commentary imagining a more beautiful future.
Last September, I debuted my gothic novel Obscurity as a serial. I sent one chapter to my newsletter subscribers every week until it was done, and now I am holding the (very) first edition in my hands and have even sent it off to my paid subscribers at the Collector tier.
My experiment was a success, even if I tweaked it so many times as I went. My hypothesis was that serial fiction—where readers pay a monthly or yearly subscription—would be a better way for authors to earn a living from their work than putting their books on Amazon for $10. I was right!
Inspired by The Count of Monte Cristo, which was published as a serial with great success, I started with 1,700 newsletter subscribers and grew that to 6,066 over the course of the last year—262 of which became paying subscribers, earning my newsletter $16,707.85 in gross volume!!!
Now, exactly one year later, I’m getting ready to debut my utopian novel Oblivion as a serial and I’m tweaking my process once again. Here’s everything you need to know about Oblivion and how I’m going to publish it this year. I hope you’ll join me.
Oblivion is a utopian book project
Oblivion is a utopian book project that consists of two parts: a utopian novel and a collection of essays imagining a more beautiful future.
The novel can best be described as surrealist fantasy. It begins when a young woman awakes in a canoe, adrift against some tropical shore, with no recollection of her past or how she came to be there. As she ventures into paradise, we discover all the beauty the future has to offer, the past she has left behind, and a community of people very interested in why she’s there.
While I am writing the novel, I will also be sharing my commentary on how we can create a more beautiful world. Some of the things I want to explore include: What is the ideal form of government? How can all humans be financially supported? What might the ocean be like if everything goes perfectly? How might humans evolve further? How might genetic modification alter humanity? Can we eradicate disease? Is everyone still looking at their phones in utopia?
Subscribers will receive new novel chapters on Wednesdays, with paid subscribers having access to my commentary at the bottom. I am literally on the edge of my seat waiting to write all of it. (Can we skip the launch post and get to the good part already? Patience, Substack wants me to first ask if you’d be interested in following my Oblivion project.) Join me?
The Novelleist is a reader-supported publication. To follow the Oblivion project, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
As for the details…..
💌 Free subscribers get every novel chapter
💭 Paid subscribers can comment on chapters and unlock author commentary
📕 Paid subscribers at the collector tier receive the print edition when it’s done
For the cost of an annual magazine subscription, unlock the complete Oblivion experience ✨
I have beautiful plans for the Oblivion books—they will look like this:
Once this project is complete it will be printed into two collector’s editions: 1) Oblivion, a utopian novel and 2) Oblivion, companion essays. You can catch up on the collection so far by reading The Index.
I will print these books for my subscribers at the Collector tier—one book per year of subscription. All books will be signed, and Collectors who subscribe before the print deadline will have their names printed in the acknowledgment section of the book.
Subscribe at the collector tier to get the print books and join the inner circle.
✍🏻 The first subscribers to contribute $1,000 to my project will get to write the introductions to one of my printed Oblivion books. You might get there by being a collector five years in a row, or you might get there by penciling in whatever amount you’d like when you purchase your collector subscription to get there faster. (1 of 2 remaining!)
I wanted to add some special features for those who become longtime subscribers of my work. So the first two subscribers to contribute $1,000 to my project will get to write the introductions to my print books.
However you’d like to be part of this project, I’d love to have you.
My dream for all of this
By the end of this book I want to have written two books alongside a community of writers and thinkers—almost an anthology of utopian thought. I also want to have created a collective of authors writing utopian novels—with so many of us dreaming up a more beautiful future that we literally create the utopian genre, finally tipping the scales away from dystopian fiction’s hold on the market. Maybe we even link to one another’s works in our chapters or form worlds out of each other’s cities or inspire one another’s work with our essays.
If I’m really dreaming, maybe we even inspire a better future!
Thank you so much for contributing to this project as a free or paid subscriber. However you decide to engage with my art, I am beyond grateful. Just the fact you are here means the world to me.
The prologue of Oblivion, with author commentary for paid subscribers, is coming to you next Monday! I can’t wait!