Closed Circle Titles

JSF's NetWalkers Original Series

After serious consideration of initial feedback  from readers, we’ve decided to pull the original series for the time being. The reason for this is simple. With the publication of ‘NetWalkers, the ‘NetWalkers universe has entered a new era and reading the original series after reading ‘NetWalkers is proving to be … extreme mental gymnastics, to say the least.  The original series was dense—a challenging read even without the added problem of wondering how the characters’ actions fit with what we learned in ‘NetWalkers.  Not surprisingly, since at the time I wrote them, I didn’t know all the details that came out in ‘NetWalkers. I didn’t even know about the Partners-thing. The amazing thing is…it actually does all fit…that was the trick—and the fun—of the rewrites. Those rewrites are finished, with only a final edit and covers needed before they’ll go up on Closed Circle. Once the three rewrites are complete, we’ll make the original series available again for those interested in comparing the two versions.

As always…thanks so much to everyone for your support of all the Closed Circle titles.

The Absolutely Incorrigibly Sexy SF Epic

Okay…so Wesley wrote the headline. What? You haven’t met Wesley? Jonathan Wesley Smith? Heir to the Smith fortune and Seneca Smith’s patents? Hmmm…. Well, I think it fair to say that once you read this series, you will—completely—understand. These books came out in the early 1990s from Warner. The editor had one comment: make them shorter. At a certain point, I was reduced to asking: which should I cut first? The, a, or that? As a result, they’re tight, tense, and extremely packed. Which makes them hard for some people, especially those with really busy lives, to follow. Since writing the prequel, ‘NetWalkers, I’ve rewritten all three, not only to incorporate those elements suggested by the prequel, but also to reinstate those elements ousted in the name of Maximum Page Count. You will find the updated versions here.



A big, meaty book that’s everything science fiction should be: a slam-bang adventure that leaves you thinking, a character story with a social conscience and stylish writing paired with brilliant plotting. A tour de force for Fancher, and an important book for the field.”—Robert J. Sawyer: Hugo and Nebula Award-winning author of Hominids, and Fast Forward, and bunches more really, really good books, and an outstanding HB.
“. . . reads like Cherryh near her own top form . . . no padding or wheelspinning here, just the genuine article. ” —-Locus, on GroundTies


Coming Soon!

(I promise! They do exist!)

’NetWalkers: Nexus
A massively rewritten GroundTies

’NetWalkers: WildCards
A massively rewritten UpLink

’NetWalkers: ColdFusion:
A massively rewritten Harmonies of the ‘Net

Dead Tree versions are available:

’NetWalkers is the series title I’ve given to my future history. My first series, GroundTies, UpLink and Harmonies of the ’Net provided the core. Those three, are available now. A prequel to the series and complete rewrites of the original series will be offered here, as soon as I get the covers done and the files translated. New insights into the whole ebook publishing have delayed their appearance.

But that’s nothing new for Wesley and Crew. The curious idiosyncrasies of the publishing industry have pretty much determined their lives. In fact, how the prequel and subsequent rewrites came to be is a story in itself, one that provides an interesting insight into the publishing biz.

It was a…shall we say disconcerting…time in my life. And not just me. The musical editors and in-house politics at Warner during the early 90’s destroyed two SF imprints and seriously undermined (to put it mildly) the careers of several authors. But y’know? That’s water under the bridge. Done is done.

The most important thing to come out of that period, at least as far as ‘NetWalkers is concerned, grew out of a single conversation with one of those several editors. Curiously, it was not what I would call a constructive conversation, and nothing ever came of it because she had been hired to focus on finding new talent, not salvaging “old” (the books and my career were two years old at the time) authors, yet eventually it spawned what is possibly my favorite “child” to date.

Basically, said editor had decided it (GroundTies) was “just the kind of book she wanted” but she wanted a new book in the series first…i.e. before doing a complete relaunch as the previous editor had planned. Problem was, the way she talked about the series indicated to me she was possibly not the editor for them. You don’t take complex, character oriented, psycho-political fiction and turn it into a light read. So…I never actually worked with her on it, being involved, by that time, in the Ring books and DAW.

And when this new Warner imprint died soon after, the point became somewhat moot.

However, I’ve always believed in this series, and during that same conversation, she did make an interesting suggestion. A prequel. Something that took place in space. Perhaps Wesley’s story at the academy. I prevaricated…I mean, Wesley basically turns his back on everything he believes in, because of those events. He becomes something of a certifiable… er… jerk. (Sorry, Wesley) How could I make him a hero under those circumstances?

Well, I got off the phone, and I swear the Wesser was sitting in the corner of my office, beside the koi pond, glaring at me, saying, “Whaddaya mean, ya can’t write my story?”

Obviously, then, I had to. And putting Wesley under the heat lamp to confess the truth about those years in the academy resulted in some seriously interesting insight into the events of the original series. Those insights—along with some of the story aspects I had had to take out in order to meet Warner’s specifications for a first time novelist—resulted in brand new versions of the original series. Not just longer, not just richer in motivation and intrigue, but edited throughout for clarity, not to mention an increased understanding of story-telling and my readers.

You might be asking, why read the original series when there are “new and improved” editions coming soon. No real reason; the new editions contain all the story (with a few Significant Revisions), however…

1) The order I wrote the entire series in could be interesting, especially to those who enjoy the creative process. A case of figuring out what was changed and why.

2) I’m very proud of the original series as it stands. They’re good books in their own right.

3) In some ways, knowing what’s in store for Young Wesley makes the prequel, ’NetWalkers, just that touch more poignant.

4) Even if you think you know the story, the new editions hold plenty of surprises.

So, anyway…I offer here my most precious creation, the ’NetWalkers series. Please…enjoy.

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