Quick Questions (SIM Novellas)

30 May

Hi, everyone

Now that Fantastic Schools III is out, I’d like to pose two questions to my readers.

One – do you think I can expand The Cunning Man’s Tale into a full novel (with the events of the novella serving as the first quarter of the novel)?  If so, does the first-person format work for you or should I switch back to third-person?

Two – for Fantastic Schools IV, I’ve decided to write something less connected to the mainstream storyline (as I hoped to have FS3 out before The Face of the Enemy, which didn’t happen).  Would you rather:

-The Chaperone’s Tale.  The only way common-born Juliet can afford to go study magic at Whitehall is by agreeing to work as an unofficial (and technically forbidden) servant for Princess Mariah.  Unfortunately, Mariah is a brat with a knack for finding trouble …

-The Laughing Girl’s Tale.  Basically, the story of how Laughter Academy was founded.

-The Muckraker’s Tale.  A young would-be broadsheet writer starts a newspaper at Whitehall and finds herself discovering a truth many students would prefer to keep hidden …

32 Responses to “Quick Questions (SIM Novellas)”

  1. benbailey12373 May 30, 2021 at 3:18 pm #

    Ooooooh I really like the sound of the Laughter one but now I want to know the truth that the writer discovers!!!

  2. Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 30, 2021 at 3:26 pm #

    All three sound interesting but I’d love to see “The Chaperone’s Tale”

  3. Jared May 30, 2021 at 3:30 pm #

    I’ll take all three please, and I would like to see more of hearts eye.

  4. Kira O. May 30, 2021 at 3:39 pm #

    I like the Chaperone’s Tale best, followed by the Muckraker’s Tale. Love it!

  5. Jane Kamvar May 30, 2021 at 4:05 pm #

    Yes, expand the Cunning Man’s story.
    For FS4, Chaperone.

  6. Gregory C Hastings May 30, 2021 at 4:24 pm #

    Chaperone’s Tale.

  7. Arthur Raisfeld May 30, 2021 at 7:42 pm #

    Laughing would be my number one choice with chaperone a very close second.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 30, 2021 at 7:47 pm #

      Laughing would make an interesting story and Chris should write it after Chaperone. 😀

  8. Joce May 30, 2021 at 10:22 pm #

    Laughing girls tale please

  9. Emily Ellis May 30, 2021 at 10:56 pm #

    I know it’s not helpful but i want them all sim is my favorite series

  10. Cathy Howat May 31, 2021 at 1:28 am #

    Good ideas, however I would like to see Stuck In Magic released as the first book in a new series in that world!

    Get Outlook for Android


    • chrishanger June 18, 2021 at 12:22 pm #

      I intend to do so, at some point.


  11. reinventing60 May 31, 2021 at 2:00 am #

    Write all three of course, starry with the story of Laughter Academy.

    I’d also like to know more about Whitehall.

  12. George Phillies May 31, 2021 at 5:21 am #

    Yes, and welcome back from vacation.

  13. randallberger May 31, 2021 at 8:21 am #

    More STUCK IN MAGIC, as well. Will he meet Emily?

    • stephen May 31, 2021 at 12:49 pm #

      2nd for More STUCK IN MAGIC, as well. Will he meet Emily?

  14. Joseph P Jr Costa June 2, 2021 at 7:09 pm #

    Christopher, whatever method you use to format your books has worked for me. I not only like your writing as far as your fiction writing is concerned. I actually enjoy it immensely.
    But, I have not appreciated your statements involving USA politics. As a US citizen, voter, previous election judge, taxpayer, & a veteran of the US Army, I can claim some expertise in
    these matters that exceeds yours. (Paul, if you are lurking about, please don’t jump into this comment, I am trying to communicate directly with Christopher. I have experienced your opinions before and they are incompatible with mine.)

    • chrishanger June 18, 2021 at 12:22 pm #

      Sorry about the delay in replying – I’m happy to listen if you want to tell me why you think I’m wrong .


  15. Jared June 2, 2021 at 8:54 pm #

    Chris I want to say I appreciate your outside perspective on American culture and politics. It’s hard in the US to find world news on the main networks. And I always find it instructive to hear other people’s opinions on the US. I believe more Americans can do with a little individual introspection, and the best way to know oneself is to ask a friend. So thanks.

  16. Francis Kohl June 3, 2021 at 2:02 pm #

    Chris, there are some people trying to browbeat you into removing any kind of social comment from your books. I strongly suspect it’s because your characters are not building a perfect communist utopia.

    Don’t be intimidated. We are with you. Keep up the good work and uphold your standards.

  17. Fahnir June 4, 2021 at 3:29 am #

    What about a novella about Aloha?? She was in all the books as an important character until Emily left school–then we never heard about her again…

    • chrishanger June 18, 2021 at 12:23 pm #

      I do have several ideas about her, but none have really gelled yet.


  18. Fahnir June 4, 2021 at 3:52 am #

    One of the major problems with the last few books is WHY Master Lucknow thought he could get away with trying to arrest Void’s daughter and apprentice (from his perspective) without a warrant. This single decision essentially drove the events of the last few books. Even if he managed to capture Emily, Void’s reputation for ruthlessness was established early in the series. What is the backstory on this??

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 4, 2021 at 5:10 am #

      The Best Bet IMO is that he wasn’t thinking clearly and had a limited time to act.

      After Emily ended the Necromancer Wars and the problems got started, he was watching “his world collapsing” and his unreasonable anger toward Emily increased but he was unable to act against Emily in anyway.

      Then came the Laughter mission, Master Lucknow began to wonder if he could capture Emily while she was outside of Void’s protection.

      Then he learned that Emily had finished the mission but was going to spend time with Jan before she returned to Void’s Tower. (Likely Jan had kept him informed and he likely had agents within Laughter.)

      He had to act fast to capture her and he failed to consider “what happens after he caught Emily”.

      Of course Void afterwards mentioned that he had problems with Long-Term Planning.

      But then, Master Lucknow had another problem concerning “what happens after he caught Emily”. Any discussions with his allies (outside of a very small number of people under his direct authority) ran the risk of Void learning about his plans.

      So Master Lucknow wasn’t able to consult with his major allies about putting Emily on trial because of the risk of Void learning that he was planning to capture Emily.

      IMO if he had be able to consult with his major allies, they might have advised him to not take actions against Emily while she was Void’s apprentice.

      So it was a matter of “not thinking clearly”, “being unable to consult with his major allies” and he thought he had to act quickly when Emily’s Laughter mission ended.

      Mind you, it still seems IMO a stupid mistake, but there are plenty of Real World situations where smart people make stupid mistakes.

    • Jared June 4, 2021 at 9:59 am #

      I think he was trying to kangaroo court Emily, and then present her judgment as a fait accompli. Not really a good plan but just like Randor and the other kings. He was trying to maintain the status quo and he was willing to do anything to keep the allied lands the same.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 4, 2021 at 3:25 pm #

        That’s obvious but Fahnir’s question is still valid. IE What did he think Void would do?

      • Jared June 4, 2021 at 7:06 pm #

        Perhaps he found out that she wasn’t his real daughter

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 4, 2021 at 7:21 pm #

        Unlikely IMO.

        First, Void had publicly called Emily his daughter so even if Emily wasn’t his daughter by birth, she was his daughter by adoption.

        Second, Emily was his apprentice and the Master-Apprentice bound (as long as it existed) was as important as the Parent-Child bound on the Nameless World.

        So Master Lucknow wasn’t thinking clearly.

      • Jared June 4, 2021 at 8:28 pm #

        I agree he wasn’t thinking clearly.

    • Fahnir June 4, 2021 at 9:37 pm #

      All of these are good points, but wasn’t Master Lucknow shown conspiring with Grandmaster Gordian in a prologue laying plans to capture Emily?? He WAS planning ahead–and even if he thought he could present a fait accompli to the world, without a warrant, he should have known that either Void or one of Emily’s other allies would have killed him if he harmed her…this is one of the major reason’s I had problems with the storyline of the last few books, the other is the Empire bad/but Kingdoms good premise–both have absolute rule by despots–neither made any sense to me…

      • Jared June 4, 2021 at 9:54 pm #

        It’s possible that master Lucknow was taking one for the team. He was a powerful sorcerer who was sworn to the white council and the allied lands. He may have felt he was doing the right thing. Remember only Emily knows what the possibilities are for the future. And even then Master Lucknow wouldn’t have seen that as good. From his perspective Emily was a destabilizing a destructive force that was destroying the good and righteous. As for Gordian it’s obvious what his motivations where. He wanted that upstart little girl gone. Because she had the nerve to be a founder of Whitehall. He had big dreams of being important and that Little girl ruined it all for him. And that I believe is how Void got access to the nexus chamber with the promise of removing Emily’s access rights.

    • chrishanger June 18, 2021 at 12:24 pm #

      He thought he could rush through the trial and present it as a done deal and, if things went badly south for him personally afterwards, at least the world would be rid of Emily.


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