Communion Of Dreams

But wouldn’t (The World Series) be confusing?

A couple weeks ago, when I was setting up the price change and promotional stuff for the one-year anniversary of Communion of Dreams, I was again confronted with something I had pondered and then ignored previously: was this book part of a “series”?

See, when you’re going through the interface to publish a book with Amazon, that’s one of the questions you need to answer. The helpful little dialog box explains the idea this way:

A series is a connected set of books. If this book is part of a series, identify where the book exists in the sequence with a volume number. We only accept volume numbers in numerical format (“1”, “2”, or “3”). Magazines and journals are also often grouped as a series. Identifying the series helps customers find other books in the series.
Having such a series is a long and well-established literary tradition, particularly in genre fiction. Sometimes an author sets out to construct a series, sometimes a series is identified after the fact. Some authors are only known for a given series, others have several. I think Isaac Asimov is credited with like 47 separate but inter-related series, an all-time record.
These days most authors seem to consider naming a series as a marketing tool, as is indicated in the above blurb from Amazon. Just looking at the “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” recommendations on the Amazon page for Communion of Dreams, there are these named series:

It makes me jealous.

Well, OK, it doesn’t really.  But it does make me wonder. What would I call the series for the slightly-altered-universe in which Communion of Dreams exists?

When I first published Communion of Dreams, I thought that I would eventually like to write several other related books, but I didn’t know for sure whether I would ever get around to doing so. I mean, we make plans, and have hopes & dreams and all that, but it seemed both a little presumptuous as well as potentially risky (in the “tempting fate” sort of way) to claim that I was going to write a series of books before seeing what the response to the first one was.

And then there’s the complicating fact that at least for the time being I consider Communion of Dreams to be the end of any such series. St. Cybi’s Well is a prequel — the start of the so-called series, in fact. And I have some rough ideas for other books which would be related to the overall story arc, about one per decade of the time between now and the setting of Communion (2052). But those are just approximations. How can I number the books in the series when I have little confidence in how many there will be? And wouldn’t it be confusing to number the books in the order they are written, since they jump around in chronological sequence?

Anyway, this is all by way of saying that I could use some help and suggestions with this. If you’ve read Communion of Dreams, you have some sense of the overall arc of the series, at least as the history is outlined in that book. And I’ve chatted a fair amount about St. Cybi’s Well. Knowing those things, what do *you* think would be a good ‘series name’ for these books?

I’m serious — I’d like suggestions. Post it here in a comment, drop me an email, say something over on the FB page. If I use your suggestion, I’ll credit you with it and send you a hand-bound copy of either Communion of Dreams or St. Cybi’s Well depending on your preference (and if you’ve already got those coming as part of the Kickstarter rewards or something, we’ll work out an equitable substitute).



Jim Downey


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