[Robert J. Sawyer] Science Fiction Writer
Hugo and Nebula Winner

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A Golden Fleece Sequel?

Copyright © 1998 by Robert J. Sawyer
All Rights Reserved.

Some readers have observed that the epilogue to my first novel Golden Fleece leaves room for a sequel, and I get asked periodically if there's one in the works. The answer is I did start outlining a sequel to Golden Fleece, which I was planning on calling The Trojan War — "trojan" as in computer virus — but I ended up completely rethinking the project, and it became my Nebula Award-winning novel The Terminal Experiment instead.

What's that, you say? What has Golden Fleece possibly got in common with The Terminal Experiment? Well, remember in Golden Fleece when the AI named JASON makes a brain scan of Aaron Rossman to duplicate Aaron's neural nets inside a computer so that JASON can consult his simulation of Aaron in order to try to outwit Aaron? The sequel was going to expand upon that idea, with the terraforming robots at Colchis recreating human minds to help them defeat the Vulpeculans, but I got sidetracked by the simulation idea, and The Terminal Experiment grew out of that.

As for the epilogue to Golden Fleece, I must say it was not really intended to be a springboard for a sequel. I only started contemplating writing one after Orson Scott Card named Golden Fleece the best SF novel of 1990 in his year-end summation in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction.

Rather, I was trying to do what Arthur C. Clarke used to do so well — provide a nice twist at the end that would let the reader write the sequel in his or her own mind. That's what Clarke intended with the "the Ramans do everything in threes" ending in Rendezvous with Rama and the "he was not sure what he would do next, but he would think of something" ending of 2001. I'm part of the school that believes leaving those dangling as food for thought was better artistically than actually writing the concrete sequels that followed.

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