Other books that are not Hometown Novels need to have themes too.
My novel-writing, book-publishing career began with a Sci-Fi Comedy published with a criminal book-publishing scam that has since gone out of business and was sued to oblivion by authors like me who it cheated.
My novel Aeroquest was a huge moronic mess made from the stories I created as a science-fiction-role-playing game’s game master. It was very loosely based on Frank Herbert’s Dune trilogy and Douglas Adams’s five-book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy (quintilogy?)
It had way too many characters in it (just like Dune.) It had super powers tied to religious practices (just like Dune.) And it had totally ridiculous science and technology in it (just like Hitchhiker’s Guide.)
After I got the publishing rights back from the criminals behind Publish America, I tried to make more sense of it by rewriting it as AeroQuest 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5.
AeroQuest 1 : Stars and Stones
In the first book, Ged Aero and his brother Hamfast Aero are looking to find a safe place for Ged to pursue his trade as a space-safari hunter who is developing a strange psionic power to change his appearance, and eventually his shape and species. Since Ham is a pilot and owns his own space ship, they decide to set out into unknown space to get away from the Thousand Worlds of the Imperium where what Ged is becoming is made illegal.
He then encounters the Prophecy of Zhan (also known in the frontier as the Prophecy of Xan, the Prophecy of Shan, the Prophecy of Cyan, and… well, too complicated to re-explain because all of them identify Ged as the next White Spider of Prophecy, and he is destined to reweave the web of star travel in unknown and forgotten space.)
So, what is the theme? “You can’t solve your problems by running away from yourself.” Yeah, that’s probably it… But, as I said, this novel was a truly big mess that the scammers took advantage of rather than helping.
AeroQuest 2 : Planet of the White Spider
In the second book, among other business zipping from star to star system, Ged has to take on the role of the prophesied White Spider, which it turns out is stepping into the role of being a teacher to a class filled with students who have psionic powers. They turn out to be a mix of space samurai, space cowboys, space nudists, space lizard-people, and Nebulons (an alien race of blue-skinned people nicknamed Space Smurfs.) At the same time, Ham takes up his role as a pilot and warrior in the growing rebellion against the corrupt Imperium.
This book too has a broad general theme; “We are stronger when we make ourselves a part of a diverse group than we are when we stand alone.”
AeroQuest 3 : Juggling Planets
This is the hardest book to create a unified theme for. Ham and his allies are jumping from planet to planet, fighting battles and recruiting new systems into the New Star League. At the same time, Ged is working with his new students to establish a new school and a new way of teaching that optimizes the students’ abilities to deal with cosmic forces and interstellar problems.
The best theme I can make a case for is; “Adding new friends and building their skills is how you best rebel against an old order that is failing more and more people.”
AeroQuest 4 : The Amazing Aero Brothers
This book is written, but not yet published. It is the story of how Ham and the rebels prepare for bigger battles yet to come, and face their first significant losses and reversals of fortune. Ged and his students battle their evil counterparts and only manage to defeat them by crossing moral lines that they never intended to cross.
The overall theme is; “It is harder to stay true to yourself than it is to win a battle.”
AeroQuest 5 : It Ain’t Over Yet!
Yep, it ain’t written yet. Started, but a long way from finished.
So, can I tell you what the major theme of this book is?
I am still wrestling with this theme. It has me in an illegal headlock.
But, as you probably guessed by now, I have more books to talk about in Part 6. So, beware!