In July 2012 I set off on a literary adventure unlike any I had been on before. I began writing an online serial novel for teenagers. I knew the market was virtually nonexistent, but I felt it was a great way for me to flesh out a science-fiction story that had been boring its way through my brain for more than three years.
Every week I wrote a new chapter and sent it out into the world via a dedicated website where it was read and critiqued in real time (read more about THE BALTHAZAR EXPERIMENT experiment HERE). After I completed the story, I compiled the chapters and notes and suggestions, and I slipped everything into a folder on my desktop, where it all matured and evolved for more than a year.
When I returned to THE BALTHAZAR EXPERIMENT two months ago, I had never been more excited to get down to editing. I worked diligently to turn the story, which relied heavily on cliffhanger chapter endings (due to its serial nature) and uber-fast pacing, into a more complete novel. I worked on world building and character development. I honed a lot of the dialogue and improved a lot of the science. In the end, a compelling, thought-provoking, touching and thrilling YA science-fiction novel was in front of me.
And now it can be in front of you.
THE BALTHAZAR EXPERIMENT is currently available as an eBook. You can download it HERE.
THE BALTHAZAR EXPERIMENT
By Christopher Millin
Xavier liked living, if not in the darkness, then just on the edge of it. The past -- the time before "The Film" and HelperBots and curfews -- was considered a dark spot in human history and was one of the only things in life that interested him. He constantly thought about the past. He wondered about silly things like what people one hundred years ago thought the future might be like. Did they envision homes in the clouds and flying vehicles? Did they think people would vacation on the moon and aliens would be their next door neighbours? He wondered what these people would think if they had a time machine and suddenly found themselves in this future. His present. Sure, there are robots that look after kids and do the housework, and sure, cars hover a few feet off the ground. But space is still a mystery. Houses are still poorly built. Government money is still being divvied unfairly. "They" talk about the need to evolve, to better ourselves from our animal relatives, but "they" are still doling out trillions of dollars to advance warmongering technology and the technology needed to control the masses. Xavier had once heard a statistic about how much it cost to develop "The Film" and to fit every newborn child on the planet with it. In the first year, the cost exceeded four trillion dollars. In the years to follow, the cost rose significantly. In school, he was taught about the good behind "The Film" and the curfew and obedience. He tried to endure school, but the lesson plans focused way too much on the now…on rules and numbers and so-called requirements to move forward and advance as a human being. As a race. True history was a side lesson of bullet points and short paragraphs, focusing mostly on the time just before "The Film" was introduced and the time just after. It was against the law to skip out on school, but it wasn't against the law to mentally check out of school. And that's what Xavier did on a regular basis...