The novel I mostly wrote back in 1985 can’t be finished now. Technological advances and political events have overtaken major story points so unless I want it to be an alternate universe fiction, it’s dead.
And that’s a good thing, I think. Writing the ten-year novel should be about the things that are unchanging: the nature of people, of personal growth. Wanna write science fiction? Write it and get it out there: dawdle and the po’on (POH-ohn, a Hebrew word literally meaning “‘here’ device”) is leapfrogged by the smartphone. And the Israeli-Palestinian stupidity has surpassed even the blackest of my noir fantasies. At least I got Syria and Jordan right.
I’ve been re-reading a slew of science fiction novels (latest: the Barrayan Saga books), and, as Lois McMaster Bujold has stated that most of the novels were written to stand alone, it’s been eye-opening to see how she avoids infodump in pursuit of establishing character and milieu when readers attempt to peruse them in order. Learn from all that’s been written, not just the latest.