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End of the Equations


Since 2003, Iceberg Publishing’s flagship science fiction titles have been the Equations Novels by Kenneth Tam. Set 700 years in the future, the books revolve around a race of beings called the Earthers, who are widely known as being ‘too good to be true’.

Struggling against enemies from without and within, the Earthers have carried readers through some very difficult and yet uplifting stories. Now, their journey is coming to a close.

The Destiny Equation, the eighth and final Equations novel, will debut in three weeks at Polaris 23, Canada’s largest fan-run science fiction event. Ahead of the finale, we sat down with Kenneth Tam, to talk about the Earthers’ journey, and the future.

The Destiny Equation comes out in a few weeks. Is the impending finale bittersweet?

I was expecting it to be, but I’ve been surprised that I haven’t found it too bitter. It’s very rewarding to have started with an eight-book plan, and to have followed it through over the course of seven years. The Earthers will have the ending they richly deserve.

Do you expect readers will be happy in the end?

I think so. There’s a lot of loss. There’s no way you could finish this story without losing a lot of friends in the process. But I’ve been saying for some time now that the story has a profoundly happy ending.

Can you tell us if the Earthers defeat Omega?

Ha, I don’t think it’d be wise for me to give it away!

You’ve hinted in past that, with the Equations done, you might start developing more stories with the Earthers. Is that still in the cards?

Definitely. The aftermath of The Destiny Equation will likely lead to stories set a century beyond the Equations, and there’s always a chance to go back and fill in some of the gaps. There’s been interest in looking at young Phealan Caine, and his experiences at home during the Krogg War – examining how he became so wise, so quickly. The Equations universe is vast, with many layers, and I don’t intend on leaving it behind.

When can readers expect these new Earther books?

It’ll be a while. With the popularity of Defense Command and His Majesty’s New World, I’ll have plenty to keep me busy over the next couple of years. I’m also working on a new series set in the present, or the very near future, surrounding a Canadian special agent called Natalie Quinn. So I’ll take a break from the Equations universe for a while, and come back fresh in the future.

Will other authors be working in the universe?

Right now, owing to the economic downturn, we’ve put a temporary hold on spinoff projects within the Equations universe. There are definite plans to bring them forward again soon.

There have been hints in your Defense Command novels about connections between that series and the Equations. Is there a connection, or are people making too much out of it?

I don’t think I’m going to comment on that. Which might imply something.

What do you hope the legacy of the Equations will be?

Earther philosophy. There’s nothing revolutionary about the way the Earthers live… they simply exemplify what’s good about us, unfettered by our cynicism and bitterness. I think we all should try to live more like they do… even if we can’t reach their standard, we’re still better for the attempt.

What are your plans now?

At the moment, I’m collaborating with Wes Prewer on some of the groundwork for his Seas of Sand universe. We’ll hopefully have more announcements about that project over the summer. I’ll be drafting the next His Majesty’s New World and Defense Command novels too. We’re coming to a bit of a lull for Iceberg releases, so there’ll be time for creativity, innovation, and all sorts of other fine things!

Kenneth Tam is a founding Partner and author with Iceberg Publishing. This July, he will be a guest author for the sixth straight year at Polaris, Canada’s largest fan-run science fiction event. The Destiny Equation will be released at that time, and will available through Iceberg’s web store and select booksellers thereafter.