Do you have the final version of Rx?

Just a quick update to make sure everybody has the right version of Rx: A Tale of Electronegativity, as I still come across new reviews or comments from people who are just now finishing the serial. The serial was never intended to be the final product, so if you want to read the actual book that the serial helped produce, you’ll need an update.

For those of you not familiar with the saga of writing Rx, here’s the extremely succinct version: This whole thing was totally fucked.

Here’s the slightly longer version: I tried something that I thought was a good idea, but turned out to be more hassle than it was worth.

Here’s the extremely long version: Rx was my first book, and I didn’t have any experience with the process, much less the kind of effective beta readers that are pretty vital for a successful manuscript. Since digital distribution and serials were just starting to get popular, I thought I’d take advantage of it and try something new. I wrote Rx in three parts, and released each as an entry in a serial novel. The catch being that I ran quite a few giveaways of the first episode, and offered feedback incentives for the next episodes. So you could snag the first episode for free, then leave me some helpful feedback, and I would get you the second episode for free when it came out. If you left feedback on that, you got the third for free.In effect, if you wanted to help me improve the book, you could get whole thing without spending a time. And if you just wanted to participate in the experiment — watch it unfold without contributing — you could pay as you went, per installment and never be out more than a few bucks.

If you’re wondering why you, as a reader, never got that opportunity, the reason is simple: I never thought Rx would go beyond a very small group of loyal fans. At least not at the serial stage. I thought everybody who read the episodes would only do so because they heard about it through my columns or my social media accounts — in which case they’d see my many explanatory updates about the experiment and get the chance to participate. But the book got away from its little niche, thanks in large part to positive word of mouth. That’s a hard thing to be upset about.

But I am sorry to those who paid for and read an unrefined product, unaware of the experiment and thinking it was supposed to be a polished story. I don’t have anything to say if you bought the full book and didn’t like it – it had it’s problems and that’s your right. Maybe we’ll connect better next time. But if you just read the serial, or one of the early versions (here’s a spoiler-free way to tell: if your book has a prologue, it’s not the final version. If it doesn’t have an epilogue, it’s not the final version.) you can message me at rxthebook at gmail dot com and I’ll send a final eBook copy your way. There are substantial changes from the early versions, most notably an entirely different ending and that aforementioned epilogue.

I can’t really apologize for writing Rx this way – the book isn’t perfect, but it’s better than it would have been if I hadn’t tried this release schedule and received this feedback. And I can’t even call it a failed experiment, because it was actually worthwhile for me as a writer — if only because I learned not to ever do something like this again. Conventional release schedules for this guy from now on. But it honestly never occurred to me that people would be stumbling across obscure, self-published serial novel cyberpunk eBooks from first time authors and just jumping right into them with complete trust. I mean, holy shit, what kind of free time do you have? I can’t even promise to read all of the DANGER: POISON labels on the back of my cleaning products. God bless you for your willingness to try new things – you’re keeping indie authors going – but you ended up being collateral damage for my stupid experiment. You at least deserve to see the final product. Hit me up.

12 thoughts on “Do you have the final version of Rx?

  1. shawn

    for what it’s worth, with the exception of what i see as an anti-climatic ending, i thoroughly enjoyed the three separate “serial” releases and 1) didn’t know there was a different, whole version and 2) will still recommend the story to friends.

    i’ll pick up the “final” book on my kindle during my next round of ebook buying and read it. regardless of what you wrote above, it was money well spent.

    Reply
    1. Robert Brockway Post author

      If you’ve bought the serials, you’re entitled to the full version, too. I sent out a bunch of notices when it first came out to that effect, but clearly it didn’t reach everyone. Rxthebook at gmail dot com will get you one.

      Reply
  2. Jake

    I’m going to second the opinion of Shawn. I really enjoyed Rx and I didn’t realize that there was a different full “version”. Just to clarify the 2.99 kindle version is the full one, correct? If so I’ll buy that one in the next few days.

    Reply
  3. Whoa, Molly!

    I only ever read the complete RX, but it was cool to hear about how you wrote it. It is an interesting method, especially for people who might not have access to a bunch of beta-readers (cough, cough, me).

    Though, hearing that it ended up being a bit of a pain in the ass, perhaps it’s not the best way to go about it.

    Reply
    1. Robert Brockway Post author

      Huuuuuge pain in the ass. Don’t friggin’ do it! I mean, somebody had to, because to my knowledge it had never been tried before. And now we can all look at my results and say “well, that was a dumb idea.” Not just a pain in the ass to me, as a writer (though obviously it was), but ended up being a hassle for readers, too.

      Reply
  4. Manny

    I have the annotated edition, which has both a prologue and an epilogue. Is this the final version? It has the newer ending in which the floor fixes itself.
    (I also have the free Episode 1 and I paid for Episodes 2 and 3).

    Thanks for all your hard work. Rx is a great book!

    Reply
    1. Robert Brockway Post author

      The annotated is everything – old and new. New ending and all those edits, but I kept the prologue for the sake of completeness (which the annotated edition is all about – like a behind-the-scenes/director’s cut kind of deal).

      Reply
  5. violafury

    I bought the serialized version back when, and that’s okay. I never sent you any feedback, because I became ill and all that happy shit, you and I have discussed. I am so much BETTER now and am perfectly happy with my version. As to ever providing any kind of useful critique, I am probably not the best judge. To paraphrase King Charles the II during the Restoration, when questioned by his exchequer over the purchase of a bunch of ancient mummies from Egypt that were little more than dust, as Charlie wallowed around in the bones and fragments, “I like the feel of Ancient Greatness.”

    Thus, I enjoy and am inspired by your prose; I just finished reading “5 Unsolved Mysteries…” and a fine screed t’was at the end. As I am doing NaNoWriMo this year, again and hope to at the very least best my last year’s count of 1737 words — was hit by a “power-up” of Parkinsonism for Young People(?) — but am much, much better now, I now I can do at least 2k to beat my personal best, and might go for the whole 50k. Instead of a bunch of amorphous thoughts, I seem to have developed something resembling a plot and Things I Want To Happen. I guess this is a good thing. So, off into the great unknown… Thanks and much Awe and Affection.

    Reply
  6. Giles

    I’ve only read the serial version, but I loved it. I even liked the ending. That said now I’m all excited to read it again, I think it’s been long enough now.

    Reply
  7. Chris

    I’m just now going through your blog. I thought Rx was incredible. I probably haven’t even seen the final version, from what I’m reading here. I’ll update my versions, but I’m going to keep copies. I’ve even passed out a couple of copies of it. None of it took, but eh. You can’t throw a modern day Asimov at someone and expect them to enjoy it. Keep writing. I look forward to every cracked article you write, as well as any novels in the future.

    Reply
    1. Robert Brockway Post author

      High praise! And I, as always, appreciate the guerilla marketing. Let me know if you have any trouble updating your copies and I’ll send you the final version.

      Reply

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