The Mind of the Dolphins
Ideas for a third book in the series began to develop at around the time I was writing the last few chapters of Call of the Delphinidae. I'd originally envisaged Frank Halliday taking Mark, Chris, Damon and Pip on a hunt for the lost Barefooters, and my working title for the book was The Lost Barefooters until just a couple of months prior to completion, when I realised its scope was going well beyond that. I'd called the fifth part of the story The Mind of the Dolphins and decided that was probably a more appropriate name for the book as a whole.
One of the things I really wanted to do in this book was develop the character of Pip Ingle. Mentioned in passing in Part 9 of Barefoot Times as the son of Richard Ingle, maintenance supervisor of the company responsible for the intergalactic cruiser Mark and Lorina were booked on, he was fleshed out a bit more in the penultimate chapter of Call of the Delphinidae as Damon's one and only friend at school. In The Mind of the Dolphins he's reintroduced in the second chapter and ultimately becomes the hero of the story, but more of that in the full commentary.
Heroism itself is one of the themes of this book, looking at the impact hero-worship has on the worshipper, the recipient and those who feel the worship is misdirected. Allied with this is their galaxy's constant need for a hero figure, someone they keep wanting to put on a pedestal and bow before. Is this really a healthy thing for their society, or ours?
Another recurring theme in this story is facing one's demons, something all the main characters must do along the way. In many respects this is a story of consequences, of ultimately facing the truth and one's responsibilities for dealing with it. Some of the characters succeed better than others.
Now the question you're all asking - will there be another book in the series? I honestly don't know. I've been writing almost constantly since I began Call of the Delphinidae in May 2005, and I think I need a break to catch up on all the other stuff I should've been doing. Unlike with Call of the Delphinidae, where the sequel was envisaged well before that book was finished, I haven't consciously planned for one with this book. But who knows, I might just wake up in the middle of the night with a wonderful idea to start the ball rolling again.
If you've read the book and would like to learn a little more of my thinking behind it, follow this link to the full commentary.