It has been three years since the release of Inheritance, the final chapter in Christopher Paolini’s Inheritance Cycle, and fans are clamoring for information on Christopher’s next big project – be it set in the world of Alagaesia or in an entirely new universe.

With nearly three years to embark on new projects behind him, Christopher has now begun to speak about his future as a storyteller, including the future of the Inheritance universe and other stories the author plans to tell. Christopher has used his own platforms, including Twitter, as well as interviews and guest articles to detail the work he’s done over the past several years in addition to the projects he is currently working on and his vision for the future of his universes, including Inheritance.

With ten months of planning and months more of writing, Christopher was finally ready to discuss his next project in an article with Barnes and Noble promoting their “Get Pop Cultured” week. Christopher reflected on writing Inheritance, the shock of finishing a project he had spent over twelve years working on, and how he began writing outside of the Inheritance universe.

“Writing the Inheritance Cycle was like training for and competing in the Olympics. For over twelve years, I spent nearly every waking moment working on, thinking about, or discussing the series.” …

“Even though I knew I was approaching the end of the series, even though I’d anticipated it—and planned for it—for years, finishing it was still a shock. All of a sudden, this massive thing that had been the focal point of my life since I was fifteen was . . . gone.

The experience was both terrifying and exhilarating.”

Naturally, after over a decade writing in the same style, within the same universe, and with the same mindset, Christopher didn’t just dive into his next big project. Instead, he dipped his toes into the water, tried his hand at a variety of projects, and generally had fun growing:

“I messed around with a number of short stories, each in a different style. I even tried my hand at a screenplay (they’re harder than they look). And I read as many books and watched as many movies as I could.”

However, it would seem he couldn’t stay away from that new big project for too long:

“Once I had recharged my creative batteries, I knew I was ready to tackle something bigger. Much bigger. So I began researching the information I’d need. For nine to ten months, I scoured the Internet for details obvious and obscure. I called and emailed professors around the world. I spent days hashing over various world-building issues with my friends and family. All so that I could do justice to the setting I had decided on for my next story.

And then, only then, did I start to write.

So far, it’s been a blast. The story is science fiction—one of my first loves, along with fantasy—and full of aliens, spaceships, lasers, strange new planets, and explosions. You know, fun stuff. At the same time, I’m hoping that the story will stir people’s emotions, as well as give them a few interesting things to think about. As with all creative endeavors, there’s no guarantee of success. But I think it’s going to end up being pretty awesome.

Of course, I’m biased.”

Don’t worry – Christopher is making it clear that he’s not abandoning Alagaesia:

“In the long term, I do intend to return to the world of the Inheritance Cycle. However, for now, I’m enjoying stretching my wings and inventing a whole new universe for readers to explore. The stars are our future, and while we may never visit them ourselves, at least we can visit them in our dreams.”

Christopher is definitely hard at work on a project sure to please his long time readers! We’re excited to dive into Christopher’s next adventure and to continue holding our breath for the next Inheritance universe installment, known affectionately by fans as “Book V”.

Speaking of “Book V” – we’ve compiled a massive “Book V and Beyond” page containing everything you need to know about the next Inheritance universe books, including a possible prequel. The page includes comments from Christopher on the content we can expect to see in both books. You won’t want to miss this information!

Now we ask: Are you a fan of science fiction? What do you think Christopher’s book will include? Do you plan on reading his next book?