And one author whose brain has turned to mush and is off traveling somewhere in time.
On their blogs, various agents mention that they prefer that science fiction novels submitted to them not be longer than 120,000 words. (Subtext: unless you're already well established, in which case no rules apply to you.) At one point, Time and the Soldier was over 130,000 words. That was when I started trimming, trimming, trimming the fat while also filling in the remaining gaps. I think the result was an improvement, but for all I know, it made the book too terse. In any case, the ms. as it now stands is at about 119,850 words. Under the wire!
So now it's off to three beta readers. Gary, who comments here occasionally, is reading it for continuity. Daniel will read it for continuity and military details (there aren't many, but I want them to be correct, of course), if he's able to. He'll have to choose whether working on his PhD is more important than helping out his aged dad who used to drive him all over the city so that he could see if other public library branches had books he hadn't devoured yet, but I'd never put any kind of unfair emotional pressure on him. Leonore will read it at the level of individual scenes and prose but not for plot because time-travel stories drive her nuts.
As a longterm captive, I mean inhabitant, of the software biz, I find the term "beta readers" very amusing. Just thought I'd add that.
So after I get their comments back and make any adjustments (and of course I'm hoping they will be just adjustments, not major surgery because someone discovered a monstrous plot hole), I'll have to face the really hard part: the AAAIIIIEEEE! agent search AAAAIIIIEEEE!