This seemed like a good time to blog about some of my upcoming stuff. The next six weeks are going to be slightly insane with things, as several projects all decided to come together at the same time. (Alternative Truths Anthology: The Last Ranger; Hiding Behind The Cowl superhero anthology I edited, some marketing with Ryan Zee for The Science Officer, the release of the fifth Auberon book: Flight of the Blackbird, etc.)
Most fun is the fourth Javier: The Pleasure Dome, which comes out May 10, 2017 (in case you end up reading this post in the way distant future and are a little lost chronologically.) After number three, The Gilded Cage, went a little dark, I was looking forward to something a little more light and cheery. Or at least as bright as Javier, Djamila, and Zakhar ever get. It succeeded, and at the same time ended up being a fairly deep and philosophical piece.
One of the things I love about these characters is how complex they are. I have known big-name authors who leave the background characters as little more than cardboard cutouts, while at the same time keeping the main characters as unchanging as humanly possible over tremendous arcs of story-telling.
I don’t know about you, but I like to change who I am on a fairly regular basis. The key to my happiness is jettisoning those things that do not delight me, and opening up space for new things to experience. I want my characters to be the same way. We all change as we grow up. We should demand that our characters do as well.
Think about it. Major things have happened to you. Earth-shattering, cataclysmic things. Births. Deaths. Loves. Hatreds. Wouldn’t you expect someone to react to the change? (Except movie James Bond. He never, ever, changes. And most comic-book superheroes use to be that way as well, but our storytellers are getting more sophisticated these days.)
So I finished the fourth Science Officer. And moved on to the fifth: The Doomsday Vault. It is due back from the copy editor shortly, and will be coming out in July, I think. Last week, I finished the sixth: The Last Flagship. Target: Fall 2017. Pretty soon, I’ll start Seven and Eight, which will be a double-episode season-ender. Think television and the cliff-hanger resolved at the beginning of next season. I’m nice, and not making you wait, so I’ll drop them either a month apart, or maybe on the same day. (Your votes count, do comment with an opinion, if you have made it this far and are still awake.)
The first eight episodes will also be getting the omnibus treatment, according to Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm). 1-4 and 5-8 will come out as both combined ebooks and novel-sized print books. (And no, I don’t know when yet. The publishing schedule is written in pencil. Always.)
For fun, I have started planning out Season Two. I wrote a short story introduction (first 500 words) as part of a homework assignment, and decided that I liked it so much I kept going and ended up with a story I call 8.5. It will be kinda an interstitial between the end of Season One and the beginning of Season Two, and was meant as a standalone, but then writer-brain helpfully explained that it was the first of a handful of little stories we could write and stick in to explain some of the “off-season” changes that happen.
Yeah, it will make sense when I publish #9, at some point. It barely makes sense in my head, okay? I want to introduce new characters, but I don’t want to spend whole stories doing it, since these novellas are always 24,000-30,000 words long. Not a lot of space to mess around. Better to write side stories, like I did with Siren, and the one coming up after Red Admiral (you’ve been warned, so no complaining from the back).
My goal is to get out all the first season of the Science Officer stories so I can take a break and write some other things. Got a lot more superheroic fantasy to write. Want to write some more Fairchild. Got four more Jessica stories to complete to bring her to fruition.
The joy of Season Two is that I created this huge (YUGE!!) gap in my future history. Javier will be born 7510 CE. (Yes, seven thousand and ten, while I write this in two thousand seventeen.) SPACE. Places to work.
In The Mind Field, I talked a little about the founding of the Union of Man, some five hundred years in the past. 6965 CE, for instance. Rama Treadwell will be born in 6848 CE.
Way down the line.
In between, there are four major Eras of starflight I haven’t even begun to explore:
- Mass colonization (the terraforming)
- The Resource Wars
- The Corporate Wars
- The Pocket Empires Period
Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) is looking forward to what I have as “The Gas-Sailors Era” in my notes, long before starflight.
Season Two will add some archaeology to the mix, as Javier and the crew move beyond piracy and start exploring and trading. And no, the Prime Directive does NOT hold sway. Just the Bryce Connection.
I’ll write more when I get there, but I’m inspired and pulling the curtain back a wee bit. For those of you old enough, Buck Rogers (starring Gil Gerard) was all action season one, but moved to more exploration and science and less pulp for season two. I don’t think it worked, but that’e because they ruined Col. Deering by making her a bimbo, and Gil Gerard might be able to act his way out of a wet paper bag with a knife. Maybe.
But it offers me an option that is not Star Wars (grand, epic, save the galaxy from evil) nor Star Trek (a bright, clean future where a military organization is exploring and being nice to people). Serenity/Firefly is part of the palette, but they were limited by the political elements, and the fact that Joss never had time to develop a really deep and complicated world. I would have expected Aliens/First Contact sometime in season two or three, if the show had gone long enough. That would have moved us part Reconstruction, et al.
Battlestar Galactica (the first single season, I never bothered with the remake) was too much running away, find something interesting, talk a little bit, and then flee as more cylons show up for the final space dogfight.
And I grew up reading other things. Doc Smith. Robert E Howard. David Drake. Isaac Asimov. C.S. Friedman.
It all goes into the gumbo. And will come out, but they will come out as side projects in between things, rather than me spending the better part of a year dropping Science Officer stories. Of course, if they start selling like mad, I’ll keep feeding that beast. I have a ways to go to catch up with Perry Rhodan, but that’s not the same as me not trying. Tell all your friends, and I promise you I’ll try to crack three digits. You’re gonna have to sell a bunch of them before I got for four. Just telling 100 Science Officer stories would be 2.4 million words, ballpark. I’d get bored. You’d get bored. Shit would get really, really weird before it got better.
But money talks. Let us not forget that part. And I like Javier, Djamila, and Zakhar. And I love Suvi.
Hopefully you will as well. And Matt W is on-board to do audio books as well, so more of those are coming too.
shade and sweet water
West of the Mountains, WA