2021 in Books and things

Because there is now way in hell to discuss the year in general and not offend your delicate sensibilities with my profanity. So we’ll stick with writing productivity.

For the year, I wrote fifteen novels. Five of those are the back of the First Centurion Kosnett books, of which Encounter at Vilahana and Consensus at Aditi are now out. Hegemony at Dalou and Princes at Ewin will come out in the spring, with Empire at Gloran and Domain at Yaumgan in the fall. This will generally wrap up the Republic of Aquitaine Navy books for a while, though I have notes on the next couple of sets that I want to write when I get back to it.

Two Hunter Bureau books: The Pleasure Model and Inhuman are Feb and March 2022. Bigger, badder, darker. Open-ended, so I can write more when the mood strikes.

The Fifth Handsome Rob Gig: Kinetic Solutions in May. I had WAY too much fun with this one, but this is me inverting most of the tropes of the secret agent action hero literature to do something more like what my research has suggested real spies do. Again, there will be more, because each of these is self-contained structurally.

Summer is a semi-cyberpunk trilogy called Captain Daring. I say semi-cyberpunk because they are not all that dark and gloomy. Mostly I rolled the world forward to 2104 and guestimated what things would look like. And presumed that not a lot of politics would really change.

My personal genesis for Captain Daring was reading Gail Carriger’s book on The Heroine’s Journey and working my way through a plot structure. If you split the difference between Carriger and the Harlequin movie, you’ve about got it.

Finally, the eleventh Science Officer: Buried Among The Stars. Thank you to everyone for the comments and the sales. I had a nice December and when all that money comes in around March I’ll get to do a little happy dance.

In addition to the fifteen novels, I wrote thirty-five other projects, for an accidental round fifty for the year.

Part of that is spinning up a new penname for the erotica. Cole Braddock, if you want to go enjoy some. I wrote the first half of the first Dirk Thruster series in 2020 and the remaining six this year. Additionally, the first eight Maddox stories, which will come out in the spring. Plus two Commander Machesky novellas.

Machesky and Dirk are both space opera erotica. You could pull out all the sex and still have a story. You could pull out all the plot and still have a pleasant interlude. Maddox is straight historical.

I’m having fun, and will continue to publish them.

Most of the short fiction went to my patreon folks. I say $5 will get you a short story every month, but more than once they’ve gotten two. Occasionally an unpublished novel. I actually had to write a new cyberpunkish short this week because I looked at all the unpublished fiction I have and realized that I only had three short pieces in all that they hadn’t seen. Might have to write more for January, just to get ahead.

My rule on Patreon is that any of those stories don’t come out for at least six months after they get it. Sometimes more than a year. Figure I should reward folks for supporting my crazy ventures.

So they got to meet Trevor and Night Butterfly. Roland. Quill. Otter Space. Nissa. Emily. Oleg. Senior Flight Officer Brannon. Wilson. And Harper. All of those are new universes, some of which will turn into novels and series at some point (Oleg, Brannon, and probably Wilson first).

This is your reminder that skipping a starbucks each month can get you some fun and imaginative fiction years before anybody else sees them. As a case in point, I’ll probably drop four collections of science fiction shorts this year, each about 65,000 words, give or take. You haven’t read at least half of it, and would have had to read every issue of Boundary Shock Quarterly, Blaze Ward Presents, and a couple of other places where I submitted stories, in order to be caught up.

See what you’re missing?

Boundary Shock Quarterly continues apace. I will be publishing Issue 017 in a week or so. Dieselpunk.

In 2021, we came out with Solarpunk, Space Marines, Cargo Wars, and Wandering Monsters.

2022 titles are Dieselpunk, Veterans, Sea Stories, and New Worlds, New Civilizations. That’s Year Five (Issues 017-020) so we’re still plugging along.

Blaze Ward Presents has gone from twice a year to annually, just because of the amount of work. This year we did “Crime And…” where the submitted story had to be a mystery with a one word title that finished the phrase. I got some fun and interesting stories, because BWP is always about letting writers swing for the fences. Far too often, editors put down multi-page specs about all the themes that they don’t want, then turn around and complain when all the stories that they get are identical. (I’ve actually sat in a coffee shop and listened to that exact bitch from somebody who should have known better.)

So now BWP is annual. Every year, I open the call on April 1. Close it April 30. Publish as close to June 1 as I can hit. Helps that most of the people involved are pros who give me quality stories and hit deadlines. (Plus a few of them I will tell the next theme well in advance, just so they can fit it into busy writing schedules. If you are a pro who can hit theme and want to play, hit me up via email.)

End of 2021-wise, I finished the year with 1,409,687 words. For much of the year, I was aiming to write about 5000 words per day, with Saturdays taken entirely off because I had started doing Tai Chi in the Park in Enumclaw, WA. Will get back to that.

Traditionally, 4,000/day means that I can take off a few days at the end of the month and just coast. 117,000 words for the month (or a little more) and done. This year, that mostly worked, except that August and September went sideways, and I struggled to hit 100,000 each of those months. Managed it, barely, but things were busy and I’m hoping that 2022 relaxes on that front.

I continue to be healthy. Vaxxed and Boosted and fuck all those people who refuse. Personally, the faster they can die off the sooner the civilized portions of humanity can get back to something like a normal life. I gave them two years of sympathy and empathy, but they can just die now and make the world a better place for the rest of us.

If you aren’t vaxxed and DON’T HAVE A MEDICAL reason (I have friends who nearly died from getting their first dose, so they are at risk and can’t get it), then I don’t want to know you. Period. Go away. Die in the underbrush and maybe feed the feral cats or something.

Yeah, lost too many people these last two years to listen to your whining.

I plan to live to be 100. Plan to die at my keyboard with a stack of novels for my great-great-great-whatevers to publish when I’m gone. I can’t do that if you people keep mutating new diseases because you have to stick it to the libs. I’m one of those libs. (Actually, a really hard pink these days, as the overton window slides off a fucking cliff.) I’m done with you. Whoever you are.

Nuff said? Clear?


Hope for the rest of you that your 2021 didn’t do more damage to your life than you can handle, and that ’22 is better. I’d like to see my friends in person again, instead of Zoom, Discord, or phone calls. I miss (a very compact number of) people. We can do this, but everyone has to act like a grownup.

I want to keep writing. Got a lot more stories to tell, and only forty-some years to get there.

Be safe and take care.

And smile.

Shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA