[As usual, two weeks lag here, if you aren’t reading this on my Patreon (https://www.patreon.com/blazeward). If you’d like your news fresher, and the monthly Anti-Stodgy/Redneck Chef newsletter, all I ask is a buck to help keep the lights on around here.]

Well, here’s hoping this Monday goes better. Furnace died two weeks ago. Guys are out today (just arrived) for the fourth time to try to trace why the furnace is fine and the heat pump is blowing fuses like crazy. At least I’ve had heat for the last week, but would prefer not running the furnace all the time to have it.

Fingers crossed.

Words. Just about 67k into the second Ollie novel. Target 80, but I might come in higher, so 100 is acceptable. First one was 80, so in range.

Slow burn novel. No gunfights. No space battles. Lots of xenoarchaeology asking difficult questions that none of the older alien species remember the answer to. (It’s been 20,000 years in one case and 40,000 in the other. Humans only climbed up on the Web 4,000 years ago.)

Dunno how long the series runs. 4-5 feels right, given 80-100 per. And I’m cliffhangaring this one and probably the next one, so I have to have them all done so I can drop them sequentially, month over month, instead of with gaps where folks might come after me with pitchforks.

How did you like reading Gunderson and meeting some of the old-timers in capes? Planning to send you the Bellerophon origin story for New Years, and then go back and explore Eclipse and Mr. Eclipse. (She might be more fun.)

Weather around here has finally gotten better. Was out gaming Friday night and had to drive through some crap to get home. Seven climate zones running like stripes across my path from there to here. Two of them were snowing with accumulations of 1-3”. Three raining. Two dry. And all had been dry when I’d gone south five hours earlier.

Skipped Tai Chi Saturday morning because I didn’t want to deal with black ice. Good choice, too, because there was a huge windstorm all night and neither I nor the kitty slept worth a damn. (Never operate heavy equipment like cars when you are that tired. Even the coffee barely helped.)

Should wrap up Ollie this week. Then either Stephanie or Tessa. Tessa #1 is up for pre-order and a couple of you have already First Readered it, so I’m kinda excited.

And thanks to everyone who has already had nice things to say about Captain Navarre. I can’t help but flash back to that one gentleman who complained about Buried Among The Stars that the tree-roos were the most interesting characters. And how he expected that folks who were trying to stop a war would be killing more people to do it.

Because violence solves all problems, obviously. (Dumbass.)

It is not, however, always the best solution to most of them. Like stopping the next Great War that might engulf Javier’s galaxy about the time he’s retired and living back on Altai.

Unlike the Jessica Keller+ era, I don’t foresee writing series that pick up things after Javier and explore the Rising Tide. It will come. Things like this are not the result of a single actor or action. All Javier will do is cement his place in history by trying, and even succeeding on a small scale in a few places.

Mostly because Suvi will be there to make sure everyone remembers him.

On Jessica, I have started deep diving planning into the series that comes after First Centurion Kosnett. Heather Lau’s story, as it were. The War with Zerzan, because Empires never willingly cede ground, morally, ethically, or physically. They must grow or die.

And worse, they know that Yaumgan are the last vestiges of the Zerzan Monarchy. The mob will not be swayed, regardless of what Unification Commissioners might desire.

Especially ones that understand just how terrible Phil Kosnett could have been. And what his successors will do if provoked.

That’s Ground Control. And a couple of friends who will surprise and delight you, even as I map out a whole new cast of heroes and villains. At least as big as Kosnett. Possibly giving Jessica a run for the money, because Heather has always been one of my favorites. And it lets me set up some of the things I’ve wanted to do for a couple of years, where I get to eventually explore Casey and Vo’s kids, and this new galactic civilization they will grow up in, where Jessica is a War Goddess and Phil is the Explorer Extraordinaire!

Hope y’all are having even half as much fun as I am. Got a lot of new things coming over the next twelve months, and don’t want you missing any of it.

Shade and sweet water,


West of the Mountains, WA


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