Category Archives: Valentinian

Phoenix (Shadow of the Dominion 5)

Just a quick, friendly reminder that Phoenix (Shadow of the Dominion #5) comes out on Jan 10, 2020.

wow. 2020.

I’m old.

But I’m not done yet. Got lots more fiction in me and hopefully y’all will continue to enjoy it.

Thanks to everyone for the lovely comments on the series so far. This one was fun to write because it is space adventure, rather than opera.

In Space Opera ™, the stakes have to get bigger and crazier with every book. Bigger monsters. Bigger starships. Planet-killing megabeams. The works. (Doc Smith’s Lensmen or Skylark novels are textbook examples of SPACE OPERA!!)

Shadow of the Dominion isn’t about saving the galaxy. It’s about a guy who got dealt a bad hand early and is trying to make the best of it. He hasn’t turned bitter and hateful as a result of all the things that have happened to him, but tried to do the right thing.

They’ll never forgive him for it.

But Dave saw it in Valentinian when he set the kid up. Kyriaki smelled it when she got too close and decided that she had to wipe that smug grin off his face. Bayjy got rescued from the worst sort of life.

And Glaxu. He still wants to know how the hell he ended up being one of the good guys. That shit was not written into any script he had approved.

This is a story about family. Not the one you’re born into, but the one you assemble as an adult, adding people who make it better and subtracting the ones that don’t. A wise woman once told me that if your friends don’t celebrate even your little victories in life, you need better friends. Those who will.

And my mom once looked at me and said “It’s okay to outgrow your friends.”

Make your life the sort of place where you’re happy. Either they’re happy for you or they need to go. Simple as that.

Valentinian has been running from day one. He got set up by a man with a secret a great many people will kill for, but the kid has the luck. It is his superpower and Dave counted on that to get himself away. It’s kept Kyriaki alive. Kept Bayjy in space. Found Glaxu a new nest.

But now we approach endgame. The Widow and her people are coming for that final confrontation that will see lives destroyed and the very future of Wildspace determined.

Or something like that. When you have personalities that big, you can’t help but wonder what happens when they slam headfirst into each other. And they will.

Phoenix takes us all back to Kryuome. Back to that desert, where X marks the spot and a treasure of unimaginable value lies buried beneath the sands, if Valentinian and his crew can avoid the Widow, the desert, and the sex-crazed cannibal mutants waiting for them.

My apologies in advance, but Book Five cliff-hangars hard. You’ll have to read Princess Rualoh to see how it gets resolved.

I’ve left the ending open, as I like to. Happy-For-Now is as good an ending as people ever get, so I tried to frame things right. I could put another twenty novels into this universe without a lot of effort, spanning the next thirty-some years. That’s how much detail and world-building I did along the way.

When you finish Princess Rualoh you’ll understand what that means. I plan to circle back one of these days and write individual books with Vee and the gang. Maybe duologies where I can cliff-hangar you again, just for fun. Wildspace is big, and there are other places to go.

What kinds of trouble can a Senior Cutter and a team of salvagers get into, with a war like destroyed the Urlan along the way? I had to think about that as well. If you have a ship sitting in space, and the technology to keep radiation from making the hull brittle, how long can a starship just float there, waiting for someone to come along and unlock its secrets?

That’s the sort of silliness in my notes of Longshot Hypothesis and her crew. I would love to hear your feedback as well.



West of the Mountains, WA

Countdown to Phoenix

So we’re coming up on the Christmas holiday in the West. Happy whatever holidays you celebrate where you are.

By now a few of you have read Petron. Thank you for the lovely reviews and commentary. As I have said, it is really the end of Jessica’s story (for now), but there are places I could go from here. That much ought to be obvious from the way I epilogued everyone.

Personally, I’m the most interested in what Uly and the Bartender do, but I do know a few of you are wanting more Phil Kosnett, for obvious reasons. That’s also on the calendar, but I have a limited number of novel slots available in 2020, so we’ll have to see where we go. Maybe I’ll write shorter stuff for some of your favorite characters.

The great problem in life is having enough time to write all the stories, not in trying to come up with ideas. Any pro writer will tell you the question is “How do I make them stop?”

But we are just in an interlude with Jessica. I’m still in the middle of Valentinian at this moment. Thank you also for the lovely comments on the series so far.

This is space adventure, rather than opera. The difference is scale. In an adventure, you don’t have to keep upping the stakes novel over novel.

Jessica is opera. Always bigger. Valentinian and Dave are adventure. Leading somewhere obviously, but not with humanity and the galaxy at risk. Just an angry wife, betrayed and displaced, and hungry for vengeance.

My apologies in advance, because Phoenix cliff-hangars pretty hard. But in a good way. Like the four before it, this novel comes in around 45k words. I can work longer (Petron came in around 140k) but this is a nice length to tell a single story hard and fast, without having to have all manner of boring and irrelevant side quests along the way.

To make it up to everyone, Princess Rualoh is about 60k. I had too much to cover in order to wrap everything up, but I am quite pleased with the result and hopefully you will be as well.

Make sure you get your pre-orders in now so that the books hit your readers as soon as it gets live.

Additionally, the audio for everyone did not drop originally, but I just looked and Dominion-427 and Phoenix audio are available, and Princess Rualoh will be in a few days when they finish processing everything.

Thanks for staying with me, and lemme know if you have any questions. I’m not done with Valentinian, as you’ll see, but we leave things in a place none of you are going to see coming. Need to go back one of these days and write more.