Omnibus #2

Very shortly, the second Science Officer Omnibus is going to drop everywhere. I’m kinda thrilled because the whole thing is one extended story, broken into the requisite 25,000 word chunks.

And it turned out exactly like I hoped, when I sat down and started working on The Pleasure Dome (#4) to set everything up more than a year ago. I knew then I wanted a long, pirate-war kind of story. And a good cliff-hanger.

I write these to a specific length for a reason.

Once upon a time, I wrote stage plays for fun.  Using the normal formatting, one page of script generally runs one minute of stage-time. (Adjust for talking heads pieces, arias, and car chases accordingly.) As I was working in those days, I realized that a 40-50 page script was roughly equivalent to a one-hour television drama, with commercial breaks and credits.

When I started writing Javier, I decided very consciously to aim for roughly the same amount of story. In my head, these are all episodes on TV. Perhaps Series One over on BBC, since I also decided early on to do them in 8-episode runs. And Season One of The Science Officer is now complete, and available.

Happier still, Matt’s up through The Last Flagship on audio books, and already has The Hammerfield Gambit recorded and is working now on The Hammerfield Payoff, both to be available as fast as Audible will approve them.

A few readers have concluded that I’m done with Javier Aritza as a series character. That 8 is as far as it goes. They’ve even commented on that in the reviews they have left, which I have tried to reach out and let them know otherwise.

If all goes well, there will be a new Beyond The Mirror, (Volume 6: Alternate Worlds) coming out shortly. It will have several previously-published SF/Adventure pieces in it: Holly, Hive, Dale, and Eva. Additionally, it will have a teaser from the next Science Officer book: The Bryce Connection. And yes, I broke my own rules with this one.

Last spring, in the midst of everything else, I got an assignment from a writing group for “Your Strengths” which involved writing an opening with only a vague guidance. “Betty, sitting alone on a train, or bus, or something. 500 words (stop in the middle of a sentence if you have to). Go.”

Wrote the assignment, got feedback on how I could have done it better, and got to thinking. Betty turned into Bethany on a re-draft, and I put her on a tram, coming out of a starport, on the way to visit a pirate about a job. The result was The Unbloomed Rose, and is about 6,000 words long. Liked it so much I stored it for the future (it takes place after The Hammerfield Payoff, but I actually wrote it just after I wrote The Doomsday Vault).

So, to meet my usual length, I needed to write three more stories and collect them up. That sounded like a challenge. So I have two more characters I will write about, setting them up to join the crew of Hammerfield, and then one little Javier story to explore some of his history. And then the ninth Science Officer book (TBD)

After that, not at the same crazy pace as 2017, I will start in on writing issues #10-#17, which will be Season Two of The Science Officer. I don’t know if I’ll be done with Javier at that point. I have so many stories to tell. And Suvi. And ‘Mina. And the rest of them.

But in 2018, I’m growing the Expanded Universe that is the Alexandria Station stories. More Javier, yes, but also a set of short stories that explore The Concordancy War (CE 10,397) and a set of crime capers set in Lincolnshire just after the time period for Goddess of War and Flight of the Blackbird. I have another set of Suvi stories set starting in CE 15,006, or about 1500 years after Jessica Keller dies.

Speaking of Jessica: I am just about to send the sixth novel (The Red Admiral) off to the copy-editor. Expected publication date is still May 10, Good Lord Willing and the creek don’t rise. And I started this year off by diving in to book seven (Lord of Winter), which I’m hoping might come out in time for Christmas. Being as there are only nine of them (I hope), they might even been done with me in 2019 and I can start writing some of the other epic series in my notes.

So these are exciting times. Omnibus editions. Audio books. More novels. More fun.

I hope you have enjoyed all this even half as much as I have. More news in 2018 and hopefully, more awesomeness.

shade and sweet water


West of the Mountains, WA