Tag Archives: Queen of the pirates

Queen of the Pirates, and other news

So about now, the next Hive story, entitled Moonshot, has been finally published on all the major sites. It’s the next sequel to Myrmidons, and features everybody’s favorite psychic ant nest in her further adventures. This time, she steals technology from the gods so that she can demonstrate the non-primacy of man as alpha predator.

Because even ants dream…

Also, starting Monday (8/10), I am having another round of Goodreads Giveaways for Auberon (enabled for US, UK, Canada, and Australia separately) for a print version of the first Jessica Keller novel, as we prepare for the release of the second novel in the series, Queen of the Pirates, currently available for pre-order on most major internet retailers.

Queen is Jessica’s story after she gets home from the Long Raid in book one. To some, she’s a hero. To others, an insubordinate plebe who has risen too far above her station. The First Lord and the Premier want her to become something more than just an excellent commander, so they send her to a quiet front to practice diplomacy with a friendly neighbor.

Once there, she uncovers a plot to destabilize the entire frontier, driven by Imperial Admiral Emmerich Wachturm. The conspiracy keeps getting deeper as she probes, and she must find friends among her enemies if she is going to turn the tide, before a final battle that sees her go beyond everything anyone imagined.

It’s a longer piece than Auberon (90k vs 60k). As I got into it, I realized I had a much larger story to tell. Worse, in the middle of it, Arnulf turns to Jessica and says “Tell about your founding legends for the Republic of Aquitaine.” So I had to stop and figure those out, literally in the middle of a chapter, before I could continue.

The result of that was the novella The Story Road, the first of what will be several Henri Baudin stories. (Word of advice: The Story Road is, as I have mentioned elsewhere, a slipstream of magic realism and science fiction. I mean, let’s face it: Henri is a bard. Literally a man who busks for a living. And he stumbles across how to reignite galactic civilization in the aftermath of the the Darkness.)

It’s not going to be everybody’s cup of tea. It is a quiet piece. No gunfights, no car chases, no great romantic conflicts or conquests. It also contains more adult content. If you want sarcasm and combat, stick with Jessica and Javier.

I rather enjoyed writing The Story Road, because it’s Henri as a young man, long before he Founds the Republic of Aquitaine, of which Jessica will be born to defend. It’s magic realism, so I get to color outside the normal lines in Jessica and Javier’s universe, where everything is grounded in realism and normalcy. It’s quiet and strange, because one hallmark of magic realism is the fact that you never know if the things you see are real or just in your head.

Henri never knows. It doesn’t stop him from pursuing his dream, and accidentally up-ending the entire galaxy along the way.

But back to Queen. Read them in either order, Queen or The Story Road, but the concept of the powerful magic of Founding Legends will be more apparent when Jessica is talking to Arnulf about them. It becomes all the more so when Emmerich shares his own founding legends from the Empire, and how they differ from Aquitaine. (It’s a very interesting dinner party conversation, as one might imagine.)

And, Queen ends on something of a good cliff-hanger, as one would expect from book two of a trilogy. That’s planned. It’s the end of Act II, after all, when things are supposed to be as bad as they can get. It flows right into the third novel, Last of the Immortals, which is just about done and ready to go to my first readers in the next few weeks, with a publication date in mid-November, just before Ory Con down in Portland, OR. Structurally, you might compare it to the end of Empire and the beginning of Jedi. (Not that I think they are that equal as action adventures, but the pattern of story-telling follows the same river.)

As I said above, Queen is now available for pre-order on the major sites. And I plan to be at World Con in Spokane, WA in a little more than a week. I’ll have a few physical copies of both Auberon and Queen if you want to pick one up then and have it signed at the con. (If you can’t make the con and still want one, send me an email and we’ll work out details. Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) is good at handling that sort of thing for me.)

For those of you keeping score at home: the house is finally done and I might be able to move into it this week. And the wedding was awesome. Her brother officiated and everyone was well fed and enjoyed all the wine and mead I made (36 bottles when we decanted the carboys). There’s even video on FB.

Once Queen comes out, I can finally say my crazy summer has reached a point where things might settle down and I can enjoy life without the constant churn. I’m looking forward to setting a table down in the upper meadow, under the two big trees, where I can sit and write in the shade, and listen to the little critters chirp and argue. Once Immortals is done, I’m onto my fall projects: something for the next camp-con anthology (Tales from an Alien Campfire being the 2015 edition); some more Javier, some more Dieselpunk, some more I-dunno.

It will be fun. And feel free to drop me a line occasionally. I try to answer in a reasonable manner, given that the day-job still intrudes and I will shortly have a much longer commute both ways.

shade and sweet water…