The Jessica Keller Chronicles

For those of you keeping score at home: I just got back copy edits for Jessica #7 (title changing from what I originally suggested, so new cover reveal coming at some point for a December release date.)

More importantly, about five minutes ago, I finished the draft of  Jessica #8 (yeah, I have a suggested title, but you’ll find out about it later. Probably when I do the cover reveal for it). That’s targeted for a May 2019 release date, because the Alexandria Station Universe schedule looks like this:

  • Dec 2018: Jessica 7
  • Jan 2019: Two Bottles of Wine With The War God ( Yan Bedrov)
  • Feb 2019: Queen Anne’s Revenge (CS-405, book 1)
  • Mar 2019: Packmule (CS-405, book 2)
  • Apr 2019: Persephone (CS-405, book 3)
  • May 2019: Jessica 8

There remains for me to write Jessica 9, so I can round off the series and finally be done, but I  need a break. This novel came in at 130,000 words, before I go back and reread it , or send it off to First Readers and the Copyeditor Babe ™. Between 7 & 8 I wrote five novels, but that was over an eleven week stretch, because they all came in around 45,000 words and I was on a roll.

After this, more of an intellectual break, filling in some spots, after my brain recovers some. I find it hard, not talking about the things I did in book 8, because most of you don’t even know what happens in 7, having only read The Red Admiral so far. So I’m nearly four years forward in time from the First Trusski, and the galaxy has changed.

That’s actually the theme of book 8: The galaxy has changed.

All the pressures from the previous three books have built up and forced things into new forms, and new outcomes. Seven will be an emotional rollercoaster that most of you will not be prepared for. The CS-405 trilogy sets up the ending of Eight, so you’ll need to read those as they come out, or you’ll get lost in Eight. Can’t help that. Without that trilogy, Eight would have come in at almost 250,000 words all by itself. (Think Stephen King doorstop for scale.)

So now, decompression. I have four more Star Dragon novels at some point. Javier laughs at me every time I want to set down and start season two, but he’s like that, and something will click when he’s ready. Have some ideas, but need a long drive to set them up in my head.

I have also been writing some cyberpunk lately. In Boundary Shock Quarterly, issue 004 is entitled “Robots, Androids, Cyborgs, Oh My!” and my story there spins up a new universe and new characters. I already have a sequel story in the can, and then writer-brain said: “Oh, here’s a novel, but she’ll need a whole team. Let’s write origin stories for everyone that you can publish as a collection when the novel comes out.”

No, I haven’t the slightest clue, either. But I have several done, and two more to write, and then maybe I’ll tackle Kumiko’s first novel as part of this break. Or not.

As a reminder: I won’t be individually publishing the stories that I put into Boundary Shock Quarterly until much later, so you might need to read those in the magazine to keep up with other things.

  • BSQ 001: Last Leaf Falling (Lansdowne, Concordancy War, individual for now)
  • BSQ 002: Hack (Karl and Deke #1, with #2 “Unintended Consequences” coming out in Sept.)
  • BSQ 003: Can’t Shoot Straight Gang (Handsome Robb. Alexandria Station, first in a new series)
  • BSQ 004: Dancer (first Kumiko, see above)
  • BSQ 005: Forgotten Paper Dreams (SECOND Angus story, with #1 “Daddy’s Girl” coming out Sept)
  • BSQ 006: Patrol Cutter: Bellerophon! (Gareth Dankworth/Star Dragon prequel. Planning more prequel stories for 007 and 008, if all goes well)

So it is absolutely worth your time to get the BSQ magazines and keep up with them. Other folks are doing similar things with their universes, so you’ll get your money’s worth.

But Jessica #8 is done. And I like it. It went good places, and sets up #9 the way I want to bring the entire series to closure. I have other ideas for what happens in the Alexandria Station universe once Jessica’s story is complete.

Vibol solving crime on Petron was a suggestion that has me giggling and considering. Handsome Robb begs for more caper stories. Lansdowne is the first of three, so I need to write those soon, now that I have done Two Bottles of Wine With The War God. John-Pierre and Suvi. The rest of the Henri Baudin stories that follow up Story Road and complete the Founding Trilogy. More Javier. Maybe even a set of stories following ‘Mina Teague. Olivier at the beginning of the stellar age. Dunno. Lots.

People have asked for some sword and sorcery fantasy, but my heart’s not in it right now, beyond the occasional dabbling. Got some more coming, but mostly for other people’s anthologies. Got some weird SF coming (“Terranaut” is only the tip of that bizarre iceberg, bubbles.)

Same goes for the superhero stuff. I like writing it, but NOBODY buys it. They only want their comic book heroes (Marvel and DC) rather than the concepts of superheroes. I suppose if I wrote it as some sort of urban fantasy, people would eat it up, but that’s not my wheelhouse, and I make way more money from the SF than anything else. (Tell all your friends to buy the Modern Gods books if you want me to write more. I track sales, so I know nobody’s buying them right now.)

Okay, enough rambling. Time to put this to bed and get organized.

Will be off the radar for a few days doing stuff. The Story Bundle that has both Awaken the Star Dragon and Boundary Shock Quarterly 001 is still running for about a week, and is a kick-ass price for a lot of good SF to read.

Please share the link with all your friends and tell them to buy it too. Thanks.

shade and sweet water


West of the Mountains, WA