As some of you might have noticed, the newest Javier Aritza/Science Officer story (#6) is finally available everywhere. What a few of you have also realized is that #7 and #8 are also now available for pre-order everywhere, dropping together on Dec 10.
When I started writing The Science Officer, it turned out to be right at 24,000 words. The second one in the series, The Mind Field, also came in at around that length. When I decided to write more, starting with The Gilded Cage, I made a conscious decision that they were all going to be novellas, rather than novels or short stories. That means, in my head, 20,000-30,000, with most of the recent ones running up against that 30k mark and occasionally over.
Going into this meta-project, I wanted to make the storyline a little less dark and apocalyptic, especially with how grim The Gilded Cage turned out, and so The Pleasure Dome was a lighter, breezier piece that let me start exploring the nuances of the players, rather than just the world.
Which brings us down to The War Of The Pirate Clans. When I wrote The Pleasure Dome, it was just a caper, but I saw where the story needed to go, and that it would be a long, drawn-out affair. And just what I needed to round out Season One at eight episodes. (By the way, I am already into #9, but working on Jessica #6 first right now, plus a few other projects.)
Being (in my mind) a television show script, I wanted a cliff-hanger ending, or a double episode. Until I actually finished #7, I had originally planned to drop #8 in February 2018, but #7 does not stand on its own feet, considering how many people I would piss off if I made them wait an extra two months to see what happens as a result of The Hammerfield Gambit. And it would.
At the same time, I wasn’t going to suddenly make one of the books so much longer than the rest. I like it that Javier comes in at around 25k. Fast to write. Compact story that does not leave any space for extraneous meanderings, so I have to focus. They are a fast read as a result, because you step onto a ramp when you open page one and go.
I have seen other writers in my field, and occasionally compare my style to theirs. I write “fast books” because I paragraph aggressively, which means short, rather than long blocks of text. You read them quickly and get to the end needing a cigarette, rather that spending weeks slowly digesting the tale. Plus, I try to keep my little side stories to just a paragraph, or maybe even only a phrase, rather than a whole section of the book or a chapter that really doesn’t add anything to the overall story, except maybe depth or ideas for other projects later.
So I wrote five Science Officer books this year, fully intending to drop them every two months to keep y’all entertained and happy. And, like I said, #9 is coming, and actually going to be three short stories that all wrap up together, and I have the first of those done and the other two planned and in the hopper to write when I have some space. No spoilers, so I can’t go into too much detail. (Which sucks for me, since only two of you know how The Hammerfield Payoff ends.)
Let us just say that Season Two takes our heroes and villains off in a slightly different direction, and lets me introduce (and re-introduce, in one instance) some exciting characters and get a little more “Sciencey” with my stories.
I hope you enjoy. Thank you for all your support and encouragement. And your understanding that I’m only writing these things as Javier and the others dictate.
shade and sweet water
West of the Mountains, WA