Well, you might have noticed that there has been some movement on the progress bar again, and this time in the slot below – work on 'Swords of the Damned' is now at the point where I'm 'waiting a few days to do my final check', so that's going to be up fairly soon. That means, of course, that the time has come for me to begin work on the next book in the Battlecruiser Alamo series, 'Not One Step Back'...and at long last, that's going to be the title of an Alamo book. I've had the cover for this one for a year, and it is more than time that it got used!
This one is going to be interesting, because as well as being the start of a new story arc for Alamo, it is also the first appearance of Spitfire Station, the location of the first Alamo spin-off that will see publication, currently intended for the end of March. As a result, I spent ages and ages working over the location of the station, working out details of the system, the politics, and all manner of other details. Then I threw them all out when I learned something extremely interesting...that a new brown dwarf star had been discovered...within seven light years of Sol.
Now, I've always had a soft spot for Brown Dwarves, there's so much to learn about them – and that a new star was going onto my map was going to have some potentially major implications for the astropolitical structure of the series. I added it to my charts, and found that it was in a very interesting position...and so Spitfire Station was moved about twelve light years to its new home, the star of Luhman 16. A star discovered after I had completed the earliest drafts of Battlecruiser Alamo. That we can still find such interesting things so close to our own system is astounding, and certainly makes you wonder what else might be out there, waiting to be discovered.
The system is a brown dwarf binary, so two stars for the price of one, and better yet a planet, to boot, orbiting one of them. Naturally it doesn't have a name yet, no extrasolar planet does, but I can't really refer to it as 'that rock', so for the purposes of the book, I'm going to name it 'Kumar', after Dr. Shiv Kumar, the first man to predict the appearance of brown dwarf stars back in the 1960s. I happen to think it a completely appropriate name for a planet orbiting a brown dwarf star...though no doubt at some point my book will be made out of date when it is eventually named, although as yet no extrasolar planet has been given a name.
It's just so exciting to be writing stories of this type at a time when so many amazing discoveries are being made – a look at the news will give you a new idea for a story, perhaps one that would have been impossible to write just a few years – or months – before.