Well, I thought it was long past time that I gave you a little update on how things were going. I'd hoped and expected to put out a novel a month for the rest of the year, and under normal circumstances I'd be releasing 'Aggressor' about now. However...it's going to be late. This one has been a real bear to write, with blind alley after blind alley, and while I've fought to a half-finished draft, it just doesn't have what it takes. I'll never release a book that I don't consider to be the best I can make it, and this is no exception.
Which means, unfortunately, no book this month. However, I am now making progress on Aggressor, and while it won't be out for October, it should be out sometime in early – hopefully very early – November. Fingers crossed. Given that 'Final Orbit' is going a lot better than 'Aggressor', that means that there will still be three books coming from me this year – including the as-yet unnamed conclusion to the Strike Commander quadrilogy. I'm not sure whether that means two in November or two in December yet, but I do want to have the two arcs tied up by the end of the year.
Which means this is as good a time as any to talk a little about what comes next, I suppose. Well, I've been doing a lot of work on the 2017-8 Alamo arc – and yes, I'm currently plotting another long arc, at least as long as the current 'Xandari War' run. A lot of the details are cemented pretty well now, but I obviously won't give spoilers – except to say that Daniel Marshall and 'Deadeye' Caine will be returning as regular characters as of Book 23. That's absolute. A couple of characters from the Strike Commander series will be crossing over to Alamo as well – one of them as a POV character, but I'm not going to give any details on which, yet. Only that it's something you won't be expecting.
As well as that, I have some other plans, but none of them are set in stone at all. I still want a crack at epic fantasy, and that's something I might well explore for 2017, and I'm also going to be doing something that I never thought I would do – and that is a few standalone science-fiction novels. I've done some early draft work on a book called 'Rocket Dawn', and thus far it's something I am completely enthused about. It's near-future, set in a testing ground in Nevada, and that's all I'm going to say for the moment. Except that if I get it right, there will be more of my soul in that book than in anything I've ever written before.
Cosmopunk is on, as well, individual books set in another near-future universe, and I've got two of them – and potentially a novella – in mind for that setting already, one set on the Mars of 2060, and another dealing with corporate intrigue in the Asteroid Belt of the same period. The first is titled 'Farewell Lost Atlantis', the second 'A Thousand Shattered Hells', and you'll certainly be seeing these in 2017. To get that out of the way – there will be twelve novels in 2017, one a month on average, though that might slip a little on occasion. Aside from knowing that Alamo 23 will be out in late January, I haven't outlined a schedule yet – early days for that – but it is coming.
Don't worry – Aggressor is coming soon. I've re-outlined the whole darn thing, and this time the plot is actually working, and I have every confidence of having it ready for publication soon. A lot of the hard thinking is behind me now, and it's just a question of settling down in front of the keyboard and writing it!