Well, it's been a while since my last update, but I said that I'd be able to talk about my plans for next year – and for what remains of this year – last time, so I'm going to focus on that today. Primarily, I've got two Alamo novels to complete. One that I'm hoping will be out in the second week of December, all being well, and one that should be released in the second week of January. Both of these are rather big ones – as 'Final Orbit' brings the Xandari War storyline to an end, and 'Into the Maelstrom' will open up the new storyline, the name of which I cannot divulge as it would constitute a massive spoiler.
Going back to last year, I planned 'Aces High', the thirteenth book in the Alamo saga, to be effectively a relaunch of the series, with an expanded cast of characters, and the promotion of Orlova to the command slot. 'Into the Maelstrom' is intended to serve the same purpose; my hope is that it will constitute a good point to begin the series for new readers. I'll be talking a bit about what my plans are for the new arc in future posts, but for the moment I will reiterate that it marks the return of Commodore Marshall and 'Deadeye' Caine as major characters, in the former case certainly as a point-of-view character.
It's hard to believe it now, but I've contemplated bringing Alamo to an end several times. Originally, it was actually conceived as a trilogy, though those plans ended at a very early stage. I did seriously contemplate 'Final Orbit' as the last book – before coming up with the new storyline around September this year, one that I'm really looking forward to digging into. As a result – there should be at least a dozen more Alamos, released every other month for the next two years. I hope that this will be considered as good news!
I'll still be releasing books every month, all being well, so there are six gaps in the schedule, and for at least some of them, my intention is to do something that from a 'sales' point of view, is crazy. Standalone releases. I've had a few ideas that simply wont work as series books, ones that only function as single novels, and I'm planning to take a crack at three or four of them over the course of the year. Some of them are surprisingly well-formed, and I'll actually be working on the first in January.
For the present, I suppose I shouldn't say much, but I'm going to in any case. The first is one that has come up a couple of times before, 'Rocket Dawn', set in the very near future in the Nevada desert, where a renegade group of USAF officers are attempting the first manned space launch for a decade, with forces on all sides trying to stop them. If I was to describe this one more fully, I'd simply say that it's my love letter not only to the concept of spaceflight, but also to all of those old movies designed to 'sell space' in the 1950s – Rocketship Luna, Conquest of Space, and so on. I grew up watching those, and I've got a hankering to do something similar. Watch for that in February.
Then comes 'Farewell Lost Atlantis', which I could describe as the 'Anti-Martian'. Set in a dystopian Martian colony of the mid-21st century, it's intended to explore the possibilities of spaceflight gone wrong, and try and do a serious look at the...oh, hell, it's an action-adventure noir thriller set in what I'm calling the 'Cosmopunk' setting. While this isn't a series book per se, I do have a few books planned for that world in the pipeline. Again, this is something else I'm anxious to get to – with plans current for an April release.
'Moonrise!' is going to be my take on the Lunar Revolt; this is something that's been tackled by greats from Heinlein to Bova, but I think I can do something a little original with the concept, and it fits in the same 'Cosmopunk' setting as FLA. Fewer details on this one, pitched for a June release, as frankly I only came up with the idea last night, but that still gives my six months of development time. This one is pencilled in at present; the first two are definitely going to happen.
Then comes 'Orbital Command', which at the moment is not planned for a specific release date, and indeed might drift into 2018 for reasons I'll get into in a minute. Like I suspect anyone born in Britain since the Second World War, I grew up watching all the old war movies, Battle of Britain, the Dambusters, Sink the Bismarck, all of them. And frankly I still watch them today. So when I say I've got a yen to do a first-person 'interview-based' (think World War Z) account of the Euro-Russian War of the 2030s, you'll understand where I'm coming from! The prime reason this is being delayed is that the future keeps changing, damn it, and I want to get the next batch of major elections out of the way first – otherwise I'm likely to be obsolete before I even release!
What else? Well, I've still got that epic fantasy series in mind, and that's likely to fill the slots in the second half of the year. That's a trilogy, almost certainly, though I might expand it to four books depending on how it goes. I'm forming up ideas on this at the moment – the genre is definitely one I want to work in, if only to make use of two decades of D&D, and I'm doing my homework on the area right now. Lots of visits to castles planned next year.
Well, that just about wraps up where things sit at the moment; expect a slightly modified version of this in a month or two, with a little more detail. And news of a little surprise project I'm working on, which if all goes well will come out at the same time as 'Into the Maelstrom'. Let's just say I might have worked out how to do an original-ish take on the 'how to write' genre, and leave it at that for the moment….