It's been a couple of weeks since the launch of 'Spell of the Stars', and as a result, it seems like a good time to talk about what I'm up to next – especially because for the first time, I actually think I have some idea what that actually is. Let's just say that most of my plans have vanished into the ether, though I think the replacement ideas are rather better. For a start, while I'd hoped to release the first in the 'Starcruiser Polaris' series before the end of the month, there's now no realistic way that's going to happen, though the reason is rather good. Bluntly – the book I writing is totally different from the one I had set out to write.
My original idea was for another spin-off series set in the Triplanetary universe, and I've got about fifty thousand words in two drafts on that, but it increasingly became clear to me that it simply wasn't working, that there was no way for me to make it distinctive enough to work, at least to myself. With reluctance, those ideas have vanished by the wayside, though some of them might eventually turn up in future Alamo books.
Instead, I started to work on something a little different, the epic 'space war' concept I've mentioned a few times before. While my plan was for a book of Alamo length, as I plot it out, something rather odd has happened. I seem to have moved up a gear. 'Blood of Patriots' isn't going to be seventy thousand books – it's going to be over a hundred thousand. I'm not even sure why, but the storyline has ended up fuller, more complex; I'm actually extremely enthused about this one, and while I'm only about an eighth of the way into it, already it seems to be working well.
I can talk about it a little at this point – and I'll probably release the first chapter at some point in the near future as a bit of a teaser. It's set in a new universe, a new setting – that of the 'Terrestrial People's Republic', a state established in the aftermath of a civil war that brought down the 'Terrestrial Empire'. The Republic has stagnated since its victory, and tensions are already brewing between Earth and her colonies, with the remnants of the Empire, the Exilarchy, lurking out on the frontier, waiting to stir up a revolt. Then, a strange, unknown force launches a savage attack, causing havoc across known space and forcing the humanity into an existential struggle for survival. Yeah, this one is big.
I think that it's going to end up at four or five books, and I've got a fair outline of how the series is going to run, but some of that is subject to change. I'm not even sure about pricing yet, but that will have to wait until I know just how long this book is going to be. My inclination is to stick at $3.99, at least for the first book, but if it snowballs still further, I might have to change my mind – to be determined. There are plots from about a dozen different concepts thrown into this book – including, amusingly, some of my earliest ideas from the first draft of what eventually became 'Price of Admiralty', which I stumbled across recently – something else I'm probably going to post in the near future, if only because it is an interesting historical artefact.
I'm pitching right now to get this book launched by sometime in the middle of May. It's going to dominate the schedules for a while, but I've got a gap for something in the second half of that month, though whether that's going to be the next Alamo or not remains to be seen – I have vague ideas for a shorter series, roughly speaking 'Indiana Jones in Space' that I'd like to take a punt at. This would definitely be shorter, 45 – 60k, and a series of one-shots rather than an extended series, but I'm still working on that one.
As for the next Alamo, well, that's probably the June project, for an early July release, but I'm further behind on that one than I'd like at the moment. There are a few other projects in the pipeline, though – including early work on another epic-scale military sf series that's beginning to spring into life, and work in other genres that I'm still exploring. (Sigh. Every time I get close, something else pops up and smashes the idea out of the way. Some day, I swear...)