April come. April go. Some of May go, too.
April was a blur, dominated as it was by my working to finish the novel in-progress. Meanwhile, other wheels turned in different directions here and there. Here’s what the month looked like, along with a bit of May because I figure after this long, I should at least include some info on that, too:
“Day to Day” – Short Story for 2113: Stories Inspired By the Music of Rush, edited by John McFetridge and Kevin J. Anderson for publisher ECW. As the anthology title implies, each of the stories it contains was inspired in some way by one of the songs in Rush’s extensive catalog. My story draws inspiration from the song “Red Sector A” from the band’s Grace Under Pressure album. The anthology apparently went on sale ahead of schedule, on April 1st, which fortunately coincided with the 40th anniversary of the release of Rush’s album 2112. The book is now available at major outlets all across the Solar Federation.
Elusive Salvation – A Star Trek original series novel that’s a sequel to From History’s Shadow. This one also went on sale last month, back on April 26th. Early response to the book has been very positive, I’m happy to say. Will there be more stories in this vein? I guess we’ll see….
Headlong Flight – A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of Armageddon’s Arrow as well as a new trilogy coming at the end of 2016 from fellow scribe John Jackson Miller. This new tale will be another largely “standalone” story with an emphasis on exploring. I delivered the manuscript just this morning, and so now I await my editor’s notes and other comments. The book is currently scheduled for publication some time in 2017, though I don’t yet have its exact slot.
New Tie-in project: Earlier in February, I was approached about this project, and we’re now well into the manuscript stage. I had to set it aside to deal with some other work, but now that it and Headlong Flight is out of the way, this is my jam for the next few weeks. I can’t really say much about it at this point, except maybe that if you like what I did with __________, then you may like this, too.
Purgatory’s Key – Mine and Kevin’s contribution to Star Trek: Legacies, 2016’s novel trilogy that will help to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek series. We returned our corrections to the 1st Pass/”galley” pages on May 2nd, so other than maybe answering some proofreader queries, the next time we see this one should be in late August when it starts hitting stores! The trilogy is slated to publish in July, August, and September of 2016, and you can now read the cover copy for all three books!
Star Trek articles for Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine: We got invited to write for this renowned genre publication back in March, and Kevin and I delivered three pieces to our editor on April 18th. This was tremendous fun. They’ll be part of the magazine’s celebration of Star Trek‘s 50th anniversary, which will be in issue #286 slated for publication on June 7th.
Planet of the Apes essay for Sequart – Those Sequart guys just never learn their lesson. This time, I wrote about the live-action Apes television series for a new collection of essays which will bear the rather snappy title Bright Eyes, Ape City: Examining the Planet of the Apes Mythos. I returned my copyedited essay to my editors on April 16th, so I think now we’re waiting on galley pages.
“Passing the Baton…After A Fashion.” – My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on April 17th. This time, I ruminated a bit about the winners of the recently rebooted Strange New Worlds writing contest, and the fact that I think I’m now officially old when it comes to writing for Star Trek.
Another tie-in project – Back around the middle of February, I was contacted by an editor with whom I’ve not previously worked, and asked about my interest in a special project they were putting together for later this year. Since working with this person was on my Bucket List, I immediately said yes right before roping in Kevin. One of the pitches we sent was accepted back in late March, and now we’re trying to hash out delivery dates and other logistical items. Stay tuned as things develop!
Other stuff in the pipeline:
Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017 – I delivered an outline for this on February 10th, and received notes back on it the following week. Then (say it with me) a bunch of stuff happened and my writing for the second half of the month went in the crapper. So, this is another of those things on my still-pending “To Do List.” I need to address my editor’s notes and get this back to her so she can give it a thumbs up and send it on to CBS for approval. All I can say for now is that the events of this story will take place at a point after Headlong Flight…but there may be a twist or three….
24: Trial by Fire – I returned my updated version of the copyedited manuscript to my editor on March 2nd. The next time I see it, we may well be talking typeset/galley pages. You’ve seen the cover, right? Publication is set for August 23rd, though it’s possible I may have a few advance reader copies with me at this summer’s Shore Leave convention. W00t!
Hidden Universe: Star Trek – A Travel Guide to Vulcan – An “inside the box” Star Trek book that mimics–more or less–something like the Lonely Planet series of travel guides. This will be published by Insight Editions, and contains what I think is some pretty fantastic illustrations by artists Peter Markowski and Livon Ramondelli. Everything’s still on track for a July 19th publication date.
Planet of the Apes short story – Yep, this one. I delivered my manuscript, which I’m currently calling, “Message In A Bottle,” to my editors on March 7th. They were able to get their notes and comments back to me later that same week, which I quickly addressed so that they could get on with putting together the entire anthology for delivery to the good folks at Titan Books. As it uses the characters from the 1974 live-action TV series (for which I confess to having a soft spot), I think it does a good job reintroducing that aspect of the Apes mythos and providing something you might well have seen on the show had it not been cancelled. We’re currently waiting to see what Titan–and, ultimately, Fox–thinks about the anthology. Stay tuned!
“Texas Pride” – During last year’s Kickstarter for friend Mike Friedman’s Pangaea anthology, there were a handful of stretch goals built into the funding campaign. One was a story bundle giveaway, and I offered to Mike this short story of mine that’s set in the “universe” of my novels The Last World War and Counterstrike: The Last World War – Book II. I wrote the story in 2007 for Amazon’s now-defunct “Amazon Shorts” program, and if you didn’t get it back then, or caught me at a convention where I had one of a very limited number of “chapbook” editions of the story, it’s been unavailable. The story has since been formatted as an e-Book, complete with a snazzy new cover by friend Aaron Rosenberg. It’s going to be given to the Pangaea backers first, but I plan to offer it for general sale in the spring. Stay tuned!
“The Enterprise Job” – As 2014 marked the 50th anniversary of the building of the original Enterprise model, and with recent news that it will soon be moved to a more prominent location within the Air & Space Museum as well as possibly receiving a new restoration effort, I told myself that I have to get off my ass and get this finished, formatted, and made available for public consumption and ridicule. Of course, all of that news about the actual model made me rethink significant portions of my story. Once I address all of that, I still have to figure out how best to get it set up for one of the e-Book venues like Smashwords or whatever, as well as making it available for print-on-demand. I know, I know…”it’s coming.”
Possible future projects:
Original SF novel – Another idea that’s been picking up steam in recent months. I’ve revisited a file I had started a while back, refreshed some older notes and added some new ones. I think I’m on to something, and I plan to approach at least one editor with it later this summer, once I get a synopsis/proposal where I want it to be.
Original e-Book concept – I’ve been pondering an idea for a new series – something akin to the “men’s adventure” style books I loved back in the 80s and 90s. It would be a setting for which I could write shorter tales – novellas, likely – for e-Book distribution. It would be something of an SF-ish/action bent, with (I hope) lots of humor. Not quite campy, but definitely lighter in tone. This is still very rough at the moment, but it’s something I’d really like to get into later this year.
I’d say “Howdy” to May, but hell…it’s already done gone and started without me.