The sorta late January writing wrap-up.


Just like that, 2016’s 1/12th in the books. The hell, calendar?

The short version is that I’m very happy January’s over. I may even get to sleep a little at some point in this coming month. Not a lot…but a little. I’ll take it.

Things have been and will continue to be busy in the coming days. There’s an outline for a novel to finish, ongoing work on the now current novel “in progress,” and a short story to complete by month’s end. I suspect there also will be editor’s notes if not a full-blown response to copyedits on the manuscript we delivered last week, and various admin and logistical stuff relating to other projects in various forms of gestation.

So, what’s going on? Well, here’s the January rundown:

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 delivered our manuscript (finally) on January 31st, later than anticipated due to a number of factors, most of which had nothing at all to do with the manuscript. It’s with our editor, and I imagine we’ll be seeing notes on it in the coming days. 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!

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 have already begun work on this one, because to be honest the delay with Purgatory’s Key upset my time table for getting started. The book is scheduled for publication some time in 2017, which happens to be the same year we’ll be observing the 30th anniversary of the TNG television series’ premiere. Don’t think that’s lost on me…. 🙂

Planet of the Apes short story – Yeah, I’ve already yammered at length about this, so I’ll spare you the encore. As things stand now, my story is due at the end of February, and as with Headlong Flight, I’ve stumbled out of the starting gate with this. But, the good news is that I wrote the opening scene for this just this morning, so yay!

Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017 – This is the book for which I’m currently finalizing an outline. I’m hoping to wrap that up today or tomorrow and send it to my editor. At the moment, the events of this story will take place at a point after Headlong Flight…but there may be a twist or three…. 🙂

Elusive Salvation – A Star Trek original series novel that’s a sequel to From History’s Shadow. I was given one final chance to review the galley pages and make sure that my corrections/etc. were properly made, and I gave my thumbs up to this on January 28th. The next time I see this thing should be when I get my author copies, and it’ll be out on April 26th. You’ve already seen the cover, right?

24: Trial by Fire – I received word on January 19th that Fox had reviewed my manuscript and given it a thumbs-up. There’s still a copyedit to get through, but I’m told that if we made it this far without a hitch, then it’s likely all downhill from here. I’m hoping to share the book’s cover and back cover copy very soon. Publication is still set for August, and hey! Did you hear there’s going to be a new 24 television series? Suh-weet.

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 is now deep into the art/layout stage. Insight has actual, talented people to do the heavy lifting for this part, but I’m still in the loop and trying to be…you know…helpful. It’s been a fascinating learning experience, so far. The book is currently slated to be published on July 26th. Stay tuned!

The 7 Phases of Almost Any Writing Project” – My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on January 17th. A (hopefully) humorous look at what happens whenever you set out to write a story. 🙂

Other stuff in the pipeline:

The Armageddon Directive – The Mars Attacks novella I wrote for Joe Books and Topps. I returned a final version of the manuscript in November, and it’s being formatted for e-Book presentation. The current plan is for the novella to be offered as a backers reward for a recent Mars Attacks Kickstarter campaign, after which it will be made available for general sale in the spring. More info as I get it!

Texas Pride” – Speaking of e-Books, here’s one that might surprise you. 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 giveway, 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!

“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 will be 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. I reviewed the galley pages for my story back during the first week of November. The next time I see this, it should be a really real book! At last report, publication remains set for April 12th, 2016.

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 delivered my essay on October 30th, and early word is that at least one editor thinks it doesn’t suck. Go me! Now, I’m waiting for editor notes and all that.

“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.

Onward to February.

3 thoughts on “The sorta late January writing wrap-up.

  1. We were watching some TNG the other night and I thought of you. 🙂 And the Strange New Worlds contest that I missed (yes, I really could have written that story in 2 weeks, but I really wanted it to be my best and it wouldn’t have been, so I decided to let it go). Sigh. I’m still going to write out that idea someday, and then I’ll have to figure out what to do with it!


    1. I can’t make any promised or guarantees, as I don’t speak for the publisher, but there’s been at least preliminary talk of doing it again if this first one is successful. We’ll have to see how it all shakes out. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well that is def good news! The only problem might be … I MIGHT not be eligible anymore come next year! 😉 What a funny problem to have … wanting to be published to finally be published, but maybe not wanting to be published to be eligible to participate in this contest! HA!


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