And just like that, 2016 is 25% in the books.
Not really sure where the hell March went. There was the Starfest Convention in Denver, for one thing, along with a very much needed week’s vacation in Florida with the family. Oh, and for those of you who didn’t know, my wife and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. Yep…a quarter of a century, and she still keeps putting up with my shit. I truly am the luckiest man on Earth.
Even with all of that, there was still work to be done, with deadlines and whatnot. Did I actually accomplish anything, in March? You be the judge:
The Armageddon Directive – The Mars Attacks novella I wrote for Joe Books and Topps. It officially went on sale on March 22nd at most e-Book retailer sites. That was a fun one to do, and there’s a chance others might follow it if it sells well enough. So, you know…go and buy copies for you and all your friends.
“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. The anthology apparently went on sale ahead of schedule, on April 1st, which fortunately coincides 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.
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!
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 read the back cover copy by now, right? We’re still waiting on approvals from Fox regarding a cover, so I’m hoping to share that with everybody soon. Publication is still set for August, though it’s possible I may have advance reader copies with me at this summer’s Shore Leave convention. W00t!
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 we just last week put the lock on the final layout for the book. I know I’m sort of biased, here, but I think the Insight art designers did a tremendous job. There are some truly gorgeous pieces in this book…the sort of stuff I’d want to hang on my wall. I believe the final book is in awaiting approvals by CBS, and everything’s still on track for a July 26th publication date.
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 copyedited manuscript on March 28th, so the next time we see it should be at the galleys stage. 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. This is the current novel “in progress” as we careen toward a delivery date at the end of the month. The book is currently scheduled for publication some time in 2017, though I don’t yet have its exact slot.
“Still Collaborating After All These Years.” – My monthly contribution to the Novel Spaces blog, which was posted on March 17th. 2016 marks the 15th anniversary of mine and Kevin’s first fiction collaboration, and here we are all these years later, having not killed each other. Huzzah!
New Tie-in project: Earlier in February, I was approached about this project, and we’ve since hashed out delivery dates for an outline and manuscript, which is now contracted and due on or about May 13th. 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.
Star Trek magazine article: This one came about rather suddenly late last month. Kevin had pitched an idea to this particular (as yet unnamed) magazine a while back, for something to tie into the 50th anniversary, and they came back with their own ideas, which we all ended up liking. So, boom! Anyway, we’re on tap for a couple of short articles for this particular publication, which are due around April 18th or so. More info as it becomes available!
Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017 – I delivered an outline for this on February 10th, and received noted 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….
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:
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?
“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 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!
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.
And with all of that? Aloha, April.