November writing wrap-up!

all-the-wordsSo, we’re in the home stretch, with 2017 now looming on the horizon. To be honest, I’m okay with that. 2016 has been a shit year, in several respects, and I’ll be happy to kick it to the curb.

On the other hand, I’ve not had any real cause for complaint on the writing front, and things remain busy even as we careen toward the new year. Indeed, I’m currently arranging pieces on the 2017 game board, as it looks like I’ll be busy well into the year’s first half.

So, let’s take a look at the rundown and see what happened during November:

“The Menace of the Mechanitrons!”: Our first-ever comic story is one half of Star Trek: Waypoint #2, the second installment of an eight-issue miniseries from IDW Publishing. As most of you should know by now, our story is a loving homage to the wonderfully wacky Gold Key Star Trek comics of yesteryear, penciled and inked by the amazing Gordon Purcell, with coloring provided by Jason Lewis. The comic went on sale on November 19th, and you can get one from your local comics dealer or directly from IDW’s website!

Headlong Flight: A Star Trek: The Next Generation novel set after the events of Armageddon’s Arrow as well as the Prey trilogy that’s been released during October-December of this year by fellow word pusher John Jackson Miller. I returned my final corrections to my editor back on November 2nd, so the next time I see this will be in stores or when I get my author copies. The book’s official publication date is still January 31st. You’ve seen the cover, right?

Hearts and Minds: Another Star Trek: The Next Generation novel for 2017: The events of this story take place at a point after Headlong Flight, but of course there’s a twist…or three. I received the copyedited manuscript for review a week or so ago, and I’ll be returning my updated version early next week. After that, I’ll wait for the first-pass pages to arrive. According to Pocket, the book is officially scheduled for publication on Tuesday, May 30th, 2017.

Secret Stories for 10 Star Trek Jigsaw Puzzles.” My latest contribution to “Ten for Ward,” my very irregularly-recurring blog series for, which was published on November 18th. Basically, and in a fit of insomnia, I took ten of the wackiest Star Trek puzzles from the days of old, and attempted to figure out what the heck was going on in those scenes. Yeah, that happened.

Hidden Universe Travel Guides – Star Trek: The Klingon Empire: We’re deep into the design/layout stage now, with artists Livio Ramondelli and Peter Markowski on board to provide illustrations just as they did for the Vulcan guide. I reviewed roughs of all the maps that will be included in the book and sent back my notes on November 20th. The art review is an ongoing thing, and I expect I’ll see more before the holidays. The book is currently set for publication on July 17, 2017. More details on this as we keep moving forward!

Star Trek Adventures Role Playing Game: I’ve actually been involved with this for quite a while, but the formal announcement only dropped on December 1st. I was approached by the game’s publishers back in the late summer about maybe writing fiction to go with the game materials, but then things took a crazy turn. With the assistance of friend and fellow writer Scott Pearson, who’s acting as something of a continuity cop for everything, I ended up helping to develop a storyline that will drive the game’s “living playtest” over the next several months as the rules and mechanics are refined. I may do more writing as the various rule books and other materials start to come together. It’s been a lot of fun working with the Modiphius people, and I’m told that even more writers are being announced and considered for work on the game. For more info on Star Trek Adventures, click that link, yo!

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 received the typeset pages for my essay back on November 20th, and returned my final corrections to editor Joe Berenato that same day. As of now, there’s no word on a publication date. More info as details become available.

Predator short story: Writer/Editor Bryan Thomas Schmidt invited me to pen a tale set in the universe of the classic alien hunters introduced in 1987 with the awesome Arnold Schwarzenegger flick of the same name. Now it’s a full-blown franchise, of course, with a new movie coming in 2017. Titan has greenlit Predator: If It Bleeds for publication next year, and I’ve been given a due date of January 30th for delivering my story, and I plan to devote some time in December toward getting that bad boy knocked out.

Unidentified Tie-In Project: I was contacted out of the blue back in August about possibly writing a novel set in a franchise that’s new to me, but has its own group of devoted followers. I spent a good bit of the last couple of weeks developing an outline, which I hope to have done by the end of the weekend. More on this as I’m allowed to share details. Right now, I’m not even sure when I’ll actually be able to start writing the novel, because…..

Another Unidentified Tie-In Project: I’ve already signed a contract for this book, but I’m only really just getting going on devising an outline. The manuscript due date for this will be in early April, so it will be my main focus as the new year gets underway. I’m definitely excited to be involved with this project, and can’t wait to start blabbing about it.

And Another Unidentified Tie-In Project: Unexpectedly heard back about this project on October 26th and it appears this is another one that’s going forward! We’re working out contract and deadline details now, and I’m planning to write an outline during December. However, this one may also take a back seat to the project which will dominate my first quarter of 2017. I was honestly thinking this one wouldn’t happen, and I’m rather happy to be wrong. As with the other “Unidentifieds,” I’ll be able to share more info as things  get ironed out, firmed up, signed, and so on.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Planet of the Apes short story: Yep, this one. I delivered my manuscript for “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. At last report, Fox had approved the book’s contents, and the book itself is now available for pre-order, with a scheduled publication date of January 24, 2017.

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 was first given to the Pangaea backers, but I plan to offer it for general sale sometime soon. Stay tuned!

Possible future projects:

Original SF novel concept: Something I’d 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, 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 once I (HAH!) get some free time.

Okay, December. Let’s do this!

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