September writing wrap-up.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand just like that, here we are: the last quarter mile of 2021.

I mean, I understand that time has had no real meaning for the better part of 18 months, dating all the way back to March 2020 when so very many of us were thrown into a form of suspended animation and forced to (largely) remain at or near our respective domeciles. I was already used to ignoring most of the world around me, hunkered as I was in my office while my fingers tap-tap-tapped away at the keyboard. The big difference last year when all of this started was that now, everyone else who lived with me was home all the time, too.

ANYway….

What happened, writing-wise, during September? Oh, a little of this, and a little of that. Here’s the monthly rundown:

Moments Asunder – The first book in the Star Trek: Coda trilogy, on which I’m collaborating with fellow Star Trek wordsmiths James Swallow and David Mack. At long last the book officially hit physical and virtual store shelves on September 28th. Meanwhile, Jim’s Book II: The Ashes of Tomorrow and Dave’s Book III: Oblvion’s Gate are still in the pipeline, due in stores, respectively, on October 26th and November 30th. It’s been a long road, and all that.

The Shackleton Expanse Campaign Setting for Star Trek Adventures – A new book expanding the setting and storyline I developed with Jim Johnson and Scott Pearson back in 2016. The initial setup helped to launch the game’s “Living Campaign” rules and gameplay testbed. In addition to collecting much of that original material, this 360+ page tome also adds a great deal more background information as well as all new adventure scenarios to create an entire campaign setting for Star Trek Adventures players. A digital version of this new book went live on September 17th, with a hardcover print edition coming later this month.

Space Western Story – A long while back, I was invited to participate in a new anthology coming yext year. Once I got an initial idea in my head, I invited Kevin to collaborate on the story with me. We delivered our manuscript back on September 13th and we’re currently awaiting editorial feedback. Stay tuned for more info!

Unidentified Tie-In Project – After a conversation back in August to discuss details, I delivered an outline on September 27th and have already received feedback, which I plan to implement this weekend. This will likely be “The Big Thing” that’ll keep me busy in the year’s final months, along with various other items on my To-Do List. Obviously this is all very vague at this point, but hopefully I’ll be able to drop some less-vague hints about this sooner rather than later.

More fun with Star Trek Adventures After himming and hawing with STA project manager Jim Johnson off and on for several months leading into the fall, I’ve been working on some new material for the game. I’ve got a little window of time before I need to dive into the Next Big Thing, so I’m spending it working on this with an eye toward delivering a manuscript to Jim in the next week or so. Onward with the tap-tap-tapping on those keys!

Star Trek: Lower Decks articles for StarTrek.com – With the release of each new second-season Lower Decks episode, I’ve been asked to write a short article highlighting one of the funnier Easter eggs/in-jokes laid into each week’s installment. For September, that ended up being four “Below Deck with Lower Decks” features, one each for the season’s fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh episodes. I’ll finish the the season these few weeks in October and that will be it…unless they invite me back next year for Season Three.

Another Unidentified Tie-In Project – This is very much something of unexpected thing that came across my radar last month. I’ll admit I was caught a bit off-guard by the invitation, but it’s one of those things you go, “Oh, HELL yeah,” when they ask you, so that’s kinda-sorta what I said…and then pulled Kevin along with me for the ride, because – I say again – “Oh, HELL yeah.” There’s no guarantee of anything moving forward at this point, but they at least want to hear ideas. More info if and as this moves along…or maybe not if I end up not doing anything and I quietly delete this from my list of projects.

Other stuff in the pipeline:

Another article for StarTrek.com – Back in July, I was asked about contributing another piece for the site, and I delivered a draft of the article back on August 10th. As of now, I haven’t heard much, but given the subject matter (no spoilers!) I’m guessing there’s a bit of lead time for it. More info on this as we push forward.

Yet Another Unidentified Tie-in Project – Although I’m not yet allowed to share any info about this one, I was notified by my editor back on March 12th that the licensor/studio had approved the manuscript! It’s now in the hands of the publisher’s graphic design department. A few weeks back I got to see some preliminary page layouts and answered some additional questions that have popped up during the proofing stages. I don’t know when I’ll be able to offer much in the way of information or details, but I suspect it won’t be until we’re much closer to the release of the property’s latest installment, which has officially been pushed back thanks to COVID-related issues. I’ll let you know. 🙂

Short Story for The Four ???? of the Apocalypse – Despite a couple of bumps in the road, Kevin and I were successful in teaming up to spin our own take on The End of the World for an anthology to be published by editors Keith R.A. DeCandido and Wrenn Sims and their new small-press publishing company, Whysper Wude. We delivered our story to said editors on July 22nd and while we made each other laugh pretty hard, it remains to be seen whether anyone else – beginning with our editors and going from there – shares our enthusiasm. More on this as we’re given the thumbs-up to share.

Possible future projects:

Science Fiction Novella Concept – Back in the summer of 2020, I was invited to participate in what has become a series of novellas all revolving around a Theme I Cannot Yet Publicly Identify. Though the editor already had a slate of entries for 2021, she invited me to pitch something for 2022. During the 2020 holidays, an odd confluence of inspiration and idea fodder allowed me to come with a basic premise for a story, and after informing Madam Editor of my interest in playing within this particular sandbox, I quickly scribbled some notes and then set them aside in order to finish Moments Asunder. My plan to move into writing this one following that novel went sideways, thanks to consulting work and other possible projects which took precedence, but I haven’t given up on this notion!

More Tales from the Vogue Theater – One of the other things Kevin and I decided while writing “Helluoid” for last year’s It Came from the Multiplex was that the Vogue Theater, the setting for our 1980s horror tale, could also be the backdrop for other such stories set in different eras. We quickly came up with springboard ideas for stories set in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s, including a prequel of sorts for the original tale. Well, we entertained ourselves, at any rate. At this point, we have no idea what we might do with such a project, but for now just the idea of collaborating on a regular basis has taken hold after last year’s efforts, and we’re both eager to keep the ball rolling. Let’s see what happens!

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 get some free time (HAH! HAH AGAIN!).

Original SF novel concept – No, this is not the thing mentioned earlier that I played with last month. Instead, this is something I’ve been thinking about — off and on — for a loooooooooooooong time, but it always kept getting back-burnered because of everything else. I haven’t given up on it, but at the moment other things are demanding attention so this one stays on the warmer for a while longer.

Happy Spocktober!

2 thoughts on “September writing wrap-up.

  1. Thanks for mentioning the StarTrek.com articles on the Lower Decks Easter eggs. I had missed those, so there’s some catching up to do….

    Liked by 1 person

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