I’m happy to announce that I’ve just turned in the final version of Contrarian, the third book in “The Grand Illusion,” my newest series.

For those who haven’t been following closely, the first book in the series is Isolate, which will be released this coming October 19th.

The second book, Councilor, is scheduled for release in August of 2022.

While marketing pitches call the series “Gaslamp” fantasy, I’d describe it as high-tech coal-power, because in the world of Guldor — the Empire of Gold — electricity is not technically possible, and thus illumination is by gas lamps, kerosene lanterns, or candles, but industry is coal-powered. The first three books focus on politics at the heart of Guldor, which is a constitutional Imperium, where power largely, but not exclusively, rests in the Council of Sixty-Six at a time of social, economic, and technological change. And… oh, yes, there are empaths who can read and project emotions, and isolates, who cannot be emotionally read or influenced by empaths.

11 thoughts on “Contrarian”

  1. I am very much looking forward to your Grand Illusion books, partly because I always look forward to your books, partly because they will draw on your background in politics. Congratulations on turning in the third book!

  2. James Elliott says:

    Yes, looking forward to this series!

  3. Jeff Wood says:

    Just finished “Councilor” and eager not only for “Contrarian” but what (I hope) follows it in this series.

    I’ve only read your SF before this. I would say this is some of your best work.

    Thank you.

  4. Rashid says:

    I am really looking forward to your next book. You have been my favorite author for over 15 years(since I found your books in my highschool library).

  5. Karl says:

    I am very much looking forward to reading Contrarian. What is the release date?

    Can you consider having some of the women act as …um…silly as some of the the male characters do?

    1. The release date is August 15, 2023.

  6. David says:

    I believe I have enjoyed this series the most out of them all.

    1. OfADifferentMind says:

      I know that publishing houses have good (financial) reasons for what they do & are beyond unlikely to change. However, as a reader, a writer, & an exceedingly admiring fan of L. E. Modesitt for going on three decades, I find delaying the publishing of Contrarian — third book in a incredibly relevant and provocative book in this newest series — for more than two entire years after the author had submitted the completed manuscript to be an excruciating and entirely unacceptable delay. I would far prefer it be released, ideally as an e-book (but, truly, any format would be acceptable) in time for this Christmas — or, should a 2023 publishing date be required for some contractual or other reason, New Years Day surprise … I can think of no nicer gift as reward for those of us who have been dedicated fans ever since our first exposure to this prolific and truly exceptional author. Won’t you think about releasing this one book just a few months early — pretty please?!?

      1. One of the reasons for the delay, as I’ve mentioned elsewhere, is that the two largest sale outlets — Amazon and Barnes & Noble — want to know what’s being published more than a year in advance. Because it takes 6-9 months to get a book through the physical production process [getting the cover artist and cover, copy-editing, proofing, sales planning (you can’t put best-sellers too close together because they cannibalize sales) etc.)], that pretty much means close to two years lead time. Back before the giants took control, most of my books were published within 12-16 months after being turned in and accepted.

  7. OfADifferentMind says:

    Dare I say it: Perhaps time to begin self publishing (at least once current contractual commitments are met)?

    The wife-husband writing team that is Ilona Andrews might perhaps be happy to provide you some valuable input on the practicalities of making that work + the upsides & downsides to that (as authors who also have a well-established, devotedly loyal fan base in the same general arena).

    I know self-publishing isn’t for every author, and that (if they are wise) your current publisher probably has already got a lifetime lock on you, via some decidedly comfy, perhaps ermine-lined, golden…errrr…well, more likely, ruby-encrusted, platinum handcuffs.

    However, I’m determined to keep planting seeds & encouragements until I get a number of my favorite authors are providing books in my favorite series more rapidly, once written (even if that early access is only for specially priced — in other words: more profitable — special “super fan” e-book editions that, directors cut movies, might also include deleted chapters/segments, preview chapters or any little tidbits from new series … and/or are available only via a minimum 12-24 month subscription basis, that includes early access to one or more of my favorite established author’s books once written, plus perhaps books from promising, up & comers.

    Besides satisfying my urges for early access (& willing to pay for it), I trying to ensure myself a steady diet of 3-6 tasty works of fiction per month to enjoy interspersed between all non-fiction reading I consume.

  8. John Haigh says:

    Interestingly, before councilor arrived I was rereading the “Ghost” books. Lo and behold, Professor John Esbach makes an appearance here as well.
    Am not sure if this is significant but it’s interesting to speculate why..

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