Your Questions for the Author Answered

It’s official now. The fourth book about Alyiakal — Last of the First — is completed and in Tor’s hands. I’d originally thought that I could finish Alyiakal’s story in three books, but it took four, given that Tor wouldn’t have been all that happy with three 750 page books. And if you’re counting, Last of the First is my eighty-fifth novel, but because of various publishing oddities, including omnibus volumes, there are at least 92 different titles involving those eighty-five books, in English, that is.

I’m also working on a story for a kickstarter anthology (Last-Ditch) from small-press Zombies Need Brains. In that anthology, all the stories feature protagonists who are the last-ditch hope for stopping the force or forces that will bring disaster.

I’ve just turned in the latest Recluce book — Sub-Majer’s Challenge . This is the third book about Alyiakal (and yes, I’m aready working on the fourth one). In the meantime, I’ve been working with Tor, and it looks like all of the Alyiakal books will be moved up so that there’s less time between them. From the Forest — the first Alyiakal book — is now slated for next January, rather than February, and the next two — Overcaptain and Sub-Majer’s Challenge — will also be closer together.

I’ve just turned in the third book about Alyiakal, entitled Sub-Majer’s Challenge, which is scheduled for release in February of 2026. I know. It seems like Tor/Macmillan takes longer and longer to put out my books, but that’s not something under my control, and it’s partly dictated by the requirements set forth by Amazon and B&N. I just do my best to write the books.

Contrarian, the third book in “The Grand Illusion” will out in mid-August, and From the Forest, the first book about Alyiakal, will be out in February of 2024; so there’s only six months between those two.

Those readers who enjoy the Recluce books will be glad to know that I’ve just turned in the second book about Alyiakal, entitled Overcaptain, which is tentatively scheduled for publication for early in 2025, roughly a year after From the Forest [the first book about Alyiakal], which is now scheduled for release in February 2024.

I’ve also written and turned in a F&SF short story, entitled “The Unexpected Dachshund,” for an animal benefit anthology called Instinct, which is supposed to be out in 2023, but I don’t have any more details at the moment.

The cover for Contrarian, the third book in “The Grand Illusion,” which will be published next August, has just been revealed.

In the meantime, I’m working on the third book about Alyiakal.

I recently turned in to Tor the latest Recluce novel —From the Forest, which is the first of several books about Alyiakal, whose name is mentioned as a historical figure in both Magi’i of Cyador and Scion of Cyador. Right now, I don’t have a publication date, but it’s unlikely to appear before the second half of 2023 or perhaps early 2024 — but that’s a guess on my part.

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.

In early December, I turned in the final edits for Councilor, the second book of “The Grand Illusion,” which will likely be released in mid-to-late 2022. In an update, the publication date for Isolate, which is the initial book of the series, has been moved up a month to next October [2021]. Obviously, I’m now working on the as-of-yet-untitled third book.

Canadian author Edward Willett has been hosting a podcast entitled “World Shapers,” and earlier this year asked the authors he hosted in the first year if they’d contribute a story to an anthology entitled Shapers of Worlds. I was game for that and wrote a short story entitled “Evanescence,” which combines primal myth, solar system formation, deep space mining exploration… and opera. Shapers of Worlds will be out in ebook form in a little less than two weeks, and later this year in print. Also, the other authors are a rather well-known bunch, to say the least.

One of the reasons, I haven’t been posting as much in the last few weeks is because I was finishing up work on a new novel in what is projected to be a new series in a new world. I’ve just turned in the initial manuscript. The tentative title [because the title’s never final almost until the book is published] is Isolate, and I won’t know for weeks, if not months, exactly when it will be published, but it’s most likely to come out in late 2021 or early 2022. I’m also not going to say more until I’m through with any revisions or edits requested by my editor.

I’ve finally finished the last editorial revisions on another Recluce novel — Fairhaven Rising — and my editor will be putting it into the production process shortly. Since I’m not much for spoilers, I’ll just say that the events take place some sixteen years after the end of The Mage-Fire War, and the protagonist isn’t Beltur.

With that novel finished, I’m switching gears slightly, and exploring and developing the background for a brand new fantasy series with an entirely different magic system in an entirely new world. And no, it’s not far enough along to say more.

I just turned in the final version of a new science fantasy novel, entitled Quantum Shadows, which is set in the very, very far future on a world called Heaven. Even my editor and my publisher both think, for better or worse, that it’s unlike anything I’ve written before, and I’ve been working on parts of it for more than five years. It’s tentatively scheduled for release in mid-2020, but that date could change somewhat, depending on factors beyond my control. Obviously, I’m working on another book, but I’m not ready to say much yet beyond the fact that I am.

I’ve finished the sequel to Outcasts of Order, which will be the third and final book about Beltur [yes, I know it’s the first time I’ve ever written three books about a character in the Saga of Recluce]. It’s entitled The Mage-Fire War, and it’s scheduled for publication and release in July of next year. I’m now working on a stand-alone science-fiction/fantasy novel, but I’m not far enough along to say much about it.

Somehow, I missed an update on what I’ve been writing. In September I turned in Endgames, an Imager Portfolio novel that is the sequel to Assassin’s Price. Endgames is currently scheduled for a February 2019 release, although that date may vary. In addition, I’ve completed and turned in a short story, “The Liberator,” for The Razor’s Edge, an anthology put out by the small press Zombies Need Brains, where all the stories deal with the fine line separating freedom fighters and terrorists. As I understand it, The Razor’s Edge is scheduled for release around Labor Day 2018. And, of course, I’m currently working on a Recluce novel which is the sequel to Outcasts of Order.

As I noted in the “News” section, I just turned in Outcasts of Order, now scheduled for publication in June, 2018. I will also have a story entitled, “Gold and Glory,” which will appear in an anthology entitled All Hail Our Robot Conquerers, scheduled for release this coming September from the small Press Zombies Need Brains. I’m now working on another Imager Portfolio novel which will be a sequel to Assassin’s Price, the Imager Portfolio book that will be out in late July.

I just recently turned in the final manuscript/electronic file for another Recluce Saga book, this one entitled, The Mongrel Mage, and Tor was kind enough to schedule it for November of 2017, although that could shift a month or so either way. I’ve spent a little time working on what I call a back-burner project, which means I’ll fit it in over the next several years, and I’m now working on another Recluce novel, the sequel to The Mongrel Mage. For anyone who hasn’t noticed, also, the release date for Recluce Tales has been moved up to January 3, 2017.

Just before I left for World Fantasy Convention, I turned in another Imager Portfolio book, this one entitled Assassin’s Price. It will be a bit before it’s scheduled, but Treachery’s Tools is now scheduled for release in the fall of 2016, most likely sometime in November. Recluce Tales is scheduled for release in February 2017. [NOTE– the release date of Treachery’s Tools has been moved up to October 11, 2016.]

As noted in the News and Updates section, I’ve just turned in a story collection — Recluce Tales — to Tor. I’m now working on another Imager Portfolio novel about an entirely new character.

A few days ago, I turned in the manuscript for the tenth Imager Portfolio book, tentatively entitled Treachery’s Tools. Tor has indicated that it will likely be published sometime in the summer of 2016. I am, of course, beginning work on a new book.

I’ve turned in the second version of the new SF novel — entitled Solar Express — which is a very “hard” SF novel set just about a hundred years in the future and which features as main characters a female post-doc astrophysicist manning a Farside lunar observatory and a male fusionjet pilot… and what happens to them both after she discovers a very long period comet. It’s tentatively scheduled for publication a year from now — in the fall of 2015.

I’ve just turned in the manuscript for the next Imager Portfolio book — Madness in Solidar, which takes place some 380 years after the Wars of Consolidation.  There’s no official publication date, but it will likely be released in either spring or summer of 2015.  I’m currently in the early stages of work on a comparatively near-future  [a century from now] SF novel, but, as usual, I won’t be saying much more about that until I’m much farther along.  For those who are interested, the release date of Heritage of Cyador is set for this coming November 18th.