Update. Next Publication is: Under Strange Suns, available digitally August 2015, print version due December 2015, Twilight Times Books.

My Second Novel, “Under Strange Suns”

No suspense, no buildup. Here’s the deal: I placed my novel Under Strange Suns with Twilight Times Books. http://www.twilighttimesbooks.com/

There, that’s out of the way. Details, then. It is a science fiction story. Or rather, planetary romance written with a twenty-first century audience in mind. That means, pace Burroughs, I cannot simply have my protagonist fall asleep on Earth then wake on an alien planet. While that works well for John Carter, and I’m not knocking ERB’s story-telling at all (perish the thought of such hubris), I don’t think it would go over well with contemporary audiences in a new novel. Meaning reliance on science fiction instead of fantasy. While the science may – from the perspective of today’s physicists –  be functionally equivalent to the John Carter dream transit in plausibility, at least it has the scaffolding of science to hang the implausibilities on. Spaceships! FTL!

More details. Under Strange Suns is tentatively scheduled for a mid-2016 release. That seems ages away. But much requires completion between now and then. An editor needs to read the manuscript and provide notes. Then I need to read those notes and revise the manuscript, respecting the experience and story-telling savvy of the editor while still reserving my own judgment. The publisher will need to assign a cover artist. I’ll need to approve the preliminary cover concept/design. I’ll need to review galley proofs, reading through line by line, word by word, knowing that any misspellings, grammatical errors, transpositions of character names, etc. are all ultimately my fault. Also knowing that something is going to slip through anyway, dammit.

But eventually we’ll have a book. And that makes me happy. How happy? When the publisher informed me of acceptance of my first book, Reunion, I was euphoric. Culmination of a lifetime’s ambition euphoria. Bound to be a drop off after that. But I opened the email from Twilight Times Books, felt my heart rate spike, and popped out of my chair with a big grin. The elevation carried me through the rest of the day. So, yeah. Pretty damned happy.

I had fun writing the book. I hope you have fun reading it. Save your pennies; Under Strange Suns arrives sometime next year.