Where are we now? Briefly, the rewrites are done after content edits. So far, we're still on track for 11/17 for By Imperial Decree.
Um, my 30K novella is now 38K, but that's not as huge a jump as some rewrites have been this year (*cough* A Fine Mess *cough*.)
Also, I'll be doing a Facebook Live Ask Me Anything hour on Sunday, November 1.
1 pm EST, my FB group. It's a public group, so I think anyone can come?
Come chat with me! :D
Some snips and snails about Where Things Are:
It's a simple old story--princess, dragon, knight--simple unless they're all the same person.
Laila should be finishing Safety Protocols for Human Holidays a little before schedule. So looking forward to having that out there for you!
The calendar is booked out for quite a while. (2023? Something like that.) My editor has the whole list, but I find it's best to concentrate on the things in front of me so I don't run screaming into the void.
So what's in front of me? Three things:
By Imperial Decree (an ESTO story)
This will be one of the shorter ESTO works, probably under 30K, about parts of the galaxy we haven't visited yet: a mechanic on a Galactic Hansa station and the Altairian prince who sort of falls into his lap.
Slated as this year's lesbian science fiction humor holiday story. I'll be getting started with the actual writing as soon as Imperial Decree is finished.
Snillek inherits her estranged mother's royal throne, much to her dismay. There are secrets. There is a serious misunderstanding. Shenanigans ensue. (No, that's not the real blurb. Editor would never speak to me again.)
Geoffrey the Very Strange (part of the Magic Emporium collection coming out next year)
It's all the fault of the folks at Queer Sci Fi. Honestly, I can't remember how it came up, but I'd made an offhand remark about an theoretical necromancer named Geoffrey the Very Strange who proposed the use of seashells instead of blood magic.
Um. Yes. Shenanigans ensue. There are notes and a general plan. This one's due out sometime in March of 2021.
We kept it kind of secret-ish, but with the lovely refresh on the ESTO Universe covers, MCB decided to do an audio for *drumroll****
Ken Teutsch/Bill Hare did a wonderful job on the voice work and we're now just waiting on approval at ACX. I'll certainly let you know when it's up!
Someone left the door open at the publisher and A Message From The Home Office got out! It's out there at the book vendors running around without supervision!
You can grab a net and snag your own copy at the links below :)
Mischief Corner Books
Barnes and Noble
Also - some quick updates on ESTO stories:
Prisoner 374215 has a stunning new cover and will be going into audio production soon. More on that later.
A Matter of Faces also has a fabulous new cover.
Both of these shorter works will be joined by a new ESTO novella in October - By Imperial Decree. Fingers crossed that I don't foul up the deadline.
Don't these covers look wonderful together?
A Message from the Home Office releases 8/25! 12 more days! All the pre-order links are up if you want to snag it beforehand. :D
Next up is an ESTO story and takes place in a part of the universe we haven't visited before: a Galactic Hansa station. I'm about halfway into the writing (I think), and there is a blurb now. :D
By Imperial Decree
Marsh Kensinger's work as the utility mechanic for Bremen Station keeps his life interesting - but never quite as interesting as finding a pilot still hidden inside a hibernation drawer in what should have been a salvage craft. He knows he shouldn't get involved, but the Altairian Imperial crest on the private craft and the semi-conscious pilot's odd questions pique his always-whirling curiosity.
Still unattached at a concerning age for an imperial son, Prince Shiro Shinohara hadn't been running from the endless, mind-numbing rounds of omiai his mother, the Empress, had mandated. Not exactly. He'd just wanted a break from persistent suitors at the family retreat on Ceti Tau. The short respite becomes a panicked flight for his life when one of the suitors stalking him attacks the family compound.
Worried for the soldiers he was forced to leave behind, afraid there's a conspiracy to kidnap him, Shiro confides in the handsome mechanic who found him, and in a moment of panic, concocts the fiction of a serious relationship with Marsh. It's only until Shiro's people can reach him and he can press charges back home. Marsh is willing to play along and Shiro's just going to have to keep himself together and not, under any circumstances, fall for the wonderful, generous man who refuses to stop helping him.
ALL THE THINGS!!!!
1. Sub Zero launched on Tuesday - a science fiction romance with a mystery, culture clashes, a heavy dose of anti-colonialism, and how hard it is to go back to where you died. (An ESTO Universe story - in ebook and paperback)
Mischief Corner Books
2. A Fine Mess: Brimstone 7 has a cover! And a fun cover it is with a certain young demon prince vying for attention. Coming July 28!
3. Mischief Corner decided that Hearts and Flower: A Tale of Hayfever and Bad Decor needed an updated cover - and it's so cuuute! An absurd Valentine's Day short story with an MC who hates Valentine's, the office party from hell and some magical mayhem!
Mischief Corner Books
Barnes and Noble
4. And finally, don't forget that Rainbow Space Magic Con is this weekend! It's FREE, but you do have to register to have the webinar link sent to you. :) Lots of fun panels and readings from queer science fiction and fantasy authors!
I'll be doing a reading during the 12 pm (EST) block on Saturday and a panel on Outlaws and Adversaries at 1 pm (EST) on Sunday!
First, Sub Zero comes out on Tuesday, June 16, don't forget! Come pre-order your anti-colonialism science fiction!
And on to podcasts! I'll be on a couple of shows airing Monday, June 15:
Two Gay Geeks - where I get to talk to Ben and Keith about writing and all sorts of geeky things. :D
Jeff and Will's Big Gay Fiction Podcast - where Scott and I talk to Jeff about the upcoming Rainbow Space Magic Virtual Convention!
Happy Friday, everyone! This week, I get to read something from this Angel Martinez person... Oh wait. That's me. :D A little excerpt from Sub Zero, m/m science fiction romance coming out in just a couple week here on June !
An ESTO Universe Story
by Angel Martinez
Release date, June 16, 2020
Returning to the frozen planet Aren died on was bound to have complications...
Major Aren Dalsgaard's newest assignment is to investigate a series of murders on the frigid planet, Drass, where relations between the Treaty settlers and the indigenous inhabitants have taken a nasty turn. A linguist and trained xenologist, Major Dalsgaard should be the ideal Special Investigations Officer for this case, but Drass is where he died, over a hundred and twenty years ago.
Sent by his family to the chigyel city, Nyachung finds himself confronted with a murder charge, racial prejudice, and a man who claims to be a hero from his grandmother’s generation. The man could be crazy or he could be lying to manipulate Nyachung, but the sincerity in those spring-green eyes disturbs him more than anything else he's encountered in the foreigners’ city.
Evidence that makes no sense, mysterious boxes, and a suspicion that they can't trust anyone in the city drives the major and Nyachung together and out into the wilderness. No one's telling Major Dalsgaard everything, but every step leads him closer to a feeling of imminent catastrophe if he can't wrap this case up in time.
There are going to be a lot of aliens this release season, and not entirely aliens.
Angel, why? Why do you write them?
If I lived inside a science fiction story, I'd be a xenologist, studying alien cultures. I love this stuff. Where are the pitfalls? Where are the common points? Where does it look like a common point and sheers off unexpectedly?
But I can't. So I write aliens. Sometimes they're very alien, like the saurian Drak'tar in Gravitational Attraction. Sometimes they're enough like us that the cultural differences blindside humans, like with Teer in A Christmas Cactus for the General, who is so much like, and not like, us.
Which brings me to Een, who at least shares four limbs and bilateral symmetry with us, and that's about it. I won't spoil anything for those who haven't read Eating Stars, but for this story I wanted a true first contact event, a meeting with someone entirely alien to us.
And yet, it's still possible to connect and find common ground. Kind of a theme there - and honestly, one anthropologists have always struggled with. Where's the real common ground, the place where I'm not bringing my own biases and we're coming to an actual understanding.
Then there are the dangpo, who are not aliens. They're altered humans - altered not by their consent and marooned on a planet by their creators.
Genetically, they're us. But cut off from human society, their thought processes became alien. They are not us in so many ways which made them easy to misunderstand and then easy to dismiss in a colonial situation.
Yes. Sometimes you have to go there.
Angel writes (mostly) Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around queer heroes. Currently living part time in the hectic sprawl of northern Delaware and full time inside her head, she has one husband, one son, two cats, a love of all things beautiful and a terrible addiction to the consumption of both knowledge and chocolate.