Just a short word about A Message From the Home Office:
This is a novella from the IMP Universe, where A Christmas Cactus for the General also lives. But while Christmas Cactus is a serious story, Message is...not as much.
The original story was for an April Fool's anthology and involved a number of prompts - and honestly, some of that just didn't work in rewrites.
It's been expanded by about 10K, and I hope preserves a gently sarcastic feel to the story of isolated diplomat Sissal, who didn't ask for an assistant, and Richard, who has an AGENDA. ;)
Currently with the line editor, on the calendar for an August release.
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!
And unlike SpaceX launches, it's not dependent on the weather!
A Fine Mess: Brimstone 7, will be set loose in the book wilds July 28, 2020. Mark your calendars. :D
It's by far the longest Brimstone story yet, coming in at just over 79K. Content edits are complete - on to the rest of the editing process, cover coming soon.
If you are a reviewer on Booksprout, Mischief Corner Books has started making ARC's available there if you're so inclined. (Obviously, A Fine Mess is not up in ARC yet, but the rest of the Brimstone series is.)
Leopold would like to remind you that the series really is about him.
First, the Almost Here part - the release date for Eating Stars is five days away! Eeee! It's a first contact story, it's a survivor's story, it's a story about grief, it's a romance.
For the rest, you'll have to read, but I do want to say a thing...
Eating Stars is science fiction, but unlike a lot of my other SF work, this one takes place in the near future. Our Earth, with our tech, slightly up ahead.
But it does assume several things that I hope will be true in the near future: no pandemic, a less hostile country, and a sane government for the US. I hope for this last one most of all.
Now for the Almost There part: I'm closing in on the end of content edits for A Fine Mess: Brimstone 7. Editor thought it needed more things. Several more things. So more things you will have. It's going to be well over 70K and will have a launch date in July.
I HIGHLY suggest reading Brimstone in order. It's not really one of those series you can just pick up in the middle. If you haven't started, the reading order can be found on this page: Brimstone
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.
It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights...
Three things of note:
1. A Fine Mess is with the content editor. Yes. There's a lot of stuff going on there. Content editor can only do so much so fast.
But it's coming!
2. Eating Stars launches May 26!!
Some of you may recall the story under the title "Serge and Een." It's been re-edited and expanded by a little over 10K. While the story remains the same, you get to be there for a lot more of what happened.
Expansion means it will be available in paperback as well, for those of you who like your print. :D
3. The return of Sub Zero!
It's been a bit, so I'm not sure how many of you recall this one. Sub Zero is the missing ESTO universe novel, the one that was originally with Amber Quill. MCB has been kind enough to agree to a reissue and we're working through edits on that now, too. Yaaay!
Sub Zero should remain essentially the same with some small content edits. Also - paperback! I'm excited to be able to offer this story to you again.
Cover and release date coming soon. :)
Another quick update today - there are things on the horizon I'll keep for later since it's all early days still.
But I did promise to keep you updated on where A Fine Mess is on the Brimstone Scale. (That very scientific writing tool I recently introduced.) So here is where we are as of right this moment:
This was supposed to be the post where I tell you all how Emerald City Comic Con is going. Ah, well. Not so much. We're still waiting for new dates for the convention. We shall see. :)
In Brimstone news, I'm going to start looking at A Fine Mess in relation to other Brimstone stories now.
Current writing update: A Fine Mess has just reached one Hell for the Company long.
I should do a chart or something...
This time next week, I'll be at the first day of Emerald City Comic Con in Seattle. I'm a little intimidated. The show floor is hugemongous.
If you're in the Seattle area and would like to come say hi or buy some books or yell at me for being mean to Julian, I'll be in the vendor hall:
Mischief Corner Books: Booth #943
Look for the MCB dragon:
A lot of my energy has been going toward getting ready for Emerald City Comic Con, but I'm still writing. (Half a page, half a page, half a page onward - The Charge of the Write Brigade, if you will.)
The early Brimstone novels were all eight chapters long. It was sort of a joke, that they would all be eight chapters, no matter how long the chapters got. Potato Surprise - 8 chapters, at about 26.6K. Hell for the Company - 8 chapters, at about 22.7K. Fear of Frogs - 8 chapters, at about 32K (you see what started to happen there?)
By the time we get to The Hunt for Red Fluffy, I had to add a ninth chapter and hit about 43K words. We'd gone from snackity-snack size novellas to a light dinner novel size.
A Fine Mess is starting to scare me. I'm trying to keep the chapters a reasonable size, and I'm already at chapter five. This is nowhere near the midpoint of the story. Um. Well, then. We'll see how this goes...
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.