I announced I had completed a new novel yesterday but left things intentionally vague, which naturally opened up some questions. So to answer those questions, as well as touch on a couple of things I wanted to talk about in the aftermath:
* First, people wanted to know what the title of the novel is. Right now, it doesn’t have one. It has a working title, but it’s spoiler-y for the story, so I don’t want to say what it is. I’m thinking on various titles and will probably settle on one in short order. When I do, I’ll let you know.
* For those hoping for a new Old Man’s War/Android’s Dream/God Engines installment, sorry. This novel takes place in none of those universes. New universe, new characters, new situations.
* That said, I suspect that if you like the stuff I generally write, you’re going to like this. In sensibility — not in subject — I think it slots in between Agent to the Stars and The Android’s Dream, which means its on the lighter end of the spectrum of what I write. Why? Because I felt like writing something fun and pulpy, that’s why. I had fun writing it, and I think people will have fun reading it.
* I’m being intentionally cagey about subject matter because, like the working title, discussing it too much will spoil the story. I will say that the story does feature space ships, an ensemble cast, lots of action, snappy dialogue, explosions, imminent death, and people taking other people’s pants for strategic purposes. I’ll also say it’s a bit of an odd story, and written intentionally to be so. But then, considering that I’ve written about farting people to death and aliens taking over the bodies of dogs, I have to stipulate that “odd” might be my normal mode.
* Yes, yes, yes, you say. You don’t want to spoil it for us. Fine, just tell us when it will be out. Answer: Dunno. It wasn’t under contract, so now I have to sell it. Before you worry about me not having a contract, I should note that I haven’t written a novel that was contracted in advance since The Last Colony; Zoe’s Tale was not technically under contract (I wrote it, and then when it was done it was slotted in to take the place of a different book I was contracted for but didn’t write) and Fuzzy Nation was contracted after it was done. So this is not an unusual position for me to be in. And, you know. I feel pretty confident. My expectation is that this will be out, one way or another, sometime in 2012.
* Why 2012? Because book production takes time, and also, I already have a novel for 2011 and I don’t want to step on its sales. Don’t worry, folks. Between now and whenever this novel is released, I’ll have other stuff out there for you to read and maybe even buy. Because I love you. Yes I do. And also, I want your money. Yes I do.
* For the folks who like to indulge in process geekery, I started writing this novel on January 3rd and completed it on March 7th, for a total writing time of nine weeks. Most of you know by now that my plan was to write to a quota every week day (2,000 words) or until about noon. My real world performance on this was good but not great, in large part due to Snowpocalypse ’11, which caused my daughter to miss nearly two weeks of school because of snow days. Having Athena home is lovely in many ways but not conducive to having an extended, uninterrupted stretch of time in which to write. I also had some travel in there, most notably to Capricon, which was again delightful but not best for getting writing done. That said, on the days when I was not being actively encouraged to abandon the computer for sledding, or traveling to distant cities to amuse nerds with my antic capers, I got a lot of writing done. Go me.
* For those wondering about next plans, I’m going to take a little bit of time to relax, and then in about a week I’ll get back to writing more fiction. I have an immense amount of travel this year starting in April, so if I want to get fiction done, now’s the time to do it.