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Posts Tagged ‘My original fiction’

TANGENT KNIGHTS 2: TEMPEST TOSSED is out today!

Today is the release date for Tangent Knights 2: Tempest Tossed, the second installment in my trilogy of full-cast audionovels set in an original science fiction universe inspired by the armored superheroes of Japanese tokusatsu TV.

https://www.graphicaudio.net/tangent-knights-2-tempest-tossed.html

Tangent Knights Tempest Tossed
Cover art by Amelia Grace Buff

GraphicAudio’s spectacular original super-heroic series powers on to new heights of action and intrigue, available in no other format!

In a world where communication with parallel Tangent Earths has brought a disruptive influx of new beliefs and scientific innovation, college-student and fangirl Corazon Kagami continues to discover astonishing new facets to the abilities she’s unexpectedly acquired in the accident that transformed her into Tangent Knight Caprice, the foremost of a growing ensemble of armored super-warriors very much like the heroes and villains of her favorite tokusatsu shows.

Earth-shattering revelations about her technology magnate mother Morgan Herrera and her cyborg security team Fireforce have put Cory on the side of Matrix, the interdimensional law enforcement agency tasked with bringing Morgan to justice. Daniel Vajra, the Tangent Knight called Tempest, is increasingly driven by his pursuit of vengeance against those responsible for his sister Meera’s death, and an astonishing confrontation with Fireforce’s powerful new warrior pushes him over the edge. Tempest’s desperate use of dangerous, largely untested cutting-edge tangent tech weaponry in his vengeful quest sends him out of control, a menace to foe and friend alike.

You can hear a sample clip or buy the book at the above link, and an MP-3 CD edition will be available in mid-July. Of course, Book 1: Caprice of Fate is still available too: https://www.graphicaudio.net/tangent-knights-1-caprice-of-fate.html

New Troubleshooter vignette on Patreon

I’ve been neglecting my Fiction tier on Patreon lately due to other work, but I’ve finally put up something new, continuing my commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Only Superhuman, my first original novel. “Origin Stories: Homecoming” started as a deleted scene from the original, longer draft of Only Superhuman, depicting the moment when Emerald Blair decided to enlist in the Troubleshooter Corps, a decision she only described in retrospect in the final novel. But the scene by itself was a bit thin, so I ended up fleshing it out into a whole story. It doesn’t really warrant annotations, but I do have a short page of story notes up on the Behind the Scenes tier.

Meanwhile, since even I was having trouble searching for older posts on my Patreon, I went through the whole backlog and put together a Patreon Fiction Index here on my main site. Between that and the Patreon Review Index, it should now be easier to find anything on my Patreon. I’m hoping that seeing everything I have to offer there will inspire some of you to subscribe, at least long enough to read the backlog.

As I say on the index pages, Patreon supporters help provide me with a small but steady income, which is valuable to me given the irregular nature of my writing work. I just had a worrisome week when my payment for a writing project was delayed and I wasn’t sure it would come in time to pay my bills; it ended up arriving just in the nick of time. I’m now out of the woods for at least the next few months, but my work opportunities beyond my immediate next project are uncertain. So any additional cushion I can get is very much appreciated.

Announcing TANGENT KNIGHTS 2: TEMPEST TOSSED!

GraphicAudio has posted the cover and blurb for the second installment of Tangent Knights, my original audio drama trilogy.

https://www.graphicaudio.net/tangent-knights-2-tempest-tossed.html

Tangent Knights Tempest Tossed
Cover art by Amelia Grace Buff

GraphicAudio’s spectacular original super-heroic series powers on to new heights of action and intrigue, available in no other format!

In a world where communication with parallel Tangent Earths has brought a disruptive influx of new beliefs and scientific innovation, college-student and fangirl Corazon Kagami continues to discover astonishing new facets to the abilities she’s unexpectedly acquired in the accident that transformed her into Tangent Knight Caprice, the foremost of a growing ensemble of armored super-warriors very much like the heroes and villains of her favorite tokusatsu shows.

Earth-shattering revelations about her technology magnate mother Morgan Herrera and her cyborg security team Fireforce have put Cory on the side of Matrix, the interdimensional law enforcement agency tasked with bringing Morgan to justice. Daniel Vajra, the Tangent Knight called Tempest, is increasingly driven by his pursuit of vengeance against those responsible for his sister Meera’s death, and an astonishing confrontation with Fireforce’s powerful new warrior pushes him over the edge. Tempest’s desperate use of dangerous, largely untested cutting-edge tangent tech weaponry in his vengeful quest sends him out of control, a menace to foe and friend alike.

Yes, it’s been a long wait since Caprice of Fate came out last August, but Tempest Tossed is finally almost upon us. Tokusatsu fans who enjoyed Caprice of Fate‘s homages to Kamen Rider, Super Sentai/Power Rangers, and Ultraman will find even more to enjoy in Tempest Tossed. There’s a lot more Showa Era in this one, some oddly familiar locations, and some classic tropes I had enormous fun figuring out how to pull off in Tangent Knights‘ reasonably plausible hard-SF universe. More importantly, the story and character arcs get bigger and more epic with lots of intense conflict and emotion, ramping up both the drama and the comedy along with the action and danger, in the tokusatsu tradition. This story contains some of my favorite character writing that I’ve ever done.

You can preorder now at the above link, and the book will be released in digital download format on June 27, with MP-3 CDs available in mid-July.

New Patreon short story: “You Have Arrived at Your Predestination”

It’s been a while, but I’ve finally got a new, fully original short story up on my Patreon’s $10 Fiction tier:

Fiction: “You Have Arrived at Your Predestination”

This is a story that got away from me, turning out with a completely different tone than I’d envisioned. I shelved it and figured I might try again, but on revisiting it, I felt it wasn’t a bad story and was at least worth putting on Patreon.

As usual, you can read more about the creative process and so forth on the $12 Behind the Scenes tier:

“You Have Arrived at Your Predestination” Annotations

In other writing news, I have a paying gig lined up now that I can’t talk about, but it should be just about enough to keep me afloat for about the rest of the year, giving me breathing room to line up further work later in the year and hopefully get a bit better than “afloat.” I’m also doing a bit more work for Star Trek Adventures, something a little different and very cool.

But I don’t get paid for those until they’re done, so money’s still tight for me right now, especially with tax time coming up. So this would be a good time for folks to sign onto my Patreon to read my stories, even if it’s just for a month or two.

CAPRICE OF FATE wins Earphones Award!

The folks at GraphicAudio just let me know that Tangent Knights 1: Caprice of Fate has just won the AudioFile Earphones Award! Their review is here:

https://www.audiofilemagazine.com/reviews/read/203852/

An excerpt: “Talented GraphicAudio narrators imbue believability by creating accents for the polyglot characters of futuristic New Avalon… This is an aural treat for sci-fi fans everywhere.”

Caprice of Fate cover

According to AudioFile’s Earphones Awards page, “The award is given by AudioFile to truly exceptional titles that excel in narrative voice and style, characterizations, suitability to audio, and enhancement of the text.” That’s quite an honor.

Caprice of Fate is available from:

A blast from the Troubleshooters’ past on Patreon

I’ve been lax in posting content on my Patreon page’s Fiction tier these past couple of months, since I’ve been struggling with writer’s block and slow in getting things done. To try to make up for that, I’ve latched onto the fact that 2022 is the tenth anniversary of Only Superhuman‘s publication (though technically not until October). I’ve posted the first two chapters from Troubleshooter, my first attempt at a novel about Emerald Blair, originally written in the latter half of 1993. The excerpt is actually from the last draft I did of that manuscript in 1999, at which point I’d already changed its title to Only Superhuman, but for clarity’s sake I’m calling it Troubleshooter, since it’s still the original version of the story. It was in the course of the ’99 rewrite that I realized the story’s systemic problems were too deep to be solved with revision, leading me to re-break the story from scratch and rework many of its concepts and characters. This is a glimpse of what Emerald Blair and the Troubleshooters might have been — not so different in many ways, but lacking some key elements.

Fiction: Excerpt from TROUBLESHOOTER (1999 draft)

Accompanying it are the usual notes and discussion on the Behind the Scenes tier:

TROUBLESHOOTER Excerpt Annotations

And some of my early concept art on the $1 tier, including my original design for Emerald’s ship Zephyr:

TROUBLESHOOTER: Early art concepts

It’s possible that I’ll post other deleted scenes, this time from Only Superhuman, over the year ahead. As far as proper, original fiction content goes, I have some thoughts, but things are up in the air for me right now and it’s hard to make plans. So I hope my Patreon subscribers will bear with me. And for those of you who might be on the fence about subscribing, keep in mind that the more subscribers I have, the more motivated I’ll be to create new content for them.

The one thing I have managed to keep current on is the $5 Reviews tier, where I’ve just wrapped up a review of the mindbending cyberpunk anime Serial Experiments Lain. Next week, I’ll be doing a special one-part review of the Watchmen TV series, free for everyone to read. After that, I begin covering the 1997 historical fantasy Roar, a short-lived TV series that was the American screen debut of two actors who became famous later on, Heath Ledger and Vera Farmiga. And after that, I’m planning to cover an old favorite that I’ve wanted to revisit for decades.

So what are the “written worlds?” redux

Happy anniversary! The Written Worlds blog debuted a dozen years ago today, on November 29, 2009. I was pretty prolific at the beginning, writing a half-dozen posts including introductory comments, an announcement of my 2009 Star Trek movie tie-in novel (which was later cancelled), some slice-of-life observations, and a book series review. I also wrote an introductory post summarizing the different fictional universes I’d written professionally up to that point, by way of explaining the blog title:

So what are the “written worlds?”

I always hoped that, in time, I’d be able to make a new, longer list of universes I’d gotten into print. I figure this is as good a time as any, though as it turns out, the list of universes is only slightly longer than it was a dozen years ago. Instead, it’s gotten deeper, and evolved in other ways.

Starting again with the licensed universes, which are the same ones as before:

  • Star Trek. This is the world that still constitutes the majority of my published prose work, though not quite as large a majority anymore. In the past dozen years, I’ve added 11 more novels and four e-novellas, nearly all of them in just three series: Department of Temporal Investigations, Enterprise: Rise of the Federation, and Original Series books set outside the TV series time frame (one before TOS, one between TOS & the Animated Series, two in the movie era). These still include two alternate timelines, the Mirror Universe and the timeline of Myriad Universes: Places of Exile, though the “Abramsverse”/Kelvin Timeline novel I wrote in 2009 ended up not getting published. I guess my post-Nemesis novels and e-novellas are now in an alternate timeline as well, for the novel continuity they were set in has now been contradicted by Star Trek: Picard, and the current Coda trilogy has reconciled the “Novelverse” as an alternate history. I’ve also contributed a number of game campaigns to Star Trek Adventures, whose continuity is distinct from that of the novels while borrowing some elements from them. Arguably those campaigns constitute an open-ended number of alternate worlds, a new one for each gaming group that plays them.
  • Marvel Comics. Still only two entries here, X-Men: Watchers on the Walls and Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder.  The only change is that both now have audiobook adaptations, a single-narrator edition for WotW and a full-cast dramatized adaptation for DiT.

The list of my original universes is somewhat different, though:

  • Arachne/Troubleshooter Universe. The primary universe I’ve been developing for most of my life, an optimistic hard-SF future history spanning centuries. This was what I simply called my “Default” universe back in ’09, even though I only had two published novelettes in it at the time. By now, it encompasses the novels Only Superhuman, Arachne’s Crime, and Arachne’s Exile, plus about a dozen short stories. Its published entries to date basically break down into subgroups focused around two stages of the universe’s history: the Troubleshooter period, when genetically and bionically modified superheroes keep the peace in the Main Asteroid Belt, and the interstellar era centered around the Arachne duology or growing out of its events. I’d hoped this would be a significantly longer entry by now, but I’m glad to have made the progress I have. And hey, at least I finally have a name for the darn thing, albeit a bit of a cumbersome one.
  • The Hub. A hard-SF comedy universe revolving around the Hub, the one and only means of FTL travel and thus the nexus of all interstellar civilization, with humanity as a minor, backwards culture struggling to make a name for itself. This was just one story back in my original list; now it’s a series of six stories, basically two trilogies, collected in the volumes Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy and Crimes of the Hub, the latter of which has the length and structure to qualify as a short novel. I’m still hoping for more stories to follow.
  • Tangent Knights. This is the most significant addition to the list, an original series of dramatized full-cast audio novels from GraphicAudio, a hard-SF superhero narrative inspired by Japanese tokusatsu adventure series and built around unused comic-book premises and characters I created back in the 1990s. Only the first book, Caprice of Fate, is out as of this writing, but a whole trilogy has been written, and there’s a good chance there will be more. This could soon be my largest original written world. Or worlds, as it encompasses numerous parallel quantum realities.
  • Thayara. My first published stab at a fantasy universe, set in the early industrial era of an alternate Earth whose evolution and culture were shaped differently by the presence of the Wyrd, a magical force that resonates with sentient minds. It includes two stories so far, “The Science of Sacrifice” and “The Melody Lingers,” both of which are available on my Patreon page, though only “Melody” was previously published professionally.
  • Miscellaneous standalones. I now have a fair number of individual stories in their own distinct continuities, including the professionally published “No Dominion” (the “To Be Announced” entry in my 2009 post) and “Abductive Reasoning,” and seven of my self-published Patreon stories as of this writing. It’s conceivable that some of these standalones could share a universe with one another, but I’ve established no links between them as of yet. Some are pure one-shots, such as the comedies “Abductive Reasoning” and “Growth Industry,” but there are some set in universes that have potential for continuation in further stories:
    • “No Dominion”: A world where medical science has made death largely curable, creating new challenges.
    • The Moving Finger Writes“: An interstellar future featuring an ancient network of time-travel wormholes.
    • The Monsters We Make“: A hard-SF take on kaiju/giant monsters invading the Earth.
    • What Slender Threads“: A multiverse premise of a different sort grounded in brane theory, an alternate approach to some of the ideas of Tangent Knights.

So in the past dozen years, I’ve gone from four original short stories set in three universes to at least six novels and over two dozen stories set in multiple different universes, at least four of which encompass multiple stories. That’s fairly significant progress, though still less than I’d hoped for.

Going forward, I think I’m likely to focus largely on expanding the universes I have. As you can see, my recent attempts at starting new short-fiction universes have largely gone unsold and had to end up on Patreon. Starting a new universe, at least the kind of worldbuilding-heavy universes I favor, is more suited to novels than short fiction. And I’m always interested in fleshing out my existing universes in more depth. But you never know. A new story idea might strike me that doesn’t fit any of my existing universes. Or, as with Tangent Knights, I might be offered an opportunity that requires creating something new.

So I wonder how this list will change over the next dozen years. Will the written worlds have increased more in number or in size and depth? Will I add more licensed universes? Will I finally have reached the point where my original fiction output surpasses my licensed output? Will I even have to wait another dozen years before this list deserves another update? Only time will tell.

TANGENT KNIGHTS 1: CAPRICE OF FATE annotations are up!

Tangent Knights 1: Caprice of Fate

I’ve finally found the time to finish up my annotations for Tangent Knights 1: Caprice of Fate, so now listeners to the audio novel can read up on all the physics and technology ideas and the tokusatsu in-jokes and allusions behind the story, as well as insights into my creative process. I also discovered that a paragraph got accidentally deleted from the general discussion on the main series page, so that the following paragraph was unclear without it. Fortunately, WordPress saves earlier drafts of its pages, so I was able to restore it. You can read the full discussion and find the annotations link on the main Tangent Knights page. (The annotations contain numerous spoilers, so I don’t want to link to them directly.)

I admit I put off listening to the audiobook for fear of disappointment, but it proved unfounded (as I intellectually knew it probably would, since GraphicAudio did well in their adaptations of Only Superhuman and Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder). The final result works quite well and captures the feel and style I was going for about as well as I could’ve expected. I particularly want to call out Elaine Yuko Qualter, who rose well to the challenge of playing the very energetic lead character Cory Kagami; John Kielty, whose voice is in just the right range I imagined for Alex Reading but even classier; and Tony Nam, whose voice is an even more perfect fit for Branton Tseng than what I was able to imagine.

Incidentally, I realized something while I listened to the audiobook. My goal with Tangent Knights was to approach the trilogy as if it were effectively a complete season of a tokusatsu series (or meta-series, I guess, since they reboot with a new story and characters every year) — using modern Kamen Rider in particular as my template, as it frequently employs complex narratives that evolve the status quo through multiple escalating stages, which was well suited to the trilogy format. But I always figured that a mere three books would necessarily be rather shorter than a full toku season, since those run nearly year-round with typically about 50 episodes per series, give or take. So it would have the structure of a season in a more compressed form — or so I thought.

But it just struck me that the audiobook for Caprice of Fate is a little over seven hours long. That means I can expect the complete trilogy to have about 21 hours of content, probably. Your typical toku episode is maybe 24 minutes long not counting commercials, so 21 times 60 minutes, divided by 24 minutes, gives the equivalent of 52.5 episodes!

Of course, that 24 minutes includes main and (often) end titles and recaps, so the amount of story per episode is more like 21-22 minutes. Canceling that out, and then some, is the extent to which an audio novel, even a fully dramatized one, is told through narration, which slows things down significantly compared to live action. So the total amount of story being told is still probably somewhat less than a full toku season. But it’s a nice surprise that the total run time of the trilogy will be roughly equivalent to a full season. It means I came closer to my goal than I thought I had.

New Patreon fiction: “Nilly’s Choice” (Arachne’s Crime tie-in)

To make up for going a while without new Patreon fiction, here’s the second story in just under a month, this one newly written exclusively for Patreon. As I mentioned in my last post, “Nilly’s Choice” is a character vignette (if a 5200-word story can be called a vignette) filling in the backstory of R’nilinnath, aka Nilly, the young Chirrn apprentice mediator introduced in the second half of Arachne’s Crime. She was one of my favorite characters to write in that novel and Arachne’s Exile, and I realized it was an oversight that I’d never established her background and motivations for becoming a mediator. This story reveals her reaction to the events of the first half of AC, and it also lets me flesh out a few more details about the Chirrn.

You can find the story here on the $10/mo Fiction tier:

Fiction: “Nilly’s Choice”

As usual, annotations for the story are also up at the $12/mo Behind the Scenes tier:

“Nilly’s Choice” Annotations

This makes, let’s see, the fifth Arachne story I’ve done, after the original “Aggravated Vehicular Genocide” (reprinted in Among the Wild Cybers), the duology, and the “Comfort Zones” prequel story (which is also on Patreon as well as in The Arachne Omnibus). The sixth if you count “Among the Wild Cybers of Cybele,” which is an indirect sequel.

Where things stand with my writing

October 16, 2021 3 comments

Well, the good news is, I’ve now been paid for the concluding volume of the Tangent Knights trilogy. It was cutting it a bit close, which is my own fault for running behind, but the money’s in the bank at last. Also, with TK done, I had time to finally finish revising a couple more Star Trek Adventures standalone games, and I’m awaiting approval and payment on those. So I daresay I’m probably okay for the next half-year or so now, barring disasters.

Things are still a bit iffy going forward, though. I’ve already pitched an idea for more Tangent Knights novels, and I’ve got a couple of new things tentatively lined up with Star Trek Adventures, all of which I’m waiting to hear back on. I expect my projects with both publishers to go forward, but I’m not sure when they’d be likely to pay out. So my long-term prospects are a little uncertain right now, but at least I have time to try to line up some additional sources of income to bridge the gap, if it proves necessary.

You’re probably wondering about Star Trek novels. Let’s just say things are up in the air with those right now, and I’ve learned over the past few years that it was unwise to rely too heavily on them as my primary source of income, given the unexpected delays and slow periods that tend to crop up. So until I hear otherwise, my current priorities are elsewhere — Tangent, STA, my other original work as time allows, and whatever else I can line up over the months ahead. Ideally, I hope to find the time to start writing a third Arachne novel.

Gaining more Patreon subscribers would certainly help. I fell behind on preparing new Patreon content while I was writing TK3, but I’ve been trying to catch up. I’m currently 3/4 of the way through a review of the 8-episode Japanese miniseries Miss Sherlock, which reinvents Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as modern-day women in Tokyo. After that, starting on October 26, I’ll begin covering the mindbending 1998 cyberpunk anime series Serial Experiments Lain, in an edited repost of the detailed reviews I wrote in 2009 for a now-defunct incarnation of the ExIsle BBS, so they probably no longer exist online in their original form. That will carry my review series through to the end of the year, so I’ll hopefully have time to rebuild my inventory.

I’m also working on a new Patreon story that I hope to have ready by the end of October. It’s a character vignette (well, longer than a vignette) filling in a significant bit of overlooked backstory for one of my favorite characters from Arachne’s Crime. Some of it might find its way into the third Arachne novel if I ever get around to it, or at least it might help me flesh out ideas for that book.

Also, I now have an author copy of Tangent Knights 1: Caprice of Fate, so I’ll finally be able to do annotations, which I was waiting to do until I could hear the final version and get the timings for my notes. I want to get the Patreon story finished up before I tackle that, though.

I also have a new Troubleshooter story that I’ve been trying to sell, but a couple of the markets I was hoping to offer it to have dried up recently. If I run out of other options, it’ll end up on Patreon.

I’m wrestling with an idea for what might be a new Hub story. It’s a concept I’ve had in mind for years, a fairly dark comedy premise. I already tried writing it once as a standalone story, but I wasn’t satisfied with the result; it turned out less comedic than I intended. I have an idea for how to take another stab at the concept in the Hub setting, but I’m not sure if the plot specifics can really work there. So that’s still up in the air.

I keep a list taped to my door of the projects I plan to tackle in a given year, and I usually end up disappointed by how few of them I actually get done. I suppose it’s not as bad as it looks, though, since I got most of the biggest things done, except for Arachne 3. The things I haven’t checked off are mostly outlines or tentative short story ideas. My problem is that it’s hard for me to focus on more than one thing at a time. If I were better at multitasking, I could get some of these smaller things done during breaks in the bigger things. But it’s hard for me to split my focus that way. Indeed, part of why I was late with TK3 is because I took a break from it to finish an STA game and it took longer than intended. But then, almost all my writing takes longer than intended.

Maybe I’d do better if I were more financially secure and less stressed. I’m somewhat better off in that regard than I was last year, thanks to GraphicAudio and Tangent Knights. But it’s not as much of an improvement as I’d hoped for, due to various delays. So I’m hanging on, but the long-term uncertainty remains.

New Patreon fiction: “What Slender Threads”

Sorry it’s been a while since I posted a new story on my Patreon. I fell behind schedule on the conclusion of the Tangent Knights trilogy, so I tried to focus solely on that. But now I’ve finally posted a new story, “What Slender Threads,” which you can read here on the $10/mo Fiction tier:

Fiction: “What Slender Threads”

The annotations for the story are also up at the $12/mo Behind the Scenes tier:

“What Slender Threads” Annotations

I say “new,” but it’s more like “unsold.” As I mentioned on the Tangent Knights discussion page, I already had a rough idea for a trilogy I was planning to develop when GraphicAudio invited me to pitch an original trilogy or series, but I had to rework it to separate out the characters and concepts I’d already used in a prologue story I was shopping around at the time, splitting different aspects of the original premise into two separate continuities and two distinct approaches to the idea of parallel Earths. “What Slender Threads” is that story, a glimpse at my original approach, which would have been somewhat darker and more tragic than Tangent Knights turned out to be. In retrospect, I’m glad I ended up taking a different tack, because TK was enormous fun to write. But there are still aspects of “What Slender Threads” that I’m eager to share with my audience, particularly its distinctive take on the nature of parallel worlds. And people who’ve listened to Tangent Knights: Caprice of Fate might be interested to compare and contrast it with this alternative version of the concept (or vice versa).

How to find TANGENT KNIGHTS: CAPRICE OF FATE on Goodreads

It’s just come to my attention that the Goodreads page for Tangent Knights 1: Caprice of Fate is hard to find for people who want to leave ratings and reviews. Apparently it only shows up in my list of books on my Author Profile if you sort by title, not by other sorting methods. I’m not sure why that is, but maybe it’ll get more notice once it starts getting some ratings. To that end, here’s a direct link to its page on Goodreads, under Caprice of Fate (Tangent Knights #1):

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/59026840-caprice-of-fate

 

Meanwhile, I’m in the final stages of polishing my draft of the Book 3 manuscript and will be turning it in any day now, completing the trilogy — although I’m hopeful that the series will continue beyond it. I haven’t updated my blog in a month because I’ve been so focused on getting it finished. In contrast to the first book, where I finished well ahead of schedule, I had a harder time with this one, since the storyline has grown substantially in complexity and scope, and I had to make sure all its threads came together properly and were worthy of the grand finale. So I fell well behind schedule and really had to buckle down to catch up. I ended up running a few weeks late, but the folks at GraphicAudio have been very understanding, giving me the time I needed to get it (hopefully) right.

TANGENT KNIGHTS discussion page now up

I’ve just published a discussion page here on Written Worlds for my new Tangent Knights audiobook series, starting with Book 1, Caprice of Fate:

Tangent Knights

It includes non-spoiler discussion of my creative process and inspirations behind the series. Even though it’s a pastiche of Japanese tokusatsu superhero shows, I built it largely by cannibalizing and remixing elements from some old superhero concepts I shelved decades ago.

I don’t yet know when I might have spoiler annotations up, since I’m busy writing Book 3, and I don’t yet have a copy of the finished audio to refer to. Stay tuned.

New interview at Bad Girls, Good Guys blog

A blog named Bad Girls, Good Guys, and Two-Fisted Action, the Writing Blog of Sean Taylor, is running a series of interviews with eSpec Books authors, and mine was posted today:

https://seanhtaylor.blogspot.com/2021/08/especs-books-focus-2-christopher-l.html

I talk about Star Trek: Living Memory and the Arachne duology, and also drop some hints about “the new project I can’t talk about,” which was actually Tangent Knights, since the interview was conducted before that project got announced. So it’s not as thorough an interview as I would’ve liked it to be, but it’s got some good stuff in it. So feel free to take a look!

TANGENT KNIGHTS 1: CAPRICE OF FATE is out today!

Today’s the day! The first book in my brand-new, original audiobook series Tangent Knights is now on sale from GraphicAudio, for an introductory price of just $4.99 if you buy digital!

https://www.graphicaudio.net/tangent-knights-1-caprice-of-fate.html

GraphicAudio introduces a spectacular original Super-heroic Action Series available in no other format!

In the year 2046, on the artificial-island arcology of New Avalon, Corazón “Cory” Kagami is a bright but impulsive college student who follows her passions, resisting the will of her mother, Morgan Herrera, head of a tech conglomerate responsible for astonishing breakthroughs. Morgan controls Catchfire Industries, and is effectively the ruler of New Avalon through her near-monopoly of its technology and through the numerous government officials she keeps in her pocket.

In a world where communication with parallel Tangent Earths has brought a disruptive influx of new beliefs and scientific innovation, Morgan promotes a strong defense against threats from within and beyond this world, developing advanced personal armor and weaponry for her cyborg peacekeeping team Fireforce.

When Cory is accidentally empowered with the most advanced armor system yet, Morgan tries to renew her bond with her daughter and train her to be a hero, a decision she may come to regret. Cory Kagami, a fan of Japanese tokusatsu action entertainment, has her own ideas about what it means to be a hero.

© & ℗ 2021 Graphic Audio, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like I said last month, Tangent Knights is my attempt to do for Japanese tokusatsu superheroes (e.g. Kamen Rider, Super Sentai/Power Rangers, and Ultraman) what I did for Western-style comic-book superheroes in Only Superhuman, capturing the colorful, fanciful fun and adventure while grounding it in plausible science and characterizations. Unlike Only Superhuman, it’s aimed at a general audience, age 13-up. I’ve had enormous fun writing it, and the folks at GraphicAudio have been great to work with.

And there’s plenty more to come! I’m currently in the middle of writing a huge, epic action sequence for Book 3, which is also the scene where the deep, shocking secret underlying all the events of the series so far is finally revealed. And I’m still only in the first half of the book!

I’ll have more to say about the creative process behind Tangent Knights later, but for now I’ll give folks a chance to hear Caprice of Fate for themselves. At only $4.99 during this introductory period, it’s a great time to get in on the ground floor!

The Hub in hardcopy!

Since I’m a little less broke these days, I finally did something I’ve wanted to do for years, namely to buy a few author copies of the trade paperback editions of Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy and Crimes of the Hub. Of course, I’ve had copies of the e-book editions since they came out, but since the TPBs are print-on-demand, I had to buy them, albeit at an author discount. Here’s what they look like:

Unfortunately, it seems that Hub Space was just a bit too short to qualify for spine text, as seen in the side view of my now-complete original fiction brag shelf:

So I have the satisfaction of finally having hardcopies of all my original books, but I don’t get to see all their titles lined up. Oh, well.

Anyway, since I now have the hardcopies to refer to, I’ve updated my annotations for the books with page numbers for the print edition:

Hub Space Annotations

Crimes of the Hub Annotations

By the way, when I say “complete,” I only mean up to the present. I still hope to do more Hub stories in the future, though I haven’t had time to focus on them lately. I already have an idea for a climax for the series, but I’m not sure how many more stories I want to do before I get there.

Announcing TANGENT KNIGHTS 1: CAPRICE OF FATE!

That big super-secret project I’ve been hinting about for months has finally been announced!

GraphicAudio introduces a spectacular original Super-heroic Action Series available in no other format!

In the year 2046, on the artificial-island arcology of New Avalon, Corazón “Cory” Kagami is a bright but impulsive college student who follows her passions, resisting the will of her mother, Morgan Herrera, head of a tech conglomerate responsible for astonishing breakthroughs. Morgan controls Catchfire Industries, and is effectively the ruler of New Avalon through her near-monopoly of its technology and through the numerous government officials she keeps in her pocket.

In a world where communication with parallel Tangent Earths has brought a disruptive influx of new beliefs and scientific innovation, Morgan promotes a strong defense against threats from within and beyond this world, developing advanced personal armor and weaponry for her cyborg peacekeeping team Fireforce.

When Cory is accidentally empowered with the most advanced armor system yet, Morgan tries to renew her bond with her daughter and train her to be a hero, a decision she may come to regret. Cory Kagami, a fan of Japanese tokusatsu action entertainment, has her own ideas about what it means to be a hero.

© & ℗ 2021 Graphic Audio, LLC. All rights reserved.

https://www.graphicaudio.net/tangent-knights-1-caprice-of-fate.html

Tangent Knights is an original series which I’ve created and written for GraphicAudio — a trilogy to start, but hopefully ongoing. Like my previous GraphicAudio releases, Only Superhuman and Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder, it’s a full-cast audio novel with music and sound effects. But while those were adaptations of prose novels, Tangent Knights will be available exclusively in audio form.

Tangent Knights is hard science fiction with a superhero theme, in the spirit of Only Superhuman. Aimed at a general audience (age 13-up), the series is inspired by the transforming armored heroes of Japanese live-action tokusatsu (special effects) series such as Kamen Rider, Super Sentai (the basis for Power Rangers), and Ultraman, embracing not only their distinctive approach to superhero action but their sophisticated story arcs and nuanced characterizations — yet grounding them in (relatively) plausible quantum theory and technological extrapolation, including a fresh approach to parallel-world narratives.

This project has been a life-saver for me, coming along when I was desperately in need of new work and helping to pull me out of the deep financial hole I’ve been in for the past few years. It’s also been one of the most enormously fun things I’ve ever written, as I’ve tried to capture the lively characters, wild action, zany humor, impassioned melodrama, and rich plotting of tokusatsu while keeping it grounded and plausible. It’s been enjoyable to work in a new medium, to learn how to write with sound effects and dialogue subtext cues as an alternative to narration. I’ve also been very self-indulgent, loading the books with in-jokes and homages that toku fans will hopefully recognize, as well as plenty of science fiction worldbuilding and social commentary that I hope will please fans of my previous works. I’m really proud of this one, and I hope people enjoy listening to it as much as I’ve enjoyed writing it.

Tangent Knights 1: Caprice of Fate will be released in CD and digital formats on August 3, 2021, with more to follow. You can hear an excerpt at the link above.

Watch my Shore Leave 41.6 panels!

Well, the second (and hopefully last) virtual Shore Leave weekend is over, and all the panels are viewable on Shore Leave’s YouTube channel. Here are the three I was part of:

Star Trek Adventures RPG Update

eSpec Books Presents

(Man, the screencap caught me at a bad moment there…)

What’s New in Star Trek Literature

I’m harder to see in the first panel because I hadn’t yet figured out how to frontlight myself decently at my desk. For the Sunday panels, I used the emergency flashlight in my portable car battery jumpstarter pack, resting on one of the shelves of my computer-desk hutch, with a sheet of tracing paper in front of it as a diffuser to soften the light and protect my eyes.

It was nice to see and hear from my writer friends and colleagues again, to talk about my own work and to hear what’s going on with my publishers’ upcoming projects. Hopefully some of what we talked about will lead to new projects for me in the future.

My schedule for (virtual) Shore Leave 41.6 (Updated)

UPDATE: The Trek Literature panel has been moved from 10 AM Sunday to 3 PM Sunday (Eastern Time), for the convenience of our panelists who live further west. I’ve edited accordingly.

I should’ve begun hyping this sooner, but the second virtual Shore Leave convention is being held online this weekend, July 10-11. (Hey, it’s not like you need to make travel plans.) The schedule has just gone online, and it looks like they’re organizing the Zoom panels into “rooms” corresponding to the usual panel rooms at the convention hotel, though I’m not quite sure how that will work. You can find the schedule here:

https://www.shore-leave.com/schedule/

I’m only going to be on three panels, to talk about my various works. They include (all times Eastern):

Saturday July 10, 7 PM

Star Trek Adventures RPG Update: Salon D

Jim Johnson, Kelli Fitzpatrick, Dayton Ward, Derek Tyler Attico, Scott Pearson, Christopher L. Bennett

[ Register ]

Modiphius Entertainment’s Star Trek Adventures RPG heads into its fifth year. Check in for the latest news on current and upcoming releases and Q&A with the STA project manager and several STA writers.

Sunday July 11, 11 AM

eSpec Books Presents: Tack

Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jenifer P. Rosenberg, Aaron Rosenberg, Hildy Silverman, Mary Fan, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Robert Greenberger, Russ Colchamiro, Christopher L. Bennett

[ Register ]

eSpec Books shows off a wealth of new titles, including the brand-new Systema Paradoxa novella series featuring a whole host of cryptid creatures rarely seen before.

Sunday July 11, 3 PM

What’s new in Star Trek Literature: Salon D

Scott Pearson, Dayton Ward, John Jackson Miller, David Mack, Kirsten Beyer, Christopher L. Bennett

[ Register ]

Authors of current and upcoming Star Trek titles discuss their work.

As for the wider convention experience, you can learn more about the options here:

See you there! (Figuratively.)

An eSpec book discount for my Twitter debut

I’ve finally decided to take my first tentative steps onto Twitter. I’ve resisted signing up in the past, both because I’ve never seen the appeal of such a bite-size way of communicating and because of the alarming stories I’ve heard about authors and celebrities being harassed off the platform. But I’ve realized I’m just not getting enough attention for my blog, my books, and my Patreon page from Facebook alone. And I’ve been reassured that the harassment incidents are the exception rather than the rule. I don’t understand much yet about how Twitter works, but I’m hoping it’ll be a new avenue to get the word out more widely. My Twitter handle is @CLBennettAuthor.

I don’t know how much I’ll use the platform going forward. I imagine I’ll use it mainly just for publicizing my blog and Patreon posts, but we’ll see. Anyway, as part of this new publicity push, eSpec Books has given me a special discount code for my social media followers. When you buy Among the Wild Cybers, Arachne’s Crime, Arachne’s Exile, The Arachne Omnibus, or Footprints in the Stars at https://especbooks.square.site, you can get 15% off by entering the coupon code BENNETT15. There’s also a 20% discount code offered exclusively to my Patreon subscribers. Hopefully that’ll encourage a few more people to sign up for my Patreon, which has membership plans as low as $1 a month.

For more info on the offered books, see my Original Fiction page.

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