The reason why I started writing Expendable Few was because I wanted to write (in short form), what's been going on with Freeground since our heroes left.
After about 2,000 words of transcribing the timeline that's been in my head for a couple years, I decided that it made sense to write a novella instead of a document that no one would ever see as a whole. There are plans for an encyclopaedia to be released that should also serve as a tabletop role playing game setting book, but much of the timeline for Freeground wouldn't be useful to that kind of text.
Clark Patterson, Mary Reed and the others were born. The Expendable Few novella also serves as connective tissue between the Origins trilogy and the last book in this part of the series - Broadcast 7: Framework. It has become a challenge that, I believe, will affect all my future work, regardless of genre.
It is in first person perspective, and told in the present tense. Imagine you're reviewing a document put together by Freeground Intelligence that is made to explain certain events using forensic analysis, personal logs, and other data. The person central to this is Freeground Fleet Commander Clark Patterson, who happens to have a near obsession with the First Light crew. The book begins months after the last of the command team from that ship have gone, and a political body called the Puritan Party have taken control of Freeground. They see the adventures of the First Light as a warning, and are doing everything in their power to isolate and control the people of Freeground Nation. Clark Patterson finds himself thrust into the absolute centre of this political struggle while retracing the footsteps of the First Light Crew under the instruction of Fleet Intelligence. The Expendable Few fits before and during Broadcast 7 on the timeline.
The feedback from Test Readers has been good so far, and they've already made important suggestions for improvement that have been implemented. Expendable Few has been a great guinea pig.
In the end, the Expendable Few will be a stand alone Spinward Fringe novella that one doesn't have to read to understand Broadcast 7. Judging from the feedback, I don't think anyone who is already reading the series will want to miss it, however. Especially since it'll be available for free on Smashwords and for 99 cents on Amazon.com.
[Thanks to Dorian for asking a question on the Facebook Page that became a blog post.]