The Expendable Few was all about telling a story that simply wouldn't fit in Broadcast 7. To be honest, I didn't have to write it at all. There were a pile of notes that would have served as a fine reference while I wrote Broadcast 7. I wasn't happy with that though, so I used the opportunity to show everyone what the repercussions of the First Light crew exposing Freeground to the galaxy were, and to travel to an issyrian world. There were other things I really wanted to do in Expendable Few - Clark Patterson's journey being a big part of that - but I won't discuss them because I like to avoid spoilers when possible.
After completing the Expendable Few I realized I needed to re-read Broadcasts 5 and 6 to get back into the right frame of mind for Broadcast 7. Instead of simply re-reading Broadcast 5, I thought I would take the opportunity to edit it. This book was released too quickly, and there were errors in the eBook conversion process, so it is in serious need of a revisit. I'm editing it the way I edit everything else; line by line, using UK spelling. It's worth noting that a lot of people have commented that there are a lot of spelling mistakes in my books - most of those complainers are mistaking UK spelling for errors. I'm in Canada, and the UK was the first region that fell in love with my books, so Spinward Fringe will always be edited (and spelled), by the Oxford standard, not by Chicago guide rules (the American way). I edit to my best ability within a reasonable time frame with the assistance of two fantastic editors. A couple errors do squeak through, but I draw the line between perfection and extra months added on to release dates and ultra-quick, sloppy publishing. My stuff comes out somewhere in the middle to higher quality range now, and the majority are happy with it.
The fresh edit of Broadcast 5 also takes care of a lot of over-writing, some awkward sentence work, and those pesky formatting bugs. I'm about sixty percent through it and I expect to be finished my pass next week. Is it worth a re-read? Yes. The story isn't changing, but every paragraph in the book is getting a tweak, so if you do re-read books, then it will be worth updating and re-reading Broadcast 5. My editor is already going through the book behind me, and our formatting partners at the 52 Novels company will be performing the finishing. The update will be available for free to anyone who owns the book already, and will be easiest to obtain by Smashwords customers.
After I've finished my pass on Broadcast 5: Fracture, I only have to read Broadcast 6: Fragments since it just got a refresh late last year. My edit of Broadcast 7: Framework begins next. I have over one hundred ten thousand words written on that project right now, and they haven't been edited yet. After that edit is finished I'll be continuing the draft. My lowball estimate is that the book needs fifty thousand more words, but I suspect I'll be writing another hundred thousand words. That's the size of an average science fiction novel on its own, so it'll take a month or two.
So, if your quest is to find a release date in this bloated status update, there's good news. I can give you a guestimate with a little explanation. Here's how the timeline breaks down:
Finish editing Broadcast 5 - 1 week remaining. (Broadcast 5 updates will be out sometime in the following month).
Read and make extra notes on Broadcast 6 - 1 week.
Edit the existing portion of the Broadcast 7 Draft - 3 weeks. (My editor will start on that right behind me).
Extra writing on Broadcast 7 (can't talk about this yet) - 2 weeks.
Writing the second half of Broadcast 7 - 2 months.
Editing all of Broadcast 7's final draft - 2-3 weeks.
Formatting & testing - 2-3 weeks.
Total time estimated: 5 months, with a possible release date of August 14.
*** It is with only a little regret that I'm announcing that the release date above is not accurate. New material is being written for this project, and it is running long. Broadcast 7 will be released sometime in 2012. It will be out when it's finished, and polished to an appropriate standard. More updates will be available through the podcast: www.crewcastradio.com Complaints that appear in the comments section will be deleted. Suck it up, buttercup. ***
I have left myself a little breathing room, and an extra week to accommodate an upcoming move. I'm looking forward to having this book out in front of people, especially since I've been waiting for so long to tell this part of the story. The five month wait also doesn't mean that I'll be disappearing, or that fiction won't be appearing here and there.
Some extra information about Broadcast 7 and part of the developing press kit:
Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework is the closing volume to the first section of the best selling Spinward Fringe Space Opera series. Weighing in at over one million words, the Spinward Fringe series has been read in twenty three countries around the world, and is gathering attention by agents and publishers who are interested in translating it into other languages. The Spinward Fringe series follows the tradition of Science Fiction Space Opera Adventure, featuring epic scale stories through the perspectives of characters ranging from charming to villainous.
Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework takes place fourteen weeks after Spinward Fringe Broadcast 6: Fragments, where Jake, Ayan, and the other characters were stranded and in great peril - again. From their position amidst the wreckage of a galaxy in decline they make every effort to take advantage of every opportunity and fit in with a culture that is trying to rebuild itself. The experiences and instincts of the Spinward Fringe crew members could just as easily pull them apart as draw them together.
Meanwhile, a new seat of power rises. The Order of Eden asserts its position in the galaxy of the conquerer of more civilized worlds than any ruling body in history. All the while, the prophets of the Order declare that a darkness approaches.
Long running plot lines come to a close, there will be losses on all sides, and a new side of the galaxy will be seen in Framework.
I'm happy spending more regular time blogging, popping up on Twitter (@randolphlalonde) and into the Facebook Page, so you'll be seeing me!
Now, back to work!
It's official! Spinward Fringe Broadcast 7: Framework has been released early thanks to the hard work of editors and the EBook formatter working on the project.
Here are the links so far!
Amazon (US): amzn.to/SXETIQ
Amazon (UK): amzn.to/TaKorj
Amazon (FR): amzn.to/TaKmzD
There's much more info in the podcast: http://crewcastradio.com/2012/11/18/the-spinward-fringe-podcast-framework-release-special/