Sunday, July 27, 2008

First Light Chronicles Series: Submitted to

I've given the go ahead to submit the First Light Chronicles Series to This isn't normally a free service, but a few weeks ago they offered to waive all the regular fees.

Since I wanted to put Freeground, Limbo and Starfree Port through one more editorial pass before sending them out there, I didn't know if I'd make the submission before August but thanks to my new editor, who finished working on all three books in three days, I've made it with time to spare.

I've gone through the distribution process with another book, but that was years ago. I had forgotten how much work was involved. Doing an audit of the edit for all three books was a 22 hour day and I still had some work left for the next morning. Was it worth it? Well, I can say that the concerted effort was enough to win the war against typos and a few pages where I went comma crazy.

I'm very happy to say that anything that becomes available in the future will be going through extra editorial passes and will be released as a final edit the first time you see them on the web. I have great proof readers and a fantastic editor in place now, so the final edits you see will be top notch.

There, you've seen just the tip of the iceberg of what it means to be serious about self publishing. There's a lot more work than most people imagine and it takes time to get the right support team together. The effort is rewarding, however, and I hope the results of the 60+ hour weeks result in great entertainment that more people can access. Hey, if I sell a couple hundred books a month I'll be able to actually do this and make a living, wouldn't that be fantastic?

The First Light Chronicles: Freeground, Limbo, and Starfree Port may appear on in 6-8 weeks.

Until next time!


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spinward Fringe: The Next Science Fiction Series

A few people have read the entire First Light Chronicles series, and a lot of people are downloading the first book, Freeground for the first time. I couldn't be happier, well, maybe I could be.

I'm positively beaming here as I announce a new series of science fiction novels just on the horizon. The working title for the first is Spinward Fringe.

I can't reveal much about it, only that some of the same characters from the First Light Chronicles series appear in the new books, and that it's going to be a very different story, style and setting. Other than that it's too early to say anything, I'm only 103 pages into my first draft, after all.

As far as the First Light Chronicles are concerned, I'm submitting them to this week under's label. Let's face it, the more copies I sell the better the chances are that I'll be able to do this full time, so wider distribution is a very good thing.

Science Fiction is alive and well here, I'm glad to say, so sit back and wait for the new book to come along then enjoy the show.


Digg it!

Spinward Fringe: The Next Science Fiction Series

A few people have read the entire First Light Chronicles series, and a lot of people are downloading the first book, Freeground for the first time. I couldn't be happier, well, maybe I could be.

I'm positively beaming here as I announce a new series of science fiction novels just on the horizon. The working title for the first is Spinward Fringe.

I can't reveal much about it, only that some of the same characters from the First Light Chronicles series appear in the new books, and that it's going to be a very different story, style and setting. Other than that it's too early to say anything, I'm only 103 pages into my first draft, after all.

As far as the First Light Chronicles are concerned, I'm submitting them to this week under's label. Let's face it, the more copies I sell the better the chances are that I'll be able to do this full time, so wider distribution is a very good thing.

Science Fiction is alive and well here, I'm glad to say, so sit back and wait for the new book to come along then enjoy the show.


Digg it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

First Light Chronicles: Freeground is Now Free

*** The entire First Light Chronicles Trilogy is available for free here. ***Thank you to everyone who put their faith in me and bought this book sight unseen, without any previews. There are over 50 of you now, which is actually pretty good for a novella that has had absolutely no publicity.

I open this book (on my laptop, because I have no copies left - even MY copy is missing), start reading and just get sucked in all over again. I was never a cook who loved his own cooking before, meaning I had never written a novel that I so readily enjoyed until I worked on this one. I can say the same for the second (Limbo), and the third (Starfree Port). This fiction, I love.

There are a few people who actually feel similarly, to my amazement. They've been kind enough to suggest a bit more polishing here and there, and I took some time and did that. They've been nice enough to tell me about their favorite bits (some surprises there). After reviewing the book I haven't changed a thing story wise, especially since this is unlike any story I've ever written. Don't try to fix something that's working, just do your best to understand it.

With the polishing done, a new cover (that isn't much different from the original), and the third book in the trilogy done and available for purchase, I decided that 50 people aren't enough, I wanted to share the beginning of this story (Freeground) with more readers. With that in mind I have made the EBook free for all. Sadly the printed version will not be free, I just can't afford that, but in about seven weeks it may be available on along with the rest of the First Light Chronicles. The rest of the First Light Chronicles books won't be free, but they'll stay cheap, under $5.00 each for EBooks, sadly those will never be free, I have to eat, after all.

Other than First Light Chronicles Freeground you can also download the 2002-2008 catalog of my work for free, browse the covers, take a look at the synopsis for each book and such.

There's more news coming about the First Light Chronicles and the following science fiction novel, so keep checking back.

Again, thank you to the faithful, and welcome to everyone who is new here.


Digg it here!

Monday, July 14, 2008

First Light Chronicles: Starfree Port - Now Available!

That's right, it's finally here. The third and final book in the First Light Chronicles series, Starfree port is available for online purchase and in print.

Thank you to everyone who waited patiently, and even to those who weren't so patient!



Starfree Port: Finished!

It's finally done. After thee drafts and several editorial passes the third book in the First Light Chronicles is complete.

This novel will be released before Friday of this week (that's July 18) and it weighs in at 240 pages exactly. To reduce the cost of the book I had to shrink the font size and change the layout, however, so when you see it only has 190 pages, don't panic! I just squeezed those 240 pages into a smaller format so you save a few bucks!

That also brings the First Light Chronicles to an end.

The story will continue, but in a book that will stand on it's own, not as an official extension of this series. If you consider the First Light Chronicles like a number of television episodes, then the upcoming novel will be written more like a feature film. I've already started writing it.

Before I talk about anything else, I'd like to say a few things about the First Light Chronicles series and Starfree Port, the third book. The First Light Chronicles was an experiment, to see if I could write science fiction and write from the first person perspective for a very long time. There were also other experimental points to the way it was written, but I won't go into that unless someone actually asks about it very nicely. I don't want to give away all my secrets.

The people who bought the first two books and enjoyed them have been incredibly patient. The first two books took four weeks each to write, the third took months. There were a few reasons behind that. I wanted to give them what they were asking for. More character development, a deeper story and something they didn't expect. I'm happy to say that I've fulfilled each requirement and I did it my way, so here it is. This book is at the same time a thank you directed at them and something I enjoyed reliving every time I started a new draft or edit. I wanted it to be just right, and am sure that I've made all the right plot decisions. I hope everyone enjoys this book as much as you did the first two, I know I truly enjoyed writing it (over and over again it seems).

Later today you'll see the digital download will be available, it's a little more expensive because it contains twice the content. It won't cost twice as much though, I'm just not that corporate minded.

There's nothing like completing a book and being happy with it. The fact that it's the last in a series is an even bigger rush. Thank you for your support over the lifetime of this project, I hope you enjoy it in it's entirety and come back when the next book is completed.

In the meantime, there is more First Light news coming as well as news about the Fate Cycle series and other stuff in general. Keep checking back, I'll be here!


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog: The Master Plan!

Some of us follow the beat of our own drummer, we walk alone for long distances, we even eat differently. Sadly, we need entertainment from time to time too and that's when I turn to people like Joss Whedon who is far greater than I.

Some time ago I discovered that Mr. Whedon was working on a musical. It was my hope that I wouldn't have to fly to New York or LA to see it on stage (do they have stages in sections of LA where you won't get mugged for your wallet, watch, belt and chewing gum?). To my absolute glee, he's going to be releasing it on line in at least one format and I think he'll be offering it on DVD.

Recently the Master Plan was unveiled: to release the whole thing in three parts online for FREE! Here's a quote from the Master Plan that goes into some detail:

ONE WEEK ONLY! AN INTERNET MINISERIES EVENT! "Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog" will be streamed, LIVE (that part’s not true), FREE (sadly, that part is) right on, in mid-July. Specifically: ACT ONE (Wheee!) will go up Tuesday July 15th. ACT TWO (OMG!) will go up Thursday July 17th. ACT THREE (Denouement!) will go up Saturday July 19th. All acts will stay up until midnight Sunday July 20th. Then they will vanish into the night, like a phantom (but not THE Phantom – that’s still playing. Like, everywhere.)

Okay, there's more to the Master Plan, and you should check it out (link to follow). But I have a proposal to make first. No, I'm not going to ask the Interwebs to marry me, I know we spend a lot of time together, but I just don't see things that way. I propose that once you've watched Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, gotten at least one tune stuck in your head, set your hair on fire and have gone running through your neighborhood nude while making love to a picture of Neil Patrick Harris, go buy something. If you enjoyed it at all you should buy a copy of the Digital Download (he says it'll be cheap anyway), or a T-Shirt, a coffee mug, lunch box or maybe even just Hire Nathan Fillion for a weekend, I hear he's great at parties.

Now, take this part seriously: For interesting, cutting edge entertainment like this to be produced in the future we have to support what's coming out now. Just imagine if this project gets massive support from the audience who downloads it, and this feature will be pirated I'm sure. Just think, if the thousands of people who download it or view it on line and enjoy it actually contribute something then Joss will be able to recover his expenses, maybe even put something in the bank for another feature. If we support him well enough we might even do something online again. Here's a stretch, but imagine a Big Damn Sequel (I'm talking Firefly people), born on the Internet and sold on DVD. That's the kind of Hollywood shattering revolution we're talking here, but we have to show our support. Nicely typed, purple scented letters in pretty envelopes won't do it (did ya get mine Joss?), but a few bucks from everyone who can't afford the DVD just now, and DVD or T-Shirt purchases from people who can afford the DVD just might show him that his audience is big enough, that we're ready for him to take a big risk and put on another real show. We need to show him that he has support in a way that is universally understood, the all mighty dollar.

As an artist really just starting out again who needs the support of his thirty or so fans so people can hear about his work and experience it for themselves, I can relate. I'm also an independent and in my own small way understand why Joss wants to do a few things on his own without a studio looking over his shoulder or making final decisions about his work. I know I'll have a copy of the DVD, T-Shirt and I absolutely NEED one of the Coffee Mugs, even if it doesn't exist yet. I'll find a way, there's a spot for it on my desk and everything.

Now go see the Doctor:
Go now.

Nathan's pic above appears thanks to who somehow got him in a very compromising position.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Starfree Port: Under Serious Review

First Light Chronicles: Starfree Port is currently being reviewed by my editor from beginning to end. Within the next couple of days I'll know if this bird flies or if I just baked a great big turkey.

In the meantime, the editor for Fate Cycle Book I: Sins of the Past just finished a full review of the novel. That's right, I have a different editor for that series. After a minor clean up, it will be ready for a reprint through my more modern publisher who will be offering copies at a much more affordable price. I'll be glad to see that book find a new home. I will be working on the second (and final) book in that series later this year, and I'll most likely release it through the same publishing house.

One more thing about the First Light Series before I run off to work. I've enjoyed writing Starfree Port immensely and can't wait to hear my editor's opinion. I really don't have a really clear perspective on it's quality since there were three drafts in all, then a long editing process in which I removed an entire plotline. Technically, according to my own rule book of story telling, it offers everything I like in a science fiction novel. It's up to my editor to tell me if it's actually a fun read. You'll know what the verdict is moments after I do.

Just thought you'd all like an update.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Star Trek Online, Coming Soon: Not Bloody Likely.

The Star Trek franchise has fallen on hard times over the last few years. As fans wait for the JJ Abrams franchise reboot film to appear in May, 2009, there isn't much of anything else going on with regards to new additions to this big universe. What irritates a lot of fans these days is the utter mismanagement of the Star Trek Intellectual Property and the failures that go along with it.

There are a number of examples I can bring up here, but the only one I'll focus on is the Star Trek Online fiasco. Originally licensed to Perpetual Entertainment, this game was supposed to be a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing / Adventure game where you could go out on your own or with friends to explore the universe while surrounded by all things Trek.

Even though they only had two screen shots for us after well over a year of development everyone was pretty excited. Then the drama began. It became public knowledge that Perpetual was having financial difficulty, they put all work on a nearly completed game on hold to focus on STO, cutting off a potential revenue stream that could have helped sustain the company and there were other bits of financial drama that shouldn't have been publicized. I'm sure I'm missing a few details here, but in the end it amounted to one thing: the years of work that had gone into this game went to waste.

The content and game that was in development at Perpetual Entertainment will almost certainly not entirely be used. After the passing of so much time and keeping in mind that the graphics we did see looked dated when they came out along with the idea that Perpetual was about to include a Psionic class, loot and a focus on combat, I'm lead to the conclusion that what they were doing was starting to look like a disaster.

Paramount had nothing to say about the quality of the work when Perpetual went under.

Now Cryptic Studios, a game developer with a much longer track record and success with online games, has picked up the ball and are running with it. According to the official press release they won't be offering screen shots or previews until they have made significant progress. It was rumored that they were picking up the entire STO dev team from Perpetual, but there has been no confirmation. In fact, Cryptic is holding to their word and seem to have given themselves a little time to work on this title before revealing any official info. On their main website there is an ongoing count down set against some concept art that was made for the Star Trek Online title, and it's expected that we'll see some official announcement there when the time elapses. Take a look here:

I still have a beef, however. If you were to go to you'd be directed to a lovely logo and a promise: Coming Soon. Not only that, but it seems that the page is still registered to Perpetual. I have some advice for Paramount, the owners of the Star Trek Intellectual Property. Buy it back, take it down, then let Cryptic use it to tell fans what's going on and hear what we have to say. Star Trek fans are very supportive if you give them a forum to express themselves and offer assistance. Many of them are also writers, gamers, industry insiders and may have some really good ideas.

The only way we'll be seeing this game on the market in the next year or two is if Cryptic is keeping a good portion of the work that was done by Perpetual. If that's what's going on I certainly hope that they're keeping the good bits and completely discarding the stuff that just wouldn't feel very Trek. I just don't see myself playing in a Star Trek Universe that is based on a firm class system, focuses on combat, and drives people to search after loot and cash. That's great for something like World of Warcraft, but it's not Trek. Period.

The Star Trek fans are getting irritated with Paramount in general. First Star Trek Online is seriously delayed, then Paramount postpones the release of the new Star Trek film, rescheduling it from December 2008 to May 2009. If this keeps up fans will turn naysayer before they even see new content, they might just expect a disappointment, the next Trek film is an odd number, after all.


Edit: I contacted Paramount for more information on upcoming releases and was referred back to Not surprising, but at the bottom of the message was the announcement: Star Trek The Motion Picture, Coming this Christmas! It would be nice if they could at least publicize release dates correctly. As stated above, that film has been delayed until May 2009. That's a pretty late Christmas.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Somacow: The Greatest Internet Radio Talk Show, Ever

I honestly don't have much time for podcasts, radio shows or much of anything else these days, so when I listen to one regularly, it's a big deal. It's serious like a heart attack, like kittens chewing on power cables, like marrying your step daughter. Okay, it's not that serious, but I really like this show.

Over the last couple of months I haven't missed a show and I feel secure recommending it to pretty much any adult who doesn't take themselves too seriously. The three hosts (Geoff, Mickey and J) approach a myriad of topics with good humor, generally good common sense, and like most good talk shows, the hosts don't always agree, are willing to explore the different sides of an issue and then move on.

Every Saturday between 1pm to 4pm they have a live show which is later split up into three one hour episodes and made available throughout the week so if you miss the live show you can catch up later. I'll be honest, I'm normally catching up, I've only caught a couple live shows, but live or refried I've enjoyed them. I have to say, however, that there is a real benefit to listening the live show, watching the video feed, and interacting with the good people in the chat room. The hosts do pay attention to what the users are saying and if it's interesting or funny at all they will use it in the show. This adds a level of interactivity that you don't always see, and I really enjoy it.

In conclusion, go listen, go listen now.

There are several other shows on their network as well, you can take a look around at There's something for pretty much everyone.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Starfree Port: Work on this book comes to an end this weekend.

I've sent the first half of this book to my editor, and after looking over it again myself, I'm making some minor modifications and moving on to the second half of the book.

Here's the thing. I'm leaving the decision on whether or not to split this book into two episodes to him. Once R.A.I. is finished reading it and gets back to me, we'll see what happens. If it were television there would be no question that this first half of the third book would be a stand alone one hour episode, but in print the rules are a little different. As someone very dear to me once said; "Some things work on television, but not in print." Well, that's true for a lot of reasons, but I'm really enjoying this work, so I trust his opinion more than my own.

The good news is that the editing and re-writing goes on, and by the end of this weekend the second half of book three will be finished. What I'm editing right now grows the story, characters and universe a great deal and I'm happy with it.

If I weren't enjoying this plot line and the characters so much I would not still be picking through it line by line, making sure that the conclusion to this plot line comes out perfectly.

Sadly, as a result of the hours I'm putting in on editing, blogging is slowing down a bit, but I promise to check in, and there is some interesting news coming.

Back to work I go!