Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Spinward Fringe Store - Dates & Lineup

The store has taken over half a year to plan. T-Shirt tests have gone awry, and a couple vendors have proven to be downright dodgy.

Meanwhile, contest winners who should have had swag in hand by the end of January have been left to wait... and wait...

After all that I can say with full confidence that the store will be open at the end of June. Prizes will be on their way to the winners in the 4th week. The vendors are set, and the initial products have been decided.

How will the store work? There will be a simple page where anyone can order through Paypal, and inventory will be kept in-house.

I've owned a retail business before and managed another. The biggest difference between what I'm doing here and those experiences is how the store is built. You have spoken, told me what you want, which ideas are terrible, and which you're eager to see become reality.

This is what will be available at the end of June:

Signed copies of Spinward Fringe: Origins.
Samson Crew T-Shirts.
Triton Crew T-Shirts.
Spinward Fringe Booster T-Shirts.
4 Buttons will be released every month for the first 3 months.* (One free with every order)
Military style patches.

Other ideas in development include:
Signed Copies of final edits of each book.
The white scarf.
Fitted T's.
Desk model of the First Light and Triton (this could take a while).
Spinward Fringe: The Spoiler Files DVD / BLU-RAY
The Spinward Fringe Encyclopedia & Role Playing Setting
Bomber Jackets
Spill Proof Mugs

Everything listed above was requested many times with the exception of the Spoiler Files, which are a collection of ideas that were brought up at one time or another. The prices will also be lower than vendors like Zazzle.

The primary purpose of the store is to provide for the requests of the majority of readers. The secondary purpose of the store is to raise funds for developing the Spinward Fringe Web / TV series, which could take years, but at least this is a start. The tertiary purpose is to develop a prop house.

Now that a lot of the kinks have been worked out, and there's a proper plan, things should actually begin to be fun where the store is concerned. I'm anxious to get things out to prize winners, especially since I hate breaking promises.

If you have any requests for the store, please feel free to share them!


*The buttons will have Minh-Isms, other quotes from the books and TV show campaign messages.

UPDATE - JUNE 2: After reviewing the new legal information about Cafe Press they've become an option again. This comes at the last minute, days before I put in a huge order in with a local T-Shirt printer that would offer standard quality and low selection. After reviewing the options, things have changed for the store, and for the better. The launch will happen on time if not earlier. More on this soon!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Expendable Few Briefly Explained

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


[Thanks to Dorian for asking a question on the Facebook Page that became a blog post.]

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Minion

This is Sylvie. Sylvie is Randy's minion. She is also in his writing group. She has known Randy for a few years now, and had never read science-fiction until gave her a copy of the Omnibus. She has been a sci-fi junkie since, working her way through the whole Spinward Fringe series, all of Stargate SG-1 (that's right, all 10 seasons), all of Farscape, the original Star Wars trilogy (finally), Firefly/Serenity, all the new seasons of Doctor Who, all of Torchwood, and a few others. She is still getting caught up, much thanks to Randy.

She is a university student (some might say a professional student - she has been there for a really long time), currently working on her Master's Degree in Human Development. When she is not agonizing over writing her thesis, she is getting as much creative writing done as she can, in all kinds of genres. She is also, technically, writing about herself in the third person, as she is the voice of Lewis online (see, Randy wasn't lying when he said it wasn't him...).

Lately, she's been helping Randy with proofreading and troubleshooting on the novella, and annoying him until he gives her new pages. She's also keeping an eye on the online stuff, so that Randy does not have to worry about those things and can concentrate on writing and editing. If you are so inclined, you can follow her on Twitter, at the following link:!/ever_light

If you have any questions/comments for her, feel free to send her an email at (Randy can also be reached at this address).

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Expendable Few: a Spinward Fringe Novella

I have "borrowed" the first two chapters of the novella from Randy's network, and am sharing it with all of you. I have put it up on the Goodreads forum, which can be found at the following link:

In case you are reticent to go, here is a teaser (if you want the rest, you will have to go to the forums).

This is a dramatized record of events surrounding Clark Patterson based on recordings made by his Command and Control Unit’s auto-logger, security records, neural captures, military files and action reports. For educational purposes only.

Chapter 1

Oldest Of Friends

“You’ve got to get rid of this contraband before they do a random inspection,” Mary tells me as she looks through three data chips that she knows are as dirty as they come. The small, light gold bits fit in the palm of her hand - easily hidden from anyone but a Freeground scanning crew.
I ship out in sixteen days. That’s why she’s worried; they always scan commanders’ quarters before you ship out. “Can’t believe that’s contraband now,” I tell her. “Especially at my pay grade.”
“Let’s see if I remember,” she says, holding the first of the chips up between us. She’s sitting cross legged on the floor, I’m stretched out on the sofa. “This one is your collection of Valance’s security footage.”

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lewis has taken over the "blog" mwahahahaha

My daily perusal of this "internet" technology has brought to my attention the fact that Randy has not updated his weblog or "blog" (honestly, you humans and your tendency to shorten words...) in eleven days, four hours, twenty seven minutes and forty three seconds. As a reader of his "blog" you might be interested to know that there is a valid reason for this. His minion, or "personal assistant" as he calls her, has been cracking the whip, "encouraging" him to write more words every day. He is quite preoccupied with writing and editing, and as such, you have not heard from him in eleven days, four hours, twenty seven minutes and forty six seconds. On the bright side, his network informs me that he has produced many, many words in that time.

For those of you who might be interested, here is a short distraction from your mundane, human lives. It comes from the goodreads forum, which can be found at the following link:

Randy suggested a new version of "rock, paper, scissors," which I understand is a game you play with your hands. Not having appendages, I will take his word for it.

Vacsuit beats Headshot.
Headshot beats Stasis.
Stasis beats Vacsuit.

Hand symbols: Upright V with 2 fingers for Vacsuit. Gun gesture for Headshot, Flat hand (just like paper), for stasis indicating 'flat line'.