In the last post, I looked back to the previous decade. Now, I want to take a look forward at what’s coming next. As it turns out, I’m entering the year 2020 with three projects right at the final editing and typesetting stages, so those are occupying much of my attention at the moment and I expect they will all go “live” in the first quarter of this year.
One of the projects that will appear in the next couple of months is the anthology Exchange Students edited by Sheila Hartney. It features twenty-two stories from a diverse group of authors who explore the idea of exchange students in a variety of settings. Some stories imagine interplanetary exchange students, some imagine time traveling exchange students. We have an exchange student from Hell visiting Heaven. There are also stories about exchange students crossing between our world and fantasy worlds. Throughout the book, you’ll hear stories from the perspectives of the teachers, students, and parents who find themselves in these situations. The final edited manuscript has just been delivered to me and I plan to start typesetting the book this week, then I’ll get in touch with the cover artist about finishing the cover, teased in the thumbnail at the head of this paragraph.
I’m also excited to be presenting Don Braden’s first novel. Don is a retired high school teacher who has often used science fiction as a teaching tool in the classroom. Don has also written for Tales of the Talisman Magazine. What’s more, I’ve almost literally known Don my entire life. He was my brother’s English teacher before I was even old enough to go to school.
Don’s novel is called Upstart Mystique. The novel opens with the space vessel Marco P en route to a distant colony world. The ship loses all power and an unknown force convinces the navigator that a distant, dead world is the vessel’s true destination. Commander Malcolm Carpenter orders the crew to abandon ship to protect them and to learn how to defeat whatever force has intercepted his ship. The crew discovers a small group of inhabitants, the only people on the planet who were not uploaded into a vast computer network—a computer network captivated by upstart humans and their imaginations. To free his crew and his navigator from the planetary network’s grip, Commander Carpenter must face a moral dilemma. Can he save his crew without condemning a planet’s inhabitants and their digital ancestors to death?
I’ve finished the first typesetting pass of Upstart Mystique. It needs a cover and a final check by the author, then it’ll be ready to go to press!
The third book I’m working on is the 25th Anniversary edition of my own novel, The Pirates of Sufiro. When the rights to the “Old Star/New Earth” series were returned to me, I wrestled with how much to re-edit these books. They were my early books and I renamed the series “The Space Pirates Legacy” in part because one of the major characters has a vessel named Legacy and in part because I do see it as my “legacy” series. It’s the series where I cut my teeth as a writer, so to speak, and mostly I wanted to bring them back so they were available to fans who wanted my early work. Still, I felt like Pirates had some cool ideas that were buried in awkward writing. Also, the only ebook edition of the book had some problems that made it even more of a challenge to read. If I was going to put this book back on the market, I owed it to readers to improve what I could. I’ve just completed the actual rewriting portion of the project. I have a few more edits to do, then I’ll start typesetting. Again, the actual book should be available for purchase in the very near future. That said, people who support my Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/davidleesummers will get a code to download it for free once it’s released.
After this, it’ll be time to move on to the next wave of projects. While typesetting and finishing these books, I hope to make some decisions about what will be next. Some things are clear. I’ll be revising and re-issuing the rest of the Space Pirates Legacy series: Children of the Old Stars and Heirs of the New Earth. At this point, I don’t expect they’ll take the kind of time I’ve devoted Pirates, but I do need to re-read and evaluate them. I do plan to polish and work on some short stories I have in mind and send them out to editors. Presuming Children and Heirs don’t prove as time consuming as Pirates, I’ll probably start work on the next new novel. You can share your thoughts about what that should be in the comments below, although I’ll also be asking my Patreon supporters and I do give their thoughts more weight.
I heard Alden Loveshade wrote one of the stories in *Exchange Students*–I’ll have to get that because I read everything that guy writes! (Sorry, couldn’t resist).
Weirdly, I think I’m nearly as excited to see the other stories in that anthology as I am to see my own. “Exchange Students” is one of the best concepts for an anthology I’ve ever heard because it both narrows it down and leaves it open to endless variations. I’ve since had ideas for two or three additional stories that fit that theme, one of which is partially written. (My story in *ES* hints at a sequel).
*Upstart Mystique* sounds fascinating, and to me it’s cool that someone who’s retired is publishing their first novel. And it’s good to hear about your work on *The Pirates of Sufiro*. May that be great news for both old and new fans.
I edited/co-wrote a couple involved projects that I hope to have published this year, and just got a book proposal for a line accepted that’s moving to contract stage, so I’ll be busy writing that.
Good luck with your other projects!
Alden, I think you’ll enjoy the stories by the other authors in Exchange Students. I’ve been having a lot of fun re-reading the stories as I’ve been typesetting the book.
I do encourage you to stay tuned for more news about “Upstart Mystique.” Don knows his science fiction and I think the book discusses something that’s become a bit of a trope in science fiction from a new angle. Don also really knows his philosophy, which is one reason his thoughts on the subject are worth considering.
As for The Pirates of Sufiro, that’s just been a blast. As I told a friend the other day, after re-reading what I’d written of the new edition, I just wrote the book I thought I had written 25 years ago. I’m not certain it’ll ever go down as my best book, being only my first, but I hope readers who discover the new edition will enjoy following the adventures of these characters.
Thanks for all your good wishes and good luck with your ongoing writing endeavors!
Alden, I think you will love the other stories also. They are fantastic!
Hmmm. Maybe there could be an Exchange Students 2 anthology someday. I could certainly write a follow up of my story, and I got so many good stories that I know there would be lots more out there.
My answer as publisher is lets see how the book sells. If all the authors get out there and help make it a big, big success there will probably be a second volume.
[…] after the year 2020 began, I wrote a post called “2020 Foresight,” as a play on the old saw, “Hindsight is 20/20.” The post looked at my publishing plans […]
[…] Since you are a speculative fiction author, and with a nod to your “2020 Foresight” blog post (https://davidleesummers.wordpress.com/2020/01/11/2020-foresight/), how do you foresee the events of the next ten years unfolding? How would you wish they would […]