Writing News Update

Here’s a bit of an update on the writing and so forth: My Czech publishers – Polaris – have offered for rights of The Voyage of the Sable Keech. Publication will be within 12 months, licence limited to 4 years. Nightshade books are publishing Shadow of the Scorpion on May 1st this year. This is a book (longer than Prador Moon) covering some early episodes of Cormac’s life: Raised to adulthood during the end of the war between the human Polity and the vicious arthropoid race the Prador, Ian Cormac is haunted by childhood memories of a sinister scorpion-shaped war drone and the burden of losses he doesn’t remember. In the years following the war he signs up with Earth Central Security, and is sent out to help either restore or maintain order on worlds devastated by Prador bombardment. There he discovers that though the old enemy remains as murderous as ever, it is not anywhere near as perfidious or dangerous as some of his fellow humans, some closer to him than he would like. Amidst the ruins left by war-time genocides, he discovers in himself a cold capacity for violence, learns some horrible truths about his own past and, set upon a course of vengeance, tries to stay alive. As for writing done while in Crete: I completed the above mentioned book, a 10,000 word story for Gardner Dozois’s New Space Opera II and am more than a third of the way into Orbus, a follow-up to The Voyage of the Sable Keech: The Old Captain, Orbus – a sadist in charge of a crew of masochists – became a reformed character at the end of The Voyage of the Sable Keech and took over the captaincy of the spaceship the Gurnard. Meanwhile, the Prador Vrell, mutated by the Spatterjay virus into something powerful and dangerous, had seized control of a Prador dreadnought, killing its entire crew, and was heading back to the Prador Third Kingdom to exact vengeance on those who tried to have him killed. Both these characters are heading for ‘The Graveyard’ (mentioned in Alien Archaeology – Asimov’s) a buffer zone between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom, the perhaps into the kingdom itself. Orbus has a few unresolved issues about the Prador and about Vrell in particular …

9 thoughts on “Writing News Update

  1. Okay, if I look at my diary I notice that Line War is published on the 4th April 2008. I would like to think you are having a book signing at the usual place.

    If you do, I think it would be safe to say that I would like to think you will have some copies of Shadow of the Scorpian in your bag (Without the coca cola) for purchase. I know Scott (Hes the ones who I had to help stagger back to the Tube station (Event no. 2) would like a copy as well. Actually so would Martjin in Amsterdam

    Due to arrival of baby daughter while you were away on DIY weekend. I need a to go through a more convoluted approval process for an afternoon in the pub, so get it sorted 😉

    Welcome back.


  2. The thought of a follow-up to Sable Keech makes me feel warm and fuzzy in my stomach.
    More about the great Spatterjay and those delightful creatures and characters is something I'll look forward to.
    Well, until then I can enjoy both Line Wars and that Shadow of the Scorpion.

  3. You mention "Both these characters are heading for ‘The Graveyard’ (mentioned in Alien Archaeology – Asimov’s) a buffer zone between the Polity and the Prador Kingdom, the perhaps into the kingdom itself." What issue was that?

  4. I'm yet to receive copies of Shadow of the Scorpion myself, but Forbidden Planet often stock stuff from Night Shade Books (the publisher). I might be doing a signing there, not certain yet, just as I'm not certain that with the smoking ban in this shitty country, I'll be wanting to have a drink afterwards.

    Regarding Orbus … actually Sptterjay will not be involved, though a certain psychotic war drone will be.

    Alien Archaeology was in the June 2007 issue of Asimov's (with gabbleduck cover picture). It will also be appearing in Gardner Dozois's The Year’s Best Science Fiction 25th Annual Collection and it will be appearing in a collection of my short stories from Macmillan.

  5. Hang on, you're writing them too fast, I haven't read Hilldiggers yet! These sound great, and am looking forward especially to Orbus. Hoping for a future return to Spatterjay – I'm sure that world still has a few horrible secrets up its sleeve…

  6. Nice to see Macmillan publishing a collection of your short stories – looking forward to that. Neal, do you know if they'll also be publishing Shadow of the Scorpion, similar to what happened with Prador Moon (which I've just read and is excellent!)?

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