Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Thanksgiving Greeting and Some News

Thanksgiving is upon us (as you can see from the steampunk turkey to the left), and it is my favorite holiday. I love it so much because of its simplicity. It is nothing more than a feast day spent with friends and family, with no pressure to buy and wrap gifts or send cards, and so sense of guilt at having failed to get just the right gift for someone or, in my case, failing to send out cards at all. Don't get me wrong; I love Christmas. But it's no Thanksgiving, that's for sure.

This year I have special reason for celebrating my gratitude at the passage of another good year. My first published work of fiction, A Prince of Mars, will be out next month from Untreed Reads, and my first full-length novel, Conspiracy of Silence, will follow mid-year next. But something I didn't know until the last couple weeks, and wasn't official until I signed and returned the contract this week, is that I am also now a Baen author. Baen Books will publish my debut print novel, and I'd gladly tell you the title but we haven't agreed on one yet. (I had one, of course, but neither of us liked it very much. We're still trading ideas for a better one.)

Well, plenty of time to fill you in on that later. I will tell you that it is science fiction but not steampunk. I hope you'll forgive me for letting a non-steampunk subject intrude on this blog. :^)

So I intend to have a wonderful holiday! I sincerely hope all of you have a very joyous Thanksgiving as well -- including those of you overseas who do not normally celebrate this holiday. Have a big roasted fowl for dinner Thursday, and a nice nap afterwards. Do you a world of good.


  1. Able to give us a title for the Baen release, Frank? Period? Setting? Part of the 163x-verse (you'd be a natural there!!!!)? Or????

  2. Fred,
    We have a title now: "How Dark The World Becomes."

    It's not part of the 163x universe, although I'd love to write something in that universe sometime. Great stuff, isnt it? But I created this universe and I'd describe it as Science Fiction Noir.

    Period: About 125 years in the future.

    In our own near future (maybe a couple decades out) we are contacted by the Star Collective, a star-faring civilization, actually a loose confederation of five intelligent race. It is even less monolithic than that suggests, since each of the five other races have about as many sovereign political entities as do we, and the Collective is an organization of those sovereign nations, not of the five races themselves. The Collective doesn't come to conquor us; we're welcome to join the club.

    Setting: The story starts a hundred years later when humans are integrated into this multi-racial and multi-world society, but are definitely the bottom rung on the socio-economic ladder. We're technologically backward compared to everyone else, and the Star Collective's intellectual property laws make it nearly impossible to catch up. Humans are mostly stuck in all the low-wage dead-end grunt jobs. There are a few exceptions. We are better than the other races at music, visual arts, architecture, design . . . and crime. We are really, really good at crime.

    Protagonist: A criminal from the Human ghetto on another world, actually a middle-level boss in an organized crime operation. He gets caught in the middle of a political power play between some very wealthy and powerful aliens. This takes him on a deadly chase across known space, the outcome of which may determine the future place of Humans in the Star Collective as well as his own chance at personal redemption.

    The title is based upon an observation by Leo Tolstoy: "There is something in the human spirit which will survive and prevail, there is a tiny and brilliant light in the heart of a man that will not go out no matter how dark the world becomes."