Hammer Squad and beyond

Summer is winding down, and in the spirit of all the students scurrying back to school and engaging in the high octane deathmatch that is parking at literally any university, I too am taking a hard-charging approach to gridlock and am fixing to get out some fancy new books.

First on the docket, and very hopefully out by the end of September is Hammer Squad. I like the world that Chaos Trims My Beard established, and I wanted to write more in it but not in such a way that infringes on the ongoing stories of Edwayn and Venrick. In the glossary at the end of Chaos, there's a few entries that hint that all was most certainly not well in the intervening time between the Burst and the establishment of the relatively stable society on display in that story. Hammer Squad pulls us back to those first couple of generations after the cataclysm, when humans and dwarves and elves were all eying each other skeptically but maybe thinking about giving it a go together. 

The titular Hammer Squad is a dwarven special forces outfit led by Foreman Dundrear of Hardshoulder. He's full dwarf, a many-decades veteran of fighting above and below ground, and he keeps a few framing hammers up his sleeves just in case he gets separated from his bigger stuff. The story follows one of the first attempts at integrating the forces of the very different societies of elves and humans and dwarves, and I had a fun time crafting what is—at least in part—something like The Expendables but with magic and sledgehammers. It's a military fantasy thriller with covert operations, world-weary commanders, plucky recruits, big explosive showdowns, and some shadowy plotting to nefarious, conspiratorial ends. I hope that you find it fun in the way that Chaos was fun.

After that, we're looking at something totally different in The Shadow Net. It's 206X, and one-time corporate enforcer Lee Bishop is hired to find out why a recently dead socialite is suddenly active on everyone's social media feeds. Thrills! Near-future tech! Brooding! I've got a draft nearly done and then it'll get the polish and shine and be out a bit after Hammer Squad.

Beyond that, before the holidays, Aerodance 4 will get out and pull together the first arc of the Neon Space Opera, and the collection of the first four stories will be available as an e-book bundle. I've also got a massive pile of notes and drafted scenes that, when assembled, look something like the next Edwayn and Venrick story. I was hoping to have it out by summer as the very last page of Chaos advertises, but my brain comes up with good intentions while my fingers scream at all the typing they've suddenly been signed up for. More writing updates next Monday.