I hope everyone’s weekend is going well.
Here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we’re shredding and cleaning, and getting ready for the book tour — you’ve heard about the Trade Secret Book Tour, right? Here’s the link. Hope to see you at one or more of our stops!
So, last week the ebook edition of Trade Secret hit virtual bookshelves at Baen, BN, Amazon &c. This means that a number of people have read the novel; and that, of that number of people, a smaller, but very eager, number have written to me wondering when they can read (choose one) the sequel/the next Theo book/the next book in the REAL timeline/what happens to Daav/fill in the blank.
I’m answering those questions here in part because I don’t want to have to answer every single one of those emails individually, and also in the hope that all the rest of the people who are wondering these same things will read this before they feel compelled to shoot off an email.
Regarding the title of the new next book to be published by an Author of the Confusion Factory — that will be, to the best of my knowledge, Carousel Sun, in February 2014. (
Yes, I do realize, as a couple folks have pointed out, that Carousel Sun is not listed on the Baen website as an upcoming book; UPDATE: A kind friend points out that Carousel Sun is, indeed, on the Baen Publication Schedule. Here’s the link. I take the word of the young man who told me that it was not listed as being part of any “bundle,” since the ways and means of “bundles” are obscure to me. I don’t know why any of these things are so — or not so. My information is this: Carousel Sun is listed on Amazon and BN as a February book. Further, I’m told by Baen that the galleys will possibly be ready for me to read when we return home from the book tour. That’s all I got.)
OK, so: Carousel Sun, February 2014 is the next “new” book; after that — perhaps Carousel Seas (which was turned in in August, so it could possibly appear in the Spring of 2014 — this is, please note, pure speculation on my part; I don’t make the Baen publishing schedule.)
After that? I dunno. The next book set in the Liaden Universe® is due on Madame the Editor’s desk in May 2014. Again, pure speculation, and assuming such variables as a very clean manuscript and space in the schedule, it could, maybe, appear at the very end of 2014. Could. Maybe. See above re my involvement in making the publishing schedule.
For those who are “turned off,” as one correspondent put it this morning, by the Carousel books — you’ve got, yes, a long wait before you. While I know you may be disappointed, I will ask that you please keep your disappointment to yourself — done is done. The particular set of delivery schedules that created this inconvenience for yourselves was set years ago, ‘k? And I happen to like the Carousel books, and hearing how they’re minor, or disappointing, or whatever, makes me sad. It’s far more difficult for me to write anything when I’m sad. Just sayin’.
So, moving onward, what can the longtime readers of the Liaden Universe® expect?
You can expect, eventually, five books. I can say with complete confidence at this point that NONE of those five books concerns the doings of Jethri Gobelyn ven’Deelin, so those of you who are jonesing for a third (!) Jethri novel are going to have to find solace elsewhere.
Will any of those five books be in the REAL storyline? Well, that’s more difficult to say, there being a number of definitions of what, exactly, the REAL storyline is. Steve says all of them are in the REAL storyline (he can say so, if he likes; after all, he was there at the beginning), but some readers interpret the series differently than he (and I).
Let’s put it this way: The books — as pitched, and purchased — concern the ongoing adventures encountered by members of Clan Korval as the Clan tries to settle into its new role, on Surebleak, and in the wider Galaxy. The next book — the book we’ve started work on just recently, is not a Theo book, by which I mean that Theo is not the main character.
Those of you who have been with us since September 2012, at least, will recall that these five books — The Five-Book Dash, as we’ve been calling it — are, in their entirety, the “sequel” to Dragon Ship. I am made to realize, from email, and other comments, that this is, in essence, “pulling a Wheel of Time.” Which is apparently a Bad Thing. Whatever*.
The way we look at is that the five books coming are sequels to all the books preceding them: Agent of Change, Crystal Soldier, Fledgling, and all the etceteras of them — every one of the seventeen prior Liaden novels feed into the action of the melded storylines you’ll be seeing. Remember how we say, over and over again, that the Liaden Universe® is not a straight-line series? We really mean that.
Think of it this way: The Books of Before are a short road that intersects and flows along with another little street, The Space Regencies. That combined street makes a slight bend and suddenly we’re on the main thoroughfare of the Agent of Change Sequence, down which we proceed for quite a number of blocks until it crosses The Theo Waitley Sequence, with which it runs parallel for a time, eventually merging with it onto the interstate — The Five-Book Dash.
If this seems unnecessarily complicated to you — well. . .it’s the way our shared mind-space works, so we’re all sorta stuck with it.
Now! Not to belabor the point, but in the interests of Absolute Clarity, I offer here the publication schedule as it is known As Of This Moment:
November 2013: Trade Secret
January 2014: A Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume 2
January 15, 2014: “The Gift of Music,” free short story, Baen website
February 2014: Carousel Sun
; Necessity’s Child mmp
March 2014: Necessity’s Child mmp
Here is the delivery schedule for the next five Liaden Universe® novels (aka the date that each novel is due in Madame the Editor’s hands):
May 15, 2014: First of Five
February 15, 2015: Second of Five
November 15, 2015: Third of Five
August 15, 2016: Fourth of Five
May 15, 2017: Fifth of Five
* * *
OK. Who has questions?
*The published Liaden Universe® is almost exactly two years older than the Wheel of Time. Just so you know.