Regarding scheduling and the “next REAL book”

Good morning.

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 2014A Liaden Universe® Constellation Volume 2
January 15, 2014:  “The Gift of Music,” free short story, Baen website
February 2014Carousel Sun; Necessity’s Child mmp
March 2014Necessity’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.

27 thoughts on “Regarding scheduling and the “next REAL book””

  1. My question:

    What are the emails of the inconsidered louts of questionable melant’i who are causing you this BAD FOR EVERYONE sadness that hampers your writing. I should very much like to HAVE these emails in order that I (and likely others) might gently guide them to righter action. (Or smack them with a big hammer labeled DO NOT HAMPER THE WRITER).

    Also, perhaps it is time that you both consider the possibility of someone to vet your emails before reading them? I am QUITE certain there are many who would volunteer to act the person of business for you…

    By this I mean they would only field the sad-making and time-wasting and writing-hampering emails… Alas, I think you would not avail yourselves, because of the deep and committed regard in which you hold your fans… And I think, none of us would compare well to the dea Gauss…. 😉

  2. Being a long time follower of the author’s blog and other on line outlets helped this reader reach an understanding.

    The back brain is a strange and mysterious beast. Treat it kindly and it will provide you the answers you seek but not always to the question you asked.

    Like many wild things patience is key.

  3. I am with Michele, we should borrow Scalzi’s “Mallet of Loving Correction” and go after these folks who are not happy with Carousel series, turning them toward the righteous path. I love the Carousel series, and I also love all the Liaden books, so I figure that I am not the only fan who would not see you saddened or hampered in your writing.

  4. Sigh. I don’t understand how people can harangue authors whose works they supposedly admire when those authors don’t write the books the troll thinks they should write. Personally, I read authors because their style of writing connects with me ( I LOVED Duainfey and Longeye and am eagerly looking forward to the Carousel books) and if they write multiple books with characters I love that is just a bonus for me. As a musician, I get tired of people always asking for the same music played- sometimes I want to branch out an hope my audience will follow me…

  5. I happily await whatever you singular and you plural write. I have crutches which wrap nicely around the heads of idiots and louts. Althoughone hammers and mallets work well in this regard as well. Ignore the selfish, entitled louts and have a fun book tour.

  6. In my way of thinking a ‘bad book’ is one that was written poorly, something I just don’t see in any book bearing the name of any real publishing house. I have run into it in self-published books from time to time.

    It does happen sometimes, that a book from an author whose work I have loved, turns out to be ‘not my thing’. It happens. I know that it has much more to do with me, than with the work itself, so I have never felt the need to tell the author about it. Doing that would make neither the author nor me feel any better. I just move on, and tackle the next book from my TBR list.

  7. It took a long time for me to happen upon and read Carousel Tides–and I loved it! That you got the chance to revisit and write more stories with these characters amazes and delights me! Of course I also love the Liaden Universe books and await every new one eagerly. I have learned patience over my years of reading and selling books. (Now I am off to read The Grand Sophie for the first time–how did I miss Heyer while I was growing up??)

  8. I eagerly await anything you feel like writing! I loved Carousel Tides and look forward to the next books.
    I love the Liaden series (my favorite space opera series ever).
    I very much enjoyed the mystery books set in Maine.
    I like short stores with cats. or without cats.
    Just keep writing!
    and thanks for all you do.

  9. I’m with Barbara — at about !00%.

    Especially, thanks for all you do to make reading a pleasure.

  10. Glad to hear more about the upcoming books. Thanks for the info.

    I don’t understand why people feel entitled that their favorite authors should write the book they (the reader) wants. One of the things I like about your writing is that it is varied. I would have never thought to ask for the Crystal books or the Theo books. But I am so very greatful to have them.

    Hope you get to enjoy writing and ignore the comments of entitled readers.

  11. Don’t let the ignorant whiners distract you from your Chosen Path. Books are often written as the characters dictate it seems.

    I am in debt to you and your Lifemate for All Things Korval. Evangelizing the books is part of my attempt at Balance:}

    I must share one comforting personal note that may be a Welcome Amusement: When in recovery from my first surgery for chemotherapy induced cataracts- the eye doc gave me a coffee cup plant group. A fern and some sort of “Spider Plant” that I have been nurturing since August of 2011.

    I dare to say the plant plainly asks me for water, plant food sticks- and ever increasing sizes of trellis framed pots.. Mayhaps it’s a Proto-Ssussdriad species hanging out on our Terra?

    Matters of Plant>Eventual Tree aside…Knowing there are so many more years of Korval ahead gives additional reason for living.

  12. Sympathy to the writer. As we all know, it’s not uncommon for writers who write more than one character/setting cluster (to avoid the term “series, which isn’t always appropriate) to be beset by annoyed fans when they write in a different one than that character likes. It’s happened to me, repeatedly (“WHEN are you going to write another A? I don’t like B at all.”) And a thank-you to our hostess-writer for explaining more calmly than I can just how damaging it is to the writer’s forward momentum to get a string of “WHEN…etc.?” emails, esp. when working on the B for that reader. As a reader, I can think of several writers whose A-list (from my selfish viewpoint) are among my favs, while their B-list (as above) is unreadable (for me! Just for me!) So I sympathize with others who have that experience, but I keep it to myself, because (writer hat goes back on again) I don’t want to cause the other writer any grief. I’m too grateful for the books of theirs that I love and gobble up the moment they appear.

  13. Thanks for the info. Excited to see how you will pull the varied plot threads together while spinning a five-book spool. Spiel. Some of your books are truly a joy.

    Ps. I have always hoped for a scene with Nelirikk meeting the Tree, and learning more of Jela.

  14. Not to be haranguing in any way, while I very much enjoyed Trade Secrets, I do hope that there will eventually be a continuation of the romance just bubbling under the surface at the very end of Balance of Trade. Realizing of course that the two of you have a lot of commitments before you can get back to Jethri’s timeline.

  15. I agree with Elizabeth Moon, I am happy when a writer says “when” something is coming out, I do not ask “when”. There are many authors I have that I really like some of their books and dislike others. It also depends on what your mood is when you read them. I have read some I did not like, because I was really not in the mood. Put them down, re-start later and really like them. So far I have liked all the Lee/Miller books, some more than others. Liaden most, of course. I would never bother a writer…I want them to write so I have something to READ! 😉

  16. OMG! I have to find a way to live until May 17, 2017! Should have read that last book by then. But of course by that time you will have more on the “waiting list”. Hope my eyes don’t go before I do.

  17. Not to excuse the behavior of the louts, but I can understand it. We fall in love with particular characters, some more than others. We want to see more of our favorites, especially when their current stories end with something tantamount to a cliffhanger. (The ending of Dragon Ship isn’t a traditional cliffhanger in that it doesn’t leave Our Heroes in deadly danger, but it poses enough of a burning what-happens-next question to approximate one.)

    I suspect that Theo, in particular, strikes a chord with a lot of Internet Aspies (such as myself) who see much more of themselves in her (whether intentionally or not, she does display a lot of the symptoms of Aspergers, right down to (apparent) clumsiness and difficulty reading other people in social situations) than in other characters in the series.

    And the thing about Aspies is that, well, we are socially awkward. So we may not be most adept at communicating our interest in the best of ways. (And, Dunning-Kruger being what it is, we don’t always realize it when we’re doing that.)

    Anyway, I’ll be happy enough to read whatever you put out, and I know you’ll get back around to my own favorites eventually. So you keep writing and I’ll keep reading. That’s the author-reader contract. 🙂

  18. @Chris,

    Well said. And it is not only true of those with mild autism. We all develop relationships with characters, if the author handled characterization well.

    Me? Wondering what happens with Daav. Curious about Theo and Bechimo, even though Theo never meant as much to me as the Tree, Val Con, Miri, Nelirikk, Shan, Pat Rin, Syl Vor (after NC), etc. Could care less about Kamele and Kara, but that’s just me…

    Anyway… authors may be gratified if they are getting any feedback at all, whether from obsessed readers or not. Most authors get none.

  19. This indeed is pulling a “Wheel of Time”, but in this case, that is not a bad thing at all! Well, at least as long as you do not be so inconsiderate as to go off and die on me. And especially as long as you don’t leave the keys with Brandon…….

    Be that as it may, by the end of WoT I just wanted it to be over. With the Korval clan, I just want to get the next dozen or so books in my greedy little paws. You have no idea how glad I am that you two found Baen, I read ONE Liaden novel 20 years or more ago and NEVER found one in a bookstore again, so I had a wonderful time right after you signed with Baen.

    Go forth, be HAPPY, and most of all, PRODUCE!

  20. Simple question, but, probably not a simple answer… At what point in your adventure in a book do you settle on the final name for the novel? I’m not a writer, nor even an aspiring writer… just a simple engineer. But there are times when the variables in my subroutines don’t seem to explain the essence of what they are being used for so I rename them for clarity. That way I don’t have to go back and reread the entire subroutine so see why I’m using that “variable” for this “purpose” etc, etc…

    And thanks for all the entertainment flowing from your collective set of universes!!!

  21. Well…some books have a title going in — that’s rare for us, and sometimes when we’ve been sure — the book published as Scout’s Progress, for instance, had as its first working title Mouse and Dragon, which then got switched out for Ride the Luck. We finally settled on Scout’s Progress, because there was a nice resonance and depth to naming the book for a particular hand in a gambling card game — you got all the risk-taking of Ride the Luck with a little nod to Aelliana’s area of expertise.

    Agent of Change was The Book; alternatively, Val Con and Miri on Mars. Conflict of Honors was “The Short Story,” because that’s what we thought we were writing — a fill-in short — yes, right up until one of us noticed that “The Short Story” was 50,000 words long. The final titles for both came from something alliterative and/or apt that one of the characters says within the book.

    Mouse and Dragon was Mouse and Dragon from Day One, because we had This Perfectly Good Title sitting around just looking for a book. And we all know how long it took George to find a title. In fact, some people still refer to Necessity’s Child as George. I’d’ve actually let it stand, formally, but — nobody in the book is named George.

    I have no idea what the title of the book we’re working on now will be; haven’t even really gotten into it enough to give it a call-name, though I suspect it’ll earn one, eventually.

    So, no, not a simple answer. 🙂

  22. I’m pleasantly surprised at how QUICKLY these next 5 books are being written! I hope that you enjoy the process and all goes well.

    Even though I wasn’t too sure about Carousel Tides when I started it, I really enjoyed it. It can be hard to detach from favorite characters and venture out with new people. I find myself thinking I will need to re-read it before the next book comes out – and that that will be a really good thing.

    Happy that you love to write!

  23. I just noticed Trade Secret on Scalzi’s new book pile. I hope he likes it as much as I am sure I will.

  24. I will cheerfully read anything Liaden over and over. Having tried sporadically at writing myself I find that the story lines go down unexpected branches as they evolve. Hopefully, that will be the case here. I would hate to have the Adventures of the “clan” totally end in 2017. At that point I will have at least 30 more years to read and am looking to be enthralled for at least part of them.

  25. Please write. Whatever you want. Whenever. As seems best to you.

    Waiting for a new book from an appreciated author — is excruciatingly painful. We readers DO survive. Somehow.

    This list of emerging Lee-and-Miller books is more torture, & I’m willingly accepting the pain. I found the Liaden Universe only this year, while grieving Mom’s too-soon death (at 92) & I’ve now read ALL of the books. Twice. Some 3 times.

    I’m so happy that there will be more (Please, Sir and Madam, may I have more?)

    Please don’t write in response to this — Janet Kagan was way-too-polite & commented on everything I wrote — I begged her to write books, not email — & had to stop writing to her.

    Now I’ve had to track down early short stories in out-of-print books & magazines
    in order to get my KAGAN fix since she died.

    Baen seems to be doing well by you — Lois McMasters Bujold wrote a story for a Catherine Ansoro’s project — and we waited YEARS for the publisher to release WINTERFAIR GIFTS.

    And years more for Ms. Bujold to give us Ivan’s story (CAPTAIN VORPATRIL’s ALLIANCE).

    It was a joy to find you (thanks to what you wrote in tribute to Anne McCaffrey) — 17 new-to-me books in print was a wonderful present. Not only did I buy them for myself for MY “Comfort Shelf”, & then buy the ebooks as I could (so they’d be in my pocket on my iPhone — I post (briefly — for me (;-) on FaceBook) & buy your books as presents for grandchildren.

    Nathan Lowell’s publication schedule (he’s had surgery) has forced me in to listening to streaming audio — & loving his voice (and Voice (;-) — and awaiting Owner’s Share — in print. And e-!!!!

    Tamora Pierce’s stories of Tortall — treasures in all formats, led me to her friend Bruce Coville (found on Facebook thru Full Cast Audio) & now I’m exploring
    audio novels — which I never liked, preferring to listen to non-fiction authors reading their own books as I drove the 1300 miles to visit Mom 4x a year).

    And this week, I’m reading my new stack of a dozen Bruce Coville’s children’s books — I bought a new little computer with a camera, & will experiment with Skype as I be Storybook Grandma to the newer Littlies 3,000 miles away.

    While I await the new books from Lee/Miller, there will still be books: Honor Harrington & Treecats & Amber Brown & My Teacher Flunked the Universe, & the newest Pierce backstory novel . . .

    So — no pressure, Progenitors of Liaden Characters — your writing & imagination & follow-through — are all treasured gifts.

    Thank you. & Warm Regards,
    Karen in Ohio.

  26. I “met” the Liaden universe through Theo in chance bought paperback version of Fledgeling…and then to access Saltation I was forced to finally break down and buy an e-book. After a 2 year rumination on whether or not I wanted to get into the larger Liaden Universe (also, ostensibly waiting for another Theo book) I took the plunge…and oh my, barely came up for air for a couple of months.

    I have since read everything Liaden I could get my hands on at least twice, some 3 times or more. I could KISS you and Baen for publishing the Liaden free stories – they are all great. It is ALL great – I love all the characters (even the bad guys). I found Duainfey in the library during the 2 year hiatus and thought it was…a little strong for me. I’ve skipped Longeye because of it. I’ll read the 1st Carousel and decide whether or not to read the other. And I will patiently wait for more in the Liaden/Human/Yxstrang universe.

    Authors follow their passions (and need to eat). I respect that and rejoice when their passions (or needs for food) align with what I love to read. I say to you what I told Neil Gaiman in person while he signed my copies of Stardust and Neverwhere: “I read your stories over and over again. Thank you for all you’ve written – hope you write more.”

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