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The Wrack Progress Update

Things have been a little quiet on my end of things, sorry! Figured I’d best give you all some sort of progress update on what’s been going on here on my end of things.

So: Big question first: How far away is my next book, that epidemiological standalone I keep talking about?

Well… unfortunately, it’s a ways off. That’s partially due to me adjusting to a whole new lifestyle- traveling as a digital nomad is challenging in a lot of new ways for me. I’ve gotten sick a few times as my immune system adjusts, I’ve lost my debit card and had to have one mailed out to me, I threw out my back (it’s basically healed now, at least)… it’s been a crazy few months. Plus, all the adjustments to new cultures and locations- I’m traveling pretty slow, but it’s still pretty intense. It’s been really good, too, of course- more on that in another post soon.

The other big thing delaying The Wrack (pretty sure I’ve announced the title already, but if not, it’s called The Wrack! Definitely my favorite title for any of my books so far!) is the epidemiology. I’m very, very far from being any sort of stranger to epidemiology- it’s been a fascination of mine for years, and I’m a firm subscriber to the disease theory of history. (Essentially, the idea that disease has affected human history far more strongly than war or any other human activity.)

This is my first time trying to write a book centered around a plague, though. I had a pretty firmly laid out lifecycle and symptomology for my contagion, and had a good idea how it would interact with the civilizations in The Wrack, and how the plot would wrap around those pillars.

Turns out, not so much. I made some fundamental errors in planning out the disease that broke the story. They weren’t especially big problems on their own, but in the world of epidemiology, truly tiny changes in how an infectious disease spreads, how long its incubation period is, how lethal it is, etc, will produce massive differences when it reaches epidemic or even pandemic scale. Without spoiling anything, well… I either had to completely rework the plot of the Wrack, or redesign the disease.

I chose to do both, because of course I did.

I’m also doing a massive amount of epidemiological reading as well- partially for research and tone setting, partially, well, because I really like reading that sort of thing.

So when is The Wrack going to be out? Well, instead of in December like I’d been hoping, it’ll most likely be out in January at the earliest, but probably February.

And, not to worry, there shouldn’t be (knock on wood) any comparable major issues for Mage Errant book 4. It’s by far the book in the series I’ve had most heavily plotted out in my head since close to the beginning. It’s going to go fast, and it’s going to be a blast. (Ironically, it’s the only remaining book I haven’t settled on a title for.)

A Brief Disclaimer on Rationalism

I’ve noticed that my books have been listed as rational fiction in a few places (Goodreads, etc), which I’m fine with. It wasn’t necessarily my intention, but my books have obvious commonalities arising from similar interests and influences. Rational fiction, however big it ends up getting, is just having its time in the sun at the moment. I’m of the school of thought that believes genre shifts like this are more a product of the cultural environment around them than being driven directly by their authors- though not entirely so.

I want to point out, however, that I’m not associated with the Rationalist movement/ Less Wrong crowd, due to philosophical and pragmatic difference. (If you’re not familiar with the Rationalist movement… well, you’re looking at a lot of internet drama over a lot of years. You probably don’t need to go farther than “John’s not part of this very specific, rather contentious minor philosophical movement that most people won’t ever encounter.”)

Continue reading “A Brief Disclaimer on Rationalism”

Book Recommendation

My buddy F.J. Blair just released book 3 in his Bulletproof Witch series, Arkton at High Noon! Bulletproof Witch is a fast-paced Weird West series, with high-stakes gunfights, demons, magic, and even a talking horse! The whole series is a blast, I highly recommend it. (And I get to beta read them- this one was my favorite one so far! I did grow up watching Westerns with my dad, so I do have to admit a soft spot for them, and this one definitely hits that for me, along with my more common fantasy cravings.)

Bulletproof Witch: Arkton at High Noon (Episode 3) by [Blair, Francis James]

Mage Errant ebook Publisher’s Pack

I just released an ebook Publisher’s Pack for books 1&2 of Mage Errant, to link with the audiobook via Whispersync. It doesn’t contain any new material besides a new afterword, so no need to go out and buy it immediately, but if you don’t own the ebook yet, it’s a dollar cheaper than buying books 1&2 separately! It’s also available on Kindle Unlimited.

The cover is a modified version of the audiobook cover, which I’m pretty happy with!

Publisher's Pack Cover.jpg

The Kindle Matchbook Program is Ending

The Kindle Matchbook Program, which allows you to get free or cheap ebook versions of physical books you purchase through Amazon, ends on October 31st. If you’ve bought any Mage Errant paperbacks, they’re all enrolled in the Kindle Matchbook program!

You can check here to see if you have any Kindle Matchbook eligible titles until the end of the month! (I had four that I hadn’t taken advantage of- Dostoevsky’s Notes from Underground, Dan Simmons’ Illium and Olympos, and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods.)

Traitor in Skyhold paperback

A Traitor in Skyhold is now available in paperback!

Sorry it took so long, it takes about ten times as much work to get the paperback set up as the ebook. (Amusingly, paperbacks makes up less than 1% of my profits.) Now that I’m a digital nomad and traveling full-time, it also means that checking proof copies is much more difficult. (I’ve got to send them to my brother, who looks over them and sends me photos and feedback.)