Walking into the Wilderness

2010s end but the future is always beginning.

A new year is an artificial mechanism of time keeping but I like it as a journey marker because humans are pattern-making creatures and our brains work well on patterns.

For some, it acts as a gate to help let go of doubts, fears, emotional baggage, and bad experiences that may have been dragging them down. For some, it works as a flag to indicate a fresh start or a shifting of gears. For some, it’s mostly a reason for a party with good food and drink. In this harsh world I am pretty sure we need all the chances for celebration and joy we can get.

I have no idea what the new year will bring but I can guess it will be a mix of good, bad, delicious, horrible, unexpected triumph, unsought-for disappointment, and, with luck, meaningful time spent with those you care about and some measure of success in matters large and small in whatever way you measure success.

As an individual with generalized anxiety disorder (which I’ll be talking about more this year in terms of how to function with it within writing and creating) I’m always struggling to remind myself that no one knows what is coming. The past is what we can see, even if our vision of the landscape behind us is distorted. The future is the unseen wilderness we are always entering.

The Sun Chronicle (series title may change)

The battered fleet returned to Molossia System without fanfare or announcement. Military personnel striding across the main concourse of Naval Command Orbital Station Yǎnshī slowed their steps as they looked up. One by one ships slid into view across the threshold of a beacon’s aura. The beacon itself was so distant it was no more than a pinprick of light as viewed by the naked eye, so the arriving ships were visible from the station only because their images were being superimposed on the concourse’s transparent shell.

A young woman had halted at an optimal distance to get the best angle on the huge curved viewing window. “Anzû. Kōlea. Asphodel Crane. Alicanto. That’s the . . . the Bulsajo.”

“That’s not a corvette, Princess,” said the burly soldier who stood beside her. Octavian had been making visual sweeps of movement in and out of the gates that connected the concourse to the various rings, nodes, and piers of the station. He tipped his chin up as he glanced at the enlarged image. “It’s a corsair. They’re both built for atmosphere landings, from the same original Yele design. But--”

“But a corsair has an additional comms bulb on the exterior because it usually hunts alone and can’t rely on a task force’s greater comms reach, as a fleet corvette does.” She tilted her head to the left. “I see the extra bulb now.”

His lips quirked. “I was worried for an instant there that you hadn’t been paying attention in class. The corsair must be one of the local Na Iri militia ships that got commandeered by our fleet before the battle.”

“It wasn’t assigned to my attack group.”

A spontaneous cheer rose from the concourse as a Tulpar-class battle cruiser--much larger than the corvettes and fast frigates in the vanguard--appeared out of the beacon’s aura.

“Seems the Boukephalas’s part in the engagement has reached fleet ears,” observed Octavian, indicating the battle cruiser.

“Will it be enough?”

“Will what be enough, Princess?”

Unconquerable Sun:

For me the biggest landmark in the year ahead is the release of my next novel, UNCONQUERABLE SUN, on 7/7/2020 by Tor Books in the USA.

Yes, that’s right: Gender-swapped Alexander the Great in space, as a trilogy.

Pre-orders are open. I’m linking to the Macmillan site which has a drop down menu and multiple order options at various stores. No news yet on UK or translation rights.

Don’t forget: 7/7/2020

I’ll have more book news next month, including a super cool anthology I’m part of and at long last forthcoming audiobook editions of the first three Crown of Stars books (King’s Dragon is being recorded even as I type this).

One last thing:

I’ve switched from Mailer Lite to Substack because of the flexibility Substack offers: I can use their service as an email and also to post to the web with the same action (no extra steps).

Over the next few weeks I’ll be adding old posts of mine to my Substack, including essays like The Omniscient Breasts (from 2012). I won’t email those links to you as they go up. Instead, once I have a number posted I’ll send an email with links in case you’re interested.

For the time being this will remain a free newsletter. Even if I later add a paid subscription element to the newsletter, the book news emails will always remain free since they are publicity rather than creative content. If you’re getting this it is most likely because I ported you over from my old Mailer Lite list. Of course you may unsubscribe at any time, but I hope you’ll stay. I’m always optimistic as I enter new territory, and I hope the psychological shift of using a new platform will encourage me to get back to my world building series and more regular blogging about the process and craft of writing and my observations and questions about publishing and genre.

There is a comment section which I’m leaving open for now.

Thank you as always for your interest.

Finn wishes you a Happy New Year.

Kate Elliott