Realms of Light: Progress Report Four

Chapter One is now paid for, and Chapter Two will be posted Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.

Six chapters are written.

It took longer than I expected to reach the target; I suppose the holiday weekend had something to do with that, but at one point I was sufficiently concerned that I started thinking about what I would do if it wasn’t even close.  I’d about resolved to refund the donations I’d received, and e-mail the donors the six existing chapters.

I’m glad it hasn’t come to that.

I also didn’t work on Chapter Seven, because it didn’t look as if I was going to need it, but I’ll get back to it soon now.  I do have other projects to work on — naturally, as soon as I posted Chapter One, I heard back from my editor with revision requests for A Young Man Without Magic.  I’ve been dealing with those.

Hope everyone (well, those of you in the U.S.) had a good Thanksgiving.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Three

And so it begins…

The first chapter of Realms of Light is now posted. An explanation of how the serial works is also up.

As always, this is first draft. If and when — emphasis on “if” — the novel is completed, it will be revised, edited, and eventually published in book form, by either FoxAcre Press or Misenchanted Press. Anyone in the U.S. who contributes $25 or more to the serial will get a copy of that book; for Canada it requires $30, and elsewhere the minimum is $35.

For every $300 I receive, I will post another chapter. Chapters will be posted at a minimum interval of one week.

I hope you’ll like it.

Realms of Light: Progress Report Two

Chapters written: Six out of an estimated twenty-five to thirty.

Chapters posted: None.

Anticipated start date: November 26th. If there are unforeseen problems, December 3rd.

Okay, I think I’m ready to start, even though I still haven’t heard back from my editor at Tor about A Young Man Without Magic. I can’t wait forever.

The Serial Universe website isn’t ready, but I don’t know whether I want to wait for that, either, and I’m hoping we can get it into shape quickly.

I’m afraid I’m going to be charging $300 per chapter this time, for several reasons — Carlisle Hsing is harder to write than Ethshar, for one, and to match what Steve Miller and Sharon Lee charge for their serials, for another. Not to mention that The Vondish Ambassador did significantly worse on post-serial money than The Spriggan Mirror did, forcing some reevaluation.

I realize this may prove fatal, though I hope it won’t.

If it slows publication down a bit, I won’t be terribly upset; a chapter a week can be a pretty challenging pace to maintain, especially around holidays or when traveling.

I’ll be putting up the “How This Works” page tonight, though the first chapter won’t be posted until next week.

Realms of Light: Progress Report One

Chapters written: Five out of an estimated twenty-five to thirty.

Chapters posted: None.

Anticipated start date: After Hallowe’en but before New Year’s.

I have things pretty much ready to start the serial of Realms of Light, but I’m holding off for a couple of reasons.

First and most importantly, I’m waiting to hear back from my editor at Tor regarding A Young Man Without Magic. If that needs revisions, those take priority; I don’t want to start the serial and then suddenly stop because I need to rewrite a chapter of A Young Man Without Magic.

Why does it get first priority? Because it pays a lot better than a serial.

Second, I’m hoping to coordinate this serial with some other authors, such as Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. We’re planning to establish a central site for online serials on this model at I’d like to have that up and running when I launch.

Besides, I have a speaking engagement in Kansas next week, and there are other distractions I’d like to get out of the way before I start. I also wouldn’t mind having Chapter Six written, maybe even Seven, just to have a buffer.

Which brings me to another issue I want to discuss, just to keep everyone’s expectations realistic. Realms of Light is a science-fictional detective story. Both previous serials were Ethshar stories. I’ve had a lot more practice writing light fantasy of the Ethshar sort, and I think it’s generally easier to write straight through in the first place; I haven’t written anything about Carlisle Hsing and her world in close to twenty years. It’s entirely possible that despite my best efforts and a reasonably complete outline, Realms of Light will hit snags along the way that will necessitate backtracking, revising, and so on before I can continue.

If that happens, I may not be able to stick to a strictly weekly schedule, even if the money’s there. I may also need to delete, insert, or rearrange pieces.

Any such changes will be included free, and I’ll let you know they’ve been made — that is, if I decide Chapter Thirteen isn’t working and throw it out, the new Chapter Thirteen, when I get it written, is already paid for. If I decide, in the middle of writing Chapter Twenty-Three, that it won’t work unless I go back and change something in Chapter Eight, then I’ll make that change, and it won’t be counted as something that needs to be paid for. Revisions will be announced here, and marked — that is, the corrected Chapter Eight would be headed “Chapter Eight (Revised).”

I’m working up a page that will explain how everything works, same as I have before, and I may post that a couple of weeks before actually starting the story.

So — any questions?

Realms of Light: Progress Report Zero

Well, folks, I’m starting to set up for my next serial.

It won’t be an Ethshar story — I do plan to write more of those, but not yet. Instead I want to tackle a science fiction story, a sequel to Nightside City.

The working title is Realms of Light, I’ve written four and a half chapters so far, and I’m hoping to launch it either late in 2008 or early in 2009.

So I’m getting this blog ready — why wait until the last minute? Better to take my time and get everything set up well in advance.

I welcome comments and questions.


At last!

I believe that every book I owed any donor is now on its way, though how I’m defining that gets a bit tricky.

There are seven sitting in a box in the dining room waiting to be taken to the post office. There’s one on my desk waiting for an e-mail confirming how the donor wanted it personalized.

All the others have been mailed.

Most packages included The Vondish Ambassador, a chapbook of “The God in Red,” and an insert map of the Empire of Vond. I signed or personalized The Vondish Ambassador as requested.

However, I know that in at least one case I sent a signed book to someone who hadn’t wanted it signed, and sent an unsigned copy to someone who had requested a signature. I’m fairly sure that I forgot at least one map. It’s possible I also messed up in other ways. My apologies, but packing and mailing hundreds of books is one heck of a job. I got most of them right.

There were also a few people who I could never get a response from, so those books may have gone to incorrect addresses. I tried, honest.

If you did not receive the map (it should be just inside the front cover), let me know, and we’ll see what we can do about it.

Two people who are entitled to a copy of the book declined — one prefers an e-book and the other is waiting for a mass-market edition.

If your copy of the book hasn’t arrived yet at all — especially if you’re outside the U.S. — give it a few days, but if it hasn’t shown up by Candlemas, drop me a line.

As of right now, there’s still nothing definite about a mass-market edition.

Several people have asked me when I’ll be starting the next serial, and what it’s going to be, so let me once again say, “I don’t know.” It depends on when I get other projects done, what sort of offer Tor makes (if any) for the Fall of the Sorcerers, and various other factors, some of them beyond my control.

My best guess is that I’ll start a third serial late this year — maybe as a Christmas present for my readers. Whether it’s Ethshar or science fiction — well, we’ll see.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support!

Department of Lost Souls

Half a dozen of the address-verification e-mails bounced, and I don’t have alternate addresses.

I don’t want to post full names here, to respect donors’ privacy, but I’m looking for:

Steve S.

Stephen G.

Matt W.

Emmeline S.

Shawn R.

Peter R.-S.

If one of those is you, please e-mail me at