Oh hey.

Lots of movies and video games these days are being remastered and rereleased; the games industry is especially notorious for dusting off and rereleasing older titles because lack of creativity and originality and risk. I figure why not jump off that bridge too, eh?

I jest. Mostly.

The truth of the matter is that I released my first book too early. I pulled a CD Projekt Red move before that was even a thing, though to be fair at the time that was more like a Bethesda maneuver. I have talked about this in previous blog posts, but to reiterate, back in 2016 I was in a position where I didn’t expect to see many more days in my life, and I was obsessed with at least leaving something behind, a legacy. I was desperate to make my then-girlfriend and my family proud. I had something to prove to myself, which I then externalized to an unhealthy extent.

That’s a fanciful way of saying that I freaking rushed my first novel out the door too fast. Year 200’s basic foundation was solid and of course I fell in love with my characters, but I did not spend enough time on polishing the work, and especially I did not dedicate enough time to ensuring the work reflected my true creative voice. This is why I often mention that the sequel, In the Baron’s Shadow, is where I found my author voice. In that work, I had shaken off the overly enthusiastic and excessively quippy narrative tone I had previously adopted for blogging, and moved away from relying on the cliches and similes that are all too often used as crutches for beginning writers.

So then, I may be playfully calling this a remaster, but in reality this is an almost complete rewrite. The plot and character dialogue will not be altered, because I don’t believe in altering published canon (see the term, “Lucasing”), however the entire structure that the story, characters, and their interactions live upon is being rebuilt from the ground up. In addition, with this second crack at the story, I am going to be able to add back in elements that I cut from the original draft because at the time I felt I lacked the skill to implement them without killing the narrative flow.

For an idea of how this will look, here is the first paragraph of the book.

Original:

“Out in the fringe of the Solar System, two hundred years beyond Terra’s death, there was an aberration: a silent, star-lit field pierced in an ungraceful manner by a metallic human construction. The overworked, underpowered shuttle sputtered across the expanse, struggling to stay on course toward the blue orb in the distance. The passengers’ fragile hope of making it to their destination alive was wounded by a collision between the shuttle and a hunk of debris.”

And now, rewritten:

“It was quiet in this pocket of the Outer Solar System. That was, until an aberrant perturbation caused a relative ruckus. It was an overworked Type-E passenger shuttle, freshly caught by Neptune’s gravity. There was nothing in the vacuum to transmit the creaking inside its bulkheads, nor the crackling of sparks coming from its overloaded circuitry, but it made up for it with a wobbling, visual commotion and plenty of fresh interference to filter out in comms traffic.”

It is a short sample to pick up on this to be sure, but I’ve done away with the attempts to be overly cute in my narration, and have dialed back on the character descriptions and perspective-distancing titles that, to be frank, I ripped from games such as Borderlands. The final product will be a story that will at last be able to stand by its younger sisters, In the Baron’s Shadow and Lunacy.

More details to come on this and my other two aforementioned writing projects in 2021.

FIN

This is less of a blog entry and more of a quickie update. This website is going to by and large retain its current appearance and function, however as of this writing my novels are temporarily unpublished. Used paperback copies may be in circulation, however I would take it as a kindness if you would not buy anything under my deadname. Of course I can’t physically stop you but you know, all I can do is ask. I will fix any potential broken links and make a new update when things are republished and tweaked to reflect my correct identity.

Oh hey internet.

Because of positive response, and because there are only 4 copies left of the now out-of-print version of After Terra: Year 200, I am keeping my promotion going until they are all gone.

What is the promotion again, you ask? I’m glad you did.

If you buy a copy of After Terra: In the Baron’s Shadow or After Terra: Lunacy directly from me, you get Year 200 for free. Buy both, and you also get a digital download of After Terra: Beginnings or Slayer’s Keeper for free. Your books will be signed by me, and what’s more, is if you want, your name will be featured here in a sort of Hall of Fame on my website, my Patreon page, and in After Terra: Return of the Gods.

In the Baron’s Shadow and Lunacy are $15 USD when purchased direct from me. I’ll take care of shipping. Drop me a line at coldspringauthor@gmail.com if you’d like to partake of this deal.

Thanks!

FIN

 

I suppose this is the most appropriate of all places in the world to announce that I have finished the first draft of my fifth novel, and the fourth novel in the After Terra series: Return of the Gods.

The project started officially on March 21, 2017. My, how many twists and turns and misfires my life has endured since then. I survived many changes, including several relocations and a disastrous excuse for a marriage that thankfully never legally existed. And thus, so did my novel, and might have come out the better for it, albeit at my own expense.

Return of the Gods is the largest project I’ve ever created and possibly ever will. Even in its current state, its size eats up the previous two After Terra novels and the short story collection, and is close to Dune in its word count. It is nearly twice the size in words of everything I ever published on uncommongeek.com.

So, you can imagine (hopefully) why this project has consumed so much of my writing time and creative power. There came a point where, when given time and opportunity to write, Return of the Gods was all I could think of. Now that it is done, yes, there is editing, rewriting, formatting, and other fun stuff to take care of, but the most difficult part of the task is done. The foundation is laid.

I have also been busy behind the scenes exporting the majority of posts I made for The Uncommon Geek for republishing here on afterterra.com. Although I don’t know all of the details to the letter, but it has been indicated to me that uncommongeek.com may not be accessible as we know it in the relatively near future. Besides, the posts I saved were mostly in bad need of rewrites anyway. So, this is another reason why posting here has been quiet.

Now that my head is clear from writing an epic, there will again be regular activity on this site, and lots of exciting publishing news about my work is coming your way in 2020. This is shaping up to be my most prolific year yet.

Until then.

FIN

I fully realize and take complete responsibility for the fact that afterterra.com has been dormant for the latter quarter of 2019. It has been dormant as a blog and as a hub for everything to do with my flagship science fiction series. I could point to a number of reasons that played into this, such as participating in NaNoWriMo, or my haphazard personal life, or in prioritizing my next novel over publishing anything on this here site. At the end of the day, these things are excuses. If I had the passion to update my site, I would have found the time and found a way.

Does that mean I don’t care about this site? Not at all. Do you stop loving a family member or stop caring about a friend if you lose touch for weeks or even months? No. Daily life has a way of pulling you away from remembering such priorities, especially if you have to work to survive. For some of us, the escape from reality’s crushing pressures becomes its own full time job, a way to recover and regenerate from the demands of an arbitrary “real” existence. The energy needed to maintain “real” life and the energy needed to recover from living it leaves precious little for the things we really want to do.

That leads one to make a choice. You can either piss and moan and blame reality, society, other people, whatever, for this dilemma, or you can face yourself and understand that perhaps a reshuffling of energies and priorities is in order. “You either believe in yourself or you don’t,” as James T. Kirk once said. This idea can extend further into whatever endeavor it is you are striving to achieve. True, the world is full of shit. Society has more ills than I can properly cover in a single blog, and there is some legitimate blame to go around as to why so many of us toil and slave away and never get to make a living doing what we want to do instead of what we have to do. But you can only ride the blame train for so long before you have to take responsibility for your own actions, or inactions. When I was at one of my lowest points in all of life and had become disillusioned with almost everything—to the point where I became supremely vulnerable to she who in retrospect was the biggest abuser I’ve ever encountered—I eagerly blamed my job, society, my country, even my family for my woes. I never asked to be born into this miserable world, I never asked to be a citizen of a country that is destroying itself piece by piece. But I can acknowledge that these things are beyond my control, and say, “look, this is the hand I’ve been dealt. Others have done more with less.” Because they believed in themselves, and in what they were doing, and they refused to allow life’s mundane bullshit to stop them from achieving their goals.

What do I believe in with After Terra? I believe that I can give you, a science fiction audience (or alternatively an audience that loves character-driven adventures), something you have been craving for a long time: a spiritual successor, the next torchbearer for Star TrekStar WarsFarscapeFirefly, et cetera. I’m writing for those of you, like me, who don’t believe for a second that science fiction is a dead genre, but merely one that has been lacking a touchstone for a generation or longer, one that is waiting for a watershed in the 21st century. I’m writing for those who are sick of rehashes, remakes, who are tired of the supposed leaders of modern creative media flushing good storytelling down the toilet in favor of lens flares, shoddy writing, mysteries that go nowhere, explosions, and weird camera work.

Some have advised me that when I have been low, I should focus on writing for myself. Well, I can write for myself until I am green in the face. It doesn’t matter when I have something that I am writing for an audience, and not an audience of one. So I have stumbled, I have made a lot of screw ups. Unlike some authors, I choose not to hide these things in an attempt to appear austere. Don’t let anyone delude you otherwise; there is no magical curtain between authors and non-authors. We aren’t any different from you, fundamentally, except perhaps for an excessive capacity for enduring criticism, rejection, judgment, ridicule, and disappointment. In other words, we’re masochists. So, I know I am going to make more mistakes down the line. Some of you out there, whether because you have a legitimate reason to not like what I do or because you’re a troll, aren’t going to contribute anything positive to the journey. Maybe you’ll be a nice person that I can agree to disagree with, or maybe you’ll be a fucking asshole. I can’t control that. But if I can create a living, breathing universe for you fellow sci-fi lovers to get lost in and enjoy, one that isn’t going to stab you in the face like some other promising franchises have, then it’s all worth it.

FIN

If you have not already had a looksee at my first novel, you can get a free digital copy of it this weekend on Kindle. This is to help celebrate the launch of my story collection, Beginnings, this coming Tuesday. You’ve probably seen me talk about it and I will be talking about it more in the future to be sure.

Check it out at the link below. It’s a great time to stay indoors out of the heat, read a book, and take in the beginning of a new sci-fi saga.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01E1PP8ME

 

FIN

This isn’t going to be much of a blog post. The short and sweet of it is that the preorder link for After Terra: Beginnings is below. The release price is 99 U.S. cents, and the collection launches 8 days from now on July 30, 2019.

I realize that a significant portion of the reading populace prefers print to digital, and to be fair I’m not sure when I will have a physical version of the collection made available, but if you dig ebooks, science fiction, and want to support the work I do in a tangible way, please consider checking this out. It will only put a marginal dent at most in your weekly coffee budget.

 

FIN

Top o’ the morn to you, internet. This little 4th of July update will be short and sweet.

Those of you who follow me on other sites may have already gleaned that I have been working on a short story collection. Well, finally, it has been written and is nearly ready for public consumption. After Terra: Beginnings is now a reality after having languished on my to-do list for a bit longer than I cared for. It contains six short stories (or vignettes, if you prefer) intended to give you, the reader, a deeper look into what made the After Terra heroes the people they are before they came together as a crew. You will also learn more about the future Solar System and how it came to be.

What is the release date? I’m glad you asked. The collection will be released digitally on Tuesday, July 30th 2019 C.E./-54 A.T.

A preorder link will be coming soon for those of you into that sort of thing.

In the meantime, feast yon eyes upon the cover. Until next time.

 

FIN