Dead Ringers, book 9 in my Captain Arlon Stoddard series is available on pre order with an April 20th release – universal book link here
More will come closer to the time (though I will be away from the net on a research trip on the lead up to release day).
I will say now, though, that I’m excited about this one. Nine books now in the series. Who’d have thought, huh?
And, as I type this, I’m working on Tramp Steamers, the tenth book.
I also wanted to mention briefly the wonderful cover by Algol (licensed through Dreamstime) – I actually licensed this years back for a different story. A story I hadn’t written at the time. I loved the image and I grabbed it, and wrote a story based on it, thinking just to indie publish it. But then, I sold the story to a magazine, so that locked it up for a while (generally when you sell – license – a story, part of that is a period of time when it’s exclusive to the magazine, fair enough, they paid for that).
Anyway, in the interim, I’ve just never got around to publishing the story as a standalone (goofing off, I guess, since, you know, apparently I’m a slouch when it comes to putting stories and novels up indie and really should be getting more of them out), but I still hold the license on the image.
Then I wrote Dead Ringers and it was really different and high-concept and stuff like that and ultimately I was struggling to find cover art that fitted the story. Then I remembered I had this. It fits this story well, it’s dynamic and energetic and conveys the action. So here it is.
More soon – a blurb and other details on price and so on. But you know, we do have until April 20th until it’s out.
I am currently deep in the heart of writing the ninth Captain Arlon Stoddard novel, Dead Ringers, which is proving to be one of the most complex I’ve ever written – I’m taking more notes as I go than ever, and I’m tinkering a whole lot more with early parts of the story. It’s fun and different, and I hope to have it out in the first quarter of next year, all going well.
Experienced Captain Ulliana Alvis loves skimming above the forty-five hundred kilometer stretch of the Tegh Sea. Her vessel the Mourave carries fifty passengers in safety and comfort. The calm of the water always reassures and moves her at once.
But safety can be an illusion.
A Captain Arlon Stoddard short story that pits the crew against cascading events and into a desperate attempt to save lives.
A great place to jump in if you’re new to the series, and a wonderful addition for fans.
I like to have new book releases out on the 20th of the month, and for October and November, these will be novellas from two of my series. The first novellas in both. My novellas sit around a quarter the length of a novel – say around a hundred pages. I think Amazon labels them in with “90 minute reads” or something.
First up in on October 2oth is “Ortanide Steppers” from my Captain Arlon Stoddard Adventures series. Think deep space adventures with mysteries and puzzles around the galaxy. Technically a “novelette” in SF terms, but boy, keeping track of the names for the different lengths…
Ortanide. A planet with a unique geography, a rich history and a strange political system.
A political system that defies Captain Arlon Stoddard and his crew.
Restrained in a dank cell by the very people he came to help, Arlon faces the choice of violating the charters he works to uphold.
Or certain death.
A Captain Arlon Stoddard novella that pits the crew against possibly their most heinous foe yet.
Priced especially at $2.99 for the ebook, and $6.99 for the paperback. A bargain, right?
Next out on November 20th is “Cold Highway” from my Cole Wright Thrillers series. Pretty standard kind of thriller, adventure, gunplay stuff here. I’ve always liked those frozen highways and figured that might be a fun place to set a story. I was right, at least in writing it. I hope it’s as much fun to read.
A trip north of the border takes Cole Wright into the heart of snowbound Canada. Friendly people, vast distances, tough vehicles, isolation.
When a breakdown looms, Wright finds himself caught in the white, compacted landscape. A road thirty feet wide, hemmed in by the piled up ridges left by snowploughs. And an endless forest that could hide just about anything.
Unfriendly territory. Dangerous places.
A Cole Wright novella that focuses down on a single moment where the slightest error could be his last.
Still reasonably priced at $3.99 for the ebook, and $7.99 for the paperback.
So far all my paperbacks have come through Amazon, but I’m testing this one through Draft 2 Digital as well, in a slightly larger format, and ending up priced at $10.99. We’ll see how that goes.
As with previous months, I’ll have short stories out in the lead up to the releases. “Sea Skimmers”, which is the first Captain Arlon Stoddard short story, and followed by “Cardinals” which is a Cole Wright story with a difference – Lieutenant Ione Anders as the lead character (you’ll remember her from the first Cole Wright novel The Arrival) and Cole himself tagging along as a background character.
Details to come.
Remember you can explore the series from the pages available in the menu at the top of the page on the website here.
Right now it’s showing as “#10,339 in First Contact Science Fiction eBooks” on Amazon. That’s an awful long way down the rankings 🙂 but I suppose a fair start for book in a little series still on preorder.
See the Captain Arlon Stoddard page here for the full run down on the series. Now that we’re up to eight books, it might be time update the graphic.
I have several series on the go now, and it’s hard to pick a favourite. I like them each for different reasons. The Captain Arlon Stoddard Adventures are really just me writing the kind of stories that I liked to read as a teenager. They’re fun to write, and Arlon’s universe is broad and complex. I’ve had settings in deserts and deep space, ice bound planets and jungle-covered lands. Island Hoppers is set on an ocean world, dotted with islands.
Island Hoppers – Blurb
Captain Arlon Stoddard and his tireless crew patrol the spaceways.
Arriving on Melle, a planet covered in vast oceans, hundreds of archipelagoes and entirely lacking continents, the crew know they have their work cut out for them.
With conflicting jurisdictions, megalomaniac leaders and a mysterious ruin, the planet presents exactly the kinds of problems the crew specializes in. Impossible ones.
But betrayal from an unexpected quarter throws them into a desperate battle for their lives.
A battle that might just have Melle reveal its secrets.
Out on April 20th. Available now for preorder from the usual channels – universal book link here. Paperback available around April 17th. ebook $5.99, print $15.99.
If you love space adventure, the Captain Arlon Stoddard series is for you. A close knit crew, devious villians and near-impossible situations, all with a twisted mystery and a genuine heart.
With Island Hoppers, the series draws level with my Karnish River Navigations series with seven books. I’m just about finished drafting an eighth book in that series – Jackpot Kingdom – and hope to have that finished and out later in there year. I enjoy writing in both, so I might be alternating with them for a while.
For the last couple of years, I’ve released a new book on the 20th of each month. Sometimes a novel, sometimes a collection, and sometimes a standalone shorter piece.
Keeping that up, I’m releasing the final two for the year as preorders already. Might as well. Also, I will be starting the release schedule of a new thriller series for next year, so it’s good to get these out in the world now to give me a moment to focus a little planning for the thrillers and get ready for the first one on January 20th. More on those soon.
Both these new ones are novella length science fiction tales, albiet with very different focuses (as the covers hint, I hope), one very Earth-bound, and the other set in deep space.
Dangerous Machines – November 20th – $2.99 ebook, $5.99 print – available here – cover by Chepko Elelna
Gina Parker explores the underground alien tubes. The mystery of their existence draws her. Deeper and deeper. But the tubes hold more than mysteries. And Gina might just find more than the answers she so desperately seeks.
Load Bearing Member – December 20th – $2.99 ebook, $5.99 print – available here – cover by info793925
Coral Daimeer lugs her wrench around deep space vessel the Derlater. Sensors tell her what to fix. Coral fixes it. Coral’s intuition makes her great at her job. Mostly. A story that explores the question of what can a single crew member do when faced with impossible odds millions of miles from the nearest hardware store.
If you enjoy slightly longer sci fi stories with a heart, you’ll like these ones. Preorders up now, print available a few days before the ebook release date.
More news on the thrillers soon.
Right now I’m deep in the heart of writing the seventh Captain Arlon Stoddard book. It’s crossed the 200 page mark, with still plenty to go. Usually, as with most of my novels, these come in between 300 and 350 page marks, so enough left that I still don’t know the ending, but enough written that it’s feeling like it has some substance.
Hoping to have that out around early next year, depending on various factors. Then on to write a sequel to The Ergs, some more short stories, finish up the fifth of the new thriller series, then see where my writing goes. Feeling like another Captain Arlon Stoddard book might be fun. It had been a while since I’d written one, and I’m having a blast with this one. They really are a lot of fun.
Thanks for reading. Take care out there in the big wild world.
I have always liked the raw elemental nature of deserts. In New Zealand we have little in the way of desert. There are some wonderful dune fields way up north (I even considered working with a photograph I’d taken earlier this year for the new cover – left that in favour of Joshua Woroniecki’s wonderful illustration – see below), and there is the Rangipo desert, though this is a high-plateau area, most of which is army reserve, so not accessible to the public. Nor is it anything like that classic endless dune sea that you might think of when you imagine the Sahara, nor wide open hot lands as you would find in Australia, Chile and Peru, or even the Western U.S.
I have been lucky enough to travel to some of those places. The dry, hot wind whipping across a dune crest is something to experience.
I have written a few books and stories set in deserts – it’s fun to go play in these desolate places – both Raphael Marooned and Desert Creepers (part of the Captain Arlon Stoddard series) came out earlier this year. Set on distant worlds, where the rules of deserts may be a little different to here.
One thing I try to avoid with my SF worlds, is making a planet have all one environments. I have the feeling that there would be at least some variety. My new world, Tolesse, does have ice caps. It has some flora that thrives in tough ecosystems, closer to the the ice caps. But mostly, it’s desert. Bare rock. Sand. Barchan dunes. A few salt pans around, maybe. Certainly some local fauna. Oases with fruit palms. A culture of nomads, and feudal lords (I suppose) and some conflict (well, a fair bit of conflict).
I am looking forward to the movie Dune, coming out in October. I loved the first three Dune books. Transported to that wonderful place.
It may seem opportunistic to release this book so close to the movie’s release. For a moment I was even tempted to name it just “Erg”, but that would have been a little much, perhaps.
So, yes, why not put it out now? It’s ready, I think it’s a fun read (at least, I had fun writing it), and it’s not Dune. There are no sandworms or stillsuits. No spice, nor anything like the Bene Gesserit. There is technology, though it’s unequally distributed. There are ancient ruins and a megalomanic ruler.
Here’s how I describe the book in the blurb:
Essaline loves exploring the old hidden relics out on the erg. Tolesse has many secrets. A history dating back to the earliest times when humans first inhabited the planet.
But do humans belong?
A twisted tale of hidden destiny and people who will stop at nothing to get what they need.
Even from the innocent.
The Ergs – available from September 21st from your friendly online retailer, in both print ($17.99) and as an ebook ($5.99).
I think there’s space here for some more books too. I know some writers plan out their series and get the all neatly scheduled up (I do have thriller series coming out like that next year – with three and a half books written and the fifth in the back of my mind), but in general I tend to let my inner writing child just write whatever it feels like, and then I put things out.
Of course, I should write some more of those Captain Arlon Stoddard books. And some more of the Karnish River Navigation series. And there’s a sequel to Hunting Shellot around somewhere. So many things to write and only 168 hours in the week.
And I also need to tidy up this site to make it actually something vaguely close to up to date (sidebar, I’m looking at you). And I have a bunch of cover updates to do. I did manage to update the two Emily Jade thriller covers recently, making something that looks closer to professional, and more on point for genre. And I have to get that mailing list going. Did I mention that there are only 168 hours in the week?
Thanks for reading. Take care in these challenging times.
Book Six of my Captain Arlon Stoddard Adventures series will be out on June 20th. Just into the final formatting, writing of a blurb and those last few bits of tidy up before it can get out into the world
Underworld Climbers might even be my personal favorite of the series, so far, but then, usually the most recent thing I’ve written is my favorite.
The cover is by the amazing Luca Oleastri, whose images appear on several of the other Captain Arlon Stoddard books.
Blurb and links and more details coming soon. Meanwhile, this is the wonderful cover. Thanks Luca.
I’ve probably mentioned before that while I’m a relatively prolific writer, and probably not too bad at it either (a couple of awards along the way, so I must be doing something right on occastion), I can a little tardy at keeping this site up to date. What happens then is things build up and I end up jabbering about a half dozen things every couple of months, rather than one every week.
Hoping to change that. Maybe I’ll even schedule it. After all, I write fiction every day, why not talk about it every week? Similarly, I need to keep that sidebar, that’s probably showing on the right there, a little more current. And the pages links at the top.
Anyway, there are bits and pieces of news about new releases.
My novelette “Problem Landing” appeared in the March/April issue of Analog, which was kind of cool. This story comes from watching footage of the SpaceX rocket boosters making their landings for re-use. The story, though, is set on Mars.
I have another story coming out sometime later this year in Analog – “Eyes To The Height”. Again, a failing technology story, this one set on the moon.
Yay for space.
Analog also have their own blog – The Astounding Analog Companion – and I have an interview in that, about “Problem Landing”. That came out quite a few weeks back. There are other good interviews and opinion pieces on the blog too.
I have a new book out – Core Runners – book 5 in the Captain Arlon Stoddard series. Available in all the usual places. The blurb goes like this:
“A missing ship. A distressed mother. A planet of mysteryThe disappearance of the Astro Astoria challenges the capabilities of Captain Arlon Stoddard and his crew in new and desperate ways.Finding the ship, and the familes aboard takes every resource the have.And More.Another thrilling installment in the exciting Captain Arlon Stoddard series.Space adventure at its best.”
Core Runners is available in print and as an ebook from the usual retailers – check here to grab a copy. Paperback is $9.99, ebook is $3.99.
Book 6 – Underworld Climbers – should be out in June. The copy-editing is complete, just need formatting and to organise the cover.
In the meantime, another book in the middle-grade Matti-Jay and Dub Adventures series – Blast Crater on Endemo – comes out on May 20th. This is standalone, as all my series books are (as in, you can read them in any order), but it does chronologically follow on from last year’s Great Wall of Endemo, so if you’ve read that you might enjoy this one as a continuation.
This is the blurb for Blast Crater on Endemo:
“Filled with exotic wonderful sights, Endemo ranks as one of the most mysterious worlds in all of Ao space. With some time off after the challenging events at the Great Wall, Matti-Jay and her crew pay a visit to the stunning ancient crater in the northern reaches. Surrounded by gorgeous scenery, none of them expect bandits and crooks.But the crater holds secrets. Holds them close.Faced with impossible choices Matti-Jay and Dub dig into every resource they have. The crater gives no second chances.Another thrilling adventure in the Matti-Jay and Dub series, from award-winning author Sean Monaghan.”
Lastly, for now, I have a new Venus Vulture EP out on bandcamp. “Crystal Falls” is a suite of three tracks of gritty, drone ambient. This is my first real release of music made with my modular synthesizer system. Previously I’ve worked with FLStudio, Oscilab, paulstretch and GoldWave, among others, to put together music. It’s quite a different experience working in the analog world, and doing more actual playing of the instrument, rather than clicking on the screen.
I’ve been building the system for the last couple of years, and it’s been something of a learning curve. Maybe that’ll be a good topic for one of those every week posts.
Crystal Falls is available on Bandcamp – $5.00 for the download. You can listen online for free.
Well, thanks for reading this far.Right now I’m working on a new SF novel (which might end up just being a novella), then want to do some more short stories, and then some more thrillers. Later this year I’ll be repackaging my existing thrillers with new covers, and launching a new series. More on that to come, but there are three novels written so far – I should have two out before Christmas, with the third in January. Fair chance I can write and prep another before then, so there might be four of them by March next year.
Progressing through my challenge of getting something published every month for a year, the book for January is Desert Creepers, the fourth book in my Captain Arlon Stoddard series. Pacy sci-fi adventure. I think this is my favorite of the four so far. Hoping to have another two out later in the year – Core Runners and Underworld Climbers. One is ready to format, and the other needs final editing
Captain Arlon Stoddard, hero of the spaceways, tackles anything thrown his way. Even simple mysteries on backwater planets, like Souoria. Meanwhile, Emme Jonette, vagabond, opportunist, thief, roves Souoria’s scorching desert hunting down mythical Zeytana artifacts. With even more desperate thieves on her tail. Simple mysteries can turn into collision courses with devastating consequences. Cover image by Keremgo.
Captain Arlon Stoddard Adventures – Books 1, 2 and 3
Captain Arlon Stoddard’s ageing ship the Luminou closes in on one of the Crespin system’s asteroids. Hunting for fugitives in a protected dome. But what Arlon and his crew find will stretch their resources to the very breaking point. Fugitives become the least of their problems. Arlon needs to figure this out. Fast. The lives of his crew hang in the balance. Filled with rip-roaring adventure and complex intrigue, the Captain Arlon Stoddard novels cover it all.
Tracking and monitoring on Ardecelle–a deep frozen planet far from any sign of civilization–should be straightforward for experienced researchers like Commander Bea Calder and her tough crew. Getting lost should never happen. With failing equipment and lost communications they need urgent help. Which is where Captain Arlon Stoddard and his crew should be able to help. But then, Ardecelle has a few surprises of its own. With death, danger and disaster, the Captain Arlon Stoddard stories have it all. “Ice Hunters” finds the captain and his crew focusing on a small important task the might just hold revelations for the whole of human occupied space.
Finding killers hiding among the crevices and crags of cold dead asteroids challenges Captain Arlon Stoddard’s crew in whole new ways. Far out in the Corrin system, the asteroid Nankong has thousands of hiding places. Locating the culprits will take all their skills and test their wits. Especially when the asteroid deals out a surprising detail about how many people it has hidden away. Mystery and adventure and exotic locales, the Captain Arlon Stoddart stories have it all. “Ship Tracers” expands the tale of the crew into whole new territories.
In other news, there’s more new music out from both Venus Vulture and Shadows on the snow. I’ll post links and details soon, I hope.
Still struggling with the new (well, not that new now) WordPress ‘Blocks’ system for writing these blogs. I yearn for simplicity. I get that it’s way more powerful and does some clever things, but I still, yeah, struggle. All of the above is using blocks, so I guess I’m very slowly getting there. Should do more posts, I suppose, so that I learn it faster.
There will be more fiction – a preorder for a new short novel is prepped for February – Raphael Marooned – and more music later in the year.
Take care. I know it’s challenging out there. Let’s hope for a pretty great 2021. Gotta be better than 2020, right?