You Heard It Here First. . .

Vol. 1, Number 5
Copyright ©1999 Michael A. Stackpole

This is just a short newsletter to let folks know what's going on with my work. It would have been updated before this, but I've actually been working. That's how it is when you're a freelancer, either you're working, or you're starving. I prefer the former to the latter.

STAR WARS®

My sixth Star Wars® novel, Isard's Revenge, hit the stands on 13 April 1999. A number of folks have asked if the title means that Ysanne Isard is still alive. You can take it to mean whatever you want, but I wouldn't put it past her to be able to reach out from beyond the grave to avenge herself on her enemies. No matter what you think will happen, you can rest assured it won't quite be what you expect. (And it was very cool to see folks giving the book 5 stars on Amazon.com even before it came out. Unexpected and weird, but cool, too.)

As for more Star Wars® projects, as you likely all know, Ballantine Books will be publishing the future novels. The folks at Ballantine/Del Rey and I have struck a deal for me to write three novels in their line. My books will be numbers 2,3 and 4 in the line, with the first appearing in January of 2000. Del Rey's line is featuring an overarching story-arc that links all of the novels, and I've been involved in planning that arc from the start. I'm very enthusiastic about the project and am hard at work on the first novel, Onslaught.

As you also probably know, Dark Horse Comics decided to let the Star Wars® X-wing Rogue Squadron comic series die with issue #35. We have been talking about other possible Rogue Squadron projects, however, as their schedule and mine allows. There's also a big six issue mini-series project that we're talking about, and Timothy Zahn and I regularly chat about pitching another series to them because we had so much fun with the Mara Jade mini-series. I'm also doing a four issue series for them, Star Wars related, but more on that after the outline is approved. See Dark Horse Comics for details and shots of the covers of the upcoming comics.

 

OTHER NOVELS

In November my 12th BattleTech novel saw print. It is titled PRINCE OF HAVOC and picks up where GRAVE COVENANT left off. (I expected it to be out sooner, but the schedule got shuffled around a bit.) In it an end is put to the Clan threat to the Inner Sphere. Our heroes return to find out exactly what's been transpiring back home, while they've been off saving the Star League. Lots of surprises for everyone to be had, rest assured.

I am scheduled to write another BattleTech novel, which will appear in 2000. There is no title for it yet.

In December EYES OF SILVER came out from Bantam Books. It's another epic fantasy novel full of magick, military action and politics — you know, the usual stuff in my books. It's set in a distant alternate Earth where magick prevailed and gunpowder was never discovered. The story centers around a warrior-priest who is called by God to rescue a man his Church and nation deems to be the anti-Christ. Liz Danforth is providing the maps for the book

What has surprised me about the reaction to EOS is that a number of people have commented about how it is one of the few fantasies out there that shows respect for Christianity. I'd not expected that reaction, but I'm gratified by it. I'd not thought about before how much modern fantasy makes Christianity or any sort of organized religion into the bad guys.

UPCOMING PROJECTS

All of the information in this section should be considered wildly variable -- kind of like a politician's campaign promises. This is what I think I'm going to be doing, but I won't know for certain until the work is finished, the contracts inked, etc.

TALION: REVENANT is in its fourth printing — thanks to everyone who bought a copy of it. Lots of folks have asked if there will be a sequel. Back when I wrote T:R, I started on a sequel and got about three chapters in. I have an outline for it, but because of the other contracts I've got, there's just no time in the schedule to write it right now. Someday I'll get back to the Talions, but not for a couple of years, I think.

Bantam Books and I have come to terms on a quartet of epic fantasy novels. The series is tentatively titled The DragonCrown War. It is set in a new world and will be my foray into the realm of the works of J. R. R. Tolkien and Dennis L. McKiernan and Robert Jordan. I'm very much looking forward to writing these books. The first one, which is a prequel to the subsequent trilogy, is titled The Dark Glory War. I wrote it in December '98/Jan '99. It's scheduled for a January, 2000 release, so this is the book you can be reading while the Y2K bug takes society apart around you. The second book, Fortress Draconis, is set to be released in trade paperback in August of 2000 or so.

Crimson Skies is a game from FASA for which I'm writing a short, pulp fiction serial story about fighter pilots in an alternate history 1937. The saga of Fortune Tell will run 12 installments, one every two weeks or so. It's my chance to work on pulp fiction and tell a serial story. Check it out. I've actually finished the serial story and FASA will be collecting it in a book format as one of the first releases for Crimson Skies. Look for that late spring or early summer.

 

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