Publication Date for Third Novel is Still October 1, 2016

It still seems doable that The Wizard from Tian will be published on Amazon as of October 1.

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Publication Date is Still July 20

Yes, I know, very strange, but I don’t see the need to shift the publication date.  All is going fairly smoothly at this point and I still expect the second novel to come out on July 20.

I am going with a new title, though:  The Witches of Ne’arth.

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Novel release date doesn’t slide

airship and coliseum

Yep, believe it or not, I’m still sticking with July 20 for the release of The Witches of Delta Pavonis.  I’ve combined the chapter files into one big mama file, then formatted for Kindle and spell-checked, and it’s reading good in the Amazon browser.  At this point I’m just doing technical editing, making sure for example that a character named ‘Horbin’ doesn’t get renamed ‘Harben,’ that sort of thing.  Otherwise, smooth sailing.


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Preliminary Synopsis for Book 2

The Witches of Delta Pavonis, by S.J. Ryan.

Book 2 in the Star Wizards Trilogy

Centuries ago, the third planet of the Delta Pavonis star system was terraformed by a seeder probe, which carried genetic material from Earth to create a complex ecosystem including plants, animals, and human beings.

Today, the world of Ne’arth faces a battle between wizards and witches, affecting the survival of millions of its people. In this battle are four ‘witches’ endowed with mutant powers.

Arcadia: The orange-haired ‘Good Witch of Britan,’ granted superior strength, senses, healing power and intelligence, a teenager yet formidable in combat and undefeated in war.

Inoldia: A genetically engineered shape-shifting assassin who has come back from the dead to resurrect an unholy version of the Roman Empire on Ne’arth.

Athena Spencer: Immortal designer of the seeder probe, who has traveled from Earth to Ne’arth to rule as the power behind the throne of the steampunk empire of Pavonia.

Pandora of Rome: The rogue AI of seeder probe Gamma, whose intricate conspiracies for Ne’arth may not include the survival of its peoples.

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Back to the Trilogy

Yes, I too have been wondering when I’m going to finish the second book of the trilogy.  I have a new date:  July 20.  I’m pretty sure this one is solid.  However, there’s a little catch.

The original schedule called for release in October.  I thought I had plenty of time.  I was wrong.  The projected release date keeps slipping and I’m well aware of it, and deeply embarrassed, which causes me to focus so much on working that I avoid posting here.

As the dates slip and slip again, your first thought is that I’m not working on the novel.  Your second is that I’ve written myself into a corner.  Actually, I’m spending hours a day on the novel.  I have since last December written out the first draft.

What’s killing me now is the line editing during the revision read-throughs.  The chapters read fine when I’m revising them.  Then I come back a couple months later and realize that I wrote too sparsely.  I don’t describe or explain things adequately, there’s no sense of getting into the heads of the characters.  The dialogue is like Q and A:  “We have to do that because of A and B.”  “Shouldn’t we try C also?”  “Yes, let’s try C also.”  Yes, that kind of dialogue moves the plot, but it’s sterile and who wants to be listening to that during a long ride?

Thus was the situation after the first revision.  The second rev got better, enough so that I thought the third rev would be the charm.  Instead, I started thinking of ways to make the narrative better, the writing more readable.  I realized that if I wanted to do the best job that I could, I was going to need maybe a fourth rev.

On the bright side, the revisions are taking about half the time each time.  On the dark side, it’s currently taking me two days per chapter on the third time around, and I’m only on chapter twelve, and there are twenty-four chapters to go.  At this rate, I’ve got three months and then some before I’m done.

Or . . . .

Yesterday, I contemplated how the novel has swol — er, grown.  It was originally intended to be shorter than the first novel, but now it’s almost twice as long.  It occurred to me that my original intention of making a trilogy has been achieved word-count-wise despite my intentions to avoid it.  I wanted to hurry up and get this thing done, hence I went to a two-novel series format, but the gods of storytelling demanded their wordage.  If I wanted to tell the complete story, I needed to write something of trilogy length, and so, against my will, I did.

And if I’m going to do that, why not go back to making it a trilogy?

So that’s what my plan is now.  The second novel in the series, The Wizard from Alpha Centauri, will be split into two novels.  The original title will be bequeathed to the third novel in the trilogy, while the second book in the trilogy will get a new title.

Altogether, the trilogy now goes like this:

The Wizard from Earth

The Witches of Delta Pavonis

The Wizard from Alpha Centauri

Schedulewise, this ‘new improved’ trilogy format means that I can release ‘the second book’ much sooner.  The Witches of Delta Pavonis projects a release date in July.

As for the third novel, it looks like it’s going to come out in October.  Note, that delayed date is not the result of going back to a trilogy format.  Indeed, when I originally planned to write a trilogy, October 2016 was the projected publication date for the third novel.  I’m actually writing to my original schedule.  After abandoning the original trilogy format, my projected publication dates were based on the unrealistic assumption that the second book would be shorter than the first, and would conclude the series.  Hence, the dates couldn’t be met no matter how hard I tried.

Well, the new trilogy format is simply picking up the old one’s projected final release date.  “I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken.”  Sort of.

So to repeat, the second novel (The Witches of Delta Pavonis) will come out next month (July 20 or so).  The third novel (The Wizard from Alpha Centauri) will come out in October.

The story arcs for Matt and Carrot as main characters will then be concluded.  I don’t rule out writing more books about Ne’arth but if so, they will about different characters with different story arcs.

So if you invested in the first story and wanted to stick around and see what happens to the characters and have a satisfactory resolution, the third book will do it.  If you want more stories about Ne’arth — and even after the trilogy three-quarters of the planet will remain unexplored — they may come after that.

When?  Well, I’m learning not to give out dates . . . .






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“Why the Singularity is Nowhere Near”

The Brain vs Deep Learning Part I: Computational Complexity — Or Why the Singularity Is Nowhere Near

Suggests that the time when artificial intelligence exceeds human intelligence will be much later than projected, if at all.

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The Wizard from Alpha Centauri: One more chapter to go!

I have spent the past year working on the conclusion to The Wizard from Earth.  Entitled, The Wizard from Alpha Centauri, it’s about the searches for Matt’s archival clone and the second Pandora.

My schedule called for me to write a chapter a week, but it took me a whole month to write chapter thirty-two.  I finished a couple days ago, and now I’m on to the final chapter.  This one won’t be so hard, because I’m basically just wrapping up the story.  After that, a month of revision and I Should Be Done (He Said).

I think the best timing for the release would be just before the Star Wars movie comes out, so that it gets buoyed rather than drowned in the publicity, and so I’m aiming for a release in early December.

I want to thank all the readers who have given me comments on Amazon.  I read all the comments and often take to heart what people say.  This goes for the negative comments as well, though sometimes I find some of the negative reviewers to be, well, somewhat trollish.

In case you’re wondering, a valid negative review is informational in that I can read it and feel just a little bit convicted and realize, “Oh, maybe there’s a way to fix that.”  In other words, constructive criticism.

In contrast, a troll comment emphasizes how clever he is in contrast to the stupid writer, and his comment has zero specific information that I can use to improve myself as a writer.  For example, nothing I can do in response to a review that says maybe the reviewer will get around to finishing my book if he’s stranded in a place where there’s no internet service.  Uh, good luck with that?

To address the most egregious assertion, let me assure that Carrot is not going to have a romantic affair with Norian that undoes everything in her relationship with Matt.  Trolls can be smug about claiming that they found my first book to be predictable, but remember I have the draft of the second book in front of me and can ‘undo’ any attempts at prediction.  My advice to trolls is to stick to making predictions after the fact.

Am I as grateful, then, to the troll commenters as I am to the people who write positive and/or constructive-negative reviews?  Well, in an annoyed backhanded way, yes, because a troll’s negativity usually backfires.

I belong to a local book club and get a general sense from my fellow clubbers that they appreciate books with closure.  It’s annoying to read a book and find out that it ends on a cliffhanger, and you’ll have to buy, er, read ten more volumes to find out if your investment in the characters pays off.  I thought that The Wizard from Earth had closure, but some reviewers disagree, and so I’ve taken extra care to make sure that Book 2 ends with the conclusion of the Matt-Carrot arc.

However, I’ve been mulling over some ideas for another novel that takes place on New Earth.  It would involve a more technologically advanced society, and be more steampunkish.  There would be an opportunity to write about airship battles, but we can’t get away from the fact that the fate of an empire is decided more often by daggers and poison than armies and fleets.

Anyhow, bottom line:  The Wizard from Alpha Centauri, the conclusion of the Star Wizards Saga, will be released in early December.


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