Let's get this out of the way immediately — we're not talking about 2020.
2021 has arrived, and as you've probably noticed already things are back in full swing in the Armadaverse.
This post is a round-up of the plans for this year. Don't forget that there are two mailing lists for the Armadaverse. It's recommended to subscribe to one of these, because there's a good chance that the Armada Wars brand will abandon mainstream social media in the near future.
Releases Planned for 2021
I am now resuming my original plan of interleaving the novel releases with the novella releases, albeit with the following changes:
My aim this year is to knuckle down and keep up a steady pace. I Dream of Damastion is already available for Kindle, with the paperback proof on its way to me even as I type. I am planning to have A Storm to the Savage ready for a release in the first half of 2021, then all efforts will be focused into Whom Gods Shall Fear.
You may have noticed the artwork for IDOD changed in the past week, and the same iconography and cover design has been used for ASTTS. It will also be used for Forge Ruinous, although I have not yet chosen an image for the central glyph of FR's cover. Feel free to suggest your thoughts in the comments below.
Steal from the Devil — the Redux
I've said before that there are aspects of Steal from the Devil which I now find embarrassing and or problematic. As a debut novel, although many readers do enjoy it, one can only really say that it was released way before it was ready.
I've previously floated the idea of making some quite large changes. On those occasions I have received mostly negative responses, with people saying they would rather it was left just the way it is.
I've decided to split the difference. As well as being generally tidied up (see below), SFTD is going to get some enhancements, clarifications, and — of course — a thorough stylistic edit. I want to be very clear that nothing will change substantially as far as the plot goes. What will happen is that characters and situations will get expanded text, so that it is clearer what is happening, and the consequences further down the line are more understandable. I will try to bring the style of the book into line with the sequels, without losing any of its weird atmosphere.
I also aim to trim just a little fat — this means the teasers and references that ultimately went unused as the story found its own way through the sequels.
If you have strong feelings about this, then please do say so in the comments.
Over the years, with me having to update the same stories in various alternate files, discontinuities have crept into the published materials. These include vanishing custom fonts, different typographic conventions, and in some cases even material differences in the actual words of the books.
There is also the MAGA-cap wearing elephant in the room. A poll was conducted across Twitter and Facebook, and the overwhelming majority favoured a retrospective change to the lore where that acronym is concerned. The conventional air and ground assault forces will have to be called something different. Perhaps I just solved it there, and CAGA will be the replacement*. The point is that I've had it up to the eyeballs with people assuming that 'MAGA' is a nod to Trump, despite it obviously having nothing to do with him, so I'm just going to change it.
"AGRO" won the polls (standing for 'Air and GRound Operations'), but I think I will save that label for a team of specialists in a future story :o)
For all of those reasons, every single Kindle edition and paperback is going to be overhauled over the next couple of months. With the exception of I Dream of Damastion, which from today has the latest typography, corrections, and defined lore, all the updated versions will be released together. I will do my best to convince Amazon to push the Kindle updates out to existing customers, but only the changes to Steal from the Devil are likely to be considered significant enough to justify doing that.
The People pages under the Universe category have now been completed for all characters seen or mentioned so far in the Great War of the Shaeld series. This literally includes every named character, from civilians seen in passing to each and every member of Tanker Regiment seen in the last book.
[Edit: since this article was first posted, new index pages have also been added for all characters by surname, all the women, and all the men.]
This feels like a great achievement, since there are over 100 named characters, many of them linked to various events throughout the four existing novels and beyond.
The "upcoming characters" page has now been removed, so the new characters who will be arriving in Perseus Aflame will be added to this site when the first book from that series — On Vicious Wing — is actually approaching its release date.
Some characters from the first of the upcoming GWOTS-era novellas, however, do have partial profiles on the site already. These are:
That novella is of course I Dream of Damastion, which should be released before the end of the year and may help to tide people over until the much-delayed release of Whom Gods Shall Fear. The protagonist of another novella — A Storm to the Savage — also now has her own holding page. Watch this space.
For serious fans of the Armadaverse, it's highly recommended that you take a deep dive into lore by reading the background and insights into your favourite characters!
The first video from the Armada Wars Youtube channel!
Author R. Curtis Venture introduces the channel, talks about the next book in the current Armada Wars series, the upcoming Perseus Conflict trilogy, and other topics such as fracture barrier technology, the fall of Damastion, and being a self-published author.
Originally due in 2017, Whom Gods Shall Fear is still notable by its absence. Regular fans of the series will have noticed that the production schedule went from a prolific, one-a-year assault on the readers' senses, to a long and painful wait set to the refrain "not yet but soon, not yet but soon..."
All I can really do at this point is apologise. I'll probably write a longer post about this at some point — lord knows it must affect a large number of independent writers — but for now let's just summarise the root cause as a prolonged and non-trivial bout of depression.
The thing about depression is that it saps not only your motivation to do anything, but it also affects your memory. With an author, for a long time it can pass undetected as "I'm just not feeling inspired."
In fact, prior to recognising what the problem actually is, I was reading and re-reading my own books in order to "get re-inspired". And do you know what happened? My working memory must have been affected pretty badly, because in certain parts I kept wondering if I really wrote all this, and how. Weird huh.
Anyway... the part you as the reader want to know: I am taking steps. Normal service is resuming bit by bit. My priority now will be to get WGSF finished, and I'm just going to stop suggesting release dates that may or may not be kept.
The delay has had benefits. As I have mentioned previously in various spheres I have adjusted Voice's storyline so that his actions fit more smoothly into the overall Armada Wars story (I think I mentioned before I've got a couple of decades of releases planned out, which all contribute one way or another to a final conflict of prodigious proportions.) It's also given me, as you might expect, some first hand insight into some of the characters' situations, and rather than being a two-dimensional asshole Maber Castigon in particular will now be far more rounded via his flashback episodes. Also, while these delays have been ongoing, discoveries and observations have appeared in the astrophysics news which have direct impacts on the climax of the book and future plans. Hasty but careful adjustments are required!
In related news, I've spoken to a few superfans about Tankers, and what is very clear is that there's an underlying need for their sub-world to be expanded. I included more of Tanker Regiment very deliberately in From Shattered Stars — purely because they were so well-received when they first joined the lead characters — but it seems there's still great demand to see more of them in action.
Because of that, I've now decided that the planned novella Forge Ruinous will now be written as a full length novel. It will of course link in with the plot points in FSS, and I'll leave it to you to speculate as to how it does so. Writing this as a novel may somewhat delay the start of the Perseus Aflame series, but I guess delay is now becoming a tradition.
Because of that change, the 'novellas' section of the web site has now been restructured as the Expansion Episodes section.
It might be wrapped in absolute secrecy, but one thing is clear: the finale of the current series of Armada Wars novels is a book fans cannot wait to get hold of.
To encourage readers to get up-to-date with the series before the fifth novel lands at Amazon, and to encourage fans to "bring a friend", prices have now been dropped across the entire series.
For Kindle, prices have gone back to the original model of having the first book at $0.99, and subsequent volumes at $2.99 (that's 99p and £1.99 for people in the UK). The price of the first Kindle omnibus has been adjusted accordingly.
Paperback prices have been moved down until the royalty is barely worth even having. Seriously, it's a laughable amount. Again, the price of the paperback version of the first omnibus has also been adjusted.
But wait, that's not all!
If you have bought an eligible copy of any Armada Wars paperback through Amazon, in a region which supports MatchBook, then you can now claim your Kindle copy for free. YOU HEARD ME!
These changes are populating across the regional Amazon web sites now, and should be reflected in all regions by 30th August.
If you want to give something back to the Armadaverse, please leave a review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. It really makes a massive difference.
The Great War of the Shaeld is due to end this summer with the release of Whom Gods Shall Fear, and to celebrate the coming of the apocalypse it's time for another discount spectacular!
The last time there was a catch-up discount it was just for a long weekend. It was so popular that this time it will be a weeklong spectacular! That's right: for an entire week, the Kindle books will be deeply discounted.
You know those friends you've recommended the series to? The ones who did nothing about it, despite your enthusiasm? Smack them around a bit with a share of this page 👊🏼
The discounts begin on 1st February 2018 and will last for a week.
That's right. Act quickly and you could get everything so far for £4.96. That's more or less half price at the current Kindle prices. And the kicker? Once you have the Kindle editions in your Amazon account, you will get serious discounts automatically on audiobook versions!
Please note that in the case of From Shattered Stars, the discounted price of $1.99 USD will change to $2.99 USD on Amazon.com, from 4th Feb to the end of the promotional period. The early birds will get the best discount!
Click the logo below to go shopping:
The provisional release date of Christmas 2017 for Whom Gods Shall Fear has been moved, and the final book in this series is now intended to arrive in July 2018.
No doubt this will come as a disappointment to those of you who are itching for the climax of this story, but it needs to be done right. After all, WGSF is a massive book which involves lots of intersecting/colliding threads... December was perhaps a little optimistic!
Good news though: work is starting now on the audiobook of List of the Dead. Woohoo!
Many of you will have been disappointed at the postponement of 2016's promised novellas, I Dream of Damastion and The Granite Whistle, and I imagine even more disappointed at the lack of From Shattered Stars appearing on the Kindle store and Amazon paperbacks list.
Firstly, an abundance of profuse apologies for the wait. And I really do mean that, because I know that a year is a long time to wait between books. Granted, many series gain new entries over several years (and sometimes even decades), but this was not supposed to be one of those.
The reason for these delays is, essentially, the curse of 2016. As it was for many people it was a horrible, horrible year for me. Just because it will be remembered — amongst other things — as the year in which gravitational waves were proven to exist, doesn't mean it wasn't lousy, demoralising, demotivating, and generally... well, shit.
I'm not going to go into the details here, because they are quite personal. Also that would feel very much like proffering excuses. Suffice to say that if you're angry at me for not having these titles out yet you can rest assured that I've paid for it.
So my plan now is to act as if 2016 never happened, in writing terms. The launch of From Shattered Stars is now the priority, since the novellas are not essential to the overall story; they are merely there to expand the universe a bit and offer different perspectives on the Great War.
The good news here is that the delay has allowed me to further develop several major plot points and character arcs. The novel which will be released this spring is going to be quite different from the book which would have appeared in December had I slogged away at it through all the heartache of 2016. The opening few chapters now have a more logical, internally consistent structure than I originally planned. Some key characters are now exposed to events and conversations which better utilise their established personalities and recent histories, and which also set them up wonderfully for all the terrible things they will have to face in the finale, Whom Gods Shall Fear.
So in some ways, this has actually been a helpful interlude!