A lot of people have asked when the next Linesman book is coming, and what it will be about.
Here are our writing plans at present. Everything is subject to change, and, also, to contracts, because if we don’t get contracts for the books then we can’t sell them.
We’ll definitely write them, though.
More Ean Lambert
We have another trilogy planned with Ean Lambert as the main character. These books follow on from Confluence.
I don’t want to give away spoilers, but … The New Alliance is settling into the changes that resulted from the end of that book. Captain Terrigal is ship captain, trying to believe that his mentor, Admiral Katida, hasn’t betrayed him, while struggling with the knowledge that his ship doesn’t automatically do what he says first.
The lines ships are starting to get personalities.
There’s a new ship being integrated into the Eleven fleet, because Abram wants the new ship, and the Wendell, to go alien hunting.
But before they can do that, the aliens bring their war to human territory. Along with their ideas on how the lines should be treated.
And those ideas don’t necessarily match with those of Ean’s; or of the ships under his line twelve custodianship.
We haven’t started writing this series at all.
This is about as much of we know of any story plot before we start writing. More than most, because we have backstory we don’t normally have. What we need now is a better idea of the aliens. They’re still unformed.
Edit: March 2020. This post was written after we had finished the Linesman books, and while we were writing Stars Uncharted. We’ve kept the post entire, rather than edit it and what we say about the Linesman books are still valid, but both the Stars Uncharted books are published now.
This is the book we are contracted* to write next.
It is not a Linesman book.
It’s actually the book we started writing while Linesman was doing the rounds. Back when we thought Linesman wasn’t going to sell and we’d have to start something completely fresh. We stopped about a quarter of the way in, to rewrite Linesman. But it was the first story we went back to when we were done with Confluence.
We love it. We’re enjoying it. It’s a space opera adventure with a bit of fun, characters we both love, and lots of things happening. (Less politics, for those of you who found there was too much politics in the Linesman books.)
It’s set in a totally different universe.
*Normally we wouldn’t even say we have the contract yet, but it has been announced in Publisher’s Lunch and in Locus, and we’ve been told we can mention it. Even so, we feel a bit superstitious about even saying this until we get the paper in our hand. Contracts take a long time, and can fall through. We’ll give you more details once we have that paper.
Fact, for all the writers out there. We got our contract to sign for the Linesman books around the same time we submitted the finished Linesman to our editor.
Other books in the Linesman universe
While our agent was first trying to sell Linesman, and before we began Stars Uncharted, we wrote two other stories in the Linesman series. Back then, we weren’t planning to write three books about Ean Lambert. We planned books set in the same universe, but with different protagonists. The first of these was Acquard’s War. (Readers of this blog who remember us talking about Acquard, we’ve recently added the ‘War’, because we now we want to do a second book, Acquard’s Revenge as well.)
This is the story of a retired Balian covert ops team who get tangled up with space pirates, which drags them into the war between the New Alliance and Gate Union/Redmond. It’s set at the end of Linesman, just after the New Alliance is created, but before they move to permanent headquarters on Haladea III.
We don’t know if there’s a market for non-Ean Lambert stories. It’s one of three ideas we offered to Caitlin, our agent, when she asked what we were writing next. She liked Stars Uncharted better, so that’s the one we worked on.
We love the ideas in this story. We adore the characters. And therein lies the problem.
Both our agent and our editor (and also some of our readers) think we include too many characters in our stories. (And they’re right.) . The first thing both of them ask us to do in any edit is to reduce the number of characters.
Most times we can. But we’re struggling with Acquard’s crew. She has a crew of seven, and there’s a lot happening in the rest of the book as well. If we don’t fix it, this story has to become a trunk novel.
We’re going to fix it.
When we get the time.