So… yeah. That happened.
I have to admit, when the year started I was full of hope. 2020 had sucked hard enough for three years, so I figured 2021 would be a lot better. In some regards, it was. I finished two books and almost completed three others. I actually attended two conventions last year, which is double what I went to in 2020. I signed two book contracts with Baen Books (editing the CHICKS IN TANK TOPS anthology, and MONSTER HUNTER MEMOIRS: FEVER, coauthored with Larry Correia). I also wrote more words this past year than ever, breaking 480,000 words despite missing almost four months of the year due to various life stuff going on.
I’m in the process of selling my house and moving down to North Carolina for my new job with Baen Books. That has killed much of December’s writing production, because we’ve been updating things (putting in a new floor, staining wood cabinets, painting walls, filling up a dumpster with old junk we couldn’t donate, etc) around the house. It’s looking good, though, and we’re right on track for a mid-January move. Looking forward to living in an area where there are multiple food options again, though the increase in cost of living is definitely something I’m dreading. On the other hand, I’ll be living close enough so I can walk to work on nice days.
On the down side, 2021 was the first year I did not have a novel come out since 2013. That’s an impressive streak broken. I did have four short stories come out in 2021, though, so it wasn’t an entirely empty year. Still, I’d become so used to having a book come out that I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. That being said, 2022 looks reeeeeeeeeeally good when it comes to book releases. Right now there are six books minimum coming out in 2022, with the potential of ten. Those are novels, mind you. With THE EXECUTIONERS about done (we only need to finish the ending and go through and edit), and ON A CLOUDY DAY thoroughly plotted and just itching to be written, there’ll be two 4HU novels at least coming out by May. Then the last four Kin Wars books will be released, probably the latter half of the year (potentially one a month between September and December). Those are the ones I can control. I’m assuming MONSTER HUNTER MEMOIRS: FEVER will also come out in 2022, though I don’t know when yet. History suggests September, but you never know when delays might happen. Then I have a trilogy I’ve been calling Salvage Imperium I’m planning on turning in as well, though those might be shorter than the norm.
But 2021? Not a single book came out. Only four short stories. Bah. I should have done better.
I had a surprising amount of friends and acquaintances die this year, though none of them were directly due to the UNSPECIFIED VIRUS OF UNKNOWN ORIGIN. It’s hard imagining attending some of my regular cons this coming year and not seeing their faces (or in one case, arguing with them about whatever we feel like disagreeing about for that particular weekend). There’s really no other way to say it — this sucks, and I already miss them. It’s going to feel rather empty without some of those Godzilla-sized personalities in the room. It took me years to get used to not seeing Ray Chatterjee at Libertycon, for example. Some of the others? I don’t think I’ll ever get used to not seeing them.
Good bye, 2021. Please don’t let the door hit you on your way out.
Before Hr’ent Golramm became a legendary Enforcer for the Peacemaker Guild, he was a mere candidate. Granted, he was a particularly unusual candidate—only six Oogar had ever successfully graduated from the Peacemaker Academy on Ocono, and Hr’ent would be the seventh. Every candidate must pass a commissioning mission in order to graduate, though, and Hr’ent’s is unsolvable.
The Pushtal of Vorrhurna were once one of the Mercenary Guild’s 37 races. After a series of disastrous contracts, the tiger-like aliens lost their status as mercenaries, and the MinSha seized their home world for defaulting on their debt. Eighty years later, the seven Great Clans are but a shadow of their former selves and have resorted to piracy to survive.
For his commissioning mission, Hr’ent and a small team of bounty hunters must find a way to put a stop to their predations. No one in the Union has figured out how to herd cats to this point, but Hr’ent is a particularly unusual Peacemaker candidate, who isn’t afraid to resort to a bit of gunboat diplomacy to get the Pushtal to listen to what he says, once and for all.