Sunday, May 20, 2018

Something exciting is happening!

Something very exciting indeed is happening. Some of is have been waiting for this for a long, long time, but we knew it would be here eventually, and ... it is!

Yes ... NARC is finished! In fact, retired or not, I'm relishing the work of the final edit and book packaging, not least because (he he he), I get to read this monstrous trilogy a couple of months ahead of the rest of the fans. I'd actually forgotten how much I adore Jarrat and Stone, and the fact is, these three books are "from heaven." The trilogy -- all 400,000 words of it! -- finishes out the whole saga, all of a piece, and it'll be uploaded to Kindle in June.

A new post appeared on Mel Keegan Online just today, and I'll quote it right here:

Yes, I know -- it’s been an eternity since I posted. In fact, there hasn’t been any news to post, short of that annoying practice of issuing stuff saying “Hi, remember me? I’m a writer, buy my books,” which is something I don’t -- wont -- do (if it annoys me, it’s bound to annoy you, right?). However …

Now there’s excellent reason to be posting.

How long have you waited for THE END OF THE NARC SERIES? You know how long you’ve waited. You may also be aware that my health has been so poor, I now know more about hospitals than I ever wanted to. Only a couple of people sent “hate mail” (along the lines of, “I don’t care how close to death you are, you should have finished the series or ‘unpublished’ the whole thing”). Still, I’m keenly aware that it’s been a long road, and many readers may have simply lost interest in the Jarrat and Stone saga. I understand this, I really do. I hope some old readers will rediscover Jarrat and Stone now, because --

It’s done. The end of the series is a monster trilogy. It was a fair bet that if I issued it book by book, some readers would say, “Yeah, right, I’ll believe it when I see it -- I’ll get back into it when Keegan finishes it.” So that’s what I did.

SCIMITAR - BASILISK - ENDGAME is a single story in three parts, running a whisker under 400,000 words (no, that ain’t a typo). I wrote the whole thing before issuing so much as a word of news. It’s right now being packaged for Kindle, also for paperback, so it’s time to let readers know the good news.

My way of saying “Sorry about the delay” is to make the trilogy available as ONE VOLUME via Kindle, at the same price as any ordinary book. In June 2018 you’ll be reading the whole thing on your device for a penny under ten bucks. If you want the paperbacks, you’ll have to wait till July, due to the time it takes proofs to be delivered to Australia; and alas the trilogy will of course be three paperbacks, because it’s far too large to fit under one cover.

(The largest book I ever issued was the final Hellgate volume, at 640pp. It’s borderline too large: so heavy, it actually hurts your wrists to hold it for long. Now, SCIMITAR - BASILISK - ENDGAME would be around 800pp., and though some of the print on demand companies go to this length, it’s not feasible, first because of the shocking weight of the book in your hands, second because of the prohibitive cost of manufacture, even before you get to the post office. So … one Kindle book for ten bucks, but -- sorry -- three paperbacks. It’s huge.)

So …

Find out how far Aphelion really extends, in space and time (tying off all threads originating in APHELION). See what happens when the surviving brains behind Death’s Head rise like the phoenix from their own ashes (closing out the thread begun in STOPOVER). Witness the horrifying results when the Sorenson Bill is passed in the homeworlds and colonial cities erupt. Sit in on the explosive legal wrangle when Governor Cassius Brand takes on Starfleet, over the Mostov Incident (resolving the thread begun in SCORPIO). Find out what becomes of Stone’s old sparring partner, Colonel Jack Brogan … and what’s waiting for the newly promoted Captain Petrov, not to mention the newly launched carrier Huntress. Shake hands with the last of the Angel empires, a nasty called Basilisk … and hang onto your hats, because hell busts loose. Literally. And what of NARC itself, in a political environment going haywire while the new colonial ‘super-sleeper’ ship, flying the revolutionary Weimann Drive, is opening up a new colony so far beyond the frontier, it looks like the promised land … but when did anything ever work out that way? Then there’s the last of the monsters, Angeliberty, leading to an endgame that will change everything.

One massive story. Done, finished, being packaged for Amazon Kindle at this time. Due in June, 2018, with the paperbacks to follow in July. Jade has prepared a fantastic cover for the Kindle one-volume edition, and we already have a mockup for the SCIMITAR paperback cover, with two more due to be assembled in the next few weeks.

I’ll “ping” the old mailing list when the books go on release, and for now I’ll just say, “Sorry about the delay.” But I really did finish the whole thing before saying a word of this on the interwebs: the least I could do -- that, and give you the whole thing, three for the price of one. Thanks for your patience, guys … I appreciate it.


...and there you have it, direct from Mel, while I perform the packaging and organize the paperback covers. It's such a pity that he can't do the trilogy under one cover in paperback, but the size and weight of Event Horizon is tickling the "prohibitive" line, and Scimitar-Basilisk-Endgame would be about 175pp bigger and heavier. No can do. So, three paperbacks it is, and I've already mocked up the cover for the first one:

Yes, sticking with the original paperback jacketing, which is absolutely classic. Right now, I don't think I have to render any new images to put the three jackets together, but am seriously thinking of doing some Jarrat and Stone renders for the sheer pleasure of it. Oh, this takes me back! 

I'd also begun to forget how much fun it is to produce the art for books ... and write them too. It's been a long year for me. Those of you who know me will know that my mother passed away on June 20 last year, and since then it's been "one goddamned thing after another." Right now, I can't even walk! I'm on crutches, following a "medically induced fall" on a treadmill in a medical center a while ago. Such fun. Not. [rolls eyes] But with any luck the worst might actually be over, and I can actually get back to projects like The Sea Witch, and lots more I'd planned before life went haywire...

Anyway, for the moment -- great news for those who love mind-boggling SF with gorgeous gay heroes: NARC IS FINISHED!!! (Incidentally -- tell your friends!)
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