Space Opera With a Twist

Category: Ashes of Empire Science Fiction Series (Page 1 of 5)

Big News

I just signed a contract with Tantor Media for the audiobook rights to my Ashes of Empire series. All four books will be published in audiobook version over the coming months. Some of you might recall that Tantor Media produced the first three Siobhan Dunmoore books in audio in 2017.

As I find out the publication date of each volume, I’ll let you know. Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

April Showers

So far, spring has been pretty good around here. The last few days were more like late May or early June. Yesterday, our air conditioning even came on for the first time, but we’ll be reverting to the mean by the end of the week, or so the meteorologists say. However, their seven day forecasts keep changing wildly. Yesterday, we faced a week of low to mid teen temperatures (in Celsius) with almost constant rain, something we need at this time of the year to wash away the winter’s dust and grime. This morning, the forecast gives us nothing but sunshine and high teen temperatures. I’m sure by tomorrow, the next seven days will look different once again. Sometimes, weather forecasting seems more like voodoo than science.

The latest in the Ashes of Empire saga is garnering good reviews and even queries as to when the next one is coming out (early 2022, in case you’re wondering). If you enjoyed the first three books in the series, I’m pretty sure you’ll be entertained by Imperial Echoes as well, so if you haven’t picked up a copy, what are you waiting for?

Work on a seventh Siobhan Dunmoore adventure is moving along, but at a relatively slow pace, which means I’m still debating certain story line items with myself. It happens almost every time when my initial ideas don’t pan out the way I expected, so no worries. Barring unforeseen circumstances, it should still come out this summer.

And now, I’m off to enjoy a leisurely April Sunday, complete with a brisk hike around the neighborhood later on so we can enjoy the warmth, sunshine, and some good cardio exercise.

Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

Another Step Forward

My editor started work on Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes yesterday, which means, barring any unforeseen issues, it should come out later this month, perhaps in synchrony with an eagerly awaited spring. Mind you, this winter hasn’t been exceptionally cold and we didn’t get as much snow as some years, for which most of us are grateful. Temperatures today and tomorrow will remain well below zero, but judging by the weather forecast, we’ll see the annual melt start on Monday. At this rate, the first day of spring might even be green rather than white. In any case, keep your eyes on this space and on the other internet places I frequent for updates on Imperial Echoes.

While my editor’s doing her thing, I’ll take a little break, enjoy my hobbies and let the next book take shape in my mind. At this point, it looks like it’ll be a seventh Siobhan Dunmoore adventure. If so, we can expect it to come out sometime in mid or late summer – again, barring any unforeseen events.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy, fellow humans. Peace.

An Echo of the Future

I finished writing Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes yesterday and began the revision this morning. I warned my editor she’d see the manuscript in early March, so I’m optimistic about a late March or early April publication date. At this point it comes in at just under 400 print pages.

What next? It looks more and more likely I’ll be writing the seventh Siobhan Dunmoore adventure which could come out as early as the summer. And I have a tentative title for the fifth Ashes of Empire installment — Imperial Ghosts. No, Imperial Echoes doesn’t finish the series. It sets up the next phase of the rebirth, but I’ve not yet developed a storyline, and it won’t come out before 2022 in any case.

And that’s all the news on this Monday morning, here in the Land of Ice and Snow. Stay healthy and stay safe, my friends.

Happy Winter

I can’t believe January is already gone. It seems that time has both dragged and flown at light speed in the last twelve months. Come March, it’ll be a year since I set up the basement gym so I could keep on exercising after the city shut down the recreation centres where I’ve done my cardio and weights since retiring to become a full-time writer. Strange to say, I miss being around people when I do my sessions. The TV just isn’t an adequate replacement for being around other fitness-minded retirees. Besides, it suffers from the 999 channels and nothing watchable syndrome. I do enjoy watching cooking shows on the Food Network, but there’s not much of interest until later in the day.

With the onset of February, winter has truly settled in around here, even if the sun is shining brightly. It was minus 22 degrees Centigrade when I went out to put the garbage bins on the curb earlier this morning. Looking at the forecast, it appears that our usual late January, early February thaw will be a dud this year. Instead of 4-5 days of above freezing temperatures, we’ll get one day, this Friday, before plunging into the deep freeze again. Mind you, the cold doesn’t keep us from taking 20-30 minute walks around the neighbourhood, for fresh air and to avoid going stir crazy. And yes, I wear a puffy, knee-length parka and Yukon hat with the earflaps down when we go out. It’s not elegant, but it is warm.

On the writing front, Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes is just about at the three-quarters completion mark, and wonder of wonders, the seventh Siobhan Dunmoore story is slowly fermenting the back of my mind. Since it’s fermenting faster than the third Ghost Squadron and Constabulary Casefiles installments, I might even give it a try once Imperial Echoes is off to my editor, hopefully at the beginning of March.

Planning for 2021

Yes, I’m well aware that no plan survives contact with the enemy and that fate laughs at us puny humans planning for the future – nowadays more than ever. But here goes anyway.

The first item on the list is completing and publishing Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes. I’m past the one-third mark and progress is steady, but not as quick as I’d hoped, which means it’ll probably come out in February and not January. That always happens when I’m deep into world building and in this case, it’s intensive since the story concerns Lyonesse’s soon to be nemesis, the Wyvern Hegemony, which took a different path over the many generations since the empire’s collapse.

Then, I’m looking at the third Ghost Squadron and the third Constabulary Casefiles. I don’t know in which order I’ll work on them just yet but I have the high-level story concepts, and since I like playing with graphic design, I have the covers done up as well.

Finally, there might be a new Siobhan Dunmoore story fermenting in the back of my mind. I’m not sure yet, but there are stirrings. In any case, I have a cover idea already done up, though the title might change as the ideas take shape.

Four books in 2021? Not impossible, provided life doesn’t throw me any nasty surprises. After all, I managed three in 2020, and the first of those three took almost six months. And since we can’t travel to our usual destination over December and January, I’ll be here, at my desk, putting in productive writing time instead of pleading with underwater critters to pose for artistic photographs.

Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

Winter is Coming

A look out my office window reveals a January-style winter wonderland, thanks to a pair of snow dumps, one on Monday and one today. It’ll melt, what with above freezing temperatures predicted from tomorrow until well into next week, but I’d best get used to the view. After all, this is Canada, the land of ice and snow.

The contractors finished working on the house yesterday and they did a superb job – new vinyl siding, new soffits, new fascia, new gutters and new downspouts. Our almost 50 year old home looks 40 years younger, and with fresh Tyvek house wrap replacing the old tar paper, it’s also better clad beneath the muted green siding. Of equal relief was the fact they found no major issues. The walls are in good shape – not a trace of rot, insect or animal infestation. With new outside lights and a bright new house number plate completing the do-over, we’re officially done with renos until next summer. Anyone in the Ottawa area needing a top-notch contractor to re-side their home, replace the gutters and whatnot, drop me a message via the official Eric Thomson website and I’ll give you their coordinates.

As predicted, progress on Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes was slow over the last week and a half, but I’m back in the saddle now, although I’m not sure I can make a late January publishing date at this time. We’ll see. In the meantime, stay healthy and safe, fellow humans. Peace.

A Lot of Action

This morning, the work on re-siding the Casa Thomson began (and it’s not just re-siding, but replacing soffits, fascia and the gutters). Considering the stuff being replaced is all original on a house dating back to 1974, the change will be tremendous. Already, the faded, dented and dinged yellow aluminum siding on one wall is gone, replaced by vinyl in a gentle cypress green. And once that’s done, as I told Mrs T., we can settle in for a long winter’s nap, since we won’t be spending the holidays in our usual scuba diving spot this year.

In other news, Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes is past the 20% completion mark, and though the going is slow, it’s steady, which is normal when building a new world, that of Lyonesse’s soon to be discovered existential enemy, the Wyvern Hegemony. But with the noise of outside renovations this week I expect progress will be a little slower than usual. It’s amazing how much stapling house wrap and nailing siding reverberates throughout the entire house. Right now, one of the contractors is working on the second story wall right outside my office, which is just a tad eerie when I’m used to solitude and silence on a regular weekday.

In any case, progress on all fronts. Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.


I just fired Deadly Intent (Ghost Squadron #2) off to my editor. She’s cleared the decks for it, so I expect a quick turnaround. Perhaps I can give my Canadian readers a Thanksgiving treat. Or better yet, celebrate the sixth anniversary of my first book’s publication, which unleashed Zack Decker on an unsuspecting military scifi universe. That was October 9, 2014. I doubt my editor can turn Deadly Intent around fast enough for an October 9, 2020 publication date. She’s very meticulous and takes the time she needs to ensure a quality product. But just getting it out in October is enough for me. After all, Deadly Intent is Zack Decker and Hera Talyn’s ninth outing, even though they’re now supporting characters in a new ensemble cast rather than the leading stars.

With that, I will turn my attention on Ashes of Empire: Imperial Echoes tomorrow. I’ve already written half of the first chapter and I think I’ll enjoy this one. Writing about the Wyvern Hegemony’s twisted society, which fell into all the traps Lyonesse avoided, will make an interesting change. In humanity’s post-imperial era, they’re the bad guys, complete with pointy beards, assassinations, and a form of agonizer worse than any torture imaginable. And the Hegemony also plans on reuniting humanity. Fun, fun, fun.

In the meantime, I shall enjoy the riotous colors of our northern hemisphere autumn. Stay safe and healthy, fellow humans.

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