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2020 Issue #23



For those keeping track, Valka's solo short story adventure, "Good Intentions," is out next week in the SHAPERS OF WORLDS anthology (you can find a link below). It was supposed to be the last Sun Eater short story release of the year, but plans change, and it looks like you're getting not one, but maybe TWO more before Christmas (the second, admittedly, is a stretch).

The first one, "Fire in the Sky," is going to appear in the Simultaneous Times podcast, just like my earlier story, "The Duelist." It gives us a glimpse of what a Cielcin attack looks like from the perspective of an Imperial peasant villager. I'm going to take a short pause here in a week or so on BOOK FOUR (no more than 2-3 day) to knock it out . . . you should be able to enjoy it, if not next month, then probably in November!

The second one is another of my 3-chapter novelettes. It's another Hadrian-POV story called "The Pits of Emesh," and it takes us back to, well, Emesh. It's a flashback story set during Hadrian's time as a myrmidon, so those of you who wanted to see Ghen and Switch and the gang all together again are going to get your chance. This story is going in a short story collection I'm putting together, TALES OF THE SUN EATER, VOL. 1, and that I hope to have available (it will be ebook only, I'm afraid) by Christmastime! (If BOOK FOUR slows production down, it'll be Q1 2021 instead).

TALES OF THE SUN EATER, VOL. 1 is going to collect 7 of my short stories together in one volume. 6 of them are previously published, plus the 1 original in "The Pits of Emesh." Keep your eyes peeled for more news soon!


Now for the information you're REALLY here for. BOOK FOUR is finally starting to go well again. I wrote about 5000 words this last weekend, and my output for the last 4-5 days has been above the project's 1400 words-a-day average. Here's the breakdown:
Word Count: 149452 / 295000
Chapters: 38 / 78
Percent Complete: 48.7%

I'm going to cross the 150,000 word mark today, keeping me in line with my goal. (In fact, I may already have done so by the time you read this, as I scheduled the newsletter to shoot out later in the day). 

The astute among you will have noticed 2 things: 1. the total estimated word count jumped from 280K to 295K, and 2. the total chapter count went from 77 to 78.

These last few chapters have been among the very longest in the series, which accounts for why my progress looks so slow in the last two weeks. I've written nearly 20K words, but only about 2.8 chapters. This is highly unusual, as my traditional chapter length runs about 3000 words. So I expect the projected book length here, 295K words, is hugely inflated, and as soon as I get out of this specific part of the book and chapters return to normal, I expect we'll see things begin to shift back down towards the 250K region. I've got another 2 GIANT, really important, really unpleasant chapters to go.

When you read BOOK FOUR and get to the chapter 35-40 range, know that that's the part that's been kicking me around so much! I think you'll understand when you see it next year.

Title reveal should be pretty soon. I expect my publishers and I are going to start talking really soon about getting things going. 

Spotlight On

A Successful Kickstarter Book


A teenage girl finds something strange in the middle of the Canadian prairie. An exobiologist tries to liberate a giant alien enslaved on its homeworld by humans. The music of the spheres becomes literal for an Earth ship far from home. A superhero league interviews for new members. Strangers share a drink on a world where giant starships fall. A young woman finds unexpected allies as she tries to win a flying-machine race in steampunk London . . .

Ranging from boisterous to bleak, from humorous to harrowing, from action-filled to quiet and meditative; each of these stories is as unique as its creator. And yet, they all showcase one thing: the irrepressible need of human beings to create, to imagine, to tell stories.

To shape worlds.
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Crispin's Solo Novel


Crispin Marlowe grew up in his brother’s shadow, but Hadrian is gone, and his grandmother—the duchess of Delos—is dying.

Answering her summons, Crispin takes off on what should be a routine flight to the ducal palace from the castle at Devil’s Rest. But he is flying into a trap. 

With no one coming to save him and only his sister, Sabine, and a few injured guardsmen to protect him, House Marlowe’s least famous son must make his heroic stand.

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Photo Update

Check out this round table podcast interview for my anthology COSMIC CORSAIRS, hosted by Tony Daniel and featuring authors James L. Cambias, Sarah A. Hoyt, Carysa Locke...and some guy named Christopher.
Copyright © 2020 Christopher Ruocchio, All rights reserved.

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