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December 2019 Issue #2

News from the Sollan Empire

What a Year! And What a Year to Come!

Folks, I just wanted to take a moment in this last newsletter of 2019 to say thank you. It's an absolute privilege and an honor to write stories for you. I couldn't do this without my readers, and I want you all to know I know that and that I'm supremely grateful for your custom and for your fondness for Hadrian and his nonsense. 2019 was a great year for the Sun Eater books (and for me personally), and 2020 is looking to be even greater.

I thought I'd pause a moment and go over all the new things I have coming out next year so far, in order:

0. Either later today or tomorrow, I have a short story coming out called "The Duelist." It's a slightly humorous story about two palatines fighting each other with highmatter swords, and it's being performed on the Space Cowboy podcast. Expect a special newsletter as soon as I have the link.

1. March 27, I have a 3-chapter novelette called "Kill the King" coming out in an anthology called THE DOGS OF GOD. It follows an Imperial assassin sent to kill an Extrasolarian warlord. It's actually set after BOOK FOUR, and is a bit of a tease.

2. April 7, my anthology OVERRULED hits shelves. It's a collection of law-and-order-based stories by authors like Larry Niven, Arthur C. Clarke, and Clifford Simak that I put together. It also features my story "Victim of Changes," which shows a Chantry trial. I'm really proud of this one. James Minz said that it's "so good it's a crime if it doesn't win a Hugo." But it won't win.

3. Some time in the first half of the year, Crispin-centered lite novel THE LESSER DEVIL will be out in audio form and in ebook form (might not be any print at this time, details to come). 

4. Some time in the first half of the year, Ed Willett of the Worldshapers podcast should be announcing a Kickstarter for an anthology that will feature "Good Intentions," a Valka-centered short story where she visits the Marching Towers of Sadal Suud. Details to come.


6. My second anthology, COSMIC CORSAIRS, comes out. This one is all space pirate stories, and features a 3-chapter novelette called "The Night Captain" that sees Hadrian's Red Company attacked in transit, and their defense is left to the junior officer who minds the ship while everyone is frozen in fugue.

With any luck, I'll also have finished my Valka-centered lite novel by then, and it'll see a release in audio and ebook form, the same as THE LESSER DEVIL, in time for Christmas. That's my HOPE, but I am getting married next year, so that might not work out as planned. 


Writing has slowed down a little around the holidays. I've been slow-walking this last short story, but it should be finished this week (it's another 3-chapter novelette like "The Demons of Arae," and I've written 2/3 chapters), but with Christmas shopping and family obligations, I've been struggling to find the focus. 

On the other hand, I'm hard at work securing story contracts for COSMIC CORSAIRS. After that, I'll be editing two more short story anthologies with Baen Books over the course of the next year.

I've yet to receive DEMON IN WHITE back from my editors, and I expect that I won't be seeing it until after the new year at this point. In the meantime, I'm waiting on word from Recorded Books as to a release date for THE LESSER DEVIL, and I'm about halfway through the outline for another lite novel, this one from Valka's point of view. I'm not ready to do the big reveal, because I'm not sure if I'll be able to write it before work on BOOK FOUR of the main series, but we shall see.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying something of a little break...although I fully expect the new Star Wars film to crush my spirits come Thursday. 

Holiday Reminder

The Mass Market Paperback of


Pray forgive the shameless plug, but a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do...and this time of year that means mentioning that the paperback of EMPIRE OF SILENCE fits just about perfectly into MOST stockings, and if you're looking for one last gift for the readers in your life, kindly consider helping a struggling writer out. 

And if any of you are thinking "hey, I want to get Christopher something!" Kindly consider leaving a review for any of my books on Amazon and/or Goodreads. The more the merrier (and it helps sales). 
Purchase (US)
Purchase (UK)


Robert Hugh Benson's


I did an interview with John Hartness when I was down in South Carolina for Atomacon, and during it I mentioned that the last book I'd read was LORD OF THE WORLD by Robert Hugh Benson. While not strictly true, I'm mostly reading material for my day job as Baen's Junior Editor, it is the last book I read that you can read. It's a dystopia written before World War I by a Catholic priest who thought H.G. Wells' technological utopianism was woefully naïve. It's bleak, but for my money, more prescient than Orwell and Huxley combined. 

Plus, the eagle-eyed will catch a reference to it in HOWLING DARK.
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Photo Update

This is the cover for OVERRULED, the anthology of courtroom-based science fiction stories I assisted Hank Davis in editing. Tom Kidd did the cover AND wrote a story for us. I've been a huge admirer of Tom's work for years now--and had the privilege of seeing his work in person at the 2018 Worldcon. He had an image of St. George I was especially taken with, I wish I could find a picture of it...

But I digress. It's a very silly cover, but my story in the book, "Victim of Changes" is anything but. It's coming out in April!
Copyright © 2019 Christopher Ruocchio, All rights reserved.

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