I'm back home after nearly 4 weeks on the road. I'd like to extend a big thank you to my guest bloggers: Kameron Hurley, Hugh Hancock, and Ramez Naam. Of course I am still playing catch-up with the mail mountain and the dirty clothing midden, so normal service will perforce resume gradually. So in the meantime, here's some news:
I have delivered the first chunk of the new Merchant Princes trilogy to my editor at Tor (along with a first draft of the second chunk): plan is to start work on the third chunk in a week or two, then spend summer revising it. The publication plan isn't fixed in stone yet, but we're hoping that after the omnibus doorstep editions come out in the USA on paper in October/December/February, the first chunk of the new trilogy, "Dark State", will show up some time from April 2015 onwards.
(I'm calling these "chunks" rather than "novels" because they're not stand-alone novels so much as one-third-sized instalments of a thousand-page novel. Which is near future SF set circa 2020, in the universe of the Merchant Princes. And yes, 2020 there is about as grimly paranoid as you would expect in light of the Snowden leaks and the war on terror, if the war on terror had been upgraded to "war on every threat from every time-line in the multiverse", handed over to the Department of Homeland Security, and outsourced to the company formerly known as Blackwater.)
I was hoping to be able to announce a new book deal with Ace and Orbit this week; however, things have been complicated by the news that my editor at Ace is retiring at the end of March. I sell the non-Merchant Princes books to my US and UK publishers in parallel (they each get their respective territorial rights), so new deals require a lot of back-and-forth discussions: nothing can be finalised until I have a new editor at Ace. However, I think I can say at this point that Orbit want to acquire two new Laundry Files novels, and my agent and I were discussing the details with Ace when the retirement news broke.
The first of these books, "The Armageddon Score", already exists in first draft and will hopefully be published in summer 2015 (following 2014's "The Rhesus Chart"); it's told by Mo, not Bob, and concerns matters of law enforcement, would-be superheroes, and the stolen score for a violin operetta called "The King in Yellow". The second has no title yet and won't be written before 2015. The plan is for it to be narrated by a new character (you'll get to meet Alex in "The Rhesus Chart"): who gets the happy fun job of dealing with Elves. Elves in the Laundry Files universe are about as friendly as unicorns: only they're more numerous, better organized, and they drive tanks ...