July 1, 2018 marks the return of Captain Carolyn Kestral and the release of her new adventure, Defiance of the Concorde. It’s officially the second story in the Kestral Voyages books, taking place after Race to Deep Abignon and before The Lens (which is currently in the process of being revised and re-released later in 2018). Defiance of the Concorde and Race to Deep Abignon are available as ebooks and, for the first time, in paperback editions through Amazon’s partnership with Createspace. And as much as I prefer reading ebooks, even I have to say that the paperbacks look good!
Many have been curious about what the rewrites involved… and what’s been taking me so long! Well, most of the rewrites have been editing text, or fleshing out some concepts and dialogue from the original books. Better descriptions of characters and their mannerisms help to make the Mary‘s crew—Mark O’Bannon, Sarander Fi, Tirri Riza and Angel Shakra—as well as peripheral characters more interesting. The edits have added another dimension to the stories. (And there’s always that typo you can’t believe you missed in five editing passes…)
I’ve also updated Kestral’s world: The stories take place within the Orion Arm of the Milky Way, a clearer and more realistic description of the part of the galaxy that humans and their genetically-altered cousins have colonized. As for the military branch where Kestral got her start, it is now known as the Orion Guard… and the organization of human worlds define themselves as the Fraternity. Names have been changed from their originals, frankly, just because they sound better. (I mean, did anyone else cringe at the sound of the “Oan Galarchy”? Or was it really just me?) And last but not least, the virus that triggered Kestral’s change of career is now called Venom, which still has that nice, lethal ring to it…
And much has stayed the same: The same galaxy of terraformed planets and the baseline- and genetically-altered-humans colonizing them; the same Mary, the star-going freighter that serves as home to Kestral and her crew; the same adventures and dangers; and the same humanity, whose worst enemy is, as always, itself.
You might also notice, from the Kestral I cover and the descriptions in both books, that Carolyn Kestral herself has changed in appearance: Still as striking as ever, but now with long, brunette hair and the slight caste of a Pacific Islander. I did this to better fit the changes in modern and projected worldwide population and racial developments… but I also think it’s time for women who aren’t the same old European surrogates to see some science fiction action!
So, better stories, better characters… and better covers! I mean, seriously… the best covers I’ve ever done, with versions optimized for the ebooks and the paperbacks… I’m so proud of them. And between the covers, the content has been arranged according to the changing preferences of modern audiences, to give a better reading experience. Put it all together, and you have 5-star (hint-hint) product quality.
So, that’s the word on the new books. You can get more information on both books, including purchase links when they are available, on the Kestral Voyages page. I hope you can’t wait to get your hands on them. And tell your friends. And tell them to tell their friends. And give me a legitimate shot at fame and fortune (well, fortune, anyway)… so I have the incentive to write more of them.