I’m lifting my head above the writing and publishing trenches for a few moments to share some exciting news about an imminent new Sleeping Legion book launch, a new audiobook deal, and more.
If you follow JR Handley’s blog, you’ll already know about a novellete he’s been working on called No Marine Left Behind. Well, he’s no longer working on it because it’s done. Written, edited, rewritten, re-edited, finished! It’s now just his publisher standing between this killer new story and the readers who will love to read it. Yeah, well that’s me, so I’ll be brief because there’s work to be done to bring this out.
I’ll be doing the fancy book description when it launches, but the story features Marines left behind enemy lines and what they do about it. I don’t think I’m giving away spoilers when I say their response is both intelligent and extremely violent. And it doesn’t go according to plan! No Marine Left Behind is a standalone story for which you don’t need to have read any other books to enjoy, and it’s a novelette (17,000 words) which slots in the size spectrum just shy of a novella.
But the story can also be read as part of other series. It fits very neatly between the first two books of The sleeping Legion, featuring Sashala Kraevoi whose appearance is something of a mystery in Sleeping Legion book 2: Fortress Beta City. I’ve always been very strict with JR Handley and his editors (of which I have been just one) that the Sleeping Legion series must be fully self-contained, and not expect a familiarity with the Human Legion books. But I know many readers have enjoyed both series and they may remember that Sashala Kraevoi was introduced in Human Legion Book 3: Renegade Legion. The new Sleeping Legion story lets us into the secret of how the knife-wielding Kraevoi shifted from Renegade Legion to Fortress Beta City.
And if you aren’t following JR Handley’s blog, why not? He posts a great variety of material, and even if you weren’t particularly into his books, it’s still a great place to hang out with fellow military SF fans and hear news, reviews and interviews of what’s going on in the field. You can find his blog here.
I haven’t laid out or build the book, so you can’t have it just yet, but expect it in about a week as a standalone Kindle book. When the audiobooks launch, I will append No Marine Left Behind to the first Sleeping Legion book: The Legion Awakes, and I’ll ask Amazon to update the Kindle version of anyone who has already purchased the book to get the updated version. Unfortunately, I can’t guarantee Amazon will grant my request. I’m telling you this because I don’t want anyone to buy or borrow No Marine Left Behind and get steamed when it might (possibly) be added to a book they’ve already purchased.
In other news, Legion Bulletin #13 went out last week, featuring news, a competition, and Human Legion short story, Hill 435. If you are a signed up Legionary you should have received it in your inbox on Tuesday or Wednesday. If you use GMail, the bulletin will be sent to the Promotions tab. If you haven’t signed up, then don’t worry because you can grab back issues by signing up for free here. You’ll get free ebooks from all main Legion book series as a thank you.
Hold on a moment. Did someone mention audiobooks?
Yes, indeed. We have sold the audiobook rights to the Sleeping Legion series to Podium Publishing. Podium are publishing some great SF series on audio. Chris Nuttall’s Empire’s Corps is one, and Joshua Dalzelle’s Black Fleet Trilogy another. But their killer success to date has been with Andy Weir’s The Martian. You might remember when the movie came out that a lot of fuss was made about how The Martian became a mega-seller first as an audio title. Well, we’re working with the same Podium who broke Andy Weir. That’s pretty exciting. Yes, it is 🙂
I don’t have dates but I know that Podium can move very quickly and they don’t want to hang around. The audiobooks will definitely be available on Audible, and you will be able to add audio narration as add-ons to Kindle purchases. The audio edition of The Legion Awakes will include No Marine Left Behind, which will be a bonus after the novel. If you have already bought The Legion Awakes, does that mean you will be able to add audio narration? I will work with Amazon to bring that to you — it’s what I want to happen — but I have to say that this is in the gift of Amazon. I hope so.
So, audiobooks… I’m excited and I’ve been spending a lot of my time over the past few weeks on this, and with more to come.
Would my time have been better spent working on the next set of novels? I’m interested in what you think about audio books. Meh, maybe, or gotta have them?