Thursday, 20 January 2011

Into the Hinterland

David Drake, one of the finest exponents of military SF - if you have not read his Hammers Slammers series then where have you been? - has a piece up on his website about my next novel, Into the Hinterland, that he conceived and planned.

You can find it here:

I repeat the quote below. Novel writing usually follows the path of: (i) an idea and research, (ii) character construction, (iii) a plan, and(iv) execution, i.e. writing it.

On Into the Hinterland, Dave undertook i, ii, and iii, while I did the execution. Dave prepares very detailed plans and it is a privalege for an obscure author, such as myself, to be chosen to write one of his stories. The novel is in the final stages of completion.

Anyway, Dave's comment's below.

Due out from Baen Books September 2011

Into the Hinterlands is a space opera built around cultural situations very similar to those obtaining during the youth of George Washington. John Lambshead developed the plot from my outline with a great deal of interchange between us.

The odd thing about Hinterlands is that while it’s a space opera with a plot as intricate as that of, say, Northworld, it’s also hard SF. I hadn’t expected, let alone intended, that to be the case, but John is a world-class molecular biologist. That became implicit in the work.

Some readers may expect hard SF to be boring. I understand that concern, but books I plot are not boring. That’s true in spades of Hinterlands.

The book exists because Jim Baen’s enthusiasm for George Washington drove me to learn more about the man. I didn’t always wind up agreeing with Jim, but I did this time. The more I learned about Washington, the more amazing Washington became–and the more interested in him I became.

More to the point, I became increasingly convinced that there was a heck of an SF story to be built from Washington’s life. Into the Hinterlands proves that I was right.


  1. Sounds like a good mix: hard SF and revolutionary war. World-class molecular biology too - what talents don't you have?

    I'd love to know more about your approach, and inspirations perhaps, even excerpts, especially where it overlaps with gaming and 40K.

  2. I agee with Porky, it sound like a geat mix.

    I wish you luck with the book.


  3. Hi John -

    Sorry but the 'R' is sticking on this old keyboard!


  4. Dear Fred
    I guess there will be an eARC but Toni decides these things,

  5. Dear Tony
    Thanks. You write a book, you shove it out there, and the rest seems to be largely chance. You can predict what won't sell but not what will.