A Smorgasbord of News!

Hello readers! How has you week been?

Mine has been busy. And it’s not going to let up anytime soon. There’s a lot going on for me in the next few weeks, and there already was a lot going on to begin with! Of course, one of the largest projects questing after my time was the Axtara – Banking and Paperback release, but if you’ve been following the site, you know that … that was this week!

That’s right! That’s the first bit of news I’m going to crow about. Because yes, the day finally arrived: You can now purchase one of my books in trade paperback. Sands, you can even order it from your local bookstore thanks to expanded distribution! Or ask your local library to acquire a copy (I still get paid either way, so enjoy your read)!

Of course, you can also just order it right now at this link. The one I just repeated twice for good measure! Or you can click the cover there over on the side. Come on … you know you want to … And plus, as those who have already read it can tell you (check the reviews) it’s a fantastically fun story. And suitable for a good range of ages too!


All right, so that’s Axtara talked about and plugged. So now I need to talk about the next big thing that’s happening and keeping me busy.

Life, The Universe, and Everything 2021!

Yes, that’s right, readers! It’s still happening this year, despite the quarantine. Just … not in the same manner. This year (and only this year, as again Covid-19) LTUE will be online! And yes, I will once again be both attending and presenting this year.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. For the newcomers, what is LTUE, and why should they care? Well, Life, The Universe, and Everything is a Writing Convention for Science-Fiction and Fantasy writers (primarily) that has, over the years, branched into a number of related topics such as art, gaming, and other associated venues while still being primarily arrayed around on thing: Writing.

This means that it has panels on topics such as worldbuilding, writing action scenes, or even writing non-human characters, chaired by authors that have written successful books on those topics. Panels where said authors will talk about the experience, common mistakes, ways to succeed, and take questions from the audience.

To be blunt, if you are at all interested in learning writing advice on hundreds of topics from experts in the business, this is the con to go to.

Oh, and did I mention it’s $5 for students? It’s an educational conference, after all.


I’ve attended LTUE for years and it is always a great experience. There are always going to be neat panels on new topics which you’ve likely never thought of, or a new expert for a familiar panel that you can learn something from anyway (I’ve hit some panels four or five times over the years just to see what different writers say).

I’ve also been on a number of those panels and shared some of the same experience that I’ve picked up in almost a decade of being published and writing Being a Better Writer. And this year will be no different, despite LTUE being online.

Actually, let’s talk about that first. LTUE this year will take place February 11th-13th (just under two weeks away!) but unlike prior years there will be no hotel or conference halls full of people. Instead, LTUE this year will be entirely digital, with the panelist streaming themselves in “rooms” online. While it’s going to be different (and surely will not be without classic technical difficulties from a few panelists), this does make for one awesome change.

Anyone can come. All you need is an internet connection and to have registered. You can register at LTUE.net and start looking at the schedule today!


As for me? I’ve got four panels this year I’ll be appearing on. They are as follows:

  • Thursday (Feb 11th) @ 3 PM – Finding and Working with Alpha/Beta Readers
  • Friday (Feb 12th) @ 10 AM – Mashing Ideas Together (this will be FUN)
  • Friday (Feb 12th) @ 8 PM – Worldweaving: Integrating Worldbuilding into Your Story
  • Saturday (Feb 13th) @ 9 AM – Intercultural Literacy

With luck, I’ll see a few familiar handles (online names) in the audience as it happens!

I’ll be posting more reminders of LTUE as it draws closer (as well as figuring out my setup for it) so I’ll talk about it again, but for now … get hyped!


Okay, so lately the writing news has been dominated by a certain dragoness with her abacus and ledger, but what about the other project I’m working on? You know … the big one?

Yes, I mean Starforge, the finale of the UNSEC Space trilogy.

Well, I’ve got some news there too. As of this week, I have reached the end of part two in the first draft. So we’re about 50% of the way through. Current wordcount? About 243,000.

Yeah, this one’s going to live up to the length Jungle established. Maybe even longer. But wow are you getting a lot in that length. I won’t spoil any of it here for obvious reasons, but this book has had some explosive and awesome stuff happen in it so far. And it’s only halfway through. The really crazy stuff is yet to come.

However, at the current pace, I should be able to get through it before the end of the year, easy. That doesn’t mean it’ll release this year, but … At least the draft will be done.

But I don’t want to get ahead of myself. All I’ll say at this point is we’re 50% of the way through the draft, things are moving at a breathless pace, and if I do everything right this will be an explosive end to the trilogy, wrapping up everything the first two books built up in a finale that’s …

Well, that’d be telling. Spoilers! Suffice it to say, there is some awesome stuff in here.


And uh … that’s mostly it. Work has started on Sunset: Stranded (the fan project) again, and I’ve got another failing computer part now. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail, but let’s just say that GPUs should not be going over 80 C with the fan at 30%. So GPU fan is giving out, which means that high-performance is something it can no longer do (but anything that doesn’t stress it too bad is okay, so writing is still good).

Anyway, I’ve got stuff to fill my Saturday, so I’ll log off now. Go read Axtara!

One thought on “A Smorgasbord of News!

  1. Hi Max! That’s awesome – I am so submitting to my local library that they need a copy of Axtara Banking and Finance, and all your books. I so cannot wait for Starforge, I know it is going to be awesome!

    I am a huge fan of your fanfics too! If I can help as a pre-reader or anything I’d be happy to, just let me know. Rock on Max!

    Also trying to drag some fellow aspiring writers to LTUE and your talks. Online this year is just too good an opportunity to let pass by.

    Liked by 1 person

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