Starforge News, LTUE News, Updates, and Reminders, Plus an Anthology Submission Call!

All right folks, gather round for the quick mid-week update on all things Unusual and extraneous! Starting off with some Starforge updates!

Last night I polished off the Pre-Alpha reading/editing of the final chapter of part three of Starforge. Weighing in at just 26,600 words, it was quite the ride. But the Pre-Alpha is now through part three!

“That’s it, right?” some of you may be asking. “Colony had three parts. Jungle had three parts. When is this finale hitting the Alpha Readers? Are you making an Alpha call yet?”

We’re close, but not there yet. Because you see, readers, Starforge has four parts. Surprise! Though some of you might have guessed that based on the length of the finale when the draft was completed last year.

Yeah, this is a big one. After all, it’s got everything from Colony and Jungle to wrap up, and as readers of those novels know, this is not a small universe. It’s a big one with some very terrifying threats.

However, with a few days left in January, will the Starforge pre-Alpha be completed by February? My official answer is “I don’t know. Maybe.” There’s still a quarter of the book to go. But I am making good progress.

Either way, however, it means that the first Alpha is very likely to start in February. Which means … Well, prior Alpha Readers, you know what this means.

Prospective Alpha Readers, those who would like to try being a part of the editing experience: Take notice and keep your eyes open. We’re close.

Oh, and Patreon Supporters, also keep an eye out. Once the Pre-Alpha is done, a few chapters and teasers are going to sneak up onto Patreon as rewards.

Side note: If you’ve been waiting for the trilogy to be complete, and are a slow reader, now is probably the time to start looking at Colony. Give Starforge say … another six months or so to come out, and that’s six months or so to read Colony, Jungle, and if you’ve got extra time, Fireteam Freelance and be ready.


So, that’s it for Starforge news. Now let’s talk about LTUE! I do still have a few updates to offer.

For example, I have asked the LTUE staff about it, and been informed that this year they will not be offering an online component as they did last year. The Discord will remain open, but there will not be an online streaming of panels.

I’ve learned they will also be filming/recording fewer panels this year. As I understand it, a few of their usual dedicated video crew are unable to attend this year (and let’s be honest, look at the last few years, and with a nod note “Yeah, that makes sense”) so while the staff will record what panels they can (for one, I would venture anything that Brandon Sanderson appears on), both they and the later uploads will be limited.

Basically this boils down to “Unless you can attend in person, you won’t be able to attend.” Which sucks for some of you, I know, especially after so many were able to attend online last year. But I’d ask you to bear with things. These are, well to put it bluntly, the “interesting times” of that old curse. There’s only so much manpower to go around, and hosting a conference both online and off can be a surprisingly in-depth undertaking.

However, if you are able to attend in person (and I hope you are), I would note that the final “early bird registration” offers are closing soon, at which point the price of a three-day pass to the con will rise. So if you are going to make it, grab your registration soon!

We’re only a few weeks out! February 17-19th!

Now, there’s one more thing to discuss, but you’ll need to hit the jump. This post has become too large for the front page.


Submission Call for Troubadours and Space Princesses!

Hey! You! Yes you! Are you a writer? Have you dreamed of seeing your story in print? Then I’ve got news for you.

The official submission call for the next LTUE Anthology has opened! For those not in the know, this is a charity anthology published each year following a theme, with all proceeds going to support Life, The Universe, and Everything and help keep costs low (like that $5 student charge). Each year a new theme is selected and stories gathered into a singular collection. This year, the theme is in honor of David Farland, who has recently passed. I’ll simply quote the call page itself here for the theme:

At heart, Dave was a storyteller, a spinner of yarns fantastic. To honor his memory and connection with LTUE, we want stories of troubadours, minstrels, and bards teaming up with princesses feisty and bold. We want them to save the kingdom or the spaceship, or maybe only the tavern or spaceport bar, or even just the cat. We want tales of adventure and mischief. But most of all, we want fantasy and science fiction tales with heart, stories of kindness and courage, much like those Dave wrote.

Set your story in a magical fantasy world or in a galaxy far, far away; just give us a warm and happy ending to your adventure. Tell us the kind of story you’d want to hear on a cold winter’s evening gathered at the local inn where the troubadour has come visiting. Tell us the kind of story Dave would love.

Submissions are due by March 31st, 2022. If you’d like to read up on the full list of submission guidelines, as well as know where to send your entry, etc etc, you can find all of that on Hemelein’s official call page here. I know I’ll be letting ideas tease around the back of my brain for the next few days …


Now, one last bit of news, though a short one for the comments. Who’s up for a Being a Better Writer Live Q&A next Monday? Or rather, should I say, who would like to have one? It’s been a few months since the last, and I could dust off the discord mic once more. Who’s interested?

With that, back to Pisces and Starforge!

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