A Week for Good News: Alpha Reading Starforge, New Store Fronts, and More!

So this will make everyone chuckle a bit, I think. This week has been awesome. This News Post? Packed with cool stuff I’m about to inform you about. Save one minor quibble in why you’re hearing about it now, on a Thursday afternoon, possibly with questionable grammar.

Why questionable grammar? Well … the one low point of this week has been a nasty cold I was fighting off Monday which has since blossomed to consume my days. And don’t worry, I’m starting with this as both a “bad news first” sort of thing and an explanation for where I’ve been. The answer is “sick.”

Not COVID, thankfully. Just a nasty cold that’s left me rolling through tissues, achy, tired, and suffering from several days of constant headache. Good news though: Last night I slept until 2 PM, and as a result I’m feeling much better. I’m still fatigued, but the headache is gone and I’m seeing signs that all the crud is losing the battle. Huzzah! But this does mean this week was kind of a sick week (during which I pretty much slept).

Which is kind of a shame as so much awesome happened this week. I’ll start with the big one. The following link is to an item now listed for sale at Wal-Mart, so get ready. Here it is. Click it, and you’ll notice something that’s very big.

Yeah, that’s Axtara – Banking and Finance. Selling at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is now carrying Axtara. Want a copy? You can go get it at Wal-Mart.

This? This is awesome. Yes, Axtara is available at other bookstores, but Wal-Mart is a pretty big market. The fact that they’re carrying Axtara? AWESOME.

This could be why sales this week seem to have picked up from last week (another bit of good news). Wal-Mart is a big market. A lot of eyeballs roll through there. Their stocking Axtara is another milestone for me and a huge moment to be celebrated.

So, if you haven’t picked up a copy of Axtara yet, you’ve got a new option now. You can order it at Wal-Mart and pick it up with your groceries.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Axtara continues to soar.

There’s more cool news, so hit the jump!

Speaking of soaring, I’ve got another bit of news in that vein to share with you all. A package was delivered at my doorstep this afternoon. Would you care to see the contents?

Yup! That’s a stack of Axtara and Shadow of an Empire books, ready for Life, The Universe, and Everything! Most of these will be available at the LTUE bookstore during the con (which again, is February 17th-19th), but a few of them will be on my person for the purposes of showing off—and maybe gifting—during the con.

So if you’re attending LTUE this year and need Axtara or Shadow, swing by the LTUE bookstore and pick up copies while supplies last! Then come to the signing or track me down at the con and get it enhanced/defaced!

And if supplies run out … well you can always try the local Wal-Mart.

It’s awesome that I can say that. Anyway, nice stack of books all ready for the con, and it made for a wonderful picture.

Now, some BIG news so many of you have been waiting for.


I am pleased to report that the last thing I did for work this week, on the eve of my illness, was finish the Pre-Alpha read of the Starforge draft.

I have a few notes to double-check, but it was all small stuff, or stuff that was noted for the Alpha Readers. Which means that yes, at last, after three years (Jungle released Nov 2019), it’s time to begin the Starforge Alpha Reading.

Pass one. With all the polishing I want this to undergo, I’d like to do two Alpha Reads. Just to be sure. As well as a few other things to really make sure every surface gleams.

This means that next week, yes next week, I will start sending out emails to prior Alpha Readers whose names are on The List. I will also be posting an Alpha Call.

All for Starforge. This is it, people. The biggest, baddest, most explosive conclusion I’ve ever written. Are you ready?

I know I am. Here, let me an interesting statistic: Starforge is handily the largest book I’ve ever written (fitting for such a finale), currently weighing in at 505,960 words. Which, if you’ve been keeping an eye on Starforge news, is more than 3000 words more than the initial draft was. Yep, despite some cuts, the pre-Alpha read ended up adding a few thousand words. Colony, by comparison, was 334,202 words, and Jungle was larger still at 458,038 words. Though in fairness, that’s total, so including the tables of contents, introductions, etc, which probably add around a thousand.

Without those Starforge is 505,960 words. What. A, Beast. About 40 chapters or so. This means on release, the entire trilogy will weigh in at over 1,298,200 words. Add in a recap and the introduction, etc,, for Starforge, and it’ll probably be just about—if not over—1.3 million words.

For the record, all of Harry Potter is 1,034,000 words, The Lord of the Rings (Hobbit included) is 576,459 words. The Wheel of Time is 4.4 million words, however. And the UNSEC Space trilogy will never get that large, because this trilogy is concluded with Starforge. There is no “hidden fourth book” or surprise sequel. This story is complete with this one.

Oh, and just for reasons of student and master, Brandon Sanderson’s longest book to date was Rhythm of War at 455,891 words.

That’s two now, Brandon.

Jokes aside, Alpha Readers be forewarned and prepared: Starforge is a titan even among titans. That said … there were people who finished Jungle in three days during its Alpha, so … I do know how to write ’em. But if you’re not one of those people, but are an Alpha and can’t wait to get your eyeballs on Starforge, just … plan accordingly. This is the end. It’s got a lot of ground to cover.

But I think you’re going to love how it all wraps up. We’re getting answers to questions from all the way back in book one baby!

So yeah. Next week.

With that, I am exhausted. I blame the cold (and I don’t think I’m wrong). Anyway, get ready for next week. The Alpha is coming!

And while you’re waiting, feel free to pick up a copy of Axtara from Wal-Mart if you haven’t. That’s an option now.

I’ll see you all Monday.

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