UNSEC Space Lore: All Alert – Hoppers

The Starforge beta is on, readers (and you can find out more about that here) which means we’re drawing closer to the finale’s release with each passing day. An end to the adventure six years in the making—and for some of you, reading—Starforge is the epic conclusion to the UNSEC Space trilogy and the journey that began in Colony and continued in Jungle.

But until Starforge is in your waiting hands, tide yourselves over with these little looks into the setting. Today we’re going to be talking about the harbinger of one of the most dangerous threats known in the setting and talk a little bit about the alien lifeform known as the hopper.

As before, these posts contain spoilers for both Colony and Jungle, so if you’d like the twists and reveals of those novels to stay exciting and fresh, we advice not hitting that jump, and instead clicking over to the books page of the site to get your own adventure with the UNSEC trilogy going.

Those of you that are ready to take the dive? Hit the jump.

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The Friday News and Such

Hey there everyone! It’s time for a news post, keeping you all up to date on what’s going on and all. But this week we’re going to start off with an odder bit of news that’s less to do with writing and more just to do with the personal goal of me getting healthier.

Back in the end of June I picked up a Fitbit. I did this with the goal of measuring my workouts and tuning them to be more effective. To that end, I will say I was shocked with some of the results. Some of the routes I was following that I assumed would have been decent workouts were, in fact, not that great, and some of the routes that “common sense” would have said weren’t that great were actually my best in terms of caloric burn and cardio.

The power of a little data, right?

Anyway, there was a little bump in the middle where I got sick and lost a week of workouts while eating … not so great food … but the result is that currently I am, since June, down about thirteen pounds, and still heading further down.

Now that’s nice to have lost, isn’t it. It’s not a shock diet, or a carb fast, or anything like that. It’s just having metrics and a willingness. Well, and the bike. The holiday pounds are on their way out!

I know it’s not super impactful when it comes to the site, unless that lost weight will somehow help me write faster (I doubt it, personally), but it is something that I’m very happy to be able to see progression on, day after day.

With that said, I’ve got more news for people, and more tangential to the focus of the site, so hit that jump!

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UNSEC Space Lore: Earth in the 22nd Century

Starforge draws ever closer, readers, and with it the epic conclusion to the UNSEC Space Trilogy. But while it isn’t quite here yet, that doesn’t mean we can’t take a look back at the state of the universe and some of its characters, locations, technology, and lore. So, until Starforge is in your waiting hands, tide yourself over with these little looks into the setting. Today, we’re going to be looking at the homeworld of all mankind itself: Earth.

NOTE: This post does include spoilers for Colony and Jungle, books one and two of the UNSEC Space trilogy. Be warned if you want the exciting reveals of those books to stay exciting!

Otherwise, hit the jump.

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News and Updates

All right everyone, let’s discuss the big news item first: Where is Starforge currently?

Well, the good news is it’s coming along well. I have, however, delayed the move into Beta by a few days while I do some more polishing and tweaking on the Alpha 2. I know, there’s a schedule with a ticking deadline that’s drawing closer and closer, but I want this story to land for as many readers as possible, so I’m making some final tweaks that aren’t, for the most part, large, but are in evidence through the whole of the book, just to get some narrative beats to land just right.

So yes, today is the last of these tweaks, at which point I’ll start dropping chapters into the Beta Master List, send out invites to those respondents to the Beta Call Email (if you previously have been a Beta Reader, check your inbox for the call), and will start sending emails out to those of you that commented on the Beta Call post.

I believe that’s everything for today. I mean, that’s what I have to do today for Starforge. Outside of writing work … Well, you’re not here for that news. You’re here for writing news. So: Beta delayed slightly due to some Alpha polish. Those who have Beta Read before please check your email inbox if you haven’t seen the Beta Call email, and those who left comments, emails coming.


Now, onto other news: The site remodel. Yes, you may have noticed some stark changes around here. Pleasant green swapped for a harsher red. The lack of a smiling dragon banker in the top banner, replaced by an almost blood-red planet floating in space.

Yes, it’s the change of the site’s look for the newest book release. I guess we’re fortunate that red fits both Halloween and Christmas as a color, because we’re going to be with this one for a little while. Granted, it fits the spooky Halloween theme a bit better than Axtara’s cheer. But if you’re missing Axtara, I’m certain she’ll be back. After, a new Axtara title is slated as the second book I’ll be working to release after Starforge is done, and those are lot less work than a juggernaut like Starforge, which means they’ll be coming quicker and sooner.

But hey, for now, let’s just bask in the stark, dark void that is the dread of Starforge, shall we? Two last bits of news, but they’re going below the jump.

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A Short and Quick News Post!

Hello all! My apologies for this post coming in the evening, and being only one of two posts this week, though the other was a pretty significant one. I’ve just been quite busy.

How busy? I have been up writing past 1 AM more than once this week, and hit 2 AM at the latest. So I’ve been burning the midnight oil.

But! The short that blossomed into another YA novel in the Axtara setting—which I really need to name—has found it’s first draft completed! Sadly, it’s rough enough I’ll likely do a total if not near-total rewrite, but it is a neat story that explores a different side of the world already seen with Axtara and other related shorts.

Also, don’t forget, that other post this week was about the Starforge Beta Read! I am blitzing through the Alpha 2 changes right now, and will very likely have Beta chapters up for readers (and e-mails going out) either tomorrow or Monday.

Speaking of which, if you’re interested in being a Beta Reader, keep an eye on your inbox if you’ve commentated or been a prior Beta Reader, and if you’ve not been or done either of those things, comment at the Beta Call! If you already have, I’ll be reaching out to you soon.

Now, there’s a little more news, but it’ll be past the jump. Hit it!

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The Starforge Beta Call

Yes. That’s right folks. We’ve reached that moment. It’s here. My work on Strange Catch (filler title) wraps up today (I left off last week in the midst of the ending) so today I’ll be starting the last round of Alpha Edits to Starforge. Which means … Beta 1 time!

As with the Alpha, I’d like to get two rounds of Beta in. With 500,000 words, Starforge is a bit of a juggernaut. I know we’re bound to miss something—just look at the number of typos in your average 110,000 word Trad Pub publication to see exactly how tough finding every mistake can be—but I do want to get this as clean as possible before the release date.

Which isn’t set yet, mind. Still aiming for November, though. And we’re getting close to having a set date in place as well as a pre-order available.

Anyway, those of you that have Beta’d before, it’s time to rise up. E-mails will be going out this week!

If you’ve not Beta read before but would like to try, keep an eye out, then leave a comment below and we can get in touch. Beta Reading, for those unfamiliar with the process, is what a lot of people think of when they think “editing.” This post goes into more detail (just jump down to the section on Beta Editing), but the gist of it is that this is where you’re looking for typos, incorrect homophones, extra spaces, missing dialog tags … the works. This is the fine-tuning, the catching of out-of-place letters or missing words or any of that stuff.

And it’s starting very soon. So, if you’re interested and have been a Beta Reader before, watch your inbox. If you’ve never Beta Read before but would like to try, leave a comment!

We’re inching closer and closer, people. Starforge is nearly upon us!

Now, I’ve got to get back to it!

The Starforge Cover Reveal

Ladies and gentlemen, readers of all ages, and fans of Science Fiction, I give you the cover to the third and final book in the UNSEC Space Trilogy: Starforge.

I don’t really know what else to say, except perhaps “Behold!” once again, and maybe “What do you think?”

Well, that and if you hit the jump, there’s both a text and textless 4K background version you can save for your desktop viewing pleasure. So click that little jump down below …

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Friday News Post – Cover Reveal Countdown, Sick Days, Strange Catch, and more!

Hello readers and writers! I’m back! Well … almost.

Let’s start with the most prevalent news before we move on to other stuff: The sick days. Yes, I spent a good chunk of this week sick. No, it wasn’t COVID, at least not that I know of. None of the symptoms matched, so I didn’t get tested. It was, as far as I can tell, just a run-of-the-mill cold caught from a friend’s kids. But it did delay some stuff that was supposed to take place this week, such as Being a Better Writer being delayed from Monday to Wednesday, the finishing of Strange Catch, and the editing for beta of Starforge (we’ll have more on all of these in a little bit).

So, this does mean I’ve revised some of my own scheduling for things. I lost about three days of work due to being sick, but I’m going to try and condense a few things and make up for it. Next Monday’s Being a Better Writer should be up on the usual day, I worked on Strange Catch yesterday and will continue working on it today … basically, I’m trying to make up for the days I lost, and hopefully things will be back on speedy track next week. After all, August is ending, and September is almost upon us, and with that we’ll only be a few months from the release of Starforge!


Speaking of Starforge, we’re also less than a week out from the cover reveal! It’s next Thursday on September 1st, people! You’ve all seen the teaser (and if not, here’s the link to the tease to get your appetite whetted), so now it’s just counting down. Seven days, people! Seven days!

Speaking of Starforge, isn’t the Alpha 2 supposed to be ending soon? Why yes! Yes it is! Getting sick pushed things back a few days, but the plan is still to start making edits in earnest as soon as Strange Catch‘s draft is done (more on that in a bit). Which means that in addition to the Alpha 2 nearing its end … the Beta 1 is coming.

That’s right, Beta Readers. I know you’ve been patiently waiting all summer. Well, your moment is nigh. Next week, as I start the Alpha 2 edits, the Beta call for Beta 1 will go out. This is to make the process similar to the Alpha 2 in that each chapter for the Beta 1 will go up as it is edited from the Alpha 2. While some of you who haven’t dipped your toes into the book might wonder “But won’t that mean we’ll be waiting for you to upload the next chapter every time?” to which I say “I dare you to keep that pace” with a bit of a cheeky grin. Starforge is a juggernaut, and I think I’ll be able to keep ahead of the pack, especially with a small day or two headstart.

Either way, the implication here is pretty clear: Starforge will go into Beta 1 very soon. We’ve got the cover reveal next week, a Beta Call coming … Starforge nears at long last.

Oh, and eARC preview invitations will start going out sometime after that. Hopefully we can drum up a little early fire from a few reviewers before the big drop in November!

Speaking of November, there still isn’t a specific release date yet. Right now the focus is on Beta 1 and 2, then Copy-edit and so on and so forth.

Okay, that’s all the news on Starforge, I think. Hit the jump and let’s talk about some other stuff.

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Starforge Cover Reveal Countdown!

Two weeks.

That’s right, folks! In just two weeks, on September 1st, 2022, you will all get your first full look at the cover for the upcoming conclusion to the UNSEC Space trilogy, Starforge. For now, all you’re getting is the teaser above … though you can probably make some guesses based on what you’re seeing there, though that image is distorted and fuzzy.

So, a little bit on Starforge, both regarding the cover and current Alpha progress. Coverwise, the cover is done. I’m waffling between adding review quotes from prior titles to the final, but the cover itself is done. As is a 4K background This means on September 1st, not only will you get to see the full cover in all its glory, there will also be a 4K background version, both with title text and without.

Those of you who familiar with what happens to the site around a book launch can also be assured that yes, we’ll see something similar coming to the site in advance of Starforge. As wonderful as it has been to have Axtara gracing the top of the page with her grin, it’s time for her to take a step back!

Now, speaking of the book itself, there isn’t much to add that wasn’t said on Monday: Beta is the next step! We’re still aiming for a November release, and early-reader eARC copies may start going out as soon as the second wave of changes to the Alpha have been made. Beta editing will probably be pretty involved, and hopefully I can squeeze in a third pass before release just in case. Once the first Beta is done, I’ll be looking at getting Starforge’s pre-order page set up. Basically, every day is a day closer to Starforge being in everyone’s hands at last!

Beta also means previews in full on the site and on Patreon. At least the first five chapters of Starforge‘s near forty chapter length.

Basically, if you’ve been waiting for the conclusion to the adventure that began with Colony, this is IT. Once again, it is a trilogy. No “surprise” fourth book. No lackluster endings that are really just fodder for another sequel. This. Is. It.

And two weeks from today, you’ll get to see the cover atop it all.

So start getting ready, readers.

Starforge is coming.