Announcing Two New Correia Collaborations, a Sci-Fi with John D. Brown and Fantasy with Steve Diamond.

I can go ahead and announce the two new collaborative projects that I’ve been hinting about.

The first project is a fantasy novel co-written by me and Steve Diamond.

The second is a sci-fi novel co-written by me and John D. Brown.

Those names will be familiar to my regular readers. I’ve Book Bombed both of them, and have known these guys for years. They are both extremely talented authors, and I’m excited to be working with them.

I recently wrapped up a few big projects, so Toni Weisskopf approached me if I had any ideas for other collaborations. (I’d done a series with Mike Kupari, was wrapping up the edits on the last of the John Ringo MHI novels, and have one outstanding with Sarah Hoyt). I pitched her these two, Toni liked them, the other authors who I’d come up with the ideas with were all in, and as of this morning it sounds like all the contracts are signed and are on their way back to Baen. So here goes:

The Fantasy Project

Steve Diamond is the author of the YA thriller Residue, and a bunch of short fiction, including a story about Vatican Combat Exorcists in the upcoming Monster Hunter Files anthology. I first met Steve when I was a relatively new author and he interviewed me for his book review site, Elitist Book Reviews.  Then I found out he was a fellow accountant and we hit it off. We ended up in the same game group (Writer Nerd Game Night, so if you read those serials, you got to see Steve first learning how to write fiction). We also wrote the Son of Fire/Son of Thunder short stories together.

Then when my writing career started doing really well, I realized I would have to quit my day job as a finance manager for a defense contractor, so I hired Steve to be my assistant. We worked together for a year while I trained him to do my job, and he took over when I left.

This idea is about four years old, and we originally brainstormed it to be a story set in someone else’s IP. I had been approached to write that project, only it fell apart for business reasons unrelated to us, and got shelved. But in the process we worked up like a 20 page detail outline for what was a really, really cool story, with some neat characters.

That outline sat on the shelf for years.  I still wanted to write it, because the characters and plot were just that interesting, but the setting didn’t belong to us. So when Toni asked for collaboration ideas I sat down with Steve, and we started thinking through how we could lift the characters and plot out of one setting we didn’t own, and make up a new world to stick it into. And the fun part was that once we weren’t constrained by someone else’s already established rules, we came up with some really nifty ideas.

The brief pitch, it’s a grunt’s eye view of a war (think WW1 on the eastern front) in a world based on Slavic mythology and grimdark fairy tales. It’s about a young man who has been avoiding conscription, until something nefarious steps in and violently shoves him toward his destiny.  Then it’s off to the trenches, magic and mustard gas, wearing armor made out of dead golems and powered by the souls of the damned, where the troops are more frightened of the secret police behind them than the monsters in front of them.

Yeah. This one is bad ass. 😀

The Sci-Fi Project

John Brown is the author of the Servant of a Dark God series, and the Bad Penny thrillers. We both started out around the same time, and as two relative nobodies with no chance in hell of getting our publishers to pay for us to go on book tour, we teamed up to send ourselves on book tour. Usually by picking a major city, schmoozing our way into getting an official book signing at one store there, then getting a map to every book store in the region, and driving from store to store for several days straight to meet the staff, sign the stock, and hopefully get some new fans. So we spent a whole lot of time in cars together. And in fact, the scariest drive of my life was with John Brown, from Denver to Evanston in a blizzard, with me driving a Ford Focus. Not fun.

John and I had teamed up to teach a How To Plot A Novel in an Hour class a couple of times at LTUE. That’s where some authors are given some random ideas from the audience and show that they can tie them together by plotting out a whole novel on the fly. The problem with those kinds of panels is that when you ask the audience for plot elements, it is like a competition to see who can throw out the stupidest crap. And inevitably the professional authors make even the weirdest ideas work (that’s how Jim Butcher wrote Lost Legion with Pokemon in Codex Alera), but it’s usually silly and a lot of time is wasted.

Two years ago John volunteered us to do it again (I’m kind of the Vanna White to his Pat Sajack during these), and this time rather than get hung up on dumb random suggestions, we’d start with all the elements already written down. And to keep it a challenge, instead of an audience member, we drafted my (at the time) 10 year old son, and basically asked him “Okay. Tell us everything you think would be awesome in a sci-fi story.”

And of course, being a ten year old boy, the answers were “giant robots, space pirates, murderers, giant monsters, bandits, etc.” And he even DREW THE GIANT ROBOTS.  (and let me tell you, nobody can envision a crazy fight sequence like a ten year old).

So armed with these extremely awesome plot elements, we went to LTUE, and in front of the audience, over two hours, came up with a basic world build, plot structure, theme, characters, and sketched out most of the scenes. All to show the aspiring writers that this stuff ain’t that complicated. Only when we got done, I looked at what we had and thought… Damn… This could use some more thought and tweaking, but we could actually write this book.

A few years later, and we are.

The brief pitch: In a universe where advanced military tech is limited to ‘civilized’ worlds, there is a team of thieves who specialize in stealing war mechs, and selling them to groups which are normally banned from possessing anything that dangerous. The pirates don’t usually ask questions about what the stuff they procure is used for. Giant killer robots are just tools, and who is some bureaucrat to decide who can and can’t be armed?  Only this time, they see what the client is using their merchandise for and it’s just too much to stand. But Warlords really don’t like it when you back out of a deal, and there’s hell to pay.

This one is going to be really cool. And I’m excited, because though I’ve done some sci-fi (D6 is like 15 minutes in the future, and Grimnoir is actually sci-fi) and quite a few pieces of sci-fi short fiction, this will be my first straight up space opera.

##

The fantasy project is due first, though at this point I couldn’t even begin to estimate the release date. In the meantime I’d invited you to check out John and Steve’s books. They are excellent writers.

* * * * *

(Edited to add links- Jack)

Residue- by Steve Diamond
Residue_1a

Servant: The Dark God (book 1)- by John D. Brown
Servant

Behind the Scenes of Me Filming Gun Stories
Monster Hunter Files Anthology Cover Reveal

38 thoughts on “Announcing Two New Correia Collaborations, a Sci-Fi with John D. Brown and Fantasy with Steve Diamond.”

  1. Hey, I remember that LTUE session, and have thought back on it since then and wondered if you ever would go forward with it! Sweet! I look forward to reading it!

    1. Gateway drugs, sir. Readers and fans consume books (not literally. At least not usually) at a *much* greater rate than authors of our favorite series write. Thus, more readers of space opera can lead to more folks wanting more space opera. Win/win.

    2. Step 1: Be Larry.
      Step 2: Write a book about giant fighting robots.
      Step 3: Profit.
      Looking forward to that one, I am.

  2. Larry and I had WAY too much fun brainstorming this!

    And I can’t wait to see the Space Opera John & Larry put together.

    …this has been a really good week lol!

  3. I don’t know what makes me happier. The fantasy project, or the image of the ILOH as Vanna White

  4. >>And of course, being a ten year old boy, the answers were “giant robots, space pirates, murderers, giant monsters, bandits, etc.” And he even DREW THE GIANT ROBOTS. <<

    Your son just described Battletech….. 🙂

  5. This is some wonderful news and the concept sounds great. I already know the execution will be amazing.

    Now I’m just waiting for the Monster Hunter Intergalactic series, with werewolves and orcs roaming the hallways of spaceships and the Immortal Agent Franks using antimatter torpedoes to vaporize the encroaching old ones.

    A guy can dream, and I dream of Supernatural Space Battles!

    On another note, I really enjoy the increasing number of collaborations. I don’t know if it is a more efficient way to get books done or not, but surely it allows for the Authors to play on each other’s strengths and, when published, introduce each others’ fans to a writer they might enjoy.

    This does assume that said Authors’ styles mesh well and they can avoid the usual pitfalls that come with working together and not necessarily seeing eye to eye.

    My second favorite ongoing book Series, the Expanse, is also a collab of two authors working under one name.

    All in all, Larry, you continue to be the author who consistently exceeds expectations, in terms of quality, quantity, and RELIABILITY! Multiple new books out each year, all of them page-turners. I do not know how you do it.

    1. Search box at the top of the page. Nerd Game Night brings up all references, The Drowning Empire gets you a more refined search to just that story arc.

  6. The most shocking thing to come out of this is that Larry fits in a Ford Focus. I always assumed that compact car was his shoe size.

    I’m excited about both of these collaborations, I really enjoyed Bad Penny and Residue.

    1. It’s not really the giant robots that Bay went wrong with, it’s his human characters. The amount of effort involved in modeling *every piece* of the Transformers, and how those pieces fit together in both robot and vehicle forms, was seriously impressive — but the human characters in those movies, pretty much to a man (and woman), were nails-on-chalkboard annoying.

      1. And *some* of the Transformers, too. Basically, it’s a movie series that’s vastly improved by liberal use of the Mute button on the TV remote.

        1. And the FF button, which I employed pretty much every time a human appeared on screen and opened its pie-hole. The only exceptions were the opening scenes in the command center, which were frickin’ awesome.

  7. These both sound pretty cool. I read Residue recently, and I’ve got some John Brown books on my Kindle that it looks like I need to get to reading. Gotta prepare for when these ones come out.

  8. >Larry is not only writing a space opera, he’s writing a space opera with giant robots.

    Be still my beating heart.

    1. I was thinking that when I read the Steve Diamond collaboration description. Yes, if you ever get the chance, by all means check this series out. Sincerely hope it gets a second season; Tanya Degurechaff is hands down the best new anime character this year.

  9. Speaking of writing stuff, could anyone point me to finding betas for UF? For PNR, I can find people all over my spaces, but while I read some UF, I’m clueless on where to find reasonable folks willing to read and lend some comments.

    Thanks!

    1. Hrm. PNR and UF blend a bit on setting- I can remember when UF and PNR were shelved together, and things got quite confusing some *mumblety* years ago. Goodreads sticks the two together quite frequently. Since you are differentiating between the two, it sounds like you know what you’re looking for.

      If you want to put in the groundwork, there are urban fantasy boards here and there (that I don’t keep up with and haven’t in ten years or so) where you can go. If you’re new there, you can introduce yourself, talk about what you like UF-wise, and so on.

      UF even has it’s subtropes and themes. There’s UF(noir), UF(romance- which is sort of PNR and sort of not), UF(action- which Grimnoir could be classed as, but it is more than that) and so on. If you have that idea, you could go hunting for the fans of “X” series and things under that umbrella. As for such fannish people being “reasonable folks,” well… Depends on your definition of reasonable. *grin*

      Have you pitched it to your PNR folks? Some of them might cross over.

      1. Hi, Dan,

        I’m mostly surrounded by romance folks. As for readers, I’ve published both and there was very little crossover in my audience. I have 3 committed fans of my UF characters. So I wasn’t reaching UF readers.

        There is some crossover, but it’s not huge. Romance fans mostly stick to it, reading for that happy ending in each book.

        My UF does have love stories, but doesn’t qualify as romance because of the lack of that ending in a single book.

        1. You might try the Goodreads Beta forum here. That’s for the free betas, not the paid ones.

          The slush pile on baen’s bar might also work for ya. I’ve seen outright fantasy and alt history as well as all flavors of sci fi, so you never know.

          Good betas are better than gold. Good luck to you!

  10. Will definitely be keeping an eye out for the giant robots thing (does it have a name yet?). My kindle is chronically short of books thanks to my reading tastes being so damned finicky, and the handful of authors like Larry who can be trusted to put out good stuff can only write so fast.

  11. Larry,
    I will be 60 years old tomorrow. I have read and enjoyed a lot of books and stories over those years and spent more than a few hours playing RPGs (both paper as well as CRPGs) and I have to say that between you and John Ringo, I have had more quality entertainment these past couple of decade than all the rest of my life. Yes I’ve read many stories by the “greats” and they were definitely entertaining but they always had heroes or characters that I really didn’t relate to. They never had a sharpshooter who had a serious tobacco jones or dipped snuff. Or had arguments about the stupidest things while fighting the worst evil imaginable. Now I’m not saying that sort of thing isn’t or wasn’t done by those authors but if they did I don’t remember them. Your books read like some of the game nights we had back in my navy days.

    I have nearly destroyed several keyboards with sprayed sodas or tea and I almost want to send you the replacement bill but then I realize it has already been paid for in spades with the words that made me laugh. Stupid me should know better than to read any new material from either of you and drink in front of my computer anyway. I want you to know that even though you are a serious hate monger you will always be a great guy in my book. Thanks for letting me know about these new books as well as pointing me to some new authors. If you think they are good then I’ll feel safe spending my credits on Amazon buying their works.

    Thanks for being who you are and doing what you do so very damn well.
    BV

    P.S. I hope this message is not too much out of place here in the comments. It’s really the only place I know to reach you.

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