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Black Sun Hints

My recent work on Black Sun has brought a number of questions from Defense Command readers, all interested to know what’s coming next. Here’s the little bit of information I can share so far.

The new series will take place after Ken Barron drafted his reminiscences about the Martian War. If you do the math, that means the plot begins sometime after 2255 –– more than twenty years after the battle for Etat Valcour. As such, all Barron’s knowing commentary about the ‘future’ will, in fact, be in the past. Black Sun won’t be limited by anything you’ve already read.

Many –– if not all –– of our old friends will still be around, though obviously they’ll be in different places in their lives. The work begun in 2234 to strip the Emperor of his power will be largely complete, the long legacy of the Martian War will be fading, and the balance of power in the solar system will be shifting. For the historically-minded, I might compare the Martian War to the Seven Years War, and this period to the American Revolutionary War… though of course, the parallel isn’t perfect.

But while the plot history will be contiguous, the lens through which we look at the story will have to be different. Exactly how different remains to be seen, but my main concern with this series –– indeed, the question that will determine whether it goes ahead (despite all this prattling, that’s not guaranteed) –– is that it cannot be a retread of the twenty books that preceded it.

So don’t expect the old Belt Squadron to be miraculously reunited with refitted ships, better special effects, more operatic uniforms, 70s hairstyles, and a new five-year mission (don’t get me wrong, the original six Star Trek films are hallowed ground for me, but reuniting that whole command crew clearly took some writing acrobatics). No, this will be a free-standing series, meant to honor what came before, but follow its own themes, tone, and structure.

Big talk, I know. Maybe even famous last words. Well, if nothing else, hopefully the reminiscencer (shut up, it’s a word) for these books won’t be such a hack. Though I wouldn’t bet on that…