Last week I had the chance to catch up with an old friend and Jacqui’s former colleague, Kendall Mallory. It was a celebratory occasion –– after years of work, Mallory released her first ebook, Keigan’s Story: Hylana back in September. Following a young magus called Erana Flynn through some gripping sword-and-sorcery-espionage, it’s a very fine read… and last week the first print editions arrived. Having intermittently harassed Mallory about writing over the years, I was first in line to pick up a copy.
As always happens when writers bump into each other, we ended up nattering for an hour about process, style, playbooks, and all the rest of it. Such conversations are endlessly informative, and that particular one served to reinforce an opinion that I’ve already discussed: that for all the marvels of the ebook world, there’s still nothing quite as brilliant as picking up your book in print. Somehow, the paper makes it real.
Though our three heroes’ march through 1941 concluded last September, this weighty book crystallizes those labors into a different sort of reality. If an EMP went off tomorrow, we can all rest assured that their adventures from Fort Eustice through the Grand Banks, Scotland, Hong Kong and the new world will still be available to read… around the camp-fires in our post-Apocalyptic world? Maybe this EMP analogy is too grim. Sorry.
But if I may be so bold: as a book, War Footing looks fine indeed. Because it contains all five novellas from 1941, plus a bonus chapter, it weighs in at 580 pages (198,231 words) and has some satisfying heft to it. Whitecoat was a quick read to launch us out of 1940; if you want to blitz this whole ‘season’, you might need to set aside more than an afternoon.
Starting in January 2014, Snapdragon will mark our return to ebooks, so those inclined to read on their iPads, Kindles or Kobos can get a head start on the adventures of 1942. The next print omnibus, Harm’s Way, will follow next November.
Whichever way you join the adventure, you can be certain that Alex, Stephanie and Strong will have to deal with the consequences of 1941. Two worlds are facing threats rather unlike anything they’ve seen before, but fortunately they have two best friends and a fearless Sergeant to help them through…
Or will they?
Stay tuned for Snapdragon. Meantime, for those of you who’ve been waiting for War Footing, it’s time to welcome 1941 to print. Happy reading!