What’s Next for B.K. Bass?

As always, there’s a lot of exciting things going on in the B.K. Laboratory. I wanted to share a little of what is planned for the rest of the year and beyond, and some news about a change in direction for me as an author.

Before we get into what’s coming next, I think it would be best to take a quick look at what has come before. Last year I was plugging away at what should be a fairly long science fiction novel. I decided one weekend to take a break to avoid burnout, and wrote a dark fantasy novella.

Then I wrote another, and another, and an anthology, and a cyberpunk novella, and a heroic fantasy novella…. In the meantime, I had also started up a company and began a career as a publisher, not to mention launching my own literary magazine with the help of my business partners.

So, that weekend off turned into a year of crazy levels of productivity, but alas my novel was still simmering on the back-burner. I think this was the best thing for it, since I’ve learned lot about writing and editing over the course of the last year.

Which bring us to now. After receiving reviews of my various novellas, there’s been one common trend:

My biggest critique? I wanted more. 

I’m on the edge of my seat waiting for part 2.

I wish the next book was out already.

I look forward to Book 2 of the trilogy!

My only complaint is born merely of anticipation. I want more!

As much as I love being able to tell all these different stories, it is important to me that my readers be happy too! In the interest of that, I’ve rearranged my commitment to the publishing company to free up more writing time, and will be shifting my focus away from novellas and to full-length novels.

This first brings us back to the science fiction novel on the back burner: What Once Was Home. I’ll be committing most of April to finishing this manuscript and hope to have the revised draft to my editor by mid-May.

Find out more about What Once was Home here!

The other big change coming from this is that the project I was currently focused on – Parting the Veil – is going to be delayed. It was coming out this summer, but it will now have a release in the fall. This is not only because of the time being spent on What Once Was Home, but also because I’ll be making Parting the Veil a novel instead of a novella! The outline for the story already has a lot going on, and as a novella it was going to have to be a very streamlined plot that didn’t delve too deeply into certain things. The potential for a novel-length story is definitely there, so I’m going to make that happen.

Find out more about Parting the Veil here!

Now, there were quotes up there from readers anticipating the next book in a series or trilogy. Not to worry! Between these other projects, and contiguous with them, I’ll still be working on my novellas. The focus will be on delivering highly anticipated sequels, and I will not be starting any new series until these are out there. Among these projects are Companions of the Stone Road, the sequel to Warriors of Understone; and Night Life, the sequel to Night Shift.

All of these projects and more should be completed before the end of this year, and I’m looking forward to many more exciting things in 2020!

A Month of Worldbuilding

As December rolls up on us, I have a very exciting project that I am about to embark upon. World Anvil has a huge event this month called WorldEmber, and I’m setting a goal for myself of writing 50,000 words.

For those who don’t know, World Anvil is a worldbuilding site that provides a place to organize and display worldbuilding projects. It is geared towards both tabletop RPG gamers and authors. More than this, it is home to an amazingly welcoming and cooperative community.


Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary world, sometimes associated with a whole fictional universe.

Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Worldbuilding

WorldEmber is the big worldbuilding event of the year, and can be compared to NaNoWriMo. It is a challenge to the entire community for each writer to produce 10,000 words in their worlds. In addition, there are stretch goals at 25K, 50K, 100K, 150K, and a whopping 200K! 

There are also a number of prizes involved, totaling over $1,000 in value. I am proud to say that Kyanite Publishing and I are sponsors of the event; with two copies of The Ravencrest Chronicles: Omnibus One – Premium Hardcover Edition being offered as raffle prizes for those who meet the 10,000 word minimum.

Again, I will be participating in the challenge with a personal goal of 50,000 words, which meets the “Novel Achievement” goal for the event. I will be working on one world as a focus for the event, and am using this opportunity as motivation to work on a project i have had simmering in the idea fire for quite a while now.


The Eldaran and the Drakhari have been at war for eons. In a desperate gamble to turn the tide, a powerful Drakhari wizard develops a spell that can tear apart the very fabric of reality. In doing so – he also discovers a way to create passages from the Faewylde to the mortal realms.

Caught between these two armies of immortals is Liam, a simple city guardsman just hoping to make it through his mandatory years of service peacefully. When an Eldaran named Sira comes to him for help, he discovers how little he actually knew about not only his own world, but also himself!

This is just part of the world of Istaria, the setting for a project tentatively titled The Faewylde War. I am planning – at a minimum – a trilogy of full-length novels in this setting. This will be an epic medieval fantasy series with magical forces, political intrigue, personal moral dilemmas, and a number of other themes explored. This is my most ambitious project to date; and I am very happy to have World Anvil as a platform to not only assist me in organizing the development of this project, but to also share with you everything about the world as it grows! If you click on the map above or here, you will be taken to the home of this world and be able to watch it develop over the coming month.


Please be aware that while I will still be working full-time on my duties at Kyanite Publishing during this month with the usual level of maximum effort, I will be devoting more time to this project. Response times to messages, emails, or other requests may vary as I commit to blocks of writing time. I will still have regular dedicated office hours Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from  8am – 12pm CST, in addition to being available at many other times that will vary as the workflow demands. 

I hope to see many new faces join us over at World Anvil. Don’t forget that the challenges are all based on page likes on that site, so be sure to sign up for a free account and hit the like and follow buttons if you think I’m doing a good job with Istaria!

The Ravencrest Chronicles: Wave two

The Ravencrest Chronicles: Wave Two

The next wave of Ravencrest books are coming up in the second half of 2019. Unlike the episodic nature of the first wave – which focused on introducing key characters and the setting – the second wave will be a serialized epic told over the course of four novellas.

A mysterious cult has infiltrated every part of Seahaven, from the most respected nobility all the way down to the dockworker’s guild. Gareth leads the charge in unraveling this dark conspiracy, joined by friends old and new.

Keep an eye out for more information about Midnight Masques, Tapestry of Lies, Cult of the Shadow Queen, and Upon a Black Wing, all coming in 2019!

Discovering New Worlds

 

 
Expanding on my work exploring the many sub-genres of speculative fiction here at bkbass.com, I will be diving into each of them in-turn and trying my own hand at writing them, exclusively for Peak Story Reviews!

Peak Story Reviews“Discovering New Worlds” with B.K. Bass will explore various sub-genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Each monthly installment will not only discuss the topical sub-genre, but also will feature an original flash fiction written by myself in that genre!

 


 

Keep an eye out for the first installment of “Discovering New Worlds” on June 29th.  In the meantime, head over to Peak Story Reviews to check out all of the great content that is already there!  Book reviews!  Movie reviews!  Much more to come soon!

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SJ Hendricks Writing Editing Coaching

Special thanks to the owner of Peak Story Reviews, Sam (SJ) Hendricks.  Be sure to follow her on Twitter and don’t miss her author web site HERE!

 

The Burning Sands: Cressus

Cressus is the southernmost city on the northern peninsula. Situated near the Cressian Oasis, there is a sufficient water supply to sustain the city. Surplus water is still imported from Shem, and then traded to the lands of Kosh in the south.

Cressus lies near the edge of The Great Sand Sea and is plagued by regular sand storms. Outlying villages near the city are also subject to raids from the nomadic orcs of The Burning land to the southeast, although they rarely venture so far north.

The city itself is walked and features mostly simple sandstone architecture. The wealthier district is dominated by large palaces with towers topped with brass minurats that shine in the sun. The wealthy traders of Cressus trade lumber, food and water from the north for precious metals and gems from the Emerald Coast beyond Koth.

The government of Cressus consists of a council of the wealthiest merchants in the city called the Circle of Gold. Each of the twelve merchant princes controls their own private army. There is no organized military if the city itself, and the council must work together to police and defend their interests. Corruption is rampant within the government, and quarrels between the merchant princes often lead to small civil conflicts.

Most of the common people live in a maze of small homes clustered around the outside of the city walls. Most of the poor barely survive, and while work inside the city would afford them a better life many cannot afford the tax simply to pass through the gates.

The Burning Sands: Shem

shem.jpg

Shem is a bustling trade port at the mouth of the Azure river, the only major river on the continent of Erimos. It is supplied with an abundance of fresh water, boasts massive amounts of fertile farmland, and is the heart of all trade in Erimos.

Because of the desirability of the land that it controls, the city-state of Shem must constantly be on alert against potential rivals. The military power of Shem is unrivaled on the continent, mostly thanks to an extensive reliance on slave soldiers to bolster their ranks. Slave labor, also, is the backbone of their economy. Slaves work the marshland farms around the mouth of the river and provide a food surplus that allows the city-state to trade these essential resources for boundless wealth.

All of the other city-states on the peninsula trade with Shem, but invariably there are conflicts related to the valuation of the Shemmite commodities. These conflicts often lead to war, but the military power of Shem has never before been defeated.

The government itself is lead by a Sultan, and this title is passed on via heredity. There is also a council of viziers from among the most wealthy merchant houses. The city-state is ruled with a heavy hand, and every grain and coin is counted by a merciless bureaucracy. Violation of the law, especially theft from the state, can be met with harsh punishments. It is not uncommon to see the corpses of criminals crucified along the roads leading into and out of the city itself.

The city-state also controls land along the river all of the way to its source at the Pasha Oasis, the largest oasis on the peninsula. A sizable town has grown around the oasis, called Maresh. It is large enough to be considered a city, itself. The main purpose of the settlement is to support the garrison that guards the oasis and patrols the eastern reach of the city-state’s holdings.


This is for an upcoming desert-themed sword and sorcery project that I am working on.

Stay tuned for more!

Future Epic Fantasy Project

I have hinted in the past about some epic fantasy brewing in the background.  I’m still in the planning phases, but have a general idea for a concept and have put together an aesthetic that hints at the feel of it.

FAE epic aesthetic.png

The immortals of the faewilde have been waging a war for millenia, and the fallout from this conflict is starting to affect reality as we know it.  One man has the power to end the war.  Can a mortal put an end to a conflict older than memory itself, or is the world doomed to destruction as it is torn asunder by the magic of the fae?

Idol of the Dark Ziggurat

     Here’s a little teaser for Idol of the Dark Ziggurat, a novelette that I am working on for Thrilling Tales of Adventure: a Dieselpunk Anthology.

He was now close enough to see the ziggurat itself. The massive gray stone blocks were piled one atop each other with precision, their weathered edges till fitting tightly together after untold thousands of years. The pyramid-like structure rose in terraces, each successive level growing smaller as it rose. Statues protruded from the surface in regular intervals. They were too far to see clearly in the evening light, but there seemed to be bulbous bodies with grasping tentacles covering the stone structure. There were faded carvings on every inch of the ziggurat, as well. Again, there were odd creatures with tentacles. Some bore resemblance to creatures of the sea, but others were man-like shapes with tentacles for arms or protruding from their faces.

Idol of the Dark Ziggurat aesthetic.png