Scott Lynch's explosive return to the interwebs shows no signs of slowing down; days after making available the prologue to his next Gentleman Bastard novel, The Republic of Thieves, Lynch has announced an online serial novel called Queen of the Iron Sands.
From his website:
"In early 2008, I had a vivid dream about a book I had written. It was a pulp adventure of some sort, with swashbuckling and planet-hopping and flashing ray guns, and the cover art was killer. Lurid black-and-red, full of energy, downright beautiful... I held that physical book in my arms and gazed down at it with total contentment.
And then I started to wake up... and the book in my arms lost all of its weight, and the colors faded from the cover, and one bitter moment later I was sitting up in bed, holding empty air and swearing at the top of my lungs.
I suspect that most authors feel the way I do about our work... those books are like infants to us, and holding one in our hands for the first time is heaven on earth. Dreaming that you've had a bright, bouncing baby book in your arms and then waking up to discover that not a single word had ever existed- well, that's just a damn cold thing for a man's subconscious to pull on him in the middle of the night.
So I started that book, fumbling along on the few scraps of memory I still had. I wrote about six chapters before life and other business intervened, and then I put the story away and barely thought about it for a year.
Until recently, I was offline for a very long time. Longer than I'd meant to be, for personal reasons.
Now my cup runneth over with things to do, responsibilities I've stacked up, from revising and turning in certain manuscripts to rebuilding this website. And let's talk about my responsibility to you, my readers... you've gone for some time without seeing anything new from me. Not for lack of writing, but for lack of showing.
I'm going to start posting that dream-book I wrote, chapter by chapter, in weekly installments as a free online serial novel. And I'm going to finish the sucker in the grandest style I can."
Lynch is quick to confirm that this online serial novel won't in any way slow down progress on his Gentleman Bastard novels and that a new chapter will probably be added every Friday (the first five are already written).
Here's the blurb for Queen of the Iron Sands:
"At the height of the Second World War, Violet DeVere was a WASP-- a Women's Airforce Service Pilot, trusted with ferrying the most advanced warplanes in the United States arsenal. Five years after the war, she's barely making ends meet as a crop duster and part-time science fiction writer.
Kidnapped across a hundred million miles of space, Violet suddenly finds herself a prisoner in an impossible empire, an inhabited Mars shielded from earthling eyes by a scientific illusion called the Veil. Mars and its people are ground beneath the heel of the ruthless All-Sovereign, whose legions rule the skies. All resistance to his absolute despotism has been driven to the deadly red sands beyond civilization.
Outgunned and outnumbered, Violet DeVere and her few brave Martian allies make a desperate stand against the All-Sovereign... against an ageless tyrant with the power to destroy every living thing in the solar system."
Sounds like a lot of fun. Personally I think it's a great idea and a good way to repay the patience of his fans, who have been waiting over two years for The Republic of Thieves.