Twice, since December, I’ve posted some mysterious cropped images from things I’ve been working on (here and here); and each time I’ve posted them without any explanation. Today makes the third time. But today, guess what? I’m going to tell you what they are.
Starting in June I’m going to serialize a series of short stories at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual. Now, the Thrilling Tales site is mostly known these days for the Pulp-O-Mizer. That’s because I haven’t run a real serial over there since the conclusion of The Lair of the Clockwork Book. But that will change in June, when you’ll see the first of five stories set in the Retropolis Registry of Patents.
That’s a department of government that oversees patent registrations for the city’s Experimental Research District, from which all Mad Science flows; but the Registry also has a secret purpose that Registry Officers and Investigators never mention in public. Because that’s what you do with a secret purpose.
I just finished the first draft for the fifth story; twenty-one of these stories’ thirty-four illustrations are also done. After the fifth Registry story there may also be a stand-alone story, but you won’t see the conclusion of the Registry of Patents series until they’re all collected in print and eBook form sometime next year.
That collection will contain all six of the Registry stories plus three or four other stories about Retropolis. They’ll all be pretty profusely illustrated.
I’m making some format changes for this series. Past Thrilling Tales have featured updates (that is, web pages) with a wide variation in word counts. That’s caused problems when it came to laying out their print editions. Some serious problems. So this time each week’s story update will run pretty close to one thousand words, with an illustration.
That makes the book layouts much easier to handle even though it still results in one heck of a lot of illustrations. Which, seen one way, is nice. But it means that my nose has been pressed into my monitor for the past few months; and my nose is likely to stay there for awhile longer.
The new stories will also feature illustrations in black and white, as you’ve been seeing. The cost of the full color illustrations in my earlier books put a lot of limitations on where and how you can buy them. Also, I’ve decided that Black and White Is Cool.
So that’s it. That’s what I’ve been doing, and what I’m still doing, and you ought see it for real in June when we begin with The Purloined Patents of Doctor Brackett.