What Am I Working On

This page is here to give you an idea of my current expected schedule for releases and what I’m working on currently. Because I work to fairly rapid production rates and because I do start projects which go nowhere, what’s on here is subject to change at more or less no notice.

Most Recent Releases

  • Blood Magic.
  • Royal Flush.
  • The Girl Who Dreamed of a Different World.
  • Death’s Handmaiden.
  • Bitter Wind.
  • Freedom, Humanity, and Other Delusions.

Editing Pipeline

Writing Now

  • Sign of the Dragon.


  • The Last Emperor: The second Twilight Empress novel.
  • A re-release of all the Thaumatology books.
  • The next Unobtainium book, King Solamet’s Mines,  but it’s being difficult about coming out.

On the Drawing Board

  • Fox 10.5/Fox Universe 1: A spin-off novel from the main Fox continuity, set in Japan. This has probably become part of an anthology called Isolated Cases.

Production Purgatory

  • A Midsummer’s Nightmare. The 13th Thaumatology book and the first in a sub-series, The Sorcerer’s Symphony. Plot problems.
  • The Black Moon: More werewolves! This is Crierwy’s story, set in the thaumatology universe, but 16 or so years down the road.
  • Aneka and Ella do Star Trek! Well, that’s how someone put it. The continued mission of Aneka and Ella to seek out new digs, confront new alien races, and see if they’d like to get naked – or something.

Note on categories:

  • Just Released: should be obvious.
  • Editing Pipeline: has a completed first draft and is awaiting my edits and then proofing. When I have a solid release date, I’ll post it. These books are going to happen.
  • Writing Now: is what I am actively working on. These may go into Production Purgatory.
  • Doldrums: Sometimes the wind just goes out of my sails and I can’t keep the enthusiasm going, or there’s a lack of faith in the way the plot is going. Books here are likely to be picked up and finished sooner than those in Purgatory.
  • Production Purgatory: is like production hell, but not quite as bad. Shadows and Reality Hack both went here and made it out.
  • On the Drawing Board: more than just vague ideas, less than something I’m able to write. These are the things which may well happen in the future. (In no specific order, btw.)

184 responses to “What Am I Working On

  1. Hi, I just hope you keep writing, I really enjoy the escape time your books give me (even the rare typos and Queens English spellings]. I live within a 30 minute bike ride of Churchton, Deale, North Beach, Shadyside and Edgewater (where you renamed our municiple airport), MD. I have also lived on the North end of the San Francisco Bay so I have some physical connections to all the Ultra books.

    I hope you do not move June and Penny out of MD but its looking that way to me; possibly into space for some type of Galatic Alliance of old style Guardians (can we say Green Lantern style? 😉

    Would love to see more Thaumatology, Misfits and Zanari!

    Scott in Harwood

    • Scott, were you as amused as I was at the thought of a sub sneaking past Norfolk and staying hidden in water that shallow?

      For those not familiar with the area, Chesapeake Bay is mostly broad and shallow. The largest US naval base is near the mouth.

      Ben, originally from coastal NC

      • Everyone always asks about the submarine! 🙂

      • @Tharcion, it could have been worse. At least you didn’t have them using something the size of the Seaview in less than 20 ft. of water. Hmm, you already used a SID reference in another book, so maybe I should say Skydiver instead of Seaview. 🙂

      • Seaview was the research submarine thing, right? Ran to two seasons, but they changed most of the cast between seasons. Had Roy Scheider as the captain. Intelligent dolphin swimming in tubes through the ship. I liked that one. It was mildly insane and occasionally educational.

        As I recall, they have a Russian submarine (on the surface) arriving in Chesapeake Bay at the end of The Hunt for Red October. Could be wrong, but I’m sure they say that’s where they are.

        Obviously, Skydiver was an awesome submarine. Though these days I see it in operation and wonder about the physics of launching a jet fighter off the front of it. And even more wonder at how they put the two back together.

      • The Seaview was from the movie and subsequent television show Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, circa 1960s. The show with Roy Scheider was Seaquest DSV – late 1990s or early 2000s I don’t recall for sure.

      • Yikes! That’s going back. Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea. Yeah, I remember. That was the one with the Van Allen Belt catching fire and them nuking it to blast it off into space. 60s sci-fi physics at its most ludicrous.

        Edit to add that I’m not quite old enough to have seen that first time around.

      • Yeah, detailed knowledge of the Van Allen belt was still pretty new when Voyage was made. I liked the flying sub, though. That was cool.

        Maybe the next art project could be a fan-fiction crossover, Fox in one of the fishnet Skydiver uniforms. 🙂

      • Fox is off to Mars next, so a purple bob wig and a silver miniskirt is more likely. 🙂

      • Given your usual art style, for Mars I would look to the writing of Edgar Rice Burrows for inspiration, though that might suit Lily more than Fox. 🙂

      • Unfortunately, this Mars doesn’t have enough atmosphere to support naked princesses. Not that Fox actually needs an atmosphere…

      • The Mars in the Unobtanium series might fit…

  2. Random and apropos of nothing much – I stumbled across an old disco dance video on Facebook, and wondered at one point what historians a couple hundred of years from now would think of it. This led to inevitable thought: What would Ella and Gillian think of it if they found it in Aggy’s copy of the internet?

  3. Re: Seaquest in Chesapeake Bay, can’t be any worse than League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s trying to get Nemo’s Nautilus through the canals of Venice!!!

  4. John, they would be asking Aneka to interpret/explain/elucidate on the topic, Gilliam would get a THICK research paper out of it, and Aneka would be looking for painkillers due to the killer migraine she would develop. Can you imagine trying to explain disco balls, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, etc to someone from a thousand years into the future NOT really familiar with 20th century pop culture? Gillian and Ella are probably at this point still just scraping the surface of what Aggy kept.

    • Ah yes, but also consider Ella’s personality. How would Aneka survive Ella going through her ‘disco fever’ phase? The huge bell-bottom jeans. The big hair. Grounds for divorce?

      • Only you know for sure – she’s your character after all… but I could see Aneka mocking Ella. A lot. Ella would pout. Sex likely happen shortly after the pouting. 😀

      • It isn’t just 20th century pop culture, but having to elucidate the differences in American culture in the 1950’s vs. the 1970’s, and then having to explain why exactly these cultures were still being emulated in 2018?

  5. I’ve tried to get into the Iranians a couple of times with the first book. It just didn’t catch my interest like your other novels. Would it all to try the last one you put out “True Dark”? I can’t even tell you what makes me give up.

  6. Somehow spell check changed ultrahumans to Iranians…..interesting.

  7. I’m not sure where this might belong, but are there going to be any more audio books? I only find the first Aneka book available.

    • Honestly, I doubt it. It’s something I’d like to do because I like listening to the Aneka book I did. The problem is that the return on the investment is not encouraging. Making an audiobook is not cheap, so they have to sell quite a lot of copies to make it worth it. Over the time it’s been out, that one may have actually repaid the production costs, but not by much.
      Smashwords have actually started an audiobook production service I should look into, but I don’t see a way around the cost problem. I’m more likely to produce more hardcopy books (not costly, but really painful) than I am to make another audiobook.

      • If I see hardcopy of your books I will most assuredly buy them since I need hardcopy books since I can’t have electronics in my workspace.

      • There’s also been a downturn in ebook sales in the UK in the last year which is making me think of doing paper versions. However, I know that setting a paper version up is either going to cost me money or involve me spending a lot of time reformatting documents and producing quality PDFs. So, I may give it a try with something, more as a mechanical exercise than a marketing one, in the not too distant future. See how it goes. It shouldn’t be too difficult to get right, I just know it’s going to be annoying and fiddly.

  8. In the words of Tyler Vernon, “I hate fiddly bits”

  9. seems to me that Liberty has been in the editing pipeline for a while now, is that just me being impatient or is it taking long to get hammered out for some reason?

  10. Here’s hopeing it’s today or Sunday as I Am of work 🙂 then I am on for four days with no reading time 😥

  11. Will you be writing any further Misfit Witchcraft?

  12. How is Fox 10 coming along? Got the impression that it was going to ride in just after Fox 9

    • Just after is relative. It’ll be out around the middle of February. Then I’ve got a spin-off book (Fox 10.5?) set in Japan to write, and then possibly an anthology book of two or three smaller stories to follow that. However, not wanting to strain my Fox muscles, I’m branching off into military sci-fi before either of those, assuming the idea works, which it is so far.

  13. I have started reading some of your other work, but I started with Misfits – hoping to see a third volume sometime.

  14. Your work in on 2 books atm, blood magic it says what one, but what series is nighthawk?

  15. Sorry to see that Nighthawk has been relegated, but am very excited to see that you’re working on the next Twilight Empress book. Fingers crossed it works! 🙂

  16. Are you going to continue the Misfits series?

  17. Hey Niall:
    Your “Most Recent Releases” really needs editing, since the top 4 were released last year!!!

    Most Recent Releases

    The Iron Princess.
    True Dark.

    PS: Just finished re-reading Iron Princess, anxiously chewing off fingernails awaiting it’s sequel (I realize expecting you to write THAT fast is totally unreasonable – but hey, at least you know people WANT to read your work!!!)

    • Actually, I updated this last week (or this week, maybe) and I left ‘The Iron Princess’ as the top one on the list because I was writing ‘The Last Emperor’ now.

      • I totally understand leaving Iron Princess up for that reason, but the rest came out in 2018. Speaking strictly for myself, “Most Recent Releases” generally implies a shorter time-frame than the past year – just saying. Please keep up the great writing!!!

  18. When will you re released the thaumatology books and released the 13th?

  19. Oooooo! A new Ultrahumans book to follow up The Last Emporer. How Pearlescent! Thanks for the update. 🙂

  20. Today, we can celebrate the fifth anniversary (= half of the contract runtime) of Nisa Harper’s enlistment with XC. I hope there will be a sequel to Reality Hack

  21. When is the next book expected ?
    (A reading addict that wants his next fix!!!)

    • The next book is going to be the new Ultrahumans one. I’m expecting it to go out at the end of August/beginning of September. The reason for it taking a while will become apparent when I get my next post organised. Which will be after the jet lag is done with.

  22. I am a long time science fiction fan, and a computer expert (data science). I appreciate the underlying logic of all your universes, including the fantasy. I have just read Thumatolagy end to end for perhaps the third time. I am a big fan of Fox as well. I think your ideas on the possible pattern of emergence of self aware AI are very sound. Yeah – the distant future may be super amazing… But the future just before that will be semi-amazing. Jump someone forward from a hundred years ago and they would see huge change. Jump someone 30 years – a lot is different, but not as much as some would think

  23. Just want to say, i love your books! I think I have re read all of them at least 4 times. Are you planning on releasing any more audiobooks soon? I really enjoyed listening to the audiobook of Steel Beneath the Skin. Either way, I’m looking forward to further releases!

    • Sorry, no plans for more audiobooks. Dreams, sure. I enjoy listening to that one too. Unfortunately, it’s not really economic to have them made. When that changes, I’d love to do more.

  24. I hope to see another Misfits book soon

  25. Yay! An update!

    Also, apropos of nothing much I learned recently that an American rapper named YNW Melly released a song in 2017 called Murder on my Mind. I tried listening to it and lasted less than 30 seconds. Ironically, Melly is in jail awaiting trial on double first degree murder charges and is a suspect in another case.

    • With your assessment and my general dislike of rap, I’ll probably not go look for that track.

      • Yeah I wouldn’t be looking at badly recommended rap either, and it’s nice to see an update.
        One question though, deaths handmaiden?
        Series? Another new one?
        I like most of your stuff so any answers good, just curious what were getting 🙂

      • Death’s Handmaiden is a new book. Maybe a series. Depends. It’s like ‘The Girl…’ in that respect: we’ll see how it goes. I have ideas for a sequel to ‘The Girl…’ which I may use if it seems like people like it.
        DH is an idea I came up with while working on ‘The Girl…’ and I fiddled with it, and I’m going to finish it up and publish it while I’m working out the plot(s) for the next Fox book. The Fox book is going to be an anthology, so there’s a lot of plotting needs to be done. More on that when I’ve got more to tell.

  26. I just finished a re-read of the Thaumatology books and had a small niggling thing come up that bears asking – Why is the stairway to the basement of High Towers unlit?

    At any rate, here’s to hoping you have an epiphany and get book 13 figured out at some point. As always, thanks for all the enjoyment your books provide!

    • I think because the “not-really-secret” door would be visible if there were light behind it.

      +1 wishing for another Thaumatology book.

  27. Have you seen “Upload” on Amazon? I hope they pay you license fees for using your ideas.

    • I haven’t yet. It’s on the (long) list. Unfortunately, I didn’t come up with that idea. It’d be nice if I had though. 🙂

      • Rainer Prem

        How is that different from Fox’s afterlife?

        Just to note: The whole first season is only ten episodes of half an hour each. Just one long evening if you want.

      • Oh, I didn’t realise they were short episodes. Maybe I’ll get to it sooner.
        Uploading isn’t my idea. It’s been around for a while. Unless I watch the show and see wholesale plagiarism, I’m not going to be calling the lawyers.

  28. Thanks for the update here with respect to the book you mentioned in your main page update.

  29. Pretty sure I dropped a link to an older article about the reactionless EmDrive previously. Anyway, here’s a newer one about some testing being done to determine if the things works or only appears to work because of false positives in previous testing. Hope you enjoy it.


  30. Mark Prothero

    I like the newish Deathshandmaiden series revitalised my reading somewhat great stories. Of course I still want more of all my favorite series which seems to be all of them oops.

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