‘The Word Endangered’

Yes, it’s true. My big project which consumes most of my writing time these days is the next book in The Face of the Deep, a sequel to The Word Reclaimed and The Word Unleashed.

It introduces a new cast of characters to the galaxy, but also makes uses of familiar faces, and by the end of this novel you’ll see some important family members reunited.

At the rate I’ve been going — that is, roughly 5 pages a day — I hope to finish by January 1. We shall see. And when I say “finished,” I mean the first draft. Then comes editing and all that jazz.

Anyway, here’s what I have for a rough back cover story. Geek out:


It’s been ten years since the Realm of Five staved off overthrow by its secret police, Kesek, and instituted religious freedom for all people. Texts can be freely printed and distributed. Fear of being discovered and imprisoned by Kesek has been replaced by elation at the ability to openly believe.

But with that freedom comes conflict. Sects argue. Religions fight. People want new places to live in peace. More than ever, settlers strike out for the quiet corners of space.

Zarco Thread and his wife, Ria, head up a surveying crew on the Starkweather frontier. Their job: to give a close-up report on worlds with great potential for colonization. That’s what their exploration of Walpole was supposed to be.

What they discover there, however, leads them into a conspiracy to undo the last ten years and to usher in a new era of strife.

With a hero of the battles against Kesek and the Martians leading them in search of answers to a mystery, and with the Crown Marshals in hot pursuit, Zarco and Ria must choose the right course while keeping their nascent family alive. They’ll need all the help they can get, and they’ll find in the form of new allies who have already saved the galaxy once.

There are forces at work that have fed off the remnants of Kesek, suborning them to their cause, forces that have committed atrocities against the people of the Realm.

And they are more than mere human.

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