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Here's hoping worshippers of blind, idiot gods at the singularities between universes can enjoy it too...

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This will be a very quick update. First off, XCD is written. The last two steps are a full read-through and polish by me, then by the beta readers. Basically, it's at the finish line.

But more to the point of this update, as some may know, I work full-time for Homeland Security in New Orleans, Louisiana. Currently, our area is under an evacuation order due to what will likely soon be Hurricane Isaac. Though not as strong as Katrina, it is taking a very similar path, which is not good for us. I will be at living/eating/sleeping at work until further notice, as Homeland Security does not evacuate during these events. This will undoubtedly cause a delay in the novella process, but it's unavoidable. This is life in the Gulf South.

I'll update as often as I can, but I may be MIA until further notice. Hopefully I'm back sooner rather than later. Our first child is due Sept. 7th. :P Thanks, tropics!

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Great! Really looking forward reading it!

And good luck with Isaac :/

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Currently, our area is under an evacuation order due to what will likely soon be Hurricane Isaac. Though not as strong as Katrina, it is taking a very similar path, which is not good for us. I will be at living/eating/sleeping at work until further notice, as Homeland Security does not evacuate during these events.

Trapped in the raging storm Lee gets some ideas for revisions...

Corporal Gale squinted through the dust blown ahead of the coming storm. There was something up there in the increasingly darkening sky. She could hear it. A high pitched noise reminding her of the engines at the test range, or a voice. Yes, a voice. The wind seemed to carry it to her now. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!"

Dorothy's eyes were drawn to a glint in the sky. The storm was close now, but that was no lightning. It could only be that traitorous Miss Gulch in her stolen Scout Craft. Thinking quickly, Cpl Gale raised her M-14, calmed her racing heart and prayed for courage in the war to come.

Edited by thothkins

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Trapped in the raging storm Lee gets some ideas for revisions...

Corporal Gale squinted through the dust blown ahead of the coming storm. There was something up there in the increasingly darkening sky. She could hear it. A high pitched noise reminding her of the engines at the test range, or a voice. Yes, a voice. The wind seemed to carry it to her now. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!"

Dorothy's eyes were drawn to a glint in the sky. The storm was close now, but that was no lightning. It could only be that traitorous Miss Gulch in her stolen Scout Craft. Thinking quickly, Cpl Gale raised her M-14, calmed her racing heart and prayed for courage in the war to come.

Stop peaking behind the curtain Thotkins!

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Lee has offered to write this for free - if you love what he writes, great! If you don't, fair enough - but it hasn't diverted any funds away from the game. So this can only be a good thing for us.
if you Premium Preordered

:(

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:(

You've missed a bunch of stuff in-between.

The novella will be available to standard pre-orders as well but, technically, the "for free" part is referring to Chris not having to pay to have the novella written rather than the community getting it for free. You still have to buy the game, premium or not. Or maybe it'll just be made public after release, I don't know.

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Are you sure standard preorders get it as well JL?

I thought only the premium got it and that Lee is putting it up for sale after release so anyone can buy the novel?

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Are you sure standard preorders get it as well JL?

I thought only the premium got it and that Lee is putting it up for sale after release so anyone can buy the novel?

The Big Cheese said so himself, it's just the premiums get it sooner or something (before game release I think). Since the whole thing has a pro bono vibe to it Chris didn't feel it was right to hold it back, not to mention that Mr. Lee would want as many people to see/read/know about it. Wouldn't be surprised to find that maximum availability was one of his conditions for writing it in the first place.

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It'll be made available as soon as it is ready to Premium pre-orderers, but it'll be included in the final distribution of the game whether you are a premium pre-orderer or a standard one (plus Lee will want to make it available through his own distribution channels). It's too much work to write a 30k word story to just restrict it to the premium crowd forever!

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Good, that was my opinion too. I'll read it before my first playthrough to create the atmosphere :)

Keep up with the good work.

@Jean-Luc: I knew what "free" was referring to :)

Edited by Nameless1

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It'll be made available as soon as it is ready to Premium pre-orderers, but it'll be included in the final distribution of the game whether you are a premium pre-orderer or a standard one (plus Lee will want to make it available through his own distribution channels). It's too much work to write a 30k word story to just restrict it to the premium crowd forever!

Then that raises the question: will it be given to people buying the game after Xenonauts goes retail as well, or will those people have to go through Lees distribution channels?

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Yes, it'll just be a bundled PDF you can access from the launcher irrespective of the distribution method.

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well i hope lee's house is okay, not the best thing to be homeless with a new born. if no one has heard there was loads of flooding exactly as predicted by the experts, though some people are surprised that areas different than the katrina floodings got flooded.

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Quick novella / situation update. Hurricane Isaac really hit our region, but fortunately my specific area got spared some of the worst flooding. Our house was okay, and the only lasting impact Isaac had on me personally was taking away a week of my life, during which I essentially lived at work. Immediately following, however, things got a little crazier. I actually got a call from work one day informing me that my wife was going to have an emergency c-section for our first child, after a routine checkup showed some concerns. Away I went to the hospital, where our firstborn son, Levi, saw the light of day for the first time!

Thankfully, Levi is a completely healthy baby boy. My wife, however, suffered a few post-pregnancy complications. We actually spent several days in the hospital, though she is home now and recovering. For those who don't know (I'm guessing most), my wife has type-1 diabetes. The complications she experienced weren't due to diabetes, but because of it, her recovery is a bit more tricky. We have faith that everything will be fine, but as with any situation like this, we'll take all the prayers we can get.

It'd be ridiculous to try and convince anyone that this hasn't affected the Xenonauts novella getting finished. The hurricane, the early arrival of Levi, and the subsequent post-pregnancy complications have all cut away at time that would have otherwise gone to finishing XCD (essentially, I lost almost a month). The good news, though, is that progress is being made again. In fact, XCD is printed in a binder and officially in the read-through phase (you can even catch a glimpse of it in my latest tweet @epicuniverse). After I've read it through, it goes to Chris. After he green-lights it, it goes to the beta readers. After they offer their feedback, final edits get made, and the book will officially be ready for you guys. Tonight I read through almost 20% of the book, so if you do the math, this thing isn't far off. Just know that I'm working as quickly as a husband with a newborn and a recovering wife can! Hopefully people understand the situation and forgive the slight delay. With that said, I'm still very optimistic that this thing will be delivered on-time.

And that's the update!

EDIT: As of night's end, 54% has been edited.

Edited by Lee Stephen

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Congratulations on the new arrival Lee. All the best in the time ahead and I hope to hear about a full recovery from you soon.

Waaaay down the pecking order of things, it's nice to hear XCD is coming along too. :)

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Congratulations on you and your wife's new child! And I'm sorry to hear about your troubles as well. I hope that she recovers all right, and that any clean-up and rebuilding at your property isn't too bad. And I hope the same for your neighbours as well.

I'm new (well, re-new I guess is more accurate) to the party, and I haven't read any of your work previously, but I'm excited by what I've read from everyone else's comments and am eagerly looking forward to reading this novella! Thanks for offering to help make Xenonauts even better =]

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Hello Lee!

Wow! Hurricane, flood, birth - with such tornado of events you possibly even will not note if aliens will arrive. Ofcourse my best wishes to the new member of the family and young mother!

As for the book - it is a good idea to add a book. I was reading with a great pleasure such additional texts for Homeworld, War Craft 3 FT and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky. The book with storys for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was a selection of the best, what fans of the game done. Sad it was not translated in English - it is a very good book of its class. I hope your book will be good, but also need to say I have certain scepticism.

How much of cliche Mikhail Kirov will be? How much the story will trade realism for action? And so on. As for what I know - I would think about changing Mikhail's surname. I know, that it is charachter from the game, but tonns of western-created "russians" had surname that are similar to political leaders surname. Especialy Romanov's variations are very popular. Anyway atleast you picked an existing and popular name - Mikhail. Because some time I see that in different Western films russian charachters carrying such names that do not exist at all. Seriolsly.

Also you sad "But get your AK-47s ready, people." - in 1979 it means you need to put away your AK-74 first. If they really use AK-47 I hope there is a good reasoning why. AK-47's bigger caliber is a good reason for me.

Edited by Xenophob

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Hi,

I am sorry to hear about your troubles and congratulations on your first born, hope everything goes well and hope your wife is better now or at least far on the road to recovery.

I am so glad I pre ordered the premium package as the novella will be a great addition, I thank you for writing this for us and hope you enjoy the finished game as much as I will enjoy reading your work.

All the best to you and your family.

Master Armadillo....

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Hello Lee!

Wow! Hurricane, flood, birth - with such tornado of events you possibly even will not note if aliens will arrive. Ofcourse my best wishes to the new member of the family and young mother!

As for the book - it is a good idea to add a book. I was reading with a great pleasure such additional texts for Homeworld, War Craft 3 FT and S.T.A.L.K.E.R. Clear Sky. The book with storys for S.T.A.L.K.E.R. was a selection of the best, what fans of the game done. Sad it was not translated in English - it is a very good book of its class. I hope your book will be good, but also need to say I have certain scepticism.

How much of cliche Mikhail Kirov will be? How much the story will trade realism for action? And so on. As for what I know - I would think about changing Mikhail's surname. I know, that it is charachter from the game, but tonns of western-created "russians" had surname that are similar to political leaders surname. Especialy Romanov's variations are very popular. Anyway atleast you picked an existing and popular name - Mikhail. Because some time I see that in different Western films russian charachters carrying such names that do not exist at all. Seriolsly.

Also you sad "But get your AK-47s ready, people." - in 1979 it means you need to put away your AK-74 first. If they really use AK-47 I hope there is a good reasoning why. AK-47's bigger caliber is a good reason for me.

Hi Xenophob!

I'm very happy to address, and hopefully alleviate, some of your concerns. Firstly, changing Mikhail Kirov's name would be a decision that'd have to be Chris's, not mine. With that said, I really don't feel it's a necessary change (and I'd probably try to talk him out of it if he wanted to do it!). More important than a character's name is that that character is realistic and has depth. Mikhail is a very relatable character. You'll definitely be able to get behind him!

You mentioned the AK-74's use in 1979, and you'd be absolutely correct...if the novella took place in 1979. :) It's important to remember that though the game of Xenonauts takes place in the 70s, the Iceland Incident, which is the subject of the novella, happens in 1958. There will also be a small variety of weapons, both Soviet and American, making appearances.

In regards to "realism vs. action" in general, I'm not a big believer that one has to choose one over the other. Realism can exist in an action-oriented story. Does that mean everything is going to be 100% accurate? Of course not. There are always things here and there that someone could look at and say, "it wouldn't have happened that way." Oftentimes this is purely subjective, but even if we eliminate subjectivity, you'd be hard pressed to find an author anywhere who is infallible. The question you should care most about is, "does this particular author care about getting it right?" And the answer to that is, yes, I do. I wrestle with entire scenes for days and weeks over the minutest of details - what time the sun should be rising, what species of bird should be chirping in the background, what historical/geographical/cultural significance does a certain place have? In my actual novel series, Epic (most of which takes place in Novosibirsk), I dedicated a huge block of time to learning the card game of preferans just to add a touch of life/depth to a single scene (and I'm not a card player at all). So while it's virtually guaranteed that readers will find something to legitimately point out, it won't be from a lack of effort. Sometimes, things just slip through despite your best efforts, and that's what Crimson Dagger is getting from me.

If I had to give you, and readers in general, a warning, it'd be this: remember that this is a novella. That makes it a totally different beast than a full-fledged novel. There's not nearly as much time for exposition and build-up as there would be in a standard book. Crimson Dagger looks to be coming in at just under 29,000 words. To put that in perspective, my past two Epic novels, Hero and The Glorious Becoming, have each had over 150,000. I am absolutely positive that some people will wish I'd have gone into more detail in certain areas, or spent more time focusing on other aspects of the story. Heck, in Epic 29,000 words could be written before the main story arc even arises. So Crimson Dagger takes off in a hurry and goes places in a hurry, not because I don't want to delve into some things, but because that's the nature of writing something this short. With that said, though, I think the book has great pacing. I think readers will love it.

Like all books I write, Crimson Dagger will be going through a beta-read procedure. I've already spoken to several posters here (even seeking out the critical) about giving the novella a solid read-through once it's in its final draft form. So the story you read won't just be one I thought was acceptable. You'll also have some Xenonauts fans - one of whom is Russian - and Chris behind it. I want to do justice to this game. It's important for this story to be both entertaining and right. I'm writing Crimson Dagger, but it isn't my story. This is the hard work of Chris, Goldhawk, and the Xenonauts fan base. That I get it right is of the utmost importance to me.

I hope this answers a few of your questions and eases your fears some. :) And if there's anything else you want to know, please fire away. I'm happy to address things. I will be providing an in-depth write-up/preview for the Xenonauts Kickstarter page, too! I definitely want the fan base in-the-know.

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