Status Update

Hello everyone,

Just a quick status update for those of you who aren’t on my mailing list yet.

I’m about 35% of the way into the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic (roughly 70,000 words). It slowed down a little bit because I decided to cut out a portion of content that I felt was too early in the story, which also required spending some time making adjustments to other parts of the book to keep it consistent. I may end up re-inserting some or all of that cut content later, but I’m not sure.

I’m also about 20,000 words into Defying Destiny, the third book in the War of Broken Mirrors.

Finally, I’ve been dabbling with some other side stories as the mood strikes me, such as a spin-off for Keras and a few ideas for more traditional “LitRPG” style stories. I’m not sure if these other stories will end up going all the way to publication or not – time will tell.

I’m still targeting early 2018 for the sequel to Sufficiently Advanced Magic. Defying Destiny will most likely end up coming after that at this rate, given how much I’ve switched my focus. I still intend to continue working on Defying Destiny gradually, however, so hopefully it will be quick to finish after the next sequel.

After that, it’s going to be a bit trickier – there are parts in the third Arcane Ascension book that were going to be tied into the fourth (and most likely final) War of Broken Mirrors book, so I might end up doing two War of Broken Mirrors books back-to-back. It’s still too soon to say for certain.

40 thoughts on “Status Update

  1. Is it to early or inappropriate to ask why you plan to have the two books share a single universe?

    My friend is really excited for it and I’m on the other side. I would really like to get your feelings on it to maybe better understand it for myself?

    1. That’s a good question.

      Part of my interest is in showing how technology advances in a society where magic is commonplace, but understood and applied differently by different cultures. It’s more common for fantasy series to be in a sort of “medieval stasis” for thousands of years without any advancements, or even for magical knowledge to progress backward – I wanted to subvert that.

      There are some other examples out there of authors doing the same thing (like Sanderson’s second Mistborn trilogy), but I really wanted to focus on the research side more than other authors seem to.

      Another portion of it is that there’s a shared meta-plot between those series. The characters of each novel series are seeing and interacting with a portion of that meta-plot from their own perspectives. I find it interesting to explore the impact of major events in a fantasy universe from vastly different perspectives.

      Finally, I enjoy enjoying cultural relativism in general, and I think it’ll be interesting to show characters from vastly different backgrounds eventually coming into contact with each other and the differences in their values systems, how they approach problem solving, etc.

  2. I am relatively new to this genre and lack the background that most readers have accumulated. On this note, I first read Sufficiently Advance Magic and enjoyed it very much. I am now reading Forging Divinity and though I am enjoying the journey, I find having to learn a whole new magic/spell system a bit of a struggle. How these two “worlds” come together will no doubt be beyond my ability to fathom. But I am just a fantasy neophyte. With further reading in this genre, I may learn how to dampen my rational instincts and cease expecting things to make sense.

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed Sufficiently Advanced Magic!

      I wouldn’t encourage you to dampen your rational instincts in the slightest. If something isn’t making sense to you, it’s possible that’s a failure on my part as an author, or it’s also possible there’s just a piece of the puzzle missing.

      For example, if you get to the end of Forging Divinity, it should be somewhat clearer how the magic in that book relates to the magic in Sufficiently Advanced Magic. Not all the pieces of the puzzle are there, but the foundation exists, and some readers have managed to latch onto it.

      The setting is designed to be rational and internally consistent, but that’s from the perspective of an author that has access to vastly more information than the readers do. Part of the fun of stories like these, at least for me, is for readers to attempt to find these disparate pieces of information across multiple sources (e.g. multiple book series, interviews, games, etc.) and try to figure out the entire picture. This is admittedly something of a niche interest, and it’s not going to appeal to or work for everyone.

      I hope this helps. If there are specific elements in Forging Divinity that you’re having difficulty rationalizing, I’d be glad to discuss them, although I may not be able to answer certain questions because of potential spoilers.

  3. I am very very excited for the second book. I recently finished Sufficiently Advanced Magic and I have never read a fantasy like it. I really like the fact that the book isn’t stuck in medieval timeline and I am interested to see how technology develops around magic. I am also very happy to read a fantasy book that uses modern views for gender equality and sexuality. I have never understood why authors felt that when writing a book about magic they needed to cling to ancient societal norms.

    Long story short, thank you for writing this, and I look forward to reading the rest of your work.

    1. I love medieval fantasy, but it was great trying something different and seeing how it might work. I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Thank you for reading the book and the kind words. I’ll try to get that sequel finished soon!

      1. I really think that non-medieval magic is grossly underappreciated, its great to read/watch a society evolve scientifically with magic alongside it, most things I’ve seen that aren’t medieval end up in the magic vs science arguments, which have their value, but both things alongside each other is a wonderful combination

    2. I agree. I think the dichotomy of magic vs. technology can be entertaining, but it’s been done so many times that I’ve been enjoying seeing them in harmony, rather than contrast.

      If you like that sort of thing, I’d also recommend taking a look at Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn books – he does something similar in the second trilogy.

  4. I just finished my copy(Audio-book from Audible) and I completely loved it, I love how the detailed magic system worked and how meticulously it was explained, I am very interested in learning what happens next.

    Will the new book also be available(eventually) on Audible?

    Thanks for the excellent story and world, I’ll be getting a real copy of it as it deserves a spot in my bookshelf!

    1. Hiya! I’m happy you enjoyed the magic system. I wanted to make it feel plausible and internally consistent, and that meant putting in a lot of detail. I’m glad it worked for you – I know it was overkill for some readers. =)

      It’s definitely my plan to get the sequel on Audible as well.

      Thank you for the support!

      1. Please please have Nick do the following audio books as well I love his range and ability to give everyone their own voice and personality. That last part might be over stepping on my part a little as I know you are the one that has created these characters. But it is just amazing. I’m kind of at a lack of words but I hope you understand my meaning. I’m looking forward to your following books in both series.

      2. Definitely going to try to get Nick to do the rest of the series if at all possible. I agree that Nick is fantastic, and I’m not offended at all. I consider Nick a big part of what helps bring the story to life in that medium.

  5. Did Corin screw himself out of a Shaper attunement by leaving coins, because the Goddess figured he could afford to make his tools instead of conjuring them?

  6. I just shotgunned the audiobook version of Sufficiently Advanced Magic in two days and am now listening to Forging Divinity (yay audible!). I just want to say directly that I love your work and really want to run a campaign in this fabulous setting. Is there any kind of public release for house rules and base system? Did you create a system from scratch? Is there not such a system in existence? The opaque Mana system in SAM is easy enough to guess at in terms of mechanics, though the less obviously structured magic of the Core is less easy to translate, but I would think a GURPS style of magic using Endurance would work pretty well, from what I’ve read so far.

    Regardless, thank you so much for writing this fantastic setting into the world!

    1. The War of Broken Mirrors started out as a tabletop campaign in D&D 3.0 in the early 2000s. These days, I use a home-brew system for running games in that setting, but it’s not quite finished, so I’m hesitant to distribute it.

      I have a LARP system that covers LARP rules for both the War of Broken Mirrors and Arcane Ascension. That’s much more complete, but it’s designed for LARP, so it would have to be adapted to use it for a tabletop campaign.

      My tabletop rule set was written from scratch, but the core mechanics are inspired by a combination of the LARP rules (which were written first, because the tabletop started out in D&D), standard D&D rules, and some Ars Magica rules.

      The LARP rules started out being based on the Live Effects rules set, but over the course of many years they’ve diverged to the point of being almost unrecognizable.

      If you’re interested, you can take a look at some of the LARP mechanics. In specific, the skill trees are fairly easy to translate into tabletop format, you’d just use dice rolls or grid squares instead of things like “throw a spell packet” or “everyone within the sound of your voice”.

      In specific, you’d probably want to look at the section on attunements in the Advanced Rule Book, which covers some details that are outside of what Sufficiently Advanced Magic talks about.

      Fair warning that there are some **spoilers** for the novels in these books, including novels that haven’t been released yet (because it talks about things like the amount of time that passes between the War of Broken Mirrors and Sufficiently Advanced Magic). The spoilers are relatively minor, but be warned that there are a few.

      There also may be bits of lore that are not accurate to the books, because they may reference old LARP or tabletop campaign stuff that isn’t in the novels. (The original LARP and tabletop took place hundreds of years after the novels; the novels are essentially backstory.)

      Link to the main LARP rule book: https://www.dropbox.com/s/t842tbyg0cqn0rl/The%20Arbiter%20System%202.58b.doc?dl=0

      Link to the advanced LARP rule book:
      https://www.dropbox.com/s/zo3bvo5zi636xdy/Arbiter%20System%20Advanced%20Rule%20Book%202.58.doc?dl=0

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

      1. Thank you so much for the response!! My roommate and I scoured the net after I made that comment. We found those and the Kaldwyn + Mythralis regional guides. We started adapting immediately. It’s a huge amount of information, very deep mechanics. We settled on using a d20 system with roll modifiers similar to 3.5, I even threw together a hasty character sheet. Love the setting, we already did some basic play testing based on our hodgepodge adaptation of the LARP rules, and so far so good. We will do some one on one testing to work out how to translate difficulty curves and such. Sticking to your essence system but including some essence with attunement ranks, to better match the content of Sufficiently Advanced Magic.

        I’m including a link to the character sheet I hobbled together, let me know ow if something deeply integral is missing https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7WLfhDPX-SvMGhyYUZsdDBWOUk/view?usp=drivesdk. I suspect that a few weeks of testing will lead to a pretty workable home brew.

      2. You’re welcome!

        I’m glad to hear you’re already playing around with the system. I wasn’t sure if you’d want to see the regional guides (because of all the spoilers and content that isn’t covered in the books). If you’ve found them, though, I hope you enjoy them.

        I was originally planning for each attunement rank to have an essence prerequisite in the LARP (similar to in SAM), but it was much easier to just handle it with a straight XP cost. For a tabletop, putting an essence requirement (or bonus) back in there makes sense.

        That’s a good character sheet – I might actually borrow it and modify it as a secondary sheet to use, if you don’t mind. Most of my players just use excel spreadsheets for auto-calculating points, but I’m sure some of them would love to have something that looks closer to a traditional D&D sheet.

      3. Please do use the sheet if you find it at all useful I can also share the spreadsheet file I made it with you from for easier editing if you like.

        The spoilers of the regional guide were pretty minimal, I thought. Then again, I’m trying to let my eyes glide past the lore as much as I can for that very reason. I am looking forward to reading all your work as it comes out.

  7. So, you might have answered this question in past post/responses. But are you a programmer in your other life? I’m taking a front-end course, and I have noticed a large amount of programming logic. It’s really amazing. And what I’ve listened to so far has been wonderful. This book is so captivatin.

    1. Great question!

      I’m a game designer, rather than a programmer. That said, the disciplines are closely related, and the logic in how magic works definitely is reminiscent of programming logic.

      Hope you enjoy the rest of the book. =D

      1. That’s fascinating. I just finished S.A.M. It was fantastic! I listened to it instead of working on my project… oops.

  8. I just read Sufficiently Advanced Magic and I greatly enjoyed it. Like many of the commenters, I appreciated the consistent magic rules, which allowed for a lot of discovery. I also really wanted to applaud the introduction of Professor Vellum, which seemed like a master class of writing (conveying a new character, rules of enchanting and humor in one scene really impressed me). Solid job overall and I am excited for the sequel. And now that you are building a shared universe, I am curious to see how those two will mesh (I have not finished Forging Divinity).

    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the book!

      Vellum was definitely one of my favorite characters to write, and I’ll hope to include more of her in her in the sequels. =)

      Hope you enjoy Forging Divinity as well!

  9. Andrew, I just finished Arcane Ascension. I LOVED it. Now I have a new series and Author to follow, while I wait for others to release their new works… I will be reading (listening to, Nick is awesome) the Broken Mirrors series next, so keep up the great work! I eagerly await book 2 of Sufficiently Advanced Magic, and book 3 of Mirrors!

  10. Just finished Sufficiently Advanced Magic and like many others here I really enjoyed it. It had an interesting magic system and I will probably read broken mirrors next to see how it is related. One thing I enjoyed that no has mentioned is “The Rock of Regeneration”. Truly if he doesn’t the right tools for the job he will just make them. I curious if anyone in story is going to comment on him using very expensive materials to enchant a rock.

    1. I, too, feel that the Rock of Regeneration has been undervalued. It is clearly the best character in the book.

      More seriously, though, thanks for the comment. =D I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I’ll make sure Corin continues making more useful (if unusual) tools.

  11. Thank you so much for all your excellent stories. I am currently listening to the Audible version of Stealing Sorcery, and the chapter “There are always more assassins” had me laughing out loud numerous times – what a wonderful way of contrasting the main characters!

    1. I’m glad you like my books! Writing Jonan and Taelien in the same book is always amusing because they’re so different. Lydia tends to fall somewhere in between, which I think makes her easiest for most people to relate to.

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