Sunday, May 8, 2016

May Update

Between moving, my ongoing divorce and being sick for a week March was pretty much a total loss, and the first half of April wasn't much better. But I've been making progress again these last few weeks, and there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel.

Hopefully said light isn't an oncoming train.

At any rate, I'm now working on chapter 13 of Perilous Waif. Over the next couple of months I'm going to be posting a series of essays here about the worldbuilding behind this setting, in hopes that if I got the physics completely wrong someone will point out my mistakes before I publish them.

Unfortunately Revenant is still stalled at chapter three. At this point I don't think a summer release is going to happen, although I'm still hoping to get the book out sometime early in the fall. The Daniel Black books are much faster to write than hard SF, and since I have the plot worked out for the next three books now I may just roll on into book five at that point. But no promises there - I've learned that you never know what kind of curve ball life might throw at you next.

51 comments:

  1. 1st HA. well Mr. Brown, good on ya for taking this unpleasant time in stride and continuing on. One or two things I've been wanting to mention. First thing is your price point. In my opinion a penny a page is a good deal for us readers, that being said, I would have no qualms paying 8-9 dollars for a 300 page book from you. nuff said.
    The Daniel Black books are imagination GOLD. I myself, having an over achieving imagination, have resorted to keeping a notebook for all the ideas your books have wrought, including but not limited to drawings of vehicles keeps and characters, families, random gods, powers, adventures, groups of refugees...
    Please know that we fans are with you in spirit (and pocketbook) and are looking forward to your next publication.
    Thank You

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    2. I mean don't give him ideas about the price

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  2. Remember: all bad things, like good things, will pass. Until then, a few drinks and some good buddies should help with most of it.

    Now get back to that next Daniel Black book. We your fans would most appreciate it!

    Until then, be well!

    Herofan of Amazon!

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  3. I agree fully with that!!

    Just finish Revenant / Daniel Black 4 and we will rip it out of your hands!

    I can't wait to read about the further development of Daniel and his stronghold.

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  4. Thank you for the update! Ill be happy to help with the physics and stuff if you'll write more Daniel Black (in your own time, of course!). 😁

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  5. Eagerly waiting for the Daniel black series

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  6. Same as everyone... thanks mister Brown

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  7. I'm going to buy your sci-fi, but so many of us absolutely can not wait for more Daniel Black and his crew. I am on my 4th time through all 3 books. Huge fan

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    1. I have read all three 4 times myself

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  8. When will we get book 2 and 3 of the Daniel Black series on Audible?

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  9. Yes, I also am waiting for books 2 & 3 of the Daniel black series on audible. I am blind, and get much more enjoyment out of reading them in audible format instead of braille or a ugly computerized voice reading them to me. I am waiting to see what trouble they get into in books 2 and 3. book 1 was out on audible back in febuary. and so now we are in may. I can't wait :)

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  10. Love the daniel books!
    The next bit is a bit confusing, its about physics, kind of a tangent-rant..
    Most fantasy (and sf) books I've read don't unnderd stand falling mechanics. You know, gravity, physics, how much the body can take... I'm apparently bad at explaining what i mean. Haha... A person falling from a plane (30-80+ ft up)and hitting soft ground will almost always die. But not always. Or at least thats what i've read about in class.. Anyway, books with, lets say werewolves (the stronger, faster, regenerating, and more durable than human kind), jumping out of a plane, wouldn't need to worry about dieing from impact.. Humans just barely face essentially certain death from jumping out of a plane without a parachute. Anything stronger than us (in those applicable ways) will have a higher chance of surviving (at least in our gravity).,

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  11. Your books are some of my all time favorites, I stumbled across them via amazon unlimited but have then gone back to purchase them all.

    Sorry to hear about the divorce - hopefully there wasn't a bit of jail time and a restraining order involved.

    If your in the Pearland area we have tabletop board game nights every Thursday at Montag's from 6:30 pm - 9pm.

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  12. If you are going into the table top adventure stuff try and get in touch with Drew Hayes. Look up Authors and dragons.

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  13. Things I am looking forward to / hope will happen / would like to see in the next book(s)

    - Daniel will levelup/alter/improve himself with flesh magic, the help of the empowered dryads, the magic banana (stronger, faster, more resilient, better senses, can channel his unlimited magic-mana better, more charisma, has a higher intuitive awareness of the supernatural…..one step nearer to the demigod/superhero weight class)

    - Improved personal magic items (adjusted to Daniel’s new power level)

    - His entourage will grow in power (stronger coven members/spells, mana-pimped-out dark elfs and dryads, more (stronger?) wolfen….)


    - Fully developed Black Island/Citadel with thousands of inhabitants (OK….not fully developed…reading about upgrading the home base is too much fun, so give it to us continually in small pieces…)

    - A storyline with Daniel and Eline travelling to the summer fairy court / Elines mother (England?/another dimension?/is that the same?) resolving her shapechanging issues and family problems; perhaps gaining some allies/magical help

    - (hell of a lot) more soldiers/military personel…perhaps some elite units (i.e. “knights” with superior abilities and magical equipment); more wolfen(!); other exotic individuals/heros/groups/races

    - More (types of) interesting defence emplacements, personal weapons, skimmers, a second airship(?), radios, bags of holding, skill items….gadgets….thingies….moremoremore

    - More worldbuilding/background (description of different factions in Kozalin, relations between them, political/economic/social interaction with Daniel/Black Island… is there a world outside of Kozalin?)

    - More magic background knowledge (let us learn with Daniel: new spells, using new materials better suited for enchantment like silver, gold, platin, jewels, dwarven steel, adamantium, other mystic materials and/or magic formulars/traditions/spells …How does it work?)

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    1. I totally agree but if I can add one I love all the different magical races so it would be cool to see more of them and there culture.

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    2. I love the races! And magic(s)!
      I bet daniel can make a spell/enchantment that reapairs itself (or at least two, maybe three, where one repairs another when two or three is damaged and visa versa, though with three, when one is damaged, two can repair, while three can defend.).
      I suspect that sorceries can grow over time. Either through what is learned actively/passively and/or through getting more power. Though time might be all it takes. But they would grow super slowly. Otherwise age for gods wouldn't matter as much.
      Also, gaia has at least two sorceries that are similar to daniels. Kinda funny. Earth and life. I mean, he is probably her worst nightmare. Because he can learn a lot from what she does and counter it to boot. Haha. And his i believe currently has more breadth. Since Gaia probably doesn't have a science background (and never will if her mini word of neandrathalls is anything to go by) it will probably stay that way. Under the assumption that the sorceries grow, and they use your own understanding of them to do so.

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    3. ….apropos worldbuilding / background…..and relationship of the population of Kozalin and Daniel Black and or the inhabitants of Black Island….

      In book 3 he destroyed 4 enemy camps with a couple of mortars in about 30 minutes. About 40 to 50.000(?) hostiles under heavy duty magical force screens expunged in minutes! Easily!

      Everybody with half a brain can imagine what will happen if Daniel turns those weapons against Kozalin….!

      At least by now every noble, merchant, the military…etc. have been forced to recognise Daniel as a new local superpower.

      Somewhere in the last book the chief nymph (name?) stated that she recruited a lot of people for Black Island (soldiers, farmers…). On his surprise visit Brand (name? the demigod) mentioned that these efforts did not go unnoticed and certain people are scandalized.

      Daniel provides the raw material (iron) for the big force complex of the Kozalin military and buys dozens of suits of armor there for his troops.
      He gave shelter for a lot of people during the undead assault.

      He smelted the canal through the ice so that the merchants can sent their ships and the fishing fleet can operate. So affecting the whole harbor district…
      My point is that it is more and more difficult to ignore Daniel (and Black Island). More and more people are noticing that Daniel is somehow affecting their lives and/or interests (howsoever direct or indirect).

      I would like to read more about how Black Island is affecting (socially, politically, economically…) Kozalin and vice versa. Who seeks to start friendly relationships with Daniel, who is neutral/temporizing, who opposes him? How do they all this? Are there tensions between the Kozalin factions (different nobles, merchants, military, craftspeople, guilds….)?

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    4. Interesting points, in the last book[or was it book 2]aside from recruiting soldiers and farmers Daniel also tasked Pelagia[to lazy to look up correct spelling] with recruiting some nobles. I'm really interested in seeing how that plays out, Pelagia is suppose to be pretty good at human politics[I think it was said that she ruled over a few human kingdoms in her past].

      I also wanna learn more about the royal family, the prince is basically a dick, but what about his younger brother and older sister, not to mention the king.

      Does Tova say F the Red Conlave an join team Black, if she does what kind of tension is that going to cause. On that note would she have to leave the conclave to join Daniel, considering that fact that Daniel is currently in good standing with the red conclave an I'm sure it's other members already have their own little sub-faction within the red conclave.

      Although what i am REALLY hoping to see in the next book is confrontation between Elen and the fae.

      There are so many intrigueing threads woven into this brilliant tapestry and I cant wait to pull on each and every one to see where they lead.

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  14. Love you're book, I was wondering if you can give us ATA on aidible release of book 2.

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  15. Since we will have to wait a long time for book 4……..let’s speculate about Daniel’s personal magic items.

    I assume that Daniel will upgrade himself in book 4.
    In addition to that I assume that he will improve his personal equipment to keep up with the (probably) rising threat level.

    He has now

    1.) amulet
    brass (?) amulet with his mana-reactor-enchantment and an auto-healing function and protective force screen enchantment
    2.) sword
    Grinder (“light saber chainsaw”): stone handle, when activated (very hot) plasma blade with rotating force buzz saws; has short range flamethrower function
    3.) gun
    one shot per second, unlimited ammo revolver (nickel-iron?); optionally with 0.50 cal basic slug, exploding round or bouncing slug with force blades
    4.) earth talisman
    flying stone, can summon (grow) rock and nickel-iron, can morph in desired form, controlled with ring
    5.) coat
    black leather (trench?)coat with fire protection and armor enchantment
    6.) breast plate
    breast plate (nickel-Iron?) with fortification enchantment, comes with padded underwear with armor enchantment (see coat)
    7.) rings
    not sure about that
    ring 1 control ring for earth talisman, additionally steers mines in gatehouse
    ring 2 with curse protection enchantment
    ring 3 with flight enchantment (sooo cool!)

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    1. 1.) amulet
      Besides raising the general efficiency (remake it with platinum (?) for more mana output, better shield, better healing) nothing spectacular comes to (my) mind.

      In book 2 he connected himself with an enchantment to a power stone (because Mara stole his amulet). But it was mentioned that this was not a very stable interface.
      So perhaps a stable “WLAN” for his power sources could be integrated into the amulet. Then he could draw upon the high voltage current from those power stones when he is “at home” (x miles radius around Black Island).

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    2. 2.) sword (Grinder)
      How can you better this light saber chainsaw monster weapon?
      Make it even hotter? What would happen? All his opponents will simply be vaporized?
      Even now one can wonder how he can hold such a super-duper hot “flame” without frying himself and everything around him.
      I just don’t dare to jinx this fun weapon!

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    3. 3.) gun
      A six-shooter with three empty chambers.
      So up to three new ammunition types are possible (see March thread).
      Further you could increase the firing rate and/or the penetration power.

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    5. 1.) earth talisman
      In the boss fight at the end of book 3 Daniel fought against a neanderthal demigod.
      He won but the powers of his earth talisman were stretched to its limit (and beyond).
      ….ergo a power-up is needed. ;-)
      At least a more efficient lift enchantment and higher durability/hardness.
      Perhaps he could magically insert a diamond (to hold the even stronger enchantments) and from now on the talisman (mark 2) will shimmer a little in bright light or when operating at full power….and can cut even bones of hardy demigods.
      Or now the (mark 2) talisman conjures (stainless?)steel instead of plain nickel-iron….
      Or it is now made of basalt and has extra heat-/fire powers….

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    7. 5.) coat
      The black wolfskin trench coat is -IMO- more a style statement than a magic item.
      But I really like it!
      The badass hero in a black leather trench coat holding his smoking gun and flaming sword…..greatl!!!

      His gorgeous animated-kitchen-sex-doll could enchant the coat with auto-repair and automatic resizing (for future shapechange powers) and self-cleaning and forever wrinkle-free but that’s just further flashy description text….no powerup.

      You could expand the theme (abjuration/shielding) by adding further protection enchantments. Electricity comes first to my mind.

      Thus far Daniel was not the sneaky type so camouflage or invisibility enchantments may not be his cup of tea.

      A strong anti-divination/scrying/mage sight ward would be a good idea for him…but perhaps not on the outermost layer (=coat).

      Unlike his high-profile signature items (amulet, sword, gun, earth talisman) the coat was not that much in the spotlight…..so there are possibilities for variations without “maring” the flavor build up in the story so far.

      More/other ideas/thoughts?

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    8. 6.) breast plate
      Nickel-iron breast plate with durability enchantment plus padded underwear with light armor effect (same as coat).
      It is practically a blank.
      You could copy from the best armor smiths and make one from dwarven steel with an anti magic enchantment.
      Or use even better mystical materials (adamantium, odinsteel, mightymagicium, ohmygodtium….).
      Or you duplicate some tricks from the conclave adept with the magical super platemail (forgot his name…Leo??).

      More/other ideas/thoughts?

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    9. 7.) rings
      Aside from the fact that I’m not even sure about the quantity…… I don’t know what to think about rings.

      The archetypical wizard has magical rings. The magic ring is a fantasy classic! Every gamer knows that a big treasure trove worth its name includes a least one magical ring!

      So why not Daniel?

      It is a quick and easy way to “store” enchantments for him. Just take a coin (or conjure some stone), form it into a ring, put it on… done. And you can put on more than on ring at the same time (one per finger??).

      But it is a very vulnerable place for important magical effects.
      (loose your finger = loose the ring/enchantment)
      Daniel already was seriously hurt and even lost extremities in the story so far.

      I would therefor prefer that he puts those enchantments in a safer location. Perhaps add the curse protection to the amulet and put the nifty flight enchantment on a belt buckle or even cooler on a jewel and integrate that in his body (i.e. into sternum or skull)?

      Other ideas/thoughts? Please comment/share!

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    11. boots

      I am not sure but I think he has enchanted his boots with a warmth effect.

      Wouldn’t rate that as a magical item so far…

      Apart from their main function (to warm and protect the feet) boots would be an obvious place for movement-effects.

      For instance:

      Enchantment for walking easily over loose snow, gravel, shifting quick-sands, mud, water…

      Fast movement / quick feet effect in combat situation (for overland travel he can fly).

      Pirate the flash step / body flicker effect from Leo (name? /the conclave adept with the platemail)

      Balance amplification effects. No problem with slippery surfaces, sloping floors, running the tightrope, fast skip though caltrops, maintain position at edge of the bottomless pit, moving/standing on roofs and other dicey, wobbly surfaces in general….

      Stealth effects. Sneaky bonus. Leaves no traces (even scent?). Less noise. Colour camouflage or invisibility.

      “Freedom of movement” effects. Protection against magical holding and hindering. Easy passage through natural environment. No snagging on thorns, branches… easy passage through dense scrub. Easy movement underwater?

      Putting the light armor effect (see coat and breast plate) on the boots also can’t hurt. (I’m sure his occupational accident insurance recommends safety footwear.)

      So get some cool (dragon? ungol? leather) boots and Kick Ass and Take Names!

      Other ideas/thoughts? Please comment/share!

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    12. belt / belt buckle

      Daniel has a (mundane) belt with holders/pouches for his sword, gun and talisman.

      A belt with a big metal buckle would be a good receptacle for enchantments.

      It has enough mass to put another mana-reactor-enchantment on it to double his mana production! In addition to that another big mana reservoir wouldn’t hurt too. ;-)

      In many fantasy stories/games the girdle is a place for empowerment, toughness and protection effects.

      For example:

      Strength, endurance, dexterity, speed - boost (classically in association with an animal/beast metaphor: i.e. strength of the bear; stamina of the bull; dexterity/speed of the hunting leopard….)

      Skill, abilitiy – boost: Like Monkey Belt for not only more dexterity but also better climbing and tumbling skills. Or Belt of the Barracuda for superior (under-)water movement and water breathing. Or Serpent Belt for protection against poison (poison bite attack for Daniel is too freaky).

      Protection from heat, cold, electricity, acid, poison, curses/magic in general….you name it. Since lightning seems to be a common attack mode from wizards, priests and gods he should prepare for that.

      Resilient skin. Light armor effect. Another layer (after force screen, coat, breast plate) of protection. Resilience of the dragon (triceratops? turtle? hardy beast/animal?…) for more resistant skin. Of course without ugly byeffects (visually or tactile)!!

      Elemental resistance. Can endure extreme meteorological conditions (from Antarctica to Sahara) without harm. Not a combat protection per se but a climate-hardiness-enchantment.

      So get a cool (magical beast) leather belt with a big platinum cowbow-style buckle!

      Other ideas/thoughts? Please comment/share!

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    13. One option with his revolver or for his troops, is to have a variable pressure magma chamber that would spew a continuous stream of magma for close-mid range combat, a literal 'fire hose'. He can also have a shot gun effect if he does some interesting mana engineering with the force element.

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    14. Oh and can the belt buckle say 'BAMF'?

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    15. I will not stop to prattle about those great magical bags of holding.

      Great dimension-space-compression-magic!

      A small belt pouch you can pack 50 kilograms (for example) worth of stuff in.

      Every gamer can tell you: NOTHING beats an unlimited inventory!

      Put it on big boxes or even buildings to multiply storage and living space manyfold without changing the physical building dimensions.

      Or put the enchantment on bracers (or Cerises fingerless gloves) for instant access to the personal weapons stockpile.

      Some years ago I saw the dystopian B-movie action flick “Ultraviolet” with Milla Jovovich. She had the scifi-hightech version of “bracers of holding”. She had dozens of guns, blades and other killing implements in her bracers that she could summon directly and instantly into her hands. Very impressive!

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    16. In this film Milla Jovovich has a lot in common with Cerise.

      She plays a very hot, supernaturally strong and fast killer babe (in tight outfits) mowing a gory swath through dozens (hundreds?) of opponents.

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  16. Something else bothered me about the sword. Not only would it cook everyone in the vicinity with radiant heat, expelling plasma from one end would effectively make this a rocket motor. Expanding hot gases from the plasma should push him across the room every time he turns it on.

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    1. I didn’t even consider that. But you are right. Ejection of plasma/gas results in recoil.
      Another possible inconsistency….

      But on the other side…..in the books I did not perceive Grinder as overpowered.

      It is “only” a melee/short range weapon. Anti-magic effects/armor disrupts the “blade” (if not the heat effect). It is not only very flashy (plasma flame) but also very loud….you can’t even sneak up on a blind opponent. And even magically strengthened Daniel needed multiple hits to sever the limb of a meager troll.

      But it is a cool SciFi nerd signature weapon! ;-)

      Let your chainsaw plasma cutter roar like a jet engine and your foes quake in terror.

      The way for Daniel to improve this weapon is -IMO- to buff up his biceps and his sword combat techniques.

      Concerning all these “scientific inconsistencies”….I just try to still the voices from my hindbrain and enjoy the ride….hey….it’s magic. ;-))

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    2. The recoil is minimal. The amount of plasma expelled is small and at low velocities.
      Whether people would be cooked depends on the temperature. "Well north of 10000 degrees ..." Fahrenheit or Kelvin?

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    3. I think the difference is the plasma is conjured n then expelled through force magic instead of being created in a chemical reaction which would have the explosive force

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    5. correction of my post from June 29
      (mixed up Kelvin and Fahrenheit)

      I had a chance to do a “Grinder experiment”….
      …. and play around with a heavy duty torch (oxyacetylene welding torch).

      The torch rig was composed of two big gas bottles (each about 130 cm / more than 4 ft) on a cart; tubes and the “business end” with the flame where you can regulate the output of the oxygen and acetylene.

      I alternatively opened up full bore to get a feel for the handling/recoil and regulated the flame for optimal heat (around 3.000 degrees Celsius / 2.700 degrees Kelvin) to get a feel for the temperature while waving the tool around in a big empty vehicle hall.

      Two minutes of slaying phantom orcs didn’t heat the surrounding area that much to be uncomfortable. But after seeing what the focused flame did to a wooden pallet….I knew why the technician was so hesitant about letting a paper-pusher play with this thing. ;-)

      There was only very minimal “recoil” even after opening the valves completely.

      So I would extrapolate that the recoil of Grinder (if any) is no more than that of a garden hose, therefore much easier to swing than a metal sword…..???

      I don’t want to think about the injury risk of a chainsaw-plasma-sword for a wielder with no sword fighting skills…….but so what?

      I just stamp (again) on the nagging voices from my hindbrain and enjoy the ride….hey….it’s a awesome magic fun (!) weapon!!!
      Do it again, Daniel!

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    6. I think he should leave Grinder with Cisce, and learn to fight with a staff (Boa or Bokken) but one that will shift at will to a Naginata or Tonfa. A much easier set of weapons to become proficient at, with training and practice. I suppose time is his major problem.

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    7. time......and coolness!

      Who in his right mind would swap a light saber chainsaw for a stick?

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  17. apropos “inconsistencies”

    I know I often whine about the far away publishing date of Revenant / Daniel Black book 4…..

    But in lucid moments I hope that Mr. Brown takes his time to not only plan the plot but also the further “consistency and logic”.

    There’s a big difference between writing 3 separate books and writing a series.

    There are already bumps/inconsistencies that are written different / corrected in the subsequent books.

    Absolutely no slight intended…I know Mr. Brown is at the very beginning of his professional career….I just hope he crosses all the t's and dots all the i's so I have even more fun with the next book(s).

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  18. When is it getting released I can't wait

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  19. Please Mister Brown, release your new book, I can't wait anymore. I absolutely love the world you've created and want to read a lot more about it. It's still early to tell, but you're quickly placing yourself among my favorite authors worldwide.
    So pretty please, keep writing a lot more. My only complaint would be how much we have to wait between books but that's only because I want to devour them.

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  20. Revelation (Title of book4) is define; as a person whose return from the dead. Who do you think it is? Me I'm going for Bast. The timeline for the main storyline hasn't progress along very far so I'm expecting it to have not gone much farther than say another couple of weeks from returning from Hel domain.

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