I should take the time here, I think, to explain to interested readers where the Gazette fits into the 1632 series as a whole, and where other projects in the series stand at the moment.
First, a number of readers have asked me when 1634: The Baltic War will be coming out. That's the direct sequel to 1633, which came out three and a half years ago, in August of 2002. Not surprisingly, many fans of the series have been waiting for it with increasing impatience. Some—though not many, I don't think—have even been irritated by the appearance of other 1632 titles in the interim, such as 1634: The Galileo Affair.
Let me start with the good news, which is that Dave Weber and I will be starting the novel very soon. For the rest, I sympathize with the impatience of readers who've been waiting for it, but I also need to explain the logic of the delay. Yes, there is a logic, it's not simply because either I or Dave Weber forgot about it. The problem, in a nutshell, is that both Dave and I are writers with a lot of work on our hands and a number of other commitments. That means that getting our schedules to match up well enough for the months it takes to do a collaborative novel is . . . not easy. Since we completed 1633, we've had only two windows of opportunity that were long enough to do the trick. The first, in 2003, got taken up with writing Crown of Slaves, a novel that Dave felt was important to the development of his very popular Honor Harrington series. And the second, which was supposed to have been last year, wound up never materializing at all because of a variety of factors.
So it goes. In the meantime, I saw no reason to tie up the other lines of the story that began with 1632 and have kept them chugging along. One of the most important of those lines—call them "side" lines, if you will, but that's really a misnomer—is the one I began with Andrew Dennis in 1634: The Galileo Affair. Three sequels are planned to Galileo, the first of which Andrew and I now have well underway.
I said that thinking of The Galileo Affair and its sequels as a sideline was a misnomer. In fact, it's nothing of the sort. True, it began as a separate adventure that was, in a sense, a spin-off from 1632 and 1633. But, as will soon enough become obvious, the ramifications of those events in Italy will have a greater and greater impact on the events taking place in Europe as a whole—indeed, the entire world. My problem, at the moment, is that I can't prove it to you without revealing the plots of several books that haven't been published yet. Just . . . take my word for it, please. Trying to determine what's an "important" story and what isn't, in this alternate universe, is a lot trickier than it looks at first glance.
Which is the way I intended things, from the moment I decided to turn 1632 from the stand-alone novel it was originally written to be into a series. Whatever else, I am not going to produce a formulaic series, in which one book succeeds another by simply rehashing the same basic material. The world has more than enough of such series, I think.