A little back-story… I never really wanted to put the first 3 years of Schlock into print, but I’m going ahead and doing it. You folks demanded it, so here it comes.
But back when I first started prepping for books, I figured I’d provide a starting point for the printed matter that had decent artwork, and that introduced characters effectively. Thus it was that in the archives “Book I” was Schlock Mercenary: Under New Management.
Well, that’s changing, and I’ve updated the archives to reflect this. Under New Management is Book 3. When Schlock Mercenary: The Tub Of Happiness hits the streets, you’ll see a numeral “1” on the spine. When The Teraport Wars comes out next year (hopefully pretty quickly — we’re not going to waste any time on this next one) it will have a nice numeral “2.” And when Under New Management and The Blackness Between are reprinted, the 2nd editions will have (along with the various typo fixes) the numerals “3” and “4” on the spine.
I have to confess, at first this was confusing for me. Then I realized that the confusion was a result of having memorized the book numbers in Roman Numeral form, enumerated sequentially from what was the third volume in a chronology, and then being asked to change. But when I went into the archives and made all the changes it got much, much easier on my poor brain.
If you check out the Schlock Mercenary Archive Synopsizer you’ll see that right now we’re in the midst of Part II of Book 9: Schlock Mercenary: The Body Politic. See how easy that was? Easy-Peasy!
I’ll still tell people that Book 3, Under New Management is a good place to start. I’ll probably still kick off storylines with just a little bit of back-and-fill, re-introducing characters. But now your bookshelves (and my archives) can be properly sequential. Oh, and those first editions of UNM and TBB are clearly going to be collectors items, what with the absence of a number on the spine. Better buy those up now. We only have a little more than a thousand of each left…