The Great Schlock Mercenary Ret-Con

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…

19 thoughts on “The Great Schlock Mercenary Ret-Con”

  1. Heh, starting in the middle worked for George Lucas, it should work for Schlock Mercenary. One can hope they’re equally popular 🙂

      1. You also haven’t created one of cinema’s finest Seriously Imposing Evil Dudes, only to then undermine that with a whiney emo-teen backstory.

        If it turned out that Xinchubbikins’ unpleasant disposition was rooted in schoolyard mockery, then maybe you could manage it.

  2. Oh, good. I was not looking forward to spending the time to take the archive images, assemble them into pages, and sneak them off on the color printer at work and then binding them somehow. But I’d have done it at some point.

    1. I was tempted to do that, but “Book 0” and “Book 0.5” was too confusing for the first two volumes. I’ve got 480 pages of Schlock pre-UNM to bind up, and that’s at least two books’ worth.

      1. The Order of the Stick has done this:

        * The Order of the Stick: Dungeon Crawlin’ Fools (2005) ISBN 0-9766580-0-3. volume 1, strips 1-121
        * The Order of the Stick: On the Origin of PCs (2005) ISBN 0-9766580-1-1. volume 0 (prequel)
        * The Order of the Stick: No Cure for the Paladin Blues (November 2006) ISBN 0-9766580-3-8. volume 2, strips 121a-300
        * The Order of the Stick: Start of Darkness (June 2007) ISBN 978-0-9766580-4-7. volume -1 (second prequel)
        * The Order of the Stick: War And XPs (expected Fall 2007). volume 3

          1. Yes… and there’s a fifth one coming.

            The two prequels are completely new material (e.g. never seen on the web) and both are just as funny as can be expected (albeit, the second is a little dark and may not be to everyone’s taste)) and well worth tracking down.

    1. Great. Now you’ve got me thinking of “Super Schlock Mercenary Turbo Champion Edition Alpha 3”. I can just imagine Tagon’s Dorothy Attack. 🙂

  3. I’m very glad to see the first years printed. I think they make a much better start and moreover cover some great story arcs. (I mean, the teraport wars! How could you skip the teraport wars?)

    I’m ready to preorder my books on Thursday! Hopefully I won’t space the launch this time and be slow about it like the last two times. :/

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