We're excited. Our advance copies are on their way to us shortly, and after we have them in hand, we'll be able to open pre-orders for Schlock Mercenary: Resident Mad Scientist. Mark your calendars: Tuesday, May 25th, at 8:00am Mountain Time. This book has been far too long in the making, but that's because we decided to bring in some help so we could make it out of distilled quintessence of epitomized AWESOME. For starters, Travis Walton recolored every strip in the book. We didn't change any of the content, there isn't any Lucasistic revisionism going on here -- we just fixed all the things I didn't know how to do correctly when I first put these strips on the web. If you've been enjoying the current storyline's gorgeous colors, that's Travis' work. He's the guy doing the distilling of the quintessences. The bonus story is called "Mad Scientist's Residence," and this is where a bunch of the extra-special, epitomized awesome comes from. Dan Willis hammered out an outline, which the two of us then refined into eleven pages of scripts. My Writing Excuses friends Brandon Sanderson and Dan Wells (both far more brilliant and skilled writers than I) workshopped the rough pencils for me, cut the fat out of it, and then added more meat. There's other bonus material than just that story, though. The margin art is a mixture of ancient sketches and new pieces, including some brand new pencil sketches from David Reddick. Some of my new stuff is in there, and my daughter Keliana lovingly colored a couple of those pieces with a mixture of Copic marker and Prismacolor pencil. We had new design elements made for the book, too. Tyler Martin gave us a new logo (which will appear on the website soon) and Melissa Mayhew gave us all sorts of new plumbing and fiddly bits. And then after solid proofing from Janci Patterson Olds, Tracy McKinnon, and Bob Defendi, Sandra did a brilliant job laying it all out. I'm sorry... have I been throwing too many names around? How about this... the introduction was written by none other than Greg Bear. This the shiniest Schlock Mercenary book yet, and it is a group effort. I'm understandably proud of my own work, but I'm humble enough to know that if I want to make something really fantastic, I need to call in some help. This is the first book of the next boxed set, and defines the look and feel (and raises the bar) for the rest of the set. Sketch editions will be limited to 1,000. We expect them to sell out within a week or so. If you're not going to be able to shop at store.schlockmercenary.com next week, please email us with a note from your doctor, your mom, or your boss, and we'll do what we can to hold a place for you. Schlock Mercenary: Resident Mad Scientist weighs in at 144pp in full, glossy color, and retails for $20.00. Sketch editions will be $30.00. And it is not outside the realm of possibility for me to have as many as a dozen of these numbered sketch editions available at Balticon in 10 days.