Enemy One’s Chapter Zero has Arrived!

Of all the official “announcement” type messages I’ve relayed to the fan base, this may be the one closest to my heart as it concerns the Epic community. This is why this particular message is going across all platforms: the blog, the mailing list, the forum mailing list, Facebook, Twitter, deviantART…everything. For me, and for Epic, this is as important as it gets!

As the header indicates, Chapter Zero of Epic 5: Enemy One, has been released, and you can read it on the Epic Universe Forums. You can find the very thread containing it right here. You’ve been patient enough with me as I’ve dealt with life and health issues; you don’t need to wait for something new any longer, even if a finished fifth novel is still a little ways away (mid-2015). But while I do want to talk about Chapter Zero, there’s something much more critical to Epic that I want to talk about. That something is the forum hub itself.

Quite simply, the reason Chapter Zero has been released there is because I want Epic’s fan base to go there. I want you to see what the forums are about. I want you to see what they can become – what they need to become – for Epic to become the expansive universe it was always intended to be. Bar none, the most important aspect of anything worth being built is the aspect of community. It’s getting people together. Talking, laughing, debating…being there, sharing a sense of commonality in something they all enjoy. I could write four hundred novels, but without you, both the singular and collective, it’s a fruitless labor. The Epic Universe Forums were made for you.

Though there have always been sporadic posts here and there on the forums, on most days, the waters are calm and the visitors few. If life is full of trial and error, my experience in building up the forum community has been mostly the latter. I’ve over-designed it. I’ve underused it on a personal level. I’ve relied more on hoping its very existence would draw users in rather than giving them solid reasons to visit and engaging them when they did. All of those failings are on me. I’m ready to overcome them.

The design of the forum has been simplified. Rather than a section dedicated to each novel, you’ll simply find one for all of them: The Epic Octalogy, dedicated to discussing the eight books that will comprise Epic’s core series. Beneath the Epic section, you’ll find the Forum’s Off-Topic, for anything and everything not related to Epic. Talk sports, talk politics, talk current movies, games, or events. It doesn’t matter. Be heard! I’ve always felt, and I still do, that it only takes ten consistently active forum members to keep a place relevant. I want you to be one of those ten! Check in, start up a convo, whether in Epic or Off-Topic, and light that place up. If you’re not up for starting a new thread just yet, check out some of the many that are already there. Toss in your two cents! We want to hear it!

If you’ve tried to plug into the forums already and simply found a lack of new Epic topics to discuss, rest assured – the speed at which books are being written is picking up. Despite the long span of time since The Glorious Becoming, Enemy One is being written right now at a record pace. The plan is to release a new installment every one to one-and-a-half years, which would wrap the core series by 2019-2020. That’s not far away!

Which brings us to Chapter Zero of Enemy One!

You guys have waited long enough for something new to talk about. Chapter Zero will definitely give you reason to talk. Of all the questions I’ve received from fans after they’ve read The Glorious Becoming, the most numerous (and enthusiastic) begin with, “What happened to…?” That’s what Chapter Zero is all about.

Obligatory warning: this is Chapter Zero in draft form, untouched by an editor. The final version is bound to have small changes here and there. But these won’t be story changes. They’ll be a word here, a word there, a grammar correction, and a rephrased sentence or two. Any differences you’d notice in the final version of Enemy One would be minor and of no plot-related consequence. I’m confident enough in it to share it early. Get ready, because the game is changing!

I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts in some forum posts! Let’s get this place rocking.




  1. Like others, I first discovered your work via Crimson Dagger from Xenonauts. After reading it, I immediately sought out more and discovered the Epic series. In a week’s time I have read the first three and am about to start E4. Beyond the excellent story and captivating action, I thank you for your measured and realistic treatment of faith and God.

    Sci-fi is often about what it means to be human and I’ve never understood why novels about humanity are scared to address one of the most common facets of humans: their spiritual beliefs. Neither preachy, judgemental nor condescending, it was a masterful treatment of a touchy subject.

    And, although it causes me no small amount of anxiety, I love how no character is safe. The plot and characters feel real. Quite an accomplishment. Looking forward to riding this thrill to the end. Cheers!

  2. Lee Stephen says:

    Hi John!

    Thanks so much for supporting Epic and for taking the time to stop by and comment! It’s always awesome when Crimson Dagger fans track me down to my Epic roots. I loved writing that novella, but this series is my passion!

    I’m really glad the spiritual side of Epic held your interest. Writers of faith often struggle with their portrayals of faith, I think due to an unspoken pressure to have characters of impeccable morality. But no one has that. Even the strongest men and women of faith have their spiritual warts. You can’t gloss over that an expect to have anything of substance to say on a faith-based level.

    I’m really anxious to get E5 out there! Still a ways to go yet, but it’s trucking along. VERY challenging installment! I’ll try to blog about it soon.

    Take care,

  3. I was only looking for something good to read. DID, caught my attention, and the rest is history, I am now a big fan of this series. I don’t really want to read any other series, and now is about to start reading one through four again until E5 comes out. Thanks Lee, for a great series.

    • Lee Stephen says:

      Thank you so much for the kind words, and especially for your service to our country (yes, I look everyone up who posts to me)! You guys are an incredible inspiration to me, and any small bit of enjoyment I can pay back pales in comparison to the freedom you guys earn for us every day.

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