Just a brief update: VI, VII, and VIII are done. At this point, the book is starting to look substantially different from the first draft.
VI, as discussed before, takes place entirely on Earth, with David Bonfante (now a corporal in the Royal Guard) and Adrienne (still a New Orleans...erm, sex worker) as viewpoint characters. Both get to witness major developments in the war that have plot implications later.
VII is old chapter VI (X-Ray Blues) and looks more or less the same (I've changed some of the technobabble and upped the stakes for Pennai--in this version, she outright lies to Allen to buy time to keep conducting the computer simulations).
VIII is a patchwork of new material and the first half of old Chapter XI. A major problem I had with the first draft was that the Battle of Uranus was effectively the book's climax, and then once it was over, I followed it up with a very long chapter on Spirit of Halifax. So that stuff has been split. The mutiny still happens after the battle; I couldn't figure out how to make it happen otherwise, but we go more or less directly from the battle to the mutiny. The events of old Chapter VIII will be split up--it's certain the book will end with "Check please", which if you haven't read the novel makes no sense to you, but trust me: it's the best line of the whole damn book.
Oh, and bonus! The destruction of Mao Station is now experienced through the POV of a viewpoint character.
IX is "Sky King Star" and that's underway now. There are some alterations that have been forced upon it by previous revisions, but it should escape largely unchanged. I now have a tentative date for completing the second draft: Wednesday, November 23.
Why that specific date? I have my reasons.
This concludes this public service announcement.