Tuesday, May 26, 2015

A potpourri of SF news

Life went on, mostly without my participation, over the past couple of months and the run-up to and roll-out of InterstellarNet Enigma. On the genre side, here are a few interesting items that got me off-task long enough to bookmark for later perusal.

Looking for diversion? Best-selling and best are distinct concepts, but popularity remains a hint at options worth considering. In the video department, therefore, I found this list from Fortune to be interesting: "Here are the 10 highest-grossing sci-fi movies of all time." The Star Wars franchise, not surprisingly, dominates the list -- and in the case of episodes four through six, I even understand. I thoroughly enjoyed about half these top grossers.

Monday, May 18, 2015

InterstellarNet: Enigma -- War Against the Xool

It's crunch time. Matters have never been more desperate -- only to get worse when the final mysteries are revealed.

Three brave humans and their unlikely Hunter allies, defying eons of alien machinations and manipulations, after decades of travel, have finally brought the confrontation to the enigmatic Xool.

Or have they? The aliens are nowhere to be found, and only a silent, featureless, mirrored orb orbits Epsilon Indi where a habitable planet ought to be. Could the Xool—somehow—be inside?

When the Xool are found, the mystery only deepens.

How can mere humans wrap their minds around an age-old conspiracy that spans the galaxy? How can they take back control of their own destiny? Either aspiration seems hopeless.

 But unless they find a way, humanity and its InterstellarNet neighbors are doomed ….

Don't miss the shocking conclusion,  InterstellarNet: Enigma, Part Five / War Against the Xool for the Kindle (and elsewhere, for Nook and iGadgets) for only $2.99. Or consider the entire novel for $7.99.

Monday, May 11, 2015

InterstellarNet: Enigma -- The Xool Resistance

We're up to Part Four -- and circumstances are beyond dire.

The unseen forces long at work behind human history have been unmasked -- and the powers they wield are scary. Meanwhile, the warlike Hunter clan interned for decades in the outer Solar System has gone from clandestine resistance to all-out war. Precious little stands in the way of blocking either group.

Desperate times call for desperate alliances ….

Don't miss InterstellarNet: Enigma, Part Four / The Xool Resistance for the Kindle (and elsewhere, for Nook and iGadgets) for only $2.99. Or consider the entire novel for $7.99.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Notes from *far* outside my comfort zone

I will explain, in the (way) longer-than-usual post to follow, but here's the substance: One of the best ways to support an author is to write an honest review of his book on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or other etail site. (Not to knock buying, reading, and recommending the book.) Reviews don't need to be long -- two or three clear sentences giving an opinion, and a reason to back it up -- to do the trick.

Read on to see how and why a review will help. A lot. And I will also explain -- cringing with each keystroke -- what's driven me to being so very forward as to ask my readers for reviews ...

Monday, May 4, 2015

InterstellarNet: Enigma -- the wheels on the (omni)bus go round and round

With today's release of InterstellarNet: Enigma, Part Three / The Xool Emergence (in all major ebook formats) we're up to the third installment of the novel. Plot threads and crises are converging 

The epic continues
Carl Rowland, longtime agent of the United Planets Intelligence Agency, has been recalled to Earth to explain the death of his partner. Setting aside that he’s torn apart over her death, the summons is convenient: on Earth he stands a chance of unraveling an alien plot whose vague outlines have begun to emerge.

convenient hardly describes Carl's circumstances as everyone with even an inkling of the plot dies or goes missing ...

And the Xool? Who or what are they? You'll thank me for not spilling the beans. It'd be spoilerific.

Where the opening two episodes are each priced at 99 cents, this latest (and the two concluding) episodes are each $2.99. Still on the fence about the series? Continue by episode -- it remains quite affordable. But if you're hooked? That brings us to today's other news:

Friday, May 1, 2015

Alien aliens: beyond people in rubber suits

Saturday, May 2nd -- as I type, that's tomorrow -- I'll be leading an SF&F writers workshop at WriterHouse in beautiful Charlottesville, VA. (Charlottesville lies nestled in the Blue Ridge. This is an old colonial town, home to the University of Virginia and Monticello, both designed by the uber-talented Thomas Jefferson. C'ville is one of my favorite places in Virginia.)

The workshop's topic: Aliens and Their Societies.
Want your aliens to seem alien? Your elves, orcs, and zombies to stand out from the rest? In this advanced science fiction and fantasy seminar, we’ll look at physically believable “others” and how they fit their environment, behavior (alien drives and psychology), culture (drawing upon the wealth of human history), and language and communications. As our final group exercise, we’ll tackle a group-selected cultural issue, such as religion, warfare, gender roles, or the alien city.

The last I heard, the workshop still had a few openings. If this event is of prospective interest, you can get more info at:


Thursday, April 30, 2015

A break from enigmas

The release of a new novel is a whirlwind of activity (of which the occasional blog or FB post is only a small part). Releasing a novel in serial form? An N-part serial, I've been learning, takes almost N-times the effort of "merely" a book.

To remind myself that there is life outside of new-book promotion -- and to save my sanity -- I took a break last weekend in downtown DC. The highlight of that break was a visit to the National Building Museum.

The Pension Building
The building now home to the building museum (recursive, to be sure) was completed in 1887. It first served as headquarters of the Pension Bureau (a precursor to the modern Veterans Administration, serving Union veterans of the Civil War), and is commonly known as the Pension Building.

This is an enormous, all-brick (15 million bricks, more or less) structure that borrows design and ornamental elements from the Parthenon, Trajan's Column, and Italian Renaissance palazzos. The building all but fills a city block.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The enigma deepens / the plot thickens

Last week, in InterstellarNet: Enigma -- a mystery (starts to be) revealed, I announced the first installment of a new InterstellarNet adventure. Part One of the serial is "The Matthews Conundrum." Today I'm happy to report that Part Two of the serial is also released to all three major ebook venues: Amazon/Kindle, BN/Nook/ePub, and iTunes.

The serial edition
Firh Glithwah, leader of the Hunter clan Arblen Ems, schemes to liberate her people from two decades of ignominious internment and isolation on a remote moon of Uranus. She will have her vengeance against the clan’s human oppressors.

Only the hated humans may be the least of her worries ....

The Hugo-centric edition
(Just so ya know: Part Two of the serial, "Championship B'tok," is based upon the 2014 Analog novelette of the same name. A few weeks back, when that story became a Hugo nominee, my publisher rushed a special edition of the story to the Kindle store. If you have the red-backdrop ebook pictured nearby, it contains both the Analog/nominated version and (slightly tweaked and expanded) Part Two of the serial. But if the spiffy new cover is worth an extra 99 cents to you, I won't stand in your way.)

And in the intervening week, the overall novel collected another great recommendation:
"Edward M. Lerner’s InterstellarNet: Enigma is an engaging, intellectually stimulating science fiction novel spanning cosmic time that tackles a puzzle fundamental to the series. Science and logic dominate the narrative in a way they do all too rarely in the field these days. Chock full of aliens, spaceships, killer robots, artificial intelligences, InterstellarNet: Enigma does not shy away from action when the story calls for it, representing a satisfying balance of thought and deed. This is quality science fiction."
-- Mike Brotherton, author of Star Dragon
Wyoming Infrared Observatory
Besides having great SF chops, Mike is an astronomer on faculty at the University of Wyoming.

Next week, I expect to bring you an update on Part Three. And something more ...