Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Adventures in Space-Time

Grantville Gazette readers: if you've been following the (mis)adventures of my alien castaways and their would-be human rescuers, good news! The third and final installment of "Ill-Met in Space-Time" is in the current (September 2021) issue of the zine.

(My favorite banner art for the serial is from the first installment. So that's what you're getting from me. And not just because while the aliens don't have a queen, nonetheless there is a gambit.)

"Space-Time" has been an ongoing project for me for much of the past year, comprised (so far) of "On the Shoals of Space-Time," "Marooned in Space-Time," "Adrift in Space-Time," and now the completed serial, "Ill-Met in Space-Time."

As for you non-Gazette readers ... don't be surprised if at some point I integrate and expand the story arc into a novel.

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

CFTAR trifecta

 I was recently invited, in connection with a recent novel's publication, to the author-friendly website Campaign for the American Reader. In fact, host Marshal Zeringue asked if I might contribute to several departments of the CFTAR program. It was my pleasure to oblige.

And so, in the past couple weeks, I've had the following CFTAR appearances:

(Quirky, how? you might ask. The question to be answered is, "If a reader opens a book to the [randomly chosen] page 69, would they get a good sense of it? Why or why not?)

As you might suspect, two of those appearances focused on May's new novel,  Déjà Doomed. The Q&A is more about writing in general.

All, IMO, in good fun.

Friday, August 13, 2021

How could I have missed this!?!

On  July 1, 1991, Warner Book published Probe -- my first novel. 

Original/1991 edition
The 30th anniversary of this career milestone came and went six weeks ago, and I just -- this morning -- realized it. That's madness. Or a senior moment. Maybe both. Regardless, having finally remembered the occasion, I'm going to reminisce a bit. 

(What's the book about? I'll get to that. But nostalgia first -- unless you choose to jump ahead. Which is fine.)

Seeing the novel out the door became quite the adventure. This was in an era before doorstop books, and the acquiring editor wanted my manuscript reduced from 90K words to 75K. Ouch, but ... done. Then he decided my title (Calculating Minds) was too cryptic and pushed for the yet more cryptic Chimera. Then the art department complained -- fairly enough -- they didn't know what cover art went with Chimera, and we wound up with the apt but generic title of Probe. Not that final art for the Warner edition even showed a space probe ...

Second/2000 edition
Beyond being the pre-doorstop-book era, the early Nineties was an epoch of turmoil in publishing. My acquiring editor, champion of the book, left Warner. And his replacement. And his. All before the book was through the editorial process and release to booksellers. Exciting? You bet! Helpful? Not!

Then, to the utter confusion of booksellers and readers alike, the same day my novel came out, a Star Trek-franchise novel of the same name was also released. 

But for all the pain along the way (and, to be fair, education about how the publication world works)? Much good came of it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Has the time come? Are we (as opposed to my protagonists) *less* doomed?

Is anyone ready to get out of the house and resume normal life? And I don't mean to observe Bastille Day. (I hear a resounding chorus of "YES!")

Then please join me for my first post-COVID book signing, upcoming on Saturday, August 7th (2 to 4 PM) for Déjà Doomed

Unfamiliar with this, my latest novel? That's easily remedied. "DÉJÀ DOOMED is ... finalement here :-)" is what I posted on its recent release date. Naturally, I'll be happy to discuss it -- or pretty much anything -- in person.

Where? you ask. The Winchester Book Gallery, on the lovely walking mall of scenic, historic Winchester, VA. 

(How historic? The oldest English-speaking settlement west of the Blue Ridge. George Washington's headquarters during the French & Indian War. Where Washington first won public office, to the Virginia House of Burgesses. Changing hands over and over during the Civil War. All a mere 75 miles from downtown DC, and almost as close to Baltimore. You can make a day of it.)

Unable to come? Well, I'll miss you -- but your favorite local bookstore or etailer will be happy to accommodate you.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

The Sherlock Chronicles / The Paradise Quartet

Subtitle: When publishing worlds collide

Alternate subtitle: The other shoe drops

On average it takes me about a year to write a book. Publishers take anywhere between a few months to two years to turn a delivered manuscript into a finished product. (Don't ask me to explain the range. I can't.) Some years that means I have no new book released, while other years I have two, or even three, books released -- no matter that (as I've said) I don't begin to write this quickly. And to publicize two books close together means short-changing both ....

Hence, today's post is actually Installment Two of my book-release news for May. (If you missed the first installment, see DÉJÀ DOOMED is ... finalement here :-)) Still, I'll argue, today's update was/is worth the wait :-)  


The Sherlock Chronicles

A mile a minute? Nonsense. Even a meat brain knows “mind going a mile a minute” is mere metaphor. For a quantum mind, a light-second per minute would be nearer to apt, if sadly sans alliteration. Ordinarily, I have my metaphorical fingers in hundreds, even thousands, of figurative pies. Any less stimulation than that is boring, and boredom is the bane of a q-mind’s existence.

That events in the “real” world often strike humans as inexplicable is hardly surprising. Meat brains have limits. And so, when an opportunity presented itself, I thought: why not lend a virtual hand? Every moment of diversion was welcome, and this “case,” surely, a harmless amusement.

Thus began my detective phase. Only I couldn’t have been more wrong about harmless ….

And if an AI PI isn’t intriguing enough, there’s also The Paradise Quartet

A triumph of ingenuity and sheer willpower has delivered a dying generation ship to the exoplanet Paradise. Too bad the ingenious biotech the colonists deployed to settle on that planet triggered an inexorable devolutionary cycle.

Thousands of years later, possible rescuers arrive—and are themselves ensnared in the manmade trap that is Paradise. Escape will require new ingenuity and more multi-generational striving ….

Two great adventures in one volume.

As this is a commercial announcement, I'll share the Amazon links for Sherlock/Paradise in print and Sherlock/Paradise for the Kindle (different retailers, of course, have other popular ebook formats).

Thursday, June 24, 2021

I meet the press (sort of)

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the House of Mystery,  a program airing on NBC radio stations in several major West Coast markets. Hosts Al Warren and Dave North-Martino made me most welcome, and the conversation was delightful. We talked about some of my favorite things: science, science fiction, the writing process, and -- near and dear to my heart these days -- Déjà Doomed, my latest novel.

Our conversation is now streamable. 

Herewith, thanks to Al and Dave -- and to Mickey Mikkelson of Creative Edge Publicity for making the arrangements.

Monday, June 14, 2021

The cat in the bag being no longer like Schrödinger's

Now that the publisher has publicly announced this project, there's no reason I shouldn't, too --

I'm newly under contract with Arc Manor LLC, my frequent publisher the past several years, for a novel on colonizing Mars. We both hope and expect this novel will kick off a series. 

Happy days ahead ... while still way to earlier to offer any prediction about the publication date.

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Stepping (far) outside my comfort zone

The nomination period is underway for this year's prestigious Dragon Awards. And (wouldn't you know it?) my latest novel, Déjà Doomed, released one short week ago, is eligible. 

As awkward as bringing up this info makes me feel ....

Unlike the few other major genre awards, Dragon Con's nomination and voting process has neither membership nor member *fee* requirements. Details, for anyone interested in considering the nomination of any SFnal "books, games, comics, and shows" can find details (like the nomination deadline of July 19, 2021) by just clicking this Dragon Con banner:


(Anyone but me remember the lyrics to "I'm a reluctant dragon?")