Tuesday, August 13, 2019

To my Kindle-inclined readers

Muses & Musings, my first short-fiction collection since 2010 -- and whose cover I was first able to reveal just yesterday -- won't be available till September 6.

Click to enlarge
But here's the (good) thing: in advance of official release, Amazon is offering -- in Kindle format only -- a "pre-order special." Order before September 6, and wake up that day to find a discounted (from $6.99 to $3.99) copy on your Kindle.

(And if you're not a Kindle reader? On the 6th, the print edition and more ebook formats will be released. I'll post again then with updated links.)

About the book: Muses & Musings offers seventeen never before collected stories at every length from flash to novella, chosen from four separate magazines and three original anthologies. And as a bonus, there's a guest intro from every-conceivable-award-winner Robert J. Sawyer

Cribbing from the cover copy:

Best known for his SF novels –- including the InterstellarNet series and (with Larry Niven) the epic Fleet of Worlds series –- Edward M. Lerner is also a prolific author of short fiction. This collection showcases many of his finest stories, featuring works selected from over a decade’s output.

Alternate history. Parallel worlds. Rogue artificial intelligences. Alien invasion. Biting satire as to where the Internet is leading us. A Sherlock Holmes for the next century. Deco punk. Deep thoughts about, well, deep thoughts. In this book, you’ll find these – and more – together with Ed's reminiscences as to what led him to create these seventeen gems in the first place. 

End of commercial announcement :-)

Monday, August 12, 2019

Cover reveal

Coming soon to a bookstore (whether physically or virtually) near you ...

A collection of what? From where? Thanks for asking. Stories from the zines: Analog, Darker Matter, Galaxy's Edge, and Sci Phi Journal. Plus stories from original anthos: Deco Punk, Impossible Futures, and Science Fiction by Scientists. (Both lists are merely alphabetical Infer nothing from the order.) Seventeen works of fiction in all. Plus a guest intro by Robert J. Sawyer.

More news as it happens ....

Returning (whether or not by popular demand). Also, astronomy.

Regular visitors will have noticed a recent lack of regular posts. Sorry about that, but the past few weeks have just been ... busy. Not in a bad way, but still. And a particularly Good Thing recently taking up my time will, I expect, soon be the subject of an announcement post.

With that mea culpa out of the way, on to things that should prove more interesting ....

How do planets form? How quickly? A recent study of neon isotopes distribution in ancient basalts suggests accretion from the protoplanetary disc happens quite rapidly (i.e., in a few million years). See " 'Nebular neon' confirmed deep inside the Earth."

How planets are born

And it's become possible to (sorta) see planets form. As in "Existence of circumplanetary discs confirmed: Australian astronomers see for the first time a critical piece in the formation of a planet."

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Always be skeptical of first reports ...

Carl Sagan had it right: "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." 

More dark than light
In that spirit, see: Astronomers Just Solved The Bizarre Mystery of a Galaxy With No Dark Matter

Monday, July 1, 2019

New Horizons, metaphorical and literal

Did you savor the Pluto closeups returned by NASA's New Horizons probe in July 2015? Of course you did -- it's the kind of thing that appeals to the kind of folk who visit SF and Nonsense.

The saga of New Horizons itself is every bit as fascinating, written (to be precise, coauthored) by the man who first dreamed of the mission and eventually became its principal investigator. The book covers the guerilla struggle to interest NASA in the mission concept, the funding wars, the mad dash (once funding was finally approved) to complete the probe while Jupiter and Pluto still had the proper alignment (celestial mechanics is a harsh mistress), the long flight, and the hectic close encounter with Pluto.

In short, I highly recommend Chasing New Horizons: Inside the Epic First Mission to Pluto, by (the aforementioned PI) Alan Stern and fellow scientist/author David Grinspoon.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

It's always a pleasure ...

... to introduce myself to a new group of readers.

Hence: I'm delighted to announce my debut appearance in Future Science Fiction Digest. "The Satellites of Damocles" -- a brand-new AI PI  novelette -- is hot out of the electron mines in newly released Issue 3.

The cover is quite snappy, too  :-)

Explore the issue online for free (wherein stories come available in stages -- my story, alas, not till July 24) or buy the entire issue now as an ebook.

July 24th update: My story is now online. 
Here's the direct link to "The Satellites of Damocles."

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Potpourri (an astronomy edition)

Because -- as if you hadn't noticed -- I'm into astronomy. And so, herewith:

The birth of radio astronomy: "Project Diana Honored With an IEEE Milestone."

The football-field-sized radio telescope so central to my Energized

"Signs of a ‘super Earth’ discovered around a nearby star." How near? Barnard's Star -- after the Alpha Centauri triple system, our closest neighbor. (Not to mention, home to the perfidious Snakes of my InterstellarNet series.)

Also, "A star is born: Astronomers witness rare birth of a baby binary."

And a new place to look for company. "Searching for ET? Look to binary stars, researchers say."

Closer to home, we have: "Asteroid Bennu is flinging rocks into space: OSIRIS-Rex’s target turns out to be very rare, and very active, posing problems for the mission."

Theia bites the big one
Closer still: "Earth magma ocean ended up on the moon: New modelling resolves contradictions in Earth-moon hypothesis."

And that, surely, is enough to amuse my fellow astronomy fans for the day ....

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Trope-ing redux *redux* (aka, Huzzah!)

More trope-ing-ly good news ...

" … Worth your time, your money, and your consideration, whether you’re interested in accessible science, looking to understand trends in science fiction, or -- optimally -- both."
-- Trevor Quachri, editor of Analog Science Fiction
and Fact (excerpted from his guest foreword)

Trevor refers there, of course, to Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction. And as for his suggestion re how you might prudently invest your reading dollars 😉

In conjunction with last week's release of Trope-ing in a new/trade-paperback print edition (as announced last week in Trope-ing redux), the publisher has now also reduced the price of the several ebook formats.

As I've previously summarized the book:

Not familiar with Trope-ing the Light Fantastic? It's my 2018 nonfiction book exploring the scientific underpinnings of the many tropes of our favorite genre. Faster-than-light travel (from which, of course, the book takes its title). Time travel. Interstellar warfare. True (human-equivalent or higher) artificial intelligence. Telepathy. And so much more ....

And (this being a strictly commercial post), herewith three convenient Amazonian links:

(Nor do I mean to imply that your savvy-shopping options are limited to Amazon! The same new-and-reduced ebook price has gone into effect for Nook, Kobo, and iTunes editions. As for print editions, pretty much every etailer offers them, while your favorite brick-and-mortar bookstore -- if you don't find this title on their physical shelves -- will always happily order a copy for you.)