Monday, November 21, 2022

Buy-A-Book Saturday ... redux

Times flies. (Like an arrow, though that's an irrelevant obscurity for today's post.) Meaning Buy-a-Book Saturday is once more almost upon us. 

Regularly since 2010, shortly before Thanksgiving, I've posted about Buy-a-Book Saturday. That's my personal variation on Small Business Saturday: the day (specifically, the second day after Thanksgiving, and one day after retail's infamous Black Friday) on which holiday shoppers are especially encouraged to patronize small businesses. The big-box stores and Internet giants will do fine this holiday season. But will neighborhood stores, non-chain shops, and boutiques?

What with the supply-chain problems -- and Black Friday somehow having begun days ago at many retailers/etailers -- even to wait till close to that Saturday (falling quite late this year: November 26) might not be the best of strategies.

Rara avis! Is that a book store?

Why do I promote the buy-a-book variant? Because what business is smaller than the author toiling away by him- or herself? Because, as I (and many others) post from time to time, the publishing business keeps getting tougher -- especially for authors. Because more than likely you're a reader, else you wouldn't have stopped by this blog.

Because this year has been harder on small businesses, authors included, than most. Yet again.

So: I'm here to suggest you give serious consideration to books -- whether print or electronic or audio -- for some of your holiday gifting. Friends, relatives, coworkers, your kids' teachers and coaches, the local library you support ... surely there's a book that's right for each of them. And at least one book for yourself, of course ;-)

Suppose you're at a brick-and-mortar bookstore and a book or author you had in mind isn't to be found on the shelf. Not a problem! Almost certainly, the store will be happy to special-order books for you. (Why? Because  they'd much rather do a special order than have you go home and order online for yourself.)

Wednesday, November 9, 2022

Best Reads of 2022

Once again, I concede that a year's-best posting this early in November might seem, well, early. OTOH: lingering pandemic. Supply-chain woes. Labor shortages. Postal/UPS/FedEx slowdowns. Not to mention the countless stores that had up Christmas displays well before Halloween. Especially if you (or your reading giftees) prefer material in paper and ink, you may want to undertake your holiday shopping early rather than late. In any event, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will soon be upon us. 

If you find none of that convincing? The way 2022 has been, surely anything meriting the label "best" is welcome. Distraction via the books that follow certainly helped me cope with this dreadful year.

 Not to mention that if ever there were a year to support one's favorite authors, 2022 (again! sigh) is it. So: on to the latest installment of this annual feature. 

As always, I read a lot: as research, to keep current with the genre in which I write, and simply for enjoyment. Before the annual holiday shopping onslaught, I've taken to volunteering a few words about the most notable books from my reading (and sometimes re-reading) thus far in the current year. And a (very small) celebratory woohoo: this compilation is my tenth such post in the series. 

When I name a book, you can be certain I really enjoyed it and/or found it very useful. Life's too short to gripe about books I didn't find notable (much less the several I elected not to finish). Presuming that you visit SF and Nonsense because you appreciate my assessment of things, you might find, in what follows, books you (and like-minded friends, relatives, etc.) will also enjoy. Unless otherwise indicated, the dates shown are for original publication. Titles of recommendations are Amazon links, often to newer editions than the original publication (and to Kindle editions, where available).

This year's summary is unusual in one respect: I'm going to name one book of my own. Because, when calling out standout materials, I could hardly fail to at least mention the career-spanning, carefully curated, SF collection published this year that is The Best of Edward M. Lerner.
What's impressed me so far this year? Read on ....

Monday, November 7, 2022

A most enjoyable podcast

Writers of the Future recently hosted a podcast aimed at aspiring science-fiction writers: a conversation with old hands Alan Smale (as it happens, a former WOTF winner), Jeffery A. Carver, Edward Willett, and (because two Eds are better than one ... I'll pause while you groan) Edward M. Lerner. John Goodwin as MC ably herded us SFnal cats. 

It was a fun conversation. Here 'tis, if you're inclined to listen. 

Friday, October 21, 2022

Of world-shaking events

I'm delighted to report that Mars: Life and Death (officially only the working title, though no one's yet come up with a better name) has been delivered to the publisher. Trust me: events therein are matters of life and death.

The arena ...
When can you read it? To be determined. These things take time. My best guess is late 2023 or early 2024. 

More news as it happens ...

Monday, October 3, 2022

Books (fewer than) a million

 And yet, lots of book news.

Two new novels in the works :-)

On the Shoals of Space-Time (through Caezik Science Fiction and Fantasy, an imprint of Arc Manor) now has an official release date: May 23, 2023.

Mars: Life and Death (likewise through Caezik)(here, I'm using what's nominally a working title) is in complete first draft and in the hands of beta readers. I'm guessing it'll be out in a year or so.

I'll (of course!) have more to say about each novel as its release approaches.

New editions of four older titles (none yet with a release date)

The Company Man (a novel; through Phoenix Pick, the reprint imprint at Arc Manor)

Creative Destruction (my earliest collection; through ReAnimus Press)

Countdown to Armageddon / A Stranger in Paradise (a short novel plus a short collection; through ReAnimus Press)

The Sherlock Chronicles & The Paradise Quartet  (two novella-ized story arcs; through ReAnimus Press)

I foresee see a lot of copy-edit reading, galley review, and proofreading ....

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Technical difficulties

Updated September 13, 2022

I'm in the process of migrating my authorial website ( to a new hosting service. Till that's complete, and all the details sorted out, my blog is reverted to its actual home (i.e.,, rather than its aliased location,

Lots of embedded links in years-worth of blog posts rely on the domain, and (for now) won't work. Sigh.

Hopefully, I'll have all this fixed soon. Meanwhile, if you found yourself here, it's still me.

Update: Yay! It's fixed (anyway, it seems to be.)

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Speaking of the best

Since the May release of the career-spanning collection The Best of Edward M. Lerner, I've done several interviews, with others apt to happen. As I type, there's been but one published review, but I anticipate more. 

So: this post is to gather links to related reviews and interviews. I'll update it as appropriate.


Douglas Coleman Show (video)

Paul Semel Blog (written)

Between the Covers (video)


Tangent Online

More as it happens :-)

Friday, July 29, 2022

A character speaks her mind

The Protagonist Speaks is one of the more unusual -- and fun -- interview venues for authors. Many of my interviews, whether audio, video, or written, overlap significantly in their questions. (That's fair enough -- different venues, one assumes, have different audiences -- but the repetition can make things less interesting for the interviewee.) 

The Protagonist Speaks is very different. Its unique feature? The "interview" is with a character from the author's book. It can be, and often is, the protagonist. But instead it can be the antagonist. Or the plucky sidekick. Well, anyone the author chooses.

I recently had the pleasure of introducing one of my characters to The Protagonist Speaks. Ekaterina Borisova Komarova, Katya to her friends, features prominently in Deja Doomed -- but she isn't a point-of-view character. Which isn't to say she herself hadn't seen a lot. Lunar exploration. Ancient alien ruins. Triumph and tragedy.

I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Katya better through an interview done in her voice. I venture to guess you'll enjoy making her acquaintance, too.

Here is Katya's interview.