Monday, June 27, 2016

Savoring the moment

Twenty-five years ago, on a shelf in a B. Dalton Bookseller -- remember those? -- I first happened upon copies of Probe for sale. This technothriller was both my first novel and my first pro sale. (My second sale, a short story, ended up being my first pro appearance, having run a few months earlier in Analog.) This sighting came a few days ahead of the book's official publication date of July 1, 1991.

You always remember the first time
Twenty-five years ... a quarter century ... yowza. That's the silver anniversary. I don't suppose Warner Book's artist had this day in mind when incorporating that right-hand silver stripe into the rather abstract cover design.

(Aside to those of you who have read Probe ... who among you finds any resemblance between the cover nearby and the tale told within?)

No way could I have guessed where writing -- in those days, merely a hobby -- would lead: the books and shorter works, both fiction and non-, I would go on to write. The five-novel collaboration with future colleague Larry Niven. The gamut of plots, themes, eras, and science & technologies that my writing would lead me to explore. The friendships I would forge with authors, editors, and agents around the country -- and sometimes farther afield. So many wonderful interactions with readers: at cons and book signings, through email and social media. The cons, tech venues, speaking and teaching gigs, and even, now and again, a nomination or award. This blog. A second career and whole new lifestyle.

Twenty-five years later
But back to Probe ... I like to believe it's held up pretty well over the years. Sure, the novel included what has become the occasional anachronism -- but it also anticipated the commercial mining of asteroids, computerized cars, a networked world, and plenty more au courant ideas. If you're curious, check out this post (Alien probe (no, not that kind)) from when Probe was reissued a bit over five years back.

Am I savoring the moment? Absolutely! But that's insufficient, methinks. I shall savor the day :-)

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