Monday, November 23, 2020

Buy-a-Book Saturday -- pandemic-style

 It's that time again. And yet this time, this year is in a category all its own. Stupid pandemic!

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 your neighborhood, non-chain shops and boutiques?

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 is becoming tougher and tougher -- especially for authors. Because more than likely you're a reader, else you wouldn't have stopped by this blog.

Because this year is harder on small businesses, authors included, than ever.

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 -- assuming said business survived the pandemic so far and/or venturing out isn't an unacceptable risk where you are -- 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.)

Monday, November 16, 2020

So: 2020 isn't *entirely* awful

A few times this year (most recently, with a cover reveal) I've posted about a pending novel: Déjà Doomed. (As mentioned elsewhere, its planned publication isn't till May 25, 2021.)

Any year in which a new book goes under contract can't be all bad. Déjà Doomed represented a (rare) highlight for 2020. So -- huzzah! -- imagine my delight in being able to report a second book just went under contract.

The new book? That would be The Sherlock Chronicles / The Paradise Quartet. Two independent novellas in one volume. The first, a near(ish)-future cyber mystery. The second, a far-future space saga. I'll have more to say about Sherlock / Paradise as matters progress.

Coming in 2021 (specifics TBD) from Ring of Fire Press ...

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Cover reveal

DEJA DOOMED won't be released till May 25, 2021 ... and yet, Amazon already shows the (seriously cool) cover. So, sez I, why not share it:

What's the artifact in the foreground? That would be telling ;-)

(P.S. While booksellers like Amazon show a DEJA DOOMED print edition -- and only a print edition -- available for pre-order, there will be ebook editions in all the customary formats. For entirely uninteresting reasons, the latter tend not to be shown till near the publication date.)

Monday, November 2, 2020

Best Reads of 2020

I admit it -- a year's-best posting this early in November might seem, well, early. OTOH, given that stores didn't even wait till Halloween to put up Christmas decorations and start their sales, the case can be made I'm late. Reader's choice ;-)

Either way, before you know it, Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be upon us. And if you find none of that convincing? The way 2020 has been, surely anything meriting the label "best" is welcome. Distraction via the books that follow certainly helped me cope with this dreadful, pandemic-ridden year.

 Not to mention that if ever there were a year to support one's favorite authors, this is it.

So: on to the latest installment of this annual feature. (Also, forgive this post some weird line spacing. Blogger has defeated me.)

As ever, I read a lot: as research, to keep current with the genre in which I write, and simply for enjoyment. Before the holiday shopping onslaught, I like to volunteer a few words about the most notable books from my reading (and sometimes re-reading) thus far in the current year. When I mention a book, you can be certain I really enjoyed it and/or found it very useful. Life's too short to gripe about anything I didn't find notable (much less the several books I elected not to finish).
Presuming that you visit SF and Nonsense because you appreciate my assessment of things, you might find, in the post that follows, books you (and like-minded friends, relatives, etc.) will also enjoy. Unless otherwise indicated, the dates shown are for original publication. Titles are Amazon links, often to newer editions than the original publication (and to Kindle editions, where available).

What's impressed me so far this year? Read on ....

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

ROFCON -- come join me :-)

The first virtual Ring of Fire Con runs Thursday October 8 through Sunday October 11. W00t! You can still register online -- and for free -- but there are neat ebook bundles offered if you should choose to make a small donation to help defray costs.

Together with -- as you might imagine -- all matters related to Eric Flint's 1632-verse (aka, Ring of Fire-verse), the con covers much, much more.(*)

I am delighted to be taking part in the con, and I thought I'd share my schedule:

 Friday 10/9 4:30 p.m. CDT -- I'm interviewed about my career and recent and upcoming projects

Saturday 10/10 4:30 p.m. CDT -- I'm on the panel "Working with Editors"

Sunday 10/11 3:00 p.m. CDT -- I'm on the panel "The Challenge of Writing Hard SF"

The full con schedule is here.

 "See" you there.


(*) Why the broader scope? For one reason, The Grantville Gazette, bimonthly ezine of the 1632-verse, has long also had an independent "Universe Annex." That's the TGG department in which it's been my frequent honor to appear. In fact, I have a novelette running in the current, September/October 2020, issue. For another, Ring of Fire Press now publishes both 1632 and non-1632 books. My 2019 novel, The Company Man is in the latter category.

And maybe just because ... why not? SF fans have omnivoracious interests.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

It's alive. Alive! (Well, closer)

See what just appeared on Amazon ... for anyone who likes to plan (way) ahead

Déjà Doomed Paperback – May 25, 2021

There will be ebook editions, too (of course!) And well before release, spiffy cover art ... consider this image a placeholder.


Caezik is a new SF imprint, whose first two releases -- by Robert Heinlein (from a manuscript discovered postmortem) and Robert J. Sawyer -- were Locus bestsellers. It turns out you don't need to be named Robert

Friday, September 4, 2020

Old and new

I'm happy to have two of my novelettes in print (at least, electrons) this month. Both were issued a few days ago, on the 1st.

"A Case of Identity" was/is the opening novelette in a completed four-story arc -- for which a series name continues to elude me. Currently in contention are The Sherlock Chronicles and The AI PI. Whatever series name I settle upon, its opening -- and entirely standalone -- tale is reissued this month in Galaxy's Edge.

Side note: If "A Case of Identity" rings a bell (for reasons other than that you read mine first-run), that's understandable. Not coincidentally, Conan Doyle's Sherlock had an incident of that name.

But the bigger news is brand-new story, introducing a fresh narrative arc. "On the Shoals of Space-Time," also a novelette, is in this month's issue of The Grantville Gazette (in the Universe Annex department). And it's quite the adventure ...

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Deja vu: Deja Doomed

Back on May 1st, in "Déjà Doomed (and it's *not* gloom involving COVID-19)", I was delighted to announce the sale of a new novel.

The only hint I'm giving this early

At that time, I made no forecast of the release date. I'm still not making a prediction (amid the pandemic, does anything proceed as planned?), but I am delighted to report progress. To wit: Déjà Doomed has completed its first round of editing. That's one small step ... ;-)

More news as it happens.

Thursday, June 25, 2020

This brought a smile to my face

 NOT your average, everyday comic

Pearls Before Swine Comic Strip for June 25, 2020

Though buying milk is a fraught activity these days ...

Friday, May 1, 2020

Déjà Doomed (and it's *not* gloom involving COVID-19)

With all that's been going on, I'm pleased to have a tidbit of *good* news to share with my friends and readers.

Only the doom is WAY worse than this ...
Which is to say, Phoenix Pick, publisher of several of my more recent books, lately sent over contracts for my newest novel. It's called -- you guessed it -- Déjà Doomed. Think: epic adventure for existential stakes.

I long ago lost my authorial amateur status, but as DD will be my 21st book, I guess I'm about to become an authorial pro adult :-)

More info (such as the release date) in due course ....

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

What's old is new again

Given the COVID-19 pandemic, shelter-in-place rules in ever more places, and the economy more or less stopped, realistically my news of the day hardly rates a mention. All that said ... it pleases me. In particular, I'm happy to announce that ReAnimus Press has just reissued my earliest two novels. With classy new cover art, I hasten to add ....

Kindle link for Probe
My debut novel was Probe -- and it's true what they say. You always remember your first time ;-)

And what, you ask, is the probe of the title? The hero's own robotic spacecraft, prowling the Asteroid Belt for mineral wealth? The alien derelict that Prospector had the (mis)fortune to come upon? Something the military does not want found? Or is it something really out of the ordinary? 

"With a scientist's background and a novelist's eye, Ed Lerner has written a fast-paced thriller sure to please techno-junkies, sci-fi lovers, and anyone who simply enjoys an exciting yarn."

-- Pete Earley,
   NYT bestselling author of Family of Spies: 
   Inside the John Walker Spy Ring

And second, a quite different tale, Moonstruck.

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Einstein's Monsters

I ordinarily save up my reading recommendations for a year-end summary, but (a) these aren't ordinary times and (2) the book I finished last night was most noteworthy.
The book? Einstein's Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes (2018), by Brit astronomer and science popularizer Chris Impey. It integrates a wealth of fascinating material about general relativity, black holes large and small, cosmology, assorted multiverse theories, gravitational-wave observatories, and astronomy in general. And if your appetite ends up whetted, the book provides copious pointers to further reading.

So ...  you're in the market for distraction as you shelter in place from COVID-19 -- especially if physics, astronomy, or the Really Big Picture is your cup of tea -- you might want to check out (here's an Amazon link) Einstein's Monsters: The Life and Times of Black Holes

Monday, March 2, 2020

Sherlock #4: The Final Problem

Grantville Gazette readers ... did you enjoy January's "The Adventure of the Meat Interpreter"? (A rhetorical question, of course. That said, I'm always happy -- should anyone feel so inclined -- to get feedback.)

Presuming that you answered yes, you'll be interested to know that "Sherlock" returns in TGG's March issue in his most challenging case yet: "The Final Problem."

 It turns out that I posted eight years ago, in a very different context, about Conan Doyles's own "The Final Problem." Have a look at that mention -- if you're curious -- in "Tell, Don't Show?"

Monday, February 24, 2020

It's the End Times ...

of publisher February promotions on a goodly portion -- six of twenty -- Edward M. Lerner books.

This is a (blatantly) commercial post; you have been advised. But if you've been curious about my writing -- or if you are familiar, and might want to read more -- this ebook-only promotion is a fine opportunity. Your choices:

Muses and Musings: A Science Fiction Collection. It's exactly what the subtitle says. And you can name your price.

Technothrillers, Fools' Experiments and Small Miracles, for only $1.99 each. 

Near-future (Energized) and farther-future (Dark Secret) space adventures, likewise for a mere $1.99 each.

But wait! There's more! (And it's way better than a Veg-O-Matic.)

In the nonfiction category, Trope-ing the Light Fantastic: The Science Behind the Fiction is just $2.99.

Not as long as electrons last (but way longer than free neutrons do)! And only on the publisher's website.)

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Better than Punxsutawney Phil not seeing his shadow

Over at Phoenix Pick, the featured ebook for February's promotion/deal/steal is Muses & Musings: A Science Fiction Collection by ... Yr. Humble Blogger. Said promo being accompanied by deep (and likewise temporary) ebook discounts on several other Lerner titles. Just sayin'

Check it out at

(And if Phil was mistaken, and you find yourself snowed in? All the more reason to want a good book or three on hand.)

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Latest review of Muses & Musings

Excerpt from a review of my 2019 collection, Muses & Musings, upon which I just stumbled:

He is science fiction down to the bone, but he very often takes the "serious" stuff not so seriously. Or he does, but he still squeezes a modicum of wit and whimsy into his subjects. He can catch a salient point in a couple of pages or explore a well-trodden road like AI with new insight.

"He" and "him," in this context, being me.

The full review, for anyone curious, can be found at Once there (cuz the review page is for some reason not accessible via a direct link) click on "Recommended Books".

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Sherlock #3

Perhaps you met my AI PI in "A Case of Identity," in the December 2015 Analog. Maybe you encountered this futuristic detective in his second outing, "The Satellites of Damocles," in Future Science Fiction Digest 3 (June 2019).

Either way,  I expect you'll be happy to know that "Sherlock" confronts his third mystery in "The Adventure of the Meat Interpreter." That story just debuted in the January/February 2020 issue of The Grantville Gazette (in the zine's Universe Annex).

And if you aren't familiar with the two earlier stories in this series? No problemo. As with more conventional Sherlock stories, you can dive in at any point. 

It's a lovely way, IMO, to start the year. (For me, certainly, and I like to believe you; not so much for the eponymous interpreter.)

Friday, January 3, 2020

To everything there is a season ...

The new year, traditionally, is a time to take stock. And this being an SFnal blog, a certain Philip K. Dick quote comes to mind. To wit:

"Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away."

What reality should be recognized in this new year? That after more than eleven years and 655 posts, my enthusiasm for blogging has ebbed. That whereas my practice has long been to post more or less weekly, this schedule in recent months has -- being honest with myself -- too often been more of a chore than a joy. (Also, of late, a target increasingly missed.) Which, I'd venture to guess, doesn't always make for the most gripping material when I do post.

I'm not apt to stop altogether. Things I read, see, and think will, from time to time, doubtless inspire me to opine. And -- my most viewed posts, year after year, relating to my books, stories, and articles -- I anticipate that publication-centric news will appear here every now and again.

Bottom-lining it: you can expect SF and Nonsense to become less active than it's traditionally been and that, when I do post, my topic will often be promotional. At shorter lengths, and perhaps more often than here, I'll show up on Facebook (where my authorial page, unsurprisingly, is; I invite you to follow my FB page. 

And who knows? Perhaps -- as in many a Philip K. Dick story -- reality will shift in unexpected ways, and the urge to blog will return.