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 ....