Sudden Left Turn at the Reefs (or, The Great Divorce)

Grab a partner and hold tight!The Reefs of Time have taken a sharp left turn. My long-time publisher, Tor Books, has declined to publish it, sight unseen.* This came as something of a shock. The reason given is that it’s been too long since the last book—which is certainly true.

Fear not—the project is not grounded! But it has changed direction abruptly. I will publish it through my own imprint, Starstream Publications, in cooperation with Book View Café. While at first glance this seems like a setback, I choose to regard it as a blessing and an opportunity. I’ll get the rights back to the earlier material, and can now control the entire series, top to bottom. And I can publish the new work the way I want.

It does mean I have a lot of work cut out for me, and I don’t just mean publishing Reefs. Before the new book can come out, I need to have all the first four books available in new print editions, so that new readers can start at the beginning and read the whole story. These books are already available in ebook, but many people still prefer print. And then, of course, I need to do all the production of ebook and print book on the new novel—including cover design.

I have hired an assistant for the promotional efforts. I have called on artist and writer Chris Howard, who has already done two covers for me, to outdo himself. Various of my colleagues, both in and out of Book View Café, have stepped forward with offers of help. It’s been amazing, really. Still others have offered strong encouragement, including some terrific authors who have been dropped by traditional publishing and gone on to do exactly what I’m doing, and done quite well at it.

This all happened suddenly, and it’s too soon to have a realistic time frame sketched out. But my goal is to have the new work out in time for the World Science Fiction Convention in Dublin, in August.

Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!

*This might seem odd, since I’ve been working on the book with my editor for about eight months. But he’s working on a consulting basis for Tor, and it was only when the books were ready to go into production in-house that the editorial oversight team at Tor said no. I’m not taking it personally; in fact, they’re settling graciously, and unlike many authors I’ve known in similar positions, I’m getting all my rights back without a fight. It’s an amicable divorce. There are no hard feelings on my part.


13 Responses

  1. Reg Caton
    | Reply

    Holy s**t. I’ll be 79 next birthday. It’s not looking good for “The Reefs” and even less likely for the last book yet to be written.
    Ah well as an old boss used to say – “Press on with that in mind”

    • Jeffrey A. Carver
      | Reply

      Actually, this new plan will have the book(s) out sooner! If Tor were doing them, it would be at least a year, and probably longer.

  2. Fran Giuffre
    | Reply

    I think Tor is short-sighted. Your spirit of moving forward is inspiring. My brother will be joyful that Reefs will be available in book form as he is one of your old-fashioned readers. I look forward to reading more blog updates, that is if you have time! Chris Howard, always a good choice. Sounds like you are in the driver’s seat.

  3. Old Bald Guy
    | Reply

    Wow! AND you are getting the rights back to the earlier stuff? Actually sounds like a dream situation. Now you can do what you want and how you want to do it. Plus you are looking to have it out by August?

    I agree with Fran’s comment about Tor. Tor may be short-sighted AND they just might regret their move. . . . .

  4. Connie Bothfeld
    | Reply

    I can’t wait for it!!! Ive read that series 5-6 times.

  5. jeffreyacarver
    | Reply

    Love the support, everyone! It really helps, when the task seems too big!

  6. Ed Scarbrough
    | Reply

    Excellent news for us fans who have been waiting to the next book in this series. It is interesting and engaging.

  7. coyoty
    | Reply

    Getting the rights back would also allow you to have the series adapted to graphic novels. I’d really like to see it in that form.

    Is it just the Reefs series, or are other series included? Would it prevent you from making connections between books you own the rights to and those owned by Tor, like with Marvel and Sony?

    • jeffreyacarver
      | Reply

      I’ll have rights to everything. Well, except BSG, which Universal owns. To the best of my knowledge, though, no one has ever expressed an interest in adapting to graphic novel. I suppose theoretically I could do that on my own, too, but that’s well outside my area of expertise.

  8. Keith Power
    | Reply

    I actually think this is fantastic news, from a fans perspective at least. I won’t pretend to know much about the writing/publishing process and industry, but from what I witness with movies, music, books, and TV shows coming out today, that creativity and originality have taken the back seat to safe and sell-able. Most of what is coming out is remade, rebooted, or regurgitated. Its like everything new is put into a big machine that over processes it into something watered down and mass marketable. I’m guessing this will be a lot more work on your part, but I think in the end you will have a lot more freedom to write what and how you feel, and will probably get it to us a lot quicker. I think I speak for a lot of your fans when I say, as long as you keep writing, we will keep reading, no matter who your publisher is.

  9. James Cox
    | Reply

    I have been a hard sf reader fan of yours since I started with Chaos Chronicles and then went to your other books like the starrigger books dragon space, and others. When I started with Neptune’s Crossing, I realized that I had finally found the type of hard science fiction that I’ve been craving for so long-I felt satisfied, and yet hungered for more. I have been waiting patiently for The Reefs of Time, and I’m sure it’s going to be great. Even though you had a detour, I’m reminded of that saying” when one door closes, another one opens”. It looks like future of your books are going to be bright indeed!!! Thank you for letting me ramble!

  10. jeffreyacarver
    | Reply

    Many thanks, all of you!

  11. […] case you missed it, these are no longer going to be published by Tor. I am publishing them under my own Starstream […]

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