Will You Be My Street Team?

I need your help! At one of the Nebula panels, a successful indie writer talked about mobilizing your “street team” to help get the word out for you. I don’t have a street team yet. Will you join my street team?

Specifically, are you attending any upcoming SF conventions? Do you circulate in places where books could be promoted? Are you part of an SF club? I have right here a stack of Reefs of Time flyers and Reefs of Time coasters. Would you be willing to take some with you to a con or similar venue, and distribute them for me? I would be immensely grateful.

In fact, besides the obvious that you’d get to keep a few coasters for yourself, I will joyfully send an eARC of both books to anyone who pitches in! (eARC = ebook Advanced Reading Copy) You can be first to read the new books! All I ask is that you help me with a bit of publicity.

If you’d like to join in on the fun, please email me from the contact form on this here website. Thanks in advance.

How can you resist these sad eyes???

Drum roll, please! The End Times have arrived! The End Times! The End of waiting for me to finish The Reefs of Time. Yes, I have reached the end! The Reefs of Time is substantially DONE. That’s right—I’ve finished the major rewrite of the 268,000 word manuscript! Most of those words, I now believe, are the right words, and in the right order. That works out to about 1326 manuscript pages in Courier New, with two spaces after many periods, and one space after others, because habits die hard. Ten years in the works, this novel has been through the fermenter, the extractor, the refractors, the distillers, the boilers, the oven, and aged in camphor-wood in the cellar. Here’s what the manuscript looks like, with its tired but happy progenitor. [CUE “cheers” and more “cheers,” and maybe a few “huzzahs”!] “But wait!” you say. “Is that some kind of weasel wording, ‘substantially done’? What are you trying to pull here?” Trust me, I’m not trying to pull anything. Over the next week or so, I’ll be cleaning up some edits I’ve made notes to myself about, and responding to final suggestions from my stalwart (if annoyingly discerning) writing group. And then off it goes to the editor. The editor will edit, and I’ll do a polish pass over the whole thing as I respond to his editorial suggestions. And after that? Why, you get to read it! At last, at long last!

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Cover “Reveal” for The Reefs of Time!

I’ve shown you pieces, I’ve shown you snippets, I’ve teased you. (Okay, if you’ve gone to the actual book page, or Amazon or something, I’ve shown you the cover. Look, I’m a novelist, not a publicist.) But now for the first time here, in glorious full size, is the cover for The Reefs of Time!

Reefs of Time cover
Art by Chris Howard, design by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff

I think it’s pretty cool, and I hope you do, too. The artist, Chris Howard, was once a student in a writing workshop Craig Gardner and I ran, and now he’s not only an accomplished writer, but an accomplished artist, also. He did the covers for The Infinite Sea and Seas of Ernathe, as well. Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff has done the type for the majority of my ebooks.

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Returning Home

That 7 a.m. flight out of Burbank was definitely out of my comfort zone time-wise, but it was a very smooth flight nevertheless, and we arrived early in Boston. Here’s what it looked like, coming in low over the harbor.

The temperature in the L.A. area was in the 50’s and 60’s most of the time I was there. I had been chilly, not having packed enough long-sleeve shirts. I knew it would be cooler in Boston, so I wore one of those for a second day, plus a jacket—to find it in the 80’s in Boston!

I was apparently at peak-time pricing for Lyft, so I opted to take the T home. That’s when it started. The Silver Line bus took a big-ass detour, and then broke down at the combustion-to-electric changeover point, and all the passengers dragged their luggage to another bus. The Red Line was fine, except that the elevator at the endpoint was closed for “vertical transportation” improvements. I made it home, though, and thought I was done for the day. But no.

We went out for dinner with friends—and on the way home, I hit a pothole, and BAM!, front tire blowout. Brand-new tire. We were on a downhill access road to a highway, which wasn’t great for changing a tire, but should have been easy for a tow truck to find. But no, the service driver sent by the auto club couldn’t follow even step-by-step instructions, and finally abandoned me without troubling to tell me. By the time my local shop sent a tow truck, it was after 11 p.m., and I’d been waiting for almost two hours. He, bless him, dropped me off at my house on his way to the shop with my car.

Welcome home!

The Nebula Awards (continued)

Today, among other things, we had a mass autograph session for a ballroom full of writers. It was great fun! I measure the fun level of a signing based on a) whether anyone comes up and asks me to sign some books, and b) whether I’m sitting with people whose conversation I enjoy. Home run on both counts! A fan named Brad appeared with some books and said such great things about my work that it totally made my day. Then I had a delightful conversation with the author seated next to me, a soon-to-debut writer of SF for kids, a field that I really feel needs more good books. Her name is Nicole Valentine, and I mention that to give her forthcoming book a tiny plug. (I’d give it a proper plug by name, except I—doh!—seem to have misplaced the bookmark she gave me. Time travel and a bit of quantum physics.)

Actually, I’ve had a succession of great conversations with other writers this weekend.

This year’s Grandmaster Award went to William Gibson, one of the founders and the best-known practitioner of cyberpunk SF. In an interview session, he said something I really liked (I believe he was quoting another writer, but I missed that part). He said: “Writing is like digging an 8-foot hole because your scanner seems to indicate something interesting down there. Then you discover that the scanner is just picking up the steel toe on your work boot. There’s only one thing you can do at that point, and that’s keep digging.”

If I were a good reporter, I’d show you some pix of the awards ceremony. I forgot to take any. But I did get this picture of a life-sized R2D2, who brought one of the envelopes forward.

At the 2019 Nebula Conference

I’ve been enjoying this year’s Nebula Conference (in Los Angeles) hugely. It’s been years since my last one, and the number of new faces is astounding. I’ve seen old friends, made new ones, had dinner with some of my Book View Café buddies, and attended a couple of business meetings, which were actually quite interesting. I’m part of the rules committee that wrestles with issues pertaining to the Nebula, Norton, and Bradbury Awards, and for once, we were all in the same room, talking face to face instead of through endless emails. Much more satisfying.

One thing SFWA (that is, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) has instituted at the Nebula Conference—besides expanding the programming into a real conference, full of interesting information—is a Mentor program. The idea is that experienced members volunteer to meet with new members and newcomers to the conferences, and present a welcoming and friendly face and answer questions, whether it’s about con-going or getting published. I met with two “mentees” and had great conversations.

Here’s a pic of me with Roman Godzich, one of the mentees, a great guy and new writer. Now, how is it that he was giving me the useful tips about book promotion, especially how to successfully advertise on Facebook and Amazon? I’m not sure he learned much from me, but we had a fun conversation.

Here’s another pic of me with Joe and Gay Haldeman, two of my favorite people in the science fiction world.

Who’s That Guy on ManyBooks?

I recognize that Author of the Day on ManyBooks.net! It’s… wait wait, don’t tell me… on the tip of my tongue… Oh, I know—it’s me! I didn’t recognize him at first because of how young he looks. That must be it, yeah.

There’s actually a whole interview with me, right up there on top of a stack of previous authors of the day.

A free Reefs of Time coaster* to the first three people who report here something interesting about me that they learned from the interview. What are you waiting for? Go!

*Who doesn’t like a coaster?

 

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Tell Them About the Big Sale, Jeff

(Hey Jeff! C’mon, these blogs posts don’t write themselves, you know. Tell the people! You’ve got a book on special!)

(Right. Here goes…)

_____________________________

Leader: Hey, all—have I got a special for you!

People: How big a special? What’s a special?

Leader: Really big! A special is when I take a really big book—say, f’r’example, an omnibus edition of Three Really Big Novels, All In One—and I set the price way down, for a limited time only. That’s a special. I’ve got one of those.

People: Ooh. We like specials. Tell us more!

Leader: Ask, and you will receive. I’ve got the first half of The Chaos Chronicles, aka The Chaos Chronicles: Books 1-3, marked down to just $1.99!

People: Is that cheap?

Leader: Is it ever! That’s the cost of… of… well, a chocolate chip cookie, in some places. Or a kiddie-sized espresso shared among three people, in others. Yes, it’s cheap.

People: Why would you do that? Hey! Are you trying to sell us something else? Is this a LOSS LEADER? Are you trying to get everyone HOOKED on this series, so they’ll go on and buy the next book, Sunborn (which you just happen to have just released in your own edition)? And then they’ll go on to scoop up the rest of your books, and maybe even PREORDER your new, forthcoming, long-awaited chapter, THE REEFS OF TIME? Is that what you’re trying to do? Come clean!

Leader: Um. Yeh.

_________________________

So, yeah. Here it is, and if you don’t already own it, I hope you’ll get it. And if you do already own it, I really hope you’ll recommend it to a friend, or several. Or even write a review!

This is a Bookbub special, and it will be repromoted on a number of other sites in the coming days. Yes, I’m really trying to make people want to buy the new book, as you can see! And I sure could use your help!

By the way, my first newsletter will be going out on Monday! It’s not too late to sign up!

You can do that here. http://bit.ly/CarverNews

Or here:

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Reefs and Crucible Rolling Toward Publication!

Like a runaway freight train. I haven’t posted in a while, and that’s because I’ve been busier than a one-armed steam-locomotive engineer without a fireman, boosting this project toward launch date!

The editing is all done, and both books are out with a colleague for proofreading. The cover for Reefs is done. Preorder buttons are starting to appear. The website is updated (for Reefs, not yet for Crucible.) A newsletter announcement with an excerpt from the beginning of the book is in prep (going out soon!). I’ve submitted advance ebook copies (eARCs) to Publishers Weekly and other review sites, and queried some more. I have not yet seen Avengers: Endgame. This thing is really happening!

Here’s the long and the short of it:

The Reefs of Time (Part 1 of the “Out of Time” sequence) is scheduled for launch on July 23, 2019. Simultaneous ebook, trade paperback, and hardcover. Prices TBD, except that during the preorder period, the ebook is discounted to $6.99.

Crucible of Time (Part 2 of the “Out of Time” sequence) is scheduled for launch on September 10, 2019. Pricing similar. Not yet out for preorder. (The cover is still being developed.)

More news to come. I’m excited! I hope you are, too!

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Vonda N. McIntyre, 1948-2019

The science fiction world lost another giant with the passing of Vonda N. McIntyre on April 1, and I lost a friend and colleague. Vonda was probably best known for her Nebula and Hugo Award-winning novel, Dreamsnake, which was feminist and compassionate and insightful, and also heartbreakingly beautiful. But she wrote lots of other books, as well, including several Star Trek novels, and The Moon and the Sun, filmed in 2014 as The King’s Daughter with Pierce Brosnan and William Hurt, but not yet released. Vonda died two months after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and she finished writing her last novel, Curve of the World, just days before leaving us.

Though I had met Vonda once or twice before, we first really got to know each other at the Launchpad Astronomy Workshop, where we were classmates in the first session, in 2007. A few years later, when I was going it mostly alone publishing my backlist in ebook form, she invited me to apply for membership in Book View Café, the writer-coop of which she was a founding member and one of the most active volunteers. That’s where I really saw her tireless efforts helping others. We worked together on picky ebook-formatting questions, and on customer support, a job that I took over from her. We only met in person on one more occasion, I think—at Sasquan, the SF Worldcon in Spokane, in 2015, where she was Co-Guest of Honor. But with the magic of the internet and BVC, she felt like an essential part of my book-publishing community. I miss her already.

For more complete tributes to her life and career, see the Guardian and New York Times obituaries.

Here’s something Vonda would have loved to see, if only she’d been with us a little longer, the first picture of a black hole:

I like to think she’s somewhere right now, smiling at that, perhaps having gone to visit M87 in person!

Get Your Newsletter Here!

Way back, in the mists of time, I promised to release an “occasional newsletter.” I even collected addresses against that foretold day. Well, the time is upon us! I am preparing to loose upon the world my first newsletter! The first of many! (In an occasional sort of way.)

The reason I raise the subject is this: I hope you will all sign up for this thing, for my occasional newsletter!

Why? Because it’s part of my master scheme to take the world by storm with The Reefs of Time. Followed quickly by the roundhouse whammy of Crucible of Time.

I can’t do it without you, and I can’t control brainwash enlist your help without the full might of my newsletter behind it! So please, sign up! Sign up now! And thank you.

Also… subscribers to the newsletter will receive the first-ever excerpt from The Reefs of Time, which is on the launching platform, as we speak. You’ll also get the latest updates on all my new projects, plus the occasional charming cat picture. And dog picture. It’s worth it for that alone.

Here’s a sign-up form, in case you missed the others:

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