Way back in the late 1980s when the rocks were still cooling, I wrote a pair of novels, From a Changeling Star and Down the Stream of Stars, that proposed an interstellar highway (sort of a modified wormhole) created by the joining of two black holes with a long strand of cosmic hyperstring. That same starstream features prominently in my new work, The Reefs of Time / Crucible of Time.
Now, I read here that real scientists have proposed that one could create a real wormhole, using—are you ready?—two black holes and a couple of strands of cosmic string. Seriously, is that cool or what? God, I love science!
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.
I’ve just arrived in Puerto Rico for another work-trip/visit to the house in Ponce. But as a parting gift to all my friends, past present future, I’ve turned down the price on the ebook of Panglor, for a few days only! (Today’s the start of my Bookbub promo.)
Panglor’s kind of a crazy dude, and he’s got problems that go way beyond being crazy. Join him for a journey to Strange, and see what got the Star Rigger universe going! $.99! How many dog biscuits can you buy for less than a dollar? What are you waiting for? Buy a whole box for your friends!
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 1327 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?”
Really, 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!
Seems fitting, with all that’s been going on lately. My novel, Eternity’s End, is off and running with a Bookbub sale, $.99 for the next few days only! This tale of the search for the lost starship Impris, complete with cool aliens, interstellar pirates, and cyber romance, was a finalist for the Nebula (the closest I’ve ever come to seizing that prestigious award). Get one while the pixels are hot! In all the top English-language ebook stores!
Coincidentally, a brand-new German translation of this very book has just come out from Apex Verlag, with this very cool new cover:
If you read German, check it out and let me know how you like it!
Make space for dragons with my first big sale of the year: Dragon Space: A Star Rigger Omnibus is just two bucks, for two novels, for three days! Any way you count it, that’s a bargain, especially if you like science fiction with dragons. The two novels are Dragons in the Stars, and Dragon Rigger, with a map of the dragon realm sandwiched in between. These two novels are set relatively early in the chronology of the Star Rigger Universe, though I wrote some of the later novels before them.
If you already have the two novels as separate books, then you don’t need this, unless you really just love a good deal. But if you don’t have both—even if you have one but not the other—this is a fine way for you to complete the pair. Regular price is $7.99. Regular price for the two separately is $4.99 each. Did I mention that the sale price is $1.99? Go ahead—buy it. Get your friends to buy it. Make this a good promotion. Please. And if you like the books, and you haven’t already posted a review at Amazon or Goodreads or BN or Apple or the like, you could help more than you know by doing so now.
Thanks! And watch out for low-flying dragons! Not to mention a cyber-parrot named Ed, and those ghostly ifflings.
This is only going to run for a couple of days, so look sharp! As Bookbub readers already know, I’ve marked down The Chaos Chronicles, Books 1-3, to the ridiculously low price of $1.99 in all major ebook stores! That’s three full novels in collector-quality DRM-free ebook binding for less than the price of a decent chocolate bar!
Neptune Crossing, Strange Attractors, and The Infinite Sea, all in one volume. It would make a terrific Christmas, Hanukah, or Solstice present for that e-reading loved one!
(This omni edition is regularly $8.99, which is already a supersaver price for what we all hope will soon come to the screen as an HBO miniseries! Or maybe SyFy.com! Or Netflix Original! Or Amazon Prime! Or one of those, for goodness’ sake. Come on, all you producers hungry for new material. What are you waiting for? Make an offer!)
This really will end soon, so don’t wait. And please, if you like it, consider posting an unbiased review at Amazon, or Goodreads, or any of the other stores! You have no idea how important those reviews can be. Thanks in advance!
Call this my White Sunday sale. (Get it: White? Snow? Clever, no?)
Update: I’m happy to say that this sale is going very well! Thanks to everyone who bought a copy or passed on the word!
Can you keep a secret? No—what are you doing?? Didn’t I just say, keep a secret? For God’s sake, don’t share this with anyone! No, stop!
(This is Bizzaro-Jeff. Regular-Jeff is off drinking himself senseless for the holiday or watching reruns of “Spock’s Brain” or I-don’t-know-what. Asleep at the switch, whatever he’s doing. So, I’m having a little fun at his expense…)
You know his book, Neptune Crossing? I just made it free again—everywhere!—and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t noticed! [Cackle—hee-hee—!] Oh, sorry about the drool; I do that sometimes when I get excited.
You know what this means? If you download the Kindle version? You know that audiobook he’s always yammering about, the one narrated by Stefan Rudnicki, who he claims won a Grammy, whatever that is? Well, if you “buy” the Kindle copy, you can get the $24 audiobook for frickin’ $2.99! Do you believe that? $2.99! That’s like, practically, nothing. Oh, they’re going to take a bath on this one, after you all run out and buy it. I can’t wait to hear them shriek!
Go! Do it! Now! (But remember—don’t frickin’ tell anyone, and don’t share this post! Now, what’d I just say??? And especially don’t tell D/u/f/u/s/-/J/e/f/f/ Regular-Jeff.)
WE INTERRUPT THIS BROADCAST TO PRESENT A SPECIAL PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT…
Lovers of books, animals, children, and fabulous tales set in the future will want to be sure and take advantage of this special, special deal: Down the Stream of Stars, the second book in my Starstream series, and tangential precursor to my work in progress, The Reefs of Time, and book named by Science Fiction Chronicle to be one of the best SF books of its year, plus being a novel that specially honors two of my high school teachers is on sale! For a limited time only!
Here’s the pitch:
“A great interstellar migration has begun, down the grand, ethereal highway known as the starstream—from the remnant of the Betelgeuse supernova to the center of the Milky Way. Who could have predicted the wonders of the starstream, or the perils it would unleash—including the Throgs, shadowy beings of n-space that seem to understand only death and destruction? But life goes on, dangers or no, and colonists pour down the starstream seeking new worlds. Aboard starship Charity are many such colonists, including one Claudi Melnik, a child of uncommon talents—and an AI named Jeaves, with purposes of his own. When the unthinkable occurs, Claudi must face alone the challenge of the Throgs. And no one, not even Jeaves, could have predicted the final confrontation—or imagined where unexpected allies would be found.
“A daring journey across the gulf between human and alien, to the heart of consciousness itself, and sequel to the bestselling From a Changeling Star.”
I’m not telling you the price, but it’s way less than a scoop of ice cream at the theater!
We now return to our regularly scheduled nonsense.