Star Wars Coming! Print Books Coming!

Did I say that I was preparing to launch a new website? Yes, I did. And I am.

But I am also launching new print editions! That’s on paper! Tree-books. Can you believe?  It’s true!

First to appear will be Neptune Crossing, in a nice trade paperback. Perfect, now that I think about it, for giving to a loved one for Christmas! Or Hanukah! Or Solstice! Really, now that I think about it, the recipient doesn’t even have to be a loved one. It can be a liked one. Or a tolerated one. Or even someone you’d like to get rid of—someone you hope will turn back from the dark side. How about that? What better way to celebrate the new Star Wars movie?

Why else put “Star Wars” in the title of this post?

And yes, more titles will follow. Watch this space for an announcement. Soon!

What I want on My Gravestone

THE TYPOS ARE YOUR PROBLEM NOW!

Oh, how I want that to be true!

I’ve just finished spending a lot of time over several days fixing typos that a reader found in the three-book omnibus of The Chaos Chronicles. The irony is that I had just put up a new version of The Infinite Sea, with a new cover—and with several typos (or formattos) fixed that I had found myself while rereading the book. (I’ve been reading through all the Chaos series, to refresh my memory on the story details as I write the fifth book.) The very next morning, I received an email from Kindle support, listing four typos that “readers” had reported in the Chaos omnibus. I checked, and sure enough, they were real typos. They were also spread across all three books—so I had to correct, not only the omnibus volume, but all of the individual novels as well. (The two in The Infinite Sea were different from the ones that I had found in my own reading.)

I have no idea how many times these books have been gone through, by me and by others, trying to catch any lingering mistakes. It just goes to prove how blasted hard it is to catch everything.

I’ve written before about how time-consuming it can be to fix typos in ebooks, especially when you have several slightly different versions distributed across a bunch of different outlets, in two different ebook formats. I took the opportunity this time to fix something that was already on my to-do list, and that was to change all the quotation marks from straight quotes to curly quotes. When I first created these books, ebook reading devices could not be counted upon to display curly quotes correctly, and I avoided them like the plague. Now, though, it’s normal to have curly quotes in ebooks, and the lack of them in these books made them look a little less professional than I would have liked. So, that’s done now. (Changing them is quick—a simple Find and Replace in Word. Checking for all the insidious ways in which Word can screw it up is not nearly so quick.)

If you own any of the first three Chaos Chronicles ebooks, you should be able to go back to the store where you got them and download updated versions.

And if you’re one of the readers who reported the typos to Kindle support . . . (sigh) . . . thanks. I really do want the books to be as error-free as humanly possible.

Star Rigger’s Way Finds Its Way

Dell paperback (first edition)

…back into ebook, for the first time since June!  Yes, the long wait is over. Star Rigger’s Way is now available in all-new clothes, in its long-awaited Starstream edition. Completely reformatted and with a new cover, this is not one to miss! (Wait—have any of my offerings been ones to miss? I hope not.)

Star Rigger’s Way was not my first star rigger novel (that distinction belongs to Seas of Ernathe), but it grew out of my first star rigger story, which was called “Alien Persuasion,” and appeared in Galaxy during the twilight years of that esteemed magazine. (If you want to read the story, you can find it in my collection, Going Alien, along with a cool illustration of the alien, Cephean, by Freff.) In its first edition, Star Rigger’s Way was published by Dell Books, during the twilight years of that publisher’s esteemed science fiction line. (Do you detect a pattern here?) Later, I revised it for a new edition from Tor Books, and that’s the version that’s in this ebook.

Within the Star Rigger Universe chronology, this book falls in the middle. Panglor sets the stage, with the discovery of certain properties of space-time that lead to the development of starship rigging through the Flux. The two dragon books (combined in Dragon Space) come next, well into the era of rigging but before the RiggerGuild, an institution created to protect the well-being of riggers, who are pilots with extreme sensitivity in certain areas of perception and imagination, and often vulnerable personality types. Eternity’s End follows close on the heels of Star Rigger’s Way, picking up the story of Legroeder, a minor character in this book. Seas of Ernathe jumps way into the future, at a time when the rigging techniques have been lost or forgotten.

Here’s the e-jacket copy for the new edition of Star Rigger’s Way:

His shipmates dead, star rigger Gev Carlyle is adrift in the Flux, the subjective hyperspace that carries ships between the stars. His lone companion, and sole hope for survival, is a suicidal catlike alien named Cephean. Only a compatible rigger team, their visions meshed in psychic unity, can safely harness the turbulent currents of the Flux—and Carlyle’s ship is sailing inexorably toward the deadly maelstrom of the Hurricane Flume. For even a chance at survival, he needs Cephean’s help. But the price for that is a complete merging of minds and memories. And Carlyle, at war with his own past, dreads that union more than death itself.

A grand space adventure, from the Nebula-nominated author of Eternity’s End and The Chaos Chronicles. (Etc.)

Available, of course, wherever fine bits and bytes are sold.

Starstream Publications ebook
 

New Covers, Going Free, and Like That

My friend Rich Bowker blogged recently on the reasons for making a book free for a limited time. He doesn’t mention what I think is the main reason for giving away books, which is to introduce your work to new readers who you hope will become returning regulars. But he makes a good case for doing it for the reviews you hope the giveaway will generate.

I’ve had Neptune Crossing free for a long time now, in hopes of introducing new readers to The Chaos Chronicles—and there are three more books already available for said new readers to spend their hard-earned money on (with one more in the writing, and one last book planned). And it seems to be working. But reviews are definitely important, too, and if you’ve read and enjoyed any of my books, I hope you’ll take a few moments to post a review (or several!) at the store where you shopped, or Goodreads, or another social networking site. Careful readers (or maybe I should say, compulsive readers) may note that I’ve been gradually updating my ebooks with requests at the ends for the appreciative reader to click a link and post such a review. They really make a difference—partly in guiding other potential readers, and partly because they can affect sales algorithms and whether a particular book will be accepted into a promotion such as Bookbub or The Fussy Librarian. Your vote counts!

Another thing I’ve been doing lately is getting some new covers made, to replace my early and rather crude efforts on the Chaos books. Here’s the new one I’ve just uploaded for Strange Attractors!

I still have The Infinite Sea to do. I’m still searching for the right image.

Fussy, Fussy Librarians

Okay, I’ve been absent here for a while, I know. I’ve been exceptionally busy with life—including but not limited to getting some new book covers done, preparing for some writing workshops, making some minor but important changes to ebook files, and, of course, working on The Reefs of Time. You’ll probably get a rash of posts from me with updates on a lot of this. And then I’ll probably go silent again for a while, because the outlook for the next couple of months is Crazy Busy, with Intermittent Chance of Madness.

My reason for emerging? I have a little promotion running today through a service called The Fussy Librarian. It’s a site that offers you a selection of discounted books, filtered by reviews and by your (the reader’s) personal preferences, such as genre and amount of sex and violence. They asked me to post today’s list of daily deals, so I am—but there are no links, so if something catches your eye, you’ll need to do a quick search. (Visit The Fussy Librarian if you would like to get your own daily email of new deals, which will have links.)

I had to chuckle when I saw the last book in the list.

Mysteries:
The Case of the Not-So-Fair Trader (A Richard Sherlock Whodunit)
Jim Stevens
Price: $0.99

Thrillers:
Death of Secrets
Bowen Greenwood
Price: $2.99

Science fiction:
Neptune Crossing
Jeffrey A. Carver
Price: Free
(Okay, if you read this blog, you probably already know that Neptune Crossing is free. But the purpose of the ad is to draw new members readers into the cult fold.) 

Young adult:
Life’s What You Make It
Theresa Troutman
Price: $2.99

Romance-contemporary:
Dangerous
Suzannah Daniels
Price: Free

The Start of Something Good
Renee Vincent
Price: Free

Fantasy-epic:
Two (The Godslayer Cycle)
Ron Glick
Price: $0.99

Romance-suspense:
Savage Secrets
Cristin Harber
Price: $0.99

Romance-historical:
The Marquess (Regency Nobles Series, Book 2)
Patricia Rice
Price: $4.99

Fantasy-urban:
A Witch’s Tale
Rue Volley
Price: $0.99

Stormrage
Skye Knizley
Price: $2.99

Mysteries-Female sleuths:
A Dead Red Heart
RP Dahlke
Price: $2.99

Horror:
Unholy Testament – Full Circle
Carole Gill
Price: $0.99

Children’s / Middle Grade:
Keeper of Reign (Reign Fantasy, Book 1)
Emma Right
Price: $1.99

Romance-western:
Jaded
Chelle Chelle
Price: $0.99

Gay / Lesbian:
Somebody to Love
Merry Farmer
Price: $4.99

How-to:
Jump Start Your Book Promotions
RP Dahlke
Price: $0.99
(Starting, one presumes, with advertising on The Fussy Librarian?)

The BookBub Promotion Went Great

If you were reading here last week, you know I marked down my omnibus ebook of The Chaos Chronicles: Books 1-3 for a week, in conjunction with a promotion on Bookbub.com. The sale went amazingly, gratifyingly well. Better than I expected or dreamed. In fact, there are more than 2500 people out there with shiny new copies of my omnibus on their Kindles, Nooks, iPads, whatever. More than 1500 people grabbed it on the first day alone. We broke into the top 100 sellers of all books in the Kindle store, and briefly lingered at #65 among all Kindle ebooks. More importantly, I’ve already heard from one new reader who discovered my work through the sale and has already ripped through it happily and gone on to download Sunborn.

That’s the most gratifying thing about it, is the new readers. The extra income is nice, too, of course.

If you’re one of those readers, I hope you enjoy the book! And if you do, I’d be eternally grateful if you’d take a moment to post a review wherever you bought it, or at Goodreads, or anywhere, really. Word of mouth means everything. And thanks!

E-Reads to Become a Part of Open Road Media

Nine of my backlist books are currently published by E-Reads, founded in 1999 by my agent, Richard Curtis. E-Reads was a pioneering enterprise in the ebooks business, putting books up for sale when hardly anyone knew what an ebook was.
E-Reads is about to become a part of Open Road Media, and in the coming months my E-reads titles will become Open Road titles. Beyond a long-time acquaintance with Open Road editor Betsy Mitchell, who got her start in publishing at Dell at around the same time I was getting my start at Dell, I don’t know too much about the company. I guess I’m about to learn, though!
Here’s the detailed announcement from Open Road, and a summary by Publishers Weekly.
The times they are a’changing.

New Ebooks You Should Check Out — Chris Howard

Continuing my series on new books by author friends, I want to highlight Salvage, by Chris Howard. Chris was an early participant in the Ultimate Science Fiction Writing Workshop that I’ve run with Craig Gardner. Chris immediately stood out as a student; the man is basically a geyser of creativity and imagination. Some students need coaching in bringing out their muses. With Chris, it was always more a matter of helping him direct the fountain. He’s a highly talented visual artist as well as a writer, and he always illustrates his own work. (He’s also a prodigious blogger and app-builder. He also works full time at a job doing things with software that I don’t understand. But let’s leave all that aside for now.)

Salvage, from Masque Books, continues the world introduced in Chris’s Seaborn series, set around and in the ocean. He describes it as a techno-thriller/fantasy. You can read all about it here on his book’s website.

So many books! So little time! Better get reading!

Frederik Pohl, 1919-2013

We’ve lost another giant—maybe the last of his generation of Golden Age science fiction. Frederik Pohl, along with Clarke, Heinlein, and Asimov, occupied a central position in my formative years as a lover of science fiction. More than any of the others, he kept growing in maturity and ambition as a writer—showing a burst of enormous creativity in his late 50s, with two of his finest books, Man Plus (1976) and Gateway (1977). I consider Gateway one of the top five books in all of science fiction, and I’m not sure what the other four would be.

I first encountered his work, I believe, in The Space Merchants, which he coauthored in 1953 with C.M. Kornbluth. (I didn’t read it in 1953; I was only four years old at the time. I started reading him in my teens.) I still have many old paperbacks of his earlier work on my shelf. Just scanning a list of his titles evokes all kinds of feelings of golden-age sense of wonder: Search the Sky, Gladiator-At-Law, Drunkard’s Walk (which I was especially fond of as a teenager because of the tastefully drawn naked woman on the cover), Starchild, Rogue Star, Turn Left at Thursday, Starburst, The Siege of Eternity, The Case Against Tomorrow….

And yes, the title of my own work in progress, The Reefs of Time, is a knowing echo of his The Reefs of Space.

Pohl did just about everything there was to do in the SF world. He was an editor (Galaxy magazine), an agent, a solo writer, a collaborative writer, a futurist, a columnist and blogger, a president of the Science Fiction Writers of America, and a SFWA Grandmaster. He was also a perfect gentleman, and a fascinating speaker. I only met him once or twice, but he treated me, a fresh upstart, with graciousness and warmth.

You can read more about his life and work at the New York Times and the Guardian.

I hope he’s enjoying a perfect view of the stars from where he is right now, perhaps sitting around a table with some of the other departed greats, in the observation lounge of a heavenly starship. Godspeed, Frederik Pohl, and thank you for all of the visions.

New Ebooks You Should Check Out — Richard Bowker

My friend Richard Bowker was away from publishing for many years, prior to his recent resurgence in ebook. He is a fine writer, whose mystery/thrillers (Replica, Senator, etc.) earned him considerable notice when they were published by houses like Bantam and Morrow. The winds of publishing turned against him for a while, but in the last year, he’s returned with a vengeance, bringing all of his backlist into ebook, and publishing several excellent novels that his old publishers idiotically passed on.

His latest is The Portal, an alternate history of a New England that might have been, if a lot of things had happened differently. War between New England and Canada? Late 18th Century technology in the “present”? Like the Harry Potter books, this one has young protagonists, and can be viewed as either an adult novel or a YA novel. I was privileged to read it in manuscript, and am delighted to see it appear at last as an ebook and, still to come, a print-on-demand p-book.

Kindle | Nook

(Hm, doesn’t seem to be in the Nook store yet. Should be, soon.)

Why not take a ride into an America that might have been?

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