Maybe you can show them that lower prices are better! Those prices should appear in all the other stores eventually–I hope sooner rather than later.
Watch for an announcement soon about Dragon Space, my new omnibus of Dragons in the Stars and Dragon Rigger. I recently put the cool map created by Ellisa Mitchell on my website, here. It’s being incorporated into the new ebook, as well. I’m just waiting for the cover art to be finished. I’m very excited about it.
Today I’m the interview subject (Don’t hurt me!) at a blog called Two Ends of the Pen, which is worth looking at if writing interests you at all. (I mean the blog is worth looking at, though I would hope you find my interview interesting, too.) My host at Two Ends is Debra L. Martin, who it turns out is just a stone’s throw down the road from me, at MIT. This one focuses on writing, and also some of the differences between publishing the traditional way, and the indie way. For a look, go to http://twoendsofthepen.blogspot.com/. (Here’s the permanent link.)
Speaking of MIT, my friend and SF colleague Joe Haldeman is scheduled to be interviewed this Thursday on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” with Neal Conan from 3PM to 3:40PM. According to his wife Gay, he’ll be talking about the effect his experience in the Army (and presumably in Vietnam) has had on the rest of his life. Definitely should be worth a listen.
It’s March again, and that means it’s time to celebrate Read an Ebook Week! Lots of authors and publishers are offering free books, discounted books, and other promotions. Click Partners to get a list of links. Some of them offer daily giveaways, so stop back regularly this week.
I’m offering Neptune Crossing for free again, just for this week, from my website—and also Battlestar Galactica: the miniseries novelization (in epub and PDF).
From my Smashwords page, you can get both free and discounted offerings this week only, if you use these coupon codes (RA…) in your cart:
Neptune Crossing — free — RE100 Eternity’s End — 25% off — RAE25 The Chaos Chronicles: Books 1-3 omnibus — 25% off — RAE25 Reality School (short fiction) — free — RE100 Strange Attractors — 25% off — RAE25 The Infinite Sea — 25% off — RAE25 What Gods Are These? — free — RE100
This weekend I’ll be at the annual SF convention Boskone, on Boston’s waterfront. This is one of my regulars, partly because I like it, and partly because I can commute to it. This evening I’ll be on two panels: one on domestic robots, and one on workshopping fiction. Tomorrow I autograph and sell books and have a “literary beer,” which is a chance to hang out with anyone who signs up to hang out with me. Sunday I’m on a panel about ebooks, and one about great, memorable deaths in science fiction and fantasy. You can see the whole Boskone schedule at http://www.nesfa.org/boskone/schedule.html.
If you’re there, please look me up! It’s at the Westin Hotel next to the convention center and Word Trade Center. (And one of these days, I’ll start remembering to post these things ahead of time.)
I’m traveling again today, offering a guest blog at Star-Crossed Romance—a blog for lovers of science fiction romance. While I’m not considered a romance writer by anyone, romance is nonetheless an important part of my writing. Why? (Do I really have to say why? Maybe I do.) If you’d like to know what I have to say about it, go take a look at http://star-crossedromance.blogspot.com/2011/01/guest-jeffrey-carver.html.
What with one thing and another, I seem to have forgotten to mention that I’ve started putting some of my short fiction up for sale, along with the ebooks. I’ve always had a few of them up on my website, and people do seem to read them. But this is the first time I’ve put them in format for the Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, etc.—and I’m adding a bunch of other stories that haven’t appeared anywhere since their first publication. I don’t really write a lot of short stories, but you could say that these represent a brief history of my career. My first few publications were short stories, and I’ve written a new one every once in a blue moon since switching largely to novels.
For starters, I’ve put three stories up: “Shapeshifter Finals,” “Reality School: In the Entropy Zone,” and “What Gods Are These?” No, they’re not in chronological order according to when I wrote them, though that might have been clever, too. Here’s a bit of background on them.
Shapeshifter Finals — One day some years ago I got a call from Roger Zelazny, who was practically a god to me. He said he was editing an anthology of SF stories involving martial arts. He’d heard somewhere that I’d been a wrestler in school, and would I like to submit an SF story about wrestling? I stuttered something about how if I could come up with an idea, I’d send it to him. But I didn’t really expect to. But then…I got an idea about a high school wrestler facing a shapeshifter. Not by accident, but because Earth was hosting the 57,463rd Games of IIMAWL, the IntraGalactic Interworld Multicultural Amateur Wrestling League, and one Hog Donovan was competing at 138 pounds. He knew he’d be facing tough, alien competition. But wrestling a shapeshifter? With Earth’s honor at stake and his mother screaming from the stands, what’s the young wrestler to do? “Shapeshifter Finals” originally appeared in the anthology Warriors of Blood and Dream, edited by Roger Zelazny. Kindle | Nook | All-format
Reality School: In the Entropy Zone — This story had its own weird origin. I wasn’t really thinking about writing a short piece, but one day I was thumbing through the newspaper and I saw a small ad for…as I first read it, Reality School. I blinked and read it again. The ad was for realty school. But the thought stuck with me. As it happened, I had an earlier, unfinished story involving the world being swallowed up by a creeping zone of entropy. I put the two together, and decided that the reality school must be a place where kids—with their elastic minds and incredible imaginations—would have their talents harnessed to defend the integrity of reality and the world itself against encroaching, and potentially devastating, entropy. “Reality School” first appeared in the magazine Science Fiction Age. Kindle | Nook | All-format
What Gods Are These? — To be honest, I don’t remember where this story came from. I know it emerged from a time when my view of life was rather dark. At least, it’s definitely a darker story than I usually write, and all I can say for sure is that there was something dark inside me that wanted to be let out. Earth has been conquered by invading aliens—not because they want our water, or our mineral resources, or to eat us, or to use us as batteries—but because they see it as their mission to save us from our self-destructive character. All of Humanity but for a lone holdout has been killed or transported to a place of enforced peace and good behavior. And that holdout, holed up in a ruined space station, knows they’re coming for him. Can his human spirit survive in the face of the Saviors’ overwhelming force? Writing “What Gods Are These?” was a good catharsis. It first appeared in Galileo SF magazine. Kindle | Nook | All-format
More are coming. About half of them exist only on paper, so they need to be scanned or typed in. Fortunately, my daughters offered to pitch in—so stay tuned!
I’m typing this at 32,000 feet out of Charlotte, North Carolina over a beautiful cloud deck en route to Miami. (Oops, we just flew back into the clouds! Later: a stunning sunset above the cloud deck, just as we started our descent toward Miami. Layered clouds against a crimson horizon band.)
The last few days have been insane, but I’m about to rest. Aside from the usual trip prep, I was busy getting one last book up at Kindle, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. This is a new one, in a way—an omnibus collection of the first three Chaos books. Called simply The Chaos Chronicles: Books 1-3, it’s got a gorgeous new cover by Pat Ryan. I enjoy omnibus collections myself—I’ve just finished reading through a series of Lois McMaster Bujold’s Vorkosigan omnibuses that I bought from Baen Webscription. So I thought, why not make an omnibus of the Chaos books myself, and maybe give the publishers a hint by example? Here it is:
I got that up just in time to see it go live before dropping everything for the trip. No time to make formal announcements—so this will be my first, whenever I have time to get online and post it. (That would be at my brother’s house in Florida.)
Starting this evening, we’re with family, and kicking back a little. I hope Chuck’s hot tub is still working!
Until now, Eternity’s End has been my only book not available in the Kindle ebookstore. That changed a few hours ago, when a new ebook version went live, complete with this new cover. I had this one designed by a pro, and I think it’s great.
I’m excited to have this novel, which was a Nebula finalist, up for sale as an ebook at last. As I write, it’s working its way through the conversion queue at Smashwords; maybe it’ll be done by the time you read this. (The Smashwords edition will be of interest for folk who prefer an ePub or PDF version, or any of several others. And eventually for those who’d rather buy at Sony, Apple, Kobo, Diesel, etc. However, even if you buy the book in the Kindle store, it’s DRM-free—so you can convert it to any format you like with Calibre, my favorite free ebook software.)
This has been a long push, and I’m very happy to hit this milestone.
EDIT v.2: I had problems getting it through the system at Smashwords, but now it’s up at Barnes and Noble (Nook) and Smashwords, as well as Kindle. In due course, it’ll be in the other locations, too.
Long promised, the Google Ebookstore opened its doors this week. Naturally, I went to take a look. Also naturally, the first thing I did when I got inside was to see if they had my books. To my surprise and delight, when I clicked on Science Fiction, I found Sunborn on the first page! Whoa, wasn’t expecting that. Further examination found most of my other publisher-issued books. Unfortunately, they’re not all on one page, because some of them are under Jeffrey A. Carver and some are under Carver, Jeffrey A. (The sort of thing that drives you crazy. But they’re there, and we’ll get it straightened out eventually.)
What’s the big deal with Google Ebooks, besides their being one more bit of competition for Amazon? That’s a little hard to parse out, because the information on the site isn’t exactly crystal clear. I know this: you can buy books in PDF or Epub format, and you can read them while tied to the web, and you can read them on a wide variety of devices. There’s a feature that will somehow enable you to patronize your favorite independent bookstore, while buying ebooks from Google. (How that works, I don’t know yet.) There will be books from indie authors, and from backlist ebook types like me. But that’s really murky at the moment. (First report I heard from an author who had tried was…waiting…waiting…for the system to respond. Still waiting…)
Bottom line, I’ll probably get my self-reissued ebooks up there in time. But I’m going to wait for things to shake out a little bit first.