New BookBub promo: “Going Alien”

Time for another price cut! I couldn’t afford William Shatner to shill for me on TV, so I went with BookBub again to help me spread the word. My short-story ebook collection Going Alien has been marked down to just $.99, for a limited time only!

Did you read that right? Yes, you did! Just ninety-nine thin, copper-tinted Lincoln disks, or a one dollar bill with a corner snipped off! You can afford that. You can’t afford not to! Limited time only! You like short stories, right? Well, the more you buy, the more you save!

COME ON DOWN!

Kindle | Nook
Smashwords | iBooks
Kobobooks
Edit: Also now at Book View Cafe

And if you enjoy it, please thank me for the fantastic savings by posting a review! Thanks in advance!

Pen-Ultimate Anthology!

A bunch of my workshop graduates have gotten together to do a very cool thing. They’ve published an anthology of some of their best short stories—and on top of that, all the earnings are going straight to a great cause: the SFWA Emergency Medical Fund.

Here’s how it happened:

The Earth formed, and the rocks cooled. Shortly afterward, Craig Gardner and I got started in our writing careers. Fast forward to a few years ago, when we ran a series of workshops called the Ultimate SF Writing Workshop. A bunch of talented new writers attended, and we all became friends, and many of them are now becoming established as published writers in their own right. We stay in touch through an online group, and get together at local conventions. At last year’s Readercon, one of them—I think it was Lisa (LJ) Cohen—said over dinner with the group, “Why don’t we get together and publish a collection of our best stories?” The crowd rumbled approval, and with that, the project was born.

Pen-Ultimate: A Speculative Fiction Anthology has just been published, a year later. The workshoppers (my workshoppers!) did all the writing, selecting, editing, cover art, book design, and ebook formatting. Craig and I wrote the intro and outro, but other than that, it’s all the work of these fine new writers.

Check it out!  The stories are great, and it’s only $2.99 in ebook. It’s also available in print for $8.50. Every penny earned is going to a medical fund that helps SF/F writers who have fallen on hard times medically and financially. What could be a better cause than that? 

I feel like a proud father, all over again!


Here’s where you can get it:

Paperback:
Amazon
CreateSpace

Ebook:
Amazon
Smashwords

Coming:
Barnes and Noble
Apple
Kobo

Going Alien Goes Live!

Drum roll, please. Thanks, you can stop now. I said, thanks, you can… thank you. 

It’s official; it’s live; it’s up for sale! My second of two short story collections, Going Alien, has just launched. Look to the east, in the sky. In the sky. See that bright spot of light? That’s Going Alien, on its way into space, where the aliens are!

Here’s what it looks like when it’s not a spot of light in the sky. It’s up now in the Book View Café store. It’ll be up momentarily at Amazon, too—and Barnes and Noble, and Smashwords. It’ll be up, as the world turns, in all of the other stores, like Apple and Sony and Kobo.

About the stories. I’m always leery about rereading my own stuff. I mean, what if I don’t like it? What if I find it amateurish and derivative? What if I hate it? Well, to my own delight (and relief!), none of that happened! I actually really enjoyed reading through these stories, published over most of the years of my career. All of them, by the way, have bona fide aliens in them. And all have accompanying introductions with my reminiscences about the writing of them, and how they fit into the general scheme of my career.

Here’s the list of stories, most of them appearing for the first time since their initial publication in places such as original anthologies edited by Roger Zelazny and Orson Scott Card, and in magazines like Galaxy and Galileo.

  • Shapeshifter Finals
  • Love Rogo
  • What Gods Are These?
  • Life-Tides
  • Alien Persuasion
  • Though All the Mountains Lie Between

If I may offer a review quote from an editor I asked to look at them: “These stories are great! I’m really enjoying them!” And, “This illustration is beautiful!”

Okay, the editor, Allysen Palmer, is technically also my wife, but still. She’s a genuine professional editor. And she seemed really objective as she said that to me.

Why not give it a try? No aliens were harmed in the making of this ebook, and it’s affordably priced at $2.99, wherever fine ebook story collections are sold. Right alongside my first collection, Reality and Other Fictions.

Going Alien at
Book View Café | Kindle | Nook | Smashwords
 

What’s Up with My Writing Projects?

It’s been a while since I reported on what I’m doing, writing-wise. Here’s the short form:

Chaos 5: The Reefs of Time — Yah, it’s coming; it’s coming. Piece after piece keeps falling into place. It’s long and it’s complex, and there are a lot of things in it  that I could not figure out beforehand; I could only discover these things by pushing at the story and the characters—that is, by writing and sometimes taking wrong turns into blind alleys. That process involves many hours of pounding my head and pulling my hair. Hell of a way to run a railroad, but there you have it. The train called The Reefs of Time will come in.

Audiobooks — Production at Audible has already begun on the books they’ve licensed for audiobooks. These guys move fast; I’ll give them that. I’ve recorded pronunciations of character and place names and like that for three of the books. And three narrators are now at work on From a Changeling Star, Down the Stream of Stars, and The Infinity Link.

Going Alien — My second short story collection is near to completion. I just have to put final touches on the new introductions, and finish proofreading the stories. My able assistant Ann has already done the lion’s share of the formatting work, so the conversion to ebook will be quick. The launch is planned for August 28. I’m enjoying rereading the stories, some of which I have not looked at in many years. Good sign. Here’s what it’s going to look like.

And that’s where I am in the writing projects!

Reality and Other Fictions Goes Broadband

My new short story collection, Reality and other Fictions, is now available in the Kindle store and at Smashwords, as well as at the Book View Cafe, and will be in the Nook store as soon as it makes its way through their system. (I was happy to see that a copy sold at Smashwords about two hours after it went up, long before I’d done any sort of promotion.)

Tell your friends!  And while you’re at it, tell them that the Smashwords July sale has begun, and lots of books by thousands of authors will be on sale there for part or all of July. I’ve joined in by putting Eternity’s End, Dragon Space, and Reality and other Fictions on sale for 50% off, for at least the first two weeks of July. Use coupon code SSW50 at checkout to get the discount.

I’m getting ready to travel to my home state of Ohio for a little family vacation, so it might be another week or two before I check in here again. Hope you’re all enjoying your summer! (Or winter, if your nearest pole is the South Pole.)

Reality and Other Fictions

All these years, I’ve been telling you wonderful people about my novels, with scarcely a mention of my short stories. That’s because my short stories have been few and far between. Nevertheless, I’ve published eleven shorter pieces over the years, in publications as varied as Science Fiction Age, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and the Boston Sunday Herald. And now I’ve collected them.

The first of two collections is Reality and Other Fictions, now on sale at Book View Café, for the low, low price of $2.99! Here’s what it looks like:

Here’s the blurb:

Explore an Earth being devoured by entropy, in the ultimate runaway environmental crisis. Dive the depths of the sea to prevent the mother of all oil spills. Rocket into space as a tourist. Mine the asteroids with your enhanced border collie, in the can-do spirit of classic science fiction. They include Carver’s first published short fiction, and his most recent. With new introductions, all from the author of The Chaos Chronicles and Eternity’s End.

If you’ve been following my blog recently, you’ll have seen my mention of some new stories going up for sale as singles. Some of those are in this collection. Here’s the contents page:

  • Reality School: In the Entropy Zone
  • Of No Return
  • Seastate Zero
  • Rocket Ride
  • Dog Star

“Seastate Zero” is available only in this collection, as are the insightful introductions I’ve lovingly written for each story and for the book as a whole. At least, I hope you’ll find them insightful, or at least interesting. I do share some memories I’ve never written down before about how these stories came to be, and how they fit into my career.

My second collection, Going Alien, is scheduled for late August. It pulls together all of my short work that involves… can you guess? Aliens.

For both of these books, I am indebted to Gretchen, the high school student (now graduated, and valedictorian!) who typed and formatted a good number of them from old paper copies, while helping me as an intern. And equally to Anna King, who provided extraordinary help in wrestling the final formatting into line. Not to mention Allysen, for catching some embarrassing typos and wordos at the eleventh hour. And finally, Vonda McIntyre, author and BVC founding member, who has been tirelessly helpful in getting this stuff up.

Available exclusively at BVC until July. After that, I’ll release it to the usual suspects.

I hope you’ll give it a try! (Vote for me!)

My Book View Café Launch!

Book View Café (BVC) is an authors collective of established writers who have joined forces to help each other publish their own backlists as ebooks. Names you might recognize include Ursula K. LeGuin, Vonda N. McIntyre, Katherine Kerr, Linda Nagata—and many more. As of June 19, I’m part of that list, and honored to be so. Here’s my page at BVC.

To celebrate my launch on BVC, I’m releasing my first-ever short story collection, Reality and Other Fictions. It’s on sale as I type this! For the rest of June, it’s going to be a BVC exclusive. Why? Because BVC is a great store filled with great authors, and it deserves enthusiastic support. If you buy a book from a favorite author at BVC, the author gets the highest percent of the money of any bookstore that’s not actually on an author’s website. Because people help each other so much in the whole process—everyone pitches in with their own particular skills—the production values are high. And the books are, of course, DRM-free, meaning no annoying copy protection to keep you from moving it from one device to another, regardless of type. If you want to convert your book to a different format, do so with our blessing.

Can you use these books on a Kindle or a Nook or a Kobo Reader or a Sony Reader?  Absolutely. (Just make sure you download the right format for your reader.)

By the way, BVC is not the same thing as Backlist eBooks, about which I’ve written in the past. The two groups have similar goals, and somewhat overlapping memberships. But Backlist eBooks primarily gathers writers together under one site for mutual help with marketing and promotion. Book View Café is more like a cooperative ebook small press, with its own store. It’s even beginning to distribute to libraries!

My next post, which I am going to start writing as soon as I’m done with this one, will tell you all about Reality and Other Fictions.

Ray Bradbury, SF Master (1920 – 2012)


Ray Bradbury, the last of the Big Four in science fiction, died today. Over the years we’ve lost Robert A. Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, and now Ray Bradbury. We’ve lost many other great writers, of course, but few would argue with placing those four at the top in their influence on the literature, and influence on young writers. It’s like the passing of a Great Age in Middle Earth.

Bradbury was a master of the short form, and probably the first acknowledged science fiction writer to gain the respect of the mainstream literary world. (Probably because he was at heart really a fantasist more than an SF writer. He was also a remarkable stylist.) Did your high school literature book have any science fiction In it at all? If it did, it was probably by Ray Bradbury. “The Pedestrian,” maybe. Or “The Veldt.”

He wrote for the screen, as well. I’d been a fan of his fiction for many years before I discovered that he’d written the screenplay for the 1956 John Huston-directed adaptation of Moby Dick, with Gregory Peck and Richard Basehart.

I was one of probably thousands of young writers who found both encouragement and frustration in reading his work. (My favorites: The Martian Chronicles and Something Wicked This Way Comes.) The encouragement is from the delight in reading his visions. The frustration is from the illusion he cast that it was all so easy. He really made storytelling look simple. And that is a mark of a master. I never knew him personally, though I saw him a few times at Nebula Awards events. The last time, I think, was when I saw him accept his SFWA Grandmaster Award in… you know, I don’t remember the year or the city, but I can see him inching his way up to the stage, with the assistance of his son, as though it were yesterday. Edit: I also remember that he had a sense of humor about his infirmity. When he finally got to the microphone, his words were, “Do you ever have the feeling that everyone’s watching you?”

There’s a fine remembrance at the Washington Post, and all kinds of interesting details on his Wikipedia page

Godspeed, Ray Bradbury!

When Mining Asteroids, Don’t Forget Your Trusty Dog

The recent arrival of the privately designed-and-built Dragon space capsule at the International Space Station dovetails nicely with another recent event: the announcement of a privately funded initiative called Planetary Resources, Inc., to seek out and mine near-Earth asteroids.

Both dovetail nicely with my own initiative: the release of my short story “Dog Star” as a standalone ebook. The dovetailing has to do with the fact that “Dog Star” is about a young asteroid miner who finds himself grounded on just such as asteroid, just him and his disabled ship… and his trusty “smartmutt,” an enhanced border collie named Sam. Dogs who can discuss astrophysics with you while thinking about digging on an asteroid aren’t a dime a dozen even in this future. Sam has to prove his mettle while helping his human dig his way out of this life-threatening jam.

This is a reprint of a story that first appeared as part of an online science-oriented anthology of stories called Diamonds in the Sky, which was funded by the National Science Foundation to help further the cause of science education, particularly in astronomy. (This new release has a couple of minor corrections from the text as it was released in the anthology.)

Gretchen, the student who has been working with me, helped get “Dog Star” up for sale on the last day of her interning stint. (Thanks, Gretchen!) It’s now free at Smashwords, and you can also get it in the Kindle and Nook stores.

Kindle | Nook | Smashwords (free!)

“Dog Star” will also appear in my forthcoming short story collection, Reality and Other Fictions, which is rapidly moving toward completion. I hope to make an announcement about that in the next few weeks. It will contain about half my published stories, including a couple not released as standalone ebooks. The other half will follow in Going Alien, soon after.

The Dragons Return!

My short story “Though All the Mountains Lie Between” was the spark that led to two novels, Dragons in the Stars and Dragon Rigger. Those books have been back in ebook form for a while now, and I even gathered them into a low-cost set, Dragon Space: A Star Rigger Omnibus. But the short storyoriginally published in The Science Fiction Times and the anthology Dragons of Darkness, edited by Orson Scott Cardhas been out of circulation for many years. With Gretchen’s help, I’ve now amended that situation. Give it up for “Though All the Mountains Lie Between” the ebook!

It’s available in the usual suspect places, and will eventually migrate to even more stores. Just $.99 at Kindle and Nook, and free at Smashwords! It includes a preview chapter of Dragon Space.

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