Now on Google Live Chat

‘Superversive SF Roundtable: Thanksgiving and SF’

Live at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time

Click here to listen in!

Finally, a mailing list!

Every self-publishing (or ‘indie’) guru out there insists that the #1 way for an author to build an audience is to have his own mailing list and keep track of his customers that way. I have not followed this excellent advice until now. The sheer number of decisions involved (and the possible financial outlay) gave me a splitting headache.

Today, however, with the trivial investment of several hours of time and several hanks of hair ripped out, I managed to sign up for, and test, a free account with MailChimp. This will allow me to have up to 2,000 subscribers and send out up to 12,000 emails per month; which (a quick back-of-the-envelope calculation tells me) means that each of my 3.6 Loyal Readers can be represented on the list 555 times. Or, you know, there might actually be more readers than that; but the figure of 3.6 is hallowed by time and custom, and I shall not change it now.

I would be most obliged to my Loyal Readers, however many there are of you, if you were to use the handy form in the right margin, just over there, and sign up for the list. I promise not to sell you any encyclopaedias; I’m only here to burgle your flat notify you about new releases.

Thanks in advance, all!


P.S. For those who are wondering, the final touches on ‘Angel Keep’ are now being applied. I needed to make sure that the link to my signup page worked; which it seems to. All I need now is to finish another Clever Biographical Assassination, upload the files, and let the KDP mills go to work grinding out sausages ebooks.

Podcast Saturday

The SuperversiveSF Monthly Roundtable Live Chat is coming up this Saturday, November 19, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (20:00 GMT). Your Obedient Servant has been invited to participate, and the invitation has been accepted. Watch this page, or the SuperversiveSF blog, for links to the live event.

As I understand it, recordings of previous episodes are available in podcast form. I shall ask the Persons in Charge for links.

If Yr. Obt. Svt. is unable to attend, I still urge you to listen in, as you will be hearing words of wit and wisdom from such superversive figures as John C. Wright, L. Jagi Lamplighter, and Jason Rennie of SciPhi Journal. The topic for this month: Gratitude in fiction, characters, and daily life.

Draft sighting

As of 6 p.m. today, Mountain Daylight Time, we have (at long last) a finished draft of the first episode of Where Angels Die. It weighs in just under 30,000 words, a little longer than I wanted it to be. (Subsequent episodes are to be 12,000 to 15,000 words each. Think of this one as the two-hour series premiere.)

Current plan is to release it as soon as I have the second episode (‘The Little Charter’) drafted and the third one (‘The Bad Enough Brigade’) fairly started; unless someone has a Clever Idea to the contrary.

Edit: To refresh the memories of the 3.6 Loyal Readers, early drafts of the opening chapters have previously appeared in these pages:

The Summons
The Taken
A Battle of Souls
The Food of Demons

It’s been a long journey to this point, frequently interrupted; but I think I may be in a position to make some rapid progress now – health permitting.

Work has resumed!

I recovered from most of the concussion symptoms a few days ago, but all the bed rest required aggravated my spinal injury and gave me neck spasms. Now I am on a witch’s brew of Robaxacet and assorted pain medications, which are allowing me to function well enough to write a little, but not well enough to sleep all the way through the night. Last night I got up about midnight and wrote a chapter for the second episode of Where Angels Die. I post it here, as it might amuse some of my 3.6 Loyal Readers.

[Read more…]

Concussion

Reported to the South Health Campus tonight with various symptoms. The doctor assured me that I have a textbook concussion, but fortunately, not a serious one. I am advised not to do any strenuous mental or physical work for a few days.

Posting, and the release of Superversive, will, alas, be slightly delayed.

The Best of Abyss & Apex, Volume 2

Now available on Amazon, and wherever such indisputably fine books as this are sold: The Best of Abyss & Apex, Volume Two.

I have the honour to serve on the staff of Abyss & Apex as Editor-at-Large. This collection contains many of the finest stories I have helped to edit during my tenure there. I can’t pick a favourite, but Celeste Rita Baker’s ‘Name Calling’ is an excellent piece of work, and George S. Walker’s ‘Dreadnought Under Ice’ is exceptionally nifty. All this and C. J. Cherryh, too!

The book is immediately available in both paperback and ebook editions. The price is a very reasonable $9.99 and $3.00 U.S., respectively, or the equivalent in your local dosh.

 

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One of the duties attached to my position was to do the interior design for this ‘Best Of’ anthology, in both ebook and print formats. It can do no harm to mention that I am available to do this kind of work for other clients at reasonable rates. (The cover design, however, is by other capable hands; though I assisted in getting it ready for press.)

‘Superversive’ coming soon

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed—
Dignity never been photographed.

—Bob Dylan, ‘Dignity’

Neither the redoubtable Sarah Dimento nor I could think of any good way to draw a picture of a superversion; so after long dithering, I asked her to come up with a simple text design.

Here, then, is the cover for Superversive: Recovering the Tao of Fantasy, coming soon to an Amazon near you.

[Read more…]

Apologies

Part 3 of ‘The exotic and the familiar’ has been badly delayed. My doctors have changed my medication yet again, and my body and mind are struggling to adapt. Going cold turkey on one drug has given me nightmares, reduced mental acuity, and random weepy bouts. Starting up on another drug has given me insomnia and anxiety attacks. Both of these effects are bound to go away in a few weeks, but until then, I am having great difficulty applying myself and getting work done

On top of that, I somehow managed to throw out my back and strain a muscle. For the first 24 hours, I could not stand up straight, but had to walk like Dagwood Bumstead or Groucho Marx. Now I can stand, though not without pain, and my mind is mildly fogged with painkillers.

I am very sorry for the delay. Please pray, if that be your wont, that I may get through the next few weeks without any more of these interesting experiences.

An experiment in speed writing

Came back Friday night from a short holiday in British Columbia, where lakes were swum in, and hot springs soaked in, and beaches lain upon, and peaches picked and gourmandized. The Beloved Other and I were both much refreshed upon our return.

Today, I began a brief experiment in writing at top speed, to see if I can break myself of some of the perfectionist habits that have so impeded my productivity. I am reminding myself (truthfully, I hope) that there are those who enjoy my writing just as it is; I do not have to make it utterly bulletproof so that a Traditional Publisher will find no excuse to reject it, as I was once warned that I had to do. (Traditional Publishers were quite willing to reject my work without an excuse, because they saw no benefit in admitting me to the Cool Kids’ Club; but that is a rant for another time.)

So, having all but finished the opening episode of Where Angels Die, I am trying to write a rough draft of the second episode in three days. This episode is called ‘The Little Charter’, and it is designed to stand somewhat independently as a story, whilst fitting into the overall arc of the serial: the technique of episodic television. I expect it to weigh in at about 12,000 words when finished.

Four thousand words a day is a biggish output for me, but I often write essais of that length or more in a single sitting. The idea here is to keep myself from niggling unnecessarily, and teach myself to write fiction with roughly the same facility. If I can do that, I may yet manage to pay my bills at this dodge. Fiction is where the money is, but hitherto I have been too slow and sporadic to build an audience with it.

Today I did a chapter-level outline, and wrote about 2,600 words of draft copy. I will have to improve on that pace to meet my goal, but it should be feasible now that the prior planning is quite finished.

Time is not on my side in this venture. Wish me luck!