Tor’s new covers for the Xenowealth are now up online at Amazon, available for preorder all around

Looks like the new covers for the Xenowealth books are popping up online for eBook purchases, at least at Amazon:

Xenowealthamazon

As a reminder, the series is being relaunched this December as trade paperbacks. It’s a very exciting thing to see happening.

The trade paperback can be preordered via your favorite local indy store or via Amazon or B&N. The summary and cover are not yet updated, they’re just pulling from the original mass market, but the December 9th launch date is for real. The ISBN is 9780765338402 for those who need to know.

Today The End is Nigh

NewImage

The End is Night launches today. Features a story of mine called System Reset. Details are here, the book can be found on Amazon here.

“Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild. THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH will tell their stories.

Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. THE END IS NIGH focuses on life before the apocalypse. THE END IS NOW turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And THE END HAS COME focuses on life after the apocalypse.

THE END IS NIGH features all-new, never-before-published works by Hugh Howey, Paolo Bacigalupi, Jamie Ford, Seanan McGuire, Tananarive Due, Jonathan Maberry, Robin Wasserman, Nancy Kress, Charlie Jane Anders, Ken Liu, and many others.”

(Via Amazon.com: The End is Nigh (The Apocalypse Triptych))

Crystal Rain, Ragamuffin, Sly Mongoose to be relaunched in trade paperback from Tor starting this December

So here’s something I’ve been sitting on for a long while:

Crystal comp

and:

Ragamuffin comp

and:

SlyMong comp

This December, 2014, Crystal Rain will come back out as a trade paperback with an all new look. It will be followed, just a couple months later, by Ragamuffin, and couple months after that, Sly Mongoose.

The original Todd Lockwood covers for the books are awesome. I have them hanging in my office. Getting to see my favorite characters depicted by an artist was awesome. But when we talked about relaunching the series in trade, one of the things I raised was the fact that booksellers had been telling me that Todd, amazing that he is, is usually associated with Fantasy (his amazing work graces many great Fantasy novels and RPGs). As a result, there’s always been confusion among new readers about approaching Crystal Rain, or so hand selling booksellers have told me.

So with this visual rebranding, we wanted to make sure the books say that they are space adventure. Space opera.

Science fiction.

I’m so excited about this new re-release, and hope that the covers help readers who love cracking science fiction take a second look. And I’m going to be begging everyone who was enthusiastic about the first release to please consider taking the time to try and give me a signal boost as we reissue the series.

There are more details and things to share about what is going on with this Xenowealth relaunch, but nothing I can share right now, but lots of pieces of the puzzle are coming together that should make this really, really cool and bring the book to more readers.

So lastly, thank you to everyone who got in on the ground floor. Who took a chance on me with the first book. Caribbean people on another world, squaring off against an implacable foe spurred on by alien overlords. Was it only 8 years ago it debuted? So much has happened since then.

I can’t wait for a new tranche of readers to find the Xenowealth. Your initial excitement and support helped me get to this point.

And keeping this quiet has been tough! So yay!

Progress report: taking deep lungfuls of air

I cut back on the blogging while I buried myself into working on the outline for PS-1 (my last update was on 2/6, wow).

The back pain is mostly gone from my spill on 1/22, though some activity still occasionally inflames it. One month, wow. I can sit, stand, work at the computer, and do my daily walk into town to run errands again. I’m still… gun-shy about any ice and take extra wide detours to avoid and get really nervous around it. It’s an oddly purely physiological response. The fall and three weeks of back pain are so seared into my body that the first walk into town I kept flinching whenever I saw ice. I’m not mentally freaked, but there’s just an autonomous, muscle memory there that my body has that’s similar to seeing a glowing red pot (don’t touch!). More walks are fixing that, but it was interesting to see that my lower, lizard brain has picked up that aversion on such a fundamental level.

So I’m about two weeks behind, but now that I’m back to normal, am enjoying catching up on work. Blogging took a hit, as it doesn’t put food directly on the table!

The outline for PS-1 is 17,000 words. For what will likely be a 55,000 word novel. The interested parties are reading the outline, and notes are being exchanged. I expect to start writing the first chapter Monday, March 3rd.

On twitter I talked a great deal about the craziness of a 17,000 word outline for a 55,000 word book. But, over time, I’ve come to outline more and more obsessively before writing. It has really helped me, and has made the writing process more and more enjoyable on a daily basis. I might have to storify that whole exchange and post it up here.

With my editor reading over PS-1, I now have the time to finish my last pre-PS-1 project. I owe one last short story to an anthology. I need to finish it by this weekend.

After that, I will be passing on any new short fiction projects until after all the work on PS-1, the books I owe Tor, and all other extant projects are turned in. I can’t handle the pressure of any new obligations when my plate is so full, sadly. It means things are good for me.

It sucks to say no. I had to turn down another project that looked really cool recently, so it’s on my mind. I spent most of my life working so hard to get to this point. And suddenly, people approach me and ask for stories. I’ve sold 55 of them, to date. And now I have to say no. And that’s an odd complication I didn’t expect about success (what bit of I have managed to carve out for myself).

Steve Jobs said success is as much about what you say ‘no’ to. And I found out that, although I’m extraordinarily proud of the 55 short story sales, I need to take care of the novels and extreme debt-paying project I’ve embarked on this last couple years. That will put me in much better stead to play with short fiction down the road.

Metatropolis: Greenspace nominated for an Audie

Metatropolis green space

The audio anthology from Audible featuring novellas by me, Elizabeth Bear, Mary Robinette Kowal, Jay Lake, Seanan McGuire, Ken Scholes and Karl Schroeder has been nominated for an Audie.

More about Metatropolis: Green Space.

As METAtropolis: Green Space moves into the 22nd Century, human social evolution is heading in new directions after the Green Crash and the subsequent Green Renaissance. Nearly everyone who cares to participate in the wired world has become part of the “Internet of things”, a virtual environment mapped across all aspects of the natural experience. At the same time, the serious back-to-the-land types have embraced a full-on paleo lifestyle, including genetically engineering themselves and their offspring. At the same time, a back-to-space movement is seeking the moon, a green Mars, and even the stars, with the eventual goal of leaving a pristine and undisturbed Earth behind. METAtropolis: Green Space is the creation of Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Jay Lake; Hugo Award winning writers Seanan McGuire, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Elizabeth Bear; New York Times best-selling author Tobias S. Buckell; Aurora Award winner Karl Schroeder; and critically-acclaimed author Ken Scholes.

THE END IS NIGH to feature a short story of mine

NewImage

I have a short story that will be appearing in the anthology THE END IS NIGH, edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey. Deets:

“Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild.

THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH will tell their stories.

Edited by acclaimed anthologist John Joseph Adams and bestselling author Hugh Howey, THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH is a series of three anthologies of apocalyptic fiction. THE END IS NIGH focuses on life before the apocalypse. THE END IS NOW turns its attention to life during the apocalypse. And THE END HAS COME focuses on life after the apocalypse.”

(Via VOL. 1: THE END IS NIGH : The Apocalypse Triptych.)

If you click through, you can see the whole table of contents. Looks like a dynamite line up of authors that I’m lucky to share the pages with.

System Reset is short story of mine about what happens when fundamentalist geeks take their code metaphors a bit too far. If you follow the tag on the blog post for System Reset you can see I was working on this piece back in January.

THE END IS NIGH is coming out this March.

Chocolate and Vodka talks about Dunning-Kruger effect and publishing

There is so much wisdom at Chocolate and Vodka (both in pro-self publishing and in surveying why the quality of self publishing will always suffer due to the Dunning-Kruger effect) that I just want you to rush over and read, and then read all the other posts around there. I spent an hour poking around and then followed the author on twitter because I want to subscribe to the newsletter!

“So, according to Dunning and Kruger, in order to combat the massive shit volcano, we would need to train every self-publisher who produces shit, and hope that they realise that they aren’t as good as they think they are and need to try a bit harder. Well, good luck with that one.

Now, it’s true that not every self-published author is on the wrong side of Dunning-Kruger. Some are on the only slightly less wrong side: Good writers whose confidence is shot because they understand that they could be better, and are over-sensitive to the gap between the quality of the work they do produce and the quality they want to achieve. Those people are better than they think they are and will publish less than they should.”

(Via Why the self-publishing shit volcano isn’t going to stop erupting any time soon | Chocolate and Vodka.)

The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures to reprint my story Love Comes to Abyssal City

This is cool:

“Contents
Introduction by Ann VanderMeer
‘Smoke City’ by Christopher Barzak
‘Memories in Bronze, Feathers, and Blood’ by Aliette de Bodard
‘Love Comes to Abyssal City’ by Tobias Buckell
‘Canary of Candletown’ by C.S.E Cooney
‘On the Lot and In the Air’ by Lisa L. Hannett
‘Beyond Calais’ by Samantha Henderson
‘La Valse’ by K.W. Jeter
‘The Colliers’ Venus (1893)’ by Caitlin R. Kiernan
‘Benedice Te’ by Jay Lake
‘Good Hunting’ by Ken Liu
‘Selin That Has Grown in the Desert’ by Alex Dally MacFarlane
‘The Curse of Chimère’ by Tony Pi
‘Tanglefoot’ by Cherie Priest
‘Ticktock Girl’ by Cat Rambo
‘Edison’s Frankenstein’ by Chris Roberson
‘The Governess and the Lobster’ by Margaret Ronald
‘I Stole the D.C.’s Eyeglass’ by Sofia Samatar
‘The Clockworks of Hanyang’ by Gord Sellar
‘The Return of Cherie’ by Nisi Shawl
‘Five Hundred and Ninety-Nine’ by Benjanun Sriduangkaew, original
‘Green Eyed Monsters in the Valley of Sky, An Opera’ by E. Catherine Tobler, original
‘Harry and Marlowe and the Talisman of the Cult of Egil’ by Carrie Vaughn
‘Terrain’ by Genevieve Valentine
‘A Mouse Ran up the Clock’ by AC Wise
‘Anna in the Moonlight’ by Jonathan Wood, original

Out: August 2014 (UK) and October 2014 (US).

(Via oldcharliebrown – TOC: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk Adventures.)

It’s always amazing to me when a story of mine gets reprinted.

Some gentle narcissism to help the pain go down

I’m resting on painkillers and frustration since slipping and falling on the ice and hurting myself. However the x-rays have come back and I’m told there is no fracturing or damage, other than muscle-related. So it’s painkillers and anti-inflammatories and trying to slowly get better.

Sometimes I joke that getting my pants on is an accomplishment. It’s a common freelancer’s joke for those of us who work from home. But with limited range of motion, today I have to say it was actually quite an accomplishment.

Meanwhile.

Wow, iO9 has a list of books that delve into how the mind works. Sly Mongoose is listed, and I’m keeping some really fucking amazing company:

“With one character in this 2008 novel, Buckell shows us a social media hive mind that humans might actually embrace one day. Katerina is from a civilization where every decision is made by citizens voting over a sophisticated computer network that’s wired into everybody’s brains. No policy or political decision is ever made without consulting the hive mind of the whole democracy. In this vision of the hive mind, individuality isn’t lost — but the brain networks allow people to make more democratic group decisions in the blink of an eye.”

(Via 10 Books That Will Change the Way You Understand the Mind.)

Also, I had no idea I was the son of a bitch that sucked Michael Cummings back into reading science fiction. He talks about the experience:

We were walking through when one of the book displays caught my eye. I hadn’t really branched out in books in years, so the cover of Tobias Buckell‘s Ragamuffin really caught my eye. I picked it up not knowing it was the second book in a series. By the time I put it down, I didn’t care.

Michael, stories like that are the reason we keep writing and cheer one up on a frustrating week like this. Thanks for sharing.

Jamie Todd Rubin on 7 Lessons Learned from 300 Days of Writing |

Jamie Rubin has things he learned from 300 days of writing. The most I chained together was last year’s 150, so I’m hoping to be able to get where he was:

“A few days ago, I passed another writing milestone for 2013. I’d written 300 out of the last 302 days. As of this morning, I’ve written 303 out of the last 305 days, and 160 consecutive days. Writing those first 5 or 10 days feels good. When I passed 50 days, I was sort of surprised. At 100 days, I felt like I’d run a marathon. At 200 days, I felt surprisingly calm. When I passed 300 days I had a strange mixture of emotions: incredulity at the notion that I’d written almost every day of the year. (I didn’t start until late February so the first two months were a wash); but also, a surprising sense of confidence. I’ve thought about this over the last few days and have put together a list of lessons I’ve learned over the last 300 days of writing every day.”

(Via 7 Lessons Learned from 300 Days of Writing | Jamie Todd Rubin.)

The last lesson, that small, steady habits of writing build up to large results over time, I’ve internalized for a long time, which is why I track my writing in a spreadsheet very closely. It helps keep the writing habit going.