16 Apr

First review of Hurricane Fever

Marissa Lingen must have read Hurricane Fever really quickly, as I only just got the advanced reader copies that are sent out to reviewers on my doorstep. Marissa has this to say:

[He]… has married the thriller style to actual knowledge of the Caribbean as something other than a vacation destination and fun extrapolative bits of SF–shark-based bio-paint, awesome!–so that it is a superior grade of thriller. If you’re an SF reader who dips into thrillers from time to time, or if you have a dedicated thriller reader in the circle of people for whom you buy presents, Hurricane Fever (out in July) should definitely make your shopping list.


[US & Canada: Hurricane Fever, July 1st 2014, ISBN: 978-0765319227 – AmazonBNIndie Stores]

[UK & Commonwealth: Hurricane Fever, July 3rd 2014, ISBN: 978-0091953539 Del Rey UK

31 Jan

Progress report: day 31

I’ve been deep into the copy edits of Hurricane Fever. I’m 60% of the way through.

Now I have to pause to get some eBook design wrapped up (one of my freelance gigs).

I’m lucky in that my Laptop Laidback desk is allowing me to get a lot of work done while lying down. Copy editing is this constant slog of looking at your work with a critical eye. Such a critical eye that by the end of this, I’m usually at a point where I’m sick of my own words.

40% more to go.

13 Nov

Click to see UK and US covers for Hurricane Fever, due out July 2014

The follow up book to Arctic Rising, Hurricane Fever will launch in the US and UK markets in July 2014. I’m working on edits right now, which is why there is very little blogging going on: I’m deep in the freelance and fiction mines here.

So, more info about the book. Here’s the UK cover:


UK cover copy:

When a freelance spy is yanked out of comfortable retirement aboard his boat following the death of a friend, he stumbles upon a deadly terrorist plot to use a private space delivery platform in Barbados to launch a deadly genetic virus.

As one of the largest hurricanes to hit the Caribbean sweeps through the area, one man must battle the world’s deadliest natural phenomenon, mercenaries and a deadly biological agent, to save the world.

In a stunning follow up to Arctic Rising, Tobias S. Buckell returns to his near future Earth in a thrilling blend of James Bond meets Michael Crichton action adventure.

You can pre-order it this early already via Amazon UK. I don’t see a dedicated Del Rey UK page just yet, but will link that as soon as I spot it (they do have a general page for me here).

The US cover, via Tor:


And the cover copy (via Macmillan’s Tor Spring 2014 catalogue):

A storm is coming…. Introducing a pulse­pounding technothriller by the the New York Times bestselling author of Arctic Rising

Prudence “Roo” Jones never thought he’d have a family to look after—until suddenly he found himself taking care of his orphaned teenage nephew. Roo, a former Caribbean Intelligence operative, spends his downtime on his catamaran dodging the punishing hurricanes that are the new norm in the Caribbean. Roo enjoys the simple calm of his new life—until an unexpected package from a murdered fellow spy shows up. Suddenly Roo is thrown into the center of the biggest storm of all.

Using his wits—and some of the more violent tricks of his former trade—Roo begins to unravel the mystery that got his friend killed. When a polished and cunning woman claiming to be the murdered spy’s sister appears, the two find themselves caught up in a global conspiracy with a weapon that could change the face of the world forever.

New York Times bestselling author Tobias Buckell (Arctic Rising, Halo: The Cole Protocol) has crafted a kinetic technothriller perfect for fans of action­ packed espionage within a smartly drawn geo­political landscape. Roo is an anti– James Bond for a new generation.

Early orders for it via Amazon, or Indiebound for your local bookstore of choice (and Mysterious Galaxy always works with me to do signed versions).

23 Oct

Hurricane Fever: Deep in revisions

I’m deep into the revisions of Hurricane Fever (due out in July ’14), and it’s most likely that I’m going to be scattered, somewhat unresponsive, and so forth. So if I’m late in responding to email, or quiet on social media (with sudden bursts of activity during downtime) please understand: it’s not you, it’s totally me.

04 Sep

BajanReporter interviews me about Hurricane Fever

While I was in Barbados, Ian Bourne from Bajan Reporter interviewed me about Hurricane Fever, and how a part of the book is set on Barbados (part of the research day trip I took while down there was to see if I could better firm up some details in the latter part of the novel so as to get things right).

A note: I grew up in Grenada, with a British received pronunciation accent while at home and often at school (because teachers let me get away with more if I used it) and sometimes an accent while playing around with friends. I was never sure where or when different accents would come. In the USVI I mainly dropped RP and adopted a pseudo-midwest/mild mid Atlantic accent. It wasn’t until university that I began to read about linguistics and understand why sometimes my accent would switch. I could write a whole essay on it, but Barbados/Grenada sound like home and a little bit of edges in when I visit (maybe because I miss it so now that I live away from it). I even tried to shoot a video for a case review for a gadget site while down there, and had to give up because I couldn’t flip the switch quite right and was struggling with accents (I often feel like the Martian kid in that one Bradbury story).

Either way, here I am with the slightest of Caribbean accents, if you’re so curious. I know a few people at Worldcon were taken aback on the first day when they ran into me, as it was still in that mode and moving back over to the midwest accent many know me as having. In the past I was very nervous about it, as some accepted it as a kid, some didn’t, some threatened to report me to my mom, and it’s actually a huge psychological mess that I carried as a kid not being sure what I should sound like. As an adult, who no longer cares and just flows with it, I just go along with whatever my hindbrain wants (which is to sound like everyone around me).

It’s a thing. You can read more about it by googling ‘code switching.’ (And long preface is because it often confuses my American audiences, sometimes at readings where I’ve switched the dialect without planning to as well). Yes, sometimes I wish I’d just ended up with one distinct accent so that I didn’t end up wondering about what my identity really was, but seeing as that I actually do have Caribbean birth certificate, UK passport, and an American green card, it’s not surprising I’m linguistically a little bit complicated, and most people from the islands get where I’m coming from (thank you).

In the meantime, here I am talking about Hurricane Fever, and my short story Toy Planes with BajanReporter.

01 Jul

Back home!

The road trip is over. We pulled into our driveway late Saturday, and spent Sunday relaxing around the house. Today has been our first ‘normal’ day home, and we even picked the dog up from the kennel. He seemed to remember who we were.

Though he seems to like the kennel more than us. He’s an odd one, that dog.

Copies of the UK edition of Arctic Rising arrived! (The cover title is embossed and shiny, so I will be carrying this around and petting it a lot).


I finished a draft of Hurricane Fever, the follow up to Arctic Rising, while on the road. My editors at Tor and Del Rey UK have it, and will be getting back to me soon.

Until then, it’s time to catch up on scads of email and get back into projects that need finished and out the door.

It’ll be time to start Against the Fall of Stars, the YA follow up to The Island in the Sky next, once those are done. I’m reviewing my notes and making plans…

14 Jun

Hurricane Fever: solid draft achieved

I’m sitting here in my sister’s backyard, watching the twins chase a medicine ball around while a neighbor’s pug loses its mind about the affront of kids playing just on the other side of a fence.

I tried to finish a good draft of my latest novel, Hurricane Fever (due out from Tor sometime in 2014) by Tuesday of this week because I knew the road trip taking me from Ohio to Newport, RI was coming.

But I came up short. I was close enough it was frustrating, as I knew a day of hard work was all that lay between me and a credible draft. But I had to turn away from it to pack and get ready.

We road tripped on Wednesday out to the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, where my parents now live. Nine hours in the car. My kids were great about it, enjoying the mountains and listening to TV on an iPad with headphones (and a splitter).

We stayed the night at my parents, and installed my mother in the back, and then continued from Virginia on up to Rhode Island.

I continued writing in the passenger seat whenever spelled from driving, and somewhere just shy of the Tappan Zee bridge finished up the draft of Hurricane Fever.

It’s the 9th novel I’ve written. I’ll be starting the 10th sometime shortly.

I spent a chunk of 2012 doing the research for this one, and in 2012 I wrote The Trove, a YA book, and The Apocalypse Ocean.

I started Hurricane Fever this January 1st in earnest using my new schedule optimized for creative work (building my time around golden hours, taking frequent breaks, lots of walks, scheduling fun breaks for my brain, chopping up projects into hourly segments rather than word count oriented sessions). While I am doing more freelancing than I was in 2012, I was able to, still, write fairly fast like I was in 2012.

I did however hit a high stress point. A lot of freelance work and writing projects that I agreed to in late 2012 as a result of a crunched financial position all came due. I had to hit pause on the novel in order to get these done (a novelette and a novella, and most of another novella that I need to finish yet this month).

But we have a draft, and I’m much relieved.

Next on my plate is to do a polishing draft, work on finishing the novella above, and do some work on the first couple chapters of The Trove so it can be submitted.

A busy few months, but I seem to be emerging from the worst of it.

Which is nice, because I’d like to enjoy floating around Newport and other areas in Rhode Island a little bit. And with my 10th year anniversary approaching, I’m sure Emily will appreciate me not being head-deep in a novel and stressed out.

11 Jun

Hurricane Fever… so close to done

I’m knee deep in working on Hurricane Fever, the book that follows Arctic Rising. It’s hit that ‘near the end’ point where I’m finding it hard to keep up with email, uninterested in the outside world, eating food that’s bad to me, and wishing I were in a cabin somewhere secluded from the rest of the human race so that I could just finish this last stretch and have a complete draft already…

20 Feb

Hurricane Fever progress & stuff

I’m currently hip deep in my novel Hurricane Fever (Tor, 2014). I spent a chunk of January out of action due to a nasty bug that was going around, it took me down for the count, but February has been a much better month to me so far. I’m a little over 40% of the way through a solid first draft and moving quickly still. My spreadsheet tells me I’m still on track to finish it sometime in April.

Getting sick has caused some of the freelance work to eat into writing time as I try to catch back up on backed up projects (and due to a mistake I made in late January that I discovered that had to be fixed). I’m feeling… back on track and approaching caught up. Which is lessening the stress levels.

Hurricane Fever is turning out to be a tremendously fun book to write. It is, in some ways, different in tone from Arctic Rising. And yet the core spirit is the same. We will see how people take it, but it’s been an interesting ride for the first 40%. And now it’s just getting ready to slam the afterburners on, so I’m looking forward to writing the next bits.

This is also why blogging has been light, however. Fiction words come first!

04 Feb

What I’m working on right now: Hurricane Fever

As a result of the news announced over the last two days, people are asking what I’m working on right now and what is coming out when.

The YA novel I just sold to Tor is The Island in the Sky, and it is already written. Of course, I imagine Patrick Nielsen Hayden will have edit notes for me, so those will arrive at some point. The tentative pub date for The Island in the Sky is late 2014.

Right now I’m writing a novel called Hurricane Fever.

In some interviews (and according to Wikipedia), I’d said my next novel was The Infringement. I have a large block of that written, but Year Zero came out and covered a great deal of the same material I wanted to cover in The Infringement. Alien overlords arrive and enforce a form of copyright that is even more radical than the current WTO system. After seeing Year Zero both get (well deserved) attention, and the fact that it was widely read, and is good, the energy for trying to write The Infringement just wasn’t there.

If I were a more stable individual, I would have just pushed through and been done with the book. But… as silly as this might be to some, I think I have to believe in a project to write it. If I wasn’t doing this to explore things that excited me, I could be pushing paper and making a lot more money doing something else I didn’t love.

Some I’m working on a sequel to Arctic Rising called Hurricane Fever.

For all of you who wrote fan mail asking to see more of Roo, this book is about Roo. I liked Roo while writing Arctic Rising, so he gets Hurricane Fever.

The book is set in the US Virgin Islands, then moves through a small portion of the Caribbean, set during a future where super storms and hurricanes constantly batter at the islands and the US’s East Coast.

I’m about 25% of the way through and hoping to have a solid first draft in two to three months. It’s a fast one, for me, but I’ve been writing faster for the past year after doing some intense self-analysis and habit retraining. I also spent two months outlining the novel and researching it to prep everything as much as possible so I didn’t slow myself down. My goal is to finish a solid draft of the book in March.

If all goes well, it should be out sometime in early 2014.

What happens after I write Hurricane Fever? That’s up in the air. With the successful sale of The Island in the Sky, I now owe a sequel; Against the Fall of Stars. However, I’ve been planning a Kickstarter for the final Xenowealth book in the event that sales of The Apocalypse Ocean continue to hold as good as they are.

The question is, do I write Against the Fall of Night over the middle part of the year after Hurricane Fever, and then try to Kickstart and write the final Xenowealth book in the later part of the year? There are benefits to that, as I would get turn-in money for Fall that’s better than a Kickstarter. And I would secure that book’s place in the cycle of Tor’s publishing line up.

Or do I Kickstart and write the Xenowealth book, and get it out there so that the whole series is wrapped up for readers and I move on to some other projects.

If I wait a bit on the last Xenowealth book, I can give The Apocalypse Ocean time to find more readers, and build demand. I can also see how much better sales are by giving it time. I can also spend more time building up plans for rewards, and even commissioning and paying for some slowly over the months ahead. That way I won’t be working on the fly as much.

Either of these two plans are fraught with complications, as they involve me writing almost three books in a year. I more or less did that last year, but I’m a little bit more constrained this year with an extra freelance gig.

It’s hard to say what I’ll do, but the sure thing is… I’m working on Hurricane Fever to make it the best book I can and that is mostly all I’m thinking about. I can’t really make a decision until I’m finished there. That book that matters most is the one currently in production.

So now you know what I’m focused on for the next twelve months…