Want to see Hurricane Fever’s new cover?

Hurricane Fever has a new cover. I mentioned it on twitter, but I snagged a higher resolution example for this blog post:

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There were a handful of cover variants that Tor was considering for the book. Bloggers started passing around one that was used as a placeholder in the catalogue, and that was being strongly considered. In the end, though, we decided to go with the red and bio-hazard symbol look. The previous cover, though it looked awesome, was easily lost when put in a line up of other books due to the muted color palette and dark tones (lost in the shadows). Hopefully readers will agree that this is a more striking cover.

Here’s the back copy:

A storm is coming….

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 geo-political landscape. Roo is an anti–James Bond for a new generation.

Prudence “Roo” Jones never thought he’d have a family to look after—until suddenly he found himself taking care of his orphaned nephew. Roo, a former operative for the Caribbean Intelligence Group, spends his downtime on his catamaran, doing his best to raise a teenager on his own, and dodging the frequent, punishing hurricanes that are the new norm in the Caribbean. Roo enjoys the relative 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.

Availability:

[US & Canada: Hurricane Fever, July 1st 2014, ISBN: 978-0765319227 - Amazon: hardcover & ebook - B&N - Indie Stores]

As a reminder, the UK edition launches at the same time as the US. Here’s the cover:

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Availability:

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

The advanced reader copies came in as well, which means various reviewers will probably be getting their hands on copies sent from Tor soon:

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I’m very excited about the bio-hazard symbol on the spine. The spine is more often how your book is seen by most readers:

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Progress Report: What day? I don’t know.

I’ve lost track of how many days in today’s year have passed. But, I do know this is the 64th day of working on the novel PS-1 (I started it February 1st). After getting 17,000 words of outlining done, the go-ahead to write on 3/11, I’ve been working my way forward. 13,500 words that I like are now written. Despite coming back from a week-long sprint of writing in Phoenix, I had to take care of some stuff that was waiting. Slowed me down.

My spreadsheet tells me I’m still on track to hit my deadline, though. And I’ll get another burst of words later this month on another writing retreat. But I’ll start feeling better once I hit the halfway point, that’s for sure.

Next weekend I’m going to be in L.A. If you’ve been paying attention to the ‘Appearances’ tag, I’m going to be speaking to writers who have won a quarter of the Writers of the Future contest. This was one of the things that sparked my trying to become a writer, so it’ll be quite a nostalgia trip for me.

I’ve always said I started submitting short stories when I was 15. But when I looked back at the list of anthologies WOTF put out, I found the cover of the book that I first cut the entry details out of the back of when I made my first submission:

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This was volume 8, from back in 1992. Which meant I was actually 13 when I started submitting to the WOTF contest.

Damn, kid.

Seven years later, in 1999, I won a quarter with my story ‘In Orbite Mediavali’ which I’d written a first draft of while at Clarion earlier in the year. And I went to the 2000 awards ceremony. A 20 year old me hadn’t flown around much of the US, how could I not?

Yeah, this is me at 20 in a tux:

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Anyway, it’ll be fun to meet the new winners and I gather I’ll be on hand to chat with them about… writing stuff.

Side note: one of the stories in the 1992 WOTF anthology was Bringing Sissy Home, by Astrid Julian. The story stood out to me at the time. In 2000, right before winning a quarter, I joined a Cleveland writing workshop where one of my fellow workshoppers turned out to be… Astrid Julian.

Today The End is Nigh

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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))

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

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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.

It’s all algebra… or something

C.E. Murphy talks some math about why she won’t be continuing a series:

“I have some things to report about the Inheritors’ Cycle.

Not irregularly, people ask me if I’ll be doing more of them. I’ve been seriously considering pursuing that, but I just got royalty statements on them, and it’s clear that unless I could be absolutely certain of getting the books into bookstores, it would be a waste of my time. THE QUEEN’S BASTARD has sold about 1800 copies in e-book and THE PRETENDER’S CROWN has sold about 1000. Assuming that at the best I’d match TPC’s e-sales, I’d be looking at maybe $6K in income, all of which would be eaten by cover art and editorial costs. Not worth it.

‘But Kickstarter!’ people say, which, yes, but perks! rewards! etc! are costly and it kind of appears from royalty statements that in e-book terms, the people who might support an Inheritors’ Cycle Kickstarter (ie, the ones who are aware of my internet presence and pay attention to it) are very possibly the ones who might also buy the e-book, which means I wouldn’t even have as many as 1K sales to count on.”

(Via The Essential Kit | Inheritors’ Cycle update – The Essential Kit.)

Man, this is something I was hammering at the last convention I was at. The equations of each project differ, even sometimes from project to project with the same author. Focusing on Kickstarter, or 70% royalty, obscures the question: which method makes me the most.

In some cases, it might be one way, in some another.

I mentioned that, in the modern marketplace, the money offered to me for short story collections is way less than what I can do via self publishing and Kickstarter for a collection. But for novels, the other distribution method is more lucrative.

The equation is that there is a mix of Royalty times Price of product times Size of your individual buyer pool. Let’s call the equation: R times Pop times Pool.

So while a larger publisher might increase the price of the product, if the buyer pool that they give you access to (via shelves, stores) increases sales, it can offset and beat the lower royalty.

I’ve seen writers do well in moving series to direct publishing. I’ve seen writers make almost nothing and leave confused.

The best way to get an idea for what leverage (if any) the different methods give you is to be a hybrid: experimenting with methods so that you have an idea of how the personal equation works for you.

Progress report: day… not really sure

I spent today working on freelance ebook conversion and editing for the blog I work for. Wrenching my back put me into a week and a half tail spin. When I lose days, I tend to get into a real frustrated mind set. But I muddled through everything and managed to get the copy edits done for Hurricane Fever by Monday. Though I have to admit, I was a bit exhausted (and sacrificed some sleep to achieve this, and that puts me in a bad spiral of odd hours, and not getting sleep affects me very strongly). The back pain has left me not sleeping really well, too, unless I take a higher dose of pain medication, but then that leaves me chemically foggy when I wake up. It’s a weird see-saw. I’m mostly just very grumpy and frustrated by my inability to juggle two freelance careers and all the writing that needs done, and when I get into that mindset I tend to avoid personal blogging because, really, a lot of people would kill to have my problems. I recognize that. So bemoaning the fact that people are begging me to write things, for money no less, is hardly a way to endear myself to many.

And yet, my problems are indeed my problems and no less frustrating to me.

Thankfully, each day there is less and less back pain. I believe today was the first day I didn’t wake up and wince. I woke up and took a shower, and only when I stepped out and reached for the towel did I suddenly go ‘oh wait, I can’t twist like that, ow.’ In fact, I woke up refreshingly normal-feeling. And that’s no small thing.

Now that Hurricane Fever is turned in, I’m working on outlining PS-1. I’m doing this with pencil, and paper, and it’s hard to quantify. Scribbled notes and scraps of paper, which are part of my initial workflow.

I can tell I’m a bit stressed out and tired because I was developing that odd physical response I have to stress; a numb face and eye pressure (or twitch). It’s an odd thing in that I don’t feel panicked, I mentally know what is next on deck. I’m more productive than many I know. But I still hold myself to high standards, and when things feel like they’re falling apart (even if I know it’s only for a couple weeks) I still get ridiculously upset. As someone who blew off classes and never really cared about expectations or other people’s perceptions, it’s odd to me that I allow anything to get to me. But I adore my jobs, my life, and how I make a living now. And so I do care, strongly. And so deep down any delays, anything less than the standard I expect, becomes somehow insanely unacceptable.

I suspect, after the next 18 months, I should take two weeks off with the aim of specifically doing nothing. Pure indolence. Maybe longer, if I can swing it. I’ve never taken a vacation in as long as I can remember, I’ve always freelanced or wrote. I turned out to be a workaholic… much to my own amusement…

Once I have a solid outline that both the editor of my project and I like, I’ll probably calm right the fuck down. I always do. Fundamentally, I think I’m reacting to uncertainty and lack of new words, as I tend to feel most comfortable about having new words on the table…

What’s absolutely hilarious about all this self-imposed stress is that this has been an amazing week in terms of good news in terms of business stuff that I can’t announce.

Go figure!

Progress report: day 21 (and catchup)

This weekend I went to Confusion, a local convention held in Detroit. I’ve been going since 2001. I went into wondering if I’d be able to keep my unchained days of writing going. On Friday I managed to juggle packing and getting in some work. Saturday I spent an hour working on the outline of PS 1.

I figured I’d work Sunday night, but Sunday night was my first stumble. I broke 18 days of chained together writing because when I got home I was so exhausted I ended up not even getting in front of the computer for even a token reinforcement of the habit.

The trick to developing a habit is not to get too morose about failing, but to get back on the bandwagon. Yesterday I got right back at it, working hard on edit notes for a story, giving me my first unchained day again. Today is the second, with more edits on the story.

If I make it through January with only one missed day, I’ll still be happy about this experiment. I’ve written 10,000 words so far this month, and edited two short stories (if I finish the edits on System Reset today, which it looks likely I will). Still on track to make the words I need to make this year. I’ll breathe easier once all the short fiction I owe people is done and I’m just working on the novel PS 1.

Also on the deck, I need to have the final copy edits for Hurricane Fever back to my editor at Tor by the 31st.

Progress report: day 15

Was up late off and on due to a coughing kid. With twins, right around when the one gets over getting sick, the other starts up. Poor Thalia was having a tough time of the cough. Then this morning I was woken by a phone call. Then the cable company coming over to trench the cable cord through our front yard. And the barking dogs.

Still got a thwack of freelancing done, and then 550 words on the Kickstarter short story for John Joseph Adams’ Help Fund My Robot Army. 1,421 words total. My fifteenth day in a row of writing. I think I’ll finish this piece up tonight or tomorrow by the latest. Catching up. This little bit every day adds up.

Progress report: weekend edition

I’m fighting a fever and a tremendous amount of exhaustion. I just want to curl up in a ball in front of a space heater by the TV and drift in and out while watching shows all weekend. The fever’s not too high, but the exhausting and cough (that wakes me up a bit when lying fully down) is cramping my style.

Emily wanted to take the twins to their first ever ice skating rink. I took a shot of cough medicine and piled in, even though I felt pretty horrible I didn’t want to miss seeing their first rink experience. And I’ve also never been. I have rollerbladed some, so it wasn’t too alien. I fumbled my way around and got moving a bit.

The twins rocked, until Thalia hit the ice hard and got a nosebleed. She refused to go back out. By that time my being sick caught up to me, I was exhausted and dizzy, so sitting out while Cal and Emily went around a couple more times was perfect. I fell asleep in the car on the way back and then curled up on the floor in front of the space heater listening to the twins watch Barbie Dreamhouse while I drifted.

Words.

Yesterday I did spend time on the planning stage of a short short piece for the Kickstarter anthology I promised a story to. 0 official words, but I was brainstorming on legal pads and creating template for the story that matches Kickstarter pages.

Today, a 334 words.

Now, back to more Nyquil for the headache and cough and under the warm blankets with some TV and napping, sleeping if I am so lucky.