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Posts Tagged ‘the stolen future’

In celebration of the upcoming release of The Killing Scar , third book in the Nemesis series (available at the special pre-order price), the first book, The Choking Rain, is now available for free on Amazon and other platforms!

February, 1932: The city of Los Angeles is anticipating a huge boost to its depression-ravaged economy from the upcoming Summer Olympics. But when a horrifying and unexplained wave of deaths sweeps the city, the incipient panic could ruin everything. An ex-fighter pilot uncovers an international terror plot which threatens not only the city and the Games, but the peace of the entire world. He will throw everything he has into the fight–and victory, if it comes, will demand a terrible price: Before it is done, a life will be lost, and a legend will be born.

And if your tastes run more to the out-of-this-world, The Invisible City, first in the Stolen Future trilogy, is also free. A 20th-century man is hurled into the distant future, where he is considered nothing more than an ignorant barbarian to be hunted and killed. If he survives, he may save the world–but will he choose the world of his past, or of his future?

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My trilogy, “The Stolen Future” (or at least the first 2/3) is featured today on File770.com. This is a huge honor and I am surprised and gratified.

Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!

 

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The Helsinki Worldcon has just announced that it will present, on a trial basis, a Hugo award for “Best Series,” in 2017. Personally, I would just as soon see the award stay in Finland and never get a visa, as it were.

Without going into the guidelines, what I see is an annual “Best Novel” Hugo not going to the best novel. In other words, series will be nominated either because their partisans just love it to pieces (and good for them) or because the latest installment sits head and shoulders above the standard previously set for that series. In the first case, you’re nominating a series that no one who hasn’t read it already is going to read before voting. Voting in the “Best Novel” category is already hard enough (no time, expensive hardcovers). This category will have a small voting pool. In the second case, well, there’s already a “Best Novel” Hugo.

It has been suggested (and I suspect the suggestion will prove popular), to limit each series to one win. On the surface, I agree. But there are only so many great series out there, and I fear we would quickly read the state of “American Idol disease,” where once the deserved winners are burned off, the selection becomes less about quality and more about filling slots.

If this must continue (as I predict it will), I would be less opposed if a negotiated settlement could be reached. How about we eliminate a category, like “Best Professional Editor-Long Form”? I appreciate the work that goes into editing books, but I don’t have the faintest notion how to vote that category. I’m sorry, but who pays attention to the editor? How do you even know? At the very least, change it to “Best Professional Publisher-Long Form” so all we have to do is check the imprint.

By the way, in the interests of full disclosure, I hope to finish my trilogy by the end of the year. It would be eligible. But since it would be disingenuous to seek nominations, I won’t. Really, don’t nominate me. I wasn’t even planning to go. Oh, all right, if you must…

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I was wandering the halls of the internet a while back, and came upon a discussion of some of the classic (as in old) novels that formed the foundation of the “planetary romance” genre, the genre my Stolen Future trilogy belongs to. Some I’d heard of, some I hadn’t, but it was fun to see just how far back the antecedents of what I’ve been working on go. Turns out they go back to at least 1905, in the person of Edwin L Arnold‘s Lieut. Gulliver Jones (later reprinted as Gulliver of Mars), published in England seven years before Edgar Rice BurroughsA Princess of Mars, which is usually considered the seminal work in the field.

Well, that’s nice, right? In one eye and out the other. Nothing special about it–until the other day when I wandered into Fahrenheit 451 Books in Carlsbad, California, reached the SF section, and there, staring at me from its own little shelf on the wall was… Gulliver of Mars. Hey! went my brain. That’s that book! So of course I had to buy it and now I’m reading it. So far, it’s…quaint.

The point of this rumination, however, is that you don’t make these kinds of serendipitous discoveries on Amazon. You don’t sit down in front of your computer, type in a URL, and inhale the subtle aroma of old paper. You don’t wander past high wooden shelves and glance through their offerings, and come away with a book you didn’t even know existed, in a genre you weren’t looking for. (As I did. In fact, the book was so obscure the owner didn’t remember having stocked it.) Only in a bookstore can this happen.

I am a book person. Not an e-book person. Amazon is for readers, but bookstores are for book people. And for book people to survive, there must be bookstores. Only in a bookstore can book people know true love. Amazon has its uses, such as when you know exactly what you want and you can’t find it locally but you have to have it now because someone’s birthday is coming. Amazon is like the 7-11 of books; it’s okay in an emergency, but you really shouldn’t do your weekly grocery shopping there.*

Many will disagree with me. Many will espouse convenience, and choice, and price. And for them, they may be right. But I’ve shopped Amazon, and I’ve shopped bookstores, and you readers who only want convenience?

You’ll never know true love.

*Yes, my books are only available on-line. I appreciate the irony.

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