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Posts Tagged ‘ebooks’

The upside of introversion

I don’t tend to follow the news as much as I should (since it tends to be depressing, especially under the current administration), but it’s been hard to miss the building crisis with the COVID-19 coronavirus and the impact it’s having on society. The thing is, all the stuff that’s being advised for how to minimize the risk — social distancing, washing hands frequently, staying home, avoiding crowds — is pretty much stuff I already did anyway. As I wrote here a couple of weeks ago, I’ve let myself become rather socially isolated in recent years, especially with my money problems lately. I’d just been on the verge of trying to change that, to get out into the world more, but now it seems I’m better off sticking with my current way of living for a while longer.

As far as my money situation goes, it’s showing signs of improvement. I’ve gotten a number of donations from my very generous fans, and I’ve finally gotten some writing work lined up, hopefully just in the nick of time. I’m still kind of worried about whether I’ll have enough to pay taxes when the time comes, especially since there’s no telling if the tax preparer appointment I made for two weeks from now will have to be postponed due to the virus. But I’m still planning to start that Patreon page soon, which hopefully will help. I could still use some other kind of work in the near future, but the pandemic situation has made me think I should refocus on prospects for online work I can do from home, which was something I was already considering anyway.

So far, the only way the burgeoning emergency has really affected my life is that the library closed for at least 3 weeks as of tonight, which is delaying me from finishing the first set of reviews I’m planning for the Patreon page. See, I picked something I own as a DVD box set, but it turns out the discs are defective and have deteriorated over the years — for some reason, every one (correction: every damaged one, since the first two worked okay) only plays the first two episodes normally and freezes up on the last two. So I’ve had to request additional copies from the library (and interestingly the DVD player remembered my place even when I switched to a different copy of the same disc), and the last two discs were still en route to my local branch when they closed for the duration. Well, I’ve still got enough reviews to last a while, and if it comes to that, I suppose I can pay to stream the episodes online, out of whatever profits I hopefully make from the earlier reviews.

My other library news is good, though. By coincidence, I’ve just recently gotten around at long last to exploring the options for borrowing e-books from the library. I signed up for the Hoopla service, which can be used by anyone with a library card from a participating library, and I’ve discovered it has a ton of digital comics available, which has let me catch up with a lot of things I’ve had trouble finding in print form. You can borrow them for 3 weeks, but the downside is that they only let you borrow 10 items a month for some reason, and I’ve exhausted that quite quickly both this month and last. Hoopla also has movies, TV shows, music, and audiobooks (including my own Spider-Man: Drowned in Thunder), though I haven’t borrowed any of those yet.

I also looked into the Overdrive lending service which partners with schools and libraries and lets you borrow e-books and audiobooks — including quite a few Star Trek novels, mine and others’. You can borrow 20 per month, though only for 2 weeks, at least for the ones I’ve borrowed. You can even borrow them in Kindle format, or for other e-readers, which has proven quite handy. What’s more, when I decided a couple of days ago to look into the possibility of installing a Kindle app on my phone so I could read e-books away from my computer, I found I already had one that had come pre-installed with the phone (along with a bunch of other apps I never use). I just had to sign in, and there all my books were! What’s more, the two Kindles communicate and keep track of how far I’ve advanced in a book. So far I’m finding that I quite like reading books on my phone, even though it’s a pretty small phone. I’m used to reading websites or playing games on my phone, so reading books on it feels quite comfortable. If anything, I think my eyes are getting close to the point that it’s easier to read on a screen where I can adjust the font size than from a printed page. I have a feeling I’m going to do a lot more reading now that it’s suddenly become so easy to get a library book delivered in seconds. I’m finding it quite enjoyable.

Between that and the new writing gig (which I’ve gotten a great idea for that I’m pretty excited by), plus my readers’ generosity, I’m feeling much better than I was a couple of weeks ago. I was so panicked before that when I finally got this job offer, I ended up just lying on the floor for a few minutes, overcome with relief. But it wasn’t until the past couple of days, with this neat new idea falling into place and with the discovery of the wonders of library e-books, that I’m finally starting to smile again and actually be in a good mood. My work situation is still not fully stabilized, and at best it’s no better than the tenuous state it’s been in for the past three years, but this renewed optimism may be what I need to take things further. Hopefully this time I can finally make progress beyond that status quo, what with Patreon and the upcoming release of Arachne’s Crime and maybe some payoff for one or two other job feelers I’ve set in motion.

Of course, I’m having this burst of optimism just as our nation descends into a state of emergency, and there’s no telling what the next few weeks will bring. But I guess that’s better than facing such a crisis from a state of deep depression. And it kind of helps that all I really have to do to cope with the crisis is keep doing what I was already doing anyway. It makes me feel somewhat better about my introverted tendencies.

Categories: My Fiction Tags: , , ,

CRIMES OF THE HUB is out!

Well, it took several months longer than I’d hoped, and I’m a couple of weeks late reporting it, but Crimes of the Hub has finally gone on sale. The sequel to Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy collects the stories “Hubpoint of No Return,” “…And He Built a Crooked Hub,” and “Hubstitute Creatures,” revised, expanded, and blended into a single short novel.

Crimes of the Hub cover

The stock photo site we used for the Hub Space cover has gone out of business in the interim, so we had to “recast” Nashira and David for this cover using images sourced from Shutterstock. But I think the new Nashira model is an improvement, a closer fit to the Lucy Liu-ish appearance I’ve always imagined for the character. It would’ve made more sense for Julio to be the shirtless one (or for all three to be shirtless), but we had to work with the shots that were available.

Here’s the promotional blurb (which will be the back cover blurb once there’s a print edition):

The hapless heroes of Hub Space return with new jobs, new allies, and new adventures at the heart of the galaxy, in a novel expanded and revised from stories originally appearing in Analog.

Just when cynical space pilot Nashira Wing has finally started to enjoy helping David LaMacchia with his clueless quest to crack the secrets of the Hub Network, he’s hijacked by a crew of kittenish thieves and trapped in the treasure vault of a far older civilization. What he finds there gives Nashira a shot at the score of a lifetime—but changes David’s life in ways that threaten their friendship. To keep the devious masters of the Hub from getting their tentacles on Nashira’s prize, she and David must mend frayed relationships and navigate new ones, all while facing adventures in larceny, sex, bureaucracy, hyperspatial geometry, and radical body modification. Can they come through it all with their hearts, their identities, and their dignity intact?

It’s available as an e-book from:

And here’s the book’s Goodreads page if you want to keep track of it there. If you read the book (or any of my other books), please post reviews on Amazon and Goodreads — it helps raise a book’s profile if it gets enough reviews.

I’ll be reworking the individual story annotations for the new format and added material. I’m still figuring out what approach to take there.

In other original fiction news, I’ve been informed that the new Green Blaze story “Conventional Powers” will be in the September/October 2019 issue of Analog. Won’t be long now! So far, this year has seen the release of Star Trek Adventures: The Gravity of the Crime, ST:TOS: The Captain’s Oath, “The Melody Lingers,” Crimes of the Hub, and “The Stuff that Dreams Are Made Of,” and still to come we have three more STA campaigns, “Conventional Powers,” and Arachne’s Crime. That’s ten distinct publications in one year, breaking my previous record in 2010!

Announcing CRIMES OF THE HUB, my second Hub book!

It’s time for my first new project announcement for 2019, for certain values of “new.” Fans who’ve followed my posts and notes about last year’s trilogy of Hub stories in Analog are aware that I wrote the three novelettes with an overall story arc, with an eye toward subsequently collecting them in a second e-book/print volume to follow up Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy. It took a couple of years to find a publisher for the first collection and get it put together, but since that relationship with Crossroad Press was already established, I’m able to get the second collection out much sooner after publication.

Crimes of the Hub will collect “Hubpoint of No Return,” “…And He Built a Crooked Hub,” and “Hubstitute Creatures” into one volume. As with the Hub Space collection, Crimes of the Hub adds new material within and between the stories to flesh things out and tie the stories together a bit more, and to offer something new for those who’ve read the original stories in Analog. In Hub Space, I inserted in-universe articles as interludes so that the stories would stand apart more, but this time, since the stories were written as a single arc, I decided to add bridging scenes to make them flow straight into one another, essentially merging them into a fix-up novel. And it is long enough (about 45,000 words, more than a third longer than Hub Space) to qualify as a novel, albeit a short one. Although the original stories are longer than the first three as well, so the percentage of new material is about the same for both books, roughly 13%. It comes out to a whole new chapter bridging the first two stories but only one scene bridging the latter pair (since there’s less of a time jump there), as well as some added or expanded passages within the stories. I also trimmed or rephrased some bits of redundant exposition and moved a few lines around here and there to make it work better as a continuous narrative. But it still tells the same stories with the same dialogue and events, just with more detail and interstitial material added, and with some overlooked typos corrected.

My decision to turn this into more of a short novel than a pure collection is why I decided to call it just Crimes of the Hub instead of Hub Space 2: Crimes of the Hub as I originally planned. Or Crimes of the Hub: More Tales from the Greater Galaxy. Or something like that. I admit I seriously considered calling it Hub Space 2: Galactic Boogaloo.

Since small-press publishing moves fast, it probably won’t be very long before CotH goes on sale. I’ll post ordering info and the cover art as soon as they become available. It will initially be an e-book exclusive, but a print-on-demand edition should be available in time. It takes the publisher a little more time to get the print editions done, but this time the two editions should come out much closer together than the 3-year gap for Hub Space (since print editions weren’t yet available when the book first came out and I was slow to discover they were an option).

So anyway, this will bring my count of original books to four: Only Superhuman, Among the Wild Cybers, and the two Hub volumes. That’s twice what it was nine months ago. I hope it won’t be long before I have even more to announce.

As for the Hub universe, I haven’t yet made any firm plans for a third set of stories, since I’ve been focusing on other stuff. But the better Crimes of the Hub sells, the more motivated I’ll be to work on a continuation, nudge-nudge.

New Trek project: DTI: SHIELD OF THE GODS

October 19, 2016 1 comment

Sorry I haven’t been posting — I’ve been kind of preoccupied lately. Anyway, Amazon has revealed the title of the third Department of Temporal Investigations e-novella, Shield of the Gods. That’s right, there’s a third one, something that probably won’t come as a surprise to readers of the second one, Time Lock, which had a sort of “To Be Continued” ending. I basically approached these novellas (at least the last two) as a trilogy. They collectively add up to the length of a novel, and I’ve structured them so that they could sort of work as a novel-length story in three parts, with each installment growing out of the events of the previous one. Although I don’t know if there’s any realistic prospect of them ever being collected that way, so don’t get your hopes up. Would be nice, though.

Mythology buffs may recognize the title as a reference to the Aegis — the name that Howard Weinstein coined in DC’s Trek comics for the employers of Gary Seven in TOS: “Assignment: Earth,” an organization that played a role in DTI: Watching the Clock as well as several of Greg Cox’s and Dayton Ward’s novels about Gary Seven and Roberta Lincoln. This isn’t a Gary/Roberta story, though; rather, I want to examine the Aegis from another perspective and address some questions I’ve wondered about.

According to Amazon, the release is scheduled for June 19, 2017. I’ll post more info as it becomes available. And hopefully I’ll have news about some other projects soon.

DTI: TIME LOCK cover is out

I just found out that The Trek Collective posted the cover to Department of Temporal Investigations: Time Lock on Friday:

DTI Time Lock cover

It’s kind of abstract, but so were the previous covers. And this one’s based on an idea that’s hard to visualize. Another clock face would’ve been a bit repetitive, even though this is a story for which a ticking clock would be appropriate. Anyway, the blue is a nice change of pace from the red-orange of previous covers.

Here’s the blurb again:

The dedicated agents of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations have their work cut out for them protecting the course of history from the dangers of time travel. But the galaxy is littered with artifacts that, in the wrong hands, could threaten reality. One of the DTI’s most crucial jobs is to track down these objects and lock them safely away in the Federation’s most secret and secure facility. As it happens, Agent Gariff Lucsly and his supervisor, DTI director Laarin Andos, are charged with handling a mysterious space-time portal device discovered by Starfleet. But this device turns out to be a Trojan horse, linking to a pocket dimension and a dangerous group of raiders determined to steal some of the most powerful temporal artifacts ever known…

Time Lock will be released about a week from now, around September 5. You can find preorder links here at Simon & Schuster’s Time Lock page, and international links in the Trek Collective page linked above.

DTI: Time Lock now available for preorder!

I’ve just learned that my next Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations e-novella, Time Lock, has been listed for preorder online, with a publication date on or around September 5, 2016. Here’s Simon & Schuster’s ordering page for it, which has ordering links to all the various e-book retailers on the lower right. (More efficient just to send you there and let you take your pick, rather than try to track down all the links myself. My freeze-prone laptop just froze when I tried clicking on a link on an Amazon page, so I’d rather not take chances right now.)

And I know September is kind of a long wait. I don’t know why that is — presumably that’s just where they could fit it in the schedule. Still, let’s just say that a long wait is kind of appropriate for this one…

HUB SPACE is now available!

I’m pleased to announce that Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy has just gone on sale! That’s right, one advantage of e-publishing is that it takes hardly any time at all to get a finished book out to the public. Here’s the cover and blurb:

Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy

Cover by David Dodd

The Hub is the most important place in the galaxy — the single point through which all interstellar travel must pass. Yet no one in the galaxy understands how it works. David LaMacchia, an unimportant man from an unimportant planet called Earth, is determined to change that. He’s got no qualifications and no skills. His only friends are a cynical, sharp-tongued space pilot named Nashira Wing and a smugly philanthropic alien named Rynyan, and they both think he’s crazy. On top of that, the powers that profit from the Hub might just be trying to kill him. Still… that won’t stop David from trying to prove that humanity can make a difference to the greater galaxy.

Now the tales of the Hub from the pages of Analog are collected for the first time in one volume, newly revised and expanded! Includes “The Hub of the Matter,” “Home is Where the Hub Is,” and “Make Hub, Not War,” plus exclusive bonus material!

Considering that the cover is assembled from stock images, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. It evokes the character dynamic of Vladimir Bondar’s art from the Russian edition of “The Hub of the Matter,” while coming closer to how I envisioned David and Nashira’s appearance. Too bad there wasn’t any stock art of a leonine humanoid alien with a feathery mane.

Hub Space is priced at $3.99 US and can be purchased from the following vendors:

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Smashwords

iTunes

Update: Kobo

HUB SPACE coming soon!

I’ve now finished up the manuscript for Hub Space, the revised and expanded collection of my Hub stories from Analog, and turned it in to the publisher. In addition to correcting the errors in the original stories, there’s new material within the stories and some bonus items in between, adding about 10 percent to the total length of the work.

Since this is a novella-length e-book exclusive from a small press, apparently the publication process is going to be much faster than I expected. Depending on how long the proofreading takes, it will probably be on sale before the end of February. I’ll be sure to post the ordering info as soon as I have it.

Announcing HUB SPACE: The Hub meets the Crossroad

January 16, 2015 1 comment

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve just signed with Crossroad Press to release an e-book compilation of my three “Hub” stories to date, “The Hub of the Matter,” “Home is Where the Hub Is,” and “Make Hub, Not War.” Things are still preliminary, but unless I come up with something better, the title of the collection will be Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy.

It’s always been my hope to do enough Hub stories to collect into a novel-length fixup. But the rise of e-publishing gives me another option that doesn’t require waiting so long, since it’s opened a market for novella-length publications, a market that didn’t really exist in print. The first three stories form a loose arc of their own, so it makes sense to collect them and get them back into print, so that if I sell more stories in the future, it’ll be easier for new readers to track down the first three.

Also, this gives me a chance to revise the stories. The first two were published with errors — somehow the final corrections for the first story got lost in the mail, and somehow I got the name of a major character’s species wrong in the second. So this is my chance to finally get the corrected versions of the stories into print — another reason I decided to act now rather than waiting years more to accumulate a novel’s worth of stories. Not only that, but I’m expanding the stories a bit, adding new material here and there to flesh out the characters and their environment. I went for brevity in the original novelettes, but here I have room to breathe a little more. So readers who own the original Analog issues will still get something extra if they buy the collection.

I don’t yet have information on the publication date or the price, but I’ll report that as it becomes available. No cover art yet either, but here’s the illustration from the Russian reprint of “The Hub of the Matter” again, just because it’s cool:

Russian "Hub of the Matter" title page

Art by Vladimir Bondar

DTI: THE COLLECTORS is out today!

December 8, 2014 10 comments

The temporal coordinates have arrived! My newest e-novella, Star Trek: Department of Temporal Investigations: The Collectors, is now available for purchase wherever e-books are sold.

DTI The Collectors cover

Here are some ordering links:

And here’s the discussion page on my website, with a link to the story annotations.

The story description:

The dedicated agents of the Federation Department of Temporal Investigations have their work cut out for them protecting the course of history from the dangers of time travel. But the galaxy is littered with artifacts that, in the wrong hands, could threaten reality. One of the DTI’s most crucial jobs is to track down these objects and lock them safely away in the Federation’s most secret and secure facility. When Agents Lucsly and Dulmur bring home an alien obelisk of incredible power, they are challenged by a 31st-century temporal agent who insists they surrender the mysterious artifact to her. But before they know it, the three agents are pulled into a corrupted future torn apart by a violent temporal war. While their DTI colleagues attempt to track them down, Lucsly and Dulmur must restore temporal peace by setting off on an epic journey through the ages, with the future of the galaxy hanging in the balance…

FORGOTTEN HISTORY reprinted in e-book omnibus THE CONTINUING MISSIONS, Vol. 1

December 18, 2012 1 comment

Simon & Schuster/Pocket is about to put out several e-book omnibuses (yes, that is the correct plural) each combining three related Star Trek novels into one volume. One of them, Star Trek: The Original Series: The Continuing Missions, Volume 1, includes my own DTI novel Forgotten History along with Greg Cox’s The Rings of Time and Dayton Ward’s That Which Divides. In this case, the books aren’t really related, more just a trio of recent standalone TOS adventures, although Rings and FH both involve time travel and there’s a slight bit of cross-reference between them. (Maybe TWD also fits with the general theme of space-time phenomena because it involves a pocket universe, though that’s reaching.) But what the hey, it’s a new edition of one of my books. And the FH cover is being used as the cover for the whole volume:

Continuing Missions v1

I admit, FH is kind of an odd choice for inclusion here, since it’s not entirely a self-contained TOS novel but ties into DTI: Watching the Clock as well. Still, I wrote it so that it could work as a TOS novel guest-starring some guys from the future. And who knows? Maybe this omnibus will help bring the story to at least some TOS readers who didn’t take note of it when it was published under the DTI banner. Again, though, this is only being released in e-book form as far as I know.

And yeah, it looks as if all TOS prose tales from now on are going to be subtitled The Original Series, presumably to distinguish them from the new movies.

UPDATE: Oops, sorry, forgot to mention — the publication date is on or around January 29, 2013.

More ONLY SUPERHUMAN news: Now available for Kindle

Well, Barnes & Noble was behind in getting the blurb and such posted for Only Superhuman, but ahead in making the book available in e-book form.  Amazon.com has now caught up; Only Superhuman can now be preordered in Kindle format.

It’s worth pointing out, since I’ve gathered lately that some people aren’t aware of this, that even if you don’t have a Kindle, Nook, or other e-reader device, you can download free e-reading software for the computer or mobile device of your choice wherever e-books of the corresponding format are sold.

ONLY SUPERHUMAN now available for the Nook!

Only Superhuman by Christopher L. BennettBarnes & Noble has now made Only Superhuman available for pre-order in the Nook e-book format, retailing for $11.99:

Only Superhuman [NOOK Book]

This means it will be available for the Nook (or NOOK, I guess) reader itself and for NOOK “apps” for PC, Mac, and mobile devices.

Amazon has yet to follow suit and make the book available in their Kindle format, apparently.

Good news for the publishing industry!

According to The New York Times, the publishing industry is recovering from the economic crisis of a few years ago:

Publishing Gives Hints of Revival, Data Show

BookStats, a comprehensive survey conducted by two major trade groups that was released early Tuesday, revealed that in 2010 publishers generated net revenue of $27.9 billion, a 5.6 percent increase over 2008. Publishers sold 2.57 billion books in all formats in 2010, a 4.1 percent increase since 2008.

One of the strongest growth areas was adult fiction, which had a revenue increase of 8.8 percent over three years.

E-books were another bright spot, thanks to the proliferation and declining cost of e-reading devices like the Nook by Barnes & Noble and Amazon’s Kindle, and the rush by publishers to digitize older books.

In 2008 e-books were 0.6 percent of the total trade market; in 2010, they were 6.4 percent. Publishers have seen especially robust e-book sales in genre fiction like romance, mystery and thrillers, as well as literary fiction. In 2010, 114 million e-books were sold, the report said.

This doesn’t come as a complete surprise to me.  After all, not only did I just sell my first original novel to Tor, but my former Star Trek editor Marco Palmieri, who was laid off from Pocket due to the economic crisis, has recently been hired by Tor.  The fact that publishers are hiring new staff at all is a sign that things are getting better.

And the news about the rise in e-book sales, while not too surprising, is heartening, since I’m currently looking at the first-pass galleys for Star Trek: Typhon Pact: The Struggle Within, the first new ST e-book since March 2008, which goes on sale in October.  Hopefully it will do well and be the first of many more.

“The Hub of the Matter” e-book links

The March 2010 Analog featuring “The Hub of the Matter” has been off the shelves for a while now, but I’ve belatedly realized that it’s still available as an e-book from several dealers.  Here are the sites where I’ve found it:

eReader.com

Fictionwise.com

Sony Reader Store