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HUB SPACE is now in trade paperback!

That second bit of good news about my Hub series has materialized sooner than expected! Crossroad Press is now offering Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy in trade paperback form as well as e-book form. At last, my first Hub collection, containing the corrected and expanded editions of “The Hub of the Matter,” “Home is Where the Hub Is,” and “Make Hub, Not War” plus supplemental material, is available in a print edition!

Hub Space: Tales from the Greater Galaxy

The new trade paperback edition of Hub Space can be purchased directly from Crossroad Press here:

https://crossroadpress.com/product/hub-space/

Or from Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946025496

The cover price is $9.99, though Crossroad’s site is offering it for $8.00 for a limited time. I haven’t seen a physical copy yet myself, but I’ve seen the PDF, and it looks good. It comes out to about 126 pages in print form, comparable to the length of a lot of older science fiction novels and collections from the ’50s or ’60s, though larger in page size.

This paperback release is quite timely, since readers of the new story “Hubpoint of No Return” in next month’s Analog now have an additional buying option if they want to refresh their memories about the previous stories. It’s also just a few months before the release of my second story collection, Among the Wild Cybers. Before long, then, I’ll have three original books all available in print. With at least one more to follow next year, since there’s sure to be a second Hub collection once Analog has published all three of the new stories. I’m so glad that my original fiction is finally starting to take up more shelf space! Although I’ve still got a long way to go if I want my original output to catch up with my tie-in output.

“Twilight’s Captives” will be in the Jan/Feb 2017 ANALOG

As visitors to my home page may have already noticed, I’ve learned that my upcoming novelette “Twilight’s Captives” will be appearing in the January/February 2017 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. Since the October 2016 issue seems to be the current one on sale, I guess that means it should be out before the end of this year. That’s roughly the same time that my Star Trek: The Original Series novel The Face of the Unknown will be out, so that’ll be a big month for me.

Given that it’s been only six weeks since I sold the story, and given that it took nearly a year for my previous Analog story to see print, I’m surprised that it’s moving so fast. Two stories in Analog only 7 months apart is a new record for me; my previous record was 9 months between “The Hub of the Matter” and “Home is Where the Hub Is.” And that makes this only the second time I’ve had two Analog stories separated by under two years. Hopefully it won’t be the last.

I’ve already proofread the story’s galleys, which is how I know the publication date, so I know that this story will have an illustration — though I don’t know what it will look like or who the artist will be. I have my own design sketches for the featured aliens, which I’ll post with the story notes on publication, but Analog‘s artist may well take them in a different direction. This will be my fifth illustrated Analog story; the only ones without artwork are “The Hub of the Matter” and “Murder on the Cislunar Railroad” (although the former got a nifty illustration when it was republished in the Russian Esli magazine).

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

Return to the Hub!

It’s been a long time coming, but I’m pleased to announce that Analog Science Fiction and Fact will be publishing the third installment of my “Hub” series of novelettes, following “The Hub of the Matter” from the March 2010 issue and “Home is Where the Hub Is” from the December 2010 issue. The story is titled “Make Hub, Not War”, and will examine the question of how the existence of the Hub — the only known means of faster-than-light transportation and thus the one point that all interstellar travel must pass through — affects the nature and opportunities for warfare. It will also feature the first look at Earth in the Hub era and flesh out the background of the series’ human leads. All in all, it’s my most ambitious story yet in the series.

Which is part of why it took me so long to finish, I suppose. Once I realized the story I was telling would take me to Earth, that made things more complex, since I had to figure out both the state of things on Earth and the backgrounds of David and Nashira, and figure out how to balance those things with the rest of the story. It took a while to work out the best way to proceed. Plus I’ve been kept busy the past couple of years with Only Superhuman and my Star Trek work, so “Make Hub, Not War” often had to take a back seat.

I’m relieved this story sold, to be honest, because during the gap between stories, Analog‘s editor Stanley Schmidt, who gave me my start in this business, retired, and I wasn’t sure his successor Trevor Quachri would have tastes compatible with the Hub stories. Since it’s the third in a series, I wasn’t sure what my options would’ve been if Analog hadn’t bought it. Although Trevor tells me he thinks the story stands well on its own. Anyway, I’m glad the run of the Hub stories in Analog is continuing, and I hope it won’t be for the last time. (So many Hub-related title puns left to make…)

There’s no scheduled publication date yet, but I’d expect it to be sometime around the start of 2014 or, with luck, the end of this year. I’ll announce the date once it’s settled.

The Hub of the Errata

I’ve finally been getting back to work on the third story in my Hub universe, and in reviewing the first two, I’ve discovered I made a really major continuity error that I somehow managed to overlook.  In “The Hub of the Matter,” I referred to the character of Mokak Vekredi as a member of the Zeghryk species — yet in “Home is Where the Hub Is,” I called him a Verzhik instead!  Worse, Verzhik is a name I’d already used three years earlier for an alien species referenced (but not seen) in Star Trek: Mere Anarchy: The Darkness Drops Again.

I have no idea how this happened.  I mean, the names are similar enough that I can certainly see how I might’ve gotten them confused… but I know I re-read the first story repeatedly to refresh my memory for writing the second.  And the correct name for the species is right there in my series notes too.  Maybe the problem is that I reviewed THotM and the notes before writing HiWtHI and not so much during or after.

Now the question is, what do I do about it?  I’m tempted to come up with a rationalization in the third story that explains away the two different names.  After all, how many dozens of different names in different languages do we have for humans?  But given that I already used the name “Verzhik” elsewhere — and in work I don’t own, no less — I should probably avoid using the name again in the Hubverse.  I should probably just go back to using “Zeghryk” and pretend it was always that way, and fix the error should I ever get HIWTHI reprinted.

Oh, well.  These are the pitfalls of series writing.  Heck, Dr. Watson’s war wound location and marital status  were famously variable in the Sherlock Holmes canon.  And Stan Lee forgot some of his iconic characters’ names in early Marvel Comics issues — Bruce Banner was sometimes called Bob Banner (hence the “Robert Bruce Banner” fix), and Peter Parker was Peter Palmer once or twice.  Still, it’s embarrassing, and I apologize for the error.

The Hub: Back in the, uh, Russian Federation

Well, the Russian SF magazine ESLI has reprinted my second Hub story, “Home is Where the Hub Is,” in its March 2011 issue:

Esli cover 3/11

 

This time I didn’t get my name on the cover, it seems, but at least my copy arrived intact in the mail.

The Russian version of the story is titled ТОЧКА ВЫХОДА, which apparently transliterates as Tochka Vihoda and means “Point of Exit.”  I guess a literal translation of the title wouldn’t have meant much in Russian; maybe they don’t have that saying over there?  Still, it seems a bit… prosaic.  And the illustration (by a different artist this time) doesn’t capture the characters as well as the first one did, though it is more comical in tone.

“Home is Where the Hub Is” reviewed

The cxPulp website has reviewed the December Analog at:

http://www.cxpulp.com/content.php?826-Analog-Science-Fiction-Fact-December-2010

It had the following to say about “Home is Where the Hub Is”:

For those unfamiliar with The Hub, Christopher Bennett basically intended the idea to be something of a “Sci-Fi Sitcom,” a well developped story set in a science fiction universe that is funny, but one that isn’t a spoof.  …Taken in that light, this story is fun. The characters are very-much in the sit-com mold, light and relatable on the surface, and the concept employs many television tropes (as listed on tvtropes.org) like the Official Couple, Incompatible Orientation, and Oblivious to Love. And I insist that the Qhpong has the makings of a Breakout Character…

The story is light and entertaining, and like most sitcoms, the Status Quo is God.

The story gets a 4/5 rating, and only one item in the issue gets a higher rating than that, though it ties my story with pieces by Shane Tourtelotte and William Michael McCarthy.  I’d quibble that there is a slight change to the status quo at the end, though I guess one could say it’s done to maintain the status quo in a larger sense.  And I’m not sure how Official Couple and Incompatible Orientation apply here, unless the latter is meant to apply to Nashira/Rynyan.  Still, 4/5 is pretty darn good, so I’m happy about that.

Notes for “Home/Hub”

The story notes for “Home is Where the Hub Is” are now up at my site:

http://home.fuse.net/ChristopherLBennett/Originalfiction.html#HIWTHI

Although most of the discussion is in the spoiler section, so ideally you should buy the issue and read the story first.

The contracts are signed…

…so I can announce my latest original fiction sales.

“The Weight of Silence” will be appearing in the online Alternative Coordinates magazine in their next issue, debuting on May 1, 2010.  This is that third “Default Universe” story I mentioned a couple of weeks ago.  It’s also the shortest story I’ve sold to date, just 7600 words, barely long enough to qualify as a novelette.  (Second-shortest is my upcoming “No Dominion” at 7900.)

And the characters from “The Hub of the Matter” will be returning to the pages of Analog in a new novelette called “Home is Where the Hub Is.”  The publication date hasn’t been settled on yet, but I’d expect it to be sometime in late 2010.

I like the way my homepage is looking now.  My New/Upcoming Titles list is getting busier, and it’s dominated by original projects.  And I’m looking forward to the way my Original Fiction page is going to expand over the months ahead.

And I’ve still got three more stories out on the market, so hopefully I’ll have some more announcements ere long.

But stay tuned for the big announcement of the day, in my next post…

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