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Posts Tagged ‘The Hub’

Yes, I’m going to Shore Leave this year

My second piece of writing news today: I can now confirm that I will be attending Shore Leave in Hunt Valley, Maryland as usual this year. The SF/fantasy convention will be held from July 6-8, 2018 at its usual venue, which is under new ownership yet again and is now called Delta Hotels Baltimore Hunt Valley.

https://www.shore-leave.com/

The plan is to debut Among the Wild Cybers at the convention, a process I’ll talk more about once I figure out just what it entails. This will be the first time I’ve debuted an original book at Shore Leave. I’m hoping there will be print copies of Hub Space available as well, but I’m not certain yet.

Hub Space cover

Oh, and there’ll be some actor guy named Shatner there too. I think I’ve seen him in one or two things…

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There be WILD CYBERS here!

No, I’m not under attack by rogue robots — rather, my author copies of Among the Wild Cybers: Tales Beyond the Superhuman have just arrived.

Among the Wild Cybers in box

Among the Wild Cybers in stack

They’re thinner than I expected for a nearly 80,000-word book, but I guess that’s because of the trade-paperback format. But here they are, and it’s not much longer before the rest of you can get them too (Kickstarter backers first).

Here’s my brag shelf of all my original fiction to date, such as it is:

CLB brag shelf

Minus Hub Space, which I haven’t yet obtained a print copy of. But hey, the shelf is finally starting to grow a bit, and there’s a good chance that it’ll be growing more before long. For now, though, Only Superhuman and Among the Wild Cybers contain my complete published works to date in my primary original universe (plus “No Dominion”). So it’s nice to see them side by side. (I put ATWC first both for height reasons — I don’t want it between two shorter mass-market paperbacks — and because I generally shelve anthologies/collections before novels, a habit I picked up when I worked at the university library.)

And we’re now ridiculously close to unlocking “Abductive Reasoning” for Kickstarter backers — one to three more pledges should do it:

Only 11 days left!

WILD CYBERS — First stretch goal unlocked!

The Epic Science Fiction Adventures Kickstarter for Among the Wild Cybers (and Bud Sparhawk’s Shattered Dreams) has achieved its first stretch goal of $1200. This means that everyone who pledges $5 or above from this point on will get, in addition to the basic rewards for their pledge, a DRM-free digital copy of Robert Waters’s short story “Los Gatos.”

The next stretch goal reward is a DRM-free digital copy of my short story “Abductive Reasoning” from the Sept/Oct 2017 Analog. Once we reach $1500 in pledges, that story will be unlocked for everyone who pledges $5 and up. This is a nice bonus because it’s my one remaining uncollected story to date, other than the new “Hubpoint of No Return” in the current Analog (and the plan is to collect that along with its two sequels once all three have come out). So if and when we reach that goal, Kickstarter backers will have a more comprehensive and up-to-date collection of my short fiction than Among the Wild Cybers alone had room to provide.

Every additional $500 in pledges beyond that will unlock another short story by one of several authors, including “Forest of a Thousand Lost Souls” by my editor Danielle Ackley-McPhail (at the $2000 level) and “Stone-Cold Whodunit” from my pal Keith R.A. DeCandido’s Super City Police Department series (at the $4500 level). There are still a few bonuses left to reveal beyond that, possibly including something more from me.

So let’s get those pledges up there, folks! Tell your friends! Share and tweet and other social media things! The more pledges we get, the more everyone (well, $5-up) gets in return. Only 23 days left!

“Hubpoint of No Return” is out!

It slipped my mind that yesterday was the on-sale date for the May/June 2018 Analog Science Fiction and Fact, containing my new story “Hubpoint of No Return,” the first new Hub comedy-adventure in Analog since 2013, and the first new Hub material to see print since the Hub Space collection in 2015. I’m quite honored to see that the story is featured by name on the cover:

Analog May/June 2018 cover

It’s rather mind-boggling to see my name given more prominence than luminaries like Wil McCarthy and the legendary Gregory Benford. I can only dream of being on their level.

The Analog site has a substantial excerpt up from “Hubpoint” available to read, along with a glimpse at the accompanying illustration by Josh Meehan:

http://www.analogsf.com/current-issue/story-excerpt2/

(Note to future readers: The above “current issue” link will probably lead to some other story after the end of June 2018.)

It’s a pretty cool illustration. I never imagined David wearing glasses, and Tsshar isn’t supposed to have a tail (assuming my single erroneous mention of one in the manuscript was successfully corrected in proofreading), but otherwise it looks like it captures the scene and characters quite well.

I learned of the issue’s release this morning in a rather nice way, when I checked Facebook and found a very flattering (though spoilery) review of the story at Rocket Stack Rank:

http://www.rocketstackrank.com/2018/04/Hubpoint-Of-No-Return-Christopher-L-Bennett.html

Money quote: “The best part of the story is the characters, who keep managing to be predictable in unexpected ways.”

I’m pleased that reviewer Greg Hullender plugged (and bought) the Hub Space collection of the first three stories. I’ve been hoping that the release of the new Hub stories would prompt new sales of the collection. But I’m also pleased that the reviewer felt the new story could be followed without prior knowledge of the series, so it could work as a new introduction and interest people in going back to the beginning afterward.

I’ve now updated my Hub page on my site, retitling it “The Hub Series” to account for the new stories (though the link address is the same) and adding non-spoiler background discussion on the story. Spoiler annotations will follow soon, but first I have to get my copies of the magazine so I can get the page numbers right.

Slight improvements

My check for the Hub stories finally came through. It figures that the one time I really needed the check to come sooner, it ended up taking exceptionally long to arrive. Still, the folks at the publisher were helpful and responsive when I asked for an update, so I don’t think there’s anyone to blame; it’s just one of those things. And at least it came before tax day, which is good. And it gives me a bit more of a cushion while I seek out other income. We’re getting closer to the Kickstarter for Among the Wild Cybers — it should be starting around the end of the month and running through May. (The cover art is being worked on now, so it won’t be long before I can show it.) I could still use some more income in the interim to tide me over until it’s done, but at least I have more time to spare now.

I’d all but given up on the check’s arrival yesterday afternoon, because I’d gone out for a walk and seen that the mail carrier was already at our building complex and coming back to his truck, so I figured he’d already delivered the letters and was just finishing up with some package deliveries. But the better part of an hour later, I heard the sound of the mailboxes in the front hall being opened and filled, and when I checked, there was my payment at last. I guess the mailman does packages first and saves letters and such for last — and I guess I underestimated how long it takes to deliver mail to a large apartment complex. If I’d just been more patient, I would’ve saved myself a lot of worry and double-checking.

My hip is also getting better. I had a bit of a resurgence of the pain a couple of days ago, but yesterday I was able to move pretty normally and even go for the aforementioned walk, plus the subsequent walk to the bank to deposit my check. So that’s a relief. And it’s good timing, with the weather around here finally improving.

I’ve been working on a short-short story to submit to one of those anthologies I mentioned last week, but I’m not entirely happy with it yet. There’s too much monologuing from the viewpoint character up front compared to the dialogue/conflict later on, and I’d like to rework it to shift the balance in the other direction, but that might require a wholesale rethinking. And I’m still not sure it’s the best story I can offer. The anthology’s taking submissions throughout the month, so I still have time to try to come up with something better. But it means postponing the other project I had been planning on writing next. Arrgh, I wish I weren’t so slow. I see some of my colleagues on Facebook talking about writing or selling several stories per month, and I envy them.

Oh, one of the rods on the Venetian blinds in my bedroom came loose yesterday. Apparently there’s a plastic clamp that holds the rod on the end piece from the inside, and one of its “legs” broke loose, and I don’t have any superglue to mend it. But some creative use of duct tape provided an inelegant but functional fix. Where would we be without duct tape?

Arrghh

Well, not all my writing news lately has been good. I just missed out on getting an assignment because the proposal I e-mailed in just before the deadline got lost somehow and never reached the editor. I only just found that out when I checked in to see why I hadn’t heard back. It’s something I can still do for them later, just in a different context — but that means I won’t get paid for it until some time later, and I still have a need for things that will pay off sooner. Really frustrating that I missed out for such a stupid reason.

The irony is, I went through a stretch of a few weeks where I didn’t hear back from anyone on anything and I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with my e-mail. I even tried sending test e-mails between my two addresses to check. Since then, I’ve gotten replies on most of the other things, so I figured I was fine on that front and maybe the editor was just delayed. Only for it to turn out that I was right the first time (at least in that instance) and the mail just didn’t get through.

It just occurred to me to check back through my past correspondence with this editor, and it turns out that I’ve always gotten an e-mail acknowledgment when I submitted something. But it’s a relatively new working relationship, so I guess I hadn’t realized that yet. If I had, maybe I would’ve noticed sooner that something was wrong.

It also just occurred to me that another thing I haven’t heard back about was sent to another publisher just a week earlier. So I’ve contacted them to double-check that they got it.

The odd thing is, I also had a delivery problem with a couple of pieces of physical mail back in January. I was contacted by two different businesses asking if my address had changed because something sent to my correct address (a bill in one case, a tax form in the other) had been sent back as undeliverable. Evidently there was a brief mixup at the post office, though I’m not sure what it was, because it didn’t affect any of my subsequent mail. Odd that I’d have both physical and electronic mail delivery problems in consecutive months. At least the snail-mail delays didn’t cost me any work, although I did postpone my tax appointment by a few days to make sure the form got to me in time. (Unnecessarily, as it turned out, since I got it on the morning of the day of my original appointment.)

Oh, speaking of work, I still haven’t had much luck finding a job. I got an interview for a position at the public library, but it’s always been very hard to get in there and I didn’t get the job, as I expected. But on the day before my interview there, I got a request to interview for a bookstore job I’d almost forgotten I applied for back in the holiday season. It helped to know I’d have another option in the likely event that the library thing didn’t come through. I’m waiting now to hear back about the bookstore job. Failing that, I guess I’ll have to search online for work again. At least my impending check for the new Hub stories should give me a little more breathing space to keep looking. But the gig I missed out on would’ve helped a bit more on top of that.

Categories: My Fiction Tags: ,

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.