Thursday, December 26, 2013

Half-Price Ebook Sale at Book View Café

My friends at Book View Café and I are having a big Boxing Day Week sale on a huge number of books. All of my books there are half-price for a limited time, and there are a ton of other great half-price books by my fellow BVC authors. The list includes many familiar names from the science fiction and fantasy world, including Ursula LeGuin, Vonda McIntyre, Pati Nagle, Linda Nagata, Judith Tarr, David Levine, Chris Dolley, and many others in a variety of genres. This is an excellent chance to stock up on some terrific books for half price, and maybe discover some new favorite authors along the way. Here's where to look:

The books are all DRM-free in both Kindle and Epub format, so you can read them on pretty much any reading device you like. It doesn't get much better than that, in the ebookosphere.

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Merry Christmas, All Twelve Days' Worth!

I hope you all had (or are still having) a wonderful Christmas, and for that matter Solstice and impending celebration of our circuit around the Sun! Here at the Starrigger Ranch, we had a terrific Christmas, including a turkey dinner, with my brother Chuck and his wife Youngmee visiting, and our friend Mary and Allysen's mom here, as well. It was a fantastic celebration of family and friends.

My wife grew up largely in Latin America and has a strong sense of the full Christmas period, extending through New Year to Three Kings Day, on January 6. (This is also handy when gifts haven't arrived in time for Christmas Day. They're not really late; they're just part of the whole extended experience.)

I hope all of you had family, or people you care about, near or in touch during these holidays. God bless you all, however you celebrate the season!


Monday, December 23, 2013

The Reefs of Time—a Complete First Draft!

Great news! I've met my do-or-die goal of having the first draft of The Reefs of Time finished before Christmas Eve! Last night at around 3 a.m., I typed the fateful words:

To be continued in Book Six of The Chaos Chronicles

and heaved an enormous sigh of relief. Because that, of course, is another way of saying, The End! What a feeling. I've been working on this thing for a little over five years, and it's just about caused me to lose all my remaining hair. But I feel really good about what I've got now (as a first draft!), and eagerly look forward to starting the rewrite in the new year. It's a sprawling, complicated story, and I know there are pieces missing, and a lot of other sections that will be mercilessly cut, and a lot to be completely reworked. But that's all stuff I know how to do. It was getting the basic story down that threatened to send me around the bend. For those who are counting, it's just over 900 pages in manuscript, or somewhere around 220,000 words. (I think my writing group had a poll going on the final length, but I don't know if anyone remembers who bet what.)

I hope my agent and publisher will be glad to hear this, as well! They've been incredibly patient, and all I can say is, If I could have done it faster, I would have.

Even a crashed car isn't going to take this good feeling away.

Thank you, God, and thank you, everyone who has been waiting and periodically nudging.I think I'm going to enjoy a really good beer tonight, and focus on getting ready for Christmas.

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It's Dead, Jim

We got word from the insurance company over the weekend that our beloved Ford Fusion is being declared a total loss, following the accident in which Allysen got rear-ended. This breaks our hearts. It also means that our last week of the year has now been repurposed: After Christmas, we have to start looking for a new, or new-to-us, car. (Sigh.)

On the other hand, the car died heroically. It stopped fast when it had to, and saved Allysen from being squashed by the 18-wheeler that idiotically turned right in front of her. Then it saved her from injury when the SUV behind plowed into her because that driver couldn't stop fast enough. It did exactly what it was supposed to do.

It was a good car, and we'll miss it. Its name was Centauri.

Stay tuned for my next entry, though, because that news will be better.


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Avengers meets The Hunger Games!

That's The Reefs of Time, all right! Thrilling action, endearing characters, lively wit, and heart-rending trials. Plus, the whole galaxy at stake. 

Okay, I lied a little. The book will have all those things, but it bears no resemblance whatever to either The Avengers or The Hunger Games. (Both of which I liked, by the way.)

I am so close to finishing the first draft of this sprawling adventure that it is my hope and prayer that I will finish the first draft before Christmas. Actually, before Christmas Eve. The first draft. I have another chapter, maybe two, to write. Pray for me!

Why am I telling you about it now, instead of just doing it? Partly as a warmup. And because I want to put it out there that this is what I'm aiming for—like President Kennedy, calling for a moon landing before the decade (1960s) was out. And because so many of you, from time to time, gently ask me how the book is going, and will you have a chance to read it while you're still alive. Here's my answer: Yes!

Also, I just like to say, "The Avengers meets The Hunger Games."

Stay tuned.

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Monday, December 09, 2013


The very good news is, no one was hurt. The bad news is, Allysen got rear-ended last Friday evening, while driving home from her mother's place. She was forced to slam on her brakes when an 18-wheeler made a sudden turn, cutting right in front of her. She stopped in time, but the SUV behind her didn't. The rear of our Ford Fusion is mashed in, and we are very grateful for the aggressively forward-jutting headrests which seem to have prevented any whiplash injury. (No sign of it so far, anyway.) The young adult driving the SUV, and his passengers, were also uninjured. The truck driver? He continued his turn into the parking lot and went on his way without any visible awareness that he had caused an accident.

Here's our beloved 2010 Fusion. It's four years old, but still feels like our new car. Too soon to know whether the insurance company will consider it repairable. I hope so. We love the car, and also we just gave it new tires and battery.