Tuesday, September 30, 2014

"The Singularity," at the Science Fiction Theater Company in Boston

I’d never heard of the Science Fiction Theater Company, but a friend who’s not an SF fan emailed me and said I should see The Singularity, because it’s witty and wonderful. So with my wife and daughter I went—and we loved it! The play, by Crystal Jackson, is about Astrid, a woman who’s on her last egg, and who wants a baby so badly she inseminates herself with stolen dark matter and a turkey baster before she loses her chance. It’s hilarious, partly because Astrid is the closest thing to a normal person in the play, and she gets to act the straight man to all the loonies. Kathy-Ann Hart does a wonderful job with the part, as do all the other actors.

Never mind the part about dark matter; it’s just a MacGuffin. Neither the playwright nor the one reviewer I read showed any understanding of what dark matter is. But what the hey, scientists don’t know, either. The title was a mystery to me until the very end—which I should warn you, comes rather abruptly, perhaps a little too abruptly. The reference is not to the transhumanist technological singularity that’s become a central concept in a lot of recent science fiction, but rather to the singularity that might or might not have come before the Big Bang.

Anyway, if you’re in Boston, the show has one more weekend to play. Tickets here.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Turkeys Afoot!

It was about six weeks ago that I first encountered the family of wild turkeys on the bikepath near our house. I was walking Captain Jack when I came upon them: two adults and four youths, taking their own stroll. They didn’t seem very concerned about us, and Jack didn’t seem terribly interested in them, which struck me as odd.  Here they are on August 6.

We’ve run into them probably about once a week, since then. Here they are today, September 17. The young’uns are quite a bit bigger now. I took this picture about ten seconds  before Captain Jack pulled the leash out of my hand (I was trying to email the picture) and bolted after them, chasing them into the trees. No one was hurt. No harm, no fowl. Heh.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Panglor Is Alive! (Again)

Panglor was my third novel, one I really enjoyed writing, and one that people seem to like a lot now, although in its original paperback publication from Dell it sank like a stone. Maybe tastes change, or maybe the original release was hampered by a pretty awful cover and the fact that Dell was already thinking about getting out of the SF business at the time. Or maybe it just took people a while to recognize my genius. Yeah, that must be it. And it got even geniuser, I’m sure, when I gave it a good, solid edit for its 1996 reissue from Tor.

In any case, it has a bunch of 5-star reviews from readers on Amazon. I like this one: “Truly GREAT!!” posted by “A Customer.” And this: “I hate Sci-Fi, but I love Carver's novels!” When it was out in its E-reads edition, it was consistently my best-selling book among the E-reads Nine.

All of this is to say that it’s available once again, this time from Starstream Publications, which is to say, from me. As of today, it’s live at Kindle, Kobo, and Smashwords, and should turn up alive again soon at Nook and iTunes. It’ll launch at Book View Café on October 7. [Edit: It's up in Nook and iTunes now!]

Here’s the new cover, designed for me by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff:

And here’s what the book’s all about:
Wrongly discredited as a space pilot, Panglor Balef is doomed to die in space, if sheer luck doesn’t bring him through. But luck has never been in Panglor’s cards. Bad enough to be coerced into a mission of murder and suicide, he must also contend with Alo—a young woman, stowaway, and impossible companion. Neither of them, nor his empathic ou-ralot, could possibly anticipate the journey through space-time they are about to embark on, through a door to an insane reality from which there is almost certainly no return. It could be the discovery of the millennium, but the only way home is to journey even further into the heart of madness.

The stunning prequel to the famed Star Rigger Universe of Jeffrey A. Carver, Nebula-nominated author of Eternity’s End and The Chaos Chronicles, yada-yada.

At a low, low, introductory price of $3.99 for this unparalled assemblage of shiny new binary digits!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

BookBub Results

Since I'm always after you to notice my BookBub specials, and to go out and buy books, I thought maybe I should report on the results of the last promo. The results were good! There are now more than 1700 people boasting newly minted copies of From a Changeling Star on their ebook readers! In addition, some of them are going ahead and buying the sequel, Down the Stream of Stars, and more people than before are buying my other books, as well. 

Typically, the effects last a couple of weeks, and then things settle back down to normal. But in the meantime, there are that many new readers out there, some of whom have never heard of me before, who will be—I hope—enjoying one of my books. And then—I hope—looking for more.

Just for fun, here's what the sales graph looks like on Amazon when a book goes on a BookBub special. You can see that the first day is the exciting one.

Watch the bouncing sales ball in the Kindle store!

The red line represents books sold. (The green line is free downloads of Neptune Crossing, my loss leader. There's a spike in that line, too, because I advertised it one day on Ereader News Today. That's the book I give away, hoping people will like it enough to buy the sequels. That seems to work, too.)

Thanks, everyone who went for the sale! Please post a review!

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good News! Young People Read!

Some of us in the book biz worry too much. For a while now, there's been gnashing of teeth and rending of garments over the supposed graying of our audience—in particular, the perception that fewer young people are picking up science fiction books, and leaving it to the aging generation to appreciate the mind-blowing concepts spun out in our novels.

Actually, that could still be true. While SF is extremely popular in the media, and youths flock like bats to Comicon and the like, SF in book form doesn't seem to hold the market that it once did. (Always excepting outliers like The Hunger Games.) But—much as I hate to admit it—science fiction isn't the only kind of book that matters. So, with that in mind, take heart from this story in the Washington Post, regarding a recent study by the Pew Research people: "Millennials were more likely to have read a book last year than older Americans."

Let's repeat that, in case you missed it the first time: "Millennials were more likely to have read a book last year than older Americans."

Not only that, "62 percent of the under-30 set believes there's a lot of useful, important information that is not on the Internet." Which is 9% more than the number of older Americans who said that.

Go, Millennials!

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Older Daughter Heads to Lebanon!

Lexi took off from Boston last night, and I got a text around noon today saying she'd landed in Beruit. She'll be staying with friends and seeing what I have heard described as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Why was I never that adventurous?

I hope we get to see some pictures soon! (And, of course, that she will arrive home safe and sound at the appointed time.)