Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Boxing Up The Years....

When you decide to lighten yourself of nearly a decade of publishing ephemera -- master manuscripts, page proofs, digital proofs, binder proofs, dust jacket proofs, editor/author communications, dust jacket flats, etc., etc. -- and this from just one publisher --

This is what it looks like, as all these boxes head out to their respective authors, who so wished to have the material sent to them. For those who didn't want any of the material? Well, I've now filled a huge recycle bin -- twice -- with more on hand for next week's pickup.

And yet I still have dozens of boxes to deal with....

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Redux: Some Hard Facts About Pirate Utopia By Bruce Sterling

Pirate UtopiaDid you read my July 14, 2016, blog post, in which I announced that Bruce Sterling's novella, Pirate Utopia, would be initially published in hardcover?

And at $14.95 no less -- extremely rare for any hardcover, especially one that contains pages -- and pages -- of period illustrations by none other than John Coulthart.

Shortly after posting that blog I learned about the caveat: the $14.95 price tag is indeed correct, but it's the Amazon-only
pre-publication price. Order the book from any other source and the price will be $19.95, which will also be the retail price after publication.

Now the problem with buying from Amazon is a) some people prefer not to support Amazon, and b) with a $14.95 purchase, you have to pay shipping, because $25 is the minimum purchase amount for free shipping on books (unless you are a Prime member).

But, I have an alternative solution:

With the assistance of Tachyon Publications, you can now purchase the Pirate Utopia hardcover through the Tachyon online store at the $14.95 price -- but you must use a coupon code at checkout, and this coupon code is only valid through Sunday, August 7. And if you reside in these United States and select media mail as the shipping option, shipping will be free.

A $14.95 hardcover, free media mail shipping, and you are supporting an independent publisher...It doesn't get any better than that.

The coupon code is MOREREDINK. Catchy, huh! But remember, it's only valid through August 7 -- that's a little over three weeks from now.

Here's the link to the Pirate Utopia product page at Tachyon Publications online.

The hardcover is the default option, so click the "Pre-Order Now" button, then enter MOREREDINK in the "Coupon Code" field, click the "Apply Coupon" button, and, if you live in the U.S., you should be good to go. Of course, you'll then have to pay for the book!

One more thing: this coupon will work for up to three hardcovers ($5.00 off on each of the three books), and since the publication date is November, you might want to consider purchasing a couple extra copies for holiday gifts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Book Received: The Fisherman by John Langan

The FishermanBefore I begin this blog post, I must apologize -- to publisher Word Horde and author John Langan.

You see, I have received my comp copy of John Langan's new novel The Fisherman -- and I hadn't yet written about my work on this project, which I completed more than three months ago.

Aside from a million other things going on (a collapsing 47-foot-long, 2-foot-high brick retaining wall in the back yard that needs to be replaced; and a new fitness regimen (one and a third miles each day, five days a week, for three months now)), my wonderful, supportive, lovely wife has forbade me to leave my office until I clean up nearly twenty years of accumulated material from my work on over 200 books. That's a lot of paper! -- stacks and stacks of manuscript boxes.

My point being that The Fisherman is already in hand after little more than three months, which is a testament to the quality (production, scheduling, etc.) of Word Horde, and publisher Ross E. Lockhart. So, again, my apologies for not giving The Fisherman the attention that it was due in a timely fashion.

But now that the book is readily available from Amazon or your bookseller of choice, there is no reason for any hesitation whatsoever to purchase a copy of this new John Langan novel, which I am sure will be on award shortlists next year. But don't take my word for it, here's an excerpt from a review by Shane Douglas Keene on the This Is Horror portal:
A very human tale, The Fisherman deals with issues of loss and continuance, of learning how to carry on in the face of insurmountable grief and pain, and Langan delivers this often poignant narrative with a heart as big as the moon, feeding out details with one of the strongest, most captivating authorial voices to come along in recent times....

The Fisherman is largely character driven and Langan carries the story along through the use of skillful dialogue and character interaction, interspersed with his brilliant descriptions and vivid, almost sensual imagery. The conversations between various individuals in the book are both natural and purposeful, driving action or imparting information necessary to the motion of the story, but never bogging it down and, while the book is often strikingly deep, at no point does it become anything less than captivating....
The protagonist, Abe, recently widowed (his wife died of cancer), finds comfort and contentment in the act of fishing. He later befriends a coworker, Dan, whose family died recently in a traffic accident. The two friends now go fishing together. While stuck in a diner due to a torrential downpour one day while on their way fishing, the two men learn the story of Rainer and his family and the tale of Dutchman's Creek, told to them by Howard, the diner's owner. The Fisherman is a story within a story: the tale of Dutchman's Creek occupying at least half of the book.

Here's another review excerpt, this one from Anthony Watson on Dark Musings:
[The story of Dutchman's Creek] makes up part two of the book – the bulk of it, in fact – and is entitled Der Fischer: A Tale of Terror. Which is about as apt a title as I can think of because the journey this tale takes the reader on truly is terrifying. Some of the imagery conjured up here will take your breath away – this is epic storytelling, encompassing huge themes. It's in stark contrast to the intimacy and emotion of the opening section and – possibly – all the more powerful for that. Special mention here to whoever chose the painting (Puget Sound on the Pacific Coast, 1870 by Albert Bierstadt) which has been used for the book's cover as it perfectly reflects the narrative within, men portrayed as insignificant against the immensity of nature....
And if that's still not enough to convince you to snag a copy of The Fisherman, then check out this interview with John Langan on Electric Lit -- and then buy a copy of the book!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

$1.99 For The Alien Contact Ebook [Ended]

I don't know how long this offer will be available: the ebook edition of Alien Contact is currently priced at $1.99.

The $1.99 price is for both the mobi (Amazon) and the epub (B&N) editions of the book. If you haven't already done so, now is your chance to read 170,000 words of some of the best alien contact stories for a buck-99, all between the virtual covers of a single ebook.

Just click the large Alien Contact book cover to the right to make your way to Amazon. For the epub edition, click this Nook book link.

Once caveat: The ebook editions do not contain the Stephen King story, "I Am the Doorway."

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Some Hard Facts About Pirate Utopia By Bruce Sterling

Pirate UtopiaI recently completed my review of the page proofs for Bruce Sterling's forthcoming novella Pirate Utopia.

If you are on the Tachyon Publications list to receive a review/reader copy of the galleys, they should be shipping out to you shortly. If you have access to NetGalley, the Pirate Utopia e-galleys should soon be available as well. But if you aren't on the list, and you don't have NetGalley access, but you would like to review an e-galley of Pirate Utopia, then please leave a comment below: provide me with your book blog URL or venue for which you review, as well as contact information, and I'll be in touch.

As to the "hard facts": Due to popular demand, the alt-history, Futurist, dieselpunk Pirate Utopia, which was to launch as a trade paperback, will now first appear in a collectible hardcover edition for the mere retail price of $14.95. A Bruce Sterling hardcover for only $14.95? Say it ain't so!

Tachyon Pubs's marketing consultant, Rick Klaw, posted these words about Pirate Utopia:
Who are these bold rebels pillaging their European neighbors in the name of revolution? The Futurists! Utopian pirate-warriors of the tiny Regency of Carnaro, the unlikely scourge of the Adriatic Sea. Mortal enemies of communists, capitalists, and even fascists (to whom they are not entirely unsympathetic). 
The ambitious Soldier-Citizens of Carnaro are lead by a brilliant and passionate coterie of the perhaps insane. Lorenzo Secondari, World War I veteran, engineering genius, and leader of Croatian raiders. Frau Piffer, Syndicalist manufacturer of torpedoes at a factory run by and for women. The Ace of Hearts, a dashing Milanese aristocrat, spymaster, and tactical savant. And the Prophet, a seductive warrior-poet who leads via free love and military ruthlessness. 
Fresh off of a worldwide demonstration of their might, can the Futurists engage the aid of sinister American traitors and establish world domination?

In my June 10 blog post I shared the "Cast of Characters" in Pirate Utopia; and in my June 14 blog post I provided a sneak peak at some of the interior illustrations by John Coulthart, who also did the book's cover (above). Well, there are dozens of interior illos, and the three I provided simply don't do the book justice, so here are a few additional illustrations to whet your appetite:

Now imagine these illustrations in a beautifully done Bruce Sterling hardcover! Pirate Utopia will be published in November, and is now available for pre-order from Amazon or your fave bookseller.

* * * * *
A follow-up post (with a coupon code) on the hardcover price.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

July 4th - "Today we celebrate our independence day!"

Last night my wife and I partook in our July 4 guilty pleasure: we watched the 1996 movie Independence Day (ID4) while the neighborhood's illegal fireworks provided the incessant background explosions. The movie starred Bill Pullman as President Thomas J. Whitmore, Will Smith as Marine Captain Steven Hiller, and Jeff Goldblum as MIT-educated computer hacker David Levinson.

Afterward, after searching my own blog, I realized that it has been four years since I last posted President Whitmore's speech and video -- four years: I can't believe it's been four years already!

So, to indulge my/our guilty pleasure, here it is yet again, from ID4:

Good morning. Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world, and you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind.

Mankind, that word should have new meaning for all of us today.

We can't be consumed by our petty differences any more.

We will be united in our common interest.

Perhaps it's fate that today is the 4th of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution, but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live, to exist. And should we win the day, the 4th of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice:
"We will not go quietly into the night!
We will not vanish without a fight!
We're going to live on, we're going to survive."
Today we celebrate our independence day!

—President Thomas J. Whitmore
    July 4th, 1996