Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for the 'Writing Life' Category

Awards: What are they good for?

Friday, March 4th, 2016

The Trials by Linda Nagata, UK editionIn a word: Publicity.

With thousands of books published every month (and all those earlier books still available, if not in print, then in ebook form) what are the odds of any particular book being noticed? Well, the odds are not good.

On occasion I will hear that “awards don’t matter” and for many titles this is true. They sell abundantly regardless of short lists. But I can say from personal experience that being short-listed for a significant award really does increase a book’s visibility, and I think it’s a safe bet that winning a significant award increases visibility exponentially. So, since I really don’t want to see my books quietly fade away, I’ve made it a point to try to get them considered for awards.

Going Dark by Linda Nagata, UK editionWith the Hugos and the Nebulas there’s not a lot you can do beyond saying “Hey, voters, please consider my book.” With other awards, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, for example, the publisher has to send print copies of a qualified book to a jury of judges.

All three of the awards I just mentioned are open to all novels published in their area of interest in the award year, regardless of who the publisher is … in other words, they are technically open to self-published novels.

The Arthur C. Clarke Award
Much to my disappointment, another major award, the Arthur C. Clarke award, is not open to self-published novels. The Clarke Award is a juried award for best science fiction novel published in the United Kingdom, but when I asked if I could send in the UK editions of The Trials and Going Dark, I was told those books did not qualify because they had been published under my own imprint, Mythic Island Press LLC. (The North American edition is published by Saga Press/Simon & Schuster.)

Yes, I was disappointed, but I am not criticizing. The award administrators have a very challenging job as it is, and it’s certainly up to them to set the rules. I was also told that they are continuing to review their policy regarding self-published submissions.

Unlike most awards that I’m aware of, the Clarke Award releases a list of those books that have been submitted for consideration. This list of novels was published today. It includes 113 titles — with just 33% by women.

I would have loved to increase that percent just a little! Ah well.

I do encourage you to read the commentary that follows the list of books. There is some interesting analysis and a brief discussion on the focus of the award, and on the question of “What is science fiction?”

Publishers Weekly: Best Books of 2015

Friday, October 30th, 2015

The Red - Saga EditionBack in May I was thrilled when The Red was named to the Publishers Weekly list “Best Summer Books 2015 — SF/ Fantasy/ Horror.”

I’m even more astonished now, because today the Publishers Weekly reviewers have posted their “Best Books of 2015.” Only six books are on the science fiction, fantasy, and horror list, and The Red is one of them. This is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime honor!

Other books on PW’s SFF best of the year list are the collection Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due, The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, Uprooted by Naomi Novik (I just started listening to this one on audio book), The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley, and The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson. Congratulations to all!

Scroll through the list here.

Two Weeks

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

There are only two more weeks until the Saga Press edition of The Red is released. These last days before a book drops are a nerve-wracking time, at least for me, facing that big question: how will sales go? Really hoping that all this effort will prove worthwhile!

The Red will release simultaneously in hardcover, mass-market paperback, ebook, and audio book editions. Just a few days ago I received a copy of both the finished paperback and the hardcover, and they are gorgeous books. The team at Saga Press has done a terrific job.


In the meantime, more reviews are posting. Here are two from the past week:

Over at SFF World, Rob H. Bedford says:

Nagata manages to bring many familiar elements together (and few SF frameworks are as familiar or popular as Military SF) into something that manages to echo great stories that preceded it while still engaging in a powerfully refreshing fashion. In The Red, Nagata manages one of the most seamless, enjoyable, and enthralling meldings in SF of that familiar and “new spin.” […] Highly Recommended.

Read Rob’s full review here.

At the Barnes & Noble Sci-Fi & Fantasy Blog, Rich Rosell says:

Nagata’s modern-day-or-not-far-from-it creations seem both plausible and fantastic. That air of plausibility is essential for a genre-straddler like this; there is a believably organic texture to the various hardware, software, and weapons. The meshing of humans with technology–leading, inevitably, to dangerous co-dependence–is seamlessly presented. And man oh man, it is exciting.

Read the full review here.

If you’d like to read the opening pages of The Red, you’ll find them online here.

I hope you’ll consider preordering a copy in your favorite format.

Also consider signing up for my “Occasional Newsletter”, for a reminder when each book in The Red Trilogy releases. Book 2, The Trials, will publish in August, and Book 3, Going Dark, is scheduled for November.

Thank you!


Tuesday, June 2nd, 2015

GoingDark_200x358So last night, just shy of 0200, I sent the “final” manuscript of Going Dark to my editor, Joe Monti, at Saga Press. I put “final” in quotes, because I’ll get one more pass at the manuscript after the copyedit, and another chance to tweak things when the page proofs arrive. But for practical purposes, I’m done with The Red Trilogy.

It’s been a three-year project, and now that it’s winding down, I’m starting to realize how much I’m going to miss these characters and this story world. For all the frustration, and the struggle to get the story down, I’ve really loved writing these novels. For all the self-doubt, and regardless how it turns out, I’m glad I took the shot.

New Author Photos

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Winding Back the Scruffy

Last month when I was on Oahu I had my daughter, Dallas Nagata White, shoot some new author photos for me. Dallas is a professional photographer who’s done a lot of work in the fashion industry. She’s good both in front of a camera and behind a camera. For this shoot, she acted as stylist, makeup artist, photographer, and Photoshop/Lightroom magician, and we had a lot of fun.

True confession: I don’t actually wear makeup very often because
(1) I am lazy
(2) It’s boring to put on
(3) Things get awkward when you’re running five miles and sweating under the foundation
(4) My eyes freak out with most eye makeup, although not with the eye makeup Dallas used that day, so I’ll need to follow up on that.

But since these photos will serve as my “official” photos for the next year or two, I made an effort to look a bit more polished than I usually do — and I love the way the pictures turned out. (more…)


Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

In one of those strange confluences, today I find myself with three contracts to read and a short interview to answer. Not a bad situation to be in!

And a couple of days ago I stumbled across the seeds of what might be my next novel. It’s much too early to know, but I am very intrigued.

Also, I have a short story coming out in March, so if you haven’t already signed up for my newsletter, please do so. It’s the best way to keep in touch. The next issue I have planned will go out to announce the release of the story, titled “The Way Home.” Find the sign up form over there –> in the right sidebar.

More soon…