Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Archive for January, 2013

The Wild: Chapter 3

Friday, January 25th, 2013

The Wild is my one and only attempt at high fantasy. It’s written in an old-fashioned, formal tone, with old-fashioned heroes, and is quite different from anything else I’ve done. Except for a handful of printed advance-reader-copies (ARCs) created in 2011 to test the market, it’s never been published—until now. I’m serializing it on my blog, one chapter every Friday. I hope you enjoy.

Go to: beginning | prior chapter | next chapter

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Mist & River. Artist: Sarah AdamsChapter 3

Marshal crouched within the thickets, listening to the crying and howls of the pack as it drew steadily closer. Seventeen arowl. Never had they faced such numbers. In Fathalia, there had been nine beasts in the largest pack they had ever hunted. But he would not admit to doubt. They were well prepared.
The first arowl ambled around the shoulder of a grassy rise not an eighth of a mile away. Marshal saw it and sucked in a sharp breath. He’d heard stories of arowl like this, but never before had he seen one.

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Finished Printing At Midnight

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

It’s been a year since I printed out the manuscript for a new novel. It’s been a lot longer than that since I printed out the manuscript for a new science fiction novel, but here it is, all 394 pages of it.

the manuscript


I get to read this over the next few days while doing final revisions. Given the additional work — and the 9,000(!) additional words — that have gone into it over the last two-and-a-half weeks, I’m desperately hoping it still hangs together. For scheduling reasons, I need it to be “done” on Monday.

Wish me luck. Wish me confidence while you’re at it, because confidence is something that tends to wax and wane on projects like this. I loved this story a month ago. I hope to find I still do.

Other Writer’s Novels

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Here’s a fun little piece from io9.com that I got to participate in. Charlie Jane Anders asks an assortment of science fiction authors “What novel, by someone else, do you wish you’d written?

The Wild: Chapter 2

Friday, January 18th, 2013

The Wild is my one and only attempt at high fantasy. It’s written in an old-fashioned, formal tone, with old-fashioned heroes, and is quite different from anything else I’ve done. Except for a handful of printed advance-reader-copies (ARCs) created in 2011 to test the market, it’s never been published—until now. I’m serializing it on my blog, one chapter every Friday. I hope you enjoy.

Go to: beginning | prior chapter | next chapter

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Chapter 2

In Habaddon the women fished and farmed and kept the watch, and some among them hunted, but it was not their way to wander far from the walls, so meat was a rarity when the men were away to war. As a consequence, the hunting skills of the Samokeän boys had been much in demand, and several times they had brought back small forest deer, and once an elk calf. Their efforts were not forgotten. When they went around the city to make their farewells they were gifted with dried beef and venison, raisins, flatbread, roasted nuts and smoked fish. When the women asked where they were going, Marshal told them, “We are bound for our homeland, and will not return for some long time.” All who heard this assumed they meant to return to Fathalia.

At the gate the young woman whose turn it was to stand sentry wished them good fortune, “For the Wild is fickle and treacherous, and the Inyomere who keep it do not love us.”

“Ah, but they love the arowl less,” Kit replied, “and at the least we are well-armed.”

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Book View Cafe Welcomes David D. Levine

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

David D. Levine's SPACE MAGICA new short story collection, Space Magic, has just been released in ebook form by Book View Café, with 15 critically acclaimed science fiction and fantasy stories by author David D. Levine.

From Book View Café:

David’s short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s, F&SF, Analog, Realms of Fantasy, and numerous other magazines, websites, and anthologies, including four Year’s Best volumes (two SF, two Fantasy). He’s won a Hugo (Best Short Story, for “Tk’Tk’Tk“) and has received many other awards and nominations.

David likes to think of himself as a writer who takes the classic ideas of Golden Age SF and gives them a fresh, up-to-date presentation… the SF equivalent of a New Beetle or Mini Cooper. He co-edits the fanzine Bento with his wife, Kate Yule, and their website is at BentoPress.com.

Read a sample story, “Wind From A Dying Star,” here.

If you’re a fan of short fiction, Space Magic might be just what you’re looking for.

The Wild: Chapter 1

Friday, January 11th, 2013

The Wild is my one and only attempt at high fantasy. It’s written in an old-fashioned, formal tone, with old-fashioned heroes, and is quite different from anything else I’ve done. Except for a handful of printed advance-reader-copies (ARCs) created in 2011 to test the market, it’s never been published—until now. I’m serializing it on my blog, one chapter every Friday. I hope you enjoy.

Go to: beginning | next chapter

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~ Part 1: The Snow Chanter ~

Chapter 1

In the city of Habaddon, in the library of Jahallon, a young warrior of Clan Samoket lingered late into the night. A single oil lamp suspended on chains illuminated a parchment book open to a page he had read many times before. He kept returning to it—this account of the long ago night when disaster had befallen Samokea.
Jahallon-the-Undying had been present that night, in the Citadel of the Snow Chanter, but even Jahallon had never unraveled the mystery of all that had happened, and why.

The manuscript told what was known, beginning with the banquet, held that evening . . .

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Guest Post: The Next Darkover Novel

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

In case you don’t know her already, please meet author Deborah J. Ross, a fellow denizen of Book View Café. Deborah is guest-posting today, answering questions on her upcoming book, The Children of Kings —LN

Deborah J. RossWhat is the working title of your book?
Since I just started noodling around with notes for a new project, in between bouts of terror of the page proofs for one project and editorial revision requests for another that are going to descend on my any moment now, I’d rather talk about the book that’s coming out in March. It’s got a real, official title and you can pre-order it at Amazon. The Children of Kings, AKA The Next Darkover Novel.

Where did the idea come from for the book?
A couple of things. One is that Marion’s original concept for Darkover centered on the clash of cultures, so I wanted to bring the Terran Federation back into the picture, but not in a nice sedately friendly way, in a OMG terrible crisis about to descend upon us way. I also wanted to run away to live with the chieri, and Kierestelli (Regis and Linnea’s daughter, from Hastur Lord) kindly offered to take me.

For this tale set mostly in the Dry Towns, I used as background not only The Shattered Chain but a very early (1961) “proto-Darkover” novel, The Door Through Space. The Door Through Space contained many elements familiar to Darkover readers, from jaco and the Ghost Wind to the names of people and places (Shainsa, Rakhal, Dry-towns). Marion was exploring a world in which Terrans are the visitors, and adventure lurks in the shadows of ancient alien cities. She drew upon and further developed this material in The Shattered Chain (1976).

These books reflected the growth of Marion’s vision, but each of them was also part of the times in which it was written. 1960s science fiction novels were often tightly-plotted, fast-paced, and short by today’s standards. Most, although by no means all, protagonists were male, and female characters were often viewed from that perspective, what today we call “the male gaze.” By the middle of the next decade, publishers were interested in longer, more complex works. Not only that, the women’s movement and the issues it raised influenced genre as well as mainstream fiction, opening the way for strong female characters who defined themselves in their own terms. If Marion had written The Shattered Chain a decade and a half earlier, I doubt it have found the receptive, enthusiastic audience it did. Her timing (as with The Mists of Avalon or The Heritage of Hastur) brilliantly reflected the emerging sensibilities of the times.

Now we live in a different world. This is not to say that the previous struggles have been resolved, but that much has changed in the social consciousness from 1976 to today. In writing The Children of Kings, I considered how Marion’s ideas about the Dry Towns (and any patriarchal desert culture) might have changed over the last three decades. The Shattered Chain, with its examination of the roles of women and the choice (or lack of choices) facing them, focused on only a few aspects of the Dry Towns culture. What if we went deeper, seeing it as complex, with admirable aspects as well as those we find abhorrent? With customs that we cannot truly comprehend but must respect, as well as those that resonate with our own? With men of compassion and women of power?

As the Dry Towns developed in my mind, I turned also to the theme that had characterized the early Darkover novels—the conflict between a space-faring technological race and the marvelously rich and romantic Domains, with their tradition of the Compact and the laran-Gifted Comyn. And now, adding to the mix, the ancient kihar-based Dry Towns.

What genre does your book fall under?
Like much of Darkover, it’s technically sf, reads like fantasy. This one’s a bit more like the earlier novels in that there are space ships and guys from outer space and such. And chieri, native non-humans. Definitely romantic.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
When Terran smugglers arm the Dry Towns warlords with blasters, it’s up to the grandson of Regis Hastur to save Darkover.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?
I write Darkover novels under subcontract to the MZB Literary Works Trust, which owns the copyright. Their agent (who coincidentally happens to be my agent for my own work as well).

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
I typically take about a year to a year and half from beginning the outline to handing in the manuscript to my editor. It’s hard to say “first draft, second draft…” as the amount of pre-writing and “oops-in-the-middle” varies so much. I also usually leap-frog rough drafting one project and revising another, interspersed with breaks for other deadlines (page proofs, short fiction for invitational anthologies). This one was no exception.

The Children of Kings is a March 2013 release from DAW. (You can pre-order it now.)

My Very Own Bookstore

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

Toward the end of December, I spent some time putting together my very own e-bookstore at MythicIslandPress.com, the website I set up for my publishing company. In this blog post, I’m going to talk in general terms about how I put the store together, on the chance that other indie authors are interested.

The Mythic Island Press store is a highly simplified, single-author version of the store I set up for Book View Café. Both stores run on WordPress software, which isn’t something I really recommend from a technical point of view. WordPress is adaptable of course, but it’s blogging software, not e-commerce. Still, it works well enough at a small scale, and my little store is definitely small scale. So I opted to start with a system I already knew well, with the goal of putting up a smoothly functioning store in a very short time span.

BVC uses a paid WordPress plugin called Cart66 for the ecommerce portion. At Mythic Island Press I’m using Cart66 Lite, which so far looks entirely sufficient for my less-demanding needs.

To create the store, I installed WordPress and then Cart66 Lite, created a “child theme” of one of the standard WordPress themes, and then modified that to match my existing website. I grabbed a small portion of the functions I’d developed for BVC and included those in the child theme, along with some directives from the style sheet — again, so I wouldn’t have to re-invent the wheel I’d already invented last spring.

What took a surprising amount of time was figuring out how I wanted to present the books. I settled on a largish cover pic, the book’s description, and quotes, with a link to “read a sample.” (You actually need a function to change the wording of that link.)

I decided to present all the books on one page, but once you click through — either by clicking the book cover, the book title, or the “sample” link — then it’s one book per page, with links to scroll to the next and previous books. In the right-hand column I used a WordPress text widget and hand-coded an index with links to all the books.

For my store, payment is via Paypal. The Cart66 system does support some other options, but I already had PayPal set up and it doesn’t cost me any extra. Once a book is purchased via Paypal, the buyer is returned to a receipt page with a link for immediate download of the ebook. The link is also delivered in an email sent to the buyer. It was this ability to handle digital downloads that led us to use Cart66 in the first place.

So that was the process. Do stop by and check out the result.

There are great aspects to having a store on your own website–complete independence for one. Also, receiving the money at the time of the sale and not months later, as well as receiving nearly all of the sale price instead of yielding a hefty cut to the host store. In my store, prices are the same no matter what country you, the buyer, reside in, which is not always the case with other vendors.

Of course, you need to know how to get the downloaded file onto your e-reader of choice. That’s probably the trickiest part for those who are used to automatic downloads from Amazon. But it’s a fairly easy process. And whether you buy books from me or not, I do encourage you to consider doing at least some of your buying from small vendors. After all, monopolies aren’t good for anyone.

The Wild: prelude

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Update: as of December 2013, The Wild is available as a DRM-free ebook, but only from my webstore at Mythic Island Press LLC. Purchase an EPUB or MOBI version, or visit the store to download an extended sample.

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The Wild is a novel written slowly, off and on, over some long period of time early in this century, and when the original version failed to sell it was rewritten, once, twice…I don’t really remember. The story is my one and only attempt at high fantasy. It has an old-fashioned, formal tone, and old-fashioned heroes. Many readers find it slow. Some find it beautiful. I thought I might try to rewrite it again to appeal to a wider audience, but time has passed, my interests have shifted, and I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. Still, this novel kept me company throughout some demanding years, it means a lot to me, and I don’t want to abandon it altogether. So I’ve decided to serialize it on my blog. One chapter a week starting now, in the first week of January, with the last chapter posting around the end of November. So here goes…

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~ Prelude: Summer Thunder ~

A faint, menacing rumble of faraway thunder rolled through the mist. Lanyon Kyramanthes heard it and turned sharply in the saddle. Behind her the mist had transformed a line of riders into fading silhouettes. Again the thunder rumbled, growling down their trail. Her horse snorted, pulling hard to the right—and her doubt vanished. “We are going the wrong way!”
She reined in her horse, determined not to stray another step. “Jahallon!” she called out. “War Father.”

He rode at the head of the column. She could not even see him until he came cantering back along the line. As he pulled his horse up he eyed the tiny, warm bundle of her newborn daughter asleep in a carrier against her chest. Her son, who was already one and a half years in the world, was farther back in the line, in the doting care of those women who served as Jahallon’s couriers. “Lanyon, do you need to stop?”

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Award Eligible Work — 2012

Thursday, January 3rd, 2013

Evidently it’s customary at this time of year to list one’s award-eligible work — at least that’s what I’m seeing on twitter. So I’ll jump in too. Those of you who read this blog regularly have heard all this before, so I’ll keep it short:

Novel:
Hepen the Watcher: Stories of the Puzzle Lands–Book 2 — published in print and ebook editions by my own imprint Mythic Island Press LLC.

Novelette:
“Nahiku West” — originally published in the October issue of Analog, and selected for Jonathan Strahan’s The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Seven, The Year’s Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction 5 an audiobook compilation edited by Allan Kaster, and Rich Horton’s The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy, 2013 Edition. Also received a “recommended” from Lois Tilton at Locus. Available in the SFWA members forum.

Short Story:
“Nightside on Callisto” — originally published at Lightspeed Magazine in the May 2012 issue and selected for Gardner Dozois’ The Year’s Best Science Fiction, Thirtieth Annual Collection

“A Moment Before It Struck” — originally published at Lightspeed Magazine in the August 2012 issue.