Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Archive for April, 2013

Writing the Near Future

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

The Red: First Light by Linda NagataMy newest novel, The Red: First Light, is a very near-future military thriller that got me thinking again about the challenges of writing near-future fiction. The result is a blog post, up today over at Book View Café:

This fear of early obsolescence or “aging out” makes the near future a scary place to set a novel. What’s the lifespan of a book going to be when the associated history is changing even as the novel is written?

Click on over to BVC to read the whole thing.

Fukuoka, Japan!

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

Sakura tree in FukuokaI had the good fortune this spring to visit Japan. My husband’s grandparents emigrated from Kumamoto prefecture in southern Japan. Ron and I had long intended to visit the region, but we kept putting off the trip year after year for the usual reasons of time and money and language issues. Neither of us speaks any Japanese. But last fall it occurred to us “If not now, when?” So we sat down with our daughter (who does speak a little Japanese) and son-in-law and booked our flight to Fukuoka, which is a large city just a short train-ride away from Kumamoto. We chose to go the week that the University of Hawaii takes spring break in the hope that our son could come along too. As it turned out, my son couldn’t make it, but our timing was exquisite, because we stepped off the plane to find ourselves at the peak of cherry blossom season. We couldn’t have planned it better if we’d tried. Actually, if we’d tried, I’m sure we wouldn’t have done nearly so well, because the season was predicted to peak a week later.
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The Wild: Chapter 16

Friday, April 26th, 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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The Grasslands. Artist: Sarah AdamsChapter 16

Jakurian’s company had set out with fourteen men, but of these, two had been sent back to Habaddon and two had since been taken by the arowl. Two more were wounded and could no longer fight from horseback. These were sent with Kit and Bennek to make a stand in the rocks overlooking the meadow.
Pantheren accepted one of the riderless horses, and with nine men in the saddle, several skirmishes were fought in the meadow and among the burnt thickets while the rain persisted in a half-hearted drizzle. Bennek and Kit watched the fighting with rapt attention for it was the first time they had seen combat from horseback. Even so, Bennek slipped at times into the Mere, and before long he was able to tell Kit that Marshal was returning. “Then they have found it,” Kit said, and he went up into the rocks to meet them and show them the way down.

Lanyon went at once to Bennek. “Did you watch the two who rode with the sorcerer? Do you know where they went?”

“To the hilltop. They lifted up his body and took it away.”

“You could see him?” she asked in astonishment. “Even though he was dead?”

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Art vs. Business

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

This is a post from last spring, but I’m going to pin it up here at the top of the blog for a few days in light of the present widespread discussion regarding those of us who like to post a list of our award-eligible work.

I started writing this post last fall, and then got distracted. I was inspired to return to it by the thoughtful comments of one my most supportive readers, addressing the relationship between business and art. I’ll be blunt and say that throughout my career I have seen money as a measure of my success and, having never made much money, I’ve never seen myself as a success. I’ve been criticized for this. More than once I’ve been assured that “success” in writing can be defined in many other ways, that I shouldn’t beat myself up over it, that my art will live on. But I remain skeptical. (more…)

The Long Week

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

It’s been a tragic, crazy week. Not for me personally — life has gone on here in my island sanctuary much as usual — but like the rest of the US and many other parts of the world I’ve watched the surreal unfolding of events in Boston and the tragedy in Texas, and it’s still April 20th of course, a notorious day in itself. Let’s hope it passes quietly.

As I mentioned earlier in the month, I was privileged to guest blog over at the website of Charles Stross. Charlie has many active and interesting commenters, and if you’re not already following his blog, you might want to start. Here are links to my posts, if you’re interested:

4/9: Why I Do Self-Publish

4/14: The Fumes of Mordor & Other World Building Models

4/18: The Curious Experience of Middle Age

The Wild: Chapter 15

Friday, April 19th, 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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Mountains & River. Artist: Sarah AdamsChapter 15

Lanyon had looked on the face of a dead man and panicked. It was not the sorcerer Aidin’s scarred and weathered face that sent her fleeing into the rocks. There was no Aidin. Aidin was a lie. The sorcerer behind the disfiguring scars was Édan—her lover; her husband—137 years dead—a ghost made flesh. He could not still be within the world. He could not.
And yet, hadn’t the mist warned her it was so? Days ago along the riverbank the mist had whispered her haunting message. He is coming. He is coming. Of course it was Édan she’d warned against and not Pantheren at all.

And still it made no sense.

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The Wild: Chapter 14

Friday, April 12th, 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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~ Part 2: Kesh ~

Mountains w/tree; Artist Sarah AdamsChapter 14

On the next morning Pantheren was startled awake by the hum a bow makes when an arrow is released. Seizing his own bow and a quiver of arrows, he slipped in silence to the cottage door, opening it cautiously to peer outside.
Dawn was close. The eastern horizon was aglow with blue light that chased the stars away and glistened against the little caps of snow that dusted each plume of tall grass. He heard voices—no more than whispers—laughing together, and then the sound of the bow again, followed by the sharp whack of an arrow as it found a target of wood.

Stepping around the corner of the porch, he discovered Lanyon with a bow in hand, and beside her Bennek, giving advice, and though the light was dim Pantheren could not miss the admiration in her eyes.

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Fantasy Review Barn takes a look at The Dread Hammer

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

The Dread Hammer by Linda NagataNathan, at Fantasy Review Barn, posts a detailed and positive review of my “scoundrel-lit” novel The Dread Hammer:

Smoke is the core of the story, a wonderful flawed character. His love for Ketty is pure but it may be the only thing about him that is. A perfect killer with atrocities tied to him, he is feared by all. Alone among the Bidden he is unloved by the people, and shows them no love in return. If not for Ketty he may not have any cares in the world, yet hears the prayers of many in trouble and often answers them. Intriguing and hard to pin down is our Smoke, but a whole lot of fun to read about.

Read the entire review here.

Charlie’s Diary

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

I have the great good fortune of guest-blogging this week over at Charlie’s Diary, the blog of top SF writer Charles Stross.

Not long ago, Charlie did a blog post on why he doesn’t self-publish. I asked if he’d be okay with me doing a counter post on why I do self-publish and he thought it was a good idea. Follow this link to view the post, and if you’re not already following Charlie’s blog, check out the fascinating array of topics he covers.

For the curious: an interview

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Keith Brook of Infinity Plus asks me some questions on the new novel, along with my take on this new world of publishing, and a few other things. Here’s a snippet. Visit Keith’s site to read the whole thing.

Snapshots: Linda Nagata interviewed

The Red: First Light by Linda NagataWhat’s recently or soon out?

In any other month, the big news would be the publication of my short story, “Through Your Eyes,” in the March/April double issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction. It’s a near-future story with a theme focused on technology and civil rights, and it’s the first story I’ve ever had in Asimov’s