Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for March, 2014

Update: The Red: Trials

Monday, March 31st, 2014

I’m almost done.

As reported in my last post, I’ve been working through the comments provided by my editor, Judith Tarr. I haven’t instituted all of them, but I’ve carefully considered them all, and have addressed a large majority. I’ll write more on the editing process later — like after I do my taxes! In the US, taxes are due on April 15, so I really need to get on that!

But for The Red: Trials there are two more steps left in the revision process. Today I printed out a fresh copy of the manuscript. I’ll be doing a quick read-through of that, looking for any inconsistencies or awkward word choices that may have been introduced in the latest revision. Reading a printed manuscript is different from reading on a computer screen. It’s easy to get used to the words on the screen — the brain makes assumptions about what is there — so shifting the format by reading a printed version gives a fresher perspective, and problems that were invisible before are suddenly revealed. That’s the theory, anyway. Hopefully, this won’t take more than two to three days.

Whatever changes I make on the printed manuscript will need to be entered in the Word document. After that, comes the last step: the manuscript goes off to Chaz Brenchley for a copyedit. Chaz copyedited The Red: First Light, and I’m very happy that he’s agreed to do Trials as well. If you’re not familiar with Chaz, check out my “Book Rave” post on his novel Dispossession — and he has a lot more fiction to offer.

Once I get the copyedited manuscript back from Chaz, I’ll need to enter the corrections, and then The Red: Trials will be officially DONE. It’s taken a bit longer than I’d originally hoped, but if all goes well, it will launch on May 20.

If you haven’t already, please sign up for my very occasional newsletter. It’s the most reliable way to learn when I’ve got a new book or story out.

The Book and the Break

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

As mentioned here before, almost two weeks ago I managed, with grace and style (not!), to fracture my jaw. The oral surgeon thought it minor enough that we could proceed with “no treatment” other than a liquid diet. But on a followup visit, he decided the teeth were not realigning on their own — so now I have a mouthful of metal. This isn’t quite a wired jaw. It’s called “elastics” because rubber bands are used to link the upper and lower teeth, instead of wire, and I get to take the elastics off a few times a day to eat drink and brush my teeth.

The whole incident is quite unpleasant as you can imagine. I’m not in pain right now, but the pressure on the jaw is uncomfortable, and talking while the rubber bands are in place is really hard. So far I’ve lost around six pounds, which in other circumstances might be a good thing, but I’m now under 120-pounds for the first time since some long-ago college finals week. I really don’t want to keep losing at that rate for another month, so I need to deal better with diet.

But on to the important part: How does this affect the release of The Red: Trials?

The manuscript was still with my editor, Judith Tarr, when this first happened. She sent her editorial letter and comments last Friday, and gave the novel a nice thumb’s up: “My biggest problem was finding myself reading breathlessly, in pure reader mode, racing from scene to scene, in classic ‘can’t put down’ fashion, when I needed to slow down and put on my editor hat.”

As with First Light, her editing is insightful and thorough, so there is work to be done, but mostly in clarifying and drawing out details — there won’t be any major remodeling. I’ve made a solid start on the revision and hope to get back to it today. The goal is for the novel to be released in late May, and I’m still hoping to accomplish that.

I should have cover art to share with you soon. In the meantime, once again, if you’ve read and enjoyed The Red: First Light, please consider writing a brief reader review at Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble. There’s no need to say much — a line or two is fine — but reader reviews really do help with visibility. Thank you!

The World SF Tour

Monday, March 17th, 2014

The World SF TourLast year I had the privilege of being a guest on The Skiffy and Fanty Show, a weekly fan podcast run by Shaun Duke and Jen Zink, “two science fiction and fantasy nuts.” 🙂 The show covers anything and everything related to the science fiction and fantasy genres. In my case, we talked about The Red: First Light. You can find the podcast here.

This year, “We’re All About World SF in 2014” is the theme.

What does this mean?

One of the things we care a great deal about on this show is diversity in SF/F… The World SF Tour will consist of discussions about World SF, the SF/F literary traditions in non-U.S. spaces, and related topics, along with interviews with SF/F authors from as many places as we can fit on a single season of the show. So far, we know we’re going to talk to South African, Japanese, Irish, Canadian, and Israeli authors, critics, translators, and publishers. That list of countries will get much longer (we’re working on authors and fans from the Middle East, Central and South America, other parts of the African continent, the Caribbean, and so much more)!

The Skiffy and Fanty Show had a heavy presence at last September’s Worldcon, hosting live walkby-and-chat sessions, recording interviews, and so on. They’d like to have a presence at this year’s Worldcon too, but that means traveling across the Atlantic — so they’re seeking some fundraising help. If you’re interested in helping out, visit their fundraising page at GoFundMe.

Click here to read more about The World SF Tour.


Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Pocket, is an add-on to Google’s Chrome browser, and it’s the most useful bit of software I’ve run across in a while.

I haven’t been in the habit of reading fiction online. Sitting at my desktop Mac to read a story just isn’t comfortable for me. Sitting with my full-size laptop at a desk doesn’t work either. So I used to get out my Netbook, settle down in a recliner or in bed, and read from that — but that was awkward too. So I contemplated joining the tablet generation. When my son-in-law showed me his Nexus 7 with Pocket, I immediately ordered my own.

What does Pocket do? If you’re logged into Google Chrome, then any interesting article or story you see on the web can be saved in your Pocket. Doesn’t matter what device you’re using: phone, desktop, laptop, tablet… (*Ahem*, yes I have all of those. Technology is not simplifying my life.)

Later, when you have time to read, you can open up the article or story whether you’re online and off. But here’s the killer feature: you’re not reading the web page — you’re reading the article as if it’s been laid out as a book page. You can see one of my recent posts, displayed in Pocket, in the image below.

This is so awesome! Though I have to wonder if it’s legal? from a copyright perspective? Also, if Pocket becomes very common, I have to wonder if website ad revenue will take a serious hit, because people are no longer reading on the website. Of course, many already read via RSS feeds, which skip the website ads.

At any rate, from a reader’s perspective, this is a wonderful development. Just in the few days I’ve had Pocket (and a tablet), I suspect I’ve read more online fiction than I have in the past year.

Check it out here.



Sunday, March 9th, 2014

I love the digital painting my daughter, Dallas Nagata White, did for the cover of The Red: First Light, but the layout of the text on the cover was done by me, and I’ve never been happy with it. I wanted to hire a graphic designer to re-do the layout, but there wasn’t time before publication, so I went with what I had.

But the sequel, The Red: Trials, will be coming out in a of couple months. Ahead of that release I wanted to “rebrand” First Light, giving it a better look that could be re-used on the cover of Trials to clearly indicate that they are a series.

So I turned to Emily Irwin, who is a working graphic artist, and who created the new cover for Memory. Here’s the result–and I think it’s gorgeous:

Cover rebranding-- The Red: First Light

Expect to see this cover soon on both the ebook and print editions.


Saturday, March 8th, 2014

Stuff happens, right? You just never know when life is going to change direction. This past Wednesday, everything was going great. I had a Q&A at, which was a great publicity opportunity, and in the afternoon I went to the gym where I was able to run 3.5 miles on the treadmill in under thirty-two minutes, which is about peak condition for me, and something I haven’t been able to do in a while.

Then Thursday rolled around. As happens often, I heard feral chickens in the yard. They scratch the mulch out of my gardens, so I headed outside to chase them away. I trotted down the deck stairs, but as I reached the last step I somehow managed to trip. I was wearing old rubber slippers (probably better known to you as “flip flops”) that were too big for me. I’m not entirely clear on what happened, but I think I caught the toe of the slippers. At any rate, I went flying into the concrete, landed on my chin, and fractured my jaw. Such skillz! I have no idea what my hands were doing and why they didn’t instinctively reach out to break my fall. This is doubly strange because I have good reflexes. But it is what it is. (more…)