Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for May, 2015

Kids in Tech

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

Hawaii is kind of an awesome place. This is a little five-and-a-half minute video on what happened when a computer science teacher at Ala Wai Elementary School (a computer science teacher in elementary school?? when did that become a thing? awesome!) felt his students had not received any recognition or encouragement for their work. A group of /r/Hawaii Redditors decided to do something about that. Here’s the story of what happened — and the interviews with the kids are amazing.

PS: the video still-shot below showing only boys is a little misleading. 😉

Going Dark

Wednesday, May 27th, 2015

Going Dark - Book 3 of The Red TrilogyGoing Dark. No that’s NOT my planned career path. It’s the title of the final novel in The Red Trilogy, with another amazing cover by Larry Rostant — and Going Dark is well on its way to publication.

My first drafts tend to be pretty solid, but my initial ideas for a new novel are not. I was reminded of this when I was reading an email I’d written last year, when Going Dark was just getting started. The direction I had in mind for the book at that time changed radically as I worked my way past the opening, and the story is a lot better for it.

Right now I’ve got editorial notes on Going Dark from Joe Monti, my editor at Saga Press, and for the past few days I’ve been working on final revisions. I’m happy to say, the requested changes and additions are fairly minor. But it’s always the case in this process that as I get close to the final-final updates, I’m amazed at the difference even small changes can make. The final polish of a novel is always exciting.

I haven’t yet posted a back cover description for Going Dark, because that needs work. But here’s the tagline:

“No Real Allies, No Fixed Enemies, No Certain Battlefields”

Sound exciting? I hope so!

The Red Trilogy has been a big project. Though I’d written ten prior novels, this is my first real trilogy — not that I planned it that way. It just sort of happened — and now it’s nearly done. For me, anyway! I hope not for you. As the books are published, I hope you’ll come along for the ride. All three books are due out this year. Here are the dates:

The Red — June 30

The Trials — August 18

Going Dark — November 3

Yes, you can preorder!

If you read the books, if you like them, I hope you’ll let other people know. Buzz matters.

And if you’d like to get a look at the opening scene of the first novel, find it here on my website.

Okay, back to those revisions…

Audiobook of The Red incoming!

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The Red - Saga Edition Word came today from narrator Kevin T. Collins that he’s just finished recording the audio version of The Red.

The Red will be released in simultaneous hardcover, mass-market paperback, and ebook editions by Simon & Schuster/ Saga Press. And it will be released in audio by Audible.

Four formats! That’s a first for me.

And this will be my first-ever audiobook. I’ve had a few short stories issued in audio format thanks to Lightspeed Magazine, but never a novel. I’m looking forward to it.

For you audiophiles out there, here are my available short stories:

“Nightside on Callisto”

“A Moment Before It Struck”

“Codename Delphi”

“The Way Home”

Book Rave: The Black Company

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

There are times when I begin to think I’m jaded with fiction, that there isn’t much that can really seize my interest and draw me into a story anymore — but then I’ll find a book to change my mind. Those are the books I write about here. I just finished reading Glen Cook’s The Black Company — and I loved it. I was honestly amazed how much I enjoyed it, and how compelling it was.

I’m going to guess that most of you who are into epic fantasy first read The Black Company long ago. It was published in 1984. That was three years before my own first publication – a little short story in the magazine Analog Science Fiction & Fact — and at the time I wasn’t reading epic fantasy at all.

The reason I picked up The Black Company now was because of a post at Message Fiction: Politics in Sci-Fi and Fantasy Literature in which “The G” (@nerds_feather on Twitter) describes it as “a forebear of the gritty turn in epic fantasy and sword & sorcery”:

The Black Company explicitly and directly rejects the simple good vs. evil dynamic that has traditionally defined heroic fiction, whether fantasy or not. The Company’s war is not one of righteous truth or glorious conquest, but a war of survival and a war of profit. It is a civil war, and one whose primary victims are unarmed civilians—the exact kind of war, one notes, that has predominated in our world since 1945.

How could I resist that?

The writing style used in The Black Company is unusual in my experience, especially at the start. The storyline jumps about at times and much of the background is not explained. Imagine stepping into another world. Everyone already there knows the critical history and they assume we know it too. So like a child we are left to piece together that history from comments dropped here and there. This can be frustrating, and at times I wondered if I’d missed some critical part or if this wasn’t actually the first book in the series—and yet it works very well. I was forced to pay attention, and my interest never flagged.

The narrative voice, a physician-warrior named Croaker, is wonderfully done. And as is always the case in a compelling tale, it’s the positive relationships between the characters that power the story. The Black Company are mercenaries. Croaker recognizes their faults and sins. But in the midst of a grim and bloody civil war they are devoted to one another, and Croaker’s ruminations on good and evil add a necessary philosophical balance to the action.

Publishers Weekly
Best Summer Books 2015

Saturday, May 2nd, 2015

The Red - Saga EditionThis is certainly a once-in-a-lifetime honor, so I’ll note it here: The Red is on Publishers Weekly list of “Best Summer Books 2015 (SF/ Fantasy/ Horror).”

Publishers Weekly is an industry magazine important to book buyers at stores and libraries, so fingers crossed that this will help sales when the Saga Press edition is released June 30.