Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Archive for April, 2017

The Pursuit of Perfection

Monday, April 24th, 2017

“The pursuit of perfection is a cover for massive insecurities.”

I jotted this down in my journal this morning after loading my latest round of corrections into both the print and ebook editions of The Last Good Man. There were three corrections.

One was a spelling issue: “Acknowledgement” vs “Acknowledgment.” Both are acceptable, though supposedly the second is more commonly used in America. I’d used both versions, which is not acceptable, so I settled on the more-popular-in-America spelling.

Throughout the manuscript I’ve set text messages and emails in an alternate font. The second correction was to remove the use of that alternate font in one instance where it didn’t belong.

In the third correction I’d mistakenly typed “NGC” when I meant “NGO” (nongovernmental organization) so I fixed that. This one bugs me, though, because I failed to catch the mistake in all my read-throughs, none of my beta readers noticed, and neither did my line editor or copyeditor. Oops! Ron gets credit for discovering it.

“What’s an NGC?” he asked while reading through what I thought would be the final print version.

NGC?

In my mind I scrambled for an answer. NGC, NGC…that’s from astronomy. New General Catalog. Wait. THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT!

I took a look at the passage and finally worked it out. Oh.

I know I get way too worked up over these tiny issues. Refer back to the first line of this post.

On a more positive note, I’ve gotten some really kind blurbs in support of The Last Good Man, so all is not lost, even if the odd spelling error still awaits discovery.

I’m very grateful to Greg Bear for recently taking the time to read the book. He says: “The Last Good Man pulls us into next month’s headlines with a conviction and energy that makes for an extraordinary tale.”

Steven Gould and Vonda N. McIntyre have also provided advance praise which you can read here. I’m especially grateful for this support, given that I’m putting this novel out on my own.

Preorders Coming Soon
I’m hoping to be able to set up preorders in the next couple of weeks, but bear with me — I’ve never done preorders before and I’m sure there will be snags. The publication date remains June 20.

Earth Day / March For Science

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

“…there is nothing for me to do as we circle the world except to admire the overwhelming beauty of this place that we have threatened and corrupted with our wars and our poisons. Lotus passes from daylight into a night lit by electric lights that outline the continents and surround the oceans, and in time it is day again, and we are bathed in the bright-blue reflected glow of the Pacific, and I can’t stop looking at it all, taking it all in. Astronomers speak of finding Earthlike worlds around other stars, but they are speaking in hyperbole, in meaningless generalities. There is only one Earthlike world. There will only ever be one and it is fragile, and if it takes the cold manipulations of a fathomless AI to bring balance and to protect this precious place from the madness of those who would set it on fire, so be it. I, for one, am proud to serve as a soldier in that war.”

–excerpt from The Trials, Book 2 of the Red trilogy

CLICK TO SEE A LARGER VERSION OF THIS IMAGE

Image courtesy of NASA.
Image caption: “NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter captured a unique view of Earth from the spacecraft’s vantage point in orbit around the moon.”
Follow this link for more information on this image.

Sci-Fi Bridge, Round 3:

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

If you’ve been following this blog, you’ve heard me talk before about Sci-Fi Bridge.

To review, Sci-Fi Bridge is a writer-run organization dedicated to getting the word out on new releases and great book deals in the science fiction world. Getting the word out is a HUGE challenge in this crowded field, so I’m really happy to be part of this effort. Round 3 is MY round. It’s my chance to connect with new newsletter subscribers and it’s your chance to connect with new-to-you writers.

So I encourage you to visit the Bridge and enter to win a massive book giveaway. Just by entering, you get access to four free ebooks. One is an anthology of stories by writers participating in Sci-Fi Bridge including my own “Codename: Delphi.” And you’ll be able to opt-in to the Sci-Fi Bridge newsletter, and to author newsletters if you choose. You’ll also have a chance to win 30+ ebooks, or the Grand Prize of 30+ signed books. I’m contributing ebooks and a signed book (Tech-Heaven) during this round.

Follow this link for the official info.

The contest runs April 20 – 27. See you on the Bridge!

Signup to receive four free ebooks

Signup to receive four free ebooks

Enter to win 30+ ebooks!

Going, going….

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

* * REMINDER * *

Just thirty hours left to get the
Artificial Intelligence Storybundle!

This bundle of ebooks includes two of my novels, along with novels by Walter Jon Williams, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Laura Mixon, Lisa Mason, and Ryan Schneider. It also includes two short story anthologies with work by both classic and up-and-coming writers.

Find details, excerpts, and other persuasive material at
THE STORYBUNDLE WEBSITE.

My O’Reilly Anecdote

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

My dad had a lot of health challenges in his last years which mostly defeated his love of tinkering and technology. Still, he knew how to make the best of things and he was comfortable in an assisted-living apartment here on Maui where I was able to visit him frequently.

I stopped in to see him one afternoon. He would have been around eighty at the time, an “old white guy” by any definition. I found his TV on, as usual, though I was a bit annoyed to see that it was on the Fox “News” station, with Bill O’Reilly engaged in some rant.

I paused to watch.

My dad paused to watch. After about thirty seconds he said, “I can’t stand that Bill O’Reilly.”

I grinned and said, “I can’t stand him either.”

We headed out and had a nice afternoon.

Out Today: Cosmic Powers

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

I have a story in editor John Joseph Adams’ newest science fiction anthology, COSMIC POWERS.

Here’s the anthology’s description:

A collection of original, epic science fiction stories by some of today’s best writers — for fans who want a little less science and a lot more action — and edited by two-time Hugo Award winner John Joseph Adams.

Inspired by movies like The Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars, this anthology features brand-new stories from some of science fiction’s best authors including Dan Abnett, Jack Campbell, Linda Nagata, Seanan McGuire, Alan Dean Foster, Charlie Jane Anders, Kameron Hurley, and many others.

“A little less science” isn’t my usual sort of story, but when John asked me to contribute something I thought, Why not? It’s good to do try my hand at different things. Right? I mean, in the past John had asked me to write a military fantasy story — something I’d never tried before — and the result, “The Way Home,” turned out to be, in my opinion, one of my best short stories ever. So I agreed.

Oh, did I come to regret it! 😉

I had such a hard time writing this story. Quite obviously I had a mental block. I’d never before written a story with hyperspace/ FTL/ wormholes/ etc. and my muse made it clear I wasn’t going to start now. So after considerable soul-searching, I set about creating a whole new story world set in our solar system. It was a lot of work just for a short story, but I finally sent the result to John and he accepted it. He also gave it a new title: “Diamond and the World Breaker.” (I don’t remember what my original title was…)

Here’s the table of contents:

Introduction by John Joseph Adams
A Temporary Embarrassment in Spacetime—Charlie Jane Anders
Zen and the Art of Starship Maintenance—Tobias S. Buckell
The Deckhand, the Nova Blade, and the Thrice-Sung Texts—Becky Chambers
The Sighted Watchmaker—Vylar Kaftan
Infinite Love Engine—Joseph Allen Hill
Unfamiliar Gods—Adam-Troy Castro, with Judi B. Castro
Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World—Caroline M. Yoachim
Our Specialty is Xenogeology—Alan Dean Foster
Golden Ring—Karl Schroeder
Tomorrow When We See the Sun—A. Merc Rustad
Bring the Kids and Revisit the Past at the Traveling Retro Funfair!—Seanan McGuire
The Dragon that Flew Out of the Sun—Aliette De Bodard
Diamond and the World Breaker—Linda Nagata
The Chameleon’s Gloves—Yoon Ha Lee
The Universe, Sung in Stars—Kat Howard
Wakening Ouroboros—Jack Campbell
Warped Passages—Kameron Hurley
The Frost Giant’s Data—Dan Abnett
Cover Art by Chris Foss

Cosmic Powers is out today. Visit the FREE READS page to read selected stories.

Early Reviewer Volunteers

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

An email has gone out to those early-reviewer volunteers who sent me their email address.

If you volunteered as an early reviewer of my forthcoming novel The Last Good Man but you haven’t heard from me, check your spam folder!

Otherwise, shoot me your email address again or let me know in the comments.

OMG Another Storybundle!

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Books, books, books!

Due to a strange — shall we say unique? — concatenation of circumstances I am involved in a second STORYBUNDLE that overlaps with the first.

A quick review: Storybundles are themed collections of ebooks, sold together at discount, and available only for a very short period of time.

Time is almost up for the Artificial Intelligence Storybundle. Get it by APRIL 20th, because after that it will be gone. The AI Storybundle includes two of my novels, along with novels by Kathleen Ann Goonan, Lisa Mason, Walter Jon Williams, and Ryan Schneider. Plus! Two short fiction anthologies.

Follow this link for details on the Artificial Intelligence Storybundle, and to read excerpts from each work.

So what’s the new Storybundle?

More science fiction, of course! Here are the book covers:

SFWA Science Fiction Bundle

Cat Rambo is the president of SFWA — the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America — and in that capacity she has assembled the SFWA Science Fiction Bundle to showcase members’ work. This bundle is all science fiction and includes my novel Tech-Heaven.

So what’s it cost?

StoryBundle lets you name your own price, with a $5 minimum. For the SFWA Science Fiction Bundle, a minimum purchase of $5 gets you the basic set of six books:
Saiensu Fikushon 2016 by TOBI Hirotaka, Toh Enjoe and Taiyo Fujii
Borrowed Tides by Paul Levinson
The Weave by Nancy Jane Moore
Truck Stop Earth by Michael A. Armstrong
Children of Arkadia by M. Darusha Wehm
Beyond the Gates by Catherine Wells

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all six of the regular titles, plus SIX more!
Unidentified Funny Objects by Alex Shvartsman
Factoring Humanity by Robert J. Sawyer
Strangers Among Us by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law
Tech-Heaven by Linda Nagatathat’s my contribution!
The Burning Eye by John F. Carr
The Leaves of October by Don Sakers

Like all bundles, this one is available only for a limited time, so get it while you can!

Follow this link for details on the SFWA Science Fiction Bundle, and to read excerpts from each work.

Cover Reveal: The Last Good Man

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

When I first contacted artist Philippe McNally about creating the cover art for my forthcoming novel The Last Good Man, I told him I was leaning toward a minimalist design rather than a full-cover painting, and that I wanted an illustration rather than photo manipulation because the cover needed the suggestion of a machine element to place it in genre.

And what genre is that? The Last Good Man is a crossover. It’s science fiction because it’s set a few years into the future and deals with technology that is just over the horizon. But it’s close enough to the present time that it works as a thriller too.

I am so pleased with the cover Philippe created!
Click the image to see it in a larger version:

Philippe was very patient during the design process. We traded several emails. I talked more about what I was after, and showed him book covers that I liked. He found more book covers that suggested different design options. We weren’t looking at explicit details of those covers, but at the use of space and the different styles they employed. We gradually converged on the symbolic rendition you see above. Not an explicit scene, but suggestive of the novel’s theme.

I have an advance copy of the print edition and the cover looks fantastic with its matte finish. It also looks great at small size in my e-reader’s library.

The Last Good Man will be published on June 20. It will be available in ebook, trade paperback, and audio editions.

So what’s it about? Here’s the back cover copy:

Scarred by war. In pursuit of truth.

Army veteran True Brighton left the service when the development of robotic helicopters made her training as a pilot obsolete. Now she works at Requisite Operations, a private military company established by friend and former Special Ops soldier Lincoln Han. ReqOp has embraced the new technologies. Robotics, big data, and artificial intelligence are all tools used to augment the skills of veteran warfighters-for-hire. But the tragedy of war is still measured in human casualties, and when True makes a chance discovery during a rescue mission, old wounds are ripped open. She’s left questioning what she knows of the past, and resolves to pursue the truth, whatever the cost.

The Last Good Man is a powerful, complex, and very human tale.

And here’s what Steven Gould says about it:

I asked to see an advanced copy of The Last Good Man: with the caveat that I was very busy and might not get to it. I was just going to glance at the first few pages but looked up to find myself halfway through the book in the wee hours of the morning. Only an early morning appointment kept me from reading on but I finished it the following evening.

Welcome to the future of war. Soldiers on the ground depend more on their augmented reality visors, net connections, and hosts of robotic allies, than their rifles, but as long as they tread in harm’s way, certain things do not change, including collateral damage, ethical challenges, and the grief of a mother, a warrior herself, when her son dies in action.

Set where war’s bleeding edge of technology slams into people’s lives, this is a very human story, brilliantly told.

And from Vonda N. McIntyre:

The Last Good Man is a compelling and subversive novel, told by unique characters, especially True Brighton: sympathetic, prickly, determined, all too human. Linda Nagata has impressive insights into technological advances and their potential effects. Not to mention some very cool invented AI critters…. It was a privilege to read TLGM before its publication.”

If you haven’t done so already, please

[* * cue flashing lights * *]

SIGN UP FOR MY NEWSLETTER.

Through the newsletter I can let you know when The Last Good Man is available for preorder, and I’ll send you a reminder when it’s available to buy.

To see more of Philippe’s work and to view his resume, follow this link.