Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

An Audio Book Edition of “Nahiku West”

Monday, July 15th, 2013

And also nine other science fiction stories!

This is the fifth year that Infinivox has released an unabridged audio book anthology of The Year’s Top-Ten Tales of Science Fiction (link is to Amazon US).

Stories included in the audio anthology are:

“Invisible Men” by Christopher Barzak
“Close Encounters” by Andy Duncan
“Bricks, Sticks, Straw” by Gwyneth Jones
“Arbeitskraft” by Nick Mamatas
“The Man” by Paul McAuley
“Nahiku West” by Linda Nagata
“Tyche and the Ants” by Hannu Rajaniemi
“Katabasis” by Robert Reed
“The Contrary Gardener” by Christopher Rowe
“Scout” by Bud Sparhawk

I haven’t yet heard the audio rendition of “Nahiku West” but I’m looking forward to it.

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. 7

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. 7I haven’t actually seen a copy yet, but Jonathan Strahan’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Vol. 7 is now available for purchase. It includes my novelette “Nahiku West” originally published in Analog.

This is the first time one of my stories has been selected for a best-of-the-year anthology, so it marks a milestone for me.

Visit Nightshade Books to read about the volume, and for links to vendors.

Locus Recommended Reading

Friday, February 1st, 2013

The Locus Recommended Reading List is out, and I’m very pleased to say that both of my science fiction stories from 2012 are on it.

“Nahiku West” — Analog, October 2012 — is in the novelette category, and “Nightside On Callisto” — Lightspeed Magazine, May 2012, is in the short story category.

Both stories are available in an ebook edition that can be purchased through my own ebook store, as well as through the usual vendors on the web.

The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Seven

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

At SF Signal, the table of contents has been posted for ‘The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume Seven’ Edited by Jonathan Strahan, with my own “Nahiku West” at #22 in the list of stories! This is the first time my short fiction has made it into a best-of-year anthology, so I’m pretty happy about it.

The anthology will be published by Night Shade Books on March 5, 2013.

Two Stories, Now Together

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

Back in early October, I published my 2012 Analog story “Nahiku West” as an ebook that also included an older story of mine. It was available only at Book View Café.

Now that another 2012 story, “Nightside On Callisto,” has come off its exclusive period at Lightspeed Magazine, I’ve pulled the original ebook and created a new one that includes both of these two stories from 2012. This version is available at all of the usual vendors (links below).

If you purchased the original ebook of “Nahiku West” from Book View Café, you can replace it with the new one. Just click the “Download” link in your receipt to get the new version. Be aware that the file names are the same.

If by chance you’re an active member of Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and are reading for Nebula consideration, let me know and I’ll be happy to send you a copy.

Here’s where to find it:

Book View Café (worldwide)
Kobo Books (international)
Barnes & Noble USA
Amazon UK
Amazon Japan
Amazon Germany
Amazon France
Amazon Spain
Amazon Italy

A Second Zeke Choy Story

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012
Nahiku West by Linda Nagata “Nahiku West” — a 9,000 word novelette, originally published in Analog and now available as an ebook at Book View Cafe.

Long ago — actually last spring — I wrote a companion story to last summer’s novelette “Nahiku West.” It’s called “Out In The Dark” and it’s the second story featuring the reluctant Commonwealth police officer, Zeke Choy**.

Since “Nahiku West” was published in Analog, I sent the second story there as well and waited the summer to hear back on it. Three months passed, and I was just about to inquire on its status when Stan Schmidt, long-time Analog editor, announced his immediate retirement — and I knew the waiting wasn’t over yet.

I did eventually receive good news. Analog’s new editor, Trevor Quachri, will be publishing “Out In The Dark” in a future edition, date to be determined.

And now, I must get busy writing more short stories! I want to do at least one or two more featuring Zeke Choy, as well as striking out in some new directions.

If you haven’t done so yet, please sign up for my Very Occasional Newsletter so I can let you know when new stories and novels come out.

**Zeke was a minor character in my novel The Bohr Maker, and his stories take place in The Nanotech Succession story world.

Snippet: “Nahiku West”

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Nahiku West by Linda Nagata

A railcar was ferrying Key Lu across the tether linking Nahiku East and West when a micro-meteor popped through the car’s canopy, leaving two neat holes that vented the cabin to hard vacuum within seconds. The car continued on the track, but it took over a minute for it to reach the gel lock at Nahiku West and pass through into atmosphere. No one expected to find Key Lu alive, but as soon as the car re-pressurized, he woke up.

Sometimes, it’s a crime not to die.


I stepped into the interrogation chamber. Key had been sitting on one of two padded couches, but when he saw me he bolted to his feet. I stood very still, hearing the door lock behind me. Nothing in Key’s background indicated he was a violent man, but prisoners sometimes panic. I raised my hand slightly, as a gel ribbon armed with a paralytic spray slid from my forearm to my palm, ready for use if it came to that.

“Please,” I said, keeping the ribbon carefully concealed. “Sit down.”

Key slowly subsided onto the couch, never taking his frightened eyes off me.

Most of the celestial cities restrict the height and weight of residents to minimize the consumption of volatiles, but Commonwealth police officers are required to be taller and more muscular than the average citizen. I used to be a smaller man, but during my time at the academy adjustments were made. I faced Key Lu with a physical presence optimized to trigger a sense of intimidation in the back brain of a nervous suspect, an effect enhanced by the black fabric of my uniform. Its design was simple—shorts cuffed at the knees and a lightweight pullover with long sleeves that covered the small arsenal of chemical ribbons I carried on my forearms—but its light-swallowing color set me apart from the bright fashions of the celestial cities.

I sat down on the couch opposite Key Lu. He was a well-designed man, nothing eccentric about him, just another good-looking citizen. His hair was presently blond, his eyebrows darker. His balanced face lacked strong features. The only thing notable about him was his injuries. Dark bruises surrounded his eyes and their whites had turned red from burst blood vessels. More bruises discolored swollen tissue beneath his coppery skin.

We studied each other for several seconds, both knowing what was at stake. I was first to speak. “I’m Officer Zeke Choy—”

“I know who you are.”

“—of the Commonwealth Police, the watch officer here at Nahiku.”

The oldest celestial cities orbited Earth, but Nahiku was newer. It was one in a cluster of three orbital habitats that circled the Sun together, just inside the procession of Venus.

Key Lu addressed me again, with the polite insistence of a desperate man. “I didn’t know about the quirk, Officer Choy. I thought I was legal.”

The machine voice of a Dull Intelligence whispered into my auditory nerve that he was lying. I already knew that, but I nodded anyway, pretending to believe him.

The DI was housed within my atrium, a neural organ that served as an interface between mind and machine. Atriums are a legal enhancement—they don’t change human biology—but Key Lu’s quirked physiology that had allowed him to survive short-term exposure to hard vacuum was definitely not.

I was sure his quirk had been done before the age of consent. He’d been born in the Far Reaches among the fragile holdings of the asteroid prospectors, where it must have looked like a reasonable gamble to bioengineer some insurance into his system. Years had passed since then; enforcement had grown stricter. Though Key Lu looked perfectly ordinary, by the law of the Commonwealth, he wasn’t even human.

I met his gaze, hoping he was no fool. “Don’t tell me anything I don’t want to know,” I warned him.

I let him consider this for several seconds before I went on. “Your enhancement is illegal under the statutes of the Commonwealth—”

“I understand that, but I didn’t know about it.”

I nodded my approval of this lie. I needed to maintain the fiction that he hadn’t known. It was the only way I could help him. “I’ll need your consent to remove it.”

A spark of hope ignited in his blooded eyes. “Yes! Yes, of course.”

“So recorded.” I stood, determined to get the quirk out of his system as soon as possible, before awkward questions could be asked. “Treatment can begin right—”

The door to the interrogation room opened.

I was so startled, I turned with my hand half raised, ready to trigger the ribbon of paralytic still hidden in my palm—only to see Magistrate Glory Mina walk in, flanked by two uniformed cops I’d never seen before.

My DI sent the ribbon retreating back up my forearm while I greeted Glory with a scowl. Nahiku was my territory. I was the only cop assigned to the little city and I was used to having my own way—but with the magistrate’s arrival I’d just been overridden.

* * *

Here’s what Locus says about “Nahiku West”:
“A complex mystery, with an intricate plot… Well conceived and well executed. RECOMMENDED.”

“Nahiku West” is a 9,000-word novelette. Find it at Book View Café Use coupon code NW1012 for $1 off through October 30, 2012.

Short story “Nahiku West”
now at Book View Café

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Nahiku West by Linda NagataThe October issue of Analog was published back in August and contained my novelette “Nahiku West.” The period of exclusivity has expired and I’m now free to re-publish the story — so I’ve done so, in ebook form. If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, now’s the time.

For now the ebook is available only at Book View Café, but it can be purchased there in either mobi or epub versions.

Set in The Nanotech Succession story world, “Nahiku West” takes place in a nanotech-drenched future, where anything is possible, but not everything is allowed. Police officer Zeke Choy is charged with enforcing molecular law — but his first task is to determine if a crime has taken place. “Nahiku West” is set in the same world as the award-winning novel The Bohr Maker.

The list price of this story is $2.99, but for that handful of readers who visit my blog, use coupon code NW1012 for $1.00 off.

Click here to read the opening paragraphs.

Here’s what Locus says about “Nahiku West”:
“A complex mystery, with an intricate plot… Well conceived and well executed. RECOMMENDED.”

Stan Schmidt Retires From Analog

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

I am so upset.

Stan Schmidt has been the editor at Analog Science Fiction & Fact for thirty-four years. He was the first editor to ever buy my work, and in fact the first three stories I sold went to Analog.

Last year, when I got back into short story writing after a very long hiatus, Stan was my first choice for “Nahiku West”–and to my delight he bought the story (which just saw publication this month in Analog’s “October” issue). So I think it’s fair to say that Stan Schmidt started my career twice.

He will be missed, but I hope he gets to enjoy more time writing his own fiction.

Here’s the article at Locus Online.

Locus Reviews “Nahiku West”

Monday, August 13th, 2012
Illustration for Analog by Tomislav TikulinIllustration for Analog by Tomislav Tikulin

Lois Tilton reviews short fiction at Locus and has some nice things to say about my recent Analog story “Nahiku West,” giving it a “Recommended.”

Find the review here.

The story is not available online, but the August issue of Analog can be purchased in both ebook and print form.

Check this page for ebook vendors.