Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net


Recommended Links and an Update

Monday, August 14th, 2017

Links
If you were interested in the technology and ethical questions behind The Last Good Man, you might enjoy this article by Andrew Apostolou, which presents a good real-world overview of these topics: “Get Ready for the Silicon Military”.

And because mercenaries are part of The Last Good Man, I’ll also recommend David A. Graham’s piece “Are Mercenaries Really a Cheaper Way of War?” (Hint: the answer is almost certainly “no.”)

And on an entirely different subject, Alastair Reynolds fans should head on over to Audible where you can download a free interview with him, wherein he talks about his novel Revenger. And if haven’t read Revenger I highly recommend it. I loved the world building in this one.

An Update
As for me, I’ve been making progress on a novel, and am itching to work on a couple of other projects as soon as I can get myself organized enough to juggle more than one project at a time.

There’s not much new to report on The Last Good Man. I had hoped to get a couple more professional reviews, but those didn’t materialize. I’m not sure what I can do for more publicity at this point, though I’m always looking for opportunities. Honestly, I’m spending too much time worrying over publicity when I should be focused on writing. It does get frustrating though. I always feel like I should be doing more to promote the book. Sales have been better than any indie book I’ve published before, but not good enough yet to call it a success.

That said, reader reviews have generally been terrific. THANK YOU to everyone who’s posted a review at Amazon. It’s really appreciated. If you’re wondering if additional reader reviews are needed, my answer is “Yes!” and not just for The Last Good Man. If you enjoyed the books in the Red trilogy, those could use some new reviews too.

Giveaways Upcoming
If you haven’t done so already, do signup for my newsletter. I’m going to be holding giveaways for audiobook codes for The Last Good Man and paperback sets of the Red trilogy — starting very soon!

Looking Back, and Looking Ahead

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

Here we are at the end of the year. It’s a good time to take stock of writerly things. This isn’t meant to be a whiny post. More of a looking-reality-straight-in-the-eye post — and looking ahead at what’s to come

~~~~~

Some writers have nicely ascending career paths. There may be a few setbacks, but overall the trend is up. For many of us – dare I say most of us? – that’s not how it goes. Oh sure, we enjoy the occasional triumph, but our careers are mostly a long, lonely slog through tough, soggy, mosquito-filled terrain, with only an occasional glimpse of snow-capped peaks rising in the distance—the Olympian heights! (This being a metaphor for bestseller lists, in case you missed that.)

For a while, it looked like The Red trilogy was going to be my path out of the fens — if not to the magic mountains, then at least to more solid ground. I mean, the critical response was pretty damn encouraging. Check out some of the crazy quotes here.

If you’re new to this blog and you’ve never heard of these books, here’s a brief history:

Back in 2013, I decided to self-publish the first of the trilogy, The Red: First Light, rather than trying to sell it to a traditional publisher. This was my first science fiction novel in ten years, and it went on to become a finalist for the Nebula award and second runner-up for the John W. Campbell Memorial award. It was picked up by Simon & Schuster’s Saga Press, given a gorgeous new cover, and in that incarnation was named as a Publishers Weekly best book of 2015. Saga Press published the second and third books in the trilogy in quick succession. Book 3, Going Dark, tied for first runner up for the Campbell Memorial award.

So I had reasons to get my hopes up, right?

These books had the most commercial potential of anything I’ve written. They are action oriented, and they extrapolate on real-world technology and politics. They are also heroic stories in which the actions of individuals do matter. Yes, they are written in a cynical tone (an amusingly snarky tone, I hope), but this was cynicism wrapped around a core of idealism. In other words, they’re culturally appropriate for a large swath of American readership. As evidence of that, they’ve had multiple inquiries regarding film and TV rights, and in fact were optioned for TV (an agreement now expired).

This was all far more than I’d expected … but the path peters out if potential readers miss those reviews, or if they decide for reasons of their own to skip the books, or if they never hear of the books at all because they don’t read reviews and rely instead on chance, name recognition, or word of mouth to choose their next read.

The trilogy garnered enthusiastic readers — and I’m grateful for every one of you! — but despite all the good omens, it failed to capture the attention of enough readers to make it a success. Sales languished. The books sank out of sight.

Hell, yes, this was disappointing. And I could write a long, disgruntled post speculating on the reasons why it happened — in fact I did — but I’ll spare you that. We’re here at the turn of the year and it’s time to move on, because…

I’VE GOT ANOTHER NOVEL ON THE WAY!

::cheers::

::confetti::

Hey, I’m excited about it. I hope you are too. I really, really hope you’re excited, because I’m going to need you’re support on this.

So what’s it called? What’s it about? That post will go up at the New Year. But here’s a hint:

In these crazy, frightening, rapidly changing times my focus has been captured by the near future. Where are we going? What are some of the implications of our rapidly developing technologies? What impact might they have on the way we see ourselves, and on what we value in ourselves, given that we are still operating under the templates of our ancient tribal minds? These are some of the themes behind a thriller that’s written on a very human scale.

So check back soon. And in the meantime, if you haven’t done so already, sign up for my occasional newsletter (see the form in the upper right column). It’s one more way to keep in touch.

One Year Anniversary

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

It’s been exactly one year since the publication of Going Dark, which completed the Red Trilogy.

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Saga Press engaged in some creative experimentation in the release of the trilogy. First, all three books came out within a very short span of time, with just six months between book 1 and book 3. More revolutionary, the books were released simultaneously in hardcover, mass-market paperback, and ebook editions. I’m sure this wasn’t the first time this happened in traditional publishing, but I’d never heard of it being done before.

The usual tactic is to first release the hardcover along with an expensive ebook edition, and then to follow with lower ebook prices and a less expensive paperback a year later. I was thrilled when I learned that Saga planned to do hardcover and mass market at the same time, with the added benefit of putting a reasonable price on the ebook. This allowed libraries and collectors to acquire the expensive hardcover edition, while regular readers who’d heard of the book through reviews and recommendations could grab a copy at a good price.

Of course there is a downside to this strategy: A year later I don’t get a second shot at publicity when the paperback comes out. Ah, well! I can reminisce on my blog instead.

This was an important series for me on many levels. It marked my return to writing science fiction after a hiatus of many years. It persuaded me that the near future was fertile ground in which to grow stories that felt relevant to me, in our rapidly evolving world. And it allowed me to write the sort of story I love to read: one that includes high-energy adventure with extrapolations of real-world science and technology, and (I hope!) engaging characters who give a damn about one another and the world.

So one year out it seems appropriate to say THANK YOU! to the readers and reviewers who’ve supported the books. It’s easy for a work to get lost in the vast sea of novels that reach publication each year. It’s your interest and support and word-of-mouth recommendations that have kept the Red trilogy visible — and that is truly appreciated. I hope you’ll continue to recommend the trilogy to friends who might enjoy it. The last big publicity push was over long ago, so it’s up to you now!

If you read this blog regularly than you know I’ve got a new novel on the way. I look forward to telling you more about that in the coming months. If you haven’t done so already, do use the form in the righthand column to sign up for my newsletter. It’s another way to get in touch, and to let you know when the new novel is available.

Thank you!

Occasional reminder about reader reviews

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

If you’ve enjoyed The Red, The Trials, Going Dark, or any book by any author — do consider leaving a customer review at Amazon or at the Barnes & Noble website. Those reviews really do contribute to the success of a book, and successful books keep authors in business. Some readers write intricate reviews, but others just leave a quick comment and that’s fine. That’s all it takes. THANK YOU!

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Links & News

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

Just a few odds and ends…

* For those who write, Baen Books is holding a short story contest. They’re looking for near-future, humans-in-space themes. Find the details here. Deadline is February 1!

* The New Yorker takes a look at STX Entertainment in their article “The Mogul of the Middle.” It’s a long read, but a fascinating look at how thumbs-up/down decisions get made in the movie business.

* A photo essay on “The Internet” by Peter Garritano, with some background explanation over at The Atlantic.

* It was a nice end-of-the-year for The Red Trilogy. io9.com included it on their list The Very Best Science Fiction And Fantasy Books Of 2015. Bookworm Blues included The Red on her “The Epic Best Books of 2015 List.” Rob Bedford, who reviews for SFF World, put The Red at the top of his “Favorite 2015 Science Fiction Novels.” And Annalee Newitz included the trilogy in her Ars Technica list “All the science fiction books you’ll want to binge read over the holidays.” 🙂

* It’s been many years since I’ve read Dan Simmons Hyperion. I’m revisiting it now in audiobook format, and so far this edition is EXCELLENT. I’ll probably have more to say on it when I’m done, but at this point I’m hugely impressed both by Dan’s story and the production.

Veterans Day Audio Book Giveaway

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Follow up:
November 12, 2015
This was a fun giveaway that brought a lot of visitors to the blog, though most of you decided not to comment!
::sigh:: But that’s all right. Since there were just six active participants, it was easy for me to give a code to all of them. The emails have already gone out to the address you used when you posted your comment. If you haven’t heard from me, check your spam folder. If you still can’t find the email, contact me at linda at mythicisland dot com (converted to regular email format of course) and I’ll re-send.

A big mahalo (thank you) to all participants, and to everyone who helped boost the signal!

Thank you to those who’ve served and who continue to serve our country this Veterans Day!

Because it’s Veterans Day, and because the audio-book edition of Going Dark has just been released TODAY, I thought I’d do an audio-book flash giveaway. Audible has provided me with download codes. So I’ll be giving away one code for each book in The Red Trilogy — and I want to have three different winners. So enter to win with a comment on this post, letting me know which book you’d like to win — either The Red, The Trials, or Going Dark — and if you’re willing to settle for your second or third choice.

My son-in-law, US Army veteran Edward White, will be selecting the winners. If you’ve got a veteran anecdote to share, he invites you to do so, but it’s not required to enter.

The Audible editions of books in The Red Trilogy are narrated by Kevin T. Collins, and they’re available worldwide where Audible books are sold. I haven’t been told there are any regional restrictions on the code, so do enter even if you’re outside of the United States. You do need to be registered at Audible/Amazon to redeem a code, but you do not need a paid membership plan.

Enter today! Winners will be announced tomorrow, November 12 (Hawaii time). Thanks for participating!

The Red Trilogy Audio Editions

Going Dark: UK Edition

Wednesday, November 4th, 2015

Going Dark - United Kingdom editionFor those readers in the United Kingdom, the ebook edition of Going Dark is now available from Amazon UK. Find it here.

As I’ve mentioned before, when I sold The Red Trilogy to Saga Press, I was able to retain the right to publish the books separately in the United Kingdom, and I’m doing so under my own publishing imprint, Mythic Island Press LLC, though I’m only publishing the ebook edition, at least for now.

You’ll find the United Kingdom editions of The Red and The Trials at Kobo Books as well at Amazon. Right now Going Dark is only at Amazon UK, but it will eventually be available at Kobo too.

Amazon links:
The Red: First Light
The Trials

Kobo links:
The Red: First Light
(9781937197193)
The Trials
(9781937197186)

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Going Dark is Now Available

Tuesday, November 3rd, 2015

ALL THREE BOOKS IN THE RED TRILOGY ARE NOW OUT

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GOING DARK:

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

Presumed dead by those closest to him and with no intention of setting the record straight, former army Lt. James Shelley is recruited by a black ops outfit devoted to two things: guarding the Earth from existential threats, and the Red.

Operating for almost two years among soldiers who are enhanced, and controlled, just as he is, Shelley believes he’s learned a proper caution in working with the mysterious artificial intelligence—until the Red’s increasingly erratic behavior ignites an accidental war, and launches Shelley on a collision course with his old life.

In the final book of The Red Trilogy, Shelley must choose who—or what—to trust, while struggling to contain an escalating conflict that threatens to plunge the world into chaos, and destroy those he loves.

Some online booksellers (USA):
☆ Amazon
☆ Barnes & Noble
☆ Powell’s Books
☆ Mysterious Galaxy
☆ Tattered Cover

Or get the audio book, narrated by Kevin T. Collins, and available worldwide from Audible:
☆ Audible

Information on the United Kingdom ebook edition is here.

Book 3: Going Dark

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

Oh. Hey. TWO WEEKS UNTIL GOING DARK IS RELEASED. Be sure to sign up for my New Books/Newsletter in the right column, and I’ll send you an email when it’s available.

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Edit: And a couple of hours after I posted this, UPS dropped off advance copies, one each of the mass-market paperback and the hardcover. Just like the first two books of the trilogy, Going Dark will be published simultaneously by Saga Press in mass-market paperback, hardcover, and ebook, with an audio book by Audible. All are due out on November 3.mm_hc_going_dark-for_blog

Wanted: Customer Reviews

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

TheRed - TheTrialsHelp!

Have you ever written a customer review of a book you’ve read at Amazon or at the Barnes & Noble website? Or at Powells.com?** Would you ever consider doing so?

Those reviews really do matter because they help to determine the perceived popularity of a book in Amazon’s algorithms, and the more popular a book, the more likely it is to be recommended to readers browsing the website — which means it’s more likely to be bought by other readers, who might in turn enjoy the book and recommend it. Ideally this turns into a cascade of recommendations that lets a writer stay in business.

I assume a similar system is at work on the B&N website.

So I’m asking for your help. If you enjoyed The Red or The Trials or both, consider posting a short review. You don’t have to actually review the books. Some people do, but many just post short reader comments — for example: “Great read. Looking forward to the next book.” — and that’s fine. That’s all it takes.

Oh, and this is not just about my books. Do consider leaving a customer review for any book you enjoy! Trust me on this: The author will appreciate it.

And THANK YOU to everyone who has already posted a review. 🙂

Okay, back to writing.

**Thanks to Tom for the Powell’s reminder. If you ever get to Portland, stop in at Powell’s. It’s an AMAZING store.