Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for June, 2011

Snippets: The Dread Hammer

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

As she arrived on the other side of the puddle she stopped and turned, using those exquisite eyes to search the forest shadows on both sides of the road. She stared directly at Smoke’s hiding place, but still she didn’t see him.

Next, she looked back the way she’d come. She held her breath, the better to listen. Smoke held his breath and listened too, but there was only the sound of a breeze rustling the tree tops. Her pursuers were drawing close, but they had not caught her yet.

She set out again, renewing her frantic pace, but she had not gone ten paces when Smoke stepped out onto the path behind her. He allowed the leaves to rustle, and she whirled around as if she’d heard the growling of a wolf.

Smoke grinned. She was a pretty thing. “Here you are alone,” he observed.

–From The Dread Hammer by Trey Shiels

“. . . great action . . . fun and sexy.”

Ebook Edition: USA
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Print Edition:
Amazon USA
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

Gregory Frost at Book View Cafe

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

My own Book View Café launch comes next week, but this week belongs to best-selling fantasy, science fiction, and thriller author Gregory Frost.

Look for his novel Lyrec, premiering this week exclusively at Book View Cafe. Lyrec is Greg’s bestselling first novel, back in print for the first time in 25 years. Epub and mobi samples are available for free download.

Book View Café is a professional authors cooperative offering DRM free ebooks in multiple formats to readers around the world, in a variety of genres including mystery, romance, fantasy, and science fiction. Check it out!

The Maui News Published an Article!

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

My home town newspaper, The Maui News published an article in today’s Sunday paper on my writing and on my latest novel, The Dread Hammer. Go take a look! It’s a truly nice write-up, with the title “The Magic of Fantasy.”

Side note–the article talks about research. A lot of fantasy writers do a A LOT of research for every book–probably more than I’ve ever done for any one science fiction novel. The Dread Hammer, being the sort of story it is, simply didn’t require a lot of background work, which was a big factor in helping me move forward with it.

Update: Just wanted to share the graphic from the newspaper’s print version. Forgive the terrible photo quality. This is a lovely and very creative spread by the newspaper’s graphic artist.

Sample the ebook here: USA
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Or find the print version here:
Amazon USA
Barnes & Noble
Powell’s Books

Sex Objects

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

My how things change.

If you’re following the evolution of self-publishing, or if you’re into romance novels–or maybe it’s erotica?–you’re probably familiar with the latest “hot” book cover. There are subtle variations of course, but the basic idea is to display a man’s unclothed and well-developed chest. He is only seen from neck to waist. There is no head, no face, no personality. ***He’s a pure sex object–assuming you find anonymity attractive.

According to Wikipedia “Objectification is an attitude that regards a person as a commodity or as an object for use, with insufficient regard for a person’s personality or sentience.”

I grew up in the seventies when women were frequently and emphatically speaking out against sexual objectification. From what I remember, if you’d tried something like that with a woman–we’ll allow her a bikini top, but otherwise let’s imagine her featured on a book cover, shown only from neck to waist, her large breasts well-exposed, and no head showing, no face, no personality–well, I can hear the outcry ringing down through the decades.

I still don’t see women “featured” like this, but there are many such covers objectifying men. Having grown up in the seventies I personally find it rather embarrassing, not for the sexual connotations, but for the de-personalization. The cover type is so common though, I can only assume these books sell quite well.

*** I link to this particular book only because it happened to show up in my facebook feed today. And the cover certainly caught my eye!

Plot Threads

Friday, June 24th, 2011

The work-in-progress has reached the point where I’m holding quite a few plot threads in my metaphorical hands while trying to decide just how to weave them together as I approach the story’s climax. Each plot thread needs to make sense all the way up to the big event at the end. Each character needs to have something logical, meaningful, and interesting to do. It all can’t be too obvious and it can’t happen too easily. At the same time I must resist introducing anymore complexities or characters than those I’m already dealing with. The goal is to wind it up, not wind it out through more and more pages.

Over the last couple days I’ve been writing bits and pieces of narrative and dialog, trying to figure out what everyone’s doing, and how all their little events, conflicts, needs, and desires fit together. I’m getting closer, but this would be a really good time for my subconscious to present me with an “Ah ha!” moment that sends he on a long, exhausting writing binge.

Then again, I’m exhausted right now from just thinking about it.

Snippets: The Bohr Maker

Friday, June 24th, 2011

“Name?” the majordomo program asked.

Nikko, who was in truth only a program himself, a modern ghost, an electronic entity copied from the mind of his original self, had little patience for Dull Intelligences. “The name’s Nikko,” he growled. “Rhymes with psycho. Nikko Jiang-Tibayan. I’ve only been here a hundred times you decrepit excuse for a secretary.”

He could hear Kirstin laughing, somewhere over the electronic horizon, a dim sound in the majordomo’s limited sensorial world. “Are you going to admit me or not?” he snapped.

“Of course, sir. The lady is expecting you.” USA
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble

Winner of the 1996 Locus Award for Best First Novel


Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

Living in the Uttermost West, we operate on Hawaiian Standard Time (HST). Since we don’t do daylight savings in Hawaii, we are five hours behind the eastern USA in the winter, and six hours behind in the summer. The time difference with the west coast is two and three hours, depending on the season.

We are, for practical purposes, the last. There is another time zone beyond us, though I’m not sure if anyone lives there. Move just a little bit farther west and you cross the International Date Line and jump a day ahead.

One drawback of living here is when government or corporate reps forget there is a time difference and call at 5:30 in the morning. Business people will often have to be up for conference calls at 5:00am. And I’ve always thought stock traders must be challenged when they have to get up everyday at 3:30am for market opening.

One cool thing about living here that I’ve only recently become aware of is that our day overlaps in interesting ways with the days of other people around the world–something that’s become obvious to me by using twitter.

By the time I get up in the morning, generally around 6am, my twitter streams are full because people in the mainland USA have been awake for hours. It’s midday on the east coast and things are slowing down a bit. The Brits will soon be winding up their day.

Activity is pretty steady for hours after that. Very distracting! But towards evening here things can get very quiet as the mainland USA winds down. People from Hawaii seem to post a lot at this time. Ultimately, the Brits start showing up again. I follow a couple people in southeast Asia, but not closely enough that I’ve figured out their schedules yet.

Anyway, I enjoy the daily rhythm. And yes, I spend too much time online.

Twitter Fact #1 RTs & Retweets

Tuesday, June 21st, 2011

I spend a lot too much time on twitter, generally via a hugely popular app called Tweetdeck.

Tweetdeck is handy because it allows me to sort people I follow into columns. I have about three columns of writers, one of family, one of Maui people, one of Hawaii people, etc. Without these columns it would be impossible for me to keep track of what people have to say.

The odd thing about Tweetdeck, though, is that if someone retweets a post using the “retweet” link on the website or the “retweet now” option on Tweetdeck, that retweet will NOT show up in their column. This is important.

I focus my attention on three or four columns. Since your retweet will not show up in those columns, it’s almost certain I will never see it.

So to improve the odds that I will see a retweet (and that other Tweetdeck users will see it too) don’t use those retweet links!

If you use Tweetdeck, instead select the “Edit then Retweet” option. This adds an “RT” to the tweet, but it also makes the tweet yours. Now it will show up along with all your other tweets. Yes, this can be a pain because the tweet will often need to be edited for size, but if your goal is to help someone get the word out, this is the best way to do it.

If you’re still using the web interface (and why are you??) the only way I’ve figured out to do it is to manually copy and paste the tweet you want to retweet. Preface it with an “RT.”

And that’s it. One little step to help your tweeple get the word out.

Father’s Day

Sunday, June 19th, 2011

Jack Webb, age 20, US Army Air Corp

1950s: the cowboy hat disappeared in later years

Fishing off Honolulu


There’s been a widespread discussion on the web these past few weeks about women writing science fiction. Today is Father’s Day here in the USA, so I’d just like to say the person most responsible for getting me interested in science fiction was this man right here, my dad, Jack Webb.

These days I think most dads know they need to encourage sons and daughters both to believe in themselves, to try new stuff, to be smart, self-reliant, and to develop an adventurous spirit. Back in the sixties and seventies, when I was a kid, that was still fairly rare if you were a girl.

My dad though, was ahead of his time. Because he was always looking for the next adventure, I grew up variously on the back of a motorcycle, riding horses, getting ill on fishing boats, hiking, camping, and flying between the Hawaiian Islands in little two and four-seater airplanes. My dad was also always sharing his interest in science and gadgets, and would never bat an eye when I would proclaim that I was going to grow up to be a primatologist, or an aeronautical engineer, or go to the air force academy. Never once do I remember hearing, “Girls don’t do that sort of thing.”

He was also always reading, fiction and non-fiction both, but always lots of science fiction, and naturally I followed along.

So for better or worse I blame my dad for setting me on the path to writing science fiction. It starts at home, guys, as most of you young dads already know.

My dad read all my books. He was my biggest fan and quite convinced I was the best writer out there, as a loyal dad should be.

He passed away five years ago at the age of 82. He lived a very full life.

Alastair Reynolds on Vast

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

I started noticing a definite uptick in the ebook sales of my novel Vast this past week and wondered why. Google Alerts proved useless in tracking down the reason, but my blog stats provided a clue that led me back to Alastair Reynolds’ blog, who has some really kind things to say about the book–and so do his commenters. Check it out here.

You can sample the book at the links below. Vast, in ebook form, will also be available from in July, and the print version will be out later this summer. USA
Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble