Linda Nagata: the blog at Hahví.net

Archive for February, 2012

The Nanotech Succession Omnibus Edition

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I’ve had a few requests for an omnibus edition of The Nanotech Succession, so here it is. The ebook is available in epub and mobi formats, at a cost of $15.00 USD, which is a savings of 25% over the cost of the books purchased separately.

Right now it’s only available at my website. It’ll eventually go up at Book View Café, but it won’t be at Amazon, where books priced over $9.99 pay only a 35% royalty to the publisher, as opposed to 70% for books under that price. It’s a similar deal at Barnes & Noble.

More details here if you’re interested.

Spider Webs

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

Long, long ago I read a short story that still sticks with me. I have no idea who wrote it, or where I read it, but it involved a colony of human telepaths who’d been stranded for years and years on a planet, with no outside contact. They weren’t worried about it. They were happy and things were fine. Then one day a new expedition arrived, and suddenly they were forced to see themselves through the eyes of others—literally, because they were telepaths, remember—and the consensus reality they’d enjoyed for decades exploded. They looked at each other through new eyes and realized they were no longer those sexy twenty-year-old beauties they’d once been. Instead they were seriously old, and the beautiful home they’d made for themselves was basically falling apart and filled with spider webs.

I don’t remember the conclusion of the story—I think it ended well enough—but I cannot shake the image of this consensus reality—or if we narrow it down, our personal realities, because it’s true: so much of our success and joy and self-satisfaction depends on who we think we are and, often, on how good we are at resisting some of life’s cold reminders that “it ain’t necessarily so.”

When my Dad was eighty-one and suffering from many disabilities, he turned to me one day and said, “You know, I’m getting old.” I blinked. I bit my tongue. No one, looking at my dad, would have any doubt that he was old, and that he’d been old for a while, but he had such a determined nature that I think he hadn’t quite realized it until then. The man he perceived himself to be was not the same man that other people saw. He had his own vision of himself and it kept him going for a long time.

A few months ago I was leaving the gym just steps behind an elderly couple who were both still quite spry. He said to her, “You know, eighty isn’t old.” She seemed startled for a moment, but then she emphatically agreed, “Of course, eighty isn’t old at all!” I suspect they hadn’t been together long, but I loved their attitude, and their consensus reality.

Of course it works the other way too and consensus realities aren’t always positive–but it’s the healthy side of delusion that fascinates me, and the way it can perpetuate joy, hope, and vigor—though we should all probably bring in fresh eyes now and then to check for spider webs.

If anyone recognizes the story described above, I’d love to hear about it.

If You Like This, Then You’d Also Like…

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

I’m in a quandary. Book View Café makes use of a promotional book-giveaway offered by the website, in which a hundred ebooks are given away to early reviewers. The hope is, early readers will post reviews which will encourage other readers to try the book, who will in turn post reviews, resulting in a rapidly expanding pyramid of appreciation that will, via exponential growth, soon take over the world!

Or at least sell a handful more books.

I’d like to include my upcoming novel Hepen the Watcher in the program, but to do so I need to come up with five fairly well-known novels that could be seen as “similar” to HtW, particularly in the sense of “If you liked Book-X, then you’d probably like Hepen the Watcher.”

So I’m looking for suggestions of books to swap in for the Book-X variable.

It’s a bit awkward, because at this point none of you reading this have actually read HtW. So how would you know? But I’m hoping some of you have read the first book of this series, The Dread Hammer. And if so, are there any fairly well-known novels you might suggest on that basis? Books that are similar in attitude, whether from the same genre or not?


New Tricks

Friday, February 24th, 2012

The work-in-progress has been sullen and stubborn, progressing in short, rare bursts. So this week I skipped ahead and started writing scattered scenes that define and clarify the second half of the story. I don’t think I’ve ever worked this way before**, but the method is working for me right now, so I’m going with it.

** Way back when I was writing Vast I got seriously stuck maybe two-thirds through. That time I skipped ahead and wrote the end, then went back and finished it off in a linear fashion.

Getting Closer…

Friday, February 24th, 2012

I’ve got an e-ARC (Advance Reader Copy) of Hepen the Watcher with a placeholder cover that looks like this:

The final cover art by Sarah Adams is getting closer to completion. Thanks for your patience!

Find a synopsis and sample chapters here on my website.

Glory Road: Neil Diamond Concert

Sunday, February 19th, 2012

When I was ten or eleven years old we had a turntable, aka a “record player,” in the corner of the living room, along with my dad’s collection of records, which included what I suspect was everything Neil Diamond had recorded until that point. Many hours were spent playing those albums and singing along with them. In later years, when I met my husband, I think my knowledge of Neil Diamond music was a point in my favor, for he was an avid fan.

I didn’t follow Neil’s music much during later years, until a few years back when he did an entirely new collection with only Neil and his guitar, with no background orchestrations or accompanying singers. That made a nice gift for the husband.

Fast-forward to 2012: Neil Diamond is having his first Honolulu concert in thirty-five years. I was a bit skeptical–the man is seventy-one years old after all—how well could he still sing? Did he have the energy to give a strong concert? We attended last night’s show, and the answers to those questions are: Yes, the man can still sing, and yes, he had plenty of energy to last the entire night. I can only hope I’m doing as well if I reach seventy-one! The concert was fantastic, the evening thoroughly enjoyable, and I’m very glad we went.

Oh, and despite that I haven’t listened to most of those classic old songs in a long time, those days of singing along to my dad’s albums paid off, because I still know almost all the words.

In The Tide Now a Free Short Story

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

In The Tide is an older story of mine, and the first short that I put out in ebook form. The idea was to sell it for the minimum price allowed at Amazon: 99-cents, which would earn me 35%, or 35-cents on every sale. I note that John Locke managed to get rich on that same margin! Unfortunately, I can’t yet say the same.

I would have priced the story at “free” if it were an easy thing to do. It’s not. Various backdoor machinations are required to accomplish it, and I don’t want to play. So I’ve taken the story down from Amazon and am now offering it free on my website, in both epub and mobi versions. The package includes a five-chapter sample from my novel The Bohr Maker. So if you’ve never read a short story of mine, or want an easy, no-commitment way to sample The Bohr Maker, please snag a copy. And if you know anyone else who might be interested, I urge you, please, PLEASE send them over to

Find the link to the free story in the upper right of the landing page, in that box that says “Free Fiction” 😉

When A Print-On-Demand Book is

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

…evidently the price goes WAY up. 🙂

Yes, clearly, just an odd way of handling a book on its way out. No worries! The updated edition with new cover art is, or soon will be, available at Barnes & Noble.

A List of Classic Science Fiction For Kindle

Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

It’s fun to be included on worthy lists! Wired Magazine’s Geek Dad (Erik Wecks) has a post up on 102 Essential Science Fiction Books for Your Kindle. The idea was to list one book per author, said book being presently available on Kindle. The article displays thumbnails of the current book covers to help you browse:

Here you can pick a book by its cover and not worry that you are getting junk with good art. Happy hunting.

Deception Well is Erik Wecks pick for my representative book, which surprised me, as people usually go with Vast or The Bohr Maker first, but hey, it’s okay with me!

Some interesting commentary on the list can be found from Jim Higgins at Milwaukee’s Journal Sentinel.

The Kindle limitation guarantees some gaps in his list, as fine and historically wide-ranging as it is […] But there is much to like and praise about Wecks’ list, including its historical diversity and its attention to the work of female writers.

Looking at the list, I know I have a lot more catch-up reading to do. How about you?

At Lightspeed

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

I’m very pleased to announce that I’ve made another short story sale, my second since I started writing short fiction again last fall. This one, titled Nightside on Callisto, has gone to Lightspeed Magazine, and is tentatively scheduled for the May issue.

This sale was a completely new experience for me. I’m used to waiting weeks for a response on a story, but this round took roughly 22 hours from submission to acceptance, thanks to editor John Joseph Adams’ policy of acting fast on all submissions. That’s a policy I could easily get used to!