Y'all know what tomorrow is, right?
Tomorrow is Saturday, May 13, the day that Steve and I will be doing a meet 'n greet, and signing books at Barnes and Noble, 9 Marketplace Drive, Augusta Maine, from 1 to 3 pm. Stop by and say hi. Here's a link for further information.
Tomorrow is also the day that the next special goody for patrons only goes live on Patreon. This week's goody is Steve, reading his story "Charioteer." Here's your link to the Lee and Miller Patreon page.
"Cutting Corners," by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is now up and ready for you -- yes, you! -- to read at baen.com.
The story starts on the first page, and then jumps. Feel free to spread the word of "Cutting Corners" Across the Length and Breadth of the Internets. And, also?
Enjoy.Here's the link.
We've had some queries about upcoming publications, and upcoming appearances, and, and -- herewith an attempt to get them all in one place, for you, and for us. Please note that the list is probably not complete; it's only as complete as far as we know, as of Right Now.
May 1: Ask Me Anything, Reddit, starting 12 noon
May 13: Meet 'n Greet and book signing, Barnes and Noble, at 9 Market Place Drive, Augusta, Maine, from 1 - 3pm
August 4-6: Confluence, in Pittsburgh, Lee and Miller will be writer Guests of Honor
March 9-11, 2018: MidSouthCon, in Memphis, Lee and Miller, writer Guests of Honor
April edition of The Intergalactic Medicine Show: Lee and Miller interview, reprint story, and! sample chapter
April 15 +/-: "Cutting Corners," Baen.com
May 2: The Gathering Edge, hardcover, ebook, audiobook, Baen & Audible
June 6: "Wise Child," in Year's Best Military and Adventure SF, Volume 3, Baen
August: "Dawn's Early Light," in All Hail Our Robot Conquerors, Zombies Need Brains
December 15 +/-: Short Story, Baen.com
January 2, 2018: Neogenesis
TBA: "Excerpts from Two Lives," in Ships of the Line, Baen
A. The EBOOK edition of The Gathering Edge is now available for PREORDER from Amazon. Here's the link.
B. We have a new goal at Patreon, and a promise of goodies in the (very near) future. Check it out here.
C. Eagles Over the Kennebec is now completely installed in its new home at Dreamwidth, and the previous account at LiveJournal has been deleted. Here's the link to the new journal.
C1. Here's a link to an article explaining the mass exodus from LJ, for those who are interested.
D. As previously advertised, Year's Best Military and Adventure SF Volume 3 will be published in June. A Special Feature of this book is that it serves as a ballot for an award given at Dragoncon. Readers may vote for the best story in the volume; the winner of that vote will receive a plaque and a check for $500.
E. Steve and I will be doing a Pre-Release Party/AMA at Reddit on May 1. Why not stop by and see us? Bring a friend, in fact. There will be enough virtual brownies for everybody. Here's a link to more information.
F. Steve and I will be having a Real Life Meet and Greet/Book Signing at the Barnes and Noble at 9 Market Place Drive, Augusta, Maine, on Saturday, May 13, from 1 - 3pm. Hope to see you there.
G. I will be intermittently about this weekend. The pace of doctor/dentist appointments has taken its toll, and I've gotta take advantage of two days in a row to write.
Everybody have a great weekend.
In case you missed the news, earlier this week, the nice folks at Baen sent Belle a box:
After a little while, she let us open it. This is what was inside:
Asyouknowbob, The Gathering Edge, twentieth novel in the Liaden Universe®, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, owner-operators, will be released in hardcover on May 2. Naturally, we're very excited (it's not true what they tell you that, when you're an Old and Sober Author you won't get excited when a new book comes out). In fact, we're so excited, we want to share some of that energy around.
So! We're inviting you all -- yes, you, too! -- to a pre-release party A(sk) M(e) A(nything) on Reddit, Monday, May 1, at 12 noon Eastern.
You don't need a Reddit account to hang out and read the questions and answers, but you will need an account if you want to participate in the AMA. If you want to get an account now, just, yanno, in case, just go here; it doesn't cost a thing and it's quick and easy to do.
We'll be updating here as we get nearer to the date, but in the meantime, put us on your calendar, why not? It'll be fun.
Uncle Hugo is taking pre-orders for signed and/or personalized* copies of the hard-bound edition of The Gathering Edge, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.
The deadline for ordering personalized copies is April 1.
Repeat: The deadline for ordering personalized copies is April 1.
Here's your link to instructions and order form: Pre-order The Gathering Edge from Uncle Hugo.
*"Personalized" means that the authors will write, in addition to their names, a salutation requested by the reader. The authors retain the right to refuse to inscribe any salutation for Reasons.
I am reminded to remind you (which sounds like a Cheap Trick song, but isn't) that!
The Liaden Universe® as a Thing is eligible for the Best Series Hugo being test driven at this year's worldcon.
Also eligible are Alliance of Equals (Best Novel category, Baen); Wise Child (Novelette, Baen.com); Friend of a Friend (Novelette, Pinbeam Books, Sleeping with the Enemy); Shame the Devil (Short Story, Zombies Need Brains, Alien Artifacts ), by Lee and Miller
And! These titles by Sharon Lee are eligible: The Wolf's Bride (Novelette, Splinter Universe); Will-o'-the-Wisp (short story, Splinter Universe)
Hugo Nominations close on March 17.
Lee and Miller will be Author Guests of Honor at MidSouthCon 36, March 9-11, 2018, Memphis, TN.
Change Management: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 23, including novellas "Street Cred," and "Wise Child," is now available for purchase at Baen Ebooks. Here's your link.
Our publisher sent Steve and me to the Rhode Island Comic Con, to be seen, and to see, and to sell books.
Comic Cons are the Coming Thing. They're huge; they're noisy; they're distracting, and they're expensive. These are features, and perhaps they are features -- I'm an old stick-in-the-mud, and an introvert, besides, so bear that in mind when reading my comments.
For instance, standing behind a table and, um...vigorously coaxing people to cross a crowded aisle to look at our books (and the books of the four other authors represented on a six-foot table, in an eight-foot space)...requires a level of energy that is difficult for me to maintain. I can certainly talk to people about our books, or about our cats, or about being married to one's co-author, or if I think Trad Publishing is Ded and Indie the Wave of the Future, or. . .
But shouting, and selling -- and selling hard -- for 22 hours out of 72 possible weekend hours, essentially non-stop. Nope. No can do.
Apparently the con had. . .decided to reallocate vendor space in midstream, and then stopped talking to vendors whose space had been down-sized*.
Thus, there wasn't any room for the usual booth accoutrements, including a Ginormous Tower of Nerd, which in the usual way of things can be seen from any point on the sales floor.
It was rather crowded behind that small table (four authors! no waiting!), and standing on a cement floor for hours at a go tends to make your feet, your knees, your hips, and your back hurt. I've done huckstering at cons before -- though none of them in excess of 60,000 attendees -- and mostly we had a bit of carpet or other concrete-softener to stand on. It's amazing what a difference a bit of indoor-outdoor carpeting can make.
For reasons best known to its concom, the RICC decided not to host a literary track, so there were no panels, or readings, available to any of us author-types, which might have increased recognition, and thereby sales.
All that said, books were sold, with Carousel Tides being a surprise bestseller among the Lee-and-Miller, and Lee offerings. This may be the first con at which I sold books where fantasy was preferred to space opera. Which probably tells us something about the average attendee of Rhode Island Comic Con.
On the plus side, there were a lot of interesting costumes, though I lacked the cultural knowledge to recognize most of them. Of those I did recognize, Harley Quinn was very well represented, as was the Joker. There were a good number of storm troopers, and Jawas; many Reys, and only one slave-girl Leia, thank ghod. Black Widow was well-represented, and Hawkeye; also Spidey, Cap, Bats, and the Power Puff Girls.
I particularly liked the woman who was dressed up as a white fox with nine tails; and another woman who was carrying a storm cloud as an umbrella.
Many strange and wonderful things were for sale in the vendor area, including pearls -- you choose an oyster from the tank, said oyster having been pre-seeded with the body part of an enemy (which is what makes pearls, and not sand -- who knew?), and whatever pearl is found within is used in the piece of custom jewelry that they'll be making for you on the other side of the table.
There were many, many stuffies on offer. I was attracted particularly to a three-tailed fox, that came in about two zillion colors, but, since I had no idea what the character was, I thought it safer to leave them all alone.
The con closed at 5 pm on Sunday. Steve and I left Rhode Island after breakfast on Monday, pausing at Old Orchard Beach to view the Super Moon, before continuing up to the Cat Farm, where we were greeted with pleasure by all the resident felines. We ate a late lunch, read a section of Jingo aloud, and sought our bed, tired, but exhausted.
I woke up at about four o'clock this morning with a splitting headache, sore throat, fever, and upset stomach -- which is what you get when you mix a stupid immune system with dry, canned air being rebreathed by a large crowd of your closest friends. Or at least, it seems to be what I increasingly get. My batting average (will she get sick? won't she?) used to be somewhat better than .250. Might be getting old.
A judicial application of aspirin nailed the headache and the fever. Stomach still wants to be argumentative, and of course I can't talk. Well. I have ginger tea, and honey, and I'm not afraid to use either. In the meantime, con report written, I will repair to the couch, to nap and read. For?
Tomorrow, I write.
Here, have a picture of the Super Moon as it rises behind Cape Elizabeth. Taken from 2 Brown Street, Old Orchard Beach, Maine.
*Pro Tip: This is never a good idea. Closing the lines of communication because you don't want to endure an Unpleasant Scene will not make the temper of the wronged party any cooler when they find out What's Happened, and! you will have to deal with them at the beginning of the con, when everything is crazy, instead of six months ago, when you had time to be diplomatic, and they had six months to adjust their mix of wares.
Do dishes Clean cat fountain
- Clean bathroom
Print out section to be hand-edited Prep Number Ten Ox and load thumb drive with working files
Explain the schedule for the next few days to Trooper and Scrabble(also to Belle and Sprite, who will immediately forget all about it, and start to panic about elevensies on Thursday, whereupon Trooper or Scrabble will have to talk them down and Review)
Steve and I will be handing the Keys to the Cat Farm to the housesitter early tomorrow morning, after which, we'll be getting on the road to Providence, and the Rhode Island Comic Con. Since this convention doesn't have a literature track, we will not be doing any panels, or readings, but we will be at the Wordfire Press booth in the Dealer's Room at Booth 124, signing books and creating mischief.
Everybody stay safe.
It's raining in East Winslow, and aims to do so all day. So, fine. I have a section, ahem, "outlined" and words to go before I sleep.
In the meantime, your Friday morning adverts.
- Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (and a Cast of Thousands) will be at the Rhode Island Comic Con in Providence, RI, November 11-13. Look for us at the Wordfire Booth in the dealers room. Here's your link
- "The Road to Pomona's," a new-old story, with author's commentary, has been posted to Splinter Universe. Here's that link
- Lee and Miller and the Liaden Universe® were spotlighted in the October issue of Locus Magazine. You can download a pdf of the article here.
- Speaking of the October issue of Locus, Alliance of Equals appeared in the Number 2 spot for bestselling hardcovers (in July).
- Alliance of Equals currently has 241 reviews on Amazon. Steve and I thank everyone who took the time to comment. It's never too late to review a book on Amazon -- any book on Amazon, not just ours -- and by doing so you help the title, the writers, and other readers.
- The winter holidays will be here before you know it, and of course you want something Totally Cool to wear. This is where the Liaden Universe® store at Offworld Designs comes in. Polo shirts, long-sleeve denim shirts (in cool blue or formal black), the always--popular t-shirts, and! coffee mugs, which make a lovely gift for the hostess or host. Here's your link.
- The Gathering Edge, the 20th novel-length Liaden Universe® adventure, will be published by Baen in May 2017.
- Neogenesis, the 21st novel-length Liaden Universe® adventure, has been scheduled for publication in January 2018.
- Steve Miller and Sharon Lee are currently scheduled to attend three science fiction conventions in 2017. They are: Boskone, February 17-19, 2017, Boston MA; Marscon (Lee and Miller, writer guests of honor), March 3-5, 2017, Bloomington MN; Confluence (Lee and Miller, writer guests of honor), August 4-6, 2017.
- Neogenesis, aka The Book Scheduled for January 2018 publication, now stands at 73,891 words, more or less.
As a reward for reading this far, here's a snippet:
"Only think! I may call upon soldiers and specialists. You may call upon -- forgive me -- a gaggle of pilots. While they are very fine pilots, they are of little use to us in the absence of --"
As advertised, Steve and I are reading A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny one chapter a night, starting on September 30, and ending on Halloween (some folks have reported being able to download this as an ebook; I can't find it myself, so if anyone can give a tip to those still looking, it would be appreciated).
So far, on our journey, we've met Snuff, our narrator; Jack; the graveyard dog; Greymalk; Cheeter; Needle -- and heard news of Nightwind; Morris and McCab; the Great Detective and his companion; Crazy Jill; the Mad Monk Rastoff; Quicklime; the Count; and the kindly Druid. And let us not forget that curious paw print in the yard...
Mysteries are starting to pile up, and there turns up a curious question -- Are you an opener? or a closer?#
# # #
Yesterday, the coon cats and I spent many hours on the sofa, mapping out the Rest of the Story. We decided to cut out one narrative line for lack of space, and package it as a short story; and I think have a working strategy for getting everyone at the corner of Elm and 10th Street at the same hour on the date appointed. I have pointed the Auctorial Finger of Doom at several characters. We'll see how well I do this time.
The whole stream of consciousness doc has gone to Steve for review. There is a brainstorming session in our very near future.
# # #
Let's see, what else?
Steve and I have been making an effort to bring more light into the house -- this is in literal, rather than the metaphorical, sense. To that end, we have acquired an LED arc lamp to illuminate the living room. Steve has replaced his ancient (WWII vintage) desk lamp with a jazzy new LED lamp; I have a reading lamp in my upgraded reading corner, and we have placed a torche-thingy in the bedroom, which we've angle at the ceiling, and which illuminates the whole room.
What a difference a few lamps makes.
On that theme, my desk lamp (with full spectrum light tubes) blew out on Saturday. I've ordered in a replacement bulb, which will be here, it says here, on Friday. And not a moment too soon.
We still need to do something better about illuminating the bathroom and the kitchen. I'm thinking we should look into LED bulbs to replace the big globe- lights-onna-bar that were fashionable a while back, since we're working with what we've got as much as possible. The kitchen. . .
The kitchen will require Creative Thinking.
# # #
So, it's Wednesday, and I'm for the volunteer gig in a little while. While I'm gone, you can read the Spotlight interview from Locus, here (please note that this is a pdf file): lee-miller-locus-oct-2016
I hope everybody has a pleasant day.
Today is October 1, which means Locus has pubbed its ish, and it is available electronically this morning to those of us who subscribe.
In it, we find that!
- Alliance of Equals, the 19th novel-length adventure in the Liaden Universe®, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, owner-operators, appears in the Number Two position on the Locus Bestseller List, snuggled between The Nightmare Stacks, by Charles Stross, and Children of Earth and Sky, by Guy Gavriel Kay.
- Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, and the self-same Liaden Universe® are the first spotlighted in a new Locus feature about long-running series. The Spotlight appears on pages 80-81 of my epub edition.
Steve and I thank you all for your support of our work -- and of our cats! -- during this long, strange trip we're on. And we most especially thank you for your enthusiasm for Alliance of Equals.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to grab another cup of coffee so I can vacuum the house before going to work for the day.
Here -- Steve's wandering around the house humming this, so y'all might as well share the earworm with him. "The Cover of the Rolling Stone," Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show. Here's your link.
So, it appears that I have Utterly Forgotten everything about this book in 12 short days, so my first order of bidness, on Get Back To Work Day is? Rereading the manuscript. Again.
Also, there does not appear to be a Bluetooth dongle anywhere in this house, which fact is producing a cosmic crane-load of angst. Steve has gone out to hunt and gather and promises to bring said dongle home, but how can he be sure -- that's what I want to know.
Also, also, I finished reading Vision in Silver, only to find that the ebook edition of Marked in Flesh is $13.99, which -- no. I guess I'll wait 'til next year to find out how long the Elders have given Simon to prove his point -- just as Simon begins to Get A Clue, may I say?
Also, also, also! Windows has declared itself to be downloading updates for the last six hours, revving like a jet plane the while. Steve has done Mighty Work in re resetting directories and whatall, but it hasn't seemed to appease Windows, or even convinced it to shut up so I can hear myself think. I may be finishing this book sitting in a corner of the couch, with the nice, quiet Linux laptop.
We did visit the ocean very briefly yesterday, and came home to find a note from Baen, pointing to the Official Press Release regarding the partnership between Baen ebooks and Pinbeam Books. Here's your link.
Everybody have a good weekend.
I'll be on the couch.
All the way back in May, Steve and I were interviewed by Jean Marie Ward on behalf of Zombies Need Brains, which brings you, among other fine anthologies, Alien Artifacts, in which we, among a glittering cast of our colleagues, have a story.
. . .and a marvelous thing has happened already.
As I sit here, drinking my first cup of coffee, and updating this blog. . .
Alliance of Equals has achieved. . .
201 reader reviews on Amazon (US)!
Thank you all so very, very much.
And, oh, hey -- you over in the corner, who hadn't gotten a chance to write a review yet? Yeah, you.
Your review will be most welcome, too. We don't have to stop at 201; though we can certainly take a well-deserved breather.
So, OK. Today is a hospital day, which means I need to move on to my second cup of coffee realsoonnow. There's bidness to be done when I return, seeing as I finished writing a scene yesterday, instead of doing bidness.
Tomorrow is, so I say now, as full a writing day as I can manage (note to Self: put cell phones in freezer), and a screening of Kubo and the Two Strings (which, for a wonder, will be appearing at the Waterville Flagship Cinema) penciled in for Friday.
And that? Is all I got.
No, wait; it's not.
I've got a snippet. Here y'are:
Best to accomplish the task at once, while biology was ascendant.
There was no need for the mentor to suffer, after all.
I realize I haven't done this in a couple of days, so here's a quick numbers check:
As of right now, there are 137 reader reviews on Amazon. That's only 63 short of the 200-review goal!
D'you think we can hit 200 by August 5, which would be one month from the July 5 publication date?
Thanks to everyone who has taken the time and thought to post a review!
There has lately been a demand for pictures of us that are professional, high-rez, and current, so yesterday, we met man-about-Waterville and professional photographer Patrick Groleau on Main Street at 9 o'clock in the morning, and spent the next two-and-a-half hours walking around the city, with occasional stops by brick walls, old Studebakers-turned-beer-cellars, weed-choked hitching posts, the obligatory park-cannon, and the Two Cent (or Two Penny) Bridge. At one point, Patrick was taken with the notion that we should have a picture on the tracks, which would have been OK, except that we had to mention to him that. . .there was a train coming.
Which! Was an opportunity to scramble up a bank, and pose by a half-eroded retaining wall so that a picture could be taken with the engine over our shoulders.
We then walked some more, stepping lightly past the camps of the brotherhood of people with no fixed address; were educated on the "safe" and "unsafe" sides of the river, and entertained with tales of hobo camps of days gone by, and the fine art of freight car hopping.
Our last stop was Children's Book Cellar, for an Authors in Bookstore shot, after which we stopped by Framemakers to drop off the cover art for The Gathering Edge to be framed, thence to Gifford's for well-earned milkshakes (which Gifford's has now decided are "frappes" -- and we were corrected by the counterperson when we asked for "milkshakes") and out to Heartland Estates to view an open house at the "stand alone condominium" community. It was a nice house, I guess; 'way too small for life as we live it (though it had radiant floors, which I confess to coveting), and 'way too rich for the blood of freelance writers. We tried not to create too much consternation, but I'm not sure we succeeded.
Back into town we went, for to pick up groceries, and take-out, because it had suddenly become quite late. Then, a nap, and when we woke, there were photographs in Steve's inbox, several of which we deployed to those awaiting them.
The photos are interesting -- for instance, they reveal that Steve lives in his face much more than I do -- and make Waterville look every inch an Urban Center.
We also learned, in the course of our walk about town that Toast Express, which had been a welcome addition to our breakfast choices, has closed. We were last in a couple weeks ago, to find that the menu board had been removed (Oh, said the woman behind the counter, it's just being updated), and that the regulars were being pulled aside for whispered conversations, while the counter-boss assured another person -- Oh, no, I'm not leaving; I'm just going down to Kentucky for a couple weeks to watch my grandson...
We had hoped that the signs were not what we thought they were. Silly us.
The theory I've heard is that things like Toast are too expensive for the area, which may well be true. Prices of things, and food have gone up, but Waterville in specific, and Maine in general harbors an aging population of former blue collar workers, who have now slipped over the line from middle class to poor.
This weekend is a working weekend, with a small celebratory break on the morrow. We had thought that we might go to Toast Express for breakfast, but -- guess not.
Everybody have a great weekend!
Today's blog title is brought to you by Ringo Starr, "Photograph." Here's your link.
As I write this, there are 132 reader reviews on Amazon for Alliance of Equals. Only 68 more to hit our goal of 200! You guys are awesome.
Also, I see that Dragon in Exile has picked up a few reviews, too, as a sort of overflow\proximity event. Thanks to everyone who took the time.
Here in Central Maine today, it was hot, for values of "hot" above 90F/33C. Which is plenty hot enough. I was on at the hospital, where the inside temp was nice and coolish; Steve turned on the A/C here at the house, and the cats have taken up strategic positions in puddles of coolth.
By virtue of arriving at the nice, cool hospital early today, I actually had ten minutes of peace and quiet in which I Realized several important things about the novel-in-progress. It would perhaps have helped if I'd realized them earlier, but better late than never, I guess.
Maybe I need to go to the hospital at lunchtime every day, and just sit at a table for ten minutes, with my notebook open and pen in hand. Or not. It's possible that the various thought fragmentation nodules have at least been quietened, if not completely silenced. We very much hope that this is the case.
Later this week, we're to meet with the photographer for to have our heads shot, and, while we're at it, have some PR shots taken that will reflect the reality of this century, purple hair and all.
Tomorrow, there is nothing scheduled (except, yanno, taking the trash out). I believe that is my cue to take the laptop and lay claim to the couch in the living room, with my notes and new insights. So that? Is what I will do.
Everybody stay cool. Here, let Belle show you how:
Today's blog title is brought to you by Talking Heads, "Girlfriend is Better." Here's your link.
. . .too many parts, in fact, running in all directions at once.
Those who do not partake of the joys of Facebook may have missed the announcement that Sleeping with the Enemy, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 22, is now on sale (as an ebook only) at Amazon, Kobo, ibooks, Page Foundry, and Tolino. We are told that it will be published RealSoonNow at BN/Noon, Scribd, and 24Symbols.
As I write this, Alliance of Equals has garnered 86! reader reviews on Amazon. Only 114 short of 200! You guys are going gang-busters!
. . .as we used to say.
Steve and I have declared tomorrow an electron-free day, so we will be scarce-to-invisible. If you have an urgent matter to resolve, you can try emailing the cats, but, well -- good luck with that.
# # #
Progress on Book the Next
40,459/100,000 OR 40.46% complete
"Ah, but any system is subject to manipulation. For instance, one who stands in a position of strength may decide that one whose position is. . .less strong has not paid fully enough, and demand additional consideration." She paused, head to one side. "It is rarely said, I think, that one has paid too fully, but we must be alert to the possibility."