rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

Steve and I are very sorry, indeed, to announce that we will NOT be attending the 74th World Science Fiction Convention, MidAmeriCon II, to be held in Kansas City, August 17-21.

A direct casualty of this is the signing we were to do at the Bradley Fair Barnes and Noble, in Wichita, Kansas, on August 14.

We apologize to everyone who thought they'd have a chance to meet us, or to renew our acquaintance.  And we especially apologize for the lateness of the hour.  Up until this past Saturday, we were certain that we'd be attending.

So, here's what we'd like you to do -- go to the con, and have a terrific time.  Raise a glass of whatever it is you're having, and share the toast with friends:  "To Plan B!" which is our own most-used salute.  Drop us a note, if you can, and tell us about the con. We'd like that.

So that's the bad news.

Again, we apologize, but -- necessity is.

rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

. . .it was hot.  All four cats were in my office, because Ceiling Fan, but -- it was still hot.  More hot coming tomorrow.  Yay, summer.

We have a title for the upcoming chapbook.  Here it is:

Sleeping with the Enemy
Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 22
© 2016 by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller

For those coming in late, this chapbook will contain two stories:  "Chimera," which was published at in May 2015 (I may have said April last night; we turned it in in April; it was published in May in support of Dragon in Exile, which was a June book.  Ta-da!), and "Friend of a Friend," a brand-new story, also set on Surebleak.  The book will include an author's foreword.

Distant early warning!  We will be increasing the price of this chapbook, and all/any future chapbooks, from $2.99 to $3.99.  Thank you for your understanding.

I had hoped to get Sleeping. . . uploaded at least to Amazon tonight, but -- it ain't gonna happen.  Possibly tomorrow night (more likely Sunday afternoon, though, because Book Signing tomorrow).  In any case -- soon.

As of right now, Alliance of Equals has 61 reader reviews on Amazon.  Only 139 more until we hit the goal of 200!

As alluded to above, tomorrow, Steve and I will be signing book and talking trash at our local indie bookstore -- Children's Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville -- at 2 pm.  Drop by and see us if you can!

And I think that's all the news.

Everybody stay cool.

Scrabble holds the high ground July 14 2016
rolanni: (Carousel Seas)

Today is Tuesday, which means!

Yesterday was Monday, and!

Tomorrow is Wednesday.  I need to do the hospital thingy tomorrow.  Best not to lose track of that.  Trooper -- remind me tomorrow that it's Wednesday, and I need to be away from the house for five or six hours.

Yeah, that's gonna work.

So, let's see. . .

As of this typing, there are 36! reader reviews on Amazon for Alliance of Equals, which is pretty impressive.  Only 164 more until we crack 200!

Though the micro-mini book tour was in support of Alliance of Equals, we/I were asked several times about the possibility of another (or, as one interlocutor had it, "the next") Carousel book.

At this point, the Carousel books are a trilogy.  Really.  There are a number of reasons for this, including lack of Author Time, and Failure to Become a Bestseller.

I wrote Carousel Tides (against Best Advice) while we were between contracts, 'way the heck back in 2006.  It was rejected By Nearly Everyone (foretold by Best Advice) through 2006 and 2007, purchased by Baen in 2008, saw print in 2010, and! began earning royalties in 2014.

Not only can I not go to Vegas on that, but -- more importantly -- I can't put cat food in the bowls.

Now, I'm fortunate (and grateful) that Baen kept Carousel Tides in print long enough for it to start earning.  Too many of my colleagues see the hard copy editions of their work yanked after two or three accounting periods for "lack of numbers," and never have the opportunity to earn out.

But, the fact remains that the Liaden books earn many, many times more than the Carousel books.  Make no mistake -- Clan Korval keeps the cats fed and the electricity on.

(This is yet another low, unworthy, venal fact that ought to have no place in the House of Art, and I apologize, but -- professional publishing is doomed to disappoint everyone who believes in the Purity of Art.)

Mind you, this has nothing to do with whether I'm "tired of" the Carousel premise/characters, or have run out of ideas.  Just between you and me, I'll probably be writing some more stories in the Carousel/Archers Beach/Six Worlds universe, because that's how I roll.  But the likelihood of another novel anytime soon -- or, really, at all -- isn't high.

I do know that Kate and Company have some very devoted fans -- thank you.  But -- we have as of this writing four* Liaden novels still under contract, and contracted work -- which is to say, the work that pays the bills -- must come first.

For those who never heard of the Carousel Trilogy by Sharon Lee (as there were at least as many people in the audience who hadn't as had), follows some news you can use:

Carousel Trilogy ebooks at
Carousel Tides
Carousel Sun
Carousel Seas

In addition, you may find the Carousel Trilogy in paper and ebook at all of the Usual Suspects.

Stories set in Archers Beach, free to read:
The Gift of Music
The night don't seem so lonely
The Wolf's Bride

*Stares at delivery schedule on the wall.  Right.  Four novels; not five.

Toadstool Books Milford July 9 2016
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

So, back from the micro-mini book tour!

It was lovely to see so many happy faces, to have a chance to chat, to read, and, of course, to sign books.

We want to thank Maria Perry, Patty Cryan, and Brian for hosting us.  You guys rock!


Frequent auditors of this journal will recall that I have long had a love affair with socks.

When packing for the overnight in Wocester, I forgot to pack socks, which I've never done before (my default being to pack too many socks); I briefly panicked; and Steve offered to lend his spare pair to the cause.  Fortunately, there was a strip mall right across the street from our hotel, where we paused to eat a very pleasant lunch at Jasmine, then proceeded to the end of the mall and the TJ Maxx.

Where I found socks!  Even, dare I say it, socks that coincided with my Sock Ethic.  One pair was black with white splotches; the other pair had block prints of purple, yellow, and blue-and-white stripe on the foot part, and skinny yellow, pink, red, blue, green strips running up the calf.  I purchased these with glee; the cashier agreed that they were very spiffy socks and!

When I got back to the hotel and actually looked at my receipt, I find that the socks were "men's furnishings".  Really?  The label says they are Happy Socks, created in Finland, so if anyone reading here is suffering from Sock Ennui, you might want to check them out.


Thanks to everyone who replied to the Buy My Book post in the various venues, and in email.  Many notes were supportive;  a few folks, naturally enough, want to argue, which is kind of too bad, and I wish them a long life.

Which brings up another topic.

You will perhaps recall that, back in March, Belle and I had a bet about eArc sales for Alliance of Equals.  I said we could sell more than 500; Belle took leave to doubt it.  On the other paw, Sprite was of the opinion that we could earn out our advance on eArc sales.

I am pleased to announce that I won both of those bets.  We hear that we sold more than three times that 500 copies Belle thought we couldn't manage, but!  we didn't earn out the advance.

It's always gratifying to win a bet, of course, but both Belle and Sprite pay in kibble.

To those who bought eArcs -- thank you so much!

Which brings up another idea -- possibly half-baked.

I'm told that benefit accrues to titles on Amazon that gain certain numbers of reader reviews.  At the moment, the various levels escape me (maybe someone who has Google-fu and a couple minutes can find that information...).  The last couple Liaden books received 106, 88, and 163 reader reviews, respectively.  It would be Very Cool if Alliance could hit 200 reader reviews.  Note: These are honest reviews, not just one-liner, filler reviews, like "I really like this book."

Do you think we can do it?  We beat Belle, after all, and she's Pretty Shrewd.


For those who missed the news, Steve and I did an interview on the Baen Free Radio Hour.  It aired Friday.  Here's your link.


Today, now that we're home, I have accounts to do, and laundry to wash.  Steve and I need to go over the story notes I made before we headed off into the world.  And so on.

What did y'all do while we were away?

Many thanks to William Kilmer for the photograph from our signing at Annie's Book Stop, Friday, July 9, 2016.

Steve Sharon Annie Book Stop July 9 2016

News you can use

Friday, July 8th, 2016 08:28 am
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

A.  If it's Friday, it must be Worcester.  Steve and I will be talking books, and signing them, too, at Annie's Book Stop of Worcester, tonight! from 7-9 pm.  Come on by, if you're in the area.

B.  Today, around noonish EDT, the Baen Free Radio Hour will feature, among its other goodies, an interview with us about Alliance of Equal.  Podcasts are posted to this page.

C.  Tomorrow, Saturday, Steve and I will be at Toadstool Books in Milford (there are three Toadstool bookstores in New Hampshire, so be sure you're aiming for the right one), from 2-4 pm, speaking and reading on behalf of the Dutiful Passage.  Hope to see you there!

D.  Baen is giving away five copies of Alliance of Equals over at Goodreads.  Here's your link.

Good luck and fair passage to everyone, and I'll see you on the flip-side.

rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

So, Steve and I left the Cat Farm at slightly later than Omighod in the morning, and wended our way in the direction of Albany.  We discovered things.

For instance, we discovered that it was 91 degrees F/33C at Queechee Gorge, which was...quite a shock to the Maine-acclimated system.

We also discovered that, while you can take Route 4 all the way into Albany, you may not want to.

Also, World Famous Ruggles Mine is for sale -- which was. . .a shock.  The world is changing, and not in a good way.

We pulled into our hotel a little later than projected, ate a late and hasty lunch, changed, and boogied down to Sand Creek Road and Flights of Fantasy, where we were greeted by Joe Berlant, Harmony the cat, and all the rest of the enthusiastic and efficient FoF staff.  We had a goodly crowd of Liaden enthusiasts gathered, and were about two pages into reading Chapter 8 of Alliance of Equals when!

The power went out.

May I just say that it was as hot -- and perhaps even hotter -- in Albany than it had been at Quechee Gorge.

Audience and staff leapt into action, producing enough light-giving instruments that we were able to finish reading the chapter.  After, we sat in the hot twilight and answered questions about our writing , our process, and All That Stuff, until Joe suggested that we sign books while the battery-powered assists still had a little sunshine to help light the room.

We did that, and the meeting adjourned, as it really was too hot to continue.

Today we drove home, over hill, over dale, and over the Green Mountains, choosing Route 9 this time, until we picked up 4 again, somewhere in the middle of New Hampshire.  I pulled the short straw, and drove the first morning shift, which meant I got the Green Mountains.  I can therefore report with confidence that gravity still works, and also that I am a fan of twisty mountain roads, climbing or falling.

It was every bit as hot today as it was yesterday; we fled promised temps in excess of 93F/34C in New York, arriving early afternoon at the Cat Farm, to find the temps a slightly more reasonable 88F/31C.  We may get a thunderstorm tonight, they (They) say; or possibly tomorrow. That would be nice.

If you missed us at Flights of Fantasy last night, you have three more chances to catch us on the Alliance of Equals tour.

Friday, July 8, we'll be at Annie's Book Stop in Worcester MA, from 7-9 pm

Saturday, July 9, Toadstool Books in Milford NH will be hosting us, from 2-4 pm

Saturday, July 16, from 2-4 pm, we'll be signing and talking at our local indie, Children's Book Cellar, 52 Main Street, Waterville ME

Hope to see you -- and you, too! -- soon.

And, now, having returned, and crashed, and caught y'all up; it's time to unpack, get something to eat -- and crash again?  Yeah, that sounds good.

Everybody stay cool.

Happy Release Day!

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016 12:06 pm
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

Today! is the publication date of Alliance of Equals, the 19th novel in the Liaden Universe®.  This novel was written by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, as all the rest of the Liaden novels and stories have been written by Lee and Miller.

Alliance is now available in the following formats:  hardcover (available from your favorite bookstore), ebook (available directly from Baen, and from your favorite bookstore), and audiobook.

Steve and I will be at Flights of Fantasy, 381 Sand Creek Rd, Albany, NY, from 7-9pm for a Release Party!  We hope to see you there!

Alliance of Equals cover
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

So, the big news this morning is!

The Cat Farm cats have been interviewed by Annie's Book Stop.  They talk about their writers, their favorite spots to sleep, and how they deal with the notoriety that comes with being Internet Stars.  Here's your link.

You still have a few days to read "Wise Child" on the Baen website.  Here's your link.

As of yesterday at about 4:00 pm EDT, the personalized books and some few just-signed had arrived at Uncle Hugo's in Minneapolis. In addition, the remaining cases were on a UPS truck headed for the same location.  They are expected to arrive on Thursday, July 7.

We've heard from two libraries that have received their copies of Alliance of Equals, and a report of a sighting in the wild, at a BN in Denton, Texas.  Anyone have any other sightings to report?  Amazon, which often jumps the gun on these things, is, last time I looked, still holding the line at "this item will ship on July 5."

I will set up a spoiler discussion space on Blog Without a Name, and pin it to the top, before we get crazy next week, so folks who read Really Fast have a place to Talk About It where they won't spoil things for the slower readers among us.

In other news, we had a series of rain squalls come through East Winslow last night, culminating in a Pretty Impressive Thunderstorm right around midnight.  This morning, as Steve pointed out, the pine trees are a-glitter with jewels.

. . .I don't really think there's much else to report.  Today's activities include starting the laundry and deciding what we're going to read from Alliance of Equals.  We've read Chapter Seven a couple times now, and we'd like to do something fresh.

It's a glorious morning so far, here in the Deep Woods; blue skies and breeze; going to warm up this afternoon, of course, but, hey -- it's July.

Those who celebrate the upcoming holiday -- have a great weekend.  Those who do not celebrate the upcoming holiday -- y'all have a great weekend, too.


Progress on Book the Next
38,510/100,000 OR 38.5% complete

"Please understand that I must ask: Have you SEEN something?"

Observation Post June 30 2016

Today's blog title brought to you by the Stray Cats, "Stray Cat Strut."  Here's your link.
rolanni: (Red umbrella from rainbow graphics)

Woke up 'way too early in a panic, and despite the best combined efforts of Belle, Trooper, and Sprite, couldn't make it back to sleep. Finally relocated to the living room, lest I wake Steve, and opened the window over the couch so I could listen to the rain.

Looking at the calendar, I see that we're going to be busy, soon and briefly.

Monday-coming is July 4 (Independence Day, for those who do not partake of USian holidays), which doesn't really have much to do with us, since we don't plan on attending any fireworks displays this year.  But!  It does start off the rest of the week with a bang.

Tuesday, July 5, Steve and I will be in Albany, NY, for a release day party! for Alliance of Equals at Flights of Fantasy.  The festivities start at 7 pm, and we hope to see a whole bunch of y'all there.

Wednesday, July 6, is Sprite's fourth birthday, and we naturally have a full day of fun, magic, music, and napping planned.

Thursday, we get a little bit of breather before plunging into the weekend.

Friday, July 8, you'll find us at Annie's Book Stop of Worcester (despite the fact that we are not listed on the calendar), from 7-9 pm, talking books and signing them.

Then! on Saturday, July 9, we'll be at Toadstool Books at Lorden Plaza in Milford NH from 2-4 pm to read from Alliance of Equals, answer questions and of course, sign books.

Sunday, I'll believe we'll sleep late, veg out, and maybe watch Tomorrowland, which we've had sitting around forever.

What else?

Ah.  For those playing along at home, Book the Next did, last night, move a few words in a forwarder direction.  So, yanno, yay.

Also, since it's raining quite heavily, and Steve needs to be in one place, while I'm wanted someplace else -- the omens all indicate that the books will arrive today.

. . .and that's all I've got.

Who else has plans for next week?


Progress on Book the Next
37,228/100,000 OR 37% complete

"I see," he said. "How will I know her?"

"She will know you."

Belle is purring in her sleep May 5 2016

Almost forgot...Today's blog post title comes to you courtesy of Matchbox Twenty, "3 AM."  Here's your link.

I need a sign. . .

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 10:53 am
rolanni: (Flying Monkey!)

Mail arrived; no check.  At this point, I'm expecting that it got on the bus to Massachusetts (Massachusetts being "MA" according to the Post Office and Maine being "ME"; many people unfamiliar with addressing envelopes Simply Assume that Maine is "MA") and will be returned as "addressee unknown" to the agency in ten days or a month.

The betting pool is still open on whether or not the books arrive today.

Let's see. . .

Answer to question from the Roll Call:  Yes, we will be visiting Annie's Bookstop in Worcester on Friday, July 8, at 7 pm.  I talked to Trisha last night; she's not sure what happened to the calendar listing, but states that It Shall Be Fixed.  In the meantime, she sent along this link.  Hope to see lots of you there!

Considering all the questions which have been asked in Roll Call, I have a Question of my own:  Is it easier to ask a question where you know it won't be seen by anyone except, in this case, me?

On the schedule today is a podcast interview, writing, and staring out the window.

Yesterday, I did not write, but opted to read and rest my fingers after paying the scariest of the bills on the desk.

They say partly cloudy today, here, with thunderstorms on the overnight.

. . .and that's all I've got.

Everybody stay cool.


Today's blog title is brought to you by Train, "Calling All Angels."  Here's your link.

rolanni: (Saving world)

No checks in today's mail, either.


*looks at pile of bills on desk*

This is going to be interesting.


Moving on -- Answers to questions from the Roll Call!

*Sword of Orion was written as a work for hire -- that means the publisher owns the copyright, the ideas, and the characters. The publisher went out of business after releasing the first books in about six series, one of which was the Sword of Orion series.  Therefore!  No more Sword of Orion stories.

*Er, no, I actually wouldn't move to Liad, if I could.  For one thing, as a non-Liaden, I would be beneath most people's notice, not to say contempt, except if I managed to insult somebody, which the odds are good that I'd do so within ten minutes of achieving the Port.  I'd rather go someplace where my life expectancy would be longer than ten minutes.

*The Gathering Edge will not be published until May 2017, that is correct.  In the larger scheme of things in publishing, that's really hardly any time at all.  No, I'm afraid we can't write much faster than we already do.


Today, I learned things.

I learned that orange sticks (aka "cuticle shapers") are now made out of plastic.  They used to be made out of orange wood, but apparently not anymore.

I learned that I can prop my tablet up on the little ledge built into the treadmill at the gym and read as I walk.  And! I don't have to worry about walking into a wall, when I do.

I learned that Microsoft thinks that a $1,000 tablet can "replace" my laptop, which costs 1/3 of that amount.  Research indicates that it does neither the dishes nor laundry, so I fail to see the advantage.

I also learned that my fingers -- my fingers, not my wrists, which is usually the case -- apparently took a beating yesterday, and if I'm a Schmott Guy, which really isn't the way to bet, I'll give them a break today.


Do I have any Hollywood historians here, or perhaps a Mae West aficionado?  I was wondering if she actually needed the stick she often had with her, or if it was only a fashion accessory.


Don't forget that Steve and I will be at Flights of Fantasy in Albany, New York on Tuesday, July 5 to celebrate Alliance of Equals' book day!  Be there or be somewhere else!


In other news, I wrote about 2,200 words yesterday, for a net gain to the manuscript of. . .33 words.  I think that we are now at an end of Backward Growth, and will be proceeding from here on in a forwarder direction.

You heard it here, first.


Progress on Book the Next
36,569/100,000 words OR 36.57% complete

"I believe it wished me to know that Theo might be in a pickle."

Miri snorted a half-laugh, and he smiled.

"Yes," he said.  "Precisely so."

Sprite overseeing the side woods June 23 2016

Today's blog title comes to you courtesy of Mr. John Parr, "St. Elmo's Fire/Man in Motion".  Here's your link.

Updated Book Tour Dates

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016 06:39 pm
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

There has been a change in our book tour schedule.  Short form:  Pandemonium Books had a scheduling conflict, so we will not -- that is NOT -- be visiting them on this tour.

The new! improved! Alliance of Equals book tour looks like this:

July 5, 7 pmFlights of Fantasy, Albany, NY
July 8, 7 pmAnnie’s Book Stop of Worcester, MA
July 9, 2 pmToadstool Books, Milford NH
July 14, 7 pmPandemonium Books, Cambridge MA Cancelled
July 16, 2 pm:  Children’s Book Cellar, Waterville ME
August 14, 2 pmBarnes and Noble, 1920 N. Rock Road, Wichita, KS

rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

So, Steve and I went to BaltiCon 50, to join in the celebration.  As one friend said, "Parts of it were good; many parts were excellent.  We'll put the rest out of our minds."

It was, as one might expect, with such a massive list of returning guests, and the 50th writer Guest of Honor being George RR Martin, something of a zoo to schedule.  Kudos to the scheduling gurus, and to the guest liaisons for their help and their continued good humor in the face of the many challenges that presented during the course of the con.

Steve and I signed a bazillion books, had dinner and drinks with various of our colleagues and friends, did a couple of readings and a presentation; and participated in a. . .demonstration called "Story and Song." This was a very interesting proceeding and I hope to see it done again at many cons in future.

Basically, the idea is that an author will read a passage from a book known to have been filked.  A filker will then sing the song that was inspired by that scene/book.

We read the scene from Agent of Change where Val Con is on the Clutch ship and trying to figure out why the so-called "survival loop" appears to have lost its mind.  This was followed by Bill Roper (one of the filk guests of honor) singing Lee Gold's "Agent of Change."  Connie Willis read from The Doomsday Book, followed by "Lost in Time." (I'm not going to remember the names of all the performers. This is because I have a memory like the clerical hat for the order of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.)  Roberta Rogow  sang "Get Them Lizards Every One," in celebration of Harry Turtledove's (see? nor all the names of the works); and Gary Erlich sang "The Last of Pierson's Puppeteers," following Larry Niven's reading from Ringworld, regarding Teela Brown, the girl who was bred for luck.

In all, a very enjoyable time.

Now, one of the. . .features of the scheduling program being used by BaltiCon this year was that! If there was conflict?  Say, two panels scheduled for the same time in Room A?  The program would helpfully hide one of the conflicting items.  Yes, you read that right.  The program did not simply flag the problem, it fixed the problem.

Sort of.

For instance.  I had originally been scheduled to talk about the carousel books in the room where the "Story and Song" presentation took place.  "Story and Song" was scheduled to last two hours, and my presentation fell immediately in the middle of it.

Therefore, my presentation disappeared, and, given the lack of data to the contrary, I figured it had been cancelled.

I am very grateful to Joni Dashoff, who caught me as I was leaving the filking item, and insisted that my talk was still on.  I walked back to the room, just in case there were people waiting for me.  There were, and I proceeded to give my talk (though, since I'd left my notes at home, it was more like proceeding to babel for 50-ish minutes.)

Between us, Steve and I figured we missed some panels we were supposed to have attended; if we shorted you, or didn't show, please accept our apologies.

We left Baltimore City (which, lest it be forgot, is my own, my native land) at 4 a.m. yesterday, Tuesday, and made it home in one, marathon drive, clocking a smidge over 700 miles on the day.  Let it be known that I prefer Maine (It's so green!  Also?  Quiet.)

I don't have very many pictures from the con (if you have pictures, especially of Steve or of me, please feel free to share), but I do have this one of Steve and me, dressed for Opening Ceremonies, and long-time Friend of Liad Deb Matsuura.  For those who keep of track of such things, that silver-and-black thing I'm wearing is, indeed, the New Corset.

Sharon, Steve, Deb Matsuura BaltiCon 50

Also!  Just to bring this up to date, we went out mid-morning to take on groceries.  Shortly after we returned home, a UPS truck pulled up and off-loaded thirty copies of this:

Author copies arrive June 1 2016

Congratulations; you are now caught up.

Still on my plate today is ordering and submitting our receipts, and -- a nap with Trooper.  I promised.

Today's blog post brought to you by Bruce Springsteen, "Badlands."  Here's your link.

Today, we do laundry

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 12:28 pm
rolanni: (Tea and dragon)

We are back from RavenCon, where we were feted and treated like sci-fi royalty.  Despite the 1900 mile round-trip from Maine to Williamsburg and back again, we arrived home fresh and bouncy and ready to deal with the laundry.  Or maybe not.

If you get a chance to go to RavenCon, do it!  Splendid con, well-run, and offering something for everyfan.  Kudos to Chair Mike Pederson, and his staff (whom I will not name, for fear of inadvertently leaving someone out).  And a special shout-out to Ginny Barnett, who volunteered to be our minion for the weekend, and did a superb job.

The week going forward includes the writing of a short story, now that a workable idea has, however belatedly, finally shown up; finishing The Gathering Edge, which no, is not playing nice, but which will, byerlady, be off our desks before we leave for BaltiCon, or I'll know the reason why.

Steve will be leaving for Portland and the Maine Democratic Convention on Friday; I plan to join him on Saturday morning, for a full day of Democracy.  Since Bernie won Maine in the caucuses, I remain somewhat baffled as to the purpose of this particular exercise, but I suppose All Will Become Clear in time.

In other news, Baen has republished in ebook form Janet Kagan's Mirabile and also Hellspark.  Those who read here regularly know that Hellspark is one of our -- that's Steve and me -- favorite books in any genre; and between us, we've read a LOT of books.  Here's your link to Baen's Janet Kagan page; I hear that Mirabile has made it into Amazon's catalogue, but that Hellspark has yet to make an appearance.  (And, forestalling the inevitable -- No, Baen was not able to acquire Uhura's Song, which was of course, written as a work for hire in the Original Trek tie-in series.

In other, other news, we came home from RavenCon to find that the house-sitter had taken delivery of a case of Dragon in Exile mass markets.  They're pretty!

And that?  Is all the news that's fit to print.

Sleep out at Steves office Apr 3 2016

What did y'all do while I was gone?
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

RavenCon, held in Williamsburg, Virginia, at the Doubletree Hilton, starts on Friday, April 29 and runs until Sunday after, May 1.  Everything you need to know about the convention is right here.

Steve and I will be Writer Guests of Honor at RavenCon.  Reproduced below, for your listening pleasure, is our schedule.


5 pm (FHC) Six Decades of Electing Elsewhere / Room L Steve Miller
7 pm (Opening Ceremony) Large Auditorium Steve Miller, Sharon Lee, and a Cast of Dozens
8 pm (Panel) The Magic of Collaboration / Room 8 Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Peter Prellwitz (M), Joelle Presby


11 am (Reading) Lee and Miller / Room 8
Noon (Signing) Lee and Miller / Room 8
3 pm (Interview) Mike Pederson interviews Lee and Miller / Room 8
4:30 pm - 6 pm (Presentation/Workshop) Baen Traveling Roadshow / Room 8


8:30 am Friends of Liad breakfast in the Hilton restaurant (NOTE:  This is what we called in my youth "Dutch Treat." That means that everyone who attends pays for their own breakfast.  Including Sharon and Steve.)
Noon (Talk) Learning to Write: Recommended Workshops, Books and Classes Steve Miller
1 pm (Soapbox) Believable Characters / Room F Sharon Lee

Also look for us at the art show, in the dealers room, and sitting in a lobby, talking with other fans, or even reading a book.

Looking forward to seeing you -- yes, you! -- there!

Do so fit Mar 29 2016

rolanni: (Caution: Writing Ahead)

This is in the nature of a catch-up and reminder post.

A.  Order your signed and/or personalized copy of Alliance of Equals:  Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis is now accepting pre-orders for signed and/or personalized copies of Lee and Miller’s 19th Liaden Universe® novel, Alliance of Equals, which will be published in July.  There is a deadline for pre-ordering personalized books (where “personalized” means the authors, in addition to their signatures, write something specifically requested by the person buying the book).  That deadline is June 1Here’s your link.

B. Liaden Universe® Store at OffWorld Design: Coffee mugs, denim shirts, t-shirts, polos!  New colors and items have been added, just in time for spring!  Here’s your link.

C. The eARC of Alliance of Equals is now on sale at  Here's your link.

D. For those who have read Alliance and want to talk about it, there's a spoiler discussion here.

Author Requests Assistance

Related to Point Number C, above:   The page proofs for Alliance of Equals landed here at the Confusion Factory.  It is apparent that the original manuscript was, ah, copy-edited with a very light hand.  So!  If you have the eARC, and notice errors, or things that seem like errors, please drop me a note at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom.  I will need chapter, page number and some of the text surrounding the error, so that I can find it.  Everyone assisting with this project will be thanked on the Acknowledgements Page in Alliance.  This is a matter of some little urgency, since the corrected pages need to be back at Baen Galactic Headquarters on April 12, which means they must leave Maine no later than April 11.

In other news, and in addition to proofing Alliance, Steve and I are still working on The Gathering Edge, which is due realsoonnow, and!  we have a short story due on May 15.

We'll be writer guests of honor at RavenCon, in Williamsburg, Virginia, April 29-May 1, which con kicks off a summer of travel, including attending the Maine Democratic Convention as delegates for our town, the weekend we return from RavenCon; attending BaltiCon as returning guests of honor for their Fiftieth Anniversary Bash; doing a mini-book tour in support of Alliance, and! traveling to Wichita, and Kansas City.

Our full schedule, insofar as it is presently known, can be found here.

Thanks for listening, for reading, and for all that you do.  Here, have a picture of Trooper and Belle, ignoring each other.

Mutual Ignoring Society Mar 29 2016

Weekend News Roundup

Saturday, March 5th, 2016 10:14 am
rolanni: (Clan Korval's Tree and Dragon)

This Just In:  Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will be Writer Guests of Honor at MarsCon 2017, with Science Guests Benjamin and Carriann Higginbotham, and Ghost of Honor Anne McCaffrey.  The theme of the convention is Dragons in Space.  This will be our second time as Writer GoHs at MarsCon; our first visit was in 2003, and we had a blast.  Sooooo looking forward to going back.  MarsCon will be held March 3-5, 2017.  Here's your link.

Visit the Liaden Universe® Store at OffWorld Design: Coffee mugs, denim shirts, t-shirts, polos!  New colors and items have been added, just in time for spring!  Here's your link.

Order your signed and/or personalized copy of Alliance of Equals:  Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction Bookstore in Minneapolis is now accepting pre-orders for signed and/or personalized copies of Lee and Miller's 19th Liaden Universe® novel, Alliance of Equals, which will be published in July.  There is a deadline for pre-ordering personalized books (where "personalized" means the authors, in addition to their signatures, write something specifically requested by the person buying the book).  That deadline is June 1Here's your link.

Patreon:  Last year, at the urging of some of our readers, and with some trepidation, Steve and I set up a Patreon account.  Patreon provides a centralized and streamlined way for supporters of a certain artist (or team of artists) to offer extra financial support.  Some folks offer incentives, and thank you gifts for their supporters; we haven't done this, and, honestly, in the near future all we're offering in return for your support is our very sincere thanks, and a promise to keep on writing.  If you'd like to support us on Patreon, here's your link.

In other news, work on The Gathering Edge, the 20th Liaden Universe® novel, continues, and Steve and I are gearing up for a slightly busy* year of con-going, and book touring.


*By which I mean, "busier than last year".

Belle and Sprite competitive sleeping Feb 28 2016

Home again

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 11:45 am
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

So!  We're home from Boskone.

Steve reports thusly:

We're trying to get back to normal, insofar as the writing life ever is normal. At Boskone we had 13 program items, 3 official or formal breakfast meetings, several official dinner meals, 2 between program meetings with colleagues... No I didn't get to as many parties as usual.... Meanwhile, if our trip down was on a packed train our trip back was serene and quiet -- we were the only business class passengers all the way from Boston to Brunswick.

. . .which makes for a fairly full convention.  I was called upon to moderate one panel, which was. . . quite broad in terms of scope, and I admit, I had a few moments of trepidation, thinking that the discussion would last 15 minutes after which we would all adjourn to the bar.  Happily, my co-panelists were brilliant and well-informed, and the audience very interested in the topic. . . so the ship was safely brought into port.

Our kaffeeklatsch was filled to overflowing, by reason of the alternate players joining those who were considered the A-team by convention programming.  We didn't mind the extra people, but the programming chair did come by to make certain that Steve and I weren't distressed by having so many attendees -- which was very kind of her, and proper care and feeding of one's guests.  I was able to assure her that we were fine, but!  Do, please, try to abide by the rules of the convention, even if they seem silly.  Convention programming folks really have a lot on their plates during the con and it's to everyone's advantage to follow the rules, and let them conserve energy so they can deal with major problems (if any, and:  avert) in a calm and thoughtful manner.  Thanks.

The mass book party was swell -- there was cake!  Between those who came to our autographing, and the various vendors in the room, we signed a metric ton of books -- all of them ours -- and though I bought books*, I confess to Earring Fail, and! even though I have identified a need for more bling on the lapel of the Coat of Many Pockets -- I also had Bling Failure.

A special shout-out to Garth Nix, who took time out from his signing at the mass book party, to come over and chat with us for a few moments.  As a general rule, we try not to inflict ourselves on Sitting GoHs, because -- having been in the chair -- we know that they have lots of people who want -- and deserve their attention.

Our next con, for those interested, is RavenCon, April 29-May 1, in Williamsburg.  Where we we be Writer Guests of Honor.  After that, we'll be returning Guests of Honor at BaltiCon 50.

And now, I have bills to pay, tax returns to review, and errands to run -- must have food!, especially as the weatherbeans are calling Weather, starting tonight -- and then, we need to get back to work on The Gathering Edge.


*Books purchased:  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch; Karen Memory, by Elizabeth Bear; Written in Red, by Anne Bishop; The House of Shattered Wings, Aliette de Bodard; and Uprooted, Naomi Novick.

Scrabble Feb 22 2016
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

Playing catchup here.

Left the Cat Farm at O-Ghod o'clock on Thursday, to catch the 7:00 am train out of Brunswick.  We had a pleasant, which is to say non-eventful trip, watching the scenery go by while we ate packed-in baloney-and-cheese sammiches and drank high-test Amtrak coffee.  How do they consistently get that slightly burnt undernote in the coffee, no matter what train you happen to be on?

Our room was ready for us when we hit the hotel -- a very nice room, high-ish up, with a view of the harbor and of the planes coming in to Logan.

We napped and set up Field Headquarters, chatted with a few other early arrivals, gathered up our convention badges, and crashed early.

This morning, we had a pleasant extended breakfast with Christie Meierz and Jeff Mierzejewski.  Afterwards, we toured the facility, started an early pile of books behind Larry Smith's table, and retired to field headquarters to do some work before lunch.  Lunch having now been achieved, I'm taking this opportunity to catch y'all up before The Con Gets Real.

Still no word on the Friends of Liad Breakfast -- we're still shooting for a Sunday morning event, Saturday's schedule being what it is.

I would be a Bad Cat Mom if I did not mention that today marks the 6th anniversary of the birth of Kelimcoon's Belle of the Ball.  We plan to have a belated celebration  when we get home again to Maine.

Also, Number Ten Ox, running Linux Mint, version Cinnamon, is performing without nary a stumble nor a stagger.

Y'all have fun; I'll check in as I can.

Belle Jan 22 2016
rolanni: (Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl)

. . .though there was one terrifying moment when I thought I hadn't left enough room in my backpack for my book.  Turns out that there was just enough room.  Close one, though.

So, the important news first:  SFWA has named C.J. Cherryh its 32nd Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master.

And there was much rejoicing.

She was a huge influence on me, as on several generations of writers.  Why?  The list is long, including a long list of believably alien aliens from the Iduve, straight through to the Atevi; top-notch worldbuilding that left no detail to chance; complex, compelling stories, (most of which have aged very well), and human characters that are as complex and multifaceted as any real human you might encounter, and writing that is always strong and clear.

If you haven't read any Cherryh, now might be the time to sample her.  Hunter of Worlds, Cuckoo's Egg, The Faded Sun TrilogyKesrith, Shon'Jir, and Kutath -- that'll get you started.

Very well deserved.

Back here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we're packed and ready to head out 'way too early tomorrow morning to catch the first train from Brunswick to Boston.  Despite urging from their fans, the cats have decided to remain at the Farm, in order to entertain the house-sitter, who would otherwise be all by herself, and where's the fun in that?

So, Steve and I will be at Boskone -- alone and unsupervised!  For those coming in late, here is the Lee and Miller Schedule, and here is the Full Boskone Schedule.

We will be reading from Chapter 7 of Alliance of Equals during our scheduled reading time at noon on Saturday.

I'll check in intermittently from the con for those who can't attend this year.  If you are attending -- we're looking forward to seeing you!

Our Ladies of the Toys Feb 6 2016

Today's blog post brought to you by John Denver, "Leaving on a Jet Plane."  Here's your link.

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