Martha Wells's Blog

September 18, 2014

Here are the traditional author's copies photos:

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Published on September 18, 2014 08:36 • 11 views

September 17, 2014

Still no sign of the trade paperback of Stories of the Raksura I. This is depressing and nerve-racking. And I feel like it's pretty much killed any chance the book might have had to you know, get attention and be bought by people who haven't already read the other books. So there we go. Again.

In other news, the ebook and audiobook versions are available and I want to really, really thank anyone who has posted reviews anywhere. You guys are awesome.

ETA: And my authors' copies just arrived via FedEx! Hopefully that means they'll be getting to retailers this week or next, before October 7.

***

Other people's books:

* The Magic Thief: Home by Sarah Prineas
Diana Wynne Jones, author of Howl's Moving Castle, praised this middle grade fantasy series filled with magic and wonder, saying of the first, "I couldn't put it down. Wonderful, exciting stuff."

* Diana Comet and Other Improbable Stories By Sandra McDonald
Booklist Editor's Choice and winner of Lambda Literary award, this collection of whimsical and evocative stories takes readers to distant lands and unforgettable characters. Meet Diana Comet, the beautiful adventuress with passion in her heart and secrets under her skirt. Travel to the West with a gay cowboy seeking to mend his broken heart and find the elusive poet Whit Waltman. Listen to the wisdom of talking statues, fairy firefighters, miniature musicians and lady devils. Your heart and imagination will both be inspired.

* Revealing the Cover for Wesley Chu’s Time Salvager
Palmieri describes Time Salvager as "The tale of a fractured future beyond Earth, in which Time is running out for humanity. The key to saving it lies in the past, but the men and women charged with salvaging what was lost pay a terrible price for their service…until one man breaks the future’s highest law." Wesley was a John W Campbell Nominee this year.

* Kickstarter:
Straggletaggle
by J. M. McDermott
Steampunk done as only J. M. McDermott, of critically-acclaimed books LAST DRAGON, the DOGSLAND TRILOGY, and MAZE, can do it.

* Royal Airs by Sharon Shinn is out in paperback
Master storyteller Sharon Shinn created the thrilling and enchanting world of Welce in her acclaimed novel Troubled Waters. Return with her to that elemental universe in this tale of secrecy, romance, and a battle for power.

* Exo by Steven Gould
Cent can teleport. So can her parents, but they are the only people in the world who can. This is not as great as you might think it would be—sure, you can go shopping in Japan and then have tea in London, but it's hard to keep a secret like that. And there are people, dangerous people, who work for governments and have guns, who want to make you do just this one thing for them. And when you’re a teenage girl things get even more complicated. High school. Boys. Global climate change, refugees, and genocide. Orbital mechanics.

* The Clockwork Dagger by Beth Cato
Imagine Murder on the Oriental Express set in a steampunk world. That's how debut author Beth Cato conceived of this captivating story about a young healer, an eccentric roommate, a winning gremlin, a dashing steward, and persistent assassins aboard a high-flying airship. With her orphan past and her special powers, Octavia Leander is a lead character you won't soon forget.

* Pre-Order: POISON FRUIT by Jacqueline Carey
The hot-as-Hel series with the “Sookie Stackhouse type of vibe” (Paranormal Horizon) is back—but this time the paranormal Midwestern town of Pemkowet is feeling a frost in the air and the residents are frozen in fear...

* Foxglove Summer: A Bit of Chapter One by Ben Aaronovitch
This is the next book in the Rivers of London/Peter Grant series, and I've been really looking forward to it. (And the series now has a music video: Rivers of London Rap.)
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Published on September 17, 2014 06:40 • 25 views

September 12, 2014

A twitter conversation made me think about my last day job. It started out great, and gradually spiraled down to a point where I would come home and be too depressed and angry to write. (I had gone part time with it because I was currently trying to finish the Ile-Rien trilogy.) It would take me a couple of hours of playing a game (we're talking Zoo Tycoon or Sim City) before I could do anything but replay the awful day in my head. (Anxiety issues and OCD really don't help with situations like that.)

Then one day after a particularly nasty berating for something I didn't do, I got the news that a friend had died. That weekend, going to the funeral, I decided life was too short, came back on Monday, and quit. This was bad timing because I was already having my first career crash at that point. (Though I had no idea the crash had started -- I had two books coming out that year, three short stories, and a non-fiction article, the most I'd ever published in one year since my first book sold. This is often the way with career crashes, you're face-planted on the floor before you even know you're falling. A friend compared it to having a job where you get fired, and no one tells you. You just keep coming in every day and working, and only gradually realize that they aren't paying you anymore and no one wants you there.)

But I didn't know then that it would be four years before I sold another novel, so I quit. I was lucky because my husband had a good job and I was able to quit without starving when my sales dried up. (He's been laid off more times than I remember, but his superpower is literally interviewing and finding a new job. He should teach a class but I'm not sure he has any idea how he does it. His superpower has made my writing career possible. I just wish I had a better career so I could pay him back.)

Anyway, not sure what the point of this is, other then wow am I glad I quit that job.
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Published on September 12, 2014 07:06 • 37 views

September 11, 2014

See Mystery Guide Part III


Martha's Guide to TV Mysteries Part IV

Happy Valley this is a new one now available on Netflix. It's an older woman police sergeant in a rural town in the UK, raising her grandson with the help of her sister, a recovering addict, and dealing with a lot of family issues. It's gritty and grim and deals with a lot of dark subjects, including sexual violence etc. None of that made me want to turn it off, though. There's something about the pacing or the emphasis or the viewpoint that kept it away from a woman-in-jep feel, at least for me. It's six episodes telling one complete story, and I meant to watch one episode on Sunday and ended up inhaling the whole thing in one go. (And at one point there was a fight scene that was so tense I may have yelled "NOW FINISH HIM" at the TV.)

Blue Murder I've seen the first episode of this on Acorn.tv and will watch more this week. It's a woman DCI with three kids, pregnant, and a cheating husband she has divorced. It had a somewhat lighter tone in that while the crime they were dealing with was horrible, the detectives were generally good people that I liked.

Trial and Retribution this is also on Acorn.tv. The first few episodes were really good, and do have a lot of the feel of the original Law and Order, and you can tell it's by the same writer who did Prime Suspect. Later episodes got away from that and more into character relationships and there was lots of stalking and I started to really dislike the male main character. (Not as much as the first season of Murder Investigation Team, where I was actively rooting for them all to die. The second season of MIT was better, first season right out.)

Okay, Murder Investigation Team: There is a scene in one of the first season episodes where one of the detectives perves on the bare breasts of a murder victim whose face has been smashed to keep anyone from identifying her and who has been in the Thames for a few days. You know who thinks that look is attractive? Serial killers. Serial killers think that. And this character is supposed to be a protagonist. I mean, I thought all the characters in Waking the Dead were way too shouty, but they were all basically good people and I didn't want any of them to die in a woodchipper.

Above Suspicion I haven't seen the first episode, but saw the other two, and enjoyed them. It veers off into unrealistic in a couple of noticeable ways. I mean, they're all unrealistic; TV mysteries require suspension of disbelief just like SF/F, but this was unrealistic enough it knocked me a bit out of the stories.

I watched the final season of Poirot and was a bit disappointed. I think it must have been different writers from the previous twelve seasons, because the plots were not as complex, there were not as many characters, not as many subplots. Just disappointing all around, even with the return of Japp and Hastings, and Ariadne Oliver. I did think Hastings was great in the last episode, though. Its worth it for the longterm fans, I think, but would be a very bad place for a new viewer to start. If I was a new viewer, I think I'd start with season 9, Death on the Nile, and work my way backwards and forwards, leaving season 13 for last.

I'll try to do some more when I get a chance. I want to talk about Touching Evil but I wanted to rewatch it first, and now I can't find it anywhere. And I'm waiting for Sleepy Hollow and Elementary to start back up again.
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Published on September 11, 2014 09:18 • 14 views

September 10, 2014

The iBooks glitch is fixed and Stories of the Raksura I is finally showing up as available. It looks like they didn't lose the preorders, either. That's a big relief!

It's here: itunes.apple.com/us/artist/martha-wells/id364545521?mt=11. Ignore the two single-novella versions, those aren't supposed to be there and won't do anything. The real one has the actual cover and is listed as Stories of the Raksura Volume I: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud

I guess this is release day #2. We're still waiting for release #3, the trade paperback. Which I still hope will be next week.
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Published on September 10, 2014 12:33 • 26 views

September 8, 2014

* We went to see Chef on Saturday night, and really loved it. There's a lot in there that will apply to any creative artistic fields, and it shows food as an art form, a hard demanding job, and a way to make people happy. It's a bit slow at the beginning, as he's working up to his fall and his realization that he is really unhappy and needs a drastic change. But once they get to Miami it's a huge amount of fun. And I really wanted Cuban sandwiches afterward and I think the closest non-home-cooked ones are in Houston. Scarlett Johansson is in it, and Robert Downey Jr had a hilarious cameo. (We watched to the end of the credits, hoping there would be a scene with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, eating a Cuban sandwich.)

* Today is Literacy Day, a good day to do some reading, or read to someone.

* I dreamed last night that my dog hadn't died but was just living with friends for some reason. They brought him to visit and I decided to keep him. One of those dreams where you wake up happy and then remember it was a dream and is not actually going to happen. I have recurring dreams like this off and on, but I think this one was sparked by friends online who lost animals this weekend. Very depressing.

* If you missed it, Stories of the Raksura came out in ebook and audiobook on September 2, and the trade paperback should be out next week on September 16.
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Published on September 08, 2014 05:55 • 27 views

September 6, 2014

Here's a review of Stories of the Raksura I on the Finnish SF/F blog Rising Shadow:

Ever since I read The Cloud Roads, I've been fascinated by the Raksura and also by the biology of the Raksura, because they're totally different from other species and races found in modern fantasy novels. Their different forms still continue to amaze and thrill me, because it's genuinely interesting to read about them, their lives and their fates. Although they're shapeshifting beings, there's something humane about them that makes it easy for the reader to care about them.

...

The characters in these stories are just as complex, diverse and sympathetic as in the novels. Their gender roles are explored believably, their actions are also believable and they have realistic problems. In my opinion the character interaction in these stories works perfectly. The author has managed to write about the characters in a realistic way that gives depth to them and fleshes out their different traits and feelings. The relationships and tensions between the characters are handled admirably.
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Published on September 06, 2014 05:55 • 46 views

September 4, 2014

Thanks to everybody who has already left reviews on Stories of the Raksura vol. I - I really appreciate this.

Notes:

* As far as I know at this moment, the paperback release is still supposed to be on Sept 16.

* As people have noticed, something is catastrophically wrong with the Stories of the Raksura listing on iBooks. It was up for preorder there, and fine on Monday, but on Tuesday it disappeared. Looking at the listing for the audiobook on iTunes, I'm starting to wonder if the two listings were combined or one overwrote the other, or something. I'll post when it hopefully gets straightened out.

There are still listings for the individual novellas on iBooks -- those are incorrect, and should have been removed months ago.

I'm going to have one of those days that involved errands and running around and waiting and then more running around. (I hope -- if I can't do this first errand, I can't do any of the others.) So this is not going to be a fun day.
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Published on September 04, 2014 07:53 • 46 views

September 3, 2014

Other people's books:

* From Left Field Book 7 of Diamond Brides Series by Mindy Klasky

* The novella The Awakened Kingdom by N.K. Jemisin (set after the Inheritance trilogy) is up for preorder.

* You can now order ebooks directly from Panverse Publishing like The Bone Flower Throne by T.L. Morganfield.

My Book

If you missed it, Stories of the Raksura I came out in ebook and audiobook yesterday. The trade paperback is due out Sept 16.
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Published on September 03, 2014 10:53 • 13 views