It takes a lot for me to feel like the little guy. I’m over six feet tall and not exactly waifish. Professionally, I’ve held my own conducting interviews with politicians and CEOs for many, many years. I’ve had Steve Ballmer yelling at me a bare foot away from my face, and broke down in laughter with Jeff Bezos after a particularly fun grilling.
But here, at the Nebula Awards Weekend, I was most certainly the little guy. And it was pretty cool.
As part of my volunteer duties, I helped babysit the press room. And there was a moment yesterday where I’m sitting there while Sword & Laser interviewed the legendary (and truly wonderful) Gene Wolfe, with Nebula nominee Kim Stanley Robinson listening intently nearby, and John Scalzi and Mary Robinette Kowal hovering by the door, also eavesdropping.
And I’m just this newbie, you know? I don’t fanboy much, but it was a great moment.
I admit, this floored me.
The Daedalus Incident has been named the science fiction/fantasy debut of the month by the folks at Library Journal, complete with a starred review. Their verdict:
Martinez’s debut is a triumph of genre-blending, as steampunk adventure merges with modern space opera. With a cast of superbly drawn characters, Martinez’s title is a mesmerizing tale of two universes that briefly cross paths, leaving both worlds forever changed.
I have no words for this one, other than thank you, Library Journal. Just…wow.
This is gonna be one of those blog posts made up of stuff that’s too long for Tweets, but too short to warrant their own separate posts.
First off, no official word yet on the Skyhorse/Start purchase of Night Shade Books’ assets. There’s not a heap I’m comfortable saying publicly, other than I remain encouraged by developments. While a bit of uncertainty remains, I expect it’s more a question of when than if at this point.
Folks who have pre-ordered The Daedalus Incident on Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble may have noted that the release date has been changed from May 7 to June 11. This was news to me, and I’m not sure if that’s the official date or if it’s just a placeholder. Some pre-order customers at Amazon got e-mails updating them, others have not. Either way, you can still pre-order the book, and it’ll show up on or shortly after the official release date…whenever that is.
“Here’s just four easy steps to amazing writing!” — said by no one ever, not even Tony Robbins.
You know, I haven’t sat down to blog — really blog, to make a point about something other than newsy stuff — for a few weeks now. Between travel and jet lag and then catching up at the day job, combined with the stress of the will-they / won’t-they with regard to my publisher and my book…yeah. Hard to get stuff down on the page. I haven’t felt this kind of writing malaise in quite a while. But I’m working on it.
Of course, I have my own little tricks to get myself back on track. Every writer does. And therein lies the problem for folks who, invariably, want to know the Secret Sauce of writing. A colleague at my day job pointed out a recent piece in The New York Times on interviews writers give and how they usually turn to writing techniques, and of course, the little tricks writers use to motivate themselves to keep plugging away.The author of the Times piece said he was addicted to that advice more than anything else.
There’s enough self-help advice to writers out there to make Tony Robbins smile bright…well, brighter than usual. And there’s a huge audience for it, too. Heck, I’ve been filling out responses to interview questions already, and there have been several having to do with how I write. And I’m not sure how hugely useful that will be. What works for me may not — probably will not — work for you.
Still no news on the publishing front, but rest assured, I’ll let everyone know where things stand as soon as I find out. These things take time, and all I can say right now is that I remain cautiously optimistic.
In the meantime, I’ve been invited into other folks’ digital space again. Over on Abhinav Jain’s blog, Angels of Retribution, I’m participating in his unique series of guest posts, “Names: A New Perspective.” In my post, I discuss naming conventions in The Daedalus Incident and also let rip with a few minor spoilers. Check it out!
And the good people over at SFSignal allowed me to contribute to a new mind meld on this year’s genre movie slate. Read about my boycott of apocalypses and dystopias, and my questions about Man of Steel.
Filed under Books, Geek, Writing
I don’t think waking up to good reviews will ever get old. This one, though, is pretty special.
Dan Hanks took on The Daedalus Incident over on Fantasy Faction this morning, and really liked it: he gave it nine out of 10 stars. Here’s a snippet of what he had to say.
The HMS Daedalus sails a ballsy, brilliant and at times breathtaking universe and you get to tag along for the ride. I can’t speak highly enough of what the author has created here. Don’t hesitate in signing up.
What makes this review special is that Dan really nailed the strengths and, yes, the weaknesses of the book, to the point where I have to wonder exactly how long Mr. Hanks has been in residence inside my writer-brain. Also, Dan lives in England and yet did not see fit to dock me for mucking about in his nation’s long and glorious history.
Fantasy Faction is an excellent genre fan community, and if you’ve not checked it out…why haven’t you? Thanks to Dan and Fantasy Faction for a thoughtful, awesome review!
Now if we can just get a release date nailed down, we’d be all set!
If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know full well that I consider my literary agent, Sara Megibow of the Nelson Literary Agency, to be truly awesome. I’m really lucky to have her in my corner, especially with all the stuff surrounding Night Shade Books of late.
The story of how she became my agent is a pretty good one, and it’s featured in the May/June issue of Writer’s Digest, in the magazine’s regular “Breaking In” feature. It’s both exciting and a little humbling be in a magazine devoted to writers and writing, especially as a newbie. And Sara deserves all the kudos she gets for her hard work and good humor.
Of course, I would suggest that you run out and get a copy of the magazine, especially if you’re an aspiring writer, because it has lots of good stuff on writing and publishing besides my little bit. But I’ve also scanned the article in here because, well, I’m pretty stoked about it, and the cover of The Daedalus Incident just looks so nice in print.
Also, if you’re interested in how literary agents do their jobs and what goes into their decision making, you should follow Sara on Twitter. She does a lot of insightful, useful things there. Because, again, she’s awesome.
In Japanese, Mt. Fuji is called Fuji-san, a term of respect. Appropriate, I think, for a massive volcano.
It’s Monday morning here in the land of the rising sun, and I can see Mt. Fuji over my shoulder as I write this. I’ve been lucky enough to get my travel on regularly, but this is the furthest I’ve ever traveled — and the first place where I can’t read the language, let alone speak it. Thank God for Google Maps and Google Translate on the iPhone. That and a data-roaming add-on package will get you far almost anywhere, I imagine.
In no particular order of importance, relevance or insight, here’s a few thoughts from the trip so far.
Filed under Travel, Writing
What, you haven’t entered to win a preview copy of The Daedalus Incident over on Goodreads? Get clicking! Already, 450 of your closest friends have done it. You have less than 19 hours to enter!
Meantime, I’m guest blogging over at the Night Bazaar today, talking about realism in SF/F and ensuring that such works remain accessible and believable for readers. In writing Daedalus, I found that no matter how fantastical a work gets, it needs to be well-researched, authoritative and grounded. Check it out!
Some of you have asked about whether Daedalus will be available for pre-order in ebook form. Short answer: I don’t know. I’m sure it will be available as an ebook on May 7, but otherwise…well, I’m working on it. Meantime, if you’re on Amazon or Barnes & Noble and see those links requesting the Kindle/Nook version, click on ‘em. Can’t hurt!
Filed under Books, Writing
A couple quick items, if I may. I’m blogging at the Night Bazaar today, discussing ideas around how to write action, specifically melee and battles and other kinds of assorted mayhem. A Martian sand beast may be involved.
Also, just a reminder that The Daedalus Incident giveaway over on Goodreads is still going strong. You have until March 28 to sign up to win a signed galley copy of the book. As of last night, there were 140 people signed up for it, which warms a debut author’s heart considerably.
Finally, if you stumbled upon this blog via the SFWA Authors Twitter feed, welcome! Feel free to click around and make yourself at home. Just don’t put your feet on the furniture. If you’re not following said feed, give it a shot. There are plenty of awesome authors blogging about plenty of awesome things. It’s…awesome.