While not strictly official, I figured it was obvious at this point, so I’ll put it out there. It’s all but certain The Daedalus Incident will not be released on May 7 as scheduled. While not ideal, it’s also not necessarily a bad thing. If all goes well, it actually could work out nicely.
As I posted a few weeks ago, Skyhorse Publishing is in the midst of acquiring the assets of my publisher, Night Shade Books. The contract for Daedalus is one such asset. While the deal has yet to close, and may still fall through, I’m cautiously optimistic that it’ll happen…just not in time to meet our original release date.
The Daedalus Incident was slated for release last fall, before the financial troubles that have plagued Night Shade for years finally came to a head. (For a really interesting take on Night Shade’s woes, I’d point you to Justin Landon’s excellent piece over on Staffer’s Book Review.) Skyhorse and Start Media came in to buy the assets so Night Shade’s owners could avoid bankruptcy.
Naturally, this occurred a month before Daedalus was due to be released.
The deal requires Night Shade authors to agree to the transfer of assets. I can’t and won’t speak for other authors, but I agreed to it, as it seemed the most likely way for Daedalus to hit shelves in the most timely manner possible. Timely, however, isn’t the same as on time, and that’s to be expected.
Here’s what I can say about a new release date as of right now. Skyhorse and Start have been working closely with my agent, Sara Megibow, and myself to bring Daedalus to readers. Obviously, should the deal close successfully, it’ll take time to get everything sorted. That might mean an ebook release first, with the printed book coming out as soon as it’s checked over, printed and distributed. Right now, that looks like either June or July for the printed book.
This is all very tentative, of course. First, the deal has to close, and that’s no small thing. Then, Sara and I will huddle with Skyhorse and Start while they figure things out. Tony Lyons of Skyhorse Publishing has been very encouraging and responsive, and Sara and I have had positive dealings with Jarred Weisfeld over at Start as well — hence the reason for my cautious optimism.
For those of you who’ve pre-ordered hard copies of Daedalus, know that it’s greatly appreciated. If all goes well, you’ll be getting your books…just a bit later than expected.
While this whole thing has played out, I’ve gotten a ton of support and encouragement from many, many people. First off, Sara has been placed in the unenviable position of negotiating twice for the same book, and has done so with amazing diligence and a lot of hard work. Thanks, Sara! Likewise, I know Tony and Jarred have worked to the point of exhaustion on this, and I thank them both for their efforts as well as their support of Daedalus.
I also need to give a shout out to the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, and in particular to Mary Robinette Kowal, for working closely with Skyhorse/Start, Night Shade Books and all the affected authors. The organization is amazing, and Mary in particular has worked extremely hard on behalf of authors. Thank you, Mary.
Likewise, my fellow Night Shade scribes have been generous with their time and thoughts in recent weeks, and I’ve gotten to swap words with some really outstanding folks. I’m proud to be part of such a great group of talented authors. Thanks, guys.
Prior to all this going down, I had set up a fairly ambitious schedule of interviews, guest blogs, podcasts, readings and reviews all over the place, and I’ve been scrambling over the past week to reschedule them. To my amazement and delight, nearly every single one of these outlets has been gracious enough to reschedule or hold off on running things, with the exception of a bare handful of pieces already in the pipeline.
Furthermore, all these folks have been nothing but kind, understanding and supportive. I really feel like I’ve joined a truly amazing community of SF/F authors, fans, reviewers, bloggers and podcasters. I was going to list them all…but realized there literally were too many to list, and there was too great a chance I’d forget someone. Just know that if we’ve traded e-mails over the past week about Daedalus and its release, I am deeply grateful.
Finally, my wife Kate had to put up with my low-level stress and higher-than-usual distraction over the past few weeks, and has done so with good humor and patience. I couldn’t ask for a more wonderful wife.
Again, this delay is not necessarily a bad thing. Should this deal go through, Daedalus could become one of the first new books from Skyhorse’s Night Shade imprint. That is a rare thing, and could garner the book more attention than it might otherwise have received. Plus, I think the production, distribution and marketing will proceed far better than it would have otherwise.
So right now, we’re hopeful, and I think reasonably so. We’re in uncharted territory here, but HMS Daedalus has gotten this far; she’ll sail true.