The end! Finished another book, fifty-two chapters, a little under a hundred thousand words, working title is Salvage. This is another Seaborn book–the first in a new series, sort of a tech-thriller/fantasy cross-over, if you can imagine that. The plan is to let it sit, steep like bad tea for a month, do one more edit pass, and get the manuscript to my agent mid-January. We'll see where it goes from there.
In the meantime–although I'm tired, I am clearly not too tired to cook up some fun cover art for this one. Hope you like!
If you’re writing short stories or books—and let’s face it,
who’s not?—I have a few tools for you, character name generators (contemporary
and Seaborn names) and a word pair list generator, all of which I use for my
own work. One of the greatest things
about fantasy and science fiction as a genre is that so many F&SF readers
are also writers. I don't think you'll find that in
thrillers, murder mysteries, romance, or anywhere else.
The contemporary name generator lets you create a list of male or
female names. Same goes for the Seaborn Name generators, except that they're all ancient Greek names, male and female.
The word pair list is a way to spark ideas. Sometimes when
I'm stuck in a plot I will pull random words out of the dictionary–usually
nouns–and play with the ideas, see how the story would change if I introduced
poison, or make one of the characters a really good cook, or take a word like
"chronograph" and it makes me wonder what would happen to the plot if
there was a "ticking clock"–a count-down timer on a bomb, or the bad
guys are going to kill someone at a particular time and the protagonist has to
do something extraordinary in order to prevent it. The words are there to feed
the story with new and unexpected ideas.
It's not quite the same, but think of it as something like Brian Eno's
Oblique Strategies, except for writing instead of music. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oblique_Strategies.
There was a cool "Oblique Strategies for Authors" panel at the last Readercon
led by Glenn Grant with panelists Gavin Grant, Eric Van, Jo Walton, and others).
Check it all out here:
The second edition of my tech thriller Nanowhere is out, although the official release–in print–won't be until next month or early 2012. The ebook's available right now at Amazon and B&N on the Kindle, Fire, Nook, and any device with the Kindle or nook apps. (More eBook formats and channels to follow).
This edition has a bunch of edits over the original version, which came out in 2005, and includes two of the research reports by the character John Andreden at the back of the book.
The eBook cover is on the left and the print book is below.
Here's some of the back cover copy:
Nanowhere… it's a love story with all the usual elements: rogue soldiers, computer hacking, tyranny, cryptography, hit-men with an affinity for rolled adhesives, rebellious skateboarders, and sentient billion-node self-organizing nanotech ghosts.
Here's a clip of Cory Doctorow's kind words on Boing Boing:
Chris Howard has released an…interesting and well-written…sf thriller called Nanowhere along with a bunch of supplementary materials that purports to be the lab notes and publications of one of the book's characters …
Amazon.com | Amazon.uk | Amazon.de | Amazon.fr
Barnes & Noble
My novel Winterdim is now available in ebook and very soon in print. It hasn't shown up everywhere yet, but I see it at Amazon and B&N. In the iBookstore I think it will get a release date of 11-11-11, which is cool.
Winterdim @ Amazon
Winterdim @ Barnes & Noble
Front cover below, text from the back cover:
Theodora Viran has a way with forests, blossoms, creeping vines, composting, paranoia, and sudden death. She sees deception in every shadow, a trap in every word, and the universe has always been someone else's manipulative game, but when she makes a promise to save the life of a childhood friend, it becomes a promise she cannot break without breaking her view of the world.
Chapter 1 of Saltwater Witch is now available in ePub format! Open in it iBooks, Nook, Adobe, Stanza, or any of the ePub readers out there. I will be following up with the rest of the available chapters–1 through 11 with a bit of 12.
Saltwater Witch Chapter 1 (7.5 MB)
I just found this link on Guy Kawasaki's G+ stream. Everything you need to know about starting and operating a street food business in NYC, and I was thinking there's no end to the stories that can come out of being a street vendor in the City. Meeting hundreds of people every day, some of them regulars. The protag—the owner of the food truck or pushcart–can be a retired private investigator, an alien, a vampire, an impatient classically trained chef with a love for yakitori. Think what you can do with humor, information gathering, a front for crime or the CIA, horror–a street food vendor on Sept. 11. What if we turn this vampire/undead thing on its head and suddenly every book and magazine publisher is getting dozens of stories centered on the street food business in NYC? That would be worth writing and submitting a couple stories itself.
Who's with me?
Go write something!
Sorry for the number of posts and subtle variations on this one. I think this is it! The book launch is on schedule for the end of the month. Stay tuned!
Here's a first pass at another piece of cover art for…not allowed to tell you yet, but I can tell you that it has some underwater scenes and there's this sort of oceany creature and a guy swimming… There, that's about all I can say right now.