Tag Archives: juno books

Some bad news for the sea

Seaborn came out last July, and by that time I had already completed another book, Sea Throne, with many of the characters from Seaborn–Kassandra, the war-bard and her daughter, evil sea kings, some really nasty stuff from the bottom of the sea–and with more of the story taking place underwater than above.  I actually like Sea Throne a lot more than Seaborn.

Alas…it's not going to happen with Juno Books, now an imprint of Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books division.  PB isn't going to pick up any of Juno's backlist, and that means me and several other Juno authors.

Yeah, not so good for Sea Throne, but at the same time I can't be happier over the Juno – S&S deal, and that all the hard work and long hours Paula Guran, editor at Juno Books put into those books over the last few years has paid off.

Paula: Thank you for taking a chance on Seaborn, all the editing, advice, introducing me to a bunch of great writers and editors–with Juno and at the cons, and most of all for getting my story on bookstore shelves.  You rock!

So, what am I working on now?

I've spent the last few months concentrating more on short stories, and I have several sub'd right now, both SF and fantasy.  I've made my first art sale!  I'm halfway through another novel, hoping to finish it up around April. And then there's my Saltwater Witch thing, a weekly web-comic.

Write on!

Juno Books hooks up with Simon & Schuster

Juno Books, publisher of Seaborn has struck a very nice deal with S&S imprint Pocket Books.

Copying this directly from the Juno Books blog:

POCKET BOOKS IN CO-PUBLISHING AGREEMENT WITH JUNO BOOKS
TO PUBLISH CONTEMPORARY FANTASY FICTION

New York, New York (January 19, 2009) – Louise Burke, Executive Vice
President and Publisher of Pocket Books, has announced a new
co-publishing agreement with Juno Books, best known for contemporary
fantasy novels that emphasize strong female protagonists in richly
imagined contexts. Juno will become an imprint of Pocket Books,
publishing one title per month with the first release, AMAZON INK by
Lori Devoti, slated for June 2009.

Juno Books began its publishing program in Fall 2006 and quickly
became noted in the fantasy fiction genre for such breakout successes
as Carole Nelson Douglas and Stacia Kane and garnering critical acclaim
for many of their titles.

“Pocket Books and Juno Books are a great fit,” said Louise Burke.
“We’ve seen great growth in this category, are delighted to now have a
dedicated line, and look forward to helping to cultivate a wider
audience for Juno’s terrific roster of authors.”

Juno Books Editor Paula Guran said: “I’m tremendously excited about
the opportunity to help take Juno to the next level through our
association with Pocket Books. Both Juno and fantasy readers in general
will gain immensely by sales and marketing reach of Pocket Books and
Simon & Schuster, while still getting the best of our editorial
sensibility.”

Pocket Books Senior Editor Jennifer Heddle will work in concert with Juno Books Editor Paula Guran.

An interview!

Thanks, Lori!  An interview I did with author Lori Devoti a couple weeks ago just went up on her site, and looks great–I’m a little blue, however, but that’s just my author pic from the Juno Books site.

http://loridevoti.com/blog/2008/07/01/interview-urban-fantasy-author-chris-howard/

Seaborn: Four stars at RT

Romantic Times Booklovers Magazine has given SEABORN 4 out of 4.5 five stars.  (4.5?  Who knew it was this complicated?  Read Lori’s explanation in the comments of my LJ x-post).

…Howard’s fantasy tells the story of a woman who is seaborn and must fight to win back kingdoms as the wreathbearer. This novel is graphic in violence and leaves nothing to the imagination when it comes to mutilation and death, but readers who love a good fantasy can overlook the gory descriptions to see what happens to the heroine of this fascinating read.

It’s "Wreath-wearer" not wreathbearer, and it’s really more of a nice oozy undead decay than mutilation, but I’m not going to be picky.

Send Seaborn wirelessly to your Kindle

Seabornkindle

http://www.amazon.com/Seaborn/dp/B001B2MQVM

Yes, it’s available now.  Juno Books has released the e-edition of Seaborn a month ahead of the print edition.  The Kindle version is already there, and Fictionwise will be following next week.

The print edition release date is July 18th.

Order the Kindle version now, or pre-order the print edition:
http://www.amazon.com/Seaborn-Chris-Howard/dp/0809572818

Seaborn Notes

I have a character in Seaborn, Michael Henderson, who’s a minor character with a background in science, and I’ve sort of left it up to him to try to explain how people can live and breathe under the sea.  He has the "curse" himself, all the abilities the Seaborn have.  He writes pages of notes, sketches the things he sees in the deep, imagines why things work the way they do with the Seaborn–all with a scientific mind.

I’ve written and drawn a bunch of stuff in the character of Michael Henderson, which started out as part of the worldbuilding exercises, and just kept going.  I wrote the chapter headings in Seaborn from Henderson’s perspective, taken from his notes, his journal, his "conversations" with various notable characters. 

Here are some samples from my journal:

Seaborn Notes
Michael Henderson

SeabornI have been to the deep ocean, the Very Deep, and I have set my feet down in billion year old sand.  I have kicked through the dark with blind animals that change shape with their moods, with fish ten meters long that glide through the deep sea without fear–and only eat microscopic food, with arthropods made of glass, and creatures that defy classification, I have touched the bioluminescent lures of fanged ambush predators in the abyss, and I still have all of my fingers.   I have done all of this without equipment, without SCUBA, without feeling the pressure, or need for air.  I am no longer a surface human–or as the Seaborn, say–a surfacer, a Thinling.  I have become one of them.

I have experienced, l’ivresse des grandes profondeurs, Jacques Cousteau’s "rapture of the deep," but not as the nitrogen narcosis that Cousteau described in Silent World.  Say, rather, that I have experienced the rapture of the unexpectedly normal in the most unexpected place on earth: the deep sea.

The Seaborn do not suffer from any of the affects of breathing compressed gases, for example the squeeze of barotrauma on descent, because presumably, these do not exist in effective amounts in their bodies.

SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus.  This is a device enabling surface-living humans to recreate, as near as possible, and within well-defined limits, everything the human respiratory system needs above the ocean surface, in the air.  While in the water, it appears that the Seaborn do not–or even need to–breathe in the same manner, possessing a different, possibly more advanced system for taking in the same gases and nutrients directly from seawater.  Out of the water, the lungs of a Seaborn human appear to function the same way as the lungs of any surface human. 

Lungs:  Alveoli are the small grape-bunch like structures that line the lungs and take up oxygen, CO2, Nitrogen–gases the human body needs to survive, with oxygen fueling so many of the processes.  The Alveoli are highly susceptible to damage from heavy substances like seawater, which really shouldn’t be in the lungs.  Damage then leads to low blood oxygen levels (hypoxemia) , low tissue oxygen levels (hypoxia), and then death.  The alveolar-capillary membrane is a delicate, one cell thick membrane through which the gases we breathe are exchanged.  It appears to be the case that the Seaborn possess a more rigid surfactact–a sort of stiffening coat for the alveoli to prevent them from collapsing under the weight of heavier substances like water in the lungs.

Is it about the hardware?

eBooks, that is.  If, according to Harlequin, the hardware doesn’t matter and readers are perfectly happy to read a book on phones, PDAs, any device with a screen and scrollbar, why aren’t more people outside of romance demanding their books in e?  Is it a romance reader thing?

I think the eInk is important.

I’m not much of a romance reader–mostly SF, fantasy, literary fiction, technology non-fic, and contemporary issues fiction like Jodi Picoult.  I frequently cross–or don’t even notice–boundaries like YA, teen, mainstream fiction.  I’ll read Holly Black’s Ironside, then Tim Powers’ Last Call, Stacia Kane’s Personal Demons, and Connie Willis’ Doomsday Book all in a row.

I find my reading of electronic versions of books rising instead of dropping.  Of the four books I just mentioned, I have one, Stacia’s Personal Demons in e.  I have it on my Sony Reader.  Alice gave me the PRS-500 a couple years ago–one of the drivers was a $100 rebate Sony was offering at the time, bringing the device into the top end of "gadget" expense, the range we’re willing to spend on some new piece of tech and not cry if it doesn’t work out.

It worked out.  My e-reading is 20-25% of everything I read.

Sonyreader1

First, the Sony Reader is that good–as are all the devices I’ve used built around eInk technology.  It’s as close to reading a paper-based book I’ve seen.  Its reflective surface is like paper, the words are clear, very readable–readable as any book.  You can use all the standard book lights with the eInk devices.  Cool cool stuff.

Sony Reader, Amazon Kindle, Irex, what else is out there?  What are you reading on?

http://www.eharlequin.com
http://www.eink.com
http://www.sonystyle.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?productId=8198552921665245739
http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Amazons-Wireless-Reading-Device/dp/B000FI73MA

Cool

Cool stuff over on www.ImageChef.com 

Seaborn, Chris Howard, Juno Books

Sick…

Img_0123 Four years of blogging and I have never done a cat or sick post.  I’ts about time.  Here’s our cat Niki, with our German Shepherd, Keia.  She’s the coolest cat.  I’m sick as a dog, a bit of the flu.  We’re talking about full on…no, not going to go there.

Before it set in, I was having one of the best times I have ever had at a con.  Speaking from my fairly newby con-going experience (World Fantasy, Boskone, commercial pub cons like BEA, and now WisCon).  This is my first WisCon, and I will be back next year, on some panels, doing a reading or two.  Here’s me and Kathy Sedia (Secret History of Moscow).  I’m in other pictures, just not on my camera.  Will post when I get them!

Img_0163

Seaborn shirts

Just a couple of them, giveaways. (Made these through CafePress: http://www.cafepress.com/seaborn)

Front:

Seabornshirtfront

Back:

Seabornshirtback