Nova War sighted growing out of Kate Mosse's head

I was watching a BBC interview with Kate Mosse - on the subject of how to get started writing a book - where they'd obviously interviewed her standing in a local Waterstones. I was kind of tickled to notice Nova War, sitting face out, just to the right of Kate's head for much of the interview. I know I said I'd like it if somebody filmed one of my books,  but this isn't quite what I had in mind ...



Ebook of Nova War

And just to reiterate, in case people miss it on the left-hand sidebar there; the ebooks of Stealing Light and Nova War, as sold through www.panmacmillan.com, have no DRM. And that goes for all the ebooks sold by Pan Macmillan through their UK website.

If they're sold through third-party resellers like Waterstones, then they do have DRM, but that's imposed by those resellers, not Pan Mac or Tor. I've been getting occasional queries from people about where to find the ebooks, particularly from people outside the UK who are concerned they won't be able to purchase them due to geographical restrictions. To my knowledge, no one has had trouble buying my or anyone else's ebooks direct from the www.panmacmillan.com site, regardless of where they live.


Finding Nova War

Nova War has, according to my publisher's, been selling really well - this is as far as I know the main reason it keeps showing up on Amazon as 'currently out of stock'. It's not, to my knowledge, so presumably as soon as it arrives it gets mailed out again. I did start to get slightly worried, however, when I noticed one or two tweets by random people saying they were having trouble tracking down copies. I also know that acquaintances and friends would tell me in the past that when they went looking for my new books in physical bookshops, they had trouble finding them (mind you, this was usually specifically in terms of trying to find stuff in Borders, and obviously that's not going to be a problem for much longer). Has anyone reading this blog had trouble tracking copies down?

Edit: Got an email from Tor that it's back in stock in the bookshops, and shows up as in stock on Amazon. For now, anyway.


Final Days, FB website and article ideas

The Fergus Bannon website is pretty much complete and features the complete text of Judgement along with a couple of stories and articles published in places like Interzone. I need to get round to writing another BSC review/article sometime soon, once I've figured out what to write about. Right now, in my head, it's roughly a choice between a look at the past ten years (dead original, I know) or ... Hawkwind. A band I like a great deal, and one I suspect many North Americans - who constitute the vast majority of BSCReview.com's readers - don't know about. Oh hell, I'll do both.

I'm a bit over twenty thousands words into Final Days at the moment, rolling along. Trying to discipline myself by timing how long I actually write each day, which is producing some interesting results.

Edit: Silly me, I completely forgot to mention. I asked two other writers to contribute to Fergus's website and write a piece each about him - one is by Jim Steel, a name familiar to readers of Interzone magazine, and the other is by that other esteemed member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's Circle, Hal Duncan. Both pieces, along with a few words by me, are up there at www.fergusbannon.blogspot.com.


More fun with publishing

My wee experiment at playing publisher continues, although at a somewhat reduced rate given I have to write a seriously complicated novel between now and next August. Fergus Bannon's novel Judgement is still on sale at Smashwords, and it's been selling steadily, if not spectacularly, although I'm already getting emails from those who bought it telling me they'd have happily bought it at full price; which is no news to me since I happen to think it's a knockout piece of work you should all be reading.

All of this unexpectedly became an opportunity to play around with the tools of modern zero-cost online publishing and all that it offers, as well as all that it promises, which is almost certainly  considerably more than it can  actually deliver; nonetheless, I've noticed one or two out of print novels, including at least one one-time bestseller, popping up on Smashwords, which appears to be going from strength to strength.

After spending a bit of time reading up on online promotional methods, I decided to also set up a website for Fergus, modelled roughly after this one. It's called 'Neurological Intervention For Beginners', and it's very much under construction at the moment, so some of it's still a little bare bones and uncompleted. Nonetheless, I put the complete text of the novel up there,  so if you're still too shirty to either sign up to Smashwords or part with cash, you can at least see what I'm on  about. Also up there at the moment is Burning Brightly, Fergus's one and only appearance in Interzone way back in 1993. You can still, of course, buy the complete book in ebook format for $2 (about £1.40) at Smashwords.

The thing I have noticed - and this will of course surprise no one - is that the book's sales are entirely dependent on online mentions. Every time it's been mentioned online, the sales have briefly spiked. First there's a spike in downloads of the 50% sample from Smashwords, then within a day or two there's a spike in actual cash sales that gratifyingly trails only slightly behind the number of freebie sample downloads.

It occurs to me that there's a better way for me to explain why I think you  should be reading the book. It involves a bit of history, specifically relating to GSFWC, ie the Glasgow SF Writer's Circle, which I first attended in the winter of 1990.  Fergus was already a member, as was a very young and callow Hal Duncan. The circle also featured Duncan Lunan, a frequent contributor of non-fiction articles to Analog, and author of Man & The Planets, which was huge in the early to mid Seventies. Right place, right time, as they say. Also present was Mike Cobley,  whose fourth novel Seeds of Earth was recently published in the UK. Two other members, Jim Steel and Paul Cockburn,  are frequent contributors  to Interzone, while Neil Williamson, who's  had a fair number of stories published in that magazine and elsewhere, has a short story collection out and co-edited the anthology of Scottish SF Nova Scotia. And let's not forget Bill King, author of numerous novels for Games Workshop.

And in the middle of all that is Fergus, whose career stalled way back when, not because he wasn't as good a writer as the rest of us, but because sometimes shit happens. If not for fate, Fergus's books would have been up there on the Waterstones sf shelves next to books by me, Bill, Hal and Mike. That is why $2 for the ebook is an extraordinary bargain. Buy it. Or read it online and, if you like it, tell people about it.


Final cover for Empire of Light

Just saw the final cover for Empire of Light tweeted by my editor at Tor UK, Julie Crisp, and it does look good - in fact, it might be a contender for my favourite cover yet.


Well, I'm very sad to hear of the demise of Sofanauts. I think it was pretty much the first podcast I ever listened to, and that was only a month or two back. I listened to it sometimes when I was out walking or at certain points during long cycling trips I took along Taipei's extensive network of riverside cycling paths, and had started to really look forward to each episode.

But it only had 500 listeners, which amazes me. The sofanauts web page has links to every single episode over the past year, and I highly recommend checking out pretty much every single one (although I'll have to admit I'm still working my way through them myself). Great stuff, with lots of interviews with the likes of Richard Morgan and Jeff Vandermeer, and as close as you can get to watching a con panel without actually being at a con.