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A new book, an older book, and one not yet written

The Brane of the Space Pirates - digital coverAs you probably already know, my latest book, The Brane of the Space Pirates, was released last month. It’s had a few sales and already has one review on Amazon (5 stars! Thanks, Adrian). For an indie book by an unknown author who really doesn’t do much by way of marketing, I don’t think that’s too bad.

DogTaleseBook11-13aThe big activity, however, has been on Wattpad, an online community that offers readers free access to stories on their computers or mobile devices. I’d never heard of Wattpad until the nice lady who volunteered to edit several of my books suggested I give it a try (Thanks, Rowan). I figured another outlet to get my books noticed can’t be bad. I chose to upload An Android Dog’s Tale mainly because the book is organized as a chronological series of short stories, all featuring the same main character (an artificial dog). I thought this would make it especially suitable to read on smart phones and tablets. Wattpad made it one of their featured science fiction offerings last month, and it has had over 3,000 reads and almost 200 ‘votes’ since! I’m quite pleased by this, although I can’t honestly say what it signifies or if will lead to more readers for the rest of my books.

As for my next project, I have a novel in very early planning stages, which means I have notes on setting, characters, and plot, but I haven’t fleshed any of them out as of yet. In the meantime, I’m working on a series of short stories. I’ve completed one, a second just needs some editing and prose-polishing, and am working on a draft of a third, with plans for a few more. I haven’t quite decided what to do with these, but I have to be writing something.

Release of The Scarecrow’s Brane

ScarecrowCover1aThe Scarecrow’s Brane, the second adventure of the Brane Child, will be released on 3 July 2015.

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The Story: Commander Lisa Chang and the crew of the experimental spaceship Brane Child make a hasty emergency landing on a planet that resembles Oz and accidentally open Emerald City to the covetous ambitions of tyrannical Red Witch of the South. The only way to fix the mess they’ve made is to embark on a hazardous journey through the Wild Lands to Munchkinland, where Lisa must somehow convince the Great and Powerful Blue Wizards of the East to construct a new protector for Emerald City.

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The digital edition of this book can now be preordered for only 99¢ (U.S.) from any of these fine online retailers:

Please note, regardless of where this book is sold, it is in one of the contemporary dialects of American English.

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Questions and Answers about this book:

How does this book relate to your previous books?
The Scarecrow’s Brane is a sequel to Brane Child. Like the previous book, this one is positive science fiction—upbeat, hopeful, and sometimes even funny. There is also a smidgeon of cultural satire. In this episode, the crew finds themselves in a land a bit like Oz with lots of characters and situations from other stories and fairy tales.

Why is it only 99¢?
As far as my writing is concerned, I’m more concerned with obtaining readers than I am with making money. Everyone should have access to stories they enjoy regardless of their finances, and the price for the digital edition is the lowest many eBook distributors will allow. (The paperback editions are more because of the cost of printing.) The low cost does not imply a short book or poor editing. The trade paperback edition of The Scarecrow’s Brane is 328 pages or about 80,000 words. (For comparison, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Fahrenheit 451 are each about 47,000 words. Tolstoy’s War and Peace is over 587,000 words. My books tend to be around the same length as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone or Terry Pratchett’s earlier Discworld books. They are also edited, revised, and extensively proofread prior to publication to meet or exceed reader expectations.)

So, What comes next?
The next book in this series will be the third and final I currently have planned for it. All I can tell you right now is that it will bring Lisa and her crew somewhere unexpected.

Brane Child will be released on 21 December 2014

TBraneChildDigital10-14his is a story of humanity venturing into the unknown, as it has always done. One step leads to another, but not all are as sturdy as one might hope. Sometimes you just have to put your foot forward and hope for the best.

The Brane Skip Device, which may allow a spaceship to skip between layers of reality, bypass normal space, and avoid the universal speed limit—the speed of light—is unproven. The theory behind it is poorly understood. Lisa Chang, mission commander for its first crewed test, doesn’t trust it. It seems like magic to her, and she doesn’t believe in magic—not even after the ship skips to a fantasy version of Earth, complete with dragons, orcs, and wizards. This, ultimately, is her greatest advantage.

The release date for Brane Child is 21 December 2014 at the astoundingly low price of just 99¢ for digital editions.

The prices of all of my other books in eBook formats are also just 99¢ from now through December. (Due to the cost of production, prices for paper formats are not discounted and remain significantly higher.)

Brane Child is available for preorder here:
Amazon (US) Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PIPTRIS
Amazon (UK) Link: www.amazon.co.uk/Brane-Child-Science-Fiction-Counter-Fantasy-ebook/dp/B00PIPTRIS/
Smashwords Link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/492149

Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes Books, and other online retailers should also be accepting preorders soon. The trade paperback edition of the book is not available for preorder but will be released on or about the same time.

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Questions and Answers about this book:

How does this book relate to your previous books?
In the immortal words of Monty Python, it’s ‘something completely different’. Well, Okay, maybe not completely different. I am still the author and it falls firmly in the same ‘counter-fantasy’ subgenre of science fiction that my other books do, but the setting and characters are new and (I think) original. It is positive science fiction—upbeat, hopeful, and sometimes even a bit funny. There is also a smidgeon of cultural satire. My goal for this book was to combine science, history, philosophy, fantasy, games, and humor into a satisfying story about stories.

A story about stories?
Yes, in part. It is about how readers shape stories as much as writers do. The writer sketches the characters and settings, but the reader completes them. No two readers experience exactly the same story. Brane Child is about how beliefs and expectations shape perspective. It touches on human achievement, quantum physics (specifically M-theory), and the idea that reality is much more complex than it seems. The physics (and metaphysics) are warped a bit (Okay, more than a bit) to fit this particular story, but I believe there is a thought or two in here that some people will find intriguing. I also think it’s a fun story.

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And now for a short video..

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