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New Guest Blogger: Linda Nagata

While I (Charlie) am on vacation for most of a month, you might have noticed some familiar faces popping up to guest-blog here. But variety is good, and so I have a new guest blogger for you: Linda Nagata.

Linda Nagata is the author of multiple novels and short stories including The Bohr Maker, winner of the Locus Award for best first novel, and the novella "Goddesses," the first online publication to receive a Nebula award. Though best known for science fiction, she writes fantasy too, exemplified by her "scoundrel lit" series Stories of the Puzzle Lands. Her newest science fiction novel is The Red: First Light, a near-future military thriller published under her own imprint, Mythic Island Press LLC. Linda has spent most of her life in Hawaii, where she's been a writer, a mom, a programmer of database-driven websites, and lately a publisher and book designer. She lives with her husband in their long-time home on the island of Maui.

(I nearly missed her books completely — they have barely been published in the UK. By some freakish accident I stumbled across a copy of "Vast" a few years ago, began reading—and was hooked; first by the chutzpah of the concept presented in the first few pages (how you keep the crew of a slower-than-light starship working for years on end) and then by the rest of her far-future vision. Which seems to me to be unjustly neglected, as it compares well to the works of, for example, Al Reynolds.)

Anyway, I invite you to give a big welcome to Linda Nagata!



I signed into the damned comments system just so I could tell you how awesome this was. I read Deception Well and Vast back to back, and they just made me gape in wonder. I don't know why she hasn't received more attention. I'm looking forward to her posts.


Very very happy that Linda Nagata will be blogging here!

Question for her (before she has a chance to say hello? Is this obnoxious behavior on my part, or simply unbridled enthusiasm?) --

Question: Is the US "Young Adult" classification an exciting market? Or is it simply confusing? Has Internet engagement helped to free you from such dubious categorization?

Mahalo, y'all!


OK, I'll bite ... How do you ... "keep the crew of a slower-than-light starship working for years on end" ??

Other than: "You'll all starve if you don't." ?


Hi Linda, I'm a long time fan (loved the Nanotech Succession books) and a fellow graduate of the UofH (Hawaii Institute of Geophysics). Welcome to Charlie's sometimes unruly, but never dull, house.


Pony up $5.99 and read Vast to find out.


Welcome Linda. I read The Bohr Maker during the just-gone Easter weekend and enjoyed it immensely - and I can see from that book why Charlie was so impressed by your work. I look forward to your posts here.

(Scrabbles off to Amazon to order a few more volumes.)


Exactly the same experience here, regarding Vast. A book that's always stucx with me, and I keep intending to get more books by Nagata.


Curious about your experience publishing your own books under Mythic Island Press. What led you to this path and how is it working for you compared to traditional presses?


Greg - see this sample. Spoiler-free, as it's the first few pages of the book:


Since Charlie highlighted that in the introduction, I suspect you may get an answer to that.

Remember that his recent article was "Why I don't self-publish". Not why anyone else shouldn't, though certain members of the commentariat seemed to have difficulty grasping that.


Greetings, and I must say I vastly enjoyed reading your books. I don't suppose you're going to be filling in the blanks between the fall of the Commonwealth and the arrival of the Bursters? No?


Hi Linda. I'm delighted you will be guest-blogging here.


Well, this is an unexpected pleasure. To those who have not read "Vast" in particular or Linda Nagata's work in general: please give yourself the pleasure of doing so as soon as you can.


Charlie: suggestion on the site. Can the XML feed (as read by Livejournal - eg ) also include the author of the posting? Now you have a lot of wonderful guest bloggers, it'd be nice to have the feed indicate the author of the piece :-)


sweh: I'm using google reader and do see the author of the article in the feed reader for Charlie's site.


I've no idea how to set that up and I am not interrupting a vacation to mess around with Movable Type.


@net.root - what URL are you using for the feed? The data isn't in the index.xml file at all:

$ wget -q $ grep What.are.words.worth index.xml <title>What are words worth?</title> $ grep Sperr index.xml $

So we can see the title of one of Kari's post, but not the author.

@Charlie - I wasn't expecting an immediate fix :-) Just something to put on the back burner to think about when you have the desire to bang your head against a brick wall :-)


Linda Nagata is one of those writers I've been thinking of reading for years, but my To Read pile is too high as it is. I guess I'll just have to go out and find some of her books and insert them into it.


Well, I've already bought and read The Bohr Maker... Worth it.

;) My two highest-reliability filters for new fiction are OGH's choice of guests, and Mike at Transreal ;)


One time while browsing at a book store I came across this book with a hideous yellow cover titled Vast. I guess it was a successful tactic for the cover designer since I did pick up the book, found the blurb intriguing, and was completely hooked by the opening pages that described how the captain of the Null Boundary kept himself from being bored by year after year of sublight interstellar travel, while also hinting at many of the wonders in her complex, original, and unsettling vision of the future. I went on to find and read most of the other books that Linda Nagata had published at that time (The Bohr Maker, Deception Well, Limit of Vision).

I also must highly recommend Nagata's novel Memory, a far-future science fiction novel that reads like fantasy, although it is unconnected to the story arc of The Bohr Maker/Deception Well/Vast.


Wow. Its been ages since I read the Bohr Maker. I remember largely enjoying it except for one thing - what the hell happened to communications satellites? Aerostats? Little things like that because IIRC most communications got run through the beanstalk.

Anyway, I think I'll go rummage through the large internet store named for a river our host dislikes so.

I know.

I have gift cards is all I can say.


Wow! Thank you all for so many kind words. It's really appreciated.

To answer some questions, and starting with Waters at #2, the US YA market confuses me. I thought I'd written a YA novel with Skye Object, but now I think it's more middle-grade. Everything else I've written is adult, though Memory can be treated as YA.

Hi wishamc! and Go Warriors! I never used to watch football when I actually went to U of Hawaii, but that's changed.

dkittrell, bellinghman is right. See my guest post for why I've gone with self-publishing.

resuna, "Never say never" right? I've done a couple of short stories in the Nanotech Succession story world as a way of wading back in.

Steve, I was actually really happy with the cover art for Vast. I loved Bruce Jensen's work. He had the copyright on the art, so when I got ready to re-issue the Nanotech Succession books, he re-did the covers for me, but without the neon framing. He'd never been happy with that either.

That's again for the warm welcome!


Hugely happy to have been turned on to this - the Bohr Maker is absolutely excellent and I have acquired the rest of the nanotech sequence. The ability to do this is exactly why even though Amazon is evil, the new publishing is a force for good.


Oh, that name. The Null Boundary is one of the aptest names for a starship I've ever seen in SF. I find it mildly amusing that a Wikipedia search for "Null Boundary" now gives you a hit for Vast before anything relating to relativity...



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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on April 8, 2013 3:03 AM.

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