April 2022 Archives

Just a quick note: I am not blogging right now—at least until the end of April, most likely until this point in mind-May—because I am 2/3 of the way through the final draft of Season of Skulls, book 3 of the New Management: it's due in at the end of the month, or in any case some time in May, for publication in May 2023. (It already exists as a book, this is a final polishing pass with some additional scenes adding into it to make the continuity work better.)

After SoS is baked I also have to finish a half-written novella, A Conventional Boy, about Derek the DM; it got steamrollered by two novels going through production in the past year. I can't multitask on writing projects, so the lower-priority job (a novella) got shelved temporarily.

Normal service will be resumed by June at the latest; in the meantime, if you think the last thread on the Ukraine war is getting too cumbersome, feel free to colonize the comments on this one.

Empire Games cover

The Merchant Princes series is on the shortlist for the Hugo Award for best series, winner to be announced at Chicon 8, the World Science Fiction Convention in Chicago, this September 1st-5th.

I'd like to congratulate all the nominees, in all the various categories: the full list is here.

For the first three omnibus books in the Merchant Princes series, you can do worse than start here; for the Empire Games trilogy—originally pitched as Merchant Princes: The Next Generation—you can find it here.

(Links go to Amazon ebook format, US store: you can find 'em elsewhere, in the UK and EU as well. I'm going to talk to the folks at Tor about providing series purchase links and links to other stores presently.)

For reasons which should be obvious, I'm going to do my best to get to Chicago this September. Usual caveats apply: it's an 8-9 hour flight from Edinburgh (although there are ofteen direct flights, so no extra airports to traverse in the middle), there's a pandemic on, and who the hell knows what hopeful mutants will emerge in the next five or six months. Getting to attend my first in-person worldcon since 2019 would be good, but Not Dying is my absolute priority.

Today is April 2nd. There's a good reason I skipped blogging on April 1st: the actual news right now is both sufficiently ghastly and surreal that any attempt at satire either falls flat or runs victim to Poe's Law.

(I did hatch a relatively harmless idea for a non-depressing April Fool's jape—an announcement that I'd decided my fiction was too depressing, so I was going to pivot to writing Squeecore (albeit with Lovecraftian features), but then I described it to a friend and he pointed out that Dead Lies Dreaming was already Squeecore with Lovecraftian features, so the joke's on me.)

I have real difficulty writing fiction during periods when the Wrong Sort of History is Happening. The Ukraine invasion completely threw me off my stride, so the novella I was attempting to write the second half of is still unfinished and I'm behind schedule on the final draft of Season of Skulls.

But when life hands you lemons you might as well make lemonade, so here's what I learned from my most recent month of doomscrolling.



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