2008 was a horrible year for most humans, as I understand it, but it was pretty good for me. My family and I were happy and healthy, I won a Hugo and got on the New York Times bestseller list, the guy I voted for got elected president, and for the 39th consecutive year, I was not consumed by a bear. So overall it’s hard to complain.
As for 2009, here’s what’s up.
* First things first: The High Castle, the follow-up to The Android’s Dream, has been pushed back from its planned October release date. And you ask, well, who pushed it back, Mr. Let’s-Use-the-Ambiguous-Passive-Construction? The answer is: I did. I pushed it back because it’s not ready to be seen by people who are not me, and it wouldn’t have been ready by the deadline. So it’s off the schedule until it’s ready to be seen by people who aren’t me. And since it takes a while for something to get back on the schedule once it’s been taken off, it’ll probably be a while until you see it. Don’t worry, I’m not going to go all Chinese Democracy on you. I just think you deserve good, don’t you? Sure you do.
* So what’s on the schedule for 2009? That’s an interesting question. I have lots of stuff percolating at the moment but very little I can tell you about, some of it because I need to wait for other people to make announcements, some of it because deals have yet to be made, and some of it because I’m still thinking about it. I’m not trying to be ooooooh mysterious here. I’m merely a big believer in not talking about things until they are ready to be talked about. But suffice to say I’ll make mention of at least a couple of these upcoming things relatively soon.
* That said, here are two things I can talk to you about:
- The paperback release of Zoe’s Tale, currently scheduled for 4/28/09;
- A short story, “The Tale of the Wicked,” in the New Space Opera II anthology, scheduled for 6/30/09.
For those of you wondering why I have a story in an anthology when I’ve announced that I’m withdrawing from anthologies generally, the answer that this story was already commissioned and finished before the announcement.
* Speaking of which, there’s been some confusion as to whether I plan to write any short fiction at all, since I’ve done that anthology announcement. The answer is that yes, I plan to write more short fiction, just on my own schedule, not someone else’s. This is partly due to my schedule already being pretty well filled-out, as noted before, but also, I just don’t want to contribute to some poor bastard editor’s stress level by making him or her wonder if I’m going to get my story in on time. That’s no fun, either for the editor and for me, and at this point in time I’m not sure why I need to be doing things with my short fiction that aren’t fun.
* What’s the plan for Whatever? Oh, you know: whatever. I find that this place works best if I don’t think about it too hard, I just do it. So that’s the plan. The only thing I am planning to do is to write some stuff up early and have it pop in during morning hours, because I want to get better at keeping the 8am – 2:30pm time bloc (i.e., the “hey the kid’s at school and not bugging me” bloc) free for fiction and/or pay copy. One of the reasons I took a two-week mostly-break here was give my brain a little bit of time for retraining on that front. It’s working, since this was written in advance. We’ll see if it sticks.
* As for any larger, existential goal for 2009: Well, as hinted in the stuff about short fiction, the one goal I have for 2009 is to make sure I’m having fun. 2008 was an excellent year for me, but in a number of ways it was also a stressful year. More than a little of that was due to me stressing myself out for various reasons, none of which are anywhere near interesting enough to note here now. So for 2009, when presented with something, I’m going to ask myself: Am I going to have fun with this? If the answer is “yes,” groovy. If the answer is “no,” I’ll ask, Is there a reason why I need to do this anyway? If the answer is “no,” then I’m likely not to bother. It’s a nutty idea, but it just might work. It beats being consumed by bears.
So: Onward into 2009. Let’s hope it’s good, and ursine-free, for all of us.