A Holiday Gift to You From Me and Subterranean Press

The holidays are about giving (well, actually, they’re not, but giving is what we do during the holidays, so close enough), and in that spirit, I and Subterranean Press have a gift for you. It’s a pdf version of Waiting for Athena, the printed chapbook that came as an extra with the signed, limited edition of Your Hate Mail Will Be Graded. It collects up several Whatever entries I wrote at the end of Krissy’s pregnancy with Athena, and is filled with observations from an about-to-dad, as well at the letter I wrote to Athena on the day she was born. For newer Whatever readers, it’s a glimpse at what I was like 11 years ago (yikes!), while for older readers it’s a chance to relive some stuff that hasn’t been on the site in years. And for everyone, it’s amusing to see me panic in my delightfully overthinky way about the fact I would soon be a dad. Fun for everyone!

So: Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Splendid Solstice, Delightful Non-Denominational Winter Gift-Giving season! Click here to download the pdf, or click on the image above. If you’re using Windows, you can right-click and use “save link as” to save it; I’m sure there’s some equivalent command on Macs and in Linux as well. Enjoy, and feel free to link and share.

Subterranean Press is being exceptionally groovy for letting me send Waiting for Athena out in the world to you, so allow me to plug my two current works with them for your consideration: The God Engines, my first-ever fantasy novella, and Judge Sn Goes Golfing, a special-edition signed chapbook featuring a short story set in the Android’s Dream universe. TGE is getting some of the best reviews any of my work has gotten, which makes me happy, and “Sn” is probably my personal favorite short story that I’ve written. Both are awesomely illustrated — TGE by Vincent Chong and “Sn” by the legendary Gahan Wilson –  and both are available on the SubPress site (TGE | Sn) and through Amazon (TGE | Sn), although if you want the signed limited of TGE, you’ll need to get it from Subterranean directly. Both are at the printers and will be shipped very soon (i.e., very likely before the scheduled release date on Amazon).

I’ll also note here that if you missed the hardcover edition of Hate Mail, the Tor edition is headed to stores in January. Yes, a busy couple of months for me, release-wise. That happens sometimes.

In any event, hope you have fun with Waiting for Athena, and thanks to each of you for reading Whatever and everything else. I’m glad you do.

33 thoughts on “A Holiday Gift to You From Me and Subterranean Press

  1. I read them when originally on the site and remember thinking you and your wife had the basics to be awesome parents. Glad over the years to learn I was apparently correct.

  2. Thanks a lot for making me tear up at work! Sheesh!

    (I was okay up until your letter to Athena. That was what did it.)

  3. Great timing! My wife and I are expecting our second child in early March. Looks like it will be a fun activity to fill the time until our next one comes along!

  4. Lovely! I just spent some time reading a bit of it, then skipped ahead to the ending, hoping to find out whether Krissy was able to have the experience she planned, or whether things unfolded in a completely different way. For me (I was four months pregnant when Athena was born) I definitely had opinions about how things would and should go…

  5. 1) Thank you.

    2) “Now I’m off to call CitiBank and complain…” was a genuine spray-the-monitor moment. You utter, utter bastard. (I say that in tones of reverent awe).

  6. Thank you for sharing Waiting For Athena. I’m still wiping my eyes here. The letter, in particular was so beautiful and touching. My best friends are due to become first time parents in the next few weeks so I’ll be passing it along to them.

    I know I don’t need to tell you, but I’ll say it anyway – your wife is made of awesome. And for the record, from where I’m sitting you’ve turned out to be a damn good father. If every kid out there was as smart and well rounded as yours seems to be, the world would be a much better place.

    I’m looking forward to The God Engines so much that I’ve already mentally spent the book tokens I’m hoping to get for Christmas (SO the best present EVER!) on it.

  7. Thank you for bringing the books on Subterranean to my attention.
    I just ordered them.

    Damn you for bringing the books on Subterranean to my attention.
    I just ordered them and a bunch of other Subterranean-published stuff.

    Thank goodness the Aussie dollar is not to far off the US dollar at the moment.
    (the only good thing to come out of the financial crisis)

  8. Thank you!
    My kids are 33 and 30 now, but I still remember their births and how amazing and joyful that instant falling in love moment was: you captured it perfectly.
    Now I have grandchildren, and I am delighted to say that the instant falling in love thing happens with them, as well.
    Loved the Citibank section!

  9. Thank you, John! I have been somewhat reluctant to give out the physical chapbook to people for fear their kids will think it’s a toy and decorate shred eat my only copy, so the PDF is appreciated. Muchly.

    MarkHB @11 wrote:

    […] You utter, utter bastard. (I say that in tones of reverent awe).

    That’s “saintly bastard” or perhaps “bastard saint” to the likes of you and I, thankyouverymuch.

  10. I read the first couple of entries at lunch and putting this down was tough.
    My kids are 24 and 26 but the way the entries flow gives me that “I remember that” feeling.

    Thanks for the present

  11. Thanks for that! I’m relatively new to your blog so hadn’t heard of WFA before… in reality my husband and I aren’t ready for kids yet but that compilation made me WANT to be ready.
    And I agree with Laz, your wife is made of Awesome :-)
    Happy holidays to you and yours!

  12. I’ve already read the chapbook – got it with Hate Mail – but that cover pic always makes me smile.

  13. Can’t wait to read it! While you waited for Athena, I was waiting for my own little bundle of independent, beautiful, creative, etc. etc. girl fun. It should be quite a read.

  14. Wow. I had actually forgotten about Judge Sn. Which I pre-ordered back in the mists of history. Yay me!

    Also looking forward to The God Engines.

  15. Interestig to read. There are not that many musings of a mindful father out there.

    I still remember the day my godchild, Miranda Elizabeth, came home from the hospital. Her dad looked at her sleeping form and said “When can I pick her up?”

    “Any time you want to — it won’t wake her up.”

    So he lifted the pink, blanket wrapped bundle and crossed to the couch, where he sat down and looked at her little form in his arms.

    “She has to learn to type” he said. “She can’t learn to program unless she can type.”

    John Taylor was a fine and mindful father. I do believe she learned to type.

  16. Thanks John.

    Your story was for me a rather poignant reminder of just how exhilarating and joyful being an expectant father was. Unfortunately for my partner and me the joy ended just on 12 days ago when she miscarried at 3 months. Since then it has been pretty dark and we try not to be overwhelmed by the darkness but we know pain is part of the healing process. It is a bit of a cliche but life does go on and some are days are even good. We will try again and hopefully someday soon we will also know the elation at holding a child of our own. In the meantime, truly, thank you for your story. It has helped with the healing. You’ve expressed exactly how I was feeling when I found out I was going to be a father and whatever the future holds that feeling is something I will always cherish. Thank you for reminding me of that.

  17. Mac Users:

    Control-click the link and hit “save link as”. That’ll bring up the save dialogue. Hit “okay” and the PDF will download.

    Maybe around comment 198 somebody will tell people how to download the file using Linux.

  18. Are “God Engines” and the Judge Sn books going to be available through Webscriptions like “Hate Mail” and “Coffee Shop” are?

    Louann, unconventional abbreviator of long titles.

  19. Thanks for the gift.

    Your comment about the lack of books geared at ‘normal’ fathers hit the spot! When my wife was pregnant with our first baby (we have three, you should see the pictures) she read a MASSIVE amount of books. English, French, American, New Age whatever. None of them had information geared for me! In fact in some of the the New Age books the word father never appeared!

    Sensing my frustration my wife finally found a book called ‘The Expectant Father’. While not perfect the book covers the phases that a father-to-be goes through during his wife’s pregnancy. I’ve lent it to friends over the years and I know it’s making the rounds.

  20. Awww, dude, you went and made me cry.

    Thanks for sharing, though; they were good tears. Like commenter #6 (Kiran) I was fine until I got to your letter to Athena.

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