A Sample Chapter of The Ghost Brigades


This is another one of those “no one tells the author anything” moments: Apparently Holtzbrinck, the publishing multinational which owns Tor Books, has a blog thingie called Chapter Feeds, on which, as you might surmise from the name, are posted sample chapters from various books that are published within the warm and friendly confines of the Holtzbrinck empire, with the hope that you’ll be so taken with the chapter that you’ll rush out and buy the book.

And today, the chapter they put up was mine: The first chapter of The Ghost Brigades, right there for you to peruse. You know, if you want. Not that I was told this was going to happen, of course. Not like I might want to direct people there. Harumph, harumph.

Anyway, the Chapter Feed site is actually quite nice and friendly, and the chapters posted have a nice range of subjects to them (for SF fans, in addition to my chapter, there’s a chapter of Toby Buckell’s Crystal Rain up as well). My only complaint as an author is that the site doesn’t provide a book seller link with the sample chapters, which seems to me a lost opportunity. I mean, if you’re going to try to give the reader an itch, you might as well make it as easy as possible for her to scratch. But otherwise, nifty.

So you haven’t already picked up TGB (or, for that matter, Crystal Rain), now’s your chance to get a free taste. Entirely legally! Enjoy.

Book Report

Crunch time writing on The Last Colony is going well, I think; I’ve been setting some lofty output goals for myself and have been keeping them, which makes me happier, and the majority of what I’m writing is not crap, which makes me happier still. As I noted earlier, TLC was slippy at the start; it kept trying to get away from me. Well, now I’ve pinned the little bastard, right through the spleen, so he can’t get away. The goal for me right now is to get as much as possible done in the next couple of weeks, so I have a little time at the end to buff and polish and argue with God before I send the manuscript off to the true highest authority, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, my editor at Tor, hallowed be his name.

I think I’ve mentioned before that my method to writing novels is to have a few big events I know I have to hit, but have no clue how I’m going to get from one point to the next, and then I make things up as I go along. I do this because it’s more fun for me than knowing exactly what’s going to happen at every turn (and indeed, the TLC story has developed some twists and turns that I didn’t expect, but which I think are advantageous) but because it allows me to be rapaciously opportunistic. If I make something up that works, I get to keep working with it without worrying too much about the consequences to my outline (so long as I hit those big events I’m supposed to). It’s interesting to see what happens.

I’m not going to give you any real indication of what’s going on in the book (except to say an adjudication concerning goats occurs early on), but I will say this: twisty, twisty. You can take that to mean whatever you like.

Back to it. I have a lot more writing to get to today and tomorrow before I can feel comfortable not doing a lot of writing over the weekend (because I’ll be at Readercon). Off I go.