The Android’s Dream Review at SFRevu

Lest I forget to mention the novel I actually have coming out this month, there’s another review of The Android’s Dream, over at SFRevu. I’ll note to you prior to linking that the review has spoilers in it, in the fourth paragraph, so I recommend sort of letting your eye slide past that particular graph. I have a suspicion that these two spoilers are going to crop up in a lot of reviews (one or both have already in the majority of the reviews I’ve seen), which is a little frustrating since I like pointing to reviews but don’t want to give away these plot points, which, you know, I kinda want people to find out on their own. Ah, well. Anyway: Spoilers. Here’s the link.

Aside from this, it’s a fine review. Here’s a quote I like:

What I liked about The Android’s Dream, apart from the engaging characters and action that are a hallmark of the author’s work, was the way it all built up to its punchline… I’m convinced that this book was written from the punch line backwards to the beginning, which is the only way all the disparate elements could have tied together so well at the end.

I’m delighted that the reviewer (Ernest Lilly) thinks that book is well-designed, since I happen to be of the opinion that structurally it’s probably the tightest book I’ve written; the “Old Man” trilogy of books have deeper themes than this one, but this one is calibrated like a sports car, to go fast and handle the curves. Having said that, in fact I wrote it pretty much like I write all my books, which is that I have some idea of the opening, some idea of the ending, and a couple of neat scenes in the middle, and no idea how I’m going to get from one to the other. One of the nice things about writing this way is that you can retrofit as you go, and at the end it looks fairly seamless. During the production, however: what a mess. But you only have my word for that. If I’m doing my job, it looks like I know what the Hell I was doing from the start.


The Last Colony Auction Winner; Announcing “The Sagan Diary”

All right, now it’s official: The winner of the auction for the super-exclusive edition of The Last Colony is Bill Schafer, publisher of Subterranean Press, who bid $5,000 for the book. So that’s $5,000 that’s going to the John M. Ford Book Endowment. I’m happy and flabbergasted at that amount. Happy because this helps Mike Ford’s memory will now be honored in perpetuity in the best way: by funding reading at a public library; flabbergasted because, dude, someone bought something I wrote for $5,000. That’s a not insignificant amount of money. So many thanks to Bill for fronting that sort of cash.

Now, it takes nothing from Bill’s remarkable generosity to note that in addition to The Last Colony, he was also interested in the fact that I promised that I would write a short story for the winner of the auction if the bids got to $5,000 or above. He’s been interested in having me write a story for him in the “Old Man’s” universe, not unlike what I did in “Questions for a Soldier,” and this was (heh) a fine way to get me to agree to do it. And I have.

So: I’d like to announce pre-ordering is available for “The Sagan Diary,” a novelette-length (approx. 12,500 to 15,000 words) tale, told from the view of Jane Sagan, that takes place between the events of The Ghost Brigades and The Last Colony. This novelette marks the first (and only) time I’ve told a story from the first-person position of Jane Sagan herself, and I can promise that this will be a most interesting view into the “Old Man” universe. I don’t think I’ve made any secret that in many ways I think of the “Old Man” series is about Jane; she’s the only character in all three novels, and she grows in each of them. So now having an excuse to get inside her head fills me with glee. I’m looking forward to sharing this with you all.

(For those of you who might be worried that Bill is somehow taking advantage of my generosity by getting a story from me and then turning around and selling it, I’ll note Bill is treating the $5k like an advance, and that if that’s recouped, he’ll be splitting the profits from the sale with me. This strikes me as an entirely fair deal.)

“The Sagan Diary” will be published in February, 2007 but is available for preorder now, and will be available to two editions: A fully bound cloth hardcover for $20 (it says $25 on the announcement page but $20 on the order page, so I’ll go with the price on the order page), and a signed, leatherbound edition for $45. Both will also be nicely illustrated and will come to about 100 or so pages; they’ll be very attractive little books to add to your official collection.

The signed deluxe edition also comes with a nifty twist: If you pre-order the signed edition, you’ll be added into the book itself on a special “In Memoriam” page as a member of 3rd Platoon, Company D, whose fate will play a role “The Sagan Diary.” So if you want to officially be a part of the “Old Man” universe, this is how to do it.

One other thing: If you get the signed edition, and you have contributed any amount to the John M. Ford Book Endowment, let Subterranean know; they’ll knock $5 off the signed edition. It’s Bill’s way of saying thanks for supporting the endowment. If you haven’t contributed to the endowment yet, you can go here to do so. I do hope you’ll contribute regardless.

If you’d like to pre-order “The Sagan Diaries,” here’s the Subterranean Press order page.

I also want to thank everyone who bid on The Last Colony. I was honored and humbled that so many of you were willing to put down hundreds of dollars, both to get a crack at the novel and to benefit Mike Ford’s legacy. For both of these, I do thank you from my heart. You are good people, and I am glad to know you.

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