Now, About That Novella

Since people seem to be curious about it, here’s what’s up with the novella I just finished.

First: It’s called The God Engines. If the title seems vaguely familiar to fans/stalkers/others, it would be because last year Locus suggested in one of its upcoming title features that I would have a novella with that title for sale in April ’09 (i.e., right now). That information was a result of a miscommunication; nobody’s fault, it just happens.

Second: It’s fantasy. Why fantasy? Well, because I’d never written fantasy before, and I thought it would be interesting to try, and writing something novella-length seemed a whole lot less pressure that writing something novel length. And it was; aside from the usual procrastination issues of me being distracted by shiny objects, this one moved along nicely in the writing. It’s also dark fantasy, because I thought, hell, as long as I’m doing something different, might as well exercise a whole bunch of different writing muscles. Which brings us to our third point:

Third: It’s a lot different than what I usually write. Not just in subject matter but in tone and style and such. It’s always good to try new things to see if you can do them. And again, novella-length was a good length to try this stuff out in. I don’t doubt it’ll confuse some readers — I had that happen with “The Sagan Diary” as well, which was another short work drastically different from what I’d done before — but hey, that’s what happens from time to time.

Fourth: I’m pretty happy with it. Which is nice, because I hate working on something for a while just to figure out I don’t want anyone else on the planet to see it. This one was fun to write, as noted, but I also think it’ll be fun for people to read, and it’ll be interesting to see the reactions to it (as again, it was interesting to see the reactions to “The Sagan Diary” when people read that).

Fifth: TGE will be published by Subterranean Press as a standalone book, in the usual excellent and special-nifty Subterranean Press style, and will most likely show up either late this year or early next year. We’re still figuring out all that stuff. Quite clearly I’ll let you all know the details when I know them.

And that’s where things are with that.

23 Comments on “Now, About That Novella”

  1. Oh, crap. Another gorgeous SubPress Scalzi book I’m gonna hafta go buy and enjoy. Can’t you just stick to the free blogging? It’s easier on my wallet.

  2. Well, acknowledging you have a problem is the first step to recovery. I’m glad to see you now have your DSL line plugged in again and your priorities straight. Now where’s that 6,000 word discourse on Somali pirates we’re all waiting for?

  3. Oh, cool! Looking forward to reading it. I’ll have to google “dark fantasy” (dork fantasy of course yields the obvious results) for other works in the genre. Unless you care to recommend some.

    Guess I’ll have to finally crack the spine on Richard K Morgan’s Steel Remains while I’m at it. This is of course after finishing Starfish. Gotta go. gotta read.

  4. “Third: It’s a lot different than what I usually write. ”

    Are you saying there’s no snarky characters in it? If there’s no snark, I’m not reading it.

    (just kidding)

  5. This awesome news. Scalzi does fantasy! I’d pay to see that….oh wait, I am going to pay to see that.

  6. This will be interesting. How exactly do you put a large fart joke into a “Dark Fantasy”? I for one can’t wait to find out.

  7. Exciting news! Just curious… how long is your novella, in terms of word count? How does “novella-length” compare to “novel-length”? I’m slogging through revisions on my own project and am always curious to hear different interpretations of how long a novel is “supposed” to be.

  8. JS – really? you have you written something that you never want out? I would imagine that being the case when you started but the quality of what I have scene leads me to think you are really consistent now.

  9. JS – I really hate to pry, but is that because you cannot get into story itself? Or is it that you like the idea of the story but either the characters or structure you built for the story you discover is the problem?

    PS – it is the whole “mind of the author” when they write that I find interesting. Orson Scott Card wrote several articles/book about the subject from his point of view.

  10. Swords?
    Schools for wizards/sword-swingers/etc.?
    Magically summoned beings of great power?
    Dark rights of worship?

    Definitely interested. Looking forward to see what u did thar!

  11. Chang @ #6: The Steel Remains is excellent and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Read it now!

    And yeah, I’m going to have to buy this.

  12. When you say dark fantasy, what exactly do you mean? Vampire/werewolf romance fiction? Urban paranormal mystery? Or real, honest to god fantasy with careful world-/magic-building and deep philosophical undertones?

    Uh, yeah, I’m a bit picky.

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