Westercon in Tempe, AZ this past weekend was truly wonderful. My update would be more thorough but for almost having died yesterday on the way home. I’m not really sure what happened (you know the thing about short term memory not getting written when interrupted by serious enough trauma) except that I was headed home on AZ 71 when my car was struck by the trailer of an 18 wheeler headed in the opposite direction. The first thing I remember is the sense of my face being burned by the air bag, the windshield coming apart, and a sense that the car was spinning rapidly.
All the side curtain airbags deployed. It took about an hour to pry me out of the vehicle. My only injury–at least that has surfaced thus far–is a cracked/bruised rip and lots of bruises/cuts/sore achy stuff.
I got my first ever (and, I hope, last) ambulance ride, was treated, and released. BTW, at that hospital, released basically means being pitched out the door and being told “there is no taxi here, but the _____ hotel is right up the road, there.”
My eternal thanks to Arizona Department of Public Safety Officer R. Hover, Badge No. 10123 who called me after discharge to find me to return my CPAP machine, found me by the side of the road, and saw that I got to the hotel safely.
More when I am feeling better. Excuse the lack of further updates and convention news until then.
It’s been so long since I’ve posted that you folks would be justified in concluding that I’ve gone to that great Science Fiction Convention in the sky to commune with Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein. That, would, in fact, be interesting because I know Asimov didn’t believe in heaven, but I digress.
In any event, I’ve had some horrific health problems, the details of which are too boring and unpleasant to relate here, including a few surgical procedures. Some of the issues–out of control diabetes, sleep apnea, leg infections, narcolepsy, and other stuff–all messed with my brain and made writing difficult or impossible.
I am on the mend, though, and have been getting some writing done. So, here’s the news that people ask me for in virtually every forum in which I appear on line on an almost daily basis–what’s coming from my pen.
What is most asked about is the next Max Robichaux novel, To Stations My Lads. It is a ways out–expect it sometime next year. I am hoping to get it to the publisher before Thanksgiving.
To whet the appetite, there will be a novella soon: “The Hunters of Vermin,” a prequel to the novels and a follow on to my earlier novella, “Deadly Nightshade.” It’s another tale of the young Max Robichaux and his adventures after being kidnapped by the Vaaach and transported 14,000 light years to the Crux-Centaurus arm of the galaxy. I’m trying to get it done in the next few weeks. I may post a sample shortly.
I’ve got convention news, as well, but I’ll put that in a separate post to make things easier for the search engines.
Thank you for your patience. It has been a difficult two years. There were times when I literally thought I was going to lose my toe if not my foot or even my leg. But, it seems that I’m going to get to keep all of my limbs for now. And, those of you who saw me hobbling around at CONDORCON with a cane several months ago will be glad to know that the cane is in the garage gathering dust. I’m walking just fine and, in fact, am walking 45 minutes a day on the treadmill.
See you soon!
I just put up the fifth “Beer or Coffee with the Author” Video–this one about the Gynophage and the Krag. I made some changes on camera angle, etc.
As of yesterday, I am now an Active Member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the professional association of those people who have proved to the organization that they have sold works of SF or Fantasy in the English language to real writers’ markets (or to the public at large) and have received substantial payment for their work. There are just under 1800 members. This is a credential in the Science Fiction and Fantasy world that says that the member is a “real writer,” and is important if only for that reason, not to mention that it makes the member’s works eligible for the prestigious Nebula Award and allows the member to participate in other activities.
Yea, it’s just a “credential.” BUT, it is a crredential that I’ve wanted for a long time and that I am very pleased to receive.
Westercon68 has just published the rates for attending part of the conference. This is a good option for those who don’t desire to have free run of the joint for the whole event but who would like to stop in for a while. Here they are, cut and pasted from the Westercon68 web site by me in the most creative fashion, exactly as one would expect of a novelist.
At The Door and Day Membership Rates
Published June 18, 2015 | By Ron Oakes
Westercon 68 / Conjecture 13 / Conchord 27 rates after June 30, 2015 are as follows
Attending: Thurs-Sun1 $85.00
Thursday Only $30.00 2
Friday Only $40.00 2
Saturday Only $40.00 2
Sunday Only $25.00
Two-day Rates Total of the 2 one-day rates
1 Also covers any three day period as the day rates would be more.
2 There will be a discount rate available for the evening only. These will be set and posted shortly.
The Programming organizers at Westercon68 (July 2-5, Town and Country Resort and Convention Center, San Diego, CA), just sent me the Participant Questionnaire, on which I indicate which of the proposed panel discussions and other programming activities in which I would like to participate. Not only were many of these things discussions in which I would love to be a panelist, the overwhelming majority were topics that I would gladly pay to be a member of the audience to see them discussed.
Topics range from questions that arise in Science Fiction such as “why would any aliens want to invade us in the first place,” to questions about future societies, being in love with a vampire or a zombie (a common problem in SOCAL, I hear), and issues in writing and publishing SF and Fantasy. The topics are well-conceived and are likely to produce lots of lively discussion among the panelists as well as audience interest.
It is still a few weeks before I know what panels will be afflicted with my participation and what the schedule of that participation will be. You may be assured, however, that I will post my schedule here, on my Facebook pages, and on my Amazon dot com author page.
I am truly looking forward to this and hope to see some of you in San Diego.
To learn more about Westercon68 or to pay the fee that lets you attend, go to one of these sites:
My first novel, To Honor You Call Us, has been “nominated” for the Best Science Fiction Novel of 2014 on Goodreads. It is one of fifteen nominations for this award which is made based entirely on fan voting. Although there are some truly excellent books in the lineup, I would appreciate my readers at least considering voting for my book. You can do so here: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-science-fiction-books-2014.
As far as I can tell, the “nominations” are based purely on the book’s metrics on Goodreads–what the average rating is, how many reviews, how many ratings, etc. The book’s average rating of 4.13 stars out of 5 places it fourth among the nominated books. I would be overjoyed to finish fourth in the voting–I think it would represent a huge boost in the book’s visibility and would also be a a nice selling point for the launch of the third book in a few months.
Anyway, I would be grateful for your consideration in this race. Please cast your vote in this first round of voting by November 8, 2014. I will make an announcement in this space telling you how the book did in this round.
[UPDATE: Thanks to everyone who voted. My book did not make it to the finals but, neither did it finish last or even second to last in the voting. Actually, I did about as well as I expected given the comparatively modest sales of the book to date in comparison to the sales of the books against which it was competing. Congratulations to Andy Weir, author of The Martian which won the award and which was, in fact, the book I predicted would win (it was, I believe, the most deserving).]
After many false starts, interruptions, detours, and other delays from illness, moving, shipping my daughter off to college, and otherwise, Brothers in Valor is within striking distance of being written. The publisher and I have agreed on a deadline of September 25, 2014 for the first draft manuscript to be complete, and it is looking as though I’m going to get it done by then. If experience is any teacher, it will take Conceptual Editor Mike Shohl (a true pro) and I about a month to get through the edits, all of which would put the book in the hands of readers sometime in the first quarter of 2015.
I’m expecting that the publisher (47North) will give me a publication date after Mike and I furnish a date by which we expect to be done with our part of the project.
I promise you guys that the gap between this book and the next (there WILL be more books about Max, Bram, and the rest!) will be much shorter. I’m hoping to put out a book every six to ten months after that.
My wife, who has published more than a dozen successful Planetary Romance/Fantasy novels, has just published her latest: the concluding volume of the “Orbs of Rathira” Trilogy, Quest for the Heart Orb. Your humble blogger played a very small role in editing this very exciting offering–I think it’s a great book for people who like space fantasy adventures told from a more feminine perspective than my own testosterone-soaked tomes. I have never had an interest in the genre, but I have fun reading these books. You can check it out on its Amazon page here: http://www.amazon.com/Quest-Heart-Orbs-Rathira-Book-ebook/dp/B00L6L4G2A/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1403467180&sr=1-1
The page for the first book of the trilogy, Quest for the Moon Orb is here: http://www.amazon.com/Quest-Moon-Orb-Orbs-Rathira-ebook/dp/B008XAJXFM/ref=la_B006D208TC_1_12?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1403467257&sr=1-12.