Mobilization News (blog)

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November 6, 2015

The Sad Puppies of Gin Street or Does a Hugo Award Boost Book Sales?

Until 2015 it had been decades since I’d paid much attention to the Hugos, which I’d say are still the most prestigious awards in science fiction. Like the Oscars, the Hugos have always courted controversy and always will. What’s been different over the past three years is that the most recent Hugo spat to emerge now has social media as both a battlefield to fight over and a way to whip up hatred for the ‘opposing side’ into levels of frothing madness that have at times brought shame upon the science fiction community. Furthermore the mutual recriminations on social media sparked a pamphlet war, as we shall see in a moment. I put ‘opposing side’ in quotes because we’re all science fiction book lovers here on this website, and I like to think that we’re too grown-up at humanlegion.com to […]
November 6, 2015

War Against the White Knights: teaser#1

It’s been a tough week in the Human Legion writing shed (pictured). Ian and I had written 18,000 words for War Against the White Knights, the fifth Human Legion book, but we needed to meet to discuss the next stage. Unfortunately, I’ve been too ill this week to write books. Every writer is different, but for me I find it relatively easy to get my head in a place where I can come up with story ideas, but to get in the mental place where I can craft scenes effectively and efficiently is much harder. In a good working day dedicated to writing, I might write 5,000 words of story. Half of that will come in an intense 90-minute burst when the writing is flowing easily. It feels so good, it’s difficult to describe. That 90-minute burst will not only […]
October 25, 2015

The latest science fiction bestseller charts

Here’s my latest trawl through the science fiction top 20 bestseller and bestselling author charts on amazon.com. The point of these posts is twofold. Firstly it’s an opportunity to celebrate what’s hot right now in science fiction in books (and beyond), and secondly it also gives me a few minutes to rest my brain from my day job of writing my own science fiction books. My last trawl through the charts was here, and a long-winded mission statement here. Data was captured on 24th October 2015, but I’ve been looking in on the charts most days since my last post. Authors who caught my eye this time include Douglas E. Richards, S. Harrison, Joshua V. Scher, Rysa Walker, Tim C. Taylor and Joshua Dalzelle. Spontaneous celebrations erupted throughout the world this week as people called Joshua welcomed the news that two […]
October 18, 2015

Human Empire launch update

Busy, busy, busy! That’s the situation, as usual, at Human Legion HQ. Work is underway properly on Book5, in so far as we’ve written the first chapter. Doesn’t sound like much, but we know most of how the rest of the book works, just haven’t written it down yet. And we’re very good at writing words. I’m not saying we write good words, but we can type and dictate. Our thanks to everyone who’s helped out by buying or borrowing the new book. Having a whole bunch of folk buy the book over a short period wakes up the Amazon algorithms and gets us visible in the charts so that those (rather sad, if I may say so) people who don’t follow humanlegion.com can see us and buy our books. Also, thank you to everybody who’s left reviews. Reviewing on […]
October 14, 2015

Promoting the Human Legion and cases of mistaken identity

I’m hard at work promoting the new Human Legion release, though I’ve taken time to look through the casting options for the forthcoming audiobook editions, which is great fun. When the Human Legion was at the very top of the military sf charts on amazon.com (#1 and #2) the book that knocked me off the top slot was Warship by Joshua Dalzelle. Not one to take a grudge, I read Joshua’s book and loved it. It felt good to give way to another book at least as good as mine. Some of the early reviewers likened it to Christopher Nuttall’s Ark Royal books, even calling it a copy. Well, I don’t agree. There are some surface similarities, but then the two books go their own separate ways. People said the same about Marine Cadet copying Forging Zero, despite my having written […]
October 9, 2015

Human Empire is out now

I’m very pleased to announce my first collaborative writing project, Human Empire, the fourth in the six-book Human Legion series, is now available to buy from the Amazon Kindle Store here. It’s got space battles, aliens, treachery… all the usual good stuff. We’re moving up in scale too. Ian and I wrote scenes with dozens of ships and tens of thousands of people. Admittedly, we didn’t exactly describe each person’s experience in detail, but we think there’s a greater feeling of scale in this book, something that’s going to get even bigger with the next one. As normal, the book will initially be on sale for a bargain launch price of 99c/99p or local equivalent for at least a few days. I’ve been told off by fans for making my books too cheap. We’re doing the launch price discount partially to reward readers of […]
October 9, 2015

Who should we recruit for the movie?

The Kindle version of Human Empire is working its way through Amazon’s servers. While I’m waiting, I’m going to take up a suggestion from Sergeant Mike. Now that the movie version of the Human Legion is inevitable (see my last post) let’s have some fun and figure out who we need to play the characters. I’ll set the ball rolling with some actors who remind me of various characters. Some of the hair, skin color, age, and body shape doesn’t quite match, but something about these actors or their portrayals reminds me of some of the characters. For Zug I definitely had Laurence Fishburne in mind. As in this pose. For Springer, I think of Josette Simon as Dayna in Blake’s 7. Kandyse McClure playing Lt. Dualla in Battlestar Galactica would make a good Indiya. I hope she’s prepared to dye […]
October 8, 2015

The Human Empire of tomorrow

The final eBook build of Human Empire is now underway. It will take a few hours and should mean the book is available for sale on Amazon by the end of tomorrow. Paperback to follow very soon after. Thanks to all the help we had in making this. In other news, today I have also accepted an offer for the audiobook rights to the first three books in the series. I’ll wait to sign something before I announce more details, but since the audio publisher approached me, I don’t see any problem! This, by the way, is the route Andy Weir took with The Martian. First he self-published an eBook that became a bestseller on Amazon. Then an audiobook publisher made him an offer for his audio rights. A few months later Random House acquired his print rights and 20th […]