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December 18, 2016

What it’s like to make books

Our book mobilization is almost complete. Here are the dates: The Sleeping Legion book1: The Legion Awakes will be launched tomorrow (Dec. 19th). Revenge Squad book1: After War goes live on Tuesday (Dec. 20th) The Sleeping Legion book2: Fortress Beta City is launched on Wednesday (Dec. 21st) If you’ve joined the Legion then you should have received the Legion Bulletin this week with download links for exclusive books in the Sleeping Legion (military SF) and Revenge Squad (urban fantasy – space opera crossover) series. If you haven’t seen the Bulletin, then it may have been intercepted by email spam filters. GMail sometimes puts the Bulletin in the ‘promotions’ section. In this brief moment of calm before the releases, I thought I’d share a sneak peek into the work that takes place after writing and editing the books, and before releasing them. […]
October 13, 2016

Starship Troopers and Modern Military SF

I’ve been tracking the science fiction bestseller charts on amazon.com since the start of 2011, with particular attention to space opera and military SF. Yes, it is partially professional intelligence gathering to see what is and is not selling, and to get ideas for my next reads, but it’s much more than that. Science fiction publishing is going through its greatest transformation since at least the widespread introduction of the paperback, and as a huge fan I am simply fascinated to watch these changes as they sweep through publishing at internet speeds. For example, I can take the numbers given by Locus Magazine each year for the number of new science fiction titles published each year, extrapolate backward to the days of HG Wells and Jules Verne with a touch of anecdotal evidence and a large cup of coffee, then […]
September 28, 2015

What’s really hot in science fiction: part 2

Welcome back to an occasional series of posts on what’s hot in science fiction, concentrating on Amazon’s science fiction bestseller charts. For a discussion of what I’m up to, and why I want to move away from bullying and arrogance and onto celebrating success, see part one. Let’s start with the top-20 bestselling science fiction books on amazon.com I scraped the data last week (I had a busy weekend building sand daleks on the beach which is why I’m posting a few days later), so if you follow the link, you will get a slightly different picture. I’m escalating a request to Amazon for permission to replicate their chart data, but for now you’ll have to click the link. The book bestseller chart shows a view of recent unit sales for paperbacks, hardbacks, eBooks and audio books that have been […]
September 28, 2015

What’s really hot in science fiction: part 1

Science fiction is flourishing! Adult SF book sales are up sharply. The past few years have witnessed an explosion of vibrant new literary talent. I believe that more science fiction authors are earning enough to support themselves and their families as a full-time writer than at any time in history. No wonder the scene is so healthy. Although I hear some traditionally published mid-list authors telling of their pain at falling sales right now, overall there’s never been a better time to be a science fiction author, or reader. But, wait! I’m only talking about books, and that’s such a small part of the SF scene these days. If we look beyond books we can see the huge popularity of science fiction in video games, comics, tabletop miniatures, cosplay, LARP, board games, TV shows, movies, and audio dramas. Here in […]
June 27, 2015

The New Ghostwriters of Science Fiction: my first six-month retrospective

I had my first Outside World review* for the Human Legion last week. A site called SciFi365.net picked up on Marine Cadet and recommended it. Said it was ‘more Haldeman than Heinlein’, which was an interesting insight, and while I’m a great lover of Heinlein, Haldeman’s The Forever War still remains in my mind as the definitive military SF novel, and the key book that turned me into an SF reader when I was a teenager. To those who don’t understand the modern world of SF publishing, having my Human Legion journey go unnoticed by the Outside World might seem strange given that today is exactly six months since the first book in the series was published, and by one of those coincidences you never dare write in your fiction (because no one will believe you) today is also the […]