Haven’t read my debut fantasy novel yet? Well, you’re in luck: both halves of the novel (The Iron Ring and Iron and Blood) are now available in a single omnibus edition (i.e. “the complete novel I intended”) called by its original title, THE OLDEST TRICK. And there is even better news! The e-book version is currently on sale for a mere $1.99! That’s right – for about the cost of a Gatorade from a gym vending machine, you can get the novel reviewers have been calling “a romp in the style of Scott Lynch and Patrick Rothfuss” and “an amalgamation of anime, grimdark, and the top tier of contemporary epic fantasy. ”
So, go and do it now! The sale won’t last forever, and the sooner you get it, the sooner you will be ready for the next installment, NO GOOD DEED, which is scheduled for release on June 21st!
Speaking of which…
No Good Deed‘s final draft was accepted by my editor on Friday, which means all that’s left is the copy edit and then the thing is off to the presses (errr…or digital formaters. Or whoever handles e-books – it’s an e-book initial release). You can pre-order it now on Amazon, and you’ll be hearing an awful lot about it here over the coming two or three months. Stay tuned for promotions of various stripes, once I figure out what the hell those might be.
Oh and by the way…
This is my final year of eligibility for the John W Campbell Award, which is given to new writers in the field of science fiction and fantasy. After two years you are no longer eligible, so if you think I’m great, now is your last chance to act (nominations for the Campbell end at the end of March, BTW). I have a couple things eligible. My novel (see above) and a couple short stories. One you can read for free right here on Escape Pod. I’m fairly proud of it and it has even received a pretty glowing review from SF Bluestocking which I shall excerpt for you here:
“Adaptation and Predation” is an excellent piece of world building, something that is often lacking in short fiction but which Auston Habershaw accomplishes here with panache. His cast of alien species is wonderfully imagined and described, and this short exploration of life in their highly stratified society is simply riveting.
High praise, yes? I think so – I’m very pleased at the review and, should you find it in your heart, feel free to nominate it (and me) for whatever you feel it deserves.
Okay, so there you have it – horn tooting over. I’ll be back later in the week with something more substantive for you folks to read.
Thanks, and talk to you soon!
Do you like scifi and fantasy? Do you want to see excerpts from almost all the new professional writers in the spec-fic field for the low, low price of FREE?
Well then have I got a deal for you! The good folks over at Bad Menagerie have put together a staggeringly huge anthology of this year’s Campbell Award eligible writers (over a million words long!) and it is free to download right here. Act quickly, though, because it will only be available for the month of March! I’ve got a lot of friends and colleagues in there, so check it out (yes, it does have a table of contents for easier browsing)!
The first of my two entries is a novelette, “A Revolutionary’s Guide to Practical Conjuration,” which was my winning entry into the Writers of the Future Contest, published just this last May. You can read a lot about the story behind it here.
The other is a short story, “Adaptation and Predation,” which was published on Escape Pod in December. It is an exotic scifi tale set on an alien world and featuring a shape-shifting asexual assassin, a carnivorous businessman and his “feed slaves,” and spider-waiters. It is a story about morality, but not personal morals as much as social morality: what makes a cultural practice evil? What makes it good? Who, ultimately, should feed on whom and why? It’s very noir-ish, a bit dark with a bunch of colonial themes, and it’s one of my favorites – I hope you’ll check it out as well as the rest of the anthology.
A million free words of the up-and-coming scifi authors is hard to pass up, right?
About NO GOOD DEED/Saga of the Redeemed #2:
I’ve received back my content edits from my new editor over at Harper. She’s done a great job and I plan to have this book turned around and submitted for copy-edits by the end of next week. For now you can still pre-order the book wherever e-books are sold. The cover art should be appearing soon, I think (hope).
In the meantime, if you haven’t read the first book (and yes, the first two volumes are one book), you’ve still got time to read The Oldest Trick and be ready to jump into a new Tyvian adventure come the end of June. If you’ve read or read any of my shorter work and think it was cool, I promise you’ll enjoy my longer stuff, too! Go check it out!
So, time for a writing update!
Thing have been going very well, lately. Lots to update everybody with, so I’ll start with the short fiction news and move into the novels.
Short Fiction News
Galaxy’s Edge Sale!
My short story “Lord of the Cul-de-sac” was just purchased by Mike Resnick over at Galaxy’s Edge. This is a great market with a typically stunning table of contents and edited by the man who has won the most Hugo awards in history, so that’s pretty damned sweet. No word yet on when my story will appear, but I’ll keep you all posted.
Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Sale!
I mentioned this a few weeks back, but I’m still pumped that I sold a story to CC Finlay over at F&SF.
My story “The Mithridatist” (set in Tyvian’s world, Saga of the Redeemed fans!) went on a heck of a journey through the pro-markets, garnering personal and, dare I say, glowing rejection letters from places like Tor.com before finally earning itself a home. Again, no word on release yet, but I’ll keep you posted.
I also recently sold a story to Escape Pod podcast about a month ago. It’s free and in audio or text. “Adaptation and Predation” is a space opera-esque story set in my Union of Stars world and has received a very positive response. I’ve even gotten some fan mail! Yay!
Then there’s this as-yet-untitled Time-Travel anthology over on Chappy Fiction, which bought/will buy my story “The Day It All Went Sideways” dealing with two-bit gangsters and fifth-dimensional time. I’m being called an “anchor” for the antho, which is a great compliment and I’m excited to see what Zach Chapman puts together!
Beyond that, I’ve got another five stories or so on submission to various places on and in various stages of review and another two I need to spiff up and send out again. Pretty good haul for a guy who spends *most* of his time writing novels!
The first book in the Saga of the Redeemed, The Oldest Trick, and its two halves (The Iron Ring and Iron and Blood) are currently selling very well – particularly the two halves – thanks to a price promotion and a BookBub at the end of last year. The Iron Ring peaked at #115 overall for Amazon (#2 for Fantasy) on the day of the BookBub “Book of the Day” promotion, which is mind-bogglingly awesome. It and Iron and Blood have been selling in the low 5-figures in rank ever since, which, in Amazon terms, is really goddamned good. So thank you, all of you, who have read!
That said, I could still use more reviews! I have ranked up a few over the past month or two (all very positive – thanks!), but you can never have too many reviews and, given how Amazon’s algorithm works and how important word-of-mouth is for book sales, more reviews is essential! If you’ve read any of my books, I would be ever so thankful if you left a review (even if you didn’t like it very much!).
Now for the kinda-sorta bad news. My editor at Harper Voyager has left for another publisher and, as a result, I have a new editor (hi, Rebecca!). Since she has just been saddled with a lot of my former editor’s old workload, she’s had to delay the publication of No Good Deed again. Bummer. It’s new release date is June 21st, 2016. This is disappointing, but at least now it seems like that date will be firm. I’ve also seen the cover art, which is really pretty awesome. Not time to reveal it just yet, but very pretty, trust me.
So, yet, Tyvian will be yet a few more months before he arrives in his second adventure. Of course, that’s typical Tyvian – never arrive on time when you can arrive late and make a splash. This also gives people world-wide more time to read the first book and be ready when the second comes out, so silver linings abound.
Overall, then, a great batch of news. I leave you, Tyvian fans, with the teaser text from No Good Deed, for those of you who haven’t seen it yet. I hope it sounds as intriguing as I hope it is:
Cursed with a magic ring that forbids skullduggery, Tyvian Reldamar’s life of crime is sadly behind him. Now reduced to fencing moldy relics and wheedling favors from petty nobility, he’s pretty sure his life can’t get any worse.
That is until he hears that his old nemesis, Myreon Alafarr, has been framed for a crime she didn’t commit and turned to stone in a penitentiary garden. Somebody is trying to get his attention, and that somebody plays a very high-stakes game that will draw Tyvian and his friends back to the city of his birth and right under the noses of the Defenders he’s been dodging for so long. And that isn’t even the worst part.
The worst part is that somebody is his mother.
You know how your social media feed is starting to sprout all those posts about how hard this year was? This ain’t one of those, folks. Not because it wasn’t hard, but because it was totally awesome.
My (professional) year by the numbers:
Novels Published: Either 1, 2, or 3, depending on how you count. The Iron Ring was released in February, Iron and Blood in June, which are the two halves of The Oldest Trick, released in August. All parts/versions of the same book (my debut), mind you. Yes, it’s complicated. But also awesome.
Stories Sold: 3 (to WoTF, Escape Pod, and Fantasy and Science Fiction)
Awards Won: Writers of the Future Award, 2nd Place, 1st Quarter 2014 (award ceremony was in April)
Memberships Achieved: SFWA Active Membership
Conventions/Workshops Attended: 3 (WoTF Workshop, ITVFest, World Fantasy Convention)
Novels Written: 2 (3, if you count total rewrites)
Stories Written: 6 (only counting complete, saleable stories currently on submission/accepted)
Total Words Written: ~300,000 (an average of about 820 words per day)
Along the way of this bang-up year, I made a bunch of new friends, found new groups of support and keen eyes to read, made a bunch of fans (I think/hope), and even got some fanmail. Hard to beat that.
As for this blog, its followership continues to grow. I’m up over 1300 followers now, which is really cool (and thank you, all of you, for reading…assuming you do. But since you’re reading this that would seem to imply that you…you know what? Never mind.).
What About Next Year?
Well, I’ll still be posting here, of course. In terms of Writing, No Good Deed is slated to come out, though it’s been moved back AGAIN by my publisher to April (no idea why). I would expect to see a few more stories from me to come out, given the contracts I have in hand (or will have shortly). My personal goal is to write more short fiction and publish more of same, score another book deal (hopefully extending The Saga of the Redeemed by another two books, if possible), and maybe even nab myself one of those elusive literary agents.
Stay tuned, folks! I’ll see you on the other side of the New Year!
I was going to post a reaction piece to Star Wars VII, but I’m going to hold off a bit so that more people can see the movie and also for Christmas to pass us by so that more people will be on their computers to actually read it.
I, Auston Habershaw, am now an official active member of the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America). Life goal achieved! Level Up!
Now, what exactly does SFWA membership do for me? Hell if I know. I think I get some say on the Nebula Awards now. I get to have access to (another) online writing forum, but this one for big shots. Maybe.
All that, though, is kinda secondary to me. I mean, yeah, I hope I can glean tangible benefits and advance my career with this move, but I see it more as a milestone right now – a trophy I have sought for many years and now, after much work and rejection and so on, I have earned it. It’s official – I am a professional writer.
Now, I’m well aware that I didn’t need to join SFWA to be a professional writer. I already was – I have novel(s) out, stories being published in major markets, won a fairly major award for my writing, and so on. There is something, though, to having that certificate of authenticity. It’s a feather in my cap, and new entry on my CV – a token of recognition. Those are hard to come by in the writing world. Even though I’ve had, by all accounts, great success this past year (and my, what a writing year it’s been!), there have been many times I’ve felt invisible and ignored by the broader SF/F world. I’m out here on my little digital island, throwing messages in bottles, and even though I know the bottles are doing well, it is so rare that they come back to you. The Writers of the Future Awards was great in that way. This, also, is great in that same way. The pros have spoken – I get the secret handshake into their club. Yay me!
Also, thanks to my story up on Escape Pod, “Adaptation and Predation,” I’ve received fan mail for the first time ever. This is also great! More ammunition against my nagging Impostor Syndrome! People out there enjoyed the story enough to drop me a line and tell me so! Wow!
To some of you reading this, I guess this might come across as me bragging. I can see that. The me of just five years ago might have read a post like this and rolled my eyes and said “Pshhh – that guy’s got a book deal and awards and such. Like his ego needs any more stoking!” That, though, is the big secret of the publishing industry: everybody needs a pat on the back from time to time. Sure, you sell a novel and you’re floating with the clouds, but a year later, when nobody seems to have noticed your book came out and you’re realizing you have more to do and oh-my-god what if the next one bombs or what if this last book was such a flop that nobody would ever want to talk to you again, you start to realize that the anxiety and loneliness of the publishing industry isn’t the result of you selling or not selling books. It’s just how it is. All of us, from the top all the way to the bottom of that big barrel we call the SF/F world, are all worried and hoping we’re doing good work and anxious about our futures as writers. It’s just the way it works.
So, in keeping with the spirit of the season, if you have a favorite author whose books you love, shoot them a Tweet or drop them a line somehow and tell them you appreciate them. If you read a book or story and liked it, leave a review in the venue of your choice. They’ll notice, and their day will be brighter for it, whether they be the newest kid on the block or a pillar of the genre. Everybody likes to feel official.
Let me start off by posting a few memes I’ve come across in the past 48 hours:
Now, I’ve talked about this before, but I feel the need to reiterate. You might think I’m a bad geek for saying this, or insist that I don’t really love Star Wars (which would be utterly false), but let me say this right now:
GET OVER YOURSELVES, YOU RAVING NUTBALLS!
Look, I get it – you don’t want somebody spoiling Star Wars for you. Fine. That’s fair. Spoiling somebody else’s fun is a jerk move. That, however, doesn’t mean you get to tromp around the internet lighting fire to anybody who wants to discuss a movie they just saw and didn’t appropriately warn you beforehand. You’re acting like spoiled children. It’s embarrassing.
I don’t want the movie spoiled for me, either. If some jerk comes along and deliberately spoils the movie in the comments of this post, for example, that makes them a consummate ass and no friend of mine. But accidental spoilers are a different thing entirely. So is having a conversation about an experience other people haven’t had. Even beyond all that, there is the simple fact that it is just a goddamned movie and you should act like a fucking grown-up.
It’s times like this that make me feel like I’m not a geek after all. I mean, hell, I play (and sometimes write) role-playing games, I have a Warhammer 40,000 hobby, I write science fiction and fantasy, I’ve LARPed, gone to movie premieres in costume, I love Star Wars, Star Trek, The Lord of the Rings and the rest of it…but I’m not a fanatic. I’m just not. I am not freaking out right now. I’m excited to see The Force Awakens (I see it tomorrow), but I’m not bouncing off the walls, eight-year-old-on-Christmas-Eve excited.
Irrational, blind enthusiasm for things is always, has always been, something that freaks me out. People who paint their chests at football games are basically an alien species. The people who scour every second of movie trailers to reveal the smallest hints at prospective plot points are as bizarre to me as Donald Trump supporters (well, maybe not Trump…how about Cruz supporters? Yeah, that’s still pretty freaking gonzo nuts). I do not get it. I recognize that it’s a central part of our species – fanaticism is as old as ideas themselves – but I am not comfortable with it. I cannot turn off my rational brain and allow the emotional one to take the reins. Not over something like a movie, anyway.
So go forth, enjoy the movie, discuss it with friends. But don’t go burning bridges with Uncle Hank because he accidentally let something slip. Don’t cuss out some teenage cousin because they “ruined” something so insignificant as a Star Wars movie. Yes, I said insignificant. Because it is. I might love it, you might love it, but ultimately it’s just a movie about things that never happened in a place that doesn’t exist. It probably doesn’t even rise to the level of art (and if it did, spoiling it would be impossible, anyway – you can’t “spoil” The Great Gatsby or VanGogh’s Starry Night). It should never rise to the level where we would jeopardize our friendships and emotional well-being over it. That’s childish.
I remember once I had a book spoiled for me (accidentally) by a friend. I snapped at her about it. She snapped back. It was then that I realized she was right. It was childish and selfish of me; I had no right to act that way.
Neither do you.
- The Iron Ring is coming off a hell of a run after being selected as Book Bub’s “Fantasy pick of the day” about a week ago. It peaked at #2 overall on Amazon for Fantasy e-books! It is still on sale for 0.99, but probably not for much longer. Act now!
- My short story, “Adaptation and Predation” has been published by Escape Pod science fiction podcasts. It’s the first time an audio recording of one of my stories has been done, which is pretty damned cool. The story is set in The Union of Stars, so if that world of mine had piqued your interest at all, go and check it out now – it’s free!