Steven Erikson’s New Book Is Out! has a non-spoilery review of Forge of Darkness, the first book in Erikson’s new Kharkanas trilogy, here. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a huge fan of his Malazan Book of the Fallen novels, so I’m pretty excited to read this.

Here’s a snip from the review which testifies to Erikson’s mastery of eon-spanning, anthropological stroytelling:

So how does Steven Erikson deal with these potential pitfalls in Forge of Darkness, the first novel of a trilogy set before his massive Malazan Book of the Fallen (MBoF) series? He sets the prequel so far in the past—thousands of years—that any lines connecting the dots have either long since faded out of sight over the horizon (because events and people have been forgotten) or have curved out of joint (because events and people were distorted into myth), thus freeing himself from the plot/character constraints that dog so many prequels.

The truly brilliant twist in Erikson’s method, however, is that many of his characters are so long-lived that they actually span that time period. You loved Anomander Rake in Malazan? No problem, he’s still here. But because time has lost and/or distorted so much, a lot of what you thought you knew about him was wrong or wasn’t the full story.

With this singular stroke Erikson frees his creativity, giving himself a nearly blank canvas to work on while retaining the characters that so captivated his audience the first time around. It’s the best of both worlds. As a side luxury, it also highlights two of his major themes—the ways in which story (“made up”) and history (“really happened”) often blur together and the way the present is continuously and eternally reshaping itself in response to the past. It’s sheer evil genius. And it absolutely works.”


I Was Going To Write A Post Tonight

It was going to be brilliant. Witty, erudite, informative–everything that makes a great post great.

But then I spent four hours assembling the most complicated piece of flat-packed furniture known to man. And I find I just don’t have the energy.

So here’s a video instead.

Paid-for Amazon Reviews? Oh Dear

Both the New York Times and the Atlantic had articles on this disturbing phenomenon in the last few days. Definitely worth reading for anyone who uses Amazon, as a producer or consumer.

I completely agree with the Atlantic’s conclusion:

“Policing reviews could take time and alienate some customers, both self-published authors and reviewers, but to let reviews continue unregulated might alienate far more of them.”

Both authors and readers–but especially readers, of course–need to have faith in the honesty of the review system, for the simple fact that it’s often the prime driver behind making a purchase.

And to offer a non-literary equivalent, how happy would you be to find out that, say, Samsung had paid ten thousand people $15 each to write a five-star review of a new TV they’d brought out?

Not happy, I’d imagine.

Did I Mention My Mailing List?

I don’t think I did. How remiss of me!

If any of you lovely folks would like me to pop you an email the very second that ASCENSION POINT* is available to buy, you can sign up here:

I solemnly swear never to abuse your trust by emailing you links to ‘hilarious’ cat videos. (Though those are available on request.)

That was all. Carry on!

* and all future books, of course!

Edit Is Go Go Go… Next Week

On Friday I got the sample edit of ASCENSION POINT from the folks at RedAdept. My new editor, the delightfully-named Misti, did an edit of just the first four pages of the novel–and I was delighted to see her come back with 29 suggested changes! This is exactly the kind of thoroughness I’m looking for, especially for the first few chapters of the book. (Which are still significantly weaker than the later ones, despite my best efforts to bring them up to par.)

I like Misti’s editing style, and the quoted price was fine, so all systems are go. Misti’s going  to start on the full edit early next week, and should finish roughly two weeks later. At which point I spend ten minutes marveling at how many red marks there are, then set about hammering it into shape/cutting away the fat/insert editing metaphor here.

There’ll be a few passes back and forth as we whittle down the changes, then it’ll be time for a proofread by another editor to catch all the little flaws we missed. ‘This colon should be a semicolon‘, etc.


Link Dump: Write Smarter, Not Harder

It clearly was now time for bed,

His eyes felt so bleary and red.

But it struck our host

That he had yet to post

So he banged out a link dump instead.

And finally, some immortal words from Mr. Kurt Vonnegut.

G’night, folks.

No (Extra) Taxes For Me!

(Warning: only interesting to writers planning to self-publish on, CreateSpace, etc. And maybe not even to them.)

A quick follow-up post to yesterday’s tax-related reblog – I can confirm the process of applying for an EIN over the phone went exactly as David laid out in his post on Catherine’s blog.

I called the number this morning, and had a very pleasant 7-minute chat with a nice IRS lady. (I couldn’t tell if she was from Philadelphia or just lives/works there, because I am the crappest at American accents.)

After a few questions very similar to those I was expecting, I became the proud owner of an Employer Identification Number (EIN). I then promptly updated my KDP, CreateSpace and Smashwords accounts, because it pays to be prepared, and I’d rather not risk giving the IRS any of my money even temporarily if I can avoid it.

Now I just need to publish and sell some books, and watch all* of the money roll trickle in!

* Instead of 70% of the money because 30% was withheld for tax reasons. Get it? Yup, I told you it wouldn’t be that interesting.


So I’ve Changed the Name of the Blog

The sharp-eyed amongst you will have noticed that the words at the top of the page, and indeed in your browser tab, have changed. To prepare for the upcoming publication of my first novel and ensuing global domination, it’s time to LOOK MORE PROFESSIONAL. So I’ve registered the domain and am now using that for the blog.

If any of you lovely folks has bookmarked the old address, – thanks! And also, that link will continue to work. WordPress will cleverly redirect it to the new domain.

That’s all for now. Hope you’re having a great Friday.

Even though this post from Catherine is exaclty 6 months old, I’ve only just read it, and its very much worth reblogging! For the last couple of days I’ve been looking into the hideous process required to stop U.S. e-book vendors from withholding 30% of your royalties for tax reasons. It looked grim, but this ‘just a phone call’ method seems much more civilised, and people seem to be having consistent success with it. I’ll be giving it a whirl in the morning. Night, all.