Happy New Year one and all! 2013 was a busy year for me, and a very good one. I have a number of resolutions for the new year, one of which concerns this blog. I'll leave what that resolution might be to your collective imaginations.
The immediate news is that The Forever Engine will be on the shelves in bookstores within the next week, and also available in all e-formats from Baen Books (here's a link to their site) and also available online in paper and Kindle versions from Amazon. I received a very nice advanced review in Publishers Weekly back in the November 4th issue. Here's what it said, in part, with potential spoilers left out:
"Legendary game designer Chadwick taps into his popular Space: 1889 steampunk setting with this exciting prequel novel, which sees soldier-turned-historian Jack Fargo catapulted from 2018 to an alternate 1888 by a mysterious explosive event. Although alternately amazed and baffled by a world that features airships, interplanetary travel, America split into the Confederate States and the United States, and Europe laid out along different political lines, Fargo just wants to go home. . . .(T)he world building is rock solid, the plot fast paced, the action visceral, and the stakes high. Chadwick balances scientific theory, steampunk imagery, and memorable characters with flair. . . "
Relating to the novel, Baen Books (my publisher) and I also have a New Year's present for you. They contracted a short story from me as a prequel to the novel and as a way of giving a little more background on one of the characters. The story is called, "Murder on the Hochflieger Ost," and takes place a year before the events of the novel on an enormous luxury zeppelin plying the Berlin-to-Istanbul route--the Space: 1889 equivalent of the Orient Express. It's a free download at the Baen Books site. Just click on this link.
Tony Daniels, my editor at Baen Books and a fine writer in his own right, had some great ideas for the rewrite and nudged me toward a far better final resolution, in my opinion. A book ends up being a collaborative effort and much of the success stems from the help the author receives from others. It still ultimately comes down to the author, but I think the current trend toward self-publishing risks losing some of the collaborative effect of going through a publishing house. Yes, you can hire editors and proofreaders, but I'm not sure it's quite the same thing. Nevertheless, it's certainly here to stay, and will certainly become an increasing part of the literary scene. The economics of publishing almost dictates it for most writers. Who knows what the future will bring, but I'm happy to be with a publishing house like Baen, one that's still intimately connected to their authors and to their customers.