Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for July, 2011

The Rebirth of the Cool

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

There are so many cool things going on, but most of them are still in the early stages, so I can’t tell you much. But in coming weeks and months I should be able to share news of a couple book deals, and awesome cover art, and other fun things. I’m happy and crackling with excitement about so many things I’d have to make a list to count them all.

One of them that I *can* talk about is my Kickstarter fundraiser for Grim Tides, which I’ll probably launch in a few weeks (I’m thinking it’ll run from mid-August to mid-September). I really hope I get to write this book. I’ve been pacing around my house, talking to myself, and interrupting my wife in the middle of her phone conversations to tell her the ideas I’ve had. It’s like a bubble rising up from the depths of my unconsciousness, ready to burst on the surface and release a shower of awesome-scented awesomeness. (Sorry for that simile. I haven’t had much coffee yet today. The similes in the book will be better.)

Grim Tides will have criminally insane sorcerers, omnicompetent valets, fire dancers, terror snorkeling, occult detecting, a legion of supervillains, wandering genius loci (yes), and the fundamental underlying question of what makes a place your Home… It’s going to be such a cool book.

Sky Fallen, Everything A-OK

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Late Sunday night, after a weekend consisting largely of marathon editing sessions, I turned in my Pathfinder Tales novel City of the Fallen Sky.

So… I’m done! No novels due for the next six months. No real fiction deadlines in the next few months at all, apart from a couple of short stories. I am faced with unprecedented-in-recent-months amounts of free time. (Naturally I’m tempted to start writing the new Marla novel, Grim Tides, except I think diving into another novel right away would kill me, or at least, damage my tender brain.) I’m thinking I’ll take it easy for a month or so. Read a lot. Hang out with the wife and kid. Play some video games. Try to remember what color the sky is in the real world. Should be good.

I don’t mind deadlines, but this summer has been an unspeakable nexus of deadlines, a configuration of brutal overlapping intensity, and now… the weight is lifted.

Tonight: beer and celebratory Chinese food. Not that I can afford Chinese food, really, but I turned in two novels in the past ten days, and those deliveries will trigger payments, and I signed a contract for another novel this week (can’t tell you about it yet), which will also lead to money in the near-ish future, so, screw it: I can splurge and order in.

Isn’t the writing life glamorous?

My Worldcon Schedule

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

[This post is going to be the first thing on the blog for the next ten days or so, because *I* need to be able to see it quickly as my schedule expands...]

Where I may be found at Worldcon in Reno, August 19-20 (I’ll be there on Thursday afternoon, but am only doing programming Friday/Saturday):

  • Fri 11:30 am – 12:00 pm, Reading: Tim Pratt, A14 (RSCC)

[So what should I read from?]

  • Fri 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm, KaffeeKlatsch, KK1 (RSCC): Eileen Gunn, Adam-Troy, Castro, Scott Edelman, Tim Pratt

[Maybe it can be a BoozeeKlatsch instead. For me anyway]

  • Fri 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm, Locus party in the fan lounge at the Atlantis

[The party actually runs from 5 to 7 pm, but I'll be there for the last hour.]

  • Sat 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm, Giving and Receiving Critiques (Panel), A16 (RSCC): Many writers participate in writers workshops, but it can be difficult, especially for new writers, to give critiques helpfully and receive critiques gracefully. Experienced workshoppers discuss techniques for critiques. Scott Edelman (M), Margaret McGaffey Fisk, Daniel Abraham, Sheila Finch, Tim Pratt

[I suspect I will say things on this panel that will annoy people.]

  • Sat 2:00 pm – 3:00pm (ish), I’ll be reading for ten minutes at the EDGE party in the Con Suite sometime during this hour, probably closer to two.

[A selection from my story "Little Better than a Beast."]

  • Sat 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Fantasy in the Real World: The Rich World of Urban Fantasy (Panel), D05 (RSCC). When you ask people outside of our community what “fantasy” is, they either think of Tolkien or Rowling or of paranormal romances. But urban fantasy remains one of the richest parts of the fantasy field. Lisa Goldstein (M), Larry Correia, Sharon Lee, Tim Pratt, Madeleine E. Robins

[This should be interesting.]

Decisive

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

After much pondering and flipping through a thesaurus and gnashing my teeth and googling around, I’ve decided to call the next Marla Mason novel Grim Tides. So there. Now I can think about actually writing the thing.

The plan is: launch a Kickstarter fundraiser in September. If it gets funded, I’ll actually be able to afford to write the book (instead of finding another work-for-hire job). I’ll write it with an aim toward serializing it online starting next spring. (Beginning April 2012, I suspect, though maybe earlier.) I’m excited! And the characters are starting to mutter at me more and more insistently every day.

What Should I Call the Sixth Marla Mason Novel?

Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

I’m going to serialize my sixth full-length Marla Mason novel next year, but I can’t decide what to call it. It’s set mostly in Hawai’i, and involves (basically) a group of powerful old enemies who try to kill Marla while she’s in exile and relatively unprotected. Some title contenders are below, as suggested by me, my wife, and our friends Greg and Jenn. Let me know what you like best! I might even abide by the winner.

If you have a better suggestion, you can put it in the comments! (Since the responses to the “other” section are only viewable by me, as far as I can tell.) To be consistent with the other books in the series, two-word titles are best.


Venom In Her Veins

Monday, July 18th, 2011

This weekend I finished revisions on Venom In Her Veins, my Wizards of the Coast novel. Since it’s listed on Amazon, I guess I can reveal that it’s a Forgotten Realms novel! Whee! (My editor looked it over today and says it seems good. So I’m happy.)

The description of the plot at Amazon isn’t quite correct, as I drifted a bit from the initial proposal, but, yes: snake-people, addictive flowers, the Underdark. All good things. Also some truly insane monsters. (My original title was Daughter of Serpents, but that was too similar to the title of another book from the publisher. Oh, well, so it goes.)

Having read the novel this weekend for the first time in about a year, I can say: I really like it. I hope it sells a million copies so they ask me to write another book about the character(s). Go ahead and pre-order it to get that ball rolling.

I also plowed through about a third of my Pathfinder Tales novel City of the Fallen Sky, and hope to finish revisions on that in the next week or so.

And then I will have the strange experience of being able to spend weekends hanging out with my wife and kid again!

Take That, Future Tim

Monday, July 11th, 2011

Over the weekend I finished my first draft of City of the Fallen Sky, my Pathfinder Tales novel. I’m pleased with it. And I have 21 whole days to revise it before the August 1 deadline! It’s about 91,000 words total (though it’ll get a bit longer in revision). I wrote the last 40,000 of those words in the span of nine days. I am tired but happy. After August 1, my life gets a lot less deadline-y. No novels due until February 2012. That’s forever away! Definitely a problem for Future Tim.

My story “Down with the Lizards and the Bees” is now 99 cents on Kindle, with an awesome cover by Jenn Reese. (Psst: hire her to do your covers too. She rocks.) Should be at B&N for the Nook in a couple of days. This is the first story I wrote about actor/psychic Bradley Bowman, who went on to become a major character in the Marla Mason series. Plus: it has trains to the underworld, monitor lizards, and, yes, bees!

And I’m sufficiently fond of this story that I’ll link to it again: “We Go Back” is now in print and audio at Escape Pod.

New Story: “We Go Back”

Friday, July 8th, 2011

I was invited to write an original story for the 300th episode of Escape Pod (a huge honor). The result was novelette “We Go Back”, available now for you to enjoy in text form or audio. Or both!

(It features the main character from my novel The Nex, but is set some years later, and is meant to stand alone.)

Swimming with Sharks

Thursday, July 7th, 2011

Since July 2nd, I’ve written 25,000 words on City of the Fallen Sky. I’m close enough to the end that I can count the number of scenes remaining. (I mean, it’s a lot of scenes, but it’s no longer innumerable.) I have the kid with me today, and my wife will be at work, so I’m solo parenting. Even so, I hope to get a little written today as well. Join me in wishing the child a long and peaceful afternoon nap. I expect to have a draft of the book finished by this time next week, which would give me two whole weeks to revise it! Such luxury!

I finished Dance with Dragons yesterday. Since pretty much all my favorite characters were absent from Feast for Crows, this book was basically made of happiness for me. (Well. Except for all the bad stuff that happens. And it’s not spoilers to say bad stuff happens in a Martin novel.)

My Marla Mason story “Shark’s Teeth” is now 99 cents in the Kindle store. (I’ll upload it to B&N soon too.) It’s the latest Marla story, chronologically speaking, taking place after the events of Broken Mirrors, but it’s meant to work entirely as a standalone. (It’s still free to read at Daily Science Fiction too, for those content with HTML.)

Shark's Teeth cover

Now Or Never Time

Wednesday, July 6th, 2011

Time is running out to pre-order the limited edition of Briarpatch. There’s less than a week to get it, so if you were hesitating, it’s now or never time. There are only 150 copies to be had, you know? Go on, take a chance, maybe I’ll be eaten by a famous tiger or something some day, and in the ensuing tabloid publicity storm, my work will go up in value. Tell your disapproving spouse/parent/friends it’s an investment!

The Alphabet Quartet is done: Behold, “Z is for Zoom.” Or go read the entire series of 26 flash pieces here. It’s been a wonderful six months, sharing a new story every single week, but all things must end. On behalf of myself, Heather Shaw, Jenn Reese, and Greg van Eekhout, thank you for reading. And thanks to Daily Science Fiction for letting us hijack their fine publication 26 weeks in a row.

(Not that it’s entirely done. There will be audio versions of the stories continuing to pop up at various podcasts, and even alternate stories for some of the letters. Links shall be provided when those things happen.)