Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for August, 2013

Bride of Death Cover Art

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Behold the cover art for my next Marla Mason novel Bride of Death, by artist Lindsey Look. I love it so much.

A Nightmare

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

I seldom have nightmares, and when I do, I mostly enjoy them; they can provide really powerful, strange imagery to use in fiction. But I had a terrible one last night.

I was in the park, looking for my son, who I knew had wandered away. I wasn’t too worried yet, but I was getting anxious. I heard my son’s voice and went toward a lavishly-appointed tour bus parked on the grass. I climbed on board and walked down the aisle, and there was my son, dressed in strange fuzzy pajamas, curled up in one of the bus’s carpeted overhead bins, smiling. I said, “Honey, we’re not supposed to be in here, let’s go.”

Then a man appeared, holding a syringe in his hand, and stuck the needle in my arm. I tried to fight him, ineffectually, as my limbs and eyelids grew heavy. I thought, “No, no, this can’t be happening,” as afraid as I’ve ever been in my life. The man just stood there grinning as I stumbled against the seats and fell to the floor in the aisle. When I drifted fully into unconsciousness on the bus, I woke up in bed.

I opened my eyes to the dim morning light in the windows, and my son in bed next to me — he’d crawled in to join me around 3:30 in the morning — sleeping angelically. I felt a moment of pure relief…

And then I thought, “What if I’m still drugged unconscious on the bus, and this is the dream?”

I suppose I am sometimes still a horror writer.

Big Book Sale 2013

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

Won’t somebody rid me of these troublesome books? –King Henry II, probably

The time has come for my more-or-less annual book sale. I just got another box of author copies, and books are filling up my house and tottering in dangerous piles. I also have quarterly estimated taxes due in September so money is welcome.

Here’s where you come in: Buy my books! (They make great gifts. Even if just for yourself.)

You can get signed and/or inscribed copies for cover price (I’ll round up to destroy any stray pennies), plus $5 shipping per book for mass market paperbacks and $7 each for trade paperbacks/hardcovers. The listed price includes shipping costs for the US.

For shipping outside the US, add an extra $10 to the listed price. (Overseas shipping has gone way up this year. Sorry about that. It costs nearly $20 to send a one-pound package to, say, Spain.)

Write to timpratt@gmail.com or post in the comments here saying what you want and telling me if you want them signed and/or personalized. I’ll do the math and tell you what you owe me and where to send the PayPal money.

First-come, first-served, which is why you should comment or e-mail instead of just sending money — I’d hate for you to pay for something I already sold. (First-time comments are moderated here, so don’t worry if your comment doesn’t show up immediately.)

I’ll run the sale for a week and a bit, from now until midnight PST on Friday, August 23.

Here’s what’s available. First editions, unless otherwise noted.

Marla Mason series:

Mass-market paperback of Blood Engines, $12 (16 14 copies available)

Mass-market paperback of Dead Reign, $12 (6 copies)

Mass-market paperback of Spell Games, $12 (5 copies)

Trade Paperback of Bone Shop, $20 (This is the pretty edition with the Dan Dos Santos cover art) (2 1 copy) Sold out!

Trade Paperback of Broken Mirrors, $21 (2 1 copy) Sold out!

Trade Paperback of Grim Tides, $21 (3 1 copy)

Standalone novels:

Limited edition hardcover of Briarpatch (These are unnumbered author copies) $55  (3 1 copy)

Hardcover of The Constantine Affliction (as by T. Aaron Payton), $34 (15 14 copies)

Trade paperback of The Constantine Affliction (as by T. Aaron Payton), $20 (15 14 copies)

Trade paperback of The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, $19 (7 copies)

Trade paperback of The Nex, $20 (1 copy)

Mass-market paperback of Forgotten Realms: Venom In Her Veins, $13 (20 15 copies)

Mass-market paperback of Pathfinder Tales: City of the Fallen Sky, $15 (12 10 copies)

Mass-market paperback of Pathfinder Tales: Liar’s Blade, $15 (12 10 copies)

I’ll do an RPG bundle, too: Venom In Her Veins, City of the Fallen Sky, and Liar’s Blade for $40 if ordered all together.

Collections

Paperback of poetry collection If There Were Wolves, $15 (2 1 copy)

Trade paperback of collection Little Gods, $21 (Not the first edition that includes the poems, but the more attractive offset edition) (4 copies)

Trade paperback of collection Antiquities and Tangibles and Other Stories, $21 (4 1 copy) Sold out!

Anthologies I edited or have a story in

Trade paperback of Sympathy for the Devil (edited by me, Tim Pratt!), $23 (5 4 copies)

Trade paperback of Robots: The Recent A.I. edited by Rich Horton, $22 (1 copy)

Trade paperback of Witches: Wicked, Wild & Wonderful edited by Paula Guran, $23 (1 copy)

Trade paperback of New Cthulhu: The Recent Weird, edited by Paula Guran, $23 (1 copy)

Hardcover of Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron, edited by Jonathan Strahan, $24 (1 copy)

Inspired by Elizabeth Bear’s book sale, I’ll throw in a bonus chapbook or ‘zine from my hoard with each order.

That’s it. Make your wishes known.

Outsider

Monday, August 12th, 2013

The busier life gets, the less time there is to chronicle my life, so the only time I seem to reliably write about what’s happening to me is when there’s not much happening to me. I’m not going to pretend that I’m breaking the cycle, here — this post will go up and it will doubtless be weeks before I manage another. Mostly when I feel the need to crack wise or bloviate, I do so on Twitter (or facebook), but occasionally it’s fun to go on at greater length than 140 characters, so here we are.

The weekend was cool! My wife, the lovely, talented, and all around wonderful Heather Shaw, entered a haiku contest and won, getting us VIP tickets to Outside Lands, the big music festival in Golden Gate Park. We went this weekend, and it was awesome. Paul McCartney was hilarious and played wonderfully, Nine Inch Nails was badass, and we also saw some good other bands, some comedy (the latter in a Spiegeltent! As Eugene Mirman said, “Comedy is best performed in a hot wooden tent in the middle of the afternoon”), and lots of drunk/high people having the time of their lives. (I was only moderately drunk.) Also there was lots of good food and booze. I ate a lamb burger and sweet potato fries topped with bacon and marshmallow sauce and drank good beer and a great rye manhattan. Huge thanks to our friends Drew and Nicole, and to my sister-in-law Holly, for the heroic acts of overnight babysitting that allowed us to stay out late dancing in the misty rain.

I’ve got a book due in September (another Pathfinder Tales novel, I think my best one yet, unless I blow it before I finish writing), so I had to do some work over the weekend, too. I managed to get a decent number of words in on Saturday before we hit the park, and I didn’t go to the festival on Sunday (my wife went with her sister instead). I was solo parenting and watching my nephew on Sunday, but in practice that meant the kids played together and entertained themselves, so I got a ton of writing done — I managed to write about 12,000 words for the weekend, which is more than I’d gotten done in the previous two weeks. The plot is really starting to click along now, too. I’ve gotten to the part of the book when all I want to do is write. Which is good, since I still need to get a lot more pages done in the next three weeks.

I read and enjoyed Scott Lynch’s new Gentlemen Bastards novel, Republic of Thieves, and am almost done with Daniel Abraham’s new Dagger and the Coin novel The Tyrant’s Law. (In which bankers are a force for good in society! So you know it’s a fantasy novel!) I recommend them, though in both cases you should read the previous two books in the series(es) first.

To write my story “Antiquities and Tangibles” (about someone who finds a little magic shop and tries to buy happiness there, with predictable levels of success), I did a lot of research about happiness, from the philosophy of the ancients to popular self-help to theories in neuroscience to sociological studies. Since I’ve got a personal interest in being happy, too, as a human being, I took note of things I thought might help my life. There’s broad agreement that social connections are key to happiness, and since I spend a lot of my life sitting in my house alone making up stories about imaginary people, I decided to overcome my essential introvert-ness and at least try to see people in the real world more often. After a few months of that, I’m willing to call the experiment a success (though I’m spending more money on beer than I used to). I’m still an introvert with hermit-like tendencies, but going out once or twice a week and seeing people, or having people over, has improved my outlook on life significantly. There were a few years there when I felt like my life was nothing but work-write-parent-repeat, and having things start to open up again is good for me.

Other things of note!

The Kickstarter to revive our ‘zine Flytrap was a success! We’ll be opening up to submissions soon, and our first issue should come out early next year. We’ve already got some great art and non-fiction lined up. Details will be along.

There’s a trade paperback of my gonzo historical novel The Constantine Affliction, out tomorrow, technically, but it looks like you can get it today at your favorite online bookstores and possibly even places in the physical world as well.

As part of the Kickstarter rewards for Bride of Death, I promised to do a monthly advice column from my main character, cranky sorcerer Marla Mason. The first installment of Auntie Marla’s Good Advice is up now. I think it’s pretty funny, but then, I would, wouldn’t I?

I think I mentioned this before, but I started a tumblr to collect various quotes/dialogues/etc. from my son (known to twitter as officeboy), just to have them all in one place: The Officeboy Dialogues. The initial flurry of posts has died down as I’ve posted most of the best stuff, but I’m still updating it as he says new hilarious/smart/weird things. Like yesterday when he made some insightful comments about my hair.