Blog Without A Name

In which we enter another countdown

Aren’t countdowns fun?  Let’s do another one!

Asyouknowbob, December 15 is Trooper’s birthday.  We here at the Cat Farm usually Celebrate this Occasion in the Traditional Manner with the Great Round of Sleeping in the Sun, and the Flying Mouse Competition high on the list of Festivities.

This year, in addition to All That,  we’re also throwing a Block Party.

“Block Party,” a Liaden Universe® story will be published to Baen.com on Friday, December 15, around noonish, Eastern time, in honor of Trooper’s birthday, to ramp up for the publication of Neogenesis, and to celebrate our readers, who have been with us for many years.

So!  Countdown to “Block Party” and Trooper’s eighth birthday! Four-and-a-half days — and counting.

Today’s To-Do List is a bit challenging.  I quote:

TO-DO MONDAY
1. Read “Revolutionists” and prepare comments, if any
2. Continue edits on “Degrees of Separation”
3. 1,000 (or more) on Fifth of Five
4. Train Dragon
5. Meditate
6. Clean something in this house

So, it looks like I’d better get to work — see y’all on the flip side.

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In which Rolanni goes shopping

I went shopping today.  Mind you, I hadn’t meant to go shopping.

Well, actually, I had intended to go shopping — a quick trip to Goulet Pen Company to buy a bottle of ink and a journal; that was it.  I am pleased to report that I did accomplish this errand.

But, it being the Season of Potlatch, with many useful objects therefore on very attractive sales, I also purchased a traveling sleeve for Seventh Son the Chromebook, and an Oxo Anniversary Uplift teapot in brushed stainless, so that I don’t have to pour boiling water all over the stove, and me, whenever I want to make a cup of tea, and a canister of William-Sonoma drinking chocolate, which is an Utter Indulgence, but — yes, it was on sale.  And, you know, now I’ll have something to drink as a reward for shoveling the snow from the next storm, which, just by the way, is supposed to hit on Tuesday.

Well.  Maybe the storm after that one, then.

In other news, I finished one scene, and after I’m done chatting with you here, will finish setting up another before I call it a night, and that will see Fifth of Five aka Monkey Business at 55,000 words.

Slow going, yes.  Yes, it is.  But going, which is key.

Hope everyone had a lovely weekend.

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Waiting for the Snowstorm

Before we get started today, Management has asked me to make four announcements. Here they are:

One!  If you have been planning on ordering a personalized copy of Liaden Universe® novel Neogenesis, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, you have until tomorrow, Sunday, December 10 to make your order.  Here’s your link.

Two! “Block Party,” by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller will go live on Baen.com on Friday, December 15.  Mark your calendars.

Three!  You may now pre-order the ebook edition of Neogenesis from the Nook Store and the Kindle Store

Four!  You may now acquire from Baen ebooks the eARC of Star Destroyers, edited by Tony Daniel and Christopher Ruocchio, including all! new! stories by: David Drake, Michael Z. Williamson, Mark L. Van Name, Steve White, Jody Lynn Nye, Brendan DuBois, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Susan R. Matthews, Mike Kupari, J.R. Dunn, Robert Buettner, Christopher Ruocchio, Dave Bara, Joelle Presby, Gray Rinehart.  Here’s your link.

Adventures in Chemistry
We ran out of bread here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, so this morning’s first priority was baking.  Sadly, it seems this batch ain’t gonna rise.  Not enough moisture, I think; I added more than called for in order to get the ingredients to the “sticky ball” stage of the thing, but it might not have been enough.

We shall see.

Snow Party
In other news, the roofers have finished doing their thing.  The house now has an awesome metal roof, and, in celebration, Central Maine is throwing a snowstorm this afternoon through tomorrow morning.

Do we know how to party or what?

Work Going Forward
Steve and I have three projects underway at the moment.

One is, of course, Fifth of Five aka Monkey Business.

The second is a short story destined for Insurgency, an anthology coming from ZNB in 2018.

The third project is editing Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27, an all-new, all-original novella (unless it hits the lower eaves of novel by the time the edits are done).  Degrees, it says here, is a story about Paris, about love, and about bread.  Our intention is to have it available as a widely-distributed echapbook,  and as a paper chapbook (though Amazon only) in mid to late January.

Now that the roofers are gone. . .
I can hang up my framed Letter of Nobility, certifying that Baroness Sharon Lee is a noble citizen of the sovereign micro-nation of Ladonia.  I had achieved my noble citizenship a few months back, to honor the memory of the late Dave Romm, himself a Baron of Ladonia, but had been behind in acquiring a proper frame.  Steve did this for me (you see how things work around here) and now the Letter may be put on display.

I think that catches us all up.

Speaking of catching up, here’s Scrabble, catching up on her comfy.

 

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Books read in 2017

68. Incident at Badamyâ, Dorothy Gilman
67. Me: Stories of My Life, Katharine Hepburn
66. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e) re-read)
65. Making Money, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
64. Nine Coaches Waiting, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
63. The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden (e)
62. Zero Sum Game, SL Huang (e)
61. Kaleidoscope, Dorothy Gilman (e)
60. The Clairvoyant Countess, Dorothy Gilman (e)
59. A Night in the Lonesome October, Roger Zelazny (read aloud w/Steve) (re-re-re-re-&c-read)
58. Thunder on the Right, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
57. Chuck Amuck, Chuck Jones
56. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Patricia McKillip (re-read)
55. Wildfire at Midnight, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
54. Madam, Will You Talk?, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
53. Princess Holy Aura, Ryk E. Spoor (e)
52.  Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell
51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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Procrastinators Take Note

The last day to pre-order personalized copies of Neogenesis, the 21st novel of the Liaden Universe®, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, is December 10.  That is this coming Sunday — THREE DAYS FROM RIGHT NOW.

If you want a signed copy with no personalizations, this deadline does not affect you, except that it sorta does.

Why is that, you say?

Well, it goes something like this:  Mr. Blyly at Uncle Hugo’s asks us to sign up 200 books (including personalizations), and he will, indeed, sell the signed books until there are no more to sell, so, in theory, you may pick up a signed copy. . .whenever.

However, if you really, really want a signed copy of Neogenesis, your best chance of being certain that you will get a signed copy is to pre-order it.  Mr. Blyly makes his order based on pre-orders, and — until December 10 — he can adjust the number in that order.  After December 10, the order is set in stone.

December 10 is SUNDAY.  Pre-order today.

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Paper Editions Now Available

Amazon has published the paper editions of Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Numbers 25 and 26.  The paper books are not associated with the ebooks, but, yanno, maybe that’ll happen at some point down the road.

Right now, however, here are your links:

Cultivar:  Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 25

Heirs to Trouble:  Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 26

Have fun.

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If it’s Tuesday, it must be the roofers

So, we have a very full week, here at the Cat Farm.  The roofers arrived this morning at the crack of 7:30 am, and began with rather terrifying efficiency to set up their scaffoldings, the Great Bender of Metal, and other divers Tools of The Trade.  We are told that they “hope” to be finished the job by Friday, which will be timing, indeed, as the weatherbeans are calling three to five inches of snow on Saturday.

In Technology News, my phone (this being the replacement refurbished phone from about a year ago) started playing Let’s Freeze the Screen about eight months ago, and had progressed to Let’s Load Every Single App, THEN Freeze the Screen, THEN Play Coy About Rebooting.  Clearly, this was a message from the small gods of pixels that I needed a new phone.  I was fortunate in the timing, for it is The Season of Potlatch, and Lenovo was having a sale.  I now have a Moto g5s Plus, 32 GB, in *cough* Lunar Gray.  It manages to be just slightly larger than the Droid Whatever, though both are supposed to have a 5.5 inch screen.

I’ve had it online since Saturday evening, and, so far, I’m liking it a lot; a well-behaved little machine, and while I miss Jude (the old phone had Moto, which is like OK Google, except less rule-bound), I’m reaching an accommodation with OK Google; though, MAN! I wish they would let you name the assistant.  I really dislike having to say OK Google.

Today, in addition to the roofers, I have scheduled an extra! mammogram, and yoga.  By the time I get home, the roofers ought to have left for the day, so I’ll be able to do some work on Fifth of Five/Monkey Business.

Tomorrow, of course, we will have the roofers again, and Thursday, I will rise Before the Roofers to take the car to Augusta for its annual inspection.

I have more or less fallen off the Gym Wagon; it’s been hard to carve out time in-between the various appointments and trying to preserve some blocks of time for, yanno, work.  Have to figure that out, somehow.

We have been looking for a house in-town again, and had two near-misses.  What is it about the newer houses in Maine (by which I mean houses that were built in the 1950s and 60s); every single one of them has a full bar in the basement, many of them with pianos.  They can’t all have been after hours clubs (what our realtor calls “cigah bahs”), can they?

At the moment, given the oncoming economic apocalypse, we’re sorta rethinking a move, weighing the wisdom of simply hunkering down where we are, and not taking on any unnecessary risks.

Well.  Interesting times.

I think that pretty much catches us up.   Hope everyone has a interesting — but not too interesting — week!

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Books read in 2017

67. Me: Stories of My Life, Katharine Hepburn
66. The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax, Dorothy Gilman (e) re-read)
65. Making Money, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
64. Nine Coaches Waiting, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
63. The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden (e)
62. Zero Sum Game, SL Huang (e)
61. Kaleidoscope, Dorothy Gilman (e)
60. The Clairvoyant Countess, Dorothy Gilman (e)
59. A Night in the Lonesome October, Roger Zelazny (read aloud w/Steve) (re-re-re-re-&c-read)
58. Thunder on the Right, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
57. Chuck Amuck, Chuck Jones
56. The Forgotten Beasts of Eld, Patricia McKillip (re-read)
55. Wildfire at Midnight, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
54. Madam, Will You Talk?, Mary Stewart (e) (re-read)
53. Princess Holy Aura, Ryk E. Spoor (e)
52.  Epitaph, Mary Doria Russell
51. Shield of Winter, Nalini Singh (e)
50. Heart of Obsidian, Nalini Singh (e)
49. The Cat Who Played Brahms, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
48. Where the Dead Lie, C.S. Harris
47. Going Postal, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
46. Just One Damned Thing After Another, Jodi Taylor (e)
45. Wildfire, Ilona Andrews (e)
44. A Wrinkle in Time, Madeleine L’Engle (e) (re-read)
43. The Rose and the Dagger, Renée Ahdieh
42. Blaze of Memory, Nalini Singh (read aloud w/Steve)
41. The Wrath and the Dawn, Renée Ahdieh
40. Just Like Someone Without Mental Illness Only More So: A Memoir, Mark Vonnegut MD (e)
39. The Rule of Luck, Catherine Cerveny (e) (arc)
38. The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
37. The Girl with Ghost Eyes, M.H. Boroson (e)
36. Raising Steam, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
35. White Hot, Ilona Andrews (e)
34.  The Orientalist: Solving the Mystery of a Strange and Dangerous Life, Tom Reiss (e)
33. Mouse and Dragon, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e)
32. Caszandra, Andrea K. Host (e)
31. Lab Rat One, Andrea K. Host (e)
30. Stray, Andrea K. Host (e)
29. The Cat Who Turned On and Off, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
28. Apprentice in Death, J.D. Robb (e/l)
27. The Cat Who Ate Danish Modern, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
26. The Face in the Frost, John Bellairs (e)
25. Hanged for a Sheep, Frances and Richard Lockridge (e)
24. Xamnesia, Lizzie Harwood (e)
23. Convergence, C. J. Cherryh, (read aloud with Steve)
22. Rock Addiction, Nalini Singh (e)
21. The Stranger in the Woods, Michael Finkel
20. Etched in Bone, Anne Bishop (e)
19. Rider at the Gate, CJ Cherryh (re-read)
18. Small Gods, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
17. Silence Fallen, Patricia Briggs (e)
16. The Cold Eye, Laura Anne Gilman
15. The Cat Who Could Read Backwards, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
14. Memory, Linda Nagata (e)
13.  Bonita Faye, Margaret Moseley (e)
12.  Burn for Me, Ilona Andrews (e)
11. Snuff, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
10. A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (e)
9.  Some Danger Involved, Will Thomas
8.  Thud!, Terry Pratchett (read aloud w/Steve)
7.  White Tiger, Kylie Chan
6.  The Hanging Tree, Ben Aaronovitch
5.  Trading in Danger, Elizabeth Moon (e)
4.  The Wolf in the Attic, Paul Kearney (e)
3.  The Cat Who Saw Red, Lillian Jackson Braun (read aloud w/Steve)
2.  Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse, Jayme Lynn Blaschke (e)
1. Sand of Bone, Blair MacGregor (e)

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And there was GREAT rejoicing!

Attention! attention!

A miracle has occurred.

Amazon has published the ebook editions of Cultivar: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 25 AND Heirs to Trouble:  Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 26.

The paper editions are still in review, but we have faith that their publication will not be long delayed.

Many thanks to the Amazon customer service goddess who was able to untangle this for us!

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So, about those chapbooks

Cultivar: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 25 and Heirs to Trouble, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 26 —  more information here — have been published to Apple, BN, Baen ebooks, Kobo.

They have not been published to Amazon, and, as this is the last day of Amazon’s demand period, Steve and I are not at all confident that they will ever be published to Amazon.  We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation, and will make an announcement if Amazon should at some later point discover in its heart that, indeed, it can publish these two titles.

We are not, however, optimistic.

The short form is that Amazon, having realized that the four stories contained in the two chapbooks listed above already exist in a collection published by Baen Books (A Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume 3) — which we do not dispute; in fact, we state so in the sell copy — demanded that Steve and I “prove” we have the right to republish those stories.

They initially demanded a reversion letter, which does not exist, as the rights to the stories have not reverted; in fact, they were never sold.  We attempted to explain that we, the authors and copyright holders, had sold what is called “anthology rights” to Baen — they can only publish those stories in the form of A Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume 3; they cannot repackage and republish particular stories out of the collection.  This is all handled in the contract between us and Baen.

This means that we, the authors and copyright holders, retained the rights to place individual stories with other publishers, for other collections, or to publish the stories ourselves.

We chose to publish the stories ourselves.  Which is our right, breaks no laws, and damages no one’s copyright, least of all ours, and  certainly does no damage to Amazon.

The last received demand — understand that we have been corresponding with someone who may only answer via scripted emails; this lends a certain surreal air to a situation already dripping in black comedy — however, the last email could be read — and we so read it — as a demand that we send a copy of our contract with Baen to Amazon.

Now, in the Normal World of Publishing (yes, yes, I know; but let it pass), if we were placing those four stories with another publisher for another anthology or collection, we would receive a contract from the new publisher, and one of the things that we would certify, by signing this new contract, is that we have the legal right to so place the stories.  If, after we sign the contract, it is found that we lied, or in some other way do not have the right to place the stories, the lawyers are loosed and everyone makes popcorn.

In no case does Publisher 2 demand that the authors provide them with a copy of their contract with Publisher 1.

Now, Amazon is in a strange situation; it cannot itself decide if it’s a publisher or a distributor, but in either case the demand for a copy of our contract with our publisher is out of line, and Steve and I will not comply.

What does this mean for you?

Well, if you have all of your Adventures in the Liaden Universe® echapbooks in Kindle format, and you don’t wish to break the shelf, so to speak, you can go to Baen Ebooks and download Numbers 25 and 26 from them in Kindle format (there are instructions on how to do this on the site).

Baen also offers these titles in other formats, for those who diversify.

Or, you can, of course, purchase the titles from one of the distributors who do carry them — BN, Kobo, Apple. . .

For the paper-book folks. . . Given the on-going circumstances here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory, we can no longer do the production and mailing of paper chapbooks from the house.  It seems as if the best (or only) way to produce paper chapbooks is through Amazon’s paperback program.  There will simply not be paper copies of 25 and 26, unless we can locate another source for taking care of all the administrative work involved in producing paper chapbooks.  Steve and I are very sorry about this, but — see above.

Right now, the paper chapbooks available from Amazon are:

Liaden Universe®:  Due Diligence #24, Change Management #23, Sleeping with the Enemy #22, Technical Details #21, Moon’s Honor #20

Lee and Miller:  The Tomorrow Log

Sharon Lee:  Barnburner, Gunshy, The Gift of Magic, Spell Bound

We will, eventually, convert all of the electronic backlist to paper, but as this is being done between Life and Pay Copy, it will take some time.

 

 

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