Back to work

So, three days of work essentially lost, which means I’ve gotta Write Like a Sonofagun.  Which I’ve been doing.  I’m just back from lunch, and thought I’d catch y’all back up before I got to work again.

Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27 ebook edition is available for preorder at the following online vendors:  Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, Tolino.

Degrees will publish on January 15.  On that date (on the US timeline), you will be able to buy an ebook edition from all of the vendors listed above, and from Baen eBooks.  The paper edition ought to be available on January 15, as well, but if not then, very soon after.

Degrees is the prequel to “Block Party,” which you may read, for free, on  Here’s your link.

Neogenesis, the 21st novel set in the Liaden Universe® created by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, was officially released as hardcover, ebook, and audiobook on January 2.  If you read the book, please consider putting a reader review up on Amazon, BN, or another review venue.

No, I do not have a publication date for Fifth of Five, but a good guess would be: between six and 14 months after Steve and I turn it in to Madame the Publisher, which!  We haven’t done yet.

A couple months ago, I had to stop drinking coffee.  This is of course a tragedy, but with the help of kind friends, I have been able to locate several teas which will deliver the miracle of caffeine into my system.  My morning drug of choice is Irish Breakfast Tea.  In the afternoon, I sometimes have a cup of vanilla chai, which is pleasant, but I also like green tea in the afternoon.

Early in the week, Steve brought me news of Zhena’s Teas — a must-see, as I’m sure you’ll agree.  I went online to look at them, and found the! perfect! green tea for my needs, which arrived today — and here’s a picture:

For those who follow the Cat Farm’s Snow Removal Protocols:  We had a “snow hurricane” on Thursday, which deposited about 17 inches of snow that I could not shovel (see back spasms), and which Steve could not shovel (see cardiomyopathy), and which the plowguy could not shovel (see three dozen customers needing to be plowed out and the limited number of hours in the day).

The plowguy, however, had a solution.  “I know a guy,” he said.  “I’ll get him down here.”

And so it is that, in addition to a lawnguy, and a plowguy, we now have a shovelguy.  Which is actually something of a relief.

It’s also good to know that the I-Know-A-Guy Network is still operational, at least in our part of Central Maine.

And that?  Catches us up for the day.  Back to work I go.

*Yes, I know I have not provided links for Apple and Tolino; that’s because I have heard news of availability from third parties, but have not been able to locate the books on those two services myself.  If someone will supply me with links, I’ll be happy to amend the post.

Thanks to Susan for providing the iBooks link!

Thanks, also, to Estara Swanberg for the Tolino link!

And to Marion, for the explanatory Tolino links.  Who knew?


NEOGENESIS Official Release Day

Today is the day that Neogenesis, the twenty-first novel in the Liaden Universe® created and curated by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is published in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook editions.  The novel is available at all major bookstores, brick and mortar, as well as on-line booksellers.

Go thou forth, buy, and, if it pleaseth you, read.

On the last day of the year

So, there are the tasks that one does at Year-End — filing away the old year, opening the accounting for the new year.  To the best of my ability, these things have been done for the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  Which gives a nice feeling of accomplishment, without, yanno, actually having accomplished anything.

Peering forward into the first week of the new month and new year, I see that Tuesday is!

Book Day!

I, for one, am looking forward to receiving my copy of Emergence by CJ Cherryh, as I know many who read here are.

I am also looking forward to the release of the hardcover, ebook, and audio editions of Neogenesis by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.  It’s a well-known fact that time runs oddly around writers, and so it simultaneously feels like it’s been a long time since we handed in Neogenesis and hardly any time at all.

Sometime next week — possibly Monday — I’ll be putting Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 27 up for pre-order at various online outlets.  Official publication date is January 15.  I anticipate no problems with hung releases, as Degrees is an all-original, never-before-published, never-posted-ANYwhere-else-even-for-a-day, story.  It will also be available as a paper book from Amazon on January 15.

Let’s see…Steve and I will be doing a podcast interview for the Baen Free Radio Hour on Wednesday; those are always fun…

On Thursday, Sprite has an appointment with her vet, for the ever-popular annual check-up.  Unfortunately, it’s also supposed to snow 3-5/4-6 inches on Thursday, so we may have to swap that out.  Honestly, if it’s really bad, I may have to swap out my doctor’s appointment on Friday.  Winter in Maine, ayuh.

Looking backward for a moment, we have finished and turned in “Revolutionist” to the Razor’s Edge anthology to be published in August by Zombies Need Brains.  And I had an epiphany recording Fifth of Five, which, in the way of epiphanies everywhere, meant the manuscript got busted back under 60,000 words again.

Today, I will write, and do laundry, skritch cats, spend time with Steve.  Possibly, we will see the New Year in — we’re often up that late, just as a usual thing — but if we don’t, it will arrive just fine without us.

Everybody stay safe; see you in the new year.

The obligatory award eligible post

People ask; author answers.

Yes, Steve and I* published some work that is eligible for the various 2017 awards.  Follows a list:

Series Hugo**: The first novel in the Liaden Universe® was Agent of Change, published by Del Rey as a paperback original in 1988; Neogenesis, the twenty-first Liaden Universe® novel will be published in January 2018.  In addition to those twenty-one novels, there are more than two dozen shorter works also set in the Liaden Universe®.

The Gathering Edge, Baen Books, May 2017

Due Diligence, Pinbeam Books, July 2017

Street Cred, Pinbeam Books, March 2017
Block Party,, December 2017

Short Story:
Cutting Corners,, April 2017
Dawn’s Early Light, All Hail Our Robot Overlords, Zombies Need Brains, August 2017

For the purposes of this exercise, we use this word count scale:

Novel 40,000 plus
Novella 17,500 – 39,999
Novelette 7,500 – 17,499
Short Story under 7,500

*“Steve and I” = Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
**Thank you to Alert Reader Linda Shoun for pointing out that the Liaden Universe® is more than qualified for the Series Hugo.

Liaden Universe® InfoDumpling

“BLOCK PARTY” a brand-new Liaden Universe® story, is now FREE to read at  ( — scroll down past the New Releases to read “Block Party” by Lee and Miller and science essay “Nuclear Fission Power in Space” by Andy Presby.

PLEASE SHARE this story with friends, family, coworkers, strangers chance-met on the street, even if they are not already Liaden readers.  ESPECIALLY if they are not already Liaden readers.  Thanks!

A prequel to “Block Party,” “Degrees of Separation,” will be published in mid-January as a chapbook from Pinbeam Books.  We’ll let you know when.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE to order an autographed copy of NEOGENESIS, the 21st Liaden Universe(R) novel by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller from Uncle Hugo’s SF Bookstore.  Here’s your link.

Disclaimer Stuff
This InfoDump is a product of the Liaden Universe®, accept no imitations. You have received this message because you asked for it. If you wish to subscribe to the Liaden Universe® email list, to unsubscribe from the Liaden Universe® email list, or to change your delivery email address, go here:

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.

In which there are new chapbooks publishing. Sorta


So, I’ve gotten those two chapbooks, plus the paper editions all lined up to go live on Monday at all The Usual Suspects, and comes the, by now, Usual Letter from Amazon, demanding that I prove that I have the right to publish said stories.  They cannot accept my word for it, because Copyright! but need a reversion letter from my previous publisher (not applicable in the case) a copyright registration, a signed contract between myself and the author (author being Sharon Lee and Steve Miller), an email from the address of the agent representing these stories certifying that I have the right to publish, and a couple other pieces of Utter Nonsense that only shows a Profound Non-Clue about How Publishing Works.

It might be a little easier to bear if Sharon Lee and Steve Miller; Sharon Lee; and Steve Miller haven’t been publishing echapbooks on Amazon since the early days of 2011.

All That Said. . .


Please pay close attention, as this is complicated.

Cultivar: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 25 contains a short story, “Out of True,” and a novelette, “The Rifle’s First Wife.”  Both of these stories were published in A Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume 3 by Baen Books in August 2015.

Heirs to Trouble:  Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 26 contains two novelettes, “Roving Gambler,” and “Code of Honor.”  Both of these stories were published in A Liaden Universe® Constellation, Volume 3 Baen Books in August 2015.

Now, you might say, with some justice, Why are the authors bothering to publish chapbooks containing stories that have already been collected?

And the authors would say unto you — In fact, this is a matter of Basic Housekeeping.  We have been trying to be certain that all Liaden stories are collected into chapbooks.  Some people don’t like to have big collections on their ereaders; some people just prefer the chapbooks; some folks only want to try a story or two, to see how they like ’em.  Whatever.

Now, three of the stories above were first published on Splinter Universe; “Out of True” was published to  In the usual way of things, we would have aged the stories off of Splinter Universe and into chapbooks back in 2013/2014.  Somewhere in there, “Out of True” would have passed its six-month exclusivity period, and been chapbooked, too.

But! Baen made an offer for the third Constellation, and those stories, instead of going into chapbooks, were all swept into the collection.

So, now they are all properly in chapbooks; and Pinbeam Books, at least, is in Balance once more.

Now, for the details.

In Beautiful Theory, the echapbooks will all Automagically Appear at Baen Ebooks, BN, Amazon (unless they lock us out for crimes against copyright), Apple, Kobo, and a couple other outlets on Monday, December 4.

Also in Beautiful Theory (unless they lock us out for crimes against copyright), Amazon will be taking pre-orders for the ebook editions of Cultivar and Heirs to Trouble.  If you pre-order the books, they will appear on your Kindle on Monday, December 4.

Also Also!  Paper editions of both titles will be available for purchase from Amazon (unless they lock us out for crimes against copyright), on Monday, December 4.

Paper editions are only available through Amazon; pre-orders are only available through Amazon.

Everybody confused now?



Reminder Post

A.  You may now order a signed and/or personalized copy of the hardback edition of Neogenesis from Uncle Hugo’s SF Bookstore in Minneapolis.  Deadline for ordering personalizations (in which “personalization” means, You ask the author to write something on the half-title page in addition to signing their names*) is DECEMBER 10, which is not as far away as you might think.  Orders for signed copies (where “signed” means the authors wrote their names on the half-title) will be accepted until the Uncle runs out of signed books.


B.  Neogenesis will be published in hardcover, ebook, and audio editions on January 2, 2018.  Eileen Stevens will narrate the audiobook.

C.  “Block Party,” a novelette to help get you all warmed up for the release of Neogenesis, will be published, free! to! read! to on December 15. Mark your calendars.

D.  The eArc of Neogenesis is still for sale at  Here’s your link.  You may also read the first seven chapters at this link.

E.  No, sadly, we will not be attending Boskone next year.  We will be at MidSouthCon, March 9-11, and hope to see many of you there.

F.  Yes, Steve and I will be attending WorldCon in San Jose, August 16-20.

G.  Yes, Baen will be publishing a mass market anniversary edition of Agent of Change — in November 2018.  I think I may have forgotten to include the date in the most recent InfoDump.

H.  Over the weekend, Steve and I discovered that Pinbeam Books (that’s us) had fallen behind, leaving four short stories un-chapbooked.  We are in the process of rectifying this, so — watch the skies.

Here’s the cover for Heirs to Trouble:

*Lee and Miller, aka “the authors” reserve the right to refuse to inscribe a book with a personalization they deem, in their sole opinion, to be inappropriate.  The authors’ decision is final, there is no appeal.

Hearphones update

So, we took the car in for the 10,000 mile check-up and tire rotation thingy, then went to IHOP for breakfast and a test drive of the hearphones.

The hearphones…are problematical on two fronts.

Front One:  I can’t keep the damned things charged.  Admittedly, this files under Operator Error, but I’m not usually an idiot about keeping the toys charged, so there’s some subtlety I’m missing.  And it doesn’t lessen Operator Aggravation to arrive at the Test Location and find that the ‘phones are, ahem, critically low on power.

Front Two:  Hearing my own voice in my ears is gonna drive me bugs.  And this may actually be a deal-breaker.  Steve urges me to give it another run, to see if I get used to it, which is fair, but at the moment what I’m doing is whispering in an attempt not to hear my own voice, which is…not really much better than sitting like a stump at a group dinner because I can’t hear what anyone else is saying.

The plaque (and check) which together comprise “Wise Child’s” Readers Choice award arrived yesterday.  The check we deposited in the bank today while we were out and about.  Here is a photograph of the plaque, being modeled by the delightful Mr. Miller.

So, my next order of business is to read another 50ish pages of the Neogenesis page proofs.  Lunch is on the schedule, and, very possibly, a nap, because we not only got up at stoopid o’clock to take the car in, but we got flu shots (the high-test flu shots reserved for those of us who are temporally elongated), too.

Everybody be good.

Text of Acceptance Speech

For those who were not, as we were not, present at the Baen Traveling Roadshow at DragonCon, reproduced below is our speech accepting the Readers Choice Award for “Wise Child.”  Jim Minz (pictured below) accepted on our behalf.  That means he got to reach the speech, which he did with his usual good humor.

Herewith, The Speech:


Yes, you heard us.


We probably ought to be a little more formal than that, so let’s try this:

To DragonCon attendees, science fiction fans, and readers everywhere: Hello! from the wilds of Central Maine.

We’re pleased to be here, at least metaphorically, at this particular Baen Traveling Roadshow, to stand as the proud parents of “Wise Child,” which readers have chosen – out of a very stiff field! — as the Best Military and Adventure SF of 2016.

We must admit to being startled – we have a history of being startled when we win awards! – when Jim Minz asked if we could be with you this afternoon, either electronically or in spirit, to accept this award for our novelette, the seventy-first Sharon Lee and Steve Miller collaboration.


Well. . .yes.

We believe that the purpose of a story is to be an experience, a celebration, if you will, for readers – something that they’ll hopefully enjoy on reading, and recall, later, with pleasure.

Us. . .We make our living by writing stories, long and short and in-between. Our method is to write the best story we can write, this time; collect our fee – and move on to write another story for readers to experience and enjoy, sometime down the road.

Most short fiction is like that, for most writers: a kind of a fire-and-forget situation, if you will.

In this case, though we won’t forget that, when “Wise Child” hit the website last year, we got a lot of positive feedback from readers via email and Facebook. Then, the story was chosen for inclusion in Volume Three of the Year’s Best Military and Adventure SF!

This particular “fire-and-forget” story not only hit the original target but had two secondary hits, as well.

So Thanks!

Thank you, DragonCon, for hosting the award presentation!

Thank you, Baen, for publishing and supporting the book, and the award!

Thank you, David Afsharirad – our editor – for selecting our story for publication!

. . .And. . .

Thank you, readers, for reading, and for voting, and for naming “Wise Child” as one of the best!

Here you see Jim Minz accepting and David Afsharirad showing off the plaque.

Photo by Christopher Ruocchio