We’re back!

There was a database catastrophe at our web hosting facility, which brought down sharonleewriter.com, splinteruniverse.com, and pinbeambooks.com for a few days.  We are back now, and in catch-up mode.

So, let’s catch up!

1  The Wrong Lance, Splinter Universe Presents, Volume 2 has been compiled into an ebook and is available for preorder from The Usual Suspects.  Here’s a so-called “universal” link.  Here’s the link for the Kindle edition.

1a  YES, the ebook will be available from Baen, but not until Release Day.  Baen does not have the ability to take pre-orders for Pinbeam Books (the Lee&Miller Publishing Arm)

1b  YES, there will be a paper book, but not until (or a little before or after).  Amazon is our source for paper books, and Amazon has not so far been able to figure out how to allow people to pre-order paper books

1c  If you want to talk about The Wrong Lance with other readers, a discussion area has been created for you, here

2  The eARC of Trader’s Leap, the 23rd novel in the Liaden Universe® created and authored by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller is now available for download.  Here’s your link

2a  If you’d like to read a sample of Trader’s Leap, that starts here

3  You may preorder a signed (not personalized) copy of the Trader’s Leap hardcover from Uncle Hugo’s SF Bookstore.  Here’s your link

3a  For those who have not heard the news, Uncles Hugo and Edgar were lost to the Minneapolis riots.  The owner, Mr. Blyly (aka the Uncle), wished to make signed books available to long-time customers and Liaden Universe® readers.  The only way this could be made to work was for Baen to have the printer send Steve and me pages for us to sign.  These pages will be bound into a set of books and sent to Mr. Blyly.  This process of binding in a special page is in the industry called “tipped in,” which technical description you will see on the catalog page linked above.

3b  Trader’s Leap hardcover may also, of course, be preordered from your favorite bookstore, whatever it is.

3c  You may not preorder the ebook edition of Trader’s Leap from your favorite bookstore as yet.  This is because of how Baen markets its bundles and eARCS and that’s all I know on the subject.

3d  There is no word yet on an audio edition.

4  If you have read the Trader’s Leap eARC and Want To Talk About It, a Spoiler Discussion space has been set up here

 

In which the trolls go a bridge too far

This message is for those of you who primarily connect with me through Goodreads.  I am, in the face of the ongoing carnage and lack of oversight demonstrated on Goodreads*, removing my account — in fact, I would have already removed it, save that the instructions provided on-site for deleting an account are, um — inaccurate.  It will take Goodreads 5 days to get back to me on this.

Apparently, authors can not leave the system entirely — Goodreads will still record new books and publish reviews — like Amazon.  But I will not be directly involved even in the small way that I did participate.

Those who wish, can bookmark and follow this blog.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

__________________________

*For those who have not been following the story of carnage and lack of oversight, I offer this synopsis of events, compiled by Jason Sanford.

And she is moving very slowly, rising up above the earth

So, here we are in 2020.  I’ve been warned not to date checks with just /20, because some Bad People could just add, oh “19” to that and steal my check.  I’m sure that’s good advice, but, really I hardly write checks anymore, and when I do, I always date them fully, to wit:  “January 4, 2020,” because old habits die hard, if they die at all.

In related news, many-to-all (depending on your news source) of the credit unions in Maine are off-line as the result of mysterious “connectivity problem.”  This is not as much fun as it may at first seem.

We here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory are clinging to our last few precious Not-Sundays.  There’s writing to do and writing being done, as well as chores, of a sort, but it’s all being done in a soft bubble, almost a “deadline free zone,” which we all know there’s no such thing, but — it’s been pleasant to pretend for a week or two.

Deadlines and doctors appointments return Monday morning, quite early, so we’ll be getting back into the Daily Push realsoonnow.

My first-in task today is to clean the so-called Boy’s Bathroom, and to steam clean the kitchen floor.  After that, there’s the final sweep at the WIP.  After much banging my head against various metaphorical, logical, and fictional walls, I have figured out how to straighten the last kink in the last scene.  Go me.  The entire corrected manuscript ought, I think, be on its way to Madame by the end of the week, and then?  I won’t have anything to do.  [Cue laugh track]

Looking ahead, Steve and I will be attending Boskone in mid-February, and!  We will be Guests of Honor at NarniaCon, aka the Coat Check Con.  NarniaCon hosts a scavenger hunt within Boskone entire; this year’s hunt will be based on the game of Clue.

. . .and that’s where we stand at the moment, still inside the bubble, with the cats napping inside, and the sky grey with snow clouds, outside.

Today’s blog title brought to you by one of my hometown bands, Talking Heads:  And She Was.

Calling the Mighty Tyop Hunters!

MIGHTY TYOP HUNTERS! Your hour is NOW!

If you have found TYPOS* in the eARC of Accepting the Lance, you may send them to me at rolanniATkorvalDOTcom. However, you may only do so until 9 PM EASTERN, Monday, September 9.

The format for sending typos is to send a few identifying words around the typo so it can be found (my pagination is not your Kindle’s pagination; this is a True Fact, so page numbers are useless).

This is correct format for reporting a typo: “Very nearly as bad! Perhaps I ought not to remark at all, but merely flout my skill in becoming silence.” QUERY: Should “flout” be “flaunt”?

*WHAT TYPOS ARE: Spelling errors. Wrong words. Missing words. Wrong character name and/or misspelled character name.

WHAT TYPOS ARE NOT: Grammar “errors” ESPECIALLY in dialogue. Sentences you don’t like. We’re not writing at this point; we’re seeking to make the existing narrative as clean as possible.

Everybody psyched?

Go!

Wednesday Updatery

I do like Mr. Higgs’ dress blues.

In other news, the Dead River guy arrived two hours early for his 10 am appointment to do the annual cleaning and testing of the boiler. Happily, the office called ahead and woke us up, so we put pants on. I threw the cats into the back hallway, so that they didn’t go downstairs to help the boiler guy, whose work is located in the Goblin Room. Boiler guy has departed, leaving us with the happy news of work not covered under the annual contract which will need doing in warmer weather. This will apparently be a zoo, because of the Numerous Zones we have in this house, and the fact that all of the lines will have to be drained before the work is done. They will then need to be refilled, and air in the lines is apparently A Thing.

Today, I have some Administrative Stuff to do, along with prep for Steve’s visit to the Cardiac Center tomorrow. We’re wanted there at 6:30 am so…wow, yeah. Prep. I already have two paperbacks in my backpack, a portable battery in case the phone needs recharging on the fly, a notebook, pens, and a couple of oatmeal bars — so the essentials are covered, at least.

I have explained the upcoming schedule to each of the cats. Possibly, Scrabble believes me; the coon cats unanimously think I need a nap.

The story, as yet titleless, stands at just under 5,000 words; it should be right around 20,000 by the time everything plays out.  I will not be taking it with me to work on at the Cardiac Center, because that would be pointless.

Also, no, I have not looked yet at the half-a-book (which also need a title) which is due in September, nor yet have I read Accepting the Lance.  Next week things will become more regularized.  She said sternly.

I believe this brings everybody current.

Stay well, and happy.

Housekeeping Note: In Which This Site Will Be Twilit

Because I know some of y’all worry when the blog doesn’t update regularly. . .

I will not be updating this blog — or any blog, actually — for. . .a while.

The reasons for this are several.  One is that, of course, we’re deep in the end game for Accepting the Lance, which is due, no excuses, by the end of January.  By itself, as you and I both know from experience, this would be enough to limit updates.  I’m lead on Lance, and being the end of several story arcs, as it is, it’s being, ahem, a little difficult to bring in.

In addition to this, a small mountain of family crises has landed in my lap.  As it turns out certain obligations fall to the last surviving child of a parent — and that would be me.  You will remember that my sister died earlier this month, very suddenly, leaving things with regard to our father’s care. . .a little awry, but recoverable, or so I imagine her thoughts went, had she recovered.  She did not, and in the aftermath of her departure, documents which really ought to have been kept. . .weren’t.

I have therefore inherited said small mountain, which includes people demanding payments, and other people denying me access to accounts, until I can prove X,Y,Z.  Needless to say, the folks who want their money are a lot less particular about what I can prove than the folks who are holding the checks.

To sum up: I am simultaneously embarked on two life-devouring projects, which means “extras,” like updating this blog, will have to go on hold.

Steve will be updating Welcome to Liad with writing, professional, and appearance news (yes, we do still plan — very much — on attending Boskone in February).  He also plans to resume the story hours on Patreon.  He has begun writing the next Liaden book, which he tells me will be a Jethri book, the sequel to Trade Secret.

. . .and here ends my tale.

Everybody stay safe, right?  And may the incoming year bring joy and success to us all.

 

Catching up, Sunday Edition

Yesterday, was Trooper’s ninth birthday.  Here he is at Opening Ceremonies, ignoring the camera:

I am remiss in reporting here that I ordered in a steam mop.  Today I used it for the first time, on the ceramic tile in the entryway, the kitchen floor, and the floor of the master bathroom.  I can report that it does the job, and it’s easy.  The whole contraption weighs less than the bucket of water I needed to tote around to clean the floors with a regular wet mop, so I’m sold.  Will try it a little later on the wood floors, but I don’t foresee any problems.

This particular unit has a core unit that detaches, so you can steam-clean, say, the bath tub!  Really looking forward to trying that out.

We have had deliveries, including the Dr. Who Barbie, Michelle Obama’s biography, Becoming, a case of paper, my new Linux desktop, Steve’s new Linux laptop, and cable-wrap, because Sprite keeps getting tangled in the computer wires on her way to the side of the desk where the adding machine lives, because she loves to sleep with her head on the adding machine keyboard.  Yes, I know, but she’s a cat; we don’t question, we adjust.  Monkeys are good at adjusting.

We have received in the mail our countersigned contracts for our stories in Release the Virgins!  Steve’s story is “Command Decision,” mine is “The Vestals of Midnight.”  The publisher lets us know that …Virgins will be available from the the Usual Suspects in early January.

What else?

We’ve been working.  Accepting the Lance is due on Madame the Editor’s desk at Baen by the end of January, if not sooner, and there are still a number of bridges to be built.  Steve read through the entire manuscript to date yesterday, and today we’re talking Story Stuff.  For those who are curious, here’s what the manuscript looks like.

. . .and I do think that catches us up.

Everybody be well.

Desmond takes a trolley to the jewellers store; buys a twenty carat golden ring

So, it’s been a Exciting! Few! Days! here at the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory.  Allow me to recap.

There were appointments with health care professionals in the beginning of the week for Steve; and in fact, he was at a doctor’s appointment on Thursday when I decided to vacuum the house, which surely needed it.  Got out the Dyson Cinetic Big Ball Animal Allergy vacuum (successor to the venerable Dyson Cyclone, I think it was called, which was not up to the contributions of three Maine Coon cats), started to vacuum the kitchen rug and — thud.  The brush bar stopped moving.

Said a few choice words.  Unplugged the vacuum, went down the hall to the change bottle and got a nickle, a dime, and a quarter, and returned to the scene of the crime.

Now, the former Dyson could be completely disassembled in a matter of minutes using only a dime.  The new Dyson, I quickly learned, is Far More Sophisticated.  Instead of two big, gaumy plastic screws holding the brush assembly in place, there were four teensy, tiny, star screws.  I searched for and eventually found the many-headed Philips screw driver, located a head small enough to do the job, and got to work.  Three of the screws came out — I won’t say easily — butt he fourth was in it for the ages, and wouldn’t budge.  Steve came home about then, and he couldn’t budge it, either, so I repaired to the internet and got in touch with Dyson.

Several emails later, it was determined that, indeed, the machine needed to be repaired, and I should take it to the nearest UPS Store, where it would be boxed up and sent to Dyson at no cost to me.  I was given a Repair Order Number.

I had physical therapy on Friday morning, so added the transport of the Dyson to UPS to the errand list.

As it happened, Steve elected to come with me on Friday, and it was he who escorted the Dyson to the UPS Store.  The woman on the desk signed into the Dyson webpage, found the work order, took the machine, matched up the number in my email from Dyson, and — that was it.  Our refurbed machine ought to be back home in 7-10 days, and in the meantime, thank ghod, we still do have the Dyson Cyclone, else we’d be awash in cat fur.

So, that.

Today — continuing the theme of excitement — the mail included information for the 2018 National Carousel Association’s Convention.  Now, I have long wished to attend one of these conventions, which includes tours of private collections, visits to numerous carousels, and band organs, and whatnot, but — they’ve been in places like Kansas, and Michigan, and California.  And, also, inconveniently close to WorldCon.

This year’s convention?  Is in New England:  Rhode Island, Connecticut, Massachusetts.  The Convention Itself is from September 12 through September 16, but there’s a pre-convention warm-up on September 11, which includes four “extra” carousels, for a Grand Total of 15 carousels, 2 museums, and a private collection.

This is clearly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and — yeah, I’m gonna try to figure out a way to do this thing.  Steve has allowed as how, though very cool, this is not something he thinks he wishes to partake of, so I’d be running solo.  On the other hand, I can drive, or take a Greyhound, to the Convention Headquarters in Connecticut.  There’s also a vendor room, but I’m not sure I want to schlepp the carousel books with me, on the off-chance three people will want to buy a set.

We’d only be back from WorldCon about a week by the time I’d have to head out again.  On the other hand, I wouldn’t be scheduled for panels, or, yanno — work — at the Carousel Convention, and — in theory, anyway — there wouldn’t be a short deadline breathing down our necks. . .

Yeah, I can do this.

I think.

Today’s blog post title brought to you by the Beatles, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.  Here’s your link.

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.

 

 

Let the record show…

…that I did work today, which is notable, and now it is noted.

The work consisted of digging three holes, which isn’t as easy as you might think, those of you who unaccountably do not live on two acres of glacial moraine, or at the very least two acres of shale thinly covered with what we’ll call soil.

Why, you ask, was I moved to do work on a fine Maine morning when I ought to have been, um, writing?

Well, I’m glad you asked that question. Alert readers will recall that several days ago I acquired, in defiance of both the Lawn Guy’s Assistant, and the neighbor’s road-crossing, if not actually free-ranging chickens, plants for the Cat Garden, which has, through the direct intervention of said Forces of Nature more or less become a Weed Garden.

It had been hot and humid the last few days, not at all the sort of weather to encourage a sedentary and overweight author of more than middle years to go outside and dig holes in the garden.   So, I left the plants, in their pots, in approximately the locations I had chosen for their eventual homes.  I watered them each day, but they were looking sort of droopy and sad by this morning, so it was just very fortunate that today was gorgeously blue, and breezy, and dry, and of a temperature that someone who lives in Maine would find reasonable for July.

So! Three holes.  Not exactly in the locations previously chosen — did I mention we live on shale?  Also there are trees, and trees have roots.  Lots of roots.  No, really; look it up.

In between the rocks and roots, then — three holes.

One hole for the Cherry Pops Bee Balm which replaces the Murdered Bee Balm of yesteryear.  Bee balm attracts butterflies, hummingbirds, and, well, bees.  This particular sort claims to be deer and mildew resistant.

One hole for the Wishing Well Plantain Lily, aka Hosta Wishing Well.  This plant attracts hummingbirds and has a mounding habit, so I envision a Mountain of Hosta in my future.

The third and final hole — actually the first dug — was for the White Frost Hemerocallis — aka a day lily with a curly yellow trumpet not only bigger than my head, but damn’ near bigger than Trooper.  It is two feet high.  Who can say no to a two-foot-high day lily that has flowers the size of a coon cat?  It’s big enough to be sentient.  Indeed, I have some hope that it will be writing next year’s book.

I will also mention here that I have received and have been testing various bug repellents.  It is in my mind to go with the least application that is still effective.  To that end, I began today with the bug repellent bracelet, fully expecting that I would need to come inside and upgrade.

In this, I was disappointed.  I did hear one rather insistent buzz, but closer inspection revealed the author to be a hummingbird, who was apparently under the impression that he was paying me for these plantings, and I could pick the pace up a bit, if I didn’t mind.  Or, given hummingbirds, even if I did mind.

So, having now made the record complete, I believe I’ll. . .

. . .do some work.