Chapbook news and New Splinter

Asyouknowbob, The Gate that Locks the Tree: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® No. 30, by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller, will be published as an electronic chapbook on Wednesday, February 19. It is now available for preorder at most of the Usual Suspects.  On Wednesday, it will also be available for purchase and download from Baen.

Now! the Original Plan had called for the paper edition, made available through Amazon, would be available for purchase before or on the electronic publication date.  Sadly, there have been several third party adjustments made in the tools I had been using to produce the paper chapbooks, which means that we have invoked Plan B.  I am at this moment awaiting a paper proof copy from Amazon, which will come into my hands on Thursday, February 20.  If all is well, I will push the button at Amazon, and paper books will flow.  If all is not well, I will report back here, so, yanno — watch the skies.

In the meantime, a new splinter — “Shan’s getting married” — with author comments, has been published to Splinter Universe.  Here’s your link.

Looking ahead just a week, I’ll mention that the anniversary mass market paperback edition of Carpe Diem — the third Liaden book ever published — will be go on sale at All The Bookstores on February 25.

And that’s the news that’s fit to print.

Everybody have a good day.

Lee and Miller Hugo Eligible Works 2014

The nice folks at SasQuan have just reminded me that Award Season has opened and that it’s time for those who wish to do so to nominate works for the Hugo Awards ballot (more information here).

Below is a list of our eligible works, with links to those that are available for reading on the web, followed by some auctorial commentary.

Works are listed in this format:


Everybody ready?

Here you are:

The author known as Sharon Lee and Steve Miller published three eligible works in 2014.

The Rifle’s First Wife, January, Splinter Universe, 13,350, novelette   |LINK TO STORY|

Roving Gambler, April, Splinter Universe, 15,432, novelette   |LINK TO STORY|

Code of Honor, May, Splinter Universe, 10,805, novelette  |LINK TO STORY|

(PLEASE NOTE:  2014 was a year in which no new Liaden book was published.  Yes, the mass market editions of Necessity’s Child and Trade Secret came out in 2014, but those editions are reprints.  When in doubt, check the copyright page of the book in question.)

The author known as Sharon Lee published three eligible works in 2014.

The Gift of Music, January,, 5,048, short story    |LINK TO STORY|

Carousel Sun, February, Baen, 104,000, novel   |SAMPLE CHAPTERS|

The Night Don’t Seem So Lonely, December,, 8,334, novelette   |LINK TO STORY|

Auctorial Commentary

Last Award Season was. . .exceptionally acrimonious.  Somewhere within the general hootenanny and rending of garments, there stirred to life a relatively small, little scoldy thingy which was trying to become a Rule, to wit: That authors ought only to bring forward those works they had published in the previous year that were worthy.

This is bullshit, and I will tell you why.

The Hugo Awards are a readers award.  That means that the readers decide which works are “worthy.”  How do they do that?  By reading the works published in the previous year and deciding which one(s) they liked best.  You may say that no one can read all the works published in the previous year.  I would say that you are right, but nonetheless, it is not the job of authors to predigest their work for you.

For one thing, authors are, historically, lousy at picking their own best works.  That’s because we created the work.  I can’t “read” my work.  I can analyze it; I can deconstruct it; but in the end, I, the creator, am not the audience for my work.

Do I have favorites among those works we published last year?  Yes.  Yes, I do.  Steve has favorites, too.  And you know what?  They’re not the same.  And the reasons that Stories X and Y are favorites?  Have nothing to do with the “worthiness” of those stories in terms of consideration for a reader’s award.

I’ll end with an anecdote.  Back in nineteen-aught-eighty-one, I wrote a story titled “Master of the Winds.”  It was a young story, even for that early stage of my career.  It was never anything but  journeyman work.

And yet?

Fifteen years into the following century, thirty-four years after it was written, I still, once or even twice a year receive an email from a reader who will cite “Master of Winds” as one of their favorite stories ever.

If that’s so — and why would they say so, if it wasn’t? — then who on earth am I to tell them they’re wrong?

Oh, one more thing.  Last year, another scoldy little thingy arose from the group discussion, and tried its damnedest to grow up into a Rule.  That one was: It is Unseemly for Women Talk About their Award Eligible Works.

That’s bullshit, too.  I’ll leave it to you to figure out why.




About Sasquan and the generosity of strangers

Asyouknowbob, Steve and I had to cancel our trip to DetCon, after swearing for a whole long year that we fully intended to be there.  In canceling we disappointed some people who are important to us, including ourselves, but not only is Life generally disdainful of the Full Intentions of human beings, we missed catching the Wealthy Author train some time back.  Added to all of that is the fact that we’ve put our house on the market and will therefore be moving. . .sometime.  We do have to sell this house before we can buy another (see “Wealthy Author train,” above), so this project bodes well for becoming Much More Exciting before it’s completed.

What all of the above has to do with Sasquan is that the DetCon cancellation has apparently caused some West Coast folks to fear that we will serve Sasquan the same.  Let me hasten to say that this is not an unreasonable fear (see “selling house,” and “Life,” above).  We have heard from folks who want Assurances, which we can only give to the extent that Life allows.

Several other people, however, have decided to be pro-active, and have written with offers of assistance, in terms of covering transportation costs, sharing hotel space, and in terms of Cold, Hard Cash.

First, let me say that we appreciate these offers; that we want to get to Sasquan as much as anyone else wants us to get there, and if people are willing to give us some help to make that happen, we’re certainly in no position to be anything but grateful.


While we cannot see the future, we can make better guesses about it, the closer we get to a fixed point.  It is, as I write this, July of 2014.  Sasquan is scheduled to begin on August 19, 2015.  We have some time to work with here; time to let things shake out and stabilize.

So, what I propose is this:  Let’s not panic just yet about Lee and Miller bailing on Sasquan.  Let’s revisit this conversation in February 2015 — say, after Boskone — and take a hard look at where we are, and if it seems likely that we’re going to need help to get out to Spokane and do the con.  This year, things started going south very early, and while we realize that Life has many sleeves to laugh in, we ought to have some idea of the shape of the rest of 2015 by then.

If it does, indeed, seem as if we’re going to need help, then I’ll ask for ideas about Patreon and Indigogo and who know what else will have sprung into existence in the meantime.

In the meantime, we’ll be making our hotel reservations for Sasquan when the period opens in August, and in general proceeding on this Intention of ours to be at the con.

Thank you all for being with us for this long ride, and for your concern, and generosity.  Steve and I appreciate you more than we can say.