Archive | March 2014

Children of Science Fiction

I think readers who float by this page may just have had some SciFi in their background. I mean from back when it was more acceptable to read Marquis de Sade than SciFi. When SciFi was what you read under the bedclothes when everyone else was asleep. When you wandered around going “wow” and it didn’t have anything to do with recreational substances. When your folks wrung their hands and said “they’ll grow out of it” in that hopeful, uncertain tone of voice.

If you recognise that, then known this, puny earthlings; I enjoyed this writer’s blog/advertorial and may have laughed out loud once or twice:

I think Urban Fantasy inherited some of the fun from SciFi, and certainly, that’s where the core concept question of UF came from:  the “what if you put paranormal and normal side by side” is a classic SciFi structure.

What do you think?

Is it possible to keep all the good stuff – the startling plot twists, the sense of awe, the deep questions, the fun … and also have characters, plot, pacing, believability and relevance?

And is there a parallel between ‘golden age’ SciFi and the current state of publishing – that there are a lot more books out there than there are good books out there?

I’m interested to know your take on it.

Mini update

I’m well into the 3rd section (of five) for Bian’s Tale and should have another teaser ready at the end of the month. The only thing that might stop that at the moment is the progress on Bite Back 4, which has taken more of my time over the last couple of weeks – I have the usual flash-bang start and a pile of things getting dumped on Amber one after the other 🙂

Other bits and pieces – I hope this tip may be of use to some of you – my Kindle stopped working a week ago. It refused to power up and wouldn’t charge. After a search on the internet, I came up with a solution that fixed it. The problem is that the processor inside gets into some crazy state, and the solution is a reset and re-boot. To do this, hold down the on/off button for 30 seconds and then release. It’ll either power up immediately, or you press the on/off button again briefly. I have an old Kindle, but apparently this works for the Fire as well.

Another strange tip. Ever wonder how many sales a book has made? There’s a formula I use which works for the limited number of books I can check against. Firstly, it has to be a book that gets its primary sales as an ebook. It has to be genre fiction. It has to have been on the market for about a year. If it passes those, take the number of Amazon reviews and multiply by 100. That will give you the approximate number of sales. Notice *sales* – this doesn’t work for books that are offered free for long periods.

So… Hidden Trump has 138 reviews between US Amazon and UK Amazon. That suggest sales of 13,800, and the actual is 12,800 between those two countries. Sleight of Hand has 184 reviews, suggesting 18,400 sales and the actual is 18,000. (Total sales/downloads worldwide at the moment are SoH 19,400 HT 13,800 RD 19,100 and WC 4,200.)

What’s open on my Kindle at the moment, now I have it back up? Guardian Angel by Sara Paretsky, Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs, Perfect by JC Mells, Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, Returning my Sister’s Face by Eugie Foster, Bloody Mary by JA Konrath, The Golem and the Djinni by Helene Wrecker. On the paper pile – Thieftaker by DB Jackson, Still Life by Louise Penny, and the rewritten ARC for the first part of my daughter’s book, Beneath the Jade Throne.