Yeah, I’m just building the World of Tomorrow, the way you do.
I know it’s been quiet on the blog front; as always that means I’m working really hard on something you can’t see yet. It’s nice. But why believe me?
We’re getting ever closer to June 15th, that happy day when The Purloined Patents of Doctor Brackett will begin its serial run over at Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual, and that’s just the beginning of a series of illustrated short stories that will continue through early next year. Most of those are in the can already, so you can tell they’re not what I’m working on right now.
What I am working on right now is related to the World of Tomorrow as you see it up above. That’s as much as you get, for the moment.
One thing I’ve been enjoying recently when I’m not building Retropolis is a long-running series of medical science fiction stories by James White. I don’t know how I missed them before, but that’s just made it more fun to find them now.
The stories takes place in and around Sector Twelve General, a massive multi-species hospital that hangs in space. The staff and their patients come from a bewildering number of species – so much so that they’ve adopted a four-letter mnemonic system for identifying themselves – and each story centers on a medical mystery. There are uncooperative patients as big as continents, and frightened patients who’ve never seen the members of another intelligent species before, and sightless beings who communicate telepathically, and a gazillion more.
The first stories date from the late 1950’s, but they continued to appear for decades. One interesting thing about reading them now is that you can watch the cultural shifts in our own world while the author evolves and grows. It’s great stuff; you should try it.
I just ran across this curated collection of pulp magazines and reprints over at AbeBooks… a web site that’s like all my childhood’s used bookstores lumped together, but without the dust.
I kind of miss the dust.
But apart from that, there are all sorts of old pulps and paperback reprints over there. As you may imagine, I’m most interested in what we see here (Pulp-O-Mizer fodder!) but there are a great many Westerns and thrillers along with more reprints of Doc Savage and The Shadow than most of us really want to look at.
It may not be Something For Everyone, but it’s a Lot of Things For a Lot of People. You may be one of them.
Over at his Archonate blog, Matthew Hughes has posted an announcement for the eBook and audiobook editions of his late-90’s mystery novel Downshift. There’s a comedy of errors about its first publication and the circumstances under which he wrote its sequel, Old Growth, which will also soon be republished under his own brand.
Then, three months before Downshift came out, my editor departed for another publisher– a nonfiction house, so she couldn’t take me with her. Immediately my print run was cut, my tiny promotional budget went to another book, and the marketing effort, except for library sales, was a few mouse-sized squeaks. Months later, when I asked if there were remaindered copies I could buy, I was told, “Nope, as the returns came in we sent them straight to the pulper.”
Not so comedic, maybe. But then again, I think I remember one definition of comedy as a story that relates events to their human sufferer, while tragedy connects events to their hidden cause.
A paperback edition is forthcoming, which I know because (as usual) I laid out the book in mobi, ePub, PDF and print formats. This time I also did the cover, a nice match to the Old Growth cover that will also be coming along soon.
You won’t see the first page of The Purloined Patents of Doctor Brackett until June 15 – that’s a little over a month from now – but I defy the tyrannical strictures of the calendar. And, possibly, rationality itself. So I’ve add some Doctor Brackett T-Shirts over at Retropolis.
I mean, do we serve the calendar? Or does the calendar serve us?
Join me in my little uprising against uncompromising time, won’t you? You can stick it to our oppressors here.
As an added incentive, there’s a stealth sale going on there too. Through May 18 you can save $5 on a t-shirt order of $30 or more by using the coupon code TAKE5NOW during checkout. That code works at Retropolis and the Celtic Art Works, and also on t-shirts you make with my Pulp-O-Mizer.
Defy time and save money!
In other news, I just discovered that there’s an actual pre-order page at Amazon (and only there, I think) for Slaves of the Switchboard of Doom. No cover image (which is pretty reasonable, since I haven’t done a final one yet) and no real information: just a lonely, blank image in an expanse of pretty much nothing. Still, hey! A pre-order page! It’s neat.