Tag Archives: James S. A. Corey.

Science Fiction Marketing and a few Sequels

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Before reviewing two sequels, I want to mention two new marketing programs I have recently experienced.

The first came about when Catherine Asaro showed up to follow me on Twitter. Wow! Me!

Her series of the Skolian Universe is one of my favorites. (Received a Nebula for A Quantum Rose ) and I dream….dream of having my Alysian series do anywhere near as well as hers. So I was excited when she popped up in my e-mail and wanted to tweet me.

Turns out she was putting out the word for an innovative Kickstarter Program for an audible book, Aurora in Four Voices. The goal was $4500 and by the time I tweaked to what she was doing, she had exceeded that goal reaching $5595 with 121 backers and promising to write a new novella for the series if she got to $9000 by the deadline…and it looks like that might happen.Aurora in Four Voices

The idea of funding books, and other projects, with Kickstarter is getting a lot of notice resulting in notable success stories. Most likely you need to be as famous as Asaro or have a compelling story to tell to achieve your goal, but it’s gaining enough traction to keep an eye on and think about.

The other new marketing program I want to mention is Amazon’s Countdown Deal. I found the five days free with KDP Select extremely successful, so I decided to try the CountDown also, as an experiment.

Often five days, especially over a weekend, isn’t enough time for some busy readers to act on a special. However, if you missed my KDP Select deal, (and many didn’t) here is another opportunity to get Caught in Time at a discount. Starting July 6 at .99 the price escalates every three days for twelve days and then the price resumes at the normal retail rate of $3.99…still a bargain, and you have twelve days to act…although time is already running out. Tap on the cover at the right, open the window to Amazon to get the current status, get a great price and enjoy a fun adventure through time to a medieval past.

I am currently #84 out of the hundreds of time travel books and moving up. *smile*

For all the commotion and negative comments currently going around about Amazon, if you are an author and want to sell books, Amazon does it far better than any other venue. They also strive to come up with ways to help market your book if you are an author, or help you find what you want to read if you’re a reader.

I am both, and grateful.

It’s unfortunate that success often makes you a target. I don’t remember the big publishers having such tender hearts over fledgling authors back in their day. If they deigned to respond at all, they called the tune and made the authors dance through their narrow publishing gate. Now they’re trying to characterize Amazon as the greedy guy? And…The big chain stores that squeezed out the mom and pop bookstores are suddenly calling Amazon a bully? How memories fade.

Deep breath.

Leviathan WakesWhen I suggest a series, I usually start with the first book of the series in my review. If I really like the series, often I continue on with other books in that series. This week, I want to briefly mention a few. Sometimes it’s worthwhile to know whether to start a series or not.

The first comment is from the Expanse Series. See my opinion on Leviathan Wakes in my June 9th blog. James S. A. Corey’s (pen name of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck) third book. Abaddon’s Gate, continues this saga. It didn’t disappoint.

The story continues as the proto molecule escapes Venus and hurtles out to Uranus where it creates a self assembling ring or gate. James Holden and crew join ships from Mars, Earth and the Outer Belt to investigate the strange structure. Neither one wants the other to get an advantage over them in the exploration of space, so all parties show up. Drawn through the structure at high speeds, all ships suddenly come to a deadly halt and are forced into a slow crawl with many suffering damaged crew, cargo, ship and passengers. On the other side of the ring only empty dark space is visible.Abaddon's Gate

Without going into too much detail, so as not to spoil the story, a new character is introduced who wants to kill Jim Holden. So intrigue and drama continue in this third of the series. How will Holden survive and dodge an assassin’s obsession? What message does the proto molecule alien deliver to Holden through the now dead Detective Miller? What political intrigue results as ships jockey to survive and conquer each other?

The bottom line…Did I like it? Yes. And if you liked the first two, you will also like this one.

There is also a fourth coming up…Cibola Burns. Hatchette has priced the Kindle at $12.99 and hardback at $25.Cibola Burn

Envision me ranting on a worn-out soapbox.

Another third book in a fantasy series with the same results is the Republic of Thieves by hot author Scott Lynch.

Republic of thievesThe Republic of Thieves picks up from the dramatic conclusion of Red Seas Under Red Skies and starts with Locke Lamora dying. After exhausting every avenue and every local physician, stalwart companion Jean convinces Locke to enter into a pact with the Bondsmagi to save his life.

In return for purging Locke’s body of the sorcerer’s poison, Jean and Locke agree to orchestrate a winning ticket for the Deep Roots party in Karthain, Capitol of the sorcerers. Unbeknownst, but not for long, the opposite party, The Black Iris, will be run by Sabatha, Locke’s up to now mysterious love, briefly mentioned in the two previous books, Two stories of their relationship alternate throughout this book. Once again, all three are up to their eyeballs in chicanery, manipulation, a Shakespearean style play and all around laugh out loud bantering dialog.

Again…a great read.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Exciting new Space Opera

IMG_9518Sometimes a book is so good that you can’t wait to talk about it. Such is the case with Caliban’s War by James S. A. Corey.

But first…

For my hard science followers, this Utube link discusses how we see our universe and contains some interesting concepts on how big it must be. I just had to include it in my blog. There must be a book in there somewhere. Misconceptions about the Universe: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBr4GkRnY04

On to Caliban’s War…

Caliban's war

Caliban’s War is the second book in The Expanse trilogy that is slated to be made into a mini series on the syfy channel sometime in the future. It will be interesting to see how they present this series.

I read and reviewed the first book, Leviathan Wakes, (February 11, 2014) but dragged my feet on delving into this 600 page adventure because of both price and title. The title just didn’t excite me, but the price did.

Leviathan Wakes

I went on a rant.

The publisher is Hatchette and that house puts out expensive hardbacks at $25 by popular authors until the next book debuts, a year later, and then publishes a trade paperback so they can charge $17 a book. That’s high for my budget, in addition to a wait.

So, I went to Kindle where I found the Ebook at $9.99. For an Ebook! Fortunately, I had a credit at Powell’s Bookstore so I justified buying the paperback…but now I want to read Abaddon’s Gate, the next in the series with a cool title, and I’m faced with the same high cost and so I am impatiently waiting until it shows up in my library (which it hasn’t yet).

Maybe that’s what Amazon is protesting in their suit with Hatchette.

After struggling through some Indie books and a few traditional novels of mediocre writing, the professionalism of the writing and formatting in Caliban was a welcome change. Hatchette does that right at least.

Abaddon's GateFour main characters reveal the story. On Ganymede, breadbasket to the outer planets, Roberta Draper, a Martian marine, watches in horror as an alien super soldier easily slaughters her entire platoon and destroys the critical food installation. As the sole survivor, she is taken to Earth and questioned about what happened where she meets and becomes involved with…

Chrisjen Avasarala, an elderly, powerful, politician from Earth, who deftly manipulates the game of politics in a desperate attempt to prevent interplanetary war. Cracking pistachios in a bright orange sari, the assistant to the undersecretary of executive administration wields her power as she tries to out maneuver war-mongering generals and power hungry, good old boy politicians.

While on Venus, the protomolecule from the first book evolves, spreads and overruns the planet, threatening to escape and take over the solar system.

Meanwhile, James Holden takes on the job of keeping the peace for the Outer Planet Alliance until Prax, a desperate scientist from the devastated Ganymede, pleads with him to help find Mei, his daughter, who has been kidnapped from Ganymede by mysterious scientists.

In order to pay for the rescue, Holden crowdsources the funds, showing pictures of the kidnapped child while her father, Prax, emails and communicates with millions who sends what they can to support the endeavor. The idealistic Holden pursues a trail that becomes more and more dangerous and complex, until the future of humanity rests on whether his single ship can stop the alien invasion that threatens them all. With the help of the Earth politician and Martian soldier, he tries to dismantle a secret conspiracy that unwittingly may destroy humankind.

Lots of action with real characters and emotion, this space opera should be on any science fiction enthusiast’s reading list.

So, start saving your pennies now.

 

 

 

 

 

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