Well, I was home for a week and now I’m traveling again. I’m making up for the lost travel time due to brain surgery, then the pandemic and the lost pet year.
This time, I’m in Savannah, Georgia, visiting my father and stepmother with my daughter, Nola. We haven’t seen my dad since he flew out for my aforementioned brain surgery in March of 2019.
I’m lucky. I can work from anywhere. Have laptop, will travel, so to speak. The freedom to do that would have seemed like science fiction when I was growing up. Heck, even when I was in grad school.
It’s weird because it has felt the past few years like we’ve been living in an alternate reality. But it also feels in some ways like we’re reliving history, too.
I grew up in the Cold War, where the threat of nuclear holocaust felt very real. The regular air raid drills I experienced in grade school guaranteed that. As did Chernobyl.
And here we are again, with my daughter asking about Russia and their nuclear arsenal and the threats to the nuclear power plants in Ukraine.
My parents couldn’t keep reality from me then and there’s no way for me to keep it from Nola in today’s interconnected world—one which would seem like sci-fi to my past self.
And there’s the paradox. Same old problems, modern high-tech world.
Of course we need an escape!
And I’ve got two options for you there: one to the past and one to the future. I’ve talked about both of them recently (there’s that history repeating itself again) but they end soon, so here’s a reminder.
It also features titles by Brandon Sanderson and Alan Dean Foster, as well as writers who have graced the pages of WMG projects, including Kevin J. Anderson, Frank Herbert, Robert Jeschonek, Tao Wong, and Leah Cutter.
There are 35 total titles in this bundle ($308 total value), and you can get them all for $18.
What do you get when you set a cozy mystery series at science fiction conventions? Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s fan-favorite Spade/Paladin series, of course.
The infamous private detectives return for their latest mystery in “At Witt’s End.”
Here’s the synopsis:
When legendary science fiction fan Brendan Witt dies, Secret Master of Fandom and private detective Spade finds himself planning a memorial charity auction to honor Witt’s final wishes.
But when some very rare and highly collectible fanzines go missing, Spade and Paladin must race to find them before anyone notices.
Just one problem: Why they went missing might just prove the biggest mystery of all.
You can read this story for free on Kris’ website as part of her Free Fiction Monday. Click here to do so.
But don’t dally. The story is only available for one week.
Speaking of limited-time opportunities for a great deal in fiction, the Darker Realms Fantasy StoryBundle ends in a few days. As a reminder, you can get Fiction River Presents: Darker Realms, Kris’ FantasyLife and Other Stories (Author Preferred Edition), and Dean Wesley Smith’s The Free Meal: A Ghost of a Chance Novel, along with seven other fantastic books (plus support the AbleGamers charity) for just $15!
I’m feeling a bit spacey this week. For a couple of reasons. First, The Runabout is now available in ebook and paperback everywhere. (For more information on that release, click here.)
Second, I’ve got a brand-new Storybundle to tell you about, and this one is a bit different because I co-curated it with Dean Wesley Smith.
Storybundles are always fun to curate. Brainstorming them together makes it even more so. Especially when that other brain is Dean’s. He and I think very differently, which is a good thing. When we start collaborating—be that co-teaching or co-curating—our different approaches help us take each other’s ideas and build on them in such a way that, when we’re done, we have something greater than either of us might have conceived of on our own. I bring order to his chaos. He helps me tap into my creative brain and think outside the box. Our disparate ways of thinking are alien to each other and yet we have found a way not only to appreciate those differences but also allow them to expand our own perspectives.
Not surprisingly, Dean and I think about the topic of this bundle in different ways. For me, I focused on the “us.” How would we humans choose to react to aliens? Would we use our better natures or be driven by fear? Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s award-winning The End of the World perfectly illustrates this conundrum. And it’s why I chose that particular book for this bundle.
Dean looks at things from a more alien perspective. Here’s his take on the bundle:
“Science fiction readers all know that the main theme of all science fiction is the alien among us. Early on, when science fiction was a genre only read by science geeks and kids who built their own telescopes, readers felt that they were the aliens in the larger real world.
School was an alien place, other humans felt alien. Science fiction felt safe.
And science fiction stories and novels helped explain so much of what they were feeling.
I was no exception. I always felt different, a little odd, never really fitting in. In other words: alien.
And I loved science fiction and grew up reading it and then eventually writing it.
Now, science fiction has grown into this wonderful place of sharing ideas and stories worldwide, no longer just reserved for the science geek. But aliens and being alien is still the major theme of most of the books and stories.
So, when I got the chance to help curate this wonderful bundle with Allyson Longueira, I jumped at the chance because Aliens Among Us described so many great books from my past and many, many great stories and novels being publishing today.
As you can see, the term “alien” has a rich and varied meaning. And the Aliens Among Us bundle has a rich and varied group of books from some of the top science fiction writers working in modern fiction.
To read more about the stellar books in this bundle, or for buying information, click here. But hurry because this bundle will only be available for another couple of weeks. (And while you’re there, there’s only one more week to pick up the Light in the Dark YA bundle.)
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.
It’s summer, and from what I hear from many of my friends outside the Oregon Coast, it has been a hot one.
I remember hot summers. Probably the hottest was the summer I spent in Madrid, Spain, with my father, sister, and best friend. It was 1992, the summer of the World’s Fair in Sevilla and the Summer Olympics in Barcelona. We traveled a lot that summer, but my strongest memory is of passing out on the escalator in a metro station in Madrid. I’ve never handled extreme heat well, and it was 110 degrees that day. The metro wasn’t much cooler, even though it was underground, and it had no air conditioning. Needless to say, our plans for the day were derailed by my fainting. Although, thanks to one aggressive Spanish taxi driver, our adventures were far from over. But that’s another story.
Now, when I talk to my good friend in Madrid, and he tells me of the heat, I remember that day. And I think the only good plan for a hot summer’s day is to stay inside the air conditioning and read.
And so it seems wholly appropriate that I have the following Storybundle to tell you about:
The SF&F Binge Reader Bundle, curated by our own Kristine Kathryn Rusch, offers a new (at least new to us) twist on the Storybundle concept. Storybundle, of course, bundles books together for a limited time and a great price. This bundle, however, bundles bundles. Yes, that’s what I said. Four book bundles for $5 or ten for $15.
WMG has four bundles in this Storybundle:
The Fates Trilogy by Kristine Grayson (Simply Irresistible, Absolutely Captivated, Totally Spellbound)
I was discussing the nature of crime the other day with a colleague. I recently caught someone in a deception and was marveling at the stupidity of people who choose deception over honesty. We’ve all heard of the stupid criminal. It’s one reason why our jails are so full. They just don’t think things through far enough to cover their tracks.
Lucky for the rest of us.
Fortunately, most people are generally smart enough to realize that crime doesn’t pay. Even better, some of the most brilliant among us channel their energy into writing about the crimes they can imagine, and have fictional characters act them out.
Like the amazing collection of authors in the latest Storybundle: The Dark Crimes Bundle, which is curated by New York Times bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch.
About this bundle, she says:
“I have only a handful of requirements of crime fiction—innovative characters, twisty plots, concrete settings, and great voice. Not many mystery writers manage to hit each requirement. I’ve read so much crime fiction that I’m hard to surprise. I get irritated when I can’t “see” the setting. I don’t want to hang out with the same kind of characters who show up on TV. And I really want to hear someone whisper in my ear as I’m reading.
“Every writer in this bundle hits all my crime fiction requirements. In fact, every writer here exceeds them—always surprising me, always entertaining me. I love the work of each writer in this bundle. In one way or another, I’ve worked with each one of them. I’m not the only one who recognizes their quality either. We have New York Times bestsellers, Macavity winners, Shamus winners, Derringer winners, ITW Thriller Writer award winners, and international bestsellers.
“If you like mystery and crime fiction as much as I do, you’ll love this bundle. And if you’re new to the genre, this bundle will introduce you to enough authors to influence your reading for years to come.”
I have a couple of fun surprises in store for you this week with two fantastic, yet totally different, types of bundles. And even better, one is nonfiction and one is fiction!
First up is The Write Stuff 2017 Storybundle. Curated by brilliant businesswoman and amazing author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, this bundle contains books by Kris, Dean Wesley Smith, Lawrence Block, Joanna Penn, Tonya D. Price, Maggie Lynch, Leah Cutter, Chuck Heintzelman and Mary Buckham, plus a free (yes, you read that right…free) WMG online lecture and steep discounts on Jutoh and Writer’s Café. And don’t forget, you name your own price with Storybundle.
Here’s what Kris has to say about The Write Stuff 2017:
Writing a book should be as easy as reading one. Right? Right?
Sounds so simple. But writing entertaining fiction isn’t simple. It’s like juggling while doing a one-handed handstand while balancing a box of three angry cats on your left foot. Enter The Write Stuff Bundle 2017. I put it together with writers of all levels in mind.
Our charity for this bundle, AbleGamers, helps people with disabilities enjoy the imaginary worlds of video games. The organization provides one-on-one assistance to help people with a variety of disabilities join the lively interactive world of gaming, easing the social isolation that being disabled can bring.
For the second surprise, I’ve teamed up with a whole bunch of speculative fiction authors to offer more than 10 great short story anthologies for $2.99! Fiction River: Alchemy & Steam and the first Uncollected Anthology volume are included in this promotion, along with and stories from authors like Patricia Burroughs, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Ursula K. Le Guin, Vonda N. McIntyre, and Pam McCutcheon. Check out all the books here: bit.ly/spec-fic-sale. But act fast: This one ends May 1.
Allyson Longueira is publisher of WMG Publishing. She is an award-winning writer, editor and designer.