Archives for posts with tag: The Philip K. Dick Award Bundle

If the conventional wisdom is that boys and men read science fiction, girls and women read romance, then further conventional wisdom is that men write science fiction and women write romance.

This certainly may have been true forty years ago and remains true, to a certain extent, today. Women who wrote superb science fiction—C. L. Moore, James Tiptree, Jr., Andre Norton—wrote under male pseudonyms.

But beginning in the 1970s, women like Ursula K. Le Guinn, Joanna Russ, and Vonda McIntyre leapt into the science fiction arena and influenced the next generation of women science fiction writers. Writers like the seven women in The Philip K Dick Award StorybundleElizabeth Hand, Gwyneth Jones, Kathe Koja, Pat Murphy, Lisa Mason, Kay Kenyon, and Sarah Zettel.

You must watch this fine video of Sarah talking about women who write science fiction and their stories at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N08_dvCxbIw

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only one more day until October 15, midnight Eastern Standard Time, 9 P.M. Pacific Standard Time. You must act now because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Download yours today at http://www.storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

The conventional wisdom is that boys and men read science fiction, girls and women read romance.

As Jane Austin famously said, “I write about love and money. What else is there?” I’m sure a lot of girls and women want only to read about love and money. Indeed, romance books account for 60 percent of the fiction market. Science fiction, fantasy, mystery, thrillers, and literary fiction scramble around for pieces of the rest of that pie.

But there is something else. There are ideas and speculations, inner space and outer space, the future and the past, artificial intelligence and technology. Aren’t girls and women interested in reading about those things, too?

Yes, they are.

You must see this terrific video of Sarah talking about girls and women who are fans and readers of science fiction at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hLiEQChjYeI

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only one more day until October 15. You must act now because once it’s gone, it’s gone. Download yours today at http://www.storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

Walter Jon Williams discusses, with his usual insight and humor, the role of family in fiction and particularly in genre fiction. How can you be a superhero zipping around the universe faster than light and still come home for a proper sit-down dinner with the family? Walter considers the question at http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2015/06/family/

The multi-talented, award-winning, bestselling Walter Jon Williams, the author of Knight Moves in The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle, has been blogging for years about writing. He’s got a wealth of observations about the craft of writing and the perils of a writing career.

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle lasts only three more days until October 15 midnight East coast time, 9 P.M. West coast time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Don’t let this bargain slip away, download yours today at http://www.storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

Walter Jon Williams is the author of Knight Moves, which you’ll find in The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle. Now you have no more excuses to delay purchasing this incredible bundle. You will receive a Walter Jon Williams book!

Walter has been writing a blog for years and has a lot of observations about the craft of writing and the perils of a writing career.

Thought-provoking and insightful, with his trademarked humor, here Walter discusses what the superstar success of the Beatles can teach writers about crafting a writing career. http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2014/02/lessons-for-writers-the-fab-four/. If you’re a writer or simply curious about writing, you must check out this fascinating blog.

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle lasts only three more days until October 15, midnight East coast time, 9 P.M. West coast time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Don’t let this bargain slip away, download yours today at http://www.storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

A Philip K Dick Award-nominated novel

Knight Moves Cover Final

Eight hundred years ago Doran Falkner gave humanity the stars, and he now lives with his regrets on a depopulated Earth among tumbledown ruins and ancient dreams brought to life by modern technology.

But word now comes that alien life has been discovered on a distant world, life so strange and impossible that the revelation of its secrets could change everything. A disillusioned knight on the chessboard of the gods, Doran must confront his own lost promise, his lost love, and his lost humanity, to make the move that will revive the fortunes both of humans and aliens . . .

Knight Moves is an engrossing and evocative read, a tale of immortality and love and death rendered in a style that reminds me more than a little of the early Roger Zelazny. Williams’ people are intriguing and sympathetic, and his portrait of an Earth left transformed and empty by a humanity gone to the stars, where aliens dig among ancient ruins for old comic books while the creatures of legends stir and walk again, will linger in my memory for a long time. Williams is a writer to watch, and– more importantly– to read.”
George R.R. Martin, author of Game of Thrones

Knight Moves uses an unmatched cast of characters, human and otherwise, to tell an intriguing story.”
Fred Saberhagen, author of the Book of Swords Trilogy

Walter Jon Williams is an award-winning author who has appeared on the best-seller lists of the New York Times and the Times of London.  He is the author of twenty-seven novels and three collections of short fiction.

His first novel to attract serious public attention was Hardwired (1986), described by Roger Zelazny as “a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe-light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars.”  In 2001 he won a Nebula Award for his novelette, “Daddy’s World,” and won again in 2005 for “The Green Leopard Plague.”

Walter’s subject matter has an unusually wide range, and include the glittering surfaces of Hardwired, the opulent tapestries of Aristoi, the bleak future police novel Days of Atonement, and the pensive young Mary Shelley of the novella “Wall, Stone, Craft,” which was nominated for a Hugo, Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award.

He has also written for George R.R. Martin’s Wild Cards project.
His latest work is The Fourth Wall, a near-future thriller set in the world of alternate reality gaming.
Walter has also written for comics, the screen, and for television, and has worked in the gaming field.  He was a writer for the alternate reality game Last Call Poker, and has scripted the mega-hit Spore.

For Lightspeed Magazine’s interview with Walter, go to http://www.lightspeedmagazine.com/nonfiction/feature-interview-walter-jon-williams/

For Walter’s blog on his struggles with the writing of Knight Moves, go to http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2012/01/revisiting-knight-moves/
Walter has been blogging for years about the craft and the career of writing and has passionate opinions. He ought to know! Here are some of his recent words of wisdom about the craft:
Walter discusses, with his usual humor, the role of family in fiction and particularly in genre fiction. http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2015/06/family/
Walter’s remarks on the autobiography of George Clinton and how funkadelic music has a lesson for writers. http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2015/03/lessons-for-writers-dr-funkenstein/
Walter discusses ambiguity in life and in fiction. http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2014/01/ambiguity/
Walter discusses what the phenomenal success of the Beatles can teach writers. A fascinating blog, you must check it out! http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2014/02/lessons-for-writers-the-fab-four/
Walter talks idiot plots, idiot characters, and lazy writing. Writers, beware. Walter Jon Williams is watching you! http://www.walterjonwilliams.net/2015/01/trama-idiota/

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle lasts only three more days until October 15 midnight East coast time, 9 P.M. West coast time. Once it’s gone, it’s gone! Don’t let this bargain slip away, download yours today at http://www.storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

They thought Earth would always abide. But it hadn’t, not at all . . . .

Maximum Ice Cover Final

Zoya Kundara has lived on the space vessel Star Road for 250 years. As Ship Mother, she is awakened from Deep Sleep in times of crisis, providing counsel to generations of its Romany crew. Now the starship has returned home, only to discover an Earth on the verge of extinction, blanketed in a crystalline substance called Ice. But it’s not ice. This pearl-white mantle is a grand and mysterious ecology of information-bearing crystals. And it is relentlessly enclosing the last free lands.

To find a home for her crew, Zoya must approach the denizens of this strange new Earth. She will discover the Ice Nuns, who seek sole control of the physics-defying crystals; people huddled like moles in underground techno-warrens; and the snow witches, creatures of Ice, both mad and prophetic . . . and one snow witch in particular, who will defend the kingdom of Ice with power and immortal cunning.

From Library Journal
The generation ship Star Road returns to Earth after 250 years to revitalize its failing population and discovers that the planet is enveloped in a crystalline substance referred to as Ice. Zoya Kundara, the Ship Mother, acts as emissary to the planet’s underground inhabitants, hoping against hope to find a way to rescue Earth and her own people from extinction. The author of The Seeds of Time and Leap Point delivers an ecological adventure set against an Earth peopled by Ice Nuns, snow witches, and renegade cannibals. For most sf collections.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist
It has been 250 years since Zoya’s starship left Earth, and upon finally returning, the crew discovers a planet nearly swallowed by a peculiar crystalline, icelike substance. As Ship Mother, Zoya has spent most of the long years in suspended animation, wakening occasionally to reconnect with the crew, an extended Romany family that fled after being scapegoated for a virulent plague. They are desperate to rebuild their lives on Earth, but communications with its few surviving inhabitants, who live in stinking warrens under the ice’s surface, don’t bode well. Then a transmission from a mysterious community called the Ice Nuns, which claims to be studying the ice as an information storage medium, entices Zoya down to the surface to investigate. Unbeknownst to her, Swan, an old enemy of the Rom, still wanders the surface, and when he hears of their return, he vows a singular, bloody vengeance for the deaths of his family. A vivid cast of characters, some interesting asides on religious authority, and the bleakly beautiful landscape make this a uniquely powerful tale reminiscent of Greg Bear. –Roberta Johnson
Copyright © American Library Association.

Kay Kenyon is best known for her world building. Her science fiction and fantasy novels all develop out of a Place, a memorable and alluring geography, habitat, or magical kingdom. She then discovers who lives there, and why. And so the stories begin.

Her most recent novel is the fantasy Queen of the Deep, about an aspiring actress who opens a door onto a strange Renaissance kingdom. Her previous fantasy was A Thousand Perfect Things.

Kay has been a finalist for the Philip K. Dick and the John W. Campbell Memorial Awards, and twice for the ALA Reading List awards. Her science fiction includes the acclaimed series “The Entire and The Rose.” Some of her early science fiction, such as Maximum Ice, has now been reissued in eBook, with what the author thinks are some of her best covers ever. Five of her short stories, including The Last Wave and The Book of Faces, are available as separate e-releases on Amazon.

Kay lives with her husband in Wenatchee Washington, and is a founding member of Write on the River, dedicated to helping aspiring writers improve their craft and navigate the writing life. Find out her latest news on her blog and website: http://www.kaykenyon.com, follow her on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/KayKenyon, connect with her on Facebook at http://www.facebook/kay.kenyon, or sign up for her newsletter on her website.

Kay blogs about Maximum Ice at http://www.kaykenyon.com/tag/storybundle/
And be sure to check out Kay’s new blog on her happiness about the cover art for Maximum Ice at http://www.kaykenyon.com/2015/10/06/when-the-cover-artist-nails-it/

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only until October 15. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Download yours today at http://www.storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.

I’m always fascinated by author interviews, biographies, and the story behind the story—discussions of an author’s inspiration and genesis from concept to finished work. This just in from Bill Barton, the author of Acts of Conscience:

The Road to Green Heaven
by William Barton © 2015

Almost all writers begin by imitating other books, and in modern times, other media. All writers living today were exposed not only to books, but to movies and television, to comic books, graphic novels, cartoons, anime, you name it. I am as subject to those influences as anyone else, and most especially to the cheap paperback novels and comic books published during my own annus mirabilis of 1964, when I was thirteen and then fourteen years old.

Green Heaven, and this Acts of Conscience, is technically part of my Starover Universe, which began with the publication of Hunting On Kunderer, in 1973, but it’s a late addition, and contains some crossover with the Silvergirl Universe (When We Were Real and several other stories). The crossover is mainly technological, representing some of what I learned between the 1970s and 1990s, but the worlds of the book are pure Starover.

I have sometimes described the Starover Universe as Larry Niven’s Known Space meets A. Bertram Chandler’s Galactic Rim. And though it was far beyond that, it remains true, because it and its ancestors are what I call “featural universes.” They are all about the naming of names and the relationships between them. The thing is, you can map a featural universe, and that’s how the Titanium Brick Road to Green Heaven began.

I am a very visual person, and always have been. When I was a boy, I drew scenes from things I was reading, borrowed and expanded on illustrations from books like the Grosset & Dunlap Tom Corbett editions. And I tried to draw maps, against which to visualize the story. One day, I was laying on the floor, sketching out a map with 3D renderings of places named Tentholm and Aerhurst, when my father wanderer by, looked at it, and exclaimed, “Why, this is a map of Swiss Family Robinson!” I was proud he recognized it, and happy to have amazed him. It was certainly a validation of my sense of self-worth, and like most of us, I was a decidedly underappreciated ten year old.

I continued drawing maps of things I read, including some exquisite renderings of Barsoom, once I realized you could locate Exum positively on a map, and then work outwards, jumping from place to place, relating them to one another. Finally, maybe in the sixth grade, I began creating and mapping my own worlds. You can see how some of them turned out in the frontispiece maps to Crimson Darkness.

What I didn’t have was a sound mechanism for mapping some of the science fiction stories I liked. Oh, I knew where the planets and major asteroids of the Solar System were, and even had some sense of where the nearest stars were, once I learned a little spherical geometry. But some of those stories were scattered around the galaxy, for which no real map then existed. I could look at photos of Andromeda, and kind of guess, but… how to draw a map? One that would look  the way I thought maps should look?

At first, I tried drawing the “lens” as described in some novels, with dots for stars/worlds/civilizations. Not so satisfactory. One day I tried to map the Galactic Rim universe, as Chandler described it. I drew a circle, then put the dots of the major elements of the Rimworlds Confederacy around the edge. Hmm. That was the first time I realized the old sea-captain had created an impossible entity, as if the Isle of Man, Tahiti, the Falklands, and the Seychelles had declared independence and banded together. The other thing I realized was, the rest Chandler’s galaxy was full of space-going countries. The Terran Federation, the Shaara Empire, etc.

Now, I had already created a non-featural universe, the Ohanaic Universe that would give birth to its own stories, such as Yellow Matter, based loosely on James Blish’s space-going Okie stories. I never really tried to map it, because it was internalized, more about Spenglerian history than about settings.

So I drew another circle, drew an inner circle I labeled “Galactic Core (uninhabitable),” scattered a few dots around where I knew I wanted “capitol planets,” then drew borders, colored everything in, and invented names, just like I’d done with my planetary romance settings. To the big blue splotch centered on Earth, I attached the label Terran Colony System, and the Starover Universe was born.

The rest of its genesis came from my other habit, of drawing pictures of my characters, and setting them in scenes from the stories I was imagining, and sometimes trying to write. This second element of the Starover Universe came from a coloring book I was using as a template. I could draw pretty well as a kid, but things like human figures are pretty hard, so I traced people from other sources (primarily comic books) and placed them in backgrounds of my own devising, sometimes even scaling them with a toy pantograph I had.

The first story of the Starover Universe came out of a Superman coloring book I’d spotted. Oddly, though it was without captions, there was an implied story in the sequence of images, and so I wrote a story of my own to connect them together, spawning characters from the unknown ones in the coloring book. Superman became Zoltan Tharkie, the uniformed airline pilot became Dexteran Kaelenn, the thuggish villain became Shane Lawrency, and so on. I even tried to write the story down, petering out after a few pages, as I usually did, but a decade later, that early effort became the first chapter of my second published novel, A Plague of All Cowards.

The next phase came as I began reading Larry Niven’s Known Space stories. I was fascinated by his “habitable point” gimmick, but much more interested in the fact that his planets seemed like entire real worlds, rather than “spots for plots,” like in so much science fiction of the era. I had made up a few Starover planets, but didn’t know much beyond what was in the story ideas.

And, of course, I’d drawn fairly detailed maps of my planetary romance settings, which is the whole idea. Venusworld had more than a hundred countries, each with its own language, culture, and history. Obviously, every planet in a science fiction universe should too. The next thing I realized was, the Starover Universe was in the fairly remote future, mainly years after 4000 AD. I knew something of its history, of how there’d been a terrible dictatorship called the Combine that’d been overthrown a thousand years before the events of A Plague of All Cowards.

How had human civilization gotten to that point? So I started writing down a future history that connected the 1960s, where Project Gemini was the latest thing in space travel, to the universe of Zoltan Tharkie, two thousand years later, where humans and their allies had just fought a devastating interstellar against the Tertris and their allies. Let me tell you, I thought I was mighty clever making Zoltan Tharkie the hero who’d ended the war by vaporizing the Tertris homeworld. And I did understand that made him a genocidal war criminal.

Looking at Known Space, I realized what I needed to do to flesh out the very near future Starover Universe, providing a linking civilization that would connect the twentieth century USA to the Combine of the twenty-eighth. In addition to the historical narrative, I picked out a couple of dozen stars that I figured could support habitable planets, made up star systems for them, including a “scientific” nomenclature for them (in it, Earth’s Moon would be called Sol IIIi. For Kent, it would be Alpha Centauri A-IV, etc.). Then I made up microhistories that would implement logical names for the planets in the star systems. And then I began drawing maps of each and every inhabited planet, and some of the important uninhabited ones as well. I even drew pictures of some of the gas giants I figured my characters might want to visit.

The frontispiece map of Green Heaven from the StoryBundle edition of Acts of Conscience is scanned from one of a later series of color maps I did of the major worlds. I even did a spiral arm map of the entire Starover galaxy, used as the frontispiece of This Dog/Rat World. As the Universe evolved, I decided there would be far-flung clusters of such worlds, highly habitable planets colonized first, then others nearby in secondary colonizations. In A Last War for the Oriflamme, readers get to visit Vincenzo Prime, capitol planet of the Vinzeth Empire, along with a few other planets later incorporated in the Terran Colony System. They all have maps of their own.

I wrote the outline for Acts of Conscience some time in the middle 1970s, but didn’t have either the skillset or free time to write it properly. Not long after finishing This Dog/Rat World, I threw in the towel on writing science fiction, and wasn’t to resume for fourteen years. When I did, there were all those beautiful maps, and the outline for an extraordinary novel. When I got that Special Citation from the Philip K. Dick Award, it was a personal validation not unlike the one I’d gotten from my Dad, thirty-five years earlier.

Thank you, Bill, for your insightful and moving monograph on the writing of Acts of Conscience. For more information about William Barton and his books, please see http://williambarton.com/.

So there you have it, my friends. The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle includes Aestival Tide by Elizabeth Hand (PKD Finalist), Life by Gwyneth Jones (PKD Winner), The Cipher by Kathe Koja (PKD Finalist), Points of Departure by Pat Murphy (PKD Winner), Dark Seeker by K. W. Jeter (PKD Finalist), Summer of Love by Lisa Mason (PKD Finalist), Frontera by Lewis Shiner (PKD Finalist), Acts of Conscience by William Barton (PKD Special Citation), Maximum Ice by Kay Kenyon (PKD Finalist), Knight Moves by Walter Jon Williams (PKD Finalist), and Reclamation by Sarah Zettel (PKD Finalist).

The Philip K Dick Award Storybundle runs only until October 15 so you must act now! Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Download yours today at http://storybundle.com/pkdaward and enjoy world-class, award-winning reading right now and into the holidays.