A woman surprised

This review of QUANTUM MORTIS A Man Disrupted is unusual, since it is written by an avowed anti-fan, (and not merely an anti-fan of me), who, unlike some, elected to read the book and review it instead of merely reacting to the name of one of the authors:

I went into this book fully expecting to hate it. I was in fact
gleefully awaiting it to turn into a giant pile of shit that I could
tear apart with glee. One of the co-writers of this book was Vox “Throw
acid in women’s faces for the greater good” Day and the only endorsement
in the back of the book was Tom Kratman.

I was not prepared to give this book even a single chance, but by the
end I was furiously swiping through pages with pure glee. Its basically
the anti-Oathbound for me, a book I went in expecting to love and hated
it.

The plot in the general sense is your standard Noir in Space setup:
Investigator starts work on a simple case that turns out to be much
bigger than it looks and spirals into one that could decide the fate of
the entire planet and the main character is a grizzled hardass bigot.
What makes it work is that the characters are actually fantastic and
Steve Rzasa’s writing saves Vox Day’s and turns the book into an
utterly enjoyable piece of pulp fiction that’s so stupid it wraps around
to utterly fucking brilliant….

The book also subverts the hell out of a lot of the usual cliches as
well. The villain is actually a gigantic threat to the point that they
confront them with a Kill Team, a regiment of Marines and a Battleship in orbit
and Tower puts their odds of survival at “low”. AIs are also treated as
actual beings capable of independent thought, emotion and sacrifice and the book laughs off the idea of “Kill all Humans” or “God Complex” AIs.

The book also treats people who can kill with glee while making one liners as being total psychopaths
who freak the main character the fuck out while treating the guy puking
his guts out and crying while mowing enemies down as being far more
normal and perfectly respectable.

The first draft of the second QUANTUM MORTIS novel is now complete, so there is a good chance it will be out in July. Tower and Baby are back, and they find themselves facing a threat that is even more gigantic and intergalactically dangerous than the one posed in QM:AMD. But Tower has a new gun….


Wallpaper No. 2

In honor of the publication of QUANTUM MORTIS The Programmed Mind, JartStar has produced a wallpaper showing ATSV Draco approaching Bonoplane and the stricken Shiva-class cruiser in orbit around the planet. To download the full 1920×1080 picture, right click on the image and select “Save As”.

The initial reviews have been positive. Some selections:

  • Writing you a quick note to let you know how much I enjoyed The
    Programmed Mind
    …. The misdirection was excellent.  I read a good deal of sci-fi and a ton
    of mystery, and this is definitely among the top books I have read.
  • I thought I knew how it was going to end, and was pleased to find out I
    was only 50 percent correct. Suffice it to say the twists were great.
    Highly recommend this as a precursor to MCID Chief Warrant Officer
    Graven Tower’s world.
  • Tight story telling. Interesting well thought-out characters… and a
    fascinating futuristic spy plot. The book fleshes out the Quantum
    Mortis world even more, and sets the stage for what appears to be a
    galaxy-sized war.
  • This book differs in subgenre from the other two
    installments currently making up the QM series; there is less explosive
    action and a bit of a Tom Clancy feel as other reviewers have noted,
    where the character and personalities of individual characters have a
    direct effect on the events that unfold. I enjoyed it more than the
    other two for that reason, though I recommend reading the entire Quantum
    Mortis series.

Also, I think this guy Tom might have written a book or something. Some people seem to think it’s all right….


QUANTUM MORTIS The Programmed Mind

In addition to Big Boys Don’t Cry Castalia House also announced today QUANTUM MORTIS The Programmed Mind.  The book is set centuries before Chief Warrant Officer Graven Tower joined MCID-XAR, in a time when the
Greater Terran Ascendancy found itself facing a historic crisis after the
Shiva-class cruiser ATSV Rigel went missing during a routine patrol
through the Kantillon sector. Fortunately for the
Terran empire, the Ascendancy Intelligence Directorate’s top operative,
Daniela York, is on the scene. But is she capable of penetrating the
lethal plot perpetratd by House Dai Zhan’s ruthless assassins,
especially after the Directorate discovers the cyborgs of the
Man-Machine Integration may be involved? 
QUANTUM MORTIS The Programmed Mind is a literary remix of a
true SF classic and is a tightly plotted, intense spy
thriller that lays the deep historical foundation for the futuristic
science fiction world of Quantum Mortis.

I asked a serious fan of the original work upon which QM-TPM is based, The Programmed Man by Jean and Jeff Sutton, to share his thoughts on whether he felt the book lived up to the original, which was a childhood favorite of mine. After reading it, he replied:

“The trouble with “reboots” isn’t that they shouldn’t be done. I’m not terribly sure they can
be done. After all, Tolkien could not return to Middle Earth after Lord
of the Rings
. Asimov tried to return to extend his colossal Foundation,
and failed galactically. I can list a score of other examples, and if
the original author is incapable, it seems evident that earnest
successors fare no better. Dune was not improved by re-visits by later
authors, nor was the Hyborian Age, and few Lovecraft pastiches come
anywhere close to the originals.

“That general observation is precisely why you’ll never catch me describing Quantum Mortis: The Programmed Mind with the epithet “reboot.”

“The Programmed Man is among the more memorable science
fiction novels of the New Wave that you have never
heard of. Despite its distribution though young adult book clubs following publication, it was poorly suited
for longevity in the minds of young readers due to its complexity of plot and
its emphasis on intrigue rather than action. The plot is a
galaxy-spanning game of enigmas and deception in the hunt for a lone
individual who may, (or may not), hold the fate of the decline of
humankind in his genes. An extra twist is added to the narrative
in that much of the truth to the labyrinthine plot is concealed in the
words of vested and unreliable witnesses. The book is a lot of things: a
spy novel, a mystery, a nuclear war novel, and a foray into game
theory.

“In The Programmed Man, the core cloak-and-dagger game
structure is analyzed intellectually, and teased out in tantalizing
packets of conversation. The novel’s new successor, Quantum Mortis: The Programmed Mind,
is an explosive action novel that uses the core game structure as the
tinderbox for galactic conflict. It raises the body count and explores
new territory: sexual differences and artificial intelligence, as well as human
origin, awareness and identity. It also just happens to lay some
fascinating and significant historic turning points set within Day’s
Quantum Mortis universe. If The Programmed Man reads like the secret dossier transcripts of the historic event, then Quantum Mortis: The Programmed Mind is the pulse-pounding eyewitness experience.

“Whereas
the typical marriage of public domain works and modern authorship seem
most often to result in those “Jane Austen plus Monsters” semi-parodies, Quantum Mortis: The Programmed Mind breaks new
ground, presenting itself instead as a sizzling collaboration between
two powerful science fiction voices of two different eras.”

From the early reviews:

” Think Hunt For Red October if it was told from Admiral Greer’s perspective instead of Jack Ryan’s.”

 “A great addition to the Quantum Mortis series, highly recommended.”

“Tight story telling. Interesting well thought-out characters… and a fascinating futuristic spy plot.”


Books on Amazon

QUANTUM MORTIS A Man Disrupted is now available again on Amazon.  All of the book links on the right sidebar are active again, with the exception of A Throne of Bones. That should be good to go sometime this weekend.

My apologies to those who were waiting to read this, but we only learned about the Marcher Lord sale at the end of December, so this was the fastest we were able to get the books back online. But the new publishing structure will allow for a lot of new activities in the coming year, so I think the wait will prove well worth it.  Also, it appears I spoke too soon about the reviews being lost. They’ve already reappeared on AMB, TWC, and TLW, so kudos to Amazon for having a sufficiently flexible system to keep the information from being lost.


The revolution continues

I know some of you have been wondering when I was going to get my books back online. I think I’ve received between 35 and 50 emails informing me that the Amazon links were broken over the last month, which is always an intriguing lesson on the inefficient nature of transmitting information via blog posts. The process of changing over from Marcher Lord took a little longer than I’d hoped, but we are at last finally getting somewhere. And since it is based in Finland, it seems fitting that the new publisher, Castalia House, should launch with  Särjetty taika, the Finnish translation of A Magic Broken.

Särjetty taika on fantastinen tarina häikäilemättömyydestä, urheudesta
ja petollisuudesta. Novelli kertoo kapteeni Nicolas du Meren tarinan.
Hän on maanpaossa hänen kapinaan nousseen lordinsa kuoleman vuoksi. Se
kertoo myös Lodista, Dunmorin pojasta; rohkeasta kääpiöstä joka yrittää
pelastaa kääpiötoverinsa orjuudesta. Heidän vaaralliset polkunsa
kohtaavat, mutta tavalla joka on kaikkea muuta kuin ennalta-arvattava.

We’d like to get a few Finnish reviews on Amazon, so if you speak Finnish and would like a review copy, please let me know. However, since the SF/F world doesn’t revolve around Helsinki, we have also published a number of the books in English today, including QUANTUM MORTIS: Gravity Kills, The Wardog’s Coin, and The Last Witchking. The first four books are already live and the other books are in the works; most of them have already been uploaded to Amazon. I’m not sure why QUANTUM MORTIS: A Man Disrupted is not yet live, as it was the second book uploaded, but it appears there might be some technical conflict with the books that were published in print by Marcher Lord. But that should be resolved reasonably soon as Amazon has already acknowledged Marcher Lord’s unpublishing requests.

With a bit of luck and a tailwind, all the books should be live by the weekend with the possible exception of Summa Elvetica and Other Stories which hasn’t been created yet. Unfortunately, the process of transferring publishers appears to have caused the various reviews to disappeared. So, if you previously reviewed the books, or if you’ve read them but haven’t had the chance to get around to writing a review, I’d appreciate it if you’d consider taking the time to post a review again. I was told they would transfer over automatically, but that does not appear to be the case.

If you have any questions about Castalia House, please feel free to ask them here. My long-term expectation is that it will become a new model publisher and a key element in the Blue SF revolution. The publisher does intend to eventually publish other authors besides me, but please don’t send any inquiries in yet since we still have our hands full getting all of my books into print as well as publishing the various translated versions. Unfortunately, Amazon does not support Bahasa Indonesian or we would be publishing Mantra yang Rusak today as well.

But, if you’re interested in getting involved, as a slush reader, a translator, a blogger, or in some other way we haven’t anticipated, don’t hesitate to let me know. We haven’t even begun to put the web site together yet, as our first priority was to get the books online again. We have a long way to go to tear down the walls and towers of Pink SF, but we fully intend on having a good time in the process. After all, what is the point of sacking and pillaging if you’re not going to enjoy it?


Puhutko suomea?

Thanks to the two translators and JartStar, the first two translated ebooks are now finished and will be released once the process of republishing my Selenoth and Quantum Mortis books is complete. The Finnish and Bahasa Indonesian versions of A Magic Broken will be released then, and I’m told there is a chance that the French version may be ready by then as well, depending upon how long it the process actually takes. Some of the books should enjoy broader distribution than they did as Hinterlands books, as we will be putting them into the Apple Store and other distribution outlets that hitherto went unaddressed.

Those who speak English and have no interest in the translations may, however, be interested to know that there will be a new English ebook released as well. (No, it isn’t TAODAL 2. That will be December with some luck and a strong tailwind.) I won’t say anything more about the new book for the time being, but if everything goes as planned, we should have the previous QM and Selenoth books, as well as the four new additions, all out and available by the end of the month. The seven other translations in the works will be published as they are completed; I am myself particularly fired up about the Wallisertiitsch translation of Quantum Mortis:Gravity Kills.

In the meantime, if you happen to speak either Finnish or Indonesian and you are willing to proofread the relevant ebook, please shoot me an email and let me know. I’m still looking for more translators too, so if your mother tongue is something other than English and you have been considering a new challenge in the new year, this might be an interesting one to tackle. It has certainly been fascinating for me to learn which  English idioms don’t translate well, and frankly, I am just a little shocked to have been informed of some of the Finnish quasi-equivalents. They are a naughty people.

UPDATE: Okay, I didn’t anticipate any problem finding a Finnish proofreader. But I was a little surprised to learn that there is more than one regular reader who is a native speaker of Bahasa Indonesia.


The new Marcher Lord Press

This should suffice to explain my rather cryptic post the other day. Marcher Lord Press has been sold:

Steve Laube has officially purchased Marcher Lord Press from Jeff Gerke. There will be a question and answer post on Monday, January 6th on Steve’s own site that we will link when the post is up.The official press is as follows:

STEVE LAUBE BUYS MARCHER LORD PRESS

(Phoenix, AZ) Steve Laube, president of The Steve Laube Agency, has agreed to purchase Marcher Lord Press, the premier publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy for the Christian market. The sale was finalized on January 1, 2014. Laube has long been a champion of the genre, going back to his days as an acquisition editor at Bethany House Publishers. Jeff Gerke, the founder of Marcher Lord Press, said “I could not have found a better person to buy the company I started in 2008.”

Marcher Lord Press has a backlist of about 40 titles with many of them nominated or winning both Christy and Carol awards for being the best in their genre.

I certainly wish Mr. Laube great success with Marcher Lord. That being said, I will not be a part of it. I have reacquired all the publishing rights to the Selenoth and Quantum Mortis books and will be re-releasing them through the publishing arm of Alpenwolf.

Alpenwolf will continue to release hardcovers as well as ebooks and the books will continue to feature covers from the two artists who provided the six existing covers, JartStar and Kirk DuPounce.


Unpublished

For reasons that will become clear in a few weeks, and which I am not presently able to disclose, I am no longer publishing my books with Marcher Lord Hinterlands as of today. There haven’t been any problems or a falling out, and indeed, even our most recent collaboration has been successful, with 1,100 copies of QM being sold in its first month of release. I have merely arranged to reacquire the full publishing rights to my books.

What this means in the short-term is that neither the Selenoth books nor the Quantum Mortis books will be available from Amazon or anywhere else for that matter. I expect the books to again be available on Amazon, the Apple Store, and elsewhere, by the end of January.

I very much appreciate what Jeff has done with Marcher Lord. Were it not for his contacting me a few years ago and asking me if I had anything that my other publishers weren’t likely to publish, I would never have written Summa Elvetica. And were it not for Summa Elvetica, I very much doubt that I would have proceeded to write A Throne of Bones or to write the nine shorter works that presently make up the land of Selenoth.

Rest assured I am still hard at work on both QM2 and TAODAL 2. I’m hoping for September and December releases there.

Due to some vagaries with regards to the Kindle Select program, please note that it is possible that AMB, TWC, TLW, and QM:GK will continue to be available on Amazon in some capacities until the end of February. If that is the case, it is not necessary to inform me that they are still being loaned or sold.


An encouraging start

I was pleased to observe this morning that Quantum Mortis has officially gotten off to a better start than Selenoth. In the first month ATOB and AMB were available, they sold 957 copies. As of December 24th, 1,002 copies of QM:AMD and QM:GK have been sold. Thanks very much for all your support; I appreciate it and it is encouraging to hear that so many of you have enjoyed the books. While these numbers may sound trivial, (and indeed, they are trivial in comparison with the Kings and Rowlings of the world), keep in mind that the average midlist SF book published by a major publisher has a print run of 5,000 and sells around 3,300 copies.

So, I’m pleased to inform you that QM:2 will definitely be out this summer, most likely in company with a second novella since Steve and I are considerably ahead of schedule. Selenoth fans need not worry, however, as TAODAL Book Two is still on target for a December 2014 release.

Much to my surprise, the first translation has already been completed. The Bahasa Indonesian translation of A Magic Broken is entitled Mantra yang Rusak and I expect to release it early in the new year. If you happen to speak Indonesian and would be willing to proofread it, please let me know.


QUANTUM MORTIS: Un Hombre Disperso

EG is rolling on the Spanish version and is already into chapter three. This is how Capitulo Uno kicks off.

Rhysalan fue terraformado y colonizado en el año 2810, pronto se transformo en un planeta importante del subsector Kantillon en la periferia de el Gran Ascendencia de Terra. Debido a su ubicación estratégica, el planeta era blanco para los intereses militares y cambio de manos varias veces hasta que se estableció como un planeta independiente en el año 2935 bajo el Almirante de Flota Beze Davenant de la Flota Vigésimo Primera de La Ascendencia de Terra, que se convertiría en el primer Duque de Rhysalan. Después de la Rebelión de las Dioses Maquinas de 2999 que resulto en La Unidad, Rhysalan se convirtió en el destinatario principal de los gobiernos planetarios y nacionales. Dándose cuenta de que un extendido conflicto interplanetaria ofrecía un sin fin de refugiados acaudalados, el Cuarto Duque fue el primero en institor la práctica de Proveer Santuario formal.
-De “Una Breve Historia de los Duques de Rhysalan” Por Thucidean Marcel.

Cuando recibió la llamada Graven Tower estaba en un rutinario patrullaje por la pista aérea 775, Casi mil metros sobre Trans Paradis.

“Tower, tenemos un reporte de un presunto homicidio en la balaustrada norte Uno Nueve Ocho Tres Ocho Diez” Una voz susurro sensualmente en su oreja izquierda. Sonaba sensual, aunque el susurro no era real. Tower estaba solo en el Aerovar, con solo su aumento y la música proviniendo de las bocinas a bordo de compañía.

“Gracias, Nena. Sabes ?quien, que o por qué?” Tower no era un policía civil, y los homicidio no eran parte de su jurisdicción a menos que se cometieran en la base, fueran cometidos por personal militar, o por uno de las decenas de miles de xenos (alienígenas) cuya residencia era supervisada por las Fuerzas Armadas del Ducado Imperial de Rhysalan.

I’m still in the market for more translators, so if you’re a native speaker of anything besides than English, please get in touch. If you’re less interested in the fiction, I’m also looking to get TIA translated; a French version is presently in the works. In the meantime, the English reviews continue to be positive. In his Amazon review of QUANTUM MORTIS: A Man Disrupted, Richmond noted:

“The universe building is intelligent and realistic, the economics of
Rhysalan and the various Others is interesting as a thing in and of
itself. Most sci-fi (and fantasy) I’ve read has boring as all hell
political and economic structures written into it since a lot of authors
seem to be more interested in their own commentary on social issues
rather than how nations and markets operate in reality. Vox Day (and I
shouldn’t leave out Steve, but I’m more familiar with VD) is very good
at describing a clear and functional civilization one can imagine coming
into existence. The separation of tech levels between societies, the
acknowledgement of xenophobia, the economic motives of good guys and bad
guys, and the recognition of religion and morality, and an accurate
storytelling of interpersonal relationships is all excellent and well
thought out.” 

Anyhow, I rather like the Spanish title.  It would be hard to deny that Graven Tower is one tough hombre. And since we’re talking about translations, here’s a trivia question: to what foreign author does the title of the first Quantum Mortis novel owe inspiration for its name?

UPDATE: A review from someone who is obviously a poser, a fake, a fraud, a false pretender. Albeit one with unquestionable taste in mystery novels.

“I’m a gun-nut, and generally appreciate “gun porn” in fiction when
it’s done correctly (references to safeties on revolvers, or thumbing
the hammer back on a Glock grate on me), but I have to say that the
detailed descriptions – including manufacturer and part number – of
future weapons got to be a bit tedious. As a murder mystery, though, this one was pretty good.” 

You, sir, are NO TRUE GUN PORN AFICIONADO.