January 31, 2017 by ChrisJamesAuthor
Okay, am not altogether sure this’s going to work, but let’s give it a try, shall we? To start, here’s what used to be on the “News” tab:
Sunday 15 January 2017
It’s always nice to get things done ahead of schedule. Time Is the Only God is now available in paperback from Lulu and the Kindle version is up for pre-order at the special introductory price of $2.99. The Kindle version will go live on 16 February, and on 17 February the price will go up to my regular novel price of $4.99. Now, I’ve got to get on and write the next book. It’s not going to write itself, you know? In the meantime, if you decide to give Time Is the Only God a try, I do hope you enjoy it. And if you don’t, do keep it to yourself, will you? Thanks 🙂
Friday 6 January 2017
The next novel is getting nearer to what I could amusingly call “completion”. Trust me, when you’re finalising a novel, you’re never quite sure you’ve got everything as good as it can be. However, there does always come a point when you feel it’s time to kick the thing out of the nest and see if it will fly, and that moment is approaching with Time Is the Only God.
This week I finished the cover, and in the next few days, the text will be as polished as I can get it. When I get to this stage of the process, I always catch my breath at the effort other people behind the book have made. I plan to have the paperback ready to go in a couple of weeks. I hope to [should] have the Kindle version ready for pre-order by 26 January, and for it to go live on 16 February. Of course, the best-laid plans, etc, which is why I’m using words like “plan” and “hope to”. In the meantime, I hope your 2017 has got off to as good a start as possible.
Saturday 31 December 2016
It’s very unlikely that 2016 will go down as anyone’s favourite year. I ended 2015 and began this year with back-to-back stomach operations which only made me wholly determined to finish writing and publish Repulse, and end 2016 with my next science fiction novel almost ready to go. In the interim, Repulse has managed to gain over 3,000 readers, which makes me feel quite proud of that book and what it’s achieved.
Despite all the political dramas this year, and despite all the artists and entertainers who have left, I hope we can still keep our chins up for 2017 and believe that the future will not transpire to be as dark as it currently appears. Wherever you are, I would like to wish you a peaceful, safe, calm, and above all Happy New Year.
Sunday 11 December 2016
It’s been a hectic two weeks but I’ve managed to finish a couple of important projects. The first was as a beta reader for the hugely talented author A. C. Flory and her new book, called Innerscape. It’s been a pleasure to read and make suggestions, and the next time you’re surfing Amazon’s science fiction books, it’s worth your time checking out Flory’s marvellous new story. The second project was editing the English translation of the magnum opus of renowned Polish historian Bronislaw Geremek (1932-2008). The Polish Insitute of History will publish On the Middle Ages in the new year, and it has been an honour to have had a hand in making the English translation read as well as it can.
Now, however, I’m finally free to return to my own work and edit my next novel, and I find as much enjoyment in the fine-tuning as in the writing itself. Meanwhile, Repulse: Europe at War 2062-2064 continues to gain new readers daily, and at the risk of tediously repeating myself, if you’ve read it, thank you and I hope you enjoyed it.
Monday 28 November 2016
Repulse: Europe at War 2062-2064 is three months old today, so, once again, I feel compelled to send out gratitude to all the people who’ve taken a chance on an unknown author. Somehow the book keeps punching above its weight: in the UK it’s spent the last two months in the top ten of the Hard Science Fiction category, a large portion of which in the top five. In the US, the competition is much fiercer, and one thing I have learned is that selling fewer than ten books a day in that market is not enough to keep a book in the top 10,000 of the entire US Kindle store. Reviews have been kinder in the UK, while in the US its divisive nature has given it an attractive level of controversy (including an amusing ding-dong in the comments under the one-star review). But people from diverse markets are giving Repulse a try, including Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Spain and Italy.
Altogether it’s been a surprising, wonderful and exciting three months, and I have every intention of doing my utmost to continue to try to keep entertaining these new readers. The small group of people who support my storytelling efforts has begun to get back to me with their thoughts and opinions on my next novel, and I can’t wait to finalise it and ready it for publication next February.
Once again, if you’ve read Repulse, thank you and I hope you enjoyed it. There’s a lot more where that came from 🙂
Saturday 19 November 2016
I’ve always maintained that while I love reading about history, I’ve never been too keen on living through it. Now, however, there seems to be little choice; the last fortnight has seen a decision made which has the potential to cause catastrophe in the near future. As a science fiction writer and wannabe futurologist, my interest lies in what future historians will come to write about this second decade of the 21st century.
To extrapolate perspective from immediate events is fraught with difficulties, but to start at the beginning: the capitalist is by nature a sociopath, as he sees his fellow human beings merely as a resource to be exploited for his own enrichment. The more successful the capitalist, the greater the sociopathic tendencies. Today, the most powerful political position in the world will shortly become the plaything of a vapidly callous sociopath. Birds of a feather, of course, flock together, and history shows how such morally deficient individuals attract similar types. Whether history will judge Sessions, Pompeo and Flynn on a par with Goebbels, Himmler and Heydrich remains to be seen, but all of these appointments shatter the asinine opinions that Trump may treat his new plaything with a modicum of decency and respect.
Trump sees his victory as a complete vindication of his foul campaign, and likely regards gaining the presidency of the most militarily powerful nation on Earth as little more than yet another successful hostile takeover bid. Next, therefore, will come the asset-stripping. Here is where crystal-ball gazing gets complicated. For example, it is a very easy thing indeed to see Trump doing a deal with Putin over ‘spheres of influence’: Putin will allow Trump a free hand in the Middle East, so Trump can secure oil supplies, in return for which Trump will give Putin a free hand in Eastern Europe. Like all ‘good’ capitalism, this deal will not be made public; the first ordinary people will know of it is when ethnic Russians in the Baltic States complain of harassment and request Russian ‘assistance’. Trump will have no interest in the resulting bloodshed, as he will see no risk to the US and no lost profits.
Future historians may scratch their heads at his election in a similar way that we today stagger in amazement at the slaughter the treaties of the 1910s caused in World War One. They may wonder how today’s populations could have brought such a potential for disaster on themselves, but the explanation lies in complex political, economic and social decay, and today’s over-simplification of cause and effect, as well as the abject and total failure of the press, which are not things which will bear concise explanation. Many of us this century have seen shocking stupidity gain far more leverage than reasoned debate, but little did we appreciate that George W. Bush and his ilk were merely the precursors of something far worse.
It bears emphasising that future catastrophe is not an immutable certainty: like a suicide that swallows poison then regrets his decision and tries to vomit the poison up, the US may yet come to its senses and make an effort to return to its core values. However, in a historical context, Trump’s election can be seen to be the continuation of a descent into hatred which began after 9/11, which in truth was almost entirely the fault of the Bush administration, who were well informed of the potential but chose complacency over prudence. The resulting chaos and death in the Middle East may have been merely the beginning of a spiral into a pit of violence Europe and America haven’t seen in 70 years. We shall see.
In other news, Repulse‘s remarkable performance seems to be finally coming to a close. Today, for the first time in six weeks, Repulse dropped out of the top ten in the Hard Science Fiction category on Amazon UK. It’s been a wholly unexpected run, to see an event-driven novel, rather than a character-driven one, do so well, and it has gained at least 2,000 readers. I would like to give my sincerest thanks to each science fiction reader who has spent time on Repulse, and I do hope you enjoyed it. As it comes to the end of its enrollment period in KDP Select, I’ve set up a Countdown deal starting tomorrow, just to see if it can haul itself back up the Amazon US rankings. In the meantime, the next book, a slightly more accessible, character-driven science fiction novel, is out with the people whom I trust to tell me what’s not right, and remains on schedule for publication next February.
Sunday 6 November 2016
It’s been a ridiculously busy week as I had the honour and privilege to begin beta reading a science fiction novel by an author I admire tremendously. Today, Class Action begins a three-day Kindle Countdown promotion in the US, so I’m hoping a few readers might give it a try, while Repulse continues to perform well, doggedly hanging on to its top-three position in Amazon UK’s Hard Science Fiction category and collecting mostly positive reviews both in the UK, US, and this week its first review in Australia.
Saturday 29 October 2016
Last week I found out that Wordpress had been infected with malware. My old .com site wasn’t directly affected, but it meant that WordPress features no longer worked, and the only option was to dump the site. Wondering what to do for the last week, I decided to have a go at this myself, using Godaddy’s own website builder, and this is the result (stop sniggering at the back!). There’s not a lot of functionality here: I can’t embed links and there’s no blogging feature. It seems I might be able to import a blog from somewhere else, but, lacking a degree in computer science, I think I’ll stick with this News tab for now, and post updates here if anything interesting happens. In the meantime, thanks for dropping by.
30 October update: worked out how to put buy buttons on the books’ pages – phew!