Working Furiously on the Paperback Version of The Inventor’s Son!

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Mock up provided by Covervault, and the real ones will be ready for the holidays!

These are a long time coming, I know! Pricing should be available soon, as well as links to Amazon. I believe they may only be available through Amazon for the short term, with wider availability coming by the end of the year, but we will see. One advantage you’ll have with buying a print version through Amazon will be the Kindle Match, which I think I’m going to be able to set to FREE. In other words, if you buy the print version and just can’t wait until it’s delivered to read it, the Kindle version will be available for free!

For now, I plan to have print versions of The Inventor’s Son, The Scientist’s Son, and The Explorer’s Son. I do not have immediate plans to create a print version of The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning. I think that book can remain an eBook only. But let me know if you think you might want that book in print; it’s only time spent on it, and there are other authors who have made print versions of novellas, so I’m flexible.

Stay tuned!

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This Weekend, Grab Some Free Books!

Science Fiction Fantasy FREE Books October 1-2

Today starts the Science Fiction and Fantasy Books Promotion. There are over 100 FREE books (including my own book, The Inventor’s Son) included in this cross promotion! Every book is in the fantasy or science fiction genres, and if you are a fan of either or both genres, you’re sure to find something awesome.

These books are not only available on Amazon, but other retailers like Apple, Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, Smashwords and Google Play. Here’s how it works: just click on the image above or…

Click Here For the Science Fiction Fantasy Promotion

And you will see the icons for your preferred eBook retailer. Click on one of them and you’ll see the books that are available from that retailer. (My book is available at all of them except Smashwords).

Also, please spread the word if you know anyone else who might enjoy some free books! Have a great weekend!

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How Do You Like My New Home Page?

I’m nearly done with all the tweaking I’ve been meaning to do with the site. This morning, I’ve set the home page at last, with the kewl slider and everything! I’m also wanting to make sure my Disqus is actually working, so that’s partly what this post is about as well.

But seriously, if the Disqus is working, please let me know your thoughts about the home page!

 

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Making a Few Changes at the Site

making a few changes

My website building is coming along slowly but surely. I got a lot of traffic last week with the blog post about the difference between Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasy. It got me thinking that the post wasn’t as optimized as it could have been, so it led me to make a couple of changes.

  • You will now notice that I have installed Disqus for commenting on my blog. Previously I had WordPress’ commenting, which was fine if the person commenting was logged into WordPress. There are a lot of people however that are not, and Disqus makes logging in to comment a lot more flexible for would-be commenters, so yesterday I activated the plugin, so you should be seeing Disqus commenting enabled at the bottom of this and every blog post.
  • My super sale on The Inventor’s Son and The Inventor’s Son Collection is coming to an end as I write this. But do not despair! There will be opportunities going forward to get great deals on my books, along with a lot of other goodies and fun stuff, and the best way to find out about them is to join my mailing list! You will be getting The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning as a thank you for joining, and remember that this is the revised and expanded edition of the book that is only available in the Collection, not as an individual book at any of the retailers. While the original edition of the book is available for free at most retailers, this may not be the case for much longer…
  • I want to do more blog posts about subjects like the difference between Steampunk and Gaslamp. Perhaps some posts about the origins of Steampunk as a genre, an examination of magic systems of favorite series of books and movies, and most importantly, what significance does the octopus have to Steampunk?
  • I will be getting the new home page up…ASAP.

I hope to see you back here soon!

 

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What is the Difference Between Steampunk and Gasplamp Fantasy?

What is the Difference Between Steampunk and Gasplamp Fantasy?

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Recently I had come across the question of what the difference between Steampunk and Gaslamp Fantasy was. It started because I was telling people that I actually had written some Gaslamp Fantasy novels. It turns out that though people are actually familiar with what Gaslamp is, they aren’t aware of the name of the genre. So today, I’m going to outline the differences between Steampunk and Gaslamp.

Before I do that though, let’s talk about the similarity between the two related genres and figure out why they sometimes get confused. Steampunk and Gaslamp often have a similar outward appearance, and if someone looks at a picture of a character in a Gaslamp tale, they would immediately think of Steampunk. The top hats, the goggles, the corsets, the Neo-Victorian or Neo-Edwardian settings, and of course the gadgets and tinkerings and dirigibles… These all remind people of Steampunk. And Gaslamp Fantasy has all these elements as well.

But where they differ is subtle sometimes. Some people even consider Gaslamp as an offshoot of Steampunk. But it is actually a branch of the Historical Fantasy family. This link to the website Goodreads has a good list of Gaslamp Fantasy books, and this link to Goodreads that shows a list of Steampunk genre books.

Let’s select two books, one from each category, and examine the differences.

aeronauts windlass

The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher: this book belongs in the Steampunk genre. Why? Look at the plot description:

Captain Grimm commands the merchant ship, Predator. Fiercely loyal to Spire Albion, he has taken their side in the cold war with Spire Aurora, disrupting the enemy’s shipping lines by attacking their cargo vessels. But when the Predator is severely damaged in combat, leaving captain and crew grounded, Grimm is offered a proposition from the Spirearch of Albion—to join a team of agents on a vital mission in exchange for fully restoring Predator to its fighting glory.

 

Soulless
Soulless by Gail Carriger: This book, though very well known as Steampunk, is quite frankly a Gaslamp Fantasy book:

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she’s a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire — and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London’s high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

Do you see the difference in the focus of the plot, just from the plot descriptions? In the case of Aeronaut’s Windlass, if you didn’t know that it was supposed to be a Steampunk book, you’d probably think the book was a space opera, with the focus being on a ship (dirigible airship in this case) that was damaged in battle (a space opera trope if ever there was one). The focus is on the technology, at least in this first volume of the series. Is there magic involved in this plot? Of course (this is Jim Butcher, after all), but as long as the scales tip in favor, plot-wise, on the technology and the gadgets, then it’s Steampunk.

In the case of Soulless, on the other hand, we see the words vampire, werewolf, supernatural, soul… If  you removed the name of Queen Victoria, you might think this was urban fantasy! We see nothing about gadgets in the book description (though in the book, the reader is shown various examples of more advanced Neo-Victorian technology). In this book, the focus is on the magic, and therefore this scale is tipped toward Gaslamp Fantasy.

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In the case of my own book, The Inventor’s Son, there are gadgets and tinkerings (and in the case of The Explorer’s Son, huge dirigibles). In the plot description, you can see there is some focus on those things:

The Inventor’s Son is the story of young Ethan Stanwood, whose father is a brilliant, but reclusive, inventor and scientist. Sickly and isolated, Ethan’s entire world revolves around his father and his work. He believes that this is all life has to offer him, in spite of the latent magical talents he’d inherited from his long-dead mother that are beginning to surface.

When his father flees London one Monday morning, Ethan’s quiet life is swiftly turned into a fight for his survival. His father tasks Ethan with bringing his most important prototype that he was forced to leave behind when he departed. Unfortunately, he has only left the vaguest of clues for Ethan to follow in order to find him. Ethan has to find his father, but he must also face his father’s foes who will stop at nothing to get Ethan and the prototype.

In my series, I have endeavored to make sure there was a fine balance between the focus on tech and the focus on magic, because Ethan is the child of an inventor and a witch. Because the focus seems to be on Marcus Stanwood’s prototype and the struggle to keep it out of enemy hands, you could almost call it Steampunk. But the books actually focus more on Ethan’s journey with the development of his magical abilities, especially in the later books. This is what puts my books in the Gaslamp Fantasy and Historical Fantasy categories more than Steampunk. For the sake of simplicity, readers have shelved my books as Steampunk, and that would not be incorrect, technically, but they do belong in Gaslamp Fantasy as well.

 

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Happy New Year

HappyNewYearGears
I wish you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year!

 

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The Holidays are Here!

happyholidayssteampunk
A very happy holiday season and new year to everyone!

 

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The New Covers for The Inventor’s Son… Revealed!

I may have mentioned that I’ve been working on new covers for my books. I think today would be a great time to do the new covers reveal. They’ll be in the stores probably next week.

 

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The Inventor’s Son: The Beginning is my prequel book. I felt it needed to appear different than Book 1.

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And now, compare the cover I’d had for The Inventor’s Son since last year to the new one…

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I’ve always wanted to make it clearer that these books were not only about Steampunk science fiction but also emphasize the paranormal aspects of the story.

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And now, the transformation of Book 2…

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This was the cover I had so much trouble with last year. One of the original concept designs had a vial, but I couldn’t figure out how to make it work and look well with the covers the way I was doing them.

thenewSScover

Needless to say, this is a big departure from the original covers! I’m really happy with them. What say you? Should I have kept that “old textbook” feel of the other covers, or do you think that the more contemporary treatment makes them more attractive?

 

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The Explorer’s Son Will Be On Pre-Order!

The new design for the covers!

The new design for the covers!

I’ve decided to put The Explorer’s Son on pre-order at Amazon. I will get the pre-orders set up on the other retailers tomorrow. The actual release date will be December 8, 2015!

In the coming couple of weeks, the makeover of all the covers, my mailing list, reformatted versions of the previous books, will be set up. If anyone has downloaded my books from Amazon, you will most likely get an email if you do not have your Kindle account set up for automatic updates. This is not a bullet I’ve fired before, but I think it’s really important that everyone have a chance to experience the refreshed versions of my books. From what I understand, readers who have my books downloaded from other book sellers get the changes automatically.

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What It Means To Be Indie…

I’ve been a bit reflective on what it means to be an independently published author.

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