Friday, July 17, 2015

Chasing the Phoenix: Advance Glimpse!


Not long ago I was in Poland for Falkon, that nation's second-largest science fiction convention, where  I met David Weber for the first time and took an instant liking to the man. We were on a panel and somebody asked whether it's a good idea to post an excerpt from your novel on the Web.

"It depends entirely on the publisher," David said, turning a thumb upward. "Baen says always!"

I  turned a thumb downward. "And Tor says never!"

So it hasn't taken me at all long to be proved absolutely one hundred percent wrong.

Tor has just put the first two chapters of Chasing the Phoenix -- debuting in less than a month -- online. You can read them now, if you wish, and decide whether the rousingly entertaining adventures of Postutopian confidence artists Darger and Surplus are to your liking or not.

The excerpt can be found here.

And coming soon . . .

I've decided to resurrect Unca Mike's Bad Advice.  Watch these pages for further information.

If you wish to submit a question, you can write to AskUncaMike at



Kevin Cheek said...

Another of my very favorite authors, Daniel Pinkwater, tried an experiment over the last several years. He published his last four novels a chapter a week free on the web, starting so we were about halfway through when the book was actually published. He continued the free chapter-a-week weblishing through to the end of the book, but by then most of us reading along and commenting had run out and bought multiple copies. I suspect it actually increased sales. I don't know how much of a parallel I can draw here--Pinkwater is an author whose books sell far, far less than what their literary merit would suggest. I do know that I had tremendous fun discovering his new books gradually like that.

Michael Swanwick said...

I've been following Honest Dan'l since LIZARD MUSIC first came out. Brilliant writer. Do his books sell poorly? I'd've thought that with his public radio exposure he was doing well. Certainly, he deserves to do well.

Kevin Cheek said...

Lizard Music really is a great book, isn't it. One of the rare books for a young reader that doesn't talk down to the readers and contains a genuine sense of wonder.

Pinkwater doesn't quote sales figures. However, they sell far, far less than I believe they should. He is able to earn a living as an author (and occasional NPR commentator), which is better than many authors can achieve. On the other hand, he was never able to write the sequel to Bushman Lives, because his publisher said his books don't quite make the sales figures to guarantee an advance--show us a draft of the complete book, and we'll see if we can publish it.

David Stone said...

Excerpt looks great; I really want to know how Darger gets over his existential crisis after having a full-death experience...