Penric's Fox doing well

Aug. 20th, 2017 08:37 am
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed just hit #121 on the Amazon sales rankings this morning. I am hoping it will crack two figures at some point on its initial sales arc, but since they change hourly, that's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it proposition.

Amazon sales rankings are a snare and a delusion and clickbait, which I suppose means they're working fine for Amazon, but they are the only real-time feedback an author can have, which is a new thing in the world. One used to have to wait up to a year and a half for the first royalty report for data on how one's baby book was doing had done out there in the world.

Speaking of "Fox", I meant to post this quote from a reader who had never read any of the Penric & Desdemona tales, and kindly agreed to test drive it: "Did it stand alone? Absolutely."

I've already spotted some reviews from old readers insisting, wrongly, it must be otherwise, which makes it much like other series work I've done. The most frustrating lately was for Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen, with scads of old readers putting off new ones by claiming they had to read umpty-ump other books first, and the few new ones who slipped through the net, and read the book in front of them just as it was, saying it was fine.

(The latter, sadly small, group may actually have had a better and clearer read due to not having to fight through a forest of settled preconceptions first.)

So I think it might be better to take advice only from new readers, on this point.

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

question for gardeners

Aug. 19th, 2017 02:41 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
All right, can anyone positively identify this mystery plant? It came up as a volunteer on the north side of my house, and seems to be self-seeding, because it keeps coming back each year. It blooms like this from the first week of August till frost. Bumblebees love it. Minnesota.

Pleased but puzzled, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

Hugo arrives from Finland

Aug. 17th, 2017 05:32 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
We live in a remarkable world. Does anyone else notice...?


Out of the box.

Some assembly required. Delayed by a hunt for a socket wrench that fit, which at length proved to be the handle that holds the other socket wrenches.

Together! Am I an engineer's daughter or what.

The front plate.

United with its siblings.

Ta, L.

Later, by request at @16, a larger group shot:

If anyone wants more data:

Foreground needs cropped, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. It'll do for a snapshot.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

Hugo's Progress

Aug. 16th, 2017 02:37 pm
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
Wow, my Hugo trophy is having a Grand Tour. Although I don't suppose it gets to see much from inside a cardboard box.

When it arrives, I'll post a picture.

Location Date Local Time Activity
Philadelphia, PA, United States 08/16/2017 12:43 P.M. Import Scan
08/16/2017 7:51 A.M. Arrival Scan
Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France 08/16/2017 5:40 A.M. Departure Scan
Koeln, Germany 08/16/2017 4:29 A.M. Departure Scan
Roissy Charles de Gaulle, France 08/16/2017 4:22 A.M. Arrival Scan
Koeln, Germany 08/16/2017 12:59 A.M. Arrival Scan
Malmo Sturup, Sweden 08/15/2017 11:43 P.M. Departure Scan
08/15/2017 10:29 P.M. Arrival Scan
Vantaa, Finland 08/15/2017 9:56 P.M. Departure Scan
Helsinki, Finland 08/15/2017 9:16 P.M. Departure Scan
08/15/2017 7:16 P.M. Export Scan
08/15/2017 6:21 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release. / Your package was released by the clearing agency.
08/15/2017 6:13 P.M. Your package is at the clearing agency awaiting final release.
Finland 08/15/2017 1:06 A.M. (ET) Order Processed: Ready for UPS

My nephew flies internationally for UPS. It's amusing to imagine him transporting it for me, although he more commonly flies trans-Pacific.

Best (or at least most writerly) tale he told me: the week J.K. Rowling's last Harry Potter book was released, UPS had to lay on extra flights to get all the books to the bookstores.

Now, there's a benchmark for success...

Ta, L.

Thur. afternoon update -- It has been out joyriding around Minneapolis in a brown truck since 9:30 this morning. Surely not much longer now...?

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20

new short Bujold interview at 8LW

Aug. 12th, 2017 08:49 am
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
I have a new short interview up today at the blogsite Eight Ladies Writing, in honor of the launch of the new Penric & Desdemona novella "Penric's Fox".

We did this a couple of weeks ago, but delayed posting till after the e-publication of the novella earlier this week. (Good heavens, that was only Tuesday -- seems longer ago already, but that's how time speeds on the internet.) This turns out to be doubly timely, in view of yesterday's happy news, as I also talk a bit about about wrangling series structures.

Also to note, the only PR push this novella is going to get is on this blog and these couple of by-chance recent interviews, so any mention folks may be moved to make about it out and around the net and elsewhere would be great. Amazon always gets plenty of reviews, and indeed by the time any prospective readers have made their way to the vendor sites the work is already done, so putting out the word in other places is more important.

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20
[syndicated profile] lois_mcmaster_bujold_feed
I am extremely pleased to report that the Vorkosigan Saga has won the Hugo Award for Best Series at the 2017 WorldCon in Helsinki, Finland.

Live streaming of the ceremony unfortunately ran afoul of technical difficulties, but I'd been following print links this afternoon as they updated. Generally, if one wins people hurry to say congrats, so you find out pretty quickly; if you lose, it's crickets chirping. So the first I actually heard were two e-mails from friends that said congrats (yay!) but not what for. (Since "Penric and the Shaman" was also a nominee in the novella category, which went this year to "Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire, not to my surprise, congrats Seanan!)

I'll post a link to the ceremony recording when I find one.

Official link here:

Tor also posts the full results here:

The WorldCon's own website should have some pretty interesting voting statistics up soon, as well, for those who like to sort through the raw data. (Later: you can find them through the Worldcon link, above.)

Anyway, here are my acceptance remarks, which I gave to read to my friend and fellow Minneapolis writer Caroline Stevermer, who kindly and bravely offered to be my acceptor in and at the event. (It felt deeply weird to have to come up with these months beforehand. Hope they worked OK in the actual context.)

"Series have been a part of storytelling since The Odyssey followed The Iliad, engaging creators and delighting audiences for millennia. I have long thought that the series is an art form as distinct from the novel as the novel is from the short story, but no one studies series in the same way as novels, except those who write and read and love them. This may be more feature than bug.

It’s likely that the neglect of series in academic forums is practical: while teachers can just (barely) get classrooms of undergrads to read and compare half-a-dozen novels in a semester, there’s no way they could get them to do the same for half-a-dozen series.

Happily, free-range genre readers suffer under no such restrictions. There are still a lot of practical challenges for comparing series, especially those still under development by living writers. This year’s Hugo series category is a really interesting experiment in that direction, and I am honored that my work was among those put in the barrel for this particular roll downhill.

No writer could create a work extending over thirty years without an equal number of decades of publisher support, and it was my good luck that Baen Books and I stumbled into each other at the dawns of both of our careers. I need, as ever, to thank editors Betsy Mitchell, the late Jim Baen, Toni Weisskopf, and my agent Eleanor Wood for being my early and ongoing supporters on this long road trip.

And thank you all."

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on August, 20
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