Risingshadow has the honour of publishing an SFWA Science Fiction StoryBundle (The Sci-Fi SFWA Space Bundle) blog post from Steve Miller.
About Steve Miller
Adopted Mainer Steve Miller is a lapsed journalist, book and newspaper publisher, con-running fan, and librarian who writes SF professionally, mostly in the bestselling Liaden Universe® shared with Sharon Lee. He survived Clarion West in 1973, is a life member of SFWA, and has participated in hundreds of SF conventions as a fan, SF library curator, art agent, and pro author.
Steve’s first SFWA qualifying story appeared in Ted White’s Amazing in the 1970s. He was Vice Chair of the Baltimore in 80 WorldCon bid and editor of the SF tabloid Star Swarm News. When the Newsfolded, Steve and partner Sharon Lee started Bookcastle & Dreamsgarth, Inc., a genre bookstore with a traveling SF art agency component. A few years later Lee & Miller sold Agent of Change, their first novel, and moved to Maine, where they became ebook and online publishing pioneers.
With Sharon he has more than twenty five novels of SF and fantasy to his name, and dozens of shorter works, garnering a number of awards as well as dozens of invitations as Guests of Honor, Special Guests, and panelists at science fiction conventions across the U.S. and Canada.
Steve and Sharon are currently working on a multi-book contract for Baen. Their most recent novel offering is Locus Besteller Neogenesis, published in January of 2018 in hardback, audio, and ebook formats. Their most recent chapbooks was Degrees of Separation: Adventures in the Liaden Universe® No. 27 in ebook and a special Amazon paper edition.
About SFWA Science Fiction StoryBundle (The Sci-Fi SFWA Space Bundle)
Welcome to the largest, grandest and most out there bundle SFWA has ever done: the Sci-Fi SFWA Space Bundle! With 17 books that range from hardcore military sci-fi to character-focused alien encounters, we might have gone through the wormhole and out the other side.
SFWA serves authors at all points in their careers and we've embraced that diversity for this bundle. First, the Self-Publishing Committee reached out to a number of sci-fi authors throughout the genre who we know have enthusiastic and diverse fanbases. Then we opened the bundle up for submissions to our entire membership. We received far more submissions than we could actually put in this bundle, but after some rousing debate, we settled on a total of 17 spectacular titles.
Some of the proceeds of the bundle go to support SFWA in its mission to support, promote, inform, defend, and advocate for professional fantasy and science fiction writers. For more about the organization, see sfwa.org. For its grants program, see http://www.sfwa.org/2017/09/call-grants-2017/ – Daniel Potter
Not only that, but during our 3 week run, all StoryBundle newsletter subscribers get Qualify - The Atlantis Grail Book 1 by Vera Nazarian for free. Make sure to get that so you can enjoy Compete - The Atlantis Grail Book 2 by Vera Nazarian, available in the bundle!
This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!
GUEST POST: SFWA Science Fiction Storybundle (The Sci-Fi SFWA Space Bundle) blog post from Steve Miller
The Tomorrow Log, the backstory
It’s a fun thing to be writing about our part in the Massive Sci-Fi SFWA Space Bundle, in part because this is actually a Space Opera bundle, and we’ve been proponents of the goodness of Space Opera for decades. There’s more to that happiness than that though, and that’s because The Tomorrow Log – the novel we’ve contributed to the bundle – was originally written for, and turned down by, a major editor, yet here appears with a publishing history spanning decades.
We, by the way, are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. Our first three novels were bought by Del Rey books; with the initial one, Agent of Change, accepted by an editor late in 1986 and the following two shortly after. Agent of Change was the first in our Liaden Universe series and it was published without consultation as by Steve Miller and Sharon Lee because the (female) editor was concerned that having a woman’s name first on the books would slow sales.
As things happen with publishing contracts there’s often a contingency clause allowing the publisher first dibs on follow-on books, and, since the editor had requested us to consider the third book the end of that particular series, she invoked that clause to ask us for a book that was not a Liaden book. She was very clear on that – she wanted a story that was different, with none of the same characters or settings.
We were devastated, since we’d planned on at least seven books in the series, but we looked at what we’d written already and decided we needed to make the main character in our new book a thief – in part because none of the main characters in the other books had been one. Also, he needed to be part of a mysterious foretelling, and on top of that, he needed to be someone abandoned by his Clan. Sorry, let’s make that his family, since Clans were an important part of the previous three books.
So Gem ser’Edreth was born. He needed a problem, and that was easy enough to do, given that he was a thief, and considering that foretelling. Also brought into the equation was a generation ship, because we hadn’t had generation ships in the Liaden side of things.
We gave Gem a strange universe to inhabit, got the story done, and turned it into the editor, sure it was workable.
The editor returned it to us after a phone call in which she told us that out careers as SF writers were, after all, over. The Tomorrow Log was not acceptable to the publishing house because it was just too different from the novels that won our first three contracts.
We were not best pleased. Neither was our agent, who shortly thereafter left us.
We tried to sell The Tomorrow Log, but now we were writers with a so-called broken series, with no agent, and other publishers were reluctant to pick us up, given all the great talent out there, and given that our original acquiring agent had given us excellent contracts and new publshers were unwilling to match them.
Eventually though – and this rarely happens – a publisher contacted us and asked if he could reprint our first three books. We mentioned that, silly us, we’d kept writing, and there was another one in that series already written, with three more in heavy planning… and he purchased, sight unseen, four new novels. Our original plans for a seven book series having been revived we continued, pleased. Eventually we had a book giving us trouble and we feared it would be late, so, we offered up The Tomorrow Log as something that might be put on shelves while we got things back in synch.
The editor at the new house, unconcerned by a broken series that he’d helped repair, was pleased with The Tomorrow Log, published it in hardback and trade paper, and in 2002, some twelve years or so after it was written, it made the Locus SF Bestseller list for a number of months. Later it came out in mass market.
The Tomorrows Log, then gave us the respite we needed to get back in gear with our Liaden work, including a number of award winners, and now we’ve written millions of words in that series – over 20 novels, more than 40 shorter works – and hey, The Tomorrow Log, the book that convinced an editor that we had no future in the SF field, continues to sell to this day.
Please take a look at Gem ser’Edreth and The Tomorrow Log. Also, enjoy the spiders, and please enjoy Witness for The Telios, who is not you’re usual sidekick, and not your usual minion. We think you’ll be as pleased as we are that this book was left in the trunk but has a history worth sharing.