May 09, 2014
My latest "scenario fiction" for the Canadian military is out
Back in 2005, the Directorate of Land Strategic Concepts of National Defense Canada (that is to say, the army) hired me to write a short novel, which they named Crisis in Zefra, about future peacekeeping and the evolution of the military in the 21st century. Zefra did very well; you can learn more about it elsewhere on my site. In 2010, they commissioned a second project.
Crisis in Urlia is now published. You can read it online for free or download the PDF. Where Zefra concentrated on military evolution on the squad level, Urlia is about command-and-control, and includes a vision of a crowdsourced military that some might find downright shocking, as well as side forays into online nations and religions, post-agricultural food supplies, and 3d printed buildings.
These works view the future through a particular lens (that of the military) but include as broad (practically epic, in fact) synopsis as I could craft of all the changes facing humanity and our environment over the next thirty years or so. In terms of the rigour that went into them, they're probably my best science fiction.
Apr 21, 2011
Tor has unveiled the cover art for my next Virga novel, Ashes of Candesce, and this time, Stephan Martiniere has outdone himself. I've always been delighted with his covers--as a matter of fact, not two hours ago I was in a framing store arranging to have the Lady of Mazes cover piece framed--but THIS! This is by far the most gorgeous cover he's done for one of my books. But what makes it such a personal and emotionally moving experience for me is that, as with his image for Queen of Candesce, this is a particular, specific scene from the book that he's represented here--and he's captured my vision perfectly. I got all choked up when I saw it; and then I danced around in delight for ten minutes.
And who exactly is that, standing at the top of the stairs? And where is she? You've met her before, and very recently, in the series. The light that floods the scene is not that of Candesce, the sun of suns, nor is it the light of any sun we've yet seen in these books--but the sun that's casting that light is very important to one of our main characters. --And that's all I'll say about it for now.
I could not be happier. Thank you, Stephan, for this stellar piece of art, and thanks, Tor, for believing in this series.
Jul 15, 2009
Sun of Suns in German
Sun of Suns continues to spread around the world. The Germans are the latest to announce an edition, and check out the cover art! It's by Ioan Dumitrescu; you can find more of his work at the CG Society.
I like the design elements on this cover, which was crafted by Nele Schütz Design; I may poach it for a re-do of my site banner, which currently uses the excellent Stephan Martiniere cover for Queen of Candesce. In any case this is a beautiful cover and a beautiful design, and I look forward to holding this edition in my hands.
Apr 01, 2009
This is Dave Seeley's cover art for my book club edition. You can own a signed copy
Available now and for a limited time, Dave Seeley is selling signed prints of his wondrous cover for The Books of Virga. Needless to say I have one myself, and it's quite striking, with very deep colours and dark blacks. And yes, the expression on Venera's face is priceless.
Dave is selling these prints over at his online store. As you'll see when you get there, he's got a world of other great art for sale as well. I'd been hoping to get Dave to do some cover art for me for years, and was delighted last fall when this opportunity came up. I think he's captured the madcap pace of Sun of Suns as well as the conniving personality of Venera Fanning quite well.
And yeah, I want one of those racing bikes.
Feb 18, 2009
Another great convention and a chance to meet old friends
I've been a little out of shape lately, since the weather's made it difficult for me to get out and do my therapeutic rehab walking. So I was a little nervous about how I'd hold up during Boskone this year; the Westin Waterfront is a huge place, and I had a busy schedule. I shouldn't have worried, though--I did okay, though I did have to blow off one of my panels due to exhaustion.
Most importantly, though, I was able to connect with a lot of people I don't normally get to see--including Oz, Lawrence Schoen, Gregory Feeley, Stacy Hague-Hill, Charlie Stross, Greg Bear, and many more. As has become my habit at this convention, I particularly sought out the artists and art directors--Irene Gallo, Tor's art director, and painters Dave Seeley, Rick Berry and Stephan Martiniere.
Janice and Paige came along but blew off the convention entirely to go swimming, visit the children's museum and aquarium, and shop.
On Sunday night a bunch of us retired to Rick Berry's studio for a laid-back evening. By that time I was at my absolute physical limit but tried not to show it. I managed to make it until midnight and was actually fine for the flight home the next day. Whew! Hopefully I'll be in better shape when Minicon rolls around.
Feb 10, 2009
...If you're a member of the Science Fiction Book Club, that is
The SFBC has made the first two volumes of the Virga saga, Sun of Suns and Queen of Candesce, available together in an omnibus edition (link to Canadian site; the US site is here but doesn't have a direct link to the VIRGA page). The SFBC is a venerable and highly respected institution in science fiction and fantasy publishing; they previously made my first novel, Ventus, available.
The price for members of this edition is $15.99, but if you join you can have it for $0.20.
By the way, one of one my favourite features of this edition is the wonderfully over-the-top cover by Dave Seeley. Dave and I tossed many ideas back and forth, and he consulted with me at each stage of the process. That is indeed the vitriolic Venera Fanning, riding bike-back with Hayden Griffin in the skies of Slipstream.
Dec 08, 2008
The "New Tunisian retro dog"
So Irene Gallo, Rick Berry and I have been talking art lately, possibly with an eye to doing something on the tor.com website. Rick wants to do some cover art for me, and has actually been working up samples:
Rick explains that this image is the height of cutting-edge sci-fi illustration and has graciously allowed me to present it to the world. "Karl, the 'New Tunisian Retro Dog' is fine for your blog. Of course you'll have to explain that the "dogs" of New Tunisia are in fact cultured mollusks but just as friendly as the real thing. Mucus can be a bit of problem though."