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The Naming of the Dead (Inspector Rebus, #16)The Naming of the Dead by Ian Rankin

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Book 10 in #15in2015

I didn’t believe a word of it.

Buy a copy.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.


Randomness for 6/1

1) Immortan Joe’s War Boys leave product reviews on Amazon. Shiny!

2) “Though she was a little-known B-movie actress in the 1950s, Allison Hayes also had a legacy with the Food and Drug Administration.

3) My Mad Max: Fury Ponies

4) Showing what’s real and what’s cgi in Mad Max: Fury Road. People have been praising the practical effects in this movie, which some internet bozos thought was a claim that there was no cgi at all. Which is ridiculous. Check out the before and after shots. Pretty interesting.

5) How Hollywood keeps women out.

6) Joint pain, from the gut. Dealing with auto-immune issues through the microbiome. It’s more complex than taking a probiotic.

7) How Sleep Deprivation Decays the Mind and Body.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

Progress, I has it


So, the Fate Core game supplement I promised to create for my Kickstarter is finished in the first draft.

Originally, I’d intended to write about six thousand words to cover the whole of The Great Way. I added a supplement for Key/Egg as a stretch goal, and figured that would be another 2K words, tops.

Just a few notes. Nothing fancy.

In truth, the first draft is over 45,000 words long. It’s half a novel.

Worse, the sort of writing that games require is very dense; finishing a thousand words in a day was the best I could hope for, and many days I couldn’t manage even that.

Fuck, man. Writing for games is hard.

Now I have to go through again. Not only will I need to revise the text, I’ll have to make sure I’ve got the rules basically correct. After that, I pass it to my GM for his notes.

In the end, it will all be fine, I hope. Fate Core operates on an open license, so I should be able to sell them for a nominal fee. Even better, I hope they’ll be effective promo for the books.

But Kee-rist, this has taken a sizable chunk of my lifetime productivity. I don’t think I’ll be doing this again.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.


And I thought Fury Road was going to be the best action movie of the year.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.


Randomness for 5/28

1) Darpa successfully tests the first bullet that can be steered after it was fired.

2) Geologists grill up stakes with lava… and ruin them.

3) Richard Prince Selling Other People’s Instagram Shots Without Permission for $100K Whenever I feel cynical about publishing, I think about fine arts and give my oil-painter wife a hug. (Of course, if he was skimming other people’s work from reddit, I wouldn’t be surprised…)

4) Feces rained down on outdoor Sweet 16 party. Dumped from a plane, obviously. Stranger than fiction

5) Nothing about this toy makes sense. Video. Don’t watch that without the sound.

6) Law & Order: Daredevil. Video. Also requires sound.

7) A Kickstarter for a horror video game about a blind woman. Cool.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

Chasing the market into the midlist

Today I share wisdom:

When I started the Twenty Palaces books, I wanted to change a bunch of things that were standard in urban fantasy: the protagonist who’s an expert in the setting, the supernatural elements that had been ported over from horror and folklore, the stories that focused on the concerns of supernatural figures rather than actual human beings.

When I started Key/Egg, I wanted to challenge myself to write an urban fantasy that was not just a string of violent clashes. I also wanted to move the elderly woman out of the traditional expository role and into the limelight.

When I started The Great Way, I wanted to move away from the lackadaisical travelogue pacing of epic fantasy and write it like a thriller. I also wanted to have a little fun with the idea of the Hero Prince.

I wouldn’t say these were attempts at creating a new subgenre.

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Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

TV Season Finales

Shows, man. Shows! This is a little late, but what the hell. I’m going to organize this by the order I would watch them every week, and this is going to be a little fast and loose.

Spoilers, obviously.

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Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.


Not forgotten

Vietnam Veterans Memorial.jpg
Vietnam Veterans Memorial” by Kkmd at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia by SreeBot. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.


If you missed my post about it last night, John Scalzi just landed a major deal: $3.4 million for 13 books over ten years. He doesn’t even have to accept basket accounting.

Shortly after, I tweeted this:

And look at all those RTs and Favorites! It hasn’t translated into new sales, though.

But because contrast is fun, I’m going to take a moment to update you guys on where things stand for me. Spoiler: I don’t have a contract with any publisher for any dollar figure.

So the Kickstarter was successful, and it paid for the five books I’ve released, plus. However, that was the fall of 2013. All of 2014 was a struggle. The StoryBundle I did last year helped a little but money, shall we say, was tight. In fact, I stopped taking deductions on my taxes because it was too much. That’s the problem when you earn in one year and spend in the next.

However, the Kickstarter is almost over. Just today I sent the second-to-last update, giving backers access to one of the last stretch goals.

Also, the last of the books came out in the beginning of March, and sales have been fading for weeks. To be clear, the books are selling better than most self-published authors’ works ever will (So far I’ve made about $40K from all my indie work), but I’m paying bills with this money, and putting some aside for Uncle Sam. What’s more, judging by the way things are going, the last 8 months of the year won’t be as good as the first four.

And that’s all fine, except this income has to hold me until my next book sells, and I haven’t even started writing it yet.

What’s the holdup? I have one more Kickstarter reward to fulfill. I thought I’d been super careful when I planned this whole thing out, but it turns out that I underestimated the amount of work I would be putting into the Fate Core supplements. What was supposed to be a few thousand words has turned into 45,000, and I still have to edit it. None of this is wasted effort, because it will be useful promotion for the trilogy, but yikes, I did not expect the worldbuilding to take up so much page space. I really, really need to cut this shit back.

Then, finally, I get to start my new project. After self-publishing six books, I’m aiming this next one at New York. I could use the marketing bump.

Anyway, the books are doing well enough that my wife hasn’t asked me to get a day job; we’re still homeschooling our son and I’m still hopeful about this dumb career. But I haven’t replaced my lens prescriptions from 2007 and I haven’t gotten my teeth fixed. We’re still in the crappy apartment. We still don’t have a car, or cell phone, or cable TV.

In short, I’m still aspiring to the midlist.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.

SJW Makes Good

So, John Scalzi just signed a 13-book deal with Tor, worth $3.4 million.

Pretty good for a guy whose career is over.

Actually, I’m sure there are people out there claiming that this is all a publicity stunt to get him in the news sell a few dozen copies, but those people are just sad.

Here’s more evidence, if anyone needs it, that an author does not need to hide their politics to have a healthy career. Be yourself. Speak out.

Mirrored from Harry Connolly. You can comment here but not there.