I was interviewed on Chapman’s Secrets (yes, that Anna Chapman), a documentary show with strong tabloid vibes which airs on the Russian TV network Ren TV. They were working on an episode about the urban myths and legends of New York City, which I’m well-suited to talk about due to the nature of my current urban fantasy series. The episode aired on May 29, 2023 and I got to discuss the origins of many different urban legends. My replies were dubbed into Russian, but those who are able to understand it can watch me talk about crocodiles in the sewers, how a penny dropped from a skyscraper won’t actually kill you, and pizza rat.
Almost exactly a year ago, my funny urban fantasy novel The Middling Affliction was published. The book has done pretty well. It sold out the first print run, received some excellent reviews, and my wonderful publisher Arc Manor/Caezik picked up the sequel. Kakistocracy, book 2 of the Conradverse Chronicles is due to be published on October 17, 2023.
The audio version of The Middling Affliction was published by Orange Sky, a division of Spotify. They selected a wonderful narrator and the audiobook sold pretty well. But, unfortunately, not well enough by huge publishing company metrics to pick up the sequel.
I love audiobooks. Most of my pleasure reading is done in that format, while I reserve my screen and paper book time for reading anthology submissions, books to be blurbed, etc. So, I really wanted an audiobook of Kakistocracy to exist. I don’t have the overhead of a major corporation and so I could get this done at an affordable rate and then have total control over the audiobook, which would allow me to give away copies, run promotions, and do all sorts of things I couldn’t pull off under the watchful eye of a responsible publisher (and their even-more-responsible accountants), such as posting the entire first chapter on YouTube for free.
I reached out to Patrick Boylan, a very talented stage and screen actor who narrated The Middling Affliction, and was thrilled to learn that he’s 100% on board to narrate the sequel! So now, my goal is to offset some of the production and marketing costs of this audiobook.
So, why is this project risky? Traditionally, audiobook-focused campaigns don’t do very well on Kickstarter. People love physical books (ebooks are nice, too!) whereas Kakistocracy has a traditional publisher who has been very supportive and I don’t want to do anything that will hurt their sales or preorders in any way whatsoever. If anything, I’m doing this because I believe controlling the audiobook rights will help me promote the series and generate future sales for both myself and for them. And—again—because I adore audiobooks and really want this to exist.
So, would you please head over to the new campaign page, check out the book promo video and consider supporting this project? I’ve made a lot of my past books available as rewards alongside the audiobook itself, of course. I’m also offering copies of my upcoming 2023 anthology, The Digital Aesthete (read more about it in the campaign.) So there’s lots of goodies available.
File770 graciously hosted an exclusive cover reveal for my next novel yesterday! Kakistocracy is the sequel to The Middling Affliction with more humor, monsters, zany adventures, and snarky heroes!
Please consider placing your preorders early as this really helps. Book stores and even sites like Amazon will base their own orders on the level of interest they see from their customer base, so early orders drive the book’s success more than almost anything else!
The Digital Aesthete hybrid anthology/zine project has launched and you can read Adrian Tchaikovsky’s story right now at Future SF. This book will be published in November and the stories posted on the Future SF website after that.
UFO Publishing and the Future Affairs Administration are teaming up to produce our next collaborative project, which will explore the relationship between artificial intelligence and art. We hope to feature stories of robot painters, AI poets, and electronic gallery curators; dystopias where human artists must eke out an existence in societies where AI generates most of the content, and utopias where artificial minds help unlock and enhance human creativity.
The Digital Aesthete will be a hybrid anthology/e-zine project, with stories collected in a print and e-book anthology to be published in November 2023, and then gradually posted to the Future Science Fiction Digest website where readers will be able to enjoy them free of charge.
This project will feature 100,000 words of fiction by authors from over a dozen countries and a variety of languages. It will be edited by Alex Shvartsman (editor of Unidentified Funny Objects (UFO), The Cackle of Cthulhu (Baen), Humanity 2.0 (Arc Manor) and over a dozen other anthologies.) Cover art and design will be created by K.A. Teryna. Tarryn Thomas will assume the roles of copyeditor and creative advisor.
We will post further updates about this project at Future-SF.com and on the UFO Publishing Patreon page.
I’ve got a couple of translations in the March-April issues of Analog and Asimov’s which are about to go on sale next week.
“The Errata” by K.A. Teryna imagines a life on an ark ship very early in its journey (still in our solar system!) This story was commissioned by the Future Affairs Administration which involved K.A. Teryna writing it quickly and then me translating it equally fast, so that a relay translation could be performed from English to Mandarin Chinese. As usual, K.A. delivered a great story and Asimov’s snapped up the first English rights. Bonus: there’s also a cat!
“Incommunicado” by Andrej Kokoulin is a cool space opera adventure where the protagonist must race across the galaxy to reconnect with his lost love. This story reminded me of the best of Soviet-era sci-fi and is refreshingly optimistic. Its appearance in Analog is Kokoulin second English-language publication. My translation of his dark yarn “The Slave” was published in F&SF a few years back.
Come check out a fun chat, show-and-tell, and dramatic performance of a scene from The Middling Affliction, to be live streamed on the Diabolic Shrimp YouTube channel tomorrow afternoon. Audience participation a plus. And, there’s a rumored appearance of a celebrity dog (or, at least, a dog that thinks she’s a celebrity.)
If you can’t make it, you will be able to watch the interview later. But it’s always more fun live, isn’t it?
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My latest translation of one of Zozulya’s fablesque stories, “Cain and Abel” is live in the latest issue of Galaxy’s Edge. Two more translations of his works — “The Tale of Ak and Humanity” and “The Living Furniture” appeared in Tor.com and F&SF respectively last year.
My story “Repairs at the Beijing West Space Elevator” was nominated for the Canopus Award for Excellence in Interstellar Writing! This story originally appeared in Chinese as part of the FAA Lunar New Year Gala and was published in English at Analog.
Congratulations to my fellow nominees (that’s an impressive list and I really don’t expect to win my category!) Results will be announced at the 100YSS conference in Nairobi this coming February.