And if not, why not?
Let’s fix that.
Starting today and running for the next three weeks, I’m in a StoryBundle called “Extreme SF.”
We talked about the project previously, and how it kinda snuck up on me over the summer. Here was a chance to be in a bundle with some some folks I really like and admire, and who I had a bunch of their books on my shelves from before I became a writer myself.
And for me, it was the chance to do something totally new. Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) and I sat down on that Sunday and said: what story could I tell?
I knew I could hit theme and length in the time I had allotted. And I know I can tell a good story. But could I entertain you?
And this was all about extreme sports in the science fiction future. How do I go there?
In the end, none of my current series did the trick. Javier Aritza would have been closest, but those are all going to be shorter. Novellas (personal decision until at least such time as I need to tell the end of series one, in which case I might double up and stretch the story over two episodes with a cliff-hanger between them).
So Dani Cooper was born. When we first meet her, she’s a rush-junkie woman-child who has never really bothered to grow up. And then she gets in over her head, and has to use all her skills, all that time practicing her games, all the finesse she can muster, just to survive, while her own people, back at base, are desperately trying to save her on an alien world that has just gotten more dangerous than anyone ever dreamed.
To top it off, I wanted to try something new. Every project, I try to explore some new facet of craft, be it a theme, a story-telling technique, or a voice. Dani was going to be even more interesting, because literature (and especially SF) tend to ignore all that icky body stuff. When was the last time you read a book where a woman had to deal with her period. And I don’t mean a story that centers around it, but one where, oh, by the way, pardon me for ten minutes while I run off to the bathroom. I’m starting to bleed. Be right back. And then we can go save the universe.
The fun for me, when writing this story, was trying to get all those details right on what goes through a woman’s head on that particular day each month when the neuro-chemistry goes sideways for 12-24 hours and shit can get dark and oppressive in there. Those made for interesting conversations, interviewing the Fabulous Publisher Babe(tm) and walking slowly through the process, the feelings, the changes. My notes are weird.
Because Dani is a flawed person. Broken, in many ways. And she knows it, fights against it, tries to overcome it. Here, she’s up against the wall, and that little bitch in the back of her head keeps whispering darkness, reminding her that there’s always an easy way out.
All it takes is a few kilos of pressure on that trigger. And all that darkness can go away.
She finds a way to survive. I won’t tell you the interesting bits, but it sets her up for a series of new novels that explore some seriously Hard Science themes and motifs, rather than some of the silly, popcorn space opera I normally write with Jessica and Javier. And this is space exploration with a bunch of academics. Nerds instead of lantern-jawed herostuds and their buxom, alien princesses needing to be rescued from their virginity before its too late. 😉
So, StoryBundle. Down at the bottom of the page is the relevant information, for those of you who have never done this sort of thing before (and need to be rescued from their own virginity). You pick the price you want to pay. For a base price, you get the first five novels: Dean, ML, Kevin J., Dan, and JR. For a higher price, you also get me and several others: Kris, Mike, more Dan, and an issue of the fantastic Fiction River series: Risk Takers. You can pick how much of the money goes to us, and how much helps Jason keep the lights on at StoryBundle. And you can even allocate some of your money to charity. What’s not to love?
Personal Note (and where I get to blush some this morning)
Here’s what the curator of the bundle had to say:
When you need fast-paced hard science fiction adventure, Blaze Ward is your man. This might be why I have yet to read one of his tales that I didn’t immediately love. Blaze’s fast, no-nonsense voice effortlessly marries the best of Golden Age SF with the characterizations that modern audiences demand. When I asked him to come into the bundle, he didn’t just say yes, he used the theme to hand-craft a brand new adventure with a kick-ass lead heroine. Trust me—you don’t want to miss this one. – J. Daniel Sawyer
So go buy the bundle, and tell all your friends. (And tell them I sent you. I’d like to be invited to more bundles in the future.)
You have three weeks from today to get the job done, and then this bundle goes away forever, and you have to pay full price for everything.