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Happy Birthday, Bitter Seeds

April 13, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Happy Birthday, little book!  You're one year old today.

You've aged so quickly.  How is it possible?  It seems like only yesterday you were nothing but a vague, faintly naive idea.

I remember how thrilled I was when I took you home from the hospital first saw you in a bookstore.   I thought you were the cutest book ever.  I still do.  But not  everybody agrees, and that's why your mommy and daddy your publisher and author are working hard to make new clothing devise new cover art for you

Now, I know that in the past I've told you that someday soon you'd have a little sister or brother sequel novel.  And it's still true.  Yes, someday I'll come home from the hospital  receive author's copies in the mail, and then you won't be all alone in the nursery on that shelf any longer. 

You see, sometimes when an author and publisher love each other very much, they lie very close together enter a business agreement with the goal of producing cool books.  And you and your little sequels are all a part of that.  

I know that some of the bigger kids more established series have teased you with horror stories about getting remaindered, going out of print, and other things.  I won't lie to you: it's a tough world out there, and sometimes bad things happen.  But you're still young!  You haven't even hit puberty had your mass market paperback release yet.  By the time you're old enough to worry about such things, you'll also be old enough to understand and accept that this is the natural order of the world publishing. 

But let's not fret.  Happy birthday, little book!  You're my first, and you'll always be my oldest.  I can't wait to see the grown adult trilogy you become.


Jo Anderton April 13, 2011 at 6:31 pm
Happy Birthday little book! Looking forward to meeting your younger siblings, one day :)
Steve Halter April 13, 2011 at 9:07 pm
Cool! And it's also been exactly 1 year since I first read about Bitter Seeds on Whatever! Happiness is a warm book.
ChiaLynn April 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm
Steve, Whatever was also my introduction to Bitter Seeds. I have to admit I cringed a little when I read "new cover art," but I can see where the original cover might not be to everyone's taste - even if it is brilliant, and beautiful, and part of the reason I ordered the book in the first place.
Victor Milan April 13, 2011 at 11:33 pm
Perhaps the seeds aren't the only thing that's bitter? Justifiably. I think your struck-out metaphor for what happens "when an author and publisher love each other very much" sums up neatly indeed what your publisher did to you and your books. Especially if you leave out the "love" part. It doesn't matter. I expect to see, before too many cycles have passed, the seeds you planted (bitter or otherwise) sprout and grow into a full-blown trilogy. And bestride the Earth.
Tom Porter April 14, 2011 at 8:17 am
Although it's been mentioned before, sad to see the cover art change. The HB cover art is literally arresting, as it caused my Wife to look down at the bottom shelf and say "Tom, I think you might want to read this one." Minds you, I'm not sure what that says about her opinion of me if she thinks I would enjoy reading about arm-banded frauleins picking their way across a field of skulls.
John Murphy April 14, 2011 at 8:38 am
Happy birthday, little book! (And a very good little book it is!)
Melinda April 14, 2011 at 10:20 am
It's a terrific book and it's siblings, which are equally brilliant, will arrive. But while we're waiting, my book (a second child) says hello. My book, The Edge of Ruin came out on the same day as Ian's. We even did a joint signing. The good news is you got to finish your story, and the other books will be published. The jury is still out to see if Kenntnis, with Richard's help, ever does give us the stars.
Bitter Seeds April 16, 2011 at 10:59 pm
Dear Jo & Steve & ChiaLynn & Victor & Tom & John & Melinda, thank you for telling me happy birthday on my birthday. i had a really good birthday. we watched a documentary about how the egyptian pharaohs were actually aliens and then there was a bowl of cereal. Love, Bitter Seeds
Ian April 16, 2011 at 11:04 pm
Jo: Thanks! With luck there will actually be sibling books before another few years pass... Really looking forward to seeing DEBRIS in the wild! Steve: I'm really grateful to Scalzi for the opportunity to write that Big Idea piece. It was a huge boon. Chia: I love the cover art, too. But who knows, maybe the new cover art (they're working on it now!) will be even cooler. With, like, robots or something. Robots would be cool. OR! Robots on fire, with flames shooting out of their robot parts. That would be cool. Vic: Would I do that? Well, actually, now that you point it out, it seems pretty clear that I did. Alas, subconscious, you tricky thing you... Tom: I'll just take it as a sign that you have a very healthy marriage :) John: Thank you very much! Greatly appreciated, kind sir. Melinda: I have faith that good stories will win out in the end. So I think there are more Edge books in the future.
Walter Jon Williams April 17, 2011 at 12:51 am
Re: New Cover PUT A FREAKIN' SWASTIKA ON IT!!! A FREAKIN' BIG SWASTIKA THAT PEOPLE CAN SEE FROM ACROSS THE ROOM!!! IF YOU PUT A FREAKIN' BIG SWASTIKA ON THE COVER, YOU WILL SELL LOTS OF COPIES!!! Don't you want to sell lots of copies? I mean, what's the problem here? I wish =I= had a book with this simple a marketing option.
Mehdi April 20, 2011 at 5:21 am
Happy birthday "Bitter seeds", I wish you a long long long long life, and a longer afterlife in a Milkweed Omnibus, and a french translation so more readers will have the chance to know you. See you soon little book, take care. PS : On amazon and fantastic fiction, they announce you'll be back in paperback in May 2012...
Ian April 20, 2011 at 9:32 am
Well, given it also somehow seemed like a really good idea to not read my second manuscript for almost two years... all I can say is that I've learned nothing is simple or obvious. That said, they are working very hard to try to find a marketing theme that unifies all three books. I'm eager (and nervous) to see the result.
Ian April 20, 2011 at 9:37 am
Thanks, Mehdi! From your lips to the publishing gods' ears! And thanks for the link, too. I'll take that as an encouraging sign...
Trev April 23, 2011 at 10:27 pm
I can't believe it has been a year since the book came out. It was so great, and I can barely contain my anxiousness for the next one. I think the art is wonderful and amazing. It stinks when you read a series and the art changes with the next installment. *sad face*
Ian April 23, 2011 at 11:53 pm
Thank you, Trev! I'm anxious to see the next one out, too :) I hope you enjoy it.
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