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My God, It's Full of Updates

June 26, 2012 at 8:14 pm

Ok.  Let's get this out of the way first:  I'm downright pathetic when it comes to updating the blog.  Hell… "pathetic" doesn't begin to cover it.  Hopeless?  Stupid?  Hilariously inept? Those are probably a little closer to the mark, seeing as how I haven't updated the blog in nearly a month.

Yeah.  Great timing on the radio silence, Tregillis, seeing as how you have 2 books coming out next month.  Way to totally win the self-promotion game.  (Have I ever mentioned how much I hate the self-promotion part of being a writer?  Only a dozen times?  Okay, then.  I hope we've both learned something here.) 

Work—the day job—has been taking a toll lately.  I'm damn lucky to have a job where I can sit in air conditioning all day.  But lately I do come home feeling like I've had all the neurotransmitter drained from my head with a 2" auger bit.  And I don't know about you, but where I am, it's bloody hot outside.  Too hot to do anything including eat, much less think and write.  Also during the blog hiatus we had the Albuquerque Comics Expo, and a dear friend of mine swung through town.  And then there was a birthday.

So, yeah.  There was all that.

Meanwhile all sorts of blog-worthy, cool, and exciting stuff has been going on!  I've just been too lazy to list it.  (See above re: ineptitude.)   I'll try to list it all below the cut.  News!  Photos!  Contests!  Weird brain-wave stuff!

Okay, let's start with the news and upcoming events!  Because July is going to be a very exciting month in the Tregillis house.

The Orbit edition of Bitter Seeds will have its UK/Commonwealth debut on July 12.  And the good folks at Orbit have done a bang-up job with the whole affair.  Just check out that cover art—you know they're doing something right when people feel compelled to write special blog posts about the back of the book.  Amiright?  This edition also contains an interview, part of which you can read on the Orbit blog here.  And speaking of the Orbit blog, I'll be doing a pair of guest posts there very soon.  (Ironic, I know, given how infrequently I update this blog.  But anyway.)

And I almost forgot to mention my first print interview, in the UK's mega-SF magazine SFX.  It was first spotted in the wild by my friend Petter in Norway.  Thanks, Petter!  You can believe I back-ordered a copy of that issue.  I mean, hey, the next time my name appears in a magazine may very well be under the heading "Where Are They Now?"

The coolest thing on the Bitter Seeds front, though, has to be Orbit's timing: my case of author's copies arrived on the morning of my birthday.  And holy cats do they look snazzy.  Here's the proof:

A pile of author's copies of Bitter Seeds.  On the author's birthday.

The day after Bitter Seeds has its UK debut (that is, on Friday the 13th) I'll be speaking at the Albuquerque Science Fiction Society.  ASFS is the group behind one of the very best small SF cons anywhere in the country: Bubonicon

And then, just a few days after that (and speaking of kickass covers) July 17 sees the long-awaited hardcover/ebook release of The Coldest War: Volume II of the Milkweed Triptych via Tor. I. Cannot. Wait. to see this book in stores.  It's been a long damn road, but I think the extra time has been worth it: it gave me time to work with my editor and really dig in to the revisions.  And I'm pleased as punch with the end result.  We did our very best to make The Coldest War a worthy sequel to Bitter Seeds, and who knows?  Maybe we succeeded.  After all, the book has already popped up on not one but two Best-Of-The-First-Half-Of-2012 lists, which you can read here and here.  Oh, and it's one of RT's Top Picks for July.  They've kindly invited me to do a guest blog post over there, too, which I'll be doing in conjunction with the book's release.

So a lot of people like this book.  Really like it.  Enough to find it worth the wait, even.  Golly.

So I think it's pretty cool that is running a giveaway right now.  Head on over there if you'd like a chance to win one of the 10 (ten!) free copies of The Coldest War.

I'm so excited for July 17 that I scheduled a dentist appointment for that morning!  Now that, my friends, is excited.

The day after the the hardcover/ebook release of TCW, I'll be participating in the July #TorChat on Twitter.  Alex Bledsoe, D.B. Jackson, and I will be discussing fantasy/alternative histories.  It should be entertaining, if nothing else, since I'm not even ON Twitter yet.  (But I promised I would join up.)  Watch me make a COMPLETE IDIOT of myself in my social networking debut!  And besides, Bledsoe and Jackson are very smart and interesting people.  So they'll be worth talking to, even if my part of the conversation looks like the modern equivalent of telegraphic line noise. 

On Saturday, July 28, I'll be at Page 1 Bookstore in Albuquerque—a huge supporter of local writers!—signing copies of TCW alongside Daniel Abraham, who will be signing just about everything else in the store.

So yeah.  Busy month, come July.

Speaking of interviews (and I was, above, a moment ago) my friend E. E. Giorgi and I had an interesting conversation about angels over at Chimeras.  Why angels?  It just happened that I was finishing up the submission draft of SOMETHING MORE THAN NIGHT when we chatted.   I'm really excited about this new book.  It was fun to work on something outside of the Milkweed universe.  But now that draft is on my editor's desk, and I'm turning my thoughts to new projects.  That's the best part of the entire process—the beginning, when possibilities are wide open.

Whew.  That's a hefty wheelbarrow load of self promotion.  Especially coming from somebody who hates self promotion.  So here's something totally cool that has nothing whatsoever to do with me or my books.

From time to time here on the blog, I've mentioned transcranial direct-current stimulation, or tDCS.  [Short version: it's the real-world analog of the technology that Doctor von Westarp uses to create the übermenschen of the Götterelektrongruppe in Bitter Seeds.  It basically consists of connecting a subject's head to a battery (sound familiar?).  DARPA has funded research into this technology; the US Army has been testing it in their elite sniper training.  They're thisclose to making superheroes, people.]  Following up on my interest, Dr. David McGonigle contacted me from Cardiff University, where he carries out research on neurophysiology, brain imaging, and, among other things, tDCS.  He's been a great source of information and ideas pertaining to this and other brain-stimulation technologies.  And just the other day, he sent me this link.

They're making freakin' MAIL ORDER tDCS HEADSETS, PEOPLE.  But they're not shipping to the US right now.  Stupid health laws.

Please,, remedy this sooner than later.  I want to start zapping my own brain.  I want to taste the Götterelektron.  I want to see the future and set people on fire with my mind.

In the meantime, I'll settle for trying to update the blog more than once per month.


Steve Halter June 27, 2012 at 9:01 am
Maybe you could find the tDCS setting for massive self promotion. That would be an interesting super power.
Ian June 27, 2012 at 9:43 am
I'd wager that even the most advanced tDCS rig in the world couldn't make me better at self promotion. That would require mad science of a sort only the Nazis could dream of.
EE Giorgi June 27, 2012 at 9:48 am
Oooohhh.... yes, snazzy indeed!! congratulations, I'm all excited for you! :-) And thanks for sharing the link, I always enjoy chatting with you, especially the part where we start from writing and fiction and end up on a philosophical/speculative tangent... :-)
Ian June 27, 2012 at 10:16 am
You're very welcome. And that you again for the chat! I'm just sorry it took me so long to post it. Wish I wasn't so slow to update the blog... I enjoy the conversations, too! We'll have to do lunch again soon.
DMS June 27, 2012 at 11:39 am
And, of course, congrats on all the excellent news.
Ian June 27, 2012 at 11:48 am
Why, thank you very much indeed for the kind wishes! I appreciate it. And thanks for slogging through all the promo stuff. I really hate doing things like this, but after a month it was starting to build up. I'll try to post more about weird brain experiments and some Science! I did recently, using a roll of tape.
Alex June 28, 2012 at 11:47 am
Twitter! Yay! Welcome to the dark and frequently distracted by hilariously ironical GIFs side!
Ian June 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm
I am going to TWEET UP A STORM. I might tweet as often as once per month! It'll be like reading a realtime transcript of my life in progress. With typos. #socialnetworkingfail
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