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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Walter Jon Williams Releasing his Backlist as eBooks and a Follow Up on the "Dropped Series" Post of 2010 (by Liviu Suciu)

In 2010 I posted some thoughts on "dropped series" talking about four series that have been pretty big favorites at least at the time and which have remained unfinished so far. In the meantime, one those series, Sea Beggars by Paul Kearney has been completed and the last volume plus a reissue of the first two will be published later in 2012 by Solaris, while there was some action in the Continuing Time series of D.K. Moran with the publication of The AI War, Book One : The Big Boost as an eBook. The third one consists of Metaplanetary and Superluminal by Tony Daniel and here I have no news except that Mr. Daniel has recently published Guardian of Night with Baen.

Recently there has been some movement on the last series from the four - in this case the author Walter Jon Williams has reissued the first volume, Metropolitan, as an eBook on Amazon and Smashwords. I strongly recommend checking out the Smashwords version as there is a sizable 20% sample, the book is multiple format drm-free and on general principles it is good to support independent stores when that makes financial sense. I always buy from Smashwords when the respective eBook is available there and I never had any issue with them.

In addition Mr. Williams provided a very entertaining series of posts about the genesis and travails of the series which is one of the most superb blends of sf and fantasy I've ever read and it is still timely and entertaining as I've reread both books a few times across the years.

Here are some quotes from his website:

"Having written my lovely high fantasy, I sat back to await the world’s reaction.

What I had not anticipated was that readers would refuse to recognize it as a fantasy at all."


"I sold Metropolitan to a new publisher for a pleasing increase in my advance.  I was somewhat traumatized by leaving Tor, but not when Ralph relayed their final message: “When Walter finally realizes what he’s worth, he’s welcome to come back.”

To which anyone of spirit can only reply, *****  ***"

Go, read and enjoy the posts which talk about quite a lot of things: how the books got imagined, how they were received and how the publishing world worked at the time, the last being such a mess that I cannot understand how people bemoan Amazon and their dragging the unwilling publishers into the modern era as a bad thing; ideally, yeah maybe but respective to what has been going on for decades and how quite a few authors have been treated (badly to put it mildly), you gotta be kidding to take the big publishers as opposed to Amazon.

Anyway let's hope City on Fire follows as an eBook soon and maybe, just maybe, the reception will be good enough that the author will decide to go ahead and write more about Aiah, Constantine and their superb world and publish it independently. I would leap at the chance and buy such on the spot...

I want to mention that WJW has also released a few other novels from his back-list including the wonderful Aristoi which was the novel that brought him to my attention. New Space Opera with some cyberpunk overtones, Aristoi should still be fun but while I remember its general outline, it left less of a trace in my memory than the superb Metropolitan/City on Fire sequence.

From more recent work of the author, I have reviewed the wonderfully crazy Implied Spaces which you can get from Amazon or as a drm-free ebook from Baen (with 7 free sample chapters too!) as part of their epublishing Night Shade's output, while Robert has reviewed  This is Not a Game and Deep State which sadly have subjects that are of no interest to me.


Fabio Fernandes said...

Excellent news!! I'm reading Aristoi right now, having searched for it for years to no avail, and I must tell you, Liviu, it hasn't lost none of it brilliance. I'm loving it! I had City on Fire but never read it because I could never find Metropolitan. Now it's my chance after all. :)

Liviu said...

I have copies of all the three books from long, long ago and I agree that Aristoi is still fresh, but Metropolitan stayed more with me as I really liked the world building and the main characters, most notably Aiah

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