Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Is This Hopepunk?

My new novel is out today, and I think it’s best described as a dystopian murder mystery. But it’s awfully optimistic for a dystopian story, and as a mystery it’s sort of a hardboiled cozy. So I wonder if it, and maybe all my books, should be called ‘hopepunk’.

You may not have heard that term before, and it may sound nonsensical to your ears, since ‘punk’ tends to be associated with a rejection of the status quo, a radical rebellion against the prevailing culture. But these days, with all the gloom and fearmongering coming at us from every side, optimism and hope are very much ‘punk’.

It’s difficult to pin down exactly what it is, but whether you call it a new subgenre of SF or a wider movement, hopepunk was first identified as a reaction to ‘grimdark’, the popular fad in modern fiction for everything to be bleak, cynical, and depressing – taking the view that the world is cruel and corrupt and people are nasty and self-serving. But while hopepunk pushes back against that perspective, it’s not about a rosy, utopian view of human society. It acknowledges the reality of evil without dwelling on it.

Instead, hopepunk focuses on flawed heroes trying their best to do the right thing and help others however they can with a positive attitude. Understanding that they may not make much of a difference in the end, but acting on the belief that being loving, doing right, and fighting for truth are worthy pursuits in and of themselves. That if you can help one person have a brighter day today, you’ve accomplished something beautiful. And that if more of us tried a little harder to think of what’s good for others as much as ourselves, to make a little difference when and where we have the opportunity, maybe that would change the world.

So yes, my stories are certainly hopepunk.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Book #5 or #1?

Alright, technically(?) my new book is the fifth in the Slowpocalypse series. Fifth written, fifth published, and it even takes place fifth on the timeline of events in that fictional universe. But it features new characters and takes place in a different setting. So I’ve been calling it a ‘standalone’ novel, and it works as one though it’s really not. Question is, what is it?

Without spoiling anything, I think I can say it’s opening up another front, the start of a story related to what Kat and David and the rest have been going through in Books 1-4, expanding the larger arc of that future history. And as the wider story grows, the smaller stories of those different sets of characters will come together. But it’s too early yet to let on when and how that will happen.

So, you don’t need to have read any of the earlier books before this one. It’s a sort of alternate 'first' story in the series.

Friday, May 3, 2019

Last Chance Sale

The 99¢ sale for Miraibanashi the Trilogy back in February was such a huge success, I’m giving everyone another chance to take advantage of that sweet deal. But I can’t see offering it at that deep a discount again, so if you didn’t grab a copy then, make sure you do this time. And either way, tell your friends. This and a lot of other great deals on good ebooks are being featured this weekend in Patty Jansen’s splendid promo.

Monday, April 29, 2019

The End is Near

Things have been going great this past month, and I’ve almost finished the final draft of Slowpocalypse Book 5. I’ll still need to scour it again for typos and errors and get some reader feedback before it’s ready for release, but it’s on track to be out June 4th. And I’m confident you’re going to love it.

Giving myself only a certain amount of time to finish each page, each chapter, has worked very well. Those weren’t hard deadlines I had to meet – I might get discouraged when I didn’t reach a goal, and life sometimes interrupts and wreaks havoc with the best laid plans. But when I was able to sit down and work for this or that long, I had a definite idea how much material I should reasonably be able to polish in that time. Then I did my best to make that stretch of the book the best I could in the time allotted. And the results have been quite satisfying.