Wednesday, March 9, 2011


For those in the Denver metro area, I will be appearing at Anomaly Con on the 26th and 27th of this month, in support of Cooperwood Press's Copperwood Double #1. This book contains two stories set in Jeff Duntemann's Drumlin world, which I've talked about before. On Side one is Jeff's novella Drumlin Circus and side two of the double-book is my novella On Gossamer Wings.

If you've never seen one of the old Ace doubles, double novels work like this:
On side one of the book, you have cover art, and a short-ish novel. Flip the book so the spine printing is now upside down, and instead of the back cover, you have different cover art, and a different novel. The two novels meet in the middle, one upside down from the other so you know where one ends and the other begins. Page numbers go from the side you started on toward the center. In the center was a catalog of other titles from the same publisher. Double novels often contained abridged versions of the novels within, so they'd both fit in the relatively small number of pages allowed. (Neither Drumlin Circus nor On Gossamer Wings has been abridged in any fashion, as they were written with this format in mind.)

Novellas run, according to Wikipedia, somewhere in the huge span between 10,000 words and 70,000 words. Novellas are fun to write. They're middle-length stories where you can experiment with writing style, with story lines, with characters, without the screamingly tight word constraints of short fiction, and yet without committing the time and intricate story telling of a novel. They're fun to read too, since you can read them at one sitting and still have time to do other things the same day.

Unfortunately, novella length fiction is typically impossible to sell. Publishers usually want either short fiction of less than 7000 words for print in magazines, or they want 90,000 to 110,000 word novels - or longer if you're Stephen King. Double Novels give you /two/ novella length pieces in one cover. If you've never read a novella before, you're in for a treat.

As for working with Jeff on this one, it's been a pleasure. Jeff's an old hand at Science Fiction, and a damn good one. He's been on the final ballot for a Hugo (twice) and he's been selling short science fiction since 1974. His first novel, The Cunning Blood came out in 2006. He's also a good friend. You've seen his name in my blog before.

We're still hammering out the final details of the book, and the deadline is tight, but we should have copies in hand to sell at the con. Look for the guys in the top hats. Our panel reading is Sunday, the 27th, at 1:00pm. I'll put up another posting here when I know where in the con the reading will be.


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