Thirty years ago.
Plus, Frozen Talons is my 50th full book. If you count “things with my name on them,” including anthologies and chapbooks but not translations, it’s number 96. No–wait–my list is missing one thing. It’s 97. Quick, someone send me a neurotypical personal assistant to track all this crap!
Fifty books in thirty years. Two thoughts.
1) A more business-oriented author would have planned a 30/50 Marketing Extravaganza, with advertising defoliated into swanky golf courses and a special cryptocurrency limited to a single coin for each book. The coin for Ed Mastery: Manly McManface edition is measured in units of–uh, never mind. The thought makes me even more tired.
2) Daang, I write slow.
It’s not as quite as bad as that, of course. Look at the “More Books By This Author” page from Tarsnap Mastery in 2015.
Excluding the “coming soon” titles, that’s 14 books. Many of them are heavily-researched 500,000-word doorstops.
I’ve written 36 books in the eight years of full-time writing since then. Somewhat better. Numbers don’t really mean much, though. What does “36 books” mean in the real world? Well, here’s my catalog in April 2015. One copy of every version of everything, including translations.
I took the photo to make the shelf look full, but note that there’s space at the far left end, next to the Japanese translation of Absolute FreeBSD.
In 2017, the shelf became full.
I thought that was an achievement. Look, the books fill the shelf edge to edge! There is no way to stuff another book onto that shelf!
Silly me. 2020:
I had a hard choice. Upgrade the brag shelf, or stop writing.
We bought that bookshelf in 1996 for gerbil cages. I’m afraid it’s about to overflow. Fortunately, Ikea has bookshelves again. Maybe I can get something fancy, with glass doors?
Of course, neither the number of books nor the total mass of said books matter. The sales on most of these books faded into the long tail years ago. Like “words written per day,” “how many books I’ve written” is irrelevant. The only books that matter are the ones I’m writing now. But, also like “how many words have I written today,” the count of how many books I’ve written is the only way to measure the ineffable and to set goals.
So, here are some goals that might take me through my career.
1) Next year, I will break “100 Things With My Name in Them.” Anthologies and chapbooks count for this. With February’s Devotion & Corrosion collection, Run Your Own Mail Server later in the year, and (hopefully!) $ git merge murder and the Skybreach books before the end of the year, I should break this easy. With any luck, there’ll be new editions of the ZFS books near the end. Given my atrocious record-keeping, perhaps I’ve crossed this already. Who knows?
2) 100 books total before 2033. Some doorstops. Some 40,000-word novels. A whole bunch in between.
While I intend to keep writing until I’m dead, I also know that I have no idea what my health will be like in however many decades I have left. With any luck, in 2032 I’ll shoot for 150 before 2043.
What are all these books? Grab the current list in my SNMP agent, as discussed in the Networknomicon. Because some of you still treasure your minds, however, I’ll leave a copy here for posterity. I don’t think anyone but me has a complete set of originals, except for maybe EB over in Israel. If he doesn’t have all 50, he’s pretty dang close.
Anyone who has all 96–uh, 97–should probably seek professional help. And a carpenter, for a good bookcase.
SNMP table: TWP-MIB::mwlBooksTable titleIndex title year genre length 1 Gatecrasher 1992 fiction full-length 2 Believe it or Else! 1993 fiction full-length 3 SLUGS: The Satanic, Loathsome, Unholy Game System (as Greg Donner) 1994 fiction novella 4 Gatecrasher 2nd edition 1995 fiction full-length 5 Women who Run with the Werewolves 1995 fiction anthology 6 Absolute BSD 2002 nonfiction full-length 7 Absolute OpenBSD 2003 nonfiction full-length 8 Cisco Routers for the Desperate 2004 nonfiction full-length 9 PGP & GPG 2006 nonfiction full-length 10 Absolute FreeBSD, 2nd edition 2007 nonfiction full-length 11 Cisco Routers for the Desperate, 2nd edition 2009 nonfiction full-length 12 Network Flow Analysis 2010 nonfiction full-length 13 Horror Library volume 2 2010 fiction anthology 14 Opening the Eye 2011 fiction story 15 Breaking the Circle 2011 fiction story 16 SSH Mastery 2012 nonfiction full-length 17 Vicious Redemption: Five Dark Fantasies 2012 fiction full-length 18 DNSSEC Mastery 2013 nonfiction full-length 19 Sudo Mastery 2013 nonfiction full-length 20 Absolute OpenBSD, 2nd ed 2013 nonfiction full-length 21 No More Lonesome Blue Rings 2013 fiction story 22 Sticky Supersaturation 2013 fiction story 23 Lavender 2013 fiction story 24 Pax Canina 2013 fiction story 25 Wednesday's Seagulls 2013 fiction story 26 FreeBSD Mastery: Storage Essentials 2014 nonfiction full-length 27 Immortal Clay 2014 fiction full-length 28 Waking Up Yesterday 2014 fiction story 29 Calling Control 2014 fiction story 30 Moonlight's Apples 2014 fiction story 31 Networking for Systems Administrators 2015 nonfiction full-length 32 Tarsnap Mastery 2015 nonfiction full-length 33 FreeBSD Mastery: ZFS 2015 nonfiction full-length 34 Forever Falls 2015 fiction novella 35 Spilled Mirovar (Prohibition Orcs 1) 2015 fiction story 36 Whisker Line 2015 fiction story 37 Wifi and Romex 2015 fiction story 38 PAM Mastery 2016 nonfiction full-length 39 FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZFS 2016 nonfiction full-length 40 FreeBSD Mastery: Advanced ZedFS 2016 nonfiction full-length 41 Kipuka Blues (Immortal Clay #2) 2016 fiction full-length 42 Hydrogen Sleets 2016 fiction full-length 43 Drowned Mirovar (Prohibition Orcs #2) 2016 fiction novella 44 Butterfly Stomp Waltz (Beaks #1) 2016 fiction full-length 45 Earthquake Kitten Kiss (Beaks spin-off) 2016 fiction novella 46 Butterfly Stomp (Beaks #0) 2016 fiction story 47 Forced to Talk, Like, With Your Mouth 2016 fiction story 48 FreeBSD Mastery: Specialty Filesystems 2016 nonfiction full-length 49 git commit murder 2017 fiction full-length 50 savaged by systemd 2017 fiction story 51 Httpd and Relayd Mastery 2017 nonfiction full-length 52 Ed Mastery 2018 nonfiction novella 53 Ed Mastery, Manly McManface Edition 2018 nonfiction novella 54 SSH Mastery, 2nd edition 2018 nonfiction full-length 55 Absolute FreeBSD, 3rd edition 2018 nonfiction full-length 56 Bedazzled by Blockchain 2018 fiction story 57 Face Less 2018 fiction story 58 Boundary Shock: Tuesday After Next 2018 fiction anthology 59 Boundary Shock: Robots, Androids, Cyborgs, Oh My! 2018 fiction anthology 60 Sudo Mastery, 2nd edition 2019 nonfiction full-length 61 FreeBSD Mastery: Jails 2019 nonfiction full-length 62 Terrapin Sky Tango (Beaks #2) 2019 fiction full-length 63 Winner Breaks All 2019 fiction story 64 Boundary Shock: Apocalypse Descending 2019 fiction anthology 65 Fiction River: Superstitious 2019 fiction anthology 66 Snot-Nosed Aliens 2019 fiction anthology 67 An Interpretation of Moles 2019 fiction anthology 68 SNMP Mastery 2020 nonfiction full-length 69 Boundary Shock: Alien Dreams 2020 fiction anthology 70 The Networknomicon 2020 nonfiction full-length 71 Cash Flow for Creators 2020 nonfiction full-length 72 Boundary Shock: What Might Have Been 2020 fiction anthology 73 Face The Strange 2020 fiction anthology 74 Bloody Christmas 2020 fiction anthology 75 Drinking Heavy Water 2020 fiction full-length 76 Final Gift 2020 fiction story 77 Woolen Torment 2020 fiction story 78 Drums with Delusions of Godhood 2020 fiction story 79 Uncollected Anthology: Deities 2020 fiction anthology 80 Woolen Torment 2021 fiction story 81 Aidan Redding Against the Universes 2021 fiction full-length 82 Fiction River: Chances 2021 fiction anthology 83 Fiction River: Dark and Deadly Passions 2021 fiction anthology 84 TLS Mastery 2021 nonfiction full-length 85 Only Footnotes 2021 nonfiction novella 86 git sync murder 2021 fiction full-length 87 The Holiday Spectacular #2 2021 fiction anthology 88 Boundary Shock: Wandering Monsters 2021 fiction anthology 89 Fantastic Christmas 2021 fiction anthology 90 Mysterious Christmas 2021 fiction anthology 91 Witness November 2021 fiction story 92 Domesticate Your Badgers 2022 nonfiction full-length 93 DNSSEC Mastery, 2nd edition 2022 nonfiction full-length 94 Letters from ed(1): The FreeBSD Journal Letters column, years 1-3 2022 nonfiction novella 95 Fiction River: Broken Dreams 2022 fiction anthology 96 Prohibition Orcs 2022 fiction full-length 97 Frozen Talons 2022 fiction full-length