Bundle, and the next Montague Portal novel

Those of you who stalk me on social media know that I was working to write a novel in ten days. It took two weeks, a serious failure on my part. I can only plead 2020. And now I can say why.

There’s this thing called Storybundle. For one low, low price you get a big heap of ebooks. And if you look at the Big Time bundle that came out last night, you’ll see at least one familiar name.

For $15, you don’t just get ten books. You get ten good books.

And part of your money goes to support folks devastated by the wildfires in Oregon. The Oregon Food Bank does good work, and they desperately need our support.

I’ve read most of these authors. Rusch and Smith have been spec fic powerhouses for decades. Lisa Silverthorne regularly rips my heart out, only to hand it back to me on a silver platter. Stefon Mears is the good sort of deranged, and so are his books. DeAnna Kippling is a sure thing when I want a few delightful hours on my couch. Robert J Sawyer? I ain’t worthy to sit on the same couch as him.

I have to admit that I haven’t read Kim Antieau or Ryan M Williams. I’ll be fixing that, soon. With this bundle.

I’m biased against my own work, so I’ll let bundle curator Kris Rusch tell you what she thinks.

Inventive minds. Maybe that’s what we should have called this StoryBundle. Because most of the writers here have the most inventive minds I’ve ever encountered. Michael Warren Lucas is one of those writers. He makes his living as a writer of nonfiction and fiction. His nonfiction is so specialized that when he tells me about it, I think he’s talking in a foreign language. His fiction is as clear as daylight, and filled with quirky ethical characters who somehow make the most inexplicable situation clear. Here, Michael takes us to the days when our universe was young, and time was just beginning. – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

I now have this urge to make up a technology with bogus buzzwords, so the next time I get to see Kris I can string her along. While that’d be easy, I could perhaps leverage Kris’ belief in my acumen to achieve a real prize: bamboozling other computer geeks in the room. (Yes, I am a bad person. I’ve told you that.) Fortunately for everyone, I’ll probably forget about this by the time the Zoompocalypse ends, in favor of an even worse idea.

Between this StoryBundle and my Name Your Own Price sale on git commit murder and PAM Mastery, I’m going cheap.

And there’s other news. Related news.

One of an author’s goals of a StoryBundle is to bring in new readers. The money’s nice, sure, but the idea is to gather books that share sensibility and flavor. “If you like my book, you’ll probably like these.” I know I like many of the authors here, so I’ll probably enjoy Williams and Antieu. Hurrah, more authors to devour!

But if someone reads Hydrogen Sleets and wants more Montague Portal, there’s a novella and a couple shorts. That’s it. They can go on to my other fiction, sure, but if I want to keep them? If I really want to hook them?

I need a sequel novel.

I’ve wanted to write another Aidan Redding/Montague Portal novel since… well, since I wrote The End on Hydrogen Sleets. The last few years have been ugly for my productivity. But when Kris poked me a couple weeks ago about putting Hydrogen Sleets in this bundle, it gave me a ticking clock. So I got to work, and:

Drinking Heavy Water, the next Montague Portal novel, escapes in December.

Aidan Redding’s one goal for her time in this universe: behave. For once. Discovering seafaring aliens trashes that plan.

The aliens raise questions. Her co-workers raise more.

The answers explain it all. And ruin everything.

On a world where gravity changes every second, Redding finds herself involuntarily allied with a mathematician from Soviet Texas as she races to save not just herself but civilization.

Forget aliens. Nothing threatens Earth’s golden age so much as ordinary human beings.

Drinking Heavy Water cover

This also gives me enough material for a hardcover Montague Portal omnibus, tentatively titled Aidan Redding Against the Universes. As much as I’d like to have that out for Christmas, it ain’t happening.

So: there are books. They’re going cheap. There will be more books, going not so cheap.