I think I mentioned that Tor.com had released their nominated fiction for free on various platforms. This included my novelette, “First Flight”
Apparently, it hit the #4 slot on Amazon for free downloads. Not for free SF, but for overall fiction.
As you can see, three of other Tor downloads are also on there, which is pretty awesome. I’ve been told that this means that 60,000 people, on Kindle alone, downloaded the stories in the first week.
This is what it looks like on the iPad’s Kindle app. Many thanks to Dierdre for sending that over to me.
I just downloaded it to my Nook and I have to say that it is very nicely formatted. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the story on the Nook, but it’s nifty to have there.
Have I mentioned how very odd I find the whole thing. In part, I suspect, because I just finished these auditions where the act of creation — even an audition performance — is so directly linked to the audience reaction, which makes the connection between writer and reader seem… I mean, it’s just really hard to get my head around how many people have this story now.
My flight from Madison — which I actually boarded — was delayed taking off but not badly. When we were approaching Minneapolis however, we started circling after they told us that we were ready for final descent. Eventually they explained that they were having problems with the hydraulics and that they’d update us when they knew more.
It became clear that I would probably miss my connection which just amused me by this point.
The captain came on to let us know that they’d had to extend the right gizmo on the landing gear manually and that we’d have a normal landing but would need to be towed to the gate.
We landed a little harder than usual but not badly. While they were hooking up the tow truck to us I noticed that there were fire trucks standing by. It’s the first time I’ve seen those up close in this context.
I missed my flight, but Delta had already rebooked me onto the next plane out, gave me a voucher AND upgraded me to first class. Really, I can’t be too angry especially since there was a distinct lack of death on the landing.
I call this my time-traveling Grandma story, which isn’t a spoiler, since the story opens with her standing in a time machine. I based the main character on my own grandmother.
When Patrick Nielsen Hayden bought it for Tor.com, he asked me to change the character’s name. Why? Because her name was Elois, just like my grandma. The problem, though, is that at the end of H.G. Wells’s The Time Machine, he visits the Eloi. Elois looked like a deliberate play on that, but didn’t go anywhere. Once he pointed that out, I was only too happy to change the name.
Eleanor Louise Jackson stood inside the plain steel box of the time machine. It was about the size of an outhouse, but without a bench or windows. She clutched her cane with one hand and her handbag with the other. It felt like the scan was taking far too long, but she was fairly certain that was her nerves talking.
Her corset made her ribs creak with every breath. She’d expected to hate wearing the thing but there was a certain comfort from having something to support her back and give her a shape more like a woman than a sack of potatoes.
A gust of air puffed around her and the steel box was gone. She stood in a patch of tall grass under an October morning sky. The caravan of scientists, technicians and reporters had vanished from the field where they’d set up camp. Louise inhaled with wonder that the time machine had worked. Assuming that this was 1905, of course – the year of her birth and the bottom limit to her time traveling range. Even with all the preparation for this trip, it baffled her sense of the order of things to be standing there.
(Tor Books — August 21, 2018) Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating Stars, The Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars. Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, […]