May 29 2017

Quick update: First Landing free, Sawyer’s World released.

Published by at 10:37 pm under T-Space,Writing

A hasty and, sorry to say, a bit late update. Alpha Centauri: First Landing is temporarily available as a free e-book from Amazon. The second in the series, Alpha Centauri: Sawyer’s World is out and available (both e-book and trade paperback). After the free period, First Contact will go on sale at $2.99 (reduced from the original $4.99 price), or something roughly equivalent in local currency for non-US sites (I try to round down).

I spent most of the past week at a computer conference in Austin, and I’m in the middle of doing a re-finance on my mortgage, so things have been a little crazy for me lately even without making sure Sawyer’s World was ready to go this month as promised.

The next (third) volume, The Return, is almost complete, and it will tie up threads from the first two. Anticipated release is just after the July 4th weekend.

There will probably be a fourth in the Alpha Centauri series, Alpha Centauri: Kakuloa, following on after The Return but focusing less on Drake, Carson, Sawyer and company, and more on later events on Kakuloa (such as the rise and fall of the squidberry industry alluded to in the Carson & Roberts series), bridging the narrative gap between the first missions and (at least) the Jason Curtis adventures.

Happy reading!

2 comments so far

2 Responses to “Quick update: First Landing free, Sawyer’s World released.”

  1. Robert Smithon 11 Jul 2017 at 8:05 am

    Panspermia to the max!

    Just finished “First Landing” and “Sawyer’s World,” loved the plot and the tantalizing loose ends — except I absolutely cannot believe an exploratory mission without an armory!

    I’m not sure whether it’s a strength or a failing, only that I despair of a remedy. SciFi writers, even the greatest, have a stock formula: pick one advance with its corollaries but leave the rest of the details essentially unchanged from the writer’s current culture, no matter how far into the future the tale is set.

    In these novels the warp drive is your advance, with a slight one of smartphones (“omnis”) that don’t need relay towers. Otherwise everything is just too 2016. Your story is set a century out, approximately, and you’re still sending fleshly humans, unenhanced, with the usual life expectancies, into space. Where are the general purpose robots, even the participatory AGIs? Such advances in the human condition and machine intelligence are obviously due in the next few decades, perhaps even the next few years.

    If a strength it may be because you don’t require readers to assimilate too much strangeness, but the cost is far less stimulation. You could certainly do better.

  2. adminon 14 Jul 2017 at 10:34 pm

    Robert, I’m glad you enjoyed the first two “Alpha Centauri” books.

    You’re right that the international mission lacked an armory, perhaps an oversight on the part of mission planners too used to the fact that there’s no need for one in the Solar System, and that it was an international mission. (Hey, we’re all friends here!)

    But I think you’ll enjoy the chapters of “The Return” which follow up on what the Chinese have been up to.

    There’s a dilemma any science-fiction writer faces. If we imagined (if we could) all the advances likely, and put them all (together with their accompanying social effects) into one story, that story would (a) be incomprehensible to most readers, or (b) bogged down with infodumps. (Or worse, both.) Some writers in the 1950s still had their characters using slide rules. Even the ones who imagined some kind of pocket computer didn’t imagine something like Google, or GPS, or the fact that we’d know about some 4000+ planets around other stars without having set foot beyond the Moon.

    Larry Niven had a different problem. In his “Known Space” series he came up with so many fantastic technologies that he began to have problems writing a new story where the issues weren’t easily solvable by technology he’d already shown. (The various Star Trek TV series have this problem in spades, but they largely ignored it.)

    For what it’s worth, my Alpha Centauri series is set a bit over 50 years from now, with things have been set back a bit by a “limited” nuclear war in the interim (the warp drive was one of those lucky accident type discoveries.) Books set later in the time line (“The Chara Talisman” and “The Reticuli Deception”, with more on the way) advance the technology some, and explain why some things (like neural implants) aren’t more common.

    Whew, long winded answer. But I appreciate your feedback. Keep it coming!

    -Alastair

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