Why am I doing this? For a few reasons:
Dragonsword is Book One of a duology set in the island nation of Qua-lun on the world of Àstareth. This is the same setting as my other fantasy stories, so fans of those works might enjoy this one as well. In addition, Qua-lun is the ur-culture that later gave birth to the star-spanning Sa’adani Empire, the setting of my science fiction stories, so my sf fans might like it as well.
With the recent publication of my Tiptree-nominated short story “Live Fire,” which takes place in the Sa’adani Empire, I was thinking once again of all the backstory of the Empire that hasn’t yet seen the light of day. Although I haven’t released books or any other written work for years, I have readers and loyal fans who are still asking me for more stories about these worlds and people.
And last but not least, I am starting work on Book Two of the duology later this year. Releasing Dragonsword to the wild now will help readers sample that world, and decide if they would like to buy Book Two when it is available in 2012.
In this day and age of shared content – well, I figured it was time to let this novel see the light of day.
This book has languished in my filing cabinets for years. When I shopped this around after I had sold Mainline, I could get no interest in it. That might be because I was being seen as a science fiction author, not a fantasy author. Or it might be because the subject matter of this book didn’t scream “mass commercial appeal.” And why is that?
I think it’s because this is about an Asian (analog) culture. It does not have the same stuff going on as mainstream, western-European derived fantasy works. Personally, I think that’s a strength in the storytelling, but that also qualified it as a book best suited for a “niche” market. Given the old model of publishing, that was a liability: without mass appeal, a big publisher might not be able to hit the right target audience for the book.
And that is why I’m on the internet today, giving it away for free.
Publishing has changed. Today, the interwebs allow me to get this book into the hands of exactly those readers who would enjoy it most. So I hope that by making this available to you you will give it a try, and let your friends and reading circles know about it too. I’m starting work on Book Two of the duology in the fall. Releasing Dragonsword to the wild now will help readers sample that world, and decide if they would like to buy Book Two when it is available in 2012.
I do ask one thing, though: if you sign up for this book, please do not just email or pass on the Dragonsword manuscript to someone else. Instead, give them this url: http://www.dragonsword.info, and it will take them right to the page where they can sign up for their own copy.
This is not because I’m worried about sharing, but because the opt-in process to get the book lets me notify people later about Book 2 of the duology, and about some other book news of interest to readers of Dragonsword. If you pass the document itself on, you cut the reader out of this loop.
If you want to help Free the Novel, please help this author out and share the direct url with anyone interested. Tweet it! Post it on Facebook! Email it to your Granny! You know…the usual flurry of socializing we seem to do these days.
The heroes and villains of Dragonsword who are trying to step off the page will be ever so grateful to you, and so will I.
To get your very own copy of this book in pdf format, you can fill out the form below (and you’ll be notified when ereader formats become available.) Or, you can follow this link and see all the extra goodies at the book site.
See you in Qua-lun!