Days of Romping About

by wjw on August 26, 2016

I’ll be spending this weekend romping about Bubonicon 48, New Mexico’s plague-friendly science fiction convention, which means I’m unlikely to be posting here.  You, however, are welcome to join me at the convention, which is scheduled to be awesome.

In the meantime, please remember that my 99-cent sale on Ambassador of Progress still has a few more days to run, after which it will be over.  You can find the novel on the following online retailers:  AmazonGoogleiBooksSmashwordsBarnes & Noble, and Kobo.

And to further hold you for the weekend, allow me to invite you to a stare-down with a turtle.Favorites - 80 of 266



Thoughtful Question

by wjw on August 24, 2016

kcbullI had a lovely Worldcon, held in Kansas City, a town which I’ve always found congenial.  The event was full of friends, many of whom I don’t get to see nearly often enough, and the days and nights were full of bustle, chat, drinks, and fun.

I also got to eat some really good steaks, which you might expect in a city that builds statues to cows.

I met a number of new readers, which I’m always pleased to do, and one sent an email with an interesting question.

He’s working his way through my backlist, and he asked which of my ebooks earn me the most money, so that he can order them instead of those controlled by someone corporate entity or other, which might or might not pay me a lesser royalty.

Now it struck me that this was a right considerate question, albeit one that raises other questions, so I’ll answer it right away and then get on with a more complex response later.  If you see one of my ebooks priced at $4.99 or less, then it’s marketed by me, and the money goes straight into my account after Amazon or Google or whoever takes their cut.

If it has a higher price, then it’s marketed by one of my publishers, and I earn a royalty, which (like all royalties) can be delayed for years.

I earn more money from a $4.99 ebook than from a $30 hardback, mainly because there’s only one middleman taking a cut, not three or more as in the case of traditional publishing.  (Agent, publisher, and distributor, if you’re interested.)

That said, I’m perfectly good with all my ebooks, whether they’re marketed by me or by someone else.  If they’re marketed by a traditional publisher, it’s because I signed a deal with that publisher, and I wouldn’t have signed it if I objected strongly to its terms.

So what you should do is read the books you think you’re going to like.  I wrote them all to be read, after all.  I’ll be fine no matter which one you pick— and you’ll have the reading experience you’re looking for.



by wjw on August 23, 2016

rainbowWe returned from Kansas City through a big monsoon storm, but once on the ground we were welcomed by what was possibly the brightest rainbow I’ve ever seen.  It was raining and I was in a hurry, so this was the best angle I could find on it.

You’ll note a second, fainter rainbow just outside the first.



I Am At The Worldcon

by wjw on August 17, 2016

I am in Kansas City, at the 74th World Science Fiction Convention.

If you’re in town, come say hi at any of the following events:

Science Fiction as Epic

Thursday 13:00 – 14:00, 3501F (Kansas City Convention Center)

Often science fiction that is epic in nature is dismissed as “space opera,” but science fiction can be epic without resorting to the world destroying of Edmond Hamilton or the dogfighting X-Wings of Star Wars. What constitutes epic science fiction and what does it do that more personal stories can’t?

John Kessel (M), Frederick Turner, Elizabeth Moon, Walter Jon Williams, Cynthia Ward

Literary Beer : Mary A. Turzillo, Walter Jon Wiliams

Thursday 17:00 – 18:00, Literary Beer Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

Dr. Mary A. Turzillo Ph.D., Walter Jon Williams

Writers Workshop 4A

Friday 10:00 – 12:00, Lester Young A (Marriott, Writing Workshop) (Kansas City Marriott Downtown)

Walter Jon Williams, Evey Brett

Autographing: Kinuko Craft, Scott Edelman, Ada Palmer, Eric Reynolds, Cait Spivey, Walter Jon Williams

Friday 14:00 – 15:00, Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

Ms. Kinuko Y. Craft, Scott Edelman, Ada Palmer, Cait Spivey, Walter Jon Williams, Eric T. Reynolds

GRRM Rainy Day Books Wild Cards Event

Friday 17:00 – 20:00, Placeholder 2 (Kansas City Marriott Downtown)

George R. R. Martin

Twentieth Anniversary Sidewise Awards

Saturday 13:00 – 14:00, 3501F (Kansas City Convention Center)

A look back at the books, short stories, and authors who have won the Sidewise Awards culminating in the presentation of the twentieth anniversary Sidewise award winners.

Steven H Silver (M), Alan Smale, Walter Jon Williams, Brendan DuBois, Ken Liu, Rick Wilber

George R R Martin’s Wild Cards at 20: Deathmatch

Saturday 15:00 – 17:00, Tucker Stage (Kansas City Convention Center)

George R. R. Martin pits his Wild Card authors in a cage match for your (and his) amusement.

George R. R. Martin (M), Dr. Mary Anne Mohanraj, Walter Jon Williams, Stephen Leigh, David D. Levine, Michael Cassutt, Diana Rowland, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Bob Wayne, Caroline Spector, Laura Mixon

Reading: Walter Jon Williams

Sunday 14:00 – 15:00, 2203 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)

Walter Jon Williams



by wjw on August 15, 2016

Ambassador_of_Progress_cover_small022I’m pleased to report that my first science fiction novel, Ambassador of Progress, is now on sale for a mere 99 cents.  You may find it at Amazon, Google, iBooks, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Ambassador of Progress is unlike my other SF, in that it’s overtly anthropological science fiction.  I think it’s successful on its own terms, and I recommend it to you.

I’ve written an essay about it elsewhere.

Happy reading!


What Rough Beast . . . ?

August 12, 2016

Oh noooo!  What insidious monster do we see sneaking up on the Pride of Baltimore? Why it’s the World’s Largest Rubber Duck, created by the Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman!  Which floats 61 feet tall and weighs 11 tons. Apparently that’s big enough to count as a Tall Ship. It would be fun to motor around on […]

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Aces Onscreen

August 10, 2016

Good news for any Wild Cards fans out there.  Universal Cable Productions has acquired the Wild Cards series for television.  Longtime Wild Cards writer Melinda Snodgrass will be executive producer, along with Gregory Noveck (REDS, Justice League: the New Frontier). Wild Cards has been a part of our lives since the 1980s, and there are a lot […]

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Too Many Desserts

August 9, 2016

Friday night with the Tall Ships was a massive disappointment.  I signed up for a “VIP Fireworks Viewing” from the brig Niagara, and they’d sent me a schedule telling me that food and beverage would appear on the quay at 8:30, we’d go aboard at 9:00, and the fireworks would start at 9:15. Somehow I assumed that […]

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Epic Sail

August 5, 2016

Behold the Harald Hårfagr, or Harald Fairhair for you Anglophones.  This is the  “largest Viking ship built in modern times“— they are careful not to call it a “replica” because it’s not built to the plan of any historical vessel.  It’s arrived in North America after an epic five-week transit of the Atlantic, followed by an […]

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Stand Back Ladies, it’s . . .

August 2, 2016

The beefcake shot! I had the camera and tripod set up for an entirely different reason, and then went about my business, and did my workout, and on my way to the showers caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  Hmm, I thought.  I’ll probably never be this young, this thin, or this pretty ever […]

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