MBA in a Box

by wjw on October 3, 2022

You can be the greatest writer in the world, but even if you are, you have to pay at least a little attention to the business side of publishing. A plan becomes necessary. Based on granular real-world experience, I have established a simple scheme for vertical intellectual property management. I have expedited distributed options, contracted strategic foundations, and generated international margin advisors. For every step in the publishing sphere I have implemented mission-critical charts, cross-sold seamless foundations, and marketed killer exchanges. I have meshed 24/365 investments, established one-to-one intellectual property exchange marts, and when necessary landed distributed advisors in many parts of the world.

Most importantly, I have creatively employed the Financial Bullshit Generator. You can skip Harvard, this page is like an MBA in a (virtual) box.

For generating global convergence and mission-critical tasking, there’s nothing like it.

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Ciao!

by wjw on October 3, 2022

Mondadori has brought out an Italian translation of my novel Aristoi.

Aristoi is challenging for any translator/editor/publisher, because of my unconventional formatting of the text. I applaud Mondadori for making the effort.

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What’s On the Slab

by wjw on October 1, 2022

It’s getting cold at night, so Kathy decided it was time to have a roast beast. Behold a boneless leg of lamb, slathered in olive oil, rosemary, and garlic, and cooked sous vide for eight hours, after which it was flung on the grill to catch fire. (It did catch fire too, with all that olive oil. The fire only improved it.)

Kathy served up the broccoli in ginger-garlic-soy sauce, and I added smashed potatoes with onions, pepper flakes, and lime zest. The potatoes were left over from Rio Hondo (thank you, Carrie).

The lamb was amazingly tender, though the tendons etc. were tough. I would have thought they’d dissolve after eight hours of cooking, but no.

Still, it was a lovely supper, and there’s enough left for at least one more feast. But for now, I’ll concentrate on digesting.

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Adventurous

by wjw on September 29, 2022

A few days ago Imperium Restored achieved a #1 on Amazon in the category of Women’s Adventure Fiction. I’m not sure what that category actually means— I’m reasonably certain that Men’s Adventure features firearms being discharged in all odd-numbered chapters, but Women’s Adventure as a category seems far more slippery.

So I checked it out.

As of today, the #1 book in Women’s Adventure Fiction is described as a “Billionaire Boss Romance,” in which the Billionaire Boss is presumably a gorgeous hunk, as opposed to the more realistic picture of a greedy, self-absorbed little gerbil.

So far, so stereotypical. But the #2 in the category is The Passenger by literary author Cormac McCarthy, which won’t even be released till the end of October, and which seems to be a thriller involving a male rescue diver. No women are mentioned in the summary. So who’s having the adventure?

There are some other titles which, going by the description, have no women at all. There are covers that show cowboys in various stages of undress. (They leave the hat on, however.) There are books, usually part of a lengthy series, showing women in catsuits being silhouetted by a strong light— reminiscent of how urban fantasy was marketed ten years ago, and featuring more traditional action, I’m guessing.

Some books are straightforward fantasy or SF, but most are not.

There are several titles involving strong ex-military males (with names like Ridge or Ares) who are teamed with their K9 dogs to protect women in jeopardy, and which also feature strong elements of romance. (I have to admit that this category is commercial genius: not only is the protective male gorgeous and competent, he comes with a protective gorgeous competent dog.)

There’s a series called The Game of Doms, but I don’t think I’m old enough to read it.

I find a number of titles by bestselling novelist Jean Grainger, who writes a diverse series of novels about Ireland.

So I’m thinking the category is so broad as to be meaningless, but then very often the category is assigned by a publisher, hoping to attract the attention of a certain type of reader (and I’m guessing the type of reader is also so broad as to be meaningless).

This is the sort of thing that happens when you let algorithms do your shopping for you.

However, on the off chance the category is useful, allow me to recommend several titles that fit the Women’s Adventure Fiction classification at least as well as Imperium Restored.

All of these titles are by me. It so happens I use female protagonists a lot. Women, as Chairman Mao pointed out, hold up half the sky, and they also hold up half my novels. I like women. I find women interesting. Most of my close friends are women.

So here’s a list— not of my women friends, but of books. Some of my female protagonists are tag-teamed with male protagonists, as in Imperium Restored or Hardwired, sometimes they’re on their own. (And the books featuring male protagonists usually have strong female characters, though I’ll leave women who aren’t point-of-view characters off the list.)

Ambassador of Progress, my first SF novel, has a female lead. (She came as a welcome relief after my previous novels, which all featured 200 males on boats.) So do Hardwired, Angel Station, Metropolitan, City on Fire, The Praxis, The Sundering, Conventions of War, Impersonations, This Is Not a Game, Deep State, The Fourth Wall, The Accidental War, Fleet Elements, Imperium Restored, and my current project Heaven in Flames.

Dang. The list is longer than I thought!

Feel free to help put any of these works on bestseller lists. It’s late for most of them, but maybe we can get a groundswell grass-roots kind of thing going. What do you say?

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Mountainous Good Time

by wjw on September 26, 2022

I’ve been off to the New Mexico mountains for the last week, in Angel Fire, hosting the Rio Hondo writers’ workshop, delayed by COVID for over two years. The workshop took place in mountain cabins at nearly 8000 feet, and featured food, drink, and serious discussions of literature— all the things that writers consider part of the good life.

Attending were (L to R), Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Carrie Vaughn, meself, Alex Jablakow, Paolo Bacigalupi, Diana Rowland, John Kessel, C.C. Finlay, Rick Wilber, and James Patrick Kelly. Terry Boren was unable to attend due to a positive COVID test, but participated via Zoom call.

Here is one of my contributions: andouille, chicken, vegetables, and other ingredients waiting to be transformed into the black roux gumbo of Chef Francoise Auclaire le Vison. Served with shrimp remoulade and a red Bordeaux, the gumbo sent the entire workshop into a digestive stupor for an hour or two.

The bon temps roulez’d.

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#1!

September 20, 2022
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Counting Down the Hours . . .

September 19, 2022

Imperium Restored, a Novel of the Praxis, will be released September 20, 2022. Hey! That’s tomorrow! Find it wherever fine books are sold!

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Ears, Pointy, Two

September 14, 2022

I’ve watched three episodes (all there is, so far) of Amazon’s billion-dollar Tolkien fanfic, Rings of Power, and I find my reactions mixed. Public reaction so far has featured complaints that the series isn’t faithful enough to the source, but that complaint doesn’t have any weight with me. The filmmakers didn’t have the rights to […]

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Signed Books

September 11, 2022

Apropos the Privateers & Gentlemen books, a whole box of the original paperbacks has been discovered! Our friend Nadine is making them available here. All are signed, and all but one are unread and in good condition. You can buy them singly or buy the whole set of five. These have been out of print […]

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Five by Five

September 10, 2022

The fifth of my Privateers & Gentlemen series is now available as an audio book. read by the estimable Bronson Pinchot. It may be available only on Audible for the next 90 days or so, but that rule does not seem universally enforced. The Tern Schooner is appearing as if it’s the final book in […]

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