Luck Storm

by wjw on November 9, 2006

“Walter, you have the weirdest damn luck.”

Maureen McHugh told me this toward the end of 2005, in reference to that year’s Luck Storm, which involved a couple of surgeries, co-writing the game Last Call Poker, a five-month infection, heavy (and necessary) use of narcotics, and ridiculous amounts of money falling from the sky into my bank account even though I hadn’t written or sold any fiction. (Contrast 2006, where I’ve been working hard all year, selling everything I’ve written, and haven’t yet been paid for a single word.)

2005 was an fanciful, unpredictable whirlwind of incredibly bad and stunningly good luck, all thrown together in a sundae glass with a cherry on top.

The Luck Storm of 2006 hit Monday of last week, and began with a break-in. Someone kicked in our back doors and took two laptops, a digital camera, a copy of GURPS 2nd Edition, some watches, and some of Kathy’s jewelry. Untouched were the TV, the sound system, and the contents of my home office. The thief walked past swords and firearms and took six Britains War of the Roses Swoppets I’ve had since I was a kid.

We were scheduled to leave for Austin and the World Fantasy Convention the next day, but dealing with police, insurance, and the installation of new, steel doors resulted in our leaving late. (We were making the journey by car so that we could visit a family friend en route.)

The next weird piece of luck took place during the drive to Texas, though my participation was handicapped by a lack of cell phone coverage on the Llano Estacado. We had to pull off the road so that I could stand under the cell phone tower in Clovis, NM, and talk with my agent in New York City, who informed me that I had just sold a big high-concept novel to Tim Holman of Orbit US, UK, and Australia, for simultaneous release on all three continents!

The book, the tentative title of which is When the Game Calls, is something that would have been science fiction had I written it ten years ago. Now it’s more of a contemporary thriller about technology, though as it’s being published by an SF line, I expect there will be more stfnal content than I’d originally planned.

So that makes two novels I’ve sold this year, including Implied Spaces to Night Shade.

At World Fantasy Con I met Tim Holman, who I’d never encountered before, and partied till the wee hours with Jason and Jeremy from Night Shade, and gratefully chowed down on a couple meals purchased by Diana Gill with Rupert Murdoch’s money, and gave an interview to Charles and Liza at Locus.

Along about in there somewhere, I found out that I would be collaborating on a novel with a couple of writers who are much more famous and successful than I am, which in addition to being a kind of pleasingly sentimental project for all of us, should serve to raise my profile nicely among the reading public. (And, by the way, this will be a true collaboration, not one of those “Walter does all the work and others just slap their names on.”)

In addition to all of this, the convention was simply a great convention. I got to see all sorts of people I hadn’t seen in ages, and ate some terrific meals, and got very little sleep but in a good way.

And because the convention had some freebies left over from the hotel, I got three of my room-nights comped.

I was feeling sufficiently lucky that before I left Texas I bought a bunch of lottery tickets, just in case the luck storm hadn’t totally faded.

No word yet on whether or not I’m a millionaire.

Eric Blair November 9, 2006 at 1:03 pm

They took the swoppets? The bastards.

S.M. Stirling November 9, 2006 at 4:44 pm

Way to go, Walter!

Maybe you’re having normal luck, but in bursts rather than continually?

Chris McLaren November 9, 2006 at 8:24 pm

I’m just excited to hear about more books coming. Yay!

dubjay November 10, 2006 at 8:02 pm

Okay, now I’m mad.

The robber took most of my CDs, which were in two huge wallets (each holding something like 600) sitting next to the sound system. Each of the wallets was something like half-full.

I didn’t notice until I decided to listen to some music last night.

The swine! The utter swine!

S.M. Stirling November 10, 2006 at 10:59 pm

Major bummer. E-mail me a list of what you’re missing, and if I have any duplicates I’ll burn you copies.

Paul November 12, 2006 at 4:39 pm

paugh! Thieves!

On the other hand, FYI, I finished the Praxis novels recently, and introduced friends to them as well.

I’m not sure if I like them as much as Metropolitan/COF, but I like them plenty fine.

Foxessa November 12, 2006 at 7:01 pm

I’ve been waiting to hear all this news, Walter!


I’d say celebrate, but it sounds as though you’ve done that high wide and handsome in Austin.

Love, C.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post:

Contact Us | Terms of User | Trademarks | Privacy Statement

Copyright © 2010 WJW. All Rights Reserved.