by wjw on January 20, 2017

rift-smallIn an apocalyptic mood for some reason?  (I can’t imagine what that reason might be.)

In that case you should take advantage of the 99-cent sale on my bestselling ebook, The RiftThe Rift was intended as a breakout book, in which a larger-than-usual audience would be exposed to my Walter-y goodness.  In the event, the publisher deliberately sabotaged the book’s release, and the sales figures, while okay, were sufficiently unspectacular to assure that I wouldn’t sell another novel for five long years.

(I’ve written a long essay about this, should you find yourself interested.)

Once I freed the book from the original publisher, I issued it as an ebook, and now it’s my best-selling work.  So that’s a happy ending of sorts.

The Rift has a kind of eerie prescience, in which events like Hurricane Katrina and the Fukushima meltdown were prefigured in fictional form.  You may find parts of the work to still have relevance today (though personally I hope not).

You’ll find The Rift at KoboiBooksAmazonNookSmashwords, and Google.

Here’s what the critics had to say about the book:

The Rift would be a very good beach book, if you could put it down long enough to get into the water.” —— The San Diego Union Tribune

” A breakout book that you’ll swear the author lived” —— SF Age

“I don’t like disaster novels. I would not have even glanced at The Rift if it weren’t backed by Walter Jon Williams’ reputation for excellence. And I definitely would not have kept reading if Williams hadn’t demonstrated on every page that he deserves his reputation. The result? I was so engrossed in—— and engaged by ——The Rift that I forgot that I don’t like disaster novels. This book is an impressive achievement.”
—— Stephen R. Donaldson, New York Times bestselling author of The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant

The Rift is bloody wonderful! Williams brings an historic disaster back for an encore and metaphorically flattens it again. This is the stuff for which sleep is lost–and awards are made.” —— Dean Ing

The Rift shakes up the world like it’s never been shaken before.” —— Fred Saberhagen

“[For fans of the disaster novel] Williams delivers the requisite thrills and setpieces—— but he also, to paraphrase Conrad, offers a bit of that truth for which they forgot to ask.” —— Locus

Chong go January 21, 2017 at 2:51 am

The backstory on the book is quite interesting. I suppose it’s naive of me, but it’s hard to imagine bosses who would let the different divisions cut each other’s throats.

I went to Amazon, annnd, discovered I already bought this! Oops. I’ll have to load that up.
The limiting factors of paper to-be-read piles are divorce or death by cave-in, but there’s no such thing with ebooks!

Johan Larson January 21, 2017 at 11:42 am

98 cents? Our gracious host is starving for our amusement.

wjw January 22, 2017 at 5:21 pm

Chong>> Certainly the corporate culture at Tor has always been far more benign. Though if Tor start to lose serious money, I expect that might change.

HarperCollins isn’t just a publisher, it’s an enormous bureaucracy, and it’s owned by someone whose money comes from somewhere else. I always suspected that Murdoch bought Harper so that he could give super-large advances to allied politicians (Lord Archer, Newt Gingrich) in exchange for money-losing books. That way it’s not called a bribe.

Brian Renninger January 22, 2017 at 10:11 pm

I’m one of the original purchasers form way back when. I quite liked it. Especially the nods to Huck Finn. Also, what with fracking induced earthquakes in the area, might be considered topical today.

Emy February 26, 2017 at 9:44 pm

Still a huge masterpiece, every time I read it. Never boring. Proud to be of the readers to have paid more to read it. If we had to pay one cent for every drop of sweat you make us have while reading The Rift, you’d be a retired millionaire snorkeling around some obscure island on your majestic sailboat… And you would probably stop writing. Bless the sale, then.

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