SKYLIGHTS now on iBookstore

Unknown…so you iPad and iPhone folks can get your Mars on now if you like.

Skylights on Amazon is still here. (Meanwhile, the Amazon rank is up to #46,216.  MOAR!)

Skylights on Smashwords is here.

I am continuing to monitor Barnes and Noble and Kobo; they ought to be live soon (the files got sent to them by Smashwords the same way they got sent to Apple) but I doubt I’ll update the site again tonight.  Hang out around Twitter if you’re partial to those platforms.


On numerology

dancing-grootLuckily for me, I ended up having a fair amount of work to do (and a couple of meetings) today, which meant that I wasn’t sitting at my desk playing Luther Go Crazy and reloading Amazon’s website over and over and over again.  Sales are… about what I’d expect, which is to say they’re not burning up the universe just yet, but they exist.  If I have a decent evening, I’m on track to have more sales on my first day than any single day of sales on Benevolence Archives, which I’m going to take as a good thing.  I’m keeping an eye on sales of BA, too– we shall see if the existence of Book Two juices the sales of Book One at all.

Currently, I’m into the five figures on sales rank.  BA peaked at #24,355 as a paid ebook (and did much better, if temporarily, when I made it free for a while).  Skylights is at #91,958 right now, and the difference between the two ranks is a startlingly low number of sales.   I’m hoping to crack a four-digit rank today.  We’ll see.

(Buy the book so I can crow about my sales, is what I’m saying here.)

(I love you guys, by the way.  Even those of you who haven’t bought the book yet.  I love you slightly less than the ones who have, but I still love you.)

SKYLIGHTS: the inspiration

marte40_03Take a look at these two pictures.  Those are actual photographs from the surface of Mars of some curious features, dubbed the “seven sisters” or the “skylights.”

They are real.  They were discovered in 2007.  Six of the seven are so deep that we cannot see what is inside them at all.  The top picture was taken by a much higher-resolution camera, and ought to be clickable, and you will note that the inside of the skylight is black as hell.  There’s no light coming out of it at all, meaning two things: one, the inside is wider than the pit itself, and two, it’s so deep that no meaningful amount of light is bouncing in and then bouncing back out again so that we can see it.

sevensisters_stripThese features were discovered in 2007.  I found out about them through Warren Ellis, who posted them to his website, or maybe to his mailing list, and spent a moment musing that it would be a really cool story if someone wrote about what was inside of them.

Yeah, that’s a great idea, I thought, and waited for Warren to write it.  After all, science fiction is his thing, or one of them at least, and he’s one of my favorite writers.  Surely he’d come up with something really cool.

And I kept waiting.

And I kept waiting.

And he didn’t write the story.  And then my story for NaNoWriMo in 2008 fell apart at the last minute and the first chapter of Skylights just kind of wrote itself.

The skylights are real, guys.  The thing that I hide in them in Skylights is probably not real, but the inspiration for the story itself?  They’re still sitting there, out on Mars, so deep and so dark that no instrument we have– including the cameras we have orbiting the planet— can see inside them.

And I think that’s amazing.

And I hope you’ll like the book I wrote about what’s hiding in there.

SKYLIGHTS is available at Amazon here for $4.99.  Read the prologue in its entirety here.

SKYLIGHTS out now!! Who wants to go to Mars?

Final Cover Mock MedAugust 15, 2022: the Tycho, the most advanced interplanetary craft ever designed by the human race, launches from Earth on an expedition to Mars. The Tycho carries four passengers, soon to be the most famous people in human history. 

February 19, 2023: The Tycho loses all communication with Earth while orbiting Mars. After weeks of determined attempts to reestablish contact, the Tycho is declared lost. 

2027: Journalist Gabriel Southern receives a message from a mysterious caller: “Mars.” Ezekiel ben Zahav isn’t talking, but he wants Southern to accompany him for something– and he’s dangling enough money under his nose to make any amount of hardship worth it.  

SKYLIGHTS is the story of the second human expedition to Mars.  Their mission: to find out what happened to the first.

You can purchase SKYLIGHTS for only $4.99 at here and at in a variety of formats here.  Remember, you don’t actually have to have a Kindle to read it– apps are available for smartphones, tablets, and computers.

On going blind for my art

So Skylights may, or may not, actually be available at this exact second on at least two major online retailers.  However, I’m going to be faintly ridiculous and ask anyone who was planning on buying it right away (hundreds of you, surely) to hold off until tomorrow– I’m in the “upload, download, look, find one more thing wrong, resubmit” phase of the damn book at the moment.  It will be perfectly clean by tomorrow morning and I think the latest version I’ve uploaded actually does qualify as up to my standards– but I can’t be sure until it publishes and I update the version on my Kindle.

I will post links early tomorrow morning to everything that’s live; I’m expecting Amazon and Smashwords, with the Smashwords-affiliated sites showing up once Smashwords completes its ridiculous vetting process.  I’ll link up to those as they appear.

(And, once those links do show up, I will love you forever if you share the hell out of them. But not quite yet.)

It’s interesting, this story.  I love the hell out of it, but I’m not sure it’s going to get the uniformly positive reaction that Benevolence Archives did.  I think reviews are going to be a little bit more mixed.  I’m really looking forward to seeing what people think about it.

But not until tomorrow.  🙂