Join my newsletter and receive the first three chapters of Provenance!

Where I’ll Be This Week

Release week is upon us! Here’s where you can find me:

First of all, I’m doing a Reddit AMA on Monday, the fifth. I’ll be in the air when that link goes up, but watch Orbit’s twitter, and I’ll try to tweet the link when I can. Or Tumbl and blog, but I’m more likely to be able to tweet from my phone, and likely to only be able to Tumbl or blog when I get to the hotel, which will be very shortly before I begin answering questions. (Yes, the timing on this is dicey. We’ll make it work, one way or the other.)

Then! (Copied from my previous “where I’ll be” post):

Tuesday, October 6
7 PM: University Temple United Methodist Church The Sanctuary, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle, WA
Wednesday, October 7
7 PM: Tattered Cover, Denver, CO
Thursday, October 8
7 PM: Powell’s, Beaverton, OR
Friday, October 9
7:30 PM: Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
Saturday, October 10
3 PM: Borderlands, San Francisco, CA


I’ll have some swag to hand out, as long as supplies last. I will try to have Awn Elming and Translator Dlique pins on me, as well as these:

I’d love to show you what these Book Three pins look like, but that would be a spoiler! As long as I still have some, I will hand them out to anyone at a signing who wants one, and once you’ve read the book you can find out for yourself!

If you can, come see me! I’m looking forward to meeting you! Also, if you’re coming to an event, please consider buying your copy of Mercy from the store in question. They’re being super nice and helpful having me in, and their being able to sell some books as a consequence makes that worthwhile for them. If you can’t, or can’t afford a copy just now, no worries, it’s all good.

See you soon!

How Best to Buy Ancillary Mercy

So, quite a few times, I’ve been asked what’s the best way to buy my books–in what format, from what seller? “Best” as in would benefit me the most.

Turns out, John Scalzi already answered this question:

1. Buy it in whatever format you like, whenever you like. Honestly, you’re the customer. You want it in hardcover? Get it in hardcover. Want it in ebook? Get it in ebook. Want it in audio? Get it in audio. Want to wait until the price goes down? Get it in paperback or in ebook when then paperback comes out. As long as you pay for it, I will also get paid, and in every format I get paid a fair share of the money. The variations of what I get paid in each format are small enough that on an individual level (that’s you), it’s not worth your time to fret about it. So please, buy the book in whatever format pleases you, whenever it pleases you to do so. And thank you.
(Dead broke? Ask for it at your local library, because they buy the book, and I’ll still get paid.)

Basically, read the whole thing, because his answer is my answer. Except, where you see “hardcover” mentally replace that with “trade paperback.” Because aside from Subterranean special editions, or large print editions, none of the Ancillary books are available in hardcover.

I’ve also seen some speculation about what it means for my sales when bookstores put the book out before the official release date. So, I’m told that those sales don’t go toward pre-order numbers, and they don’t count for first day/first week sales for the purposes of bestseller lists. So if I had my heart set on being able to put “Best Selling Author” in front of my name, and if I thought the margin was really narrow and a dozen or so books would make the difference, that might stress me out. Or if I were in a position where I was living or dying by pre-orders and was hanging on by my fingernails in the hope that B&N won’t decline to buy my next book, then that would really matter to me.

I have been incredibly fortunate so far, though, and I am in neither of those positions. For me, Scalzi’s point number 4 is the relevant one. Justice and Sword have both been selling consistently since they came out. I am, of course, hoping Mercy will do the same.

So, the best way to benefit me when you buy my book? Is to enjoy the heck out of reading my book! And if you can’t afford the book, then please do wait for a sale, or patronize your local library (I LOVE LIBRARIES!). It’s all good.

On a related point. Next week I go on tour! (ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED) And I’ll be appearing at several bookstores. And I’m looking forward to meeting the folks who show up, and of course will be signing books. I would say, my one tiny exception to “buy your copy wherever and however you like” is, if you’re coming to one of these events, please consider buying your copy of Mercy from the bookstore that’s hosting me. If nothing else, it makes it worth their while to have had me there, which is something I appreciate tremendously.

Ancillary Ships Infographic

Over at io9, they’ve posted a fab graphic the folks at Orbit did up on Radchaai warships and their relative size. Check it out!

It’s now less than a week until Ancillary Mercy comes out! I’ve seen a few more folks say they’ve seen it out on bookstore shelves early, so like I said, you might want to give your local a call and see.

And don’t forget, I’ll be traveling next week–look on the sidebar of my blog, to the right and kind of down a bit, there, for times and locations! I’ll also be doing a Reddit AMA on Monday evening. I’ll try to blog and tweet the link when it goes up, though I’ll be traveling that day and my internet access might be spotty until just before I’m scheduled to answer questions.

Where I’ll Be in October

And some of November, actually, mostly because of the way schedules line up.

Basically, I’ve got a little tour going, almost entirely on the West Coast. I’m not touring on my own–it turns out, Greg Bear’s new book Killing Titan is out the same day! So we’re appearing together, which I’m really looking forward to.

Anyway. Here’s where you can find me next month. There’s more information at the links under each date:

Ancillary Mercy Tour Oct 6-10, 2015


Tuesday, October 6
7 PM: University Temple United Methodist Church The Sanctuary, 1415 NE 43rd Street, Seattle, WA
Wednesday, October 7
7 PM: Tattered Cover, Denver, CO
Thursday, October 8
7 PM: Powell’s, Beaverton, OR
Friday, October 9
7:30 PM: Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego, CA
Saturday, October 10
3 PM: Borderlands, San Francisco, CA


I’ll have some swag to hand out, as long as supplies last. I will try to have Awn Elming and Translator Dlique pins on me, as well as these:


I’d love to show you what these Book Three pins look like, but that would be a spoiler! As long as I still have some, I will hand them out to anyone at a signing who wants one, and once you’ve read the book you can find out for yourself!

Incidentally, after probably the middle of November I will begin listing whatever swag I have left on my Etsy store again.

In October I will also be attending ICON. So you can also find me here:

Pre-ICON signing October 15, 6:30-8:30pm

Barnes and Noble Cedar Rapids
333 Collins Road Northeast
Cedar Rapids IA 52402

I’ll be signing books, along with a bunch of other awesome people!


ICON Cedar Rapids, IA October 16-18, 2015

Then, finally, I do a thing in St Louis. Two, in fact!:

Wednesday, October 21
7:00 pm, University City Library, University City MO

Saturday, November 14
2:00pm Webster Groves Library, Webster Groves MO

I hope you can make one of these! See you there, if so!

Strange Horizons Fund Drive

It’s that time again, time for the annual SH fund drive. This is the fifteenth year SH has been running, if I am remembering correctly, and during that fifteen years they’ve run fiction by a lot of amazing writers, and published poetry and reviews and essays.

Strange Horizons offers all this free, but they pay the writers. The annual fund drive is how they do that. So if you’d like them to be able to continue to publish great work by amazing writers, this is your chance to help.

Folks who donate during the fund drive are entered into a drawing for lots of excellent prizes. And this year, you could win the Ancillary trilogy, all three volumes, signed by me! And I see someone else has donated a copy of Subterranean’s special edition hardcover of Ancillary Justice. Check it out! Click the link and take a look.

Emanations Art!

So, a while back I commissioned the awesome Nicole Thayer to do me up some Emanations.

You know the Emanations?

Amaat conceived of light, and conceiving of light also necessarily conceived of not-light, and light and darkness sprang forth. This was the first Emanation, EtrepaBo; Light/Darkness. The other three, implied and necessitated by that first, are EskVar (Beginning/Ending), IssaInu (Movement/Stillness), and VahnItr (Existence/Nonexistence). These four emanations variously split and recombined, to create the universe. Everything that is emanates from Amaat.

And when I went to make my tea blends I wished I had some artwork to put on them. And occasionally a reader would ask me what the Emanations looked like, since people wear them, or they’re featured in artwork in the books.

And the trilogy is finishing up this year, so I thought it would be fun to give out some presents. So! I will be linking to the Emanations that Nikki made for me. They will be free for you to use–to make things out of, or put on things, or to play with, whatever you would like. These images are being released with a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial ShareAlike licence. This means you are free to copy and distribute them in any medium or format, and you are also free to adapt them–to remix, transform, and build upon them. You can’t use them for commercial purposes, and you should credit Nicole Thayer whenever that’s possible.

So, with that said. EtrepaBo, the Emanation of light and darkness, coming up soon!

Reminder: Ancillary Cover Art Sweepstakes

It says something about my life lately that I was folding laundry when I heard a sound that…could it be? It sounded remarkably like the back of a UPS truck opening. For about half a second, I thought to myself, “Self, how is it you actually noticed and recognized that sound specifically?” But I did, it turns out, because that’s exactly what it was. And guess what the UPS person brought me?


Know what that is? That’s a stack of ten posters of John Harris’ lovely Ancillary cover artwork. I’m going to sign them, and send them back where they came from.

If you’ve pre-ordered or purchased Ancillary Mercy by October 13, you can enter a drawing to win one of these. Just fill out the form at this link.

Long List Anthology Kickstarter

So, I don’t know if y’all are aware of this, but the Hugo Awards this year were somewhat unusual.

Yeah, you’re all sighing. I’m sighing too, for any number of reasons. But! Basically, David Steffen is Kickstarting an anthology of short fiction that was shoved off the Hugo ballot by asshole slatemongers, or that would have come close.

Because there’s so much short fiction published every year, it’s not unusual for even folks who nominated in the short fiction categories to find work they’re not familiar with in the eventual Hugo Voters packet–and, after the awards themselves, in the nominating data the committee releases, which includes works that just missed nomination. This is one of the cool things about being a Hugo voter, and one of the joys of not being the sort of person who insists that the ballot only consist of your own approved choices.

So David Steffen has stepped up to edit this anthology of work that, if things had gone the way they usually do, would have turned up on the Hugo ballot, so that we can all have the fun of reading them. Or that would have turned up in the nominating data as having almost made it onto the ballot, because Hugo nominators genuinely loved them and thought they were award-worthy.

The kickstarter has met its goal, but it’s just shy of its final stretch goal, which is to be able to afford not just short stories and novelettes, but also some novellas. At the $10 level, you’re basically signing up for an ebook of the anthology.

This is actually my favorite kind of Kickstarter–the sort where you’re basically pre-ordering a book. This is going to be an assortment of excellent fiction, and personally I think it’s well worth your while to consider contributing just so you can get all of it in one place.


If you’re a longtime reader, David Steffen’s name might sound familiar. He runs the Submission Grinder, an online sub tracker for writers, and he is also the current champion of Ferrett Steinmetz’s Rejection Challenge. He received a rejection to a story some five minutes after he submitted it. The submission was to Podcastle, and was very short, and was timed exactly perfectly for the slush reader to respond to it almost immediately. I know this because I was the slush reader in question. High five, David! I’m exceedingly glad you’re doing this antho.

Note, by the way, that David says nothing about slates or assholes. That is entirely my description of the situation.

Ancillary Mercy Cover Art Sweepstakes

I have to say, I really love the cover art for the Ancillary books. In fact, I have a full-size print of the whole triptych on my living room wall. I bought it from John Harris, because I just loved it so much. (I don’t know who has the original, but I can only assume they love it as much as I would if I’d been able to afford it. )

And to celebrate the release of Ancillary Mercy, Orbit is running a sweepstakes. Ten people will win a poster of the Ancillary cover art. Signed by me! To enter, pre-order Ancillary Mercy (or purchase it–this is open until October 13), and fill out this form. You also need to have a mailing address in the US, UK, Canada, Australia, or New Zealand.

So, click on over and enter!

On Slates

There’s a sort-of conversation happening on Twitter this morning, sparked I think by Elizabeth Bear’s post at Charlie Stross’s blog.

First off, I deplore slates. In the context of the Hugos, they are an asshole move. Just don’t slate.

Second off, I am saying unequivocally that I do not agree to be on anyone’s slate, do not approve of my inclusion in any slate, and anyone who slates a work of mine is thereby demonstrating their extra-strong motivation to be seen as an asshole.

Now, there’s some concern that assholes making up a slate for next year would deliberately include the work of people they hate, in order to force those people to withdraw any nominations they might get. This might be a genuine concern for some writers. It is not one of mine.

Look, let’s be real. I was largely an unknown writer when Ancillary Justice swept the awards last year. It made the Hugo ballot because quite a lot of voters thought it was worthy of the award, and for no other reason. This year, well, look at the nominations stats. At first there was a single, non-slated work in the novel category, before withdrawals started. It was Ancillary Sword. So even with a second book in a trilogy being less thrillingly new, I had enough readers want to nominate my book that the slate could not stop it.

If (this is a huge “if” and not something I am depending on in any way) IF I were so fortunate as to find that Mercy was nominated for the Hugo, I’m pretty damn sure it wouldn’t be because of any slate. I know for certain that I have a lot of readers who not only enjoy my work but think it’s award-worthy. I have no need to decline a nomination that I know pretty well came from my fans. Or, you know, what Bear said:

First of all, I’m going to state up front that I will never willingly participate in a slate. If I learn that I have been included on a slate, I will ask to be removed, and I will bring as much force to bear on that issue as I legally can.
Additionally, I’m going to rely on the discretion of readers and fans of goodwill, who I think are pretty smart people. If you see my name on a slate, please assume that it’s being done by ruiners to punish me, and that whoever put it there has ignored my requests to remove it. I have nothing but contempt for that kind of behavior, and I’m frankly not going to do anything to please them at all.
My colleagues, of course, are free to deal with the situation as they see fit, up to and including refusing nominations. As for me, well—while I reserve the right to turn down an award nomination at my discretion, I’m not about to be forced into it by the action of trolls and reavers. I expect my readers to be able to make up their own minds about my work, and decide for themselves if it’s worthy of an award or not, and vote accordingly in a fair and sportsfanlike fashion.

I’ll add that I, personally, would find it hilarious to see certain parties suddenly declare they love my books. I would laugh and laugh and laugh. After all the noise made about how the Ancillary books are nothing but message fic and somehow lacking in spaceships and adventure (seriously?) and my readers only pretend to like them because social justice points or whatever, blah blah the writing is crap, blah blah Affirmative Action blah pronouns blah messagefic blah blah–after all that, now they’re going to turn around and with a straight face declare that Mercy is actually deserving of the field’s highest honor and everybody nom it?

Hilarious. And I already get a good laugh out of the no adventure or spaceships thing, and the affirmative action thing–really, you’re just making yourself look ridiculous when you say stuff like that, you might as well put on a clown nose–so it would just be whipped cream on top of that comedy sundae.

Other folks will make other decisions, and that’s as it should be. But I strongly suspect any attempt at “punitive slating” will backfire spectacularly. I mean, it’s not like it wouldn’t be absolutely transparent what they’re doing.

And I think the conversation about “but it would be hypocritical not to withdraw because you’ve said you hate slates!” betrays a somewhat un-nuanced approach to such things. I find it a bit concern-trolly, in fact, though I don’t doubt some of the people saying it are entirely sincere, I’m just talking about my impression of it. But honestly, if you’re not a concern-troll, maybe spend some more time thinking about how things actually stand before you keep going on about how disastrous it would be if assholes slated my work next year.