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Reasons to Bundle

14 Jul

Wondering whether you should invest a few bucks in a bundle of books. No doubt you should and here’s some reasons why.

Bundoran Press is currently involved in an ebook story bundle (you can buy it here) made up of books that won or were finalists for Canada’s Prix Aurora Award. For those who don’t know, the Aurora’s are Canada’s fan-voted award for speculative fiction—encompassing science fiction, fantasy, horror and similar genres. They are out national equivalent to the Hugo. Many writers who have been nominated for or won an Aurora have also won Hugos, Nebulas, and World Fantasy Awards.

So we’re pretty proud to have had five novels nominated for Aurora Awards over the years, including the one included in this bundle, Defining Diana by Hayden Trenholm. Obviously, we’d like to see you buy the bundle—just based on the quality of the work. In doing so you would be supporting 11 writers (one of the novels is co-written), as well as a number of publishers, so they can produce more quality fiction.

But there is more to it than that. Book bundles have become an important way of introducing fans to new writers and of boosting the careers of those writers who are just starting out by linking their books to more established and well-known writers, such as, in this case, Robert J. Sawyer, David Duncan and Edward Willett.

From the reader’s perspective, finding a new favorite author is a great experience but can be a bit of a hit or miss endeavor, especially when you are paying $6-10 for a book by an unknown. With a bundle, you can get at least 5 books for $5 or 10 for as little as $15. Even if you only like 3 or 4 of the 10 books, you’ll have done all right and, since all of these books have already been pre-screened for you (through the awards nomination process), your chances of liking even more are even greater. Better yet, because most of these writers have numerous other books, if one catches your fancy, you can look forward to reading many more.

The Aurora story bundle might be of particular interest to non-Canadian readers. While most of the included titles and writers are fairly well-known to fans in Canada, some have had limited exposure in the USA, United Kingdom, Australia and beyond. What better way to get introduced to a different SF perspective, then by sampling 10 Canadian books for only $1.50 each?

Story bundles can also help the writers among you as well. This one has some great lessons for writers. Three of the books—Golden Fleece, Drowning in Amber and Defining Diana—are SF-mystery crossovers, all done in very different styles. For those interested in writing across genres, it’s a great writing lesson.

Doug Smith—who curated the bundle and whose collection of short stories, Impossibilia, is included—has sold more stories to more foreign markets than anyone. Reading through his stories, you’ll see why he has such broad international appeal. You’ll also get introduced to Doug’s useful advice on how you too can become an international star.

And if you pay close attention, you’ll see how story bundles are put together and maybe figure out a way to get your book included in a future one. The benefits are enormous. While a fan might buy the bundle to get access to Dave Duncan’s exciting novel, The Cursed, or Marie Bilodeau’s delightful Destiny’s Blood, they will also meet up with 8 other books that they might like even better. That book could be yours.

Every writer wants two things—to be read and to be paid. Story bundles are a great way to have both. New books get exposure to hundreds, even thousands of new readers, while older books get new life when young fans discover just how rich the heritage of speculative fiction is. And while the money has to be spread out over many writers, if the volume is high it’s not a bad payday. And that’s not a bad thing.

So buy the bundle for the enjoyment of reading and maybe pick up a few tips on how to expand your own writing careers as well.

 

Aurora Book Bundle

6 Jul

The good folks at Story Bundle are offering another ten book collection of Aurora winning or nominated works. A great deal — 10 books for as little as $15.

Our good friend, Doug Smith is curating the bundle so I’ll let him explain it in this guest blog. Doug includes the link in his blog but if we sold you at Aurora Award, you can cut to the chase here.

The Aurora Award Bundle #2

Curated by Douglas Smith

How would you like to own, at an incredible bargain, ten books that readers like yourself have already voted to be the best examples of speculative fiction published in Canada? Well, here’s your chance. I’m once again curating an ebook bundle for StoryBundle.com that contains more winners and finalists for Canada’s premier speculative fiction award, the Aurora Award.

The Auroras are awarded annually by the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association (CSFFA) for excellence in Science Fiction and Fantasy. The award started in 1980 as the Casper and was renamed the Aurora for the 1990 awards. I’m honored to have won the Aurora three times and to have been on the final ballot another sixteen.

This Aurora bundle again delivers a great mix of SF and fantasy, adult and YA novels, as well as a selection of short fiction. The books included reflect the long history of the Auroras, with titles spanning a quarter century of Canadian speculative fiction from 1992 to 2016.

This time, the bundle provides a great introduction to several wonderful series, including the first book in four separate series and the second book in a series that can be read as a stand-alone title. It also lets you sample the rich tradition of Canadian short speculative fiction, with two acclaimed collections.

In Destiny’s Blood, Marie Bilodeau delivers action, romance, and mystery in an interstellar SF tale of two sisters fighting to save each other—and all life. And it all begins in a flower shop.

E.C. Bell’s Drowning in Amber is a fast-paced paranormal murder mystery featuring amateur detective Marie Jenner who can talk with ghosts.

Druids, by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston, kicks off a magnificent epic historical fantasy trilogy, set a thousand years ago when the Celts ruled Europe.

D.G. Laderoute’s Out of Time is a YA fantasy adventure combining time travel with First Nations lore as two fourteen-year-old boys—one white, one Anishinabe—join forces across time to battle a monster.

Dave Duncan’s fantasy The Cursed takes place in a fallen empire where a plague leaves its survivors ostracized but with magical powers, powers that might be the key to rebuilding their world.

In Defining Diana, Hayden Trenholm updates the locked room mystery to 2043, where nuclear war, biotechnology, and all-powerful corporations have changed the Earth we know.

Golden Fleece, which was the first novel by Canada’s best known SF writer, Robert J. Sawyer, is an SF mystery set on a colony ship as told by the artificial intelligence controlling the ship.

In Ed Willett’s Marseguro, modified humans on a distant water world finds themselves in a battle for survival with a future Earth ruled by a fanatical theocracy.

Hair Side, Flesh Side, Helen Marshall’s award-winning first collection of short stories, is a brilliant introduction to one of the brightest new lights in Canadian speculative fiction.

Finally, my own collection, Impossibilia, delivers a mix of SF and fantasy, including an Aurora winner, a finalist, and the story prequel to my novel, The Wolf at the End of the World.

And if you are looking for still more pedigree, the bundle includes two CSFFA Hall of Fame inductees (Sawyer and Duncan).

– Douglas Smith

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you’ll get the basic bundle of five books in any ebook format worldwide:

  • Destiny’s Blood by Marie Bilodeau
  • Drowning in Amber by E. C. Bell
  • Druids  by Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston
  • Impossibilia by Douglas Smith
  • Out of Time by D. G. Laderoute

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all five of the regular titles, plus five more:

  • The Cursed by Dave Duncan
  • Defining Diana by Hayden Trenholm
  • Golden Fleece by Robert J. Sawyer
  • Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall
  • Marseguro by Edward Willett

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth to you. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity.
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook. For press inquiries, please email press@storybundle.com.

Curator’s Notes

Destiny’s Blood:

One of several books in this bundle that get you started on a new series, in this case Marie’s Destiny trilogy. Destiny’s Blood won the Foreword Award and was a finalist for the Aurora. Destiny’s Fall (also an Aurora finalist) and Destiny’s War complete the series. Marie is an Ottawa-based writer who lights up a room the way her prose lights up a page. If you haven’t read her work before, this book is a great introduction.

Drowning in Amber:

I’ve included several books in series in this bundle, most of which are the first title. E. C. Bell’s Drowning in Amber is the second book of a trilogy, but it and all the books in the series can be fully enjoyed as a stand-alone work. The first title, Seeing the Light, won the BPAA award for Best Speculative Fiction Book of the Year and was shortlisted for the Bony Blythe Award for Light Mystery. The third book is Stalking the Dead.

Druids:

An introduction to yet another series! This time, it’s the Druid trilogy by the writing team of Barbara Galler-Smith and Josh Langston. I’ve never had the chance to meet Josh, but I’ve known Barb since I began writing, and it’s always a thrill to read her work. Captives and Warriors complete the trilogy.

Out of Time:

For a bundle that’s coming out shortly after Canada’s 150th birthday, it seemed appropriate to include a fun YA adventure (to remind us we’re still young) in an environment that many associate with Canada (the wilderness, specifically the shores of Kitche Gumi, or Lake Superior).

The Cursed:

Shortly after I started writing professionally, I sat on my first panel at a genre convention, an unknown among established pros. One of my fellow panelists was Dave Duncan, and I still remember his gracious welcome to a newbie. Dave is an international best seller and an acknowledged master of epic fantasy and science fiction, with fifty-plus novels and over a dozen series. In 2015, Dave was inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction & Fantasy Association Hall of Fame. The Cursed is often cited by fans as a favorite Duncan title.

Defining Diana:

I’ve known Hayden almost since I started writing in the late 90’s. He’s been an Aurora finalist ever so many times and has won the award four times. He also owns Bundoran Press, so he knows the writing game from all sides: writer, editor, and publisher. Here’s your chance to read the first book in The Steele Chronicles, a near-future SF trilogy, each volume of which earned a spot on the Aurora Award ballot. Steel Whispers and Stealing Home complete the trilogy.

Golden Fleece:

I couldn’t  put together an Aurora Award bundle and not include a Robert J. Sawyer title. Rob’s won the Aurora fourteen times with another thirty ballot appearances. Rob is one of only eight writers in history — and the only Canadian — to win all three of the world’s top Science Fiction awards for best novel of the year: Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell Memorial Award. In 2013, Rob was also inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association Hall of Fame. Golden Fleece was Rob’s first novel.

Hair Side, Flesh Side:

I first met Helen when she worked for the excellent Canadian press, ChiZine Publications, and edited my second collection, Chimerascope. I didn’t realize how lucky I was at the time. Helen has established herself as a master of the short form, and this, her first collection, is ample proof. Aside from being a finalist for the Aurora Award, Hair Side, Flesh Side also won the Sydney J Bounds Award.

Marseguro:

Here’s your chance to read the first entry in Ed Willett’s acclaimed two-book series of thought provoking SF adventure. Marseguro won the Aurora Award and its sequel, Terra Insegura, was a finalist for the award. It’s a series that will make you both feel and think, and is a great introduction to the work of an author of more than fifty books.

 

The Joys of Bundling Up

29 Apr

In my previous posts I told you all about the books and authors I was familiar with – but the great joy of book bundles is the opportunity to explore brand new writers (or at least writers new to you) at a very reasonable price.

I’ve already peeked inside all of the books included in the SFWA book bundle from Story Bundle and have to say I’m pretty keen to delve into them in earnest. For just a few bucks you can discover the best that Japanese SF has to offer, travel to our nearest stellar neighbour, find out the ‘real story’ behind UFO visits to Earth, settle a space station around Jupiter and make first contact with a potentially deadly alien race.

Pony up for the bonus books and you are in for an even bigger treat. From first contact to a world at war, from humour takes by some of the best writers in the field to tales of the outcast and underrated, from the promise of everlasting life to the threat of imminent death, this bundle has something for every taste – and moreover, something to remind you what science fiction can really do.

Indulge your sense of wonder and buy this bundle now (before it’s too late – one 5 days left).

What are you waiting for?

All Covers Large

Bundled Up With Strangers

23 Apr

My most personal connection to the SFWA e-book bundle of science fiction currently being offered by Story Bundle lies in the anthology, Strangers Among Us, edited by Susan Forest and Lucas Law. In part it is because I have a story included (Marion’s War) which I consider one of the best short pieces I’ve ever written (including the two stories for which I won Aurora Awards). More importantly, the anthology contains some of the most prolific and best known Canadians working in the field – as well as a plethora of newcomers. Many are good friends; others I only know by their reputations. I certainly felt honoured to find myself in their company.

My story, about an aging former commando who finds herself thrust back into an alien war, was inspired by my own experience with PTSD after witnessing the murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo at the Canadian War Memorial several years ago. While my own case was mild, it helped me understand the struggles that many former soldiers face every day.

All of the stories deal with similar issues of mental health and alienation and a portion of the sales of the book are donated to the Canadian Mental Health Association. Despite the theme, this is not a collection of despairing or depressing stories. There is humour and adventure, sorrow and triumph, all the range of human (and alien) experience you might imagine.

Strangers Among Us is only one of twelve great science fiction books you will get for as little as $15US.

What are you waiting for? Buy it here.

Strangers_Among_Us_Cover_Final

Story Bundle 1

22 Apr

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure of purchasing and editing M. Darusha Wehm’s book, Children of Arkadia, for Bundoran Press. I knew the moment I read the first few chapters that this was the kind of book I had been thinking of when I purchased the Press. It was a political novel of big ideas, one that built on the history of science fiction while also turning it on its head with a modern thoughtful interpretation.

Plus it was a great story with great characters and a fascinating setting – where could you go wrong with AIs and revolutionary idealists all living and growing together on a space station orbiting Jupiter? Well, as it turns out, the answer to that question is what makes this book great science fiction.

And don’t just take my word for it. David Larsen of the New Zealand Herald (Darusha is a dual Canadian – New Zealand citizen living in Wellington) had this to say about it: “Wehm writes novels of ideas in which the ideas genuinely matter… [I]t’s a pleasure to see political and ethical questions, so often relegated to the background in science fiction, allowed so much scope to drive the story.”

Amazing Stories reviewer, Ricky Brown described it this way: “M. Darusha Wehm has created a complex future where the delusion of choice is blurred by the nurturing guidance of artificial intelligence….  From a fan of dystopian science fiction who is always looking for intriguing points to ponder, this book fits the bill.”

So why Am I talking about this now? Because Children of Arkadia is available as part of bundle of e-books from the good folks at Story Bundle – available now until May 4th 2017. It’s a great deal: 12 books for as a little as $15US. More than that, it is an opportunity to support the educational programs of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

So what are you waiting for?

Children-of-Arkadia-Front-Cover

Tie a Bow on It

15 Apr

With six days left in the Aurora Story Bundle offer, I realized that I was running out of time to tell you about all the great books included in the bundle – just as you are running out of time to buy them at such a great price. It is time, as they say, to wrap it all up and tie a bow on it.

I first met Helen Marshall a few years ago at the Ad Astra Science Fiction Convention in Toronto when she was working for Chizine Publications as an editor. We only spoke briefly a couple of times – once was in the hub-bub of the infamous Chizine room party – but I was immediately struck by her incisive wit and intelligence. It turns out I wasn’t wrong as evidenced by this tremendous collection of short stories which was an Aurora finalist and, also, the 2015 World Fantasy Award winner for Best Collection. Oh, did I mention she has a Ph.D.? Worked it in around all the great writing, I guess.

Gifts for the One Who Comes After Cover Final

I’ve known Susan MacGregor for enough years that I can’t quite remember when we met – though Facebook tells me we’ve been friends since 2008. Goes to show what Facebook knows. In any case, we met from time to time at conventions in Western Canada, both when I lived in Calgary and later when I made journeys west, where we would have brief but intense conversations. But I knew her best for her association with On Spec Magazine, where she was an editor. It was sometime during that time we discovered a mutual love of flamenco dancing – she as a dancer; me as a spectator. I was thrilled when her first novel – The Tattooed Witch (included in the bundle) – came out and even happier to be partnered with her in this book bundle.

The Tattooed Witch Review

Another convention and on-line friend is Caitlin Sweet, a Toronto writer who I think I first met in Montreal at the World Science Fiction Convention. Caitlin has been writing for years but finally began to get the recognition she deserved with The Pattern Scars which was both an Aurora finalist and winner of the CBC Bookies Award in 2012. Recently her book, The Door in the Mountain, was a finalist for the Sunburst Award. I think we’re going to see a lot more award winning fiction from Caitlin in the future. She’s not someone you want to miss.

The Pattern Scars Review.jpg

Finally, I would be derelict if I didn’t mention my own entry into the book Bundle, the anthology, Blood and Water. While I won the Aurora as editor, an anthology is only as good as the stories it contains. While I can’t mention every story, I’d like to highlight a few writers you may not know but soon will. Gerald Brandt made his first (and only) short story sale for that anthology; Gerald’s first novel, The Courier (book one of a trilogy) was just released by DAW. Brent Nichols and Jennifer Rahn both had stories; this year, I’m editing novels by both of them for release this fall. Derek Kunsken has been published numerous times in Asimov’s and Analog magazines and I’m sure we’ll soon see a novel from him in the bookstores. I could go on but you get the picture.

Blood and Water Review

So that’s it – ten great books at a great price. Now all that’s left to do is for you to head over to StoryBundle.com and pick up the bundle.

 

Bundled Up (Writing from Yellowknife)

8 Apr

You might think from my last couple of blogs that I know everyone in Canadian SF. While I have been kicking around the field for decades (I went to my first SF convention as a fan in Halifax in 1980) and sold my first SF short story in 1995 (after a few years as a playwright and ‘mainstream’ fiction writer) – there are still a lot of people active in the field I’ve never had the opportunity to meet.

Two of those are Sean Stewart and Karin Lowachee – though I do know them quite well through their work. Which is why I’m so happy to be sharing space with them in the Aurora Award Story Bundle. They are both great writers and these are great books.

Still, just because I haven’t met them doesn’t mean I don’t have a story to tell. The Canadian SF world is a small one – unlike most places we only need two degrees of separation to link us all up.

Karin was living in the Canadian North when she wrote Cagebird and while it’s not central to her story, the isolation and beauty of place leak into her work. As it turns out, I spent nine years in the North myself (though I’m not 100% sure we were there at the same time), but we never met. Even if we were there the same years, the North is, after all, a really, really big place but now that I’m sharing a Story Bundle with her, I sort of feel I can say: Congratulations, neighbour.

Cagebird Review

My connection to Sean may be even more ephemeral – all we really share is that we both won Aurora Awards. However, I did hear a great story about that. Apparently, Sean had to fly somewhere right after getting his trophy so he threw his trophy in his luggage and headed out. Anyone who has seen or touched an Aurora Award knows that wasn’t the wisest move; it’s not called the most dangerous award in SF for nothing. On arrival at his destination his shirts were in shreds. They say the packing instructions you now get with the trophy were written with that in mind.

Nobody's Son Review

So now you know these fine authors a little better – you should head over and buy the bundle. Great books at a great price.