Well, I had surgery after all.

We were hoping that wouldn’t be necessary, but it turned out that it was. We waited for four days for the blockage to clear by itself, but on Monday it became obvious that the tentative positive signs we had seen on Sunday were in fact only tentative. So I went right into surgery at 9:30am Monday.

I do not remember the procedure at all. The last thing I remember was the anesthesiologist telling me he was going to give me something to calm me down. In the recovery room they told me the blockage was caused by a single band of scar tissue, so it was about as uncomplicated as could be. There’s no explanation where that scar tissue came from, though. And my guts were pretty angry from the blockage, so it’ll be at least several days until I can eat.

Right now my pain is pretty well managed at a level 4-5 on a scale of 10. We have to wait for my intestines to start working again before I can go home, but I hope to start walking around today and that should help that happen. I’m still in room 833 at Providence Portland Medical Center on NE Glisan.

Thank you all for your kind words and good wishes. Orycon is iffy but we’ll see.

Why you aren’t seeing me at that event

I had a lot of events planned this week and next — Scares & Squares, Charm City Spec, World Fantasy Con. Instead I am in the hospital.

It started last Thursday night, with severe abdominal pain. I took myself to the emergency room about midnight and they admitted me in short order.

I have had a bunch of obnoxious tests and the diagnosis is Small Bowel Obstruction. They put a tube in my nose and down to my stomach (the single most horrible experience of my life) to try to drain the fluid above the obstruction in hopes that when the pressure is relieved it will unkink itself. If that doesn’t work I’ll have to have surgery. :-(

I’m at Providence hospital on NE Glisan, room 833. I’m not very good company — I haven’t eaten or drunk anything in three days. I sleep a lot. But if you’d like to come by for a visit you’d be welcome.

In September, I am inescapable

Puny humans! Quake in fear, for in the month of September you will not be able to avoid me!

On Sep 4, 2018 in Portland, Oregon I will join Wendy Wagner in conversation at the Willamette Writers meeting.

On Sep 6, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois I will appear at the Deep Dish reading series along with Mary Robinette Kowal, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Chris Bauer, Cathy Crocco, Steve Silver, Allison Manley, and host Niala Boodhoo.

On Sep 8-9, 2018 I return to Portland, Oregon (what, did you believe that old saw about David never striking twice in the same place?) for Rose City Comic Con, at which I will be cosplaying as The Rocketeer and appearing on the panel Science Does Not Work That Way, Good Night, Volume 2!.

On Sep 16, 2018 I’ll appear in San Francisco, California at the SF in SF reading series, along with Sheila Finch and possibly one other reader.

And then, even if your city has escaped my personal devastation, on Sep 30, 2018 I will be doing a Read for Pixels Google Hangout online, which means everywhere!

But even if you hide in the cellar, cut off your Internet, and move to the East Coast, you still won’t be safe! In October and November I will be coming to Montréal, Baltimore, and more Baltimore before returning to Portland.

None shall escape! Bwah hah hah hah hah!

My Worldcon 76 program

I’ll be heading to San Jose this week for the World Science Fiction Convention. Here’s where you can find me:

History of Online Fandom
17 Aug 2018, Friday 13:00 – 14:00, room 230
David D. Levine (M), R-Laurraine Tutihasi, Mike Willmoth, Ruhan Zhao
Online interaction is the simple fact of Fannish activity today. It wasn’t always so. Some fans were early adopters of the Internet and its early alternatives. Some had to be dragged in. How did online fan activity get to be the way it is today?

17 Aug 2018, Friday 16:00 – 17:00, Autographing
David D. Levine, SB Divya, William Ledbetter, Stephen W. Potts, Mariana Palova, John Kessel, Alasdair Stuart

Tor: Wild Cards Signing
18 Aug 2018, Saturday 10:00 – 14:00 PM, Autographing
George R. R. Martin, Kevin Andrew Murphy, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj, Marko Kloos, Caroline Spector, Saladin Ahmed
The long awaited reprint of Wild Cards VIII: One Eyed Jacks is August 28th. But you have an opportunity to get a copy while at Worldcon and to get autographs from many of the authors. This is a special group signing. Copies of the trade paperback will be available from Borderlands Books, in the Dealer’s area. The authors will ONLY be signing Wild Cards books.

Wild Cards: An Ongoing Shared Universe
18 Aug 2018, Saturday 12:00 – 13:00 PM, room 210G
Kevin Andrew Murphy (M), George R. R. Martin, Marko Kloos, Melinda M. Snodgrass, Mary Anne Mohanraj
Who knew when Wild Cards was released in 1987 that it would grow to over 2 dozen books and still be going strong over 30 years later. The latest installments are Texas Hold ‘Em and Knaves Over Queens. The eighth book, One-Eyed Jacks, is being reprinted and released during the convention. Join the creators and authors for this discussion about how it all started, and where it’s going to be going.

Kaffeeklatsch: David D. Levine
19 Aug 2018, Sunday 10:00 – 11:00, room 211B

Surviving The Review: A Guide
19 Aug 2018, Sunday 15:00 – 16:00, room 210C
Charles Payseur, K.M. Szpara, David D. Levine, Carrie Patel, Derek McCaw
Your work is out there, and here come the reviews! What should writers know about reviews and how to handle them? Does the high of validation or the anxiety of public criticism ever go away? Let’s hear from a range of perspectives on how to deal with these feels.

Reading: David D. Levine
20 Aug 2018, Monday 11:00 – 11:30, room 210G

Hope to see you there!

Announcing The Release Of Arabella the Traitor of Mars!

My third novel, Arabella the Traitor of Mars, the conclusion to the trilogy that began with the Andre Norton Award winning Arabella of Mars, comes out next week! The official release date is July 31. You can buy it from Powell's, University Book Store, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Your Local Independent Book Store, or Amazon.

Is there an ebook? An audiobook?

The ebook and audiobook of Arabella the Traitor of Mars should release simultaneously with the hardback, from all the major ebook vendors, without DRM.

You can hear an excerpt of the audiobook here. It's narrated by the brilliant Barrie Kreinik, same as the previous two volumes. I haven't seen a preorder page for the audiobook yet, but it should appear soon. 

The previous volume, Arabella and the Battle of Venus, was recently released in trade paperback and is still available in hardback and all other formats. The hardback of Arabella of Mars is sold out in many places but the mass market paperback is still widely available, as are the ebook and audiobook.

Are you planning a book tour?

Not as such. But I will be appearing at the following events in the next few months:

And there might be even more! Check my Upcoming Appearances page for updates.

If any of these events is local to you, please come if you can. At the Powell's and University Bookstore readings next week I'll be appearing in costume and singing a new Hamilton-based song!

What's the book about?

From the publisher: Hail the conquering heroes! The tyrant, Napoleon, has been defeated with Arabella and the crew of the Diana leading the final charge. But, victory has come at a tremendous cost. Britain’s savior, Lord Nelson, has not survived the final battle and the good people of the Diana must now return to London as both heroes and pallbearers.

At last husband and wife, Arabella and Captain Singh seem to have earned the attention of great men, ones who have new uses in mind for the Mars Company captain and his young wife. Both Company and Crown have decided that it is time to bring Mars into the folds of Empire, and they think Singh is the perfect man to do it.

Now, Arabella must decide between staying loyal to the man she loves and the country of her father or betraying all that she has known to fight alongside the Martians in a hopeless resistance against the Galaxy’s last remaining superpower.

What can I do to help?

You should buy the book, of course. Buying it on the release date is helpful but not necessary. If you can't buy it, borrow it from the library. If you can't find it at your local library or bookseller, ask them to carry the book. Also, it's extremely helpful if you post a review on Goodreads, Amazon, your own blog, or anywhere else people might see it. It's okay if you don't like the book! Even a negative review can be helpful if you say why you didn't like it. (Reviewer: "I hated this book! It has Martians and airships and girls dressing as boys! Yuck!" Reader: "Cool, that's just what I love!") And please mention the book to your friends online and off. 

Where should I buy the book? Is paper better than ebook?

Wherever and in whatever format you like to buy books. I get the same money wherever you buy it, and I don't care whether you read it on paper or on screen. There are benefits to me if you buy it on Amazon, but personally I'd prefer it if you would support your local independent book store. Or you could get it from Powell's, which is my local independent book store. You can even order a signed edition from Powell's, which I will sign for you at my reading on August 1.

Is this the last book for Arabella and her universe?

It is, for now. I've been working in this universe almost exclusively for almost six years now and I think Arabella has done more than enough damage to her timeline—both of us deserve a rest.

Since finishing Arabella the Traitor of Mars I have written an unrelated novella, a Wild Cards story, and a few other small projects, and I'm noodling on a new, completely unrelated novel which may or may not turn into a series. But right now, as you can see from my rather crowded travel schedule above, I'm spending more time on being an Author than being a writer. I hope to change that balance in the next few months.

Thank you all for your support! I hope to see you somewhere in the next few months, and if not in person there's always social media. 

ConFusion panel schedule

I will be attending ConFusion in Detroit, Michigan this coming weekend! This is my first ConFusion since E/c2 ConFusion (Mass ConFusion) in 1979! I gather the convention has changed a bit since then. Here’s where you can find me at the con:

  • 9pm Friday, Isle Royale
    Let’s Talk: Physics
    A lighthearted talk on a hard science topics with smart and funny people. Let’s Talk: Physics will dive deep into the building blocks of the Universe and try not to giggle about Super G-Strings.
  • 11am Saturday, Petoskey
    Last Exit Before The Worst Timeline
    Alternate histories that explore what the world would look like if a particular horror had been averted can be a way of resisting the narrative that slavery, genocide, colonialism, sexism, and other social evils are inevitable steps on the road to human progress. What are our favorite alternate histories (and alternate presents) that look at better worlds, and how can we use the format to inspire people to hope–and action–in uncertain times?
  • 4pm Saturday, Isle Royale
    Nasa Spinoffs
    Since 1976, NASA has featured an average of 50 technologies each year in the annual publication. Of these 1000 , what has changed lives daily? What can we expect in the future?
  • 5pm Saturday, St. Clair
    Autograph Session (5 PM)
    Come meet your favorite authors, artists and musicians and have them sign things! (Please limit your signing requests to 3 items per person.)
  • 10am Sunday, Charlevoix
    Missing and Deleted Scenes in the Age of the Internet
    On the advice of artist John Tenniel, Lewis Carroll dropped an entire chapter from Through The Looking Glass. That chapter was almost lost to history until a galley turned up in a Sotheby’s auction. These days, writers have a lot more options for their missing scenes, including sharing them as promotional freebies on their websites or including them in newsletters or crowdfunding platforms. Can scenes that ultimately didn’t strengthen the work still merit sharing with readers? What makes a missing scene a good candidate for sharing with readers vs. consignment to the recycling bin of history?
  • 11am Sunday, Isle Royale
    Reading: David D. Levine and Stephanie Morris – NOT IN PRINTED SCHEDULE
  • 1pm Sunday, Saugatuck
    To Mars!
    NASA is finally ready to make humanity’s dream of sending people to Mars a reality. What challenges need to be overcome, and what is ready to go!

Cover reveal: Arabella the Traitor of Mars

Arabella the Traitor of Mars 265x400I see that the cover of Arabella the Traitor of Mars, the third and final book in The Adventures of Arabella Ashby, is out in the wild! (Click to embiggen.) The book will be available on July 31, 2018 and here’s the publisher’s description:

Taking up almost immediately after the great Battle of Venus, Arabella has finally returned home to Mars to settle in to life with her husband, the mysterious Captain Singh.

The Regent of the United Kingdom sets his eyes on solidifying his rule in the colonies and dispatches a fleet to better cement his control over Mars. Now Arabella and Singh must decide where their ultimate loyalties lie, with the Empire or with their home.

I turned in the final copy-edited manuscript of Arabella the Traitor of Mars on Boxing Day. This book brings Arabella’s adventures to a close (she’s done more than enough damage to her timeline!), and my next novel project will be something completely different. It’s been quite an adventure and I’m happy and grateful to Tor for giving Arabella and her story a chance!

What I published in 2017

My big publication in 2017 was the novel Arabella and the Battle of Venus, sequel to the Andre Norton Award winning Arabella of Mars. I also published short story “Command and Control” in Infinity Wars, edited by Jonathan Strahan, and novelette “Under the Arch” in Mississippi Roll, edited by George R. R. Martin.

Arabella and the Battle of VenusArabella and the Battle of Venus was well received:

  • “Set in a well-constructed 19th century world where battles between countries take place on the inhabited planets of Mars and Venus, Levine’s latest is an extraordinary read. The very independent and spirited Arabella is a bold, intelligent heroine who stands out as she drives the story forward. The cleverly crafted plot is believable in its originality, and the colorful, distinctive characters will engage readers. Levine’s storytelling is animated, infused with humor and wit, and with this second installment in his series, he pens an entertaining, adventurous tale that readers will not be able to put down.” — RT Book Reviews, 4.5 stars, Top Pick
  • “Charming young Arabella embarks on another entertaining quest in an imaginative setting that combines 19th-century seafaring with pulp-style space adventure. … This interesting piece of speculative fiction draws on venerable imaginings of distant worlds while still feeling fresh and original.” — Publishers Weekly
  • “Levine’s sophomore work brings back his plucky heroine and introduces charismatic characters for another engaging steampunk adventure among the stars.” — Library Journal
  • “The joy is in the details of the language and inventiveness of incidents that Levine piles upon each other. Levine nearly convinced me that this fantastic world is true history. He introduces many notable new characters, especially Commander Daniel Fox, whose personal recklessness contrasts with his charisma and his ability to command a vessel. … This rich, joyful novel of action, espionage, and fascinating characters is completely its own thing. It’s a series to get lost in. More, please.”
  • “Juxtaposing space travel with historical episodes from the Napoleonic Wars, and contrasting polite English society with swashbuckling seafaring exploits, Mr. Levine has written a delightful, sometimes amusing, always exciting steampunk adventure.” — New York Journal of Books

The Arabella trilogy will conclude with Arabella the Traitor of Mars, coming in July 2018.

David’s Index for 2017

Novel words written: 86,246
Short fiction words written: 24,460
Notes, outline, and synopsis words written: 51,082
Blog words written: 4,292
Total words written: 166,080
Novel words edited out: 14,295
Net words written: 151,785

New stories written: 2

Short fiction submissions sent: 2
Responses received: 2
Rejections: 0
Acceptances: 2 (pro)
Other sales: 4 (2 reprint, 2 translation)

Short stories published: 9 (2 pro, 5 reprint, 1 translation, 1 audio)

Award nominations: 5
Awards won: 1

Novels completed: 1
Novel submissions: 1
Rejections: 0
Acceptances: 1
Other novel sales: 1 (Czech translation)
Novels published: 1

Happy new year!