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-   -   My Awesome New Time Travel Novel (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=880270)

CalMeacham 08-11-2019 07:26 PM

My Awesome New Time Travel Novel
 
The Traveler is coming out as an e-book from Rogue Phoenix Press next month, but the links are already up for ordering it on several sites.

It's the story of a Time Traveler whose Time Machine has broken down -- one of his circuit boards has literally fried -- in Imperial Rome. His only way to get home is to rebuild it using whatever he can find or construct in ancient Rome. The story is told from the point of view of the Roman street kid who is helping him out. The book is nominally YA, but can be read and enjoyed by anyone.

Here's where you can find it:

Amazon -- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W5K68ZY

Barnes & Noble -- https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the...=2940161188439

Apple -- https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-...=11&app=itunes

Kobo -- https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-traveler-57

Google Play -- https://play.google.com/store/books/...d=6EqoDwAAQBAJ




I'll let you know when it's officially released.

In addition to this, I've just sent back the galleys to my science fiction short story Yamadori, which will be appearing in Analog shortly.

glee 08-12-2019 06:59 AM

I know writing is hard work, but describing your book as 'awesome' is a real turn-off.

"You're a writer when someone else says you're a writer."
"Your book is awesome when someone else says it."

Chronos 08-12-2019 09:41 AM

Eh, from Cal, I'm willing to take his word on it.

CalMeacham 08-12-2019 11:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glee (Post 21801194)
I know writing is hard work, but describing your book as 'awesome' is a real turn-off.

"You're a writer when someone else says you're a writer."
"Your book is awesome when someone else says it."

If I were going to be snarky, I'd say you should tell that to Exapno. But I'm not, so I won't.

Baker 08-12-2019 05:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by glee (Post 21801194)
I know writing is hard work, but describing your book as 'awesome' is a real turn-off.

"You're a writer when someone else says you're a writer."
"Your book is awesome when someone else says it."

Someone sounds jealous.

I will look forward to hearing about the release of the book. I love time travel stories. Do you happen to have a major in world history, or studies that followed Roman history in particular?

CalMeacham 08-12-2019 09:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Baker (Post 21802453)
Someone sounds jealous.

I will look forward to hearing about the release of the book. I love time travel stories. Do you happen to have a major in world history, or studies that followed Roman history in particular?

No I studied Latin in High School and visited the Roman sites in Southern France, Rome, and near Vesuvius about the same time. I read a lot of classics in college, both in and out of class, and have kept it up ever since. I've written two books on mythology (although only one has been published), and have written other stories set in Imperial Rome. I was strongly influenced by L. Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall, a time travel novel in which the hero finds himself I just the right time and place to prevent the Fall of Rome, and I was impressed by his struggle to survive and thrive in Rome.

It just occurred to me that I'd never seen anyone treat what seems to me a very obvious fear and problem of time travel -- what if your time machine b4reaks down? And you know that no one will be coming to your rescue? Could you repair it on your own, without modern technology?

Thudlow Boink 08-12-2019 10:30 PM

Cool!
Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21801649)
If I were going to be snarky, I'd say you should tell that to Exapno. But I'm not, so I won't.

(In case anyone misses the reference...)

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21802809)
I was strongly influenced by L. Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall

Yeah, I couldn't help being reminded of that book when I read the description of yours
Quote:

It just occurred to me that I'd never seen anyone treat what seems to me a very obvious fear and problem of time travel -- what if your time machine b4reaks down? And you know that no one will be coming to your rescue? Could you repair it on your own, without modern technology?
I seem to recall one or more of the Family Guy episodes featuring Stewie's time machine involving him having to repair it to avoid being stranded in the past. And of course Marty McFly has to get his time-traveling DeLorean to work using 1950's technology in Back To The Future. But those aren't really the same kind of story that you seem to be talking about here.

Chronos 08-12-2019 10:37 PM

I think that Gary Larson, at least, addressed that point. Though of course he didn't address it in very much depth.

DPRK 08-13-2019 08:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21802809)
It just occurred to me that I'd never seen anyone treat what seems to me a very obvious fear and problem of time travel -- what if your time machine b4reaks down? And you know that no one will be coming to your rescue? Could you repair it on your own, without modern technology?

Meh, you don't even need to carry any spare time-travel parts on the trip. If your time machine breaks down, all you need is to remember to do like Bill & Ted and bring yourself everything you need via-- time machine.

swampspruce 08-13-2019 11:27 AM

All you talented writers are making me jealous! I'll be downloading your book tonight!

CalMeacham 08-13-2019 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swampspruce (Post 21803582)
All you talented writers are making me jealous! I'll be downloading your book tonight!

In my case, I don't think you can just yet. You can pre-order, I think, but the publication date is sometime next month.

FastDan1 08-13-2019 05:15 PM

Just pre-ordered. Download happens on September 8.

swampspruce 08-14-2019 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21804352)
In my case, I don't think you can just yet. You can pre-order, I think, but the publication date is sometime next month.

Saw that. I'll be putting in my pre-order, then. :smack:

Bear_Nenno 08-23-2019 10:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swampspruce (Post 21805546)
Saw that. I'll be putting in my pre-order, then. :smack:

There's a time travel joke in there somewhere.

CalMeacham 08-31-2019 07:50 PM

In addition to this, I've edited the galleys of my upcoming Analog story, Yamadori, which should be out in a couple of months.

I just heard from a publisher interested in my Frankenstein novella, A Light so Brilliant and Wondrous.

And Optics and Photonics News is running my article on the pop culture trope of using Ultraviolet Light to kill vampires in its October issue.

Lotsa stuff coming out shortly.

Fugazi 09-05-2019 03:34 AM

It's out now. I just ordered it and it's in my Nook App.

CalMeacham 09-05-2019 11:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fugazi (Post 21842094)
It's out now. I just ordered it and it's in my Nook App.

Wow!

News to me. Thanks for telling me. You'd think my publisher would let me know.

[I]John Gielgud] I'll alert the media. [/John Gielgud]

Exapno Mapcase 09-05-2019 11:32 PM

Congrats on the many sales! Rogue Phoenix Press is a prestige venue.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21801649)
If I were going to be snarky, I'd say you should tell that to Exapno. But I'm not, so I won't.

Heh. I was quoting somebody, so I'm legit.

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21842571)
Wow!

News to me. Thanks for telling me. You'd think my publisher would let me know.

I knew before my publisher that my book as being sold on some platforms. Mainly because I bothered to look and they didn't. Publishers. :smack:

Chronos 09-08-2019 12:02 PM

If it's being sold electronically anyway, shouldn't there at least be an automated e-mail saying "Congratulations! You've made your first sale. Here are some tips to generate word-of-mouth and keep the sales coming:"

Lightnin' 09-08-2019 01:00 PM

I preordered it when this thread first appeared, and started reading it yesterday. I'm loving it so far.

CalMeacham 09-09-2019 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 21847922)
If it's being sold electronically anyway, shouldn't there at least be an automated e-mail saying "Congratulations! You've made your first sale. Here are some tips to generate word-of-mouth and keep the sales coming:"

Ya'd think so, wouldn't you?

CalMeacham 09-13-2019 07:57 PM

I got my first hard copy today!!!!!!!

Yay!

CalMeacham 11-07-2019 02:04 PM

Copies of The Traveler are now on the shelf at Wicked Good Books in Salem, MA.

Enderw24 11-07-2019 04:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21802809)
It just occurred to me that I'd never seen anyone treat what seems to me a very obvious fear and problem of time travel -- what if your time machine b4reaks down? And you know that no one will be coming to your rescue? Could you repair it on your own, without modern technology?

Well sure. You just need a bolt of lightning. Unfortunately you never know when or where it's going to strike.

AHunter3 11-07-2019 05:59 PM

Ordering the paperback version now.

CalMeacham 11-08-2019 08:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Enderw24 (Post 21960893)
Well sure. You just need a bolt of lightning. Unfortunately you never know when or where it's going to strike.

Wouldn't work for me. I still pronounce "Gigawatts" with a hard "G"

Thudlow Boink 11-12-2019 07:31 PM

I finished it the other day, and enjoyed it. A good story of its kind, very readable, and with a satisfying ending.

Question: Is the title "The Traveler" a deliberate parallel to "The Martian"? (In some ways it's a similar kind of story, as the book itself implies.)

CalMeacham 11-13-2019 08:11 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 21969515)
I finished it the other day, and enjoyed it. A good story of its kind, very readable, and with a satisfying ending.

Question: Is the title "The Traveler" a deliberate parallel to "The Martian"? (In some ways it's a similar kind of story, as the book itself implies.)

I honestly don't know. The title just suggested itself and seemed right. There are other books with that title out there, but I wasn't worried about confusion.

Certainly the parallels occurred to me, and when I described the book to potential agents I made the comparison*. But I really was inspired much more by Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court and L. Sprague de Camp's Lest Darkness Fall. I still have not yet actually read Andrew Weir's book.




*I sent the book out to -- no lie -- over 350 agents. That's 350 targeted agents -- ones who have expressed an interest in this type of book, or who I had reason to think might handle one like this. I didn't send it willy-nilly to any agent, or any YA agent. None of them were interested, except one who liked it up until the ending. "Would you be interested if I changed the ending?" I asked. "No," they replied. So I found a publisher on my own. That's three books so far I've had published without an agent.

CalMeacham 11-13-2019 08:37 AM

Thank you very much, by the way, Thudlow for your kind review. Could you put a review on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, or one of the other internet sites? It would help.

AHunter3 11-13-2019 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CalMeacham (Post 21970109)
*I sent the book out to -- no lie -- over 350 agents. That's 350 targeted agents -- ones who have expressed an interest in this type of book, or who I had reason to think might handle one like this. I didn't send it willy-nilly to any agent, or any YA agent. None of them were interested, except one who liked it up until the ending. "Would you be interested if I changed the ending?" I asked. "No," they replied. So I found a publisher on my own. That's three books so far I've had published without an agent.

*nods*

Sending query letters to agents is an utter waste of effort and time, or at least it is for some of us author-folk. I was approaching 2,000 query letters when I ceased to bother trying in that direction. Querying small publishers directly it's been more like 60 total, and that resulted in three signed contracts and nearly that many offers.

Rocketeer 11-15-2019 09:35 PM

Just read your book, and Mrs R is starting it now. But neither of us could figure out what the small many-colored disc is that Tenobius gives to the narrator. Is it supposed to be something that I should recognize?

Also, you should get around to reading The Martian. Pulls you right along.

don't ask 11-15-2019 09:52 PM

No Kindle version is available in Australia. If one was I would grab a copy.

CalMeacham 11-17-2019 06:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Rocketeer (Post 21975887)
Just read your book, and Mrs R is starting it now. But neither of us could figure out what the small many-colored disc is that Tenobius gives to the narrator. Is it supposed to be something that I should recognize?

Also, you should get around to reading The Martian. Pulls you right along.

It's a diffraction grating. I didn't originally intend this, but my first readers interpreted it as a CD or DVD, so that's what it became in the final book (and on the book cover)

armedmonkey 11-28-2019 02:35 AM

I just bought it on Kindle. I haven't read it yet, but hey I'll get around to it. I love Sci-Fi, but I don't much like time travel novels. However, your premise seems almost like "A Yankee in King Arthur's Court" thing which I do like. Added interest if the narrator is a local instead of the time traveler. Anyway, it's 99 cents on Amazon, so I I'll read it and give you my review later.

CalMeacham 12-02-2019 08:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by armedmonkey (Post 21998445)
I just bought it on Kindle. I haven't read it yet, but hey I'll get around to it. I love Sci-Fi, but I don't much like time travel novels. However, your premise seems almost like "A Yankee in King Arthur's Court" thing which I do like. Added interest if the narrator is a local instead of the time traveler. Anyway, it's 99 cents on Amazon, so I I'll read it and give you my review later.

Thank you. I look forward to it.

Chronos 12-19-2019 08:18 PM

OK, time to get myself a Christmas present, too, while I'm shopping for everyone else. I'm going for the paperback version, so it'll still work in case I'm ever stranded in ancient Rome and need an instruction manual.

CalMeacham 12-29-2019 10:26 PM

I recently stumbled across a book entitled How to Invent Everything: A Survival Guide for the Stranded Time Traveler by Ryan North. I mentioned it to my wife, you told some friends about it, and they got me a copy for Christmas. So now I have another read. I haven't really gotten into it yet, so I don't know how it might relate to my own.

Chronos 12-30-2019 01:25 PM

Question: Is this print-on-demand? 11 days after ordering it, Amazon still hasn't shipped it. Granted, this is their busy season, but that still seems unreasonable, if they're dealing with already-existing copies.

CalMeacham 12-31-2019 07:45 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 22052517)
Question: Is this print-on-demand? 11 days after ordering it, Amazon still hasn't shipped it. Granted, this is their busy season, but that still seems unreasonable, if they're dealing with already-existing copies.

I'm not sure. I think it may be. I got my hard-print copies really fast, but that was before the Christmas rush. Rogue Phoenix intended this to be mainly an e-book, but I've gotten quite a few print copies for myself to give out and put on the local store shelves.

Chronos 01-05-2020 01:52 PM

Mine arrived today! Well, yesterday, actually, but I had it delivered to my mom's address because there's no good way to get packages at my apartment, and I just stopped by Mom's to pick it up.

Chronos 01-14-2020 12:11 PM

And I can now definitively answer that it is, in fact, print-on-demand. The very last page of my copy says "Made in the USA, Monee, IL, 29 December 2019".

There were a lot of kerning errors, and one or two other typos I noticed. And I suspect that I found at least a few other Easter eggs you snuck in, and there were a few things that I expected you to include, that you didn't. Overall, very good.

AHunter3 01-14-2020 12:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 22080476)
There were a lot of kerning errors, and one or two other typos I noticed.

I noticed that too. Words and phrases that would show up l ooki ng like t his.

Not a reflection on the author but a bit slapdash on the part of the publisher.

Exapno Mapcase 01-14-2020 12:59 PM

Last time I checked my Amazon page I saw a "Customers who bought this item also bought" The Traveler notice.

I'm assuming we both have the good people of the Dope to thank.

So, thank you, good people of the Dope!

CalMeacham 01-17-2020 09:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Chronos (Post 22080476)
And I can now definitively answer that it is, in fact, print-on-demand. The very last page of my copy says "Made in the USA, Monee, IL, 29 December 2019".

There were a lot of kerning errors, and one or two other typos I noticed. And I suspect that I found at least a few other Easter eggs you snuck in, and there were a few things that I expected you to include, that you didn't. Overall, very good.

Thanks for those kind words.

Could you let me know what those "things you expected to find, but didn't"? (You can send a message) It's also possible you didn't find all the Easter eggs.

Chronos 01-17-2020 03:42 PM

Possible Easter egg: Was
SPOILER:
Argus' number system a reference to some known but unexplained ancient documents in an unknown script? I was thinking Linear A at the time, but on double-checking, the timing is wrong.


Missed opportunity #1: Latin uses the same word, "ubi", to mean both "where" and "when", which would in some ways make talking about time travel simpler, but in others, more difficult. Though I suppose this would be difficult to work in in a book that elides Latin dialog as English for the reader's perspective.

Missed opportunity #2: When Tenobius is explaining "temporal discipline", there was a perfectly good and accessible analogy he missed. The ancients knew plenty of stories about prophecies, and often, the subject of the prophecy tries to avert it... which always has disastrous results. Which is basically the same predicament faced by time travelers.

Oh, and I'm quite certain that very few Young Adults indeed would recognize a capacitor, from the description of how one is made. Though if even a few think to ask their science teachers, it'll result in a good thing.


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