Coming soon: Beside an Open Window

As I announced last week, I’ll soon be publishing a new novel, Beside an Open Window. This is a science fiction novel set sixty years into the future which takes place in a metaverse not entirely dissimilar to Second Life, except one of the key groups of residents in this world are people who have died in real life and uploaded to it a digital copy of their brain.

I say new; in fact, I wrote this book originally in 2009. Unlike my NaNoWriMo Second Life titles (which are written in a month), Beside an Open Window took me the best part of six months. I also read it through completely in SL – twice – to get listener feedback.  I think Beside an Open Window is the best thing I’ve ever written – which I say not to boast, but by means of an explanation as to why I haven’t so far published it online.  My original plan was to get it published ‘traditionally’.  Well, I sent it to a couple of agents and you can probably guess what happened.

So I let it gather virtual dust, always meaning to get around to send it off to someone new and not quite achieving this (ie, not achieving it at all).  I decided to read it through again in January (whilst I waited for my draft copy of ‘AFK, Indefinitely’ to arrive).  Not having looked at it for the best part of three years turned me into a far more critical reader of my own work than I would otherwise have managed and I decided it needed a major edit.  The first half of the book in particular contained some really lazy passages and I spent about a fortnight cutting these down and rewriting them, in the end reducing the novel length by over a thousand words.  I’m now really happy with the final version.

A lot has happened in the publishing world since 2009, not least of which is the rise of the Kindle ebook. I’ve decided, therefore, that I’m going to publish BAOW exclusively to Kindle in the first instance, taking advantage of their ‘KDP Select’ programme.  This will mean a higher price than my normal Kindle books ($2.99 is the minimum price on KDP Select), but will also enable me to give it away for free for up to five days.  I’ll use up the first couple of those days when I announce publication and keep the rest back for future promotions.  If you’re a Kindle owner, therefore (and that includes all Android and Apple tablet users, who can download a free Kindle app for their device), keep an eye out for the publication date if you would like a free copy of the novel.

To warm you up (and whilst I get to work actually preparing the Kindle version), I’ll be publishing a couple of articles over the next couple of weeks exploring some of the issues raised by the novel.  ‘Metaverse and Death’ will be the first of these, which I’ll publish this coming weekend.  Enjoy!

Video above by Tom Scott.

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