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I Wrote a Book, Or, Please Excuse My Hiatus
by Becky Chambers | 12:28 pm, April 12th, 2013
So. I wrote a book. I tried to do this once before. It was a gritty, noir-ish detective story, undoubtedly born out of repeated viewings of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? and Sundays spent watching Mystery! with my mom. I wrote two pages, sketched out a cover design, decided that the whole thing would take way too much time, and went back to playing The Secret Island of Dr. Quandary. My hopes of being the first second grader ever (ever, I tell you) to write a book fell to the wayside.
It took twenty years for my patience to improve, but I finally did what seven-year-old me could not. This time around, I went for science fiction, a more constant love of mine. My younger self had a lot to learn about her genre preferences, but she was right about one thing — books take time. And as I’m about to set off on the hunt for a publisher, I need a little more to get it right.
Last month, I had the extraordinary good luck to be picked up by a literary agent. As is commonly the case, he requested a few revisions. My deadline is set for May 17, and until then, I’ll be taking a short hiatus from The Mary Sue. I’m no stranger to juggling, but I was concerned that trying to split my focus between book work, game reviews, and paying the bills would result in sloppy work on all fronts. Susana’s been kind enough to let me sit on the sidelines here, so as to prevent my brain from frying.
As for that thing I wrote, the book follows the crew of the Wayfarer, a wormhole construction vessel. These are ordinary, hard working folks, on a long haul toward the job of a lifetime. As they journey between worlds, their stories give us a glimpse into all the intricacies of their intergalactic community. Extrasolar colonies? Check. Alien planets? You bet. Multispecies spaceports? Most definitely. But this isn’t a book about heroes. This is a quieter future, one in which humanity isn’t powerful or even important, but we manage to pull through anyway. It’s a messy, hopeful look at what life among the stars might be like for the rest of us.
It’s called The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet. It is the scariest thing I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to share it.
Have a great month. I’ll be back in May.
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