It’s not that I am late….

Okay, I’m actually late as f*ck, and this is under the heading of “I’m alive, worry not.”

So, I went to bed last night with 10k words remaining on the (yeah, definitely it is) cursed novel, thinking I’d get up today early and finish.

Except autoimmune struck HARD as soon as I lay down. I didn’t wake up till 10:45, and I’m one of those people who considers getting up at 7 am “late.”

And then we had an appointment at noon.Which ran late, because I was talking to keep myself awake. I just got home. I still need to finish the novel.

I’m not putting up a guest post, because it wouldn’t be fair to the writers. I might take an hour nap before I finish. BUT I have to finish. TODAY.

So, to amuse you, below are the covers for the reissue of the first three DST books. DST will go up, probably by the weekend.

124 thoughts on “It’s not that I am late….

  1. But but… “A Few Good Men” was the First of the Earth Revolution series not the Third of the Darkship series!!!! [Very Very Big Crazy Grin]

    Seriously, I’ll be repurchasing it and the other books in September (assuming all of them are out). 😀

  2. You are not ‘late’ you are just making a timely appearance in an appropriate fashion!

    With that, yeah those of us who lurk on the intertubes have our favorite sites and do become concerned when they don’t appear as expected. Thanks for the update – now write a bunch!

      1. Dude, whatever they do in private — and it’s my book, so it’s private — with those two, I’d smile when you say that.
        And they’re definitely USAians. Very. Almost die for it. (It sprained the left. And then they accused me of being homophobic.)

        1. But of course you’re homophobic. They aren’t “whining” every moment about how terrible it is to live in a Straight World. [Very Very Big Crazy Grin]

            1. And of course, some of the critics would love a totalitarian world if it cracked down on people who they imagine hate gays. 😡

              1. What I find especially amusing is how the extreme left are calling many in the LGB community homophobic due to their support for the Drop The T movement.

        2. Further apart than I’d expect them to stand, for sure! Being polite in public? Gunfights are definitely not private, after all. Luce and Nat would be polite.

          Can’t say as they’d swish, though: that would be inefficient and might get someone shot unnecessarily. Explosions and firearms and knives are more their style.

        3. I of course am an odd Odd. For #3, first thought was that most folks instinctively crouch in a gunfight, not take a competitive marksmanship stance.


          But those two look like they are about to finish off a Big Bad who got caught monologging, and surprise!

          Those covers work, and I want to order a set of signed hardback.

          Started DST today, Oddly.


          Back to my day job…..

              1. It’s because they call anti-gravity wands “brooms” 😀 I’d call you twit, but I know you’re not. You’re just being a brat. So, same as any other day at ATH 😀

                1. Brooms and burners, both based on hard science which shall be explained completely in a future book.

      1. Eh. It’s cover. Tactics don’t matter as much as the display.
        AGAIN NOTHING happens on screen, and quite a few people chose to believe they’re good friends. (Shrug.)

        1. As long as it didn’t keep me from sleeping, I didn’t give a flipping fig who played footsie with whom. Keep it mutually consensual and out of chain of command, and I don’t care. Not interested.

          Which I wad saying in the mid eighties, before anyone was officially cool with such.

          Write your stuff your way. Cash the checks. Show Tallman to the detractor dweebs. Stereo.

          As a better written character than I said, ” don’t give the prick the satisfaction”.

        2. And Artistic License applies with Covers more than Tactical Positioning.

          The two main characters need IMO to be on the cover and standing together “looks” better for the cover than separately in good fighting positions. 😉

          1. Yeah. And after much contemplation, and considering having Luce only on the cover, I decided this book really is a dual book, so the two of them belong there. (Because there’s two hero journeys.)

          2. Yah. “nitpick – to make often peevish criticisms or objections about matters that are minor, unimportant, or irrelevant”

            Only slightly less irrelevant than what Luce does in the very slight amount of down time that our hostess permits him. (I do wonder whether he has had somewhat more than nits to pick with her about that – some of my characters certainly would!)

            1. I was talking to my assistant about that, because we were talking about the books planned for the rest of DST.
              And I realized while I have a lot of people in my head, those two — and the characters of a world I haven’t written yet, but was my first world — are the only ones who KNOW I’m there, and who engage with me in conversation.
              Yeah. I’ve had some minor bitching. Also, they were both highly amused while I was working on the cover. 😀

            2. Jim Butcher should be very glad that Harry Dresden can’t get to this world from the inside of his books. The poor beaten-up wizard would have the Paris Catacombs’ worth of bones to pick with him!

              1. I’m not sure.
                These two? Part of it is their choice. I know that sounds weird. But all I do is give them a chance at glory “such as mortals seldom grasp.” I never ever ever lie about the price. The price is there. It’s built in.
                The problem with pledging your life, your fortune, your sacred honor, is that you probably will pay it. And the cost is terrible.
                But life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are priceless.
                It’s in the balance that they pay the price.
                It’s kind of the same with Harry Dresden. He’s fighting for the world and humanity.
                The price is built in. Ask Prometheus.

        3. “Good friends.” Oookay…

          Actually, I would have less respect for them if they weren’t. “Benefits” or no.

          Yes, obviously, cover. I did forget before to say that all three are absolutely fantastic! Best that any of the books have sported to date.

          1. ANY long term relationship can be based on the most high flung of loves. But that doesn’t matter. Not even vaguely. Not long term. I tell you as someone who has been married for 37 years.
            There are times, because of life, illness, sudden obsession with something stupid, even kids distracting you, that the the flame dies to embers, if that.
            But if your spouse/partner/whatever is your best friend?
            That you cannot lose, you can’t survive losing and stay yourself.
            When Dan had to move ahead of me, and I was in Colorado working on the house, I wasn’t even a whole person. And each day I functioned worse. It felt functionally like being cut in half. I didn’t have the person against whom I check reality. The person to whom I can tell everything, event he stupid crap. The person who can just… hold me, and I’m home.
            And I thought I was weak, I thought it was only me. And then I got to our new home, at the end of all this, and Dan held me, and told me he felt like he was dead and cut off from the world and would never be alive again, until I was there, with him.
            … And we were okay.
            The thing is we’re not the most fanciful or romantic of couples. But we are each other’s best friend, each other’s anchor.

          2. And thanks on the aesthetic comments.
            I have the cover for Darkship Revenge ALMOST there, but not quite.
            And Through Fire. But first I finish the novel. (ARGH. I might not sleep tonight.)

            1. If you send me the manuscript for Through Fire I’ll be sure to sit on it for six months then have one of my grad students who does not read SF give it a look then write a page of critique using names of characters from a different book.
              All in aide of making the entire publishing experience real for you.

                1. To quote the good Doctor Holliday, there are limits to my hypocrisy.
                  Something sadly lacking in the doofus in question.

  3. Stop reading the comments and write Sarah. Then rest.

    And to keep the rest of us busy, here’s a topic: I posted something when they started releasing the Webb Telescope’s first images. Basically, they claim that they are imaging star formations from almost 13 billion years ago, and the Big Bang Theory currently claims (look up the so-called Hubble Variable), the BB happened 13.2 billion years ago. I asked, since the universe was so much smaller then according to BBT, are they seeing the same image in every direction they point the telescope? Now some rogue astronomers are asking the same question, albeit worded much less snarkily to sound all scientifickey (Sue me! I’m both an ontologist and neologist, don’t mess with me.). Basically, is the Webb proving the BBT wrong? If so, are we back to steady state? Release the Nerds!

    1. If the Big Bang didn’t bang, that just doesn’t implicate cosmology, I’m pretty sure it implicates the Standard Model of physics too, and probably gives the lie to Dark Matter and Dark Energy and Dark Phlogiston and Darkiniferous Ether. Maybe it’ll kill string theory too, and free up thousands of highly intelligent brains for useful work again.

      1. “…Dark Phlogiston and Darkiniferous Ether” LOL

        I thought String Theory had already hanged itself. I’m so old I remember when String Theory went by the name The Vibrational Universe and was a totally quack concept. We’ve come full circle from quackery to accepted, and back to quackery.

        Of course, last I checked we only can actually measure the distance of 150 stars. That’s the limit of the parallax from Earth’s orbit (and yes both the Hubble and the Webb are in earth orbit). The red shift to distance hypothesis is extrapolated from those 150. Of course I’ve actually seen the image of the first identified Quasar, showing its spectrum. Clearly its discoverer needed glasses because it looked like a Rorschach Test to me. It don’t look like the drawings in your Chemistry textbook.

        Astronomy is such a house of cards! That’s partly why I love it so. You can just make stuff up–all the best do. Dark matter I could buy, but Dark Energy is a totally made up fudge factor to get the math to work.

        PS Did they tell you that conventional red-shift to distance calculations indicate that some objects are exceeding the speed of light in heading away from us? They usually sweep those under the cosmic rug.

        1. My Astronomy prof. used to say that every other science brags about how many decimal points of accuracy they get, Astronomers on the other hand are happy if hey get the sign right.

          1. Climate “science” loudly proclaims many digits of accuracy but conceals whether they think they got the sign right.

            1. To be pedantic (and that is what we’re all here for, right?), it proclaims many digits of precision, but only demonstrates accuracy to within a few orders of magnitude (if that).

              1. Sometimes demonstrates accuracy, maybe. Somewhere in a musty office down on the third floor basement where real stuff might get studied once every third Tuesday in March on years ending in 13. I’ve seen where they put the monitoring stations. I was alive when we were all going to freeze to death before warming became a thing.

                I heard a thing once about blind hogs and acorns that might apply to climate science and accuracy. But knowing hogs, I’d bet on the them before your average climate scientist. At least the hog needs to eat. The climate scientist is under no such compulsion when it comes to accuracy, demonstrated many times over the past few decades.

        2. PS Did they tell you that conventional red-shift to distance calculations indicate that some objects are exceeding the speed of light in heading away from us? They usually sweep those under the cosmic rug.

          “swept under the rug” is an odd way to characterize a commonly talked about subject….

        3. My understanding was that it was causality that couldn’t travel faster than the speed of light, but it didn’t say anything about space itself getting bigger faster than that.

          1. And where is the proof that the speed of light has always been constant?

            I mean, if folks need to show their work…

        4. “Of course, last I checked we only can actually measure the distance of 150 stars. That’s the limit of the parallax from Earth’s orbit …”

          If NASA actually cared about science as opposed to politics, they’d start planning to put a telescope in orbit around Mars. The technical challenges of keeping it in a stable orbit, with two nearby moons to disrupt it, would probably be extreme — but the amount we could learn with the greater parallax would be quite interesting.

          It would be even more effective to put a telescope in orbit around Callisto or Ganymede if you want to measure the distance to a lot more stars, but I suspect the technical challenges there would be insurmountable. As in, the communications lag would be so great that we’d probably be unable to keep the orbit stable, and we’d likely lose the telescope before it had gathered enough data to be worth the cost. So I think Mars is the more feasible option.

          1. Comms lag means almost nothing for orbit stability. The process is too predictable too far in advance.

            That said; why would you put it in orbit of some random planet in the solar system? Put it in solar orbit, or if you must, a lagrange point.

            1. Point. I was thinking that solar orbit would be harder to maintain, but it would be quite a bit easier, wouldn’t it? No need to match velocities with the other planet or moon (so less of a delta-v budget), and far less of the sky obstructed at any given time. Yeah, solar orbit makes WAY more sense than what I was suggesting.

              1. Also there is just no reason to enter another gravity well for this kind of mission.

                Space doesn’t work that way. You don’t need to set stuff down so it doesn’t go anywhere.

                1. I wonder if we could plunk it on the Interplanetary Transport Network, and get useful data on its entire trip out to the outer edge of the solar system?

                  1. There the problems become long-term power, and power-size-bandwidth issues. Maybe solar panels are better now, but I call that such were alright as far as Mars, but you needed RTG’s or such beyond that.

                    1. And solid state components, most likely, for durability reasons. If you don’t want to use larger rockets, you’ll need gravity assist which means making sure the planets are in the right spots. Voyager took advantage of a rare 175 year long cycle to sidle up to Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune on the way out.

          2. They can do a little bit better with high-precision instrumentation, but there are limits. If someone would crowdfund a parallax-measuring telescope (with comm gear) to put somewhere around Jupiter or so and get SpaceX to launch it instead of waiting around for the gubmunt to get around to it, I’d even pitch in. No, don’t give me that “if it’s your idea, why don’t you do it?” look. I have my own revolutionary notion to push.

          3. The place to put such an instrument is in a solar orbit at a steep angle to the ecliptic. Most of the solar system’s random junk is close to the ecliptic, so spending most of its time away from the clutter would be an advantage. Fewer opportunities for meteoroids to punch holes in the mirrors.
            When reality doesn’t conform to your theories, it’s not the universe that’s wrong.

              1. Observations can be simultaneous in your receiving station’s reference frame if propagation times from the two instruments are equal.
                Can not run out of time. Time is infinite.
                You are finite. Zathras is finite. This…is wrong tool.
                No, no, no. Very bad. Never use this.

        5. Measure directly, perhaps. The bit is that within that there are other things and at each level a ‘standard candle’ is adopted, but each level is of lower precision. Cepheid variables, etc. It’s amused me that, at least for a while, a particular “constant” was doubling and halving each time it a measured or so it seemed and with that, the computed size of the universe. The frog-throat Universe. BIG-SMALL-BIG-SMALL… RIBBIT!

        6. > “I thought String Theory had already hanged itself.”

          “A brave little theory, and actually quite coherent for a system of five or seven dimensions–if only we lived in one.”

          ~ Academician Prokhor Zakharov

      2. Who died?

        As the saying goes, science advances one death at a time. So some ‘Luminary of Astrophysics’ must have kicked the bucket if we can now doubt the Big Bang.

        I always thought dark matter and dark energy were modern epicycles, though.

      3. And the Big Bang theory looks like it’s on life support after the James Webb Telescope data…

    2. Insty has some comments from Mark Tapscott on the issue. The OK, Banger establishment seems to be doing their best to suppress any wrongthink about non-Big Bang hypotheses. I guess “The Science is settled”. /sarc

      Lots of people have made their careers/reputations/big bucks on the BB theory and subsequent issues.


    3. Ponder the “bang” happening in a nonzero universe. We have singularities all over the current universe.

      The described first moment of the “bang” sounds like the Deep Time description of Black Hole “fast” evaporation umpteen Jillian years hence. Given enough time. Pop!

      Maybe I misread it. But that kinda sounded like a variation of steady state.

      If one singularity can suddenly expand, can others? Have others done so? Would those events explain a Gamma Ray Burst event?

  4. Alright folks for those of y’all that just might need a laugh…

    Y’all know that Fauci’s skipping out ahead of the midterms, right? He’s going to be gone sometime around December. The new House and Senate step in in January.

    Of course we all know this has nothing to do with ducking questions about his HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE actions during the last few years. That’d be positively unheard of, right?

    Seems he’s gotten some unexpected support by a man of such unimpeachable character, he’s never seen an orchard. Dan Freakin’ Rather said, and I quote:

    “Dr. Fauci, thank you for your service. Please ignore the haters.”

    One, is this a thing now? We’re thanking government bureaucrats for their “service”? Because that stuff is wack, folks. I’m talking “firey but mostly peaceful” level of wack. And dumb.

    Thank a solder for his service, as he’s wrote a check to the government in the amount of “up to and including my life.” Don’t thank bureaucrats. They’re not even in danger of missing a meal, let alone lethal harm.

    Two, Binger “please”? You have to effing beg Andy Five Jabs to accept your gratitude? Is this a “Thank you sir, may I have another?” moment? I think not, because that level of intelligent irony is several levels above this slow witted fool.

    Three, Dan. Freakin’. Rather. Is going to call us “haters”? Dan Fake But Accurate Rather? Really dude?

    This is funny on so many levels. I write fiction, and I couldn’t make this stuff up.

      1. Dan “Sarah and I and some others showed him to be a fool” Rather? Snort T’is to laugh.

        [Note: This was before the Blog Wars, on the when the Blog That Shall Not Be Named (because the owner will pop up and be a pest) really did afflict the corrupt and comfortable in US and international media. Then came the Blog Wars.]

          1. I always wondered what happened to Charlie. Was it a “Flowers for Algernon” thing? Or did someone uncover videos of compromising situations?

    1. Truth!

      The only way Fauxi can get justice is if the gallows at Nuremberg are still there.
      “The Science Is Settled!!” we are told, again and again — but then ‘The Science!’ changes every week, and somehow it’s always exactly what the bureaucrats need it to be.

      1. I’ve a whole raft of reasons why just killing is bad, awful, wrong, and only an option on the table because of limited time and resources. And a whole rant about why calling for the death of politicians, actors, and people in general isn’t good that I will spare everyone from.

        Short form, seek truth and follow where it leads. I’d be fine if the truth came out and Fauci got to sit in a dark hole in the ground and think shame on himself for what he did for a good long time. First thing is always protect the public. Second thing is allow for the possibility of redemption. Treat even the guilty with respect, because trusting the gov’t (which is made of fallible humans) to get something this important right every time is a fool’s game.

        It’s always the second one that’s the kicker.

        1. You are right. I use dark humor to cope but honestly I think most of these people won’t face any justice until after their deaths. So my belief in divine justice keeps me going.

          1. Himself gets the last word, always, and as it should be. I’ve got the same dark sense of humor betimes, myself.

            My comment was at least partly to remind my own self of that. And you know? Sometimes miracles do happen. For all his many flaws, Trump and MAGA were completely unexpected, should never have been possible…

            And happened at just the time when things were looking dark.

  5. The weirdest thing, been listening to various lectures on history, and wrote up a rant on how the prof was not asking important questions.. Problem is, it’s a protected class now, and it hit me, it wasn’t worth the likely trouble down the road.

    But it is still grist for the mill. Everything in the deep wilds is dangerous, because if it wasn’t, it would be dead, and now I have a reason for even a happy drunk Dionysus can go to full-on Cthulhu at the drop of a hat.

    1. Dear stars, yes. Look up the actual myths of Dionysian revels. His maenads were flipping terrifying. Not to mention all the cases of ‘Oh, you annoyed me and threw out my people? Here, have an overabundance of madness.’ He’s arguably worse than Hera in that regard.

      Hmm… I might take those myths and mold a Fae Lord for later stories. He seems like one of the Fae to me.

        1. Absolutely no rush whatsoever, Your Highness. Finish what you’re working on by all means.

          (College chaos means I haven’t even finished Witchfinder yet, and I started that a week ago! I’m
          a little ashamed of myself.)

      1. Question: What’s the difference between a god/goddess and a Fae Lord/Lady?

        Answer: One has temples built in his/her honor and the other doesn’t. 😉

        Oh, one fantasy novel has the Greek & Roman gods as a powerful group of Fae Lords not called gods. The same holds for the Norse gods and other gods.

        1. An excellent point. (And an interesting book, I’m sure.) In my works, the difference is more likely to be the following:

          Gods/Goddesses were chosen from among mortals (humans and other races) by beings of a nature just slightly more physical/rational than angels. These beings, called Nai’sen, granted them power and taught them to use it to protect their chosen flocks from the demons and monsters who constantly assaulted their world.

          The Fae are born of a twisted reflection of the mortals/rational animals of the world. (Specifically, of their emotional and instinctive drives, as well as the more wild and unpredictable aspects of rationality.) They belong to the Wilderland, which is just near enough to the mortal world to risk tripping into it by accident and just far enough away for that to be a statistical rarity.

          Essentially: gods and goddesses are ascended mortals. Fae Lords and Ladies are aliens.

            1. Huh. Interesting.

              Demons are real, and different – in my worldview, at least – but I could see that as an explanation for faeries, UFOs, and the various monsters including but not limited to vampires, dragons, and werewolves.

              1. I will point out recently Keel’s books became available on the kind.
                I was working on the house in Colorado, and sleeping badly. So I downloaded them. Late at night, I was reading one alone in my room, and all of a sudden… the dark had teeth and eyes. I didn’t see it, but I could feel it.
                It spooked me so badly I downloaded and read a pride and prejudice fanfic till dawn.
                About two months ago I thought “That was because I was so ill” and I started reading one of them. WITH DAN SLEEPING NEXT TO ME.
                The evil feeling returned.
                If I re-read those books, I’ll do it during the day, but I have to tell you I’m not enthused. Maybe I’m nuts.

      2. I think it was Overly Sarcastic Productions that did a thing on him. I think their take was he was probably some sort of earth death and rebirth god that later generations sort of turned into a party god and that was why his stories seemed to be a mixture of drunken revelry and unleash the Lovecraftian Horror.

        I could definitely see him as a fae lord. Possibly one that’s been partially civilized enough to seem not crazy, until something trips his hidden Orange/Blue morality. Or maybe it is a violation of civilized norms, but he response is all out of proportion?

        1. A mixture of both would be my approach, I think. Plus some similarities to his more well-known Greek portfolio.

          Essentially, approach him as you would alcohol. If you trust him too much, you’ll be made a fool of at best. At worst, someone (maybe you) will end up dead as a result. You can visit his revels briefly – they’re one of the few places a traveler in the Wilderlands can eat and drink without being obligated to someone/something thereafter – but don’t stay too long. Avoid the drunken orgies that occur later in the evening. (There will be excuses you can give to the other guests if they try to convince you to remain – “I go seeking a unicorn,” or the like, for example. It sounds a little trite, but there’s something of an agreement between the Lord and Lady of Unicorns and Dionysus that he won’t make any effort to corrupt their people.)

          Respect him, his power, and his people, and you probably won’t need to fear him.

          1. And, of course, he’s not consistent. There’s a classical Greek depiction where he says;

            For sensible men, I prepare only three kraters: one for health (which they drink first), the second for love and pleasure, and the third for sleep. After the third one is drained, wise men go home. The fourth krater is not mine anymore – it belongs to bad behaviour; the fifth is for shouting; the sixth is for rudeness and insults; the seventh is for fights; the eighth is for breaking the furniture; the ninth is for depression; the tenth is for madness and unconsciousness.

  6. There probably are government bureaucrats who routinely risk their lives, but they probably work for the National Parks doing rescues, or something like that.

    1. Like the ones in Carlsbad Caverns and in Zion National Park, looking for the hikers who got swept away. One lady is still missing from the group in Zion. (Flash flood caught the group on the trail.)

    2. That’s on me. I mentally separate those that drive a desk for a living from those employed by the government at jobs that are actually needed, useful, and involve real work rather than paper-work and only paperwork. I’ve a few friends from the Park services and the like who most definitely aren’t the type to have their butts welded to chairs for eight hours a day.

    1. On the interesting side, given the times we live in, I just had a spate of completely insane comments all from an IP address in Washington DC, and all …. bizarre.
      I have no clue what’s going on, other than someone with mental illness, but my head cannon right now is that Hunter Biden is trying to comment here. While on crack.

      1. Well, serious mental health problems showing up among the opposition would be expected in certain ensembles of the standard models.

        Of course, this isn’t useful information, because most ensembles of the standard models range everywhere from ‘communists are literally insane’ to ‘actually, the turnips /are/ out to get us’.

      2. Or Maybe its The Big Guy/Turnip. He doesn’t even NEED to be on crack to make not one whit of sense…

  7. As long as you are simply a bit tardy (as if we would hold you to some kind of schedule) and not The Late Sarah A. Hoyt, I think we can deal with it. And if the former can help prevent the latter, even more so.

  8. first 2 covers are way to grainy imho.
    don’t use iray in daz studio.
    and put the renders through an oil paint filter.

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