Frequently Asked Questions
A: Yes!Last updated:
A: Heh. Good eye!
The bookcase is one I made by taking an Ethan Allen TV Armoire and removing a bunch of junk, building some new shelves (oak laminated plywood and solid oak edge strips), drilling holes, etc.
The books are the ones that normally live there in my library. I've got a fully 20 volume set of the Oxford English dictionary, How Things Work, the complete works of Robert Heinlein (leather bound Virginia Integral Edition), etc.
In the background is a poster of the front cover of the first book.
...and, yes, that's a moon globe! The thumbtacks are placed at points relevant to the plot of the novels.Last updated:
Q: The good guys use 20mm firearms. Wouldn't a heavier round be sub-optimal for a guy who weighs 1/6 what he does on earth?
A: I imagine this is a purposeful softball, Brian, but the recoil from the Gargoyle firearm is going to be manageable (or not) based on the mass of the rifleman, not his weight. That said, a 20mm firearm is still really stupid and impractical - only a pigheaded guy would design one.
Most of the heroes in the book are pigheaded.
This is noticed by some of the other characters. :)
A tangent, though: one thing I tried to capture is that people are often their own worst enemies: they do what they are drawn to do, not just what would be smartest for them.
(And if anyone ever asks "are you modelling any of the characters after yourself?", I can respond: "Yes, ALL of them...to some degree!")Last updated:
Q: For those pledging $40 or more, can you specify how (or whether) your name is printed on the supporter page?
A: Once the kickstarter ends I will send out a survey asking everyone if they would like their name listed, and if so, how it should be spelled. Nicknames / pseudonyms / etc are fine!
I imagine I'll list the supporters in descending order of the tier they supported at.Last updated:
Q: I can't believe I'm asking this, but if you sign up for the lunatic package, how long do you have to get yourself to Manchester, New Hampshire for the dinner and conversation?
A: No time limit, but hit me up before I emigrate to some other planet or moon!Last updated:
A: Ha! My goal right now is just to break 200 backers / $10,000.
Think about how vast the gulf is from "200 people read a novel" to "it's made into a massive film / TV project".
At some level, I can't imagine that ever happening, not just bc of how few people have (currently) heard of the novel, but because of how unfilmable the book is.
On the one hand, there are amazing cinematic bits: zero gravity gun fights in an ocean-going cargo vessel at it flies through space, a man and a bunch of uplifted dogs doing a desperate salvage operation in a crater on lunar farside, kinetic energy weapons plunging into the Earth's atmosphere, huge urban battles with combat robots, infantry taking out APCs with 20mm man-portable rifles, and more.
...but on the other hand - HOW WOULD YOU FILM SUCH STUFF?
Yes, sure, with computer graphics, anything is possible...but I think the budget would have to be that of a $500M action blockbuster.
...and if that wasn't enough of a barrier, think about how vast the story of "Dune" is, and how hard it is to cram it into a 3 hour movie (or even a 5 hour miniseries). Dune was around 400 pages long. These two books are almost three times that length.
So, no, I can't easily imagine that this will ever be filmed.
...but it is a really nice thought, isn't it?
Q: I've never read any fiction by Heinlein, Niven, Pournelle, Vernor Vinge, or Neal Stephenson. If I wanted to read one single book from any of these authors to whet my appetite before your novels arrive, which would you suggest?
A: First, re Heinlein, Eric S Raymond described these novels as "a book that is at once an affectionate tribute to and criticism/response to 'The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress'". So read The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress by Heinlein.
Second, this book is vast and sprawling, and yet it all ties together neatly in the end. To get a feel for that kind of work by Niven and Pournelle, re-read Lucifer's Hammer...or perhaps Footfall.
Third, re Vernor Vinge: this is a book about freedom, and about the good guys out-thinking and out-maneuvering the bad guys. A Deepness in the Sky is the Vinge book that is most similar to this.
Finally, re Neal Stephenson: pretty much every Neal Stephenson novel is vast and ties together lots of plots. Cryptonomicon wouldn't be the worst match, but Anathem might be a bit better. Caveat: my book starts a fair bit faster than Anathem, and ends much better!Last updated:
Q: Does the lunatic package contain the character/business naming opportunity that's in the sold-out collector's edition hardcovers package?
It contains DOUBLE that. The lunatic package is basically TWO instances of the sold-out collectors edition package. The collector's edition package gives you one naming right. This is two of those...so you get to name TWO characters!
Also - and this is a change I'm just now announcing - the Lunatic Package is being UPGRADED from what was originally announced.
One set of books will still be the signed-and-numbered hardcover.
The second set will be an ultra-rare limited-to-an-edition-of-three-sets LEATHER BOUND signed-and-numbered hardcover.
These will be personally hand-bound by my master book binder John Rauscher of Molly Stark Bindery.Last updated:
A: An absolute maximum of 16 sets. Numbered in hexadecimal, from 0 through 0xf.
10 of these (numbered 0x6 through 0xf) are bound in gray cloth with white printing on the spine, and covered with a color dust jacket bearing an original full color illustration plus many wonderful and terrible reviews on the back. These are the collector's edition hardcovers.
3 more (numbered 0x3 through 0x5) are bound in black cloth with gold printing on the spine. These will also have the dustjacket.
The final 3 (numbered 0x0 through 0x2) are hand bound in fine leather. These may or may not have a dustjacket; the extra thickness of the book because of the leather might cause problems.
Each "Hero of Aristillus (lunatic package)" includes one set of the books in black-cloth-and-gold-printing, and one set of the books in fine leather.Last updated:
Q: Kickstarter only lets you choose one level of support. If a backer wants to acquire, say, a hardcover AND paperback set, or two sets of paperbacks, is there any work-around?
A: Yes. Add the price of the various rewards you want, and pledge that amount. At the end of the campaign a survey will go out and I will ask people what pledges they would like. E.g. if someone pledges $212 for the $100 hardcovers (+$14 shipping), they should respond to the survey by saying "my pledge of $212 should ALSO include two copies of the $40 trade paperbacks (+ $9/shipping per set)".
This is kludgy, I know, but this is what Kickstarter forces us to do. Thousands have complained to Kickstarter about this before, and thousands more will likely complain in the future, but we are where we are.
...and thanks so much for the interest in more than one set of the books!Last updated:
A: It is my understanding that it takes 14 days for funds to get released. In parallel with this I will send out surveys, asking people for details on their order (does the $100 pledge want one set of hardcovers, two sets of trade, or what? ...and each of the ten collectors edition hardcover pledges gets to specify a name for a minor character!).
Once the funds release I will immediately go to my printer and start cranking out orders, to direct ship to backers.
Printing and binding takes ~5 days.
Shipping takes ~5-7 days.
People who pledged for the collectors editions hardcovers will be getting signed and numbered books, so those will ship to my home, and I will turn them around within a day or so.
* KS ends: 18 April
* funds relased to me: 2 May
* books purchased from printer: 2 May
* books shipped by printer: 9 May
* books arrive at pledge backers: 16 May
* 10 collectors edition sets arrive at my house: 16 May
* I sign and reship 10 collectors edition sets: 17 May
* 10 collectors edition sets arrive at your home: 24 May
There is also one person who has signed up for the "lunatic edition", which will be bound in leather.
I do not have a precise schedule for that yet.Last updated:
A: within 24 hours of funds being released to me; 3 MayLast updated:
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