I can only store so much backstock at my house, so supplies are limited, but I already have more on order. All US orders are shipped via USPS Media Mail. I’m happy to ship internationally, for that I use USPS Priority Mail International. Shipping a book/books internationally can be cost prohibitive, but I will ship to Canada. In the past, I did ship to the UK as well, but with the all the convoluted Brexit rules, I won’t be shipping there for the foreseeable future. If you live somewhere else, shoot me an email and we’ll figure it out.
If swag or signed books isn’t your thing, or you prefer cheaper shipping, or want to start reading ASAP, you can acquire Gleam Upon the Waves from any of the links below.
Up until now the Gleam Upon the Waves swag set has been missing a key piece. Remember, a few weeks ago, when I mentioned I was working on a top secret bookmark? Well, I am please to say it has arrived in all its horrific wriggly glory. Avert thine eyes from the madness-inducing tentacled terror of The Bookmark of the Deep!
Raunch Reviews is a series about profanity. Not real profanity, but speculative swearing. Authors often try to incorporate original, innovative forms of profanity into our own fantastical works as a way to expand the worlds we build. Sometimes we’re successful. Often we’re not. In this series, I examine the faux-profanity from various works of sci-fi and fantasy, judge their effectiveness, and rate them on an unscientific and purely subjective scale. This is Raunch Reviews, welcome.
Look, I realize that Isaac Asimov wrote the first Foundation stories in the nineteen-forties, and the first book didn’t arrive until the nineteen-fifties. I also recognize that white Americans, in particular, like to pretend that this was some glorious era of American history where the nuclear family was the norm, everyone washed their hands before dinner, and children always called adults “mister” and “ma’am.” But, I also know this is an era where terms like FUBAR and SNAFU were invented, and a glance through the Green’s Dictionary of Slang records plenty of new vulgarities emerging. So, it’s important to acknowledge that the wholesome mystique of the fifties is mostly myth wrapped up in attractive propaganda. Foul language was common even then, despite what folksy feel-good television programming would like to tell us.
All that said, there’s a reason why that propaganda is effective. Much of the content from that era seems clean—but, publishing was operating under different rules in the middle of the twentieth century, and censorship was in full swing. Publishing something even mildly vulgar was difficult—J. D. Salinger notwithstanding. But that’s not an excuse when it comes to fictional profanity, which makes Asimov’s choice of “space” for a futuristic oath a bit silly, even for its era.
Throughout Foundation, it’s common for characters in the book to shout out a “No, by Black Space, no!” or “Great Space!” and every time it stands out a little more than it should—coming across more cute than effective. I’ve talked about the impact of oaths in the past, especially oaths that are blasphemous, and how they tend to extend beyond the standard lifespan of your typical run-of-the-mill profanity. That’s not what’s happening here. The concept of “space”—at least within the first book—is never treated with a particularly deific reverence. The titular Foundation’s faith is based on knowledge and nuclear energy/power. So when the “space” oath gets referenced, it feels out of place and awkward. Even swearing by “nuclear” or the “atom” would make more sense within the story’s context, and neither would have come across so twee.
Have a suggestion for Raunch Reviews? It can be any made-up slang word from a book, television show, or movie. You can email me directly with your recommendation or leave a comment below. I’ll need to spend time with the property before I’ll feel confident reviewing it, so give me a little time. I have a lot of books to read.
Excite to see that Gleam Upon the Waves finally showed up on IndieBound (it generally trails bigger bookstores a bit). That means if you’re like me and you like buying physical books from your local independent, most of them should be able to get you a copy! Woohoo! Just ask. Indie shops are always eager to order a book for you.
I should have stock for my own store later this week. If you’re holding out until you can buy a signed copy direct from me, they should be available real soon. (Thanks for your patience.)
If you haven’t picked up Gleam Upon the Waves yet, here’s all the links to help you rectify that:
I’ve appreciated the exciting emails I’ve gotten and the messages I’ve received. You all have made me make me feel pretty dang great. I sincerely hope everyone’s enjoying the book. Please leave an honest review when you’ve finished, and tell your friends. Word of mouth is always the best advertising for a book.
As I’ve been rolling out my Reader Resources for The Bell Forging Cycle, I thought it’d be helpful to give them their own space. While they’re similar to the stills you find on Echoes, they’ve grown into their own thing over the last few months. As new ones arrive I’ll keep adding them there. (That page also lets me show off the fun noir-esque title cards.)
In the past, I’ve released my book playlists before the launch of the book. These tend to be inspiration playlists, not the music I find myself writing to. (If you’re interested in a “writing playlist,” let me know in the comments! I’d be happy to assemble something. There’s very much a “type” of music I listen to when writing a Bell Forging Cycle book.) Since Gleam Upon the Waves has been out for a little over a week, I thought I’d go a step further and not only share the playlist but give a few details, why I chose particular songs, and how I felt they reflected (and inspired) aspects of the story.
The following details will contain Gleam Upon the Waves spoilers. So, if you’re still reading, I’d recommend avoiding the rest of this post until after you finished the book. For the rest of you, let’s head deeper into the playlist.