This seems newsworthy to me but no-one else has pointed so I will. William Gibson, unofficially and without much fuss, is previewing his next novel-in-progress on his blog.

For those who unlike me aren’t fans: Gibson’s novels come in series. The current instance includes 2003’s Pattern Recognition and 2007’s Spook Country. The latter also was previewed, but not in such a way that I (at least) spotted its links with its series predecessor. This time it’s obvious; as I write, the most recent offering CRICKET features three familiar names, including Spook Country’s leading lady Hollis Henry, and “Hubertus Bigend”, who is the most obvious thread connecting the current series’ novels. Bigend, I might say, is one of my least favorite Gibson characters; although presented as a real live twenty-first century business executive, he seems rather completely implausible, harder to believe in, for example, than one or two grittily-realistic cyborg-flavored artificial-intelligence-driven spacefaring ninjas previously featured in the Gibson oeuvre. Maybe I know too many executives and not enough ninjas.

I think Mr. G needs to reach back for a little more this time out. I mean, I’ll buy it anyhow because reading his writing makes me happy. But I’d like to be surprised at least once more in our bright fast-aging century.

Question · Are there any other authors, partaking of some combination of popular and good, who are doing the blog-preview thing?


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From: jeff gapp (Feb 03 2009, at 07:16)

There are a few others who do something similar.

One that comes to mind immediately is Scott Sigler.

He has done a bunch of podcasting with his books. Built a following and then released a couple of novels.

The most recent hit 33 on the NYT list. Fun to see.


From: Paul Bouzide (Feb 03 2009, at 08:36)

I just finished "Pattern Recognition" and loved it. I agree that Bigend isn't the most likeable or plausible character (but I really enjoyed the Cayce Pollard character).

But anyway I really think Gibson's genius isn't so much flawlessly plausible character development as much as capturing the nuances of the intersection of technology and human nature.

Examples that really resonated for me in Pattern Recognition included the "slow tethering in of the soul left behind" as a way to explain the dislocation of jet lag. Or the concept of "mirror worlds" to capture the culturally determined differences between everyday artifacts in a modern industrial society (like the "safe" "beefy" UK-style mains power plugs as opposed to North Americans who "play fast and loose with electricity").


From: mxt (Feb 03 2009, at 08:53)

Check out Cory Doctorow,, one of the majors at He's written; Little Brother, Eastern Standard Tribe, Overclocked: Stories of the Future Present, Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town, A Place So Foreign and Eight More, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom. All are available as CC downloads and chapter podcasts.


From: John Cowan (Feb 03 2009, at 10:20)

Eric Flint, the sf and alternate history writer, posts his novels-in-progress on his blog, snippet by snippet. They then go off to Baen Books, where you can download them in unrevised form at premium prices (for those who MUST have them right away!), around US$15, and then in complete edited form at around US$6. Eventually some of them migrate to the Baen Free Library, where you can download them for $0. ("The first hit is free.")

What's more, the download formats are DRM-free and include not only various popular readers but also plain old HTML and RTF -- I like RTF best, because you don't have to click, you can just scroll with the thumbwheel as you read. Baen Books does this with most of their other authors as well, and WebScriptions, the e-fulfillment arm, also has deals with other publishers.


From: Dan Davies Brackett (Feb 03 2009, at 10:21)

Peter Watts, at , has released a great deal of his fiction. It's all science fiction; most of it is about the uglier side of humanity; almost all his characters are very, very angry.

Charles Stross has released some of his work as well, most notably the novel Accelerando ( and the story Concrete Jungle (available on his website,


From: Steve Giovannetti (Feb 03 2009, at 10:56)

Rudy Rucker has published snippets of his autobiography, a work in progress, on his blog at He's got a mighty feed brewing there. Kind of like on of his novels, trippy, mathematical, and funny as hell.


From: Mars Cavers (Feb 13 2009, at 16:25)

Wayne Stier has started his new book, Myth of the Wagon Star on his blog along with his own fragments in entries. Go to and more wise messages are in the website

As a philosopher and artist he puts ideas together that the dominant western culture has not chosen to address and then adds in lilt. Being rooted in Hawai'i at present is a great advantage for gathering divergent ideas.


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