A Pleasant Surprise (I Hope)

I’m buried so deep in this Retrieval Artist saga that my brain currently resides on the Moon. Those of you who read the Retrieval Artist know what I mean. The rest of you are probably aware that I’m writing something huge, but you haven’t read any Retrieval Artist stuff, so you’re feeling a bit… Well, I’d like to say left out, but you’re probably not. Maybe you’re intrigued. Or maybe you looked at the Retrieval Artist series, and got overwhelmed.

I think I have a way to fix that.

My airheadedness extends to dates and times. Some time ago—in January?—Kevin J. Anderson asked me to take part in what he now calls The Cosmic Science Fiction Bundlewhich he’s doing through Storybundle.com. Initially, I had thought of adding a Diving Universe novel—I haven’t done a bundle with one of those yet—but as the time got closer, I realized something: A lot of you want to read the Retrieval Artist series, might even be one or two books in, and haven’t reached this saga within the series yet. And the saga stands alone. Yes, it would be better if you go back and start with The Disappeared. Allyson Longueira of WMG Publishing wrote a post this week encouraging readers to go back to the beginning of the series, and start there.

Of course, I’d love it if you do that. But you folks, like me, have limited reading time, and limited dollars. I know a lot of you are curious about this big project I’m working on, and haven’t yet committed to the series. You find it daunting. So…somewhere in the midst of my Moon gazing and Kevin’s insistence that I pay attention to the passage of time, I realized that the best book to put in the bundle is Anniversary Day, the first book in the Anniversary Day Saga.

The bundle went live today, and the really neat thing about it is that you can get Anniversary Day and five other novels for as little as $3. (You can set your own price. You can pay more if you would like.) Those six novels are:

Frank Herbert—DESTINATION VOID

Jay Lake and Ken Scholes—METAtropolis: The Wings We Dare Aspire

Kevin J. Anderson and Doug Beason—ASSEMBLERS OF INFINITY

Kristine Kathryn Rusch—ANNIVERSARY DAY

Mike Resnick—FIRST PERSON PECULIAR

Peter J. Wacks—SECOND PARADIGM

Impressive, huh? A Frank Herbert novel, one of Jay Lake’s last projects, one of my favorite Kevin and Doug books, a collection of Mike’s stellar (pun intended) short stories, and Peter’s intriguing Time Corps novel.

Of course, this being a Storybundle, you can spend as little as $12 and get three more novels:

Brandon Sanderson—LEGION

Anne McCaffrey & Jody Lynn Nye—CRISIS ON DOONA

Michael A. Stackpole—PERFECTLY INVISIBLE

I know, I know. I think this may be the first time an Anne McCaffrey novel has been in a bundle. She and Jody worked together on a lot of projects and they’re marvelous. As is Brandon’s work, of course, and Mike’s—that would be Michael A. Stackpole (Mike). Mike Resnick is pretty fantastic as well, but I mentioned him above. (Yes, I’m punchy. I’m dealing with clones and murders and bombings and I’ve been staring at the Moon for months now. What do you expect? [VBG])

One of the things I love the most about participating in a Storybundle is the way that Jason Chen set the business up. Sure, the writer synergy is great: we get to introduce ourselves to each other’s fan bases. But I think the best part is how these bundles raise money for various charities. We’ve raised a lot of money for a lot of places.

This time, the bundle’s charity has a personal connection. Here’s what Kevin says about it:

A portion of the proceeds from storybundle.com goes to a designated charity, and this time it will benefit a cause close to one of our own. Jay Lake, coauthor of METATROPOLIS in the Cosmic SF Bundle, just passed away on June 1 after a long battle with cancer. METATROPOLIS was rushed through production, and he received a finished copy of the print book less than two weeks before he died. The storybundle charity for the Cosmic SF Bundle is the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund, which Jay designated.

The Clayton Memorial Medical Fund was set up years ago when writer Jo Clayton became ill. Since the fund was established in 1996, it has helped a number of my friends and your favorite writers through serious medical setbacks. I can vouch for this one: it’s a tremendous and needed charity.

You can designate how much of the price you pay goes to the charity. All of this is in your control, which is just plain fun, in my opinion.

Now, I know a lot of you here are already fans of the Retrieval Artist series and have a copy of Anniversary Day. Storybundle has a nifty feature that allows you to give the bundle to a friend. So, this is a great way to get your friends involved  before 2015, which Allyson’s calling The Year of The Retrieval Artist. She thinks that come January everyone will be talking about the Anniversary Day Saga. I hope she’s right.

For those of you who haven’t done a Storybundle, the download is remarkably easy. When I finish posting here, I’m going to download my copy. I’ve already read Destination Void, Assemblers of Infinity, and all the stories in First Person Peculiar, but I haven’t read the rest of the books. I know what I’ll be doing when I need a rest from staring at the Moon.

The other thing to know about Storybundle is this: The bundle is only available for a limited time. This one runs for three weeks. So, act fast, then please, tell your friends. Despite the tone of this piece (spacey, airheaded, goofy, and focused on the Retrieval Artist), I’m most interested in helping the Clayton Memorial Medical Fund. So get some great books at a great price, and help a lot of people. What could be better than that?

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