Invisible Sun by Charles Stross

TomMazanec

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What is it with this book!? I check the date on Amazon when it is to be released, mark it on my calendar, and when the date gets near they postpone it eight months or so. They just moved it from January to September. This is the third or fourth time. WHAT IS GOING ON?
 

Jo Zebedee

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What is it with this book!? I check the date on Amazon when it is to be released, mark it on my calendar, and when the date gets near they postpone it eight months or so. They just moved it from January to September. This is the third or fourth time. WHAT IS GOING ON?
It’s likely to do with Covid. The publishing scheldule is completely mucked up with so much unpublished last year due to shops being closed being pushed back, and then that’s had a knock on effect.
 

Ursa major

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It isn't just Covid: as Stross himself has pointed out in a number of posts on his blog**, there have been various other intrusions by reality, some of them personal (including illnesses and deaths in the family).


** - Note that the link is to his whole blog, not to any specific instances of why he's been delayed.
 

TomMazanec

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I presume it was just about written...why would such issues in an author's life delay it? Can't he just send it to the publisher?
 

Jo Zebedee

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I presume it was just about written...why would such issues in an author's life delay it? Can't he just send it to the publisher?
And then the publisher sends edits. And then after the edits there’ll be more edits. And then the copy edits to approve. Plus a publishing scheldule to agree with many many hours promotion (might also be why it’s put back since there have been no sff conventions - apart from virtual - since before Easter this year). And, here’s a weird thing - writers aren’t machines. When life is hard and crap, sometimes the words just don’t come.
 

TomMazanec

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No, Ursa major, that was an noninsider opinion, and it did have an answer...Jo Zebedee gave it.
What was the last book published by Stross before these problems came up, and when was it published?
 

Ursa major

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What Jo Zebedee said is undoubtedly true for just about all authors. (I suppose the exceptions would be those authors whose work either really needs no editing or are of the stature (or have temperament) that persuades their publisher that it's best not to tell them that edits are needed.)

But you asked about a specific book (with, obviously, a specific author) and I provided one of the main reasons why that book has been delayed.

Now unless you thought that either,
  • I'd provided a reason that had nothing to do with the delay, or
  • you believe (based on having no insider knowledge) that Stross, for some reason, is (or should be) able to shrug off all deaths that might occur in the family (even ones that you've been told led to the delay) and plough on regardless,
your response seemed, in my eyes, to lack the sympathy that ought to apply to an author -- any author -- whose work has been delayed by tragic circumstances.


With regard to your question, search engines and Wikipedia are your friends.
 

TomMazanec

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I thought when a book is said to be published in six or eight weeks, that it is obviously virtually complete. My one published article took only one go around of editing. When you are a month or two away from release I would assume that all that is left is getting the books printed up, bound, and sent to the stores to be put on the racks.
 

TomMazanec

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Also I see he had a book come out this year, Death Lies Dreaming iirc. So he is still coming out with books.
I went some months back in the blog and did not notice the deaths. But why should deaths hold up a book for eight months? When my mother died (when I was ten) I missed one day of school. When my father died I just called to let my boss know, but I then came in to work as normal. I could see eight days, maybe a month, but eight months?
 

Jo Zebedee

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Also I see he had a book come out this year, Death Lies Dreaming iirc. So he is still coming out with books.
I went some months back in the blog and did not notice the deaths. But why should deaths hold up a book for eight months? When my mother died (when I was ten) I missed one day of school. When my father died I just called to let my boss know, but I then came in to work as normal. I could see eight days, maybe a month, but eight months?
People vary in the impact grief has on them.
Pray you never know how hard it can be.
And we don’t have the right to expect others to behave as we do.
But, also, this happens all the time in publishing especially this year. I run a bookstore and I can’t tell you how many titles have gone over their release date this year. It’s mostly to do with Covid as I said in my first post and that all the spring titles were pushed back and that’s had a knock on. Also for a big book with a lot invested the publisher will want shops open to sell through so may hold off until things are surer.
 

Ursa major

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I thought when a book is said to be published in six or eight weeks, that it is obviously virtually complete.
Then you thought wrong... but you can always take this up with Amazon (other sellers of books are available) or the publisher.
My one published article took only one go around of editing.
You really think an article is like a novel... and, in this case, not just any novel, but the final book in a trilogy (a trilogy that follows on from a previous trilogy, one so large that it was originally published as six books), a novel that involves interactions between governments mired in political intrigue on three parallel worlds (and all-too-direct contact with many more)? Yes, that sounds just like an article that needs just the one edit....
I would assume that all that is left is getting the books printed up, bound, and sent to the stores to be put on the racks.
But, as I explained, apparently to no avail, the hold-up was much earlier in the process: one cannot print and bind a book whose writing is not complete. (Well, one could, but I doubt the readers would react with much joy on reading it.)


I'm afraid we all have to accept that our knowledge of industries and activities outside our own direct experience can often be flawed, and through no fault of own own, just the lack of any way of knowing the reality experienced by others. I have, over the years, found that quite similar sorts of people working on associated aspects of the same complex task can have very different perspectives, to the extent that they can find themselves using many of the same words to mean quite different things (something that needs to be sorted out quickly before too much work --- work that ends up having to be discarded -- is done).
 

TomMazanec

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If it is edits, how does Amazon know that there will be five more cycles, say? As opposed to fifteen? Or fifty? Why would Amazon say the book will be published on a specific date six months in the future if, as you all point out, that is unknowable? Is this Amazon's fault? If so maybe they should just offer a book for preorder to be mailed/downloaded eventually. This is what I in effect did...preordered the book and it will show up in my Kindle in September. Or 2022. Or when ever.
And maybe I'll look into the Laundry Cycle as well...I had a friend back in my hometown who was into the Cthulu Mythos.
 

Jo Zebedee

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If it is edits, how does Amazon know that there will be five more cycles, say? As opposed to fifteen? Or fifty? Why would Amazon say the book will be published on a specific date six months in the future if, as you all point out, that is unknowable? Is this Amazon's fault? If so maybe they should just offer a book for preorder to be mailed/downloaded eventually. This is what I in effect did...preordered the book and it will show up in my Kindle in September. Or 2022. Or when ever.
And maybe I'll look into the Laundry Cycle as well...I had a friend back in my hometown who was into the Cthulu Mythos.


Amazon uses the publishers date which is provided to them and to the book trade. That's all they get to see. It's not their fault, and it is the publisher who lists it and who makes it available for mail order, as far as I know. In fact, the Amazon listing will have come directly from the publisher. Why not try writing to them instead of asking something we don't know the definitive answer to.

For the third time (it would be nice if you actually responded to this instead of going down multiple rabbit holes and making this all about the author), many many publishers have not released books they were due to this year. Many many have a backlog of books to be released. Half the reading world for Charles Stross is in lockdown with bookstores closed, in a place of limbo that does not know when this situation will change. Publishers don't want to release a book they can't sell (bricks and mortar is a significant amount of the selling for any book, despite rumours of its demise) because they have no premises.

There is no great conspriacy. This is a business and supply chain that is intricate and tricky and hugely disrupted.
 

Vince W

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I wouldn't use Amazon as a trusted source of information. When William Gibson was getting ready to publish Agency Amazon had set a date for pre-order but then a tragic event occurred that required him to completely rewrite the story. Many of us here are waiting on Ken MacLeod's Notes on The Culture and that has been delayed numerous times. I won't even mention how long people have been waiting for certain doorstop fantasy novels.
 
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TomMazanec

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Well I'm sorry then. If this were once I would have said happenstance, and twice coincidence. But this is the third or fourth time.
If it were just a so-so series it would be different, but I am infatuated by this series and they keep going "here you are...nope! here it is...bye! here we are...uh-uh!" so it is driving me crazy.
If everyone says I am wrong than obviously I was wrong. I apologize.
 

hitmouse

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Well I'm sorry then. If this were once I would have said happenstance, and twice coincidence. But this is the third or fourth time.
If it were just a so-so series it would be different, but I am infatuated by this series and they keep going "here you are...nope! here it is...bye! here we are...uh-uh!" so it is driving me crazy.
If everyone says I am wrong than obviously I was wrong. I apologize.
Suggest you write to your MP, or Congressman, or whatever, to express your outrage.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Well I'm sorry then. If this were once I would have said happenstance, and twice coincidence. But this is the third or fourth time.
If it were just a so-so series it would be different, but I am infatuated by this series and they keep going "here you are...nope! here it is...bye! here we are...uh-uh!" so it is driving me crazy.
If everyone says I am wrong than obviously I was wrong. I apologize.
Try talking to any Patrick Rothfuss fan... :D
 

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