SFWA Science Fiction Story Bundle: A Guest Post by Felix R Savage (@FelixRSavage)

My book in the SFWA bundle, Crapkiller, is the prequel to the first SF series I ever wrote: Sol System Renegades. Prior to that I had been writing epic fantasy and not having much luck with it. I’d trudged through the usual round of rejections from agents and publishers which most writers are depressingly familiar with. My decision to start self-publishing coincided with my transformation into a science fiction writer, but this was not in fact a coincidence; the two paradigm shifts are related.

Though I had seen myself as a fantasy writer for decades (I started scribbling in childhood), I had slowly come to the realization, amidst the rejections, that I was dissatisfied with my own work. It failed to be real enough. Whatever I wanted to write about, be that epic war or exiles’ quests (it was usually both of those things), I had to clothe it in the costumes of a made-up world. It began to feel like a pointless circumambulation. Humanity, in fact, exists in this universe and no other. The best fantasies and the authors who originally inspired me to write—from J R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and Alan Garner through to George R. R. Martin—deliver mythic resonance. Whether for children or grown-ups, these are retellings of the mythic heritage we share, which forms our imaginations. I’m deliberately avoiding the words “fairy tale” because unfairly, they’ve taken on a derogatory ring. I see nothing whatsoever wrong with fairy tales, and I love myths and legends. I love fantasy! But I had been writing it for the wrong reasons—reasons left over from my fish-out-of-water, third-culture-kid childhood: I was trying to escape into another world, not to participate in the great communal myth-retelling project for the betterment of this one.

I had been a coward.

That realization shamed me into manning the f*** up. One fine day in the autumn of 2014 I sat down to pen The Galapagos Incident, Book 1 of the Sol System Renegades series, and I’ve never looked back. Now I get to write about all the cool things in the world—in this world: love and family and friendship and heroism and the quiet struggles of folks just trying to get along … as well as epic wars and quests! Also, I get to indulge my deranged passion for spaceships.

So how does this relate to sell-publishing? It turns out that the missing piece during my long tour of the slush piles was a proper and commensurate focus on the reader. Let’s do that again in big honking red letters. Focus on the reader! During my dark night of the soul, I had been too focused on winning the brass ring of a publishing contract. Let me hasten to add that I am not anti-traditional publishing. In fact, if any editors reading this would like to offer me a six-figure deal, my email address is at the bottom of this blog post. Seriously, though, they do what they do and they do it well. But while seeking to get published, I had lost sight of the reason I started writing in the first place: to make readers happy. I’m all about the books, and the readers who hopefully get to spend a few hours in a thrilling place while reading them. Indie publishing allows me to focus 100% on the books, and the incomparable joy of sharing an imaginative journey with other people.

But to reach the point where I could launch my books on Amazon and trust that they would find happy harbors in readers’ hands, I had to get to grips with the reality of my life in this world. This was part and parcel of the same shift in mentality that made me turn to science fiction.

Life in this world is so damn exciting! Every day brings more news of strife and scientific breakthroughs. My own lifetime—I was born on the tail end of Generation X—has spanned massive social and technological transformations with more to come. I believe we’ve got to be in our times but not of them. As a science fiction writer, I could tap bleeding-edge technology to design a nuclear-powered spaceship for my Earth’s Last Gambit series; as an indie publisher, I can flexibly sell my books wherever the readers are. When* NASA’s Mars sample return mission succeeds, I’m planning to write a series that draws on their findings; when the indie publishing landscape changes, I’ll change my publishing strategy to match. The common thread is a constant and relentless focus on reality, with a heaping side of what if?

One of my favorite things about SFWA, as the professional association for science fiction and fantasy writers, is that we all help each other, regardless of the particular paths we’ve chosen to follow. SFWA brings science fiction together with fantasy, and traditionally published authors together with indie authors, all in the service of providing great books to readers. That’s why I’m honored to be a part of this bundle: it exemplifies my own goal of entertaining and delighting the maximum number of people possible.

 * Yes, I said when not if. I’m an optimist.


About the Author

Felix R. Savage writes hard science fiction, space opera, and comedic science fiction. For the time being he lives in Tokyo with his wife, two daughters, and their feline overlords. He woke up one day to learn that he was a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, but he continues to keep a low profile, and never stops watching out for any sign the lizard people have found him.


About the Book

SFWA Science Fiction Story Bundle
Welcome to the largest, grandest and most out there bundle SFWA has ever done: the Sci-Fi SFWA Space Bundle! With 17 books that range from hardcore military sci-fi to character-focused alien encounters, we might have gone through the wormhole and out the other side.

SFWA serves authors at all points in their careers and we've embraced that diversity for this bundle. First, the Self-Publishing Committee reached out to a number of sci-fi authors throughout the genre who we know have enthusiastic and diverse fanbases. Then we opened the bundle up for submissions to our entire membership. We received far more submissions than we could actually put in this bundle, but after some rousing debate, we settled on a total of 17 spectacular titles.

Some of the proceeds of the bundle go to support SFWA in its mission to support, promote, inform, defend, and advocate for professional fantasy and science fiction writers. For more about the organization, see sfwa.org. For its grants program, see http://www.sfwa.org/2017/09/call-grants-2017/ – Daniel Potter

Not only that, but during our 3 week run, all StoryBundle newsletter subscribers get Qualify - The Atlantis Grail Book 1 by Vera Nazarian for free. Make sure to get that so you can enjoy Compete - The Atlantis Grail Book 2 by Vera Nazarian, available in the bundle!

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!