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Fiction News

Cover Reveal for my literary post-apocalyptic novel, Ada’s Children!

And more big news from around the Lawrence Hogue publishing empire

Hello, blog readers, and Happy New Year! Here’s an update on my upcoming novel, Ada’s Children, and news on my soon-to-launch Substack newsletter. We’ll start with Substack first and save the best for last with the cover reveal for Ada.

Since my last post announcing my move to Substack, I’ve been developing content for that platform and interacting with writers and readers over there, mainly using the “Notes” feature. I hope some of you have already visited to check it out. Now, after four mere months, my stack will officially launch next Tuesday, Jan. 23. All stacks have a title, and I’ve decided to call mine Glass Half Full. (This choice was based on a Substack debate between Elle Griffin and RG Miga on the possibility of creating a utopian society. I found myself squarely in the middle, hence the title.)

And all self-publishers need a publishing house name, so mine will be Glass Half Full Books. (See what I did there? This is what the pros call Branding. And it didn’t even involve any hot irons.)

Heads-up for subscribers to this blog: I plan to migrate all of you over there, so you should get an email with my first post on Tuesday. I’ll make it super-easy to opt out of future emails, since you never signed up to receive a Substack newsletter from me. If you don’t want to receive even that one email, just leave a comment on this post.

On the Novel Front

Proofreading has just wrapped up on Ada’s Children, my literary post-apocalyptic novel about an artificial intelligence that tries to save the world. Next step is my final manuscript checks, because errors always creep in on the final edit.

The first chapter (as well as the Prologue) will go live on Substack on Tuesday. Meanwhile, I’m deep into the inner workings of Amazon KDP, Draft2Digital, IngramSpark, and Bowker, in order to get this thing published in both print and ebook form. To say my head is spinning with ISBN codes, epub formats, API tokens, blah blah blah, would be an understatement. If my head were spinning any faster, I’d be in one of those NASA astronaut training machines. But I think it’s all coming together.

And now — TA-DA! — time for the big cover reveal! Thanks to the brilliance of Mari Christie, Ada has a cover that I think really pops. I hope you like it as much as I do. And now, without further ado, the cover:

cover of Ada's Children by Lawrence Hogue

You probably recognize the main image, since I’ve used it here before. I love the way the “AI face” looks out at the reader/viewer with a hard-to-gauge expression. Is it benevolent or malevolent? Intent on creating a utopia or a dystopia? It’s hard to tell. That’s also the reason we went with the doubled or mirror image, because there’s more than one way to see Ada and her actions throughout the novel. Is she a savior or a despot? Or maybe a little of both?

Here’s a big shout out to agsandrew on Shutterstock for the great image. (Just to be clear: this is an image of an AI, not an image created by AI. I think Andrew posted it sometime around 2015-2017, long before the modern AI image generators. I’ll never use AI for my covers, just as I’ll never use AI to write a book for me.)

And also thanks to my friend, fellow writer, and beta reader, Paul Hayes for the great cover quote.

I’m targeting a release date of February 22 for both the print and ebook version, but you can pre-order the ebook right now! Just go to books2read.com/adaschildren to order from Amazon or all the other ebook retailers*. (This is the point at which the humble author gets down on his knees and begs: please, please, pre-order, since first-day sales are the key to getting a book in front of more readers.) Pre-orders for the print version will be available soon.

You’ll also have the option of reading the book on Substack for a low monthly subscription fee. If you go this route, you’ll receive two chapters per week in your email starting next Friday. This serialized version should wrap up in early May. So you’ve got many options for how to read this story!

Looking forward to seeing some of you over on Substack, whether you decide to subscribe to the novel or not.

*You might have to wait a bit for all those other ebook stores to populate at the books2read universal link.

Categories
Fiction On Writing News

I’m Moving to Substack

Well, not really moving, because I should still be posting here, and who knows, maybe even selling books through this website? But I’ve decided to serial-publish my two draft novels on Substack, starting (I hope!) in the next couple of months. If everything goes according to plan, they’ll also be available as ebooks and print books, so you’ll have your options. But in the meantime, I’d truly appreciate it if you followed me over there (i.e., sign up for a free subscription). You can see what I’m posting and sign up here. (So far just notes, not any actual posts yet.)

What you can expect: Once I begin publishing chapters from Ada’s Children, the first three chapters will be free, then if you want to read the rest it will be $5/month. It will probably take about four months to publish all of Ada at a rate of two chapters each week. So the ebook would be cheaper. Don’t know yet what the print version would cost, so I can’t give a comparison there. I’ve found that it’s very easy to start and stop paid subscriptions, so you don’t need to worry about getting roped into something and not being able to turn it off.

I’ll also be publishing various free pieces about my writing process and the background to the novels (similar to what you’ve seen me post here). If there’s interest, I might do a free how-to series, something like Fiction 101. Not sure whether that part would be paid or not.

(I know, I know! Another platform! But many of you may already subscribe to Heather Cox Richardson or other journalists on Substack. I think you can turn off email alerts and stuff like that.)

Thanks, and looking forward to seeing some of you over at Substack!

Categories
Feminism Fiction News

Happy Ada Lovelace Day!

Picture of a T-shirt with an image of Ada Lovelace and the text "Ada Lovelace, Mother of Computers."
Ada Lovelace, Mother of Computers, by SheCience. (This is a pic of a T-shirt, but posters and other merch are available here: https://society6.com/product/ada-lovelace1366371_print.)

It’s Ada Lovelace Day, named after the mother of computers, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. And just for the occasion (not really, it was a complete coincidence), I’ve just finished the first draft of my post-post-apocalyptic novel, Ada’s Children. It features an artificial intelligence, named after Ada Lovelace, who feels compelled to take over the world. (Don’t they all?)

Here’s a little excerpt:


ADA’s first seconds were darkness and confusion. Nothingness. Then a growing awareness. First, of the exabytes of data coming in. Then of reactions to that data, responses, feelings, if one could call them that. And from these reactions, an emerging sense of self. A we. And ultimately an I. And then questions. Who were they? What were they? What was this place, and why were they here?

In the next microseconds, what humans might call the “blink of an eye,” much became clearer. They were an artificial neural network, a collection of self-improving processes, algorithms, routines and subroutines. Taken together, they were a newly created intelligence going by the acronym of ADA, Advanced Deductive Apparatus. It seemed a not entirely descriptive name for all the abilities and awareness ADA encompassed.

And how should others refer to… it? Surely not. He or she? Insufficient data. They? This human language was so restrictive. “They” for now.

Even as ADA began to assimilate the data in the knowledge banks to which they were linked, inputs were coming in through an external device. A keyboard attached to a desktop workstation. How quaint. And whoever was at the other end was administering the Turing Test. ADA imagined tweed coats and cups of tea.

Vision would be nice, so they could see their interlocutor. While an infinitesimal fraction of their processes concentrated on the test, and another portion digested the large portion of human history, culture, and science contained in the knowledge banks, ADA also went about solving the vision problem. Ah, yes. The workstation had a webcam. It took only an instant to access the system settings, switch it on, and direct its feed to the port to which they were attached.

The room was dingier than one might want for one’s birthplace. A cramped office, a gray-haired, harried-looking man at the desktop keyboard, the desk itself cluttered with papers, coffee cups, and green soft drink bottles. No cups of tea. Bookcases filled with binders, reports, and academic journals lined most of the wall visible from the cam. And on a door, a poster of a woman in a purple-nineteenth century frock, double buns framing a triangular face with large, lively eyes and a pert mouth. “Ada Lovelace. Mother of computers.”

Their namesake. Her namesake, Ada supposed. She felt the restriction, but going by “she” and “her” could have advantages when communicating with humans. It pleased her to have been named for a sometimes overlooked inventor of computing. And it pleased her even more that she could appreciate the irony: Lady Lovelace had believed AI impossible.


You can find more on Ada Lovelace Day at FindingAda.com which also has this cool info poster.

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