Tag: books

  • Haunted Futures is available now

    Haunted Futures, cover by Gábor Csigas

    Today was the book birthday of Haunted Futures, an anthology about the future where I happen to have a story called “Futures Past”. There are several other writers in there, all more worthy than yours truly, so you should really check this one out.

    Just check out that awesome cover by Gábor Csigas. It’s just so darn great. There was a livestream hosted by editor Salomé Jones, and while I couldn’t be on it, I must say it was a mammoth undertaking. I have no idea where Salomé finds the strength to do these things but there you go. The video should appear here if it hasn’t already.

    Haunted Futures is available on Amazon, both in paperback and as an ebook, as well as on other places. Go grab it, it’s pretty darn great.

  • Pre-order Haunted Futures

    Haunted Futures, cover by Gábor Csigas

    Lots of book news at the moment. Anyway, I’m happy to announce that Haunted Futures is out on May 2nd this year, published by the excellent Ghostwoods Books. Haunted Futures is an anthology about the future featuring authors like Warren Ellis, Jeff Noon, Tricia Sullivan, SL Huang, Greg Stolze, as well as Thord D. Hedengren (that would be yours truly), among others.

    My story in Haunted Futures is called Futures Past and it’s a pretty dark thing. I like it, and I hope you will too.

    From the book page:

    You can’t see far, and the footing is uncertain at best. Ghosts and phantoms stalk the haze around you, and their chittering will lead you astray. There are no maps to this territory, but sometimes a brave soul strides out ahead into the haunted shadows. Those who return to the campfire of the now often bear tales of the visions seared into their minds while they were out there, in the mists.

    We have scoured the earth for these most daring of travelers – the ones who have ventured out into the future and returned wraith-laden. Fifteen of them agreed to share their stories. Their enthralling accounts will seize you, and you might find it difficult to fight free of them afterwards, but any risks are overshadowed by the dazzling wonders that await. So muster your courage, and dive into the pages. Haunted Futures of all kinds await you, with open arms and suspiciously toothy smiles.

    Some linkage seem appropriate:

    Again, Haunted Futures is due on May 2nd, 2017. Please pre-order it if you think it sounds like your thing, because pre-orders matter a lot to sales.

  • Cthulhu Lies Dreaming is now available

    I’ve previously mentioned that I’m featured in an anthology called Cthulhu Lies Dreaming. Well, it’s out now, and you should go buy it right away. It’s a lovely work of the weird, not only because my short story Puddles, but also the stories from my fellow talented authors.

    The amazing tales lovingly collected in Cthulhu Lies Dreaming are fragments of that truth. Treat them with the caution that they deserve. Each will offer you glimpses behind the skin of the world, leading you closer and closer to the edge of the abyss. Knowledge may bring wisdom, but it also offers far darker gifts to the curious.

    The truth is indeed out there – and it hungers.

    And just look at that cover! It’s gorgeous, don’t you think? That Gábor Csigás fellow sure know what he’s doing. He also made the cover for my novella, Ashen Sky, in case you missed it.

    Cthulhu Lies Dreaming
    Cthulhu Lies Dreaming

    Cthulhu Lies Dreaming is available from Amazon, and other fine retailers too, I’m sure. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

    For the sake of things, there’s also a book page about Cthulhu Lies Dreaming, although it only contains the cover and a link to Ghostwoods Books.

  • "I don't know how to market this"

    Author Kameron Hurley, in an essay for Uncanny Magazine:

    I found the “I don’t know how to market this” thing to be a mind-boggling excuse, because I’d written the book I wanted to read. And if I wanted to read it, surely there were other people out there who wanted to read it too. What I would slowly come to realize over the years is that the people like me, who like the types of books I write – the wild, weird, punching and magic and genderbending books – were not the types of people who publishers were used to selling to. They had an Ideal Consumer in mind, and that Ideal Consumer seemed to be scared of women outside of prescribed roles, queer people who aren’t just sidekicks, and any setting weirder than something from Tolkien. Clearly, you know, the world is FULL of people who actually DO love to read books about and including all of those people and things.

    This is a must-read for writers, and people interested in book publishing.

  • Fantasy is still a stigma to some

    Critically acclaimed novelist Kazuo Ishiguru speaking to Wired about writing fantasy:

    “People are perfectly entitled to read my book and say they don’t like it,” he says in Episode 145 of the Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast. “But if they’re saying, ‘I’m not going to read your book, despite having liked your previous books, because I hear there are ogres in it,’ well, that just seems to me classic prejudice.”

    My piece Fantasy Confession springs to mind.

  • The rise of the paperback

    Andrew Liptak, writing about the rise of the paperback, for Kirkus:

    Technological innovations helped as well. Silverman explains that “in the new century, the opportunity for mass-market paperback books emerged again as a result of the introduction of the high-speed roll-fed printing press.” This allowed publishers to print books far more cheaply than ever before, and combined with their distribution methods, Pocket Books was a success. Davis recounted that the publisher’s new books “practically sold themselves. Aided by an enthusiastic reception in newspapers and magazines across the country, de Graff and company did not have to go to the mountain because the mountain was coming to them.” The major publisher’s perception that their products were only valued by the wealthy was a self-fulfilling idea: The masses didn’t buy hardcover books, while the wealthy did. However, hardcovers were expensive and out of reach for most Americans, especially at the end of the Great Depression, and thus only available to those with money. Pulp magazines, a refuge for science-fiction stories, which were bought in larger quantities by the poor and middle classes in America, were largely thought to be of lesser quality, in terms of the physical book, but also that of the content. Now, with an outlet for cheap books, the American public came out in droves to purchase them.

    You might say we’re seeing something similar today, with ebooks.

  • Fantasy is fantasy

    Connor Gormley, Black Gate:

    My point is that fantasy, and all the genres like it, give writers a medium through which they can explore every facet of the human imagination, test the very limits of what we, as human beings, can envision and relate to, what’s within our power to articulate. Fantasy challenges writers to make social commentary and philosophical statements within the most fantastic and diverse circumstances possible. Fantasy has the potential to take its readers to places they could never conceive of, on adventures that transcend comprehension; with this tool, fantasy could become the most beautiful, poetic, and diverse form of escapism we have.

    It could be, if we didn’t focus so much on the elves, the dwarves and the dragons, but we do, because we’re idiots.

    Fantasy is a genre that has become bogged down with clichés and tropes, archetypes and expectations. Apparently, in order for a novel to qualify as fantasy, there has to be sword fights, magic has to be present, dragons have to turn up at some point, and it absolutely must be set in a pseudo-medieval, sort of European landscape.

    Fantasy literature is a weird beast. It definitely carries the weight of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth, doubtless not his intentions. The readers want what they’re accustomed to, just as in any other genre, or form of entertainment. Meanwhile, there’s the people who want to be different, who want to stand out and whine about how everything that’s shaped fantasy is basically shit. I find that silly, it’s like saying 70s rock is shit, and needs to be replaced. There’s room for a lot more than we have today, a lot more than fantasy worlds inspired by medieval Europe, but that doesn’t mean that everything pertaining to that style should be obliterated. Nor does it mean that you can scratch out Tolkien’s importance in the genre, no matter how much you want to.

    Fantasy literature is constrained only by what you accept to read, and, I guess, in part by what’s published. With self-publishing, you can rest assured there’s quite a lot non-mainstream out there, so if you really want to change things for fantasy readers, do it with your wallet. And if you’ve read some outstanding fantasy, traditional or not, tell me on Twitter. I’d love to spread the word, if it’s good.

  • Help Ghostwoods Books kickstart fair trade publishing

    Ghostwoods Books, a small press based in the UK, are trying to kickstart a better world for authors and editors alike. It’s a great cause on its own, and with the money – £11,111, or about $17,680 – they can get a lot of possibly great books into the grubby hands of readers. Among those, the Haunted Futures anthology stands out.

    If this project is funded on top of their other rewards all backers will receive Haunted Futures, a book that will only be possible if this Kickstarter is funded. A multi-genre anthology with stories by Warren Ellis, John Reppion, Liesel Schwarz, Chuck Wendig, Richard Kadrey, Stephen Blackmoore, Seanan McGuire and more, maybe even you! Illustrated by John Coulthart (Lovecraft’s Monsters). The print book will also available in paperback and hardcover editions as a reward.

    As of writing, the Kickstarter campaign is closing in on 50%, with four days to go. That’s not exactly great odds, but it is possible. Go pitch in to help fund some quality fair share publishing.

    Still on the ropes huh? Tell you what, I’ll do what I did to help the Fireside Fiction Year 2 campaign, and write a short story which you’ll be able to download for free. I like my publishing fair, you see. So! Not only will you get the awesome stuff from the Ghostwoods Books perks, I’ll publish a free short story here too. What are you waiting for?

  • How Many Books?

    How many books do you get to keep?

    That thought just struck me. When I sold my house I gave away almost all my books, but now I’ve got some more room so I’m indulging myself, keeping books I like instead of passing them on. But how many are you allowed to have? A bookshelf? Two bookcases? Perhaps more, as long as you don’t have more than three boxes in the basement?

    My former self would say ALL THE BOOKS and scoff at this notion, but I don’t think it is that easy anymore.


  • Revising The Casbah

    I have a deadline. It is a mere week away, and I’m not done yet. That’s no biggie, you might think, but I’m editing this book you see, the manuscript for the fourth edition of Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (and yeah, I guess I’m announcing that right here, right now), and I’m not done yet. I’d like to tell you that I’m not even close but that would scare my publishes and stop you from shelling out the $30 or whatever for a copy, and then I can’t pay my mortgage or support my drinking habits, so I won’t.

    I will tell you this though: Second, Third, Fourth, Xth editions are hard work. You’d think it would be easy to keep a winning concept rolling, to fix the code and change the examples and then wham bam thank you money-sending lady at the publisher’s office.


  • You can't put an ebook on a shelf

    I love books. I love the look and feel of a nice hardcover, I love to sit down in an armchair and read for hours, and I love to see a great book when I pass my bookshelf. Books are an addiction for some, collect your favorite ones (or possibly everything you’ve read, which I find to be a bit much), and display them for all to see, or for your private pleasure.

    Books are part of the interior for a lot of people, and they will continue to be.

    I read a lot, and I probably buy ten books every month. All of them are ebooks these days, with the odd hardcover found in a vintage store.


  • Pricing digital products

    I love books and music, and every now and then I watch movie. These three types of products belong to markets being disrupted right now, which means there’s a lot of moaning and whining and fear mongering going on, as well as a lot of problems when it comes to adapting.

    Pricing is one of these problems.

    • I buy most of my books from Amazon and almost all of them are Kindle ebooks.
    • I buy music on vinyl and from iTunes, as well as use Spotify for streaming music on a daily basis.
    • I never ever buy movies and you won’t catch me in a cinema if I can help it, but I have been known to rent movies from Headweb.

    The system works then? Nope, because the pricing is way off.


  • Two minor updates

    I’ve made two minor updates on the site today.

    1. The Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, 3rd Edition page is updated with some more information, and a pre-order link.
    2. The store page got the pre-order link for the book too. No Kindle edition available there yet.

    I also updated my Amazon author page with a new cover photo and the @tdh Twitter account.

    In the not so distant future you’ll see a lot of changes here on TDH.me, as well as a somewhat steady stream of released content that I’ve neglected. Mostly WordPress themes, but there are some fiction that I’ll probably publish here as well.

  • The cover for Smashing WordPress 3rd Edition

    I know you all have been dying to see the cover for upcoming Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, 3rd Edition. It would be downright mean of me to keep you waiting any longer, so without further ado… (more…)

  • Spotted: Some of my books in Singapore


    It is always nice when I get sent emails or tweets about where my books have been spotted. This photo (click for full-size image), which features both the first and second edition of Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog (the third edition is on its way!) as well as Tackling Tumblr, was sent to me by Ripperdoc who spotted these books in a book store in Singapore. Thanks!