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A Writer's Life:

2:16 PM PDT, September 9, 2007
Well, THE SUNRISE LANDS is out, and I'm hard at work on the sequel -- THE SCOURGE OF GOD.  It's a writer's life; finish a book, start a book.

But I do get to wake up in the morning and think:  Oh, goodie, I can write today... since my hobby is also the way I earn my living.  Which is something not many people can say; I'm very fortunate.

Unusually for me, this trilogy (the third will be THE SWORD OF THE LADY) has a unified story arc, so that all the books are part of a single plot and take place directly one after the other. 

All the trilogies I've written before had one stand-alone book and then two closely related sequels taking place well after the action of the first.

I'm also working on a longish short story for a new anthology that will feature George R.R. Martin, Robin Hobb, Joe Haldeman, Lawrence Block, Peter S. Beagle, Tony Hillerman, Neil Gaiman, Steven Saylor, Cecelia Holland, Tad Williams, Howard Waldrop and some others. 

It's to be called WARRIORS and I'm doing an alternate-history mystery set in post-Change England; the same universe as the "Dies the Fire" books, but fifty years after the Change and very far away from Oregon!

And I'm developing a contemporary secret-history-quasi-fantasy concept which may or may not see the light of day. 

Ideas are easy.  It's the execution and getting an editor to buy it that's hard.

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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 9, 2007 11:00 PM PDT
 Bookworm says:
Oh, wonderful! I'm so excited! I'll be able to read the next book soon! Yes!

Posted on Sep 10, 2007 3:55 PM PDT
 Gayle Ioerger says:
A big ditto from me, too. I can't wait to read the next book. Thanks.

Posted on Sep 12, 2007 8:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 28, 2007 12:09 PM PDT
 pholar says:
Just finished 'The Sunrise Lands' and enjoyed it tremendously. My favorite in the series since 'Dies the Fire'. The battle descriptions were truly masterful.

On a side note, ever considered setting a book in a post-peak oil future? Many non-fiction books are describing a major shift in our industrial way of life as the era of cheap energy inevitably draws to a close (Heinberg "Party's Over", Simmon's "Twilight in the Desert", Kunstler "The Long Emergency" etc). Would love your take on a world where large-scale industrial agriculture, global transportation systems, car & aeroplane usage, air-conditioning, and all the other amenities of modern life - made possible through the profligate usage of fossil fuels - start to wane as prices skyrocket. Sort of like 'Dies the Fire' but with guns...

Posted on Sep 19, 2007 5:43 PM PDT
 John Smith says:
Dear Mr. Stirling:

Please write fast! Can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Faithful fan

Posted on Oct 27, 2007 12:00 AM PDT
I've loved all of the "Dies the Fire" and "Island in the Sea of Time" Books. Will there be an e-book version of the "The Sunrise Lands" available for purchase soon?

Posted on Dec 1, 2007 1:59 PM PST
 Cristopher Cook says:
I can't wait to see where the story goes! Great work!

Posted on Feb 1, 2008 9:02 AM PST
 Fred Coulter says:
I really enjoyed the book. Is this book related to the Island in the Sea of Time series? If so (and since I just heard of the series), what books are in the series.

At any rate, keep it up. It's always good to find an author who produces well written, entertaining books. (You can't live by The Republic alone...)

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2008 1:30 PM PDT
 S. M Stirling says:
Actually, the whole "Peak Oil" thing is a crock, rather like the survivalist hysteria of the 80's and 90's. It's a matter of psychological projection -- people longing for an apocalypse, due to some wiring problem.

To begin with, petroleum =/= energy. Our primary source of energy is coal, followed by nuclear. And there's enough coal in Wyoming alone to keep the US running at current levels of consumption for 1000 years.

Petroleum is merely currently our primary source of liquid transportation fuels. We use it for that because it's cheap and convenient, not because there's no alternative.

The "Peak Oil" types also simply don't understand how subsitutability functions in a capitalist economy. These "we're all going to die because X is running out" panics go back centuries and they're always wrong.

Short form: if something becomes more expensive, immediately people try to find more of it(*), they find ways to do more with less of it(**), and they look for substitues.

Coal was a substitute for limited supplies of firewood/charcoal, for example.

You can't predict precisely what substitutes people will find; that would be like outguessing the market. You can predict that they _will_ find substitutes -- or at least they have in 100% of cases so far.

In a scientific/capitalist economy:

High prices produce low prices.
Scarcity produces glut.
Shortage produces abundance.

It's automatic, like pulling on a rope.

(*) for example, Brazil just found an ultra-deep ocean petroleum field which will turn it from an importer into a major exporter. The field couldn't even have been _discovered_ 10 years ago, much less exploited.

(**) we now need about half the petroleum per unit of GDP that we did in the 1980's. There is no reason to believe this process will end, or even slow down.

For example, current cars average about about 25 miles to the gallon.

Plug-in hybrids, using only currently available tech, get about 150-250 MPG, and costs are not significantly different from conventional cars.

Basically they use (coal/nuclear generated) electricity for the first 60 miles or so, and liquid fuel for trips beyond that, via the internal-combustion engine generator set they carry.

80% of cars in the US drive 60 miles or less per day.

And 75% of all our cars could be converted to to this system _without any additional generating capacity_, simply by charging the cars in off-peak hours, at night.

This would _reduce_ the price of electrical energy by keeping the (very expensive) generating stations going nearer their optimum level for more of the day. It would also reduce pollution because big coal-fired generators have much higher thermal efficiency than small gas engines.

So we can either reduce our use of petroleum by 90% without giving up any cars, or have 10x the number of cars without using any more petroleum.

And this is _without_ any technological breathroughs.
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I'm a writer by trade, born in France but Canadian by origin and American by naturalization, living in New Mexico at present. My hobbies are mostly related to the craft -- I love history, anthropology and archaeology, and am interested in the sciences. The martial arts are my main physical hobby.

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