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The Big Book of Cyberpunk - Release and AMA
THE BEAST IS UNLEASHED
So, the good news is, I’ll probably talk about The Big Book of Cyberpunk a little less from now on. In fact, come Friday, I’m writing about romances again! One of them was FILTHY. So you have that to look forward to.
The bad news is, I’m obviously talking about it a lot right now. Sadly, books are, like most cultural products in the year 2023, a ‘now or never’ proposition.
A bit like a movie being judged by its opening weekend: if a book doesn’t splash right off the bat (by whatever ‘hype’ metric you chose: reviews, Amazon rank, whatever), it stands a very good chance of quietly slipping under the waves. The goal of Day One is to boost the book enough so it can achieve a self-sustaining orbit. If it doesn’t, well,… there are a few thousand more novels in the pipeline. The world is one big nasty algorithm at this point, and marketing and publicity efforts are generally focused on creating a single launch moment.
Fun fact: if authors seem unduly obsessed about pre-orders, that’s why. Pre-orders all count towards ‘opening weekend’, and are therefore the best chance to pile up enough sales to nudge the vast dial of establishment interest.
Anthologies are a mixed blessing. Anthologies aren’t big sellers, full stop. They have much lower ceilings than, say, novels or non-fiction. That said, a themed or ‘definitive’ survey anthology (like a Big Book) can be a little more resilient, and stick around for a little while. The Djinn Falls in Love, for example, still sells extraordinarily well. (The Outcast Hours, although published two years later, is already well-sunk. Swings! Roundabouts!)
So, happily, there’s a little less of the SELL NOW OR WE’LL SINK LIKE LEO vibe to something like The Big Book of Cyberpunk. It is what it is, and there ain’t nothing else like it. As long as a steady trickle of people want to punk-rock revolutionise under flickering neon lights, this book will remain useful. (Or until someone publishes one with 109 stories, at which point: fair play.)
In conclusion: be kind to authors (or creative producers of any species), they’re understandably neurotic. And if you do try The Big Book of Cyberpunk, whether that’s today, tomorrow, or further down the road - thank you.
It is a little weird celebrating the launch of a book that:
I did not write 90%
Does not actually release in my country (bring on next May!)
Fortunately, the internet exists, although, as someone that’s retrained to be a social media recluse, even that’s a limited blessing.
Today’s primary shenanigans will be taking place on reddit, and I am doing an AMA over on r/cyberpunk. Please do drop by, say hi, and ask a softball question. You could win a car!
File 770 were the first to reveal the Table of Contents, and the comments there have been really heartening. Thanks!
Ditto, my friends at The Fantasy Inn, who let me do some mythbusting about cyberpunk.
Tor.com graciously hosted my shout-out to some overlooked cyberpunk titles from small presses.
Finally, and most importantly, thanks to everyone who has supported this book.
That long, long list includes the talented pros at Vintage, my badass (and wonderfully sweary) agent, the contributors who kindly trusted me with their stories, the amazing friends who have fact-checked, pre-ordered, promoted, and given much-needed emotional support, my extremely patient family, and the total strangers who will stumble upon this book someday.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Here are some places to find The Big Book of Cyberpunk:
Barnes & Noble (Fun fact: I worked at B&N in high school. Still a little psyched that they now carry my books.)
Walmart (I love this book being on sale at Walmart. Someone please send me a photo.)
Hudson Booksellers (Does this mean it’ll be in airports? This book is way over the limit for a carry-on item.)
Vaguely-relevant bonus links for a bonus newsletter:
Strategic science fiction. A (free) workshop tool using the tropes and themes of SF. Love it.
Thanks for reading Raptor Velocity! We will return to our regular irregular schedule from Friday. Probably.