As I told you folks back in January, one of my goals for 2017 is to make some of my older out-of-print books available as e-books.
I’m happy to announce that I’ve achieved one step toward that goal. My 1996 novel Smoke and Mirrors is now available as an e-book. It includes a new-to-this-edition afterpiece by me, looking back on writing the book.
Not into e-books? I still have some copies of the original mass market paperback available through my website bookstore. If you purchase one, let me know if you’re interested and I’ll e-mail you a copy of the afterpiece.
This past weekend, at the event for the Guns anthology, I was chatting with James, a long-time reader of my stuff. He asked what I had coming out new. When I mentioned that I didn’t have anything “new-new” but that that Smoke and Mirrors was finally available as an e-book, he looked puzzled.
“Smoke and Mirrors? I don’t think I know that one.”
I had to laugh. “It’s an older work, over twenty years old now.”
Talking with James reminded me that while, to me, Smoke and Mirrors has remained a part of my mental landscape these twenty-some years, this certainly isn’t the case for much of my readership. With that in mind, let me share the cover blurb I wrote for the e-book.
(As a side note, it’s really hard to write a non-spoiler-filled blurb, especially for a short book with one point of view character!)
How do you fight an enemy who can, literally, change your mind?
From the moment she first senses the whispers of the alien mind within the thoughts of her current client, Smokey – touch telepath, industrial spy, and high-end prostitute – becomes an unwitting player in a conflict that may be as old as humanity.
Determined to protect herself and her young daughter, Smokey soon realizes that the stakes are much, much higher.
After millennia of setting up the field, the aliens may be making their final move. If Smokey is to defeat them, she must win the respect and trust of people who despise her – perhaps at the cost of those she loves the most.
Of course, there’s a lot more to Smoke and Mirrors than just this conflict. Because I feel awkward talking about my own stuff, I’d like to quote an article that came out soon after the novel’s original release . For those of you who don’t like spoilers, I’ll warn you that maybe be spoilers – or at least a sense of some of the plot elements – so skip if you want to avoid these! I did cut a phrase here and there to eliminate the most obvious spoilers.
“…Lindskold’s Smoke and Mirrors is a nicely realized examination of a future social order with a highly progressive attitude toward sexuality and the family.
“In Smoke and Mirrors there are a gay married couple, a daughter of a gay man and a bi-sexual woman (who is a legal and highly respected prostitute), a multi-racial marriage, and a family formed from a child and two couples (one gay, one straight). All of these situations are completely normal in Lindskold’s future society.
“Lindskold also does an excellent job of examining human emotions and the relationships between lovers, and between parents and children.
“Most compelling is her examination of a human psyche under control and struggling against that control. This material… shapes the novel’s central themes about humanity’s need for spiritual, emotional, and intellectual independence and freedom.
“As well, Lindskold’s exploration of planetary colonization is detailed and thoughtful, with depictions of the societal and scientific aspects of terraforming a desert world and of living on a humid jungle planet.
“Finally, there is what every fine deep-space science-fiction novel must possess, a wondrous evocation of another world spinning under an alien sun, what science-fiction writer Elizabeth Lynn called ‘a different light.’
“And this Jane Lindskold does with great mastery.”
John Nizalowski, Telluride Times-Journal, January 1997
Now that the e-book of Smoke and Mirrors is complete, I’m moving on to another of my older works, When the Gods Are Silent, a sword and sorcery adventure.
I haven’t given up on writing new work, but I will admit that while I’m still learning the e-pub ropes, this is cutting into my creative energy. Still, I have at least two, maybe three, ideas nagging at me, not ready to be written yet, but I think that will come.