The Extrahuman Union

Archive for the ‘The Spark’ Category

New cover reveals! First up is the new cover for the re-release of THE SPARK:


And second–the cover for EXTRAHUMANS! The new, final book in the series! This is doubling as a cover for UNCANNY MAGAZINE, and the full cover with text and so on will be released soon. But look at that art, by the amazing Kirbi Fagan!

So much good stuff! THE SPARK is out on August 23, and EXTRAHUMANS comes out in October! So stay tuned!


Got a couple of reviews for THE SPARK already! Check them out:

Publishers Weekly

The Book Smugglers (they review the whole series–and give you reasons to try it out!)

Blather. Rants. Repeat.

That’s all so far. If you do read the book and want to leave a review, thank you! Amazon, B&N and other retail sites are awesome places to leave reviews, as is Goodreads. If you review the book on your own site, let me know and I’ll link to you.


Also, there is a great contest going on over at The Book Smugglers: you could win the entire series! Go check it out.


THE SPARK is out today, at last! Here’s the Amazon link!

This book has been a long time coming, and I’m going to have more thoughts about just how long later in the week. For today, though, it’s time to celebrate!

I feel like I ought to have a ritual for today, some kind of combination of words and actions to ensure that things go right. It’s probably my theater background.

See, theater folk are superstitious.

And I mean, really superstitious. In high school, we were reading “Macbeth” in English class, and I happened to mention the name of the play in the theater’s green room.

“Out!” ordered one of the techies. “Out, now!”

“You can’t be serious,” I protested. But of course, he was. There was some disagreement on what, exactly, I had to do while I was outside, but I wasn’t allowed back in the theater building again until I’d done it.

It was, to be fair, kind of a spooky theater. When the curtain was closed, the stage could get very dark. For one show I delighted in lying down and staying perfectly still in the darkness, and then, when someone hesitantly tried to cross the stage, saying “Don’t step on me!” It scared the hell out of them. I got an award for it at the cast party.

That theater building was also haunted. There was a rumor of a kid who had killed himself in the creepy concrete basement under the stage. There was a door to nowhere in there, and that was where the ghost was supposed to live.

I once did a production of “Kiss Me, Kate” for my town’s summer theater program, and all I remember is that there were a lot of complicated dance moves that I, a notoriously uncoordinated teenager, had to learn. One of them was this weird sequence for “Another Opening, Another Show” where everyone on stage did a fancy sequence with their feet and hands. It was drilled into me so often that I still remember, twenty years later, how to do most of it.

Anyway, before every show at my high school’s theater I would lie down on the stage and clear my mind. Then I would do the “Another Opening” song and dance in some quiet part of backstage. Then, last of all, I’d go downstairs and ask the ghost if it was okay if we did a show, and would he please come and watch.

Everything settled, the show could then go on.

That’s kind of how I feel as another book release draws near. I should have a ritual. Something to make sure it all goes according to plan. Maybe I can find a part of the house to do the “Another Opening” dance in, if I can remember all the steps.

Or maybe I can just refresh Amazon’s sales page obsessively, and call that tradition enough!

In honor of THE SPARK coming out tomorrow, here’s a list of things any tourist should know about Mandolia!

Annsfair – A small city on the Rail Straits, about a thousand kilometers southeast of First Landing. One of ten original colony sites. Noted for pleasant weather and the ferry crossing to Thyner’s Island.

Bandalee – A hot, dry district in the far south of the continent.

Burning Hill – A district of First Landing, named for the orange-red treelight that could be seen at night atop the hill when the city was first founded. Bounded to the west by the Mandol River, to the east by the starport, to the north by the northern river farms, and to the south by East First Landing and East Square.

Colony Societies – There are very few formalized colonization activities on Mandolia, so the planet is being widely settled by Colony Societies. Most of these will give colonists homes, work and land in the colony in exchange for staying with the colony for a period of years. Bailey Island was settled by a Colony Society.

Downtown First Landing – The center of the city, a very modern and new neighborhood with high-rises and lots of commercial activity. The financial and political heart of Mandolia.

East Square – Center of the East First Landing neighborhood, just off the bridge. A commercial focus of the city.

First Landing – Capital and largest city on Mandolia. Officially founded in 2090. 2120 population approximately 230,000. A little less than half of all Mandolians live within fifty kilometers of First Landing. Read the rest of this entry »

Yes! It’s that time again: book release week! THE SPARK (Extrahumans #3) is coming out on Tuesday.

I get incredibly nervous and flustered when a book is about to leave the nest, so you’ll pardon me if I’m under a chair, cowering. Failing that, I’ll be obsessively checking Amazon, Twitter and pretty much everywhere else to see how things are going.

How you can help an author out on release week:

1. Buy the book! (obviously!)
2. Leave a review! Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, your blog, wherever you like.
3. If you do leave a review on your site, tell me! I’ll link to you.
4. If you like this series, suggest your local public library buy it! We have hardcovers these days. Sturdy and beautiful.
5. Spread the word! I have NO PR MACHINE, so every little bit helps!

Anyway, there’s going to be some good stuff happening this week, including DEALS on other Extrahumans books, reviews, interviews, and more! Plus some cool book and story news that I hope I’ll get to share with you this week.

Stay tuned!

Preorders are now open! I’ll be posting more about the cool rewards you can get as the pre-order period continues.

The release date for THE SPARK is creeping up on me. It’s only about two months away, which means that for the next two months there’s going to be all kinds of pre-release goodness happening!

There’s a part of me that’s amazed that my third book is going to be out soon. It’s all happened so quickly! Two years ago I was just submitting BROKEN to Candlemark & Gleam, which was still a few months shy of its first release. A lot was different for me two years ago, I feel like I’ve traveled light years since then.

But there’s another part of me that’s written all this material since, and is impatient to share it with everybody. It’s strange to suddenly have one foot back in the familiar terrain of the Extrahumans universe while working on new works set in completely different worlds, with very different characters! I suspect that’s how it’s going to be for a long while to come, if I have the privilege of still being able to write and publish for as long as I want.

In the meantime, I’m going to have a lot to say about THE SPARK in the weeks to come before August 28th hits. I think you’re all going to like following Dee on her adventures. I hope you do! If you want a preview of the first two chapters, we now have one up over at fReado! You can either follow the link or use the widget below. Check it out: a preview of THE SPARK! Read the first two chapters right now!

One of the things that is a constant feature in THE SPARK is the song that runs through Dee’s head. There’s not a lot of information out there about that song, but here’s a page from a 2062 book of folk and children’s songs collected by the Confederation Folkways Commission that might shed some light on it. The lyrics, especially the last verse, seem to come from the 2040s and the Last War.

Dee’s grandmother, who taught her the song, would have been a child at right around this time.

Use the magnifying glass (at the bottom) to zoom in.

I’m thrilled with how this cover came out!

The book’s out in late August, 2012.

Mandolian Vista is a news organization licensed by ConFedMedia in early 2122. They cover the Greater First Landing metropolitan area on Mandolia, which is a colony world relatively close to Valen (see the 2110 Map of the Confederation to see where it is). As such, they’ll be issuing short news updates (in 140 characters or less) letting you know what’s going on in Mandolia’s capital! Check them out here:


Editorial note: Vista is featured in THE SPARK, which is coming out later on this year. Much of the story takes place in First Landing, and I wanted to give folks a window into what life might be like in that city at that time. Follow along to get a feel for the city, the planet, and for the divided loyalties of the people who run Vista. It should be fun, and it’ll be more than just news–a story is unfolding here.

There may also be a giveaway or contest or something along those lines for followers at some point–so check it out!

Susan Jane Bigelow’s Extrahuman Union

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