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Best of 2017!

December 21, 2017

wsjAmazing news: The Wall Street Journal named The Genius Plague one of the best science fiction books of 2017!  They listed only five books.  The other four were:

  • All Our Wrong Todays, by Elan Mastai
  • The Berlin Project, by Gregory Benford
  • Change Agent, by Daniel Suarez
  • Artemis, by Andy Weir

I’m blown away that they picked mine, of all the books that came out this year.  Thanks, WSJ!




Back For More Plague

November 28, 2017

THE GENIUS PLAGUE is back for a second printing already!  This is great news — it means the book is selling well and they’ve already had to print another batch to keep up with demand.  It also means the book has been out of print on Amazon for the last week and a half, because the distribution warehouses ran out of copies.  (If you want to grab a deal, the paperback is only $9.91 on Amazon right now, and I’m sure the price will jump back up again once the book is back in stock.)

The Continuum

November 22, 2017

Contiuum Front CoverI invited author Wendy Nikel to my blog to answer a few questions about her new time travel book (coming out in January) called THE CONTINUUM.  It tells the story of a professional time traveler whose job involves keeping tourists out of trouble on their trips into the past. Despite her expertise, she finds herself in over her head when she’s sent a hundred years into the future.  Unfortunately, you can’t leap forward in time to buy the book, but you can preorder it!  Now, here’s Wendy:

1. Many time travel stories have been written over the years.  What makes THE CONTINUUM different from the others?

THE CONTINUUM grew out of a short story that I wrote in the summer of 2012. My local library district was sponsoring a writing contest, and even though it’d been years since I’d written anything, I had the idea of a time travel company where people could take “vacations” into the past when they just need to get away from the stresses of the present-day. In my short story, I also played with the idea of memory — that the very act of time travel might affect the way the human mind processes their “out-of-time” experiences. Some of these ideas eventually made it into THE CONTINUUM.

In my story, time travel takes place in our world, but those who use it go to great lengths to ensure that it’s kept secret, knowing that it would cause major issues if everyone knew what was possible. For Elise, my main character, time travel is a normal part of her life, but it’s not something she can share with anyone else, which isn’t an easy.TimeTravelTues

2. What time travel stories are your favorites?

I’m a huge fan of Jack Finney’s About Time anthology, which contains a dozen stories featuring time travel.

I’ve been posting some #TimeTravelTues discussions on twitter in anticipation of THE CONTINUUM’s release, and in one of them, I listed a dozen or so more recent time travel stories I’ve read and enjoyed as well. You can check them all out in the thread beginning here:

3.  Time travel stories always struggle with paradox problems, and authors take different approaches to address them (or ignore them!)  What approach have you taken in THE CONTINUUM?

One of the reasons I love time travel stories is because so many of them contain these little logic puzzles, and it’s fun to sort out how the time travel “works” in each story.

In THE CONTINUUM, different characters have their own theories about how time travel works. Because time travel is such a recent development, no one knows for sure, but Elise and her coworkers operate on the assumption that the timeline could be dynamic, and that it’s their job to prevent any ripples if that’s the case. Throughout the story, however, her theories are challenged and put to the test in ways she’d never expected.


Wendy Nikel is a speculative fiction author with a degree in elementary education, a fondness for road trips, and a terrible habit of forgetting where she’s left her cup of tea. Her short fiction has been published by Fantastic Stories of the ImaginationDaily Science FictionNature: Futures, and elsewhere. For more info, visit or sign up for her newsletter HERE and receive a FREE short story ebook.

THE CONTINUUM is available for pre-order via World Weaver Press.

Release date: January 23, 2018. (LINK)


Prometheus Award

November 14, 2017

The Genius Plague was nominated for the Prometheus Award! It’s one of 9 nominees, and the winner won’t be announced until next summer, but still very cool. The Prometheus Award has been given every year since 1979 by the Libertarian Futurist Society for science fiction that “dramatizes the value of freedom and human rights, exposes the dangers of tyranny or explores the perennial tensions between Liberty and Power.” So…um…I guess I did that!

Goodreads giveaway of The Genius Plague!

November 2, 2017

My publisher is giving away copies of The Genius Plague on Goodreads!  Enter the giveaway here:

Screenshot 2017-11-01 at 8.54.01 PM

Fan Letters

October 19, 2017

I’m not so famous an author that I get a lot of fan letters, but with The Genius Plague newly out on the street, I’ve been receiving some this month.  Maybe if I were George Martin or Andy Weir I’d be tired of such things and shrug them off, but for me, there’s no greater delight than hearing how people have enjoyed my books and how my stories have connected with them.  Publication schedules are so slow that by the time a new book comes out, I’ve been sitting on it for quite some time, waiting for the day when readers can finally enjoy it.  So if you’ve read The Genius Plague and want to send me a letter, but think you might be bothering me by doing so — don’t hold back!  I love to get them, and I always respond.  (davidwaltonfiction at gmail)

And to all of you: thanks for reading!

Ode to Ephemerides

October 18, 2017

I had some ephemerides; they came to me one day
As classic two-line elements; I thought them here to stay.
We met each other’s needs with sympathetic reciprocity
While cheerfully extracting time, position, and velocity.

Their charming eccentricities were known on every side.
Their propagating following was wonderfully wide.
Our pastor even praised their inclination in a homily.
To find them sad or out of sorts was rare: a true anomaly.

I had some ephemerides; I loved them as a friend,
But all orbital beginnings are bound to have an end.
Our friendship proved ephemeral; distrust began to climb
And grave uncertainties were bound to creep in over time.

Our peace was soon perturbed by gravity and relativity.
Telemetry discrepancies appeared with sad proclivity.
We had a nasty fight about their semi-major axis
Which turned into an argument about their periapsis.

I had some ephemerides, but nothing on this Earth
Is constant in its happiness or lasting in its mirth.
No joy that life can give me could provide the same dynamics
As my brief and tragic love affair with celestial mechanics.

With apologies to Patrick Barrington.