Advance Notice of Sale

With the April sale ended I put Family Law at a buck.

37 Responses to Advance Notice of Sale

  1. Samuel August 18, 2020 at 4:33 pm #

    Nice!

    How is the writing going?

    • Mac August 18, 2020 at 8:19 pm #

      April 12 at 138k words = near done. “Who Can Own the Stars?” Cover commissioned.

    • Mac August 22, 2020 at 10:10 pm #

      April 12 is out to beta readers.

      • Leon August 26, 2020 at 3:07 pm #

        Woot woot

      • Thorsten August 29, 2020 at 6:41 am #

        How is it going? Got any feedback yet?

        • Mac August 29, 2020 at 10:14 am #

          Just waiting on the cover and I’ll post it.

          • Thorsten August 31, 2020 at 10:49 pm #

            Man… patience is hard.

  2. ben August 18, 2020 at 4:38 pm #

    I think bundled books might be a better way to go. I often see a new release of a series and spend ages
    looking for the first voume. Or for 99 cents you get APRIL / LAW both together.

    • Mac August 19, 2020 at 11:32 am #

      Yes, but they are a lot more work to set up. I can change the price temporarily in five minutes.

      • Bruce August 31, 2020 at 12:59 pm #

        Mac just wondering about this and wanted to give you my thoughts. I get the extra work of a bundle, however speaking for myself whom reads your work via KU. If I see a bundle I will grab that when I decide to reread a series. Does that earn you extra cash from KU? I’m sure there are others like me out there. Just saying.

    • Jonathan Briggs August 20, 2020 at 2:40 am #

      I like saving money but I sort of hate book bundles. The problem is how they show up in the ebook library. In one series I have Book 1 because it was on sale. Then I would have bought books 2 and 3, but there was a book bundle of 1,2,3. So I bought that. Book 1 is not labeled with the series number because the author didn’t originally know she was writing a series.

      Anyway the whole thing is confusing if I reread it, and the Amazon “Read next book in series” feature is just a slip away from buying books 2 and 3 for me if I forget to read Book 1 in the 1,2,3 collection.

  3. Jennifer August 18, 2020 at 4:44 pm #

    Hope this gets new readers to check you out! I feel sorry for anyone that hasn’t read your books.

  4. Cheryl August 18, 2020 at 7:23 pm #

    I already bought all of them but am proud to own them.

    The $.99 intro price is good but I agree 3 book bundles is also good

  5. Michael August 18, 2020 at 9:55 pm #

    Guess I’ll have to share “April” with more friends at that price. (See if we can set the hook!)

  6. ben August 19, 2020 at 4:29 pm #

    I am kind of waiting for more Famly Law. I love the fun Aliens with the ‘fun’ names and fun jobs.
    Reminds of the pilot of star trek. You got your space battles and strange new worlds
    and differnt view points from the bridge of the enterprise. ( Mr. Spock was from Mars back then)

  7. Stephen August 19, 2020 at 7:06 pm #

    Lee
    “I’d be surprised if even you guys can trust a drone to make multiple jumps from as far away as Earth. You may have better drives, but you’d have to have much better Artificial Stupids to pilot them so far, and I haven’t seen any indication you are much further ahead of everybody else in computers and programming.”

    This was a silly thing for Lee to say after being in Gabriels ship “Cricket” and knowing the AI flew from Earth to Derf with another ship in tow.

    • Glen Fletcher August 20, 2020 at 3:00 am #

      Of course it silly, we already have AI capable of doing that. Any real space flight has to be done by computers if your performing a log distance intercept it requires precision burns even with a const acceleration drive, a human just can’t plot the course that accuracy all they really do is ask the computer to generate a course that meets a set of given parameters and then approve it if they’re happy with it, otherwise alter the parameters and ask again. The same thing of collision avoidance a human will not respond fasts enough to matter, it’s a similar problem with the point defence system, the human just set up targeting priorities on incoming fire and lets the computer fire when in range.
      We also already have the basis of Interstellar navigation based on pulsar location worked out, they tested in of the ISS and had only about 10x the location error they got from the GPS network, which is noting on even the scale of the earth-moon system.

      • Mac August 20, 2020 at 6:11 am #

        You guys are slowly convincing me. I’m looking at Teslas crashing and thinking the level of AI will be expensive to stick in a fleet of automated drones outnumbering ships.

        • Glen Fletcher August 21, 2020 at 1:33 am #

          Since I live in Australia, I’m not really familiar with the Tesla Cars, but I had a look at an article on the web about them (https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/2/26/21154502/tesla-autopilot-fatal-crashes)
          based on that, it appears their problem is a common one for AI’s operating in a complex human environment, that is, a lack of sufficient information to make good decisions, and its sensor systems can be tricked. The real problem here is the road system has been designed and optimised for humans, and the AI has to account for human drivers who are highly irrational. Consider traffic directives, they use human language structure so humans can understand them, however, such languages are highly abstract and not easy for a machine to understand, try talking to your phone, how often does it misunderstand what you’re asking this is a natural language interface and one of the hardest problems in AI today. The other problem is abstract object recognition which is again a hard problem, this is like telling the difference between a driveway and a street, they look very similar.

          Now if we consider navigation in space, both those hard problem become irrelevant, the distance is so vast that you can’t visually identify objects (if you manage to visually identify a threat you dead before you can even respond to the realization) any more hence spacecraft will have transponders that announce their identity. As for locating an object, the radar system is already fully interpreted by the computer, and human couldn’t handle the raw feed so a humans only advantage behaviour based analysis, but again that only going to be after the computer has actually identifier some anomaly in an object’s behaviour for human review since there would otherwise be an overwhelming amount of data for a human to analysis, consider the pea shooter demonstration in family law, the computer identified the target as having an acceleration in excess of that due to gravity and thus an anomaly which it flags for human attention but then the targeting assumption would have been input into the computer as future motion prediction and telling the computer to project its motions based on those predictions now those predictions would again be a hard problem for an AI because it again an abstract problem, but once give a set of possibly behaviours it can easily apply them in this case the ships maneuvering and firing would have been automated based on the human (or derf) provided predictions.

          Consider the Apollo program, back then computers were so primitive the maneuvers had to be calculated by mission control than transmitted to the Apollo Spacecraft to execute, the Apollo computer still detriment when to execute the burn and controlled the burn based on the instruction from mission control. But the entire computational power of mission control was equivalent to a mobile phone from around 2000. A modern SoC can perform hundreds of similar calculations in real-time what this means is that all the AI really needs to do is decide on the target and any constraints to apply to the maneuvers, the rest is just math. For example, a multisystem jump drone would decide the destination system and the minimal jump probably and the ask the navigational system to calculate courses meeting those requirements, possibly include some system restrictions, at that point if would check if it has fuel for the trip, if not then it either needs to calculate when and where it can refuel. I would say if the Little feet had a jump drone with a fuel scoop they could have program if to retrace their trip from far away all the way to derf home, now for such a long trips things could go wrong that the AI can’t recover from, i.e. a system failure on the drone, loss of fuel, but baring anything outside of normal operations if shouldn’t have a problem making that journey including intercepting gas giants and dipping into the atmosphere for refuelling, the biggest danger would be not instructing the AI to allow sufficient safety margins in its calculations, in which case be the time it can determine its course is off it may have insufficient fuel to correct, but that just a matter of the programer giving the AI bad rules to follow.

          • Stephen August 21, 2020 at 7:18 pm #

            Mac has previously said a lot of the early run to jump ships were under AI even though the first two weren’t. Run to jump AI travel is much more challenging than point to point jumping but not as challenging as travel over a piece of grassland or earth by an insect (unless flying).

          • Glen Fletcher August 31, 2020 at 11:20 pm #

            Mac, about AI, you should have a look at this Wikipedia article https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AI-complete

            Given how far your stories are in the future AI should be able to do anything, not AI-complete, note navigation and planing is only AI-complete given unexpected circumstances

    • Mac August 20, 2020 at 6:07 am #

      I agree – my thought was it would be as expensive as building a ship to make a drone as capable – the AI being much more expensive than an environmental system. But you are persuading me.

      • Thorsten August 20, 2020 at 7:37 am #

        Especially with grav based jump drives where the drones wouldn’t need to jump into a system, then have a long track on in system drive to cross the system and line up for the next jump, instead they just need to reorientation and perform the next jump (worst case with a couple of in system micro jumps if your exit vector would lead through the star or another massive object).

        Navigation in space is a lot easier than a self driving car.

      • Stephen August 20, 2020 at 10:17 pm #

        AIs shouldn’t be that expensive apart from the hardware and energy as the software AIs could be cloned and already AIs can train other AIs. The AIs don’t need to be human smart just insect smart but with inbuilt space physics rather than earth physics.

  8. Michael August 19, 2020 at 9:21 pm #

    I look forward to your next book.

    I’ve already purchased all the April and Family Law books, but I do recommend them whenever the conversation moves that way.

  9. Big Ben August 22, 2020 at 12:47 am #

    I find it amusing that y’all seem to be discussing the pros/cons of manned vs. unmanned space flight.
    “Are we there yet? I’m bored!”
    “Don’t make me stop this space ship and come back there! See if you can spot a license plate from Procyon or something.”

    I sincerely hope that space travel never becomes so … pedestrian.
    And while the Mars rover missions are awesome, ponder what humanity’s space program would’ve looked like if we’d made the tech leap early and only landed rovers on the moon.
    No giant leap for mankind. “No no! Too dangerous to land a man on the moon! Space is only for robots!”
    Bah, humbug!
    If I wasn’t a grumpy old geezer (and knew science and math and stuff) I’d definitely be putting my name on that list for a one way mission to Mars.
    Anything to get far away from Earth politics and Earth people! Unfortunately, “retired (crotchety) diesel mechanic” doesn’t seem to be high on the list of essential personnel for any space mission going anywhere any time soon.
    Yeager. Gagarin. Armstrong. As long as there are literate people, those names will never be forgotten. Some damn robot rolling across Mars is just a soulless machine, piloted by highly intelligent but terribly unheroic schlubs down here on the slumball with the rest of us.

    Looking forward to whatever you publish next, Mac! I’ve got ‘em all and enjoyed every one.

    • Thorsten August 22, 2020 at 6:18 am #

      The unmanned drones would be for something like a network of jump drones connecting all settled systems that jump every 5 minutes back and forth, exchanging messages. So instead of waiting a week or two for your inter-system database search between Derfhome and Earth, it takes 30 minutes…

  10. Stephen August 22, 2020 at 8:34 pm #

    Whether that is financial depends on the number of ships moving between these places. Ships currently sell updated information as they move between settlements in different systems. Low populated systems, systems far away from others, or not on chained stopovers, etc might benefit from such a network but could they pay and should the owners of jump technology expose the technology for that risk.

  11. MP August 23, 2020 at 3:19 pm #

    I enjoy your books immensely and would like to own all of them. Will you be doing a 99¢ sale on all of your books one day? I’d prefer one or two at a time, anywhere from a day to a week. (hint, hint) I’ll definitely buy them all!

    • Mac August 23, 2020 at 3:44 pm #

      That depends on how this experiment works out. I’ll know better at the end of the week.
      I think I should repeat this. I periodically tell everyone that if you are unable to pay $5 for a book – doesn’t matter why, sick, unemployed, retired on a fixed income – just contact me and I’ll send you books. Not all at once but until you don’t care to read the next.

      • MP August 24, 2020 at 5:30 am #

        Well, I bought the book yesterday so your sale is working so far.

  12. Ed Patterson August 23, 2020 at 8:36 pm #

    AI pilot beats human in clean sweep of virtual F-16 dogfights, human fails to register a single hit

    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/ai-pilot-defeats-human-clean-sweep

    The AI won 5-0.

    The human pilot (an instructor) was able to last longer in each round.
    Sounds like a good training program.

    P. S. I am slowly buying all your books that I read under kindle unlimited. I own 16.

  13. Stephen August 24, 2020 at 7:03 pm #

    A well crafted AI pilot should win and if AI pilots fly against other AI pilots they can improve very fast.

    Stephen

  14. John Leggett August 29, 2020 at 5:54 pm #

    It is only going to get worse between humans and AI’s. With a drone as in “Friends in the Stars (Family Law Book 5)”. You will not be limited to a humans ability to take G forces or needs for oxygen( no cockpit). You will be able to make craft lighter, faster and stronger.

  15. Max August 31, 2020 at 6:25 pm #

    and smarter.

  16. Ben August 31, 2020 at 9:34 pm #

    Of course, the AI’s just act DUMB to get more funding.
    Ben,.
    PS: I tend to read at 3 AM, what kind of reader does that make me?
    PPS: AI’s have long since known, the World is not worth a take over.

  17. MP September 1, 2020 at 12:11 pm #

    How did the sale go? Are you going to list any more?

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