Wednesday, February 20, 2008


Since a number of people are interested in seeing the last Wiz book -- Wiz 6, "The Wizardry Capitalized", I am going to post it. It will start going up in the next 30 days.

There are still some details to be worked out, notably where I'm going to post it. My original thought was to put it up as a blog, but several people pointed out that's not ideal. Currently I'm leaning to setting up its own web site or putting up on my still-to-be-completed personal/fiction web site. I'll let you know as I work out the details.

A couple of folks asked about how you have a medical condition that lets you write non-fiction and keeps you from writing fiction. The answer is depressingly simple.

For me fiction has always been a lot harder than non-fiction. It takes much more mental effort and I find I can't do it unless I'm at the peak of my game. And of course I'm no longer at the peak of my game because of the health problems.

This isn't universally true, please note. A lot of writers can write fiction, even very good fiction, when quite impaired. How in the world some of them write good stuff when drunk, drugged, etc. is utterly beyond me and I have a perverse admiration for anyone who can do it. But I can't. I keep trying but so far no luck.

It's worth noting that I had a long and successful career in nonfiction before I wrote my first piece of salable fiction and I've always been able to turn out roughly ten times as much nonfiction as fiction.

Does this mean my fiction career is forever and totally at an end? Well, I've learned never to say never, and I do keep trying. But so far no luck.


Fred Kiesche said...

Have you thought about selling the manuscript, however complete, via Baen's Webscriptions? There are several books there that aren't actually published by Baen (see Anti-Gravity Limited in the Free Library, for example--heck, I enjoyed it so much that I bought it even though it was in the Free Library).

There are a lot of folks at Baen's Bar who ask about your series, so you would, I think, have a market there.

Rick Cook said...

Fred, I haven't explored the possibility, but I doubt they'd go for it. The Baen Free Library is only for Baen books. Since this isn't a Baen book (the copyright reverted to me after I repaid the advance) and since I screwed up the deal with them by not turning in a completed book, I don't think they'd be interested.


Jonathan said...

Thanks for being willing to provide the unfinished book, and thanks for the explanation too. Naturally I sympathize about fiction being harder: I'm 53 years old and still haven't achieved any!

Even if you never write another word of fiction (though good luck, I hope you will), you've achieved more than many others have done, and given us an enjoyable, distinctive, and memorable series of novels. They'll live on; eventually some of the programming references will be lost on the future audience, but that's not a major problem. You've surely had readers all along who haven't understood the in-jokes, but liked the stories anyway.

Imagine the 22nd-century editions of your works being released with educational footnotes, like Shakespeare plays...

Fred Kiesche said...

"The Baen Free Library is only for Baen books."

Not so! Look for Anti-Grav Unlimited by Duncan Long. Not a Baen Book. Long out of print, originally from Ace or Pyramid.

Look for Eric Flint's 1812: Rivers of War. It was published by Del Rey.

See Roland Green and John F. Carr: Great King's War. Not a Baen Book.

David St. John: Sisters of Glass. From Elderberry Press.

Now...I know that Eric Flint has said (Prime Palaver #2) that they don't put up unplublished manuscripts...but I think you've got an exception to the rule. Plus, you've got a lot of folks at Baen's Bar who wonder now and again if they'll ever see another Wizardy book.

Seriously. Ask them. What can it hurt?

Geoffrey Kidd said...

Speaking as a great fan of all the books, I'd love to see both "Wizardry Quested" *and* "Wizardry Capitalized" up in Webscriptions and would pay for them gladly, even with the latter incomplete.

Another thought would be to see if a collaboration might work? I suspect, just as a suppose, that you and Charles Stross would get along famously, and there are other seriously computer-literate authors associated directly with Baen and Tor.

Just so I can buy them as unencrypted eBooks, please.

bananaslug. said...

Rick, Eric Flint is in charge of the Baen Free Library, and I suspect that he would be more than willing to let you post it there. The Free Library will actually morph into a much greater (and not publisher specific) Free Library sometime this calendar year. If you want to ask him, you should, or you can simply email the ms. to Arnold Bailey and ask him to put it in the Library.

Walt Boyes
(working on the new iteration of the library, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Public Library)

Stephen M. St. Onge said...

Mr. Cook:

        I'm glad you'll be posting the novel. I read and enjoyed all your others, and more than once.  If you ever get to the point where you can do fiction again, I'll be buying your output.

        Wherever it goes up, on its own website or on the Free Library, I'll track it down and read it.

Stephen M.
        St. Onge
Minneapolis, MN

Anonymous said...

Mr. Cook:

        I'm glad you'll be posting the novel. I read and enjoyed all your others, and more than once.  If you ever get to the point where you can do fiction again, I'll be buying your output.

        Wherever it goes up, on its own website or on the Free Library, I'll track it down and read it.

Stephen M.
        St. Onge
Minneapolis, MNt

Anonymous said...

Mr Cook,

Being French, but a lover of fantasy, Wizard's Bane has been the first book I ever read in english. Around fifteen years later, rereading them I got as much pleasure !

Seeking sequels, I found this page and learned about this book 6. While I find it very generous of you to put it online, I think I'll put off reading it hoping you can someday finish it.

Thanks for all the pleasure, and good luck!

Nicolas, TOKYO Japan

Robert said...

I'll just chip-in here to say I'd happily pay for your new books on webscriptions, and ask if there's another way to send you a little cash via paypal or something if you post to a blog / website. You might want to take a look at what Steve Miller and Sharon Lee are doing with Fledgling and Saltation over at - they're publishing a chapter a week, and accepting donations via paypal ;o)

Anonymous said...

Hi Rick,

As Fred and Geoffrey point out, the Baen e-book program is no longer just for Baen paper books anymore. Give me a call and let's see what we can make happen.

--Toni Weisskopf, Publisher

Arun The Terrible Blackguard said...

Mr. Rick,
I'd pay to see this one published as well. Please check with Baen. I'm sure they'll buy it off your hands 'cause there's sure to be readers like me out there.

Stephan said...

My sympathies. I know exactly what you mean when you say fiction is harder than non-fiction.

Since I was in high school, I've found writing non-fiction as easy as talking (and I'm quite the motormouth) but I'm still figuring out how to write fiction. In fact, it's been such an undertaking that, to justify the effort, I'm writing a book about it.

Anonymous said...

As a long time reader of the Wiz series (I think I've rebought the first two books twice since I tend to lend them out, and never get them back, only to buy new copies myself :) ), I'm really interested if the Book 6 manuscript was ever released. I see the plans for it, but don't see anything more (either on this site, or Webscriptions).

Anonymous said...


Just read your fantasy books for the first time. They are wonderful. Was looking for the next book and read your explanation. I am Native American and know of a medicine man who has had great success with all kinds of medical conditions including heart, digestion, kidneys, liver, strokes...he may be able to help you. I am a ghost writer and may be able to help if not, loved your books and the best of luck. Mindi. e-mail: