Fifteen Years of Pirates in Print

Two things happened today to bring my very first novel to the forefront of my mind. First off, the novel’s current publisher announced that the Kindle Edition is now available for a special price of 99 cents. Check out the deal here: http://amzn.com/B00440DQAI. Also, when I went to look at the page, I saw a nice, new review of the novel.

Looking at the page, I realized that this is the fifteenth anniversary of The Pirates of Sufiro’s first appearance in print. The first edition appeared as a mass market paperback in early 1997. (Albris claims a publication date of December 1996, but I didn’t get copies until about a month later). The first publisher went out of business within the year. I brought out a second edition through Hadrosaur Productions in 2001. In that edition, I added some new material and filled in some gaps. Finally, LBF Books acquired the book in 2005 and gave it a new round of edits. Here’s a glance at all three editions:

For those who know me mostly from my steampunk or vampire stories, The Pirates of Sufiro is a space opera about pirates and industrialists who colonize a planet, their conflicts, and how they have to pull together when a power alien presence from outside the galaxy threatens their world. I was inspired to write the novel after reading Robert A. Heinlein’s Time Enough for Love and John Nichols’ The Magic Journey back to back. The former tells the story of Lazarus Long, a space-faring adventurer so in love with life that he refused to die. The latter is the middle novel of the so-called “New Mexico Trilogy” and tells the story of a small New Mexico town from the Great Depression through the early 1980s.

As I look back at The Pirates of Sufiro, there are parts I love and parts that I would do much differently today. I am pleased that fifteen years after the book’s first appearance, it still touches people enough to write reviews on Amazon and that editors have asked for stories about pirate captain Ellison Firebrandt and his crew before they were marooned on the planet Sufiro.

And, yeah, I’ve been given some pretty sound lashings about the book in some reviews, too. There have been good points that I hope I’ve learned from when writing later books and points where I think the reviewer just didn’t “get it.” Still, I appreciate the fact that those reviewers cared enough to share their opinion.

Tonight I lift a mug of rich, Sufiran Ale to the crew of the Legacy, to Espedie Raton and his family, to the brave and true lawman Edmund Ray Swan, and even to the Stones and the McClintlocks. Here’s to the fifteenth anniversary of The Pirates of Sufiro.