Astrogator's Logs

New Words, New Worlds
Artist, Heather Oliver             

To Shape the Dark: Liftoff!


Today is the day!  Spread the word, To Shape the Dark is spreading its wings. Focusing on women scientists doing science not-as-usual, the anthology is sister to The Other Half of the Sky, which won unprecedented accolades.  This family of feral astrogators may eventually have a third member — keep frequencies open!

The book, both print and digital, is available on all major online venues (Amazon, B&N, etc) but Candlemark combines the print version with a DRM-free bundle. More direct sales also make it likelier that we’ll break even. Relevant sites:

Candlemark & Gleam direct sales
Reviews, interviews

Analog SF said of To Shape the Dark: “…these stories make the reader think. // They challenge us to question some cherished conventions of the field… // If you like well-told, intelligent science fiction that respects the search for knowledge, you can’t afford to miss this one.”

As I say in the introduction, “Scientists are humanity’s astrogators: they never go into the suspended animation cocoons but stay at the starship observation posts, watching the great galaxy wheels slowly turn while they attend to the hydroponics. To Shape the Dark is part of that vigil.”

To Shape the Dark cover: Eleni Tsami

Music: End of “Love” theme from Joss Whedon’s Serenity (composer, David Newman)

14 Responses to “To Shape the Dark: Liftoff!”

  1. Calvin says:


  2. delagar says:


    I tried to order directly from C&G, but the form says “No shipping is available.” Is it just a glitch? Should I try a bit later?

  3. Athena says:

    Dear Kelly, I processed three print orders today, so I know that the system works. The way it gets done is that you pay at the site, by PayPal or credit card, then I get the order drop-shipped by the distributor (Lightning Source). Please do try again and let me know what happens!

  4. Athena says:


  5. delagar says:

    Okay, it worked this time — it still said “no shipping methods available” on the order form page (after you leave the cart and before you go to Paypal, if you know the page I mean?), but once I went to Paypal, it entered the shipping just fine.

    IDK what’s up, but the order went through! Yay!

  6. Athena says:

    And I already completed the drop-shipping part — so yay, indeed!

  7. Letty says:

    Excellent news! Where would you prefer European readers to order a hard copy?

  8. Athena says:

    It’s entirely up to you! If you order via the press web site we get a bit more income and you get both print and digital versions in one fell swoop. Otherwise, you can go through Amazon.

  9. Christopher Phoenix says:

    Hurray! Congratulations Athena, I’m looking forward to getting my hands on this one after I enjoyed the first one so much.

    BTW–have you seen Paul’s article on the surface gravity “plateau”? Exoplanet findings suggest that in the range of planetary masses from Earth-mass up to hundreds of Earth-masses (Saturn size worlds) planetary radius grows with increased mass so that all these planets tend to have gravity similar to Earth-normal. A super-Earth’s greater mass doesn’t necessarily equal uncomfortably strong gravity. So Star Trek wasn’t as badly wrong showing all the actors in Earth-like gravity fields on alien planets as I would have thought!

  10. Athena says:

    I hope you like this just as much!

    I haven’t had time to exhale lately, but I’ll read Paul’s article asap. If many nearly-compatible planets fall into local attractor points, planetary exploration/settling may not be as forbidding as we feared!

  11. Christopher Phoenix says:

    I’m sure I will!

    Yes, this entirely changes our chances for settling the super-Earths we are discovering! Surface gravity is one of the most intrinsic properties of a planet. Not even the most grandiose plans for terraforming can change the mass or radius of a planet. If most habitable planets have near Earth-normal gravity, that makes things much easier for settlers.

    It’s well worth the time catching up with CD right now. Paul recently posted another fascinating article by a retired Major General in the US Air Force about protocols for alien ship-to-ship first contact. It’s a remote possibility to be sure, but we should think about how to broach communications when one or both parties are navigating a starship. Particularly considering the damage the main drive could do if accidentally or deliberately directed at another ship.

  12. Letty says:

    My copy arrived today and lectures end next week – perfect timing!

  13. Athena says:

    Excellent timing, indeed. I hope you like the anthology — and if you do, consider reviewing it on Amazon!

  14. intrigued_scribe says: