4 min read

Probing Questions

Brand-new cover art and a sale!
Probing Questions
Gunther Goose would like to know if you’re going to finish that slice of bread.

Birds are migrating and their songs are filling up the outdoors and it’s such wonderful music. Yesterday I sat on my deck for the first time this year—the weather finally permitted—and counted ten different species visiting my backyard. Heck, I’m sitting on the deck again, writing this. It’s the best. I’ll be making short little day trips around my area to catch what I can—hoping to see some new critters this year. (These aren’t probing questions, by the way, as I’m sure you’ve noticed. Those are below.)

EBird is a pretty fun app when used in conjunction with Merlin Bird ID. EBird basically tells you where to go to find new feathered friends, so I’ll be leaning on it to organize my trips. That goose you see at the top of the page was hanging out nearby while some friends and I were watching the eclipse. He didn’t seem threatened by us and we weren’t threatened by him, so I got a really good closeup.

A Thing is Happening

You—yes, you—are either a person who’s already read HOUNDED, or you haven’t yet because, uh…well, I don’t know why you wouldn’t have read it yet. BUT! In case you haven’t, or in case you know someone who hasn’t, you’re in luck! Yes! LUCK! Because from April 11-13, HOUNDED is on sale in the U.S. for $1.99 in ebook (and might be on sale elsewhere too, but I haven’t been informed of that). Which means it’s the perfect time to get someone you know hooked on Atticus and Oberon, and before you know it you’ll be shopping for sausage together. Spread the word, eh?

Cover art by Sarah J. Coleman, design by Ella Laytham. Photo by @the_wolfhounds_of_denman on Instagram. Used with permission.

Okay, Those Questions I Promised

Pray tell: Hast thou ever been abducted by aliens? And if not, canst thou predict how ye would behave in the event of such an abduction? Can ye explain why I’m using such ancient diction? Well, to help ye with the first two probing inquiries, I recommend reading (or listening to) A Question of Navigation, which may or may not contain probes. This was released in 2021 but I think a lot of folks missed it; it’s a science fiction novella that contains my usual blend of humor and existential musings wrapped in an narrative burrito* packed with ACTION! But I’m super excited because it has brand-new beautiful spacey cover art by Galen Dara! Behold:

Cover art commissioned from Galen Dara, a real live artist whose work I adore, because I will never ever use A.I.

So this edition with Galen’s art is now available in print, ebook, and audio wherever you like to buy books. (I should mention that Luke Daniels is the audiobook narrator for this and half the royalties go to him. Plus, he included a blooper reel at the end of the story that folks have been enjoying the heck out of.)

Rather than duplicate the book summary, here’s the review from Publishers Weekly:

[A Question of Navigation] pits a group of scientists against their alien abductors in a riotous quest to save humankind from becoming lunch. Physicist Clint Beecham is abducted from Rocky Mountain National Park by aliens, and they give him a shirt declaring he is not to be eaten and promise not to probe him. Light horror elements punctuate the darkly humorous narrative as Clint discovers there are 50,000 more humans aboard the Mishawan scout ship, all destined for processing in the on-board abattoir to provide food for the aliens’ long journey homeward. Worse still, the Mishawans plan on colonizing Earth and treating humanity as their livestock. Clint and the small group of Reserves—humans with scientific degrees that the aliens are keeping alive for a special, unknown purpose—are atypical candidates to save the world, armed with only their smarts against their abductors’ superior physical prowess. Hearne offsets the dire threat to humanity with dark humor and pointed social commentary as cooperation and self-sacrifice win the day. Hearne’s gripping, resonant alien abduction romp is both fun and thought-provoking.

I hope you’ll enjoy! If you’d like a signed copy, contact Perfect Books in Ottawa.

*If you think about it, books aren’t burritos at all but rather tacos. You take an art shell and fill it with a story. Mmm. Delicious.

What I’m Reading Now

As always: I’m just sharing. I get no affiliate bonuses or brownie points for this. I provide links to Bookshop.org, but of course you can find these books wherever you like!

Otter Country

This is a beautiful nonfiction book about a year spent among the otters throughout the United Kingdom. Sometimes I want to run away and live with otters, but I’m not as good at fishing or swimming as they are, so I’ll just have to read this book instead.

Otter Country at Bookshop.org

Everyone on this Train Is a Suspect

Stevenson’s first book, Everyone in My Family Has Killed Someone, was quite enjoyable, so I’m coming back for seconds. These mysteries are not remotely related except that the same guy wrote them and they have similar titles; in other words, you don’t have to have read the first one to enjoy this. They’re standalone mysteries with completely different characters.

Everyone on this Train Is a Suspect