I see what you mean about not padding a novel: Elie Weisel said, "There is a difference between a book of two hundred pages from the very beginning, and a book of two hundred pages which is the result of an original eight hundred pages. The six hundred are there. Only you don't see them."
I am reading David Brin right now, actually: Startide Rising,
which I like very much. It is a tiny bit waterlogged (in more ways than one) but no more so than, say, Dune.
My first novel, A Muse of Fire
(shameless plug) was published by Writers' Exchange Publishing. It's a combination print/e-book house, and nothing whatsoever to brag about. I seem to remember shopping it around forever, starting at the top of the publishing food chain and working my way down to Writers' Exchange (I mean no disrespect for my first publisher, but...they are not Del Rey.) Since then, I have made a little vow to move steadily upward in the publishing world with each new novel I complete. My second novel, Vale of Stars
, has been going through the same process recently, being bounced by some of the bigger houses, and I am about to submit it again to a new house: Twilight Times Books.
I'm closing in on being done with the first draft of my third novel, tentatively titled Belt.
Based on my work schedule, I need to finish the first draft in the next three weeks or risk shelving it for a long time.
Apologies for the self-centeredness of the previous post (though not quite enough apology to delete it