SciFi & Fantasy Novels

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  • Leonard Nimoy, RIP

    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:39 am
    Leonard Nimoy has died at the age of 83.It's impossible to quantify how important a figure he was in the science fiction and acting community. He inhabited one of the three or four most important and influential pop-culture characters of the 20th century. He was a great actor, a fine playwright, an excellent director, a superb photographer, and just a generally impressive person. His loss is keenly felt.I was fortunate enough to encounter Nimoy in person on three occasions. The first, in the mid-1980s, was not great -- but it was at a Creation show, so there's that. Anyhow, he walked up to…
  • Pulp comics: Tom Strong

    The Pulp Super-Fan
    27 Feb 2015 | 7:00 am
    Tom Strong is an interesting pulp-inspired comic-book c […]
  • Book Recommendation: A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

    Eric James Stone
    Eric James Stone
    4 Dec 2014 | 8:16 pm
    Although A Deepness in the Sky was published in 1999, I didn’t get around to reading it until recently. Vernor Vinge deservedly won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for it.  The novel includes one of my favorite portrayals of an alien society, and also portrays a fascinating interstellar human culture.  (It is a prequel to the novel A Fire Upon the Deep, but it doesn’t really matter which order you read the two.) You can buy it at Amazon or download the audio from Audible.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "What You Leave Behind"

    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life
    24 Feb 2015 | 12:36 pm
    The Dominion War and the series both come to a close. The DS9 Rewatch does "What You Leave Behind."An excerpt:Unfortunately, as the finale of the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it fails. The end of the war is not the same as the end of the show. Back in “Emissary,” Sisko was given two purposes: to become Emissary of the Prophets and to get Bajor ready to join the Federation. The former was handled ineptly with an inane storyline involving glowy red eyes and pretentious sounding prophecies that boil down to “we picked you because we needed someone to tackle a guy holding a book into…
  • Star Trek Memories – A British perspective.

    Mark Yon
    28 Feb 2015 | 3:02 am
    The death of Leonard Nimoy yesterday reminded me of what I liked when I first saw Star Trek. As a tribute, I thought I would try and say how important the series was to me when I was younger.    ——————————————- Some memories stay with you for all of your life, and they can be […]
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  • Star Trek Memories – A British perspective.

    Mark Yon
    28 Feb 2015 | 3:02 am
    The death of Leonard Nimoy yesterday reminded me of what I liked when I first saw Star Trek. As a tribute, I thought I would try and say how important the series was to me when I was younger.    ——————————————- Some memories stay with you for all of your life, and they can be […]
  • Damon Kemp (Kempster)

    N. E. White
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:03 am
    As part of our’s Member Spotlight Series, Nila interviews Damon Kempster, avid fantasy reader and a former member of the US Navy. Hello Damon, thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to chat with me. I promise I’ll make this quick. Damon: Hello Nila, I feel truly honored to do an interview […]
  • Macaque Attack by Gareth L Powell

    Mark Chitty
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:00 am
    Macaque Attack is the concluding volume in Gareth L Powell’s Macaque Trilogy. The first novel, Ack-Ack Macaque (review), was the joint recipient of the BSFA award for best novel in 2013, while its sequel, Hive Monkey (review), was released in 2014. I enjoyed the first two novels immensely, with Ack-Ack Macaque being a complete surprise […]
  • Touch by Claire North

    Luke Brown
    25 Feb 2015 | 11:00 am
    Touch by Claire North is a contemporary fantasy thriller and the British author’s second novel writing under this pseudonym. Under her real name, Catherine Webb has published eight young adult novels, the first of which was written when she was fourteen years old. As Kate Griffin, she has published a further six urban fantasy novels, […]
  • Nice Dragons Finish Last (Heartstrikers #1) by Rachel Aaron

    Rob B
    24 Feb 2015 | 4:45 am
    Rachel Aaron (and Rachel Bach, for that matter) has a well-deserved reputation with a fun and popular Sword and Sorcery series, Eli Monpress under her Aaron name and the Paradox trilogy under her Bach name.  Not content with spinning fun, fast paced tales in two sub genres of Speculative Fiction, she launches an urban fantasy […]
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    SF Site

  • By Blood Alone by William C. Dietz

    2 Feb 2015 | 3:00 am
    As Captain Pardo is facing a court martial, he has only one chance to come through without embarrassment; Colonel Bill Booly. The problem is that his commanding officer, General Loy is adamant he change his testimony. Loy wants Bill to let him off even though he deserves to be punished, feeling that if he is sent down, then it would affect the whole legion. Bill knows there is some corruption going on up the ranks and wants nothing to do with it, but not changing his testimony could provide him with wider reaching implications.
  • The Oversight by Charlie Fletcher

    2 Feb 2015 | 3:00 am
    This is the tale the last Hand; five people with supra-natural abilities, keeping the Law and Lore in an alternate Dickensian London. The Oversight was established to police and maintain the borders between the world of men and the darkly magical Sluagh. For many years an uneasy balance was achieved, mostly by mutual adherence to the rules that govern what is permitted from both sides. Then came the Disaster.
  • Foxglove Summer Foxglove Summer by Ben Aaronovitch

    2 Feb 2015 | 3:00 am
    In the fifth novel featuring Peter Grant who, for the uninitiated, is a trainee wizard, and police constable in a special unit consisting of two full time staff, we find him out of London this time around. Seconded to help with an investigation into the mysterious, and possibly magical disappearance of two young girls, Grant tests his magical and mundane skills in the countryside. All the action takes place in and around a rural village policed by the West Mercia force, and containing the usual suspects. Nothing to see here, move along.
  • In Memoriam: 2013

    2 Feb 2015 | 3:00 am
    Science fiction fans have always had a respect and understanding for the history of the genre. Unfortunately, science fiction has achieved such an age that each year sees our ranks diminished. Deaths in 2014 included Neal Barrett, Jr., Mark E. Rogers, Michael Shea, Harold Ramis, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mary Stewart, H.R. Giger, Daniel Keyes, Frank M. Robinson, Kirby McCauley and Graham Joyce.
  • Six-Guns Straight From Hell 2 by David B. Riley

    24 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    The days of straightforward Western stories have evolved from the Louis L'Amour's of yesterday to be considered Western horror, strange Western and even crossover stories, but one thing we can be sure of, they are well written. Edited, yet again by David B. Riley, this second offering takes the Western story to a whole new level with a haunted house, ghost hunter, vampires and gunfights -- every western story needs gunfights.
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    Eric James Stone

  • My LTUE 2015 Schedule

    Eric James Stone
    10 Feb 2015 | 9:19 pm
    I’ll be at Life, the Universe & Everything later this week. Here’s my schedule: Thursday, February 12 9:00 AM – Building Different Economies / Politics: Eric James Stone, M. K. Hutchins, Meredith Skye, C. R. Asay, Daniel W. Willis (m) 12:00 PM – Writing Sci-Fi: Kevin H. Evans, Shallee McArthur, Eric James Stone 3:00 PM – Capitalism & Space Flight: Eric James Stone, Mikki Kells, Richard Barnes 5:00 PM – Crime: What to get right?: Michaelbrent Collings, Eric James Stone, Robin Ambrose, Al Carlisle, Eric Swedin (m) 7:00 PM – Religion in Science…
  • Trilogy Recommendation: The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia

    Eric James Stone
    5 Dec 2014 | 12:26 pm
    Since I reviewed this trilogy over on the blog of the Association for Mormon Letters a few months back, I’ll just copy what I said over there to here: When I interviewed Larry Correia a couple of months ago, I had read some of his Monster Hunter International books, but I had not read any of the Grimnoir Chronicles series.  I didn’t know much about the series, but based on the cover of the first book, Hard Magic, I guessed it was a 1930s hard-boiled detective novel, plus magic, and that didn’t really pique my interest.  But since I’ve recently been listening to audiobooks at a…
  • Book Recommendation: A Deepness in the Sky by Vernor Vinge

    Eric James Stone
    4 Dec 2014 | 8:16 pm
    Although A Deepness in the Sky was published in 1999, I didn’t get around to reading it until recently. Vernor Vinge deservedly won the Hugo Award for Best Novel for it.  The novel includes one of my favorite portrayals of an alien society, and also portrays a fascinating interstellar human culture.  (It is a prequel to the novel A Fire Upon the Deep, but it doesn’t really matter which order you read the two.) You can buy it at Amazon or download the audio from Audible.
  • Book Recommendation: Ironskin by Tina Connolly

    Eric James Stone
    3 Dec 2014 | 6:35 pm
    I have previously recommended Mary Robinette Kowal’s Glamourist Histories, which are like Jane Austen with magic.  Ironskin, by Tina Connolly, is Jane Eyre with magic.  I enjoyed reading it perhaps even a little more than I enjoyed reading Jane Eyre. You can buy it from Amazon or get the audio version from Audible.
  • Book Recommendation: One Second After

    Eric James Stone
    2 Dec 2014 | 8:20 pm
    I’ve known about EMP weapons for at least a couple of decades.  But reading the novel One Second After by William R. Forstchen really brought home to me how vulnerable our society is to such weapons (or even just a major solar storm).  Frankly, after reading this book, I favor increasing government spending to harden our infrastructure against such events. You can buy it at Amazon or get the audiobook at Audible.
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    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • Leonard Nimoy, RIP

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:39 am
    Leonard Nimoy has died at the age of 83.It's impossible to quantify how important a figure he was in the science fiction and acting community. He inhabited one of the three or four most important and influential pop-culture characters of the 20th century. He was a great actor, a fine playwright, an excellent director, a superb photographer, and just a generally impressive person. His loss is keenly felt.I was fortunate enough to encounter Nimoy in person on three occasions. The first, in the mid-1980s, was not great -- but it was at a Creation show, so there's that. Anyhow, he walked up to…
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "What You Leave Behind"

    24 Feb 2015 | 12:36 pm
    The Dominion War and the series both come to a close. The DS9 Rewatch does "What You Leave Behind."An excerpt:Unfortunately, as the finale of the TV show Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, it fails. The end of the war is not the same as the end of the show. Back in “Emissary,” Sisko was given two purposes: to become Emissary of the Prophets and to get Bajor ready to join the Federation. The former was handled ineptly with an inane storyline involving glowy red eyes and pretentious sounding prophecies that boil down to “we picked you because we needed someone to tackle a guy holding a book into…
  • my GalaxyFest 2015 schedule

    23 Feb 2015 | 11:18 am
    I will be the Author Guest of Honor at GalaxyFest 2015 this coming weekend in Colorado Springs. In addition to a bunch of fellow authors (including my dear friends Jessica Brawner and Rebecca Moesta), the guest list includes actors Hilary Shepard, Michael Copon, and Jason Faunt, who all starred on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.I'll have a table in the dealer room where I'll be selling and/or signing books, but I'm also doing a bunch of program items:Friday5pm: opening ceremonies6pm: "So This One Time, at a Con..." (w/Jessica Brawner and Sarah Hoyt)7pm: "How to be a Productive Creator" (w/Sam…
  • on martial arts promotions.....

    22 Feb 2015 | 7:18 pm
    Hilariously, given that I spent seven hours at the dojo today assisting with a promotion, today my dear friend and fellow karateka, Kyoshi Jennifer Fremon posted this incredibly insightful piece on the subject of promotions in martial arts disciplines. As ever, she nails it.Money quote:I promote one of my little white belts (or many of them) to blue belt every two months. Some of them have simply taken the "right" number of classes, a milestone that we decided on many years ago. Some of them are the "Hermione Grangers" of the dojo who can perform every move perfectly and answer every question…
  • my Sunday feeling

    22 Feb 2015 | 7:02 pm
    Holy fuck, am I exhausted.And it's mostly my own stupid fault.So today's agenda included going to my parents' place for dinner with our accountant -- the woman who has done my and my parents' taxes for decades -- which would also include going over this year's tax stuff. Me being a moron, I didn't actually get all my tax shit together until Wrenn and I got home from the reading of Love, Sex, Anarchy last night. (I'll talk more about that in another post when I'm conscious. Which, at this rate, will be next month. Blargle. But short version: this is an excellent play about the life of…
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    Robert J. Sawyer

  • Evernote web with less eyestrain

    28 Feb 2015 | 10:09 am
    I use various versions of Evernote (Windows, web, iPhone, iPad) for organizing my research materials. The iPhone and iPad versions are very pleasant to use, but both the Windows client and the web version have glaring white backgrounds, which are uncomfortable to read. I haven’t found a solution for the actual Windows client that you install on your own computer, but I have worked out a fix for the web-based version: I use Firefox with the Stylish add-on (which I believe is available for other browsers, too), but was surprised to find that no one had written a style sheet to override…
  • My suggestion for FlashForward’s second season

    19 Feb 2015 | 2:26 pm
    Well, we never got to make a second season of FlashForward, the ABC TV series based on my Aurora Award-winning novel of the same name. But here’s the memo I sent to the producers and staff writers five years ago today (February 19, 2010) outlining my suggestion for Season Two: Hi, All. Since you’re exploring ideas for Season Two, I’d like to make a pitch. For better or worse, FLASHFORWARD was initially presented as the “new LOST.” We got good numbers for the pilot, but then people started turning away; our audience shrunk week after week. Why? Because we…
  • I gave up writing short stories ten years ago today

    6 Feb 2015 | 6:45 am
    Ten years ago today I finished writing my last short story ever (“Biding Time”); I said then that I was giving up short fiction for good, but people refused to believe me. Well, it’s been a decade now, folks, and I’m showing no signs of fictive recidivism. I had a nice little career as a short-story writer, with 44 stories published, now all collected in two volumes — Iterations and Other Stories and Identity Theft and Other Stories. The stories first appeared in a mix of classic genre venues such as Analog, Amazing Stories, and On Spec, original…
  • 35th anniversary of my first sale

    18 Jan 2015 | 7:13 am
    Thirty-five years ago today, on January 18, 1980, I made my first professional sale: a science-fiction story about a starship called Starplex, with a crew that included reptilian aliens called Quintaglios, to the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester, New York, which dramatized the story as part their summer 1980 starshow “Futurescapes.” Read the history of that first sale (a page I wrote in 2010 for the 30th anniversary). Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email
  • The Beagle has landed

    16 Jan 2015 | 7:15 am
    In honor of the discovery of the remains of Beagle 2 on Mars, an excerpt from my novel Red Planet Blues, which mentions it. Martian private-detective Alex Lomax is talking with blackmarket fossil dealer Ernie Gargalian: Since Berling hadn’t yet shown up, I took the opportunity to ask Ernie a question. “So,” I said, doing my best to sound nonchalant, “do you think anyone will ever rediscover the Alpha Deposit?” Ernie’s eyes, already mostly lost in his fleshy face, narrowed even further. “Why do you ask?” “Just idle curiosity.”…
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  • Taking the Weekend Off

    John Scalzi
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:47 pm
    Or more accurately, spending the weekend writing on the novel. Wheee! Have a great weekend. See you on Monday.
  • RIP, Leonard Nimoy

    John Scalzi
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:27 am
    He passed away today at 83. Here’s the New York Times obituary. Doubt there are many people in the world who were so plainly and simply admired as he was, and is. And rather than to be entirely sad about the end of a life lived well and prosperously, here’s a couple of music videos for you. Rest in peace, Leonard Nimoy. We are, will always be, your friends.
  • We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

    John Scalzi
    26 Feb 2015 | 6:02 am
    Sam Sykes wrote on Twitter: One day I would like a picture of me as a giant shark, eating a ship piloted by @scalzi @ChuckWendig and @scottlynch78 a la Jaws. — Sam Sykes (@SamSykesSwears) February 25, 2015 And Lartist (aka Lar deSouza, cartoonist of Least I Could Do), responded: @SamSykesSwears @scalzi @ChuckWendig @scottlynch78 I had fun doing this. I hope you guys enjoy it. :) — Lar (@lartist) February 26, 2015 If for some reason you can’t see the tweet, here’s a link to the art. For those of you who don’t know the players,…
  • Why Yes, I Still Have a Landline

    John Scalzi
    25 Feb 2015 | 12:54 pm
    Photo by MoShotz, used under Creative Commons license.   Gizmodo is curious to know who still has a landline and why. Well, I do, and here’s why: 1. The landline comes bundled with my DSL line and it’s not really any cheaper to have just the DSL service and not the landline, plus my provider whines petulantly if you ask for just the raw DSL line, so the hell with it, I’ll keep the landline. 2. Continuity. It’s useful to have had the same phone number for the last 14 years. 3. When the power goes out the phone lines still work. Likewise when the cell phones…
  • Reading Authors Not Like Me

    John Scalzi
    25 Feb 2015 | 8:07 am
    I’ve been getting emails from folks asking me what I thought about and/or to comment on this article from K.T Bradford*, the headline of which is “I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year.” As with many headlines, it’s an unnuanced take of what the article actually is about, which is, as I saw it, to have readers challenge themselves by mindfully reading within a group of authors they may not been reading much of before, to experience different writing and to gain perspective on defaults in the publishing world. That said, part of…
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    Magical Words

  • Verb Tense: how to say when we mean Part I

    Emily Leverett
    24 Feb 2015 | 3:07 am
    Today I’m going to continue my discussion of verbs—those wonderful little words of action—by discussing verb tense and the “expansion” of verb forms. Warning: at a point later on in this post, you will see things that look like math. Do not be alarmed. It is still writing—still grammar. If you *like* math, then you’re all set. If you don’t like math, just hold on. It’s worth it. Trust me. So. In English, unlike in, say, romance languages (Spanish and French, for example), we have only 2 tenses: past and present. “But wait!” you say. “I speak about the future all the…
  • Party Talk: The Evil Overlord List

    Misty Massey
    23 Feb 2015 | 3:55 am
    Hey y’all, The Big Bad II releases tomorrow!  Whoo hoo!  Twenty-four tales of vampires, demons, ghosts, zombies, and the most terrifying monsters of all – humans.  It’s going to be available in hardcover, paperback and Kindle, so if you want to be one of the cool kids, go order your copy right now! I’ve asked our authors to join me for one more round of Party Talk, and this week’s question is: What are your favorite rules from the Evil Overlord List? Matthew Saunders:”One of my advisors will be an average five-year-old child. Any flaws in my plan that he…
  • Literate Liquors Episode 15 – Short Stories

    John G. Hartness
    20 Feb 2015 | 5:16 am
    With Big Bad 2 releasing next week, and with a fairly well-read SFWA article about why you should write short fiction even if there’s no money in it, I thought it would be worth it to provide a nuts and bolts, dollars and cents podcast about short fiction, how I do it, why I do it, and what I make from it. I include my earnings from January and February so far on my short fiction sales. I think it might surprise you. Literate Liquors Episode 15 – Short Stories
  • Deadly Inspiration

    Gail Martin
    17 Feb 2015 | 10:31 pm
    After eight epic fantasy novels, why write an urban fantasy? To paraphrase famed bank robber Willie Sutton, “Because that’s where the story is.” I’m not planning to quit writing epic fantasy. For one thing, I’ve got more novels under contract and even more clamoring for attention in my head. But an idea led to a short story which turned into a novel that became a whole new fictional universe, and now there are more stories that just won’t be satisfied until I tell them. Maybe that only makes sense if you’re a writer, but having stories in your head…
  • That He Said, She Said Thing

    Melissa Gilbert
    17 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Dialogue causes trouble, in more ways than one. Dialogue needs to be honest and fit the character, which has been discussed on Magical Words before. But another thing that causes trouble is correctly punctuating dialogue. (I did say that I really like punctuation…) I’m going to break this post into four sections: dialogue tags, stand-alone dialogue, divided dialogue, and extended dialogue. Interior monologue is something a bit different, so I won’t include it here. The Basics: Dialogue Tags   A dialogue tag is the he said, she said part. There are two basic ways to punctuate…
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  • New Review at the B&NR

    24 Feb 2015 | 6:16 am
    A look at Reif Larsen's new novel:
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    22 Feb 2015 | 11:00 am
    I look at the new novel by Tom McCarthy:
  • Borderlands Books Is Staying Open!

    21 Feb 2015 | 10:46 am
    For a while it looked as if Borderlands Books in San Francisco was going to close, which would have been a terribly sad thing.  Now, though, they've come up with a program of sponsorships and it apprears they might stay open after all.  So if you have a spare $100 and like great bookstores, here's a good thing you can do with it.I wrote the following post before they figured out how they might stay in business, so it has an elegiac feel to it.  I'm still posting it, though, because it was one of the strangest things that ever happened to me, and anyway I liked…
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    19 Feb 2015 | 1:13 pm
    Here's my take on a fine debut novel:
  • New Review at the B&NR

    19 Feb 2015 | 8:18 am
    I look at two new story collections:
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  • Old Venus

    27 Feb 2015 | 7:08 am
    I have a story in this collection. I've read a review of Old Venus and the entire anthology sounds pretty nifty. I'm reasonably happy with my story, which is about the last Soviet Socialist Republic, which is surviving -- just barely -- on a Venus like the planet in the old pulps: wet and covered with jungle and full of large, dangerous, dinosaur-like animals. Apparently a fair number of the writers picked up on the fact that the first space craft to reach Venus was Soviet and imagined the Soviet Union on a habitable planet. (We didn't know Venus was a hellhole till the first space craft…
  • Good Thing My Career is Over or I Might Rage Quit

    tate hallaway
    26 Feb 2015 | 6:46 am
    Wow, people, just wow.So my friend and fellow Wyrdsmith, Eleanor Arnason, decided to re-post Tempest's challenge on her Facebook as a test, just to see what kind of response she'd get. Third or fourth comment? So offensive I'm not even sure I can re-print it here.  Since I don't know how to do an "under the cut" in blogspot, let's just say he suggested that as a "reward" for reading books on this list he should get to "haz" sexual acts performed on him by women.  (The haz particularly felt... offensive, because clearly he felt this made his comment cutesy, ala a LOL cat.) Then…
  • Introducing a New Member: Kelly Barnhill

    tate hallaway
    25 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    When I asked her what she wanted for a bio, this is what I got:Kelly Barnhill: raised by unicorns.www.kellybarnhill.comI think she'll fit in perfectly....
  • The Disappearing Female Science Fiction Writer (Calling Fandom's Historians!)

    tate hallaway
    24 Feb 2015 | 7:14 am
    Okay, now I kind of get it. Yesterday I reblogged/reposted Tempest's challenge on Facebook with a little comment by me, which was basically a condensed version of my blog here. My point being: is this hard? This shouldn't be hard.I'm not sure I've ever gotten so much traffic on a FB feed in my life.With the exception of one person who was a bit trollish (they used the dog whistle acronym SJW, for Social Justice Warrior, to describe Tempest in what was a clearly derogative way hoping, I suspect, to trigger a fight), it was a decent enough conversation. In fact, a dear friend of mine chimed in…
  • "Can You See? Can You See? There's a Woman Right Next to You..."

    tate hallaway
    23 Feb 2015 | 7:06 am
    K. Tempest Bradford would like to challenge you to "Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis, Male Authors for a Year." Let me first and foremost say, I support this idea. Secondly, it will not be difficult.You could easily read a book a day and only read women writers. I actually did this spontaneously when I was in my youth, probably somewhere in the mid-1980s (and continued well into the early-1990s), when it was also still very easy to find women writing SF/F. In fact, we were just coming off the great boom of the New Wave and I simply spontaneously and naturally drifted in the direction of…
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    Joe Abercrombie

  • Half the World Published in the UK

    Joe Abercrombie
    12 Feb 2015 | 1:00 am
    Half the World is published in the UK, let ring the bells! Signed copies have been leaking out via Waterstones for some time now, in fact, but Amazon and other retailers should be shipping and stocking as of today.  The mass-market paperback of Half a King, meanwhile has already been out for a couple of weeks: Those across the pond need not despair, for Del Rey’s hardcover edition of Half the World will be with you in but a few short days on February 17th.  Enjoy responsibly…
  • Forbidden Planet, Australia, Dubai

    Joe Abercrombie
    29 Jan 2015 | 5:07 am
    Details for a few forthcoming events. The UK tour for Half a King was but seven months ago, so we’re not doing a full tour this time around, just the one UK event at Forbidden Planet London, who have supported me with every book I’ve brought out, right back to The Blade Itself: Sunday 8th February, 13.00-14.00, Forbidden Planet London, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, WC2H 8JR I may read and talk a little beforehand, but the space isn’t ideal so we’ll see how it goes.  I can’t promise to sign anything you don’t buy on the day, but I will try to as long as you buy…
  • Interview with Edoardo Rialti

    Joe Abercrombie
    28 Jan 2015 | 12:58 am
    Here’s an interview focusing on Half a King conducted by my brilliant Italian translator, Edoardo Rialti. The Italian translation can be found over here.  But I thought I’d put the English version up for those of you (like me) whose Italian is a little rusty… Once in Italy you introduced your “First Law Trilogy” as a sort of Lord of the Rings combined with L.A. Confidential; then you spoke of “Best Served Cold” as a Montecristo mixed with Point-Blank, but with a female Lee Marvin. What image would you use to introduce “Half a King”? Vikings meets the Lion…
  • ConFusion Detroit 2015

    Joe Abercrombie
    12 Jan 2015 | 10:37 am
    So I’m going to be over in the US of A later this week at ConFusion in Detroit as a guest of the wonderful Subterranean Press.  I think it was 3 years ago I was last there, and it’s a great small con with an informal atmosphere and a lot of writers around.  Plus there’s Peter V. Brett’s annual author D&D session, which I last attended three years back.  I have a feeling elven thief Darque Shadeaux will be sowing chaos once again… My itinerary: Friday 5pm: The Next Big Thing in YA Friday 7pm: Opening Ceremonies Saturday 9am: Author D&D Saturday 3pm:…
  • 2014 in Review

    Joe Abercrombie
    31 Dec 2014 | 1:21 am
    New Year’s Eve, my friends, and you know what that means?  Yes, indeed, I am 40 years old today.  You would never think I used to be young.  Truly horrifyingly, this is my 6th yearly review post. I’ll have to have a review of my best yearly review posts one of these new year’s eves… A YEAR IN BOOKSELLING – Again, in spite of all my complaints, I really can’t complain. Partly due to the ongoing success of Game of Thrones, I’m sure, The First Law books continue to chug along very, very nicely.  I had a short story in Martin and Dozois’…
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    Colleen Anderson

  • Writing: Expanding on the Playground of Lost Toys

    26 Feb 2015 | 4:13 pm
    Trunk stories are valid, if they actually fit the theme. I realize that when one puts up guidelines for a themed anthology that you will always get trunk stories, those tales already written that have not yet found a home and that might just fit the theme even if not tailored toward it exactly. Trunk stories can be perfectly well-written stories that just don’t mesh with what’s out there, or they may be your B grade stories, never selling because something just didn’t gel in the telling. I’ve sent trunk stories to anthologies before and I’ve sold some and not…
  • Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

    20 Feb 2015 | 4:06 pm
    Copyright: 20th Century Fox There will be massive spoilers and I realize this movie came out last year but others, like me might still be deciding if they want to watch it. Many of us are familiar with the Planet of the Apes movie franchise. We have a secret love for the overall monkeyness of Roddy McDowall’s Cornelius in the original Planet of the Apes, and his subsequent role as Cornelius’s son, Caeser, as savior of ape and humankind. And for anyone who wonders, Caeser seems to be a chimpanzee (or possibly bonobo) in the ape family. There have been several versions of Planet of…
  • Writing: The Playground of Lost Toys

    31 Jan 2015 | 10:57 am
    Creative Commons: Ninha Morandini “Usually at least once in a person’s childhood we lose an object that at the time is invaluable and irreplaceable to us, although it is worthless to others. Many people remember that lost article for the rest of their lives. Whether it was a lucky pocketknife, a transparent plastic bracelet given to you by your father, a toy you had longed for and never expected to receive, but there it was under the tree on Christmas… it makes no difference what it was. If we describe it to others and explain why it was so important, even those who love us…
  • WordPress Takes Another Unfortunate Page From Facebook

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:24 am
    Thanks, WordPress, for doing it again, with no instructions. Creative Commons attribute. It’s amazing how various companies feel the need to constantly refresh and rearrange their look, their feel, their software. Every new version of Microsoft seems worse than the one before but uses way more memory so you have to constantly upgrade your hardware. It’s a make-work project. How do you employ thousands of people if you create something so awesomely efficient that someone never needs to buy another piece? Planned obsolescence and inefficiencies are part of the market model, which in…
  • My Mother the Squirrel

    11 Jan 2015 | 6:27 pm
    Happy New Year, World! I hope we can see more peace and calm and less fanaticism this year, but it’s not looking likely. However, I’ll do my bit for compassion and understanding and remember, it’s the microcosm, your neighbors, your friends and your family that can make for a more loving place. Creative Commons: Zeeksie @ Deviant Art On that note, I traveled to the frozen wastelands (as I see it) of Alberta to visit friends and family over the holidays. While I’ve been back in recent years I’ve tried to avoid winter  because it is evil and bone-chilling. I…
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    Eleanor Arnason's Web Log

  • Old Venus

    26 Feb 2015 | 9:42 am
    I have a story in the anthology, which is why I'm posting this. I have read a review, and it genuinely sounds like a good group of stories by an impressive group of writers. I always like being in good company.
  • Re the story "Moby Quilt"

    25 Feb 2015 | 8:16 am
    This is a reply to Timothy, who commented that he liked"Moby Quilt." "Quilt" is the fourth Lydia Duluth story. All four have been published. The first, "Stellar Harvest," was a Hugo finalist and maybe a Nebula finalist. I no longer remember. Anyway, it's in one of the Nebula Awards collections, edited by Kim Stanley Robinson. In addition, there are three stories set in the Lydia Duluth universe, but not about Lydia Duluth. All of these have been published. One, "Knapsack Poems," was a Nebula finalist and has been reprinted several times. There are three more unpublished Lydia Duluth stories,…
  • Privilege and Weather

    24 Feb 2015 | 8:28 am
    And maybe I should let go of 'privilege.' It's apparently useful for other people. Outside, there's a clear blue sky and a lot of sunlight. Predicted high of 30, which is pretty warm. The rest of the week the highs are going to be below freezing and above zero. No snow forecast. I really could use some snow -- not eight feet, like Boston, but maybe six inches and then a series of light dustings to keep the snow white.
  • Several Thoughts on Privilege by Me from Facebook

    23 Feb 2015 | 6:38 am
    I am thinking about privilege, a word I am not crazy about. I suppose it's useful. It comes from the Latin for 'private' and the Latin for 'law.' It means a law passed for or against a private citizen. Now, per Merriam Webster, it means (1) a right or benefit that is given to some people and not to others(2) a special opportunity to do something that makes you proud(3) the advantage that wealthy and powerful people have over other people in a society.I'm seeing it used mostly as definition # 1, though I think a number of people are blending definition # 1 and definition # 3. This makes sense,…
  • Previous Book

    17 Feb 2015 | 3:10 pm
    Here is a photo of the previous book, which came out in December. The teapot is by Rachael Hoffman-Dachelet.I am uncomfortable doing self-promotion. I figure it will be easier if I promote someone else's work as well.
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  • Second Eye Operation

    Neal Asher
    15 Feb 2015 | 12:33 am
    I went back to Harley Street for my second operation on Friday the 13th – not an auspicious day if you believe in that nonsense. This time I took a camera in the hope of getting some shots of the procedure, so be warned if you’re squeamish – the shot of me in a hair net is quite horrible.When I arrived there I was still slightly worried about the cloudiness in the eye that had been operated on. I use the word ‘cloudiness’ rather than ‘blur’ because it wasn’t as if I was straining to focus but to see through a dirty glass. After a chat with my surgeon Mr Samer Hamada (a guy…
  • Eye Operation

    Neal Asher
    7 Feb 2015 | 1:04 am
    A number of years ago, like most people heading into their 50s, I found that reading was starting to become difficult. Mostly it was a light thing. I picked up some +1.5 reading glasses which I used when the light was crappy and that is how it has always been. I could read in good light even when I moved to +2.5 and then admitted that my eyes still weren’t right and had them checked. About this time I suffered from a lot of styes mostly in one eye and it turned out that eye had developed astigmatism. Also it seemed my body had adjusted to the age-related inflexibility of my eye’s lenses…
  • Looking Good...

    Neal Asher
    4 Feb 2015 | 9:53 am
    "Beautifully paced ... does just as well as at slam-bang action scenes as at painting frightening pictures ... This is space opera at a high peak of craftsmanship."—Publishers Weekly, starred review“What Asher delivers here is state-of-the-art SF on so many levels … a compelling, smart read.”—Paul Di Filippo, Locus"An exciting, intricate, and unabashedly futuristic story rife with twists and turns ... Asher returns to his popular far-future series, Polity Universe, with another fast-paced space opera filled with his trademark technological marvels and elaborate world…
  • Paul Di Filippo reviews Neal Asher - Locus Online

    Neal Asher
    3 Feb 2015 | 10:25 pm
    I particularly like this bit: "It’s a scenario that trembles on the edge of the Singularity while still being comprehensible to, and inhabitable by, the humans of the era and of course to us 21st-century dullards as well. Novelty and neologisms dominate nearly every page. Handled badly, such a strategy becomes confusing and frustrating. Asher does it well, though. And yet the reader needs to keep pace. There is just enough authorial guidance, but no condescending hand-holding. This type of SF is really the litmus test for separating serious readers from, say, media fans who might…
  • Dark Intelligence Review - Starburst

    Neal Asher
    3 Feb 2015 | 5:42 am
    BOOK REVIEW: DARK INTELLIGENCE / AUTHOR: NEAL ASHER / PUBLISHER: TOR / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOWNeal Asher is one of those well known sci-fi authors who has produced a whole range of novels set in the same world, known as The Polity. This makes his work a little intimidating for new readers. Luckily, his latest work,Dark Intelligence, is a good jumping-on point. It also happens to be one of his best works so far.Read the rest of the review here.
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  • Paolo Bacigalupi Interview: Looking at Morality through Science Fiction

    7 Feb 2015 | 8:48 am
    The post Paolo Bacigalupi Interview: Looking at Morality through Science Fiction appeared first on
  • THE DOUBT FACTORY is an Edgar Award Finalist

    21 Jan 2015 | 2:50 pm
    I’m very pleased and honored to learn that THE DOUBT FACTORY is an Edgar Award Finalist. More information at the Edgar Awards website. It’s a very good day. The post THE DOUBT FACTORY is an Edgar Award Finalist appeared first on
  • Touring for the Doubt Factory

    8 Oct 2014 | 7:41 am
    I’ll be doing a little touring for The Doubt Factory over the next couple weeks. DC, Santa Cruz, San Francisco, Austin, and Boulder. Washington DC, Oct 10-12 – Capclave Science Fiction Convention Hilton Washington DC 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD 20877 Oct 14, 12:30 PM – “What If” Series at Library of Congress 101 Independence Avenue, S.E., Washington DC, 20540 Location: Dining Room A Oct 14, 7:00 PM – Talk and Book Signing at Politics & Prose 5015 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C. Santa Cruz, CA Oct 15, 7:00 PM Talk and Book Signing at Bookshop Santa…
  • Capclave – Oct 10-12, 2014

    8 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    I’ll be at Caplave Science Fiction Convention in the Washington DC area Oct. 10-12, prior to starting my book tour for The Doubt Factory. Details below. Capclave The post Capclave – Oct 10-12, 2014 appeared first on
  • Dec. 7, Grand Junction Signing

    5 Dec 2013 | 1:42 pm
    I’ll be doing a signing event at the Grand Junction Barnes & Noble on Dec 7, from 2-4pm. More details here: The post Dec. 7, Grand Junction Signing appeared first on
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    The Battersblog


    Lee Battersby
    26 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
    I'm running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don't get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.Today, our visitor is author, editor and illustrator Cat Sparks:This house is…

    Lee Battersby
    25 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
    I use to choose the order I post the sketches for Thumbnail Thursday. The fact that today is my father's 71st birthday is not only entirely coincidental, it's also rather bleakly funny."Honey, the clown is here!"

    Lee Battersby
    23 Feb 2015 | 2:58 am
    In the wake of the Writers Festival, it's apparent that one of the reasons for my ongoing creative despair has been the lack of creation. For a long time, I've not being writing anything new, simply stirring the embers of words already committed, thoughts already created and let loose.Thankfully, as always, Luscious not only has the answer but is living it.For a couple of weeks now she's been challenging herself to a different writing exercise a day, not with an expectation of creating a glowing, new, complete work to loose upon the world but simply as a way of rediscovering the habit of…

    Lee Battersby
    22 Feb 2015 | 12:05 am
    It's no secret to anyone who has me as their Facebook friend, but I've been suffering from a fair bit of darkness and despair recently. My writing has been non-existent. The editorial process for the children's book now known as Magrit has been a bizarre combination of slow-slow-NOW. My day job has somehow managed to increase its level of complexity while my organisation continues to make it clear how little my field of work is valued. My days were packed from beginning to end with obligations rather than pleasures, my health was up the shit, and my general gloominess and blackness of mood…

    Lee Battersby
    19 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
    I'm running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don't get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.This week, we welcome our first international friend, international man of…
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    throw another bear in the canoe

  • oh i believe in yesterday

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:37 am
    I'm doing a live reading on Google Hangouts at 8 pm March 7th to support the Pixel Project against domestic violence! You can support it here.
  • the storyteller's magic doesn't lie. to make you laugh. to make you cry.

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    25 Feb 2015 | 2:24 pm
    It's this year's Suvudu Cage Match! And I... may have written one of the round one fights.Ahem.Also, New Amsterdam is now part of the current Humble Bundle! This round's charity is Worldbuilders. Pick up a copy and support it (and me) here! DRM free, pay what you want for the basic bundle, and $15 gets you $123 worth of books by authors including Connie Willis, Joe Lansdale, Ted Chiang, Caitlin Kiernan, Tim Powers, K.J. Parker, Cherie Priest, John Scalzi--oh, just go look; it's pretty cool.
  • not like that, oh no. not so black and white.

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    24 Feb 2015 | 1:55 pm
    4280 words today, to finish a draft of "En Libres." An epic fantasy short story revolving around the protagonists's desire to finish their dissertations and collect their Ph.Ds, starring a postgrad centaur alchemist and a postgrad botanical thaumaturge. Now I get Thai food, as my reward for virtue. And I get to goof off tonight. I've already written six pieces of short fiction in 2015, which is as many as I managed in all of 2014. Maybe something came unstuck?Also, I'm being funny this year.
  • she said you came and took your stuff away

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:18 am
    Old Venus comes out on Tuesday. Old Venus is not your father's retro-futurism. It's the Venus of the pulps, yes, but imagined as if that Venus--swampy, syrupy, paleolithic--had turned out to be real. Something that the evolved science fiction of today could still sink its teeth into. It's a fun, playful, thoughtful anthology including stories by writers ranging from Tobias S. Buckell to Joe Haldeman. It's netting great reviews, too. (You can read some of the Usual Suspects at that Barnes and Noble link, and here's Russell Letson's take.)Seriously, this is awesome and…
  • matociquala @ 2015-02-23T20:10:00

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    23 Feb 2015 | 5:10 pm
    Things accomplished today include being sick; revising the sargasso lighthouse apocalypse story, which is now called "Margin of Survival" and is officially the most depressing thing I have ever written; working on the library story, which is now called "En Libres" and needs two more scenes to be done; and... something. I'm sure I did something. Oh, I swept, which was desperately needed.Now I'm going to watch last week's Agent Carter and be sick some more. I'm tired of being sick now. It can end.
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    Vicious Imagery

  • "Always crashing in the same car"

    16 Feb 2015 | 2:08 am
    This was inspired by the Abstract Comics blog. Click image for enlarged view!
  • Scott Bradlee & Postmodern Jukebox - #pmjtour

    12 Feb 2015 | 12:09 am
    Went to see this ensemble play in Edinburgh last night - a brilliant show, highly recommended. They're on tour round the UK and Europe for the rest of this month. 
  • My PLR top ten titles for July 2013 - June 2014

    20 Jan 2015 | 3:01 am
    Every year the Public Lending Right sends registered authors a statement estimating how many times their books were borrowed from UK libraries. To compensate for lost sales, the PLR pays about six pence per loan. There's a maximum payment threshold [£6600] to prevent bestselling authors from draining the PLR's precious coffers of cash.About 22,000 authors will get payments for the most recent PLR period [July 2013-June 2014], with about 190 on the maximum amount. The fate of the PLR is in flux, as cash-strapped councils close libraries and eBooks alter reading habits. In the meantime,…
  • "We are Groot!": 8-Bit Guardians of the Galaxy

    14 Jan 2015 | 1:09 pm
    This is great, but the best bit for me? The music. Class.
  • "Gritty BAFTA. Gritty, gritty BAFTA."

    7 Jan 2015 | 6:23 am
    Because it's awards season, a wee re-run for this great sketch...
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  • Chicken Ranch anniversary (plus news): Miss Edna (1928-2012)

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    25 Feb 2015 | 12:09 pm
    It is officially official: the publisher accepted my withdrawal of my manuscript this morning, so my book is officially back on the market. That's not exactly good news, but it is better than signing a bad contract that would essentially tie up all rights and interest in the book with that publisher forever. If they were offering an outrageous advance, that'd be one thing, but they weren't. Life goes on. And speaking of going on, and on, and on, I have accepted an invitation to be a guest speaker at the Noon Lions Club in La Grange on March 19. Time is limited, so I won't be giving my…
  • Chicken Ranch report no. 51: Woe, despair and agony on me

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    23 Feb 2015 | 7:38 am
    As a writer, particularly a writer who has worked to place his manuscript on the history of the Chicken Ranch with a publisher for the last few years to varying degrees of frustration, sending the following email is not the way one wants to start off Monday morning:It is with deep regret that I must withdraw my manuscript from XXXXXXXXX's consideration. There's a lesson here, boys and girls. That lesson is "Academic publishers are not the same as commercial publishers." I knew this, of course. When I published Voices of Vision with the University of Nebraska Press back in 2005, I learned this…
  • My weekend

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    16 Feb 2015 | 9:11 am
    I keep telling myself I'm making progress on my list of things to do, but it keeps growing so that I feel I'm constantly falling behind. I worked in the yard this weekend. A lot. The unseasonably warm weather we've been having has tricked a lot of plants into thinking it is spring, and some of the trees I have are showing the first swell of budding out. Which isn't great with a big cold front coming in this week. It also isn't great if I want to trad bud wood for grafting. So, I got to work. I received a shipment of persimmon trees from Stark Brothers and planted them Saturday--a Prok…
  • My genius time travel movie

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    10 Feb 2015 | 1:39 pm
    So there's a new time travel movie out, Project Almanac, that The Wife and kids want to see. From what I understand, it's about a group of people who travel back in a time machine, change something in the past, and all hell breaks loose. Which is pretty much the plot of every time travel movie from Back to the Future to Hot Tub Time Machine. Yeah, there are some others that don't fit the mold, like Primer and 12 Monkeys and such, but when you want a go-to Hollywood time travel plot, changing up the past to screw up the present is a cinematic workhorse. Naturally, my brain started turning this…
  • Friday Night Videos: Chicken Ranch publishing edition

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    30 Jan 2015 | 7:44 am
    Depending on how closely you may or may not follow my Facebook or Twitter feeds, you know that for the past couple of months I've been in serious communication with a publisher that has shown significant interest in my book on the comprehensive history of the Chicken Ranch. They requested some changes--additions and deletions--which, although I wasn't crazy about, I could see their reasoning. So I made those because I like to think I'm not a prima donna artiste. Things got serious a week ago when they offered me a publishing contract. The contract wasn't terribly favorable toward me, the…
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  • I've Moooooved!

    19 Feb 2015 | 4:07 pm
    This website will be here for at least a bit, but please visit and update your bookmarks to get the latest and greatest. It's much prettier too!
  • Starred!

    16 Feb 2015 | 9:59 am
    So, hey, it turns out I can reveal the March 1 news early, because the review was posted online today. Here goes... Lois Lane: Fallout got a STARRED REVIEW from Kirkus! Kirkus! Snippet: "This lighthearted and playful tone permeates the novel, making for a nifty investigative mystery akin to Veronica Mars or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Readers are in for a treat. A spectacular prose start for DC Comics' spectacular lady." This is my first-ever starred review, and I reacted with complete class and composure when my editor called to tell me. I believe my exact words were: ARE YOU…
  • We Have A Winner

    15 Feb 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Well, all of you are winners in my book and in my heart. Thank you for being so excited for Fallout and being so game to participate in this impromptu contest. I'm a whimful creature, and so I didn't give you much warning. But it was so much fun to read everyone's posts and see your favorite Lois and Clark moments. I thought I'd highlight a few of your super posts, before getting to the business of who is taking home this ARC:   I'm giving this baby away in a quick Galentine's/Valentine's #FalloutARC contest! A photo posted by Gwenda Bond (@gwendabond) on…
  • Hello & Galentine's Valentine's Fallout ARC Contest

    13 Feb 2015 | 6:41 am
    Hi there! I'm back, after a week writing like mad in sunny Mexico on retreat with several of the smartest, most awesome ladies and writers I know--Holly Black, Cassie Clare, and Sarah Rees Brennan (along with some also awesome boys). And then I went straight from there to Winter Institute to do my first Lois Lane: Fallout event, meeting lots of wonderful, amazing booksellers, as well as the wonderful, amazing Capstone marketing ninjas Shannon and John, and seeing friends old and new. Especially glad I got to catch up with one of my oldest friends Ms. Kelly Link (whose new collection you…
  • Book News!

    7 Jan 2015 | 4:43 am
    I'm so thrilled to be able to tell you guys that there will be more Cirque American--I got this news right at the end of the year, which made this both the best way to end 2014 and begin 2015. The Publishers Marketplace announcement: GIRL ON A WIRE author Gwenda Bond's next Cirque American novel, in which a teen would-be magician auditions for the Cirque against the wishes of her famous magician father, and finds that perhaps there is more to her talent than she ever expected, again to Courtney Miller at Skyscape, for publication in Summer 2016, by Jennifer Laughran at Andrea Brown…
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    Swan Tower

  • Less Is More

    Swan Tower
    26 Feb 2015 | 2:00 am
    I just sent the first draft off to my editor; that makes the fourth Memoir a Real Thing now, ’cause other people are going to be reading it. Doing the final polishes before kicking it out the door, I came upon one scene where I felt like I needed to amp up the emotional force a bit. So I went to the middle of the scene, stuck in a few line breaks, and started typing a new paragraph that would take what was going on and foreground it a bit more overtly. I wrote a sentence . . . started another one . . . deleted it . . . wrote a second sentence . . . started a third . . . deleted that and…
  • Every Frame a Painting

    Swan Tower
    24 Feb 2015 | 2:16 pm
    This is a fascinating series of videos. The video blogger, Tony Zhou, digs into the art of the director and the cinematographer to talk about how they achieve their effects. For somebody like me, who is a dyed-in-the-wool narrative geek but doesn’t know the first thing about the craft of film, it’s like catnip: a chance to understand how one tells stories with images rather than words. Mind you, I can’t quite follow everything he says. There are times where he’ll try to draw out a particular point, but its effect is subtle enough or he doesn’t unpack the idea…
  • excerpt; letters

    Swan Tower
    24 Feb 2015 | 2:01 am
    If you want to whet your appetite for next month, has posted an excerpt from Voyage of the Basilisk. It seems a good excuse to remind you all that you have until the end of this month to send a letter to Isabella and get one in return. (Those of you who have sent one already will be getting replies soon: my progress on those has been slowed by the necessity of finishing and revising the draft of the fourth book.) I have to say, I’ve been touched by the number of personal elements people are incorporating into their missives; it’s wonderful to know that this story speaks so…
  • Three shows that have pleased me lately

    Swan Tower
    17 Feb 2015 | 10:00 am
    I mentioned a while ago that I was tired of grim ‘n gritty TV shows, things full of cynicism and decidedly lacking in color. In contrast, I’d like to recommend three TV shows that are bright! and energetic! and feature almost no death whatsoever! Bonus, of a sort: all of these shows are short-run, with the longest having only ten episodes. So if you’re looking for something you can marathon for weeks, these will not fit the bill — but if you want something that isn’t a huge time commitment, they’re perfect. #1 — The Librarians. This show. THIS SHOW.
  • Books read, January 2015

    Swan Tower
    16 Feb 2015 | 1:29 pm
    This is belated on account of Own Book Eating Brain. This is also rather short on account of Own Book Eating Brain. And possibly shorter still on account of Own Book Eating Brain and Making Me Forget to Record Things. What I’m trying to say is, I didn’t read much in January (apart from some research stuff I’m not listing here), and I don’t remember half of what I read, so I’m having to recreate this post facto. The King of Rabbits and Moon Lake, Eugie Foster. Last of Foster’s short story collections that I picked up after she passed away. Many of the things…
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  • From near to far, amazing things are everywhere...

    David Brin
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:27 pm
    What a year! So far, we've had a landing on a comet, great results from Mars, many more exoplanets zeroing in on "goldilocks" zones... and now, across the next few months, NASA spacecraft close in on the two most wondrous and fabled dwarf planets...First up -- Ceres: NASA's Dawn spacecraft - after probing the giant asteroid Vesta - is getting super close to its planned orbit of the dwarf planet Ceres -- due to arrive March 6. The "white dot" mystery grows. But I am especially interested in whether our probe finds evidence of a liquid sea under the thick, icy crust.  If so, it…
  • Where are the deathbed confessions?

    David Brin
    26 Feb 2015 | 4:45 pm
    Years pass. I'm about to qualify for Medicare. The World War II "Greatest Generation" is passing from sight, along with all memory of why Franklin Roosevelt was that generation's favorite person. This month would have seen the 100th birthday of my poet journalist father, Herb Brin. (If you are a lover of verse, you should check out his internationally acclaimed books, prefaced by Elie Weisel.)And yet, while pondering all of that, I was struck by a sudden thought. That it's time for some death-bed confessions from the 1960s.If you (like me) were a child of that intense and convoluted era, you…
  • Moving the Goalposts -- Refusal to Negotiate

    David Brin
    23 Feb 2015 | 3:47 pm
    Impoverishment?  The latest denialist buzzword for refusal to negotiateThe key trait - if you want a job at Heritage or Fox or one of the outfits stoking the New American Civil War - is agility. The incantations that keep GOP ground troops fiercely loyal must be constantly refreshed. It's a lot like the tactics used by the brilliant confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest, or Persian horse archers who harried the Roman legions of Crassus. Keep changing direction! Never let your lumbering foe grapple with you, bringing to bear his devastating advantage in…
  • Nominees for best science fiction of 2014 -- plus announcements!

    David Brin
    21 Feb 2015 | 10:14 am
    See the Nebula nominees for best science fiction of 2014, below. Plus other cool, sci-fi related news. But first, a few announcements...In the Year 2525: Big Science, Big History and the Far Future of Humanity. Join me for this Skeptics Society Conference, May 29 to 31 in Pasadena, CA – I'll be speaking along with Jared Diamond, Richard Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, Gregory Benford, Michael Shermer, and Esther Dyson. Registration is now open.Can't travel to a Sci Fi Convention? I’ll be a guest at SofaCON2: An Online Science Fiction Con, March 14 & 15, along with Kim Stanley…
  • Optimism vs Pessimism

    David Brin
    18 Feb 2015 | 4:47 pm
    Speaking of the tradeoffs between optimism and pessimism....While cynics get a brief tactical advantage by getting to sneer, like playground bullies, they undermine their own effectiveness at generating changes - in society or in their own lives.  And there is another major drawback, pointed out by "Paul" over in my cogent-smart comment community. "Self-identifying pessimists I have known claim that by being pessimistic they avoid being ripped off, but if you read the literature on stress you find that they pay a high price for it. Having a negative outlook causes your endocrine…
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    Tobias Buckell

  • Thank you, Mr. Nimoy. Your portrayal of a mixed race person had a big impact on me.

    Tobias Buckell
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:45 am
    It’s not often that I am struck by the passing of a celebrity. I don’t often feel I need to weigh in. I certainly don’t feel like I had any special connection to that person. Certainly when celebrities that are in the common consciousness who are my age pass, I feel the shiver of mortality, but that’s usually it. But the news today that Leonard Nimoy had passed had an impact. I wasn’t a devoted trekker, or trekkie, or what have you. But Spock was one of the first times I saw a living example of a pro-science, pro-rational point of view in a character on a screen…
  • Okay, this artificial skylight by CoeLux is somewhat stunning

    Tobias Buckell
    11 Feb 2015 | 7:44 am
    Holy fuck please take my money how do I buy this? The pictures, the video, are all pretty amazing. The cost is brutal, petapixel says its “£40,000 (~$61,000) to buy and up to £5,000 (~$7,600) for installation.” So rich people’s basements. But hopefully like most technologies it gets cheaper and cheaper to make. Because this would make winter suck a lot less.
  • How All Her Children Fought came to be a film: sometimes it pays to take a chance

    Tobias Buckell
    5 Feb 2015 | 7:00 am
    Sometimes it pays to just take a chance. About two and a half years ago an odd email dropped into my inbox out of nowhere. It seemed to be a quickly written email from someone in Ireland. The writer, Liam, said he was asking if I had any stories that I thought might be worth filming. In particular, he was trying to find something under fifteen minutes long that he, and a crew of others from his village in Ireland, could enter into a film competition. And they needed it, like, yesterday. I decided to follow up, and asked more questions, instead of just moving on. And I was glad I did. Despite…
  • All Her Children Fought: A 15 minute short film, based on my short story, can now be viewed on youtube

    Tobias Buckell
    5 Feb 2015 | 5:00 am
    About two years ago I may have posted some stills about a short, fifteen minute film made out of one of my short stories. I’m delighted that the producer of the film sent me news that I could upload it to YouTube and share it however I wished. So I’ve done just that, and am posting it on my website here as well to share with all. Details about the film: Based on the short story by Tobias Buckell ( Script by Tobias S. Buckell, Cathal Feeney, and Patrick Ryan. Produced by Liam Grant (Snugboro Films: and directed by Patrick…
  • I’m digging on this computer generated video of the SpaceX Falcon Heavy

    Tobias Buckell
    4 Feb 2015 | 2:23 pm
    I really dig this generated video of what SpaceX is hoping the Falcon Heavy launch later this year will look like: If SpaceX’s latest offering is as advertised, the Falcon Heavy should be capable of generating some 3.969 million lbs (17,615 kilonewtons) worth of thrust at liftoff. Shortly after the 27 Merlin 1D engines power the booster and its precious cargo off of the pad, the three booster cores will throttle back, not long after the two outer booster cores will detach, falling back to Earth (or, potentially, fly back) leaving the central core to throttle back up to full power. (Via…
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    Dark Roast

  • One from the Vault

    Emma Bull
    28 Feb 2015 | 12:34 pm
    Corwin Brust just discovered audio and video of a Cats Laughing song Lojo and I remembered as awesome. Problem is, that's almost all we remembered of it.Lojo and I misremembered. IT'S EPIC SUPER GIGANTIC CALL-THE-PYROTECHNICS-CREW IS THAT REALLY US? awesome.Wonder if we can get it together for our reunion concert at Minicon?
  • Excellent, Smithers.

    Emma Bull
    4 Feb 2015 | 8:13 pm
    Just taught my first night of class (Writing Fantasy) at Hamline University. I think these people are going to impress me.But not until after I go fall over, because dayum, I'm tired.
  • Calling all Cats Laughing Fans!

    Emma Bull
    21 Jan 2015 | 10:08 am
    Remember that awesome gig we played at Wembley Stadium, opening for Lila Cheney? (Okay, I guess you only saw it if you were in the Marvel Comics universe. But still...) Now you can buy the t-shirt from the show! Have a look:
  • Fifteen more days...

    Emma Bull
    2 Jan 2015 | 5:36 pm
    The Cats Laughing Reunion Kickstarter is going very well. You guys have funded the concert. You've funded the live streaming of the concert. You've <i>almost</i> funded a concert movie (heavens!).Go have a look at the updated Kickstarter page. There's a totally freakin' adorable video message from Jane Yolen, and clips from the first-ever Cats Laughing Reunion-Planning Brunch Meeting (waaaaaay less organized than that makes it sound).And a new stretch goal. Sorta. I'm just not sure you want to see us meet that…
  • A Recommendation

    Emma Bull
    31 Dec 2014 | 12:22 pm
    Adam Turman ( may be my new favorite artist. Definitely my new favorite Twin Cities artist.
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    Stephanie Burgis

  • Being Enough

    Stephanie Burgis
    28 Feb 2015 | 5:06 am
    So, over the last few weeks, first I went without a computer for 11 days, and then just after I got my new computer, both boys got sick. MrD ended up only attending 2 out of 5 school days this week, and Toddler X has been awake (and keeping me awake with him) for most of every night. I've been trying really hard to push through and get everything done on time or early anyway...but yeah. I've failed. And I really hate that.Today, I had to send two emails that made me cringe. In one, I asked for a second extension on a book review that I'm scheduled to write; in the other, I had to say to my…
  • Getting Emotional, the Black Widow, and a Chocolate-Filled Plan

    Stephanie Burgis
    25 Feb 2015 | 6:56 am
    Thanks so much to everyone who signal-boosted and/or sent me feedback on my new short story, "Marking Time"! It's really meant a lot to me to get so much wonderful support for it, especially since this was a story I was a little nervous about sharing. None of the details are based on my real life or that of anyone else I know, but it still feels like a deeply personal story to me, because it came out of spending last summer reconnecting with some very old friends for the first time in years and realizing just how different all of our lives are - in both good and bad ways - from what we'd…
  • Marking Time

    Stephanie Burgis
    20 Feb 2015 | 1:30 am
    Wooot - my (very) short story "Marking Time" was just published at Daily Science Fiction! This one is aimed at adults, and it's about regrets, choices, the unexpected ways that our lives sometimes turn out, and what would happen with the possibility of real magic. I really hope that you guys will like it! You can read it for free online, and if you do read it, I'd love to hear what you think.
  • Challenges, Treats, and Crossed Fingers

    Stephanie Burgis
    11 Feb 2015 | 6:25 am
    Oh, is it a good thing that toddlers are adorable. My poor laptop is currently in transit, being shipped off to Nottingham to see whether or not it can be fixed after it was helpfully "cleaned" by...someone. Naming no names. But he was so proud of himself for helping.Sigh.In other words, it's been a challenging week so far, especially since our sweet Maya-dog has had some health issues, too, ever since she woke up on Sunday almost unable to walk. She's doing a lot better now, thank goodness (and: thank you to everyone who sent good wishes for her a few days ago on Twitter or Facebook! those…
  • Pictures of Happiness

    Stephanie Burgis
    3 Feb 2015 | 7:19 am
    Sometimes, it's hard to figure out how to help your children find happiness.But sometimes, it's very, very easy.Today I wore the little fox hair ornament that both of my boys LOVE. And from the moment I put it on, Toddler X was SO EXCITED about it! We played peekaboo with the little fox again and again all through the morning, even though he'd been grumpy and tired from his cold. The little fox made him happy. And it's so nice to be able to make your toddler happy just through the power of fox fashion. ;) (We took the photos on my iPad, through PhotoBooth, and in the second photo, he's…
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    Mabfan's Musings

  • Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    27 Feb 2015 | 9:32 am
    For the rest of my life, I will be reminded that Leonard Nimoy died as I was celebrating my birthday.Condolences to his loved ones.
  • Pangaea - Halfway There!

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    23 Feb 2015 | 10:01 am
    Today, over at the Pangaea Kickstarter, Michael Jan Friedman puts the spotlight on me:Michael A. Burstein has spent much of the last several weeks digging his family out from blizzard after blizzard in Brookline, Massachusetts. However, he promises to emerge from winter’s frigid grasp in time to make his contribution to our Pangaea anthology.For our readers, that’s a good thing.Michael is one of the most compelling voices in science fiction. In 1997, he won the Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Since then, he has earned four Nebula nominations and no less than ten Hugo…
  • Pangaea – The Anthology

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    10 Feb 2015 | 2:57 pm
    A few days ago, a Kickstarter project launched that I'm proud to be a part of. Author and editor Michael Jan Friedman came up with the idea of an alternate version of Earth in which the Pangaea supercontinent never broke up, and invited a bunch of writers to contribute stories to this world. I found myself intrigued by the notion and signed up immediately.I'm delighted to be a part of this anthology. I'm in the company of many worthy writers, including Adam-Troy Castro, Russ Colchamiro, Peter David, Michael Jan Friedman, Robert Greenberger, Glenn Hauman, Paul Kupperberg, Kelly…
  • "I Remember the Future" Eligible for the Hugo

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    29 Jan 2015 | 10:16 am
    Since a few people have asked and since there's room for confusion:The KAS Creations film of "I Remember the Future" is in fact eligible to be nominated for the Hugo Award this year in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category. That is because the film festival showings that began in 2014 started the clock, and so it can be nominated in the Hugos for 2015.Oddly, though, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has different rules for the Bradbury Award. They have ruled that it is not eligible for nomination until it gets a wider release. So if you're a…
  • Giving Thanks

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    27 Nov 2014 | 12:19 pm
    Giving thanks publicly for the things for which I am truly grateful always makes me feel a little self-conscious. I become overly aware of the blessings I have that others do not, and I wonder if I should be more sensitive to the friends who don't necessarily have the same things I do.But then I realize that we all have things for which we are grateful, and it is good for me to pause and reflect on my blessings. So, for Thanksgiving Day 2014, a short list.I am thankful for how my parents raised me, giving me opportunities in life that have allowed to me to work toward my potential.I am…
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    Pushing a Snake Up a Hill

  • Losing Leonard Nimoy Is Hard. Losing Spock Is Even Harder.

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    28 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    The passing of Leonard Nimoy at age 83 saddens me in much the same way that losing Neil Armstrong did, back in August of 2012. (Has it really been two and a half years?) Armstrong was a space pioneer. Nimoy created the role of a space-fiction pioneer. And both carved lasting places in my heart, and in my view of the world and the century I’ve lived in.I never knew Nimoy personally, but I do feel that I know, and love, Spock. As a science fictionally literate teenager, my initial reaction to Star Trek in its original 1960s run was that the pointy ears and walled-off emotions were pretty…
  • Beneath the Seas of Ernathe

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    24 Feb 2015 | 2:00 pm
    In the latest bold stroke of my continuing campaign to take over the world, I have just released an all-new edition of my very first novel of the Star Rigger Universe, Seas of Ernathe. Eat your hearts out, Lee Child and George R.R. Martin! Okay, I guess it’s not all new, in the sense that the words are the same, give or take a few corrections, as the book I wrote quite a few years ago. But the formatting is all new, far more attractive than the previous editions, and it boasts a gorgeous new cover by Chris Howard, whose other work you can sample here. Seas of Ernathe was in fact my first…
  • Where All the Ladders Start

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    23 Feb 2015 | 5:38 pm
    If you like private eye novels, and if you like near-future civilization-grinding-down novels, and if you like great characters and witty dialogue and sharp writing, why don’t you check out my friend Richard Bowker’s new book, Where All the Ladders Start. Because it has all that, and more. I got to read this one in manuscript—actually, in several different drafts—and it’s really good. I understand it’s available now in both ebook and paper. Check it out!Info and buy links here
  • Yesterday...and Today

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    22 Feb 2015 | 1:49 pm
    Yesterday I looked down from my third-floor office window and realized that the back side of our garage was just as heavily laden with snow as the side I’d laboriously cleared the other day. My camera arm wasn't long enough to show it, but here I am literally standing in snow up to my waist, in the backyard neighbor's yard, raking at the roof. The word roof-rake wasn't even in my vocabulary a year ago!And let me tell you, that snow had hardened! I wish I had gone at it when it was fresh powder. But after I'd cleared it and stood inside the garage looking up at the old rafters, I thanked God…
  • A Glacier on the Garage Roof

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    18 Feb 2015 | 4:17 pm
    What with all the warnings (and news reports) about roofs collapsing under the weight of all the snow we’ve received this month, I finally decided it was time to do something about this huge snow cap on our garage roof. It has compressed down and hardened over the last week or two—and they are predicting wet snow or “wintry mix” this weekend. That’s a lot of weight on aging timbers. Armed with our new roof rake from Ace Is the Place, we set to work. First, I had to carve something resembling a path to a point in the back yard from which we could work. This meant using the snow…
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    The Mumpsimus

  • Could It Be ... SATAN?!

    Matthew Cheney
    23 Feb 2015 | 7:46 am
    Press Play recently posted a new video essay I created on Satan in cinema along with a brief text essay.Here's the beginning of the text essay, should you need some enticement...The character of Satan seems far more appealing to filmmakers than the character of God. This may be for reasons of propriety: one should not, perhaps, make too many images of God. But since when has Hollywood cared about anything other than money and stardom? God isn’t any good for either. Omnipotence is just too boring. There are devils in most films, because most films are melodramas of one sort of another, and…
  • The Elements of Academic Style by Eric Hayot

    Matthew Cheney
    15 Feb 2015 | 10:38 am
    Dr. Parenti: We get the grant, we study the problem, we propose solutions. If they listen, they listen. If they don't, it still makes for great research. What we publish on this is gonna get a lot of attention.Colvin: From who?Dr. Parenti: From other researchers, academics.Colvin: Academics?! What, they gonna study your study? [chuckles and shakes head] When do this shit change?—The Wire, Season 4, Episode 13, "Final Grades"It is only within the last few years that I have reluctantly accepted that I deserve that noxious and disreputable label: an academic. Truly, I am doomed.But then, I've…
  • Anton Chekhov's Selected Stories: A Norton Critical Edition edited by Cathy Popkin

    Matthew Cheney
    1 Feb 2015 | 12:11 pm
    My name is Matthew and I am a Norton Critical Edition addict.Hardly a term has gone by without my assigning students at least one NCE, both when I was a high school teacher and especially now that I'm teaching college students. (This term, it's The Red Badge of Courage.) I have been known to change syllabi each term just to try out new NCEs with students. I have bought NCEs for myself even of books that I already owned in multiple other editions. I have all four editions of the NCE of Heart of Darkness because the changes between them fascinate me. (I've been meaning to write a blog post or…
  • Ending the World with Hope and Comfort

    Matthew Cheney
    20 Jan 2015 | 9:27 am
    A friend pointed me toward Sigrid Nunez's New York Times review of Emily St. John Mandel's popular and award-winning novel Station Eleven. He said it expressed some of the reservations that caused me to stop reading the book, and it does — at the end of her piece, Nunez says exactly what I was thinking as I put the book down with, I'll confess, a certain amount of disgust:If “Station Eleven” reveals little insight into the effects of extreme terror and misery on humanity, it offers comfort and hope to those who believe, or want to believe, that doomsday can be survived, that in spite of…
  • Canon? Balls!

    Matthew Cheney
    5 Jan 2015 | 1:06 pm
    This past term, the course I taught was titled "Introduction to Literary Analysis". It's the one specific course that is required for all English majors, and it's also available as a general education credit for any other undergraduates. Its purpose is similar to that of any Introduction to Literature class, though at UNH it really has one primary purpose: help students strengthen their close reading skills with fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction. (We're required to include all four, though the nonfiction part can be smaller than the others.)Next term, I'm teaching an American lit survey…
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    John Crowley Little and Big

  • Collapse

    John Crowley
    28 Feb 2015 | 6:04 am
    The Asutralian auto dealership I owned with my brother Brendan (where'd he come from?) has collapsed, apparently quite literally if you believe the photo:
  • More me

    John Crowley
    11 Feb 2015 | 5:10 am
    My climate change research, which I can't think how I found time to do, has turned up some surprising results, suggesting that it may be due to a sort of natural gastric upset on Mother Nature's part.  I'm sure I have my reasons.
  • Thanks

    John Crowley
    10 Feb 2015 | 4:29 am
    I'm somewhat overwhelmed by the good will, patience, generosity and affection my post about the fine-press edition of Little, Big drew.  Abashed, somewhat.  But thanks to all of you (and to all those still waiting who didn't respond, at least SOME of whom are surely a bit grumpy).  
  • Unredeemed

    John Crowley
    16 Jan 2015 | 8:54 am
    WHat is the term -- I believe descending from Calvinist theology -- that means unsaved or depraved or not among the elect, but that came to mean simply bad, immoral, resistant to correction?
  • Grammar whiz XIII

    John Crowley
    12 Jan 2015 | 3:47 am
    Pretend you didn't read this already and guess what you could add to it to make some kind of sense.  Rules as going to go — is bomb throwing?
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  • The Incessant Fan Bitching on Ain’t It Cool News

    Peter David
    24 Feb 2015 | 5:44 am
    I’ve been hanging out on AICN for a few days since the first display of the Zack Snyder Aquaman picture. AICN has been hostility central as fans are complaining about how he looks nothing like Aquaman (apparently having forgotten when I wrote the character when he looks more or less exactly like that.) And as fans continue to declare loudly that everything Hollywood produces is garbage, it made me wonder the following: What the hell are they doing here? I mean, I think that–for instance–everything that Fox News says deserves advance contempt, based on their indisputable…
  • Why do fans have to bitch about EVERYthing?

    Peter David
    22 Feb 2015 | 9:12 am
    So now I’m reading comments from fans widely decrying the photo of Aquaman that Zack Snyder put up on Twitter. Apparently oblivious to the fact that it’s clearly my version of Arthur, fans are shouting that it looks nothing remotely like the DC Aquaman. Which I guess makes sense; mine was twenty years ago and that’s two generations of comics fans to have passed through and forgotten my iteration of the Sea King. But still: when will they learn? I still remember clearly being at a convention back in the early 90s, and it had been announced that Tim Burton was casting Michael…
  • Go see “Jupiter Ascending”

    Peter David
    8 Feb 2015 | 8:06 am
    We all know it’s going to tank. People have been gunning for this film because they still haven’t forgiven the Wachowskis for the two “Matrix” sequels. This despite their fantastic work on “Speed Racer,” a film that screenwriter Josh Olson correctly described as a litmus test for your inner child. Is it a perfect film? God, no. The film plays like a drinking game where you toss back a shot every time a classic SF trope plays across the screen. The only one they miss, surprisingly, is Sean Bean dying (he actually lives.) The dialogue is so bizarrely mannered…
  • Why are people still discussing vaccines?

    Peter David
    2 Feb 2015 | 3:10 pm
    How and why is this still an issue? People are declaring that parents should have the right not to vaccinate their children. No. They should not have that right. My local schools send notices that our kids have to be vaccinated in order to attend school. Period. No debates. No arguments. Get your kid vaccinated or you can’t send them to be educated. Welcome to home schooling. Yes, yes, yes, I know there are certain instances where children have health reasons that preclude vaccines. I’m not talking about little Timmy’s leukemia which will cause the vaccine to kill him.
  • Song Parodies: “The Scorpion King” & “Oy, It’s the Borg”

    Peter David
    2 Feb 2015 | 3:00 am
    Originally published May 17, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1487 Every so often, for no discernible reason, I get song parody notions in my head. And when that happens, my only choice is to write them down. Here are two recent ones cause, y’know… why not? “THE SCORPION KING” (set to “The Pirate King” from Pirates of Penzance)   Oh, better far to live and die As a three-ton bug in CGI Than spend my life with an eyebrow raised While wrestling fans get completely crazed. Then Mummy Returns made a pile of dough The studio wants a sequel, so I’m finally out of the wrestling…
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    Stephen Dedman

  • Many things begin with F...

    Stephen Dedman
    23 Feb 2015 | 7:00 am
    Woke up to learn that Leonard Nimoy is dead, and Tony Abbott is still PM. It's been that sort of month.So, the good things about this February. Um... because it's the shortest month, it's nearly over?Actually, most of the good things about this February did begin with F - highlights provided by the Fringe Festival and PIAF, particularly the Writers' Festival. That gave me the chance to catch up with some old friends, including Lee and Lyn Battersby, Sean Williams, and Teresa Anns. There were also some fascinating speakers, most notably Kate Forsyth, who told us about piss boys in the court of…
  • I've got a little list...

    Stephen Dedman
    4 Dec 2014 | 6:06 am
    For the benefit of everyone who's asked me "What would you like for Christmas?" and hasn't been satisfied with my standard answers of "World Peace", a movie deal, or the resignations of any or all of Tony Abbott's wretched hive of scum and villainy, here are some alternative suggestions.Elmstock English Breakfast tea-bags.Signed copies of any of my favourite books.Gift vouchers for Diabolik Books and Records or JB Hi-Fi.Or anything on this list (and it needn't come from amazon: buy from local bookshops if you can).
  • Crime Scene

    Stephen Dedman
    7 Oct 2014 | 10:41 pm
    This weekend (October 11th-12th), I will be a guest at Crime Scene WA, talking about writing when I can tear myself away from the fascinating presentations on forensic science by experts including Professor Simon Lewis, Associate Professor Hadyn Green and Associate Professor Guy Hall, as well as presentations on writing and publishing by GoHs Michael Robotham and Livia Day (aka Tansy Rayner Roberts), as well as Lee Battersby, Lyn Battersby, Tony Cavanaugh and Alisa Krasnostein. among others.If you're willing to drag yourself out of bed early on a weekend morning, I'll be at the opening…
  • Good news!

    Stephen Dedman
    2 Aug 2014 | 2:50 am
    I'll be back at the University of Western Australia on Monday, once again teaching first year creative writing. Not picking up any work at Murdoch this semester has had an unexpected bright side, because it's freed me up to teach ten tutes rather than the five I was offered before I went overseas.The only downside to having work this semester (and work that I greatly enjoy) is that I won't be at Loncon 3; despite this, I have been interviewed for the pre-Loncon Australian Spec Fic Snapshot.(2nd semester at UWA does usually finish just in time for me to go to the WFC, and while I'm not…
  • "Well, I'm back," he said.

    Stephen Dedman
    20 Jul 2014 | 9:56 pm
    (as they say in the classics). More photos to follow, plus TripAdvisor reviews.
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    A.M. Dellamonica

  • Shortest update ever?

    26 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    Final edits for A Daughter of No Nation are done, done, OMG done, and the book’s back at Tor. Soon there will be copy-edits to proof. Meanwhile, I’m finishing up a short story for License Expired and then moving into polishing up The Nature of a Pirate. So… blogging will commence approximately six minutes after I can form a sentence more complex than “Dur dur dur.” I do spend a shocking amount of time saying “Get off da counter!” as it happens. CinCin has an advanced degree in incorrigible and she loves loves loves to mooch. If you would like to…
  • Stormwrack and Sophie – your questions

    9 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    Now that I have a shiny new cover for A Daughter of No Nation, I asked if anyone had any questions about the upcoming book, which’ll be out in November. And Paul Weimer did! He asks: Is Sophie’s brother coming back? Yes. Bram is in both A Daughter of No Nation (or, sometimes, ADoNN) and the third book, whose tentative title is The Nature of a Pirate. How much time takes place between the end of Child of a Hidden Sea and the beginning of ADoNN? The second book picks up about six months after Sophie’s deportation from the Fleet at the end of CHS. Will we ever see a map? (you knew…
  • A Daughter of No Nation, cover art and preorder pages

    3 Feb 2015 | 9:21 am
    As many of you will have already seen on Facebook and elsewhere, Tor has revealed the finished cover for the hardcover edition of A Daughter of No Nation, which will be out this November. The illustration was done by Cynthia Sheppard, and shows Nightjar, with Sophie, sailing into the harbor at Lamentation, which is the main port on Issle Morta. (It’s not the capital, mind; I’ll have to take you all to Hell on some other occasion.) That’s right, folks–Parrish is going home in this novel, at least for a quick hit-and-run visit! I’ve linked to the Amazon…
  • New Story by Kelly – The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill

    2 Feb 2015 | 9:01 am
    Clarkesworld, February 2014, containing “The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill” by Kelly Robson. Clarkesworld Issue #101 is live, with stories by Nicola Griffith, Greg Van Eekhout, Gwendolyn Clare, Kristine Kathryn Rusch… and Kelly! Her story is called “The Three Resurrections of Jessica Churchill,” it’s an absolutely bloodcurdling SF piece, and I hope you’ll all go read it immediately. (And also post glowing comments on the CW site while simultaneously tweeting it far and wide, and buying up Worldcon supporting memberships so you can nominate…
  • Toronto, day 608

    15 Jan 2015 | 12:22 pm
    I am sitting in my office with Chinchilla stretched out across my lap, occupying the space atop my left hand, and so I am dictating this blog entry on my phone. Fiction writing continues to be in revision/wrap-up mode: I have been rereading the last couple novels in the trilogy, just reacquainting myself with every little detail and thinking about where I might insert one more story element into the last book. I am simultaneously trying to trim a novelette down to 7500 words, the better to send it to a specific horror market. (160 words to go!) Over at UCLA, Novel Writing II opens next week:…
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  • Alan Turing in South Carolina, 1937

    Andy Duncan
    11 Feb 2015 | 2:02 pm
    In December 1937, while at Princeton, the young mathematical genius Alan Turing traveled with his friend Venable Martin to visit Martin's hometown, which Turing's biographer calls only "a small town in South Carolina."Turing wrote home that it was "quite as far south as I had ever been -- about 34 degrees."This is good for only seven lines in Andrew Hodges's Turing biography, but of course it interests me, as my hometown of Batesburg, S.C. is on the 33rd parallel. Nearby Columbia, the capital city and home of my undergraduate alma mater, is on the 34th. I wonder where exactly Turing…
  • P.S. to Politics in sf, or, which side am I on?

    Andy Duncan
    1 Jun 2014 | 1:03 pm
    (Just posted to Facebook -- after hundreds of Likes and scores of comments -- and reposted here.)Folks, y'all have ranged far beyond the topic of my original post. May I ask those who'd like to debate Will Shetterly to do so on his blog, his Facebook page, etc.? My purpose at the outset was simply to share King's letter and state my allegiance with the marginalized in our field, lest anyone be confused on that point; and based on all the responses pro and con, I do seem to have done that. I have no illusions that the field is my own ten toes to wiggle as I please, and I feel no need…
  • Politics in sf, or, which side am I on?

    Andy Duncan
    30 May 2014 | 7:48 pm
    (Just posted to Facebook, and reposted here.) Many friends, colleagues, and acquaintances in the science fiction/fantasy trades, assuming that I will agree with them because I have known them for years, or because I admire their work, or because I seem in sync aesthetically, or (sometimes, I sense) simply because I am a white man with a Southern accent and gray in my beard, have expressed to me lately that sure, diversity and sensitivity are great, but what's gotten into all these youngsters and LGBTQ folks and people of color and -- especially -- women? Why do they keep picking on us? Why…
  • The story of "Beluthahatchie"

    Andy Duncan
    3 May 2014 | 6:43 pm
    I'm delighted that the May issue of Clarkesworld reprints my 1997 story "Beluthahatchie," alongside new stories by Maggie Clark, Matthew Kressel and E. Catherine Tobler, plus another Southern reprint -- Howard Waldrop's "Night of the Cooters" (1987). I'm in great company.To honor the occasion, here is the afterword I wrote for my out-of-print collection Beluthahatchie and Other Stories (Golden Gryphon Press, 2000). Re-reading it makes me realize that in pairing "Beluthahatchie" and "Night of the Cooters," Gardner Dozois, Clarkesworld reprint editor, paired a Strother Martin/Dub Taylor story…
  • I'm a Hugo and Nebula finalist

    Andy Duncan
    30 Apr 2014 | 12:54 pm
    My co-writer Ellen Klages and I are finalists for the Nebula Award and the Hugo Award, both in the Best Novella category, for "Wakulla Springs" (, October 2013) illustration by Gary Kelley.We're delighted, of course, and thank all the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America members who put us on the Nebula ballot and all the World Science Fiction Convention members who put us on the Hugo ballot.Congratulations, too, to everyone on the ballots. The only other novella up for both a Nebula and a Hugo this year is Catherynne M. Valente's Six-Gun Snow White, published by…
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    But Enough About Me!

  • Remembering Japan 1945 – 1946: Chapter Two

    Kate Elliott
    20 Feb 2015 | 5:56 am
    From October 1945 to June 1946 my father, a Navy signalman, was stationed in Japan  at Toriga-saki by the town of Kamoi, at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. He was then nineteen years old, a young Danish-American man from rural Oregon. The experience made a profound impression on him and he spoke of it often.   In Chapter Two: Harbor Entrance Control Post Toriga Saki, Tokyo Bay, he arrives at and describes the signal station where he spent nine months. It includes Dad’s famous story about how he and the signal crew there proved they were the best signalmen in the Navy.    …
  • Writing Is Never A Waste of Time

    Kate Elliott
    16 Feb 2015 | 6:13 am
    Recently I got email from someone I know who asked me for advice. The email was longer than the excerpt below but I’ll snip to encapsulate: “how do you write when you’re faced with the very likely possibility that it’s likely all for nothing unless you trip into some luck somewhere? I have no clue how other writers get past this to create stuff, when I’ve pretty much lived a creative life that said if you don’t have something worthwhile that makes an impact on someone besides you at the end of whatever you do, it’s wasted time.”   First of all, if…
  • Remembering Japan 1945-1946: Chapter One: The Sea Devil to Japan

    Kate Elliott
    13 Feb 2015 | 6:16 am
    From October 1945 to June 1946 my father, a Navy signalman, was stationed in Japan  at Toriga-saki by the town of Kamoi, at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. He was then nineteen years old, a young Danish-American man from rural Oregon. The experience made a profound impression on him and he spoke of it often. In Chapter One, The Sea Devil to Japan, he describes the voyage from the USA to Japan.   Our entire crew with a few support positions was sent to man the Harbor Entrance Control Post at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. We were commanded by a mid-western high school principal by the name of…
  • Eggs, Bees, and Toilets: Jupiter Ascending as WomanSpace

    Kate Elliott
    12 Feb 2015 | 12:08 pm
          Last year I enjoyed Guardians of the Galaxy because of its bold visuals, energetic cast, and good pacing. It was not, I thought, an excellent film but I wasn’t bored while watching it, and these days the big ticket spectacle movies that should be my greatest love often bore me (I’m looking at you, Avengers and co) so a film that doesn’t bore me gets a thumbs up. GotG features the appealing Chris Pratt in the lead role of lovable rogue, together with the well-worn but always popular story of reluctant comrades who turn into friends/family by the end (I’m not being…
  • My short fiction & THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT

    Kate Elliott
    10 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    THE VERY BEST OF KATE ELLIOTT, my first short fiction collection, officially releases today from Tachyon Publications. This collection includes every piece of short fiction I have ever written (with the exception of two “codas” to the Spiritwalker Trilogy which don’t truly stand alone without knowledge of the trilogy) as well as five essays. I can therefore safely say that these are the very best of my short fiction because this volume contains ALL my short fiction (so far).   One of the essays and one of the short pieces, “On the Dying Wings of the Old Year, On…
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    The official home page of author Eric Flint

  • Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 51

    Drak Bibliophile
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 51 All through the afternoon they intermittently bombarded the port mostly achieving little other than chipping tiny fragments of syncrete out of the aprons. One of the tramps lifted off but the other stayed. Maybe it was inoperable. Pynchon didn’t manage to hit it but he did smash holes in a number of the port buildings and facilities. Allenson buttonholed the man in a short break in the bombardment while his men recharged the batteries. “Major Pynchon, I believe we will rotate the artillery crews this afternoon before it gets dark. I…
  • Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 28

    Drak Bibliophile
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Ryk has decided that this will be the last snippet of this book. Also, the eARC is currently available at Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 28 Chapter 28. Miri stepped into her guestroom at the Reflect’s mansion and closed the door, leaning against it heavily. I’m shaking! Shaking like a terrified human! Her current body was human, in a way… but in all the centuries she’d been in such bodies, she’d never had such a reaction. Miri held her arm up in front of her, watched the trembling of the delicate hand,…
  • Sanctuary – Snippet 06

    Drak Bibliophile
    26 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Sanctuary – Snippet 06 “I did,” she said curtly. “Do as you’re told.” She was half-expecting an argument, but all she got was a smile. An instant later, Lavi Tur was moving up the mountain. She followed, after taking a long look behind to make sure nothing was pursuing them. Nothing she could see, at least. Because of the folded terrain, she could only see a short distance. There might be an entire army on their trail, for all she knew. But she thought it was unlikely they were anywhere near. Liskash generally did not move as quickly as Mrem. That was true…
  • Sanctuary – Snippet 05

    Drak Bibliophile
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Sanctuary – Snippet 05 Chapter 2 Sebetwe The hatchlings might be too old. That much was already obvious from the volume of sound being emitted from the nest somewhere above and still not in sight. “At least two, maybe three,” Nabliz said softly. All four of them were huddled together under an overhanding rock on the steep slope. The vegetation was getting very sparse now and there weren’t many places to find concealment. “Too old,” grunted Herere. She had the odd quality of being pessimistic as well as aggressive. The combination often irritated Sebetwe…
  • Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 27

    Drak Bibliophile
    24 Feb 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 27 Chapter 27. Tobimar tensed, and began to bring up the High Center. If things go bad, we will need all my skill. I don’t know exactly what Kyri was doing there, but I could tell she just pushed herself a long ways. Poplock scuttled up his leg, even as Reflect Jenten spoke. “You imply that I –” Kyri stepped between the house and the Reflect. “Both of you, pause a moment, before accusations and fear drive you to actions that will end in tragedy. Please – let me see if I can untangle this, for I think the truth is more strange than…
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    Mad Libs

  • ne’er do wells and woebegones

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    26 Feb 2015 | 5:43 pm
    Boy is now on a high powered antibiotic, plus tetracycline. He can have no dairy and no alcohol–not even hand sanitizer. The one cost nearly $500. I hope to hell it works. Plus we got more Medical Marijuana. Trying to figure out a mixture that works. The pain has been beyond awful. It’s so hard to see and not be able to help. I cut my finger with a knife today and it refused to stop bleeding. Now it hurts. People are extraordinarily kind. Strangers and friends have offered wonderful help and comfort. My heart is terribly bruised with all that’s happening with the boy and I…
  • Composting

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    22 Feb 2015 | 1:50 pm
    Oddly, the whole life is about composting. Throw in all the leavings and scrapings and bits and leftovers, and let it molder and turn it into good things that grow other things. That’s my writing process, that my life in general. The medical marijuana seems to be helping the boy get to a level of tolerable pain. I hope he goes to school this week. The batteries (two) on our truck died. We charged, and they are running, but we have to get new ones because they are ten years old and this isn’t their first death. Went to Costco today. Bought boy of size his first electric razor.
  • The week flies by

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    19 Feb 2015 | 9:39 pm
    It’s already Thursday night and I look around and don’t know what I’ve done. Lots of kid stuff. Go figure. I did do some writing, and I’ve worked some on my writing. Made some good progress, I think, but not enough. The weather has been absolutely lovely. Warmer than normal. That, I’m sure, is galling for those of you in very cold, very icy, very snowy places. Stay warm and stay safe. I’ve lived in the midwest and the Rockies, and yeah, done cold and icy and snowy and I don’t envy you one bit. Our patio is mostly in. There’s some small things…
  • Bright, bright, bright, sunshiny day

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    15 Feb 2015 | 9:52 pm
    It was a gorgeous day today. About 65 and brilliantly sunny. Crocuses and primroses are blooming in the yard. We took the dogs walking out in a big park downtown. 90 acres, lots of trees. It was delightful. I also met with my knitting teacher to figure out how I’d screwed up my knitting, which was worse than I thought, but we mostly fixed everything. Next time we move on to the next steps. The boy did acupuncture for the first time yesterday. It may be helping. It’s too soon to tell. I am hoping. I got him to exercise twice today, and that’s a big plus. I’ve been…
  • a week that’s shot

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    12 Feb 2015 | 2:21 pm
    Pretty much this week has been one where precious little gets done. First, my phone is wonky. It shuts itself off and refuses to charge. It won’t take pictures, but won’t tell me why. It freezes and gives me a black death screen. I don’t have any extra apps on it. I use it mainly for pictures, phoning, texting, and email. My son has had an awful week. These fucking ulcers should be getting better, but his pain and nausea only seem to increase daily. The doctor isn’t offering much help at this point and I am not sure where to turn next. His insurance (which is new this…
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    SF writer Gary Gibson

  • Interzone No. 3, Autumn 1982

    Gary Gibson
    11 Feb 2015 | 4:16 am
    So why am I suddenly writing about all these issues of a magazine that first came out more than thirty years ago?Well,  I'd wanted to reread them for a long time. By the late 90s, I had more or less stopped reading short fiction altogether, although I still picked up occasional Year's Best collections and the like. I found it harder and harder to find short-form fiction that worked for me, but  I can't be sure if that was something objectively to do with the stories or, instead, something to do with me. From 1991 onwards I was a regular member of the Glasgow Science Fiction Writer's…
  • Interzone Summer 1982 (Number 2)

    Gary Gibson
    3 Feb 2015 | 2:13 am
    I wrote about Interzone Number One here. That naturally led me on to re-read the second issue, but actually acquiring it proved...less than easy.Back in 1982, wanting to know more about the magazine after having found that first issue, I kept my eyes out for its second which, being a quarterly publication, was due sometime that Summer. My primary memory of that year is somehow winding up at an Ultravox concert during their Rage in Eden tour because someone gave me a spare ticket for free.It was the first real gig I'd been to, unless you count seeing the Wombles at the Glasgow Pavilion…
  • The first issue of Interzone

    Gary Gibson
    30 Jan 2015 | 10:54 pm
    Something prompted me to start rereading old issues of Interzone. If you don't know what Interzone is you are, unfortunately and somewhat depressingly, not alone. A couple of years back I addressed an audience of would-be sf and fantasy writers at the York Festival of Writing amongst whom one - exactly one, out of maybe fifty - had even heard of the magazine.Interzone, in fact, is the oldest continually running science fiction magazine in Britain and its first, thirty-two page issue appeared in 1982, funded by excess cash left over from a convention. Rather than the more typical sf being…
  • On Writers Who Don't Read (with special bonus feature)

    Gary Gibson
    26 Jan 2015 | 10:51 pm
    Nobody sets out to write a bad book. Anyone who decides to write a book does so in the hope that whoever reads it will go hey, this is pretty good. Here's some money. Can you write some more like this? But desire and ability are two different things. Writing is one of those things that frequently, though not always, gets better with practice. People with more practice at writing, or who consciously set out to improve their writing skills, are more likely to get somewhere.Every now and then, I get paid to look at an unpublished manuscript by someone hoping to get published. My job is to…
  • Review of 2014: books, comics, films and some other random stuff

    Gary Gibson
    11 Dec 2014 | 11:37 pm
    At first I was just going to talk about books I wanted to recommend, then thought why limit myself? So I'm going to start my review of 2014 by mentioning one of the first things I acquired on arrival in Taipei, that being an Aeropress coffee maker. The Aeropress costs about £20 and given the choice between that and some clanking great machine that costs £400, I'll stick with the former. It's small, clever, efficient and brilliant, and ridiculously easy to use: even better, it makes the best coffee I've ever tasted. Now, whenever I drink a cup of coffee in a cafe or restaurant, it…
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    Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

  • He did both live long and prosper, and because of him so did we all.

    Laura Anne Gilman
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:39 pm
    Goodbye, honorary grandfather.  We will remember the stories you told us.
  • ME and my TV

    Laura Anne Gilman
    25 Feb 2015 | 8:35 pm
    So, my Comcast *spit* subscription is as basic and bare bones as they'll let me get, but one of the channels available is MeTV. Which means I get daily doses of M*A*S*H, and also Hogan's Heroes, and Quincy, and even Emergency!, tho it makes me wince to watch that now.I'm pretty sure a) that Jack Klugman was my first-ever tv crush, and b) that I need to dig out a copy of M*A*S*H the novel and see if it's as rudely, painfully hysterical as I remember...(and yes, I read the sequel, too.  And liked it, as I recall.)AND I watched Trapper John, MD and mostly loved it...
  • Midweek thinks I have been far too social...

    Laura Anne Gilman
    25 Feb 2015 | 6:39 am
    I was out and about on Friday night. And Saturday night. And Sunday afternoon. And Monday night. And then again on Tuesday night. Social butterfly was me. I am therefore officially pulling the door shut behind me as I go into the work cave and may not actually interact with another human being until Friday. Trust me, it's better this way for all of us.Books to write. Books to edit. Emails to send, coaxing people into doing what I want what's best for them.  Busy busy busy.Meanwhile, courtesy of the lovely P, I had a small plate of mini-cupcakes on my counter this morning. So that…
  • Today, I...

    Laura Anne Gilman
    22 Feb 2015 | 7:37 pm
    Wrote about 1K words on a short story that I've made a bet with another friend that I can finish by next Sunday, even with everything else that's going on.And then I went to the Cascade Writer's Library Event in Renton, where I, Ken Scholes, and Heather Roulo dropped some hard truths (and funny stories) about life in the publishing trenches...and I read a bit from SILVER ON THE ROAD but was too nervous to look up and see how the audience was reacting...and afterward we repaired to Vino on the Landing, where Ken serenaded me with a stripped-down acoustic version of "Dancing in…
  • of possible interest to my NYC/NJ peeps...

    Laura Anne Gilman
    22 Feb 2015 | 10:20 am
    Looks like I'll be in NYC May 27th-28th, before heading up to Boston for the weekend. So let me know if you want to get together...(I know it's early, but hey, looking ahead to Spring!)
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  • No Boys Allowed: School visits as a woman writer

    Shannon Hale
    26 Feb 2015 | 11:12 am
    I've been doing school visits as part of my tour for PRINCESS ACADEMY: The Forgotten Sisters. All have been terrific--great kids, great librarians. But something happened at one I want to talk about. I'm not going to name the school or location because I don't think it's a problem with just one school; it's just one example of a much wider problem. This was a small-ish school, and I spoke to the 3-8 grades. It wasn't until I was partway into my presentation that I realized that the back rows of the older grades were all girls. Later a teacher told me, "The…
  • Here's what's up

    Shannon Hale
    16 Feb 2015 | 11:18 am
    The Forgotten Sisters, the final book in the Princess Academy series, hits shelves one week from today. Preorder the book from anywhere and get a free poster. Here are details of my upcoming appearances in Utah, Chicago, North Carolina, Wyoming, and Santa Monica. I need to focus more on writing and family than on trips and book events, so I will be cutting back wherever possible this year. Catch me while you can! What am I currently working on? Nine things. Short stories, screenplays, a graphic novel, an adult novel, some middle grade and young adult novels. I honestly don't know which…
  • Awards, posters, new covers! As you were, Monday.

    Shannon Hale
    2 Feb 2015 | 10:50 am
    Big day for literature! The ALA Youth Media Awards. Especially excited for my pals: Dan Santat wins the Caldecott for BEEKLE Cece Bell's EL DEAFO and Jacqueline Woodson's BROWN GIRL DREAMING win Newbery Honors Candace Fleming's THE FAMILY ROMANOV wins a Sibert Honor Jason Reynold honored with the Coretta Scott King John Steptoe Award for New Talent for WHEN I WAS THE GREATEST I always love what I think of as the Newbery morning. Reminds me of the call that woke me up nine years ago. Still such a powerful memory that when I retell the story I tear up. Congrats to all the…
  • On writing, privilege, and being a working mom

    Shannon Hale
    26 Jan 2015 | 9:48 am
    A Salon article sparked some conversations yesterday on twitter and rightly so. I thought the article writer made some excellent points (as well as missed some others), but it all feeds into the conversation we've been having the last couple of weeks about writers and money and how we use our time. I think it's vital to acknowledge privilege wherever we have it--yes I've worked hard, I've sacrificed a lot to be able to write books, but I've also had help. It was a huge help that for the first 8 months of my marriage we lived on my husband's income while I…
  • I answer your burning questions about authors and filthy lucre

    Shannon Hale
    22 Jan 2015 | 10:12 am
    Thanks for all your great comments from the last post. I did another post in 2010 about the economics of being a writer if you're interested. To answer a few of the questions from the comments: Daniel wrote: "The only caveat I would suggest is that it might (emphasis) take the writer of the 700 page sci-fi tome a bit longer to write his book than the children's author's book, which I suspect is substantially shorter (not to diminish it's value, at all, based on size...just that it's not apples to apples in value returned to the author for their time at the book…
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    the m john harrison blog

  • ‘“to thaw” is to ungive‘

    27 Feb 2015 | 4:40 am
    “There are experiences of landscape that will always resist articulation, and of which words offer only a distant echo. Nature will not name itself. Granite doesn’t self-identify as igneous. Light has no grammar. Language is always late for its subject.” Robert Macfarlane in the Guardian today, as exact as ever. I read him & I think, “No contest.” I’ve no idea what I mean by that, except that at his best he somehow obviates the collision–the war–between prose and things: even when, as here, he’s confronting it, admitting it (both admitting…
  • a difficult time for everyone

    26 Feb 2015 | 3:12 am
    If you’re in London on the evening of the 5th March & you’d like to hear me reading “The Crisis”, leave an email address here, or DM me at @mjohnharrison on Twitter– Adolescence. West London. You always believed a hidden war was being fought, a war nobody would ever admit to. Lay awake at night, listening to bursts of corporate fireworks that seemed too aggressive to be anything other than a small arms exchange; while by day, ground-attack helicopters clattered suddenly and purposively along the curve of the Thames towards Heathrow. You held your breath in…
  • 25 Feb 2015 | 12:42 pm

    25 Feb 2015 | 12:42 pm
  • today’s plot

    23 Feb 2015 | 1:25 am
    Me & my friends are right-thinking & cool & therefore the way will be smoothed & no struggle will really be a struggle. Vast risks, energies & hierarachies will be referred to, but we will be ok. Something may happen here, something may happen there, but we’ll rise above that & so–though the text signs it as both, & though we might once or twice put our fists to our hips in exasperation–it will never really get difficult or frightening. Powerful forces will be gaming us but we will be gaming them too because we are smart. It will be as if the…
  • synopsis

    22 Feb 2015 | 1:44 am
    Embrace austerity. Take the shit money, suck up the shit treatment. Let it make you hard, unforgiving & suspicious of everything. Appropriate all those faked-up calls for discipline & self control & make them real. Use them to build. Organise quietly in the evenings & at weekends. Don’t use the phone. Avoid the internet. Don’t be public. Don’t join the debate. Don’t bother with the left (the left allowed itself to be liquidated in one generation, not by vertical force but by the horizontal spread of philosophies of greed & narcissism). Real…
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    People are strange, when you're a stranger . . .

  • 28 Feb 2015 | 12:19 pm

    28 Feb 2015 | 12:19 pm
    Bohemian waxwings and robins on our afternoon walk. Still some berries in those trees . . .
  • 28 Feb 2015 | 6:27 am

    28 Feb 2015 | 6:27 am
    What's the market for a grimdark novel in which all the coffee trees have died of a fungus?
  • Sisyphus

    28 Feb 2015 | 6:19 am
    I have wrestled the federal taxes to a draw for the year.  This is an effort of little benefit to anyone, given our subsistence economy.Now for the state . . .
  • Do I hear the stealthy tread of a polar bear?

    28 Feb 2015 | 5:28 am
    Air temperature -4 F for the newspaper walk, up from an overnight low of -12.  Windchill -18.  Clear skies win again.And in your latest "Call of the Wild" news,
  • Continued

    27 Feb 2015 | 5:23 am
    Air temperature allegedly -9 F for the newspaper walk, calm, mostly cloudy.  I use "allegedly" as our home digital thermometer showed 4 F with no minus sign.  The sending unit for that hangs on a porch post, away from the house.Cardinals are tuning up for the spring racket.  I guess they are triggered by daylight length rather than temperature or snow cover.
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    Jim C. Hines

  • Nobody’s Sidekick: Intersectionality in Protagonists – S. L. Huang

    Jim C. Hines
    28 Feb 2015 | 8:33 am
    Thank you to everyone for the supportive comments and response to this first week of guest posts. I’m especially grateful to the writers for sharing such powerful, personal, and important stories. My plan is to take a week off, then come back with the next round of posts, just to break things up a little. S. L. Huang addresses a common problem of representation: the idea that straying from the mainstream by more than one axis is too much, too implausible…especially for a protagonist. You can’t be too “different,” because you’ll knock readers out of the…
  • Too Niche – Lauren Jankowski

    Jim C. Hines
    27 Feb 2015 | 6:05 am
    “Like most asexuals, I spent a good portion of my life feeling broken.”That’s the very first line of Lauren Jankowski‘s guest blog post. Think about that for a minute. Think about being one of those 1 in 100 people growing up with that message.And it’s not even a lack of representation, exactly; it’s selective representation. Heroes have to have a romantic storyline. Villains, not so much.Just let that sink in…Like most asexuals, I spent a good portion of my life feeling broken. While watching a movie or devouring the fantasy novels I loved, I felt…
  • Discovering the Other – John G. Hartness

    Jim C. Hines
    26 Feb 2015 | 5:01 am
    The guest posts so far have talked about representation in SF/F from the perspective of people seeing themselves–or not seeing themselves–in fiction. But of course, there’s more to it. John Hartness talks about growing up “whitebread,” and how fiction helped him start to consider other perspectives, and to develop a greater degree of empathy. There are parts of this essay that were difficult to read. There are parts that made me angry. But I also think back to my own childhood, growing up in a time and place where kids played “smear the queer” at…
  • I’m Not Broken – Annalee Flower Horne

    Jim C. Hines
    25 Feb 2015 | 6:31 am
    Annalee Flower Horne’s essay talks about the portrayal of sexual assault survivors in SF/F. While not graphic in detail, I thought a content warning was appropriate. As she notes, it’s not that our genre never writes about assault; it’s that we tend to do it badly. I’ve always appreciated Princess Leia as an amazing character, but I’d never considered how powerful her portrayal and story might be to a child survivor. After reading this, I doubt I’ll ever look at Leia in the same way. When I was a kid, I loved Princess Leia. She was smart and capable; a…
  • Fat Chicks in SFF – Alis Franklin

    Jim C. Hines
    24 Feb 2015 | 6:31 am
    One of the things I loved about this series last year was that it made me think. Each essay pointed out things I’d never considered, or helped me to get a better understanding of other people’s experiences. This year’s essays are no different. In reading Alis Franklin‘s post, one of the things that stood out for me was a comment toward the end. She talks about how it’s easy not to think representation matters when you see yourself in so many stories that you don’t comprehend what it’s like to not see that reflection…but that it’s also easy…
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    When You Stop Believing in It, It Doesn't Go Away

  • In Which I Get to Know Batman Again

    Alexander Irvine
    3 Feb 2015 | 4:41 pm
    Since it's listed on various web sites, I guess I can say that I have a Batman novel coming out in June from the swell folks at Titan Books! It's called The Riddler's Gambit, and it takes place between Arkham City and the forthcoming Arkham Knight video game. Here's a not-final cover:It's been almost ten years since I wrote Batman: Inferno (eek), and it was good to get back in touch with Bruce...and cook up some fiendish Riddler plots. Also, don't forget: Once you read The Riddler's Gambit, make sure you check out Marv Wolfman's novelization of Arkham Knight next.
  • Off-the-Cuff Thoughts on a Tweet About Video Gaming and Childhood

    Alexander Irvine
    14 Jan 2015 | 7:44 am
    This tweet by the estimable Leigh Alexander got me thinking...something about the loyal adult Nintendo fan makes me fearful --is feeling child-like the most important thing about games, for them?— Leigh Alexander (@leighalexander) January 14, 2015...and I think she's getting at something generational in the way people love/appreciate/experience games and gaming. Or at least what she said framed something about my own personal childhood experience of gaming -- which isn't empirically true for anyone but me, of course, but I think I'm not the only one who feels this way.When I was a little…
  • Two New Books Out Tomorrow

    Alexander Irvine
    5 Jan 2015 | 1:34 pm
    Behold the slick cover art for Thor and The Incredible Hulk, the next two books in my series of junior novelizations of Marvel's Phase One movies. They're out tomorrow!...and in a couple of months you'll be able to add The Avengers to your collection.
  • 2014 Writing Recap

    Alexander Irvine
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:47 am
    An Atlantic Monthly-style rundown of my keyboard activities during the year almost past...Words of prose fiction written: approximately 400,000SpecOps scripts written for Avengers Alliance: 8Season 2 chapter scripts written for Avengers Alliance: 5New episodes of Marvel Puzzle Quest written: 5New Raid Event scripts written for Marvel War of Heroes: 13Other things written for Marvel War of Heroes: 100+Animation episodes written: 1 (Transformers: Robots in Disguise)Books published: 6 (X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Sleepy Hollow: The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane,…
  • Holiday Shopping Note: Signed Books

    Alexander Irvine
    6 Dec 2014 | 6:49 am
    If you happen to be planning to buy a book I wrote for a holiday gift, please buy it from a local store. If you would like a signed copy of a book I wrote, buy it from Longfellow Books in Portland and I'll go over there and sign it.(This offer good year-round, but I like to mention it at the holidays.)
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    Nicholas Kaufmann's Journal

  • R.I.P. Leonard Nimoy

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:27 pm
    Leonard Nimoy passed away this morning at the age of 83. Like most science-fiction nerds my age (or even not my age), I knew him best as Mr. Spock on the original Star Trek. Those weekend reruns during my youth, as well as the late-night reruns during my high-school years, were vastly influential, helping me turn my imagination toward otherworldly creatures and strange planets with eerie red skies (they almost always had red skies on Star Trek). As with every young person who was an emotional basket case, I gravitated toward Spock because he seemed like he had his shit together. He…
  • The Scariest Part: Gary Haynes Talks About STATE OF ATTACK

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    24 Feb 2015 | 3:05 am
    Welcome to this week’s installment of The Scariest Part, a recurring feature in which authors, comic book writers, filmmakers, and game creators tell us what scares them in their latest works of horror, dark fantasy, dark science fiction, and suspense. (If you’d like to be featured on The Scariest Part, please review the guidelines here.) My guest is Gary Haynes, whose latest novel is State of Attack. Here is the book’s description: State of Attack sees the return of Special Agent Tom Dupree in another turbocharged political thriller from Gary Haynes. Tom Dupree must embark on his…
  • Your Jealousy Feeds Me

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    19 Feb 2015 | 4:14 pm
    Look what came in the mail today!
  • The Scariest Part: Mike Pace Talks About ONE TO GO

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    17 Feb 2015 | 6:11 am
        Welcome to this week’s installment of The Scariest Part, a recurring feature in which authors, comic book writers, filmmakers, and game creators tell us what scares them in their latest works of horror, dark fantasy, dark science fiction, and suspense. (If you’d like to be featured on The Scariest Part, please review the guidelines here.) My guest is Mike Pace, whose latest novel is One to Go. Here is the publisher’s description: Tom Booker is a new attorney at a powerful Washington law firm. Texting while driving across Memorial Bridge, he loses control and crashes…
  • Supernatural Noir

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    17 Feb 2015 | 5:37 am
    Supernatural Noir by Ellen Datlow My rating: 5 of 5 stars Another exemplary anthology from Ellen Datlow, this time with a theme that’s right up my alley. The intersection of crime stories and the supernatural is fertile ground, one that’s reaped well by the authors assembled here. There isn’t a weak story in the bunch (such uniform excellence is a trait I’ve come to expect from Datlow anthologies), but of course that makes choosing standouts to mention in this review very difficult. Suffice it to say that the authors I expected great things from — Paul Tremblay,…
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    Dear Sweet Filthy World

  • "If the sky, that we look upon, should tumble and fall..." (9 Vicodin)

    28 Feb 2015 | 8:19 am
    There's another two to four inches of snow on the way. But, on the other, we're supposed to see temperatures rise to 50˚F on Wednesday. Sooner or later, this stuff has to melt. Right now, it's 11˚F.Already, the end of February. Die, winter, die.So, Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird has lost its artist – again. Yes, this book is cursed. Daniel Chabon (my editor) and I are in the process of replacing Joëlle Jones, who pulled out after the success of her recent Dark Horse series landed her a monthly (or another mini or something, I don't know). Briefly, it looked as if Joe Querio…
  • Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

    27 Feb 2015 | 4:32 pm
    By now, most of you will have heard that Leonard Nimoy died today. Kathryn and I were out for a drive, and we came home to the news. I sat here crying, not wanting to cry. Crying didn't seem right. Right up until the end of his life, Nimoy was a vibrant, amazingly creative, talented man doing the work he loved. I cried, anyway.When I was a little kid, living in Jacksonville, Florida, we watched the original series as the episodes were first aired. I was in kindergarten and first grade; it was the late sixties. And still those memories are very clear (clearer than what I had for breakfast, and…
  • "I don't know the answer, but I know who to blame." (11 Vicodin)

    26 Feb 2015 | 8:29 am
    For some reason I thought I could sit down and write a journal entry of substance. That now seems unlikely. It's snowing again, and it's 17˚F (with a windchill of 6˚F).I'm in quite a bit of discomfort at the moment. The tooth broke because it was abscessed, though I never had the sort of pain I've had in the past with abscesses. The first part of the root canal was done yesterday. The crown going to run about $1,000, after the cost of the root canal. I'm on amoxicillin four times a day. Once again, my great thanks to everyone who gave what they could to help cover this unexpected and very…
  • News from the Province of Shattered Horses (13 Vicodin)

    24 Feb 2015 | 10:03 am
    Here in Woodstock, it's currently sunny and 11˚F; the trees mercifully block out the wide, carnivorous sky.Yesterday evening, a premolar that I should have had fixed a year ago shattered, split in half (upper left, 1st pm, lost the buccal half). Likely, this is the result of the blow to to jaw I took on the 19th, when I hit myself in the face with the bottle from the water cooler. And I'm sitting here, waiting on a check that's long overdue. And this is something that has to be fixed immediately. So, last night Kathryn set up a page on gofundme: "Fix Caitlín's Tooth." We're also accepting…
  • "Don't forget your own wilderness wish that gets buried in snow."

    22 Feb 2015 | 7:10 am
    This should be a short entry today, as I mean to finish Part One of "The Aubergine Alphabet" today. And I want to wash my skanky hair and maybe even go for a walk. It's a little warmer today, currently 27˚F, though it supposedly feels like 32˚F. This time yesterday it was twenty degrees colder here. We're supposed to reach 37˚F, and the sun is supposed to emerge, but I see snow falling out there. A few big flakes. Yesterday we had another squall, and it dumped a few more inches. I fear the small amount of melt we may get this afternoon, because tomorrow's forecast high is only 13˚F.
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    Mindy Klasky - Virtual Cocktails

  • A Lost Weekend

    Mindy Klasky
    23 Feb 2015 | 9:29 am
    Wow, is it Monday already?  I feel like I’ve been living in a warped zone of time, where days mistakenly drop away from my calendar, without explanation or warning. In other words, I’ve had a cold for the past week. We spent Presidents Day weekend up at Gifford Pinchot State Park in Pennsylvania, huddling inside a modern cabin as the temperatures dipped into the single digits.  (One morning, we woke up to the textbook definition of a “dusting” of snow — about half an inch that covered all the existing snowbanks and ice slicks with a beautiful, pristine layer of…
  • Effortless Perfection and the Impostor Syndrome

    Mindy Klasky
    9 Feb 2015 | 6:33 am
    Over the weekend, I read an article in my college alumni magazine about campus efforts to battle “effortless perfection.”  For those unfamiliar with this relatively new buzzword, “effortless perfection” is the impression that someone is handling a challenge perfectly, without any visible effort.  It’s the old ‘don’t let them see you sweat’ work ethic, where people (often women, often minorities, often people who are supposed to be grateful for the status they’ve achieved) are encouraged to hide all of the frustration, fear, and hard work…
  • And So, 10,000 Calories Later…

    Mindy Klasky
    2 Feb 2015 | 6:38 am
    As you know, Bob and Bobbette, I write full time. I set my schedule each day, determining how to accomplish the writing that must be done, balancing that with the administrative work generated by a career that consists mostly of self-publishing. I don’t have to report to a day-job; I don’t have an external boss.  (Okay, there’s a pretty forceful orange kitty, but I still control the bag of treats.) Given that life of relative leisure, that schedule of general luxury, why would I ever want to go on a writer’s retreat? Isn’t a retreat really a form of…
  • Lessons from an Off-Season Beach Vacation

    Mindy Klasky
    22 Jan 2015 | 8:20 am
    We added a day to the already three-day weekend last week and headed down to the Outer Banks, in North Carolina.  A relative owns a gigantic “cottage” there, a beach house that’s intended to sleep around 20.  We’ve found that we love, love, love going down there in the heart of winter, when the vast majority of businesses are boarded up and the beach is deserted as far as the eye can see.  Some lessons learned on this trip: It really is better to remember the keys to someone else’s house before you’ve driven 1.5 hours.  Through rush-hour traffic. Paying…
  • 2014 in Review

    Mindy Klasky
    31 Dec 2014 | 8:31 am
    There’s nothing like coming back from vacation to make a person all think-y and reflective and introspective.  Or, um, maybe it’s the calendar change-over doing all that… I started off 2014 with major plans for my career.  I planned on publishing nine books (the Diamond Brides Series) during the year — I had 3.5 of them written on January 1, so I still had 5.5 to go.  I also thought I’d throw together a few omnibus editions, just to keep things fun.  Of course, in the world of indie-publishing it’s not enough to write the books — I also needed to…
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    Mary Robinette Kowal

  • My Favorite Bit: Yves Meynard talks about ANGELS & EXILES

    Beth Bernier
    24 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    Yves Meynard is joining us today with his book Angels & Exiles. Here’s the publisher’s description. “We dream of angels, black as space, and wish they could return from the future to warn us of the dark years ahead. We who have forgotten our origin, exiles in a land we may have shaped with our own hands; we who struggle to find meaning in a world that only vouchsafes us deadly revelation; we wage war, for reasons now lost to us, and our hopes are as tenuous as the light of a single star.” In these twelve sombre tales, ranging from baroque science fiction to bleak…
  • MRK’s dairy-free faux parmesan recipe

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    20 Feb 2015 | 2:46 pm
    So… You have a friend coming over who can’t do dairy, and you want to serve something that calls for Parmesan cheese. Here’s my faux parmesan recipe. 1 Tbl miso 1 Tbl olive oil 4 Tbl pinenuts 2 Tbl pecans (If you have a friend who is allergic to tree nuts, roasted sunflower seeds work) 1/4 tsp sugar Put it all in a food processor and blend the heck out of it. Now, you can use it as a 1 to 1 substitute in a recipe. Obviously, it doesn’t melt, but it has that nutty, sweet, salty thing that Parmesan has. And if you want that crusty cheesy goodness on top of a…
  • My Favorite Bit: Abra SW talks about A CIRCUS OF BRASS AND BONE

    Beth Bernier
    19 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    Abra SW is joining us today with her novel A Circus of Brass and Bone. Here’s the publisher’s description. It’s the end of civilization, but the show must go on. The Loyale Traveling Circus and Menagerie is in turmoil. During their ocean voyage from British India to Boston, someone murdered their ringmaster. The killer must be one of their own. Unfortunately, that is the least of their problems. While they were at sea, an aetheric calamity sent a wave of death rolling across the world. In post-Civil War America, a third of the population died outright, and many of the…
  • My Favorite Bit: Leanna Renee Hieber talks about THE ETERNA FILES

    Beth Bernier
    17 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    Leanna Renee Hieber is joining us today with her novel The Eterna Files. Here’s the publisher’s description. Welcome to The Eterna Files, written by Leanna Renee Hieber, “the brightest new star in literature”( London, 1882: Queen Victoria appoints Harold Spire of the Metropolitan Police to Special Branch Division Omega. Omega is to secretly investigate paranormal and supernatural events and persons. Spire, a skeptic driven to protect the helpless and see justice done, is the perfect man to lead the department, which employs scholars and scientists, assassins…
  • My Favorite Bit: Robert Levy talks about THE GLITTERING WORLD

    Beth Bernier
    12 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    Robert Levy is joining us today with his novel The Glittering World. Here’s the publisher’s description. In the tradition of Neil Gaiman (The Ocean at the End of the Lane), Scott Smith (The Ruins), and Jason Mott (The Returned), award-winning playwright Robert Levy spins a dark tale of alienation and belonging, the familiar and the surreal, family secrets and the search for truth in his debut supernatural thriller. When up-and-coming chef Michael “Blue” Whitley returns with three friends to the remote Canadian community of his birth, it appears to be the perfect getaway from…
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    Among Amid While

  • The Zeroes trilogy—Westerfeld, Lanagan, Biancotti

    1 Feb 2015 | 4:05 pm
    The press releases went out on (US) Friday from Simon & Schuster US and UK, and today Allen & Unwin in Australia will make a similar announcement, about their acquisition of Zeroes, a YA fantasy trilogy that I've been working on for a while in collaboration with Scott Westerfeld and Deborah Biancotti.      What's it all about, you ask? It's about Zeroes, who are teens who've developed new kinds
  • Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean—anthology out soon

    20 Dec 2014 | 5:47 pm
    On 2 February 2015, Eat the Sky, Drink the Ocean, the "ground-breaking intercontinental collection of speculative stories" from India and Australia, will be published.  A collection of sci-fi and fantasy writing, including 6 graphic stories, showcasing 20 stellar writers and artists from India and Australia: Isobelle Carmody, Penni Russon, Justine Larbalestier, Margo Lanagan, Lily Mae Martin,
  • The new national Book Council—get angry, get typing

    15 Dec 2014 | 3:31 pm
    Remember our Prime Minister being applauded for promising a new national Book Council at his Awards ceremony last week? Looks as if it’s going to be funded by a cut to the Australia Council of $2 million a year for three years.  To make clear what this means: Ozco’s literature funding has been steady at around $4 million per annum for a ridiculous number of years, apart from a short-lived
  • Sea Hearts and The Night Guest win the Barbara Jefferis Award

    6 Nov 2014 | 1:02 pm
    I'm really pleased to announce that Sea Hearts is joint winner, with Fiona McFarlane's The Night Guest, of the Barbara Jefferis Award for "the best novel written by an Australian Author that depicts women and girls in a positive way or otherwise empowers the status of women and girls in society".      The award was given at a lovely event last night hosted by the Australian Society of Authors in
  • Conflux 10 appearances

    26 Sep 2014 | 6:54 pm
    I appear to be taking a year off from this blog. Which is long enough to have to re-learn how to get into it. Way to complicate things, Google and Blogger.      Anyway, I'm breaking radio silence to bring you my schedule for next weekend's appearances at Conflux 10 in Canberra, where I am really pleased to be Guest of Honour, alongside Alisa Krasnostein.      Here's what I'll be doing on the
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    Justine Larbalestier

  • Why I’ve Been Quiet

    3 Feb 2015 | 2:34 pm
    Short answer: pneumonia. Longer answer: mycoplasma pneumoniae Apparently there’s a fair amount of it going around in Sydney in summer right now. So unjust. My bout was nasty and not short and my recovery is slow and annoying. Thus my silence online. I am now behind with everything and I have a rewrite due so my focus is on recovering and finishing the book. That’s why I’m not responding to emails and tweets etc.1 Being so sick reminded me—once again—that we build our worlds as if everyone is able bodied all the time—yet nobody is. Even if you’ve never…
  • On Sexism and Awards

    12 Jan 2015 | 12:23 pm
    If you’re a man and you write a realist YA novel you’re more likely to win an award for it than a woman is. Big claim I know. Here’s some evidence about the awards side of the equation, an examination of most of the big awards in the Young Adult genre since 2000, compiled by Lady Business.1 They looked at not only US awards but the big Australian, Canadian and New Zealand awards too. Here’s where I’m going by my own experience, i.e., yes, it’s anecdotal evidence. I believe the majority of authors published by mainstream YA publishers are women. Despite…
  • Last Day of 2014

    30 Dec 2014 | 4:22 pm
    The year is practically over so here I am again with my annual recap of the year that was as well as a squiz at what’s gunna happen in 2015.1 Books Out in 2014 This was my first year with a new solo novel since 2009. Five years in between solo novels!2 I was nervous but it seems to have gone quite well. Razorhurst was published in July by Allen and Unwin in Australia and New Zealand. The reviews have been blush-making. Including being named a book of the week by the Sydney Morning Herald, of the month from Readings Books and making Readings’ top ten YA books of the year and top 50…
  • So-called Writing Facts

    30 Nov 2014 | 7:32 pm
    Here are two “facts” about writing I’ve been hearing lately that I must beat until their stuffing falls out and their non-factness is apparent to all.1 1. On average published authors write 2-3 novels before publication. Um, what? How was such a statistic arrived at? Where does it come from? Why is everyone repeating it? Oh, who cares. It’s irrelevant. It does not matter how many novels other authors wrote before they were published. It has no effect on you. I wrote two novels before I was published. Scott sold the first one he finished. I know of authors who wrote…
  • Accompanying Scott on his tour of the USA

    5 Oct 2014 | 6:31 pm
    I’ve not been blogging much because I’m accompanying Scott on his Afterworlds tour. So far we’ve been to Raleigh, Lexington, Louisville, Philadelphia, Washington DC, St Louis, Chicago and Milwaukee. And there’s much more to come. Check out the rest of the tour here. I’d be delighted to sign anything you want signed but mostly I’m just happy to say hi and chat. We’ve had many adventures so far including staying in what I swear was a haunted hotel. Uncannily cold temperatures? Check. Eerie cold winds that came rushing out of the elevators/lifts? Check.
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    SF and Nonsense

  • I've been book bombed! (And that's a good thing)

    25 Feb 2015 | 8:41 am
    Book bombing is, in a nutshell, a coordinated -- hopefully to go viral -- promotional blitz. See BOOK BOMB! Short Stories from the Sad Puppies Slate! Hat tip to the mad bombers, fellow authors Larry Correia and Brad Torgerson.My book-bombed work is the time-travel novella "A Time Foreclosed." It comes bundled with a bonus short-short, "Grandpa?", basis of the hilarious, award-winning, short movie "The Grandfather Paradox." Here's the Kindle link for "A Time Foreclosed."Funny thing ... this all came about because of another of my stories. "Championship B'tok," a 2014 novelette in Analog,…
  • Of not-so-tiny bubbles, infinities, and other news

    23 Feb 2015 | 2:20 pm
    Catching up with items of fascinating physics ...Click here to enlarge"Despite extensive analysis, Fermi bubbles defy explanation." Fermi bubbles (named for the Fermi gamma-ray observatory that first spotted them) are structures 30 thousand light-years across lying both above and below our galaxy. They emit incredible amounts of gamma-ray energy. (Gamma rays are extremely high-energy photons, more energetic even than hard X-ray photons.) Why are the bubbles there? How did they come to be? There are plenty of theories, none perfectly matched to observations. Now tip your head (or your…
  • Reader-survey summary

    17 Feb 2015 | 6:45 am
    Five weeks ago I posted to announce a survey of SF and Nonsense readers. Briefly, I asked about subjects that bring visitors, their familiarity with aspects of my published writing, and their specific interests among science and tech topics.Readers have spokenThat survey recently closed, and today I'm posting about the results. (There are results. We will get to them. First, though, let's get the caveats out of the way. If caveats don't interest you, that's what the scroll wheel is for.)How many of you responded? Well, I know how many responses were reported by the polling service. But did…
  • Knowing what we don't know -- then continuing to learn

    10 Feb 2015 | 6:44 am
    While crummy winter weather across much of the country discourages us from leaving our warm, cozy homes, here's another form of physical exercise ...RecommendedI recently read (and I recommend) Neutrino Hunters: The Thrilling Chase for a Ghostly Particle to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe, by physicist Ray Jayawardhana. Neutrinos are fascinating subatomic particles. They are so tiny and elusive that experimentalist physicists did not succeed in confirming their existence until decades after Wolfgang Pauli hypothesized them. Decades more passed until the Nobel committee recognized the…
  • Science (and "science") news

    2 Feb 2015 | 6:26 am
    "On 20 December 2013, The United Nations (UN) General Assembly 68th Session proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015)." (That's from the IYL home page.)What could be more appropriate than a moment of respectful reflection (no pun intended) on the recent passing of a major pioneer of light technology? See "Charles Townes, who helped invent now-ubiquitous laser, dies." Lasers are essential -- to name only a handful of their applications -- to precision scalpels, retail scanners, DVD drives, telecommunications, and (now in field test aboard the…
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    We Are Still Laughing

  • Radiation and chemo, weeks 6-6.5

    5 Feb 2015 | 9:28 pm
    On Monday, February 2 -- Groundhog Day! -- we went to the hospital for Kate's last radiation treatment. (She had already taken the last dose of chemo on Saturday night.) Got the treatment, met the doctor, got a dorky little certificate and discharge paperwork... and then the doctor came back and said that there had been some kind of mix-up in the paperwork and there was actually one more treatment to go.Groundhog Day!We just laughed, and came back the next day, and got another dorky little certificate. And then we went to meet with the naturopath.I had been leery of naturopathy, thinking…
  • Enceladus: research and calculations

    4 Feb 2015 | 8:35 am
    I'm working on a short story which I've decided to set at the south pole of Saturn's moon Enceladus. I thought I would share with you a few paragraphs from my notes.How big is Saturn in Enceladus's sky? According to Wikipedia, Enceladus orbits 237948 km from Saturn and Saturn is 108728 km in diameter (pole to pole). Popping these two figures into the angular diameter calculator at tells us that it is 25.7 degrees wide -- bigger than your spread hand at arm's length (about 20 degrees). On Earth, the full moon is 0.5 degrees wide -- smaller…
  • "The End of the Silk Road" in Baen's Year's Best Military SF and Space Opera

    30 Jan 2015 | 10:43 am
    Just heard from David Afsharirad, editor of the forthcoming Baen Books anthology The Year's Best Military Science Fiction and Space Opera. "I'd very much like to include your story 'The End of the Silk Road' in the book. I can't say how much I enjoyed the story. As a fan of early 20th century detective and science fiction, it was a real treat.""The End of the Silk Road" is "Venus noir," in the mold of C. L. Moore’s “Northwest Smith” stories, with froggy Venusians, a damaged protagonist, love, guns, and betrayal. It's set in the same universe as my forthcoming novel Arabella of Mars, but…
  • Radiation and Chemo, Weeks 4-5

    25 Jan 2015 | 9:35 pm
    The passage of time has become very strange for me. The days seem to drag by, but the weeks just zip past. I really can't believe that two weeks have passed since my last update, and that only one more week of radiation and chemotherapy remains. We have already finished up the main course of radiation, which irradiates a softball-sized area around the (removed) tumor, and entered the final "boost" phase which focuses on the area of the tumor. The last treatment is on February 2 -- Groundhog Day! -- and after that there will be no more radiation. Daily chemo ends on January 31, then after a…
  • Announcing "Damage" on, "Homegrown Tomatoes" at Escape Pod

    21 Jan 2015 | 6:29 am
    I am extremely pleased to announce the publication of my story "Damage" at In addition to being free to read at, the story is also available as an ebook for 99¢ at all the major ebook stores.I am also pleased to announce the podcast at Escape Pod of "Homegrown Tomatoes" by Lara Elena Donnelly, which I narrated. You can hear it, or download it as an MP3, for free here: About "Homegrown Tomatoes," reviewer K. Tempest Bradford at io9 said: "Not only do I dig this story,…
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    Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress

  • Banshee 3.8: What Did Rebecca Find with Burton?

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:54 pm
    Some memorable scenes with Hood versus Chayton in tonight's walloping episode 3.8 of Banshee - memorable, to say the least - but the scene that most provokes is what Rebecca found with Burton, when she tried to seduce him, and put her hand down his pants.As is so often the case with Rebecca, the expression on her face tells much of the story.  In this case, it was one of, well, horror may be too strong a word, but is in the right vicinity.   She certainly didn't find what she expected, and what she found was ... well, more than enough for her stop the seduction.My first thought was…
  • 12 Monkeys 1.7: Snowden, the Virus, and the Irresistible

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:33 pm
    All hell - i.e., the deadly virus - almost breaks irrevocably loose in episode of 1.7 of 12 Monkeys tonight, as Cole races back - a week back - to stop this in 2015.Here's background story, clearly revealed at last: There's an ancient virus, dug up, then genetically modified to be the stone cold nearly instant killer which, as we know, all but wiped out the world.   It all starts when the CIA sends the virus to Chechnya to kill Edward Snowden - in this story, one Adam Wexler, who even looks like our Snowden, though.   Wexler's story - as we soon learn, and as he comments near the…
  • Bosch: Second Half: As Fine as the First

    27 Feb 2015 | 3:14 pm
    I saw the rest of Bosch on Amazon  Prime last night, and, like a fine bottle of wine, it was as good as the beginning, which I reviewed here a few days ago.Speaking of libation, I even learned something new in the series.  Bosch orders a "flat tire" bottle of beer.  I looked it up, and I'm going to try one myself at the next suitable occasion.The story continues with its two-edged plot - that is, two kinds of murders, which may or may not be related, but continue to intersect almost until the end of this first season.  I won't tell you the ultimate outcome, but will say it…
  • Vikings 3.2: Leonard Nimoy

    27 Feb 2015 | 10:47 am
    News of Leonard Nimoy's passing came just as I was starting to write a review of the excellent episode 3.2 of Vikings, on the History Channel last night.   In many ways, the spirit of going beyond the well-trodden universe depicted so well in Star Trek, with Leonard Nimoy's Spock at the intellectual helm, is derived from the real Vikings in our history, whose story is now being told so compellingly in the TV series.Of course, the Starship Enterprise never approach a planet or a shore with heads of their vanquished enemies hanging from their ship.  This was one of the most powerful…
  • Bosch: First Half: Highly Recommended

    25 Feb 2015 | 12:03 pm
    I binge-watched the first half of Bosch on Amazon Prime Instant Video last night.  Herewith a brief, nonspoiler review.The series is superb, and a worthy addition to streaming masterpieces such as House of Cards and Peaky Blinders on Netflix, and what The Man in the High Castle promises to be on Amazon.  These shows are spearheading a new revolution in television viewing, as far ahead of most cable today as cable was to network television when it first unveiled The Sopranos in the late 1990s.   The capacity to binge watch - available with cable usually only for series already…
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    Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage »

  • My free 3-day writing mini-workshop and Think Sideways

    25 Feb 2015 | 12:03 pm
    Tweet I have to close registration to my flagship writing course, How To Think Sideways, for about a year, because we’re building a new site, and I need to make sure all the subscriptions are wrapped up before we move everyone’s accounts. So I’ve decided to wrap up HTTS on the current site with a bang. I’m offering: a three-day FREE writing mini-workshop in advance of How To Think Sideways: Career Survival School for Writers one-week relaunch (IN PROGRESS NOW, 25 great prizes for the first 25 folks who buy when the course goes live, and a great class experience for the…
  • The REVISED new LONGVIEW covers, and how to run a solvent self-pub business

    17 Feb 2015 | 8:32 am
    Tweet Book covers…GOOD book covers, anyway—are a big flying pain in the ass on a good day, and they are so very much easier to get wrong than right. And blithe comments about hiring a professional cover designer don’t help. A BIG DIGRESSION ON THE FINANCIAL END OF SELF-PUBLISHING, AND HOW YOU STAY SOLVENT The Longview stories are, right now, low-margin. I am using them to give people an inexpensive route into my Settled Space universe. With that in mind, I’m looking at experimenting with pricing again, which means they’re probably going to become LOWER margin for…
  • The New Covers for Tales from The Longview… I listened.

    16 Feb 2015 | 1:52 pm
    Tweet I read every comment, made notes, came up with alternate concepts, and here are the three final results. WITH new titles, too. Tales from The Longview: Episode 1: The Prisoner   Tales from The Longview: Episode 2: The Courtesan   Tales from The Longview: Episode 3: The Philosopher So…does this fix the many problems?
  • HTWAS Lesson, Longview Minecraft Map Update, More

    11 Feb 2015 | 9:06 am
    Tweet Got 3300+ words on HTWAS Module 3, Lesson 2 yesterday. This lesson, titled Breaking Things Mid-Story and Mid-Series, covers GOOD breaks—places where your Muse kicks in with an absolutely awesome idea that requires a lot of fixing in the current episode, but that DOES NOT BREAK YOUR SERIES. Being able to tell the difference between this kind of break and the “My Muse hates me” type of break from the previous lesson is a critical skill. I’m having a lot of fun with the lesson, by the way—it’s much more enjoyable showing writers how to clean up the mess…
  • Some Indie-Pubbing Goodness For You

    9 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    Tweet COFFFFEEEEEE! I got my introduction to a site called Indie Plot Twist via this well-done article on Indie vs. Traditional Publishing. It’s a nicely done, relatively new site that’s worth your time. And I yearn for their coffee. Go visit, see for yourself, and tell Danielle and Carrie “Hi!”
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    Nick Mamatas

  • RIP

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:36 am

    27 Feb 2015 | 8:43 am
    Some good things happening with dayjob novel Dendera by Yuya Sato, including:this new Q/A with the author in the Los Angeles Times book blog andthis rave review from, that reads, in part: Dendera is one of the best pieces of speculative fiction I’ve read in ANY language. If you love well-written suspense, allegory, and psychological realism, this novel was written for you.So please check it out!
  • On the tempest around the Tempest challenge

    25 Feb 2015 | 9:21 am
    The other day, Tempest Bradford wrote an article challenging readers to stop reading white, straight, cis, male authors for a year. Naturally, there's been a lot of fussing about the article from the usual corners, and from some unusual ones. The most typical right-wing bellow has been that the challenge is racist—"What if she said not to read any black authors for a year!!!" I'll call that bluff and say that those people who only ever read black authors would probably do well to try some white, Asian, etc. authors for a year. Too stupid to even critique are the cries of censorship—it's a…
  • Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play

    21 Feb 2015 | 7:59 pm
    I'm not much for spoiler culture. I actually hate it. It is simply impossible to spoil, say, an Iron Man movie or a popular fiction novel, as their plots are rote and overdetermined down to the minute. I was pleased though, to arrive just on time for today's matinee of Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play by Anne Washburn, as not having the time to read through the program kept the third act of this amazing play for being ruined for me.The play begins in the near-future, just a year or so after a great plague and subsequent disasters (mostly untended nuclear power plants melting down) has killed…
  • 43

    20 Feb 2015 | 12:19 am
    It's my birthday. I think I've been updating LJ on my birthday since at least my 30th birthday. Jesus.This week, I took a couple of days off to care for Oliver, as his day care center was closed for some reason. On the Ash Wednesday of the Western Devils, we went to an Italian joint for a vegetarian meal.And yesterday was Chinese New Year, or the apex of the season anyway, so of course it was time for dumplings.As we don't have a lot of relatives around here, going out is a good way to civilize Oliver and help him become a human being. He's doing pretty well so far; he's quite social but…
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    Not A Blog

  • Rules for Creepy Dolls

    26 Feb 2015 | 8:57 am
    As promised, here are the rules for the Jean Cocteau's Creepy Doll Contest:Creepy dolls will be judged based on originality, creativity, characterization, artistic quality, and the ability to be inventive. Voting by the Queen of Creepy, Ellen Datlow, on Sunday, March 15, at 6:30 pm when winners will be announced. Submission RulesEach participant may submit 1 doll eachSize limits: 6 to 24 inches tallDolls must be supported for displayAntique or dolls ravaged by weather and/or time are acceptable for submissionsEntry dolls must be named and have a place card attached to support for…
  • Gone to Texas

    25 Feb 2015 | 7:53 pm
    I am off to the Lone Star State tomorrow for a whirlwind visit... no, not to Dallas, or Fort Worth, or Austin, or Houston, or San Antonio.I am going to College Station for a very special presentation at the library.And thence to Nacogdoches for the Nacogdoches Film Festival.I will be doing a signing at the Hastings in Nacogdoches, for those who want your books defaced. Well, a book, anyway... only one to a customer. We will also be screening a couple of my episodes of GAME OF THRONES ("Blackwater" and "The Lion and the Rose"), and I'll be doing some stuff with my friends Howard Waldrop,…
  • Beware... the Dolls Are Coming

    24 Feb 2015 | 12:16 am
    Never understood why so many people are scared of clowns.Clowns aren't creepy.DOLLS are creepy.Look at these examples I found on the internet:Whether you love dolls, or are seriously creeped out by them, you will want to be at the Jean Cocteau Cinema on Sunday, March 15, when award-winning editor and anthologist ELLEN DATLOW comes to visit us, with her new book about... you guessed it.Watch this space. Tomorrow I will tell you about our CREEPY DOLL CONTEST!
  • Two Great Nights

    24 Feb 2015 | 12:05 am
    We have had some great shows at the Jean Cocteau since we reopened a year and a half ago, but tonight and last night were among the very best. Janis Ian was in town, and she gave two amazing shows to sellout crowds. Thanks to everyone who came. And those who didn't... you really missed something special.Don't worry, though. We plan to bring her back.
  • Kick the Artists

    21 Feb 2015 | 11:50 am
    Eight days left in Meow Wolf's Kickstarter campaign, to help finance the House of Eternal Return, the interdimensional interactive Victorian mansion at the center of space and time that they are going to be putting up inside the old Silva Lanes.For more information, or to contribute, go to:
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  • Asimovs should have a story in it shortly

    28 Feb 2015 | 5:38 am
    April/May 2015 of Asimovs should have a story in it by me.There will be a flash fiction contest shortly. Very shortly. Jesus, but I am behind on getting information out to contestants! Hold on!
  • Recent News...

    12 Feb 2015 | 12:17 pm
    I'm deep in space, a quantum clone transmitted via ansible and orbiting a distant desert world.While I'm away, I happened to receive a contract in the post from ANALOG, who will be publishing my short story "Farmer" excerpted from an unpublished novel that also includes "Dolores, Big and Strong" from Asimov's April/May 2014, and "Paul and his Son" coming, next month, in Asimov's April/May 2015.Mustard is super easy to make at home, and I don't understand why anyone buys it now that I've made it once. Grind the seeds in a blender; add liquid, optional spices/herbs; stir and adjust until…
  • Cat, Free To Good Home if You Hurry

    4 Feb 2015 | 10:34 am
    UPDATE: Too late! She's now in the care of the Humane Society.In about two hours, give or take, I will be taking this cat to the shelter unless someone comes and gets her, like right now. I am calling her Turnip because she looks like one, and she did just turn up this morning. So, come and get her quick!
  • A thought on gay marriage

    29 Jan 2015 | 1:21 pm
    I have recently encountered a family values' politician decrying the rise of gay marriage because it is not natural and true to his Biblical faith values, while also warning that it is a slippery slope to polygamy.This is hilarious, in particular, because the Bible has absolutely nothing to say on the subject of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender marriage rights beyond some general and archaic rules against copulation in the same sections as stoning adulterous wives and avoiding shellfish. At the same time, the Bible has quite a lot to say about polygamy in that it was a widely accepted…
  • Amendment

    17 Jan 2015 | 6:55 am
    Guns have a constitutional amendment protecting their rights. Nature does not. The working poor and homeless do not.
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    Robin McKinley

  • The Quest for Pooka II

    12 Feb 2015 | 7:55 pm
    Pooka, my (relatively) loyal (as gizmos go) iPhone, is getting ready to check out permanently and go to that big Silicon Valley in the sky where she can play with all the Sinclairs and Altairs in the perfectly atmospherically controlled Elysian Fields equivalent geekily overseen by the demiurge of technology.*  I’m still hoping to get twenty years out of Wolfgang, I guess four or five years is pretty good for a mobile phone.   SIIIIIIIGH.  The first sign of trouble is that she began jumping lines while I was texting which is therefore my own fault for getting sucked into texting in the…
  • Nice Things*

    2 Feb 2015 | 5:10 pm
    HERO won the Newbery thirty years ago.  Thirty.  How scary is that. Anyway some silly person thought it might be amusing to interview me on the subject.  Fortunately they sent me a list of questions which enabled me to choose questions I could, you know, answer.  The Tor list a few weeks ago was way too full of pop-culture questions I couldn’t answer;  this one was full of state-of-the-YA-book-world questions and I HAVE NO CLUE.  I read what I read when I read it, because I saw it on the library shelf, because another unsteady crag of books at the cottage overbalanced and cannoned…
  • 26 January 2015

    26 Jan 2015 | 6:49 pm
    Today was Alcestis’ 58th birthday. Would have been.  She died a little over a week ago. Peter and I often go out to dinner either the 3rd or the 26th of whatever month it is*;  occasionally both, like this month.  January is frequently a sod;  serious deluges of champagne are often required in January.  Last year, after Peter’s stroke in December, pretty much bathtubs full of the stuff were prescribed and dutifully consumed.  And this year. . . . I’d remembered that Alcestis’ birthday was the end of January somewhere;  I’d forgotten it was today till Admetus reminded me. …
  • A Little Light Relief

    6 Jan 2015 | 4:47 pm
       They had a little trouble with my footnotes for some reason.  Do you know ANYONE ELSE who has EVER had a little trouble with my footnotes?  ::hums a little tune::  They also left out the hellterror in the intro, which I will do my best to prevent her from finding out or she would hunt them down and eat . . . all their sandwiches.  And their shoes.  And possibly their desks and their computers.  Certainly their mobile/cell phones.  And their coats.  And . .
  • Not a happy new year

    31 Dec 2014 | 5:57 pm
      The friend I’ve been visiting in hospital? She’s dying. It won’t be long now. I hate this.  This is a stupid system, this life thing.  She’s younger than I am, by the way.  And another friend—another good friend—who is also younger than I am—has just been diagnosed with . . . well.  Not with blue skies and happy fluffy bunnies. Life sucks.  And then, as we know, you die. So, that’s been my holidays.*  Let’s call her Alcestis—the friend who’s dying—although in the damned myth some god or godling usually comes along at the last minute and saves her, and so…
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    Notes from the Labyrinth

  • Nebula Awards Weekend

    28 Feb 2015 | 8:42 am
    So, yes, I will be attending the Nebula Awards Weekend this year. I will be attending as Katherine Addison, given that Katherine Addison is the one nominated for the award, not Sarah Monette.As you might expect, this is a rather peculiar feeling.
  • UBC: Chisholm, DiGrazia, and Yost, The News from Whitechapel

    21 Feb 2015 | 11:50 am
    The News From Whitechapel: Jack The Ripper In The Daily Telegraph by Alexander ChisholmMy rating: 5 of 5 starsThis book is for you if you want primary sources and you are either:(A) interested in Jack the Ripper(B) interested in Victorian journalism.Otherwise, this book is probably NOT for you, since it is a compilation of The Daily Telegraph's coverage of the five canonical murders of Jack the Ripper (Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes, Kelly). The editors have included commentaries about each murder, which I found to be little more than a distraction, but might be helpful for someone just…
  • Nebulas (Nebulae?)

    20 Feb 2015 | 11:11 am
    The Nebula nominees for 2014 have been announced.The Goblin Emperor is one of the nominees for Best Novel (!!!!!).Congratulations to everyone on the list!
  • Cool news & Buy Read Talk Redux

    7 Feb 2015 | 9:38 am
    The Goblin Emperor is the ALA's best Fantasy for Adult Readers on their 2015 genre fiction reading list.This seems like a good time to link back (once again) to my Buy, Read, Talk post, because it bears repeating: if you want to support an author whose work you love, buy the book--or ask your library to buy the book, that's equally awesome--and tell people about it. I'm not talking specifically about me here (though obviously I'm not gonna say no), but about any author; this is the most widely applicable piece of advice I think I've ever given.
  • UBC: Lambert, The Gates of Hell

    31 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    The Gates of Hell: Sir John Franklin's Tragic Quest for the North West Passage by Andrew LambertMy rating: 1 of 5 starsLambert wants to prove that Sir John Franklin was neither weak nor indecisive nor a poor leader. Unfortunately, every time he put forward evidence of same, to me, it looked like evidence that Franklin was exactly the things Lambert was trying to prove he wasn't: weak, indecisive, and a very poor leader, especially in a crisis.Also, this book is not about "Sir John Franklin's Tragic Quest for the North West Passage." For one thing, part of Lambert's thesis is that Franklin…
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  • On the Dangers of Attempting Mars

    18 Feb 2015 | 8:30 am
    So all of a sudden articles are sprouting up warning that the people who may (or may not) be headed for Mars on a private venture are likely to die, they're all doomed, and this is horrible, and it can't be allowed to happen.Seriously?  Everyone making that argument is ALSO going to die (albeit not on the way to, or on, Mars) and some of them are likely to die even sooner than the Mars crews (if they actually take off) from any of the many causes of mortality right here.  People die.  It's what we do.  It is, besides being born, the most comprehensive and…
  • Deeds of Honor announcements

    12 Feb 2015 | 1:29 pm
    Deeds of Honor is now available for the Nook direct from Barnes & Noble for those who've been waiting for that transition.  (Was released in December on Amazon; this took longer.)It will be a Print on Demand paper book later--the cover design had to be expanded for a spine and a back cover and that's almost done.  Unfortunately (from the point of view of the author, who really-really likes leather covered books even though so do cockroaches and mice)  it won't be leather-bound with gold-edged deckle pages.  But will be pretty nonetheless.  I don't…
  • Concert in the Country

    3 Feb 2015 | 10:01 am
    On January 25, the public library here hosted a concert by the world-famous Aeolus Quartet.   I planned to take more pictures than I took, but I was gobsmacked by the music and just sat there, entranced.  So was everyone else, except the two newspaper reporters.   Who would've music...(Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven.)This was the setup in the library before the concert.  This room usually has rolling carts loaded with books; they're now in the back (behind the freestanding dark bookcase beyond the chairs.)   On the right side,…
  • Unexpected Consequence of Literary Exploration

    8 Jan 2015 | 8:12 am
    Yesterday evening, when the internet was down for awhile, ...for a time yesterday, I read a literary writer's work.It had a strong effect.  I dreamed about being lowered into a shark tank with one limb at a time dangling so the shark could bite it off about six inches at a time.  When that limb was a little over half gone (and healed) whoever it was would carefully dip the next in the tank.  Eventually I had no limbs left, and was helpless.Naturally nothing in the book was  that dramatic.  It was, like all such books, about ordinary people living ordinary lives of…
  • 80 Acres: More Trail Work

    6 Jan 2015 | 11:47 pm
    Today--in mild temperatures and under a sunny sky, I finally cleared enough chores to go out and work while the weather made that possible and the ground was firm enough (barely) to ride the bike out.    I needed to work on the east trail in the dry woods.  It enters the dry woods on the east side, near the north fence, and angles away from the fence until it meets the Fox Pavilion trail (entering the dry woods on the south side and emerging from it at the north fenceline on the west side.  First I rode up to Fox and refilled the wildlife waterer there.  Then I…
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    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • Shawn is Okay, but Her Gallbladder Freaked the Surgeon

    27 Feb 2015 | 11:41 am
    We got to the hospital on time and all that and everything went according to plan.... until Shawn's surgery kept going on and on. Mason and I struggled not to be worried. Finally, the monitor switched from "Procedure" to "Closing" and I could finally breathe. When the doctor came he said, "She's fine," but then had us go into a private room which had me nearly hyperventilating with worry. Turns out, half way through the procedure they had to switch from robot-assisted to laparoscopic. The surgeon was clearly HORRIFIED by the state of Shawn's gallbladder. He could not believe, I think, that…
  • Luckily My Career is Over or I Might Rage Quit

    26 Feb 2015 | 6:30 am
    Wow, people, just wow.So my friend and fellow science fiction writer, Eleanor Arnason, decided to re-post Tempest's challenge on her Facebook as a test, just to see what kind of response she'd get. Third or fourth comment? So offensive I'm not even sure I can re-print it here (I'll paraphrase it under the cut). It may or may not be triggering, but I thought I should warn because I certainly read it as violent. Regardless he uses NSFW words. He actually said "If I read three of these books can I haz blow jobs from three women?" He actually wrote the "haz" as though his…
  • 25 Feb 2015 | 9:33 am

    25 Feb 2015 | 9:33 am
    I'm stuck at the clinic right now. Before you panic overly-much, it's not anything SUPER serious. Shawn's been having these horrible stomach pains and we've discovered that at least one of the problems is gallbladder. The docs say the gallbladder has to come out. Her surgery is scheduled for Friday.I'm here at the moment, because Shawn is having her pre-surgery physical, like you do. Shawn is not having an easy time of this. A lot of it, I think, is the severe amount of pain she's been in. She hasn't slept well in days and it oscillates from mild discomfort to doubled-over cramping pains. So…
  • I Guess I Have More to Say....

    24 Feb 2015 | 7:05 am
    Okay, now I kind of get it. Yesterday I reblogged/reposted Tempest's challenge on Facebook with a little comment by me, which was basically a condensed version of my blog here. My point being: is this hard? This shouldn't be hard.I'm not sure I've ever gotten so much traffic on a FB feed in my life.With the exception of one person who was a bit trollish (they used the dog whistle acronym SJW, for Social Justice Warrior, to describe Tempest in what was a clearly derogative way hoping, I suspect, to trigger a fight), it was a decent enough conversation. In fact, a dear friend of mine chimed in…
  • Challenge Yourself to Just Look Around

    23 Feb 2015 | 6:22 am
    K. Tempest Bradford would like to challenge you to "Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis, Male Authors for a Year." Let me first and foremost say, I support this idea. Secondly, it will not be difficult.You could easily read a book a day and only read women writers. I actually did this spontaneously when I was in my youth, probably somewhere in the mid-1980s (and continued well into the early-1990s), when it was also still very easy to find women writing SF/F. In fact, we were just coming off the great boom of the New Wave and I simply spontaneously and naturally drifted in the…
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    the essential kit

  • two steps forward...

    27 Feb 2015 | 2:29 pm
    I've been working on my detailed synopsis for REDEEMER this week. It's going pretty well, actually: I've done about 5k--well, I've probably written 7 or 8K, including random thoughts about worldbuilding and stuff--and I've opened it up to my Brainstorming Filter, which--I've always brainstormed with Ted and my friend Trent, but previous to STONE'S THROE I'd never done *much* brainstorming outside of them. I needed help with STONE'S THROE and opened it up to a small group of friends and writers (don't ask, I won't put you on it), and had so much fun brainstorming I've been making it a more…
  • Recent Reads: The Art of Asking

    25 Feb 2015 | 5:37 am
    I found THE ART OF ASKING to be a rather strange read. A lot of it was familiar to me in one way or another: I’ve watched Amanda Palmer’s TED Talk, I followed her Kickstarter and its aftermath, I periodically read her blog, I used to read Neil Gaiman’s blog regularly, etc. I’m not a fan of either Palmer or Gaiman, which is to say their art doesn’t particularly speak to me, but I’ve met them both, albeit briefly, and it’s hard to be in my line of work and not know who they are. So basically the thing is I’ve never read an autobiography by someone…
  • Family dynamics FTW :)

    24 Feb 2015 | 1:21 pm
    Over on FB I linked to this website about a sustainable village being developed in Ireland and said I still wanted go live there. My mom said I could be the Village Writer. My sister has friends living there and they’re the Village Dancer and the Village Baker. My mom’s younger brother said, “Do they need a Village Idiot? I might be available.” Mom said, “Funny, I was thinking of offering myself as the Village Wise Woman!” I said, “I now really want to write a story in which a brother and sister are the village wise one and the village idiot. Ideally…
  • Redeemer ho!

    23 Feb 2015 | 6:53 am
    I got REDEEMER into Scrivener today, did some edits (there's a thing I'm trying to do with it which will almost certainly take seven thousand edit passes and I will still not entirely succeed), and actually wrote a thousand words, which is pretty remarkable, because I am no Alexandre Dumas; I do not finish one book, reach for a fresh sheet of paper, and begin writing the next. Except I truly do have an extraordinary amount to do by the middle of the year to reach the (far too ambitious) goals I have, and would like to try to continue to make actual writing progress while trying to do…
  • i finished it!

    22 Feb 2015 | 1:10 pm
    I went off this afternoon to write and meet up with a friend, and accomplished some 3750 words before our meeting. I was pretty sure I’d broken through the Novelist’s Event Horizon, and thought maybe if I went back to write a little more, I could finish MAGIC & MANNERS sometime tomorrow. So I went back and blew through 2000 words in an hour (that’s about my top speed), said on Twitter that I thought I might keep going, wrote another two sentences, and was like “no wait i’m done!” I stared at a minute and concluded I was, in fact, satisfied with that,…
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    Old Enough to Know Better

  • Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:42 am
    Crap. Another one gone ...I met Nimoy once, worked with him on a book project. Here's the link to that post:
  • Ukulele in Progress - Bling

    19 Jan 2015 | 12:03 pm
    I am pleased and privileged to own three handmade ukuleles, from luthiers with high-level skill and artistry. Two of them were made for other folks and I bought them, one used, one because the sale fell through. The third was custom-built with my input. The luthers are, in order of acquisition: Woodley White, Alan Carruth, and Michael Zuch.Above, top to bottom: White, Zuch, CarruthAbove, top to bottom, White, Zuch Carruth.They are all, insofar I can tell, outstanding instruments. All tenors. All strung low-G. Quality woods and tuners, and they all sound different, but great, to my ears.As you…
  • Battery Blues

    11 Jan 2015 | 1:27 pm
    Came out of silat class on a chilly evening this week and when I turned the key in the ignition of my automobile, I got that little solenoid clicking and naught else. Enough juice to light the dome light, not enough to crank the engine. Well, crap!Got somebody to jump it off without electrocuting either of us, made it home, and next day, same deal. Battery was nearly dead.There are several things that can cause this: Alternator, voltage regulator, a short in the electrical system, or a bad battery. Given that the car is nine years old and still wearing the original…
  • Play that Funky Music, White Boy ...

    8 Jan 2015 | 10:37 am
    Photo by Chuck GilmanSo, I have mentioned that I go to the local pub, The Lehrer, for an acoustic jam. This is great fun, the group varies from a handful, to as many as eighteen, and there are some talented instrumentalists and singers who show up. Most recent session, there were two harmonica players, two percussionists, a flutist, an acoustic bass, eight or nine guitars, and one ukulele. None of us amped save the bass player, and we asked her to do that because we couldn't hear her.I used to go to the blues jam, but everybody there is amped, and I wanted to retain what little…
  • Accidental Pro

    21 Dec 2014 | 10:37 am
    So, most recent jam session at The Lehrer, it was pouring rain and Saturday holiday shopping madness. Had a handful of players show up, some regulars, couple I hadn't seen before, and Chuck, who runs the show, had to leave early for a gig. Didn't have the white board for the chords, so we fumbled our way along, trying to keep up. Mostly did simple stuff. A few guitars, a baritone uke, beat-box and high hat, and me on the tenor.We played and sang for a couple hours, had ourselves a fine old time.There is usually a little beer-bucket on the table, for contributions to defray the cost of…
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    Mike Philbin's free planet blog

  • Free Planet - Stop Profit - End Slavery

    25 Feb 2015 | 1:04 am
    not who you think it is..."Mike, how can stopping profit end slavery?" I'm glad you asked. First, let's look at a couple of Oxford Dictionary definitions.PROFIT:A financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something. [source OX DIC]SLAVERY:The practice or system of owning slaves: a condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation.[source OX DIC]So, what am I selling here? Selling? Nothing. This is Free Planet, did you forget? I'm simply making a valid point by juxtaposing two…
  • Al Jazeera - The Spy Cables - a glimpse into the world of espionage

    24 Feb 2015 | 12:20 am
    I was out on business when this news broke, yesterday.In fact a woman on a bus told me about this breaking news at 9 p.m. last night. According to the Guardian, she proclaimed, "Al Jazeera has just released tonnes of secret documents on the covert operations of Mossad, CIA and MI6," well, this morning, I had to have a look.And this is what I found...Al Jazeera reckon there's much more to come, but among the initial revelations, leaked via the South African Security Services, the Spy Cables disclose how:Israel's Mossad told its allies that Iran was not working to produce nuclear weapons just a…
  • Keiser Report - Blackwater War World Order - an exploding global market for conflict

    23 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    look, there's really decent money to be made from War World or Corporate War Starters like Blackwater. You know that armies are no longer to defend one's state/country from invasion but to wage for-profit ordo ab chao or Order From Chaos.Max Keiser and Stacey Herbert go into the scandalous fine granularity of this private mercenary patent-protective War Worlding: actually, they've been going on about this for years now and if you haven't listened then you'll probably not listen now.Stay on your backs, sheople, keep pissing on your soft bellies.FURTHER CORPORATE WAR WORLDING: here's…
  • is Australia the slid impact-remnant of Earth's smaller second Moon?

    22 Feb 2015 | 2:35 am
    could this have been pre-Australia looming over early Earth?Australia is so strange, so alien to this Earth in terms of flatness and rock age. Elsewhere, there's almost uniform tectonic plate shift and aging, whereas in the western Pacific there's this flattened lump of land called Australia and NOTHING ELSE in the devastation zone apart from a few volcanic spurts of islandage; Hawaii, Indonesia, Polynesia etc. In fact, the following illustration shows what appears to be the impact site in the Marianas Trench region: old rocks in blue, new rocks in red. New Zealand and Indonesia would be the…
  • Variety - Blomkamp - Alien Reboot? Alien Prequel? No, Aliens part two

    19 Feb 2015 | 1:15 pm
    now, that's what I call sexyAccording to this article in Variety, Blomkamp (Neill) the South African director who gave the cinema world District 9, Elysium and Chappie is pencilled in to be doing a new Alien film -- hopefully a FFR or Full Franchise Reboot with all the ugly Giger-porn put back in that Prometheus took out.I also hope that Blomkamp will 'address the hive' issue. Alien was always, for me, a Rogue Trooper, maybe even the only one left. While Cameron's Aliens was a fun-grunt ride, we didn't need 'all those aliens' like that. We certainly didn't need no Queen ruling them all with a…
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    Tiny Godzilla

  • The rocks might melt and the sea may burn

    25 Feb 2015 | 1:22 pm
    You guys. Hey, you guys. DON'T FORGET: The Humble Bundle is still live! Featuring yours truly along with a whole HOST of others - including such fine citizens as Joe Lansdale, Caitlin Kiernan, Robert McCammon, and Clive Barker. EBOOKS ON THE CHEAP. AWESOME CHARITY SUPPORTED. Everybody wins! Especially YOU, oh discerning fan of books in digital format!Here's today's progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp - where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six…
  • I'll be a big noise with all the big boys

    23 Feb 2015 | 2:15 pm
    As I've complained many a time before, starting a new project is hard. Working on a new project is great! But actually getting one underway ... UGH. Such a shift in gears. Such a tactical decision that can go wrong in so many ways, and will probably have to be thrown out eventually, so it's probably a total waste of time. Or not, but there's no telling. Not yet.Yeah, that.But today I sat down with all my notes and all my Force Of Will and I managed to get a new thing underway! [:: throws confetti ::] [:: waves pompoms ::] It's another book for Tor, slated for next year - so I actually have…
  • When your bulldog barks and your canary sings

    22 Feb 2015 | 11:51 am
    It's been a few days since I last posted, but there hasn't been much to report. The weather has been godawful, with highs in the teens and/or rain/snow/sleet/slush ... so we've been more or less housebound until today. But I'd be lying if I said I'd gotten much work done.Mostly, I did some odds-and-ends spring cleaning - stuff like emptying and sorting both of my closets, and bagging up stuff to donate. Also, I culled a couple of boxes of books and will drag them off to sell them when the weather lets up; did a whole bunch of laundry (bedding, sweaters, all the not-every-week stuff); got my…
  • Another Humble Bundle - Now Featuring JACARANDA!

    18 Feb 2015 | 11:05 am
    SO GET THIS: You know how yesterday I was all like, Jacaranda is shipping, yay!? Well today, I have YET FURTHER Jacaranda news for you and yours - starting TODAY you can pick it up as part of THIS-HERE HUMBLE BUNDLE PROMOTION on a pay-what-you-like basis. Behold the glory of Subterranean Press's offerings! IN ADDITION TO Jacaranda - in this bundle, you'll also find a number of other fine folks INCLUDING but not limited to Peter V. Brett, Connie Willis, Dan Simmons, and Jack Vance!But perhaps you're asking yourself, "Self, what on earth is a Humble Bundle, and do I want any part of it?" Well…
  • Jacaranda - Now Shipping!

    17 Feb 2015 | 8:23 am
    Finally! Jacaranda is live, and it is SHIPPING right to you kind folks who either (a). already pre-ordered it, or (b). plan to order it really, really soon. According to the publisher: "We already have more distributor orders for the trade hardcover than we can fill, so ordering now might be a good idea." There are a few more copies of the limited signed edition on hand, so you collectors out there have a bigger window to grab yourself a copy; but if you want one of the hardcover trades, it's basically now or never.Click right here to order directly from the publisher while copies are still…
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  • Jews versus Zombies

    Adam Roberts
    24 Feb 2015 | 8:05 am
    Rebecca Levene and Lavie Tidhar have edited these two volumes, Jurassic have published them, proceeds will go to a very worthwhile charity, and from March, you'll be able to buy either (or both!) here. It's e-book only at the moment, but a limited edition hard copy is coming, and perhaps an omnibus. Zombies contains my story 'Zayinim', at which I laboured and struggled over a period of many months, honing and polishing the sentences, adjusting the structure, refining the narratorial voice and undertaking whole weeks of detailed zom/hebie research. I can only hope you like the result.
  • Locus: Best SF/Fantasy of 2014

    Adam Roberts
    1 Feb 2015 | 5:10 am
    The complete list is here. I was delighted to see Bête listed amongst the (very strong) list of best novels; and doubly-delighted that Sibilant Fricative: Essays & Reviews is listed amongst 'Best Non-Fiction'. Triple delight awaited me when I saw that “Thing and Sick” (originally in Solaris Rising 3) is listed amongst the 'Best Novelettes'. Good gracious, if I were to carry on looking down this list, and found yet another of my 2014 titles, perhaps the short story 'Trademark Bugs: A Legal History', included as well, well I would reach quadruple delight, and that would have serious…
  • Saint Rebor

    Adam Roberts
    25 Jan 2015 | 9:14 am
    A new collection of short stories: available now. I believe there are 150 actual copies for sale, all signed by me; but there's no limit to the number of e-book copies available, and they're only £2.99 a pop. Amazing!
  • Twenty Trillion Leagues: American Edition

    Adam Roberts
    21 Jan 2015 | 12:22 am
    The US edition of Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea is out now. That's very exciting news! There's also an audio-book version for download, narrated by Christian Coulson. One more thing. Follow this link -- this one, here -- down, down into the depths of publishing's marianas trench, and you'll find an excerpt of this latter.
  • My Six Best Books of 2014 …

    Adam Roberts
    18 Dec 2014 | 12:17 am
    ... in a more-literal sense than is usually implied by these sorts of headlines. 1. Bête, a novel: it's the best of me. £6.49 on Kindle; still some hardcover copies left in stock (pricier, but makes a better gift. Look at that cover art! I mean, obviously I can't claim any credit for the cover art. But you have to agree: it is a thing of beauty). 2. Twenty Trillion Leagues Under the Sea, a novel. Gorgeously illustrated by the sublime Mahendra Singh. A piffling £5.49 on Kindle; only four hardcover copies left anywhere in the world. What are you waiting for? 3. Sibilant Fricative, a…
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    Running Air

  • Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015

    27 Feb 2015 | 10:37 am
    Oh, hell. I was fearful, when I heard he'd been hospitalized. He utterly owned Spock, of course, but he did a lot more.I got to speak to him once, when I was working at Acclaim and we approached him about writing an introduction to a Classics Illustrated SF compilation we were talking about. I was somewhere else in the office when I got hailed over the PA: "Madeleine, you have a phone call at your desk. It's... Leonard Nimoy?" When I answered, there was this voice that was so familiar--except that instead of speaking with Spock's precision, this was a man who said…
  • Yesterday and Today

    17 Feb 2015 | 8:20 am
    I am "catering" a poker game tonight. Which is to say, I am providing lasagna and dessert. With an opportunity to cook more or less anything I felt like (subject to budget and time and insanity level) I went with a nice meaty lasagna and a lemon-buttermilk bundt cake I can do in my cool spiral cake pan. And in order not to have today be entirely about cooking, I made the bolognese and the pasta (yes, for extra No-Points*, I made home-made pasta) yesterday.First the pasta, which gets to sit for an hour or so before rolling and cutting. There's something really delightfully…
  • For No Discernible Reason

    15 Feb 2015 | 9:55 am
    I woke up (or was awakened by Emily, who insisted that 7:15 on a Sunday morning was the only possible time for a dog to be squeezed, thank you) and after attending to Her Nibs The Canine, made a lemon tart.There is no reason for me to have done so. Danny's out of town; it's just me and the dog, and the dog doesn't get lemon tart regardless of how she feels about the matter. And I dont need a whole lemon tart, regardless of how I feel about the matter. I suspect I will donate some to local friends.But you see, it's all desperance's fault, because he mentioned a kind of tart…
  • Progress!

    11 Feb 2015 | 8:10 am
    Yesterday I had a job interview: got all dressed up and went out to Walnut Creek to meet with a whole bunch of people.  Answered questions, told stories, explained my peculiar job history with what I think (and hope) is a convincing through-line (short form: I'm a stage manager. I learned early to keep plates spinning, and along side of writing, it's what I do best). And here: proof that I can too look like a professional of some sort:Emily, you will note, is astonished.
  • Just My Type (or not)

    9 Feb 2015 | 10:04 am
    So we were talking about the Anthem data breach this morning (like you do), and I mentioned that there were already rumblings about a class action suit against Anthem for insufficient data security, and Danny said "Well, nobody likes Anthem."Without thinking I said "I like their typeface."As I said a bunch of years ago, in another venue, I am a little bit of a type snob*. My father designed type (as well as using it as a design element--I grew up in a house full of books of type samples). My brother is, along-side of being a gifted painter, a comic-book letterer. Type was…
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    Rudy's Blog

  • 3 New Paintings for MILLION MILE ROAD TRIP

    24 Feb 2015 | 4:35 pm
    I’m moving along on my next novel, Million Mile Roadtrip. I’m maybe 20% done, which feels like it’s enough so that I can act like I’m actually going to write the whole book. I already posted about the book on January, 11, 2015, talking about how I was thinking of this as a YA book, as my characters are 13, 17, and 18. I’ve done three new paintings for the novel recently. “Deep Space Saucers” oil on canvas, January, 2015, 24” x 20”. Click for a larger version of the painting. This is, in a way, an abstract painting. An exercise in composition and hue. I was thinking of the…
  • Lee Poague’s List: 20 Classic Films to View

    12 Feb 2015 | 4:25 pm
    Today’s long post is a guest shot from my old friend Lee Poague. Lee is a consummate movie buff, author of numerous books on Frank Capra, Alfred Hitchcock, Susan Sontag and others…you can see a list here. Lee Poague on Four Mile Beach north of Santa Cruz, June, 2014. Lee was a professor for many years at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, teaching courses on film. A few months ago, I asked him for a list of films he might recommend. And here we have his thorough, fascinating, and useful response, written on February 9, 2015, and entitled: “Film Talk and Friendship.” I’ve taken…
  • The Complete Zap Comix

    24 Jan 2015 | 7:07 am
    Sylvia and I went to the book launch party for the Complete Zap Comix boxed set at City Lights this week. There were 17 issues of Zap, running from #0 through the new #16 included with the set. [Graffiti at Sloat Street beach in San Francisco.] Of the eight Zap artists, Paul Mavrides, Robert Williams, and Victor Moscoso were there. Spain Rodriguez and Rick Griffin are dead. S. Clay Wilson has brain damage from a fall. Gilbert Shelton and R. Crumb remained in France. There’s a famous story about Crumb declining to participate in the traditional group “jam session” comic for Zap #14, and…
  • Thoughts on Writing a YA novel. “Million Mile Road Trip.”

    11 Jan 2015 | 1:23 pm
    I’ve mentioned in this blog that I want to write a novel about a very long road trip in a universe where Earth, instead of being a sphere, is more or less endless prairie, interrupted by mounts and seas, and with an utterly different civilization every ten thousand miles or so. [Painting by Keith Haring, vinyl paint on a vinyl tarp.] My working title is Million Mile Road Trip, and here’s a link to my blog posts about it. I’ve decided to slant this new SF novel towards being a YA book. I might have a better shot at that fabled wider market that way, and it would be a nice change of pace…
  • Aliens Coming Down a Pointed Ladder. Magic Rabbits.

    30 Dec 2014 | 3:33 pm
    There’s some woods near Los Gatos where I’ve been walking for twenty-eight years. Ever since we moved here in 1986. I always see new things. Like these pinecones resembling (to my eye) rabbit ears. The broken wood is the rabbit’s face. We had a nice Thanksgiving and Christmas with the family. It always does my heart good to see the grandchildren. The wheel of life—I’m on the way out, my children are middle-aged parents, and the new crop is coming up. Dig this oak leaf resting on the gnarly leaves of a red hot poker cactus. Maybe my mind is like the oak leaf, resting on the cosmic,…
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  • Steelhunt contest winners!

    27 Feb 2015 | 3:09 pm
    For those who were not aware, I ran some contests through Facebook and Twitter a few weeks ago. Winners receive a set of Epic stand-up die-cut cards, and all are collected below!One contest was for people to tweet their favorite of David's bad metaphors from Steelheart and Firefight. Here are the winners (selected randomly). You can find a bunch more at the #steelhunt hashtag on Twitter.Kierstin Scharnitzke: "Megan's eyes could have drilled holes through butter."Andrew Means: "Like a washing machine at a gun show."Holden R Johnson: "They looked so dangerous, like alligators. Really fast…
  • Shadows of Self cover reveal + Updates

    23 Feb 2015 | 4:10 pm
    Shadows of Self, my new Mistborn novel coming out in October, now has an awesome cover by the ever-talented Chris McGrath. has the full reveal.I have more exciting news for the Reckoners series. Steelheart was nominated for the 2014-15 Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers.In this week's Writing Excuses episode, Q&A on Character, we answer topical questions from our attendees at the 2014 Out of Excuses Workshop:How do you have a character grow in power and/or expertise without needing to ridiculously overpower the villains?How do you give a flawed character a growth arc without…
  • Chicago Signing Tonight. Huzzah!

    20 Feb 2015 | 10:32 am
    When Firefight came out last month I didn't have a stop in the Chicago area, but I'll be there tonight at Anderson's in Naperville, before recording some Writing Excuses episodes in the next few days and doing a school visit early next week. If you're in the area, stop by the signing, but do note the ticketing policy below.Signing details:Date: Fri, Feb 20, 2015Time: 7:30–9:30 p.m.Place: Anderson's BookshopAddress: 123 West Jefferson AvenueNaperville, IL 60540Phone: (630) 355-2665Signing Policy for Anderson's:Anderson's does have a ticketing policy. In order to get anything signed, they…
  • New Writing Excuses + Update

    16 Feb 2015 | 12:20 pm
    We at Writing Excuses are continuing February's focus on characters in this week's new episode, Who Are All These People?, where we explore some of the challenges involved in building a cast for your story. You need to know why you are putting your characters in your book and what the purpose each of them actually serves in your story.The Rithmatist has been given the honor of placement on the 2016 Master List for the Rebecca Caudill Young Readers' Book Award in is continuing their reread posts for Words of Radiance. Last week Alice Arneson had a large quantity of family…
  • My Schedule for the Taipei International Book Exhibition

    13 Feb 2015 | 7:19 am
    Saturday, February 142015 TIBE Forum 12:30–1:30 pmBook Signing TIBE Hall 1 2:10–3:30 pmPanel Discussion & Signing in Eslite Bookstore 7:00–9:30 pmMore Details on event location here.
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    Inhuman Swill

  • The women who want to drag you down

    12 Feb 2015 | 9:47 am
    A previous outtake from my memoir The Accidental Terrorist ended with these lines:Women wield a strange power over the male missionary—even women who don't exist. Perhaps especially women who don't exist.There's another scene in the book that addressed what I was alluding to there—at least, I thought there was. When I went looking for that scene, I couldn't find it. I had to dig way back to the second draft of the book to locate it, and now I'm not sure what possessed me to take it out. Believe me, it's going back into the latest draft.Names, of course, have been changed.One…
  • Send your missionary a margarita!

    5 Feb 2015 | 9:28 am
    In a message exchange a few months ago, a friend and former colleague from my missionary days reminded me of a funny story from 1988 involving the elder who was then my companion.I didn't immediately recall the incident, but then when I was rooting around the other day in a very old draft of my memoir The Accidental Terrorist, I found that I'd remembered it well enough a dozen years ago or more to include it.Here's that deleted excerpt. My friend who reminded me of the incident is the "Sister Evans" who appears below, by the way, and the Word of Wisdom is the strict Mormon commandment against…
  • When a sentence doesn't end with a period

    28 Jan 2015 | 6:22 am
    A reader writes to ask:I know it's still acceptable to space twice after periods. However, if there's a close quote after a period is there actually only one space remaining after the quotation mark before first letter of the next sentence? Also, are there two spaces before the beginning of the quote, after the period closing the previous sentence?In both the situations you describe, use two spaces. Keep in mind that your two spaces go after the sentence's final punctuation, whether that's a period, a quotation mark, a question mark, or an exclamation point.Crossposted from Proper Manuscript…
  • How to format a poetry collection

    22 Jan 2015 | 6:15 am
    A reader writes to ask:I am currently trying to put together a manuscript of all of my late mother's poetry that she wrote from about 1970 to 2013, when she passed away. I made her a promise that when she died, I would put this manuscript together and submit it to publishers.When formatting the pages of each poem, I noticed your formatting instructions say to include the author's name and contact info at the top left of each page but since my mother is passed and I am the contact person, how would I format my information? The instructions you reference are for submitting a packet of three to…
  • Paying the price for making Mormonism more inclusive

    16 Jan 2015 | 8:39 am
    As reported yesterday in the New York Times, Mormon podcaster, critic, and activist John Dehlin faces excommunication at a church disciplinary hearing later this month. Dehlin runs the Mormon Stories family of podcasts, which cover topics important to members struggling with doubt, identity, mental health issues, and more. The charges against him essentially boil down to teaching "false doctrine," but there's of course more to it than that. Dehlin is a Ph.D. candidate in psychology and counseling who has researched the effect Mormon teachings have on gay members. And despite his embrace of…
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    Douglas Smith's blog

  • Interview: Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

    Douglas Smith
    6 Feb 2015 | 10:22 am
    I posted earlier about my story "Jigsaw" appearing in the new young-adult science fiction anthology, The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, from Dreaming Robot Press. One of my fellow authors in the anthology, Vanessa MacLellan, has kindly been doing a series of interviews on her blog with the other authors. My turn just came up, and you can read the interview here.  Again, this is a great YA antho focusing on stories with female protagonists. The book is now available from Amazon.
  • Foreign Market Listing Updates

    Douglas Smith
    21 Dec 2014 | 3:34 pm
    For the writers who follow this blog, I've just added three new non-English markets to the Foreign Market List: Visionarium (Austria), SF Comet (China), and Eridan (Croatia). Check them out on the FML.
  • Bookstore Discounts for US Thanksgiving

    Douglas Smith
    21 Nov 2014 | 1:34 pm
    Canadian Thanksgiving is a distant memory, along with warm fall temperatures and leaves on the trees. But US Thanksgiving is next week, bringing the annual craziness of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.  So I thought I'd join the annual flood of sales by offering my web site visitors a discount of 35% off of all ebooks in my online bookstore. Just use the coupon code TURKEY35 when you check out. You can use it as many times and on as many ebooks as you like, from now until Dec 2.  Enjoy!
  • Bringing Diversity to SF: The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide

    Douglas Smith
    18 Nov 2014 | 11:51 am
    I'm thrilled to announce that I'll have a story in a wonderful and important new SF anthology, The Young Explorer's Adventure Guide, from Dreaming Robot Press. Aimed at middle grade readers, the anthology's goal is to bring greater diversity to science fiction, a genre that remains dominated by white males, both in terms of writers and characters in SF. This anthology is the first in a planned annual series, and this edition will predominantly feature stories with strong female characters as their protagonists. The project is being funded by a Kickstarter campaign. They've reached not only…
  • Inspire! Toronto International Book Fair: My Report

    Douglas Smith
    16 Nov 2014 | 11:10 am
    As I mentioned earlier, I was one of the author presenters this weekend at INSPIRE!: The Toronto International Book Fair. Yesterday, I had the great pleasure to be on a panel on the Spark Stage at the TIBF with friends and fellow writers, Julie Czerneda and Stephanie Bedwell-Grime, and got the chance to meet Ottawa writer, Andrew Barton, who ably moderated our panel on "Science Fiction: The Future Ain't What It Used to Be." We had a lively and fun discussion with plenty of interesting questions from a packed crowd. Here's a pic of the panel in progress taken by Crystal Huff, who was at the…
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    Rules for Anchorites

  • Looks Like We’ve Had Some Cowboys In Here

    Living for the Revel
    23 Feb 2015 | 11:38 am
    Wow! Look at this place! All spruced up and clean and gorgeous, thanks to Hafsah at Icey Designs. Hopefully everything will be much easier to navigate around here, so that I can tell you about things, and then you can tell me about things, and it’ll be one big Telling Party with everyone invited. Yes, that means I’ll be blogging more. I’m going to focus on this site as the core conversation-having place, as the heat-death of Livejournal (which breaks my heart just about all the time) has diaspora-ed everyone from that once-hallowed hall full of kids smoking and telling dirty…
  • Violet Wild, Boys, and Trolls

    Living for the Revel
    20 Feb 2015 | 10:34 am
    This month, you can find the first part of a new CMV novelette in Clarkesworld Magazine‘s 100th issue: click here to read “The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild,” or here to listen to the story as read by Kate Baker. And if you don’t already read Clarkesworld Magazine, what are you waiting for? The 100th issue is a fine place to start, with an amazing cover by Julie Dillon, previously unpublished fiction from the late, great Jay Lake, and so many more pieces of fiction and nonfiction, powerful and fascinating. There’s work from Kij Johnson, the article…
  • Traditional January Awards Eligibility Post

    Living for the Revel
    25 Jan 2015 | 12:06 pm
    It’s that time, everyone! Nebula Awards nominations are open until February 15, for those of you in the SFWA. The 2015 World Fantasy Awards judges are in their reading period until June 1. If you are attending this year’s World Fantasy Convention or attended one in the last two years – you can nominate! Then there are the Hugo Awards: the nominations period opened just over a week ago. Step up, step up, one and all of you who are Worldcon members – do your genre duty and have your say in the best stories, films, and related works of 2014! Remember, anyone who attended…
  • The Deer With No Eyes: A Tale of Horror, Stand-Up Comedy, and the London Driver from Hell

    Living for the Revel
    2 Sep 2014 | 11:24 am
    This is a horror story. I’m serious. It will thick your blood with cold; it will turn your hair the color of terror. We begin in London, amid the fog and freezing rain… As some of you know, I spent the better part of August in the UK. I went to Worldcon, I went to Yorkshire on a research trip for a new book, I met David Tennant and Peter Davison (!), saw some old and new friends, learned to take the London Tube system as my legal spouse, to love, honor, and cherish it under construction and in good service, made puns as part of a Worldcon version of the iconic British radio show…
  • Captain America and Easter Snow Oh My

    Living for the Revel
    16 Apr 2014 | 8:57 am
    It is April 16th and there’s like 2 inches of new snow out there and I am NOT OVER IT OK. However, I am still alive, contrary to the outrageous claims made by the date on my last blog post. I’m even nominated for a Nebula for Six-Gun Snow White and going to be Guest of Honor at Minicon in Minneapolis this weekend. Which means no Easter Egg dying for me this year, but panels for everyone! Also I saw Captain America 2 last night and am mildly obsessed with reading the VERY FEW negative reviews because if it’s Marvel critics are now required to like it or face a personal visit…
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  • Vintage Science Fiction Readings #6–“But That’s Not Science Fiction”

    Jeff VanderMeer
    19 Feb 2015 | 7:10 am
    Ann and I are now in the process of reading for The Big Book of Science Fiction for Vintage, which will appear in 2016. This huge anthology of well over 500,000 words will collect the best and most unusual SF stories from approximately 1900 to 2000. This requires a lot of reading and research. Every so often I will report back in an ad hoc way about current reading related to the anthology. I don’t claim these are systematic reports. The following excerpt is from Judith Merril’s introduction to George P. Elliott’s “Among the Dangs,” published in the Merril-edited The Year’s Best…
  • Leena Krohn Omnibus: Call for Nonfiction

    Jeff VanderMeer
    18 Feb 2015 | 6:07 pm
    Cheeky Frawg Books is publishing a hardcover Leena Krohn Omnibus consisting of several of her short novels and some short stories.  The publication date is December of this year. We would also like to publish some nonfiction essays, articles, or appreciations of Krohn’s work in the omnibus. We have no particular length restrictions and reprints are, of course, fine. Academic pieces are fine as are those intended for a more general audience. We have some limited ability to translate into English from various languages and to take some original pieces as well. Our deadline for…
  • Vintage Science Fiction Readings #5–1971-1975, Presented Without Comment

    Jeff VanderMeer
    12 Feb 2015 | 6:48 pm
    Ann and I are now in the process of reading for The Big Book of Science Fiction for Vintage, which will appear in 2016. This huge anthology of well over 500,000 words will collect the best and most unusual SF stories from approximately 1900 to 2000. This requires a lot of reading and research. Every so often I will report back in an ad hoc way about current reading related to the anthology. I don’t claim these are systematic reports. “The dead astronaut: The phrase is filled with anxiety, the words themselves evoking the tension and anguish, the words themselves evoking the tension…
  • Amsterdam: VanderMeer Events at the Sonic Acts Festival and American Book Center

    Jeff VanderMeer
    11 Feb 2015 | 2:38 pm
    I’ll be in Amsterdam the end of this month, where my Dutch publisher is releasing their edition of Authority, the second novel in my Southern Reach Trilogy. My two events are listed below–hope to see some of you there! Should be fun! Friday, Feb. 27, 6pm–American Book Center, ABC Treehouse (Voetboogstraat 11 1012 XK). I’ll give a brief reading from the Southern Reach (what I call my “vegetation medley” and then be joined by Hugo Award-winning editor Ann VanderMeer and Dutch sensation Thomas Olde Heuvelt for a wide-ranging discussion, followed by a book…
  • Vintage Science Fiction Readings #4: Talk to the Hand

    Jeff VanderMeer
    9 Feb 2015 | 4:35 pm
    Ann and I are now in the process of reading for The Big Book of Science Fiction for Vintage, which will appear in 2016. This huge anthology of well over 500,000 words will collect the best and most unusual SF stories from approximately 1900 to 2000. This requires a lot of reading and research. Every so often I will report back about current reading and conversations about the anthology.     Also from the past week. “That was a movie, not a short story.” “That was written in 1834.” “That wasn’t an alien. That was not an alien.” “Because…
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    Paperback Writer

  • LLAP

    Lynn Viehl
    28 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory."--Leonard Nimoy, 1931-2015Image credit: Kalina Vova
  • Come Sail Away

    Lynn Viehl
    27 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Smith Journal describes Ray Gascoigne as a man who "has been around boats his whole life, as a shipwright, a merchant sailor, and now as a ship builder on the smallest dry dock there is: a bottle." His art is simply stunning (and this film is narrated by the artist with some background ambience, for those of you at work): Bottled History from Smith Journal on Vimeo.
  • Just Write

    Lynn Viehl
    26 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.My link: More on Club Denizen, with new material beginning on page 31.For more details on Just Write Thursdays, click here to go to the original post.Image credit: windujedi
  • Bridges

    Lynn Viehl
    25 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go. -- e.e. cummingsI doubt any writer has saved me more times than a former ambulance driver who considered words his paint and verse his canvas (when he wasn't actually painting a real one.) He was a soldier who hated war, and suffered from depression but despised fear; he was that kind of contrary -- and mysterious and gifted and more lyrical than any man I've encountered on this planet. He wasn't perfect by any means. He looked a bit like a seedy ranch hand, and made some stupendously massive mistakes with his choices in love and…
  • Thumb Rules

    Lynn Viehl
    24 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    I'm not a fan of rules, but I do enjoy the folksy alternatives, such as rules of thumb. These are advice, estimates or predictions based on experience or opinion, such as "When the ink on a fountain pen flows more liberally than usual you are likely to have a storm" or "If it rains all summer here we'll have at least two freezes during winter" (one of mine). Rules of thumb range from utterly ridiculous (If you don't want a cat to jump into your lap, don't make eye contact with it) to totally accurate (Cook fish ten minutes per inch of thickness.) You can imagine how entertained I was when I…
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    Bluejo's Journal

  • Proofs

    Jo Walton
    28 Feb 2015 | 4:56 am
    I'm doing The Philosopher Kings page proofs.It's one of those things that always feels as if it will be more of a chore than it is.Bidding on the ARC has reached $80 -- amazing. If it passes $100, I will, if the winner wants, strike out the two sentences I have struck out on the proofs so far, and hand-insert the new sentence I have written. I will also, whether anyone wants it or not, strike out the amazingly annoying insert of the word "capitalize". I mean, yes, I totally did write that in the margin of the copyedit, but funnily enough I did not mean "insert the word capitalize" I meant…
  • Auctioning an ARC of The Philosopher Kings

    Jo Walton
    26 Feb 2015 | 4:02 pm
    Vericon this year is March 20th-22nd, in Harvard. I'll be there, and it will be a lot of fun, a small con with enthusiastic young fans and a large percentage of guests for its size. This year's GoH is Ken Liu.It also has an auction, which is arranged in a fun way. This year's theme is Godzilla vs Shakespeare, and I've written some sonnets for that theme, some of which I may be posting here in due course.The austion this year is to benefir Cittadini del Mondo, an organization for refugees in Italy. We met some of these guys when we were in Italy in the summer. They've escaped from their…
  • WMTBSG out in paperback

    Jo Walton
    25 Feb 2015 | 4:59 pm
    For anyone who may have been wanting the book but waiting for a paperback, the US paperback of What Makes This Book So Great is now available, yay. It's been out in the UK for a little while already. Buy paperbacks while they still exist!I have some ARCs of The Philosopher Kings, which arrived today. I may auction one here for the Vericon auction, when I've figured out a good way to do it.
  • Large Print Among Others

    Jo Walton
    17 Feb 2015 | 9:26 am
    I just got sent a large print Among Others, it's great that there is one for people whose eyes can't easily read regularly sized print, I am all in favour of large print editions, and it's also a sign of a successful book that it's worth doing a large print edition. However, I hate the cover. Hate it. Among Others has, with all the translations, had many many covers, and I've discussed many of them here and talked about them on my website. This is my least favourite. I may see a foreign cover and be baffled, and if so that's probably because it's speaking to a market that's educated to see…
  • Just City Spoiler Thread

    Jo Walton
    9 Feb 2015 | 7:46 am
    It's been out long enough now for some of you to have had the chance to read it, and I'd rather keep spoilers in one place than have people post spoiler questions to me on random other threads. If you want to ask me anything, or roll your eyes at me about anything, this is the place. There was a spoiler thread on Making Light too, if anyone wants to see what was said there.There's things I'll answer and things I won't answer, and there will be no spoilers for PK or Necessity -- well, beyond the degree to which if you choose to read this journal you get spoiled a tiny bit for my writing by…
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    Martha Wells

  • More Author Recs

    27 Feb 2015 | 6:03 am
    Yesterday I did this post with a bunch of author recs for the challenge to diversify your reading and find new SF/F authors. Here's a bunch more. I like making lists so I'll probably do some more on Monday.Jessica Amanda Salmonson, Varsha Bajaj, Mario Acevedo, Grace Lin, Tananarive Due, Carrie Patel, Kay Kenyon, J. Kathleen Cheney, Nahoko Uehashi, Jessica Reisman, Linda Nagata, C.S.E. Cooney, Maurice Broaddus, Beth Bernobich, Michelle Sagara, E.J. Swift, Teresa Frohock, Nalo Hopkinson, P.C. Hodgell, Aliette de Bodard, Ellen Oh, Carol Berg, Kari Sperring, Courtney Schafer, Milton J. Davis,…
  • Bunch of Book Recs

    26 Feb 2015 | 8:40 am
    I don't know why I haven't been posting more. I've been busy working on the book, but I think I'm also losing my will to persist, somewhat. I can keep writing, because I've always done that, but it's getting a bit hard to do other things.A couple of years ago we had the conversation where some men decided that no one had ever written any fantasy set in non-European inspired settings, except these four or five dudes they could name. Ignoring the hundreds of women who wrote it during the 80s and 90s, and the whole realm of Japanese fantasy like Moribito, etc. (which is how we came up with this…
  • Wednesday Already

    18 Feb 2015 | 6:14 am
    A couple of links:* How Authors Get Paid by Mette Ivie HarrisonThis is a Tumblr post, and some of the misconceptions I'd heard before, but I hadn't heard that people believe that authors get paid by the publisher just for being authors, like there's a regular salary. No, that does not happen. When I reblogged it, I added a bit to the end about payment for author appearances: Also, most SF/F authors don’t get invited to places that can afford to pay them for their appearance. Even if you’re doing several hours of programming at a convention, unless you’re a headliner/major guest, you…
  • Books and Cons

    17 Feb 2015 | 7:09 am
    It was below freezing last night and we had some icy overpasses and I didn't go to aerobics class this morning and now I already feel like a bad person.ConDFWAs usual, ConDFW was a lot of fun. It was in a new hotel, which had a moat, and was arc-shaped, and disliked 90 degree angles, and was vaguely non-Euclidean. But the restaurant was pretty good, and the bar was right next to con registration and the dealers room and art show, so it was convenient and easy to find people. I did almost have a blood sugar crash on Friday but managed to realize what was happening and avoid it. Saturday people…
  • Links Mostly

    9 Feb 2015 | 5:58 am
    I have some more Raksura questions to answer, but I got kind of busy so I'll try to do that this week.This weekend we replanted a sapling tree today, probably the biggest thing I've ever replanted. It was a weed tree growing up against the fence so it had to go anyway, but there was a spot for it in the front yard and I wanted to give it a fighting chance. It resisted this process strenuously. It's like, you can't stay here, that giant oak tree you're cuddled up against is going to murder you. So hopefully it will live in its new spot.I've also been working more on The Three Worlds Traveler's…
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    Reality Skimming

  • Interview with Sandra Wickham

    David Lott
    18 Feb 2015 | 6:00 am
    Sandra Wickham lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two cats. Her friends call her a needle crafting aficionado, health guru and ninja-in-training. Sandra’s short stories have appeared in Evolve, Vampires of the New Undead, Evolve, Vampires of the Future Undead, Crossed Genres magazine, The Urban Green Man and more. She blogs about writing with the Inkpunks, is the Fitness Nerd columnist for the Functional Nerds, blogs for Luna Station Quarterly and slush reads for Lightspeed Magazine. Sandra competed in fitness competitions for ten years, including four years in the IFBB Pro…
  • Interview with Graham Darling

    David Lott
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Graham writes diamond-hard Science Fiction, mythopoeic Fantasy and unearthly Horror. He is a past professor of chemistry, and current consulting industrial research chemist. As "Doctor Carus", he is also an award-winning historical re-enactor and columnist with the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), with a special interest in alchemy and other medieval science & technology. As a longtime SF lit, film & gaming fan, he has served as panelist and moderator on various topics at conventions. His first professional story appeared in the anthology "Sword & Mythos" in May 2014. A…
  • Interview with Ira Nayman

    David Lott
    7 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Besides holding a PhD in Communication, Ira is the creator of Les Pages aux Folles, a Web site of political and social satire. He has self-published five collections of Alternate Reality News Service stories from the Web site in print, and he produced the pilot for a radio series based on stories from the first two ARNS books; “The Weight of Information, Episode One” can be heard on YouTube. Ira has also written a series of stories that take place in a universe where matter at all levels of organization has become conscious. They feature Antonio Van der Whall, object psychologist. To…
  • Diff the Dragon – Part Sixtyone

    David Lott
    2 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Diff the Dragon by Angela Lott, illustrations by Richard Bartrop. An Okal Rel Universe Legacy Novella featuring the young Alivda Angela Lott is the middle child of Lynda’s three daughters. She did two years of Business schooling at the College of New Caledonia and is now working as an optometric assistant. In her spare time she enjoys writing, video blogging, reading and watching very nerdy TV shows. << Start at Beginning >> Part 61 “Hey,” Alivda said. “What brings you here?” “We need to talk,” Amel said. “Oh, not you too!” Alivda groaned. “Grandma set you up…
  • Diff the Dragon – Part Sixty

    David Lott
    26 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Diff the Dragon by Angela Lott, illustrations by Richard Bartrop. An Okal Rel Universe Legacy Novella featuring the young Alivda Angela Lott is the middle child of Lynda’s three daughters. She did two years of Business schooling at the College of New Caledonia and is now working as an optometric assistant. In her spare time she enjoys writing, video blogging, reading and watching very nerdy TV shows. << Start at Beginning >> Part 60 “I’ve been hearing things,” Perry told her granddaughter when she got back home. “Really!” Alivda said sarcastically, not even looking at…
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    All quiet in France

  • New article: Imagination, the cliché shelf, and the inner librarian

    26 Feb 2015 | 8:12 am
    I’ve got a new article up, on my subconscious and avoiding clichés: “Imagination, the cliché shelf and the inner librarian”. Go check it out and let me know what you think? Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • Breath of War up for a Nebula

    20 Feb 2015 | 9:14 am
    Aka, OMG OMG OMG I have been sitting on this for a week and it’s been killing me. I’m very please to announce that my short story “The Breath of War” is up for a Nebula Award. I am… humbled and overjoyed to be on the ballot, which looks truly fantastic (and very happy that some of my suggestions/suggested authors are on there, too–congrats to Alyssa Wong, Liu Cixin, Ken Liu, Tom Crosshill among many others–and I’m happy, though in a bittersweet fashion, to share the ballot with Eugie Foster, who left us far too soon). My deepest thanks to…
  • Reminder: Nebula Awards deadline

    14 Feb 2015 | 8:02 am
    Just a brief reminder that the Nebula Awards deadline is tomorrow, if you’re a SFWA member and want to suggest stuff (and make your voice heard, because the awards are about the voters and what they love), now is the time to go vote. If you’re still looking for stuff to read, my awards consideration post has a lot of stories you can read online for free (and great, diverse stuff). It’s here. Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • Quick update

    12 Feb 2015 | 8:01 am
    Sorry for the radio silence, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’m revising the novel on a tight deadline, hence the lack of updates on this blog (revisions not making for fascinating blogging, though at some point I may well blog about my revisions process ^^). Spurred on by Rochita Loenen-Ruiz (who’s got a wonderful board of inspiration), I made a pinterest blog for House of Shattered Wings. It’s below if you’re interested! (the featured image is totally the way I imagine Morningstar in his heyday, aka “I end fights just by showing up” ^^). Also,…
  • Muffins recipe

    4 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    Just a heads-up that, following further experimentation, the muffins: a. turned out much better, and b. came from a much simpler recipe (in essence, bread, yeast, water and salt). I’ve posted the process online, if you’re interested. Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
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    Mostly English

  • Novella Nebula Nomination Hat Trick

    20 Feb 2015 | 9:06 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> I’ve been sitting on this news since Monday and now I can finally share it. I am deliriously happy to announce that for the third consecutive year a story featuring the Amazing Conroy — my stage hypnotist in space — has landed on the Nebula ballot for Best Novella! My thanks go out to Barbara Hill for giving it a home, and to everyone who took the time to read it and found it worthy of your attention. Congratulations to the awesome authors sharing this category with me, and who make me look good by…
  • Eating Authors: Peter Darbyshire

    16 Feb 2015 | 4:33 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> If you’re reading this around the time it posts on Monday morning, then in theory I am back home and liking sleeping in after what I anticipate (given that I am writing this a few days in advance) will be an insanely glorious weekend spent at Boskone 52. But this is only a theory because I’m flying to and from Boston and if you’ve been keeping an eye on their weather of late, you already know that they’ve been experimenting with snow and for all I know I won’t be able to fly back…
  • B.W.O.P. Update – Catalan, Finnish, Polish, and (Mexican) Spanish now available as free mobi &

    12 Feb 2015 | 11:01 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. As you know, Bob, the Buffalito World Outreach Project (BWOP) is my attempt to use science fiction to reach the entire planet, spreading the first tale of the Amazing Conroy and his buffalo dog, Reggie, to speakers of as many languages as I can. Toward that end, it gives me great pleasure to announce that shiny, new and improved, and free downloads are now available in both ePub and mobi formats for the following languages: Catalan, Finnish, Polish, and (Mexican) Spanish. </p> Gossos bufal : (mobi) | (ePub)…
  • Novelocity – Favorite Parts of the Writing Process

    6 Feb 2015 | 11:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> My apologies. I’ve been a bit lax when it comes to putting up posts when a new Vector shows up at Novelocity. The current topic is our favorite parts of the writing process. Here’re my thoughts on the topic, written back in January: I’ve just finished responding to the copyedits of my next novel, and that may be biasing my answer, but I have to say it was at one and the same time a terrifying and giddy experience. The terrifying part (at least for me) stems from the uncertainty when first…

    5 Feb 2015 | 6:01 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet, may I present for your anticipation, gradual build-up of ultimately brain-wrenching desire, and immediate viewing pleasure, the cover of my forthcoming novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard. My editor informs me that the release doesn’t happen until December, but the way I choose to spin that is it creates an opportunity for a solid ten months of buzz, and a cover reveal is an awesome beginning. The cover art is by Victo Ngai, a Society of Illustrators NY Gold Medalist…
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  • Fitness Jakarta Murah Banyak DiCari Lelaki Yang Ingin Membentuk Tubuhnya

    12 Feb 2015 | 8:55 pm
    Siapa sih pria yang tidak ingin terlihat lebih keren ? Keren ini sendiri mempunyai berbagai penilaian dari segi pakaian sampai dengan segi fisik. Untuk anda para pria yang mempunyai tubuh gemuk khususnya yang mempunyai perut buncit, pasti anda tidak percaya… Continue Reading →
  • Tips Rahasia Perut Langsing Tradisional

    8 Feb 2015 | 7:27 pm
    Ada banyak wanita yang merasa sungkan memakai pakaian yang sedikit ketat lantaran memiliki perut buncit. Memang masalah perut buncit ini bisa membuat banyak orang baik itu pria maupun wanita merasa tidak percaya diri memakai pakaian yang mereka sukai. Namun anda… Continue Reading →
  • Diet Sehat Dengan Olahraga Push Up Langsing Alami

    8 Feb 2015 | 7:05 pm
     Hai Sobat Sehat, Memiliki badan yang ideal adalah impian bagi semua orang, tak hanya bagi wanita yang selalu mengidam – idamkan tubuh langsing sesuai dengan berat badan, pria pun menginginkan hal tersebut. Walaupun pada kenyataannya banyak pria yang seringkali mengabaikan… Continue Reading...
  • Beberapa Poin Penting dalam Diet Langsing OCD

    4 Feb 2015 | 10:13 pm
    Sampai saat ini sudah banyak sekali macam program diet yang menawarkan penurunan berat badan dan bentuk tubuh yang ideal. Salah satu jenis program diet yang sangat populer akhir-akhir ini adalah program langsing OCD. Anda pasi sudah banyak dengan mengenai program… Continue Reading →
  • Diet Langsing yg Alami ala Wulan Guritno dan Titi Dj

    4 Feb 2015 | 8:16 pm
    Diet langsing yg alami merupakan diet yang banyak dijalani. Dengan cara ini, tidak ada resiko apapun serta hasil diet dapat bertahan lebih lama. Karena diet secara alami berfokus pada gaya hidup sehat. Artinya jika anda sudah terbiasa dengan gaya hidup… Continue Reading →
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    David MackDavid Mack »

  • The measure of a life: Leonard Nimoy

    David Mack
    27 Feb 2015 | 2:04 pm
    In his final tweet, posted Monday, February 23, 2015, Leonard Nimoy wrote: A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP — Leonard Nimoy (@TheRealNimoy) February 23, 2015 This sentiment brought tears to my eyes as it reminded me of Neil Peart’s poignant lyrics to “The […]
  • APOLLO’S DAUGHTERS now on Kindle

    David Mack
    22 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Around this time last year, I started posting about a Kickstarter-funded anthology of short fiction called Apollo’s Daughters. Like its companion volume, Athena’s Daughters, it is a collection of tales ranging from science fiction to fantasy, all featuring female main characters. The difference between the two anthologies is that the stories in Athena’s Daughters all […]
  • DISAVOWED is a LOCUS #1 Bestseller (#SFWApro)

    David Mack
    16 Feb 2015 | 2:40 pm
    Today I happened to take a gander at the monthly bestseller lists over at Locus Magazine, and I was pleased to discover that my novel Section 31: Disavowed earned the top spot on the February 2015 list of Media-Related books. This is my fourth novel to land at #1 on the Locus Magazine bestseller list, […]
  • My Farpoint 2015 Schedule

    David Mack
    8 Feb 2015 | 2:24 pm
    If you’ll be attending Farpoint Convention this coming weekend and would like to hear me speak on one of my panels, or catch up with me during my signing times, here’s my handy-dandy schedule for the show. Use this information wisely, my stalkers.   Friday, Feb. 13 FARPOINT COCKTAIL PARTY 7pm–8pm, Greenspring Ballroom Come have […]
  • My 2015 Convention Schedule (#SFWApro)

    David Mack
    5 Feb 2015 | 4:10 pm
    For those interested in meeting me at public appearances for autographs and conversation, here is my current slate of convention appearances for 2015. FARPOINT CONVENTION Feb. 13–15, Crowne Plaza Baltimore North, Timonium, MD Signings: Friday 10pm–Midnight, Saturday 1pm–3pm SHORE LEAVE 36 Aug. 7–9, Wyndham’s Hunt Valley Inn, Hunt Valley, MD Signing: Friday, 10pm–Midnight DRAGON CON […]
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    SF Signal

  • On My Radar: PRUDENCE by Gail Carriger/OF NOBLE FAMILY by Mary Robinette Kowal/DARKENED BLADE by Kelly McCullough

    Meghan B.
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:25 pm
    The books on my radar are full of beginnings and endings. I’m thrilled about the start of a new series but sad about the final volumes in two of my favorites. C’est le vie, such is the life cycle of a book series. Prudence by Gail Carriger (Orbit | March 17, 2015) SYNOPSIS: Introducing the Custard Protocol series, in which Alexia Maccon’s daughter Prudence travels to India on behalf of Queen, country…and the perfect pot of tea. When Prudence Alessandra Maccon Akeldama (“Rue” to her friends) is bequeathed an unexpected dirigible, she does what any sensible…
  • Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 02/28/2015

    Regan Wolfrom
    27 Feb 2015 | 10:14 pm
    Got a hot Free Fiction Tip? Tell me here Want these delicious links emailed to you once a week? Sign up for the Free SF/F/H Fiction Newsletter Written @Chilling Tales for Dark Nights: “Home” by Jeffrey Ebright [Horror – also available as YouTube video] “Suicide Watch” by E. Matthews [Horror – also available as YouTube video] @The Colored Lens: “A Case of the Blues” by E. Lillith McDermott [Science Fiction] @Daily Science Fiction: “Tommy” by H.G. Parry [Dystopian] @Nightmare Magazine: “Cult” by Brian Evenson [Horror] @Omni…
  • SF/F/H Link Post for 2015-2-28

    27 Feb 2015 | 10:05 pm
    Interviews & Profiles Billy Kidd interviews Kevin Costner, who describes Waterworld as a great movie. BoingBoing interviews M.T. Anderson, author of Feed. Dead End Follies interviews Vincenzo Bilof, author of Vampire Strippers from Saturn. Lytherus interviews Aric Carter, author of The Reawakening. My Bookish Ways interviews Leanna Renee Hieber, author of The Eterna Files. The Qwillery interviews John Love, author of Evensong. SCy-Fy interviews Rob Bedford, blogger at SFFWorld. Suvudu interviews Ernest Cline, author of Ready Player One. Suvudu interviews Lauren Owen, author of The Quick.
  • RIP: Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

    Kristin Centorcelli
    27 Feb 2015 | 3:34 pm
    Sad news today… The New York Times has reported that Leonard Nimoy has passed away at the age of 83 from late stage pulmonary disease. Leonard Nimoy was a legend best known for playing “Mr. Spock” on the original Star Trek series, as well as reprising that role in later films in the franchise. He was also a film director (including two from the “Star Trek” franchise) and singer. He brought so much joy to so many and will be fondly remembered by his legions of fans. The post RIP: Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015) appeared first on SF Signal Copyright © SF Signal Related…
  • Table of Contents: Galaxy’s Edge Magazine #13, Edited by Mike Resnick

    John DeNardo
    27 Feb 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Here is the table of contents for the new issue of Galaxy’s Edge Magazine, the online/downloadable magazine edited by Mike Resnick. EDITORIAL The Editor’s Word by Mike Resnick FICTION “The Ties That Bind, The Chains That Break” by Liz Colter “Johnny Come Home” by Pat Cadigan “Gyre” by Brad Torgersen (a Sargasso Containment Tale) “Doing Lennon” by Gregory Benford “June Sixteenth At Anna’s” by Kristine Kathryn Rusch “Twilight On Olympus” by Eric Leif Davin “The Latest One” by Fabio F. Centamore…
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    The World in the Satin Bag

  • On Procrastination: The Evil One

    24 Feb 2015 | 9:39 am
    It'll come as no surprise to anyone that I have a procrastination problem.  As you may well know, I'm working on my PhD in English, which requires me to write a 200-250 page dissertation.  My dissertation is mostly pretty awesome:  my first few chapters explore the work of Tobias Buckell, Nalo Hopkinson, and Karen Lord; the last few chapters explore early Caribbean writings in dialogue with contemporary Caribbean science fiction (particularly Michel Maxwell Philip's Emmanuel Appadocca and Mary Seacole's Wonderful Adventures of Mrs. Seacole in Many Lands).  Needless to say,…
  • Reminder: Patreon + Voting Rights

    23 Feb 2015 | 3:00 pm
    In case you missed out on what is happening with my Patreon page, here are a few fun facts:Being a patron at any level grants you voting rights on the content of this blog (usually two polls a month)Most patron levels let you suggest at least one topic each month, which would then be voted on by everyoneThere are 5 different levels of support, and each has something special -- the highest tier involves a monthly Google Hangout just with patrons, which should be fun!$1 gets you the vote; $5 makes you a member of Congress (or some equally amusing analogy -- bring on your laws, darnit!).I'm also…
  • Retro Nostalgia: Silent Running (1972; dir. Douglas Trumbull) and the Heroism of Environmental Madness

    22 Feb 2015 | 4:15 pm
    Undoubtedly, the 1970s was one of the most important decades for environmental issues.  At the start of the decade, the environmentalist movement had become so influential that the United States government felt compelled to amend the Clean Air Act (in 1970) and the Water Pollution Control Act (1972).  This action expanded the scope of the law and gave the government greater enforcement capabilities.  Not long after, the Environmental Protection Agency was born.  It should come as no surprise, then, that David Trumbull's Silent Running (1972) appeared in this era.
  • Announcement: The Migration to Wordpress

    18 Feb 2015 | 4:26 pm
    I wanted to let everyone know that I've decided to migrate this blog over to Wordpress.  The reasons are pretty simple:  while Blogger gives me more control over the physical space of the blog, Wordpress' features are more functional (better comments, better "read more" function, etc. etc. etc.).  I can also easily get a domain name for this blog through Wordpress ($26 for hosting and domain registration ain't too shabby). I've been meaning to do this for a while, to be honest, but a lot of things kept me from doing so.  For one, I worried it would affect my readership…
  • All Your Human Are Belong to Us: Cats, Authors, and Science Fiction and Fantasy

    18 Feb 2015 | 12:26 pm
    Since I've already talked about cats in SFF in this "top 10 cats" post, I decided to go after this subject from a different angle:  authors.  On Monday and Tuesday of this week, I conducted an informal survey on the relationship between authors, their cats, and genre.  The results were both familiar and unusual.*As expected, most of the authors who own cats mentioned that the natural independence of the feline species makes them perfect pets for an otherwise introverted or attention-limited group.  The "cats are not like dogs" sentiment came up several times, though some…
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  • 'Truth Still Out There' About UFOs - Obama Adviser John Podesta

    15 Feb 2015 | 7:29 am
    Obama adviser John Podesta's biggest regret: Keeping America in dark about UFOs Outgoing White House senior adviser John Podesta is sad that the government hasn't told us what it really knows about... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Mummified Monk In Mongolia 'Not Dead', Say Buddhists

    6 Feb 2015 | 11:59 am
    A mummified monk found preserved in Mongolia last week has been baffling and astounding those who uncovered him. Senior Buddhists say the monk, found sitting in the lotus position, is in a deep... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • UFO Sighting 2015 - I Know What I Saw

    31 Jan 2015 | 9:48 am
    According to one of our reader testimony, "Yesterday, I walked to the side of my house looked up in the sky to see a single cloud and then noticed something below it, what I thought was a metallic... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Pope Francis Flashes Illuminati Satanic Hand Gesture

    17 Jan 2015 | 12:14 am
    Pope Francis is on a five-day apostolic visit in Philippine. Francis, the first pontiff to visit the Philippines in 20 years. And the pontiff did not disappoint: he flashes Illuminati satanic hand... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • California UFO Releasing Orb While Crashing Video, Is A Moneymaking Scam!

    11 Jan 2015 | 1:31 am
    Multiple media outlets reporting alleged "UFO Releasing Orb While Crashing Over South California" story quoting this youtube video. In our earlier report we had suspected, California UFO is a Hoax.... Click on Headline to read complete story...
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    Risingshadow - Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • A review of Rhys Hughes' Bone Idle in the Charnel House

    28 Feb 2015 | 5:13 am
    Rhys Hughes' Bone Idle in the Charnel House was published by Hippocampus Press in December 2014. Information about Rhys Hughes: Rhys Hughes is the author of seven novels, dozens of short story collections, and hundreds of tales, essays, poems, and artwork. He has also compiled two volumes of the anthology series The Ironic Fantastic. Click here to visit the author's official website. Information about Bone Idle in the Charnel House: For more than two decades, Welsh writer Rhys Hughes has been entertaining and befuddling readers with his distinctive mix of terror, humor, fantasy, and…
  • A review of Karen Dudley's Kraken Bake

    25 Feb 2015 | 1:20 pm
    Karen Dudley's Kraken Bake was published by Ravenstone Books in May 2014. Information about Karen Dudley: Karen Dudley has worked in field biology, production art, photo research, palaeo-environmental studies and archaeology. She has written four environmental mysteries and a several wildlife biology books for kids. Her Epikurean Epics, including the Aurora-nominated Food for the Gods, are historical fantasy novels set in ancient Athens. Born in France, she now lives in Winnipeg. Click here to visit the author's official website. Information about Kraken Bake: REHEAT THE KRAKEN! It's a great…
  • A review of Greg Keyes' Footsteps in the Sky

    18 Feb 2015 | 6:45 am
    Greg Keyes' Footsteps in the Sky will be published by Open Road Media in May 2015. Information about Greg Keyes: Greg Keyes was born in 1963 in Meridian, Mississippi. When his father took a job on the Navajo reservation in Arizona, Keyes was exposed at an early age to the cultures and stories of the Native Southwest, which would continue to influence him for years to come. He earned a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Mississippi State University and a master's degree from the University of Georgia. While pursuing a PhD at UGA, he wrote several novels, including The Waterborn and its…
  • A review of Okla Elliott and Raul Clement's The Doors You Mark Are Your Own

    7 Feb 2015 | 6:57 am
    Okla Elliott and Raul Clement's The Doors You Mark Are Your Own will be published by The Dark House Press (Curbside Splendor Publishing) in March 2015. Information about the authors: Okla Elliott is currently an Illinois Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois, where he works in the fields of comparative literature and trauma studies. He also holds an MFA in creative writing from Ohio State University. His work has appeared in Another Chicago Magazine, Harvard Review, Indiana Review, The Literary Review, New Letters, A Public Space, The Southeast Review, and Subtropics, among…
  • A review of Todd Yunker's Shackleton's Burden

    5 Feb 2015 | 11:56 pm
    Todd Yunker's Shackleton's Burden was published in December 2014. Information about Todd Yunker: Todd Yunker is Oregonian and is Salem, Oregon. Todd is an award-winning author of the epic science fiction The Lost Wonder Series, book one Shackleton's Folly. Growing up, Sci-Fi permeated Todd's youth and adolescence. He was an avid reader. He devoured all the books he could find in the library. Todd relished classic Sci-Fi feature films and Japanese monster movies. He indulged his fancy and watched swashbuckler movies of the '30s and '40s influenced his vision of adventure. The raw cynical…
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    On Starships and Dragonwings

  • The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin eARC {4 Stars}

    28 Feb 2015 | 4:43 am
    The Awakened Kingdom by N. K. Jemisin is a novella that takes place after her Inheritance Trilogy in the beautifully envisioned world of gods, godlings, and mortals with strange powers. The Awakened Kingdom is an absolute delight to read for those who have finished the trilogy because it is narrated by a baby godling just as she comes into existence and explores the world to find her nature. And she is hilarious! However, it very much spoils the events of the trilogy so you probably shouldn’t read it if you haven’t finished and care about being spoiled about the major ending…
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

    27 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways! I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres! Congrats Ashley for winning last week, I hope you enjoy your books! This week I have some older books and newer book to add to the list! Every week I’ll pick a random link and the email address that submitted that…
  • Grave Matters Blog Tour Giveaway!

    26 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Grave Matters Blog Tour! I’m so excited to be on the blog tour for Grave Matters so that I can offer you all a copy of this awesome book! I previously read and really enjoyed the first book, Night Owls, where we were introduced to a vampire that owns a book store and a girl raised to kill supernatural beings her whole life. One of my favorite things about Night Owls beside the bookstore thing was that it didn’t shove a romance in to an awesome urban fantasy adventure just for kicks ;-). Instead we got to meet a lovely guy that we can ship to our hearts’ content as the…
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne M. Valente eARC {4 Stars} + Giveaway!

    25 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    The Boy Who Lost Fairyland by Catherynne Valente is a continuation of the Fairyland series we’ve all loved so much, but this time with a young troll changeling as the protagonist and in a much different setting. I actually read The Boy Who Lost Fairyland without being caught up on the Fairyland books as an experiment to see how well it works without all the background knowledge and I’m happy to say that it is quite doable so you have no excuse not to jump in! Hawthorn’s adventures take place in the human world for the first half of The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, but don’t…
  • Woven by Michael Jensen {Just Hatched}

    24 Feb 2015 | 4:00 am
    Just Hatched is a feature where I share my first impressions of a book after the first chapter. Check out the announcement post for more information. Woven by Michael Jensen is the start of a middle grade fantasy focused on a young boy who has a hidden past that is going to come back to bite him in a big way! The magic involves paint apparently and pulling on threads that only the magic user can see; sounds pretty cool :D. Note: I received an advanced copy of Woven from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final version. Woven by Michael Jensen Published by Scholastic Press on…
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    ATG Reviews

  • The Lazarus Effect Film Review

    The World Weary
    27 Feb 2015 | 1:30 pm
    Not Quite Back From the DeadThis article and the trailer below feature minor spoilers.Phew! At least this wasn’t another found footage movie. I don’t know if my brain could have tolerated another Project Almanac. Alas, I still wasn’t expecting much from this film, it being another PG-13 horror film and all. The trailers looked awful, and the premise, thin. Regardless, I trudged through the bitter cold into my local theater and prepared myself for another tame, jump scare laden, horror flick.Zoe (Olivia Wilde) and Frank (Mark Duplass) are a married couple, who also happen to…
  • Upcoming Fantasy and Science Fiction Books #2

    26 Feb 2015 | 10:00 am
    March and April of 2015 EditionOur list for the next two months is a bit shorter.  I’m currently working on some of the classics that I’ve wanted to read for a long time, and I haven’t a whole lot that’s really piqued my interest.  The exception of course being these three books.The Buried Life by Carrie PatelRelease Date: March 3rd, 2015Synopsis:The gaslight and shadows of the underground city of Recoletta hide secrets and lies. When Inspector Liesl Malone investigates the murder of a renowned historian, she finds herself stonewalled by the all-powerful Directorate…
  • The Doomsday Book Book Review

    23 Feb 2015 | 10:00 am
    Repetition, First World Problems, and Terrible Technological Predictions … Oh My!Buy on Amazon!Disappointment noun Definition: the feeling of sadness or displeasure caused by the nonfulfillment of one’s hopes or expectations.I walked into reading this book completely naked.  No not literally naked, but naked in that sense that I had no idea what the book was going to be about. I bought this because it was on sale, it had a reputation, people had raved about it, the author is the most decorated in the history of the Hugo’s and Nebula’s etc. etc.  A couple of dozen…
  • Jupiter Ascending Film Review

    The World Weary
    20 Feb 2015 | 3:07 pm
    Ascending a Little Too Close to the SunJupiter Ascending. I had the opportunity to work on this film as a production assistant during the filming of a large scale action set piece in downtown Chicago. Naturally, I was curious about how it would turn out, but as the first trailers and images started flowing in, I began to worry. I had a vague understanding of the premise during filming, but nothing really all that concrete. Still, in spite of the ludicrous premise and Channing Tatum’s friggin’ dog ears, I was just excited to finally have my name in a big budget release. Last night…
  • Titus Groan Book Review

    19 Feb 2015 | 10:00 am
    Gormenghast Book OneBuy on Amazon!On a bleak night in the castle Gormenghast, Titus Groan the future 77th Earl is born. On that same night a kitchen boy named Steerpike makes his daring escape from his monotonous employment.  It’s these two events that slowly bring about change to the stagnant life Gormenghast’s residents and servants.When discussing the roots of modern fantasy, the names of two pioneers frequently emerge and they are J.R.R. Tolkien and Mervyn Peake.   Tolkien has had a lot more mainstream exposure, especially after the release of Peter Jackson’s movies,…
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    OMNI Reboot

  • As You Know Bob – I Dont Exist

    Brett Davidson
    28 Feb 2015 | 11:00 am
    As You Know Bob the nature of consciousness is entrenched in mystery, leading some philosophers to conclude, "I don't exist." As you know Bob, I don’t exist – but I am, for all intents and purposes, immortal. You must have wondered many times of course just what is meant by the word ‘self’. Certainly there is conscious awareness, but where does that awareness stand? What is its platform? Personality, as we understand it, is a combination of memory and action – declarative memory of the sort that tells you that Paris is the capital of France and it is procedural memory that enables…
  • The Science Behind The Munchies

    Andrew Seel
    28 Feb 2015 | 9:00 am
    The munchies cause cannabis enthusiasts everywhere to reach for tasty snacks and scientists have identified why. It is a mystery that has perplexed cannabis enthusiasts since they gathered on the muddy fields of Woodstock—why does tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active compound in cannabis, cause smokers bellies to rumble? The answer is quite simple, and will come as no surprise to smokers who often find themselves halfway through a jar of Nutella in a comatose state. THC replaces naturally occurring chemicals in the brain, causing dramatic changes that enhance the sense of taste and smell.
  • Remembering Leonard Nimoy, The Indelible Mr. Spock

    Esther Kim
    27 Feb 2015 | 1:00 pm
    LEONARD NIMOY'S CONTRIBUTIONS TO SCI-FI WILL NOT FADE FROM OUR MEMORIES. Written By ESTHER KIM Esther is a Ph.D candidate in Philosophy/Science of Philosophy. She prefers not to philosophize during her free time, enjoys creating new muffin recipes, and obsesses over small puppies (specifically Huskies). Leonard Nimoy passed at the age of 83 from pulmonary disease, but his legacy as the superrational Mr. Spock will be nestled in our memories until the last galaxy flickers out of existence. While inseparable  from Star Trek, Nimoy's career was not confined to exploring new worlds. The…
  • OMNI Gallery Update: 27 February 2015

    Edward Simmons
    27 Feb 2015 | 11:00 am
    Edward Simmons Having worked for several exhibitions merging the universes of science and art, Simmons is no stranger to the beauty of nature. Simmons now works for OMNI Reboot as a freelance curator, allowing him to pursue his passion for natural photography.  FOLLOW OMNI REBOOT ON TWITTER OMNI GALLERY UPDATES: 27 February 2015 OMNI Reboot is dedicated to people passionate about the universe of sci-fi. Technology should be investigated, understood, scrutinized and loved. Art can tell a captivating story of the future the same way science fiction can. OMNI Reboot works to create an…
  • Fiction: The Mind Job

    David Hallquist
    27 Feb 2015 | 8:00 am
    In Mind Job privacy no longer exists, and thoughts are recorded for AI machines to pass judgment, but one detective searches for justice. Mind Job It was past midnight when Detective Jensen received a thought from the Mental Larceny Division. A mind jobber had been busted. The huge cache of stolen memories would have to be read, as well as the jobber's mind. The download would take days, but would likely lead to breakthroughs in several of her cases. She thought about what particular memories, people and places she was looking for more evidence on, and the computer recorded all faithfully.
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    Revens Fang

  • Arnold Krassner - Dungeon Crawl

    Revens Fang
    19 Feb 2015 | 2:17 am
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 7

    Revens Fang
    16 Feb 2015 | 8:55 am
    After Fang was fed, Reven and Borengar mounted their beasts of burden and headed to River Rise's west gate. They pushed their way through the crowds that swarmed around the huge market place that dominated the centre of the town. The city was so big it stretched on for as far as their eyes could see. They crossed one of the many bridges over the river that flowed through the town. The water from the river gushed from under ground in the north of the city and the fountain like spray gave the town it's name; River Rise. The site of the spring was considered holy and many…
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 6

    Revens Fang
    4 Feb 2015 | 3:59 am
    The room smelt musty, like recycled breath and stale beer. Hardly surprising considering the amount of beer Borengar and Reven had drunk the night before. They had arrived in River Rise just after sunset and had decided to take a much needed rest. A rest that involved many pints and merriment in the first tavern they had come across that could house Fang's bulk. Upon arriving they had slipped the guards a little gold and had found that a man wearing ridiculously bright orange robes had arrived earlier the same day with a large entourage of hired swords. Krassner had no reason…
  • Video of Reven's Fang Artwork

    Revens Fang
    29 Jan 2015 | 7:37 am
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 5

    Revens Fang
    29 Jan 2015 | 3:08 am
    The rain came down hard as Reven and Borengar trotted into the small village of Arnswept. The village was made up of run down wooden shacks with a few barns scattered around the outskirts. The fields around the village were either barren or were covered in sickly brown weeds. Arnswept did not appear to be a place that was doing well for itself. Borengar hopped off of his pony, Sable, and led her over to the inn that dominated the centre of the village. 'What a miserable place' he said as he hitched his mount to a post outside the inn. 'You'd find more cheer at a funeral' he…
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