SciFi & Fantasy Novels

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Brown and fit to break bread with

    SF Novelists
    Marie Brennan
    16 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    The title of this post comes from a passage early on in The Game of Kings, the first book of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles. In it, the (blond) Lymond has encountered the (black-haired) Mariotta, and their conversation diverts briefly to hair color: “Or didn’t you know the family coloring? Richard hasn’t got it. Poor Richard is merely Brown and fit to break bread with . . .” “The poem I know at least,” exclaimed Mariotta, chafing her wrist. “Red wise; Brown trusty; Pale envious –” “And Black lusty. What a quantity of traps…
  • The JAG in Space series by John G Hemry

    Mark Chitty
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    The mission statement taken from the official website of the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (U.S. Navy JAG): The Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps provides solutions, from a military perspective, to legal issues involving military operations, organization, and personnel, wherever and whenever such solutions are required, with primary focus on operations, accountability, Sailor […]
  • Strings on a Shadow Puppet by T.L. Evans

    SF Site
    28 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    This debut novel about the choices we make as civilised people between conforming to what the government propose or thinking for themselves encouraging democracy and civil rights. It is up to us to be able to choose. The story is many things, it's science fiction, mystery, adventure and espionage with a lot of action and thrills to keep you turning the pages. In this future, there are four separate factions fighting for domination...
  • Prediction 4: Our Cyborg Future

    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass
    24 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    A loose definition of a cyborg is a blending of a biological entity with mechanical devices that enhance strength, toughness, intelligence, etc. By this definition, I'm already a cyborg. I don't have hardware actually embedded in my body, but, via my smartphone, I have enhanced memory and data retrieval capabilities. I have Superman like powers to zoom overhead and get an aerial view of my
  • HIEROGLYPH Tour Schedule

    Kathryn Cramer
    30 Aug 2014 | 9:01 am
    The Hieroglyph tour may be coming to your town. Here are the tour dates so far. Watch this space. I will post more dates. September 10: Menlo Park, CA, Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, 7:30 PM. Order tickets online. Techno-optimism: Neal Stephenson and friends. Panelists include Neal Stephenson, Annalee Newitz, Rudy Rucker, Keith Hjelmstad, Charlie Jane Anders and editors Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. September 15: Los Angeles, Zocalo Public Square at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., 7:30 PM. Can Science Fiction Revolutionize Science? Science fiction writer…
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  • The JAG in Space series by John G Hemry

    Mark Chitty
    1 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    The mission statement taken from the official website of the United States Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps (U.S. Navy JAG): The Navy Judge Advocate General’s Corps provides solutions, from a military perspective, to legal issues involving military operations, organization, and personnel, wherever and whenever such solutions are required, with primary focus on operations, accountability, Sailor […]
  • The Midnight Queen by Sylvia Izzo Hunter (Noctis Magicae, Book 1)

    Rob B
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:56 am
    Set in an alternate England somewhat reminiscent of the Regency era, where Magic is taught to young men at Oxford’s Merlin College, Sylvia Izzo Hunter’s debut novel wastes no time introducing the protagonist, Graham (nicknamed Gray) Marshall, and the situation which propels his plight through The Midnight Queen. Specifically, some of his college friends encourage […]
  • Climate Fiction by Claude Nougat

    27 Aug 2014 | 4:31 am
    Climate Fiction: A Brand New Genre Promised to a Big Future Cli-fi has achieved a record of sorts: even though it has been around only since 2008, when the term was first coined by climate activist Dan Bloom, it has already become the subject of academic research. At the University of Copenhagen, a PhD student, […]
  • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley (Worldbreaker Saga #1)

    Rob B
    21 Aug 2014 | 9:12 am
    It has been a pretty good year for Epic Fantasy in 2014 and the upward trend continues with Kameron Hurley’s The Mirror Empire, her first novel for Angry Robot Books and the first installment of The Worldbreaker Saga. Set in a milieu of parallel worlds featuring gender roles swapped or showcased in a different light, […]
  • Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress

    Mark Chitty
    20 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Yesterday’s Kin by Nancy Kress is the first book I’ve read by the author, mainly because she is primarily published in the US. While in this day and age of e-readers and the seeming availability of pretty much anything you want, that’s not really an excuse on my part. However, after Yesterday’s Kin came to […]
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    SF Site

  • Strings on a Shadow Puppet by T.L. Evans

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    This debut novel about the choices we make as civilised people between conforming to what the government propose or thinking for themselves encouraging democracy and civil rights. It is up to us to be able to choose. The story is many things, it's science fiction, mystery, adventure and espionage with a lot of action and thrills to keep you turning the pages. In this future, there are four separate factions fighting for domination...
  • The Tropic of Serpents: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    This novel chronicles Lady Trent's journey through Vystrana to her further adventures on expedition through Eriga where she hopes to encounter the swamp wyrm of legend. She isn't alone though. There are two who wanted to explore with her as she has developed a following as a dragon naturalist. Readers will be happy to hear it's not all swamps, jungles and palm trees; she has more to deal with when she reaches the largest jungle of them all, the Green Hell.
  • The Alienated Critic: a column by D. Douglas Fratz

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Last year Douglas reviewed the first volume in a new series, American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-1964, by John Wells, noting that he looked forward to the volume chronicling the second half of the that seminal decade. That volume was finally released as well as American Comic Book Chronicles: 1950-1959 which was a joy to read, start to finish. Finally, Douglas read Marvel Comics: The Untold Story by Sean Howe without any preconceptions. What he discovered was a comprehensive account of the entire history of Marvel Comics focused not on the comics and characters, but on the people and the…
  • Science Fiction Trails #11

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Here the Martians are making a sneak appearance once again (they can't keep away, can they?) an evolution story and a Native American warrior who gets to hear more about parallel universes. With stories from C.J. Killmer, Sam Knight, Henrik Ramsager, J.A. Campbell, Lyn McConchie, R.A. Conine, Jackson Kuhl and an article by David Lee Summers who is another of SFT's regulars.
  • A Brief Guide to Oz: 75 Years of Going Over the Rainbow by Paul Simpson

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    There was the recent movie adaptation of The Wizard of Oz while several other books and plays have concentrated on certain characters from the franchise. Wicked, for example, tells us more of the Wicked Witch of the West and what, more importantly, make her so wicked. Paul Simpson takes a look back in time to the Famous Forty, the novels by L. Frank Baum and his successors which brought us the characters we have come to know and enjoy hearing about.
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    SF Novelists

  • Brown and fit to break bread with

    Marie Brennan
    16 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    The title of this post comes from a passage early on in The Game of Kings, the first book of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles. In it, the (blond) Lymond has encountered the (black-haired) Mariotta, and their conversation diverts briefly to hair color: “Or didn’t you know the family coloring? Richard hasn’t got it. Poor Richard is merely Brown and fit to break bread with . . .” “The poem I know at least,” exclaimed Mariotta, chafing her wrist. “Red wise; Brown trusty; Pale envious –” “And Black lusty. What a quantity of traps…
  • Notes From the Road: The Shared Journey

    David B. Coe
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    I have just returned from a convention and small signing tour to help promote A Plunder of Souls, the third book in my Thieftaker Chronicles (written as D.B. Jackson). I had several good events — a launch party at ConGregate, fun signings with my friends Faith Hunter and A.J. Hartley in Rock Hill, South Carolina and Gastonia, North Carolina, and a couple of great solo signings in Richmond and Raleigh at independent bookstores (Fountain Bookstore and Quail Ridge Books and Music). It was a hectic ten days, but, I think, very productive. I feel that the new novel is off to a good…
  • Wax on, wax off

    Marie Brennan
    16 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    In two days, I will get on a series of planes and fly to Okinawa, where I will spend several days doing karate in an un-airconditioned budokan. I’ve been practicing karate for more than five years now, but this is my first time attending this seminar, which is organized by the man who runs my dojo — Oshiro Toshihiro, who is a ninth degree black belt in our unarmed style, eighth degree in the associated weapons style. There will be attendees from all over the world, and let’s just say this is the sort of crowd where having a black belt doesn’t impress anybody. I mean,…
  • More about the “Strong Female Character”…

    Alma Alexander
    5 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
        What is a “strong female character”? This article has an opinion on it, and discusses how little of it there actually is out there, despite the lip service to the concept. Time after time we get a female character who is interesting,  rounded,  ALIVE, strong…and is then smothered in the male protagonist’s story arc because none of those attributes are considered to be important enough for her to be given her own rock to stand on. A friend of mine  says we don’t need “strong female characters” so much as “female characters with *agency*”, that is to say…
  • My Blog Tour Begins . . . With a Post About Blog Tours

    David B. Coe
    23 Jun 2014 | 5:00 am
    Today I begin officially the Summer 2014 Plunder of Souls Blog Tour, and I thought it might be fun to kick off this year’s tour with a post about how I go about putting one together.  Blog tours can be much more than just a chance to self-promote, although obviously that’s the goal that lies at the root of all this work.  Tours of this kind can be fun, they can be an excuse to try new things and be truly creative not only with our publicity, but also with our books, our characters, and our setting. For those who are not familiar with my Thieftaker Chronicles series, or who have not…
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    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass

  • Prediction 4: Our Cyborg Future

    24 Aug 2014 | 8:43 am
    A loose definition of a cyborg is a blending of a biological entity with mechanical devices that enhance strength, toughness, intelligence, etc. By this definition, I'm already a cyborg. I don't have hardware actually embedded in my body, but, via my smartphone, I have enhanced memory and data retrieval capabilities. I have Superman like powers to zoom overhead and get an aerial view of my
  • Prediction Three: Our jobless future

    3 Aug 2014 | 2:28 pm
    I've been with my current employer for almost 19 years. I won't specify who I work for; you can see my last post for various reasons why I think it's a bad idea to publicly discuss your current employer online. But, I'm going to mention my current job obliquely because I think there's an important data point. I was present when my workplace opened its doors. At the time, we had 21 full time
  • Prediction Two: Privacy

    20 Jul 2014 | 9:38 am
    Orwell was right. We now live in a world where we're constantly watched. It's not just grainy black and white footage captured by security cameras in banks and supermarkets. With a few keystrokes, I can find color photographs of tens of millions of people doing very personal things, like hanging out with friends and family, going on dates, drinking, or just goofing around. I can see wedding
  • Predictions for the future (a series): 1. Climate Catastrophes

    11 Jul 2014 | 7:20 am
    I'm heading to a science fiction convention in a few hours and will be on a few panels where I'll probably wind up talking about the future. Tonight, for instance, I have a panel on the future of artificial intelligence. Why does being a science fiction writer qualify me to talk about the future? It doesn't. All I can do is guess like everyone else. Still, the speculation is fun, and, as an
  • A devil's advocate argument for Intelligent Design

    5 Jun 2014 | 4:00 pm
    At ConCarolina's last weekend, I was on a panel to discuss Creationism/Intelligent Design vs Evolution. I had a hunch the panel would be dominated by the evolution side. I dislike lopsided debates, so I wanted to come in with the strongest argument for Intelligent Design I could muster. This wasn't easy, since most of Intelligent Design arguments boil down to three unconvincing ideas: We
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    Kathryn Cramer

  • HIEROGLYPH Tour Schedule

    30 Aug 2014 | 9:01 am
    The Hieroglyph tour may be coming to your town. Here are the tour dates so far. Watch this space. I will post more dates. September 10: Menlo Park, CA, Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real, 7:30 PM. Order tickets online. Techno-optimism: Neal Stephenson and friends. Panelists include Neal Stephenson, Annalee Newitz, Rudy Rucker, Keith Hjelmstad, Charlie Jane Anders and editors Ed Finn and Kathryn Cramer. September 15: Los Angeles, Zocalo Public Square at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 250 S. Grand Ave., 7:30 PM. Can Science Fiction Revolutionize Science? Science fiction writer…
  • Reading the Hieroglyphs

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:04 pm
    From Jim Cambias: The Hieroglyph anthology gets its official release September 9, and the publishers are leaking some teaser material. You can go here to read a preview of the e-book version on Scribd. Or you can download a PDF excerpt here, including the introduction by Lawrence Krauss and the essay "Innovation Starvation" by Neal Stephenson which inspired the whole thing. via
  • HIEROGLYPH in Hardcover!

    22 Aug 2014 | 1:25 pm
    My first copy of my new book HIEROGLYPH came in the mail. The publication date is September 9th. I co-edited the book with Ed Finn of Arizona State University's Center for Science & the Imagination. Project Hieroglyph was launched by Neal Stephenson. Contributors include: Charlie Jane Anders, Madeline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin, James Cambias, Brenda Cooper, Cory Doctorow, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Lee Konstantinou, Lawrence M. Krauss, Geoffrey A. Landis, Annalee Newitz, Rudy Rucker, Karl Schroeder, Vandanah Singh, Neal Stephenson, and Bruce Sterling. You can…
  • Craftsbury Common, Vermont after a Rain

    24 Jul 2014 | 1:25 am
  • Kathryn's Video Diary #1: 6/6/14, the day I broke my wrist.

    10 Jun 2014 | 6:36 am
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    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • off to Dragon Con

    27 Aug 2014 | 7:10 pm
    Well, actually, I'm off to bed, and then getting up at 2am and we're driving to Atlanta. We'll take turns driving and sleeping on the 13-15-hour trip, and we should get in around early evening tomorrow.If you're going to Dragon Con, this is my schedule. Please come find me. If you're not going to Dragon Con, have a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Given the insanity of my schedule, I suspect there won't be much by way of online updating aside from the occasional Facebook post and/or Tweet. For one thing, I want to try to make sure that I get a picture of my audience for each of my program…
  • a nice review of the Precinct books

    27 Aug 2014 | 6:46 pm
    I met Raymond Seavey at the Collingswood Book Festival last year. He was a fan of my Trek work, and we talked for a bit, and then he decided to buy the "Precinct" books.Apparently, based on this very effusive blog post, he really really liked them. *happy smile*
  • stuff I'll have for sale at Dragon Con

    27 Aug 2014 | 6:15 am
    We're off to Dragon Con tomorrow, and I will have a ton of books with me for sale. I will have all of them with me at my three autographings (Saturday at noon and Monday at 10.30 at the SFWA table in the Hyatt, Saturday at 2.30 in the International Hall in the Marriott), my reading (Saturday at 1 in Vinings in the Hyatt), and my self-defense workshop (Friday at 2.30 also in Vinings), and appropriate stuff for my panels (e.g., the Farscape graphic novel at the Farscape panel Sunday at 11.30, the Trek stuff at my two Trek panels Friday at 7pm and Monday at 11.30am in Athens in the Sheraton). I…
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Sacrifice of Angels"

    26 Aug 2014 | 2:45 pm
    What could have been a great episode, with some particularly fine moments for Kira, Rom, Quark, Ziyal, Weyoun, and especially Dukat, but it's ruined by a deus ex machina climax. The DS9 Rewatch makes a "Sacrifice of Angels."An excerpt:But the best moment is when the Defiant is the only ship to come through the wormhole while 200 Federation and Klingon ships are en route, and the weapons are down. Weyoun immediately says, “Time to start packing!” (still one of the best moments in the show’s entire history), and the female changeling just figures the war will take longer. This is a minor…
  • the compleat bibliography of Keith R.A. DeCandido

    24 Aug 2014 | 8:32 pm
    An updated bibliography....BattleTechshort stories"Three Sides to Every Story," BattleTech: 25 Years of Art and Fiction, Catalyst Games Lab, 2009"Meiyo,", 2008Blizzard GamesnovelsStarCraft: Ghost: Nova, Pocket, 2006World of Warcraft: Cycle of Hatred, Pocket, 2006comic booksStarCraft: Ghost Academy #1, TokyoPop, 2010Buffy the Vampire SlayernovelsBuffy the Vampire Slayer: The Deathless, Simon Spotlight, 2007Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Blackout, Simon Spotlight, 2006novelizationsBuffy the Vampire Slayer: The Xander Years Volume 1, Pocket, 1999nonfiction(w/Christopher Golden & Nancy…
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  • The Big Idea: Cherie Priest

    John Scalzi
    2 Sep 2014 | 5:51 am
    You’ve heard the nursery rhyme, but do you know the real story behind Lizze Borden? Does anybody? This is the jumping off point for Cherie Priest and her novel Maplecroft, which follows the infamous Borden after the real-life events that made her notorious. Do you dare follow? CHERIE PRIEST: Like countless others in the last hundred years, I first heard the name “Lizzie Borden” via the jump-rope rhyme. Everyone knows it: Lizzie Borden took an axe, and gave her father forty whacks… And so forth. Whether or not she ever killed anyone is still up for grabs; she was acquitted of…
  • Today’s New Books and ARCs, 9/1/14

    John Scalzi
    1 Sep 2014 | 2:47 pm
    Hey, look, it’s September, and here are the books and ARCs that came into the Scalzi Compound while I was on the first leg of my tour. See anything here you like (I mean, aside from the signed limited hardcover edition of Unlocked)? Share in the comments (which are open for a couple of days).
  • For Those of You Who Have Read Lock In and Wish to Discuss It

    John Scalzi
    1 Sep 2014 | 6:34 am
    The good folks at Making Light have created a (spoiler-laden) discussion thread for it. Just click this link to go there. Two things to be aware of: 1. The discussion thread there has several spoilers for the book, so if you haven’t read the book, don’t go there unless you’re willing to have the book spoiled for you. 2. The folks at Making Light are as militant about moderating comment threads as I am (if not better), so make sure that you’re full of good manners when you comment there or you might find yourself disemvowelled or worse. Not that I’m worried; you…
  • Various and Sundry, 8/31/14 + Open Comment Thread

    John Scalzi
    31 Aug 2014 | 11:34 am
    I’m home! For Two days! And so, a couple of things of interest: One, here’s a power wall of science fictional art, here in my office: From the left, that’s a black and white sketch of the French cover of Agent to the Stars by Paul Kidby (I also own the final color art), the John Harris art for the paperback versions of Old Man’s War, and the Donato Giancola art for the hardcover of the same title. I recently acquired the Harris art; my wife had it framed and then hung it in the office while I was out on tour. They’re all lovely and look lovely together. My wife…
  • Today’s Reason I’m Happy With My Publisher

    John Scalzi
    31 Aug 2014 | 6:05 am
    A full-page ad in today’s New York Times magazine. This is pretty nifty. On my home today. Hope your Sunday is as excellent as mine has been so far.
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    Magical Words

  • Robert Jackson Bennett: Plot

    2 Sep 2014 | 3:56 am
    Plot is frequently a matter of control and timing. Even the dullest of plots can seem feverishly readable if its events are framed and staged in the appropriate manner. My favorite metaphor for how to plot books is that of a hydroelectric dam: you have a gateway, and a lot of stuff that must go through that gateway. However, you have to be aware of what the demand is. You can’t let it all through at once, nor can you limit it so it’s a slow and unsatisfying trickle. You essentially have to alternate between large bursts and slower trickles. To graph it out, conventional wisdom will tell…
  • Party Talk: Dragon Con!

    Misty Massey
    1 Sep 2014 | 3:44 am
    Hey y’all, happy Labor Day!  I hope you’re all having a good day, whether you’re at DragonCon, or the beach, or your mama’s house, or even if you’re among those souls who have to labor on Labor Day, I wish you a good one. The vast majority of my social circle has been at DragonCon all weekend, so we decided to do something a little silly for today.  I asked them to answer the following question: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever witnessed/heard/participated in at a con? And here are their answers!  Feel free to chime in with your own in the…
  • Jim C Hines: Despair

    29 Aug 2014 | 3:31 am
    More than a decade later, I vividly remember the lowest point in my writing career. It wasn’t really a point so much as it was a line stretching downward over several months like one of those profit/loss graphs you see right before someone throws themselves out a window. It began in late 2002 with an offer from a major publisher, something I had been dreaming about for seven years. After hundreds of rejection letters and countless manuscripts, someone wanted to buy my book about a nearsighted goblin runt and his pet spider fighting against those obnoxious adventurers. And then, after a…
  • Carol Berg: Answers, Plain and Tall

    28 Aug 2014 | 3:49 am
    Thanks again to the Magical Words crew for welcoming me this month. There is a set of standard questions that authors hear all the time. When did you start writing? How did you get published? Do you outline? How many hours a day do you write? Do you have writing rituals? Do you use writing tools? Why are you so mean to your characters? We’ve answered them so many times, we don’t even have to think about them. - I started writing halfway through my software engineering career, as my kids were needing less of my time. - I read the opening of Transformation for an editor from Roc…
  • Delilah S Dawson: Sorry, I Blew Up Savannah!

    27 Aug 2014 | 3:43 am
    Bad news, y’all: This November, a freak hurricane will tear through Savannah, Georgia, destroying the amusement park and flooding the cemeteries and generally beating down an historical gem that even General Sherman admired too much to damage. Even worse news: Hurricane Josephine isn’t just a meteorological phenomenon. She’s a demon. A mean one. Who sometimes takes the form of a monster albino alligator and makes people do horrible things. At least, that’s the premise of Servants of the Storm, my YA Southern Gothic Horror now available online and in bookstores. What…
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    No Fear of the Future

  • The sounds of space

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    7 Aug 2014 | 9:47 am
    Welcome to my latest obsession: Sounds from space. I know, I know, space is for all practical purposes a vacuum (unless you're designing an interstellar ramjet) so sound as we know it doesn't exist there. And even if it did in the thin stellar media, we'd need fantastically sensitive microphones to pick up any hint of audio. Well, I thought so, until I stumbled across the "NASA Space Sounds" video below when it was being shared around the interwebz recently. Instruments aboard Voyagers I and II, as well as several other space probes, recorded an array of electromagnetic signals that, when…
  • That was the Armadillocon that was

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    28 Jul 2014 | 9:51 am
    I cannot remember being so exhausted during and after a con as I have with Armadillocon 36 this past weekend. I don't know what was up with that, but despite turning in way early on Friday and Saturday, I operated in zombie mode most of the weekend. Hopefully I was able to cover it up and not infect too many folks I came into contact with. One might think that with such depressed energy levels, Armadillocon would've been a complete bust for me, but surprisingly the exact opposite is true. I had a blast. Despite an asinine, patronizing set of conduct rules distributed to all the programming…
  • Babylon 5: The Parliament of Dreams

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    22 Jul 2014 | 12:35 pm
    I am re-watching the entire Babylon 5 television series. I had not seen a single episode since B5 completed its tumultuous run. Does J. Michael Straczynski still have the touch? Come along and find out. In Valen's Name: Earth Alliance has imposed a week-long religious festival on Babylon 5, so that all races might share the dominant belief of their civilization and learn something about each other. The human contribution to this festival has been dumped on Commander Sinclair with no guidance, and he's at a loss on how to present "Earth's dominant belief system" to the other races. To…
  • Babylon 5: Infection

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    7 Jul 2014 | 8:01 am
    I am re-watching the entire Babylon 5 television series along with my teenage daughter. I have not seen a single episode since B5 completed its tumultuous run, and Calista was just a few days old when the final episode aired back in 1998. Does J. Michael Straczynski still have the touch? Come along with us and find out. In Valen's Name: Dr. Vance Hendricks, a former professor of Dr. Stephen Franklin's, shows up on Babylon 5 for what is presumably a pleasant reunion with his formal pupil. Down in the station's docking bays, however, Hendricks' henchman Nelson Drake kills a station worker in…
  • Armadillocon 36 schedule

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    11 Jun 2014 | 10:59 am
    Armadillocon 36 is approaching July 25-27, and seeing as how pretty much every other guest has shared his or her schedule via the interwebz, I figured it was high time I do so myself. Fashionably late to the party and all that. Most of my Friday will be consumed with being an instructor in the world-famous Armadillcon Writers Workshop. This writers workshop is a stunningly good deal for aspiring and neo-pro authors, as it puts them in close, intensive writerly-oriented contact with an array of insanely talented and accomplished authors and editors. I say this having actually taught in the…
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    SF Novelists

  • Brown and fit to break bread with

    Marie Brennan
    16 Aug 2014 | 3:00 am
    The title of this post comes from a passage early on in The Game of Kings, the first book of Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles. In it, the (blond) Lymond has encountered the (black-haired) Mariotta, and their conversation diverts briefly to hair color: “Or didn’t you know the family coloring? Richard hasn’t got it. Poor Richard is merely Brown and fit to break bread with . . .” “The poem I know at least,” exclaimed Mariotta, chafing her wrist. “Red wise; Brown trusty; Pale envious –” “And Black lusty. What a quantity of traps…
  • Notes From the Road: The Shared Journey

    David B. Coe
    23 Jul 2014 | 6:00 am
    I have just returned from a convention and small signing tour to help promote A Plunder of Souls, the third book in my Thieftaker Chronicles (written as D.B. Jackson). I had several good events — a launch party at ConGregate, fun signings with my friends Faith Hunter and A.J. Hartley in Rock Hill, South Carolina and Gastonia, North Carolina, and a couple of great solo signings in Richmond and Raleigh at independent bookstores (Fountain Bookstore and Quail Ridge Books and Music). It was a hectic ten days, but, I think, very productive. I feel that the new novel is off to a good…
  • Wax on, wax off

    Marie Brennan
    16 Jul 2014 | 3:00 am
    In two days, I will get on a series of planes and fly to Okinawa, where I will spend several days doing karate in an un-airconditioned budokan. I’ve been practicing karate for more than five years now, but this is my first time attending this seminar, which is organized by the man who runs my dojo — Oshiro Toshihiro, who is a ninth degree black belt in our unarmed style, eighth degree in the associated weapons style. There will be attendees from all over the world, and let’s just say this is the sort of crowd where having a black belt doesn’t impress anybody. I mean,…
  • More about the “Strong Female Character”…

    Alma Alexander
    5 Jul 2014 | 5:00 am
        What is a “strong female character”? This article has an opinion on it, and discusses how little of it there actually is out there, despite the lip service to the concept. Time after time we get a female character who is interesting,  rounded,  ALIVE, strong…and is then smothered in the male protagonist’s story arc because none of those attributes are considered to be important enough for her to be given her own rock to stand on. A friend of mine  says we don’t need “strong female characters” so much as “female characters with *agency*”, that is to say…
  • My Blog Tour Begins . . . With a Post About Blog Tours

    David B. Coe
    23 Jun 2014 | 5:00 am
    Today I begin officially the Summer 2014 Plunder of Souls Blog Tour, and I thought it might be fun to kick off this year’s tour with a post about how I go about putting one together.  Blog tours can be much more than just a chance to self-promote, although obviously that’s the goal that lies at the root of all this work.  Tours of this kind can be fun, they can be an excuse to try new things and be truly creative not only with our publicity, but also with our books, our characters, and our setting. For those who are not familiar with my Thieftaker Chronicles series, or who have not…
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  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    27 Aug 2014 | 8:29 pm
    What's up with the newest from Peter Watts:
  • Translations

    27 Aug 2014 | 10:32 am
    My Spanish class is reading Soñar en Cubano (Dreaming in Cuban) by Cristina García.  We'd thought it was written in Spanish and then translated into English, but unfortunately (for us, anyway) it turned out to be the other way around, and we are reading a translation by someone named Marisol Palés.  The translation is fairly good considering that García uses a lot of U.S. idioms, but there are some very weird things here.  Specifically, Palés has made up a few things that aren't in the book.This paragraph, for example.  In…
  • Weekend

    24 Aug 2014 | 4:33 pm
    We were showing some out-of-town friends around Lake Merritt, a beautiful lake where people have picnics or rent paddle-boats or go to playgrounds -- but for some reason my attention was drawn to this part...It's a little blurry (sorry), but if you can't make it out, it's a dead tree with a flock of crows roosting in it.  I don't know, maybe the morbid imagination is part of being a writer.  That's what I tell everyone, anyway.
  • Wildcat

    23 Aug 2014 | 7:23 am
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    22 Aug 2014 | 9:38 am
    I look at the new Varley novel:
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  • MangaKast Has Moved

    tate hallaway
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:31 am
    As I'm sure many of you have heard, Weekly Shounen Jump has changed its publication date. The translations were scheduled to come out Friday, but we managed (like many people who were crashing the various translation sites) to read them on Thursday afternoon. We decided to stick with a Friday AM publication, anyway, because, honestly, I suspect it will settle into that soon enough. Anyway, you can get the link to our podcast here: this podcast, I actually spend some time trying to figure out why this last chapter left me feeling unsettled.
  • Tuesday with Tate

    tate hallaway
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:13 am
    Today is Tuesday, which means you can read the newest installment of my work-in-progress, UnJust Cause, a serialization of the sequel to Precinct 13. In this episode, Alex hangs out with the werewolf biker gang while on run from the demon agents...
  • When Rivendell Calls, I Answer

    tate hallaway
    25 Aug 2014 | 5:19 pm
    The Rivendell Discussion Group of the Mythopoeic Society has invited me to join their discussion of "The Hobbit: That Wasn't in the Book" at Common Good Books in St. Paul on Monday, September 22 at 7 PM. (September 22, of course, being the date recognized as Bilbo and Frodo's birthday by most Hobbit/LotRs fans.)Apparently, Gandalf David was having some trouble finding a burglar panelist for this gig. I'm not quite sure about this funny mark he's left of my door, but I'm sure it will all be fine. I'm not really the adventurous type, you…
  • Fingers to the Keyboard, Nose to the Grindstone

    tate hallaway
    24 Aug 2014 | 6:09 pm
    I'm having one of those writing days where I feel like every word I write is stupid and nothing comes easily. It's only annoying because I haven't had much time to write this weekend, since I worked both Saturday and Sunday. When I have days like this, I always remember back to the interview I did with Neil Gaiman for Science Fiction Chronicle back in god-knows-how-long-ago. He talked about that classic idea that really, showing up is the biggest part of writing, but his contribution to that old saw was that it's worth the effort. At the end of a novel or story or whatever, for the most part…
  • Why So Dark YA?

    tate hallaway
    23 Aug 2014 | 2:44 pm
    Today at the library I got cornered by one of those people who you just know is winding up for a rant about something.After asking me if I worked there, she launched into a Thing about how dark young adult novels were getting and how we shouldn't be surprised when our children axe-murder us in our sleep after reading things like that. Tisk, tisk and all that. I mostly nodded politely because I don't believe for a minute that teenagers are any more likely to axe-murder me over something they read or a game they played, than I would have when I was that age and read and played the same sorts of…
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    Joe Abercrombie

  • Progress Report Aug ’14

    Joe Abercrombie
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:01 am
    Half a King came out in early July and made no. 3 on the Sunday Times hardcover list, and at a competitive time of year too. Even more pleasing is that it then stuck in the top 10 for 4 weeks. Preorders give you a big boost that first week, so you’ll often see books pop onto the list strongly the week of release but drop straight off. Sticking around tends to mean your book is not only selling to your committed fans but also selling strongly off the shelves, which is a very promising sign. With all the touring and events however, including Comic Con in San Diego and Worldcon in…
  • First Law Graphic Novel on

    Joe Abercrombie
    19 Aug 2014 | 5:56 am
    For folks in the UK, getting a book delivered from can be a little steep, which is why I’m delighted to announce that the trade paperback collection of the first four issues of the First Law Graphic novel is now available direct from for a shade over £10 with delivery free. Adapted by Chuck Dixon, art by Andie Tong, colours by Pete Pantazis, all closely supervised from a spiked throne atop a hill of skulls by yours truly. The trade paperback version is a really slick piece of work by Blind Ferret, even though I say so myself, and gives you about 100 full colour…
  • More UK Events, plus Worldcon

    Joe Abercrombie
    7 Aug 2014 | 1:51 am
    More events?  Are you insane?  Well, yes, I very well might be, but there is no rest for the grimdark, my friends.  Here’s my appearance schedule for the next couple of months… Tuesday 12th August 11.30 – Google Hangout for the Gollancz Online Festival. 18.00 - Fantasy in the Court, Goldsboro Books, alongside a whole host of other writers including but by no means limited to Ben Aaronovitch, James Barclay, Lauren Beukes, Paul Cornell, Peter F. Hamilton, Joanne Harris, Adam Nevill, Sarah Pinborough, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and those are just some of the ones I know well…
  • Back Home

    Joe Abercrombie
    4 Aug 2014 | 3:46 am
    I have finally returned from my quick tour of the US, San Diego Comic Con, and Celsius 232 in Spain. It’s only a couple of weeks ago that I left but it feels like months.  10 flights in less than two weeks and a hell of a lot of signing, hand-shaking, and talking to readers, authors, publishers and other folk of all kinds. San Diego Comic Con is quite the event – beyond massive.  The focus these days is obviously on the big media stuff but there’s still a hell of a lot going on with writers and publishers.  I’ve since realised there were all kinds of people there I…
  • US Events, now with SDCC

    Joe Abercrombie
    16 Jul 2014 | 1:02 am
    Greetings American cousins, my new book Half a King should now be available across the nation in hardcover, electronic, and audio formats.  But that’s not all, for on the 22nd July I shall be flying out to be present in your country in my actual person.  The main event is San Diego Comic Con, so I’m afraid there’s a West Coast flavour to my visits this time around but, fear not, I’ll hopefully be fitting in some east coast action early next year with the release of the sequel, Half the World. Here’s the full itinerary, including my panels and signings at Comic…
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    Ann Aguirre

  • Big Mortal Danger Winners!

    Ann Aguirre
    12 Aug 2014 | 11:50 am
    First off, congratulations! And thanks to everyone who participated. I hope it was fun.  Olivia Campbell –  trip or laptop  Mighta Zerie Nolasco –  manuscript critique Zairah Divino - flash drive Lea Krnjeta – branded compact Lina G – Skype chat Alyssa Susanna – signed Fierce Reads book prize package Arnie Arce - movie poster Chelle Pike – infinity symbol necklace You can contact me with your shipping information using the link on my contact page. If you don’t get in touch by August 26th, we will draw for a new winner. In the event a grand prize…
  • Let It Go Day

    Ann Aguirre
    4 Aug 2014 | 11:29 am
    I’m excited to tell you all about an event I’m putting together in conjunction with Harlequin, called Let It Go Day. #LetItGo In I WANT IT THAT WAY, Ty has to let go of old pain in order to embrace happiness and open his heart to love. We all have past baggage that makes it hard to move forward. So in honor of this, we’ll be celebrating his freedom on September 3rd.  I invite all my readers (and other authors) to participate by letting go of painful memories and reaffirming your freedom. I can’t wait for the excitement on September 3rd and I hope you’re up for…
  • The Big Mortal Danger Contest

    Ann Aguirre
    3 Jul 2014 | 5:33 pm
    It’s almost release time for MORTAL DANGER, the first book in my new YA trilogy about bullies, beauty, prep school, and revenge. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the cover is absolutely amazing. I love the infinity symbol. In honor of the release of MORTAL DANGER (coming 8/5/14), I’m doing an Infinity Symbol Scavenger Hunt for the entire month of July.  Your mission will be to find and capture (take a picture of) any infinity symbols you can find or create.  The more creative you get, the more points you will earn.  Here’s an example of one I found in Vancouver, Canada. I need…
  • 2B New Adult Cover Reveal

    Ann Aguirre
    16 Jun 2014 | 6:30 am
    We are over the moon about the cover reveal for my 2B Trilogy Series!!! Published by Harlequin HQN, the 2B Trilogy Series is a New Adult Contemporary Romance series made up of 3 titles. I WANT IT THAT WAY is the first full-length novel in the 2B Trilogy and is set to be released August 26th. Book 2, AS LONG AS YOU LOVE ME, is releasing on September 30th, and THE SHAPE OF MY HEART is scheduled to be released on November 25th. You DO NOT want to miss this series!   About I WANT IT THAT WAY: Nadia Conrad has big dreams, and she’s determined to make them come true. But between maintaining…
  • Reviewer Book requests

    Ann Aguirre
    11 Jun 2014 | 1:44 pm
    Would you like to get one of my books for FREE? Then you can already start celebrating like this:   If you do not have a blog, remember that first preference will be given to you if you’ve reviewed books of mine at Amazon or Goodreads. There are also some foreign language titles in here, so be sure to spread the word among all of your bilingual peers.   Here are some of the titles you can request: Silver Mirrors Enclave – SPANISH Language Edition. Horde – SPANISH Language Edition. Horde – FRENCH Language Edition. Let the Requests & Reviews commence!   Note: as it…
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    Eleanor Arnason's Web Log

  • Thor 1

    16 Aug 2014 | 9:31 am
    We watched Thor 1 again, after a fair long while. It's a silly movie, but I still like it. Compared to the other Marvel movies the pace seemed stately. Yes, there were fights, but not an adrenaline crazed rush of violence. I like the images: golden Asgard, dark Jotenheim and small town New Mexico. I like Hiddleston a lot. How could one not? And I like the movie's double arc: Thor rising up to become a human being, so to speak, and Loki descending into a monster. Hemsworth is okay. He's playing a simpler character. No one ever said Thor was complex. Loki, on the other hand, is a great role.
  • Iceland Again

    14 Aug 2014 | 10:59 am
    Another photo of Iceland. When in doubt, look at a photo of Iceland. Better yet, go to Iceland. I need to check the rates on Icelandair...
  • Police

    14 Aug 2014 | 10:50 am
    And this is a photo is from the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul. The demonstrations at the convention were mostly middle aged women peace activists, as far as I know. There were some kids (see above). But nothing to require creating a security perimeter around downtown St. Paul and filling it with cops like the ones we see here. Let's face it. The people who run America are afraid of ordinary AmericansThe police in Ferguson are far better equipped and look far worse. They look like an army of occupation.
  • Killing Young Black Men

    14 Aug 2014 | 10:48 am
    A Guardian essay on the troubles in Ferguson, MO.In so far as there is anything good about the situation in Ferguson, it's that people are demonstrating, and the world is learning the story.
  • Seals

    14 Aug 2014 | 9:30 am
    Another photo, which is not about me. Seals in Iceland, courtesy of the Guide to Iceland facebook page. In color, I am pretty sure, but mostly black and white and gray.
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  • Lazy Weekend

    Neal Asher
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:54 am
    Saturday 30/8/2014 I decided to take this weekend off, but not in the usual sense one would suppose. There have been very few days since February 8th, two days after Caroline’s cremation, when I haven’t gone on very long walks. Then, into the spring and summer, swum or kayaked long distances, or some combination of these three. Now I’m starting to feel a little weary. I also had a quandary to ponder, a need to take stock, a need to distance myself from that jaded feeling I’ve started to get down at the beach, and I also needed get some things done. One of these was finishing my edit…
  • Snakeskin

    Neal Asher
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:41 am
    When the hot dry wind hits here is fries vegetation and heaps the detritus here and there around my garden. The leaves, flower petals and bougainvillea bracts haven’t had a chance to turn brown. It’s like someone has tipped out a few sack loads of potpourri. While clearing these up recently, ever wary of the odd concealed scorpion (though they’re not often about when it’s hot and dry) I found numerous crisp-dried sections of shed snakeskin. Judging by the size of these pieces the snake was three of four feet long. I wish I’d saved them for a photograph but they went in my composter…
  • Jaded

    Neal Asher
    27 Aug 2014 | 2:19 am
    26/8/2014So, this morning I worked through another 50 pages of Factory Station Room 101. I found this easy going because there were large sections that I had enjoyed writing and, consequently, felt no need to alter much. Of course it being the dictum that on the editorial front one must kill ones babies you’d think I should attack these sections more, or that later editorial input would see them getting chopped up. This is not the case, because that dictum is crap.This afternoon I went down to Makrigialos beach and, feeling slightly knackered, decided to forgo my usual ‘big swim’.
  • More Resolutions

    Neal Asher
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:08 am
    So how much writing have I done lately? I’m ashamed to say not a lot at all. It’s not like I haven’t been active because, over the last few months, I’ve swum miles and kayaked miles and prior to that I walked for miles.  Now this seems to be a rather extreme version of that writerly cup of coffee – just another reason to get up from the desk and not do any writing. But as I’ve mentioned here before (I think) all this physical activity has been a way of shutting down my mind while writing, of course, tends make it a lot more active. So do I want to wake up now? I think…
  • Final Roof Repairs

    Neal Asher
    25 Aug 2014 | 2:00 am
    Okay, this blog has been gathering cobwebs while its blogger has been AWOL. I’ve just had my niece Samantha and her boyfriend Dean staying here for three weeks, but I can’t blame them for the lack of posts here. Nuts as they are.  Anyway, what’s been happening? Well. A month or so back local builder Mikalis got round to sorting out the final leaking part of my roof. The roof consists of three concrete slabs at different levels. The steps between these were over two-foot thick internal stone walls, but the slabs had not been overlapped or joined in any way. They expanded and…
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    Christopher Barzak

  • Jamie Marks is Dead released!

    Christopher Barzak
    30 Aug 2014 | 2:33 pm
    Last night I had the pleasure of watching Jamie Marks is Dead, the movie based on my first novel, One for Sorrow, in Cleveland, Ohio, with a bunch of friends and family. It was so good to finally have others who I’m close to, people from my community, see it as well. Before it had felt a little bit like Big Bird’s relationship with Mr. Snuffleupagus. No, really, there is a movie out there adapted from my novel! It’s not just imaginary! Here is me and the director/screenwriter, Carter Smith, who made a surprise guest appearance to do Q&A with me after the screening. The…
  • Jackson and Nebula Award nominations

    Christopher Barzak
    12 May 2014 | 1:38 pm
    It’s been a few months since I last updated here. Since “Jamie Marks is Dead” debuted at in the Sundance Film Festival competition in January, a lot of other really wonderful things have occurred. First, I was nominated for a Nebula Award in the category of Best Novelette for my story, “Paranormal Romance”! This is the fourth time I’ve been nominated for a Nebula Award. The first time was in 2007 for my novelette, “The Language of Moths”, and the second time was in 2010 for my novel-in-stories, The Love We Share Without Knowing. The third time…
  • Thank You, Carter Smith

    Christopher Barzak
    23 Jan 2014 | 5:21 pm
    This past weekend, I had the privilege of seeing my first novel made into a film that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. The novel is called One for Sorrow. The film is called Jamie Marks is Dead. Early on in my novel, the narrator, Adam McCormick, observes in his high school yearbook after Jamie Marks is found murdered, that he and Jamie share the same page, the same square even, but Adam’s photo is on one side of the page, and Jamie’s is on the other. For me, coming away from watching Jamie Marks is Dead feels similar to that moment of two…
  • Finalist for storySouth’s Million Writers Award

    Christopher Barzak
    18 Nov 2013 | 11:48 am
    A new awesome thing: My story “Invisible Men” (originally published in Jonathan Strahan’s Eclipse Online and reprinted in Gardner Dozois’ Year’s Best Science Fiction) is a finalist for storySouth’s Million Writers Award! The award is given out annually to celebrate the best short fiction published online. Needless to say (but I’ll say it): I’m thrilled to be recognized, and for that story to be recognized especially. So here’s the thing. A jury selected the top ten finalists, but the winner is selected by popular vote. So if…
  • Wonders of the Invisible World goes to Knopf!

    Christopher Barzak
    24 Oct 2013 | 2:43 pm
    I have good news (following on the heels of a rough past two months). Today it was announced that my next novel, Wonders of the Invisible World has been acquired by Knopf Books for Young Readers! Here’s the announcement in Publishers Weekly: Melanie Cecka at Knopf has acquired a debut YA novel from adult novelist Christopher Barzak, called Wonders of the Invisible World. In it, a teenager must unravel a generations-old family curse before it destroys those he loves. Publication is set for fall 2015; Barry Goldblatt of Barry Goldblatt Literary brokered the deal for North American…
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    The Battersblog


    Lee Battersby
    29 Aug 2014 | 11:42 pm
    There's a meme doing the rounds of Facebook that requires the recipient to name 10 books that have had an impact upon them, then pass the disease on to ten innocent schmucks. Rather than waste all that typing on just one form of social media, I thought I'd list them here, too.1. The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkein. Read it for the first time when I was ten and it blew the breath out of my mind. I'd never experienced such scope, depth and majesty in a story before, and have pretty much never experienced it since. Read it every year until my mid-twenties, and a few times again since then.2.

    Lee Battersby
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:49 pm
    Ahhhhh, the entropic nature of time. When I scribbled this one down, Anne McCaffrey seemed the perfect comic fit. Feel free to insert "Smaug" or "Christopher Paolini" or "that chick from Game of Thrones" or whatever you need to bring this gag up to speed....."I'm sorry, Nigel, but being Anne McCaffrey's biggest fan does notqualify you to be head keeper at the komodo dragon enclosure"

    Lee Battersby
    25 Aug 2014 | 1:09 am
    One of the loveliest side-effects of reaching a certain credibility as an author (and clearly, as I seem to have reached it, the level ain't that high) is the occasional opportunity to be sally forth and speak to groups of people without requiring your beloved partner-for-life having to follow along two steps behind you apologising to everyone.Luscious, for those who have not met her, occasionally introduces us at social gathering with the phrase "This is my husband, Lee, and I'm the person who apologises for him". She also occasionally waits until we're in a shopping centre aisle full of old…

    Lee Battersby
    25 Aug 2014 | 12:33 am
    Ah, well. It was worth a try.Running order, day one.After scant few months of a return to the school system, we've pulled Master 9 out and have re-commenced home-schooling. While he is currently not vomiting as often as he has in the past, it is still an issue, and his need to leave the classroom several times a day has become a real social issue-- while it's possible to ask 9 year old children to understand a peer's health issues, it's not possible to stop them staring every time he goes in and out, and a teacher can't be asked to stop and wait for him to return before continuing with…

    Lee Battersby
    24 Aug 2014 | 11:42 pm
    Nicole Murphy is a truly excellent author of speculative fiction, romance and erotica, and over at her website she's running a series of interviews on the road to publication.She's been kind enough to offer a platform for my unique brand of self-indulgent blether, and I have complied. You can read my interview with Nicole here.
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  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    29 Aug 2014 | 2:07 pm
    "Eugene" was a hit for Crazy Joe and the Variable Speed Band in 1981. Not a huge hit, but it charted higher than singles from Billy Squier, Blue Oyster Cult, the Kinks, Rick James, Rush, ELO... you get the idea. Not even Ace Frehley's connection to the band can explain this success. Watch this video and tell me the early 80s wasn't a messed-up time. Previously on Friday Night Videos... San Harris. Now Playing: The Beatles Abbey RoadChicken Ranch Central
  • What's Jayme drinking?

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    24 Aug 2014 | 8:45 pm
    So today The Wife and drove over to Texas Mead Works in Seguin to drop off my entries for the Texas Mead Fest homebrew competition. I entered two meads--my plum melomel (which, as an aside, I have to say turned out better than my review indicated. The bottle I reviewed was not entirely full, being the last of the batch. I don't know if excess oxygen was the culprit behind the off-putting odor, but upon opening a new bottle, the bouquet was inoffensive. Yay!) and a vanilla ice wine metheglin. Now I know what you're thinking--"Jayme, you fool! Ice wine is a specialty wine, made from frozen,…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    22 Aug 2014 | 2:08 pm
    Sam Harris scored a minor hit in 1984 with "Sugar Don't Bite, which is probably more than it deserved, because it's not a great song. What secured its place as a footnote of 80s music, however (other than the video's unfortunate mashup of 80s fashion with 70s disco), are the striking similarities betwixt it and a certain big hit from Madonna just a few years later. Coincidence? You decide. Previously on Friday Night Videos... Stevie Wonder. Now Playing: Ray Davies The Kinks Choral CollectionChicken Ranch Central
  • What's Jayme drinking?

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    19 Aug 2014 | 8:59 pm
    Got a little something different tonight: Plum melomel. For the uninitiated, that is mead (honey wine) made with plums. I made it myself. It's been in the works for quite a long time, the initial honey fermentation starting back in November 2012, keeping the fermentation cool by sitting the carboy in a water bath filled with ice and wet towels draped over it. This had the effect of slowing fermentation to prevent the formation of yucky fusel alcohols. I added the crushed plum juice to start secondary fermentation in June 2013, and finally bottled it in April of this year. That's a long time…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    15 Aug 2014 | 1:17 pm
    I've only got a couple of things to say about Stevie Wonder's hit from 1986, "Part Time Lover." First, the video is pretty bare bones: It looks like it could've been a performance clip lifted from Soul Train. I half-expected to see Rick Dees and the Solid Gold Dancers put in an appearance. Second, this song got a lot of airplay on the radio my sophomore year in high school. I mean a lot. And every single time it came on with that opening bass line, in my mind I expected Hall and Oates to start singing "Maneater." Every. Time. And you know what? That still happens. Previously on Friday Night…
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  • Surprise! GIRL ON A WIRE Is E-arly!

    1 Sep 2014 | 8:09 am
    By which I mean it's a Kindle First pick this month, in advance of its official release October 1. What does that mean? Besides the fact I did some chair-dancing? It means it's one of four books that you can read in e-book a month early, if you have a Kindle or use the Kindle app on one of your devices. Prime members can pick one free, and anyone with a Kindle or app can snag one for $1.99. It's that simple. If your book is chosen for this program, obviously it means that more people are likely to see your book. But it also means that your editor writes something about it. And…
  • DragonCon Schedule + Media Round-Up + Lois Teaser

    27 Aug 2014 | 11:19 am
    I'll be at DragonCon this weekend participating in the YA track -- I'll happily sign books for anyone after the panels or my reading. I'll be reading from Girl on a Wire (out so soon!), but I also just might give a little sneak preview of Lois too. *whistles innocently* Come so I'm not reading to an empty room + my mom (who's tagging along to Atlanta for some R&R). My schedule: Title: Urban Fantasy in YADescription: We love a little magic, monsters, super powers—but rooted in the real world. What makes a compelling urban fantasy, and what are your faves?Time:…
  • The Secret Is Out... (!!!)

    26 Aug 2014 | 10:41 am
    ...thanks to some breaking reporting from DC Women Kicking Ass last night.   I have two words for you: LOIS LANE. Oh, wait, and another one: FALLOUT. Lois Lane is getting a YA Novel by @gwenda — DC Women Kicking Ass (@dcwomenkicknass) August 26, 2014 But there is still more fun news to come. And more of the great teasers Switch/Capstone have designed. Here's today's -- voila! Strong, fearless heroines have the most interesting backstories. @DCComics #teaser — Switch Press (@SwitchPressPub) August 26, 2014 I am completely…
  • Secret Project, Clue The First (!)

    25 Aug 2014 | 10:21 am
    This week the fabulous team at Switch Press/Capstone will be posting some visual teasers for what I have been obnoxiously referring to as Secret Project for months, leading up to the cover reveal. I can tell you this is an iconic character--definitely someone you know. Here's the first hint! I think it's probably clear why it was secret (psst, look around the edges) -- and why I'm so excited about it that I couldn't help but be obnoxious. I'll bet some of you -- especially comics fans -- can figure it out just from this.Also: yes, it's a young adult novel(!). And…
  • New Girl Reviews

    11 Aug 2014 | 7:18 am
    I dropped these elsewhere already, but I like to keep things where they're easier to find (aka here). So! A couple of nice new reviews of Girl on a Wire that made me happy and also have a little swoon at how soon this book will be out and y'all can read it. I can't wait to find out what you think.  Booklist Online sayeth: "With a skillful blend of modern-day circus tales, classically ill-fated love, and mystery, Bond gives readers scenes from the wire that will make them sweat alongside Jules as she steps out with no net, and teens will thrill to Jules’ adventures as…
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    Swan Tower

  • It’s been ten years! Let’s celebrate.

    Swan Tower
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:20 pm
    It’s been ten years since my first short story was published. If Amazon is to be believed, Summoned to Destiny, the anthology containing “White Shadow”, came out on September 1st, 2004. Which, as it so happens, is my birthday. They say it takes ten years to get good at something, don’t they? That’s one of the random metrics, anyway. Ten years from my first published story to a World Fantasy nomination; not bad. Of course, I was writing long before “White Shadow” came out. I got what I consider to be my first mature novel ideas when I was seventeen…
  • A Year in Pictures – London Wall

    Swan Tower
    1 Sep 2014 | 8:03 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. For my birthday, I give you: one of my two favorite spots in London. (The other is the front steps of St. Paul’s, right by my hostel; I ate many a dinner sitting there and watching the sun set down Ludgate Hill.) The garden you see here belongs to the Salters’ Company, but on the far side there’s a little fragment of park beneath this, one of the largest remaining fragments of the Roman and medieval London Wall. You can see its…
  • I haven’t done a meme in a while

    Swan Tower
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:57 pm
    You can tell a lot about a person from their music. Hit shuffle on your iPod, MP3 Player, etc. and put the first 10 songs! One rule, no skipping! (I’m leaving out the part where I’m supposed to tag ten more people to do this.) I guess I’ll go with the playlist I’ve been slowly assembling for Chains and Memory. This isn’t the soundtrack; it’s just the music I’ll be going through when I pick stuff for the soundtrack. As such, it skews toward techno, rock, and more modern-sounding scores (whereas the playlists for the Memoirs, to choose a contrasting…
  • A Year in Pictures – Ceiling Vortex

    Swan Tower
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:03 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. I have a Thing for ceilings. You haven’t seen too many images of them in this series because a lot of them don’t come out very well, or when you get down to it the ceiling in question is simply not that interesting to anybody who doesn’t have a fixation. But this ceiling? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. It is possibly the most awesome ceiling I have ever seen. It belongs to a small pavilion in Fukushu-en, a Chinese-styled garden in Okinawa, and it…
  • A Year in Pictures – Island and Tree

    Swan Tower
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. I believe this was the last photo I took on our recent trip to Hawaii, a split second before my camera’s battery died. Memory tells me there’s some local folklore about that tiny island (which lies off the coast of Oahu); it does not oblige me by recalling what the folklore was. I did like the framing of this shot, though. Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there. This entry was also posted at…
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  • Privacy vs Omniveillance

    David Brin
    31 Aug 2014 | 4:12 pm
    Media discussions of privacy, freedom and the information age are starting to get more interesting, as folks finally start to realize a core truth... that everything eventually leaks. That the reflex of whining and demanding shadows to hide-in will never work. The data we entrust to banks and retail chains?  The trade secrets that companies rely on for competitive advantage? The cherished spy programs of our governmental professional protector caste (PPC)? If these do not leak because of hackers, or accidents, then would-be (or self-styled) whistle-blowers will see to it,…
  • Citizen Power - Part II: Those Cop-Cameras...

    David Brin
    29 Aug 2014 | 10:12 am
    Continuing our series on co-veillance, sousveillance and general citizen empowerment, on our streets... last time we discussed our right and ability to use new instrumentalities to expand our ability to view, record and hold others accountable, with the cameras in our pockets.Now -- the other side of this accountability equation. Some ideas seem far-out "scifi"... until suddenly they become mainstream.  In the wake of the recent Ferguson, Missouri riots, a petition asking for a "Mike Brown Law" that would require all state, county, and local police to wear…
  • Citizen Power - Part I: using our cell cameras for safety and freedom

    David Brin
    24 Aug 2014 | 2:54 pm
    If you push long and hard enough for something that is logical and needed, a time may come when it finally happens! At which point – pretty often – you may have no idea whether your efforts made a difference. Perhaps other, influential people saw the same facts and drew similar, logical conclusions! Here is my own latest example:“Qualcomm and other wireless companies have been working on a new cellular standard—a set of technical procedures that ensures devices can “talk” to one another—that will keep the lines open if the network fails. The Proximity Services, or…
  • Next Technologies!

    David Brin
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:00 pm
    To conclude my recent spate of science and technology roundups, I'll do one a final sweep of S&T news...Let's start with a fascinating rumination on future Infrastructure… major projects -- such as Tube Transportation networks and atmospheric water harvesters -- that might consume (and be well-worth) hundreds of billions of dollars of investment, and returning far, far more in benefits. Take a look at this article 2050 and the Future of Infrastructure by futurist Thomas Frey...though he left out half a dozen that I mention in EARTH, alone!  An article - The…
  • Asteroids, Super space drives, and Io volcanoes!

    David Brin
    20 Aug 2014 | 10:50 am
    Here goes one of our occasional space and astronomy roundups!First some personal science news. I will be speaking about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) twice, early in 2015. (1) at the conference of the AAPT - the American Association of Physics Teachers, January 4 - 6, 2015, in San Diego...... then (2) I'll be the "con" arguer in a debate over "messaging to aliens" at the American Association for the Advancement of Science - AAAS Annual Meeting - the greatest scientific conclave on the planet, from 12 - 16 February 2015, in San Jose, CA.And now...
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    Tobias Buckell

  • Food in Toledo, Spain

    Tobias Buckell
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:45 am
    These are croquettes. I’d never had them before. I’m now a fan. I love to sample different kinds of food and not have too much of the same thing. Spain, with Tapas and ‘raciones’ and various serving sizes has an approach to food I really dig. They also keep my kind of schedule, eating dinner at 9 or 10pm and staying up late. Toledo seems down with Mazapan (Marzipan). An almond paste confectionary. Another first for me. I sampled a lot of it: For breakfast I’d often eat ‘tortilla,’ which is egg, potato sort of baked together. They also sensibly serve…
  • Check out The Apocalypse Ocean’s amazing, 100% all new cover (plus PDF version)

    Tobias Buckell
    28 Aug 2014 | 11:15 am
    The Apocalypse Ocean, the fourth book in the Xenowealth series, now features new cover art that puts it closely in line with the other books. It was designed by Jenn Reese of Tiger Bright Studios, and it’s awesome. Check it in it’s full glory: In addition to the new cover being updated on this website and buy pages, I’ve updated the eBook itself on all the major services with the new cover. I’ve also added a small bit of back matter encouraging people to sign up for my newsletter. Something I should have done. Here’s the buy page, with all the buy links (except…
  • Vertical farming in Toledo, Spain

    Tobias Buckell
    28 Aug 2014 | 8:35 am
    One of the things we’ve gone back and forth on in this blog is the viability of vertical farming. In Toledo I stumbled across this 4 story, single wall full of herb plants in a building converted into a modern market. From below: and from above:
  • After 1,200 miles by train, we spent a week in Toledo

    Tobias Buckell
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:34 am
    In my last description of my European trip, I wrote about traveling 1,200 miles by train from London to Paris, Paris on sleeper train through the south of France, and into the North of Spain, and then down into Madrid and Toledo. The morning after that epic journey, I woke up to wander around streets like this: And this: There was a street called Two Elbows Street somewhere, to my amusement. Toledo is a medieval walled city dropped down onto a mountain. There’s a river behind it, and walls in front. Everything is tightly packed together… and old. Here’s a shot from across…
  • Paneling while light, but not white

    Tobias Buckell
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:01 pm
    I just got back from London, and would love to be uploading pictures and talking about two weeks spent in Europe, but I’m catching up on bills and getting into the swing of work. And my kids start Kindergarten. And the dogs need picked up. So I’ll be a little late. However, a few people have pinged me about a couple of blog posts that reacted to the panel “Imagining Fantasy Lands: The Status Quo Does Not Need Worldbuilding.” London Worldcon had a fascinating vein of programming with an openness to discussion about diversity, challenging status quo, and world…
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    Dark Roast

  • Mad Literary Sparkly Ominous Fundraiser!

    Emma Bull
    27 Aug 2014 | 8:53 am
    Amanda Downum, known around these parts as stillsostrange, and also as Shadow Unit's graphic designer as well as one of its writers, is raising money for materials for her new jewelry business. Contributor rewards include jewelry, of course--but there's also the option of appearing as a character in a work of fiction of hers.A short-lived character.Because she promises to KILL YOU DEAD IN SOME AWESOME FASHION.How can you resist? Seriously, how? Oh, and also, spiffy jewelry!You can find her Indiegogo campaign right over here.
  • We did it.

    Emma Bull
    7 Jul 2014 | 9:39 am
    Seven years and four seasons of Shadow Unit, the television show that never was, on the WTF Network.I know me; there's no way this would have happened if I'd been doing it by myself. I'm so lucky that when I asked matociquala (Elizabeth Bear) if she wanted to play, she said yes. Bear made the project more imaginative, more interactive, better able to thumb its nose at storytelling's fourth wall. I roped Will Shetterly into the writers' room, but Bear brought Sarah Monette, Amanda Downum, Leah Bobet, Chelsea Polk, and Stephen Shipman in, and gave me the courage to ask Holly Black if she'd…
  • A world of endless wonder(ful)

    Emma Bull
    3 Jul 2014 | 3:11 pm
    I'm at CONvergence.You wish you were here.<3 <3 <3
  • There's a new extra up!

    Emma Bull
    30 Jun 2014 | 9:27 am
    "Afterword." On the WTF Network.
  • Quoted from news source:

    Emma Bull
    26 Jun 2014 | 11:08 am
    "Roads and facilities will reopen after the Thursday afternoon town hall forum in Minnehaha Park, which is closed to the public."You know, that's almost too true to take note of.
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    Stephanie Burgis

  • Reviews of all sorts

    Stephanie Burgis
    2 Sep 2014 | 3:20 am
    1. First of all, the big news: I'm going to be one of the book reviewers at Urban Fantasy Magazine! It's a new online magazine of urban fantasy for adults that will be publishing its first issue in November. I'm already working on my first couple of reviews. If you write urban fantasy novels and want to get them reviewed there, please contact the editors. There are a few of us doing reviews, so when you're deciding which reviewer to request, do keep in mind that my tastes tend to run toward the more fun/romantic end of urban fantasy rather than the darker/grittier end of the genre. I also…
  • Home, Dog, Books, Whew :)

    Stephanie Burgis
    29 Aug 2014 | 7:08 am
    So, we're back in the UK. Whew! The trip back was not easy (no surprise, with an overnight flight and a teething one-year-old just on the verge of walking), and jet-lag is hitting all of us hard, but never mind. It was a wonderful, wonderful visit back home to the US, and it's good, too, to be back home in the UK now, even if I'm veeeeeeery tired at the moment. (Between Baby X's jet-lag, teething, and his new cold, I didn't get any sleep at all last night until I handed him off at 6:55 this morning, at which point I finally got...3 hours. Sigh.)It is so good to have our Maya-dog back, though!
  • A Friday Chapter

    Stephanie Burgis
    22 Aug 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Happy Friday! I've just uploaded one more chapter of Courting Magic to my website, so you can now read both of the first two chapters free online.(I actually meant to do this almost a week ago. Oops. The downside of publishing a book while on family vacation...)I hope you enjoy both chapters! And here's the lovely graphic that Patrick made me for the occasion. :)
  • Being home (a rambling update)

    Stephanie Burgis
    19 Aug 2014 | 6:02 pm
    So, it's been a pretty intense couple of weeks, in a lot of ways. This summer was the first time my brothers and parents and I have been all together in about 7 years, and the first time we've ever been together as a whole group with my children. It was amazing. But then, of course, I had to say goodbye to both brothers, one by one, and to my wonderful new sister-in-law, too, as they flew back to their two different homes around the world. It was hard.Being back in Michigan for the first time in so long has been so fantastic and fun and enriching - and also hard, because of course it reminds…
  • A Day to Remember

    Stephanie Burgis
    15 Aug 2014 | 3:26 pm
    OK, there are some days that need to be recorded and remembered.I woke up this morning and the first thing I saw was this amazing, in-depth, thoughtful review of the full Kat, Incorrigible trilogy. Here's a quick snippet:Imagine a younger sister in the Bennet household investigating magical occurrences and getting into scrapes, while the plot of Pride and Prejudice goes on in the background and interacts with the magical goings on, and you will have an idea of what these books are like...These books are a joy to read – fast paced, fun and charming, and highly recommended for both kids and…
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    Mabfan's Musings

  • The Brookline Parent: Kindergarten: The Journey Begins

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:14 am
    In this week's The Brookline Parent, I discuss the decisions gnomi and I had to make as we send Muffin and Squeaker to Kindergarten in the new school year.Read Kindergarten: The Journey Begins and find out what those decisions were...
  • My Week in Facebook, August 17-22, 2014

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    22 Aug 2014 | 3:14 pm
    Another week, another bunch of posts to Facebook. (I wish LJ were as active as it once was.) So what was my week like?On Sunday, I congratulated the winners of this year's Hugo Awards.On Monday, I posted a picture of me with Harold Feld (also known as osewalrus.)I also continued playing the game Nomi and I play of finding band names.On Tuesday, I expressed my shock at the cost of the new Dungeons & Dragons Player's Handbook.And I noted a conversation between me and Squeaker, which is either cute or morbid, depending on your mood.On Thursday, I expressed my disappointment in the…
  • My Week in Facebook, August 10-15, 2014

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:24 am
    Let's go through the week! Here are links.On Sunday, the family attended the Boston Comic Con. We had a blast. I posted a photo album called Boston Comic Con 2014. It includes pictures of Squeaker posing with cosplayers, me and the kids emerging from a TARDIS, me meeting some of my favorite comic creators, and more. Go on and take a look.We also got a TARDIS and Dalek salt and pepper shaker set.On Monday night came the news of the death of Robin Williams, and I posted something I call Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society, and My Teaching on Facebook. I decided to post it on LiveJournal as…
  • The Brookline Parent: Adventuring Through Comic Con

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    15 Aug 2014 | 9:09 am
    In this week's The Brookline Parent column, gnomi writes about us taking Muffin and Squeaker to Boston Comic Con, and all the fun we had. There are lots of pictures of Squeaker with cool cosplayers; check it out!Adventuring Through Comic Con
  • This Day in History, 2003: The Great Northeast Blackout

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    14 Aug 2014 | 8:35 am
    Eleven years ago today was the Great Blackout of 2003, which hit much of the northeast United States and parts of Canada. Where were you?I was at home (in Brookline, Massachusetts, which did not lose power) on the computer when the phone rang at 4:33 PM. It was my younger brother, Josh, in New York City, calling to ask me if I knew what was going on. As I had left the TV news on in the living room, and the TiVo was recording its buffer, I was able to start describing the news to him and I learned of the blackout as I told him what was going on.I served as the point person for my younger…
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    Pushing a Snake Up a Hill

  • From a Changeling Star: On Sale Thru September 3!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    29 Aug 2014 | 5:00 am
    Today marks the start of my latest BookBub sale, this time on my first Starstream novel, From a Changeling Star. For the next week, it costs just $.99 in ebook, 80% off the regular $4.99! (Okay, get ready for the pitch...) Get it while it's hot! Stock up! It has something for everyone: supernovas, cosmic hyperstring, romance, nanotech, aliens! What else can you want? Why do I keep doing this? Because it works. The BookBub specials have all brought in extra income, and more importantly, gotten my books into the hands of lots of new readers. This is a novel that nearly drove me mad when I was…
  • Wardrobe Malfunctions at Worldcon

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    28 Aug 2014 | 7:00 am
    In my first post on Loncon, I mentioned a couple of wardrobe malfunctions that threatened to derail me at the con. No, I didn't burst out of my bustier. But both stood to be just about as embarrassing. Scheduled for a signing on Friday afternoon, I went a little early to the green room to have a cup of coffee. Sitting by myself at a table, I was sorting through some of the con literature when I moved my hand in the wrong direction. Oops. Oh frak! I had just spilled the entire cup of coffee across the table, toward me, and into my lap. Yeah, right into the crotch of my pants. Oh shit, what do…
  • Staying on a Boat in London for Worldcon

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    27 Aug 2014 | 4:30 pm
    It seemed like the perfect solution when Allysen found it on Air B&B: Houseboat on the Thames! What could be more charming? Besides, time was growing seriously short, and we really needed a place to stay at worldcon. And it was cheaper than the hotels, which were mostly full, anyway. Besides, it had a double-sized bunk, plus several singles, which was more than enough. Plus, it had a kitchen and a working toilet. What more do you need?  Well...What we got was a charming little sailboat called the Catch-E, which really was a nice boat if you didn't think of it in terms of B&B, or…
  • Back from London, But a Bit Under the Weather

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:31 pm
    We returned from England a couple of days ago, after going to Loncon 3 at the Excel Center and then spending another five days seeing London, Greenwich, and Nottingham (where lives an old friend of Allysen's). It was quite an adventure, starting with staying on a sailboat (more on that in another post), and ending with a very nice train ride into Robin Hood country, where we ate at what is reportedly the oldest pub in England. The worldcon was a bit of a wash for me in professional terms, but Allysen and Julia had a fantastic time and I did enjoy myself despite a couple of wardrobe…
  • Yes, I Am Doing a Signing at Worldcon

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    14 Aug 2014 | 12:12 pm
    If you're at Loncon, stop by and say hello. Friday at 3 pm.
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    Mark Chadbourn

  • Is The Age Of The Psychopath Over?

    12 Aug 2014 | 2:29 am
    I’ve written a piece for Medium. “Look around you. Out on the street, all those faces. They look just like you. But some of them aren’t like you at all. They’re so different, they might as well be another species. They are the secret masters of this world, and they always have been. If you think there’s something fundamentally wrong with the way we live our lives…if you think the game is rigged…that politics, business, commerce, warfare, produce terrible, unnecessary outcomes…it’s probably down to them…”
  • Gone Girl – A Few Thoughts

    28 Jul 2014 | 7:07 am
    Gone Girl has been running high in the bestseller charts for a while now, and there’s a movie on the way from David Fincher, a man who knows a good thing when he sees it.  While I was taking a break down in Cornwall for a week, I nabbed a copy and enjoyed it a lot. In a way, you get two different books here. Luckily, both of them are very good. The first is a suspense thriller with a mounting sense of unease built through the accretion of tiny details and the realisation that two different people are looking at the same events in different ways. The revelations are eked out by the…
  • Coming Soon…A True Story

    24 Jul 2014 | 4:21 am
      Cover by Kealan Patrick Burke. #paranormal #supernatural #Testimony
  • TV Drama Writers Festival 2014

    27 Jun 2014 | 10:07 am
    I’ll be in London for this on July 2nd.  Looks like it’s shaping up to be a great event with some of the leading screenwriters in the UK, TV commissioners and other industry professionals on stage to talk about opportunities and obstacles in the coming twelve months. The festival is organised by the BBC and is open to all screenwriters who’ve had work on air.  Scanning the list of speakers, I see Tony Jordan, Jed Mercurio and Sally Wainwright are there, along with BBC boss Ben Stephenson, and top people from Sky and ITV.  If anyone’s interested, I’ll probably…
  • Game Of Thrones – Changing The World One Beheading At A Time

    23 Jun 2014 | 3:50 am
    I’ve been spending some time talking to the futures consultancy The Future Laboratory and LS:N Global on a project they’re putting together examining how and why Game of Thrones broke out of the fantasy ghetto and into the mainstream – crossing generational and cultural lines across the globe.  The report they’re compiling will be available to their many and varied clients in business and the media, who’ll use it for future-planning and analysis. Some of the things we discussed was how technology is making people more receptive to the fantastic, the future of…
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    The Mumpsimus

  • Jamie Marks Is Dead

    Matthew Cheney
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:29 pm
      Jamie Marks Is Dead is based on a book I love by a writer I love: One for Sorrow by Christopher Barzak. I realized recently that I think of it as the first novel of "our" generation/group of writers — Chris is a few months older than me, and originally introduced me to probably half the writers and editors I know. I read One for Sorrow in manuscript, exhorted Juliet Ulman to buy and edit it for Bantam, and celebrated its publication. Chris sent me a copy with the kindest inscription penned onto its title page that any writer has ever given me. I feel like a kind of distant…
  • Ferguson, Missouri, USA

    Matthew Cheney
    14 Aug 2014 | 7:43 am
    Let America be America again.Let it be the dream it used to be.Let it be the pioneer on the plainSeeking a home where he himself is free.(America never was America to me.)Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—Let it be that great strong land of loveWhere never kings connive nor tyrants schemeThat any man be crushed by one above.(It never was America to me.)O, let my land be a land where LibertyIs crowned with no false patriotic wreath,But opportunity is real, and life is free,Equality is in the air we breathe.(There’s never been equality for me,Nor freedom in this “homeland of…
  • Notes on Octavia Butler's Survivor

    Matthew Cheney
    7 Aug 2014 | 6:16 pm
    After reading Gerry Canavan's essay on two newly published short stories by Octavia Butler, one of which is a prequel to her 1978 novel Survivor, I decided it was time for me to read Survivor, since though I'd read most of Butler's books, and repeatedly assigned a couple of them in classes, I'd never gotten around to this one.The problem, however, is that Survivor is a book Butler disavowed and, once she had the ability, she prohibited it from being reprinted. Used copies tend to sell for at least $65 (although one just sold on E-Bay for $15. Alas, I discovered it only after the…
  • How Not to Write a Review, Unless You Want to Sound Like an Insufferable Prig

    Matthew Cheney
    1 Aug 2014 | 5:21 pm
    I know it's been all Snowpiercer all the time here lately, but this time it's not so much about that particular film as about how one reviewer has chosen to write about it, since his choices are ones that I detest in reviews, despite (or perhaps because of) how common those choices are.I am, in other words, simply here to register a complaint.There is a good argument to be made that we should not expend any time or attention on bad writing. Life is short, and there's plenty of great writing out there to read. But I am ignoring that argument for the moment, despite all it has to recommend it.
  • The Decay of the White Savior

    Matthew Cheney
    31 Jul 2014 | 7:42 pm
    SnowpiercerLet's talk about white saviors, emotions, and endings. Daniel José Older has an interesting take on Snowpiercer, particularly its ending, likening it to Children of Men:Children of MenBut both Children of Men and Snowpiercer come crashing down to almost identical final moments. When the smoke clears and the countless bodies are carted off, what we’re left with is the same take-away: Bearded white dude saves humanity, in both cases represented by a woman and a child of color, both helpless and in need of saving, at the cost of his own life. Basically, Older says, Snowpiercer and…
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    John Crowley Little and Big

  • Danger: Information

    John Crowley
    30 Aug 2014 | 8:04 am
    This appears at the bottom of a page taken from the Household Cyclopedia of General Information, 1881.  The entry also notes that "some of the methods may be outdated."   The entry describes how to plant and care for a thorn hedge -- a barrier made of thorn bushes, hawthorne or similar.DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ - By printing, downloading, or using you agree to our full terms. Review the full terms by clicking here. Below is a summary of some of the terms. If you do not agree to the full terms, do not use the information. Since some of this information is from historical…
  • No Limit to Paranoia

    John Crowley
    22 Jul 2014 | 4:57 am
    From the NY Times, anent Russian opinions about what happened to the the Malaysian airliner:"One such theory holds that whoever shot down the plane was actually gunning for Mr. Putin, whose plane was over Eastern Europe at the time, returning from Latin America, for example.Another argues that the bodies were actually from the Malaysia Airlines jet that disappeared four months ago — dumped only now to make the separatists look bad.'In Russia, no one thinks that Russia is guilty,' said Olga Kryshtanovskaya, a sociologist who specializes in studying Russia’s political…
  • Thanks

    John Crowley
    28 Jun 2014 | 6:42 am
    Thanks to all for the suggestions and in advance for further/future ones.  Several years' worth of reading there (for me; others swallow books far faster than I do).
  • ANother info request for my good readers

    John Crowley
    24 Jun 2014 | 1:55 pm
    A student at Yale of African descent asks for new or recent SF/F books or authors dealing with diversity, gender politics, race, migration (not necessarily to US) and related issues.  She's read Octafvia Butler and that generation of SF writiers --but what's on now?
  • The future is the new past

    John Crowley
    30 May 2014 | 11:47 am
    "As he unlocked his office door, his superior, Police Inspector Harry Bryant, jug-eared and redheaded, sloppily dressed but wise-eyed and conscious of nearly everything of any importance, hailed him. 'Meet me at nine-thirty in Dave Holden’s office.' Inspector Bryant, as he spoke, flicked briefly through a clipboard of onionskin typed sheets."It's 2019, in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?  I read this and tried to think how I would describe the meaning, derivation, and use of "onionskin typed sheets."   For SF of a certain age, it's the…
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  • BID Mailbag: DVD coding

    Peter David
    1 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published May 18, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1435 I’m heading out of town shortly and am pressed for time this week, so a couple of quick observations… In honor of his recent drug-related bust, I invite you all to play the Aaron Sorkin drinking game. Sorkin’s writing, in both The West Wing and Sportsnight (the latter in reruns at 10 PM Thursdays on Comedy Central… and it’s amazing what a good show it is when you can actually find it) has certain visual tics to it. Sure, sure, we’re used to the Ben Hecht-era rat-a-tat-tat school of dialogue, but I’m referring to…
  • Dave Sim on a “Tangent”

    Peter David
    29 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published May 11, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1434 According to Bob Zmuda, long-time confidant and co-conspirator of Andy Kaufman (a performance artist before anyone knew what a performance artist was), Kaufman told him how he had always aspired to be a wrestling villain. He wanted to be one of those guys who swayed arrogantly around the ring while everyone booed. Zmuda pointed out the obvious drawback to this aspiration: Kaufman, from a physical point of view, would make as credible a wrestling cad as Don Knotts. Even those who nursed the belief that wrestling wasn’t…
  • The “Rules” of Superheroes

    Peter David
    25 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published May 4, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1433 There are certain rules that govern readers of superhero comics and the comics themselves. Certain things that are simply “understood” as not being something one discusses in polite company. A sort of “Extraordinary Gentlemen’s Agreement,” if you will. However, I do not now, nor have I ever claimed, to be a gentleman, so I figured I’d mention the top ten topics which we generally gloss over when reading comics: 1) The Invisible Woman is blind. Here is a character who, according to the Marvel Universe Handbook, bends…
  • The CBLDF: Perception vs. reality

    Peter David
    22 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published April 27, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1432 So we’re talking about the CBLDF this week. Now of course, it’s not as if I’ve never discussed it before. Indeed, the last time I did, it prompted J. Lyle of North Carolina to wonder in “Oh, So,” in part: I’m very glad that someone brought up this particular point about CBLDF. It certainly seems to me that CBLDF mostly defends the right of retailers to carry pornographic comics. I know that is not always the case, but it is a strong impression that CBLDF gives to the public. That’s too bad. I feel that…
  • Online Shoplifting, continued

    Peter David
    18 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published April 20, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1431 Well, this has been interesting. Since my earlier column talking about net thievery and Harlan Ellison’s fight against same, I’m pleased to say that the majority of feedback I’ve received on it has been quite positive. At the very least, folks seem to be understanding why the current electronic assault on copyright is A Bad Thing. Some of the emails, however, have gone in some interesting directions. The first is from S. Drescher in Austin, Texas: In your column in CBG #1428, you ended with the statement that…
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    A.M. Dellamonica

  • Kirkus Review Blog and other commenters on CHS

    31 Aug 2014 | 9:01 am
    Most of you probably saw me twittering about this elsewhere, but the Kirkus Reviews Blog (in the person of Book Smuggler Thea James) says some  very nice and gratifying things about my execution of portal fantasy in Child of a Hidden Sea. Fewer of you may know that I keep a separate Facebook author page, for people who want to know about book and story releases, and who are perhaps less interested (if this is actually possible) in seeing pictures of my kittens, wife, regular coffee stops and new hometown.  If you don’t know this, it’s because I have never ONCE spamgested that…
  • Watts it all about? Echopraxia and a look back at Starfish

    30 Aug 2014 | 1:03 pm
    I&;ve been reading and revisiting the fiction of Peter Watts this month. I knew I&;d be doing a review of Echopraxia, see, so I decided to take a look back at Starfish via the &;That Was Awesome&; series. Peter and I are friends now, and we&;ve even been published in the same Polish magazine. But I didn&;t know him back in 2000 or so, when his first book came out and I reviewed it for Locus. The…
  • Apocalypse, Canada Style

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    My story “Snow Angels” is now out in Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and featuring stories by (among others) Claude Lalumiere, A.C. Wise, and Michael Matheson. The full Table of Contents is here; I looked for reviews, but haven’t found any yet. “Snow Angels” may be the first story I wrote after I moved East. I had imagined the apocalypse as seen from British Columbia many times, perhaps most notably in stories like “Wild Things,” and as I accommodated to being here in Toronto I made a real effort to…
  • Why Moving is Cool… (Toronto, day 466)

    26 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Last week I developed a sudden burning need to rewatch the first five minutes of “Mountie on the Bounty,” a Due South episode from about midway through the Ray Kowalski years. In Due South fandom, you are generally either RayK or a Ray Vecchio fan; I’m the latter, and didn’t acquire the DVDs after The One True Ray had left the building. Youtube, however, has the opening of MotB, which sets Fraser and RayK atop a very tall building, in a gunfight which they’re losing, and midway through the process of maybe getting killed, Fraser comes up with the bright idea of…
  • A-readin’, A-repairin’, A-Kithmetic

    21 Aug 2014 | 11:37 am
    Last night I read at the regular ChiSeries event, along with Sarah Tolmie, Charlene Challenger, and Errick Nunnally. (I noticed, but forgot to say, that all of us but Errick read pieces that eventually took their characters to big empty rooms with mattresses on the floor, which seems an odd coincidence.) I wasn&;t sure how many people would make it, what with Worldcon just having ended, but a fair number of the usual marvelous suspects were there. Hugs were exchanged, socializing happened, the food and music were good and as usual Kari Maaren and Peter…
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    Cory Doctorow's

  • Podcast: Petard from Tech Review’s Twelve Tomorrows

    Cory Doctorow
    1 Sep 2014 | 9:55 am
    Here's a reading (MP3) of the first part of my story "Petard: A Tale of Just Desserts" from the new MIT Tech Review anthology Twelve Tomorrows, edited by Bruce Sterling. The anthology also features fiction by William Gibson, Lauren Beukes, Chris Brown, Pat Cadigan, Warren Ellis, Joel Garreau, and Paul Graham Raven. The 2013 summer anthology was a huge hit -- Gardner Dozois called it "one of the year’s best SF anthologies to date, perhaps the best." MP3
  • Adversarial Compatibility: hidden escape hatch rescues us from imprisonment through our stuff

    Cory Doctorow
    27 Aug 2014 | 5:33 am
    My latest Guardian column, Adapting gadgets to our needs is the secret pivot on which technology turns, explains the hidden economics of stuff, and how different rules can trap you in your own past, or give you a better future. Depending on your view, the stuff you own is either a boon to business or a tremendous loss of opportunity. For example, your collection spice bottles in your pantry means that I could possibly sell you a spice rack. On the other hand, it also means that I can’t design a special spice rack that only admits spice bottles of my own patent-protected design, which would…
  • Tech Review’s annual science fiction issue, edited by Bruce Sterling, featuring William Gibson

    Cory Doctorow
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:37 am
    The summer annual features stories "inspired by the real-life breakthroughs covered in the pages of MIT Technology Review," including "Petard," my story about hacktivism; and "Death Cookie/Easy Ice," an excerpt from William Gibson's forthcoming (and stone brilliant) futuristic novel The Peripheral. Other authors in the collection include Lauren Beukes, Chris Brown, Pat Cadigan, Warren Ellis, Joel Garreau, and Paul Graham Raven. The 2013 summer anthology was a huge hit -- Gardner Dozois called it "one of the year’s best SF anthologies to date, perhaps the best." The 2014 edition is out this…
  • Neal Stephenson and Cory speaking at Seattle’s Town Hall, Oct 26

    Cory Doctorow
    19 Aug 2014 | 7:09 am
    We're getting together to talk about Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future , a project that Stephenson kicked off -- I've got a story in it called "The Man Who Sold the Moon." The project's mission is to promote "Asimovian robots, Heinleinian rocket ships, Gibsonian cyberspace… plausible, thought-out pictures of alternate realities in which... compelling innovation has taken place." Tickets are $5. Neal Stephenson and Cory Doctorow: Reigniting Society’s Ambition with Science Fiction
  • My London Worldcon schedule

    Cory Doctorow
    11 Aug 2014 | 3:43 am
    I'll be joining thousands of fans and hundreds of presenters at Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention, later this week. I hope to see you there! Weds, Aug 13 * 18h: Group signing at Forbidden Planet, Shaftesbury Ave, with Chris Achilleos, Madeline Ashby, Gregory Benford, Adam Christopher, Wesley Chu, Phil & Kaja Foglio, Anne Lyle, Ramez Naam, Kim Newman, V. E. Schwab, Charles Stross, Mike Shevdon and Danie Ware Thurs, Aug 14 * 15.00-16.30 - Panel: Digital Vigilantes, Capital Suite 2 (ExCeL); with: Kin-Ming Looi, Lilian Edwards, David Dingwall, Neil McKellar Fri, Aug 15 *…
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    Notes from New Sodom

  • Peaceful Protest

    Hal Duncan
    16 Aug 2014 | 12:55 pm
  • What Tolkien REALLY Said

    Hal Duncan
    6 Aug 2014 | 5:22 pm
    "I have claimed that Escape is one of the main functions of fairy-stories, and since I do not disapprove of them, it is plain that I do not accept the tone of scorn or pity with which “Escape” is now so often used: a tone for which the uses of the word outside literary criticism give no warrant at all. In what the misusers are fond of calling Real Life, Escape is evidently as a rule very
  • Who Do You Write For?

    Hal Duncan
    26 Jul 2014 | 9:10 am
    One of the questions you get as a writer is "Who do you write for? Do you write for yourself, or do you have an ideal reader in mind, or whatever?" I always felt that was one of those questions that starts with a wrong premise, where you can't answer because its startpoint involves an assumption that just doesn't make sense for you. Like, do I write for myself? Not really. My noggin is just the
  • SCRUFFIANS! Review

    Hal Duncan
    13 May 2014 | 9:47 am
    I fell in love with Hal Duncan's collection, Scruffians! as soon as I read the first story. How can that be? Well, as Gob would say, that one story is the hook. It got me to read the whole book in one sitting.Hal Duncan's work can be dense, non-linear, and highly imaginative along with extraordinary writing skills that always impress. With the addition of his homoerotic fantasy-based Scruffian
  • "The Unfortunate Rake"

    Hal Duncan
    22 Apr 2014 | 9:38 am
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    But Enough About Me!

  • Summer Hiatus

    Kate Elliott
    9 Aug 2014 | 7:06 pm
    Due to circumstances this blog has mostly been on hiatus for the last year, and I want to make official that it will remain on hiatus until October, at which time I hope to start blogging regularly again in anticipation of my rather busy release schedule in 2015. For now: I will be attending Loncon 3 (London Worldcon) from 14 – 18 August. I’ve posted my programming schedule HERE. This is going to be a huge convention with tons of things going on. I will be giving out postcards of my forthcoming Tachyon collection, with its fabulous Julie Dillon cover. (If you come to my reading on…
  • Update on Melanie Rawn’s EXILES 3, The Captal’s Tower

    Kate Elliott
    22 Jul 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Melanie has asked me to post the following, received from her via email.   Yes, I will write Captal’s Tower. I’m very sorry it’s taken so long. My sincere thanks to all of you who have been so patient. I’m currently writing the fifth book in the “Glass Thorns” series, and after that my plan is to get to work on Captal’s Tower. If anything about that plan changes, I’ll post on my website ( Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.
  • Loncon3 / Worldcon Schedule

    Kate Elliott
    21 Jul 2014 | 2:04 am
    Loncon 3 (London Worldcon) takes place 14 – 18 August 2014. My Philosophy of Con-going:  I attend conventions specifically to meet readers (and to see friends), so don’t be shy: Introduce yourself. I am scheduled for a Signing on Friday (see below), but for signing books/etc also please feel free to come to my Reading, sign up for my Kaffeeklatsch, or track me down after a panel (except when I have back to back events I will try to leave time open post-panel) because I can talk or sign then too I will also be at Fantasycon 2014, 5-7 September, in York, England, a small, informal…
  • Guest Post: D. B. Jackson on Top Ten Things I Do To Help Me Write

    Kate Elliott
    3 Jul 2014 | 12:10 pm
    I would like to welcome the fabulous D.B. Jackson (in 2012 he wrote a fine guest post on “the history that isn’t taught”). Today he tackles a rather different topic about tricks of the writing trade. Top Ten Things I Do To Help Me Write by D. B. Jackson Let me start by saying that I love my job. I get to make up stories for a living. That’s an actual job; I get paid for doing that. It still blows my mind whenever I think of it. I would never dream of complaining about my job in any way. Except to say that sometimes being a writer kind of sucks. Not a lot, mind you. I mean,…
  • THE STREET by Ann Petry (Bestselling Women’s Fiction Book Club) June 2014

    Kate Elliott
    30 Jun 2014 | 8:29 pm
    Please join Justine Larbalestier and myself today, and any day, in discussing women’s bestselling fiction from the 20th century, our ongoing 2014 project.From the Houghton Mifflin 1991 edition:THE STREET tells the poignant, often heartbreaking story of Lutie Johnson, a young black woman, and her spirited struggle to raise her son amid the violence, poverty, and racial dissonance of Harlem in the late 1940s. Originally published in 1946 and hailed by critics as a masterwork, The Street was Ann Petry’s first novel, a beloved bestseller with more than a million copies in print. Its…
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    The Incomplete Blog

  • [Reading] In which I feel a bit sensitive about passive narration

    Josh English
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:09 pm
    (crossposted from, I want to be clear that I'm not in one of those hypersensitive "am I the only person who recognizes passive voice these days" moods, because what's bugging me isn't strictly speaking, passive voice. In fact, I think proper passive voice would help cure my ill.I am workshopping a novel and for some reason phrases like "pain coursed through my body" are standing out and begging for the red-pen treatment. Similarly, "the blood spill on the floor made me slip" bugs me. Maybe I'm being peevish from…
  • [Story-A-Day] In Which I Point to a New Home

    Josh English
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:04 pm
    Story A Day has moved. It has also revived itself with a quick piece on Care and Feeding by Tim Pratt, what was published at Daily Science Fiction last Friday.You can find my article here (but of course go read the story first).
  • In which I remember the whole blog/journal thing

    Josh English
    22 Aug 2014 | 11:20 pm
    I am very bad at quotidian. I think that's a given. I have also spent a lot of time trying to revive some projects elsewhere. For some reason, LiveJournal doesn't seem to be a home for me any more. I do most of my reading not through my friends feed, but through RSS feeds. It's not like I've been a king of journaling anyway. I hope to do better. Or at least more.I did spend some time writing up a new BWTR entry, and it will go out on Monday over there on WordPress.To quote Granny Weatherwax, I aten't dead.
  • [Ashland, Writing] In which I have an Idea

    Josh English
    16 Jun 2014 | 10:21 pm
    This is an idea that I had coming back from Ashland, thinking about the Tempest and also thinking about Jeremiah Tolbert's story Wet Fur, which I alpha-read and recently read in the latest issue of Asimov's. In Wet Fur, I imagined (and have not talked to Jeremiah about) the idea of a cloud of canine souls came first, and probably started with this idea of saving human beings by uploading them, and nobody would want to go to digital heavan without a dog, so what if someone tried to upload dogs, and somehow the idea of clouds of nanobots that seemed to target dying dogs appeared, and…
  • In Which I Object to Accusations of Orwellianism

    Josh English
    13 May 2014 | 9:06 pm
    First Disclaimer: No one is accusing me (that I know of) of being an Orwellian Thought Police.Second Disclaimer: I tend to agree with the stuff that is being called Orwellian.The current brouhaha in science fiction fantasy fandom over the Hugos has led me, unfortunately, to this entry by John C Wright. Apparently, the free market is Orwellian. Who knew? Well, actually, I did. The Free Market tells us that what is important is not how much money you shell out for something, but how much you saved by shelling out that much money over what it would cost some other schmuck. The Free Market…
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    The official home page of author Eric Flint

  • Paradigms Lost — Chapter 30

    Drak Bibliophile
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Paradigms Lost — Chapter 30 Chapter 30: Endings and Beginnings Winthrope waved me past the yellow barricade. I pulled up a hundred fifty feet farther on. I got out, went around and helped Sylvie out into the wheelchair. She still looked pale and weak, but it was good to see her moving at all. She smiled at me, then looked up and gave a little gasp. “Verne did that?” I felt as awed as she looked. The hundred-foot-long, three-story warehouse was nothing more than a pile of charred boards and twisted steel, still smoking after several days. The last rays of the setting sun…
  • 1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 21

    Drak Bibliophile
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 21 Chapter 9: Rollin’ on the River September, 1634 Regensburg “Emperor Ferdinand II has died and Vienna mourns, but it is time for us to move,” Istvan Janoszi said. “It’s weird,” Hayley whispered to her father as Janoszi turned away. “He was . . . I don’t know . . . the bad guy. Ferdinand II signed the Edict of Restitution that has been the justification for so much war and out and out banditry that it had, halfway trashed central Germany before the Ring of Fire.” “I know what you mean, Hayley,…
  • The Savior – Snippet 34

    Drak Bibliophile
    31 Aug 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The Savior – Snippet 34 4 Rousing the Third before dawn and having them on their way was the hardest part of the morning, but finding the Third was in itself a very difficult task. The battle had devolved into separate pockets of fighting throughout the course of the previous day, with some tiny landmarks — a mound of dirt here, a low embankment there, even a clump of thick swamp grass — becoming focal points, landmarks the men would long remember as places of glory, shame, and terror. Names that would call up memories for the rest of their lives, for those who had more life…
  • Polychrome – Chapter 11

    Drak Bibliophile
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Polychrome – Chapter 11 Chapter 11. Three blows hammered against my sword, trying to deflect it from its path, and just about succeeding; instead of smashing directly into the Storm Legionnaire currently trying to take my head off, the massive blade glanced off his scaled mail. Even so, the impact was enough to send him spinning away like a pinball. Two more figures were streaking in from both sides, and this guy had delayed me just a split-second too long. I knew that dodging was out of the question, even with the practice I’d gotten in the past couple of weeks, so I whipped my…
  • The Savior – Snippet 33

    Drak Bibliophile
    28 Aug 2014 | 10:00 pm
    The Savior – Snippet 33 3 The Third Brigade plunged into the melee with the Progar militia on the northern Road, and for a long while Abel was busy processing all the incoming reports from commanders for von Hoff, and sending off von Hoff’s orders and queries in the most efficient manner he could, whether that was by mounted courier, mirror signal, or flag wigwag. Now that the field was smoky, the quicker methods became less effective, and after a while mounted or running courier was the only thing that would do. The Guardians were hacking away at the Progar militia as if they…
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    Mad Libs

  • Contest and Trace of Magic!

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Bitten By Books is hosting me this Wednesday for a question and answer session and a contest. You can go now to start grabbing extra entries. You could win Amazon bucks!  Tell a friend! Originally published at You can comment here or there.
  • On laboring on labor day

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    1 Sep 2014 | 12:38 pm
    The family seems to be developing a cold. I have not been immune. Stuffy head, scratchy throat, and worst of all, stuffy ears. Blech. I slept poorly last night. Here’s the issue. We have an air-bed. Each side had two air sections–one for lumbar, the other supporting legs and torso. Mine has been going flat for awhile now. Sometimes slowly, sometimes quickly. In an effort to figure out where the issue is, we’ve done a couple of different tests. The first one, we switched the air hoses on the mattresses to that mine were on the man’s, and his were on mine. Over the…
  • Book Birthday!!

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    29 Aug 2014 | 9:37 pm
    Trace of Magic made it’s way into the wild today. I totally couldn’t scrape together a coherent thought. Could not write. I’m doing that thing where I stand in the middle of the room and go one way, then another, then another, and then start flapping my arms in curious spasticity as I spin in circles making sounds that aren’t quite human. Instead of writing, I went to a “downsizing” sale. So a glorified garage sale. They had rocks. I like rocks. They had the prettiest cathedral amethyst geode I’d ever seen. Deep, deep purple. It was about 4.5 feet…
  • Instead of ranting

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:39 pm
    I have things to rant on. Longmire is canceled, which pisses me off to no end. I hope someone else picks it up. The writing is too good, the acting too good, the show too damned good, to just let vanish. Also, I am irritated by something I happen to listen to today involving a Christian mother and grandmother condemning the son/grandson for being gay. It was an entirely recorded conversation of the event and let me just say– No. I won’t. So I’ll say this. Being gay isn’t a choice. I have more rantiness on the subject, but I don’t want my head to pop off. Also, on…
  • On the more disgusting side, and also happy news

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    26 Aug 2014 | 10:36 pm
    I don’t brush my dogs’ teeth. Instead, I clean them by letting them chew on beef bones. This has never failed before. *Cue last Saturday* We were heading out to the state fair, so I decided it was a good time to give the doggies a bone. They could chew all day, and they’d have clean teeth when we got home. It was a good plan. Then . . . I woke up in the middle of the night and had to go to the bathroom. It was a miracle I didn’t step into poop. I came back to bed and for whatever reason, I turned on the light. And there, a gift lay on the floor. I cleaned it up. What…
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    SF writer Gary Gibson

  • Win a copy of Extinction Game

    Gary Gibson
    23 Aug 2014 | 10:33 pm
    So somehow I missed this: SFX are currently running a competition to win one of five copies of Extinction Game, and you can find details of how to enter here.In other news, I just more-or-less finished the draft of the book that will follow Extinction Game some time next year. I think I feel comfortable in appending the term 'rip-snorting adventure' to this one. I say 'more or less' because there's a few tiny tweaks - literally just a sentence or two that need to be added here and there - but outside of that, it's done, and I might actually manage to write a couple of blog entries some time…
  • Marvel Redux

    Gary Gibson
    29 Jul 2014 | 10:28 pm
    I jumped on a recent deal offered by Marvel Comics, to get a month's access to their online database of tens of thousands of comics published over a number of decades for only 99 cents. Like a lot of you, I suspect, comics formed a central part of my early teen and pre-teen years. Apart from a brief period in the early to mid-90s, however, when I drilled my way through a bunch of titles published under DC's Vertigo imprint, I've rarely returned to the form.I can recall very vividly the moment I stopped reading comics. I was 12 years old. I had a large cardboard box crammed with hundreds of…
  • Marauder out in paperback

    Gary Gibson
    4 Jul 2014 | 10:41 pm
    Naturally, having updated people via Twitter and Facebook that something just came out from me, I neglected to also post it here, on my blog. So: the paperback of Marauder, the fourth Shoal book and a standalone set in that universe, is now out. It's a UK publication, but my books have been found not infrequently, state-side, in Barnes and Noble, and there are many small independent bookshops and specialist science fiction and fantasy stores scattered far and wide that undoubtedly have a very good chance of stocking it. In the UK, where it is primarily published, it is my fervent hope that…
  • Some thoughts on rewriting

    Gary Gibson
    25 Jun 2014 | 10:11 pm
    Sometimes, just for the hell of it, especially when I'm working on a second draft in Scrivener, I first save my file then hit the ctrl-z buttons (which delete prior edits one-by-one) and hold them down until what I've written over the past five, ten, thirty minutes disappears. I'm then left either with a blank page, or unedited text. This isn't done out of despair, or concern, but curiosity, because I know that all I need to do, to get back the work I just completed, is to hold down ctrl-cmd-z and all the text or edits repeat themselves before me magically, like a player piano writing its own…
  • Snakes alive

    Gary Gibson
    18 May 2014 | 10:13 pm
    A fun day getting sunburned yesterday in the foothills beyond Taipei, somewhere east of Danshui, which is north of Taipei, while cycling with Troy Parfitt, fellow author, recently returned to these climes. A series of 45 degree slopes and constant reassurances that 'this is definitely the last hill, I swear', did nothing to detract from my suspicion that this was some carefully orchestrated murder plot.Then I nearly decapitated a snake. Damn think looked like a big green leaf rolled up on the road. The road was surrounded on all sides by, essentially, jungle. Troy shouted a warning from…
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    Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

  • Off to DragonCon....

    Laura Anne Gilman
    28 Aug 2014 | 5:02 am
    But first, I am dropping CatofSize off at the vet's, for boarding, because nobody was able to give him his 2x/day insulin shots was I was gone. I feel like the Worst CatMommy Ever.(he's not spent a night not-at-home since we moved in together).The Kitten, not needing 2x/daily care, will be staying home with varied caretakers. Hopefully his social nature will survive not having his big brother around 24/7.(yeah, Worst CatMommy Ever).But despite all that, I will ATTEMPT to have fun at DragonCon. Panels! Drinking with fellow writers! Readings! Meeting New Peoples! Signings! Trying not to…
  • The semi-occasional self-shilling....

    Laura Anne Gilman
    26 Aug 2014 | 8:10 am
    okay, since I have the unexpected cost of the boarding fee to pay for, time to do the semi-occasional self-shilling thing....Like urban fantasy?  Check out the Cosa Nostradamus books, starting with STAYING DEAD for capers, or HARD MAGIC for forensic magic, or MILES TO GO for half-fatae PIs!Like epic fantasy?  Multi-national adventures? Or the idea of wine-based magics?  Check out the Nebula Award-nominated VINEART WAR trilogy!More in the mood for something mysterious?  Check out L.A. Kornetsky....Check 'em out Via this Link....And if you've already read these and…
  • DragonCon 2014 Schedule Repost, with Additions! And Locations!

    Laura Anne Gilman
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:15 am
    Please to note:a) I have a reading. If you want to know what's coming up in 2015, you will be at that reading. Bringing me chocolate will be optional, but appreciated.b) once again, I'm going to be on a panel with Laurell Hamilton and Jim Butcher. Come to this panel. Scream devotedly when I introduce myself. I will throw YOU chocolate.(now with locations!  Or what they're telling ME the location wlil be...)Friday:-------------------11:30am-12:30pm:  Strategies for the Castrophies of PublishingDescription: Stuff happens, right? Come and learn what options exist if your…
  • I have two speeds: done early, or running late...

    Laura Anne Gilman
    19 Aug 2014 | 4:59 pm
    I have checked in for my flight tomorrow to Dublin and Shamrokon. I have settled on what I'm taking, made sure I had all the carry-on things I need (passport, cables, chargers, euros in wallet, medications), packed it all into as small a bag as I can manage, and printed out the cat-sitter information.There may be on-location updates, there probably won't be.  Twitter, as usual, will be the way to go if you're looking to catch sight of my virtual shadow.Dubliners and early-arriving convention-goers, I'll hit town mid-morning on Thursday. If you're around and want to do…
  • things I've learned

    Laura Anne Gilman
    19 Aug 2014 | 11:03 am
    Ported over from Tumblr.chirart:People are always desperate to give what they wish others would give them.The worst suffering anyone can experience is suffering alone.Hoard as many good memories and experiences as you can. Be wealthy in laughter and smiles. It’s currency for when shit happens.Emotions aren’t problems. They can’t be fixed, they simply exist. It’s like trying to cut water with a knife.Emotions are symptoms of your experiences, in the same way swearing hysterically is when you stub your toe.Emotions are like water. It can be carried. It can be drunk to…
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  • Are the Books of Bayern appropriate for elementary-aged kids?

    Shannon Hale
    25 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Dear librarians, teachers, parents, and readers, I received this email from a school librarian. If you've had any experience with The Goose Girl, Enna Burning, River Secrets, and/or Forest Born with elementary kids, could you leave a comment for him? "The powers that be in my school district are not allowing your Books of Bayern series of books in our elementary school libraries, based largely on the fact the reviews in professional journals tend to view them as appropriate for grades 6 and up. I feel, however, that we are doing a disservice to those elementary school kids that are…
  • Glorious, unproductive summer

    Shannon Hale
    18 Aug 2014 | 9:26 am
    I promised to post every Monday this year and I'd been doing so well, but I kinda burned myself out in July doing the weekday posts. Summer is so wonderful! I love having the kids home! But at the same time, I have the kids home. Their presence makes it harder to get my work done. Summer is glorious and yet killer on word count. This past week my spare attention has been absorbed in what's going on in Ferguson. Last Thursday I felt a disconnect between what the media was reporting and what the people on the grown were reporting through twitter, so I storified Antonio French's…
  • Squeetus summer book club: Enna Burning, chapter 21

    Shannon Hale
    1 Aug 2014 | 11:19 am
    Last chapter! I read through it speedily and didn't stop to write notes. It's often true for me that last chapters come quickly. If I get the rest of the story right, the last chapter usually feels natural and doesn't need as much revision as some. Looking back at my first draft, I'd gamble that the last chapter is the least changed of all of them. Then I go back and spend a year or two revising what came before, trying to lead up to and earn that final chapter. I started this book years before getting pregnant for the first time and turned in the final draft exactly one…
  • Squeetus summer book club: Enna Burning, chapter 20

    Shannon Hale
    31 Jul 2014 | 11:57 am
    Original ending: Enna gives up her powers entirely. That was what I was writing toward in the first draft, but I eventually discovered it wasn't the best story. I also considered ending it in her death. Found this note I apparently never incorporated in the story: "Mimicbeetles introduced, mimic sounds of men or Finn coming." The ceremony: I was always curious about these verses from Isaiah in the Old Testament (which is generally poetic and full of strange and interesting images): 6 Then flew one of the seraphims unto me, having a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with…
  • Squeetus summer book club: Enna Burning, chapter 19

    Shannon Hale
    30 Jul 2014 | 11:02 am
    "silly songs about swimming rabbits and no-tailed squirrels": it occurs to me I should have had my husband write this song! He wrote the "bodiless piglet" song Tegus sings in Book of a Thousand Days. He also expanded the rap I wrote for Humphry in The Storybook of Legends and then wrote new raps for him in The Unfairest of Them All and A Wonderlandiful World. He's my go-to song writer! I should have made him write all those songs in the Princess Academy books. (I think he wrote part of one or two in the upcoming third book, actually.) The journey south: I mentioned my…
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    the m john harrison blog

  • bad behaviour

    2 Sep 2014 | 3:07 am
    I don’t know what to make of Richard Powers’ Orfeo. One minute I’m luxuriating in its complex weave of themes & thinking it’s the best Booker contender I’ve read so far. The next I’m writing: “In the late 50s/early 60s, JG Ballard would have taken the three or four central images & concepts of this book, compressed them into somewhat less than ten thousand words & made out of them the something astonishing that’s long-windedly hinted at here. I know it’s unforgiveable to say this, but Powers’ Orfeo lumbers by comparison…
  • norbiton restorational

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:04 am
    This essay is hypnotic and astonishing and just a real delight– Are you really well now? Or are you fatally winged and hurtling earthward, mistaking frictionless movement, freedom from pain, for freedom to move? it is impossible to tell, given that the future, on the shapeless brink of which we always hover, is dimensionless, unrelational. –Restorational, Anatomy of Norbiton.
  • signal to noise 2

    1 Sep 2014 | 12:38 am
    The ordinary grifter works with what the mark wants. The clever grifter works with what the mark needs. The really outstanding grifter works with the mark’s confusion between the two. The easy mark thinks he can hide what he wants; the difficult mark can often hide what he needs: the really elusive mark unconsciously deploys his own confusion between the two as a kind of emotional fog. Is this in itself a kind of manipulation? In such high quality engagements there must come a point when neither party knows who manipulated who.
  • signal to noise

    31 Aug 2014 | 3:41 am
    People who think others are easily manipulated are rarely as good at it as they believe themselves to be, & often receive lots of help from the manipulee. That’s probably the basic weakness of the “emotional intelligence” concept. It’s less misplaced confidence, even, than a kind of premature triumphalism, to think that you can always manage others. The basic failure of that assumption is to imagine that you set the context of any given manipulation; the underlying horror of your situation is that contexts are seen to recede, terrace upon terrace, the moment you…
  • oh, and a warning to the curious

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:53 am
    To those who missed a copy of the NightJar Press “Getting Out of There”, a warning from the Collective: Some of you probably bought a copy of The Longest Night, our ghost story anthology from last year which acted as an homage to MR James, and some of you probably missed out due to the book selling out of its limited print run. The good news for everyone is that Poor Souls’ Light will be much the same: a beautiful, tactile, fully illustrated book accompanied by a series of suitably atmospheric live reading events, including a very special launch at a very special venue where…
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    Simon Haynes

  • Hal Spacejock 7 released

    Simon Haynes
    10 Aug 2014 | 7:48 am
    Talk about being so busy you neglect the important things ... such as forgetting to tell everyone that Hal Spacejock 7: Big Bang is available in print and ebook on Amazon, Kobo, B&N, Smashwords, etc.The first two books in the Hal Spacejock series are also available in german translation (Bastei Lubbe, print & paperback, Amazon and other retailers) - The first one is called Ein Robeter Namens Klunk, and the second is Helden Heulen Nicht.The first Hal Junior book is also available in italian - Amazon and Kobo, ebook only at the moment but the paperback is on the way as well.
  • Hal Spacejock 7: Big Bang progress report

    Simon Haynes
    25 Jun 2013 | 6:51 am
    I'm writing and releasing Hal Spacejock 7 in ten installments of roughly 7000 words (4 chapters) each.Parts 1-5 (the first half of the book) are already available on Amazon and Kobo.When part ten is published I'll release the entire thing as a single novel, as per Hal Spacejock books 1-6.There are several reasons why I'm writing and releasing Hal 7 in parts, but these are the major ones:1. Something new for the fans every week or so, not every year or so.2. It's really keeping me on my toes, and I'm enjoying the challenge.3. I find it much easier to focus on writing, editing and releasing…
  • New Release: Hal Spacejock 6 Safe Art

    Simon Haynes
    2 Jun 2013 | 5:15 am
    It's been a while, but I've been spending my time writing novels instead of blog posts. Since the last update I've released Hal Junior 3: The Gyris Mission, and now Hal Spacejock 6: Safe Art.Full details on the Hal Spacejock website:
  • LoNoWriMo

    Simon Haynes
    29 Jul 2012 | 8:43 pm
    LoNoWriMo is local novel writing month, and this is my second in a row. LoNoWriMo is where you sit down at your computer and write a novel in a month, without the fanfare and public suffering of NanoWrimo.To sign up for LoNoWriMo, just open your word processor and start typing.Last month I wrote a 30,000 word middle-grade novel which I'm currently editing into shape. This month I'm writing Hal Spacejock 6. My target is around 65,000 words over July and August, and last night I cracked 45,000. The draft is going well, and it shouldn't need much editing to get it into shape. (Famous last…
  • Dean Wesley Smith on Fear in publishing

    Simon Haynes
    26 Jul 2012 | 2:23 am
    Dean Wesley Smith just posted an article on Fear in publishing. Whether you're writing for a trade publisher, chasing a publishing deal or looking to self-publish your first novel or short story, it's worth reading.
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    People are strange, when you're a stranger . . .

  • Grimly gray

    2 Sep 2014 | 4:54 am
    "Dense fog advisory" deployed by the NWS this morning.  Air temperature 64 F, dew point 63, not not-raining, wind SSW at about 5 mph.  Bike ride in doubt, even though I see no green globs on the weather radar.Tsar Vladimir moves forward in his quest to rebuild the Russian Empire.
  • 1 Sep 2014 | 5:52 pm

    1 Sep 2014 | 5:52 pm
    Put down the internet and step away . . .
  • Further adventures of . . .

    1 Sep 2014 | 2:41 pm
  • Back to the sticky

    1 Sep 2014 | 4:51 am
    Air temperature 68 F for the newspaper walk, dew point 66, wind south at about 5 mph, cloudy.  The rain stopped overnight, but may return later. We seem to be dragging August into September with us.Happy Labor Day (US) to those who Labor.
  • Various problematical aspects

    31 Aug 2014 | 11:30 am
    Are "pen names" aliases?  Does writing a book about bad shit happening mean you are a bad person?  Oh, and he's black . . .
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    Jim C. Hines

  • Magical Words Guest Post: Despair

    Jim C. Hines
    1 Sep 2014 | 7:27 am
    My final (for now) guest post at Magical Words went up on Friday. This one was about the down times in the writing career. We don’t talk much about the despair, at least not publicly. I think there’s this belief that authors should project an air of confidence, because if we ever admit our neuroses we’ll drive away all of our fans and readers and then nobody will buy our books, and suddenly we’re back in the Black Cloud of Despair™, and oh God this blog post is going to be the one that destroys my career, isn’t it? Why oh why didn’t I write about rainbow-farting unicorns? Quick…
  • Cool Stuff Friday

    Jim C. Hines
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:30 am
    Go forth and carpe the Friday! LEGO frog dissection. For those with ethical qualms about dissecting the real thing? (Link from Steven Silver) Photos of animals who suddenly realized they’re at the vet’s. Dogs who forgot how to dog. Cats who forgot how to cat. Please note that cats or dogs pressing their heads against the wall can indicate a serious health problem: Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Magical Words Guest Post: Inventing Nicola Pallas

    Jim C. Hines
    27 Aug 2014 | 3:16 pm
    I’ve got a guest post up at Magical Words talking about the character of Nicola Pallas. Nicola has her own story in these books. She has to oversee a bunch of stubborn, overly bright magic-users, including my protagonist, librarian Isaac Vainio. She also has to deal with sparkling vampires attacking Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, werewolves in pickup trucks, and her least favorite thing ever: magical politics. I had absolutely no interest in trying to show how she does all of this “despite” being autistic. Screw that. Autism, like just about anything else, can certainly present…
  • The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

    Jim C. Hines
    26 Aug 2014 | 4:23 pm
    The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has gone rather viral. You’ve probably seen the videos on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, or the online social media site of your preference. I’ve also seen some people pointing out problems with the challenge, as well as people who are just flat-out sick of seeing everyone dumping icewater on their heads. (Though how anyone could get tired of that…?) As I understand it, the original challenge was that if you were called out, you were supposed to either donate to the ALS Association, or else you could dump a bucket of icewater on your head. Alternate…
  • Stranger, by Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith

    Jim C. Hines
    25 Aug 2014 | 11:03 am
    Three years ago, Rachel Manija Brown and Sherwood Smith went public with a post about a post-apocalypic YA novel they had written together. During the submission process, they received a response from an agent who offered to represent the book, “on the condition that we make the gay character straight, or else remove his viewpoint and all references to his sexual orientation.” They refused. Their post led to a great deal of discussion about the need for gay characters in YA literature. The agency in question also posted a rebuttal. So that’s the backstory. The book…
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    Nicholas Kaufmann's Journal

  • The Scariest Part: S.P. Miskowski Talks About IN THE LIGHT

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    2 Sep 2014 | 4:36 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, check out the guidelines here.) My guest is multiple Shirley Jackson Award-nominated author S.P. Miskowski, whose latest book is the novella In the Light. Here’s the publisher’s description: While fleeing from neighborhood bullies, a lonely girl uncovers a dark secret buried…
  • Torn

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    27 Aug 2014 | 11:06 am
    Torn by Lee Thomas My rating: 5 of 5 stars Just when you think you’ve seen everything that can be done with werewolves, along comes this tightly written, thrilling, and thematically surprising novella. In the guise of a siege novel, in which a small town jail is under attack from once-human monsters, Thomas explores what it means to have a secret life, to have to keep your urges hidden from everyone but yourself, and to face what’s inside that you don’t want others to see. This is a remarkably thoughtful and mature novella, one it would be a mistake to write off as just…
  • Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:53 pm
    Not to be outdone, Francis’ brother Oreo has also become a big fan of Dying Is My Business. I have a very big cat following. Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • Not All My Fans Are Human

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    26 Aug 2014 | 12:03 pm
    My brother and sister-in-law’s cat Francis is a big fan of Dying Is My Business. Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • Doctor Who: “Deep Breath”

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    25 Aug 2014 | 10:50 am
    “I’m not your boyfriend.” With that much-welcome line from Peter Capaldi’s Twelfth Doctor to Clara, we officially leave Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor era behind for good. Well, almost. I’ll get to that in a bit. **BE WARNED, SPOILERS FOLLOW!** Introducing Capaldi as the Doctor, “Deep Breath” is, for the most part, marvelous. The writing and especially the direction by Ben Wheatley (yes, that Ben Wheatley!) were leagues ahead of last season’s, and as if in response to the better material, the acting excels in a way we haven’t seen in a…
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    Dear Sweet Filthy World

  • "Shelter me from the powder and the finger."

    31 Aug 2014 | 3:09 pm
    After that last entry, I essentially gave up the idea of attempting to keep a running journal of this trip. Perhaps I'll regret it later, but, as I was saying, the observer effect comes into play.And so, here I am, since last Sunday. I've been here a week, and I'm fairly certain I've not done even half the things I intended to do. I've spend many hours going through old family photographs, dating back to the first decade of the twentieth century, because I wish to know and not forget. I wish to learn and preserve. And so much of that information, my history, has already been lost. It's all…
  • Hate

    27 Aug 2014 | 5:40 pm
    I would be remiss if I allowed myself to be so caught up in the bittersweet sting of nostalgia that I did not pause to discuss the issue of politics in Leeds, Alabama, which, of course mirror the general political climate in Alabama and across much of the country. Part of me wants to look the other way and not even bring up this problem. But I asked my mother, a moderately liberal woman, a Methodist who supports President Obama and believes in compassionate, responsible social programs and so forth, I asked her to please be honest with me about what it's like here in Leeds in 2014.And what I…
  • Painsday,12:50 p.m.

    27 Aug 2014 | 11:43 am
    I'm not doing a very good job of keeping the LJ current on this trip. Of course, it can be rightly argued that the object of this trip, and of life in general, is to experience, not to report. But I spend my life reporting, which, of course, changes the life being reported on. It works just like quantum physics. It's very hard to closely examine a thing with altering the thing you are closely examining.Not a great deal has happened, though. And I doubt it will today. I'm probably at a 6 on the pain scale. Maybe by tonight we can get ought and go for a drive. The night air is warm, as summer…
  • "How's hope feeling today?"

    25 Aug 2014 | 4:00 pm
    "Same birds that followed me to school when I was young..."Kathryn and I got out fairly early this afternoon, too early, really. The sun was gloriously white and bright and searing, but it was a bit much for Kathryn. Our forays will, from here on, be mainly morning and evening. But this is the light, the color, the sky that I know and that comforts me. The greens are the greens I have not seen – except for the short trip to New Orleans last summer – for the last six years (and two months). There's anxiety at being in places I've not been in a long, long time, the landscape of my…
  • Arrival

    24 Aug 2014 | 3:30 pm
    This will be short. I'm trying to compose on the iPad, and that never goes well. But we made it into Brmingham on time, just before noon. Now, we'll spend the evening recovering. Though, there as already been barbecue and fried okra, a very appropriate start. I've not managed more than five hours sleep a night for three or four nights now, and, on top of that, I am thoroughly train weary. I promise that my next entry shall actually have substance.Feeling Like a Hobo's Dirty Drawers,Aunt Beast
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    Mindy Klasky - Virtual Cocktails

  • Sad, Sad Truths

    Mindy Klasky
    27 Aug 2014 | 7:28 am
    The Hobbit might be the most important book in my life.  It’s the book that introduced me to adult (more or less) fantasy fiction.  It opened the door to The Lord of the Rings.  It made me start my first novel (a horrible fanfic-y tangle of a book, started with my best friend in eighth grade, and the less said about that, the better.) I recently re-read The Hobbit, and I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it held up.  I laughed at bits of humor (the dwarves’ staged approach to Beorn’s house, for example), and I enjoyed Bilbo’s clever solutions (shutting the…
  • Take Me Out to the … Theater

    Mindy Klasky
    25 Aug 2014 | 7:20 am
    Well, no one can accuse us of being one-track, here in Klaskyville!  Our weekend spliced together a bunch of our favorite things, including: On Friday, dinner at Rustico, a restaurant that is just a few blocks from the house.  We split appetizers (including the killer “Risotto Tots”, which are pretty much the perfect adult answer to Ore-Ida), I enjoyed the trout on a bed of farro, and then we split the S’more Cheesecake.  Splitting the dessert was probably a good idea, because I could have eaten about half a dozen of them.  I might never have walked again, but I would…
  • Cat Trap Blanket — Activate!

    Mindy Klasky
    19 Aug 2014 | 10:50 am
    The life of an author… serving her cat… Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.
  • Business As Usual (Baseball Edition)

    Mindy Klasky
    18 Aug 2014 | 6:52 am
    So, we went to see the Nats play last night.  And it was yet another boring, hum-drum baseball game.  (Insert boring, humdrum details about weird 5:00 start, wait to get Racing President Taft bobblehead, etc.) When we got to our seats, I became a subversive agent for good.  When one climbs the stairs in our section, rows A-D can *only* be reached by turning to the right.  Rows E-N can *only* be reached to the left.  There are no signs and no ushers, and we (in row G), spend a substantial part of each game redirecting people who climb up to row D and then look puzzled (while blocking our…
  • The Deeply Personal

    Mindy Klasky
    15 Aug 2014 | 6:32 am
    Yesterday was Errand Day here in Klaskyville. As I was walking back from the post office, I was held at a crosswalk, so that traffic could turn.  Given the caravan of 18-wheelers completing the turn and not yielding to oncoming traffic when they had the plain green light (no, I don’t know why they were there; they had *no* markings on any of the five trucks), the wait was a bit longer than expected, which gave me a chance to study the personalized license plates of the cars to my left and on the cross-street to my right. I mostly think that personalized plates are silly.  I…
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    Mary Robinette Kowal

  • Want to beta-read a short SF story?

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    30 Aug 2014 | 12:23 pm
      I’m looking for a couple of beta-readers for a short SF story that’s about 7400 words. If you have time, I’d love to get your reader responses. Just drop your willingness into the comments here on my site and I’ll send the password along. Here’s a teaser.  Wary of Iguanas by Mary Robinette Kowal The iguana was probably some kid out for a joyride. A wetware patch covered nearly its full back in a web of gold and silicone. Tilda opened the window and leaned out to pluck the iguana off the branch. That was the thing about animals with amateur mind-riders…
  • Protected: Draft: Wary of Iguanas

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    30 Aug 2014 | 12:21 pm
    This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password: The post Protected: Draft: Wary of Iguanas appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • Clinical trials have proven that sleeping kitties improve the viewer’s day in 94% of cases.

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    29 Aug 2014 | 8:33 am
    Instagram filter used: Lo-fi View in Instagram ? The post Clinical trials have proven that sleeping kitties improve the viewer’s day in 94% of cases. appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • My Favorite Bit: Arianne ‘Tex’ Thompson talks about ONE NIGHT IN SIXES

    Beth Bernier
    28 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Arianne ‘Tex’ Thompson is joining us today with her novel One Night in Sixes. Here’s the publisher’s description. The border town called Sixes is quiet in the heat of the day. Still, Appaloosa Elim has heard the stories about what wakes at sunset: gunslingers and shapeshifters and ancient animal gods whose human faces never outlast the daylight. And the daylight is running out. Elim’s so-called ‘partner’ – that lily-white lordling Sil Halfwick – has disappeared inside the old adobe walls, hell-bent on making a name for himself among…
  • Wanted for consultation: Native Igbo speaker

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    26 Aug 2014 | 11:45 am
    In the latest Glamourist History book, I have a discussion of glamour in different parts of the globe. One of the participants is a native Igbo speaker. Although she’s speaking in English during the conversation, I have a couple of phrases where she uses her own terms rather than the European ones. I’m looking for someone who speaks Igbo to look at the terms I came up with. I took an online tutorial, but that’s only going to get me so far. I’m worried that I’ve come up with a term that’s a) a real word or b) slang for questionable activities. There are…
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    Justine Larbalestier

  • No Bestselling Women’s Fiction Book Club This Month

    25 Aug 2014 | 6:29 pm
    Due to a terrible combination of deadlines, travelling, illness and other assorted calamaties Kate Elliott and myself will not be doing the book club this month. We’re bummed about it too. But life she threw too much at us this month. We will be back in September to discuss Han Suyin’s A Many-Splendored Thing (1952). This is the first out of print book that we’ll be reading. I haven’t been able to find an ebook edition either. It’s truly out of print. Start putting it on hold at your library now. You can see the schedule for the rest of the year here. That…
  • US Cover of Razorhurst

    13 Aug 2014 | 4:06 pm
    I’m super excited to reveal what Razorhurst will look like when Soho Teen publish it in the USA next March. Quite a contrast to the Australian cover, eh? Yet at the same time they both have that gorgeous, strong font treatment. I adore that font and those colours. I hope you do too. Everyone who’s seen this cover has been wildly enthusiastic uttering comments like, “I would buy that in a heartbeat.” “Utterly beautiful.” “Wow, that’s so commercial.” All of it music to my ears. Soho’s edition will have a bonus glossary. Yes, you US…
  • On Ideas and Plots and Their Mutability

    7 Aug 2014 | 2:54 pm
    Sometimes I get asked questions on twitter that cannot be answered in 140 characters. Candanosa asked one such yesterday: Do you ever get amazing ideas for your books and then realize it was just something you read in someone else’s? I couldn’t answer this in a tweet because being inspired by other books is at the heart of most writers’ work. It’s a feature, not a bug. My book Razorhurst wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for Larry Writer’s non-fiction account of the same period, Razor. Now most people see no problem with that: a novel being inspired by a…
  • Who is My Audience?

    31 Jul 2014 | 2:26 pm
    On Twitter ages ago N. K. Jemisin asked “*do* white writers want only white readers?” The immediate, obvious answer for me is: No, I don’t want only white readers. And I’m really glad I don’t have only white readers. But I’ve not been able to stop thinking about that question. And the shadow question which is “do white writers only write for white readers” regardless of what kind of audience they might want? In order to respond I need to break it down: Whiteness I’m white. That fact has shaped everything about me. I know the moment when I…
  • BWFBC: Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt/Carol (1952)

    28 Jul 2014 | 6:56 pm
    Welcome to July’s Bestselling Women’s Fiction Book Club in which we discuss Patricia Highsmith’s The Price of Salt/Carol. It’s original title was The Price of Salt and that’s what some editions in the US still call it. In Australia and the UK it’s called Carol. That’s how I think of it because that’s the edition I first read and fell in love with in my early twenties. This is the first book we’ve discussed that one of us knows really well. I’m a huge Highsmith fan. Have read everything she’s published as well as all the…
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    SF and Nonsense

  • If it seems too good to be true ...

    26 Aug 2014 | 7:31 am
    At the end of July news sites offered many breathless articles about a new space drive. And three weeks later? Not so much.This, from Wired on July 31, was typical: "Nasa validates 'impossible' space drive." Or this, from ExtremeTech on August 1, "NASA tests ‘impossible’ no-fuel quantum space engine – and it actually works."The (supposed) space drive at issue bounces microwaves around a specially shaped chamber, and in the process is said (somehow) to produce a net thrust in one direction. The nature of the impossibility? That the drive -- if it works as advertised -- violates…
  • Biological bits and bites

    19 Aug 2014 | 6:35 am
    Biology never ceases to amaze -- or, at least, to amaze me. How so? Life is hardier and more innovative than it's often given credit for. We humans included.Time-traveling mossTo take one recent example, "Frozen 1,500-Year-Old Antarctic Moss Revived." Moss, as lowly as it might seem, is still multi-cellular. Its ability to withstand long-term freezing is a Big Deal.Who knows? That wacky moss may offer clues how to freeze and revive people (outside of Futurama, that is). Some form of cold sleep is one way humanity might someday colonize the stars.This moss can  claim credit for…
  • SF news, views, and reviews

    12 Aug 2014 | 6:55 am
    "A writer shouldn't be punished for his political beliefs."Is that controversial? Maybe so. Before I explain further, a disclaimer: I haven't read the novel at issue. I can't say whether I'd love, hate, or be indifferent to it. I don't know whether I'd cheer its message or be horrified by it -- or whether, in fact, it has a message. I don't know (or know anything about) the book's author. I do, however, agree with the sentiment that "A writer shouldn't be punished for his political beliefs."August 14-18, 2014Why mention it here, in an SF post? Because the subject of the controversy is a…
  • It's not as if this stuff matters

    5 Aug 2014 | 7:37 am
    Oh wait. It does.The Microsoft QA processFrom last June, in the Department of Quality Software, "Patch Tuesday disaster breaks Office 2013 for thousands." Way to go, Microsoft!Of course Microsoft doesn't hold the monopoly (heh!) on buggy, hacker-attracting software. From back in March comes this interesting statistic: "Report: Half of all exploits target Java." It could be just me, but buggy, exploitable products don't seem like the ideal way for Oracle to emulate Mr. Softy.You practice good computer hygiene, don't you? You have a current security suite on your PC and keep its antivirus…
  • Fat chance

    29 Jul 2014 | 6:32 am
    Have you been careful to: avoid eating too many eggs, cut back on butter, leave the cheese of your (shudder) turkey burger, substitute (for example) mustard for mayo ... in general, minimize your fat intake? Quite likely so, because, for years, the medical profession has encouraged us to eat lean. All the while, we find ourselves in an obesity epidimic. Obesity incidence, 2010Just maybe, the two trends aren't coincidental. See (from The Wall Street Journal), "The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease: Are butter, cheese and steak really bad for you? The dubious science…
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    The Days Are Just Packed

  • Portland Film Festival this week

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    The second annual Portland Film Festival began yesterday (August 26) and continues through September 1, with a fantastic smorgasbord of feature films, short films, panel discussions; workshops for filmmakers, writers, and actors; and opportunities for networking, scattered all over downtown Portland.I will be moderating a panel discussion on Saturday (1:30-3:00 at the 5th Avenue Cinema) on "Science Fiction, Film and Technology" with Ted Chiang, Daniel H. Wilson, and more! I'll also be attending as many of the writing workshops as I can manage. It's a busy schedule.Other program items of…
  • London days 6-9, Toronto, and home

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:57 am
    Tue 8/19 - LondonStep count: 11,702Awake 7:57 just before 8:00 alarm. Breakfast (yogurt and muesli) with Lise Eisenberg. Packed up. Twitter DM from Mary Robinette Kowal: coffee? But, alas, it didn't pan out. Checked out, called for cab. Settled in for 20-minute wait, but then a cab pulled up so we canceled the first. Great view on cab ride of Shard beyond Tower of London. The Arosfa hotel (it's a Welsh word meaning "a place to stay") has a lovely sitting room and friendly staff; the room is tiny but clean and well-furbished. (Yes, autocorrect, I did mean "furbished" and not "furnished." Look…
  • London days 2-5

    22 Aug 2014 | 4:55 pm
    Fri 8/15 - LondonStep count: 8,976Awake 7:30 before 8:00 alarm. Had a breakfast never seen before in human history: Greek yogurt and Cocoa Puffs -- an experiment that will not be repeated. Thinking about the fact that I would have to speak for 15 minutes solo about Orphan Black, decided to write up some notes for it; this took about an hour. Wandered exhibit hall for a bit; had lunch with Vylar Kaftan. Orphan Black presentation went well, I think (did get several compliments on it later in the con). Talked with Nancy McClure after the panel, and made a lunch date for tomorrow. Ran into Kate,…
  • Belgium days 6-7, London day 1

    22 Aug 2014 | 3:11 am
    Tue 8/12 - MechelenStep count: 13,658Awake 7:15 ahead of 7:30 alarm. We were joined for breakfast today by Lynne Ann and Roelof's friends Irina and Sara, then got out the door by 9:30. Caught a bus to the train station (even I can recognize "you can't miss it" in Dutch), then a train to Brussels. In Brussels we got rather lost coming out of the station, but did eventually manage to find the Beaux Arts museum. It's actually 4 museums: Magritte, Old Masters, Fin de Siecle, and Modern. We bought a combo ticket and started with the Magritte, which provided an excellent overview of the man and his…
  • Why you should be watching Orphan Black

    16 Aug 2014 | 1:56 am
    One of my program items at the Worldcon was "Why Aren't You Watching...", a series of panels in which fans of various current TV series were invited to advocate for 15 minutes each about why you should be watching their favorite shows. I did the session on Orphan Black. Here's what I said.Orphan Black is the story of con artist Sarah Manning, played by Tatiana Maslany. A young woman with a troubled past, a pretty messed-up present, and not much hope for the future, she is an orphan and a single mother whose seven-year-old daughter Kira is currently being raised by her foster mother. She also…
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    Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress

  • Falling Skies Season 4 Finale: Self-Sacrifice and Redemption

    31 Aug 2014 | 11:00 pm
    Well, although the two-hour Falling Skies Season 4 finale contained an all-too-obvious long dream sequence in the first hour, it nonetheless concluded with a pretty effective and emotionally moving series of events.Tom struggles to forgive and trust Lexi for much of the finale, which makes her self-sacrificial destruction of the Espheni moonbase especially effective. His spinning out into space after the moonbase explodes - a needle in an ocean, as one of our heroes back on Earth observes - is a good way to conclude that part of this season's story, with the dessert of Tom finding some kind…
  • Hell on Wheels 4.5: New Blood!

    31 Aug 2014 | 11:49 am
    Hell on Wheels checked in with a great episode last night, mostly because it introduced one of the best new characters in the whole series, former Confederate brother-in-arms, Syd Snow.Indeed, the opener, in which Snow barely escapes with his life from a hanging, could have come right out of a classic Clint Eastwood spaghetti Western, or at least a Robert Rodriguez movie.  Snow represents everything that Cullen was. We learn later that two two shot up and killed everyone on a Yankee medical train, including badly wounded soldiers and doctors.But whereas Cullen has mostly put the past…
  • Murder in the First: A Review

    28 Aug 2014 | 12:49 pm
    Catching up at summer's end with a review of  a series that I watched and liked a lot, but didn't have time to write about, finishing my latest novel, swimming as much as possible, and everything else: Murder in the First.In a way, all ten episodes were like a top-notch Law and Order story, with a murder, arrest, trial, and then police work again, except presented over ten hours rather than one.   Did it work?  Yes, it did. Murder in the First was always enjoyable, sometimes outstanding, and memorably surprising at times.My favorite part was the lawyerly action, with superb…
  • The Bridge 2.8: Parallel Stories

    28 Aug 2014 | 11:56 am
    More important developments on The Bridge 2.8 last night.Most significant is the evolving relationship between Sonya and Marco.   Having been disappointed in Hank last week, Sonya now has reason to feel the same about Marco. Given her Asperger's affect, however, it's hard to tell just how upset she is.  She was able to go see Hank, for permission to work with the DEA, even though she still has not forgiven him.  And with Marco, she asks him to leave, after she confronts him after learning that he and Fausto have a history that goes back a very long way.In a nice and dangerous…
  • The Last Ship: The First Season

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:52 am
    I thought I'd check in with a general review of The Last Ship, which finished its first season on TNT Sunday, and I've been watching and enjoying since I reviewed the first episode two months ago, back in June.The Last Ship had a tough, well-tread row to hoe - or, in its case, sail.  We've seen the onset and aftermaths of deadly pandemics before, from Helix to The Walking Dead.   And the post-apocalypse scenario, with government tottering, breaking or broken down, has been on the television screen as recently as Revolution.But The Last Ship did a good job of telling its plague and…
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    Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage


    29 Aug 2014 | 10:31 am
    Tweet Took longer than I planned, but THE SELLING OF SUZEE DELIGHT: Tales From The Longview Episode 2, is now live and available here.
  • Super-Snippet: The Selling of Suzee Delight—all three scenes of CHAPTER ONE

    25 Aug 2014 | 9:57 am
    Tweet Tales from The Longview, Episode 2: The Selling of Suzee Delight All rightee. Deep breath for me, here. Just got finished putting THE SELLING OF SUZEE DELIGHT, Tales from The Longview: Episode 2, up on Amazon. It should go live tomorrow at some point, and when it does, I’ll send out notices. I love this story. I cannot believe how much I love this story. It kept shifting and changing on me, getting bigger not just in length, but in what it means to me personally. In the end, after more revisions than I’ve done on a story in years, because my editor (a.k.a. my husband Matt)…
  • SUZEE DELIGHT is off to the copyeditor

    18 Aug 2014 | 12:08 pm
    Tweet The story wrapped (in what I’m considering the final version) at 29,706 words. 9706 words over what I’d planned, or one third of another story. However, this episode turned out to be far more important to the overall series than I’d anticipated—I got into a couple things in it I wasn’t expecting to see in detail until around Episode 5. It’s now off to the copyeditor, and I’m getting started on the last handful of pieces of MODULE ONE in the HOW TO WRITE A SERIES EXPANSION. And because of the interesting time I had writing this story, I have some…
  • Why Lauren Orbison Chose to Go Indie

    18 Aug 2014 | 8:30 am
    Tweet Tortellini, by Lauren OrbisonI’ve been corresponding back and forth with a student of mine for a while now, and think you’ll find the story of how she hit print inspiring—and amazing. So I’d like to introduce you to Lauren Orbison, author of Tortellini [link goes to her site], and her tell you this story herself. Lauren garnered serious interest from a couple of BIG publishers, but in the end decided that going the indie route was best for her writing goals. I’m thrilled with her success, and excited to see what she comes up with next.
  • The state of the revision of THE SELLING OF SUZEE DELIGHT

    14 Aug 2014 | 7:48 am
    Tweet Tales from The Longview, Episode 2: The Selling of Suzee DelightI did my first editor’s revision. Added a bunch of words to the story. In the first revision, I nailed the ending, but screwed up one big character issue while fixing a problem from the first revision. Am doing the second editor’s revision today. After that, assuming Matt’s third read of the story gets me a green light, the story will go to my copyeditor, and then I’ll put it out in print. When it goes live, I’ll be about ready to start Module 2 of the HOW TO WRITE A SERIES EXPANSION. As of…
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    Nick Mamatas

  • Some Hells

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:35 am
    There are innumerable hells in which a writer can find himself or herself, and no heavens at all. Sick narcissists don't deserve heaven, after all, and there's a gateway to hell on every page someone might write. I suppose the following list can be seen as yet another set of "tips" or "writing advice", but this list is not meant as advice. If anything, it is a map, created by a wide-ranging reader and often-frustrated teacher. Heaven is not on this map, and worse, it is the sort of map that needs to be read while still folded up as often writers exist simultaneously in several locations at…
  • Mind...MELT!

    27 Aug 2014 | 5:16 pm
    I am part of another SFSignal Mind Meld, this one on underrated authors. Only some of the answers were embarrassing: Joe Hill, Bulgakov, and Charlotte Perkins Gilman. A current acclaimed bestseller with a movie coming out is not underrated. A writer whose big novel sells hundreds of copies every week in translation seventy years after his death is not underrated, a writer who is required reading sooner or later for hundreds of thousands of people is not underrated.In other news, there are complaints of raping and killing in a best-selling series, and another best-seller mocking the pain of…
  • Here's a very interesting IMDB entry.

    26 Aug 2014 | 8:42 pm
    Bare bones right now, but more TK, including my Story credit.Under My Roof.Poster, that's what's up:
  • Monday Quick Notes

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:38 am
    It's been a lot of quick notes entries of late. The trend will probably break this week. But for new, the New York Times writes:There is, again, no sign that Brown did anything in his encounter with the police offer who shot him six times that suggests he deserved to be killed. The story about the officer's blown-out eye socket was false (which was obvious to anyone who saw the video of him walking around Brown's body) so what happened? The Times would suggest that some of Brown's rap lyrics were not sufficiently contemplative. You heard it here first, black men! If you're not the fat guy…
  • Up All Night

    20 Aug 2014 | 2:13 pm
    Twitter remains fascinating for conversational speed, from the events in Missouri to a local campaign against an Israeli boat docking at the Port of Oakland to some guy's meltdown over his cheating girlfriend and what it supposedly means for "journalistic integrity" among video game websites (hint: nothing, it means nothing). I've been on Twitter for a few years now, but it never really attracted my attention as completely as it has before. I suppose I finally found the right mix of people to follow for the sort of breaking news and breaking gossip in which I am interested.Not too much else…
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    Not A Blog

  • A Favorite Character

    1 Sep 2014 | 12:30 am
    Who is my favorite character?I have so many.Here's one, appropriately melancholy for this dark night.One of my favorite novels, and its closing lines are amongst the most haunting in all of English literature.And so we beat on, boats against the current....
  • Yadda Yadda, Yadda Yadda

    31 Aug 2014 | 4:18 pm
    For those of you who cannot get enough of me pontificating, here are some more videos from those months of interviews I've done, all snatched off of YouTube.  Let's see, there are a couple of Red Carpet interviews from this year's Emmy weeks, and a long panel with William Christensen of Avatar Press about my roots in comic fandom (and my new Avatar comic adaptation, IN THE HOUSE OF THE WORM).
  • A Few Words from Switzerland

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:05 pm
    I can't give you an exact count... but I must have done at least fifty interviews over the past two months.  Maybe as many as a hundred.Radio interviews, TV interviews, magazine and newspaper interviews, private interviews, group interviews, public interviews... in France, in Switzerland, in Scotland, in London, in San Diego, and most recently in LA, on the Red Carpet for the Emmys.On some of the foreign trips, I did entire days of interviews.  They would park me in a hotel suite, usher in a journalist or a film crew, we'd talk for a half hour, then my hosts would escort…
  • More From Comicon

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:53 pm
    Yadda yadda... here's more for those of you who could not be at Comicon.This was a special fan Q&A session sponsored by Courtyard Marriott.  Great fun.
  • San Diego Flashback

    28 Aug 2014 | 5:41 pm
    I did so many panels, presentations, interviews, and speeches during these past two months that they all blur together.Here's one, for those of you who could not be at comicon this year - the 'Rulers of the Realm' panel from San Diego.A lot of panels are deadly, which is why I have mostly stopped doing them, but this one was great fun.(Diana Gabaldon's bit about her writing process was pure gold).Enjoy.
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  • thinking about cities 8...

    1 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    The minimum amount of agricultural land necessary for sustainable food security, with a diversified diet similar to those of North America and Western Europe (hence including meat), is 0.5 of a hectare per person. This does not allow for any land degradation such as soil erosion, and it assumes adequate water supplies. Very few populous countries have more than an average of 0.25 of a hectare. It is realistic to suppose that the absolute minimum of arable land to support one person is a mere 0.07 of a hectare–and this assumes a largely vegetarian diet, no land degradation or water…
  • thinking about cities 7...

    31 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    How do urban planners bring that same sort of renaissance to the communities that are not rich? How do we bring the urban renewal into communities that struggle to make ends meet?My answer is agriculture, but it is not the only answer. Urban agriculture - and the aggressive conversion of abandoned and dilapidated properties into arable farm space - not only suggests an answer to the urban decay into something less dangerous and more useful to the folks who remain, but also creates an instant industry where entrepeneurs can work land and seek out markets for the excess produce that is not…
  • thinking about cities 6...

    30 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Personal freedom means I get to light a cigarette at 5 AM, throw back a shot of whiskey for breakfast and sit on a stoop shouting at people as they walk past about polarized political issues all day long. Freedom means that I have the right to do anything I desire within the boundary of non-harmful behaviour established by state and local laws. The very laws that prevent me from getting arrested if I decide to have a shot of whiskey for breakfast are of the same spirit of laws that make it possible for corporations to flood our communities with cheap and non-nutritious food, loaded with salt,…
  • thinking about cities 5...

    29 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    People love their cars.Okay, what’s the most dangerous thing people do every day, with the highest-likelihood of our own death, dismemberment, etc.? It’s driving. Driving is extremely dangerous. More people die on the road every day than die from getting mugged or carjacked in the urban communities of our country. People love their cars, right? In urban California, people had better love their cars, because they’ll probably be spending more time in their car than they will eating meals, and one daily meal will probably be eaten inside of a car. The average commute for people who drive…
  • thinking about cities 4...

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:00 am
    Tax revenue is the key to urban bliss, isn't it? It certainly looks like the only thing that is truly measured and taken seriously.With the proliferation of WalMarts across my fair suburbs, I have done some research into why big box stores seem to be the preferred method of physical retail space in this country. Certainly, they are full of things that people might like to buy. The cost savings of piling them all together into a silo probably does lower the costs. The large bulk purchases likely does create a discount possibility where everyone saves money, and that’s basically fine as long…
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    Robin McKinley

  • Important News from the Living in Houses Division

    31 Aug 2014 | 5:59 pm
      I’VE GOT ALL THE BOOKS UP OFF THE COTTAGE’S SITTING ROOM FLOOR.  ALL THE BOOKS.  OFF THE FLOOR. Yes, and on shelves, you rude person.  I admit however that I’m rapidly reaching the end of the double shelving that is even possible, having passed the ‘desirable’ stage years ago.*  Now there’s only the rest of the house to deal with.**  And the attic at Third House.  Which is achieving epic status.  Not in a good way.  AND IT’S SEPTEMBER TOMORROW.  I feel the frelling backlist’s hot breath on the back of my neck.  ARRRRRGH.*** IT’S OBVIOUSLY TIME TO RESPOND…
  • The horror, the horror

    27 Aug 2014 | 6:02 pm
      The attic.  Moan.  The attic.  At Third House.  Moooooan.  The attic . . . moan.  August is almost gone and some time in September I have to bring the frelling backlist home from the last storage unit.  All forty-seven gazillion boxes of it.  And you can already hardly edge around* all the boxes of files** and of books*** that won’t fit† either downstairs or at the cottage††  Moan I NEED DISTRACTION.  I KNOW.  I’LL RESPOND TO A FEW FORUM COMMENTS. Katinseattle A few years ago I needed a plumber for my small bathroom. I warned the man at the other end of the phone…
  • I still sing. Make an, ahem, note

    24 Aug 2014 | 6:24 pm
      I’m just back from church.  Hurrah.  I haven’t been in yonks and yonks.  I’ve thought for the last three Sundays—I think it’s three—that I would make it this week and then I have one of my unscheduled collapses and don’t.*  I felt deeply guilty** a fortnight ago when my name was on the [singing] rota again and Aloysius could have really used some support—St Margaret’s, like most of the rest of the northern hemisphere where people live, gets thin on the ground in August while they’re all on holiday in someone else’s home town.***  So if that shocking failure…
  • And I haven’t even told you the latest BT saga

    20 Aug 2014 | 6:10 pm
      It’s not the actual moving that puts a house move at the top of the stress list:  it’s the everyflippingthing that goes wrong. I’ve been trying for about five weeks to find a plumber that isn’t booked up till 2020.  The plumbing company that I used satisfactorily for several years has stopped answering their phone.  You get a message saying leave your phone number and we’ll get back to you, and they don’t.  I kept waiting for the real human being to return from the longest lunch in employee history and she never did, so I finally left a message, and that didn’t work…
  • Hellhound birthday

    17 Aug 2014 | 5:24 pm
      Hellhounds are EIGHT YEARS OLD TODAY.  How time flies when YOU KEEP MOVING HOUSE.*  Meanwhile I got home later tonight than planned and discovered us embroiled in Fresh Connectivity Issues**  JOY.  And furthermore my piano tuner is coming tomorrow not Tuesday–ahem, in the MORNING.***  So you’ll have to forgive me merely slamming a bunch of photos at you without my usual graceful and spirited commentary.  And as you cast your gaze over all these sleeping-hellhounds photos remember what I said on Pav’s birthday about needing to remember to find the action-shot…
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  • Heading Out to DragonCon

    27 Aug 2014 | 4:31 pm
    The family will be at home, along with aging Cleo-cat and Mac the equine drama queen.  But I will be on my way tomorrow morning, with some intermediate stops before reaching the airport.   DragonCon is always a blast, and I've missed it the past few years as I was supporting the local group putting on WorldCon in San Antonio.   This will be the first time I've flown in years (since I realized that I got sick every time I flew to a convention but not when I drove or rode the train, and I'm hoping to avoid the same kind of whatever that I got before. …
  • Adventures in Cooking

    21 Aug 2014 | 9:51 am
    On Wednesdays, a food co-op leaves boxes of produce at church--outside, in a little courtyard--for its members to pick up.   Arriving choir members headed for supper in the church and then rehearsal, like me, pass by people poking through the boxes and making their choices. Even if no one happens to be there, no choir member would think of snitching a carrot or onion or zucchini.   Exiting choir members after rehearsal (hours and hours later)  see empty boxes on the table and sigh. Usually. Last night the unexpected happened.  The food co-op made its usual…
  • Jesus Wept

    19 Aug 2014 | 10:32 am
    Sunday before last, August 10, at the 11:15 service, we had several baptisms in the historic sanctuary of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas.  Part of the ceremony includes those already baptized reaffirming their baptismal vows, both in support of those being baptized, and to remind themselves and each other of what those vows are…what the responsibility is, of those brought into this new life. One of the ritual questions is this:  “Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?”  To…
  • Governor Perry's Indictment

    16 Aug 2014 | 5:17 pm
    Governor Rick Perry has been indicted by a grand jury for illegal actions he took last year.   You will have seen, no doubt, clips of Perry insisting that he had a legal right to veto funding for the office which is tasked with investigating corruption in state government in Texas.   He is right about that--but that is not what he was indicted for, and he knows it.  This is another Perry coverup attempt.   Many Texans know the truth, but those outside Texas rely on what the media tells them, and are apt to give Perry more time than the rather intricate and…
  • Found the Farrier! (a horse thing)

    15 Aug 2014 | 2:24 pm
    My farrier and I have been not connecting for several weeks, while Mac's hooves continue to grow, which is not good for a horse with bad hooves and chronic lameness issues.  I had lost (I thought) Brian's card with his phone number on it, and the number posted on the wall returned no answer--not even a machine to leave a message on, and I knew the old old number (in my cellphone) was wrong.  So.  R- went out to the feed store and found ONE of Brian's cards tacked to the bulletin board and copied down the number.  It's the same as the number posted on my…
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    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • MangaKast Has Moved

    29 Aug 2014 | 8:07 am
    As I'm sure many of you have heard, Weekly Shounen Jump has changed its publication date. The translations were scheduled to come out Friday, but we managed (like many people who were crashing the various translation sites) to read them on Thursday afternoon. We decided to stick with a Friday AM publication, anyway, because, honestly, I suspect it will settle into that soon enough. Anyway, you can get the link to our podcast here:   In this podcast, I actually spend some time trying to figure out why this last chapter left me…
  • Tuesdays with Tate

    26 Aug 2014 | 8:20 am
    Today is Tuesday, which means you can read the newest installment of my work-in-progress, UnJust Cause, a serialization of the sequel to Precinct 13. In this episode, Alex hangs out with the werewolf biker gang while on run from the demon agents... 
  • When Rivendell Calls, I Answer

    25 Aug 2014 | 5:14 pm
    The Rivendell Discussion Group of the Mythopoeic Society has invited me to join their discussion of "The Hobbit: That Wasn't in the Book" at Common Good Books in St. Paul on Monday, September 22 at 7 PM.  (September 22, of course, being the date recognized as Bilbo and Frodo's birthday by most Hobbit/LotRs fans.)  \Apparently, Gandalf David was having some trouble finding a burglar panelist for this gig.  I'm not quite sure about this funny mark he's left of my door, but I'm sure it will all be fine.  I'm not really the adventurous type, you know.  Do…
  • Fingers to the Keyboard, Nose to the Grindstone

    24 Aug 2014 | 6:05 pm
     I'm having one of those writing days where I feel like every word I write is stupid and nothing comes easily.  It's only annoying because I haven't had much time to write this weekend, since I worked both Saturday and Sunday.  When I have days like this, I always remember back to the interview I did with Neil Gaiman for Science Fiction Chronicle back in god-knows-how-long-ago.  He talked about that classic idea that really, showing up is the biggest part of writing, but his contribution to that old saw was that it's worth the effort.  At the end of a novel or story…
  • Why So Dark, YA?

    23 Aug 2014 | 2:37 pm
    Today at the library I got cornered by one of those  people who you just know is winding up for a rant about something.After asking me if I worked there, she launched into a Thing about how dark young adult novels were getting and how we shouldn't be surprised when our children axe-murder us in our sleep after reading things like that.  Tisk, tisk and all that.   I mostly nodded politely because I don't believe for a minute that teenagers are any more likely to axe-murder me over something they read or a game they played, than I would have when I was that age and read and…
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    the essential kit

  • “Let Them Eat Cake” Recipe Roundup

    1 Sep 2014 | 11:55 pm
    Okay. I had loads of questions about the “Let Them Eat Cake” recipes, especially the gluten free stuff, so I’m doing a round-up on them. Gluten free, vegan carrot cake recipe with ‘cream cheese’ frosting. Contains flax ‘eggs’, which I’d never previously encountered and am now quite enamoured with as a substitution. Also, even fresh, that frosting tastes *remarkably* like cream cheese frosting, and if you stick it in the fridge overnight and serve it cold (it’s soft enough to spread onto a cake even when cold) it tastes exactly like cream…
  • media blackout

    1 Sep 2014 | 8:11 am
    I am…desperately behind on writing. This summer–since mid-April–has been…very bad, for writing, and the two projects I hoped to have completed by now are…not. :/ Which means that with 4 months left in the year I also have 4 major projects I want finished or significantly dented, which is…unlikely. I mean, like two of those books are half-written; two are not written at all. I also have three short stories and some copy edits to do, the sooner the better. I am therefore declaring a media blackout in September. Unless I’ve written 2K that day I…
  • Green Tea Cupcakes

    29 Aug 2014 | 5:49 am
    So yesterday was the 200th birthday of Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, Irish author of such gothic classics as UNCLE SILAS and CARMILLA. Swan River Press, a small Irish press specializing in gothic horror and half-forgotten Irish authors, has done a rather splendid celebration of Le Fanu, including - a track at last weekend’s Eurocon - a walk through Dublin with Le Fanu’s life & career as the path - a lecture last night by Le Fanu expert Jim Rockhill - and the release of DREAMS OF SHADOW & SMOKE: Stories for JS Le Fanu, a collection of short stories written in homage to Le…
  • Unforgiven: A Highlander fic

    27 Aug 2014 | 11:47 pm
    So a few weeks ago, Medieval POC, the website I feel is the actual purpose of the Internet existing, posted this picture: and requested immortal vampire fic. I was all like “VAMPIRE WUT NO HIGHLANDER OBVS!” and she said that would do too. And then I, er, had an idea. And then…well, then this happened: Unforgiven: A Highlander Fic Etruria (today, Tuscany): ca 500 BC The last thing he remembered was the lion killing him. He didn’t expect to awaken in a field; he did not expect to awaken with a surge of pain that felt like his blood had been set on fire. That faded…
  • 10 movies

    27 Aug 2014 | 1:59 am
    I’ve been working on this list for a while, and in the past few days an actual meme of it seems to have popped up on Facebook, so I don’t know, maybe it’s in the gestalt. It was surprisingly difficult to come up with the list. Ten movies I will watch over and over again, in no particular order: 1. While You Were Sleeping 2. The Cutting Edge 3. The Replacement Killers 4. The Hunt for Red October 5. A Knight’s Tale 6. Sliding Doors 7. Maverick 8. Robin Hood (Disney) 9. The Princess Bride 10. Much Ado About Nothing (Branagh, tho possibly Whedon too) Share this:(x-posted from…
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    Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good

  • Daily Bread

    17 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Here's today's homily.  The Gospel is Matthew 15:21-28.*Today’s Gospel is one of my favorite passages in the Bible, and the Canaanite woman is one of my favorite characters in Scripture. She is alone and despised, an outcast, a mother desperate to find healing for her sick child. She is the kind of person we expect Jesus to embrace and include, but when he doesn’t, she thinks on her feet and challenges his rejection of her, his cruelty. She is the only person in the Gospels who wins an argument with Jesus. She proves that people can sometimes teach God a lesson.  Jesus is tired,…
  • Saving Isaac

    28 Jun 2014 | 7:52 pm
    "The Binding of Isaac" by Adi Holzer, 1997Here's tomorrow's homily. The readings areGenesis 22:1-14 and Matthew 10:40-42. I take a certain perverse pride in not ducking tough readings (as I could have, this week, if I'd chosen the second track in the lectionary), but this one's definitely a challenge.Atheist Gary, after he'd edited this for me -- and it required more editing than usual -- said, "Do you think it will be controversial?  I mean, you're kind of saying God's being a jerk.""I've said that before," I told him, and we both laughed, but it's a good question.
  • God's Refrigerator

    24 May 2014 | 9:58 pm
    Here's tomorrow's homily.  The readings are Acts 17:22-31 and John 14:15-21.It turns out that there's a country song called God's Refrigerator; I only discovered that, and the magnet, after I wrote the first draft of this.  Hey, GMTA. Given the horrific Isla Vista shooting, maybe I should have talked about that.  But I feel like I keep having to preach about shootings. I wanted to talk about something else. And I suspect that the kind of creativity I'm talking about here may be one small part of the answer to our violence epidemic, anyway. Create, don't…
  • Doors

    26 Apr 2014 | 6:09 pm
    Here's my homily for tomorrow. The Gospel is the story of Doubting Thomas, John 20:19-31. I used the driving story in another homily, quite a few years ago.  It remains one of the strangest things that's ever happened to me, and no one has ever been able to come up with a strictly rational, Euclidean explanation for it. "Oh, honey, you just didn't know where you were going," my mother said, but I've hardly ever been more acutely aware of where I was going. Gary chalks it up to ESP, but that's not especially rational or Euclidean either.  Of course the story raises more…
  • Journeys to Resurrection

    6 Apr 2014 | 2:59 pm
    I delivered this homily as a guest preacher at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd in Reno.  Lutheran homilies are somewhat longer than Episcopal ones, as you'll see; I recycled two previous sermons I'd given in my home parish.  The family story I tell is one nearly all of my friends already know (and one my mother gave me permission to tell).Here are the readings for Lent 5; both Episcopal and Lutheran churches use the Revised Common Lectionary.*“How could God let this happen?”We hear this question all the time: after shootings, after tragic car accidents and plane…
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    Old Enough to Know Better

  • Pig Out

    1 Sep 2014 | 12:44 am
    Bebop with lunch, (above), that's Turtle on the arch-top guitar.Miss Delta, on Mississippi Street, in Portland.My lovely spouse and I celebrated our birthdays this weekend — we are two days apart — and while we were looking around for something fun to go do, as confirmed foodies, we decided that eating out wasn’t a bad notion.So, Friday, lunch, we started at a nice American-style restaurant, Oswego. I had fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and cole slaw, while my better half had blackened-salmon salad. I had a dark beer, she had white wine. They brought us a complimentary banana…
  • Want to Have Done ...

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:36 am
    There's a line about wanna-be writers that sometimes gets bandied about: He doesn't want to write, he wants to have written. It means that the notion of being a writer is appealing to somebody, but they somehow want to get past the actual doing of it to the already-did-it-phase. This is not unique to writers, this desire. There are times when I need to go to the gym, but don't really feel like it. I know that if I go, and once I get cranking, I'll be fine, and I'll feel better about having gone, but what I want is to have worked out. To get the benefits without having to…
  • Someday, Maybe ...

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am
    If ever I do an autobiography, this quote, from the mouth of the director at a meeting on the Universal lot regarding a script I co-wrote with Chris Warner, will be the title ...Fooling around with a magazine cover generator. Kinda cool toy ...
  • Technically-Correct Failure

    26 Aug 2014 | 10:56 am
    I was channel-surfing last night and I came across a spy-thriller, that looked promising.Couple-years old, I vaguely recalled hearing something about it when it came out. A lot of movies go by without me seeing 'em.The picture featured a female lead,  kind of a La Femme Nikita operative, who worked for a private company that contracted to governments for assorted skullduggery. Had a stellar cast, mostly doing small parts, and it started out with a Jason-Bourne-like fight sequence between the girl and an ex-boyfriend the firm had sent to fetch her.The firm wanted to get rid of her for…
  • Customer Service

    23 Aug 2014 | 4:03 pm
    Spring of 2013, we had our kitchen redone. New floors, countertops, sink and faucets. As part of the deal, we had a new filtered drinking water spigot installed.Recently, during an attempt to open a stubborn kitchen window, a slipped grip and flying elbow resulted in the spout of the drinking faucet being snapped off at the base. Like it was sliced off with a knife it was so clean …So we called the guy at Chown, who had arranged for the work, and asked about ordering a replacement. Gave him the specs. Next day, he got back to us: The company, Mountain Plumbing Products, said, no problem,…
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    Mike Philbin's free planet blog

  • False Flag Sheepism - Strategy of Tension - 13th anniversary of 9/11

    31 Aug 2014 | 1:25 am
    the 13th anniversary of September 11 2001 is due in just a few days.Last year, Daniel Bushell's Truth Seeker Show featured the 12th anniversary of the terror act that brought down three skyscrapers at freefall acceleration into their own footprint using two commercial airlines in Manhattan NY on September 11 2001."Strategy of tension" is explained in full, and other key phrases, concepts (video below).And let's not forget the Weaponized Anthrax from Fort Dietrich and the "Vulcans" taking Cipro a week or two before. Let's not forget that 911 is the phone number for the American Emergency…
  • Adriano Raeli - Ferrari F80 concept car - sex on wheels

    24 Aug 2014 | 12:04 pm
    as you can tell from the massive apertures between wheels and body, this Ferrari F80 concept design from Adriano Raeli is a ROAD LEGAL F1 CAR.An interesting tidbit of the F80 is the car’s inspiration. Obviously many stallions in Ferrari’s lineage have their place in the car’s styling, but Raeli says his motivation came from the Next Generation Air Dominance program (NGAD), a military venture to appoint the next wave of air superiority fighters. [source DIGITAL TRENDS]I'd love to hear this beautiful beast roaring through the curved tunnel of Monaco.

    24 Aug 2014 | 12:57 am
    forced belief isn't real belief"What's a BELIEF REBOOT, Mike?"Glad you asked.Have you ever actually 'thought' about what 'belief' is?Or are you just going along with the herd and praising god or worshipping his way?I know, I know, it's Sunday, a so-called religious day, but it could be any day of any year. The working week is something that's been hammered into the 'working populace' like the 'belief in god' was hammered into the mindset of the pre- and post- medieval mindset by the then-global ad-campaign called The Inquisition.I mean, we're an intelligent race - this is obvious. Look how…
  • Neolithic 'Stonehenge' Monument and Burial Barrows Discovered in Kent

    16 Aug 2014 | 12:31 am
    The Swale and Thames Archaeological Survey Company (SWAT Archaeology) has discovered a Neolithic henge and archaeological remains from several periods on housing development grounds in Sittingbourne, Kent.SWAT Archaeology's excavation also makes use of new technology, as the archaeologists brought in local Kentish aerial photography drone service Skyspider Aerial Imaging to record the site in high-definition video, the results of which you can see in the video below: [source IBTIMES] SWAT Archaeology Iwade project from Skyspider A.I on Vimeo.
  • they call it ALL YOU NEED IS KILL in Japan

    14 Aug 2014 | 1:26 am
    All you need is kill ... well, let's use its Westernised or Hollywoodized name, Edge of Tomorrow ... found the Japanese poster. And guess what? They call it ALL YOU NEED IS KILL in the home territory after Hiroshi Sakurazaka (Yoshitoshi ABe-illustrated) novel of the same name. Now, that's a title of a film I might wanna watch. does this translate to Edge of Tomorrow?
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    Tiny Godzilla

  • Hitting the road for DragonCon

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:50 am
    Okay folks, here goes one last post before I drive down to Atlanta this afternoon. Below you'll find my schedule (the public part of it, at least)...and don't forget - some of the book vendors [Missing Volume, Larry Smith] should have copies of Maplecroft on sale early. But you'd better grab them fast! I don't know how many they were able to score; and when they're gone, they're gone.I mean, until Tuesday, when the book officially drops nationwide. But if you want an advance peek at the reading - or if you'd like one signed - here's your chance!And for now, I'm outta here. Wish me luck! It's…
  • Oh yeah it's rollercoaster time

    25 Aug 2014 | 3:06 pm
    Here comes DragonCon, and I'm frantically trying to get everything sorted out before leaving ... thus my internet silence of late. I've had a lot of work to do, and have even scared up a couple of proposals for new projects - which have gone off to their potential editor, and we'll see how that goes.Also there's been laundry and housework and shopping and a little bit of yardwork (but not much because it's been hella hot), plus research and planning and some stabs at proto-packing.By proto-packing I mean, "Rounding up all those little things that I don't need, but will definitely want at some…
  • Your rolled up sleeves in your skull t-shirt

    21 Aug 2014 | 3:24 pm
    Today might've been more productive if I hadn't freaked out and summoned Greyson's vet - so hey, even if I didn't get much work done, at least I had a panic attack and spent some money. [:: sigh ::]Long story short, yesterday morning Greyson picked up a little cough. I wasn't too worked up about it, but it worsened overnight; and by lunchtime today he was copiously barfing - then having coughing fits that lasted half a minute, and left him gasping for breath. So, yeah. I called his vet.(Meanwhile, he acted like he felt just fine. We took our usual morning walk, chased each other around the…
  • It was the creation of some of those same old things

    20 Aug 2014 | 3:33 pm
    It's been a couple of "holding pattern" days, where I'm waiting for news and information from several different sources - without which, I can't really proceed on anything. These days are weirdly stressful. And they feel unproductive. In fact, they've been more or less unproductive, except for some laundry, grocery shopping, and an interview with the awesome Seattle Geekly folks (it'll go live next week).I've also been making arrangements for DragonCon - because oh God, that happens next week. There are officially six different meetings/suppers/lunches which aren't on my Official Schedule,…
  • If you've got the inclination, I have got the crime

    18 Aug 2014 | 4:48 pm
    It's a Monday! And I hardly know where to begin, but that's becoming typical, I swear. I've been a crappy blogger, yes - but in my defense, things have been pretty busy around here. There's been a lot of end-of-summer yardwork, some business-type hurry-up-and-wait, and also a great deal of this-is-almost-due that's been catching up with me over the last few days.But I'm finally starting to dig myself out, so here goes nothing.First up: The Hugo Awards! I wasn't there, and I wasn't nominated for anything - but that doesn't mean I can't be super-happy for the awesome people who were there, and…
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  • News for August, or ‘Who Hath Not Seen Thee Oft Amid Thy Online Store?’

    Adam Roberts
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:14 pm
    In the parching August wind cornfields bow the head, sheltered in round valley depths on low hills outspread, and I have been moderately busy. I went on holiday, came back, spent time at Loncon, came back from that. Here's a round-up post of news. 1: is that I have finally rolled up the scroll named 'Punkadiddle'. As you'll see at the end of that link, the best of the old blog is now printed up in a book, £3:42 from amazon online store as e-book, so: you know. Buy! Buy! Buy! 2. I have agreed to act as a judge for next year's Kitschies, which (a) means my own novels are guaranteed NO place on…
  • Sibilant Fricative

    Adam Roberts
    6 Jul 2014 | 1:53 am
    Newcon Press are publishing this collection of SF/Fantasy related essays and reviews, with a preface by BSFA Award-winning critic Paul Kincaid, in August (I believe the launch is at Loncon): Newcon supremo Ian Whates facebooked the above photo to show that actual copies are now in existence. Exciting stuff! I set up the like-named Sibilant Fricative blog in large part to flog, er to 'promote' the book; and so I shall. The blog has accumulated a variety of other things upon it (none of which are in included in the Sibilant Fricative book, confusingly); but don't let that distract you. I intend…
  • Bête Bound Proof

    Adam Roberts
    22 Jun 2014 | 2:11 am
    ... in my grubby hand. Looks nice!
  • Cover Reveal: US Edition of Twenty Trillion

    Adam Roberts
    18 Jun 2014 | 1:36 pm
    I'm not a big fan of the idiom 'cover reveal', actually. It's the 'reveal' part, like I'm a stage performer whisking a white sheet off something as the audience oos and aas. Still that is the idiom, and I'll run with it. So. [takes breath] ... St Martin's Press in New York New York will be putting out Twenty Trillion; and here is the very very lovely cover they have come up with. Isn't it fine?
  • Tollund

    Adam Roberts
    12 Jun 2014 | 1:47 am
    It's been quiet around here for a little while. Awards seasons has been in full spate and *sigh* it's been an awards season without room for anything I published in 2013, so there's been nothing to report. But just when I thought it was going to pass me by entirely came the rather wonderful news that my short story 'Tollund' has been shortlisted for the 2014 Sidewise Awards. The Sidewise, as you know very well, is dedicated to alternate-history, and this year's shortlists look very strong. I'm delighted to be in such company. Winners will be announced at Loncon. 'Tollund' was written for…
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    Running Air

  • Upcoming

    29 Aug 2014 | 11:14 pm
    Going to be in and out of the area for the next couple of weeks, going down to L.A. to help out my aunt a day or two each week.  Job hunting all the while (thank you, internet). But also, I'll be at Convolution in at the Hyatt Regency SFO in Burlingame on September 26-28.  Viz: Friday 4-6 20 books to launch in to space Saturday 10-12 Book View Cafe Sunday 10-12 Reading #4 Sunday 12-2 Social Worldbuilding
  • So

    25 Aug 2014 | 3:02 pm
    Today, I spent an hour and a half on job-search homework (the outplacement counselor assigned an exercise, and I'm trying my best to do it thoroughly and with a good will), wrote about 500 new words on The Fate of Women (the current lousy title of Sarah Tolerance #4) and will shortly be going in to the guest-room-formerly-Becca's-other-room to start wringing order out of chaos.Getting into the habit of getting stuff done again after the long, gorgeous sloth of France and England.
  • I Am Home

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:39 am
    Not surprisingly, I am in post-Worldcon "geeIhadaswelltimenowwhat" torpor.  Have unpacked the bag, separated the to-wash from the to-be-cleaned from the can-be-refiled-whence-it-came stuff, and must now take the cleaning to the cleaner so that I can pick up milk so that I can have coffee.Emily was so overjoyed to see us--Danny had been in Sarasota dropping Becca off at college--that she practically dislocated her tail with wagging, and has been dogging us from room to room.Worldcon was terrific: met people, was on two good panels, saw any manner of people I do not normally get…
  • I have been away, you may have heard...

    16 Aug 2014 | 1:20 am
    I've been posting on Facebook, because for several weirdly technical reasons I have a hard time getting the photos I take with my phone into my laptop.  Oddly, pouring them from device to device has not worked.  But...My last day at Klutz was August 1.  August 2, bright and early, Pat Murphy and I got on a plane to Chicago, thence to Paris, then a train to Rennes, where we were picked up by Ellen Klages and Scott Lynch and taken off to La Cahudiere, a farmhouse and the site of Ellen's month-long birthday party.  You know how the word "idyllic" gets…
  • London Calling

    24 Jul 2014 | 12:00 am
    For those who think about these things, here's my Loncon schedule.  It's fairly light, but that means I get to go see other people's readings and panels and...... and London.  Second favorite city in the world.  And outside my door, a whole city's worth of research on Sarah Tolerance's London.Reading: Madeleine Eve RobinsThursday 12:00 - 12:30, London Suite 1 (ExCeL)Alternative Publishing ModelsFriday 19:00 - 20:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)Between the disappearance of independent bookshops, the dominance of Amazon, the rise of ebooks and the popularisation…
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    Benjamin Rosenbaum

  • Transatlantic dislocation & Goblin Baby interview

    12 Aug 2014 | 9:29 am
    We're living in DC! Also, check out my sister on FFTV:
  • Dream Apart Playtests

    8 Jul 2014 | 9:55 am
    Notes from 5 playtests of #dreamapart , my Jewish historical fantasy hack of @mcdaldno's Dream Askew
  • Writing Process

    16 Jun 2014 | 12:37 pm
    Notes on writing process, a blog tour thingie.
  • Works in progress

    15 May 2014 | 1:44 am
    Creative production report: novel rewrite continues :-/ Finished:3 stories, 2 roleplaying games! :-)
  • Aviva's Bat Mitzvah!

    20 Apr 2014 | 6:14 am
    If it's possible to die of pride, somebody should call an ambulance.
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    Christopher Rowe

  • Everything's coming up August

    15 Aug 2014 | 6:13 am
    A few quick notes for those of you who don't follow me on Facebook or Twitter. My short story "The Unveiling" will be published in the upcoming January issue of Asimov's Science Fiction. I'll be at Gen Con this weekend, paneling about short fiction on Saturday evening. Gwenda and I will be at DragonCon over Labor Day weekend, where she's on the YA programming track and I'm a husband-in-tow (hoping to sneak off and get in a game of Dungeons & Dragons). Finally, I was a guest on The Buterverse Podcast recently, so if you want to hear me ramble on for a half…
  • April update

    7 Apr 2014 | 7:57 am
    This is proving a busy month for me as I finish up my last full semester of graduate school (I'll be doing a brief residency in Lisbon in July as well to fulfill the final requirements). I defend my thesis novel on April 23rd, Shakespeare's 450th birthday, and I have a couple of short papers to write, but otherwise, come the 30th, I'm done. Upcoming travel includes WisCon over Memorial Day weekend. Greatly look forward to getting back there after we've not been able to attend for several years. I'll be back at the Sycamore Hill workshop in North Carolina in June, then the…
  • Welcome

    15 Jan 2014 | 6:09 pm
    This is the online home of Christopher Rowe, author of science fiction and fantasy stories, great cook, and raconteur. (Some of these things may be lies. Or none of them.) He is currently hard at work on Sarah Across America, an unusual fantasy novel about maps and megafauna, among sundry short stories. His first novel, Sandstorm, fulfilled his childhood dream of writing a D&D novel and was published by Wizards of the Coast. He has also published a couple of dozen stories, and been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. He doesn't blog nearly…
  • A reading

    15 Jan 2014 | 6:00 pm
    This past Sunday, my peers in the Bluegrass Writers Workshop and I finished up our Winter Residency with a group reading. I thought I'd share the two pieces I read with all y'all. Both of them are from a pretty long time ago, but they were fun to read. First, my one and only published poem, which appeared in November 2001 in the ninth issue of Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet. I wrote the original version of this found poem for a creative writing class under Frederick Smock at the University Louisville even longer ago than that. Before the war, even. OUR PRIZE PATROL WILL FIND…
  • Pens on Fire. ON FIRE!

    22 Nov 2013 | 9:16 am
    Hey all. Just a quick note about the event described on this flier. I'll be at the Woodford County Library tomorrow, Saturday, November 23rd, 2013, from 2 to 4 pm, discussing science fiction and fantasy, writing, and related things on a panel with a few of my colleagues. If y'all can make it, come on out!
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    Rudy's Blog

  • Roadtrip #5. Vancouver, Coupland, Back Home.

    19 Aug 2014 | 9:51 am
    After Ottawa, we went back and spent two nights in Vancouver. We stayed at a century-old, not-too-expensive place called the Sylvia Hotel, next to the water at English Bay Beach. I’d been planning to meet up with my writer friend Bill Gibson, but as it happened, the page proofs for his next novel arrived at the same day we did, and he only had about three days to fix them, so we couldn’t connect. His two recommendations: Japadogs and the Douglas Coupland show at the VAG (Vancouver Art Gallery). I had some doubts, but I did get a Japadog on the street—these are gourmet Japanese sausages,…
  • Roadtrip #4. Totem Poles.

    15 Aug 2014 | 2:28 pm
    I’m still mentally processing our roadtrip/plane-trip in Canada last month. And generating a few more posts. Today’s post is about the totem poles we saw in Canada. “Beak Totem,” oil on canvas, August, 2014, 16” x 20”. Click for a larger version of the painting. Dig the beak on this totem god. I’m not sure what kind of bird he is. Eagle? I just finished painting him today. The background is drawn from a sunset view over Lac Desert, the place that I talked about in the previous post. If you want to buy “Beak Totem,” check out the price-list on my Paintings…
  • Roadtrip #3. Canadian Lake.

    3 Aug 2014 | 5:43 pm
    We drove up to Vancouver and flew to Ottawa. Met my brother there and went up to a cottage on a lake called Lac Desert. Deserted, but no desert! Nice to be so totally off the grid. I played with the dogs and they got hyper. Love that crazed, rolling eye. The only way to get to the cottages was by boat, and they had a generator for power—it went off around 9:30 at night. “Dog UFO Gub” acrylic and oil on canvas, July, 2014, 40” x 30”. Click for a larger version of the painting. Getting totally out of sequence for just a minute, here’s a painting that I almost finished in July, right…
  • Roadtrip #2. With Dr. Dick on the Lost Coast

    29 Jul 2014 | 9:49 am
    I’ve always been intrigued by the area of Northern California known as the Lost Coast. This is where the coastal mountains plunge so sharply into the sea that coastal Route 1 bends away from the shore, heads inland, meets Route 101, and expires. Route 101 runs along north through the redwoods, inland, and eventually bends back to the coast at Eureka through the redwoods. The zone between 101 and the coast is the Lost Coast, featuring only a few tiny hamlets such as Shelter Cove and Petrolia—these are towns with populations in the 100s, not the 1000s. Some of the land is undeveloped…
  • Roadtrip #1. Seastacks.

    27 Jul 2014 | 6:07 pm
    A couple of weeks ago, my wife Sylvia and I set out for a drive along the coast from San Francisco to Vancouver. We stuck to Route 1 most of the way, it’s a slow two-laner, but it’s great to be by the ocean. As opposed to being on a giant interstate like Rt. 5. This said, we did take Rt. 5 for most of the way home…two weeks later. I’d always been curious about the Sea Ranch development on the coast north of SF, but it’s kind of boxy. Good cliffs, though. And a bathroom. Further north in California we got to the redwood zone. Love those ferns and the greenness. Later we stopped at a…
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  • 27 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am

    27 Aug 2014 | 9:41 am
    Hello there! Brandon's assistant Peter here. This is the start of a sporadic feature on Brandon's blog where I recommend something to you. But don't worry, this probably won't happen very often. I am also going to recommend something else to you in two weeks, but then who knows when the next time might be? Not I. Since you never can tell when something awesome is going to come along.Yesterday marked the release of the third book in the Lightbringer series by Brent Weeks. Many of you have probably read Brent Weeks's books before, but if you haven't, you're in for a treat.Now, when I read a…
  • The Wheel of Time Did Not Win a Hugo. (And that’s okay.)

    18 Aug 2014 | 11:02 am
    For those who haven’t yet seen the results of the 2014 Hugo Awards, they have been posted here. The Wheel of Time, despite displaying a fine showing for first place votes, ultimately did not prevail in winning a Hugo Award. (Though Mary’s excellent novelette, “The Lady Astronaut of Mars,” did win—so congrats! And Julie Dillon, whose art graces the cover of Shadows Beneath among many other works, picked up a well-deserved Hugo Award for Best Professional Artist.)The first post online I saw regarding this was someone commiserating toward me that I’d been robbed. While I appreciate…
  • My Calgary schedule starting today—Three events open to the public

    7 Aug 2014 | 12:29 pm
    I’m in Calgary, Alberta, Canada today through Sunday. The When Words Collide convention is sold out, but there are three events that are free and open to the public. See full details below.Thursday, August 7, 7:00–9:00 p.m.Fish Creek Library Signing (open to the public)Address: 11161 Bonaventure Drive SECalgary, AB, Canada T2J 6S1Phone: (403) 260-2600Date:Time: 7:00 p.m.Join us for readings by international bestselling authors, followed by a Q & A and book signing.Brandon Sanderson, Jacqueline Guest, Mark Leslie, D.J. MacIntosh, Jack WhyteFriday, August 8, 1:00–3:00 p.m.,…
  • Hugo voting deadline this week + GraphicAudio Well of Ascension & Updates

    30 Jul 2014 | 8:47 am
    The deadline for voting in the Hugo Awards is Thursday night at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time. The online ballot can be submitted here by all World Science Fiction Society members, either who will be attending Loncon 3 from August 14th through 18th, or who have a supporting membership.I posted an extensive writeup of my thoughts on the Wheel of Time's nomination in the Best Novel category here, and I hope that all of you who are planning to vote took the time to familiarize yourselves with the nominees in every category. My best wishes to the creators of all the nominated works—it's an honor to…
  • Legion: Skin Deep cover revealed!

    9 Jul 2014 | 12:11 pm
    I'm pleased to present to you Jon Foster's cover illustration for the second Legion novella, Legion: Skin Deep, coming later this year from Subterranean Press. I think Mr. Foster did a fantastic job with this illustration, and I like it even better than his cover for Subterranean Press's edition of the original Legion. You can see a big version after the cut.If you haven't read the original and aren't familiar with the concept, I describe Legion as a fast-paced, witty, and supremely fun thriller with a psychological bent. Stephen Leeds is perfectly sane. It’s his hallucinations who are mad.
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    Inhuman Swill

  • Poem: Taxonomy

    25 Aug 2014 | 6:07 am
    Little neighbor girlWaving to a cardinal:"Parrot! Hi, parrot!"Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
  • Poem: Grand Motherfucker (an epic sci-fi poem)

    14 Aug 2014 | 5:57 am
    This poem debuted live at Tuesday Funk #48 in Chicago on September 4, 2012, the same day it was written. I've submitted it to a few editors since then, but since they (probably sensibly) turned it down, my birthday present to myself is to publish it here.It was the early 23rd and I was just the latest turdOf a miner to get dumped on Harkin's Moon.I had finished my first shift and took the slow repulsor liftUp to a weightless bar called Betsy's Grand Saloon.We were sipping bulbs of beer in artificial atmosphereAnd watching servers flit around that hollow space.My hair still caked with sand, I…
  • How I became a terrorist without really trying

    1 Jul 2014 | 6:47 am
    I've told this story many times, in many ways. This particular version was written for The First Time: First Crime, an evening of readings at Second City's Up Comedy Club in Chicago on April 17, 2013. I read it again at Tuesday Funk #61 on September 3, 2013, and later posted it as an answer on Quora (to the question "What are you banned from? Why?") and as an essay on Medium (where it became an Editor's Pick). As long as it was available for free in those places, I figured it ought to have a home here too. So here it is. Happy Canada Day.They caught up with me in the men's room of a bus…
  • I want your donut, as long as it's free

    29 May 2014 | 12:35 pm
    This happened back on Sunday, April 6. That morning, like we do most Sunday mornings, we took the dog out for a walk for a couple of hours. On our way back to the house, Laura developed a hankering for a donut. We stopped by a couple of neighborhood bakeries that were on our way but none had donuts, and no other type of pastry would do.A few blocks from home, I pointed across the street. "How about we stop over there at Dunkin.""No," she said resignedly, "I don't want a donut from Dunkin."That evening we went into Manhattan to see Lady Gaga's next-to-last concert on the next-to-last night of…
  • Poem: Share the wealth

    16 May 2014 | 8:03 am
    Homeless man feedinghis McDonald's French fries topigeons. Share the wealth.Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
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    Douglas Smith's blog

  • Last week to save on preorder price for new book

    Douglas Smith
    25 Aug 2014 | 9:23 am
    Just a reminder to any short story writers who follow this blog that the pre-order period for my new "how to" book, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction will end Aug 31. So if you're interested in the book and would like to save some money when buying it, now is the time to order. Pre-order links are here. And if you'd like to save even more--on this title and all of my books--subscribe to my mailing list. You get a free ebook for joining, plus I offer the lowest discounts on all of my new books to my subscribers. More info here.
  • And while we're talking about writing courses...

    Douglas Smith
    18 Aug 2014 | 11:38 am
    I also wanted to mention and recommend two courses that novelist, short story writer, and editor Nina Munteanu is teaching in the fall in Toronto: Creating Science Fiction (George Brown College) Learn about what is involved in writing science fiction and getting it published. Explore the essential tools used in this genre (including world building, research and plot approaches), and work toward a publishable original work by learning to generate and follow through with premise, idea and theme. SF Writing Master Class (University of Toronto) This 12-week workshop-style course will provide…
  • My "How to Market & Sell Short Fiction" course open for registration

    Douglas Smith
    18 Aug 2014 | 10:15 am
    A reminder that I’ll be teaching a course this fall at the University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Studies. The course is called "Playing the Short Game: How to Market and Sell Short Fiction." It's part of the certificate program that the U of T offers in their Creative Writing program, but it's a stand-alone course as well, and you don't need to be working towards the certificate. The course is based on the popular blog series that I did in 2012-2013 for Amazing Stories. My upcoming book, also titled Playing the Short Game, to be released Sept. 1, will form the textbook for the…
  • New German Short Fiction Market: Pulpcore

    Douglas Smith
    13 Aug 2014 | 11:44 am
    I just added an entry on my Foreign Market List for a new short fiction market in Germany, called Pulpcore. They take stories in English from 2,000 to 6,000 words and translate to German at no cost. They also take email submissions. They pay $20 per story, which isn't great, but since you'll already have sold the story in English (you know that, right? If not, read this), then it's found money and another country that can discover your work. Check out their entry on the FML here. Happy submitting!
  • An Italian "Symphony"

    Douglas Smith
    10 Aug 2014 | 10:48 am
    No, not Mendelssohn's 4th (didn't know I had culture, did you?). My short SF story, "Symphony," will appear in an upcoming "SF and Music" issue of the Italian magazine, Quasar, likely this fall. Earlier this year, Quasar published my Aurora-winning story, "The Walker of the Shifting Borderland," and I'm thrilled to be appearing in the magazine for the second time. This will be my fifth publication in Italian. "Symphony" first appeared in the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire, in 1999, where it won second prize in the magazine's SF contest to commemorate Canadian SF writer, A. E.
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    Ecstatic Days

  • The Southern Reach Trilogy: Acceptance Release Week!

    Jeff VanderMeer
    1 Sep 2014 | 5:46 pm
    This is the release week for my novel Acceptance, the last installment in the NYT bestselling Southern Reach trilogy. The novel received a starred review from Kirkus Reviews as well as a rave in The Guardian and an A- from Entertainment Weekly–which also put the series on their Binges for Summer list. Stephen King said of the trilogy “I’m loving the Southern Reach trilogy…Creepy and fascinating.” You can read an excerpt here, and also find an interactive map there among other content. That page also has a whole list of bookseller links if you scroll down. Also do…
  • The Southern Reach Trilogy at the Decatur Book Festival: This Sunday!

    Jeff VanderMeer
    29 Aug 2014 | 6:33 am
    (Sneak peek at the slideshow for Sunday’s event) “I’m loving the Southern Reach trilogy…Creepy and fascinating.” – Stephen King “A masterpiece.” – The Guardian, on Acceptance I’ll be appearing Sunday, August 31, 1:15 at the Decatur Recreation Center Gym, with my wife, Ann, for a Decatur Book Festival event. Afterwards, I’ll be signing books. Acceptance *will* be available there, two days early. Touching on ecological themes and set in a transformed South, the Southern Reach trilogy chronicles the attempts of a secret government…
  • UK Book Tour: The Important Part, the Books Acquired!

    Jeff VanderMeer
    28 Aug 2014 | 1:19 pm
    I’ll do a blog post about two weeks spent on the road in the UK doing book and book-like events. But for now, the important thing: The report on the books bought while over there! I think you’ll find some intriguing titles here… –The new Murakami novel is written in a plain style probably reflecting the kind of everyman main character. I’m about seventy pages in and enjoying it for the unfolding story rather than any particular element of the prose. –Philippe Claudel’s The Investigation I discovered at the very dangerous bookstore at the Edinburgh…
  • Wonderbook Workshop at the Center for Literature in Miami

    Jeff VanderMeer
    12 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    Before participating in the Miami Book Fair, I’ll be leading a workshop at the Center for Literature at Miami Dade College–November 19-21. Here’s information on the workshop. You can sign up here. Space is limited. Wonderbook has been taught at Brown, the Yale Writers’ Conference, University of California, San Diego (Clarion), and many others. It is currently a finalist for the Hugo Award. How do you balance the practical and the imaginative in your writing and revision? How can you merge the organic, subconscious elements of your fiction with the need to be…
  • Acceptance Southern Reach U.S. Book Tour: Mark Your Calendars

    Jeff VanderMeer
    10 Aug 2014 | 10:07 am
    (Barn owl) “I’m loving the Southern Reach trilogy…Creepy and fascinating.” – Stephen King Acceptance officially comes out September 2–the concluding volume of my trilogy about the increasingly urgent search for answers about the mysterious Area X. I’ll be touring behind the novel’s release, with some expectation that copies may be available in time for the Decatur Book Festival, too. Here’s the general information so you have it early, with specifics and possible additional events to follow. Most of these events are some combination of…
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    Paperback Writer

  • Update

    Lynn Viehl
    17 Aug 2014 | 10:08 am
    First, I appreciate all the nice e-mails that have come in since I began my blog hiatus. No need to worry; I'm doing well and working through all the real-life stuff. I had also hoped to get back to my normal blogging schedule soon, but now it looks like that's not going to happen until probably mid-September. This annoys me to no end, but that's life for you. I apologize for any inconvenience this causes anyone. I will check in with you all when I can, and post updates as things progress. Thanks for your continued support.
  • Off Again

    Lynn Viehl
    4 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    I'm heading off again to get some necessary things done in real life. Hang in with me; I'll get back to the blog when I can.
  • Blogging Blast from the Past

    Lynn Viehl
    3 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Today let's revisit some humor from my blogging past (this was originally posted on PBW on June 18th, 2008, aka back when I could actually have things made with sugar.)After watching the Associated Press making all kinds of new friends around the liberal alternative blogosphere this week, I pondered how much I could charge for what other bloggers link to and quote from what I post here at PBW.Here's what AP charges for what you excerpt from their stuff:5-25 words $ 12.50 26-50 words $ 17.50 51-100 words $ 25.00 101-250 words $ 50.00 251 words and up $ 100.00 I wonder if that last and up means…
  • PBW Changes

    Lynn Viehl
    2 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    What's been happening with the blog this week:I've clarified how comment posting works on the About PBW page; see the newly-revised and trisected section E.The Best of PBW page and the Backlist/Bibliography page are now up to date.The outdated Latest Releases and Links pages have been deleted because they involve more time to fix than I have this week; I'll be rebuilding and reposting both in the near future.The Tags page has been completely revised and updated, and oy, what a job that was. I use too many tags. In fact, if you see me using a new tag, please smack me in the head.With much…
  • Water? Glass? Both?

    Lynn Viehl
    1 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Browsing the Internet for interesting things to post on the blog occasionally results in me stumbling upon something wonderful. Here is a classic example -- a short video that depicts the opening titles for a Spanish movie; the animation is absolutely marvelous (and contains background music, for those of you at work): Eva / Film Main Titles from Dvein on Vimeo.
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    Bluejo's Journal

  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    26 Aug 2014 | 1:46 am
    Words: 1354Total words: 5962Files: 4Tea: Gaba DragonMusic: Power up music through headphones then nothing. Must find a way to get Bach on computer.Reason for stopping: end of chapter 3, though it will need stuff.I'm in Rome. Some of those words were in Cardiff, and some just now.In Rome, caput mundi, going out now to eat great food and see great things. And writing. What bliss.
  • Sleeper

    Jo Walton
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:53 pm
    My short story "Sleeper" is live at Go, read.I'm at Worldcon.
  • Secular Humanist Comfort Poem

    Jo Walton
    1 Aug 2014 | 7:45 am
    These things make us feel helpless, want to prayOr rage at Gods who made things work this wayIt's very hard to face a universeWhere random chance can strike down like a curse.Because we live and love and know and careWe want existence to be kind of fairThe bad to meet their proper just dessertsAnd good people be free of all that hurts.What can we do? We face a world that's blindAnd hits out randomly, it's not unkindBut cold, indifferent, doesn't care a bitAnd can't be changed by what we offer it.We face this, then one day our friends get illAnd all we have to trust is human skill.
  • GoH at Balticon in 2015

    Jo Walton
    21 Jul 2014 | 1:19 am
    I'm a guest of honour at Balticon next year. Balticon is Memorial Day weekend, in Baltimore. I was there this year, it's a fun con -- big. lots of stuff, lots of fans.I just thought I'd mention this here now, because it seems as if a lot of my friends might be finding themselves unexpectedly free at Memorial Day weekend next year, and if so it would be lovely to see you all at Balticon.
  • A dawn will come

    Jo Walton
    20 Jul 2014 | 1:37 am
    Vallhall stands empty now, silent and cold,The shield-roof shivered, all the dead are gone,Down where they feasted fly the wind-blown leaves,Spiralling, fall, to rise and fall again,Dead leaves, one golden plume, a sheet of runes,The playthings of the wanton whirling wind,No ghosts, no gods, no answers, and no songs.
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    Martha Wells

  • Raksura Release Day

    2 Sep 2014 | 5:13 am
    Today (Sept 2) Stories of the Raksura Vol. I: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud is available today in ebook and audiobook, yay!The trade paperback is scheduled for September 16."The Falling World"Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, has traveled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult."The Tale of Indigo and…
  • Various Sunday Things

    31 Aug 2014 | 6:10 am
    I did get an early birthday surprise yesterday - my husband had arranged a birthday tea at a nice hotel in Houston with some friends, so that was a pretty awesome surprise. There were fancy little sandwiches and fancy little cakes. (The hotel was extremely nice. It had actual pool cabanas which I had seen on TV but never in real life.) So that was a lot of fun.***Judith Tarr is doing online writing classes in October.***This is the second-to-last-day to preorder the ebook (and audiobook, narrated by Christopher Kipiniak) of Stories of the Raksura vol. I, which still looks like it will be out…
  • Friday, such as it is

    29 Aug 2014 | 7:11 am
    This is going around on Facebook, so I thought I'd do it here. Here are the top ten books that greatly have influenced me (not in any particular order):1: Zelde M'tana by F.M. Busby2: Dune by Frank Herbert3: Malevil by Robert Merle4: Wraiths of Time by Andre Norton (A lot of Andre Norton, particularly Star Gate, The Stars are Ours, Star Man's Son)5: Polymath by John Brunner6: A Judgement of Dragons by Phyllis Gotlieb7: The Birthgrave by Tanith Lee8: The Children of Green Knowe by L.M. Boston9: Leviathan's Deep by Jayge Carr10: The Door into Shadow by Diane DuaneMore New Books* Nine White…
  • Thursday Bleagh

    28 Aug 2014 | 6:34 am
    There's a new book wishlist for the Ferguson MO Library: Scroll to the bottom of that post for the updated link to the new wishlist. (The library's shipping address is earlier in the post.) (All the books on the previous wishlist were purchased.)***If you missed it, please check out this post for news about Stories of the Raksura Vol I.***I am going to be 50 on Monday. At this point I'm not doing anything for my birthday, as I really can't afford anything, and I've been having problems with depression and not feeling well this month, so didn't…
  • News and New Books

    26 Aug 2014 | 8:16 am
    News:The release date for Stories of the Raksura I may have been moved back to September 16, at least for the trade paperbacks. (Amazon says September 23 but maybe that's part of an extortion attempt -- you just can't tell with Amazon.) The ebook listings are still listed as releasing on September 2 and the audiobook also still lists September 2. So, I don't know. You guys may know before I do.And the ebook is now up for preorder on Kobo. It just took Kobo a while to join the party, apparently.And the ebook compilation of The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths is available on…
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    Reality Skimming

  • Diff the Dragon – Part Fortyfive

    David Lott
    29 Aug 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 a receptionist at her local FYiDoctors. In her spare time she enjoys writing, video blogging, reading and watching very nerdy TV shows. << Start at Beginning >> Part 45 Thanks to her new babysitter, for the next two years Alivda didn’t mind being left on Barmi, though if Amel was gone for more than…
  • Interview with Djibril al-Ayad

    David Lott
    26 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am Publishing is the publisher of both The Future Fire magazine of social-political speculative fiction, and of two previous anthologies, Outlaw Bodies (2012, co-edited by Lori Selke) and We See a Different Frontier (2013, co-edited by Fabio Fernandes). Djibril al-Ayad, a historian and futurist, co-edited both volumes and has edited TFF since 2005. Djibril is in the process of fundraising for a special anthology of dis/ability-themed speculative fiction, Accessing the Future. The anthology is co-edited by Kathryn Allan and will be published by Publishing. Please…
  • Diff the Dragon – Part Fortyfour

    David Lott
    22 Aug 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 a receptionist at her local FYiDoctors. In her spare time she enjoys writing, video blogging, reading and watching very nerdy TV shows. << Start at Beginning >> Part 44 In the end, Perry managed to get a babysitter named Korbin. He was about fourteen, a member of the PA and just a little more Sevolite…
  • Diff the Dragon – Part Fortythree

    David Lott
    4 Jul 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 a receptionist at her local FYiDoctors. In her spare time she enjoys writing, video blogging, reading and watching very nerdy TV shows. << Start at Beginning >> Part 43 “Amel?” “Yes, may I pass?” “Only if you are here to take that little blonde terror and her friend with you,” the guard…
  • July 3, 2014 – Okal Rel Quote

    Lynda Williams
    3 Jul 2014 | 8:00 am
    Lurol rattled Amel with her irreverent extrapolations from data in Part 5: Far ArenaThe post July 3, 2014 – Okal Rel Quote appeared first on Reality Skimming.
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    All quiet in France

  • Darkness notice

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Heading to the Rainy Writers’ Retreat in Brittany II with Kari Sperring, Kate Elliott, Rochita Loenen-Luiz and Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein (and the snakelet). Internet access will be present but I expect not much to happen on that front; so email, twitter etc. will be slow.Expect to be back Wednesday. Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • Your hemi semi yearly Vietnamese poem

    25 Aug 2014 | 8:02 am
    Because it’s such a pretty, heartbreaking poem: Yêu Tác giả: Xuân Diệu Yêu là chết ở trong lòng một ít Vì mấy khi yêu mà chắc được yêu. Cho rất nhiều song nhận chẳng bao nhiêu; Người ta phụ, hoặc thờ ơ, chẳng biết… Phút gần gũi cũng như giờ chia biệt. Tưởng trăng tàn, hoa tạ với hồn tiêu, Vì mấy khi yêu mà chắc được yêu! - Yêu, là chết ở trong lòng một ít. Họ lạc lối giữa u sầu mù mịt, Những người ai theo dõi dấu chân yêu; Và cảnh đời là sa mạc cô liêu.
  • Guest of Honour at Eurocon 2016

    24 Aug 2014 | 9:34 am
    Very pleased to announce I’ll be a Guest of Honour at Eurocon 2016 in Barcelona, along with Richard Morgan, Jun Miyazaki, and Enrique Corominas. Dates are 4-6 November 2016. (yeah, you’ll have noticed I seem to go to Barcelona quite a bit those days. Not complaining, it’s a great city, the food is awesome, and I get to practise my–ailing–Spanish…) Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • My novel writing process, aka writing with baby

    21 Aug 2014 | 8:01 am
    There’s a fabulous essay by Ursula Le Guin (I think it’s “The Fisherwoman’s daughter”?) on writing and motherhood, which contains the following: “The point, or part of it, is that babies eat manuscripts. They really do. The poem not written because the baby cried, the novel put aside because of a pregnancy, and so on. Babies eat books. But they spit out wads of them that can be taped back together; and they are only babies for a couple of years, while writers live for decades; and it is terrible, but not very terrible.” I read this years ago, and…
  • WIP snippet, because I feel like it

    11 Aug 2014 | 10:48 am
    Looks my LJ crosspost is giving up the ghost; no time to investigate away from home, so here's the direct copy-paste: There was a sound, on the edge of sleep: Suu Nuoc wasn't sure if it was a bell and a drum calling for enlightenment; or the tactics-master sounding the call to arms; in that breathless instant--hanging like a bead of blood from a sword's blade--that marked the boundary between the stylised life of the court and the confused, lawless fury of the battlefield.Aka, "Aliette writes a really ambitious novella that might unexpectedly turn into a novel" (I really hope not. Over 40k…
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    Mostly English

  • Eating Authors: Danielle Ackley-McPhail

    1 Sep 2014 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> Welcome to September (and if you’re in the US, Happy Labor Day). I finished my novel revisions yesterday so I’ll be spending the day doing absolutely nothing! Well, okay, that’s not true, I’ll do my morning workout and maybe go to the local zoo to have a chat with some otters but really, that’s it. For those of you without access to otters, I present the latest installment of EATING AUTHORS instead. Our guest this week is Danielle Ackley-McPhail. She’s probably best known…
  • Eating Authors – The Master List

    30 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.The first EATING AUTHORS post appeared on June 6, 2011. Since then, every Monday at 7:30 a.m., a different author has generously shared a memorable meal here. Below you’ll find an alphabetized list of participants. Over time, the names will be turned into active links. For now though, if a name you want to follow isn’t yet coded, you can type it in the search box on the lower end of the column on the left side of this page. Thanks for reading (and eating). </p> A: Daniel Abraham Forrest Aguirre Saladin…
  • Eating Authors: Michael A. Ventrella

    25 Aug 2014 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> Welcome to the last Monday in August, which this year also happens to be the first Monday after LonCon3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention. If you were among the record numbers who attended this year’s Worldcon, then dropping in here at EATING AUTHORS will allow you to catch your breath. As for the rest of you, please breathe normally. Our guest this week is Michael A. Ventrella, a member of that highly specialized fraternity, F/SF authors who are also lawyers. And given the behavior of most…
  • Eating Authors: Emmie Mears

    18 Aug 2014 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> Not only is it yet another Monday, but it’s the Monday marking the final day of the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (aka, LonCon3), which means it’s also the day after the Hugos. Congratulations to Ann Leckie, Charlie Stross, Mary Robinette Kowal, and John Chu for their respective fiction wins, and to Sofia Samatar, for being the latest recipient of the Campbell Award (may you wear your tiara with pride). And of course, kudos to the finalists as well. Speaking as a past Hugo-Loser, this is…
  • Eating Authors: Leona Wisoker

    11 Aug 2014 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> What is it with Mondays? They keep happening. I feel like the guy who in a moment of weak judgment puts a saucer of milk out on the porch and now finds that damn cat showing up like clockwork. Trust me when I tell you that I’d be quite content to skip a few Mondays here and there. But no, the calendar lobbyists are too powerful. Or something like that. Since it is another Monday, let’s make the best of it. Here to help with that is Leona Wisoker, an author who knows the value of a strong cup of…
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    The Urtaru Chronicles

  • On turning 50…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    24 Aug 2014 | 6:13 pm
    So five weeks ago, I turned 50. Every year since the dawn of the modern social media age, I’ve written a blog post on my birthday.  (When I say modern I mean basically 2007… I avoided that weird era of myspace and Friendster just prior to that, although I was a very early LinkedIn user).  Overall […]
  • When the dog bites, when the bee stings…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    10 Aug 2014 | 3:33 pm
    I wrote this email to family, friends and fellow church trustees yesterday to describe something that happened to me that afternoon. I hope you are amused…and this also should serve as a warning to my middle-aged contemporaries, that if it feels wrong, you’re not doing anyone any good in trying to tough it out. So, […]
  • My mother wanted me to be a doctor…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    12 Jul 2014 | 4:09 pm
      During my first semester as a freshman year at RIT, in 1982, I had a work-study job in the library, long before I got my job as a computer center lab assistant.  One day, walking down the “quarter-mile”, the raised path from the dorms to the academic side of campus, one of my library […]
  • When Software was Hardware…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    25 Jun 2014 | 6:31 pm
    Okay folks, digging through tons of stuff and getting rid of it.  Came across this note.  This is probably around 1989 or 1990 as far as I can remember.  We had a problem that came up on Friday night and I had to write to my boss about it.    Some definitions VLC = VAXstation […]
  • Another ancient trip report

    Armen Chakmakjian
    25 Apr 2014 | 12:00 pm
    I’ve excised the company confidential stuff, but it was 16 years ago and it should provide some amusement.  I was notorious for writing trip reports like this when I came back to the factory (as we called the office at the company) including my trip to India several years later. —————————————————————————- The Unauthorized Trip Report: […]
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  • Kopi Herbal Murah

    2 Sep 2014 | 12:51 am
    Biji kopi kami menggiling dan menggunakan untuk menyeduh kopi berasal dari semak cemara Coffea, tumbuh di 50 negara di seluruh dunia. Setiap tahun, kopi bush bunga dan mengembangkan buah ceri-seperti, di dalamnya yang biasanya dua biji kecil atau biji kopi. Ada 10 spesies yang berbeda Coffea Bush,...
  • “BABE” Aplikasi Berita Terbaik untuk Android

    1 Sep 2014 | 10:20 am
    Nama yang cukup unik untuk membuat kita penasaran dan ingin segera mendownload apliaksi ini. Aplikasi yang tidak jauh berbeda dengan berbagai aplikasi berita terbaik untuk android. Sebelum saya menjelaskan lebih jauh tentang keunggulan dari si Babe ini, saya akan menjelaskan terlebih dahulu tentang...
  • Tablet Berkualitas Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 Harga Cukup Murah

    4 Aug 2014 | 12:59 am
    Tidak semua orang memiliki uang atau keinginan untuk high-end tablet gigi. Maka Samsung, tidak pernah takut untuk menawarkan produk-produk dalam berbagai ukuran dan merk baris, menawarkan seri Galaxy Tab untuk masuk ke pertengahan tablet tingkat pembeli dan jalur catatan dan Tab Pro bagi mereka...
  • Orangetv Hadirkan Liga Inggris Terlengkap Dan Liga Champion Serta Channel Premium Untuk Pengguna Parabola Besar

    19 Jul 2014 | 9:59 pm
    (Introduction) PT.Mega Media (OrangeTV) meluncurkan varian lini produk terbaru nya, yaitu decoder C-Band yang diberi nama Orange Ceria. Peluncuran lini produk baru ini ditujukan bagi pengguna parabola besar C Band atau yan juga dikenal sebagai parabola jaring di Indonesia. Dengan demikan para...
  • Keunggulan low MPV

    11 May 2014 | 8:06 pm
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    David MackDavid Mack »

  • Behind the Art of Star Trek: Seekers

    David Mack
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:57 pm
    The Trek Collective has posted a Q&A with Rob Caswell, the illustrator who crafted the covers for the new Star Trek: Seekers novels. They get Rob’s perspective on learning that his work had spawned a new officially licensed Star Trek novel series, and then he offers a look behind the scenes at the creative development process […]
  • Star Trek: Seekers #2 is here!

    David Mack
    26 Aug 2014 | 7:48 pm
    America, your long national nightmare is at an end: the second book of the new Star Trek: Seekers series is now on sale everywhere your favorite books are sold. Star Trek: Seekers #2 – Point of Divergence, by Dayton Ward & Kevin Dilmore, concludes the story begun in my novel, Star Trek: Seekers #1 – Second […]
  • Another SEEKERS podcast!

    David Mack
    19 Aug 2014 | 12:56 pm
    I know what you’re thinking:“Dave, I don’t think you’ve recorded enough podcast interviews about Star Trek: Seekers. Could you post another?”I sure can! Listen to me, Dayton Ward, Kevin Dilmore, and artist Rob Caswell discuss the new series with host Jason Hunt (aka scifi4me) of Live from the Bunker.We taped the show on Monday, August […]
  • Yak at me, brah!

    David Mack
    15 Aug 2014 | 11:10 am
    If you’ve ever thought, “I wish David Mack would participate in a live Internet radio show with a call-in option so I could bug him with an annoying question and have it and his stymied reaction recorded for posterity,” now is your chance. I’ll be chatting =LIVE= about the new Star Trek: Seekers series with […]
  • My reward for helping GISHWHES folks

    David Mack
    14 Aug 2014 | 4:01 pm
    Many writers who balked at writing stories for participants in this year’s GISHWHES did so because they disliked the notion of writing for free. But, I ask you, how can one put a price on a reward such as this? This is all the recompense I require for my efforts. :-) It was fun, GISHERs — […]
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    SF Signal

  • Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Corrina Lawson on Autism and Superpowers

    Corrina Lawson
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:30 pm
    NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Corrina Lawson! – Sarah Chorn Corrina Lawson likes to say she’s a writer, mom, geek, and superhero, though not necessary all four on the same day. Her fiction self is the author of the Amazon steampunk bestseller, The Curse of the Brimstone Contract, and the Phoenix Institute psychic superhero series. Her non-fiction identity is as the Content Director and co-founder of and co-author of GeekMom: Project, Tips and Adventures for Moms & Their 21st Century Families. She and her four…
  • Pay What You Want for Phoenix Pick’s Book of the Month: FUTURE PERFECT by Nancy Kress

    John DeNardo (SF Signal)
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:22 pm
    Attention, readers! Phoenix Pick has a new pay-what-you-want eBook special ready to go: Future Perfect: Six Stories of Genetic Engineering by Nancy Kress! About the book: Nancy Kress is unrivaled in her treatment of genetic engineering. In 1991 she wrote the ground-breaking classic novella Beggars in Spain (Hugo/Nebula) and since then has only enhanced her outstanding reputation of telling stories set in the near-future and dealing with genetics. This collection brings together six of these stories written between 1984 and 2008, including “The Flowers of Aulit Prison” which won…
  • Table of Contents: Clarkesworld, September 2014

    John DeNardo (SF Signal)
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:18 pm
    The new issue of Clarkesworld is now posted: FICTION “Weather” by Susan Palwick “Patterns of a Murmuration, in Billions of Data Points” by Jy Yang “Spring Festival: Happiness, Anger, Love, Sorrow, Joy” by Xia Jia “Falling Star” by Brendan Dubois “Her Furry Face” by Leigh Kennedy “Giants” by Peter Watts NON-FICTION Flash Gordon, Cardboard Space Stations, and Zero Gravity Sex: Why Science Fiction Isn’t Always to Blame by Mark Cole Consciousness as Story: A Conversation with Ann Leckie by Alvaro Zinos-amaro Another Word:…
  • Grand Moff Tarkin Can’t Catch a Break

    John DeNardo (SF Signal)
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:15 pm
    From the outside, it may appear as if the Death Star is a mighty military force. But a closer look inside reveals that things are not all that rosy…particularly for a leader like Grand Moff Tarkin, who has quite a lot to deal with as you can see in this vide titled Star Wars: Grand Moff Mix-Up. The post Grand Moff Tarkin Can’t Catch a Break appeared first on SF Signal Copyright © SF Signal No related posts.
  • Top 30 SF Signal Posts for August 2014

    John DeNardo (SF Signal)
    1 Sep 2014 | 10:11 pm
    In case you missed them, here are The Top SF Signal Posts for August 2014 (excluding the daily link posts and free fiction posts): “Daddy, What’s Dungeons & Dragons?” Wanna See the 299 Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Books Coming Out in August? Here are 330 Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Kindle eBook Titles Priced $3.99 or Less Cover & Synopsis: THE SKULL THRONE by Peter V. Brett MIND MELD: Underappreciated Genre Authors 146 *More* Inexpensive Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Kindle eBooks Priced Under $4 Each Special Needs in Strange Worlds Guest Post: Kameron…
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    The World in the Satin Bag

  • On Robin Williams

    31 Aug 2014 | 6:20 am
    You have probably already heard about the death of Robin Williams by (apparent) suicide.  Given the public nature of celebrity deaths, I have a feeling a lot of people are somewhat desensitized to the whole thing.  I, however, feel inclined to say a few words about Robin Williams.I was born in 1983.  Basically, I was a 90s kid.  I grew up on 90s cartoons.  I grew up on 90s movies.[1]  Among my fondest memories are those films which featured Robin Williams.  Hook (1991), FernGully (1992), Aladdin (1992), Mrs. Doubtfire (1993), Jumanji (1995),…
  • Anonymous Comments = Off

    30 Aug 2014 | 6:41 am
    A quick note for readers:  I ran a bit of an experiment with comments to see if turning off registration requirements (even with something like Open ID) would affect the activity on this blog.  Unfortunately, all that seemed to happen is that spammers got more comments into my moderation queue than real people with real things to say.  For that reason, I'm turning off anonymous comments.  It'll prevent my statistics from being skewed and it'll make my life easier, since I won't have to delete mountains of annoying spam comments from my inbox.Hopefully, this won't be a…
  • Book Review: All Those Vanished Engines (2014) by Paul Park

    28 Aug 2014 | 4:17 pm
    "It occurs to me that every memoirist and every historian should begin by reminding their readers that the mere act of writing something down, of organizing something in a line of words, involves a clear betrayal of the truth." -- All Those Vanished Engines by Paul Park (Pg. 173)Of the novels I've reviewed in the last year, this is by far one of the most difficult.  All Those Vanished Engines (2014) by Paul Park is not your typical SF novel.  It is layered, divergent, and postmodern.  If I were to describe this book in a single phrase, it would be "a destabilized…
  • 5 Don'ts of Panels (and Podcast Roundtables)

    27 Aug 2014 | 12:26 pm
    I'm officially back from Worldcon/LonCon3, which marks my third convention this year (preceded by ICFA and CONvergence).  Having had a few experiences as a panelist, I've learned a few things about what works and what doesn't.  The below list is not exhaustive by any means, but it reflects my fairly new experiences as an panelist and audience member.Here goes:Do NOT assume something personal about a panelistIn particular, do NOT assume you share experiences with a panelist because you share some physical or personal feature.  Two religious people may have had entirely different…
  • The Taxonomy of Genre: Science Fiction as Supergenre

    25 Aug 2014 | 3:55 am
    I recently stayed with Maureen Kincaid Speller and Paul Kincaid, two wonderful people whose book collections would make almost any sf fan drool.  One of the brief discussions we had before I headed off for my final days in London concerned the often pointless debates about what science fiction “is.”  Paul suggested that thinking of sf as a “genre” in the narrative sense is not accurate to the use of “genre.”  Unlike romance or crime, there is nothing unique to the narrative practice of sf that can be separated from everything else.  This might explain, for…
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  • Melbourne UFO : ‘UFO’ Spotted Hovering For More Than An Hour

    1 Sep 2014 | 3:50 am
    An object with flashing red, green and blue lights spotted hovering over Melbourne’s southeast last night. Residents reported seeing the light over Carnegie for more than two hours. “It’s really... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Two Major UFO Sightings Filmed Over Pennsylvania, In Last Three Months

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:16 pm
    In last three months two major UFO sightings were filmed in 80 miles radius over Pennsylvania. First sighting was filmed on 30 June, 2014 over city of Altoona. While second was sighted and filmed... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Pennsylvania Woman Filmed UFO Over Dauphin County, USA

    29 Aug 2014 | 2:08 pm
    Pennsylvania woman captured unidentified flying object (UFO) on her cell phone camera. A couple police officers also say they saw the UFO that night. Stephanie Wilkerson says she was relaxing on her... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Multiple UFO's Filmed Over Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina

    26 Aug 2014 | 6:00 am
    According to eye witness testimonial, "I thought that's a strange light. Maybe it's a helicopter light, and I was watching them go, and they sorta did like a half circle," said Woozy Dell, who is... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Sacramento Resident Captures UFO Two Days In A Row

    24 Aug 2014 | 1:15 pm
    According to eyewitness testimony, two weeks back I witnessed a glowing object in the sky while walking home from lunch with my son. "It was beautiful it was radiant," I saw the object again two... Click on Headline to read complete story...
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    Risingshadow - Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • A review of Naomi Clark's Undertow

    1 Sep 2014 | 7:13 am
    Naomi Clark's Undertow was published by Ragnarok Publications in August 2014. Information about Naomi Clark: Naomi Clark lives in Cambridge and is a mild-mannered office worker by day, but a slightly crazed writer by night. She has a perfectly healthy obsession with giant sea creatures and a preference for vodka-based cocktails. When she's not writing, Naomi is probably either reading or watching '80s cartoon shows - sometimes she manages to do all three at once. Click here to visit the author's official website. Information about Undertow: Private Investigator Ethan Banning is a desperate…
  • A review of Dave Weaver's The Black Hole Bar

    30 Aug 2014 | 2:57 am
    Dave Weaver's The Black Hole Bar was published by Elsewhen Press in June 2014 as an e-book. The paperback edition will be published in September 2014. Information about Dave Weaver: Ever since, as a boy, Dave Weaver first watched invading Daleks trundle across London Bridge in grainy BBC monotone, thrilled to Doctor Quatermass' discovery of Martian corpses buried deep in the London Underground and read about mankind's tenuous grip on existence being almost wiped out by marauding Triffids, he has loved science fiction, particularly the British variety. A graphic designer by day, Dave has been…
  • A review of Caspian's The Magician in the Attic

    26 Aug 2014 | 2:11 am
    Caspian's The Magician in the Attic was published by Elsewhen Press in June 2014 as an e-book. The paperback edition will published in August 2014. The Magician in the Attic is the first book of the Curlew Chronicles. Information about Caspian: Caspian is a thirty-something UK-based illusionist. His style of both writing and performing smacks of the classics with his own modern twist. Approaching twenty years in the magic and deception business led naturally to writing fiction with some deceptive twists and turns. Originally from Bristol his work has taken him all over the world and he is…
  • George RR Martin announced as a Guest of Honour of Archipelacon

    22 Aug 2014 | 4:24 am
    Archipelacon has announced their third Guest of Honour. He is the man behind A Song of Ice and Fire -series, George R. R. Martin. Archipelacon will be in Mariehamn, Åland Islands, Finland, June 25-28 2015.  Membership is 30 e, and if you are under 26 at the time of the con, only 10 e. More info on Archipelacon website!
  • An interview with J. L. Murray

    20 Aug 2014 | 10:48 pm
    Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing J. L. Murray. J. L. Murray likes adventure. Raised in a tiny mill town in Northwestern Montana, J. L. had every intention of being anything but ordinary. After a shortlived marriage at the age of 19, J.L. decided to explore every facet life had to offer. She hitchhiked with friends. She went to Rainbow Gatherings all across the U.S. She lived on a farm. She explored the punk scene, fell in love, laughed loudly, and cried deeply. When she met her husband, her adventurous spirit didn't dry up. If anything, J. L.'s husband exacerbates her desire to…
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    On Starships and Dragonwings

  • The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley ARC {4 Stars}

    2 Sep 2014 | 4:00 am
    The Mirror Empire by Kameron Hurley is an incredibly ambitious and wonderful epic fantasy that throws out every rulebook trope of the genre to create a truly magical experience. The Mirror Empire combines awesome magic dependent on which star is most present in the sky with parallel worlds battling for their very survival as an apocalypse approaches that occurs every 2000 years. Forget fantasy based on Medieval Europe with kings and knights, bring in a number of matriarchal societies, plus societies with completely different gender norms (5 genders) and marriage arrangements (understandable…
  • Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini ARC {4 Stars}

    1 Sep 2014 | 4:59 am
    Trial by Fire by Josephine Angelini combines magic with science, fantasy with sci-fi, and parallel worlds with love shapes of all kinds ;-). I found Trial by Fire to be better than I had expected with lots of little details that made me squee, while it also stumbled at other times. The magic of Trial by Fire has a strong basis in chemistry and Trial by Fire brought up some actually quite thought-provoking ideas about the benefits and costs of scientific progress in our world where magic could rule in a parallel world. Note: I received an advanced copy of Trial by Fire from the publisher.
  • Updates from the Lair 8/31/14

    31 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!).  Hello lovelies! The school semester has started up for me once again which means dodging undergrads and having to schedule my work hours around the madness that is football home games on campus (seriously, there have been riots at times). I’m taking two actual classes and one short seminar and I’m quite excited for all of them! This is my last year…
  • Spoils, Tribute, and Planning to Pillage

    30 Aug 2014 | 4:00 am
    Spoils and Tribute is a feature of On Starships and Dragonwings where I tell you about the books I’ve bought and received recently (my version of Stacking the Shelves). I promise that I paid for all my spoils and I’m not letting the “tribute” go to my head ;-). Planning to pillage is just my version of Waiting on Wednesday where I share books that have caught my eye! It’s been so long since I did a Spoils and Tribute post! I keep being tempted to do other fun things on Saturdays and letting the books pile up, but I’m also really excited about all these…
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

    29 Aug 2014 | 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 to Marie for winning last week and snagging my ARC of Trial by Fire, hope you love it!! This week I aimed to get a few different tempting upcoming releases for you all so hopefully there is something you’re…
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    ATG Reviews

  • Saturday Buffoonery #27

    30 Aug 2014 | 8:00 am
    Sesame Street vs Power Rangers Street BattleWe this found video early last week that was made by RackaRacka. It features the Cookie Monster battling it out with the Power Rangers over a bag of cookies that’s being shared by a couple on a picnic.  This is a real morbid and violent video, but it’s still damn funny. Enjoy!Link to VideoThere was an error retrieving the YouTube video ID for the url you entered, please verify that the url is correct.The post Saturday Buffoonery #27 appeared first on ATG Reviews.
  • As Above, So Below Film Review

    The World Weary
    29 Aug 2014 | 12:54 pm
    Tomb Raider 3: Legend of the Lazy Filmmaker (or… A Wacky Day in Demon Town!)STOP MAKING THESE GIMMICKY PIECES OF SHIT HOLLYWOOD. PLEASE IF I HAVE TO SEE ANOTHER FOUND FOOTAGE CRAPFEST, I’M GOING TO MAKE A FOUND FOOTAGE FILM OF ME TEABAGGING EVERYONE INVOLVED WITH THESE FILMS WHILE THEY SLEEP.…As Above, So Below follows the story of a young woman named Scarlett (Perdita Weeks) and five of her least interesting acquaintances as they search the catacombs beneath Paris for the legendary Philosopher’s Stone. They get deep into an unmarked area of the labyrinth when they…
  • George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb Harper Voyager Interview

    28 Aug 2014 | 9:43 pm
    George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb Interview EventEarlier this month, Harper Voyager organized a live event where George R.R. Martin and Robin Hobb were jointly interviewed in front of a live audience.  Clips of the interview have been going around for a week, but now the whole video has finally been posted by Blinkbox.The authors discuss early life stories, early writing experiences, each of their own respective works, and they answer submitted questions from fans.Video Here!There was an error retrieving the YouTube video ID for the url you entered, please verify that the url is correct.The…
  • The Black Company Book Review

    28 Aug 2014 | 10:00 am
    Chronicles of The Black Company Book OneBuy on Amazon!Glen Cook’s The Black Company begins here (it can be a confusing series to follow). Originally published in 1984, this has been a highly regarded fantasy series for the last thirty years, and its reputation has certainly been justified.  This book opened the door for future writers of dark fantasy, military fantasy, and fantasy with moral compromise.Before Steven Erikson’s Whiskeyjack was marshaling the Malazan’s into and out of desperate battles, and before Martin’s Tywin Lannister was planning his family’s…
  • The Walking Dead Season Two Episode Five: No Going Back Game Review

    The World Weary
    27 Aug 2014 | 1:18 pm
    End of the Road This article features a plethora of spoilers for The Walking Dead Season One and Two, including the opening moments of No Going Back. Looking back now, it’s sad that I won’t be getting another episode of Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead for a while. I’d come to anticipate the arrival of the newest episode (especially during the several month long wait for episode two…) with a certain fervor. It never felt like the wait for another Hobbit movie or another Call of Duty, where when it’s announced you just roll your eyes and mutter…
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    Suren Fant's Blog

  • The Giver - Reviewed

    27 Aug 2014 | 11:06 pm
    Imagining the world without feelings is creepy, a tremor runs through the whole body. People are like zombies, programmed robots - to eat, to sleep and to work.The world becomes black and white, but Jonas, from time to time, sees colors. He doesn't know what the color is until he's selected as A Memory Receiver. The previous Memory Holder (The Giver) gives him his memories and feelings and Jonas realizes how large the world is, how many things have been taken away from people. He loves the feelings and wants to pass them to the others, to open their eyes.What makes me to rate this book 3…
  • Slow Burn - Slow Flow

    15 Jul 2014 | 5:16 am
    I think zombi-lovers can find the idea of this book interesting. As it starts you're already in the full story. Though I could say the first chapter runs too fast and the happening take place faster than I expected.Zed goes to his mother's place and finds his stepdad eating his mother. Then he attacks Zed and bites him, but the interesting flow of this story is that Zed doesn't turn into zombi, he's some kind of immune. I can't say for sure, as the first book doesn't bring me a clue who Zed has turned. And then everything begins as in every zombi-story - the disease starts spreading and…
  • 99 Cent Discount

    4 Jul 2014 | 4:37 am
    What if you wake up in an unknown town your memories wiped from your head?Jonathan is alone having no clue who and what he is, where he has come from and where he should go.Empty streets, old houses, the town seems abandoned. There's no one to ask for help. Jonathan wanders the town in search of any sign of life. Soon he comes to the realization that he's moments from death as absolutely evil dwells in the town seeking fresh souls to suck up. The seemingly dead town is only outwardly empty.Who is he? Who brought him here? With a female resident - Elizabeth, Jonathan has to work his way…
  • The Fog - If you want something different

    3 Jul 2014 | 2:03 am
    I found something which is worth to read - story which isn't like the others. There are a lot of books nowadays with the same meaning surrounded by different heroes. The fog wasn't like them.Here we get in the story with an earthquake taking place in a little village. From the cracks on the ground rise yellowish fog, outwardly not dangerous, but it has intended to kill, the most dangerous enemy of mankind comes out from under the ground.Nobody realizes that at first and the fog travels over England bringing death. Everybody who breathes it, becomes insane, there is something in the fog…
  • Abducted by T.R. Ragan - Reviewed

    31 May 2014 | 5:27 am
    When I picked up this book I was expecting something new, but instead I found disappointments. First, I had a strange sensation that the FBI agents in this book look stupid idiots. They are agents who protect the president of The United States, how could they behave like they were described in this book. And they are FBI agents, Federal, and as far as I know those agents don't wast time to find killers or any swindler if that person doesn't mean any danger to the nation, to the country. This is the job of detectives and the police.But, let's put all these aside. The story flows, though there…
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