SciFi & Fantasy Novels

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  • Pagans Alleged to be in Christian Heaven

    Bluejo's Journal
    Jo Walton
    11 Oct 2014 | 4:27 pm
    Googling is not getting me anywhere, so let's try assembling a list myself.Virtuous Pagans alleged to be in the Christian HeavenSocrates -- alleged by Kierkergard to have been converted after his death.Plato -- alleged by Nicetas in a commentary on Nazianus to have gone up at the Harrowing (Dante disagrees and leaves him in Limbo)Trajan -- alleged by Dante in Paradiso, from a medieval legend that St Gregory prayed so hard for Trajan's soul than he got to be alive in the flesh again for long enough to be converted. (This leaves me utterly perplexed as to everyone's motives -- why…
  • Quotations at the beginnings of chapters

    Inhuman Swill
    10 Oct 2014 | 6:17 am
    A reader writes to ask:I'm finalizing a manuscript and your templates are so helpful. One thing I can't seem to find addressed is the use of quotes - a poem or just a quotation from a person, at the beginning of a chapter. Since I would like to have one in my first chapter and it would then be the first thing an agent sees, I am worried about how to do it right. Can you help?All you need to do is indent the quote one half inch from both the left and the right margin and put a line space after it. You can single-space the quote if you like. Otherwise, everything else is the same. You still…
  • A Reflection on Jodorowsky’s Dune

    OMNI Reboot
    Alex Kane
    19 Oct 2014 | 11:00 am
    The post A Reflection on Jodorowsky’s Dune appeared first on OMNI Reboot.
  • the making of fudge

    the essential kit
    15 Oct 2014 | 6:16 am
    I have made just about All The Fudge In The World. I've added it up, and all told it's going to be 75 pounds (there are a couple left to do this weekend). That's a lot of fudge. A LOT of fudge. Here are the ingredients, from The Big Shopping Excursion: Prepping a 12 pound quadruple batch. This is NOT for the uninitiated: I came very close to screwing this up. Expert level fudge-maker only.This in no way conveys just how much fudge is on the platter. 12 pounds is a huge amount of fudge.The plate of fudge/previous picture holds as much as is in those two pans, plus another of the large pan's…
  • ‘Jim Anthony, Super-Detective, Vol. 4′

    The Pulp Super-Fan
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:00 am
    Airship 27 is back with a 4th volume of new Jim Anthony […]
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  • Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss

    15 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss Published by Hammer Books/Random House, October 2014 ISBN: 978 009 9585343 248 pages   Review by Mark Yon Lynne Truss is not a name that immediately springs to mind as a writer of horror, although she is the best-selling author of the book about English grammar and vocabulary, […]
  • Jeyn Roberts Interview

    Dag R.
    14 Oct 2014 | 4:11 am
    Jeyn Roberts, the author behind the Dark Inside series has just released a rather different novel called The Bodies We Wear. You’ve just released The Bodies We Wear. Can you tell us a bit about it? Faye was only eleven when she and her friend, Christian, were forced to take Heam. She survived. Christian didn’t. […]
  • Red Tide by Larry Niven, Brad R. Torgersen and Matthew J. Harrington

    12 Oct 2014 | 2:01 am
    Red Tide by Larry Niven, Brad R. Torgersen and Matthew J. Harrington Part of The Stellar Guild Series Published by Phoenix Pick, October 2014 ISBN: 978 1 61242 1322 214 pages   Review by Mark Yon   Here’s the latest in the Stellar Guild Series, where, under the guidance of Mike Resnick, famous authors are […]
  • The Abyss Beyond Dreams by Peter F Hamilton (Chronicle of the Fallers #1)

    Mark Chitty
    10 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    The Abyss Beyond Dreams (Chronicle of the Fallers #1) is Peter F Hamilton’s return to his Commonwealth Universe, a setting that, prior to this novel, stands at six volumes. Not that they’re all a continuous series, but rather a stand-alone (Misspent Youth), a duology known as the Commonwealth Saga (Pandora’s Star and Judas Unchained), and […]
  • Shield and Crocus by Michael R. Underwood

    Rob B
    7 Oct 2014 | 2:45 am
    Sometimes mixing two popular flavors of a genre can work, other times it doesn’t mesh well. Sometimes; however, much like when H.B. Reese first mixed chocolate and peanut butter, the two flavors blend so well that what is most surprising is that it hasn’t been tried before. Such is the case with Michael R. Underwood’s […]
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    SF Site

  • The Year's Best Science Fiction: by Volume compiled by Rodger Turner

    15 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    In 1984, Gardner Dozois gathered together what he thought was the best short science fiction of the previous year. He scrutinized as many of the magazines, collections and anthologies published in 1983 that he could get his hands on and chose those which he felt best represented the science fiction field. Jim Frenkel published it as part of his Bluejay Books line (for three years) and it has been produced every year since then (by St. Martins's Press). Volume 31 has been added to the lists compiled by author, by title and by volume.
  • Gray Spa: The Gray Zone Gray Spa: The Gray Zone by Roger L. Phillips

    1 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    If we thought we were alone in the universe we would be wrong, especially with this book of close encounters of the humorous kind. If the first cover image doesn't get you laughing your socks off -- the rest of the book will. With over 200 gag comics inside, it's the thickness of a graphic novel we have come to expect from Close Encounters Studios.
  • Godzilla: The Official Movie Novelization Godzilla: The Official Movie Novelization by Greg Cox

    1 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    For anyone who has seen the trailer for the new movie, size is everything and the mere sight of the lizard Godzilla appearing out of the water gives a feeling of awe and fear at how large it is. What the previous movie lacked in special effects and size this more than makes up for it in the new adaptation of the popular Japanese movie. The original idea for Godzilla goes right back to Toko Co., Ltd in 1932.
  • The Rain-Soaked Bride by Guy Adams

    1 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    This book continues the adventures of the Clown Service, as begun in the novel of the same name. This time around, after an action filled start in Russia, the plot heads home with a premise that centres around an assassin who can't be killed. When several members of the diplomatic service die in apparently explainable, yet oddly similar circumstances, Section 37 -- aka the Clown Service -- begins to suspect an inhuman killer.
  • A Brief History of Superheroes A Brief History of Superheroes by Brian J. Robb

    1 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Comics have been around for most of us for a rather short time. We remember the look of late nineties comics from DC to Marvel which look more sophisticated with their computer drawn graphics and vibrant colour and amazing special effects that draw us to buy them for our collections. But what about the early comics, does anyone know where it all started at a most basic level?
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    SF Novelists

  • Yes, but can you relate…?

    Alma Alexander
    5 Oct 2014 | 4:08 pm
    The issue of “relatability” is not a new one, although the word describing it has been a relatively recent arrival in modern dictionaries. In a recent essay in the New Yorker of all places, Rebecca Mead opens up by a critic’s dismissal of King Lear, in particular, and Shakespeare, in general, as not being “relatable”. Given that Shakespeare lived and wrote all those centuries ago, I’d think that the mere fact that his plays were being performed AT ALL today, let alone with such reverence and adulation which has been the Bard’s due ever since he put quill to parchment  would be…
  • Short Fiction, Anthologies, and an Ongoing Kickstarter Campaign

    David B. Coe
    23 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    I often encourage aspiring novelists to write short fiction, which is a bit ironic, since I began my career writing novels and didn’t sell my first short story until I had my fourth novel in production. But this is a classic case of “do as I say and not as I do.” Or did. Writing short stories can help hone one’s craft. The challenge of short fiction — the need to tell a complete story in a limited amount of space — forces us to write leaner, to develop character and plot more efficiently, to choose which details are vital to our narratives and which are superfluous. And…
  • Voice – what you say, and how you say it

    Alma Alexander
    5 Sep 2014 | 12:05 pm
      Part of the problem of writing the other, writing about a culture one has researched rather than the culture  you are familiar with from the inside, is that it depends so fundamentally not just on WHAT is  said, but on HOW it is said. So a component of the problem becomes not just approaching it with the requisite respectful attention and the willingness to do enough research to make it stand but making that approach from the correct direction… seeing the world from a proper perspective… and, most importantly, speaking with the right voice. Stereotypes have always been easy …
  • 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…
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    Lab Of Cosmos

  • 3 Smart Tips to Do Blood Pressure Diet

    20 Oct 2014 | 1:59 am
    When you want to do blood pressure diet, there are several types of food that you have to avoid. First, you have to avoid meat. Indeed, this type of food will be able to improve the blood pressure in your body fast. You have to make sure that you are not eating this type of food too much. When you eat meat too much, the problem of your blood pressure will increase in an instant.Second, you have to select the best method of blood pressure diet that can give you satisfaction things that you need. You have to avoid eating junk food as you can see that such type of food can make the amount of…
  • Low Residue Diet, explained in a Nutshell

    18 Oct 2014 | 5:22 pm
    If someone you know have IBD or inflammatory bowel disease, or any other relevant disease that are similar to that, the doctor might suggest them to take a low-residue diet as their daily dietary programs. This dietary plans basically involves the consumption of eating foods that are higher in its digestible rates. This kind of dietary plan can help to reduce any symptoms related to these bowel diseases, such as cramping on the stomach, or even diarrhea, even though it does not actually cure it.Low residue diet involves all kinds of foods which are rich in fibre and therefore are far easier…
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    Eric James Stone

  • Book Recommendation: The Martian

    Eric James Stone
    24 Sep 2014 | 8:03 am
    The Martian, by Andy Weir, is the best standalone novel I’ve listened to so far this year.  Here’s the one-sentence summary: A MacGyver-like  astronaut stranded alone on Mars has to figure out how to survive until rescue can come. I first heard of the novel from Daniel Burton’s stellar review at Attack of the Books, and was so intrigued I bought it immediately.  The story is so gripping, I stayed up way past my bedtime listening.  If you want to read a more thorough review, read Daniel’s.  (The one thing I’ll add to his review is that I’m not sure if…
  • I have signed a novel contract

    Eric James Stone
    9 Sep 2014 | 5:04 pm
    It’s been a long process, but today I signed a contract with Baen Books to publish my debut novel, Unforgettable.  I’m very excited to have my novel come out from the same publishing house that publishes some of my favorite authors, including David Weber, Lois McMaster Bujold, Larry Correia, Elizabeth Moon, and Brad R. Torgersen.  I don’t yet know when it will be available — I’m guessing sometime next year.
  • Why Republicans/Conservatives Should Compromise on Same-Sex Marriage ASAP

    Eric James Stone
    25 May 2014 | 11:01 am
    Note: I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason, with or without explanation. Having written about my personal and religious thinking about same-sex marriage, I now want to address the politics of the issue. Yesterday, a panel of the 10th Circuit ruled that Utah’s ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.  That ruling is on hold while Utah will appeal to either the full 10th Circuit or to the Supreme Court.  Ultimately, this case will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.  And at this point, it’s possible it could go either way. While for the reasons…
  • Series Recommendation: The Glamourist Histories

    Eric James Stone
    12 May 2014 | 11:51 am
    I just finished listening to Valour and Vanity, the fourth book in the Glamourist Histories series by Mary Robinette Kowal.  I’ve enjoyed all the books very much. The first, Shades of Milk and Honey, can simply be described as what Jane Austen would have written if she wrote fantasy.  Basically, it takes place in a world very much like our own 1800s, but there’s a type of magic called glamour that allows the creation of illusions.  The plot of the first novel is very Austenish, dealing with prospects of marriage, or lack thereof, for the main character, Jane Ellsworth. Rather…
  • And we will prove them herewith…

    Eric James Stone
    3 Mar 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Note: I reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason, with or without explanation. This is going to be a long, meandering post, but there’s a reason why: I want to give as full a context as possible to my position. Let me start off by saying that, due to my own personal spiritual experiences, I believe the following: God the Father exists. His divine son Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the world and rose from the dead. Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only church with the proper authority to act in God’s…
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    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass

  • The Future of Books

    9 Oct 2014 | 7:20 pm
    Picking back up where I left off a month ago on my predictions, today I'm going to talk about what books might look like five years, ten years, a hundred years out. E-book growth has recently leveled off and print books are showing resilience, for now. Still, print books do face one major obstacle, which is the continued struggle of brick and mortar bookstores. Best sellers will continue to
  • Fitness update: Two years later

    7 Sep 2014 | 7:59 am
    James and Cheryl 2014    James and Cheryl 2012 Endomondo Training stats as of 9-6-2014   Two years ago, Cheryl and I decided it was time to alter our bodies. Doing so meant altering our lives. We started using a program called MyFitnessPal* to track the calories we ate each day. A few months later, we started using a program called Endomondo to track our exercise.   When we first
  • 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
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    Kathryn Cramer

  • The Sin of Omission

    18 Oct 2014 | 6:12 pm
    My 30th anthology came out a little over a month ago. It is a high profile book. I have enjoyed the PR immensely. But. A minority of the articles about the book mysteriously forget to mention my name even though it is on the cover, the title page, and the spine as specified by my contract. For the first three or four, I ignored the omission and cheerfully retweeted mentions of the offending articles. I have been good humored. But The Chronicle of Higher Education should know better. Folks, this is a non-trivial issue. Over the course of my career as an anthologist, I have had trouble getting…
  • Offensive GOP Mailer Attacks Localovore Movement

    16 Oct 2014 | 10:03 am
    I just got a really offensive GOP attack direct mail piece aimed at Aaron Woolf who is running for Bill Owens' House seat againt Karl Rove-backed Elise Stefanik. Their point of attack is Woolf's association with organic food through his ownership of a grocery store in Brooklyn. It looks like a nice place, the kind of place that our local farmers have been selling their producrs through as the North Country's farming economy makes a comeback. The authors of the mailer seem unaware of the resurgence of small farms in the North Country, many of which are organic or feature…
  • Driving around Vermont, Thinking

    13 Oct 2014 | 9:51 am
    photo by Tony Hisgett Friday and Saturday, I spent a lot of time driving around Vermont. I also spent a lot of time thinking while driving. I was thinking about whether to expand on my most recent blog post and what it is safe to say. These were the most beautiful drives I have ever taken in Vermont. The leaves were at peak and the air was still, so there were many reflections. (Unfortunatly, I didn't stop to take pictures.) Friday, I had a belated appointment with the orthopedist at Fletcher Allen, who told me that my month-old fracture in the second metatarsal of my right…
  • Give Peace a Chance: My Return to Blogging

    9 Oct 2014 | 3:01 pm
    I have decided to come back to blogging. I am returning at a point of happiness and strength with a new book out which is successful in ways I had never imagined an anthology could be. I have been having an amazing time these past few weeks. I find that I have made my decision to resume just at the moment when Kathy Sierra's blog post Why the Trolls Will Always Win, commemorating ten years of over-the-top harassment, is published in Wired.  In 2005, she defined something called the Koolaid point: I wrote a light-hearted article about “haters” (the quotes matter) and…
  • An unexpected day in Boston

    17 Sep 2014 | 6:47 pm
    The trip to California was exciting and its hard to know where to start. We launched Hieroglyph on September 10th in Silicon Valley to a very enthusiastic reception. We did authors@google at lunchtime and then had a sold out panel discussion at Kepler's in Menlo Park. Our event in LA was also sold out. Here I am in the cab on the way to LAX early yesterday morning. (Though not early enough!) I had an unexpected overnight in Boston because I missed my connecting flight. So I did the obvious thing: I went to bookstores. At the Brookline Booksmith, not only did they have Hieroglyph on the…
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    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • four Far Horizons authors (not me) interviewed at the Stargate novels site

    19 Oct 2014 | 12:20 pm
    Stargate novel editor Sally Malcolm -- also the editor of the Far Horizons anthology, and one of the contributors to same -- sat down with four of the other authors in the anthology to discuss their stories: Diana Dru Botsford, Jo Graham, Amy Griswold, and Melissa Scott.Here's the interview:The book will be out in eBook form on 23 October and in print form on 6 November. My own story will be a Carter-and-Teal'c tale called "Time Keeps on Slippin'," which fills the gap between the third and fourth seasons.
  • Orlando Jones is the finest human being who ever lived

    19 Oct 2014 | 12:00 pm
    And this is why:Check out @KRADeC's #SleepyHollow novel Children of the Revolution for founding father name dropping & Ichabbie feels— Orlando Jones (@TheOrlandoJones) October 19, 2014Always nice when one of the stars of the show pimps your books. It's happened a few times -- the Farscape actors were all very supportive of the Farscape comic I did for BOOM! Studios from 2008-2011, J.G. Hertzler has said many good things about my Klingon fiction, and Nathan Fillion went to several conventions in 2005 singing the praises of my novelization of Serenity -- and…
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "In the Pale Moonlight"

    17 Oct 2014 | 12:16 pm
    Sisko decides that he's going to get the Romulans to enter the war no matter what it takes. He's going to very much regret deciding that. Garak gets punched, Quark gets stabbed, and Vreenak declares that "It's a FAAAAAAKE!" The DS9 Rewatch dances with the devil "In the Pale Moonlight."An excerpt:Tolar has created a very convincing holoprogram of a meeting among Weyoun and several Cardassians, including Damar. It’s taken a few drafts to get it right—the final touch was petty bickering between Weyoun and Damar, which added greatly to its verisimilitude. Tolar intends to leave the station,…
  • Tuesday's dead

    14 Oct 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Normally the day after a big convention is when I spend it dead for tax purposes, but yesterday I had to take my New York Comic-Con boothmate Megan Rothrock (she of The LEGO Adventure Book series) to Bay Shore, Long Island for a bookstore appearance (which went supremely well). While she did LEGO builds with excited little kids, I sat in the café and worked on the DS9 Rewatch that went up today.NYCC was fantastic. I sold out of all the copies I had of Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution, Farscape: The War for the Uncharted Territories, SCPD: The Case of the Claw, Guilt in…
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Inquisition"

    14 Oct 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Bashir is accused of being a Dominion spy by William Sadler. Then things get really bizarre. The DS9 Rewatch holds an "Inquisition."An excerpt:I have a hard time figuring out how I feel about this episode, partly because I think the introduction of Section 31 was one of the great missteps of DS9. One of Ira Steven Behr’s oft-stated goals on DS9 was to challenge the Federation’s utopia, but this failed to work because it didn’t challenge the utopia, it just provided a too-handy scapegoat for non-utopian actions by the Federation. Indeed, S31 has far too often become a writer’s crutch,…
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    Robert J. Sawyer

  • I finished writing Golden Fleece 25 years ago today

    26 Sep 2014 | 10:21 am
    Twenty-five years ago today, on 26 September 1989, when I was 29 years old, I finished the manuscript for what would turn out to be my first published novel, Golden Fleece, and sent it off by courier to my then-agent, Richard Curtis. (The first novel I actually wrote was End of an Era, but that was published later.) Golden Fleece was published in December 1990 by Warner Books under the Questar Science Fiction imprint. Orson Scott Card, in his year-end summation in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, later named it the best SF novel of 1990, and it won me my first two awards:The…
  • My film and TV work

    23 Sep 2014 | 10:51 am
    It’s high time my website had a page devoted to my film and TV work. Here it is.Screen capture from “Course Correction,” the episode of FlashForward I wrote for ABC. Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email
  • Free science-fiction festival in Greater Toronto

    9 Sep 2014 | 8:51 am
    Science Fiction Spectacular! Mississauga Central Library in the Noel Ryan Auditorium 301 Burnhamthorpe Rd. West, adjacent to City Hall Mississauga, Ontario Saturday, October 18, 2014, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free — but space is limited. Please register in advance with the Central Library’s “Readers’ Den” Department: Phone 905-615-3200, extension 3544. In honour of Mississauga resident ROBERT J. SAWYER‘s receipt of the Lifetime Achievement Aurora Award from the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association, the Mississauga Public Library is pleased to…
  • The dark side of Little Miss Sunshine

    3 Sep 2014 | 2:35 pm
    Attending Oscar-winning screenwriter Michael Arndt‘s talk “Endings: The Good, The Bad, and The Insanely Great” at the
  • My Star Trek computer-graphics article — 30 years later

    30 Jun 2014 | 8:12 am
    Thirty years ago today, on June 30, 1984, when I was 24, the following article by me appeared in The Toronto Star, Canada’s largest-circulation newspaper. As a young freelance writer just beginning my career, selling to The Star was a huge accomplishment (although this was actually my second piece for them). The article came about because I noticed the name “Omnibus” in the closing credits of the film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, and wondered if it referred to the Omnibus here in Toronto. “Canadian Computers Search for Spock”(Published as “Local…
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  • Hey, Did I Mention I’m Gonna Take the Weekend Off?

    John Scalzi
    18 Oct 2014 | 11:21 am
    No? Well, look, I just did. See you Monday!
  • New Books and ARCs, 10/17/14

    John Scalzi
    17 Oct 2014 | 11:19 am
    Lots of books and ARCs this time around. Tell me which of these you crave, down there in the comments.
  • Reminder: I’m in Chicago Next Tuesday, 10/21, at the Seminary Co-op in Hyde Park, 6pm

    John Scalzi
    16 Oct 2014 | 3:17 pm
    Yes, if you’re in or around the University of Chicago — my alma mater — or, heck, just in the city of Chicago in general, come on down and see me. This is the very last official stop of the Lock In tour, and after this I have no more scheduled public appearances until 2015. So if you want to see me this year, this is the time and the place. Here are all the details. See you there!
  • One Song, Two Takes: “Kiteflyer’s Hill”

    John Scalzi
    16 Oct 2014 | 9:26 am
    My pal (and musician and songwriter) Mark Nevin wrote a song called “Kiteflyer’s Hill” for Eddi Reader, with whom he had been in the band Fairground Attraction, for her solo album Angels and Electricity. He’s recently also done a version of it for his own solo album Beautiful Guitars, which will be out in the next week or so. I have the album, and it’s well worth getting if you’re a fan of genuinely lovely songwriting, and why wouldn’t you be. “Kiteflyer’s Hill” is simply one of my favorite songs ever — it’s beautiful…
  • The Big Idea: Rajan Khanna

    John Scalzi
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:36 am
    There are many interesting things about Rajan Khanna’s debut novel Falling Sky, but the one that pings my radar is that involves dirigibles, and that (of course!) noted dirigiblist Cory Doctorow plays a key role. Read on to find out how it all connects. RAJAN KHANNA: Like most novels, Falling Sky began with a sentence. It was a sentence I had written years ago and filed away, like I do with many of my story ideas. It involved a man, floating in a dirigible, afraid to go down to the ground. At the time I didn’t know why he was afraid, or what possibly lurked beneath him. I just…
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    Magical Words

  • Christina Henry–Plot and the Protag

    17 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    I’ve written seven books in the BLACK WINGS series and one stand-alone novel (the forthcoming ALICE, August 2015) and I’m pretty sure I can’t tell you a single useful thing about how I plotted any of them.  I know, this sounds a lot like what I said about writing character last week. The trouble is that I just don’t spend that much time thinking in a concrete way about the plots of my books.  I don’t have a nice neat formal method. This is what I do: I start writing the book.  And then I see what happens next. All my books begin with the protagonist, and I tend to let the…
  • Beth Bernobich: The Time Roads

    16 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Once upon a time, I had an idea for a story. It was tentative, as ideas sometimes are. All I had was an image of a young woman reciting prime numbers as her brother listened. The seed for that image was easy to identify—Oliver Sacks’s essay “The Twins,” which describes twin brothers, autistic savants, who recited prime numbers to each other. I chose to make my twins a brother and sister name Síomón and Gwen Madóc, both mathematical geniuses. That initial scene came to me complete with setting and emotions and full-color video, but I wasn’t sure how the story would…
  • Faith Hunter — New Book and Wounded Warriors

    Faith Hunter
    14 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    Last Tuesday was release day for BROKEN SOUL. I am supposed to be wildly promoting the book, but other things are getting the attention. So before I go on — Have you bought your copy yet? Today I finished delivering and crating the last 3K books collected for the Wounded Warriors of Walter Reed. To what purpose, you may ask? My friend and fellow author Sarah Spieth, who has spent considerable time in and out of hospitals in past months, realized how little there is for patients to take their minds off of where they are, and what they’re suffering from. Rather than just think about…
  • Christina Henry — Talking to Characters

    10 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    I wish I had some really interesting, profound statement to make about the process of creating characters in fiction.  I’ve read lots of well-written and well-considered pieces about finding out who your characters are and their motivations and how all those things can make your story better and more interesting. I’d genuinely like to write one of those pieces for you. I’d like to tell you that I did this writing exercise or that I carefully craft each character and have background histories for all them even if all of that information doesn’t make it into the story. Unfortunately,…
  • Beth Bernobich: Hello, Story

    9 Oct 2014 | 3:00 am
    As I said in my last post, not all writing advice works for all writers. We each find the approach that works best for us, and for the project at hand.  But! I do believe it’s useful to share our approaches with each other. Maybe we add a new technique to our writer toolkit. Maybe we try out this other technique and learn it doesn’t work for us. So in the spirit of sharing, here is how I turn my ideas into stories. Ideas. Those wispy scraps of “what if” that float through our brains. Most of my ideas are fragile things that never survive discovery. That death of the…
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  • Variations of Villany: Available now on the SFWA Blog

    22 Sep 2014 | 11:17 am
    I love digging into the nuts and bolts of writing. It’s fun to analyze why things work, which things don’t, and what writers can do to increase their effectiveness. And it’s twice as fun when I get to showcase my analysis on a high-traffic site like SFWA’s. I therefore present with pleasure Variations of Villainy, a brief analysis of several basic character types. ---------------------------------------------- cross-posted from ----------------------------------------------
  • Oh, I wants it!

    12 Sep 2014 | 3:06 am
    My niece, who long ago surpassed me in any skill related to the visual arts, has opened up an etsy shop full of beautiful things. I'm drooling at all of them, but most especially at the image linked in this post. I could wax poetic about the aesthetic brilliance of the medium and the personal metaphor of the blond winged girl looking upon a landscape of boundless possibilities... but I'll spare you this time.I can't stand the thought of shipping art internationally, so I'll wait until I'm in the US to pick up a copy. With my luck, by then the shop will have acquired, like, five other equally…
  • Lost pennies

    30 Jul 2014 | 12:55 am
    "Mommy, can I have this penny?"I looked up to see my youngest daughter, thrilled with her discovery, holding a shiny copper penny in her hand. She'd found it on the ground outside, and as per usual my children's usual protocol, she'd come to check with me before claiming it as her personal property.I smiled and told her she could have it. Two hours later my older daughter made an excited noise and lifted something shiny from my computer desk. "Mommy, can I have this penny?"Primed by the day's earlier events, I answered yes without looking up from the screen. I finished the sentence I was…
  • New Audible Book

    25 Jun 2014 | 12:06 pm
    When Marguerite Kenner narrated Movement for Escape Pod, she brought a depth and subtlety to the story that I had never imagined. Her reading of Hannah emphasized aspects of the character that I had not previously considered. It was like… meeting my characters all over again. I’ve often wondered whether Marguerite’s narration played a role in the story’s eventual nomination for the Hugo and Nebula awards. I’m pleased to report that Marguerite is back, narrating a three-story sampler pack called The Breath of Heaven. The stories inside represent some of my older…
  • Reviews and Pre-orders

    20 Jun 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Kathy at Shelf Full of Books has kindly posted a review of The Death and Rebirth of Anne Bonny. “This was an excellent book of short stories. Written over a wide variety of topics the stories bring encouragement, enlightenment, and evoke a wide range of emotions. The stories are thought-provoking and can be taken on several different levels from superficial to something deeper.” Also, pre-orders are open for: Shattered Shields (BAEN) and Carbide Tipped Pens: Seventeen Tales of Hard Science Fiction. Both anthologies have a strong showing of contributing authors, and both sets of…
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    SF Novelists

  • Yes, but can you relate…?

    Alma Alexander
    5 Oct 2014 | 4:08 pm
    The issue of “relatability” is not a new one, although the word describing it has been a relatively recent arrival in modern dictionaries. In a recent essay in the New Yorker of all places, Rebecca Mead opens up by a critic’s dismissal of King Lear, in particular, and Shakespeare, in general, as not being “relatable”. Given that Shakespeare lived and wrote all those centuries ago, I’d think that the mere fact that his plays were being performed AT ALL today, let alone with such reverence and adulation which has been the Bard’s due ever since he put quill to parchment  would be…
  • Short Fiction, Anthologies, and an Ongoing Kickstarter Campaign

    David B. Coe
    23 Sep 2014 | 6:00 am
    I often encourage aspiring novelists to write short fiction, which is a bit ironic, since I began my career writing novels and didn’t sell my first short story until I had my fourth novel in production. But this is a classic case of “do as I say and not as I do.” Or did. Writing short stories can help hone one’s craft. The challenge of short fiction — the need to tell a complete story in a limited amount of space — forces us to write leaner, to develop character and plot more efficiently, to choose which details are vital to our narratives and which are superfluous. And…
  • Voice – what you say, and how you say it

    Alma Alexander
    5 Sep 2014 | 12:05 pm
      Part of the problem of writing the other, writing about a culture one has researched rather than the culture  you are familiar with from the inside, is that it depends so fundamentally not just on WHAT is  said, but on HOW it is said. So a component of the problem becomes not just approaching it with the requisite respectful attention and the willingness to do enough research to make it stand but making that approach from the correct direction… seeing the world from a proper perspective… and, most importantly, speaking with the right voice. Stereotypes have always been easy …
  • 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…
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  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    19 Oct 2014 | 6:56 pm
    A horror novel of a different sort from Fowler:
  • Pura Vida!

    19 Oct 2014 | 12:59 pm
    Just got back from Costa Rica, where I spent ten days studying Spanish.  Some thoughts:Costa Rica hasn't had a military since 1949.  Twenty-eight percent of the country is protected and kept in its natural state by the government, and about 10 percent more is protected privately.  They don't mine their mountains.  They get 90 percent of their energy from renewable sources, water and wind and volcanoes, and they're on track toward 100 percent.  If you're poor and you qualify, you can go to the university for free, and maybe even get some extra money for…
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    17 Oct 2014 | 5:48 pm
    What's the new Peter Hamilton like?
  • 1953 Ad for Mystery Book Club

    14 Oct 2014 | 7:03 pm
  • New Review at the B&NR

    14 Oct 2014 | 8:06 am
    I look at a novel by David Cronenberg:
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  • Podcast and Fan Fic Lessons

    tate hallaway
    17 Oct 2014 | 9:14 am
    First, because I know you've all been waiting.... the new podcast is up: Ni-ju kyu, Oetsu. The title is my attempt at combining the number of our podcast 29 (ni-ju kyū, in Japanese) with the character Oetsu who CONSTANTLY does this kind of number rhyming thing with his name in the current chapter of Bleach. We also review Fairy Tail, Toriko, and Ao no Exorcist (even though I wrote that one up as well.)I have to say, for us, this podcast is pretty darned articulate, and since we forget to sing the spoiler song, there's 50% less annoying singing!All wins, in my opinion.I also wanted to…
  • New Demon Chapter!

    tate hallaway
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:31 am
    Mason and I will have a podcast once I'm back from teaching at the Loft's Youth Writing Conference today, but while you wait impatiently for that, you can read the newest chapter in the School for Wayward Demons that Rachel Gold/Calish and I are writing: the aftermath of Theo's capture, we learn some interesting things about this strange new world she's stumbled into...That's all for now, unfortunately. I need to prep for class still, but I'll have more to write about once I'm done.
  • Link Salad Days!

    tate hallaway
    14 Oct 2014 | 9:33 am
    I am so amazing and busy, you can hardly keep up with me, can you?Today is Tuesday which is my super-duper productivity day. I've posted a new installment over on Wattpad: In this chapter, Alex thinks she's got everything figured out. So, of COURSE, the universe throws her a curveball... in the form of one Spenser Jones.Also, Rachel Calish/Gold and I have updated our School for Wayward Demons, which you can read here: In this chapter, the demons finally catch up to…
  • Rambling While the Coffee Brews

    10 Oct 2014 | 7:38 am
    Sheesh. Lyda is carrying this blog by herself at the moment. That isn't fair. I have been pretty good about updating my personal blog, which can be found to the right. But I've been really bad about doing the Wyrdsmith's blog. I have a problem: I have spent most of my life in Minnesota. Minnesotans don't brag, which means self-promotion is very difficult. Even giving news is hard, if the news is positive. On the other hand, I don't like giving bad news. Why depress my readers, especially in the time of year when the days shorten and the holidays approach? We should be happy now. The leaves…
  • We're Late... And Early.

    tate hallaway
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:39 pm
    Because you've all been waiting with baited breath... MangaKast 28 has been posted:'s called "We're Late" because Bleach and many of the others came out yesterday afternoon. However, because we waited (I had to work last night) the fan translations of Shingeki no Kyojin (SnK/Attack on Titan) came out so I reviewed those as well. In this podcast, Mason and I discuss Bleach, Toriko, Fairy Tail, and Shingeki no Kyojin. There is silliness with interjections of the occasional thinly-thought (what if Grimmjow is actually under the hood of…
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    Joe Abercrombie

  • Destiny

    Joe Abercrombie
    3 Oct 2014 | 8:59 am
    Destiny! A revolution in gaming that will finally justify the new generation of consoles! That will seamlessly fuse the compelling plot of single player games with the freewheeling interactivity of multiplayer ones! That offers tense gunplay in vast open-worldy vistas with oceans of content and customisability to explore! So I was led to believe, anyway. Hmm. Destiny is OK. Pretty good, even. But revolutionary it is notably not. In fact, rather than feeling like an ingenious combination of the best features of a load of lesser games to make an utterly new and more compelling whole, it feels…
  • Half a French King

    Joe Abercrombie
    26 Sep 2014 | 6:18 am
    Apologies for the limited posting around here of late, it’s many years since I didn’t make at least one post a week on the site, but my nose is to the grindstone after all the events trying to get a decent second draft of Half a War together by year’s end, plus various finishing tasks for Half the World.  Tis a busy time.  But I do love a nice piece of art, so I thought I’d bring to you the recently revealed cover for the French edition of Half a King, from those wonderful folk at Bragelonne, art by my old friend Didier Graffet (who produced the weapons that adorn…
  • Recent TV

    Joe Abercrombie
    8 Sep 2014 | 5:17 am
    Recently watched, that is… Vikings Season 2 It’s as if a set of TV Executives sat down with the express purpose of making a show Joe Abercrombie would really like, and they largely succeeded. Love, hate, violence and pagan strangeness abound as Scandinavia’s shiftiest opportunist, Ragnar Lothbrok, becomes embroiled not only in Viking blood-feuds but Saxon politics.  I doubt they’d make any high claims of historical accuracy but there’s vastly more authenticity on the bone than one might expect from a Hollywood treatment of the material and lashings of drama,…
  • 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…
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    Dan Abnett

  • The Ten Thousand Immortals

    Dan Abnett
    19 Oct 2014 | 9:18 am
    Monday the 20th October is publication day for The Ten Thousand Immortals, the new Tomb Raider novel from me and Nik.Let's all go ooooh and ahhhh at the gorgeous cover, shall we?This brand new, white-knuckle adventure for Ms Croft is set after the fab new, "young Lara" reboot game successfully launched last year, and fits between it and the Rise Of The Tomb Raider sequel game due in 2015.Nik and I had a great time devising and writing this adventure, and serious kudos is owed to Nik for her painstaking research and real-world detail. Put it this way, if you ever try parkouring in Paris, all…
  • Get Whet

    Dan Abnett
    22 Sep 2014 | 2:12 am
    2000AD, aka "2K" and "The Galaxy's Greatest Comic", publishes its one thousand nine hundredth issue this Wednesday. A drokkin' milestone. Check out the thrillgasmic Dredd cover by the unfeasibly talented Greg Staples.The home of Thrillpower is a venerable British institution, published weekly since 1977. It's an anthology title too, which sometimes makes it a little hard for new readers to jump on board, because in the average issue there'll be some stories starting, some ending and some mid-way through.  Fear not, my lovely new readers. Indeed, rejoice –…
  • Anyway...

    Dan Abnett
    21 Sep 2014 | 4:49 am
    Hello.Taking the time to look back over my blog-posting history for the last year or so (since Tuesday, 18th of June, 2013, actually) I am struck by one particular detail. I’m not really very good at blogging.*There, I said it. I’m not. No idea why, really. I mean, it’s not as if I can’t words put order right in the together. And it’s not as if I don’t have either the facility or willpower to write every day.The truth is, the last year or so has obviously been an extended effort by me to construct an ongoing post-modern blog, a sort of un-blog or anti-blog, exploring the…
  • This is just to say

    Dan Abnett
    18 Jun 2013 | 9:18 am
    Just a quick note today to do two things: mention that I'm looking forward to seeing you at Black Library Live: Dublin, and point you in the direction of Nik's blog, where I have written a little guest post.There. All done.Plus, a William Carlos Williams ref in the post title. I can do brevity and literary-referency at the same time, me.
  • SF Bokhandeln - Sweden!

    Dan Abnett
    23 May 2013 | 2:34 am
    Coming to a Sweden near you this weekend (and I'm very excited about it!).... me!Now, I don't speak Swedish, so I can't be sure, but I THINK these links will tell you everything you need to know:For Friday and Saturday.Also for Friday and Saturday.And for Sunday.This should be an awful lot of fun, so if you're... you know... in Sweden... come and join in!
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    Ann Aguirre

  • YA Scavenger Hunt: Red Team Go!

    Ann Aguirre
    2 Oct 2014 | 10:05 am
    UPDATE 10/6/14 – THIS HUNT IS OVER Today kicks off a Fall YA Scavenger Hunt, and there are tons of great prizes to be won. You decide how much effort to put into it, but the rewards will definitely be commensurate with the time you spend visiting various sites and gathering clues. There are six teams: RED, GOLD, GREEN, ORANGE, INDIE and BLUE. I’m on the RED team, myself. If at any point, you get stuck, check out the How to Hunt page for help. At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you…
  • YASH coming up soon!

    Ann Aguirre
    26 Sep 2014 | 6:59 am
    Hey, readers! So it isn’t long before the YA Scavenger Hunt begins. I hope you have plenty of time because there isn’t just one team or two or even three. This time we have 6, that’s right, 6 YASH teams which means more prizes, news, and fun! So let’s get started. TEAM RED INCLUDES:   TEAM GOLD INCLUDES:   TEAM GREEN INCLUDES:   TEAM ORANGE INCLUDES:   TEAM INDIE INCLUDES:   TEAM BLUE INCLUDES:   Hope you all are as excited as I am! The YA Scavenger Hunt begins at noon pacific time on Thursday, October 2nd and runs through Sunday, October…
  • 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…
  • 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…
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    Colleen Anderson

  • Mysterious Mushroom

    14 Oct 2014 | 11:27 am
    From Tom Volk’s fungus site. This shows the scleroderma citrinum mushroom Earlier this summer I was yakking to my neighbor when I looked down and saw a potato colored stone at my feet. It was the size of a small plum and, like the crow I am, I reached down to pick up the interesting stone and in the process recognized it as vegetable, or more accurately, fungus. I exclaimed to my neighbor, “Hey, it’s a puffball mushroom but I’ve never seen one that wasn’t wrinkly and puffing out its spores.” I didn’t get a picture of the full mushroom but you can see…
  • Edgar Allan Poe and Crowdfunding

    13 Oct 2014 | 12:52 pm
    Poe themed coffin art by AhtheMacabra. There are only four and two are claimed. I have to mention this particular crowdfunding because I just love it. There are many projects out there from books to gadgets and many add perks that entice people to donate. Not only do you often receive the item that the crowdfunding is for but you also get extras. With publishing it’s a hard numbers game. Costs of printing and distribution are set. So you have to add those costs into a cover price but if you go too high no one will buy your book. (For the purposes of this blog, book means paper and/or…
  • Writing: Marketing at Cons

    10 Oct 2014 | 10:50 am
    Literaryliaison sent me this question: Dressing like this might get you the attention of an editor. Creative Commons: Florian Fromentin, Flickr This year, I will be going to my first con. My sister and I will be dressing up as characters from The Hobbit, but we were wondering if a con is a good place to market fantasy. Have you had a lot of success in the past? Do you dress up as one of your characters? We thought that might be a creative idea. I thought I’d actually write a post about cons and marketing your writing. First, there are three “world” cons. There is World…
  • Writing, Readings and Cons, Oh My!

    2 Oct 2014 | 11:21 pm
    This weekend is VCon, Vancouver’s SF and fantasy convention. I haven’t gone in a few years but I will be attending this year and will be on a panel about Finding Your Muse, tomorrow at 1:00 pm. I have a reading at 7:00 pm where I will read from a story that was long listed for the Stoker Award. And on Saturday I will be on a panel about the role of religion in speculative fiction. If you’re not doing anything come on down and experience the breadth and depth of convention fun. I should also mention that my poem “Family Tree” has come out in the collection They…
  • Art: To Offend or Not

    10 Sep 2014 | 2:49 pm
    This last week in Vancouver a mysterious life-size statue appeared. It’s not far from my place but I missed seeing it. Let me first describe the area. Clark Dr. is the truck route in and out of Vancouver. If you’re coming over the border from the US it’s one of the routes that lead you into the city on the east side. Clark and 4th Ave. are a juncture with a major road going west into the city. The SkyTrain station tracks go over the top and a college campus is nearby. The East Van cross sits at Clark Dr. and 6th Ave. Photo credit: Riding high above the…
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    Eleanor Arnason's Web Log

  • Farmers Market

    19 Oct 2014 | 8:59 am
    I went to the Farmers Market. We're into the fall produce now: apples. winter squashes, lots and lots of brussels sprouts, which Patrick hates. Also beets, which he also hates. I got parsley, cranberries, carrots, green onions, a butternut squash and a pumpkin. The pumpkin looked a reasonable size outside among larger pumpkins. Now it looks huge. I am going to carve a jack o' lantern, I hope. And make cranberry sauce. And bake the butternut squash.
  • Fall Colors

    19 Oct 2014 | 5:46 am
    We drove down the river yesterday. The day was sunny with a crystalline blue sky, and the colors were pretty darn fine. The river bluffs are covered with forest, mostly hardwood, with a lot of oaks. The oaks are turning yellow, orange, red, red-brown and brown. Here and there are patches of birch and aspen, which are an amazing, bright, pure yellow. It's not easy to bird watch from a moving car, but I did see three hawks and an eagle, also a cluster of white birds too far away to make out. Maybe gulls, maybe swans, maybe pelicans.
  • On Being an Aging Woman

    17 Oct 2014 | 8:19 am
    This is a review of a new book of essays by Ursula K. LeGuin. I need to order it at once, if only for this essay:I am a man. Now you may think I’ve made some kind of silly mistake about gender, or maybe that I’m trying to fool you, because my first name ends in a, and I own three bras, and I’ve been pregnant five times, and other things like that that you might have noticed, little details. But details don’t matter… I predate the invention of women by decades. Well, if you insist on pedantic accuracy, women have been invented several times in widely varying localities, but the…
  • Iceland Photos

    13 Oct 2014 | 10:57 am
    I decided I need more pictures, so here are three photos from the Guide to Iceland website, a good place to go for lovely photos and information on tourism in Iceland. Of course you want to go to Iceland... Look at how cute the horses and puffins are. Look at the vast, bleak, empty landscape of the mountains...
  • Columbus

    13 Oct 2014 | 10:44 am
    Happy Indigenous Peoples Day. The City of Minneapolis just changed the name of day. I hope St. Paul does the same. I don't like Columbus. In any case, Leifr Eiriksson found the Americas long before he did, and there was a Norse settlement in Greenland, just off the coast of North America, for hundred of years. Basque fishermen apparently found the Newfoundland fishery before Columbus found the Bahamas. They must have landed now and then for water or other supplies. So they, like Leifr, beat out Columbus. But they kept the rich fishery secret, for fear of competition. After Columbus came the…
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  • Flowers and Memorials

    Neal Asher
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:15 am
    Since my camera developed a severe case of bashfulness (the lens will come out when I turn it on but shortly afterwards shoots back inside as if it doesn’t like what it sees out here) I haven’t been taking many photos when out walking. However, since I’ve been walking to Voila the damp has increased up in the mountains and this has made a nice change to the burnt-out wilderness they became back in June/July.  These, so my Plants of Crete book tell me (thanks Jean-Pierre) are Common Sternbergia. Of course this is the kind of thing you would expect to see in spring in England, but…
  • Forbidden Planet Signing

    Neal Asher
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:25 am
    Thursday, 29th January, 2015 18:00 - 19:00 London Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London, WC2H 8JRNEAL ASHER will be signing DARK INTELLIGENCE at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Thursday 29th January from 6 – 7pmOne man will transcend death to seek vengeance. One woman will transform herself to gain power. And no one will emerge unscathed...Thorvald Spear wakes in hospital, where he finds he's been brought back from the dead. What's more, he died in a human vs. alien war that ended a whole century ago. But when he relives his traumatic final moments, he finds the spark to keep…
  • Walking to Voila

    Neal Asher
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:21 am
    Tuesday 7th OctoberFor five days now I’ve remained up in the mountains, every day walking to Voila. I was going to write a long post, or even an essay with ‘Walking to Voila’ as the title. To me the phrase somehow relates to Sisyphus pushing his boulder up a hill throughout eternity, only to have it roll back down every time. An eternal cycle; repetitive labour rewarded only by ending up back where you started. It’s a bit like grief really. When I think I’m getting somewhere, recovering, starting to feel better, something comes along and tips me over the edge and I seem to end up…
  • The Late Post

    Neal Asher
    8 Oct 2014 | 8:16 am
    I’ve been remiss in posting here yet again...Saturday 27th SeptemberIt’s kakos keros today (bad weather) and, as I mooch about the house gradually getting a few jobs done (like wiping the three week’s accumulation of dust off the coffee table), I realise that this is probably a good thing.  A moment ago, I was gazing at one item in a list of things I must look up while next on the internet: physical exhaustion. In retrospect, walking 8 to 9 miles then kayaking twice that on Thursday, fuelled by just a bowl of cornflakes, coffee, tea, 2 beers, 2 glasses of wine and a pomegranate,…
  • Positively Negative, or something...

    Neal Asher
    17 Sep 2014 | 1:35 am
    I just dumped a number of blog posts in my Unused Blogs file for the same reason many others are there – too miserable and negative. Now I shall try to be positive because, it often is a matter of choice. Depression can be at a point where you can choose whether to sink lower or pull yourself up by your bootstraps and so it is with grief. I can continue chewing on my own liver by hauling up horrible images and memories for my inspection, or I can choose to deny them and think positively. Hang on, this is getting miserable again. Stop now. Smile. So, Transformation II or Factory Station…
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  • Touring for the Doubt Factory

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

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

    5 Dec 2013 | 1:42 pm
    I’ll be doing a signing event at the Grand Junction Barnes & Noble on Dec 7, from 2-4pm. More details here: The post Dec. 7, Grand Junction Signing appeared first on
  • Oct 26 – Books of Wonder – New York City

    22 Oct 2013 | 7:05 am
    I’ll be doing a discussion on middle grade literature, and signing and reading from ZOMBIE BASEBALL BEATDOWN at Books of Wonder in NYC this Saturday, Oct 26th, 1 – 3pm. Other authors who are confirmed to appear are Peter Lerangis, Matthew Cody, and Mary G. Thompson. Should be a fun time, so I hope to see you there. The post Oct 26 – Books of Wonder – New York City appeared first on
  • Oct 12: Southern Festival of Books

    10 Oct 2013 | 3:58 pm
    I’ll be doing a panel conversation and a signing at the Southern Festival of Books. Details: 10:00-11:00am Panel: “Zombie Tales of the Undead for Teens and Tweens” with T. Michael Martin (The End Games) Room 16, Legislative Plaza (entrance on corner of 6th and Union) 11:00-11:30am SIGNING Author Signing Colonnade The post Oct 12: Southern Festival of Books appeared first on
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    Dar Kush

  • Our first virtual Screenwriting Workshop!

    Steven Barnes
    9 Oct 2014 | 7:40 am
    T woke up on Monday with the idea, bubbling with notions, and I think it's a fabulous way to explore the new media potentials for a virtual classroom. We can teach these things at UCLA or The Learning Annex...but sharing them with the whole world? Wow. That's my baby!VIRTUAL SCREENWRITING WORKSHOP Nov. 1-Dec. 1: Are you working on a screenplay, or do you have a screenplay idea you’re not sure how to start? Do you want input on your screenplay or idea? Are you an author who would like to learn to adapt your own work to film?For the FIRST TIME, hubby Steven Barnesand I are offering a 30-day…
  • Using the Ancient child

    Steven Barnes
    6 Oct 2014 | 7:49 am
    I’ve been working and testing the “Ancient Child” technique for about five years now, and what people asked for was a fuller explanation, as well as a “plug and play” approach to using it.    I’ve done that, and it will be available very soon, on the new blog I’ve been creating with Wordpress guruLorelle VanFossen.  Let’s discuss one application of the technique: emotional abuse.  Especially if the abuse originated in childhood, this can be devastating.  A parent who damages heart and body, or fails to provide protection for same, changes the…
  • Ancient Child: Evolution

    Steven Barnes
    3 Oct 2014 | 7:49 am
    About twenty-five years ago I adapted Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey to the process of designing your life.  And called it “Lifewriting.”   Since that time I’ve taught Lifewriting to thousands of people in person and through audio and video courses, lectured on it at the Smithsonian, at Mensa, on radio and television, at universities and workshops, and have been blessed to receive countless letters and emails and hugs and tearful thanks that the technologies I grouped into that very special pattern have changed and saved lives.But there was a limitation to…
  • The Wounded Child

    Steven Barnes
    12 Jul 2014 | 10:35 am 100% agree with what this article says: that behavioral dysfunctions are a form of PTSD, often related to childhood trauma.   This is one reason that the “Morning Ritual” concept incorporates both the “Ancient Child”, heartbeat meditation,   physical motion, and focus.   Why I believe so strongly in dealing with the fear that lies at the base of all negative emotion.  Sigh.I can tell…
  • It's Never Too Late

    Steven Barnes
    10 Jul 2014 | 9:00 am
    In the last 24 hours, I’ve dealt with four different students or clients where the core issue is one of self-love.  Deservement.  The following things were triggers:1) Childhood abuse, both sexual and psychological.   Being touched inappropriately, told they are worthless, used as “things” rather than people before the full development of ego walls.2) Perceived betrayal of childhood ambitions.   Either giving them up, or doing things to achieve them that were in violation of core values.3) Abusive adult relationships.   “Crazymakers” who bond…
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    The Battersblog


    Lee Battersby
    15 Oct 2014 | 4:41 pm
    Road signs. They're easy pickings. Sex. Easy pickings. Road signs about sex. Don't judge me."Last chance to pull over and have an unseen quickie for 40 miles"

    Lee Battersby
    13 Oct 2014 | 8:22 pm
    I'm mightily pleased to announce that my story Disciple of the Torrent, which was published in Satalyte Publishing's Tales of Australia: Great Southern Land-- and which I blogged about here and here during the writing process-- has been selected for the upcoming Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2013, alongside stories by the likes of Kaaron Warren, Deborah Biancotti, Terry Dowling and Juliet Marillier. The full Table of Contents contains enough in the way of quality Australian author name-dropping to drown a squirrel in drool:Lee Battersby, “Disciple of the Torrent”, Tales…

    Lee Battersby
    8 Oct 2014 | 9:39 pm
    In honour of this weekend's CrimeScene WA convention, Thumbnail Thursday goes a little crimey-wimey."We're taking 'Daddy Daughter day' too far."

    Lee Battersby
    7 Oct 2014 | 9:47 pm
    I don't know what you'll be doing this weekend, but I will be enjoying myself strangling, poisoning, murderlising and generally getting up to no good with an absolute plethora of like-minded ne'er-do-wells at the annual CrimeScene WA crime writing convention, held at the Rydges Hotel in sunny Perff.Apart from presentations by myself and Luscious, guest speakers include the likes of Stephen Dedman, Simon Lewis, Tony Cavanaugh, Hadyn Green and this year's guests of honour, Michael Robotham and Tansy Rayner Roberts, dressed up in her…

    Lee Battersby
    5 Oct 2014 | 1:31 am
    The Horror Writers Association is dedicated to the promotion of horror writing and horror authors. It's a damn fine organisation filled with the loveliest people and not at all creeping with the kind of denatured freaks that make you lock your windows at night and fit a chastity belt to your budgie.Their latest fun escapade is the Horror Selfies campaign, a viral campaign whereby horror industry creative types take a selfie with a message encouraging you to put down the latest pile of Colleen McCullough slop you're bravely believing fulfills you and pick up something with a little meat on its…
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    throw another bear in the canoe

  • there's no such thing as an original sin

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:08 am
    For everybody who has emailed me looking for the out-of-print Whiskey and Water in ebook...We baked you an Urban Fantasy storybundle! Contains a previously unpublished Jim Butcher Harry Dresden collection, along with books by me (Elizabeth Bear), David Farland, Kevin J. Anderson, Vicki Petersson, Carole Nelson Douglas, Michael A. Stackpole, P.N. Elrod, Peter J. Wacks, and Rhiannon Paille.For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you'll get the basic bundle of five books in any eBook format—WORLDWIDE. If you pay…
  • i know it don't make a difference to you, but oh, it so made a difference to me

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    8 Oct 2014 | 4:58 pm
    Guess where I went last week? Karl Schroeder, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Ed Finn, Elizabeth Bear, Kevin Bankston, Kathryn Cramer, Vandana Singh, Ted Chiang, Madeline Ashby, Lee Konstantinou, and Neal Stephenson We were technically speaking at the Eisenhower building, not the White House proper. But that didn't stop us from grabbing the photo op.
  • hard to drive. harder to park.

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    4 Oct 2014 | 10:51 am
    I spent the last week involved in travel, appearances, and conferences for the Hieroglyph Project and Future Tense, both of which are ongoing--though my spate of publicity is over for now. In any case, it was an incredibly stimulating experience, and I am actually full of notes for the space opera that need to be typed up before I lose the notebook again.One of the events was a livestreamed conference at the National Academies in Washington, D.C., which took place Thursday. There's an article about it here, and embedded in the article is a link to recordings of the panels and…
  • i'm burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    4 Oct 2014 | 9:22 am
    It's a cover reveal and some terrible teasing!  A couple of weeks ago, I had an emergency need for some amazing art, and I naturally emailed my friend Jenna Kass, a NYC-based illustrator. I had in mind licensing an old piece of hers, but she was no longer satisfied with the quality of that work, and so we struck a deal that she'd do me a new painting. And she did. (She tells the story here. I honestly did not mean to give anyone apoplexy!)So, dear readers, as some of you have commented, it's currently impossible to get an ebook copy of Whiskey and Water, what with it being…
  • i figured i'd have it all by the time i retired

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    4 Oct 2014 | 5:20 am
    Except in certain limited cases of child rearing, incompetence, or danger to others, it is always an abusive act to interfere with the personal autonomy of another human being. We do not browbeat, threaten, cow, or manipulate our friends, family, and lovers into acting, believing, and talking as we wish; we accept that sometimes their opinions may differ from ours, and that they may have good reasons for their opinions, and that their reasons, autonomy, and intellectual integrity are as fundamental a human right as their bodily integrity.This doesn't mean we can't argue with them, or even…
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    Vicious Imagery

  • Rehearsal pics from 'The Cripple of Inishmaan'

    30 Sep 2014 | 1:00 am
    Johnnypateenmike [George Gilliland] gossips to Aunt Kate [Julie Devine]I'm in a production of Martin McDonagh's play The Cripple of Inishmaan, being staged Oct. 15-18th at the Corn Exchange in Biggar [tickets available here]. It's a hilarious, sometimes heart-breaking and politically incorrect comedy-drama by the creator of In Bruges, one of my favourite films. Director Leah Moorhouse is doing a stellar job with this, aided and abetted by a great crew - it'll be a blast. Johnnypateenmike and his Mammy [Judy Jordan]Cripple Billy [James Boyd] and his Aunt KateJohnnypateenmike spreading more…
  • The funniest thing I've seen this week

    19 Sep 2014 | 5:59 am
    Via almost everybody in the world ever.
  • This was so nearly my blip of the day

    2 Sep 2014 | 7:25 am
    This was nearly my blip of the day, but another Florence photo won that race.
  • Kiwi music: 'Rise & Fall' by Nadia Reid

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:47 pm
    That's my dream house, by the way - weatherboard villa, wraparound verandah. Sigh.
  • Genius: brass band on Segways plays Tubular Bells

    30 Jul 2014 | 10:13 pm
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  • Farscape: Rhapsody in Blue

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    14 Oct 2014 | 8:32 am
    My Farscape rewatch continues with "Rhapsody in Blue," one of those punnish titles the writers were ever so fond of. Crichton dreams himself back on Earth, at an earlier time, lounging around the bedroom with his girlfriend, Alex. After exchanging pillow talk/banter, Alex informs Crichton that yes, she has accepted the position at Stanford, which will separate her and him, effectively ending their relationship. A heartbroken Crichton reaches down and pushed an engagement ring under the bed to hide it from her. A sudden starburst jars him awake, and reaching the bridge he learns Moya's…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    3 Oct 2014 | 2:47 pm
    I'm not a betting man, but I'd wager this Kasey Lansdale has got a future ahead of her. She's been building her music career for a number of years now, and she's got a heck of a voice. Sure, there's a bit of Reba there, but on some songs she sounds like an improbable fusion of Patsy Cline and Janis Joplin. "Sorry Ain't Enough" isn't my favorite song of hers, but there's no arguing it doesn't show off her talent. Kasey also gets major bonus points for making a country video that doesn't utterly suck--a trend I've ranted about before. Not only does Kasey's video not suck, it's actually pretty…
  • In which house-hunting takes a turn for the suck

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    30 Sep 2014 | 7:00 am
    We've identified a house we want to buy. We've actually had our eye on it for quite some time. In fact, back in June, when I first kinda semi-seriously flirted with the idea of selling our current home and moving, I searched some real estate sites just to see what kind of properties were available and whether or not a move would even be worth it. This house was the very first one I looked at, and convinced me we could make a move work. So with our house under contract, our lender pre-approved us for a certain maximum price level we could offer on any particular property. Once we close on this…
  • Under contract

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    29 Sep 2014 | 1:55 pm
    Have I mentioned how much I hate moving? Because I do. I hate everything about it, from the selling of the house to the buying of the new house to the actual packing and hauling and storing and trying to make vastly differing closing dates work so that we don't find ourselves homeless for a spell. It's actually every bit as bad as I remember from last time--which was 11 years ago. Nothing is different, other than the fact that this move is, believe it or not, by choice. The Wife and I are fully committed to living out the remainder of our lives in whichever house we end up with, just so we…
  • Alamo City Comicon

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    28 Sep 2014 | 8:10 pm
    So, the family and I went to Alamo City Comic Con today, in downtown San Antonio. These kinds of uber-huge commercial conventions aren't really my thing. They're big, noisy, chaotic affairs that seemingly exist only to separate attendees from their money in the most efficient manner possible. But Bug's invented a super-hero of his own, and wanted to talk with the creator of Spider-Man, otherwise known as Stan Lee, about how to develop it as a property (really, he wanted help making a movie, but he's eight, so the nuance of building a character's popularity over time is lost on him). Monkey…
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  • Antics & Etc

    13 Oct 2014 | 7:11 am
    Deadlineville here, so mostly this is a quick wave, but a couple of fun things from the weekend. I was at the Books by the Banks festival Saturday, where I met many fabulous readers and other writers and got to catch up with some old friends. Many thanks to the excellent Joseph-Beth Booksellers, festival staff and the great volunteers. Also! There was a Teen Scene event with the local circus school and I got to do this:   Loading I wire-walked! View on Instagram Thanks to those who assisted me, both in staying upright and in grabbing the video and some photos. (Yes, I'm using Instagram…
  • Things That Are Free (Contest Winner + Books By The Banks + A Tip For NYCC Goers)

    9 Oct 2014 | 10:56 am
    Three things: Thing the First) Thanks to all of you who entered the YASH bonus contest and the winner is... ::drumroll:: Melissa R., who I've already contacted. Yay. Hope you enjoy the book and that some of the rest of y'all check it out too. Thing the Second) I'll be at Books by the Banks this Saturday in Cincinnati. Admission is free, but there will be copies of Girl on a Wire (and lots of other books) on sale from the divine Joseph-Beth Booksellers and I'll happily scribble in one for you. Or just come by and say hi. I'll also be doing “Speed Dating” as part of…
  • AMA

    6 Oct 2014 | 8:30 am
    I'm doing an AMA over at the YA reddit today, so go forth and ask me questions. And I'll figure out the contest winner of the #YASH bonus Kindle contest later tonight and post here/notify the winner within the next day. The launch party was a blast; thanks to all who came.
  • A Few Things!

    3 Oct 2014 | 9:59 am
    If you're here for the #YASH, post is right below this one or click here. A few very nice things. Girl on a Wire is on some lists for October books: "Top Picks for Science Fiction and Fantasy Reads in October" by John DeNardo over at Kirkus; "This Is One Of The Best Months Ever For Science Fiction & Fantasy Books" by Charlie Jane Anders over at io9 (*waves to friends on this one too*); In the weekly Book Riot New Books! newsletter put together by bookselling legend and basic rockstar Liberty Hardy; And last but not least "39 Science Fiction, Fantasy &…
  • YA Scavenger Hunt Is Afoot! (Plus: Mega-Bonus Contest)

    2 Oct 2014 | 11:55 am
    Welcome to this stop of the YA Scavenger Hunt extravaganza! I'm Gwenda Bond *wave* and my stop on the hunt is being hosted by my wonderful agent sister Paula Stokes, where you can take a gander at a deleted scene from Girl on a Wire (it's from early on the book, so shouldn't spoil things if you haven't read it yet and it's where Jules actually convinces her dad to go to the Cirque, plus there's pie). If you're new to the hunt, this tri-annual event was first organized by author Colleen Houck as a way to give readers a chance to gain access to exclusive bonus…
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    Swan Tower

  • shoe shopping for the podiatrically challenged

    Swan Tower
    17 Oct 2014 | 10:31 am
    I have bought a new dress for the World Fantasy banquet. I am sitting here trying to remember the last time I bought a dress that wasn’t a historical costume I paid somebody to sew for me. I am failing. As long as I’m on a roll of doing things I haven’t done in hmmmm let’s be conservative and say ten years?, I think I should also get new black heels. And this is where I turn to you, O internets, because I don’t like high heels (but I recognize their uses), and if there is any maker of heels who makes some I would actually like, I want to know about them. My…
  • A Year in Pictures – Highgate Tree

    Swan Tower
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:03 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Most of the trees in Highgate Cemetery are too closely packed to allow for particularly good shots of them. This one, however, was posing rather splendidly among the graves. Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there. This entry was also posted at Comment here or there.
  • A Year in Pictures – Zakopane Fern

    Swan Tower
    16 Oct 2014 | 8:02 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. This particular grave honestly looked to me like it belonged in Japan, not Poland. (In fact, I have a picture of some stones at Fushimi Inari that look rather similar.) The fern and the flowers made a nice additional touch. Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there. This entry was also posted at Comment here or there.
  • Posner on Voter Fraud

    Swan Tower
    15 Oct 2014 | 11:32 am
    I haven’t yet read the entirety of this dissent by Judge Richard Posner on the topic of voter ID laws in Wisconsin, but the words to describe the bits I have read are things like “searing” and “scathing.” This is a conservative judge who formerly supported laws requiring photo ID in order to vote, but his dissent is a 180% about-face that comprehensively calls out exactly what is wrong with such laws — ranging from the fact that they’re trying to solve a problem that basically doesn’t exist, to the fact that they don’t solve the problems…
  • A Year in Pictures – Cornice in the Egyptian Avenue

    Swan Tower
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:04 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Leading up to the Circle of Lebanon is an area called the Egyptian Avenue. This is the cornice of one of the mausoleum doorways along its length, crumbling to show the brick beneath — another example of how Highgate’s decay, while not good on its own terms, is photographically appealing. Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there. This entry was also posted at Comment here…
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  • How Far Conservatism Has Changed

    David Brin
    18 Oct 2014 | 9:20 am
    All right, it is an important U.S. political season.  As a registered Republican and a frequent speaker at libertarian gatherings, I remain hopeful that this will be the year that several million temperamentally conservative-but-calmly-rational Americans will wake up to the way their movement and the GOP have been hijacked. And that only a shattering drubbing at the polls will send the American right back to the drawing boards -- learning to do politics again. Including negotiation about real problems. Oh, but it will be so hard! The oligarchs who have done the hijacking have…
  • Rejection of Tomorrow

    David Brin
    15 Oct 2014 | 7:43 pm
    I keep seeing and hearing cynics sigh about how far we have "fallen." The disease is rampant, on both right and left. The striking thing to me is the inanity of cliches, like: "Isn't it a shame that our wisdom has not kept pace with technology?" This nonsense is spouted amid the greatest transformation of diversity, inclusion, acceptance, re-evaluation and tolerance in the history of our species! At no other time were so many hoary/awful assumptions - about race-gender and so on - pilloried by light and scrutiny! And if that is not ADVANCEMENT of our souls, I do not know what would be.I…
  • Science Fiction and our Dreams of the Future

    David Brin
    11 Oct 2014 | 8:01 pm
    An essay in Wired: Is Dystopian Sci Fi Making us Fear Technology? ponders the pandemic plague of cheap dystopias and apocalypses and feudal fantasties that have metastacized and infected science fiction. Michael Solana muses that a certain amount of dire warnings can be a tonic, but it becomes poisonous in the kind of excess that we are now seeing, in which the fundamental rule seems to be “never show any possibility of a better world.”“Fiction is capable of charting our human potential—with science fiction the most natural and forward form of this—so anything less than a…
  • The Spirit of Exploration: Comets, Pluto, Titan and Mars

    David Brin
    8 Oct 2014 | 5:12 pm
    NASA recently awarded contracts to Boeing and SpaceX to ferry astronauts to and from the International Space Station, ending U.S. dependence on the Russian Soyuz for transportation of humans (at $70 million a seat). It's about time! It also makes clear the advantages of competition, which Elon's company has restored. How interesting that SpaceX is being paid only a little more than half what Boeing will be paid, for the same number of crew/cargo deliveries.  If Elon is trying to make a point... he is succeeding.== Closing in on Comets! ==As a licensed cosmet... I…
  • Abortion and the "Jesus Effect"

    David Brin
    6 Oct 2014 | 3:47 pm
    Okay then, after riling up some of you by trashing some favorite movies, or else positively reviewing some films you hate, let's settle down to a topic that will win friends and soothe ruffled feathers...God Does Not Regard the Fetus as a Soul: This article in Slate is an interesting attempt to grasp - historically - why the American right swung so avidly and passionately toward a zero-tolerance policy against abortion: "Ask most (white) evangelicals about the morality of abortion these days, and you’re certain to hear about its absolute immorality in most, if not all, circumstances.
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    Tobias Buckell

  • I survived Tropical Storm Fay, but was flown back home to avoid Gonzalo

    Tobias Buckell
    16 Oct 2014 | 9:29 am
    So while out in Bermuda, I flew in Emily and the kids for a surprise weekend hangout halfway through being Writer in Residence. I was excited, kids first plane trip, using passports, and seeing an island. They were jazzed to arrive: We went up to see Fort St. Catherine: We swam at a nearby beach, and then had lunch above it: Later went to the Dockyards to watch the sun set. We couldn’t get to the beach, there was a wedding happening. But someone checked, then escorted us up onto the walls so we could watch the sun set, which was very nice of them. I love ocean sunsets: The next day we…
  • Check it out: Hurricane Fever Audiobook available now from

    Tobias Buckell
    2 Oct 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Hurricane Fever is now an audiobook. Audible has worked very hard on it and Arctic Rising, the narrators are amazing. The narrator came via referral from Robin Miles, who has done Nalo Hopkinson and Karen Lord’s books. I think he sounds amazing and am so grateful Robin was able to help us like that. Even more amazing is this tidbit: Robin Miles and Prentice have been working very closely with me and Audible to record the Xenowealth novels. The attention to detail, the samples I’ve heard, and the books that will be coming out, are amazing. I think Xenowealth fans will be very…
  • Beginning my writer residency in Bermuda today

    Tobias Buckell
    27 Sep 2014 | 1:20 pm
    In a blog post a while back I broke the news that I would be the Writer in Residence in Bermuda: “Last month Dr. Kim Dismont Robinson from the Bermuda Ministry of Community and Cultural Affairs reached out to me to ask if I would come and be a part of the Writer-in-Residence Programme in Bermuda this October. I would be responsible for helping direct some three weeks of workshops for interested writers, with a focus on genre. It’s always a huge honor when the islands reach back out to me. And for anyone to reach out to ask me to teach or guide up and coming writers.” (Via I’ve…
  • Rocket Talk, Episode 27: now with 100% more Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell

    Tobias Buckell
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:48 am
    Karen Lord and I teamed up to chat with Justin Landon of Staffer’s Book Review for his Rocket Talk Podcast up at “In this episode of Rocket Talk, Justin brings on Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell to discuss their most recent works, what they mean when they talk about Caribbean Science Fiction, and the challenge of reading western literature from a different point of view. Justin also manages to squeeze in some talk about how the two see series fiction.” (Via Rocket Talk, Episode 27: Karen Lord and Tobias Buckell |
  • Little Red Reviewer on Hurricane Fever

    Tobias Buckell
    17 Sep 2014 | 10:46 am
    I have found my pull quote for this review: “Once the action starts in Hurricane Fever, it never lets up” (Via Hurricane Fever by Tobias S. Buckell | the Little Red Reviewer.) It was awesome to meet up with the Little Red Reviewer when I appeared at Kazoo books with Jim Hines, which she wrote about on her blog as well (head over to win a copy of Jim Hines’ latest book).
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    Dark Roast

  • Coffeeneuring #3

    Emma Bull
    19 Oct 2014 | 5:09 pm
    Selfie, with brave steed:A medium latte and some proofreading in a fireside chair:And documentation from Strava:Four more weekends to go...
  • Coffeeneuring #2

    Emma Bull
    11 Oct 2014 | 2:20 pm
    And off again! This time to visit Minnehaha Falls for METHODcon's War for the Oaks locations tour, and score a large cuppa from Sea Salt Cafe at the park pavilion. This one was almost a Coffeeshop Without Walls entry, because, though Sea Salt has plenty of walls, I drank my coffee while wandering about pointing out landmarks from the first battle in the book. Big fun.The coffeeneurs ready to set out:Coffee achieved!A stop at Elevated on the way home, for good beer (the Elevated folks also understand bikes, and thus, good bike racks):And Strava's record of the two segments, There, and Back…
  • Seven weekends, seven coffee shops.

    Emma Bull
    5 Oct 2014 | 5:57 pm
    This weekend saw the beginning of this year's Coffeeneuring Challenge. And since this year I actually knew about the thing beforehand, I've flung myself into it. Because bicycling + coffee = this is what I wanted to do with my weekend anyway.My first coffee shop turned out to be the Blue Moon Coffee Cafe on Lake Street and 39th Ave., because they're open until late-thirty on a Sunday, and I had to swing by Savers on Lake Street to drop off stuff. I cleverly forgot to set my cool phone app (Strava, in my case) to record my distance from the start, so I charted my mileage from Savers' parking…
  • And don't forget your towel!

    Emma Bull
    24 Sep 2014 | 12:12 pm
    This is preposterous and wonderful.
  • A Watershed Moment

    Emma Bull
    11 Sep 2014 | 4:32 pm
    For those of us with elderly parents, this is one: the first time your mother fails to recognize you until you tell her who you are.So, yeah, we're on that side of the continental divide now.Well, at least I don't have to worry what she'll think if I get a tattoo...
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    Stephanie Burgis

  • Reminders For the Bad Days

    Stephanie Burgis
    18 Oct 2014 | 10:49 am
    There are some life lessons I never seem to learn for long…but maybe if I write this one down, today, that'll help it stick in my mind for next time.This afternoon, after pushing myself much too far, physically, this morning, I was flopped in my bed, feeling really crashed, and - surprise, surprise - started feeling really depressed in reaction. I'd planned to write once I'd had an hour of rest, but by the time the hour was over, I felt so depressed, I told myself I couldn't write - especially because the one thing my brain had decided to focus on in particular, today, was the quality and…
  • Books That Are Keeping Me Happy

    Stephanie Burgis
    14 Oct 2014 | 2:39 am
    There are way too many important deadlines approaching in this house this month, between Patrick's current freelance deadline, my current freelance deadline, a grant application I'm trying to get sent off by the end of this week, and, of course, our big, looming house move in just over two weeks. (Auuuuuuugh! SO not ready.)So, as you can imagine, there's a fair amount of stress going on over here at the moment.But! I've been doing some really good reading. First, I read the best short story collection I've read in a long time, Zen Cho's Spirits Abroad. It's a collection of witty, fabulous…
  • Hot Chocolate Day!

    Stephanie Burgis
    7 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Hooray, hooray, it's Hot Chocolate Day! And even MrD's toy dinosaurs are celebrating:Kat is making her boxed set début, and if you'd like a copy for yourself, you can ask for it at your local bookstore or you can buy a copy online at Indiebound, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository, or Amazon. You can also add it to your shelf on Goodreads.But more importantly for's time to drink some hot chocolate in celebration!Writing the Kat books, and seeing them published, has been such an amazing journey for me, beginning all the way back in 2007. Seven years of Kat…
  • Hot Chocolate Three: A Witch's Chocolate

    Stephanie Burgis
    6 Oct 2014 | 2:02 am
    I've never been to Paris, but all of my ideas about hot chocolate changed the first time Patrick and I went to Edinburgh and visited Plaisir du Chocolat, a French-stlye chocolaterie where the hot chocolate was mixed in gorgeously aromatic dark, steaming vats near the front door and the scent drifted down the street like a trap for the unwary. They served three different kinds of hot chocolate - 60% chocolate hot chocolate, 70% chocolate, and (the one I didn't dare to try) 90% chocolate.I tried the 60% chocolate the first time, and it blew my mind. I had never tasted hot chocolate so richly…
  • Hot Chocolate Two: Vegan Perfection

    Stephanie Burgis
    3 Oct 2014 | 5:03 am
    Before I move on to today's fabulous guest post, I just want to say: THANK YOU to everyone who read, signal-boosted, and/or replied to my blog post yesterday. It was a really scary post to write and to make public, but the support I've gotten for it has been amazing.Thank you.But today I am practicing stubborn gladness and moving back to hot chocolate and joy, because - it's almost Hot Chocolate Day! And I know some of my readers are dairy-free, so today I've asked my wonderful, vegan husband, author Patrick Samphire, to do a guest post about his own favorite dairy-free recipe for hot…
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    Mabfan's Musings

  • The Brookline Parent: Sukkah to Me!

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    15 Oct 2014 | 11:57 am
    To quote gnomi:New holiday-themed The Brookline Parent column up! Read about how Muffin and Squeaker celebrate Sukkot!
  • I Remember the Future Film - Baltimore Science Fiction Society - November 15, 2014

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    13 Oct 2014 | 10:43 am
    Great news for folks in the Baltimore, Maryland, USA area who are interested in seeing the "I Remember the Future" film! By special arrangement with KAS Creations, it will be screened at the Baltimore Science Fiction Society in November.Details:Saturday, November 15, 2014, at 7 pm3310 E Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21224Directions : by coming attractions and Balticon film festival items of interest. Snacks and beverages. BYOB.For more information, call (410) 563-2737I'd like to thank KAS Creations for making this special…
  • 9/11: Thirteen Years Ago — Personal Reflections

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    11 Sep 2014 | 5:48 am
    Exactly thirteen years ago today, terrorists attacked the United States of America. They flew planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and into the Pentagon near Washington, DC. They most likely would also have flown a plane into the Capitol building but were stopped by the passengers of United 93. Almost 3,000 people died that day.Because I'm obsessed with exactness, I've made sure for a while now to know the exact times of certain events that took place on 9/11. The bare sequence of events at the World Trade Center was as follows:8:46:26 AM: North Tower Hit9:02:54 AM:…
  • Why I Support Steve Grossman for Governor

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    4 Sep 2014 | 10:47 am
    I’ve mentioned in a few places that I am supporting Steve Grossman in his candidacy to be the new governor of Massachusetts. I know that some of my friends (and possibly others) are interested in my opinion and endorsement and where it comes from. So to that end, here’s a short article explaining why I support him. If you’re still undecided in this race, please consider reading it.The short version is that having met Steve a few times over the past 12 years, I have seen that he is an intelligent man who also cares about the people around him and listens to the voters. He is…
  • 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...
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    Pushing a Snake Up a Hill

  • Odyssey Story Slam in New Hampshire!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    16 Oct 2014 | 5:00 pm
    Are you planning to be in the vicinity of Amherst, New Hampshire on Sunday, November 2? Good! Because there’s going to be a fun event at the LaBelle Winery, which is a Bonfire Story Slam! A group of twenty SF/F writers, including moi, will be reading short-short stories (or, in the case of a few of us, excerpts) around a bonfire. What better setting for stories than a winery?* This is not only a great event, but also a fund-raiser in support of the terrific Odyssey Writing Workshop, which I have visited on several occasions as a guest lecturer. Come enjoy some stories and s’more stories!
  • Short Story Contest!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    16 Oct 2014 | 1:21 pm
    Any short-short story writers out there? I’ve just gotten a notice for an interesting-sounding SF writing contest, with a $1000 first prize and no rights grab. That second part is what really struck me. But your story entry has to be 1500 pages (Edit: Oops, that should be 1500 words) or under. Here’s the dope: THE ROSWELL AWARD FOR SHORT FICTIONPresented by Sci-Fest LA(FOR ADULT WRITERS OVER THE AGE OF 18)SCI-FEST LA: The Los Angeles Science Fiction One-Act Play Festival is happy to announce the launch our new short story writing contest for adult writers over the age of 18 called THE…
  • Star Rigger’s Way Finds Its Way

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    10 Oct 2014 | 12:55 pm
    Dell paperback (first edition)...back into ebook, for the first time since June!  Yes, the long wait is over. Star Rigger’s Way is now available in all-new clothes, in its long-awaited Starstream edition. Completely reformatted and with a new cover, this is not one to miss! (Wait—have any of my offerings been ones to miss? I hope not.) Star Rigger’s Way was not my first star rigger novel (that distinction belongs to Seas of Ernathe), but it grew out of my first star rigger story, which was called “Alien Persuasion,” and appeared in Galaxy during the twilight years of that…
  • BookBub Rumbles Down the Stream of Stars

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    4 Oct 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Time for another ebook special. This time Down the Stream of Stars is discounted, starting today and continuing for a week. Just $.99—which if you look carefully, you will see is less than a dollar! Such a deal. Starstream! In a great diaspora, starships ply the ethereal new highway into the galaxy. But none could have guessed the dangers unleashed by the starstream—including the deadly Throgs. When starship Charity flies into peril, a young Claudi Melnik confronts a threat from beyond space and time. Triumphant sequel to From a Changeling Star and a daring journey to the heart of…
  • 3D Printing Now—and Then

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    1 Oct 2014 | 4:00 pm
    I was reading recently about the delivery of the first 3D printer in space to the International Space Station, by the SpaceX Dragon cargo spaceship. You can read all about it here, and it’s pretty cool. Not long after, I was reading a piece of fiction I’ve had around for a while that included this paragraph: Igor’s countrymen, though lacking many earth techniques, were far ahead of earth in manufacturing skill. They used a single general type of machine to manufacture almost anything. They fed into it a plan which Igor called for want of a better term the blueprints—it was in fact, a…
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    The Mumpsimus

  • Notes on Passages from J.M. Coetzee's Foe

    Matthew Cheney
    17 Oct 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Though J.M. Coetzee's work has long fascinated me, I've avoided writing anything on Foe, because every time I tried to write anything, it felt obvious and stupid. It's the same feeling I've gotten whenever I've tried to write about Samuel Beckett or Franz Kafka, two other favorites of mine. Perhaps what has defeated me with writing about Foe is something similar to what defeats me whenever I've tried to write about Beckett and Kafka, who were, in fact, considerable influences on Coetzee — their work is so what it is that to add words around it feels inevitably reductive, a violence against…
  • What Ever Happened to Modernism by Gabriel Josipovici

    Matthew Cheney
    4 Oct 2014 | 11:48 am
    This review was first published in Rain Taxi in the spring of 2011. I'd actually forgotten all about it, but then came across it as I was reorganizing some folders on my computer. In case it still holds some interest, here it is. (Page references are to the Yale hardcover, and were for the copyeditors to double check my quotes; they weren't in the print version of the review, but I've kept them in because, well, why not...) One of the pleasures of Gabriel Josipovici’s What Ever Happened to Modernism? is that it all but forces us — dares us, even — to argue with it.  Josipovici…
  • Terry Gilliam: The Triumph of Fantasy

    Matthew Cheney
    1 Oct 2014 | 3:35 pm
    Press Play has now posted my latest video essay, "Terry Gilliam: The Triumph of Fantasy". It also has a short text essay to accompany it. Here's how that one begins:In a 1988 interview with David Morgan for Sight and Sound, Terry Gilliam proposed that the most common theme of his movies had been fantasy vs. reality, and that, after the not-entirely-happy endings of Time Bandits and Brazil, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen offered the happiness previously denied, a happiness made possible by “the triumph of fantasy”.That triumph is not, though, inherently happy. Gilliam’s occasional…
  • "Patrimony" in Black Static 42

    Matthew Cheney
    29 Sep 2014 | 5:56 am
    The latest issue of the venerable British horror/dark fiction magazine Black Static includes my latest story, "Patrimony", and is now available both in print and as an e-book in various formats. I'm thrilled with the accompanying illustration by Richard Wagner, and thankful to Andy Cox for buying the story and rushing it into print, because it's one of the strangest and most disturbing things I've ever written, and not the sort of thing that just any editor would get excited about.For a preview, here's the first paragraph:For most of my life, I worked in the gravel pit as an overseer. There…
  • John Cheever's (Queer) "Country Husband"

    Matthew Cheney
    13 Sep 2014 | 11:57 am
    Going through some of the secondary literature on John Cheever in preparation for a class in which I assigned the students to read his 1954 story "The Country Husband", I was surprised to find no discussion of the story within a queer context. My search was not comprehensive, but the connection seems so obvious to me, and so illuminating for the story, that I'm surprised it isn't mentioned by most people who write about Cheever's tale.Paging through Blake Bailey's comprehensive biography of Cheever makes the connection even more obvious than the story itself does, for Bailey notes that…
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    John Crowley Little and Big

  • Googlewhacked

    John Crowley
    12 Oct 2014 | 5:51 am
    Okay here's what's on my mind.  My sister Nora noted that a phrase in Little, Big  that Ron Drummond deployed as a title for his latest 25thAnniversary edition (address alll queries to him)  is a Gogglewhack -- that is, two words that when searched for togehter without any other words receives no hits at all.   (The two words were "undisentanglable convolvulus" if you need to know).  When this fact is posted soemwhere, of course, the Googlewhack evaporates, since the post about it will be returned in a Google search.  Anent this,…
  • Pictures and books

    John Crowley
    10 Oct 2014 | 4:40 am
    Here's a query -- not idle really but pedagogical (my daughter teaches children) --Books of mostly pictures where the pictures are mysterious, need interpretation, or contain a mystery.  Chris Van Allsburg's  Myster4ies of Harris Burdick is an example.  Thoughts?
  • Reverting to type

    John Crowley
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:15 pm
    The title of a n article by Ralph Caplan in the AIGA Newsletter about the current fashion for taking up writing on typewriters in spite of... well in spite of everything."Occasionally one meets or hears about writers who pride themselves on not using computers, triggering memories of writers who refused, for similar reasons, to use typewriters when they were the most efficient alternative to pens. In college I had a professor who had written several books and by the time I graduated had written several more. I was enviously dazzled by his…
  • Ginger mariners

    John Crowley
    8 Oct 2014 | 7:17 pm
    From a Slate article:"Back in the ’90s, when I was a concerned, 19-year-old mother, frightened by the world I was bringing my child into, I was studying homeopathy, herbalism, and aromatherapy; I believed in angels, witchcraft, clairvoyants, crop circles, aliens at Nazca, giant ginger mariners spreading their knowledge to the Aztecs, the Incas, and the Egyptians..."Giant ginger mariners?
  • Fact of the day

    John Crowley
    6 Oct 2014 | 4:08 am
    From the NY Times:  Men with pedophilia are three times more likely to be left-handed or ambidextrous, a finding that strongly suggests a neurological cause.
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  • Dragon*Con 2001: The Good and the Bad

    Peter David
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published October 19, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1457 Dragon*Con: The Good and the Bad. Good: I was scheduled to be on two panels early Friday afternoon… both slated to be held before my actual arrival. For instance, a panel that was to consist of myself and Paul Jenkins was scheduled for 2:30 PM, at which time I was still 30,000 feet in the air. Paul showed up ten minutes late—figuring it was no big deal because I’d be entertaining folks in his absence—to discover that just about everyone had already left because they figured neither of us was going to show. So why…
  • Movie review by Gwen! David: Ghost World

    Peter David
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published September 28, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1454 Enter, a bunch of teenagers sitting around in a room, bored. It’s the summer before their senior year in high school, and a week and a half before school actually starts. They want to make this week and a half count. Unfortunately, there’s nothing to do in this godforsaken town. Their plans to go to the beach and have a picnic dinner have been smashed by the rain. Teen One: He gets off work at five, right? And then he’s coming to pick us up? Teen Two: Yeah. But we kinda have to figure out what we’re going to do…
  • On Writing Aquaman

    Peter David
    13 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published September 21, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1453 To a great degree, I look upon my time writing Aquaman as a spectacularly ambitious failure. I took on the series for two major reasons: First, The Atlantis Chronicles remains, all these years later, some of my favorite work. When the series was being produced, DC’s top people—and I mean top people—spoke enthusiastically about it being a perennial favorite, kept perpetually in print a la Watchmen with additional spinoff titles and even merchandising. None of it ever materialized. DC remains resolute in not even…
  • A Pair of Challenges

    Peter David
    10 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published September 7, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1451 A couple of things this time out… First, a public service announcement. There has been quite a bit of coverage of Harlan Ellison’s lengthy, exhausting, and (some would say) seemingly hopeless battle against Internet piracy. For those who still have trouble wrapping themselves around it, let me put it to you this way: If someone creates a website that has a few words of profanity on it, and someone else complains, some providers will shut it down or block access to it. If someone creates a website that posts the…
  • Undistinguished Competition

    Peter David
    6 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Originally published August 31, 2001, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1450 Although intercompany rivalry and jabbing between Marvel and DC is hardly anything new, in the past it was always done with a sense of… I dunno… style. And humor. Cast your recollections to the days of “Our Distinguished Competition,” which always sounded to me like a southern lawyer sparring with a northerner. Or just calling the competition “Brand Echh,” in a send-up of commercials at the time which wouldn’t compare themselves directly to competitors but instead use a generic substitute (as opposed to now…
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    Stephen Dedman

  • Crime Scene

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

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

    Stephen Dedman
    20 Jul 2014 | 9:56 pm
    (as they say in the classics). More photos to follow, plus TripAdvisor reviews.
  • "And I realise... I'm going home."

    Stephen Dedman
    18 Jul 2014 | 2:22 pm
    Walked around Prague today, making sure I'd seen everything I wanted to see (apart from the Golem, which is supposedly hidden in the attic of the Old New Synagogue), then back to the hotel to pack.After London and Berlin, I thought I'd take a brief break from museum-hopping - but I rather liked this poster.Another museum I didn't explore, despite having featured it in 'Nanomorphosis'. Prague actually has two torture museums, as well as a Sex Machine museum. which I also skipped. Even the Kepler and Kafka museums didn't tempt me this time around. The Old New Synagogue, reportedly the home of…
  • "You Are Now Leaving West Berlin", or, "Short Trips: Destination Prague"

    Stephen Dedman
    17 Jul 2014 | 3:51 pm
    I arrived in Prague yesterday after spending four days in Berlin. The first two coincided with German victories in the World Cup, and the celebrations continued for the next two and may well still be going on. These celebrations occasionally blocked traffic, but as far as I could see, were entirely civilized, and it was good to see so many people happy in a city with such a grim recent history.I took a guided walking tour on Sunday, which started at the Brandenburg Gate and went via the Holocaust Memorial, Hannah Arendt Street, the site of the Fuhrerbunker (now a carpark, and apparently…
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    A.M. Dellamonica

  • Thankful for a whirlwind tour of #NYCC!

    14 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    New York Comic Con was an enormous, delightful, fan-filled spectacle of an experience, and I was thrilled to be able to go there, to meet some readers and get to know all of Team Tor a little better. I got to talk magic systems with Sam Sykes, Ilona and Gordon Andrews, Kim Harrison, George Hagen and Jeff Somers at a standing-room only panel. I signed books, gave out Child of a Hidden Sea buttons, and met a lot of people who had, previously, been e-mail contacts. In and around the event, Kelly and I visited The Frick Collection, the Met, Chelsea Market and the High Line. We saw Cabaret, with…
  • The Change, feminism, and S.M. Stirling’s THE GOLDEN PRINCESS

    6 Oct 2014 | 8:44 am
    I reviewed The Golden Princess for Bookworm Blues on On September 23rd. This is the latest in S.M. Stirling&;s Emberverse, and is set several generations after the Change. (The Emberverse has its own Wiki, so if you&;re looking to study up, go here.) The Golden Princess focuses on a new generation of Montival movers and shakers: Princess Orlaith, her brother and their various friends and followers. In the former category is the Empress of Japan, Reiko, a young ruler far from home. Like Orlaith,…
  • What Are You Working On This Autumn?

    3 Oct 2014 | 10:26 am
    photo by Kelly Robson Today I am shaving 260 words from one of the squid stories*, so I can send it to a market with a firm 7.5K word limit. I can tell I&;ve been through the story before. There&;s not much to trim. It&;s tempting to simply change the word count at the top of the page and assume they don&;t really care about that extra half page or so. But that would be errant smart-assery, not to mention unprofessional. Even if I…
  • Number Two Jane Austen Hero

    2 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    Last night, as Kelly and I were falling into a not-very-deep literary conversation, I decided I’d expand the conversation by posting the following question on Facebook: Alyx Dellamonica -15 hrs · Toronto ·  Assuming we all agree that Mr. Darcy is Jane Austen’s most desirable hero/dudebro/prospective mate, who is second in the pecking order? Is it Knightley? Bingley? Henry Crawford? (Of course, I was kidding about Henry Crawford.)Now, as I write this post, the unofficial poll results are:3 people say “What? Darcy? No way!”</p> Edward Ferrars and Henry Tilney…
  • Cause and Effect: Yoga Edition

    30 Sep 2014 | 9:00 am
    Yesterday I realized I was bestowing big grins on a subset of the guys I passed on the street. They all happened to be about the same size, in the mid-twenties age range, and bearded and gingery. Not quite scruffy, but definitely not corporate. In time, I worked out that what these guys have in common is that they might possibly look like one of Yyoga’s ashtanga instructors. Because I go into the studio without my glasses on, I have a smeary and apparently rather approximate idea of what the fellow in question looks like. Basically I spent the day smiling at people who almost…
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    Cory Doctorow's

  • There’s no back door that only works for good guys

    Cory Doctorow
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:59 pm
    My latest Guardian column, Crypto wars redux: why the FBI's desire to unlock your private life must be resisted, explains why the US government's push to mandate insecure back-doors in all our devices is such a terrible idea -- the antithesis of "cyber-security." As outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder invokes child kidnappers and terrorists, it's like a time-warp to the crypto-wars of the early 1990s, when the NSA tried to keep privacy technology out of civilian hands by classing it as a munition (no, seriously). Today, the need for the public to be able to thoroughly secure its data has…
  • My In Real Life book-tour!

    Cory Doctorow
    27 Sep 2014 | 5:44 am
    I'm heading out on tour with my new graphic novel In Real Life, adapted by Jen Wang from my story Anda's Game. I hope you'll come out and see us! We'll be in NYC, Princeton, LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Minneapolis and Chicago! (I'm also touring my new nonfiction book, Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, right after -- here's the whole schedule).
  • Homeland wins Copper Cylinder award for best Canadian YA sf novel

    Cory Doctorow
    20 Sep 2014 | 9:17 am
    The Copper Cylinder Prize, voted on by members of the Sunburst Award Society awarded best YA novel to Homeland; best adult novel went to Guy Gavriel Kay's River of Stars. It's a fantastic honour, in some ways even better than winning the juried Sunburst Award, because popular awards are given to books that have wide appeal to the whole voter pool. I'm incredibly grateful to the Sunburst Award Society, and also offer congrats to Guy for his well-deserved honour. Sunburst Award Society Announces the Winners of Its Third Annual Copper Cylinder Awards
  • Privacy for Normal People

    Cory Doctorow
    18 Sep 2014 | 4:41 am
    My latest Guardian column, Privacy technology everyone can use would make us all more secure, makes the case for privacy technology as something that anyone can -- and should use, discussing the work being done by the charitable Simply Secure foundation that launches today (site is not yet up as of this writing), with the mandate to create usable interfaces to cryptographic tools, and to teach crypto developers how to make their tools accessible to non-technical people. I think that the real reason that privacy is so user-unfriendly is that the case for privacy is intensely technical. The…
  • Excerpt from In Real Life, YA graphic novel about gold farmers

    Cory Doctorow
    15 Sep 2014 | 7:17 am
    In Real Life is the book-length graphic novel adapted by Jen Wang from my short story Anda's Game, about a girl who encounters a union organizer working to sign up Chinese gold-farmers in a multiplayer game. has published a long excerpt from the book, showcasing Jen's wonderful art, character development and writing! In Real Life (Comic Excerpt)
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    Notes from New Sodom

  • Upcoming Event

    Hal Duncan
    23 Sep 2014 | 8:15 am
    See here for more details. And for those of you on Facebook. Spread the word!
  • A Short Film: Sodom

    Hal Duncan
    20 Sep 2014 | 1:43 pm
    A short experimental film based on my long poem, "Sodom." Images from "Cities of Flesh," a series of abstract/cityscape collages constructed out of gay porn.
  • 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
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    A Blister to My Eye

  • 18th-century people did not use so-called gender-neutral language

    22 Sep 2014 | 11:54 am
    Pet peeve time. If you quote an historical figure you admire, but you change the wording in order not to offend modern ears, then what you have is not a quotation but a paraphrase, and it should be labeled as such and should not be put in quotation marks. I see this frequently where "man" is changed to "person". The most recent example is a shortened version of a quotation from Thomas Paine that's making the rounds on Facebook. The Facebook version: “To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.” Here's what…
  • Telephone Phobia

    9 Sep 2014 | 7:29 pm
    I’ve hesitated to write about this. It’s such a foolish thing — so silly, surely so easy to overcome. A recent unpleasantness connected with this phobia changed my mind. I know I’m not alone in suffering from telephone phobia, a.k.a. phone phobia, and maybe putting some thoughts about telephone phobia online will be useful. So. Telephone phobia. What is it, and is it contagious? As to the second question, surely not. At least, I hope not. As to the first question, it’s a morbid, irrational fear of the telephone. If you have telephone phobia, you might be afraid of answering the…
  • Slit

    15 Jun 2014 | 10:28 pm
    My newest book is a horror novella called Slit. It's filled with gore and kinky sex and a nice seasoning of humor. But it's not all like that. There are whole paragraphs that are entirely normal. I should have used that for the blurb: "Contains some paragraphs that are quite normal."
  • David’s Liberation Day #5

    19 May 2014 | 1:32 pm
    On May 19, 2009, along with a lot of other people, I was laid off from Quark. That was my best-paid job to date, and it would turn out to be my last full-time job. I was 65, working in a field (IT) that has always been notorious for age discrimination, and it was during the Great Recession, a.k.a. Yet Another Grim Republican Recession, a.k.a. Please Save Us Again, Democratic Party. Now, I’ve been laid off many times over the decades. (See my essay The Day Job.) This included times when I was in my forties, fifties, and even very early sixties. For various reasons, including a lot of luck, I…
  • Me at 70

    17 May 2014 | 9:16 pm
    Pictures of.
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    But Enough About Me!

  • Yom Kippur 5775 (2014)

    Kate Elliott
    3 Oct 2014 | 6:22 pm
    “This is my chosen fast: to loosen all the bonds that bind men unfairly, to let the oppressed go free, to break every yoke.” Isaiah Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.
  • 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,…
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    The Incomplete Blog

  • [Politics] Oh, yeah. Elections

    Josh English
    14 Oct 2014 | 10:13 pm
    We're what, three, four weeks from the election and I haven't picked up what was supposed to be my active citizenship stuff.It's a midterm election, and almost every pollster is claiming the Republicans will take the Senate, which I can't see, as they don't have a platform. They have Bengazi and Repeal Obamacare. They have "support families" by eliminating the minimum wage and "environmental protection" by letting oil companies write pollution guidelines.I probably won't get far this year, either. I'm feeling isolationist. The more I watch the…
  • [Writing] In Which I have a "Well, Duh" Moment

    Josh English
    20 Sep 2014 | 1:32 pm
    Uncle Josh is supposed to go out and lift, and then walk to the library, so of course I ran through my Facebook feed and found this post shared by my friend John Burridge. In short, the post compares Amy Pond's basic arc with that of Twilight's Bella Swan (if I got the name wrong, I don't care. I'm writing this based on sciolism). The two characters have the same things happen: They must choose between two men of different species, there is a baby that grows incredibly quickly and marries the the other man.Uncle Josh says "pshaw!" Never mind that, as I understand…
  • [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.
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    The official home page of author Eric Flint

  • 1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 42

    Drak Bibliophile
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 42 February, 1635 Carla was back in Race Track City with her girlfriends. They were in the little shop that sold casein buttons and other knickknacks. It was a pretty place, with lots of glass windows in little diamonds along one wall so that there was plenty of sunlight. Carla’s paisley shirt had lost a button, and they were white plastic buttons. Utterly irreplaceable. But if she took off all the buttons that were left and replaced them with the casein buttons . . . that would work. Besides, the casein buttons were actually prettier. There was a…
  • Paradigms Lost — Chapter 44

    Drak Bibliophile
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Paradigms Lost — Chapter 44 Chapter 44: Paternity and Possibility “Senator MacLain?” The voice on the other end was as distinctive over the phone as it was in public address or on television: precise, educated, a pleasant yet cool voice that carried both authority and intelligence — it reminded me somehow of Katharine Hepburn. “This is Paula MacLain. Mr. Jason Wood?” “Yes, ma’am. I don’t know if you know who I am — ” “Young man, if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be speaking to you.” There was a tinge of humor that…
  • Castaway Planet – Chapter 03

    Drak Bibliophile
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Castaway Planet – Chapter 03 Chapter 3 Sakura clamped her jaw shut to keep from screaming as LS-5 whirled into the void. She gripped the arms of the pilot’s chair convulsively. She heard herself muttering, “Oh my God, oh my God…” and her mother and father both whispering something that sounded very similar. The whirling, dizzy, uncontrolled spin lasted only a few moments; automatic stabilizer jets fired momentarily and then cut off. She felt the odd floating feeling of microgravity; over the private channel she heard Whips’ own half-formed prayers to Those…
  • 1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 41

    Drak Bibliophile
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    1636 The Viennese Waltz – Snippet 41 Chapter 14: Barbies’ Vienna Branch January and early February, 1635 Sanderlin House, Race Track City “Frau Sanderlin, may I give credit to Ursula Kline?” Magdalena Hough asked timidly. “She is a good woman and if she can get some of the bottles for her herbs, she will be better able to sell them.” Gayleen Sanderlin was at a loss. “Well, I guess so. I mean, it’s your shop. What do the other ladies who work there say?” Magdalena hesitated. “Well, some agree. Others think we don’t have the…
  • Polychrome – Chapter 18

    Drak Bibliophile
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:00 pm
    Polychrome – Chapter 18 Chapter 18. I felt the chill of the morning deep in my bones as I awoke. I never liked camping as a kid, and I don’t like it any better now. Who was it who said that adventures were unpleasant things happening to people a long way away? I dragged myself out of the little tent and onto the remainder of the little shelf of rock I was on. I wasn’t sure of the point of this little exercise, but you generally didn’t argue with Iris Mirabilis. I got out the little folded picture of a campfire he’d given me and shook it four times as instructed…
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    Mad Libs

  • Saturday, in the park, and also in Costco

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    18 Oct 2014 | 7:34 pm
    I slept late today. Totally lazy. Let the kids sleep in. Let the dogs sleep in. All were happy. Also, Voodoo managed to eat all his brother’s dinner tonight, for no good reason. There had to be a Costco run today, to stock up on all those things that we’ve been running out of, but which seem important, particularly milk and toilet paper. Boy of size was very ill today (bad day for him) and so girlie and I headed of. The man went hunting, though fruitlessly. Sads for that. Would like some venison. So anyhow, on the way, stopped for some chai and got a text my friend that…
  • Chop wood, carry water

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    13 Oct 2014 | 11:59 am
    Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. Which is to say, I finished Edge of Dreams, sequel to Trace of Magic, and now must begin the last Crosspointe book, which may or may not be called Blood Jewel. I think I’m happy with the way it turned out, as much as I hated a lot of it going through. I just wasn’t sure I could make it pull together to hit the right notes. But I think it did. I hope editor and agent agree, but if not, at least they’ll be able to tell me why not and how to solve the issues. But as there is no rest for…
  • Crazy, Toys in the Attic, Going Crazy

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    10 Oct 2014 | 8:45 pm
    You might wonder where I’ve been. I’ve been knee-deep in the book. I’m almost done. Within a tantalizing couple of inches, but those inches are proving tangled and thorny. I persevere. Boy of size is not feeling well. Having a significantly rough day. It was, however, a traumatic day, with vaccinations and a blood draw, so I hope this is what accounts for it. Anxiety does worsen things for him. Other than that, been doing school stuff, cleaning stuff, yard stuff. Oh! And we got a new front security door/screen door. So we can leave it open and locked and it’s very safe…
  • Where’s the rubber ducky?

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    26 Sep 2014 | 4:42 pm
    I’m hip deep in shit creek and no rubber duckies in sight. Book’s due soon, and I’m not done. I’m trying to make doneness, but progress is slower than I want. Also, a few days ago, the z, x,c, and v keys on my desktop keyboard ceased to work. I used a Kinesis keyboard. I called the company, and they are sending me a replacement part, and hopefully it arrives asap. But that means writing on my laptop and for whatever reason, that undercuts my creativity. Plus I’ve been having some weird sick stuff happening this week. Possibly as a result of stress, possibly as a…
  • Author idiocy

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    19 Sep 2014 | 11:12 am
    Most writers know better than to read reviews. Good, bad, or indifferent, they just aren’t healthy for the writerly condition. It is a condition. A kind of mental disease, I sometimes think. Good reviews are wonderful and they stroke the ego for about two seconds, but then you start thinking–what if this next work can’t be as good? What if I fail? What if everyone pans it after setting such high expectations? There’s actually a long litany of how a good review can turn bad on a writer, but you get the point. Then the indifferent review is just as bad, because you…
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    Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

  • damn it, Cas...!

    Laura Anne Gilman
    19 Oct 2014 | 4:06 am
    Laughing hysterically as the Kitten destroys yet another roll of towels probably won't teach him not to do that...but when you turn the corner and find a lean black kitten locked in mortal combat with a towel roll slightly bulkier than he is, the kitten hissing in frustration, the floor covered by shredded bits of paper toweling?it's really, seriously hard not to laugh.
  • So, yeah. This is happening.

    Laura Anne Gilman
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:10 am
    Where "this" is a leave of absence from NYC.In December, I'm packing up self, cats, and a limited (!) number of books, and hauling cross-country to Seattle, where I will take up residence for a year (or two).No, I'm not abandoning NYC. I still own my apartment - a friend is subletting, a time-honored NYC tradition, and I can only do that for two years before the co-op board starts making unhappy noises at me. I'll be back.But then why? various people have been asking since I first mentioned this scheme.Well.... mainly because I never intended to be a person who lived her…
  • Read in 2014

    Laura Anne Gilman
    15 Oct 2014 | 5:30 am
    If I can get 4 more read in the next few months (damned unlikely, due to deadlines), I'll have managed, roughly, two books a month this year. Not close to my teenaged habits of 1-a-week, but better than I've been doing in recent years....* means it was on my #TBRin2014 list20. *THE BLACK COUNTRY, Alex Grecian19. FIFTH ELEPHANT, Terry Pratchett (re-read)18. GHOST POINT, James Hetley17. CLIENT MANUSCRIPT, Unidentified Client16. *SCANDALOUS, Patricia Burroughs15. Untitled Manuscript, Dana Stabenow (client editing)14. THE CLOCKWORK DAGGER, Beth Cato13. *THE BIG KNOCKOVER, Dashiell Hammett…
  • Small Wins

    Laura Anne Gilman
    14 Oct 2014 | 2:51 pm
    Any day you come home on a (delayed) redeye, and still get things done, however minor, is a productive day. I have so decided this.(even if those things were, in order: sorting books, talking to your agent about a proposal, and cleaning out the litter box).Tomorrow I need to be more productive, which means a) getting all the sleeps tonight, and b) forcing my stress into useful formations, rather than the formless aiggghhh that's been dogging me today.I can do that. I can.But or now, I'm going to feed the cats, have some fried dumplings, and watch some tv.  Because it's…
  • Various and Sundry has to unpack the cat

    Laura Anne Gilman
    8 Oct 2014 | 6:19 am
    Writerly Stuff:Revisions on many things continue.   I am very boring on social media during revisions, unless you're privy to the maniacal cackling and frustrated sobbing....For those of you following the progress of SILVER ON THE ROAD, I just sent the following character references off to our art director:KasunIzzyI have no idea what the cover will look like, but they will know what our main characters look like, at least, and no excuses.  :-)Random Feel-Good Link:Defining a mensch (the woman who posted the ad, not the people she was addressing, for clarity)Kickstarter…
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  • This princess wears black

    Shannon Hale
    6 Oct 2014 | 8:40 am
    Good morning, superheroes! Just a week away from the release of The Princess in Black! I am so excited for this book, it may as well be my first. Instead of my nineteenth. Can that be true? (*counts*) Nope. This book is my 18th. This book is my 19th. It comes out Oct 21, a week after The Princess in Black. Did I tell you about this? A collection of Ever After High short stories. Some were previously published as free ebooks. Five are new, plus fun extras. I'm excited to see this one! This book will be my 20th, out March 3, 2015. For my Princess in Black tour, I'll be in the DC and…
  • The rage of age ranges

    Shannon Hale
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:03 am
    Recently someone in publishing told me, "You're not really a YA author."It bugged me, but I wasn't sure why, because middle grade rocks. If the only readers I ever reached were ages 8-12 I'd be a happy author. I love kids those ages as much as I love teenagers. So it shouldn't bother me. But I think I've finally figured it why it does. As an older teenager, I would have loved my books. The Goose Girl, Book of a Thousand Days, Dangerous, as well as my books that are considered younger like Princess Academy and Ever After High. And I have a lot of teen…
  • Cover reveal: the Princess Academy series

    Shannon Hale
    23 Sep 2014 | 10:54 am
    In honor of the 10th anniversary of Princess Academy and the upcoming publication of the third book in the trilogy, Bloomsbury has redesigned the jackets in this series, with artwork by Jason Chan. I'm excited to reveal them here at last! The Forgotten Sisters pubs in hardcover March 3, 2015, with the rejacketed paperbacks of the first two at the same time. The first review is in, a starred review from Booklist! "On the day that Miri is to return to her beloved Mount Eskel, she is summoned by King Bjorn of Danland, requesting her to travel to outer-territorial Lesser Alva where she…
  • The problem with the neutral love interest

    Shannon Hale
    15 Sep 2014 | 10:33 am
    "I don't get the love interest. I mean, am I supposed to like him?"This is a response I hear often from readers. And it's started me thinking. Are writers supposed to write a love interest that every reader will fall in love with? For example, in a story where the main character is a female who falls in love with a guy, then this should be a guy that the reader can fall in love with too. But as years pass, I completely question that thought. It just doesn't make sense. This is a story, not a blind date. A book is an opportunity to experience someone else's story.
  • Let's talk about [bleep]

    Shannon Hale
    9 Sep 2014 | 9:53 am
    [trigger warning] [for mature readers, please get your parent or guardian's approval to read if you're under 14] Some recent events prompted me to look back on last year's discussions about rape culture and consent, and a followup post. Several people commented anonymously about a related matter that I think is really important. I'm going to repost some of those comments here. Some cultures and religions advocate for celilbacy* before marriage. I completely respect and support those who make that choice, but there is the misconseption that celibacy=silence, that the…
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    the m john harrison blog

  • the step-aside

    20 Oct 2014 | 1:21 am
    N tells us he is able to step aside from the world. “It’s a trick I learned early,” he says. He learned by exploiting various childhood states. “Being ill, for instance. Or having your parents die: anything that gives you special privileges in terms of not taking part. Later, as an adult, it’s someone else being ill, but you don’t have to look after them. You don’t have the bore of that, you just have to turn up at the hospital with flowers. Births, marriages and deaths. If you learn to distance yourself from other people’s funerals, you’ll…
  • 17 Oct 2014 | 6:57 am

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:57 am
    The truth was simpler. Originally they had leaked into our world from the astral plane.
  • 17 Oct 2014 | 6:51 am

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:51 am
  • 15 Oct 2014 | 2:19 am

    15 Oct 2014 | 2:19 am
    Break glass if you are not experiencing a secondary world.
  • writerly advice

    14 Oct 2014 | 6:11 am
    I once lived for a couple of years with another novelist. At that time I played the lottery. Every time I bought a ticket she would complain, “Why are you doing that? We’re writers. We already play the lottery.” That was her experience of the trade.
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    People are strange, when you're a stranger . . .

  • 19 Oct 2014 | 8:37 am

    19 Oct 2014 | 8:37 am
    Windchill has crept its insidious way into the weather reports.
  • Windy

    19 Oct 2014 | 4:47 am
    Air temperature 44 F, dew point 35, wind NW at 15 mph gusting to 25, mostly cloudy.  No snow on the wind.  Yet.  Just leaves flying.Freeze forecast for tonight.  We're supposed to get a northeaster later this week, rain setting in Tuesday and running into Friday.  Another month and we'd be shoveling.
  • 18 Oct 2014 | 4:03 pm

    18 Oct 2014 | 4:03 pm
    A lot of people think it is proper and necessary for other people to obey a particular set of religious rules.
  • 18 Oct 2014 | 11:36 am

    18 Oct 2014 | 11:36 am
    Different things to different people . . .Acronyms are slippery. Your "P.O.S." for "Point of Sale" may mean "Piece of Shit" to someone else.
  • 18 Oct 2014 | 7:03 am

    18 Oct 2014 | 7:03 am
    Question from a tech skeptic -- how long do I wait for Apple to debug their new OS before I go through the ordeal of downloading and installing it?
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    Jim C. Hines

  • Victim or Perpetrator?

    Jim C. Hines
    19 Oct 2014 | 9:13 am
    The Guardian recently published a piece called “Am I Being Catfished?” An Author Confronts Her Number One Online Critic. In the article, author Kathleen Hale describes her anxiety after her first book came out, how she obsessed over Amazon and Goodreads and other review sites. I can definitely relate to this part. Book #10 comes out in January for me, and I expect I’ll still be auto-refreshing the Amazon page every 15 minutes… Hale asked Twitter for ideas about her next book, as a way to “connect with readers.” A woman named Blythe offered suggestions,…
  • Writer’s Ink: N. K. Jemisin

    Jim C. Hines
    18 Oct 2014 | 11:31 am
    N. K. Jemisin recently posted a pic of her brand new tattoo on Facebook. Naturally, I immediately asked if she’d be willing to talk about it for Writer’s Ink For those of you who aren’t familiar with Jemisin … where exactly have you been? I’ve reviewed her books here and here. She’s a good writer, both in her fantasy novels and with her blog. Her next work is a novella called “The Awakened Kingdom,” coming out in December Here’s Jemisin talking about the inspiration behind her tattoo: I’ve never really wanted a tattoo just to have a…
  • Cool Stuff Friday

    Jim C. Hines
    17 Oct 2014 | 8:24 am
    Friday has spent the past few years building up an immunity to iocaine powder. The Mary Sue presents a gallery of cute kid cosplay from NYCC. Animal family portraits. (I feel like I may have posted this one before. But they’re cute and I’m tired, so I don’t care.) LEGO Mash-up with Han Solo, Malcolm Reynolds, and Peter Quill. Garfi, the World’s Angriest Cat. Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Kindle Scout

    Jim C. Hines
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:11 am
    A tweet from Damien Walter led me to Amazon’s Kindle Scout page, which I hadn’t heard about before. It looks to me like an Amazonian hybrid approach to publishing. Basically, you submit your unpublished book of 50K words or more. After a short review period (to make sure your book is acceptable), you get a Kindle Scout “Campaign Page,” that includes the first 5000 or so words of the book. Readers nominate their favorites, and at the end of the 30-day campaign, the Kindle Scout team selects books to publish. From the FAQs: “Nominations give us an idea of which…
  • Unbound: Chapter One

    Jim C. Hines
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:09 am
    The next Magic ex Libris book, Unbound, comes out on January 6, 2015. I did a highly scientific poll over on Facebook, asking when I should post the first chapter online. While answers varied, the majority of people suggested “Right now!!!” Who am I to argue? I put together the preview in both .pdf and .epub formats. Both files looked good and passed validation, but please let me know if you find a problem: Unbound Chapter One [pdf | epub] There will be at least four books in the series, but in a lot of ways, books one through three have their own complete story arc. If I got…
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    When You Stop Believing in It, It Doesn't Go Away

  • Happy Birthday, Marvel Puzzle Quest

    Alexander Irvine
    2 Oct 2014 | 2:35 pm
    Tomorrow it'll be a year since Marvel Puzzle Quest first appeared. I have the privilege to write this game (after Frank Tieri did all the hard work getting its initial Dark Reign storyline started), and I want to thank each and every one of the 3.7 million (and counting) people who have downloaded and played it. Here's an image with some cool info about the game, including the fact that it's the first Marvel game to feature the new Thor: Goddess of Thunder!
  • A Brief Rant on a Popular Meme

    Alexander Irvine
    30 Sep 2014 | 9:38 am
    I confess that I hate this meme. Speaking as someone who has written a fair number of books, I can tell you that a) authors don't always know what they mean; b) even when we think we do, the book is often doing something else that we don't notice until readers point it out for us later; and c) once a book is out in the world, readers' understanding of it matters more than whatever I might think I meant at the time.This is a thoroughly stupid and reductive meme. It's fundamentally hostile to what literature is all about.There. I feel better.
  • Coming Up: Eight Books in Six Months

    Alexander Irvine
    16 Sep 2014 | 9:04 am
    Here's a rundown of what I've got coming out between now and March...Season 2 of Sleepy Hollow is just around the corner, and to get you warmed up for it, here's The Secret Journal of Ichabod Crane, out today!Also, next month you'll be able to pick up the Marvel Vehicles Owner's Workshop Manual...Then in November, it'll be Captain America and Iron Man kicking off the Phase One series of young-reader adaptations of the Marvel Cinematic Universe... Then in January, Hulk and Thor keep Phase One going, while my prose adaptation of Secret Wars also hits shelves... Then in March, the…
  • Marvel Secret Wars Novel

    Alexander Irvine
    13 Sep 2014 | 1:53 pm
    Here's the catalog page for the Secret Wars prose novel I just finished up...coming January 20!
  • Covers to Marvel Phase One Books

    Alexander Irvine
    13 Sep 2014 | 5:53 am
    Take a look at these beauties. I'm writing a series of middle-reader novelizations of the Marvel Phase One movies, taken directly from the films themselves rather than the scripts. This has meant watching the movies again a whole bunch of times. (My job's pretty miserable.) I'm working on the fifth book right now, but here are the covers for the first four:  Pretty cool, right?
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    Nicholas Kaufmann's Journal

  • The Giveaway is Complete!

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    19 Oct 2014 | 1:04 pm
    A whopping 559 readers entered the Goodreads giveaway to win signed ARCs of Die and Stay Dead and Dying Is My Business, but alas, there could only be one lucky winner. Congratulations to Peggy Geiger of Kansas City, MO! Your signed ARCs will be in the mail to you shortly! I hope you enjoy them. But if you don’t, please keep in mind that my books can only be killed with a special ceremonial silver dagger, as my editor’s assistant discovered recently. Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • Last Day of the Giveaway

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    18 Oct 2014 | 4:41 am
    Reminder! Today (Saturday) is your last chance to win signed ARCs of DIE AND STAY DEAD and DYING IS MY BUSINESS! Get in there! Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • What Waits For You On North Brother Island?

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:27 am
    Gothamist ran a great article today that has tons of amazing photos taken on North Brother Island, the abandoned island just off the Bronx where the bulk of my Bram Stoker Award-nominated novelette General Slocum’s Gold takes place. In fact, there are some great pictures of the abandoned hospital where Typhoid Mary once lived, and where Sackett and his pals run into supernatural shenanigans in the novelette. Check it out. (It’s odd that the article doesn’t mention the wreck of the General Slocum on North Brother Island’s shores in 1904, though.) By the way, did you…
  • Doctor Who: “Mummy on the Orient Express”

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    15 Oct 2014 | 10:15 am
    I don’t have much to say about this week’s Doctor Who episode, “Mummy on the Orient Express.” Shocking, I know! Especially given the lengthy screeds I’ve been writing about episodes for a while now. “Mummy” is the closest to a classic-era Doctor Who episode we’ve gotten so far this season: outer space, a monster, a mystery to solve, and an enclosed setting. No timey-wimey crap, no “secret origins” for the Doctor or Clara, just a welcome, straightforward adventure. It’s a good one, too. One of the better episodes this…
  • Only 5 Days Left to Win Free Books!

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    14 Oct 2014 | 10:39 am
    Just like it says up top: There are only five days left to win signed ARCs of Die and Stay Dead and Dying Is My Business! Enter the Goodreads giveaway today! Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
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    Dear Sweet Filthy World

  • "Am I just a spark?"

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    1. Twenty years ago today Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction opened in theaters. That seems pretty much impossible. The impact of that one film on my own fiction was enormous. I saw it nine times in the theater, at a time when I didn't have money to spend on movies. I was astounded. The dialogue, the gleeful mayhem and profane twists and turns of the plot, the dark comedy, the boldly non-linear storytelling – all of it blew me away. I was only thirty. And it still feels like a new film."Ezekiel 25:17.The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the iniquities of the selfish and the…
  • "Before I came out here I never used to pray."

    18 Oct 2014 | 9:07 am
    Today the pain is probably at a 5. It isn't cold, but it isn't warm. The clouds come and go, intermittently hiding the indecent autumn sky.Four days ago (counting today) – And what day was that? Wednesday? Tuesday? – I finished Part 1 (of 5) of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird. My editor loves it. I'm not sure what to make of the thing. Mostly, having finished 1 means now I have to write 2. Though, first I should probably stop and do Sirenia Digest #105. I needed to have the Dark Horse work done my October 31st. That's not going to happen. If all goes well, I'll have it finished…
  • "Nobody's dying if you speak double-speak..."

    15 Oct 2014 | 9:05 am
    Warmish today, windy, mostly cloudy. Currently, it's 76˚F. I really have to get out of the house today. I've not been out since Saturday.Yesterday, angry at my lack of progress, I actually managed to finish Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird. I wrote pages 17-22, which actually meant writing a lot more than six pages. So, Chapter One is mostly behind me. I need to read over it, make some corrections, get all the photo-references together, and write out a few other things for Joëlle, and email everything away. This morning, the pain's at least a 7.Happy National Fossil Day. I gotta…
  • "Virgil Kane is the name, and I served on the Danville train."

    13 Oct 2014 | 9:33 am
    Too cold to open the window, so I sit here in my stale air.I've been outside only once in the past...what? The past week? I lose track.I've never made a secret of the fact that I dislike writing. But there are the aspects of writing that I dislike, and then there are the aspects of writing I very, very much dislike. I very much dislike writing comics. And every time I quit, I swear I'm never going to do it again.I'm not entirely sure I can explain. I mean, yes, I can explain. Were you sitting here, I could explain it to you quite well. But I'm not entirely awake, and one-on-one conversation…
  • "But the film is a saddening bore, 'cause I wrote it ten times or more."

    11 Oct 2014 | 9:48 am
    Rainy, cold, and generally shitty here in Providence. 50˚F, and it's 28˚ warmer in Birmingham.Yesterday, I managed only two pages of The Good, the Bad, and the Bird. At this rate, I'm fucked.But hey, gay folk can get married in North Carolina.The Fun Never Ends,Aunt Beast
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    Mindy Klasky - Virtual Cocktails

  • Yet Another @Kobo Sale!

    Mindy Klasky
    17 Oct 2014 | 6:19 am
    Once again, Kobo is having another sale!  This one runs from October 17 – 19, and some of my books are available with *major* discounts! CATCHING HELL — now 25% off! FROM LEFT FIELD — now 35% off! TRIPLE PLAY I (the first three volumes of the Diamond Brides Series) — now 50% off! There are three different promo codes for this sale, and three lists to purchase from.  Start at the  front page of the sale, and order using the promo codes listed there.  It’s as easy as one, two, three! Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.
  • What a Way to Celebrate!

    Mindy Klasky
    15 Oct 2014 | 8:13 am
    Well, I’m a year older now. Okay, technically, I’m a day older than I was yesterday, and three days older than I was on October 12, my official birthday.  But you know what I mean. This year, we decided to take advantage of a relative’s kind offer, and we spent my birthday (and a long weekend!) at the beach — Duck, North Carolina, on the Outer Banks.  We typically go down there once or twice a year, usually in the heart of winter.  Duck is a wonderful place off season — nearly deserted, with most businesses closed up tight, with nearly no one on the beach, and…
  • Urgent! Hurry! Act Now!

    Mindy Klasky
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:55 am
    Tomorrow (October 14) is the last day EVER when you will be able to buy Playing for Passion, the USA Today bestselling boxed set of ***twelve*** sports-themed romances, all for just $0.99. The set includes the first volume of my Diamond Brides series, Perfect Pitch.  You know you want to read these books.  So get out there and buy your set today.  Because by Wednesday?  It’ll be too late! Buy now:  Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo   Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.
  • Compare and Contrast (Book Releases, That Is)

    Mindy Klasky
    7 Oct 2014 | 3:02 am
    Well, this is rather odd.  I have two books releasing today, and I don’t think it’s possible for any author to have two more different books hitting the market simultaneously. First up:  DARKBEAST REBELLION, by Morgan Keyes (that’s, um, me.) This is the paperback version of my middle grade fantasy novel, second in the DARKBEAST series.  Here’s the back-of-the-book blurb: Keara, her friend Goran, and the wily old actor, Taggart, are fleeing for their lives. They have all spared their darkbeasts, the creatures that take on their darker deeds and emotions and lift…
  • So, This Happened

    Mindy Klasky
    1 Oct 2014 | 6:45 am
    It’s been a crazy week or so. I completed edits on ALWAYS RIGHT (the last volume of the Diamond Brides Series), only a couple of days later than I planned back in February. I drove up to Baltimore and participated on two panels at the Baltimore Book Festival with the Maryland Romance Writers. I attended the Crafty Bastards craft show and bought more yarn than any human being should buy (also enjoying a great lunch with a close friend I never have enough time to see.) I enjoyed lunch with my cousin, catching up on all sorts of family stories. And, oh yeah.  I BECAME A USA TODAY…
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    Mary Robinette Kowal

  • Seeking recommendations for writers and historians in Haiti, Jamaica, and Cozumel, Mexico.

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    19 Oct 2014 | 12:23 pm
    I could use some help… When Writing Excuses goes on the cruise next year, we’re going to be docking in a couple of different countries and are hoping to line up authors and historians as guest speakers. I can research names, what is harder is finding out who is a good teacher. Particularly when I’m looking at a country where I don’t speak the language. So… people of the internet. Who would you recommend that we try to contact in the following locations? Labedee, Haiti Falmouth,Jamaica Cozumel, Mexico We’re looking for people who are able to unpack their…
  • SALE! “Like Native Things” to Asimov’s

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    16 Oct 2014 | 10:07 am
    I am very, very happy to have sold this short story to Asimov’s. I have to give a really big thank you to all the people who beta-read for it when it was titled, “Wary of Iguanas.” In particular I need to thank Daniel, who finally unlocked a problem with the story for me. It’s like this… For months I’ve been trying to fix a problem with the story. There’s a type of power station that takes its energy from ocean waves, and I have one in the story. I kept getting comments like, “I don’t understand why the wave generator is such a big…
  • My Favorite Bit: Michael R. Underwood talks about THE YOUNGER GODS

    Beth Bernier
    14 Oct 2014 | 6:00 am
    Michael R. Underwood is joining us today with his novel The Younger Gods. Here’s the publisher’s description. The first in a new series from the author of Geekomancy (pop culture urban fantasy) and Shield and Crocus (New Weird superhero fantasy). Jacob Greene was a sweet boy raised by a loving, tight-knit family…of cultists. He always obeyed, and was so trusted by them that he was the one they sent out on their monthly supply run (food, medicine, pig fetuses, etc.). Finding himself betrayed by them, he flees the family’s sequestered compound and enters the true unknown:…
  • Why is the Writing Excuses “Out of Excuses Retreat and Workshop” now on a boat?

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    9 Oct 2014 | 12:22 pm
    Well, for the first two years, we hosted it at my parents’ home in Tennessee. The location had a lot of things going for it, but we had to limit attendance to 24 people because of the size of the venue. This meant a lot of stress for people as they tried to register for those few slots. We sold out in less than three minutes last time. So we wanted a bigger venue, but we also wanted to address the other things that keep people from being able to attend workshops. One of those is that people get limited vacation time, and taking a week off to be away from family is hard. Being on the…
  • Pictorial evidence of the difference three months can make in the life of a cat.

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    9 Oct 2014 | 11:43 am
    This is Sadie when we brought her home on June 27th. She’d been living on the street before being taken in by CARF. Her fur was coarse and had no undercoat at all. This is Sadie on October 10th. While she’s put on a little weight, going from seven pounds to nine, most of what you’re seeing is the recovery of her fur. She’s so soft that it’s like petting a warm cloud. And she purrs now. She didn’t when we got her. The post Pictorial evidence of the difference three months can make in the life of a cat. appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
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    Among Amid While

  • Conflux 10 appearances

    26 Sep 2014 | 6:54 pm
    I appear to be taking a year off from this blog. Which is long enough to have to re-learn how to get into it. Way to complicate things, Google and Blogger.      Anyway, I'm breaking radio silence to bring you my schedule for next weekend's appearances at Conflux 10 in Canberra, where I am really pleased to be Guest of Honour, alongside Alisa Krasnostein.      Here's what I'll be doing on the
  • 2013 in review: an out-and-out skite

    22 Dec 2013 | 5:29 pm
    My four Aurealises, and my Horror-Awards-bestowing  gloves I've been meaning to compile a list of all the Sea Hearts/ Rollrock achievements, and the end of the year provides a neat excuse, as well as the time, of course *waves cheerily to the day job*. So here we go. Some of this is from last year, but I wanted all the glory in one place, so forgive me if it gets repetitive. Also, if anyone
  • Meanjin Tournament of Books...

    2 Dec 2013 | 11:50 pm all about watery themes this year, so the shortlist is very blue, except where it's green or black. And wonder of wonders, Sea Hearts (a) is on it and (b) has made it through the first round.
  • Sea Hearts is nominated for the IMPAC

    2 Dec 2013 | 11:41 pm
    I know, it's outlandish. But it's true. Me and Hilary. And, erm, 150 other authors/books. I am celebrating now, in the expectation of its not getting any further. We'll find out in April.
  • Not one, not two, but THREE reprints!

    27 Oct 2013 | 1:08 pm
    The Wagga residency was two weeks of energetic writing and leisurely exploring the very green countryside in that part of the Riverina, with Griffith Agricultural Show and Junee's Broadway Museum being highlights. Wagga's Museum of the Riverina was beautifully and professionally curated, too, but I also like a collection that's just everyone's old stuff piled into rooms with assorted labels (or
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    Justine Larbalestier

  • Accompanying Scott on his tour of the USA

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

    17 Sep 2014 | 1:26 pm
    I no longer dread the question “Where do you get your ideas?” That’s because I finally figured out the answer. Don’t get me wrong I’ve answered it a million times over my more than ten year career as a writer. I’ve nattered on about brain monkeys, ends of rainbows, stealing ideas from Maureen Johnson, ideas not being that important, blah blah blah. The actual answer does not involve light bulbs or muses or brain monkeys or Maureen Johnson. Well, not directly. My true answer involves lots of work. I apologise for the lack of glamour. Here’s what I…
  • No More Bestselling Women’s Book Club This Year

    11 Sep 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Apologies to those reading along with us but alas, travel, deadlines, and sundry other things have crashed down upon Kate Elliott and I and we will not be doing the book club for the next few months. We hope to resume next year. In the meantime you can find our discussions of the books we’ve already read here. Thanks to all who’ve been taking part. We’ve learnt a lot.
  • Books That Changed Me

    6 Sep 2014 | 4:02 pm
    Today the Sydney Morning Herald is running my entry in their long-running Books That Changed Me series. I struggled mightily to get it down to four. Especially as they initially told me I could name five. There are too many books that have changed me! Too many books that I love with every fibre of my being! The four that made the cut: Kylie Tennant’s Foveaux (1939) is a novel that reads like history. Like geography. Almost geology. It’s slow, there’s no plot to speak of, it’s everything I don’t like about literary novels. I love it. Tennant lays bare Surry Hills…
  • The Internet is Also Real Life

    2 Sep 2014 | 1:21 pm
    The distinction between Real Life and the internet is frequently made. Particularly by people for whom the internet is not a big, or in some cases any, part of their social lives. But the internet is not on a different planet. It’s right here on Earth it was created by people and is made up of people just like Sydney or New York City or Timbuktu. The internet is a huge part of my life, and has been since the early 1990s, when I was first introduced to the weird and wonderful World Wide Web. Oh, the glory of it. I remember my very first email address. Hard to believe now, but back then…
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    SF and Nonsense

  • Nanotech and starships and fusion, oh my!

    14 Oct 2014 | 8:00 am
    Over a recent twelve-day period I:gave a talk at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), followed by a behind-the-scenes tour of many of their projects involved with nanotech. took part in a 100 Year Starship Symposium and, in the process, was a panelist for Science Fiction Stories Night.attended a lecture on the state of fusion energy research, cosponsored by the Department of Energy (DOE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the National Electronics Museum.Six days out of twelve immersed in cutting-edge science. Some days, I just love my job…
  • Slightly larger Small Miracles

    7 Oct 2014 | 6:50 am
    I'm pleased to report that my medical nanotech thriller, Small Miracles, briefly out of print (and also electrons), was just re-released in a classy, trade paperback edition. And that new edition comes graced with an eye-catching new cover. Back in printWhat's Small Miracles about? Well, I blogged about that in 2009 when the original HB came out ("Small Miracles") and again in 2010 when the mass market paperback hit the streets ("Real nanotech. Real medicine. And zombies."). But in a buckyball (a nano nutshell, if you prefer) Small Miracles is a near-future, post-human thriller based upon the…
  • Re-Energized

    30 Sep 2014 | 6:30 am
    That is to say, my energy-crisis, the-Russians-are-up-to-no-good, all-too-timelynovel Energized was re-released today in its mass-market paperback edition.In HB, PB, ebook, audio formatsA miscalculation has tainted the world's major oil fields with radioactivity and plunged the Middle East into chaos. The few countries still able to export oil and natural gas—Russia chief among them—have a stranglehold on the global economy.Then, from the darkness of space, comes Phoebe. Rather than divert the massive asteroid, America captures it into Earth orbit to mine it for materials with which to…
  • Bit by bit

    23 Sep 2014 | 7:49 am
    Today, a cornucopia of computing consequences ... A calculating mind ...?Last June I posted ("Less than meets the AI") about the program that "passed" the Turing test, and that this milestone seemed more a demonstration of natural gullibility than of artificial intelligence. Hence, I was pleased to read about an improved -- and more meaningful -- proposed test of a program's intelligence. See (from IEEE Spectrum), "Can Winograd Schemas Replace Turing Test for Defining Human-Level AI?"Conceptually, the Turing Test is still valid, but we need a better practical process for testing artificial…
  • The romance of physics

    16 Sep 2014 | 8:00 am
    I recently streamed from Netflix (Amazon Video offers it, too) the 2013 science documentary Particle Fever. It's foremost about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), decades in the making, arguably the largest and most complex machine ever constructed by mankind. The movie is also about the long hunt for the elusive Higgs boson and the wondrous things that this elementary particle's discovery (and its specific properties, once fully characterized) might portend. Literally awe inspiringIt's about the Standard Model of Particle Physics, one of the most successful theories in the history of science,…
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    The Days Are Just Packed

  • Two events for readers in Portland this weekend

    18 Oct 2014 | 7:45 am
    This weekend (October 18-19, 2014) I will be appearing at two events for readers in Portland, Oregon: Story Con and Stumptown Lit.Story Con is a one-day readers' convention, "laser-focused on helping book lovers find their next great book." It features over 30 local authors doing readings, signings, and panels, and will be held at the Vancouver Community Library from 10:30 to 4:30 on October 18. I will be doing a reading at 10:30, a signing at 11:30, and will otherwise be hanging out most of the day.Stumptown Lit is Oregon Writers Colony's fall festival for readers and writers. It features…
  • 60 minutes to escape!

    5 Oct 2014 | 9:53 am
    "Room Escape" is a genre of casual online game, originating in Japan, in which you wake up in a room and must search for clues and solve puzzles in order to escape it. Kate's a big fan of this type of game, so when I found out that a live-action version was launching in Portland I snagged tickets as soon as I could."Spark of Resistance" ( is an interactive game, or possibly a theatrical experience, which takes place in a small room in an industrial space on the Portland riverfront. Up to 8 players at a time are locked into this room, with a 60-minute clock to figure a…
  • Support Greg Bear - preorder WAR DOGS from Powell's

    2 Oct 2014 | 7:28 am
    As you may have heard, Seattle SF author Greg Bear recently had emergency cardiac surgery and spent a week in the hospital. The surgery went well and he is home and recovering, but he will not be able to tour or do other promotion for his brand new book War Dogs. Also, because of the ongoing Amazon-Hachette dispute, War Dogs cannot be pre-ordered from Amazon. However, it can be pre-ordered from Powell's ( as well as Seattle’s University Bookstore, Mysterious Galaxy, and Barnes and Noble.Greg is a fabulous writer and has always been friendly…
  • Several sales to report

    11 Sep 2014 | 8:17 pm
    Holy cow, I have been incredibly remiss in sharing my good writing news. I've made the following sales in the past couple of months:Steampunk romantic fantasy novelette "Liaisons Galantes: A Scientific Romance," which originally appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies #108, resold to ebook anthology The Best of Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Year Five, already available.Horror story "Goat Eyes" sold to Black Static #42, out very soon.Post-robot-holocaust story "Mammals" sold to Analog, forthcoming.Asteroid mining story "Malf" sold to anthology Mission: Tomorrow, forthcoming in 2015.And the really big…
  • Announcing the release of "Up and Running with VI" at

    3 Sep 2014 | 9:28 am
    When I visited video training company in April to record AWK Essential Training, the producer noticed that I was using the vi text editor and mentioned that they didn't currently have a course on that... would I be interested in creating one? I was, and I did, and it is now available to all members: Up and Running with VI. If you aren’t a member, you can watch five of the videos in the course for free at’s Lynda’s description of the course: "Although other text editors may be easier to use, vi is…
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    Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress

  • Boardwalk Empire Penultimate: Taking Care of Business

    19 Oct 2014 | 11:39 pm
    Well, in its next to last episode, Boardwalk Empire served up the most powerful episode of the season - one of the most powerful of the entire series - in which all kinds of business was taken care of and closed.First, though, I've got to say that the meeting between Nucky and Lucky, and all the guns on either side, was handled incredibly ineptly by Nucky's side.   He allowed himself to be out-argued, out-maneuvered, and out-gunned.  And the truth was that there was no reason that Lucky wouldn't have killed Nucky's nephew even after Eli led the assault and killed Maranzano.
  • Homeland 4.4: Carrie's Counterpart

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:11 pm
    Two especially important developments in Homeland 4.4:First, we meet Carrie's counterpart in the Pakistani Intelligence.  She's beautiful, intelligent, and clearly archly manipulative - just like Carrie, except she has a thick head of black rather than blonde hair.   We can surmise that later this season, the two will have a confrontation.  And this season will animated by their moves and countermoves.   For now, Carrie's opposite has expertly blackmailed the professor who's the American ambassador's husband.   A good opening move in the chess game.Meanwhile, Carrie…
  • The Cast of The Wire at the Paley Center

    18 Oct 2014 | 2:46 pm
    Here is a video of a panel that took place the other day at the Paley Center for Media in New York City.  The panel featured prominent cast members from The Wire.  At a little over an hour, this is the best panel I've ever seen - in this case, online - but also in person.Watching this also cemented my view that The Wire is the single best show ever to have been on television.   I don't say that lightly - in their own ways, The Sopranos, 24, Breaking Bad, other shows including and even Lost in its good moments were superb.   But none quite compare to The Wire, for reasons…
  • Bones 10.4: Brennan and Angela on a Bench in the Playground

    16 Oct 2014 | 11:17 pm
    My favorite scene in Bones 10.4 is the title of this review: Brennan and Angela on a Bench in the Playground.   It was such a perfect scene that I figured I'd devote most of the review to it.They're both in fine form, reminiscing about what they used to talk about when they were together like this, and what they talk about now.  It was sex, then - but this gives Bones a chance to pipe up about what a good time she had last night with Booth, in her charming, endearing way.The kids are in the playground, too - of course they are, that's why Bones and Angela are there. Bones tells…
  • The Knick Sneak Preview Review 1.10: Fallibility

    16 Oct 2014 | 10:50 pm
    Continuing with my sneak preview reviews The Knick  - courtesy of an advance screener provided by Cinemax and Starpulse -  herewith a brief review of episode 1.10, certified specific-spoiler free.  As with all preview reviews, I'll discuss generalities, to give you an idea of the episode.  If you prefer not getting even an inkling of the story ahead, you probably should not read any further.The final episode of this first season is chocked full of surprises for just about every major character including -a very surprising abortionista treatment for a mental ailment that's…
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    Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage »

  • Something Fun: The Whole First Chapter of the Longview 1 Audiobook

    14 Oct 2014 | 12:10 pm
    Tweet I’ll have the full audiobook available from my own site in a few days. The audiobook is over two hours in length (nice for a few days of short commutes), and for early purchasers, I’ll be offering it for less than what such audiobooks usually go for. Questions are welcome, of course.
  • The View From Fifty-Four: Writer On A Mission

    11 Oct 2014 | 10:42 am
    Tweet Writing was, and is, my passion. Vision, Passion, Mission I worked at my fiction from the time I was twenty-five until I was thirty-one without ever making a dime, and never begrudged a minute of that time. While I was writing, I was happy. I was creating. I was learning to write better. I was finding my stories and my voice. I was discovering a life-long love. When I was thirty-one, I sold my first novel, and experienced the realization that I was home. In that moment, I knew my purpose in life. I was born to write fiction, to create worlds and characters and stories—and every…
  • The Live Brainstorming Chat (video)

    7 Oct 2014 | 12:24 pm
    Tweet This runs about an hour, and this time there are only a few seconds of dead. The How To Write A Series Class
  • Cool free stuff for you during my Birthday Week

    6 Oct 2014 | 12:02 pm
    Tweet I turn 54 this week. I’ll have a post on that in a couple days, but for today, I have some presents for you. Today (Monday, Oct 6, 2014—through Monday, October 13, 2014) Readers: For every fiction book you buy from my shop for $5.99, I’ll give you one $2.99 book free. Astute readers will have already noticed that there are 8 books for 5.99, and only 6 for $2.99. So if you buy more than SIX fiction books, you also get your choice of ONE of the following: Character Clinic, Plot Clinic, Language Clinic, Culture Clinic, World Clinic, Page-Turning Scenes. To get them, set…
  • How To Write A Series Expansion: Module Two Kick-Off Chat–Course Questions and Story Brainstorming

    25 Sep 2014 | 9:55 am
    Tweet Skip forward to 1:28 on the video. The start is me wondering why no one is in the classroom yet, and trying to figure out if I had something set incorrectly. In this unusually small How To Write A Series chat group, we ran out of lesson questions almost immediately, so we moved on to story brainstorming. This was a lot of fun, and I hope you get some pointers on developing your own series from this Question & Answer chat. How To Write A Series Class
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    Nick Mamatas

  • Where I've Been

    18 Oct 2014 | 11:34 pm
    @nmamatas giving his reading and being both funny and super morbid. The perfect combo.— Amy Sundberg (@amysundberg) October 19, 2014The reading at Litquake went well. The place, a fairly large café, was packed, and thanks to using my phone I read well. My selection was "Burning Stones" from the most recent issue of Lamplight.The crowd.— Nick Mamatas (@NMamatas) October 19, 2014Packed, I tell you.I was also pleased to encounter local fan Joey both on the way to the Litquake Litcrawl, and on the way back. And what did he have…
  • Lit Crawl

    17 Oct 2014 | 10:24 am
    I'm part of tomorrow's giant LitCrawl series in the city, and not in one of the usual genre outlets. So if you wanted to see me, don't just show up at a science fiction event and wait. Instead I'm here: Inside Storytime Presents Friends and FiendsTomorrow at 20:30–21:30Cafe la boheme San francisco3318 24Th St, San Francisco, California 94110Readings from Colby Buzzell (Lost in America), Nick Mamatas (Love is the Law), Susie Hara (Finder of Lost Objects), Lauren Becker (If I Would Leave Myself Behind), and Christy Chan (Pen Pals). With MC James Warner (All Her Father's Guns).
  • Thursday Quick Notes

    16 Oct 2014 | 1:30 pm
    Today Oliver looked at me, said "Hi," and smacked me in the face.My David Foster Wallace/Lovecraft story Hideous Interview With Brief Man is one of the Notable Stories for the Million Writers Award. This round is juried; then there's a popular vote to narrow the ten down to three, then another judge takes over. At least that's what I remembered. Given that everyone has surrendered to the idea of pounding away online for votes, despite the fact that it led to this past year's Hugo Award hilarity, I will pound away for votes if I make the final ten. You made this world, I just live in it. One…
  • Wayback Wednesday—WMDs in Iraq

    15 Oct 2014 | 11:51 am
    It feels like 2002 again, when the US was heavily propagandizing that Iraq was actively creating chemical and biological weapons, and also actively seeking to create an atomic bomb. There were mobile factories, and imminent threats, despite the fact that the country had been through two major wars (against Iran and then the US-backed coalition created by Bush 41), an armed rebellion, and a decade of sanctions. There was obviously insufficient industrial base from which Saddam Hussein and Iraq could do such things, but if you repeat a falsehood enough, some people will believe it and many…
  • Buk Stuff

    14 Oct 2014 | 8:43 am
    Oliver is scuttling away too much to get pictures of him with the new books as they come in, so here is one with good ol' Kazzie:That's Streets of Shadows, an anthology of noir/urban fantasy. (I'd actually call most of it medium-boiled.) It includes my story "Der Kommisar's In Town", which is about Occupy and psychogeography. Well, basically. Also, here is the table of contents for the forthcoming The Mammoth Book of Dieselpunk, which is a mixed anthology of reprints and original material:“The Little Dog Ohori” by Anatoly Belilovsky“In Lieu of a Thank You” by Gwynne Garfinkle, Strange…
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    Not A Blog

  • More Interviews

    10 Oct 2014 | 11:18 pm
    Here are some more interviews, from my summer travels.First, one more from San Diego Comicon, this one mainly about the Avengers and their profound influence on my work:From the Edinburgh Book Festival:Here's one from London, before worldcon.More London, after worldcon:And here's a big one, my post-con event with Jane Johnson and Robin Hobb at London's Freemason Hall:Last, but definitely not least, is a radio interview I did with Mahvesh Murad, a charming young journalist / dj/ talk show host from Pakistan. What made this one fresh and different was that Mahvesh invited me to select ten…
  • Wheels

    4 Oct 2014 | 7:26 pm
    Had a great time last weekend at the Santa Fe Concorso, the biggest auto show in the southwest. I love old cars (our family never had enough money to own a car when I was a kid, so I walked and rode the bus and assembled plastic models of cars when other kids were building fighter planes), and there were some amazing ones on display.The best of show can be seen on the Concorso's website, here: cars, no doubt, though there were so many on display that I would have been hard pressed to pick if I had been a judge.I did take pictures of some of my…
  • New York, New York... and Providence Too

    1 Oct 2014 | 5:32 pm
    October has arrived, the leaves are turning, and I am headed east.The U.S. hardcover of THE WORLD OF ICE & F IRE is scheduled for release on October 28, and Bantam is bringing me to New York to help launch it. I will be making an appearance on the Seth Meyers show on Tuesday, October 28 and doing an event at the 92nd street Y with Laura Miller on Sunday,October 26. for the latter are still available, but they are going fast, so if you want one, move quickly. I will be signing a thousand copies of THE WORLD OF ICE & FIRE for the Y, and the…
  • Amanda's Deflowering

    23 Sep 2014 | 9:48 pm
    You shoulda been there.Once again Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer took Santa Fe by storm. Songs, stories, signed books. And Amanda's cocktail, the Deflowering, was a huge hit.Tomorrow another special event... a special advance screening of COPENHAGEN, with director Mark Raso and star Gethin Anthony.And we have two more big author events coming up in the weeks to come: KIM HARRISON on September 30 and LEV GROSSMAN on October 13. Getcha tickets early, or you may miss out again.
  • Seen on the Streets...

    23 Sep 2014 | 9:53 am
    ... of New York City.The worldbook will be here next month!
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  • All the Roads are Haunted

    11 Oct 2014 | 11:02 am
    I wrote a thing for a site called GrumpTroll.I don't think we have anything else up there, yet. Presumably, we will be doing weekly stuff?Anyway... It's a bit of a rehash of ideas from previous blogposts that were the firstdrafteryfodder of some longer stuff.’ve all seen the little crosses and corsages left standing, undisturbed, along the highways and byways of the world. One of the great miseries and mysteries of humanity is the automobile. We climb into our little, mobile living pods, and rev powerful engines, take to…
  • One of the nice things about art versus firefighting or plumbing...

    10 Oct 2014 | 11:30 am
    The consequences for failure - in this case a failed kickstarter - is very slight. No one died. No one lost anything.The book still comes out, except without pre-orders and without bonus extras, in December/January.Thanks to everyone who pitched in a little. I love you all, and I am very grateful to know that you're out there and you have my back.
  • Just one more week!

    29 Sep 2014 | 11:07 am
    Kickstarting is exciting. One more week left, and already so much closer to the goal, I turn to the interwebs and request assistance both with donations, and with spreading the word. My backers who have already participated, I thank you and promise you that your rewards will be swift if and when the time comes for them.Still, with over a thousand dollars left to go, the difficulty is real. Overcoming this large amount in such a small time will require courage and tenacity and luck and money and...Well, mostly money. If you were waiting to see what would happen, please don't wait much longer.
  • R.I.P. Eugie Foster

    27 Sep 2014 | 10:10 am
    Jesus, what just happened? She was only 42!I knew her a bit. We did things as authors together at conventions and panels. She was way too nice to die so young, with so many stories unwritten. She was extremely good. She was the kind of person that you wish you were smart enough, cool enough, to hang with. She was brilliant, sharp, and erudite. She was glamorous. She gave off an aura of leading a cooler life than most people dared to dream about. She was the kind of person whom you could imagine discovering at a secret party, somewhere, where the beasts of the city ran wild in the dark. She…
  • Guest Posting Elsewhere, for a Kickstarter

    25 Sep 2014 | 9:23 am
    As you all know, I am kickstarting. R. Vogt was kind enough to let me borrow his megaphone for a day, and I thank him for it.Please, do consider passing the link around, and letting everyone know. I am kickstarting. The clock is ticking, and we're not even 50% of the way!
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    Robin McKinley

  • KES, 144

    18 Oct 2014 | 5:21 pm
      ONE FORTY FOUR Claim me! What the—what the—claim me!  I was going home! They were going to get me to the—the multiplicitous Gate and I was going through it to where Sid was waiting.  And I wasn’t coming back here for six months out of every year either, whatever happened to Persephone. (All right, multiplicitous isn’t a word. But it should be.) I surged to my feet, thus discovering I could. It was a somewhat wavery surge as my wounded leg attempted to do its fifty percent of the bipedal situation leg thing and almost managed it while my brain clattered to a halt when my…
  • Oh, cool/hot/awesome/slang of the moment!

    16 Oct 2014 | 5:57 pm This is a really interesting article anyway full of stuff I need to check out but don’t miss the last paragraph.* And thanks for all the happy chirping noises about last night’s news.** Lenni Is it a bad thing that I already own The Blue Sword as an e-book? I would NEVER knowingly get a pirated copy of anyone’s book. That would be BAD! The e-book that I have looks very professionally done. I’m confused! I’ll have to get another copy (a legit? copy)…
  • The ebook announcement you’ve been waiting for, with supplementary arrrrrgh

    15 Oct 2014 | 4:44 pm
      Well of course I knew this was coming. I signed a contract, right?  Months ago.  But I was fallen on in body by everyone involved and FORBIDDEN to announce the news before time.*  And then at the last possible minute, of course, because that’s how these things go, MAJOR FAILURE IN COMMUNICATION OCCURRED, so not only did I not see the final of anything, the frelling press release went out two days ago and the only reason I knew about it was because I started getting deluged by emails (and one or two tweets) from people saying FINALLY!!  FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY YOUR…
  • Niall, the evil ratbag

    13 Oct 2014 | 5:19 pm
      I haven’t seen much of Niall in quite some time because I haven’t been ringing bells. I’m aware that I miss ringing but there’s been a lot going on including all the major life change stuff and I’m so boring I keep getting tired.  We’ve stayed in touch by text* which in Niall’s case is chiefly offers of handbell opportunities which I mostly rebuff although he’s caught me once or twice by being pathetic, when they really really really need a third person or they can’t ring.  Sob.  But we also occasionally exchange fascinating information like that fresh brownies…
  • KES, 143

    11 Oct 2014 | 5:10 pm
      ONE FORTY THREE I gave one thought—one very very brief thought—to Persephone and pomegranate seeds, and nearly dove into the bowl on my lap.  Except that unless your spine is made out of rubber or Jello or Silly Putty this is not actually possible.  My trembling hands discovered a perfectly recognisable spoon thrust into the—ahem—gloop in the bowl.  I think I may have made small whimpering noises like a starving puppy.  I had no idea what the gloop was—presumably boiled field rations;  as I doubted this was an era that featured tin cans, maybe some kind of jerky.  It…
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  • Ebola: For Those Who Want to DO Something

    19 Oct 2014 | 9:49 pm
    Thanks to a Twitter post by @kejames, a scientist I follow,  who posted this link to information for those who wanted to help with the Ebola situation in West Africa: includes a link to this list of known, reliable, already-working-in-the-area organizations who have Ebola-related relief efforts ongoing in West Africa.  Links for online or mailed-in donations are given for each.   The website links explain each organization's range of…
  • Ebola: When the Lightbulb Doesn't Want to Change

    15 Oct 2014 | 3:04 pm
    Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital--the hospital that misdiagnosed Mr. Duncan in the Emergency Room and sent him home, and then--once he came back with Ebola diagnosed by a family member--not only did not save his life, but managed to allow two nurses to become infected with Ebola while treating him--is a member of a group of hospitals run by Texas Health Resources. "I don't think we have a systematic institutional problem," Dr. Daniel Varga, chief clinical officer of Texas Health Resources, told reporters, facing questions about the hospital's actions.Medical staff…
  • Ebola: Lessons Learned the Hard Way

    14 Oct 2014 | 10:36 am
    We could start with the worst: those who rouse panic largely for their own gain: to make money, to get elected to or stay in public office, to get their faces on the front pages or a chance at being a talking head on TV, to raise the ratings of their network, TV station, radio station, blogsite, Twitter feed, etc, etc, etc.  But that bunch don't learn lessons--they simply take any problem, magnify it, and declare that it's someone else's fault (for the past six years, Obama's fault) and add it to their repertoire to bring up when they move on to the next problem they can…
  • And....More Socks

    11 Oct 2014 | 9:52 pm
    The last time I put up a picture of the Mountain Colors Indian Paintbrush socks, they looked like this:They were the secondary pair, behind the blue and green socks, and thus worked on only one or two rows at a time.  I started them at DragonCon, because I could not wait to see how this yarn would knit up.   But the primary pair--delayed by a couple of pairs of shorty socks for summer--had moved into serious work, and at the time of this picture were onto the feet.   The Indian Paintbrush socks had to sit around with very little done on them until I finished the blue…
  • What's Blooming

    10 Oct 2014 | 2:51 pm
    While the skin cancer's being treated, I'm supposed to protect the treated skin from sun exposure (and yeah, all skin should be somewhat protected from skin exposure.)  This means that since through today it's been up in the mid-high 90s, I can't really get out on the land or ride the bike, because it's too hot to wear dense long sleeves while exercising.   Sweat is one thing, but heat exhaustion is another and I no longer have the heat resistance I had as a kid.  Funny thing about that.  Anyway--I can stand to wear a denim shirt over a T-shirt…
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    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • No. 6 - Dear Author Letter

    19 Oct 2014 | 7:48 am
     Fandom: no. 6 (anime & manga)Characters: anyPrompt/Notes: I haven't seen the anime, but don't let that stop you.  I'd read anything that explores this world more and the characters in it.  Honestly, I hadn't considered asking for this until someone put it on the list of fandoms, so if you're the person who put it out there and you have an idea you've been burring to write about--this is your request!  Because, really, I have no specific needs, just MOAR.  You can go dark, you can go silly, you can write a prequel about Nezumi's stage career or Inukashi's dog mom…
  • Yowmushi Pedal/Yowapedal - Dear Author Letter

    19 Oct 2014 | 7:28 am
    Fandom: Yowamushi Pedal Characters: Tadokora Jin/Makishima Yuushuke Prompt: Any story that features the yin/yang dynamic of these two. I was sold on this pair after the anime omake where Makishima imagines what Tadokora would look like slimmed down. Of the two, I’m most fond of Tadokora, so I’d love a story told from his p.o.v., but I’m certainly open to Makishima’s (I know he’s a fan favorite). I’m open to explicit or sweet. A story that’s not much more than a bromance would be fine with me, as long as there’s exploration of the dynamic between…
  • YuleTide Dear Author - Blue Exorcist

    19 Oct 2014 | 7:20 am
    Fandom:  Ao no Exorcist Character: Suguro “Bon” Ryuuji Prompt: Slice-of-life, gen fic (or slash! or sexy times!) featuring Bon doing pretty much anything.  Any other nominated character can make an appearance, so long as Bon is the center of the story.  I’d really enjoy a story that took place in the classroom or during ‘off time’ at the True Cross Academy in-between moments of manga canon. You could write me dorm room antics, shopping trips, noodle shop runs, disastrous training exercises, exam cramming, or any other part of collegiate life…
  • Yuletide is open

    19 Oct 2014 | 7:14 am
    So you're going to want to ignore the next several posts, they'll be my "Dear author" letters for my requests.  Can I say, as a newbie to Yuletide, it seems to be unnecessarily complicated? There are rules for the rules, I swear.  Okay... I'm off!
  • Podcast and Fan Fic class

    17 Oct 2014 | 8:45 am
    First, because I know you've all been waiting.... the new podcast is up: Ni-ju kyu, Oetsu.  The title is my attempt at combining the number of our podcast 29 (ni-ju kyū, in Japanese) with the character Oetsu who CONSTANTLY does this kind of number rhyming thing with his name in the current chapter of Bleach.  We also review Fairy Tail, Toriko, and Ao no Exorcist (even though I wrote that one up as well.)I have to say, for us, this podcast is pretty darned articulate, and since we forget to sing the spoiler song, there's 50% less annoying singing!All wins, in my opinion.I also…
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    the essential kit

  • the making of fudge

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:16 am
    I have made just about All The Fudge In The World. I've added it up, and all told it's going to be 75 pounds (there are a couple left to do this weekend). That's a lot of fudge. A LOT of fudge. Here are the ingredients, from The Big Shopping Excursion: Prepping a 12 pound quadruple batch. This is NOT for the uninitiated: I came very close to screwing this up. Expert level fudge-maker only.This in no way conveys just how much fudge is on the platter. 12 pounds is a huge amount of fudge.The plate of fudge/previous picture holds as much as is in those two pans, plus another of the large pan's…
  • too busy to post

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:13 am
    I'm at that stage again where I've got a backlog of posts I want to write and am apparently never going to get to them so I should let it go (let it go, can't hold me back anymore / which reminds me that yesterday Young Indiana pulled all my hair over one shoulder so I would be "like Elsa" and so this morning I said to him "should I braid my hair like Elsa's?" and he said yes and I did and he said "That's not like Elsa. Elsa's braid is on the other side." And I was like "...yes. yes it is, now that you mention it. CLOSE ENOUGH.")and make posts on other topics instead of mooping about the ones…
  • Here come the brides!

    13 Oct 2014 | 5:48 am
    And grooms! Alaska will start issuing same-sex marriage licenses at 8am this morning, after US District Circuit Judge Timothy Burgess struck down the one-woman one-man amendment to Alaska’s constitution as illegal in a ruling yesterday afternoon following a hearing on Friday. This is not only a joy to me because it’s my home state, but because I have family involved in this case. I cannot wait to see pictures from the courthouse this morning. #sniffles all over everything Share this:(x-posted from The Essential Kit)
  • new Senyaza Kickstarter!

    8 Oct 2014 | 5:16 am
    guys guys GUYS guys guysI have been terribly remiss in shouting about Chrysoula Tzavelas's Senyaza Kickstarter. This is for her third book in the MATCHBOX GIRLS series, and I'm in the middle of reading it right now and it is so. good.Like, early on (because it's set in Seattle, mostly, sort of, and bcaus I'v got crossovers on my mind) I was reading and I tweeted to Soula that we should really do a Walker Papers/Senyaza crossover good.Then a couple hours later I was like "or maybe not because the glory of Soula's writing would make mine look like the pikersville it is and that would be…
  • URBAN ALLIES announcement!

    3 Oct 2014 | 12:34 pm
    Oh oh I get to shout it from the rooftops! I’m going to be writing a “Greywalker Papers” crossover story with Kat Richardson (omg omg omg omg) as part of the upcoming URBAN ALLIES anthology, conceived of and edited by Joseph Nassise. Last week’s Publishers Marketplace announcement read URBAN ALLIES, an anthology of collaborative tales featuring the favorite characters of twenty top urban fantasy writers, including stories by Charlaine Harris, Kelley Armstrong, Seanan McGuire, Christopher Golden, Jonathan Maberry, and Larry Correia, among others, to Kelly O’Connor…
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    Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good

  • Good Stewards

    5 Oct 2014 | 9:38 am
    Here is today's homily.  The readings are Psalm 19 and  Matthew 21:33-46*Today we talk about stewardship.This subject takes a number of forms. You’ve all received new pledge cards in the mail, because today is the beginning of our annual parish pledge drive. Making a financial commitment to St. Paul’s allows the vestry to draw up a budget for the coming year. Having a workable budget allows us to keep the lights on, pay salaries, and continue our outreach ministries, our small but crucial efforts to contribute to the care and healing of our community.Today is also…
  • Promises, Promises

    28 Sep 2014 | 3:53 pm
    Here's today's homily.  The readings areExodus 17:1-7  and Matthew 21:23-32.*Many of you know that my husband and I have three cats. Every morning when I wake up, they’re waiting outside our bedroom door, and when I come out, they begin wailing piteously. I can just imagine what they’re saying. “Where were you all night? Why did you go away? We’re starving! You’ve never fed us!  No one has ever fed us!”I go downstairs, cats underfoot, and give them a can of wet catfood. They’ve had dry food to eat all night. I give them fresh water. When my husband wakes up,…
  • 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…
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    Old Enough to Know Better

  • Eye See You

    15 Oct 2014 | 10:19 am
    So, the latest round of eye-boogery ...To make a long story short, I noticed my glasses were getting fuzzier on the right side, so I went to the optometrist to get a new prescription. Wow, that's changed a lot, said the doc. It was pretty stable, for like, five years. You should go get it checked. So I did. Ophthalmologist said, I don't see anything, but let's take some pictures ...Oops. Little hole in the retina there, wasn't there before ...A quick lesson in eye physiology and anatomy: The eyeball is filled with something like warm Jello, called…
  • Even a Blind Pig ...

    9 Oct 2014 | 10:28 am
    ... finds an acorn now and then ...The jam group to which I have belonged for a time, the Closet Musicians, meets once a week. Most of us are past retirement age or about to get there. The composition varies, but usually there are a couple of guitars, a ukulele or two, a washtub bass, a kazoo, harmonica, sometimes a banjo or mandolin, and a couple of non-instrument-playing singers.We get together, sing songs, talk about our ailments, tell bad jokes, and generally have a fine time.Musically-speaking, and being realistic, we aren't very good. Now and again, we manage a song whose harmony blends…
  • Classical Ukulele

    2 Oct 2014 | 10:50 am
    Cory Fujimoto, doing a little Pachelbel and Bach ...
  • Accidental Lead

    2 Oct 2014 | 10:08 am
    So, recent round at the Lehrer acoustic jam, the group started out small: A bass player, harmonica, conga drum (with a small high-hat), cello, and me, the lone ukeranger ...No guitars. Usually there are more guitars than everything else put together, but not so this time. One did show up after a bit, but it started out with me having to be the rhythm guy and singer. I was gonna write the chords on the white board, then realized nobody needed those except me. We cranked it up, played four or five songs, no hurry, and eventually the guitarist and a flutist showed up. A pretty…
  • Be Specific

    22 Sep 2014 | 1:16 pm
    Reverend White was preaching the Sunday sermon down at the 1st Baptist Church Once Removed, and he wound for the big finish: "All right, then! Who wants to go to Heaven!"All the parishioners raised a hand—save one: Brother Brown.Reverend White frowned. Maybe Brother Brown hadn't heard him."I said, 'Who wants to go to Heaven?!"Same thing."Uh, Brother Brown?""Yessir?""Don't, uh, you want to go to Heaven when you die?""Oh, when I die, yessir.""Then how come you didn't raise your hand?""Well, Preacher, I thought you was gettin' up a group to go now ..."Here the example of somebody who wasn't…
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    Mike Philbin's free planet blog

  • Free Planet, Free Planet, Free Planet - say it three times - before profit kills you all

    19 Oct 2014 | 12:06 pm
    eat, eat, eat...every day, THE PROFIT MAKING MACHINE commands that your children die in worthless wars for territory and asset; every day your children are ordered to fight other children in wars they have no comprehension of. Be they corporate war soldiers behind computer monitors or be they corporate war world soldiers behind pens that sign away treaties and countries ruined by all the above.Do you get this, yet?There is no other answer to the problems of humanity.Not science, not religion, not dogma, not slavery, not conformity, not rebellion.All these things pale into insignificance when…
  • Free Planet - Stop Profit - End Slavery

    18 Oct 2014 | 1:04 am
    not who you think it is..."Mike, how can stopping profit end slavery?" I'm glad you asked. First, let's look at a couple of Oxford Dictionary definitions.PROFIT:A financial gain, especially the difference between the amount earned and the amount spent in buying, operating, or producing something. [source OX DIC]SLAVERY:The practice or system of owning slaves: a condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation.[source OX DIC]So, what am I selling here? Selling? Nothing. This is Free Planet, did you forget? I'm simply making a valid point by juxtaposing two…
  • Humans Glow in Visible Light

    16 Oct 2014 | 9:13 am
    a picture paints a thousand photons of human-emitted lightthat's what researchers from Kyoto University's Tohoku Institute of Technology found.WE GLOW.To learn more about this faint visible light, scientists in Japan employed extraordinarily sensitive cameras capable of detecting single photons. Five healthy male volunteers in their 20s were placed bare-chested in front of the cameras in complete darkness in light-tight rooms for 20 minutes every three hours from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. for three days. The researchers found the body glow rose and fell over the day, with its lowest point at 10…
  • CITIZENFOUR - the Edward Snowden documentary - official trailer

    12 Oct 2014 | 4:48 am
    that's the official poster, now here's the official trailer, for the new Edward Snowden documentary CITIZENFOUR by Laura Poitras and Steven Soderbergh.At the end of the Laura Poitras doc, the famed informant registers shock over another who outranks him. A second National Security Agency whistleblower exists within the ranks of government intelligence... [source THR] to be continued(?)
  • Thunderbolts Project - Rosetta/Osiris orbiter - water and mass of Comet 67P

    12 Oct 2014 | 1:56 am
    10km orbiting radius of 67P achieved 10/10/14Thunderbolts Project proposes that our universe is not a matter universe, driven by gravity, but an Electric Universe driven by charge and the properties of bodies moving through electric fields like those generated by our electric sun... obviously, it's getting stiff opposition from the standard-universe atomic-modellers keen to keep their research grants but it's kinda interesting to see this debate taking place, pseudo-live.No surface water (yet) on the 4 kilometre dirty snowball rock that is 67P... but how dense is that rock?"What will happen…
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    Tiny Godzilla

  • I gazed a gazely stare at all the millions here

    15 Oct 2014 | 2:03 pm
    Here's recent progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion - now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don't match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:Project: The Family PlotDeadline: January 15, 2015New words written: 1941 (2-day total)Present total word count: 33,715Things accomplished in fiction: Found a cool old photo album; got breakfast; took a phone call; learned that spooky things have long been afoot at the old Withrow place.Things…
  • The night so black that the darkness hummed

    13 Oct 2014 | 1:42 pm
    GUESS WHAT YOU GUYS - I have wonderful news! We have a Final And Official cover for January's Jacaranda from Subterranean Press!The artwork is by the marvelous Jon Foster, who likewise provided the cover art for Boneshaker, Dreadnought, Ganymede, and Clementine. (In case the style looks familiar.)AND. If you CLICK THAT-THERE COVER IMAGE, you can do a few really cool things, if you're so inclined: (1). learn more about this sweet little swan song for the Clockwork Century, (2). pre-order it, and/or (3). read a lengthy excerpt from it. That's right. FREE READING. So by all mean, go check it…
  • A thousand teeth and yours among them

    9 Oct 2014 | 2:48 pm
    Here's recent progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion - now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don't match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:Project: The Family PlotDeadline: January 15, 2015New words written: 4107 (2-day total)Present total word count: 27,668Things accomplished in fiction: Got ditched; got some bourbon; told a ghost story; went to settle in for the night and take a shower.Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood…
  • One toke over the line Sweet Jesus

    7 Oct 2014 | 2:15 pm
    Here's today's progress on my modern gothic ghost story about a salvage crew trapped in a doomed southern mansion - now with a crunchy murder ballad center and Bonus! clandestine cemetery where the stones don't match the bodies (and were never meant to). As inspired by a (semi)true local legend:Project: The Family PlotDeadline: January 15, 2015New words written: 3149Present total word count: 23,561Things accomplished in fiction: Got rained on; got supper; went to go check out the second level of the carriage house; found a trunk full of creepy baby things and a photo album; know good and well…
  • But the fire burned right through her

    6 Oct 2014 | 2:10 pm
    We had an adventuresome weekend over here, not least of all due to the reappearance of one adorable pooch named "Caper" from down the street. As it turns out, her owners are out of town - and someone in the neighborhood is dog/house-sitting. But at some point while the sitter was out, Caper discovered that she could bounce her way to the (very high) gate latch, pop it open, and use sheer brute force to push the (ancient and heavy) wood gate's corner juuuuuust far enough for her to squeeze out.How do I know that? Because she performed this little trick IMMEDIATELY upon being returned to her…
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  • “Eternal Treblinka of the Spotless Soul: Bête by Adam Roberts”

    Adam Roberts
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:32 am
    That most excellent critic Niall Alexander has reviewed Bête (in slightly spoilery mode) over at Snip: "This, then, is not some novelty novel, but a fully-fledged philosophical fable for our age. Affectionate albeit barbed, far-fetched yet oddly plausible, and dark, but not without a certain spark, Bête is as smart and as satisfying and as challenging as anything any of the Adam Robertses have written."
  • ‘Books And Such’ reviews Bête

    Adam Roberts
    1 Oct 2014 | 9:28 am
    "When I started reading this I suspected that the novelty of talking animals would be the basis of the whole book and there would be little substance thereafter but I was completely wrong. Bête is a fantastic work of fiction that is funny, insightful and more importantly…important! Focusing on real life issues that we face today, this is a work of genius that I thoroughly enjoyed.'
  • Stuff Magazine too!

    Adam Roberts
    19 Sep 2014 | 10:33 am
    Very nice.
  • Starburst review Bête

    Adam Roberts
    18 Sep 2014 | 11:31 am
    ... and it's a doozy. The last three paragraphs: "Graham, as narrator, is a character we can all identify with, a man who knows his flaws and accepts them as part of who he is. It’s a pleasure to read about him and, thanks to the skills of the author, we’re immersed in his journey rather than simply being told about it. There are moments of laugh-out-loud hilarity, yet when Graham feels pain, we feel it too; when he hurts, we hurt along with him, to the point of sharing his sadness. Be warned – there may be tears. As the novel progresses, society inevitably alters and adapts to the new…
  • SFX reviews Bête

    Adam Roberts
    17 Sep 2014 | 6:19 am
    Jon Courtenay Grimwood: four and a half stars. I'm delighted; Jon is one of the most astute critics (quite apart from being one of the best writers) of his generation. Over on twitter he said: "pretty sure I said where Professor Roberts and Adam Roberts meet. Certainly meant it." My cup runneth over.
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    Running Air

  • Home, for Certain Values Of...

    11 Oct 2014 | 9:38 am
    I spent last week in L.A. with my aunt and uncle, who are going through some medical stuff, partly doing logistics (what on earth does that paperwork actually mean? and let's not double or triple book all the doctors' appointments), partly doing errands (yes, I will remember the butter pecan ice cream), and partly cooking and making my aunt laugh.*  Around the edges, working on revising my resumes (one for admin, one for writing/editorial), and cruising job boards.  And I'm doing a re-read of all the Tolerance books, so as to create a bible of sorts, and making furious…
  • Looking for Work in All The Places

    1 Oct 2014 | 9:54 am
    So I'm doing this job hunt thing.  Which is tedious, and goes against every instinct I have about self-promotion.  Plus, nothing like job-hunting to make my question my actual competence--for any job I'm interested in, my first thought is, "I don't have the skills," and my second is "I won't be able to do it."  Regardless of what my past experience is (generally, if I don't have the skills, I acquire them).  Plus: while I'm a hard-working sort, I'm not wildly ambitious.  "There's unlimited growth potential"…
  • The More Things Change

    29 Sep 2014 | 9:28 am
    And as it turns out, I will not be going to L.A. this weekend (giving my long-suffering and wonderful aunt a little time to not-be-hosting-helpful-but-right-there-underfoot-me).  So I will throw myself into work!  Of which there is plenty to do, God wot.
  • And Onward

    29 Sep 2014 | 9:13 am
    Convolution, for a small, brand-new con, was fun, with some thoughtful and interesting panels (including the one I did with Juliette Wade and Marie Brennan on Social Worldbuilding, which wandered all over the landscape of the topic but was both fun and useful).  The SFO Hyatt was designed, I believe, by M.C. Escher: handsome in that "let's use marble, marble looks expensive" way, but with more escalators and elevators and You Can't Get There From Here layouts than one would expect.  Good food (though expensive--the Sunday brunch, that profit center of high-end…
  • Okay, Then...

    19 Sep 2014 | 3:04 pm
    Back at home.  Did a few hours of jobsearch homework (imagining where I want to be in 5 and 10 years... Alive, and not living in a refrigerator box, for starters), did some tidying of the guest room, took Julie and her sweetie out for lunch and got her to do some banking stuff with me.  Now trying to decide whether to 1) exercise, 2) bake cookies for Becca, 3) go to the market for dinner stuff, or 4) all of the above.Maybe take a nap?
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    Christopher Rowe

  • Book Launch Day!

    7 Oct 2014 | 7:08 am
    Today marks the launch into the world Jonathan Strahan's latest anthology, Fearsome Magics, which includes my new story, "The Dun Letter." I hope you'll all consider picking up a copy from wherever you buy books. If you're an Amazon user, click here. If you're not, please order from your local bookstore or the online retailer you prefer. Cheers!
  • 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…
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    Rudy's Blog

  • Lit Crawl: Dark Lords of Cyberpunk—Recap & Podcasts

    17 Oct 2014 | 1:38 pm
    I organized a reading as part of Lit Crawl in San Francisco on Saturday, October 18, 2014, from 8:30 to 9:30 at Haus Coffee, on 24th Street near Folsom. Many thanks to Erica of Haus Coffee who helped us settle in. Our session was called FLURB: Dark Lords of Cyberpunk, and was also listed as session #97: FLURB: Astonishing Misfits. Here’s the official Lit Crawl schedule and map. The readers were me, Richard Kadrey, and John Shirley. We’re all cyberpunks, and we all published stories in the Flurb webzine that I edited and published through 14 issues a few years back. Samples of our work in…
  • At Loose Ends

    5 Oct 2014 | 9:43 pm
    I’m kind of at loose ends these days. I have some ideas for a novel with the working title Wacker World, and I’ve been moving those around in my head. And I’ve written a lot of notes. But somehow I’m not quite ready to start the actual book. It’s like staring into the sun, and I keep flinching away. I’ve been working in parallel on my giant 400,000 word Journals 1990-2015, hoping to get that finished and published early next summer. I watched a graffiti artist at a big art festival in San Jose a few weeks back, it was called “Anne and Marc’s Art Party.” It was nice to see…
  • “Endless Road Trip.” “4th D.” Author’s POV.

    5 Sep 2014 | 2:28 pm
    So I finished that painting I was talking about in my last blog post. Before getting into the details, I want to mention that I just started a big sale on my paintings, with the sale lasting till October 15, 2014. If you’re curious about that, check my online Paintings page. Anyway, here’s that new painting. I did quite a few revisions on it. As I’ve said before, the way to tell when your painting is done is when it stops bothering you. I like how it ended up. The paint is nice and thick, with a rich glow of colors. “Endless Road Trip” oil on canvas, Sept, 2014, 30” x…
  • Entering Wacker World

    2 Sep 2014 | 11:36 am
    Recently I retweeted a photo of a capybara being groomed by some squirrel monkeys. It was just something that I’d seen retweeted by someone else. This became my most widely circulated tweet ever, with maybe a hundred thousand views. Part of the appeal must be that the scale is so odd—you think of those primates as being fairly tall, but you think of furry, lumpy animals as being small. Turns out capybaras are the largest rodents in the world, running up to four feet tall. And squirrel monkeys are tiny. The amphibious capybaras live in the mouths of Brazilian rivers. The Brazilians eat…
  • 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,…
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  • Writing Excuses Episodes & Caribbean Retreat

    15 Oct 2014 | 9:39 am
    There are two new Writing Excuses episodes to talk about:Fan Writing, with Chris GarciaThe Convention-Author Relationship, with Deirdre Saoirse MoenBoth episodes were recorded at Westercon/FantasyCon earlier this year in front of a live audience. Chris has worked in fanzines for years (and won a Hugo Award for Best Fanzine), and Deirdre runs conventions. Both have lots of great stuff to say, so check the episodes out.The Writing Excuses anthology, Shadows Beneath, is still included in the NaNoWriMo Writing Tools Bundle of DRM-free writing advice ebooks, as well as through the standard ebook…
  • Mistborn Trade Paperbacks + New York Comic Con Schedule

    8 Oct 2014 | 3:33 pm
    Back in May I mentioned the new trade paperbacks for the Mistborn trilogy that were coming out, starting with the first book. Since then, The Well of Ascension was released in August, and The Hero of Ages came out this week.All three books have gorgeous Sam Weber cover art, and Isaac Stewart drew updated versions of the maps. The three books are shelved in the YA section of the store (next to Steelheart and The Rithmatist), but aside from the cover, maps, and some longstanding typos that my assistant Peter got fixed, they're identical to the versions shelved in the adult science…
  • Shadows Beneath available in the NaNoWriMo tools StoryBundle

    2 Oct 2014 | 11:40 am
    National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) starts in November, and tons of people all over the world will take the challenge to write a 50,000-word novel within the month. To help keep you motivated as you write, I'll be contributing a Pep Talk this year (also check out my 2011 Pep Talk).One of this year's sponsors is StoryBundle, and they're offering up a bundle of ebooks on writing, available worldwide, for all of you to use to prepare for NaNo.Among them is the Writing Excuses anthology, Shadows Beneath. As far as I know, this book is the only one that takes you from start to finish in story…
  • Steelheart paperback release!

    24 Sep 2014 | 12:41 pm
    This week marks the release of Steelheart as a trade paperback in the US and a mass market paperback in the UK. We received our copies, and they look great! There's a picture below.The new paperback cover matches the cover for the sequel, Firefight, and I think it looks great. It's hard to tell from the photo, but it's shiny when you move it back in the light.And what about Firefight? It comes out on January 6th, and you can preorder it here. Editing is all finished, and I just found out that the publisher received advance reading copies (ARCs) of the book today. So it will be going out to…
  • The Way of Kings Free on iTunes!

    18 Sep 2014 | 10:02 am
    Back in June, Tor approached us and asked if we’d be willing to let Apple give away The Way of Kings for free as part of a promotion to encourage people to update their Apple devices to iOS 8.I was enthusiastic about the opportunity. I believe that people’s investment of time in a book like The Way of Kings is worth more than their investment of money, and so I’m perfectly happy to give away the book for free as a way of acknowledging this. I responded the same way when Tor wanted to give Mistborn away for free when people signed up for during its initial months. I feel that if…
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    Inhuman Swill

  • Happy 200th anniversary of the London Beer Flood!

    17 Oct 2014 | 5:57 am
    Today is the 200th anniversary of the London Beer Flood. I'd tell you all about, but Kyle Thiessen explains it far better than I ever could (and the Boston Molasses Flood too) in his Fake Month at the Museum series:So wherever you are, raise a glass today to the empire where the suds never set!Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
  • Does Amazon customer support have a "joke" macro?

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:32 am
    [Amazon customer support chat session in progress]Me: Thanks for the help.Amazon: awesome and tell me, is there anything else i can do to make you smile today?Me: You could tell me a joke. Otherwise, that's all.Amazon: Well i can :-)three old folks are sitting on a bench in the parkthe first one says: its windy huh?the second one says: no!! its Thursdayand the last one says: me too!! lets get a beerMe: Good one.Amazon: It has been a pleasure helping you out, thank you very much for being part of Amazon family, and i hope you have a great dayCrossposted from Inhuman Swill
  • Quotations at the beginnings of chapters

    10 Oct 2014 | 6:17 am
    A reader writes to ask:I'm finalizing a manuscript and your templates are so helpful. One thing I can't seem to find addressed is the use of quotes - a poem or just a quotation from a person, at the beginning of a chapter. Since I would like to have one in my first chapter and it would then be the first thing an agent sees, I am worried about how to do it right. Can you help?All you need to do is indent the quote one half inch from both the left and the right margin and put a line space after it. You can single-space the quote if you like. Otherwise, everything else is the same. You still…
  • Page headers in electronic submissions

    3 Oct 2014 | 6:07 am
    A reader writes to ask:I enjoyed reading your article about formatting short story submissions, but wondered whether the Name/Title/Page# thing is necessary for electronic submissions. I have a story ready for submission to EQMM.There are essentially two kinds of electronic submissions: text pasted into the body of an email, and email attachments. Obviously, with text pasted into an email, there's no place for page headers. But if you're sending a file as an attachment (as would be the case with Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine), then page headers are still absolutely necessary. It doesn't…
  • Poem: Taxonomy

    25 Aug 2014 | 6:07 am
    Little neighbor girlWaving to a cardinal:"Parrot! Hi, parrot!"Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
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    Douglas Smith's blog

  • Playing the Short Game now available on all Amazon sites

    Douglas Smith
    29 Sep 2014 | 9:40 am
    I'm happy to announce that my new writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is now available at Amazon in all geographies, both the trade paperback and ebook editions. Full buying links for all retailers are listed here.  
  • Playing the Short Game makes a Recommended Reading list

    Douglas Smith
    29 Sep 2014 | 8:25 am
    The multiple award-winning author and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, gives a shout-out to my new writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, in her August 2014 Recommended Reading List. Here's what Kris had to say about the book, for which she wrote the introduction: I don’t always plug books that I’ve written introductions for ... I might like them, but I might not love them enough to recommend to you. Doug wrote an indispensible book for those of us who love to write short fiction. He includes indie publishing, and a lot of traditional publishing…
  • 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…
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    Ecstatic Days

  • Mike Allen’s Unsettling Collection Unseaming

    Jeff VanderMeer
    16 Oct 2014 | 7:30 pm
    Mike Allen first made a real splash with his unique Clockwork Phoenix series, which he edited in addition to Mythic Delirium. But he’s an interesting and unsettling writer of dark, weird fiction as well, with a first collection out that’s beginning to get some buzz. Library Journal just gave his Unseaming a starred review. You can buy the collection here. Recently, I interviewed Mike about his work and weird fiction via email. When did you start writing? I’ve made stabs and feints at writing since grade school, but it was never a constant thing. For much of my youth I thought I…
  • Book Release Day: Julia Elliott’s Sublime The Wilds

    Jeff VanderMeer
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:55 am
    Julia Elliott’s phenomenal first short story collection is out this week and I hope you will buy it. I hope you will buy copies for your friends. The Wilds is wonderful in every way. The stories range from mainstream realism and magic realism to surreal science fiction—all unique, all demonstrating Elliott’s wonderful ability to see the absurdity and seriousness of life in equal measure. In a tie with Laura Van den Berg’s The Isle of Youth, it’s my favorite collection of the year. Here’s an interview I did with Elliott for the Tin House blog (excerpt…
  • On Birds: Owl Eyes, Acceptance, and the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia

    Jeff VanderMeer
    13 Oct 2014 | 6:25 am
    Some of my most pleasurable experiences have been while birding and I love seeing birds on book covers, so you can imagine how happy I was to see this feature on birds on book covers–some stunning designs, including my own Acceptance. Even just in the context of book design you can see how various and interesting birds can be. Admittedly, I’m a rank amateur as a birder—sans scope, for example, and also sans the patience to stand for hours in a blind. But I kept a birding journal until I was about 14 years old and have always bought and used birding guides. I’ve also always admired…
  • Oculus Rift For Reality: Under the Surface

    Jeff VanderMeer
    8 Oct 2014 | 1:16 pm
    First, They come to your neighborhood with a horde of biologists and chemists and environmental scientists and a host of other experts in various fields, to pre-map things. Afterward, you’d put on the device and walk down your street. Everything would be identical to what you’d see with your own eyes…except you’d also see the chemical signals in the air from beetles and plants, pheromone trails laid down by ants, and every other bit of the natural world’s communications hidden from us by our primitive five senses. You’d also see every trace of pesticide and traces in puddles…
  • The Steampunk User’s Manual–It’s Release Week!

    Jeff VanderMeer
    6 Oct 2014 | 8:00 pm
    This is the release week for the follow-up to The Steampunk Bible: The Steampunk User’s Manual, written by Desirina Boskovich and me–along with a ton of other contributors of images and text. What’s different this time around? Well, the emphasis is on the act of creation. Through examples, instructions for projects both small and large, and interviews with top creators, you get an inside look at how to get started creating your own Steampunk visions. But if you’re not into creating the book’s also full of amazing finished shots of current Steampunk…
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    Paperback Writer

  • Sub Op Ten

    Lynn Viehl
    20 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Ten Things About Submission OpportunitiesBaen has opened to submissions for the 2015 Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award Contest: "Write a short story of no more than 8,000 words, that shows the near future (no more than about 50-60 years out) of manned space exploration. No entry fee. But please only submit one story...your best one! No reprints. All entries must be original works in English. Plagiarism, poetry, song lyrics, or stories that utilize characters or settings from another person’s works will not be considered. E-mail submissions only. Send entries as .RTF attachments to:…
  • Cafe Quiz

    Lynn Viehl
    19 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    How addicted to coffee are you? Take this interesting online test and find out. My results:I figured I'd be more of a social coffee drinker; would be another story if we were talking tea -- I probably drink at least a gallon per day of the leaf. So how much of an addict are you? Let us know in comments.(Test link swiped from Gerard at The Presurfer)
  • Such a Character

    Lynn Viehl
    18 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Saw this incredibly fun character chart in a bunch of life-saving diagrams over on BuzzFeed:The floating skull -- that's what has been missing from my writing life all these years! I call dibs.Honestly, when I saw the chart I really thought it was a brilliant approach to characterization solely because of the stick figures. Everyone can draw a stick figure, and if you wanted to illustrate your story crew something like this would be perfect (and simple enough to make.)The chart also gives you a one-glance look at your story crew, which after five or six chapters can often be difficult to…
  • Majestic

    Lynn Viehl
    17 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Almost ten thousand miles + over ten thousand images + five minutes = a breathtaking visual tour of Norway (with background music, for those of you at work): NORWAY - A Time-Lapse Adventure from Rustad Media on Vimeo.
  • Just Write

    Lynn Viehl
    16 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.My link: the completed In the Leaves novella, with the last of the new material beginning on page 37.For more details on Just Write Thursdays, click here to go to the original post.
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    Bluejo's Journal

  • Velma

    Jo Walton
    19 Oct 2014 | 5:03 am
    I've said it all before: death sucks! And worse,We're complex, breathtaking, and we can speak,All irreplaceable, and each unique,Each human death must end a universe.People die young, die old, die at my age!Die much beloved, or indifferent, dieAs everyone must do, as you and I,And nothing helps, not love, not hope, not rage.Your biting joy in life, your smile, your wit,That you were loved and needed -- so unfair,That death devoured it all, and that we careWho cared for you, and that's the end of it.All we can do is live life day by dayRemember what we can, and while we may.
  • Pagans Alleged to be in Christian Heaven

    Jo Walton
    11 Oct 2014 | 4:27 pm
    Googling is not getting me anywhere, so let's try assembling a list myself.Virtuous Pagans alleged to be in the Christian HeavenSocrates -- alleged by Kierkergard to have been converted after his death.Plato -- alleged by Nicetas in a commentary on Nazianus to have gone up at the Harrowing (Dante disagrees and leaves him in Limbo)Trajan -- alleged by Dante in Paradiso, from a medieval legend that St Gregory prayed so hard for Trajan's soul than he got to be alive in the flesh again for long enough to be converted. (This leaves me utterly perplexed as to everyone's motives -- why…
  • Dragon's Song

    Jo Walton
    9 Oct 2014 | 4:38 am
    wolfinthewood posted a picture of a harp-playing dragon at Lacock Abbey and asked what song it would sing. I couldn't resist.A wilderness of wings, bright glints of fire,Dry wood burns fast, and long desire,Coiled into curlicues, coins, a cup,A thief in the night that drew me up.What would I sing when the harp goes round?An old wyrm's tale of underground?Or a song of rising in spiralled flight,Wide wings that flash with reflected light?Or the human heroes who came so bold,To challenge us and to steal our gold,Who bade us fight them beneath the sun?You know the names of the few who won.I could…
  • The Just City -- Real Cover

    Jo Walton
    7 Oct 2014 | 5:40 pm
    So it had to happen sooner or later -- I have a cover I actually like!This was designed by the amazing Jamie Stafford-Hill, who reads my books and thinks about them. And of course it's part of Raphael's School of Athens, in a sunburst that shows clearly that it's SF and not non-fiction. And Raphael's School of Athens is about a reimagining of classical philosophy, and so is my book, so it's just perfect -- especially as this group of young people looks gender-mixed to a modern eye, though that probably wasn't Raphael's intention. And they're wearing brightly coloured kitons, just like my…
  • "A Kind of Rissole"

    Jo Walton
    30 Sep 2014 | 5:40 am
    One of the things I am reading is Boccaccio's Decameron. It's a fascinating collection of medieval stories, comparable to the Canterbury Tales but more Italian and with more sex. The frame story is that seven young ladies and three young men go off together to a country house to escape the Plague -- the Black Death, which is ravaging Florence. There they elect one of their number Queen (or King) for the day, and amuse themselves by telling stories. The book is divided into days, and there are ten stories told each day. Sometimes there's a theme, like "tricks wives play on husbands" or "tricks…
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    Martha Wells

  • Another Question Answer

    17 Oct 2014 | 6:08 am
    thanate asked Did you mean for there to be a bit of a family resemblance between Kade and Flower?I don't think I intended that, but yeah, there is a bit, isn't there? One of the things I wanted to do with Flower is that the things Moon assumes are just part of her normal appearance are actually signs of advanced age, but he doesn't realize it because they're different from Stone's signs of advanced age.***PSA:One thing you can do to actually help the ebola epidemic is donate to Oxfam America or Oxfam International to send water, equipment, and other supplies to medical teams in Sierra Leone,…
  • First Two Question Answers

    16 Oct 2014 | 6:38 am
    It's a depression and sinus headache day, so let's do questions!Here's the first two question answers from the previous post:* nthngtoseehere asked I am re-(re-re-re-re-re-re-)listening to the books on audio during my commute, and having all kinds of rambly thoughts about how the stories/events/characters would look through other characters' eyes (I make my own fun! :P). I know you took a shot at writing from Jade's perspective and decided to stick with Moon's POV, but do you ever compose scenes from another POV for...whatever reason? Fun, or to think things through, or whatever?No, not…
  • Art Talk, Links, Questions

    15 Oct 2014 | 6:23 am
    Early this morning I got to see the second sketch by Matthew Stewart for the cover of Stories of the Raksura II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below (April 2015) and it is also gorgeous. I can't wait till we can finally show the finished version to people.If you missed it, here's the final version of his cover for The Cloud Roads with two earlier versions on his site. (He won the Chesley Award for best paperback cover art in 2012 for it.)In related news, there is a another GoodReads giveaway for Stories of the Raksura: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and CloudCouple of articles:* We…
  • Book Fair, Book Recs, and Links

    14 Oct 2014 | 5:21 am
    I've been waking up very early with anxiety issues this week, so basically ugh. Book FairThe annual Book Fair for Ballou SR High School has started. The school's library is badly underfunded, and while it's now in a new building, there is still no money for new books. At the link you can find the link to the school's Powell's wish list, and the direct address to the school librarian where you can ship the books, including SF/F, graphic novels, mystery, YA, non-fiction, and pretty much everything. Most of the books on the list are under $20 and some are under $10.00. If you can't afford a…
  • Friday

    10 Oct 2014 | 6:26 am
    Book recs:* Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, the sequel to Ancillary Justice is out. I loved the first one and have really been looking forward to this one.* Poison Fruit by Jacqueline CareyThe hot-as-Hel series with the "Sookie Stackhouse type of vibe" (Paranormal Haven) is back—but this time the paranormal Midwestern town of Pemkowet is feeling a frost in the air and the residents are frozen in fear....Links:* J. Kathleen Cheney: So What’s an SF/F Archive All About? an interview with Jeremy Brett, the Curator of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Collection at Texas A&M University. We…
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    Reality Skimming

  • Diff the Dragon – Part Fortysix

    David Lott
    17 Oct 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 46 Alivda was bored with the adults. They couldn’t go as fast as she could and, though that had been awesome to start with, now it…
  • Interview with Nancy Kilpatrick

    David Lott
    14 Oct 2014 | 12:18 pm
    Award-winning author Nancy Kilpatrick has published 18 novels, over 200 short stories, and has edited 13 anthologies, most in the horror/dark fantasy field. She also published the non-fiction book The Goth Bible: A Compendium for the Darkly Inclined (St. Martin’s Press) and has written many articles and reviews. Her two most recent award-winning titles are (as editor) the anthology Danse Macabre: Close Encounters with the Reaper, and her sixth collection of short stories, Vampyric Variations (both from EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing). She lives in Montréal with her calico cat…
  • Diff the Dragon – Part Fortysix

    David Lott
    11 Oct 2014 | 2:15 pm
    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 46 “Why is she with you?” were the first words out of Ann’s mouth. “And it’s nice to see you too,” Amel said. He and his…
  • Interview with Ursula Pflug

    David Lott
    9 Oct 2014 | 11:48 am
    Ursula Pflug is author of the critically acclaimed novels Green Music (Edge/Tesseract) and The Alphabet Stones (Blue Denim), as well as the story collections After The Fires (Tightrope) and Harvesting the Moon (PS). An illustrated flash novel, Motion Sickness, has just been released by Inanna. Her award winning stories have been published in Canada, the US and the UK, in genre and literary venues including Fantasy, Strange Horizons, PostScripts, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Tesseracts, On Spec, NOW Magazine, The Antigonish Review and many more. Pflug has been shortlisted or nominated…
  • Interview with Colleen Anderson

    David Lott
    25 Sep 2014 | 12:25 pm
    Colleen Anderson has lived a varied, artsy life. She graduated in photography (Visual Communications) and later also graduated with a degree in Creative Writing. She has a strong sculptural design aspect and loved glassblowing. Her piece “It Came from the Glass Studio” was juried into an art show at the Vancouver Public Library. She started writing around twelve, with poetry, but she hid it for years until she took it somewhere for a critique in her early twenties. These days she freelances in copy editing and writing, including manuscript editing. She is a past editor for Aberrant Dreams…
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    All quiet in France

  • Links aka Aliette on the web

    26 Sep 2014 | 4:19 am
    Briefly emerging from my winter sleep, aka “full-time care of the snakelet while holding a day job and writing a novel/novella ™”, to point out a couple of places I’ve been this week: -Roundtable on fantastical creatures at The Book Smugglers, with Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Shveta Thakrar, Octavia Cade, Marie Brennan, Whiti Hereaka, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, E.C. Myers, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Bogi Takács, Joyce Chng and me: part 1, part 2. I talk dragons (rồng) and turtles (rủa) in myths! -My Beneath Ceaseless Skies Aztec steampunk story “Memories in Bronze, Feathers…
  • Prayers of Forges and Furnaces up at Lightspeed Magazine

    9 Sep 2014 | 6:37 am
    Lightspeed Magazine has published my Aztec Western/steampunk story “Prayers of Forges and Furnaces”, a reprint from Sean Wallace’s Mammoth Book of Steampunk . Snippet: The stranger came at dawn, walking out of the barren land like a mirage—gradually shimmering into existence beside the bronze line of the rails: a wide-brimmed hat, a long cloak, the glint that might have been a rifle or an obsidian-studded sword. Xochipil, who had been scavenging for tech at the mouth of Mictlan’s Well, caught that glint in her eyes—and stopped, watching the stranger approach, a growing…
  • Rainy Writers Workshop

    3 Sep 2014 | 8:03 am
    So, I’m back from Brittany, where we had a fantastic time with Kari Sperring, Kate Elliott, Rhiannon Rasmussen-Silverstein  and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz. Much good time was had–even though there was more snakelet-minding than I expected. I had time to ponder a few pieces, as well as eat ice cream, buckwheat crepes, and try to grab some sleep. We visited Carnac, which was lovely–I had forgotten how impressive it was: a broken 4km of standing stones, which they think is part of a larger alignment of 40km between Quiberon and Vannes. And had a lovely buckwheat crepe in a…
  • 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.
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    Mostly English

  • Eating Authors: Anna Kashina

    20 Oct 2014 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> One of the things I like about writers is how everything in their lives influences the work and shoes up (consciously or otherwise) in their fiction. Is it any wonder then that I prefer reading authors with full-blown careers in their histories, a range of educational experiences, and backgrounds in alternate cultures and languages? All of which is my way of seguing to this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Anna Kashina, who has a doctorate in cell biology and a day job at the PENN”s School of…
  • Eating Authors: Jon McGoran

    13 Oct 2014 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> It’s another exhausted Monday, at least for me, as I spent the last three days at a convention. But I’m back, and in honor of coming home I’ve brought you a local talent for EATING AUTHORS. This week’s guest is none other than Philadelphia author Jon McGoran. Jon has a more intimate relationship with food than most of our guests, having been an advocate for cooperative development, urban agriculture, and labeling of genetically engineered foods. As if that weren’t enough,…
  • My Final Capclave 2014 Schedule

    9 Oct 2014 | 12:03 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. The glory that is Capclave begins tomorrow and I am very excited to be participating in the convention. Here is my shiny and updated schedule: Friday, October 10th 3:30 p.m. | Salon A – “Holy Shuftik!” he cried How does an author create a distinctive language for characters in the future or in a different world and keep it understandable to the reader? What’s the right balance between creating language and making sure the reader can figure it out without a dictionary appendix to the story? Paolo…
  • Eating Authors: E. Catherine Tobler

    29 Sep 2014 | 4:30 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> This week’s guest is E. Catherine Tolber and she occupies a special place in my heart, not because she was a finalist for the Sturgeon Award back in 2013 (she was), but because she bravely accepted the challenge to create a story for an anthology I was publishing. An anthology, I might add, with the gimmick that all the stories began with the same three writing prompts: watermelon, turtle, sex worker. Having recovered from that experience, she’s gone on to write novels. Her first book, Rings of…
  • Farewell, Eugie

    28 Sep 2014 | 11:44 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. I just learned of the death of Eugie Foster. Like so many, I just assumed she would win her fight. And now she’s gone and our community is dimmer as a result. Go tell someone you admire how you feel. Go share a book that you like with someone who’s never known that author’s voice. Embrace and encourage other writers, and always remember to pay it forward. Goodbye, Eugie. You will be missed.
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    Princess Alethea Kontis

  • No Such Thing

    25 Sep 2014 | 6:25 am
    (Crossposted from Waterworld Mermaids)I do not believe in Writers Block.I do not believe in The Muse.Writers who reference these things frustrate me.I believe in the power of sitting my lazy butt in the chair in front of my computer and forcing myself to work, however much I don't feel like it. I believe in Momentum.Princess Alethea's First Law of Writing Momentum: A writer at rest stays at rest. A writer in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force.And boy, can the Universe dole out some forces.In the last nine months, I have dealt with a lion's share of this…
  • Princess Alethea Rants...with Casey!

    12 May 2014 | 6:02 pm
    A very special EPIC FAIRY TALE RANT is now live...featuring my bestest friend Princess Casey!As always, please enjoy, share, and support Fairy Tale Rants with your donations (click here for details)!
  • 2014 PARSEC Awards

    9 May 2014 | 12:36 pm
    Hey guys! The Parsec Awards are kind of new to me. Now that I've been doing more on the narration front, I'm eligible! How exciting!This year's eligibility window is May 1, 2013 to April 30, 2014.The stories I have narrated are:"The Monster & Mrs. Blake" (written and narrated by Alethea Kontis):"Ieia" (by SJ Bickley):"Abigail" for Pseudopod (written by Hunter Gray):…
  • Princess Alethea Rants "Clever Gretel"

    14 Apr 2014 | 6:52 am
    Happy Monday -- a new fairy tale rant is live!Today, Princess Alethea rants about the Grimms' tale "Clever Gretel." Watch, enjoy, and share! xox
  • A Sad Day

    13 Apr 2014 | 7:28 am
    I am sad to report that after eight happy years, Candlewick is finally putting ALPHAOOPS: THE DAY Z WENT FIRST out of print in hardcover.There are only about 50 left in existence at the publisher -- if you've ever wanted one--for you or as a gift for a friend -- now's the time to pick one up. You guys get whatever you want, and then I'll buy the rest.I still hate that this is happening before AlphaOops: Christmas ever had a shot. There is a sadness in my heart, deep down, and I'm not sure it will ever go away.
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  • Bikin Animasi Dengan Blender

    hilman maolidin
    1 Oct 2014 | 2:29 am
    Saat ini ada aneka MMORPG yang menggunakan kualitas tinggi dan kebutuhan kita sendiri, kepentingan dan juga anggaran kita dapat memilih antara banyak gratis untuk bermain dan membayar untuk bermain MMORPG. Beberapa tahun kembali itu benar-benar adalah hampir mustahil untuk menemukan… Continue...
  • tips menjadi wanita muslimah yang cantik

    hilman maolidin
    1 Oct 2014 | 1:43 am
    Dengan pemilihan Presiden yang terakhir di tahun 2008, ledakan pesan granit disebut –CHANGE kita perlu membiarkan seluruh dunia tahu seorang pria kulit hitam masuk ke gedung putih adalah embun. Barak Obama, African American pertama Presiden sebelumnya, telah pendidikannya di Harvard… Continue...
  • Perkembangan Toko Laptop Online Murah di Indonesia

    24 Sep 2014 | 6:45 am
    Perkembangan Toko Laptop Online Murah di Indonesia, saat ini indonesia merupakan negara dengan pemakai internet yang cukup besar jumlahnya di dunia. Apalagi populasi facebook, indonesia merupakan negara pengguna ke empat terbesar di dunia sebagai pengguna facebook. Dengan banyaknya pengguna...
  • Berita Catur Indonesia di Sea Games

    hilman maolidin
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:59 am
    Sea Games yang berlangsung pada tahun kemarin di Myanmar membuktikan jika catur memiliki taji di Asia Tenggara. Berita catur Indonesia di Sea Games merupakan prestasi yang sangat membanggakan, bagaimana tidak, semua kontingen catur Indonesia berhasil menyabet medali. Dari 20 atlet… Continue...
  • Apa Saja Isi Berita Indonesia Finance Today?

    hilman maolidin
    22 Sep 2014 | 1:20 am
    Sekarang merupakan jaman yang anda di haruskan untuk mengetahui semua berita yang sedang terjadi secara kontinu. Karena berita terkini juga merupakan sebuah wawasan secara umum. Ada banyak sekali konten berita yang dapat kita ikuti setiap harinya. Salah satunya yaitu berita… Continue Reading...
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    David MackDavid Mack »

  • 2014 Mac Mini vs. 2012 Mac Mini

    David Mack
    16 Oct 2014 | 7:59 pm
    Long story short: The previous generation (2012) of the Apple Mac Mini wins in a landslide. I’ve been considering upgrading my home desktop computer system for a while now. I still like my 30-inch Apple Cinema Display and my peripherals, but my first-generation Mac Pro has been looking a bit long in the tooth of […]
  • What Goes on Inside My Head

    David Mack
    14 Oct 2014 | 4:22 pm
    Behold the secret musings of my imagination, in handy graphical form:
  • NYCC 2014 Wrap-Up (#SFWApro)

    David Mack
    12 Oct 2014 | 3:24 pm
    I’ll keep this short: my New York Comic Con went great! Kevin Dilmore and I sold and autographed a lot of books at our signing in the Simon & Schuster booth on Thursday afternoon. When we were done, I wandered the show floor for a while, and then had the pleasure of being introduced to IDW Publishing’s new […]
  • Find David Mack at NYCC ’14

    David Mack
    8 Oct 2014 | 12:40 pm
    Just a friendly reminder — Kevin Dilmore and I will be hand-selling and signing copies of Star Trek: Seekers #1and Star Trek: Seekers #2 tomorrow, Thursday, October 9, from 3PM–4PM, in the Simon & Schuster pavilion, Booth #1828. I will also be hawking special advance copies of Section 31: Disavowed, nearly three weeks ahead of its official shelf date, so […]
  • Coming in 2015 — 24: ROGUE

    David Mack
    6 Oct 2014 | 12:42 pm
    As of today, I have the go-ahead to announce that the novel I spent the summer writing was, in fact, a 24 tie-in for Tor/Forge. Currently titled 24: ROGUE, it is an all-new Jack Bauer adventure. It will feature everything fans of the series have come to expect: gunfights, close-quarters combat, explosions, car chases, some familiar […]
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    Grasping for the Wind

  • Eugie Foster

    John Ottinger
    30 Sep 2014 | 8:31 pm
    I was very saddened to read that Eugie Foster passed away on Saturday. For a time, she was my editor at The Fix, a short lived publication that focused on reviewing the short fiction market. She also contributed a fascinating article on creative procrastination and Kanji to this blog many years ago. Though we lived in the same town for some time, we never met in person, not even when I attended Dragon*Con in 2008. Nevertheless, as an editor, she helped me refine my review writing and I can credit my limited success to her tutelage. My sympathies are with her husband Matthew as he copes with…
  • [INTERVIEW] David Walton

    John Ottinger III
    31 May 2014 | 5:16 pm
    For WORLD Magazine’s June 29, 2013 books issue, I interviewed David Walton about the release of his novel, Quintessence. Only a condensed version of the interview appeared in the magazine, but they gave him permission to reprint the entire interview on his website. Read the interview here. Related posts: WORLD Book Reviews June 17, 2013 Interview: David Lubar on Zombie Humor Interview: David P. Murphy
  • WORLD Magazine Reviews June 14, 2014

    John Ottinger
    30 May 2014 | 8:28 am
    My latest reviews for WORLD Magazine are now available. You will find Terry Pratchett, Pierce Brown, Marie Brennan and Clark Ashton Smith along with reporting on the Hugo Award kerfluffle. Related posts: WORLD Book Reviews June 17, 2013 [BOOK REVIEW] 4 SF Reviews for WORLD Magazine Subscribe to WORLD for free, obtain my first article for a major print magazine
  • Less or Fewer? An Analysis of Usage

    John Ottinger
    7 Jan 2014 | 8:22 am
    Utilizing Brigham Young University’s Corpus of Contemporary American English, I have attempted to use usage data to come to a better understanding of the common rule regarding the use of “less” or “fewer” when describing nouns. This analysis is by no means exhaustive, but is meant to serve as a data point in the ongoing discussion over usage. Links to the data have been included where appropriate, though users will need Corpus access to see them. 250 terms were analyzed per search term in order to provide a large enough representative sample. Rule: “Less” is…
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    SF Signal

  • The SF Signal Podcast (Episode 265): A Pre-MileHiCon 46 Panel with Carol Berg, Betsy Dornbusch, Travis Heermann and Josh Vogt

    Patrick Hester
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:30 pm
    In episode 265 of the SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester gathers Carol Berg, Betsy Dornbusch, Travis Heermann and Josh Vogt to discuss: MileHiCon 46 past and present. Specifically: About their MileHiCon experiences What’s their favorite part of the con? What’s their favorite MileHiCon memory/moment? What they will be doing / what panels they’ll be on? What they’re looking forward to? Why they think our listeners should attend? The Panel & Links: Carol Berg Betsy Dornbusch Travis Heermann Josh Vogt MileHiCon 46 Website MileHiCon 46 Schedule © 2014…
  • Cover & Synopsis: CAROUSEL SEAS by Sharon Lee (Plus: A CAROUSEL TIDES Series Cover Gallery)

    John DeNardo (SF Signal)
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:22 pm
    Here’s the cover and synopsis for the upcoming novel Carousel Seas by Sharon Lee. Here’s the synopsis: Sequel to National Bestseller Carousel Sun. A gripping contemporary fantasy thriller from master storyteller Sharon Lee, award-winning cocreator of the highly popular Liaden Universe® saga. NO GOOD DEED GOES UNPUNISHED Welcome to Archers Beach in the Changing Land, the last and least of the Six Worlds, where magic works, sometimes, and the Guardian husbands the vitality of the land and everyone on it — earth spirit and plain human alike. Kate Archer, Guardian and…
  • Joe Haldeman’s THE FOREVER WAR

    Andrew Liptak
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:16 pm
    When I was in high school, I devoured Ender’s Game and Starship Troopers, but it wasn’t until I’d left graduate school that someone forced me to read The Forever War. Since going back to it, I’ve found that it’s a book that’s grown on me each time I read it. It’s certainly one of the best SF novels that I’ve ever read. Over on Kirkus Reviews, I’ve gone and taken a look at the background of the novel. Go read Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War. No related posts.
  • Books Received: October 20, 2014

    John DeNardo (SF Signal)
    19 Oct 2014 | 10:11 pm
    In the interest of full disclosure, here are the books we received this week. No related posts.
  • SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-10-20

    19 Oct 2014 | 10:05 pm
    Interviews & Profiles ASU interviews Ed Finn, co-editor of Hieroglyph. AZCentral interviews Kim Stanley Robinson, author of 2312. Bio interviews Gillian Anderson, author of A Vision of Fire. Escapist Magazine interviews R.A. Salvatore, author of Rise of the King. (Part 1 and Part 2) My Bookish Ways interviews Jon Bassoff, author of Factory Town. NPR interviews Garth Nix, author of Clariel. Reddit recently held an AMA with Jamie Mathieson, author of last week’s Doctor Who. interviews C. H. MacLean, author of Two Empty Thrones. Shurtugal interviews Christopher Paolini,…
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    The World in the Satin Bag

  • On Language and Reinforcing Bigotry

    10 Oct 2014 | 9:00 am
    [Note:  statistics will vary considerably depending where you are in the world.  I'm using statistics and studies which are mostly relevant to the United States, and so this post will focus accordingly.  This is my comfort zone, but I encourage others to take a look at these same concerns as they relate to their cultural contexts.]Language is our responsibility.  How we use it determines everything from our ability to communicate with one another to how we talk about other people to how we describe the world we all share.Language is also one of the most effective ways by…
  • Movie Review: The Maze Runner (2014)

    5 Oct 2014 | 3:40 pm
    I didn't really have high hopes for The Maze Runner (2014).  Sure, I looked forward to seeing it on the off chance that it would be a lot of fun, but I didn't expect it to be a particularly "good" movie.  And it's not, but neither is it "bad."  The Maze Runner is just another entry in a long line of YA dystopia adaptations, one which never seems to escape the confines of a cinematic formula.At its most basic, The Maze Runner can be summed up as follows: Thomas wakes up in a mysterious elevator cage without any memory of who or where he is, only to be thrust into the…
  • Dear DC: Little Girls Play Board Games, Too

    3 Oct 2014 | 7:16 am
    The folks on Sword and Laser recently had a brief discussion about the Justice League:  Axis of Villains board game, which apparently includes no women.  Peter V. Brett has a post about it here.  In short, his daughter didn't want to play the game because it didn't even have Wonder Woman.WONDER WOMAN.  The single most important female superhero in the entire DC canon is not in a fucking board game meant to be played by children.I cannot express how angry and disappointed I am in DC over this.  Every single time I hear something about DC, it's shit like this.  DC…
  • No, Repetition Does Not Mean Science Fiction is Stagnating...Per Se

    18 Sep 2014 | 9:30 am
    (This is going to be a bit ranty.  Be prepared.) There's been a bit of talk lately about Project Hieroglyph, an Arizona State University anthology (and website) which attempts to address the argument in Neal Stephenson's "Innovation Starvation."  I recommend reading that essay yourself; it makes some compelling points about science fiction and the failure of contemporary culture to meet the demands of the 1960s imagination.  Here, I'd like to talk about Ed Finn's (editor of Project Hieroglyph) article at  "The Inspiration Drought:  Why Our Science…
  • The Purpose of Science Fiction (and, Technically, Fantasy)

    14 Sep 2014 | 10:50 am
    In the 200th episode of The Coode Street Podcast, the hosts (Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe) and guests (Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Silverberg, and Jo Walton) briefly discussed the seemingly nebulous question, “Does science fiction have a purpose?”  It's worth a listen.I would respond initially by saying that the question is somewhat malformed.  In what sense does any literary product have a purpose except that provided by the author, which is necessarily individual?  Even if the author defines a purpose, should that have any bearing on whether the text is perceived…
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    Risingshadow - Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • A review of Christopher Nuttall's Necropolis

    14 Oct 2014 | 12:57 pm
    Christopher Nuttall's Necropolis was published by Elsewhen Press in August 2014 as an e-book. The printed edition will be published in November 2014. Information about Christopher Nuttall: Christopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learned to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an indie author,…
  • An interview with Kenny Soward

    12 Oct 2014 | 10:55 pm
    Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Kenny Soward. Kenny Soward grew up in a small Kentucky suburb listening to hard rock and playing outdoors. In those quiet '70s streets, he jumped bikes, played Nerf football, and acquired many a childhood scar. His love for books flourished early, a habit passed down by his uncles, and he spent many high school days in detention for reading fantasy novels during class. At the University of Kentucky, Kenny took creative writing classes under Gurny Norman, former Kentucky Poet Laureate and author of Divine Rights Trip (1971). By day, Kenny works…
  • A review of G. S. Luckett's Alpha Hunter

    30 Sep 2014 | 2:03 am
    G. S. Luckett's Gates was published in October 2013. It's the first part of the Neurian Scriptures series. Information about G. S. Luckett: G. S. Luckett is a screenwriter and indie author of dark fantasy and supernatural action thrillers. Click here to visit the author's Facebook page. Click here to visit the author's Twitter page. Information about Alpha Hunter: In Eighth Century Europe the people fear vampires. What do vampires fear? Alexander Damascus is the last Neuri, a Spartan-like tribe bred to hunt and destroy the undead. With his partner Demitra, they track Queen Adrielle. She has…
  • An interview with Mercedes M. Yardley

    28 Sep 2014 | 10:34 pm
    Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Mercedes M. Yardley. Mercedes M. Yardley has two broken laptops, three kids, a husband and no time to write, although she tries her very best. She likes to write stories. She likes to write poems. She likes to write essays and sometimes they're funny, sometimes they aren't. She is the author of Beautiful Sorrows, Apocalyptic Montessa and Nuclear Lulu: A Tale of Atomic Love, and Nameless: The Darkness Comes, which is the first book of what she is calling The Bone Angel Trilogy. Click here to visit the author's official website. AN INTERVIEW WITH…
  • A review of G. S. Luckett's Gates

    28 Sep 2014 | 7:46 am
    G. S. Luckett's Gates was published in April 2013. It's the first part of The Reaper series. Information about G. S. Luckett: G. S. Luckett is a screenwriter and indie author of dark fantasy and supernatural action thrillers. Click here to visit the author's Facebook page. Click here to visit the author's Twitter page. Information about Gates: A death row inmate, Prisoner U877, made a daring escape from his execution during a blackout at Crenshaw Prison. Now he finds himself fighting his way through a deadly prison riot and helping his own jailers, in order to save their souls. Some of God's…
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    On Starships and Dragonwings

  • Updates from the Lair 10/19/14

    19 Oct 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!).  Hmmm, what to say about this week? I was finally able to dive into my research projects again both due to having time outside of classwork and two very productive meetings with advisors on projects. I banged my head against some coding which I still haven’t figured out, but that happens. I’m starting to feel a bit in need of a vacation between the…
  • Love in YA: Make Me Believe

    18 Oct 2014 | 4:02 am
    What I Need to Enjoy Romance in YA First I just need to take a step back and laugh at the fact that I’m even writing a post about romance at all. I was pretty firmly against romance of any kind in books the last time I checked (by which I mean that I just didn’t care, and really didn’t want it to be the main focus). However, somehow YA has softened this stone heart of mine and I actually used the verb “to ship” in a review this past week (if you’re not gasping, you should be!). I’m now finding myself in a strange spot though, because I’ve…
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

    17 Oct 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 Molly for winning last week and enjoy The Killing Moon and Sworn in Steel :D. This week I’ve continued to glare at the excessive piles of books in the apartment, so one more week of two books! Here are…
  • Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell eARC {4.5 Stars}

    16 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Infinite Harmony by Tammy Blackwell is a story about love, family, death, and what it really means to live that happens to be set in a world with coyote and wolf shape-shifters, Seers, Thaumaturgics, and Immortals. I’m not generally a fan of character-driven stories but Joshua and Ada were such amazing main characters, and assisted by my many favorite characters from Destiny Binds and Infinite Harmony’s companion novel, Fragile Brilliance, that I find myself converted to the character-driven novel as long as the writing is as strong as Blackwell’s ;-). If you haven’t…
  • Thursdays with the Crown by Jessica Day George ARC {4.5 Stars}

    15 Oct 2014 | 4:00 am
    Thursdays with the Crown is the third book about Castle Glower, which seems to be alive, and the royal family that lives within its magical walls. Thursdays with the Crown can be easily read without having read the first two though, so if you like the idea of a spunky young princess, her feminine but strong older sister, and their various friends and relatives (including a griffin or two!) then definitely check out this whimsical and downright fun middle grade fantasy! Note: I received an advanced copy of Thursdays with the Crown from the publisher. Some things may have changed in the final…
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    ATG Reviews

  • Annabelle Film Review

    The World Weary
    18 Oct 2014 | 4:00 pm
    The RehashingThis review features spoilers for Annabelle in a clearly marked section.There’s a reason I gave The Conjuring a perfect 10. It’s just, flat out, one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen. To this day, even thinking about that film gives me the chills. I own the film on Blu Ray, but I’m too scared to watch it alone, that’s how effective the film is. Naturally, when anything is as effective and successful as The Conjuring, there’s going to be imitators, rehashes, and/or prequels and sequels. Without spoiling anything, The Conjuring prominently…
  • Tower Lord Book Review

    16 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    Raven’s Shadow Novel Book Two(Spoilers for Blood Song are below).Buy on Amazon!It’s hard to believe this is by the same author that wrote Blood Song. Tower Lord isn’t just a sophomore slump, or the second part of series that struggles to capitalize on what made the first book so good, it’s a catastrophe that’s avoided by the slimmest of margins which only results in this book being just plain bad.Vaelin returns to narrate in this book, but is joined by three other narrators – familiar faces in Lyrna and Frentis, and a new face in Reva. From the get go it’s…
  • The Walking Dead Season Five Episode One: No Sanctuary TV Review

    The World Weary
    14 Oct 2014 | 5:50 am
    Fire and BloodThis review features spoilers for the previous seasons of The Walking Dead.October is a special time for TV junkies. Without Game of Thrones, there’s plenty of room to fight over the highest ratings, and one of the biggest contenders for that prime time Sunday sweet spot is the television serial adaptation of Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead. The past… three seasons (wow…really… that long, huh?) have been less than appealing,but somehow, the shows viewers ,including myself, have stayed hooked, hoping for a brighter future. That’s not to say…
  • Artemis Fowl Book Review

    13 Oct 2014 | 10:00 am
    Artemis Fowl Book OneBuy on Amazon!Artemis Fowl has been a series that has frequently been compared to Harry Potter due to its success, its being published as a middle grade fantasy novel, and because it features our real world set alongside a secret magical one. Aside from this though, Artemis and Harry are two different series’, let alone two very different characters.The first part of an eight book series by Eoin Colfer, is heavy on fun action scenes, while a little light on substance.  Nevertheless this is still an entertaining book.  It’s one you don’t have to think…
  • Dracula Untold Film Review

    The World Weary
    11 Oct 2014 | 3:14 am
    Anemic Delirium Dracula is one of those monsters that will never go away whether you like them or not, like The Devil or McDonalds. They’re here to stay. Ever since Bram Stoker took some creative liberties with the history of one Vald III Tepest, the thought of an ancient evil that lurks within shadows and drinks your blood has been… strangely appealing, even to the point of being eroticized. Futher cementing the character in pop culture history were the 1922 film Nosferatu (starring Max Schreck as Count Orlok due to copyright issues) and the 1933 film Dracula (starring Bela…
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