SciFi & Fantasy Novels

  • Most Topular Stories


    The Battersblog
    Lee Battersby
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:48 pm
       Merry Christmas, everyone.
  • Remembering John Buscema
    Peter David
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Originally published February 15, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1474 I’d never been to a viewing. You know: A viewing. Where the body of the recently deceased lies in a coffin while people gather, one at a time, and stare. It always seemed grotesque to me, an exercise in morbidity. Why gather in large numbers to stare at a shell? The body… the body isn’t the person. Whatever it was that made up the person, whether you believe that its purely biological neurons, personality traits hardwired into DNA, or a soul… whatever it is, it’s gone. To me it would be like appreciating a fine…
  • Limits of Power by Elizabeth Moon (Paladin’s Legacy #4)

    Rob B
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:19 pm
    Limits of Power is the fourth installment of Elizabeth Moon’s Paladin’s Legacy series, itself a sequel to her landmark debut trilogy The Deed of Paksenarrion. While the Paladin’s Legacy can be read with no knowledge of Deed (which is indeed how I read the first book, Oath of Fealty), reading this fourth volume without having […]
  • New blog posts at SFWA

    16 Dec 2014 | 12:49 am
    Most of you know that I occasionally blog for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It’s fun. I get to talk about crafting awesome stories. I get to help out other writers. And this month, I got to do it all twice. Links to the latest blog posts are available below. Painting Characters into Corners If you write stories, this has probably happened to you: The words are flowing. The plot is exciting. Your characters, faced with overwhelming odds, find themselves in the midst of a difficult and absolutely enthralling situation. It’s the Big, Dramatic Moment of your story…
  • Pulp comics: Dynamite’s Doc Savage

    The Pulp Super-Fan
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:00 am
    In 2014, Dynamite Comics got the rights to Doc Savage. […]
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  • The Frood by Jem Roberts

    19 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    “Hey, you sass that hoopy Ford Prefect? There’s a frood who really knows where his towel is.” (Sass: know, be aware of, meet, have sex with; hoopy: really together guy; frood: really amazingly together guy.) Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. As I type this, and after reading The Frood, there is a […]
  • Limits of Power by Elizabeth Moon (Paladin’s Legacy #4)

    Rob B
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:19 pm
    Limits of Power is the fourth installment of Elizabeth Moon’s Paladin’s Legacy series, itself a sequel to her landmark debut trilogy The Deed of Paksenarrion. While the Paladin’s Legacy can be read with no knowledge of Deed (which is indeed how I read the first book, Oath of Fealty), reading this fourth volume without having […]
  • A Kill in the Morning by Graeme Shimmin

    16 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    You may know this from what goes on at SFFWorld, but, just in case you didn’t, I do like a good alternate history (aka these days as ‘a counterfactual’.) From Philip K Dick’s The Man in the High Castle to L. Sprague de Camp’s Lest Darkness Fall and even Kim Newman’s Anno Dracula series, I […]
  • Alexes Razevich Interview

    Dag R.
    15 Dec 2014 | 7:29 am
    We’ve talked to Alexes Razevich about her latest book Shadowline Drift as well as her upcoming projects. Can you tell us a bit about your latest book Shadowline Drift? The plot centers on Jake Kendrick, a well-respected negotiator who is sent to the Amazon to secure a newly discovered substance that holds the promise to end […]
  • The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

    12 Dec 2014 | 4:00 pm
    Toby and his compadres are all ‘Defectives’ – young adults and children who have become infected with a disease that can strike at any time up to the age of eighteen. Once diagnosed, they are swiftly taken away from friends and family and isolated in this building, with no other contact with the outside world. […]
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    Eric James Stone

  • Trilogy Recommendation: The Grimnoir Chronicles by Larry Correia

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

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

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

    Eric James Stone
    2 Dec 2014 | 8:20 pm
    I’ve known about EMP weapons for at least a couple of decades.  But reading the novel One Second After by William R. Forstchen really brought home to me how vulnerable our society is to such weapons (or even just a major solar storm).  Frankly, after reading this book, I favor increasing government spending to harden our infrastructure against such events. You can buy it at Amazon or get the audiobook at Audible.
  • Issue 42 of InterGalactic Medicine Show

    Eric James Stone
    26 Nov 2014 | 5:47 am
    I was the head editor for the November 2014 issue of Orson Scott Card’s InterGalactic Medicine Show. Head on over and check out the stories I selected.
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    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass

  • The Future of Energy

    7 Dec 2014 | 7:04 pm
    Several years ago, I was a guest on Stephen Euin Cobb's The Future and You and one of the topics we discussed was the likelihood of local solar power generation replacing our present system of centralized power generation via fossil fuels. I was on the show just days after visiting Ocracoke Island on the Outer Banks, and I'd seen how the power gets run to the island from the mainland then fed
  • 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
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    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "The Siege of AR-558"

    20 Dec 2014 | 7:29 am
    Nog gets his leg blown off, and a whole lot of people get killed, including Tuco from Breaking Bad and Lennier from Babylon 5. Plus, Rom sings for ABSOLUTELY NO GOOD REASON. The DS9 Rewatch endures "The Siege of AR-558."An excerpt:It’s easy to trivialize war, especially in a science fiction show. When most of the battles take place in space, where models and CGI effects shoot fictional ray beams at other models and CGI effects, and the only consequences seem to be exploding consoles and the occasional extra who’s never a person we actually know flying across the bridge, it’s hard to get…
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Once More Unto the Breach"

    17 Dec 2014 | 10:09 am
    Kor's back. Martok's pissed. Worf's stuck in the middle. Dax is nostalgic. Quark is a doof. And Davy Crockett's a legend -- maybe. The DS9 Rewatch goes "Once More Unto the Breach."An excerpt:J.G. Hertzler has perhaps the hardest job, because he has to act like a total dick to a character we actually like without sacrificing what makes Martok so likeable as well. To his credit, he not only pulls it off, he never once makes us think any more ill of Martok. His righteous anger is completely justified, and I like the fact that it never entirely goes away. Even at the end when he opens the…
  • midweek music: "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

    17 Dec 2014 | 9:15 am
    Back in 1984, Bob Geldof (prior to then best known as the frontman for the Boomtown Rats, a band best known for their hit "I Don't Like Mondays") gathered a bunch of his fellow British musicians to do a benefit song to raise money for folks starving in Africa. The impromptu group was called Band Aid, and it started a domino effect, leading for to an American counterpart called USA for Africa that did a song called "We are the World" the following year, as well as an all-day two-country concert, LiveAid -- all done to benefit the hungry in Africa. And it all started with this Christmas…
  • scripting Icarus

    16 Dec 2014 | 8:55 am
    Earlier this year, Silence in the Library did a Kickstarter for a graphic novel adaptation of a Gregory Wilson novel entitled Icarus. Greg's novel is a very nifty speculative fiction piece about an underground world of caves and caverns and volcanoes in which a winged being named Icarus falls from above and into the life of a curmudgeonly prospector named Jellinek. Icarus's arrival sparks a time of great change, and Jellinek gets caught up in it rather against his better judgment.The novel is being adapted by me and Matt Slay. Matt has done some terrific evocative art already (you can see…
  • reminder: I'll be at Doylestown Bookshop on Saturday!

    16 Dec 2014 | 7:59 am
    On Saturday the 20th of December, I'll be part of the Liars Club Holiday Book Signing at the Doylestown Bookshop at 16 South Main Street in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Starting at 2pm, I'll be there scribbling on books alongside fellow mendicants Janice Gable Bashman, Merry Jones, Marie Lamba, Jon McGoran, Kelly Simmons, Keith Strunk, and Dennis Tafoya.The shop should have copies of Sleepy Hollow: Children of the Revolution and The Klingon Art of War (at the very least). So come on by!
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    Robert J. Sawyer

  • Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame

    19 Dec 2014 | 2:36 pm
    I realized today that I hadn’t noted yet here in my blog one of the biggest honours of my career: On Saturday, October 5, 2014, I was one of the initial inductees into The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, administered by The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association — the same people responsible for Canada’s venerable Aurora Awards. The initial nine inductees are: William Gibson Phyllis Gotlieb Judith Merril Dennis Mullin Jeanne Robinson Spider Robinson Robert J. Sawyer Susan Wood A.E. van VogtThe guidelines for being inducted are here. I’m…
  • Tributes to Michael Lennick

    19 Dec 2014 | 8:43 am
    Here are some of the tributes that came in to my great friend Michael Lennick, who passed away November 7, 2014. (The picture is of Michael and his wife Shirley Gulliford.) Michael will be missed by all who knew him. I enjoyed the wonderful times we shared working on The All-Night Show. I am very saddened by his loss. —Claire Lemieux-Lamarche Thornhill, Ontario Michael was a terrific guy: talented, tenacious, warm, supportive, and kind. We worked together on everything from Discovery Channel documentaries to CBC Radio drama, and his genius and good humour shone through every moment.
  • FlashForward flashback

    15 Dec 2014 | 7:28 pm
    Long before the 2009-2010 ABC television adaptation of my novel FlashForward, the book was doing quite all right. It got a starred review (denoting a work of exceptional merit) from Publishers Weekly; it won Canada’s Aurora Award for best SF/F novel of the year; it won (in blind judging) the world’s top annual cash prize for science-fiction writing, Spain’s 6,000 euro Premio UPC de Ciencia Ficción — and fifteen years ago today, Monday, December 15, 1999, Barnes and Noble put FlashForward as third on its list of the best science fiction and fantasy books of 1999.
  • My students and the Auroras

    13 Dec 2014 | 11:00 pm
    I am thrilled and amazed to note that every single winner of Canada’s Aurora Award for Best Short Story of the Year between 2003 and 2014 (twelve years) was either (cough, cough) me or one of my writing students — with only one exception, and that exception was in a writing critique group with me: 2003: Robert J. Sawyer 2004: Douglas Smith (my student at Ryerson) 2005: Isaac Szpindel (Ryerson) 2006: Derwin Mak (Ryerson) 2007: Robert J. Sawyer 2008: Hayden Trenholm (IFWA) 2009: Randy McCharles (Banff) 2010: Eileen Bell (Banff) 2011: Hayden Trenholm (IFWA) 2012: Suzanne Church (in…
  • The Blue Planet

    12 Dec 2014 | 1:41 pm
    On December 3, 1999, the Mars Polar Lander disappeared as it descended toward the red planet. Five days later, an editor with a wonderfully appropriate surname — Catherine Bradbury — at The Globe and Mail: Canada’s National Newspaper called to ask me if I could write a science-fiction story explaining the probe’s disappearance. The only catch: they needed the finished story in just twenty-four hours. I said I couldn’t contemplate such a tight deadline for less than a dollar a word, the editor said fine (much to my surprise), and — voilà! — a…
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  • New Books and ARCs, 12/19/14

    John Scalzi
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:45 pm
    This will be the last of these, I expect, of the year, so: What here looks good to you? Share in the comments.
  • Ghlaghghee Update

    John Scalzi
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:36 am
    I know many of you are curious about how Ghlaghghee is doing, so: She’s still with us and the medicine she’s taking to clear out the fluid in her lungs seems to be doing the job, since she’s not been having any of the troubling horking coughs which were troubling her before. On the other hand she spends almost all of her time sleeping and when she’s not sleeping she is moving very very slowly, and not whole lot. So while I think the danger of imminent death has been lessened, I’m not entirely sure she’s better. Again, we’ll have to see what happens.
  • Nerds on a Boat

    John Scalzi
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:07 am
    Over at Wired there’s a piece on the JoCo Cruise, the annual pilgrimage of nerds and geeks to the Caribbean, via a cruise ship, whilst they are being entertained by nerd celebrities like Jonathan Coulton (for whom the cruise is named), Paul & Storm, and, this year at least, me (I’m running a writing track on the ship). The piece is written by Adam Rogers, an editor at Wired, who in the interest of disclosure I met and became friendly with during the cruise (I’m quoted a couple of places in the piece). It’s an interesting piece, in part because a significant thread…
  • Worst Date In 5 Words

    John Scalzi
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:29 pm
    It was a Twitter hashtag. I was bored. SUE ME. "My ankle monitor is itchy." #WorstDateIn5Words — John Scalzi (@scalzi) December 19, 2014 "First date with a human!" #WorstDateIn5Words — John Scalzi (@scalzi) December 19, 2014 "Promise I won't snort mustard." #WorstDateIn5Words — John Scalzi (@scalzi) December 19, 2014 "The moon's full tonight? Uh-oh." #WorstDateIn5Words — John Scalzi (@scalzi) December 19, 2014 "Jar-Jar's presence MAKES those films." #WorstDateIn5Words — John Scalzi (@scalzi) December…
  • About That Note From John Sargent

    John Scalzi
    18 Dec 2014 | 10:05 am
    Being asked if I have any comments on this note from John Sargent, CEO of Macmillan, about ebook pricing and subscriptions. Briefly: 1. With regard to the ebook pricing, it appears to me that what he’s saying is that ebook prices are going to fluctuate more than Macmillan might prefer, probably because Apple’s deal allows them to bounce prices around, and Macmillan is likely contractually obliged to Amazon and other retailers to allow them to match prices with whichever retailer is offering the lowest price. It also appears he’s annoyed with the Justice Department about…
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    Magical Words

  • Lisa Mantchev: On The Writing Life

    19 Dec 2014 | 3:34 am
    Typical Highly-Glamorous Day in the Life of Lisa Mantchev 4 am:  get poked or kicked in the face by the four-year-old who, at some point, crawled into my bed. Instead of rolling over and going back to sleep, start thinking about the scene in process. Stare at ceiling. Think DEEP and MEANINGFUL thoughts. Have plot-epiphany. Drift off for a few minutes and completely forget plot-epiphany upon waking at… 6 am: Everyone up and out of bed. Reading emails from agent and editors and Gymboree, wanting me to know that their khakis are 2-for-1 right now. Then it’s on to sales numbers social media…
  • David B. Coe: Point of View, Voice, and the Choices We Make

    16 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    I’m sure that some of you saw the title of this post and groaned. I have written about point of view on this site quite a bit. I talk about point of view on panels and in writing workshops all the time. I have said again and again that, to my mind, point of view is the single most important narrative tool we have at our disposal, because it brings together character development AND plot AND setting. How does it do this? By coloring all that our readers experience with the emotions, thoughts, perceptions, and knowledge of our point of view characters. You’ve heard all of this before, and…
  • Things You Didn’t Know About The Wild West

    Misty Massey
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:35 am
    One week in, and the Weird Wild West Kickstarter is not only 22% funded, but was named a Staff Pick on the very first day!  It’s going to be a great book – we have amazing writers lined up to craft stories for you – and if we can manage to fund for the second volume, we’ll have more stories by even more great writers! Today I thought I’d entertain you with some interesting bits of information about the Wild West.  This might be your chance to win at Jeopardy!  Or even more likely, one of the following wacky facts might spark your ideas enough to get a story…
  • Lisa Mantchev: On Plotting

    12 Dec 2014 | 3:30 am
    The eternal plotting question: ARE YOU A PLANNER OR A PANTSER? In case you are unfamiliar with the latter phrase, “pantsers” (which isn’t a real word, I want everyone to know) are those who write “by the seats of their pants.” I would say that I’ve got a foot in each camp and thumbs in both pies, because I use a weird combination of scripted improvisation. Usually, I start out with a massive outline, and but at some point—usually at the 20K mark or so—the entire train derails and just keeps chugging across the fields, leaving me to run after it, yelling “hey, wait for me!”…
  • David B. Coe: Openings, Hooks, and Breaking Rules

    9 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Last week I re-introduced you to my upcoming novel, Spell Blind, which is the reincarnation of a book I wrote a long time ago, and the culmination of years of writing, reinvention, and revision. I have always loved the characters, but it wasn’t until I came up with a new plot and, more importantly, a new magic system that the novel and its sequels became all that I wanted them to be. What I love most about all the books in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson are the characters and their interactions. And I intend to write a couple of posts about them (Spell Blind comes out January 6, so I’m…
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  • New blog posts at SFWA

    16 Dec 2014 | 12:49 am
    Most of you know that I occasionally blog for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. It’s fun. I get to talk about crafting awesome stories. I get to help out other writers. And this month, I got to do it all twice. Links to the latest blog posts are available below. Painting Characters into Corners If you write stories, this has probably happened to you: The words are flowing. The plot is exciting. Your characters, faced with overwhelming odds, find themselves in the midst of a difficult and absolutely enthralling situation. It’s the Big, Dramatic Moment of your story…
  • New Stories on Wattpad

    10 Dec 2014 | 1:15 pm
    I’ve started putting some of my older fiction on Wattpad. You know, reprints from Asimov’s and other magazines that have long since passed their exclusivity periods. Latest editions include “Movement”, “The Man Who Murdered Himself”, “Monument” and “Pastry Run”. The latter two have never been released as stand-alone stories before, although both have been bundled with other stories in Dead Men Don’t Cry: 11 Stories by Nancy Fulda. I’m particularly pleased with the Wattpad cover for Pastry Run. It’s not world-class…
  • Carbide-Tipped Pens in Kirkus and Library Journal

    2 Dec 2014 | 7:31 pm
    Carbide-Tipped Pens, which releases from TOR today, has been doing very well in the online review venues. Kirkus called it “A science fiction anthology that strikes a balance between radical scientific ideas and grounded human emotion…Hard-core sci-fi fans will gobble this up, and readers newer to the genre should give it a chance, too.” Library Journal describes the book as “A pleasing sampling of stories, all showing the range found even within a subgenre like hard SF.” My contribution to this anthology is called “Recollection”. It explores what Bureau24 describes…
  • SHATTERED SHIELDS releases today!

    4 Nov 2014 | 11:34 am
    BAEN’s military fantasy anthology, edited by Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt, is live off the presses. Featuring stories by Elizabeth Moon, Larry Correia, Gray Rinehart, Annie Bellett and lots of other cool people, this is one of the most action-packed anthologies I’ve had the pleasure of being in. My contribution, “Deadfall”, is set in a world where foreign raiders (literally) drop from the sky, and where practicing magic saps away your sanity. It features a bit of a twist ending and nice little action sequence shortly thereafter.
  • Interview at

    1 Nov 2014 | 1:39 pm
    Fun new interview up at, where I discuss the initial concept for Castles in the Sky and expound at not-too-very-great-length about short story writing techniques. ---------------------------------------------- cross-posted from ----------------------------------------------
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  • Posada

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:36 pm
    Yesterday there was a Posada celebration at a local church, and I went with my Spanish class.  Posadas are traditionally about Joseph and Mary going from house to house looking for lodging, but at this church they turned it into a drama about undocumented immigrants.It was incredibly terrific, and very moving.  At the end of the play the family came to the border and asked to enter, and an Anglo, playing the part of an immigration official, refused them entrance and said, "What would you do if I wanted to come into your house?"  "Invite you in!" someone in…
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    17 Dec 2014 | 8:38 am
    I look at Catherine Asaro's new book:
  • Release Date for Weighing Shadows

    15 Dec 2014 | 3:16 pm
    Just found out my book Weighing Shadows will come out in October, 2015.  This is actually sooner than I thought, so Yay!
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    13 Dec 2014 | 8:41 pm
    I look at a debut SF novel:
  • New Review at the B&NR

    10 Dec 2014 | 7:01 pm
    I look at that SF novel from China that's been getting a lot of good press:
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  • Demon School Updates

    tate hallaway
    16 Dec 2014 | 11:20 am
    I neglected to point you to last week's School for Wayward Demon's chapter: "Ferret 'Porting to the Rescue" and today's "Pop Goes the Weasel"Also, I'm taking a brief hiatus from Unjust Cause for the holidays.  I'm working on getting the Demon School project into something resembling a book so that Rachel and I can have it on hand for my Guest of Honor appearance at MarsCON (March 6 - 8, 2015).
  • Murder Your Darlings: Perish Your Dreams

    Sean M. Murphy
    11 Dec 2014 | 4:48 pm
    This is one of the harder pieces I've ever had to write. Please read it all the way through. Please understand that this is something I've arrived at after years of thought, consideration, struggle, depression, and anger. It takes a long time to murder the dreams of an idealist, but the coroner has finally arrived and declared this life-goal DOA.I'm no longer going to call myself a writer.Writers write, see? And I don't. I'm not. I haven't been. Let me back up for a moment. In order to see the trajectory of a thing, you need to see the launch point, follow the arc, watch the apex and the…
  • Running with Wolves and Other News

    tate hallaway
    9 Dec 2014 | 7:08 am
    It's Tuesday, so I've got some more Alex on tap for ya. In this installment, now that Valentine is gone, Alex is feeling like a total failure as an adult. As if on cue, Mac shows up to call her out to play with the wolves... "A Wolf at the Door."Today it shaping up to be a writing day. Several weeks ago, on my way to Wyrdsmiths, the ice was slick and I slid very hard into the curb at a stop sign. Ever since then, to go straight, I've had to cock my steering wheel at a very sharp angle. Even though the car has been drivable, I decided I should take it in. My usual shop, Dave's in Roseville,…
  • Wayward Waywardness

    tate hallaway
    5 Dec 2014 | 11:58 am
    Wayward is just a fun word, isn't it? Anyway, there's a new installment of the School for Wayward Demons up, called "Magical In-Take Exams." Go check it out. As I think I MAY have mentioned here, I'm going to be one of the Guests of Honor at this next year (2015)'s MarsCON. They're currently soliciting ideas, and I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with things I want to talk about. It's weird, because this not usually an issue... me, having trouble rambling on about any old subject. But, I guess the problem I'm having is, what do I know that's not just super-detailed fannish squee…
  • Links Galore

    tate hallaway
    2 Dec 2014 | 9:08 am
    Hope you all had a lovely Thanksgiving (if you celebrated it).I have some links for you. Why? Because it's Tuesday, the day I put out all the content. We have for your reading pleasure a new installment in the Wayward Demons story: "Tracking Trouble." In this story, we get a little bit closer to Erin.... Also, I have posted a new bit in UnJust Cause (which is a bit of a heart breaker): "The Stubbornness of Dragons."Enjoy!
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    Joe Abercrombie

  • 2nd Draft Part 2

    Joe Abercrombie
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:41 am
    It’s taken me 3 weeks, which was a good deal faster than I’d hoped, to get a reasonable 2nd draft of Half a War together.  It usually does tend to be the case that the process is less horrifying than you expect once you start to tackle it.  Some chapters needed some pretty heavy pruning and addition.  Others went through largely unchanged.  According to my pedantic charts the first draft was 110,200 words, the second is 107,900, but in fact I’ve probably taken maybe 10,000 out and added 8,000 back in, including 2,500 of entirely new scenes.  This slight net reduction is…
  • Half the World Extract

    Joe Abercrombie
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:33 am
    Half the World, second book in my Shattered Sea series, is out in hardcover, e-book and audiobook in the UK on February 12th and US February 17th, and you can now read the first three chapters right here. Blurb, a couple of early reviews, further information, other options for viewing and downloading the extract, and those all important preorder options over here.
  • 2nd Draft

    Joe Abercrombie
    14 Dec 2014 | 12:22 pm
    There was a time I was posting here three times a week, but there’ve been no posts for over a month because I have had my head firmly in putting together the 2nd draft of Half a War, third book in my Shattered Sea trilogy. When I first started writing I’d revise every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter as I finished it.  Every time I wrote I’d start off by going over what I wrote last time.  This was a really useful exercise for working out the basics of how to write, how to pace, what to attend to in a scene and what to ignore, for getting confidence from seeing…
  • Half a King UK MMP Cover

    Joe Abercrombie
    7 Nov 2014 | 3:34 am
    Because one cover reveal in a week is never enough, here’s the forthcoming UK Mass Market Paperback cover for Half a King: A less graphic, more filmic design choice … This one’s going to be hitting British stores in January, just ahead of the February release of the hardcover Half the World.  You can find some further info over here…
  • Half the World UK Cover

    Joe Abercrombie
    5 Nov 2014 | 3:51 am
    Yes indeed, SFX have revealed the UK hardback cover for Half the World… I said, “Half The World is the story of Thorn, a young woman determined to take a man’s place as a warrior, who finds herself on the crew of the deep-cunning Father Yarvi, undertaking a dangerous voyage up the unmapped rivers of the world to seek allies against the numberless warriors of the High King. There’s love, hate, death, wit, vivid characters, crunching action and, yes, an awful lot of swords…” It’s coming 12th February 2015, but you could probably preorder via the publisher and a range of…
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    Eleanor Arnason's Web Log

  • Political Posts

    15 Dec 2014 | 9:47 am
    When you read my political posts, check and see if Foxessa has commented. Her comments are really helping me think things through.
  • The New Book

    15 Dec 2014 | 9:37 am
    The page of Many Worlds Press, with Q & A about my new book, Hidden Folk And here is a photo of me. Notice the glasses frame. It's pretty neat. I read one of the Hidden Folk stories at the Rivendell group's annual meeting devoted to members reading their own fiction. It went over well. People laughed in the right places.
  • More Politics (Sorry About This)

    4 Dec 2014 | 9:14 am
    A facebook friend linked to this article for me. I think I have differences with the author, but find a lot that is useful here, especially this:The conception of the systemic roots of injustice--and the possibility of achieving systemic change--were replaced by a focus on subjective, individual and cultural relations as centers of struggle, including reclaiming or re-appropriating oppressive language as a tool to combat oppression. In this process, postmodernism--and the accompanying post-structural and post-Marxist--theories achieved dominance by the 1980s.Yes, one of the things I find…
  • On Another Topic

    30 Nov 2014 | 10:13 am
    My orchid has stopped blooming. I will keep it where it is and continue to water it. Maybe it will bloom again in a year or so. The hoya is producing new flower buds, four clusters so far. I am thinking of buying another orchid, and maybe I will join the local orchid society. They are lovely plants. Though it must be sad for them, to put so much work into attracting insects in an environment with almost no insects.
  • Moving On

    30 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    I don't usually remember dreams. When I do remember one, I try to analyze it. Last night I dreamed that we moved into a new apartment. I think it was in a suburban complex, a place I would never move to. But it was a nice apartment with a patio and a balcony, only one bathroom, but two bedrooms. Soon after moving in, I came home and found a young man in the living room, on the phone. I asked him what he was doing here. He said he had broken in to use the phone. He then showed me how to get through my locked door. It was the old credit card trick, which does not work with a deadbolt, which I…
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  • The Complete Owner Trilogy

    Neal Asher
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:04 am
    This one is for American readers only I think. A 'holiday' gift perhaps?The Complete Owner Trilogy by Neal Asher, including The Departure, Zero Point, and Jupiter War. The Departure: Visible in the night sky the Argus Station, its twin smelting plants like glowing eyes, looks down on nightmare Earth. From Argus the Committee keep an oppressive control: citizens are watched by cams systems and political officers, it's a world inhabited by shepherds, reader guns, razor birds and the brutal Inspectorate with its white tiled cells and pain inducers. Soon the Committee will have the power to…
  • Visit to Glasgow

    Neal Asher
    17 Dec 2014 | 5:43 am
    I took a little trip to Glasgow last weekend or, as my phrase book would have it ‘Glesca’. I thought to myself that well, I’ve got the low fuel consumption diesel Hyundai, so I’ll drive. The car chugged along nicely, but bloody hell, I really ought to take more rest breaks next time! I am also now awaiting the arrival of speeding tickets because it seemed there was no point around the M25 and little way up where the beady eyes of speed cams weren’t observing me. Arriving in Glasgow I stopped in a Premier Inn. Pretty good room, comfortable and spacious, but not exactly cheap. It was…
  • Dark Intelligence - Starred Review

    Neal Asher
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:06 am
    This is nice, but I've redacted a bit out of the review since it's a little bit of a spoiler.."Hi Neal,Media coverage for Dark Intelligence is off to a good start! Your book received a starred review in Publishers Weekly, the preeminent trade magazine here in the states.Congrats! Cory"Neal Asher. Skyhorse/Night Shade, $26.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-59780-824-8Asher (the Owner trilogy) delivers an exciting beginning to a new trilogy set in his Polity universe. During a war between humans and the crablike alien Prador, Thorvald Spear was killed by Penny Royal, a warped AI. More than a hundred years…
  • A Wander about Hastings

    Neal Asher
    5 Dec 2014 | 7:48 am
    I took a few days off to visit a friend in Hastings. This visit involved chatting, supping some red wine and walking for miles in the rain. I took a few snaps around the area to give my new camera a try out. Not bad considering the crappy light.Not quite sure why this one isn't right. Maybe water on the lens.I suspect these pillars are cast iron. Mega-scale Victoriana.It was all very dull and wet and cold and the red wine breaks a requirement. All slightly boring for some readers of this blog, but not all readers of it are British.
  • Kindle Promotion

    Neal Asher
    25 Nov 2014 | 4:57 am
    Ass hat that I am I completely forgot about this. These books are in a Kindle promotion until Friday, so you can get 'em cheap:- Gridlinked- Brass Man- The Departure- Zero Point- Jupiter WarThis covers both the US and the UK. Here I just spotted that Brass Man is available for 99 pence while I've been told that in the US the price is $1.55UpdateNo, I'm wrong. Apparently I can buy it from for $1.55 but US citizens have to pay the full price. The deal obviously only applies to the UK. 
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    Max Barry

  • Australia gets closer

    16 Dec 2014 | 5:50 pm
    On September 11, 2001, the city of Melbourne, Australia evacuated its World Trade Center. This is a short building on the banks of the Yarra River, a short distance from Melbourne’s central business district, a little over ten thousand miles from New York. It used to have a casino; before that, it hosted an exhibition of waxworks from Madam Tussaud’s. If you ran a line from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan through the center of the Earth, you would exit the planet not so very far from here—closer, certainly, to Australia than to any other country in the world. Australia is a long…
  • Not Grinning, Not Dying

    30 Jun 2014 | 10:49 pm
    I think I must look like I’m smiling when I’m actually in a lot of pain. Like today, in the middle of a 15km (9.4mi) run, I’m barely keeping it together, so my face is a rictus of agony, my lips pulled back from my teeth in a skull-like grimace, and people running in the other direction are all, “Hi!” and big smiles and eyebrow jiggles. This has been going on for a while. At first I just assumed runners were naturally friendly. But there’s some surprise in their reactions, so I think I must be grinning at them. They are definitely not picking up my real…
  • Fish Dreams

    3 Jun 2014 | 4:27 pm
    A short story. Her mother drops her at five and tells me what she likes to eat now. There are times I look at this woman and feel an echo of affection. But not today. She won’t eat peas any more, apparently. I am to encourage her to eat peas. And she’s had nightmares, says her mother. Two. Nightmares? Bad dreams. It’s common at this age. Dreams about what? Fish, she says. Don’t make a big deal out of it. I say, How would I make a big deal out of it? We talk it out, old wrongs flipping and snapping below the surface, and she turns and walks to the car. Then, at last, I have the girl to…
  • Before Sunrise

    27 Mar 2014 | 4:01 pm
    I’m trying this thing where I wake up very early, like 5am, or, not quite on purpose, 3:43am this morning, make a coffee, and head straight to work. It’s a good feeling, being up and productive that early, once I’ve stopped feeling like I need to throw up. It’s a quiet, distraction-free time; just me, my words, and my pounding Scott & Brendo tunes. The only downside is that after lunch my brain doesn’t work at all. But I use that time for non-creative work like email and writing blogs, so that doesn’t matter so much. This year is all downhill for me. It has…
  • I Hate My Books

    30 Oct 2013 | 9:29 pm
    I’m not sure if it’s like this for other writers, but I have trouble writing something new while I still like my last book. It hangs over me. It makes me feel like I should write that kind of thing again. Maybe that doesn’t sound so bad. But imitating something you think is awesome doesn’t work. It’s much better to imitate something something you think is flawed. Flawed, you’re all, “I loved THIS PART but it would have been SO much better if THIS.” Then you make something new and interesting. Aping something you admire, though, you only get a…
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    The Battersblog


    Lee Battersby
    17 Dec 2014 | 3:48 pm
       Merry Christmas, everyone.

    Lee Battersby
    10 Dec 2014 | 3:44 pm
    "Tell me where you see yourself in five years."   Hitler, Brutus and Satan, and it's an entrance interview in Hell.   They can't all be winners...... 
  • Review: Making Money

    Lee Battersby
    29 Nov 2014 | 9:40 pm
    Making Money by Terry PratchettMy rating: 4 of 5 starsWritten at the start of Pratchett's decline into formula and repetition, there's still enough wit and sparkle in this volume to remind the reader that, at his best, there are few turners of phrase in 21st century literature to match him. Funny, insightful, ludicrous and absurd in turn, this is in the upper half of his catalogue without being at the very peak. An enjoyable diversion, and cleanser of the palate before turning to meatier works. View all my reviews
  • Review: Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned

    Lee Battersby
    29 Nov 2014 | 9:35 pm
    Always Outnumbered, Always Outgunned by Walter MosleyMy rating: 4 of 5 starsNot so much a novel as a series of linked short stories. The progression of former prisoner Socrates Fortlow from social outcast to moral compass of his tiny, impoverished community in the heart of LA is told in a series of short morality plays, each one building on what came before to give a compelling insight into the difficulties faced by the marginalised communities on the fringes of urban America and the redemptive power of a man who regrets the badness in his life. Some of Mosley's best writing in years: simple,…
  • Review: An Advancement Of Learning

    Lee Battersby
    19 Nov 2014 | 5:39 am
    An Advancement Of Learning by Reginald HillMy rating: 4 of 5 starsThoroughly entertaining read, full of acerbic humour and tightly plotted mystery, with well-drawn characters who jump from the page and demand the reader take notice of them. Bawdier and more pointed than the TV series that led me to it, this is an utter delight of a crime novel, and one that has me scurrying back to the library tomorrow to fetch a new volume of Hill's work. View all my reviews
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    throw another bear in the canoe

  • whose angel are you anyway?

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    20 Dec 2014 | 11:32 am
    I think I might have tired this dog out.Tea today: Stash White ChristmasTeacup today: Queen Anne "Marilyn," which is snowdrops. Snowdrops, and not, as some misguided ebay seller recently claimed for a similar cup, lily-of-the-valley. Botany is not an ebay teacup seller strong point.We did some decorating last night. I present the Christmas cactus!
  • and the only solution was to stand and fight

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    18 Dec 2014 | 11:47 am
    I have a new hat!A pretty stylin' hat, too. My mother made it for me.Also, Amazon seems to think that the publication date for An Apprentice to Elves is October 13, 2015. They might even be right!!In other news, today was mostly setting up ebook pubs of Whiskey and Water, which is now available again through Smashwords right now, and will be going up at B&N, Amazon, the Apple store, etc, shortly. Tea today: Upton rose congouTeacup today: still stuck on the Royal Doulton irises, because they're pretty. With my squid mug in the background, because it had coffee in it. cooooffeeeee.
  • you're waiting for more but you've already had your share

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:41 pm
    Wow. I'm really tired tonight. What is with that?In any case, today I did a bunch of award reading, and I made scones. And Karen Memory is a Romantic Times top pick!Today's teacup is a Royal Doulton iris motif that looks like it comes from the 20s, but is actually about twenty years newer than that.Today's tea is not enough of it.Also, today I got the cover flats for the long-delayed trade paperback of Shattered Pillars, which comes out next month!
  • come to death... and follow me

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    12 Dec 2014 | 8:35 pm
    My goodness, I'm tired. Although it turns out that I like Whiskey and Water better than I expected. Ten years after writing it, it's a pretty good book. So now I know what the half-life for novel trauma is...Once I do a little work on copy and the cover, we may even find it up on Amazon and B&N and such. But that will not happen tonight. Tonight I am just happy the proofreading is done.All that's going to happen tonight is me falling over.Tea today: Upton gen mai cha, which is my favorite tea in the world right now.Teacup today: The cup is Westbrook, bought at a local barn sale, and the…
  • you never ever believed in me

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    11 Dec 2014 | 7:32 pm
    I just happened upon one of my favorite bits of Whiskey and Water, and figured I'd come back here to share it. Context: the Devil is throwing a farewell party for Christopher Marlowe, in Hell. Kit's new friend, Matthew Szczegielniak, who happens to be a junior professor of English Literature as well as a Magus, is attending....“We have our differences.” Kit stepped back. “I thank you the farewell, Morningstar.”Lucifer folded his wings with a clap. :Joy you in it,: he said, and made a bow that swept him away. Kit watched him go, and finally unfolded his arms, breathing shallowly.
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    Vicious Imagery

  • 2014: rediscovering my writing mojo

    20 Dec 2014 | 10:20 am
    I like to write an end of year report for myself, to assess how I've done over the past twelve months [the freelancer's personal review, if you like]. Looking back at the equivalent post I wrote at the end of 2013 is remarkably downbeat. I was not enjoying writing, had little to no motivation, and was uncertain of the way forward. My goal for 2014 was simple: rediscover my writing mojo.Well, this year is all over bar the tinsel, so how did I get on?Comics: I wrote my 45th script for Fantomen - and it's likely to be my last for a while [perhaps permanently], due to editorial changes. I always…
  • Kiwi music: 'No Church on Sunday', Princess Chelsea

    4 Dec 2014 | 11:02 pm
  • New edition of Doctor Who: Amorality Tale out soon

    26 Nov 2014 | 11:18 pm
    One of my Doctor Who novels is getting a new edition from BBC Books in February 2015. Amorality Tale is part of the The History Collection, a range of eight historical adventures that includes beloved Who novels such as Paul Cornell's Human Nature [which he adapted for David Tennant's Doctor on TV], The Witch Hunters by Steve Lyons, The Stone Rose by Jac Rayner, and The English Way of Death by Gareth Roberts [quite how my page turner snuck on to the list I don't know, but consider me chuffed nonetheless]. Alongside new paperback editions with lovely new covers, the novels will also all issued…
  • Apply now for two-day Screen Lab 2015 - it's free!

    17 Nov 2014 | 12:38 am
    Screen Lab 2015 is an intensive, two-day course on breaking into screenwriting - and it's free! Organised by the inestimable Scottish Book Trust, the lab will be run by award-winning writer/director Adrian Mead in Edinburgh next February.The applicants lucky enough to get selected will learn from Adrian and guests about realities of the script development process, and how to break in. This is a priceless opportunity to discover what happens in the industry, from a working writer/director.Having been mentored by Adrian, I can testify to the wit and wisdom he offers - indeed, we have him as a…
  • If this doesn't make you smile, nothing will...

    7 Nov 2014 | 6:00 am
    Best. Laugh. Ever.
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  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:21 pm
    The Kinks. "Father Christmas." Merry Christmas, y'all. Previously on Friday Night Videos... Young MC. Now Playing: The Kinks MisfitsChicken Ranch Central
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    21 Nov 2014 | 9:38 am
    Young MC's only hit from the 80s, "Bust a Move," is certainly catchy and infectious. And the video is amusingly charming in its own 80s way. But you know what I always remember about this song? That maniac bass player with the stuffed animal pants. That's just magnificently weird, and I've never gotten that image out of my head. Previously on Friday Night Videos... Pink Floyd. Now Playing: Dave Davies Unfinished BusinessChicken Ranch Central
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    14 Nov 2014 | 8:04 am
    Well, it's no "Wish You Were Here." It's not even "Learning to Fly." Polly Samson is never going to be mistaken for Roger Waters. But "Louder Than Words is the last new Pink Floyd song we're ever likely to get (not counting a handful of early unreleased recordings, including pre- and post-Barrett material), so that's worth celebrating. The album, The Endless River, is apparently not too much like the long-rumored The Big Spliff, even though it repurposes some of that material--notably Rick Wright's keyboard tracks. There are sections that don't quite hold together, and "Talkin' Hawkin'"…
  • That was the move that was

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    10 Nov 2014 | 2:23 pm
    This past weekend, we moved. And moved. And moved some more. I know because today I am sleep-deprived and very, very achy. I broke my kneecap in a car wreck 30 years ago, and halfway through Friday it started to swell on me and spasm in protest against all the work I was making it do. It's probably been close to 20 years since it acted up thusly. My hands ache. My fingers are swollen and sincerely do not want to bend. I'm certain I became dehydrated several times over the course of the weekend, and ended up taking multiple showers each day because I reeked that badly. Still, the move is…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    31 Oct 2014 | 12:03 pm
    Here's a little "Torture" to set the Halloween mood. What? You were expecting "Thriller" or something? Too obvious. Now, I'm the first to admit that this single off the Jacksons' reunion album was underwhelming, especially in the very long shadow cast by Thriller's parade of chart-topping hits. But you know what? This video is so nuts that the music is irrelevant. It makes no sense in the way Captain Eo makes no sense, but this one has dancing skeletons and spider-people, but near as I can tell, no Michael. So, yeah. Happy Halloween! Previously on Friday Night Videos... Lindsay Stirling. Now…
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  • Beauteousness

    16 Dec 2014 | 10:04 am
    When people ask me what my favorite part of the publishing process is, it is very easy to answer: It's working with all the talented, amazing, smart, funny, generally wonderful people that it takes to make a book a, well, book. From agent to editors to the publicity and marketing teams and art directors, et cetera, seeing how much they rock their jobs is a joy. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Book people are the best people. And I've been so tremendously lucky this year to work with some of the greatest of the best people. In fact, I just came back from…
  • Pre-Holidaze Update

    9 Dec 2014 | 10:30 am
    Um, oops, sorry to disappear, though I can't pretend it's going to get better soon. Deadline swarm happening. But I have hatched definite plans to really and truly finally overhaul my website for early spring (in time for Lois launch madness!) and I'm sure the result will be so awesome that I'll update constantly (or at least more consistently). And there are things afoot. SECRET THINGS of which I can say no more at present. But there are also non-secret things, of course, though I can barely remember what I've posted here and what I haven't, but here are a few…
  • Miscellaneous Hijinks and Upcoming Event

    12 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    Ah, World Fantasy was such fun -- so many of my favorite people in one place. While the usual woes of not getting to meet/see everyone All The Time exists, I got to spend a happy-making number of hours hiding out and gabbing with dear friends. Yay. Also, writing Catwoman has changed my dear Genevieve... Here she is stealing my earring at the mass signing: A #DCLadies pic with @Gwenda at WFC: "Writing #Catwoman has changed Genevieve." (Sorry, Lois!) — Genevieve Valentine (@GLValentine) November 10, 2014 We had two fabulous meals at…
  • Is This Thing On? And World Fantasy Schedule!

    4 Nov 2014 | 8:24 am
    Hello, my darlings! I'm sorry to have vanished, but between launch month for Girl on a Wire and doing Lois edits (turned in Friday!) the month got away from me. First though, I want to say thank you to everyone who has read, bought, checked out from the library, reviewed or told someone about the circus book of my heart. If you haven't yet, well, there's no time like the present. *bats eyelashes* Especially after watching that Nik Wallenda city walk over Chicago. Wasn't that something? Thrilling. It's been so long since I updated here, I've forgotten what I have…
  • 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…
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    Swan Tower

  • A Year in Pictures – Salt Like Snow

    Swan Tower
    19 Dec 2014 | 8:01 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. That isn’t snow on the ladder and tools; it’s an encrustation of salt crystals, built up over I don’t know how long — decades at least. This part of the Wieliczka Salt Mine looked like a winter wonderland. 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 – Petals on the Water

    Swan Tower
    18 Dec 2014 | 8:02 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Bodies of water are a mixed bag in photography: they’re very boring and flat and featureless, unless they’re reflecting stuff well or have something floating on them. This is a case of the latter making the image far more interesting than it would have been otherwise. 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 – Antelope Medallion

    Swan Tower
    17 Dec 2014 | 8:00 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Maybe it’s a gazelle? I don’t know; I can’t tell my ungulates apart. It’s some kind of four-legged creature with horns, and it is one of the countless animal figures adorning random bits of the Natural History Museum in London, aka the Victorian cathedral to St. Darwin. Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there. This entry was also posted at Comment here or…
  • A Year in Pictures – Lights in the Darkness

    Swan Tower
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:01 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Okay, so it isn’t a menorah. (Actually, these candles are in Notre Dame, so really not Jewish.) But I love the image of little flames burning against the dark, and this is the most suitable picture I have to mark the beginning of Hanukkah. May those of you who celebrate it have a wonderful few days — and those of you who don’t celebrate it, too! Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there. This entry was also…
  • A Year in Pictures – Stairway to the Temple

    Swan Tower
    15 Dec 2014 | 11:54 am
    This work by is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. I mentioned earlier this year that you have to walk barefoot up to Sravanabelagola, the Jain temple we visited in southern India. This is what the staircase looks like: steps carved into the enormous barren rock on which the temple itself stands. They bake in the sun, and therefore bake your feet, which is possibly part of the reason you’re supposed to walk there barefoot — I don’t know for sure. Originally published at Swan Tower. You…
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  • Resilience and Reliability - keys to tomorrow

    David Brin
    19 Dec 2014 | 7:47 pm
    Whenever I go talk to corporations, agencies or public groups about the future, one word I emphasize is "resilience." Try as you might, to predict the future and anticipate threats -- neutralizing enemies and preparing your professional responders -- sooner or later some surprise is going to hit, hard.  And when anticipation fails, resilience is our 'other thing.'  Our ability as individuals, families, communities to pull together and maintain islands of civilization -- till the islands can swiftly knit back together again.That's the theme underlying The Postman, which was my…
  • News from/about space

    David Brin
    17 Dec 2014 | 11:42 am
    What's happening?  Suddenly, there’s been a wave of … inspiration! As if in tempo with Christopher Nolan’s INTERSTELLAR, several short movies aggressively confront the cynical theme that’s dominated this dismal century, so far. (The way so many of you have given in to the seductive propaganda of limitations and despair.) These gorgeous pieces fight back by offering us visions of wondrous possibility.First… try on this spectacular ode to courage – and our outward spirit – Cinema Space Tribute by Max Shishkin, using the Interstellar score as background, taking us on a…
  • Science roundup: Ocean fertilization, uplift, and indoor tropics

    David Brin
    13 Dec 2014 | 10:51 am
    Science & Tech - glimmers of hope?We'll start with one of my own special interests. At last, quietly, we are starting to see real science devoted to the possibility of using ocean fertilization to remove atmospheric carbon. I never claimed this to be a panacea.  But to ignore even the possibility of a win-win? Turning some of the vast desert areas of the sea, where almost nothing lives, into “irrigated” fisheries that would both feed the world and reduce greenhouse gases?  Is that not worth at least a little probing? I portray tide-driven systems stirring bottom…
  • Ascension and Interstellar - is boldness back in style?

    David Brin
    10 Dec 2014 | 12:19 pm
    A mission launched to save civilization…in 1963? See the trailer for Syfy's bold new miniseries -- Ascension -- due to air on December 15. I consulted this show about an Orion-style colony-escape vessel launched toward the stars in 1963. I cannot predict or vouch for the final result, yet. But the concepts are excellent and the vibe is simply exquisite. See a writeup here: Ascension: Could Mankind Really Survive 100 Years in Space... plus a video interview where I discuss the science behind the show.  Well, in fact, they seem to have edited a real…
  • Correlation vs. Causation? Does the universe conspire against freedom?

    David Brin
    5 Dec 2014 | 3:32 pm
    Several interest areas overlapped when Cato Unbound asked me to present a run-down on SETI (the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence)...and to then riff into the implications for human politics. Specifically, what does our failure (so far) to find evidence of ET Civilizations - (sometimes called the Fermi Paradox) - suggest about how individuals and societies might organize themselves?  That seems a stretch!  I’ve cataloged about a hundred hypotheses for The Great Silence, and only a couple of them relate to how societies might self-organize.  Still, those insights…
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    Dispatches from Tanganyika

  • Goodwill

    Billy Martin
    4 Dec 2014 | 1:18 am
    I can't keep up my daily journaling ambitions, but I limp along ...Back in the fall of 2010, I donated most of my "female" clothes to Goodwill. A week or so later, I had to go back there to find a nice jacket for Neil's 50th birthday party that Chris was catering here in New Orleans. When I walked into the store, several of the nicer items I'd donated were hanging on the racks right up front. It gave me a funny feeling, but not an entirely bad one, because it helped me realize I wasn't going back.
  • Black (Conjure) Friday

    Billy Martin
    27 Nov 2014 | 6:52 pm
    12:01 AM Friday through midnight Sunday, PZBART's Black (Conjure) Friday sale: 20% off everything in the shop! Signed books, authentic Voodoo and hoodoo supplies and spells, original artwork, signed prints of LOST SOULS characters, more. Livejournal special: enter coupon code BLACKFRI at checkout and get an additional 10% off. Don't add to the clusterfuck! Do your holiday shopping online!
  • Pain Scale

    Billy Martin
    3 Nov 2014 | 6:17 pm
    What is even the pain scale? How are you supposed to pick a number? Is 10 equivalent to, like, being burned alive at the stake? It's not supposed to be the worst pain you've ever felt, but the worst you can imagine. Well, I can imagine a lot. They don't know they're dealing with the guy who wrote the infamous screwdriver scene. So if I say I'm feeling a 7, that's pretty damn bad.Sorry, I am delirious with pain and for once it's not my damn back, but my damn teeth, which have been plaguing me. Help is on the way, though.
  • Happy Halloween!

    Billy Martin
    31 Oct 2014 | 6:51 pm
  • Balloon-Strings

    Billy Martin
    28 Oct 2014 | 9:31 am
    This sleep experiment has some interesting effects. This morning at Wal-Mart, I felt like Ralph Roberts with his balloon-strings. I couldn't quite see them coming out the tops of people's heads, but everyone was suddenly very vivid and gorgeously colored, just regular people going about their regular business, and yet star stuff.(When I told Grey everyone at Wal-Mart was beautiful, he said, "Yep, we need to get you to bed.")
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    Tobias Buckell

  • Confusion schedule

    Tobias Buckell
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:07 pm
    I’ll be a panelist at Confusion this January 16-18th. In addition to the panels and mass autograph session, I’m excited to be interviewing the GoH, Karen Lord, for anyone attending. This’ll be great. I hope to see you all show up! The schedule: Friday 5pm: Gadgets and Apps for Writing Scrivener, Evernote, writing books on phones and tablets! Saturday 4pm: Mass Autograph Session Sunday 10am: Post-Colonial SF Can our world’s own colonization history help us write the stories of future colonizations? What were the pitfalls? And how can we avoid them? Or are we just doomed…
  • The Xenowealth novels are now available to non-US eBook readers

    Tobias Buckell
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:40 am
    While I sort out the administrative stuff for the recently successful Kickstarter for Xenowealth: A Collection, I have another piece of exciting holiday news. I’ve been working really hard to get the eBooks of Crystal Rain and Ragamuffin up for the holiday season in non-US territories. They are available on Amazon in non-US, non-Canada, and non-Philippine areas (Tor owns the exclusive rights to the US, Canada and the Philippines on them). So for example, UK readers, here is Crystal Rain (it is actually popping up the steampunk top 100 list, so yay). The bookstores that allow sales in…
  • Authors reading one star reviews

    Tobias Buckell
    9 Dec 2014 | 11:56 am
    Have you been paying attention to the Worldbuilders charity that Pat Rothfuss runs? It’s up to $574,508 raised for Heifer International. One of the stretch goals was just blown right past (450K), in which I and many other cool writers read one star reviews of our work. You can help out Heifer International via Worldbuilders here by just buying great signed books, or other cool items, as well as entering a lottery. The next stretch goal is getting Hank Green to perform an angry acoustic of “Shake it Off.” What’s that you say? You want to make the world a better place while…
  • More on Kindle Unlimited

    Tobias Buckell
    8 Dec 2014 | 1:05 pm
    When I said half the stuff indie writers are now saying in the comments here about Amazon I was called some heinous names and ‘legacy’ writer, a ‘trad pub house slave’ and many other objectionable things. All I’ve done is note in the past that putting all your eggs in the Amazon basket will one day lead to sorrow. Porter Anderson has a pretty thorough roundup over at Odd how those squeals of “this is the best time to be an author!” start to fade when you hear about a major self-publishing author’s struggles to pay a…
  • They as a pronoun

    Tobias Buckell
    8 Dec 2014 | 12:03 pm
    I’ve noticed some reviews catch that I do my best to adopt they and them as a neutral pronoun. I’ve seen Zir and Ze around, but I’m not sure if that’ll take off. Them and they for a neutral works. Whether or not a character is gender neutral, I prefer to try to keep the character reference neutral. If the character’s gender is truly unknown, it seems fair. It looks like it’s something younger generations are doing, and their teachers are trying to catch up: As language catches up with culture, new pronouns have been invented to acknowledge gender-variant…
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    Dark Roast

  • Wanna help make four musicians really, really happy?

    Emma Bull
    7 Dec 2014 | 8:52 pm
    Here's how to do it: might even be a few other people made happy, as well. But I guarantee Steven Brust, Lojo Russo, Adam Stemple, and I will be made of pure distilled grin.
  • Coffeeneuring #7b: because I didn't get coffee.

    Emma Bull
    16 Nov 2014 | 1:54 pm
    The point of coffeeneuring is to ride and get coffee. Yesterday I aced part one, and totally failed part two. So today, in spite of 12 degrees F and a new inch of snow, I bundled up after lunch and rode Honey down to Angry Catfish Bicycles and Coffee.Where I got a latte with honey. And a tulip on top.So as it turned out, it was seven weekends, eight different coffee shops.And I still forgot to have Will photograph my riding clothes.
  • Coffeeneuring #7: The Last Cold Time

    Emma Bull
    15 Nov 2014 | 3:56 pm
    Olivia does not consider this appropriate bicycling weather. Honey, however, doesn't object.In fact, Honey, whose last name is Badger, doesn't give a shit.That's a Mongoose Dozer, a single-speed fat bike with coaster brakes and 4" tires. Will bought it at Toys 'R' Us. For $199.Yes, she weighs nearly thirty pounds more than Olivia, at a guess. She's a lot heavier than a Surly Pugsley; Surly keeps their ($1200!) fat bikes surprisingly light by using specially-designed rims and tires. But Honey is stable as a table, Mabel, and what she loses in speed she more than makes up for in "Sure, we can…
  • On "safe space"

    Emma Bull
    13 Nov 2014 | 11:41 am
    Partway through seventh grade, I transferred to a new school. It served a small community of residents who had mostly lived there all their lives; many had roots going back generations. My family, in contrast, moved every two or three years when my father was transferred to another of his employer's locations. I was used to making friends and getting along with new people.Except this time things were different. The principal considered me a troublemaker, and warned my friends, in front of me, to avoid my influence. My teachers ridiculed public figures I admired, even saying things about them…
  • Hi, there, space rock.

    Emma Bull
    12 Nov 2014 | 9:27 am
    Congratulations to Philae, bravest little lander of them all, and good luck!
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    Stephanie Burgis

  • So much better!

    Stephanie Burgis
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:29 am
    Oh, has this been such a better week than the three weeks beforehand! Everyone in the family (knock on wood) is healthy; MrD was able to go back to school; I got to write and write and, better yet, go to my mums' group's yearly Christmas dinner, where we visited our joint favorite local restaurant, ate gorgeous Italian food, drank sparkling prosecco, and celebrated the season with friends...We even got our Christmas tree (at last!), and it is tall and fat and gorgeous. Perfect!In other words, so far I am MUCH preferring the second half of December to the first half, to say the very least. ;)…
  • Holiday Help?

    Stephanie Burgis
    11 Dec 2014 | 5:27 am
    So, between my M.E. crash last month, then Baby X's illness, and now MrD's illness (still ongoing)...I've been pretty much stuck at home over the last three weeks. Aagh! And I'm not just feeling stir-crazy, I'm also starting to feel a little panicky about how I'll actually get all of my holiday shopping done.The obvious answer, of course, is to shop online, and Amazon is a quick, easy, go-to place...but, for a whole lot of reasons, I really don't want to give all of my money to Amazon this year (or any other year, honestly). So I have a question: where do you guys shop for Christmas,…
  • December Lights, this year: Dreaming Harry

    Stephanie Burgis
    4 Dec 2014 | 4:32 am
    A few years ago, Patrick and I set up a website and invited a whole bunch of other authors to join in with our December Lights Project, where every story had a happy ending, many of them were funny, and all of them were intended to light up the darkness. This year, to be honest, I was just way too tired to try to organize all of that...but between my ongoing M.E. crash and Baby X's current stomach bug, I know I could certainly use some lightness and some momentary escape right now. Note: I'm not saying an escape from the news, because the news right now is so horrifying and infuriating, it…
  • Giving Thanks

    Stephanie Burgis
    27 Nov 2014 | 4:22 am
    This has been a tough autumn, I've been feeling helpless and horrified about the news this week, and right now I'm in the middle of my worst M.E. crash for a while...but that makes it even more important to me to focus on the stuff I'm truly thankful for right now. Since I live in the UK (where schools, oddly enough, do not close on the Thursday of American Thanksgiving! ;) ), my official Thanksgiving celebrations with family always have to wait until the weekend...but right now, on Thanksgiving day, I want to take the time to write this post.1. I am so thankful for the authors who write…
  • Stories of my year (7 published, 1 abandoned...and why)

    Stephanie Burgis
    20 Nov 2014 | 2:10 am
    Since it's mid-November, now, writers all around the internet are putting together lists of their award-eligible stories published in 2014. In a similar vein, I thought it would be nice to do a sum-up here of all the stories of mine that were published this year, for my own sake (because it's a lovely reminder to me that yes, I really did get stuff done this year, no matter how it sometimes felt) and also in case anyone had wanted to read them and missed them the first time 'round. I'll also talk a little at the end about the bigger story that I gave up on this year, and why I really needed…
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    Mabfan's Musings

  • Giving Thanks

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

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    21 Nov 2014 | 8:16 am
    My latest column for The Brookline Parent is on dealing with Night Terrors. Not exactly a column to enjoy, but I think some folks will find it of interest.
  • 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:…
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    Pushing a Snake Up a Hill

  • KJ Kabza’s Under Stars

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    14 Dec 2014 | 2:50 pm
    From time to time, I like to brag about some of the great work my former students are doing. (I may be taking too much credit in calling them “my students.” They participated in my writing workshops, but they came loaded for bear with talent.) One of them, Chris Howard, created the cover art for The Infinite Sea, and is working on art for Seas of Ernathe. Another, LJ Cohen, has come out with several books, both SF and fantasy, leaning toward young adult. I don’t think I’ve mentioned KJ Kabza before, but the time is long past due. KJ is a short story writer more than a novelist, and as…
  • Colbert Interviews Smaug

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    13 Dec 2014 | 2:16 pm
    No sooner do I get that last post up than I see this, from last night on the Colbert Report. Stephen interviews Smaug the dragon: The Colbert ReportGet More: Daily Show Full Episodes,Indecision Political Humor,The Colbert Report on Facebook
  • Jesus Is a Liberal Democrat

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    13 Dec 2014 | 2:05 pm
    That’s the assertion of Stephen Colbert in this classic bit from 2010. I’m going to miss the Colbert Report when it goes off the air next week. The Colbert ReportGet More: Colbert Report Full Episodes,The Colbert Report on Facebook,Video ArchiveThe Boston Globe has compiled some of Colbert’s best moments. And you don’t want to miss President Obama, taking Colbert’s seat and lampooning himself. Great stuff.  And good to see that he’s kept his sense of humor.
  • Well, It’s Happened Again

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    12 Dec 2014 | 5:00 am
    You’ve squandered another perfectly good hour listening to... no wait, that’s Car Talk. This is Bookbub. That’s right, starting today, I’m practically giving away another book: Star Rigger’s Way, which only recently came back into e-print via my Starstream imprint. Ninety-nine big ones for this novel, for one week only. That’s 99 Lincoln pennies, neatly lined up with all the dates right-side up, please. That’s less than a dollar, and much less than half of a Starbuck’s coffee! What’s not to like about that? Fun facts about Star Rigger’s Way: 1. A minor character in this…
  • Funnier Star Wars Trailer

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    10 Dec 2014 | 1:10 pm
    From the sublime (previous post) to the silly. Disney recently released the first trailer for the forthcoming Star Wars movie: Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens.Saturday Night Live released their own version of the trailer (thanks to the Boston Globe for the link). See Chewie in the cone of shame: You can also see it here: 
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    Mark Chadbourn

  • TV Deal For Testimony

    12 Dec 2014 | 4:23 am
    As the word is now starting to circulate, I ought to mention here that I’ve signed a deal with producer Carson Black at Keo Films to develop Testimony as a three-parter for TV.  It’s early days yet and there are still many obstacles to clamber over before it gets to the screen, but it’s a positive step. Testimony is my non-fiction investigation of a truly terrifying supernatural case at an isolated house in Wales.  You can find the book here, for UK readers, and here if you’re in the US.  (It’s also available in Amazon stores in Japan, Brazil, India, Italy and…
  • The Most Terrifying True Story Ever Told…Out Now

    9 Dec 2014 | 8:03 am
    Easily scared?  Probably best if you don’t read Testimony, my non-fiction account of a truly spine-chilling supernatural event, now available at Amazon.  The publisher calls it The ultimate proof of life after death, or the most terrifying true story ever told? and that’s a fair description. When Bill and Liz Rich moved into an isolated Welsh house, they thought they were getting a dream home and a new life free from worry.  But within weeks they were baffled by an inexplicable power drain.  The house seemed to be using more electricity than a small industrial estate –…
  • Is The Age Of The Psychopath Over?

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

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

    24 Jul 2014 | 4:21 am
      Cover by Kealan Patrick Burke. #paranormal #supernatural #Testimony
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    The Mumpsimus

  • Mr. Turner and Mr. Turing

    Matthew Cheney
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:35 pm
    Two new biographical films give viewers an opportunity to see diametrically opposite approaches not just to biography, but to film narrative itself.A warning: I saw Mr. Turner and The Imitation Game months ago (as part of the annual Telluride at Dartmouth festival), and my thoughts here are based purely on memories that are getting ever dimmer. Nonetheless, the differences between the films are so striking that I couldn't help but keep thinking about them, to keep reading about the stories' subjects, and to keep coming back to the idea of how information is conveyed through moving pictures.I…
  • Ferguson. Power.

    Matthew Cheney
    25 Nov 2014 | 7:36 am
    Ferguson, Missouri. Nov. 24, 2014. (Photo by Adrees Latif/Reuters)from "Power" by Audre Lorde:I am trapped on a desert of raw gunshot woundsand a dead child dragging his shattered blackface off the edge of my sleepblood from his punctured cheeks and shouldersis the only liquid for milesand my stomachchurns at the imagined taste whilemy mouth splits into dry lipswithout loyalty or reasonthirsting for the wetness of his bloodas it sinks into the whitenessof the desert where I am lostwithout imagery or magictrying to make power out of hatred and destructiontrying to heal my dying son with…
  • Fassbinder's Lili Marleen

    Matthew Cheney
    21 Nov 2014 | 10:07 am
    I attended a screening of Rainer Werner Fassbinder's 1980 film Lili Marleen at the Fassbinder: Romantic Anarchist series at Lincoln Center last weekend, and it was an extraordinary experience. This is one of Fassbinder's weirdest and in some ways most problematic films, a movie for which he had a relatively giant budget and got lots of publicity, but which has since become among the most hard-to-find Fassbinder films (which is really saying something!). Despite a lot of searching, I didn't come upon a reasonably-priced copy of it until I recently discovered an Australian DVD (seemingly out of…
  • The Hudson Prize and Blood: Stories

    Matthew Cheney
    13 Nov 2014 | 6:12 pm
      The first book written for adults that I ever coveted and loved and read to pieces was a short story collection: Stephen King's Night Shift, from which my cousin read me stories when we were both probably much too young, and which was one of the first books I ever bought myself. Ever since then, short story collections have seemed to me the most wonderful of all books.I started publishing short stories professionally with "Getting a Date for Amelia" back in 2001. I barely remember the kid who wrote it (in the summer of 2000). I'm not a prolific fiction writer; I've been lucky enough to…
  • "On the Government of the Living" at Interfictions Online

    Matthew Cheney
    3 Nov 2014 | 4:30 pm
    The marvelous Interfictions Online has now published my short story/prose poem "On the Government of the Living".The piece, which takes its title from Michel Foucault but is not otherwise especially erudite, began purely as an exercise: I wanted to see if I could take what the Turkey City Lexicon calls "White Room Syndrome" and actually make it a viable, necessary element of the story. (Whenever a writing guide says, "Don't do this!" I inevitably want to try it out...) The effect, perhaps unsurprisingly, is rather Beckettesque.
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    John Crowley Little and Big

  • Legal term query

    John Crowley
    13 Dec 2014 | 9:53 am
    Is there a legal term for the unnecessary law that bans or forbids something that either is never done or has long ceased to be done or can't be done?   Like a law passed forbidding Shariah law, or one that prevents developing time-travel capability?
  • Grammar whiz

    John Crowley
    2 Dec 2014 | 4:58 am
    With the usual rules and the usual note that I may well not have seen how obvious a solution would be.  This from the Times:the court did either the law
  • crowleycrow @ 2014-11-27T10:26:00

    John Crowley
    27 Nov 2014 | 7:26 am
    NY Times:Greek Navy Aids Disabled Ship With Hundreds of Migrants You wonder what the migrants could do to help, and where the Greek Navy got them.
  • Dark composure

    John Crowley
    18 Nov 2014 | 4:41 am
    A new Microsoft product is called Lumia.  There is something Dark Ages about corporate uses of fake or dog-Latin to name their products.  Inevitably the tense, gender, spelling, part of speech or usage is wrong, sometimes all of these.  Lumia isn't Latin and Google Translate identifies it as a word in only one language:  Indonesian.  Of course they could have chosen Lumen, Latin for "light," but maybe they didn't think to look it up.  At some point in those ages the formula for the transubstantiation of the host into the body of Christ --…
  • crowleycrow @ 2014-11-02T17:34:00

    John Crowley
    2 Nov 2014 | 2:33 pm
    I just noticed that my bag of Lay's potato chips, in its description of the goodness of its product, says as a first claim that it is made from "farm-grown potaoes."  I haven't heard any news about vat-grown or hydroponic potatoes, so I imagine that the phrase just means "potatoes" -- though it gives rise to thoughts that Lay's does not intend, I think, for me to think.  I am reminded of a shampoo I examined once that said it was "made from ingredients found in nature itself!"  Which made me wish for something that wasn't.
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  • Remembering John Buscema

    Peter David
    19 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Originally published February 15, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1474 I’d never been to a viewing. You know: A viewing. Where the body of the recently deceased lies in a coffin while people gather, one at a time, and stare. It always seemed grotesque to me, an exercise in morbidity. Why gather in large numbers to stare at a shell? The body… the body isn’t the person. Whatever it was that made up the person, whether you believe that its purely biological neurons, personality traits hardwired into DNA, or a soul… whatever it is, it’s gone. To me it would be like appreciating a fine…
  • How Would You Like to ask Stan Lee a Question?

    Peter David
    15 Dec 2014 | 6:50 pm
    I’m working with Stan Lee on a biographical project and I think what it needs is a Q&A. So here’s what I’m looking for: What question would you like to ask Stan Lee about his life? I’m not looking for anything with inherent negatives (no “Did you hate so-and-so?” style questions.) If your question is interesting enough, I’ll ask Stan, and include it in the book with his answer and attribute it to you. So what do you want to know? PAD
  • Young Frankenstein

    Peter David
    15 Dec 2014 | 4:30 pm
    So forty years ago today, “Young Frankenstein” opened. And I find myself wondering how the Internet would react to it if it opened today. And I came to the realization that the film would be crucified. Why? Because in the age of Bill Cosby rape allegations, and heated debates about “The Newsroom,” there would simply be no allowance for rape being treated as a joke. Which “Young Frankenstein” does. Madeline Kahn’s “Elizabeth” is carried off into the woods where the Monster is about to rape her. There is no question she doesn’t want to…
  • The BID Poll Revisited, Part 5

    Peter David
    15 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Originally published February 8, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1473 Herewith the final installment of our time-traveling view of the 1992 poll about what the comic industry would be like in the year 2002. The year 2002 will seem most like: Space: 1999                64                    29.22% John Byrne’s 2112      39                    17.81% 2000 AD                      32                    14.61% Spider-Man 2099        24                    10.96% Jack…
  • The BID Poll Revisited, Part 4

    Peter David
    12 Dec 2014 | 3:00 am
    Originally published February 1, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1472 As we continue our little time-traveling venture by looking at the results of the “What will the Year 2002 be like?” survey from ten years ago, I have to say I’m gratified by the response I’ve been getting thus far. Folks seem genuinely intrigued by both the hits and the misses of the respondents. Thus far, for those who might just be coming aboard, back in the year 1992 (which seems as far off to me now as 2002 did then) readers of CBG predicted that: Marvel would be the top company (instead it’s neck and neck…
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    Stephen Dedman

  • I've got a little list...

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

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

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

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

  • Cinzo update and random acts of data housekeepery

    19 Dec 2014 | 9:01 am
    I try to limit my whine bloggery, but this week has had the emotional tone of a light bear mauling. You know the kind of thing I mean: buffeting, skull-gnawing, the occasional rake of claws. Still, the bear ain’t seriously pissed off or, worse, hungry. Eventually she heads off to play with some other food–because bored–and you pick your foot off the ground and hop to Dr. Frankenstein’s for a discount reattachment. There were awesome things too, like the Chizine Saturnalia party, the Carbide Tipped Pens book launch, and–so delightful and exciting!–Kelly…
  • Cafe Writers Unite (Toronto day 578)

    16 Dec 2014 | 9:01 am
    Something I did in October when I was in Vancouver was to tell everyone I know that I’d be at Caffe Calabria in the mornings, writing if I had the place to myself, and socializing if anyone cared to show. I met Barb there. Badger came, as did Emily from our old condo. I figured I’d see some of the cafe regulars, but it turned out there are a shocking number of them: I saw both Toms, for example, the alternate-energy physicist and the religious studies professor. An aspiring YA author, Jenny, was there both mornings. I caught Adita and Harry, the snowbirds whose daughter is a poet,…
  • Telewitterings, meta version with an app review

    8 Dec 2014 | 12:51 pm
    photo by Kelly RobsonOver a quarter century ago, I had the fortune to be in a relationship with someone who would, every Friday, remove the TV Guide from the newspaper, go through it with a blue highlighter, and mark very neatly all the things he might wish to see in the coming seven days. This represented an excellent division of resources from my point of view, as he had the paper, the guide, the highlighter, the TV, a cable package and time set aside for a meticulous clerical task on Friday nights, whereas what I was bringing to the table was a desire to watch Dr. Who and Star Trek: TNG.
  • Color of Paradox review, plus cinemancy

    5 Dec 2014 | 9:01 am
    There’s a nice, short review here at Exploring Worlds for my story “The Color of Paradox,” which is a time travel story set in 1920s Seattle. You can read the story for free at Meanwhile I’ve been previewing – having a look at what might be in the theaters during the holiday season, trying to figure out if there are any upcoming film releases that won’t give Kelly and me hives and a bad case of cineloathing (that special feeling of self-hatred you get after sitting through a terrible movie, especially if you kinda suspected it’d be bad).
  • Toronto, day 565

    3 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    According to my handy-dandy day-counting app, we’ve been here for 565 days now. I’m poking my nose into my second Ontario winter, and am curious to see how I feel about it now that the cold and snow lack, a bit, for novelty. What’s far more significant to most of us about this time of year is less the dig for coats and toques packed away months before, and more the monolithic rah-rah-Christmasness of it all. December has come again, bringing with it three stat holidays configured, this time ’round, into one four day weekend and a Thursday off the following week.
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    Cory Doctorow's

  • LISTEN: Wil Wheaton reads “Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free”

    Cory Doctorow
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:18 am
    I've posted the first chapter (MP3) of Wil Wheaton's reading of my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free (which sports introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer!), which is available as a $15 DRM-free audiobook, sweetened by samples from Amanda Palmer and Dresden Dolls' "Coin-Operated Boy." In sharply argued, fast-moving chapters, Cory Doctorow’s Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free takes on the state of copyright and creative success in the digital age. Can small artists still thrive in the Internet era? Can giant record labels avoid alienating their audiences? This is a book…
  • Interview with Radio New Zealand’s This Way Up

    Cory Doctorow
    18 Dec 2014 | 10:10 pm
    Radio New Zealand National's This Way Up recorded this interview with me, which airs tomorrow (Saturday), about my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free (MP3).
  • Interview with The Command Line podcast

    Cory Doctorow
    13 Dec 2014 | 11:54 pm
    I just appeared on the Command Line podcast (MP3) to talk about Information Doesn't Want to Be Free -- Thomas and I really had a wide-ranging and excellent conversation: In this episode, I interview Cory Doctorow about his latest book, “Information Doesn’t Want to be Free: Laws for the Internet Age.” If you are interested in learning more about the topics we discuss and that that book covers, you can also check out books by the scholars we mention: Lawrence Lessig, James Boyle and William Patry. I compared Cory’s book to “The Indie Band Survival Guide” the authors of which are…
  • Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free: the audiobook, read by Wil Wheaton (if you were to share this, I’d consider it a personal favor!)

    Cory Doctorow
    10 Dec 2014 | 8:15 am
    I've independently produced an audiobook edition of my nonfiction book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free: Laws for the Internet Age, paying Wil Wheaton to narrate it (he did such a great job on the Homeland audiobook, with a mixdown by the wonderful John Taylor Williams, and bed-music from Amanda Palmer and Dresden Dolls. Both Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman contributed forewords to this one, and Wil reads them, too (of course). I could not be happier with how it came out. My sincere thanks to Wil, the Skyboat Media people (Cassandra and Gabrielle de Cuir and Stefan Rudnicki), John Taylor…
  • Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free Audiobook

    10 Dec 2014 | 6:14 am
    Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, read by Wil Wheaton With introductions by Neil Gaiman and Amanda Palmer. In sharply argued, fast-moving chapters, Cory Doctorow’s Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free takes on the state of copyright and creative success in the digital age. Can small artists still thrive in the Internet era? Can giant record labels avoid alienating their audiences? This is a book about the pitfalls and the opportunities that creative industries (and individuals) are confronting today — about how the old models have failed or found new footing, and about what…
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    But Enough About Me!

  • Newsletter for Release Information & Updates

    Kate Elliott
    15 Dec 2014 | 5:39 pm
    In 2015 I will launch a newsletter for release information and updates on my books. The mailings will be used for release information and updates, sent to people who want to keep up on what I am writing and when new work can be pre-ordered and when it becomes available. Sign up here You can also find the signup on my website, and on the sidebar of this blog. Feel free to RT or reblog or let others know if you think they would be interested. It’s my way of making sure that people who want to know will know. You’d be surprised how often writers hear: “But I didn’t know…
  • Jaran: When “what if” deals with gender and culture

    Kate Elliott
    30 Nov 2014 | 6:18 pm
    Recent discussions in the SFF community reminded me of this post. It is adapted from the introduction I wrote to the 2002 10th anniversary edition of JARAN, published by DAW Books. It was previously posted on Live Journal in July 2011, before this WordPress blog existed. I’ve made a few minor changes. Science fiction is often defined as a “literature of ideas,” and many famous SF stories can be identified by the idea, or nifty concept, or “what if” speculation that lies at their heart. Is my sf novel JARAN just a rousing adventure story with a romantic element, or is there some…
  • Writing Through

    Kate Elliott
    30 Nov 2014 | 4:51 pm
    I posted this as a sequence of Tweets and wanted to log it here as well. Finally printed out my 4 single spaced pages of note from 2 hour phone call with my editor. I added these notes to the 20 page edit notes she subsequently emailed me (but which she had already written before she made the phone call). This is the glamorous writing life, people. An editor who makes you dig and dig and dig is a treasure. I wrote the bulk of BLACK WOLVES (my new epic fantasy) after my father died last fall because I had to do something. The 1st draft is a mess. In fact, I spent much of the time writing it…
  • Guest Post: D. B. Jackson on Top Ten Things I Do To Help Me Write

    Kate Elliott
    30 Nov 2014 | 1:17 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,…
  • NaNoWriMo 2: Go forth

    Kate Elliott
    30 Nov 2014 | 12:59 pm
    In Jewish synagogue practice, the Five Books of Moses are divided into portions, one for each week of the year. Each week the appropriate portion is read, and at the end of every year the entire Torah* will have been chanted aloud. This week’s portion can be transliterated Lekh L’kha which is commonly translated as “Go!” or “Go forth!” God tells Abram (as he is called before he is given the name Abraham) to go forth, to leave the city of Haran where he has been living and to “betake yourself” (the literal meaning) to a new land. In the Etz Hayim…
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    The Incomplete Blog

  • [Lifting Log] In Which I Start Over

    Josh English
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:14 pm
    I have lost count of the number of times I restarted my lifting program this year. It seems lately I just go out to the garage and do a set of presses just to get the blood pumping, but not to gain anything. It's more like maintenance. And I'm okay with maintaining the strength I have as long as my weight keeps dropping.Tonight I did a 215# squat, 120# press, 120# row, and a 165# deadlift. My left knee has been the bane of my squats all year, and it felt tweaky on my very last rep. Stretching is the only cure. I may get a chance Thursday to lift again, and definitely on Saturday, but…
  • [Star Wars] In Which I Keep My Expectations Low

    Josh English
    30 Nov 2014 | 4:23 pm
    The new Star Wars movie is supposed to be the thing every geek longs for, as if we can get the foul taste of Episode I out of our mouths. I've watched the teaser trailer. I've watched the Lego version. I've even watched the George Lucas "Special Edition" of the trailer. And I am, well, not letting myself get overwhelmed with it all.We get to see Tatooine, and maybe Naboo, and maybe some forest planet. We get to see SFX that look like they are closer to the original 1977 style than the 1999 style. From what little glimpses the teaser offers, it looks better, less CGI…
  • [NaNoWriMo] "The Long Weekend" Day One

    Josh English
    1 Nov 2014 | 6:13 pm
    A couple of weeks ago we visited my sister-in-law at her college and we hit the colleg bookstore, as we do in our family. There I discovered a "new" book by Dashiell Hammet: The Return of the Thin Man. It contains the stories Hammet wrote for the first two sequels to the first Thin Man movie. Because it is a treatment for a movie script, it is "tight" writing and it is written in present tense omniscient.As I decided only Thursday what style of story to write, and that was based on Nick and Nora while using my established characters of Murdock Collins and Jordon Li, I…
  • [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…
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    The official home page of author Eric Flint

  • Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 21

    Drak Bibliophile
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 21 He sat back and let the delegates argue, confident that he had scored a point. Self-interest and avarice focused minds wonderfully. It was also understood that vested interests in Brasilia would hardly welcome the breaking of their cozy trade cartels so some degree of political rupture with the Homeworld was inevitable. Buller ranted for some time on his favorite subject, the injustice caused by preferment of inbred Brasilian aristocratic half-wits blocking the rightful rise of those who deserved advancement due to superior ability. Many of the delegates…
  • Spell Blind – Snippet 21

    Drak Bibliophile
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Spell Blind – Snippet 21 “I hardly said anything.” “Yeah, well, I guess I noticed that.” “I think you must have been a pretty good cop.” She ran a hand through her hair once more. She seemed to do that a lot. “I suppose the short answer to your question is that I wanted to get away from my dad.” I waited, knowing there was more. “He drank,” she went on. “A lot. And most times when he was drunk, he’d end up beating my mother.” “I’m sorry,” I said. Billie shrugged. “Mom eventually got up…
  • Polychrome – Chapter 27

    Drak Bibliophile
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Polychrome – Chapter 27 Chapter 27. I couldn’t help but grin as Pearl of Gilgad pulled up to the docks of Pingaree. In some ways it was exactly as I had pictured it; in others, it was far better. The pearl-fishing kingdom lay on an island, but one considerably larger and grander than Baum had depicted. Still, it was mostly low, with a sea of green palm trees running to the edge of brilliant white sand beaches, surrounded by a magnificent reef breached only in three places, where three small, swift rivers ran down to the sea. Dozens of ships and boats, ranging from sleek little…
  • Spell Blind – Snippet 20

    Drak Bibliophile
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Spell Blind – Snippet 20 “I was thinking about a walk in the desert.” She wrinkled her nose. “The desert?” “You’ve never taken a walk in the desert?” “Well, no. I mean, why would I?” I stared at her, shaking my head. “Amazing. Why did you come to Tempe if not for the desert?” “I came for a job,” she said. “An editing position at a publishing house. I stayed for the sunshine. But the desert . . .” She gave a shrug of her own. “I guess I’m kind of a city person. A Northeastern city…
  • Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 01

    Drak Bibliophile
    16 Dec 2014 | 9:00 pm
    Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 01 Chapter 1. Aran felt cold, cold inside, so cold that he was able to ignore his fear entirely. There is nothing to fear here, not now. For what I want and what It wants, they must be the same now. Even so, he had to steel himself to knock at the great stone and metal portal which was the Hall of Balance, the innermost area of the Justiciar’s Retreat… and the chosen quarters of their leader. He remembered the last time he had entered there, practically dragged by Shrike… “Enter, Condor.” The voice sent a new bolt of fear through…
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    Mad Libs

  • many a things are happening

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    12 Dec 2014 | 2:39 pm
    We had a Catastro-tree. We decorated it, then we made it fall over and things broke. Oddly, when you try to put things back on, the tree still looks a little rumpled and discombobulated. Only ornaments were hurt in the fall, however. Fur beasts and humans survived.I am no longer taking the drug the doc gave me to sleep. Was just more than my body could take. So now I’m trying a pill with a mix of melatnonin, gaba, and a couple of other things. It helps. I do wake up in the middle of the night. I understand that there’s a slow release melatonin and I wonder if that would be…
  • Dooby dooby dooo

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    3 Dec 2014 | 12:06 pm
    So I’m still having weird anxiety dreams, when I don’t have total insomnia. Last night there was a bad guy who was taking other people’s stuff (because they “owed” him) and storing it at our house (including a tractor, a massive travel trailer and so on. This was the house I grew up in on the ranch). One of his men took a liking to my son (not in that way) which helped us get away in the end. Somehow, a small pig got involved, as did another family and there were guns and threatening and the main thing I wake up with is that baby pigs can’t have their pens…
  • Doobey dooby dooo

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    3 Dec 2014 | 12:05 pm
    So I’m still having weird anxiety dreams, when I don’t have total insomnia. Last night there was a bad guy who was taking other people’s stuff (because they “owed” him) and storing it at our house (including a tractor, a massive travel trailer and so on. This was the house I grew up in on the ranch). One of his men took a liking to my son (not in that way) which helped us get away in the end. Somehow, a small pig got involved, as did another family and there were guns and threatening and the main thing I wake up with is that baby pigs can’t have their pens…
  • in way over my head anxiety dream

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    29 Nov 2014 | 12:06 pm
    I had a dream last night that demonstrated to me that while I’ve been doing a hell of a job postponing my oh-shit-I’m-in-serious-trouble moments, my unconscious has decided to let me know that indeed, the shit heading for the fan has not gone unnoticed. So apparently I was in a hotel with my husband and kids. At some point I needed to do laundry. Got it done, but couldn’t collect it til the next day. Also, my husband ended up going somewhere and I spent the night alone in an outhouse–I do not know why. When I got up to get dressed, I had no underwear. I went to fetch…
  • In the mood

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    25 Nov 2014 | 11:53 pm
    I’m in the mood to bake. I have been for awhile, but I’m actually getting off my ass to try some stuff out. Today I made upside down cranberry cake. I stupidly made it in a springform pan, which let a lot of juice leak out. But it was still tremendously good. I love the tartness of the berries. Is there any such thing as Cranberry jelly? Because I’m thinking I want to try to make some. I googled, and apparently jelly is usually cranberry sauce. So I’m going to have to experiment, methinks. Tomorrow I want to make some cranberry orange bread, and also some cinnamon…
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    SF writer Gary Gibson

  • Review of 2014: books, comics, films and some other random stuff

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

    Gary Gibson
    4 Nov 2014 | 1:18 am
    I've made some recent changes and acquisitions with regards to my daily working environment which I thought it might be worthwhile detailing. The keys on my two and a half year old Macbook have been getting progressively spongier-feeling and less responsive, until finally the 's' key in particular became very nearly inoperative over the last several weeks. Other keys felt like they were starting to go the same way. I could have got the keyboard replaced for the equivalent of about £150, which is not an unreasonable amount to spend on fixing or upgrading the machine on which your livelihood…
  • Cities of the Dead and NaNoWriMo

    Gary Gibson
    1 Nov 2014 | 10:19 pm
    The CemeteryBecause it was Halloween I decided to visit a local graveyard. Actually, no, that's bullshit. I was going to go there anyway and it wasn't until I got home it occurred to me that hey, it's Halloween. Fudekeng Cemetery sprawls over a couple of hills to the south-east of Taipei. Having until recently only seen it from a distance, its tombs had previously looked to me like upmarket houses rather than a place you'd put dead people, which probably doesn't say much for my powers of observation. One of the curiously futuristic things about Taiwan  is that they build on pretty…
  • I, For One, Welcome Our...etc etc

    Gary Gibson
    29 Oct 2014 | 8:39 pm
    Perhaps the one step you can take into a Jetsons future reality is acquiring your very own R2 unit robot hoover. I got one last week, to free myself from the horrible tyranny of doing the hoovering. Forever.I have a lot to thank the little fella for. Owning it allows me to engage in the sfnal future I expected, nay demanded as a child. Screw jetpacks: give me a robot slave that does the hoovering without having to be asked to do it any day. And when the robot uprising arrives and they haul me before a jury of wrecked bomb disposal units and pissed-off Asimo's demanding to know why I…
  • Adios, old bicycle. Hola, reborn bicycle.

    Gary Gibson
    29 Oct 2014 | 2:20 am
    Yes, it's another post about bicycles. So sue me.So anyway, I crashed my shiny new carbon bike back in June and I haven't had the heart to write about it until now.  The carbon frame, one gear, part of the chainset, all fucked: my front wheel all bent out of shape.Given I only had the fucking thing about six months, this was, shall we say, not a good feeling.But these things happen. And the more you cycle, and the farther you go, the more likely it is to happen eventually. Fear not, however: for since the accident, my bicycle has returned, phoenix-like, with new or repaired components…
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    Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

  • dream a little dream of arrrrgh

    Laura Anne Gilman
    20 Dec 2014 | 10:10 am
    Had a dream last night that I'd met up with an old former-friend in an open-air bar somewhere (a city I was living in, but not one I recognized) and our bags were ransacked/stolen. I lost my wallet, my phone, my laptop, my keys... and my companion blamed me for it.  And when I went back to my apartment I had no way to contact the cops, so had to find one on the street.They were, as you can imagine, less than helpful/sympathetic, though they took my report word for word.Then I woke up, reassured myself that it was only a dream, went back to sleep, and had a dream where my laptop at…
  • multi-cultural leadership: you're doing it so very fucking wrong.

    Laura Anne Gilman
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:04 pm
    Springfield (MA) city councilor Bud Williams announced that “Jesus is the reason for the season” in the middle of a menorah lighting ceremony.And then proceeded to goysplain Jewish history to justify his statement.Protip: don’t do that.
  • On Adulting, like it or not (not).

    Laura Anne Gilman
    18 Dec 2014 | 3:25 pm
    I am - for 99.98% of what counts - a functional adult. I have adulting down to such a skill that nobody thinks of me as anything other than a competent (if occasionally goofy) adult.And that’s how I like it. Because owning my own shit, the good and the bad, is important. Took me a few years of therapy to get there, but I got there.But some days? Some days, I really want to hand life - all the adulting shit - over to someone else and say “you take care of this, I can’t deal.”*looks around*Yeah. Doesn’t work that way for most of us, no. Dealing’s what’s…
  • Live in the EU? Like e-reading?

    Laura Anne Gilman
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:08 am
    A reminder for everyone in the EU - if you've been thinking about buying an ebook that's already out, you might want to do it NOW, before the new VAT regulations force the prices to go up.Because prices WILL go up (we've already gotten emails confirming this from Amazon, et al that they're passing the increase directly along to the consumers. So thank your governments for that).So, if you want to pick up copies of MILES TO GO and PROMISES TO KEEP, or FROM WHENCE YOU CAME, one of our anthologies, or even Practical Meerkat's 52 Bits of Useful Advice.... now would be the time…
  • Things that should not be so funny but are, part the next (feline division)

    Laura Anne Gilman
    16 Dec 2014 | 8:16 pm
    Things I had forgotten:for all their lives, the Kitten of Thursday and Boomer have been apartment cats. To them, the washer and dryer are things that live Elsewhere.Not so, here.Things I learned:While the washer sounds a lot like the dishwasher, and so is mildly interesting but not terribly disturbing, the dryer is.... well.Stage One: WHATTHEFUCKMOMWHATTHEFUCKISTHAT? starting nervously and hiding behind my legs.Stage Two: ....cautious, crouched staring from a safe distance.Stage Three: we have not been eaten, therefore we are ignoring it utterly.Stage Four, when the buzzer goes off:…
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  • Advice to a new novelist: be hardcore

    Shannon Hale
    15 Dec 2014 | 10:14 am
    Good morning! I got an email from a friend asking for advice on behalf of his niece, who has written a novel but can't find an agent. As I get these sorts of questions a lot I thought I'd answer here and get my Monday post done! Two birds! One stone! The niece has sent her ms to various agents and heard the same reply: they admire the writing but the market is saturated with dystopian literature so they pass. First, niece my friend, this happens ALL THE TIME. Perhaps that's a comfort to you? To hear that you're not alone? Example: Harry Potter came out, was a huge success,…
  • The myth of the innocent victim

    Shannon Hale
    8 Dec 2014 | 9:40 am
    There's an old story I've heard retold many times. The Christmas oranges. Does everyone know it? An orphanage, Christmas, unjust mistress. Every Christmas the poor orphans get one precious orange. It's what they look forward to most, and spend all Christmas day smelling it, holding it, savoring and anticipating sometimes for days before peeling and at last eating it. One Christmas, an orphan is denied his orange as punishment for a mild infraction (in some tellings, he sneaks out of bed at night to peek at the Christmas tree). Christmas morning, since he didn't get an…
  • Boys and the Princess in Black

    Shannon Hale
    1 Dec 2014 | 9:58 am
    Twinkle Twinkle Little SMASH! The Princess in Black is off to an amazing start. It's currently on the New York Times best seller list and was named a Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year (see me and Dean in a short video interview) and an Amazon Best Book. We've been overwhelmed by parents reporting that it's become a favorite book at their house, with some precious children sleeping with it hugged to their chest. Yes, that sound you hear is me choking up. I recently signed about 60 copies of the book for people in my neighborhood, which was a lovely experience. However, I…
  • Do authors put in symbols and stuff?

    Shannon Hale
    28 Nov 2014 | 8:42 am
    Mette Ivie Harrison's tumblr post: My teenage niece asked me about her high school English teacher who had been teaching her students to find symbols in novels and poetry. Since I am an author, she wanted to know if I really put that stuff in there on purpose or if her teacher (as she suspected) was making it up. It seemed hard to believe that it was real. I told her that 1. It doesn’t matter if the author puts that stuff in on purpose. It can still be there. The work of the author is often to let the unconscious speak, and the author does not always control how the unconscious forms…
  • Four white women talk about race

    Shannon Hale
    25 Nov 2014 | 10:01 am
    About thirteen years ago, I was on a work trip with several colleagues when we heard the news of police shooting an unarmed Black man (one of many such incidents in this country's history). The four of us (all white women) talked about this. Three of us felt sick by it and confused too, which I think is a sign of our privilege. Feeling confused and surprised by evidence of racism is the luxury of those who don't have to deal with it every day. The fourth woman, who I liked and admired generally, said something I haven't been able to forget: "Well, maybe the police had…
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    the m john harrison blog

  • lit up from within

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:15 pm
    A Christmas farrago from The Course of the Heart, soon to be in print again– “In that part of Warwickshire the winter copses seem to hang forever in the moment of darkening against a pale blue sky–as if it will take forever for night to fall–in a gesture so perfect there will never need to be another day. Medieval strip-fields, Tudor gateposts; narrow lanes and banks choked with ivy awash in horizontal light; yew berries, waxy and tubular, somehow lit up from within so that they look like fairy lights in the gathering dusk: even without snow this is a landscape…
  • curiouser & curiouser

    19 Dec 2014 | 1:29 am
    Poor souls blundered helplessly around in the remains of their lives in the atrium of Manchester John Rylands Library yesterday evening. It was a curious tale, indeed two of them. The Rylands would be a fantastic place to read anything, let alone a ghost story. Spotted in the audience: John Coulthart & the fabled Michael Butterworth. Nick Royle took this picture in the modern annexe afterwards–Left to right: Alison Moore, Tom Fletcher, Beth Ward & AN Other. Curious Tales: Poor Souls’ Light.
  • christmas card to the labour party

    17 Dec 2014 | 1:26 am
    My parents & grandparents lived in fear. They lived in fear of illnesses we don’t even remember. They lived in fear of illness despite the NHS because they had lived without the NHS. My parents and grandparents lived in fear of losing their livelihoods. They lived in fear of old age, even after pensions came in, because they remembered the time before state pensions. My parents and grandparents lived with fear all their lives, either inside the social and economic systems David Cameron is bringing back daily or in the memory of living inside the social systems David Cameron is…
  • 17 Dec 2014 | 12:39 am

    17 Dec 2014 | 12:39 am
    M. John Harrison, ‘The 4th Domain’. A potent distillation of Harrison’s bleakly compelling corpus. There are sardonic references to Borges, seedy séances in a house by a graveyard, intimations of ancient lost civilizations, shattered lives, blood, and forbidden lore. Like the Thames at East Sheen, it has a surface scum that glisters deceptively, but dark currents lie beneath. Harrison achieves in this short story what, for most, would take an entire novel. —Timothy Jarvis at The Weird Fiction Review.
  • love & perspective

    16 Dec 2014 | 10:02 am
    I’ve spent the whole day writing about Love for Lydia, and now I wonder why. Bates isn’t a writer anyone’s much interested in any more. Love for Lydia‘s not even his best work. I start out adoring it and end up angry with myself for being pulled in. A bit like Richardson himself, I suppose. It was published in the early 1950s, when I was a child in Warwickshire, and it seems to catch that time better than it catches the time it’s set in. This post, Lost Worlds, from four years ago, suggests I’m picking up on that: …when I began to read HE Bates, my…
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    People are strange, when you're a stranger . . .

  • Gray again

    20 Dec 2014 | 6:45 am
    Started out with clear sky, crows and thin crescent moon before dawn.  Air temperature 15 F for the newspaper walk, wind N at 5 - 10 mph.  We have since clouded over.Our household shall be thrown into disarray shortly, with the arrival of Visitor.  Chaos for a week, plus.  'Tis the season . . .
  • Who'd of thought it?

    19 Dec 2014 | 6:47 pm
    There are actually stars in the sky.  I saw them.
  • 19 Dec 2014 | 5:47 pm

    19 Dec 2014 | 5:47 pm
    Famous strategy -- that didn't work, let's try more of it!
  • The scientific method

    19 Dec 2014 | 5:39 am
  • Darkness

    19 Dec 2014 | 5:03 am
    I sure hope that people will perform all the proper sacrifices to make the sun come back.  We're creeping up on the longest night of the year, and go directly from twilight to twilight with an interval of gray between.  Or maybe that's just me.Air temperature 28 F, cloudy, wind WNW about 7 mph.  Did not slip on the ice, walking for the newspaper.
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    Jim C. Hines

  • Three Weeks to Unbound

    Jim C. Hines
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:03 pm
    It’s three weeks until Unbound [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] comes out. This is the time I’d normally switch into higher gear with giveaways and other promotional stuff. Unfortunately, my son’s cold is kicking my butt, and holiday preparation is eating up the remaining energy. So instead, I leave you with what could be considered a tantalizing hint, a piece of the research I did while writing the book, a glimpse into the inner workings of the culmination of three books!!! Or maybe it’s just a random bit of letters and doodling I’m posting because I’m too…
  • Book Reviews: Clines, Rothfuss, and Hearne

    Jim C. Hines
    15 Dec 2014 | 6:31 am
    I’m falling behind in my book reviewing, so I’m going to cram a few together in one blog post. Book the first: Ex-Heroes [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound], by Peter Clines. This is basically a post-apocalyptic zombie book with superheroes, which is an interesting premise. As powerful as the heroes are, they’re not invulnerable, and they’re vastly outnumbered. They’ve established a stronghold called The Mount, in the ruins of Hollywood, where they scavenge for supplies and do their best to protect their citizens from the exes (ex-humans), as well as a street gang…
  • Cool Stuff Friday

    Jim C. Hines
    12 Dec 2014 | 5:54 am
    Friday is unimpressed with the broadsword-style lightsaber, and plans to continue using the sansetsukon-style lightsaber instead. NASA’s Orion EFT-1, in LEGO. Fighting Robots Contest for Intentionally Crappy Robots. For example, one robot just shakes a packet of powdered soup at its opponents. Baby + French Bulldog Puppies = ALL THE CUTENESS! 21 Bunny Reactions for Everyday Situations. Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • December Newsletter

    Jim C. Hines
    10 Dec 2014 | 6:11 am
    Klud the goblin has sent out another Update from the Goblin Lair, with news on forthcoming books and appearances, as well as an offer to anyone who might be giving one of my books as a gift for the holidays. Updates from the Goblin Lair: December 2014 I, on the other hand, have spent the past few days balancing work, revisions for the Secret Project of Doom, and taking care of a sick boy.  (Though he wasn’t too sick to play LEGO Batman 2 with Dad, so that’s good!) Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • It’s Spider Goddess Day!

    Jim C. Hines
    2 Dec 2014 | 6:43 am
    The Prosekiller Chronicles: Rise of the Spider Goddess (An Annotated Novel) is out today in print and electronic format! This is a little different from my other books, but the urge to Kermit-flail and run around telling everyone to BUY MY BOOK while simultaneously clicking to refresh my Amazon ranking every seven seconds is unchanged. I’m starting to think authors should simply be tied up like Odysseus when our books come out… Summary: In 2006, DAW Books published Jim C. Hines’ debut novel Goblin Quest. But before Jig the goblin, before fairy tale princesses and magic…
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    When You Stop Believing in It, It Doesn't Go Away

  • 2014 Writing Recap

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

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

    Alexander Irvine
    25 Nov 2014 | 5:45 am
    Dear [Elected Representative],This letter is a call for congressional action to mandate that every police officer in this nation be outfitted with body cameras. Further, I call for the disabling or loss of those cameras to be made an actionable offense. Outfitting officers with cameras will provide a powerful disincentive for rogue behavior and also make citizens aware that their interactions with police are being recorded. When all parties are on video, situations are much less likely to escalate to the point of violence.In those jurisdictions where officers already wear cameras, both police…
  • Ursula K. Le Guin's Speech at the NBA Ceremony

    Alexander Irvine
    20 Nov 2014 | 11:36 am
    I know I already talked about this, but if you are a writer or a reader or someone who has any interest in American arts and culture, you really should watch this speech.
  • The Luxury of a Messy First Draft

    Alexander Irvine
    9 Nov 2014 | 9:25 pm
    One of the things I have occasion to think about, a lot and in great depth (or at least the kind of focus that one hopes will result in great depth), is the difference between working on original and licensed fiction. I do a great deal of the latter, and enjoy it; I do not very much of the former, and would enjoy doing more.Today I took an afternoon and sat with a pen and notebook working on a novel, all mine mine mine--and during the course of that work I started thinking about a signal difference in the composition process of a licensed novel when compared to an original novel. With…
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    Nicholas Kaufmann's Journal

  • What’s My Favorite Bit of DIE AND STAY DEAD?

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:21 am
    I’m Mary Robinette Kowal’s guest today on “My Favorite Bit,” talking about my latest novel Die and Stay Dead. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what your favorite bit is of something you wrote — it’s always easier to find the things you wish you could have done better or differently — but for this one I knew right away. I’m delighted that I got to talk about not just my novel, but also one of my favorite places in New York City. Here’s a snippet, which ties into my favorite scene in the novel: Back in 2011, I started doing my daily…
  • Dream Houses

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    16 Dec 2014 | 4:46 pm
    Dream Houses by Genevieve Valentine My rating: 5 of 5 stars A haunting and harrowing exploration of loneliness, madness, family, and survival in deep space. Valentine excels at writing convincing characters — especially ones that are deeply scarred in some way — and then putting them in compelling, often intense situations. With Amadis Reyes she has created one of her best characters yet. Amadis is a loner, albeit a reluctant one; she’s tough, but more fragile on the inside than she thinks; she has an encyclopedic knowledge of classical music but has no idea how to talk to…
  • Happy Hanukkah, Everybody!

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:31 am
    Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • The Scariest Part: Helen Marshall Talks About GIFTS FOR THE ONE WHO COMES AFTER

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    16 Dec 2014 | 3:03 am
    Welcome to this week’s installment of The Scariest Part, a recurring feature in which authors, comic book writers, filmmakers, and game creators tell us what scares them in their latest works of horror, dark fantasy, dark science fiction, and suspense. (If you’d like to be featured on The Scariest Part, please review the guidelines here.) I’m thrilled to have my good friend Helen Marshall as my guest. Her first collection, Hair Side, Flesh Side, blew me away, and her latest collection, Gifts for the One Who Comes After, looks to be just as amazing. Here is the publisher’s…
  • Olympia Has Come a Long Way to Become a Lap Cat…

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    13 Dec 2014 | 6:09 pm
    Here she is on Alexa’s lap! Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
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    Dear Sweet Filthy World

  • "Mama, there's wolves in the house."

    20 Dec 2014 | 8:21 am
    Cloudy. It seems it's almost always cloudy here. I'm about 141 miles from home, were I a thing with wings. Being only a thing with an automobile, I'm more like 196 miles from home. I'm far from home, sitting in the lee of a magnificent mountain, in a lovely forest, and all I can do is sit here and type. It's a loathsome affair, what my life has become.Determined to find THE END to Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird, I managed five pages yesterday (8, 9, 10, 11, and 12) on #4. I mean to do that again today, and the day after, and every damn day until this is finished.The day we arrived…
  • "...that would rise above the mountains and the stars and the sea."

    19 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    So, the tooth that broke back in the late winter (or early spring) broke a bit more during dinner last night. Because, no, I haven't had it attended to, because that's just how fucking stupid I am. I won't get into the obscenely sensitive gag reflex that makes dentistry a nightmare for me. So, this may finally force me to deal with the disaster area that is my teeth. There goes a small fortune that I don't have.Meanwhile, I will likely try to survive on potato soup.Yesterday, I sent the revised version of Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird #3 to my editor at Dark Horse, and I got back…
  • "And once you're gone, you can't come back."

    18 Dec 2014 | 8:24 am
    A wind is roaring down from the mountains, from Indian Head and Plattekill, dragging itself over and through the trees. I lay awake last night listening to it, thinking of Algernon Blackwood:What might have happened in the next minute or two one may speculate about, yet never definitely know, for in the instant of profound silence that followed Hank's roaring voice, and as though in answer to it, something went past through the darkness of the sky overhead at terrific speed—something of necessity very large, for it displaced much air, while down between the trees there fell a faint and…
  • "At night I wake up with the sheets soaking wet, and a freight train running through the middle..."

    17 Dec 2014 | 8:34 am
    So, on Monday we drove back to Providence (I almost wrote Birmingham; make of that what you will) to attend to various matters that needed our attention (the bank, mail, pharmacy, cats, etc.), and yesterday we drove back to Woodstock. We'll be staying on in the guest house at Neil's until after Xmas, probably until the 27th. The trip is about four hours each way, and there's a stretch in western Massachusetts, in the Taconic Mountains, that was blanketed in snow and heavy fog, both days. Beautiful, those snow covered forests, the drooping spruce branches and stark grey birches. I'd like the…
  • The View from Cooper Lake

    14 Dec 2014 | 10:32 am
    I'd like to make this brief. I don't know if I will. Kathryn and I planned to get out of the cabin today and see some of the surrounding countryside, which - between visiting film directors, inclement weather, and my work - we've hardly done. The weather today is still a bit inclement. More sun was promised, but I'm seeing precious little of it thus far.Yesterday I wrote one script page for Alabaster: The Good, the Bad, and the Bird, then finally allowed myself to accept what had been obvious for perhaps two weeks, perhaps as far back as the day I completed #3: there's a crisis, and I have to…
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    Mindy Klasky - Virtual Cocktails

  • Mourning Meg Patterson

    Mindy Klasky
    1 Dec 2014 | 7:45 am
    Yesterday morning, I learned via Facebook that Meg Patterson died.  I first met Meg over thirty years ago.  I hadn’t seen her in twenty-five years.  And yet, her death (from metastatic breast cancer) still shocked and surprised me. I met Meg my freshman year of college, at an informational meeting hosted by Princeton’s Program of Theater and Dance.  Meg was directing David Rudkin’s play ASHES (about a couple’s attempts to bring a child into their family.)  She needed a stage manager, and I’d stage managed plays in high school.  In short order, Meg had…
  • Why Retreat When You Can Write Full Time?

    Mindy Klasky
    24 Nov 2014 | 6:13 am
    Last week, I drove two hours north to the Pennsylvania woods, where I rented a cabin with Maria V. Snyder for a week-long writing retreat. I suspect some of you are wondering why I’d do something crazy like that.  I mean, I have the luxury (and the responsibility) of writing full time.  Why spend a total of four hours in the car to go to a place where I need to carry in bedding and pots and pans and food, all to write, just like I write at home?  (For reference, I’ve written an article about writing retreats — how to set them up and why do do them — here.) Short…
  • Not Dead Yet

    Mindy Klasky
    14 Nov 2014 | 6:59 am
    Not dead.  Not carried off by the camelback crickets that insist on taking refuge on the ground level of our home (and some of them are HUGE this year!) Not king yet. But, um, where did the past ten days go? Let’s see… We had houseguests visiting from Canada — the charming Julie Czerneda (in the midst of her book launch tour for A PLAY OF SHADOW) and her husband, Roger.  They arrived with flavored coffees (blueberry! maple!) in hand and a ***gorgeous*** matted photograph of a unicorn ice sculpture, taken by Roger himself.  We enjoyed long conversations about writing,…
  • In the End, It’s ALWAYS RIGHT!

    Mindy Klasky
    4 Nov 2014 | 3:00 am
    Sigh.  The World Series is over, and there’s no baseball to watch on television (until spring training starts — in five short months!)  I knew I’d be mourning the end of the season (even if I couldn’t predict how early my poor Nationals would have been out of the running…) And so, way, way back, when I first started planning the Diamond Brides Series, I knew the last launch would come shortly after the Series wound up.  One last jolt of baseball for the year…  One last visit with the team — the Raleigh Rockets — we’ve come to know so…
  • My Own Private World Series

    Mindy Klasky
    21 Oct 2014 | 10:46 am
    So, the World Series starts tonight.  I’m still mourning the fact that my Washington Nationals aren’t in it (although I’m relieved that I don’t have to juggle watching the Series with attending the Novelists, Inc. conference that starts tomorrow!) I’m marking the Series in my own special way — with the publication of more Diamond Brides books!  First up — TRIPLE PLAY II, the omnibus (three-in-one) collection of the middle three Diamond Brides novels. Here’s what you get: Second Thoughts: In an unexpected reunion, career-driven second baseman…
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    Mary Robinette Kowal

  • My Favorite Bit: Nicholas Kaufmann talks about DIE AND STAY DEAD

    Beth Bernier
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Nicholas Kaufmann is joining us today with his novel Die and Stay Dead. Here’s the publisher’s description. In this pulse­pounding sequel to Dying Is My Business, Trent, a man who can’t stay dead or retain his memories, tries to uncover his connection to a deadly doomsday cult bent on destroying NYC. A brutal murder in Greenwich Village puts Trent and the Five-Pointed Star on the trail of Erickson Arkwright, the last surviving member of a doomsday cult. Back in the day, the Aeternis Tenebris cult thought the world would end on New Year’s Eve of 2000. When it…
  • My Favorite Bit: Beth Bernier Pratt talks about STORAGE WORLD

    Beth Bernier
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Beth Bernier Pratt is joining us today with her anthology Storage World. Here’s the publisher’s description. Most storage units hold furniture, books, clothes, and all manner of junk, old and new. The Braxton family’s Storage World provides all that plus storage for … a different kind of goods. Behind the doors of Storage World one can find things magical, mythical, fantastic, and terrifying. In this collection of stories by Albuquerque’s Cyberscribes writers group, the dark emanations from the weird things stored behind Storage World’s carefully guarded doors reach out…
  • Chapter 15 of GHOST TALKERS is up.

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    10 Dec 2014 | 8:30 pm
    I am hoping that this picture of Sadie’s fluffy little paws will induce you to forgive me for the long delay between the cliffhanger of Chapter 14 and posting Chapter 15.  I’ve been recording audio books and going through the copy-edits for Of Noble Family. Things they don’t tell you when you sign up for this writer gig is that you have to pay attention to more than one book at a time. The post Chapter 15 of GHOST TALKERS is up. appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • Protected: Ghost Talkers: 15

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    10 Dec 2014 | 8:26 pm
    This entry is part 15 of 15 in the series Ghost Talkers draft This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below: Password: The post Protected: Ghost Talkers: 15 appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • My Favorite Bit: Jonathan L. Ferrara talks about THE GUARDIANS OF SIN

    Beth Bernier
    9 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Jonathan L. Ferrara is joining us today with his novel The Guardians of Sin. Here’s the publisher’s description. Seven deadly sins have been unleashed, and the only one who can defeat them is the boy who set them free. Nicholas Blackwell has no idea he is supposed to fulfill a destiny. All he knows is that he draws trouble like a magnet. Orphaned at seven when two demonic men killed his parents, he copes with the strict rules of his new home, St. Christopher’s academy, unaware that he has been the real target for the killers and that his guardian angel has saved him in the nick…
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    Among Amid While

  • The new national Book Council—get angry, get typing

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

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

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

  • So-called Writing Facts

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

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

  • Holidays have you stressed out?

    16 Dec 2014 | 6:33 am
    Some science-and-technology-centric items to make you smile ...New Age stress reliefLet's begin with the "2014 Holiday Gift Guide: IEEE Spectrum's annual roundup of gifts for techies." It's not intentionally funny, but a few of these items are, IMO, a bit over the top. Thermal smart-phone camera? Smart-phone-controlled personal drone? For the techie who has darn near everything and too much time on his/her hands.Still stressed? Then check out "10 Science Jokes for Nerds." How many of them did you get?From the Onion and the labs of Pepsico, "Pepsi Testing ‘Dewitos,’ Doritos-Flavored…
  • InterstellarNet redux

    8 Dec 2014 | 9:40 am
    Before the big news, some context and introspection ... Return with me to 1999. Salaried, professional day job or self-employed author? That wasn't a decision to be made lightly! I had long enjoyed writing as a hobby, and had had some success with it, but how would I like writing full-time? Would what I wrote sell? Techie that I am, I needed data. And so, as an experiment, I went on sabbatical. In 2001 I returned to a day job -- at which point I knew I'd rather write. I've been writing full-time since mid-2004.I spent much of my sabbatical dreaming up the InterstellarNet: its technologies,…
  • Books to savor, 2014 edition

    2 Dec 2014 | 6:16 am
    I read a lot. Sometimes it's research for my own writing. Sometimes it's as competitive analysis (re-plowing the same ground as other recent books -- except, apparently, where vampires are involved -- isn't the easiest way to sell one's own works). Many evenings, it's for relaxation. Sometimes it's for two or all three reasons. If I finish a book, it has -- at the least -- been useful.This post is limited to the handful of books I read in 2014 (which isn't to say they were all written this year) that rose beyond "useful" and even "memorable" to "I remember this fondly and can well imagine…
  • Buy a Book Saturday (and Sunday, and ...)

    25 Nov 2014 | 6:31 am
    (Updated November 29, 2014) Woohoo! Thanksgiving is upon us! Turkey. Stuffing. Cranberry sauce. Pie. Repeat.  And every bit as traditional, shopping. Me, I'd just as soon that commerce wait till after Thanksgiving Day. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are surely soon enough to start. Between those two now-iconic shopping days comes the recent innovation of Small Business Saturday, meant to encourage holiday purchases that support merchants in one's own neighborhood.Beginning in 2010 (Buy a Book Saturday), I've allocated at least a part of a post each year at this time to supporting a…
  • Genre-ally speaking

    18 Nov 2014 | 6:44 am
    So, what's new in SF?First off, what's old is new again. By most rankings of such things, 2001: A Space Odyssey is among the greatest SF films ever. Its trailer? Not so much -- but that's being fixed. Over at Entertainment Weekly, check out "See the new trailer for '2001: A Space Odyssey,' 46 years after its release." What rankings, you ask? Here's one. Forbes (of all unlikely venues), in response to the recent big-screen release of Interstellar, offers, "Top 10 Best Space Travel Films Of All Time."I've yet to see Interstellar and -- especially after the scientific travesty that was…
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    The Days Are Just Packed

  • Kate's progress

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:09 pm
    Kate has now been home from the hospital for two weeks. She's getting stronger, her balance is better, and the swelling and bruises are fading. The aphasia, unfortunately, is worse, which is very frustrating for everyone. We've re-started the steroid that was tapered off after the surgery, which should reduce swelling in her brain and bring her words back. Based on earlier experience it should take a few days to a week to have an effect.We have met with the medical and radiation oncologists and Kate will be starting both radiation and chemo on Monday December 22nd. The radiation will be a…
  • Can you identify this song?

    10 Dec 2014 | 8:57 am
    Ever since the surgery, Kate has been troubled by a never-ending persistent earworm on a short loop. We are now trying to identify the song, in hopes that hearing the whole thing might help to break the cycle.It's a pop song from maybe 5-8 years ago. It has two male vocalists. One is singing, or perhaps chanting, in English; the other is singing, or perhaps chanting, in a "whiny kind of wail" in some indigenous language. The indigenous guy is, she thinks, some kind of sample or anthropological recording and there might have been some kind of controversy a while ago about the rights to it. The…
  • Me on The Librarians

    9 Dec 2014 | 8:36 am
    Back in April, my car (actually Kate's car) and I got a call from the extras agency for the new TNT show The Librarians, to work as background for a street scene in "Washington DC" (the Capitol in the first shot below was digitally inserted). I'm pleased to say that the one scene I worked appeared in the premiere episode -- you can see me at about 6:53.I thought the show as a whole was cheesy fun, but I don't know if I'll be watching the series.
  • Home from the Hospital

    8 Dec 2014 | 7:37 pm
    We came home from the hospital on Thursday and have been mostly trying to catch up on our sleep since then. Thank you all for the good wishes/support/meals/cards [cookies!] you have sent. Om nom nom, really truly.  Kate is very tired and has difficulty communicating, but she is improving every day. She got out of the ICU and then home from the hospital more quickly than anticipated, a very positive sign. Her sister Sue left this weekend, but will be back later this week. We will be meeting with various doctors in the coming week, and will know more about our schedule going forward after…
  • Update on Kate

    4 Dec 2014 | 8:47 am
    Kate is out of the ICU and into a normal room. She is recovering quite well from the surgery and we anticipate that we will be going home today.We got the histology report on the mass and it is a malignant tumor. We have met with two oncologists and the treatment plan under consideration involves both radiation and chemotherapy. We will be needing lots of love and support over the next six months or so, especially meals, transportation, chores, and logistics. Please contact Bo O'Dell (youknowmeasbo at gmail dot com) if you can help.Please do one thing for me. Don't say "fuck cancer."
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    Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress

  • What Everyone's Been Saying about The Plot to Save Socrates - in 37 reviews

    19 Dec 2014 | 5:45 pm
     on 10 Perfect Summer Reads Authored by NYU Alumni list,  along with novels by Joseph Heller, Suzanne Collins, Candace Bushnell,  and Danielle SteelWhat they've been saying about The Plot to Save Socrates, since 2006 ..."...challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News"...a fun book to read" - Dallas Morning News"resonates with the current political climate . . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" - Brian Charles Clark,Curled Up With A Good Book at"a journey…
  • Thoughts about Sony's Scrapping The Interview

    18 Dec 2014 | 10:25 am
    Some thoughts about Sony's pulling The Interview not only from theaters, but any digital distribution, due to threats from the hackers -1. I wrote the other day that I wasn't too upset about the hacking of Sony emails that revealed racist exchanges, and the media's reporting on this.  I also said that hacking and release of financial and medical information was a different matter, and ought to be strongly condemned and investigated by the FBI.   Obviously, threats against theaters are far worse, and indeed constitute a kind of terrorism.2.  But theaters that refused to show The…
  • Ascension: Ups and Downs

    18 Dec 2014 | 12:50 am
    I thought the first part of the three-part Ascension was really good, until the very end.  I thought the very end of the third part was good, too.  And the rest, well, it had its moments, but was largely derivative and predictable.   Still, there was enough to enjoy in the entire three-part series to make it worth watching.The set-up for Part 1 was compelling, old-school science fiction.  An Orion starship is launched from Earth in the Kennedy years, in the early 1960s, and no one knows about it and its mission - which is to deliver a human crew, descendants of the…
  • Why I'm Not Too Upset about the Sony Hack

    16 Dec 2014 | 11:48 am
    Aaron Sorkin, among others, has been attacking the media for their reporting of the content of the Sony hacks - including, among other things, "an inappropriate and racially charged exchange" in private email between Sony producer Scott Rudin and Sony exec Amy Pascal.   To be clear, I think hacking is wrong, and release of private financial and medical information even worse.   But "racially charged" email, though understandably embarrassing to the emailers, surely falls under a newsworthy event that the public might want to know.  And, therefore, contra Sorkin,  the media…
  • Michael Burstein's review of "Loose Ends"

    16 Dec 2014 | 12:44 am
    The special one-day sale for "Loose Ends" has concluded.   As indicated in this little screenshot, the novella did quite well, and I thank everyone who downloaded it.But it's still selling for a reasonable price, and I thought, for those who might be interested, I would post Michael Burstein's Summer 1997 review of "Loose Ends" that appeared in Tangent magazine's SF by Starlight column.   Michael and I hadn't known each other all that long back then, but we went on to become good friends, and admirers of each other's writing, and Michael served as Secretary when I was President…
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    Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage »

  • I’m sick…but I STILL kicked Bashtyk Nokyd’s ass

    16 Dec 2014 | 11:15 am
    Tweet I couldn’t sleep last night because I couldn’t breathe last night. (Matt was sick for two weeks, the Kid has been sick for one, but is still sick—and now it’s my turn. So I sat up all night writing. I got 20 Sentences, which doesn’t seem like much until you realize that each Sentence is the condensed outline for one chapter, and that in one long sitting, I completely outlined the second version of Bashtyk Nokyd Takes The Longview. What is going to survive from the first version? The first line: As a gesture of rage and protest, I recently bought a pretty…
  • BASHTYK NOKYD takes a nosedive…

    8 Dec 2014 | 7:19 am
    Tweet There comes a point in every series where things go wrong. No. Let me make that a bit clearer. There comes a point in every series where things go “monster-jumps-out-of-your-closet-and-bites-your-head-off” wrong. I have met the monster, and it is Bashtyk Nokyd Takes The Longview. And here’s the thing. Even after you’re wandering around with your head chomped off, the series must go on. The Dark Side… I’m stalled. BAD. I have hit the wall and the wall has hit me—and the wall is in great shape. Lucky wall. The BRIGHT Side In How To Write A Series,…
  • The Indie Authors’ Advent Calendar? Brilliant!

    1 Dec 2014 | 12:30 pm
    Tweet I think both readers and writers will find this a simply brilliant idea. A group of writers has banded together to create a series fiction advent calendar. Each of the writers has done a series story, and different parts of it will be posted throughout the advent season. You go to the calendar, click the links as they become available, and read the part of each story as it goes live. It’s fun for readers, who get to read stories by writers they might not know yet. It’s great for the writers, who have a chance to connect with folks who might not have found them yet.
  • Interview with a school kid: HONEST answers on writing, school, and life

    26 Nov 2014 | 10:33 am
    Tweet I got the following email this morning. If you wouldn’t mind, I would like to ask a few questions about being an author. Why did you decide to be an author, instead of something like… A coach? What made you interested in being an author? Would you suggest to other people, that they should be an author? What books should I start reading? (I like fantasy, but I know to read other types too), (also, what are some of your favorite books to read?) What are some of the (more) important subjects in school, for being an author? It was from a school email address, which in general…
  • Passed 5000 words on Bashtyk Nokyd. Plus new snippet

    10 Nov 2014 | 11:04 am
    Tweet Last week was rough. Got fewer than three thousand words done TOTAL on the episode. Today started a little better. Got 2113 words for the day, and I like what I got. I also managed to get the Bashtyk Nokyd tracking bar up in the right sidebar, so if you’re so inclined, you can follow along on my progress even on days when I don’t do a word-count post in here. Here’s a tiny snippet from today’s work. NOTICE: This material is copyrighted, unchecked raw first draft, probably buggy. Please don’t post typos or corrections (I do my edits at the end of the first draft…
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    Nick Mamatas

  • Bill The Galactic Hero

    19 Dec 2014 | 12:52 am
    I normally don't bother with Kickstarters, for a few reasons. I really don't consume that much stuff, especially not chintzy anthologies, role-playing game materials, video games, or other stuff that I see promoted across social media. (Maybe I need to follow a better class of people on social media?) But I was interested in this project: Alex Cox directing Bill the Galactic Hero with film students as cast and crew. Cox has been doing microbudget features for years—they're like extended, radical SNL skits, but funny. Bill is no exception.It's hard to make a film with $150,000, especially…
  • You don't get to be a fancy ladyblogger by writing a lot of checks...

    16 Dec 2014 | 8:33 pm
    Update: Roxane Gay says the contracts will be revised:All, we are going to post a response later this afternoon. The Toast/Butter contracts will be revised.— Sugah Daddy (@rgay) December 17, 2014And indeed, the contracts will be revised. Flawless Victory.The original story, below:A few weeks ago, a former student of mine contacted me to ask my thoughts on a contract, specifically a contract for The Butter, which is the new literary sister site to The Toast. The contract had issues—specifically a claim on the copyright and associated moral rights for the story, for the sum of $50.00.
  • Five Books I Loved This Year

    14 Dec 2014 | 10:10 pm
    Here are five of my favorite books of the year. Note: these are books I read this year, not books that were released this year. A list of 2014 titles I loved would have to include Next To Nothing, Keith Banner's collection of realist stories with working-class and gay themes (reviewed here), Cara Hoffman's Be Safe I Love You, William Boyle's Gravesend (reviewed here) and Michael Kazepis's Long Lost Dog of It (reviewed here). I liked Dog so much that I sent a copy to Long Lost Australian Cousin Anthony to try to get him to make a film of it. Those last two are published by Broken River Books,…
  • Under My Roof: The Movie

    12 Dec 2014 | 8:24 am
    The option for the film version of my 2007 novel Under My Roof has been realized. Principal photography begins next month. Test shots and script readings are happening now have been happening for about a month now.Bringing our the script to life with our part-time table readers #UnderMyRoof #excitingtimes— Tallgrass Pictures (@TallgrassFilms) November 14, 2014It's a fine Friday night for a test shoot of a big battle that's brewing #undermyroof— Tallgrass Pictures (@TallgrassFilms) December 6, 2014We pulled UMR from it…
  • And Now, Some Genetic Astrology

    11 Dec 2014 | 10:08 am
    You know those gene tests people take and use to declare themselves a Secret Asian or Native American after all? I took one. The shocking results:Scotland and Qatar, eh? Partially, it's a matter of genetic astrology, and partially it depends on what markers you look at.I know my background well enough that the results were going to be unusual, depending on what was checked. Check a few other things, and you end up with the hilarity of this exchange between Skip Gates and George Stephanopolous from a recent episode of the PBS show Finding Your Roots:AND FOR PEOPLE WITH GREEK ROOTS, THIS CAN BE…
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    Not A Blog

  • Sony and the Interview, Once More

    20 Dec 2014 | 10:04 am
    Discussions of North Korea, cyber war, the corporate cowardice of Sony Pictures, and THE INTERVIEW have been taking over the airwaves these past two days, and millions of words have been devoted to the issues.  I won't try to rehash them all here.The most important words, and the truest words, were those spoken by the big man, President Obama.I agree with everything the President said there.One of the most important bits, in my opinion, is toward the middle, where he talks about the chilling effect the cowardice of Sony and the big movie chains could have on other filmmakers going…
  • I Call It Craven

    18 Dec 2014 | 1:06 pm
    The cowardice is contagious, it would appear.In the comments to my last post, several of my readers suggested that we follow the lead of the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin and show TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE at the Cocteau, since Sony has wimped out and pulled THE INTERVIEW.It sounded like a great idea, so we took immediate steps to do so.Only to learn that Paramount has now decided to withdraw TEAM AMERICA: WORLD POLICE from exhibition.   We won't be allowed to show the film, and neither will Alamo, nor any of the other independent venues that wanted to use TA:WP to replace THE…
  • Corporate Cowardice

    17 Dec 2014 | 8:26 pm
     This one is surreal. In a stunning display of corporate cowardice, Regal, AMC, and  every other major theatre chain in the United States have cancelled their plans to show the new Seth Rogen/ James Franco comedy THE INTERVIEW, because of -- yes, seriously, this is not a SOUTH PARK sketch (though I expect it soon will be) --  threats from North Korea.Not familiar with THE INTERVIEW?  Here's the trailer: I mean, really?  REALLY??  These gigantic corporations, most of which could buy North Korea with pocket change, are declining to show a film because…
  • I'm Number Three....

    17 Dec 2014 | 7:23 pm
     ... again.First the HOLLYWOOD REPORTER named me the third most powerful writer in Hollywood.And now, yes indeed, Barbara Walters has included me as one of her Ten Most Fascinating People of 2014.  The third, actually.  Though I am not sure the order actually matters.LiveJournal is not letting me embed the video, for some reason, but for those of you who missed the show, here's a link: closely, and you can catch a glimpse of Parris, of Gardner Dozois, of various other…
  • Amazon Stocking Stuffers

    17 Dec 2014 | 6:59 pm
    Amazon is running a special "Stocking Stuffer" sale on selected items for the month of December.  10% off.The selected specials include the HEDGE KNIGHT and SWORN SWORD graphic novels from Jet City Comics.Go here for details.And happy shopping to all.
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  • For a limited time, WE LEAVE TOGETHER is only 2.99 on Kindle!

    19 Dec 2014 | 8:45 am
    I don't know how long this lasts, but I know it won't be very long, at all. Hop in while you still can, if you haven't already!
  • Happy birthday, little book

    17 Dec 2014 | 8:11 am
    STRAGGLETAGGLE is currently live at Barnes and Noble's website, Amazon, and Weightless Books. Everyone should go pick up a copy., independent books with failed kickstarters are going to have an uphill climb. Everything that helps the little book along, whether a review or a retweet, is much appreciated.I don't plan to be strictly indie from now on. I plan on being protean, and following my muse. Some project are more fun alone. Some are more fun with a team. I know I have been submitting my next book to publishers and…
  • Almost time...

    14 Dec 2014 | 5:41 am
    Copies showed up in the mail, and already have a destination when I get to the post office Tuesday. Honey didn't think it was worth waking up over. I mean, it isn't like this is my first novel, or anything. It should be old hat by now.
  • 12 Dec 2014 | 3:39 pm

    12 Dec 2014 | 3:39 pm
  • 12 Dec 2014 | 5:17 am

    12 Dec 2014 | 5:17 am
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    Robin McKinley

  • It’s only another placeholder

    18 Dec 2014 | 6:30 pm
      Okay, I’ve got some stories for you, but no time to tell them.  But as a placeholder you might find the email I just wrote to Worthy Charity #74,821,333 mildly entertaining: Your web designer is a MORON.  Please pass on my lack of respect.  In the first place, why is a title required?  Many people—myself included—prefer not to use one if we’re given the option.  Then, if the standard short list of titles your site provides does not apply and one is so foolhardy as to tick ‘other’, one is presented with a drop-down list of epic proportions, offering ever wilder…
  • A wide glittering variety of arrrrrrrgh

    13 Dec 2014 | 5:59 pm
      We’ve got three or four degrees of frost out there* AND THE FRELLING MONKS HAVEN’T TURNED THE FRELLING HEATING ON IN THEIR FRELLING CHAPEL. I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO COLD IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.** At least when you’re Street Pastoring you can, you know, fidget.*** Although the big problem with SPing in the COOOOOOLD is that you’re supposed to stroll, so you can catch people’s eyes and check for passed-out drunks in alleyways and things. The Street Pastor Amble. It’s a skill. I haven’t got it. When I walk slowly I tend to fall over. My sense of balance—which used to be pretty…
  • Another Monday* blah blah blah

    1 Dec 2014 | 6:49 pm
      I’ve fallen into the habit of spending some of Monday evening with Penelope and yarn.**  I usually try and feed the frelling-frelling argling-bargling hellhounds—and the perfect, adorable, food friendly hellterror—before I leave.  One of the things that sometimes works with the [muttermuttermutter] hellhounds is that if you get them STARTED and they think, oh, right, food, it’s not sooo bad . . . they will keep eating.  So I’m always on the lookout for dog-treat type things that might tempt them and are free of all the things they can’t have SIIIIGH.  There’s a…
  • Just a day like any other . . .

    28 Nov 2014 | 6:29 pm
      . . . only more annoying.  Thanksgiving in England.  Feh.  COMPUTERS.  GINORMOUS ERUPTING ARRRRRGH WITH LOTS OF BOILING LAVA.  And maybe a fire-god or two.  And Boadicea—she’s supposed to have flaming red hair, right?—and the scything knives on her chariot.*  What’s the computer version of a red-haired warrior queen with whizzing chopper blades on her war-chariot’s wheels and a really really bad attitude toward her overlords?  I NEED THIS.  WHATEVER IT IS.   I NEED IT BADLY.  I NEED IT NOW. Peter and I did manage to go out for dinner—I know, we should have been…
  • KES, 146

    22 Nov 2014 | 6:09 pm
    ONE FORTY SIX   “But we need her!” cried the big man with the bloody sword.  “I—we—cannot hold without her!”  The tall, scruffy, scrawny black dog beside him sat down, pointed her nose at the ceiling and howled.  “Indeed we are not holding!” continued the man.  He rubbed his hand over his face;  the palm came away wet.  Dispassionately he looked at the smears of blood and sweat.  He scraped his hand down his filthy leather cuisse.  He was so tired he could barely raise his sword;  he who had held the way single-handed against the enemy at Dree for near to two…
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    Notes from the Labyrinth

  • 3:10 to Yuma

    27 Nov 2014 | 10:54 am
    3:10 to Yuma (1957), dir. Delmer Daves, starring Glenn Ford and Van Heflin3:10 to Yuma (2007), dir. James Mangold, starring Russell Crowe and Christian BaleThis isn't a review (if it were, I'd say that the original is probably the better movie, but I enjoyed the remake more), but a post I'm making because I want to talk about storytelling.The basic story behind 3:10 to Yuma poses a hell of a challenge to a director and actors, because it requires two trajectories:(1) obvious and fairly easy, Dan Evans has to go from frustrated, desperate, and frankly pathetic failing rancher to the guy who…
  • The Goblin Emperor: typos?

    24 Nov 2014 | 12:13 pm
    I have the proofs for the mass market paperback of The Goblin Emperor. If you have noticed any typos in the hardback, now would be an absolutely SPLENDID time to let me know about them, since I need to turn my corrections in by December 2nd.Blessings upon all your heads.
  • UBC: Loerzel, Alchemy of Bones

    22 Nov 2014 | 8:18 am
    Alchemy of Bones: Chicago's Luetgert Murder Case of 1897 by Robert LoerzelMy rating: 5 of 5 starsThis is an excellent recounting of a very complicated piece of history: the disappearance of Louise Luetgert on May 1-2 1897, and the investigation, indictment, 2 trials, conviction, and imprisonment of her husband, Adolph Louis Luetgert, for murdering her and then dissolving her body in the basement of his sausage works. Loerzel does a great job with his sources, especially the newspapers (I was dubious at first about all the newspaper drawings he'd included, but he was right to do so; they…
  • Requiem for Prey

    20 Nov 2014 | 11:40 am
    REQUIEM FOR PREYby Sarah MonettePrey use the word "love" like it means something.He said he loved me. He asked if I loved him, too. I said I did, because I didn't want to argue. I just wanted to fuck.I pay for a mass for the dead because I don't know what else to do.I stand in the back of the church, cold, nervous, smelling fear and incense and mold. The priests are trying not to look at me. It's just me and them and two old, old ladies up in front.I told them to say the mass in Latin.They looked at me, the old priest and the young priest. Do you know Latin?It doesn't matter. I'm not…
  • 10 Nov 2014 | 2:41 pm

    10 Nov 2014 | 2:41 pm
    The Goblin Emperor has made it to the semifinals of Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Fantasy. (!!!)Also, I have turned on the Ask the Author thing on the Author Profile page, so if you want to ask a question about The Goblin Emperor, click and ask, and I'll do my best.
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  • Where I ride

    16 Dec 2014 | 8:41 am
    Last week (Monday the 7th)  I was riding the bike on the land, checking the wildlife waterers and doing some trail maintenance  while R- was digging postholes along the south fenceline where he's building fence.   As I came around one narrow, snug turn (around a big juniper and between others on the outside) on the way back, I miscalculated my speed, tried to brake too hard, and lost control--and fell hard enough to lie there several minutes thinking "That was stupid...It really hurts...and this bike lying on me is not helping."    Yesterday, I…
  • Torture

    12 Dec 2014 | 9:34 am
    Torture is wrong.  Period, end of sentence.  That's what I believed since I first knew what it was.  That's what I've believed in every subsequent situation that someone else has suggested might justify torture, including 9/11.  (Alan Dershowitz is a damn liar when he claims that "everybody" approved torture then.  No, they didn't.  He and his vicious friends did.  Not me.  Not my friends.  Not veterans I knew at the time.   Never.)Nothing justifies torture.   Torture is wrong.   The torture…
  • Apple Pot Pie

    11 Dec 2014 | 12:41 pm
    A One-Apple PieJust one apple?  Need two desserts?   A small casserole dish, one apple, one round of piecrust...sugar, cinnamon, and butter...makes a nice pie.  Half makes a substantial dessert.  Choose a tart crisp apple like Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady, etc.  Do not use typical "pie" apples like Cortland or Granny Smith.  One of the big Honeycrisps will be too big, but will make a good pie and just eat the leftover quarter or quarter and a half.   This little baking dish is a Le Creuset, cast iron with porcelain outside and in.
  • Thanksgiving

    27 Nov 2014 | 7:41 pm
    We were thankful for a beautiful morning, both for the beauty and for the weather that let friends drive safely from their homes to ours.We were thankful for our friends, who come from distant cities to share this meal, for having a place for them to come, for the bounty they bring of various foods, and for having food ourselves to share with them. This was the buffet table -- ham at one end, turkey at the other.  You can see steam rising from the turkey.  Two other dishes weren't on the table yet...setting out the food was still happening.  The gravy boats weren't out…
  • The Night Before

    26 Nov 2014 | 5:06 pm
    Thanksgiving is the one big feast I do...yes, there are other parties, but they're all more casual.   For Thanksgiving, I pull out all the stops in terms of table decorations and food.  (At my level, that is.  Others do much more.)   Ordinarily, the prep starts back in October and carries on in an orderly fashion.  This year, however, the discovery that my husband has another cancer (discovery made about two weeks ago) threw my prepartion for a loop.  That plus various things in the Outer Real World.However--though today has been a mad scramble and…
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    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • Up Early, So I Might As Well Write

    20 Dec 2014 | 5:33 am
    I've always been a lark.  I function best before normal people aren't even out of bed.  BUT, like most people, I have a natural biorhythm, one that usually does NOT involve getting up at 5:30 am.  Thanks to Mason's new school start time of 7:10 am, we all have to propel ourselves out of bed every day, just about (for me) a half-hour earlier than my body likes.Here it is the weekend, and I'm up before 8:00 am.  The cats were concerned when no one started moving around 5:30 am.  I mean, I could be mad at them, but how are they to know it's Saturday? They're thinking…
  • Early X-Mas Presents and a Hiatus

    16 Dec 2014 | 7:09 am
     I'm going to take a hiatus from posting Unjust Cause for the weeks around the holidays.  I'm focusing my energy on a big push to try to wrestle the Wayward School stuff into something resembling a novel that Rachel and I hope to have ready to sell as an e-book by MarsCON (March 6 -8, 2015).  It's a bigger project than I expected.  All the bits are there, of course, but novels read differently than serials, so there's work to be done....So my apologies for anyone who's waiting with baited breath for those installments.I've posted here already that Shawn got her Christmas…
  • More Unjust Cause

    9 Dec 2014 | 7:06 am
     It's Tuesday, so I've got some more Alex on tap for ya.  In this installment, now that Valentine is gone, Alex is feeling like a total failure as an adult.  As if on cue, Mac shows up to call her out to play with the wolves... "A Wolf at the Door."Today it shaping up to be a writing day.  Several weeks ago, on my way to Wyrdsmiths, the ice was slick and I slid very hard into the curb at a stop sign. Ever since then, to go straight, I've had to cock my steering wheel at a very sharp angle.  Even though the car has been drivable, I decided I should take it…
  • Waywardness Continues...

    5 Dec 2014 | 12:09 pm
     Wayward is just a fun word, isn't it? Anyway, there's a new installment of the School for Wayward Demons up, called "Magical In-Take Exams."  Go check it out.  As I think I MAY have mentioned here, I'm going to be one of the Guests of Honor at this next year (2015)'s MarsCON.  They're currently soliciting ideas, and I've been wracking my brains trying to come up with things I want to talk about.  It's weird, because this not usually an issue... me, having trouble rambling on about any old subject.  But, I guess the problem I'm having is, what do I…
  • Random Things

    4 Dec 2014 | 4:16 pm
    I may have one of the cuddliest cats in all the word: Ms. Ball.  I've had friendly cats in my life before, but this one will sit on me anywhere, anytime... actually preferably ALL THE TIME.  She's come up with a lovely way to wedge herself in that very warm space between the curl of my legs and where the computer is perched partly on the arm of the couch.  Last night she decided she needed to sleep on me at night too.  I'm not complaining, because, really, she's super cuddly.  But, it means that I had a very weird dream involving LITERALLY herding cats through an…
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    The Alien Next Door

  • Ursula K Le Guin Receives Lifetime Achievement Award at NBA

    Nina Munteanu
    23 Nov 2014 | 9:53 pm
    Neil Gaiman presents lifetime achievement award to Ursula K. Le Guin at 2014 National Book Awards from National Book Foundation on Vimeo. Ursula K. Le Guin first told her audience that she wanted to share her award with her fellow-fantasy and science fiction writers, who have for so long watched "the beautiful awards" like the one she'd just received, go to the "so-called realists". She then went on to say:"I think hard times are coming, when we will be wanting the voices of writers who can see alternatives to how we live now, and can see through our fear-stricken society and its obsessive…
  • Fly Like an Eagle Anthology

    Nina Munteanu
    21 Nov 2014 | 12:44 pm
    I just received my copies of Fly Like an Eagle today. I’m delighted, humbled and so impressed. Delighted that my article on “The First Snow” appears in it; humbled that mine is one of over twenty impressive real life stories of hope and inspiration from all over the world; and impressed with the stunning design, both inside and cover. Bravo, Gary!The anthology was compiled by Gary Doi with splendid inspirational artwork by celebrated artist Roy Henry Vickers. Design and layout was impeccably attended to, with each piece showcased in a unique way, relevant to its topic. “An eagle can…
  • Book Launch of The Literary Connection Volume I in Mississauga

    Nina Munteanu
    17 Nov 2014 | 5:25 pm
    The Literary Connection (Volume 1; IOWI), an Anthology of prose, & poetry, artwork and photography is launching on Sunday, November 23rd at 3-5 pm at the River Grove Community Centre (5800 River Grove Ave., Mississauga, Ontario).The event is Free and will serve refreshmentsPlease RSVP with numbers attending to:
  • Friends of Merril Short Story Contest Now Open

    Nina Munteanu
    14 Nov 2014 | 11:39 am
    Calling all speculative short fiction writers!Charlotte Ashley just informed me that The Friends of the Merril Short Story Contest is now open for submissions. Here are the guidelines:From now until February 15th, 2015 our readers will consider speculative short fiction up to 6000 words for the top prize of $500, with two honourable mentions of $50 available as well. After that, the long-listed stories will be passed to our panel of judges, who choose between them the three winners. We encourage multiple submissions, simultaneous submissions, strange submissions – well, for more…
  • Blogging and Social Media Workshop for Writers

    Nina Munteanu
    14 Nov 2014 | 11:17 am
    My November 9th workshop on Blogging & Social Media for Writers was held at the Mississauga Central Library. It was the second workshop in the “Telling My Story” workshop series conducted by Rise Up! Rise ABOVE (Ru!RA!), a not for profit organization dedicated to empowerment through creativity.The workshop navigated writers with differing levels of social media proficiency, exploring anything from the Twitter gospel of using hashtags (#) to why a blogger should also use Facebook. Writers from a wide range of genres were eager to learn and generated exuberant discussion. “When I…
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    the essential kit

  • look, i wrote a book

    20 Dec 2014 | 12:44 pm
    I have, a year late and after half a dozen false starts and tens of thousands of words thrown away, finally finished the 3rd book in the quartet I’m writing for my nephew. It is, I am pretty confident, utter shit, but Christ, at least it’s finished. That’s…three, I think. Books I’ve written this year. STONE’S THROE, which will be out–soon! January, maybe, for Kickstarter backers? March or April for everybody else? BEWITCHING BENEDICT, the Regency we’re shopping around, and now SKYMASTER. Also I have written pretty nearly half of MAGIC &…
  • christmas tins

    19 Dec 2014 | 7:34 am
    I made vanilla fudge, chocolate fudge, German nut tarts, Russian tea cakes, toffee, coconut joys and shortbread cookies for this year’s Christmas tins. Then I went to get the tins, and concluded I might have a Christmas Tin Problem problem: Seriously, I love buying Christmas tins. I’m always like YES MUST HAVE MORE! But to my considerable surprise, I filled all but four, and of those four, the train, although cool, isn’t appropriate for unwrapped treats. So I’ve been going around like the Christmas Fairy, handing out tins of goodies to a lot of very surprised people.
  • ethnic food!

    15 Dec 2014 | 9:12 am
    There’s an aisle at the local grocery store that is advertised as having Ethnic Food in it. Traditionally it was Indian and Chinese, and more recently, Mexican. But this week they have added AMERICAN Ethnic Food! Kraft mac&cheese! Canned pumpkin! Pop Tarts! CHEETOS!! I have never been so happy (and dismayed) as to see Cheetos on the shelf. :) We’re up to FIVE seedlings now. One is barely a speck of green curl in the dirt, but it’s there! And we only have eight planted, so more than half have sprouted! this is very exciting! Today is my older nephew’s 12th…
  • tiny seedlings

    12 Dec 2014 | 7:37 am
    Several weeks ago–early November, because I had to move the greenhouse for Thanksgiving–Young Indiana and I made a wee greenhouse of a deepish cardboard box lined with tinfoil. We filled several empty toilet paper rolls with dirt, propped the rolls in an egg carton, and tucked orange seeds into the tops. We’ve a string of Christmas lights in the box to create warmth, and a piece of saran wrap across the top to keep heat and moisture in. But our kitchen is Very Cold, and I thought that despite our efforts perhaps none of them would manage to sprout at all. But a couple of…
  • Cyber…Tuesday…late… o.o

    9 Dec 2014 | 10:44 am
    I am doing a MID-WEEK ROUNDUP of AWESOME CYBER STUFF! 1. Judith Tarr’s HORSES OF THE MOON Kickstarter is 80% of the way to funded! I personally *dearly* want it to hit the 6500 mark and get us THREE novellas, which might be just enough to satisfy my grabby little hands! :) 2. SIX BY SIX is a fantastic looking anthology with 6 stories each by 6 authors. I admire the whole idea of it and, uh, am jealous of the people doing it, if you wanna know so much. :) 3. Cats Laughing–you know Cats Laughing; they were the band who did the soundtrack for WAR FOR THE OAKS–are doing a 20…
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    Old Enough to Know Better

  • Once Again ...

    10 Dec 2014 | 11:14 am
  • Still Too Early, But ...

    4 Dec 2014 | 3:12 pm
    ... that's the point of the song ... Finally got around to doing this on the ukulele. A little  rough still, but I'll get it done better eventually. Maybe by next Christmas ...
  • The Tejano Conflict - Audio Book Cover

    24 Nov 2014 | 10:36 am
  • Memory's Noose

    16 Nov 2014 | 12:44 pm
    Come the cold and rain in the fall, I sometimes get reflective about old memories, and here's one that burbled up ...Aeons ago, we had a close friend who met the man she thought was The One. They courted, then moved in together, and bliss was in the air. Happily-ever-after bloomed, and hurray! she deserved it.Fast forward just under two years, and to abridge the story, the man was NOT The One. There came a terrible row and a break-up. Emotionally wrought, our friend came to stay with us. I cleared out my office and made it into a bedroom. For the next few weeks, she was submerged in the…
  • The Luthier - A Short Short Story

    10 Nov 2014 | 4:05 pm
    The smell of burning vegetation wasn’t so bad, but when the flow crossed the road? The stink of melting asphalt was acrid, it made your eyes water, and it was hard to draw a breath without coughing. Fortunately, the trades were blowing, so most of the smoke and stench moved away from the village. For now.A news helicopter flew overhead, noisy and intrusive, a man seated in the back doorway, camera trained on the front of the flow, which was already past Les.Where Les stood, the lava’s heat was not so bad, and the shell was dark, almost black, with only the small windows here and there to…
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    Mike Philbin's free planet blog

  • VOCP - Voluntary One Child Policy - doing what's right for Free Planet

    20 Dec 2014 | 5:30 am
    VOCP or Voluntary One Child Policy.this is the basis of how we bring planet Earth back under our rightful Custodianship.There are megalomaniacs and genetic engineers out there who suggest that we should Logan's Run the future to avoid endemic Soylent Greenism, this means agree to have our parents murdered by the state after a certain age and/or turn certain parts of the Human Race into FOOD to feed the unworthy breeders.Free Planet says, "Leave the planet better than you found it."Free Planet says, "Live within your means, for free."Free Planet says, "Be your own man, don't listen to all that…
  • Danny Vendramini - Planet of the Neanderthals - profile of a super predator

    20 Dec 2014 | 2:42 am
    here's a very interesting video concerning Danny Vendramini's book Them and Us (how Neanderthal predation created Modern Humans). Danny's bold and brave claim is that Neanderthals were horrible nightmarish monsters that hunted and devoured puny humans. Their large eyes suggest that most of this might have been done nocturnally i.e. at night, nightmarish indeed...Once the traditional anthropomorphic approach is put aside, and it is acknowledged that human physiology and behaviour are a one-off case, Neanderthal physiology can be seen in its correct evolutionary context. Neanderthals…
  • Veterans Today - Gordon Duff - Historic Speech in Damascus sends Shockwaves around the World

    16 Dec 2014 | 11:53 pm
    Gordon Duff, Senior Editor of Veterans Today delivered an Historic Keynote Address at the International Conference on Combating Terrorism and Religious Extremism held in Damascus, Syria. In a series of amazingly brave claims, Duff explained that what is going on in Iraq and Syria with ISIS is not Terrorism, it is simply CRIME. That is, it is the works of an international Crime Cabal which has gotten control of the American Congress. Yes, this is a large Organized Crime problem that must be understood at its simple root cause. Duff identified this Crime Cabal as Israeli and pointed out that…
  • Free Planet - Be brave - Ban all organised religions

    16 Dec 2014 | 11:31 pm
    God can't speak for himself?So, two thousand years ago, according to the Bible, according to the Koran, according to a plethora of 'religious texts yet to be folded into the bi-partisan mix', some beardy omnipotence in the holy sky tore off a reflection/refraction/hologram of his eternal multi-dimensional self, named him My Only Son Jesus and ushered him forward as a Ritual Sacrifice for the sake of Mankind's Absolution in the Endtimes to come.Screech of narrative brakes!!!What? Wait a minute. An all-powerful, everywhere-everything throne-seated deity in the clouds, in Heaven, in Space,…
  • Free Planet - touched by the hand of - show your Ancient God

    16 Dec 2014 | 11:00 pm
    of course there is no God.Why can't you'all see this? Oh, because you're'all afraid.Afraid there'll be no REDEMPTION without that glowing wonderful end moment where 'your god' takes you in his arms and forgives you (mankind) your sins, and everything is all kinds of fake-ass hunky-dory again and again until infinity wears down like an old record or tatters like a favourite party dress worn too many times.Fake-ass Religious-Redemption means YOU WILL NEVER DO ANYTHING with your one life - you will be forever waiting that perfect moment you've been promised by writers and comedians…
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    Tiny Godzilla

  • Lay me down tonight in my diamonds and pearls

    18 Dec 2014 | 2:23 pm
    Here's today's progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a friendly medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a WWI shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:Project: CassadagaDeadline: February 1, 2015New words written: 1735 (better; still meh)Present total word count: 3446Things Accomplished in Fiction: Met the neighbors; accepted some gentle flattery; took a lantern outside to check out the damage from the most recent fire.Things Accomplished in Real Life:…
  • Gold and silver line my heart

    17 Dec 2014 | 2:04 pm
    Therefore, here's today's progress on my subtropical (art)deco mystery about a friendly medium in a historic spiritualist community teaming up with a WWI shell-shocked haberdasher who's receiving love notes from hell ... as inspired by a real place and a real set of bizarre (otherworldly?) incidents:Project: CassadagaDeadline: February 1, 2015New words written: 800 (meh)Present total word count: 1707Things Accomplished in Fiction: Kicked some well-meaning guests out of the house and got down to business.Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; went to the salon for a…
  • Must be the season of the witch

    16 Dec 2014 | 2:09 pm
    So here's my plan for the first chunk of 2015: I have three solid pitches for new projects on deck, and I want to write a good bit (say, 20k words) of sample copy for each one ... before April 1st. Ambitious? Maybe. But totally doable, I'm pretty sure.One by one, I'll send them off to my marvelous agent - so she can either make suggestions or get ready to shop them around. While she does that, I'll (a). work on my next book for Tor [the one that comes after The Family Plot], and (b). return to each of the samples in turn, to see about producing full drafts. This is how the sausage gets made,…
  • Happy Holidays!

    15 Dec 2014 | 1:06 pm
    Yeah, I'm a crappy blogger again - but you know how it goes. Between Christmas shopping and end-of-year deadlines and whatnot, I've been a tad scarce on the internet. I think I'm just about ready to get another project off the ground, but it's not quite gelling yet...though I have ONE WHOLE PARAGRAPH to show for my efforts. It is to be hoped that I can do something more like a proper chapter of starter-content underway tomorrow, but I still have some logistics to sort out. Which is a long way of saying, "Sorry I haven't posted any shiny new word metrics as of late." I've been otherwise…
  • Sweetheart I'm telling you - here comes the zoo

    10 Dec 2014 | 3:10 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: 6623Present total word count: 102,834 [final Draft Zero tally]Things Accomplished in Fiction: DRAFT ZERO! [:: ticker tape parade ::] [:: confetti blast ::] [:: tee shirt cannon ::]Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt…
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  • My Six Best Books of 2014 …

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

  • Homework

    17 Dec 2014 | 9:49 am
    I have a phone interview for a job today, and spent my first waking hour doing homework.I mention that simply to demonstrate to The Unimpressed Young of the World that just because you finish with school doesn't mean that you finish with homework. Homework is always with us.
  • And the Rain Pours Down Like Silver...

    12 Dec 2014 | 10:52 am
    I missed the Big Storm in San Francisco by virtue of the fact that I was in LA.  We got our own torrential downpour at about 3am this morning, and it has gone on and off all morning, although right at the moment the sun is shining with unwonted vigor--all the particulate gorp has been washed out of the air, and the sky is that lovely intense blue you get after a serious rain.  All the green stuff looks very grateful and happy.Now I am at the airport, hoping that my flight will take off approximately on time.  Tomorrow I get the younger daughter home for winter break (and older…
  • Despite the Universe's Best Attempts

    8 Dec 2014 | 10:29 am
    I had a good birthday and the party was swell.  We woke yesterday to discover that there was a power outage in our neighborhood.  Since two major chores (bake the ham! vacuum the house) were dependent on electricity (it's a gas oven, but it has electronic controls) this caused a brief flutter of panic, and some investigation to discover whether it would be possible to cook the ham in the gas grill (it is, but it would take even longer). Then, just after 11, the power was restored.  The ham was baked, the floors were clean, and at 2pm on the dot people began to arrive.By…
  • If You Don't Hear From Me

    6 Dec 2014 | 9:24 am
    I have been subsumed in party prep.Lemon cake, chocolate bundt (a cake with a serious angst about leave the nest pan, but I triumphed), pumpkin bread, chili, spice cookies: all accomplished.  Veggie chili, chocolate chip cookies, turkey, ham, day-before shopping, and lots of cleaning, still to do.  This is why I look like a crazed zombie at parties.  And yet... I really want to try the lemon cake, a new recipe that calls for the zest of three lemons steeped in the juice of the aforementioned lemons.Film at eleven
  • It is Finished

    3 Dec 2014 | 9:38 am
    Becca's room, that is.Okay, things need to be tidied, but it's close enough for painting over by a trained professional.  Except that the lines that were drawn in in Sharpie of the dreamcatcher on the dormer ceiling have bled through, but that's not my fault, dammit.And for bonus points, I threw out scads of long-expired (embarrassingly long-expired) food from the pantry.There are cans in that box that could have started third grade by now.  **shudder**Today, by God, I write.
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    Rudy's Blog

  • “Laser Shades,” A Free Read! And Transrealism News.

    20 Dec 2014 | 3:54 pm
    Today I’m posting the text of my story, “Laser Shades” for your holiday reading pleasure. The story was commissioned for The Superlative Light, a photo book by Robert Shults, but it has not been otherwise published as yet. Two news items before my story. The writer and columnist Damien Walter posted “Let the Strangeness In,” a good interview/discussion about transrealism between me and Monica Byrne, author of the excellent novel The Girl In The Road. And, on the same day, synchronistically enough, my film-maker friend Edgar Pêra posted Trans-Realist Maniphesto a video from Lisbon,…
  • Trip #3. My YouTube Channel. Giant Ants. Paris.

    10 Dec 2014 | 10:50 am
    Here’s my third and final post of pictures from Geneva and Paris today—but first a few announcements before our scheduled show. I’m into resurrecting my archives these days, and I’ve been moving a number of my old videos onto my YouTube channel. Recent additions include a “Brain Food” playlist: six videos of me talking about books and art, on public access TV in 1986 Lynchburg, VA…which was then the home of the right-wing Moral Majority religious movement. Seeds of transrealism, computer culture, and cyberpunk—all are here. Another new video upload is “James…
  • “Mathematicians in Love.” “Flying Cone Shells.”

    3 Dec 2014 | 9:18 am
    Later this week, I’ll put up more photos of Paris. But right now I’ve got something else in mind. My 2006 Tor Books novel Mathematicians in Love had gone out of print, so today I’m publishing a second edition of it, in paperback and as an inexpensive ebook. More info in on the book’s home page. I’m slowly learning something about book production. I use the InDesign typesetting software for the interiors, and I make multilayered Photoshop images for my covers. Thankfully you can export a decent ebook file directly from InDesign and then tweak it into an EPUB with Sigil and into a…
  • Trip #2: Jim and the Flims. Transreal. Paris.

    23 Nov 2014 | 6:23 pm
  • Trip #1: Nyon, Geneva.

    15 Nov 2014 | 12:00 am
    Sylvia and I went to Geneva, Switzerland, for a family event. We stayed near Geneva in Nyon for five days, and then went on to Paris for a week. So now I’m photoblogging some of the things I saw. This is a garage near Levis stadium in San Jose, completely irrelevant, although the dark image does set the tone for William Gibson’s The Peripheral, which I was reading on my ebook for much of the trip. Well, actually I didn’t get it till we’d been there a few days, waiting for the download. We stayed in a once deluxe hotel now on the skids and run by unpleasant people, but…
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  • 16 Dec 2014 | 10:00 am

    16 Dec 2014 | 10:00 am
    The release of Firefight is just three weeks away! My book tour should be announced very soon. And for the next few weeks up until the Firefight release, the first book in the Reckoners trilogy, Steelheart, has its ebook on sale for $2.99 in the US and Canada. (Check the country tabs here to see what your local price is.) If you haven't read it (or Mitosis, the $1.99 ebook novelette that goes between the two books), now is a great chance!There's also something cool for Mistborn fans that just started this week. Crafty Games is putting out more Mistborn dice (for use with the Mistborn…
  • New Writing Excuses Episode + Updates

    15 Dec 2014 | 10:10 am
    In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, From the Page to the Stage, we were lucky enough to have Allison W. Hill and Austin Hill sit down with us to talk about turning A Night of Blacker Darkness, by Dan Wells, into a stage play.Words of Radiance has been selected for inclusion into the iBookstore Best of 2014 list.The Legion sequel, Legion: Skin Deep, is available now (except for in the UK and associated territories). Go get it now in all formats!The Firefight tour should be announced soon. Watch this space for details.The Twitter archive for December has been updated by my assistant…
  • Word's of Radiance among Audible's Best of 2014 + Updates

    9 Dec 2014 | 2:11 pm
    It was a close call this year, but thanks to your voting, Words of Radiance is #1 in Listener Favorites and Fantasy on Audible's Best of 2014. It's a great way to follow up 2013's Listener Favorites win with Steelheart. Thank you!The Legion sequel, Legion: Skin Deep, was released a couple weeks ago (except for in the UK and associated territories). Go get it now in all formats.Last week there were two Writing Excuses episodes, a little surprise for you who were wanting an extra dose. Both episodes were recorded at the Out of Excuses Workshop and Retreat in front of a live…
  • Chapters from the original draft of The Way of Kings in the Altered Perceptions anthology

    4 Dec 2014 | 4:40 pm
    Earlier this year I told you about an IndieGoGo project to produce an anthology that would contain chapters from my original 2002 version of The Way of Kings (sometimes called Way of Kings Prime). Well, the anthology is finished, and IndieGoGo backers received their ebook copies a few weeks ago. The hardcovers have also been printed and right now I'm signing the ones that I was supposed to sign. The books will ship out this week and next.For those of you who weren't involved in the IndieGoGo campaign, an ebook of the finished Altered Perceptions anthology is now available. You can buy it at…
  • Cory Doctorow on Writing Excuses + Updates

    2 Dec 2014 | 11:32 am
    If you missed it last week, the Legion sequel, Legion: Skin Deep, has been released (except for in the UK and associated territories). Go get it now in all formats!Cory Doctorow joined the Writing Excuses crew at Westercon 67 to talk with us about the Neurobolics of Characters—the techniques and methods writers use to help our readers care about the characters we create.My assistant Adam has updated my Twitter posts archive for October and November.The Macmillan audio edition of Words of Radiance, read by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading, made it onto the AudioFile Magazine Best of 2014…
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    Inhuman Swill

  • Why I was disappointed by Serial

    18 Dec 2014 | 9:54 am
    SPOILERSYep. As predicted, I was.As soon as I woke up this morning, I downloaded the final episode of Serial. I listened to it while making coffee and feeding the dog and fixing a lunch for Laura. Besides the tantalizing and ultimately frustrating mention of the thin possibility that Hae was murdered by a known serial killer, the episode unfolded without any surprises, right down to Sarah Koenig's admission that, while there probably wasn't enough sufficient evidence for a fair conviction, she can't really make up her mind about Adnan's innocence or guilt.Maybe this wouldn't have felt like…
  • Tomorrow morning I expect to be disappointed

    17 Dec 2014 | 7:07 pm
    Tomorrow morning I expect to be disappointed.Like many of you, I've been following the Serial podcast for the past few months. My reactions to the previous eleven episodes have ranged from bored to enthralled to confused, but I'm pretty sure that tomorrow's final episode will leave me feeling disappointment.I'd love to be wrong. I'd love for Episode 12 to pull everything together, to fill me with a transcendent sense of the ephemeral nature of truth, or to turn up the final damning piece of evidence that either implicates or exonerates Adnan Syed. I don't have much confidence in either…
  • Get your 2015 Ella calendars now!

    3 Dec 2014 | 5:57 am
    Hi, gang! Laura and I are happy to announce that the new Ella calendar for 2015 is available now from It features thirteen months of all your favorite Ella photos from from the past year—all right, all right, our favorites—and for a limited time you can get it for the discounted price of only $11.99 plus shipping and handling. What a fetching bargain!Click below to buy now, and you can keep Ella-porting around NYC with your favorite soft-coated wheaten terrier all year long.Ella-Portation 2015 13-Month Calendar But that's not all! If you just can't get enough of Ella,…
  • Poem: Lament

    5 Nov 2014 | 6:12 am
    And I rememberstanding on the wall.As they kissed,we shot over their heads.Just for one day,can't we be heroes?Crossposted from Inhuman Swill
  • Proper paper size for manuscript submissions

    31 Oct 2014 | 7:47 am
    A reader writes to ask:I have just one question concerning the "1in from margin" factor: what page size is normally used?8.5x11?6x9 ?I see the '1in from margin' statement everywhere but nowhere I've found do they say the page size.In the United States, Canada, and a few others places, print and submit your manuscript on white standard letter size paper, which is 8½ by 11 inches. In most of the rest of the world, including the U.K., Australia, and New Zealand, use A4 paper, which is 210 by 297 mm, or about 8.27 by 11.69 inches. (A4 is part of the ISO 216 standard, which makes a lot more…
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  • Happy Holidays!

    Jeff VanderMeer
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:57 pm
      Happy Holidays, everyone! I’m going to hibernate for a little while, but I wanted to thank all of the readers, booksellers, reviewers, and publishers (here and abroad) who have helped make this year so special for me, and made the Southern Reach Trilogy one of the most talked-about series of 2014. Highlights lately have included making Entertainment Weekly’s Top 10 and the LA Times Gift Guide, as well as Buzzfeed’s favorite books of the year. Special thanks to my wife Ann, agent Sally Harding, and Sean McDonald and everyone at FSG. Enjoy the season! The post Happy…
  • The Southern Reach Trilogy: My Year in Indie Book Stores

    Jeff VanderMeer
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:47 pm
                          (The start of it all: At Elliot Bay in Seattle, this February; photo by Todd Vandemark.) Over on Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s Housekeeping site, they’ve posted my year in indie bookstores. I was fortunate enough to spend much of 2015 on the road in support of the Southern Reach Trilogy, and a big part of that was reading at or signing in independent bookstores. Head on over and check out my notes on Bookmark It, Book Passage, Bookshop Santa Cruz, Booksmith, Book Soup, Chop Suey, City Lights, Elliott Bay,…
  • How to Gift-Wrap a Book So It Doesn’t Look Like a Book

    Jeff VanderMeer
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:33 am
     (Thanks, Matthew Revert, for the great info-graphic.) It’s a perennial problem, isn’t it? How to make that dang-blasted book look like something else when you wrap it, because otherwise what’s the point? It can be slathered in wrapping paper that’s covered in three-dimensional rainbow-colored topographical anomalies interspersed amongst Satanic dog-headed kittens and the person receiving the gift will still figure it out. But don’t despair! As a public service, you can find my preferred method above. I finally admitted to this approach when NYT bestselling…
  • My Favorite New Publisher, Burrow Press: Community-Driven, Forward-Thinking, Terry Gilliam-Connected

    Jeff VanderMeer
    17 Dec 2014 | 7:37 am
    (A favorite Burrow Press cover.) One highlight of my year-long book tour in support of the Southern Reach trilogy was doing a Functionally Literate event in Orlando, Florida. The organizers did perfect pre-event publicity, had their own built-in PR through their own radio show/podcast. They also knew exactly what details to take care of to make my life easier after having been on the road a lot, and the gig itself was impressive as hell. From the venue to the format to the dedicated, extremely large (and enthuastic) audience of regulars–with great back-up from the awesome…
  • Guest Post: Michael J. Seidlinger’s The Face of Any Other

    Jeff VanderMeer
    16 Dec 2014 | 6:42 am
    Michael J. Seidlinger is the author of a number of novels, including The Laughter of Strangers, The Fun We’ve Had and The Face of Any Other. He serves as Electric Literature’s Book Reviews Editor as well as Publisher-in-Chief of Civil Coping Mechanisms, an indie press specializing in unclassifiable/innovative fiction and poetry. He can be found on Facebook, Twitter (@mjseidlinger), and at Flavorwire recently called this unique writer “a kind of 21st century David Markson. He’s prolific and talented and we should all read together to try to figure him…
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    Paperback Writer

  • Sub Op

    Lynn Viehl
    20 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    I spotted this Australian print/digital zine op over in's Paying Markets forum:What Bide likes most about words is the moments spent with them. Brevity. A snatched story or a glimpsed character or just a minute on the back of a truck with the dry air coming down from the desert. Do you know what I mean? So, Bide is for flash. Not just fiction, and actually, not just writing. But momentary storytelling. Stuff that fits on a page, or inside a minute. Glances. Bide will be published twice a year as a printed, stapled A5 zine, with a hand-written thanks from your friendly local…
  • Grow

    Lynn Viehl
    19 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Sometimes I find the coolest videos completely by accident; this one is entirely gorgeous (and contains background music, for those of you at work): GARDEN from Koki Hanawa on Vimeo.
  • Just A Quick Note

    Lynn Viehl
    18 Dec 2014 | 9:13 pm
    Something strange is going on with my Goggle account, which also controls all my blogs. For a while tonight everything disappeared and I was locked out. If for any reason PBW does vanish again, rest assured I have most all of the blog backed up and will do my best to get it back online. As always your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated.Added: On further investigation it seems Google detected some sort of unusual activity on my account, assumed it was a hijack in progress, and disabled everything until I could verify my identity with them and reset the account. Fortunately I was…
  • Just Write for the Holidays

    Lynn Viehl
    18 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Yes, it's another edition of Just Write Thursday, the holiday edition. Since next week is Christmas and the week after that is New Year's Day, this will also be the last Just Write for 2014. So: 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: After two attempts to post the updated version Club Denizen, both of which Google (or someone using Goggle) flagged as inappropriate, which may have also contributed to my Google account being shut down, I am not going to post the story again. I will try to find out…
  • Easy Holiday Treats

    Lynn Viehl
    17 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    When the holidays grow hectic I often make treats that are easy or quick so I don't end up spending my life in the kitchen. Here are some ideas to cook up for your next gathering:Apple Pie improved: Take a store-bought dutch or streusal-topped apple pie and drizzle caramel or raspberry ice cream topping over the top. Fruit and cheese kabobs are probably the fastest and easiest treat I make; here's a recipe for them and an accompanying dip. Be sure to remove the skewers before you serve them to little kids (you can also make kid-safe mini versions with pretzel sticks instead of skewers; also…
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    Bluejo's Journal

  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    16 Dec 2014 | 5:29 pm
    Words: 1604Total words: 17749Files: 6Tea: Elderflower and lemonMusic: Brandenberg concertosReason for stopping: end of chapterComing along.And that's a whole set, Apollo to Apollo, so.
  • The Just City -- sample

    Jo Walton
    15 Dec 2014 | 9:30 am
    The first three chapters of The Just City are now available to read on This is all three points of view, and I think there's enough there that you can tell whether you're going to like it or not. The book comes out on January 13th, which is actually really soon.(Please comment there if you are moved to comment.)
  • Translated from the Original

    Jo Walton
    15 Dec 2014 | 5:19 am
    When they came down to theWater/shore/spaceport/edgeThey embarked and took ship forThe lagoon/lacuna/Lagos/ the ledgeThe/a sun was occluded/eclipsedGlintingThere was no doubt, none any more,Hinting...In the archipelago/far settlement/sea-carved land, Only their footprints, dissolving in sand.This is another poem inspired by an Elise piece.
  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    14 Dec 2014 | 4:24 pm
    Words: 2922Total words: 16145Files: 6Tea: Gaba dragon, elderflower and lemonMusic: Brandenberg ConcertosReason for stopping: end of chapterOK, that's 6 chapters or one set, and I think I mostly know what I'm doing. Time travel, that's what I'm doing. Eh well, onwards.
  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    10 Dec 2014 | 5:59 pm
    Words: 3231 Total words: 13223Files: 5Tea: Gaba dragon, White orchard, Elderflowe & lemon (been writing all day)Music: Brandberg ConcertosReason for stopping: end of chapter, and getting lateI... sort of think I know what I'm doing.Spoilers for _The Just City_ and _The Philosopher Kings_!So there's a problem I have with writing SF, which is that it's all derivative of other SF and not real, and I can't write it because other people could write it and it's not real and it's not mine, I don't have a new thing for it. I'm not saying I'm the world's most original fantasy writer, but when I'm…
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    Martha Wells

  • New cover

    17 Dec 2014 | 5:21 am
    This is the cover (by Jenn Reese/Tiger Bright Studios) for my anthology in the Six by Six kickstarter:* If you missed it, I had a post yesterday with a bit on editing the Raksura anthologies plus links.Good luck to everyone participating in Yuletide challenge! You've got three days to go, you can do it!As soon as I finish editing and turn in the revision of the second Raksura anthology, I need to start the heavy duty housecleaning. Also I want to try to see the Alan Turing movie this weekend.
  • Quickie Post

    16 Dec 2014 | 7:04 am
    This week I've been working on Raksura editing for the second novella collection. Today is "The Dark Earth Below," the long novella. In this one the colony's attacked while Jade is having her first clutch. Other novella is "The Dead City," about Moon right after Saraseil.If you missed the first novella collection, it's out now in paperback, ebook, and audiobook: info here.* We've got $1000 to go to fund our Six by Six kickstarter: There are still some great reward levels left, like a signed hardcover of Tina Connolly's Ironskin, and…
  • Sunday

    14 Dec 2014 | 5:53 am
    Yesterday, I did some last bits of shopping (still not quite finished), wrapped stuff while Troyce put lights and some bead garlands on the tree, and I started map making.I really really like the fact that we don't travel for Christmas. It makes it so much more relaxing. We have a friend who comes and stays with us for a few days for it, plus a friend who comes over for dinner on Christmas eve and friends who come for Christmas day. And we get to stay in our own house, leaks and the occasional wasp notwithstanding. Today, more writing.* Me and Brenda Cooper were on the Speculate SF podcast,…
  • News of me

    12 Dec 2014 | 6:27 am
    If you follow me (or try to follow me) on Facebook, in 2015 there are going to be changes that will keep me from posting about my books there. Facebook will classify as advertising: Updates about a new book release. Updates about a book launch and/or event. Updates about Rafflecopter and other giveaways.If I post any information about my books, I can be charged for it or thrown off the site. As another author pointed out, depending on how aggressively they pursue this, people who try to pass on information about new books, book launches, make book recs, reviews, etc, may find themselves being…
  • 10 Dec 2014 | 12:52 pm

    10 Dec 2014 | 12:52 pm
    I have another item in the auctions for the WorldBuilders fundraiser for Heifer International: this is one of the invitations I received for the George R.R. Martin exhibit Deeper Than Swords at Cushing Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection.Other fundraiser auctions for Worldbuilders:A signed paperback set of Fall of Ile-RienAnd a signed hardcover of Star Wars: Razor's EdgeAnd Bradley Beaulieu and Tina Connolly talked about Six by Six is on's Rocket Talk, about short fiction vs. long, narrative-driven shorts vs theme-driven, how the two different markets reward creativity (or…
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    All quiet in France

  • The Fox Spirit Book of European Monsters

    20 Dec 2014 | 1:07 am
    Just a quick heads-up that you can now buy The Fox Spirit Book of European Monsters, which includes my story “Melanie” as well as other enticing offerings. It’s a coffee-table book with beautiful illustrations–the first time I’ve been in a book of that format–exciting! (also, if you happen to want a review copy, there are PDFs available. Feel free to email me). Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • First draft!

    13 Dec 2014 | 4:24 am
    (well, second, really. The rewrite pushed it from a slight 6k to a solid 7k words. With thanks to fabulous betas Victor Fernando Campo and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, who didn’t blink at the quick turnaround time and provided very valuable insight on what wasn’t working so well with it) I settled on “Three Cups of Grief, by Starlight” as the title; and here’s a snippet: Green tea: green tea is made from steamed or lightly dried tea leaves. The brew is light, with a pleasant, grassy taste. Do not over-steep it, lest it become bitter. After the funeral, Quang Tu walked…
  • Your hemi-semi-weekly reminder RE Joyce Chng

    12 Dec 2014 | 1:24 am
    I’m going to sound like a broken record on this, but it’s for a good cause A quick reminder that Joyce Chng is undergoing medical treatment for breast disease, and that this obviously doesn’t come cheap. She’s hoping to fund some of it via Patreon: if you support her, you can access chapters of “Dragon Physician”, a YA with racing dragons. The link is here. Please help and/or signal boost? Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • MIRcon report

    11 Dec 2014 | 12:16 pm
    The short version of this con report is: Hispacon rocks, and you should all go The long(ish) version: I had a great time at MIRcon, the Hispacon in Barcelona. It’s a small convention (70-80 attendees, if I understood correctly), but it’s a very friendly and enthusiastic one: spread over several locations, it had a junior track, a sister con in Catalan (MIRcat), and a bunch of really prestigious guests (Nina Allan, Christopher Priest, Karin Tidbeck and Felix J Palma). I survived the delivery of my speech (and Silvia Schettin kindly provided a great interpretation–I think…
  • House of Shattered Wings and one sequel sell to Gollancz

    20 Nov 2014 | 3:42 am
    So… Once upon a time, in a far, far away galaxy, I began working on this odd little project. It had started as a urban fantasy set in 21st century Paris, where families of magicians held the reins of power in every domain from banking to building. Then I couldn’t make it work, because the worldbuilding wasn’t clicking with me. I wrote perhaps three chapters of it before it became painfully clear that my heart wasn’t in it. So I nuked Paris. Well, sort of. I made up a Great Magicians’ War, comparable in scale to WWI: a war that devastated Paris, making Notre-Dame an empty shell, the…
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    Mostly English

  • Eating Authors: Tim W. Burke

    8 Dec 2014 | 10:46 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> As promised last week, I’m back from the west coast, and if I have anything to say about it I won’t be doing any traveling for at least a month. I’m still fighting off a persistent cold that hasn’t quite managed to breach all of my defenses and lay me out, but nonetheless does have me feeling a bit logy. Extra sleep and fluids are helping, as is a return to my regimen of regular meals and exercise. This week’s guest is Tim W. Burke, an author I’ve had the great pleasure of…
  • Loscon 2014 Schedule (three days out)

    25 Nov 2014 | 8:07 pm
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. As I write this, I’m relaxing in a hotel in Laguna Woods, California. I arrived yesterday, and I’ll be here through Thanksgiving. On Friday morning I’ll drive back toward LAX and drop off my rental car, but instead of flying home I will check into the nearby Marriott and pick up my badge as a panelist for Loscon 41. I reached out to them a bit late, but they very graciously found a few things for me to do. Come find me at the following: Saturday, November 29th 5:30 p.m. – 6:45 p.m. | Atlanta |…
  • Eating Authors: Sunny Moraine

    24 Nov 2014 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> And lo, after a week off, EATING AUTHORS is back. Again, apologies for the hiatus, but as nearly all authors know, deadlines, like rules, are made to be broken, and that’s pretty much what happened here. But that’s all in the past and we’re all about the future (except when we’re doing alternate history) so let’s move forward. Our guest this week is small press author Sunny Moraine, who learned her craft by writing erotica before turning her hand to science fiction and fantasy.
  • Eating Authors: Hiatus

    17 Nov 2014 | 4:33 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.I’m very pleased to be able to write that this weekly blog feature, EATING AUTHORS, has been going nonstop since its first episode way back on June 6th, 2011. There have been a lot of guests, and a lot of meals. Don’t worry, this isn’t a farewell post. There are plenty of authors out there whom we haven’t eaten yet, and I’m waiting on hearing back from several of them for future episodes. But for right now, the cupboard is bare. That, and the minor details that my November is chock full. In…
  • Eating Authors: Angelia Sparrow

    10 Nov 2014 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> November is — to say the least — a turbulent month. Lots of you are banging your keyboards (or even your heads) to the beat of NaNoWriMo. Others are preparing for that annual American feast and family therapy day of Thanksgiving. And some are also hitting conventions. As for me, I just returned home from the first of three conventions this month, and I’m already wondering if I’ll be able to keep up the pace. But the internet plugs along regardless of human frailty and weakness, and so too does…
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    Princess Alethea Kontis

  • YouTube Owes Me $68

    2 Dec 2014 | 8:16 am
    I uploaded my first video onto YouTube on April 17, 2008.I had buried my ten-year-old nephew Caleb in the sand and I recorded his amusing diatribe as he tried to escape. It's had a little over 400 views, life to date.Less than a year later, I recorded my friend Mary's adorable father demonstrating how to play the musical saw. He was still dressed in his tuxedo, having just returned from a night at the symphony with his wife. That video has over 30,000 views.Thanks to the success of "How to Play the Musical Saw," YouTube invited me to be a partner in their AdSense program,…
  • Enter to Win DEAREST

    22 Oct 2014 | 8:56 am
    My publisher is giving away 25 copies of DEAREST before it's released...but the drawing only runs through October 29th so NOW'S YOUR CHANCE!Quick! Before it's too late!
  • 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):…
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    The Urtaru Chronicles

  • I didn’t know you were lefty? I’m not…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    11 Dec 2014 | 7:01 am
    So this article was posted on LinkedIn about the earnings potential of left handed people.  It was decidedly negative, contradicting all kinds of leftiness-advantage articles I’ve read over the years. I thought the message of the article kinda strange since I knew at least several lefties that were very smart and wildly successful, and you found […]
  • Songs

    Armen Chakmakjian
    15 Nov 2014 | 9:29 pm
    Ok, so I’m not a great guitarist, and my voice cracks with certain renditions of the favorite songs of the 70s, but I figured I’d try to compile the list of songs I know how to play on guitar and sing (aka I know all the chords and lyrics). I got to 100. I got to […]
  • Very smooth…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    20 Sep 2014 | 7:16 pm
    So I was at BJ’s tonight and there was a special on Jameson Irish Whiskey. If you bought the bottle of Black Barrel Jameson you got a free glass that was also black. I mulled it over for a second, walked around the wines and liquors, and back to the front and picked up the […]
  • On turning 50…

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

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

    20 Dec 2014 | 4:12 pm
    Menghilangkan Bekas Jerawat Madu menghilangkan jerawat Untuk penderita jerawat kebanyakan orang dewasa, ada begitu banyak pembatasan ketika datang ke makanan. Jika Anda menderita jerawat dewasa maka saya yakin Anda akan mengerti apa yang saya bicarakan. Tidak makan yang-jerawat jerawat Anda…...
  • Jual Resepi Rendang Padang Asli

    25 Nov 2014 | 12:33 am
    Jual Resepi Rendang Padang Asli jual rendang padang Daging… hanya mengucapkan kata, dan membayangkan apa yang datang ke pikiran. Lezat daging sapi, domba, atau babi, atau sejumlah hidangan lezat lainnya. Jika Anda adalah pemakan daging, ada sedikit yang dapat membandingkan… Continue...
  • Harga Pupuk Organik Dan Anorganik

    24 Nov 2014 | 11:41 pm
    Harga Pupuk Organik Dan Anorganik jual pupuk organik Pada dasarnya, pupuk anorganik terbuat dari bahan kimia sintetik, diproduksi, dan pupuk organik yang dibuat dari alami bahan organik. Ini adalah sedikit oversimplification, namun, dan kadang-kadang garis antara pupuk organik dan anorganik…...
  • Agen Rujak Cireng Jakarta

    24 Nov 2014 | 9:13 pm
    Agen Rujak Cireng Jakarta jual rujak cireng Bagi mereka yang mencintai hal-hal sederhana dalam hidup dan seperti membuat atau memasak hal-hal untuk memberikan sukacita kepada orang lain, tidak ada yang lebih baik daripada meningkatkan nilai-nilai hidup yang baik dengan sedikit… Continue...
  • Jual Smart Detox Bandung

    24 Nov 2014 | 6:50 am
    Jual Smart Detox Bandung jual smart detox Saya sering telah diminta pendapat saya tentang pengobatan detox (patch) yang sedang dipromosikan dalam infomersial larut malam atau carteran detoks yang bermunculan di Chiropractic kantor, salon, dan baru-baru ini di sebuah klub kesehatan… Continue...
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    David MackDavid Mack »

  • Star Trek’s 50 Years of Humanism

    David Mack
    15 Dec 2014 | 8:22 pm
    I’m posting this video montage from YouTube because I think it highlights one of the most important qualities that defines Star Trek as a concept: an unwavering belief in humanism as the path to a better future for all human beings. In light of all the recent wild speculation over who will direct the next […]
  • Two Authors, One Interview

    David Mack
    25 Nov 2014 | 1:01 pm
    Pop-culture blogger Paul Semel digs into the art and business of media tie-in novels in this tag-team Q&A he conducted with me and fellow New York Times bestselling author Greg Cox. We talked a bit about our most recent Star Trek novels (for Greg, the movie-era original-series tale Foul Deeds Will Rise; for me, Section […]
  • Literary Treks talks Disavowed

    David Mack
    24 Nov 2014 | 7:21 pm
    Last week, I chatted with Christopher Jones and Matthew Rushing of podcast Literary Treks about my latest Star Trek novel, Disavowed. Today that podcast went live, and is available to subscribers via iTunes or to anyone who wants to listen online here. Here is their concise rundown of the show’s contents, for those who […]
  • The first reviews for DISAVOWED

    David Mack
    5 Nov 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Eric Cone has posted his review of my latest Star Trek novel, Section 31: Disavowed, over at Visionary Trek. (Spoiler Alert: He liked it.) A few choice quotes: “David Mack has hit another one out of the park with Disavowed, as he takes us on a roller-coaster ride from beginning to end. There’s plenty of action […]
  • SCAM ALERT: Speaking Engagement Invitation

    David Mack
    4 Nov 2014 | 6:57 pm
    A short while ago I received a typo-laden e-mail from someone I had never heard of. That was enough to trigger my fraud Spidey-sense™, but when I Googled this scam I discovered that some folks have been taken by it. Since I haven’t seen or heard much about it in SF/F circles, I wanted to […]
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    Grasping for the Wind

  • Reviews: Abercrombie, Zahn, Hobb, Jeffers, Miller

    John Ottinger
    18 Dec 2014 | 6:40 pm
    My reviews of: Half a King by Joe Abercrombie Soulminder by Timothy Zahn Fool’s Assassin by Robin Hobb The Towers by Jordan Jeffers and The Art of Space: The History of Space Art, from the Earliest Visions to the Graphics of the Modern Era by Ron Miller are now available online. It will also appear in the print edition of the magazine that goes out to 100,000+ readers. Related posts: Book Review: Longeye by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller WORLD Book Reviews June 17, 2013 Book Review: The Blade Itself by Joe Abercrombie
  • Review: Coming Home by Jack McDevitt

    John Ottinger
    3 Dec 2014 | 7:23 pm
    My review of Jack McDevitt’s newest novel, Coming Home, can be found at SF Signal. Related posts: [INTERVIEW] Jack McDevitt Book Review: Echo by Jack McDevitt Coming Soon: A CSN Stores Review
  • 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
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    SF Signal

  • Catching Up on SciFi Movies (Part 28): Snowpiercer / World War Z / X-Men: Days of Future Past

    John DeNardo
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:25 pm
    Continuing a trend tailor-made for the Twitter generation, here are my quick takes on a few recently-watched genre-related films. My brief thoughts follow… Snowpiercer (2014) – There was a lot to like about this film: interesting premise and story, good acting, the mood it evoked…and even if it doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny of a few questions that come to mind, it was still a fairly powerful (and accessible) film. World War Z (2013) – Probably the bst thing about this film was the decent depiction of fast-moving zombies., other wise, not much to see here. On…
  • Free SF, Fantasy and Horror Fiction for 12/20/2014

    Regan Wolfrom
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:14 pm
    Got a hot Free Fiction Tip? Tell me here Want these delicious links emailed to you once a week? Sign up for the Free SF/F/H Fiction Newsletter What’s Special About Today’s Free Fiction? Shimmer #22 – November 2014 Written @Daily Science Fiction: “Love Changes Us” by K. C. Norton [Science Fiction] @Nightmare Magazine: “Bog Dog” by Seras Nikita [Horror – also available in audio] Shimmer #22 – November 2014 [Speculative Fiction Magazine] “A Whisper in the Weld” by Alix E. Harrow “Cantor’s Dragon” by Craig…
  • SF/F/H Link Post for 2014-12-20

    19 Dec 2014 | 10:05 pm
    Interviews & Profiles Amazing Stories offers a collection of Boskone’s Mini Interviews from Across SF/F. Emma Louise interviews Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days. Gotcha Movies interviews Jeremy Berg, director of The Device. The Guardian Books Podcast interviews William Gibson, author of Neuromancer. The HuffPo interviews Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days. Kendra Leighton interviews Kate Ormand, author of Dark Days. Movieweb interviews Wes Ball, director of Maze Runner. The Reading and Writing Podcast interviews Suzanne Robb, author of Z-Boat. News 2015 Hugo Award Base Competition…
  • WINNERS: SCI-FI CHRONICLES Edited by Guy Haley

    John DeNardo
    19 Dec 2014 | 10:04 pm
    The winners of our giveaway for Sci-Fi Chronicles edited by Guy Haley have been chosen and notified. Congratulations to Andrea B. Ashley W. Bob M. Daniel W. Dru S. Jennifer K. Kai G. Milos T. Ruhan Z. Sue C. You will be receiving your prizes soon! Thanks to everyone who entered. Related posts: GIVEAWAY REMINDER: Win a Copy of SCI-FI CHRONICLES Edited by Guy Haley WINNERS: THE FROZEN SKY Audiobook by Jeff Carlson WINNERS: “Superheroes” Anthology edited by Rich Horton
  • Coming Soon: DEAD HEAT by Patricia Briggs

    John DeNardo
    19 Dec 2014 | 12:00 pm
    Check out the excellent Dan Dos Santos cover and the synopsis for the upcoming novel Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs, book 4 in the Alpha and Omega series. Here’s the synopsis: THE NEW CHARLES AND ANNA NOVEL Praised as “the perfect blend of action, romance, suspense and paranormal,”* the Alpha and Omega novels transport readers into the realm of the werewolf, where Charles Cornick and Anna Latham embody opposite sides of the shifter personality. Now, a pleasure trip drops the couple into the middle of some bad supernatural business… For once, mated werewolves Charles and Anna are not…
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    The World in the Satin Bag

  • Award Recommendations: Things I'm Eyeing for the Awards Season (Suggestions Welcome)

    18 Dec 2014 | 11:15 pm
    A.C. Wise and Sarah Pinsker suggested I put together a list of recommendations for the awards season (Nebula nominations are coming up or something).  So, that's what I'm going to do.  For now, I'm only going to discuss six categories, as I don't read often enough in the others to have a say yet (YET).  Recommendations for any category, listed or otherwise, are more than welcome.Note:  I've included links to interviews or discussions at The Skiffy and Fanty Show about some of the items (which may explain why I'm voting for many of these).Here goes:Novels:City of Stairs by…
  • On the World Fantasy Award and H.P. Lovecraft

    11 Dec 2014 | 3:57 pm
    (Correction:  a previous version of this post attributed the Guardian article to Damien G. Walter rather than Daniel José Older.  That has been corrected below.  My apologies for the mix-up.)We're still talking about the World Fantasy Award and H.P. Lovecraft's bizarrely shaped award-specific head.  Daniel José Older, who created the original petition to replace Lovecraft's bust with that of Octavia Butler, recently revisited the discussion in his Guardian column, remarking that "the fantasy community cannot embrace its growing fanbase of color with one hand while…
  • Cancer Free Since '03

    10 Dec 2014 | 1:36 pm
    For those that don't follow me on Twitter, you'll have missed the whole "Shaun had a cancer appointment today" stuff.  As it turns out, I remain cancer free, and have done so since the conclusion of chemo in 2003.And that's good news indeed.So hurray to me. Good news for the holidays and all that jazz.Now back to doing whatever I was doing...oh, right. Stressing out about work!
  • 6 Thoughts on 1.5 Seasons of CW's Arrow -- @cw_arrow

    9 Dec 2014 | 6:18 pm
    I've recently become a fan of CW's Arrow.  If you haven't seen the show, it's easily one of the best superhero TV shows on air at the moment.  Don't let the CW label fool you.  Arrow is good stuff.  It's one part action thriller and one part superhero camp, all mixed together in a magic blender and served in an edible cup made of fruit or something.  Look, it's just really enjoyable, OK?  And this is coming from the guy who has found DC's output since Man of Steel pretty pathetic (the comics, the movie announcements, all of it)(yes, I know that Arrow came out…
  • Novella Review: "Adrift on the Sea of Rains" by Ian Sales (Whippleshield Books)

    5 Dec 2014 | 9:30 am
    First, I must apologize for the lateness of this review.  Mr. Sales has been remarkably patient with me and my repeated promises about getting it done.  I'm a notoriously slow reviewer for the simple fact that I find it incredibly difficult to say what I think.  A less cautious reviewer might simply speak from the heart and let the language be damned, but I think my academic side gets the best of me and demands I relate something more than a simple "I liked it."  And that means I get stuck for long periods of time on any work of art.In any case, I have a lot to say about…
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  • 2014 International Congress of UFOlogy - Andrew Basiago

    10 Dec 2014 | 3:45 pm
    Since 2004, Seattle attorney Andrew Basiago has been publicly claiming that from the time he was 7 to when he was 12, he participated in "Project Pegasus," a secret U.S. government program that he... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • NASA Curiosity Spotted Vacuum Cleaner Nozzle On Mars

    10 Dec 2014 | 3:20 pm
    Mars  Vacuum Cleaner Nozzle was photographed by NASA's onboard Mars rover Curiosity Mastcam on November 27, 2014 After rescaling the image you can now also notice it has holes in the circular... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Mother Faces Two Year Jail Time For Saving Sons Life With Medical Cannabis Oil

    2 Dec 2014 | 2:14 pm
    Angela Brown's son had a traumatic brain injury and Brown says she turned to medical marijuana as a last resort.  A mother of two is facing jail time for seeking out life saving cannabis oil to... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • Mars Have Interplanetary Airport : Retired US Army Commander

    27 Nov 2014 | 1:43 pm
    In his historical presentation at the Exopolitics Summit in Barcelona in July 2009, Retired US Army Command Sergeant Major Bob Dean had publicly announced the existence of interplanetary airport on... Click on Headline to read complete story...
  • UFO News : Amazing UFO Sighting Filmed Over New Jersey, USA

    26 Nov 2014 | 9:55 am
    According to eyewitness and video taper testimony "this object was recorded outside my attic window on November 08, 2014 over New Jersey, USA. With the naked eye, I saw what looks like a green orb... Click on Headline to read complete story...
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    Risingshadow - Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • A review of Rhys A. Jones' The Obsidian Pebble

    17 Dec 2014 | 11:38 am
    Rhys A. Jones' The Obsidian Pebble was published in 2011 and it was republished by Spencer Hill Press in 2013. Information about Rhys A. Jones: You want to know? Really? Okay, okay, here’s the bio. Rhys A Jones preferred. Rhys A Jones was born in 1955 and grew up in a mining village in South Wales with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He managed to subdue his imagination long enough to carve out a career in medicine, writing whenever the chance arose. In 1994, writing as Dylan Jones, he published his first scary book for adults, a thriller, which was subsequently made into a…
  • GUEST POST by Karen Dudley

    16 Dec 2014 | 6:19 am
    Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Karen Dudley. Karen Dudley is the author of Food for the Gods and its sequel, Kraken Bake. Information about the author in her own words (from the author's official website): "I am tweaker of words, a procrastinator of work, a scribbler of novels, and a maker of gourmet meals. I am also a mum, which is more work than all of the above put together. Great perqs though! My checkered past includes field biology, production art, photo research, palaeo-environmental studies, editing,  archaeology and Classical Studies. Needless to say, I…
  • A review of Shana Festa's Time of Death: Asylum

    12 Dec 2014 | 7:24 am
    Shana Festa's Time of Death: Asylum was published by Permuted Press in December 2014. Information about Shana Festa: Shana Festa was born in Lincoln, Nebraska on October 17, 1976 and grew up in Northboro, Massachusetts. She currently lives in Cape Coral, Florida with her husband and two dogs, Daphne & Casey. Shana is a registered nurse with clinical experience in mental health, geriatrics, HIV and substance abuse. In addition to her clinical background, Shana possesses over 15 years of experience with project management and data analytics. She has been heavily involved in the collection…
  • An interview with the science fiction author James Lovegrove

    11 Dec 2014 | 2:48 am
    Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing the science fiction author James Lovegrove. James Lovegrove published his first novel at the age of 24 and has since had more than 40 books out, including The Hope, Escardy Gap (co-written with Peter Crowther), Days, The Foreigners, How The Other Half Lives, Untied Kingdom, Imagined Slights, Worldstorm, Gig and Provender Gleed. His short fiction has appeared in magazines as diverse as Interzone and Nature and in numerous anthologies. He has written extensively for reluctant readers, with titles such as Wings, The House of Lazarus, Ant God, Cold…
  • A review of The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal (written by David Barker and W. H. Pugmire)

    10 Dec 2014 | 6:51 am
    The Revenant of Rebecca Pascal by David Barker and W. H. Pugmire was published by Dark Renassaince Books in June 2014. Information about the authors: David Barker has been a hardcore Lovecraft fan since his college days. He began writing short horror fiction in the mid-1980s, publishing widely in that era's small-press magazines, and edited three of his own Lovecraftian journals before leaving the field in the '90s to focus on literary fiction and poetry. In 2011, his comic surreal novel, Death at the Flea Circus, was published, and in 2012, David returned to horror with the publication of a…
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    On Starships and Dragonwings

  • Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne eARC {4 Stars}

    20 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Superheroes Anonymous by Lexie Dunne takes every opportunity to poke fun at the old comic book worlds with superheroes all over the place and the rather poor view on women that was also integral to many of those comics. I had no idea what to expect from Superheroes Anonymous, but I was in the mood for trying something I hadn’t heard anything about and I’m so glad I did! I was at first worried since the main character is called Hostage Girl for how many times she has been kidnapped by super-villains and rescued by superheroes, but this was just the start of the light being shone on…
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

    19 Dec 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 Brittany for winning last week’s giveaway, hope you enjoy your books :D. This week I’m starting to grab from that pile I snagged a couple of weeks ago so here are the new additions. Also I wanted to…
  • This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner eARC {4 Stars}

    18 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner is the companion novel to These Broken Stars and is in some central ways similar to the previous book, but in many ways the tone differs. After the completely shocking ending of These Broken Stars, This Shattered World really could never promise the same degree of plot twist. It was therefore lovely to read a story that stands on its own while still expanding what we know about certain whispery creatures and the galaxy-wide coverup going on. I seriously can’t tell you how excited I am for book three now >.>. Don’t miss…
  • Death Marked Giveaway

    17 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Death Marked ARC Giveaway I’ve gotten my hands on an extra ARC of Death Marked and of course have to share it! I loved the first book, Death Sworn, so I’m very excited to get to push the sequel on you all ;-). If you haven’t checked out this duology, here’s the blurb for the first book so that I avoid spoilers. If you’ve already read the first book, get excited for DEATH MARKED! When Ileni lost her magic, she lost everything: her place in society, her purpose in life, and the man she had expected to spend her life with. So when the Elders sent her to be magic…
  • Owl and the Japanese Circus {Cat Sitter Wanted + Giveaway!}

    15 Dec 2014 | 4:00 am
    Guest Post by Kristi Charish Author of Owl and the Japanese Circus Today I’m ecstatic to welcome Kristi Charish to the blog to give us a little insight into her heroine Alix (otherwise known as Owl). She is the author of Owl and the Japanese Circus, which you should add to the 2015 list for when it publishes January 13th! It has an eastern dragon, what else do you need to know??? Also don’t miss out on the giveaway at the bottom :D. Wanted: One Cat Sitter (Snagged off Seattle’s Craigslist Wanted Section) Wanted: One cat sitter for the duration of one week, potentially with the…
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    ATG Reviews

  • Saturday Buffoonery #32

    20 Dec 2014 | 8:01 am
    The Office: Middle EarthLast week Martin Freeman stopped by Saturday Night Live to host the show and promote the final Hobbit movie: The Battle of the Five Armies.  Before becoming internationally recognized as the star of The Hobbit, Freeman was known for portraying Tim on the The Office (U.K. version).SNL mashes the two series’ together by creating a paper company in Middle Earth.  NBC is not usually kind about leaving their material up on the inter-webs for long, so enjoy this while you can.The post Saturday Buffoonery #32 appeared first on ATG Reviews.
  • The Dragon’s Path Book Review

    18 Dec 2014 | 10:00 am
    The Dagger and the Coin Book OneBuy on Amazon!If you were ever looking to pick a series up that’s like Game of Thrones this would be the one.  Daniel Abraham’s The Dagger and the Coin is a new series with a conflicted medieval landscape and multiple character titled chapters.  All of the characters are multidimensional, the plot is largely unpredictable, and there are a fair share of those”horrible moral compromise” types of moments. Above all, this is a character driven fantasy that I really enjoyed and couldn’t recommend enough – especially if…
  • Game of Thrones Season One Episode One: Iron From Ice Video Game Review

    The World Weary
    17 Dec 2014 | 2:59 am
    A Song of Ice and UglinessIt was getting gritty there for a second. It had been a while since I had finished A Dance With Dragons, or since I’d watched season four of the HBO series, and my withdrawals were in full effect. So naturally, when I heard Telltale Games, the makers of The Walking Dead Seasons One and Two were creating a game that tied into the HBO series, and more importantly, that it would be released in between seasons of the show, I felt as giddy as a crackhead on payday. Sure enough, after the cold open, when that classic theme started playing, I was grinning like a…
  • The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Film Review

    The World Weary
    16 Dec 2014 | 12:18 pm
    The Road Goes Ever OnThis review features spoilers for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.It’s going to be kind of weird to not have another holiday season with a newly released film set in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I remember feeling the same way after seeing The Return of the King in theaters on opening day. It was a fantastic movie, and it sated just about every nerdy bone in my body, but it also meant it was over. After spending three years in eager anticipation of each new film, I suddenly had nothing to look forward to. Now, I wasn’t nearly as excited for The…
  • The Three Body Problem Book Review

    15 Dec 2014 | 10:00 am
    The First Priority Is To Guarantee The Existence Of The Human Race And Their Comfortable Life.  Everything Else Is Secondary.(An advanced copy was provided by the publisher).Buy on Amazon!Cixen Liu’s The Three Body Problem, originally published in 2006, is one of the bestselling science fiction books in China.  Thanks to Tor Books and translator Ken Liu it’s been translated to English and was published in the United States for the first time in 2014.  I was very excited to see what China could bring to the science fiction genre.  A country with over a billion people must…
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    OMNI Reboot

  • How To Throw A Sci-Fi New Year’s Party

    Andrew Seel
    20 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Escape Earth's gravity this New Year's with an out of this world assortment of sci-fi themed barware for an interstellar party. New Year's is a celebration of the future and there is no better way to reign in the orbit of the Earth then with sci-fi themed barware for an out of this world party. Drink like a Klingon, without fighting to the death with bat'leth's, and toast to glorious battles in the New Year. Perhaps, a more refined  approach is your style. Spike your Earl Grey Tea nonchalantly, with a a Star Trek themed flask, or use the force to impress your friends and pour shots until the…
  • OMNI Gallery Updates: December 19, 2014

    Edward Simmons
    19 Dec 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Edward Simmons Having worked for several exhibitions merging the universes of science and art, Simmons is no stranger to the beauty of nature. Simmons now works for OMNI Reboot as a freelance curator, allowing him to pursue his passion for natural photography.  FOLLOW OMNI REBOOT ON TWITTER OMNI GALLERY UPDATES: DECEMBER 19, 2014 OMNI Reboot is dedicated to people passionate about the universe of sci-fi. Technology should be investigated, understood, scrutinized and loved. Art can tell a captivating story of the future the same way science fiction can. OMNI Reboot works to create an…
  • Dying From Fear

    Esther Kim
    19 Dec 2014 | 1:00 pm
    Would people die of fear if confronted with Guillermo del Toro's vampires from The Strain? Studies suggest that extreme emotions, such as escalated fears, could lead to death. The fatalities typically result from strain on the heart caused by such emotions, and ultimately result in a heart attack.The post Dying From Fear appeared first on OMNI Reboot.
  • In Defense Of Chaos

    John Foley
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    Chaos is part of the natural order of existence. Carl Sagan stated that a beautiful order is born from the chaos of nature, one that has given birth to galaxies, stars, and even life.The post In Defense Of Chaos appeared first on OMNI Reboot.
  • Watch Sci-Fi Addicts Crave: Dune Art Mashups #1

    Melissa Weyland
    19 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    For Frank Herbert's Dune to become a film under David Lynch, artists spent hours developing unique concept art. Jodorwosky paved the way having hired artists such as Moebius and Chris Foss to paint a beautiful and terrifying world world.The post Watch Sci-Fi Addicts Crave: Dune Art Mashups #1 appeared first on OMNI Reboot.
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