SciFi & Fantasy Novels

  • Most Topular Stories

  • My Mother the Squirrel

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

    tate hallaway
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:19 am
    Buzzfeed has a good one today, it's a board game that simulates what it's like to write your first novel.  I think there are some missing steps, but read it first:"It's Time to Write Your First Book"For me, there would have to be a space to land on that said, "Freak out 3 days before deadline; Rewrite book from scratch. (Go back 2 spaces)."  I probably should also have one that says, "Accidentally Fall into Fandom (Go back to Start.)"Though I've been sharing this around because: "Editor asks for more vampires" ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME.
  • Wolves by Simon Ings

    Mark Yon
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Wolves is a novel set in the near future that deftly explores the disjunct between perception and reality. Failures in perception pierce the Simon Ings’ narrative like shards of glass. It is through the prism of these shards that we glimpse a near future world start to wash away under the waves.  The science fiction […]
  • An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman

    SF Site
    24 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Steven and Kirsty Naremore go house hunting in the hopes of getting away from their troubles and start anew with their son and daughter, Tim and Jordan. The home they first viewed was a run-down overgrown place they considered a 'long shot.' It is the one place they might never think of buying as it would take a lot of renovation. Jordan doesn't like it or the site it is on, comparing it to being: "like an extermination camp for cows."

    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass
    12 Jan 2015 | 2:53 pm
      ORANGE COUNTY, NC (January 12, 2015)—The Orange County Arts Commission is pleased to announce James Maxey, a speculative fiction author from Hillsborough, as the region's 2015 Piedmont Laureate. Mr. Maxey will appear at workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Durham, Orange and Wake counties, giving the public an opportunity to meet him and learn more about his
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  • Wolves by Simon Ings

    Mark Yon
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Wolves is a novel set in the near future that deftly explores the disjunct between perception and reality. Failures in perception pierce the Simon Ings’ narrative like shards of glass. It is through the prism of these shards that we glimpse a near future world start to wash away under the waves.  The science fiction […]
  • Jack McDevitt Wins 2015 Robert A. Heinlein Award

    Dag R.
    27 Jan 2015 | 10:52 pm
    Congratulations to Jack McDevitt for winning the 2015 Robert A. Heinlein Award. PRESS RELEASE Jack McDevitt, science fiction author, is the 2015 winner of the Robert A. Heinlein Award. The award is bestowed for outstanding published works in science fiction and technical writings that inspire the human exploration of space. This award is in recognition […]
  • Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

    Rob B
    27 Jan 2015 | 3:03 am
    Elizabeth Bear is one of the more prolific writers in Science Fiction and Fantasy, penning stories across the wide landscape of the genre. In Karen Memory, she tells the story of a “seamstress” in the Pacific Northwest of the 19th Century, though it is not quite the 1800s we know. Mind readers, robots and zeppelins […]
  • Farside by Ben Bova

    Mark Yon
    23 Jan 2015 | 4:00 pm
    It’s been a while since I read, never mind reviewed, any of Dr. Bova’s novels. In fact, the last one I reviewed was the Ben Gunn anthology, The Sam Gunn Omnibus (2007) back in, erm… 2007. So what do we have here, eight years on? For those who don’t know, for over two decades Ben has […]
  • Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden

    Mark Chitty
    19 Jan 2015 | 1:00 am
    Alien: River of Pain by Christopher Golden is the final novel in the new Alien trilogy release last year by Titan Books. The first two books, Alien: Out of the Shadows and Alien: Sea of Sorrows, focused on the planet LV-178 and told two semi-connected stories set a couple of hundred year apart. Alien: River […]
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    SF Site

  • An English Ghost Story by Kim Newman

    24 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Steven and Kirsty Naremore go house hunting in the hopes of getting away from their troubles and start anew with their son and daughter, Tim and Jordan. The home they first viewed was a run-down overgrown place they considered a 'long shot.' It is the one place they might never think of buying as it would take a lot of renovation. Jordan doesn't like it or the site it is on, comparing it to being: "like an extermination camp for cows."
  • Galaxy's Edge #9

    24 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    The magazine is now considered an official SFWA-approved market and selling paper subscriptions. Mike Resnick always has his own topics he can discuss in his "The Editor's Word" slot and this time around it's about science fiction fandom, claiming his own fandom as 'oldphart' who has collected all the information needed to pass onto the next generation of fans so they have a clearer idea of the fandom.
  • Galaxy's Edge #10

    24 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    So far the issues up to this one have had some major talent within the pages, this time around sci-fi great Larry Niven author of Red Tide with Brad R. Torgerson and Matthew J.Harrington has his Draco Tavern story, Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, Tobias S.Buckell and Robert J. Sawyer all have their part to play in entertaining readers with their tales, but one special feature and an interview with world-famous Hugo award winner and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin.
  • Andromeda's War by William C. Dietz

    24 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Andromeda might have had chance to get over what had happened to her family over a year ago, but she missed her chance to kill the cruel and evil ruler, Ophelia. And now that her uncle has been killed in a government raid on Earth, she realises she is the only surviving heir and, as such, is the only one who can kill the empress and overthrow all the damage she has done.
  • Lowball: Wild Cards #22 edited by George R.R. Martin and Melinda Snodgrass

    24 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Wild Cards, for those coming to this series via the editor's more celebrated works, is the longest running shared world superhero series, in book form. It has its own counterfactual history, some gritty and great characters, and decades of stories written in a mosaic form. This approach has allowed many talented writers to mingle their literary blood since the mid-80s. Over the years there have been changes of publisher, but the song remained the same. Until more recent times.
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    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass


    12 Jan 2015 | 2:53 pm
      ORANGE COUNTY, NC (January 12, 2015)—The Orange County Arts Commission is pleased to announce James Maxey, a speculative fiction author from Hillsborough, as the region's 2015 Piedmont Laureate. Mr. Maxey will appear at workshops, reading programs and speaking engagements throughout Durham, Orange and Wake counties, giving the public an opportunity to meet him and learn more about his
  • 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
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    Kathryn Cramer

  • Asking the Wrong Question

    11 Jan 2015 | 2:34 pm
    Oppressive governments often lock up writers, artists, intellectuals. They lock them up because such people are dangerous to those in power. In the United States, we mostly don't have that problem. This is partly because of the first amendment, but also because American writers, artist, and intellectuals are mostly tame.   The lack of politics in art and literature is seen as a virtue as though there were a pure aesthetics that could only be tainted by the addition of politics. In the US, this is partly the legacy of McCarthism. While our arts are sometime offensive, they do little…
  • Crowdfund me: I have been doing great work. And rather than stop to do something else, I would like to keep going.

    8 Nov 2014 | 9:32 am
    Hi. I need your help. I'd like to take a moment to focus your attention on me, what I have done for the science fiction field, and what I am capable of doing if I have your help. Hieroglyph came out on September 9th, and a bunch of us associated with the book had a wild time on the book tour. (If you have been following me on Facebook or Twitter, you know all about this.) Now I'm home and planning what to do next. Having launched the book successfully, now it's time for me to worry about money. For the next few months, I will be in a fundraising phase. I have been doing…
  • Vote today, but first check out soft money spending in Congressional elections

    4 Nov 2014 | 2:35 am
    Please remember to vote today. Before you vote, entertain yourself with a look at to see who spent what to buy your vote in this election, especially in races for the House and Senate. Here, for example, is New York's 21st district, where the Conservative soft money in play totals more than either candidate raised individually and soft money has been spent 85:1 to defeat Democrat Aaron Woolf. Here is a widget for checking your polling place.  
  • fear of something with the power to cut even deeper – my own community

    30 Oct 2014 | 11:23 am
    Wise words from Quinnae Moongazer : When I mention the icebox of unpublished posts and articles to friends and colleagues, I do so with a forced smile, pretending that it’s a heady combination of academic perfectionism and fear of being attacked by bigots that leads me to suppress them. There is more than a grain of truth to this. As many of my friends, loved ones, and sisters in struggle have demonstrated and written about, there is a lot to fear from the 4chan-esque world of angry young men with ample resentment towards those of us they perceive to be purloining some birthright of theirs.
  • Conservative outside organizations are spending 85 times more than liberal organizations in NY-21.

    29 Oct 2014 | 3:55 pm
    I live in New York's 21st Congressional District, currently represented by Democrat Bill Owens, who is retiring. It was the 23rd District when Owens was elected, by there has been redistricting since then. Three candidates are running for Owens' seat. Aaron Woolf, the Democratic candidate, is endorsed by Bill Owens and also by Charles Schumer. Elise Stefanik is the Republican candidate. And there is also a Green Party candidate, Matt Funicello. NY-21 congressional district has an adult population of under 600,000. When Bill Owens was first elected, there were about 150,000 votes…
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    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • midweek music: John Lee Hooker

    28 Jan 2015 | 8:07 am
    Back in 1970, John Lee Hooker appeared on Detroit Tube Works and played a few songs. The footage has been dug up and uploaded to the Tube of You, and here it is. Just some amazing blues work from one of the masters. (Thanks to my dear friend Arinn Dembo for the heads-up....)
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "'Til Death Do Us Part"

    27 Jan 2015 | 1:49 pm
    Sisko and Yates may or may not get married, Dukat and Winn become a couple, Dax and Worf don't become a couple, and the war takes a turn for the worse. Oh, and Damar is still drinking. The DS9 Rewatch will stay together "'Til Death Do Us Part."An excerpt:Either way, the end result elevates Dukat as a villain—he plays Winn like a two-dollar banjo—at the expense of Winn’s status both as a villain and as a character—she is played like a two-dollar banjo. And having them fall in bed together just feels so utterly artificial, not helped by the fact that there’s no kind of sexual…
  • preorder V-Wars: Night Terrors and The X-Files: Trust No One

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:29 am
    I've got stories in two anthologies coming this spring from IDW Publishing and edited by Jonathan Maberry, which are now available for preorder. One is the third in Jonathan's shared-world anthology series V-Wars. I had a story in the first one, and also in the forthcoming third one, Night Terrors, which is now available for preorder from Amazon in hardcover. My story is called "Streets of Fire," and features Mia Fitzsimmons, the Daily News reporter from "The Ballad of Big Charlie" (my story in the first anthology), as she's embedded with the NYPD's new Vampire Crimes Unit.Besides me and…
  • a nice comment on my Far Horizons story.....

    27 Jan 2015 | 6:34 am
    It's always nice when they get what you're going for. From J.L. Gribble's Amazon review of Stargate SG-1/Atlantis: Far Horizons</i>:And finally, mad props go to Keith R. A. DeCandido's "Time Keeps on Slippin'" for being both an entertaining tale and finally giving a plausible backstory to what otherwise was better forgotten as one actor's unfortunate facial hair decision...
  • Monday music: "First Snow on Brooklyn"

    26 Jan 2015 | 3:49 pm
    This just seems appropriate, what with all the snow being dumped on NYC today: from The Jethro Tull Christmas Album, "First Snow on Brooklyn."
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    Robert J. Sawyer

  • 35th anniversary of my first sale

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

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

    12 Jan 2015 | 12:41 pm
    Four rules for living a better and happier life that seem sensible to me:   Make amends Accept apologies Don’t discard people Care Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email
  • NASFA 40th anniversary coming up

    4 Jan 2015 | 2:30 am
    I’m hoping Google searches will bring some people here: On October 16, 1975, Robert J. Sawyer, Richard Gotlib, and Ted Bleaney founded NASFA, the Northview Association for Science Fiction Addicts, based at Northview Heights Secondary School in Willowdale (later North York; later still, Toronto), Ontario, Canada. We’re having a 40th anniversary reunion party on Saturday, October 24, 2015, at the home of Robert J. Sawyer and Carolyn Clink in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, starting at 3:00 p.m. All past members of NASFA (“Nasforians,” as we called ourselves) are invited…
  • The Primate Directive

    30 Dec 2014 | 12:34 pm
    My review of issue 1 of the Star Trek / Planet of the Apes crossover comic “The Primate Directive” is now online at Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email
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  • Midnight Rises, My Graphic Novel, Out NOW on iOS!

    John Scalzi
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:13 am
    Today’s the day: Midnight Rises, my first ever graphic novel, is out today, for iOS devices, via a downloadable app. I wrote it, and Mike Choi illustrates it. It also includes music by Serj Tankian (System of a Down). The first chapter of the graphic novel is free, with the subsequent two chapters available in-app for just 99 cents (and for fans of Mike Choi’s fantastic artwork, alternate covers are available for $1.99). I’m super proud of it, and of the world it introduces, which will be further explored in the video game Midnight Star, which debuts very soon. But Midnight…
  • The Big Idea: Heather Webb

    John Scalzi
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:40 am
    Author Heather Webb knows what people think of creative folks, and their overall mental fitness. But as with nearly everything, there’s more to the story — literally — than common perception. Webb explains why and how her exploration of the theme influenced her novel Rodin’s Lover. HEATHER WEBB: Aren’t all creatives a little bit “mad”? This is what many of us assume from centuries of stereotypes and tales of artists and writers doing nutty things. Where is the line drawn between fervor, obsession, and madness—and who decides? Several studies have been conducted…
  • The Big Idea: Myke Cole

    John Scalzi
    27 Jan 2015 | 7:07 am
    War changes you, and in the case of the protagonist of Gemini Cell, the new novel by Myke Cole, the changes are more drastic than they are for others. But as drastic as they are, they have their root in a common affliction for those who have gone into combat. Cole explains below. MYKE COLE: When you sign up for a hitch in the military, you understand that you might get hurt. Warfighters exist to kill people and destroy property, that’s what they do. You’re ready for privation, for injury. But it’s one thing to suffer. It’s another thing to change. You tell yourself that won’t…
  • John Anderson, RIP

    John Scalzi
    27 Jan 2015 | 4:21 am
    John and Amanda Anderson, and Bruce Springsteen. I met John Anderson close to nineteen years ago, when I started working at America Online, back in the day when the company was the very cutting edge of social media. I had moved across the entire country for the job, my wife had to stay back in California for a couple of months to finish up a semester of school, and I was literally at loose ends, lost, with no friends and very little idea of what to do with myself. John Anderson was part of a close circle of friends who took me in for trips to the Vienna Pub, late night games of Marathon,…
  • Sunset with Sundogs, 1/26/15

    John Scalzi
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:43 pm
    The sundogs being the rainbow spots on either side of the sun. I can often get one side but rarely get both. So this is an auspicious day. Also, I suggest looking at the larger version for more detail.
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    Magical Words

  • David B. Coe: The Writing Life and What it Means to Me

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:23 am
    This is my last entry for this round of guest posts. I have enjoyed being back here at MW for December and January, and I look forward to returning later this year, when I have two more releases (Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth Thieftaker, in July, and His Father’s Eyes, the second book in the Case Files of Justis Fearsson, in August). I have wondered what to write for this last post. Usually we ask our guest writers to give us a post about “the writing life.” But it occurs to me that this is not an easy topic. Describing the writing life is kind of like describing marriage or parenting.
  • We Did It!

    Misty Massey
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:14 am
    Y’all, I’m so proud and thrilled to say that The Weird Wild West Kickstarter funded successfully!  If you were one of the wonderful backers, thank you so very much!  We couldn’t have done this without you, and we’re so excited to bring you a book of incredible and thrilling stories soon. But here’s the really good part…we managed to reach two of our stretch goals, which means that we’ll be opening SIX submission slots!  We’re accepting submissions now, so if you have an idea for a great weird western story, now’s the time to write it,…
  • Literate Liquors Episode 11

    John G. Hartness
    23 Jan 2015 | 9:40 am
    As our dear friend A.J. would say, “Bollocks!” Sorry I’m late today, life got away from me. I’m flying solo on this week’s Literate Liquors, but I’ll have a special guest next week. This week I’m pimping stuff by friends, in particular the Weird Western anthology that you may have heard Misty and I mention once or twice. I’m also promoting the Queers Destroy Science Fiction Kickstarter, not that it needs much help from me, since it funded within a few minutes. But it’s edited by the amazing Seanan McGuire (AKA Mira Grant) and is dedicated…
  • David B. Coe: The Plotter Pantses

    20 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    I’m a plotter, and I have been for most of my career. I don’t outline every detail of my books. Far from it. I tend to write loose outlines that touch on the significant plot points of my narratives but leave the details — dialog, specific action, descriptions, etc. — to the moment when I’m actually writing. In other words, I’m a hybrid, as so many of us are: I plot a bit, but I also allow much of my writing to happen organically. I think that my penchant for doing at least some outlining is, at least in part, an outgrowth of the kind of books I’ve written through my…
  • Literate Liquors with Misty Massey – Episode 10 – Charlie, KickStarter, Cons and more!

    John G. Hartness
    16 Jan 2015 | 6:20 am
    So the lovely Misty Massey and I got together last week to chat about what’s going on in the world or writing, the world in general, and this little Kickstarter project she was marginally involved in. As always with me, the language is NSFW. Also, if you’re anywhere in the Charlotte, Rock Hill or Gastonia areas next week don’t miss David & Faith signing books! They’ll be somewhere in Gastonia on Tuesday the 20th and at The Book Knack in Rock Hill on Wednesday the 21st! Come on out and say hi! There is a greater than zero possibility that I’ll be there hanging…
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  • Five Things You Should Know About Award Nominations

    2 Jan 2015 | 7:40 am
    It’s awards season. It comes around every year, and every year authors wonder whether they should put their work out for consideration.This can be a scary thing. Making a bid for an award can feel a bit like facing a hoard of angry dogs with only a single hardback volume to defend you from their slathering teeth. Oh, and it’s a book you’ve written, and it’s your only copy.By the time they’ve got a story or two on the market, most authors already know the basic principles of self-promotion. I’m not going to talk about sharing copies of the story with awards…
  • Vanishing Stories

    1 Jan 2015 | 6:21 am
    Today marks the beginning of the new European Union VAT requirements. As an EU resident, I’m required to verify that any online vendors I work with are VAT compliant. Amazon is. Audible is. Smashwords… isn’t, and the only public announcement they’ve made on the topic is that they are not currently planning any changes to their web site. Until that changes, my self-published fiction is no longer available for sale on Smashwords. Because Smashwords will not distribute to Kobo, iTunes or Barnes & Noble unless my work is available in their store, my work will soon be…
  • 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…
  • 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.
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  • New DiFi Interview

    28 Jan 2015 | 10:21 am
    I answer a few questions about my experiences in Italy.
  • New Review at the B&NR

    28 Jan 2015 | 10:06 am
    I look at a debut SF novel involving talking cats:
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    21 Jan 2015 | 10:42 am
    A look at Moorcock's new novel:
  • New Review at the B&NR

    21 Jan 2015 | 8:44 am
    I look at a great new slipstream novel:
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    16 Jan 2015 | 12:55 pm
    In the mood for some good urban fantasy?
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  • Funny (if Scarily Accurate) Board Game about Writing Your First Novel

    tate hallaway
    28 Jan 2015 | 6:19 am
    Buzzfeed has a good one today, it's a board game that simulates what it's like to write your first novel.  I think there are some missing steps, but read it first:"It's Time to Write Your First Book"For me, there would have to be a space to land on that said, "Freak out 3 days before deadline; Rewrite book from scratch. (Go back 2 spaces)."  I probably should also have one that says, "Accidentally Fall into Fandom (Go back to Start.)"Though I've been sharing this around because: "Editor asks for more vampires" ACTUALLY HAPPENED TO ME.
  • Back in the Saddle (and a Story of Geek)

    tate hallaway
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:56 am
    I'm back to posting on UnJust Cause finally, so if you want to check that out, it's up on Wattpad now: "To Err is Human (and Tomorrow is Another Day.)" There's not a lot there, not too much more than 500 words, but I needed to get back in the habit. Honestly, what I really, REALLY need to do with this is what Rachel and I just spent three weeks doing to School for Wayward Demons (SWD)... I need to take all the parts and get them into a huge document and start to really examine the whole shape of it.Because if I'm going to make it into a book, it needs that. I am learning, somewhat the hard…
  • The Joys of Collaboration (and Other Stories)

    tate hallaway
    26 Jan 2015 | 8:41 am
    Wow, you guys, the book version of School for Wayward Demons is 90,000 words. It's currently off with Sean Murphy, sort-of-kind-of-former Wyrdsmith (retired? emeritus?), who is checking it for "book-y-ness." (Like, truthiness, except for books, I think.) But, here's the thing, 90,000 words? If you buy this book when it comes out, you're FOR SURE getting a third more story. All the stuff we have queued up for the web site only clocked in at 65,000. I can tell you that the big changes are to Kitty. She gets a much stronger back story. Erin, too, actually, gets to be more proactive in her own…
  • Update on Various Projects

    tate hallaway
    20 Jan 2015 | 12:19 pm
    Today, (more like this evening at this point) I hope to get a new Tate bit posted on Wattpad, but I had to work today from 9 to 1 at Maplewood library. It was really busy thanks to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday. Normally, Maplewood is my favorite library because the people are so awesome and they have the best ever graphic novel collection in Ramsey county, I swear.In other writing related news, Rachel and I are also trying to see if we can build more of an audience for our School for Wayward Demons project by x-posting that at Wattpad too. So, if you find it easier to read an comment…
  • Please Note Change to Sidebar.....

    tate hallaway
    15 Jan 2015 | 11:40 am
    (drum roll please)We Have a New Member!!!Currently, Theo is probably best known for her Coloring Books, which include Unicorns are Jerks, Dinosaurs with Jobs, Fat Ladies in Spaaaace, and the most recent, MerWorld Problems.  But, as Mal from Firefly might say, "We aim to change that," and, with any luck at all, she will soon become equally well known for her other writing.Please check out her work and join me in saying welcome to the newest member of Wyrdsmiths!!  
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    Joe Abercrombie

  • Forbidden Planet, Australia, Dubai

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

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

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

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

    Joe Abercrombie
    21 Dec 2014 | 6:07 am
    I liked Dragon Age: Origins a lot when it came out way back in 2009.  I’d long been a fan of Bioware’s D&D based fantasy RPGs, especially Baldur’s Gate I and II.  Dragon Age seemed to introduce a new level of grittiness both moral and physical to the genre, with some interesting characters, dark themes, and tough moral choices.  I was pretty disappointed with Dragon Age II, though, which followed only a year and a half later.  The setting still worked and there were some good characters but it felt rushed, repetitive and decidedly un-epic.  I finished that review…
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    Colleen Anderson

  • WordPress Takes Another Unfortunate Page From Facebook

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

    11 Jan 2015 | 6:27 pm
    Happy New Year, World! I hope we can see more peace and calm and less fanaticism this year, but it’s not looking likely. However, I’ll do my bit for compassion and understanding and remember, it’s the microcosm, your neighbors, your friends and your family that can make for a more loving place. Creative Commons: Zeeksie @ Deviant Art On that note, I traveled to the frozen wastelands (as I see it) of Alberta to visit friends and family over the holidays. While I’ve been back in recent years I’ve tried to avoid winter  because it is evil and bone-chilling. I…
  • 2014 in review

    10 Jan 2015 | 6:33 pm
    The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 38,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it. Click here to see the complete report.Filed under: Culture
  • Fetishes, Flaming and Facts

    10 Nov 2014 | 11:15 pm
    A few weeks ago an extremely popular, Canadian interview host, Jian Ghomeshi, was fired from CBC radio. When this first happened, CBC said it was because of information they had received about Ghomeshi. Well, that was rather mysterious. I point out that I also heard this on CBC Radio, not on another station. (I don’t have TV so I get my news by listening to radio.) Then Ghomeshi put out a  statement that he has a kinky lifestyle and indulges in bondage and domination, and that CBC found this “sexual behavior was unbecoming of a prominent host.” Ghomeshi in the Q studio.
  • Fall Soups: Squash, Rice and Chicken

    28 Oct 2014 | 3:32 pm
    Kabocha squash. Scoop out the seeds and roast them like pumpkin seeds. Creative Commons: Namayamsai LLP When it comes to fall, I always make up a bunch of soups and freeze them. They’re good on a rainy or cold day, or when I’m tired and haven’t left time to make a lunch in the mornings. I have a great recipe book called The New Soup Bible by Anne Sheasby. There are several editions so the soups tend to be different in each one. They are also British and will list items like courgettes and aubergines (zucchini and eggplant to us North Americans) but measurements are in…
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    Eleanor Arnason's Web Log

  • Proofreading and Writing Essays

    18 Jan 2015 | 8:40 am
    I am now proofing Daughter of the Bear King, my third novel, for the second time. Aqueduct has decided to bring it out next in e-version, after The Sword Smith. When I went over Daughter the first time, having not looked at it for years, I was not impressed by it. Though I noticed that a lot of scenes stuck with me after. Now it looks fine. The same book, two different moods. You should never listen to an author about his or her work. On the good days, it's a masterpiece. On the bad days, it belongs in a landfill. Actually, I never think my work belongs in a landfill. Instead, I notice all…
  • The New Book with Cup and Marmalade

    15 Jan 2015 | 9:25 am
    The book and a jar of Tiptree marmalade, my current favorite variety. The photo also contains a cup by the potter Rachael Hoffman Dachelet.
  • Me and the New Book

    15 Jan 2015 | 9:22 am
    To the right, above my shoulder, you can see a few tentacles belonging to Daisy my plush octopus, soon to star in her own story.
  • What Am I, Chopped Chicken Liver?

    15 Jan 2015 | 9:19 am
    I'm not alone in noting the irony that a genre like sf, historically obsessed with alterity, should have so much trouble with actual people of color and women and LGBT peoples. But when one understands the degree to which nearly all our genres are haunted by, and have drawn a lot of their meanings, materials, and structures from the traumatic Big Bang of colonialism and its attendant matrixes of power (coloniality) - irony strikes one as the least of our problems.Alien invasions, natives, slavery, colonies, genocide, racial system, savages, technological superiority, forerunner races and the…
  • New Post

    21 Dec 2014 | 7:26 am
    I am falling behind. No posts for a week. What can I say? Our hoya is now blooming -- clusters of pale pink flowers. The weather is gray, dreary and rainy. I've been wrapping presents and watching Ghost in the Shell, an amazing Japanese anime TV series. I finished a final read through of The Sword Smith, and it should come out in e-book version before year end. It's my first novel, out of print for years. Going back over it, I was pleasantly surprised. It's pretty good. Not so bad, as we say in Minnesota. It could be worse. Next I move on to two more out-of-print novels, due out (also in…
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  • UPCOMING4.ME Dark Intelligence Review

    Neal Asher
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:32 am
    Nice one here from UPCOMING4.ME"Dark Intelligence" is Neal Asher's long awaited comeback to Polity universe and is something of a blinder. To be honest, I desperately wanted it to be great so I'm pretty chuffed that it really is. Long gone are the days when authors were just a name on the cover. Today we, as readers, are often treated to insights about their private lives, their real-life views, interests and passions. In my opinion we're better for it because often you learn to appreciate the authors for what they are and not just because they're, well, such talented writers. So through…
  • Dark Intelligence to Music

    Neal Asher
    24 Jan 2015 | 11:23 pm
    For this blog post I hand you over to Steve Buick:I wrote the music for Dark Intelligence with the idea that long soundscapes could evoke the atmospheres in the book and enhance the reading experience without actually interfering with the reading itself. I did the same thing for Peter F Hamilton's The Abyss Beyond Dreams, which kickstarted the concept. I noticed people on buses and trains reading while listening to music. Surely music that was created for the book would be the ideal environment for the story? Evokescape was born.In Dark Intelligence there is a pace and energy that required…
  • One Year

    Neal Asher
    23 Jan 2015 | 11:19 pm
    Caroline Asher10/7/59 to 24/1/14
  • One Week To Go!

    Neal Asher
    22 Jan 2015 | 1:51 am
    Forbidden Planet SigningThursday, 29th January, 2015 18:00 - 19:00London Megastore, 179 Shaftesbury Avenue, London,WC2H 8JRNEAL ASHER will be signing DARK INTELLIGENCE at the Forbidden Planet London Megastore on Thursday 29th January from 6 – 7pmOne man will transcend death to seek vengeance. One woman will transform herself to gain power. And no one will emerge unscathed...Thorvald Spear wakes in hospital, where he finds he's been brought back from the dead. What's more, he died in a human vs. alien war that ended a whole century ago. But when he relives his…
  • SFX Interview

    Neal Asher
    21 Jan 2015 | 12:04 am
    Freezing author poses in a field outside Bradwell Power Station. When the photographer Will Ireland turned up at Althorne railway station I thought why not head down to the River Crouch? There’s some nice enough scenery down there that could be used as a backdrop. However I was forgetting that I was not in Crete where car parking is easy, but in England where someone wants money or some busybody complains. We ended up at the power station because, well, what kind of backdrop do you have for an SF writer? After posing in a field for a while I was reminded of that phrase (I think), ‘The…
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  • THE DOUBT FACTORY is an Edgar Award Finalist

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

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

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

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

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


    Lee Battersby
    28 Jan 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Sometimes, this parenting lark just has no winners, no winners at all......"Tell me about the Tooth Fairy, Dad."Being a rooster has its tough moments.

    Lee Battersby
    22 Jan 2015 | 3:15 pm
    I'm running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don't get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.Most of my friends, coworkers, and family know I’m obsessed with pirates. Check…
  • Review: The Bloody White Baron

    Lee Battersby
    21 Jan 2015 | 3:53 pm
    The Bloody White Baron by James Palmer My rating: 0 of 5 stars Unreadably bad. Palmer is clearly a writer with a passion forMongolia, and a political point to make, but his long asides and diatribes, coupled with footnotes that vary between simple references and long, unsubstantiated opinion pieces, turn this mess of a book into an utter farrago. Ungern-Sternberg is clearly a compelling character, and there's bound to be a fascinating biography of the man out there somewhere, but this isn't anywhere near it. Did not finish. View all my reviews
  • Review: The Four Just Men

    Lee Battersby
    21 Jan 2015 | 3:49 pm
    The Four Just Men by Edgar Wallace My rating: 4 of 5 stars Written in 1905, this remains a gripping and exciting character piece that examines the effect of political terrorism on a passive populace. While the characters of the police who pursue the titular four are never more than loosely drawn, those of the men themselves are the clearest fascination, and the gaps in their characterisation just encourage the reader to fill them in by himself. The plot whips along, the tension palpably increases as the annointed hour of the act moves ever closer, and while the climax has a whiff of the deus…

    Lee Battersby
    21 Jan 2015 | 3:00 pm
    Yeah, so...... literary pretensions...... it's a thing......"45 minutes after she says it, James Joyce's English teacher decides that "Time's up,finish the sentence you're on," isn't the best way to get him to finish his exam"
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    throw another bear in the canoe

  • now they're huddled in the brakelights of a '58 bel aire listening to how romeo killed a sheriff wit

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    27 Jan 2015 | 2:06 pm
    It's book day and blizzard day, and so many other things! I've gotten peeks at the upcoming UK covers for the Wetwired and Jacob's Ladder books, and I can't WAIT to show you guys. (YOU GUYS YOU GUYS).Covers for Carnival and Undertow will eventually join them, and then I can show everybody!  It's book day! No, not Karen Memory. The trade paperback of Shattered Pillars is out today!
  • she said she'd stick around until the bandages came off

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    26 Jan 2015 | 12:58 pm
    Look what the UPS ninjas done drug in! (Along with my new winter jacket, which will come in handy tomorrow, let me tell you.)Well, this makes for a very nice snowpocalypse indeed.
  • they can't get enough of that doomsday song

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    26 Jan 2015 | 11:33 am
    Today is a Rest Day! The GRD pretty much has this snowpocalypse preparedness thing dialed.Apparently the national media is making a huge fuss of our blizzard? Here in the actual path of the thing, it's more of less business as usual. Lines at the gas station were a little longer than usual this morning as people stocked up to feed their snowblowers, but as a general rule we've got plenty of snow plows. We'll stay in tomorrow and drink cocoa, and by Thursday afternoon we'll have it all shoveled.Happy nor'eastering, everybody. 
  • dainty as a dishrag. faithful as a chow.

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    25 Jan 2015 | 5:58 pm
    Apparently I am in the middle of a cycle of stories taking the piss out of academia. I finished one already this year--"The Bone War"--and it's a central theme of the thing I'm contributing to Worldspinner. And I'm finally getting some traction on "On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera," a story I have been working on literally since 1989. I also have a thing called "And The Balance in Blood," that'll be finished as soon as I think of a climax, and a snarky-ass library story that has no title yet, but it does have an epigraph: “I have always imagined that Paradise will be…
  • there is no ghost in the machine. there's just you and me.

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    25 Jan 2015 | 5:34 pm
    This is a new icon, which is from a 9th century Irish manuscript, and says "Massive Hangover" in Ogham. Actually, it says, "Ale has killed us," but it's the spirit of the thing.I've written around 16000 words in the past seven days, and I'm unbelievably wiped. But I've delivered one of the immediately pressing projects, at least in draft, and now Tomorrow Is A Rest Day. I have finished a whole pile of stuff for Worldspinner this week, and also done a ridiculous amount of promo writing for the Karen Memory launch, which is only a week and two days away! (And this Tuesday, during which we are…
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    Vicious Imagery

  • My PLR top ten titles for July 2013 - June 2014

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

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

    7 Jan 2015 | 6:23 am
    Because it's awards season, a wee re-run for this great sketch...
  • Christmas Serial: SNL spoofs podcast phenomenon

    22 Dec 2014 | 2:52 am
    Having been thoroughly addicted to the Serial podcast, this tickled me.
  • My 3 writing goals for the first three months of 2015

    22 Dec 2014 | 1:21 am
    Setting goals for yourself as a freelance writer is essential if you want to progress. I used to diligently set goals every year and check how well they were going. Lately? Not so much. As a result things drifted. I was busy, but wasn't doing enough writing. Realising this, I sensibly decided there was little point networking myself without fresh material.Having rediscovered my writing mojo, I am also recommitting myself to goal setting for 2015. I'm not going to plot goals for the whole year, I prefer to have some flexibility so I can respond to opportunities as they arise. But I am…
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  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    23 Jan 2015 | 2:01 pm
    Remember when David Lee Roth was a thing? This video for "A Lil Ain't Enough" will show you why he quit being a thing quite abruptly. The song is pretty much the embodiment of 80s hair band cliches, lyrically as well as musically (the album, which I have, isn't bad. This song, not so much). The video, though... wow. Not only does it bring Diamond Dave's antics and womanizing and 80s cliches in to the 1990s in a way that doesn't translate and feels painfully dated, but it throws a bunch of bizarreness onto the screen that simply baffles. This entire video is a four-minute representation of a…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    16 Jan 2015 | 12:59 pm
    I've always liked Jill Sobule, but my appreciation for her has grown tremendously in recent years. She's a very strong songwriter with witty and insightful lyrics that never quite take the road less traveled. The sarcasm she laces her songs with could be caustic from anyone else, but her delivery always seems to have an element of joy that smooths the sharper edges. And I mean that in a good way. She's too quirky to have enjoyed more than fleeting mainstream success, but that doesn't diminish her talent. She's like a modern harry Nilsson. Here's her video for "Bitter," a song that manages to…
  • Mourning the sandstorm

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    12 Jan 2015 | 9:30 am
    It's gone. I've lost it through a combination of carelessness and dumb luck. Pleading and bargaining with fate has failed. My efforts to do an end-around have failed. I have to force myself to accept the ugly truth: My beloved Monument Valley Sandstorm, Infrared, is no more. Oh, I still have a gorgeous 36x24 gallery wrap on my office wall, and the web-sized version you see here persists. But the original RAW file is gone. The full-resolution tiff and Photoshop working files are gone. The finished-edit jpeg is gone. Which means I can never make another quality print of this image, which…
  • Chicken Ranch report no. 50: Tx Citizen comes a-callin'

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    5 Jan 2015 | 8:31 am
    Saturday was Edna Milton's birthday. She would've been 87. It's hard to believe that six years have passed since I first met her and started on this Quixotic quest to write the definitive history of the Chicken Ranch. When I look back over that time, all I can do is shake my head and say, "Wow." Things are afoot in Chicken Ranch Book Land. Some I can share, some I can't. Rest assured I am not sitting on my laurels and am talking with publishers to get this book in print in the most widely-available, professional quality form possible. And people are noticing. I gave several lectures on the…
  • 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
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  • Book News!

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

    31 Dec 2014 | 9:48 am
    In fact, it was a good enough year that my head, heart, hands and at least one foot are in 2015 already--forward momentum is always a good thing. Or as Jules puts it in Girl on a Wire: With motion comes purpose. With motion comes discovery. But there's a value to taking stock and keeping a record too. And the amusement value of looking back from another year on, as I just did to last year's post (pretty on point, actually, though as always some things took longer to get to than I expected). I said last year that 2013 felt transitional, and it did. And so this past year, 2014, was…
  • 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…
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    Swan Tower

  • The Month of Letters returns!

    Swan Tower
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:31 pm
    I suppose it isn’t really the Month of Letters as Mary Robinette Kowal originally conceived it, since I don’t actually wind up mailing something every day of February. But the Month of Letters is where it started, so I still think of it by that name. I am referring, of course, to the chance to receive a letter from Lady Trent herself. It’s easy to do; all that is required is for you to send a letter to her, at this address: Marie Brennan P.O. Box 991 San Mateo, CA 94403 Address the outside envelope to me, not Isabella; that way you can be sure it will be delivered. And…
  • Adapting the Wheel of Time

    Swan Tower
    26 Jan 2015 | 1:44 pm
    I doubt they’ll ever make the Wheel of Time into a TV series — but it’s an interesting mental exercise, thinking about how they would do it. (I do this sort of thing a lot, because it makes me think differently about story structure and how to create the appropriate shape.) Up front: no way in hell would they just film it the way they’ve done with Martin’s books, (roughly) one book per season; that would make for fourteen seasons of TV, and even in a hypothetical scenario nobody’s going to do that. Even allowing for reductions based on things like…
  • Help me recreate a drink!

    Swan Tower
    25 Jan 2015 | 5:49 pm
    When my husband and I were in England a couple of years ago, we had lunch in Highgate at a place that also served a drink I found absolutely delicious. We have recently found the list of ingredients again, so now our challenge is: what should the proportions be? The drink contained: Hendricks gin Zubrowka apple juice elderflower juice mint We have a different brand of gin and elderflower syrup, so we may need to adjust slightly for that. Ideal result is for it to not taste very alcoholic — since I don’t like drinks that are terribly strong. Any suggestions for proportions? Edited…
  • Icon Results!

    Swan Tower
    23 Jan 2015 | 1:28 pm
    The book has so thoroughly eaten my head the last couple of weeks, I forgot that I hadn’t followed up on the icon contest. Many thanks to everybody who sent in an icon, whether via blog, Twitter, email, etc. After due consideration (and y’all didn’t make it easy), I have decided to go with the option presented by renrenren3: renrenren3, drop me a line at marie{dot}brennan{at}gmail{dot}com so I can mail the ARC to you! Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there. This entry was also posted at Comment here or…
  • I've had enough

    Swan Tower
    16 Jan 2015 | 11:33 am
    The other day I was having to reinstall the operating system on my laptop, which is a tedious process that involves lots of waiting for things to be done. While this was going on, I poked around on Netflix, trying to find a new TV show to watch.I actually watched a bunch of things that day, one of which was the first episode of Peaky Blinders. I like Cillian Murphy as an actor, and I'm a sucker for well-detailed historical periods, and the show is solidly written . . .. . . and I just didn't care.Because I'm starting to feel like I've had enough. There's a genre of TV right now that somebody…
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  • Fairness on the Public Airwaves

    David Brin
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:55 am
    In a previous political posting, we ran through a long list of political addictions – nostrums and catechisms that believers return to decade after decade, despite their having been relentlessly and decisively disproved. Like the notion that a seventy year Drug War can cure chemical dependency, or that a fifty year trade embargo on Cuba ever did a scintilla of good. Or an utter insanity called Supply Side (Voodoo) Economics, or SSVE, that never made a single successful prediction, not even one, ever......or – indeed – some of the almost-as-absurd incantations nursed by the…
  • The Robots and Foundation Universe: Issues Left For Us by Isaac Asimov

    David Brin
    23 Jan 2015 | 5:26 pm
    "It is the business of the future to be dangerous."-- A.N. Whitehead A week ago, I explored the complex matter of Robert A. Heinlein. Now, let's dive deeply for a close look at another of our field's Grand Masters... one about whom I am officially an expert!== Isaac Asimov and the joy of endless argument ==Ah, robots.Ever since Karel Capek coined the word in his stage play “R.U.R.”, its meaning has gone through steady transformation.  The fleshy slave-workers of Capek’s drama would today be called “androids” or be likened to the replicants of BLADE RUNNER.  Robots per…
  • SETI and Libertarianism

    David Brin
    19 Jan 2015 | 6:32 pm
    What better launching point for this topic than my previous posting about science fiction Grand Master Robert A. Heinlein, who both lifted our gaze skyward and exemplified what I deem to be an older and far saner form of "libertarianism" than today's culti-like version of the movement.  Was that a provocative-enough opening?  Well gird yourselves, because it's all about life and destiny and the Galaxy.  There's a whole lot more at stake than just you and me and Earth.  Indeed, it boils down to - forgive me - the nature of Existence. What can the absence of SETI…
  • Robert Heinlein and looking Beyond This Horizon

    David Brin
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:16 pm
    Robert A. Heinlein was a question-asker. And much less "political" in any classic terms, than most later critics would perceive and/or be willing to admit. Sure, he expressed countless political opinions!  But these often contradicted musings that he offered in other novels. While it's true he had a general "libertarian" bent, that leaning was in directions so diametrically different than today's dominant "libertarian cult" of selfish solipsism that I deem it likely he would have - by now - returned to the Party that he worked for, most of his life -- the Democratic Party.But…
  • So what is on the Congressional plate?

    David Brin
    14 Jan 2015 | 11:40 am
    == Outcomes in Question ==I frequently demand of our friends who are still loyal Republicans to name any positive, assertive steps that the party of Bush and Cheney will actually attempt to accomplish, now that they control both houses of Congress. Nu? Repeal Obamacare? Puh-lease.  The GOP leadership never wanted it repealed, since it is their own… damn… plan -- cloned from Heritage plans, Romney-care, Gingrichcare and the GOP platform.  They just want to yell and pretend, while letting it work.Seriously, I ask again! Given that every GOP-run…
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    Dispatches from Tanganyika

  • The Art of Asking

    Billy Martin
    9 Jan 2015 | 6:23 pm
    I'm reading The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer. She has some amazing talents that don't even relate to music, like the ability to thrive on her own vulnerability. I could no more go to a house party and cuddle a bunch of strangers in a closet while telling stories than I could fly to the top of Mt. Everest. Above all, Amanda encourages us to communicate with our people and ask for help when we need it. So, if you've been thinking about ordering something from my shop,, this would be a fantastic time to do it; December was a banner month, but some unforeseen…
  • 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
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    Tobias Buckell

  • Crystal Rain relaunched in trade paperback this week. Read the first 1/3 free right here

    Tobias Buckell
    22 Jan 2015 | 11:19 am
    Crystal Rain launches this week in a brand new trade paperback format. If you’re interested in diverse SF, if you’re interested in seeing what a taste of the Caribbean is like when it’s married with adventure SF, if you’re interested in reading the book that launched the Xenowealth series, then here you go. A lot of people have taken a closer look at the book with the new cover. A lot of people have told me ‘oh, I didn’t realize it was SF.’ It is. But don’t take my word for it. Read the first entire third of the book and see for yourself.
  • For Locus subscribers, I have a summary of the Bermuda workshop in the latest issue

    Tobias Buckell
    5 Jan 2015 | 11:48 am
    I penned a few words about the awesome folks I got to meet in Bermuda for the latest issue of Locus. (Correction: Grace Jones = Grace Welch), I apologize for any confusion). I’m hoping that with the ongoing workshop, and the stories, that soon editors in the field will start seeing submissions from them. Or I’ll be giving them a long-distance side eye. Because they were talented.
  • 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…
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    Dark Roast

  • Calling all Cats Laughing Fans!

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

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

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

  • Not Running Away

    Stephanie Burgis
    28 Jan 2015 | 7:17 am
    It's raining and cold in our part of Wales right now, with wind that whips against the house and shrieks through the windows, and I've gone to bed around 8 p.m. on both of the last two nights because I was just too tired to stay up any longer. (So in other words, I'm REALLY behind on answering email, even more so than usual. I'm sorry!)On Sunday, I finished knitting my lovely new scarf (which, er, has actually turned out to be Toddler X's lovely new scarf - he loves it and it looks way too adorable on him for me to say no), and now I'm itching to find all of my old wool from two years ago,…
  • Mood Medicine

    Stephanie Burgis
    21 Jan 2015 | 1:13 pm
    Thanks so much to everyone who shared their organizational systems here last week! I'm still loving (and relying heavily upon!) my new planner, and it's really helping me feel like I CAN get through everything this month, no matter how stressed I might get along the way. Right now I'm juggling an important freelance project (with a tight deadline) alongside my own new MG novel, where I'm heading straight for the climax of the book and really can't abandon it for long at a least not if I want to keep all the plot strands and emotional arcs clear in my head. So far, thank goodness,…
  • Planner Love

    Stephanie Burgis
    14 Jan 2015 | 6:38 am
    This week started with severe house stress (wahhh!), but the week has gotten a lot better since then, largely because I did something small that made a really big difference in the way I felt about everything: I bought myself a planner, for the first time in years.OK, that may sound totally trivial to you. But I've been feeling fairly overwhelmed lately, with lots of different things looming over me, and my ongoing exhaustion making them all feel a lot more intense than they really were. I haven't bought a planner since...oh, 2010, maybe? Or maybe even 2009. I have a calendar on my laptop,…
  • Book Clubs, Growing Up, a Rude Awakening, and an Invitation

    Stephanie Burgis
    7 Jan 2015 | 12:16 pm
    Yesterday at Girls Heart Books, I posted about how I learned to love book club, and in lovely serendipity, Kat, Incorrigible has just been chosen by the fabulous Gail Carriger for her own book club this month! You can read her interview with me (I really enjoyed the questions!) or, if you'd like to join in the fun of the book club conversation, head over to the club page on Goodreads to talk about the book with Gail and everyone else.Over here, it's been the first week back in school for MrD and the first week back at work for me and Patrick, at least when we're not looking after Baby X...and…
  • Dragon Hoards and End-of-Year Ponderings

    Stephanie Burgis
    31 Dec 2014 | 4:39 am
    I hope that everyone who was celebrating holidays this December had a wonderful, warm season! Our Christmas was really lovely. Celebrating with two little kids may leave me close to toppling with exhaustion, but it is just so much fun. And oh, oh, oh, check out this picture of my Christmas book-hoard, from Patrick and my American family members!(And to my great and gloating delight, that hoard got even bigger after more British family members arrived for the celebration!)I have been very, very dragon-ish in my delight over my hoard, carrying it around with me as much as possible and soooo…
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    Mabfan's Musings

  • "I Remember the Future" Eligible for the Hugo

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

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

  • Farewell, Winter Storm Juno!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    27 Jan 2015 | 4:58 pm
    It all worked out just fine here, with lots of shoveling and the whole neighborhood out talking and clearing snow together. There’s still a travel ban until midnight tonight, and I understand there are some areas, especially down around Cape Cod, that lost power. But here we’re not going to have much to complain about besides sore muscles tomorrow. About that snow blower that needs a new carb? I went online last night and found carburetors galore—where else?—on Amazon. Including a replacement for my 35-year-old machine. The only problem: it’s coming from Hong Kong, or maybe China…
  • Hunkered Down for a Nor’easter!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    26 Jan 2015 | 9:27 pm
    Here in Massachusetts, we’re in the early stages of what I guess they’re calling Winter Storm Juno. So far, it’s just been a windy snowstorm. But it’s supposed to go all through Monday night (that’s tonight), and all day Tuesday, and well into the wee hours of Tuesday night. A statewide nonessential travel ban just went into effect, until further notice, and everything’s closing. I’ve heard forecasts for our area ranging from one and a half feet of snow to three feet, and high winds. On the coast, that could be bad news. We’re far enough in that the biggest worry is downed…
  • You Guys Are Really the Best!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    19 Jan 2015 | 3:41 pm
    Over 4230 copies of Eternity’s End in the last week! A new Bookbub record? I dunno, but we just squeaked past the number they listed at the top of the range of sales for science fiction books! And as far as my own personal record is concerned? We knocked it out of the galaxy! KABOOM!Truly amazing. So, thanks, all of you bought Eternity’s End. And a double thanks to all of you who post reviews, which will encourage even more people to try it in the future! I’m taking my writing group out to dinner, because they helped me make the book worthy of your time in the first place! Here, have…
  • Back By Popular Demand: The Rapture Effect!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    13 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Even if the popular demand is just from me the marketing department at Starstream Publications, we prove once again that we listen to our customers. My standalone novel, The Rapture Effect, is once more available in ebook format, this time from my own imprint and Book View Café!Here’s the blurb: War between the stars. It was started by an AI, and few humans even knew there was a war at all. But now people are dying, not just robots and aliens—and the AI wants it to stop. But a war is easier to start than to stop, and the computer can't alter its course without outside help. When the…
  • You Guys Are the Best!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    12 Jan 2015 | 8:58 pm
    The first day of this sale shattered all of my previous specials: More than 2500 copies of Eternity’s End sold in the first twelve hours after the Bookbub email went out! I have spent the whole day grinning and dancing around the house:  \\\\ \\\\ In a manly, virile sort way, of course. So, I just want to say, Thank you, and I hope you enjoy your reading!
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    The Mumpsimus

  • Ending the World with Hope and Comfort

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

    Matthew Cheney
    5 Jan 2015 | 1:06 pm
    This past term, the course I taught was titled "Introduction to Literary Analysis". It's the one specific course that is required for all English majors, and it's also available as a general education credit for any other undergraduates. Its purpose is similar to that of any Introduction to Literature class, though at UNH it really has one primary purpose: help students strengthen their close reading skills with fiction, poetry, drama, and nonfiction. (We're required to include all four, though the nonfiction part can be smaller than the others.)Next term, I'm teaching an American lit survey…
  • 2014: Books and Stuff

    Matthew Cheney
    31 Dec 2014 | 9:50 am
    Penny Arcade Portrait of Lauren Bacall by Joseph CornellI was going to write a long account of all the various things I read, saw, listened to, etc. this year, as a way of preserving some of the experience of the year for myself, and maybe offering some amusement for the occasional random reader ... but the drafts became unwieldy, and nobody, including me, wants to read all that.(I did the math and figured out that I was assigned to read about 50 books this year by teachers in classes I took, and then I read gazillions more both for my own research and to prepare for the Ph.D. general exam,…
  • The Beautiful Screaming of Pigs by Damon Galgut

    Matthew Cheney
    27 Dec 2014 | 10:15 am
    For years, I've said I like novels to be x, y, or z; often that x, y, or z meant (in some way or another)unsettling, challenging, surprising... But those words feel inadequate, because inevitably there are things that are, for instance, unsettling in unproductive ways — a pulpy, detailed story of child molestation is probably unsettling and disturbing, but also plenty likely to be worthless, exploitative crap that aims primarily for the reader's gag reflex and puts the writer in the obnoxious position of nudging us endlessly with the question, "How much can you take?" As I thought about why…
  • 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…
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    John Crowley Little and Big

  • Unredeemed

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

    John Crowley
    12 Jan 2015 | 3:47 am
    Pretend you didn't read this already and guess what you could add to it to make some kind of sense.  Rules as going to go — is bomb throwing?
  • Salacious

    John Crowley
    28 Dec 2014 | 5:08 am
    From the NY Times about the death of MAndy Rice-Davies: "The death of Mandy Rice-Davies, who played a starring role in one of Britain’s most salacious Cold War sex scandals, evoked more than a vicarious return to moments that defined their times."This is the second time I've seen the Times use "salacious" in this way.  It's clearly wrong by standard definitions -- lascivious, lustful, lecherous -- or (of written or other work) arousing, sexually suggestive, dirty.  Has the definition changed?
  • 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
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  • I Remember Where I was When the Challenger Blew Up

    Peter David
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    I was sitting at my desk at Marvel comics. In those days I was Marvel’s direct sales manager. My phone rang and I answered it. It was Myra, my then-wife. She was audibly sobbing. Naturally I thought something had happened to Shana. “What’s wrong?” “The Challenger blew up,” she said, her voice choking. She’d been watching it on TV and had actually seen it blown out of the sky. I was stunned. So much had been made about the Challenger, including Christa McAuliffe as the first civilian to take part in the space program. And now they were gone? Just like…
  • David 3:16

    Peter David
    26 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Originally published May 3, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1485 Well, my “open letter” from a few weeks back certainly started off a firestorm of publicity, wounded rage and back-and-forth. I’m sure you know the one to which I’m referring. I have sworn to myself that I will not be using this column to perpetuate the particulars… to respond to Joe Quesada or Bill Jemas, express my feelings about this whole Survivor-style challenge, etc. Why? A whole lot of reasons, but the most fundamental one being that I figure if I do, it’s going to get very old for you guys very quickly. But…
  • 2002 Oscars & Wolverine: Blood Hungry

    Peter David
    23 Jan 2015 | 3:00 am
    Originally published April 26, 2002, in Comics Buyer’s Guide #1484 A couple of things… Some assorted thoughts on the Oscars… Was I the only one who thought that Nathan Lane was auditioning to be host of the Oscars next year with his two minute, slam dunk appearance? Better still, team him up with Woody Allen, who showed that after all this time he’s still got stand-up comic chops (“I’m sixty-six years old; a third of my life has gone by.”) Second, as deserving as Denzel Washington and Halle Berry doubtless were, I keep finding myself wondering: How much of the voting was skewed…
  • Vote for Me for the Hugos

    Peter David
    22 Jan 2015 | 11:42 am
    It is my understanding that authors are supposed to remain silent when it comes to allowing fans to decide which books should be nominated for the Hugos. I have abided by that for the entirety of my life, and it is a life that remains untarnished by science fiction’s highest award. “Sir Apropos of Nothing,” “Tigerheart,” “Imzadi,” my Crazy 8 books, all have not blemished a nomination ballot. I have been a full time writer for nearly thirty years and silence has gotten me nowhere. Fine. A book of mine called “ARTFUL” was published last…
  • State of the Union

    Peter David
    20 Jan 2015 | 5:58 pm
    I’m putting off watching SUPERNATURAL for this, so it’d better rock. 9:06: He makes his entrance. Let’s see how long it takes to get to the front. 9:08: God, his hair has gotten so gray. 9:09: Three minutes. 9:10: Good Christ, what the hell has happened to Boehner’s skin? I mean, I know it was darker, but standing next to Biden, he looks like he’s turning into Pinocchio. 9:11: Which is driving the GOP nuts, of course. 9:13: Now if only they’d prosecuted the people who wrongfully sent those brave men and women overseas. You know: his predecessors. 9:15: Will…
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    A.M. Dellamonica

  • Toronto, day 608

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

    13 Jan 2015 | 10:28 am
    cover and illustrations by Charles Vess My short story “The Dream Eaters” is featured this week on the Far-Fetched Fables podcast. This is a fairy story I wrote for Ellen Datlow and Sharyn November a number of years ago, for The Faery Reel: Tales from the Twilight Realm. It takes place in Kasqueam, the fairy city that overlays and underlies Vancouver, and makes faekind out to be quite the predatory species. Here’s the opening: Mo Cottonsmith had just turned sixteen when she started Lopside Fashions, with cash she stole from a neighborhood fizz dealer. The money wasn’t…
  • Story sale, telewitterings, weather report

    12 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    illustration by Richard Andersen I am underslept this morning, and thus in no fit state to write intelligently about writing technique or craft, so instead, some bits and pieces of news: As some of you may have seen on Facebook, I have sold a third Gale story to Stacy Hill at It’s called “The Glass Galago,” and it is next in the sequence that begins with “Among the Silvering Herd” and moves on to ““The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti”.” I saw all three instalments of the Hobbit this weekend, and I find I don’t have much to…
  • 2014 Books Read, with some stories

    31 Dec 2014 | 9:00 am
    This year’s reading. If I finished it, it was at least good. If it has an asterisk after it, it was great. 1. Echopraxia, by Peter Watts* 2. Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America by Gilbert King 3. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013, edited by Tim Folger and Siddhartha Mukherjee 4. All Heads Turn when the Hunt Goes By, John Farris Touchstone, by Laurie R. King The Madonna and the Starship, by James Morrow Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell Horns: A Novel, by Joe Hill* The Door in the Mountain, by Caitlin Sweet* A Taste Fur…
  • Then I remembered I already mocked the X-movie

    30 Dec 2014 | 9:01 am
    I wrote a post here, called X-Men: Days of Boresville. This part of the sample critique I was writing was going to be all about how you don’t do it… how you say unkind things and mock the story. So! The snark demo seems to be covered in the pre-existing post. Wow, I hated this film. It made me so angry. The central problem I had with the story, the part that offended all of my sensibilities, was that the past-tense storyline played out in 1973, during the U.S. military action in Vietnam. There were scenes set in a number of interesting Vietnam-related situations, including the…
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    Cory Doctorow's

  • Overclocked is now a DRM-free audiobook

    Cory Doctorow
    27 Jan 2015 | 11:20 am
    My multi-award-winning short story collection Overclocked is now a DRM-free audiobook, courtesy of And no, it's not on Audible, because they refuse to carry my books unless I let them put DRM on them. Have you ever wondered what it’s like to live through a bioweapon attack or to have every aspect of your life governed by invisible ants? In Cory Doctorow’s collection of novellas, he wields his formidable experience in technology and computing to give us mind-bending sci-fi tales that explore the possibilities of information technology—and its various uses—run amok.
  • How to fix copyright in two easy steps (and one hard one)

    Cory Doctorow
    23 Jan 2015 | 3:41 am
    My new Locus column, A New Deal for Copyright, summarizes the argument in my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, and proposes a set of policy changes we could make that would help artists make money in the Internet age while decoupling copyright from Internet surveillance and censorship. There are two small policy interventions that would make a huge differ­ence to the balance of commercial power in the arts, while safeguarding human rights and civil liberties. 1. Reform DRM law. It should never be a crime to: * Report a vulnerability in a DRM; * Remove DRM to accomplish a lawful…
  • Consumerist on Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free

    Cory Doctorow
    23 Jan 2015 | 1:50 am
    Consumerist's Kate Cox has turned in a long, excellent, in-depth review of my book Information Doesn't Want to Be Free, really nailing the book's thesis. Namely, that extremist copyright laws don't just mess up artists, but actually endanger all our privacy, freedom and whole digital lives. Doctorow draws two bright lines connecting copyright law to other major issues: government surveillance, as shared by Edward Snowden; censorship by private companies; and the necessity of free expression to civil and human rights. Copyright claims are often used as a silencing tactic, where a party with…
  • My talk on the Internet of Things, wealth disparity, surveillance, evidence-based policy and the future of the world

    Cory Doctorow
    16 Jan 2015 | 4:38 am
    Here's the audio from last night's talk on the Internet of Things at Central European University in Budapest! It was recorded by the Mindenki Joga Radio Show.
  • Interview with the RiYL podcast about personal politics and big-P politics

    Cory Doctorow
    31 Dec 2014 | 3:21 am
    I sat down for an interview with the RiYL podcast (MP3) at NYCC last fall. We covered a lot of material that I don't get a lot of chances to talk about, particularly the relationship between personal politics and big-P politics. Listening to it again, I'm very satisfied with how it turned out.
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    But Enough About Me!

  • COURT OF FIVES: 18 August 2015!

    Kate Elliott
    8 Jan 2015 | 7:31 am
    My YA debut arrives on 18 August 2015. Do not be fooled by my calm and reserved demeanor: I’m wildly excited about this novel and about working with Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. I know, it’s a long way away. I think so too. There are a lot of things I love about this cover, including the way the light flares and especially the way the design incorporates elements from the book (which become clear after you have read the book). Here’s a bonus! I found this short post by the design firm M80 DESIGN about making this cover. I love insights into design and illustration,…
  • Steerswoman review in Cascadia Subduction Zone

    Kate Elliott
    6 Jan 2015 | 7:40 am
    After publishing only a single piece of short fiction in 2014, I have my first piece out already in 2015: A review of Rosemary Kirstein’s The Steerswoman series in the January 2015 issue of Cascadia Subduction Zone. I do not write reviews. This incident, therefore, was a bit of a fortuitous happening. Nisi Shawl DMd me on Twitter on a Thursday to ask if I could possibly write a review of a “classic” work of SFF by Monday for CSZ’s “Grandmother Magma” series on classic works of SFF by women writers (they had an emergency gap). As it happens, I had re-read…
  • 2014 in Retrospective. 2015 Prospective.

    Kate Elliott
    5 Jan 2015 | 5:00 pm
    For me 2014 proved to be one of those years more endured than enjoyed, with some memorable exceptions. For those interested in what I wrote over the course of the year, here is a retrospective. FICTION I published a single piece of fiction in 2014, a story (novelette) that I wrote as a valentine for my readers: The Courtship. I call it a coda to the Spiritwalker Trilogy because it takes place a few days after the end of Cold Steel. No novel in 2014, alas. Which always makes me feel as if I have been unproductive. So here is what I did accomplish: As I’ve mentioned, I fell behind writing…
  • 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…
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    The Incomplete Blog

  • A peek into my Alternate Timelines

    Josh English
    20 Jan 2015 | 1:05 pm
    It has been a long time since I looked at my original GMail account. I had to stop using it because many many people wanted it, including my brother. I think I have saved him a fate worse than bureaucracy.Here are the things I have been doing in other worlds:As James and Julie, I am getting identical offers to buy my home.As John, I owe 2,46 to Eurolink Motorway OperationI need to read my meter in St. Lawrence, Jersey (the one in the English Channel)I missed out on a hypnotherapy session in Durban, South AfricaI am now a member of UCLA Tau Beta Pi, which is impressive considering I didn't…
  • In Which I Post a Thank You to Circumvent a Bug

    Josh English
    1 Jan 2015 | 10:21 am
    I want to thank jimhines. His deconstruction of the outrage from a false victim over The Legend of Korra is brilliant. It is just the kind of pick-me-up I need to start the new year.I post it here, because I've tried commenting on his LJ FIVE TIMES and I keep getting errors.
  • In Which 2014 is found wanting

    Josh English
    31 Dec 2014 | 7:01 pm
    &nbsp;You can change notification settings in the options pageCloseSF Signal (John D.)Coming Soon from Subterranean Press: GRAND CRUSADES (The Early Jack Vance, Volume Five) - now from Hootsuite2014 Felt like the Year I Slowed Down.By blogs, even though I added two, seems quieter. My fiction sales are even less noise-making, and my submissions have really dropped off. My lifting schedule is so light that every lift is starting over on the program.In January, to jump start my writing, I took part in a 31-day writing challenge from The Art of Manliness. Here is a quote from…
  • [Writing] In which I try a thing

    Josh English
    30 Dec 2014 | 10:11 pm
    My writing has really slowed down, and I am finding my scatterbrain trying to work on several projects at once in the late hour at the end of my day when I finally manage to  sit down to write, on the few days I manage to sit down and write. So I have decided to try a solid production schedule up, not by wordcount, but by scene management.As  I have several stories I want to write, and I kind of know how they go, but I am thinking this is my year of the novella, and the stories require heavy plotting. So the plan is to plot scenes.The problem is defining a scene. I have an overdue…
  • [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…
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    The official home page of author Eric Flint

  • Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 15

    Drak Bibliophile
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 15 Chapter 15. “I have absolutely no idea what is going on now,” Tobimar said bluntly. He rubbed his temples, in the vain hope that the pressure might force the ridiculous situation to align into something he could understand. Poplock, who had finished checking the rooms to make sure there were neither magical nor mundane spies, bounced his agreement. “This makes no sense.” Kyri sank into a chair as her Raiment flowed off, leaving her clad in simple pants and shirt. “I wish I could explain it. Your people were driven out of here,…
  • Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 38

    Drak Bibliophile
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 38 Chapter 12 – The Camp After lunch Allenson toured the encampment accompanied by Colonel Wilson, who had finally shown his face, and various staff officers. Wilson was a nondescript sort of man with white in his hair and moustache. Allenson wondered if the hair was an affectation or whether rejuvenation treatments were failing the man. One could only cheat time for so long despite expensive genosurgery. The camp did not impress. Tents were planted higgledy piggledy in fields separated by low fences. Men lounged around doing nothing in particular.
  • Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 14

    Drak Bibliophile
    25 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Phoenix In Shadow – Chapter 14 Chapter 14. Kyri forced herself to step forward, belatedly following Miri as the much smaller woman strode quickly in the direction of the beautiful city below them. She exchanged a disbelieving glance with Tobimar, and could see even Poplock’s eyes wider than usual. This… makes no sense at all. Yet I can sense nothing dark. My powers may be reduced here, but they are not gone, and the only darkness I can sense at all is the forest that lies behind us, barricaded on the other side of that wall. It was more than that, she admitted. It was not merely…
  • Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 37

    Drak Bibliophile
    25 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 37 The wine ran out early, Allenson limiting himself to a single glass. After that it was tonk all round. Allenson joined in but cut his with water. He gently encouraged his companions to talk listening carefully to their conversation. He heard the usual stories of bored troops getting into fights, equipment that malfunctioned, stores that never arrived or contained something completely different from the label: all the usual trials and tribulations of an army in the field. One casual remark from a young Lieutenant concerned him. It was to the effect that…
  • Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 36

    Drak Bibliophile
    22 Jan 2015 | 9:00 pm
    Into The Maelstrom – Snippet 36 “Where would I find Inglethorpe’s office, mistress?” he asked, trying not to be too brusque as the woman had offered him no provocation. It would be ungentlemanly to spill some of his anger onto her. “Up one floor and at the end of the hallway to the left,” she replied, automatically. “His name’s on the door.” “Thank you my good lady.” Allenson covered the ground in long strides. “But you can’t go in without an appointment…” Todd winked at her and hurried after his principal.
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    Mad Libs

  • Thinky thoughts: religion

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    26 Jan 2015 | 5:10 pm
    First caveat: This was in part inspired by an event that I am still not over a few years ago, where someone who talked a good Christian game, did something really awful involving my husband and myself, and did it unapologetically and without any sense of the irony that comes with doing something totally against what he claims to be. Second caveat: I in no way assume Christians are generally or mostly not living their religion. So those two things said, I got to thinking about the first event yesterday and then moved on to wondering how hard it is to live your religion. I see a lot of…
  • multiple things make a post. One hopes.

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    18 Jan 2015 | 5:08 pm
    I do my twittering through Hootsuite. Hootsuite remembers my password. I, however, do not. So I was trying to go on to Twitter for some reason I no longer remember–it’s been hours, already–anyhow, Hootsuite may remember my password, but I don’t. I had to decide if I should reset the password, which would mean resetting Hootsuite, or just say forget it and worry about it another time. I went the lazy route. I really sympathize with Charlie Hebdo and I really believe in Freedom of Speech. I even understand the “nuanced” argument of the editor that they go…
  • Social butterfly. Or Pterodactyl. Uncertain.

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    13 Jan 2015 | 7:52 pm
    I got to hang out with three different writers this week. Michaela Roessner was in town and I visited with her at her sister’s farm. I pet lots of puppies and horses, and took a walk around the land and it was so lovely. I just wish we’d had more time. Then I visited with Devon Monk, who taught me some more knitting stuff, so I’m that much closer to learning how to make socks! It’s exciting. Really. Today I met Barb and JC Hendee in person, and Barb and I went into downtown McMinnville and wandered about and we ended up in the yarn store and the quilt store (the quilt…
  • the mucous recedes . . . ish

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    10 Jan 2015 | 8:56 pm
    The cold is a lot better. I’m still coughing and my head is thick, but at least things are improving. I would like to be completely well, though. Just in case the cold germs want to just get the heck out of Dodge. Boy of size got tons worse last night and today. Why? He snitched food he shouldn’t eat. He now regrets it. Hopefully the lesson is well learned. I get to see several writer friends this week. Looking forward to that. I got the revision letter for Edge of Reason, yesterday. I’m looking forward to digging in. Hoping the revisions aren’t too horrible. Been…
  • Trace of Magic is on sale today

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    6 Jan 2015 | 9:46 am
    you can get Trace of Magic today on the Kindle Daily Deal! $1.99. If you haven’t read it yet, now’s the time. And spread the word! Let’s see if I can grab up some new readers! Originally published at You can comment here or there.
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    SF writer Gary Gibson

  • On Writers Who Don't Read (with special bonus feature)

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

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

  • The Cost of Cats, thanks to Big Pharma

    Laura Anne Gilman
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:31 am
    So, the cost of insulin has exploded recently. Great, I guess, if you're covered by insurance. If you need it for your cat or dog, though? SOL.Thanks, Sanofi-Aventis. Because paying $300+ for a 10 ml vial isn't a luxury or an option - it's what my cat needs to SURVIVE. I hope you bastards choke on every extra penny you're padding your bottom (dollar) with.I am all about big pharma having patents - that's how you make money to cover the cost of the experiments that don't pan out. But there's a huge difference between "making money" and "making obscene amounts of money at the expense of…
  • What She Watched 2015

    Laura Anne Gilman
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:20 am
    6. Mirror, Mirror (after a while I just had it on for the pretty, I freely admit)5. Over the Hedge (I'd never actually watched it through to the end, before)4. Now You See Me3. The Other Woman2. Nanny McPhee1. Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Sunday going down easy....

    Laura Anne Gilman
    25 Jan 2015 | 5:10 pm
  • Everybody's working on the weekend...

    Laura Anne Gilman
    25 Jan 2015 | 4:17 pm
    You know you're a city dweller when... this morning at 7am there were individuals having a music party down in the not-an-alley* behind my building.  And my only thought was "not my choice of music, but not bad" rather than "these crazy kids why're they blasting music at 7am on a Sunday?"  And then someone played what I swear sounded like the opening notes to the X Files theme, and they packed up and went home/off to breakfast.(*it's totally an alley running through the block, but an alley that's about ten feet wide and banded on either side by…
  • Five Status Updates Make a Post

    Laura Anne Gilman
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:33 pm
    SILVER ON THE ROAD is off to the copyeditor (eeep) and is being over-read for horse and tribal neep as well, to ensure that I only make the most embarrassing mistakes everyone else also missed...Meanwhile, I'm closing in on the 10% mark of Book #2: "There was something his charge wasn’t telling him, her thoughts wrapped tight inside her head, those sharp eyes clouded in a way they hadn’t been just that morning. Gabriel was too tired to dig at it tonight, though. And, he had discovered, Isobel was a sensible girl: she would come to him in her own time. Or leave him an…
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  • On writing, privilege, and being a working mom

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

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

    Shannon Hale
    13 Jan 2015 | 9:35 am
    I am fortunate to receive many invitations to visit book groups, schools, book fairs and the like. When I turn down the majority of invites I get (or simply fail to see the invitation in my disaster of an inbox, on twitter, facebook, etc) I sometimes get the response, "You seem ungrateful," or, "Don't you want to sell books?" I've realized that most people don't understand the ins and outs of being a writer for a living, so I'm going to talk really frankly here. Many are offended when writers talk about money. Art and commerce shouldn't mix!
  • This princess still wears black

    Shannon Hale
    5 Jan 2015 | 11:04 am
    Wow, THE PRINCESS IN BLACK is still on the Times bestseller list. It's incredibly rewarding that this book is finding an audience. PIB trivia! Princess Magnolia wasn't her original name. I hesitated to name her after our daughter but eventually gave in. She was game for it, and since she doesn't go by Magnolia hopefully the character's name won't haunt her into adulthood. Frimplepants was Frimplepants from the first draft. I don't know where the name came from, but I'm so glad that it came. Duchess Wigtower had many different names that didn't work.
  • 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,…
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    the m john harrison blog

  • 27 Jan 2015 | 5:18 am

    27 Jan 2015 | 5:18 am
  • the beats go on

    26 Jan 2015 | 2:46 am
    I’m sick of the sound of structural beats, dropping into place and rolling the machine downslope to Hollywood, in everything I see, hear and read. It’s the same old story about telling the story, that’s all the story I get from it. I am deeply dissatisfied by being promised a new story each time but only being told that one. I want my money back.
  • broceliande

    24 Jan 2015 | 1:44 am
    The woods are warmer than the bare dip-slope. The coppice mud is poached and rich, grey clays washed out of old pits. On the steeper slopes each winter, one more beech levers itself out of the earth–which is revealed as granular, the colour and consistency of concrete–and leans into the catch of its neighbour. The power station sends up cooling steam. Labradors wrap themselves around the solitary runner. Exit the woods, fields fall away to mist a mile or two miles off: in the mist houses and very pale sun. If I knew what bird this was, I would tell you.
  • at the skyline

    23 Jan 2015 | 1:08 am
    Living in Shropshire has brought me closer to achieving this long-held ambition– Someone arrived here yesterday by typing [m john shoe]. Whoever it was, I say: genius! If I was younger & less trapped by everything I ever did, & could untie from all old versions of myself, I might reinvent as m john shoe. m john shoe would be braver but at the same time slippier than I ever was. You would never be able to tell if he was a shoe-in or a shoe-out, always on the edge of the frame. Would never have capitals. Would be more of a band than me, on tonite then in the morning you would see…
  • biologists of the Rubber Tube Gothic

    22 Jan 2015 | 12:57 am
    To the extent that fiction could–or should–be said to have utility, scientific correctness is not the utility of science fiction. Unruly cultural metaphors and unhealthily exciting images are its core business. It is about jumping to uninformed conclusions. I’m not interested in the science per se. I’m only interested in what it can do for my imagination. This is the only pre-nup I will sign in regard to the proposal made here. Otherwise the marriage is off. Be honest, it was never on: science fiction is not science. It is not even science writing, except where science…
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    People are strange, when you're a stranger . . .

  • Weather-dependent acts

    29 Jan 2015 | 12:18 pm
    Got out for a short cross-country ski run at the city forest. Only two miles, but my ancient muscles need to be reminded of their proper function.
  • Buy my book!

    29 Jan 2015 | 5:12 am
    Air temperature -8 F for the newspaper walk, near calm, clear.  We have advanced to "winter storm warning" for incoming snow -- this one is supposed to be a mere 8" - 12" affair, but wetter.  No blizzard mentioned.If you haven't bought the book yet, get to it!  If you have, buy another copy . . .Albert Kratz. I stared off into the shadows, both the real ones in the abandoned warehouse and those haunting my nightmares. "Bastard. We all thought he died in the fire."SIGNATURES
  • Not dead yet

    28 Jan 2015 | 5:23 am
    We got another 4"+/- of snow after yesterday's relocation, plus another snowplow pass.  Both milder and less windy this morning, air temperature 14 F and windchill of only -2 F.  Managed to slog for the newspaper.Have you bought your copy of SIGNATURES yet?
  • Preliminary clearance

    27 Jan 2015 | 5:24 pm
    Relocated about 16" of snow from driveway, sidewalk, etc.  The wind seized this opportunity to blow it all back in my face, of course -- wind still gusting near 35 mph with air temperature 10 F.  And the city plow came by to block our driveway after I had shut down the snowblower and switched to hand shoveling the steps, etc.I'll have to repeat the battle again tomorrow, but on a lesser scale.  We could drive somewhere if we had to . . .
  • Snowbirds

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:59 am
    Spotted our first redpolls in the feeder crew.  Since they seem to be first-year plumage, small caps, they might have been mixed in with the siskins all along.The finches, etc, continue to swarm our feeders, in spite of being blown clear off the perches by winds gusting over 40 mph.  Tells you something about how close they live to the edge, that they come for our thistle and sunflower on a day like this.
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    Jim C. Hines

  • The Final Chippening…

    Jim C. Hines
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:36 am
    Welcome to the Final Chippening! Here’s your backstory: Day One (and explanation) Day Two Day Three Day Four This has been a lot of fun. At least for me. Hopefully you’ve been amused as well. So, now that this is over, should I start planning what to do when I get to twenty thousand Twitter followers? Well, that was fun! My thanks to guest Chipmunks Sean Williams, Maurice Broaddus, Wesley Chu, Stephen Leigh, Deborah Blake, Ferrett Steinmetz, Kelly McCullough, John Levitt, Harry Connolly, and Elizabeth Bear. Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Book Reviews: Stross, Valente, and Snyder

    Jim C. Hines
    27 Jan 2015 | 6:31 am
    I’ve fallen behind in my book reviewing again, so this is my attempt to catch back up, starting with The Jennifer Morgue [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound], by Charles Stross. This is part of Stross’ Laundry Files, about magic and computers and government employees. In this one, “Bob Howard, geekish demonology hacker for The Laundry, must stop a ruthless billionaire from unleashing an eldritch horror, codenamed ‘Jennifer Morgue’ from the ocean’s depths for the purpose of ruling the world…” This was another fun read, similar in tone to The Atrocity…
  • The Chippening: Day Three

    Jim C. Hines
    26 Jan 2015 | 6:03 am
    Day One (and explanation). Day Two. Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Cool Stuff Friday

    Jim C. Hines
    23 Jan 2015 | 6:32 am
    Friday is feeling quite chipper this morning! Dormice being cute! But read the text, too. (Link from Seanan McGuire) Little children and big dogs. (Link from Cleolinda) Female Joker Cosplay, by HydraEvil. Chibi LEGO Serenity! I would like to purchase this kit now, please! Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • The Chippening: Day One

    Jim C. Hines
    21 Jan 2015 | 6:31 am
    So this happened over on Twitter. And then this happened. Finally, there was this. The internet is weird, yo… Also, I couldn’t find our chocolate chips, so we’re starting with a butterscotch chip. Because I don’t see chip color. Part two should be coming in the next few days. Click for full-res pics, IF YOU DARE! Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
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    When You Stop Believing in It, It Doesn't Go Away

  • Off-the-Cuff Thoughts on a Tweet About Video Gaming and Childhood

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

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

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

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

  • Caring for Your Authors

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    27 Jan 2015 | 11:03 am
    I received a nice email today from a reader who loved Die and Stay Dead. She called it “fucking AMAZING” and wrote, “This is not my typical read, but I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed it and how much I could not put it down.” She even called it “beautifully written,” which is always nice to hear! And “nice to hear” is exactly the point I want to make. We authors rarely get feedback from readers, so it’s always a treat to hear from someone who likes our work. Sure, good reviews are great, but critical acclaim doesn’t always…
  • Only 5 Days Left!

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    27 Jan 2015 | 9:27 am
    Reminder: You only have five days left to win a free, signed copy of Die and Stay Dead! Enter at Goodreads for your chance to win! Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • The Scariest Part: Shannon Stoker Talks About THE ALLIANCE

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    27 Jan 2015 | 3:02 am
    Welcome to this week’s installment of The Scariest Part, a recurring feature in which authors, comic book writers, filmmakers, and game creators tell us what scares them in their latest works of horror, dark fantasy, dark science fiction, and suspense. (If you’d like to be featured on The Scariest Part, please review the guidelines here.) My guest is Shannon Stoker, whose latest novel is The Alliance, the conclusion of the Registry trilogy. Here is the publisher’s description: In this deadly endgame, the final move is hers . . . In America, the Registry weds girls to the…
  • Reminder!

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    22 Jan 2015 | 4:56 am
    A reminder: You only have 10 days left to win a free, signed copy of Die and Stay Dead! Check out the Goodreads giveaway!Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • The Scariest Part: Brian Keene Talks About THE LOST LEVEL

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    20 Jan 2015 | 3:09 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 very pleased to have as my guest my good friend, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner and recent recipient of the World Horror Convention’s Grand Master Award Brian Keene. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Brian for well over a decade,…
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    Dear Sweet Filthy World

  • "But these lands they are wild. And these hands they are tame."

    28 Jan 2015 | 8:40 am
    The sun and the blue are back today. And the view from the window nearest the table I'm using as a desk is guarded by oaks and pines and birches that draw branch lines across the sky, filtering its horrible intensity. The world below the sky is white.Today, late today, we may try to drive into town. The roads are likely clear, and we could do with a trip to the market.About half an hour ago I posted this to Facebook: Secret Project Update: So, I've come to Woodstock to write my first screenplay. I will say more about this very soon.For now, that's all I can say.Yesterday we rested up from…
  • "And we've got to get ourselves back to the garden."

    27 Jan 2015 | 7:51 am
    Though it was a somewhat harrowing drive, we made it into Woodstock about 4 p.m. yesterday, just as the snow began. Of course, there was already snow on the ground here, and, actually, we haven't gotten much new snow yet. Anyway, the portion of the Mass Pike that takes us through the Berkshires was a bit hairy, especially given that Hubero didn't handle the ride very well at all. I'll not go into details. Selwyn was just fine, the perfect passenger. Jesus, it was cold. I watched hawks soaring through the low, snowy clouds, and I marveled at massive sheets of blue ice blanketing towering road…
  • "Every mistake, we must surely be learning."

    25 Jan 2015 | 8:24 am
    Okay, so...sudden change of plans. This monster of a snowstorm – they're using the "B" word – is racing towards us. Potentially "historic" and all that. Providence is due to get one to two feet of snow on Tuesday, plus 63-mph gusts. We spoke with Augusta up in Woodstock, and we're leaving in the morning, meaning to outrun this fucker before we get snowed in here for a week. Of course, outrunning something by driving towards it is both counterintuitive and sort of creepy. Still, this is the plan. We should be at the cabin by mid-afternoon tomorrow. Right now, though, we find ourselves…
  • Hell is filled with empty subject lines.

    24 Jan 2015 | 9:35 am
    I suppose I have to begin with the news that a U.S. district judge has struck down Alabama's gay marriage ban. I thought it would be several years more before this happened. So, surprise. Is it good news? Yes, obviously. But this is Alabama we're talking about, and if the judge's ruling is upheld by the Supreme Court, it will also mean that, in some ways Alabama will only get meaner. When you enforce tolerance, it makes the bigots even more hateful. Which is why we have the Tea Party. But, for today, congratulations, Alabama. It's a start.I woke about eight this morning to a beautiful, heavy…
  • "Oh, yesterday came suddenly."

    23 Jan 2015 | 8:11 am
    Stop yawning, Caitlín.Two days in a row, I've awakened at 9 am. No idea why. The sky is wide and carnivorous today, the sun promising no warmth whatso-fucking-ever. But we'll be going out, to mail things and deal with the bank and...stuff. We have snow coming, and we're getting ready to leave for Woodstock on Tuesday.Yesterday was spent on the galleys for Beneath an Oil-Dark Sea, on all those zillions of loose ends. Today, I still have a tiny handful, so this will be an extremely short entry.Like...that short.TTFN,Aunt Beast
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    Mindy Klasky - Virtual Cocktails

  • Lessons from an Off-Season Beach Vacation

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

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

    Mindy Klasky
    29 Dec 2014 | 2:33 pm
    ::waving madly::  I’m back!  (Yeah, yeah, with all the holiday craziness, I know you were barely aware I was gone!) About three years ago, my parents decided that they wanted to take the family on a big extravagant trip to mark their fiftieth anniversary.  My father, who missed a career as a stellar travel agent, did a lot of investigating and a ton of planning and we all intended to meet up in Costa Rica.  Alas, events intervened, and the trip was modified (to an amazing vacation in San Diego, but that’s another story.) This year, my parents each celebrated major birthdays,…
  • Pre-Christmas Book Notes

    Mindy Klasky
    23 Dec 2014 | 3:01 am
    Just a couple of quick notes in the pre-Christmas flurry of deadlines and craziness! 1.  Before there was Diamond Brides, before there was Fright Court, I wrote a series about a genie who grants wishes to women who work in the professional theater.  The books are light, and each one is completely self-contained; you don’t need to read them as a series.  Why am I telling you this now?  Because the first one, ACT ONE, WISH ONE (previously released as HOW NOT TO MAKE A WISH), is now available ***free*** from most sellers of ebooks.  Go on.  Take a chance.  Download your free copy…
  • 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…
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    Mary Robinette Kowal

  • Make a suggestion. What should be out the window in this drawing?

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    28 Jan 2015 | 7:10 pm
    What you have here is a drawing that I did on my new tablet. It’s actually been a really long time since I’ve drawn. I mean I was an art major, back in the day, but that was 25 years ago. But this new tablet, see, it has a touch sensitive stylus. So… I started doodling and now I have this thing. My question for you is, what is outside the window? Also? This entire blog post is written by voice. Kind of neat, huh? I so love living in the future. Anyway, make suggestions on what should be outside the window. I’ll pick one and draw it. The post Make a suggestion. What…
  • Protected: Ghost Talkers: 20

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    19 Jan 2015 | 8:16 pm
    This entry is part 20 of 20 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: 20 appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • For those of you reading along… Chapter 20 is up

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    19 Jan 2015 | 4:41 pm
    For those reading along with Ghost Talkers, Chapter 20 is up.  For everyone else, here is a random photo of the last day of our Christmas decorations. We keep our Christmas cards in the typewriters. Thrilling. I know. The post For those of you reading along… Chapter 20 is up appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • I’m teaching a free writing workshop in Ferguson, MO on Jan 24.

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    15 Jan 2015 | 10:10 am
    Everyone has a story they want to tell, whether that’s from fiction or from part of your life. As I’ve been watching the news roll out from Ferguson and then in waves across the nation, I’ve been struck by how much grass-roots reporting has differed from the mainstream media narrative. While facts and data are important, we respond most to the anecdote, to the personal story. This is why, anytime someone says, “But it’s just fiction” I want to laugh and laugh at their naive little brains. Stories are what shape the world. For some people, getting a story…
  • My Favorite Bit: Kristi Charish talks about OWL AND THE JAPANESE CIRCUS

    Beth Bernier
    13 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Kristi Charish is joining us today with her novel Owl and the Japanese Circus. Here’s the publisher’s description. Fans of Kim Harrison, Jim Butcher, and Linda Hamilton will flock to the kick-ass world of Owl, a modern-day “Indiana Jane” who reluctantly navigates the hidden supernatural world. Ex-archaeology grad student turned international antiquities thief, Alix—better known now as Owl—has one rule. No supernatural jobs. Ever. Until she crosses paths with Mr. Kurosawa, a red dragon who owns and runs the Japanese Circus Casino in Las Vegas. He insists Owl retrieve an…
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    Justine Larbalestier

  • On Sexism and Awards

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

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

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

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

  • An SF (& bit of F) assortment

    27 Jan 2015 | 6:42 am
    Few ideas are as well-represented in SF as space travel. More and more, as we learn how inhospitable Earth's solar-system neighbors are, space-centric storytelling turns to interstellar settings. So: an award specific to interstellar travel seems like it would be a Good Idea. Now, thanks to 100 Year Starship, there is such an award. "The 100YSS Canopus Award for Interstellar Fiction will be given for the best work of science fiction published between 2011 to 2014 that focuses on the challenges and benefits of interstellar exploration. The award will be given in multiple categories ranging…
  • Say, kids, what time is it?

    20 Jan 2015 | 7:21 am
    What with winter blahs and post-holiday letdown, what better moment could there be for some diversion? And so, drawing upon classical SF and Nonsense subject areas, herewith an assortment of thought-provoking items (well, they provoked my thoughts):They're bot-tastic"Robotic Micro-Scallops Can Swim Through Your Eyeballs." And why would you want that? As a medical-delivery system. Eyeballs are attention-getting, of course, but the larger point is that blood, like eyeball fluid, doesn't act like water. Autonomous tiny bots able to make their way through non-Newtonian fluids like blood and…
  • SF and Nonsense reader survey

    11 Jan 2015 | 7:52 am
    People read blogs for many reasons. To keep SF and Nonsense fresh and useful to visitors, I'd like to better understand their -- your -- interests. Please help by taking this brief (three multiple-choice questions) anonymous survey.And if you'd rather not be surveyed? That's fine! There's plenty of content here (almost 400 posts, as I type) on the blog to divert you.Ready? Then it's on to the SF and Nonsense survey! I'll be collecting data through Monday, February 16, 2015.The big picture ;-)====================== from Edward M. Lerner's "SF and Nonsense"
  • The science behind the fiction

    5 Jan 2015 | 6:55 am
    Analog magazine is, using its full title, Analog Science Fiction and Fact. In that fact category, I've written a dozen articles for the magazine. (Should you be counting, #12 is queued up and should run sometime this year.) Most of my articles have been in a series that -- in my mind, anyway -- is called The Science Behind the Fiction.Breaking light speed, Star Wars (1977)In other words, the articles cover common genre tropes: assumptions -- like faster-than-light travel -- that underpin lots of science fiction. They look at whether there is (or, at least, could be) a decent scientific…
  • Brave new world(s)

    29 Dec 2014 | 6:08 am
    I'll be ending the year on an introspective note. We'll start with the state of cyber-vandalism (or -terrorism, or -warfare -- people's descriptor of choice seems to vary), which, better late than never, has finally reached mainstream awareness. But there's upbeat material, too: some truly awesome physics/space/astronomy highlights. I'll conclude 2014's posts with a personal item.The recent Sony hack, attributed by the FBI to the North Koreans, and the associated (temporary) coerced pulling by Sony Pictures of The Interview, are getting all the headlines, but the cyberwarfare peril has been…
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    We Are Still Laughing

  • Radiation and Chemo, Weeks 4-5

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

    21 Jan 2015 | 6:29 am
    I am extremely pleased to announce the publication of my story "Damage" at In addition to being free to read at, the story is also available as an ebook for 99¢ at all the major ebook stores.I am also pleased to announce the podcast at Escape Pod of "Homegrown Tomatoes" by Lara Elena Donnelly, which I narrated. You can hear it, or download it as an MP3, for free here: About "Homegrown Tomatoes," reviewer K. Tempest Bradford at io9 said: "Not only do I dig this story,…
  • Radiation and Chemo, Week 3

    11 Jan 2015 | 6:59 pm
    We've just finished the third week of Kate's radiation and chemotherapy -- halfway done with this round of treatment. In some ways this is like Clarion: six weeks long, really intense, and transformative in ways that can't be predicted.Medically this week has been not unlike the previous two. Side effects are more noticeable, but still generally manageable -- though there have been a few unpleasant surprises. We are continuing with the increased steroid dosage and Kate's speech and motor issues are much improved from early last week. We had our six-week followup visit with the neurosurgeon…
  • Annual awards eligibility post

    5 Jan 2015 | 10:37 am
    Prompted by John Scalzi's annual awards awareness post, here are my award-eligible publications in 2014:“The End of the Silk Road” (SF novelette) in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, magazine edited by Gordon Van Gelder, May/June 2014“A Practical Mechanism for Overcoming the Directionality of Temporal Flow” (SF short story) in HELP FUND MY ROBOT ARMY!!! and Other Improbable Crowdfunding Projects, anthology edited by John Joseph Adams, July 2014“Goat Eyes” (fantasy short story) in Black Static #42, magazine edited by Andy Cox, October 2014“Cry Wolf” (SF novelette) in…
  • Radiation and chemo, week 2

    2 Jan 2015 | 10:54 am
    We are coming to the end of the second week of Kate's daily radiation and chemo treatments. Side effects continue to be slight, though the fatigue we've been warned about is, I think, beginnning to make its presence felt. Aphasia and other problems, including some right-side weakness, continue with varying severity, but we've raised the steroid dosage again and it is helping a lot. I think I need to clarify what exactly I mean by "aphasia." Kate can still speak, and can hold up her end of a conversation reasonably well (with some amusing lapses). But certain words are difficult for her to…
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    Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress

  • The Americans 3.1: Caring for People We Shouldn't

    28 Jan 2015 | 11:28 pm
    Good to see The Americans back on television for the debut of its third season tonight.  The whole episode was enjoyable.  But like an old-fashioned sandwich in which the bread is the tastiest part, my favorite scenes in the show were at the bumpers, or the beginning and the end.The opening sequences of scenes were vintage The Americans, and capture precisely what is so remarkable about this series.  Elizabeth almost gets nabbed by FBI agents on the street - worse, she and the two FBI agents are bruised up pretty well, and, even worse, the agents work right alongside Stan, and…
  • Touching the Face of the Cosmos: Call for Papers and Stories

    28 Jan 2015 | 10:33 am
    Touching the Face of the Cosmos: The Roots and Future of Human Space Exploration in ReligionCall for papers, articles, short stories, for anthology edited by Paul Levinson and Michael WaltematheHuman spaceflight has always been closely connected to religion. There have been Bible readings and communion on the Moon, Christmas celebrations and Islamic prayer on the International Space Station, and Chanukah dreidels spun on the Space Shuttle.  Religious scholars have written treatises on how to uphold religious tradition in the new environment of space and rituals have been transformed to…
  • Snow, Pleasure, and Paradox

    26 Jan 2015 | 1:09 pm
    Just got back from swimming 20 laps at the New York Sports Club, with the snow falling dangerously and beautifully outside the big windows.  In many ways, this strikes me as one of the heights of civilization.My take on the snow has changed over the years.  When I was kid, it was nothing but a pleasure to get off from school, have snowball fights on the streets off Allerton Avenue in the Bronx, and even shoveling was an opportunity to earn a couple of bucks, usually less, but hey.Now, as a professor, I still don't mind classes being cancelled, but that can sometimes come with the…
  • Black Sails 2.1: Good Combo, Back Story, and New Blood

    25 Jan 2015 | 6:47 pm
    Black Sails was back for its second season last night, in all its brutal beauty.   Among the best sequences -Flint and Silver, working together to get a ship to set sail off the island on which they landed, wrecked, last season.   The two have always represented the best of Black Sails together, and I wouldn't mind too much if their story was given even more time in the series.   Flint is brilliant, but so is Silver, and the two of them made a formidable combination.   Will be fun to see where this leads us this season.London in 1705, with Flint's back story, when he went…
  • 12 Monkeys series 1.3: Sneak Preview Review: Paradoxes, Lies, and Near Intersections

    24 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    Well, I broke down and watched the next episode of 12 Monkeys - 1.3, available on SyFy On Demand for just 24 hours from midnight last night.  Hey, why shouldn't I watch a show earlier than it's being aired, it's a show about time travel, right?   But be forewarned - or warned, or whatever the proper usage - to either not read this review until after 10pm Eastern next week, January 30, or get a few soft spoilers here.First, and this is not a spoiler, I've been meaning to point out the coincidence of 12 Monkeys on television as a series so soon after the Ebola outbreak that dominated…
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    Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage »

  • 2,357 words today, and BASHTYK NOKYD is done.

    29 Jan 2015 | 10:39 am
    Tweet The first draft of Bashtyk Nokyd Takes The Longview is now finished. It runs 21,790 words, and I am damned pleased with the way my ending came together. Melie spots something important, Shay loses something even more important, and the monster get an excuse to come out of the box. So I have tomorrow to do a write-in revision, and maybe type that in, and then get the story to my editor over the weekend. Next week, it’ll go to the copyeditor, and then back to me. But while it’s out of my hands, I’ll do the next lesson on HTWAS Module Three, and do my best to have that…
  • Off-topic, while researching growing food on high-population space stations

    29 Jan 2015 | 8:19 am
    Tweet I have no time for people who wear their causes on a ribbon, or on their car bumper, and who think this means they’re doing something. I have all the time in the world for people who look at their causes, ask “What could I personally do right now to make this happen?…and then do it. This is a website by two such people. (Link opens in new tab.) If you think agro-ecology is boring, think again. This is some amazing stuff, and has the potential to be so much more. And this video shows how they got there, and more importantly, why they got there. I only watched this video…
  • 19,068 Words of BASHTYK…Getting close to the finish.

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:51 am
    Tweet The Guardian of Freedom Tomorrow I have to get serious about ripping out the six remaining scene Sentences in the story, and melting them down into, at most, three scene Sentences that hit all the essentials, and give me the big, powerful finish that I want. And that leave me with the jumping-off point for the next story, which still has no title, nor even a hint of a possibility of a title. But today, I got an even 1300 words (I confess to stopping on the round number on purpose—but I did finish my sentence ). Today folks were debating freedom—what it is, and who gets it. I…
  • Bashtyk Nokyd doubts the “truth”: And words—now have 17,669

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:46 am
    Tweet Almost…Almost…Dammit…ALMOST… Hit 17,669 words today. Since I’m pushing for 20,000 to 22,000 words, that’s pretty good. (I may run long, but it isn’t going to be Suzee Delight long. Melie has proven the value of her skills again, Shay has convincingly demonstrated that she has the worst boss in Settled Space, Bashtyk Nokyd is planning the overthrow of the Pact Worlds—or at least the freeing of their slaves—with my heroic pirate of a lawyer to help him… Tikka has discovered something deeply disturbing in her new job as a…
  • If you kill your villain halfway through the story…

    23 Jan 2015 | 11:26 am
    Tweet The identity of the NEW villain? Today was a bit of a catch-up day for writing. I got 871 words, which does not do a ton for my writing schedule. But two days ago, in a moment of sheer inspiration, right in the middle of Bashtyk Nokyd Takes the Longview, I killed a whole lotta people, and dead among them was the pretty-well-developed hidden villain I’d been planning to kill at the end of the episode. It was a cool damn scene, and I’m still totally revved about it. But… If you kill your main villain for the episode halfway through the story, you have a problem. So today…
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    l. lee lowe » Journal

  • Break one, thousand will rise

    11 Jan 2015 | 3:39 am
    —Lucille Clerc
  • Viewster Online Film Festival

    12 Sep 2014 | 1:24 am
    Lola and Taro, two lonely children, live in the fairytale world of an abandoned attic, hidden from nameless danger. Despite her own needs, Lola looks after her small brother. One evening, when Taro begs her to play a game of hide-and-seek, the situation careens out of control. Lola takes out her biggest fear on Taro. [...]
  • Women in Film

    5 Jun 2014 | 1:53 am
    Esther wins the Best Women in Film Award from the Manchester International Short Film Festival for Merry-Go-Round.
  • Meanwhile, back on Kearth…

    3 Jun 2014 | 3:22 am
    Arast was accompanied by two of his own people, and though they seemed uncomfortable about dining with him, Tilka not only insisted but went out of her way to include them in the conversation. On his home worlds, Arast would be used to elaborate ritual, formal attire, haute cuisine, power-jockeying innuendo, and deference, yet he [...]
  • OWSA, a small excerpt

    29 Nov 2013 | 1:27 am
    A short excerpt from Over Which Scavenger Angels, my current novel-in-progress.* Lily, one of the main characters, is a photographer, at least on this world. After ringing her cleaner, Lily packed an overnight bag, some sandwiches, and a bottle of decent Merlot. And then went back to the kitchen for a packet of prunes. Recently, [...]
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    Nick Mamatas

  • Greek elections

    26 Jan 2015 | 11:00 am
    What is there to say? Syriza moved to the right to get a big win, and one that suggested the possibility of hope, but to get a majority it aligned with ANEL. The kindest possible spin one can put on this is to imagine the momentary bizarre alliance between Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan, but if Nader had aaaaalmost won an election. The Internet-standard explanation of ANEL as the Greek UKIP makes sense, but doesn't quite capture the extent to which ANEL traffics in conspiracy theories and whatnot. Ron Paul at his kookiest? Murray Rothbard and various Trotskyists in the New York version of the…
  • On An Odd Note

    24 Jan 2015 | 4:21 pm
    We got out contributor copies of Gerald Kersh's On an Odd Note today. Here's Opie on first exposure to the book:And, after accidentally looking at some of the interior text and despite being an illiterate toddler, here he is ninety seconds later!If you like short stories, or wish to read my remarks in Kersh and short stories, you need this book. Also, Valancourt sells ebooks direct from their site via gumroad, which is one of the smoothest little ebook-selling thingies I've ever experienced. Plus it's good for the authors and the publisher, duh.Check it out!
  • Friday Quicker Notes

    23 Jan 2015 | 8:25 am
    Over at work, a new joint named Market on Market finally opened, after some typical delays. It's an upmarket grocery store featuring sausages at $11 a pound and the like, plus it serves $14 sandwiches, pizza, sushi and oysters, wine, chocolates and macarons, etc. Its main competitors in the area are the homeless-only Burger King, Walgreen's, and the now clearly terrified Lunch Geek. Don't worry though, you still have to step over heroin needles and piles of human shit to enter the mystical realm of Market on Market. There needs to be a word for this sort of instant gentrification, as the…
  • Hack the Hugos: Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form

    21 Jan 2015 | 8:20 am
    Tired of Dr Who dominating the Hugo ballot? Let me suggest this piece of fantasy:Undertaker vs Brock Lesnar (WrestleMania 30... by watchwweliveThat's right, The Undertaker v Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania XXX. Hell, the Undertaker's entrance alone would qualify. Undertaker has many supernatural powers, including the Zombie Sit-Up and various other impossible abilities. (He's come back from the dead, teleports in and out of the ring at will, has summoned lightning in arenas, etc.) Lesnar, for his part, is clearly a near-future super-soldier from an era where steroids only have massive, positive…
  • Tuesday Quick Notes

    20 Jan 2015 | 8:57 am
    Mostly book stuff:I was happy to write the introduction to a new edition of Gerald Kersh's short story collection On an Odd Note, which is available now. I've already turned one unbeliever into a true Kershite, which was great to see. If you like ebooks, you can buy them directly from the publisher which is very helpful to them and very easy for you.Over at the ol' dayjob, we're running a giveaway contest for our latest book, Dendera, about which best-selling author Jami Attenberg said: "Dendera is riveting, hilarious, dark, gory, and absolutely's as if Elena Ferrante and…
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    Not A Blog

  • Congrats, Congrats

    24 Jan 2015 | 5:21 pm
    Congratulations to GILLIAN FLYNN.  Her story "What Do You Do?" from ROGUES has been nominated for an Edgar Award by the members of the Mystery Writers of America.It's a terrific story, and Gillian is an amazing writer.  Gardner Dozois and I are very proud to have had the honor of publishing it.Fingers crossed for Gillian to bring home the head of Edgar Allan Poe when the MWA gives them out at the end of April.For a full list of this year's Edgar nominees, go to you'd like to read "What Do You Do?" -- and a lot…
  • Telltale Two Trailer

    22 Jan 2015 | 11:56 am
    Telltale Games has just released a trailer for the second episode of their GAME OF THRONES videogame.This one is called "The Lost Lords."  (Hey, good title).Enjoy.
  • Evil Little Bill Speaks

    22 Jan 2015 | 9:47 am
    Bill Belichick had a press conference this morning to discuss the deflated footballs in the AFC Championship Game, and the accusations that the Patriots were cheating.For those who missed it,  the highlights:
  • Nipples Are Coming

    21 Jan 2015 | 12:27 pm
    Let's turn from the latest cheating scandal involving the New England Patriots to a much more pleasant subject: breasts.It is completely legal and acceptable for men to go shirtless in public throughout the United States.  But in many states and cities, women do not have the same right.  And heaven forfend there should be a "wardrobe malfunction" during the SuperBowl or similar event that exposes the country to a brief split-second glimpse of a female nipple (actually a pastie, but don't confuse us with facts).  GAME OF THRONES is often slammed for showing too…
  • Champs and Cheaters

    21 Jan 2015 | 11:15 am
    I meant to post about last Sunday's football games on Monday morning, but I was too (a) busy, and (b) wrung out.The NFC Championship contest will go down as one of the greatest, and strangest, games in the history of professional football.  It was either one of the greatest comebacks of all time, or one of the most spectacular collapses.  Maybe both.Now, I am a fan of the Jets and Giants.  I hate and despise the Patriots and Cowboys, and I have a milder antipathy toward the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, and Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Peoples (thank you,…
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  • Amendment

    17 Jan 2015 | 6:55 am
    Guns have a constitutional amendment protecting their rights. Nature does not. The working poor and homeless do not.
  • 15 Jan 2015 | 4:52 pm

    15 Jan 2015 | 4:52 pm
  • Heaven for Dogs

    14 Jan 2015 | 4:50 am
    Dogs, disinterested in harps and theology,upon entering Heaven discover a forestthe size of a world and all their friendsare there. Plenty who live with dogs convert to this, too.                 In the wee brightCars' passing floodlights like frightenedcomets.  We walk along an iron fencelinebetween apartments and road on a concrete line…
  • 11 Jan 2015 | 8:39 am

    11 Jan 2015 | 8:39 am
  • 10 Jan 2015 | 7:36 am

    10 Jan 2015 | 7:36 am
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    Robin McKinley

  • 26 January 2015

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

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

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

    22 Dec 2014 | 6:15 pm
      . . . NO NO NO NO I CAN’T POSSIBLY START WITH THAT FIRST LINE, SOMETHING MIGHT BE LISTENING. . . .  ::DANCES THE FANDANGO IN A DISTRACTING MANNER::* . . . It’s been a pretty crappy almost everything lately, you can hardly blame me for being paranoid.  So, what I was risking saying was, I’ve had two surprisingly okay, engaged, useful, whatever, voice lessons in a row . . . just in time however for a three-week holiday break during which I will doubtless go to flat, unrhythmic little splinters again.  So the powers of entropy don’t have to be paying attention.  The gremlins…
  • 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…
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    Notes from the Labyrinth

  • If you're thinking about such things

    21 Jan 2015 | 1:41 pm
    The Goblin Emperor is eligible for awards this year. That's all I'm going to say on the subject.
  • Kasserman, Fall River Outrage

    4 Jan 2015 | 8:03 am
    Fall River Outrage: Life, Murder, and Justice in Early Industrial New England by David Richard KassermanMy rating: 3 of 5 starsIt's sad that there are enough of these books to constitute a sub-genre of historical criminology: man with status murders woman without status, is tried for it, and is acquitted, with more or less legal shenanigans accompanying. The absolute bar-none best of them is The Murder of Helen Jewett by Patricia Cohen, but I have a small collection, and really, about all I can say about Fall River Outrage is that it's a perfectly acceptable, middle-of-the-road member of the…
  • 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…
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  • Unexpected Consequence of Literary Exploration

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

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

    1 Jan 2015 | 10:39 am
    Years ago, when we lived in a different place with a reliable water supply, we grew a garden that included beans to dry for later.   Because we were trying things out, initially, we grew a small amount of several varieties, and that meant--once they were dry and in jars--that we didn't have enough of any one of them to make a big pot of bean soup.  So I combined them.  And the soup was better, with the mix of flavors.  Since then, whether we had a garden or not, I've always had a big jar (BIG old pickle jar) of mixed beans.  Anything we can grow and dry…
  • Work & Play

    29 Dec 2014 | 10:17 pm
    My bike functions for work (errands in town, doing trail maintenance on the land), exercise (anytime I'm on it, including planned rides) and play (just enjoying riding on it.)    Today was a mix of work (trail maintenance) and fun--as I improved the trail through the dry woods, it made it more fun to ride that trail.   At first, it was "ride a little, stop, cut back elbowbush, cedar elm, cactus, juniper, get the cut stuff off the trail, heaving it (usually) some feet back into the brush...ride a little, stop, cut back elbowbush, cedar…
  • TimeTo Bring Home The Tree

    22 Dec 2014 | 4:30 pm
    When we bought the land, it had hundreds of invasive small (2-5 feet tall) Ashe junipers what had been open grassland.  R- cut nearly all of them out.  Ashe juniper is not a horrible bad trash tree, utterly useless, as some claim, but like any plant it will spread out of its normal habitat if what should be there is destroyed.  In this case, severe overgrazing had taken the native mid- and tall-grasses down to the nubs, and the juniper moved in.  Some juniper is of use--as windbreak and as food and habitat source for some wildlife.  I've seen flights of monarchs…
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    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • Stuff and Things

    29 Jan 2015 | 10:47 am
     Just when you think the editing process is over, it isn't.Rachel and I are STILL going through the book version of School for Wayward Demons (now with help from a third beta reader, my friend Josey).  But, in the mean time, you can keep reading here:  "Broken but Strong."On the flip side, I do think we'll get through it by the 30th, which is our deadline to get it off to the professional copy-editor as part of the whole trying to have a book-type thing before MarsCON 2015.  This is all very crazy, honestly.  But, it's been a ton of fun and... we'll call…
  • Back in the Saddle (a Start)

    27 Jan 2015 | 6:51 am
     I'm back to posting on UnJust Cause finally, so if you want to check that out, it's up on Wattpad now:  "To Err is Human (and Tomorrow is Another Day.)"  There's not a lot there, not too much more than 500 words, but I needed to get back in the habit.  Honestly, what I really, REALLY need to do with this is what Rachel and I just spent three weeks doing to School for Wayward Demons (SWD)... I need to take all the parts and get them into a huge document and start to really examine the whole shape of it.Because if I'm going to make it into a book, it needs that.
  • It's Monday, Everyone! Panic Now, Avoid the Rush!

    26 Jan 2015 | 8:39 am
     Wow, you guys, the book version of School for Wayward Demons is 90,000 words. It's currently off with Sean Murphy, sort-of-kind-of-former Wyrdsmith (retired? emeritus?), who is checking it for "book-y-ness." (Like, truthiness, except for books, I think.)  But, here's the thing, 90,000 words?  If you buy this book when it comes out, you're FOR SURE getting a third more story.  All the stuff we have queued up for the web site only clocked in at 65,000.  I can tell you that the big changes are to Kitty.  She gets a much stronger back story.  Erin,…
  • Short Update

    20 Jan 2015 | 12:17 pm
     Today, (more like this evening at this point) I hope to get a new Tate bit posted on Wattpad, but I had to work today from 9 to 1 at Maplewood library.  It was really busy thanks to the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.  Normally, Maplewood is my favorite library because the people are so awesome and they have the best ever graphic novel collection in Ramsey county, I swear. In other writing related news, Rachel and I are also trying to see if we can build more of an audience for our School for Wayward Demons project by x-posting that at Wattpad too.  So, if you find it…
  • A Bloody End

    18 Jan 2015 | 4:47 pm
    Mason and I have the worst luck sometimes. I went out today to get some groceries and noticed that it was, in point of fact, a f*cking GORGEOUS day. So, when I came home I talked Mason into heading out to "the slopes," as we call the the St. Paul Country Club's Golf Course hill. We piled into the car with a couple of sleds... and it was AWESOME. I bet we went up and down that hill twenty times, screaming all the way down, and hiking our way back up happy (if exhausted.) Right at the very end, we decided to go down together on the toboggan. We'd done this before, mind. The second…
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    the essential kit

  • Recent Reads: Edwardian Murder Mysteries

    29 Jan 2015 | 4:24 am
    Last fall sometime I read MC Beaton’s SNOBBERY WITH VIOLENCE, which I enjoyed very much (as I do nearly all of Beaton’s historical romancs) and asked for the rest of the quartet for Christmas so I could finish them all before doing a Recent Reads on them. A couple weeks ago I picked up the 2nd book and found it…incredibly disjointed. There was no flow from book 1 to book 2, and while it had been a few months since I’d read the first, I didn’t think it had been *that* long. I couldn’t remember the things mentioned in the sort of recap-first-chapter, and…
  • I need a TARDIS.

    27 Jan 2015 | 4:59 am
    I don't know what happened to January. I mean, yes, I know what happened to January: we had the flu, or something like it, and totally lost a full week or more to being sick. And then Ted had a week off and somehow I got a lot less work done in that time than I imagined I was going to, and now it's the end of the month and I'm sick again. For God's sake.I've gotten...15K or so done on MAGIC & MANNERS, which is pretty good, but it's not *done*, which is what I was hoping for. I crossed the 70K mark this morning, and I have dreams of it coming in at 100K but I'm afraid it, er, won't. I'm afraid…
  • bloody monday

    26 Jan 2015 | 8:25 am
    This morning as I was getting dressed, Young Indiana appeared in the doorway and said in his Confessional Voice (which is slightly tragic and solemn), "Mommy...I have something to tell you. I washed the blood off in the sink all by myself."Then he proudly displayed his hands, which were red with dried blood, and said, "I was putting my fingers in my nose last night because it was drippy." Yes. Yes, it apparently was. And then it was very bloody, to the degree that he brought me to show me the bloodstain on the pillow. I found the bloody smears all over the sheets, foot of the bed, and wall on…
  • Picoreview: Into the Woods

    24 Jan 2015 | 4:36 am
    Picoreview: Into the Woods: Not bad. Not *nearly* as bad as it could have been, which sounds damning with faint praise and isn't intended to. It may even verge on satisfying, although it's not entirely satisfying, because I'm too familiar with the stage play.Many of the performances are very, very good. Most, even. Chris Pine is terrific as Cinderella's Prince, Shatnering it up way more than he does in Star Trek, and, as everybody has said, the Princes' Agony is very funny indeed. Meryl Streep is--well, she's Meryl Streep. She largely manages to make the role of the Witch her own, which, when…
  • re-learning photography

    22 Jan 2015 | 8:50 am
    I've said before that there's an alternate universe pretty close to this one where I'm a professional photographer instead of writer. Back in the day I was good enough to get a scholarship for photography, but I only pursued it half-heartedly, and after a while digital cameras started doing all the work for me and I forgot what I'd learned. I do manual photography as a kind of crap shoot (ahahah) anymore, without any real sense of how the light or depth of field is going to work. I can afford to do that with digital cameras, since I'm not burning film, but it's always kind of bothered me.
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    Old Enough to Know Better

  • Ukulele in Progress - Bling

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

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

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

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

    10 Dec 2014 | 11:14 am
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    Mike Philbin's free planet blog

  • Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology - tiny metal sphere from space - real panspermia evidence?

    27 Jan 2015 | 3:13 am
    Professor Milton Wainwright and his team from the University of Sheffield and the University of Buckingham Centre for Astrobiology sent balloons 27km into the sky to collect debris from space and isolated several particles including this tiny metal sphere that has a gooey organic core.But then it gets weird... yes, after an opening like that 'it gets weird'.“It is a ball about the width of a human hair, which has filamentous life on the outside and a gooey biological material oozing from its centre,” he said.“We were stunned when X-ray analysis showed that the sphere is made up mainly…
  • Campaign to rename - Earth to Free Planet - I am, are you?

    25 Jan 2015 | 1:13 am
    CAMPAIGN TO RENAME THIS PLACE:What place? This blog? This posting venue? Rename Blogger?No, silly, rename this place where we live, this rock spinning in space around a nearby star; this Earth. But what's in a name, Mike? Well, a lot. It's all about positive image reinforcement. And if we think of this world as dirt or muck, that's what it will be. If we think of it as something else, and rename it thus, it might just sit there in our minds like a REALITY.I love this rendered image, it shows an exaggerated hyper-realer perspective of the importance of water to our very existence. It's just…
  • BBC news - INGSOC is here - George Orwell's world of simpler words

    24 Jan 2015 | 12:30 am
    IngSoc is the political ideology of the totalitarian government of Oceania in George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.according to a report about Grammar/Spelling on the BBC News Breakfast Time this morning; spelling is about to get an overhaul. They were actually allowing kids to discuss why they found learning to spell 'difficult' and were looking at ways to 'simplify words' and have a unified spelling set that spanned the Atlantic. Suggestions for English Spelling Revisions to certain problem words were given by the English Spelling Society. In the shiny-new BBC-dictated IngSoc speak, among…
  • First the coal industry - then the tobacco industry - now the sugar industry

    20 Jan 2015 | 9:03 am
    First the coal industry then the tobacco industry now the sugar industry, "Is there any man-made profit-making industry that DOESN'T kill millions of people before we quit it?"Professor of Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Liverpool, UK, Simon Capewell says, “Sugar is the new tobacco.“Everywhere, sugary drinks and junk foods are now pressed on unsuspecting parents and children by a cynical industry focussed on profit not health.“The obesity epidemic is already generating a huge burden of disease and death.” [source TELEGRAPH]Personally, I can't work out whether the…
  • film trailer - CHAPPiE - from the director of District 9 and Elysium

    19 Jan 2015 | 3:15 am
    anyone else noticing a theme here?
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    Tiny Godzilla

  • After the raven has had his say

    28 Jan 2015 | 2:03 pm
    Here's today's progress on my southern noir about a woman whose memories and identity erode, only to reveal hints of another person entirely: a detective who vanished on the day she was born in 1959; now with BONUS moonshiners and revenuers, small-town governments with big-time crooks in office, cops both corrupt and courageous, and one hell of a paranormal twist:Project: Shouting Distance Deadline: March 1, 2015New words written: 1540Present total word count: 6640Things Accomplished in Fiction: Phone call with a distant daughter; morbid chatter and talk of ghosts.Things Accomplished in Real…
  • There's a crack in the mirror and a bloodstain on the bed

    27 Jan 2015 | 1:36 pm
    Here's today's progress on my southern noir about a woman whose memories and identity erode, only to reveal hints of another person entirely: a detective who vanished on the day she was born in 1959; now with BONUS moonshiners and revenuers, small-town governments with big-time crooks in office, cops both corrupt and courageous, and one hell of a paranormal twist:Project: Shouting Distance Deadline: March 1, 2015New words written: 1585Present total word count: 5100Things Accomplished in Fiction: Wrapped up the first chapter and/or finished introducing POV character #1; started chapter 2 and…
  • Little Old Cat Update

    25 Jan 2015 | 3:25 pm
    I've been posting a lot about the cat today over on Twitter - and getting a number of questions in response. Rather than try to answer a few dozen people in 140 characters or less, I thought I'd go ahead and do a blog post; so if you're tired of hearing about the kitty, feel free to bail now. But apparently a good number of folks out there have aging felines with similar problems, so this one's for you.Meet the patient: a 16(+/-) year old female cat, who has lost half a pound since Thanksgiving and has gone from "occasional midnight yowler" to "24/7 Caterwauling Champion of Chattanooga."…
  • You won't keep the law with a broken word

    24 Jan 2015 | 1:56 pm
    First, because inquiring minds want to know - a cat update. Yesterday I took her to the vet for a checkup and blood work, and to see about getting something to soothe her in the evening; because ain't nobody happy (least of all the kitty) when on a bad night, she's up every 45 minutes crying and confused. The lab work won't be back for another couple of days, but it turns out that she's down fully half a pound since Thanksgiving, and she's showing signs of thyroid problems. Maybe. Frankly, that's what we're hoping for - because thyroid issues are fairly easy to manage, even in the long term.
  • There's something here from somewhere else

    22 Jan 2015 | 2:39 pm
    Starting a new project is hard, but hey, that's how I earn my living ... so today I began drafting up sample content for a book called Shouting Distance. I promised myself that I'd have (at least) two partials/proposals worth selling before spring, and Brimstone went off to the agent and editor last week; so now it's time to tackle the next thing in the queue.Therefore, here's today's progress on my southern noir about a woman whose memories and identity erode, only to reveal hints of another person entirely: a detective who vanished on the day she was born in 1959; now with BONUS moonshiners…
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  • Saint Rebor

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

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

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

  • I Forgot to Mention

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:10 am
    Becca turned 19 this weekend. It's the first time she's had a birthday away from home, and she had a paper due today, so communication was...well, not.  I hope she had a good day. I think she's had a good 19 years, on balance. And I love her very much and hope the world and a half for her.
  • Dammit, Emily!

    20 Jan 2015 | 9:59 am
    For reasons known only to her digestive system, Emily woke us at 2:30 this morning, needing to go out for a quick walk. Mission accomplished, she and Danny (who is my hero) head back to the house. But he didn't have the leash wrapped firmly around his wrist, and she caught sight and scent of somethng and Whoom! off she went. And got sprayed right in the kisser. By a skunk. So at 2:35 in the morning we're trying to keep her from sitting or rubbing up against anything until we could do something.So we cornered her in the shower, I diluted a couple of cans of tomato sauce (no tomato…
  • Story Time

    18 Jan 2015 | 1:30 pm
    Today is "Story Excerpt Sunday" at the Book View Cafe blog, and it's my short story "Willie."  Which is about a doctor who creates life. And doesn't freak out and run away.  It's one of my favorites.
  • Mo' Bettah

    14 Jan 2015 | 2:47 pm
    Through two weeks of eating very carefully, no coffee, no wine, no anything with tomatoes, and being vigilant about taking the Ranitidine (that would be Zantac) and keeping the head of the bed elevated.  Also: smaller meals overall. Gradually the heartburn has been abating. I realized that some of what was going on was simply reflux in an already irritated space (that would be my esophagus, yes), so giving the area some time to heal was good.Today I had a cup of coffee. (O! coffee! how I have missed you).  And it was okay. I'm going to continue being careful, but it looks like I…
  • Meh

    8 Jan 2015 | 9:25 am
    I have hit one of those walls where my self-confidence/optimism fetches up sharply with a broken nose.  This is not a call for massive outpourings of sympathy or reassurance, just a statement of the way today is. Job hunting sucks, and runs completely counter to my skill set. The big pile of words I managed on the book the other day? Turns out, in the sober light of day, that they belong way further in the book, which means I'll be ahead of the game when I get there, but in the meantime I'm still wandering around in the immediate dark, wondering what comes next.I am doing all the…
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    Rudy's Blog

  • The Complete Zap Comix

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

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

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

    26 Jan 2015 | 3:02 pm
    I have some bleak news for everyone in Philadelphia: The signing tomorrow is canceled due to snow and the airlines canceling flights. I was going to be signing at Children's Book World in Haverford. Instead, we will be trying to reschedule. But in the meantime, we'll send them a big box of signed bookplates you can stick in the front of your books, as well as ‪#‎Steelhunt‬ cards. Hopefully those will get there next week. I'll post again about it when they arrive. (Boston: Right now the signing on Wednesday is still scheduled to happen as planned, but this could change as the situation…
  • Firefight Tour, Award Nomination Season + Updates

    21 Jan 2015 | 3:30 pm
    My tour for Firefight continues through the rest of this week: Find the full tour schedule and details here. Tonight (1/21) at the Changing Hands Bookstore in Tempe, Arizona at 6:00 p.m. Friday, January 23 at Murder by the Book in Houston, Texas at 6:30 p.m. (They also have hardcovers of Mitosis available, and they'll ship signed copies.) Saturday, January 24 at the Barnes & Noble in Newnan, Georgia at 3:00 p.m. (possibly actually more like 3:30)Writing Excuses put up two new episodes. The first one is on Lovecraftian Horror, where we, with the help of Cherie Priest, discuss what it is,…
  • Firefight Tour, a new Writing Excuses episode + Updates

    15 Jan 2015 | 8:09 am
    Firefight was released last week in the US and UK and the tour is underway. You can see the full tour schedule here.My next tour stop will be at Powell's in Beaverton, Oregon on January 16th at 7:00 p.m. It looks like this isn't a ticketed event, so I will sign any book I wrote that you bring, but it's awesome to show support for the store by buying your books there (ahead of time, if you want to read it before the signing). If you can make it, I hope to see you there, and many more of you throughout the rest of my tour in the US.There's a new Writing Excuses episode, I have an Idea; What Do…
  • Legion: Skin Deep free on Audible + Updates

    22 Dec 2014 | 2:39 pm
    If you haven't heard yet, Legion: Skin Deep is free on Audible (outisde the UK/Aus/NZ etc.) until Wednesday December, 24th. Get it here.Firefight's release is two weeks away, and Audible has put up an audio preview that you can hear below. Links for preordering are here.In the latest Writing Excuses episode, Dan, Howard and I talk about writing for nothing more than the fun of is continuing their re-read posts for Words of Radiance. Last week Carl Engle-Laird discussed Chapter 22 where we watch a number of threads plot along, then are surprised by an assassin.My assistant Adam has…
  • 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…
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    Inhuman Swill

  • When a sentence doesn't end with a period

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

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

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

    11 Jan 2015 | 4:37 am
    I'm sitting here looking through old copies of "WiPlash" -- the monthly newsletter of Women in Publishing -- from the 1980s, a time when I was an active member (indeed, often typed up much of the newsletter) -- trying to prime my memory in preparation for oral history interviews next week, and I came across Elizabeth Jane Howard's "Desert Island Books" -- a feature I had forgotten about. I doubt this has ever been published elsewhere, and it seems a pity for it to be forgotten, so I thought I'd share it here. "When I was ten, had very limited pocket money and not enough to read, I bought long…
  • Books of 2014

    4 Jan 2015 | 7:22 am
    I read 70 books this year, of which only a baker’s dozen were first published in 2014. Some I bought, some I got from the library, a few were sent me gratis. I used to review for The Times, now I don’t, and when the occasional review copy turns up – especially if it is a book I actually want to read – in these days of not-being-a-reviewer, I feel a little guilty, getting something for nothing.So, although it is a little late, for what it’s worth, here’s my round-up of the ones the publishers sent me, and the others...which are all worth reading.The ones I was sent:ANNIHILATION and…
  • Bring the Jubilee

    6 Oct 2013 | 5:57 am
    I've just read BRING THE JUBILEE by Ward Moore -- don't know why it took me so long to get around to this one, because I've always heard good things about it. Not sure when I acquired my copy, but it is an ancient British paperback ("First Four Square Edition November 1965" Price 3'6 but someone wrote 12p. on the cover in biro), so my best guess is I picked up at a jumble sale -- could have been at any time in the past 30 years. I've often heard this book cited as one of the first/best Civil War alternate histories; I don't know how many of those were around when Ward Moore wrote it back in…
  • Digging through the books: Edith Olivier

    11 Sep 2013 | 1:00 pm
    Edith Olivier wrote a strange and wonderful short novel called "The Love Child" about the relationship between a young woman and the imaginary friend of her childhood who comes alive years later; it was reprinted by Virago in the 1980s, which is when I discovered it. She wrote some other books, none of which I'd ever read, until, just now, as I was going through my too-many volumes, I came across her memoirs, "Without Knowing Mr Walkley." I wasn't really sure why I had it, and thought I might get rid of it -- but of course I could not do that without having read it, so I began.Right away, I…
  • Random Reviewing

    8 Sep 2013 | 3:21 am
    I've had regular, paid book-reviewing slots in the past, but not now. But even though I informed the various publishers who had me on their lists for free review copies so they wouldn't waste money sending me books, I still get a few, from time to time. Some, I very much appreciate, because I can't afford to buy all the books I'd like to read, and neither can our local library service. Some are of no interest to me -- I wouldn't want to read them even if I was being paid -- so I recycle them as quickly as I can, hoping they'll find the readers they were meant for in the wider world beyond…
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    Rules for Anchorites

  • Traditional January Awards Eligibility Post

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

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

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

    Living for the Revel
    14 Jan 2014 | 8:14 pm
    Welcome to the yearly accounting of my published works, in handy list form for those who are inclined to nominate works for awards. (Also for those who don’t nominate, but would like links to things I’ve written!) Hugo nominations opened last week, and Nebula awards nominations are open until February (as are nominations for the Rhysling Award). If you’re a member of the World Fantasy convention, you can nominate works for the World Fantasy awards through May. Novels The Girl Who Soared Over Fairyland and Cut the Moon in Two (Feiwel and Friends) Collections The Melancholy of…
  • Let Wrist Articulation Be Forgot…

    Living for the Revel
    6 Jan 2014 | 11:08 am
    So! I had every intention of starting the year by revitalizing this blog, with many exciting posts about things both significant and insignificant. But instead, my body decided it wanted to celebrate the new year with a vicious flare-up of carpal tunnel. I am dictating this blog post, which is extra fun since I am historically unable to dictate so much as a post-it note with any felicity of language. SO FUN. I haven’t been able to use my hands for anything more strenuous than feeding myself for the better part of a fortnight. On the bright side, I have cool robotic arm-bracers that make…
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  • Vintage Science Fiction Readings #2: What Did 1980 Mean?

    Jeff VanderMeer
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:08 am
    Ann and I are now in the process of reading for The Big Book of Science Fiction for Vintage, which will appear in 2016. This huge anthology of well over 500,000 words will collect the best and most unusual SF stories from approximately 1900 to 2000. This requires a lot of reading and research. Every so often I will report back about current reading, although not in any systematic way. In fact, almost deliberately not in a systematic way. In this case, all quotes are from Nebula Award Stories 16, edited by Jerry Pournelle, published in 1982. Stories included, all from 1980: “Grotto of the…
  • Over at The Atlantic: A Southern Reach Tell-All

    Jeff VanderMeer
    28 Jan 2015 | 8:33 am
    Over at The Atlantic’s website, you’ll find my 6,500-word behind-the-scenes essay about writing and touring behind The Southern Reach Trilogy. It’s a kind of tell-all and as such that comes with certain risks. Revealing weakness or eccentricity can influence a reader who then goes on to read the novels. Being candid about the life of a full-time writer—which is both fraught with uncertainty and one of the best jobs you can have—is also dangerous, especially when many think book tours don’t happen any more and that most writers self-publish. Encountering a narrative suggesting…
  • Soliciting Your Suggestions: The Big Book of Science Fiction From Vintage

    Jeff VanderMeer
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:53 pm
    We are editing The Big Book of Science Fiction for Vintage and would like to solicit your ideas between now and the end of March of this year. This is a massive anthology of more than 500,000 words scheduled for 2016 publication. As we conduct our own research, we would love your own recommendations. We know readers of SF are passionate about what they read. You can email us at Due to expected volume of emails, we cannot reply but rest assured we will read all recommendations. Please read this entire post before sending us a recommendation. - Ann and Jeff VanderMeer…
  • Sweet, Cute Ann and Beastly VanderCurmudgeon Featured in Origins Magazine

    Jeff VanderMeer
    27 Jan 2015 | 11:22 am
    Origins Magazine asked Ann and me what makes a relationship work. Ann said plenty of drugs while I’m talking helps and $$ penalties for putting up with my stupid. Or maybe we both said laughter goes a long way long-term. As does mutual respect and sharing the same passion for certain things. Here’s a photo from a recent workshop we ran that demonstrates that wearing serious hats is of use, too. It also doesn’t hurt that Ann’s smart, cute, hilarious, and much better with a tool kit than I am. Anyway, the issue hits newsstands this week and it’s kinda cool to be…
  • Boxing Up The Southern Reach

    Jeff VanderMeer
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:47 pm
    I can’t even tell you what it feels like to box up the entire Southern Reach trilogy–every last major draft, print-out and handwritten scrawl, every notebook and scrap of scribbled inspiration. But it’s done because it needs to get out of the house and into storage just as a de-cluttering issue. And after I took this photo I found another box full of Annihilation drafts I’d forgotten about. A total of three years of work including touring behind the novels–the proverbial blood, sweat and tears. A fair number of notes and scene fragments are written on torn-out…
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    Paperback Writer

  • Just Write

    Lynn Viehl
    29 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Today I'm off to write something new and post it online before midnight. Everyone inclined to do the same is invited to join me.My link: More on Club Denizen, with new material beginning on page 19.For more details on Just Write Thursdays, click here to go to the original post.Image credit: windujedi
  • No to the Shingle

    Lynn Viehl
    28 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Last month I mentioned that I'm currently working as a writer-for-hire and copywriter, and that's been going quite well. So well, in fact, that I'm able to get by on what I'm making out of the limelight, so I will likely be doing it for as long as it continues to be as congenial, easy and pleasant as it is.I also talked about setting up a page for my WFH services, and I even wrote one up, but every time I consider posting it on the blog something in me digs heel-in and refuses to do it. While I know everyone would understand (and it would definitely help me out financially) I didn't create…
  • Free Pics

    Lynn Viehl
    27 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    If you're looking for free stock photos to use for your blog or non-profit-making projects, you may find what you need over at To download any of their images all you have to do is create an account (which is also free). Here's a slideshow of some of the neat pics I found on my first visit:
  • Sub Op

    Lynn Viehl
    26 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    SF Romance Quarterly has an open call for their upcoming issue #6: "All sub-genres of science fiction will be considered. Any heat level, from sweet to erotic, will be considered. Original, previously unpublished fiction only. No fan fiction, please. All stories must contain elements of science-fiction, include romance, and have an upbeat ending." Length: 2-7.5K; Payment: "2.5 cents/word (US) paid upon publication, promotional biography with two links, and a complimentary quarter-page advertisement." See editor's post for more details. Deadline for Issue #6: February 28th, 2015.
  • Off to Write

    Lynn Viehl
    24 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    I'm bailing on you guys for the weekend to catch up on some work. So that your stop here was not a complete waste, here's a very interesting video from PBS that takes a look at three forms of steampunk as art: Off Book: Steampunk from PBS Digital Studios on Vimeo.
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    Bluejo's Journal

  • Interview with me at Strange Horizons

    Jo Walton
    26 Jan 2015 | 2:29 pm
    Interviewed by hawkwing_lb. About Plato and history and stuff.
  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    25 Jan 2015 | 2:55 pm
    Words: 4600 (not all today!)Total words: 24811Files: 7Tea: Jin Die BioMusic: No music, music hasn't been working for me recentlyReason for stopping: Finished chapterActually finished 2 chapters since I last posted an update. Forgot, sorry. This one was a Crocus chapter. I love Crocus. He's so much easier to write than humans -- despite that this chapter caused me to look up sanitary issues in Athens and way more Thomas Aquinas than anyone should ever need. Incidentally, if you need a facing page Summa Theologica, you won't have to spend twenty minutes Googling about. I hope you won't, though.
  • Epicurean Death Sucks

    Jo Walton
    21 Jan 2015 | 9:47 am
    Epicureans said we shouldn't fearThere's nothing after death, there'll be no pain,If life is good, good; bad then there's no gainProlonging it, all die, we all end here.Philodemus allowed we might want moreIf we're pursuing goodness, unachieved,And we might miss the dead, and might be grieved,Prepare well, you'll die soon, if not before.They're not wrong, but it's more than I can standPerhaps a better person stays sereneAnd doesn't rage at death, the final mean,That cuts us off from all we hoped and planned.When faced with endless abscence of dead friendsI can't forgive the way death forces…
  • Allegory

    Jo Walton
    15 Jan 2015 | 11:36 am
    The snake and mirror, cherubim who leanUpon a sapling planted in a pot,A scrawny Pisan wolf, a complex sceneRelying on preknowledge of what's what.A lily, pomegranate, centaur, rose,The instruments of martyrdom, a fish,A unicorn, a scythe, a complex poseThat tangles meaning into what you wish.But oh the joy to recognise that snake,And seek out sisters elsewhere on the wall!But careful with truth's lamp, lest Cupid wakeA snake might choose to represent a fall.Decipher symbols, tease the meanings out,And learn to love the lineaments of doubt.
  • The Just City out today

    Jo Walton
    13 Jan 2015 | 1:14 pm
    So go and read it already! Anyone who beta-read it for me should know before talking about the published book that (unlike normally) I wrote six extra chapters and vastly expanded the end, so the published book is different and better.While I am not touring for this book, I will be doing one reading and signing, at 57th St Co-Op Bookstore in Hyde Park, Chicago, on Monday March 16th at 6pm. I'll mention this again nearer the time.And if anyone wants to ask anything about this book, or anything else for that matter, comments are open as always.
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    Martha Wells

  • More Questions

    29 Jan 2015 | 5:33 am
    * There is an ARC giveaway for Bone Swans by C.S.E. Cooney. This is a story collection, and I got to read it ahead of time, and I said "These stories are rich original fantasy with a sharp edge, peopled by vivid engaging characters inhabiting fantastic worlds. This is a brilliant and thoroughly enjoyable collection."* This morning I'll be mailing out the last four of my kickstarter rewards for the SixbySix project. So if you signed up for a reward of signed books from me, you should either 1) have it now 2) have it by the end of next week.* I'm going to be a panelist at ConDFW in Dallas on…
  • Raksura Answers

    28 Jan 2015 | 6:21 am
    First, here's a link back to an older post that might be handy for people: Plot Stalls, and Tips for How to Unstall themQuestions:nojojojo said Speaking of Stone, what is up with the line-grandfathers? In "The Tale of Indigo and Cloud" it was mentioned that l-gs are apparently a weird occasional quirk that runs in certain lines, and it's not actually a good thing. But it also seems like they're just really, really different -- they're not considered consorts anymore (although other old Raksura are still treated as full members of their respective castes), they're not even recognizable as…
  • Questions

    27 Jan 2015 | 9:26 am
    Question for the Journal:Someone asked: Will you ever write a novella or short story about how Stone and Azure got together? From reading The Tale of Indigo and Cloud, it seemed as if Stone wouldn't have been considered desirable as a consort because of his bad eye. I'm wondering what the story was between him and his queen, especially since he's so fantastically cantankerous. I answered: hanks for your question! I don’t have plans to do it at the moment, but it is a story I’d like to tell at some point. It would also be taking place not too long after the court first left the Reaches, so…
  • 26 Jan 2015 | 6:18 am

    26 Jan 2015 | 6:18 am
    Still writing. I've been writing the action climax of the new book for a while and it's getting ready to build-up to the end, so that's exciting. We got a lot of cold rain last week, to the point where I came home and found water building up in one of the flower beds against the wall of the house and starting to come into the garage. It was also building up across the front of the house, to the point where there was a debris line across the porch. The garage water was worse, because we have neighbors with an oversized lot and a huge vegetable garden, and they did something to it last year…
  • Monday Update

    19 Jan 2015 | 6:01 am
    I realized I hadn't posted in a while. I basically haven't been doing very much except writing and working on some stuff for my web site. I've passed 100,000 words in the book I've been working on and am coming up on the start of the climax, so I really don't want to do much of anything except write right now. It should finish somewhere between 120,000-130,000 words.I've also been packing up the book rewards for my part of the Six By Six Kickstarter (there's 19 of them!) and getting ready to mail them out.* There's a crowdfunding campaign to kickstart a translation for an SF/F Spanish…
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    Reality Skimming

  • Interview with Graham Darling

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

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

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

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

    David Lott
    19 Dec 2014 | 6:00 am
    Diff the Dragon by Angela Lott, illustrations by Richard Bartrop. An Okal Rel Universe Legacy Novella featuring the young Alivda Angela Lott is the middle child of Lynda’s three daughters. She did two years of Business schooling at the College of New Caledonia and is now working as an optometric assistant. In her spare time she enjoys writing, video blogging, reading and watching very nerdy TV shows. << Start at Beginning >> Part 59 “I can’t move!” “So you want a ten minute break then?” Alivda asked. “How about an eight hour nap?” She laughed. “No.” They were…
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    All quiet in France

  • New recipe: pumpkin pancakes

    21 Jan 2015 | 8:01 am
    As promised: the pumpkin pancake recipe is here–enjoy! Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • “The House of Shattered Wings” and a sequel to be published by Roc

    15 Jan 2015 | 6:05 am
    So… remember my novel that is going to be published by Gollancz on August 20th, 2015? The one set in a post-apocalyptic Paris ruled by Fallen angels–featuring a Vietnamese immortal with a grudge, a washed-out alchemist and a naive and idealistic Fallen? People have been asking me about a US release; and I’m quite pleased to announce that it’s happening! (*squee*). The fabulous Jessica Wade at Roc has picked up The House of Shattered Wings (along with its unnamed sequel): it will be published in hardcover in August 2015 (more squee. My first two hardcover editions.
  • Awards consideration post

    12 Jan 2015 | 8:01 am
    2014 was a busy year, but mostly because I spent it taking care of the infant (and running after him in the last quarter of 2014)! It’s very appropriate that out of all the stuff I published in 2014, my favourite is “The Breath of War”, my science fantasy story with spaceships, stone people and pregnancy. It was, hum, heavily inspired by September 2013 experiences, although of course I didn’t give birth in the middle of a space war :p (if you read this blog, you’ll already know my position on the presence of women and positive depictions of pregnancies in…
  • Some of the references in the names of Xuya mindships

    12 Jan 2015 | 2:20 am
    I shared this on twitter recently, but I thought I’d repost here for those who weren’t around on Sunday. A few years ago, I started the custom of naming Xuya mindships after literary allusions or metaphors–because, in a society where literary culture is still very important and scholars drive the creation of mindships, it felt like a natural process. Of course, if you’re not familiar with Chinese/Vietnamese culture, a lot of these probably fall flat–so accordingly, I’ve provided a summary of those references I can remember. “The Frost on Jade…
  • Best of 2014 and 2015 lists

    9 Jan 2015 | 8:01 am
    Shameless self-promo post: -Very happy to see that three stories of mine made the Tangent Online Recommended Reading list (along with many, many other friends’ stories): “The Breath of War” in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, “A Slow Unfurling of Truth” in Carbide-Tipped Pens, and “The Frost on Jade Buds” in Solaris Rising 3. Particularly proud about “The Breath of War”, which got two stars from the reviewer. -Meanwhile, The House of Shattered Wings, my forthcoming novel from Gollancz about Fallen angels, political struggles and a Vietnamese…
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    Mostly English

  • Eating Authors: Sharon Lee

    26 Jan 2015 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> Monday has come around again, and to my astonishment we’re already on our way out of January. How this happened I can’t say. Nor do I trust my own suspicions on the subject, as my wife has been forcing me to watch three seasons of Sherlock at a fiercesome pace. It’s all cheekbones and far too many floating typefaces. Fortunately, we have a new visitor here today to distract all of us. Sharon Lee is of course a novelist in her own right, crafting a Maine-based mysteries (her Jennifer Pierce…
  • EATING AUTHORS: Stephanie Burke

    19 Jan 2015 | 1:49 pm
    And now, as they say, time for something completely different. My guest this week on EATING AUTHORS is Stephanie Burke, and she is probably the most prolific writer I know. I still vividly recall the first time we met, sitting side by side on a panel at a Balticon. We were doing the introduction thing, each of the panelists saying who they were, what they'd done, and so forth. I described myself, and mentioned that my second novel had just come out. Stephanie was up next, talked a bit about herself, and then said her nine hundred twenty-seventh book had just been released. Okay, maybe my…
  • EATING AUTHORS: Shannon Page

    12 Jan 2015 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> As I prepare this week’s EATING AUTHORS post, I am deep in the throes of the copyedits for Barsk: The Elephants Graveyard (though the book itself doesn’t come out until December). It’s distracting work, but “the blog must go on,” as I’m sure someone has paraphrased, and so here we are. This week’s guest is Shannon Page, who, in addition to authoring her own fiction, has co-authored a number of works with the late Jay Lake, and more recently completed some of his…
  • Boskone 52 Schedule (more than a month out!)

    11 Jan 2015 | 12:01 pm
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. Bucking the trend of recent conventions, this morning I received an email from the programming people at Boskone revealing what they referred to as my “final schedule,” and including a note that the full schedule is up on their website I am agog! Not just because lately it’s been much more common to get my schedule in the final week before the con (and often much less), but because of the incredible array of authors who will be showing up at the convention, folks like Elizabeth Bear, Charlie Stross,…
  • My Awards Pitch for 2015

    11 Jan 2015 | 11:02 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. It’s that time of year where authors flock to the internet to blatantly proclaim all that is mighty and good of their works from the previous year. Some people consider this a tad unsavory, while others have pointed out that if the author cannot stand proudly for his/her own stuff, then who can? Speaking as someone who is published by small presses, I tend to err on the side of pragmatism: the odds are good that most people haven’t seen my work and anything that helps them to encounter my fiction is a…
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    The Urtaru Chronicles

  • How to get a headache when something isn’t turnkey…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    2 Jan 2015 | 11:49 am
    Received a new router from Verizon today so I plugged it in per the instructions and no dice. The Internet connection light was orange. Poked around on the Internet to figure out what I had to do. Need to do a DHCP release. That meant logging into the old router. New router has the admin […]
  • my blog: 2014 in review

    Armen Chakmakjian
    1 Jan 2015 | 1:16 pm
    The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,200 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 37 trips to carry that many people. Click here to see the […]
  • 2014 -> 2015

    Armen Chakmakjian
    1 Jan 2015 | 8:57 am
    Okay, so just enough of my morning coffee has gotten to me to want to get to writing a blog post. 2014 was a great year and I hope that things work out for the best this year. A year ago today I scared the heck out of myself because I weighed more than I […]
  • A Christmas Story

    Armen Chakmakjian
    24 Dec 2014 | 2:00 pm
    Spoiler warning: An adult retrospective on Santa. If you ignored that warning: Santa is real. If you are satisfied with that statement, the rest of this note is immaterial to you. Go onto the next Santa thing in your google or bing search. Now that we have dispensed with true believers, let me get to […]
  • 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 […]
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  • Cara Buka rekening bank di kemang jakarta selatan NURBAYA

    28 Jan 2015 | 5:53 am
    Cara Buka rekening bank di kemang jakarta selatan NURBAYA  Pertanyaan: Apa Apakah saya perlu lakukan untuk membuka rekening bank?   Siap untuk memulai sebuah account baru tapi tidak yakin bagaimana? Proses ini mudah, dan kami telah dipecah menjadibeberapa langkah yang… Continue Reading...
  • led tv murah dan berkualitas di indonesia

    27 Jan 2015 | 8:21 pm
    led tv murah dan berkualitas di indonesia. Toshiba: Toshiba membuat lebar kisaran dari TV sendiri, tetapi juga menempatkan merek padabeberapa TV yang sebenarnya diproduksi oleh produsen pihak ketiga. Toshiba TV datang dalamberbagai rasa, termasuk dasar Mid-ukuran set, fitur lengkap smart…...
  • smart tv terbaik dan berkualitas di indonesia

    27 Jan 2015 | 7:48 pm
    smart tv terbaik dan berkualitas di indonesia. Toshiba 50L1400U lebih terjangkau dari sebagian besarkompetisi, tetapi juga dari bagianbawah laras. Untukmeminta harga, Anda mendapatkan layar besar, remotedan tidak banyak lagi.   Tanpa benar mengkalibrasi L1400U, ada isu-isu gambaranyang terlalu...
  • Toshiba led 50 Inch Terbaik

    27 Jan 2015 | 7:16 pm
    Toshiba led 50 Inch Terbaik Dapatkan kinerja layar lebar lebih dari yang Anda menawar. Melangkah ke Toshiba L5200ULED HD televisi, menawarkan kualitas gambar terbaik di TV layar besar, dan nilai hiburanterbaik untuk uang Anda. Mengumpulkan bulat dan menikmati tanpa bergerak… Continue Reading...
  • LCD Tv Lebar Dari Toshiba

    27 Jan 2015 | 12:51 am
    Era TV Tabung yang sudah berpuluh tahun menjadi perangkat elektronik keluarga favorit untuk menghadirkan tayangan hiburan segera berakhir dalam beberapa waktu ke depan. Standar baru siaran digital yang saat ini sudah memasuki tahapan uji-coba di ibukota dan akan menyusul kota-kota… Continue...
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    David MackDavid Mack »


    David Mack
    29 Jan 2015 | 6:00 am
    Now that the contracts are signed, I can finally share this amazing news: I’ve just inked a deal with Tor Books for a trilogy of original novels. The first of these will be The Midnight Front, a World War II-era fantasy adventure featuring “commando wizards” battling to control the shape of humanity’s future. The current […]
  • An Anthology of RUSH-inspired Fiction

    David Mack
    12 Jan 2015 | 6:54 pm
    Now that co-editor and fellow author Kevin J. Anderson has spilled the beans on his blog, I am free to announce my own participation in an upcoming short-fiction anthology he’s helping to curate. 2113: Songs Inspired by the Music of Rush started as the brainchild of co-editor and contributing author John McFetridge, who pitched the […]
  • 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 […]
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  • Cover & Synopsis: DEADLANDS: GHOSTWALKERS by Jonathan Maberry

    John DeNardo
    29 Jan 2015 | 12:00 pm
    More juicy cover art from the new Tor catalog…this one for Jonathan Maberry’s upcoming weird western media tie-in Deadlands: Ghostwalkers. Here’s the synopsis: The first of three media tie-in novels based on the hit RPG franchise Deadlands From New York Times bestselling author Jonathan Maberry, the first in a thrilling series of novels based on Deadlands, a hugely successful role-playing game (RPG) set in the Weird, Weird West. Welcome to the Deadlands, where steely-eyed gunfighters rub shoulders with mad scientists and dark, unnatural forces. Where the Great Quake of 1868 has…
  • BOOK REVIEW: Random by Alma Alexander

    Paul Weimer
    29 Jan 2015 | 8:00 am
    REVIEW SUMMARY:A good YA novel with a fresh take on shapeshifters, marred somewhat with worldbuilding and ending issues. MY RATING: BRIEF SYNOPSIS: Jazz Marsh, “Were”, a shapeshifter, grows into her heritage, and discovers the legacy of her lost elder sister in the process. MY REVIEW: PROS: Interesting exploration of a modern take on shapeshifters; epistolary format an excellently used narrative structure. CONS: “Wham line” (a line of dialogue that radically alters a scene) ending does encourage continuance of the series at the expense of a complete story; vagueness in…
  • [GUEST POST] Rob J Hayes, Author of THE COLOR OF VENGEANCE on Fantastical Heroes

    Rob J Hayes
    28 Jan 2015 | 10:30 pm
    Having served in a hundred different offices as a keyboard monkey Rob J. Hayes finally decided to follow his life long passion of daydreaming. After writing a small horde’s worth of short stories (many of which can be found on his website), he released his debut trilogy “The Ties that Bind” in 2013 as an indie publication and followed it up with the standalone release The Northern Sunrise in 2014. Having now signed a deal with Ragnarok to bring “The Ties that Bind” to traditional paper publication Rob is furiously working away at a follow-up series set in the…
  • Did You Hear Brian McClellan on The Functional Nerds Podcast?

    28 Jan 2015 | 10:25 pm
    Brian McClellan, author of The Autumn Republic, joins John Anealio and Patrick Hester this week on The Functional Nerds Podcast. Listen below, or at The Functional Nerds, or subscribe to The Functional Nerds Podcast through iTunes. Related posts: Did You Hear Michael R. Underwood on The Functional Nerds Podcast? Did You Hear James L. Sutter on The Functional Nerds Podcast? Did You Hear the Latest Functional Nerds Podcast?
  • Daily Science Fiction Roster of Stories for February 2015

    John DeNardo
    28 Jan 2015 | 10:15 pm
    Daily Science Fiction has announced its February line-up of free stories. February 02: “Bitten Women’s Shelter” by Sean Vivier February 03: “Dear Conqueror” by Erica L. Satifka February 04: “Meat that Grows on Trees” by Caroline M. Yoachim [Tasting Menu series] February 05: “Afternoon Break” by Gregg Chamberlain February 06: “The Heart of a Tree” by Pam L Wallace February 09: “The Sky Didn’t Load Today” by Rich Larson February 10: “Chocolate Chip Cookies for the Apocalypse” by Claire Spaulding…
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    The World in the Satin Bag

  • On Self-Publishing and the Hugh Howey / Data Guy January 2015 Report

    29 Jan 2015 | 7:58 am
    (Parts of this post originally appeared on my Google+ page and in the comments on Mike Reeves-McMillan's post on the report.) You may be aware that Author Earnings, a data analysis site run by Hugh Howey and someone called Data Guy, recently released a report on ebook sales and the market share of those sales by the various publishing methods.  There is a lot of interesting information here, so I do recommend checking it out if you have the time.As you may expect, I have some issues with the report and with responses to the report -- and to my questions regarding the report.  I…
  • A Conversation with Josh Vogt About the Internet and Perverted Things

    26 Jan 2015 | 2:38 pm
    (Trigger warning for anyone bother STD analogies...)SCENE:  In the minutes before Shaun's new editing website went live, an unsuspecting Josh Vogt is gifted an exchange of adolescent absurdity on Facebook.SHAUN:  I want to announce this thing, but I can't do it if the stupid thing doesn't propagate.  Make Internet love and spread already!JOSH:  You make it sound like an STD.SHAUN:  It's kind of like one...It waits for an unsuspecting server to touch it in its delicate place, and then infects it with new information.  That's all STDs are.  New information.
  • Movie Review Rant: The Sorcerer's Apprentice (2010; dir Jon Turtletaub) -- A SFF Film Odyssey Review

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:40 am
    Though not the first live-action remake of a Disney cartoon, 2010's The Sorcerer's Apprentice is part of what might be called Disney's 1st Phase of Live Action Remakes, sitting right between the last of the Pirates of the Caribbean (At World's End; 2007) trilogy films and the much more interesting Maleficent (2014).  If this is a phase of live action remakes, then it is a loose one, with an unclear path -- a test bed, if you will, since the previous remakes have mostly taken the form of almost faithful adaptations of existing stories (101 Dalmations in 1996 and Alice in…
  • Announcement: The Duke of Editing is Now Open for Business! Bring Your Grammars!

    24 Jan 2015 | 7:22 pm
    Some of you already knew this was coming, but you didn't know the name of my new freelance editing business or the full extent of the shenanigans to be had now that I'm trying desperately to behave like a professional.But it has happened.  As of this moment, The Duke of Editingis open for business.  Please spread the word!On a related note:  I would like to say thanks to the following folks, who were kind enough to offer their opinions before the launch:S.L. HuangCecily KaneJosh VogtRobert MacAnthonyLouise Hughesand Nathan from Review BarnOK.  Time to get back to work...
  • On the Hugo Awards "Best Fancast" Category: Eligibility, Vote Value, and the Unlikelihood of Change

    21 Jan 2015 | 1:58 pm
    Recently, I had a Twitter discussion* with Nerds of a Feather about the "Best Fancast" category for the Hugos.**  Briefly, Nerds' Hugo Nominations Draft Ballot contained several podcasts which I had thought weren't eligible because of their association with a pro site (  This discussion continued today with Justin Landon's comments about nominations, which I'll discuss farther down on the page.  First, some factual bits and pieces:The Hugo Award categories page lists the following definition for Fancast:  "Awarded for any non-professional audio- or video-casting…
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    Risingshadow - Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • A review of David Edison's The Waking Engine

    29 Jan 2015 | 12:53 am
    David Edison's The Waking Engine was published by Tor Books (UK website / US website / Tor/Forge Blog) in February 2014. The paperback edition will be published in May 2015. Information about David Edison: David Edison was born in Saint Louis, Missouri. In other lives, he has worked in many flavors of journalism and is editor of the LGBTQ video game news site He currently divides his time between New York City and San Francisco. The Waking Engine is his first novel. Click here to visit the author's official website. Information about The Waking Engine: A stunning debut fantasy…
  • A review of Stephen Graham Jones' After the People Lights Have Gone Off

    27 Jan 2015 | 1:32 pm
    Stephen Graham Jones' After the People Lights Have Gone Off was published by Dark House Press in September 2014. Information about Stephen Graham Jones: Stephen Graham Jones is the author of fifteen novels and five collections, and has some two hundred stories published. Stephen’s been an NEA Fellow and has won the Texas Institute of Letters Award for Fiction and the Independent Publishers Award for Multicultural fiction. He's forty-two, married with a couple of kids, and lives in Boulder, Colorado. Click here to visit the author's official website. Information about After the People…
  • GUEST POST: The Pitfalls of Expectation by Tim Marquitz

    26 Jan 2015 | 3:38 am
    Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Tim Marquitz. Tim Marquitz is the author of the Demon Squad series, the Blood War Trilogy, co-author of the Dead West series, as well as several standalone books, and numerous anthology appearances including Triumph Over Tragedy, Corrupts Absolutely?, Demonic Dolls, Neverland's Library, and the forthcoming No Place Like Home and Blackguards. The Editor in Chief of Ragnarok Publications, Tim most recently compiled and edited the Angelic Knight Press anthologies, Fading Light: An Anthology of the Monstrous and Manifesto: UF, as well as…
  • A review of Jonathan Maas' Flare

    26 Jan 2015 | 1:31 am
    Jonathan Maas' Flare will be published during spring of 2015. Information about Jonathan Maas: Jon Maas is a writer living in Los Angeles and has written two novels City of gods: Hellenica, and Spanners: The Fountain of Youth. He has been a creative type his whole life, from stints as both a musician and a standup comedian to his current profession as novelist, and he has wrestled with professional envy the whole time. You can check him out his Amazon author page, or at his blog, Deviant Stories. Information about Flare: FEAR THE DAYLIGHT Without warning or explanation, an extended solar…
  • A review of Christopher Nuttall's The Mind's Eye

    22 Jan 2015 | 3:42 am
    Christopher Nuttall's The Mind's Eye was published by Elsewhen Press as a digital edition in November 2014. The paperback edition was published in December 2014. Information about Christopher Nuttall: Christopher Nuttall has been planning sci-fi books since he learned to read. Born and raised in Edinburgh, Chris created an alternate history website and eventually graduated to writing full-sized novels. Studying history independently allowed him to develop worlds that hung together and provided a base for storytelling. After graduating from university, Chris started writing full-time. As an…
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    On Starships and Dragonwings

  • 5 Facts About Master of Plagues by E. L. Tettensor + Giveaway!

    29 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Master of Plagues by E. L. Tettensor Tour Today I’m very excited to welcome E. L. Tettensor to the blog to talk about her awesome Nicolas Lenoir series! If you haven’t read book one, Darkwalker, you should get on that, but after you read this guest post because it is spoiler-free :D. You should then be sure to mark down Feb. 3rd to go get your copy of Master of Plagues because you don’t want to miss out on this crazy “flintlock fantasy mystery” series! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom too :). I have a theory about reading, and specifically, about…
  • Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson Audiobook {4.5 Stars}

    28 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson is a sequel to Legion and tells the story of another of Stephen Leeds’ very strange cases that take advantage of his genius that manifests with 47 different “aspects” ie hallucinations of people. There aren’t really spoilers for Legion below, so no worries. You can easily read Skin Deep without having read Legion since it focuses on a completely different mystery ;-). I love the plot of Skin Deep since it is that sort of near-future sci-fi where it could perhaps happen next year or next decade depending on how fast technology advances! My…
  • What if you could live forever? {Tuck Everlasting 40th Anniversary Tour!}

    27 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    What if you could live forever? To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tuck Everlasting, the lovely folks at Macmillan have asked me to muse on the question of what if you really could drink from a secret spring and become immortal! My first instinct was of course “Omg yes then I could read ALL THE BOOKS.” However, this question kept rattling around in my head and my memories from reading Tuck Everlasting in school drifted back to the surface. This of course is a question that is addressed often in speculative fiction and most of the time the answer seems to always come back to…
  • Best Audiobooks of 2014 Giveaway Hop (US/Can)

    25 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    My Favorite Audiobooks of 2014 I’m so excited to be participating in the Best Audiobooks giveaway hop again this year :D. First I’m going to share the five audiobooks I loved most this year and then I’ll be giving away one Audible book in addition to the grand prize of three audiobooks of the winner’s choice :D. The giveaways are open to everyone as long as you can use Audible books!   Dreamer’s Pool – I have a feeling this is going to be on a lot of lists this year! Dreamer’s Pool is actually an Audible production and I have to say that I’m…
  • Updates from the Lair 1/24/15

    24 Jan 2015 | 4:00 am
    Updates from the Lair is my weekly wrap-up post that includes what happened in my real life, what I’ve been reading, my posts from the week, and what I’m thinking about reading next week (and would love your advice on!).  What?? Did you fall through a wormhole and miss Saturday? No, don’t worry, it’s not you, it’s me ;-). Tomorrow is going to be a fun giveaway, so I’m posting Updates today instead :D. I’m really proud of how productive I was with work and school this week. I graded all my students’ work right away, got lots of research and…
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    ATG Reviews

  • Wizard’s First Rule Book Review

    29 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    The Sword of Truth Book OneBuy on Amazon!I’ve had a soft spot for those lengthy fantasy epics.  Before I get to reading them, I do some brief skimming on the interwebs over whether the whole series is worth the time. Reading these opinions, a common trend emerges: the series starts out great before it begins to fall off in quality.  I read these things about The Wheel of Time before I started those books, A Song of Ice and Fire before I started those books, and The Malazan Books of the Fallen before I started those books.  To a certain extent the “decay over time…
  • Fantastic Four Trailer Shows Us The New Crew

    The World Weary
    27 Jan 2015 | 5:39 pm
    Meanwhile in Universe A…Earlier today, Marvel unveiled the public’s first look at the new re-imaginized, reboot-tacular mind fudge of the First Family of superheroes. Apparently, the original group of four heroes get warped into an “alternate universe” that changes how they look, but more importantly, it also gives them all unique powers. The movie represents another “ret-con” by Marvel Studios, who  had previously updated and ended their X-Men series in one swoop with Days of Future Past. So now, wishing to wash the taste of Fantastic Four (2005) and…
  • Sixth of the Dusk Book Review

    26 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    A Cosmere NovellaBuy on Amazon!Sixth of the Dusk is a novella by Brandon Sanderson that takes place in his Cosmere Universe. While an enjoyable read with an ambitious set of concepts and themes, Sanderson simply does not have the space to fully develop the myriad ideas he’s going for.A little bit of background, Cosmere is the universe Brandon Sanderson uses as a setting for a number of his fantasy series’.  There are ten planets called Shard planets and each has a magic system that many currently believe are the direct result of the breaking of a former power called Adonalsium.
  • Dune Book Review

    22 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    “The mystery of life isn’t a problem to solve, but a reality to experience.”Buy on Amazon!I bought Dune about four or five years ago … around the time Borders was going under, ultimately deciding to pick it up for a bargain price.  It was recommended to me by a close friend and I was well aware of its reputation in science fiction, a popular saying being: what Lord of the Rings was to fantasy is what Dune is to science fiction. After reading this book I would whole heartedly agree with that.Dune is the story of an all desert planet called Arrakis that has giant worms,…
  • Into the Woods Film Review

    The World Weary
    20 Jan 2015 | 10:00 am
    OWThere have been few musicals that I’ve seen in my life that I can say I’ve enjoyed. My favorite one of all time is probably South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. That should probably tell you quite a bit about why I didn’t like this movie already. When I’m not The World Weary, I’m a musician, and musicals have always represented an affront to everything I consider tasteful in music. They’re just… annoying, and long, and … So yeah, it’s not going to be easy to write a fair review of this movie, and really, it won’t be fair at…
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    OMNI Reboot

  • The Evolution And Future Of Sex In Video Games

    Melissa Weyland
    29 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    The future evolution of video games will be fully immersive, allowing players to have sex with their characters. Immersive technologies, such as the Oculus Rift and Microsoft's Hololens, may mean video games and sex will never come out from between the sheets. The video game industry has had a rocky relationship with depictions of sexual acts. While HBO's Game of Thrones and the BDSM-filled novel Fifty Shades of Grey [NSFW]are flaccid topics in casual conversation, video games including sexual acts cause legislators to stand erect in bipartisan union and rabble-rouse about the state of…
  • Sci-Fi Artists: Chris Moore Painted Parallel Universes

    Edward Simmons
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:23 pm
    Chris Moore is a titan of sci-fi art, with work that gave life to the parallel universes of novels by the likes of Philip K. Dick and Isaac Asimov. Written By 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. Chris Moore is a titan of art, having painted works that mirror the masterful prose presented in the science fiction novels he painted for. His paintings have graced the covers…
  • Remembering Project Gemini

    John Foley
    28 Jan 2015 | 9:00 am
    Project Gemini was the second series of manned space flights in NASA's history, beginning in June of 1965. The program was announced in January 1962 and given its name by its two-man crew, after the third constellation of the Zodiac and its twin stars, Castor and Pollux. Gemini involved 12 flighs. NASA intended for the flights to test the effects of prolonged space travel on humans. Spacewalks became an intricate part of the Gemini program, leading NASA to devote much time and effort to redesigning the iconic space suits.The post Remembering Project Gemini appeared first on OMNI Reboot.
  • David Duchovny Signed Mulder Action Figure From The X-Files

    Esther Kim
    28 Jan 2015 | 5:00 am
    David Duchovny signed a mint condition Mulder action figure from The X-Files during New York Comic Con 2013. Measuring 12 inches, the model is a perfect 1/6 scale representation of the seemingly crazy FBI agent operating at the fringe of science.The post David Duchovny Signed Mulder Action Figure From The X-Files appeared first on OMNI Reboot.
  • A Review Of Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden

    Michael Gold
    27 Jan 2015 | 1:00 pm
    Reviewing Chris Beckett's Dark Eden shows how the story is a window into how narrative evolves. Chris Beckett’s Dark Eden highlights the evolution of narrative in a quiet coming-of-age story set on an alien planet with no sun. The novel spends much of its first half detailing the ways in which humans cope with life on a dark world. Light and warmth comes from “lantern trees,” which pump up hot liquid of some kind from the center of the planet. People hunt dark animals with green-grey meat. They measure time in “wombs” (the amount of time it takes for a baby to be born), as well as…
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    Revens Fang

  • Video of Reven's Fang Artwork

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

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

    Revens Fang
    28 Jan 2015 | 2:20 am
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 4

    Revens Fang
    22 Jan 2015 | 7:14 am
    Reven, Borengar and Fang arrived outside Krassner's house at mid-morning. It hadn't taken long to locate where the man lived as many people recognised their description of his bright orange robes. Most people they spoke to referred to him as the wizard; they would ask the question and the response would be 'Oh, you mean the wizard.' They remained sceptical of Krassner's status as a user of magic, if he was a powerful mage then why would he have needed Reven and Borengar's assistance in acquiring the book? It didn't make sense but they would soon find out exactly what the man was up…
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 3

    Revens Fang
    21 Jan 2015 | 2:27 am
    Reven and Borengar once again found themselves in The Pot Bellied Orc awaiting Krassner's arrival. Reven turned the book over in his hands examining the leather bound tome. He had read pieces of it and didn't understand what was so special about the book. It seemed to be about nothing in particular, parts in it were about architecture, others about the design of suits of armour. There was no clear correlation between the various passages and he did wonder if there could have been two books in the library that bore the same name. Borengar joined him at the table with two freshly…
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