SciFi & Fantasy Novels

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  • Michael Moorcock Library Vol 1: Elric of Melnibone

    Mark Yon
    25 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    There is a bit of a Moorcock / Elric revival going on at Titan Books at the moment. To add to the two volumes of the new graphic novel version (The Ruby Throne, review HERE and Stormbringer, review HERE) we have this older version of Michael Moorcock’s most famous literary creation. So, to be clear, […]
  • What about Alien Life?

    David Brin
    23 Apr 2015 | 5:14 pm
    == Other types of life? ==A theorized cell membrane, composed of smaller organic nitrogen compounds and capable of functioning in liquid methane temperatures of 292 degrees beneath zero, might be the basis for “living” cells on Titan. The analogue to Earthly, water based liposomes (the basis of our own cells), published in Science Advances, shows the exact same stability and flexibility that Earth's analogous liposome does.  One component - Acrylonitrile -- a colorless, poisonous, liquid organic compound utilized in the manufacture of acrylic fibers, resins and…
  • Ruminations on Nominations

    Eric James Stone
    Eric James Stone
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:10 pm
    The Hugo Award nominations are out, and once again there’s controversy over who made the ballot and who did not. Here are some of my thoughts: Time Machine: If I ever get access to a time machine, one thing I’ll do is go back to 2012 and try to convince everyone to nominate The Martian by Andy Weir for a Hugo Award. It’s almost a crime that it does not have a Hugo nomination. It’s the best science fiction novel I’ve read in several years, and it’s really too bad that the version Crown Publishing put out last year was ineligible due to the self-published…
  • The Million Step Journey to a Brand New World

    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass
    15 Apr 2015 | 8:47 am
     April 2010     April 2015   Last weekend, Cheryl and I drove up to Virginia. Our travels took us past places we'd visited five years earlier, on a road trip we'd taken when we first became a couple. The trip five years ago was a pleasant drive. Highway 58 through the Appalachians is a twisty road that rewards you with mile after mile of breathtaking views. Stick a camera out your
  • Collage: Goldfish Memoir, April 6, 2015

    Kathryn Cramer
    Kathryn Cramer
    6 Apr 2015 | 3:28 pm
    This collage was created following the instructions for exercise number 5 in Nick Bantock's book The Trickster' Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity. The goldfish was copied from one of the color plates in State of New York Forest, Fish & Game Commission Annual Reports 1904-1905-1906.
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  • Michael Moorcock Library Vol 1: Elric of Melnibone

    Mark Yon
    25 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    There is a bit of a Moorcock / Elric revival going on at Titan Books at the moment. To add to the two volumes of the new graphic novel version (The Ruby Throne, review HERE and Stormbringer, review HERE) we have this older version of Michael Moorcock’s most famous literary creation. So, to be clear, […]
  • Daniel Ausema

    N. E. White
    24 Apr 2015 | 3:00 am
    As part of our’s Member Spotlight Series, Nila interviews Daniel Ausema, fantasy writer and reader. Hello Daniel, thank you for taking time from your busy schedule to chat with me. I promise I’ll make this quick. Daniel: Thank you! I’m thrilled to be asked. SFFWorld: What’s your’s forum alias and why did you […]
  • WRITING FROM A SCRIPT by Seaton Kay-Smith

    Dag R.
    23 Apr 2015 | 1:06 pm
    I used to write for a daily television show, which meant that work was seasonal. Because the Roast was only on for eight months of the year, I only worked for eight months of the year. The remaining four months, while it may sound like free time, could more accurately be described as unemployment. When I returned […]
  • The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro

    Luke Brown
    22 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    How do I start to explain what the new book, The Buried Giant, by British novelist Kazuo Ishiguro is? Yes, it’s an Arthurian fantasy. Undoubtedly, it’s exquisitely written in Man Booker prize winner Ishiguro’s trademark controlled and elegant prose. And of course there are the peripheral noises often made when a “mainstream” writer ventures into […]
  • THE THORN OF DENTONHILL by Marshall Ryan Maresca

    Rob B
    21 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    Marshall Ryan Maresca’s debut, The Thorn of Dentonhill, is one of the first novels to be published which was workshopped in the Book Country online writer’s community. The novel takes place in a city with both a magical university and dark streets populated by gangs and crime lords. Though set in a secondary fantasy world, […]
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    Eric James Stone

  • Ruminations on Nominations

    Eric James Stone
    20 Apr 2015 | 2:10 pm
    The Hugo Award nominations are out, and once again there’s controversy over who made the ballot and who did not. Here are some of my thoughts: Time Machine: If I ever get access to a time machine, one thing I’ll do is go back to 2012 and try to convince everyone to nominate The Martian by Andy Weir for a Hugo Award. It’s almost a crime that it does not have a Hugo nomination. It’s the best science fiction novel I’ve read in several years, and it’s really too bad that the version Crown Publishing put out last year was ineligible due to the self-published…
  • Release date for Unforgettable

    Eric James Stone
    16 Mar 2015 | 7:08 am
    My debut novel Unforgettable now has a release date: January 5, 2016. Not only that, you can now pre-order Unforgettable on Amazon. And if you haven’t seen Kurt Miller’s amazing cover art yet, go here.
  • My LTUE 2015 Schedule

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

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

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

  • The Million Step Journey to a Brand New World

    15 Apr 2015 | 8:47 am
     April 2010     April 2015   Last weekend, Cheryl and I drove up to Virginia. Our travels took us past places we'd visited five years earlier, on a road trip we'd taken when we first became a couple. The trip five years ago was a pleasant drive. Highway 58 through the Appalachians is a twisty road that rewards you with mile after mile of breathtaking views. Stick a camera out your

    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
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    Kathryn Cramer

  • Collage: Goldfish Memoir, April 6, 2015

    Kathryn Cramer
    6 Apr 2015 | 3:28 pm
    This collage was created following the instructions for exercise number 5 in Nick Bantock's book The Trickster' Hat: A Mischievous Apprenticeship in Creativity. The goldfish was copied from one of the color plates in State of New York Forest, Fish & Game Commission Annual Reports 1904-1905-1906.
  • Collage: We All Have Two Selves, April 5, 2015

    Kathryn Cramer
    6 Apr 2015 | 3:19 pm
  • Asking the Wrong Question

    Kathryn Cramer
    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.

    Kathryn Cramer
    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

    Kathryn Cramer
    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.  
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    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • silly pics from the VIP reception at Treklanta

    25 Apr 2015 | 6:01 am
    Last night was the VIP champagne reception here at Treklanta 2015. For forty bucks, attendees get to sit and schmooze with the actor and author guests (this year, Jason Carter, Anne Lockhart, and Sean Kenney, as well as me). At one point, after we'd all been drinking, um, a lot, pictures were taken. Here's Jason, with both Wrenn and Meredith:Today I've got "One Hour with Keith R.A. DeCandido" at 10am, then I'll be sitting at my table in the Autograph & Photo Opps Room (Decatur 1) for much of the day selling books and scribbling on them.Tonight is the Miss Klingon Empire pageant, for which I'm…
  • new Cassie Zukav story on Buzzy Mag!

    24 Apr 2015 | 2:11 pm
    The newest Cassie Zukav story is now up on Buzzy Mag! "Down to the Waterline" is actually a prequel to the story "Ragnarok and Roll," in which Cassie has to deal with the disappearance of 1812's drummer, and a revelation about her ghostly roommate Captain Bottroff. Plus: nixies!Check the story out!
  • me breaking boards

    23 Apr 2015 | 7:14 am
    Last Sunday, I participated in an adult tournament at the dojo. Part of it was board breaking, and I broke four one-inch boards without splints with my knife hand, and then two more one-inch boards (also without splints) with a back kick. There's a video of it on Shutterfly -- check it out!
  • I never could get the hang of Thursdays

    23 Apr 2015 | 7:00 am
    Today I have to write more of Kali's Wrath, teach a karate class, pack for Treklanta, guest-lecture my Dad's online class, and then drive to Altanta. We're doing an overnight drive, since that worked out well for Dragon Con, and anything is better than flying out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport or, as I like to call it, the lower reaches of hell.However, I woke up this morning to magnificent news: the licensor has approved my tie-in trilogy outline (after a couple of rounds of revisions), so I'll be starting on that soon. I'll have more details on that once all the paperwork is…
  • Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: "Charlie X"

    21 Apr 2015 | 12:41 pm
    Uhura sings, Spock plays the lyre and recites poetry against his will, Kirk does judo shirtless because he's too manly for a gi, and a teenager does horrible horrible things with the absolute power he received from a big floating green head. The TOS Rewatch does "Charlie X."An excerpt: The mess hall scene when Uhura sings along with Spock’s Vulcan lyre playing is Exhibit B in the evidence that Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman did not pull the Spock-Uhura romance out of their asses for the 2009 Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness. I can see the pair of them rewatching the original series and…
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    Robert J. Sawyer

  • Bring “God is an Iron” to Worldcon

    21 Apr 2015 | 1:46 pm
    Two of my favourite people in the world are SF writer Spider Robinson and playwright Liz Cano. Last year, Liz did an amazing adaptation of Spider’s “God Is An Iron” at the Montreal Fringe Festival — I saw it and it blew my socks off. She’s now got an Indiegogo campaign going to bring the play to this year’s Worldcon in Spokane (close enough to his home that Spider might be able to actually see the production!). Please contribute! Robert J. Sawyer online:Website • Facebook • Twitter • Email
  • Beyond the Fermi Paradox

    20 Apr 2015 | 8:52 am
    I had the pleasure, however virtually and metaphorically, to sit down recently with Edward M. Lerner and discuss his latest novel. InterstellarNet: Enigma is the newest addition to Ed’s popular InterstellarNet future history. Here’s a little of what we discussed.RJS: I’ve read InterstellarNet: Enigma, and it has a lot of moving parts. How do you describe the novel to people? EML: As one conundrum beyond the Fermi paradox. (Laughs.) Too cryptic? It’s implausible, or so we’re often told, that we humans could be the only intelligent beings in the vast and ancient…
  • Spur interview

    19 Apr 2015 | 12:42 pm
    On this coming Saturday, April 25, 2015, I’m speaking at the Spur Festival in Calgary. They sent me a questionnaire; here are my answers: 1. Tell us about your participation in the 2015 Spur Festival. I’m thrilled to be speaking about the value of basic scientific research — why it’s so important to do work that asks fundamental questions. 2. What do you hope Spur Festival attendees will take away from your session? That it’s shortsighted to only do applied research that has an obvious immediate application; the greatest advances in our standard of living…
  • Ten years since the Rob & Bob tour of 2005

    18 Apr 2015 | 8:20 pm
    On April 18, 2005 — ten years ago today — the second “Rob and Bob” book tour began, with Tor Books and H.B. Fenn & Company sending Robert J. Sawyer and Robert Charles Wilson on a cross-continent book tour together. Bob was promoting his novel Spin (which went on to win the Hugo Award) and I was promoting my novel Mindscan (which went on to win the John W. Campbell Memorial Award). An amazing experience; we had a blast. Here’s the trip report of the by-plane part of the tour and here’s the subsequent by-car part of the tour. Robert J. Sawyer (left) and…
  • Come see me in Calgary

    8 Apr 2015 | 5:59 pm
    Come see science-fiction writer Robert J. Sawyer and astronomer Phil Langill, in a discussion moderated by Kirstin Morrell, at Spur Festival Calgary, Saturday, April 25, at 4:00 p.m. at National Music Centre — Stage One, 134 11th Ave SE. Info:​ ​Tickets: ($15.67): We’ll be discussing: Everywhere from the 27-kilometre-long Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator to Canada’s own Perimeter Institute, researchers continue to push the…
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  • Back to Ohio

    John Scalzi
    26 Apr 2015 | 4:30 am
    Traveling today (again!) so I’ll be scarce here. In the meantime, why not read this review of The Android’s Dream by James Nicoll? He’s one of the most observant reviewers of science fiction and fantasy writing now (check his other reviews), and I’m pleased to read his observations of the book. The review, I will note, goes to my oft-said (but I suspect, not-especially-believed) assertion that I would rather read an interesting critical review of my work than a bland positive one. Enjoy, and see you on the other side.
  • View From a Hotel Window 4/24/15

    John Scalzi
    24 Apr 2015 | 12:13 pm
    It looks very Florida to me. I suspect it’s the palm trees.
  • On My Way to Gainesville

    John Scalzi
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:51 am
    Hey! I’m back at the airport! Again! Yay? Seriously, at some point there will be a month where I don’t have to do any travel and I won’t know what I will do with myself. That month this year: September. Yes, September is the only month in 2015 where I don’t have travel scheduled. I honestly didn’t know writing would involve so many planes. Anyway, off to Gainesville, where tomorrow at 1pm I will be doing an event at the Alachua County Library main branch. Reading! Q&A! Signing! And stuff. If you’re in the area, see you there, hopefully. If you’re…
  • Big Idea Notice, Re: May and June (and July)

    John Scalzi
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:55 pm
    It is: The May Big Idea slots are all filled. If you queried and I did not respond, a) sorry, I tried to respond to everyone, b) I have no more slots for this month. There are still a few June Big Idea slots open. Go ahead and query. You may start querying for July Big Idea slots on May 1st. Thanks!
  • Hugos and Class

    John Scalzi
    23 Apr 2015 | 2:31 pm
    (Warning: Hugo neepery ahead. Ignore if you’re bored with the subject.) As I’m musing on class today, I’d like to take a moment to address something I see being attempted by the Puppies, which is to cast the current Hugo contretemps as something akin to a class war, with the scrappy diverse underdogs (the Puppy slates) arrayed against “powerful, wealthy white men” such as myself, Patrick Nielsen Hayden and George RR Martin, the latter being a late addition to the non-existent SJW cabal; apparently we are now a cackling, finger-steepling triumvirate of…
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    Magical Words

  • New Literate Liquors & John’s Going Straight to Hell

    John G. Hartness
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:33 am
    I’m going straight to hell,  just like my mama said, I’m going straight to hell – Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ Anyone who was in college in the early 90s in the Carolinas probably had Drivin’ n’ Cryin’ and Hootie & the Blowfish playing the bars around their campus. It was a good time to be young, and an almost perfect time to be stupid. I was both, and I was really good at being stupid. I flash back a little to my college years in Straight to Hell, the new Quincy Harker novella that’s available for pre-order now. And that’s what…
  • The Battle of the Book and The Battle of the Bulge

    Tamsin Silver
    22 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    The Battle of the Book & The Battle of the Bulge  (They have more in common than you think) Happy Hump Day, everyone! As of noon today, I’m fifty-five hours away from landing in Florida for vacation! I barely remember what a true vacation is, to be honest. In the past five years (since my first book was requested by a small press publisher), I’ve not traveled unless it revolved around my books or I was visiting family. The last one being a trip to California to see friends and attend a workshop in LA with the amazing, Allison Armstrong…which actually led to me being here, right…
  • Verb Modifiers: Prepositional Phrases

    Emily Leverett
    21 Apr 2015 | 6:35 am
    Verb Modifiers: Prepositional Phrases Today I’m going to discuss one of the most common modifiers in the English language: prepositional phrases. (Quick definition: a phrase is a word or group of words that functions as a unit in a sentence.[1]) A prepositional phrase is made of up two parts: a preposition and a noun or noun phrase. Some common singe-word prepositions: Above Across At Behind Below By Down For From In Into Like Near Of On Off Over Sine Through To Until Up Upon With Within There are lots and lots more. There are also two and three-word prepositions According to As for Because…
  • You’re Just Being Nice

    Misty Massey
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:51 am
    I danced in a show on Saturday night.  All by myself, to a song that I love (Come With Me Now, by Kongos) and I had an absolutely wonderful time.  Afterward, people were telling me that I did a great job, and that they enjoyed my performance.  A man I’d never seen before in my life made a point of telling me how much fun my performance had been.  I smiled and thanked all of them – who doesn’t love hearing that their art was successful?  The complication is that inside I was telling myself they were just being nice.  Because like so many of us, I can’t believe…
  • New Release & Literate Liquors Episode 18 – Writing Tips for Beginners

    John G. Hartness
    17 Apr 2015 | 7:03 am
    So I’m a little (a lot) like Simon Cowell on old episodes of American Idol. I’m snarky, sometimes biting, and I don’t suffer fools lightly. I might or might not unleash a little of that in this week’s episode of Literate Liquors, when I give some tips to beginning writers on how to write better. Or as I tend to put it – suck less. I have a lot of people that ask me to read things, and a lot of the time my response is simply – this isn’t written well. So this week I go over a few things that writers need to avoid doing in order to craft tighter…
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  • SHATTERED SHIELDS nominated for Hugo Award

    6 Apr 2015 | 4:37 am
    Ok, so I'm a little slow on the uptake when it comes to award nominations. I learned yesterday that editors Jennifer Brozek and Bryan Thomas Schmidt received a Hugo nomination for their work on SHATTERED SHIELDS.This made me do happy dances. Bryan and Jennifer worked really hard on that anthology, and I'm thrilled to see them getting respect and attention in return. Also, it's fun to have written one of the stories they chose for the book under discussion.The Hugo winners will be announced at the World Science Fiction Convention in Spokane, Washington on August 22.
  • 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…
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  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    22 Apr 2015 | 10:45 am
    An oldie but goodie:
  • New Review at the B&NR

    20 Apr 2015 | 8:07 am
    Lift your spirits by reading a utopia!
  • Ad for FANTASTIC from 1952

    17 Apr 2015 | 6:42 pm
    From STRANGE CONFESSIONS comic No 2.
  • Wolf Hall, and a Limerick

    17 Apr 2015 | 11:46 am
    I love Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, so I was delighted (and apprehensive) when I heard that BBC was going to do a dramatization.  So far I'm liking their version, except for one thing -- it's rushing by waaay too fast.  This shouldn't have come as a surprise -- they're squeezing two full novels into six episodes, after all -- but somehow each episode ends with me trying to catch my breath.The problem is that they've pared the novels down to just one plot, Thomas Cromwell's revenge on the people who brought down his master, Cardinal…
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    17 Apr 2015 | 7:07 am
    I look at the latest from Tom Purdom:
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  • Spring

    24 Apr 2015 | 9:41 am
    We are having spring here. The grass is green. The trees are leafing out. I have seen flowers, and I am hearing new bird calls. Migratory birds are back, birds that warble and trill rather than going "chirp, chirp, chirp" like English sparrows. It snowed a couple of days ago, but there was no accumulation.The reading at Dreamhaven went well. All the chairs were filled, and I sold some books. Ruth Berman gave me a ride home, which was wonderful, and I am very grateful.
  • Eleanor Arnason Reading

    14 Apr 2015 | 8:17 pm
    I am doing a reading at Dreamhaven books on Wednesday, April 22nd. The time is 6:30 pm. The address is 2301 East 38th Street, Minneapolis. I wouldn't mind some company. I'll be reading from the new collection, Hidden Folk, of course. I plan to read "The Puffin Hunter," which is my current favorite of the stories. It really is nifty.
  • While Many of You were at a Serious Literary Con...

    tate hallaway
    9 Apr 2015 | 11:02 am
    ..I was at home, doing this: "Story Time: Live-Blogging 'Taken By the Gay Unicorn Biker.'"Bitter Empire has promised me business cards that say: "Reading weird erotica, so you don't have to."Seriously, a very important conference is happening in town right now, the AWP (Association of Writers & Writing Programs) is happening. I will tell you that I looked at their off-site events schedule (here's today's) and I know none of the people doing readings. I don't think they invited the spec fic community, though I might be wrong about that.So, yeah, I stayed home and read unicorn porn, out…
  • Of Science Fiction and Puppies

    tate hallaway
    8 Apr 2015 | 6:56 am
    Possibly there were more qualified (and snappier) writers to sum up the Hugo shenanigans for the mundanes, but my editor asked and I answered with "Why Are All my Science Fiction Friends Screaming About Sad Puppies?"If you're a long time fan and have been following along even tangentially, I say nothing new here. Mostly it's a link salad to some of the more awful things known about Vox Day and his Rabid Puppies (the more stridently vocal right wing of the already right-of-center Sad Puppies). My only new insight is that I, too, have never really felt the Hugos were "all that" in terms of…
  • Guest Blogging about Failure

    tate hallaway
    6 Apr 2015 | 11:41 am
    My own personal failure, not the fail culture of SF, that is.  You can read it over at Kurtis Scaletta's blog:  "My Biggest Failure: Letting the B-st-rds Get me Down."
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    Joe Abercrombie

  • Half a War

    Joe Abercrombie
    20 Apr 2015 | 12:00 am
    Rejoice, for the UK edition of the third and (for the time being) final book in my Shattered Sea series, Half a War now has a cover and copy. Behold: Words are weapons Princess Skara has seen all she loved made blood and ashes. She is left with only words. But the right words can be as deadly as any blade. She must conquer her fears and sharpen her wits to a lethal edge if she is to reclaim her birthright. Only half a war is fought with swords The deep-cunning Father Yarvi has walked a long road from crippled slave to king’s minister. He has made allies of old foes and stitched together…
  • The Gemmell Awards

    Joe Abercrombie
    10 Apr 2015 | 7:27 am
    The David Gemmell Legend Awards are entering their seventh year and have a new and improved website.  I’ve talked about the Gemmells in the past – in essence I’m a strong believer in them.  In the notion of something that celebrates Gemmell’s very considerable contribution to British fantasy.  In the notion of something that aims to involve as wide a range of voters as possible.  In the notion of having an award for full-on, commercial, epic and heroic fantasy which, despite its very great popularity, does tend to get somewhat ignored by a lot of the other SF&F…
  • Letter to Visby

    Joe Abercrombie
    17 Mar 2015 | 3:33 am
    I was asked by a librarian in Visby, Sweden, to write a letter of inspiration for their fantasy section that might inspire people to read fantasy books.  Thought I might as well re-post it here so that people outside of Visby might also benefit from my inspirationality (that’s a word now).  Forgive my unusually pompous tone, if you can…   Dear Readers of Visby. Fantasy is about myth, magic, monsters, mystery and wonder. It’s a window into other worlds, other times, other realities. Places that have never existed and could never exist, except in the minds of writer and…
  • Progress Report March ’15

    Joe Abercrombie
    10 Mar 2015 | 1:01 pm
    Back from a very pleasant trip to the Emirates Literary Festival in Dubai and having, for the first time in some considerable time, a little bit of a break, actually.  Maybe the one I was supposed to be having when I started writing the Shattered Sea trilogy a couple of years back.  The last book, Half a War, was a tough one to edit and with limited time, but I’m pleased to say it’s now turned in, edited, copy-edited, and due for release in July in hardcover, e-book and audiobook in the US and UK.  Still some work to do on covers and maps and so forth, and because of the tight…
  • Editing

    Joe Abercrombie
    2 Mar 2015 | 5:22 am
    Things have been exceedingly quiet around here over the last month because I’ve been touring in Australia (further details on how that went over here) and also working flat out to get Half a War edited and then copy-edited.  The downside of the quick publication schedule (three books in a year) is there’s always going to be a quick turnaround, and therefore high pressure on the edit for that last book.  And so it has proved. I cannot articulate how crucial a good edit is to a book.  I finish a first draft knowing a lot of major changes I need to make, end up with a much…
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    Ann Aguirre

  • YA Scavenger Hunt: Go Team Teal!

    Melissa Jolly
    2 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Updated 4/6/15 – This hunt is over. Today kicks off the Spring 2015 YA Scavenger Hunt, and there are tons of great prizes to be won. You decide how much effort to put into it, but the rewards will definitely be commensurate with the time you spend visiting various sites and gathering clues. There are eight teams: RED, BLUE,GOLD,GREEN, ORANGE,TEAL,PURPLE,& PINK. I’m on the TEAL team this time around. If at any point, you get stuck, check out the How to Hunt page for help. At this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for…
  • YA Scavenger Hunt: Red Team Go!

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

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

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

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

  • Spring

    24 Apr 2015 | 9:36 am
    We are having spring here. The grass is green. The trees are leafing out. I have seen flowers, and I am hearing new bird calls. Migratory birds are back, birds that warble and trill rather than going "chirp, chirp, chirp" like English sparrows. It snowed a couple of days ago, but there was no accumulation.The reading at Dreamhaven went well. All the chairs were filled, and I sold some books. Ruth Berman gave me a ride home, which was wonderful, and I am very grateful.
  • More About the Hugo Hooroosh

    24 Apr 2015 | 9:33 am
    From facebook:I was reading George Martin's Not a Blog and noticed something. Larry Correia was up for a Campbell Award for best new writer in 2011. He didn't get it and -- per him -- at a bad time at Worldcon. Brad Torgerson was up for a Campbell and a Hugo in 2012 and got neither. But you are only eligible for a Campbell for two years after you first publish. It looks as if both these guys had fast and very promising starts to their careers. (A Campbell is not chopped liver. Being up for a Hugo a year or two after you first publish is not so bad. In addition, Correia was on the New York…
  • Facebook Comment

    19 Apr 2015 | 9:13 am
    I am mining facebook again, since I make a lot of comments there. This is in response to post-apocalypse stories that seem overly cozy. The one being discussed (one I don't know) was described as so beautifully crafted that it made the ruined world seem tidy. I read SF as a kid, because it was about the real world, which included nuclear holocaust and McCarthyite witch hunts. I guess one of the appeals of good SF is horror and despair, and the roughness of SF, the lack of polished style, may have contributed to a sense of reality. Would you polish your sentences, if you were dying of…
  • Affirmative Action

    19 Apr 2015 | 8:59 am
    I got ticked off at a facebook comment that said white writers don't write about PoC. This made me write a rant about how I have been writing about PoC, GLBT people and women for something like 40-50 years. I am an effing affirmative action policy with a keyboard. However, this essay is better than the rant.I don't mind white writers blaming themselves for not being diverse enough. I don't mind white readers blaming themselves for not searching out diverse writing, which does exist and is not that hard to find. I mind people making sweeping generalizations that blame ME. No. I've been doing…

    14 Apr 2015 | 8:14 pm
    I am doing a reading at Dreamhaven books on Wednesday, April 22nd. The time is 6:30 pm. The address is 2301 East 38th Street, Minneapolis. I wouldn't mind some company. I'll be reading from the new collection, Hidden Folk, of course. I plan to read "The Puffin Hunter," which is my current favorite of the stories. It really is nifty.
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  • Books at Last...

    Neal Asher
    30 Mar 2015 | 12:30 am
    Ooh, sunshine outside! If it doesn’t cloud over and start pissing down again I can get out for a walk. This weekend has been a write-off in that respect – windy and wet on Saturday and the same on Sunday but with a triple helping of the wet. I also didn’t get into the weight-training much and succumbed to the need for calories. I drove up to a local shop and there bought hobnobs, Tuc, chocolate honeycomb and chilli-rice crackers. I ate one packet each of the biscuits, a pack of the honeycomb and two packs of the crackers on top of my usual meat, veg and fruit. The result of this was a…
  • Walking Still...

    Neal Asher
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:37 am
    It’s grey windy and wet right now at 10.20AM so perhaps I won’t bother going for a walk today. I have been walking 7 miles day on most days for months now and that, plus weight-training over the last few weeks, is starting to give me periods when I’m completely knackered. The body needs to catch up.Meanwhile, over the last few weeks, Spring has sprung. The snowdrops have finished flowering and now daffodils and primroses have opened. On some days I’ve even been able to head off with just T-shirt and jeans.It’s been the same route every time: out of my house, by road down to Althorne…
  • The Hive Construct - Alexander Maskill

    Neal Asher
    26 Mar 2015 | 3:05 am
    I decided a few days back that I needed to get back into reading again as a precursor to starting writing again. I think what is happening to be can be described as a slow and error-prone reboot. Anyway, to this end I’ve started reading an hour of Greek a day, and I also picked up an SF book that had been sitting on a shelf for more than a year.My apologies to those at Transworld/Doubleday who sent me this uncorrected proof copy for comment. Stuff got in the way and I’m more than a bit late for useful comment. I had a slight problem when attempting to start The Hive Construct a number of…
  • Prador Moon Promotion!

    Neal Asher
    24 Mar 2015 | 11:21 am
    This would be good entry level into the Polity for new readers. Prador Moon is on Amazon now for just 99 pence! No idea for how long it will be available at this price.The Polity Collective stretches from Earth Central into the unfathomable reaches of the galactic void. But when the Polity finally encounters alien life in the form of massive, hostile, crablike carnivores known as the Prador, there can only be one outcome – total warfare.Chaos reigns as, caught unawares, the Polity struggles to regain its foothold and transition itself into a military society. Starships clash, planets…
  • Further Update

    Neal Asher
    17 Mar 2015 | 9:32 am
    And now an update on some other stuff. I’m still struggling to take an interest in writing and reading. The most I’ve been doing is a few interviews. I get occasions when I’ll do a bit of fiction and then my interest wanes. I suspect this is not only a result of what happened in January last year – I guess getting your nose rubbed in horrible reality can create an indifference to the fictional kind –  and everything that led up to it, but depression throughout this January and February – probably very much SAD related. As I do, I’ve been fighting this with exercise.
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  • B&N has signed copies of THE WATER KNIFE.

    2 Apr 2015 | 5:09 pm
    My hand is a bit cramped now, but I signed a few thousand copies of THE WATER KNIFE for sale at B&N. They’re now available for pre-order on the website. So if you want signed copies, this is the easiest place to get them.
  • Paolo Bacigalupi Interview: Looking at Morality through Science Fiction

    7 Feb 2015 | 8:48 am
  • 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.
  • 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
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    The Battersblog


    Lee Battersby
    26 Apr 2015 | 4:48 am
    The Parakeet and the Mermaid, Matisse, 1952.Luscious and I spent this evening watching a documentary about Henri Matisse's final years and his rejection of paint in favour of paper cutouts, and it's got me thinking. Incapacitated by illness, feeling the onset of his approaching death, this man in his 80s experienced an artistic explosion. He moved away from the paints and sculpture which had made him famous, and took to cutting directly into coloured paper, arranging them on (often) vast canvasses in a riot of colour and form in a frenzy of reinvention that secured him an artistic legacy even…

    Lee Battersby
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:00 pm
    I'm running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don't get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.This week, we welcome Australian Horror Writer alumnus, author and illustrator,…

    Lee Battersby
    22 Apr 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Every kid on every beach or every park you've ever seen......Apart from the actually 'talking English' bit, I saw this happen once. If you're going to chase birds, know your weight class, that's all I'm saying."My buddies here tell me you get a big kick out of chasing seagulls..."

    Lee Battersby
    20 Apr 2015 | 5:45 am
    You'll have to forgive me if I seem distracted: two weeks ago I was standing at the bottom of a forty-foot gorge, having clambered a hundred feet upstream to stand at the base of a fifty-foot high waterfall, halfway up a mountain in the middle of an Indonesian island.By which I mean, I was in Bali.Let's be honest: when Luscious organised the trip with her brother and sister-in-law, I was on the 'un' side of enthused. Nothing I'd heard about the island made me want to go there-- everything pointed to a filthy third-world shopping mall fit only for drunken AFL end of season piss-ups and surfer…

    Lee Battersby
    16 Apr 2015 | 4:00 pm
    I'm running a new series of guest posts throughout 2015: Fetish Friday. Don't get all sweaty in the pants—I’m going back to an older definition of the word, and asking artists to show us something that helps them with the ritual of creation, some part of their surroundings—physical or mental—that eases the path into the creative state, whether it be a location, a piece of music, person, picture, a doohickey, whatnot, curio or ornament without which the creative process would be a whole lot more difficult.This week we say hello to author, friend, lovely lady and awards hoover, Kaaron…
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    throw another bear in the canoe

  • god moves on the water like casey jones

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:37 am
    So I let the Magic Smoke (TM) out of my 15-year-old Osterizer a few months ago, and have been suffering a resultant smoothie deficit. Well, as a reward for a pretty decent short story sale the other day, I splashed out on a new Breville blender (basically, a poor man's Vitamix--less than half the price and rated almost as well).You guys.The things this blender does to kale. The things it does to rolled oats.My enemies had better watch their backs, is all I'm saying.
  • and a red clay robe and a red clay wings and a red clay halo for my head

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    13 Apr 2015 | 7:09 pm
    So I have 7500 words of The Stone in the Skull, the first book of the second Eternal Sky trilogy, which is collectively called The Lotus Kingdoms, done. I'm trying to have a bad draft before Readercon if I can.And because I'm really, really happy with how this is coming out--apparently I've finally learned how to take that advice in the blog title and throw another bear in the canoe--here's the first three paragraphs.My poor protagonists. I am a horrible person.Also, very smug.Chapter One.The mountain wore a mirrored mask. A pale sun blazed light but no heat in the limpid, icy air and…
  • russian roulette is not the same without a gun

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    12 Apr 2015 | 6:25 am
    Science fiction is a really big tent.Hell, not all of science fiction is even science fiction. Some of it is fantasy, or magic realism, or space opera, or...There have, in fact, been fandom wars fought over the definition of what, exactly, science fiction is. That second "F" in Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America was only added in much later years. (1992, per Ellen Klages and Michael Capobianco. Thanks both!) It is still unpronounced, and doesn't appear except as a drop shadow in the organization's acronym. (This despite the fact that the early pulps published both…
  • the reason most folk songs are so atrocious is that they were written by the people

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    6 Apr 2015 | 9:01 am
    There are a number of proposals being brainstormed in the various fandom internets (remember: anarchy--lots of people working and talking in tandem) towards amending the Hugo voting procedures to prevent slate voting from completely dominating the award. I don't think any of them are particularly workable***. One of them, the idea of presenting an opposing state, is not just an awkward kludge, but a radically bad idea for a number of reasons, not the least of it being that it's still unethical to game the system even when people I like are gaming it.But there are more practical…
  • i spent all day yesterday waiting at a red light

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    5 Apr 2015 | 9:14 pm
    Here's a thing about science fiction fandom that a lot of people who are new to the community may miss, SF prodom is an industry, yes--it's a group of interrelated sole proprietors and corporations and nonprofits all working in the same word mines. I'm an entrepreneur. I'm a small business, in point of fact. But I'm also a fan. And fandom intersects with prodom on a thousand different levels, not the least of which is that most SF pros are also SF fans. And SF Fandom is a functioning, self-sustaining, multi-generational anarchy. There is no central governing body. There is no system of…
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    Vicious Imagery

  • Snapshots of Minneapolis

    22 Apr 2015 | 12:38 am
    Earlier this month I went to Minneapolis in Minnesota for AWP 2015, the world's biggest creative writing conference. I knew next to nothing about my destination before arriving, aside from limited exposure via a handful of films and TV shows ostensibly set in the city or the state [Purple Rain, Fargo, The Mary Tyler Moore Show].As a longtime devotee of Prince, a pilgrimage to First Avenue was essential [above]. En route I nearly collided with a statue of Mary Tyler Moore outside Macy's [below], depicting an iconic moment from her eponymous sitcom's title sequence.Thanks to Fargo, I knew…
  • "Always crashing in the same car"

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

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

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

    14 Jan 2015 | 1:09 pm
    This is great, but the best bit for me? The music. Class.
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  • Happy San Jacinto Day!

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    21 Apr 2015 | 7:34 am
    On this date in 1836, Texas forces under the command of General Sam Houston defeated the army of Santa Anna in a surprise attack along the banks of the San Jacinto River near present-day Houston. The complete destruction of the Mexican army secured independence for Texas. Many Texans know that a significant credit to the victory is due to Emily Morgan, a mixed-race indentured servant of reputed beauty. She was captured by the Mexican army and Santa Anna became enamoured with her. Santa Anna, eager to bed her, ordered his army to encamp along the banks of the San Jacinto River over the…
  • Weekend in review (or, a study in self-destruction)

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    20 Apr 2015 | 7:16 am
    So, Saturday I did not get to sleep late on my one day of the week I normally get to do so, on account of Bug having a make up baseball game that morning. The game the night before had been rained out by the storms that rolled through, and Saturday morning was the only alternative as more rain was predicted for the other options. Naturally, when we get there it turns out the Orioles win by default, as the opponent didn't bother to show up. There were two other teams there with defaults as well, so since everyone was up early and in uniform, the coaches combined the three teams into two and…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    17 Apr 2015 | 8:25 pm
    In honor of Stevie Ray Vaughan getting his much-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and seeing as how we've had some pretty serious thunderstorms blow through the state these last few days whilst dropping not-insignificant amounts of rain on us, I present to you Texas Flood. Previously on Friday Night Videos... Stan Freberg. Now Playing: Prince The Black AlbumChicken Ranch Central
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    10 Apr 2015 | 12:14 pm
    No actual video today. Stan Freberg passed away this week and I can't let that go by without featuring one of his brilliant, satirical songs--"Elderly Man River." Unfortunately, very few videos exist of his work since his career peaked long before that became a thing. I don't think it matters one bit, though. Freberg is funny, whether you see him or not. Previously on Friday Night Videos... Ray Stevens. Now Playing: Prince BatmanChicken Ranch Central
  • Orchard

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    9 Apr 2015 | 8:01 pm
    One of my biggest regrets about moving from our old house was leaving behind my fruit trees. In the 10-plus years in that house, I'd planted pear, pecan, peach, plum, fig... and that was a pretty small yard. Last year was the first time they all produced fruit. Some had been more productive than others, sure, but last year marked them all reaching maturity. Talk about frustrating, leaving that behind after all that time and effort, grafting, pruning, cultivating... you get the idea. So, in light of that, imagine my delight to walk through the back yard of my new house, where I've spent…
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    Swan Tower

  • Intent is not magic, but it *does* matter

    Swan Tower
    24 Apr 2015 | 11:03 am
    I don’t know why, but recently I’ve been seeing posts around the internet about intent and its role in harassment/discrimination/etc which, to my eye, are throwing the baby out with the bathwater. I am 100% on board with the “intent is not magic” message. If you hit me in the face, then my face hurts, regardless of whether you did maliciously or by accident because you turned around to throw something and didn’t realize I was right behind you. Your good intentions don’t erase the pain and give me a magically unbroken nose. And if your intentions were good,…
  • Protagonists and Villains

    Swan Tower
    20 Apr 2015 | 11:37 am
    This post is going to talk about the new Daredevil TV series. It isn’t really spoilery, but if you want to avoid all hint of what the characters do in later eps, be warned that I do hint. So my husband and I finished watching Daredevil last night. I liked it well enough; there were some elements I really appreciated, and it turns out I have some hard-coded subconscious switch that responds really well to black masks tied at the back of the head, because they remind me of the Man in Black from The Princess Bride. :-P (I actually didn’t want to see him get his proper costume,…
  • David Gemmell Legend Award

    Swan Tower
    16 Apr 2015 | 3:06 pm
    It’s come to my attention that A Natural History of Dragons is on the longlist for the David Gemmell Legend Award. Now, that is a very long longlist; there are forty-three other books on it. But still! Yay! The Legend Award is bestowed by popular vote, so you can head on over there and register your opinion right now, if you so choose. Voting remains open until May 15th, and then once the shortlist is generated, there will be a second round. While you are there, you can also vote for the Morningstar Award (fantasy debut) and the Ravenheart Award (fantasy cover art — no, Todd…
  • Sonya Taaffe now has a Patreon

    Swan Tower
    13 Apr 2015 | 1:48 pm
    Sonya Taaffe (sovay on LiveJournal) has just set up a Patreon to back her film reviews. If you don’t understand why I’m signal-boosting this, you probably haven’t been reading her reviews. She writes beautifully about film, primarily with an eye toward the performances of the actors: she has a knack I envy, of describing characterization and behavior in a concise, vivid fashion, and showing how characterization is revealed in behavior. She also has wide-ranging tastes; while a good deal of her blogging is about classic or forgotten films from decades ago, she isn’t by…
  • I’m declaring today #AppreciateAnAuthor Day

    Swan Tower
    10 Apr 2015 | 6:01 am
    There’s been a lot of nasty stuff in the last week, what with the controversy over the Hugo Awards and all. I think we all need to cleanse our palates with some good, old-fashioned fannishness. Pick an author whose work you love. Or more than one! (Living authors preferable: you can hold a seance to raise the ghost of a deceased author, if you prefer, but that’s a lot of effort.) Send them a message telling them how much you like their work. It’s that easy. Send them a tweet, if they’re on Twitter. Or email, if you want to say more than fits into 140 characters. Or…
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  • What about Alien Life?

    David Brin
    23 Apr 2015 | 5:14 pm
    == Other types of life? ==A theorized cell membrane, composed of smaller organic nitrogen compounds and capable of functioning in liquid methane temperatures of 292 degrees beneath zero, might be the basis for “living” cells on Titan. The analogue to Earthly, water based liposomes (the basis of our own cells), published in Science Advances, shows the exact same stability and flexibility that Earth's analogous liposome does.  One component - Acrylonitrile -- a colorless, poisonous, liquid organic compound utilized in the manufacture of acrylic fibers, resins and…
  • Everybody Hide!

    David Brin
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:36 pm
    We all remember playground bullies. How did you deal with yours? Natural human instinct makes the weaker party tend to cower, to slink and avoid contact with local thugs, hoping they won't notice you. Indeed, that's the reaction bullying is intended to bring about, for nothing terrifies an abuser more than the notion his victims might cease being scared! Stoking fear is the bully's relentless aim. George Orwell portrayed this logic taken to its farthest extreme -- of both rationalization and ruthlessness -- in Nineteen Eighty Four. At a very young age, I learned methods of…
  • Germ-Line (inheritable) human “improvement” via genetic engineering? The "Heinlein Solution?"

    David Brin
    18 Apr 2015 | 12:08 pm
    This fascinating (if long) essay - Engineering the Perfect Baby (from Technology Review) - explores the scientific and moral ramifications of “germ cell genetic engineering” or the changing of genomes in ways that can be inherited and passed-down, parent to naturally conceived child. And while we may shrug or even cheer, if we see a mother elephant give birth to a fertile woolly mammoth, some time in the next 20 years, it is both enticing and worrisome to imagine we might rush into “designing” or pre-modifying human babies -- selecting desirable traits and eliminating genes…
  • Moving the Goalposts: Part II

    David Brin
    15 Apr 2015 | 6:12 pm
    Last time, I laid down seven fundamental points that you folks should arm yourselves with, and then sally forth to help save your planet. Rhetorical weapons that are far more confrontational and in-yer-face than the denialist cult is used to hearing from us science-loving egghead types. And that's fine.  They are waging war against not only science, but our children's future. They think enlightenment types are wimps, with our "facts" and our "evidence" and "reason."It's time, indeed, to prove that we aren't wimps, but just slow to anger. As our side has been slow to anger in every other…
  • Moving the Goalposts Part I: "vaxxers" and climate denialism

    David Brin
    13 Apr 2015 | 4:05 pm
    Back to the core dilemma of our era: rousing future-oriented folk (like you) to fight back against a wave of troglodytism that threatens our children's very lives. And no, I am not talking about mere voting or activism, but getting right into the faces of the folks who are fighting with all their might, against tomorrow.Here's our first example --On April 12, 2015, we celebrated the 60th anniversary of a vaccine developed by Jonas Salk that prevented polio and drove it close to extinction. Just one result? Soon, a scientist, Jonas Salk, was the most popular man in America. A scientist.
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    Tobias Buckell

  • Water rise visualizations if all the ice melts: shame about Florida

    Tobias Buckell
    23 Apr 2015 | 10:17 am
    Fascinating visualization of what happens if all the ice on Earth melts. Lots of China on the east coast suffers, South Korea, and the US east coast suffer. Florida just goes away, as does most of the Gulf Coast (Florida’s pretty much in serious trouble no matter what the projections call for, apocalyptic or otherwise. But it’s okay, they banned the words climate change and global warming, I’m sure they’ll be fine). Looks my investment in fish-scale vests and gills was a bit premature.
  • I Now Have a Pair of 6 Year Olds

    Tobias Buckell
    11 Apr 2015 | 1:40 pm
    Six months old in the green editing chair in my office: Six years old in the green editing chair, about to be taken out to the curb on the morning of their 6th birthday. Man those five and a half years went by quickly. If I were super hip, I’d keep the green chair and keep taking pictures of them in it every year until they were thirty, and post it, and it’d go viral. But the chair needs to go to the curb. We got it free somehow, and it’s served its purpose as my office editing chair well, but I have a way more comfortable one now. Also, their birthday cakes, for the win:…
  • I’m honored to announce I’ll be in Trinidad to be a part of the Bocas Lit Fest

    Tobias Buckell
    18 Mar 2015 | 5:04 am
    For a long time I’ve been aware of the amazing Bocas Lit Fest, a gathering of amazing authors and speakers that celebrate books, writers and writing from the Caribbean. This year I’ve been invited to be one of them. I’ll be in the company of amazing people. You can see them all here. Nalo Hopkinson, Karen Lord, and Rhonda S. Garcia will all be attending for a special focus on speculative fiction at Bocas Lit Fest. There’s a speculative fiction masterclass that we will be hosting (with a meet the authors session), a panel hosted by the four of us, and readings.
  • My Hugo eligible work (if you’re curious)

    Tobias Buckell
    5 Mar 2015 | 11:53 am
    Oh, self promotion time. If you’re curious about my eligible works: Novels: Hurricane Fever – Tor (July, 2014) – – UK & Commonwealth: Del Rey UK (July, 2014) Novelette: –Sundown – Dead Man’s Hand (May, 2014) Short Stories: –A Cold Heart – Upgraded (July, 2014) –Help Fund Taphognosis Industries – Help Fund My Robot Army (July, 2014) –Ambassador to the Dinosaurs – The Book of Silverberg (April, 2014) –System Reset – The End is Nigh (March, 2014) The novelette Sundown is a secret history of the story of Willie Kennard, one of the most…
  • Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin’s new anthology Old Venus now out and contains a story I wrote: Pale Blue Memories

    Tobias Buckell
    5 Mar 2015 | 4:49 am
    I have a new short story out in an anthology edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin: From pulp adventures such as Edgar Rice Burroughs’s Carson of Venus to classic short stories such as Ray Bradbury’s “The Long Rain” to visionary novels such as C. S. Lewis’s Perelandra, the planet Venus has loomed almost as large in the imaginations of science fiction writers as Earth’s next-nearest neighbor, Mars. But while the Red Planet conjured up in Golden Age science fiction stories was a place of vast deserts and ruined cities, bright blue Venus was its polar opposite: a steamy,…
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    Dark Roast

  • Dear Some-Time-In-the-Near-Future Worldcon:

    Emma Bull
    18 Apr 2015 | 5:40 pm
    Could you make these idiots the Special Something-Or-Other Guests of Honor? Pleeeeeeaaase?
  • I don't need this bike.

    Emma Bull
    14 Apr 2015 | 3:07 pm
    But I still want it. Edited to add: I test rode it today. So very, very nice.
  • So I heard this...

    Emma Bull
    14 Apr 2015 | 11:52 am
    ...and thought you guys would like it if I shared.This is thoroughly atypical Brothers Bright, in everything except the enormous musical and lyrical smarts.(And if this reminds you in places of Slim Gaillard's "Selling Out" on the Absolute Beginners soundtrack, I wouldn't be surprised if the reference were intentional.)
  • Hugo Info

    Emma Bull
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:10 am
    For anyone who's interested in the Hugo Awards for any reason, kerfuffley or not, I recommend kevin_standlee 's LiveJournal. What "side" is  he on? As he says himself, he's on the side of the Hugo Awards. (So am I, but I'm not as well-informed as he is.)
  • Concerned about the list?

    Emma Bull
    12 Apr 2015 | 11:21 am
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    Stephanie Burgis

  • Writing, Reading, Crashing, Basking

    Stephanie Burgis
    20 Apr 2015 | 7:20 am
    I'm back! Back to writing, that is. I decided to take the last 9 days off, because I really needed the downtime (creatively, mentally, physically - I just really, really needed that time off). It was the right thing to do, because I'd hit that stage of all 'round exhaustion where I felt just empty, creatively speaking. Halfway through my time off, that started to change - I felt ideas buzzing around, waiting to be noticed. By the end, I was DESPERATE to get back to writing, feeling as if I might burst if I waited any longer. But I made myself wait out the whole time, to really fill up the…
  • Downtime, changes, and a café invitation

    Stephanie Burgis
    14 Apr 2015 | 3:13 am
    Oof. We've been doing sleep-training with Toddler X for the past few days, and oh am I tired (especially since last night was far, far worse than the three nights before). Add on the fact that we just finished up a two-week school holiday, and all in all, I've decided to let myself take a few days of very rare downtime between writing projects to rest and refill the well. That means lots of reading, lots of time spent basking in the sunshine in our garden, lots of playing with knitting projects, and lots of listening to podcasts and favorite albums.I also finished Naomi Novik's Uprooted, and…
  • Sunny Days, Good Books

    Stephanie Burgis
    10 Apr 2015 | 4:57 am
    The weather has turned shockingly sunny and warm here in Wales, so this has been a week of hanging out with my kids in our front yard, the local park, and my mother-in-law's gorgeous garden, all of us in short-sleeved shirts and often with bare feet, too. The return of warm weather feels like such a miracle every year. Everything's brighter and happier and more full of possibilities, even in a very tired week (as this one was for me, for various reasons).Because I am so tired this week, I'm bouncing back and forth between books rather than sticking with just one all the way through - I don't…
  • Chocolates and Two Types of Publishing News

    Stephanie Burgis
    6 Apr 2015 | 6:27 am
    Whew! I finished the first-pass revision of my dragons-and-chocolate MG novel last Friday and sent it off to a handful of brave volunteers for critique. I spent about four hours thinking that ooh, maybe I'd just take the rest of my older son's school holidays off...and then realized, no. I really can't stop myself from writing! So I started a new (romantic, gothic, historical) YA fantasy story yesterday morning, just for fun. But still! No deadlines. I'm feeling very relaxed.And as you can see, I've had JUST the right kind of Easter. ;)(Although I am somewhat concerned about the fact that…
  • Epic Romance: a Guest Post from Beth Bernobich

    Stephanie Burgis
    30 Mar 2015 | 1:32 am
    Right now, our family is immersed in a two-week-long set of school holidays that - of course - clashes with a bunch of writing deadlines. Oh well! Luckily, I have friends willing to step in and help out in a number of ways - and I am so happy to have a guest post here today from Beth Bernobich, talking about one of my favorite subjects: fantasy novels that include great romances.Beth is currently kickstarting a lushly romantic fantasy novelette of her own, which is linked into her River of Souls trilogy but which can also stand alone for the enjoyment of new readers. I was lucky enough to…
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    Mabfan's Musings

  • Extending the Hugo Eligibility for I Remember the Future

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    20 Apr 2015 | 9:11 am
    As many of you should already be aware, in 2014 a short film of my story "I Remember the Future" was released and shown at a handful of film festivals. The film has won a few awards, and I suspect that many folks (beyond myself) would like the opportunity to consider it for the Hugo Award. Alas, due presumably in part to its limited release (and possible other factors) it did not make it onto the Hugo ballot in 2015. However, Wordcon does allow for a work's elegibility to be extended should the Business Meeting pass a motion to that effect.Although I will not be present at…
  • Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015)

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

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

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

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

  • Back, Live on the Web!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    21 Apr 2015 | 2:46 pm
    Verizon has finally fixed the problem (fingers crossed!), and my websites are back on the air! Yay!That's the good news. The bad news is, Google is changing their search algorithms for searches made from smartphones, and web sites that are not optimized for mobile viewing are going to be severely demoted in the search rankings. Mobilegeddon.Yeah, that would be me. This blog, apparently, is okay. But my author page and my writing course are both in plain html, and I don't know how to optimize them without rebuilding them from the ground up. Yes, I have been meaning for years now to make a…
  • Websites Still Down, No thanks to Verizon

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    20 Apr 2015 | 5:17 pm
    Both of my websites have been down since last week, thanks to Verizon botching an upgrade to the connection between them and my hosting service, SFF Net. This affects both my author website at and my online writing course at If you click either of those links right now, you'll get nada.I am just one of a large number of authors affected by this, and other Verizon corporate customers as well. The fact that this has been going on for almost a week now gives you a pretty good indication of how well Verizon takes care of its customers. (But I'm sure our…
  • The Infinity Link for the Price of a Buck!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    19 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    It’s been over a month since I’ve had a big book sale, and let me tell you, it shows in the sales numbers. Jeez, people, don’t you ever buy anything that’s not on sale? I don’t mean you people, of course. Of course you’ve been buying my books, and bless you! No, I mean all those other people who have been choosing to spend their money on—I don’t know what, shoes for their kids, or cocaine, or other people’s books. Enough of that, I say. Starting today, and for a limited time only, you can snag yourself a copy of the first book of mine that really got “serious” attention,…
  • My Five-Minute Essay on Hello Horatio

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    17 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Hello Horatio is a brand-new website featuring a lot of short essays on this or that, with the common thread being an interest in saying something personal about the deeper meanings of life, and generally sharing our stories. The name Horatio comes from the line in Hamlet: “There is more in heaven and earth, Horatio, than is dreamt of in your philosophy.” The unstated (at least so far) goal of the site is to encourage open conversations among people of faith, of different faiths, of secular faith, or of no faith at all—in short, to quit worrying about how we label ourselves or each…
  • Websites Down, with a Little Help from Verizon

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    16 Apr 2015 | 11:59 pm
    On the off-chance you've tried to look at either of my websites* in the last day or so, you were no doubt disappointed. They've been down, thanks to something Verizon did somewhere near Dallas, Texas. And they're still down. *My author website at, or my free online writing course at My websites are hosted by SFF.Net, which for many years has provided reliable email and web-hosting at a reasonable price to a sizable chunk of the SF community. One thing I've always liked about SFF Net is that if you have a question or problem, you can shoot them an email and…
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    incipit vita nova

  • Cannabis Baby: Mascot for One and All!

    14 Apr 2015 | 3:45 pm
    I've never had call to categorize something under so many categories before! Cannabis Baby is the loveable mascot for our line of tshirts made for one and all ... Right now he's the top-selling shirt and I'm sure everyone can...
  • That Deaf Dumb and Blind Kid

    22 Jun 2014 | 9:38 am
    It's charming and delightful that we anagnoresis and peripetia folk have exposed our children to so much of our music. The young 'uns may not be able to say all the names of the members of the Who or the...
  • The Crossing

    20 Jun 2014 | 10:09 am
    For some weeks, I would lie alone in the quiet night, imagining what it would be to take all my walls down. So long they had been up, so tall, broad and strong. Brutal and jagged, as thick as the...
  • Just Don't Brag About Consuming Spoiled Junk Culture

    11 Jun 2014 | 6:26 pm
    Today I will be a lion for literature. Lions, by the way, do occasionally eat carrion, but only as a last resort. They prefer fresh protein they hunt themselves. Today, I saw Igor Goldkind reference this quote, and it struck...
  • Pokemon You Choose: Future Visions in the Top Books of 1985-86

    1 Jun 2014 | 10:16 am
    I realized something extraordinary while re-reading Lois McMaster Bujold's wonderful Barrayar books. First, these are as fresh today as when they were written nearly 30 years ago. There's not a thing dated about them - fortunately - because they're set...
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    The Mumpsimus

  • Stuck Rubber Baby at 20

    Matthew Cheney
    19 Apr 2015 | 6:50 am
    Before 1995, Howard Cruse was best known as an underground comix artist, first coming to prominence with Barefootz in the 1970s, with his editorship of Gay Comix in the early 1980s, and then hitting a real stride with the Wendel comics in The Advocate throughout the '80s. Wendel ended in 1989, though, and Cruse began a major new project, his first graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, released by the DC Comics imprint Paradox Press. It gained notice and won awards, but never had the breakout success of something like Maus, Persepolis, or Fun Home, though I would argue that it is at least close to…
  • The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction: Why American? Who American? What American?

    Matthew Cheney
    30 Mar 2015 | 1:35 pm
    Cambridge University Press recently released The Cambridge Companion to American Science Fiction edited by Eric Carl Link and Gerry Canavan, a sequel, of sorts, to 2003's The Cambridge Companion to Science Fiction edited by Edward James and Farah Mendlesohn. I bought the James and Mendlesohn volume at the first science fiction convention I ever attended, the Worldcon in Boston in 2004, and I think it's an admirable volume that mostly does its best to try for the impossible, which is to present a coherent overview of the history and scholarship of science fiction as a genre-thing (mostly in…
  • Stay, Clute

    Matthew Cheney
    4 Mar 2015 | 12:32 pm
    Strange Horizons has now posted my review of John Clute's latest collection of materials, Stay. A taste:Even a mere glance through Stay, John Clute’s latest collection of book reviews, short stories, and lexicon entries, (or through any of Clute's books, really) will convince you that you are in the presence of genius.But a genius of what type? The type that can turn a million candy wrappers into a surprisingly convincing small-scale replica of a rocket ship, or the type that zips to the heart of a zeitgeist faster than the rest of us? Is this genius a fox, a hedgehog, an anorak? Does it…
  • Could It Be ... SATAN?!

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

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

  • In the land of dreamy dreams

    John Crowley
    20 Apr 2015 | 8:46 am
     Correspondents who remember or who paricipated in the brave though failed effort here to build a taxonomy of dreams -- back in 2009 -- may be interested to know that the effort forms a part of my new essay in Harper's magazine.  It was great fun setting it forth, tough of course it had to be fairlly restricted.'m sorry to say that Harper's has a pretty high paywall -- but of course there's always the library. JC
  • Unicorns

    John Crowley
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:54 am
    How clever of me to know about unicorns in the newsroom altering the story process.  I think I learned it from John Clute or possibly Tom Disch.  It seems important to know this in my apparent job.
  • Return of the Grammar Whiz

    John Crowley
    13 Apr 2015 | 3:57 am
    American justice clear time Rules as always:  add words at the beginnind and/or end to make a grammatical English sentence.  No adding punctuation to the phrase.  No meta-syntax using words as objects of discussion, e.g. "The phrase American justice clear time makes no sense"  or similar.
  • Dismaying, a little

    John Crowley
    7 Apr 2015 | 6:19 pm
    I learn in the new New York Review of Books that Ezra Pound was influential in getting sections of Jouce's Ulysses published in the American literary journal the Little Review.  One of the pieces (for which the issue was suppressed) included one "proposed title" -- which I was amazed to see -- and research showed me was not far in the finished book, which i read with care long ago -- including this passage no doubt -- which i thereupon forgot that I had read, except i perhaps had NOT forgot:EVERYMAN HIS OWN WIFE             OR     A…
  • crowleycrow @ 2015-04-06T07:33:00

    John Crowley
    6 Apr 2015 | 4:32 am
    I think the phrase "at long last" is strange -- strangely moving, odd in construction, impenetrable in meaning to a non-English speaker, beautiful on the mind's tongue so to speak.  I retain it as the title of a book I very likely won't write.  I looked on Amazon and it is the title of a small number of books -- a gay romance, a get-rich guide, etc., but no book I saw carried the touching affect of the words, or that the words could have in the right context.
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  • My father is gone

    Peter David
    20 Apr 2015 | 5:37 pm
    My father, Gunter David, passed away today at 2:53 in the morning. He died of cancer at the age of 85. He has been in hospice care for some weeks and lapsed into a coma several days ago. He died in his own bed, with his daughter Beth and my mother lying next to him. I miss him terribly. PAD
  • Why are people freaking out about “Rocky Horror?”

    Peter David
    10 Apr 2015 | 8:43 pm
    Fox has announced that they’ll be doing a new version of “Rocky Horror Show,” the 1973 play that was immortalized as a memorable film adaptation. Fans are, of course, freaking out. Oh, what a horrible idea! How could they do it? It’s an insult! It’ll be terrible! I don’t get it. Where were all the shrieking people when it was revived on Broadway back in the beginning of the century? It’s a PLAY. It’s SUPPOSED to be done multiple times with different casts. We saw it several times back in 2001 with various actors. The narrator one time was Dick…
  • The Hugos

    Peter David
    9 Apr 2015 | 7:32 am
    So I’ve been thinking about the whole thing for a few days, and here’s what I keep coming back to: If a group of fans felt strongly enough about something I wrote, or me as an individual, to organize a voting block that got me nominated, I’d have zero problem with that. So I don’t see how I can, in good conscience, resent fans doing that for others, for whatever reason. Plus Kevin Anderson is nominated, which is long overdue. PAD
  • Thanks to anyone who tried

    Peter David
    5 Apr 2015 | 1:03 pm
    I asked fans to nominate “Artful” for the Hugo. Apparently we were shut out by puppies or some such. My thanks to anyone who did make the effort to support me. There’s still the World Fantasy Award, but I doubt there’s any point at this juncture. PAD
  • “Something Rotten” most definitely isn’t

    Peter David
    5 Apr 2015 | 11:18 am
    I literally cannot remember the last time I went to a Broadway show with pretty much no idea of what to expect. But Kath and I ventured out last night to a brand new musical, still in previews, called “Something Rotten.” We knew that it was basically about the creation of the first musical, but nothing beyond that. But we liked the ads (“The New York Times says: We haven’t seen it yet!”) and tickets were relatively inexpensive for Broadway. So we figured, What the hell. Technically since it’s still in previews, we shouldn’t be doing reviews. But…
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    A.M. Dellamonica

  • Keeping up with the Boresvilles

    9 Apr 2015 | 9:02 am
      Yesterday I threw together a quick post about how things have been filled with what we around here, semi-ironically, call virtue: writing, teaching, flossing, hard work, tax accounting, healthy food, yoga, and sincere attempts to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. I wanted to let you all know I hadn’t died or forgotten how to blog, more than anything. Now I want to just as quickly throw together a note about a few attempts, made recently, to tarnish up that hardworkin’ halo. Because what that kind of behavior gets you, eventually, is burned the fuck out. I know it, you…
  • Brain brain what is brain…

    8 Apr 2015 | 9:02 am
    Yes, I’ve been very quiet lately, here in Blogland and also on places like the Book of Face. I want to write you all, I do. And there’s nothing particular keeping me silent except a mountain of busy. And “Hey, all, I’m working on stuff,” seems rather a dull thing to say. The breakdown: A good chunk of the mountain has been wrangling The Nature of a Pirate, the third book in the Hidden Sea Tales. It’s moving along, and I’m happy with the process, but it’s not easy. This year UCLA changed its classroom software, which has been a good and amazing…
  • Lammy Nom! (Meaning: Child of a Hidden Sea is up for a #Lammy Award!)

    9 Mar 2015 | 9:29 am
    The joke I’ve been making since I learned last week that Child of a Hidden Sea had made the 27th Lambda Literary Awards Finalist List, has been that my previous book, Blue Magic, is “way more gay.” It’s easy to crack wise when these things happen, because it’s difficult to know what to say, beyond the obvious, about a nomination. The obvious being that I’m more than pleased… I’m thrilled, really, and also–hence the joke–surprised too. I am happy for my fellow Tor authors, Max Gladstone and Daryl Gregory, and for all the other…
  • Is it a Girl Thing? Guest post at Write all the Words

    4 Mar 2015 | 8:59 am
    I have a guest post up this week at Write All the Words!, as part of International Women’s Week. It’s about writing, and dialog, and the things watching TV is good for–if you’re a writer, that is–and the things that it doesn’t help with. And then, in time, it gets to be about Call the Midwife. There are other great IWW posts here, by the way: stuff by authors like Marci  Jefferson and Heather Burch and Sally Hepworth. It’s very much worth a look. Meanwhile, over at the UCLA Writers’ Extension Program, where I am currently teaching Novel Writing…
  • Shortest update ever?

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

  • Stories for Chip Indiegogo

    Hal Duncan
    20 Apr 2015 | 10:20 am
    Now live:
  • Cover Reveal

    Hal Duncan
    15 Apr 2015 | 3:08 pm
  • A Teaser

    Hal Duncan
    8 Apr 2015 | 9:14 pm
  • The Hate That Will Not Let Love Name Itself

    Hal Duncan
    26 Mar 2015 | 4:27 pm
    So, Cory Doctorow has an... interesting take on the Clean Reader app. To quote the headline: I hate your censorship, but I'll defend to the death your right to censor. Hmm. I can appreciate where he's coming from with his argument comparing this to a large-scale index of triggering material, a website designed for readers of ebooks to share warnings, to enable trauma survivors to avoid those
  • Obscene Reader

    Hal Duncan
    25 Mar 2015 | 2:55 pm
    So I just found out about the Clean Reader app which allows ebook readers to buy and download copies of this or that ebook from the app store, with said copies then viewable in their authorised unbowdlerised state or in one of three alternative modes: clean, cleaner or squeaky clean. What the fucking fuck of a fucking fuckery?! Click through the link to Joanne Harris’s blog above if you want
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    But Enough About Me!

  • COURT OF FIVES giveaway

    Kate Elliott
    15 Apr 2015 | 1:27 pm
    It’s that time. The long wait has been whittled down to a mere 4 months (okay, that still seems like a long time to me, but less than 12 months, all right?) SO: I am giving away TWO COPIES of the ARC for COURT OF FIVES (publication date 18 August 2015). (ETA TWO copies)     Little, Brown Books for Young Reader says: “In this imaginative escape into an enthralling new world, World Fantasy Award finalist Kate Elliott’s first young adult novel weaves an epic story of a girl struggling to do what she loves in a society suffocated by rules of class and privilege.” I say: This…
  • Remembering Japan: 1945 – 1946: Chapter Eight:

    Kate Elliott
    3 Apr 2015 | 2:08 am
    From October 1945 to June 1946 my father, a Navy signalman, was stationed in Japan  at Toriga-saki by the town of Kamoi, at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. He was then nineteen years old, a young Danish-American man from rural Oregon. The experience made a profound impression on him and he spoke of it often. In Chapter Eight, an unusual ship encounter at the harbor entrance, and a flaming redhead to which the young sailors respond in completely predictable fashion.   Chapter Eight:The Cold War Begins? Chapter Seven: The Toriga Saki Fleet Chapter Six: General Douglas MacArthur Chapter Five:…
  • Remembering Japan: 1945 – 1946: Chapter Five: Japanese Signalmen

    Kate Elliott
    13 Mar 2015 | 11:37 am
    From October 1945 to June 1946 my father, a Navy signalman, was stationed in Japan  at Toriga-saki by the town of Kamoi, at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. He was then nineteen years old, a young Danish-American man from rural Oregon. The experience made a profound impression on him and he spoke of it often.   In Chapter Five, he talks about the Japanese signalmen he served with at Toriga-Saki.     Chapter Five: Japanese Signalmen Chapter Four: Work and Play Chapter Three: Kamoi Chapter Two: Harbor Entrance Control Post Toriga Saki, Tokyo Bay Chapter One: The Sea Devil to Japan.
  • Remembering Japan: 1945 – 1946: Chapter Four: Work & Play

    Kate Elliott
    6 Mar 2015 | 1:33 pm
    From October 1945 to June 1946 my father, a Navy signalman, was stationed in Japan  at Toriga-saki by the town of Kamoi, at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. He was then nineteen years old, a young Danish-American man from rural Oregon. The experience made a profound impression on him and he spoke of it often.   In Chapter Four, he answers the question “what did we do?” (in our spare time).   Chapter Four: Work and Play   Chapter Three: Kamoi Chapter Two: Harbor Entrance Control Post Toriga Saki, Tokyo Bay Chapter One: The Sea Devil to Japan. Introduction can be read…
  • Remembering Japan 1945 – 1946: Chapter Two

    Kate Elliott
    20 Feb 2015 | 5:56 am
    From October 1945 to June 1946 my father, a Navy signalman, was stationed in Japan  at Toriga-saki by the town of Kamoi, at the entrance to Tokyo Bay. He was then nineteen years old, a young Danish-American man from rural Oregon. The experience made a profound impression on him and he spoke of it often.   In Chapter Two: Harbor Entrance Control Post Toriga Saki, Tokyo Bay, he arrives at and describes the signal station where he spent nine months. It includes Dad’s famous story about how he and the signal crew there proved they were the best signalmen in the Navy.    …
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    The official home page of author Eric Flint

  • 1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 18

    Drak Bibliophile
    23 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 18 Chapter 10 March, 1636 Turin Just after Twelfth Night, Monsieur Gaston and his entourage had departed the Castello del Valentino. The duke and duchess were relieved — at least in private — and life returned to normal. In the workshop, Baldaccio paid more attention to Terrye Jo than ever, trying to bring her his own peculiar brand of seventeenth-century science. The long winter nights turned his attention to the stars: a new telescope, with hand-ground lenses from a new glass factory in Magdeburg, had arrived during the second week in…
  • More on the Hugos from a Dark, Dark Place

    Gorg Huff
    23 Apr 2015 | 5:25 pm
    In light of the discussion that’s ensued here and elsewhere in response to my essay on the current situation with the Hugo awards (see below), I decided to make a few more comments. There are two points I want to make, the first in the way of a clarification. The following statement of mine in the initial essay has been somewhat misinterpreted, I think: “What’s involved here is essentially a literary analog to genetic drift. Biologists have long known that the role played by pure chance in evolution is greater in a small population than a larger one. The same thing happens in the arts,…
  • Discussion rules

    Eric Flint
    22 Apr 2015 | 3:34 pm
    I can see it’s time I need to establish some rules for the ongoing discussion/debate on my essay (see below) on the current ruckus over the Hugo Awards. Rule One. Do not come into my web site and call me a liar or stupid or dishonest or any other derogatory term. You’re welcome to disagree with me, but do so in a civil manner. There is no warning for this rule violation, because it’s so obvious it shouldn’t need one. So, whoever the jackass is who goes by the monicker of “rollory”—a pseudonym, naturally—you’re out of here. The technical term is banned, I believe. I’m…
  • 1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 17

    Drak Bibliophile
    21 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 17 PART II: THE VIRTUE OF FORTITUDE A noble and steady purpose of mind Chapter 9 March, 1636 Lyon, France It had taken all winter to sort them out. When Sherrilyn Maddox first arrived at Marshal Turenne’s headquarters, she expected to find an army camp — men in tents or barracks, with the marshal himself living rough with his troops. She had heard of his common touch . . . all the way from Marseilles, in fact: the men in her escort had made a great display of it. But Turenne himself, and his staff, had engaged a very handsome villa…
  • 1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 16

    Drak Bibliophile
    19 Apr 2015 | 10:00 pm
    1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 16 The priory had a large open courtyard, flanked by four passageways, with solid walls on one side and plain, solid pillars on the other, ending in doors leading to other parts of the complex. Inside was a square area forty or so feet across where the sisters had planted flowers and herbs. There was a single stone bench in the middle; as they approached, she saw a modestly-dressed man patiently sitting and waiting. He was middle-aged, with a carefully trimmed beard and moustache. There was a gray skullcap on his head (as opposed to the pointed,…
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    Mad Libs

  • Book Review: Alive by Scott Sigler

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    24 Apr 2015 | 4:30 pm
    First, the caveat. I got this book from Netgalley as an advanced reader copy. This is one of those books that makes you think. It makes you consider what you’d do in the same situation, and it makes you consider what choices you’d come to–what would be the most important thing to you. I don’t want to give spoilers, so I’m going to try to be careful. I plan to err on the side of vague. The book is about Em, who wakes up in a coffin. She breaks out and discovers she’s in a dusty room with several other coffins. She doesn’t know her name. She has some…
  • Book review–Jennifer Estep’s Cold Burn of Magic

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    20 Apr 2015 | 9:39 am
    First, the caveat: I got this book from Netgalley. I’m a fan of Jennifer Estep’s writing. I’ll start with that. Cold Burn of Magic is first in a new YA series. Now I have to admit, I often don’t care as much for the YA series because they are a little too young for me. They deal with stuff that I’m long past and while they are good, it’s about 50-50 that the book will grab me. Exceptions include Robin LeFevers’ His Fair Assassin series, and now, Cold Burn of Magic. Not that it won’t appeal to its intended audience, but just that it appeals to…
  • a snippet from Diamond City Magic book #3

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    17 Apr 2015 | 11:07 pm
    I am so eager to hear how people are responding to Edge of Dreams. I’ve chewed my nails to the quick and Costco is having a sale on double carmel Magnum bars, which has only partially settled me down. I’ve only (or already!) got 4 reviews on Amazon and this makes me nervous that everybody is either thinking, meh, don’t feel like reading that any time soon, or everybody hates it and doesn’t want to hurt my feelings. Obviously the world is terribly concerned about my feelings. Give me another Magnum Bar. So in honor of my total anxiety, what snippet from the yet nameless…
  • Happy Book Birthday to me!

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    15 Apr 2015 | 2:52 am
    Edge of Dreams has officially been born. I’m totally excited and yet absolutely panicked that nobody will like it. So pretty much, all is normal. I have been thinking about what I should talk about on the day of book birth. You know, in childbirth, people just coo over the baby and don’t expect much from the mom. I can’t really set out party favors and streamers and serve cake. That’s seems sort of rude when nobody is nearby to attend. That leaves me to just babble on in interesting and hopefully entertaining ways to possibly whet your appetite. I’m thinking I…
  • Counting down

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    13 Apr 2015 | 9:50 pm
    Tick tick tick . . . It’s almost April 15th . . . taxes are due and Edge of Dreams arrives!!!!  You can now preorder the print book, and you can read the first chapter here on my website. Just click through the Diamond City Magic tab and scroll down to read an excerpt. Or . . . I could save you all that trouble and just give you the link. LINK. I’ve been trying to figure out things to blog about. My editor wants me to encourage reviews, particularly on Amazon. There’s a method to that madness, because the more I get, the more likely they can talk Amazon into doing a…
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    SF writer Gary Gibson

  • Huckster alert: Extinction Game part of UK Kindle's special monthly deal for just £1.49

    Gary Gibson
    7 Apr 2015 | 12:06 am
    Time for some serious hucksterism round these parts: I just learned that the Kindle edition of Extinction Game, my most recently published work, is just £1.49 as part of Amazon's regular monthly deals and special offers. It's already rising higher in the ranking than it has been for a few weeks, and you can boost it even further! If you don't have it already, of course. But in that case, if you liked the book and want to persuade someone to read it, send them the link to this post.The nice thing is I don't lose out because of the lower price; Amazon are obligated to pay the full amount to my…
  • Scrivener, Storyist, Ulysses

    Gary Gibson
    25 Mar 2015 | 12:43 am
    Driven, I suppose, by a desire for something new, something different, I tried a couple of alternatives to Scrivener recently. Scrivener has been my go-to writing software since I discovered it in the middle of writing Stealing Light, and the second half of that book was finished using it.Scrivener essentially collects chapters, notes, synopses, images and research, all into a single document or "project". It has a full-screen view that blocks out distractions; you can do neat stuff like open separate chapters that "float" in size-adjustable boxes next to what you're actually working on, for…
  • Chappie, with Spoilers

    Gary Gibson
    16 Mar 2015 | 1:35 am
    I was avoiding going to see Chappie partly because of a series of deeply unflattering reviews, and partly because Neil Blomkamp's previous film Elysium was universally acknowledged to be a car crash - even by its creator. I certainly thought it was a car crash. All that, plus a 30% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a fairly damning review on, put me off even further.Then I saw a series of tweets by William Gibson, of all people, saying the film was unfairly maligned and deserved to be seen. And since there wasn't actually anything else on here in Taipei worth seeing this weekend, I…
  • Interzone No. 3, Autumn 1982

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

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

  • Spring has sprung! The grass has riz! I wonder where my bicycle is...

    Laura Anne Gilman
    20 Apr 2015 | 3:56 pm
    So, yeah. There's something slightly...mortifying about discovering that your beloved bike was...actually a smidge too large for you. But I will soon be the owner of an XS frame of a used-but-nicer-model bike, for only a little out-of-pocket, and hopefully a lot more use gotten out of it.(Seattle: home of many hills...and lots of people biking a mile out of their way to avoid them. Wheeee...)Also, the REI flagship store is somewhat of a modified religious experience, but I was apparently invisible to the staff there. Play it Again Sports down the street, on the other hand, were great....
  • Changing of the (Production) Guard…

    Laura Anne Gilman
    20 Apr 2015 | 9:49 am
    The CEM for SILVER ON THE ROAD has gone back to Mr. Monti​.That means.... it's time to go back to Yet Untitled #2 for the second pass, wherein I take an ugly rough draft and turn it into something that doesn't make me cringe. Prepare for weeping, swearing, hand-waving, and occasional impassioned headdesking...
  • HBD, Boomer-cat!

    Laura Anne Gilman
    15 Apr 2015 | 7:21 am
    Today is Tax Day, which means that 1Q estimated taxes are also due.Happy Wednesday, my fellow freelancers! (for heavy levels of sarcasm)But today is also the birthday (observed) of our own CatofSize!(fitting, considering how much money he's cost me over the years).This is Boomer when he first came to live with me, at an estimated 10-14 months.  As I said at the time, it was a good thing he had a sweet nature, because that much muscle could do damage without even thinking about it...And this is Boomer now.  As you can see, not much has changed...except he got LARGER.... but still…
  • There is no such thing as a painless copyedit, only ones where you don't mind bleeding.

    Laura Anne Gilman
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:18 pm
    THUD.Pending my secondary research backup getting back to me with feedback on the Latin, and with the knowledge that I'll need to go over it one more time to make sure certain capitalizations and usages are consistent throughout....Copyedits for SILVER ON THE ROAD are deflagged and done. All 452 pages of 'em.My brain may be a grey leaky mess at this point. Please don't ask me anything more complicated than "would you like some chocolate?"However, I fond myself thinking "yeah, I done good here."  This is damned rare among hypercritical writer-types, where…
  • watching without a claiming horse in the race

    Laura Anne Gilman
    12 Apr 2015 | 6:32 am
    The one thing I will say about the Hugo kerfuffle is that it's becoming glaringly obvious who in our field is an asshole without couth or manners, and who is a decent human being with social skills.And that there are a sampling of both all along the political-opinion spectrum (although more of the really uncouth behavior documented seems to come from the far right, which is why they also come across as being the most scared).
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  • YALLWEST or bust

    Shannon Hale
    13 Apr 2015 | 10:56 am
    I'm having issues pasting photos so here's the links to the tumblr posts I did on my weekend at YALLWEST. What a great time! I love the YA book community. Part part 1 Post part 2
  • Storified tweets about gendered books

    Shannon Hale
    2 Mar 2015 | 12:23 pm
    View "undefined" on Storify
  • No Boys Allowed: School visits as a woman writer

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

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

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

  • 25 Apr 2015 | 1:10 am

    25 Apr 2015 | 1:10 am
    If Enceladus was a bit smaller, you could keep it on your window sill with the pot plant & the bit of flint shaped like your mother. Don’t tell me you haven’t got a pot plant or a bit of flint. Or a few shells.
  • how we can know it

    24 Apr 2015 | 5:40 am
    All journeys are enchanted. It isn’t so much that the landscape distracts you, as that something about the motion of the train — something about the very idea of constant, rushing, forward movement — makes you restless and slow to settle to anything. You read a few pages of a book and look out at some swans on a canal. A newspaper opened suddenly just down the carriage sounds like rain spattering on the window. Another chapter and you make your way down to the buffet or the lavatory. Between each event a rev- erie pours itself, as seamless as golden syrup, as smooth as the motion of the…
  • some basically insoluble mystery

    22 Apr 2015 | 2:25 am
    Sand came up like a fog from the beach and when I next looked he was gone. I studied his business card. “Gift Company,” I read. What had he offered us? I only knew it was unsuitable and wrong. But sometimes, now, when I look through the notebook in which I wrote all this down, and the dust in its creases — just blown from mainland Africa to make a beach in the Atlantic Ocean — I wish we had accepted. Again, perhaps we did accept. This is how he made you feel. As if there was some residue, some basically insoluble mystery behind or beneath or in some way prior to the rubbishy white…
  • victoria’s gift

    20 Apr 2015 | 2:01 am
    They met at a pub on King Street Hammersmith then ate tandoori trout at one of the new upmarket Indians just along from the Premier Hotel. Victoria seemed nervous. “How do you like my hair?” she said. Thinned out in some way, centre-parted, chopped off with a kind of calculated incompetence a little above the jawline, it clung lankly to the sides of her face and head, curling out tiredly at the ends. “Neo-bluestocking,” she said. “Very effective from certain angles, though I can see you don’t think so.” Over the evening she drank a bottle of house red– “Nothing to see…
  • victoria adopts

    17 Apr 2015 | 5:03 am
    “I hate the noise saucepans make,” she told the cat. “People always know you’re at home when they hear the saucepans clanging about in the kitchen.” The cat stared up at her. “You don’t say much, do you?” she said. Later she went out to the Spa and bought two tins of catfood. “We’ll try you on this,” she said. “But if you get expensive, off you go.” After it had eaten and licked around its face a bit, she picked it up and took it to the back door. “And out you go at night,” she said. The cat miaowed at the door until she let it back in.
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    People are strange, when you're a stranger . . .

  • Nobody died

    26 Apr 2015 | 4:05 am
    The canoe race featured more than the usual number of contestants going for a swim, and one or two treatable injuries.  Given the state of the water and the . . . innocence . . . of some of the paddlers, I count this as a win.Air temperature 35 F this morning, west wind about  5 mph, mostly cloudy.  I do not see a bike ride in the day's schedule.
  • Throwing cold water on their plans

    25 Apr 2015 | 5:35 am
    Air temperature 33 F for the newspaper walk, overcast, wind west about 5 mph.  Not getting into bike ride season yet.Along those lines, South Neighbor loaded a couple of kayaks into his truck and headed out early with South Neighbor Daughter, in pursuit of the local canoe race.  Lot of heavy water in the stream, and the race was postponed a week due to the late thaw.  Hypothermia city, ladies and gentlemen . . .I need to clean the old stalks out of the asparagus patch.
  • All summer in a day

    24 Apr 2015 | 5:21 am
    Snowing.  It was snowing when I got up this morning.  No, thank you.Air temperature 34 F, overcast, scattered "mixed precip", wind NW gusting to 15 mph.  We continue the dark comedy that is "spring" in Maine.Have a draft cover for DOMINIONS in my hot little hands.  We are riffing on the design for POWERS, as The Bladesmith returns in book 2.  Still many steps before release, and I can't put the image out for your disdain until closer to September.
  • Scattered showers

    23 Apr 2015 | 4:53 am
    Air temperature 44 F, overcast, south wind gusting to 30 mph.  At least none of the blue on the weather radar seems to be aimed in our direction.  We just got rid of the last of our snow, and do not need a resupply.  Rain only, please.The world is not worthy of my genius.
  • Misty morning

    22 Apr 2015 | 4:49 am
    Air temperature 31 F for the newspaper walk, calm, ground fog glowing with the sunrise.  We have too many mourning doves.  Coo-ah coo coo coo.  Appears that Ms. Cooper's Hawk is sated.Proponents of Fortress Amerika border controls should note that even having the Mediterranean Sea as a moat isn't keeping refugees from trying to reach safety in Europe.
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    Jim C. Hines

  • Choosing “Sides”

    Jim C. Hines
    25 Apr 2015 | 5:28 pm
    “I am not doing it because I was pressured by anyone either way or on any ‘side.’” -[Author] “[Author] is everything any good leftist could ever want in a Hugo nominee, and they got hounded off the ballot by the LEFT.” -Brad Torgersen I’m conflicted about starting this post with those particular quotes. A handful of people have withdrawn their names from the Hugo ballot, and have asked to be left out of the anger and arguments, which I can certainly understand. I removed the name of the author in question because I don’t want them getting…
  • Cool Stuff Friday

    Jim C. Hines
    24 Apr 2015 | 6:31 am
    Friday wants more Black Widow merchandise… Photos of Foxes from the Arctic Circle. (Link from Meredith Warshaw) Father and Daughter Find Baby Foxes in Their Back Yard. It’s not Friday, it’s Foxday! 10 Cats Who Think They’re Houseplants. 11 Pit Bulls Who Love Their Kitty Buddies. Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Saturday Author Event in Grand Ledge

    Jim C. Hines
    23 Apr 2015 | 4:15 pm
    This coming Saturday, I’ll be part of Michigan Authors on the Grand from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Main Branch of the Grand Ledge Area District Library. It looks like there will be at least sixteen of us hanging out to chat and network and sign books and so on. I’ve never done this one before, so I don’t know exactly what to expect. There could be giant mutant badgers battling bionic warrior squirrels from the twenty-eighth dimension! And also raffles! Definitely one of those… Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Sword, by Amy Bai

    Jim C. Hines
    22 Apr 2015 | 5:23 pm
    I am so far behind on posting reviews. Let’s start with Sword [Amazon | B&N | IndieBound], by Amy Bai. I believe this is Bai’s first novel, and it’s an impressive debut. Sword is a YA fantasy with swords (duh) and magic and kingdoms and betrayal and all that good stuff. From the publisher’s description: For over a thousand years, the kingdom of Lardan has been at peace: isolated from the world, slowly forgetting the wild and deadly magic of its origins. Now the deepest truths of the past and the darkest predictions for the future survive only in the verses of…
  • It’s Alive!

    Jim C. Hines
    21 Apr 2015 | 4:51 am
    My web host,, has been down for close to a week while they wait for Verizon to fix … I don’t even know anymore. has been posting updates over on Twitter, and it sounds like things still aren’t completely fixed yet, but they’ve hotwired some servers or duct taped some fiber optics together to get most of their services working. So, some stuff to catch up on… Transformers: Age of Extinction: I said I’d livetweet this movie if y’all raised at least $500 for RAINN and other rape crisis centers. So far, people have contributed closer to…
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    When You Stop Believing in It, It Doesn't Go Away

  • A Connie Willis Story

    Alexander Irvine
    16 Apr 2015 | 10:21 am
    I just remembered this story after reading Connie Willis' heartfelt (and to my mind absolutely correct) assessment of the Sad Puppies debacle, which might more accurately be termed a hostage situation, since the Hugo Award--and by extension the question of how the science fiction field wants to be perceived by itself--is being held hostage by a few people who...well, read Connie's thoughts on the topic.Anyway, the story:In the late 1990s, while living in Denver for grad school, I was a member of the Northern Colorado Writers Workshop, an august institution to which I frequently brought…
  • Mars One and "Pictures from an Expedition"

    Alexander Irvine
    13 Mar 2015 | 7:38 am
    2003: I write a story called "Pictures from an Expedition," in which a private-sector Mars expedition is partially funded by entertainment licensing and degenerates into a reality-TV spectacle.2015: The PBS Idea Channel makes this video, asking the question "Is Reality TV the Future of Space Travel?"Huh.This means James Cameron is going to call me up so he can make a movie out of "Pictures from an Expedition," right? 
  • In Which I Get to Know Batman Again

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

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

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

  • The Horror, the Horror IV: Writing Horror Fiction with Substance

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    25 Apr 2015 | 6:54 am
    Remember that LitReactor class I mentioned a while back that I said I’d be teaching with Helen Marshall, Jordan Hamessley, and Simon Strantzas? Well, here’s the information I promised! It’s a four-week course on writing horror fiction, with each instructor taking one of the weeks. It breaks down like this: Week One: Helen Marshall Landing The Gut Punch: Structure, Pace, and Poe’s “Unity of Effect” Week Two: Jordan Hamessley Creating Page-turning Fiction from an Editor’s Perspective; When to Build Suspense and When to go for the Big Scare Week Three:…
  • Happy St. George’s Day!

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    23 Apr 2015 | 9:21 am
    Happy St. George’s Day, everyone! And happy World Book Day, too! Two very different days of note to share a calendar date, to be sure, but if you’re looking for a way to celebrate them both I’ve got just the thing! It’s my Thriller Award-nominated and Shirley Jackson Award-nominated novella Chasing the Dragon! The story is about the last living descendent of St. George, her heroin addiction, and the dragon George was supposed to have killed but didn’t. In fact, the painting at the top of this blog post, “Saint George and the Dragon” by Gustave…
  • The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Six

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    21 Apr 2015 | 7:40 pm
    The Best Horror of the Year, Volume Six by Ellen Datlow My rating: 4 of 5 stars Calling anything the best of the year is a tricky proposition. Taste is subjective; one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. However, I’ve never read an Ellen Datlow anthology that I didn’t think was top-notch, so I’ve come to trust her taste implicitly. While there were a small handful of stories in this volume that didn’t resonate with me the way they clearly must have for Datlow, overall this is a very strong sampling of short-form horror fiction from 2013. Among the…
  • Workshopping With Kelly Link

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    15 Apr 2015 | 10:34 am
    I’ve been a part of the same writers workshop — named Who Wants Cake after a bit from Amy Sedaris’s Strangers With Candy — for twelve years now, but yesterday we did something we’ve never done before. We had a special guest join us for a crit session: Kelly Link. Everyone in the workshop is a huge fan of her work. Two of our members have actually studied with her before at Clarion. We all look up to her so much that it was a real pleasure to have her with us. We’re a very good workshop, we’ve honed our critiquing skills over the years, but…
  • One Year of The Scariest Part

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    14 Apr 2015 | 9:05 am
    It’s hard to believe, but today marks the one-year anniversary of The Scariest Part! In that time, I’ve put the spotlight on 36 authors and their books, a selection ranging from first-timers to well known and bestselling authors, with books from micropresses and major publishing houses and everything in between. You can see all of them here. It’s been a pleasure for me to host The Scariest Part on my blog, and I hope it’s been helpful to the writers who’ve taken part. It’s hard to gauge how effective these things are at driving sales, but if I helped…
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    Dear Sweet Filthy World

  • "And the white man dancing."

    25 Apr 2015 | 9:47 am
    It's warmer than yesterday, by a small bit. And it's sunnier. Currently, it's 53˚F. Whee. Break out the surfboards.I've not had a normal night's sleep, I think, in the last week and a half. I didn't get to sleep until almost six a.m. this morning. The terror of sunrise, glimpsed from bed, through a closed curtain.Yesterday, I wrote 1,655 words and found THE END of "Dancy Vs. the Pterosaur." Total word count, 6,703. The story will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #111, and yes, if you subscribe now you'll get #111.Other than that, it was leftover black-eyed peas and more Carnivale. I'm…
  • "And rise with me forever across the silent sand."

    24 Apr 2015 | 10:15 am
    Winter's back. Cold spring's taking a vacation, just as the trees begin to get green. Currently, it's 47˚F, with a windchill of 43˚F. Tonight, the windchill will be 23˚F. There's some sun out there, and there's always a siren, singing you to shipwreck."You know, that's rarer than an apology from a SJW."Various thing got in the way of my writing yesterday, and I did little more than edit what I wrote on Wednesday. A much-needed trip to the bank was especially disruptive. But you have to do this shit.My thanks to everyone who commented yesterday. It helps, knowing I'm not alone in this big…
  • "Everything's so easy for Pauline..."

    23 Apr 2015 | 9:15 am
    Out there, in the leafless world beyond my office window, it's 46˚F, with a windchill of 39˚F. On April 23. It's windy, 16mph from the west. It's mostly cloudy, mostly grey. And I have a headache.Yesterday, I wrote 1,194 words on "Dancy Vs. the Pterosaur."Both page views and comments to this LJ are at an all-time low. It's been a long, slow, steady decline, the traffic here. When you look at the numbers laid out on StatCounter, it's like seeing a mass-extinction event. If you're still reading this, you're the lucky little possum that survived the worldwide darkness, firestorms, and tsunamis…
  • "But every word you say today gets twisted round some other way."

    22 Apr 2015 | 9:04 am
    It's sunny out, but only 61˚F. Still, better than rainy and 47˚F.Yesterday, I wrote 1,151 words on "Dancy Vs. the Pterosaur." I'm hoping to finish it tomorrow, if all goes well. It will be appearing in Sirenia Digest #111.Please note the current eBay auctions and please note, especially, that in less than four hours the auction for La fille qui se noie, the French language edition of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir, will end. The publisher only sent me three of these, and it's unlikely I'll be selling another. So, if you want this edition, signed by me, this is your one chance (unless a box of…
  • "I've seen the future, brother: it is murder."

    21 Apr 2015 | 9:37 am
    Mostly sunny out there, and the temperature has made it up to 67˚F. We had thunderstorms late last night. Spooky had gone to bed, but I was up RPing. We don't get a lot of thunderstorms in Providence. The same storm center hammered the cabin in Woodstock, only a few hours before.I wrote yesterday. Apparently, all it took was sleeping. I wrote 1,267 words on "Dancy Vs. the Pterosaur."Please have a look at the current eBay auctions. Note, especially, La fille qui se noie, the French language edition of The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. This auction ends tomorrow, and it's possible I will never…
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    Mindy Klasky - Virtual Cocktails

  • Where’s Mindy?

    Mindy Klasky
    7 Apr 2015 | 10:46 am
    Mindy is currently working on meeting a number of writing deadlines.  Therefore, her blog is temporarily on hiatus. Mindy continues to post regularly (usually, every day, sometimes multiple times a day!) on Facebook.  She also visits Twitter often.  Please stop by those places to visit with Mindy until her blog returns. Mirrored from Mindy Klasky, Author.
  • A Lost Weekend

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

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

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

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

  • My three disparate careers, as represented by my schedule this week

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    21 Apr 2015 | 9:37 pm
    Monday & Tuesday – Puppeteer: Sesame Street Wednesday & Thursday – Audiobook narrator: Cherie Priest’s Princess X Friday – Sunday – Author: c2E2 plus launch party for Of Noble Family plus Guest of Honor on the Steampunk Cruise What is not on this list? Sleep. The post My three disparate careers, as represented by my schedule this week appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • My Favorite Bit: Howard Tayler talks about PLANET MERCENARY

    Michi Trota
    21 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    Howard Taylor joins us today to talk about Planet Mercenary, a role-playing game (RPG) he and Alan Bahr created, set in the universe of Schlock Mercenary. Here’s the description from the RPG’s Kickstarter: The Planet Mercenary Role Playing Game is a custom system designed for speedy play with rich storytelling. Combat goes quickly, and when it goes disastrously it’s still a lot of fun. The core product will be a hard-bound, illustrated, 208-page, full color world book, plus a deck of 50 cards used to steer your role play in hilarious directions. We’ve hit our first…
  • Want to guess who I’m assisting on the Street next week?

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    18 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    To distract us all from Hugo related discussions, I have a small guessing game for you. I’ve found out who I’m assisting when I’m… having a sunny day next week, on a certain street.  So– Who do you think it is? The post Want to guess who I’m assisting on the Street next week? appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • My uncle Gilbert has passed away

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    16 Apr 2015 | 9:08 am
    My mom’s youngest brother passed away this week. Gilbert Lee Jackson was one of those men that was hard to get to know. When he first entered a room, he seemed to fill it, but then he would sit down in a chair and listen. You’d almost forget that he was there, until he laughed. It was a deep, deep laugh, like the earth had heard a joke. Then he would subside again. When I write about men with low, rumbling Southern drawls, Uncle Gilbert is who I’m thinking of. He didn’t speak often, but I loved the sound of his voice. I lived far away, so didn’t spend much time…
  • My Favorite Bit: Betsy Dornbusch talks about Emissary

    Michi Trota
    14 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Betsy Dornbusch is joining us today with her novel, Emissary: The Second Book of the Seven Eyes. Here is the publisher’s description: Draken vae Khellian, bastard cousin of the Monoean King, had risen far from his ignominious origins, becoming both a Bowrank Commander and a member of the Crown’s Black Guard. But when cursed black magic took his wife and his honor away, he fought past his own despair and grief, and carved out a new life in Akrasia. His bloody, unlikely path, chronicled in Exile: The First Book of the Seven Eyes, led him to a new love, and a throne. Draken has seen…
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    SF and Nonsense

  • InterstellarNet: Enigma -- a mystery (starts to be) revealed

    20 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    I am delighted to announce the beginning of the release of InterstellarNet: Enigma. It's the latest -- and IMHO greatest -- of the InterstellarNet adventures. (And fair warning: this is a commercial post.)Historian Joshua Matthews has landed a terrific new position, and with it the opportunity to write the definitive history of the Interstellar Commerce Union. In those annals, he plans to focus attention -- in his opinion, long overdue -- on the improbability that an interstellar community even exists. But somehow, returning home from the party thrown to celebrate his good fortune, he has…
  • Posts: deja vu all over again

    13 Apr 2015 | 7:11 am
    About four years ago I compiled the first list/overview of what were then the most visited posts here at SF and Nonsense. To my surprise, Postscript (or is that post post?) was itself instantly popular. It remains third on the all-time list.Let the annual tradition continue.Some rough posts :-)Here's this year's all-time top-ten list, which I've assembled from data captured a few days ago. The format is: title/link; posting date; last year's rank in parens (if it was in the top ten); and a few words about the post content.Of moons, clouds, and the state of the art(s), 13 August 2013 (1). A…
  • Of Hugo Awards, Sad Puppies, and notoriety

    8 Apr 2015 | 1:02 pm
    The flame wars continue on the matter of last Saturday’s Hugo Award nominations. Was this year’s voting process flawed? Was last year’s? Were the processes of many years past? For that matter, was the process ever not flawed? In all cases: beats me. What I do know is that a novelette I wrote made it onto this year’s Hugo Award ballot. I should be happy about that -- but I’m finding it difficult. Why? My story appeared on a particular recommendation list. (“Slate,” the term sometimes applied to this particular list is, IMO, a loaded term. Voters were free to pick and chose -- and…
  • A B'tok update

    7 Apr 2015 | 7:07 am
    (April 8: Updating the update.) Regarding yesterday's (the below) post: the roll-out of the special ebook edition of "Championship B'tok," in new formats to new ebook venues, will take longer than was originally anticipated. (It's complicated, the publisher tells me.) That said, the Kindle version, including the free loan option within the Kindle Unlimited program, is available. I'll re-update this post as things become clearer.I apologize for the inconvenience.(April 10: re-updating the update)If you're open to reading through a web browser, Analog, in which "Championship B'tok" first…
  • 2015 Hugo Finalists

    4 Apr 2015 | 8:00 am
    Earlier today, this year's finalists for the prestigious Hugo Awards were announced. Congratulations to all the nominees, and thanks to everyone -- a record number of you -- who participated in this year's balloting.Click cover for more infoPerhaps -- once the appearance among the finalists of a certain novelette sinks in -- my mind will once again consider other topics :-)(For the curious among you: "Championship B'tok," the most recent adventure in my InterstellarNet series, first ran in the September 2014 issue of Analog. The novelette recently became available as a Kindle book.)Till next…
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    We Are Still Laughing

  • A little carcinoma of my own

    14 Apr 2015 | 7:06 pm
    As you may recall, I had a small spot removed from my nose two weeks ago. Well, I got a phone call from the dermatologist's office yesterday, saying only "call us." Unfortunately, I didn't get the message until after the office was closed. As you might guess, I didn't sleep well. At all.The news, when I finally got it this morning, was not what I'd hoped to hear but not nearly as bad as I'd feared. The spot is an "in-situ squamous cell carcinoma," in other words a type of skin cancer. But it is not malignant, and is easily treatable: it's a 15-minute procedure in the doctor's office, with a…
  • Home from the hospital, again

    8 Apr 2015 | 4:17 pm
    Kate woke up at 5am yesterday with chest pain, and we went to the emergency room. Initial tests indicated it wasn't a heart attack, but they kept her overnight for observation and more tests. Those tests also showed it wasn't a heart attack, though it took until noon today to get a doctor to sign off on that and let us go home. :-(It's tough for the doctors to tell what the cause of the pain actually was, but it was likely heartburn from the steroids. Kate was already taking an anti-heartburn med (Pepcid) for that, but we got a prescription for a stronger one (Prilosec). We will also be…
  • Kate's progress: March

    31 Mar 2015 | 1:32 pm
    Things are going pretty well here. The last time I posted about this, we had tried reducing Kate's steroid dose and the aphasia came roaring back, and we were just about to begin the second round of chemotherapy. The chemo -- five days of pills, with a doubled daily dosage -- went off with almost no side effects, and the increased steroids have worked well. She's gone from "can barely get a full sentence out" to "some hesitation and occasional wrong words." The steroids do carry some undesirable side effects, including facial swelling and tremor, but for now we will just have to live with…
  • How we spent our February

    4 Mar 2015 | 8:00 pm
    As you may recall, Kate finished up her daily radiation and chemotherapy treatments on February 3. The month of February was a month off from treatment, and we largely spent it relaxing. Though we were not able to attend Potlatch because of the risk of "con crud," we did spend a weekend at the Sylvia Beach Hotel, a book-themed hotel at the Oregon coast (we had the Amy Tan room), and I ran off to the Rainforest Writers Village writing retreat, where I wrote an unprecedented-for-me 15,000 words on the sequel to "Arabella of Mars." It was in general a very productive writing month for me... I…
  • "Mammals" on StarShipSofa

    4 Mar 2015 | 7:16 am
    My story "Mammals" has appeared on StarShipSofa, narrated by me!
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    Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress

  • The Americans Season 3 Finale: Turning a Paige

    25 Apr 2015 | 12:38 pm
    Well, The Americans topped off its season three finale with a move that pitches the series in the most dangerous direction it's been so far. The trip to the Soviet Union had the reverse effect of what Elizabeth and Philip had wanted.  Paige is even more disconcerted by who her parents are. And, in a stunning last scene, she confides in that pain-in-the-a pastor.This will leave Elizabeth and Philip with some wrenchingly painful options next season.  Obviously, they're not going to kill Paige, and would kill anyone who might try.  Certainly Philip feels this way, but I think…
  • Bones 10.15: Cards in Hand

    25 Apr 2015 | 11:28 am
    A well-played Bones 10.15 on Thursday, which took a close look at Booth's gambling problem.One of the best parts of the action was in the detective bit at the card game, where Booth lodges a charge against one of the players, to get into proximity to the telecom replay system, so Booth can synch his phone to Angela's system back at the Jefferson, so she can see what happened in the room during the past few days.   It was a neat piece of action, and you don't often see such finely tuned stings in this series.Otherwise, the main tension in the episode was whether Booth would be able to…
  • Vikings Season 3 Finale: Normandy

    23 Apr 2015 | 9:19 pm
    An excellent season 4 finale of Vikings tonight - even though I predicted some kind of union between Rollo and Gisla - see my reviews of the past few episodes - and even though I didn't believe for a moment that Ragnar was dead.   But it was still great to see this played out on the screen.There was also some important development of French characters in this episode, especially Odo, who we discover is into a little sadomasochism, in this case, whipping a woman.  So our French court, in this spirited rendition of history, is peopled at this time by both Joan of Arc (Gilsa) and the…
  • Mad Men 7.10: "Fast Girl"

    19 Apr 2015 | 10:09 pm
    "She's a fast girl," Don says to his daughter, Sally, taking him to task for responding as a man to Sally's 17-year friend at dinner, and this struck me as a good shorthand for this episode, 7.10, one the last few in the series, to be exact.Betty goes through much the same thing with Glen, almost grown up now.  He comes to visit on the eve of his going off to Vietnam, but the real purpose of his visit is to, well, declare his continuing infatuation for Betty.   That in itself is not surprising.  But Betty, although she resists, is clearly taken by Glen's teenage passion for…
  • Outlander 1.11: Vaccination and Time Travel

    19 Apr 2015 | 11:25 am
    Outlander 1.11 was a perfect episode - love, tenderness, moving the story along in profound and sea-changing ways, all keyed to time travel. The first inkling I had that something was up with Geillis was when she said "barbecue," but it turns out that the word has been in parlance since the 1500s.   But "1968" has not, and opened the door to one of the big revelations in the story: Geillis is herself someone who traveled through time, more than 200 years back to Scotland.   She would make a great continuing character in the series, and my one regret in this episode would be if she…
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    Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage »

  • Intern Program #1: FICTION Critter, Editor, Copyeditor, Text Layout, Cover Design, Fiction Launch Path

    23 Apr 2015 | 12:20 pm
    Tweet I’ve created my first intern program: COMMERCIAL FICTION DEVELOPMENT. The first intern program is for people who want to work with WRITERS OF FICTION (and personal non-fiction). And who want to get paid to do this. I’m looking for people with whom I can work LONG-TERM. I want to build a team I can rely on to work with every fiction project I write, and ideally the first interns who join the program would become my team, and will still be working with me as indie contractors 25 years from now. However, I know other writers need help, too—and I know where hundreds of…
  • OneStep Writing System – Web-Based?

    Dan Allen
    22 Apr 2015 | 9:37 am
    Tweet Dear Writers. Right now, I am working as fast as I can to build for Holly a system to consolidate the work of writing and publishing.  When Holly’s system is done, or at least done enough, she and I are going to offer some form of that system to other writers. TOO IMPORTANT TO GUESS I could guess, Holly’s system would be helpful to others.  This is one of those things that is too important to guess.  No guessing is needed to say, some form of system for consolidating writers’ work would be helpful.  No guessing is needed for some of the requirements, because some…
  • How would YOU clear this schedule?

    22 Apr 2015 | 7:08 am
    Tweet I’m swamped enough that the migraines are back, and I’m putting this in front of my readers hoping someone will see a way for me to clear a lot of stuff out of my schedule quickly. I’ll be honest. I’ve got nothing. I can come up with ideas for books and courses all day long, but when things get this backlogged, I get stressed. I’ve been focusing on doing just three things a day, and doing them well, but even that is not clearing things. Here’s the schedule:   FICTION Publish books and stories for which I own rights that are simply sitting on my…
  • Longview Cover Art: THIRD Massive Overhaul

    16 Apr 2015 | 9:06 am
    Tweet Nothing about indie publishing is simple. Making your own cover art is actively difficult. You can create acceptable cover art, but it takes a lot of trial and error, and some good feedback helps. I had help through the first rounds of this, and now have replacement cover art for: LONGVIEW 1-Enter the Death Circus           TALES FROM THE LONGVIEW Episode 1: Enter the Death Circus TALES FROM THE LONGVIEW Episode 2: The Selling of Suzee Delight, and NEW cover are in the new series style for TALES FROM THE LONGVIEW Episode 3: The Philosopher Gambit LONGVIEW 2-The…
  • The HTTS Q&A Live Chat Replays link

    13 Apr 2015 | 10:09 am
    Tweet I’ve now set the replays for the live chats up so that you can view them and get the downloads without having to login. I’ll add each one after any special offers I do in the live chats have expired (so that I don’t end up with dead coupons on permanent pages). Here’s the link:
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    Nick Mamatas

  • Looking for the Sad Puppy Counter-Reading List

    20 Apr 2015 | 12:44 pm
    I've been asking around in a variety of places, so may as well try here:If the Hugo Awards have really been dominated by leftist material that prized message over story since the mid-1990s (Brad’s timeline), it should be very simple for members of the Puppy Party to namea. one work of fictionb. that won a Hugo Awardc. while foregrounding a left message to the extent that the story was ruined or misshapedd. per set of winners since 1995.That’s all. Just a list of twenty books or stories—a single winner per year. Even though a single winner per year wouldn’t prove domination, I’m…
  • 20 Apr 2015 | 11:10 am

    20 Apr 2015 | 11:10 am
    Anguish etched on her face and held safe by the bare-chested man who has dragged her from the sea, she seems unable to comprehend what has happened to her.Around her are scenes of chaos as dozens of men battle to drag other survivors from the treacherous waves. But not all are so lucky. A short distance away, a tiny corpse is carried to land, his woolly hat dripping salt water. These are the harrowing scenes on the shores of Europe today as up to 1,000 migrants are feared dead after three separate maritime tragedies. On the Greek island of Rhodes, the unknown child is one of three to have…
  • AWP

    13 Apr 2015 | 8:53 am
    I went to the conference of the Association of Writers & Writing Programs (AWP) in Minnesota—first time in that state!—this past weekend. I'd say this about sums it up:I was actually on that Blue Line streetcar when the accident happened. Literally didn't feel a thing, though obviously the car was smashed and the person in the passenger seat had to be taken to the hospital in an ambulance.AWP is a weird hustle, just like a fat guy nearly killing himself against the nosecone of a Mall of America bus is. There are essentially two tracks in the American writing life—the academic track,…
  • The Darker the Night, the Brighter the Star

    6 Apr 2015 | 10:14 am
    The Hugo Award nominees were announced over the weekend, and as long whispered the Sad and Rabid Puppies slate had a huge influence. I think my first tweet regarding the ballot is still the best:I guess getting all those Hugo nominations in one year proves that John C. Wright is just as good as Seaman McGuire.— Nick Mamatas (@NMamatas) April 4, 2015On the plus side, a non-Puppy victory goes to Edge of Tomorrow, which is on the ballot for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form! (The Captain America sequel is also a non-Puppy pick.)And who could resist?The Puppy movie picks were much less…
  • Literary Journals and Epistemic Closure

    3 Apr 2015 | 9:40 am
    I am a big fan of the Los Angeles Review of Books and have even published there. I was very interested then, when they announced that The Offing would be an associated literary journal (fiction, poetry, essays) channel. The magazine got written up in the Los Angeles Times and Washington Post's book blogs. This is not at all typical of the launch of yet another online literary magazine, regardless of its mission (in this case, "the marginalized"), so I decided to submit. They pay a little ($20-50) for submission.And then The Offing decided to charge $3 for submissions, in order, they say, to…
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    Not A Blog

  • Fanageddon

    24 Apr 2015 | 4:10 pm
    The membership numbers for Sasquan continue to climb higher and higher. In the past, worldcons in major metropolitan areas like LA, Chicago, Boston, and London have boasted the largest membership numbers, while those in smaller and more out-of-the way locales have been smaller. Spokane is about as small and out-of-the-way as worldcon sites are like to get, and therefore might reasonably have been expected to be one of the smaller worldcons in the past decade.But this is no ordinary year. Thanks to Puppygate and the Hugo War, Sasquan's membership numbers are way higher than anyone could have…
  • Max Is Coming

    21 Apr 2015 | 5:33 pm
    I'm VERY excited to announce that Mad Max is coming to the Jean Cocteau Cinema.Remakes are often problematic, but this one looks as though it could be something special. And I say that as a fan of the original Mel Gibson trilogy. The first MAD MAX was just okay, I will admit, but BEYOND THUNDERDOME was damned good, and I rank the middle film, THE ROAD WARRIOR, as the best post-holocaust film, and one of the best SF adventures, ever made. The reboot looks as though it is drawing more on THE ROAD WARRIOR than the other two. But hey, take a look for yourself:(Ignore that last frame about 3D. The…
  • Black Gate Withdraws

    19 Apr 2015 | 3:42 pm
    We have had another withdrawal from the Hugo ballot. BLACK GATE has withdrawn from the BEST FANZINE category. You can read their reasons why here: is uncertain whether this withdrawal will be honored, since it comes too late. Sasquan's Hugo administrators announced that the ballot was "locked" a couple of days ago, after two other nominees had withdrawn, and two other finalists had been declared ineligble. Those four were all replaced on the ballot by the "next one down," but if the ballot is indeed locked, it would appear that this will not happen in Best…
  • Remembering Roger

    18 Apr 2015 | 2:06 pm
    On June 14, 1995 Roger Zelazny died at St. Vincent's Hospital here in Santa Fe. Though it seems very hard to believe -- for his voice and his presence are still very much with those who knew and loved him, and his words will live forever -- this June will mark the twentieth anniversary of Roger's passing.At the memorial service shortly after his death, I spoke a few words about Roger and his work, and what he meant to me and to SF and the wider world of literature. You can read them here: years is a long time,…
  • Once More, Into the Kennels

    17 Apr 2015 | 8:19 pm
    Brad Torgersen has added a post to his blog: "Sad Puppies: We Are Not Rabid Puppies."Larry Correia has also spoken up on MONSTER HUNTER NATION: "I Am Not Vox Day."I commend them both for making the distinction so loudly and clearly. And I accept what they say. The Sad Puppies are not Rabid Puppies. Larry Correia is not Vox Day. I regret anything I might have done or said that blurred the line, or created a false impression that all Puppies were the same. (Admittedly, having 'Puppies' in the name of both slates does foster confusion). I am glad you set that straight.But now... sorry, sorry...
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  • Asimov's Asimov's Asimov's

    10 Apr 2015 | 7:24 pm
    So, I am pleased to see the positive reception of "Paul and His Son" in Asimov's, including mention at Tangent, SFRevu, and Locus.I am even more pleased to see that in honor of this short story, there's a limited time sale on the eBooks of Disintegration Visions and Maze.As it is, going straight to the Apex website for the next two months nets both eBooks for just 1.99., wherever fine eBooks are sold, Disintegration Visions is only .99, all this month. Next month, I believe…
  • Hot Take on Genre Awards Thing

    5 Apr 2015 | 7:44 pm
    I actually don't really care very much, either way, but it is fascinating to see true human stupidity at play from Sad Puppies who want that pin so badly they'd blow up the very award to get it.So, if you game the rules to a major genre award to suit your agenda because you feel your work and work you like is not properly honored by the field, what you actually accomplish is not a domination of the center of the field. Rather, you merely pull the major award over to your dull, lifeless obscurity. You win the battle; you win all the fancy trophies; not a one of them will mean anything, though,…
  • The Asimov Drop

    1 Apr 2015 | 10:11 am
    So, in honor of my short story, "Paul and His Son" in the April/May 2014 Asimov's Magazine, which was recommended by Locus Magazine and Lois Tilton here, Apex Publications is doing a price drop on the eBook of the short story collection, DISINTEGRATION VISIONS, down to just $.99 for the month of April.So, one could easily pick up a copy of Asimov's Magazine (or a subscription, which is also good) and check out "Paul and his Son" here:Then, go to one of the many on-line venues for eBooks, for instance DriveThruStuff or the Apex Website. (Okay, the latter doesn't seem to have the new…
  • 30 Mar 2015 | 8:47 am

    30 Mar 2015 | 8:47 am
  • Every... Single... Morning...

    27 Mar 2015 | 8:12 am
    I open the bedroom door, mentally prepared for the onslaught!
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    Robin McKinley

  • Hi there ::waves::

    19 Apr 2015 | 5:13 pm
      Sorry everyone.  I’m just so freaking tired.*  It’s been a somewhat action-packed week/ten days/fortnight/century.  The good news is that I haven’t knocked Peter over with the car again recently.  YAAAAAY.  But we’ve had three lots of visitors** and assorted emergencies.***  And Niall and I seem to be teaching more people to ring handbells. Also, it’s definitively spring.  The weather is still jerking us around† but the primroses are flowering like mad—AND MY SNAKESHEAD FRITILLARIES YAAAAAAAAAY—and the early pansies, and the early tulips and there are daffodils…
  • A Day of Lows

    7 Apr 2015 | 5:41 pm
      Wolfgang and I managed to run over Peter today. No, no, Peter’s fine*.  JESUS GOD AND ALL THE SAINTS.  I’m a freaking hysterical meltdown mess.  Peter seems to have thought it was FUNNY.  He thinks it’s FUNNY to be married to a CRAZY HOMICIDAL** WIFE. We’ve had two beautiful spring days in a row.  I’ve been trying to hack out time for frantic gardening:  this is the time of year when I very very briefly believe that maybe THIS year I’m going to have the garden at the cottage in something almost resembling order for more than three seconds the end of April.***  I’m…
  • I have spent all day . . .

    1 Apr 2015 | 5:49 pm
      . . . doing STUFF.  You know, stuff.  FINALLY got the laundry from three days ago actually hung up to dry.*  Well.  To finish drying.  It’s mostly dry already and golly is it ever wrinkled.**  I fought my way to the countertop in the kitchen next to the Aga where I sit every morning and have my tea, and where the pile of unread magazines gets taller and taller and taller.  I threw out with a sigh of relief all the catalogues saying Great bargain!  Order on line by midnight 31 March! ***  I swept the floor.†  I took delivery of 1,000,000,000 baby plants ARRRRRRGH THIS…
  • Blurry weekend

    22 Mar 2015 | 6:27 pm
      I had an appointment with Dentist from R’lyeh on Friday*, the second in a fortnight.**  I knew that being pumped full of anaesthesia twice in slightly less than fourteen days was not going to go down well with the ME***  but you want to get it over with, you know?  ‘It’ being death, taxes, anything to do with dentists and being tour guide for the friends of friends of friends who were told to look you up and whose idea of casual chat with a stranger doing them a favour is to complain about women bishops, Obama, and your fashion†/career††choices. I have therefore spent…
  • Footnote meltdown* and bell ringing

    19 Mar 2015 | 8:26 pm
      Crabbiton, for better or worse, is becoming a fixture of my Thursday nights.**  And I was thinking tonight, as I made a complete squishy overdone dog’s dinner of a touch of St Simons doubles***, that I’m beginning to remember how much fun bell ringing is, even when you’re being hopeless.†  I’m also beginning to brandish a tiny amount of autonomy.  I have a habit of staying off the bigger bells in any tower however light the ring is overall, where even the big bells aren’t very, because I’m such a jerky ringer.  Bells are a lot bigger than you are, even the little…
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    Notes from the Labyrinth

  • UBC: Dashiell Hammett,5 Novels

    14 Apr 2015 | 2:29 pm
    Dashiell Hammett: Five Complete Novels: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, and The Thin Man by Dashiell HammettI'm gonna be honest right up front and say that my favorite of these novels is The Thin Man. I read the others with interest, but I'm unlikely to read them again. The Thin Man may get added to my stack of comfort reading. (I think it's not a coincidence that nobody made more Sam Spade movies, but Nick and Nora had a very long life in Hollywood, even if in warped form.)So. Dashiell Hammett, generally considered the founder of the hard-boiled mystery genre.
  • UBC: Hayman, Hitler & Geli

    12 Apr 2015 | 9:19 am
    Hitler and Geli by Ronald HaymanMy rating: 2 of 5 starsThis book has three major problems, one historical, one methodological, and one conceptual.The historical problem is unfortunately inherent in the subject matter. We just don't know enough about Angela Raubal to provide material for an entire book. (Weirdly, this is the same problem I had with Michael Wallis's biography of Pretty Boy Floyd, Pretty Boy: The Life and Times of Charles Arthur Floyd.) She was a woman in Nazi Germany, she was only twenty-three when she died, and almost everything she herself put to paper was destroyed. And all…
  • Hugo

    4 Apr 2015 | 3:04 pm
    The nominees for the 2015 Hugos have been announced. The Goblin Emperor is on the list for Best Novel.I find this all very very weird. Good weird! But weird.
  • Nebula Awards Weekend

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

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

    24 Apr 2015 | 11:41 pm
    It's been a good year for knitting so far.   I've finished five pairs of socks, though two were started in 2014 (one in October, one in November) and delayed by my decision to finish the socks my mother had started for a friend 1500 miles away.   So that's three pairs started in 2015 and finished in 2015, and another one nearing completion...I'm over halfway down the feet of both socks.   And it's not like there haven't been interruptions--I haven't been able to knit every day.   Pictures behind the cut.Left:  Herdwick wool,…
  • "Summer Beach" shorty socks

    21 Apr 2015 | 4:12 pm
    The "Summer Beach" pair of striped shorty socks have had some problems here and there, but overall I'm happy with them.   They're to the same basic pattern as my other short socks, but this time combine two yarns leftover from regular socks and two yarns purchased for striping.  They're shown very incomplete in an April 1 post (Socks, Incomplete)  and here they are off the needles and on my feet.  Not yet complete, since a lot of the stripe yarn ends are still not woven in, but I couldn't resist showing them.I like the effect of the…
  • The Writing Life: When the Story Stalls

    20 Apr 2015 | 11:17 pm
    Sometimes a book stalls because the writer's done something that derailed it, or didn't do something to keep it going.  I experience stall-effect in the middle of almost every book, so now I expect it (hope it won't appear, but am not panicky when it does.)  Doesn't mean I've lost my talent, can't write again, have utterly failed, etc, etc.  It's a part of the way my brain interacts with Story-space, and it means some serious work (not wishful thinking) to figure out what I did or did not do this time. Well, this time what I did was go blasting ahead…
  • Website outages

    16 Apr 2015 | 3:20 pm
    For those of you who visit any of my websites or read the site-embedded blogs...yes, they're all down.   It's Verizon's fault.  They had some kind of problem night before last that destabilized my hosting service for over six hours...and by the time Verizon claimed they were up and stable again, they had done "something" than knocked the hosting service and all its sites down.  First they swore they'd fix it yesterday.  No.   Then they announced that someone would be "in" at 8 am today and that was the right team to fix…
  • Reminder: Thursday in Austin

    14 Apr 2015 | 1:49 pm
    Coffee with the Author, this Thursday at 11:30 am,  on the the terrace (if not raining, snowing, sleeting, hailing....) or inside St. David's Episcopal Church in downtown Austin.  Free parking in the St. David's garage (enter off Trinity between 7th and 8th streets; sign in at the main desk for a parking voucher.  It's a 30 minute interview/chat with KUT's Jennifer Stayton. I will be bringing along the proof copy of Deeds of Honor to show and tell about--the print-on-demand paperback soon to be available of my latest short-fiction collection.  It came out…
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    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • Short Story Round-up, Week 1

    25 Apr 2015 | 5:36 am
    Eric Flint wrote very eloquently about one of the real issues with the Hugo on his blog. The whole thing is interesting, but I think he has a very valid point about how science fiction/fantasy gets consumed. Casual-to-moderately-serious fans don't read nearly as much short fiction as we did, say, back when the Hugos were first developed/conceived. (Hence, those awards get voted on and decided by a fairly small number of fans... and why they were 'easy pickings' for a block vote.)He suggests some solutions (some of which I agree with, others I'm not as sure about), but, either way, the Hugos…
  • Just Enough to Be Dangerous

    23 Apr 2015 | 7:46 am
    That's how much science I told my students they needed to know. (Also your magic needs rules).That pretty much summed up class. We have come to the point where it has dawned on my students that the true value of the class is in the last hour of instructor/peer critique. In fact, I'm certain they figured it out because the ones who had never volunteered previously all asked me suddenly if there was a way to slip them in to the schedule (now that we're literally at the half way point). And, the answer is, of course, yes: I will lecture less and we will critique more.My insights into writing are…
  • A reading confession...

    20 Apr 2015 | 6:43 am
    This weekend, the only thing I had 'on' was a Loft "First Pages" at Maplewood Library at 2:00 pm on Saturday. I was meant to be facilitating "Novel Writing for Teens." At last count, they had seven students signed up. And... it was so gorgeous outside that not a SINGLE SOUL showed up.I would feel bad about it, but this is fairly typical for these Loft First Pages, in my experience. I don't know if other instructors have an easier time getting warm bodies to fill chairs, but I have had zero luck. I think the MOST successful one had, maybe, three students? Talking a little to the teen librarian…
  • Flu and Such

    16 Apr 2015 | 7:49 am
    Some time yesterday afternoon, the rumbling in my guts finally stopped... just in time for me to get ready to teach my Loft SF/F writing class.I can't say my lecture was terribly coherent or useful, but we had our first critique and my students are all 100% amazing, no kidding. Not only was everyone intelligent and civil, but they also all hit the same notes as I had. So, I feel very in sync with these folks. And, honestly, I suspect, for them, the class just paid for itself, because there is no bigger boost to your writing skills, IMHO, than getting real, helpful critique from peers and a…
  • Stomach Flu and Books

    14 Apr 2015 | 6:01 am
    I've been trying to keep a running list of the various awards that I'm reading from here, and I've neglected to mention the books that made the Arthur C. Clarke short list:The Girl With All The Gifts, M.R. Carey (Orbit)The Book Of Strange New Things, Michel Faber (Canongate)Europe In Autumn, Dave Hutchinson (Solaris)Memory Of Water, Emmi Itäranta (HarperVoyager)The First Fifteen Lives Of Harry August, Claire North (Orbit)Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel (Picador)Romantic Times Reader's choice just announced their winners:Valley of Fires, J. Barton MitchellMy Real Children Jo WaltonThe…
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    The Alien Next Door

  • The Story Is Dead, Long Live The Story!

    Nina Munteanu
    10 Apr 2015 | 8:48 pm
    The word out there—at least according to The Economist Group—is that “smart is the new cool”. John Parker of Intelligent Life (sister magazine to The Economist) posits that, “in its appetite for culture, the world is wising up more than it is dumbing down.” Parker suggests in his article “The Age of Mass Intelligence” (Intelligent Life, 2008) that this apparent increase in the “mass intelligent” can be seen in the growing appeal of museums, blockbuster exhibitions, literary festivals, and operas. What he fails to mention is how the increased sales of good literature…
  • Nina Teaching SF Writing Course at George Brown College Spring 2015

    Nina Munteanu
    28 Mar 2015 | 5:32 pm
    I'm back at George Brown College, teaching my 12-week long writing course on how to write science fiction. "Creating Science Fiction" is now part of George Brown's Creative Writing Certificate.The course starts April and runs until June-end.Called “Creating Science Fiction”, the course runs Wednesday nights from 6:15 to 9:15 starting April 8th through to June 24th and costs $278.Meant for both beginning writers and those already published, the 12-week course is run like a workshop with student input and feedback on student’s WIPs. Munteanu explores with students the…
  • Interview with Nina Munteanu on Fantasy Fiction Focus with Simon Rose

    Nina Munteanu
    8 Mar 2015 | 9:34 pm
    I participated recently in an interview with Simon Rose, author and host of Fantasy Fiction Focus, in which we discussed eco-fiction, emerging trends in science fiction, the changing publishing industry, and what it all means for new how to promote yourself and your book, branding, and other aspects of being a writer
  • Nina Talks to EAC on the Changing Face of Publishing

    Nina Munteanu
    22 Feb 2015 | 2:18 pm
    Some time ago, I gave a talk on the changing face of publishing and writing for editors at EAC in Toronto.
  • Hubble Captures Jupiter’s Great Entourage of Moons

    Nina Munteanu
    7 Feb 2015 | 10:33 am
    Jupiter and its Entourage of MoonsIn anticipation of watching the new release of the science fiction/fantasy thriller Jupiter Ascending this weekend, I ran across this recent February 7 2015 article on Bad Astronomy, by author and astronomer Phil Plait.Jupiter is approaching opposition (when it’s opposite in the sky from the Sun), which means it’s as close to Earth as it gets for the year, Plait tells us. So, now is the time to observe it! Of course; I get two Jupiters in one month! In his article Plait gives good instructions on how to find and watch Jupiter (the planet, that is) if you…
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    the essential kit

  • Bewitching Benedict!

    24 Apr 2015 | 8:44 am
    Okay, the decision is official: the straight-up Regency romance (no fantasy elements involved!) that I’ve written will be coming your way soon! In July or August, if all goes well! BEWITCHING BENEDICT is (potentially!) the first of a new 7 book series about the Lovelorn Lads. Think 7 Brides for 7 Brothers meets PG Wodehouse: seven friends (not actually brothers, except in spirit!) attempt to navigate the Regency marriage market, while an interfering valet helps them avoid bad relationships and secure good ones. Hijinks, as they say, ensue. :) It is, I said modestly, a charming little…
  • Picoreview: Age of Ultron

    23 Apr 2015 | 2:38 pm
    Picoreview: Age of Ultron: We saw it twice in a row. We were going to ANYWAY, I mean that was our plan, we had tickets for the 10:15am 3D IMAX showing, which was as early as we could see it without going to last night’s midnight showing, and then tickets for a 3:30pm 2D showing, so basically we had time enough to go get lunch and come back to the theatre. And that’s what we were going to do ANYWAY. But we were also glad we did. :) First and most importantly, you actually *don’t* need to stay past the first teaser, because there is in fact not a second one, even though they…
  • Writing Wednesdays: Synopses

    22 Apr 2015 | 11:17 am
    My latest question from the peanut gallery was about how I write synopses. Or at least, I think that’s what it was about: the entirety of the question, actually, was, “Synopsis?” :) I’ve talked about writing synopses before at least once, in depth, as part of the Great Plot Synopsis Project (warning: that contains the entirety of the (2 page) synopsis for URBAN SHAMAN, and is therefore spoilery). However, that was written in early 2008, and I have Changed My Process since then. Specifically, in fact, I’ve changed it in the past couple of years. Some time…
  • Kitsnacks: Easy Tikka Masala

    21 Apr 2015 | 10:31 am
    I have semi-invented an easy tikka masala recipe, which is what happens when I have a recipe I've made before but discover I'm missing many of the actually-called-for ingredients. This one ends up having what I trust most people have in their pantries, which is why it's ideal. :)Easy Tikka Masala1-2 oz butter or vegetable oil1 tbsp garlic powder2 tsp ground cumin2 tsp paprika1/2-1 tsp chili powder1/2 tsp saltpepper to taste1 can chopped tomatoes1 can chickpeas1 fresh tomato, rough chopped8 oz creamMelt the butter in a largish sautee pan (ideally one with a lid). Stir-fry dry ingredients over…
  • Picoreview: Fast & Furious 7

    20 Apr 2015 | 6:16 am
    Picoreview: Fast & Furious 7: broke my heart. I knew it was going to; the goddamn trailers were making me tear up even as I recognized that they were specifically choreographed to. I had no attachment at all to Paul Walker–I think the only thing I’ve seen him in is the F&F movies–but I was shocked by his death because, well. It was shocking. And so messed up, that he’s best known for these fast car movies and then died in a horrific car wreck. So FF7 was always going to break my heart. And it did. And I’m…glad. Because it should have, because it…
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    Rickety Contrivances of Doing Good

  • Leaving the Tomb

    4 Apr 2015 | 10:24 pm
    Here's my homily for the Great Vigil of Easter. The Gospel is Mark 16:1-8.* The three women going to the tomb know what has happened. They know what they will find, and they know what they will do. Jesus has died. At his tomb, a large stone will block the entrance, and they’re worried about whether they’ll be able to move it. But once it’s out of the way, they’ll finish anointing Jesus’ body -- a task already begun by Nicodemus, but delayed by the Sabbath -- with the spices they’ve brought with them.All of this is horrible. The death of Jesus is the worst thing they can…
  • Unseemly Angels

    21 Dec 2014 | 1:11 pm
    Here's today's Blue Christmas homily.  The readings are2 Samuel 7:1-11 and Luke 1:26-38.*Tonight, the Winter Solstice, is the longest night of the year. Tomorrow, the days will start getting longer again. But many of us have come to church this evening because we’re struggling with our own darkness, with sorrow and loss. If we’re sad, Christmas can feel like nothing but duty. Store displays, advertising and inescapable holiday music insist that we must be happy, surrounded by festive family and friends.  If we’re grieving broken relationships or departed loved…
  • Keeping Awake

    8 Nov 2014 | 3:40 pm
    Here's tomorrow's homily.  The readings are Joshua 24:1-3a, 14-25 and Matthew 25:1-13.  My thanks to the Rev. Chip Arnold for a rousing model of how to turn this parable on its head.*One Saturday evening my first semester of college, my roommate asked me to stay out of our tiny dorm room until midnight, because her boyfriend was coming over. I didn’t have many friends at school yet, so I studied in the library until it closed at 9. Then I studied in the student café until it closed at 10. That left me two hours to kill before I could get back into our room.It was…
  • Good Stewards

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

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

  • Lap Steel Guitar

    12 Apr 2015 | 11:10 am
    Hey, check out Mike Byers' new toy, a homemade lap-steel guitar:Sound sample here.Way cool ...
  • New Urban Fantasy Novel: Stemwinder

    11 Apr 2015 | 2:59 pm
    So, I am about to finish the copy-edit on the current book-in-progress, Stemwinder: An Urban Fantasy in 4/4 Time. Probably the subtitle and the cover image are enough clues to tell a potential reader there is music involved.Bear with me and I'll spin you a tale connected to this biz, and a decision to which I have come regarding this particular book ...So I am past the Geez-what-a-pile-of-crap-this-is! and to the transient stage where It-doesn't-seem-absolutely-awful, and still a ways from the Hey-this-is-better-than-I-remember-it! phase, which usually comes a few years down…
  • Who Wants to Live Forever?

    29 Mar 2015 | 12:09 pm
    Smooth Operator ...Let's get this out of the way right up front: You are going to die. Not a matter of "if," but "when," and maybe you don't like that notion, I don't care for it myself, but there it is.How do I know it is true? Look around. See anybody here who was here a hundred and fifty years ago? Show me. Even if Methuselah lived to be 969–and I would want to see the birth and death certificates, thank you–he's not here any more, either.The Taoist master back in China? Sure. Him and Bigfoot and the Yeti are roomies, right?Now, what happens after you shuffle off this mortal coil…
  • iPhone 5 Camera Problems

    4 Mar 2015 | 2:09 pm
    Got an iPhone–not the very latest one–and it's the cat's pajamas, except that after a few days, the camera stopped working. Black screen, neither front nor back cam working, zipola.So, I went onto the net, saw this wasn't uncommon, and looked at the list of fixes.Tried them all. Some of them seemed to fix it, but that was temporary. Next time I opened the camera app, I got ye olde black screen and controls that didn't do anything useful ...There were a bunch of things suggested: soft reset, hard reset, (force-closing the app, powering off and on), resetting the phone's preferences to…
  • Leonard Nimoy 1931-2015

    27 Feb 2015 | 9:42 am
    Crap. Another one gone ...I met Nimoy once, worked with him on a book project. Here's the link to that post:
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    Mike Philbin's free planet blog

  • Fantast in Focus: Daniel Merriam

    24 Apr 2015 | 3:04 am
    this latest Free Planet 'art' post is about artist Daniel Merriam, recently featured on The Thinker's Garden - man, this is good stuff.Like a Narnian portal, Daniel Merriam’s work is one of transport. Without the flick of a wand, his fairies carry you off to carnivalesque and ‘Peter Pan-ish’ neverlands. Merriam was born and raised in the United States and spent his early years working in architectural design. Merriam is also the founder and owner of Bubble Street Gallery, a California-based ‘emporium’ of artistry and imagination. [source THE THINKER'S GARDEN]
  • HAPPY 'FREE PLANET' DAY - this Earth is not yours - it's ours!

    22 Apr 2015 | 12:13 am
    technically, it's not 'happy free planet day' as you all know. It's officially happy earth day, as laid down by the forces for change. But if you look at the Earth Day Website and read about their aims, it's still a gestural activity or movement. No real change will come of INDIVIDUAL DONATIONS and ONE DAY PER YEAR celebrations.Earth Day’s 45th anniversary could be the most exciting year in environmental history. The year in which economic growth and sustainability join hands. It’s our turn to lead. So our world leaders can follow by example.What Earth Day really needs is a totally…
  • Clinton & Farage 2015 - we love being told who to vote for - we are puppets and slaves

    21 Apr 2015 | 12:07 am
    I don't think America (Hillary Clinton) or the UK (Nigel Farage) really wants to solve its presidential/prime ministerial problem, because... its indoctrinated/propagandized people keep voting these corruptible/corrupted stooges into power. It doesn't even matter if YOU BELIEVE that any person you vote into High Office will have your hopes, needs or concerns at the core of their manifestos. Once they get into power, Royalty takes over, Profit rules. Wars commence. Lives are lost. Amoral negotiations about Your Future begin.We are all able to make the world a better place.We all know the…
  • Free Planet's favourite 9/11-truth video - fun and funky - concise and scathing

    19 Apr 2015 | 10:14 am
    I love this concise and scathing, fun and funky, 9/11-truth video from James Corbett - it's well worth re-viewing.OH, AND HERE'S ANOTHER: and this one's a classic because it goes into great detail about the potential who's and why's and what's of the actions of the people on the day, The Controllers maybe of the whole GAME PLANIn the legal arena of The Evidential System this would be 'enough evidence' to hang most of the involved. But it won't hang all those involved in the Private Military Exercise to govern global influence with False Flaggings. It's your gov's who are to blame, they're…
  • Dawn by Dario Marianelli features in Hans Zimmer's INTERSTELLAR soundtrack?

    19 Apr 2015 | 2:41 am
    I watched it, last night, Christopher Nolan's INTERSTELLAR and its very strange narrative structure of betrayal. Mostly, and love. Really enjoyed it. A lot. It was clever, as are most Nolan films, clever and cunning in a mind-manipulation way. It was very tense when it needed to be, too. And the excellent soundtrack added to the drama. But there was this recurrent musical theme running throughout the film that kinda ground on my ear a bit.When the film ended, I raced onto the internet to try to find similar discussion from people who'd also been annoyed by the lick, the trinket, the musical…
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    Tiny Godzilla

  • These changes ain't changing me

    23 Apr 2015 | 6:06 pm
    I'm back! And I'm still eyeballs deep in work! Thus the silence since I returned from Pasadena on Tuesday night, I'm afraid. You would not BELIEVE how full an inbox can get when you're gone for three whole work days. Or maybe you would, I don't know. At any rate, it's been a mess, and things will continue to be a mess for awhile yet.To recap in brief: I had a marvelous time at the Children's Institute event, where I got to meet my awesome Scholastic publicist and a number of outstanding book buyers/vendors/reps/etc; I had an uneventful return trip; I had a freakout upon my arrival…
  • Where angels sing and spread their wings

    14 Apr 2015 | 1:56 pm
    Don't worry - no boring word metrics today. To sum up the last few (blog-free) days in brief: I finally finished up Chapelwood's copy edits, and then I had to leap immediately into some additional production work for I Am Princess X - specifically, the audio edition. If I am very, very lucky, I'll have this stuff wrapped up by the end of the week. If I'm not...I'm in trouble, because I have to make a very fast jaunt to Pasadena (also for Scholastic) on Sunday, and this stuff is due early next week.Alas, if you read that and thought, "Hey, I'm in Pasadena! Maybe I will come out and see you…
  • I rolled on as the sky grew dark

    9 Apr 2015 | 3:20 pm
    Here's recent progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp - where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges...or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)Project: The Toll Deadline: January 15, 2016New words written: 2562 (woot!)Present total word count: 16,982Things Accomplished in Fiction: Made it to the bar; flirted with someone out of our approved age range and/or league; watched part of a basketball game, and then…
  • Let me run with you tonight

    8 Apr 2015 | 2:45 pm
    Here's recent progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp - where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges...or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)Project: The Toll Deadline: January 15, 2016New words written: 1617Present total word count: 14,420Things Accomplished in Fiction: Left home in the rain, but it wasn't so bad; got a Coke; skipped pizza; made for the bar even though they won't serve us. And things were…
  • If I stay too long in trouble town

    7 Apr 2015 | 2:26 pm
    Here's recent progress on my rural gothic monster story about small-town secrets, old family lies, accidental legend-tripping, and a missing newlywed in the Okefenokee swamp - where you can drive SR 177 from west to east and cross six bridges...or take it from east to west, and you might hit seven. (But you’d better hope not.)Project: The Toll Deadline: January 15, 2016New words written: 1527Present total word count: 12,803Things Accomplished in Fiction: Another leg in the new beginning; said good-bye to the godmothers (temporarily) and set off down the road, where things got weird.Things…
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  • Alan Jacobs on Bête

    Adam Roberts
    14 Apr 2015 | 7:12 am
    Hard to think of a contemporary writer-critic I esteem more highly than Alan Jacobs. Over at his 'New Atlantis' blog Text Patterns, he gives his reactions to reading Bête.
  • Caroline Edwards and me, 12th May 2015

    Adam Roberts
    14 Apr 2015 | 1:55 am
    Hope to see you there.
  • Looking Forward: 2016

    Adam Roberts
    14 Apr 2015 | 1:49 am
    Nothing finalised yet, but it looks like this could be an early-ish 2016 release.
  • Looking Back: 2014

    Adam Roberts
    14 Apr 2015 | 1:31 am
    Now that the awards season is out of the way, time for a little reflection. 2014 was a good year for me, creatively. I appreciate that I write a certain kind of novel, and it's not a kind of novel that delights all comers. That said, I would say that in Bête I achieved a greater proportion of what I was setting out to do than in any previous novel of mine. It ended up a weirdly personal novel, actually, which makes it harder than it might otherwise be for me to gauge. Nonetheless I stand by what I say in the book's afterword, that it is the best of me. I also published a bunch of short…
  • Jews versus Zombies

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

  • And in Other News...

    21 Apr 2015 | 10:20 am
    In order to support my increasing bead habit, I've opened an Etsy store.If you're interested in my beadwork, you should first check out what I've offered for the Con or Bust auction because, well, good works and all.But if nothing there appeals, please do check out MadForBeads (yeah, I know. All the cool names were already taken...) and see what appeals there.  Here's a bit of wot I got:
  • The Con or Bust Auction is Live

    21 Apr 2015 | 10:15 am
    Hurrah! And once again I've put some of my beadwork up for auction.  There are (in no specific order) an orange and amber beaded cuff, a black and red Russian Spiral Bracelet, and a red and black spiral necklace. All handmade by, like, me.Plus huge amounts of other cool stuff.  Go look! Go bid!
  • And the Stress Is Less... Stressful

    17 Apr 2015 | 6:53 pm
    Stand down, internet. Everything that needed to be resolved (in its vaguebooking way) has been resolved.Meanwhile: still jobless, but plunking away at the job market. They will fall before my persistence.
  • Got Stress?

    9 Apr 2015 | 10:56 am
    Why, yes. Yes I do.Sorry for vaguebooking, but some stories are not mine to tell. They just overlap mine. Sigh.
  • Look, Up in the Sky! It's a Bird! It's a Plane! It's Emily

    3 Apr 2015 | 7:49 pm
    Of course there's a story, but I'm not telling.
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    Rudy's Blog

  • “Dangerous Pass,” Journals, SF Scenes, Talk & Panel

    20 Apr 2015 | 7:40 am
    Today’s eye candy, my latest painting. This one took me about thirty hours, a lot of layers and detail. “Dangerous Pass” oil and acrylic on canvas, April, 2015, 40” x 30”. Click for a larger version of the painting. I painted Dangerous Pass to help previsualize a scene in my novel Million Mile Roadtrip. My chracters are on an endless world, and they’re migrating from one Earth-sized basin to the next. They have two flying mascots, one is a UFO named Nunu, the other is a blobby creature who calls herself Meatball. My party includes Villy and Zoe in front, being lovers, with Villy…
  • Mojo Working. JOURNALS Funded.

    31 Mar 2015 | 12:09 pm
    I got my writing mojo back, returned from the underworld one more time, and I’m busy with my next novel Million Mile Roadtrip again, piling on the eyeball kicks, the unlikely incidents, and the rude dialog. Having fun with it. Kicking with my third hip. Like a Puppeteer, if you remember those three-legged guys from Niven’s classic Ringworld. Here’s my current design for the cover for my Journals. You can click on it to make it bigger. I made it to the fundraising goal for my Kickstarter drive a couple of days ago. Many thanks to you kind and generous souls out there. The odd…
  • My Journals Project.

    18 Mar 2015 | 3:30 pm
    So I’m about to launch a new book, my Journals 1990-2014 written over the last twenty-five years. The finished volume is as long as three or four novels combined. A long-running adventure. Kind of tour of my life. Me in 2004 leading students in Geneseo, NY, on a “reality tour” including the house where my novel White Light is set. Editing the Journals was a pleasant, nostalgic exercise—and it’s given me a clearer idea about what kind of person I am. The image above shows an early marked-up draft proof, which has a different cover from the final version. The final cover is more like…
  • Skiing in Wyoming. New Hip.

    8 Mar 2015 | 1:21 pm
    Sylvia and I were in Pinedale, Wyoming, for four nights, visiting our daughter Isabel. You fly into Jackson Hole, and wham, you’re in the Tetons. Isabel has a jewelry store in Pinedale. I love looking at all the stuff in her shop. Nothing more fascinating than the studio of a working artist. For me the high point of the trip was when I went cross-country skiing on virgin snow on a high mountain ridge above Fremont Lake with Isabel and her husband Gus. Such a feel of being on another planet. On the trip I was reading Kim Stanley Robinson’s 2312 all the while. Alternating between feeling…
  • 3 New Paintings for MILLION MILE ROAD TRIP

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

  • Business Musings: The Freelance Scramble Part Three: The Unthinkable

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    22 Apr 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Two weeks ago, I wrote what I thought would be a short post explaining a term I’d used, “the freelance scramble.” Only that post turned out longer than expected. In fact, I realized I had a short series here. The freelance scramble happens when the cash doesn’t flow the way that a writer expects it too. Longtime freelancers have learned the dance that I call the freelance scramble, which is mostly about replacing expected income with something else. Last week, I explained how the scramble actually takes place. But the week before, I explained why freelancers have to scramble. Most of…
  • Free Fiction Monday: Precious Moments

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    20 Apr 2015 | 11:00 am
    Linameyer prides himself on his open-mindedness. So, when Martina challenges that belief, and wants him to interview her roommate on the radio to prove it, he agrees to meet Rosaura. But the meeting makes matters worse. Even though it’s 1989 and Rosaura looks to be in her early twenties, she claims to have danced for Evita Perón. Linameyer knows that’s not possible, yet Martina insists on the truth of Rosaura’s story. Martina wants Linameyer to believe the impossible. But doing so could change everything both hold dear. “Precious Moments” by USA Today bestselling author…
  • Business Musings: The Freelance Scramble Part Two: The Actual Scramble

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    15 Apr 2015 | 9:45 pm
    I initially promised you in last week’s post that we’d discuss the bleakest of the bleak moments in a freelancer’s career—when no one pays, for whatever reason—and we will, just not this week. Because I wrote the next blog post, and honestly, aside from depressing me, I kept alluding to other important things I would get to. Instead, I’m putting that post last or second-to-last in this little sequence, and writing about the actual scramble. Last week, I discussed the three charts that a writer who does her annual planning should have. They are cash flow charts. To recap just a…
  • And Now Things Get Rough

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    14 Apr 2015 | 12:54 pm
    Here we go. Vigilantes, which is the sixth book in the Anniversary Day Saga, appeared today. And with it, we begin what I call when I’m writing a book (or a story or a long story like this one), “the slide to the end.” Yep, things are changing, and the story you thought you were reading might not be the story you were reading at all. Cue evil chuckle here. Because I know what awaits you, not just in this book, but in the remaining two.  You can now get Vigilantes on all online retailers and in all brick-and-mortar stores. If your favorite brick-and-mortar store…
  • Free Fiction Monday: Sole Survivor

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    13 Apr 2015 | 12:00 pm
    From the award-winning, bestselling Retrieval Artist Universe comes a story about a pulse-pounding race for survival and a foreshadowing of dangerous events yet to unfold. Takara Hamasaki made plans to leave the far-flung starbase for weeks, but something always stopped her. Until today. Now, she finds herself running for her life as bodies fall all around her, cut down by dozens of identical-looking men. If only she can reach her ship, maybe she can escape. Because one thing seems perfectly clear: The men attacking the starbase plan to leave no survivors. “Sole Survivor,” by USA Today…
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  • Signing tonight in Sharjah!

    24 Apr 2015 | 11:42 pm
    Tonight I will be doing a signing; details can be found below and on the events page. This will be my last public event for this trip to the UAE and I want to sign your books! As always, if you want email reminders of when I'll be appearing in a city near you, simply sign up for my newsletter and tell me what city you want notifications for.Sharjah, UAE – Sharjah Children's Reading FestivalDate: Saturday, April 25, 2015Time: 18:00–19:00Place: Sharjah Children's Reading Festival, Hall 5Address: Expo CentreAl taawun Street, Al taawun, - إمارة الشارقةّ Sharjah, UAE Phone Number:…
  • Sharjah Children's Reading Festival + Updates

    20 Apr 2015 | 7:48 pm
    This afternoon I am heading off to the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival in the United Arab Emirates. For those of you who are in the vicinity, I look forward to seeing you there! So far I've listed a panel on Thursday the 23rd on my events calendar, and I'll try to add more details when they're forthcoming.In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, What Do I Do With All This Blank Space?, we talk about how to fill the space on the first few pages of your story. Those are the few pages where you have to convince the reader to keep going, as the first page is often the only opportunity you…
  • The Rithmatist ebook sale in the UK + Updates

    13 Apr 2015 | 3:56 pm
    Good news for everyone in the UK! The Rithmatist is on sale on Kindle (and may be price-matched at other vendors) until May 4th. I have country-specific links in the tabs here. And for everyone else (including those in the UK), my novella Perfect State came out a couple of weeks ago, if you missed the news.And some more awesome news: Rhode Island teens voted, and Steelheart has tied for the 2015 Rhode Island Teen Book Award. Thanks to all of my readers there! Firefight is out now, and I’m hard at work on the final book in the trilogy, Calamity. I’ve passed the 50% mark and should finish…
  • New Writing Excuses episode + Updates

    6 Apr 2015 | 3:37 pm
    There is a new Writing Excuses episode this week: How Much of the Beginning Needs to Come First? We all have cool things we want to put in our stories, which means we need what sets it up earlier. In this episode we talk about how to determine which of these elements needs to come first.Last week, in’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Carl Engle-Laird finished off the last chapter in Part 2 and waved a sad farewell to a sinking ship. This week, Alice Arneson wraps up Part 2 briefly, then moves on to an examination of the Listener songs in the Part 2 Epigraphs.My…
  • Minicon 50 starts today!

    2 Apr 2015 | 11:01 am
    Minnesota! I'm in Minneapolis for Minicon starting today, and I'm also signing in St. Paul on Saturday. Here's my complete schedule.Thursday6:00 PM – EdinaBrandon Sanderson Creative Writing Lecture Live Broadcast TapingWatch Brandon Distance Teach his Brigham Young University course entitled “How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy” over the internet. The course is focused on the nuts and bolts of having a writing career. Characterization, worldbuilding, plotting and publication will be presented to you and to his class simultaneously via telepresence technology. (6:00–7:20 PM)8:00…
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    Inhuman Swill

  • Your attention is Justified

    17 Apr 2015 | 9:36 am
    I'm not here to tell you about Justified, the Elmore Leonard–based FX television series that ended this week after six terrific seasons. I'm not here to tell you why it was my favorite show, or why I look forward to rewatching it even more than Breaking Bad. I'm not here to praise the writing, the directing, or the acting, or to lament the fact that it never found more than a cult audience.I'm just here to present this playlist I assembled of some great Justified moments, so you can see for yourself how much fun it was—that is, if sarcastic gunslinging U.S. Marshals tangling with…
  • Progress Report: THE ACCIDENTAL TERRORIST is on track for this fall!

    12 Mar 2015 | 10:12 am
    When I announced last October that I would be self-publishing my memoir this year, I optimistically thought I could have it out by the spring. Spring is now right around the corner, and I think I can say with some confidence that ... er, The Accidental Terrorist will be available no sooner than this fall.But that's the only bad news I have to report! I've been very busy these past five months, and I'd like to tell you a little about it. As many drafts of this memoir as I've done, I've never quite been happy with it, so my first order of business was hiring an editor. Fortunately for me, I…
  • When a sentence doesn't end with a period

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

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

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

  • SFWA Griefcom to the rescue

    Douglas Smith
    22 Apr 2015 | 10:11 am
    [Note: SFWA (the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, and as part of their celebrations, they have asked a number of members to participate in a SFWA 50th Anniversary Blog Tour. I offered up the post below. The first post went up on Monday, and mine is featured today. You can check out the ongoing series by going to this page. I've also included my post below in this blog. In case you don't know, here's some info on SFWA from their website: SFWA is a professional organization for authors of science fiction, fantasy and related genres.
  • Foreign Market List updates

    Douglas Smith
    10 Apr 2015 | 9:48 am
    For the short story writers who follow this blog, I've just posted a bunch of updates to the Foreign Market List:: World of English (China): Email address no longer working Spin (Finland): Website link updated but submission email address no longer working Revista SRSFF (Romania): new name (Fantastica) and website. Same editor and email Alfa Eridiani (Spain): no longer accepts submissions in English Intercom-SF (Italy): May return but currently not publishing
  • Updated schedule: Ad Astra, Toronto April 10-12

    Douglas Smith
    8 Apr 2015 | 11:24 am
    Here's my updated schedule for the Ad Astra convention this weekend. The only change is the signing session from 2-4pm on Saturday. Signing Session: Date: Saturday, April 11 Time: 2:00 - 4:00 PM Room: Richmond A, Richmond B   When the Gods Run Amok: Ancient, New and Urban Mythology Date: Saturday, April 11 Time: 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM Room: Markham B Panellists: Chadwick Ginther, Kelley Armstrong, Marie Bilodeau   Urban fantasy gives us the chance to play around with our archetypal fairy tales and mythology. We can bring the gods down to our level and we get to bring magic into the everyday.  …
  • 2015 Aurora Awards: Nominations are open!

    Douglas Smith
    23 Mar 2015 | 6:58 pm
    The nomination period is now open for the 2015 Aurora Awards, recognizing the best of Canadian SF and Fantasy. This year, my writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction, is eligible to be nominated. Your support would be truly appreciated. Any Canadian citizen or permanent resident may nominate for the Auroras. If you're interested in nominating but haven't read the book, I'd be happy to send you a PDF copy for your review. Just email me. You can also check out all of the eligible works at the Aurora Award site. "We short story writers have needed a book…
  • More on George Monbiat's study of wolves in Yellowstone

    Douglas Smith
    22 Mar 2015 | 12:47 pm
    I blogged earlier about a fascinating TED talk that George Monbiat gave concerning his studies into the amazing and widespread effects that occurred from the reintroduction of a very small number of wolves to Yellowstone National Park in the US.  I have a particular personal interest in efforts around the world to try to reverse the negative impact of humankind on animal habitats. This issue was one of the themes in my novel The Wolf at the End of the World, and this study was both encouraging and counter-intuitive in many ways. Who would have guessed that bringing back wolves could impact…
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  • Coincidence

    11 Apr 2015 | 7:17 am
    Probably anyone who has ever done even the slightest amount of research has experienced those lovely moments of serendipity when you just happen upon the book you needed (even when you didn't know what it was). It seems to happen even more often with research into occult subjects. I'm currently reading (slowly) The Magicians of the Golden Dawn: A Documentary History of a Magical Order 1887-1923 by Ellic Howe. The subtitle kind of gives it away -- it sounds like a thesis, and it is not the most exciting of reading experiences; but it does feel very factual, with dates pinned down and long…
  • 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…
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    Rules for Anchorites

  • Holding the Hugos–and the English Language–Hostage for Fun and Profit

    Living for the Revel
    8 Apr 2015 | 1:00 pm
    The Hugo nominees were announced on Saturday. It is now Wednesday. In internet days, that’s about a decade. Enough for me to read through several 1000-comment threads about What Happened, to laugh, to cry, to be disgusted, to be angry, for my face to get stuck in permanent dropped-jaw mode. And to move from information gathering to a little analysis. Everything that can be said about how incredibly unpleasant this whole situation is has been said, so I won’t add my two WTFs to it. If you don’t know what I’m referring to, there are lots of places to read about it.
  • Hey California! Come see Cat at Rakestraw Books TONIGHT!

    Living for the Revel
    9 Mar 2015 | 1:14 pm
    FOGcon’s come and gone, but Cat’s still in the California area and will be doing a reading in Danville tonight! Drop by Rakestraw Books at 7 PM to meet Cat and hear her read from The Boy Who Lost Fairyland. To find Rakestraw Books, or contact them about the event, check out the contact information below: 3 Railroad Avenue Danville, CA 94526 925-837-7337 If you get any pictures at the event, share them on social media with the #Fairyland tag! Mirrored from Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.
  • Where to Find Cat at FOGcon

    Living for the Revel
    5 Mar 2015 | 7:20 pm
    Going to FOGcon this weekend? CMV will be there as one of their Honored Guests! Read on to find out where you can find Cat at the con. Local to Walnut Creek, CA? If you missed the pre-registration window for FOGcon, or missed that Cat’s going to be there, you can still show up and grab day or weekend passes! Check out FOGcon’s Registration page for the details. And this is where you’ll find CMV: Friday, 4:30-5:45 PM: Stories within Stories within Stories within Stories… Location: Salon A/B Panelists: Elwin Cotman, Phyllis Holliday, Andrés Santiago Pérez-Bergquist,…
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland

    Living for the Revel
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:43 am
    The fourth book in the Fairyland series, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, is out today! Yes, that is a boy and Chicago and a knitted wombat on the cover. Do not fear! This is still a series about September and her adventures in Fairyland, and you will absolutely find out what happened after the admittedly cliffhangery end of the third book. Fairyland has become such an awfully big world that I thought it time to show a glimpse of the bigger picture. This is the Changeling book--a book about the other children who go back and forth from Fairyland--the ones who are required to wear identifying…
  • The Boy Who Lost Fairyland

    Living for the Revel
    3 Mar 2015 | 7:40 am
    The fourth book in the Fairyland series, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, is out today! Yes, that is a boy and Chicago and a knitted wombat on the cover. Do not fear! This is still a series about September and her adventures in Fairyland, and you will absolutely find out what happened after the admittedly cliffhangery end of the third book. Fairyland has become such an awfully big world that I thought it time to show a glimpse of the bigger picture. This is the Changeling book–a book about the other children who go back and forth from Fairyland–the ones who are required to wear…
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    Paperback Writer

  • Quick Fixes

    Lynn Viehl
    26 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    I'm a bit shocked to hear that so many Americans are broke apparently because they eat out too much. We rarely go out to eat any more because of restaurant prices (going up) and quality and quantity (definitely going down.) I also find it difficult to eat out because my diet restricts me from eating about 90% of what's on any menu, so I generally have fish. I like fish, but oy, you get tired of it fast when everyone else is eating steak smothered with onions and bleu cheese crumbles. I know getting into the habit of home cooking takes some commitment, and coming up with quick/easy/appetizing…
  • Timing, Everything

    Lynn Viehl
    25 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    We had some friends over and ordered in Chinese, and this was the sunny little fortune that came out of my cookie:After receiving this and a couple other unsolicited but really lovely positive messages lately, I've decided that the universe is cheerleading me. It happens every now and then, usually when I'm busy but feeling good and really in no need of pom poms. Which means . . . hell if I know. This is what I would like know: Where are the pom poms when I truly need them? Like 2014, remember that rollercoaster ride, universe? Or when I got shin splints last month, and realized it only when…
  • Completely Bananas

    Lynn Viehl
    24 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    Here's a look at how Chiquita Bananas' fun Nana Serif font was created (with background music, for those of you at work): Chiquita - Making of Banana font from Erik Post on Vimeo.
  • Just Write

    Lynn Viehl
    23 Apr 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: I'm bending the Just Write rules a little today by posting an old partial I've always wanted to finish. I did do a bit of rewriting and clean-up on it today, but it was already three full chapters, which is why there is so much of it. I'm still trying to decide if I want to continue on with it, but while I do, you can check out Ghost Writer.For more details on Just Write Thursdays, click here to go to the original post.Image credit: windujedi
  • Journal Secrets

    Lynn Viehl
    22 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    In today's all-digital, all-public-all-the-time age I think it's becoming more important than ever to keep some things hand-written and personal. Yes, this is yet another Why Aren't You Journaling? nag post. I know, it's not easy, and it generally requires you to write more than 140 characters, and it's a pain to upload to your Tumblr blog or Twitter thing or Facebook page. But with a little time and creativity you may discover it can be just as much fun as all the electronica.This is a pic of the journal I'm using this month for my personal chronicles, and we'll take a couple peeks inside so…
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    Bluejo's Journal

  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    23 Apr 2015 | 1:35 pm
    Words: 2937Total words: 54786Files: 6Tea: GABA DragonMusic: No musicReason for stopping: end of chapter, time to make dinnerSo that's chapter 20 done. I finally got the people out of the room and headed off in different directions!Is there an ungendered term for "fisherman"? I've managed to get away without using it so far, but I sort of need it for "I'm not a philosopher, only a fisherman. Plato's Allegory of the Cave is good enough for me." The person saying this is male, so he could say fisherman, but the two other people who work on the fishingboat are a woman and an alien, so it would be…
  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    22 Apr 2015 | 4:26 pm
    Words: 2905Total words: 51748Files: 6Tea: White tea with Elderflower and Apricot, then Elderflower and LemonMusic: No musicReason for stopping: end of chapterSo that's chapter 19 done. Progress!
  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    21 Apr 2015 | 12:12 pm
    Words: 2789Total words: 48843Files: 6Tea: White OrchardMusic: Brandenberg ConcertosReason for stopping: end of chapter 18That chapter was much easier than the previous chapter! Now I have to figure out the next one. Always the way."Trying to use words. And every attemptIs a wholly new start, and a different kind of failureBecause one has only learned to get the better of wordsFor the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in whichOne is no longer disposed to say it. And so each ventureIs a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulateWith shabby equipment always deterioratingIn the general…
  • Thud: Necessity

    Jo Walton
    20 Apr 2015 | 12:55 pm
    Words: 2675Total words: 46032Files: 6Tea: Pu erh, then elderflower and lemonMusic: Brandenberg concertosReason for stopping: I was writing this on and off all weekend, not really stoppingChapter 17 done, very slow and annoying and containing too many people, but mostly OK now I think. Now working on chapter 18.Boat people -- if you were familiar with sailing schooners and really very familar with little Greek fishing boats (some of them with solar powered emergency motors, perhaps) and you saw a trireme for the first time, what would be the obvious things you'd notice and mention as…
  • Philisopher Kings ARC on Con or Bust

    Jo Walton
    20 Apr 2015 | 9:32 am
    The Con or Bust auction is live, and as usual they have a ton of great stuff -- go and see. There is a copy of the Philosopher Kings ARC, signed and with the word "Capitalize" hand-crossed-out by me, and if you want to bid, get over there and do so.(I only have one ARC left which I'm donating to the Balticon auction, which essentially means I have no ARCs left.)
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    Martha Wells

  • Fall of the House of Usher, Part Million

    21 Apr 2015 | 9:11 am
    If you've been following this blog for a while you may know we have had a lot of work done to our house in response to various problems (foundation work, plumbing, etc). At this point its basically had most of its insides replaced. (It was very solidly built - by amateurs - in 1969.)So a couple of weeks ago I smelled gas in the kitchen. The emergency gas company people came and said the hose and valve for the gas stove were incorrect and leaking and needed to be replaced. So I got an appointment with our regular plumber to come do that. As they were making the repairs, (I dread the words,…
  • Con or Bust Auction Starts Today

    20 Apr 2015 | 5:09 am
    Con or Bust, which helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions, starts today!. I've posted four entries, with a set of audio CDs for the Wheel of the Infinite audiobook, a signed set of the Emilie books, a signed set of all the Raksura books, and a signed hardcover of Star Wars: Razor's Edge. There are all kinds of items up for auction, including signed books, jewelry, etc. Items are still being submitted for the auction, so if you don't see something you want to bid on, keep checking!
  • Raksura Answers

    15 Apr 2015 | 8:20 am
    pilgrim3 asked: tool use by the Aeriat. I know that the Arbora use tools (anvils, etc., have been mentioned), but it seems rare that the Aeriat use tools at all. Is not using tools the norm for them? Or are there exceptions lurking in future books?And an odd question - what is your next favorite race to write about in the 3 Worlds setting?They do when they need to, but it's more from necessity, where the Arbora always used tools for things like making their living spaces more comfortable, making art, etc. The Arbora make all the material goods for the colony because they put a high priority…
  • Good News and Various

    14 Apr 2015 | 9:07 am
    YAY!!!! I just got a great Publishers Weekly review for Stories of the Raksura: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below! "The Raksura world features innovative and alien creatures; Wells thinks far outside the humanoid fantasy box. The line between animal and person is drawn extremely thin, and the power structure among the races resembles nature more than it resembles any human civilization. With a strong sense of adventure, horror, and mystery, this is an enjoyable read for fantasy fans seeking a new series to sample."I also got an invite to be on the WorldCon program, so I decided to go ahead…
  • Monday

    13 Apr 2015 | 6:39 am
    We had a situation this weekend where I kept smelling gas in the kitchen, just a little bit. After overcoming that whole "I'm just imagining it and if I call someone about it I'll be made to feel stupid and all but called/actually called a silly little girl" we called an appliance place and on their advice called the emergency gas company number, and it turned out it was an emergency. There's a leak in in the hose and valve connected to the stove, so that's turned off now and I need to call the appliance place again today to see if I can get the hose etc replaced.Then we found out the gas…
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    Reality Skimming

  • Interview with Sandra Wickham April 2015

    David Lott
    15 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Sandra Wickham lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and two cats. Recently, Sandra has been busy organizing the Creative Ink Festival for Writers, Readers and Artists, which you are welcome to join on Saturday, 25 April. To find out more about Sandra and the festival, please visit Sandra is also a writer and her short stories have appeared in Evolve, Vampires of the New Undead, Vampires of the Future Undead, Crossed Genres magazine, The Urban Green Man and more. She blogs about writing with the Inkpunks, is the Fitness Nerd columnist for the Functional…
  • Interview with Charlotte Ashley

    David Lott
    1 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    Charlotte is a writer, editor, bookseller, book collector, book historian and Alexandre Dumas fanatic. She lives in Toronto with her husband, two daughters and books. She reviews speculative fiction short stories over at Apex Magazine, where she is also the Reprints Editor. Charlotte has several short stories published, the latest is "La Héron," which appeared in the March/April issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. You can find more about Charlotte at Interview by Christel Bodenbender Your short story "La Héron" has just been published in the…
  • Interview with Colleen Anderson

    David Lott
    4 Mar 2015 | 4:11 pm
    Colleen Anderson has published nearly 200 pieces of fiction and poetry in such places as Chilling Tales, Evolve, Horror Library and Cemetery Dance. She has been poetry editor for the Chizine, host of the Vancouver ChiSeries, co-editor for Tessearcts 17 and The Playground of Lost Toys, as well as a freelance copyeditor. She has been twice nominated for the Aurora Award, received honorable mentions in the Year’s Best anthologies and been reprinted in Imaginarium and Best of Horror Library (forthcoming). New works for 2015 will be in Nameless, Second Contact, Our World of Horror, OnSpec, Polu…
  • Interview with Sandra Wickham

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

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

  • Sale: “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” to Asimov’s

    22 Apr 2015 | 6:16 am
    Quite pleased to announce I’ve sold my novella “The Citadel of Weeping Pearls” to Asimov’s for their Oct/Nov 2015 issue, aka “Xuya meets time-travel”. More info (including rough cover copy) here. It’s about the same length as On a Red Station, Drifting, so more of a short novel, really (34k words); with four POV characters and a fairly complex plot that includes an entire imperial court, thirty-two dead emperors emulated on complex hardware, and a science laboratory in a derelict tea-house; and a lot of familial relations and moral quandaries.
  • The stories I wanted to read

    11 Apr 2015 | 5:03 am
    I’m ten, and voraciously reading–bespectacled, and a head shorter than everyone in class, good at maths and utterly oblivious to the fact that I’m different from everyone else (only later will I work out that the string of people asking me “where do you come from” are comparing me to a class that’s 99.99% white and Catholic, and where the next most diverse person is the lone Ashkenazi Jewish kid, who probably isn’t having a great time either). I take to Science Fiction and Fantasy [1] like a fish to water: people fleeing this world for another; the…
  • Eastercon

    31 Mar 2015 | 8:02 am
    Just a quick reminder I’ll be at Eastercon this year, but just Friday and Saturday (have a snakelet to take care of after that :p). My schedule is here (with many thanks to Tim and Judi for working out miracles). Note that my reading has moved compared to the original time: it’s now Saturday at 12:30 (and I’ll be reading from House of Shattered Wings, so if you’re curious about the novel, this is the place!). Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • Reminder: North London Lit fest

    23 Mar 2015 | 11:42 pm
    Just a reminder I’ll be a guest at North London Lit Fest tonight, 17:30-19:30–where I’ll be taking part in a panel with Stephanie Saulter and Farah Mendlesohn. More info here; it takes place at Middlesex University, Hendon Campus. Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
  • Cover reveal: House of Shattered Wings (US edition)

    18 Mar 2015 | 3:05 am
    So… September is just around the corner, and I’m quite happy to reveal the US cover for House of Shattered Wings, aka “OMG OMG so pretty” (also, creepy. Yes, this is a dark fantasy book, why do you ask? :p). The art is by Nekro, who also did this lovely piece I pinned on Pinterest a while back. A book about a devastated Paris, fallen angels and the ruins of a once great House? Sounds about right! (more seriously, I really like this. It’s got oodles of atmosphere, it says creepy in all the right places, and the burning feathers are just a lovely touch from the…
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    Mostly English

  • Eating Authors: Cat Rambo

    20 Apr 2015 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> I have a crazy crazy week ahead, culminating with me spending the second half of it down in Richmond, VA as a GOH at RavenCon. But unless you’re going, you probably don’t care about that; you’re hear for authors and what they eat, so let’s get to that. Okay, time for full disclosure. This week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Cat Rambo and I have a history. Her first collection, Eyes Like Sky and Coal and Moonlight, was the first collection I published with my small press, Paper Golem. As…
  • Eating Authors: Philippa (Pip) Ballantine

    6 Apr 2015 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> You often hear how writing is a very solitary endeavor, and that’s certainly been my experience. Which makes successful collaborations pretty amazing. But even more incredible is when the writing duo are not just in work partners, but life partners as well. The best example I know are Sharon Lee and Steve Miller. But I’m proud to be hosting a second pair here on EATING AUTHORS. You met Tee Morris last month. This week we hear from his better half, Philippa Ballantine. As you may have inferred from…
  • Eating Authors: Ferrett Steinmetz

    30 Mar 2015 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> Over the weekend, I had the great pleasure to spend time with a number of Philadelphia authors who had gathered to celebrate some of their own. There was a wonderful blend of old guard and shiny newcomers, fans and pros, and a delightful array of out-of-towners from both north and south who made a brief book store event (and the party afterwards) feel like the good parts version of a convention. Alas, all too quickly it was time to leave, and join the flow of traffic and road construction that eventually saw…
  • Eating Authors: Tee Morris

    23 Mar 2015 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> Every year it seems there’s a point where you look up and suddenly realize that the year seems to be whizzing by. For me and for this year, it’s just happened. How can it possibly be late March already? How is it we have crossed that rotational marker of the vernal equinox? But no, I’m not going to wax on about temporal relativity (though I suspect doing so might slow things down considerably). Instead let’s move on and talk about this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Tee Morris.
  • Eating Authors: Simon R. Green

    9 Mar 2015 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> For the past couple of Mondays, we’ve featured some debut novelists. This week we visit the other end of the spectrum and cross the pond to meet up with the U.K.’s indefatigable Simon R. Green. Here at EATING AUTHORS we have a special rock, and if you aren’t familiar with Simon’s work it’s because you’ve been hiding under that rock; which means you owe us back rent, but we’ll call it even if you instead go out and read some of his stuff. The really curious thing about…
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    The Urtaru Chronicles

  • The Story of Armenian Genocide survivors rebuilding their lives in the Middle East

    Armen Chakmakjian
    25 Apr 2015 | 1:41 pm
    Below the dotted line you will find the story of my father from birth to 1956 when he came to the US.  My father, Joseph, died of lung cancer in 2000. While his health was declining, I sat with him over several occasions and typed out his recollections of his life as he dictated them […]
  • Do you know why there is an Armenian Diaspora?

    Armen Chakmakjian
    20 Apr 2015 | 9:05 pm
    At the end of a documentary on Armenians a few years ago on PBS, Elie Wiesel told a brief anecdote about how he had asked Turkish leadership about the Armenian question. He ended this 5 or 6 sentence recollection with his opinion on their reaction.  It was something to the effect of “Their reaction was […]
  • Reports of the Armenian Exodus from Harpoot in 1915

    Armen Chakmakjian
    18 Apr 2015 | 5:50 pm
    I found a 4th page and added it to the original blog post. Reports of the Armenian Exodus from Harpoot in 1915.Filed under: Random
  • Reports of the Armenian Exodus from Harpoot in 1915

    Armen Chakmakjian
    18 Apr 2015 | 7:23 am
    I came across this document. I have little commentary to add; what is written here is so horrific it needs little qualification.       Filed under: Random
  • 1.5 Million

    Armen Chakmakjian
    16 Apr 2015 | 5:07 pm
    Originally posted on The Urtaru Chronicles:Today, April 24, 2014, Armenians all over the world remember a tragedy that befell our Ottoman Armenian ancestors 99 years ago. ?That tragedy was so horrific to the world that a new word, genocide, was created to describe what the Young Turk regime perpetrated. ?The Ottoman Armenian population was…
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  • Cara Mengecilkan Perut Yang Cepat Dengan Sedot Lemak

    24 Apr 2015 | 11:28 pm
    Smart Detox – Anda bosan dengan perut buncit anda? Perut buncit memang musuh semua orang. Lemak yang terkumpul di perut itu buruk sekali. Biasanya perut buncit yang anda miliki hanya akan jadi bahan olok – olok oleh teman – teman… Continue Reading →
  • Cara Mengecilkan Perut Youtube Terbaru

    17 Apr 2015 | 10:45 pm
    Smart Detox – Apakah anda ingin perut langsing alami? Caranya mudah cukup dengan telaten dan rutin saja karena itu adalah modal utamanya. Perut merupakan bagian tubuh yang sangat terlihat sekali. Apalagi bagi semua orang yang melihatnya akan terlihat jelas sekali.… Continue Reading...
  • Trik Menjalnai Fitness Di Eleven Fitness Jakarta

    30 Mar 2015 | 8:40 pm
    Smart Detox – Fitness memberikan banyak manfaat bagi kalangan yang melakukannya. Salah satunya adalah menurunkan berat badan tubuh dan membentuk tubuh lebih berisi dan kuat. Namun untuk menjalaninya perlu rutinitas dan waktu yang teratur. Bisa langsung datang ke eleven fitness… Continue...
  • Mencari Fitness Expo Jakarta

    30 Mar 2015 | 2:03 am
    Bodytec Jakarta – Bagi anda yang bingung dalam mencari fitness expo Jakarta. Fitness sendiri merupakan olahraga bagi anda yang susah meluangkan waktu. Bagi anda yang memiliki masalah dalam hal berat badan bisa dengan mudah menjalankan fitness. Lakukanlah fitness secara rutin.… Continue...
  • Telah Dibuka, Celebrity Fitness in Jakarta

    26 Mar 2015 | 8:00 pm
    Bodytec Bintaro – Sudah banyak orang yang mencoba melakukan fitnes secara rutin. Paling tidak setiap minggu, mereka meluangkan waktunya untuk melakukan fitnes di celebrity fitness in jakarta. Mulai dari pria maupun wanita dengan berbagai latar belakang, seperti pekerja, ibu rumah…...
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    David Mack » David Mack »

  • Eleven Years and Cold Pizza

    David Mack
    24 Apr 2015 | 5:43 pm
    Today marks the eleventh anniversary of the best decision of my life — the day I married my wife, Kara. As is our tradition, we will be feasting tonight on cold pizza (with a good bottle of red wine to wash it down). This year’s pizzas are a capricciosa and a salsiciotta from Eataly in […]
  • Thank you for your patience

    David Mack
    23 Apr 2015 | 11:48 am
    If any of you who visited my site over the last couple of days noticed any weirdness, it’s because I’ve been making some technical changes behind the scenes. To the three or maybe four of you who were actually affected, I apologize for any inconvenience.
  • Welcome to Mordor, Inc!

    David Mack
    21 Apr 2015 | 1:50 pm
      21 Gwirith T.A. 3015   Ug Skullbiter 2nd Rock from the Red Sludge Pool East Mordor, Middle-earth Dear Ug Skullbiter, Congratulations! You have been chosen to serve as expendable fodder in the legions of the Dark Lord. We know you have your choice of cruel despots to serve in Beleriand, and we are proud […]
  • More Podcasty Goodness!

    David Mack
    17 Mar 2015 | 11:11 am
    As promised, here is the second half of my recent interview with Michael and Ros, hosts of The Captain’s Table on In Part Two of their new interview with me (recorded on January 30, 2015), we cover a number of subjects, including my recent and upcoming book projects. (Listen to Part One here.) Topics […]
  • Talkin’ Trek on The Captain’s Table

    David Mack
    16 Mar 2015 | 3:31 pm
    Because I’ve rarely met a podcast invitation I didn’t like, I spent a couple of hours back in January chatting about writing Star Trek and more with co-hosts Michael and Roz from The Captain’s Table on   We talked about some of my previous work, including the Star Trek Destiny and Star Trek: Cold […]
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    SF Signal

  • [Short Film] The Alchemist’s Letter

    25 Apr 2015 | 10:20 pm
    “The Alchemist’s Letter” is an animated short film in which a young man explores his late father’s lab and learns all about his father’s arcane invention, a device that can turn objects into gold, but at the price of his most precious memories. The short combines gorgeous steampunk elements with the gravitas of John Hurt’s narration with magical results. It tells two parallel stories – one of a father who sacrificed his memories to a machine capable of transforming metals into gold in the name of greed and a second about a son who is faced with the decision…
  • Sunday Cinema: The Fantastic Four (1994)

    John DeNardo
    25 Apr 2015 | 10:10 pm
    Sure, you saw the new trailer for the Fantastic Four reboot and now we’re in that awkward time between trailer and release date (August 2015). You can’t wait to see superheroes on the big screen and even Avengers: Age of Ultron doesn’t arrive until later this week. Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Keep yourself occupied with this terrible, terrible 1994 version of The Fantastic Four. I dare you to watch this for more than 10 minutes. The post Sunday Cinema: The Fantastic Four (1994) appeared first on SF Signal Copyright © SF Signal Related posts: Sunday Cinema:…
  • On My Radar: WAKE OF VULTURES by Lila Bowen / WELCOME TO NIGHT VALE by Joseph Fink & Jeffrey Cranor / THE BLOODFORGED by Erin Lindsey

    Rob H. Bedford
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:30 pm
    Here are a few books I’m looking forward to…   Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen (Orbit Books | October 27, 2015 | Cover design by Lauren Panepinto.) SYNOPSIS: A rich, dark fantasy of destiny, death, and the supernatural world hiding beneath the surface. Nettie Lonesome lives in a land of hard people and hard ground dusted with sand. She’s a half-breed who dresses like a boy, raised by folks who don’t call her a slave but use her like one. She knows of nothing else. That is, until the day a stranger attacks her. When nothing, not even a sickle to the eye can stop…
  • At Kirkus: The Highly Amusing Douglas Adams

    Andrew Liptak
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:22 pm
    I remember the moment very clearly: I was with my friend Erica at a writer’s conference in 2001, when we learned that Douglas Adams had passed away. It was the first time I was really struck that an author I enjoyed would no longer write something, and we both commiserated over the book that really really loved: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I read this book a number of times over the years, and I’ve always been struck at how *funny* it is. It’s remained so in that time, and one of the things I was later surprised at was how the book came to be. It’s…
  • Blue Man Group Performs the “Game of Thrones” Theme

    John DeNardo
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:15 pm
    In their inimitable style, the Blue Man Group performs the theme song to the show Game of Thrones. The post Blue Man Group Performs the “Game of Thrones” Theme appeared first on SF Signal Copyright © SF Signal Related posts: The Theme to HBO’s “Game of Thrones”…Played on a Kazoo Tuesday Tune: Game of Thrones Medley Tuesday Tune: “Glacial Place” by Echodrone
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    The World in the Satin Bag

  • Why I Don't Shop at Chain Bookstores (Often)

    24 Apr 2015 | 12:47 pm
    I live in a town which has very little in the way of independent bookstores.  There's one very tiny feminist bookshop, which is nifty, and a handful of comic shops, but there's little else.  If I want to shop somewhere that isn't a chain, department store, or Internet store, I have to wait for one of the two massive Friends of the Library events (one in the fall; one in the spring), which is always a zoo and hardly conducive to calm browsing.  Basically, I have few options.None of this would be a problem if I still had access to a Borders or a good independent bookstore.
  • Non-US SF/F Fandom Survey: Perspectives on the Hugo Awards

    23 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    As you might have heard, I've been working on a survey for non-US sf/f fans to get their perspective on the Hugo Awards (as the title suggests).  That survey went live yesterday.  If you are a non-US sf/f fan, please consider taking the survey to give your thoughts!Thanks!
  • The Future Blogging Game Plan Thing: Opinions Welcome

    22 Apr 2015 | 12:52 pm
    As I mentioned on Twitter the other day, I've started putting together a new structure for my online writing.  Today, I offer up one possible restructuring effort.  Your opinions are always welcome, even if you fundamentally disagree with the whole endeavor.On a side note:  I do plan to move this blog to its own website soon (to coincide with my own personal site).  I don't know if I will keep the World in the Satin Bag name, though I probably should.Here is the structure I'm considering:WISB would shift to an sf/f commentary and writing blog; most of what I'd offer here…
  • Book Review: Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

    21 Apr 2015 | 1:11 pm
    For someone who considers themselves a fan of Elizabeth Bear's work, I sure haven't talked about her work all that much on this blog.  Two of my favorite science fiction novels -- Carnival and Dust -- were written by Bear, so it should come as no surprised that her latest novel, Karen Memory, would entice me equally as much as her much earlier work.  This novel, of course, is not the same kind of thing as Carnival and Dust, both more connected to a long and storied tradition of science fictional writing.  Karen Memory is delicious late 19th-century pulp pastiche steampunk!Karen…
  • A Long List of Writing/Blogging Projects I Want to Do

    20 Apr 2015 | 4:50 pm
    As you may recall, I mentioned that I had started to reconsider the future of this blog and my various blogging/podcasting/writing projects.  The conversation preceding and surrounding that post have led me here:  a post about the things I would like to do.Obviously, I cannot do all of these things, but I know these are projects I want to complete or pursue at some point in my life.  Your opinions on anything listed here is greatly appreciated.  If anything leaps out at you as something you'd really be interested in, let me know in the comments.
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    Risingshadow - Science Fiction & Fantasy

  • A review of Sensorama (edited by Allen Ashley)

    16 Apr 2015 | 11:59 pm
    Sensorama (edited by Allen Ashley) was published by Eibonvale Press in March 2015. Information about Allen Ashley: Writer, editor, poet, writing tutor. Founder of Clockhouse London Writers. Latest book: "Dreaming Spheres" written with Sarah Doyle (PS Publishing/Stanza, 2014). His favourite sense is touch, just wouldn't want to be without the others. Click here to visit the editor's official website. Information about Sensorama: The Senses. We've all got them and are using them constantly. Even the Pinball Wizard had a couple. What's that sound? Did you see that? Don't let that touch me.
  • A review of Alexander Zelenyj's Forgotten Hymns of the Death Angels

    12 Apr 2015 | 1:06 pm
    Alexander Zelenyj's Forgotten Hymns of the Death Angels was published by Eibonvale Press in September 2014. Forgotten Hymns of the Death Angels is a signed and lettered limited edition chapbook/zine (softcover, 32 pages, 4 short stories). Information about Alexander Zelenyj: Alexander Zelenyj is the author of the books Songs For The Lost, Experiments At 3 Billion A.M., Ballads To The Burning Twins: The Complete Song Lyrics Of The Deathray Bradburys, and Black Sunshine. His fiction has been published in magazines and anthologies throughout the world. He lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. Visit…
  • GUEST POST: Dreaming in Genre by Betsy Dornbusch

    10 Apr 2015 | 10:58 pm
    Risingshadow has the honour of publishing a guest post by Betsy Dornbusch. Betsy Dornbusch is the author of a dozen short stories, three novellas, and three novels (Archive of Fire, Exile and Emissary). She also is an editor with the speculative fiction magazine Electric Spec and the longtime proprietress of Sex Scenes at Starbucks. Her latest novel, Emissary (The Seven Eyes, Book 2), was published by Night Shade Books in April 2015. GUEST POST: Dreaming in Genre by Betsy Dornbusch Read More...
  • An interview with Steve Diamond

    10 Apr 2015 | 11:30 am
    Risingshadow has had the honour of interviewing Steve Diamond. Steve Diamond founded and runs the review site, Elitist Book Reviews (, which was nominated for the Hugo Award in 2013, 2014 & 2015. He writes for Baen, Privateer Press, and numerous small publications. RESIDUE, a YA Horror novel, is his first full-length published work. He is also the editor of the Horror anthology, SHARED NIGHTMARES. AN INTERVIEW WITH STEVE DIAMOND Read More...
  • A review of Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction

    9 Apr 2015 | 11:49 am
    Hannu Rajaniemi: Collected Fiction will be published by Tachyon Publications in May 2015. Information about Hannu Rajaniemi: Hannu Rajaniemi, author of The Quantum Thief, The Fractal Prince, and The Causal Angel was born in Finland and completed his doctorate in Mathematical Physics at the University of Edinburgh. His works have received Finland's top science fiction honor, the Tahtivaeltaja Award, as well as the John W. Campbell Award for the best first science fiction novel in the United States. Rajaniemi lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and will be moving to San Francisco, California in 2015.
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    On Starships and Dragonwings

  • Updates from the Lair 4/26/15

    26 Apr 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!).  Hi lovelies! I’m writing this from the fiancee’s house since I finally got to go out and visit him this weekend! We went shopping for simple wedding bands for the upcoming legal marriage ceremony, applied for our marriage certificate, and bought some new clothes to look nice even though it’s just a legality thing ;-). The semester is almost…
  • The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson ARC Giveaway!

    25 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson I’m very excited to have a hotly anticipated sequel to share with you today :D. I’ve finished The Heart of Betrayal and so that means it’s time for me to pass it on to you so that I can have an excuse to buy a pretty hardcover ;-). Don’t know what this epic YA fantasy series is about? Here’s book one’s blurb: A princess must find her place in a reborn world. She flees on her wedding day. She steals ancient documents from the Chancellor’s secret collection. She is pursued by bounty hunters sent by her own…
  • Dewey’s Read-a-thon is Today!

    24 Apr 2015 | 9:03 pm
    It’s Read-a-thon Time! So I love the idea of read-a-thons because I love the excuse to do nothing but read. However, my fiancee lives two hours away and so for the past three years, every Saturday has been spent hanging out with him because we don’t see each other during the week. He’s started working weekends lately though because of a change in his schedule. I carefully calculated which weekends he was scheduled to work and lo and behold Dewey’s Read-a-thon was finally at a time when I could prioritize reading! Well, guess what happened between when I signed up and…
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

    23 Apr 2015 | 9:35 pm
    Link-up Your Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews and Giveaways! I’m a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan, to the point that that is really all I read anymore. Therefore, I decided to start a weekly feature where I get all of you to gather the sf/f reviews and giveaways you’ve published and found so that we can all discover new books, blogs, and giveaways in our favorite genres! Congrats to Kelly for winning last week, enjoy your books!! I’m getting to the point where I’ll need to be giving away boxes of these books soon, so keep your eye out for bigger ARC giveaways in the coming…
  • The Girl at Midnight by Melissa Grey eARC {3 Stars}

    23 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The Girl at Midnight is a story of feathered and scaled beings living hidden alongside humans and the human girl that ends up in the middle of a war. While I initially thought The Girl at Midnight would be very atmospheric and mysterious, it turned out to be a pretty straightforward quest for the item of ultimate power that would save everything with some really age inappropriate romance thrown in for good measure. I had extremely high expectations for The Girl at Midnight, so I am definitely disappointed that it ended up being not AMAZING, but it is still a fun YA fantasy that could develop…
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    ATG Reviews

  • Snow Crash Book Review

    2 Apr 2015 | 10:00 am
    “This Snow Crash thing–is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?”… “What’s the difference?”Buy on Amazon!Last year I tried to get into cyberpunk, so I picked up the book that started it all: Neuromancer.  While I appreciated the innovations and the fact that it predicted things about the internet before it became a global phenomenon, I really didn’t enjoy the story and more importantly I didn’t feel any emotional attachment to any of the characters. It’s one of the few instances where a genre defining book has left me disappointed, and I haven’t…
  • The Walking Dead Season Five Episode Eleven: The Distance TV Review

    The World Weary
    31 Mar 2015 | 12:30 pm
    Driving and Striving, as Fast as They CanIt’s finally catching up. AMC’s The Walking Dead is getting very close to eclipsing the extent of my knowledge of the comic series it’s based on. With this episode, we begin a slow climb to the events shown in the last half of The Walking Dead: Compendium Two, and since I’m a stickler, I refuse to read any further until they release the inevitable Compendium Three. So until then, the AMC series might just pull a Game of Thrones on me and surpass the source material. That said, the second half of Compendium Two featured some…
  • Porco Rosso Film Review

    30 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
    I’d Rather Be A Pig Than A FascistBuy on Amazon!Porco Rosso may not be one of Studio Ghibli’s best known films, but it’s still a film by Studio Ghibli and it’s still directed legendary anime director Hayao Miyazaki.  Magical realism has been a staple of Miyazaki’s style, and this film which chronicles the life a flying pig seems like it fits that typical Miyazaki staple.  Pig flying aside, this is actually one of the most historical and realistic films by the director. It also tackles a lot of adult issues like the role of woman in the early 20th century and…
  • Insurgent: Another Opinion (Non-Book Reader)

    The World Weary
    27 Mar 2015 | 12:34 pm
    The Neverending Boring: Part IILook at the poster above. Really look at it. Little to no color, a bland design, a character named “Four”, everything about it is just so boring! I remember walking up to the theater with The Wanderer and commenting on how stupid this poster is, and as we laughed at it, I began to worry. I was prepared for a bad film. I hated the first film, and from The Wanderer’s reviews of the book series, it only seemed logical that if the book series got worse, than the film series would follow suit, and though this turned out to be true, it was far worse…
  • Abhorsen Book Review

    26 Mar 2015 | 10:00 am
    Abhorsen Trilogy Book Three(Spoilers for the previous two books in the Abhorsen Trilogy are below).Buy on Amazon!The final installment of Garth Nix’s Abhorsen Trilogy lives up to some lofty expectations.  While I didn’t quite like it as much as Lirael or Sabriel, it was still an excellent conclusion to the series.  As a Young Adult fantasy trilogy this undoubtedly joins Phillip Pullman’s His Dark Materials and Jonathan Stroud’s Bartimaeus Trilogy as one of greatest Young Adult series’ out there..Lirael started to falter towards the end, but it came through with…
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    OMNI Reboot

  • Watch Omni Trailers: Keanu Reeves’ A Scanner Darkly

    Josh Epstein
    26 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    Sci-fi cinema fans are sure to love Keeanu Reeves in A Scanner Darkly. A Scanner Darkly is a 2006 animated science fiction thriller film directed by Richard Linklater based on the novel of the same name by Philip K. Dick. The film stars Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey, Jr., Woody Harrelson and Winona Ryder. The story revolves around an undercover cop, played by Reeves, in a not-too-distant future who becomes involved with a dangerous new drug and begins to lose his own identity as a result. The film was shot digitally and then animated using interpolated rotoscope, an animation technique in which…
  • Sci-Fi Humor: The Best Robot Pick Up Lines

    Esther Kim
    25 Apr 2015 | 6:00 am
    THESE ROBOT PICK UP LINES WILL HELP BRIDGE THE DIVIDE BETWEEN MAN AND MACHINE. Written By ESTHER KIM Esther is a Ph.D candidate in Philosophy/Science of Philosophy. She prefers not to philosophize during her free time, enjoys creating new muffin recipes, and obsesses over small puppies (specifically Huskies) If robots are built in the image of people, one day they may express the same emotions as people, including love. The creation of robots which look and act like human women would radically change how people approach sex. Some may not accept a relationship with an object, but others will…
  • Watch Curious Tech: League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s Submarine

    Esther Kim
    25 Apr 2015 | 5:00 am
    The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’s submarine became real curious tech with Boeing. The Boeing Company is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets and satellites. It also provides leasing and product support services. Boeing is among the largest global aircraft manufacturers, is the second-largest defense contractor in the world based on 2013 revenue, and is the largest exporter in the United States by dollar value. Boeing stock is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen is a…
  • Roadside Attractions: Idaho

    Esther Kim
    24 Apr 2015 | 1:52 pm
    IDAHO'S ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS INCLUDE THE CHANCE TO EXPLORE THE SURFACE OF THE MOON. Written By ESTHER KIM Esther is a Ph.D candidate in Philosophy/Science of Philosophy. She prefers not to philosophize during her free time, enjoys creating new muffin recipes, and obsesses over small puppies (specifically Huskies). As a writer for OMNI Reboot, I am always scanning for the next big thing to assimilate in the world of science fiction. This weekend, I have set course for Idaho. From exploring the surface of the moon to walking on movie sets, Idaho has something for everyone. Craters Of The…
  • Watch Curious Tech: Corning Glass

    Joshua Samuel Zook
    24 Apr 2015 | 10:29 am
    The glass made by Corning can be used for curious tech. Corning Incorporated is an American manufacturer of glass, ceramics, and related materials, primarily for industrial and scientific applications. The company was known as Corning Glass Works until 1989, when it changed its name to Corning Incorporated. In 1998 Corning divested itself of its consumer lines of CorningWare and Corelle tableware and Pyrexcookware selling them to World Kitchen, but still holds an interest of about 8%. As of 2014 Corning had five major business sectors: Display Technologies, Environmental Technologies, Life…
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    Revens Fang

  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 12

    Revens Fang
    24 Apr 2015 | 1:49 am
    Reven sailed through the air toward the floor. A large rock span into view as he descended. He hit the top, half sliding, half rolling and skidded down the sloped surface of the stone before coming to a rough stop at its base. Borengar wasn't so lucky and was thrown against the hard surface just below where the rock sloped away. He hit it with a crunch and a howl of pain and then fell to the ground in silence, landing in a heap on the opposite side to where Reven was now scrambling to his feet.Reven raced round the base of the rock, trying not to slip on the moist stone and moss of the…
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 11

    Revens Fang
    30 Mar 2015 | 2:37 am
    Reven and Borengar stood as still as statues as Krassner's words echoed from the walls of the vast cavern. They were on at the top of a stone stairway that had been carved into the rock at the back of the cavern. Below them hundreds of eyes looked up at their position. The dancing goblin shamans piercing shriek interrupted the silence as he raised a pointed finger at the pair and barked something in its foul tongue. As one the mass of goblins surged toward the bottom of the staircase. 'Shit', shouted Borengar as he made to run back up the sloping passage way that led away from…
  • Reven's Fang Artwork

    Revens Fang
    24 Mar 2015 | 9:30 am
  • Ush'gar

    Revens Fang
    23 Mar 2015 | 9:05 am
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 10

    Revens Fang
    23 Mar 2015 | 8:04 am
    Reven turned the sword over in his hands. There was no glimmer of light from the blade. The only colour present on it was a blood drop shaped ruby set into it's pommel which was apt considering the appetite for blood the sword seemed to have. Cruel arced spikes sat at the bottom of the blade above the fanged cross guard. Wherever this sword came from it was expertly made and light as a feather considering its size. The blade widened before the tip which would give it added momentum when swung. Reven stroked the metal of the sword with his hand and a name came unbidden into his mind; Blood…
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  • Exerpt: Camp NaNo April 2015
    8 Apr 2015 | 6:59 pm
    So, as busy as I am with April’s Camp NaNo, I didn’t have time to write a second full story for this week.  So, you’re getting an excerpt from the project that will be coming later in the summer!   Disclaimer: The following is first draft, and so may or may not make it into the final draft, either in part or entirety.   I came back to myself sitting in the driver’s seat of my van.  The engine wasn’t running.  That was good.  Very good.  I must have had time to get parked and turned off before the vision swept me away. For some reason, everything looked…
  • The Walk-In
    6 Apr 2015 | 9:00 am
    Dr. Griffith was not having a very good day. His waiting room was full, half his nurses were home sick with the flu, and a tickle in the back of his throat suggested that he might be getting sick, himself.  Unfortunately, he had no choice but to soldier on. Having just finished with a patient, he sat in the exam room finishing up paperwork, when Nurse Cole opened the door and inturrupted.  She was pretty in a waifish way that made it difficult for him to take her seriously, and her persistent habit of being nervous in his presence increasingly convinced him that she wasn’t fit to be a…
  • Sir Blanket
    3 Apr 2015 | 4:00 am
    The night light had gone out again and the room was dark where the little girl slept under a blanket decorated with a large drawing of a knight riding a brilliant white horse. Abruptly, she snapped awake, pulling the blanket up closer around her chin.  Her father said it would protect her from the monsters in the dark, and something was moving in the shadows. She was sure of it. As she stared wide-eyed around her bedroom, she couldn’t help but wonder: How could the knight protect her if he couldn’t see? “Daddy?” she whimpered.  She waited, breathlessly, for the…
  • News: CampNaNo and more
    1 Apr 2015 | 3:19 pm
    Camp NaNoWriMo Camp NaNo Kickoff is today!    I finally settled on a project, and even met my goal for today handily at 2032 words. For anyone who’s curious, here’s the one-sentence summary for my April project: When a reluctant psychic has a vision of a robbery that ends in murder, he must find a way to convince the police of the truth before he can be framed for the crime. It’s not the perfect summary, but it will do for now.  I think this is going to be a fun project to write! Writer’s Notebook: Writer of the Month I’ve been saving this up because I…
  • Marian
    30 Mar 2015 | 4:00 am
    “She’s so lifelike,” the young woman gasped, circling the statue. Five feet, three inches, cast in bronze, the statue depicted a nude woman artfully posed with her long flowing hair undulating elegantly over her shoulder, while she looked into the distance with a melanchology expression. At her feet, there was a plate that declared her name to be “Marian.” He had many beautiful statues, arranged in various nooks and crannies throughout the mansion, but Marian took pride of place, prominently displayed in the center of his front entry where she would be the first…
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