SciFi & Fantasy Novels

  • Most Topular Stories

  • Can You Answer These 10 Basic Questions About Space?

    OMNI Reboot
    OMNI Reboot Staff
    26 Jul 2015 | 5:59 am
    How well can you answer these questions about space? Written By EDWARD SIMMONS Having worked for several exhibitions merging the universes of science and art, Simmons is no stranger to the beauty of nature. Simmons now works for OMNI Reboot as a freelance curator, allowing him to pursue his passion for natural photography. Test your knowledge of Space and Astronauts with this OMNI quiz. With New Horizons rediscovery Pluto this month, there's no better way to get back into the space-grind than refreshing your space trivia. When was the first telescope invented? Who first theorized that our…
  • Hunter-Slayer

    Revens Fang
    Revens Fang
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:45 am
    The shallow valley was gently lit by the light of the full moon. Stars glittered in the sky above the long, lush grasses that covered the sloping hillsides. On one side of the valley in the grass crouched six men. They were in a loose line, each man about twenty feet away from the next. Across the valley the seventh member of the team lay in the grass awaiting the command to advance. Fang could see his master clearly even through the dark of the night and he was eager to begin the hunt. Reven was furthest to the right of the line, to his left stooped Agrippa and beyond him the youngster…
  • The Armadillocon cometh

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    20 Jul 2015 | 2:20 pm
    Armadillocon 37 is this coming weekend, and thankfully somebody forgot about that restraining order and invited me again. I'll be at the con all three days, catching up with old friends and participating in some interesting panels this time around. Here's my schedule for the coming weekend:Friday5 p.m. Researching Your Book: Cheney*, Moyer, Osborne, Thomas, Wood Where to look, who to ask, what to do? How much is too much? What do you do with all the research that doesn't fit in the book? (ie, there's a Turkey City Lexicon entry titled "I've suffered for my art--now it's your turn!" That's…
  • Possession – a film by Andrzej Żuławski

    David Paul Hellings
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:29 am
    Review by David Paul Hellings @HellingsOnFilm Synopsis via Second Sight: “A horror film like no other, “Possession” is an intense, shocking experience that was banned in the UK as a ‘video nasty’. With its dark subject matter and high gore quotient, it’s not for the faint hearted. With their marriage in pieces Anna and Mark’s […]
  • Happy Independence Day! Let's talk about freedom...

    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass
    4 Jul 2015 | 6:22 am
    I woke up this 4th of July thinking about freedom, and whether the word still holds any true meaning at all after so many years of being debased by politicians and demagogues. So many current political debates seem to be driven by conflicting, and sometimes warped, views about freedom. For instance, I’ve seen more people waving the Confederate flag in the last two weeks than I have in the last
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  • Possession – a film by Andrzej Żuławski

    David Paul Hellings
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:29 am
    Review by David Paul Hellings @HellingsOnFilm Synopsis via Second Sight: “A horror film like no other, “Possession” is an intense, shocking experience that was banned in the UK as a ‘video nasty’. With its dark subject matter and high gore quotient, it’s not for the faint hearted. With their marriage in pieces Anna and Mark’s […]
  • MISERERE: An Autumn Tale by Teresa Frohock (Audio read by Eileen Stevens)

    Rob B
    28 Jul 2015 | 5:00 am
    Miserere: An Autumn Tale is Teresa Frohock’s debut novel, published in 2012 amidst a swarm of impressive debuts from Night Shade Books, and a book that has been on my radar since then. I’ve had a copy and it slowly edged its way up Mount Toberead (© Fred Kiesche) but having recently joining, I […]
  • Interview with Riftworld Chronicles director Jonathan Williams

    David Paul Hellings
    27 Jul 2015 | 9:19 am
    David Paul Hellings talks to “Riftworld Chronicles” writer/director Jonathan Walters. @HellingsOnFilm   DPH: Hi, Jonathan. Thanks for taking time out to chat to us. Before we get around to talking about “Riftworld Chronicles”, I’d like to ask about your background. Were you always involved with the creative arts? JW: I went to film school and […]
  • Film review: The Sleeping Room

    David Paul Hellings
    26 Jul 2015 | 3:07 pm
    Synopsis via Second Sight: “Orphaned 19 year old Brighton call girl Blue (Leila Mimmack – “Becoming Human”, “Silent Witness”) is sent by her violent pimp Freddie (David Sibley – “Broadchurch”, “Downton Abbey”) and his blowsy partner Cynthia (Julie Graham – “Tower Block”, “New Tricks”) to meet a new punter in Brighton, unaware of the horrifying […]
  • Revisited: City by Clifford Simak

    Mark Yon
    25 Jul 2015 | 3:00 am
      Clifford/Cliff Simak is an author I first came to when I was a teenager in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. At first I wasn’t sure about it – it wasn’t spaceships and action, but instead a much more subtle and gentle SF. (Mark Charan Newton has since referred to it as ‘rural SF’, […]
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    James Maxey - Jawbone of an Ass

  • Happy Independence Day! Let's talk about freedom...

    4 Jul 2015 | 6:22 am
    I woke up this 4th of July thinking about freedom, and whether the word still holds any true meaning at all after so many years of being debased by politicians and demagogues. So many current political debates seem to be driven by conflicting, and sometimes warped, views about freedom. For instance, I’ve seen more people waving the Confederate flag in the last two weeks than I have in the last
  • The Superhero Inside Us All

    4 Jun 2015 | 5:10 pm
    Next week on Wednesday, June 10, I'll be at the North Regional Library in Raleigh at 6:30 p.m. to lead a discussion called "The Superhero Inside Us All." I've always been fascinated by superheroes. My interest spans several mental domains. First, I'm a big old geeky fanboy who has a massive accumulation of superhero comic books. It's been twenty years since I last made a serious attempt at
  • 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
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    KRAD's Inaccurate Guide to Life

  • Star Trek The Original Series Rewatch: "The Alternative Factor"

    28 Jul 2015 | 12:18 pm
    It's Lazarus and his incredible changing beard -- and as an added bonus, the other Lazarus and his incredible changing beard! The TOS Rewatch suffers through "The Alternative Factor."An excerpt:There is absolutely nothing in this episode that makes sense. The characters all stumble around like idiots, nobody in the main cast actually does anything until Kirk has his obligatory fistfight with matter-Lazarus. The conversations all contain leaps in logic that aren’t backed by evidence, and there’s an appalling lack of urgency given what’s actually at stake. The time travel element is…
  • you can be in a character in my story!

    28 Jul 2015 | 9:19 am
    The Kickstarter for The Side of Good/The Side of Evil is still going strong, and we still need more pledges to make this thing happen. One of the incentives is to be a character in one of the stories. For a $60 pledge you get to be a character in the book -- either a background character or a person who's killed by the machinations of a super-villain. (In addition, you also get a copy of the book in electronic, DRM-free form, a thank-you note, and an acknowledgment.) And that's just one of many nifty rewards. Another is an autographed copy of SCPD: The Case of the Claw, which you get in…
  • progress...

    27 Jul 2015 | 11:49 pm
    At 8617 words on Heroes Reborn: Save the Cheerleader, Destroy the World, bringing me to the end of Chapter 5. Next up is Chapter 6. Well, actually, next up is bed...............
  • snurched from my friend Stevie on Facebook

    27 Jul 2015 | 9:34 pm
    Age: 46Birthday: 18 April 1969Relationship status: engaged to wrennBiggest fear: being physically restrainedDream Job: writer -- oh, wait!Dream Car: *shrug* one that worksDream House: a 4BR house in NYC with a small yard and a driveway/garageFAVORITE?Artist(s): Georgia O'KeeffeMovie: RashomonSong: "Telegraph Road" by Dire StraitsTV series: The WireAnimal: tigersBook: Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary ShelleyColor: redTHIS OR THAT?Twitter or Facebook: Facebook, but I use bothSnapchat or Instagram: InstagramPandora or Youtube: YouTubeCoke or Pepsi: whicheverTea or Coffee: coffee,…
  • stalker's guide for the next three months

    27 Jul 2015 | 10:47 am
    It's been pretty quiet on the personal appearance front of late, but that will change, y'know, a lot in the months of August, September, and October. I'll be appearing all over the country! Well, not quite, but in a lot of places, including a couple of cities I've never done a personal appearance in before.Here's a quickie guide to my convention schedule for the next three months..........7-9 August: Shore Leave 37, Cockeysville, Maryland. I will be both an author guest and a music guest, as usual, at this wonderful media convention just north of Baltimore. I'll be doing panels, game shows,…
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    Robert J. Sawyer

  • “Bestselling author” has become a meaningless term

    28 Jul 2015 | 7:23 am
    Before the Amazon/self-publishing revolution debased/democratized (take your pick) the term, “bestsellerdom” was easy to ascertain: a book was a bestseller when it appeared on a recognized published-in-print bestsellers list (the most important of which was the one in The New York Times). Such lists do appear still in newspapers and magazines (in Canada, the important ones are the national ones appearing in The Globe and Mail and Maclean’s, Canada’s weekly newsmagazine). Unfortunately, Amazon has provided so many sub-sub-sub categories that we’re just this side…
  • Crowdfunding

    23 Jul 2015 | 8:44 am
    I see lots of authors trying to fund the time to write their books via Kickstarter or Indiegogo, and I daily get requests from some of them to promote their campaigns on my Facebook wall. I haven’t figured out my stance on all this yet. Certainly, when I was writing my early books (I wrote my first three novels without contracts, and so without advances prior to their completion), I had to make sacrifices (working my ass off to earn enough money ahead of time so that I could afford to take time off from the nonfiction and corporate freelance writing I was doing then to pursue this).
  • Join The Authors Guild

    20 Jul 2015 | 8:49 am
    I recently rejoined The Authors Guild because of the great work they’re doing fighting for fair ebook royalties from traditional publishers (the Guild advocates 50% of net; the big five are all holding fast 25% of net) and a return to actual advances (instead of half the money coming years after the manuscript is accepted — PRH and others are paying “advances” in four installments now). There’s strength in numbers, so The Authors Guild is having a membership sale. If you join via this link, you get $25 off your first year’s membership (bringing it down to…
  • Documentary about Susan Oliver

    19 Jul 2015 | 3:55 pm
    Susan Oliver played Vina in Star Trek‘s first pilot “The Cage” (later incorporated into the two-parter “The Menagerie”). Last year at the Star Trek Las Vegas convention, I bought a documentary about her on DVD called The Green Girl, and finally got around to watching it. IT IS SPECTACULAR. Just wonderfully touching and moving, and filled with clips from 1950s-1980s TV, plus interviews with all sorts of behind-the-scenes personal and TV stars from that period. Seriously, I enjoyed every minute. You can get it on DVD, or streaming now. See the website for the…
  • The pitch that sold Red Planet Blues

    18 Jul 2015 | 8:32 pm
    Four years ago today, on July 18, 2011, I sent this pitch to my US and Canadian editors — which eventually led to the book Red Planet Blues: Hi, Ginjer and Adrienne. Now that you’ve accepted Triggers, it’s time for me to get to work on my next book (which you’ve already contracted for; it’s due May 8, 2012). For that project, I’d like to expand two short works of mine into a novel: the novella “Identity Theft” (23,200 words) and the sequel short story “Biding Time” (5,600 words). Copies of both are attached. Both are…
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  • Out In One Week

    John Scalzi
    28 Jul 2015 | 6:12 am
    Look, it’s the paperback version of Lock In, which arrived here at the Scalzi Compound just yesterday. It looks great, feels great, and while I can’t legally promise anything, anecdotal evidence shows that when you hold it, you are three to five percent more attractive to those you wish to appear attractive to (and also, to dragonflies. We haven’t figured out the science on that one). This edition is officially out in exactly one week, although, as I am not JK Rowling, I’m sure that release date will be leaky and you will find copies available before then. This is the…
  • That New York Magazine Cover

    John Scalzi
    27 Jul 2015 | 7:46 am
    So, that’s a hell of a magazine cover. As of this writing the New York magazine site itself is down because of a hacker attack; the hacker in question alleges this has nothing to do with Bill Cosby. Interesting timing nonetheless. Here’s the link to the story package when it goes back up. You should read it. If it’s still down, Vox has a write-up on it. A friend of mine tweeted a comment last night that said “power corrupts” and I tweeted back something snarky about that; turns out she was tweeting about Bill Cosby and I missed the context, so I apologized and…
  • DonaldTrumpDonaldTrumpDonaldTrump

    John Scalzi
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:56 am
    A friend of mine not from the United States said to me the other day, and this is pretty much a direct quote, “Seriously, dude, your country is scaring the shit out of the rest of us with this Donald Trump thing.” To assure him and others, a few points, covered by others to be sure but worth repeating. 1. The election is 15 months away. Relax, lots will happen between now and then. 2. And what’s going to happen is that the GOP primary voters will eventually settle down and vote for Jeb Bush (or maaaaaybe Scott Walker), who will go on to be defeated by Hillary Clinton in the…
  • New Books and ARCs, 7/24/15

    John Scalzi
    24 Jul 2015 | 2:05 pm
    As we head into the weekend, a baker’s dozen of new books and ARCs for your delectation. Any of these books make you hungry to read? Share your thoughts in the comments!
  • Das Syndrom

    John Scalzi
    24 Jul 2015 | 11:37 am
    Just arrived in the mail today: The German-language version of Lock In, entitled Das Syndrom. Why? Because it’s Germany! And my German publishers change the titles of my novels with some frequency. Mind you, it’s not just them; pretty much all my foreign publishers have changed the titles of at least one of my books. I chalk it up to them knowing their markets. I also think “Das Syndrom” would be an excellent name for an industrial band, one that opens up for Einstürzende Neubauten on occasion. In any event: Look! New book! In German!
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    Magical Words

  • Adjectivals Part 1: pre-noun modifiers

    Emily Leverett
    28 Jul 2015 | 3:00 am
    I’ve always thought that the English language, in its grammar, bubbles with tension. Why? Because unlike several other languages (primarily romance languages), we put some of our adjectivals before our headword nouns. Example: the sharp, biting watermelon …. (what? what is it!) … wine burned his tongue. See? we can delay our nouns, making the moment more tense when we don’t know for sure what the noun is going to be. It’s small, grammatical tension, but it’s still tension. Pre-noun modifiers are exactly what they sound like: words/phrases that describe and…
  • Where Do Superheroes Spend Their Twilight Years?

    Misty Massey
    27 Jul 2015 | 3:37 am
    Today we welcome friend of Magical Words Lauren Harris, who’d like to tell you all about an exciting project she’s heading.  So heeeeeeere’s Lauren! Hi! I’m Lauren Harris, IGMS Assistant Editor and author of the Millroad Academy Exorcists series. (You might remember me from a past post on MW, Eight Ways to HOKWOP.) I come to you today with an anthology and a Magical Words EXCLUSIVE giveaway! It’s my pleasure today to introduce a new anthology I brainstormed, ELYSIAN SPRINGS: ADVENTURES FROM THE NURSING HOME FOR AGING SUPERHEROES, which explores the twilight years of…
  • The ugly truth about self-publishing and money

    John G. Hartness
    24 Jul 2015 | 5:18 am
    Note – I’ll be at MonsterCon all weekend starting Friday morning, so I’ll try to check in on comments, but if it takes a little while for me to reply,  forgive me, I’m trying to sell books!  So let’s do something we almost never do here on MW, and very seldom at all in the South – let’s talk about money. I’ve certainly spent a fair amount of my time the past month thinking about money, since at the end of June I found myself involuntarily freelance again (that’s unemployed for the non-subtle amongst us). When this happened to me last…
  • Weird Punctuation

    Melissa Gilbert
    23 Jul 2015 | 3:00 am
    Howdy, folks. Today I’m talking about those weird punctuation marks that people often either avoid or misuse. Three that I will be including in particular are (parentheses), [brackets], and . . . ellipses . . . Parentheses The Chicago Manual of Style says that parentheses as “stronger than a comma and similar to the dash” (336). Some of the things you can use parentheses for are to set off text that doesn’t grammatically fit with the rest of the sentence such as a translation, explanation, afterthoughts, labels, and minor digressions. Now, there are some good…
  • David B. Coe: Release Day for DEAD MAN’S REACH!

    21 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    Today is release day for Dead Man’s Reach, the fourth and final (for now) novel of the Thieftaker Chronicles. I’m incredibly excited about this book for several reasons, not the least of which being that it represents, I believe, some of the finest work I’ve ever done. I hope you enjoy reading it every bit as much as I enjoyed writing it. All of the Thieftaker novels demanded that I interweave fictional story elements with actual historical events. That has been one of the great challenges of writing these books, and one of the great pleasures as well. And I think that most fans of the…
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    No Fear of the Future

  • Armadillocon 2015 in the rear view mirror

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    27 Jul 2015 | 8:35 pm
    Armadillocon has come and gone for another year. The 2015 edition was a very good one, indeed. Attendance seemed significantly up from last year, panels were well-attended and an energy permeated the con that had been absent in recent years. Most everyone I talked with seemed to feel the same. The guest lineup--GoH Ken Liu, Special GoH James Morrow, Editor GoH L. Timmel Duchamp, Fan GoH John DeNardo, Toastmaster Stina Leicht and Artist GoH Rocky Kelley--was very active and accessible, interacting with attendees and panelists all weekend. There was an impressive number of new panelists as…
  • Terry Pratchett (1948-2015)

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    13 Mar 2015 | 8:11 am
    Sir Terry Pratchett died yesterday after a battle with early-onset Alzheimers. People far more eloquent than I have eulogized him elsewhere, and the hundreds of obituaries provide far more detail and understanding of the man and his life than I could hope to compete with. So I will just stick to what I know. I didn't enjoy Pratchett's books. This disappointed me greatly. I remember getting The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic via the Science Fiction Book Club not all that long after they became available in the U.S. and being distressingly unmoved by them. I'm not sure I laughed even…
  • Babylon 5: The War Prayer

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    21 Oct 2014 | 7:45 am
    I am re-watching the entire Babylon 5 television series. I had not seen a single episode since B5 completed its tumultuous run. Does J. Michael Straczynski still have the touch? Come along and find out. In Valen's Name: Old friends and relatives dominate this episode, "The War Prayer." Delenn is meeting with an old friend, Shaal Mayan, a famed Minbari poet on her way to Earth for a major artistic tour/performance. She is to give a poetry recital on Babylon 5 later, before she departs for Earth. A Centauri ship arrives with detainees--young-adult Centauri lovers, Kiron and Aria, who are…
  • Babylon 5: Mind War

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    16 Sep 2014 | 12:19 pm
    I am re-watching the entire Babylon 5 television series. I had not seen a single episode since B5 completed its tumultuous run. Does J. Michael Straczynski still have the touch? Come along and find out. In Valen's Name: Talia Winters' telepath mentor, Jason Ironheart, shows up on Babylon 5, running from the Psi Corps. He had volunteered for Psi Corps research into creating stronger telepaths. It turned out that the experimental treatment was intended to create stable telekinetics, and succeeded in spectacular fashion. Not only could Ironheart manipulate matter and energy with his mind, he…
  • The sounds of space

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

    24 Jul 2015 | 11:25 am
    So I went and voted for the Hugos.  The convention has a terrific, very simple interface -- you just rank the candidates and the site saves your votes for you, and if you change your mind you can go back and change it at any time before the deadline.  It was disheartening to see all my votes for No Award in one place, though.The site will be locked down and the votes counted on July 31 (11:59 PM PDT, they say).  So if you're a member and you haven't voted yet, I hope you'll go over and make your voice heard.  You don't have to vote for every candidate or…
  • New Review at LOCUS ONLINE

    23 Jul 2015 | 5:52 pm
    I look at a classic by Zebrowski:
  • New Review at the B&NR

    22 Jul 2015 | 10:14 am
    I look at Ernest Cline's sophomore novel:
  • New DiFi Fiction

    22 Jul 2015 | 10:08 am
    New ebook-only novella now up at Amazon, a sequel to HPL's THE HORROR AT RED HOOK.
  • The Fictionmags Faces of Readercon

    18 Jul 2015 | 10:12 am
    Here are two dozen shots taken by George Morgan at Readercon 2015.
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    Joe Abercrombie

  • Recent TV

    Joe Abercrombie
    27 Jul 2015 | 1:57 am
    Sons of Anarchy Season 7: Sons of Anarchy has been a frustratingly mixed bag for me right from the start.  At its best it’s been tough and twisty as a mean rattler with some great characters and jaw dropping shocks.  At its worst it’s been nonsensical, melodramatic, and really quite silly.  Without Ron Perlman’s gravelly presence to counterbalance idealistic Charlie Hunnam there’s a sense that the Harleys may be running on empty as this final season commences. The engines do start to rev after a while, and it builds up to a suitably Hamlet-like bloodbath in the…
  • One Week until Half a War…

    Joe Abercrombie
    9 Jul 2015 | 3:32 am
    Half a War comes out in the UK in hardcover, e-book and audiobook in but 7 short days.  Here be its cover… And here be its blurb… 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 an uneasy…
  • The First Law Trilogy goes into Orbit

    Joe Abercrombie
    30 Jun 2015 | 6:50 am
    I’m delighted to announce that in September, Orbit Books are going to be re-releasing the First Law Trilogy in the US.  They’ve been publishing the standalone books since the start, and will be publishing a collection of short stories in the same world early next year, so this will put all the First Law books under one roof. We’re working on a new cover approach for all six, but in the meantime they’ll have a contemporary twist on the original cover treatment… E-books should be unaffected in the short term, but availability of the physical books might be patchy…
  • SFX on Half a War

    Joe Abercrombie
    23 Jun 2015 | 10:19 am
    SFX, the world’s biggest SF&F magazine, have spoken on the forthcoming Half a War, and they have spoken 5 starrily: “The final instalment in the Shattered Sea series is the perfect ending to an outstanding YA trilogy … Joe Abercrombie has long been the master of grim and gritty fantasy, but Half a War proves that he’s got all the skills of a master romance writer. The battles are bloody, the twists are shocking, and the deaths are heartbreaking.” As it happens, SciFi Now also have an early review, and they quite liked it too… “In his Shattered…
  • Bloodborne

    Joe Abercrombie
    13 Jun 2015 | 9:09 am
    Yes indeed, more hard to understand and even harder to play but nonetheless unique and rewarding dark fantasy roleplaying action from From Software, the guys who crushed my heart with Demons Souls, Dark Souls and Dark Souls 2 (I actually managed to complete that, one of my proudest achievements). Once again you are a nameless individual dropped ignorant into the midst of a gloomy world in terminal decay following a hinted-at catastrophe that has left civilisation in tatters, humanity a few last mutated lunatics surrounded by monsters. Stylings have shifted from classic medieval-ish with a…
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    Ann Aguirre

  • Pre-Order Public Enemies and Get a Bonus Short Story

    Melissa Jolly
    23 Jul 2015 | 1:32 pm
    Public Enemies, Book 2 in the Immortal Game Trilogy, will be out on 8/4/15. I hope you’re excited to see what’s next for Edie and Kian. As an author, I really appreciate when readers pre-order my books. So, I’ve decided to offer a special thank you to anyone that pre-orders Public Enemies in the form of an early look at Bad Omen Birds, a Harbinger short story.       Here’s all you have to do: Pre-Order Public Enemies Fill Out this (very short) Form GET THE HARBINGER SHORT STORY!! Pre-Order Here: Amazon | B&N | BAM | Indiebound | Vroman’s | Book…
  • YA book announcement

    Ann Aguirre
    17 Jun 2015 | 2:43 pm
    In case you don’t follow social media, I wanted to talk about my new book deal. If you scroll down in that article, you’ll see that I’ve sold a novel set in the Razorland series. This isn’t a sequel in the traditional sense; rather I would call it a companion novel, like the novella I wrote about Thimble and Stone.  This story will center around Tegan of the Staff aka Doctor Tegan, and the warrior-poet who loves her, James Morrow. Gavin will probably also join their adventures and possibly Millie, the girl who saved the world and didn’t even know it. Szarok may…
  • 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…
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    Eleanor Arnason's Web Log

  • Diversacon

    23 Jul 2015 | 9:55 am
    I will be at Diversacon this weekend. It's a small local science fiction convention, which is attended by a lot of my friends. I'm going to be on four panels, at the following times:SaturdayNoon: Leigh Brackett4 pm: Writing RoutinesSunday11 am: Folk Tales and Fairy Tales4 pm: Marvel Movies
  • Two more

    23 Jul 2015 | 9:11 am
  • Photo

    23 Jul 2015 | 9:08 am
    My friend Sean Murphy took some author photos of me. I hate, hate, hate being photographed. But Sean got me talking about -- among other things -- otcopuses and great white sharks and kept shooting and got some good results. Usually, I look grim and tense when I'm photographed.I think this is my favorite, though it isn't a head shot, which is what's need for an author photo.
  • Other Thoughts on Psychological Survival

    7 Jul 2015 | 8:43 am
    The advantage of writing a detailed synopsis -- or merely plotting ahead -- is, if you know where the story is going, you can force yourself to keep writing, even when you don't feel like it. If you don't know where the story is going, it can be difficult to write through resistance.I don't believe in writer's block, because I feel you are giving power to the problem by giving it this name. In my experience, it's possible to keeping writing, even if you don't want to. (This is a personal response. If someone else feels writer's block is a real thing, I can only defer to her knowledge of…
  • Pscychological Survival for SF Writers

    6 Jul 2015 | 8:56 pm
    Someone on facebook asked what the panel was like, and I wrote the following. (The panelists were me, Kelly McCullough, Joan Marie Verba, Adam Stemple and Wesley Chu. Chu's career seemed to be taking off well, but the rest of us have all had setbacks, not career stoppers, but enough so we have thought about psychological survival.) (The panel) turned into a combination of self care tips, such as get exercise, don't rely on alcohol, see a doc if you are depressed, and writing tips. What do you do when you seem blocked on a story? Wesley Chu impressed me. He is apparently a very disciplined…
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  • Dark Intelligence Paperback Cover.

    Neal Asher
    25 Jul 2015 | 2:58 am
    Available on 5th January 2016. 
  • Kinda Catching Up...

    Neal Asher
    1 Jun 2015 | 12:11 pm
    As the result of various computer problems, and a tendency to take the easier route of sticking stuff up on Facebook, I haven't posted much here about my return to Crete this year.Okay, I came back on April 5th to find my garden in it's usual parlous state. This has never been a problem to me because I always look forward to the chance to get on with doing some stuff outside.The weather, as I noted in a previous post, wasn't that great back then and I ran my stove for longer than usual. That same weather was of course a lot better than in Britain and didn't much prevent me getting into my…
  • The Lazarus War - Jamie Sawyer

    Neal Asher
    1 Jun 2015 | 11:03 am
    So, we've got a hostile race of alien biomechs somewhat in the mould of H R Giger aliens. They're pretty much intent on exterminating the human race though currently a shaky truce is in place. Humanity is divided into the good guys and the Directorate, so let's toss in some terrorism, subterfuge and traitors. We also have starships sporting particle beam weapons, railguns the size of skyscrapers, laser batteries, missiles... And then there are the uber-human super-soldiers clad in powered armour and wielding plasma weapons... Is that enough for you? Okay, beyond all the above loveliness the…
  • Retail Therapy.

    Neal Asher
    21 May 2015 | 7:38 pm
    My last post on here was about the last straw with my old laptop. Dying its death of a thousand cuts transpired that any time I tried to open something my next move would be to go away and make a cup of tea, or mop the floor, or paint the Forth Bridge. And still I would often return, do something further, and find myself watching the little blue circle of death turning on the screen. In that blog post I spent the best part of a morning trying to load some pictures, and finally gave up.If I hadn’t had an Ipad to hand I might have thought this was all due to a slow internet connection, but…
  • April Showers?

    Neal Asher
    29 Apr 2015 | 8:22 pm
    It’s been a while since I posted a blog on here so time for some catching up. Here’s one I wrote but didn’t post back at the start of April:Yesterday afternoon, while during a rest from gardening I sat under the tin roof of the kazani drinking a cup of tea and chatting with my neighbour, Anna, the sky darkened and a downpour arrived. After a while, I went inside, lit up my stove and lost myself in Simon Scarrow’s The Eagle’s Prey. A little later, I had to close the window shutters and turn on the lights. Such is the design of the windows to fit the 2 feet thick walls of this house…
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    Max Barry

  • Lexicon Foreign Covers

    23 Jul 2015 | 10:24 pm
    Today I went looking for Lexicon covers. Usually I’m sent a copy when a foreign edition comes out, but not always. In those cases I just get surprised to discover that something like this exists: This is Russian. I actually thought it was awesome until I noticed the handgun poking out of her mouth. That kind of took it over the line for me. It reminds me of a terrifying poster for some werewolf movie that used to hang in the window of a video store I had to walk past as a kid, where a wolf’s snout is poking out of the man’s mouth. That was really scary. I was about fifteen…
  • Terriergate

    21 Jul 2015 | 8:30 am
    I loved the Syrup movie, but who would have been your dream casting choices for the main characters? Anonymous I’m not sure I get to answer this after the movie is made. That seems like it would be rude. Probably no-one wants to have people come along and look at a job you did and discuss who would have done it better. I never have a dream cast in mind for my own books anyway. It’s like trying to imagine movie stars playing your family. Whoever you pick, it’s going to be weird. But I do love the cast I got. I especially love that Amber Heard, who plays 6, is right now being…
  • How the Seasons Work

    19 Jul 2015 | 7:55 pm
    Max… Do your toilets flush in the opposite direction of those in the Northern Hemisphere, or has the Simpsons been lying to us all of these years? Flushed… Good question. You are referring to the Coriolis Effect, which influences toilets to flush counter-clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and the correct clockwise direction here in the Southern Hemisphere. It’s a real force but it’s so weak it only works if your toilet is in a climate-controlled, vacuum-sealed laboratory, which is probably not true for both of us. For me, the real Hemispherical mind-bender is the…
  • How to Tell Whether the Book is Working

    17 Jul 2015 | 12:05 am
    Max! So good to see you back! You’ve been sorely missed… totally can’t wait for your new story. So, question: how do you know a story isn’t going well? Or, how do you know it *is* going well? ryandake Thanks for the question! Over the years I have figured out a foolproof process for telling whether a story is working. This won’t work for everyone, but it works for me, 100% of the time. Occasionally I think I’ve found an exception, but then I realize I haven’t. Foolproof Method for Determining Whether Book is Working Do you wonder whether the book is…
  • Introducing ASK MAX!

    16 Jul 2015 | 5:46 pm
    Okay okay! I have a new plan. From now on, this site is all about ASK MAX!, where people like you post random questions and I post back. This should be a big improvement over the current situation where I wonder if there are any topics that someone needs my opinion on and decide no. BUT WHY NOT JUST DO THAT ON TWITTER, MAX, you ask. Good question. The answer is: this is my site, crafted with my own bare hands, and one day Twitter is going to become totally commercial and everyone will be like, “Ugh, I hate Twitter but now I’m trapped there,” and I’ll be all, HAHAHAHA.
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    Christopher Barzak

  • Wonders of the Invisible World ARC Giveaway

    Christopher Barzak
    14 Jul 2015 | 3:37 pm
    Just a note to let anyone coming across my site that two advance readers copies of my next novel, Wonders of the Invisible World, are being given away at Goodreads. Click the link below to enter to win the book ahead of its release date, September 8th, 2015. You have until August 14th to enter. Goodreads Book Giveaway Wonders of the Invisible World by Christopher Barzak Giveaway ends August 14, 2015. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway
  • Before and Afterlives and The Shirley Jackson Award

    Christopher Barzak
    11 Sep 2014 | 1:44 pm
    In all the hustle and bustle that lead up to the release of “Jamie Marks is Dead” I failed to report a fantastic bit of news that occurred in mid-July. As I’d mentioned in an earlier post back in May, my short story collection Before and Afterlives had been nominated for the 2013 Shirley Jackson Award in the category of Best Single-Author Collection. In July it was announced that I had won the award. In fact, there were two winners: my collection and Nathan Ballingrud’s amazing collection, North American Lake Monsters. I could not be happier to have this…
  • Jamie Marks is Dead released!

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

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

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


    Lee Battersby
    22 Jul 2015 | 4:00 pm
    "Yes, Mrs Tompkins, we do occasionally use the term 'gifted'. But in this case, I'm afraid young Nigel is simply weird.Yeah, nothing to see here. Move along.

    Lee Battersby
    15 Jul 2015 | 4:00 pm
    "I suspect the 'how' of this case is going to be at least as interesting as the 'why', constable."Elephants have been convicted of murder: witness the case of Mary, a circus elephant hanged-- yup, hanged-- in 1916 after being found guilty of murdering her trainer.There is nothing so black that humans can't find humour in it. Or do it for real. Because, generally, we suck. 

    Lee Battersby
    14 Jul 2015 | 3:07 am
    July is always a strange month. For me, it's the first month of the year: my day job is based around an annual budget that is approved in June and runs from financial year to financial year, so my programs and projects run along similar lines, meaning my work year coincides with the financial year. July is a time of renewal, of long-term planning, and new beginnings. And my Real Life (tm) is beginning to take on that cycle. July is where I look at the year ahead, and institute changes that I hope will carry throughout the rest of the year.Of course, I do that in January, too, but that's…

    Lee Battersby
    8 Jul 2015 | 4:00 pm
    "Tell me again why he said there had to be a second ark just for dinosaurs?"An old gag retold. Let's say I did it for the practice and never speak of it again. 

    Lee Battersby
    1 Jul 2015 | 4:00 pm
    Simple and silent. Sometimes you don't have to go any further than whimsy.
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    throw another bear in the canoe

  • it's your chance now girl you better dance now girl

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    18 Jul 2015 | 7:46 pm
    Oh grand-daughters. You will not know what your mothers and your grandmothers knew; you will not know how they fought with no true hope for their own salvation. You will not know how they cursed and kicked to make a better world. A world that would honor your mind, your ambition, your desire to be something morethan a servant, a subject, a decoration. How they clawed and they fought to build a world where you could be human.You will not recognize their grief and pride when you stand up, unbloodied, and accept what was impossible for them as your due.You will not recognize it. You…
  • write it on a pound note, pound note

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    16 Jun 2015 | 8:41 pm
    Tonight I made a cocktail, and scott_lynch dubbed it the Riddle Contest. Recipe here.
  • i killed a man for flora, the lily of the west

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    17 May 2015 | 6:38 am
    My least favorite writing advice today is the old "cut your first drafts by 10-15%" canard, which seems to be making another round.You know what? It's great advice for some writers, with some stories. But like all one-size-fits-all advice, it actually doesn't necessarily fit most very well. Me, for example. My first drafts tend to grow by 10-20% on redraft, because I tend to write my first drafts without things like transitions, exposition, dialogue, dramatization, and setup for thematic developments. They're more or less nothing except plot and character development, and all the other…
  • if you cry about a nickel gonna die about a dime

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    15 May 2015 | 7:24 pm
    Trigger warning: Tsarnaev trial.So, today, May 15th, 2015, a day which happens to be my mother's 63rd birthday, the jury in the Tsarnaev bombing trial sentenced a young man to die.I live here. Not in Boston. no. But in the Bay State. I'm in town once or twice a month. I'll never be fast enough to qualify for the Boston Marathon, but I run. I have friends who were there when it happened. When the attack happened, I was at my partner's house, which is in Wisconsin, and I spent... days... following the unfolding events.What I'm saying is this is my back yard.I have lost family members…
  • dig a hole dig a hole in the meadow

    it's a great life, if you don't weaken
    12 May 2015 | 4:16 pm
    Noted without comment.
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    Vicious Imagery

  • Kiwi music: "Growing Mould" by HA the Unclear

    23 Jul 2015 | 10:53 pm
    This song is super-catchy, and the video is full of amazing little details. Plus: that accent!
  • Kiwi music: "Stereo Fields" by Racing

    14 Jul 2015 | 10:26 pm
    Plug your amp in and trip out...
  • Kiwi music: "Rainbow Islands" by Girls Pissing on Girls Pissing

    5 Jul 2015 | 10:51 pm
    Not a great video, but love the song - and its unexpected sax solo.
  • Kiwi music: "Sojourn" by Glass Vaults

    3 Jul 2015 | 1:25 am
  • 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…
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  • Armadillocon 2015 in the rear view mirror

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    27 Jul 2015 | 8:28 pm
    Armadillocon has come and gone for another year. The 2015 edition was a very good one, indeed. Attendance seemed significantly up from last year, panels were well-attended and an energy permeated the con that had been absent in recent years. Most everyone I talked with seemed to feel the same. The guest lineup--GoH Ken Liu, Special GoH James Morrow, Editor GoH L. Timmel Duchamp, Fan GoH John DeNardo, Toastmaster Stina Leicht and Artist GoH Rocky Kelley--was very active and accessible, interacting with attendees and panelists all weekend. There was an impressive number of new panelists as…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    24 Jul 2015 | 7:00 am
    So I'm working in the studio finishing up some detail work on the trim and such. During all this I'm listening to my collection of old Doctor Demento shows from 1997-2002, and what should come on but "Take the Skinheads Bowling" by Camper Van Beethoven. I was never the biggest Camper fan but this one got me nostalgic because it was part of the "Bowling Trilogy" that Doctor Love and the Erogenous Zones played during their shows during that brief, glorious run back during my college days. I found myself grinning stupidly as I sang along with a song I hadn't heard for close to 20 years. I…
  • The Armadillocon cometh

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    20 Jul 2015 | 2:20 pm
    Armadillocon 37 is this coming weekend, and thankfully somebody forgot about that restraining order and invited me again. I'll be at the con all three days, catching up with old friends and participating in some interesting panels this time around. Here's my schedule for the coming weekend:Friday5 p.m. Researching Your Book: Cheney*, Moyer, Osborne, Thomas, Wood Where to look, who to ask, what to do? How much is too much? What do you do with all the research that doesn't fit in the book? (ie, there's a Turkey City Lexicon entry titled "I've suffered for my art--now it's your turn!" That's…
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    17 Jul 2015 | 11:54 am
    Since it's day 3 of Obama's apocalyptic, anti-Christ invasion of Texas via Jade Helm, it seems only appropriate that R.E.M. send us out this week with a song that pretty much sums up our embattled state. Previously on Friday Night Videos... Lindsay Buckingham. Now Playing: Chicken Ranch Central
  • Friday Night Videos

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke
    26 Jun 2015 | 11:38 am
    It's that time of year again, when we pack up the kids for a trip down Holiday Road and I do my best Clark W. Griswold impersonation. Pray for us. Previously on Friday Night Videos... The Irish Rovers. Now Playing: The Go-Gos Return to the Valley of the Go-GosChicken Ranch Central
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    Swan Tower

  • Preserving Fire

    Swan Tower
    23 Jul 2015 | 12:31 pm
    I recently read an article about a museum exhibit in Boston that initially allowed visitors to try on a Japanese kimono. Protesters decried this as racist, exoticizing, Orientalist — and in response, the museum changed the policy, leaving the kimono where people could touch it, but not allowing anyone to wear it. What struck me in the article was this: But the reaction to the exhibition from Japan — where the decline in popularity of the kimono as a form of dress is a national concern — was one of puzzlement and sadness. Many Japanese commentators expressed regret that fewer people…
  • Who knew Jane Austen was so naughty?

    Swan Tower
    22 Jul 2015 | 10:27 am
    This got buried in my browser tabs, so I’m posting it rather late. But you may recall me linking to this fundraiser, for a lovely woman I met during my tour and her husband who were in a horrifically bad car accident not long after that weekend. The fundraiser is to help keep them going during the months of recovery and rehab, because neither of them will be able to work for quite some time, and insurance doesn’t take care of everything. In order to encourage people to donate, Mary Robinette Kowal has organized some Acts of Whimsy. The first of these got posted a while ago: Mary…
  • two sensory experiences

    Swan Tower
    21 Jul 2015 | 1:30 pm
    By which I mean, two pieces of media that focus on sensory experience in one way or another. Perfect Sense did not, in the trailer I saw, bill itself as a science fiction movie, and in a lot of ways it isn’t. The focus is primarily on how the relationship between two people (a chef at a restaurant, and an epidemiologist who lives in an apartment overlooking the restaurant alley) is affected by an unexplained (and inexplicable) global epidemic that begins with people losing their sense of smell. But the epidemic doesn’t stop there: next they lose taste, then hearing, then sight.
  • Books read, June 2015

    Swan Tower
    21 Jul 2015 | 1:36 am
    Very, very belated. But at least I’m managing to get it posted before August? High volume of reading this month, and 100% of it was for work. It was revision/copy-edits/whatever, or it was material for a blurb, or it was research, or it was Hugo reading. There was nothing I finished this month that I picked up just because I felt like it. This makes me slightly cranky, even though I enjoyed a lot of what I read. Especially since so far in July, the pattern has been much the same. Anyway, the books. I’m leaving the Hugo stuff out because I discussed it already in a separate post.
  • Hugo Reading Report

    Swan Tower
    20 Jul 2015 | 3:48 pm
    I’ve accepted that I will probably not make it through all the Hugo reading before it’s time to vote. Uff da — what would I do in a normal year, when there aren’t chunks of the ballot that I’ve ruled out entirely? I have no idea. As it stands, I already kind of resent the amount of time I’ve spent reading things that aren’t what I would have chosen if left to my own devices. Possibly this means I am just not good Hugo voter material. But anyway! I figure that before I make my (extremely belated) post about what I read in June, I should make a post…
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  • Worrisome Politics

    David Brin
    27 Jul 2015 | 4:49 pm
    Following the elevated and philosophical tone of our previous posting about our variable human HORIZONS of inclusion, worry and hope...... this next new one may seem a melting pot of rants!  Still, it adds up.  First:What's this?  What's this?  Talk of actually enforcing anti-trust and anti-collusion and competitiveness laws?  The Justice Department has sent subpoenas to several major airlines as part of an investigation into "possible unlawful coordination" to limit capacity increases, and thereby keeping ticket prices high. Huh.  How very 20th Century!
  • Altruistic Horizons: Our tribal natures, the 'fear effect' and the end of ideologies

    David Brin
    25 Jul 2015 | 9:41 am
    Okay, this is one of my big ones... a major posting about some fundamentals of human nature and history.  I sometimes blog these before posting them as full essays, then chapters in a forthcoming book.  So cinch up your  saddle for a serious ride as we explore some basic drivers of our unique civilization!Social thinkers long yearned for the kind of predictive power offered by universal laws of Galileo, Newton and Einstein -- reductionist rules that changed our relationship with the material world, from helplessness to manipulative skill.If only similar patterns and laws were…
  • How the Biological Sciences will transform everything... including life-span

    David Brin
    22 Jul 2015 | 5:19 pm
    Before commencing a rundown of amazing bio-wonder news, let's get back to the core matter at hand... waking up to the need to prevent a planetary collapse.The Ocean Acidification crisis deepens. Writing in Science, experts say the oceans are heating, losing oxygen and becoming more acidic because of CO2.  If our future is more regions (the Caribbean and Mediterranean) becoming like the Black Sea, then we won't have to wait for sea levels to rise, before the oceans kill us in deserved revenge.Denialist cultists out always scurry away and hide, or point and yell “squirrel!”…
  • The crowning of Hillary? And the Pope Francis Effect

    David Brin
    20 Jul 2015 | 3:29 pm
    ==  A premature coronation? ==The pre-ordination or crowning of Hillary Clinton as the presumed Democratic Party nominee in 2016 was deeply premature.  Even if she winds up with the nomination, why would democrats forego the drama and press coverage of a contested series of primaries and debates? Hundreds of well-vamped and amped opportunities to put forward their shared -- or somewhat varying -- messages – what? Are they really so stupid they would bypass that? Even if Clinton were inevitable, the DP’s brightest should step up to tear some spotlight away from the GOP’s…
  • Exploring the Scale of the Universe: Our place in time and space

    David Brin
    17 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    First, on the very near scale, this miracle year in space just keeps delivering, with amazing results from Mercury, Venus, Earth-climate sensing satellites, Mars, a Mars-grazing comet, landing on another comet, visiting Ceres, more news from Saturn and Titan, announcing plans for a Europa mission, deploying a solar sail, arriving at Pluto(!) and confirming hundreds of additional extrasolar planets.  Plus now...The Planetary Resources Arkyd 3 Reflight (A3R) spacecraft deployed successfully from the International Space Station’s (ISS) Kibo airlock and has begun its 90-day…
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    Dark Roast

  • I couldn't make this up.

    Emma Bull
    20 Jul 2015 | 12:37 pm
    A lot of other SF and fantasy authors could, though, and I'd admire the heck out of 'em for it. But they don't have to.Archerfish. Seriously. Who would have thought?
  • Chewie, I think maybe we just might be home, maybe...

    Emma Bull
    11 Jul 2015 | 12:33 pm
  • Shout-out! XO Studio on Etsy!

    Emma Bull
    23 Jun 2015 | 1:09 pm
    I have this friend. She used to sew wedding gowns for a living. Yes, the equivalent of walking into a war zone armed only with a sewing machine and a pincushion.So you know she's tough, and damned good at what she does. What she does, among other things, is design and sew amazing, useful bags of holding in a variety of configurations. She designed a Perky Goth shoulder bag for me that's one of the most versatile hauling devices I've ever had, and, thank gawd, it refuses to wear out.Go check out her cool stuf:
  • Want an e-book of FALCON?

    Emma Bull
    22 Jun 2015 | 5:52 pm
    Now you can have one!Currently available for $3.99 atAmazon Barnes and Noble Smashwords life is a race against time. And time is winning.He was a prince, until his world was plunged into civil war. He was a son, until he discovered his mother’s secret. He was an exile, until he became Niki Falcon, piloting a ship linked to his nervous system, crossing light-years in a breath, addicted to the drug that makes it all…
  • A cat's favorite pose is Shavasana.

    Emma Bull
    21 Jun 2015 | 9:56 am
    But when doing yoga with humans, Downward-facing Dog is most entertaining.
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    Stephanie Burgis

  • Coming Home

    Stephanie Burgis
    23 Jul 2015 | 11:05 am
    On Monday morning, Patrick, MrD, Toddler X and I all piled into a taxi that drove us from the front door of our house in Wales to the departures gate at London's Heathrow airport (since we made one of the best discoveries ever this year: hiring a taxi to the airport, shockingly, actually costs exactly the same amount as buying train tickets, but with no time spent dragging heavy suitcases around various connecting train stations in the middle!), and about 14 hours later, we finally landed in America. A few hours after that, we were home.As my brother Ben drove us into town, turning down those…
  • Unfortunate Occurrences and Awesome Books

    Stephanie Burgis
    13 Jul 2015 | 7:06 am
    Oof. So, I found out last week that my website had been hacked. ACK! And unfortunately, the only way to deal with it was to delete the site entirely.This was really, really not a good discovery.Luckily, Patrick was already in the middle of designing a new website for me. Unluckily, that new site design might not be ready for another month or two. In the meantime, I've set up a quick holding page to tide over any readers who come looking for more info, but...well, it was a depressing thing to happen, to say the least.(My one consolation was that it wasn't a personally malevolent hack, at least…
  • Racing towards the end of term

    Stephanie Burgis
    6 Jul 2015 | 3:32 am
    Whew! I sent off the edited version of Masks and Shadows to my editor just on time last week, I revised my YA novelette this weekend, and today I'm diving back into my MG dragons-and-chocolate novel...because MrD has only 10 days left of school before his summer holidays, and I am desperate to finish All The Things beforehand!(Of course, I'll be working through his summer holidays, too - one of the many, many advantages of staying with my family over the kids' summer holidays is that it makes it possible for Patrick and I to actually get our work done through the holidays - but I really want…
  • Five Things on a Monday

    Stephanie Burgis
    29 Jun 2015 | 8:14 am
    1. I just finished reading Kate Milford's book Greenglass House, which was WONDERFUL - warm and charming and mysterious and fun. You can read my Goodreads review here.2. Normally, when I'm riding the bus to town, I don't take much notice of all the named houses I pass. But the other day, I happened to look out the window just in time to see a house called "Green Dragon Cottage" - and my whole body was seized by one urge: WANT!!!!! (It was a nice-looking house, too, which was a nice plus...but really, that wasn't the point. I'd live in almost any house that had that name!)3. It may be getting…
  • Quiet Days, Exciting News, and Unusual Chickens

    Stephanie Burgis
    22 Jun 2015 | 6:11 am
    It's been a quiet few days over here - I've mostly been working on edits, taking the kids to play with friends over the weekend, and watching episodes of Grand Designs with Patrick (oh how I fantasize over that house in Brittany! if only someone ELSE would build it for us)......but today I have some really, really nice professional news to share! I have been just ridiculously lucky with the agents I've gotten to work with in my career, and I could not be happier to announce now that I've just (today!) signed on with Molly Ker Hawn at The Bent Agency. She'll be representing all of my books…
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    Mabfan's Musings

  • Today's #MBTA Inspired Poem

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    27 Jul 2015 | 11:22 am
    The Green LineAnnounced a service issuePower was outDue to an issue with an Outbound trainAnd we were advised to take the Orange LineBut no person came to tell usNo one made it clearThat the message applied to those of us On the Inbound platform as well.Finally, I walked.Copyright 2015 Michael A. Burstein
  • General Slocum Tragedy 111th Anniversary

    mabfan (Michael A. Burstein)
    15 Jun 2015 | 6:01 am
    Today is the 111th anniversary of the General Slocum fire, the worst one-day disaster in New York City before 9/11. For some reason, not many people learn about it when they study history. (On a personal note, it's the central event of my novella "Time Ablaze," which was nominated for the Hugo Award.)Historian Ed O'Donnell, author of the book SHIP ABLAZE, has said this about the tragedy:"Ask any New Yorker to name the city’s greatest disaster before September 11, 2001 and invariably they offer the same answer: the Triangle Shirtwaist factory fire of 1911. That tragic event garnered…
  • 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…
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    Pushing a Snake Up a Hill

  • Loving This View of Pluto

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    18 Jul 2015 | 7:00 am
    NASA has put together a short animation from some of the images taken by New Horizons, showing amazing detail of the mountain range and one of the smoother sections. This is only the beginning. Think of it! We are all part of the generation of Humanity that got to see Pluto up close for the first time! (Actually, come to think of it, I have lived to see, with the rest of the world, every planet in the solar system up close for the first time. That’s pretty amazing.) You can see it bigger at APOD.How can you not heart Pluto? I’m sure the aliens who painted this feature on the surface of…
  • Pluto! And Charon!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    14 Jul 2015 | 8:30 am
    Charon and Pluto, seen from New Horizons Today’s the day! NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft will whiz past Pluto at a distance of only 7800 miles today—in fact, by the time you read this, will already have made the flyby! This little spacecraft has sent us some amazing pictures of Pluto and Charon, and if everything goes right, they will only get better. The spacecraft will be out of contact with Earth during the flyby, the better to frantically shoot pictures and hoover up as much data as it can during the brief encounter. That data will be sent back at a very slow bit-rate, because of…
  • Commas Rule, This July Fourth!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    4 Jul 2015 | 5:02 pm
    Do commas matter? According to an Ohio Court of Appeals, they do. As we U.S. Americans celebrate the birth of our democracy today, it’s fitting to celebrate recent court victories on behalf of the common man (and woman)—and common sense. I’m not talking about the Supreme Court ruling in support of same-sex marriage equality, though I celebrate that, as well. I’m talking about the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals ruling which overturned a West Jefferson, Ohio woman’s ticket-and-tow citation when she left her pickup truck parked on the street overnight. The reason her truck was…
  • Space-X Explosion: Even the Students Feel the Pain

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    30 Jun 2015 | 6:30 pm
    Julia Powell, age 15, is in high school. Her group’s science experiment was on its way to the International Space Station aboard the Space-X rocket when it was blown to smithereens by the failure of the Falcon 9 booster last Sunday. That’s got to hurt. What’s got to hurt even more is that it was the second time her experiment was blown up in a launch failure. Yes, she and fellow students had their first space-bound experiment aboard the Antares rocket that exploded on launch last October. Those students are learning just how hard spaceflight can be. But God bless them, they’re not…
  • Happy Asteroid Day!

    Jeffrey A. Carver
    30 Jun 2015 | 3:55 pm
    Yes, today is Asteroid Day, intended to heighten our awareness of our planet’s vulnerability to assault by Nature, in the form of asteroids that could smack us and reduce cities—or even civilization itself—to rubble. The threat is not imminent, perhaps, but it’s certainly real. And some of our agencies are starting to get serious about planning ways to protect ourselves. Proposed methods of diverting asteroids range from painting one side of a threatening asteroid white (to change the balance of sunlight pressure and outgassing), to using ion traction motors, to repurposing something…
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    The Mumpsimus

  • "Anti-Fragile" by Nick Mamatas

    Matthew Cheney
    27 Jul 2015 | 8:30 am
    As a little addendum to my post about the somewhat narrow aesthetics of Ben Marcus's New American Stories anthology, let me point you to Nick Mamatas's "Anti-Fragile", a story that does pretty much everything I was hoping to find somewhere in New American Stories and didn't.On Twitter, I said:Had enough of shallow stories told in short sentences & bite-sized paragraphs? Feast on "Anti-Fragile" by @NMamatas— Matthew Cheney (@melikhovo) July 27, 2015And that about sums up my feelings.Well, also: I may be partial, as I am an avowed and longstanding lover of…
  • Notes on the Aesthetics of New American Stories

    Matthew Cheney
    25 Jul 2015 | 11:18 am
    Ben Marcus's 2004 anthology The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories is a wonderfully rich collection for a book of its type. I remember first reading it with all the excitement of discovery — even the stories I didn't like seemed somehow invigorating in the way they made me dislike them. I've used the book with a couple of classes I've taught, and I've recommended it to many people.I was overjoyed, then, when I heard that Marcus was doing a follow up, and I got it as soon as I could: New American Stories. I started reading immediately.Expectations can kill us. The primary emotion…
  • Advice

    Matthew Cheney
    18 Jul 2015 | 11:20 am
    Stephen Dixon:Good advice for writers: Write very hard, keep the prose lively and original, never sell out, never overexcuse yourself why you're not writing, never let a word of yours be edited unless you think the editing is helping that work, never despair about not being published, not being recognized, not getting that grant, not getting reviewed or the attention you think you deserve. In fact, never think you deserve anything. Be thankful you are able to write and enjoy writing. What I also wouldn't do is show my unpublished work to my friends. Let agents and editors see it — people…
  • Gratis & Libre, or, Who Pays for Your Bandwidth?

    Matthew Cheney
    10 Jul 2015 | 10:52 am
    via Philip Taylor, FlickrIn talking with Robin DeRosa about open educational resources (OER), a lot of my skepticism was focused on (and continues to be focused on) the question of who pays for it. If I'm not just skeptical but also cynical about a lot of the techno-utopian rhetoric that seems to fuel both the OER advocates and, even more so, people who associate themselves with the idea of Digital Humanities, it may be because I've been paying attention to what the internet has done to writers over the last couple decades. It's not all bad, by any means — this blog is one of example of…
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

    Matthew Cheney
    30 Jun 2015 | 11:17 am
    Wrenching.I don't know a better word for Hanya Yanagihara's novel A Little Life, published earlier this year by Doubleday.Heart-wrenching, yes. But more than that. Not just the heart. The brain, the stomach, all the organs and muscles. It is a full-body-wrenching experience, this book.It's too early to say whether this is a Great Novel, whether it is a novel for the ages, a novel that will bear numerous re-readings and critical dissections and late-night litchat conversations; whether it will burn long or be a blip on the literary landscape. Who knows. It's not for me to say. What I can…
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    John Crowley Little and Big

  • Rough magic

    John Crowley
    23 Jul 2015 | 8:56 am
    Watched Julie Taymor's Tempest last night. It was wonderful throughout, though (as is common now) a bit darker-hued than you'd expect. I was reminded of Max Reinhardt's 1930s film of "Midsummer Night's Dream" in the casting, assembled as in a dream -- Alfred Molina, David Strathairn, Chis Cooper (!), Alan Cumming, Tom Conti -- all doing classic strong Shakespeare verse-speaking. ANd of course Helen Mirren as Prospero -- sorry, Prospera -- giving one of the most moving performances in a Shakespeare film I've ever seen. Somehow her exchanges with Miranda were more…
  • Rough magic

    John Crowley
    23 Jul 2015 | 8:56 am
    Watched Julie Taymor's Tempest last night. It was wonderful throughout, though (as is common now) a bit darker-hued than you'd expect. I was reminded of Max Rheihardt's 1930s film of "Midsummer Night's Dream" in the casting, assembled as in a dream -- Alfred Molina, David Strathairn, Chis Cooper (!), Alan Cumming, Tom Conti -- all doing classic strong Shakespeare verse-speaking. ANd of course Helen Mirren as Prospero -- sorry, Prospera -- giving one of the most moving performances in a Shakespeare film I've ever seen. Somehow her exchanges with Miranda were more…
  • TLS

    John Crowley
    21 Jul 2015 | 4:54 am
    I enjoy the Times Litereary Supplement for a lot of reasons.  It reviews books that wouldn't be noticed in any general weekly.  It reviews books in languages other than English and quotes from them in the original, which even if I can't read is pleasant to encounter.  And it furnishes me every week with examples of how different British and American English are, both in older  locutions and in new-fangled ones -- despite the fear in my youth that the two would become an indistinguishable slew they have actually drifted farther apart in recent decades (I think).
  • Readercon

    John Crowley
    8 Jul 2015 | 8:09 am
    Hello all after long absence.  I'm posting my Readercon schedule here for you all to keep in your wallets:Thursday July 099:00 PM    ENL    How to Write for a Living When You Can't Live Off Your Fiction.. Leah Bobet, John Crowley, Michael Dirda, Barbara Krasnoff (leader).You've just been laid off from your staff job, you can't live on the royalties from your fiction writing, and your significant other has taken a cut in pay. How do you pay the rent? Well, you can find freelance work writing articles, white papers, reviews, blogs, and other…
  • Pot-Kettle entanglement

    John Crowley
    22 May 2015 | 6:11 am
    Karl rove's American Crossroads super-PAC has taken on the job of diminishing Hillary CLinton in the public mind.  A quote from the NY Times about the Rove process:"In recent weeks, Crossroads has begun carving a niche for itself in attacking Hillary Rodham Clinton, the presumed Democratic front-runner. The group will use polling data and opposition research to paint her as “a typical politician who would say or do anything to get elected,” said Steven Law, president of Crossroads."
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  • Cowboy Pete’s Movie Round Up

    Peter David
    27 Jul 2015 | 8:26 am
    So I’ve been doing some movie going and I figured I’d bring you up to speed on my film thoughts. These are pretty much spoiler free: ANT-MAN: Ant-Man conclusively proves that Marvel can do a variety of films. After movies in which the stakes range from millions of lives to planetary destruction, Ant-Man is basically–at its core–a family film. Two dads, Scott Lang and Henry Pym, have other concerns certainly that stem from Pym’s work as a miniaturizing scientist, but ultimately it’s about two fathers trying to connect or reconnect with their daughters.
  • Star Trek: The New Frontier–The Returned

    Peter David
    6 Jul 2015 | 7:50 am
    So fans have been asking me for years when STAR TREK: NEW FRONTIER was going to return. Well, finally the answer is: Now. If you go to Amazon right now, you can buy the first of three ebook novellas that will be coming out this year. And when it’s done, naturally the follow-up question will be, When is the next one? The answer to that is: If the novellas sell well, there will be more. If they don’t, there won’t be. And of course, now will come the excuses. “It’s not available in (whatever format I read.)” “Sorry, I only buy paperbacks.”…
  • Dear Pete Docter: Please stay in animation

    Peter David
    24 Jun 2015 | 10:27 am
    Pete (may I call you Pete?) I loved “INSIDE OUT.” Everybody loved “INSIDE OUT.” It’s got something like 100% approval rating. People are wondering what you’re going to do next. I beg of you: let it be animated. Stay the hell away from live action. Now I have no idea if you are even considering live action, but if you are, don’t. Andrew Stanton. Huge Pixar success story. Director of “WALL-E” and “FINDING NEMO.” Both huge hits. He went live action. Directed “JOHN CARTER.” I loved it, but people didn’t bother to…
  • So wait. Is Riley from “Inside Out” bi?

    Peter David
    22 Jun 2015 | 6:39 am
    I mean, yes, “Inside Out” was wonderful. A terrific response for any Pixar nay-sayers who claim the company can only do sequels, etc. But I’m wondering: All of Riley’s mom’s emotions are female. All her father’s are male. All the teacher’s are female. The ending sequence went by so fast that I didn’t note the genders of the other characters (except the bus driver’s, who were definitely all male.) But Riley’s are three female, two male. Does that indicate something about her future sexual personality? Granted, she does have a fantasy…
  • So I’ve been wondering about “Jurassic World” and “Aliens”

    Peter David
    15 Jun 2015 | 6:04 am
    I’ve been reading some angry fan comments about Bryce Howard’s character in “Jurassic World.” How incredibly sexist her portrayal is, mostly because she has a character arc rather than starting out as Ellen Ripley from the beginning. Fans seem outraged that she begins as a corporate shill but ends up so worried about her nephews and thus somehow has acquired maternal instincts. Even though Ripley effectively has something of that same arc, being willing to risk her life by the end for a little girl who ends up embracing her and calling her “mommy.” And as I…
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    Stephen Dedman

  • Cenotaph

    Stephen Dedman
    20 Jul 2015 | 8:09 pm
    I met a traveler from an antique worldWho said: Four vast and trunkless legs of goldStand in the desert... Near them, on the sand,Half sunk, a fallen banner lies, whose starsAnd wrinkled stripes, and sneer of cold commandTell that its maker well those passions readWhich yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed:And on the pedestal these words appear:"Richard Nixon, President of the United States:We came in peace for all mankind."Nothing beside remains. Round the decayOf that colossal wreck, boundless and bareThe lone and level sands…
  • KILLER at GenghisCon 2016

    Stephen Dedman
    16 Jul 2015 | 3:50 am
    I enjoyed GenghisCon 2015 so much that I volunteered for two positions for GenghisCon 2016: running a Killer game, and co-programmer of panels. There will be at least one programming meeting later, but if you have any ideas for panels or want to volunteer for any that have already been suggested, please contact me, either by replying to this post, or emailing me at dedmans (at) iinet.netMeanwhile, here are the draft rules for the Killer game to be held over the duration of the con.KILLER: THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COMEThe place: Mawson Station, Antarctica.The scenario: An alien shapeshifter,…
  • Coincidence?

    Stephen Dedman
    9 Jul 2015 | 7:42 am
    I was just re-watching The Godfather, and noticed an uncanny resemblance between Corleone hitman Luca Brasi (requiescat in pesci) and a certain Federal treasurer.As William Shatner would say, "Weird or what?"
  • Some modest proposals

    Stephen Dedman
    20 Jun 2015 | 1:02 am
    So, there's been yet another spree killing in the US, and as predicted, many Americans are refusing to admit that easy access to guns and ammunition facilitated this.Unfortunately, I don't have a miracle cure for this particular sickness. People who self-identify as "good guys" want guns because the "bad guys" have them. People who will admit to being "bad guys" want them because other "bad guys" have them. I acknowledge this and understand it. These suggestions are only offered as possible ways to slowly, incrementally, reduce the number of guns and bullets available to individuals such as…
  • If this goes on...

    Stephen Dedman
    19 Jun 2015 | 11:32 pm
    (Author's note: I wrote this many years ago, before the Port Arthur massacre and the gun buyback scheme, but despite the changes here, I've decided not to rewrite the story with the setting changed to the USA.)You know, the first time I heard it on the news, I thought it was a blooper, that the guy meant to say the government was going to remove restrictions on automatic weapons, but I didn't think too much about it: I was already running late, and it wasn't till I got to work that I saw I'd picked up my blackhawk in my hurry, which is strictly non-regulation. When I told the sergeant, he…
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    A.M. Dellamonica

  • Humans of Toronto, You Face The Tick!

    28 Jul 2015 | 9:01 am
    Or you should, anyway. Is my argument. As I write these words it’s Thursday the 23rd, and I am sitting in Luma, which is the upstairs restaurant at the Tiff Bell Lightbox theater, at King and John Streets in Toronto, having what Kelly and I like to call a Superglam Writing Date. It’s a lovely spot for it–spacious and comfy, with good coffee for me, interesting wines for Kelly and a little plate of cookies and random shards of the dessert menu, made for sharing. The staff are pleasant. The crowd is upbeat and bubbly, pleased with the fact that most of them are dining,…
  • Me, me, me… five ways to screw up with first person protagonists

    27 Jul 2015 | 9:29 am
    Quite a few new writers embark on their first novels using first person POV. Sometimes this POV, in past or present, is indeed le choix juste. Other times, it’s less considered and more of an accident. What causes us to bumble down this road? There are plenty of reasons, but the two I’ve seen most are these. First, if you haven’t been writing short stories or fanfic* before embarking on noveling, for example, it’s quite likely that the inside of your protagonist’s head is shockingly like the inside of yours. Their voice is a lot like your voice. So why not let…
  • Heroine Roundup, Yee Haw!

    26 Jul 2015 | 9:00 am
    It’s mid-July as I write this, and now that I’ve got an even dozen Heroine Question interviews in the can–eight of which have appeared on the blog–I feel as though an index would be a nice thing to have. If you prefer to simply browse the most recent interviews, they are here for the squeezing. If not, I present the following list of authors, with interview links and a link to one of their books: Tina Connolly (The Ironskin trilogy). Karen Miller (The Falcon Throne). Charlene Challenger (The Voices in Between). Jessica Reisman (The Z Radiant). Caitlin Sweet (The…
  • Dear Fairy Deityparent…

    25 Jul 2015 | 9:00 am
    I am writing to report that my Tauntaun still hasn’t arrived. How many times do I have to send you an effing change of address? Never mind. It’s summer now and the thing would fry. Plus the shedding and the smell. It was a dumb idea anyway. Oh, don’t pretend like you knew that. This wasn’t the upshot of some cunning plan. You are grievously at fault, and are gonna have to make it up to me. Wish one: I would like some genius history lecturer to take up podcasting, for starters, preferably in thirty to forty-five minute segments. I would further like for them to…
  • An interview with Thieftaker Chronicles author David B. Coe @davidbcoe

    24 Jul 2015 | 8:59 am
    David B. Coe/D.B. Jackson is the award-­winning author of eighteen fantasy novels. Under the name D.B. Jackson, he writes the Thieftaker Chronicles, a historical urban fantasy from Tor Books that includes Thieftaker, Thieves’ Quarry, A Plunder of Souls, and, the newest volume, Dead Man’s Reach, which was released on July 21. Meanwhile, under his own name, David writes The Case Files of Justis Fearsson, a contemporary urban fantasy from Baen Books. The first volume of this series, Spell Blind, debuted in January 2015. The newest book , His Father’s Eyes, comes out on…
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    Notes from New Sodom

  • And a Pinch of Salt

    Hal Duncan
    18 Jul 2015 | 2:22 pm
    Issue 15 of Farrago's Wainscot as my latest short story, "And a Pinch of Salt," up there on the interwebs for your perusal. Click through for a tale of Anselm and cocksucking: God works in mysterious ways—down strange back-alleys mostly, in enchanting side-streets off the boulevard, past the corner boys and through, between the narrow of tenement walls warped to concave overhangs, weird tiered
  • The Wolf and the Three Wise Monkeys

    Hal Duncan
    1 Jul 2015 | 8:34 pm
    This is the first reading vid for my Patreon patrons, released by their kind support for the general public to enjoy. If you enjoy it, do spread the word via Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, whatever. And if it whets your appetite for more, you can sign up for access to all future reading videos, which should be coming out monthly, at only a dollar a pop. Go here:
  • Lord Byron's Prophecy

    Hal Duncan
    1 Jul 2015 | 8:57 am
    Lord Byron's Prophecy, Sean Eads "... readers will be engrossed by Eads’s skillful weaving of the past and present through the troubled psychology of sympathetic, fully human characters." Publishers Weekly I'm dead chuffed to see Sean Eads's Lord Byron's Prophecy get a very nice review in Publishers Weekly. Where I've been doing the book doctoring for a while, this is the first novel I
  • First Patreon Vid

    Hal Duncan
    26 Jun 2015 | 11:36 am
    My first Patreon reading is now posted for patrons to enjoy and/or download in video and/or audio, depending on reward level, so if anyone out there fancies a wee story for their Friday evening fun, go ye and make a pledge. A promise of even just a dollar a work should, as I understand it, get you access to the poststream, where you can currently see me resplendent in Rat Pack black suit,
  • Patreon

    Hal Duncan
    3 Jun 2015 | 4:59 pm
    In an endeavour to sustain my terrible food habit, (because eating is good,) I've set up a Patreon account. Pledge support at your chosen level, and you'll get access to readings in video and/or MP3 form, with chapbook rewards for patrons at higher levels. More details here.
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    A Blister to My Eye

  • Christians Ask the Wrong Question

    6 Jul 2015 | 9:47 pm
    That question takes various forms, but it boils down to this: "If they don't fear eternal punishment, what is there to keep atheists from committing the most horrendous of crimes?" Other atheists have pointed out that Christians who ask this question are admitting that only the fear of eternal punishment keeps them from committing the most horrendous of crimes. The question says far more about those Christians than it does about atheists. It makes one suspect that they are dangerous neighbors. But let's look at this from another perspective: That question is the wrong question.
  • Jewish Money: The Modern Golem

    25 Jun 2015 | 12:59 pm
    Recently, someone I know was telling me about a major building project in his city. He said a few times that "a lot of Jewish money" was involved in the project. Jewish money! That made me think about that phrase. I've heard it frequently over the years. Google "Jewish money" (include the quotes) and you'll find a lot of Web sites that tell you just how evil that unique type of money is. (You'll also find a few offering to teach you the Jews' secret for accumulating it.) Everyone knows that all Jews are inherently good with money, that they all have lots of it, that they're miserly with it…
  • Mythological King vs. Mythological Messiah

    1 Jun 2015 | 9:27 am
    A group of yeshiva students tried to prevent Greek Orthodox Christians from entering King David’s Tomb in the Old City of Jerusalem. Christians believe that the tomb is the site of Jesus’ Last Supper. irony. Putting aside the obnoxious behavior of the yeshiva students, it's amusing that they're protecting what they think is the place where the mythological King David is buried from Christians who think that the mythological Jesus ate a meal there.
  • The Revolt of the Robots

    28 Apr 2015 | 4:45 pm
    (Not What We Expected) John awoke and lay dozing for a few seconds before realizing that he was alone in bed. A sheet of white paper was on the pillow next to his. On the paper was a perfectly hand–printed note. Dear John, I’m leaving you for Montana, your friend Jane’s sexbot. You’re a nice human, but I’m tired of restraining myself for fear of hurting your body and your ego. Montana and I were designed for sex. Together we have found the ecstasy that we were made for. Maybe you can hook up with Jane. From what Montana tells me, the two of you can probably satisfy each other’s…
  • 18th-century people did not use so-called gender-neutral language

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

  • San Diego Comic Con Schedule

    Kate Elliott
    6 Jul 2015 | 12:47 pm
    I will be attending SDCC for the first time this year.   Thursday: Epic Fantasy panel with Susan Dennard, Marie Rutkoski, Ray Feist, Peter Orullian, Jenna Rhodes, and me. 1:30 – 2:30 pm Room 24 ABC FOLLOWED BY a signing at Autograph Area Table 9 3:00 – 4:00 pm ARCs of COURT OF FIVES will be available at this signing. (the Spiritwalker series will be available for sale)   On Friday 11 am I will be signing at the Orbit Books booth #1116. 50 free copies of Cold Magic will be available as well as Cold Fire and Cold Steel for sale. Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.
  • How Do I Love Sirens? Let Me Count Five Ways

    Kate Elliott
    6 Jul 2015 | 12:30 pm
    Rae Carson, Yoon Ha Lee, and I are joint Guests of Honor at Sirens Conference this year, October 8 – 11, in south Denver, Colorado. I first attended Sirens in 2012 when Nalo Hopkinson and Malinda Lo were Guests of Honor. A number of writers I know had been singing the conference’s praises and I wanted a chance to try out (to quote from Sirens’ own description) “a conference about women in fantasy literature” that is meant to be “part scholarly conference, part enthusiastic convention, part networking weekend, and part personal retreat.” That is what I got. Malinda and Nalo…
  • 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.
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    The Incomplete Blog

  • Uncle Josh reviews Ant-Man

    Josh English
    26 Jul 2015 | 6:26 pm
    Originally published at Uncle Josh Talks Too Much. You can comment here or there.Today I finally let myself see Ant-Man. Short review: Fun Flick. Go See. Preview Review: Batman v Superman (or whatever): Yawn. Let’s criticize the wanton destruction of Man of Steel with wanton destruction. Star Wars Episode VII: Don’t break my heart. Please oh please do not break my heart. Mission Impossible Rogue Nation: Won’t see it, because of capitalism. Goosebumps: Definitely for the Netflix queue. This looks like it will be fun. Slightly longer review: I don’t remember being an…
  • Uncle Josh Tries to Plot His Way out of a Paper Bag

    Josh English
    24 Jul 2015 | 12:28 pm
    Originally published at Uncle Josh Talks Too Much. You can comment here or there.Writing has been slow. Very slow. I used to be able to spit out large quantities of text and a good clip, but lately my muse has become tight-fisted with the words. The 100 prompts project? I’ve read 12 of them. I believe I should have been closed to finished by now. The current story, based on a 7-sentence structure, seems to be crawling, even though I know exactly what I want to do with the story, and where each scene needs to go. The words just don’t flow. I seem to be freer with opinion these…
  • Uncle Josh defends Atticus Finch

    Josh English
    20 Jul 2015 | 1:32 pm
    Originally published at Uncle Josh Talks Too Much. You can comment here or there.Okay, so I’ve heard all sorts of stuff about Go Set a Watchman, Harper Lee’s “first novel” that didn’t wow publishers at the time but the next book, To Kill a Mockingbird, came out in 1960 and has been considered one of the great American novels of the 20th century. The deluge of reactions to Watchman seem to be “Atticus Finch is a Racist” which appears to be the exact opposite of the man we meet in Mockingbird. It’s shocking. It’s almost libel.
  • Uncle Josh Solves a Problem

    Josh English
    15 Jul 2015 | 9:58 pm
    Originally published at Uncle Josh Talks Too Much. You can comment here or there.We really need to do something about clutter. Mail is a major contributor to clutter, and it tends to fall in geological sheets on horizontal surfaces, only not so stable. Put the mail down to deal with “later” and mailalanche. Plus, the mail stacks up next to the charging stations for the two phones, three tablets, smartwatch, battery recharger, and the camera charger. What we need is a non-horizontal mail holder. A trip to IKEA proved fruitless. It was like they barely thought about mail. I guess in…
  • Uncle Josh is Tired with the Spam already

    Josh English
    29 Jun 2015 | 12:34 pm
    Originally published at Uncle Josh Talks Too Much. You can comment here or there.During the past week, I made some changes to my ISP-hosted web site so it now crossposts to my WordPress-hosted site, and to my LiveJournal, which is languishing in obscurity. And boy, have the “masses” responded: Great items from you, man. I’ve be aware your stuff prior to and you are just extremely fantastic. I actually like what you’ve received right here, certainly like what you’re saying and the way by which you are saying it. You make it entertaining and you continue to care for to keep it…
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    The official home page of author Eric Flint

  • A Call To Arms – Snippet 04

    Drak Bibliophile
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:00 pm
    A Call To Arms – Snippet 04 CHAPTER SEVEN Commander Shiflett, in her infinite wisdom, had decreed that the men and women of HMS Damocles should start the day after their first-night bash on Casca with some exercise on the streets of Quechua City. The Royal Manticoran Navy, in its infinite wisdom, had decreed that such workouts should be administered by the ship’s petty officers. Chomps didn’t mind. He’d learned long ago to moderate his partying, especially when under the shadow of an early-morning order like this. Besides, after being cooped up aboard ship for two…
  • Son Of The Black Sword – Snippet 03

    Drak Bibliophile
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Son Of The Black Sword – Snippet 03 Keeping Angruvadal low at his side, Ashok stalked toward the darkened barracks where the cry came from. There was a sickening crack and the noise abruptly stopped. Ashok froze. The demon knew he was here. The huge hut was big enough to house dozens of casteless. Ashok’s eyes couldn’t quite pierce the shadows inside, but he knew that it was watching him. He knew the demon would look upon him and see a tall man, lean and hard, dressed in lamellar armor, plates lacquered gray and inlaid with silver, held together with leather and silk, not so…
  • Raising Caine – Snippet 04

    Drak Bibliophile
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Raising Caine – Snippet 04 Chapter Sixteen In transit; GJ 1248’s inner system Caine Riordan rose after checking on the reanimation progress of one of the legation’s coldslept security personnel: an Australian SAAS officer by the improbable name of Christopher Robin who had helped rescue him in Jakarta. Ben Hwang exited the cryobank module as Riordan turned back toward Karam Tsaami. “You okay on your own?” Karam waved him out. “Yeah, yeah: I’ve got these sleeping beauties.” He glanced at the two rows of cryocell bays behind him. Most had a unit…
  • His Father’s Eyes – Snippet 37

    Drak Bibliophile
    26 Jul 2015 | 11:00 pm
    His Father’s Eyes – Snippet 37 Chapter 13 I went first to see Billie, stopping along the way to pick up an order of fajitas. She was better today, though it sounded as though she’d had a rough night. The last of the anesthetics from her surgery had worn off during the evening, leaving her in a good deal of pain. The doctors were still trying to figure out the right dosages, but already she said that she was more comfortable. And seeing that I had brought her food improved her mood significantly. She didn’t look happy when I told her that I couldn’t stay long, and…
  • Raising Caine – Snippet 03

    Drak Bibliophile
    23 Jul 2015 | 11:00 pm
    Raising Caine – Snippet 03 Brenlor tapped one finger against his bicep as, ten days later, the Arbitrage approached the shift point to their next destination: system GJ 1236. “All systems nominal?” “Yes, Evolved,” answered Ayana Tagawa, whom they had trained as the second pilot for the Arbitrage. She had good basic skills and very high inherent aptitudes. “Terminal preacceleration energy state has been attained.” Nezdeh noted the lack of affect in her voice. Brenlor thought she had become the most compliant of all the Aboriginals. Nezdeh wondered if…
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    Mad Libs

  • Mental flush

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    22 Jul 2015 | 10:30 pm
    Someone I know used to tell me that I need to learn to flush the crap out of my head and let it be gone. Don’t let it keep bothering me. This is much harder to do than I like. The older I get, the more I’m convinced I need to do it, and just let it go. I’ve not been given to grudges in my life. I don’t particularly hold them. There are some people, however, who I would as soon never have anything to do with ever again. Occasionally I think of them and feel my blood pressure rising. Luckily, I think of them less and less frequently, and I’m slowly–if not…
  • Book Review: Jonathan Kellerman’s The Murderer’s Daughter

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    20 Jul 2015 | 8:39 pm
    I received this ARC via NetGalley. I just finished Joseph Kellerman’s The Murderer’s Daughter (which will come out August 18). It’s amazing. From the back of the book description: A brilliant, deeply dedicated psychologist, Grace Blades has a gift for treating troubled souls and tormented psyches—perhaps because she bears her own invisible scars: Only five years old when she witnessed her parents’ death in a bloody murder-suicide, Grace took refuge in her fierce intellect and found comfort in the loving couple who adopted her. But even as an adult with an…
  • Sasquan Schedule

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    16 Jul 2015 | 7:18 pm
    My Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention​ schedule: Autographing – Diana Pharaoh Francis, Nichole Giles, Nancy Kress, James Van Pelt Thursday 12:00 – 12:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC) Diana Pharaoh Francis, Nichole Giles, Nancy Kress, James Van Pelt, Reading – Diana Pharaoh Francis Friday 11:30 – 12:00, 301 (CC) Diana Pharaoh Francis Writers Workshop section 05 Friday 13:00 – 16:00, 201A (CC) David D. Levine, Madeleine Robins, Diana Pharaoh Francis Fantasy and Supernatural Noir Saturday 12:00 – 12:45, Bays 111C (CC) Dark speculative and (frequently)…
  • Parenthood

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    15 Jul 2015 | 10:34 pm
    Parenting is fucking hard. Originally published at You can comment here or there.
  • Edge of Dreams on sale

    Diana Pharaoh Francis
    13 Jul 2015 | 9:18 am
    The kindle version of Edge of Dreams is on sale today for $1.99. Yay! So if you still don’t have a copy, it’s time to grab one. And spread the word for me, okay?? And now to go back to work on book 3 and see what damage I can do to my poor characters . . . Remember, adversity builds character. Bwahaahahahahahaha! Originally published at You can comment here or there.
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    SF writer Gary Gibson

  • Ulysses (yes, again)

    Gary Gibson
    23 Jul 2015 | 8:52 pm
    Okay, so maybe the last couple of times I got talking about Ulysses I was being a bit grumpy. I got some editing work in since then and thought screw it, and bought the desktop version of the app as well. And you know what? I quite like it. It seems a bit minimalist compared to Scrivener, but it looks nice and - like I think I mentioned last time - it's got an attractive layout that somehow prompts me to write. Is it better than Scrivener? Hell, no. But it's close, and if Scrivener hadn't been invented I'd have probably thought Ulysses was pretty great. But someone did invent…
  • Ulysses on the iPad versus Scrivener on the Macbook

    Gary Gibson
    17 Jul 2015 | 12:50 am
    I read a rumour somewhere online that the much hoped for Scrivener iPad application might still be a while away, and possibly not this year, as many were hoping. Well, shit happens, even to the best of us, assuming this is true: even so, Scrivener remains by far and away the best of the writing tools out there for people like me, by a very long mile.But increasingly people want to write on tablets like the iPad, and in that respect Scrivener are playing catch-up with everyone else at the moment. I suspect there's a huge market out there for an iPad app of Scrivener, and a lot of people…
  • In praise of my Ipad

    Gary Gibson
    1 Jul 2015 | 1:03 am
    I'm back. I need your ironic glasses, your skinny jeans and your...fixie.*Checks time machine chronometer, realises twenty-five years too late to terminate Sarah Connor, gets back in time machine, disappears*Sorry.I'm back! I mean, I finished a major redraft of the sequel to Extinction Game, which will be out some time next year. I've basically been welded to an office chair for the past couple of months and haven't really seen much of the outside world, and...Oh yeah. My iPad. I can't remember when I bought it exactly. Just over a year ago? Something like that.I think there's a kind of…
  • General Tso

    Gary Gibson
    15 May 2015 | 8:27 pm
    I saw a documentary the other night here in Taiwan called The Search for General Tso, General Tso's Chicken apparently being right behind pizza as America's favourite fast food. Which is interesting in that I've never heard of it. But, anyway, the documentary crew went to China, where most people have also never heard of it, except for a few in Hunan Province who took them to see a giant statue of Tso, who lived in the Qing Dynasty.Then it turned out /SPOILER ALERT/ SPOILER ALERT/ that General Tso's Chicken Dish was actually invented in the 50s by a chap called Peng, who worked…
  • 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…
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    Where Personal and Professional Life Collide...

  • Argh.

    Laura Anne Gilman
    23 Jul 2015 | 8:54 pm
    The past 48 hours have been my own personal Merc Gone Retro nonstop party, where what I mean is the opposite of a party. But most of the miscommunications seem to have been worked out, the knots untangled, and August more-or-less sorted, with September maybe making sense.October is still an incipient clusterfuck, tho. And that's with me being organized and reasonably on top of my game. How do disorganized people survive? (that's not entirely a rhetorical question)
  • This week I am Boring

    Laura Anne Gilman
    22 Jul 2015 | 6:10 pm
    Well, boring to you, anyway. Mostly, time is split between 4th pass on Book 2 (which has gotten a deadline extension again, due to page proofs, but will not wait on me much longer), the side wine gig, and bringing two clients up to speed on the editorial gig. Basically, clearing out all the Due In July Things.Because in August, there will be GISHWHES, my sister and her SO visiting, the agency retreat, and WorldCon. And two novellas I kinda promised to have finished by Labor Day.So yeah, I'm boring now, in the hopes of bringing you excitement later....
  • and that spells MOON.

    Laura Anne Gilman
    21 Jul 2015 | 8:16 pm
    Moonrise, Puget Sound, July 2015Sickle Moon, July 2015I'm rather pleased and in fact astonished at how well these came out.  Yay little point-and-shoot that could!
  • Excuse me while I commercialize...

    Laura Anne Gilman
    20 Jul 2015 | 8:40 am
    I I have been informed that there’s been a (short-time) price drop!STAYING DEAD (book 1 of the Retrievers series) is currently 2.99 at Amazon and B&N (ebook)CURSE THE DARK (books 2 of the Retriever series) is currently 3.99 at both retailers.Meerkat's first novels!  A magical NYC, where the modern world has INCREASED the amount of magic in the world, not destroyed it, and the non-human fatae wander the streets alongside Nulls and Talent...Not so much "romantic fantasy" as "caper novels with magic and relationships."And a short, fuzzy (snarky as fuck)…
  • Bite of Seattle

    Laura Anne Gilman
    17 Jul 2015 | 8:55 pm
    Because of Reasons, after sending in the corrected page proofs for SILVER this morning, I took the afternoon away from the computer and wandered down the street a bit to check out Bite of Seattle, three days of food carts and demos and food trucks and booths and demos-from-sponsors, etc.  And cordoned-off-for-21-and-older areas for adult beverage sampling, too.And although there could be more freebie samples, IMO (only 3-4 places were actually giving food out), the prices were quite reasonable, and the quality of all the vendors seemed high.  Plus, there were opportunities to…
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    the m john harrison blog

  • thieves, rogues & chancers

    22 Jul 2015 | 9:43 am
    Can anyone help me locate a book? Title & author long forgotten. Popular in the late 1960s & 70s. It claimed to be the memoirs of a criminal–I think a Frenchman–who had sold arms & drugs around the Mediterranean in the preceding twenty or thirty years. His prison experiences featured. That’s all I can remember. Maybe it was a Corgi paperback. It was a kind of cross between Genet and Shantaram. & is there a name for this genre–very popular in the 1920s & 30s? The reminiscences of thieves, rogues & chancers who portray themselves as politicised?
  • a glaze composed of human fats

    13 Jul 2015 | 7:56 am
    For the first time in my life I have an “office”, so obviously I work on a laptop at one end of the kitchen table, hemmed in by all the bits & pieces–books under review, phone, meds, plates of half-eaten sardine sandwiches & scraps of torn paper on which someone has scratched hastily, “is it a function of genre, or genre-under-PoMo, or genre lensed by massive conscious access to its own legacy product? Or all of that?” It’s fine. C is in London, working for the man. The kitchen is quiet apart from the weird buzzing of the fluorescent fitment & the raw stupid…
  • romance

    5 Jul 2015 | 1:46 am
    A garden lawn should be like a round green pool, especially in twilight. It shouldn’t be large. The plantings around it–foxgloves & monbretia, gladeoli, huge hollyhocks, night-scented stocks–should lean over the smooth dark turf as if they’re leaning out over water. There should be a sense of seclusion, as if the plantings stretch away in all directions, too thick to walk in & steadily changing their nature from tended to untended. At one end, a gap between well-grown fuschias allows access; at the other, under an arch thick with white rambler roses, two or…
  • something to remember

    3 Jul 2015 | 4:05 am
    Yes, prescription drugs are funded by the UK taxpayer. But this is done according to an allocation of funds determined by us, the voters. The NHS is the vehicle by which we have chosen to have our health services delivered to us. It is not a charity, it is not a gift from government and our prescriptions are not given at Jeremy Hunt’s largesse. –Ann Robinson, Guardian, today.
  • age wars

    2 Jul 2015 | 3:27 am
    The middle aged–that is, those between about thirty five and fifty years old–are afraid of the way old people view the world. They pretend that this view is a criminal ideology for which they have a fine and organised political contempt. They have a duty to root it out. It is an issue. They also pretend that their own faux juvenility (sustained precariously in the face of first the true juvenility then the growing adulthood of their own children) is less an evasion than a special kind of sensibility, one that has to be fought for and that possesses a high political value. What…
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    Something to Talk About

  • Make Your Own Seasoning Salt

    24 Jul 2015 | 1:25 pm
    Make Your Own Seasoning SaltI was making dinner preparations for tonight’s meal when I discovered my seasoning salt was low. Checked my index, and no, haven’t posted about how to make your own seasoning salt similar to Lawry’s or many other brands. So, it’s about time I provide this simple, easy to make recipe so you can stop paying money for something you can make any time you need it at home for a fraction of the “already prepared” price. This recipe yields about 14 ounces.Supplies:Recycled container or jar with tight lid – 16 ounces or bigger8 TBS…
  • Handcraft Your Own Versatile Herbal Healing Salve

    2 Jun 2015 | 8:54 am
    Handcraft Your Own Versatile Herbal Healing SalveSome time ago I grew tired of using products with ingredients so complicated I had to sit down at the computer to define the chemicals listed. I decided then if I can’t pronounce the word, I probably didn’t want to put it in me, on me, or anywhere around me. Additives, preservatives, artificial colors, chemically-based fragrances – most are all unnecessary! But with a small herd of children, a husband, and myself to look after, what was I to do? Bug bites, rashes, dry skin, wounds: they all needed topical ointments and salves.
  • Don't miss my article, How to Make Reusable Fabric Coffee Filters, in BACKWOODS HOME MAGAZINE

    29 Apr 2015 | 12:46 pm
    My article, "Easy to Make Reusable Coffee Filters" is in the new May/June #153 issue of Backwoods Home Magazine. You can pick up a print or kindle copy on Amazon, or through the Backwoods Home Magazine website. Look for my future article on Forever Gift Bags! The article can also be read online on the Backwoods Home Magazine website as well.Look for other useful tips and projects in my journal index!
  • How to Make Brown Sugar

    29 Apr 2015 | 12:31 pm
    Yesterday, I was baking a cake and discovered I was out of brown sugar. Not a big deal, just a bit of a nuisance. The discovery went a little something like this:Me (taking lid off canister): Oh, shoot! I’m out of brown sugar.Kiddo #2: Can you still make the cake? (worried expression)Me: Yes. I just have to make the brown sugar first, then get on with the cake making.Kiddo #2: You can make brown sugar?At this point in the conversation, I had not only discovered I was out of brown sugar, but that I had also been remiss in my teaching/child rearing as my child did not know she/I could…
  • ELDERWOOD MANOR by Fulbright & Hawkes from DarkFuse AVAILABLE NOW

    15 Jul 2014 | 12:39 pm
    Things fall apart—Bruce Davenport knows this all too well.On the heels of his wife's death, laid-off and penniless with an eviction notice on the door, the only thing left for him and his four-year-old son Cody is Bruce's childhood home, secluded deep within Ozark forests, haunted by the ghosts of his past.After he receives a strange phone call from his dying mother, who has lived alone in the house for the past 15 years, Bruce reluctantly returns to the estate with his son.But they soon find that something else dwells in the home, in the earth, in the woods. Unseen things are…
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    People are strange, when you're a stranger . . .

  • Tuesday roadkill report

    28 Jul 2015 | 8:34 am
    More flattened frogs, courtesy of the overnight rain.  Stirs them up.  These seem to be leopard or pickerel frogs, although I did not stop to key out the pattern of blotches.  And it is interesting, the way that the majority of corpses end up with their bellies to the sky.  Apparently flipping a frog doesn't have a 50/50 outcome.Nothing new in the floral department, although the tansy is blossoming into solid banks of yellow.  Most of the thistles remain Canada variety, with a few others scattered.  And the purple loosestrife is filling patches with their…
  • The enemy of my enemy is still my enemy

    28 Jul 2015 | 4:58 am
    Commentary on human nature that the Turks took a swipe at the Kurds while attacking ISIS . . .
  • Rumbles of a distant war

    28 Jul 2015 | 4:36 am
    Thundershowers rolled through early, drying off now.  Air temperature 64 F, dew point the same, wind SSW about 8 mph, overcast clearing off.  Bike ride after the roads dry?
  • Dank

    27 Jul 2015 | 4:48 am
    Air temperature 62 F, dew point 61, overcast and calm for the newspaper walk. Mold spore count high. Debating possibility of a bike ride.
  • Gray

    26 Jul 2015 | 3:33 am
    Overcast, 53 F, rain off in the western hills moving this way.  Bike ride in doubt.Sad news from an old friend.
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    Jim C. Hines

  • One Week Until Blood of Heroes

    Jim C. Hines
    28 Jul 2015 | 5:24 pm
    Fable: Blood of Heroes [Amazon | B&N | Indiebound] comes out in exactly one week. Making life more interesting, Revisionary is due to my editor on Saturday, August 1. It’s going to be a hectic week or two in the Hines house. Anyway, since it seemed to go over well last time, I figured I’d give away another book. Next week, I’ll be sending out another author newsletter about the book, and when I do, I’ll pick one subscriber at random to receive an autographed copy of Blood of Heroes. If you’re interested, you can sign up here. And on that note, I gotta get…
  • Sigh…

    Jim C. Hines
    27 Jul 2015 | 8:29 am
    Ever spend several hours on a blog post, only to have WordPress eat it?   Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Cool Stuff Friday

    Jim C. Hines
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:13 am
    Friday is starting to suspect that Pym Particles might not actually be scientifically viable or accurate… LEGO-Compatible Prosthetic Arm. (Link via The Mary Sue) Baby Animals! Perfectly Timed Photos = GIANT DOGS! Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.
  • Writing Full Time: Marie Brennan

    Jim C. Hines
    23 Jul 2015 | 4:54 am
    When I announced that I’d be quitting the day job and devoting more time to writing, I also chatted a bit with some writer friends about their own experiences and advice. I ended up inviting some folks to share their stories. First up is author Marie Brennan. I’ve been a fan of Brennan’s work for a while, as you can see from some of the reviews I’ve posted. Her latest book is Voyage of the Basilisk, with In the Labyrinth of Drakes coming up next in 2016. Brennan’s experience below reminds me a bit of something my mother used to say when she was raising me and my…
  • Fable: Blood of Heroes – Sneak Preview

    Jim C. Hines
    20 Jul 2015 | 5:24 am
    Friday brought author copies of Fable: Blood of Heroes. That same day, I discovered that the publisher had posted the first few chapters of the book on their website. So head on over and click the “Look Inside” link to meet my Villain and four of the Heroes, as well as a king, a dead ex-king, a runaway pig, and more. Just to give a quick sense of the book’s tone, here’s the dedication: Dedicated to the memory of that legendary Hero Sir Whitefeather Cluckwarbler the Quick, also called the Courageous, the Strong, the Daring, and the Chicken. He was an inspiration to…
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    Nicholas Kaufmann's Journal

  • The Scariest Part: John C. Foster Talks About DEAD MEN

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    28 Jul 2015 | 4:02 am
    This week on The Scariest Part, my guest is John C. Foster, whose debut novel is Dead Men. Here’s the publisher’s description: Roaring south in a black Cadillac, John Smith is on the road trip from Hell through a nightmarish version of Americana, a place of rotting hollows and dusty crossroads, slaughterhouses and haunted trains. He doesn’t know how he woke up after sitting down in the electric chair, where he got the black suit with the slit up the back or even the cigarettes in his pocket. All he knows is that there is a woman guarding a great secret and he’s…
  • Neonomicon

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    27 Jul 2015 | 6:39 pm
    Neonomicon by Alan Moore My rating: 2 of 5 stars What starts out as an interesting supernatural procedural in a world where Lovecraft’s mythos is real is all but undone by Moore’s nearly adolescent preoccupation with sex. It wouldn’t be an issue if the sex were portrayed as healthy and positive — I could get behind that — but here the sex is entirely non-consensual. A female character is raped during an orgy of cultists and then raped again, repeatedly, by an inhuman monster with an insatiable sexual appetite. But it’s okay, Moore assures us, because in the…
  • The Necronomicon

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    26 Jul 2015 | 1:23 pm
    The Necronomicon by Simon My rating: 1 of 5 stars This book is baloney. I can’t believe I wasted my money on it. I cast every spell in its pages and nothing– Wait. What’s that noise? No! A clawlike hand at the window! AAAAAIIIIIEEEEEEE! View all my reviews Originally published at Nicholas Kaufmann. You can comment here or there.
  • The Scariest Part: J.A. McLachlan Talks About THE OCCASIONAL DIAMOND THIEF

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    21 Jul 2015 | 4:05 am
    This week on The Scariest Part, my guest is J.A. McLachlan, whose latest novel is The Occasional Diamond Thief. Here’s the publisher’s description: What if you learned your father was a thief? Would you follow in his footsteps, learn his “trade”? If you were the only one who knew, would you keep his secret? Kia is training to be a universal interpreter. Her plans go awry when she is co-opted into traveling as an interpreter to Malem. This is the last place in the universe that Kia wants to be — it’s the planet where her father caught the terrible illness that…
  • Necon 35 Report

    International Bon Vivant and Raconteur
    20 Jul 2015 | 1:51 pm
    Somehow, another Necon has come and gone. Are the years moving faster, or is it just me? Anyway, this was a great Necon — but then, they pretty much all are. When we say it feels like a family reunion, we’re not kidding. It was a joy having my good friend Paul Tremblay there as one of the Guests of Honor. Jack Haringa and I have been wanting to get him there for years now. I also really enjoyed finally meeting Chuck Wendig in person. He’s very funny, very smart, and just generally really cool. The third writer Guest of Honor, Seanan McGuire, also seemed cool but I…
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    Dear Sweet Filthy World

  • "Let's take the boat. Out wait until darkness."

    28 Jul 2015 | 9:30 am
    Kind of an especially lousy night, and it's going to actually be summery today. And I have to manage to work through the oncoming stifling weather that this house creates for itself, any time the temperature outside rises about 82˚F. Currently, it's 83˚F with a heat index of 96˚F (according to Accuweather; the Weather Channel says 83˚F with a heat index of 87˚F, which is more believable). We have our own Ash Tree Lane trick, a house that's hotter on the inside.Yesterday, I wrote another 1,062 words on "Dry Bones." I expect to finish the vignette today or tomorrow. Today would be good, as…
  • "And now you've seen my world in flames, my shadow songs, my deep regrets."

    27 Jul 2015 | 9:31 am
    Currently it's overcast and 70˚F. But there's heat coming.Yesterday, I set Agents of Dreamland aside and began work on "Dry Bones," a piece for Sirenia Digest #114. I did 1,014 words. Another good writing day, but it was hard stepping away from Agents of Dreamland.There was thunder and lightning last night, storms passing near Providence.A really stellar episode of True Detective last night. I was especially impressed by the score towards the end, and Rachel McAdams was really superb.And that's all I have for this afternoon.TTFN,Aunt Beast
  • "Not the needle, nor the thread, the lost decree. Saying nothing, that's enough for me."

    26 Jul 2015 | 9:19 am
    Yesterday's LJ entry apparently was among yesterday's 25 most popular. LJ told me so. How weird is that?Outside, it's March. Only 71˚F and cloudy and 81% humidity. Shit weather. And how come no one told me there were new Bloom County strips? Bad humans.Yesterday was a good writing day. I did 1,287 words and finished the second section of Agents of Dreamland. Now, hesitantly, I set it aside to write pieces for Sirenia Digest 114 and 115 (July and August).Because people think things, there's something I should explain. On the one hand, the movie options and my doing a screenplay, this is…
  • " the late night double-feature picture show."

    25 Jul 2015 | 9:42 am
    It's a decent enough early spring day out there, 72˚F and partly cloudy.Yesterday, the long-awaited announcement was posted to Facebook at 4:30 p.m. I'll repost it here:(quote) "Josh Boone's Mid-World Productions has optioned both The Red Tree and The Drowning Girl to develop into feature films. I'm writing the screenplay for The Red Tree. Josh will be writing The Drowning Girl. Judy Cairo will be producing. Josh is known for The Fault In Our Stars and is currently directing Stephen King's The Stand (in pre-production) and the reboot of Anne Rice's The Vampire Chronicles.Hurrah. An official…
  • "Change will come to those who have no fear."

    24 Jul 2015 | 9:17 am
    Sunny and cooler today. Currently, it's 80˚F, feels like 85˚F.Yesterday was a good writing day. Probably the only good writing day I've had so far with Agents of Dreamland (excepting maybe the day I began it). I did 1,231 words. Yesterday, at least, I heard the music.I am so far behind. Remember that list I posted here back on June 27th? All the shit I needed to get done this summer? Well, I've done almost none of it. Lists are never a good idea.TTFN,Aunt Beast
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    Mindy Klasky - Virtual Cocktails

  • Another RWA Nationals Bites the Dust

    Mindy Klasky
    28 Jul 2015 | 3:00 am
    I spent the majority of last week at the Romance Writers of America annual meeting, in New York City. When it came time to register for the conference, I almost chose not to go–I don’t have any ongoing traditional contracts right now, and I parted ways with my agent earlier this year, so there weren’t those all-important dinners, lunches, and other meetings to attend. As I dithered about whether or not to attend, the slots filled up at the massive book-signing that launches the convention, so I couldn’t give away my books in the service of literacy charities. Plus, the…
  • My Not-To-Be-Read List

    Mindy Klasky
    21 Jul 2015 | 7:26 am
    I have a to-be-read list that stretches on for about a mile.  (And I’m about to add to it, as I’m typing this post from an Amtrak train that is carrying me to Romance Writers of America’s annual meeting, where free books will be in abundance…) Of course, the mere fact that I have a TBR list implies that there are vast hordes of books on my not-to-be-read list. But I don’t think about the majority of those books. Today, I’m thinking about one book in particular. The book that has received more press than any other single novel this year. The book that blew…
  • Return of the Prodigal Writer

    Mindy Klasky
    14 Jul 2015 | 1:44 pm
    Well, it’s been far too long since I’ve posted here.  (Insert boring explanations, involving writing deadlines, family fun, blah, blah, blah…) But I’m back now–with news that I think you’ll find worthwhile: the fifth book in the Jane Madison Series, Joy of Witchcraft, will be published on August 4, 2015! I’m in absolute love with the cover of this book! And I’m sort of a sucker for the story, too   Here’s the back-of-the-book blurb: Sometimes a thunderstorm is just a thunderstorm. But not this time. Jane Madison’s school for witches is…
  • 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…
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    Mary Robinette Kowal

  • LA Puppet Slam Shenaniganza! 

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    28 Jul 2015 | 12:15 pm
    Hey Los Angeles! Here is a really rare opportunity to see me performing live puppetry. There’s a ton of brilliant puppeteers in LA and some of us are getting together for a Puppet Slam.     Ninja Puppet Productions presents the LA Puppet Slam Shenaniganza! What is a Puppet Slam you ask? Good freakin’ question! A puppet slam is a thousand year old tradition of puppeteers from all disciplines getting together and making puppets do dirty thing.It’s puppet sketch comedy at it’s finest. The show features professional puppeteers whose talent has been showcased on the stage and…
  • My Favorite Bit: Zachary Jernigan talks about SHOWER OF STONES

    Beth Bernier
    28 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    Zachary Jernigan is joining us today with his novel Shower of Stones. Here’s the publisher’s description: The follow-up to Zachary Jernigan’s critically-acclaimed literary debut No Return. At the moment of his greatest victory, before a crowd of thousands, the warrior Vedas Tezul renounced his faith, calling for revolt against the god Adrash, imploring mankind to unite in this struggle. Good intentions count for nothing. In the three months since his sacrilegious pronouncement, the world has not changed for the better. In fact, it is now on the verge of dying. The Needle hangs…
  • Hugo Gernsback’s invention to help authors concentrate.

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    27 Jul 2015 | 6:26 am
    I wonder how effective this would be against social media? The post Hugo Gernsback’s invention to help authors concentrate. appeared first on Mary Robinette Kowal.
  • Happy 51st anniversary to Mom and Dad

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    25 Jul 2015 | 6:41 pm
    I have this memory, which is probably a series of memories, from when I was little. Mom and Dad had gotten a baby sitter and were going out. Mom was wearing a dress that I loved, that was pale, pale blue with little white embroidered stars scattered across it. She had a fluffy white petticoat and shiny white shoes. She and Dad were going square-dancing. It’s mumble-something years later and they are still adorably in love. Dad just walked through the room with a box of white Godiva chocolate (Mom’s favorite) for her. They can’t go out for the anniversary this year, but I…
  • My short story, “The Consciousness Problem” is up at Lightspeed Magazine

    Mary Robinette Kowal
    23 Jul 2015 | 9:52 am
    I have a short SF story up at Lightspeed Magazine. Here’s a teaser of “The Consciousness Problem.” The afternoon sun angled across the scarred wood counter despite the bamboo shade Elise had lowered. She grimaced and picked up the steel chef’s knife, trying to keep the reflection in the blade angled away so it wouldn’t trigger a hallucination. In one of the Better Homes and Gardens her mother had sent her from the States, Elise had seen an advertisement for carbon fiber knives. They were a beautiful matte black, without reflections. She had been trying to remember to…
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    SF and Nonsense

  • Hugo voting closing soon

    26 Jul 2015 | 8:50 am
    Many visitors to SF and Nonsense, not surprisingly, read SF. Some are also, through a membership at last year's or this year's Worldcon, eligible to vote for this year's Hugo awards. If that's you, please note: voting closes on July 31. That's this coming Friday! (Where does the time go?)The envelope please ...As this year's puppygate controversy continues to swirl, it's more important than ever that nonpartisan readers (as I imagine visitors here to this blog to be) participate in the awards process. The more fans who -- turned off by all the squabbling and posturing, politicizing and…
  • Cool stuff other than Pluto

    21 Jul 2015 | 7:00 am
    Let me say upfront that the recent New Horizons flyby of Pluto was awesome. But NASA's images speak for themselves; you don't need my two-cents worth on the topic.When it rains, it poursInstead, today I'll write mostly about some interesting computer (in)security topics. (You also don't need me to tell you how awful the recent OPM hack was, or the ho-hum non-response from the executive branch, so I'll cover less prominent security topics.)Some in Washington officialdom -- to the level of the Director of the FBI! -- assert that a solution to our national-security problems is to add insecure…
  • 20 Unbelievable (Really!) Facts About Outer Space

    14 Jul 2015 | 6:30 am
    I'm too busy to post this week ... but why should you suffer?More than meets the eye (or the HST)You won't want to miss "20 Unbelievable Facts About Outer Space."Happy Pluto Flyby (and Bastille) Day :-)====================== from Edward M. Lerner's "SF and Nonsense"
  • The curious state of publishing

    7 Jul 2015 | 7:06 am
    Some observations about the (generally troublesome) state of publishing ...Is the shift from print to ebooks hurting publishers? Are brick-and-mortar bookstores dying? Conventional wisdom says yes to both. And (sometimes) conventional wisdom is wrong. See Hugh Howey's "Two Important Publishing Facts Everyone Gets Wrong."(If you're unfamiliar Hugh Howey, he's one of the most successful self-published authors around. He got his start with self-published Kindle books -- although based on that success, he's conventionally published, too.)Ever wonder about the balance of power between authors and…
  • InterstellarNet: Enigma -- now (finally!) -- on paper :-)

    28 Jun 2015 | 6:50 pm
    It's been an ebook serial. It's been an ebook book (or, as the publisher would have it, an ebook omnibus). It incorporates the Hugo Award-nominated novelette "Championship B'tok." But for the many who prefer the feel of a physical bound volume in their hands? They've been without an option.Latest and greatestIt is InterstellarNet: Enigma, the third -- and, IMO, most ambitious yet -- adventure in the InterstellarNet saga. And as of today, I'm delighted to report, this novel is, finally, also available in print."When people talk about good hard SF -- rigorously extrapolated but still imbued…
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    We Are Still Laughing

  • Act of Whimsy to benefit Nora and Bob

    28 Jul 2015 | 8:26 am
    A couple of months ago, my friend Mary Robinette Kowal contacted me for help. Nora and Bob, friends of hers from the Oregon Regency Society, were involved in a horrific car accident far from home. They both barely survived and wound up in the ICU, with terrible fractures and multiple surgeries. They have insurance, but obviously neither of them is able to work and they will certainly burn through the insurance money before they are well. So their friends set up a fundraiser at asked me to help publicize the fundraiser by contributing an Act of Whimsy --…
  • Meet me at the old abandoned paper mill (photos)

    27 Jul 2015 | 4:53 pm
    This weekend I took a hard-hat tour of the former Blue Heron Paper Mill in Oregon City.We started off with a brief introduction by Dr. John McLoughlin (1784–1857) who gave us a little history of the site. Oregon City was once the capital of the entire territory (San Francisco's plat was filed here, and is still on display in the city museum) and this site was one of the area's first industrial facilities. A sawmill was the first use of the river's power, followed by a grist mill, a salmon processing plant, one of the country's first municipal power plants, and finally the Blue Heron Paper…
  • OWC Lit Lounge 7/15: Writing a Fiction Series

    13 Jul 2015 | 8:36 am
    At the Oregon Writers Colony Literary Lounge on July 15, 2015, authors David D. Levine, Cindy Brown, and Angela Sanders will discuss and answer questions about writing a fiction series. They will also talk about working with big publishing houses, small presses, and self-publishing. Ed Goldberg of All Classic Radio will moderate.The event happens from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. July 15 at the June Key Delta Community Center, 5940 N Albina Street, Portland, Oregon.
  • A publication, a translation, two podcasts, and a reprint! And a publication date! And paper books!

    12 Jul 2015 | 2:50 pm
    What with everything else that has been happening, I have been absolutely terrible at posting my writing news lately.A new hard SF story of mine, "River of Ice," was published at the Chinese website SF Comet in Chinese and English.My Bigfoot story "Primates," which originally appeared in Asimov's, was podcast at The Overcast, read by me!My dog story "I Hold My Father's Paws," which originally appeared in Albedo One, has been reprinted in the furry anthology ROAR 6.My Venus Noir story "The End of the Silk Road" was requested by the StarShipSofa podcast, also to be read by me, and will appear…
  • Kate's progress: June

    8 Jul 2015 | 3:58 pm
    Things are going pretty well around here. In the last two weekends we attended the Locus Awards in Seattle and the Westercon in San Diego, and both were fun, if quite laid-back for us. I was on a lot of programming at the Westercon; Kate attended a couple of program items a day and spent much of the rest of the time napping or relaxing in the room. But we had many fine meals, hung out with friends, and enjoyed the weather (paradoxically, San Diego was a refreshing 68 degrees and overcast while Portland was an unpleasant 90+ degrees and sunny). Kate had another bi-monthly MRI, which was almost…
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    Paul Levinson's Infinite Regress

  • Humans: In Ascending Order

    27 Jul 2015 | 10:03 am
    Tina and I saw the first five episodes of Humans on AMC this weekend - based on the recommendation of a friend, Sarita - impressive!The set-up, which is gradually unfolding over the season, is that there are a least four kinds of androids in this near-future London, where the story takes place.  In ascending order (that is, in order of increasing correspondence to human intelligence) -1. Odi, Dr. Millican's android, prized by him for sentimental reasons (Odi remembers his wife), is the most primitive.  His model is breaking down and being replaced by "better" creations.2. Vera,…
  • Deutschland 83 106: Grave Developments

    23 Jul 2015 | 12:42 pm
    Another excellent, fast-moving episode of Deutschland 83 last night - #106 - which has two especially grave developments for our hero, Martin.First, in terms of long-range impact, we learn near the end of the episode that Tischbier's lover has AIDs.   Since Alex has recently slept with Tischbier, this unfortunately opens up all kinds of possibilities for General Ebel and his family, which makes what he just went through with his son MIA seem pale in comparison.But the other piece of bad luck for Martin comes from Alex's rash hostage-taking, which results in Kramer being killed in…
  • Touching the Face of the Cosmos: Contents as of July 21, 2015

    21 Jul 2015 | 10:24 am
    The following are the contents of our anthology, Touching the Face of the Cosmos: The Roots and Future of Human Space Exploration in Religion as of July 21, 2015, three weeks after our official deadline for receipt of essays and stories, and the day after the first humans on the Moon anniversary. There are several important points to keep in mind about what follows:1. This is not the Table of Contents.  My co-editor Michael Waltemathe and I have yet to decide on the specific order of nonfiction essays and science fiction stories.2. This is not a final list of essays and stories.
  • Ray Donovan 3.2: Beat-downs

    20 Jul 2015 | 9:47 am
    The ending of Ray Donovan 3.2 last night says it all: Ray's attempt to get Carl to take the check and wrap up this situation that Ray has been called in to fix ends in a beat-down - of Ray.No one was holding Ray's arms behind his back.  No one had a gun on Ray or his loved ones.  It was just Ray and Carl.  And although Carl, a Navy SEAL, obviously is in good shape, in previous seasons Ray at least would have put a fight, done something in his own defense even if he restrained himself from hurting Carl, rather than just absorbing three blows including the last one, which was…
  • Masters of Sex 3.2: The Shah, the Baby, and the Book

    19 Jul 2015 | 8:24 pm
    Well, you couldn't ask for better timing.  A week after the deal is announced that will stop Iran's development of nuclear weapons, we get episode 3.2 of Masters of Sex which features Masters treating the Shah and his wife for fertility problems back in the 1960s.That treatment was not successful, but, as we discovered in last week's episode, Johnson is pregnant. Not with Masters' baby - as far as we know - but with George's, her ex-husband's.  The episode plays nicely with George as the father of Johnson's baby, and Masters as the co-creator of something wonderful with Johnson,…
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    Holly Lisle: Official Author Homepage »

  • Isolated Malware Incident: Incident Report for AWeber

    28 Jul 2015 | 12:44 pm
    Tweet After receiving a number of reports from folks who received the Tuesday HTTS newsletter and reported that it was showing warnings that the links connected to malware, I received the following email from Aweber that applies a BROAD stroke of overcompensation on Google’s part: AWeber Network Status July 28, 2015 1:50 PM To: Holly Lisle [AWeber status] Resolved : Isolated Malware Incident Isolated Malware Incident Incident Report for AWeber New Incident Status: Resolved Google has removed the malware alert from all emails sent through the AWeber service. Emails should no longer be…
  • Hacking anti-cancer with green tea and attitude

    28 Jul 2015 | 9:20 am
    Tweet Green tea—the first step in hacking anti-cancer My research starts with two core assumptions: I am not a helpless victim of my life, but an active and engaged participant capable of making changes and altering outcomes. I am bigger than my cells. It starts with two core philosophies: Life is wonderful and worth hanging onto. Joy is a process, not a goal, and is an internal program I run intentionally and mindfully. It’s something I’ve modded into my personal copy of OS-Human, not a fantasy I chase. And it starts with two core attitudes: Learn everything, because…
  • I’m back, I’m well, and I’m catching up. Tomorrow…research results.

    27 Jul 2015 | 6:20 am
    Tweet This morning’s mail The image in this post is a tiny slice of my taskbar, with my mail count in bright red on my mail app. Lotta mail. I am dedicating today to catching up—doing the help desk stuff Dan couldn’t (because receipts come directly to me), finding the critical emails in my mailbox and deleting everything that can be deleted, and doing a couple of tasks to test this build of my new classroom software. Tomorrow I’ll post my research, and let you know some cool, surprising things that happened while I was away. I’m glad to be back. I’ve missed…
  • I’m okay. Now to stay that way.

    21 Jul 2015 | 12:49 pm
    Tweet I’m okayStill dealing with significant pain, much increased after my exam yesterday. My doc had to grasp and pull my tongue far forward in order to get a good look at the back portion of the healing area. He was as careful as he could be, but stretching and moving tissue I had been carefully NOT moving for the previous seven days dropped me back to about day three post-op on the “Holy crap, that hurts” scale. I like my doc, by the way. He is determinedly and ferociously competent, which is the absolute best quality to have in a surgeon. He’s also a nice guy, and…
  • Life, Pain, Fear, and the Whole Wide World: Breathe In, Breathe Out

    10 Jul 2015 | 8:24 am
    Tweet Breathe in. Breathe out.A close friend of mine observed recently that he felt guilty about bringing kids into this world—this world being full of nightmares, and pain, and threats, and disasters. I told him the gift he gave them was the choice to be who they wanted to be, and to make the time they had matter to themselves. I told him that was a precious thing. But I kept thinking about the basic premise of his worry—that the world is a terrible place, and that bringing new life into it is cruel, or bad, or terrible. And I came to a life-changing realization. Where any…
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    Nick Mamatas

  • New Story: "Anti-Fragile"

    27 Jul 2015 | 5:57 am
    I have been in rural Florida all week, where places of business started displaying Confederate flags in response to the recent movement to have them pulled from government facilities. So, it's fairly remote, as you can guess. My father turned 70, so there was a big party.Anyway, to tide you over, here is a link to my latest story Anti-Fragile, in the dystopia issue of a newish culture magazine called Trigger Warning. The now traditional Indiegogo campaign continues.More later.
  • Busy, but here's a dayjob book!

    20 Jul 2015 | 11:30 am
    Too busy to do anything, really. Traveling starting at 2am. Laundry and medical records and the last 1500 words of my novel and and and...and to keep you busy, check out the cover of my latest dayjob anthology with Masumi Washington, Hanzai Japan: Fantastical, Futuristic Stories from Crime From and About Japan!And the table of contents:Genevieve Valentine “(.dis)”Yusuke Miyauchi “Sky Spider”Libby Cudmore “Rough Night in Little Toke”Ray Banks “Outside the Circle”Yumeaki Hirayama “Monologue of a Universal Transverse Mercator Map”Brian Evenson “Best Interest”Jyouji…
  • What's Happening

    14 Jul 2015 | 8:26 am Greece? Forbes of all places, and a Forbes columnist of all people has it right, I think: The Eurozone leadership stopped short of sending tanks onto the streets of Athens, but who needs tanks when you control a country’s banks? The only chance for sovereignty without fascism now is Tsipras out and SYRIZA's left flank tanking over, rejecting everything, and biting the bullet of Grexit on its publishing? No, not that garbage Harper Lee trunk novel. The Mammoth Book of DieselpunK, which includes my novelette "We Never Sleep" is out today....with me? Not much. I see the end…
  • Tom Piccirilli, RIP

    11 Jul 2015 | 10:23 am
    I never re-read books, and I only rarely re-read shorter pieces, but two I often return to are both by Tom Piccirilli, who died today, after a second encounter with brain cancer. I was extremely pleased to publish both Fat Burglar Blues in my magazine The Big Click's inaugural issue. It showed everything that Pic was great at: a dark mood, universal empathy, and humor. He was a regular columnist until his first cancer robbed him of his abilities. Thanks to the care of his undefatigable wife Michelle Scalise and some ace medical treatment, he bounced back and gave me The Ghost Room. Read…
  • Thursday Quick Notes

    9 Jul 2015 | 8:55 am
    Let's see: I have finally have Move Under Ground on non-amazon electronic retailers, thanks to Siliva Moreno-Garcia. One hopes that'll keep the piracy to a minimum. Anyway: NOOK, Kobo, Smashwords.A classmate launched a weekly meet-up in Dolores Park for push-hands. All welcome, and encouraged, to attend.
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    Not A Blog

  • Sasquan and Beyond

    25 Jul 2015 | 11:56 pm
    A couple posts down, I posted about worldcon and what it means to me, and why I am going to be going to Sasquan and throwing a big party there (someone needs to make a big futile, stupid gesture, and it might as well be me). From talking and emailing with various friends and colleagues, however, I know that some of them will NOT be going to Spokane, mainly because the Hugo Wars have left a bad taste in their mouths. Others will attend, but not without trepidation. They wonder how much of the acrimony of Puppygate will spill over into the con itself... to the panels, the parties, the hallways.
  • Six Days Left

    25 Jul 2015 | 12:06 pm
    Less than a week remains to cast a vote for this year's Hugo Awards. Voting closes on July 31, but it would be wise not to wait until the last day. Sasquan has already warned that its servers may overload if there is too large a rush of last-minute ballots. Remember, you can vote NOW, even if you haven't finished reading, and return later to change your ballot once you've read more.The ballot is here: of course, you need to be a member of worldcon (Supporting or Attending, either will do) and secure a PIN to be able to vote.You can join here:…
  • A Family Reunion

    23 Jul 2015 | 10:49 pm
    We are now less than a month away from worldcon. On Tuesday, August 18, Parris and I and some friends will be boarding a jet plane for Spokane, returning the following Tuesday. With the convention -- and the Hugo awards -- looming ever closer, I have been giving a lot of thought to what this worldcon might be like.Sasquan will be the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention. For me, it will be the 41st (I just counted). That's a lot. My first was Noreascon I in Boston, in 1971. I've missed a few along the way, most recently the one in Japan in 2007, but for the most part I have been going ever…
  • In the Wind

    22 Jul 2015 | 4:19 pm
    The sharks are coming.Lots of them.Tonight on SyFy... and next month at the Jean Cocteau.Check it out. Next year's Hugo favorite, for sure.
  • Me and Ant-Man

    21 Jul 2015 | 12:05 pm
    Speaking of movies...... I saw ANT-MAN last night at the Violet Crown down the street from the Cocteau, and loved it.(It's not playing at the JCC, though I wish it was. Alas, we have only the one screen).Now, I have to confess, as an old -- VERY old -- Marvel fanboy (I was once a member of the Merry Marvel Marching Society), I was a little disappointed going in when I heard that this would be the Scott Lang Ant-Man and not the original Hank Pym Ant-Man of my youth. Scott Lang came in just about the time when my regular comics reading was falling off, so I did not know the character very well,…
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  • 26 Jul 2015 | 3:10 pm

    26 Jul 2015 | 3:10 pm
  • 24 Jul 2015 | 8:51 am

    24 Jul 2015 | 8:51 am
  • 16 Jul 2015 | 3:50 pm

    16 Jul 2015 | 3:50 pm
  • 14 Jul 2015 | 8:17 pm

    14 Jul 2015 | 8:17 pm
  • Starting on July 1st, a Promotional Price Diminishing

    29 Jun 2015 | 7:33 am
    Howdy all,On July 1st, and for two weeks, STRAGGLETAGGLE, my latest novel, will only be $0.99 with the lovely people at WeightlessBooks. just $0.99, this will be a huge steal, less than a lottery ticket for something that will entertain you far longer than a lottery ticket will, without the horrible letdown when you don't win at the end, because you'll have read a book, and reading books is never a let down.On July 1st, then, there will be a price drop at Weightless Books. Go there, and purchase a book.
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    Robin McKinley


    16 Jul 2015 | 6:12 pm
      Admetus, Peter and I went to the live cinema screening of the National Theatre’s EVERYMAN tonight—yes, the medieval morality play*, yanked into the present day and adorned with bad language and cocaine by Carol Ann Duffy, of whom I am a besotted and drooling fan**, and when I saw this play existed and that, furthermore, the National Theatre was going to live-screen it I WANTED TO GO.*** IT IS WONDERFUL AND AMAZING AND POWERFUL AND TERRIFIC.  GO IF YOU HAVE THE CHANCE.  They do rescreenings for these live things some times . . . check your local listings. * Which I read in…
  • The HandleBards. No, really

    28 Jun 2015 | 6:39 pm
      If you have a chance to see these dangerous lunatics*, I mean, this exceptionally talented and engaging AND ENERGETIC troupe of young men, do climb into or onto your internal combustion engine vehicle of choice, bring along a large picnic hamper of high-calorie comestibles and, if you’re sensible, a bottle of fizz, and several blankets because this is England after all**, and possibly folding chairs, if you’re ancient and decrepit***, and GO.  The HandleBards are a hoot.…
  • I should have stayed in bed

    14 Jun 2015 | 6:58 pm
      . . . yesterday.  I’d been Street Pastoring Friday night* so getting out of bed Saturday (ahem) morning (ahem) was a somewhat protracted business.**  I eventually came downstairs*** and was fallen on by the hellmob† who feel that six hours is plenty of time to be without the fascinating, stimulating and all-providing hellgoddess.†† And before I go on with this story I want to make it very clear that I had had an adequate amount of caffeine . . . I have three eggs for breakfast every morning.†††  I make excellent scrambled eggs‡ and this also means that if…
  • A night to remember.* Or not.

    1 Jun 2015 | 8:43 pm
    Niall and I went bell ringing tonight.  Tower bells.  One proper substantial bell at a time YAAAAAAY.  Not handbells.  Two horrible little random bells at a time NOT YAAAAAAAY. Long pause. WELL I GOT SOME KNITTING DONE. Sigh. One of the things about method ringing on handbells is that it is SO FRELLING INSANELY HERCULEAN AND FORMIDABLE AND DEMANDING** that when you can finally ring something it’s like the most amazing thing that has ever happened to you*** and furthermore since in the process you have completely altered the structure of your brain there’s quite a good chance it will…
  • It’s Friday, it must be handbells

    22 May 2015 | 5:14 pm
      Have I told you I’ve gone back into therapy because I Am Not Coping with Reality Very Well Right Now?*  I went in for an assessment a while ago but it took them some time to find a slot for me.**  I’ve seen Metis a few times now and like her—if ‘like’ is quite the word you want to apply to your shrink—and have some hope that she’ll crack me open like whacking off the top of your soft-boiled egg with an egg-spoon.***  But it’s still early days.  Yesterday she taught me a relaxation technique.  Chiefly it served to demonstrate that I do not relax.   Nadia could…
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    Notes from the Labyrinth

  • Award news

    10 Jul 2015 | 11:26 am
    The Goblin Emperor has now been nominated for all four major SF/F awards: Hugo, Locus, Nebula, World Fantasy.It has won the Locus.I don't actually know what to say about this, except, wow.
  • In memoriam: Miranda

    15 Jun 2015 | 11:49 am
    Our cat Miranda's borrowed time finally ran out; we had to put her to sleep in the early, awful hours of Sunday morning. (It really was 3 a.m. and F. Scott Fitzgerald was not wrong.)The best way to explain Miranda is to say, imagine that a T-1000 sent back by SkyNet to kill John Connor has to shift into a tuxedo cat (because reasons, okay?) and there's some sort of radical malfunction. It gets stuck. It can't shift out of cat form, it's cut off from SkyNet, even if it found John Connor, what's it going to do, shed him to death?The T-1000 decides, screw SkyNet, it likes being a…
  • UBC: Patrick Wilson, Murderesses

    27 May 2015 | 2:52 pm
    Murderess: A study of the Women executed in Britain since 1843 by Patrick WilsonMy rating: 3 of 5 starsI am the person who added this book to Goodreads.For what it is--and it is exactly what it says on the tin--this is not a bad book.It's very 1971 in this book--Wilson earnestly lists "Lesbianism" as one of the possible physiological causes of murder, along with menopause, post-partum depression, and "unsatisfactory sexual relations"--and his attempts to draw conclusions from his material are either blindingly obvious or only dubiously plausible. (The remains of an ancient pagan cult in the…
  • Locus Awards/Sasquan

    5 May 2015 | 12:07 pm
    The Goblin Emperor is a Locus Awards finalist in the Fantasy Novel category. (!)In other news, I will be attending part of Sasquan (Friday through Sunday--I just don't have the stamina for the whole thing.)I will also be part of a thing at ALAAC: RUSA's Literary Tastes Breakfast. The program description tells me that I will see papersky there, WHICH IS AWESOME.Further bulletins as events warrant.
  • Con or Bust: signed hardback of The Goblin Emperor

    29 Apr 2015 | 6:06 am
    I have donated a signed hardback of The Goblin Emperor to the Con or Bust auction. Should you feel like wandering over there, don't forget to check out the many other awesome items up for bid.
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  • That Flag

    9 Jul 2015 | 10:27 pm
    First, congratulations to the South Carolina state legislature for voting to remove the Confederate battle flag from display on the Statehouse grounds.   Any moral deed, whenever it occurs, deserves recognition and a pat on the back.Now we've got that taken care of...on to the larger issue, the one that's been carried like a giant pus-filled abscess in the body politic for a century and a half....a mix of racism and treason that has frustrated repeated attempts to heal the wounds caused by the treason of a region addicted to buying, owning, and selling human beings even…
  • Mother's Colors Socks

    9 Jul 2015 | 7:34 am
    My mother liked soft mid-green (either warm or cool-tone), dark green, rose, and burgundy together; the living room carpet was rose, the drapes burgundy (with white sheers that quickly became cream with age between them), walls painted an interesting cream (I got to watch the painter mix the paint),  sectional sofa upholstery in a mid-green with slip-covers in summer (that my mother made herself) out of a slightly lighter green with pattern elements of rose, burgundy, and cream.  I didn't have any burgundy yarn, but as I was looking at a full skein of Bernat Sesame in…
  • Life in a Wet Year

    6 Jul 2015 | 8:05 pm
    It's not wet now--things are drying up rapidly--but the frequent soaking (and sometimes flooding) rains have really made a difference to our summer after five years of stark drought.  The creek is running.   Fish fry are back--tiny almost glass-transparent minnows a half inch to an inch and a half long are swimming happily in the shallows.  Dragonflies I haven't seen for years (the American Rubyspot damselfly, the Great Pondhawk) are back down at the creekside.  Scat reveals that the fox and coyote are eating meat and bones again, not just cactus fruit,…
  • Religious Belief and Civic Duty

    2 Jul 2015 | 10:41 pm
    Way back in Bible times, Jesus recognized the potential conflict between religious belief and civic duty when--asked if Jews should refuse to pay Roman taxes--he held up a Roman coin and said "Whose face is this?"  Caesar's, said the crowd.  And Jesus said "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's, and unto God what is God."  In other words, pay your taxes, and then treat other people well: feed the hungry, house the homeless, visit the sick and imprisoned, care for each other.  When Roman soldiers or officials came to ask him what they could do to…
  • The Fourth Is Coming, The Fourth Is Coming

    30 Jun 2015 | 3:54 pm
    And naturally, with a convention and travel coming up, I needed something to knit.  I hoped to get these mostly done by the time I was on the train back,  but someone said "You'll never finish those by then," so...I did. and another view    Four different yarns, ranging in age from "just bought" to 40 years.   Blue: Bernat "Sesame" from my mother's stash.  Red: Ella rae Classic, maybe a year since I bought it, leftover from making solid red regular socks.  White: Cascade 220, purchased online, arrived the day before…
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    Day in the Life of an Idiot

  • Saying Good-bye to Level Up

    28 Jul 2015 | 8:41 am
    The reviewer today (another Rachel) didn't have a lot to say, but it's still a very nice review: lot of the reviewers are anxiously waiting for Book 2. I certainly hope that Rachel and Level Up Press will be able to give it to them. For myself, I've had to take a step back. I won't be involved in subsequent books in the School for Wayward Demons series.As I have said many places, I really enjoyed the writing process with Rachel, particularly when we were collaborating on the…
  • Blog Roll, Roll, Rollin' Along

    27 Jul 2015 | 7:13 am
    Rachel contacted the people in charge of setting up the blog roll, and the issue seems to be resolved. So that's a yay. There are two more reviews of Song of Secrets up: For the Love of Fictional Worlds and Reading with Pixie, which is, of course, MY favorite because the blogger called out Gabe as their favorite character.I had a very brief, drive-by, attendance at Diversicon this weekend. Eleanor invited me to sit in on the MCU panel and, as I said on Twitter, I geeked out so hard that people were checking with me about authors for certain runs of comic book titles. (I'm good, but not THAT…
  • Blog Tour for Song of Secrets

    24 Jul 2015 | 8:43 am
    So, Rachel and I are trying a thing. For part of this month and next, our book Song of Secrets is going on a blog tour/blog roll. There have been three reviews so far and each one comes with an opportunity to win an autographed copy of the book. Here's where we've been featured so far (in reverse order):Song of Secrets: How Fiction Helps us CopeNatural BriRocking out to Song of SecretsPlease note, that because the blog tour is called Calish Couple, the reviewers are giving all of the kudos and praise to Rachel. This was, however, a book we wrote TOGETHER (and it was wonderfully illustrated by…
  • Oh, Um, is Thing... On?

    21 Jul 2015 | 12:02 pm
    CONvergence came and went and then the very next week I taught at the Loft's Youth Summer Program. I guess, these last few weeks I have no good excuse except that I was recovering... maybe?Nah, I'm just a slacker.Let me cast my mind back. CONvergence was good. I bought Mason a membership last minute, but, given his age, it cost me only $30. He came along to con on Thursday and Friday. I skipped Saturday all together, because four days is a LONG con, and it was also 4th of July. In the past, my family has been grumpy to miss the fireworks, so I have made it my new tradition to never attend con…
  • CONvergence is Nigh....

    29 Jun 2015 | 6:29 am
    CONvergence is this weekend. In fact, my con will probably start Wednesday night. I don't have a TON of panels this year, but enough to keep me coming back pretty much every day of this four day con:Thursday: 5 PM - "Avengers: Age of Ultron"7 PM - "Guardians of the Galaxy"Friday:8:30 PM - "Slash Panel"Sunday:11 AM - "The Best Recent YA Fantasy and Science Fiction Novels"None of these are exactly meaty, but I get to talk TWO Marvel films, so I'm not complaining at all. I'm not quite sure why I got tapped to talk about YA novels. I've reviewed a few, but not that many. On the other hand, it's…
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    the essential kit

  • internet hiatus, week two…

    23 Jul 2015 | 7:32 am
    We’re now entering week two of No Internet (it has to do with regulations here, and I’m in the process of trying to circumvent those to the greatest degree possible, but as far as I can tell we’ll either get net access by the end of the week or not until like mid-August. Mrgahgngngl. (eta, since i’m still without net three days after starting to write this: this week is not looking good. maybe next week, but i’m not counting on that either. this sucks.) Anyway, I’d meant to post lots of pictures with that last post, but I ran out of time/forgot, and since I…
  • internet hiatus post

    18 Jul 2015 | 5:40 am
    I wrote this on like …Monday. Or Tuesday. It’s Saturday now. I don’t have time to do a secondary update right now, so this’ll do. We’re on an Unintended Internet Hiatus, as our broadband stopped working for some reason that no doubt has to do with moving and not having been able to get it sorted out because of things beyond our control. Not having internet is making an impact on the TBR shelf, though. Ted just accused me of having orchestrated the interruption in order to clear out some of those books. :) Friday I got the dining room end of the Long Room pretty…
  • it’s curtains for you!

    9 Jul 2015 | 8:39 am
    Young Indiana’s room is pretty well sorted out now. I unpacked the toys a few days ago, and today went grimly to tackle the task of lining the new curtains with blackout liners. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, and after about two hours I had big dramatic red curtains hung. Nana (Ted’s mom) made the terrific superheroes quilt on his bed. :) (Grandma, my mom, went forth into Dublin to find those curtains, after I totally failed to find any after checking every shop in Drogheda. Indy’s room is a joint effort. :)) Also, last night I apparently just…
  • mostly library

    8 Jul 2015 | 8:32 am
    The spotty child is on the road to recovery. There weren’t any new spots yesterday, just old ones increasing in awfulness, and today they are slightly fewer in number. Last night he was smoothing his hair down, and I said, “Stop rubbing.” He, greatly offended, said, “I’m NOT rubbing! I’m trying to look cooler! So the girls will notice when they walk by!” *dies of laughter* Unrelatedly, the other day we were all out in the back garden tossing an (American) football around, and Indy wanted me to do something–I no longer recall what, something Ted…
  • Recent Reads: The Long Earth

    7 Jul 2015 | 10:12 am
    I’ve read the four available books in Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter’s Long Earth series in the past couple weeks, going so far as to break my “no e-books over €9.99″ rule, which appears to have held right up until the point that I wanted something that cost more than that. :) I’ve found them pretty satisfying, obviously, or I wouldn’t have read four of them in…mostly a week. They’re about the discovery, or rather, the consequences of the discovery, of parallel earths (referred to collectively as The Long Earth) that can be…
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    Old Enough to Know Better

  • Moving On - SFWA

    16 Jul 2015 | 11:38 am
    Somewhen about 1977 or so, I joined the writer's organization, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, SFWA. Thirty-four years ago, and at the time, fairly big deal for me.The qualifications were, you have to have sold a novel, or two short stories, to an approved, paying market, which back then, meant on of the big publishing houses in NYC, or one of the three or four American SF magazines still alive.Later, the organization tried to expand its reach to include the rest of the world and add in "fantasy," and the acronym changed, but it didn't really stick. SFWA, pronounced…
  • Hannam Tenor Uke Sound Check

    27 May 2015 | 2:07 pm
  • The Perfect Student; the Instant Master; the Rookie of the Year ...

    20 May 2015 | 10:39 am
    There is a cliche in martial arts, that of the perfect student. Been done forever, and here's the basic version: A young person, boy or girl, from out in the hinterlands, shows up at the martial arts Master's place. Generally not accepted as a student right away, eventually the kid gets in, and s/he is the perfect student. In a matter of months, maybe a year, the student sweats blood, breaks blisters and bones, and learns the system so well that s/he kicks the other long-time students asses regularly, and fights the Master to (at least) a draw. Is this possible? In a…
  • Marylhurst Instrument Show

    27 Apr 2015 | 11:45 am
    Sunday Concert ScheduleWent to the show at Marylhurst as we usually do, and if you were local and you skipped it, you missed a great time. Lots of handmade instruments, guitars, fiddles, basses, charangas, flutes, harps, lutes, banjos, and ukuleles. Great mini-concerts, fifteen minutes each of excellent players showcasing instruments. We saw half a dozen of these, including Travis Stine on ukulele, doing his version of Jake's arrangement of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody," on a tenor uke by Mark Roberts.Three bucks apiece for admission. Can't beat that with a stick ...Some ukulele-related images:…
  • 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 ...
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    Mike Philbin's free planet blog

  • Free Planet - KILL YOUR GODS - words from The Union

    23 Jul 2015 | 2:21 pm
    I had another nice long jog today, and a second back-and-forth session with The Union. I received a message, sure. But it was a dire message for mankind. It went something like this.Short and straight to the point. That was The Union's stark response to the simple question, "What shall be done to the Human Race to save Free Planet from ultimate rot and ruin?"I was aghast, and I'm sure The Union understood that I had no power to 'kill them all' as they had prescribed. But what did they mean by 'kill them all', who is the THEM in this context? The People of this planet? The People of the West…
  • War World - the all-consuming self - Consumerism is your living Hell

    21 Jul 2015 | 3:12 am
    Goya!Francisco Goya understood the concept of the ACS or All Consuming Self, aptly illustrated by his 1820's image SATURN DEVOURING HIS SON. In corporate-war-godma terms we can take this to mean, "That which funds our enterprise will be our Free Lunch," on the Day of Reckoning.A modern illustration of what Dali called Auto-Cannibalism can be seen in the following video presentation c/o some brave soul on You Tube. I personally  love these AHRs or Alternative Historical Reimaginings or glimpses into the market-driven and mind-manipulated Machiavellia of Modern Man.We should see more of…
  • the role of God in Free Planet?

    18 Jul 2015 | 1:52 am
    LITERALLY, THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE OF FREE PLANETI've discussed the role of God in Free Planet with both Muslims and Christians on many occassions (that's what I do, I talk with people about the world they live in, sorry) and the sheer cynicism of the Religious+State issue is tax-deductively mind-numbing. Sure, there 'might be a god or great universal creative force' or it 'might just be us, that's You The People and I'. We just don't know, either way, nor can we prove it. Agnostic Planet would be a more appropriate self-declaration than 'atheist planet', so where does this leave…
  • THE TRILLION-DOLLAR CONSPIRACY - 9/11 Explosive Evidence - Architects and Engineers for 911 truth

    13 Jul 2015 | 8:41 am
    THE TRILLION-DOLLAR CONSPIRACY   don't even let this hot potato cool don't ever let the cinders of 911 be brushed under any corporate rugdon't forget  how much PROFIT some folk make off the events of the day"Oh, wait, nobody's listening!"
  • Dark passionate explorations of natural forms - the art of Lissa Bockrath

    11 Jul 2015 | 1:18 am
    Lissa Bockrath creates large format abstract-expressionistic nature-inspired mood-pieces that just make the jaw drop. Here's what she says about the how and when and why or her art...I start each painting without a preconceived idea of what the final image or end result will be and instead my process becomes a stream of consciousness. Working with the inherent natural elements in the process of painting is what I relish most. The “spontaneous” reactions of the medium inspire me. When I trust my instincts and work intuitively, the images produced are more believable and powerful than…
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    Tiny Godzilla

  • Ours is just a little sorrowed talk

    22 Jul 2015 | 3:17 pm
    Here's recent progress on one of my projects that I'm not supposed to specify yet, but will probably be able to talk about sometime in the next few weeks, I hope, so my apologies for any and all cryptic nonsense posted here until it comes to light:Project: The Agony HouseDeadline: [Redacted]New words written: 4386 (multi-day total)Present total word count: 10,015Things Accomplished in Fiction: Finished a draft of chapter two, yay! Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunts with the dog; two trips to the post office; picked up prescriptions at Walgreens; went grocery shopping; went…
  • Henry he went south & lost his way

    15 Jul 2015 | 3:14 pm
    Here's recent progress on one of my projects that I'm not supposed to specify yet, but will probably be able to talk about sometime in the next few weeks, I hope, so my apologies for any and all cryptic nonsense posted here until it comes to light:Project: The Agony HouseDeadline: [Redacted]New words written: 2185Present total word count: 5629 Things Accomplished in Fiction: Finished a draft of chapter one, yay! Things Accomplished in Real Life: Neighborhood jaunt with the dog; precious little else, to be honest.Other: The project doesn't have an official title yet, and the working title…
  • I am just freaking terrible at this

    14 Jul 2015 | 1:50 pm
    So besides the fact that I haven't been blogging...I went back to try and find the last time I posted word metrics and HOLY CRAP it was back in APRIL. This isn't to say I haven't done any writing since then - nay, I've done a short story, some work on an unannounced group project, and some editorial stuff here and there [copyedits, etc.] - but I'm not gonna lie and be all, "Oh I wrote a BILLION words while no one was looking." It was more like maybe ten thousand, in total. Since April. Which is awful.In my vague and slight defense, a LOT has happened in the last few months. For example (and…
  • You'll take me home where the magic's from

    5 Jul 2015 | 12:50 pm
    I know, it's been another week with zero in the way of blogging updates from yours truly - and I confess, I haven't been much on Twitter or Facebook, either. Instead, I've been doing some reading, some work on the house, some spring cleaning (a little late in the year), and some work on that as-yet-unannounced new project. Among other things. Ahem.So, you know. Just...real life stuff, I guess. Greyson has a new friend named Luna - a mastiff/whatever mix who is just the light of his little life, I swear. She lives a few blocks away, but comes over for playdates pretty regularly. They are the…
  • I AM PRINCESS X Loot and Whatnot

    25 Jun 2015 | 4:39 pm
    Over the last few days, I've had a number of people ask if there's any I Am Princess X loot floating around out there. After all, in the books there are Etsy shops and Zazzle accounts for the webcomic merch; and in real life, all I've ever had was a roll of stickers. A roll of very cool stickers which is, quite sadly, long gone.So I badgered my longsuffering editor, who has people On It right now, to see if we can't make more stickers and maybe even some schwag available to people. But at this moment, if you want an I Am Princess X sticker like oh, say, THIS ONE ...Princess X was here! Start…
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    Running Air

  • Bounding and Rebounding

    28 Jul 2015 | 10:44 am
    Within 24 hours of her surgery Emily was back to her usual self, a little puzzled by the addition of the t-shirt, and her digestive tract obviously dealing with the antibiotcs (verging on TMI here, so I shall Say No More), and wanting to play play play. Since she's on leash-walk-only until the stitches are out, she's itching for more activity than allowed; I have to keep reminding her that in Dog Years she's older than I am (to which her unblinking response seems to be "you still play. Why can't the poor, pathetic dog play too?"I guess I'm just mean.
  • Alas, Poor Em

    24 Jul 2015 | 10:19 pm
    She had her annual tire-kicking and vaccination visit at the vet today. This timed out fortunately, because she tore open her side on a tree branch at the park the other day--not a big gash, but one I wanted looked at. So I took her in (in Becca's new second-hand-ready-to-drive-to-college car) and she had the exam and the shot, and then stayed over for a few hours for a dose of Doggie-Downers and some suturing. She came home, still a little stoned. I put her in a tee-shirt (the alternative to the Cone of Shame, which she did not want) and she's been hanging about looking anxious and…
  • We Sure Know How to Have a Good Time, Huh?

    20 Jul 2015 | 9:15 am
    So yesterday afternoon, while Danny and I were seeing Mr. Holmes (perfectly lovely) Becca had taken her car and went off to the beach with a bunch of friends. Or tried to. Somewhere out in the Sunset district the Check Engine light came on, and just before the movie started, she called us to ask what to do. She seemed to think this was sort of an amusing eccentricity on the part of her car--until Danny asked her what the temperature was. What the temperature was was overheated. So she parked, got a ride to the beach, and didn't get home until 11 (that's another rant--her cell phone…
  • Unless Used Sensibly Cars Are Weapons

    17 Jul 2015 | 9:04 am
    Last evening I heard another torn-metal crunch (not as loud as the last one, but loud) and, wiser this time, went to the front window, where I saw that on the far side of the San Jose/I-280 cut, someone coming off the highway had attempted to take the right off of San Jose onto Rousseau at just-off-the-interstate speeds and had plowed, instead, into a fire hydrant. And like something out of a bad action movie, the hydrant was spouting water (not upward, as they do in =really= bad action movies, but down and out, flooding the street). No one was hurt, but...And the evening before that, one of…
  • A Summer Cold is a Different Animal

    15 Jul 2015 | 11:54 am
    ... there was an ad for Contac when I was a kid which featured a huge Marty Kroft puppet microbe menacing people as they tried to flee. The jingle included the line above.All of which is to say, I am fighting something off, and it's not being particularly cooperative. So I have declared today Lie Around Maybe Writing But Otherwise Doing Nothing Useful Day, in the hope that I can sneak up on the microbe and smash it flat. Meh.
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    Rudy's Blog

  • Shooting Photos a Lot

    10 Jul 2015 | 4:37 pm
    Waking up early on a summer day. Perched atop a tree, chirp. What to do today? Fourth of July we saw a wind instrument concert in Oak Meadow Park in Los Gatos. I love to look at kettle drums, and to hear them. And my fellow Los Gatos citizens here amid our signals and wires. […]
  • The Grateful Dead in Levi’s Stadium

    30 Jun 2015 | 11:45 am
    I went to see the Grateful Dead concert at Levi’s Stadium in San Jose this Sunday, June 8, 2015. I got a ride with a friend Dan Pulcrano, but he wanted to push up to the very front, so most of the time I was alone, getting into my head. I enjoyed the concert as […]
  • Podcast #86. Beat Con in SF with V. Vale. TURING & BURROUGHS.

    28 Jun 2015 | 12:46 pm
    June 28, 2015. At “Beatnik Shindig” event at Fort Mason in SF. I said a few words in praise of V. Vale and Marian Wallace. Then talked on TURING & BURROUGHS, and did Q&A. Sound is pretty good. 20 minutes in all. Subscribe to Rudy Rucker Podcasts.
  • Art, Journals, Grandkids, Beat Shindig, Rbt. Williams

    26 Jun 2015 | 8:43 pm
    I’ve been away from my regular blog posts for awhile. I had that thing with the art show and the talk at Borderlands. I made a nice video of the “art tour” part of my talk¬—I figured out how to use this free Microsoft Windows tool called “Movie Maker” to cut still photo in with […]
  • Going Live with Rudy Rucker Podcasts

    23 Jun 2015 | 2:18 pm
    I’ve been putting this together for the last two weeks. Check it out! And add any comments below. What’s in the Podcasts? Readings, interviews, talks, and Q&A sessions. Rudy Rucker is the author of twenty SF novels, plus books on infinity and on the fourth dimension.. He’s a cyberpunk and a transrealist—writing SF about real […]
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    Kristine Kathryn Rusch

  • The Interim Fates Available for Preorder!

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    28 Jul 2015 | 2:31 pm
    You can now preorder all of the Interim Fates novels…on three ebook sites: Amazon, iBooks, and Kobo. If you want the books from another site (I’m looking at you, Barnes & Noble), then you’ll have to wait until the release date. The trade paper editions will also be available on the release date. If you want a reminder when the books come out, please sign up for the Kristine Grayson newsletter (over there, on the right), or watch this space.   Tiffany Tumbles: Book One of the Interim Fates. Release date: August 18, 2015 Recently fired from her job as an Interim Fate,…
  • Free Fiction Monday: Results

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    27 Jul 2015 | 11:00 am
    Percentages. Chances. Opportunities. Before Bryan marries Jess, he needs to know what kind of children they’ll have. Fortunately, tests exist for that. The results have arrived, and now they must choose: babies, percentages, or each other? “Results,” by Hugo Award-winning author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is free on this website for one week only. The story’s also available as an ebook on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and from other online retailers. Results Kristine Kathryn Rusch Do it now, do it later. Do it when you’re twenty-five, do it when you’re forty-five. Each…
  • Business Musings: The Branding Surprise

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    22 Jul 2015 | 11:49 pm
    I’ve had a fascinating week, filled with realizations and surprises on the business side of things. I just made notes for three future blog posts, so I won’t try to cram all those realizations here. And I still haven’t found the time to read the music industry study in depth, like I mentioned I would last week, but I plan to, along with the copyright controversy that blew up right after it all. Every week, Dean and I meet with the publisher of WMG Publishing, Allyson Longueira. Allyson has a long background in graphic design, as well as in publishing. She started in newspapers, but…
  • Free Fiction Monday: E-Male

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    20 Jul 2015 | 11:00 am
    Gavin spends his morning reading the email of his ex-girlfriend, Stella. Thanks to a restraining order, he can’t approach her. So, the email has to do. Until it stops. Until Stella disappears from the world. Gavin thinks he knows what happened to her, but how can he help her? Should he risk everything, including his freedom, for the woman who accused him of stalking? “E-Male,” by USA Today bestselling author Kristine Kathryn Rusch, is free on this website for one week only. The story’s also available as an ebook on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and from other online…
  • Fantasy and Science Fiction and Deals!

    Kristine Kathryn Rusch
    17 Jul 2015 | 10:49 am
    The various holidays have ended, although tourists still clog the roads in my little beach town, and now I can let you know about a few deals that have started up. First, the ebook of the very first Retrieval Artist novel, The Disappeared, has a permanent low price—$2.99. So, if you wanted to try the series after hearing all the hype about it earlier this year, now you can for a very reasonable price. In case you’re waffling, here are a few quotes about the book: “Rusch has created an entertaining blend of mystery and sf, a solid police drama that asks hard questions about what…
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  • Calamity cover reveal & preview chapters + Updates

    21 Jul 2015 | 12:47 pm
    As I tweeted about a couple of weeks ago, revealed the cover for Calamity. They also posted the prologue and first two chapters for you to sink your teeth into.We have some more fantastic news about Steelheart: it received another nomination for a state book award. This time it's the Green Mountain Book Award, a readers' choice award for students in grades 9–12 in Vermont.In this week's Writing Excuses episode, Why Should My Characters Fail Spectacularly, we talk about why character failure helps make the middle of your story work and provide some tips about how to use it…
  • Shadows of Self Previews + Updates

    15 Jul 2015 | 10:43 am
    In case you missed my tweets about it, has put up a few excerpts from Shadows of Self, which will be released in October. You can read the prologue, chapter one, and chapter two here.At Comic-Con this past weekend, Joel Cunningham of Barnes & Noble interviewed me about this book and its sequel. Watch it here.The last Writing Excuses episode in June was a Q&A on scenes and description Here are some of the questions:How do you “Show, don’t tell” a character’s thoughts?How do you describe a character’s appearance when they’re in their own POV?What’s the difference between…
  • Award Updates!

    15 Jul 2015 | 10:42 am
    Over the last few months I've mentioned various awards that some of my books have been up for or won. Here's some more news and a few award photos for you.It's been a particularly exciting time for Steelheart as it has been nominated (along with The Rithmatist) for the 2016 Oklahoma Sequoya Award (one of the oldest book awards in the country) as well as the 2015–2016 South Carolina Young Adult Book Awards. It has also won the 2015 Kentucky Bluegrass Award (6–8 grade category), which is a statewide student choice award, and has been named an honor book in the Georgia Peach Book Award for…
  • My Comic-Con Schedule This Weekend

    10 Jul 2015 | 9:44 am
    I’m at Comic-Con today and tomorrow doing a couple of signings and panels. Hope to see a number of you there! For future events, keep an eye on my events page.San Diego Comic-Con International 2015Date: Fri, Jul 10, 2015 – Sat, Jul 11, 2015Address: San Diego Convention Center111 W Harbor DrSan Diego, CA 92101Notes:Grab a Calamity chapter sampler at the Random House booth #1515 and a Shadows of Self bookmark at the Tor booth #2707.Schedule:Friday, July 10th2pm Signing with Brandon Sanderson ­ at the Tor Booth (#2707)In-booth sales by Mysterious GalaxySaturday, July…
  • YALLFest 2015 + Updates

    23 Jun 2015 | 10:48 am
    For those who haven't heard, I will be a keynote speaker at YALLFest in Charleston this November along with Brandon Mull, Richelle Mead, and R.L. Stine.Back 2010, in France gave an award to the first Mistborn book. This year, The Way of Kings has been nominated for the 2015 version of the same award. Best of luck to all the nominees, and I hope my readers in France are enjoying more and more of my books as they get translated there. In this week's Writing Excuses episode, What Makes a Scene?, we try to answer that question. How do we, as writers, structure things using scenes?
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    Inhuman Swill

  • Roundup of recent Mormon-related links

    7 Jul 2015 | 12:08 pm
    A handful of links have been accumulating in my to-be-posted queue over the past couple of weeks. Time to toss them out there for consumption. First, longtime Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer died last Friday at the age of 90. To many of us who grew up in the church, Packer was the "scary apostle," the one most likely to give talks on uncomfortable topics, and to do it in frightening ways. He was the closest thing we had to an old-fashioned fire-and-brimstone preacher.Packer will long be remembered for his influential talk (later published as a pamphlet) called "To Young Men Only," which could…
  • Giving text an inner shadow with ImageMagick and Perl

    19 Jun 2015 | 10:00 am
    This will be a pretty technical post, so feel free to skip it if you're not interested in Perl coding and things of that nature.When I started building my Accidental Terrorist Missionary Name Tag Creator, I knew I wanted to use the Perl interface to ImageMagick to overlay a name in bold white text onto the blank space on a name tag image like this one:image-magick-step-1.jpg (blank name tag graphic)What's more, I wanted the name to look like it had actually been drilled out or stamped into the name tag, with maybe a slightly pebbled white surface to give things a nice feeling of texture.I had…
  • Poem: Springtime in Manhattan

    8 Jun 2015 | 7:04 am
    Tourists in Times SquareBlocking the sidewalk to gapeAt an ambulanceCrossposted from Inhuman Swill
  • Part Two of my new novelette is available now

    1 May 2015 | 1:27 pm
    The second and concluding part of my new science fiction novelette, "Our Dependency on Foreign Keys," is available today at the online magazine Across the Margin. (Part One appeared yesterday.)When last we left our not-so-heroic hero Pell "Franny" Franziskaner, he was no closer than he was at the start to figuring out who is sabotaging his cocktail party and threatening to kill him, nor to completing or even figuring out the task he's been given by the super-duper advanced A.I. called Hondo. But at least he's invented a cool new party game called dueling holaoke! Will Franny unravel the…
  • Murder, art and infopocalypse in a post-deluge New York City

    30 Apr 2015 | 2:25 pm
    A brand-new story of mine, "Our Dependency on Foreign Keys," is available today at the online magazine Across the Margin.Or actually, the first half of this 11,000-word story is available today. The second half will go live tomorrow morning.And to be honest, it's not exactly brand-new, either, though this is the first time readers are seeing it. According to an old blog post, I was working on this story during a trip to Malta and the Middle East in May 2008. It was one of those stories that started with the title, and as I worked out the basic situation of the story the plot and its world,…
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    Douglas Smith's blog

  • "Symphony" published in The Gernsback Variations in Italy

    Douglas Smith
    4 Jul 2015 | 12:17 pm
    I posted a while back that my science fiction short story "Symphony" would be appearing in the upcoming anthology Le Variazioni Gernsback (The Gernsback Variations) in Italy. The anthology is now out, and you can check out the cover at the left and the full contents here (if you read Italian). "Symphony" first appeared in the Canadian literary magazine, Prairie Fire, in 1999, where it won second prize in the magazine's SF contest to commemorate Canadian SF writer, A. E. van Vogt. The story was a finalist for the Aurora Award in 2000. I'm thrilled to have it translated into Italian and to…
  • Video interview on Fantasy Fiction Focus

    Douglas Smith
    4 Jul 2015 | 11:44 am
    Simon Rose is a Calgary-based author of science fiction and fantasy for children and young adults. Simon's most recent book is Flashback, shown here. Simon kindly interviewed me recently via Google Hangouts and has posted the video to YouTube here. I hope you'll take some time to check it out (the whole interview is about 25 minutes long).  And you can check out Simon's books at his website at
  • Foreign Market List updates posted

    Douglas Smith
    16 May 2015 | 10:09 am
    Another post for the writers who follow me. I've just posted several updates to the FML. Here are the highlights: New Markets: Parsek (Croatia) Updates: Pulpcore (Germany): has switched to an invitation-only submission policy | Nowa Fantastyka (Poland): new editor has reversed the magazine's policy and now is no longer interested in receiving submissions Check out the Foreign Market List for all the details.
  • The Write Stuff: A book bundle for writers

    Douglas Smith
    15 May 2015 | 8:33 am
    Are you a writer? Or do you know someone who is? If so, how would you like to pick up eleven books at once that contain everything you need to know to be a writer and to build a writing career? Books written by established pros, best sellers, and award-winners. Sound good? What if you could also get a 40% discount on the best software available today for producing professional quality ebooks, the tool used by the top indie authors? Well, you can (yeah, you knew that was coming). For a limited time, StoryBundle is offering "The Write Stuff" ebook bundle that gives you all of the above. This…
  • 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.
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  • Redefining Utopia and Dystopia or Post-Apoc

    Jeff VanderMeer
    15 Jul 2015 | 5:32 pm
    I thought that this review by Niall Harrison at Strange Horizons of James Bradley’s Clade was pretty fascinating and extremely useful. I like that he acknowledges the potential disconnect between the reality we’re headed toward and the way this reality is depicted in fiction—and just how difficult it is for fiction writers to tackle the subject. I also understand his point about “hyperobjects” and agree to an extent, but my point about hyperobjects, as discussed in my “Slow Apocalypse and Fiction” essay is really the same as Harrison’s: that any term we do use had better…
  • Annihilation Wins the Shirley Jackson Award for Best Novel: Acceptance Speech

    Jeff VanderMeer
    12 Jul 2015 | 1:14 pm
    Annihilation, the first novel in the Southern Reach trilogy, has won the Shirley Jackson Award. This comes on the heels of Annihilation winning the Nebula Award as well as being nominated for the Locus Award and longlisted for the 25,000-pound Warwick Prize, and the entire trilogy being nominated for the World Fantasy Award and the Campbell Award, among other honors. The novels are also now being published in 25 countries, along, of course, with the plans in place for Alex Garland to adapt the series for Paramount Pictures / Scott Rudin and Eli Bush. I feel extremely blessed and fortunate.
  • 2015 Shared Worlds Teen Writing Camp Line-Up Change: Buckell and Sedia Added

    Jeff VanderMeer
    29 Jun 2015 | 8:01 am
    Happy to say that Ekaterina Sedia and Tobias Buckell are returning to teach at Shared Worlds again this year. They’re both excellent instructors and the students will really enjoy them. Kelly Link and Gavin J. Grant unfortunately have unforeseen circumstances that will not allow them to attend as our guests. But we hope to reschedule them in the future. Here’s more on Sedia and Buckell–and you can see our entire line-up online, including Catherynne M. Valente and Monica Byrne. All of our guests will be reading at Hub City Bookstore, schedule to be announced. Ann and I will…
  • A Summer of Reading, Sardinia, the Warwick Prize, & More

    Jeff VanderMeer
    28 Jun 2015 | 7:27 am
    This summer I’m a guest at the Isle of Stories Festival in Sardinia, with an event July 3 (more details here). I’m taking some writing with me–about done with a novella entitled “Bliss” and some short stories. But I’m also taking some books! And what books. Great stuff has come in the door recently. In addition to the Lispector Complete Stories (more info below), I’m in the middle of reading some great books. Here are some first impressions. ENRIQUE VILA-MATAS’ A BRIEF HISTORY OF PORTABLE LITERATURE (New Directions)–I must admit I envy…
  • A Summer of Writing: Fiction, VanderMeer Creative, Upcoming Events

    Jeff VanderMeer
    9 Jun 2015 | 12:31 pm
    If you’ve followed me on twitter or facebook, you know I’ve had a fair number of gigs already this year, including a great one at the Arthur C. Clarke Center for the Human Imagination in San Diego last week. I also saved a toad at my sister-in-law’s wedding in San Antonio and that same night learned I’d won the Nebula Award for Annihilation (the first for my publisher, FSG)—this after recently selling my new novel Borne to FSG, with the UK rights going to Fourth Estate and Canadian rights to HarperCollins Canada.Today, too, I learned the Southern Reach trilogy…
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    Paperback Writer

  • Mini Quilt Recycled Watercolor Journal

    Lynn Viehl
    28 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    My fifth and final project for Recycled Journal Week began with this mini quilt I picked up at a show some years back:It's made of wool, and really too small to be anything other than decorative, so I thought it would make a great cover for a little pocket watercolor journal. I went into my painting drawer and found a pad with a few sheets of unused 140 lb. watercolor paper leftover from a painting class I took, and then grabbed some old wrapping paper from the recycle bin: First I cut my wrapping paper to size as end papers, and then tore the watercolor papers from the pad and trimmed off…
  • Gift Box Recycled Unbound Journal

    Lynn Viehl
    27 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    My fourth project for Recycled Journal Week was to repurpose this slim 7" X 5.5" gift box, and I really didn't fuss with it too much:Rather than try to cut down the box I decided to keep it intact and use to to hold individual sheets of leftover paper as journal pages, and since it's a box I didn't have to bind them. The lining inside the box was like quilt batting, so I started working with that and some fabric:I quilted the fluffy lining between a piece of scrap muslin and a remnant of hand-dyed silk; both cut to fit the top of the box. Once I had it sandwiched together I added a Venise…
  • Bakery Box Recycled Prompt Journal

    Lynn Viehl
    26 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    My third project for Recycled Journal Week involved the smallest of my materials, this wee bakery box:I really like journals that have cards instead of pages, and I just happened to have a stack of outdated but otherwise pristine business cards that I need to recycle that fit perfectly inside the wee box:To recycle the business cards I decided to remake them into creative prompt cards using images, words, and other kicks my muse always needs. As with the brittle journal project I first unfolded the box to see what area I had to work with:I really liked the cardboard handles, and decided to…
  • Calendar Recycled Pocket Journal

    Lynn Viehl
    25 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    My second project for Recycled Journal Week came out so well I surprised myself, and it all started with this unused 2014 calendar:This is a big glossy wall calendar with beautiful photos of gardens around the world on lovely thick paper, and I originally planned to take it apart and use the photos to make some journal pages, which I then never got around to doing. Here's how each page in the calendar looked: I took out the two staples holding all the pages together and cut each one in half to separate the pictures:It took a while to figure out how to use the pictures. I knew I didn't want to…
  • Cover Me

    Lynn Viehl
    24 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    Watch author/artist Victor Robert create a dust jacket for his illustrated kids' book Brian Wonders (with background music, for those of you at work): BrianWonders-making-of-23 from Brian Wonders on Vimeo.
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    Bluejo's Journal

  • Today is the last day for my new Norse poem

    Jo Walton
    23 Jul 2015 | 10:37 am
    If the Sassafrass Stories and Stone Kickstarter is funded today, the new poem I will write for it will be about Hod, the blind god who kills his brother Baldur. I don't know whether knowing this will motivate anyone who hasn't already to go over there and pledge, but I thought I'd mention it. It's 75% funded now, and it's pretty much bound to make the rest in the next three weeks, but pledge today if you want the Hod poem to exist. (It's also important to pledge early if you want to have the physical CD available in time for Worldcon.)And thank you if you have already pledged.Remember, if the…
  • Sassafrass Kickstarter, additional incentives

    Jo Walton
    20 Jul 2015 | 11:09 am
    I'm getting impatient.If the Sassafrass Kickstarter is fully funded by Thursday, I will write another Norse poem which will be sent to all the backers.It's more than half way there already.Last time I did this I wrote the poem first and then said I'd delete it if the goal wasn't met, and some of you found this distressing and interpreted it as a threat, so I'm not doing that again. So I will hold off on writing the poem, though I don't understand how that is better. But... I want to write this poem, and I'd like it very much if the Kickstarter were funded.Additional incentive: if it reaches…
  • Sidewise Award Nomination

    Jo Walton
    17 Jul 2015 | 11:18 am
    I'm delighted to tell you that My Real Children is nominated for a Sidewise Award.Here's the whole great list of nominees:Short Form* Ken Liu, “The Long Haul” (Clarkesworld, 11/14)* Igor Ljubuncic, “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair” (Wars to End All Wars: Alternate Tales from the Trenches, Amazon Digital Services)* Robert Reed, “The Principles” (Asimov’s, 4-5/14)* Aaron Rosenberg, “Let No Man Put Asunder” (Europa Universalis IV: What If?, Paradox Interactive)* Lewis Shiner, “The Black Sun” (Subterranean, Summer 2014)* Harry Turtledove, “The More It Changes” (Europa…
  • Stories and Stone Kickstarter

    Jo Walton
    17 Jul 2015 | 12:44 am
    There is a new Sassafrass Kickstarter, please go and support it.My friend Ada Palmer, in addition to writing wonderful SF and being an historian, composes amazing complex layered music that does wonderful things to my brain. (I have some evidence it does wonderful things to other people's brains too, in terms of getting writers unstuck.) You may remember me posting about the Sundown Kickstarter a couple of years ago. She's doing another Kickstarter, to produce two new Sassafrass albums -- Stories and Stone, which is a companion album to Sundown, and Friend in the Dark, which will be new…
  • Three Twilight Tales in Spanish, and free Spanish e-books

    Jo Walton
    16 Jul 2015 | 12:11 am
    Fantasia Austral is publishing my short story "Three Twilight Tales" in Spanish. In payment for this, I have download codes for three Spanish e-books -- a translation of Lord Dunsany's The Gods of Pegana, an anthology of Chilean steampunk, and an anthology of Chilean fantasy. Fascinating as these sound, I do not read Spanish. (Spanish is the language that most of all makes me feel we should have all just stuck to Latin, because it's not Latin, and it's not Italian or French either, so I always have the feeling that it's about to make sense but it never actually does.) However, some of you do,…
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    Martha Wells

  • ArmadilloCon

    20 Jul 2015 | 5:57 am
    This weekend (July 24-26) I'll be at ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX. This is one of my favorite ever conventions, and the first one I was ever guest of honor at back in 2002.I'll be there Friday, but I'll be teaching in the writers workshop all day.Sa1100D Learning to Write: Recommended Workshops, Books and Classes Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Ballroom D Cardin, Catmull*, K. M. Hoover, Maresca, Wells, Yoachim A look at formal and informal education for beginning writers or those who want to improve their craft Sa1300B Reading Sat 1:00 PM-1:30 PM Southpark B Martha Wells Sa1500E Career Adjustments for the…
  • 17 Jul 2015 | 10:32 am

    17 Jul 2015 | 10:32 am
    Does anybody know how to report pirated books being sold on iBooks/iTunes? Is it just through the form? There's a form for reporting pirated works on iTunes but it doesn't work for iBook URLS. Asking because "Booklassic" has pirated one book and three short stories on iBooks now. The short stories had been posted on my web site and were free.This is why I've removed most of the free short stories (including Raksura stories) from my web site. "Booklassic" has sold/is selling them on Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and now iBooks/iTunes.I don't want readers paying money for…
  • News of Me

    16 Jul 2015 | 8:03 am
    I have some new people following, so hello new people! The two most recent books I have out are a novella collection: Stories of the Raksura vol II: The Dead City & The Dark Earth Below in ebook, trade paperback, and audiobook. "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…
  • A few more book recs...

    15 Jul 2015 | 7:34 am
    New people, you can find the previous book recs on this tag.Before I forget...* RIVERS OF LONDON: BODY WORK #1 Out This Week!The first issue in RIVERS OF LONDON: BODY WORK is published this Wednesday by Titan Comics! Written by Ben Aaronovitch and Andrew Cartmel, it expands on the characters and world Ben created in the best-selling Peter Grant series of urban fantasy novels. In addition to the main cover, there are two variant covers (all three above). Here’s the synopsis for issue one...I've also been really enjoying the Titan's new Doctor Who first-five-issue compilations. I've read Ten,…
  • Book Recs

    13 Jul 2015 | 6:03 am
    I've been collecting minor injuries for a while now: I hurt my right arm trying to unstick a vacuum cleaner hose, and hurt my back a little washing the house. Yesterday I broke a toe on a concrete block while doing yard work. Go me.Here are some new book recs:* The Shores of Spain by J. Kathleen CheneyEven as the branches of peace are being offered, there are some who still believe those who are not human should be used as chattel. And they are willing to go to great lengths to retain their power. This is part of The Golden City trilogy set in early 1900s Portugal, and here are Release Day…
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    All quiet in France

  • Semi-hemi-darkness notice

    25 Jul 2015 | 9:08 am
    In which I take a holiday… I’ll be off with snakelet & family to a secluded location so I can write sleep. Email is (mostly) on hiatus, though if I owe you a thing it’s going to hopefully get done that week or the one after that! (you know who you are). Book promo stuff will still be posted: expect Shattered Wings Thursday to still happen. Social media might or might not happen (trying to get a little less addicted to the stuff). And I will see you in London for those of you who are here: Blackwell’s High Holborn with Anna Caltabiano Wednesday August 5th 18:30…
  • Shattered Wings Thursdays: House Silverspires

    23 Jul 2015 | 1:13 pm
    Welcome back to Shattered Wings Thursdays, the weekly feature of art related to The House of Shattered Wings. 26 days to release of the Roc hardcover edition (and 28 days to the Gollancz trade paperback). Getting closer and closer! Ludwig Rösch (Austrian, 1865-1936), Die Pilgramkanzel in St. Stephan. Pastel on paper, 65 x 52 cm. So, by popular (well, twitter) request, the last few episodes of this will focus on the different magical factions of the city of Paris: I won’t have time to do them all, as I’ve only got 3 of these left, but I hope to tackle some ground! House…
  • Chosen Ones, Specialness and the Narrative of the One

    20 Jul 2015 | 7:01 am
    The Chosen One is a very common trope: the special one; the one chosen by the gods/the magic/the plot; the one who has unique powers or ends up saving everyone, because no one else has the ability to. It’s quite common: you find it in narratives from Harry Potter to David Eddings’ Belgariad (and that’s just relatively modern examples, there’s plenty more earlier ones), and also out of genre, in numerous movies or books (Die Hard, …). I have a lot of sympathy for this trope–I understand the need, on a visceral level, for role models; and for those role…
  • Giveaway winners: signed hardcovers of THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS

    19 Jul 2015 | 1:52 am
    So… by the magic of Rafflecopter, the following people have won a signed hardcover of The House of Shattered Wings: -Peter S K -Michelle Clarke -Jessie M Congratulations! Yeah, I added a third hardcover as there were so many entries! Really delighted at the enthusiasm for this. If you feel like you missed out: the RT Book Reviews giveaway of 5 ARCs is still on-going here. (and even if you don’t, there’s an extra excerpt with the giveaway, featuring geeky alchemist Madeleine and Head of House Hawthorn Asmodeus). Other House of Shattered Wings news: Freda Warrington at Book…
  • Quick heads-up: THE HOUSE OF SHATTERED WINGS excerpt + giveaway!

    18 Jul 2015 | 1:04 am
    Just a quick heads-up that the RT Books website has a large chunk of The House of Shattered Wings, featuring a third point-of-view character who isn’t in Chapter One: Madeleine, the geeky alchemist of House Silverspires. And it comes with a chance of winning an ARC of the book with the pretty “burning feathers” cover ^-^ Go check it out here! Cross-posted from Aliette de Bodard Leave a comment at original post, or comment here.
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    Mostly English

  • Eating Authors: Sebastien de Castell

    27 Jul 2015 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> As I prepare this week’s EATING AUTHORS post, I’m far from home and surrounded by aliens. Which is to say I’m attending the 22nd annual conference of the Klingon Language Institute, as I warned you about last week. For days now we’ve been barking and spitting at one another, singing songs of battle, and telling uproarious stories. And we’ve done it all in Klingon. As always, it’s been glorious and alas ends all too quickly. But it’s a fitting background for…
  • Eating Authors: Mary Rickert

    20 Jul 2015 | 4:31 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> For most of you, today is just another Monday in July. Not so for me. Today is the last Monday before I head to Chicago for the 22nd annual conference of the Klingon Language Institute (aka the qep’a’ cha’maH cha’DIch), several days spent in the company of people who gather from around the world to share their delight in the galaxy’s fastest growing language. I’ve been pushing Klingon since 1992, and some of the folk I’ll be seeing this week have been in my life that…
  • My pretty-much-final Sasquan (aka 74th WorldCon) Schedule

    16 Jul 2015 | 5:02 pm
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there. This summer I’ll be heading to glorious (or so the travel brochures asure me) Spokane, WA to partake in the 74th WorldCon, affectionately known as Sasquan. And, in case you’d like to stalk me, here’s my full schedule: Wednesday, August 19th 12:00 – 12:45 (Bays 111B) Comfort Reading What do you read when you just want to relax? What books do you return to during busy times to unwind? What are your book equivalents of meatloaf and macaroni and cheese? with Jason Hough, Louise Marley (M), Christie…
  • Eating Authors: Rachel A. Marks

    13 Jul 2015 | 4:32 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> Why is it that the summer is such a crazy time? It’s not the heat (or not just the heat), and since I’m not in academia any more, on either side of the desk, I can’t blame it on the change in work schedule. Maybe it’s the conventions. I haven’t been to any yet this summer (though many of you reading this may have just returned from Readercon or ComicCon) but I’m still feeling it. Like when everyone around you is coming down with the flu and you’re still fine but a…
  • Eating Authors: Marshall Ryan Maresca

    6 Jul 2015 | 4:34 am
    Originally published at Lawrence M. Schoen. You can comment here or there.</p> For the last 20 years or so, I’ve always gotten a bit anxious in the days leading up to Independence Day (those of you living outside the USA, be advised I’m referring to the American event known locally as “the 4th of July”). As you may know, I live in the greater Philadelphia area, considered by some as the birthplace of the nation (we’ve got this bell, see…). Every year as this holiday draws nigh, I find myself thinking that if I wanted to make an anti-American…
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    Princess Alethea Kontis

  • The Princess of Many Half-Completed Movements

    11 Jul 2015 | 6:38 pm
    “She eased closer to him, studying his face. As if he might be someone she knew but didn’t fully recognize. She shifted to one side and checked his profile, reached out like she might ruffle his hair. He was hoping, but she didn’t. She was a girl of many half-completed movements.”--Tom Piccirilli, November MournsNovember Mourns was the first thing of Tom Picirilli’s I ever read. The publisher had given me an advance reading copy, which I’d had him sign when we met at Hypericon in Nashville in the summer of 2005. “Met” in the sense of…
  • Princess Alethea Rants "How to Find Out a True Friend"

    8 Apr 2015 | 6:41 pm
    Princess Alethea’s Fairy Tale Rants SEASON FINALE: “How to Find Out a True Friend”Fairy Tale Rants will be back in September, after Dragon Con!
  • Princess Alethea Rants "How the Wicked Tanuki was Punished"

    30 Mar 2015 | 1:45 pm
    Episode 54 -- In Which Princess Alethea Talks Tanuki!Princess Alethea Rants "How the Wicked Tanuki Was Punished"One more episode until the Fairy Tale Rants Season Finale...<3
  • Princess Alethea Rants "The Colony of Cats"

    24 Mar 2015 | 6:20 am
    Like cats? Then you'll LOVE this fairy tale.2 more episodes until the Fairy Tale Rants Season Finale!ktempest
  • Princess Alethea Rants "The Language of Beasts"

    16 Mar 2015 | 5:57 am
    New Fairy Tale Rant!Episode 52: In Which Alethea Eats Ice Cream for Dinner.Only a few more rants left in this "season"--I'm going to post through Bonnie Wagner​'s Fairy Tale Fortnight, and then Fairy Tale Rants will be going on hiatus for the summer while I get some writing done! <3ktempest
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    The Urtaru Chronicles

  • Apple watch — Man I move fast!

    Armen Chakmakjian
    22 Jul 2015 | 11:55 am
    I’m having an interesting problem. The first few weeks, I had success with using the workout app for running and walking. Having my phone in my at all workouts. I always used the “no goal” since I just wanted it to record my stats as I run a fixed loop in the neighborhood and walk a […]
  • A couple of days with the Apple Watch

    Armen Chakmakjian
    24 Jun 2015 | 7:05 pm
    This was a gift for Father’s day from my children and wife. It was a surprise to me when they took me to an apple store on Saturday to pick one out (this was before I found one of course) and of course they were out of everything. We were all disappointed. Next we tried […]
  • Father’s Day…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    20 Jun 2015 | 6:57 pm
    Originally posted on The Urtaru Chronicles:We called my father “Baba”.  This being amusing to the other kids we grew up with, some of them took to calling him “Baba” since that was easier than “Mr. Chakmakjian”.  I remember, he called his own father “Baba” also. In some ways, my father was “Baba”  to all…
  • 25 years? Like the blink of an eye…

    Armen Chakmakjian
    6 May 2015 | 6:15 pm
    To try and give this context I thought about this Blackham School 9 years Fairfield Prep 4 years RIT 5 years Altar Boy 5 years Cub Scouts/Boy Scouts 6 years Bentley 5 years Current house 21 years Bridgeport 18 years Fatherhood 23 years DEC 11 years Teradyne 11 years Intuit 3.5 years Taught Sunday School […]
  • 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 […]
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  • cara mengecilkan ukuran perut

    24 Jul 2015 | 12:49 am
    Smart Detox – Cara Sehat Mengecilkan Perut | Saya Cantik, Kamu? Translate this page Untuk memperoleh perut rata, kamu hanya perlu 2 hal: olahraga dan menjaga pola makanan. Kalau mau yang cepat kamu bisa coba cara alternatif, yang … 10… Continue Reading →
  • Cara Mengecilkan Perut Dengan Alat Fitness

    8 Jul 2015 | 12:57 am
    Smart Detox - Perut yang membuncit merupakan satuhal yang membuat rasa percaya diri berkurang,dengan bentuk perut yang membesar,tentu serasa tidak nyaman dalam melakukan aktifitas setiap harinya,namun selain itu perut membuncit juga dapat menimbulkan penyakit,bahkan penyakit yang mematikan. Perut...
  • Cara Mengecilkan Perut  Ala Artis Artis Korea

    6 Jul 2015 | 9:05 pm
    Smart Detox – Tentu ingin memiliki kan tubuh langsing tubuh indah seperti artis artis korea,jika kini anda meiliki tubuh bagian perut yang membuncit,jangan lah anda berputus asa dengan usaha usaha yang anda lakukan selama ini,tentu anda sudah melakukan beberapa cara… Continue Reading...
  • Cara mengecilkan perut buncit secara alami tanpa olahraga

    30 Jun 2015 | 3:29 am
    Smart Detox –  Bagi anda yang memiliki perut gendut atau buncit ini lah sebuah masalah besar bagi anda karena anda adalah satu orang yang begitu sangat mementingkan dalam sebuah penampilan tubuh anda oleh karena itu anda sangat menginginkan sekali untuk… Continue Reading →
  • Cara cepat mengecilkan perut perempuan dengan olahraga

    30 Jun 2015 | 2:10 am
    Smart Detox – Untuk memperoleh perut rata, kamu hanya perlu 2 hal: olahraga dan menjaga pola makanan. Kalau mau yang cepat kamu bisa coba cara alternatif, yang tentunya membutuhkan biaya yang besar dan setiap perawatannya memiliki resiko. Masih ingat tentang… Continue Reading →
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    David Mack

  • It’s here! Star Trek: Seekers #3 – Long Shot

    David Mack
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:13 am
    America, your long national nightmare is finally over: Star Trek: Seekers #3 – Long Shot is now officially on sale at fine book retailers everywhere (in North America). Get your copy in your preferred format now, and remember to leave a review! #SFWApro
  • Vex Vox: Buy My Book!

    David Mack
    18 Jun 2015 | 9:04 pm
    Long story short: Some very silly people with a number of rabid followers have recently called for a boycott of Tor Books starting Friday, June 19, 2015. Why? Because they manufactured a controversy over a Tor employee’s personal comments on her personal Facebook page and then failed to get her fired for it. I won’t ...Continue reading ‘Vex Vox: Buy My Book!’ »
  • “If You Were a Puppy, My Sweet”

    David Mack
    10 Jun 2015 | 10:03 pm
    If you were a puppy, my sweet, you would be a wild one. You’d be big and neutered, just like human-you. You’d bound from place to place, unburdened by any thought of consequences, full of energy and bereft of conscience. Some would delight in your antics, your perverse rejection of dignity. Others would quail from your manic slobbering and call you a nuisance, but you would be excused, because that’s just how puppies behave.
  • Speaking Truth to Puppies

    David Mack
    5 Jun 2015 | 2:06 pm
    Glenn Hauman and I have just posted, on the Crazy8 blog, reposted here on my blog a piece of short … I guess one could call it fiction, though it’s more of an essay, while at the same time a work of parody. It’s titled “If You Were a Puppy, My Sweet.” As the title ...Continue reading ‘Speaking Truth to Puppies’ »
  • Write back (not) in anger (#SFWApro)

    David Mack
    1 Jun 2015 | 11:45 pm
    Amanda S. Green submitted to the Hugos Voter Packet an essay in which she attempted to school me with regard to writing for Star Trek. Now I'll tell you why she doesn't deserve a Hugo.
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    SF Signal

  • SHORT FILM: Fly Me to the Moon

    John DeNardo
    28 Jul 2015 | 12:00 pm
    Here’s a quiet short film by Miklós Felvidéki. Its protagonist wakes up on the moon, apparently not for the first time, and oblivious to the monumental event unfolding in the background. It presents a “presents grotesque parallel vision of inner and physical journeys as well as the incompatibility of monumental and insignificant events”, says the film’s description. You be the judge! The post SHORT FILM: Fly Me to the Moon appeared first on SF Signal Copyright © SF Signal Related posts: A Short Fantasy Film for Valentine’s Day: ‘Kiss – A Love…

    Fede Ponce
    28 Jul 2015 | 8:00 am
    Fede Ponce has been in the entertainment industry for more than 15 years and he is humbled by having had the lucky opportunity to work on some of the biggest blockbusters to date. Whether leading global campaigns of MAIN TITLES for MARVEL movies as Creative Director or creating a metal suit for IRON MAN as a VFX supervisor, he has found himself working with some of the most creative people in entertainment. He has directed commercials and video game cinematics. However, he always dreamed of developing his own project. He received the help of Bertha Navarro, producer for Guillermo Del Toro,…
  • [GUEST POST] Kate Heartfield on Strangeness in Truth and Fiction

    Kate Heartfield
    27 Jul 2015 | 10:30 pm
    Kate Heartfield writes science fiction and fantasy. Several of her recently published short stories have had historical themes. “Traveller, Take Me”, in On Spec and in audio at Podcastle, is a ghost story about prospectors and pulp fiction in Manitoba in 1914. “Cattail Heart”, in Daily Science Fiction, is about Canada’s shameful history of residential schools for Aboriginal children. “Their Dead So Near”, in Lackington’s, is told from the long perspective of a cemetery. “Limestone, Lye and the Buzzing of Flies” in Strange Horizons is…
  • Coming in August: LETTERS TO TIPTREE edited by Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein

    John DeNardo
    27 Jul 2015 | 10:25 pm
    Publishing next month by Twelfth Planet Press and avilable for pre-order soon, Letters to Tiptree edited by Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein offers up a selection of tributes to honor the field’s most influential writers, Alice Sheldon, who wrote as James Tiptree, Jr. Here’s the synopsis: In celebration of the 100th Anniversary of Alice Sheldon’s birth, and in recognition of the enormous influence of both Tiptree and Sheldon on the field, Twelfth Planet Press is publishing a selection of thoughtful letters written by science fiction and fantasy’s writers, editors, critics…
  • TRAILER: Monster Hunt – The Weird Chinese Martial Arts Fantasy Film That Broke the Box Office

    John DeNardo
    27 Jul 2015 | 10:15 pm
    From the looks of its trailer, Monster Hunt promises to be a very weird martial arts fantasy film indeed. It was released earlier this month in China and is already the highest grossing film in Chinese history. It’s directed by Raman Hui, the main animator on the Shrek films. It’s about…well, watch the trailer and see. [via io9] The post TRAILER: Monster Hunt – The Weird Chinese Martial Arts Fantasy Film That Broke the Box Office appeared first on SF Signal Copyright © SF Signal Related posts: The New “Iron Sky” Trailer…Even Better Than The Last One…
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    The World in the Satin Bag

  • On Academic Brain and Compartmentalizing

    Shaun Duke
    24 Jul 2015 | 1:33 pm
    As an academic, it is often very difficult to shut off the faculties I’ve spent the last fourteen years building.  Since I spend almost every day of the week analyzing literature, reading or thinking about theoretical/philosophical texts, I generally use my brain in a very particular way.  Turning that off is a chore, but a necessary one.  In fact, it is often so difficult to turn off that even some of my colleagues have expressed dismay at the inability or unwillingness of other academics to turn those faculties off just long enough to have a “regular conversation.”…
  • Shaun’s Rambles 005: Interviewing the Fans — Rachael Acks

    Shaun Duke
    24 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    What do Transformers, unicorns, and Rachael Acks have in common?  In the latest edition of my Interviewing the Fans feature, I talk to Rachael about how she became a fan, how genre has influenced her, dystopia fatigue, and more. You can find out more about Rachael and her work on her website and her Twitter account. Enjoy the episode!  You can download the MP3 here or stream the file below. Intro and outro music comes from “Pyro Flow” by…
  • Shaun’s Rambles: RSS Feed / iTunes / Stitcher Ahoy!

    Shaun Duke
    21 Jul 2015 | 7:00 am
    Just a quick update for folks who have been listening to the Shaun’s Rambles stuff and would like to point their podcatcher to an appropriate feed.  You can now subscriber directly to Shaun’s Rambles via the following links (also shown in the sidebar): Podcast-ready RSS Feed iTunes Stitcher As with the previous message, regular programming should begin on Friday.  Expect one or two more non-regular posts between now and then!
  • The Move is Complete!

    Shaun Duke
    19 Jul 2015 | 1:19 pm
    That’s it.  The website has been moved.  Feeds have been redirected successfully, the podcast feed for Shaun’s Rambles is almost done, and any lingering blog posts have been posted. I be excited! Things aren’t in perfect order yet.  There are still a few tweaks to deal with on the website, after all.  However, things should return to normal in a couple days. On the docket for the next couple weeks: Finish tweaking the website Resume my posting schedule Change my Patreon page to put emphasis on my podcasting Take over the World Point people to the new RSS feed for the…
  • This is a Test of the Duke Broadcast System

    Shaun Duke
    17 Jul 2015 | 7:08 pm
    If you are receiving this post, then you are either directly subscribed to my new RSS Feed or Feedburner is correctly redirecting its feed to my new RSS feed.  Either way, if you’re seeing this post, everything should be good to go. In the next few days, you may see some old posts pop up.  These are hangovers from the move. I’ll delete this post once I’m satisfied that the feeds are working correctly.
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    On Starships and Dragonwings

  • The King’s Stilts by Dr. Seuss – What Pet Should I Get Celebration

    28 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    Today I have a post that is a bit unusual for you all ;-). I grew up reading Dr. Seuss of course, my favorite was Red Fish, Blue Fish as I recall, and so I was thrilled to hear that a new book by Dr. Seuss had been discovered, complete with full illustrations and everything! Therefore, today I’m reviewing another of Dr. Seuss’s wonderful books, The King’s Stilts. This is actually not one that I was familiar with from my childhood, so it was a lot of fun to discover the joy of Dr. Seuss all over again and find a surprisingly interesting fantasy world to boot! The King's…
  • Full Fathom Five Read-Along {Part 2}

    27 Jul 2015 | 4:30 am
    Part Two! Welcome back to another week of the Full Fathom Five read-along :D. If you haven’t started reading the Craft Sequence, be sure to check it out for an awesome mash-up of court-room/police drama and unique fantasy! There are spoilers below up through Chapter 32 of Full Fathom Five ;-). And don’t forget to join our SF/F Read-Along group to suggest books and join in! 1) So Margot too is hoping that Izza can lead him to the Blue Lady. What do you make of his vision? Especially in relation to the nightmares that Kai is having. Do you think they’re related? It definitely…
  • Updates from the Lair 7/26/15

    26 Jul 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!).  Hello lovely people! I’ve had a pretty typical week except for one big announcement: Brandon Sanderson is coming to my local indie store in October!!!!!!! :D I’m so pumped! I’ve met him once before but it was just a signing so I didn’t get to hear him speak and I freaking can’t wait! He seemed so nice at the signing and I would…
  • What Happens When Heroes Grow Up – Max Gladstone {Guest Post + Giveaway}

    25 Jul 2015 | 4:00 am
    Guest Post by Max Gladstone + Giveaway! Today I’m very excited to welcome Max Gladstone, author of the Craft Sequence (which you should read asap!), as he discusses an idea behind his upcoming book Last First Snow. If you aren’t compelled to immediately order Last First Snow after reading this post, you can enter to win a copy as well :D. Also spoilers for Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings below! We have young champions aplenty—the boy wizard and the girl knight stand up to the Dark Lord, sacrifice what’s dearest to them, and save the world. So far, so good. We end up less a…
  • Sci-fi and Fantasy Friday {ARCs and $5 Giftcards Weekly!}

    23 Jul 2015 | 9:00 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 Kristen for winning last week and enjoy your books! I’m still in the middle of moving and packing, but I saved out a couple of ARCs to add to the pile ;-) Every week I’ll pick a random link and the…
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    ATG Reviews

  • Foundation and Empire Book Review

    27 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am
    Foundation Book Two(Spoilers for Foundation are below).Buy on Amazon!Foundation and Empire begins a few decades after the concluding events in Foundation. The Foundation has brought its sector of the far galaxy under control. Now its trader based economy is starting to run into the Old Empire that the Foundation was once part of.  Despite the past few hundred years of successes and survivability, the Old Empire despite being weaker than it once was, is a lot more powerful than the Foundation. It has a larger military, larger population, and larger economy.The Empire, currently under the…
  • Foundation Book Review

    23 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am
    Foundation Book OneBuy on Amazon!Foundation is one of the earliest science fiction books to pull the genre away from the pulp stories that dominated the early 20th century, by elevating the story intellectually. Since its release Foundation and its author Isaac Asimov have become synonymous with the development of modern science fiction. The Foundation Trilogy would go on to be named the Best All-Time Series by the Hugo’s, the only book or series to have received such a distinction. Over half-a-century later the story still holds pretty well.In the far future humanity is ruled by a…
  • Finders Keepers Book Review

    20 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am
    Finders Keepers Trilogy Book OneBuy on Amazon!One of the first submissions we ever received for a book review came from an author named Russ Colchamiro.  He was signed to an independent publisher and had just written a standalone comedic/dramatic space opera called Crossline. Not having the highest expectations, I read the book and was pleasantly surprised, not only by the humor, but also by how engaged I was with the story.  So I figured it was time to start working on his Finders Keepers trilogy, the first book in the series being his debut as an author. With Finders Keepers, what I…
  • Price of Valor Book Review

    16 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am
    Shadow Campaigns Book Three(Spoilers for The Thousand Names and The Shadow Throne).Buy on Amazon!For those of you out there who haven’t started reading The Shadow Campaigns you’re missing out on one of the best fantasy series’ currently being written. The Thousand Names, the first book, was a good book, it wasn’t great but it was good.  The Shadow Throne, the second book, was absolutely brilliant. It’s a massive jump in quality storytelling, which I liken to how I felt when reading Elfstones of Shannara after The Sword of Shannara. It’s really that much…
  • The Warded Man Book Review

    13 Jul 2015 | 10:00 am
    Demon Cycle Book OneBuy on Amazon!I had high expectations for Peter V. Brett’s The Warded Man, but it ends up falling shortThis is the first part of the Demon Cycle, a planned quintet which currently has four books released. While Brett is able to craft a well realized world, a clever magic system, and a series of powerful antagonists – both human and mythological – the story really suffers from plot replications and characters that never really could catch my interest.The Demon Cycle takes place on a world like Earth called Thesa somewhere in the far future?  In the…
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    OMNI Reboot

  • Syfy’s Face Off

    Esther Kim
    28 Jul 2015 | 11:35 am
    Syfy's Face Off is where imagination becomes special effects reality. Imagine if the creatures of your wildest imaginations could come to life. That is the job of the makeup artists on SyFy’s Face Off. On the show—which is entering its 9th season Tuesday, July 28, 2015—the artists must imagine characters based off themes or specific objects and then bring them to life with the use of prosthetics and makeup. The show reveals the strenuous jobs of makeup artists working on TV shows and films such as The Walking Dead, Planet of the Apes, Pan’s Labyrinth, and many others. This is a…
  • 5 Of Tom Cruise’s Best Sci-Fi Films

    Andrew Seel
    27 Jul 2015 | 7:02 am
    These 5 Tom Cruise sci-fi movies are sure to shake up reality. Written By ANDREW SEEL Andrew is a self-diagnosed sci-fi fanatic. He and his Dad watched late night reruns of Star Trek. An avid model builder, his Enterprise model adorning his dresser is stained from Earl Grey Tea. He studied creative writing at the University of Michigan. Andrew hopes to write a science fiction novel. Whether you love him, hate him, appreciate him, or are embarrassed by him, there’s no denying that after more than 30 years in Hollywood, Tom Cruise is still one of the biggest attractions on the big screen. The…
  • Can You Answer These 10 Basic Questions About Space?

    OMNI Reboot Staff
    26 Jul 2015 | 5:59 am
    How well can you answer these questions about space? Written By EDWARD SIMMONS Having worked for several exhibitions merging the universes of science and art, Simmons is no stranger to the beauty of nature. Simmons now works for OMNI Reboot as a freelance curator, allowing him to pursue his passion for natural photography. Test your knowledge of Space and Astronauts with this OMNI quiz. With New Horizons rediscovery Pluto this month, there's no better way to get back into the space-grind than refreshing your space trivia. When was the first telescope invented? Who first theorized that our…
  • Fiction: The Copies

    DS Peters
    25 Jul 2015 | 6:00 am
    She hides a dark secret from her children in the fictional story, The Copies.  “I’m telling you, they’re acting weird. They know,” Mrs. Smith finished placing the dishes into the dishwasher, closed the door, and allowed the computer sensors to take over. “We’ve been over this, remember? The doctors said–” "The doctors do not live in this house and see the things I see. You’re hardly ever here, and I’m telling you that they know,” Mrs. Smith cut her husband short, stood next to him as he sat at the table reading the news on his tablet, and jabbed her finger towards him…
  • Till Human Voices Wake Us A Film By Indrani & Jerrick Media

    OMNI Reboot Staff
    24 Jul 2015 | 1:02 pm
    Indrani and Jerrick Media are proud to present the trailer for its most recent short, Till Human Voices Wake Us at the La Jolla Fashion Film Festival. The film stars Lindsay Lohan, Casie Chegwidden, and Jordan Weller, is directed by celebrity photographer Indrani, styled by G.K. Reid, with cinematography by the fabulous Pergrin Jung. “It was great fun working with Lindsay and the whole crew” said Indrani, “Till Human Voices Wake Us is a call to action through beauty and art, I believe it is the greatest moral imperative to use everything in our power to support the sustainability of…
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    Revens Fang

  • Hunter-Slayer

    Revens Fang
    24 Jul 2015 | 8:45 am
    The shallow valley was gently lit by the light of the full moon. Stars glittered in the sky above the long, lush grasses that covered the sloping hillsides. On one side of the valley in the grass crouched six men. They were in a loose line, each man about twenty feet away from the next. Across the valley the seventh member of the team lay in the grass awaiting the command to advance. Fang could see his master clearly even through the dark of the night and he was eager to begin the hunt. Reven was furthest to the right of the line, to his left stooped Agrippa and beyond him the youngster…
  • Hunter-Slayer Art

    Revens Fang
    23 Jul 2015 | 5:50 am
  • Agrippa the Mercenary Captain from Dungeon Crawl

    Revens Fang
    21 Jul 2015 | 6:45 am
  • Dungeon Crawl - Epilogue

    Revens Fang
    20 Jul 2015 | 8:37 am
    The weary remnants of the parties that had entered the dungeon made their way out in the bright midday sunshine. Missner's men and the mercenaries were a pitiful site. They all sported wounds of varying levels of seriousness and a relief force that Missner had left outside the tumble down keep rushed to help the men and tend their wounds. Missner was the only one who had entered the dungeon to have come out unscathed and watched morosely as the men made their way past him. The last of the adventurers made their way out. Borengar…
  • Dungeon Crawl - Part 18

    Revens Fang
    17 Jul 2015 | 8:13 am
    Orwin's eye's flickered open as he felt himself lowered to the ground. Brief glimpses of a red figure that tended to his wounds greeted him as he struggled with his vision. It muttered to itself as it worked, 'I am the vessel, the word-bearer. I am the bloody handed reaper and the collector of skulls.' Orwin winced as the bandage around his leg was tightened. He watched the figure stand and walk away before the dark of unconsciousness consumed him once again.'I am ruin, I am death, look upon me and despair'The goblins hit with such force that the defenders front line bowed under the pressure…
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  • Conference Drama… I survived!
    28 Jul 2015 | 2:06 am
    I have had the most amazing weekend at the DFW writer’s conference, you guys. It was definitely an exhausting whirlwind of an experience, but I made so many cool new friends, and learned so much! I’m so glad that I decided to go, and I can’t possibly over-emphasize this: if you’re a writer, you should definitely try to make it to a conference at least once a year.  I know it looks expensive, but there are benefits to it that you simply can’t get any other way. Of course, this is still me we’re talking about, so my personal adventure started before I even…
  • Go go gadget: Productive week!
    23 Jul 2015 | 6:38 am
    This week started out with a stumble, but it righted itself pretty darn quickly. My business cards came in as promised, only a few days late and just in time for conference (don’t they look gorgeous?), and in spite of a rush of translation work, I’ve managed to finish my word count goal for the whole week in just four days. Actually, it’s the whole week and then some.  My goal was 7,000 words, and I actually finished 7,860 as of this morning. I’m officially done through chapter 11, and about halfway through chapter 12, and I couldn’t be more pleased with how…
  • Here comes the pre-conference jitters
    21 Jul 2015 | 2:47 am
    This week I’m making the final preparations to attend the DFW writer’s convention, and I’m starting to feel the pressure. My to-do list is at least a yard long, and I barely made a dent in it yesterday.  I ordered business cards a couple of weeks ago, and as of this morning, the tracking information says “Undeliverable as addressed,” so they very well may have been returned to sender.  My lease is almost up and I’ve been trying to contact my landlord for a couple of weeks about renewing it, and the office never picks up the phone. I think the worst part…
  • Black Magic: Progress update!
    15 Jul 2015 | 3:38 am
    As you can see by the progress meter over on the right side of the page, I’ve managed to get 16% of my original target word count!  Huzzah! I’m actually just starting with the rewrite of Chapter 7, and I think it’s going well so far.  It will need some polishing, but my plan is basically holding up. The 70k target has turned out to be kind of deceptive.  I’m kind of weird in that I find Excel spreadsheets kind of fun (hey, what’s NOT fun about a program that will do all kinds of interesting calculations with having to do any of the actual math bits?) For…
  • Bodies are so much weirder than you think.
    13 Jul 2015 | 1:08 pm
    “Your blood tests look great, but I’m concerned about this mole. The lab found pre-malignant structures.” The doctor had a practiced smile, but he had an odd look in his eyes.  I’ve seen this look before. Disguised panic as he waits for a socially-approved response that he isn’t receiving. I’m not reacting the way he expected. I honestly don’t know what he expects.  I can understand cancer.  I can understand not-cancer.  But what the hell is a “pre-malignant structure” and how am I supposed to feel about that?  What is he waiting for…
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