The unequal familiarity of fandom

Because I'm writing three (THREE) books right now, I literally don't have time to read. Since I don't know that I can live without mainlining words to my brain, I've been listening to audiobooks and just recently, podcasts. SF Squeecast, in particular. The content is great and it's tons of fun to listen to SFF professionals talking about things they love and how those things are created. It struck me, though, how entirely unequal the experience is. After listening to several episodes, I could tell you about Elizabeth Bear's dog and how Seanan McGuire insists that Thomas, her enormous Maine Coon cat, will someday ride the giant ridiculous dog to world domination. I can tell you that Catherynne Valente has been dealing with miserable carpal tunnel. Paul Cornell has an infant son. Lynne Thomas has an unshakeable love for Doctor Who, which she calls a lifestyle. Listening in to friends talk like this means that I know a lot more about them than they could possibly know about me. It starts to feel like I know them, the actual human beings, not just the public personae. It's almost like they're my friends - or more appropriately, that I'm their friend and they just don't know it yet. I bet this sort of blurred line leads to some bizarre and awkward conversations at conventions. Anyway, away from my musing and on to my reporting! Currently on submission: “The Smell of Fall”, a gaslamp zombie story. If this doesn’t sell, I’ll likely sell it via Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) within the next couple of months. (FINISHED) Expected to release this year: Untitled collection of short stories in the world of Eye of the Storm, via KDP (some [...]

By | July 23rd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The unequal familiarity of fandom

Marscon 2014 schedule

I will be at Marscon! It's a fun convention, small enough that you can meet just about everyone, and they tend to have great programming. The con runs from March 7-9, and is held at the Doubletree in Bloomington. My schedule: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading - Atrium 2, Saturday @ 11am At least one or two panels in Kruschenko's, but the schedule for that room is not online yet. At least one will be on navigating conventions while socially awkward. Whee! Looking forward to seeing folks there!

By | March 2nd, 2014|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Marscon 2014 schedule

Opinions for Xmas

As seems to happen every year, the gift-giving part of the end-of-the-year holidays has completely gotten away from me. It's a good thing I have an Amazon Prime membership, or I'd be wrapping a lot of IOUs this year. I imagine I'm not alone here, in my little pit of holiday-induced guilt. Some of those people may even be looking for something to give to little ol' me. My response? I don't really want things, per se. I have many things, and what I don't have, I often purchase for myself. What I really want is - REVIEWS. Eye of the Storm has been out for four months now, and it's doing fairly well, considering it's my very first novel, cooperatively published by me and my very own micro-publisher (seriously, their only authors are me and Steve Davis). What does it need to start gaining more traction, getting more attention? REVIEWS. Any author will tell you it's far easier to sell a book than it is to gain readers, especially readers who are willing to take the time to review the book online. I've sold many copies of the book, almost all of them in-person. What I need now is a path to potential readers, readers I don't have personal contact with. If you have the time, if you have an opinion (I don't even have to agree with you!), as a special Christmas present to me, please take a few minutes to sit down with your copy of my book, and go to Goodreads, or Amazon, or Barnes & Noble and typity-tap in a review. Say where you got it, and why. Did you like any of the characters especially? Did the cover art [...]

By | December 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Opinions for Xmas

Chasing lightning, in terms of The Spotlight

Things have been insanely busy in my little corner of the world lately. Even disregarding all the crazy that's been happening at the day job, I'm barely keeping up! Thus, the long dry spells between posts. I need to get better at scheduling. The publicity efforts for Eye of the Storm are starting to get some serious steam. And my bandwidth, as a result, has been steamrollered. To catch up: Release party went well Made some good contacts at Worldcon in San Antonio Positive online reviews at both Goodreads and Amazon Barnes & Noble agreed to test sell the book in a few physical locations People all over the Twin Cities find copies and buy them To say the least, this is both grandly exciting and mildly terrifying. If I didn't want the book to be successful, I would have kept it on my hard drive and never gone to the lengths I've taken to get it out there. I love that people are recognizing the book's potential! But it's new, and new is always a bit nerve-wracking. I'm doing my best to be worthy of all this attention, and working to keep it rolling. I have interviews and such lined up to coincide with all this press. I've also got other people working with me, namely my co-publisher, BMG. They've invested just as much time and money in this book as I have. They helped me find good freelance editors and publicists, and are doing a lot to promote me. The effort would have been less professional without them, and I owe it to them to follow up on all their hard work (and my own). In fact, the folks at BMG are the [...]

By | October 28th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Chasing lightning, in terms of The Spotlight

The Summer Queen and her Friends

Research Teasers While I'm still working on chess as an extended metaphor for the sequel to Eye of the Storm, I still have tons of specific research to work on. This weekend, the Aos Sidhe came to the forefront. The character I styled as King of the Fairies in the first book will be making a more extended visit in the second, and he'll be bringing some of his subjects with him. There's no dearth of information on the Sidhe, either online or in books, so I have n0 problems there. In fact, if there's a problem, it's inherent to the ubiquitous nature of the Sidhe. So many people have written about them, it's hard to come up with a unique approach. So what am I doing? I'm picking a few types of fairies out of the hundreds of possibilities, and I'm warping them with my universe. That's not to say that I'm going to take the original beasties from folktales and change them from the ground up - if I wanted to do that, I would just make up entirely original beasties. It also smacks of cultural appropriation, especially since I am almost entirely German in ancestry. I am in no way Celtic. Instead, I'm going to take those original fairies and imagine how they would have evolved in my own world, where it differs from their own. How would the Sidhe behave if their Queens were assassinated? The lord of their underworld set above them, with a Greek goddess at his side? What would the politics be like? I could write an entire book about this. (Heck, that's not a bad idea ...) But for now, I need a window into that little [...]

By | October 7th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on The Summer Queen and her Friends

Top 100 SF/F novels

Yet again, yoinked from Leanne at Literary Excursion: How many have I read? It was easier to bold the books I haven't read. I italicized the series in which I haven't read all, but did read some. NPR asked thousands of people to nominate and vote for their favorite science fiction and fantasy novels, and made a list out of the top 100. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, by J.R.R. Tolkien The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy, by Douglas Adams Ender’s Game, by Orson Scott Card The Dune Chronicles, by Frank Herbert A Song Of Ice And Fire Series, by George R. R. Martin 1984, by George Orwell Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury The Foundation Trilogy, by Isaac Asimov Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley {currently reading} American Gods, by Neil Gaiman The Princess Bride, by William Goldman The Wheel Of Time Series, by Robert Jordan Animal Farm, by George Orwell Neuromancer, by William Gibson Watchmen, by Alan Moore I, Robot, by Isaac Asimov Stranger In A Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein The Kingkiller Chronicles, by Patrick Rothfuss Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep?, by Philip K. Dick The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood The Dark Tower Series, by Stephen King 2001: A Space Odyssey, by Arthur C. Clarke The Stand, by Stephen King Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson The Martian Chronicles, by Ray Bradbury Cat’s Cradle, by Kurt Vonnegut The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman A Clockwork Orange, by Anthony Burgess Starship Troopers, by Robert Heinlein Watership Down, by Richard Adams Dragonflight, by Anne McCaffrey The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress, by Robert Heinlein A Canticle For Leibowitz, by Walter M. Miller The Time Machine, [...]

By | September 23rd, 2013|Uncategorized|5 Comments

A cute little meme – 7 Deadly Sins

I've pulled a quick meme list for today's blog post from Leanne at Literary Excursions. The Four Horsemen are all over my brain, of course, so the Seven Deadly Sins fit right in. Greed What is your most expensive book? Your least expensive? My most expensive book is definitely my copy of Shakespeare's First Folio. If I remember right, it was printed in the fifties and cost somewhere around $100. As for least expensive, you can't get cheaper than the free ebooks on my Kindle! Wrath Which author do you have a love-hate relationship with? This one's hard for me. The more I write, the more critically I read, and my guilty pleasures are starting to lose their luster. (Good lord, that sounds snooty.) Frex, I used to eat up every Mercedes Lackey novel I came across, but I slowly came to feel that they all seemed variations on a theme. I do still love the Dragonriders of Pern series and go back to read them once in a blue moon. Gluttony What book have you deliciously devoured over and over with no shame whatsoever? That's easy - The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon. I read that book over and over in college, and it's not exactly short. It has fantastic description of military tactics and day to day life, and a heroine that ticks every single one of my personal check boxes. Sloth What book have you neglected to read due to laziness? Also easy - anything non-fiction. I tend to read for enjoyment rather than edification, so it's hard to start non-fiction and even harder to finish it, even if I'm interested in the subject matter. I have so many how-to books [...]

By | September 17th, 2013|Uncategorized|2 Comments

Someone made a TV show for me, apparently

Even though I'm hard at work on the sequel to Eye of the Storm, I am still human and occasionally need to take a brain break. This week, I found this post on Kameron Hurley's blog about the BBC America show called Orphan Black. This caught my attention: What makes this such great television isn’t just the exceptional job Tatiana Maslany, the woman who plays All the Clones does in acting with herself throughout the majority of the show. It’s also the exceptional writing, the dialogue, the storytelling, and the deeply sympathetic, diverse, and well-drawn characters. I couldn't race to the internets to purchase it fast enough, and thanks to the evils of Amazon Prime, I got it on Friday. Thinking I would watch an episode or two before bed, I popped it in. I finally forced myself to go to bed at 2am. Then I got up at noon to finish the 10-episode series. If this is the standard BBC America is going to hit with it's original programming, I need to Purchase All the Things. Orphan Black is practically a bespoke show for me. Fascinating female characters (most of them played by Maslany, who may be a goddess of acting and may need a shrine or two), sharp camera work, an excellent supporting cast, smart, well-written dialog, a plot that is as tightly and beautifully woven as a kimono, and the kind of 20 minutes into the future science fiction plot that doesn't diss science one bit, just the fallible humans that can use it for the most inhuman ends. The show was renewed, and I'll definitely be watching. It's the kind of thing that both intrigues me and gets my writing brain [...]

By | September 15th, 2013|Uncategorized|1 Comment

Life is full of trippy experiences lately

I had one of the stranger experiences in my life this week. I got to hold the hard copy of my first book. My Precious I can't even express how exciting this is, how grateful I am to all the people who helped me and supported me. Thank you all from the bottom of my happy little heart.

By | August 18th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on Life is full of trippy experiences lately

2013 Hugo Awards reading – novelettes

A novelette lives in that nebulous area known as "longer than a short story and shorter than a novella".  Probably somewhere between 7500 and 20,000 words, which is quite a span. I like the novelette and novella lengths quite a bit, so reading the nominees for this category was a fun experience for me. The nominees: “The Boy Who Cast No Shadow”, Thomas Olde Heuvelt (Postscripts: Unfit For Eden, PS Publications) “Fade To White”, Catherynne M. Valente ( Clarkesworld, August 2012) “The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi”, Pat Cadigan (Edge of Infinity, Solaris) “In Sea-Salt Tears”, Seanan McGuire (Self-published) “Rat-Catcher”, Seanan McGuire ( A Fantasy Medley 2, Subterranean) "The Boy Who Cast No Shadow" is by the first Dutch author to have a work nominated for the Hugos. I couldn't find information on whether the work had been translated from Dutch (I assume not, since the translator probably would have been credited), but I always wonder what that's like. It's got to be hard to trust someone to convey your ideas properly, especially if you don't speak the language at all. Anyway, for me, this was a quiet, detached sort of story that started out feeling like a YA novel and ended up feeling like an adult novel, which is quite an accomplishment, I think. The narrator has no shadow, literally. He can't be photographed or filmed, can't be seen in a mirror, and light falls through him to illuminate whatever he's standing on. I had to turn off my science brain to read it happily, especially since his best friend/boyfriend was made of glass. Once I did, though, it was lovely and bitter and very fulfilling. I went from disliking the narrator to [...]

By | July 16th, 2013|Uncategorized|Comments Off on 2013 Hugo Awards reading – novelettes