Since my last missive, I’ve traveled a few thousand miles, consumed many excellent drinks (gin Old Fashioned! Mind blown! Who knew? Thank you, Nate.) Received invitations to a couple anthologies, and moved a step closer toward a collaboration. I’m currently typing at you from many thousands of foots in the air (feel my thought beams from high up in the sky!) I’ve also stayed up far too late, not eaten nearly enough (probably) and slept not nearly enough. (Can you tell?) I spent a prolonged weekend making, renewing, and strengthening friendships.
I’ve been humbled and honored by my friends throughout, and I really kinda want to go back and do it all again. I’m not sure I could, though, even had I the opportunity. I may need about a month to recover. It’s bad enough my fingers are mixing up letters as I type. Thank Ghu for editing. Many thanks to Brandy, the rest of the LC concom, Johnny Minion and the rest of the con staff, to Vonn, Crystal, and Ginger, and everybody else who made what could have been a slapdash affair into every bit the LibertyCon we’ve come to know and love. You are all amazing, and I’ll miss you until we get to party again.
This one slipped by me while I’ve been too busy offline: Author earnings did a presentation on Science Fiction & Fantasy at the 2018 Nebula Conference.
Impressions? Thoughts? I’m still fairly swamped, so I’m betting I’m going to miss a few things on my initial read-through.
(And you see that book I put up in the image? It’s an excellent book. I’m getting to read the fourth one right now, because for some crazy reason, Margaret thinks I can write blurbs. If you want hijinks and hilarity, grad students and grackles (think raven, but smaller and even more annoying), check it out!)
And guess what? The sequel’s out! An Opening In the Air has campus protests, outside agitators looking to volunteer students to be martyrs, even more grackles, grad students who just want to math (and teleport. and fly), and really that wasn’t supposed to be on fire… Check it out!
The observation-lemur observes.
I had not planned on releasing three very different books in the space of three weeks. In fact, one of them wasn’t supposed to be written at all! But the Evil Muse, and the success of what was supposed to be a set of stand-alone stories was such that I released a short urban-fantasy novel, the tenth Cat Among Dragons book, and the second Shikari book in three weeks.
So, what were the results? 1) A frazzled author. Read more
The chances of anything coming from the stars
Are a billion to one, they said.
The chances of anything coming from the stars
but still, they come… (with apologies to Jeff Wayne)
Poncha and Belly sat looking out a vast expanse of ocean from their seat on the upturned hollowed out log – a log that taken Poncha and four of his cousins three months to chip out with clam-shells, and could now transport – when it didn’t tip over, two people and as much as half a man-weight of clams. Well, as long as one of the two men wasn’t as fat as Belly. And it was fast too. Nearly as fast as a man could jog… If the tide was going the right way, and the wind wasn’t against you.
Poncha shook his head. “Nonsense, Belly. I mean even if there really are other tribes out there,” he pointed vaguely at the horizon, “Why would they come here? It would take weeks and weeks of poling, even if it wasn’t too deep. And how would they carry enough food?”
“Maybe they got bigger trees. Maybe they make bigger hollowed out logs,” said Belly.
Poncha sighed. His cousin was fond of imagining impossible doomsday things. Only last week he come up with the crazy idea of someone making a spear that could be thrown more than fifty paces. When Poncha said a spear was just too heavy to throw that far, let alone further, Belly said you could make it smaller and lighter. Ha. As if such a spear would do any harm to anything. “Look, Belly, if they have bigger trees, and can build bigger hollowed out logs – why would they bother to come here? We only got little trees, and with a big hollowed out log they can collect far more clams from the outer banks than anyone could eat. Why come here?”
Belly was silent for a while. The he said: “For our women.” Read more
Novels can be described as milieu, idea, character, or event novels. What is driving the story? One of those four, with a blend of the others. Most novels are not 90% one and 10% the rest, but varying blends of all of them. Today I want to look at milieu novels, and see how they work, or don’t. Read more
(Thanks for rescuing me. They were threatening to make me write romance novels as a form of punishment until I showed them one of my pen names and the Harlequin-esque novel. They hurriedly gave in to your demands and now I’m free.)
Part of the issue today with aspects of science fiction is that some authors believe that there is no hope in the future. This reflects in their writing, and their public personae as well. Far too often we’re trying to hook teens and young adults on gritty realism and bleakness when we should be offering them hope and escapism in a story. I know that the kids at my work don’t want to read a book about the grim realities of life. They prefer superhero movies where there is a chance at the hero to be a hero.