My Awards Pitch for 2014

No Comments » Written on February 5th, 2014 by
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Ten days from now, nominations for the Nebula Awards will close. Before that happens, I’m hoping many many members of SFWA will read my novella, “Trial of the Century,” and write its title on their ballots.

Trial of the Century

Mind you, I’d also be happy to see any of you who attended last year’s Worldcon in San Antonio, and/or have memberships in this year’s Worldcon in London, to go ahead and nominate it for a Hugo. And while we’re at it, let’s also include those among you who have nominations rights for this year’s World Fantasy coming close to home in D.C. in the Fall.

Okay, having pimped my work for this year’s raft of major awards, let me go on record as saying I have mixed feelings about authors posting notices about what works they have that are eligible. On the one hand, part of me thinks it’s kind of crass. On the other, who am I kidding, right? This is all part of how it’s done, and I’ve benefited from it in the past. And yet…

Because no one should have to live with such cognitive dissonance, let me share with you the reasons (excuses, justifications, rationalizations) that I point to to make it, if not “okay” then at least acceptable, for me to behave in this way:

  • It’s a novella (and chances are you don’t read a lot of them, if for no other reason than because, relatively speaking, not very many are published).
  • It was published in World Jumping, an anthology from a small press (which is also a polite way of saying that it didn’t get the kind of promotion and distribution that would put it in front of a lot of readers).
  • The anthology’s release date was December 26th, 2013 (meaning it snuck in for eligibility with all of five days to spare, and again, hasn’t been around long enough for lots and lots of people to have read it).

So here’s the deal: click on one of the icons below, and you can download an electronic version of the novella, free of charge, no questions asked. If you like it, well, obviously I hope you’ll consider it for your nomination pleasure. If you don’t, sorry, sometimes that’s just how it goes.

Finally, let me just add that, there’s a lot of great fiction out there, and if you’re able to nominate you really should take the time to do so. This is your community, and you should have your say.

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creative commons licencse

This novella is released under a Creative Commons, Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives license.
Follow the link if you’re not sure what that means.

Eating Authors: James L. Cambias

No Comments » Written on February 3rd, 2014 by
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James L. Cambias

Last week, James L. Cambias saw the release of his first novel, A Darkling Sea, beginning what I can only hope will be a long and productive new chapter in his career. Which is not to say that James is a newcomer, not by any stretch of the imagination. He’s been writing short fiction for over a decade (full disclosure: we shared a ToC back in 2004 in the All Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories anthology from Wheatland Press), and has been designing games for even longer.

Perhaps most importantly, for my purposes, he hails from New Orleans, which given his obvious creativity and talent means he’s been exposed to and appreciates a wide range of culinary delights from his earliest days. I’ll be honest, I’ve been chomping at the bit for his book to come out so I could invite him here. And, as you’re about to read, it’s been well worth the wait.

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Novelocity – Which authors have left you wanting more?

No Comments » Written on January 28th, 2014 by
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Novelocity

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a member of Novelocity, an authors’ consortium that regularly posts topics for discussion.

Our current question is Which authors have left you wanting more?

Here’s how I answered:

This is a brutal question, but I’m going to break into two parts. I’d have liked more of Burroughs’s planetary adventure novels; I’d trade ten later Tarzan novels for another visit to Amtor or Barsoom, and twenty of them for a sequel to Beyond the Farthest Star. I want an Alfred Bester novel that takes on the SF trope of Time Travel the way he brilliantly defined the genre’s take on Telepathy and Teleportation and Immortality in his other works. I’d like to discover a manuscript in a trunk in New Mexico with a sequel to Zelazny’s Jack of Shadows and find out if Morningstar reached Jack in time, and what happened after. I desperately wish my friend Jay had more time, and could give us the third volume from his City Imperishable trilogy.

Those are the books I don’t imagine getting, but there are others that I might. I want to read Walter Jon Williams’s third book in his Metropolitan series, if only a major publisher will come along and pay him to write it. I want to begin reading a long series of books about the next generation of Vorkosigans. I want another book form China Mieville like Perdido Street Station that pummeled me with its sheer brilliance and creativity, or Embassytown that felt like he was writing directly to me. And I’m sure I’m not alone wishing that Ursula Le Guin would take us back to the world of The Left Hand of Darkness, because surely we need it here in this 21st century we’re living in.

If you’d like to see how others in our little group responded, just head on over to Novelocity for “part one” of the answer. The second part posts later in the week.

Eating Authors: Yasmine Galenorn

No Comments » Written on January 27th, 2014 by
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Yasmine Galenorn

This week’s guest here at EATING AUTHORS is Yasmine Galenorn, a self-described shamanic witch, as well as a best-selling author. You probably know her for either of her two urban fantasy series, Otherworld (currently at fifteen books, with at least three more scheduled, and the latest volume, Crimson Veil comes out tomorrow) and Indigo Court (currently at four volumes, with the fifth book scheduled for later this year). According to her bio on Amazon, Otherworld is soon to generate a spinoff, a new urban fantasy series called Fly By Night.

Yasmine has also authored two mystery series, Chintz ’n China and Bath & Body, the latter under the pen name of India Ink. But let’s end this introduction where we began, and point out that she’s also written nonfiction—eight titles in the realm of metaphysics.

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Eating Authors: Beth Bernobich

No Comments » Written on January 20th, 2014 by
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Beth Bernobich

I don’t know about you, but the past week was pretty crazy for me. It will get topped off a bit later this Monday morning when I drop by the post office and mail the manuscript of my new novel to Tor Books. Yay, me. But because I’m a wee bit anxious, I thought maybe I could invoke some good karma and bring in Beth Bernobich, another Tor author, as this week’s guest. It probably doesn’t that she was born in nearby Landsdowne, PA.

Beth’s latest book, Allegiance, is the third volume in her River of Souls series (which also includes a couple shorter pieces published on the Tor.com website), a fantasy that tells the story of the teenaged daughter of a cruel and wealthy merchant who arranges her to be married to off to an even crueler and wealthier man, resulting in her running away, and her adventures really take off from there.

Her other works include her series Éireann and Lóng City (the latter series begins with a short story in the Magic in the Mirrorstone anthology, which is where I first started reading her). In addition, she has a marvelous short story collection, A Handful of Pearls & Other Stories, from Lethe Press.

And finally, no introduction of Beth could be complete, without mentioning that she won the Romantic Times 2010 Reviewer’s Choice Award for Best Epic Fantasy with her first novel, Passion Play.

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Novelocity – Favorite College Reads

No Comments » Written on January 15th, 2014 by
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Novelocity

As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m part of a small group of authors performing various stealth missions under the sobriquet of Novelocity. Each week we kick around a different topic, and various members share their thoughts.

Today’s topic is our favorite books from college.

Here’s how I answered:

My undergrad years were a mess. It took me six years. Along the way I dropped out of university, lost my scholarship, worked on a loading dock, went back to a different school, changed my major three times, and eventually petitioned the university to let me design my own.

I tell you all of this because it provides the background for the book that kept me whole during that time, Roger Zelazny’s Doorways in the Sand. It’s the story of Fred Cassidy, a young man whose uncle wills a healthy stipend to his nephew until he completes an undergraduate degree. Fred chooses never to graduate! As the novel begins he’s been in school more than a decade, always changing majors one class short of a degree. He’s outlasted multiple academic advisors and authored academic papers worthy of dissertations! Fred Cassidy is the perpetual student, and he gets caught up in adventures far beyond his dreams. Friends and strangers try to kill him. Aliens disguised as animals pursue him. A missing artifact on loan from a museum on another planet sends him secret messages. If that’s not enough for you, Fred has every cell in his body rotated into its mirror opposite, which in turn changes the flavor of everything he eats and almost guarantees that he’ll be dying of malnutrition because he can no longer process right-handed proteins.

Through it all, Fred draws on insights and experiences that you’d expect from someone who has nearly completed every major at a modern university. Read this book, you come away with that same feeling. It’s empowering, creating a sense of control at a time in a young adult’s life when everything seems to be chaos.

I reread this book every semester during exam week. It put everything in perspective for me.

If you’d like to see how others in our little group responded, just head on over to Novelocity.

Eating Authors: Barbara Ashford

No Comments » Written on January 13th, 2014 by
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Barbara Ashford

If you’ve been reading EATING AUTHORS for a while, you’ve probably noticed several themes. Many writers’ most memorable meals involve excursions to remarkable restaurants in the company of fellow authors, particularly while attending conventions. Others describe incidents of serendipity, some literally stumbling upon an unsought, hole-in-the-wall kind of place and being transported by the miraculous food within. And there there are the folks who eat snails for the first time, and find it memorable either because of trauma or transcendence. Our guest this week is Barbara Ashford, and as you’ll learn she falls into this last group. But before she tells you about her meal, let me tell you a bit more about her.

For one things, she’s two people. In addition to her current Maggie Graham series of books (Spellcast and Spellcrossed, so far), she also wrote the Trickster’s Game trilogy under the name Barbara Campbell, and was a finalist for the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature. Her short fiction can also be found in various anthologies, including After Hours: Tales from the Ur-Bar and The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity, both edited by Joshua Palmatier and Patricia Bray.

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Shatner and me!

No Comments » Written on January 9th, 2014 by
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So here I am in Raleigh, NC for Illogicon, which starts tomorrow. I just did an interview and in that interview I was asked what I thought about another interview, one done quite recently with William Shatner. Here’s the link for that. It seems he’s in town performing his one-man show, Shatner’s World: We Just Live In It, on Sunday at the Memorial Auditorium in Raleigh.

In that interview, they asked him for a comment about the NC councilman who recently quit his job with a resignation letter written in Klingon. Shatner wasn’t impressed. Apparently the interviewer followed up, and mentioned Illogicon and my being their Guest of Honor, calling me a Klingon language authority. Shatner’s response: “It brings to mind what is language, and how is language devised and can you have subtlety in a made-up language? It’s a really interesting creative question.”

I think so too. But then, I also believe it’s not about the language, it’s about the language speaker. Not everyone can do subtle, regardless of what language they speak.

Hmm… I wonder if he’ll be stopping by the convention? That would be fun indeed.