Alas, for reasons of finances, I am not at Worldcon this year. (My plan to provide all speculative fiction authors with magical wands that with a single whisk provide unlimited travel funds to all conventions is, shockingly, proving impractical.) But for those of you who are, I've been asked to pass on the info that Daily Science Fiction -- that wonderful zine that's been providing free short speculative fiction every weekday for a while now -- is having An Event tomorrow (Thursday) at 3 pm, which will feature the launch of Not Just Rockets and Robots: Daily Science Fiction, Year One.

Those of you who have signed up for DSF already know what an amazing spread of work they publish (disclosure; including me -- I have a small flash piece in that collection.) As far as I can tell, they've mostly been financing DSF entirely out of their own pockets, only starting to sell e-collections of monthly issues this year. So, if you've enjoyed DSF at all, this seems like a great time to try to help them out financially by buying a few copies of this collection. Plus, various DSF authors are planning on stopping by, so, good time to meet people.

(And if you haven't signed up for DSF already, why not? Did I mention, free?)

Also, Innsmouth Free Press is putting together a Sword and Mythos anthology. These are the same people behind Future Lovecraft and some other great anthologies, who are now looking to expand and pay pro rates. (Full disclosure: they've published me frequently, so, I'm a bit biased in their direction -- but I wouldn't have submitted to them if I didn't like them.)
So the parts of last week not focused on golf were more or less focused on ICFA when I wasn't sleeping through it. Sorry, guys, that most definitely counts under the "it's not you, it's me," umbrella; the worst thing about ICFA was that I didn't get to spend nearly enough time at it; I was there for maybe 1/3 of the con. The second worst thing was that the poolside bar a) had no amaretto on hand – cranberry juice, yes; amaretto no, and nearly drowning a later cranberry juice in vodka did not quite make up for this, and b) was under the impression that pina coladas are best made with tequila, and not the best tequila at that. Sigh.

(Not really a sidenote: I get that the ICFA organizers really, really want everyone to stay at the con and not get tempted away by the many distractions of the greater central Florida area, but, honestly? This hotel? Not just stuck in one of the least interesting areas of central Florida, but also, really not near any restaurants, which is a problem if you are either in a wheelchair or with someone in a wheelchair. I'd be less frustrated if I weren't aware of all of the available convention space in the area. Sigh.)

Not that the conference was entirely based on the pool bar or drinking. I also, and I take great pride in this, managed to get to the lobby, and to the little ICFA bookstore (where, to my surprise and pleasure, I ended up getting to sign copies of Future Lovecraft. While I'm on the subject, I should note that Future Lovecraft will be appearing in trade paperback from Prime Books later this year – more announcements when that happens) and even one of the conference lunches (where once again the noise made me feel ill and I ended up having to duck out early. Next year I am following the excellent example of the Tachyon crowd and having lunch someplace else.)

But most of the time I was by the pool, drinking things (not just alcohol) and enjoying various marvelous conversations, which is not a bad way to go to a conference. Or sometimes napping in the pool chairs. Or in one case getting a sneak preview of Charles Vess' upcoming illustrations for a Charles de Lint book before we both realized that however much drinking might be going on at the moment this was most definitely not Our Crowd and that we needed to go find other people doing a lot of drinking to find Our Crowd. (Rumor had it that they were pharmacy reps.)

This is, I suppose, the place for the traditional list of "people I hung out with at IAFA" but it is the sort of list that is too long for this post – and yet not really long enough, either. I can say that if I talked to you, I apologize for going "YAY PERSON WHO GETS ME" and babbling all over you and only wish the conversation could have lasted longer, and if I didn't get a chance to talk to you, next time!

Thanks to everyone who helped with doors and drinks, and especial thanks to [personal profile] rachel_swirsky and her husband Mike who went above and beyond with rides last week. I can only hope that showing them a small baby alligator (well, technically, three years old alligator, and, well, technically I had very little to do with arranging that) sorta made up for that.
Going in and out of dizziness/vertigo today, which is both depressing and making it difficult to focus on much, but a couple of other things going on today:

1. The Madeleine L'Engle reread continues with A Wrinkle in Time. Much thanks to Catherynne Valente ([personal profile] catvalente) for insights with this one.

2. In related news, Tor.com is giving away A Wrinkle in Time Tote Bags -- all you have to do is comment on that post, and you're entered to win.

3. It will surprise nobody that so far, more people have commented on the tote bag than on the actual A Wrinkle in Time post. But this may change - as I noted last time, the comments on the L'Engle posts are more the slowly trickling in kind.

4. In other publishing news, my copy of Future Lovecraft, containing my poem "Do Not Imagine," finally arrived today and instantly attempted to attack a cat. No, really. (Though to be fair that was partly me being dizzy.) This is just in time for tonight's Future Lovecraft chat on Twitter. I'm not entirely sure what's happening here, but apparently it starts at 9 PM EST, 6 PM Pacific.

Future Lovecraft is available here, for Kindle here, here and for the Nook here, and through independent (yay!) bookstore Powells here. (It looks as if Powells is also selling an Adobe Digital Edition which works with the Nook.) Whew.

And with that I need to lie down for a bit to be ready for this chat. I'll also be answering comments on the Wrinkle in Time post later this evening.
Yay, Future Lovecraft is officially here at last, with tentacly (computer, I'm a writer; I'm allowed to completely make up words) goodness - or, well, in this case, pure, soul sucking evilness -- in the days of the future, plus a little evil poem from me, available at multiple bookstores in print and ebook formats. You don't want to know what the Great Old Ones will do if you don't purchase a copy....
Mythic Delirium #25 is here! Purchase information at the link, and yes, you want to purchase, you do, because this particular issue has a couple of poems by me and also includes poems by such luminaries as Catherynne Valente ([personal profile] catvalente), Sonya Taaffe (who incidentally also has a new poetry collection available from Papaveria Press, Rose Lemberg ([profile] rose_lemberg), Mary Turzillo, Rachel Manija Brown, and others.

One of these others is Ann K. Schwader, who I mention because this is the first time I've ever appeared on the same table of contents with the same person twice in more or less one month -- she also has some excellent work available in Future Lovecraft. That's either awesome, or further proof that Cthulhu's influence is spreading. Let's go with the explanation of awesome. Much safer that way.
The tentacles, they are coming!

Just got word that Future Lovecraft, an anthology containing my little poem, "Do Not Imagine," is ready for pre-order -- and, er, already up for the Kindle for regular, buy right now order.

Before people gulp and squeak, wait, tentacle poetry, let me assure you that the anthology contains lots of short fiction as well, by people like Nick Mamatas, A.C. Wise, Jesse Bullington, and E. Catherine Tobler. And, er, tentacles.

More about this later when it's available for regular order, but meanwhile, note that pre-orders get a 20% discount, and you wouldn't want the horror of missing that.
So sometime last fall the kindly editors at Innsmouth Free Press made the mistake of complaining, on Twitter, that they were just not seeing enough stories focused on ancient Egypt for their upcoming multi-ethnic issue. Let me clarify. The mistake was not the complaint. The mistake was allowing me to see the complaint.

Because that mistake resulted in this.

I can only apologize in advance to all of you.

While you are there, however, I urge you to check out all of the other, considerably better, writing from [profile] bondo_ba, Ekaterina Sedia, Charles Saunders, and others in the fiction issue. For once, I'm not being hyperbolic or polite. There's also a pdf format available here, which I think is a little easier to read.

While I'm chatting about Innsmouth Free Press, I should note that they holding a fundraiser this month. And we all know what happens when we ignore the call of Cthulhu?
Oz blogging continues up at Tor.com, as I discuss Captain Salt in Oz - a book I have a hard time calling an "Oz" book, since, well, it's not actually set in Oz. But it's considered one of the canonical Famous Forty, so, there we go.

Meanwhile, the marine biologists at Arkham University have a small announcement to make.

I've been asked if I have a plot for this series, and the answer is, although I didn't when I first started out, yes, yes, I do have a general plot in mind now, admittedly one subject to change. (For instance, an upcoming episode will probably mention the ongoing BP oil disaster, and if extensive amounts of oil enter the Gulf Stream, as opposed to where the oil is mostly swirling now as it slowly drifts towards the Florida Keys, that may become a minor plot point as well.) What I don't have is any sense of how long it will last (or, for that matter, how long the editors will tolerate it). That, like many of the activities of the Great Old Ones, must remain a mystery.
Two mostly unrelated matters:

1. Innsmouth Free Press just published the latest installment of "Shadows of the Reef." I'll be putting up a post listing all of the installments in order fairly soon, but in the meantime, if you'd like to catch up, you should be able to do so by clicking the tags for Innsmouth Free Press or Shadows on the Reef. (The tag for Cthulhu includes some additional stuff.)

2. I am interviewed over at SF Signal.
Yesterday was, to put it mildly, a hideous day, with approximately two good things in it: one, Castle got renewed, as if ABC knew I needed something, and second, it was the official launch of Shine
an anthology of Optimistic SF, available through Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Powells, Books-A-Million and through local and independent bookstores. (I was about to plug Orlando's local independent bookstore, Urban Think, here, but, unfortunately, they are closing. Sniffle. So, let me direct you to B & L Books, up in Altamonte Springs, instead. Go independent bookstores! While I'm sort of on the subject, Urban Think is apparently having a massive going out of business sale as I type, so, locals, head over.) And if you happen to be attending Eastercon over at Heathrow, various Shine writers (not me), including [personal profile] aliettedb and Alastair Reynolds, should be at the launch party there.

(On a completely unrelated note, while I was writing this up, I clicked on the Amazon.com link for Science Fiction > Anthologies, to find that Amazon.com regards the combined edition of David Eddings' last two Mallorean books as a Science Fiction Anthology. All together now: SIGH. Moving on.)

As I earlier mentioned, I was insanely pleased with how my story in this anthology, "Twittering the Stars," came out, largely because it fulfilled a long cherished goal of mine: to write a short story that could be read backwards or forwards. I don't know if I will ever try this narrative trick again – and it definitely requires a decent word processor – but accomplishing it the first time was a Warm Feeling Moment.

By complete coincidence, Shine just happens to include stories by Innsmouth Free Press editor and publisher Paula Stiles ([profile] thesnowleopard and Silvia Moreno-Garcia ([profile] silviamg), allowing you to see what happens when Cthulhu writers get optimistic. Well, when the two of them get optimistic. My story is a bit more bleak. As a special bonus, Paula's story has ROBOTS and for many reasons its ending made my little heart spring in joy, and Silvia wrote about one of my other fascinations, genetic crop rotation (and her story cracked me up, quite possibly not in all the places she intended to have me crack up.) So other fun stuff as well.

Here are some reviews of Shine:

Charles Tan, Bibliophile Stalker. (Singles out "Twittering the Stars" as one of the better stories in the anthology.)

SciFi Wire, Nick Mamatas (aka, [personal profile] nihilistic_kid (Liked "Twittering the Stars" but got the title wrong.)

Barnes and Noble bookclub (Liked "Twittering the Stars.")

And a review in…Italian? Seriously? Is here. Since I lived in Italy for several years, this is kinda beyond awesome. Finding out that geek means geek in Italian? Also awesome. With that said...they also got the title wrong, perhaps because they seem to have been following the Sci Fi interview. (I can follow Italian, sorta, but I haven't had the time to really look closely here.)

And now for today's sorely needed day trip.
Various and sundry items of the day:

1. The latest Oz post, about The Gnome King of Oz, up here. Just a couple more weeks before we get to the really good, or really intriguing, or both, Thompson Oz books.

2. And Shadows on the Reef finally continues here.

3. And the in not-about-me and stuff-I-should-have noticed-years-ago categories: Batman and Robin part I and Batman and Robin part II. Read all the way through.

No, this post has no consistent theme. Have you learned nothing of my methods by now?
What with a [profile] coldecho and other things, I forgot to notice that Innsmouth Free Press had printed a little Cthulhu moment about our friends at the Center for Marine Biology at Arkham University.

This was not one of the original parts of the Shadows on the Reef saga - I just threw it in when the good editors requested holiday material - which is why it features only one of the returning characters.

But this time, the story doesn't end with me, as Paula R. Stiles explains.
The Shadows on the Reef story continues, as a new director named Dennis arrives.

********

Indirectly, this reminded me that I had forgotten to post a link to the Shine Anthology competition. I won't say too much about it, except to note that if you are a long time reader of this blog, or if you are chuckling at the thought of a director named Dennis in a Cthulhu tale scribed by moi, you have a bit of a head start here.
"Shadows on the Reef" continues, as the marine biologists head out to one more survey before winter conditions make diving completely impossible.

(That part isn't mentioned in the article; when this section was originally written I had vague thoughts of summer/early fall in mind which ended up not working with the real life publishing realities. Later bits have been slightly readjusted to correspond somewhat more closely to the actual calendar. And if you are thinking that diving the North Atlantic in November is evil and cruel regardless, well, yes. Cthulhu!)

For the curious, the stuff about the corals is more or less accurate. The stuff about the dolphins...

:: cough ::

As always, blame Cthulhu for any technical inaccuracies.
Still recovering from a marvelous weekend, but wanted to take a moment to let everyone know that part four of the Shadows on the Reef series is up at Innsmouth Free Press. And for those who may have missed the rest of the series:

Part one.
Part two a.
Part two b.

Meanwhile, I am noting an eerie conspiracy here – every time one of these gets posted, it becomes unseasonably warm here. I'm not entirely sure that the editors can influence the weather, but I'm starting to wonder...

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