We're smack dab in the middle of National Poetry Month, which has led to not one, but two poems from me:

First, over at Tor.com, as part of the celebration of National Poetry Month, and as proof that I may be just a touch obsessed with dragons, my poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Dragon.

And second, buried down in the website, my little poem, The Binding, in Eye to the Telescope.
And on a MUCH happier note, I'm very pleased that after a few delays on my part, The Disney Readwatch has started up over on Tor.com, with Snow White.

I look forward to destroying more childhoods.
1. Delightful news: the first Mythic Delirium anthology is out in the wild. I have a poem in this one, alongside such amazing people as Amal El-Mohtar, Marie Brennan, Sonya Taaffe, Georgiana Bruce, Jane Yolen, Ken Liu, C.S.E. Cooney, and many, many others.

2. Once Upon a Time is even more snarkable than I could have dreamed in my wildest hopes. Good thing, too, since I will be recapping each episode for Tor.com this season. You can catch the initial posts here, here and here.

I've also been chatting about Paddington Bear, because, Paddington.

3. I finally got to the new Harry Potter section at Universal, and I have to say - I like it a lot more than the first section. Fake London, complete with the little teddy bears that I was chasing all over London (at, I must say, a higher price, which - Universal, if you are more expensive than anything in London, you really need to reconsider your pricing stategy), a dragon that blasts fire every few minutes which is undoubtedly going to be very unpleasant in the summer (you can definitely feel the heat), ice cream, evil wands - yay. Did I mention the dragon? Yay! If you can splurge for the dual tickets for both parks, I recommend it - that lets you take the little train over to Hogwarts, which was fun. (I kinda would have liked at least one view from the train to the rest of the park/Orlando area, but I can see how that would have spoiled the Harry Potter effect.

The one negative note: if you do use a large mobility scooter, the restaurant at the new section may be difficult to navigate - to the point where the greeters at the entrance will suggest leaving the scooter at the entrance and walking in. (I know, because they asked me to do just that - and I was in a smaller scooter.) I would recommend NOT leaving the scooter outside - it's a longer line/distance than it appears.
I'm back, more or less, but only in the physical sense: I'm mildly feverish and very fatigued. But just to note a few things that happened while I was away:

1. Upgraded, edited by Neil Clarke, popped up for preorder everywhere, and also started collecting its first (favorable) reviews. The anthology includes my story "Memories and Wire," AND short stories by Elizabeth Bear, Tobias Buckell, Ken Liu, Rachel Swirsky, Genevieve Valentine, and E. Lily Yu. It should be available in September.

2. Uncanny Magazine met not only its initial Kickstarter goals, but also its stretch goals, meaning that we have a full year ahead filled with fantastic fiction – including at least one little poem by me.

3. I continued to blog for Tor.com, covering the Green Knowe books by Lucy M. Boston. I bring this up largely because this month included the first book, in about five years of blogging for Tor.com, that broke me.
The latest issue of Mythic Delirium is up, featuring poems by Jane Yolen, Cedar Sanderson, and me. Enjoy!

Also out: the latest Tor.com post, on The Water-Babies. I can't exactly recommend the book for enjoyable reading, but it does provide some interesting commentary on the Victorians.


Mar. 27th, 2014 09:41 pm
Various tidbits that we will pretend make a post!

1. I spent most of last week and weekend at ICFA, the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts, which for many people is an academic conference offering important insights about fantasy and the arts (literature, film, television, apparently tarot cards) and for me is a time to have a nice drink by the pool. Various personal issues and getting extremely sick prevented me from enjoying this conference as much as I would have liked, but I did have a chance to do a reading with Eugene Fischer and Dennis Danvers By a complete coincidence, we had all managed to choose stories on a similar theme: horror stories about the process of creating story. And by horror, the excerpt from Eugene's novella strongly suggested that we are all going to die, Dennis' story chatted about a puppy strangler – and by this, I mean, someone who strangles puppies, and my story had a house built from the teeth of small children. All very cheerful for a Saturday morning, though the puppy strangler story had us all collapsing with laughter. I think you have to read it to understand.

Special thanks to Julia Rios and Keffy Kehrli for helping me out during the conference.

2. Alas, attending ICFA meant I missed going to Megacon – and seeing many of you – but it looks like next year the events are on separate weekends. I'll keep my fingers crossed that golf is on a separate week.

3. While I was at ICFA I did get various tidbits of good news, including:

The release of Mythic Delirium 0.4, April-June 2014, available from Weightless Books here, which contains my poem, "The Silver Comb." (If you check, you will also see that it lists my name right under Jane Yolen, which is pretty awesomely cool.)

The news that Upper Rubber Boot Books will be reprinting my short story, "Twittering the Stars," as part of their new upcoming SOLES series.

I'm particularly delighted by this second bit since prior to this, although "Twittering the Stars" was hands down my most widely and best reviewed story (well over 40 positive reviews the last time I checked) it was also only available in an anthology that briefly popped up in bookstores and then mostly vanished, although the ebook is still available, which in turn meant that it was also one of my least read stories. I've been hoping for a chance to have it released into the wild again, so this is pretty awesome.

I'll also just note that Upper Rubber Boot Books offers a lovely selection of poetry books.

4. And while I was at ICFA and recovering from ICFA, Tor.com blogging continued! Two more posts on Mary Poppins, here and here, and also a second post chatting about Once Upon a Time and Oz here where I am VERY DISTURBED about the biological implications.

The Once Upon a Time Oz posts are not going to be a weekly event, primarily because so many parts of the show leave me wanting to throw things at the television or slam my head against something, and this sort of emotional reaction is a) not appreciated by the cats, who, as they have noted, do not deserve to have their hard-earned cat naps disturbed by this sort of thing and b) not really helped by friendly contact from the ABC publicity department (though I appreciate the effort.)

5. But regarding the upcoming Game of Thrones season four: yes, I do plan to snark individual episodes here, but I may be a bit delayed depending upon when exactly the new computer arrives.
ABC's Once Upon a Time finally went to Oz this last Sunday. I had FEELINGS, which Tor.com was gracious enough to post.

Speaking of Tor.com, the Lloyd Alexander reread finally came to a conclusion with The Golden Dream of Carlo Chuchio.

I'm finding, by the way, that going through this many books by a single author at once is getting slightly mind numbing - not to mention that I think it's making me less appreciative of these authors. So I may be altering my approach a bit - starting with choosing a less prolific author to reread this week. Keep an eye out for magical nannies.

(The Disney focus of this week was entirely unintentional, I promise.)
I was going to leap into the fun with a blog entry about the latest Fun With SFWA and Internet Petitions, but amusing as it's been to watch a non-member and 1% of the membership start a flame war up over something that doesn't even exist, and to have this immediately labelled a SFWA controversy, it's also kinda tiring.

So apart from noting, again, that many full, active members of SFWA either never received either controversial petition in the first place (me) or refused to sign them (many, many others - in fact, refusal to sign is what brought this to public attention in the first place), instead I'll just point you to the latest Tor.com blog post, this time about one of Lloyd Alexander's more unusual books: a novel that is half fiction, half memoir, interlaced with fierce commentary on the United States educational system on and the negative effects of war. As I've said before, Alexander's experience in World War II was almost uniformly negative, but until I read this book, I hadn't realized that he had also encountered World War I veterans suffering from shell-shock - what would today be called PTSD.

As I wrote in my post, it was an interesting read, one that reads much better on a second reading, when you realize what Alexander was doing. I rather wish I'd read it earlier in the reread: it would have given me a lot more insight into Alexander's writings with these posts.
1. I chat about my least favorite of the Vesper Holly books over at Tor.com.

2. The Grey One is now cancer free. She is not as happy about this as you would expect her to be, but she did have to go into a box (which she doesn't like) and she had to be in a room that had DOGS and a strange person TOUCHED HER and then they TOOK BLOOD OUT OF HER and then she had to go back into the box. Life is not good, which explains why she has stolen my pillow and why I have decided to just let her keep it.
To students choosing to copy and paste my Tor.com posts and turn them in for homework assignments:

1. Your teachers have Google.

2. You do not have my permission to copy and paste my Tor.com posts for homework assignments. You do have my permission to QUOTE from my Tor.com posts in your homework assignments.

3. In the future I would advise that if you are planning on using my Tor.com posts to help you with your homework, you choose from my posts that discuss books that are actually on your assigned reading list, since this may make your teachers less suspicious.
I'll probably have a second post up about this later, when people are online, but if you've been following the Georgette Heyer reread, the last of the Georgette Heyer posts just went up..

I have to say, I'm kinda glad this reread is over.

The Lloyd Alexander reread continues for several more books.
My story "In the Greenwood," just popped up at Tor.com. You can also get an ebook version at either Amazon or Barnes and Noble or other online bookstores.

The various people who have already read it have all agreed that telling you anything about the story will completely ruin the story, so instead I'll just throw in some stuff about the publication of the story: one, the genesis of this story goes all the way back to kindergarten and a certain game played in my back yard, which officially makes this the longest gap ever between original concept and publication for me, and two, this story has been read by more people prior to publication than any other thing I've ever written, which gives me a twitchy feeling.

Yes, the low point of the Georgette Heyer reread has arrived. Here, everyone, have the torture that is Cousin Kate. Getting through it required a total digression into Oz stuff, which I should apologize for but I'm not really sorry.
And finally, the Heyer reread reaches one of my personal favorites: Frederica.

And in related Tor.com news, you can now finally download Some of the Best of Tor.com 2013, in which you can read my little short story, "In the Greenwood," before it's officially published, along with several other great stories. Bonus: it's free!
It's Thursday, so, Tor.com post on The Marvelous Misadventures of Sebastian, a book that features an adorable cat.

And in other news, it is finally, genuinely, cool, if not cold, but cool enough this morning that a cat crawled under the blanket to put a cold nose on me which was less pleasant for me than it was for the cat. The other cat stayed curled up on the pillow over my head, my new implement for warding off the nightly cries of the sleepless rooster, though even a pillow and a cat cannot completely muffle that cry.
It's Tuesday, so must be time for another Georgette Heyer reread! This time, False Colours, which I've never been that fond of, since it features a number of characters heading into a deliberately convoluted plot which they try to make more convoluted for reasons that are never quite clear despite a few attempts to explain them. Anyway.

In unrelated news in THEORY the summer heat, which returned over the past few days, really, truly, and really is breaking again either tonight or tomorrow. I hope so, because I am not sure how much more of it I can endure.
Two separate tidbits as we head into the weekend:

1. I chat about Lloyd Alexander's The High King.

2. And because I've been wanting to say something like this for awhile now, you can now preorder "In the Greenwood" from a number of retailers, including Barnes and Noble, Amazon.com, Google Books and so on.


Honesty compels me to admit that you can also preorder this story and get it for free as part of the 2013 Best of Tor.com anthology, at Amazon. The anthology will be available on November 5 -- a full month earlier. Also, the anthology contains several other excellent short stories, so, given the free price, this seems like the best bargain.

Also, the story will be available for free at Tor.com, presumably on December 4. Which also means that you'll be seeing at least two more upcoming announcements about this little story. I hope you'll feel the story is worth all the announcements!
Two more Tor.com posts to round off the week:

1. First, as part of Tor Banned Books week, the incredibly depressing Bridge to Terebithia. For once every comment is in complete agreement: SNIFFLE.

2. On a more cheerful note, Lloyd Alexander's The Castle of Llyr. NOT my favorite of the Chronicles -- the next one in the series is a much better book -- but an ok fluffy read.


Sep. 24th, 2013 05:09 pm
While you are eagerly awaiting Marvel's Agents of Shield, a few news tidbits from me:

1. And the Hollow Space Inside was chosen as a storySouth Million Writers Award notable story of 2012. This is pretty exciting, especially since this particular award honors both genre and literary fiction.

2. Part one of my three part story, "The Gifts," was just emailed out to Daily Science Fiction subscribers today; the next two parts will be popping up over the next two days.

In my original concept part one was supposed to be it, but I had to move a paragraph out of it, and that turned into parts two and three. All can be read as individual flash pieces, or as a single story. I'll put up links once the story goes live at DSF's website.

3. The Georgette Heyer reread continues over at Tor.com with The Unknown Ajax.

4. Tor.com is also doing a series of posts focusing on banned books, or at least, books that various people have tried to get out of libraries. My post on Bridge to Terebithia should be popping up as part of this at some point this week. Alas, Lois Lowry's The Giver series did not arrive on time (The Giver only arrived from the library today, as it happened, showing just how popular that book is, or at least just how assigned/recommended in school that book is) so the reread of that series is getting pushed back to "sometime after I go through the Lloyd Alexander books."

5. It's raining again. Ordinarily this probably wouldn't warrant that much of a mention, but as a result of the rain, a little stray tabby cat has decided that the very thin front porch is not a bad place to watch the rain from, a decision that the Little One and the Grey One are not really in agreement with. The Little One would like the tabby cat to come inside (no; from appearance alone this is a Cat That Fights A Lot) and the Grey One would like the tabby cat to depart the country immediately. The cat isn't here all the time, but just enough to keep us at Defcon Lever 4 -- GUARD THE TUNA -- all day.

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