Alethea Kontis's Blog, page 9
March 10, 2014
This story is suitable for all ages, would make a great PIXAR movie, and was originally meant to be read aloud as a podcast, so I highly encourage you to read it aloud to your children. Preferably before they go to bed tonight.
Click here, or on the cover illustration at the right to read the story (for free!) on Wattpad.
As always, PLEASE ENJOY AND SHARE!
And yes, my memory of this Far Side comic was indeed one of the inspirations for the story:
March 4, 2014
Over at the Waterworld Mermaids today, I discuss my present issue with Reality.
I do encourage you to pop on by. I could really use the advice.
March 3, 2014
Episode 21: In Which Princess Alethea Rants about the Grimms’ fairy tale “Sweetheart Roland”…a title which is annoying in itself, since this fairy tale isn’t even *about* Roland. It’s about the girl who loves him.
March 1, 2014
9. You travel a lot for appearances and cons – how do you organise your life to fit in writing, relaxing, family, all the other stuff?
HAHAHAHAHAHA YOU SAID “ORGANIZE” HAHAHAHAHAHA
February 25, 2014
The official Press Release:
2013 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America are pleased to announce the 2013 Nebula Awards nominees (presented 2014), the nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy.
We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, Karen Joy Fowler (Marian Wood)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman (Morrow; Headline Review)
Fire with Fire, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
Hild, Nicola Griffith (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Red: First Light, Linda Nagata (Mythic Island)
A Stranger in Olondria, Sofia Samatar (Small Beer)
The Golem and the Jinni, Helene Wecker (Harper)
‘‘Wakulla Springs,’’ Andy Duncan & Ellen Klages (Tor.com 10/2/13)
‘‘The Weight of the Sunrise,’’ Vylar Kaftan (Asimov’s 2/13)
‘‘Annabel Lee,” Nancy Kress (New Under the Sun)
‘‘Burning Girls,’’ Veronica Schanoes (Tor.com 6/19/13)
‘‘Trial of the Century,’’ Lawrence M. Schoen (lawrencemschoen.com, 8/13; World Jumping)
Six-Gun Snow White, Catherynne M. Valente (Subterranean)
‘‘Paranormal Romance,’’ Christopher Barzak (Lightspeed 6/13)
‘‘The Waiting Stars,’’ Aliette de Bodard (The Other Half of the Sky)
‘‘They Shall Salt the Earth with Seeds of Glass,’’ Alaya Dawn Johnson(Asimov’s 1/13)
‘‘Pearl Rehabilitative Colony for Ungrateful Daughters,’’ Henry Lien (Asimov’s 12/13)
‘‘The Litigation Master and the Monkey King,’’ Ken Liu (Lightspeed 8/13)
‘‘In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind,’’ Sarah Pinsker (Strange Horizons 7/1 – 7/8/13)
Best Short Story
‘‘The Sounds of Old Earth,’’ Matthew Kressel (Lightspeed 1/13)
‘‘Selkie Stories Are for Losers,’’ Sofia Samatar (Strange Horizons 1/7/13
‘‘Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer,’’ Kenneth Schneyer (Clockwork Phoenix 4)
‘‘If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love,’’ Rachel Swirsky (Apex 3/13)
‘‘Alive, Alive Oh,’’ Sylvia Spruck Wrigley (Lightspeed 6/13)
Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
Doctor Who: ‘‘The Day of the Doctor’’ (Nick Hurran, director; Steven Moffat, writer) (BBC Wales)
Europa Report (Sebastián Cordero, director; Philip Gelatt, writer) (Start Motion Pictures)
Gravity (Alfonso Cuarón, director; Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, writers) (Warner Bros.)
Her (Spike Jonze, director; Spike Jonze, writer) (Warner Bros.)
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (Francis Lawrence, director; Simon Beaufoy & Michael deBruyn, writers) (Lionsgate)
Pacific Rim (Guillermo del Toro, director; Travis Beacham & Guillermo del Toro, writers) (Warner Bros.)
Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy
The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, Holly Black (Little, Brown; Indigo)
When We Wake, Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin; Little, Brown)
Sister Mine, Nalo Hopkinson (Grand Central)
The Summer Prince, Alaya Dawn Johnson (Levine)
Hero, Alethea Kontis (Harcourt)
September Girls, Bennett Madison (Harper Teen)
A Corner of White, Jaclyn Moriarty (Levine)
Damon Knight Grand Master Award: Samuel R. Delany
Special Guest: Frank M. Robinson
About the Nebula Awards
The Nebula Awards are voted on, and presented by, active members of SFWA. Voting will open to SFWA Active members on March 1, and close on March 30. More information is available from http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/how-to-vote/.
About the Nebula Awards Weekend
The 49th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend will be held May 15-18th, 2014, in San Jose at the San Jose Marriott. The Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Toastmaster Ellen Klages. Borderland Books will host the mass autograph session from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 16th at the San Jose Marriott. This autograph session is open to the public and books by the authors in attendance will be available for purchase. Attending memberships, and more information about the Nebula Awards Weekend, are available at http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/nebula-weekend/. Membership rates increase on March 1. The Weekend is open to non-SFWA members.
Founded in 1965 by the late Damon Knight, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America brings together the most successful and daring writers of speculative fiction throughout the world.
Since its inception, SFWA® has grown in numbers and influence until it is now widely recognized as one of the most effective non-profit writers’ organizations in existence, boasting a membership of approximately 2,000 science fiction and fantasy writers as well as artists, editors and allied professionals. Each year the organization presents the prestigious Nebula Awards® for the year’s best literary and dramatic works of speculative fiction.
Media: For information on obtaining press passes, interviews with nominees, or questions about the event itself, please contact SFWA’s Communications Manager, Jaym Gates, at email@example.com.
Interesting data point: This week’s fairy tale rant video is 9 minutes long as opposed to the typical 5 minutes. I still keep the rant to about 5 minutes, but then there is a brief explanation of how my short story “Blood From Stone” incorporates both this fairy tale as well as the historical real-life of serial killer Gilles de Rais.
Most of my fairy tale videos have 60-100 views. This video has TWELVE.
Looks like size does matter. Even on YouTube.
As always, share and enjoy! xox
February 17, 2014
ENCHANTED is sponsoring the World Book Night Twitter feed today!
If you’re on Twitter, tell @WBNAmerica your favorite fairy tale, using the hashtag #WBNLoves — and thank you for the love!
Happy New Fairy Tale Rant Day!
As always please watch, enjoy, share, and click on all the ads.
February 13, 2014
The great thing about Snow Days isn’t just how much *you* get done, it’s how much *other people* get done when removed from the distraction of their pesky day jobs.
And…VOILA! My Fast Forward TV Interview is now live. (And the links in Monday’s Fairy Tale Rant have been updated to reflect this.)
February 12, 2014
I’ve been teaching a teen writing class at the Rust Library for four weeks — tonight is the last class, and I have to say, I’m going to miss it! But to be honest, I think these young folks are ready to write and submit their own stories…the only challenge for them will be focusing enough to GET IT DONE.
(You hear me, guys? Stop procrastinating and do it, already!!!)
Last week we did a fun writing exercise where each person wrote a sentence (or two) and then passed it to the next person at the table. There were only six of us (yay, more snow and ice…what is it about Wednesdays in February this year?) so it only took about 20 minutes and didn’t get too out of control. At the end, we read all the stories aloud…and they were AWESOME!
So awesome, in fact, that everyone decided that I should put them up here on the site to share our awesomeness with the world. Evil shadows, vomiting butterflies and tiny ninjas: THIS IS WHERE IT’S AT, PEOPLE. (Also, we’ve sort of been calling our group “The Tiny Ninjas” for a couple of weeks now.)
Enjoy…and remember, smiles and comments are greatly appreciated! xox
Story #1 (aka “The Shadow Killer”)
What people don’t seem to realize is that I’m not a mindless killer–I pick my victims carefully. The patterns just seem to elude the cops. I have killed many. I run away into the shadows. I run as fast as I can from the murderous shadows, which will most likely kill me if I look away. For I am a shadow. These are my brothers. And our goal is to make sure no one is left alive in the light.
The light is our greatest enemy, the light and those who carry it. They are the only ones who can stop us, and they are my favorite targets. Light can illuminate, but it is oh, so east to burn. And the smoke that rises from the fire? That’s me. So watch your step. And the next time you hear the siren, see the plume of smoke rising above the rooftops, know that you’re next.
Why else would I let you read this?
Story #2 (aka “Cloudy With a Chance of Potatoes”)
Potatoes fell from the sky when all hell broke loose. It made mountains of potatoes, which I plan to swim in with a cup of gravy. Swimming is all gravy is good for anyway–I mean, I’m a vegetarian. But what else are you going to do with crazy weather like this?
There are too many potatoes to actually eat, even taking into account all of the people in the world. It’s difficult to swim in them, though, what with their solidity; it’s far easier when they’re mashed and even then, it’s difficult.
Yesterday it was pickled herring, though, and I’m not about to complain that it’s now potatoes. But I suppose it would have been nicer if that hadn’t also been the day the house collapsed.
I just can’t believe this all started with a face-down penny.
Story #3 (aka “Secret Agent Cat”)
I couldn’t understand a word of what she said, but she was undoubtedly angry. Curled on the floor like a question mark, she yowled at me in her native Cat, hair bristling on end.
“Listen, if you aren’t going to cooperate, we can…be more persuasive,” I growled.
Having abducted the feline from the NSA, I was convinced she was more than normal. My guess was that she originally ruled the internet and was taken out during the censorship phase. But now…I don’t know what to think. I wouldn’t know what to think…I think I might die in a hole.
“That would be me, being persuasive,” said the cat, in perfect French. “You have a very simple mind for a human. Now, if we could please get on with the experiment.”
I was happy to do so. I was happier that I now understood French. I would have been even happier if I understood Cat. That was half the point of this, after all. But hey, I’d take what I could get.
Story #4 (aka: “Sci-Fi Butterfly Sick”)
The iron butterfly vomited on my bicycle. Again. The first time the metal insect showed up. I’d been half terrified, but by now I was used to it. Every Tuesday evening, without fail, it would perch itself on my handlebar and then…barf. This time I was determined to stop it, for good or bad.
I read in a history book that there used to be real, live butterflies, but now…just the government’s failed experiments. There seem to be more and more failures nowadays. I dreamt a butterfly did not vomit on my bike but screw that; I should genetically modify. I just need to let it go.
What, you may ask? My obsession with butterflies. But even that won’t stop there from being thousands of mutant, barfing butterflies. Perhaps I should just buy an umbrella. Or a gun.
Story #5 (aka: “The Dangers of Falling Deathfully”)
Don’t fall too hard when you die. Of course, if you forget to fall, sometimes that’s worse. You could end up dead, just floating in the ether, with no particular direction. That’s what happened to me, and it’s the reason I’m still around to tell you this.
People who believe in ghosts usually think they stayed behind on purpose–”unfinished business,” they say, in ethereal tones. But really, it all comes down to one question, and that question is: “When you died, were you vertical or horizontal?”
I was vertical. And I didn’t fall, just sort of…stayed. It’s hard to fall over when you’re tied to a chair. Of course, my head sorta slid to one side, so I can’t hear very well with my left ear, bit I make do with what I have.
I made do…I just kept swimming.
This was all a metaphor for my love of imagining death. Who doesn’t fantasize about death?
Story #6 (aka “Beware Small Ninjas”)
Becoming a small ninja wasn’t my first career choice. Actually, it was my third. But since roof-painting and photography both failed, I didn’t have anything to go with but the letter in the mail.
It was from someone called “The Lead Ninja.”
He sent me photos of a beautiful place, with seemingly no one “playing chess” or “sparring with swords.” I felt like a freking Girl Scout on my first day when I said, “Hi, I’m Bob! I would like to be a small ninja.”
“Screw you!” the Lead Ninja responded.
I tapped him in the head with a flying sidekick. When he picked himself up off the ground, he shook my hand. “Welcome to the Palace.” Then he sent me off to get settled in before I began my training–which was nothing like anything I’d expected.
Unfortunately, I can’t talk about training due to the confidentiality agreement I signed. Suffice it to say that I’m a certified small ninja.
And I am coming for you.