Martha Wells's Blog, page 82

April 3, 2012

For locals, there was a car accident downtown, and a car crashed into the front wall of Casa Rodriguez. No one was hurt, but the impact was right on a table where three cops and two fire marshals were sitting.

At ArmadilloCon a couple of years ago, I was eating breakfast with a group of people at La Madeleine and a car jumped the curb and hit the side wall of the restaurant. It was very loud.

If you missed it yesterday, there's a new music video from The Guild: Now I'm the One That's Cool. This was awesome.

Some books coming out/recently out: (all these links have the first chapters to read as a sample)

Kat Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis. The first book and the sequel have just come out in the US. These are Regencies with magic, about a young girl who has to save her family from Ruin. I've got the first one and can't wait to read them.

Book I already enjoyed: Above World by Jenn Reese. This is a MG book, and SF adventure with a great heroine.

Lynn Flewelling has a new book out in May: Casket of Souls in the Nightrunner series.
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Published on April 03, 2012 04:56 • 41 views

April 2, 2012

Just a couple of links:

There's a new music video from The Guild: Now I'm the One That's Cool you're the asshat jock that beat me up in school, now I'm the one that's cool

Fantasy Cafe is doing a month of posts from Women in SF/F.
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Published on April 02, 2012 09:31 • 59 views

April 1, 2012

Spent all day yesterday at Sherwood Forest Faire with friends, and we had a fabulous time. We listened to Circa Paleo (they played Irish, Middle Eastern, and Led Zeppelin songs) and David Arkenstone, I ate pasties and hummus and drank a lot of ginger chai.

Here's some photos:

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This was an awesome blue fairy with fangs. This picture doesn't really get across how beautiful she was in person.














The very decadent Circa Paleo hookah and coffee and tea bar. There's another part with rugs and couches to sit on.












This was like a giant mobile. The wind caught the sails of the model ships and turned the whole thing.

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Published on April 01, 2012 09:44 • 28 views

March 30, 2012

John O'Neill at the Black Gate Blog has an article on M.A.R (Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman) Barker, a writer and game designer who created Empire of the Petal Throne:

Wholly unique, Tékumel was a science fantasy setting inspired by Indian, Middle Eastern, Egyptian and Meso-American mythology, a world colonized by humans and alien species some 60,000 years in the future. Perhaps most intriguing, Tékumel was largely free of Tolkien's influence as it was well established long before the publication of The Lords of the Rings — the only major RPG setting of the 20th Century that could make that claim.

I still have vivid memories of drooling over the copies of Empire of the Petal Throne at the tiny little bookstore we went to when I was a kid, even when I first saw it and had no idea what an RPG was. I didn't have anyone to play it with, so there was no point in trying to buy it. (My experiments in trying to turn the Clue boardgame into a form of Solitaire notwithstanding, there is nothing more depressing than being a kid with a great game and no one to play it with.)

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The list of artists for Spectrum 19 is online, and it includes the cover artist for The Cloud Roads, Matt Stewart, the cover artist for The Serpent Sea, Steve Argyle, and Todd Lockwood from Tales of the Emerald Serpent.
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Published on March 30, 2012 06:53 • 20 views

March 29, 2012

We had some great rain yesterday afternoon and last night, and looks like more today. It's such a relief. I made it to the grocery store this morning, since we were pretty much out of food. I also got vinegar since I need to do a vinegar and baking soda drain volcano on the kitchen sink.

I have new people on my friends' lists in various places, so thought I'd mention again the Three Worlds Compendium on my web site. It's got the short stories set in the same world as The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea, information about the world for fun and as a resource for fanfic writers, and a link to some great fan art, which I'm hoping to have more of.

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The kickstarter for the Tales of the Emerald Serpent Shared World Anthology is really starting to take off. You can buy in at $5.00 for an ebook copy of the anthology, but some of the more expensive buy-ins have cool rewards. Like for $140.00 you get all the previous rewards listed, plus Juliet McKenna will make you a cross-stitch smart phone cover with an image from the anthology's art.

Also, the big reward at $350.00 is all the previous awards listed, plus you receive a physical copy of one of the book's nine short stories, personally signed to you by the author AND the original artwork for that short story. This is a first come, first serve basis, so please check updates to see what authors have already been pledged.

My story is still up for grabs. It's about two characters, Jelith and Kryranen, who are archeologists/pot hunters in the lower levels of the city. Here's a short bit from the beginning of the story:

Snippet of Revenants by Martha Wells

They made an odd pair for a number of reasons, but one was that she was tall for a Jai-ruk and he was short for a Kin. They were dissimilar on all counts, except for their interest in the past, and in strange myths, and mysteries, and how the world had looked before they set foot on it. They talked of things no one else cared about. Rather than an odd pair, everyone thought they were just odd.

"This is a job that will pay us well," Kryranen said. "Up in the Golden Jaguar District." She added unnecessarily, "Where people like the Vash live."

"You're supposed to be keeping the notes," Jelith pointed out. Most inhabitants of Taux assumed Jai-ruk were too brutish for scholarly pursuits, but Kryranen's handwriting was better than his. Her hands were large but her fingers were slender and dexterous; his notes looked like the scratchings of a child next to her elegant script.

She leaned forward to look at the book and her grimace suggested she agreed. "I'll recopy it later." Exasperated, she said, "You just don't like working for money. It's too bad we can't eat history."

"You would eat history if you could," Jelith felt he had to say. It was true.

She folded her arms and gave him the long-suffering look.

He sighed. "What is this job?"

"They want us to lay a ghost."

Jelith stared. "Are you out of your mind?"
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Published on March 29, 2012 07:42 • 14 views

March 28, 2012

This is the first day this week where I haven't woken up with a headache that hung around all day. I'm hoping it means the pollen apocalypse is over, or at least on a downswing. And hopefully we'll get some more rain. We're already way ahead of where we were last year (at this time last year, we were already a few months into the drought, though the fires hadn't started yet.)

The good part is that our garden looks great. The tomatoes and shallots are starting to grow, though the squash is still just sitting there thinking about growing. I may have a lot of carrots. I had never planted them before and I didn't think they had much of a chance, as I don't have a lot of luck with seeds usually. But apparently our garden bed is going to be Carrotopia.

Links:

There are still book giveaway drawings for The Serpent Sea on GoodReads and LibraryThing. And if you already have the book and enjoyed it, remember reviews (on Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, LibraryThing, wherever) really do help, and books need help to survive.

Terrible Minds 25 Lies Writers Tell and Start to Believe
5. "I Can Only Write When The Muse Allows!"
To the working writer, that means, "I can only pay my mortgage when the Muse allows."


Writer Beware: Alert: Raider Publishing International / Purehaven Press

N.J. Jemisin: There's No Such Thing as a Good Stereotype
The strong female character (SFC) is a stereotype. It's gone beyond just a trope at this point. It's ubiquitous; we see this character appear in films, in books, in video games — and because it's a stereotype, we've started to "see" it in real life.

Jezebel: I See White People: Hunger Games and a Brief History of Cultural Whitewashing
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Published on March 28, 2012 11:55 • 19 views

March 27, 2012

I love spring, but I wish for less pollen. That's about all I've got today.

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Katharine Kimbriel reviewed The Cloud Roads

Juliet E. McKenna has released A Few Further Tales of Einarinn

Texas events for Austin people: Lucy A. Snyder is signing her urban fantasy trilogy: Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, Switchblade Goddess at the Hastings in San Angelo, TX at 7pm on April 4th and the Arboretum Barnes&Noble in Austin, TX at 2pm on April 7th.
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Published on March 27, 2012 05:38 • 20 views

March 26, 2012

I had a great time at AggieCon this weekend. Friends came in to stay with us, and I did fun panels with Katy Stauber (who has a new SF novel, Spin the Sky, coming out soon), Seanan McGuire (who just had new novel Discount Armadgeddon come out), Jody Lynn Nye (who has a new book Myth-Fortunes, coming out soon that's illustrated by Phil Foglio, Todd McCaffrey, and Lou Antonelli. We had great Mexican food, Middle Eastern/Greek food, and topped it off with a birthday dinner for a friend on Sunday night.

I bought a Doctor Who t-shirt, the one with the Van Gogh exploding Tardis image. (Speaking of DW, the BBC put up a trailer for the new season this morning.)

Also got to see the poster for the event that the Cushing Library Special Collections is doing next year in March. They have George R.R. Martin's papers and they're going to be doing an exhibit for his work similar to the one they did last year for the Science Fiction/Fantasy collection in general (my photos of the previous exhibit are in this post here.) This is very cool, as Martin has been an AggieCon guest in the past (he was guest of honor for AggieCon 17 in 1986, when I was con chairman.)


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Anthology kickstarter: I have a story in this kickstarter for a fantasy anthology, along with Lynn Flewelling, Harry Connolly, Juliet McKenna, Robert Mancebo, and Julie Czerneda. The way kickstarter works, if the goal doesn't get met, the editor doesn't get the money and the book doesn't get produced. The minimum buy-in is $5.00, which gets you an ebook version of the book if the goal is met. (If the goal isn't met, you don't pay and nobody gets anything.)
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Published on March 26, 2012 05:48 • 26 views

March 23, 2012

We saw Dralion last night, the touring show of Cirque du Soleil! It was incredibly gorgeous, and my favorite parts were the trampoline people who walked up walls, the 18th-century-looking ghost dancers in the back when the rolling ball guy was in the center stage, the center stage aerial acts, and some of the more whack things the clowns did. There is a sequence with one of the clowns being attacked by his stomach, dying, and ascending to heaven. It was simultaneously creepy, hilarious, and WTF all at once. Also, a clown got eaten by a dragon.

The staging was not as elaborate as we'd hoped from seeing clips of the standing shows, plus the tumbling acts would have been more surprising if we hadn't seen the Beijing Acrobats last year, but it was really cool. The live music was incredible.

I got a nice surprise yesterday when someone let me know the SF/F splash page for Audible.com has a highlight on the audiobook version of The Serpent Sea. I'm not sure how long it will be there so I took a screen shot. (I don't see stuff like this with my books very often. Or at all, usually.)

links:

CBS: Rare Color Photos from the 1930s-1940s

The Rejectionist: Dear Superior Person a rant on pretty much everything that's gone on lately.
Every writer I care about, every writer I know, is better and more important and more ambitious than Jonathan Franzen, and we should all be famous, and we should all be earning a living, and we should get to live in a world that doesn't let things like the murder of Trayvon Martin happen, that doesn't let Arizona happen, that doesn't let a lot of things happen.
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Published on March 23, 2012 05:53 • 55 views

March 22, 2012

On Twitter I posted a tweet that went mildly viral last night. It was Next time somebody tells you to "Smile!" widen your eyes, curl your upper lip and bare your front teeth. It'll nip that crap right in the bud (I fixed the typo.)

It was inspired by one of the commenters on John Scalzi's post that I linked to yesterday, who talked about a time when someone else's computer financial error caused her life to suddenly implode leaving her homeless and jobless, and the last straw was a stranger getting into her face to demand she smile. The most memorable time of the many times this happened to me was at my last full-time day job, when a young guy demanded I "Smile!" then when I didn't, he grimaced and mocked me and pointed me out to co-workers for ridicule. I wasn't smiling because my father-in-law had just died, I had been up since 4:00 am, and I was leaving work to drive to Dallas to help my husband with the funeral and other arrangements.

Anyway.

I cleaned half the things yesterday and am going to clean the other half today, so we'll be already for the con and houseguests etc. I also ended up power-washing (our power-washer doesn't actually have power, so this is really more "watering down") the front of the house and the porch, so it's all pretty now and much less covered in mud-dauber nests. The cool thing: We are going to see Cirque du Soleil tonight! I've never seen it and always wanted to and can't wait!

links:

There was a really nice review of The Cloud Roads on Calico Reaction: I haven't actually read a fantasy where the primary focus in on reptilian shape-shifters (which is the easiest way to describe the Raskura), but Wells does a wonderful job painting the picture and giving me a real sense of what it's like to be a Raskura, what it's like to confront one, and what it's like to live in a world where many groundlings fear them. Moon is a rather reluctant hero, but he's honorable as well, despite his misgivings for the story he's been thrust into. As soon as I'm able, I'll be picking up the sequel, The Serpent Seas, to see how Wells continues to develop this world, because it and the characters were just that enjoyable. Wells is an author I'll definitely pay better attention to in the future.

Escapist Magazine: The Big Picture: Not Okay a great audio commentary by Bob Chipman on sexual harassment in the gaming community.
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Published on March 22, 2012 06:28 • 42 views