Books and reviews and short stories oh my

NEWS. News.

  • IT IS LITERALFallAndRising_500x750LY A WEEK UNTIL FALL AND RISING, BOOK II OF THE ROOT CODE TRILOGY, BOUNCES INTO THE WORLD. A week. omg. I’ll be doing a blog tour starting then – here’s the itinerary – and I’ll be giving away STUFF, including jewelry that I made with my own two hands. In the meantime, you still have a week to preorder, which is AWESOME, because that means you get a discount of 20% on the print edition and 30% on the print/ebook package. ISN’T THAT GREAT. Yes. Yes, it is.

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  • I have a story out in Apex this month and it’s been getting some very nice review nods, including a “recommended” from Lois Tilton over at Locus. The whole issue is fantastic and you should read the hell out of it.

Aside from that, there’s other stuff, but I’m not ready to talk about it yet.

I should note that recently I’ve been very bad at using this blog for actual blogging. There are a number of reasons for this, many of them pertaining to mental health, but I think I’m clawing my way back up – I’ve taken a teaching position for the academic year, which means I’m now employed after a longish period of technically not being employed – and I hope to be around more in this specific capacity. Which means I hope to be blogging more.

Anyway, stuff is chugging along. ONE WEEK UNTIL BOOK. Yay.

I get to destroy horror, AND I get a short story collection

So yeah, two pieces of delightful news.nightmare-cover_OCT2015

  • My story “Dispatches From a Hole in the World” will appear in Queers Destroy Horror!, the special issue of Nightmare coming this October. You can check out a partial ToC here, and it is just fantastic, LOOKIT
  • After years of getting stuff written and published, I’m going to release a short story collection with Undertow Publications. Singing With All My Skin and Bone will rip its bloody way into the world next August with some of my own favorite stuff to date, as well as some new things. I am just so super excited about this, you don’t even know; Undertow’s Shadows and Tall Trees bought one of my earliest stories and they are fantastic.
  • Re: Fall & Rising, a reminder that it’s hitting figurative shelves at the end of August, and I’ll be doing a blog tour and a giveaway and all kinds of tasty stuff. So stay tuned.

I didn’t mean to become a horror/dark fiction writer but it does seem like that’s happened a bit. Ain’t complainin’.

FALL AND RISING cover!

YES HELLO I’M ALIVE

Life has just been chaos. You know how life is. There will be more general news soon, but for the moment I’m smashing down the door to share the cover for Fall and Rising, which is the (literally years in the making) sequel to Line and Orbit and which will be released on an unsuspecting populace – well, I mean, I hope they will actually be expecting it – on August 31.

LOOKIT

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Adam Yuga is on the run. Three months ago, a miracle saved him from the deadly genetic illness that threatens the entire population of his former home, the Protectorate. Now he and his lover Lochlan are searching for a way to heal his people. When they receive a mysterious coded message promising hope, they make a desperate grab for it, and are imprisoned—by the very race they want to save.

On Lochlan’s distant homeship, a young pilot named Nkiruka faces an agonizing choice: stay with her lover Satya and live a life of happy obscurity, or become the spiritual leader—and the last and only hope—for the Bideshi. Nkiruka doesn’t want to lose Satya, but worse, she fears she lacks the strength to carry anyone through the coming storm, let alone her entire people.

Threads of chance and destiny draw the three together. With the fates of civilizations in their hands, they prepare for a final conflict that might be their only chance for survival—or that might destroy them all.

And you can now preorder it here. Whee.

Stay tuned for blog tour/giveaway info and other neat stuff.

Balticon schedule!

Because I’ll be there this weekend. Come say hi if you’ll be in the area.

Saturday 23rd

11:00 AM Writing Diverse Characters: Archetypes vs. Stereotypes Derby
Jennifer R Povey (M), Day Al-Mohamed, Stephanie Burke, Sunny Moraine, Don Sakers, Melissa Scott (50 minutes)
A panel on handling diversity in fiction for less experienced writers, dealing with things like avoiding tokenism, learning confidence in presenting ‘different’ characters.
5:00 PM Treading Lightly: Writing Troublesome Things Derby
Maria V Snyder (M), Paul E. Cooley, Tom Doyle, Kelly A Harmon, Sunny Moraine (50 minutes)
While a bad thing may not be happening to your character at the time, the world isn’t a happy place. Join a discussion on how writers approach the big topics that are potential minefields (crime, war, tragic events, medical issues, politics, religion, etc.)
10:00 PM Diversity in Popular Culture: Fad or New Normal? Salon B
Jean Marie Ward (M), Day Al-Mohamed, Stephanie Burke, William Galaini, Sunny Moraine (50 minutes)
Diversity and representation has been a hot topic in SF/F literature, gaming, and other parts of fandom and popular culture over the past few years. Is this a phase or a watershed moment in the broader pop culture landscape? What role can individual readers, writers, and fans play in this discussion?

Sunday 24th

8:00 PM Point of View and Narrator Swapping Chase
Maria V Snyder (M), Meriah Crawford, Christie Meierz, Sunny Moraine (50 minutes)
What effect does who’s telling the story have? Can you switch it around and still have the reader follow?
11:00 PM Confess Your Writer’s Sins Derby
Sunny Moraine (M), Sue Baiman, James Daniel Ross, Jay Smith, Alex White (50 minutes)
What have you done in your writing that truly shames you? What do you look back at and cringe? What lessons have you learned from screwing up as badly as you have? Tell all and cleanse your writerly soul.

Especially looking forward to the writer’s sins one, I proposed it because I believe in healing.

Also embarrassment.

OKAY HI I’m still alive and there’s stuff

Okay SO. I’ve been radio-silent for a while. There are a number of reasons for this, among them that I’ve been eyes-deep in editing the Line and Orbit sequel. That’s finally starting to edge across the finish line, though edits on the other two books I have forthcoming will be starting imminently, so expect more silence. I’ll try to be more active in general, but. Editing. Those of you who have done it – you know that of which I speak. You grok. The editing.

But there is Stuff.

  • My intensely depressing postapocalyptic thing “Come My Love and 800_Shimmer-24-Cover-1I’ll Tell You a Tale” came out in last month’s issue of Shimmer and is available to read for free here. Tangent’s review of it said: “It is a testament to the story that it managed to leave me just sort of staring blankly ahead, a dull ache inside me and the feeling of just having crawled up from somewhere dark and hot and hostile. ” So you should read it immediately is what I’m saying here.
  • I have a story in the very recently released anthology of writing-flesh_made_word_final_cover_510focused erotica The Flesh Made Word, now available in ebook and trade paperback from Circlet Press. The anthology itself is really really really good and I recommend it highly. My story is also decent, I think. I’ll be doing a giveaway tomorrow, so if you want RED HOT WRITER SMUT for free you’ll have a chance to acquire some.
  • I’ll be at Balticon at the end of this month. Programming details still to be announced; will post when they’re up. If you’ll be in the area, come by. Should be real fun.
  • The Humanity of Monsters, the anthology in which my story “The Horse Latitudes” will be reprinted along with STUFF BY PEOPLE THAT’S SO GREAT I CAN’T EVEN DEAL, has revealed its fabulous cover, and I do mean fabulous: the-humanity-of-monsters_final-2

Other stuff… Not much new to report. Editing is the business of the day and all the other days too. Hopefully will have news on books soon; I have cover art that I’m very excited to share, there will be more exciting things happening… Stay tuned.

when it all breaks down and we’re runaways

grace

This business of becoming conscious, of being a writer, is ultimately about asking yourself, How alive am I willing to be?
― Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life

So we’re coming up on the sixth year anniversary of me first getting paid for a story – which is the point at which I mark my entry into the world of Professional Writerdom – and I’ve been taking stock of some things lately.

As usual, I was forced into it by my own mental health cornering me and yelling and gesticulating wildly until I finally paid attention. That’s usually how this goes. That’s how it went after I collapsed post-doctoral comprehensive exams, and it’s how it went a bunch of times before. I convince myself that I’m okay until it becomes extremely obvious that I’m not. So I’ve done some stock-taking, and the conclusion to which I’ve come is that I’m not okay, and some things need to change so I can work my way back toward the state of Okayness I should be in most of the time.

Cut because this gets long and pretty blargh-personal.

Continue reading

the earth gives forth wonders

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art by Michael Whelan

Just finished going back through The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower book 3) and trying very hard not to cry. Not because the ending itself is emotional – it ends on a rather infuriating cliffhanger, actually – but simply because this brings back everything about these books which meant so much to me at a very, very difficult time in my life.

We escape into these worlds, don’t we? But they don’t always treat us kindly. The best ones, however, become places we regret leaving and to which we long to return. The characters become friends and companions, and they can mean almost as much to us as the “real” people in our lives. We suffer with them, we mourn with them, we rejoice with them. We learn with them and hopefully we become wiser, better people. Sometimes we’re their company when they die, unseen and unfelt – perhaps their only company.

I’m reluctant to embrace any narrative which places some ideal of “humanity” above any other way of being, but I do believe that stories and storytelling are one of the most fundamental – possibly the most fundamental – things that make us who we are. Creatures who feel and love and learn and grow, who imagine. Whose existence is bound by time but which also transcends time and exists simultaneously forward and backward along a linear trajectory.

We imagine the past, we experience the present, we remember the future. We’ve always done this. It was the first form of play that ever existed, the first form of history, the first futurism.

Tell your tales in whatever form they come. Build them, maintain them, return to them. Be glad.

The world is not cyclical, not eternal or immutable, but endlessly transforms itself, and never goes back, and we can assist in that transformation.

Live on, survive, for the earth gives forth wonders. It may swallow your heart, but the wonders keep on coming. You stand before them bareheaded, shriven. What is expected of you is attention.

Your songs are your planets. Live on them but make no home there.

What you write about, you lose. What you sing, leaves you on the wings of song.

Sing against death. Command the wildness of the city.

Freedom to reject is the only freedom. Freedom to uphold is dangerous.

Life is elsewhere. Cross frontiers. Fly away.

Salman Rushdie, The Ground Beneath Her Feet