Monthly Archives: October 2010

Ravenous Romance Halloween sale

All this Halloween weekend, Ravenous Romance is offering all of its paranormal erotic romances for 50% off. This includes my lesbian short Truth & Dare.

Charlie isn’t reckless. She’s not a woman who takes chances. But when the gorgeous, curvy brunette in the bar proposes a personal demonstration of a trick that will knock Charlie’s socks off, the offer is too intriguing to turn down.

Back in Charlie’s apartment, the trick does prove to be quite an experience. Without warning, Charlie finds her mind invaded by a force she can’t understand or resist… and resistance may not even be something she wants. With inhuman skill, the strange woman pulls back Charlie’s defenses, digging deeper into her past, forcing her to stand with her heart and mind exposed… and promising pleasure and release that will make it more than worth her while.

50% off in this case means it’s $1. Come on: ladies touching and mind control. You know you want to.

For what it’s worth…

I do not support the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. At all. I have seen other authors who do and I want to take an explicit stand on the matter. I think the level of potential collateral damage would be far too high, and the whole thing just makes me profoundly uncomfortable.

My statement on piracy, such as it is, is here. Bottom line: Please don’t. Or if you have, no harm done, because you can go buy something of mine to make up for it. But I have too much shit to do to justify spending time chasing around the internets filling out takedown requests. And I’m really not sure I want things to go beyond that in any case.

I’m not good at titles.

So where’s all the stuff I used to put in here about writing?

The short answer is that I’m not doing that anymore (the writing about writing, obviously not the writing). The somewhat longer and more complex answer is that I sort of ran out of things to

illustration by Dave Donald

say. And I’m a graduate student going into my second year of a fairly intensive PhD program, and I’m very busy. And it occurred to me at one point that the time I spend trying very hard to think up intelligent things to write about writing is time that I then can’t spend on actually writing. Which, given that I don’t have scads of time to spend freely anyway, is a bit of an issue. Given a choice, I need to write stories, not stories about stories.

Well, that is to say–you know what I mean.

Added to that is the fact that there are other blogs out there that are doing this a lot better, a lot more consistently.

The thing about writing is that it just needs to get done. Talking about it is great, but at the end of the day–or the beginning, if that works better for you, and it does for me–you need to sit down and actually write something. That part is important. The rest of it is wankery if that part doesn’t happen.

But one thing I do want to do is to make this a place where I occasionally do talk about something besides the stories I’ve sold, the stories I have coming out, how they got written, and bits of them. I think the last two things are especially great, but I think there could be more.

So what’s going on with me? I’m in school. I’m teaching. I’m trying to gear up for editing the honking big sf novel I co-wrote. I’m trying to get better at everything. It’s a process.

And I’m writing. A lot. And as long as that’s getting done, everything else feels like it comes along with.

Semi-related: io9 has a brief but good post on a bit of famous writing advice that could actually mess you up pretty seriously.

Sale, and it’s an awesome one.

Got an email tonight that I was hoping for and very happy to get: My odd little bit of cyberpunk erotica, “Wetwire”, has been accepted to the Agony & Ecstasy anthology coming out next fall from Berkley Books.

The thing that kills me is that it’s such a weird little story, I honestly never thought the editor would take it. I was mainlining William Gibson when I wrote it–more than normal, even, because it’s a Thing That I Do–and what started out as porn in my head turned into the exploration of two ideas that struck me as insanely interesting:

  • The people who occupy the liminal space between when a new technology is introduced to the world and when it finds a mass commercial use. Because in that space, innovators play with it and take it apart and use it for all kinds of crazy shit that didn’t occur to anyone. That kind of environment is where Apple and Microsoft were both born, and where the first internet communities sprang up. It’s where the really neat stuff happens.
  • The connections that technology can forge between the mind and the body. Cyberpunk is full of occurrences of the trope of technology freeing minds from bodies. I wanted to play with the idea of a kind of technology that would reconnect someone who feels like she’s losing touch with her own flesh.

I got so caught up in this stuff that I almost forgot the sex, and I was worried that the story lacked a center because of that. But apparently not. Apparently it’s good enough, anyway.

The anthology itself won’t actually be out in print for another year. But right now I’m more thrilled than impatient, so yay. As always, watch this space for news.

MSF charity anthology: news

It gives me a lot of pleasure to announce that my short story “Starcrossed” will be featured in the anthology Help: Twelve Tales of Recovery, which will be a benefit for Médecins Sans Frontières. The story in question is yet another piece that ties into the universe of the novel that is currently in the editing stages–it tells a short bit of backstory for one of the major secondary characters. One of the things I love about a world this expansive is how new stories keep emerging from it even after the central story is told.

There’s no release date as yet, but watch this space for news. I’m really excited about this project and I hope it’ll raise a lot of funds for a very good cause.

Sale: “Dead Man Watching”.

Just sold my short story “Dead Man Watching” to Not One of Us, probably for the #45 April issue, though it might end up being in a different one. “Dead Man Watching” is kind of a ghost story–I seem to write a lot of those–and kind of a love story–though not a happy one. It began with the image of a man seated at a kitchen table, staring at the world through his own transparent hands, and it developed from there into the story of a woman who can’t let go and the man she can’t let go of.

He watches TV. He reads. He does both at the same time, the same amount of fractured half-attention given to each, until he’s sure that nothing from either medium is sticking, and the TV goes off and the book goes down and he sits in his coldness on the sofa, listening to the traffic through the open window. They had picked out this apartment together. He remembers that. This was going to be their home, and now it is, but he thinks that might just be because they don’t know what else to call it.

He goes to the window and looks down. City pavement, people walking, cars and a garbage truck making its way up the opposite side of the street. Dogs barking on leashes, two at once, tangling up with each other. He remembers walking outside, walking with her, simple pleasure never appreciated at the time. He often wonders, these days, if she had thought this through at all. He wonders whether anyone told her to stop, think, just think about what this means, just really think about it.

Maybe she had. Maybe, from the depths of her pain, she had thought it through as well as anyone ever could have done. And maybe that’s why he still doesn’t blame her.

I’ll post when the issue is available for sale–single current issues can be bought individually–but subscriptions are also very reasonable and very worth it. It’s a zine known for putting good work out there; it’s not uncommon for stories published in it to be selected for Year’s Best anthologies, etc.

This is another one that’s been waiting for just the right home; I’m glad I finally found it one.

General news

10:30 PM EST Thursday October 7th (tomorrow), editors JoSelle Vanderhooft and Catherine Lundoff will be on Lara Zielinsky’s internet radio show “Readings in Lesbian and Bisexual Women’s Fiction” to discuss Hellebore & Rue and take questions from listeners. They’ll also be reading some excerpts. Should be awesome. Be sure to listen in.

Also, I’m going to be in the M-Brane SF quarterly print omnibus, coming out at the end of this month. Will post news when I have some.

M-Brane SF #21 now on sale

M-Brane SF #21 is now on sale and very much worth picking up; it features some really amazing work by some really talented authors. I close out the issue with my post-apocalyptic short story “Centralia”.

“Centralia” came from several different places. Most prominently, it came from Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which was incredibly inspiring to me in terms of what a post-apocalyptic story could look like, feel like, and do. The Road gave me permission to write stories that presented the end of the world without explaining how it ended; the fact that everything had changed was enough to go on, and examining what that change meant to the people who lived through and in it became the focus.

The story also came from my own background and experiences growing up in southeastern Pennsylvania; I didn’t live in coal country, but I went there more than once, and it can be a profoundly affecting landscape (there are reasons why some of the film adaptation of The Road was shot there). Centralia is a real place, the fires really do burn endlessly underground, and a town really did die there–and is even still in the process of dying. Towns die slow, and they leave great bodies behind, though even those don’t last for long once the last inhabitant is gone.

The image of constant underground fire is obviously haunting–it was a profound inspiration for the makers of the Silent Hill film, among others–and the idea of coal leads in a kind of organic way to images of trains. From this mix emerged the core around which the story is built: the idea of the mindless continuation of that for which we no longer have any reason. Those who have left Earth behind continue to extract resources they may not even need in ways that are bizarrely archaic and inefficient. Those left behind on Earth travel endlessly for lack of anything else to do, though no place is better than any other and everywhere is rapidly getting worse. The trains push on through the night, automated and mindless. The fire burns beneath Centralia, unseen and quiet and patient, until at last two people come along who can feel its warmth… and find warmth in each other. They give it purpose, and they give each other purpose, which might be all any of us have when everything else is gone.

There’s really no proper end to the story. It never felt to me like it needed one.

Excerpt under the cut.

Continue reading

New review for ItPM

It seems I have a fan in Daisiemae over at Night Owl Reviews; she’s given In the Pale Moonlight four and a half stars and named it a Top Pick, and has some perfectly lovely things to say about it.

For a novella that falls just under forty pages, it really packs a lot of punch.  I was happily surprised that even though it is a shorter story, it really doesn’t read like one. I thought the story was creative and beautifully written and I really hated to see it come to an end.

I’m very happy you enjoyed it, Daisiemae. Thanks very much for the review and the extremely kind words.