April 18, 2014
I’m still nose deep in cleaning and working, so this is another random post. I’m contemplating some posts next week on some of the oddities I’ve uncovered — like a stack of Wired magazines from the mid-90′s. I’m desperate to go through them and see how some of their projections/predictions about the internet and tech and life in general have played out some 20 years later.
I discovered: the mass market pb of Low Midnight is available for preorder on Amazon, with a revised release date of December 30, 2014. Still a long way off, I know, but we’re inching closer. My tagline: Cormac. Amelia. 100 years of trouble.
While I’m off working, I leave you with this, one of my favorite segments of South Park of all time:
April 9, 2014
You want to see a new cover? Of course you do:
Here’s Cormac! Art by Craig White, who’s done all the Kitty covers and I’m really glad he’s doing this one, too. Low Midnight will be out in January 2015. Yes, I know it’s a long wait. There’ll be some sneak previews throughout the rest of the year, so stay tuned.
Something I feel needs to be said: Cormac and Kitty do not hook up in this book. The cover kind of makes it look like they might, but they do not. At this point, it will never happen, because in order for that to happen I’d pretty much have to destroy all the work I’ve done building up the existing characters and relationships. That just doesn’t sound appealing.
A word about the mustache: In the editorial letter for Kitty and The Midnight Hour, my editor at the time said “Lose Cormac’s mustache, it’s sleazy.” And my first thought was, “But my Dad has a mustache.” I know a dozen guys with mustaches who aren’t sleazy. Thinking about it some more, I realized — this is a West thing. This is a frontier thing, and my New York/East Coast editor didn’t get it. Mustaches mean something different out here than they do there, and are viewed differently. She was thinking porn star. I was thinking cowboy. So I put my foot down, explained what was going on, and kept the mustache.
I had more input on this cover than on just about any other cover on any of my books, and it was all about Cormac. I got a string of emails asking for descriptions from the books, what he ought to look like, what he should be doing, etc. I think it’s a little of that regional thing creeping in again: my publisher, and its art and marketing departments, are based in New York, and I’m trying to get across this character who is rooted in his region and culture in the Rocky Mountain West. There was also the challenge of making clear this is part of the series while introducing a new main character. In the end the mustache as I imagined it (think Sam Elliott) was just a little too regional to land on the cover of a book that’s going to go everywhere.
So, here it is! Low Midnight, which is about Cormac, Amelia, and a mystery with more layers than an onion…
March 28, 2014
I’ll be at Denver’s own Anomaly Con this weekend. I’m on a ton of panels, and I’ve also been recruited for bartitsu demonstrations and costume contest judging. This is a friendly, low-key con where almost everyone is in costume and looks great, so come check it out if you have a mind to witness some steampunky goodness.
The hardest thing I have to do today is decide what the heck I’m going to wear all weekend.
February 19, 2014
There’s a new Harry and Marlowe story up on Lightspeed!
This was a fun one because we get to see Harry in her Princess Maud role, as well as her family, Princess Alexandra, Crown Prince George, his wife Mary of Teck, and even a quick glimpse of Prince Carl of Denmark. All that research, paying off! I’m on a roll with Harry and Marlowe stories, so I’m giving rein to the impulse — I’ve just sold another one that will probably be out later this year, and I’m gearing up to write yet another. So many stories to tell!
In other news, I’ve been super excited about Guardians of the Galaxy ever since the easter egg featuring the Collector showed up in Thor 2. So weird! So aesthetically different! So intriguing! Well, the full trailer just premiered. I…I….I AM SO SUPER EXCITED ABOUT THIS I CAN HARDLY CONTAIN MYSELF. I’ve never even read the comics. I remember when this movie was announced and everyone was so skeptical, why on earth would they make a movie about some fourth string comic heroes, how is this even going to work? And you know what? I don’t care, because THIS IS THE SPACE OPERA I’VE BEEN WAITING FOR MY WHOLE LIFE. This….it’s…space ships….talking raccoons….tree aliens…humor….action…ooga chucka…
I’m gonna stop now. *takes deep breath*
January 15, 2014
The Dreams of the Golden Age book tour continues this week! Three days, three stops, starting tomorrow:
Thursday, January 16, 7:00pm: Joseph-Beth Books, Cincinnati, OH.
Friday, January 17, 7:30pm: Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.
Saturday, January 18, 1 pm: Eagle Eye Bookshop, Atlanta, GA.
I’m always being asked when I’m going to head out east: here I am, east! At least in a few spots. Hope to see some of you there.
(P.S.: I’ll sign all books you care to bring, not just Golden Age books. I also talk and answer questions. I may geek out over this or that. It’s happened before.)
January 13, 2014
It’s award nomination season for the big genre awards! Everyone’s posting about all kinds of stuff from last year! I posted my own 2013 bibliography a week or so ago. But now I’m going to talk about other stuff that I’m likely to nominate.
I didn’t read a whole lot of new stuff this year, unfortunately. It’s just the way the cards fell. Of what I did read and encounter, here’s what I’m likely to nominate.
Fiction: My recommendations are heavily weighted to what’s online, because that’s what I read in the corners of my time. But there are others.
- “The Last Dignity of Man,” Marjorie Liu’s novelette from The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination is on my list.
- Wild Cards stories “When We Were Heroes” by Daniel Abraham (novelette) and “The Button Man and the Murder Tree” by Cherie Priest (short story) weren’t just good Wild Cards stories, they were good stories.
- “Sing” by Karin Tidbeck (short story) also really good.
- YA novel The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (the follow up to Raven Boys) was excellent, as was middle grade novel Zombie Baseball Beatdown by Paolo Bacigalupi. Oh, that twist at the end…
- For the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, I think Max Gladstone is still eligible. I still talk about his series, starting with Three Parts Dead, as demonstrating that genre boundaries are definitely made to be broken.
I was introduced to artist Aaron B. Miller’s work this year. Kinuko Craft is an artist I nominate every year. Galen Dara is up and coming and definitely someone to watch — she did the marvelous piece depicting Harry and Marlowe for Lightspeed.
Best related book: Jeff VanderMeer’s Wonderbook. It’s such an astonishing accomplishment — a fully illustrated book on creativity.
I finally started reading webcomic Strong Female Protagonist this year, after many recommendations. Like many of us these days, it’s picking apart superhero tropes and doing some pretty far-out things. I described it to someone as Watchmen, but with a lawful good alignment instead of chaotic neutral.
Drama Short Form:
- I’m still on the quest to keep Doctor Who out of this category, but if you must nominate Doctor Who, consider “The Five(ish) Doctors Reboot.” Snark with love.
- There’s astronaut Chris Hadfield’s cover of Space Oddity.
- And then there’s the Marvel One Shot as found on the Iron Man 3 DVD: “Agent Carter,” which broke my heart five different ways then built it back up again by the end. I haven’t seen anyone talking about this, but I thought it was fantastic. It’s a year after the war, and Carter is trying to make her way in a world that doesn’t want her anymore.
Drama Long Form: We have a plethora of movies to choose from this year. Here are my choices (I only get 5 nominations on the Hugo ballot):
- Iron Man 3
- The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
- The World’s End
- Pacific Rim
The movie category is going to be way interesting this year, given I left off Gravity (which I don’t think is really science fiction), Europa Report, Ender’s Game, and all those other movies I just didn’t go see. Oh, and Hansel and Gretel: Witchhunters came out last year too! Oh, for one more nominating slot. . . Also the short form, what with Almost Human, Sleepy Hollow, Agents of SHIELD, and Orphan Black all starting up this year. I don’t know where to start with those episodes.
Whew! Meanwhile, I have a couple of weeks to catch up on some more reading. We’ll see if anything else squeaks on to my list.
January 10, 2014
Dreams of the Golden Age is out! You know what’s a good way to start the new year? Book release! This is my seventeenth published novel. Holy cow! Sometimes it still feels like I just started all this a couple of years ago. This must be why people look at me funny when I say I still feel like a newbie.
I’ve got a few events lined up. The first one will be tonight at 7 pm at The Book Bin in Salem, Oregon. Please note, this is at their new location in East Salem.
Other events are coming up next week:
January 16, 7:00pm: Joseph-Beth Books, Cincinnati, OH.
January 17, 7:30pm: Quail Ridge Books, Raleigh, NC.
January 18, 1 pm: Eagle Eye Bookshop, Atlanta, GA.
These are new stores and new territories for me, which is exciting, and I hope to see some of you there!
Oh, and I finished draft zero of a new novel this week. Excelsior!
January 6, 2014
Tomorrow’s the day: Dreams of the Golden Age is out in the wild. Huzzah! Don’t forget to check out the appearances page, directly to your right, for my signings and bookstore appearances. I’ll be in Salem, Cincinnati, Raleigh, and Atlanta. I hope to see some of you there!
As I’ve mentioned before, while the Kitty books have full-on playlists, other books I write usually have one or two main songs that set the tone of the story for me, and become the novel’s soundtrack. Dreams has two songs, one for each of the viewpoint characters. Here they are:
I gotta tell you, I kind of really love these two songs together. Youth and age, hope and cynicism, the perspective of someone who’s about to walk into the crucible versus someone who’s been through it and come out the other side.
Thank you in advance for giving Dreams a try. It’s the sequel I wanted to write, and it makes me happy.
January 3, 2014
It’s that time of year again! I had a lot of stuff out in 2013. Good stuff! Pretty cool! Here’s the summary:
Kitty Rocks the House
Kitty in the Underworld
“Raisa Stepanova,” in Dangerous Women, ed. by Gardner Dozois and George R.R. Martin (this story is straight-up historical and not eligible for genre awards)
“Game of Chance,” in Unfettered, ed. by Shawn Speakman, reprinted on Lightspeed
“The Art of Homecoming,” in Asimov’s Science Fiction
“The Best We Can,” Tor.com, (already picked up for a couple of year’s best SF anthologies)
“Fishwife,” on Nightmare (picked up for a year’s best horror antho)
“Harry and Marlowe Meet the Founder of the Aetherian Revolution,” in The Mad Scientist’s Guide to World Domination, ed. by John Joseph Adams
“Unternehmen Werwolf,” in Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre, ed. by Paula Guran
Four short stories, four novelettes, two novels — very respectable! This year was a short fiction avalanche — for some reason everything got scheduled in 2013. But I do have some neat stories coming up — starting with Dreams of the Golden Age, due out on Tuesday!
December 4, 2013
SNOW! Current count on the ongoing snowstorm: 3″, which is moderately less than predicted, but it’s not over yet. I have the great good fortune of getting to stay home, and I’m hoping to get enough work done this morning that I can take a break this afternoon, maybe pop some popcorn, mull some cider, and sit with the Georgette Heyer book I’m reading. (I’m reading Georgette Heyer right now. Because once you’ve read all of Jane Austen you’ve got to do something. Also, I maybe be planning a Regency story. Maybe.)
Yesterday was the release day for DANGEROUS WOMEN, the giant cross genre anthology edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. There’s an audiobook version as well, that I kind of can’t wait to get my hands on, because Stana Katic reads a couple of the stories. (Not mine, alas, but that’s okay, because my story is read by Inna Korobkina, a Russian actress for my story about Russian pilots. Yay!)
Monday at 7 pm is the big launch party for the anthology at the Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, NM. The editors and many of the authors — including me! — will be there for a panel discussion and readings and other good stuff!
And One More Thing! On December 17 at 6:30, I’ll be doing an online Q&A about short story writing through the Delve online workshops and the Pikes Peak Writers. This is free and open to all, but you must RSVP at this link, because numbers will be limited.
And with that: Snow, snow, snow, snow….