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….
November 22, 2013
I have news! I have upcoming appearances to publicize! Here they are!
December 9, 7 pm, Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe, NM: “Dangerous Talk About Dangerous Women.” Many authors from the Dangerous Women anthology, along with editors George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois, will be here reading from and talking about their stories. The theater is also running films on the theme of “dangerous women.” Here’s the event listing, scroll down to find this one.
January 10, 7 pm: The Book Bin in Salem, Oregon. Please note, this is at their new location in East Salem.
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.
I’m also scheduled to be guests at two conventions next year:
April 25-27, ConStellation, Lincoln, NE. I’ll be the Author Guest of Honor.
September 26-28, FenCon XI, Dallas, TX. I’ll be the Special Guest leading the writing workshop.
March 28-30, AnomalyCon, Denver’s steampunk convention.
May 13-18, RT Booklovers Convention, New Oreleans LA. This’ll be my first time at this con.
August 14-18, Loncon, the World Science Fiction Convention in London.
I’m also planning MileHi Con, but probably not Bubonicon this year. Too much traveling already…
I’m excited, because the book tour includes several stops I’ve never been to before. For all you folks who are always asking when I’m going to get to the east coast — this is it! I’m heading east! Huzzah!
If you’re wondering why I’m going to some towns and not others, and some stores and not others, there’s a lot of reasons — timing, what works on the schedule… and what stores asked to host an event with me. If you want me to come do an event in your town, find a local independent bookstore that does a lot of events, or a local convention or book festival or such, and put in a request. Tell them you want an event with me. No guarantees that it’ll happen, but the more people make requests like this, the chances increase.
November 8, 2013
This includes my story, “The Best We Can,” and it gives me an excuse to talk about my thoughts on possible first contact scenarios, and why I wrote the story at all.
First off, I do think we’ll find evidence of extraterrestrial life within my lifetime. Fossil microbes on Mars or something swimming under the ice on Titan. Something. But we may even find extraterrestrial intelligence. It’s not going to happen at all like it does in the movies, or like it has on any number of Discovery Channel mockumentary scenarios. In fact, it’s probably not going to be very cinematic at all. It’ll come from the examination of tiny pixels, and the analysis of mountains of data. It’ll take years to confirm.
The search for exoplanets — planets outside our solar system — has been more successful than anyone dreamed. According to Exoplanet.org, 755 planets have been confirmed, along with 3455 unconfirmed planet candidates. That’s over four thousand planets, and the number is constantly growing. (This is one of the reasons I get cranky when people insist that not having a space shuttle means the U.S. doesn’t have a space program. You want a space program? Here, have FOUR THOUSAND EXOPLANETS, BITCHES.) You use this data to extrapolate the numbers in the Drake Equation for determining the likelihood of finding alien civilizations, and the results start to look ridiculously probable. Which leads to the attendant question of course — why haven’t we been able to talk to them yet? And the answer is, to quote Douglas Adams: space is big. Really big. Hugely mindbogglingly big.
Astronomers use a few different methods to find planets: with the transit method, they can track changes in light that occur when a planet passes in front of its star. Tiny little eclipses. They can measure the gravitational pull that planets and stars exert on each other. Direct imaging has also become possible.
I think at some point we’re going to find a star system that obviously has planets, but the data is going to be wonky. Astronomers will find light where it shouldn’t be, on the shadowed side of a planet. They’ll find something orbiting something else that predictions say shouldn’t be there — because it’s artificial. It will be evidence not just of life, but of civilization. And it’ll be dozens and dozens of light years away, and it’ll take a lifetime for our message saying we know about them to get there. Maybe we’ll finally get that radio signal SETI’s been looking for — but it’s not going to be a message meant for us. It’s going to be a random alien thing, noise sent to the stars, like what we’ve been sending out for the last 80+ years. Plus — it will likely have been traveling for many, many years. Whatever evidence we find, whether light or radio or something else on the EM spectrum, will be old by the time we get it. Maybe ancient. It will be a message in a bottle, and likely an accidental one to boot. Discovering extraterrestrial life is going to be like archeology.
And it will be so bloody frustrating, won’t it?! We’ll turn to the heavens, shouting, because what we really want is to talk to them.
This is what was driving my story: the idea that we’re going to find the holy grail, incontrovertible proof of alien civilizations. And we’re not going to be able to do a damn thing about it. We’re not going to be able to talk to them. We’ll just have to gather and catalog the data and try to figure out what it means. I know the story depressed a lot of people because of its depiction of bureaucracy overwhelming the wonder of discovery. But really, I meant there to be a thread of hope as well: because hey, we found life. We found civilization. We aren’t alone. And that’s very likely going to have to be enough, at least at the start.
October 18, 2013
This weekend is Denver’s literary SF&F con. I’ll be there! I’ve got the usual collection of panels, readings, signings, and shenanigans. Plus — Carrie and The Midnight Hour returns, with special secret guests and surprise audience participation activities. Woot! The schedule and all kinds of other info are up at the website.
While I’m on it, I’ve got a couple of other upcoming events:
October 26 I’m taking part in a “Monster Author” book night and panel at the Parker Library for Halloween.
November 2, I’ll be at ReadCon, at the Farr Library in Greeley.
A bit further on, December 9, I’ll be in Santa Fe for a multi-author event promoting the George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois edited anthology Dangerous Women. I’ll get a link up when I have it.
Wow, things are getting busy again…
October 2, 2013
Update! Forgot to mention: my friend EM Tippetts is giving away a signed copy of After the Golden Age. Woot!
A couple of anthologies are out now with stories of mine, that may be of interest:
Halloween: Magic, Mystery, and the Macabre ed. by Paula Guran has a brand-new story by me, “Unternehmen Werwolf.” If you’re a long-time fan of the Kitty series, you might recognize the main character.
Super Stories of Heroes and Villains ed. by Claude Lalumiere reprints my Wild Cards story “Just Cause.”
What else? Oh, Castle. I really really like that we have a story about two grown-up professional people working on a relationship and no one has to give up their job for the other, as if that’s some kind of virtue. I really really wish the show would give up on these multi-part thriller conspiracy stories, because they’re not very good. You know, TV land, not every poison automatically comes with an antidote. Really, I felt like I was watching NCIS, not Castle.
Agents of SHIELD. Much better on the banter this week. Didn’t feel as forced. (Setting the coaster under the broken glass? Awesome.) I sort of like that they’re borrowing gadgets from Serenity (That thumper sonic knocker-outer thing? Oh yeah.) Right on the edge of being annoyingly predictable. (I called the life raft.) It’s started to really really bug me that the Bus has two sets of wings. WHY!!!!! But hey, Nick Fury FTW.
August 28, 2013
And this weekend it’s Worldcon! I have a schedule:
Friday, 3 -4 pm: Kaffeeklatsch! You have to sign up for this ahead of time, numbers are limited. I’m not sure where everything is located or what procedures will be, I haven’t gotten to that point of my pre-con prep yet. Check the book.
Saturday, 1-2 pm: I Married a Werewolf: Paranormal Romance. Charlaine Harris (who I haven’t met in person yet) and Gail Carriger (who I have) are also on this, along with Darlene Marshall and Jean Johnson, so it should be an absolute riot.
Sunday, 3-4 pm: Signing at the SFWA table in the dealers room. Please note, this is the SFWA table, not the regular signing area.
And that’s my Worldcon schedule. Kind of light. That just means I’ll get to spend some time playing tourist in San Antonio. Yee-ha!
See some of you there?
August 23, 2013
This weekend is Bubonicon, in Albuquerque! I have fairly light programming, but that includes a reading and the usual mass autographing and all that good stuff. Maybe I’ll see you there?
In the meantime, I’ve gotten a look at the cover for DREAMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE. This is the sequel to the superhero novel. Come see what it’s like being a teenager with a telepath for a father! Due out in early January. Excelsior!
August 9, 2013
Kitty in the Underworld is #20 on the NYT bestseller list that comes out Sunday. Woooo! Thank you, my readers, for your support and book buying!
Most of my signings and appearances for the book take place next week:
This Sunday, August 11, 3 pm: I’m reading and signing at the Broadway Book Mall in Denver.
Tuesday, August 13, I’m taking part in the SFWA Northwest Reading Series in Seattle, along with Laura Anne Gilman and Barbara Caridad Ferrer. JOIN US!
Wednesday, August 14, 7 pm: Signing at Powell’s Cedar Hills location near Portland, OR. In a scheduling snafu that is entirely my fault, this is also the same night as the SFWA Reading Series event in Portland. If want to go to both, and are having trouble deciding between the SFWA Reading Series event and my signing — go to the SFWA event, because you’ll get three authors for one (Laura Anne Gilman, Phyllis Irene Radford and Diana Pharaoh Francis). And I’ll be back in Portland at some point, I’m sure. (It’s also been pointed out to me that I’m the only author in this series with just two names.)
And after next week:
August 23-25: Bubonicon in Albuquerque, NM
Aug. 29-Sept 2: Worldcon in San Antonio, TX. I’m not listed on the program participants list right now, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of, but I will be there.
And that’s my schedule for the month. Ta da!
I had a thought this week. When I started out with the writing and trying to get published thing, my goal wasn’t “get published.” That was a stepping stone, sure. But the real goal was “make a living as a writer.” That steered a lot of my decision making along the way about how to go about pursuing this gig.
July 31, 2013
Yesterday was release day for KITTY IN THE UNDERWORLD. Yaaaaaaaaaaay!
I hope you like it. This one’s a little crazy — but I think I always say that, don’t I?
I will probably run to the store today to try to spot it in the wild. Book day is always exciting! Especially because I also sold a short story yesterday. Cool, yeah? Busy day!
Now, back to work with me!
July 26, 2013
If you want a different kind of sneak preview, I’ve been playing around with Pinterest. Kitty in the Underworld has a lot in it, and I wanted to put together some kind of reference page with some of the images and ideas that went into the story. I suppose it’s a bit spoilery — but really, only if you know what the story is. It’s kind of turned into an exploration of all kinds of human-animal hybrid imagery. Because there’s a lot of it out there. I’ll try to keep adding to it, but I hope people look through it and find some cool stuff there.
You know “that Cormac novel” I keep talking about? I’m ready to announce the title: LOW MIDNIGHT.
All this week Tor.com is running previews from Dangerous Women, ed. by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois. Saturday, they’ll be posting a sneak peek of my story for the anthology, “Raisa Stepanova,” about a Soviet woman fighter pilot in World War II. Check for it tomorrow.
I’m lining up some cool appearances and stuff for 2014 — more info when I have it. But I can say: ConStellation in Lincoln, Nebraska has invited me to be their Guest of Honor next year — so I’ll be in Lincoln in April. I’m also strongly considering attending the RT Booklovers Convention for the first time next year. Plus all the usual conventions, and Worldcon in London… It’s shaping up to be a busy year.
Now, back to work with me…