theme and the MCU

August 26, 2016

When I drove home earlier this week, it wasn’t particularly late but I was very tired because I’d already been on the road ten hours.  So I put on the “Awesome Mix Vol. 1” from Guardians of the Galaxy, which has become my go-to driving while tired album.  It’s big, brassy, danceable, and keeps me awake.  As often happens with a good soundtrack, I got to thinking about the movie, especially the last montage during “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” and I think I might have hit on something.

Guardians is all about family, right?  Finding a family when you’ve lost yours, fighting for your family, coming together and supporting each other.  But then — isn’t the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe about family?

I know as themes go that’s super broad and kind of all encompassing.  But I went character by character.  Thor dealing with his place in his family and his contentious relationship with his brother.  Natasha having all access and possibility of family cut off — and so she adopts Clint’s, and protects her fellow Avengers like family.  Steve Rogers struggling to replace families that keep getting taken away from him.  Bruce rejecting family — for their own protection, he thinks.  And even Scott Lang doing what he needs to do to get back to his family.  And Tony — Tony, who can’t seem to keep a family together no matter how much he wants to.

I don’t think this is something the filmmakers necessarily thought about ahead of time, beyond the fact that “family” as a theme makes for really powerful storytelling more often than not.  But I so like the idea of this one theme or concept tying all these movies together, even beyond the interlinking stories.  It gives me some ideas of where the MCU might go from here, and gives me some confidence that the movies will continue to hold together.


I am home.  Worldcon was successful.  As usual, sold many books, met many people.  I got to go to George R.R. Martin’s famous Hugo Losers Party, which was quite epic.  Game of Thrones themed alcoholic ice cream shots, y’all.

Realized I have spent the last four Tuesdays driving 10+ hours across the Great Plains, back and forth and back and forth.  I’ll not be doing that again for awhile.

This last trip I read The Starry Rift by James Tiptree Jr., and it was delightful, and made a full yard of two-colored lucet cord.

And now, I’m going to need some sleep.


a cleansing, relaxing post

August 22, 2016

I need a little bit of a break right now.  How about a garden in Cambridge, UK?

cabridge garden



Amaryllis cover test 6.indd

I mentioned that Fairwood Press is having a launch party at 8 pm on Friday at Worldcon.  I’m bringing cookies!  Amaryllis isn’t the only book Fairwood is launching at Worldcon, so it’s a really great excuse for a party.  If you can’t make Worldcon, all the books are available from Fairwood’s website.


On the Eyeball Floor cover 9.indd

Besides my own Amaryllis, Tina Connolly and Caroline M. Yoachim also have short story collections out from Fairwood:  On the Eyeball Floor and Seven Wonders of a Once and Future World.7 Wonders cover full 15.indd







Traveler or Worlds FULL cover TEST.indd

Alvaro Zinos-Amaro has a collection of interviews with the legendary Robert Silverberg:  Traveler of Worlds.  (Silverberg will be at Worldcon, I believe — wouldn’t it be lovely to get him to sign the book?)






And Patrick’s latest novel, The Ultra Big Sleep (sequel to The Ultra Thin Man). Noir space opera!






Patrick published some of my favorite early stories when he was editing the fabulous short fiction magazine Talebones, and I’m just so pleased to be part of his book family now.


At long last, here it is.  Most of my stuff is concentrated on Thursday and Friday, but I’ll be around all weekend.  It’s a big weekend:  we’re celebrating the launch of Amaryllis and Other Stories as well as the newest Wild Cards novel, High Stakes (I’m not in this one, but Earth Witch is!).  I’m looking forward to seeing people with new books in hand!


1 pm:  Signing at the Fairwood Press table in the Dealers Room.  I’ll be dropping in throughout the weekend to sign Amaryllis and Other Stories.

3-4 pm (15:00 – 16:00):  Kaffeeklatsch, 2211 (KKs) (Kansas City Convention Center)  Folks generally need to sign up for these ahead of time.


10-10:30 am:  Reading, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)

12-1 pm (12:00 – 13:00):  Adult and YA Fiction: The Once and Future Teen Friday, 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)

2-3 pm (14:00 – 15:00):  The Steampunk Explosion, 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)

5-8 pm (17:00 – 20:00):  Rainy Day Books Wild Cards Signing Event for the release of High Stakes.  Count Basie Ballroom (Kansas City Marriott Downtown)  REQUIRES ADVANCED TICKET, which includes purchase of High StakesSee the website for event procedures.  (Note — I’m going to have to leave early so won’t be there the whole 3 hours.)

8 pm:  Fairwood Press Book Release Party, in the party area of the Exhibit Hall.  You can buy Amaryllis and all of Fairwood’s new titles here, and I’ll be on hand to sign.  Secret:  I’m also baking a bunch of cookies.  Come and partake!


10:00 – 11:00 am, The Place of Bookstores.  2204 (Kansas City Convention Center)

3-4 pm (15:00 – 16:00), Superheroes: Oversaturated or Raising the Bar?  2503A (Kansas City Convention Center).  So, it turns out Kurt Busiek is also a panelist on this one.  Talking about one of my favorite topics with one of my favorite creators of said topic?  MASSIVE SQUEE.

5-6 pm (17:00 – 18:00), Lightspeed Magazine Group Reading, 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)


3-4 pm (15:00 – 16:00), Autographing, Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

And I think that’s it.  Please let me not have forgotten anything or left anything out…



catching up

August 12, 2016

That’s a lie.  I will never catch up.  Those last few emails will never get answered.

On the plus side, my Ghostbusters review went live on Lightspeed.  I went the historical context route this time.

My travels to Pennsic were good.  Driving across the midwest on I-80 is challenging.  I have a five day turn around before I leave for Worldcon, and too much to do.  So of course revision notes on Bannerless and galley corrections for Martian Abroad landed this week.  Huzzah!

I’ll post my schedule next week.  It’s gonna be hella busy.

Meanwhile, here’s one of my favorite things from Pennsic:

nine days wonder

I danced with them for two of the days.



August 10, 2016

I got my first ever pedicure last week.  AREN’T MY TOES PRETTY?!



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