September 17, 2018

I’m certain that my niece has been picking her Halloween costumes specifically to challenge me on sewing and craft skills I don’t have.

This year, it’s working with faux fur.

And not just faux fur, but the shaggiest faux fur I could find. That’s a 3-inch pile, y’all.

It’s a challenge to work with, but not as much of one as I thought it would be. (Knock on wood.) So far it’s a matter of making sure all the fur is brushed away from the edges before I sew seams. I’m about halfway done. I installed the zipper last night, which was daunting. But I think that’s the hardest bit. Fur this shaggy hides a lot of mistakes.

Mostly, and happily, this stuff is making me laugh. I finish a piece and it looks so silly and ridiculous and wonderful, I can’t stop laughing. I hope she likes it.

Can’t wait to show you pics of the finished thing.




It’s live! The latest Harry and Marlowe story is now up on Lightspeed! And if you’d like, buy the whole issue with a ton of great fiction!

Here it is:  Harry and Marlowe and the Secret of Ahomana.

And there’ll be another Harry and Marlowe story out next year as well.



signing this Friday!

September 12, 2018

Hey locals! This Friday I’m signing books and chatting with folks at Talking Books Plus in Lakewood!  Starting at 5 pm. Stop by and say hi!

Another reminder:  Fairwood Press is publishing a signed, limited edition of my novella PARANORMAL BROMANCE — it’ll be the story’s first time in print!  Head over to the website to get the special pre-order price.

end of summer camping

September 10, 2018

I’m not ready for summer to be over. I feel like I never got enough camping/outdoor time. So I wrangled some friends together for a random weekend of non-SCA camping, just sitting around the fire and chilling out and drinking cider and all that good stuff.

Did some birding. Heard what I think was a Great Horned owl and saw a bunch of Wilson’s warblers, which are adorable. Some flycatchers which I was entirely unable to identify. Got one lifer: a Cassin’s vireo.

On one of my walks I encountered this:

I think this is the remains of an abandoned irrigation canal. My suspicion is this chunk of decayed concrete isn’t all that old. Sixty years, maybe? It really doesn’t take all that long for vegetation and the freeze/thaw cycle to do their damage. When working on Bannerless and The Wild Dead, I worried that I was being too radical, showing too much of civilization vanishing in too short a time. Then I come across something like this and think, no, civilization vanishes a lot quicker than we think it does.

This is at Pawnee National Grassland, an area I want to explore more of. I think I’d like to camp there in the spring, to catch some of the spring migration/breeding season. Camping, so I don’t have to get up at the crack of dawn and can just roll out of the sleeping bag, grab the binoculars and go.


Dorothy Sayers binge read

September 6, 2018

When two of my favorite writers (Connie Willis and Lois McMaster Bujold) cite the same influence, it’s high time I go read that influence. Which is daunting, because Dorothy Sayers wrote a lot of books. I asked some advice, and got a bit of a reading list for specifically the Lord Peter Wimsey books, and here are my thoughts:

The Nine Tailors: I have to admit, I didn’t like this one so much. The pace dragged — every conversation with every person is given in excruciating detail. Part of the mystery is exactly how the victim actually died, and I knew it 30 pages before everyone else figured it out, which was frustrating.

Strong Poison: But I kept going because I wanted to meet Harriet Vane, and this is the book she’s introduced in. I liked it a lot better. Moved at a better clip, some interesting side characters, and Peter is much more conniving and active and competent in this. And in this one I could really see how Sayers’ writing influences Bujold’s handling of relationships and so on.

Murder Must Advertise: Not quite finished with this one yet, but…it’s great. Should have started with this. It’s kind of nuts, Peter is hella competent and conniving, and this is the one where I can basically see a bunch of Connie’s writing style and where she gets it — the banter, the absurdism, etc.

It’s also been interesting reading these after watching 8 seasons of Midsomer Murders, how deep the roots of British cozy mystery really go and how established these tropes are. Like, it’s as much about dissecting various incarnations of British psyche as it is about the mystery.

But my final takeaway from this binge-read is that I’d really like a movie version with Tom Hiddleston playing Lord Peter Wimsey.


new stories!

September 3, 2018

As I mentioned earlier, I went from having only one new story out this year to having three new ones out just in the last couple of weeks. No wonder I get confused!

This month sees the publication of Lightspeed’s 100th issue, and it includes the newest Harry and Marlowe story, “Harry and Marlowe and the Secret of Ahomana.” This one moves the story forward in kind of a big way. It’ll go live on the site in a couple of weeks, but you can buy the whole issue and read it — and a bunch of exclusive content — right now.

The Sept/Oct issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction includes “The Huntsman and the Beast,” my gender-flipped retelling of Beauty and the Beast. I’m quite fond of this one!

And the reissue of Wild Cards VIII: One-Eyed Jacks includes a new Lady Black story by me, “A Broken Thread in a Dark Room.”  A companion story, “Unraveling,” will appear in Volume IX: Jokertown Shuffle. My mission to retroactively insinuate myself in the entire series from the beginning is going swimmingly! The next few reissues are true mosaic novels and solo novels, so it’ll be while before I can further infiltrate with new/old stories. And then we’ll be just about caught up, which will be weird…

I’ve also added a chapter to It’s Tough Being Cobra These Days.

And it’s probably time for me to go update the website!


late-breaking appearance

August 31, 2018

I’ve scheduled a signing in Denver next month:  Friday, September 14, 5 – 7 pm, at Talking Books Plus in Lakewood, CO.

I’ve got a couple more events lined up before the end of the year, including Mile Hi Con. Stay tuned!

And that short story I mentioned needed revising? Revised it Wednesday, sold it today. Woohoo! If only all the projects could work that smoothly…