Questland – events!

June 18, 2021

QUESTLAND is due out real soon now! That link has ordering info.

I’ve got some events scheduled — all virtual, which has the benefit that anyone can attend from anywhere. We debated about trying an in person event, but decided the stress and uncertainty would make the whole thing less fun. So virtual it is.

Thursday, June 24, 6 pm MT, the Tattered Cover is hosting a livestream with me.

Monday, June 28, 6 pm MT, with Old Firehouse Books, we have a special event: I’ll be in conversation with Marjorie Liu, and talking about her new short story collection, The Tangleroot Palace. Marjorie and I go way back and I’m really looking forward to this.

Old Firehouse Books has a stack of signed bookplates, and I’m planning a trip to Tattered Cover to sign stock for them, so my signature will be available if you order directly from those stores.

Thank you!

Questland – one week!

June 15, 2021

QUESTLAND will be out in one week!

I’m so out of practice on this self promotion stuff.

A more personal story: I’ve started up my weekly dinners again.

The background is this: I learned to cook by inviting a small group of friends over and cooking something different for them every week. I’d been doing this for over a decade when Covid hit and we stopped. We were mostly safe, but the work situation of a couple folks in the group meant we couldn’t really bubble up. So we didn’t. We had some outdoor gatherings, but I didn’t cook for those.

We really, really missed it. I tried to keep cooking new things — I learned to make eggs benedict — but it wasn’t the same.

Well, we have started again. We’re all now fully vaxxed and had our first dinner in over a year last week, and then watched Loki and Bad Batch, which makes for a fine evening indeed.

The hardest thing about it was not having Lily there. It wasn’t just our first dinner party in over a year, it was our first without Lily. Before, we’d have this big ritual: people arrived, Lily barked her head off, Wendy distracted her and played with her, Lily barked some more, and so on.

We all knew the ritual wasn’t going to happen this time and it felt weird. Last year, people came to my house and I had a dog. Now, they come over and I don’t, and even though Lily died in August, we’re only now just dealing with that part of losing her.

It’s strange and sad, but it’ll be okay. I still really like my dinner nights.

new short story

June 10, 2021

Things are happening!

First, I’ve got a brand-new short story up at Tor.com: “An Easy Job” stars Graff, my space opera hedonist cyborg, whom I just love. It’s a prequel to “Sinew and Steel,” which means in this new one Graff is still operating in secrecy, which turns out to be double plus not fun in this situation. Go read!

QUESTLAND is just a couple of weeks away and the notices are rolling in. It got a great mention in 5280, Denver’s glossy lifestyle magazine. It’s really cool to be in a list of “Colorado Creatives,” and also among other kinds of books and works I don’t normally get listed with.

It’s also part of Tor.com’s roundup of new fantasy novels due out in June 2021. This is great because QUESTLAND isn’t actually fantasy, even though it has a dragon and unicorn on the cover and the story sort of operates as a fantasy story. But it’s very near future and deals with the technology that would be required to make that story happen. I’ve always loved blurring the line between fantasy and science fiction, and I sort of purposefully blasted through that line with this one. I hope it confuses people.

Adventure weekend!

June 8, 2021

I had a weekend full of good hikes and visiting, staying with a friend out in Crested Butte. I’m incredibly grateful for the means and ability to just hop in my car and go on trips like this. I try not to take it for granted.

Colorado is full of spots like this and I just love it:

(If it’s not clear, the text on the sign reads “Cottonwood Pass, Elevation 12,216 Feet, Continental Divide, Atlantic Ocean, San Isabel National Forest, Pacific Ocean, Gunnison National Forest.)

Really beautiful country. Still lots snow up there.

And then I drove home in time to see a tornado touch down maybe 25 miles from my house while I was on the freeway. So that was exciting.

This pic is close to the view I got. Unmistakable. Fascinating and also a little terrifying. It was evening rush hour and I wonder what would have happened if it had crossed the freeway…

Questland buzz!

June 1, 2021

This is one of those weeks where I have a busted showerhead and a busted cupboard hinge and a busted sprinkler valve and then I discovered a dead animal in a window well and… that’s just too much. Gonna go take a nap or something.

Meanwhile, QUESTLAND is starting to make its way out in the world.

Here’s the Transfer Orbit newsletter featuring it front and center: “Think Ready Player One, but not dumb” may be one of my favorite reviews of all time.

It’s also a Top Pick in SF&F at Amazon.

Soon, soon my pretties, it’ll be a real-live book!

My next novel, QUESTLAND, will be out in one month. Click here for preordering info.

It’s about a high-tech LARP that goes horribly, horribly wrong, and the literature professor who has to save everyone!

aka: How many Labyrinth references can I pack into one novel before someone tells me to stop?

I lost track.

latest update

May 21, 2021

You know, all week I kept thinking, “Ah, I really need to do a blog post this week, I’ll get to it tomorrow.” And now it is Friday. Well. The blog post was the thing that kept getting put off, but now here I am.

First up: Lightspeed has reprinted my story “Dead Men in Central City,” which tells about that one time Rick met Doc Holliday. I really could write a whole series of stories about Rick in the Old West. I think that would be splendid. I’ll add it to the list.

Second up: I have a new story coming up at Tor.com on June 9, called “An Easy Job” and starring Graff. It’s a prequel to “Sinew and Steel.” I love writing about Graff and want to do more with him.

Too many stories to write, y’all. And this week I finished a rough draft for something completely different

It’s a nice problem to have, I think.

Here’s Eli Minaya’s illustration for “An Easy Job.”

Global Big Day 2021

May 12, 2021

Once again, I participated in the Global Big Day birding marathon. I like it because it gets me out and encourages me to challenge myself. (i.e. Get out in the field before 8 am. If I were a better birder I’d be out by 6 am, but I just enjoy that extra half hour of lying in a warm bed too much, it turns out. 8 am it is.)

This year’s results? Pretty good. I got a great lifer: a marsh wren.

42 species total. I can’t seem to break 50. I probably could have if I had made one more stop at a different set of ponds, but the weather was turning horrendous, with a big thunderstorm rolling in, and I just didn’t want to stay out in it to try to land six extra ducks.

Because that was the weird thing: there’s a whole list of duck species I reliably see at the locations where I went, and I saw NONE of them this year. This seems to happen a lot: I get close to 50, but then there’s a handful of common species I just sort of miss. And it’s a different handful every year. Like, one year I missed pigeons. Pigeons, dammit.

If you listed all the species I’ve seen on all my Big Days together, I’d be up to 70 or 80 I think. But no, the little beasties just don’t cooperate.

But that marsh wren was great. So was the colony of bank swallows I discovered when I went just a bit farther down this one trail, and the last bird of the day I logged: a warbling vireo.

And, best of all, it’s spring, and the migrating birds are returning, and this is a really good chance to get out and welcome them back.

I’m finally getting around to updating my sites and schedules to prep for the release of QUESTLAND on June 22, a novel about a high-tech LARP gone horribly horribly wrong and the literature professor who has to save everyone!

On June 28, 6 pm MT, Old Firehouse Books is hosting an online chat with me and Marjorie Liu, who also has a book coming out, her collection THE TANGLEROOT PALACE.

I’ve working on scheduling other events and even planning some in-person shindigs. Fingers crossed. Check the “Conventions & Signings” link for the latest info!

baby steps

May 7, 2021

This week, I’m reminding myself that 15 minutes of yoga is better than no yoga at all. (Also trying to decide when I’ll feel comfortable going back to the studio I used to go to. Maybe not quite yet, though outdoor yoga should be starting up soon and that might be really nice.)

And 10 minutes of cleaning is better than no cleaning.

And so on.

Have a happy weekend y’all. I figured out my plan for tomorrow’s birding Big Day and I’m excited. Will report back next week.