Happy July, everybody! Year’s halfway over! Brace for incoming second half of 2020!

A couple of things to tell you about:

A new series of anthologies:  THE DYSTOPIAN TRIPTYCH is now available! Three anthologies, with each author writing three different stories. The first, the slide into dystopia. The second, in the middle of dystopia. The third, the crawl out of dystopia. It’s a cool idea and a challenging writing project.

My trio of stories are collectively titled “We Take Care of Everything.” And I think they’re good. I think they’re horrifying. . . because they are barely, barely science fiction at all. I’m really excited to hear what people think of them.

(I swear to you, when we planned these anthologies out over a year ago we had no idea the current events situation would be so…. *waves arms wildly*. Timing is a hell of a thing.)

And next thing to tell you about:

The ebook of Kitty and The Midnight Hour is on sale right now! And it’s doing really well! So well, in fact, that on June 30, it made it to the top of one of Amazon’s Bestseller lists:  #1 in “American Horror.” This is 15 years after the novel’s original release. This makes me chortle. As we say in the bookselling business. . . this one’s got legs!

 

Have I mentioned that “The Ghosts of Sherwood” is available on audio? Well now I have.

I’m a bit quiet at the moment because I did that thing where I scheduled everything for the same week. I taught a (virtual) workshop on Saturday, and I spent yesterday afternoon at the (virtual) Odyssey Writing Workshop. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing an AMA at the r/books subreddit. And book release!

I know I do this because it just looks better all clustered on the calendar, like I can get all these things done at once. But I always forget that it means I spend the week being exhausted and don’t get anything else done. I just want to. . .not make any decisions for a couple of days, you know?

Anyway.

Hope you all are staying safe. Please continue to do so.

 

The Ghosts of Sherwood has been racking up some pretty cool accolades:

PW has it as a Pick of the Week for June 8

On Amazon, it’s a Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Book of the Month

And it’s an Apple Books Best Book for June, including this really excellent review:  “Carrie Vaughn’s swashbuckling novella is an absolute delight. She takes time to flesh out each character even as she keeps the adventures coming. We particularly adored 10-year-old Eleanor Locksley, a quiet but endlessly resourceful heroine—a righteous antidote to the damsel in distress. Robin Hood has been depicted as everything from a mustachioed archer to a cartoon fox, but there’s something endearing about seeing him as a devoted fortysomething husband and father.”

I’m fanning myself, this is so encouraging. I seriously didn’t know if anyone would like my lighthearted adventuring medieval family sitcom, but maybe that was a niche that needed filling.

And based on reviews, Eleanor is clearly going to need to star in her own story. I have some ideas…

 

First off, here’s a link to the Colorado Freedom Fund, which works to provide bail money so that people aren’t wrongfully incarcerated just because they can’t afford bail. I’ve donated, and maybe you would like to. Your state probably has a Freedom Fund, too.

Actually, now that I think about it, Freedom Funds are *entirely absolutely 100%* in keeping with the spirit of Robin Hood.

And now, this:

As you can see, I was destined to write a Robin Hood story from an early age. Whatever Prince John is selling here, I don’t think Tiny Carrie is buying. This was at Disneyworld in late 1976, which would make me just shy of 4 years old here. I think I still make that exact face when someone says something dodgy.

The Ghosts of Sherwood is out next week, and a thing I’d like you to know about it:  it’s fun. It’s light. Robin and Marian get to keep their happy ending, they love and support their children. It’s about friends and family and standing together against the world.

If you need a distraction, this might be it.  I’ve realized over the last little while that I could never write anything as dark as what’s in the world, so I’ve embraced the full escapist potential of fiction. One of the reasons The Adventures of Robin Hood is still considered the best Robin Hood is because of its joy. No matter how dark things get, Robin still has hope and still fights.

I hope I can bring some of that back to the character.

 

The pandemic, when so many of us are getting self-taught crash courses in video production…

Here’s a quick clip of me reading from THE GHOSTS OF SHERWOOD!

This is due out in early June, and will be available in paperback, e-book, and audio!

In other news…

The weather is FINALLY warming up. Spring seems to have come very slowly to my neck of the woods. But it’s here.

This Saturday is the Global Big Day, which I’ve been happily participating in for the last few years. Things are a little different this year, and I was worried that my usual favorite birding spots would be crowded and that I shouldn’t go. But I’ve got my eye on an isolated chunk of private land — the farm where I’ve been riding horses has a great stretch of cottonwoods along an irrigation ditch. Great bird habitat, and I’ve been wanting to get out there to see what I could find anyway. So that’s my spot this year.

I’m excited. I’m looking forward to it. It’s really nice being excited about something right now.

 

I’ve been nattering on about Robin Hood for over a year now, and I’m happy to say that it’s all been to good purpose:

The Ghosts of Sherwood has a starred review in Publishers Weekly!

Pull quote:  “Vaughn’s masterful worldbuilding and lovable cast promise more good things to come in future adventures.”

This is a really big deal and has made me very happy. Like, maybe I wasn’t nuts in tackling this whole project in the first place?

Like, maybe the timing is exactly right for a story about a family who loves each other and supports each other, with characters who are fun to spend time with?

The release date is still a month and a half off, which in these harried times seems like a really long time.

Soon, soon…

 

It’s all about the distractions around here… I just put some library e-books on hold. I’ll have to wait a few weeks, but at regular intervals I should get a new book popping up on my e-reader and that sounds pretty cool.

Tachyon Publications is having a sale! They’ve put together “care packages” of many of their books, on sale for 50% off. The Immortal Conquistador is part of the “novellas” package. Check it out!

And now, since all my in-person events have been cancelled for the foreseeable future, I made a video. It’s a Facebook link which may not work, so let me know if you can see it.

In which I read from The Immortal Conquistador.

 

Reddit: Ask Me Anything!

March 25, 2020

Today I’m over at the r/Fantasy subreddit answering questions. Ask me anything!

Here’s the link.

I’m trying to keep my chin up for the next couple of days, but the New Zealand Worldcon has just announced that they’re shifting to a virtual convention, and I’m really disappointed. I had booked plane tickets and was ogling horseback tours and birdwatching sites and… I totally understand and it’s likely the right decision, but I have a big sad. I have a busy week so I don’t really want to get lost in the sad right now.

But next week I may need to take a day or two off.

 

What times we live in, eh?

My event at BookBar for tonight has been cancelled.

I’m brainstorming and looking into ways I can get signed books shipped to folks and also support my local booksellers. Stay tuned.

I’m also brainstorming some virtual event ideas — video readings and Q&A, that sort of thing.

But hey:  THE IMMORTAL CONQUISTADOR is now available and out in the world! It’s also on audio!

 

So, I have a book coming out this Friday. The Immortal Conquistador, in which we learn some of the history of Rick the vampire. I’ve got a signing scheduled at the BookBar at 7 pm.

UPDATE: Yeah, well. Here we are.

I’m also still planning on flying to Orlando for the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts next week. Until it’s cancelled, or until there’s a nationwide travel lockdown, I’m going. I’ve weighed the risks and decided it’s okay. There are currently no C-19 cases in the county where I live, and there are currently none where I’m going. I’m bringing a thing of Lysol.

UPDATE: I spoke too soon. Jinxed myself I guess. Word is the conference is cancelling, so I’ve gone ahead and cancelled my travel plans. I will not be at ICFA. I’m really disappointed, but this also feels like the correct, responsible thing to do.

It’s still really hard to ask people to come out and do book things in crowds when the overall environment is so fraught. If you’re at all uncertain about going to a public event — don’t go. There’ll be other book events, other chances to get signed copies. Stay safe, according to your own level of comfort. Wash your hands.

On the other hand, if we all stay home, we can get SO MUCH reading done.

A couple of other links:

Nevertheless She Persisted is an anthology of flash fiction published at Tor.com a couple of years ago. They’ve now released it as a FREE e-book. It includes my story, “Alchemy.”

Here’s an interview with me at the Odyssey Writing Workshop blog. Application deadline for this year’s workshop is April 1.

Bannerless is the March/April selection for the San Francisco Public Library’s “On the Same Page” bookclub. Here’s an interview I did for the event. I’m so pleased that the novel was chosen for this, and I’m so entirely bemused that all public events in connection with it have been cancelled because of C-19. In the novel, one of the things that contributes to societal collapse is widespread disease. Welp.