January 26, 2018

My friends went to Paris and brought me back a used book, and I have to talk about how happy this makes me.

This is a book about a killer robot. I haven’t read it yet, but I’m going to, because it’s by Kate Wilhelm. Multiple award winning, co-founder of the Clarion Writing Workshop Kate Wilhelm. One of the great beloved authors of SF&F Kate Wilhelm.

Now, I have never heard of The Killing Thing. I’ve never heard anyone talk about this book. It’s…shall we say it’s not a classic? The title…it’s not precisely riveting, is it?

And isn’t that great?!  The great writer Kate Wilhelm once wrote a skinny paperback novel about a killer robot.  What this means for me, what I thought about the minute I saw this:  not everything has to be a classic.  Writers sometimes worry so much about every single thing they do getting attention, getting accolades — especially in the online world when it seems like everyone is talking about awards and bestsellers lists and year’s best and all these bells and whistles.

But not everything we do is going to get bells and whistles. And that’s okay.  It’s more than okay. It’s just a fact of life. Write the thing. Then write the next thing. Write a novel about a killer robot. Win the Hugo for a different novel ten years later.

You just keep writing.

It’s great.




Ursula K. Le Guin

January 24, 2018

She’s gone.

I have no words.

I have too many words, but they’ve all turned to ash.

She was always exactly what a writer ought to be.



January 22, 2018

At the march on Saturday we talked a lot about what was different between this year and last year. Last year, we didn’t really know what to expect from the current administration, we just knew it didn’t represent our values and we needed to make that clear. We were angry, we were energized. A lot of us had never done this before, so we were a little nervous. But we were so amazed and happy to be there, to be doing something.

This year, we know exactly how bad the administration can get. We’re still energized. And maybe not as angry but definitely resolved. Last year was uncertainty. This year, we know what we have to do. Midterm elections are coming up.

I can see us marching like this for years, just to demonstrate that we’re still paying attention.

So what’s it like, being the middle of a crowd of 50k – 100k people? Not as claustrophobic as you might think. You don’t move very fast, when everyone is trying to funnel from a giant park into a four-lane street. So you be patient. You make sure everyone around you has room and is doing okay. You move a block in half an hour. You have to have a little bit of faith that you’re headed in the right direction ’cause you can’t see very much from where you are. Then you get to the street and you’re walking, and once again checking in with everyone around you to make sure everyone’s okay.

And you all keep moving together.


appearances update

January 19, 2018

Looks like I’ll be heading to Norwescon, March 29-April 1, Seattle WA. The Philip K. Dick Awards announcements are there on March 30, and I’d love to be there for it. I just can’t say no to a good party, and this looks like a good one.

And I’m headed to the Denver Women’s March tomorrow, snow or no. We’ll keep this up for as long as we need to, to promote a path of inclusiveness and compassion.


Wednesday update

January 17, 2018

I almost typed in “Monday Update.” So I’m at that stage of post-travel recovery where I’m not sure what day of the week it is. I got home to an email box full of things I needed to reply to or do RIGHT NOW and I’m a little flustered.

Also, I’m trying to decide if I’m actually getting sick or if I’m just still dehydrated and exhausted. Fun times!

I had a good time at MarsCon!  And I got some really big news while I was away:  Bannerless is a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award. I’m so honored and blown away by this I hardly know how to respond. I got the email with the news while I was sitting alone in the Charlotte airport waiting for a connecting flight, and it was all I could do to not burst into tears. So I bought a big bag of chocolate instead.

There’s a lot I like about the writing business. One of the things I don’t like is waiting.  You send out a story or book on submission. And then you wait. You get a thing in the publication pipeline. And then you wait. This is where indie publishers jump in and say “If you did everything yourself you wouldn’t have to wait!” Ah, but if I did everything myself I wouldn’t have quite so much time to write the next thing…  The best antidote for waiting is to work on the next thing. This is part of why I come across as being so prolific.  I’m waiting on a lot of stuff right now. And I’m working on maybe six different things? Yeah, about that many. There’s a lot to look forward to this year, I think.




X-Files Babies!

January 12, 2018

So here’s what my brother and sister-in-law got me for Christmas.


January 10, 2018

So it turns out the paperback of MARTIANS ABROAD isn’t coming out until April. I was working on old information. Apologies for the confusion. Apparently no one is more confused than me.

Actually, Colorado weather might be more confused. It rained today.

Anyway — see you at MarsCon in a couple days!