writing rengeek magpie mind

November 2014




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Nov. 23rd, 2014

writing gorey earbrass conscious but ver

papa bought a pistol, says he's gonna lead a life of crime

Everything is pain. Especially my left hip. And my brain.

But something like a draft is done, and mailed off to truepenny, casacorona, and arcaedia. The end is a horrific kludge, and I don't care.

I'm going to drink a beer and eat curry.

rengeek skinhead fortinbras

how hard would it have been to say some kinder words instead?

Winter is coming. Which means 'tis almost the season for Jethro Tull. ;)

(Actually, around here, Tull Season is pretty much any time. But any excuse to break out those wonderful songs about cold weather and dysfunctional families is a good excuse.)

(That would be from the first Tull tour I ever saw: the Rock Island tour, which I attended in Halloween at the New Haven Coliseum in 1989.)

And now, it's time to quit stalling and try to write the last chapter of this book. Nothing left but the kaboom, anyway. THE END IS NIGH.

I'd rather be doing all sorts of things.

Teacup today: The blue and white one I bought in Iceland.
Tea today: Upton young Hyson China green tea

Nov. 22nd, 2014

sf star trek horta/spock

speak to me in times of war and stress

Only one chapter left. Unless it turns into Zeno's Chapter.

102140 / 100000 words. 102% done!

Manuscript stands at: 102140
Words added: 11704
Hours since commencement: 79
Sleep: 21
Bathing: 2
Sustenance: crackers and cheese, almonds, a PJ's chicken burrito with extra cheese, two clementines, an apple, half a cider doughnut, hot cider, chicken, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, brown rice, english muffin, vegetarian refried beans, more cheese, an egg, sun-dried tomatoes. another apple, more almonds, more clementines, more almonds, a brown rice cake with brown sugar, Greek yogurt, hot Kashi cereal, salad caprese, more beans with green chili and cheese, Theo's chocolate with coconut, chicken noodle soup with ginger; toasted acorn squash seeds, Annie's mac and cheese, huevos rancheros with no tortilla. ice cream, hamburger, asparagus, a cranberry flat bread thing with peanut butter and jam, cheese curls 
Tea: coffee, jasmine, Upton gen mai cha, mint and green, decaf pumpkin spice, Stash White Christmas blend, more coffee, maple spice; Trader Joe's coconut green; Upton melange de chamonix; Upton cherry bancha; Upton Yamato sencha;
Liquor: a Stormy Holiday, which is a Roman Holiday with some Gosling's rum splashed in. A peach old fashioned I should have used different bourbon in. A Widow's Kiss.
Exercise: climbing
Dancing: in a revolution
Distractions: exhaustion
Research: freeze thaw cycles
Mean things: "They shall call him brave." 
Current project: killing time
Darling: Othinn’s kindness was the kindness of ravens.

loose tea for loose women

pittsburg has the steelers, the pirates, and the thieves.

Tea today: Upton cherry bancha (which I don't like all that much, honestly--weird, because I tend to like Upton's stuff. It tastes artificial. probably flavored with beaver butts.)
Teacup today: Lovely traditional tapered mug that I bought in Oak Bluffs from SRS-Grunden Pottery. It's very soothing.

Nov. 21st, 2014

rengeek kit & tilda lucifer/gabriel

his game is called surviving as in heaven as in hell

Hot damn. I always forget just how amazing the Calexico cover of "Guns of Brixton" is.

100478 / 100000 words. 100% done!

Sadly, I still have the rest of the the calm before the storm and nearly all of the kersplosion to write.

"If I do not finish this book today, I will only have to finish it tomorrow."
"They call it a draft because it's full of holes."
"It's a draft; it can suck."

Manuscript stands at: 100,478
Words added: 6719+3332
Hours since commencement: 56
Sleep: 13.5
Bathing: 2
Sustenance: crackers and cheese, almonds, a PJ's chicken burrito with extra cheese, two clementines, an apple, half a cider doughnut, hot cider, chicken, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, brown rice, english muffin, vegetarian refried beans, more cheese, an egg, sun-dried tomatoes. another apple, more almonds, more clementines, more almonds, a brown rice cake with brown sugar, Greek yogurt, hot Kashi cereal, salad caprese, more beans with green chili and cheese, Theo's chocolate with coconut, chicken noodle soup with ginger; toasted acorn squash seeds,
Tea: coffee, jasmine, Upton gen mai cha, mint and green, decaf pumpkin spice, Stash White Christmas blend, more coffee, maple spice; Trader Joe's coconut green; Upton melange de chamonix;
Liquor: a Stormy Holiday, which is a Roman Holiday with some Gosling's rum splashed in.
Exercise: climbing
Dancing: at the end of a gun
Distractions: Soup!
Research: roast beef recipes
Mean things: waking up cold 
Current project: tearful partings
Darling: --

drive train _ netcurmudgeon

don't hold your breath, 'cause the pretty things are going to hell.

Well, so far today I've started soup, answered some email, made some green chili that came out spicier than planned but was awfully good on beans for lunch, eaten two meals of real food, and... I'm sure I did something else. Listened to two episodes of Welcome To Night Vale.

Somehow, that all took five hours. No, I don't know either.

Now, however, I bring you Indicators & Warnings with a reaction to Hieroglyph, and my story "Covenant", and also some interviewing of me!

And now some words must happen. Ish. If I hit 100K tonight, I get a cocktail and some How to Get Away With Murder, which is terrible and I can't stop watching it. And hey, Viola Davis, such wow.

Tea today: Trader Joe's coconut green
Teacup today: Grace preppie roses
Dog: It's chicken soup day! It's the best day!

Nov. 20th, 2014

criminal minds jj hit what she aimed at

what did i do that for? am i an idiot?

Tea today: Stash White Christmas (white and green tea with mint and ginger)
Teacup today: Azul teamug
Dog: Snore festival city

97164 / 100000 words. 97% done!

"If I do not finish this book today, I will only have to finish it tomorrow."
"They call it a draft because it's full of holes."

I have finished what I think is the antepenultimate chapter. Two chapters left, one of which will doubtless turn into Zeno's Chapter. But now I get to go climb.

Manuscript stands at: 97,164
Words added: 6719
Hours since commencement: 27:53
Sleep: 6
Bathing: 1
Sustenance: crackers and cheese, almonds, a PJ's chicken burrito with extra cheese, two clementines, an apple, half a cider doughnut, hot cider, chicken, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, brown rice, english muffin, vegetarian refried beans, more cheese, an egg, sun-dried tomatoes. another apple, more almonds, more clementines
Tea: coffee, jasmine, Upton gen mai cha, mint and green, decaf pumpkin spice, Stash White Christmas blend, more coffee, maple spice
Liquor: a Stormy Holiday, which is a Roman Holiday with some Gosling's rum splashed in.
Exercise: nada
Dancing: in the ruins
Distractions: Cover art! Reviews!
Research: the Oresund
Mean things: existential threats 
Current project: Viking physics and meteorology
Darling: --

writing softcore nerdporn _ heres_luck

they said lay down in the water even though you don't believe

Also on the morning wire--actually, this is a couple of days old, but I was at Windycon trying to be charming when it broke--Steles of the Sky is one of the Kirkus 100 Best Books for 2014!

Is this what it's like to have a healthy relationship with Kirkus?

I like it. I really like it.

writing karen memory

i feel like walking the world, walking the world

The Kirkus review for Karen Memory is in, and they loved it enough to make my name a terrible pun.


Steampunk: Something of a new venture for Bear, whose previous output (Steles of the Sky, 2014, etc.) has ranged from heroic fantasy to science fiction, often with an embedded murder mystery.

By the late 19th century, airships ply the trade and passenger routes, optimistic miners head in droves for the Alaskan gold fields, and steam-powered robots invented by licensed Mad Scientists do much of the heavy (and sometimes delicate) work. In Rapid City on the U.S. northwest coast, Madame Damnable operates the Hôtel Mon Cherie, a high-class bordello, paying a hefty “sewing machine tax” for the privilege. Here, orphaned horse-breaker and narrator Karen Memery (Bear doesn’t tell us why the book’s title is spelled differently) works among similarly lively, engaging and resourceful girls. One night, Priya, a malnourished but tough young woman, arrives at the door carrying the badly wounded Merry Lee, who escaped from one of the grim brothels operated by brutal gangster Peter Bantle and has since made a career of rescuing other indentured girls from Bantle’s clutches. Madame Damnable’s steam-powered mechanical surgeon saves Merry’s life—but not before Bantle himself shows up, wearing, Karen notes, a peculiar glove that somehow can compel others to obey his commands. Worse, the following night the girls discover the body of a murdered prostitute nearby. U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves arrives with his Comanche sidekick, Tomoatooah; they’re tracking a serial killer who seems to have made his way to Rapid City. The story swiftly knots itself into steampunk-ishly surreal complications, with dauntless (and, by this point, love-stricken) Karen in the thick of the action.

Supplies all the Bear necessities: strong female characters, existential threats, intriguing developments and a touch of the light fantastic.


I'm just gonna put that Cynthia Sheppard cover on everything from now on. I love it so very, very much.

Now I have to update my website with reviews and art, and then go write 2000 words.

Nov. 19th, 2014

criminal minds jj hit what she aimed at

drinkin' tequila like it's the name of the game

An Apprentice to Elves Metrics, 19 November 2014 9:54 PM

95042 / 100000 words. 95% done!

"If I do not finish this book today, I will only have to finish it tomorrow."

It's still enough for today.

Manuscript stands at: 95,042
Words added: 4597
Hours since commencement: 9:55
Sleep: 0
Bathing: 0
Sustenance: crackers and cheese, almonds, a PJ's chicken burrito with extra cheese, two clementines, an apple, half a cider doughnut, hot cider, chicken, brussels sprouts, acorn squash, brown rice, english muffin
Tea: coffee, jasmine, gen mai cha, mint and green
Liquor: a Stormy Holiday, which is a Roman Holiday with some Gosling's rum splashed in.
Exercise: nada
Dancing: white woman's overbite
Distractions: dinner break
Research: axial tilt
Mean things: freezing mud and lots of it 
Current project: bad news from the front
Darling: --

criminal minds garcia technopeasant

i just made my third pot of tea. shit is getting real.

Well, it's been a really long time since I liveblogged finishing a novel, isn't it? Well, I guess that means it's time.

An Apprentice to Elves Metrics, 19 November 2014 

Manuscript stands at: 92,692
Words added: 2243
Hours since commencement: 5:22
Sleep: 0
Bathing: 0
Sustenance: crackers and cheese, almonds, a PJ's chicken burrito with extra cheese, two clementines, an apple, half a cider doughnut, hot cider
Tea: coffee, jasmine, gen mai cha, mint and green
Liquor: a Stormy Holiday, which is a Roman Holiday with some Gosling's rum splashed in.
Exercise: nada
Dancing: in my seat
Distractions: Karen Memory cover reveal, family member brought home a new car
Research: what's that word anyway? Oh right, merlons.
Mean things: holmgang, killed something. Not necessarily in that order. 
Current project: grief.
Darling: --

criminal minds boom

boom! like that.

Taking a break from writing like a fiend to make some more tea and brag! CLICK THROUGH THE LINK AND LOOK AT MY COVER, GUYS!

(Click on the image above for the full, amazing cover art by Cynthia Sheppard.)
writing goddamned verbs slithytove

one sunny day the world was waiting for a lover

It's work, work, all the day long.

I'm recovering from Windycon, and managed to get a solid day's work done yesterday in spite of all the fuss of re-entering my life after being away for nearly a month. (The dog is clipped and bathed, as he managed to turn himself into one giant mat while I was gone. And the house is tolerably clean.)

90449 / 100000 words. 90% done!

As for the welves, well... that's where I'm starting off today with regard to An Apprentice to Elves in draft. It's just climax from here on out.

And I had damned well better be in the final push on this book, is all I'm saying. I can see the finish line from here, and while it's probably going to come in a bit longer than 100,000 words, the end is within sight. Now I just have to catch back up to my NaNoFinishMo goals, because I'm lagging behind there.

The good news is that I have all day today to write--once I eat something, anyway, because I forgot about breakfast again.

(Oh, yeah, and I'm really back on the Discipline again, because wow none of my pants fit after all the travel and food and failure to exercise sufficiently this year. Aiee.)

So, as if the tradition of my tribe, here's a picture of some tea and another one of my supervisor, who is camped on the couch with me while I work.

Tea today is a green Darjeeling from the Tindharia Estate, via Upton Tea. Teacup today is Royal Albert confetti roses, which was a gift from thecoughlin and my mom.

And now, that food and those words.

Nov. 9th, 2014

criminal minds reid airquotes

some moments that i've had. some moments of pleasure.

Since I hit 80K today, in kind of a marathon session, I am celebrating with a cocktail that consists of half a can of pears in pear juice whizzed in the blender with 2 ounces of bourbon, an ounce of ginger wine, some candied ginger, and a pinch of cayenne and a pinch of cardamom.

I hereby dub it the Cursory Google.

Go ahead and double that.

It'll save getting the blender out of the sink to use up the other half of the can.

spies sandbaggers sense of occasion

(no subject)

With extra feeling this year. It was a war to end all wars.

“I will come to a time in my backwards trip when November eleventh, accidentally my birthday, was a sacred day called Armistice Day. When I was a boy, all the people of all the nations which had fought in the First World War were silent during the eleventh minute of the eleventh hour of Armistice Day, which was the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

“It was during that minute in nineteen hundred and eighteen, that millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one and another. I have talked to old men who were on battlefields during that minute. They have told me in one way or another that the sudden silence was the voice of God. So we still have among us some men who can remember when God spoke clearly to mankind.

“Armistice Day has become Veterans’ Day. Armistice Day was sacred. Veterans’ Day is not.

“So I will throw Veterans’ Day over my shoulder. Armistice Day I will keep. I don’t want to throw away any sacred things.

“What else is sacred? Oh, Romeo and Juliet, for instance.

“And all music is.”

             --Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut, 1973

me at wfc

bring me the head of H. P. Lovecraft

So, I come to you tonight, on the evening of the World Fantasy Awards, to congratulate the winners--and to talk a little bit about Howie's Head.

First: Congratulations, winners! I'm thrilled for every one of you! And congratulations, nominees! You get to feel almost as smug. 

And now on to the controversy, and my completely personal take on it.

For those of you who don't know, the World Fantasy Award statuette is a wonderfully grotesque Gahan Wilson caricature sculpture of H. P. Lovecraft. It's fondly known as "the Easter Island Head," which should give you an idea of what it looks like, if you haven't seen one.

It definitely has a bit of the Innsmouth Look, if you know what I mean, which is probably only appropriate.

So, there are people in the community who would like to see the statuette changed, because it honors somebody (H. P. Lovecraft) who was in his work and his life undeniably racist, anti-Semitic, and xenophobic*. And not any garden-variety systemic racist, either: this was a person whose vicious and frankly nauseating racial determinism and belief in genetic "degeneracy" serves as a foundation for his entire body of work.

It's existential despair and visceral horror of "miscegenation" all the way down, like a stack of turtles descending into the abyss.

When it comes to the statue, I... have mixed emotions. I personally would love an ugly stumpy Howie head in my living room, whether it were to be me or that boy I like who were to bring it home. My reasons for this are personal and illogical and completely subjective:

First, frankly, I love Gahan Wilson. I have a complicated relationship with Lovecraft, but his work was formative for me back in the day, and arguing with his racism did win me a Hugo. More objectively, he is one of the people who created the foundations of fantastic fiction and the modern genre of fantasy.

And... the World Fantasy Award is something I've aspired to for decades. I'd love to create something that was found worthy of this recognition someday.

In short, I have a deep personal affection for the ugly old thing. I covet it, the way I once coveted a shiny rocket ship. (I kind of covet a cube of lucite with some planets in, too, but I've never been nominated for one of those.)

What other major genre award comes with a dead-serious warning not to put it in your fishtank? (It kills the fish. Which is, again, only appropriate.)

But...here's the thing. I consider Nnedi Okorafor a friend, and I also consider her to be one of the best writers in the genre today. And she's a recipient of this award. (Interestingly, the year she won, the best novel nominees included two other black female writers.) Her essay on the topic is here.

Go read it.

I'll wait.

Whatever my personal affection for the ugly little lump of fish-poisoning pewter is, my feelings can't compare with the conflict that people like Nnedi feel when honored for groundbreaking work like Who Fears Death (Go read that, too, but finish this first, there's not much left.) with a statuette that is a constant reminder of, in her words: "The fact that many of The Elders we honor and need to learn from hate or hated us."

My attachment to the current statue can never be as important as that.

I understand from twitter that the WFA committee stated this year that changing the statuette is under consideration. scott_lynch and I had a conversation about this in the car not long ago, and one of the things we talked about is that one way to resolve some of these conflicts between tradition and attempting to be decent human beings would be to establish a rotating stable of heads, as it were.

I'm a huge fan of the brilliant Octavia Butler, but I'm not sure she's a good choice for this particular honor: not only was she predominately a science fiction writer, but she's a terribly recent loss to the field and remains a much-beloved and mourned friend of many.

But even if we continue to honor writers who have been gone for at least twenty years--or longer--there are a number of people who could be recognized: Fritz Leiber, C.L. Moore, Scheherazade, J.R.R. Tolkien, T. H. White, Hope Mirrlees, and Sutton E. Griggs, to name a few.  

Gahan Wilson's still around, you know.

*He was also mentally ill, and I suspect some of his incredible churning fear of the Other stems from that mental illness. Which is not an excuse in any way for things like the poem Nnedi quotes.
spies mfu illya all wet

you're telling all those lies about the good things that we can have if we close our eyes

I have achieved a milestone on the welves today. An Apprentice to Elves stands at 80,000 words. Also, I've gotten to the end of the stuff I needed to backfill and repair, and from here on it it's just drafting. And I'm almost to the climax, which is really exciting. The book has started doing that thing where it wakes me up with bits of plot and fabulous ideas, which is so much nicer than the part in the middle where I have to go out and hunt down every word with a club.

It's hard in part because middles are transitions, and transitions suck. Maybe we should just skip middles.

#NaNoFinishMo is a go. I'm going to see how far I can get before I have to leave for Windycon on Thursday. Three more writing days whee!

80052 / 100000 words. 80% done!

Nov. 6th, 2014

me and a troll

i cannot touch the rain

The following is an open letter to my friends and colleagues who are established members of the science fiction and fantasy community.

It's easy to lose control of a narrative. It's a little bit harder but not all that difficult, if you have the skills for it, to seize control. To construct a convincing narrative--whether that narrative happens to be true or not--and manipulate your audience into investing in it--into believing it--whether that narrative happens to be true or not.

It's not even that much harder to create so much social pressure, to engage in so much goal-post shifting, that the very target of your narrative begins to believe it herself. This is one of the ways in which sick systems work: we impose a narrative on someone else, and then force them to conform to it.

When one individual does this to another, we call it emotional abuse.


Isn't it curious how often someone who is attacked by the wielder of an abusive narrative is held accountable for everything they may have ever done or said--whether in anger, or in their cups, or just in a moment of carelessness? Editing blog posts, taking down twitter feeds or websites, scrubbing the past, apologizing--all of these are cause for redoubled vituperation. Anything the victim says can be spun, questioned, deconstructed using opaque logic to create any sort of hammer the abuser wishes to swing.

And yet, there are abusers who consider their own right to edit to the narrative sacrosanct. What is past is past; what is true today is only true so long as it facilitates the abuser's narrative. The goalpost shifts and the gaslight flickers.

On the internet, we call those people trolls, but--colorful as it is--the word is a euphemism. What we are really talking about here is predators. Abusers.

Whether they're in it "for the lulz" or for the social capital, they're there to exert power and cruelty over people. They're there to justify their own existence by making others pay for theirs.

To an abuser, motive--which normal people who are not writers call, "What I actually meant, not what you are twisting my words to mean."--does not matter. All that matters is that the abuser finds a way to control the narrative, to control and hurt the victim, and to "win" the engagement. Winning, in this case, means the other guy experiences pain. And then gives up, gives in, lets the abuser have their own way.

It saddens me deeply that some people within communities I consider essential to the health of my industry and my social group (they're largely the same thing, that being how both publishing and the internet work) use those communities as camouflage to hide abuse, as springboards to facilitate it, and as cheering sections, god help us all, to reward them for their most violent behaviors.

You can often spot them because, instead of going after people with a great deal of social capital and perceived strength, they go after those who are marginalized, young, at the cusp of their professional careers, or struggling with a setback. They go after people who would seem natural allies, who would trust them, who would take their violence much more personally than somebody who actually despises them or to whom their opinion means nothing.

These predators gaslight; they reversion the truth; they have an explanation for everything. And all of it piles up to make you feel as if you've lost your grip on reality. As if nothing you perceived was the truth. You think their narrative doesn't make sense, but other people buy it, and because memory is fallible, you start to buy it too.

They're not there to teach, to elevate, to change the system. On some level, they don't want the system changed--because if it were, where would they go to get their kicks?

You can see 'em leading the pitchfork-wielding mobs in Gamergate. And right now, you can see 'em attacking a group of predominately new, predominately less-established, predominately female, predominately brown members of the science fiction and fantasy community.


I am not saying that internet social justice work is inherently abusive. I've engaged in a certain amount of internet social justice work myself. I'm not saying that it's wrong to confront people, or to be angry about injustice.

I'm pretty angry about a repeated pattern of injustices myself right now. And I'm sad. And I want the abuses to stop. I've been holding my peace to allow the victims to come forward and make their own statements, because I believe it is my place to speak out in support of them, not to influence what they might say.

That has begun to happen.

That is why I am going to directly address the actions of three colleagues who, to my knowledge and from firsthand accounts, have been colluding to behave in an abusive, unprofessional, gaslighting fashion against vulnerable people.

I have considered Alex Dally MacFarlane a friendly acquaintance and a respected colleague, and I am most upset to learn of her part in bullying Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and others. (Among other things, she's released private emails between Tricia Sullivan and RH/Bee without Tricia's permission.) I'm saddened, and I'm tempted to defend her; we've been internet acquaintances for years. And yet, I must choose to believe the victims.

Tori Truslow I met for the first time this summer in London and exchanged a few words in passing. Benjanun Sriduangkaew (Bee) I have never met, but I knew of her as a friend of a friend and somebody whose work I'd encountered and thought well-written but as yet unformed. We participated in an online round-table on food and SF together.

Requires Hate never got a lot of consideration from me. I don't think she ever came after me personally, and while I knew she was awful to a number of friends, well, sometimes people are awful to writers. I will totally cop to having made fun of her as a sad little troll on more than one occasion, but my general attitude was "haters gonna hate."

I knew she was an abusive person. I didn't know how abusive, or how long it had gone on, or in how many forums. I didn't know how many people she made complicit in her abuse, or tried to. I didn't know about the chilling effect her abuse has had on the art and discourse of women and people of color, of whole communities. And I certainly didn't know about her association with Alex and Tori, and this summer when the rumors started flying about Bee I was one of the people who defended her, because the evidence presented at that time basically amounted to, "They're both Thai and both activists."

I thought it was racist and ridiculous.

I was wrong.

I also happened to speak with several friends, about half of them women of color, at Loncon and 9 Worlds who each independently told me that they had had a miserable summer. None of them mentioned why. I had been traveling and largely off the internets since May, and I did not make the connection that they had been having the same miserable summer for the same reasons.

I was wrong about that, too.


I am not an expert on the subject but I certainly believe, from reading Bee/Rh's work and from talking with people who are experts on the subject, that she has an intimate knowledge of Asian cultures and certainly lives or has lived in Hong Kong and Thailand--or has access to people who have.

I am, however, an expert on the subject of abusive relationships, of abusers, and of drawing boundary lines around them. I know that Benjanun Sriduangkaew is a pseudonym. Why should we believe that the Bee persona is any more authentic than the Winterfox one?

Can we believe any single thing Bee/RH tells us? Bee's claimed to be in her thirties; now she claims that her RH behavior was teenage malfeasance. She was talking about Tolkien on yuku.com in 2001 under her Winterfox identity, and yet she claimed as Bee that she hadn't read any fantasy before 2011. 

She's laid claim in various incarnations to a variety of backgrounds. She works pretty hard to erase her backtrail, but this is the internet and traces remain.

Small inconsistencies are human. Not knowing who the hell you are from day to day is a sign of a constructed persona.

I am curious: has anyone in the community ever met a person who identifies themselves as Winterfox/Requires Hate/Benjanun?

I know it's weird and rare, but this sort of thing does go on. Predators exist. Con artists exist. Abusers exist. People pretend to be other people. Sockpuppets proliferate. They fact that most of us wouldn't actually consider it--or wouldn't do it in a concerted manner with intent to harm--doesn't mean that it doesn't happen.

Bee/RH has moved from internet community to internet community for the past ten years or so, starting fights, preying on people, abusing and threatening and gaslighting people, getting people to confide in her and then using their private confessions of anger to control them. She claims to punch up; what she has really done is grind already marginalized writers and fans into the dirt so she can hop up on their heads and elevate herself a little.

At this point, I think it's an open question whether the individual known as Benjanun Sriduangkaew/Requires Hate/Lesifoere/Pyrofennec/ValseDeLaLune/Winterfox/Winterfennec/ACrackedMoon/how does one person even have time? actually even exists as an independent person, rather than as some sort of bizarre matrioshka doll made of socks.

I would not be surprised if "something terrible" happens to "Bee" soon, given the failure of the unconvincing victim narrative she's been attempting to build. Munchausen's By Internet ("pseudocide") is a frequent outcome in cases like this.

Whatever her background, the fact remains that this individual has had a major chilling effect on discussion and promotion of works presenting diversity in our genre.  

She's not the victim. She's an abuser.


I know Requires Hate has apologized. I know that the narrative she's spinning is that she was young, that she's changed, that she's seen the error of her ways.

I don't believe her.

Abusers apologize.

They blame others for their actions, too, or claim that they'll change. And that's why I don't believe in these sudden, convenient, alleged "impersonators" who perpetuated her worst abuses. I do believe that people with a pattern of multiple abuse in multiple venues gonna sock, and gonna troll.

I believe that she is a abuser, and a bully, and that she shifts the narrative to protect herself and continue her abuse. I have spoken with a number of people I trust, including women and people of color, and I know for a fact that her bullying and vituperation continued in back channels into the summer of 2014. I know that she has engaged in whispering campaigns including character assassination and false allegations, some of them provided to editors or convention organizers. I know this because Athena Andreadis told me, in specific, and Athena's story is supported by the pattern of events and by conversations I've had with people who were inside Bee's circle of influence.

I know (because the stories of Athena and Rochita and Tricia Sullivan and Rachel Brown and other women who have chosen to remain anonymous match up with evidence still available to anybody with Google and some patience), that definitely Alex and possibly Tori supported this, and that everyone involved did and said some really unprofessional things--to and about other women writers, and to women writers of color, in specific.

I know, because of the sheer number of people who have come forward with substantially similar stories, that the evidence supports the idea that RH/Bee has exhibited a pattern of abuse entirely above and beyond her vituperative reviews, a pattern that continued at least into the summer of 2014 and quite probably to the present day--long beyond when she claimed she had reformed in her apologies.

I can't say what her motive might be, but a couple of obvious options do present themselves. The writers that Requires Hate went after were predominately women, predominately early career or midlisters, predominately women of color. People she might perceive, frankly, as competition. Or as potential allies insufficiently toeing her party line.

She policed their behavior. She told them how to write, and what to think, and what to say about books in reviews. When they did not conform to her demands, she set out to make them miserable or damage their careers. She intimidated marginalized writers into silence--on topics they had every right to speak out about, topics relating to their own identities.

It is worth noting that one of her tactics is to (personally or through intermediaries) attack readers and reviewers to suppress conversation about books of which she does not approve--such as works by Cindy Pon and N.K.Jemisin. It is worth noting that these works are disproportionately by women, people of color, and other marginalized writers. And that these writers were disproportionately early-career or emerging.

Those readers and reviewers must be considered her victims as well. Many of them are likely to have been people of color, given the nature of the communities she damaged. It becomes painfully obvious that her goal was never to support a diversity of voices, but suppress and suborn it.

That speaks to me not of activism but of a desire to police and control through intimidation.

I believe she, Truslow, and MacFarlane are and have been working together as a sort of Mean Girl Posse to control and intimidate others, and that MacFarlane and Truslow are currently playing Bad Cop and letting... I don't even know what to call her... play Sadder But Wiser.

They've never come after me, to the best of my knowledge, so I feel comfortable standing up and saying all of this.

Of course they wouldn't come after me. I wasn't vulnerable to them.


Nick Mamatas (a true chaotic neutral, and one of the internet's great drama farmers) has been positioning his defense--if you can call it that--of RH/Bee as a defense against her inevitable blacklisting.

Let me make it plain: I'm pretty plugged in in this community. The only place I have heard of this alleged blacklist is as a talking point raised by RH/Bee, Nick, and RH/Bee's other defenders. I have certainly heard of one or two people saying, "She was awful to me or someone I care about and I won't work with her." I have even more frequently heard of people telling other people the truth--that Bee is RH and RH is Bee.

Telling the truth about somebody is not blacklist, libel, or slander. Deciding you won't work with somebody is not a blacklist. A blacklist is an organized effort, with threat of consequences, to keep somebody from ever working in this town again.

Sort of like the abusive treatment RH/Bee was leveling against reviewers who reviewed books of which she did not approve, or that she and Alex were bringing to bear against Athena Andreadis for the crime of telling RH/Bee that Athena thought her best course of action was honesty.

It's curious how, again and again, this person levels accusations against others for doing exactly what she herself has done.

Likewise, where's the proof of the alleged doxxing against RH/Bee? The only place I have heard of it is from her and her supporters. A cursory Googling suggests, in fact, that her real name is still not a matter of public record.

So it seems unlikely to me that anybody has released her address and other private information publicly, which is the definition of doxxing.

I am not willing to say she can't reform, but I think a continued long-term pattern of obvious change is necessary before I am willing to trust the apology of a person who has literally lied to everyone about everything for literally thirteen years. Especially as she has apologized before, as Winterfox and as Requires Hate, and it doesn't seem like those stuck.

So let me make it even more plain: I'm not calling for a blacklist of Benjanun Sriduangkaew. I'm not calling for a blacklist (like that would even work in SFF, where we have as a community inherited a kind of weird pride in stubborn idiosyncratic wrongheadedness we call "contrarianism" from our forebears) of Alex Dally MacFarlane, either, or of Tori Truslow.

I believe their work should be published as it merits, and as editors see fit to pay them for it. I believe that they should be eligible for award consideration as they deserve it in the eyes of those who select for awards.

And while I also believe that the community I belong to should know that the person publishing under the pseudonym Benjanun Sriduankaew has behaved in an abusive and predatory fashion, I have no interest in focusing on her--or in centralizing her redemption narrative.

What I would like is for our community to take this opportunity for positive action. I believe that the people Bee/RH has harmed should be given as much support and aid in healing as practicable. I believe that potential future victims should be warned. I believe those who may feel trapped by her should be protected. I believe those whom she has abused should be helped to connect with one another as they desire.

I believe their voices should be listened to, if and when they choose to come forward. I believe that the people who have been silenced by this campaign of bullying should be given as much space to speak as they would like.

I believe that, on an ongoing basis and pursuant to our dawning understanding as a community of the need for harassment policies and a pro-active stance against bullying, we--the established members of the science fiction and fantasy community--need to make safe spaces where people who have been bullied and harassed can come forward and find strength and solace, as well as safety.

I believe we need to respond to this series of events in our community by making more space for marginalized voices, and promoting young writers, women writers, and writers of color.

My concern lies in protecting the vulnerable. We, the established members of the science fiction and fantasy community, owe a debt of care to emerging writers and marginalized voices, and those are the people who have specifically been targeted by this predator. We owe them shelter and consideration. Frankly, we need them more than they need us, because they represent our future as a genre and as a community.

Moreover, we owe it to our emergent writers to create a space where bullies cannot silence them, police their writing and their identity, and make them feel unsafe. I'm not just talking about the RH/Bees of the world here, but the Jim Frenkels as well. We need to let our emergent writers know that the Benjanun Sriduangkaews and Alex MacFarlanes of the industry have no power over their careers--really, functionally, literally no power.

To do this, we need to be willing to shine some light in dark corners and to slap some bright paint around the predators and missing stairs. We need to make space for the voices of those writers and the readers who wish to engage with their work.

To those emergent writers: If you are bullied, harassed, abused, or threatened, there are people in the community who will believe you, and who will stand up for you.

Basically, I believe Requires Hate should be treated the same way we as a community treat Theodore Beale/Vox Day: as a dangerous missing stair whose abuses and bullying should be taken seriously, and not justified by the fact that either or both of them may be covering their pathological behaviors under a veil of ideology.

But I also believe that we can use this opportunity to uplift the marginalized and the victimized, and that is where our future as a community shines.


*Blog comments will be closed. I will not respond to messages regarding Winterwhatever, because she's her own problem now. I don't want to talk to her or about her.

All of my available energy for this subject from this point forward is going to signal boost writers, editors, and readers of diverse backgrounds and diverse books.

A safe, moderated space open to the victims of bullying has been provided at Laura Mixon-Gould’s blog.

Nov. 5th, 2014

criminal minds gideon kill fast

just add water, stir in lime

"Blaming The Target" Harassment Report Response Bingo Card

elisem has made this charming homebrew old-school and absolutely useful bingo card derived from her recent experiences as a harassment reporter.

In light of recent events, I think it would behoove us all to take a moment out of our day to study these phrases, and eradicate them from our fucking vocabularies.

Nov. 4th, 2014

writing companion to wolves _ truepenny

when we walk away from the storm's door then I will be afraid no more.

Well, there's that. #NaNoFinishMo is in full swing, and I'll hit 70K on the welves tomorrow.

I really like what I wrote today. There's at least one paragraph where I felt like I was absolutely in control of my craft, which is always a really good feeling.

68326 / 100000 words. 68% done!

The little Scrivener completion bar is more greenish than goldy. Also a good feeling.

I've never had any luck with Scrivener before this: I've tried to use it twice and found it conflicted hellishly with my process. However, this time It's really helping me get my head around the timelines in this novel, and also the flow from scene to scene and chapter to chapter--and being able to break this monster into smaller chunks is helping with the intimidation factor, too.

And now, off to dinner. PANTS!

Nov. 3rd, 2014

muppetology floyd pepper groovy

one little word and you can't keep it in your pants

I'm home from Icon, where that boy I like and I had a wonderful time. It's a great little con in Cedar Rapids, relaxing and full of fun people, and I AM TOTALLY NOT GETTING CON CRUD AT ALL.

Also, it turns out Jim C. Hines is a pretty darn good photographer in addition to all his other skillz.

Good. Now that that's settled, on to some news! Karen Memory got a great review in Publishers Weekly, which follows. (It gives away some stuff we were planning to keep off the cover, but such is the review life.)


Bear’s rollicking, suspenseful, and sentimental steampunk novel introduces Karen Memery (“like ‘memory’ only spelt with an e”), a teenage “seamstress”—that is, a prostitute—at Madame Damnable’s Hôtel Mon Cherie in Rapid City. This Pacific Northwest city of an alternate 1878 is home to airships, surgical machines, and other mechanical wonders that can also be put to horrific use. As Karen meets and begins to fall for Priya, another sex worker who escaped from evil pimp Peter Bantle, they learn that Bantle has more dark plans than brothel competition. U.S. Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves and his Comanche partner, Tomoatooah, also tie Bantle to the gruesome murders of some of Rapid City’s most vulnerable women. Bear (The Eternal Sky) gives Karen a colorful voice, sharp eyes, and the spunk and skills necessary to scuffle with bad types as well as to win over people whose help she needs. Her story is a timeless one: a woman doing what is needed to get by while dreaming and fighting for great things to come. Agent: Jennifer Jackson, Donald Maass Literary Agency. (Feb.)

Oct. 30th, 2014

writing rengeek magpie mind

bring the noise

Airborne bear! Here I am at the finish line of the St. Paul Monster dash half marathon last weekend.

We anyways look our best in race photos.

Oct. 29th, 2014

can't sleep books will eat me

i only hear the singing

1500 words today on the welves, give or take. And I've been engaged in the auctorial pastime of updating my honeydew lists... and having one of those self-indulgent moments where it feels like it might actually be under control.

One of the things I've been meaning to chat about is the tendency of writers, and creative people in general, to really shit hard on themselves and their work. Stop me if this sounds familiar: Nothing you do is ever good enough; no daily wordcount is ever enough; no recognition is deserved...

Stop it.


Stop trash-talking yourself over your art.

That kind of unrelenting self-criticism is one of the best ways to (a) make it harder to work (human beings, like all mammals, respond to being punished by not wanting to do that particular thing again) and (b) eventually break your own creativity, if you keep it up for long enough.

There are enough people in the world who will tell you that anything you do is not up to their standards. No matter what you do, and no matter how hard you work at it.

Try giving yourself a cookie for good behavior now and again, instead. It works for pretty much everything.

We reward the behavior we want to see more of.

If you want to be more creative, don't punish your creativity. Reward it.

travel and appearances 2014:

October 31-November 2, 2014: ICON: Iowa City, Iowa (Guest of Honor with Scott)
November 14-16, 2014: Windycon: Lombard, Illinois (Guest of Honor with Squeecast)


Tiptree reading and judging

An Apprentice to Elves: Autumn 2014
"Gallowglas":  31 December 2014


story and ap content for Worldspinners: January 31, 2015

The Stone in the Skull:
September, 2015
Ancestral Night: February 2016
The Red-Stained Wings: March 2017
White Space #2: August 2017
The Origin of Storms: September 2018

Appearances 2015:

February 13-15: Boskone (Boston MA)
March 13-15: Tucson Festival of Books (Tucson AZ)
April 2-5: Minicon (Minneapolis MN)
May 9: CAPA U Writer's Workshop (Hartford CT)
June 25-28: 4th Street Fantasy (Minneapolis MN)
July 2-6: CONvergence (Minneapolis MN)
August 19-23: Sasquan (2015 Worldcon) (Spokane WA)
October 8-12: NYCC (NY NY)
October 18-24: Viable Paradise Writer's Workshop (Oak Bluffs MA)
November 4-8: World Fantasy Convention (Saratoga Springs NY)

No fixed deadline:

Smile (unless its name is actually Salt Water)
The Poison Tower
Unsuitable Metal
Patience and Fortitude

Untitled Gangland Urban Fantasy That Keeps Bugging Me
Untitled Bard troll story

"Tall Ships Go"
"A Time to Reap"
"Posthumous Jonson"
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera" (It finally grew a plot!)
"Persephone Takes the A Train"

Oct. 28th, 2014

comics invisibles lord fanny

they got a name for the winners in the world. i want a name when i lose.

So I'm doing #NaNoFinishMo again this year. Because every month is #NaNoWriMo around here.

Except for this year, apparently, because I got next to nothing done between May and October. Literally. I'm looking at my little metrics spreadsheet thingy, and there's like twelve weeks when I wrote zero words this year.

Travel is a productivity killer, people.

Of course, I am ignoring all those silly NaNoWriMo rules about when you start and what your project is supposed to be. This is not for science.

Anyway, I'm back on the writing wagon, which feels kind of amazing. But also I'd forgotten how exhausting a really productive writing day can be. Here it is, 2 pm, and I am out of brain function for the day. I'm just going to lie on the sofa and read some Walter Mosley, I think.

But! I did break 60K on An Apprentice to Elves! So here, have a thingy.

60065 / 100000 words. 60% done!

Oct. 27th, 2014

bad girls  mae west

rock and roll is dead i probably should have stayed in school

Hey! Guess what I've got?

I've got some free copies of the Urban Fantasy Book Bundle to raffle off, is what.

There is, of course, a mercenary aspect. So, since I have a living to make, here's how the raffle is going to work.

All you have to do to enter is to post some sort of a link somewhere in your publicly accessible internets to the Storybundle in question. Once that's done, drop a link to the post in comments below!

Raffle goes until Wednesday night at midnight Central time.

You can enter multiple times with multiple posts. Comment once for each post.

Simple, right? Yay!

Oct. 23rd, 2014

criminal minds diana reid crazy

there's a crack in the mirror and a bloodstain on the bed

My Moscow Metro dog organlegging story, "This Chance Planet," is live at Tor.com!

(I would have mentioned it yesterday, but I was on airplanes.)

And now that I've dropped a giant graphic in your internets and presumably have your attention (art by Robert Hunt), it's time to reveal some titles! The titling gnomes have finally prevailed in their epic battle with der Fehlerteufel, and Eternal Sky 4-6 (collectively known as The Lotus Kingdom) have grown beautiful titles ripe for harvesting.

Or something.

So without further ado, let me introduce you to my next three fantasy novels.

The Stone in the Skull

The Red-Stained Wings

The Origin of Storms

Oct. 15th, 2014

writing whiskey wicked faerie

there's no such thing as an original sin

For everybody who has emailed me looking for the out-of-print Whiskey and Water in ebook...

We baked you an Urban Fantasy storybundle! Contains a previously unpublished Jim Butcher Harry Dresden collection, along with books by me (Elizabeth Bear), David Farland, Kevin J. Anderson, Vicki Petersson, Carole Nelson Douglas, Michael A. Stackpole, P.N. Elrod, Peter J. Wacks, and Rhiannon Paille.

For StoryBundle, you decide what price you want to pay. For $5 (or more, if you feel generous), you'll get the basic bundle of five books in any eBook format—WORLDWIDE. If you pay $14 (or more, if you feel generous), you'll get the five bonus books as well.

Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. We're currently featuring The Challenger Center,Mighty Writers, and Girls Write Now.

Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to charity. We're currently featuring The Challenger Center, Mighty Writers, and Girls Write Now.

The Urban Fantasy bundle runs for three weeks only. Whiskey and Water is out of print, so this is the only ebook--and the only non-used version--available. Also, Kevin J. Anderson's Working Stiff, Vicki Pettersson's The Reordering, and the Harry Dresden Working for Bigfoot books are not available anywhere else.

And Whiskey and Water features brand new cover art by Jenna Kass.

The initial titles in the bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

Neon Noir by Carole Nelson Douglas
Nightingale by David Farland
Whiskey and Water by Elizabeth Bear
Working Stiff by Kevin J. Anderson
Villains by Rhiannon Paille

If you pay more than the bonus price of just $14, you'll get another five books:

The Reordering by Vicki Pettersson
Tricknomancy by Michael A. Stackpole
Hair of the Wolf by Peter J. Wacks
The Devil You Know by P. N. Elrod
Working for Bigfoot by Jim Butcher

The bundle is available for a very limited time only, via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle, Nook, and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books, but after the three weeks are over, the bundle is gone forever

Oct. 8th, 2014

criminal minds morgan hotch government

i know it don't make a difference to you, but oh, it so made a difference to me

Guess where I went last week?

Karl Schroeder, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Ed Finn, Elizabeth Bear, Kevin Bankston, Kathryn Cramer, Vandana Singh, Ted Chiang, Madeline Ashby, Lee Konstantinou, and Neal Stephenson

We were technically speaking at the Eisenhower building, not the White House proper. But that didn't stop us from grabbing the photo op.

Oct. 4th, 2014

muppetology need bears fozzie & kermit

hard to drive. harder to park.

I spent the last week involved in travel, appearances, and conferences for the Hieroglyph Project and Future Tense, both of which are ongoing--though my spate of publicity is over for now. In any case, it was an incredibly stimulating experience, and I am actually full of notes for the space opera that need to be typed up before I lose the notebook again.

One of the events was a livestreamed conference at the National Academies in Washington, D.C., which took place Thursday. There's an article about it here, and embedded in the article is a link to recordings of the panels and lectures. Or you could click here to watch the recorded stream. 

Don't miss Neal Stephenson, Ellen Stofan, and Patric Verrone on space travel, whatever you do.

l-r, t-b: Vandana Singh, Karl Schroeder, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Neal Stephenson, Lee Konstantinou, Ed Finn, Madeline Ashby, Elizabeth Bear, Kathryn Cramer. Also presenting but not pictured: David Rejeski, Dan Sarewitz, Ryan Calo, Patric Verrone, Dan Kaufman, Ted Chiang, Jonathan D. Moreno, Jamelle Bouie, Tom Kalil, Laurie Silvers, Bill O'Brien, Ellen Stofan, Barton Geliman, Kevin Bankston, and Kristal Lauren High. Photo credit, Shannon Rampe.
writing whiskey wicked faerie

i'm burning diesel, burning dinosaur bones

It's a cover reveal and some terrible teasing!  

A couple of weeks ago, I had an emergency need for some amazing art, and I naturally emailed my friend Jenna Kass, a NYC-based illustrator. I had in mind licensing an old piece of hers, but she was no longer satisfied with the quality of that work, and so we struck a deal that she'd do me a new painting. 

And she did. (She tells the story here. I honestly did not mean to give anyone apoplexy!)

So, dear readers, as some of you have commented, it's currently impossible to get an ebook copy of Whiskey and Water, what with it being out of print and all.

Well, without further ado let me present the new cover for Whiskey and Water.

And because I am a horrible tease, details will follow--soon, I promise!--as to how you can get your very own copy! (Ebook only currently, but we'll see what happens.)

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