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July 2014

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Apr. 25th, 2014

wicked fairy bowie

but if memories were all i sang i'd rather drive a truck.

Tyop du jour:  "Alfgyfa had often wanted to put a wicket over one of them to judge height, as you might with a hunting god."

Apr. 23rd, 2014

rengeek player king

if you gotta play at garden parties i wish you a lotta luck.

I bring you publications and stuff!




THE BOOK OF SILVERBERG! Edited by Gardner Dozois and William Schaffer. Out next week. and full of stories and essays inspired by the work of Robert Silverberg. Including one by me!

Table of Contents

Greg Bear—A Tribute
Barry Malzberg—An Appreciation
Kage Baker—In Old Pidruid
Kristine Kathryn Rusch—Voyeuristic Tendencies
Mike Resnick—Bad News from the Vatican
Caitlin R.Kiernan—The Jetsam of Disremembered Mechanics
Connie Willis—Silverberg, Satan, and Me…
Elizabeth Bear—The Hand is Quicker
Nancy Kress—Eaters
James Patrick Kelly—The Chimp of the Popes
Tobias S. Buckell—Ambassador to the Dinosaurs

Publishers Weekly liked it a lot, and gave it a review which included the following: "Standouts include Mike Resnick’s “Bad News from the Vatican,” which follows up on the idea of a robot pope, and Elizabeth Bear’s “The Hand Is Quicker” which explores the nature of addiction and perception in a society obsessed with virtual reality." 

Lois Tilton at Locus reviewed it positively and says of my story, "...cynical move worthy of the master at his most depressing." (I have just been compared to Robert Silverberg and not found wanting. This is a career highlight.)

And Library Journal says, “Standouts include Connie Willis’s adorably weird ‘Silverberg, Satan, and Me or Where I Got the Idea for My Silverberg Story for this Anthology’ and Elizabeth Bear’s bleak future of false facades ‘The Hand is Quicker.’ …These stories will resonate most with readers familiar with Silverberg’s work, often being playful riffs on his famous stories or novels, but the tales can be enjoyed on their own merits as well.” [full review not available online]

Well done us, I'd say. It's available April 30th.



Also out soon--May 13th!--is DEAD MAN'S HAND, an anthology of Weird West tales edited by John Joseph Adams.

Table of Contents:

Introduction—John Joseph Adams
The Red-Headed Dead—Joe R. Lansdale
The Old Slow Man and His Gold Gun From Space—Ben H. Winters
Hellfire on the High Frontier—David Farland
The Hell-Bound Stagecoach—Mike Resnick
Stingers and Strangers—Seanan McGuire
Bookkeeper, Narrator, Gunslinger—Charles Yu
Holy Jingle—Alan Dean Foster
The Man With No Heart—Beth Revis
Wrecking Party—Alastair Reynolds
Hell from the East—Hugh Howey
Second Hand—Rajan Khanna
Alvin and the Apple Tree—Orson Scott Card
Madam Damnable’s Sewing Circle—Elizabeth Bear
Strong Medicine—Tad Williams
Red Dreams—Jonathan Maberry
Bamboozled—Kelley Armstrong
Sundown—Tobias S. Buckell
La Madre Del Oro—Jeffrey Ford
What I Assume You Shall Assume—Ken Liu
The Devil’s Jack—Laura Anne Gilman
The Golden Age—Walter Jon Williams
Neversleeps—Fred Van Lente
Dead Man’s Hand—Christie Yant

This includes my story "Madame Damnable's Sewing Circle," the seed that eventually grew into Karen Memory (out from Tor next year). So if you'd like a little foretaste of that--and tastes of the Weird West from all these other wonderful writers--here's a great opportunity to get in on the ground floor.

Publishers' Weekly is equally complimentary of this one, and calls my contribution "impeccably crafted." They've also got me gagging to read the Lansdale, Liu, and Williams contributions.

Squeee!

Apr. 21st, 2014

comics invisibles lord fanny

and it's such a bloody drag to have to rebuild civilization all over again

What writers get up to when we're supposed to be encouraging each other to work...

stillsostrange: Can I still say "sullen red light" or is that overused?
fadethecat: It doesn’t strike me as cliche.
fadethecat: Though it might depend on context.
matociquala: It might be overused.
matociquala: Why is the light always sullen?
stillsostrange: Alternative?
matociquala: Why never morose?
stillsostrange: Heh
stillsostrange: Because it's grumpy.
fadethecat: Grouchy?
fadethecat: It could be a grumpy red light.
fadethecat: That would not seem cliche at all.
fadethecat: Misanthropic red light.
matociquala: A hangry red light
fadethecat: I would fear the hangry red light.
matociquala: We all would.
stillsostrange: heeee
matociquala: Crabby red light. Put-upon orange light
stillsostrange: ARGH
fadethecat: Contumacious purple light.
stillsostrange: Oh. The light could be purple.
stillsostrange: But then it can't be bruised.
matociquala: welted?
stillsostrange: Inflamed?
matociquala: a purple and red light suffering from cellulitis and blood poisoning.
stillsostrange: No wonder it's sullen.

Apr. 16th, 2014

always winter

now i'm calling all citizens from all over the world, this is captain america calling

It's snowing.

I guess this is going to be a thing now.

Heya, Jadis.




In other news, why hasn't the Internet made me a Captain America: The Winter Soldier fan vid to this yet?



THE OPPORTUNITIES!

Apr. 15th, 2014

writing patience

you must take the a train to go to sugar hill

I just invented a cocktail name, and it was so good I had to invent a cocktail to go with it.

It's a Manhattan variant--specifically, a variant of the Manhattanhenge, also known as a Black Manhattan, in which Amaro is substituted for vermouth. This uses bourbon in place of the traditional rye, because that boy I like prefers bourbon.

I like bourbon too, as it happens.



It's my reward for a stupidly productive two days.

I call this, "Persephone Takes the A Train," and it's in honor of the Storium kickstarter and my Jazz Age/Harlem Renaissance jazzpunk stretch goal.

2 parts bourbon (decent bourbon, please)
1 part Amaro
1 part grenadine (make and use real grenadine, which is just pomegranate juice cooked with an equal weight of sugar to make a syrup. If you use that corn syrup and red dye #5 shit, Persephone is going to look you in the eye and go right back to her mama.)
2 dashes orange bitters (Bitter Truth makes a lovely orange cardamom one that works well)
half a clementine or mandarin orange
ice

Put the bourbon, Amaro, grenadine, and bitters in a lowball glass. Swirl to mix. Squeeze half a clementine into the glass and then drop the crushed fruit in so the peel oils infuse the drink.

Add a little ice.

Enjoy in a leisurely fashion while reading Langston Hughes and listening to Ella Fitzgerald.

I'll start.

phil ochs troubador

we don't need luck. we've got guns.

The awesome news just keeps on coming.

1) I just sold my Moscow metro dog story, "This Chance Planet," to Ellen Datlow at Tor.com. No word yet on when you can read it, but soon, my lovelies. Soooon.

2) Zombies, Run! Season three kicks off tomorrow, April 16th. I wrote a story for it! So did Janni Lee Simner! So did some other folks you might know. Ahem.

3) Here I am at Mary Robinette Kowal's blog talking about My Favorite Bit of Steles of the Sky.

4) I'm a stretch goal for the Storium kickstarter. This is an awesome online interactive storytelling/roleplaying engine with a variety of settings. I'm providing jazzpunk.

5) timprov's War for the Oaks reader project book kickstarter. Awesome photos of awesome people reading an awesome book in an awesome city.

Apr. 12th, 2014

bear by san

if i fuck it up, that's cool. that's art.

This is shameless shilling post where I urge you, Citizen In Good Standing Of The Internets, to go vote for the Locus Award and the Gemmell Award.

Possibly even for my work.

Or for somebody else's work that you think is awesome.


The Gemmell Award closes at midnight GMT, 13 April 2014, and you can vote here.

The Locus Award closes on tax day (USA) and you can vote here. I'm a write-in candidate on this one.


The future is in your hands.

Go vote.
Tags:
spies mfu bolsheviks _ naominovik

you think i want to be understood

Hey look, here I am being interviewed by Geek's Guide to the Galaxy--about worldbuilding, the Eternal Sky, and, er, being wrong.

Now to get some words, and do another interview.

Apr. 11th, 2014

criminal minds bad shirt brigade

is your whole life in there waiting?

Coming this fall to CBS…

He can solve crimes no one else can. He can see into the minds of criminals. He’s not like you or me. He’s infallible. He never loses. He’s haunted by the ghosts of a tragic past. 

When the police are baffled… they call…

image

He’s the only smart man in a world full of idiots.

Evil idiots.

Yeah.

image

Apr. 10th, 2014

bear by san

i watched those headlights turn to moonlight and finally i was running by myself

Spin, pretty hype machine! SPIIIN!

*cackles*
*waves coal-dust-blackened hands and capers*
*goes back to shoveling*

More links and reviews and interviews and guest blogs and news! It's BOOK WEEK*!




Clink on the pretty picture for an excerpt of the novel at Tor.com!

First of all: here I am interviewed at the blog of Hugo-award nominated Apex Publications by the inimitable Fran Wilde. This interview has some more details about The Lotus Kingdoms and also about Ancestral Night, and also a bit of information about The Republic of Elves** I mean, An Apprentice to Elves, which is the long-delayed sequel to A Companion to Wolves.

It also has a book giveaway! Involving selfies and twitter hashtags. Ahem.

I'm talking some trash over at Terrible Minds, courtesy of the lovely and talented Chuck Wendig.

Paul Weimer reviews Steles of the Sky at the Hugo-award-winning fanzine SF Signal.

Victoria Frerichs at Romantic Times also liked it.

Aidan Moher is excited about the Lotus Kingdoms announcement.

Oh, and... my boyfriend said nice things about my book.

And, just to balance the karmic scales, I said a few nice things about Diane Duane over here.

And now, time to eat some lunch and write some elves. Wolves. Both, really.


*It's like storming Normandy, only without the machine guns and Rommel's asparagus.
**Scott totally came up with that, so I don't feel bad using it.

Apr. 8th, 2014

writing steles burning

i'm going to die if you touch me one more time. well, i guess i'm going to die no matter what.

It's book day!

And MOAR NEWS!

Today is Steles of the Sky's birthday, and I'm so excited I may be having heart flutters over here. There's something about the long setup on a series, and the eventual payoff, that... okay, so when I used to run tabletop RPGs a lot more than I have time for now, there was this moment when my players always knew they'd stumbled on The Awful Troof--cracked the campaign wide open, basically, and found the central mystery and aw-hell moment.

Because I would start grinning this particular delighted maniacal grin.

The great joy for me as a storyteller is the moment when the person I'm telling the story to figures out what's up. And I have been just dying to tell everybody the rest of this story for years now.

So you can imagine how excited I currently am.

steeles-the-sky-elizabeth-bear-donato-giancola

In celebration of the day, there's GUEST POSTS!

Here's a post at SF Signal on writing special-needs characters in SFF.

Here's a post at the Locus blog regarding noveling as an argument with one's self.

And here's my Big Idea post at the Whatever, where my second Item of News for the week is revealed.

News! Awesome news!

Apr. 7th, 2014

criminal minds rossi tv

i was hell bent on agony back then and so i missed the boat

This is going to be a big week here in Bearland, and it's not just about Steles of the Sky dropping tomorrow.

I have a couple of exciting bits of news. The second will be over at Whatever tomorrow, buried at the bottom of a Big Idea post. The first, however, is that I can now tell you what one of the sekrit projekts I was working on earlier this year was.


That's right. I wrote a script for Zombies, Run! season 3. I'm so stupidly excited about this, and now I get to tell you!

As I've mentioned before, I'm a huge fan of the game--which involves fleeing zombies and chasing a very cool narrative while you get your daily exercise--and when Naomi Alderman and Six to Start approached me to see if I'd be interested in doing a script, I about melted from the sheer force of my compressed squee.

And I had so much fun writing it, you guys. The thing I love about scripts and existing characters is the sheer opportunity to write snark and banter, and this was like getting paid to write fanfic for a property I adore. (And getting plot hints, too, since I needed to know something about where the story was going to work, obviously.)

But I couldn't talk about it until, well, now. BUT NOW IT CAN BE TOLD.

Squee! Squee! Squee!

Season 3 rolls out a little later this month, and my episode is #38: "We're Needed." But that does mean, if you haven't been playing, there's about a hundred hours of content already available in Seasons 1 & 2.

Really good content, with awesome characters and an diverse cast and Real Big Feels. (Try sobbing while jogging sometime. It's hard.) Also, it turns out running from zombies is an awesome way to beat your usual interval time.

You don't actually have to run to play the game--it works while walking, or skateboarding, or bicycling (careful with that--requires headphones), or wheeling in your wheelchair, if that's how you roll. It works on a treadmill or elliptical. And it works with whatever music you usually work out to--the game is designed to integrate with existing playlists. (Though my copy has problems with really long playlists, so I broke my workout mix into a bunch of shorter groupings.)

tl;dr: ZOMBIES, SQUEEE!



But, you know, while I'm here... Steles of the Sky is dropping tomorrow!

steeles-the-sky-elizabeth-bear-donato-giancola

bear-map

Barnes and Noble * Amazon * Audible * Powell's * Amazon UK * Mysterious Galaxy 

(For crying out loud, buy it for the art, even if you don't like me. That's Donato Giancola and Ellisa Mitchell. It doesn't get any better than that.)

Apr. 5th, 2014

spies i spy ispy

i can't grow up because i'm too old now.

Well, I am experiencing cautious optimism on the Iskryne front. We have 22,000 words, and a good idea of where everything is going. Now we just have to engineer some culture clashes, a war, some gender bias, a little family tension, character growth, awkward love, and a couple of brilliant deductions and we'll have a novel.

Piece of cake.
Tags:

Apr. 1st, 2014

problem cat

the moste piteous reveng of cat vs. monkey




This is Microsoft Cat. He is my stepcat. He belongs to my boyfriend.

Here is how my morning went:


6:00 am: 

MICROSOFT CAT: MONKEY YOU DIURNAL RIGHT?
MONKEY: What the fuck, cat?
MICROSOFT CAT: YOU DIURNAL! YOU GETS UP AND PLAY DURING DAYTIME! IS DAYTIME! GETS UP AND PLAY!
Monkey: The sky might be a little bit grey.
MICROSOFT CAT: IS BRIGHT! GETS UP!
MONKEY: Cat, I will finish you.
MICROSOFT CAT: *digs under covers, wet noses in ears, general tromping and tickling*


6:30 am:

FITBIT ALARM: *buzzes*
MICROSOFT CAT: It looks like you're trying to get out of bed! I HEPS!
MICROSOFT CAT: *settles down cozily and purrs, emitting sleepions.*
MONKEY: Motherfucker.


Mar. 30th, 2014

criminal minds morgan pretty/funny

they say you don't look. they say there's only one way on back from here.

Just sent "This Chance Planet" off to an editor.

Guys, I am so smug about this story.

YOU GUYS.

I THINK IT WORKS YOU GUYS.

I THINK I PULLED IT OFF.

Mar. 27th, 2014

hustle mickey worrying

it's the principal source of his revenue

I'm seven chapters into Max Gladstone's Full Fathom Five.

This motherfucker isn't even thirty yet, and he's writing like this?

I'm having him killed. 

There's your blurb, Max: "I'm having Max Gladstone killed. He's too good already to be allowed to live. If this is early work, the rest of us are out of a job."

He writes like a bitter fifty-year-old poet with a sense of narrative, and I mean that as the highest praise.

The Craft Sequence books are all about ancient necromancers in charge of corporations; liches running litigation; court battles fought by means of sorcerous contests; deities dueling by means of legal proxies and stock trading souls.

It's fantasy as a metaphor for the full metastatic flower of late-stage capitalism, and it's both vicious satire and totally engaging adventure all at once.

The book comes out in July, so you just about have time to score and read the first two, Three Parts Dead and Two Serpents Rise.

Mar. 26th, 2014

evile overbear

stuff that actually works (an occasional series.)

TW: mild body horror. :-P

Well, I cut heck out of my left index finger yesterday (sliced a third of the way through the nail and got a good bit of meat, too. Poor knife control. Chaz would be disappointed in me.).

And I know I've mentioned it before, but these hydrocolloid bandages are a superior technology. Go on, stay on, keep wound clean and sealed. They even seem to mitigate the pain my keeping the wound closed and applying a little bit of pressure.

One just need to keep them dry and covered, so they don't abrade and get icky and snag at the edges, or melt off. I'm using a combination of vet-wrap and a nitrile glove, as-needed.

Guess I won't be going climbing tomorrow. D'oh. 

Mar. 24th, 2014

bad girls marlene make my day

you think you're putting pressure on me. this is a vacuum.

Productivity is nice, and I seem to have some.

I'm back to chipping away at An Apprentice to Elves, which is the next enormous project on my to-do list. I've gotten the first two chapters cleaned up and new material written, and started on chapter 3.

Hopefully, I'll be able to keep some momentum going.

I'm feeling good about this whole writing thing this year. For once, I seem to be roughly in the same place with regard to skill as an editor and skill as a writer, so I don't feel as if every word I put down is terrible.

I hope this lasts for a little while...

10000 / 100000 words. 10% done!
Tags:

Mar. 21st, 2014

ace the wonder dog

i heard they put you on the stage. ancient greed and childish rage.

I have successfully completed a draft of a short story: the Moscow metro dog organlegging story.

It needs some work, but a draft is a nice thing to have. I'm having a really nicely productive year so far. I'd like to keep this up.

Now I'm going to eat something, and then I'm off to Vericon!

I bring you germs from Tucson, Boston!

Mar. 20th, 2014

writing sf starwars wookiee stet

you were always weird but i never had to hold you by the edges like i do now

So about that awesome news I mentioned--

I have just licensed world rights (including translation and audio) for two far-future Big-Idea space operas to Simon Spanton at Gollancz. The first, entitled Ancestral Night, will be out in autumn of 2016.

The Gollancz press release is here.

I'm thrilled!

Mar. 19th, 2014

bad girls marlene make my day

hot war who could ask for more? six minutes on a cold winter morning.

I'll be at Vericon this weekend, at Harvard University. I'm not appearing on program; I'm just there as Scott's arm candy.

But I'll be available to hang out, like you do.

Also, I'll have an exciting announcement tomorrow. *g*

Here's my updated appearances for this year. Please note the addition of a signing in May at Pandemonium.


travel and appearances 2014:

January 10th at 6 pm: MIT SFS: Cambridge, Massachusetts (with Scott)
February 13-15, 2014: Boskone: Boston, Massachusetts

March 14-16, 2014: Tucson Festival of Books: Tucson, Arizona
March 22-24, 2014: Vericon: Harvard Univerity, Cambridge Massachusetts

April 17-20, 2014: Minicon: Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 25-27th, 2014: RavenCon: North Chesterfield, Virginia (Guest of Honor)
May 1-5, 2014: Mo-Con: Indianapolis, Indiana (Guest of Honor with Scott)\
May 8, 2014: Signing at Pandemonium Books, Cambridge, Massachusetts 7-9 pm
May 10, 2014: Signing, Annie's Book Stop, Worcester, MAssachusetts 3-5 PM

June 5-9, 2014: Phoenix Comicon: Phoenix, Arizona (Guest of Honor with Squeecast)
June 20-23, 2014: 4th Street Fantasy: Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 3-7, 2014: ConVergence: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Scandinavian Micro-Tour!
July 11-13, 2014: Finncon: Jyväskylä, Finland (Guest of Honor with special guest Scott Lynch)
Then between July 16th and 22nd, Scott and I will be visiting

  • SF Bokhandeln Stockholm

  • SF Bokhandeln Gothenberg

  • SF Bokhandeln Malmo

  • Fantastik Copenhagen

  • (exact dates eventually)

August 8-10, 2014: Nine Worlds, London, England
August 14-17, 2014: Worldcon: London, England
October 9-10, 2014: NYC ComiCon, New York, New York (Thursday and Friday only!)
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)


Honeydew list!

2014:

Karen Memory: 31 January 2014 (tick tock)
OWW review: 15 February 2014
Cyborg story: 28 February 2014
Sekrit project: February 2014
Book proposal: Eternal Sky 4-6
Sekrit Projekt #2
Revise Karen Memory: 1 April 2014
OWW review: 15 March 2014
"This Chance Planet": 31 March 2014
OWW review: 15 April 2014
Flash fiction: 15 April 2014

"Something's Gotta Eat T. rexes": 30 April 2014
"Flush" : 31 May 2014
Apocalypse story: 30 June 2014
"A Time to Reap": 1 August 2014
"Steel": 30 September 2014
An Apprentice to Elves: Autumn 2014
Other apocalypse story:  31 December 2014

Award reading and judging
Other award reading and judging


2015:

Sekrit Projekts #1 & #2 (tentative)


No fixed deadline:

Bard troll story

Smile
(unless its name is actually Salt Water)
Unsuitable Metal
Untitled Gangland Urban Fantasy That Keeps Bugging Me
"Gallowglas"
"Untitled Space Opera Thingy" aka "Periastron"
"Posthumous Jonson"
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"
"Coronado"
"Patience and Fortitude"

 

Mar. 11th, 2014

me and a troll

you are the silence in between what i thought and what i said

I have a spreadsheet where I keep track of how much paid writing I do in a given day. Blogging doesn't count; email doesn't count. Tumblr and twitter and facebook? Don't count.

Only words that pay the bills count.

I don't keep the spreadsheet to guilt trip myself into working, or meeting a daily goal. I keep it because I'm a hyper-self-critical, hyper-self-competitive, workaholic perfectionist, and writing it down gives me something to take to my domineering, overbearing boss (that would be me) to prove to her that really, I have been working hard, and we are getting stuff down, and look, there is measurable forward motion here shut up and have a coffee, lady

So I happen to know that, with the exception of the hypergraphia year of 2003, when I wrote over 600,000 words in twelve months, over the course of the past thirteen years as a professional writer (some of it full-time, some of it with a day job in tow), I have in different years averaged between 650-1250 words of paying copy a day. 

That's somewhere between two and a half and five pages. So far, this year, I'm averaging four pages a day. I'd like to keep that range going.

Now, that's an average. That doesn't mean I write four pages every day. (I know writers who set themselves a goal like that, or--more commonly, two pages a day--and I Know some who write ten pages every day! Or more! and some for whom daily averages are meaningless because they sit down and write every novel and short story in a binge, drunk on their word hoards and reeling. I often finish novels this way, but the bulk of them is written in daily chunks.)

And yet, I have a reputation as a very fast writer.

I'm not. I'm just a writer who shows up (nearly) every day and gets something on paper. Some days I write nothing. Some weeks I write nothing. I take days off. I go on trips and teach workshops. Some days I'm editing or researching, for that matter, and those days have no wordcount attached.

 My point is this: Since 2002, when I finished writing the first novel I ever managed to get past the Dreaded 30K Wall, I've written 25 novels (5 of them collaborative) and over a hundred short stories or novellas.

At an average rate of roughly four pages a day.

Up to a certain point, the more you write the faster you learn--productivity breeds practice, after all.

But four pages a day is pretty doable for many people. And one page a day is probably doable for almost anybody.

So if you've been thinking about writing your great book, the story only you can tell... why not write just one page today?

And another page tomorrow?

If you're an artist, draw a thing today, and another thing tomorrow.

(This blog post, by the way, is exactly five hundred words.

...or about two pages.)

Mar. 10th, 2014

writing gorey earbrass conscious but ver

given half a chance would I take any of it back?

I am done with my graceless heart.
Tonight I'm going to cut it out and then restart.

It is done.

Final wordcount is a little over 106,000 words.

Have some Florence and the Machine to celebrate.

Mar. 6th, 2014

writing gorey vast reluctance

six times underneath the knife.

It's that time. I've started the final revision pass on Karen Memory. So far, I'm working through the bits that only need tweaks, because the earlier chapters have already had several editing passes, after all. (One of the many ways all that Useful Writing Advice doesn't work for me--several times over the course of any given book, I have to go back and restructure the early bits and add things and move stuff around, or the book doesn't go forward. I can't always just make notes and keep going.)

Soon, my pretties. Soon. Soon.

But for the meantime, we're in Earbrass Country. ("We can't stop here!")

I spent the last four days shoveling out from under a bucket of post-novel ennui after finishing a short story tentatively called "No Place to Dream, but a Place to Die." There were a lot of movies and a certain number of books and even more Bejeweled, I'm afraid.

In other news, it's coming up on a month to publication for Steles of the Sky, and I am psyched! Tor.com has the first chunk up as an excerpt if you just can't wait to get started.

Whee!

Mar. 3rd, 2014

comics invisibles king mob

things fall apart. it's scientific.

Honeydew list!

2014:


Karen Memory: 31 January 2014 (tick tock)
OWW review: 15 February 2014
Cyborg story: 28 February 2014
Sekrit project: February 2014
Book proposal: Eternal Sky 4-6
Sekrit Projekt #2
Revise Karen Memory: 1 April 2014
OWW review: 15 March 2014


"This Chance Planet": 31 March 2014
Flash fiction: 15 April 2014
"Something's Gotta Eat T. rexes": 30 April 2014
"Flush" : 31 May 2014
Apocalypse story: 30 June 2014
"A Time to Reap": 1 August 2014
"Steel": 30 September 2014
An Apprentice to Elves: Autumn 2014
Other apocalypse story:  31 December 2014

Award reading and judging
Other award reading and judging


2015:

Sekrit Projekts #1 & #2 (tentative)


No fixed deadline:

Bard troll story

Smile
(unless its name is actually Salt Water)
Unsuitable Metal
Untitled Gangland Urban Fantasy That Keeps Bugging Me
"Gallowglas"
"Untitled Space Opera Thingy" aka "Periastron"
"Posthumous Jonson"
"On Safari in R'lyeh and Carcosa with Gun and Camera"
"Coronado"
"Patience and Fortitude"

travel and appearances 2014:

January 10th at 6 pm: MIT SFS: Cambridge, Massachusetts (with Scott)
February 13-15, 2014: Boskone: Boston, Massachusetts

March 14-16, 2014: Tucson Festival of Books: Tucson, Arizona
March 22-24, 2014: Vericon: Harvard Univerity, Cambridge Massachusetts
April 17-20, 2014: Minicon: Minneapolis, Minnesota
April 25-27th, 2014: RavenCon: North Chesterfield, Virginia (Guest of Honor)
May 1-5, 2014: Mo-Con: Indianapolis, Indiana (Guest of Honor with Scott)
June 5-9, 2014: Phoenix Comicon: Phoenix, Arizona (Guest of Honor with Squeecast)
June 20-23, 2014: 4th Street Fantasy: Minneapolis, Minnesota
July 3-7, 2014: ConVergence: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Scandinavian Micro-Tour!
July 11-13, 2014: Finncon: Jyväskylä, Finland (Guest of Honor with special guest Scott Lynch)
Then between July 16th and 22nd, Scott and I will be visiting

  • SF Bokhandeln Stockholm

  • SF Bokhandeln Gothenberg

  • SF Bokhandeln Malmo

  • Fantastik Copenhagen

  • (exact dates eventually)

August 8-10, 2014: Nine Worlds, London, England
August 14-17, 2014: Worldcon: London, England
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)

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Feb. 28th, 2014

criminal minds boom

i will arise now and go about the city

I have finished the draft of "No Place to Dream, but a Place to Die." It needs the thematic and character arc shored up a bunch on the revision, but the plot is there, and that's all I care about right now. More to follow.

But first, I have my edit letter for Karen Memory, and starting tomorrow that needs to be happening. Wow, it's such a damned nice feeling to get things off my desk.

Often, working on a novel feels like spinning your wheels for months and months and months--because there's work, endless work, and it's all on the same thing, and it never feels like you will get to get your brain back and do something new. But the end is in sight, here.

And not to bury the lede, but! Shattered Pillars is longlisted for the David Gemmell Legend Award! (So is a book by that boy I like, ahem.) And EVERYBODY ON THE INTERNET CAN VOTE ONCE.

Ahem.

Feb. 26th, 2014

criminal minds prentiss reid hold my gun

the bottle was dusty but the liquor was clean

Yeah, I have a problem. I'm working on a short story, but I have the Post-Novel Ennui, and my head has that empty dustbunnies-rolling-over-the-floor feeling I get when I have used up all my brain. So I have emailed the editor, and let him know that I am Out Of Clever, and the story may be a little late.

Fortunately, the editor in question is a good egg, and seems to understand.

This is happening more often, lately. I'm not sure if it's due to increasing demands, or due to me getting old. In any case, I'm trying hard to say "no" to more projects, even though that's stupidly hard.

But I need to make myself space to be creative.

Anyway, I took today off. I took the dog for a walk, and I'm catching up on recipe blogs. And I made myself a Delicious Cocktail. It's a Clover Club. I even made my own grenadine. And I walked over to the co-op to get pomegranate juice. (Our local co-op is a wonderland. It's the size of a large broom closet and has one of everything. It's also the only grocery store in town. I came home with pomegranate juice, habanero jelly, dark chocolate, and sticky brown rice. Seriously. Rural town of 3000 people.)

Here's a photo of my pretty pink drink:



The home-made grenadine gives a lighter color than the commercial stuff, but the commercial stuff is 70% HFCS and 30% red dye #5 with a dash of citric acid. I'll go with home made.

Delicious.

Earlier, I reported that Steles of the Sky had scored the coveted starred review from Kirkus. Well, it got one from Publishers Weekly, too. And much less spoilery! (There are spoilers for previous volumes in both reviews!)

I do indulge myself to quote:

Bear’s stellar conclusion to her Mongolian-flavored fantasy trilogy (after Range of Ghosts and Shattered Pillars) is a satisfying mix of traditional epic fantasy elements, flavored with original magic and grounded with mundane details that make the fantastic seem entirely possible. As the skies shift, reflecting the mortals in power and their associated gods, forces align to support or challenge wizard al-Sepehr as he wages war in the name of the Scholar-God. Warrior Re Temur and his allies travel to Dragon Lake to rally the opposition with Temur’s declaration of his assumption of the position of Khagan, heir to his grandfather’s empire. Battles are fought on both a personal level and a grand scale, with artifacts of obscure ancient civilizations, spirit animals, magical creatures, and poetry and politics. The conclusion is both untelegraphed and completely appropriate. Bear’s trilogy makes a rich contribution to epic fantasy’s expanding borders of emotion and invention.

And we didn't quite get the starred review trifecta, alas... but Booklist really, really liked it:

Steles of the Sky
Bear, Elizabeth (Author)

Apr 2014. 384 p. Tor, hardcover, $26.99. (9780765327567). Tor, e-book, (9781429947688).

Bear concludes the epic begun in Range of Ghosts with her usual subversive flair. Temur and his companions begin this volume in the city of Reason, exploring ancient places and magics; they must make their way to Dragon Lake to declare Temur Khagan and gather an army against the terrible forces of Al-Sepehr. Edene, having effected her own rescue, contends with the terrible sun of Erem and the voice of the Green Ring. Al-Sepehr plans to use Saadet’s son, Quori Buqa’s son, to contest Temur’s claim on the Eternal Sky. There are, of course, other threads to be woven together: those who would fight at Temur’s side, and those who have taken the side of Al-Sepehr. Everything leads to a great and terrible battle at Dragon Lake, at which the very fate of the world may well be decided. The world of the Eternal Sky is a gorgeously fleshed-out one, and the characters without exception fascinating, sometimes maddening, and complex. This is a pleasing conclusion to an epic; it ties up the major threads but leaves many open questions about how the world will move forward. — Regina Schroeder

Feb. 21st, 2014

comics invisibles king mob

it's always darkest before the dawn.

And to complete my heaviest blogging day in years, I think, a couple of cool things!



First off, Kirkus starred review of Steles of the Sky!!

Spoilers for the whole freaking series, so be cautious of your clickthrough. But the takeaway makes it all worthwhile:

Considering the trilogy as a whole,
the overused term masterpiece justifiably applies.


*mic drop*

The other cool thing is that two audio anthologies I was part of are nominated for Audie Awards!

One is Rip Off!, edited by Gardner Dozois, featuring a suite of stories that borrow their first line from a classic work. (Mine is from Christopher Marlowe's Edward II. ;) )The other is METAtropolis III: Green Space, edited by Jay Lake and Ken Scholes--third in a series of shared-world anthologies about a possible adaptive, non-apocalyptic future for Earth and the human race.

They are both nominated for the Best Anthology Award. So I'm competing against myself, and the best bit is that Mary Robinette Kowal is also in both. Maybe she can win one and I can win... crap, that won't work. :(

Oh, and the best bit is, That Boy I Like is nominated for the best audiobook in the Fantasy category for The Republic of Thieves, along with reader Michael Page!
bear by san

and the only solution was to stand and fight

A FABLE OF SFWA:
or,
WHY I SHOULD HAVE LISTENED TO GEORGE R. R. MARTIN TEN YEARS AGO AND HOW YOU CAN LEARN FROM MY MISTAKE

So, ten or so years ago, when I was a very new young published novelist, I was thrilled to send in my dues check to SFWA and (red alert) go wandering the forums for the first time. NB: This is the first of many errors I will be confessing to in this article.

While on those forums, I compounded my error by chiming in on a thread about "Why the new writers aren't joining SFWA." I pointed out that among my peers--who, even then, were showing signs of being the vanguard of the current Rainbow Age of Science Fiction--SFWA had a reputation for harboring a lot of people with racist, sexist, homophobic agendas.

Well, some people really didn't want to hear it. In particular, I got into it with two of the same Rabid Weasels***** who still kick around the message boards, creating an aura of toxicity and self-complaints about how they should really be writing novels rather than getting into internet slapfights wherever they go*.** And to make a long story short, I quit SFWA in a huff, as is traditional in our tribe.

If I remember the timeline correctly****, some time later that same year (or early the next one) I got into a conversation (on his livejournal) with no less a light than George R.R. Martin about the same topic. And this is where I owe George an apology, which I make here, and publicly: because George took the time to point out to me that the way organizations change is through new blood joining them, and also tried to educate me about the work done by the Emergency Medical Fund, the Emergency Legal Fund, and Griefcom.

At the time, I was still way too stung to want to hear it.

In the decade or so since, I've realized that he was entirely correct, and I was entirely wrong.

I am a SFWA member again; I expect to be one until I die. Because I have come to understand that the people mouthing off on the forums are not in fact the heart of SFWA. The heart of SFWA are the people who do the hard boring work (volunteer work, mostly, by the way--I myself have done a very very small part of it and I am boggled by the scale of the chores that need to be done) of digging through paperwork and sending endless emails for Griefcom, for the Medical Fund, and so forth.

Yes, SFWA does have a certain percentage of Racist Sexist Homophobic Bigots. No, I don't actually think we should be hunting them down and driving them out. (The Recent Unpleasantness With Mr. Beale being an exception to that rule, because Beale misused SFWA resources to pursue his disgusting agenda.) The reason I don't think we should be driving out people whose politics differ from my own is simple: witchhunts are a flawed model, and easily turn in the hand.

But I also believe that when people voice their opinions, they can live with the pushback--both from colleagues, and from fans.

I do think we as writers who hold more progressive views should be joining SFWA. I think that SFWA is a valuable organization, and I think that viewing it through the lens of the worst-behaved members is tragic. SFWA is not a social club: it's a professional organization serving some of the same purposes as a labor union******. We don't all have to get along and want to go drinking together to productively support the careers of speculative fiction writers. 

I think SFWA should be striving for professionalism in the house organs; I support the SFWA Bulletin being edited with an eye towards modern recognition of equality of and dignity for all people. (I do understand that there are generational shifts in language and how it's appropriate to refer to one's colleagues and friends; I think we should strive not to come across as escapees from Mad Men or Life on Mars.)

The thing is, every organization of any size has people I am going to disagree with on many levels--personal and political. Hell, some of my close friends have politics I find incomprehensible, though I draw the line at conscious bigotry. The bulk of the people in SFWA are not horrible human beings; even some of the folks who have recently put their feet in their mouths are not horrible human beings. 

But it's not complicated to insist that female writers, trans* writers, queer writers, writers of color, writers of marginalized creeds need to be treated with respect by their (our) peers. And if that means everybody walking on eggshells for a while until we sort out how we can be comfortable around each other, well so fucking be it.

There is nothing wrong with being on your good behavior in a professional setting. It's how most people go to work every day.


NB: Comments are unscreened for now. Do not make me regret this choice.



*For those of you who just nodded in recognition, yes. Them.
**I also got a number of totally reasonable reactions of dismay, and some calls for my peers to join the organization and change it from the inside***. And several lasting friendships, with people who actually listened to what I was trying to say.
***Oh, the sweet irony of hindsight.
****Forgive me. It was in another country, and several email clients ago.
*****This simile metaphor unfair to weasels
******Edited to clarify hyperbole
writing one-eyed jack

Ahem. I have a small announcement to make.

.







One-Eyed Jack
A Novel of the Promethean Age

Publication Date: August 13, 2014

Yes, for reals this time, and now with a shiny new cover.

The One-Eyed Jack and the Suicide King: personifications of the city of Las Vegas—its history, mystery, mystical power, and heart...

When the Suicide King vanishes—possibly killed—in the middle of a magic-rights turf war started by the avatars of Los Angeles, a notorious fictional assassin, and the mutilated ghost of Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel—his partner, the One-Eyed Jack, must seek the aid of a bizarre band of legendary and undead allies: the ghosts of Doc Holliday and John Henry the steel-driving man; the echoes of several imaginary super spies, decades displaced in time; and a vampire named Tribute, who bears a strikingresemblance to a certain long-lost icon of popular music.

All stories are true, but some stories are truer than others.

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