I’m enjoying the heck out of the Launch Pad Astronomy Workshop here in Laramie, Wyo. Seriously, it’s been amazing and educational and I’ve met some incredible writers on top of it all. Not to mention that I’ve been developing this really cool story idea all this week, which I probably shouldn’t tell you about quite yet. All in all, a very worthy and awesome program, and I’m grateful as heck to be here.
But while my head’s been in the (Magellanic) clouds, there’s been a few things that I should belatedly link to. So here you go.
First, I was a guest on the excellent Writer’s Digest Guide to Literary Agents blog, wherein I discussed the five things being a journalist taught me about writing fiction. For those new to the blog, I spent the first 15 years of my post-collegiate career as a journalist, most notably for The Associated Press in Albany, N.Y., Seattle and New York. (If you read carefully, you’ll probably find this blog follows the AP Stylebook very closely, because that stuff’s burned into my DNA at this point.) And while there’s a world of difference between journalism and fiction, I still rely on some of my journalism tools in my books. So if you’re game, check it out.
I also saw a neat little listicle out this week on The Portalist — “10 Space-tacular Books Like The Martian” — that featured The Daedalus Incident alongside books by H.G. Wells, Ray Bradbury, Kim Stanley Robinson and Greg Bear, among others. That is not at all shabby. And being here at Launch Pad this week, I can now say that I got the bulk of the hard SF science right in the Daedalus books, so I’m pretty proud of that.
Tonight we head up to the WIRO telescope, and tomorrow is our last full day here. I’ll probably do a post next week all about Launch Pad, but for now, suffice it to say that if you’re an science fiction writer, you really need to apply next year, because it is made of awesome.
I’m heading to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Conference this weekend in Pittsburgh, and if you’re in the Pittsburgh area — or attending the weekend’s festivities or, frankly, just like road-tripping — there’s going to be a mass autograph signing this Friday evening, and I’ll be there with pen in hand.
The event starts at 8 p.m. at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center’s Grand Ballroom, and it’ll likely go for a few hours, at the very least. You can expect most of the Nebula Award nominees will be on hand to sign their stuff, along with many others — click here for the details. I’m told there will indeed be books on hand for sale, including copies of the Daedalus trilogy in mass-market paperback and hardcover copies of MJ-12: Inception. Of course, you can feel free to bring your own, too.
And chances are, I’m likely to have some extra advance reader copies of MJ-12: Shadows to give away as well. Given that this one isn’t out until September, you’re getting your hands on it super-early (and with some typos, because it’s a pre-proof copy, which means it’s totally a collector’s item).
I haven’t been to the Nebulas since 2013, just before The Daedalus Incident came out. The event’s evolved considerably since then, with a lot of cool panels and information sessions. I’m still feeling like a newbie compared to some, so I’m planning on listening and learning as much as I can. And, of course, I’m looking forward to seeing my people again.
So if you’re going — for the whole conference or just for the signing — be sure to find me and say hello!
Thanks to a keen-eyed fan, I discovered that The Enceladus Crisis is on sale for just $1.99 across the major ebook retailers. When did it start? Dunno. When will it end? No idea. But for now, you can get the second book in the Daedalus trilogy for less than a latte at Starbucks.
And yes, Enceladus is the second book, but I wrote it in such a way that you can ideally pick up what transpired in The Daedalus Incident without getting too bogged down. So go ahead and plop down that $1.99 and check it out if you haven’t already. And if you have, tell your friends!
UPDATE: As of Saturday afternoon, it’s still on sale! At this point, it’s a mystery as to how long it’ll last, but given that folks really seem to be buying it, I’m quite OK with it.
Here’s your obligatory time-is-running-out notice: The charity auctions to benefit Con or Bust — an organization that sends lots of awesome people of color to SF/F conventions — end tomorrow at 4 p.m. EDT. That means you have a little more than a day to bid on stuff, including signed copies of all my books to date, including a never-before-seen advance copy of MJ-12: Shadows.
I have two lots in the auction. The first is all three Daedalus paperbacks — The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis and The Venusian Gambit — signed and sent to your door if you win. The other is a signed hardcover of MJ-12: Inception and, as previously mentioned, that signed advance copy of MJ-12: Shadows, which doesn’t come out until September.
So there you go. Click here to get bidding! As of this posting you have 24 hours — GO!
Filed under Books, Charity
Now you can get all my books — including an advance reader copy (ARC) of MJ-12: Shadows — via the charity auctions set up by Con or Bust starting today.
I’ve got two lots up for bid this year. The first consists of signed mass-market paperback copies of the full Daedalus trilogy — The Daedalus Incident, The Enceladus Crisis and The Venusian Gambit — which you can bid on here. The second is a hardcover copy of MJ-12: Inception and the ARC of MJ-12: Shadows, which you can bid on here. And yes, I’ll sign every book.
This is the first time anywhere you can get your hands on MJ-12: Shadows. We haven’t even released the cover images yet — though stay tuned for that soon — so you can get a good jump-start on the series before Shadows comes out in September. And of course, I remain super proud of the Daedalus trilogy and the reception it’s received over the years.
This is the fourth year I’ve supported the Con or Bust auctions. Con or Bust provides free SF/F convention passes to people of color, which is a beautiful thing indeed. Science fiction and fantasy needs more voices and different perspectives, and this is a really solid way of bringing more people into the fold.
The bidding started this morning and will last until Sunday, May 7 at 4 p.m. EDT. So you have some time. That said, the money goes to a most worthy cause, so bid early and often! There’s some super-cool stuff up for bid — lots of signed books, some manuscript critiques, jewelry, art, a signed Farscape script, delicious treats…just check it out. Support a great cause and maybe get some awesome SF/F swag!
Filed under Books, Charity, Geek
I’ve been meaning to write this up ever since I recorded the Skiffy & Fanty podcast on Fantastic Four, because I think the biggest problem with that film wasn’t the casting or the special effects — it was in the way the villain was written. In fact, I think the movie is an object lesson in how not to write a villain.
Julian McMahon is a decent actor, but as Victor Von Doom, he’s given pathetically little to do, and the stuff he actually does carries so little motivation and weight, it’s comical — and not in a good way. In short, Doom funds Reed Richards’ space experiments, which go wrong and gives everyone — the Four, plus Doom himself — strange superpowers. The Fantastic Four, of course, ultimately decide to use their powers for good. No problem there, because that’s who they are.
What does Doom do? Well, given that Richards’ experiments were deemed a failure and waste of millions of dollars, the board of Doom’s company ousts him. So Doom exacts revenge on one of the board members by killing him. And…well, that’s that. And as Doom becomes more metallic and his lightning powers increase, he decides that Richards and his friends are to blame, so he decides to kill them too. And the Fantastic Four stops him.
End of story…such as it is.
Filed under Books, Geek, Writing
Note: The muse almost never shows up this way.
With MJ-12: Shadows in the hands of my capable editor, I thought I would start the new year by tinkering with a new project — one that wasn’t under deadline. I’m truly fortunate to have deadlines for books, and I still have the third MAJESTIC-12 book on the horizon. But at least for a while, I wanted to go back to some pressure-free creativity because, as I’ve mentioned before, MJ-12: Shadows kicked my ass.
I actually have several ideas in various stages of development — some straight-up science fiction, a clockwork fantasy, all kinds of stuff. But the one I chose to work on was new to the idea files, something overtly political in nature with a near-future setting and all kinds of social commentary. Gee, wonder how that popped up on my radar since November. Hmm.
I told my agent about it — I actually tell her most of the stuff I’m noodling on — and I got excited about it. I did my usual worldbuilding notes, my character snippets, my Excel plotting. I started in and focused on the voice, which would be very different from my previous work.
And then I hit a wall.
Filed under Books, Writing