Cities and suburbs, real and imaginary.

Monday, June 30, 2008

yesterday's tomorrow at apollocon

The most interesting panel I attended last weekend at ApolloCon was about SteamPunk. (I was not on the panel; I was in the audience, and rightfully so for this topic. I am not an expert about SteamPunk.)

Chris Roberson argued effectively for a “Big Tent”, wherein all of Yesterday’s Tomorrows are included under the umbrella term.

However, when discussion of SteamPunk went on, the focus was more on airships (for instance the magical airships of Martha Wells’ Hugo-award-winning trilogy…) and objects and anime. Only a touch of the discussion focused on the word “Punk”, suggesting that this was just a throwaway word accidentally coined in large part because of the proximity of CyberPunk on the timeline of the zeitgeist. What little discussion that did involve steam focused on the tactile, tinkerer technology before the digital age. Almost no discussion of either “Steam” or “Punk” took place, compared to discussions of all other things.

I still believe that what everyone is calling “SteamPunk” is actually just Victoriana spread out among the various forms of literature. (For instance, Martha Wells’ fantasy novels, Hayao Miyazaki’s films, and books like “The Prestige” and “The Somnambulist”.)

For my money, SteamPunk, by itself, doesn’t exist.

Thus, when Chris Roberson talks about “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”, he’s describing a completely different subgenre of alternate history entitled “Yesterday’s Tomorrows”.

Other then that, I thought ballroom dancing with Anne K. G. Murphy was really nifty. Ballroom dancing is fun. I sure wish I knew how to do it better.

Space Squid is a really cool Austin LitMag, and I hope everyone gets a chance to read it. I picked up a couple extra to give away randomly out and about, so if you see me, ask me if I have a copy to spare.

I finally had a chance to actually play one of the cool games that people bring to Cons, and my hungry monster cats devoured some really nice people after I turned traitor. Sorry, but the cats thought you were tastier than you were nice, though I’m sure it was a close call.

My favorite reading was done by the talented and underrated short story writer Mikal Trim. (What do you mean you’ve never heard of him? How many pro sales do you need before people hear of you? Well, now you’ve heard of him. Go forth and read.) It was really strange that he was paired up with Mel White. Mikal read a story about a cursing, drunken Texan burning all of his alcoholic wife’s stuff as part of a spell to cause her spontaneous human combustion at the feed store. Mel White read a very YA-friendly story about a bardic pig in fairy world facing fairy tale-style problems.

My panels were pretty quiet. The ghost story one was – for me – just an excuse to do a reading, since no one scheduled one for me. The other folks on the panel told some great stories, too, though theirs were less *ahem* off a computer screen directly, and more actual “story-telling” as the panel was likely intended.

The Anime for SF/F fans was… odd. I wish the moderator guided the discussion towards more interpretation of the intersection between SF/F and Anime than just listing out cool Anime. We had a room full of hardcore Anime fans, and they didn’t really need to be convinced to watch AdultSwim, nor did they really need advice about how to find good Anime. I wasn’t surprised to see people walking out before the end. The second time someone cut off Jessica Reisman – who is very soft-spoken, but also very, very knowledgeable – I kind of wanted to walk out, too.

HOWEVER: There was a really cool mini-panel that happened at the bar afterwards, because our bartender just happened to be a chair of a large, Houston-area Anime convention, and some of the people who walked out of the panel were at the bar as well. That discussion was very interesting indeed between the bartender, Chris Roberson, yours truly and some cool fans that joined us. It was enough to make me wonder why our bartender wasn’t moderating the panel, with Chris on it. I am reminded of a good rule of thumb for conventions: often the coolest things happen at the bar.

Other then that, work will be very, very hectic the next four months, and I will likely miss a day here or there at this little blog. I wasn’t even able to attend the complete convention last weekend. I had to duck out early Sunday morning and go directly to work from Houston. I think I only have one day off this week.

I will be pre-dating entries to try and keep things going, but I will not be quick in the comments for a while. Also, I might just miss a day or two here or there.

If you’d like to make me a full-time blogger, please encourage folks to purchase my books, my stories. Or, just give me lots of money and tell me to blog with it.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

नो अपडेट

busy day ahead, so i leave with just this question:

a dog whose hair was so flowing
there was no way of knowing
which ed was his head
once stopped me and said
please sir am i coming or going

i memoriozed a limerick in jr high school, that has stayed with me my whole life since, but i can't find the author. anyone?

Saturday, June 28, 2008


"I have decided that I'm not going to wear pants all weekend!" - Tim Miller, ApolloCon '08

I'm going to learn how geeks should dance now...

Friday, June 27, 2008

wear an eyepatch

The next time you have a job interview, wear an eyepatch.

That way, the interviewer will feel a little uncomfortable about looking you in the eye, and they'll be put-off by how much they want to ask about the eyepatch. This will put the interviewer on the defensive.

Also, nothing says go-getter like a pirate. Pirates will do all kinds of crazy stuff for their crew and captain. In fact, if you can find a three-corner hat and a parrot, bring those, too!

If I was interviewing someone for a job, and they looked like a pirate, I would immediately hire them on the spot. Because pirates look cool.

Think about it. Wouldn't you be more likely to vote for Barack Obama or John McCain if one of them constantly looked like a pirate?

Hillary Clinton would have looked awesome and deadly in a three-corner hat. That's really what her campaign was missing.

People care more about your cutlass wit when you also have a steel cutlass on your hip.

Arrgh '08!(Someone with more graphical ability than me really ought to send me a picture of our presidential candidates dressed up as pirates...)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Very Sorry to Report...

I just got off the phone with my boss at my day gig, and apparently I won't be able to attend ApolloCon for the entire three days.

Sunday morning, I'll have to leave very early.

I'll be unable to attend two panels.

10:00 AM Sunday, I'll be forced to miss this one: Spec Fic, Social Networking, and the Blogosphere

Then, at 12:00 PM Sunday, I'll also be forced to miss this one: Archetypes in Speculative Fiction

It's a long story guys, and I don't want to get into it here. If you want to know, just e-mail me.

sankgreall, gmail com

Off to ApolloCon...

I'm leaving in the morning for ApolloCon, down in Houston:

In the meantime, I noticed something today that ought to be considered:

Golden Gryphon Press smell fantastic. Whatever they use as paper and glue just smells wonderful. Sometimes, in between stories, I'll take a quick sniff break.


Have you smelled Golden Gryphon Press books lately?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fantasy Magazine teasers...

Want a sneak peek into the July and August fictions of Fantasy Magazine? (Including my short story, "Gods of the Spiderhole"?)

Check it check it here, ladies and gents:

Cat's got some lovely looking surprises in store. I can't wait to read Jim Hines' story. He's quite the award-winning short story scribbler, as well as a novelist of goblin-esque merit.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

economic stimulus check

Dear George Bush,

Thanks for giving me three-hundred bucks in the middle of the start of the horrifically expensive summer air-conditioning season.

Miraculously, it just covers the shortfall between my energy budget and my energy reality.

Also, I can finally subscribe to Electric Velocipede.

Your Pal,


PS You know what? I wish you took all this money and spent it on alternative energy sources like seven years ago, or used it to finish up that unending war in Afghanistan, or something like that. You know... Aren't you conservatives supposed to be the ones who know how to balance a budget?

PPS Depositing this check made me feel dirty. Like getting money from a friend you know well, but not that well, and recieving too much, and knowing your friend really ought to spend the money on a new roof. But, I want the money, and I know you'll be gone in like eight months and I'll never see you again. Also, I think the next guy to live in your house is going to fix things.

(Obama 2008!)

Monday, June 23, 2008

about ringtones...

‘tis strange to hear people whose ringtones are more eloquent than their conversations.

a loud, elaborate techno dance alarm. she answers.

“hey, how are you…"

"no, just workin’…"


Perhaps if people read more books.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

still down

and thanks to the Benbrook Public Library making these posts possible with their internet connection.

I've got limited time on this compy to type, so let's check out a cool video, of the Oberlin Bassoon quartet playing Super Mario Brothers:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

speaking of morality...

I have mentioned this before, but I feel like mentioning it again because I brought up Kant yesterday.

The entire system of morality I follow is centered around intergalactic colonization. We are, right now, one catastrophe away from annihilation. It is vital to the survival of our species that we scatter out among the stars, the galaxies, and the universe.

Until we abandon this lump of nickel and water, all of our unborn children will die, all of our works will be lost, and all of our influence upon the cosmos will end with the rainforest.

The "goodness" of something is directly proportional to the amount it helps our society colonize beyond this rock.

Things that do not help us do that - including religions that hinder science, repressive regimes that hinder imagination and human speech, and irresponsible use of scientific resources (you know... researching boner pills when you could be researching cancer pills because that's where the money's at?) - are all "bad". The more they harm the ability of our species to get off this rock, the more "bad" they are. (Thus, the boner pills aren't as bad as the oppressive regimes. The religion is bad, but depending on their sphere of influence, they're also probably not as bad as an oppressive regime.)

This new moral continuum exists between point 1)actively, successfully hinders our ability to colonize extra-solar planets and point 2)actively, successfully contributes to colonizing extra-solar plants.

Murder is still bad. But, if your murdering of someone is directly related to getting a viable colony on an extra-solar planet, that's may be morally correct. (Like any morally correct criminal act, one really ought to step forward and embrace the legal consequences of the act. May the judicial system negotiate your plea bargain according to the provable goodness of your act.)

War is bad, but not completely bad. On the one hand, war hinders our true mission on this rock by throwing all our human and technological resources into deadly peril. However, war has led to great technological breakthroughs that will get us off this rock, and some wars can successfully end oppressive, inhumane regimes that hinder the population from achieving our true needs.

Right now, one of the biggest dangers I see to the colonization of extra-solar planets is how technology and science are unevenly distributed. Imagine a country - like th ones on this list - wherein the technological advances of other nations that can improve the population's ability to contribute to our great quest into the sky are priced and legalized out of the reach of the vast majority of the population.

That's bad. That's very morally bad.

One laptop per child is very good. They are trying to fix this. OLPC is an extremely morally correct institution, and one of the most important charities in the world. Improving the ability of children all over the world, in some of the most difficult places in the world will not only contribute to education and creativity and culture and medicine exponentially, but the program will also "teach a man to fish". With improved education and improved technological understanding, children can grow up into adults that can change their own lives for the better. Instead of a cycle of poverty and charity and poverty and charity, OLPC could be the keystone in breaking that cycle.

Anyway, I could go on. I'm sure you've heard all about it before from better sources than my little megaphone.

Let's go to space. Let's expand. Let's explore. Until we do, we are only one Dalek invasion away from the end of our race.

We build our own culture - most of us - by voting and making our voices heard. Remember to vote morally, and our excellent and simple criteria.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Understanding Genre/Literature Division with Help from Immanuel Kant

I was thinking about the divided response that I'm seeing to my book in the sci-fi/fantasy community, and about how I'm straddling this line between literature and fantasy. Where exactly is the line?

Okay, here's what I came up.

First, remember Kant's Categorical Imperative?

"One should never act excepting that one's action should become a universal law", in my text's version of the translation.

Here's a great little way to summarize how I approach writing:

"One should never write excepting that one's writing should become a universal law."

Okay, how do we understand genre versus literary with the help of our new writing imperative?

In genre literature, an audience seeks their preconceived notion of a book, and measure a book as how near or far that book falls from the audience ideal. Thusly: "One should never write excepting that one's writing fits the existing universal law."

In literary fiction, the audience seeks to explore new notions of book, and what a book can be and do and convey. The measure of a great work of literature can be found in the influence it exerts upon subsequent books, like digging a canal out from the river, and feeding the digging of other canals. Even a subtle expansion of the possible can have a massive influence on the flow of words.

Or, expressed thusly: "One should never write excepting that one's writing should become the universal law."

Writing is an act. As an action, following Kant's moral imperative, one should only write when one's writing alters the shape of all writing, and creates a new field of writing. That is the moral writing. The other kind is not necessarily bad, but not necessarily good, either.

Following this new genre versus literary law is utterly impossible if you believe the marketing boundaries placed upon us by bookstores and librarians. Plenty of form-fitting, workmanlike writing exists under Literature/Fiction. Plenty of mind-expanding fiction exists under "Mystery", "Horror", and "Sci-Fi/Fantasy".

The dissonance between the marketing distinction and the Kantian distinction indicates the boundary we must straddle.

The marketing labels place my books next to Jack McDevitt. I actually like Jack McDevitt's books. They're lots of fun, and full of exciting space battles and weird planets, and interesting plot twists. However, Mr. McDevitt's books follow the genre categorical imperative. I have yet to find anything truly new or groundbreaking in a McDevitt book. He is my neighbor, per the laws of marketing.

My book follows the literary categorical imperative.

Thus, folks who look for Jack McDevitt might accidentally pick up my book, and check it out, and discover that I'm not really part of their genre. (Thus, why some reviewers felt I was doing something wrong in my book. Namely, I wasn't writing their book. I was writing mine. Reading my book looking for "fantasy done right", as one commenter has stated, is never going to work. I'm, in fact, actively trying to do fantasy wrong, with loud bells and a giant marching band and a dancing monkey. I want to do it wrong, wrong, wrong!)

Also, folks perusing Alice McDermott's books, and Cormac McCarthy's will also fail to discover my book. Cormac follows the literary categorical imperative, that I can tell. Alice follows her own marketing zone's genre imperative, that I can tell. People actively seeking new works of groundbreaking fiction following the literary categorical imperative are out of luck, unless someone tells them and guides them beyond the marketing distinctions.

Without acceptance of the Kantian categorical distinction, how do we, as writers re-design the genre divide in the mind's of readers? People searching for either the former categorical distinction (genre) and people searching for the latter literary distinction (a.k.a. Kantian categorical imperative of literature) are both missing out on books and stories we'd love. Genre readers are being told to adore books by reviews, and falling down a rabbit hole of writing they don't desire. Literary readers are urged to adore the next big thing, and discover writing that just isn't up to snuff.

And people like me, that read both with equal veracity (though I write only the literary stuff at this time)?

Well, I'm fine, actually. I'm good at exploring, and I can easily accept a book for what it attempts instead of what I want it to attempt.

I'm not complaining, actually, because I'm perfectly fine. I'm just observing, and thinking about the system in place, and how it works, and where it breaks down.

That's what I'm thinking about right now.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Thursday, June 19, 2008


Argh, I'm still down!

Check out this cool Dntel video:

Also, check out this very important video I found courtesy of Jeff VanderMeer's blog, Ecstatic Days:

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This Makes Me So Very Happy!

Love has finally conquered lunacy in California.

May it sweep all fifty states! May it sweep the world!

while i'm still down...

why not check out the excellent interviews Charles A Tan did at the Shirley Jackson Awards Blog?

And, a cool video of Ann St Vincent coverin' "These Days":

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just heard from Abyss and Apex

Just heard from Samantha Henderson of Abyss & Apex, and apparently they desire a little poem of mine, called "3 Poems Called Cosmic".

Watch for it forthcoming here:

चेचक it आउट...

Since I'm down, why not check out the five for writing i did with richard dansky?

also, why not catch up on the litmags of the web?

Coyote wild Magazine has their June issue up, and I particularly enjoyed Balalaika.

Farrago's Wainscot - the web-zine most easily misspelled whilst googling - still has issue six up, and if you haven't read it, my favorite was "Running the Road"

Abyss and Apex continues to do great things, too. Everything's good inside, and picking a favorite is difficult.

Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!

And, you have *GOT* to see the latest, gorgeous eyecandascentalcmeteoraphorickal bjork video, Wanderlust.

MySpace video has the highest quality I can find. Still poking around YouTube for a better version. If you can't hit the MySpace vids, watch WanderLust below:

Monday, June 16, 2008

my computers are both down!

I didn't lose any files because I backed everything up most redundantly when I suspected something was happening.

Both of my computers are DOA.

I'm still working with the help of GoogleDocuments. I'm just not doing it at my place.

I'm at libraries. I'm at other people's houses.

I'm trying to fix them.

I don't really know when a replacement will findits way into my budget, exactly, but I ope I'll get one in there soon.

Until then, I'll not be blogging too regular-like, and I may be a day or two tardy with my e-mail.

I feel bonked on the head.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

रोबोट फिश

no update today.

i'm busy.

watch the robot fish.

Friday, June 13, 2008

after trying to read billy collins

the poet laureate of america, billy collins, is adored and gushed about just about every time i turn around.

i don't get it.

once again, i picked up billy collins' collection, "nine horses:poems", and once again, i didn't think i was reading great poetry. i didn't even feel like i was reading pretty good poetry.

but, i realized there was something i was reading that was otherwise often absent from the current poetry of the country.

billy collins isn't a manic-depressive. his verse - though tepid - is consistenly upbeat, and cheerful. he is a happy fellow.

no wonder he's so popular.

currently, our literary poets write elegies and dirges about everything.they are a very sad, depressed bunch of people. when they are happy, they gush like a kid just discovering a new tv show. then, they drop back into deep despair.

no wonder billy collins is so popular. getting through his anthology doesn't require xanax and whiskey.

i wonder when good poets will rediscover happiness.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pre-order the Mass Market Paperback!

Ladies and gents, the Amazon pre-order page is up for the Mass Market Paperback edition of Last Dragon!

(My royalties are higher, and the quality of the paper/binding/etc is higher on the trade paperback, by the way. If you can spare the seven extra bucks, please pick up the trade paperback... BUT, if you want to save some scratch - and who doesn't now that a gallon of gas might be more expensive than the mass market paperback by the time the paperback comes out - I will not think even one iota less of you for picking up the mass market. I'm just happy to have readers!)

about books on e-bay

Recently, I was at BEA signing books and giving away promotional copies of the books. Advance Reading Copies (ARCs) often come labelled with the big words "Not Intended for Resale" on them.

The books we gave away at BEA were not labeled thusly. However, the spirit of the ARC, I think, remained.

They're showing up on e-bay. That's cool. Just... Um... No, that's not cool. These were promotional copies given by authors who don't make lots of money in the hopes of increasing our readership.

Turning around and selling that on e-Bay is uncool. They really should be donated to charity auctions, given to friends and relatives, and/or hoarded in carbonite for generations. The e-Bay is just not cool. Nor is selling the books to a used book store.

However, I don't want to stop people from doing this. I did gum up their gears a little bit, as one auctioneer noted. When asked for a date, I gave him the wrong date (8/31/08). I did that all weekend long. At first I did it, because I was signing lots of books and made a mistake. Then, I kept doing it, because it would make it easier to spot the weasel copies on the secondary market.

If you want one, great, but please don't get in a bidding war over it. And remember, everyone with 8/31/08 in your signed books: I'm watching and thinking bad thoughts in the direction of those I see for sale with this date in the cover.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

glimpse into the seeds of a maze

I haven't decided if this piece will be a novella, or a novel when I have the time for it(I'm kind of busy on a novel, already) and I doubt I'll keep this little snippet from the journalings in whatever final form emerges...
Trolls walked among my nightmares more than most of the rest of the beasts. Trolls were hideous with sap for veins and a hunger for meat.

I once hid in a very lonely old oak tree and held my breath while a six trolls ate the girl that wasn’t as fast as I was, and wasn’t as quiet. I took small sips of air, and clutched at the highest branches I dared climb. The trolls didn’t look up at me. They had someone to eat at their feet. They probably thought I had turned a corner in the maze and then another and then another until my trail was lost in the tesseracts where the trees ended. Then, the men came with fire and brickbats and drove the trolls away. Four dead, that time, and two of them from where the barricade had been broken.

The trolls were fibrous like dead trees, and moved stiff. They covered their bodies in bird guano. When they walked, they sounded like creaking branches in breezes too strong for these halls.

Minotaurs, too, hunt for meat among the stones. They tend to work alone. I have never seen one alive – thank Lucius’ God – but I have seen them dead. They taste terrible, but they don’t make you sick and when winter comes every ounce of meat jerky helps us survive the snowfall. They have big, brutish heads with long snouts, and black hairs. Their horns are wild and curve up towards the sky. When they catch their prey, they gore them on the horns, and eat them that way.

The last time we caught a minotaur, Saitan was out on patrol with an older man named Brim. Together they smashed the minotaur into a pulp with their brickbats. I could barely make out its skull.

Brim had been gored by it. He held his own intestines in with one hand, and leaned on his brickbat with the other, using it like a cane. Saitan dragged the dead minotaur behind him. Two trails of blood led off into the maze until the rain washed the blood away. Brim went straight to his hut, his wife. She bathed him three times a day. She fed him by hand for a week. Everything he ate fell out of his stomach, half-digested.

Brim never cried out. He just stayed there, in his hut with his wife, for thirteen days lingering. When he died, his wife, Justine, sliced off all her hair. She poured it over his body where we had left the body for the crows and vultures and bugs.
Justine cried a long time. I worked with her sewing nets, and she couldn’t stop crying. Geraldine yelled at her for crying on the birds we had caught. Geraldine said it was bad luck to weep while we pulled our supper from the nets. Justine called Geraldine all sorts of names, and in the end, Justine ran off with her sister and never came back to the nets again.

When the meat was done smoking, we wanted to give Justine more of it, but she wouldn’t touch any of it, even if it meant starving. When winter came, all we had for a week was dried minotaur. She still wouldn’t eat it. She got sick. Enyo put her out in a hut by herself so she wouldn’t get the rest of us sick. When the solstice flies finally came, Enyo brought all he could to her in her hut, and nursed her back himself.

Justine doesn’t talk very much, anymore.

Stonecows aren’t vicious, and don’t eat men, but they’re just as dangerous. They’re huge beasts and covered in a thick hide of stone. They walk the halls, nibbling on pebbles and rocks and fallen stones. When they found plants, they ate among the roots, until the roots dwindled like naked, muddy ropes struggling to hold their plants in place, failing, falling down, and then there are no more tree. Stonecows move in huge herds. They must be pressed back with strong sticks and barricades of wood, lest they come into our grove and eat our trees to death, dumb herding beasts. We have not found a way to kill them, but they are not immune to the pester of our sticks. We shout and whack at them, they fall back into their herd. Their herd falls back into the halls. They wander away from us. I’ve heard they can trample someone to death if they get really scared and all start running, but I’ve never seen it.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

working on non-fiction for a change...

Here's a sneak peek at a bit of non-fiction I'm working on that will be posted in full somewhere awesome, soon enough... I should probably edit out that f-bomb, but in this case it is very appropriate to add emphasis to the word "dangerous". Because, the crossing is genuinely and truly fucking dangerous.


"...our demand doesn’t disappear just because the supply of – let’s face the facts – near-slave labor dries up. Who will pick our grapes? Who will build our roads? Who will bus our tables and slaughter our beef? Who will clean our houses, and landscape our yards? Where is this supposed glut of American citizens that want these jobs?

We haven’t wanted these jobs since 1942 on any kind of scale large enough to meet the demand for the cheep labor force. This won’t change just because the folks making the crossing are even more likely to be desperate criminals, due to the increased danger of the crossing and the higher profit that can be made as a result.

The crossing is really fucking dangerous already. People die of heat stroke. They get hit by cars in the night on poorly-lit roads. They drown in flooded rivers and streams. They get killed by unscrupulous coyotes. The mass rape and murder of women along our borders is fucking horrible, and we should all be ashamed at the number of unsolved, unreported, and undiscovered crimes upon women remain in border towns. Increasing the danger by clamping down on our borders is going to be about as safe and effective as the war on drugs has been at making the streets safe in our inner cities. "


Still cleaning up the flow, and looking for good footnotes, but you get the idea of what I'll be talking about, right?

Saturday, June 7, 2008

is neil gaiman actually the doctor?

i pose to you this quandary. neil gaiman, fabulist of the highest order and spinner of tales that crack open the cosmos, and everyone's favorite british alien, the "doctor", are, in fact, one and the same person.

for instance, the ninth doctor, played by christopher eccleston, dresses in a manner quite similar - nay, nearly *exactly* - like neil gaiman. like the doctor, neil gaiman has knowledge of alternate realities nigh unmatched on this earth. often, he is followed by a companion (mr. gaiman may refer to her as a personal assistant, or somesuch term, but don't believe him). also, mr. gaiman seems to think nothing of jaunting all over the world as if it were his own, personal playground. his sunny, experimental and seemingly tireless demeanor is quite on target with the doctor's energetic ways.

in fact, i wouldn't be surprised to discover that the doctor decided to settle down a while, and scribes true stories of people and things encountered.

for further proof, study the films and fictions...

i'm telling you, i think neil gaiman is actually the eleventh incarnation of doctor who.

Friday, June 6, 2008

BEA photos

My readers are very good-looking.

I'm signing books and books and books.

The historic first meeting between J M McDermott and the editor that discovered him, Phil Athans:

Thanks to Wizards of the Coast for sending me these photos, and for a great time at BEA!

Also, thanks to all of my readers, without whom, I would have sat there holding a pen and looking like a sexy, sexy moron.

strange horizons annual fundraiser

It's that time of year, folks.

Follow the progress at their blog.

Quit reading my blog and go help Strange Horizons.


I'm glad you asked. Here's what Fantasy Magazine says about it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

a sign, as large as the box upon which it was प्लासद...


corner of winscott and the big municipal complex by the library.

bureaucracy is inherently funny.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

I should throw another contest...

In the interest of shameless self-promotion, I would like to throw a new contest.

The Winner will recieve a secret box of mystical power including things that have been scribbled upon related to the book, LAST DRAGON, totally collectable and geeky. The main prize is actually extremely rare, and only two like it exist in the universe.

Runner up prizesd shall be awarded, as well, but will likely just be a cool, little button.

What do I want?

1) You must tell people about this contest.

2) You must select a character from LAST DRAGON, and scribe at least one paragraph of original fan fiction wherein you or someone you like to write about meets this character, and what happens when such a meeting occurs. Length must be at least 25 words, but no more than 4,000. Quality has nothing to do with your odds of victory, so feel free to suck. (This can be any character, whether a mustachioed, anonymous waiter or Adel, herself.)

3) Winners of prior contests are eligible to re-enter. This prize is very different, very rare, and very collectible. I'd feel remiss if I didn't allow anyone to try again after this prize.

4) Your deadline is me leaving for Apollocon, which begins on June 27. I will select a winner before I leave for Apollocon. I will read the winning entry during my reading period at Apollocon.

Winners will be selected randomly via a mystical process involving a frog puppet, frozen cauliflower, and magic markers. In otherwords, victory will be randomized. The point isn't to sweat the gruelling process of the prosaic, but to have fun. Thus, frog puppet, frozen cauliflowers, and magic markers. This isn't a writing contest. It's a literary lottery.

How to enter:

1) First send me an e-mail where you can show me where you've told people about this contest.

2) Second, send me an e-mail where you can show me your entry into the contest.

3) These must be two different places. If you post both to your blog, that's fine, just make sure they are part of separate entries on your blog.

What am I giving away?

Hint: There's only two in the entire world. One is already in the hands of a hoarding friend/fan. The only other one in creation is collecting dust on my bookshelf. I ought to give it away before I accidentally destroy it with coffee and/or spring cleaning.

I'll take a picture of what I'm giving away in a couple weeks. Scholars and librarians would be most interested in this item, someday.

Don't forget to have fun!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

why is elmo a monster

i was thinking about the monstrosity of elmo when i saw "elmo grows up" rehearsals in front of the staples center whilst walking in to BEA.

elmo, you see, never actually grows up. this is what is truly monstrous about him. it isn't the red fur, or the odd body-shape. plenty of animals have red fur and odd bodies and do not qualify as monsters.

elmo is a mosnter because he is stuck in this one mindset, this one moment in time. he never ages. he never grows. he lives in a moment that he'll never escape.

though he is not a dangerous, nor particularly scary monster, he qualifies as monstrous because of that simple fact. imagine what it must be like, to be six for thirty years. to always look forward to someday when you'll grow up, but to never actually reach that day.

all elmo's friends age around you. every year new friends arrive, but they too shall outgrow elmo's moment in time.

children's television, like baboons, can be quite scary if you think about it a while.

Monday, June 2, 2008

while i'm recovering from bea and dealing with some s*** that met me unhappily at the airport...

while i'm dealing with some s***, contemplate this fact:

baboons are fucking scary.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

back from BEA

just flew in, and i'm tired and covered in books.

i just want to say three things:

1) Neil Gaiman's "The Graveyard Book" is very, very good.

2) Kelly Link's new short story anthology, "Pretty Monsters" is very, very good.

3) Cory Doctorow's new comic book, "Craphound", is very, very good.

Now, off to bed.

Gesundheit, everyone. Er... Good night. God Bless You. Etc.