matociquala: (muppetology need bears fozzie & kermit)
The special edition of the MIT Technology Review featuring near-future science fiction stories by Cory Doctorow, Joe Haldeman, Pat Cadigan, Geoffrey Landis, Ma Boyong, Tobias Buckell, Paul DiFilippo, Gwyneth Jones, Ken Liu, Ken MacLeod, Vandana Singh, and me hits newstands next week. Seriously, I do not manage to read all of every anthology I am in. But this one... I will be sitting down with immediately when my copies arrive. (They may already be waiting for me at home.)

My story in this one, "Gods of the Forge," is set in the same future--although definitely not the same place or time--as my forthcoming stories "In the House of Aryaman, a Lonely Signal Burns" (in the next (January) Asimov's) and "The Salt Sea and the Sky" (Brave New Love, Paula Guran, ed., March 2012). It's part of my ongoing attempt to envision a rigorously extrapolated, nonDystopian near-future world.

And it bears an interesting relationship to a much more Dystopian future--or in that case--past that I've written about extensively, but I want to give people a chance to figure it out on their own.

Never fear, I'm not going to go all contrived future history on you and try belatedly to link all my SF novels into one retcontinuity. Because it's not nice, and people can tell.

In other publication news, Amazon informs me that the MMPB of The Sea thy Mistress drops Nov. 1. So if you were holding out for the cheap version, it's nearly here! And if you really wanted the trade hardcover... get it quick!

The 100 Year Starship Survey is going very well--fascinating talks, too many tracks to keep tabs on, and a variety of smart, interesting, passionate people hurling ideas around at a projected .12 C. I think I need to go so a headstand for a bit, to give my brain a chance to drain out before I dive back in.
matociquala: (lion in winter broken because you're bri)
I am in Ireland, and have already met a very wet white dog named Pixie. As I pointed out to [livejournal.com profile] hawkwing_lb and [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange, it is an excellent thing that she was not named Pooka, because that might have been a bit much for a rocky windswept beach and 24 hours with no sleep.

The flight over was not actually horrible, or was as un-horrible as seven hours in a middle seat in economy class on a redeye can be. I did not manage to sleep: neither did [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange, who was jammed into the window seat and who, at one point, I threatened to pad with pillows and sleep upon. But the cabin crew was lovely (we has a flirtatious, sarcastic Spanish flight attendant (male) and the in-flight meal was stir fried beef that actually tasted vaguely of ginger).)

The horrors of the flight were made worthwhile, however, because we passed far enough North to get an actual white night, or at least a violet one. The sun did set, but the colors in the sky never faded, flaming in deep ember shades of orange and vermilion. After about three hours of semi-darkness, the most amazing thing happened: the sunset became a sunrise. And not just in technical terms--all of those reds and bruise-violets and flame-oranges gave way to peach, gold, lavender... and the sun came up again.

Simply lovely. Sadly, I did not have the presence of mind to photograph the sunset portion of the program. But here's what the sunrise looked like:

2011 06 06 Balbriggan Ireland 001

I've been further north than Dublin--Glasgow--and soon will be even more north than that. But I think the airplane a little under Reykjavik was technically my furthest North so far.

Nevertheless, it was with great relief that we arrived in Dublin.

After some confusion, we found the proper bus (or motorcoach) and made our way to Balbriggan, where we located [livejournal.com profile] hawkwing_lb's house, met her cat, showered, ate toasted cheese sandwiches, and then re-embarked for a walk, as neither of us were relaxed enough to be sleepy yet. We walked through the village of Balbriggan and down to the strand, there to meet the Irish Sea, place stones on the cairn of the Sailor's Grave, encounter many fine dogs, hike up the headlands, observe two grey herons (one flying, one fishing) and at least four Irish brown seals (very distant looks, those), and look at some passage tombs.

If you pictured a cyborg and a minotaur hauling rocks up this bluff to build a weird little church full of books and statues, you wouldn't be far off:

2011 06 06 Balbriggan Ireland 026

And you could decorate this bit of strand with some giant animal bones and be in pretty good shape:

2011 06 06 Balbriggan Ireland 021

The fine weather was visibly over by then, so we ate our chicken sandwiches and splashed around in the sea a bit before walking back.

The Irish sea smells different from either the Pacific or the Atlantic--the Atlantic is brinier and thicker-smeller, at least in New England, and always has that rankness of tides and salt flats. The Pacific smells heavier and colder to me, with an ozone tang. This was a milder smell, clean and sharp, reminiscent of fresh oysters.

Mmm. Oysters.

Then we came back to the house, and there was much napping. (Still is, in some quarters.) After dinner, there will be pub and Irish music. I feel a pint coming on. Especially since by then I will have walked six miled today, not counting airports.

37.9 miles to Mordor!

Right now, I'm going to work on one of these short stories I have due. I did get my OWW review done on the plane/in Newark, so that was like victory. (And two books read for review, also! I abandoned the third, as it did not please me. Dear authors: just say not to raven tresses.)
matociquala: (writing edda of burdens fenris wolf)
This is the obligatory spoiler discussion post for The Sea Thy Mistress, and by extension, all of the Edda of Burdens.

   
matociquala: (can't sleep books will eat me)
It's book day! The Sea Thy Mistress ships today. 

   

I also have heard a rumor that The White City is shipping this week, snowmageddon permitting.

Speaking of snowmageddon, it has commenced, with very large flakey-looking snowflakes, even, like a classroom window full of paper cutouts in winter.

And I am about to vacate the Internets for work and exercise, not necessarily in that order, so be good to each other while I am gone.
matociquala: (writing sf starwars wookiee stet)
I bring you so many good things today (and one sad one)! As if the universe is joining me in celebrating sending back the last few corrections on Grail (found an embarrassing continuity error at the last minute; hope I didn't break anything else fixing it, since I broke the continuity fixing something else) I have cover art for two other books in my hand

Oh, and of course, I've started to think of all the cool things I should have found a way to get into Range of Ghosts. Well, it's got at least one full revision coming--

First off, cover art for The Sea Thy Mistress--in my hot little hands.



Okay, Cahey's hair looks a little funny, and I'm not sure where the cloak comes from, but that's probably a universal signature of This Is Fantasy. I'm dead pleased that he's on the cover, though, and that he's sufficiently brown. No idea where the Celtic spirals are coming from, but hey, Norse, Celtic, it's all the same, and it looks pretty... *g*

February 11th is our chance to prove that fantasy novels with brown people on them sell just fine, right? (This was a very hard book for me to write, for personal reasons, and I'm very neurotic about people reading it. But it's not written until its read, as they say. And it's full of things I felt like I needed to say, and possibly work through for myself. Hopefully it will help others who have been through similar adventures in their lives.)

Anyway, it's an eye-catcher, and I'm very happy.

Additionally, we have cover art for METAtropolis II: Electric Boogaloo Cascadia, which is pretty nice, if I do say so myself.



That one drops Nov 16th. Available in audio format only for now, from Audible and other sources. (Like iTunes, I think).

Now for the not-so-great news. Realms of Fantasy is shutting down its presses. I will continue reviewing books at Tor.com and Ideomancer, which does absolutely nothing to lessen my sorrow at seeing another bastion of the genre fail.
matociquala: (writing patience)
Whew. A thousand words on Range of Ghosts today, and I am calling it at that rather than pushing on to a second thousand, because I can imagine few things I care less to do than write right now. At least I'm in the middle of the thrilling dawn assassination attempt and chase.

I did make jelly (wild grape/apple) and start a loaf of bread this morning, and I have to go to the post office on the way to climbing. Tomorrow may wind up being an unscheduled day off, just because my brain is tired.

In other news, I got ARCs for The Sea Thy Mistress yesterday. It comes out, at last check, in February. (Yes, it's got a drifting publication date. I apologize; this is the publisher's decision, for various reasons of their own.) I will probably find a way to give away a copy or two before too much longer.

For those of you who have been wondering what it's about, it turns out there's some sales matter and a blurb for it in the back of the MMPB of By the Mountain Bound.

It's more spoilery for the other two books than itself, but it's quite spoilery for the first two, so I place it behind a cut. Because I care.

Which I quote behind a cut tag, for the spoiler-sensitive. )

So now you know.

QotD:

If you can only be tall because someone else is on their knees, then you've got a serious problem.
--Toni Morrison
matociquala: (david bowie black tie - sosostris2012)
Four random things do not quite make a post, but maybe I can pad them out somehow.

1) This is in part for [livejournal.com profile] stillsostrange, in case she needs djinni reference footage (I know I did.):



2) Hurricane Earl reaches category four in the Atlantic. If I'm offline for an extended period later this week, this would be why. This thing is kind of a monster, and feeding off warm seas. The odds are in favor of it missing us (and the rest of the North American mainland), but it's currently a strong category 4 storm with low pressures around 931 millibars, and we do get real hurricanes here, albeit infrequently, so we're keeping a... well, a weather eye on it.

It could actually be good news, if we just get the tail: we could esperately use the rain.

3) I've hit 60K on Range of Ghosts, and will be trying to another 1 or 2K today before I have to go pick up the farm share. My hands are starting to feel the strain: this much concerted typing eventually becomes uncomfortable. Moar ice!

4) It's Book Day! The mass-market paperback for By the Mountain Bound drops today.



Isn't it pretty? It raises the dead!

5) Ommmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.
matociquala: (writing eddas by the mountain bound)
BTMB 2010 08 27 003

Look! A Book!

Official publication day for the mass market paperback of By the Mountain Bound is the 31st of the month, but my copies arrived yesterday.

I think it's pretty. And hey, it's full of swordfights, wolves, treachery, sorcery, betrayal, honor, courage, and the course of true love not running all that smoothly.

(does not come with delicious, delicious Sansa apple)

Yes, that is my CEM in the background. And now I need to go back to working on it.
matociquala: (writing eddas by the mountain bound)
Via Making Light, a very cool Viking-era reconstruction page. I'm pretty sure that a number of readers of By the Mountain Bound and A Companion To Wolves have wondered what, exactly, a lot of this stuff looks like...

Here's a page that has a detailed description of longhouse architecture and furnishings, including the bed-closets I referred to as "niches" in By the Mountain Bound. The longhouses commonly seen in both books, I should point out, are much bigger than these--more on the Beowulf model of a fortification for a war-band than a farmer's household (a heall rather than a croft, in other words), although there's a fairly detailed description of a small longhouse with a sleeping loft and livestock accomodations in By the Mountain Bound.

One of the fun things about the Iskryne books (of which A Companion to Wolves is the first) is that they take place at a point in history where the longhouses and their associated stockades are giving way to more modern stone keeps, which--being stone in the era before the flying buttress and the vault--demand smaller rooms with many support walls, or great halls that are a forest of columns. It's probably pretty obvious by now that I have a Thing for fantasy in which history and technology are not static for thousands of years (usually between the Past Catastrophe and the Current Coming Of The Chosen One (with optional Dark Lord metastasis)) but rather change and evolve.

Also, there's a lot of talk about bathhouses.

And here's a thing I did not know: "In the old language, blár probably meant a dark blue-black, and the sagas distinguished the color blár from the color svartr. Blár is the color of a raven, whereas svartr is the color of a black horse."

I shall be making use of that factoid. Never you fear.
matociquala: (writing edda of burdens fenris wolf)
And here's the third section, completing chapter one of By the Mountain Bound.

Eeek!

Part one: The Wolf

Part two: The Historian

Part three: The Warrior )

Tah dah! That's chapter one, in its entirety.

The rest of the book, you're on your own for. *g*
matociquala: (writing edda of burdens fenris wolf)
I just got my  contributor's copies of Eclipse Three (Jonathan Strahan, ed.), about which I'm tremendously excited.

Not only is it full of great stories, but look at that lineup! I'm flattered and a little awed to be in such amazing company. (Inside the book, we also find Peter S. Beagle, Jeffrey Ford, Nnedi Okorafor, and others.)

And now, because my cruelty is tempered by mercy, I offer you scene two of By the Mountain Bound. (Scene three, which is the last scene of Chapter One, will be posted before I leave for climbing tonight. Eventually, these will go up on the web page, but for now this is an exclusive.)

Also behind a cut! )

...to be continued...
matociquala: (writing edda of burdens fenris wolf)

Tomorrow is Book Day, but I will be in New York City for a reading from Lovecraft Unbound with la Datlow and others, so I made you a Wordle in slightly premature celebration!

This is what BtMB looks like in terms of word frequency, with certain common English words trimmed out:

Here's the publisher's page on the book, with various order-online links. And then for comparison's sake, here's my webpage on The Edda of Burdens, of which this is book 2. (Although really, you can read these in any order. The editor, however, who is wise, prefers publication order.)




...oddly enough, it's not actually a book about Strifbjorn.

And because I love you that much, here's the first scene:

ONE:

behind a cut, for courtesy. )

Mwahahahahahaha. Ahem. That was unbecoming, wasn't it?
matociquala: (writing eddas by the mountain bound)
My triumphant return to Storytellers Unplugged as a monthly columnist: a blog on how my weird steampunk Norse fantasies got published.
matociquala: (writing edda of burdens fenris wolf)
This is the spoiler-discussion post for All the Windwracked Stars and By the Mountain Bound. (Which comes out formally on Tuesday, but is probably out there already in some stores.)

If you want to talk about either or both books, this is your comment thread. Although please mark in comment titles which book you are spoiling, for those who have not read one or the other.

If you haven't read AtWS yet--dude, it has a sun-swallowing wolf and a giant telepathic steam-powered flying two-headed metal pony.

Where's your soul?

 
matociquala: (writing eddas by the mountain bound)
Okay, this is a pretty good day:

20090406 003

Chaz's rosemary shortbread (with added lemon peel and extract!) and hey! author copies!!!!

Which means that soon, soon, BTMB will be in a bookstore near you.

And because Tolerant Dog is Tolerant:

20090406 005

(Buy this book or this dog starves.)

OMG, if you could smell my kitchen just right now....

ETA: And by [livejournal.com profile] msisolak's request:

20090406 007
matociquala: (writing eddas by the mountain bound)
Publishers Weekly loffs By the Mountain Bound!

spoilers! )

...damn, and I thought this was one of the easy straightforward ones.
matociquala: (writing gorey vast reluctance)
I am home from New York, having had a wonderful time. However, right now I'm on the big chair with a very contented dogge, who is also happy to be home (he went to stay at Grandma's and get ready for his show the weekend after next) and some tea and the page proofs for By the Mountain Bound.

La. I think this requires sherry. But I don't have any sherry. Perhaps I will settle for a glass of rye.

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