matociquala: (writing sf starwars wookiee stet)
Book week continues!

I'm in this week's Mind Meld over at SF Signal, talking about gaming influence on fiction and verse vica.

Karen's getting piles of fabulous reviews. You can check out the ones I've found over here at my Pinterest brag page.

Also, a Big Idea over here, and a guest blog at Charlie's Diary over here.

Here's my Goodreads article on some of my favorite Steampunk works. Here's a guest blog at D. Franklin's place on Strong Female Characters. Here's one at Aidan Moher's place on prostitute stereotypes. Here's an interview at Suvudu. Here I am interviewed by Fran Wilde at SF Signal.

...I forgot something, I know.

In the mean time, check out this gorgeous banner art by the inimitable Dan Zollinger for my Gotham Jazz world for the Storium roleplaying engine (still in gamma, but coming RSN!). (Click image to ennoirify at a higher pixel density!)




And then, have a nice cup of tea.



(I'm still drinking out of the White Nile cup, because it has an appealingly wintry color scheme that matches the  light and heavy snow outside, and what's in it is a second steeping of the Stash Portland blend.)

Now I have blogged dutifully, and I must
matociquala: (bad girls helen mirren)
I know I haven't been much in these internets of late; suffice it to say that life is good and interesting but not much conducive to blogging of late.

I think I may be Gafiating a bit, frankly. I think I've hit some kind of social networking overload. But I'll post when I have anything interesting to say.

And so some link salad to tide you over-

I am interviewed at Oberon's Law.

Cheryl Morgan podcasts the Eurocon gender panel. 

Thunderstorms here. Hope you've got some too.

ETA: Oh, and it's sixteen days until The Tempering of Men. Which just got a very good review in Locus, or so I am told.
matociquala: (criminal minds gideon kill fast)
Making up for a lack of blogging lately today, apparently.

Item: The first instance of my new review column is live over at Realms of Fantasy. It's paranormal romance and urban fantasy, despite what the header says.

Item: there will be a fourth installment of New Amsterdam, as [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia has just struck an arrangement with Subterranean Press on my behalf. Untitled so far, and watch this space.

Item: New fiction at Strange Horizons by a Viable Paradise grad, George Galuschak: "Middle Aged Weirdo in a Cadillac."  I liked that one a lot in workshop.

Item: By the way, if you somehow missed it, I have a twitter feed over here.
matociquala: (writing palencar horrid glory)

Stayed up too late last night finishing the book I need to review today.

Another nice review from Publishers Weekly, this one on Bone and Jewel Creatures.

"Few family feuds feature gem-studded automatons facing off against zombies, but this quirky short fantasy by Hugo-winner Bear (By the Mountain Bound) is the exception."

The whole review is about 3/4 of the way down the page.

Link Salad: Here's Terry Pratchett, author and gentleman, on what he prefers to call "assisted dying."

Today's to-do list:
Book review
Grail
Errands (buy dog food and office supplies)
Climbing
Criminal Minds

And hey, that's the email shoveled. Guess it's time to start writing that book review now.

matociquala: (criminal minds diana reid crazy)
Today has been after the spirit of an adventure.

The whole world is blowing down outside. But I got 1561 words on Grail and got through a scene. I think I more or less know how the book goes now, although I don't have a good innate sense of its structure and spin, so I will be doing this one by pure intellectualization. Which is much harder than doing them by feel, but thanks to my own stubborn that I have developed the skills to bull through on brains and brawn when instinct fails. We're still on target to have this sucker done by the deadline, for which I feel an enormous sense of relief.

In other news:

Bad news: I think the washer as well as the dryer is kaput. It's started making fairly dramatic banging noises on the spin cycle. Which means it's unusable, and we'll have to have somebody out to look at them and see if they can be fixed, but:

Good news: I just heard from [livejournal.com profile] arcaedia that my signing payment for The Steles of the Sky is in house, which will come in exceedingly handy given (a) above. Also, I need to get the fan in my car fixed before it comes through the dashboard, and I have a whole bunch of bills to pay, which means:

Bad news: most of the paycheck is going to that. Alas! However:

Good news: Chill will be coming out soon, which means I will get paid for that, and for delivering Grail, and for Bone and Jewel Creatures, and The White City, so the long lean time of 2009 is finally coming to an end (I hope). Unfortunately, this means that:

Bad news: I really need to get off my ass and talk to an accountant. Add another thing to the to-do list. (I really, really wish I could afford to hire a part-time personal assistant. I badly need one, currently, for about three tasks that keep getting away from me. One of which is updating my *&^(&%^* website, since my Web Ghoul ran off and got other work.) However, in

Good news: Initial reviews of Chill are very good, thank you! From Publishers Weekly ([livejournal.com profile] pnh, no apostrophe, just for you)

Chill (available February 23, according to Amazon. Yes, this is how I find out these things. Oh, the glamour!)
Elizabeth Bear Spectra, $7.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-553-59108-8

Having survived the events of 2007’s Dust, the crew of the generation starship Jacob’s Ladder, marooned for centuries, find themselves once more racing though space. Unfortunately, the ship is badly damaged, large sections are out of communication with the central computer, and the highly augmented Exalt who rule the ship and its merely human occupants have lost the knowledge of how to select a destination. Antagonist Arianrhod is still alive, free, and a potential threat. Dealing with these problems involves epic journeys across a massive, poorly mapped spacecraft and confrontations with forgotten and suppressed relics of the past. Bear enhances the usual generation ship themes—social amnesia, decaying infrastructure, and mission-threatening grand calamities—with enough new flourishes, including a biotechnology-based class system and cruel experiments based on misapprehensions of Darwin, to keep readers happily engaged. (Mar.)


And then, this isn't about me, but--

Bad news indeed: Dressage mare Blue Hors Matinee has been euthanized after a paddock accident. That breaks my heart.

However, for countervaling good news, I bring you John Barrowman pogoing in heels



matociquala: (hustle micket con is on)
20090406morning temperature: -1 (with wind chill), 8 without
tea today: bancha. I awoke headache-free this morning, and am declaring myself sufficiently detoxed, though I'm going to stay off the hard stuff for a while.
teacup today: a very pretty brown Chinese-style tea bowl my dad sent me from North Carolina.  It's slightly larger than a cannonical Chinese teacup, but smaller (though deeper) than a custard cup.

Still no fever, but the sore throat persists. I believe it to be the source of the cough rather than otherwise. No fever (99 degrees fresh out of a hot shower this morning) and no swollen tonsils. I did have a lymph node that was a bit poky-outy on Monday; suspect it was fighting a rearguard action against the virus. Poor noble lymph node. You will be recollected in the annals. (Mentioned In Dispatches. *g*)

Today, I still have no brain for storytelling, so I am going to work on my book review columns, which means trying to find something to read in this pile of somewhat scary books with naked backs and slave collar imagery that doesn't bounce off the nearest available wall inside of ten pages. Wish me luck.

In other news, a little link salad for a Friday morning:

Monster fireball dominates Geminid sky--a really spectacular APOD today. One of the few things I miss about Nevada is the stargazing. It's pretty much a wash out here. You can find places that are dark enough, but... actually getting a clear night in Winter?

via [livejournal.com profile] jaylake

Titan has lakes! eeeeeee!

One of my earliest memories is reading National Geographic with my maternal grandfather. He was a plumber and an immigrant, self-educated, and passionately interested in science and the natural world. I got my habit of reading encyclopedias from him. he never thought it was weird.

When I was just about knee-sitting sized, the Voyagers were passing the gas giants. And NG was full of amazing photos. I know this stuff is everyday, now. But back then... we'd never seen anything like it.

It still gives me a little tight feeling in my chest to see something like a lake on another goddamned planet.

We are tidal beings. In this case, that tide is galactic....

and via [livejournal.com profile] hominysnark:


...I'm kind of in love.

And this? This is hysterical. And so NSFW:

matociquala: (comic tick ninjas hedge)
Some link salad to pass the time:

Stalin's Falcons--female fighter and bomber pilots in WWII.

Justine Musk on why limits are interesting in fiction.

Very nifty Youtube video:



featuring enthusiastic scientists.
matociquala: (wicked fairy bowie)
And speaking of catwaxing, here's some Saturday morning link salad.

[livejournal.com profile] calanthe_b reminds you that asexual people exist.

Making Light reminds you that crazy desperate people will say some shit that just ain't so. (wrt healthcare issues)

[livejournal.com profile] oursin has a few things to say about the same.

[livejournal.com profile] annafdd on treating authoritarianism and hate with compassion. 



Man, in the past three weeks, I have gone from "I need to get in for my eye appointment" to "My God, I need a new prescription." It's amazing how fast that can happen. It's like there's a threshold you pass over, from "yep, these glasses are a year old" to "I can't see shit."

Well, it will have to wait for the Bantam delivery check to clear or some other money to wander through the door, because until it does, I am broke like a broke thing. And typing with one eye closed....
matociquala: (problem cat)
Slapfight watch:

Evil crochet: http://is.gd/1R5DW
Evil fantasy: http://is.gd/1R5Mc
Evil crime fiction: http://is.gd/1R5Qt   
Evil gaming companies: http://scott-lynch.livejournal.com/236345.html

...oh, wait. The gaming company actually is being evil.

Yep. We're ridiculous.

but [livejournal.com profile] dichroic wrote a good poem, and [livejournal.com profile] hermetic wrote an awesome essay. They're good and you should read them.
matociquala: (writing gorey earbrass unspeakable horro)
Link salad:

[livejournal.com profile] rezendi went to Ciudad Perdida and all he brought back was these amazing photographs.

METAtropolis is out.



John Scalzi has all the reasons you might find it, you know, cool.

I personally like reason #3:

3. Because this collection of stories — of a future in which economic and environmental declines have changed the very nature of what cities are – has a topic which is excruciatingly perfect for the moment, don’t you think? I mean, hey: Economic turmoil, countries on the brink, Iceland selling its children for cash on the barrelhead to buy Purina Viking Chow — who could have predicted? Well, we could have. We did. It’s all right here. And you ask, well, if you predicted it, why didn’t you do anything about it? Well, you know. We’re writers. What are we going to do, prop up the global economy with the change in our pockets? Hey, we need that for the Styrofoam vat of cheap convenience store coffee we use to make it through the day. And anyway, we did do something. We wrote these stories. Everything you need to know to survive the next, oh, 70 years is in this audio anthology. And if it’s not, at the end of those 70 years, you come see me and I’ll personally give you a refund. You’re welcome.
Yes, it really is that timely!

And also, since we're being self-serving today, some reviews for All the Windwracked Stars are up on its web page,  courtesy of the Web Ghoul.

link salad

Sep. 30th, 2008 11:34 am
matociquala: (muppetology need bears fozzie & kermit)
Via [livejournal.com profile] theninth, Ernie repairs Burt's TV, with bonus commentary on the television producers...



I've been looking for a youtube of my favorite Muppets Moment, which is Kermit drinking milk in the first season of the Muppet Show, but the youtubers seem not to love it as I do.

Via Making Light, whence come so many good things, a Twitter scanner compiling US election-related tweets.

John Scalzi writes about why he should write about politics.

The most alien-looking place on Earth: Socotra Island. (via [livejournal.com profile] marthawells)

Keith Olbermann names "Worst Persons in the world." Extremely funny.
matociquala: (comic tick ninjas hedge)
Well, I'm sure by now everybody's seen The Buffybot exploding on Katie Couric (And Katie, looking rather like a stunned mullet in her reaction shots--or maybe like a spliced-in Saturday Night Live regular). And I'm also reasonably sure we've all seen David Letterman and Keith Olbermann taking Sen. McCain apart by inches. "The road to the white house runs right through me." That is not all that much of an exaggeration.

Man, he's Letterman. There are people you do not fuck with.

In local news, we have a lull before the storm. Still too soon to tell which way Kyle is tracking or if it will make hurricane status, but we're sitting tight and enjoying mist and a break in the weather.

And local Connecticut boy, actor and philanthropist Paul Newman has died at the age of 83. Bye, Butch. We'll miss you.
matociquala: (spies mfu geekier than the average spy)
In September, with a sigh,
While the end of the world is nigh,
I will make link-salad-y pie
Happy once, happy twice
Happy link salad with rice



Guidelines for the Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Contest

Now in its eighth year. We seek the best humor poem that has been sent to a "vanity poetry contest" as a joke. Cash prizes totaling $3,336.40 will be awarded. This contest is free to enter.



The Dicktionary.

Yes, it's a web page collecting and collating euphemisms for "penis." NSFW, it goes without saying.



John McCain, the Dark Knight. With bonus pics of Barack Obama in a bikini swim trunks. No high powered weapons, however.



Marie Brennan on the path from apprentice to journeyman, and beyond.



Yankee ingenuity:

...it only follows that the Connecticut for Lieberman Party would be squarely for McCain, right?

Wrong.

It's not even for Lieberman.




(384 miles to Rauros.)
matociquala: (shotgun spies avengers emma)
Link Salad (links collected from various open tabs, and I did not keep track of where I got them: apologies):

Sleep among the tetrapods. (With bonus slumbering elephants)

[livejournal.com profile] shadowhelm has 15 techniques for good writing habits.

The Eccleston/Izzard/Jacobi version of Middleton's Revenger's Tragedy. Craaaaaaaaaaaaack. (Although I had to watch it with subtitles on, because dude, Christopher, swallow the dialogue much?

Planet possibly imaged around a sunlike star.

David Foster Wallace, as most of you already know, is dead, the victim of an apparent suicide. A great sadness, of course, though I wonder if to him it came as a relief. His brilliance will be missed.



I'm starting to get itchy to be at work again, which is sort of nice. I hope it holds out after VP.

And that it brings some ideas with it fairly soon.







matociquala: (tea)
One of the most entertaining things about being a citizen of the 21st century is navigating the enormous internet culture devoted to discussing how people are doing stuff wrong.

Things people are doing wrong today include Reviewing SFF* and Writing SFF** and Selling SFF***.



*(It's sort of refreshing that the reviewers have slapfights too.)
**(I have great respect for the fortitude of anybody who writes a story that demands it be set in a culture not their own, and who makes an honest attempt to get it right. Because while this sort of criticism is necessary and useful, it also fills me with absolute dread.)
***(I totally support this idea of pre-emptively wandering into Borders and asking for--nay, demanding--Toby and Greg's books.)
matociquala: (muppetology beaker meep meep)
Somebody please explain to my meat that I ate all the food in the world yesterday, and it doesn't need to wake me up complaining of hunger today?

No?

Okay, apparently it does.

First, obselfpromo (not pomo, or porno, both of which have recently come up in various places... bad choice of words, Bear!)--

1) my Storytellersunplugged column for September is up. It is entitled "Your genius (sung or otherwise)."

2) Publishers Weekly review of All the Windwracked Stars which is, er, starred as well. Woot!

All the Windwracked Stars
Elizabeth Bear. Tor, $24.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1882-4

Hugo winner Bear (Undertow) perfectly captures the essence of faded hopes and exhausted melancholy in this postapocalyptic melodrama based loosely upon Norse mythology. On the Last Day, the historian Muire fled the battle, leaving her sibling Valkyries to die. More than 2,300 years later, only a single city, Eiledon, has survived as the dying world slowly turns into ice. Ashamed of her cowardice, Muire now vows to keep the last humans safe, but as she slowly pieces together the horrific truth behind the magic that has kept Eiledon standing, she must decide whether it's worth the price. Readers will be captivated by Bear's incredibly complex, broken characters; multilayered themes of redemption; and haunting, world-breaking decisions. While stilted prose slows the beginning of the tale, its finale is both rewarding and compelling. (Nov.)
I'm going to call that an unqualified win, even the "Hey, we have to say something critical" bit at the end.


The news from the real world, of course, is much worse, and Hurricane Ike is going to plaster the already-quite-sufficiently-plastered-thank-you islands of Cuba and the Bahamas as a potential category IV. Here's that Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Fronteires donation page one more time...



q. What's the difference between Sarah Palin and Dan Quayle?
a. Lipstick.




Seriously, guys.

Yes, I'm a feminist.

Yes, in general, I will vote for an equally qualified woman, queer person, or person of color over the same version in straight white male (I consider it affirmative action; if you'd like to call it racism or sexism, I'm pretty much okay with that at this juncture--and I figure I'm counterbalanced by plenty of people who will go the other way--so you needn't come blast me for it in comments.) Yes, I voted for Clinton, H. in the primaries.

But I voted for her because she was a woman and all that, not because she's a woman. Contrary to the apparent opinion of the republican party, I do not actually do whatever my ovaries tell me to do. (Ongoing commentary about The Electric Company's fixation on Morgan Freeman in the bathtub notwithstanding. Um, I'm sorry. Where were we?)




If you were thinking of not voting this year, I'd ask you to reconsider. If you can't see your way clear to doing it for yourself, do it for me!

*g* I'm only (nearly) 37; I could be living in this country for another thirty years. (Fifty, if we get a decent healthcare system.)

Further to politics before I drop the topic for a while, I take back all the mean things I said about Joe Biden:



"I wasn't around when Harry Truman was around." Ooo, snap.




So last night, in between playing with the broken version of the Creature Creator, I wound up revising the hasty climax I had keyboarded to finish "Smoke and Mirrors," and fleshing it out a little, to the tune of 230 more words. (Since it was after midnight, I'm counting it as today's words.)

My wordcount for the year is now 182,722, which does not count Internet Words, as I don't log those. While that's still not a particularly good year, it's improving on the wasteland of productivity I had going on for the first quarter. What I have done so far this year (including collaborations), not counting nonfiction:

Finished:

"Your Collar"
"Overkill"
"Ballistic"
"Wind-Up Boogeyman"
"Smoke and Mirrors"
"The Red in the Sky is Our Blood"
Bone & Jewel Creatures
Seven for a Secret


In Progress:

"Smile"
Chill
"The Tricks of London"
"Mongoose"

Various Shadow Unit extras

So, yeah, not one of my best years. But all things considered, it could be worse.



And at the last, in news that I know will interest some of my flist:

VIENNA (Reuters) - Two women have made history at Vienna's Spanish Riding School by becoming the first female riders to pass the entrance exam in 436 years.

Good on you, ladies.
matociquala: (twain & tesla)
1) Infoworld article on a security exploit for Firefox 2.0. Sadly, upgrading to 3.0 lost me my snap links.

2) Nine hundred thousand pounds... of bananas.

3) In Shoreditch, archaeologists unearth what seems likely to be the remains of The Theatre. (This is the Burbage's original playhouse, which was pulled down after a lease dispute, the timbers then being used to construct its more famous offspring, The Globe, on the opposite bank of the Thames.)

4) My monthly article at Storytellers Unplugged, which is (this time) on self-promotion.

5) Due to the incredible coolness of the fan community, the Shadow Unit Wiki is full of spoilery and speculaty goodness.



Right. Time to get that last pile of books out the door. By the way, if you ordered books, and you get your books, and I screwed something up, please let me know and I will fix it to the best of my ability.
matociquala: (lion in winter fall is all)
1) Franz Kafka's pr0n

2) Warren Ellis on the seemingly moribund SFF print magazine marketplace.

2.5) John Klima asks who's reading short fiction, anyway? (I have a theory. I think SFF short fiction is turning into a club scene, hothouse, by writers for writers. I think it serves an important purpose as that club scene. But I'm not sure how many non-writer readers it attracts anymore. This is the film festival stuff.)

3) Lis Riba on feminist perspectives on Mamma Mia! and the Female Gaze.

4) Emma Bull on Scenic (and stubborn) Horses.

5) My Clarkesworld story "Orm the Beautiful" is nominated for a WSFA Small Press Award, along with stories by Jeff VanderMeer, Erik Amundsen, Tom Doyle, John Kratman, and Ken Pick and Alan Loewen. "The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association (www.wsfa.org) and will be presented at their annual convention, Capclave (www.capclave.org), held this year on October 17-19 in Rockville, Maryland. "

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