February is usually my worst month — the weather’s still horrible, there’s no sign of crocuses yet, and it’s hard to remember that spring might still exist. But for some reason, this February has been full of awesome things like Boskone and, now, news about steampunk.
“A Serpent in the Gears” has sold as a reprint to Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s Steampunk Reloaded anthology, coming out from Tachyon Press in October.
A look at the Table of Contents shows that this is going to be one fantastic anthology — there’s original art, new fiction, “A Secret History of Steampunk,” a novelette from 1869, nonfiction (ooo…steampunk maker essay…oooo…), and stories from a lot of great writers.
This looks absolutely awesome, and I’m honored to have a story in it. (Also, on a shallower note, damn that’s a pretty cover.)
(How do you reload a serpent, anyway? …never mind, shouldn’t post before I have coffee.)
That may have been the most uniformly enjoyable Boskone I’ve ever been to. Maybe it’s because I remembered to actually head home and sleep, maybe it was just a change in my attitude this year, but I had a blast. Every panel I was on was fantastic — the Heroine’s Journey absolutely rocked — and everyone I talked to was charming and fun and fascinating. Yeah, I probably sound like Pollyanna, but damn, I had a great time.
After all that, I didn’t even crash and sleep for fourteen hours as I often do after cons, so maybe this whole “get appropriate amounts of sleep” thing is the right way to go about it. Instead I came home, worked on the short story that’s taking up time between the drafts, attempted a new recipe and succeeded, and utterly failed to get out of Ravenholm (but I know what I did wrong! stupid zombies).
And now it’s snowing outside, the short story’s almost done — the crummy first draft, anyway — and I have new books to read. Soon I’ll even have coffee.
I’ll be at Boskone this coming weekend, and with any luck I’ll be a little less frazzled than I was at Arisia. (Although if I’m entertainingly frazzled, then that’s fine too.) Here’s my schedule for the con:
Friday, 8pm: Biblical Themes and Religion in Genre Fiction
OK, the Bible is full of some really fabulous stories, and a lot of people are familiar with it, so there’s resonance in the well of souls. What other reasons propel writers back to those tales? And what about the Koran and the Torah—do they not also have fabulous stories? Give example of great SF/Fantasy that have used Biblical and religious themes (Because there are never enough books to read…)
Jeffrey A. Carver (M), Walter H. Hunt, Dani Kollin, Steven Popkes, Margaret Ronald
Saturday, 3pm: The Heroine’s Journey
We’ve got a whole book and academic sub-genre dedicated to the hero’s journey and its mythic importance in our culture (thank you, Joseph Campbell!) As usual, they left out the girls. Is the heroine’s journey different from that of the hero? If so, in what ways and why? (Is the differentiation embodied in those two terms even germane any longer?)
Lois McMaster Bujold, Greer Gilman, Rosemary Kirstein (M), Margaret Ronald, Jo Walton
Sunday, 9:30am: Reading
(I’ll see if I can arrange coffee for anyone who shows up.)
Sunday, 1pm: Why Adults Love YA
Are grown-ups just trying to recapture their mispent youth, or is there something either more compelling about this kind of fiction? If so, what?
Bruce Coville, Michael J. Daley (M), Sarah Beth Durst, Margaret Ronald, Navah Wolfe
As usual, I’m way over my head. But the last few times that’s happened, I’ve had a lot of fun, so we’ll see how it works out this time. Hope to see you there!
Phew. I just finished the manuscript of the third book and sent it away to my editor, and I’m now in the “wandering around the house staring vaguely at spots on the wall” stage of writing. I hope I’ll be blogging (and updating this site! finally!) more in the next couple of weeks. For now, I’m going to tinker with a few short stories, maybe explore a little more in different worlds, and, uh, play lots of video games. (City 17 is mine! Or would be, if I weren’t so bad at this game.)
In the meantime, I’ve got a post up at the Magic District sparked by the recent Macmillan/Amazon conflict. Those of you who are writers or who read writers’ blogs probably know far too much already; those of you who don’t, Rachel Aaron’s post at the Magic District sums up some of it, and I’ve got a few more links in today’s post. While there’s a lot to be discussed about the whole mess, I’m concentrating on one small part, namely what makes readers pay more for books. I know my purchasing patterns don’t make much sense, but I suspect there are some factors that come into play for most of us. Take a look, and let me know what you think.