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inverarity posted to fantasywithbite July 24 2014, 01:49

Wakulla Springs, by Andy Duncan and Ellen Kages

A multi-generational, literary tale of Hollywood monsters and Jim Crow.

Wakulla Springs

Tor, 2013, 99 pages. Available online at tor.com.

Wakulla Springs. A strange and unknown world, this secret treasure lies hidden in the jungle of northern Florida. In its unfathomable depths, a variety of curious creatures have left a record of their coming, of their struggle to survive, and of their eventual end. Twenty-five thousand years after they disappeared from the face of the Earth, the bones of prehistoric mastodons, giant armadillos, and other primeval monsters have been found beneath the seemingly placid surface of the lagoon. The visitor to this magical place enters a timeless world of mystery.

A dreamy, magical piece of historical fiction...but is it fantasy?

My complete list of book reviews.
desperance July 23 2014, 23:29

Smoke gets in your pork*

I should be typing up more of the thousand-and-one corrections, but I'm not. Instead I have lit the barbecue and cracked my first beer of a gorgeously sunny day (yes, yes, they're all gorgeously sunny around here, but what's your point? - just because it doesn't stand out, doesn't mean it don't deserve notice and applause; everybody has won, and all must have prizes). There's a hunk of pork smeared with my patent smear (ketchup, cider vinegar, dry mustard, cayenne, hot smoked paprika) and sinking slowly into the smoky heat of the grill; there's a sourdough loaf rising, and also a batch of sesame seed buns; there will be beans (from the freezer, labelled "Beans"; I know nothing more) and kale-and-mushrooms-and-dried-cherries, which is almost a recipe, almost. I was going to make a fruit tart as well, but I'm not now, because everything is behindhand and stuff.

And I should be typing up yadda yadda, but I'm not: so allow me instead to yell "Sale!" in yer delicate lug-'oles. Thanks to m'wife's insistence and Jaym's patience (I may have run a little late, and a little long), my story "Afterparty: or, Not Out Of The Woods" will be appearing in Genius Loci, edited by Jaym Gates, published by Ragnarok, financed through Kickstarter. I may have mentioned this story en passant before, as being the first Quin story not to feature Quin, and therefore possibly the last Quin story ever. Possibly. But what I'm really excited about is that table of contents: here is a great passel of friends and awesome writers, with whom I have never before shared covers. Look, there's Andy Duncan! And Laura Anne, and that Seanan, and sovay, and @geardrops ("Glasses!"), and and and...

Oh, and. While I'm posting, I have neglectfully failed to post this. What is this, you ask? This is the cover by Mark J Ferrari for my forthcoming short novel, Being Small. Which will be out next month. Next month!


*Not a euphemism, no. What?
cmpriest July 23 2014, 22:46

I'd walk away like a movie star

Here's today's progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3191 (good)
    Present total word count: 111,348

    Things accomplished in fiction: Part one of a two-part climax. That's all you need to know. MWOOHAHAHAHA.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; several rounds of laundry, including bedding; various assorted bits of housework; Writer Business emails and so forth. Really, I'm just trying to power through and get to the end of this thing before the week's out.

    Other: I suppose it goes without saying that this draft is going to run longer than 110,000 words. I'm guessing it'll be more like 115,000 , so I'm adjusting the bar accordingly.

    Critter-Related Other: Today I discovered a new finch nest! Or rather...it's not half so new as I thought, because it has at least one half-grown fluffy baby bird in it (two, I think - but I'm not sure). And this nest is right under the kitchen window, sitting in the holly shrub just a couple of feet from where I wash dishes. I have no earthly idea how I'm only just now noticing it, but it's very cute and I'm glad that the little one(s) seem(s) to be doing well. No pictures, alas. I can't snap one without disturbing them, and I'm not willing to do that.

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 144,341
mizkit July 23 2014, 19:01

5 things make a post

Thing One: gemmafade_teaser Val is working hard on the GEMMA FADE pages, and gave me permission to post a teaser page. :) I tell you, sending a script out and getting drawings back is one of the niftiest things EVER. :)

Thing Two: A link to some fudge. Just in case you need some. :)

Thing Three: The STONE’S THROE copy edits have been delivered! Soon! SOOOOOOOOOOON! a pulp fiction novel by yours truly will be available to readers everywhere! :)

Thing Four: This is a truly terrific fanvid to Nicki Minoj’s Starship. Really honestly terrific, go watch it.

Thing Five: I’m starving and gonna go find something to eat. (Look, I didn’t say they were 5 *scintillating* things, did I? No!)

Share this:

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

nihilistic_kid July 23 2014, 18:02

Next up, Telegenic Dead Authors

The Amazon/Hachette conflict continues, and Amazon needs to get some better PR people:

When PW contacted Amazon about the conversation, a spokesperson for the company said: "You have to look at the parent company--Lagardère Group--rather than just the Hachette division. Kindle books are only 1% of Lagardère Group's sales. They can afford it, and should stop using their authors as human shields."

Human shields! Two notable elements here:

1. Amazon has adopted the language of military propaganda.

2. In doing so, Amazon admits implicitly that it considers itself to be a. at war with Hachette and b. the larger more powerful antagonist in an asymmetrical battle.
wolven July 23 2014, 16:37

Dreams and thoughts.

Dreams the past few nights were of opalblack coming to visit me and Kirsten. Very nice visit. Dreamed of an argument in a library/city council chamber between myself and a woman who was arguing rights not just for non-human persons, not just for non-biological consciousnesses, but for all things. And it was a weird debate, because we agreed on end goals and some terminology, and I regarded her as a great ally and friend, but her use of the term "Thing" as a descriptor for a subject--that is, a seat of experience, a perspective--really rankled me. I found it "depersonalizing," "objectifying," etc., in senses more literal than they'd ever been before.

I spent most of yesterday thinking about those dreams. Thinking about what it means, to me, if a collection or a seat of consciousness wants to make the choice to self-identify as an object; about whether that can be an act of rebellion and subversion, in the same way that monster girls and the reclaimation of various terms in various communities have given the sharp edge and fire backk into those communities' hands. Will there one day be the machine consciousness equivalent of a Quentin Quire who demands that you call it... "It?" "Thing?" "Robot?" Because it make you uncomfortable? Because it wants you to at all times be mindful of the history of our words and interactions?

I still don't have a full answer for this.

Last night I dreamed that I was wandering DC, in a weirdly unknown quantity. My family was aware I was there, but no one was available. I ended up walking old streets, learning new things about how the city's changed. In one part, there was a new train/trolley/light rail system ('Snowpiercer' echoes; go see 'Snowpiercer'), and I spent a lot of time moving through it and using it, for reasons now escaping memory. Using new magnetic stripe systems, walking down up the escalators--but they were only up at the halfway point; until then they were just stairs--etc.

Something about all of my Atlanta friends being in the DC train stations, traveling in various directions to new and different places. Something about a corndog stand in the station, and people insisting that I needed to eat. I got something, some kind of comfort food. Jumbled bits followed:

An old man--former spymaster, magician, something; shades of 'Now You See Me'--selecting me and another woman to show the secret paths he had crafted underground, to teach us mysteries. Something about a foe of his he'd turned into a fruit fly and trapped in a bar of pressed fruit paste. We had to kill the foe for the deed to his empire. I don't think we ever definitively killed him. Something about a family in tears on the platform walkway, because their very young baby had died. I stopped to watch this, and I mentioned something to the man holding the child's head (still attached, just he was cradling the head), about where to put pressure. Shortly, the child came back to life.
Dense dreams.
samhain_news July 23 2014, 13:23

Author Spotlight: Romancing the Geek



Get What You Need by Jeanette GreyI’ve never made any secret of the fact that I love a good geeky hero. Sure, geeks can be portrayed as ungainly and unbearably awkward on TV sometimes, but they have so much potential. They’re smart. They’re witty. They’re passionate about what they do.

And most importantly, they’re layered.

Perhaps my favorite thing about a really good, compelling geeky hero is the mixture of confidence and insecurity. This is a sweeping generalization, but I tend to think of geeks as being masters of their fields. They’ve always been good at their chosen areas of expertise, and when they’re in their domain, they own the playing field. Take them out of that comfort zone, though? Instant vulnerability as they’re forced to contend with things they can’t control.

Take a social situation, for example. While there’s nothing saying a geek can’t have a rich social life, buried at the heart of every one of them, I like to imagine there’s a kernel of the kid who didn’t get picked for the kickball team back in second grade. Being different from their peers has always set them apart, and it informs everything they do, even as relatively well-adjusted adults.

Greg London, the hero of my new book, Get What You Need, is a geek, through and through. He’s a graduate student in engineering, and he typifies this confident/insecure dichotomy. He’s always been good at school work, and he’s thrown himself into his studies with abandon. Anyone on the outside who looks at him would see a successful, driven young man. His housemate, undergraduate jock Marshall Sulkowski sure does.

But when Marsh comes onto him, Greg is paralyzed by that part of him that’s still a seven year-old boy with glasses, desperate not to be the last person chosen for a team in gym class. He thinks he’s boring, and that the glasses Marsh frankly finds dead sexy are ugly and unsightly on him. His unwillingness to believe that attractive, self-assured, popular Marsh could really want a relationship with him is one of the things that sets them off on a rocky trajectory together.

Throw in the fact that he’s a work-a-holic with communication issues?

Well, let’s just say that it’s a damn good thing Marsh sees what a brilliant, amazing person lives inside this geek.

And it turns out that Marsh is just the man to help bring that geek out of his shell and show him he’s deserving of love, sex, happiness, and so much more.

Get What You Need blurb:

Love isn’t rocket science. It’s much, much harder.

Determination and elbow grease propelled Greg London from blue-collar background to Ph.D. candidate. His single-mindedness doesn’t leave a lot of room for a personal life, but that’s the price of success. Besides, it’s not like the boring nerd ever ends up with the hot guy.

Then his housemate, gorgeous undergraduate jock Marshall Sulkowski, invites him to watch a movie. In his room. Side by side on his bed. Needless to say, the sexual tension is wreaking havoc with Greg’s focus.

Marsh seems to have it all—looks, charm, and a baseball scholarship to a great school. In reality, his father’s cut him off, and he’s floundering and desperate for a break.

One impulsive kiss leads to a red-hot affair that gets them a little bit of what they need to stay afloat. But as the end of the semester approaches and the pressure rises, Marsh realizes charm may have gotten him into his brilliant lover’s pants, but he’ll have to dig deeper to discover what they both need.

Product Warnings: Contains housemates falling into bed with each other, a geek who needs a break, and a jock who doesn’t know his own worth. Also, vague science and explicit m/m sex.


Grab your copy of Get What You Need today, and find out more about Jeanette Grey at her website, or by following her on Twitter or liking her on Facebook.

suricattus July 23 2014, 11:08

The day after the new book comes out...

You start to haunt your google ego-search and Goodreads, hoping to hear nice things and cringing against the thought of bad things...

(this stage, for me, lasts about two-three days. But it's a painful few days...)

Fortunately, the first review I saw of DOGHOUSE was here

"The witty banter between characters Tonica and Ginny and the interaction between Penny and Georgie keep the reader engaged as they proceed to solve the case of the evicted boxer. Kornetsky spotlights the cruelty of animal abuse and those that profit from it in this thought-provoking mystery. Love it!" (4 stars)
- Single Title Reviews

*melts in puddle of relief*

(there will eventually be less-happy reviews, because there always are - you can't write the book EVERYONE wants.  But every happy reader or reviewer rebuilds the confidence that waiting burns out of you...  So, yanno...if you read it and liked it, dropping a line on Goodreads or Amazon would be a lovely gift in return.  For me, and for every writer you like.)
calendula_witch July 23 2014, 05:48

The Latest

By happy coincidence, Madame Reverend E, who we just visited in Seattle two days ago, had business in Portland today so now she is visiting us. And we enjoyed a FEAST at Bamboo Sushi, including an Interesting Cocktail.
Interesting Cocktail

Before the festivities, we’ve just been working along–book covers (Mark), Our Lady final edits and freelance work (me), wedding business (both of us).

Oh and gardening of course. Always gardening. Our first dahlias are blooming! I’ll try and get a picture tomorrow. Today it actually rained a little, and a few transformers blew in the neighborhood–we could hear them, and the lights flickered off and on several times, though there wasn’t lightning or anything.

And speaking of the lights, pretty much most of my old-style light bulbs have gone by now. Fortunately, most of them didn’t actually blow up and shatter glass everywhere…but some did. The new compact fluorescents, thus far, haven’t. ::fingers crossed:: I wish I knew what was going on with the electricity in this house….

Originally published at Shannon Page. You can comment here or there.

desperance July 23 2014, 02:01

The young visiter

"There's a little baby fledgling bird hanging out on the patio, and I don't know what to do..."


The domestic consensus is that we should do nothing: not interfere, certainly not handle it. It may just be hangin' out after a long flutter. And if it is the child of mockingbirds, then at least one of its parents knows exactly where it is, because the bloody bird has not stopped making a ruckus all around our yard. It even threatened me this morning (tho' I do not think the baby was there this morning; I think I would have noticed), never mind the poor cats who wander through.

I dunno; of course I dunno, what do I know? We'll see. If you want to bubble over with advices, feel free - but as soon as two advisors start contradicting each other, I shall stop listening, because elves.

[Update: and it's gone, five minutes later. Yay! I wish I'd stayed to watch, but alas, I had to post...]
jimhines July 23 2014, 01:06

WisCon, Harassment, and Rehabilitation

On Friday, WisCon posted a statement that read in part:

The WisCon committee has completed our harassment review process with regard to Jim Frenkel, who engaged in two reported violations of WisCon’s general and harassment policies at WisCon 37, in 2013 … WisCon will (provisionally) not allow Jim Frenkel to return for a period of four years (until after WisCon 42 in 2018). This is “provisional” because if Jim Frenkel chooses to present substantive, grounded evidence of behavioral and attitude improvement between the end of WisCon 39 in 2015 and the end of the four-year provisional period, WisCon will entertain that evidence. We will also take into account any reports of continued problematic behavior.

Natalie Luhrs has posted a roundup of some reactions. There’s a great deal of anger and frustration over poor communications, procedural failures, and more. I’m still reading, but my initial reaction is that the whole thing has been a mess that went rolling down a hill of mistakes, snowballing into a giant boulder of crap.

I’m still catching up on the conversation, and a lot of people have weighed in more thoughtfully and eloquently than I could. (See Natalie’s roundup for links.) One thing I wanted to talk about, however, was the “provisional” aspect of WisCon’s statement. Because my initial gut-level reaction was that it seemed reasonable to allow for the possibility of growth and change.

A little while back, I responded to an article titled, “The Naive Idiocy of Teaching Rapists Not to Rape.” The thing is, rapists can learn not to rape. People can and do change, especially when they’re confronted with consequences and forced to look at their own actions.

I’ve worked with college students, mostly men, in an early intervention program where we tried to help people recognize and change their own aggressive, boundary-crossing, harassing behaviors. I’ve sat in on batterer’s groups. I’ve spoken with pedophiles after their release from jail. My wife has designed and run domestic violence groups. My father spent much of his life working with juvenile offenders who had committed assault, robbery, rape, and more.

People can change. It’s kind of a no-brainer. Our behavior changes throughout our lifetime. We learn new habits, new values, and new choices. I’ve said and done things in the past that I wouldn’t dream of doing today, because I’ve learned better. We all have.

Does that mean all rapists and harassers will come to see the error of their ways if we only give them another chance? Of course not. Some people go right back to the same pattern of hostile behavior. But others can and do come to recognize the harm they’ve done to others, and find a new path.

I believe very strongly that there should be consequences for our actions. But I also believe in education and rehabilitation.

I don’t know if Jim Frenkel will ever truly accept responsibility for what he’s done, or if he’ll change a pattern of harassing behavior that goes back decades. He seemed genuinely remorseful when he spoke to me about this several years ago, but his behaviors didn’t change.

I hope this time is different. I hope the consequences of his loss of employment and being banned from his local convention force him to confront his choices, and that he comes out a better man.

The problem is when we choose to make his growth and change more important than the safety and security of his victims and potential victims.

When you’ve wronged someone and they throw you out of their life, you don’t get to force your way back in to prove that you’ve changed. You don’t get to violate their boundaries because you want to apologize. If the wronged party chooses to forgive and to allow you back into their lives, that’s one thing. If they choose not to, then you need to accept that loss as a consequence of your actions.

WisCon banned a known serial harasser on a relatively short-term “provisional” basis. While I share the same philosophical hope and belief for change, they’ve taken the choice away from his victims.

WisCon is not a judicial body. They are not a rehabilitation program. In my opinion, they are not qualified to judge the sincerity of serial harassers, many of whom have spent years or decades learning to hide their behavior behind the mask of the “nice guy.” Their job is to investigate complaints, and when those complaints are found to be valid, to take steps to protect their membership.

Protection for Frenkel came in the form of WisCon’s investigation process. I believe every complaint should be investigated and decided based on evidence and testimony. In this case, there have been multiple people reporting incidents, with multiple witnesses backing them up. According to the WisCon Harassment Policy, Frenkel also has the right to appeal the decision. Again, I think that’s reasonable.

But throughout this process, despite what I believe to be the best of intentions in a difficult and ugly situation, WisCon has failed to protect its members.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

cmpriest July 22 2014, 23:07

Get a little bit suburban and go crazy

Here's today's progress on my witchy art-deco horror novel about Lizzie Borden thirty years after her parents' deaths - now featuring ghosts and non-ghosts alike, anti-Catholic conspiracy nuts, supernatural political shenanigans, the mafia, and a Bonus! space-worshiping murder cult hiding behind the KKK:

    Project: Chapelwood
    Deadline: October 1, 2014
    New words written: 3459 (good)
    Present total word count: 108,057

    Things accomplished in fiction: Well, some of us have escaped the castle. Sort of.

    Things accomplished in real life: Neighborhood jaunt with dog; visit from the pest-control guys that took all day; found cool old thing buried in the yard; some business email-type-stuff.

    Pest Control Other: So this is apparently a banner year for "Norway Rats." The whole neighborhood seems overrun with them, and Mr. Stubbs is hard-pressed to keep up with them. Mind you, I have zero interest in trapping/poisoning them; I just don't want them trying to chew their way through my walls. Wall-chewing violates the spirit of our original agreement, to wit: "You stay out of the house, and I'll pretend you don't exist." So today we had a team of pest-control folks seal out our cellar/crawlspace (to the best of human ability), and treat the attic with a special insulation that will persuade them (and their squirrelly friends) to hang out elsewhere. Or so it is to be hoped.*

    Four-Footed Other: Greyson was bereft because I wouldn't let him go hang out with the pest-control guys while they were working, so we had to temporarily deploy the baby gate. It's a tiny baby gate; he could step over it without even stretching his legs. But bless his heart, he's almost comically respectful of boundaries. And later on, the guys played chase with him in the yard, so all was forgiven.

    Assorted Other: While wandering the house's exterior and getting general updates on the "exclusion" treatment ... I spotted something tangled in the roots of a tree. This something was a 2-oz. bottle with a glass rod (and its rubber stopper) stuck inside. The maker's mark on the bottom suggests that it was produced by the Obear-Nestor Glass Company - perhaps as early as 1915 or 1920.** It very likely held medicine (like iodine), or perfume.

    (Small coffee mug for scale.)

    Number of fiction words so far this year: 141,150

* I will only trap them as a matter of last resort, but I won't poison them, period. There are too many other things that feed on them - not least of all Mr. Stubbs and Miss Kitty, some foxes, hawks, snakes, and so forth. Also, I don't want dead rats in the walls any more than I want live rats in the walls. So there's that.
** For the new readers: Our house was built sometime between 1895-1904. No, we don't know any more precisely than that. Thanks, southern record-keeping [:: eyeroll ::].

kateelliott July 22 2014, 20:30

Update on Melanie Rawn’s EXILES 3, The Captal’s Tower

Melanie has asked me to post the following, received from her via email.


Yes, I will write Captal’s Tower. I’m very sorry it’s taken so long. My sincere thanks to all of you who have been so patient. I’m currently writing the fifth book in the “Glass Thorns” series, and after that my plan is to get to work on Captal’s Tower. If anything about that plan changes, I’ll post on my website (www.melanierawn.com).

Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.

desperance July 22 2014, 17:50

Totally fake tagine

In this new dispensation, it was fairly clear early on that no yogi were coming to bend last night, so I was only cooking for Karen and myself. Why in the world should this stop me having fun?

Back in the UK, I used to have a tagine. Lovely thing: red-glazed, almost too tall for the oven, with those splendid proportions that allow the conical lid to do its magic drippy thing and steam the food below. I doubt if I used it once a year, but it looked grand on the shelf there.

Out here? No tagine, and I'm not in active pursuit of one, because see above under "once a year". Granted it might be more often here, because I cook more dinners for numbers of people, bendy or otherwise, but even so.

Still, I am fond of tagine-type dishes, Moroccan spicings, that sort of thing: so last night I totally faked it.

Boneless chicken, sizzle-sizzle in olive oil to get some colour on. Chicken out of the pan, sliced onion in, sizzle-sizzle. Garlic, ginger. Ground ginger, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon (less of the cinnamon, because a little is plenty). Fresh mint leaves. Chicken back in, sploosh of chicken stock, squeeze of honey, handful of dried apricots. Simmer simmer. Lots of chopped cilantro, scatter of toasted almonds. Done.

With herby saffron rice and roasted brussels? A feast fit for m'wife.
suricattus July 22 2014, 03:29

Pour yourself some Gin & Tonic and settle down with DOGHOUSE!

And lo, after much waiting... okay, it's been eight months since FIXED, I'm hoping you've been waiting! It's here!


When Ginny Mallard and her sometimes-partner Teddy Tonica are asked to look into the situation of an old man about to be evicted, the part-time investigators think it’s just a matter of sorting out misunderstandings.  But this is no simple landlord-tenant spat, bringing them headfirst – and nose-deep in trouble – into the world of back-room fights and animal rights…

And this time, Ginny’s shar-pei, Georgie, and the bar cat Penny are the only ones who can get the truth out of their sole witness: a puppy named Parsifal!

Normally, I don't mind much if you buy a book the day-of-release, or if you buy it a week later, or even a month later, when it comes up in your budget rotation.  But right now, with this book?  Really good week-of-release sales could be important.  So, yanno, if you're planning to pick it up, you might want to do it now.

The kittens and the time-share puppy would really appreciate it.

IMG_61282011-06-22 14.22.37


Here're some places you can buy it.

B&N * Simon & Schuster * iTunes * Mysterious Galaxy * Seattle Mystery Bookshop * Amazon * S&S Australia * Chapters/Indigo * Foyles * Powells * Better Read Than Dead (AUS)

And here.  Have an excerpt.

Read more...Collapse )

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