“Why I Don’t Drink Anymore”

If you’ve been to my website recently you may have noticed that I changed the theme dramatically. Along with that I’ve been cleaning up some of the pages and making this place a more useful calling card for myself.

Right now I’m working on the Fiction page. It’ll probably be done by the time you read this. In the process of checking links I discovered that a story I published long, long ago at Abyss & Apex no longer exists on the website. That’s not a huge surprise. I think the archives got pruned long ago. And none of the editors working there now were working there back then.

I dug the page out of the Wayback Machine to reclaim the story, which I remembered as being rather short. I was right. Here it be:

Why I Don’t Drink Anymore

by not-K Tempest Bradford because I had a different pen name then

I’m sitting at my favorite café drinking absinthe when this guy comes up to me.

You’re a writer, aren’t you? he says.

Yeah, I says. How did you know?

You have that Hemingway thing going on, he says. Sitting around in a café all day. Drinking absinthe. Scribbling in your little notebook.

At this point I’m starting to get offended.

This isn’t Paris, you know, he says. This is Oregon. And you’re drinking in the middle of the day. Do you know what we call you types where I come from? Drunks. Damn drunks.

Then he walks away.

Oh, did I mention that this guy was a big scary eight foot tall monster with six arms? What a loser.

Reading, Reviewing, and ‘Rithmatic

Reading, Reviewing, and 'Rithmatic

I’ve been bad about updating this blog with new and exciting news about myself. So here’s some news.

Last week my review of the new Octavia E Butler eBook Unexpected Stories went up at NPR Books. I really enjoyed the book and my only sadness is that there aren’t more new stories to read. Go read the review and then go buy the book.

This week I am back on io9 posting roundups of my favorite short stories. Now it’s weekly instead of monthly, so I can talk about more stories I love.

Now that I’m reviewing for NPR and doing the story thing on io9 folks have been asking me about sending review copies and such. I have a policy! I’ll also post this on my About page, but here it is in case you’re curious:

NPR has pretty strict conflict of interest rules, so if we’re friends or I know you well or if you have published me I can’t review your book or an anthology/collection you’re in or you edited. It’s sadface sadness, I know. I can suggest books to my editor who will then pass them on to a reviewer without conflicts and that is okay. If you do not know me, you can certainly ask if I’d like a review copy of your book/anthology/collection. If I’m interested, I’ll pitch it to my editor. I cannot make the final decision on whether I can review something for NPR, so I may have to say no.

The io9 posts are not strictly reviews and I’m not claiming complete objectivity. The stories I mention are the ones I personally like, and that may include stories by people I know. I pick stories from the magazines (and sometimes anthologies) I read and that mostly includes free online ones. But if you have a print mag, or an eBook version of your zine with extra content, or an anthology you’d like me to read in case I like a story enough to mention it, please do let me know! Me agreeing to read does not guarantee you’ll get a mention, just so you know.

All that business aside, I’m very much enjoying reading more again and highlighting excellent fiction where I can. I’m still looking for a place to write about other media, especially when the Fall TV season starts up again.

Would you like to nominate me for awards? I would not object.

Would you like to nominate me for awards? I would not object.

Earlier this month when I posted my personal Best Of list of short stories for the year, I stated that I would like to see any of those works nominated for awards. This is very true. Later on I’ll also make a post about other folks or works I think deserving of nominations, including novels and such. But this post is all about me.

Yes, it’s completely selfish, blah blah. Moving on.

I had a handful of pieces published in 2012, both fiction and non. And since it’s all the rage to mention lately, I am eligible to be nominated for the Fan Writer Hugo based on my blogging and other non-professional publications, such as this piece that went up on io9.

As far as fiction, my story “The Birth of Pegasus” in Dark Faith: Invocations is under 7,500 and eligible for the Hugo, World Fantasy, and Nebula awards. My story “Uncertainty Principle” in Diverse Energies is over 8,000 words (I believe), so counts as a novelette for the Hugo and Nebula awards.

I would also love to see Chicks Unravel Time nominated for Best Related Work in the Hugos. That’s not just about me, but about all the really amazing contributors to the book and the editors who so wisely put it together.

So there you go, my award eligibility for 2012 stuff. Act on it as you will.

Chicks Unravel Time Readings & Signings in Worcester, MA & New York City

Chicks Unravel Time Readings & Signings in Worcester, MA & New York City

Chicks Unravel Time comes out in just a few days! Eee! I’m very excited. This book is bound to be really special. I’ve already had a sneak peek at a couple of the essays and I will predict that Doctor Who lovers will enjoy every page.

Some related events surrounding that. First, to get the bad news out of the way: I will not be attending Chicago TARDIS this year. I know, very sad! But family obligations + lack of money = no Tempest at the con. However, there will be a panel and signing and all of that with the fabulous editors, Deborah Stanish and L. M. Myles, plus many of the contributors. So if you can get to the con, go check it out!

Good news is that I will be at two more local reading/signing events!

The first is in Massachusetts near Boston, the second right here in my hometown of NYC. Details:

On Saturday, November 17th, Annie’s Bookstop of Worcester is holding an all-day Chicks Unravel Time event. I’ll be there alongside Jennifer Pelland, another of the book’s contributors, plus Katy Shuttleworth, cover artist extraordinaire. We’ll be reading, signing books, and hosting a roundtable discussion/Q&A. The store has promised us some surprises as well, and there will be tons of Doctor Who merchandise besides the book to peruse. So please do come!

Location: 65 James Street Worcester MA 01603

Time: 11/17 1PM – 6PM (come early for the reading/signings)

Next up: NYC Doctor Who shenanigans!

The Doctor Who NY group is hosting a reading/signing/book launch event at The Churchill, a pub that appears to be very fancy. This event is going to be loads of fun since both Deborah and Liz will be in town. Then Liz goes back to Scotland and we all cry.

There will also be copies and discussion of a couple of other recently published Doctor Who books that night as well. So overall it will be a big one for NYC Doctor Who fans.

Location: 45 East 28th St (near Park Avenue), New York, NY

Time: 11/28 6:30pm

Here’s a Facebook page for the event if you’d like to RSVP there.

Can’t come to either of these events? Sadness! But you know what you can do? You can pre-order your copy of Chicks Unravel Time. Yes, you can!

 

Story Notes: Uncertainty Principle (from Diverse Energies)

Story Notes: Uncertainty Principle (from Diverse Energies)

So I may have jumped the gun a bit early on the release date for Diverse Energies! However, according to the publisher, it is available now. And I’m seeing it in eBook format on Amazon and B&N, so I suspect print copies will be forthcoming very soon. Check your local, indie book sellers first!

I’m looking forward to hearing from people who read the stories to see what everyone thinks. Rachel Manija-Brown wrote a very thoughtful review here which then led into this post about dystopias and genre labels. One thing I find intriguing is that where Rahul Kanakia was told to write an SF action story, I was told to write a dystopia, yet his story is way more classic dystopia and mine has little shades of it but is more actiony.

Given the discussion on that post, I thought I’d give folks who read my story “Uncertainty Principle” a little peek into the background of it and my thinking around the whole dystopia thing.

As you might expect, these story notes are full of spoilers, so they’re going behind a cut. Don’t read unless you’ve read the story or don’t mind knowing some things about it! (also, ‘ware spoilers in the comments.)

[Read more…]

I’m A Chick Who Likes To Unravel Time

Chicks Unravel Time cover

click me for a bigger version

I’ve dropped hints about this for a while, but now it’s official and on the record! I have an essay in the forthcoming Chicks Unravel Time, a follow up to the Hugo Award-winning Chicks Dig Time Lords. Woot! This is my last essay for books from Mad Norwegian Press, so I’m really glad it will be in such an awesome book.

This one is different to the first in that editors Deborah Stanish and L M Myles asked each contributor to consider a specific series of Doctor Who and to explore it in any way we liked. So, not every essay could be classed as “a celebration”, but they’re all written by women who clearly love Doctor Who and who have intelligent and deep thoughts on the show.

Also, the cover art is awesome! Katy Shuttleworth once again being all badass.

Here’s the full table of contents so you can get a taste of what everyone is talking about:

  • Regeneration – Shaping the Road Ahead by Barbara Hambly
  • The Doctor’s Balls by Diana Gabaldon
  • A Dance With Drashigs by Emma Nichols
  • No Competition by Una McCormack
  • Identity Crisis by L.M. Myles
  • The Still Point by Anna Bratton
  • For the Love of Tom by Sarah Lotz
  • Donna Noble Saves the Universe by Martha Wells
  • I’m From the TARDIS, and I’m Here to Help You: Barbara Wright and the Limits of Intervention by Joan Frances Turner
  • I Robot, You Sarah Jane: Sexual Politics in Robot by Kaite Welsh
  • Between Now and Now by Juliet E. McKenna
  • What Would Romana Do? by Lara J. Scott
  • The Women We Don’t See by K. Tempest Bradford
  • The Ultimate Sixth by Tansy Rayner Roberts
  • Maids and Masters: The Distribution of Power in Doctor Who Series Three by Courtney Stoker
  • Robots, Orientalism and Yellowface: Minorities in the Fourteenth Season of Doctor Who by Aliette de Bodard
  • David Tennant’s Bum by Laura Mead
  • Superficial Depth?: Spirituality in Season Eleven by Caroline Symcox
  • The Problem With Peri by Jennifer Pelland
  • All of Gallifrey’s a Stage: The Doctor in Adolescence by Teresa Jusino
  • All the Way Out to the Stars by Iona Sharma
  • Build High for Happiness! by Lynne M. Thomas
  • Nimons are Forever by Liz Barr
  • Ace Through the Looking Glass by Elisabeth Bolton-Gabrielsen
  • Hey, You Got Science in My Fiction! by Laura McCullough
  • Seven to Doomsday: The Non-Domestication  of Earthbound Doctor Who in Season Seven by Mags Halliday
  • Harking Back and Moving On by Jenni Hughes
  • Anything Goes by Deborah Stanish
  • How the Cold War Killed the Fifth Doctor by Erica McGillivray
  • Waiting for the Doctor: The Women of Series Five by Seanan McGuire
  • Timing Malfunction: Television Movie + the BBC Eighth Doctor Novels = A Respectable Series by Kelly Hale
  • Guten Tag, Hitler by Rachel Swirsky
  • Reversing Polarities: The Doctor, the Master and False Binaries in Season Eight by Amal El-Mohtar

There’s one essay for each series of the show, classic and current, plus the TV movie.

My essay is about Series 13. When Deb first asked me to be in the book and told me the premise, I loved the idea right away. I let her pick a series for me since I’m not very familiar with classic Who and she hoped to get some fresh perspectives on the older stuff.

At the time, the series I would have chosen for myself is #3 of the modern era. Deb rightly pointed out that my CDTL essay was pretty much an exploration of Series 3 through the lens of my love for Martha. The only other series I have many FEELS about is #4. After that my ability to deal with Doctor Who flies out the window.

The choice of Season 13 ended up being a good one. Tom Baker’s Doctor is the only one of the classics I’m familiar with. I’ve seen some of Series 12 and a few of his adventures with Romana. But I came into #13 fresh.

I won’t spoil the essay for you, but I will say that I was a little surprised at some of the things I found there, despite knowing in advance that I would see some problematic stuff. What I found very interesting, and only touched on a bit in the essay, was how much of new Doctor Who I saw in those old episodes. I can tell that some writers have been influenced by those episodes for good and for bad.

I now also have a full appreciation for how eye-roll worthy it is that the Doctor’s race is called the Time Lords, as if there are only men running around on Gallifrey. This plays out in interesting way during this series.

Chicks Unravel Time is out on November 13th, and you’d better believe that I’m going to remind you several times before the actual day. I should also note here that it’s almost a 100% done deal that I’m attending Chicago TARDIS over Thanksgiving weekend so I can take part in the panel about the book! I’m just waiting to see if I can get a press pass.

Until then, pre-order and spread the news!

Diverse Energies Launches Today!

Diverse EnergiesThe Diverse Energies anthology is now officially available in fine bookstores near you. Find it at a local, independent bookstore through IndieBound or grab it from Barnes & Noble or Amazon. I haven’t yet seen any eBook versions, but I think you’ll be able to find them through GoodReads.

Diverse Energies has 11 stories on a dystopian them for YA readers. Editors Tobias S Buckell and Joe Monti wanted to create an anthology full of characters that reflected the diversity they see in their own lives, so all of the protagonists are of color. Many of the authors are of color as well, and the stories well up from our perspective and experiences.

My story, “Uncertainty Principle”, features a girl of mixed Latina and Middle Eastern background who finds that the world changes around her — big changes that no one else but her notices.

Here’s the full TOC:

“The Last Day” by Ellen Oh
“Freshee’s Frogurt” by Daniel H. Wilson
“Uncertainty Principle” by K. Tempest Bradford
“Pattern Recognition” by Ken Liu
“Gods of Dimming Light” by Greg van Eekhout
“Next Door” by Rahul Kanakia
“Good Girl” by Malinda Lo
“A Pocket Full of Dharma” by Paolo Bacigalupi
“Blue Skies” by Cindy Pon
“What Arms to Hold” by Rajan Khanna
“Solitude” by Ursula K. Le Guin

Thus far I’ve seen many positive reviews of the book from advance readers. The Kirkus review even mentions my story:

Readers will find poor children working in mines and factories, a have-not yao boy kidnapping a rich you girl and a girl reeling as the world inexplicably changes around her, and no one else notices. Although many stories imagine bleak futures, their tones are refreshingly varied. Daniel Wilson’s tale of a robot attack at a frozen-yogurt shop takes the form of an almost-comical police-interview transcript. Ursula K. LeGuin’s “Solitude” is a sweeping, nostalgic epic. K. Tempest Bradford’s “Uncertainty Principle” is a character-driven time-travel tale. Understanding many of the stories takes patience: Readers are plunged quickly into complex worlds, and exposition often comes slowly.

There are a couple of other reviews that mention it as well, but everything is full of spoilers!

If you read the book and like it, please let folks know and leave reviews where possible. Also, buy it for the young persons in your life who like SF or like to read anything and everything.

Kindred Reading Series September: K. Tempest Bradford (that’s me!) & Ibi Zoboi

Next month I have the pleasure of reading alongside Ibi Zoboi at the Kindred Reading Series. September’s reading will take place at Bluestockings Books in New York City and it starts at 7PM.

I will likely read my story from Dark Faith: Invocations and maybe a teaser from “Uncertainty Principle”, my story in Diverse Energies. But, who knows, I may change my mind :)

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned the Kindred Reading Series here before, but it’s the brainchild of Jenn Brissett, an African-American writer from Brooklyn. She wanted to create a reading series for genre writers of color since there’s a general misconception that POC don’t write or read science fiction, fantasy or horror.

A secondary goal was to raise money for the Octavia E. Butler scholarship which helps writers of color attend Clarion and Clarion West, two intensive writing workshops for new authors.

If you’re in the New York area the last week of September, please drop by!

Coming Soon: My stories in Dark Faith: Invocations and Diverse Energies

Coming Soon: My stories in Dark Faith: Invocations and Diverse Energies

Those of you who view the blog proper may notice a couple new covers on the sidebar. I have stories in two anthologies coming out this fall and I’m very excited about both.

Dark Faith Invocations

The first one to come out will be Dark Faith: Invocations. From the Apex website:

Religion, science, magic, love, family — everyone believes in something, and that faith pulls us through the darkness and the light. The second coming of Dark Faith cries from the depths with 26 stories of sacrifice and redemption.

My story is “The Birth of Pegasus”. The full TOC is here and includes such awesome authors as Nisi Shawl, Jeffrey Ford and Tim Pratt. It launches at WorldCon in Chicago. If you won’t be there but want to pre-order a copy, click here. (You can get 10% off with coupon code: DFBradford)

 

Next is Diverse Energies, a YA dystopian anthology where all the stories feature characters of color. It will be out in October. I’m sharing a TOC with Ursula K LeGuin. I have not yet stopped doing the boggie about that.

You can’t pre-order Diverse Energies yet but I’ll let you know when you can.

What do you think of the covers?

Dragon*Con 2011: The Late, Late Report

Dragon*Con 2011: The Late, Late Report

I’m horrible at posting timely con reports, so I’ve given up worrying about it. It’s been a week since Dragon*Con ended, so at least with this one is up faster than my WisCon or ReaderCon reports. No, you didn’t miss them… they aren’t posted yet.

Onward!

This was my first Dragon*Con, and I was slightly worried about feeling overwhelmed. However, I had the chance to work for the at-con newsletter, the Daily Dragon, and that helped me feel less at sea. I had specific things to do and I spent most of my time doing them. Those specific things involved copyediting, being on call in the DD office, covering panels, and interviewing people. Being a journalist is a bunch of fun.

I had a great time talking to Ann and Jeff Vandermeer about steampunk and Alethea Kontis and Leanna Renee Hieber about being pro guests who are also fans. But the absolute highlight of my con was getting to interview Kate Mulgrew, Star Trek: Voyager’s Captain Janeway. I also got to interview Brent Spiner of The Next Generation.

For Kate Mulgrew, I had to chase down her agent, then come sit at her signings three times before he found time in her schedule. William Shatner had just denied a couple of my colleagues an interview, so I was nervous. But Ms. Mulgrew wasn’t as ALL DONE THIS as Bill (and I don’t blame him, he did three solo panels and signed 4 times) so she granted me five minutes.

I’ve met her just once before, and she was just as warm and funny as before. She has this commanding attitude that I adore. It’s not obnoxious — more like a very forceful matriarch. If she tells you to do something, you do it because obviously she thinks it’s best. Plus, you don’t say no to Captain Janeway. Read the interview (Kate says so.)

Talking to her about how there needs to be more women leaders in the Star Trek franchise, I had this awesome idea for a panel at Dragon*Con about female leadership in SF. My dream panel would be Kate Mulgrew, Nana Visitor, Mary McDonnell, Salli Richardson-Whitfield, and Gina Torres. I also think that would make an excellent pop essay book, with the volume split between TV/Movie properties and SF novels. As things ramp up for next year’s D*Con, I’ll see if the panel is possible.

I was in the autographing room on Monday waiting for Brent Spiner to have time when I noticed that Robert Duncan McNeil (Tom Paris, Voyager) had a life-size cutout of himself in character sitting on top of his table. Not next to, on top of. I went over and asked, “How much to take a picture with the cutout?” because pictures with him were $10 and that’s just not my thing. Thankfully he has an excellent sense of humor and joked with me about it and, when I came back to actually take a picture with the cutout in my absolute silliness, decided he needed to be in the pic, too. I let him. You know, to make him feel better.

Tempest Bradford and Lt. Paris... and Robert Duncan McNeil

I also had one other mission during the con, which was to sell fans and raise money for Con or Bust when possible. I didn’t sell many fans, but my roommate, Mary Robinette Kowal, sold TONS. She’s a sales machine and earned Con or Bust a lot of money.

In addition to selling fans, I also asked some actors of color to sign one so we can auction them off. When I get home I’ll post pics. Edward James Olmos (BSG) and Garrett Wang (Harry Kim, Voyager) both signed readily and were very sweet about it. In fact, Garrett misunderstood my request (I’d asked him the night before in the green room) and had a picture he’d planned to give me of Robert Beltran, Robert Picardo and himself in character, signed by all three. It’s really adorbs. I gave him a fan in exchange for the picture and we’ll auction that off, too.

Sidenote: Garrett Wang is awesome. He runs the Trek Track at D*Con and does a fantastic job, does funny as hell spots for Dragon*Con TV, and spends hours and hours in the autograph room so everyone who wants to see him gets a chance. Plus, he’s super sweet, like I said.

That was pretty much my Dragon*Con. I met many awesome fans, hang out with the fabulous Daily Dragon staff, saw fantastic costumes, got to go to panels, met one of my heroines, and had conversations with a host of fabulous people. I’m looking forward to going back next year.

Best Birthday Present EVAR: Happily Ever After TOC

Best Birthday Present EVAR: Happily Ever After TOC

Many moons ago the awesome John Klima emailed and asked if I had any fairy tale retellings since he was putting together an anthology of such things. I sent him Black Feather (my Interfictions story), he accepted, I made a happy face. Life is good. Yesterday, for the first time, I saw who else is also in this anthology from a post on SFSignal. People, I had No Idea. I sporfled so hard on the subway train New Yorkers gave me the side eye.

Just look here and sporfle with me, won’t you?

  1. “The Seven Stage a Comeback” by Gregory Maguire
  2. “And In Their Glad Rags” by Genevieve Valentine
  3. “The Sawing Boys” by Howard Waldrop
  4. “Bear It Away” by Michael Cadnum
  5. “Mr. Simonelli or the Fairy Widower” by Susanna Clarke
  6. “The Black Fairy’s Curse” by Karen Joy Fowler
  7. “My Life As A Bird” by Charles de Lint
  8. “The Night Market” by Holly Black
  9. “The Rose in Twelve Petals” by Theodora Goss
  10. “The Red Path” by Jim C. Hines
  11. “Blood and Water” by Alethea Kontis
  12. “Hansel’s Eyes” by Garth Nix
  13. “He Died That Day, In Thirty Years” by Wil McCarthy
  14. “Snow In Summer” by Jane Yolen
  15. “The Rose Garden” by Michelle West
  16. “The Little Magic Shop” by Bruce Sterling
  17. “Black Feather” by K. Tempest Bradford
  18. “Fifi’s Tail” by Alan Rodgers
  19. “The Faery Handbag” by Kelly Link
  20. “Ashputtle” by Peter Straub
  21. “The Emperor’s New (And Improved) Clothes” by Leslie What
  22. “Pinocchio’s Diary” by Robert J. Howe
  23. “Little Red” by Wendy Wheeler
  24. “The Troll Bridge” by Neil Gaiman
  25. “The Price” by Patricia Briggs
  26. “Ailoura” by Paul Di Filippo
  27. “The Farmer’s Cat” by Jeff VanderMeer
  28. “The Root of The Matter” by Gregory Frost
  29. “Like a Red, Red Rose” by Susan Wade
  30. “Chasing America” by Josh Rountree
  31. “Stalking Beans” by Nancy Kress
  32. “Big Hair” by Esther Friesner
  33. “The Return of the Dark Children” by Robert Coover

Susanna Clarke, Kelly Link, Jeff Vandermeer, Genevieve Valentine, Holly Black, Neil Gaiman, the list of awesome just keeps getting longer and longer! Nancy Kress was my first Clarion West instructor and now I am in an anthology with her. What.

But the most exciting bit is this. No anthology of this kind would be complete without Theodora Goss, that goes without saying. But the story in here, “The Rose in Twelve Petals,” is one of my favorite stories of All Time[1]. One of the first that ever moved me to track down an author’s website and email her[2]. That one of my stories gets to be in the same book as that is a most excellent way to begin my next year of life.

The book is out in June, and you can pre-order it from Nightshade or Amazon or Barnes & Noble or likely your local bookshop.

P.S. I would also like to point out that, once again, I’m in a book with a gorgeous cover.

Footnotes

  1. I just came across this blog post where Dora talks about how the story came to be. She mentions that it was her first story ever published — a surprise to myself — and that it’s been 10 years now. That… makes me feel old.[]
  2. the other was “The Run of the Fiery Horse,” which I talked about in the PodCastle introduction.[]

Zira’s Heart, Shannon’s Life Force, and Tempest’s Back

Zira's Heart, Shannon's Life Force, and Tempest's Back

Several bits of fictiony news for you! First, I’m experimenting with self-publishing short stories as eBooks just to see what the process is like and to feel out interest in this arena. I have no plans to completely abandon sending my stories out to magazines and such. But there are a few stories that I love and still believe are good, but I’ve run out of markets for them. One such is Zira’s Heart, which is a bit too long for most markets. So, I decided to submit it to Smashwords and get it listed in most major eBook stores to see how that goes.

Shorts never receive the same kind of attention that books get in these situations, but I still think it could be interesting (and fun). I uploaded it last night and it’s already in the Smashwords catalog. Now I’m waiting to see if they’ll accept it for distribution to Amazon, B&N, iBooks and the like. I put the cover and link up on the sidebar of my site and I’m tracking how many clicks it gets. I’ll report as time goes on.

In other news, I don’t know why but I keep forgetting to blog about my first Escape Pod story! Elan Vital, which first appeared in Sybil’s Garage no 6, was podcasted in Escape Pod and read by Mur Lafferty. I’m completely excited to have cracked that market and really glad Mur is the editor now, as I enjoy her other podcasts quite a bit.

I did not intend to actually listen to the piece since I always get emotional even looking at that story. But as several people had praised Mur’s reading of it, I decided to listen to just a little. I ended up listening to the entire thing (crying almost the whole time, arg). Mur is fantastic, as others have said. She strikes the perfect notes all the way through. I’m so lucky! All of my Escape Artists stories have been read by such excellent and talented people[1].

The discussion about my story is filled with people saying they really loved it (squee!) and some who bounced off hard. I am amused, however, by the person who said early on that the story “isn’t science fiction“. Also amused by the person who pointed out that, whatever happens in the future, he is sure companies will always find ways to charge us subscription fees. Too right.

Over at the Biology in Science Fiction blog, the poster asks “What would you be willing to give to keep someone you love alive?” which is more the center of my story than the actual science. I do enjoy some hard SF now and then. But I’m int he camp of people who think that the science or technology in SF is meant to serve the characters and the plot and the idea, not the other way around. Too much Star Trek as a child?

And finally, this weekend I went to Macy’s in my quest to find a new mattress (as described here) on the advice of those who said they had great deals. Those people? Have a weird idea of what constitutes a great deal. Nothing below $1,000 in the quality I need, and salespeople who didn’t even want to admit that they might be able to sell me a mattress without a box spring. They looked horrified that I should want such a thing. My old box spring is clearly inferior to anything they have. Cue eyeroll.

PayPal being under attack by Anonymous affected a couple of family members from donating to my mattress fund last week, but I think that’s over now. Yay? I haven’t even looked at the account yet since a bunch of people sent me a note saying they wouldn’t be able to send money until next week or so, which is fine. I’m going to ask my new roommate to help me flip my current mattress tonight and try to sleep on the less fucked up side so that my back will stop screaming at me in the night.

Here’s what I don’t get: how did we, as humans, survive all this time without natural latex memory foam individually-wrapped coil mattresses? I mean, this is crazy. There must be a solution for sleeping that is not bad for your back and also comfortable. Also one that does not cost $600+. Fie.

Footnotes

  1. Yeah, that’s right, Amal. I am talkin’ about you. Whatcha gunna do about it, huh?[]

Audible Tempest

Audible Tempest

Due to a great lack of spoons (and the evil hacking of my web server), I have not yet made a post telling you about wonderful things! Fiction-related things! I shall do so now.

First, as I mentioned, I was on the radio the other week. Hour of the Wolf, 5am, reading the first draft of a story and having it critiqued on air by my wonderful writing group, Altered Fluid. For those of you not up at 5am on a Saturday, the archive of the show is here[1]. Those of you subscribed to my first draft journal have seen that story in its very, very first incarnation.

In other news, my Interfictions story, “Black Feather”, recently went up on PodCastle. You can check out the story here if you haven’t already[2]. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the folks on the forum did not hate it! Not everyone loved it, of course, but there appears to be some nice balance to the responses.

I am amused by the discussion going on surrounding the line “Flying is nothing more than controlled falling.”

The mighty Amal El-Mohtar read the story beautifully, and the awesome M. K. Hobson did the introduction. These are two of my favorite ladies, so it was all squeeness for me. Amal wondered how her reading compared to the one I did below. I have to say, I had the benefit of a band behind me. Normally, I feel like my readings suck. But that night everyone who read was on fire. I still need to make an MP3 of Veronica reading “Rats”.

Anyway, if you listen to both versions, I think Amal and I would both enjoy hearing what you think of them.


Footnotes

  1. Once the archive goes away, expect to find that file in, uh, other places.[]
  2. You should subscribe to PodCastle if you like audio fiction that fits neatly into a commute[]

I turned it into a story but the hole in my heart is still there

I turned it into a story but the hole in my heart is still there

Last year when I was a guest on Hour of the Wolf I read my 9/11-inspired story Until Forgiveness Comes on the air. Jim Freund liked it so much and liked the radio-y/NPR-esque-ness that he suggested we should record it as a radio play. I am all for that, so I wrote a script and we’ve been slowly, slowly working our way toward making that happen.

Jim will produce, we’ll likely get studio time at WBAI, and the fabulous Andrea Hairston will direct. She has some actors in mind, Jim keeps insisting I should do a part, and I am crossing my fingers for a guest appearance by Margo Adler (the original host of Hour of the Wolf and fancy NPR contributor). But I know we’ll need to bring in a few actors to read, and it would be nice if those actors could be paid. This is the part that’s holding up the works, unfortunately.

I’m hoping to get that all resolved because I would really love to have the play ready to go on next year’s anniversary. Despite the fact that many of us here in NYC are truly Not On about the spectacle that these anniversaries have become, it’s not likely to get any better next year due to the West’s love of base 10. So I’d like to make a small contribution to the conversation that isn’t about politics or publicity.

Somehow the money will emerge. That or we’ll find really excellent actors who don’t mind working for free. Still, I’d rather give everyone involved something for their time.

You can still read Until Forgiveness Comes at Strange Horizons or you can listen to the second half of my appearance on HotW where I read the story then take calls.

I’ll be back on the show next Saturday with my writing group, Altered Fluid. They will be critiquing a story of mine live on the air. At 5am… Yes, there will be a podcast you can download later, but you’ll miss the call-in part!

(x-posted)

Trying Out This eBook Thang

Trying Out This eBook Thang

So I have a couple of stories that I’d like to sell as individual eBooks, just to try the whole process out. I’ve made the ePub file — which took more doing than should have been necessary… — and I’ve tried it out on the eReaders I have around. But I’d really appreciate it if those of you out there with an eReader or a smartphone that has an EPUB-reading app would check it for me as well. Just let me know in the comments if you’d like a copy and I’ll send it to the email you leave there. Thanks!

Next step is getting accounts on and uploading my story to some eBook stores. I’m thinking iBooks, Kindle, Sony, Kobo, B&N, Scribd and maybe B&N once their self-publishing thing happens. Anyone have experience with these they want to share?