San francisco mural
Since getting home from the book tour I have been doing many things: preparing to talk at the Toronto Spec Fic Colloquium, for example, and thinking about novels I might want to write in the near, and grading lots and lots and lots of student stories. I have reread Tana French’s Broken Harbor and attended an undergraduate English Conference at UTSC–chaired one fiction panel there, actually–and finished a 12,000 word draft of a novelette that is the third attempt at a story that has died twice, previously, on the table. I am so relieved to have the narrative stapled together this time, even if I do eventually have to hack the midsection to bits.
I’ve been figuring out what I’m going to read at ChiSeries next week and and assembling the small piles of paper that will eventually be my income tax records and posting photographs and attempting to Navigate University Bureaucracies.
With Kelly I’ve watched two seasons–all there is!–of a BBC show called Twenty Ten, which is the prequel to W1A. The latter popped up on Canadian Flix of Net, and we fell absolutely in love with it, launching a rewatch almost as soon as we’d closed out the last episode. From that (though we have occasionally been catching up with Agent Carter and Brooklyn 99), we fell into Last Tango in Halifax, which I have to shamefacedly admit became far more interesting to me when I realized it was also BBC product and not (cough cough) local product.
And in between all that I have been squeeing with delight over Kelly’s Nebula Nomination for “Waters of Versailles.” All her dreams are coming true and it’s the best thing ever, and you should share the joy with her because it’s infectious.
Finally, I’m dreaming of London, because we are going there. Soon! To eat crumpets and look at paintings and walk along the Thames and ride the Tube and be giddy glittering tourists on the loose in the springtime.
What have you been doing?
Some of you may have already seen my new Cynthia Sheppard cover on the The Nature of a Pirate Amazon page and/or when I posted it on social media, but here it is again for your delectation. Isn’t it beautiful? My editor very kindly gave me a version without the art, too, so that I can have a Sophie icon that doesn’t have random pieces of alphabet all over the place.
These three books now have, between them, some of the most thematically appropriate, well-matched and flat-out nicest covers I’ve seen on any trio of novels, and I love them all with every cell of my circulatory system, up to and including the big glob in the midst.
In related news, Tor Books has reissued Indigo Springs and
Blue Magic with new covers, and these too are very pretty indeed. I think they’re very appropriate to that universe, and the seeping magical blueness that causes so much trouble for Astrid Lethewood and her poor doomed magic-contaminated friends.
Here they are:
And it was an endless cascade of unexpected delights.
Kelly and I went with a friend to see Alan Cumming’s cabaret show on Saturday night. It’s available as an album and I recommend looking at the set list, because his idea of a sappy song might match what you imagine. To give you an idea, there’s an original condom commercial, Billy Joel’s “And So It Goes,”–that one I knew he’d pick–a thing by Miley Cyrus, something called “Mother Glasgow” (which comes with an annotated version for those of us who aren’t Scottish) and “Complainte De La Butte.” The patter is included in its entirely too, and Cumming is hilarious.
It was the best concert I’ve had since the magical evening when I first saw Jonathan Coulton. He is a stunning performer: every cell of him is electrifying.
On a more teacherly note, my spring course at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, which bears the not very poetic name “Advanced Speculative Fiction Workshop” launches this April. If you might like to be part of the workshop, the link is here.
Annual Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, run by the Chiaroscuro Reading Series
Tickets for this year’s Annual SpecFic Colloquium went on sale yesterday, with a shiny change of venue to Innis Hall on the U of T campus, and an earlybird offer that expires February 29th. Who’s speaking? Why… I’m speaking! And so are Peter Watts, Peter Chiykowski, Andrew Pyper, Michael Rowe and Margaret Atwood.
I know! You’re losing your mind, right?
The event itself is happening on March 12, 2016, running pretty much all day. Think of it as a convention with single-track programming and endless bags of coolness. Tangent alert: I love single-track cons. Two of my favorite cons ever was The Science of Murder, which stood in for VCon in 1995. Getting back to the point, which is this particular event, I’m given to understand, there will be snacks and some free books.
The Chiascuro Reading Series sponsors this Colloquium each year and I have heard some mind-expanding and thoroughly wonderful talks there, by authors like Nnedi Okorafor, Simon Barry McNeil and Madeline Ashby, and creative thinkers like Alex Leitch. I absolutely promise, with all my heart, that I would tell you to attend this thing even if I wasn’t giving a talk entitled “How We Became LV426.”
Child of a Hidden Sea
I am very pleased to announce that another of the Gales, “The Boy who Would Not be Enchanted,” has been accepted for publication at Beneath Ceaseless Skies. This is the first of the stories to be slated for an appearance outside Tor.com. The first three Gales are “Among the Silvering Herd,” “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti” and, most recently, “The Glass Galago.”
(The fourth, “Losing Heart among the Tall,” is also slated to appear on Tor.com).
This sale may mean the stories will appear out of order, depending on publication dates. This is no great problem. They’re like a family; you can meet them out of birth order.
The Gales switch POV from story to story, and this particular piece of the puzzle is told by one of the characters who is important in the Hidden Sea Tales universe but who doesn’t get as much time in the sun, especially in A Daughter of No Nation, as some of you would like: Nightjar’s gay first mate, Tonio Cappodocio. It is a tale he tells when he’s reached the grand old age of seventeen, and is looking back on Gale Feliachild, Garland Parrish and his youthful stowaway adventure of so many years before. (Five years, in other words. Oh, what a foolish twelve year old he was!)
I love this story, and have been reading bits of it for years at queer-themed events. I’m thrilled about this sale, and excited about you all getting to read it.