Category Archives: Ebooks

The Ugly Woman is now an e-book.

ugly woman smallMy recent Child of a Hidden Sea prequel, “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti,” is now available as an e-book. You can, of course, read it at Tor.com for free, but if you prefer your Kindle, Kobo or Nook, the story is up at Amazon, Chapters/Indigo, B&N, and in the iStore.

Here’s a taste:
“Had that soldier heard of you?” Parrish asked.

Few people took notice of Gale, or remembered her when they did. This was the work of a spell her parents had written when she was a child, making her forgettable, beneath notice. They’d meant for it to keep her safe. They hadn’t foreseen that it would lead to her into spying.

“I’ve fallen into a reputation here in Erinth,” Gale said. “When I moved into the mistress suite—”

“Excuse me?”

“There are buildings, near the palazzo, reserved for courtiers and special pets of the Contessa. My home—”

“Castello di Putti, they call it,” Royl put in. “In Fleetspeak, Strumpet Court.”

One of the things I sheerly love about having my stories come out as Tor Originals is this spill out to the e-book world. I tend to write long stories (though I have been working on brevity, of late), and I think my usual 8,500 word length fits well with the e-book format. At a buck, they’re rather a good deal. And the folks at the Tor site showcase their authors’ work so beautifully, with superb covers. It’s heady to have an attractive shelf of my fiction readily available to anyone who wants it.

In which I #amreading about the history of fingerprinting…

keep readingI am currently more than halfway through Suspect Identities: A History of Fingerprinting and Criminal Identification, by Simon A. Cole. The title’s pretty self-explanatory, I think.

This is research for the trilogy set on Stormwrack, the same world where “Among the Silvering Herd” takes place, and
I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that early uses of fingerprinting tended to center around colonizing nations trying to tell their individual subjects apart (they thought all those non-white folks they were dominating looked alike!) I also learned how much of the early development of this technology was less about gathering fingerprints–either directly from individuals or in the form of latent prints on crime scenes–and more about generating a reliable filing system so that you could match the things.

I’d been craving a good non-fiction read and this has definitely delivered.

Here’s a short quote…

J. Edgar Hoover would reminisce fondly about the days when “too many law-enforcement officers were men of low intelligence, some of low morals, and, indeed, of a low opinion for anyone who sought to make science his aid and his standby in the pursuit of a criminal.”

Other books, so far this year –

1. The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2012, edited by Dan Ariely and Tim Folger
2. Throne of the Crescent Moon, by Saladin Ahmed
3. The Cat’s Table, by Michael Ondaatje
4. The Daughter of Time, by Josephine Tey (I read this partly because of the discovery of Richard the III’s bones and partly because of the Jo Walton essay “How can this be so gripping?

Short Stories
About Fairies,” Pat Murphy

Reading in 2012 – the whole shebang (#amreading)

Here’s all the books and many of the short stories I read in 2012

1. The Swerve: How the World Became Modern, by Stephen Greenblatt
2. Among Others, by Jo Walton
3. Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms, and a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, by Simon Winchester
4. Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter
5. Kat, Incorrigible (Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson), by Stephanie Burgis
6. Remote, by Donn Cortez
7.The Pattern Scars by Caitlin Sweet
8. one awesome draft novel by a dear friend
9. Property of a Lady, by Sarah Rayne
10. Hark a Vagrant by Kate Beaton
11. Black Blade Blues, by J.A. Pitt
12. Redshirts, by John Scalzi
13. Broken Harbour, by Tana French
14. Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn
15. Are you My Mother? By Alison Bechdel
16. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
17. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
18. Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins
19. On Conan Doyle or The Whole Art of Storytelling, by Michael Dirda
20. Falling Angel, by William Hjortsberg
21. Between two Fires, by Christopher Buehlman
22. Black Diamonds; The Rise and Fall of an English Dynasty, by Catherine Bailey
23. The Warlock’s Curse, by M.K. Hobson
24. Little Star, by John Ajvide Lindqvist
25. Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
26. The Keeper of Lost Causes, by Jussi Adler-Olsen
27. The Sin Eater, by Sarah Rayne
28. How to Archer, by Sterling Archer

Short Stories (there were others; I’m just getting into this habit).
“Men Who Would Drown,” by Elizabeth Fama
“Six Months, Three Days,” by Charlie Jane Anders
“Nell,” by Karen Hesse (http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/09/nell)
“How to Make a Triffid” by Kelly Lagor (http://www.tor.com/stories/2012/11/how-to-make-a-triffid)
“Your Final Apocalypse,” Sandra McDonald, Clarksworld
“A Scandal in Bohemia,” Arthur Conan Doyle

Rereads
Faithful Place, by Tana French
Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer
Broken Harbour, by Tana French

This probably isn’t rocket science to any of you…

But since I started reading a lot of e-books, I stopped posting a lot of text fragments. It has taken me this long to figure out that I can highlight the good bit, hit SHARE, choose Twitter, and DM myself the frickin’ text I want without having to retype it.

So here, the successful experiment, from Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl:

I am not interested in being set up. I need to be ambushed, caught unawares, like some sort of feral love-jackal.

I chose it because it’s like the humor, and because it reminds me of the state a friend was in some years ago. She’s engaged now, so ha!

As I rebuild this prose-collecting habit, you’ll be seeing more of these. With longer notes. In the meantime, happy weekend.

I #amWriting, amReading, amRithmetic

Sometimes I can get through a book without ever having to print up a manuscript and make hard notes. Not so with the current book, though. I’ve run it off, divided it into five separate hundred-ish page segments, and am most of the way through a pink pen edit. This is not a sekrit publishing technical term. It just means that the next edit will be a green or blue or possibly orange pen edit. I am hoping to only read it this way twice, as the story came together pretty delightfully once the scribbling commenced.

Work in progress: DAUGHTER OF NO NATION

And speaking of delightful, I am now about 70% of the way through my shiny advance copy of M.K. Hobson’s heartrending steampunk novel The Warlock’s Curse, which will be available to the general public so very soon. This novel is the follow-up to the Nebula nominated The Native Star and its sequel The Hidden Goddess. I won’t say anything more about it until I’ve read that last 30%, except for this: damn you, Mary, you’ve gone and made me all emo! Those sodas at your Orycon launch party better be amazing! And also: guys, this is a superfun novel.

Instead of #amreading, here’s what I’m teaching in the fall…

Last week I read all three of Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games books. It may have been too much of the same thing at once, and maybe I’ll have more to say about them once some time has passed. I also reread Into Thin Air, by Jon Krakauer, but I’ve almost certainly written about that before.

Instead of treating you to semi-coherent Peeta/Gale mumblings or some variation on Wow, I sure don’t have what it takes to be a high-altitude climber!, I will tell you that my next UCLA extension course is Novel III, it starts on October 3rd, and there’s a discount available to people who sign up before the 24th. Here’s the description from the course catalog:

For those with a minimum of 50 pages of a novel-in-progress, this workshop guides you to generate at least 50 new pages as well as learn essential self-editing techniques, with the instructor and peers reviewing each participant’s project in detail. Refinements of character, structure, emotional content, and the development of the writer’s voice also are explored. The goal is to produce a substantial portion of your novel.

You can check out the syllabus here. (It’s subject to minor changes only.)

Or, if you’d rather, here’s a newsflash: the trees know that autumn’s on the way.
Autumn leaves in sun

I #AmReading, but for how long?

Happy Fourth of July, U.S. Friends!

I am about a third of the way into The House of Wisdom: How the Arabs Transformed Western Civilization and have only just reached the first gory corpse in Patrick O’Brian’s Red Rain.

Neither book is completely doing it for me: The House of Wisdom is good, but I seem to be absorbing it in small chunks. I feel predisposed to extreme pickiness, to feeling dissatisfaction with the books I’m tackling. I’m not sure there’s much wrong with them, but we definitely aren’t playing well together.

I’ll note that this all started well before I started busily bustin’ words for my WriteAThon commitment. On which note, some braggage:

Tuesday – 1,464 for a total of 28,887
Monday – 1,146 for a total of 27,423
Sunday- 850 words, total of 26,277
Saturday – 1,280 words total of 25,427

Sponsor me here! Win naming rights to stuff on Stormwrack! The number of donors in the pool tripled this week, but the odds of winning the draw are still excellent!)

Okay, back to my point, which is books. Reading for pleasure. The delights of the written word. What has been working for me, in terms of reading, is some of the stuff on the ever-delightful Longreads–I read a good piece on a tornado that ripped through Moscow, Ohio, and a New Yorker article about how having pots of money (or even thinking about it) can affect a person’s capacity for empathy or generosity.

So yay Longreads, and all that, but I am still struggling to sink into a good book-length work, fiction or non-fiction, that I haven’t already read. Has this ever happened to any of you?

Squid story ahoy! And a #BuffyRewatch!

New Fiction! My story “The Sweet Spot,” is available now in the e-book version of Lightspeed magazine, and can be downloaded along with the rest of the issue, here. The story’s release date on the site is July 17th, and I’ll definitely be doing one of my short story intros about it between now and then.

Lightspeed_26_July_2012

For now I’ll tell you that the story is about the childhood of Ruthless Gerrickle, from “The Town on Blighted Sea,” and, in case you’re following this universe of mine at all, it’s about the beginning of the Battle of Oahu.

This week’s Buffy rewatch on Tor.com covers the S3 episode “Helpless.”