I am happy to announce that my story “The Sweet Spot” will appear online at Lightspeed Magazine in the not too distant. This is the fourth of my Proxy War series (the squid stories, in other words) to see print, and the second featuring the character of Ruthless from “The Town on Blighted Sea.”
In the meantime, if you’d rather talk Buffyverse, Love is a Path Marked by Bloody Footprints is up at Tordotcom.
And Mrissa’s short review of Blue Magic on LJ points out, quite rightly, that it’s a better read if you’ve read Indigo Springs. My favorite bit:
I was pleased with the fact that the characters in this modern fantasy acted like modern people: they read detective novels and tried to figure out the atomic weight of magical substance and generally were not interchangeable with the 13th century.
Here’s a bit from Kirkus, trimmed for spoilers and length:
In the unreal, magic (a blue substance called vitagua) is frozen into glaciers and as it melts it trickles back into our world. The process can be gradual or explosive. Astrid Lethewood, a “chanter” (she crafts magical objects using vitagua), fears chaos and violence and seeks a gradual course. There are dreadful complications, however… Astrid’s old friend Sahara Knax, now brimming with vitagua, has made herself the center of a cult, the Alchemites, who worship Sahara as a goddess. Problem is, though the Alchemites think they’re saving the environment, Sahara’s only interested in power and will sacrifice anybody to keep it…
… Previously charming and intimate, the narrative’s now become a seething fireball of ideas, actions and plots, complicated by GBLT and environmental agendas and a cast of thousands. Undeniably, something changed when the story jumped from local to global, and readers must judge for themselves which approach they prefer.
69 days until the book is out. Eeee!
I am reading through the Blue Magic page proofs this week (196 days until it’s released!) which means I am going through printed pages that are laid out as the book will be, looking for any small errors. I’ve already gone through the copy-edited manuscript, where all the big errors and inconsistencies have been found and vanquished.
After that, my current plan is to have a hard look at a short story that’s all but done. It’s provisionally titled “Losing Heart among the Tall.” As titles go, I’m not convinced that’s perfect. This polish is half about actually finishing the story, and partly to reacquaint myself with the details of the setting, a place called Stormwrack, which also appears in a number of other things I’ve been working on this year. This includes a story called “Among the Silvering Herd” that I’ve sold to Tor.com. (I’ll let you know when it’s gonna be up, as soon as I know myself!)
This weekend, I’ll be hopping off to VCon to rub elbows with fabulous people like the latest denizen of the Twitterverse, DD Barant, Mary Choo, and Julie McGalliardon. On Saturday evening, at our 9:00 p.m. group reading, I’ll read from my story “Wild Things,” which takes place in the Indigo Springs universe, between the events of the two novels.
Once “Losing Heart among the Tall”‘s events and details are fresh in my mind, I’ll dig into the other stuff set in Stormwrack, for all of October.
Finally, if that goes well and I can wrap up by Halloween, I’m thinking of joining a number of my Nanowrimo buddies-in-crime in November by setting myself a goal of 50,000 words of new short fiction. Since I mostly write novelettes in the 7500-8500 word range, that’d make for six stories. I thought another squid story about Ruthless, perhaps, to go with “The Town on Blighted Sea,” another Stormwrack story for sure, and I have a few other ideas. But I don’t as yet have six ideas, and I thought I might throw the floor open for prompts, requests, challenges, a contest… somesuch thing.
Have any of you done this, either opened the floor to challenges in this way or contributed to a call for prompts? How did it work? Was there a prize? Were you happy with the result?
This weekend I will be at Orycon 32, meeting up with many wonderful people, reading, speaking, and generally saying hello to anyone who’s greetable. My finalized schedule is here:
Saturday, November 13
11:00 am Reading – 30 minutes of Blue Magic
12:00 pm The unique challenges of urban fantasy
3:00 pm Later Afternoon Autograph Session
5:00 pm To Outline or Not to Outline, that is the question
8:00 p.m. Broad Universe Rapidfire Reading, with M.K. Hobson, Jessica Reisman, Camille Alexa, Cat Rambo, and other wonderful Broads! (I’m thinking I’ll read the opening of “The Cage.”)
Sunday November 14
2:00:pm Does writing speed matter?
5:00 pm Sci Fi AuthorFest IV at the Beaverton Powell’s
If you cannot be there and want to hang out with me in a more virtual fashion, my Quantum Leap rewatch of M.I.A. is now live at Tor.com.
Tor.com’s Urban Fantasy spotlight continues and there are goodies on offer–if you post a comment here by Tuesday, you can win a grab bag of books (including, possibly, mine). There’s an editorial round table discussion on the heroes and heroines of paranormal romance, a story, “Olga,” by C.T. Adams and many other intriguing and delightful goodies.
I’ve spent this morning experimenting with my various electronic gadgets, by way of podcasting my own novelette for this TOR.COM spotlight. “The Cage” is eight thousand words long and takes over forty minutes to read, so naturally I did a few shorter dry runs, testing out bits and pieces of equipment. For one of these tests, I used the six-minute snippet that I read far and wide at Broad Universe Rapidfire Readings in 2009. That’s right, folks, I am finally making good on my promise to record and post the Indigo Springs sex scene. If you don’t mind a few spoilers or you’ve already read the book, you can listen to it by clicking here.
I do have a Rapidfire-sized snippet of Blue Magic, too, and I will post that in the not too distant. It’s not nearly as (cough) romantic.
It’s hot out. I live near a busy street, and I’ve had the windows shut as I made recordings, so that there wouldn’t be too much road noise. A side bonus of the fact that it’s ninety-plus degrees in my office is that the cats didn’t feel a need to contribute–Rumble, in particular, punctuated my last podcasting attempt rather ferociously.
Now I’m going to crack some windows and try to get this place ventilated before I venture out in search of library books and fresh fruit.