Buffy Rewatch, BLUE MAGIC countdown

My latest Buffy rewatch, “The Worst Part is the Stains,” can be found on Tor.com. I hope you all are enjoying these. There’s been some passionate discussion of the show in the Tor threads, and I encourage you all to sign up and join the fray.

In other news, BLUE MAGIC is a mere fifty days from hitting bookstores. There will be an excerpt on TOR at some point, and interviews and giveaways, and a Vancouver launch whose date I hope to announce soon, soon, soon, and many exciting things! There will also be a short story, “Wild Things,” which takes place between the events of the two novels. I’ll let you know as soon as I know when that’s gonna be up.

(By the way, if you are a reviewer, and you have an ARC of BLUE MAGIC, and you’ve never read INDIGO SPRINGS… drop me a line. I still have a few galleys; I can hook you up.)

A taste of BLUE MAGIC… the first review

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!

Exquisite Words is back from VCON

This is my favorite paragraph from my favorite Erik Larson book, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America. I can see and hear and smell this all so clearly that it’s hard to remember I haven’t been here:

Other ballots followed. Daylight faded to thin broth. The sidewalks filled with men and women leaving work. Typewriters–the women who operated the latest business machines–streamed from the Rookery, the Montauk, and other skyscrapers wearing under their coats the customary white blouse and long black skirt that so evoked the keys of their Remingtons. A lamplighter scuttled along the edges of the crowd igniting the gas jets atop cast-iron poles. Abruptly there was color everywhere: the yellow streetcars and the sudden blues of telegraph boys jolting past with satchels full of joy and gloom; cab drivers lighting the red night-lamps at the backs of their hansoms; a large gilded lion crouching before the hat store across the street. In the high buildings above, gas and electric lights bloomed in the dusk like moonflowers.

Fine sifting and fall plans

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?

Fall in love with our Opening Acts


SF Novelists has this week published our first book of sample chapters for e-book readers: it’s called Opening Acts, 25 Science Fiction and Fantasy First Chapters.

So what’s the deal? Here’s our cover copy:

Every reader knows that the trouble is not finding something to read, but finding something you want to read. Sometimes, it’s something familiar, something known. Sometimes it’s something new, something unexpected.

SF Novelists proudly offers you twenty-five teasers, twenty-give first chapters across the spectrum of SF and fantasy. Twenty-five tastes, to tempt your appetite for adventure… to lure you into unknown worlds…

And give you something new to read.

In other words, the book is intended as a free taste of novels you can get online (and of course in bookstores too). The first chapter of my novel Indigo Springs is in it, as are works by Janni Lee Simner, Louise Marley, T.A. Pratt, Stephen Gould, and so many more! It’s a zero-risk ‘try before you buy’ proposition, and a chance to fall in love with some new SF and fantasy novels.

The book is available for free download right now courtesy authors Simon Haynes, here, and Steven Gould, here. It will also be up on B&N, Smashwords and other fine distributors very soon.