Long Time, No Update / BCS Anthology

May 4th, 2010

Wow–over a month since I’ve posted. Basically, I’ve been swamped–writing new stories for the annual Odyssey alumni workshop in July, reading submissions and working on audio fiction podcasts for Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and starting to clean out my childhood house (it’s like Schliemann’s thirteen levels of Troy in there).

The big news at BCS is the release of our new anthology, The Best of BCS, Year One. It has fourteen of the coolest stories from our first year, including ones by Richard Parks, Yoon Ha Lee, Aliette de Bodard, and Holly Phillips. It’s an ebook anthology (the future of publishing!), and it’s available for just $2.99 in the Amazon Kindle Store and at many other ebook vendors. All the details are here.

The coming months may be just as busy–more podcasts for BCS, a bunch of crit reading for the summer Odyssey alum workshop, planning my con trips for the rest of the year, and more down-home archeology (old AD&D modules and 1/72nd scale Luftwaffe night fighers…). I should have good news on the short story front soon, and hopefully BCS and the new anthology will keep gaining notice. The future beckons.

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My Use for Writing Tips

March 17th, 2010

Overspreading the writing blogosphere the past few weeks–posts of Ten “Rules” for Writing Fiction. It started with The Guardian, a British newspaper, publishing tip lists from authors such as Neil Gaiman and Margaret Atwood. Since then, others have chimed in, including SF/F novelist Daniel Abraham.

I’ve read lots of writing “rules” over the years, ones I agree with and ones I don’t. It is interesting to see what successful writers believe about the (or their) process. But the main thing I get out of such lists is different. The tips I’ve already heard, I gloss over. But every now and then there’s one that makes me think, even if it covers a concept I already know.

Black Gate editor Howard Andrew Jones had one such in his list: “Know what all the characters in the scene want before they come on stage.”

I’m big on character motivation, so I’m always thinking of what the characters want. But I like how Jones’s tip frames that very succinctly, and also includes any possible antagonist or secondary characters as well. All characters, whether PCs or NPCs, want something, and they all should act and interact as though they do. If they don’t, they won’t feel real on the page.

So even if all these tip lists are things you’ve seen before, they can still be useful if they make you think.

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“Spin” is Up to Bat

February 24th, 2010

Issue #14 of M-Brane SF magazine is now out, featuring my hard-SF baseball story “Picking Up the Spin.”

If you’ve always wondered what SF written by me would read like, given that I have a chemistry background but always write fantasy, this is your chance to find out. :)

M-Brane is a great indie mag, now in their second year (not unlike my mag BCS). Among the many other authors in Issue #14 is my friend and colleague Cat Rambo. So definitely give this issue a look.

M-Brane 14 Cover

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Boskone Postlude

February 16th, 2010

I had a great time at Boskone last weekend! Many people spoke to me about Beneath Ceaseless Skies, which was great–it’s more and more people at each con I go to. A good small crowd attended the BCS reading, and several nice-sized audiences attended the two panels about online topics that I was on.

Special thanks to a few folks: JoAnn and Boskone for inviting me, Maggie and KJ and Mike for reading, Neil Clarke and James Patrick Kelly for great interaction on two different panels, Teresa Nielsen Hayden for remembering me :) , Ian and NewGuyDave for a cool chat, Anne for her great brewpub recommendation, the good folks at Harpoon Brewery and Cambridge Brewing Co. for their fine skill, and my compatriot Mike for bringing a church key!

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