Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Heroes of Science action figures

When I first saw this, I feared it was real, and I would need to own all of these...


...however, they're actually all customized versions of other figures. :)

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Poem Published in Star*Line 35.4

I had a poem published in the October-December 2012 Star*Line! The poem is titled, "Rats Live On No Evil Star." The photos show the issue cover and a blurry spread of my centerfold placement in the issue.
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Tuesday, October 02, 2012

It took Cory Doctorow ten years ...

"It took ten years for me to sell a story to a "major" market, and during that time, I racked up hundreds of rejections. Looking back on it, I can't really understand why I kept on, except that I couldn't stop. I'm glad I kept at it, but man, what a grind that was."
-- Cory Doctorow, in an offhand aside on a post on BoingBoing yesterday: http://boingboing.net/2012/10/01/how-frederik-pohl-became-a-pul.html

Saturday, September 01, 2012

My flash story "Ceviche Azul" published in _Mirror Dance_

I'm very happy to announce that my flash-fiction story "Ceviche Azul" is now up on the Mirror Dance webzine. Read it to learn about a very special recipe.

The main site is here... http://mirrordancefantasy.blogspot.com
and my particular story is here ... http://mirrordancefantasy.blogspot.com/2012/09/ceviche-azul.html

Saturday, August 25, 2012

_Swordspoint_ and "The Death of the Duke", by Ellen Kushner

I put the novel Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner on hold after reading her short story "The Death of the Duke" on Strange Horizons, and reading the introduction to it. It's not a recent book -- it's from 1987. By the time the book arrived, the only thing I remembered about it was that it was a no-magic fantasy.

It's a great book with strong characters and a believable setting. I was skeptical of the no-magic fantasy at first, but I'm very happy to read about a place with cultural differences -- mainly, the use of dueling-by-proxy to settle disputes between noble houses.

It's a short book and a pretty spare setting -- all the action takes place in a nameless city, the capitol of a realm that somehow kicked out its king years ago and has been getting along fine via a council of nobles.

Perhaps the oddest thing about it the society is that some characters are bisexual and no one makes a big deal of it. There's no angst associated with it and it's never used as a plot point.

Some of those bisexuals manage to get it on a number of times, but it's handled adroitly -- the book is pretty romantic while being less racy than a lot of recent romance novels. Probably if the thing was filmed, I'd find it uncomfortable to sit through. But this isn't a film, it's a story with characters who make you feel strongly, and I can't ask for better than that.

Also, cool swordfights.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I got an Honorable Mention in the Writers of the Future contest!

I've been waiting to announce this ... waiting for the contest people to post this on their own blog. Which they've now done here: http://www.writersofthefuture.com/node/725

This was for a story called "Dragon Hunter."

Saturday, August 18, 2012

_The Poison Eaters_ by Holly Black

I read somewhere that Holly Black was good. The Poison Eaters is a collection of fantasy stories. I liked all of them. This is rare in the extreme.

Her viewpoint characters are kids and teens on the edge of society, mostly, which is unusual, and handled well by her. Read it. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Delilah Dirk Webcomic

I'm just in chapter one of this webcomic about a woman warrior who confounds the chauvinists of Constantinople, and it's already given me a bunch of chuckles: http://www.delilahdirk.com/

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The bad old days

A remininiscence about the bad old days when you could get beaten up for admitting you liked comic books turns into a nice rumination about bullies and real-life superheroes:  http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2012/07/20/the-bad-old-days/

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

_The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making_ by Catherynne M. Valente

This is a kids or young-adult novel, or anyway it's being marketed that way. It's a good one that should be of general interest to all.

I really like that title. It says a lot: I didn't really need to see more than the title to know I was going to want to check this book out. It says "plucky girl" and sets the tone.

And the tone, the voice of the novel is great. It's warm and funny and I could read it all day.

The structure of the book is pretty loose. Given the nature of Fairyland as described here, geography isn't important, giving this a picaresque feel. One could imagine adding any number of extra chapters: the chapters are organized around encounters with various characters of Fairyland. It's an interesting and fun choice and must have made this fun to write. Apparently the book was originally delivered as episodes on the web, which this structure would contribute to.

The general storyline reminded me a lot of Oz, but an Oz that has grown up, gotten some post-modern ideas, and doesn't feel at all dated.

Definitely the sort of book that makes me feel, "Man, I wish I'd written that."

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Circumnavigated-Fairyland-Ship-Making/dp/1250010195/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1341405676&sr=1-1&keywords=girl+who+circumnavigated+fairyland+in+a+ship+of+her+own+making

_Brain Camp_ by Susan Kim, Laurence Klavan, Faith Erin Hicks

This graphic novel has the same artist as previously-mentioned Friends with Boys, but where that one is also written by the artist, this one has Susan Kim and Laurence Klavan as writers.

It's got a great, weird premise: the main characters are underachieving kids whisked off to a camp that's going to make geniuses out of them. But it's clear early that weird things are going on at the camp ... our viewpoint characters are there to replace kids who had something bad happen to them.

I liked how this one ended a lot ... it ends with our main characters not having fully resolved the threat, but prepared to meet it head on in the future. Neat stuff.

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brain-Camp-Susan-Kim/dp/1596433663

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tyson says ...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

_Superman: Earth One_ by J. Michael Straczynski

Superman: Earth One by J. Michael Straczynski, 2010.

This is good. I didn't even realize it was a Straczynski when I grabbed it ... I just figured it was yet-another-retelling-of-Superman's-origin-from-scratch, and ever since Superman: Red Son, I've been really liking those.

I complain about people restarting the superhero story from the origin all the time when it happens in movies -- it seems egregious that we have another Spider Man movie coming out that is a restart. But I'll take these retellings of Superman, as many as you want. Perhaps it's because the story is so well known that the retellings always seem to have nice new spins on them.

Also, they provide a single storyline in one volume -- I don't even want to get started trying to collect the main DC Superman continuity.

I liked:

  • Scenes of Clark Kent trying out for pro football (every position)
  • Scenes of Clark Kent wowing a tech company with his brain
  • Flashbacks to Ma and Pa Kent that were not at all sappy
  • Changes to why Krypton went bang
  • Some of the same edge we saw in Supreme Power

Friday, June 15, 2012

_Friends with Boys_, graphic novel by Faith Erin Hicks

I was really impressed with this one -- fun art and an engaging storyline. I'm always on the lookout for good non-superhero graphic novels and this one's homeschooled-kid-thrown-into-regular-high-school storyline grabbed me fast.

Here's a link to the Amazon page for the book.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Make Your Thing

An inspirational piece "Make Your Thing" by Jesse Thorn, about making independent media stuff ... and eventually making money at it.  I like the format: one example/anecdote/person for each of the 12 points.