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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

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Hugo Voting Deadline

Hey, are you a Hugo voter? Just in case, don't forget that ballots must be received by March 13th!

Here's the Writertopia website that features information on the Campbell Award, both on past winners and on folks that are eligible for it now.

Yes, as of today it features a photo of yours truly, blissfully holding on to the Campbell plaque and sporting wee tiara. What can I say? Campbell thoughts still make me very, very happy...

Of course I'll be watching the Campbell category with interest this year, but there are all those other categories to consider. My votes are in - are yours?

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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

La Guerre Du Mein For Your Pocket!

It's always fun to post a new cover treatment. This time, it's for the Pocket edition of Acacia in France. The lovely Benedicte Lombardo recently sent it along to me, along with the announcement that it's scheduled for publication in May!

Didier Graffet did the artwork once again.

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Saturday, March 06, 2010

An Impromtu Writers Cabal

I had a very enjoyable evening the other night - something of a surprise get together of fantasy writers.

I'd headed out to South Hadley to see Jedediah Berry and Paul Tremblay read at the Odyssey Bookshop. On arrival, I see Robert Redick is there too. I happen to be reading his Redwolf Conspiracy - and enjoying it very much - at the moment, so it was great to reconnect with him and say so. Also in attendance was Holly Black of Spiderwick Chronicles fame! I'd almost crossed paths with her a bunch of times, but this was the first time we properly met. Lots of chatting ensued.

Of course, we were there to hear Jed and Paul read. That they did, and an engaging reading it was. Paul went first, opening with - I kid you not - a Powerpoint presentation that had mostly to do with his treatment for sleep apnea and resulting severing of his uvula from his body. Strange? Yes it was, but in a tangential way it had everything to do with the protagonist of his weird boiled novel, the narcoleptic private investigator Mark Genevich. Paul then read a bit from No Sleep till Wonderland: A Novel. Good fun.

Jedediah began with a reading from his Crawford Award winning The Manual of Detection. Terrific stuff, also of a detective nature but with a healthy dose of hard to categorize fantastical elements. After that he read from another story he's been cooking up. It was on a pack of cards, which he shuffled and had audience members cut, etc. He then read the segments of the story on the cards in that random order, creating a surreal, comical, strangely cohesive narrative.

That's how readings should be - fun, interactive, playful but still honoring the words and the readers of them.

And then we all went out for food and beer! Now, I've been at a table filled with accomplished - famous even - writers before, but it's also been part of some event like a con or festival or award ceremony. The cool thing about this was that it just happened one Thursday night, pretty much on home turf.

A good time was had by all, I think. Holly didn't even seem to mind being asked several times if she liked the film version of Spiderwick. (She does.) And I learned which of these authors always gets emotionally upset (as in tears flowing) while writing, which one never does, and which one just did so for the first time and considers it a troubling development.

Of course, having tempted you with that, I'll offer no more details. You'll have to join us next time to find out...

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Ten Rules For Writing Fiction

I like this piece from the Guardian (which Mike Kimball pointed out to me). It starts with Elmore Leonard's tips, but then goes on with a grabbag of other authors, including Richard Ford, Margaret Atwood, Geoff Dyer, Neil Gaiman, PD James, Phillip Pullman, Michael Morpurgo, Zadie Smith, Jeanette Winterson and many others!

Take a look HERE.

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Monday, March 01, 2010

The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms

Here's a fantasy publication I've been looking forward to for a long time. N.K. Jemisin's debut novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, (The Inheritance Trilogy), is out now. I haven't read it yet, but I've known Nora for a little while I expect wonderful things from this book. The response so far seems to have been great, and I know that Orbit invested in her with enthusiasm.

Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say in a Starred Review:

Convoluted without being dense, Jemisin's engaging debut grabs readers right from the start. Yeine desires nothing more than a normal life in her barbarian homeland of Darr. But her mother was of the powerful Arameri family, and when Yeine is summoned to the capital city of Sky a month after her mother's murder, she cannot refuse. Dakarta, her grandfather and the Arameri patriarch, pits her against her two cousins as a potential heir to the throne. In an increasingly deep Zelaznyesque series of political maneuverings, Yeine, nearly powerless but fiercely determined, finds potential allies among her relatives and the gods who are forced to live in Sky as servants after losing an ancient war. Multifaceted characters struggle with their individual burdens and desires, creating a complex, edge-of-your-seat story with plenty of funny, scary, and bittersweet twists.

Sounds good to me.

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