Thursday, June 30, 2011


My productivity is back. 1400 words and an edit today, and some non-fiction stuff.

Do I have interesting stuff to say for my blog? Not really. Sorry to be boring this week.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Finally caught up.

Stopped feeling as if I'm buried under work today, although I'm still not quite caught up on *everything* I wanted to be caught up on. Still have a stack of short stories to edit.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More news...

Figured I'd let everyone know that the Library of the Living Dead Press is now the Twisted Library Press. Have to admit, I like the new name a lot better. (Library of the Living Dead remains as an imprint).

Monday, June 27, 2011


Back from the awesome that is Origins game expo. Timothy Zahn was there (and a few other lesser knowns). Working towards being on the other side of the signing table one of these days.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heading out.

From tomorrow through Sunday I will be at the Origins Game Expo in Columbus, Ohio. And I am sans laptop, so there will be no updates except through Twitter during this time. (I do have my phone, of course).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Don't give up.

Every writer has moments when they feel like giving up.

I had an editor end a rejection to me with those very words 'Don't give up!'.

Keep working at it. But at the same time, you need to keep writing, not just submitting one piece over and over. You can't improve if you don't write.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ugly Reviews

I've been thinking a fair bit about reviews today. Good, bad and, of course, ugly.

Ugly most often happens when the writer, horrified, lays into the reviewer who clearly could not understand her genius. But it can also happen when the reviewer misses the point or comes in biased.

The worst kind of review, of course, is no review at all. But the 'ugly' review can be pretty bad as well. Reviewers are sometimes asked to review things they are predisposed not to like. For example, there is no way I could review the vast majority of American comedy...the only way I can tell it's supposed to be funny is when everyone *else* laughs. No, I don't lack a sense of humor. I just have a STRANGE one. One that doesn't fit with the mainstream.

I read the first paragraph of the Washington Post's review of the Green Lantern movie. I didn't read further after the reviewer cast Hal Jordan as a 'third string superhero'. He's one of the most recognizable of DC's characters beyond the 'Trinity' (Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman). The Green Lanterns are an important part of DC's cosmology and theme. Of course, he goes on to slam the movie. Of course, a rabid fan can give an ugly review, too...praising through the roof and ignoring flaws because they want it to be good or simply love the subject matter so much that they don't see them.

The answer for readers, media consumers and, yes, writers, is to read multiple reviews. And for writers, to remember that a lousy review is one person's opinion. Even if it's an ugly one.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Well, no. not lazy, but this post from Victoria Strauss is very important.

Book Marketing Methods That Don't Work

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Too many ideas...

...or too few. Seems to be one or the other these days. So, excuse me, I have a story to finish. I hope.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Busy busy busy

Busy weekend. Did see X-Men: First Class (Seriously, Marvel, some of the things you will do to your own characters...). Watchable, decent movie, but not great, and I would have liked to have seen the *real* Hellfire Club.

Plenty planned for the next two weeks, too, so long posts may not materialize. Sorry.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The DC Relaunch and...DADT?

It's no great secret to those who read my work that I'm very pro gay rights...nor is it a great secret why.

It's likely because of that that I've always been a huge fan of the WildStorm characters Apollo and The Midnighter. They were perhaps originally created as a Superman/Batman slash joke...and became far, far more than that.

Here are two incredibly tough guys...if I needed a comic book character to get me through a war zone on the ground it would be a tough call between The Midnighter and Wolverine...and I wouldn't want to bet on a fight between the two, either. The StormWatch relaunch blurb calls them two of the most dangerous metahumans on Earth. These are two men who will do whatever is necessary for the sake of humanity.

These are two men who in the early 2000s (I have the issue somewhere in my mess of comics, but not sure where) became the first same sex couple in second tier or mainstream get married. A deeply loving, serious, monogamous relationship between two men. Something sadly lacking in ALL media. (I suppose that's why everyone loved Brokeback Mountain, but I never saw it...a bit too much of a pure romance for me). Their relationship defines them as much as the marriage between Reed and Sue Richards defines *those* two characters. It's something unseen.

Which made it immediately heartening the second I heard that a StormWatch book was forthcoming from the post-relaunch DC with the preliminary lineup given as those two plus Jack Hawksmoor and J'onn J'onzz (I hope for his sake they're not making him Weatherman...that's always a good career move).

The released cover art shows Apollo flanked by the Midnighter and J'onn J'onzz. Sporting a brand cut? In WildStorm art, Apollo has always been a pretty boy with golden locks. Relaunch Apollo looks like...

...a soldier. Like every mother's son we're sending out there (yes, I realize, there are a lot of mother's daughters too, which the old Apollo more closely resembled). He *looks like a marine*. A jarhead.

My first thought was that DC was moving away from the stereotypical femme-gay. Then I put it all together with their comment about dealing with modern themes.

Is DC comics showing the courage to step out there and make a statement about Don't Ask Don't Tell and gays in combat? Are they using two characters who's sexuality can threaten no one because they are so deeply in love to make this point?

I don't know, of course, until I see what Paul Carroll is actually going to do with it. But I can hope. I can hope that they will keep the relationship intact and give us a comic book role model for all of the gay soldiers...and for everyone struggling with dealing with the changes that will soon (please soon) lead to gay men and women serving openly in the military. Perhaps this book can show people that gay men need not be a threat. And help remind gay men that as hard as it often is for them, a true, committed relationship is possible. Even for a pair of tough, hard soldiers. Or perhaps especially.

Let's hope. I'm watching you, DC Comics and Paul Carroll. Don't mess this one up.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

It is...

...not supposed to be 96 degrees in May. Heck, it topped 99 yesterday. Anyone got any ice cream?

I'm not sure ice cream will do it. Even inside in the a/c this is interfering with productivity. I want a nice honest thunderstorm. Please?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Risk and safety.

Two weeks ago I fell off a horse. Today I have raw milk cheese to eat with my lunch.

The FDA is trying once more to tighten and adjust the rules on raw milk cheese, because so many people think pasteurization is the only way to make dairy safe. They appear to have forgotten why cheese was invented.

But it all got me thinking. In fact, I wrote and submitted a story on this theme last week. Safety. We're moving more and more towards a society in which you Don't Take Risks. Don't smoke (Personally, given I'm allergic to cigarettes, I'd rather you smoked somewhere not near me). Some people have had their best friends sued into bankruptcy by their health insurance companies because they had an accident involving their friends horse, dog, bike or swimming pool. Liability waivers are seldom honored. So, yet more incentive never to do anything dangerous.

Now, to be fair, I speak out thoroughly for always using the appropriate safety gear. I would never get on a horse or a bike without the correct safety helmet and footwear. I don't swim off beaches that don't have lifeguards on duty. I take precautions. But that's different from hiding from the risk.

And as I said to my instructor right before the fall. 'If I fall off this horse, it's my own danged fault'.

But no. We won't take responsibility. And the more we push responsibility onto society the more society is going to say we can't engage in risky sports, or choose to give birth at home with a midwife, or...yeah.

So. Maybe it's time to start taking back risk. I'm going to go enjoy my cheese now.

(As a note. In theory, mobile templates are now enabled on this blog. I haven't had chance to test them yet).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Life is pretty good...

Not only do I have freshly picked cherries (think really expensive gummy candy...that's good for you) but the first Digital Science Fiction Anthology is now available on Kindle.

It contains my story Masks (original title 'Better Men' so often happens in publishing, the working title did not survive the editorial process).

It'll be up on my estore soon, but for now you can get it from here. The print version will be forthcoming.

First Contact - Digital Science Fiction Anthology 1

Monday, June 6, 2011

Capturing the Magic

...of anti-matter, that is. Some time ago, I read news that antimatter had been stored for two-tenths of a second. Now? Well, take a look.

Nearly seventeen minutes. That's approaching the edge of practical use. Part of me fears it will be weaponized...I certainly wouldn't want terrorists getting hold of it. The larger part thinks 'forty days to Mars'.

Then there's what we might learn about our universe from studying the stuff. How did the imbalance that allowed our kind of matter to exist occur? (bear in mind that anti-matter is, technically, whichever one you are not made of). We live in exciting...and scary times, but I will not be one of those who wants to put this genie back into the bottle.

We have it. Soon we will be working out what to do with it. And I would point out that the vast majority of nuclear fission caused by humans on this planet has been used for the generation of electricity not the destruction of life.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Getting all excited...

I know other people are meh or worse about the DC 'relaunch', but...

A JLA that looks like the JLA?

A relaunch of the Giffen-era JLI...and Tora in a non-goofy costume for the first time ever?

What looked suspiciously like a revamped Zealot hanging out with the Themyscirans in Flashpoint?

I'm so there. SO there.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


It's finally cooler here, and I'm caught up...mostly...on the short stories I was working on and back to the first draft of 'Stealing The Sun'. Which I'm not sure isn't completely losing it's way.

Other than that, I have no real news right now. Reading a lot of comics and catching up on old Analogs and just chilling.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


...I swear my muse is a flouncing, 'fabulous' gay man who keeps going out to Freddie's on me. And right now he wants me to write Thor fan-fic.

NO. No fan-fic, dang you...even if it is a cool story. Maybe I'll find some way to use it in...something. For now, going back to battling with the story I want to write...but am finding insanely hard.