Friday, May 31, 2019

Bond and Phoebe Waller-Bridge

So, apparently, Phoebe Waller-Bridge was brought on to doctor the script for the next Bond movie.

Bond has always been my guilty pleasure. I'm a second generation fan, I've seen every movie (many of them more than once). People question how I can enjoy something which treats women in such a problematic way.

I think Waller-Bridge hit the nail on the head. She said "The new movie has to treat women right even if he doesn't."

The thing about the character of Bond is you root for him but at the same time, you wish he didn't have to exist. (A lot of Americans don't understand this. America has long had a different opinion of spies than the U.K.). And yes, he can be a misogynist. And he has to be or he's not Bond.

But that can be handled in a way which exposes and uses the complexities of the character. I still wish Craig wasn't doing another movie because he looked so done with it at the end of the last one, but this gives me hope that we can do something with a venerable and often problematic franchise.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

So, apparently...

...we all need to check our tablet cases for...

...rabid bats.

If I put this in a horror story nobody would buy it. (Btw, the victim is recovering, having been treated in time, but how did a rabid bat even get in his iPad case?)

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Stars and Us...

So, it's out there, but apparently a cluster of local supernovas may be responsible for us walking upright (and everything that brought).

The supernovae caused an increase in certain kinds of ionizing radiation between 8 million and 2.6 million years ago.

This in turn caused an increase in forest fires in Africa, and in many places the forests never came back, leaving our ancestors forced to learn to live in the savannah. Standing upright (look at meerkats) is how you see over tall grasses...

Because the universe is weirdly interconnected.

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Release: Tales from the Old Black Ambulance

Sixteen horror stories based around, yup, hearses. It contains my most originally-titled story ever "Hearse" as well as tales from Larry Hodges, Gail Z. Martin, Rick Duffy, and others.

It's available in paperback right now.

Also, Balticon was awesome.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


I'll be heading out pretty early tomorrow.

I'll mostly either be in panels or, well, the bar. They're using me a lot this year (and I love it).

I will have books for sale at my signing and hopefully at the New Media party (although I'm scheduled across the first hour) on Saturday night.

Hoping to see a bunch of you there.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Can we save the planet... making more CO2.

This counterintuitive approach is the idea that we should pull methane out of the atmosphere in areas where it is concentrated (such as landfills and dairy farms) and turn it into CO2 and release it.

But wait, CO2 is bad.

Yes, it is, but it's not nearly as bad as methane. So, it's possibly a tool in the playbook.

Monday, May 20, 2019


...the primary sign of habitability is an atmosphere and liquid water.

Pluto, it turns out, has both.

Yup, Pluto has a trace of an atmosphere and that is helping an underground ocean stay liquid. It also involves flammable ice, because things get strange in the outer reaches of the solar system.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Only in modern America...

...would the death of a cat be front page news.

Oh wait, it was front page news on the BBC too.

Grumpy Cat has died. The Grumpy Cat. And it's sad, because he was only seven (young for a kitty).

But it also says something about our society that an animal can reach the heights of celebrity as to get the same treatment as famous humans.

I mean, I'm literally seeing Grumpy Cat obits on Fox, the New York Times, CNN, People, NPR, the Verge.

Daily Mail, that rag, has it as live updating.

And of course I have to.


I'm going to miss her too. I'm as bad as the rest of us.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

If you've...

...ever had to deal with bedbugs, you know they're hard to kill.

Scientists have now discovered the little critters were around before the extinction event that destroyed the dinosaurs.

No wonder they're a pest control nightmare...

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Small Roundup

First of all, I got this review for Falling Dusk. It's at the top of the page. Always good to know somebody enjoyed my work!

Tales from the Old Black Ambulance will be released on Memorial Day, containing my story "Hearse."

Paradise City is in formatting, but has no formal release date. It contains my story "In the Company of Cats." All proceeds from this anthology will go towards Scott Pond's medical and other expenses - he's recovering from cancer.

I'll be reading from one of these stories at Balticon Short Bites. I haven't decided which one yet, leaning towards the Paradise City story as it has such a strong Balticon connection, but Hearse is a lot of fun too.

I've turned in galleys on my next Analog story, "The Waters of a New World." I think this one is better than "Temple of Children" by quite a bit.

And I signed a contract for Mad Scientist Journal to publish "The Voice" in what will sadly be their last anthology, I Didn't Break The Lamp.

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

The moon is shrinking...

...but don't be alarmed. It's not shrinking quickly. However, we thought it had stopped that stuff a long time ago.

The data that establishes that the moon is still shrinking came, believe it or not, from modern analysis of data gathered by seisometers...left by the Apollo missions.

(No, it was not all a publicity stunt).

Monday, May 13, 2019

Oh, look...'s a dragon!

Bat winged dinosaurs lost out to the feather winged kind, but they did exist. Briefly.

Totally a dragon.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Is Evolution Sometimes a Cycle?

Apparently, yes.

One species of rail has twice colonized islands and become the same exact way. This proves that evolution is highly predictable. The phenomenon is called iterative evolution.

It has some interesting implications. If a species can literally evolve twice in essentially the same way, then...for one thing, it means de-extinction isn't as unnatural as we think.

(Passenger pigeons, anyone?)

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Nobody is Perfect

Occasionally, there are typos in books. In fact, there are typos in books that go through major publishing houses.

People ask how that can happen.

Well, it's not just books. Quite a lot of people were asking how a Starbucks cup ended up left in the shot in an episode of Game of Thrones. Surely one of the people on set would have noticed it.

Fact is, mistakes can get past everyone. No matter how many people you have look something over, something is going to slip into the live version.

Whether it's a coffee cup or a ; instead of a c (Don't ask. It happened), mistakes are going to slip through.

And it's always nice to have a reminder that they happen to other people.

(In the digital world, they're easy to fix. The coffee cup will apparently not be showing up again).

Wednesday, May 8, 2019's cute!

It's T-Rex...three feet tall.

Suskityrannus hazelae is a tiny relative of T-Rex from just before it became the ultimate apex predator. It probably ate small animals.

And it's adorable. I mean, I still wouldn't argue with a T-Rex even at that size, but...

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

The Engame (Spoilers)

Yes, spoilers. And as I know people who still haven't seen it...just stop reading now if you haven't.















Still with me?

Okay, if you're familiar with the original Infinity War storyline, then the Big Spoiler...isn't. In the original comics, Tony is killed when he uses the Infinity Gauntlet to reverse Thanos' actions. Being comics, he came back.

Being as Downey has said he wants to move on from Tony Stark, MCU Tony probably isn't coming back. There will undoubtedly be a new Iron Man. Or, more likely, more than one. There's an obvious set up for Morgan Stark - thanks to timeline shenanigans now of a close age with Cassie Lang (Stature in the comics) and Hawkeye's daughter (whom he already called Hawkeye) to be future Avengers, but the kids are all under 8.

Either Rhodey will take the mantle for a while or we're going to see the imminent introduction of Ironheart (Riri Williams) as Tony's replacement. The Far From Home trailer has Fury trying to get Peter to take the title, but obviously...well...he has his own.

I was dissatisfied with Cap's ending, but squee'd when he gave Falcon the shield (I've been worried we might end up with Bucky-Cap, which is far less interesting). Also near squee when he picked up Mjolnir. (Yes, Mjolnir is back, as is Cap's TWICE destroyed shield. Items have plot immortality).

Both upset and not about Black Widow.

Very upset that the original Gamora seems to be staying dead, retconing all of her character development. However, the end did kind of set up for Guardians III: The Search for Gamora (does this mean that if there's a fourth movie they have to travel into Earth's past?) so...who knows what Gunn has in mind there.

The best part of this movie, though, was the message it sent to younger viewers: Everyone can be an Avenger.

All you have to do is stand up for what's right and protect your community. The passing on of the shield from a white man to a black one strengthened that message.

"I don't want to live in a world without Captain America."

None of us have to. And that was the primary message of Endgame. That we don't need our heroes.

We can become them.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Balticon Schedule

As usual, this may be subject to last minute changes.

Friday, 5pm - Being A Fan of Problematic Things (moderator). Sadly it won't be late night this time, so we might have to tone things down some.
Friday, 9pm - Bad Movie Adaptations. There will be a cage fight.

Saturday, 11am - How to be a Good Moderator
Saturday, noon - Writing Neurodivergent Characters
Saturday, 2pm - Balticon Short Takes (this replaces the Broad Universe RFR, which was canceled due to drama. Ask me if you really want to know).
Saturday, 4pm - Reading with Paul Ellis and Veronica Giguere (I have to compete with Veronica? Ack!)
Saturday, 8pm - Fantasy -isms: When Metaphors go bad
Saturday, 9pm - Non-Super Super Heroes. Which is about how some characters might not have super powers...but might as well. My Bond fan will come out here.

Sunday, 10am - Doctor Who: The Whittaker/Chibnall Era so Far. Rotated back onto the Who panel. As the only woman. Talking about Whittaker. *grins*
Sunday, 12pm - Signing (I will also have books throughout the con, so talk to me).
Sunday, 2pm - Just How Many People Live In Your Fantasy City, Anyway? (moderator). This one may get a bit technical. There may be math. Hence why I'm moderating.
Sunday, 3pm - Consent Violations and Bystander Intervention (moderator)
Sunday 5pm - Queer Fandoms
Sunday 8pm - Sex, Sexuality and Worldbuilding (moderator). Yes, this one is definitely 18+.

Monday 10am - Dealing with Toxic Fandoms
Monday 1pm - Scifi Comics Without Superheroes. I'm hoping to talk about G. Willow Wilson's intriguing Invisible Kingdom.

Yes, I'm letting them work me hard again, but I love it.