Quick Post

There will be a BPF later, but I stayed up last night putting up the collection, Here Be Dragons, I have to do the Friday Book Plug intro for PJM and I have to pack because the Hoyts en masse are going to be at Denver Comicon this weekend.

If you’re there, come by the Wordfire press and say howdy.  We’ll be giving away free signed copies of the hardcover of Gentleman Takes A Chance, if you spend a certain amount (I think it’s $50) on books at the table (not just mine!)  There MIGHT be copies of others of my books as incentive, supposing I can find the boxes in the storage unit (this is not likely, but there’s a bare sliver of possibility.)

And if it’s not me you want to meet, but the author of Ninja Nun, say, or the outward repository of what remains of my sanity (my husband) I should be able to tell you where they are at any time.  No word yet, on whether they’ll let me write while at the table, but I’m sort of hoping so, as I have novels to finish.

I won’t post from the con over the weekend, because the tablet of pokitude won’t do that (though maybe the eee-pc will) but I’ll try to take pictures for the AAR.  I should be back mid afternoon Monday.

And here it should be taken as said that I’m putting up the Hun Sign (little helmet, horns, mustaches) asking for posts next week.  I have one from Alma, and I might have a couple more I forgot (if I did remind me, though be aware sometimes I skip “posts that will set the blog on fire” when I’m too busy to call the fire department.)  Bill Reader sent me one, then withdrew it, which is probably good?  I don’t know, he seems to think we’re all fire breathers, including me.

Anyway, I need guest posts because starting Tuesday, husband is taking the week off, and we’re having an all-hands-on-deck final push to get the house ready to go on the market.  Mostly because trying to write/edit/do almost everything over there by myself might literally be killing me.

We hope to get it all done, though we might need to call handymen for a couple of tasks if we can’t figure them out.  And then I’m going to sleep three days.  (Okay, sleep two days, hit the zoo and Pete’s one) and then I’m going to buckle down to a serious writing schedule, leaving the dusting/changing flowers/doing the lawn to the guys.  Because, yeah, I must finish the Dragon trilogy, which yes, you subscribers will get to read in its first draft typo-ridden glory.  I’m hoping Baen buys it, though.  It screams “Baen book.”  Of course, if it doesn’t go there, it will be indie.  But I want to give Baen a shot at it, because unlike the Magical Empires, I think it has a chance to go big.  (I love Witchfinder, mind, and Witch’s Daughter should be done this week [I know, it was supposed to be Monday, but the other house ate my weekend] but being the weird mix of regency romance and fantasy it is, I don’t think it has “widespread possibilities.”  It has done as well for me as my traditional books, but only because I get a bigger share of profits.  Not to say it couldn’t be a mega bestseller, but it would need major push, of the sort that houses don’t give unless you already have a track record.)

Dragons though… Dragons has potential.

By Dragons I mean To the Dragons, With the Dragons, For the Dragons, not Here be Dragons, which is a collection of all the short stories that have reverted (usually a year after publication) since the last collection (Wings) came out.  There will be another in a year, because since mid 13 I’ve written almost twenty stories.  (Blinks.)

Anyway, these are super packs of shorts and a bargain compared to the normal price individual or in fours (which I decided to stop doing — the fours or fives I mean.  Because they’re, well, not very practical.)


Also on sale yet/still is Death of a Musketeer (till Monday.)  Yeah, fussing with the cover again.  Yeah, not right, yet.  The problem is that there are so few historical mystery series that it’s hard to tell what the “pattern” should be.  I swear I’m just going to do some architecture or something…


At some point I need to get someone to update my frigging Goldport Press site, but that right now is relegated to “house is for sale and I have a day a week to do that sort of thing.”

Oh, and because I like you and you’re kind o’ cute, I put The Big Ship And The Wise Old Owl for free for the next five days.

Happy Memorial Day Weekend.

the big shipcover

85 responses to “Quick Post

  1. Dragons! There’s dragons everywhere! It’s dragons all the way down!

    • You know, I just realized that’s my first collection of short stories without a single gay character? It’s a little odd. In fact, I don’t think any of the shorts have that either. Well, one has Marlowe but even he is straightish….. How ODD. 😛

    • Dragons are in the air. Remember that idea someone tossed out about “What if people could turn into mythical creatures” a while back? Yeah, a gal just got a letter that her father dragoned, and she’s a little p*ssed at him right now. I’m curious to see where my hindbrain takes this story, because the forebrain has 0 clue.

      • I’m having distinct problems naming a rogue AI. I got nothing, and it’s important to get this one right.

        • Wednesday, called Wendy for short.

          Mondays child is fair of face,
          Tuesdays child is full of grace,
          Wednesdays child is full of woe,
          Thursdays child has far to go,
          Fridays child is loving and giving,
          Saturdays child works hard for his living,
          And the child that is born on the Sabbath day
          Is bonny and blithe, and good and gay.

          • Part of the trouble is this universe has no accepted name for the middle day of the week. No galactic standard, at least. Man, getting interstellar polities right is tough. Each planet – or species, more likely – is going to have it’s own mytho-religious history. Who decides what gets used, especially on the frontiers. And how do you describe it?

            • I) Cultures can carry over baggage, such as a Judeo-Christian (post-Judeo-Christian might be more accurate) naming a day of the week for the Norse god of war.

              II) Absent a better description of how the AI is rogue (for example, has it gone Ultron or Vision?) a better answer is difficult to suggest. Unless you do not subscribe to the theory that character names ought express something about that character — in which case any name would serve.

              III) Should character names be expressive of a character’s traits or ironic, e.g., is a character named “Stormy” calm and serene or inclined to go ballistic?


              • Far more Vision than Ultron. I think I’m getting close to what I need.

                • It was built by geeks. So . . . Star Wars and Star Trek characters seem to be common server names . . . I’d say a homage to any stray science fiction or fantasy character you’d like would be appropriate. Unless the rogue is naming itself.

                  • For reasons that I won’t go into here (it could spoil it, and that would be sad) the AI hasn’t ever chosen a name (“I know who I am”) and doesn’t remember what the last people it associated called it. Also, it’s not in anything resembling a Terran setting. Possibly distant future. That hasn’t been determined, so far as I know, so references – while perfectly fine – have to make internal sense. Which means I need to expend the skull-sweat to come up with something, or wait until my subconscious kicks it higher.

                    • I know who I am”

                      Sure hope this is not an omnipotent, omniscient AI. Ay-yai-yai!

                      If female you could call her Genesis (for a new basic chassis; shorten it to Jenny or Ginny), serial #8-67-53-09. Or just have a few drinks and engage the AI in conversation to find out what name comes to lip.

                    • Hard to be. Right now he’s stuck in a tramp light-freighter. Only reason he’s not more compressed is the previous captain did some highly peculiar upgrades to the processor core. Even so, poor guy”s dealing with an analogue to human memory, where his experiences inform his personality, but he doesn’t have his usual recall. He’s finding it distracting.

                    • Wait, he’s stuck in a TRAMP freighter? Isn’t it obvious, his name is Charlie.

  2. Have fun! A little time off is good, perhaps it will inspire new novels. I’m sure the Huns won’t wreck the place more than normal while you are comicconning. 🙂

    (of course, if you go to a *comic* convention, you must not be a true fan of SF?)

    • (of course, if you go to a *comic* convention, you must not be a true fan of SF?)

      I think that only applies to conventions for Stand-Up comics, as the SJWs wrote all of the stand-up guys out of SF years ago.

  3. OK. I searched “Ninja Nun”and got bupkiss. Will somebody explain the doubtless pathetically obvious in-joke, please?

    BTW, found “Ninja Nuns of the Fifth Apocalypse”, which doesn’t seem to be connected, and sounds weird enough to be interesting if the fellow can write. The mention of “St. Peter’s Hospice for the Chronically Bewildered” in the blurb seems hopeful.

  4. If you like, I can do a quick guest post about the roots of indy publishing and how a particular discussion group got a good many of us off the ground.

      • And if you’re *really* desperate, I could probably write something on what a technical/scientific nonfiction writer learned from his first fiction writing project. (There are a number of political subjects I could write on, but presumably you don’t want this to become a political rantblog?)

        • sure, but this blog is not PRIMARILY a writing blog. It’s more life and art and stuff blog.

          • OK, then maybe I’ll do a post on a familiar displacement mechanism of managers out of their depth, and how it has its parallels in politics and the culture wars: the singling out of some trivial 10th-order issue that they can “declare war” on with lots of fanfare, in order to create the illusion of relevance. (Refusing to bake a wedding cake becomes the big issue while hanging of homosexuals in Islamist countries is ignored; obsessing over an off-camera quasi-rape scene in GoT — a show with plenty worse going on — while ignoring mass rape and women being sold as slaves elsewhere;…)

            Or maybe I’ll do the Arnold Kling ‘three primary colors of politics” after all.

            Neither will be long: I’m a terse writer if I put my mind to it.

            • That sounds fascinating

            • Refusing to bake a wedding cake becomes the big issue while hanging of homosexuals in Islamist countries is ignored

              Now they’re coming after folks for agreeing to bake their cakes … or for making their wedding bands. Tolerance is not enough, ve must endorse their preferences.

              The Tolerant Jeweler Who Harbored an Impure Opinion of Same-Sex Marriage
              In the American Conservative yesterday, Rod Dreher related the following story:

              So, a Canadian Christian jeweler custom-made a pair of engagement rings for a lesbian couple, Nicole White and Pam Renouf, at their request. Later, when they found out that the jeweler personally opposes same-sex marriage, they went to pieces and demanded their money back. The couple now believes the rings they ordered will have been tainted by having been fashioned by jeweler Esau Jardon’s hands, given what impure thoughts he holds in his mind.

              One could be forgiven for wondering how we are all supposed to keep up. Last month, as Indiana’s rather tame religious-freedom legislation was being torched by the mob, America’s more devout dissenters were informed that the price of participation in the marketplace was the subjugation of one’s conscience to one’s Caesar. “You can’t opt out of the law,” the agitators explained. “This isn’t the Jim Crow South!” Their core message? That if we all keep quiet about our views — and if we treat commercial transactions as commercial transactions — nobody will end up getting hurt. Or, put another way: “Cater my wedding, you bigot.”

              In Dreher’s story, alas, the opposite case appears to obtain. “We can’t be expected to honor our contracts with companies that disagree with us,” the outraged couple is arguing, “for that might taint our nuptials.” The new message? That we can’t all get along by keeping quiet, but instead need to positively affirm one another or face the consequences. Or, put another way: “Even if I ask you to, don’t cater my wedding, you bigot.”

              Would that the agitators could settle on a strategy.

              Being a dastardly free-market type, I have no objections whatsoever if White and Renouf prefer not to use a vendor whose religious convictions they abhor. Choice, not force, is the guiding star of the classical liberal’s ship: If a free person objects to a business because it has a political sign in its window or because its owners are wearing a yarmulke or because its clerk is using a Mac rather than a PC, that’s fine with me. But we ought to be clear about exactly what happened here. As CBC News confirms, White and Renouf did not walk idly past the window and immediately cross the offending jeweler off their list, and neither did they converse with him a little and discover him to be objectionable. Rather, they found him to be charming and pleasant and happy to acquiesce, and, having been suitably impressed by his offering, they happily entered into a contract with him. And then, having later uncovered what was in his heart, they refused to take “Yes” for an answer.

              When the couple “found out what he really believed about same-sex marriage,” Dreher writes, they “balked, and demanded their money back — and the mob threatened the business if they didn’t yield.” Which is ultimately to say that White and Renouf sought to break their contract — not, you will note, because he was rude or because he failed to deliver on his promises, but because they made a window into his soul and they did not like what they saw — and then, when he objected, to subject him to bullying and to threats until he caved. Is that “tolerance”?

              Some people, nasty, homophobic, cynical extremists might suspect the whole thing was a new scam for extorting money.

  5. Hmmm. After your post on working on skills, I was thinking of gathering and editting some tricks on working on one’s style.

  6. accordingtohoyt

    You mentioned the other you may be looking for something like this for a gift-I saw it in an ad from a company I buy way to much stuff from,this is a really,really good deal…


  7. Carrington Dixon

    I had not realized that historical mysteries were that uncommon. I guess that I just notice them more because they are my favorite non-stf writings. But I can see that most beyond Brother Cadfael and (perhaps) Mary Russell don’t achieve much prominence. I’ve taken advantage of the discount offer and the first Musketeers mystery is now queued up behind the Bedford-Jones D’Artagnan book a bought a few months ago. (Yes, my reading queue is months deep.)

    • Months deep? Kid, my reading queue is decades deep, and that’s not counting the prior queue which got packed up when we moved and I haven’t found the box yet.

      I once got caught up on my reading queue and the trauma of having nothing at hand permanently scarred me.

      Historical mysteries seemed to be the Big New Thing for a while. Steven Saylor had notable success with a number of mysteries set in Roman times. Stuart M. Kaminski has a couple of series that sorta qualify, one set in Soviet Russia and another about a private detective in Hollywood in the ’40s, Toby Peters. (As I recall the Toby Peters books they were good enough to buy & read another one but not good enough to buy the whole string at once.) Max Allan Collins has set several of his books in Al Capone’s Chicago, notably the Nate Heller series, while the Road to … series starts there and ends in ’60s Vegas. (Be aware, Road to Perdition is a graphic novel and eventually a pretty good movie.)

      My father-in-law has passed along quite a few of P C Doherty’s “Hugh Corbett” (set during the 13th-century reign of Edward I of England) books after he’d read them, The first of them wasn’t quite my cuppa but obviously served others well. Sara’s musketeer mysteries are fun, doing a good job of respecting the original material while making it accessible to the modern reader. Buy them only from her as the original dead tree editions contained numerous etidoryal and pyte-settee injuries.

      There certainly are sufficient as to form their own Amazon caste: http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Books-Historical-Mystery/zgbs/books/10470 so perhaps the difficulty in finding them is one of where you’ve been shopping.

      Few are as good as the Cadfael books, but that can be said of the entire category of mysteries or even novels, says i what ought know better.

    • They’re not — recent “pushed” ones are. For some reason the big houses decided to kill them (i.e. decided they didn’t “sell” a few years back.) Yeah, they’re my favorite too.

  8. Ha! We KNEW this would happen! You evil Puppies H8ers have move from bloc voting to bloc convention attendance just to impose your reichwing ways on us! You’re invading my safe space! Trigger! Trigger! AAAAAAAAH…..!

  9. BobtheRegisterredFool

    I’m pretty sure I have one with you, but it probably needs a rewrite.

    Also, today is Draw Mohammad Day.

    • Only reason I would try to draw Mohammed is to fill an inside straight. I’d settle for drawing a club to fill the flush.

      • Jerry Boyd

        You have a holster for your club?

        • Pu-lease! The term is “scabbard” and yes, along with concealed carry permission. (More of a request, actually; I said “It’s lovely out” and they said, “Put it away.”)

  10. BTW, if you want some good historical mysteries, try Arturo Perez-Reverte’s Captain Alatriste novels. They even did a Spanish-language film of them a la Master and Commander starring broody Vigo Mortensen as the broody Alatriste, but I was only able to find a copy with Swedish subtitles.

  11. .By Dragons I mean To the Dragons, With the Dragons, For the Dragons …

    Seems like that ought be OF the Dragons, BY the Dragons and For the Dragons

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard

      Especially since the story involves Humans (with Dragon allies) fighting Dragons who don’t want Humans around anymore. [Wink]

      • Why do I now get a mental image of a dragon slaying knight and a knight slaying dragon sitting down together swapping stories about their own respective idiots.

        • In the guestroom Rada Ni Drako often uses at Schloss Hohen-Drachenburg, the tapestry on the canopy bed looks like a knight slaying a dragon. Until you really start looking at the scene . . .

  12. And purchased. How close do this get us to all the Future History stories being in collections?

    • Not very close. The future history stories were mostly written when I had clue zero how to write shorts, so I’ll have to rewrite them. I’m hoping to have the first future history collection out by December. Could be earlier, but no bets.
      That should cover from present to the “fish war”.

      • I didn’t realize that. You mean all the individuals on Amazon aren’t even the majority? I broke down a few months back and bought them all because, well, there is really only two other good future histories currently. That’s for some value of currently as I believe both authors are trying to move away from them. Even then they were heavily novel focuses. I realized that is a product of the publishing environment the past 30+ years but good short story oriented future history is hard to find.

        So when a good one does it hooks me pretty quickly.

        • No. I have about 50 stories, covering the history from now to 1k years in the future. I shall eventually get them up, probably in their own volumes with a time line either explaining why I thought these events were likely or why it made the “history” awesome.

  13. RealityObserver

    I thank you for the gift, ma’am. Reading it between the daughter’s birthdays. Hoping to get to the review (along with some others) between last birthday and spouse’s next medical bit.

    Still scratching my head, though, why Amazon recommends I buy the composting book next “based on.” No, I don’t suspect sabotage; I got the same thing a couple years back when I bought the Eureka TV series – but are SF/F fans also tending to be heavy-duty composters? Maybe so, as I would be one if my neighbors weren’t just too darn close.

  14. “the other house ate my weekend”

    Overachievers! Always have to do one better! Most people are happy claiming the dog (or in your case, the cats) ate my homework.
    But the Evil League of Evil Space Princess has to have her weekend eaten by a house.
    How do we compete with that?!?

    Have fun at the Con!

  15. Arnold Kling’s “The three languages of politics” is something I could probably do a guest post on, with a twist. I’d call it “The three primary colors of politics”

  16. Arnold Kling’s “The three languages of politics” is something I could probably do a guest post on, with a twist. I’d call it “The three primary colors of politics”

  17. Oh, and for the record, I’m saying it’s summer here in the Old North State. The honeysuckle are in bloom and the yellow biting flies are out.

    • Thppppth. I tried to go to the gym this AM – no dice. We got 2″ of rain on saturated soil in less than an hour and only the fish are going anywhere until at least 1100 CDT. It’s starting to look as if the cotton farmers won’t be able to get a crop planted without really increasing their frost-damage risk.

  18. Astrosorceror

    I’m getting it when they come out! 😀
    How long does Baen usually take for a yes/no? I understand major publishers can take a while…