ArmadilloCon

Jul. 27th, 2017 10:05 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
Coming up on August 4-6 is ArmadilloCon in Austin: http://armadillocon.org/d39/#/

Major guests are: Guest of Honor: Nisi Shawl, Toastmaster: Don Webb, Fan Guest: A.T. Campbell, III Artist Guest: Mark A. Nelson, Editor Guest: Trevor Quachri, Special Guest: Tamora Pierce


My schedule is:


Friday: teaching at writers workshop


Saturday

Sa1100102 Reading
Sat 11:00 AM-11:30 AM Room 102
Martha Wells
(I'll probably read something from The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition)


Sa1200DR Signing
Sat Noon-1:00 PM Dealers' Room
J. Comer, J. Wells, M. Wells
(I'll have Raksura stickers with art by Pentapoda to give away.)


Sa1400BE Pantsing vs. Outlining
Sat 2:00 PM-3:00 PM Ballroom E
C. Clevenger*, B. Crider, N. Southard, J. Reasoner, J. Wells, M. Wells


Sa1500BE Novellas (non tele)
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom E
J. Reasoner, A. Simmons*, W. Spencer, H. Waldrop, C. Ward, M. Wells
Is the Novella just a stunted novel,a spring-board for an awful fix-up novel, or the perfect length for written SF?


Sa1700SPB Fan Guest Interview
Sat 5:00 PM-6:00 PM Southpark B
A.T. Campbell, M. Wells*, T. Wilson*



Sunday:

Su1100SPB Preview of World Fantasy 2017
Sun 11:00 AM-Noon Southpark B
R. Babcock, J. Miles, M. Wells*
Co-chairs and Toastmaster of the upcoming World Fantasy Convention in San Antonio tell us what's coming

Looking for a book

Jul. 26th, 2017 06:19 pm
norah: Monkey King in challenging pose (Default)
[personal profile] norah
Looking for a book that would have been published by 1957.

Involves a boy who goes through a small door in a wall in the back of a garden. He time-travelled back to the 19th century, and became somehow caught up in a conflict between two wizard or magicians or sorcerers, one good & one evil. That's what we got - help me Obi Wan.

World Fantasy Award Nominees

Jul. 26th, 2017 03:11 pm
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
http://www.tor.com/2017/07/26/the-2017-world-fantasy-award-nominees-have-been-announced/

Congrats to all the nominees!

Novel

Borderline, Mishell Baker (Saga)
Roadsouls, Betsy James (Aqueduct)
The Obelisk Gate, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North (Redhook; Orbit UK)
Lovecraft Country, Matt Ruff (Harper)

Long Fiction

The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson (Tor.com Publishing)
The Ballad of Black Tom, Victor LaValle (Tor.com Publishing)
Every Heart a Doorway, Seanan McGuire (Tor.com Publishing)
“Bloodybones,” Paul F. Olson (Whispered Echoes)
A Taste of Honey, Kai Ashante Wilson (Tor.com Publishing)

Short Fiction

“Das Steingeschöpf,” G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies,” Brooke Bolander (Uncanny 11-12/16)
“Seasons of Glass and Iron,” Amal El-Mohtar (The Starlit Wood)
“Little Widow,” Maria Dahvana Headley (Nightmare 9/16)
“The Fall Shall Further the Flight in Me,” Rachael K. Jones (Clockwork Phoenix 5)

Anthology

Clockwork Phoenix 5, Mike Allen, ed. (Mythic Delirium)
Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, ed. (PS Australia)
Children of Lovecraft, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Dark Horse)
The Best American Science Fiction and Fantasy 2016, Karen Joy Fowler & John Joseph Adams, eds. (Mariner)
The Starlit Wood, Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe, eds. (Saga)

Collection

Sharp Ends, Joe Abercrombie (Orbit US; Gollancz)
On the Eyeball Floor and Other Stories, Tina Connolly (Fairwood)
A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer)
Vacui Magia, L.S. Johnson (Traversing Z Press)
The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, Ken Liu (Saga; Head of Zeus)

Artist

Greg Bridges
Julie Dillon
Paul Lewin
Jeffrey Alan Love
Victo Ngai

Special Award, Professional

L. Timmel Duchamp, for Aqueduct Press
C.C. Finlay, for editing F&SF
Michael Levy & Farah Mendelsohn, for Children’s Fantasy Literature: An Introduction (Cambridge University Press)
Kelly Link, for contributions to the genre
Joe Monti, for contributions to the genre

Special Award, Non-Professional

Scott H. Andrews, for Beneath Ceaseless Skies
Neile Graham, for fostering excellence in the genre through her role as Workshop Director, Clarion West
Malcom R. Phifer & Michael C. Phifer, for their publication The Fantasy Illustration Library, Volume Two: Gods and Goddesses (Michael Publishing)
Lynne M. Thomas & Michael Damian Thomas, for Uncanny
Brian White, for Fireside Fiction Company


The awards will be announced at the World Fantasy Convention, which this year is November 2-5 in San Antonio, TX. http://wfc2017.org/wfc2017/

Headliner guests are Tananarive Due, Karen Joy Fowler, Gregory Manchess, David Mitchell, Gordon Van Gelder TOASTMASTER: Martha Wells

Catching Up

Jul. 26th, 2017 08:06 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
I went on vacation last week, first actual vacation in a long time. Me, my husband, and two friends went to Galveston Island, which is about a three hour drive away and stayed on the east beach: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/163287314212/yesterday-we-got-back-from-three-days-in

We swam everyday, and stood on a sandbar over a hundred yards out in the water and looked at rainstorms out in the gulf. The water was warm in the afternoon, like a giant saltwater spa. We ate a lot of seafood and had margaritas and went out in the harbor in a little boat. It was awesome.

Then yesterday I had jury duty for traffic court, got picked, and everyone there got to tell a mean, angry, scary old white guy clearly used to controlling everything around him that yes, he did have to pay his fine just like everyone else. I don't even know how someone could be this confident in his belief that he can get away with anything, but watching him change his story and lie, and have the woman DA point out the body cam and dash cam video showing he was lying, and Judge Navarro being completely fair yet also bored and unimpressed, and effortlessly cutting off the guy's attempt to rant and swear on the stand. The Judge also made the DA skip over what was probably 20 minutes of video that didn't show anything except that the guy was a terrible person, but believe me, the jury already knew that.

I'm going to try to catch up on book rec posts, and I need to do another Raksura story for my Patreon this month. (https://www.patreon.com/user?u=2458567)

To whoever

Jul. 25th, 2017 10:17 pm
grey_bard: (Default)
[personal profile] grey_bard
If you want to hang out and get ramen please comment here or email me, tell me who you are, and please DON'T pop up in Takarazuka stream and freak out my other friends. Thanks, whoever you are.

Art (Merlin)

Jul. 24th, 2017 10:39 pm
goss: (Paint Brushes)
[personal profile] goss
Title: Excalibur
Artist: [personal profile] goss
Rating: G
Fandom: Merlin (BBC)
Characters/Pairings: Arthur Pendragon (with Excalibur)
Content Notes: Pencil sketch created for the [community profile] drawesome Weekly Challenge #4: One Object, Two Perspectives.

My choice of object was inspired by this gif set on Tumblr. I had to make up certain parts of the sword for both perspective drawings, and found this YouTube vid really helpful as a starting point: How to draw a sword in perspective.

Preview:


Click here for entire artwork )

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2017 07:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways To Give:

Anon reminds us that the 2017-18 school year is coming, and [tumblr.com profile] positivelypt has a post up with links to wishlists for underserved classrooms. You can check out the list, give, and reblog here.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.


Help For Free:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] globalsextrendsproject, who are working on an independent research projected aimed at establishing whether there are global trends in stimuli for sexual arousal and the content of sexual fantasies. You can read more and reblog here or fill out the form here. I took a quick breeze through the form and it's primarily short-answer rather than multiple choice, once you get past the demographic stuff.


Activism:

[tumblr.com profile] stabulous has a post up about Welcome Blanket, a project initiated by the Smart Museum of Art in Chicago and anti-Trump craftivists. They are asking people to send handmade blankets to be exhibited at the Smart and afterwards distributed to refugees and immigrants arriving in the US. The hope is to create 3200 blankets to equal the length of the wall Trump wants to build across the US-Mexico border. You can read more at the link above, and find out how to participate at the official site, which includes activism resources whether you want to actually send in a blanket or not.


News To Know:

[personal profile] brainwane linked to Creative Commons, which is offering grants of up to USD$1000 for small projects ("Salons, campaigns, translations, e-books, printing, collaborations, and more") which grow the global commons. They want help increasing discovery, collaboration, and advocacy towards their mission. You can read more and apply for a grant here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] dr-kara's new comic available on ComixOlogy, [Super]Natural Attraction! Kara is well-known to me as a groovy artist who does cool stuff so while I haven't read this yet I wholeheartedly recommend her work. She has a rebloggable post about it here and you can buy and read it here.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.
goss: (Supergirl - watercolour)
[personal profile] goss
  1. Finished my two-week employment marking papers for a National Exam for Visual Arts. It was a good experience to gain as an Educator in the field, but not one I'll be repeating any time soon. Way too tedious having to mark the same couple questions over and over for what felt like THOUSANDS of students. Plus it took up the entire first two weeks of summer vacation. So glad I am done! \o/ And now my vacation can truly begin! \o/

  2. I've been avidly following the SDCC tag on Tumblr since Thursday, and it's amazing seeing so many fandoms converging in one spot. The superstars are all there, the new trailers are out, the fans are delighted like kids at Christmas, and there seems to be so much *JOY* everywhere. It's been such a treat, waking up the past couple days wondering what new delights await. :D

  3. I also noted (via Tumblr) that in the midst of all the glee, the Supergirl fandom is going through an Actors-related Thing. Which, my sympathies, Supergirl slash fans. More than anything, I know that it's the disrespect and disregard for what you hold dear that hurts. The complicated relationship between Kara and Lena, and their chemistry, was one of the few things to pique my interest in the show. Apparently I have a type. :b As a longtime Super-Luthor shipper from the olden days of Smallville, I feel your pain of loving your ship even when knowing it's never ever gonna be validated or respected by TPTB. It brings back so many memories... *___* Hey, at least they're honest and don't falsely pander and queerbait like some. *side-eyes a certain wolfy show*

  4. Anyway, speaking of Lena Luthor, and Katie McGrath (who I adore ♥)... I'm thinking of doing some BBC Merlin fanart for this week's drawing challenge at [community profile] drawesome. We're supposed to draw an object from two different perspectives, and I'm thinking some kind of important artefact, like King Arthur's Excalibur.

    There are a *LOT* of Significant Objects in fandom to choose from. Stuff like weapons - Thor's hammer Mjolnir, Cap's Shield, Harry Potter's wand, Wonder Woman's lasso, the Doctor's sonic screwdriver, Wynonna Earp's colt. And then there's vehicles, like Stile's jeep and Dean's Impala, and every sci-fi spaceship ever... *g*
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I still have to review Extra Virginity as well, but I actually liked that one, so it will take longer to compose….

One of the things I did get done yesterday between work, the ball game, and the Epic Sunburn, was finish a slim book of short stories called A City Equal to My Desire by James Sallis. This wasn’t a book that was recommended to me, which means I don’t have to feel bad about truly disliking it. I found it in a keyword search on the library website for books about ukuleles, and it has a short story called Ukulele And The World’s Pain, which admittedly was one of the better stories in the book despite still not being very good.

From what I can tell, he did pick the best story out of the book to develop into a novel, “Drive”, but it is very obviously unfinished in short-story form. Sallis has a couple of ongoing problems in the short story collection, one of which is that he tends to skip the vital information you need in order to know what the fuck is going on. And not in a “the blanks slowly get filled in” way, or in a “your imagination is more terrible” way (though there is a little of that) but just in a way where like…he says something that you understand to be vital to the story but which is missing context, then spends like a page describing the fucking diner someone’s sitting in, and by then any context forthcoming doesn’t get linked back. It’s like being in the middle of a paragraph when you hit the photo plates in an older book – yes the photos are very interesting thank you but I need to finish the thought you were sharing with me before I go back and look at them. I think maybe he thinks this is challenging the reader but it’s not, it’s just annoying and makes what are otherwise interesting premises totally opaque. I shouldn’t need to work this hard for a story about a hit man who decides not to kill a politician. 

If the book had a more cohesive theme in terms of the stories, it might be more readable – he clearly enjoys building worlds and then doesn’t quite know what to do with them once he’s built them, so if this was an entire book of “weird and different worlds” ala Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, I would buy in more fully and I think he would have put a little more elbow in. But it’s not. It’s mostly “here’s a really interesting world and a person living in squalor in it does something while being in it”. Also he appears to be fascinated by describing things that are shaped like pi. And a lot of times it feels like he read a wikipedia article on something and wanted to share some knowledge, so he just kind of built a half-assed story around his wikiwander. 

And all of this I would probably let go if say, it was something I was noticing in a fanfic writer, or someone who was just starting out, or someone I felt was genuinely trying to get a point across. But there’s this inexplicable sense of arrogance to the collection, a sort of smugness to it that in professional writers drives me up the goddamn wall. Stephen King sometimes falls into the same trap, where it feels like the author believes they don’t have to respect their readers because they are The Writer. 

The thing about volumes of short stories is that you keep reading it because sometimes there is a real gem. And there are one or two good stories in the volume, but I don’t know if they’re worth the rest of it. 

So my review I guess is mostly me being annoyed, but it boils down to “If you like short stories in the SFF Noir genre, give it a whirl, but if you’re bored with a story none of them get better, so feel free to skip to the next one.” 

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Art (Wonder Woman)

Jul. 19th, 2017 09:18 pm
goss: (Rainbow - Pencils)
[personal profile] goss
Title: Bulletproof
Artist: [personal profile] goss
Rating: G
Fandom: DCU, Wonder Woman (2017)
Characters/Pairings: Diana
Content Notes: This is a quick one, sketched with pencil. Don't have the time to do a proper watercolour painting job as yet. So in the mean time, I've added some digital tinting in Photoshop, as well as played around with the lighting. I actually like the results. ^___^

Created for the [community profile] drawesome Weekly Challenge #3: Song Lyric Prompt. Inspired by Titanium by David Guetta featuring Sia (Ricochet, you take your aim, fire away...).

Preview:


Click here for entire artwork )
copperbadge: (Default)
[personal profile] copperbadge
I am like….90% sure I’m going camping this Friday. 

It depends a bit on the weather, but I’m mostly packed, I’ve cooked food that’s currently waiting in the freezer, and I have acquired the third Diane Mott Davidson book to read. 

The plan is to leave work early, catch the train to the campground, camp overnight, and in the morning hike out to a different train station further down the line, about a seven-mile trek, to do a longer endurance test than last weekend’s. Then I’ll catch the train home around noon on Saturday.

If something goes wrong, I can catch an evening train home on Friday until eight o’clock, or starting in the morning at 5:30, with little to no exertion. It’s pretty low-risk and I’m well stocked. I don’t have a sleeping pad, but my backpack has a partial one built-in, and I have one arriving tomorrow (though it might be too bulky, we’ll see). And honestly in this heat, I might just sleep on top of my sleeping bag in any case. 

Worst case scenario, the campground has heated, lockable shower cubicles with nice big floors. I’ve slept on worse. 

Caaaaaaamping! *jazz hands*

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(no subject)

Jul. 17th, 2017 08:48 am
copperbadge: (radiofreemondaaay)
[personal profile] copperbadge
Good morning everyone, and welcome to Radio Free Monday!

Ways to Give:

[tumblr.com profile] readera's partner, J, has been in the ER multiple times in the past three months, and their finances are very strained because of it. They're raising $300-$500 for transportation costs and medicine; you can read more and reblog here or give directly here.

[tumblr.com profile] sleepyheathen needs to make next month's rent and is selling items, offering commissions, accepting donations, and has an Amazon wishlist up. You can read more, purchase, or reblog here, or donate via paypal here.

[tumblr.com profile] tony-in-distress is trying to escape an abusive situation and hoping to take her siblings with her. She needs to raise enough money for a deposit on a safe house for her and her siblings to live in. You can read more and help out here.

Anon is raising funds to help a friend cover debt and pay for legal bills after her abusive husband took custody of their youngest son. You can read more and give here; unfortunately due to Australian law apparently they can't provide much information.

Sarah Sadat had to leave her job recently due to stress and is facing mounting medical bills for a failing kidney and previous hospitalization; she has surgery scheduled for next month, and is fundraising to help cover medical and other bills. You can read more and give to the fundraiser here.

[tumblr.com profile] ohstephyy was let go from a job three months ago and hasn't been able to get another one; there are also other costs coming up to cover. You can read more and reblog here; a paypal address is available at the post.

[personal profile] laurashapiro linked to a fundraiser for [personal profile] kuwdora, a talented vidder who is trying to become a professional editor. She has an opportunity for professional coaching from the editor of Burn Notice and Empire, but can't afford the expenses on her own. You can read more and help out here.

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] tiarasnteakettles who is looking for work as a harpist, including attempting to purchase a harp that would be a massive upgrade from her current instrument and allow her more freedom in performance. You can read more about her situation and reblog here, including links to her Patreon and online store and Paypal donation address.

[tumblr.com profile] rilee16 is struggling to cover medical expenses after two head injuries last year, and has a fundraiser running to cover living expenses, previous medical bills, and a recent rent increase. You can read more and help out here.

News To Know:

Anon linked to [tumblr.com profile] wanderlust-anthology, an upcoming anthology of reimagined myths, legends, and folklore based on the theme Quests and Journeys. They are looking for creators for this anthology, which will be a full-color printed book with stories, comics, and artwork. You can read more at their tumblr or at the FAQ here; sign-ups close July 30th.

Housing:

Riel is looking for a roommate in Austin, TX to share a townhouse; she and the other roommate (male) are both grad students, and they do have a cat. Riel is very fandom-friendly. Lease starts in August. You can check out the townhouse here and get in touch at ariellayendler at gmail.com.

And this has been Radio Free Monday! Thank you for your time. You can post items for my attention at the Radio Free Monday submissions form. If you're not sure how to proceed, here is a little more about what I do and how you can help (or ask for help!). If you're new to fundraising, you may want to check out my guide to fundraising here.

Book Recs, Signings, and Stuff

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:54 am
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Signings and Stuff


* Here are some photos of me and Rachel Caine at our signing at Murder by the Book: https://marthawells.tumblr.com/post/163060728297/my-friend-tooks-some-photos-of-me-and-rachel-caine We had a good crowd, even though it was pouring rain and there were tornado warnings.

* Here's a post from me on Writers Read: https://whatarewritersreading.blogspot.com/2017/07/martha-wells.html about what I'm reading now (actually what I was reading when I wrote the post)

* And I'm not in this article but I know all these people: https://www.austinchronicle.com/arts/2017-07-14/writing-science-fiction-fantasy-and-horror-in-austin/



***

Books


(If you've been following my book rec and new book listing posts for a while, you may have noticed this already, but while most book lists emphasize books by popular straight white men, this one emphasizes everybody else. I include books by straight white men, but in about the same percentage that other book lists include everybody else. I also try to highlight books that are less well known.)

(I only link to one retail outlet in the book's listing, but most books are available at multiple outlets, like Kobo, iBooks, international Amazons, Barnes & Noble, etc. The short stories are usually on free online magazines.)


* Short Story: Children of Thorns, Children of Water by Aliette de Bodard


* Stranglehold by Rene Sears
Morgan Tenpenny has retreated from her painful, magical past, choosing to live quietly as a guardian of one of the gates between worlds. But her sister Gwen is married to a lord of the High Court of Faerie-and when Gwen asks her to protect her nieces, it's time for Morgan to emerge from her seclusion. The gates to Faerie have inexplicably closed, and no one knows why...


* Revision by Andrea Phillips
Mira is a trust fund baby playing at making it on her own as a Brooklyn barista. When Benji, her tech startup boyfriend, dumps her out of the blue, she decides a little revenge vandalism is in order. Mira updates his entry on Verity, Benji’s Wikipedia-style news aggregator, to say the two have become engaged. Hours later, he shows up at her place with an engagement ring. Chalk it up to coincidence, right? Soon after, Benji’s long-vanished co-founder Chandra shows up asking for Mira’s help. She claims Verity can nudge unlikely events into really happening — even change someone’s mind. And Chandra insists that Verity — and Mira’s newly minted fiance — can’t be trusted.


* Short Story: Waiting on a Bright Moon by JY Yang


* Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy (Laksa Anthology Series: Speculative Fiction Book 3) edited by Lucas K. Law and Derwin Mak


* All Things Violent by Nikki Dolson
Soon the ambitious Simon introduces her to Frank Joyce, a man who would teach her how to become a stone-cold professional killer. Laura learns her deadly trade and earns her money. Twenty-six years old and she thinks she’s found her happily ever after. Sadly it all falls apart when Simon leaves her for another. Now some other woman, blonde and polished, all shiny and new, is living Laura’s happy life.


* Telling the Map by Christopher Rowe
There are ten stories here including one readers have waited ten long years for: in new novel-la The Border State Rowe revisits the world of his much-lauded story The Voluntary State.
goss: (Paint Brushes)
[personal profile] goss
  1. Google No - DuckDuckGo

    So I saw via Tumblr this week that Google did this sneaky thing where they have quietly dropped the ban on personally identifiable web tracking. Meaning: Until now, Google collected your data, but did not attach your name to it. Now, they can, and will. O_O

    There are helpful instructions at the link on how to opt out of this, which I went ahead and followed. Furthermore, I decided to make DuckDuckGo my default search engine, since its main feature is that it is a Non-Tracking search engine.

  2. Stay Motivated

    Here's an article (via [personal profile] umadoshi) on How to Stay Motivated in an era of stupidity, which is worth the read, especially as artists and creators in fandom. We could all benefit from reminding ourselves that the act of creating has merit and value to ourselves and each other, now more than ever.

  3. Art Challenges

    • Defenders Big Bang:
      Have to remember to get started on this one! Art is due on 1st August. I was holding out to read the author's completed story, but since I have an idea of what direction I want to go in from the initial draft, I think I'm going to go ahead and start on the artwork this week.

    • Weekly Challenge #3 - Song Lyric:
      This week's prompt at [community profile] drawesome is a Lyric from one of your favourite songs. I got Wonder Woman (2017) on my mind, and there are so many songs on my playlist that make me think of her bravery, strength of character, and general awesomeness. I am fangirling that movie SO HARD, so this is the perfect incentive to do a bit of WW fanart.
    copperbadge: (Default)
    [personal profile] copperbadge
    A mango mixed jelly freeze from Chinatown is the best decision I have made all week.

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