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World Fantasy 2009: A Different Perspective

Devi, my esteemed colleague and likely better in every respect, is a battle-scarred veteran of many a convention. Going into this past weekend she had strategies and plans for survival (and apparently a whole list of mad inventions for future years). I, on the other hand, was an impressionable innocent wandering blindly into the crossfire. I’ve been at Orbit a little over a year and didn’t make it out to Denver last year. I’d bopped around the NYCC a little bit and BEA but those are more trade-shows and I’d somehow avoided all the intense networking and partying they surrounds them. I’d always been interested in going just as a fan, but between work and money and all the other little excuses had never ventured afield to that most scary of SFF meet-ups. I was, as embarrassed as I was to admit it, a convention virgin. Read the rest of this entry »

What I learned at World Fantasy. . .

SoullessSomeone asked me recently how many conventions I had been to. And sadly the answer to that is so many that I have no idea.  I’ve been to at least one a year for the past few years and probably as many as three a year in some cases.  What I love about them is the great sense of energy—talking to authors (which I have much to comment on later) and catching up with people you haven’t seen in months and especially the people you’ve yet to meet. I think this year was more fun than other years for a host of reasons. First, I had not one, but two parties that I was invited to. YEAH ME!!!  Beat that! Um. Well, one of them was the Orbit party we hosted, so I guess I can’t, in good conscience count that. And the other was my author Gail Carriger’s launch party for Soulless and I guess I had to be invited – being her editor and all. . . But on to the news from WFC!  Read the rest of this entry »

New Urban Fantasy Debut: TEMPEST RISING!

Another great urban fantasy debut!

Peeler_Tempest Rising (MM)

TEMPEST RISING is the story of Jane True, outcast, night swimmer, and half-selkie. It’s a fabulous world full of characters straight out of myth, from rock gnomes that bag groceries to a sea pony named Trill. What made this one really stand out for me was the fact that Jane True  didn’t live in big urban city, but in a small town off the coast of Maine.  The big attraction there? The Old Sow, a whirlpool that once in a while throws out something interesting. Like a dead body.  Which is how Jane True discovers — and is dragged into—a world of supernaturals that she didn’t even know existed in her small and sleepy town.

Peeler_Tracking Tempest (MM)

Coincidentally, the author, Nicole Peeler, works in Shreveport – and her writing did remind me of a certain waitress from that part of the county.

Nicole has a bunch of links on her website, including a post she did for John Scalzi’s The Big Idea Blog, excerpts from the book, and, of course, the obligatory photos of cats enjoying the book.

Check it out this week in bookstores everywhere. Oh, and I should also tell you that #2, Tracking the Tempest, will be out next July for your reading pleasure.


Graham_Stealing Fire (TP)Stealing Fire is another great historical fantasy novel from Jo Graham and another beautiful painting from John Jude Palencar.

Black Ships and Hand of Isis were some of the first books I read from Orbit when I joined the team here, and they’re books I still press into people’s hands when they come to visit the office. They’re really well-written books in the vein of Mists of Avalon and I can’t give higher praise than that, people. The books are not quite a series in that you can read them in any order, and they don’t follow each other chronologically. However they are tied together by the characters and I won’t say more than that because I don’t want to give it away. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Going home.

I am no longer sure why I am writing this blog. I don’t know who I’m writing it to, or who it’s for. It isn’t for me. I know that. I suppose it’s so that someone knows what happened, but that means nothing to me, either. Who are all of you, anyway? Who am I to you, or you to me? I have lost all perspective to say whether it matters or not.

My wife and I have been fighting nearly constantly in the past days. I’ve been sleeping on the couch. We’d fight about things I don’t even understand. She would talk of events and times that had no meaning to me. And when I tried to talk about better times, times I want things to be like again, she’d stare at me as though I was insane.

Then today I got several voicemails from Dan. His voice was raspy and strange and distant, as though the call was coming from far, far away. On the other side of the world, maybe. It was hard to tell what he was saying, and often it sounded like he was trying to keep his voice down. At the start of the first one it sounded like he was running, maybe running from something. Read the rest of this entry »

Author post

Random Lovable Things

I love it when aliens with giant veiny foreheads come down to tell us how inferior we are and how they’re going to blast us into dust because of their superiority.

I love it when someone spontaneously evolves into a future being with a giant veiny forehead, and then proceeds to threaten humanity with his awesome future intellect.

I love atomic brains from outer space.  Y’know the kind I’m talking about.  They’ve grown beyond the need for a body and just float around, causing all sorts of cosmic mischief.

I love radiation.  Radiation is always sure to be fun.  If it doesn’t kill you, then maybe you’ll get superpowers!  Isn’t that swell?
Read the rest of this entry »


Neumeier_Lord Changing Winds (MM) Neumeier_Land Burning Sands (MM)Today, lucky readers, I have not one but TWO covers to launch: Lord of the Changing Winds and The Land of Burning Sands by Rachel Neumeier, Books I & II of the Griffin Mage Trilogy. I am launching them together because they are releasing back to back in May and June 2010, and the final book will be out in December 2010. (We know you guys love it when we do a quick publishing schedule so you can get the whole epic, right? We’re geeks too, we know waiting for book 2 is the worst.)

Anyway, back to the books. The author has a fresh take on griffins, much more raw, and dangerous than the traditional fantasy griffins — and I wanted that to show through in the covers. These griffins are animal creatures first, and I think that’s never been explored before, so I have focused on those details of the griffins, and then just added touches of the story – in the first book you can just see the reflection of Kes in the griffin’s eye, and then in the second book you can see the role the desert will play. Read the rest of this entry »

Bite Marks is out!

And just in time for Halloween….

Rardin_Bite Marks (TP)

I’m very excited to tell you that Bite Marks is out today! Yeah! This is Jaz Park’s newest adventure. And this time, she’s in a bit deeper than before with gnomes trying to bring down NASA and a demon bent on dragging a friend’s soul to hell.  But to top it off, she’s also hearing voices in her head – and they’re not all hers.

It’s a wild ride. I hope you’re as excited as I am to check this book out in the bookstores. And I’m over the moon because the next book just delivered into my greedy wittle hands! Which you’ll be seeing next fall…

And be sure to check out Jennifer’s post on “The Ick Factor.”

Author post

The Ick Factor

Recently I read a kickass review of my new book, Bite Marks, in the December 2009 issue of RT Book Reviews magazine. I’m not going to quote it here (because it’s a great publication and you should all run out and buy ten copies) except to say my reviewer noted that Bite Marks has a rather intense “ick factor.”

Can I just say how delighted I am, not only by that phrase, but by the fact that it’s being used to describe the sixth book in the Jaz Parks series?  It’s not like I’m into gratuitous ick.  Or gratuitous anything for that matter.  In my books I want everything to happen for a reason.  Except, maybe, for humor.  Which has its own beanbag chair and an outfit we’d all giggle wildly about after seeing while secretly wishing we had one just like it.  Possibly something in pink chiffon, with army boots, and those headbands with springs attached to eyeballs that should go “boingggg” but–sadly–don’t.  However, I digress. Read the rest of this entry »

Gail Z. Martin

Author post

The Day After Tomorrow

One of the things that intrigues me as a writer is the question: “And then what happened?”

That’s one reason why I’m so excited to be writing The Fallen Kings Cycle for Orbit, carrying my characters and world from The Chronicles of the Necromancer into all-new adventures. It gives me the chance to ask, and answer, my favorite question and to share that answer with readers.
Read the rest of this entry »

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