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Bowie

Jan. 11th, 2016 | 02:03 pm

I wouldn’t have said that I was a massive Bowie fan. I liked a lot of his music, was fascinated by his films and by his videos, and even the stuff I didn’t like was worth having heard, always worth thinking about. But as a queer woman coming of age in the 1980s, Bowie was more than his art. He was himself, in all his public personas, a promise that “flaunting it” was worth it.

Listening to my friends today, I’m reminded of how many Bowies there were. Years ago, N., Lisa’s 18-years-older-than-us sister, made us listen to Jean Genie after we made her watch Labyrinth; in graduate school, it was a ritual to meet my pack of fellow queers to drink scorpion bowls and play Under Pressure on the jukebox, in a bar above a Chinese restaurant where there was also a standing challenge to drink 69 different beers in less than 3 months. This morning over coffee, another friend laughed when I said I had always wanted to be Jareth — “Of course you did!” — and told her story of hearing Bowie in concert. In my guitar-wanker phase, I discovered Reeves Gabrels because of Bowie, and read and re-read an article of Gabrels’ called “Fishing with Architecture,” about looking at your own art through the lens of completely different and often unlikely ones. Ziggy Stardust, the Thin White Duke, the Man Who Fell to Earth and the man who wrote Lazarus (and what a jagged, disturbing video that is) - and the man who wrote Lazarus the musical, currently on Broadway.

I think it’s that multiplicity that I loved most about Bowie: invention, re-invention, re-re-invention, the deep and passionate pursuit of the things that mattered to him — more than that, the things he knew he could make matter to you, too. And always with style and utter fabulosity, because fabulous — flaunting it, whatever the it was — has power. Fabulous is a challenge to the world, and Bowie nailed it, over and over again.
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Endings and Beginnings

Dec. 30th, 2015 | 06:12 pm

It’s the eve of New Year’s Eve, and still ridiculously warm — so warm that the boys who got hoverboards for Christmas have been wearing shorts to try them out, though today it’s raining hard enough to keep everyone indoors. I have been to the grocery store to get supplies for the traditional New Year’s Day meal - ham, black-eyed peas, collard greens, onions, champagne. I bought fresh black-eyed peas, and the young man who bagged my groceries said, “oh, for New Year’s? This year, everybody wants frozen, we’re all out already.” “I don’t mind cooking fresh,” I said. “For a while, I wasn’t able to get them fresh, living up North.” “Still,” he said, looking for something positive. “I hear there’s good farmland in upper New York state.” “So I hear,” I said, and we wished each other a happy new year and went on our ways

It’s been a good year, mostly. I got 3 new novels out — SGA The Third Path, the 8th book of the Legacy series; Wind Raker,* in which our heroes test a seaplane and investigate what seems to be an archeologial mystery on Hawaii; and Oath Bound (just out), in which Gilchrist Aviation gets involved with the Ethiopian war and Jerry gets his Alexandria dig — reissues of The Jazz, Mighty Good Road, and The Game Beyond; and finally a Stargate: Atlantis novella, Lost Queen, told entirely from the point of view of the Wraith. I sold a short story, Mercy Mission, in the Star Wars universe — it opens the compilation volume Rise of the Empire — and I also sold a story, Firstborn, Lastborn, to Athena Andreadis’s anthology To Shape the Dark. I am just about halfway done with Water Horse, the fantasy novel I began a little over a year ago; even though I’ve been working on it between the paying projects, I’m very pleased with progress so far. And of course I’ve been working on a lot of things that are due next year…

Speaking of which, I have another Stargate: Atlantis novella due in January, taking place on Sateda after the events of Third Path — Ronon and Radek Zelenka team up with now-retired USAF pilot Mel Hocken to explore the land outside Sateda’s capital, only to stumble into unexpected trouble. Amy and I are committed to delivering a Mathey and Lynes novella, working title By the Beautiful Sea, in which Ned and Julian make what may prove to be an ill-advised visit to the seashore. I have gotten Point of Sighs to the stage where only two of the index cards say things like “somehow they figure out who killed the tea-captain” and “then they confront the Riverdeme,” and that means it’s almost ready to start writing. I have been researching smoke jumpers for Fire Season, and — oh, yes — I’ve done quite a bit of work on another project, but I can’t really say much about that one yet.

So as one year ends and the next begins, I wish all of us good luck and folding money!

*edited because somehow I forgot one...

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Lost Queen!

Dec. 27th, 2015 | 12:32 pm

The ebook of SGA: Lost Queen is now available for preorder on Amazon, and will be released tomorrow! This is something a little different for Fandemonium — a 40,000 word novella (about 115 pages, if you’re old school), told entirely from the point of view of the Wraith — and I’m very grateful to the folks at Fandemonium for letting me loose on this.

The queens Moonwhite and Light Breaking have hunted in tandem for an unusually long time, but now Light Breaking wants to ally with Alabaster’s hive — and through them with the Lanteans — while Moonwhite argues that they should keep their distance. Tensions between the sisters’ hives are high, their blades and clevermen braced for trouble, when Moonwhite disappears on what should have been a quick visit to her sister’s hive. Forced to seek the Lanteans’ help, the queens’ consorts must trust their enemies and each other if they are to save their missing queen.

A brief snippet, to whet your interest...Collapse )

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Oath Bound!

Dec. 14th, 2015 | 02:23 pm

I thought this was going to be a cover reveal post, but the book is also live on all the usual sites — Amazon, B&N, and Smashwords. Paper copies should be available in January.

(Cover!)Collapse )
So what’s it about?

As the threat of European war looms, the Kingdom of Ethiopia is one of the first to come under attack from the Fascist powers. When Dr. Jerry Ballard’s long-anticipated dig in Alexandria is interrupted by the arrival of his old friend Iskinder on a secret mission for the Ethiopian Emperor, Jerry has to make a stand — even if it means delaying his dream of finding the lost tomb of Alexander the Great. Fortunately, the rest of the Lodge, Alma, Lewis, Mitch, and Stasi are in Sicily showing the Catalina flying boat at a prestigious European air show. Bound by oaths and friendship, they undertake a dangerous journey across the Mediterranean and into the heart of a battle where they will be tested as never before.

Archeology, magic, and aviation — will they be enough to defeat this new threat?

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New Storybundle - And What a Deal It Is!

Dec. 11th, 2015 | 03:04 pm

If you’re looking for a treat to get you through the shortest days of winter, or a gift for a fan (including for yourself), Steven Savile has come up with an amazing Storybundle. To begin with, it’s huge — 12 basic titles (at a base cost of $7), or 30 titles total at the bonus price of $15. More than that, those 30 books include complete trilogies, novels, and collections by both new and familiar authors — the theme is “New Worlds,” and that’s exactly what you’ll find. My own Silence Leigh trilogy, The Roads of Heaven, is part of it, and so is Jody Lynn Nye’s Mythology trilogy, Craig Shaw Gardner’s Ebenezum trilogy, Bradley Beaulieu’s Lays of Anuskaya (yep, a trilogy), 3 books of DJ Butler’s Rock Band Fights Evil series (how can anyone resist that?), plus many, many more. I’ve included the cover banner behind a cut because it’s big, but, seriously, you could take this bundle into hibernation with you, and emerge satisfied sometime around spring.
(Cover images - all of them)Collapse )

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Spectrum Awards 2014/2015

Dec. 5th, 2015 | 04:37 pm

Some nice news from this year’s Chessiecon! The Spectrum Awards for 2014/2015 (for books published in 2013 and 2014) were announced there: Death By Silver won for 2013 and Fairs’ Point for 2014. I’ve linked to the official handouts because not only were A Death at the Dionysus Club and Wind Raker also short-listed, but there are a lot of very good books on the lists for both years. In fact, I’m very proud to claim Jill Shultz as a former student; Angel on the Ropes is twisty, complicated SF with a strong romantic subplot — and circuses! Daughter of Mystery (Heather Rose Jones) is a fascinating take on both magic and the Ruritanian novel; I devoured Charm of Magpies, A Case of Possession, and Flight of Magpies (KJ Charles) over Thanksgiving last year, and would love to read more of both the characters and the weird neo-Victorian magic system. Jordan L. Hawke (Widdershins, Threshold, Stormhaven, Necropolis, and Bloodline) blends Lovecraftian horror and a complicated gay relationship in a magic-touched America. There’s The Mercury Waltz, the sequel to Kathy Koja’s Under the Poppy, and Lynn Flewelling has another Nightrunners novel, Shards of Time.

And those are just the books I’ve read. A lot of good queer-themed SF/F has been published over the last two years! I’ve already gone on a buying binge — I suspect some of you will, too.

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Mighty Good Road

Nov. 15th, 2015 | 10:55 am

Working through my backlist with the folks at Crossroad, I’ve had the very weird experience of reading — in quick succession — my first published novel, my last novel for Baen Books, and my last novel for Tor Books. They were published roughly 10 years apart (1984, 1990, and 2000), and so they provide an interesting snapshot of my career. I’m relieved to see that I’ve gotten better, particularly since each of these three novels are stories in which I tried to do something new to me, and was never sure if I’d succeeded.

Mighty Good Road is probably the book about which I felt most uncertain: I was writing explicitly lesbian protagonists in a novel that had nothing to do with sexuality (more on that later, but it was a Big Deal at the time), I inadvertently touched on some questions of kinship and family that I didn’t know how to handle, and I was on a tight deadline and determined to deliver as close to on time as possible. Add to that the stress of knowing that my much-loved editor was moving to another publisher, and I ended up with very mixed feelings about the whole project. I may have gone so far as to tell people that it wasn’t my favorite book, and that I hadn’t been terribly successful with it.

I really think I was wrong...Collapse )

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Astreaint's Lunar Zodiac

Sep. 26th, 2015 | 11:18 am

The lunar zodiac is older than the solar zodiac, and the names of the moons and of the actual signs vary from place to place. Within Chenedolle itself, there is a certain amount of (largely unintended) cultural pressure to adopt the Astreianter versions of both calendars, and the regional versions are falling into disuse. The League cities have widely varying lunar calendars, including one that has months of varying lengths, but in practice they use the solar calendar. Chadron has its own solar calendar, which it reluctantly reconciles with the Astreianter version; they largely ignore the lunar calendar because of its associations with necromancy. In general, the lunar calendar is more closely attuned to the seasons rather than strictly to the positions of the planets, and is used primarily by farmers, gardeners, people whose work ties them closely to the land — and by necromancers, as the buried dead are strongly influenced by the land. The asterisked signs are ones that are unique to Astreiant, and I’ve added some notes below.
Read more...Collapse )

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And the Winners Are....

Sep. 26th, 2015 | 09:59 am



I'll send you the download codes via LJ unless you PM me with a preferred/different email.  Thanks to everyone for entering!

(As always, numbers generated by random.org.)

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More on Astrology in Astreiant!

Sep. 20th, 2015 | 02:51 pm

As requested yesterday, a quick list of the planets and signs of the solar zodiac. This is a binary solar system, with the Winter-Sun orbiting the main sun in the outermost orbit. The Winter-Sun has 3 visible planets of its own, Sofia, Tyrseis, and Oriane (listed from inner to outer orbits). The other zodiacal planets orbit the primary sun, and are listed below in order of distance from the Sun. Astreiant’s world has a single moon, and it and the Sun are conventionally listed first because their influence is stronger than that of the other planets. I’ve listed the signs of the zodiac in traditional order — originally, the new year began at the spring equinox, the day the Sun entered the Hare or the first day of Lepidas — and the division of the signs into “day” and “night” signs is based on that older reading.

Astrology revealed...Collapse )

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