Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holiday update

Happy (belated) holidays, everyone!

Had a nice Christmas morning with the family. Got a new desk which will come in extremely handy for drawing. Also, a stuffed hamster that can moonwalk. I specifically asked for no books or gift cards to bookstores because I have way too many as is and in the next few months I'm getting a bunch more sent to me. But my sister is trying to clear out her stash so she's given me:

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
The Outstretched Shadow (Book 1) by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
To Light a Candle (Book 2) by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory
Cast in Shadow by Michelle Sagara
Cast in Courtlight by Michelle Sagara

So there. I'll get to them eventually. Really, I will. When? ::shrugs::

Friday, December 22, 2006


...and now I'm off until 2007! Hooray!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

No, no, no, and no

Lather, rinse, repeat. For fifteen minutes.

Monday, December 18, 2006

The review queue

Queue is a funny word. Killer in Scrabble, but if you look at it too long your brain begins to fritz out. Anyways, even though I've put a lot of my reviewing tasks aside for the time being I still have books that need reviewing. At the moment, I'm just reading some books that have been on my shelf for a bit, waiting, waiting, waiting. But here's what I'll eventually get to in the first few months of 2007:
  • The Flock by James Robert Smith
  • The Awakened City by Victoria Strauss
  • Fast Forward I edited by Lou Anders
  • Farthing, Issue #5
And that's pretty much it for now. I discovered some vanity press novels that Damon had slipped me along with actual real novels (bastard!), but I doubt I'll ever even open them. It gets cold up here in North Jersey, though, so they'll be at least good for burning. Wow, I'm the nicest. I'm sure other books are coming in, and there might be the occasional pop-up review (a la Ysabel), but for the most part that should be it.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

An empty sandwich

Ever eat a sandwich consisting of just bread, shredded lettuce, and black olives? It's not bad, certainly edible, but I wanted my tuna. Shame I was too lazy to go back and complain. Least they remembered the bread. And to charge me $6 for it.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A haiku for you

Haiku2 for wistfulwritings
my favorite shop
i've decided i need to
enlarge my tanith
Created by Grahame

Oh, now this is funny. Especially that last line...enlarge my Tanith, indeed.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Burning Review

Check out my review of The Burning Land by Victoria Strauss!

From the FBS Quick Take:
The Burning Land is a novel worthy of the term epic, all without being book 1 of 12 and having a Dark Lord bent on making commoners suffer needlessly.

Raindrops keep falling on my head...

Clearly, the rain gods of Clifton exist just to smite me.

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I picked up some more books at my favorite shop. I've decided I need to enlarge my Tanith Lee collection. Here's what I got:

  • Ursula K. Le Guin - The Word for World is Forest
  • Tanith Lee - The Birthgrave
  • Tanith Lee - Don't Bite the Sun
  • Tanith Lee - Drinking Sapphire Wine
  • Stephen King - Carrie
I was really hoping to find some of King's short story collections, but alas, none could be found. I did notice, however, that Cell is out in mass market paperback. Might have to pick that one up soon too.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Olives in the sky...

Sadly, I did not see this olive-eyed daughter of hers. I eventually grew annoyed with this woman talking only about her daughter and how pretty she was and how when she got older she was going to be the one girl all the boys fought over and blah, blah, blah. The guy with her was most certainly not a husband or boyfriend so I can only imagine what his opinions on this topic were.

In other news, I hit the first draft of an urban fantasy short story called "Nineteen and a Half Cats" at 3,700 words. I'm currently editing it and hopefully I can stick a fork in it soon. I haven't completed a short story in awhile and was beginning to worry I'd hit a snag of sorts. It's all right though as my backlog of tales is still pretty large.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A new month is here

...and it's raining out, but fairly warm with little to no breeze. What's up with the weather this December? I didn't mean for that question to rhyme as much as it did.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Journal comics

I'm doing a couple journal-style comics, but don't expect these every day. Just more or less when I feel like doing them. And here's something I've discovered--I never draw myself the same way twice. Anyways, here are two for now (click them to enlarge the picture):

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Top 50 favorite short stories

I've been reading short stories now for several years, and this list (can you tell that I like lists?) has been growing inside my head for some time. To ease the migraines and furry little demon lords, I'm going to post what I think are my Top 50 favorite short stories EVAR. Well, maybe not EVAR since more and more will probably continue to impress me, but you get the point. These are more like my Top 50 stories as of November 29, 2006. And you'll probably notice that most of these come from recent or just emerging authors, and that's because I've been doing more reading of what's current than what's in the past.

Feel free to yell at me for that. Throw fireballs for all I care. Or, better yet, suggest short stories to me that you'd think I'd enjoy. I'm attracted to the weird, the extreme, and the tragic (and, well, anything involving broken robots).

Personal thoughts/comments/quips are added when I feel like adding them. So there.

Also, please note that these are in no order whatsoever. Just my favorite fifty I could come up with.

Top 50 favorite short stories

  1. Cory Doctorow - "Craphound" (I will say this time and time again that Doctorow's story of aliens, yard sales, and friendship is one of the most powerful tales I've ever read.)
  2. Ursula K. Le Guin - "The Birthday of the World"
  3. Ursula K. Le Guin - "Darkrose and Diamond" (I'm a sucker for Earthsea, though I enjoy her short stories about the world more than the novels. Weird.)
  4. Neil Gaiman - "Harlequin Valentine"
  5. Margo Lanagan - "Singing My Sister Down"
  6. Kelly Link - "The Girl Detective"
  7. Paul Melko - "Doctor Mighty and the Case of the Ennui"
  8. Jay Lake - "The Soul Bottles"
  9. Jay Lake - "Fat Jack and the Spider Clown"
  10. Albert E. Cowdrey - "Imitation of Life"
  11. Sandra McDonald - "Lost and Found"
  12. Patrick Samphire - "Uncle Vernon’s Lie"
  13. Liz Williams - "Mortegarde"
  14. Josh Rountree - "The Queen's Wood"
  15. Josh Rountree - "A Better Place"
  16. Lawrence M. Schoen - "The Game of Leaf and Smile" (One that I can see myself re-reading every Halloween.)
  17. Michael Bishop - "Bears Discover Smut" (Brilliant and fun.)
  18. Richard Bowes - "There's a Hole in the City"
  19. A.M. Dellamonica - "The Spear Carrier"
  20. Dario Ciriell0 - "Valley of the Shadow"
  21. Ruth Nestvold - "The Old Man and the Sneakers"
  22. Heidi Cyr - "X & Y"
  23. Anne McCaffrey - "The Girl Who Heard Dragons"
  24. Aliette de Bodard - "A Warrior's Death"
  25. James Tiptree, Jr. - "The Women Men Don't See"
  26. Paul Di Filippo - "Shipbreaker"
  27. Ian R. MacLeod - "New Light on the Drake Equation"
  28. E. Sedia - "God's Chosen" (Hooray for broken robots!)
  29. Richard Parks - "Moon Viewing at Shijo Bridge"
  30. Tanith Lee - "En Forêt Noire"
  31. Mary Robinette Kowal - "Cerbo en Vitra ujo" (Effing disturbing. That's all I'll say.)
  32. Jeffrey Ford - "In the House of Four Seasons"
  33. M. Thomas - "The Tinker's Child" (Hooray for broken robots!)
  34. Heather Lindsley - "Just Do It"
  35. Ef Deal - "Czesko" (I was really drawn into the story simply by the voice of the narrator.)
  36. Lisa Silverthorne - "Wild Feed"
  37. Joan Bauer - "Blocked"
  38. Pamela Zoline - "The Heat Death of The Universe"
  39. James Tiptree, Jr. - "Painwise" (Too weird for words, but awesome regardless of the matter.)
  40. M.K. Hobson - "Discovery's Wake" (Go tenure!)
  41. Forrest Aguirre - "Treason Is"
  42. Merrie Haskell - "Dead Languages" (I'm a Buffy fan, so what?)
  43. Lavie Tidhar - "304 Adolf Hitler Strasse"
  44. James Enge - "Payment Deferred"
  45. Hannah Wolf Bowen - "Watch Dog"
  46. Jeffrey Ford - "In the House of Four Seasons"
  47. Ann Sterzinger - "Tremors" (My goodness, this horrific tale is tattooed in my memory.)
  48. Lucy Sussex - "Frozen Charlottes"
  49. Vera Nazarian - "The Slaying of Winter"
  50. Paolo Bacigalupi - "Small Offerings" (You commoners won't get to read this for a few months, but by the gods I'm now permanently afraid of the miracle of life.)

And that's all for now. Looking over the list, I've realized I've missed many short stories that I absolutely loved, but they'll just have to wait for the next list, whenever that'll be.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Moo, indeed

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Enjoy your wine and turkey and naps!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Check out my review for Guy Gavriel Kay's Ysabel, an excellent book that everyone should be on the lookout for in February 2007!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Here's an update (somewhat!)

Philcon was fun though a bit different than what I was expecting. Met some good folks like Neil Clarke, John Joseph Adams, Diane Turnshek, and others. Bought some mags and drank some beer. Overall, not terribly bad for my first con but I've quickly learned that other (bigger) cons are more about socializing than just panels. Those are the ones I really want to attend.

29-day sale of the dark robot story "67442" to Murky Depths for Issue #1 in September 2007. I think this makes me an official international author.

And lastly, check out the Thanksgiving/LOST-themed comic at Greenhorn. Hurley stars in it, which should be reason enough to go lookie at it.

I think that's it for now.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Con time!

I'll be attending Philcon 2006 on Saturday the 18th. It looks to be a fun con, with Charles Stross as a guest. Neat! Hope to meet some folks there. I'm sure that if anyone needs to find me they can just look towards the hotel bar. Heh.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


I'm not doing NaNoWriMo. I've decided that, at the moment, I do not need the extra pressure. I'm going to work on my short stories for now. Besides, I like short stories. They are easier (I said easier, not easy!) than novels to me. And that's that. Good luck to those doing NaNoWriMo though! May 50K come before you know it!

Also, I bought Final Fantasy XII. It's amazing so far.

And have started a videogame blog called Game Beliefs. So check that out!

Friday, November 03, 2006

NaNoWriMo - Day #3

Progress notes for November 03, 2006:


New words: 583
Total words: 3,739 of 50,000
Pages: 11
Deadline: Dec. 1
Reason for stopping: NEED. SOME. SLEEP.
Stimulants: Coffee, beer
Exercise: I drove for three hours. How's that?
Songs sung too loud to please the neighbors: "The Last Three Years" by Joe Wilson
Mail: None
Today's words Word don't know: I can't remember right now
Mean Things: Suprisingly...nothing
Tyop du Jour: None
The life of a WrITeR: Ugh, no writer today

Thursday, November 02, 2006

NaNoWriMo - Day #2

Progress notes for November 02, 2006:


New words: 1,440
Total words: 3,156 of 50,000
Pages: 10
Deadline: Dec. 1
Reason for stopping: No more writing for tonight as I need a break
Stimulants: Hot chocolate from Starbucks
Exercise: None, but maybe some stretches before bed
Songs sung too loud to please the neighbors: "The Priest and the Matador" by Senses Fail
Mail: None
Today's words Word don't know: swimmable
Mean Things: Embarassed a boy in front of a girl
Tyop du Jour: None that I can remember
The life of a WrITeR: Took out the trash, got a haircut, and went food shopping

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

NaNoWriMo - Day #1

Progress notes for November 01, 2006:


New words: 1,716
Total words: 1,716 of 50,000
Pages: 7
Deadline: Dec. 1
Reason for stopping: Need to shower and shave. Plus, I need major sleep.
Stimulants: Two cups of coffee...mmm...
Exercise: Went for a short walk
Songs sung too loud to please the neighbors: "Girl in America" by Mat Kearney
Mail: None
Today's words Word don't know: None
Mean Things: Baby knocked off boat
Tyop du Jour: None
The Internet is full of Things: Sushi pillows. I want one!
The life of a WrITeR: Did the dishes

Jigsaw review!

Check out my review of Jigsaw Nation edited by Edward J. McFadden III and E. Sedia! Lots of neat stories! Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Go check out Greenhorn and the special holiday comic that's up! And then send me e-mails full of free candy. Nothing with coconut in it. If I taste coconut, I will make your email inbox explode. I can do it with my mind.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Stupid book!

Check out my review for The Younger Gods by David & Leigh Eddings! I didn't like it. Not one bit, not a single word.

Books, books, books...

I recently discovered the Montclair Book Center just up the road from me. It's awesome; shelves towering up to the ceiling stuffed with books, all old and yellowy and smelling of something pungent and old. I love it. They have a ton of books I'd really like to get, but for the moment I grabbed some old anthologies from long past. This will definitely be a place I visit frequently. Here's a pic of the books I got for a simple $15.00:

Here's what I scored:
- Rocannon's World by Ursula K. Le Guin
- Quozl by Alan Dean Foster
- Great Short Novels of Adult Fantasy I edited by Lin Carter
- The DAW Science Fiction Reader edited by Donald A. Wollheim
- Sword and Sorceress edited by Marion Zimmer Bradley
- Future on Fire edited by Orson Scott Card
- Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy 2: Witches edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh
- Isaac Asimov's Magical Worlds of Fantasy 11: Curses edited by Isaac Asimov, Martin H. Greenberg, and Charles G. Waugh

Of all that I'm most pleased with the le Guin novel. It's also in pretty good condition for being some thirty years old. Inside it, they mention how she's getting some early praise for The Left Hand of Darkness. Hee. Well, duh. And, whatever, I like Alan Dean Foster, so there.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Score one for spooning!

I was just flipping through my contrib. copy of Dark Jesters, which contains my short story "To Make a Friend," and I noticed a short section at the back that contains comments on all the stories from the zine's editors. Of mine, Nick Cato said:

"This one's like an insane mixture of Young Frankenstein and the seldom-seen 70s schlocker, Doctor Gore. I think it was the mention of 'spooning' that initially won the Jestitors over...and I actually laughed harder the fourth or fifth time I read it."

Cool. Score one for spooning.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Farthing reviewww

Check out my review of Farthing, Issue 3! There's some really good stories in this issue.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Let's see...

NaNoWriMo is coming up very soon. Seven days. Wait, eight. Ah, who knows. I didn't go to school for counting. The outline for Waterways is mostly finished, but there's definitely enough there to start out at a strong pace. I'll be documenting my progress here daily so if you like word countings, witless ramblings, and that infamous whine that is a writer struggling live without a net, well, this is the place then. Enjoy your stay and don't forget to tip the maid!

Also, I suck at self-promoting things I do. Basically, I just post a link on here and leave it at that. Well, with that out in the open, please visit Greenhorn, my web comic about the speculative fiction world, and if you like what you see/read, leave me a comment. If you hate it, leave me a comment too. Either way, you'll make my day. I promise.

Hmmm...videogame news? I beat Sly Cooper 3: Honor Among Thieves the other day. Fun game though it felt like they threw in every single mini-game idea possible just to have the game brimming over with junk to do. Some were fun, some were stupid, but all in all the game was enjoyable. Now I'm trying to finish playing Killzone, which is really stupid, but I feel bad about buying a new game when I have so many that I still need to finish. So I'm holding back from buying new games until I beat the ones I got. There is one exception though. Final Fantasy XII comes out on October 31. I will either buy it once I complete NaNoWriMo or I will buy it December 1. That'll be a nice treat.

And, to end on a more somber note, I'm currently reading the biography of James Tiptree, Jr./Alice B. Sheldon by Julie Phillips and it's the most engaging thing I've probably ever read. Really, she was a fascinating woman. And all I can think of as I read is how me and her are so similar in a lot of small ways. Several large ones save that I'm not as fascinating. I encourage everyone to learn more about her and read "The Women Men Don't See."

Seacrest ou...Paul out!

Friday, October 20, 2006

My BSG post (spoilers within)

Well, it was inevitable. It was only a matter of time until I finally came to this moment, but it's now, so get ready for it:

Battlestar Galactica is one of the best television shows to ever see light in the past twenty years. Simple as that. It's what space opera should be; engaging characters, an ever building air of tension, strong storylines, marvelous editing, special effects that actually look good, and creepy-as-hell-sex-fiendish-broken-robots!

Season One, now thinking back to it, was quite tame, but it was a strong season, mainly due to the marvelous four-hour miniseries that launched the show to new popularity. The question of who might be a Cylon and who might not be was always on the forefront of my mind as I watched the show. It was enticing, making each episode more and more nervous to watch. And the season finale...near perfect. We'd spent a whole season following Sharon around, hoping she wasn't what she feared she was. We grew to like her as a character, to be sympathetic to her actions, and then BAM! she goes and shoots Adama. Triggered. Like that. Amazing.

Season Two, was a mixed bag. The first half...great. So much chaos; Sharon being a Cylon, the search for Earth, Pegasus showing up, and more. Everything was moving at a good pace with the acting getting better and better each episode. Then the next half was all right. The wait inbetween was enough to annoy me but then the producers decided to kill off Billy (Billy! You were great!) so that Apollo and Dee could fall in love. Blah. The season finale, which set things up for what's happening now, was good. I was impressed that Ron Moore wasn't afraid to take the show in a whole new direction. Granted, some episodes of Season Two--along with some certain deaths and actions--felt like filler. And for a show this amazing, that is not acceptable.

Season Three, so far has blown my mind. Let's ignore the use of mirroring the War On Terror for a moment and look at what the show is doing. It's getting back to basics, getting folks off New Caprica, and making another run from the Cylons. We've got whole new relationships and the Cylons are more than just machines. Xena is even...I mean whatever number she is...is looking for love. There's torture, betrayal, and sacrifices. And it's only been four episodes so far. I'm hooked. I can't wait to see how the show plays out over the rest of the season.

Frakking amazing. So say we all.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Crossover review

Check out my review for Joel Shepherd's Crossover! It's a fun sci-fi thriller easily akin to that of Ghost in the Shell. Very enjoyable.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Friday, October 06, 2006

Review for the kingdom!

Check out my review of Cherie Priest's Wings to the Kingdom! It'll be out come mid-October, just in time for the ghosts and ghouls of Halloween. Definitely worth the bucks.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Lake sale!

154-day sale to The Blue Lady for my short story "Love Under the Lake," which is scheduled to appear in issue #2. This is my second horror story dealing with creepy lake things and I'm happy to see it find a home.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hocuses, powers, and wards, oh my!

I love debuts. Love, love, love, love them. In 2006 so far, I've read a good share of author debuts (Crystal Rain by Tobias S. Buckell, Four and Twenty Blackbirds by Cherie Priest, According to Crow by E. Sedia, Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi, and Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom by Cory Doctorow to name a few) and have enjoyed just about each and every one of them. Mélusine by Sarah Monette is no different.

It takes place in the city of the novel's namesake, a sprawling mass of buildings and districts, each with their own brood of inhabitants and creatures. The narration is divided between two distinctly different characters; Mildmay the Fox, a kept-thief and one sarcastic but witty man, and Felix Harrowgate, a nobleman and hocus with a dark past. They both lead seperate lives but once the Virtu, a monument of extreme importance to the city and its magicians, is broken, Mildmay and Felix will have to flee the city. Inevitably, they will meet up. But can they help each other or will their pasts hinder the cause?

Mélusine is a bit slow at first, chugging through the usual standards of welcoming the reader into the city, showing off its buildings rich with history and dropping hints of the weird and off-beat. Mildmay's chapters started out right with a bit of thieving and running around and some light flirting. Felix, well, his chapters were interesting, yes, but I found them harder to get through. Each are told from first person perspective, and I was happy to see that their voices were unique enough to seperate the two as characters. Probably one of the big reasons I enjoyed Mildmay more is that he likes to curse. A lot. Kethe, that's just great.

The book picks up the pace midway through and by then it's smooth sailing. Er, well, not for the characters. Hard times are ahead and as they begin to learn more and more about each other it becomes apparent why they need to stick together. There are other members of the cast, but they eventually get left behind and many never seem to have a real importance in the book except to help Mildmay/Felix from one place to the other. Hopefully, The Virtu will dive more into the relationship of Felix and Lord Shannon. And Malkar. Oh, he was a nasty brute but we don't see him for much of the book.

My favorite aspect of Mélusine is Monette's manipulation of its language. Kethe, powers, hocus, and more. The word "magic" is actually seldom used. The worldbuilding within is masterful, and you can tell the city is brimming with history. Everything felt natural, and it certainly showed that Monette knows her world well. Granted, I didn't completely understand her calendar/time system on the first go, but she has posted an interesting explanation of how it works.

Anyways, it's out in mass market paperback now so there is absolutely no reason not to check it out. The Virtu is out in hardback, and two more novels set in the same world are planned to be released in the future.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Blog celebration

Hey! I started this blog in October 2005! Now it's October 2006! I'll leave the rest for you intellects to figure out. Huzzah!

Friday, September 29, 2006

Coming up soon

November is just about a month away from us. That means NaNoWriMo is beginning to rear its writerly head. I'm still on the fence about whether or not I'll participate this year.

I did it last year and quite enjoyed myself, winning two days before the month ended. This was also all done during a new job acquisition and location move. The novel is The Periwinkle Prince and it will never be shown to a single human being (hopefully). It ended up just over 54K and still would need another 30K before coming to a close. I doubt I'll ever finish it. But the writing of it was good practice, and I think if I were to do it this year I'd be able to do even better. I say this only for the fact that I feel like my writing skills are much better than they were a year ago. It's a learn-by-trial sort of thing.

And I have plenty of novels started that could use a burst of inspiration, and nothing gets the mind working faster than a solid deadline. If I were to do NaNoWriMo again, I'd either pick the space opera novel Summersong or the urban fantasy Waterways to do. Both working titles, of course.

The thing that I'd be most worried about is, of course, time. Between a full-time job, two reviewing gigs, short story writing, some editing projects, and the newly started Greenhorn, I wonder if I'll be able to manage the 1,000 or so words a day needed to complete the task. Chances are though that I'm going to be cutting back on my reviews tremondously...almost to the point of maybe one review now and then. I'll still be reading, but I guess I can't form an opinion on everything.

So I think I might do some light outlining for the novels, and if one really holds my attention then I'll have to decide if I'm going to participate or not. Anyone else in the blogosphere planning to do NaNoWriMo this year?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

"The Black"

For all you Serenity fans out there (and this is including me), you must check out Bill Mudron's "The Black", a touching and marvelously drawn comic about a young Mal Reynolds. There are a couple other comics to read on the site based in Joss Whedon's world, but I urge you to read Mudron's take on it. It's worth your time. Really, go now. Shoo.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Dreams and Visions review!

Check out my review of Dreams and Visions: Fourteen Flights of Fantasy, an anthology of YA fantasy stories edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Greenhorn comic!

Finally, it's official and live and all that hoopla. My friend Damon (from FantasyBookSpot) and I have put together a book-related webcomic called Greenhorn. The first comic is up, and here's the link:

The story so far (or better yet, the story that's always been)...in Greenhorn, we have a group of several friends deeply involved in conventions, fandom, and all things book-related. Some folks get along better than others; the Purple Ninja has an extreme hate for anyone that doesn't like what he/she likes, no one wants to be around Con Kid, and everyone questions Molly on a daily basis about her reasoning for still hanging out with such a group of dorks. Also, there's some live action role-playing going on. What could go wrong?

Enjoy, and let us know what you think!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Icy dragon review!

Check out my review of George R.R. Martin's The Ice Dragon, his children's story debut. It has some lovely illustrations in it and is bound to hook young readers from the start. It'll be out in October, I believe.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Back Roads, #1

Well, the first issue of Back Roads is out. This contains my short story "Never Order the Midnight Special" along with T.L. Morganfield's "The Wonder Tower." Toss in a Lovecraft reprint and you've got a zine of moody rural horror. So order a copy and enjoy!

P.S. I absolutely love this cover.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

What's happening

Well, let's see what's been happening lately. I've read some books and been writing reviews for a couple of them. I've finished The Light Ages by Ian R. MacLeod, Dreams and Visions edited by M. Jerry Weiss and Helen S. Weiss, The Ice Dragon by George R.R. Martin, and Wings to the Kingdom by Cherie Priest. Expect to see some reviews for those popping up soon.

I've started reading Melusine by Sarah Monette, which is a bit slow so far but still interesting. I already know that I'm going to enjoy Mildmay's chapters way more than Felix. Felix is a bit too whiny for me, and I always have a soft spot for the deeply complicated thief character. And whenever I get around to it I'll finish up the crapfest that is David and Leigh Eddings latest. Complete and total crapfest.

I've also been doing a lot of work on a secret project Damon and I are creating together. It's a bit time consuming, but I think it'll be worth it. We plan to reveal the whole special thang sometime next week. Stay tuned for further updates.

Writing-wise, I've finished a couple stories here and there. I'm trying to finish up my contest entry for the Apex Halloween Contest, and the deadline is October 15. Shouldn't be too hard to finish. I just need to sit down and figure out what is going on in my story.

And I bought Killzone for PS2 since it was a $20 Greatest Hits game. Waste of money. The enemy AI is dumb and the ally AI is even more dumb. Blargh. That annoys me; I should have just gone for Ratchet: Deadlocked instead. At least I know that game will challenge me in a good way. Oh well, maybe next month.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Shameless promotion!

My horror story "Curling Tendrils of Love," which won second place in a contest a couple months back and will be appearing in an anthology to debut in 2007, has been published on the new blog of Apex Publications. Check it out!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Contest plug

Like contests? Like Halloween? How about alien witchcraft?

If so, go and check out the contest being held at Apex Digest:

Get to it!

Friday, September 08, 2006

How I write

So there's been this how-I-write-a-novel meme going around the blogosphere lately (see here, here, here, and here). Unfortunately, I don't write novels. Not yet, at least. I've started some. Well, lots actually. But here's my take on the process, using short fiction as my medium.
  1. Something to write on/type in (I prefer typing in Word because my handwriting is akin to that of a fourth grader.)
  2. Story's title (It doesn't have to be anything great. It could be "The Far Moons of Summer's Eyes" or "On This Cloudy Day" or "The Sentry's Mark" or "Talking Cat Story." I just need a name as it helps me focus on the story. I can always change the name later if the story goes too far away from it. Most often though the name sticks and I work my story around it instead.)
  3. Contemplate the idea (What if? Maybe they? Who did it? What's going on? What's the point?)
  4. Write the opening scene (This is probably my favorite step. Not that I enjoy hooks when I read novels, but writing them can be fun.)
  5. Scribble down notes at the bottom of the file: possible scenes, character names, grocery list, a couple of curse words
  6. Write some more (This part is tedious.)
  7. Contemplate the ending (I hate endings. Absolutely hate them. Most of the time I just want to write, "And then they had makeup sex and the evil robots exploded from jealousy. THE END.")
  8. Look up better words in dictionary/thesaurus to replace the crappy ones I used as placeholders
  9. Finish the story (Hah!)
  10. Quick pass on the first draft (This is more for grammar. I'll let the first readers tell me stuff about plot holes.)
  11. Hand off to first readers (Those poor souls.)
  12. Second round of editing per comments from first readers (Sometimes this involves a lot of head hitting desk action, but that's all right. It gets the job done.)
  13. A third read of the story
  14. Possibly change its title
  15. Market research (Ralan.com is the best.)
  16. Format according to the proper guidelines and submit to the godly editors who will smite me for writing about yet another talking cat (Fingers crossed at this point.)
  17. Forget about the story, go have something to eat, and begin the process all over again (Woo.)

And that is how it is done, most of the time. Occasionally, mainly with flash pieces, I just write nonstop, straight from the brain, and submit. Maybe that's a good thing. I've sold mostly flash fiction recently. But hopefully I'll get around to finishing Summersong one day and I'll let you know how I write a novel (at least one I'm proud of). I'm sure it involves a lot more crying.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sale to Apex!

51-day sale to Apex Digest for my flash piece entitled "Sonorous," which is slated for publication in issue nine! Very excited about this one. :)

In other news, my list of stories I'd like to write is getting longer and the actual amount of stories being written is fairly low. This is because of a secret project I've been working on, which, hopefully in a few weeks, I'll be able to reveal to you all.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Big Bone

Well, I caved. Just placed an order at Amazon for Jeff Smith's Bone: One Volume Edition. Figured it's definitely worth the price. Um, that's a lot of Bone. ::cough cough::

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hooray for sales!

Just learned that my piece of horror entitled "The Feet Eaters" sold to Aberrant Dreams for publication sometime in 2007. I'm very happy about this one as I've always enjoyed AD's stories, and this tale of creepy turtles and things under lakes is a personal favorite of mine.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Blog banner

I've updated the above banner. I originally stole--I mean, borrowed--it from the Slush God, but most of the ones on it were either dead (SCIFICTION and Fortean Bureau) or zines I've actually never read (Asimov's [don't be too shocked] and Weird Tales).

It now has covers and links to magazines that I either 1) am in/forthcoming in or 2) really enjoy. Yes, I'm not in Black Gate, but that magazine's too awesome not to put up there.

So see? I'm sharing the love with lots of linkage. Hopefully I'll make a trillion more sales and can just have an entire blog's worth of magazine covers...

The Fortress of Glass

Check out my review of David Drake's The Fortress of Glass, his latest offering in the Lord of the Isles series!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Books not for review

Not every book I read gets reviewed. Sometimes it's nice to just read something, put it back on the shelf, and move on to another item. Here are some of those books:

  • Map of Bones by James Rollins
  • The Light Ages by Ian R. MacLeod
  • Mélusine by Sarah Monette
  • Inkspell by Cornelia Funke
  • Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein

In actual reviewing news, I hope to have some things written up for the latest books by David Drake, Charles Stross, and David Eddings. I finished my review of Jigsaw Nation (very good!) the other day and submitted it to SFReader. It's a bit long, but hopefully they'll take it...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Lord of the Reviews

Check out my review for The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke! It's a fun YA novel set in Venice and contains some of the most distinct characters I've experienced so far. Inkheart is another great book by Funke, and pretty soon I'll be starting its sequel, Inkspell.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Night Fairies

My piece of flash fiction entitled "Night Fairies" is now up at AlienSkin Magazine for their August/September 2006 issue. I enjoy the accompanying piece of artwork, if only for how much it doesn't match up with the story. So check it out!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Heliotrope debut!

My good friends at FantasyBookSpot, Damon, Dacco, and Jay, have just revealed the title and first issue of their e-zine. It's called Heliotrope, and boy does it pack a punch.

Articles by Jeff VanderMeer and R. Scott Bakker, short fiction, amazing artwork, and several reviews. Surely, this is just the start of a great e-zine. So read up (it's free), tell them your thoughts on it--and if you're feeling generous--give them a donation. This is a work of labor and love. Great job, guys!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Book meme

Here's a book meme I wasn't tagged to do but am going to fill out regardless:

1. One book that changed your life?
I'm going to have to go with Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton. I read this shortly after the movie came out (somewhere back in 1995) and was blown away by how much better the book was than the movie. I was young then, and really had no idea how to discern if something was good or bad or just plain mediocre. I did know, however, was that Jurassic Park was fun to read. It got my imagination all spinning like a top. That's a book that really fueled me forward to devour book after book after book...

2. One book you have read more than once?
This is an easy one to answer: Small Gods by Terry Pratchett. To date, I'm sure I've read it at least five times. It's a standalone novel from the Discworld series, and features two of my favorite characters ever. There's Om, the short-tempered god stuck in the body of a one-eyed turtle, and Brutha, dumb but oh so likeable.

3. One book you would want on a desert island?
I guesss I'd want something deeply involving. Maybe Perdido Street Station by China Mieville.

4. One book that made you laugh?
I'm going to have to go with Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Possibly one of the funniest collabs to date, the apocalypse has never been more of a joy to read.

5. One book that made you cry?
A Separate Peace by John Knowles, and that's all I'm saying about the matter.

6. One book you wish had been written?
Hmmmm...tough one. How about Paul and the Great Sushi Avalanche?

7. One book you wish had never been written?
The entire Wheel of Time series. There, I said it.

8. One book you are currently reading?
Currently, I'm working on The Clan Corporate by Charles Stross. Quite good so far.

9. One book you have been meaning to read?
When I find the time (and actually buy the book) I'd like to read Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton. Dragons, dragons, dragons.

10. Now tag five people.
You, him, you, you, and her.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

DKA review!

My review of Issue 33 of Dragons, Knights, & Angels is now up on Tangent Online. Feel free to check it out!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Shimmery Summer!

The latest issue of Shimmer is out and you all should buy, buy, buy, buy it. My story "Always Greener" is in it. Here's the gorgeous cover:

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Fourth sale of the month!

Back Roads has decided to buy my short story of bad diner food and coyotes, "Never Order the Midnight Special," for either their September debut or December issue.

Hooray! So far, July's been a great month in the sales department. And there's still six days left to go...

Monday, July 24, 2006

Berserking review!

Check out my review of Fred Saberhagen's The Berserker Throne, which, thanks to the wonderful visionaries of Baen's Free Library, I got to enjoy for no cost whatsoever.

Sunday, July 23, 2006


After several blah form rejections, a 24-day SALE to AlienSkin Magazine for a piece of flash fiction titled "Night Fairies." It'll be appearing in their August/September 2006 issue.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Shadowy review!

Check out my review of Dan Mishkin's and Tom Mandrake's The Forest King: Woodlark's Shadow!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Absolutely a review!

Check out my review of Absolute Uncertainty: Short Fiction by Lucy Sussex! There's Nazi Germany, Philip K. Dick, and the reincarnated Duchess of Newcastle. Good stuff...

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Hey, ladies!

Check out my review of Barbara Hambly's The Ladies of Mandrigyn!