Not an April Fool’s post

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New group blog/webchannel/whatever Geek and Sundry will be holding a “Subscribathon” video chat on Google Plus. Here’s the schedule, all times PST. Do 10:30 yoga. At 2pm, follow a panel from authors Amber Bensen, Pat Rothfuss, and John Scalzi on “Creating Great Characters.” Enjoy a video dance break. Learn about creating indie video games. Join a chat with NASA astronomers.

And more! Much much more. Check out that schedule, and here’s their G+ channel.

By the way, I’m on G+ too.

Martha Wells’s EMERALD SERPENT Snippet

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I’ve mentioned the Kickstarter for this anthology before, and I’ve linked to other writers’ snippets of their stories, as well as my own.

Well, now Martha Wells has posted her own snippet. Check it out.

As for the anthology, five bucks into the Kickstarter gets you an electronic copy of the entire book, and there are other benefits at higher levels.

Just sayin’

Randomness for 3/28

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1) A history of the McFarlane/Gaiman Miracleman lawsuit.

2) Trompe l’oeil graffiti vanishes Egyptian military barrier

3) A working scientific calculator, built from Minecraft blocks.

4) Two words: Explosive. Polymerization. (Video)

5) Eight “forgotten” live-action children’s shows from the eighties. I doubt “Small Wonder” has been forgotten, but “My Secret Identity” is the only other one I remember (but I’m a bit old for this time period)

6) Heroic Goofballs: Aardman takes on DC. Video

7) An infographic showing the last words of executed inmates in Texas.

Hello, BoingBoing readers

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Yesterday, two and a half years after it came out, Child of Fire got a great review from BoingBoing.

And, because my luck is so very perfect, the Kindle store has gone down–apparently because of a database error–so the link from the review takes you to the physical book. No worries, though! I’m sure they’ll have it back up again in no time (grumbles). I’ve heard rumors that there are other places to buy ebooks, but who can tell whether that’s true or not?

The series runs to four books, which you can see over there on the right hand side of my blog. It’s also been cancelled. If you’re curious, I blogged about the reasons why it ended. You can also go to my home page to see the fantastic book trailer made by the guys at Wyrd.

Currently I have a new series in the works I’m about to send to my agent, an epic fantasy about two people caught up in the sudden collapse of an empire. Check out my Upcoming Books page for more info about that.

And welcome.

Brandon Sanderson gets a video game adaptation of his books?

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First of all, I’m glad for him. I don’t know the dude and to be frank I bounced off the first Mistborn book. But his books have been selling very well, and this is a happy thing for him.

But I have the envy, too. The deep, deep envy.

Ah well. It’s not something I can control, but I can go back to my own WIP. Here’s more details:

Mistborn: Birthright announced for XBOX, PS3, and PC — A Dribble of Ink.

More Tales of the Emerald Serpent Teasers

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Last Thursday I posted a snippet of the story I sold to Tales of the Emerald Serpent, a mosaic anthology currently on Kickstarter.

Well, novelist Juliet McKenna has posted a snippet of her own along with a bit of world-building on her blog.

Lynn Flewelling has done the same thing.

There’s also artwork and additional world-building material in the updates section of the Kickstarter.

Check them out, if you’re interested.

Ray Lilly is out of the cage match

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Kelsier defeated him 3 to 1 in the voting, just about, which is perfectly cool by me. I didn’t expect him to get this far in a popularity contest, so thanks to everyone who voted. Thanks also to David Pomerico and the Suvudu staff for all the work they put into it.

Now that he’s out, I wanted to comment on the attitude of a lot of the cage match commenters… but Pat Rothfuss already did it and he did it better.

One thing I’ll add to his comments about the slaying of dragons: I’m a writer. If you ask me “Who would win in a fight, Cthulhu or Godzilla?” to me the only logical answer is “Whichever makes a better story.”

Tallying up super-powers and arguing I don’t know this character but [personal fave] is the most awesome-est! entirely misses the point. Sometimes the “weaker” character has to/must win. That’s part of the fun (and it is supposed to be fun).

If the cage matches are a place where the underdogs can never “win” then it isn’t fun. That’s why I had Ray use his ghost knife on GRRM’s readers. That’s why I had Tyrion taunt him for not being lovable enough. Because Tyrion was the underdog and I love underdogs. (People who’ve read my books will know this).

Even worse, how powerful the characters are is orthogonal to the appeal of the work in question, and when people go all munchkin on their favorite characters they turn off potential readers.

Anyway, read Pat’s post. He’s a smart guy.

(BTW, Godzilla would totally kick Cthulhu’s ass. That’s SCIENCE.)

Teaser for Tales of the Emerald Serpent

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As I mentioned a few days ago, I have a story in a mosaic anthology called Tales of the Emerald Serpent, which is having a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds to pay for the printing (my understanding is that it will have quite a bit of artwork in it).

There are other authors involved: Lynn Flewelling, Juliet McKenna, Martha Wells, and Julie Czerneda to name just a few, and you can see some of the artwork at the Kickstarter site or the publisher’s Facebook page.

My own modest contribution is a short story called “The One Thing You Can Never Trust.” For folks who are interested, I thought I’d post the first couple of pages of my story. If you like it and want to read the rest, along with the stories from these other excellent authors, please consider pledging. The way Kickstarter works, you pledge whatever amount you want (larger pledges bring more/fancier swag) but if the project doesn’t meet its target, no money will be collected at all.

So! Without further blather, here’s the opening to my story. I hope you like it.

THE ONE THING YOU CAN NEVER TRUST

by Harry Connolly

Emil Lacosta did not expect his new prices to please Mama Serene, but he did not expect her to actually swear at him. She did. Being Mama Serene, she did it startlingly well. “I am terribly sorry,” he said, carefully keeping his voice mild. “Acquiring the materials I require has become quite difficult and…”

“Spare me the apologies of a Zimbolay scholar,” she interrupted. “Every learned word makes my purse lighter.” She wrote out a bank note, signed it, and handed it to him. It was for the old price. “Next time, I will pay your new, even more outrageous, fee.”

Emil nodded and handed the note to Mariella. He turned to the three young consorts sitting on Mama Serene’s ornate couch. “Do you accept this spell without coercion, of your own will?”

The consorts said “Yes,” in deeply bored tones. One of them added: “because it’s making me rich!” They all laughed at him. He had asked them last time, too, and would ask next time. It didn’t matter if they thought him fussy. He held out a small vial to the first consort and, after she had spit into the golden liquid, allowed her to take it. He did the same for the others.

They were love potions all. A select few of Mama Serene’s clients paid a high premium to be genuinely (or at least magically) adored, even if it was just for a few days.

Their business concluded, Emil and Mama Serene nodded politely to each other. Mariella opened the office door and led Emil swiftly and quietly down the side stair and through the lounge. Emil hated coming to the House of the Silk Purse, hated delivering his product in person, hated knowing the consorts would drink the potion when he was not there to watch over them. But the money was good. Very, very good. With luck, he–

Two men rose out of their chairs and moved toward him. They seemed to have been waiting for him, and Emil stopped immediately and drew back. Mariella stepped around him, her hand on the ribbon tying down her sword. There was an odd expression on her face.

“No no!” the taller man said, his empty hands raised. “We mean only to talk.” Continue reading

In which I make progress

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I got to spend some time with A Blessing of Monsters today. I wrote about 1200 words, then wrote 100 anti-words. I wanted to do more at the end of the day but the scene I was working on had gone all wrong and my kid wouldn’t give me the space to think about it.

At some point in the day I even came up with a decentish title, but I didn’t write it down and now I’ve forgotten it. Ah well. It was probably brilliant.

Anyway, it felt good to take hold of the book again, even it wasn’t a firm hold. We’ll see what comes tomorrow.