Monday, February 12, 2018

Glass and Gardens TOC Reveal

Just quick updates!

 
The table of contents for GLASS AND GARDENS: SOLARPUNK SUMMERS, a science fiction anthology edited by Sarena Ulibarri, was announced today: https://www.worldweaverpress.com/blog/table-of-contents-reveal-glass-and-gardens-solarpunk-summers



This is the second anthology by World Weaver Press that I'll be in, and I can't wait for the world to meet Kirra and Zeph!

 

And the Love & Bubbles Kickstarter is going well but we need your help to reach our goal! The cross stitch rewards are still available at the Narwhal level. Take home a cute piece of art and support some writers?

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/candystar/love-and-bubbles-a-romance-anthology-under-the-sea






So, what story title in Glass and Gardens are you most intrigued by? "A Field of Sapphires and Sunshine" sounds interesting...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

The Love & Bubbles Kickstarter is Live!

[begin sales pitch]




https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/candystar/love-and-bubbles-a-romance-anthology-under-the-sea


 

Love & Bubbles is an anthology of love under the sea, with stories by emerging and established authors.

 

By supporting this Kickstarter, you will be ensuring that we can pay authors a reasonable rate for their work. There are some straight pairings but it's a very queer book put together by some very queer writers and editors. And if we reach our stretch goals, we add even more stories (and mine is one of them, so I am very invested in this).

 

And on a personal note, everything I get paid for doing this will hopefully go towards me doing my own anthology one day.

 

But we don't get published without your help, and we've got some awesome donor rewards including cross stitch made by yours truly!


We have...

Lochlan and Vanessie the Loch Ness Monsters!




Lochlan and Vanessie's necks make a heart shape silhouetted against a Scottish sunset, and the water is accented with sparkly thread.

 

Narman and Whalter the gay narwhals!






Ah, narwhals. The majestic unicorns of the sea. With the aurora borealis in the background, Narman and Whalter leap out of the Arctic Ocean with a carved ice heart. Their spiraling horns are sparkly.

 

Phillip the squid!




Phillip the "cephillipod" is a jolly purple squid. He doesn't have a partner, but that's okay because he loves himself. He is hugging a nice big heart, and there are sparkly bubbles behind him.

 

Each image was lovingly custom designed and stitched for this project, is one of a kind, and is framed in a wooden hoop measuring 6 inches in diameter.

 
So here's the link again. Please support this project. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/candystar/love-and-bubbles-a-romance-anthology-under-the-sea

Saturday, February 3, 2018

Review: Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West

Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West Dead Man's Hand: An Anthology of the Weird West by John Joseph Adams
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed the stories I enjoyed. There are some really amazing stories in this. But they made up less than half the book. The rest ranged from "meh" to "ew, I'm not reading this."
I'll admit, I'm petty about reading. I see no reason to waste my time on something I am not enjoying, but these are some of the reasons I "noped" out of a story in this book.

-Bad things happen to a horse.
-Character willfully ignores suffering horse.
-Horse doesn't even have a name.
-Minority character has a name but he's just called "the Mexican."
-Most of these stories have very little diversity. Maybe I've been spoiled by amazing queer, women, and POC books, but there were times I just couldn't read another boring white dude.
-Orson Scott Card's name. (I didn't read a single word of his story so I can't comment on it specifically, but I try not to read things by people who are anti-queer.)

I get that these are westerns, and most westerns portray the West as a whitewashed fantasy of toxic masculinity. That's why, even though I love aspects of the drama, I can't force myself to watch western movies.
I just thought adding the speculative elements meant it would be... better. Modern. Inclusive and free of the tropes that limit the genre and relegate it to the category of "Things only my grandpa likes. No, not the cool grandpa. The one that thinks Linda and Gayle are just roommates."
And a handful of the stories were absolutely amazing. The ones by Liu, Bear, and Macguire come to mind. But the rest was... disappointing.

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Thursday, February 1, 2018

Two Anthology Announcements!

Good morning, everyone!

I am pleased to have not one but TWO announcements today!

 
First, the ten authors whose stories will be in Love & Bubbles have been announced on Jaylee James's blog: http://jayleejames.com/love-bubbles/


I feel very protective and maternal towards these authors. They are my babies now and I will do anything for them.

And I may be fangirling about getting to work with one or two of them.

Depending on how the Kickstarter goes, we could add up to seven more authors to this list.

 

 

And second, I'm going to be in another World Weaver Press anthology!

 

Glass Gardens: Solarpunk Summers is edited by Sarena Ulibarri, and will feature hopeful stories set in an ecologically-minded future.

My story is Riot of the Wind and Sun, which is set in the same futuristic Australian town as Always, Always, my story in When You're Strange.

Always is super dark while Riot is bright and happy and set about a hundred years later. They both take place in my futuristic Coober Pedy, and while there are continuity issues that prevent me from truly calling them prequel and sequel, I like to think they could exist in the same world. Like Tress and Voltaire's struggles in Always somehow led to the opportunity and hope of Kirra in Riot.



Lots of projects! Looks like I'll be busy this year.

Do you like reading anthologies? What's your favorite?

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Love & Bubbles Announcement!

Last week, I was planning to have a post about how I'd like to edit an anthology someday. And then I couldn't because ~*~*secret reason of secrecy*~*~ This is the reason:

 

See, there's this idea that keeps popping into my head, usually as I'm about to fall asleep. And it's ridiculous and would be so much more stress than I need, but when I think about it, it makes me so excited that I can't sleep.

What if I edited an anthology?

Almost immediately, the more rational part of me tries to talk the hyperactive part down, pointing out the absurdity of the idea. Like I'm going to put out a call for submissions and edit stories and publish a book.

But then that little voice says, But what if I did?

I mean, really.

I have a little expendable money from getting stories published that I can use to pay authors. I'm good at editing, and I don't think I'm afraid of rejecting people.

Best of all, I have a community of people who will get the word out and help find a cover artist. I'm friends with people who have done this before and can help with the technical aspects.

 

So I asked my friend Jaylee James, editor of Circuits & Slippers, how hard it really is to put together a project of that size.

...and long story short, I'm now the assistant editor of er next anthology, Love & Bubbles! It's a collection of romance stories under the sea.

 

I'm excited and heart-eyes for the whole process, even if people keep warning me about the hell of the slush pile.

Right now my duties are reading the submissions and helping pick the best ones, and I've also made some graphics and rewards for the Kickstarter page.

Hopefully I continue to love this process as much as I currently am, and I'll be able to do my own next year.

(I'm thinking sci-fi Shakespeare retellings? "To Sleep Perchance to Dream of Electric Sheep"?)

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Writing Mistakes!

So I HAD a blog post ready for my "trying to post every Thursday" experiment, but Things Changed and it's very exciting but I can't tell you why yet. *Kermit flail*

SOOOO... I went through some old files looking for something to post and I found a file full of over four years' worth of writing mistakes. I might have posted some of these before but most are new.

All I can say is Enjoy.

 

 

Roads stood still and unmoving (That's... generally the way with roads.)

 

it was overrun with zombies, drawn by the flames like undead moths to flames made of brains

 

Nohing in life is to be feared; it is to be understood. Now is the time to fear more so that we may fear less.

 

A looming shadow loomed (No, really? We must investigate this anomaly.)

 

the bodies piled up in the doorway like snow after a death blizzard

 

I tapped my forehead to my temple (Somehow I seriously doubt that.)

 

We stood like statues, unmoving and unbreathing (Both of which are things implied by the word "statues". Gold star for you.)

 

This claim hit me like a sack of bricks thrown by a proficient thrower of brick sacks

 

My palms were slick and my heart a tapdancing frog (I distinctly remember thinking "Oh, I should reference the Warner Brothers frog in a tophat at this point in the narrative".)

 

getting trapped with no means of escape (Which is exactly what trapped means.)

 

my right butt pocket began to vibrate like a bee in a paint shaker. I tore my eyes from the heavens and reluctantly de-pocketed my phone.

 

The field lay strewn with dozens of dead little goats which had once been live little goats full of little goat dreams. Now they were little more than rutabagas in waiting. (I couldn't think of the word "fertilizer," so I wrote "rutabagas" instead.)

 

I bent down to examine the body of a caramel-colored mare or doe or... goat bitch. To be honest, I grew up on a corn farm, so there wasn't really any male/female terminology involved there. It was a lady goat with two lady goat boobies, and that was good enough for me.

 

I struck my most authoritative pose and flashed my badger.

 

a chest so muscular that it looked like a tee-shirt filled with strategically-placed vegetables

 

buying a carseat seemed an awful lot like buying a collar for a stray dog while waiting for its owner to respond to the help wanted posters. (when most people find a dog, they make found dog posters. )

 

She set the body on a sliding thing and slid him into the freezer like a Flintstone push-up pop

Monday, January 15, 2018

Review: The Girl with Ghost Eyes

The Girl with Ghost Eyes The Girl with Ghost Eyes by M.H. Boroson
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I honestly don't know if this is 4 stars for awesomeness or 1 star for ableism.
Seriously. It's one of those "I love it but it doesn't love me back" books. I'm erring towards the lower end and giving it a 2 because I don't exactly want to encourage this harmful representation, but at the same time, it was a pretty cool story and I don't want to give it 1 star.

Pros:
-Wow, the Chinese spirit world is wonderfully weird.
-Kickass girl.
-Little eyeball ghost man!
-Talking kitty and seagull spirits!
-Murderous tiger man trying so hard to be a good boy! He's just the sweetest thing and I want to hug him and tell him it's all gonna be okay.

Cons:
-This book feels like it's saying it is bad to be disabled and disabled people are bad, like within the first 3 pages. Good language is not used to describe us and I didn't always feel safe reading it. Like waiting for the other shoe to drop.
-There's something about the way Li-lin talks about Wushi magic wit Mrs. Wei that feels really wrong to me. She calls it brutal and disturbing, says her magic is better because they cleaned up Wushi magic, and Wushi must be inferior because her people were able to defeat it hundreds of years ago. Like, get over yourself. Your culture is not the good one solely on the basis that it's yours. She's the wife of your father's friend and she's trying to help you - for a book that keeps talking about saving face, shrieking at someone to stop doing her magic because you find her rituals ugly is about the most disrespectful thing I can imagine.
-And the whole thing could stand another round of editing for clunky prose but that's just the writer in me.


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