Thursday, April 26, 2018

Apparently I Won the Internet?

I've been informed that I have won the Internet with this tweet.

7,000 retweets, 25,000 likes. What?

(And you better believe I'm using it to promote Anachronism!)

[a tweet from a troll named Daniel, who says "Disabled parking should only be valid during business hours 9 to 5 Monday to Friday. I cannot see any reason why people with genuine disabilities would be out beyond these times." and my reply: "We're disabled, Daniel, we're not werewolves."]

Update: I'm a news story.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Scylla and Charybdis

Today I have a guest post from Lindsey Duncan, fellow Grimbold Books author! Take it away, Lindsey...
Thanks to Jennifer for having me on her blog to talk about my recent science fiction release, Scylla and Charybdis!  Here's the novel's blurb:
Anaea Carlisle, raised on an isolated space station populated solely by women, believes the rest of the universe has been plunged into anarchy and ruin by an alien-engineered disease known as Y-Poisoning.  On a salvage mission, she helps rescue a hypermental named Gwydion who challenges everything she thought she knew.
Forced to flee the station with Gwydion, Anaea finds herself in an inexplicable, often hostile world, permanently divided between the Galactic Collective and the Pinnacle Empire.  She longs for some place to call home, but first, she’ll have to survive …
Writing a science fiction novel was a departure for me.  I'm a fantasy writer at heart, favoring secondary world fantasy - stories in an invented, non-Earth setting.  Worldbuilding is one of my passions.  I adore creating settings in far more detail than they ever appear in the book, but it's not wasted work:  the act of building helps develop the story in my subconscious.  Often, I'll find that a nuance or minor element I put into the worldbuilding to entertain myself will prove important to the story.
That happened with Scylla and Charybdis, specifically the flora and fauna.  I spent a lot of time developing the populated planets in that universe, including the native creatures.  I wanted to avoid the trap of making the animals look like hybrids of Earth animals, but I also figured that people build metaphors and draw comparisons from what they know.  Any new species they encountered was going to be described in context of Earth zoology, at least in the early days of colonization.
I also knew that it was a mistake to assume that the chemistry and biology of plants from other planets would be compatible with human physiology.  I came up with a handful of alien flora that I decided would be edible, one of which makes a direct appearance in the novel as a bonding experience.  No matter how different their upbringing, everyone has to eat.  (At least, they do in this science fiction setting …)
Back to the fauna part of the equation.  With the justifications above, I came up with raptorhounds, which are best described as sabre-toothed canids.  Native to the planet of Independence, they were the apex predators before human settlement and proved impossible to domesticate.  With the typical charm of humanity, the later government came up with a means to use them for spectator sport:  bloodthirsty, dangerous and lucrative.
Thrust into a high society party as an informant, Anaea finds herself comforted with another alien species:  mindfire worms, a hallucinogenic delicacy that, if handled incorrectly, bores through the back of the mouth and starts to eat the brain.  I had Japanese fugu in mind when I came up with these creatures, but in this case, survival depends not on the chef’s expertise but on the diner’s.
A final creature that shows up in the pages of Scylla and Charybdis isn’t alien at all, but rather a genetic hybrid:  a kearl, part monkey, part cat.  Kearls are designed as companion animals, modified to be sensitive to moods and with instinctive soothing behaviors.  But they were never intended for the kind of adventure Anaea ends up dragging Penelope into …
Check Scylla and Charybdis out at: -- available now!
LINDSEY DUNCAN is a chef / pastry chef, professional Celtic harp performer and life-long writer, with short fiction and poetry in numerous speculative fiction publications.  Her contemporary fantasy novel, Flow, is available from Double Dragon Publishing, and her soft science novel, Scylla and Charybdis, is now out from Grimbold Books.  She feels that music and language are inextricably linked.  She lives in Cincinnati, Ohio and can be found on the web at and

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Hey, want to win a paperback copy of Glass and Gardens: Solarpunk Summers?

What about a spiffy cross stitch sun made by yours truly?

Enter the giveaway here!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

One World by Lyssa Chiavari

Today I'm showing off the cover of One World (Book Three of the Iamos Trilogy), by Lyssa Chiavari! (Lyssa's story "Sea-Stars and Sand Dollars" will be in the Brave New Girls anthology this summer, along with my "Login"!)

Nadin found her answers in the future. Now she must return to the world she left behind and try to put things to rights. But can Iamos be saved, or has its destiny already been set?

Cover designer: Najla Qamber Designs with custom photography by Mosaic Stock
Publisher: Snowy Wings Publishing

Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Libriomancer

Libriomancer Libriomancer by Jim C. Hines
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm conflicted about this book. On the one hand, it's entertaining and brilliant. Nerd references aplenty (Isaac wears a brown coat because of the tenth Doctor AND Firefly!), super cute spider who bursts into flames and eats candy, POODLE/CHUPACABRA HYBRIDS, magicians who can pull objects from books, and little genius details like a vampire who controls his symptoms via an insulin pump full of holy water?

I know what you're thinking. "Jen, this is all the things you love! Why is it not 5 stars!"

Because the love interest is a magical creature from a book who is biologically unable to not serve an owner and shape herself (and her coloring? like, wtf?) to their personality. Granted, the book acknowledges it's messed up and she says she's okay with it, but I still felt super uneasy, never really sure how it was going to be handled. (But it seems like there might be polyamory in the next book, which is good, except one person involved isn't 100% enthusiastic about the situation)

Because it uses the word "autistics" as a noun. As in "I can't read autistics." It's REALLY not that hard to say "autistic people."

Because being crazy is bad and makes you a villain and you can't possibly be a good person and also hear magical voices.

Because the main character was disabled at the end of the book, or a magical metaphor of disabled, but he got magically cured. So cured, in fact, that he lost his former scars in the process of becoming perfect again.

I mean nothing against the author in any way. This book is amazing in a lot of ways. It's just... I don't know. Maybe I've been spoiled by reading too many diverse books by diverse authors who are really sensitive to what it's like to live in an allocishet white abled male world?

(Also, spoilers for the automatons, but if you're going to do a big "omg, these murder robots were once people!" reveal, maaaybe don't reference Doctor Who so much beforehand. I was absolutely imagining them as Cybermen from the beginning and the reveal lost a lot of the shock value.)

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Grim & Bold Interview Jason Whittle

Morning all! As you may know, Grimbold Books, publisher of my upcoming novella, has two dashing kitty mascots named Grim & Bold, and they've been interviewing us "Grimmie" authors. Today I'm hosting their interview with Jason Whittle.
So, this story you’ve written. What’s it about? Why should I interrupt my nap-time to read it?
It’s called Escaping Firgo, and it’s about a desperate everyman who makes a terrible mistake. He robs the bank where he works, but then gets stranded in a remote village when he tries to make his escape. Every attempt to get away from there is foiled, leaving him wondering what secrets the place holds, and what forces are conspiring to keep him there.
This novella has drawn comparisons with Hot Fuzz, Psycho, Groundhog Day, The Prisoner, Twilight Zone, Tales of the Unexpected, and even more unexpectedly Trumpton and Once in a Lifetime by Talking Heads!
Where do you get inspiration? Where did the ideas for your latest novel come from?
Escaping Firgo was inspired by a real incident which happened to me in the year 2000. You’re unlikely to have heard of it, I certainly hadn’t, but Firgo is a real place, just off the A34. Along with a couple of friends, we got stranded there when our car broke down one bleak January Sunday. As we walked around a nearby village, encountering nothing but weirdness as we tried in vain to find a mechanic, I vowed to write something about it one day. After eighteen years and a little creative licence, this novella is the result.
I also went back there a couple of years ago, and wrote this blog post about both the return and the original occurrence.
Who’s your favourite imaginary friend? Is there anyone you don’t like?
I used to have two imaginary friends, but lately they’ve just been hanging out together and freezing me out. It’s not good for my self-esteem.
What are your plans to conquer the world?
To be nice to everybody. Literally everybody. And then when I get to the stage where the entire population of the world trusts me, and maybe feels like they owe me a favour, my reign of tyranny will begin.
What research rabbit-holes have you been down while writing? What was the most interesting, or the most tedious?
Research? Yeah, I’ve heard of that, but mostly I mine the top of my head. I did learn a fair bit about cannibalism when writing my zombie novel though. For example (young ‘uns, you can skip this bit) if you ate British beef in the 1980’s you were almost certainly exposed to BSE. If you didn’t contract the disease it’s because you had immunity stemming from the cannibalistic tendencies of your ancestors. People with no cannibalism in their ancestry were vulnerable to the disease.
So there you have it. The chances are your ancestors ate people, and by doing so they saved your life. Chew on that.
How often do you provide a cat sleeping spot- I mean, write? Do you have a comfy chair and a routine, or do you freelance cat-nap style?
I generally write on a laptop on the sofa, and as much as I can, basically. The plan is to write all day Monday and Tuesday, at least an hour after work the rest of the week, and on an ad hoc basis at the weekend. It’s Camp Nanowrimo right now, so at present I’m a bit more focused than usual.
When you’re not writing, what do you spend your time doing? Besides looking at cat pictures on the internet, obviously.
I’m a big sports fan, but the teams I follow bring me nothing but misery. I’m a long distance runner too, with two marathons behind me and hopes to run a third.
Is there anything you’ve read/seen recently that would be worthy of my attention?
It’s a step away from Grim ‘n’ Bold’s preferred genre, but my favourite book of the year so far is Come and Find Me by Sarah Hilary. I do like a bit of crime fiction, and am looking forward to Belinda Bauer’s new release too.
If you kindly brought your human a present, and they scream and tell you that they don’t like dead mice - that’s just rude, isn’t it?
It really is. Regardless of your opinion on the desirability of deceased rodents, the cornerstone of civilisation is to smile politely, say thank you for any gift received, and pretend you love it.
Cats. Fabulous, or completely fabulous?
Absolutely fabulous, darling! I love all cats, except the one which defecates in my back garden.
What’s your second-favourite food? Because obviously you are a human of taste and discretion, and therefore your favourite is tuna.
I’d have to say pizza. My all you can eat sessions are the stuff of legend, and I’ve often considered trying my luck on the competitive circuit.
Bold’s bow tie: excellently stylish, or rather dashing?
A great deal of both, obviously. It is a truth universally acknowledged that bow ties are cool.
On a scale of ‘excellent’ to ‘needs more practise’, how good are you at giving ear scritches?
Beyond excellent. I was well trained in a childhood by a cat which would bite down hard upon my exposed hand if my performance wasn’t up to scratch. As a result I’ve now honed my technique to perfection.
By the way, I left you a present behind the chair. I hope you like hairballs.
(smiles politely) Thank you. I love hairballs.
When a bank worker takes a wrong turn in life and on the road, he finds himself trapped in a remote village hiding from the police. 
Before he can find his freedom, he has to find himself, and it’s not just about escaping, it’s about settling up.
Because everybody settles up in the end.

Jason Whittle:

Friday, April 6, 2018

Name Change

Anachronism comes out in less than two months! I can't even believe it. (Add it on Goodreads and preorder the ebook!)
I've spent the last few weeks reading my proof copy, and I I'm the sort of obsessive perfectionist that could keep reading it forever because I'll never be convinced I've found all the mistakes. But at some point, I have to step away and accept that it's as good as it's going to get.

That's really hard for me to do, but it's an important step in publishing.

In the anthologies I've been in, my stories are less than ten percent of the book. If it's not perfect, or if people don't like it, it doesn't take away from the book as a whole. But Anachronism is all me. 110 pages of my work, my soul.

I'm asking people to buy my book, not our book. And of course, I'm not doing this by myself - I have all the amazing editors and staff at Kristell/Grimbold doing just as much work as I am. But it's just my name on the cover, and that's a scary and exciting thought.

I'm becoming a serious author, and with that should come presenting myself a bit more seriously. I'm changing the title of my blog to "Jennifer Lee Rossman - Speculative Fiction Author" to make it easier to find on search engines. I'm also tweaking the color scheme a little to match the cover of Anachronism.

I also got business cards printed.