SOPA/PIPA Blackout

It’s amazing to see all these huge cultural institutions (Google, Wikpedia) standing up for freedom on the internet. And I’m happy to stand up with them (Weightless is participating too).

However I am more than a little disappointed that there was no such uprising a couple weeks ago when it was time to defend actual individual freedom from the NDAA. I guess when they come to take me away, at least I’ll have the comfort of knowing Google is still out there fighting the good fight. Great.

If I’d given myself a little more time to plan this out you’d see here one of those empty Anonymous suits with a skull floating on top.

Ahh, hell.

Signal Degradation, Small Beer Podcast, HM at WFC, Suchlike

I realize it’s been months since I last posted. My computer HD died sometime in September, causing me to lose a month’s worth of cool mushroom photos, Hen of the Woods, Giant Puffball etc, which I would otherwise totally have put up here otherwise. But it’s cool, no need to pretend like you noticed—who reads blogs anymore?

I’ve been tweeting some, that’s got to count for something. Maybe I should port my tweets over here so the skull doesn’t look so dusty.

Anyhow, I have not been idle in the interim. Weightless Books is tearing right along; this month we’re running an Apex subscription drive, 25% off, plus some freebies for participants and a game of Nook Tablet roulette. The Homeless Moon put out a special edition best-of chapbook for World Fantasy, which you didn’t hear a thing about unless you were there; it was all very hush-hush. We used the space octopus cover castoff from chapbook 4, I thought it came out quite nice.

And, the real reason for this update, Small Beer intern and audiophile Julie Day has started a podcast series, the current episode of which features me, yes me, talking a bit about Weightless, a bit about beer, then reading aloud “The Hour of the Fireflies” by Karen Chacek, one of the stories I translated for the forthcoming SBP anthology Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Stories of the Fantastic. Which is a lovely story, a brief, crisp confection with a darkly bitter center, into the translation of which I put much effort, just so that you, non-Spanish-speaker, could enjoy it. So please go listen. Then in a week or so, I believe there may be another podcast episode wherein Gavin, Julie and I sit around on a late Thursday morning drinking beer and rambling about beer on tape. Fun!

And that’s about it from me. I have another of my own stories upcoming on Pseudopod—I’ll let you know when it happens. In the meantime, be well. Don’t lick any toads you haven’t first positively identified.

“The Eater” at Pseudopod; Pink Lady’s Slipper

My story “The Eater”, about the guy at the beginning of time whose job it is to taste everything and decide what will kill us and what will keep us alive, (which originally appeared in Apex back in July), is live today at Pseudopod!

Pseudopod, should you have been unaware, is a weekly horror fiction podcast, sister to Escape Pod and Podcastle, a triumvirate I have been struggling to break my way into for quite some time. I love reading fiction aloud, and hearing fiction read aloud, and “the Pods”, as they are affectionately known, are some of the best places to do that. For a reader, I am lucky enough to have netted Laurice White. I haven’t had a chance to listen yet—will do so on my ride home—but I expect it will be great.


Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid, Cypripedium acaule, mixed deciduous woods, Bull Hill, Sunderland, MA
(AKA/e.g., the replenishing pitcher flower of legend.)

Watch Ridler

Jay Ridler’s first novel, a noir wrestling thriller (!), is up now at the Kindle store:

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this. Amanda Hocking and Konrath have been made much of (and have made much out of themselves) as the poster/tentpole children of a brave, new, exponentially expanding market for self-published ebooks, raking it in hand over fist, generating buzz and dreams and misconceptions wherever they pass. But they appeared on this stage fully formed. They were already successful, hugely so, before most of us heard anything about them. We can go back and read about how they did it (as much as they’re willing to share), but we won’t be getting the whole story, and what we do get will be all distorted by the rah-rah haze of success. (So, nephew/son/grandson/husband/cousin/brother, when you going to write the next Harry Potter? Bleh!) And by now it’s completely unclear whether what they did will work for anyone else, because the market they’re selling through is so new and changing so rapidly. Nor does it make any sense to compare them to grassroots print self-publishing successes like Christopher Paolini (and certainly not to Rowling), because there was barely any market in place for them to target/advertise to/gladhand.

All of which makes me very excited indeed to watch Jay’s epublishing debut, because it gives me (and you, too!) the great advantage of observing from the ground up, from the inside. Yes, of course, I’m rooting for him because he’s my pal and I’m already vested in the whole ebook thing. But I also know (because I read all that stuff about Hocking and Konrath ad nauseum) he’s got a lot going for him. I know how much thought Jay has put into this. He’s a brilliant, lovable guy who keeps an entertaining blog and knows everybody. He’s incredibly prolific. He knows how to spin a yarn. I know how much heart he puts into his writing, and it shows. I guarantee Death Match will be fast-paced and gritty with a gripping emotional core. Frankly, he’s a better writer than Hocking and Konrath put together. Which may or may not mean a thing in this context. But it will be fascinating to watch. I can’t wait to see what happens–not just in the next couple of weeks, but when he puts out the next book and the one after that.

Should you care to watch him too, Jay’s blog, where I hope he will regale us with further news of his forays, is at ridlerville.wordpress.com.

Chapbook 4, Readercon, Beer, Updatey

Against all odds, there will be a Homeless Moon chapbook number four. I just sent it off to the printer. This year’s theme is a shared world generation ship, though I suspect you’d be hard pressed to guess that from the stories alone. We’re very different writers—it’s our shared hell-bent-ness that holds us together—and it’s awesome. As usual (though likely for the last time), I’ll have 200 copies to hand out at Readercon, and when those are gone, there will be ebooks on the HM site and at Weightless Books.

Here’s a cover we decided not to go with:

Space Octopus!

Readercon, by the way, is next week, and I have a ton of stuff going on. My schedule looks like this:

11:00 AM Friday – What Writing Workshops Do and Don’t Offer.
2:00 PM Saturday – Three Messages and a Warning group reading. This is Small Beer’s Mexican SF anthology, which I hyped up at last year’s Readercon. I translated two stories for it and have read a bunch of others, all fascinating, very different, surprising stuff.
2:30 PM Saturday – Beneath Ceaseless Skies group reading.
3:30 PM Saturday – My solo reading, wherein I shall read my Apex #23 story, “The Eater”.

I’ll also be at the Small Beer table in the dealer’s room quite a bit, and hopefully at Kelly and Gavin’s Kaffeklatsch, where awesome not-so-very-secret things will occur. This summer marks Small Beer’s tenth anniversary. I think there are t-shirts to celebrate the occasion. I have also brewed a beer. O it is an exciting beer I am having to struggle very hard not to crack open and drink. I wrote a Literary Beer entry about it.

And then—even then, after Readercon, it still is not done, because then I’ll be at another reading on Thursday the 21st at the NEIA Library in Brookline for the new LCRW #27, which also happens to be coming out at Readercon.

And then that same day I move.