Gail Carriger on "The Traveling Writer: A Tip Sheet"

Gail Carriger - Imprudence

I started attending conventions as a fangirl long before I was a professional writer. I knew what to expect and when I got my first Guest of Honor invitation I was over the moon. I still get a little thrill at the very idea that someone wants me to attend a convention... as a guest!

But it's not the same thing. Whether heading out on a book tour or invited as a guest to a small local sci-fi convention, attending programming at a larger conference, or visiting one of those monster book festivals or comicons there are some things I think a professional writer should always keep in mind. 

So here, for your amusement (and perhaps education) are my highly subjective... Tips for the Traveling Writer

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#SPFBO - First Round Wrap-up

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Well, the first round is complete!

Over the course of... some period of time... I checked out 30 self-published fantasy books for #SPFBO, reading the first 3 chapters of each. 

Based on that (results and mini-reviews here), I earmarked six for detailed perusal:

The links all go to the complete reviews. If you're just joining now (hi!), there's some template action going on, as I evaluated all six against some wibbly criteria. 

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Fiction: "Zombie Hitler vs Neil Armstrong" by Marie Vibbert [Audio!]

Zombie Hitler by Jade Klara

The first to hit the news, of course, was Zombie Elvis. To the delight of loyal fans and conspiracy theorists, he emerged from his Memphis tomb looking very well-groomed for a corpse, hips dipping and swaying as he tried to walk. Security cameras and cell phones caught his first steps, right up until he began feeding... 

Read the complete story here.

Story by Marie Vibbert

Art by Jade Klara

Audio by Mahvesh Murad


World Fantasy Awards: Congratulations!

Shewalksinshadows2-266x400The World Fantasy Award finalists are out. Although all the shortlists are, of course, amazing, we're particularly glad to see two of our contributors - Selena Chambers and Silvia Moreno-Garcia - on the list!

Selena's "The Neurastheniac", from Cassilda's Song, is up for best short story.

Silvia's She Walks in Shadows, co-edited with Paula R. Stiles, is competing for best anthology.

You can find the complete lists here.

Selena is currently hosting a Mary Shelley read-along for us, while Silvia and Molly Tanzer are (heroically) wrestling with Gor.

Congrats, all!


Frankentales and Frankensongs

Walk This WayYou’ve probably seen the #Frankenstein200 tag floating around: Mary Shelley’s seminal gothic horror novel Frankenstein is celebrating its bicentennial.

And by that, I mean a bunch of people around the world are celebrating a book they love, a book they find important and a book that brought a bunch of us to a little estate near the Swiss village of Hermance to talk about Frankenstein’s echoes through history, pop culture, bioethics, artificial intelligence, science fiction, film and well… life. 

One of the things I started thinking about was how far the myth of Frankenstein and his Creature had spread in pop music. Thus, a list of Frankensongs. Because I believe there isn’t a single aspect of culture not influenced in some way by what Mary Shelley created... 

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Sophie Mayer on Gwyneth Jones’ Bold as Love (2001)

Bold As Love

At the end of this year, three hundred years of history would be undone. The Act of Union would be dissolved… In London the law and order crisis was going to keep Parliament from its summer recess; that, and the struggle to make the process of dissolution look organised. Meanwhile, the Counterculturals had gathered in Hyde Park, at Glastonbury, at all the traditional sites around the country, and, notably, here at Reading. It was supposed to be a peaceful two-week rock festival. The media people were hoping for trouble, and doing their best to whip it up… But Fiorinda didn’t care about any of that. She had come to Reading following a rumour, on a mission half of longing, half of vengeance.

Gwyneth Jones’ 2002 Arthur C. Clarke Award-winning novel Bold as Love opens some time around now or the near future, in Dissolution Summer, as England prepares to go it alone, dismissed by the wealthy Celtic nations. It might be fifteen years old, but Bold as Love is the most uncanny and necessary read for exactly this moment, as we face up to the latent divide in British politics that the EU referendum has brought to the surface. In Jones’ England, crisis is the new normal. Climate change and economic collapse are causing riots across Europe, and England will soon be further isolated by a devastating internet virus, and face the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees crossing the North Sea, D-Day in reverse.

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The Long Way to a Small, American Paperback

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The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is out in the US in paperback today!

My opinion of this book is pretty well-documented by this point (tldr; one of my favourite books of all time, and the sort of joyous science fiction that makes you believe in a better future), but just in case you need further encouragement:

Here's the Guardian story on how this kickstarted debut novel became one of Hodder & Stoughton's summer blockbusters.

And here are some the awards that have recognised it: Baileys, Arthur C. Clarke, The Kitschies, Tiptree, BFS, BSFA.

And here are some reviews:

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Beyond Prometheus: Reading the Other Works of Mary Shelley

Frankenstein
Manuscript of Frankenstein (Vol. 2, Chapter 1)

Two hundred years ago, in the Cologny manor known as the Villa Diodati, five young Romantics gathered for a summer so rare and beautiful that it has transcended the ages from literary anecdote into pop culture lore. Full of sex, drugs, and the nineteenth century equivalent of rock and roll, the discussions and adventures experienced by Lord Byron, Mary Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Dr. John Polidori, and Claire Clairmont during the summer of 1816 lead to the creation of two literary legends, Polidori’s The Vampyre and of course, Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

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Radio Drama: "Revenge" (1948)

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"Revenge" first aired June 4, 1948, on The Haunting Hour.

Thoughts Before Listening

So this time I thought I would choose a radio drama with a really boring title. And I can’t think of a more boring title than ‘Revenge’. Except possibly ‘Vengeance’. Or ‘The Revenge of Vengeance’. Anyway.

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