april reading roundup

It’s been a long time since I did one of these! It’s been hard making time to read in between all my other busy-ness but I did start on a number of books.

Early on this month, I decided to put on my reading list classics that, for some reason or other, had passed me by (I’m sure we all have those!). Don Quixote is one, as are things like Herodotus’ The Histories and Plutarch’s Lives, and pretty much the majority of the American classics that most Americans read in high school (The Great Gatsby, The Red Badge of Courage, Moby Dick, to name a few).

It’s been a long time since my formal education, so I thought I’d get into a “study literature” mood with some reference books. The two I read bits and pieces of were The Well-Educated Mind: A Guide to the Classical Education You Never Had by Susan Wise Bauer and How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren. I’ve decided that my high schoolers should definitely read the latter before they go off to college.

The Well-Educated Mind

I was also in the mood for science fiction short stories, so I got a Larry Niven collection and an anthology out of the library.

The anthology is Old Venus, edited by George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozoir. The premise instantly attracted me: all these stories are set in the Venus of science fictional imaginings–a world of lush tropical jungles and huge oceans–before science revealed it to be the hellish place we known of today. All the stories showed a high level of skill and detailed envy-inducing worldbuilding, so which ones grabbed me and which ones didn’t came down to a  matter of taste. My particular favorites were Matthew Hughes’ “Greeves and the Evening Star” and Ian McDonald’s “Botanica Venerica: Thirteen Papercuts by Ida Countess Rathagan”, both of which feature upper-class aristocrats (one English, the other Irish). I’m not sure what that says about me!

Old Venus

Since I published Ironhand, and have other projects in various stages of completion on my plate, I re-read Discoverability by Kristine Kathryn Rusch. This book started life as a series of blog posts that you can still read for free on Rusch’s website. I love Rusch’s approach to writing-as-business. My big takeaways from the book this reading were the WIBBOW test (Would I Be Better Off Writing? In most cases, yes), the necessity of having several books for sale before launching a massive marketing campaign (working on that), and of seeing ones’ books as individual assets and treating them as such.

Discoverability

What about you? Have you read anything good recently?

So thrilled!

I am honored that my short story, Restoration, won first place in the first-ever How to Think Sideways anthology contest, judged by Holly Lisle. It sounds like there were many fine stories to choose from, and I’m excited to read them all when the anthology comes out July 24th.

The Adventure of Creation cover

HTTS Anthology Winner

Here’s my Sentence for Restoration:

“In a world where art and magic are one, an outcast in a decaying city finds inspiration in the works of a long-dead artist for her only act of magic.”

While you’re waiting for the anthology’s release, pop over to Goodreads and add The Adventure of Creation to your to-read shelf!

Cover Reveal: The Adventure of Creation

I’m thrilled to be part of the big cover reveal for The Adventure of Creation, a Think Sideways anthology presented by Holly Lisle. I’m honored to have my short story, Restoration, included in this collection. Here’s what the editors of the anthology have to say about it:

In May, the moderators of Holly’s Forum (that’s us), approached her with the idea of an anthology. With the 5th anniversary of “How to Think Sideways” drawing nearer, it seemed a good idea to match the release date with the anniversary. Holly agreed to the idea and even added a monetary prize for the top stories. After a very, very difficult selection process, we settled on thirty-five stories. It’s a pity that we couldn’t take them all. The scores were so close, we had lengthy discussions and finally went five stories over the 30 story limit we had planned.

With the stories selected and in Holly’s hands to pick a winner, we are proudly presenting to you:

The Adventure of Creation

The Think Sideways Anthology #1 presented by Holly Lisle

 

The Adventure of Creation cover

35 marvelous short stories by gifted new writers

 Follow a girl to the Below-World to slay the Sharkshadow, or help a timid girl to overcome the destructive criticism of her art teacher. Witness a solitary drone on Mars or a naive homunculus struggle to become human. Sew with a mother who lost her daughter in a quilt, defeat super-villains in a bank robbery with an unlikely superhero, or join a great mage in the fire.

In thirty-five imaginative stories, emerging authors present the diversity of their creativity. Each author found a different angle for the unifying theme: The Adventure of Creation. Witness the talent nurtured by writing teacher Holly Lisle. For the 5th anniversary of her first big writing course, How to Think Sideways, this anthology features the best of her talented students in a great variety of genres.

The eBook and print book will be released on the 24th of July. Help us spread the word. If the anthology is successful, we might do another one next year.

proofs! and a release!

My proofs for Rainbird and Mourning Cloak arrived earlier this week.

Aren’t they pretty?

Proofs

They look EVEN BETTER in real life.

There really is nothing like seeing your name on the cover of a physical book. I had an ear-to-ear grin on my face for about an hour after they came.

Right now, David’s checking them for errors (I know, I know, I’m spoiled). They should be ready to go in a week or so. Keep an eye on this space!

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One Small Step

One Small Step: an anthology of discoveries launched last weekend at Conflux. Jo Anderton and I have a story in there. “Sand and Seawater” has already gotten some nice shout-outs on Goodreads, and the anthology as a whole has been favorably reviewed in places like Publisher’s Weekly.

Next week, I’ll post about our experience collaborating on this story.

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I’ve been busily working away on some short stories for the past couple of weeks, including some broken fairy tales for a follow-up to Shattered. I’m hoping to get that out in June and then buckle down to Ironhand and release that a couple months later.

What are your writing plans? Do you have any new or upcoming releases? Let us know in the comments!