Here’s a taste of the cover for my next book, coming in December 2017.
I’ll be revealing the full cover (which is gorgeous!) worldwide in late August, but my monthly patrons will get to see it first. Just sayin’. 🙂
As many of you know, I love to be able to be able to share my work directly with readers. So, to that end, I’ve recently launched a Patreon site.
If you’re new to Patreon, it’s kind of like Kickstarter, but to receive ongoing content for a small monthly cost.
I’ll be releasing monthly short stories, plus other content to patrons. For the Dex fans in the house, you can get the ebook early, plus I’m working toward a goal of creating audio for the new Dex book.
For one US dollar a month, you’ll get access to the following patron-only content:
- A monthly short story
- The first look at new material
- Inside the Sausage Factory: insights into the writing and creative process
For another buck, you get all that, plus a patron-only podcast of the new Dex audiobook before it’s released, and any other future audio
At $3/month you’ll also get ebook files of all my new in potentia press titles (like the new Dex book) before they are released.
This has only just begun, so I’m also asking folks what other kinds of content they’d like to see available. There’s a poll over on the site now and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
There are already a couple of stories available to be unlocked, so sign up now and be the first to get all the new content I’ve got planned!
A few weeks ago, I wrote “The End” on the first draft of a new book. Here’s a hint (from the opening lines):
Some of you have been asking for a new Andersson Dexter book for… a while. 🙂
At the moment, I’m planning for a worldwide release in December 2017.
I am thrilled and delighted that Children of Arkadia was chosen to be part of the inaugural StoryBundle curated by the Science Fiction Writers of America.
The all science fiction bundle includes excellent titles by incredible authors and I am honoured to be in their company. Check out the list:
The initial titles in the SFWA Science Fiction Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:
If you pay more than the bonus price of just $15, you get all six of the regular titles, plus SIX more!
This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub and .mobi) for all books!
Here’s more about the bundle, from curator and SFWA president, Cat Rambo:
I am so pleased to present the first ever SFWA-focused StoryBundle. The idea for it has been hovering in my head for a several years but it was only last year that we finally had the contacts and volunteer structure to actually enact it. Last year I asked SFWA members to send in their science fiction and fantasy works for consideration in the bundles, and the enthusiastic response to that call let me assemble this awesome bundle as well as a second one, this time with a fantasy focus, for later this year. Midway through this year, we’ll open up the call for applications for the 2018 bundles.
If you’re curious about other SFWA offerings, sign up for our quarterly newsletter, which features new and backlist releases from our members in the area of fiction, games, and other offerings.
One reason I’ve pushed this StoryBundle along is because it’s a program that works well for our small press and independently published members, whose market agility allows them to make full use of the bundle. The membership voted to accept these new members in 2015 and one of the challenges was making sure SFWA served their needs. They’ve added immense enthusiasm and knowledge to our hive mind, and it’s great to have a way that helps them promote their work while also supporting the organization’s Givers Fund, which gives grants each year to encourage and promote fantasy and science fiction writing, including organizations such as the the African Speculative Fiction Society, Alpha Workshop, Clarion and Clarion West, and Launchpad.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, it’s over 50 years old, and has a membership of professional writers and publishing professionals from around the globe. It administers the Nebula Awards each year. If you’re in the Pittsburgh area, stop by the mass autographing session on the evening of May 19, which will feature (literally) dozens of authors, including many authors on this year’s ballot and SFWA’s latest Grand Master, Jane Yolen. Check out the SFWA website at sfwa.org for information on genre writing, the field, and other services. – Cat Rambo
‘Tis the season… for awards eligibility posts.
2016 has been widely and rightly regarded as a complete shit of a year, but it was personally quite good for me in terms of publications. I published four books and five short stories (four originals) — a record year for me.
If anyone is so inclined to make awards nominations, my short stories are eligible for the Hugo, Nebula, Aurora and Sir Julius Vogel Awards. My eligible works this year are:
“Reflections on a Life Story.” Nature 540, 476 (15 December 2016)
“War Profiteering.” Mothership Zeta. July 2016
“Showing the Colors.” Procyon Science Fiction Anthology 2016. Procyon Press. July 2016
“Alexander Systems.” sub-Q magazine. May 2016
That out of the way, on to a much more fun topic: my favourite SFF reads from this year!
Stay Crazy by Erica Satifka (Apex Publications)
Runtime by S. B. Divya (Tor.com)
“The Orangery” by Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam (Beneath Ceaseless Skies)
“17 Amazing Plot Elements… When You See #11 You’ll Be Astounded” by James Beamon (Daily Science Fiction)
“5×5” by Jilly Dreadful (Lightspeed Magazine)
“Bend Back the Shadows” by Michael Reid (Escape Pod)
“Fish Dance” by Eric Schwitzgebel (Clarkesworld)
“Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies” by Brooke Bolander (Uncanny Magazine)
“Spirit of Home” by José Pablo Iriarte (Motherboard)
“The Birth Will Take Place on a Mutually Acceptable Research Vessel” by Matthew Bailey (Lightspeed)
“The Curse of Giants” by Jose Pablo Iriarte (Daily Science Fiction)
“The Hunter Captain” by David John Baker (Escape Pod)
“The Right Sort of Monsters” by Kelly Sandoval (Strange Horizons)
“Things With Beards” by Sam J. Miller (Clarkesworld)
“We Have a Cultural Difference, Can I Taste You?” by Rebecca Ann Jordan (Strange Horizons)
Photo credit: Brad.K
A few days ago, I saw a great idea posted by S.L. Huang: #FictionFightsBack. The gist is to use fiction as a way to support organizations that are doing the hard work of protecting people’s rights and fighting authoritarianism.
I decided right then that I’d put together a box set of the complete Andersson Dexter series and commit to donate all sales to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. So, I did and it’s available now.
Get the omnibus of all three books in the series here, for as little as $5 (but feel free to be generous).
If you’d prefer to make your own donation to the organization(s) of your choice, go for it! You can send me an email letting me know who you supported and I’ll send you a copy of the collection.
Also, do keep an eye on the hashtag #FictionFightsBack for more books and stories where sales are being donated to raise money for organizations that will fight authoritarianism and/or work to protect people’s rights.
Just in time for Halloween, you can read my new short story “Bodies in Rest, Bodies in Motion” here on my website.
It’s a holiday piece about human/machine interaction, human/human interaction and amazing costumes.
Book Four of Devi Jones’ Locker is out now. Join Devi Jones on the last leg of her journey… maybe.
More information, a free sample, and buy links here.
My friend Beth Cato has dropped by again with another amazing recipe. And another amazing steampunk book to tell you about.
I’m steampunk fantasy author Beth Cato. My new series starts off with Breath of Earth, out on August 23rd. Unlike my Clockwork Dagger books, this novel is set on Earth—1906 San Francisco, to be exact. Yes, my book involves earthquakes. My heroine, Ingrid Carmichael, is a geomancer, and a profoundly gifted one at that… but women aren’t supposed to be endowed with such powerful magic. Nor is a woman of color supposed to be, well, anything of note. But Ingrid is not content with being a demure secretary, pouring coffee and tea for stuffy white men engaged in never-ending meetings. She wants recognition, meaning, in her complex world.
In tribute to Ingrid, let’s make our own darn tea and shortbread. In this case, I’m being literal: I’m sharing a recipe for Earl Grey Tea Shortbread! These are buttery, soft cookies with a small kick of heat from the tea.
More about Breath of Earth:
After the Earth’s power is suddenly left unprotected, a young geomancer must rely on her unique magical powers to survive in this fresh fantasy standalone from the author of acclaimed The Clockwork Dagger.
In an alternate 1906, the United States and Japan have forged a powerful confederation—the Unified Pacific—in an attempt to dominate the world. Their first target is a vulnerable China. In San Francisco, headstrong Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her power—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.
When assassins kill the wardens, Ingrid and her mentor are protected by her incredible magic. But the pair is far from safe. Without its full force of guardian geomancers, the city is on the brink of a cataclysmic earthquake that will expose Earth’s powers to masterminds determined to control the energy for their own dark ends. The danger escalates when Chinese refugees, preparing to fight the encroaching American and Japanese, fracture the uneasy alliance between the Pacific allies, transforming the city into a veritable powder keg. And the slightest tremor will set it off. . . .
Forced on the run, Ingrid makes some shocking discoveries about herself. Her powerful magic has grown even more fearsome . . . and she may be the fulcrum on which the balance of world power rests.
Beth Cato is the author of the Clockwork Dagger series from Harper Voyager, which includes her Nebula-nominated novella WINGS OF SORROW AND BONE. Her newest novel is BREATH OF EARTH. She’s a Hanford, California native transplanted to the Arizona desert, where she lives with her husband, son, and requisite cat. Follow her at BethCato.com and on Twitter at @BethCato.
I got a chance to chat with Erica L. Satifka (my editor for the Devi Jones’ Locker series) about her debut novel, Stay Crazy, to be released August 16. I am really looking forward to reading this book!
After a breakdown in college landed Emmeline Kalberg in a mental hospital, she’s struggling to get her life on track. She’s back in her hometown and everyone knows she’s crazy, but the twelve pills she takes every day keep her anxiety and paranoia in check. So when a voice that calls itself Escodex begins talking to Em from a box of frozen chicken nuggets, she’s sure that it’s real and not another hallucination. Well… pretty sure.
An evil entity is taking over the employees of Savertown USA, sucking out their energy so it can break into Escodex’s dimension. When her coworkers start dying, Em realizes that she may be the only one who can stop things from getting worse. Now she must convince her therapist she’s not having a relapse and keep her boss from firing her. All while getting her coworker Roger to help enact the plans Escodex conveys to her through the RFID chips in the Savertown USA products. It’s enough to make anyone Stay Crazy.
Can you describe your writing for someone who is unfamiliar with it?
Dark science fiction: Imagine all the good things that might be possible with a futuristic concept or technology, then completely invert them, add a pinch of paranoia, a slacker hero, and serve at room temperature.
Would you want to live in the world of your book? Why or why not?
I did live in the world of the book! Or at least, certain aspects of the book are heavily based on where I grew up and a job I used to have. Stay Crazy has a contemporary setting in small-town Western Pennsylvania, which is where I’m from. Her job is at a big-box store, the kind of place that’s quickly becoming the “company store” for many small communities where the manufacturing jobs that had supported families for decades no longer exist.
However, the other “world” of the novel is Em’s mind. I worked very hard to ensure that Em’s feelings were authentic for a person living with schizophrenia, reading multiple first person accounts as well as clinical research. I hope that anyone reading Stay Crazy who also shares Em’s worldview will find it realistic. It would be easy to say, “I can’t imagine dealing with Em’s illness” but that would be disrespectful to the countless people who do so every day.
But to answer the question directly: The first chance I got, I moved to the “big city” of Pittsburgh. Draw your own conclusions from that!
Why did you write this story? What is compelling about it for you?
The story was developed over several months of daydreaming while working as a stocker in the frozen food aisle of a real-world big-box store. (Spoiler: Guess what part of Savertown USA Em works in?) I’d also just discovered Philip K. Dick, so had parallel universes and reality testing on the brain. So naturally, a person who already has reason to question their understanding of the world made a perfect protagonist. The problem is that too many times, the portrayal of a person with atypical neurology comes down to a stereotype. I’ve mentioned in a different interview how people with schizophrenia tend to either be cast as “mystics” or the homeless person down the street, designed to scare readers. I didn’t want that for Em. I wanted her to be as real as I could make her, drawing on memoirs from people who have gone through similar experiences. It’s important to me to write an engaging story, but I didn’t want Stay Crazy to be the fifteenth “young woman tries to save the world” story out in the month of August.
The compelling thing about Em’s story is that she’s not your usual protagonist. Beyond her neuro-diversity, she’s also not the neglected figure who is “discovered” to save the day, or a generic figure shown to have great abilities. Em would be a background character/sidekick in most novels, allowed to do one or two cool things, make a few sarcastic quips, and stand aside for the hero/heroine to save the day. In my world, and I did this by design, Em is the primary figure. I don’t think we get enough rough-edged, imperfect, somewhat unlikeable protagonists. Especially girl protagonists like that.
How will reading it make people feel?
I don’t believe that an author should tell a reader how to feel about a book, and I’ve already learned that most people don’t find my writing nearly as funny as I do. Can’t predict reader reaction! However, as with all of my fiction, I also want to make the reader think about the key concepts behind the story as well as just enjoying the plot. For instance, I’d like them to really think about how the idea of capitalism and being “a productive member of society” really impacts on someone like Em who can’t fulfill that role with ease. I’m sure readers will come up with their own key concepts, too, and I look forward to hearing from them about what they’ve taken away from the book. (Save an author, write a review!)
Was there anything you did deliberately while crafting this novel (pacing, language, symbolism…)? Why?
I don’t use (deliberate) symbolism, and I don’t really try to create pretty prose on purpose. But I’m pretty proud of the hallucination scenes, as they’re written in a fluid, florid style that helps to differentiate them from the more straightforward prose of the reality-based sections of the novel. That was deliberate, kinda, but not so much calculated so much as it’s what I imagine a text rendering of psychosis would actually be like.
However, the main thing I like about Stay Crazy‘s “craft” is the dialogue. I’m sort of a jerk, and so is Em, and I had a lot of fun making the characters banter and writing out Em’s little snarky thoughts about her coworkers, her sister’s religion, her therapist, and everything else under the sun. I really tried hard to capture a sort of Daria Morgendorffer/Aubrey Plaza vibe in Em’s dialogue and interactions, while also not making her so sarcastic that you want to strangle her. It was a delicate balancing act for sure. And I have to admit, it was a little cathartic to be able to write out the kind of stuff that I could never say in person. Take that, polite society!
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Erica L. Satifka is a writer and/or friendly artificial construct, forged in a heady mix of iced coffee and sarcasm. She enjoys rainy days, questioning reality, ignoring her to-do list, and adding to her collection of tattoos. Her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Shimmer, Lightspeed, and Intergalactic Medicine Show, and her debut novel Stay Crazy will be released in August 2016 by Apex Publications. Originally from Pittsburgh, she now lives in Portland, Oregon with her spouse Rob and an indeterminate number of cats.