More Books

Friday, September 23rd, 2016 07:29 am
marthawells: (Reading)
* Comic Take a Chance by C.E. Murphy and Ardian Syaf
Driven to save lives after her son's murder, Frankie Kemp has spent years as a non-powered vigilante whom the police choose to overlook, but when a virus releases super-powered potential in much of the population, "Chance" is left to face her child's shadow-sliding killer with nothing more than her wits and experience. Her friend and police detective Darius Murkowski suspects Frankie is getting involved with things she shouldn't, but can't prove it yet, and Chance encounters "superhero" Tazer--a newly-powered man whose good intentions considerably outstrip his ability in a fight.

* Comic Sun Dragon's Song by Joyce Chng and Kim Miranda
More than anything, young Ho Yi wishes to become a Sun Dragon Rider, the courageous human guardians of the magnificent beasts that roam the sky and keep watch over the land. But confined to crutches, bullies giving him a hard time, and his parents being away at war, Yo Hi is up against almost impossible odds! Can he still keep hope alive, while suffering in his tiny village, to become the valiant hero only he feels he's destined to become?

* Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time: An LGBT and two-spirit sci-fi anthology
Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time is a collection of indigenous science fiction and urban fantasy focusing on LGBT and two-spirit characters. These stories range from a transgender woman undergoing an experimental transition process to young lovers separated through decades and meeting in their own far future. These are stories of machines and magic, love and self-love.

* The Family Plot by Cherie Priest
In The Family Plot, Dahlia Dutton and her salvage crew are given a last ditch job to wreck and salvage an especially tantalizing property. Ignorant of the house and Withrow family’s history, the crew soon find themselves haunted by a multitude of spirits. At first, the spirits are content to scare and pester, but as Dahlia uncovers more of the secrets the house has held for nearly a century, something dark and violent emerges ― something that has squared all its rage on Dahlia Dutton alone.

* Dragons in the Earth by Judith Tarr, Book I of Horses of the Moon
After a particularly unfortunate session, Claire gets one last chance to keep her home and her livelihood. A small herd of horses needs a place to live and a person to care for them. But these are no ordinary horses. They represent an old, old breed, the rarest in the world, and they protect an ancient and terrible secret. And something is hunting them. The ranch is a perfect sanctuary. The powers that live on and under and above it can protect the horses–if Claire can control them. But first she has to control her own abilities, and learn to believe in herself.

* The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst
But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms.


Article: The Invisible Women by Liz Barr
Statistics aren’t my thing, but I’m pretty certain that if we run the numbers, that “female domination of science fiction awards of late” will tally out at roughly 30%.
marthawells: (Teyla)
Book quotes I’ve been posting on Twitter for Book Quote Wednesday





Links and Books

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 07:55 am
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
* My reading and interview for the Pixel Project is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1EyARkzeKQ I talked a little bit about the time I was stalked in college. And remembering how just about every girl I knew at that time had a similar story. I barely mentioned it, and I think it gave me a nightmare last night. Not that anything violent happened, just that feeling of not being able to trust the people around you.

They also have an Indiegogo (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/read-for-pixels-2016-fall-edition#/) to help raise funds to fight violence against women, with great book prizes.


Books

* Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly
The phenomenal true story of the black female mathematicians at NASA whose calculations helped fuel some of America’s greatest achievements in space.

* The Reader by Traci Chee
Sefia knows what it means to survive. After her father is brutally murdered, she flees into the wilderness with her aunt Nin, who teaches her to hunt, track, and steal. But when Nin is kidnapped, leaving Sefia completely alone, none of her survival skills can help her discover where Nin’s been taken, or if she’s even alive. The only clue to both her aunt’s disappearance and her father’s murder is the odd rectangular object her father left behind, an object she comes to realize is a book—a marvelous item unheard of in her otherwise illiterate society. With the help of this book, and the aid of a mysterious stranger with dark secrets of his own, Sefia sets out to rescue her aunt and find out what really happened the day her father was killed—and punish the people responsible.

* Binti: Home by Nnedi Okorafor
The thrilling sequel to the Hugo and Nebula-winning Binti. It’s been a year since Binti and Okwu enrolled at Oomza University. A year since Binti was declared a hero for uniting two warring planets. A year since she found friendship in the unlikeliest of places. And now she must return home to her people, with her friend Okwu by her side, to face her family and face her elders.

* The Hate U Give by A.C. Thomas
A novel inspired by Black Lives Matter. Excerpt: http://www.elle.com/culture/books/news/a39073/hate-u-give-excerpt/

* The Leopard King by Ann Aguirre
Until three years ago, those words applied to Dominic Asher, the leader of Ash Valley. His family has ruled the feline branch of the Animari for hundreds of years, guiding the pride through perilous times. Unspeakable loss drove him into seclusion, a feral beast nobody can tame.

* Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Ocean breeze in her hair and sand between her toes, Anise can’t wait to spend the summer before her senior year surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. Santa Cruz is more than her home―it’s her heart. But when her aunt, a single mother, is in a serious car accident, Anise must say goodbye to California to help care for her three young cousins.

* Article: A Crash Course in the History of Black Science Fiction by Nisi Shawl

* Readers of the Lost Arc: 1990s by Courtney Schafer
A sampling of under-read SFF treasures. She says nice things about my second novel, City of Bones

City of Bones by Martha Wells (pub date 1995)
Wells mixes SF and fantasy elements in City of Bones to excellent effect, combining a post-apocalyptic stone desert populated by a bioengineered race with a richly described and dangerous city with laws enforced by mages. My favorite part of the book, though, has to be Wells's characters. Protagonist Khat (one of the bioengineered krismen) is smart, dryly sarcastic, and has a fascinating backstory. Co-protagonist Elen, who is one of the city's Warders, is likewise smart and determined, plus she’s forthright in a way that plays very nicely off the more reserved Khat. The story is standalone—though I sure wish Wells would one day write more!—and offers an archaeological mystery alongside exciting action and magic. Originally published by Tor, now it’s been republished in ebook form by Martha herself. If you enjoy adventure SF/fantasy, it’s a must read.

It me!

Thursday, September 15th, 2016 07:55 am
marthawells: (Miko)
So yesterday this happened: I got invited to be the toastmaster at World Fantasy Convention 2017 in San Antonio next year.

I've been guest of honor at a couple of local cons, but never anything this big, so I'm happy but super freaked out.

New Book Wednesday

Wednesday, September 14th, 2016 09:26 am
marthawells: (Reading)
* An interview with Foz Meadows http://www.tor.com/2016/09/06/sleeps-with-monsters-foz-meadows-answers-eight-questions/ Her new book is An Accident of Stars

* Short story: The Robot Who Couldn't Lie by Sunil Patel

* Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Domingo, a lonely garbage-collecting street kid, is busy eeking out a living when a jaded vampire on the run swoops into his life. Atl, the descendant of Aztec blood drinkers, must feast on the young to survive and Domingo looks especially tasty. Smart, beautiful, and dangerous, Atl needs to escape to South America, far from the rival narco-vampire clan pursuing her.

* The Gate to Futures Past by Julie Cznerneda
Betrayed and attacked, the Clan fled the Trade Pact for Cersi, believing that world their long-lost home. With them went a lone alien, the Human named Jason Morgan, Chosen of their leader, Sira di Sarc. Tragically, their arrival upset the Balance between Cersi’s three sentient species. And so the Clan, with their newfound kin, must flee again.

* Gods of Nabban by K.V. Johansen
The fugitive slave Ghu has ended the assassin Ahjvar's century-long possession by a murderous and hungry ghost, but at great cost. Heir of the dying gods of Nabban, he is drawn back to the empire he fled as a boy, journeying east on the caravan road with Ahjvar at his side.

* Everfair by Nisi Shawl
Everfair is a wonderful Neo-Victorian alternate history novel that explores the question of what might have come of Belgium's disastrous colonization of the Congo if the native populations had learned about steam technology a bit earlier. Fabian Socialists from Great Britian join forces with African-American missionaries to purchase land from the Belgian Congo's "owner," King Leopold II. This land, named Everfair, is set aside as a safe haven, an imaginary Utopia for native populations of the Congo as well as escaped slaves returning from America and other places where African natives were being mistreated.

* Of Sand and Malice by Bradley P. Beaulieu
Çeda, the heroine of the novel Twelve Kings in Sharakhai, is the youngest pit fighter in the history of the great desert city of Sharakhai. In this prequel, she has already made her name in the arena as the fearsome, undefeated White Wolf; none but her closest friends and allies know her true identity.
marthawells: (Zoe)


On Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 7:30 CST I’ll be doing an online reading and an interview as part of The Pixel Project’s Read for Pixels Fall Edition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1EyARkzeKQ to help raise funds to fight violence against women.

They also have an Indiegogo (https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/read-for-pixels-2016-fall-edition#/) with great book prizes going on now, including:

$60 USD Martha’s Special Blend Bundle!
Acclaimed Fantasy author Martha Wells has a very special goodie bundle for Fantasy fans - she is giving away three (3) “Special Blend” bundles featuring the latest RAKSURA book, EDGE OF WORLDS and a special “Indigo Cloud” tea blend to go with it. Donate to get it now and you’ll soon be cozily curling up with a book and some lovely hot tea as the weather gets cold!


https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/read-for-pixels-2016-fall-edition#/


The Pixel Project is a virtual, volunteer-led global 501©3 nonprofit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women (VAW) using the power of the internet, social media, and pop culture/the arts.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
You can now preorder the hardcover of The Harbors of the Sun at Amazon US, Chapters Indigo, Books a Million, Amazon UK, and Indiebound. The ebook will show up for preorder closer to the release date.



Description:

A former friend has betrayed the Raksura and their groundling companions, and now the survivors must race across the Three Worlds to rescue their kidnapped family members. When Moon and Stone are sent ahead to scout, they quickly encounter an unexpected and potentially deadly ally, and decide to disobey the queens and continue the search alone. Following in a wind-ship, Jade and Malachite make an unlikely alliance of their own, until word reaches them that the Fell are massing for an attack on the Reaches, and that forces of the powerful Empire of Kish are turning against the Raksura and their groundling comrades.

But there may be no time to stage a rescue, as the kidnapped Raksura discover that their captors are heading toward a mysterious destination with a stolen magical artifact that will cause more devastation for the Reaches than anything the lethal Fell can imagine. To stop them, the Raksura will have to take the ultimate risk and follow them into forbidden territory.

The paperback of The Edge of Worlds can be preordered at Barnes and Noble and Amazon and all the other Amazons.

Cover Reveal!

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016 03:04 pm
marthawells: (Default)



BEHOLD!

The cover reveal for The Harbors of the Sun is at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/blog/sci-fi-fantasy/exclusive-cover-reveal-harbors-sun-martha-wells-plus-bonus-interview/ with a bonus interview.

The gorgeous art is by Yukari Masuike

ETA: and it's now available for preorder in hardcover!
marthawells: (SGA Team)
* Worldbuilding with Martha Wells: http://www.kaykenyon.com/2016/09/07/worldbuilding-with-martha-wells/

* A read-along of The Cloud Roads on Over the Effing Rainbow: http://overtheeffingrainbow.co.uk/2016/09/sff-read-alongs-cloud-roads-part-1/

* Roqoo Depot Interview with me at WorldCon: https://roqoodepot.com/2016/08/28/midamericon-ii-interview-with-martha-wells/

* Panel recording from WorldCon: Changing the Medium: https://roqoodepot.com/2016/08/28/midamericon-ii-changing-the-medium-panel/ (featured authors Martha Wells and William C. Dietz as well as guests Gary Kloster, Christopher Kastensmidt and moderator Monica Valentinelli)

* Another panel recording from WorldCon: Queer Star Wars: https://roqoodepot.com/2016/08/27/midamericon-ii-queer-star-wars-panel/ (moderated by Matt Jacobson and features Martha Wells (the author of Star Wars: Razor’s Edge), Vivian Trask, Dr. Amy H. Sturgis and Dr. Mary A. Turzillo)

* Another interview at SciFiFantasyNetwork: http://www.scififantasynetwork.com/martha-wells-interview-writers-fantasy/
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
On Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 7:30 CST I'll be doing and online reading and an interview as part of The Pixel Project's Read for Pixels Fall Edition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1EyARkzeKQ to help raise funds to fight violence against women.


They also have an Indiegogo with great book prizes going on now.

The Pixel Project is a virtual, volunteer-led global 501(c)3 nonprofit organisation whose mission is to raise awareness, funds and volunteer power for the cause to end violence against women (VAW) using the power of the internet, social media, and pop culture/the arts.

Our flagship campaign is the Celebrity Male Role Model Pixel Reveal campaign which aims to turbo-charge global awareness about VAW while raising US$1 million for the cause by getting a global audience to collectively unveil a million-pixel mystery collage of Celebrity Male Role Models by donating US$1 per pixel. Our ongoing campaigns also include Read For Pixels, Music For Pixels, 16 For 16, 30 For 30, Survivor Stories, the Twitter Tag Team and more.

We are also a ‘first step’ organisation – offering people who are first-time supporters opportunities to help the cause in ways that make the most of their talents and professional skills. Our team of volunteers is scattered across 6 continents, 12 timezones and over 15 cities worldwide, proving that there are no cultural or social barriers when it comes to VAW.

Links and Recs

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 09:14 am
marthawells: (Reading)
Links

* Readers of the Lost ARC: Courtney Schafer Explores the 1980s

* On that Rabid Puppies thing and my Hugo Award-winning novella Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

* Hao Jingfang wins Hugo Award with dark story of social inequality and injustice in Beijing


Recs

* Short story: My Grandmother's Bones by S.L Huang

* Breath of Earth by Beth Cato
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 secretary Ingrid Carmichael is assisting a group of powerful geomancer wardens who have no idea of the depth of her own talent—or that she is the only woman to possess such skills.

* Musketeer Space by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Dana D'Artagnan longs for a life of adventure as a Musketeer pilot in the Royal Fleet on Paris Satellite. When her dream crashes and burns, she gains a friendship she never expected, with three of the city's most infamous sword-fighting scoundrels: the Musketeers known as Athos, Porthos and Aramis.

* Starfang: Claw of the Clan by Joyce Chng
After recovering from her harrowing ordeal, Captain Francesca Min Yue is on the hunt once more. Keen on revenge for the death of her beloved crew and pack-mate, she is not going to roll over and play dead. However, Yeung Leung, long-time enemy and leader of the Amber Eyes, still eludes the captain's claws. Will Francesca be able to win back the honor of her clan? Or will she be dragged into a strange - and dangerous - alliance with the raptor-like shishini? Honor, integrity and courage are all tested in this sequel to Starfang: Rise of the Clan.
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
The description of The Harbors of the Sun is up but there still isn't a preorder option for it.

It's the sequel to The Edge of Worlds and the final book in the series.

A former friend has betrayed the Raksura and their groundling companions, and now the survivors must race across the Three Worlds to rescue their kidnapped family members. When Moon and Stone are sent ahead to scout, they quickly encounter an unexpected and potentially deadly ally, and decide to disobey the queens and continue the search alone. Following in a wind-ship, Jade and Malachite make an unlikely alliance of their own, until word reaches them that the Fell are massing for an attack on the Reaches, and that forces of the powerful Empire of Kish are turning against the Raksura and their groundling comrades.

But there may be no time to stage a rescue, as the kidnapped Raksura discover that their captors are heading toward a mysterious destination with a stolen magical artifact that will cause more devastation for the Reaches than anything the lethal Fell can imagine. To stop them, the Raksura will have to take the ultimate risk and follow them into forbidden territory.

* The Edge of Worlds is also up for preorder in paperback. It's already available in hardcover, ebook, and audiobook.


* Also there's more new fan art on the Compendium: http://www.marthawells.com/compendium/#art a drawing of Frost, by Katriona Seallach on DeviantArt

* On Saturday, September 17, 2016, at 7:30 CST I'll be doing and online reading and an interview as part of The Pixel Project's Read for Pixels Fall Edition https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1EyARkzeKQ

* On Wednesday, October 19, 2016, at 4:30 I'll be doing a talk on worldbuilding and a Q&A session as part of the Hal Hall Lecture Series sponsored by Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, at TAMU.

New fan art

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016 09:02 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
I've posted new fan art to the Books of the Raksura Compendium on my web site: http://www.marthawells.com/compendium/#art

It's "When Moon first encounters Stone in The Cloud Roads" by Samantha Majumder. Samantha says: One of my favorite 'scenes' was when Moon encounters Stone for the first time and gets chased around a floating island a bit before he flies down to cling to the underside of the island and escapes. I enjoyed that part so much I painted what I thought the scene might look like with acrylic and watercolor and would like to show you as well. I attached a scan of the fan art to this email. I aimed to reflect how threatening Stone appeared to Moon as he was chased. Also, the cover art of your book influenced the yellow tinted sky.

Thanks to Samantha!

If anyone wants me to link to or post their Raksura art on the compendium, just let me know.

WorldCon

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016 08:18 am
marthawells: (SGA Team)
I got back from WorldCon yesterday, and I am dead tired. I don't know that I'll get much done today.

The convention was really big and I enjoyed a lot of it. Especially the writers workshop session I did, and the Queer Star Wars panel on Friday, and my reading. Also really enjoyed the Build a World game show on Friday night. The time and room got moved, so we lost some of our audience, but it was still a lot of fun, and I got to direct some audience members in an interpretive dance to explain the world we created. And the last panel I did, the Urban Fantasy in Transition panel was great.

The exhibit hall was really well done this year, and was full of displays and programming. There was even a big craft area with supplies and classes that were taught there. There was a fake river partitioning off the dealers room, with a twenty foot tall glittery volcano, and when the room closed, the volcano "erupted" and the river turned into lava. (Plastic lava) It was really cool. And we went to some of the bid parties Friday night and swore allegiance to China and San Juan. Also Ireland, I think, but I didn't get a ribbon there.

And the Hugo Award results, and the speeches, were fabulous.

The Verge: http://www.theverge.com/2016/8/21/12571854/hugo-awards-takeaways-the-fifth-season-nk-jemisin-binti

And from the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/21/hugo-awards-winners-nk-jemisin-sad-rabid-puppies

I'm so happy and so relieved the Hugo voters came together to drive off the rabid puppies again. By the organization's charter, it takes two years to change the award rules, and the new rules that were proposed at last year's WorldCon were voted in by the membership this year, so that should be the last time for slate voting by this gang of racist and misogynist assholes.

But it's still incredibly sad to look at the nomination stats, and see the novels and stories and best related work non-fiction that was driven off the list by this bunch of fuckwads. The list of nominees bumped by the puppies slate is at the end of the stats PDF: http://www.thehugoawards.org/content/pdf/2016HugoStatistics.pdf (Two of the short story nominees would have been "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" by Alyssa Wong and "Wooden Feathers" by Ursula Vernon.)

Quickie Post

Monday, August 22nd, 2016 07:49 am
marthawells: (Default)
I'm on my way back from WorldCon but just saw the hardcover of The Edge of Worlds is on sale on Amazon for 15.49 https://www.amazon.com/Edge-Worlds-Martha-Wells/dp/1597808431/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1471826391&sr=8-1&keywords=Martha+wells
marthawells: (Default)
* Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones
Margerit Sovitre did not expect to inherit the Baron Saveze’s fortunes—and even less his bodyguard. The formidable Barbara, of unknown parentage and tied to the barony for secretive reasons, is a feared duelist, capable of defending her charges with efficient, deadly force.Equally perplexing is that while she is now a highly eligible heiress, Margerit did not also inherit the Saveze title, and the new baron eyes the fortunes he lost with open envy. Barbara, bitter that her servitude is to continue, may be the only force that stands between Margerit and the new Baron’s greed—and the ever deeper layers of intrigue that surround the ill-health of Alpennia’s prince and the divine power from rituals known only as The Mysteries of the Saints. At first Margerit protests the need for Barbara’s services, but soon she cannot imagine sending Barbara away—for reasons of state and reasons of the heart.


* Dragon Sisters by Joyce Chng
Enter a world of fantasy and magic and recipes set in Qing China. What happens when Xiao Xiao, a daughter of an Imperial Courtesan, finds a magical green pearl in the hands of her adoptive little sister? When she meets Ming Zhu, a dragon princess, daughter of the Dragon King, a friendship is formed. But will Princess Ming Zhu ever return back to her watery kingdom?


* An Accident of Stars by Foz Meadows
When Saffron Coulter stumbles through a hole in reality, she finds herself trapped in Kena, a magical realm on the brink of civil war. There, her fate becomes intertwined with that of three very different women: Zech, the fast-thinking acolyte of a cunning, powerful exile; Viya, the spoiled, runaway consort of the empire-building ruler, Vex Leoden; and Gwen, an Earth-born worldwalker whose greatest regret is putting Leoden on the throne. But Leoden has allies, too, chief among them the Vex'Mara Kadeja, a dangerous ex-priestess who shares his dreams of conquest.

I got to read this early, and I said, "I very much enjoyed this. The main character falls out of our world into a life-changing adventure, with compelling characters and a fascinating world. I can't wait to read the next book."


* New Worlds, Old Ways: Speculative Tales From the Caribbean edited by Karen Lord


* Kojiki by Keith Yatsuhashi
Every civilization has its myths. Only one is true. When eighteen year old Keiko Yamada’s father dies unexpectedly, he leaves behind a one way ticket to Japan, an unintelligible death poem about powerful Japanese spirits and their gigantic, beast-like Guardians, and the cryptic words: “Go to Japan in my place. Find the Gate. My camera will show you the way.”


* Short story, Tor.com: Her Scales Shine Like Music by Rajnar Vajra
marthawells: (Reading)
First, our historical fantasy storybundle ends in two days, so last call for a great collection of books.

***

WorldCon schedule

Thursday

Workshop 1:00 to 3:00

Reading 6:30 pm 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)
(I'm going to read from The Harbors of the Sun)


Friday

Queer Star Wars 11:00 to 12:00 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)
In a galaxy far, far away Juhani, a lesbian character, appeared in 2004 in Knights of the Old Republic. It wasn't until 2013 that we saw a same-sex kiss and numerous bisexual characters appear. Other than that however Star Wars has been decidedly backwards about coming forwards. With JJ Abrams saying there will be at least one gay character in the upcoming movies, and many fans hoping for that to be Poe, we take a look at why it has taken so long to happen and how we expect the public to react, not only in the US and Europe but also China and Russia.
Dr. Amy H. Sturgis, Martha Wells, Dr. Mary A. Turzillo Ph.D., Vivian Trask, Matt Jacobson

Changing the Medium 2:00 to 3:00 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)
A look at what is involved when adapting a property from its original medium to another. How does a movie become a game or a book turn into a television show? What artistic licenses must be taken and how do you remain true to the spirit of the original?
Monica Valentinelli, Gary Kloster, Christopher Kastensmidt, Martha Wells, William Dietz

Autographing 5:00 to 6:00 Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

The Build a World Game Show 9:00 to 10:00 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)
The Build-a-World Game Show is a live action worldbuilding game designed and run by Monica Valentinelli. Two teams of panelists compete to build a fantastic world in under an hour for fun and prizes. The Build-a-World Game Show incorporates audience participation, takes place in three rounds, and results in a fan-voted winner!
Monica Valentinelli, Catherine Lundoff, David McDonald, Tex Thompson, Martha Wells


Saturday

Kaffeeklatsch 10:00 am 2211 (KKs) (Kansas City Convention Center)

How Much Do You Worry About Your Own Cannon? 4:00 to 5:00 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)
It seems sometimes that readers are more concerned about maintaining a series' internal consistency than the author is. Authors, you know why things have been changed. When writing a series, how important is it to you to maintain full consistency in what is canon for the story and how do you decide to throw something out for the importance of the narrative?
Mike Resnik, Don Sakers, Diana Rowland, Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Martha Wells


Sunday

Urban Fantasy in Transition 1:00 to 2:00 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Urban fantasy has a long history within fantasy literature, but it's certainly gained new prominence recently. The panels examines how this definition has changed over time, what influences have helped to shape urban fantasy, and it's origins and potential evolution as a literary genre.
Lee Harris, Arthur Chu, Katherine Wynter, Martha Wells
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
So yesterday I was supposed to have one of those routine, screening, drive a camera through your insides tests. I spent Wednesday, on no solid food, just chicken broth, jello, tea and juice. Drinking the prep liquid that night was not as bad as I thought it would be (it tasted like Hawaiian Punch that had gone bad in some strange chemical way). The only hitch (we thought) was that I had to get up at 4:00 am to take the second dose. I spent the night in the guest room so I wouldn't wake up Troyce, then I screwed up when setting my alarm and almost slept through it. Troyce woke up anyway, realized there weren't any lights on, and woke me up. So the whole morning we were congratulating ourselves on not messing up the whole thing at the last moment and having to reschedule.

We got to the doctor's office at 8:30 am where they are running people in and out like clockwork and everything's going great, and I got a very nice nurse to get my IV line started so they could give me the sedation. Except I'm dehydrated, and my veins hide really, really well. So she tries, and the anesthesiologist tries, and we end up trying in both hands, both arms, one foot, and the right side of my neck. (That last one is not fun, I don't recommend it.)

My veins are triumphant! No one can catch them. Nurse and anesthesiologist feel horrible (and they really did, no one wants to be on either end of this process) and we have to stop, so the doctor decides to send me to the hospital where they can do a central line. (Troyce asked me where they would stick the central line and I said probably in my eye.)

But the first opening isn't until 1:00, so we have to go home for an hour and then get to the hospital at 11:00. (The good thing is, both these places are less than 10 minutes from our house because we live in a small town. The bad thing is I haven't had food since Tuesday and no water since 4:45 Thursday morning.) It takes about another hour to check in at the hospital, but the doctor had allowed for that in her schedule, and eventually I get an outpatient room.

The first nurse glares at me and asked if I normally have a problem with IVs. (I have a feeling that most people who get referred to the hospital for this are just perceived as being difficult. I am not difficult, I let them stick three needles in my neck and they're the ones who had to give up.) I told her I hadn't had an IV in thirty years so I didn't know, and when I get blood tests it is difficult but they always manage. First nurse leaves and then a second nurse comes in and says the first one went on lunch break. (This is a relief.) This nurse listens to the problem and says it would be better to avoid a central line, so first let's let Wesley try, so she gets Wesley.

Wesley turns out to be an actual blood wizard. He asks me what exactly the other people said was going wrong, leaves and comes back with a double handful of equipment, then, while laughing and chatting with us, uses a different technique and gets a vein on the back of my wrist on the first try. This is a HUGE RELIEF.

The rest of it was anticlimactic. Got wheeled in, got the sedation, woke up and hour later ready to go home. I remember the doctor coming in and talking to me, and explaining a picture of my insides, but it's very dreamlike. I think I'm very good at faking being coherent when I'm actually still mostly unconscious. But I have to do the test again for ten years, so it's a win. I'm hoping the insurance still covers everything like it's supposed to. The hospital didn't try to beat any money out of us when we were checking in, so I'm cautiously hopeful. We'll know when we get a bill, I guess.
marthawells: (Default)
And Then History Took a Queer Turn
by Heather Rose Jones

A lot of good blog topics start out, “So somebody asked me about....” Well, nobody asked me about this, but it would be a very excellent question and I’m kind of surprised nobody has. Let’s pretend it happened. So nobody asked me, “Heather, given that you write stories with lesbian protagonists, why the heck do you put them in oppressive historic settings? Why not put them in contemporary settings? After all, it’s rather an exciting time to be non-heterosexual in the USA. Or why not put them in futuristic settings where we can imagine that prejudice will be entirely eliminated? If you’re going to create secondary world fantasies, why use ones that carry over prejudice from our own past? Why not create a fantasy world -- even a pseudo-medieval one -- where being LGBTQ simply isn’t an issue?”

I wrote a blog with that opening paragraph back two years ago. And my answer boils down to this: I refuse to cede history to straight people. I refuse to let stand the position that same-sex desire was invented by late 19th century sexologists. That lesbian history started in the ‘50s with butch-femme culture. That the only pre-20th century gay stories are tragic ones. I refuse to accept that it is not possible to find and write satisfying historic novels about queer people. I refuse to yield the stage, abandoning it to default to straight actors. I love the rich and detailed tapestry of history and I have as much right to own it as anyone else.

It seems I’m not the only author to take that position. The Historic Fantasy Storybundle has representation from a wide spectrum of sexualities. Character sexuality doesn’t alway fit well into a book blurb, but here’s what I’ve been able to identify, with the help of the authors.

Steel Blues by Melissa Scott and Jo Graham traces a coast-to-coast air race in the early 20th century, with the aviation team beset by both supernatural and human perils. One of the several protagonists is a gay man.

The Emperor's Agent by Jo Graham follows the exploits of a bisexual woman blackmailed into becoming an agent for the Emperor Napoleon in a France where not all the battlefields are mortal.

Daughter of Mystery by Heather Rose Jones plunges two young women into the excitement and danger of exploring mystical talents, while juggling the hazards of early 19th century high society and trying solve the mystery of their past. They add to those hazards by falling in love.

The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone by Geonn Cannon is a steampunk thriller in which several women, some of them lesbians, forge an unlikely partnership to stop an ancient evil.

The same author wrote Stag and Hound, an occult shape-shifter adventure set in WWII. The four protagonists include two gay men and two lesbians.

The Death of the Necromancer by Martha Wells takes place in the gas-light world of Ile-Rien where noblemen, thieves, and necromancers clash wits. A significant supporting character, Captain Reynard Morane, is gay, and features as a protagonist in one of the stories in...

Between Worlds by Martha Wells, which collects shorter stories set in Ile-Rien.

The Armor of Light by Melissa Scott and Lisa A. Barnett brings real historic figures to its stage, including playwright Christopher Marlowe as one of the protagonists.

Similarly, Judith Tarr’s Lord of the Two Lands tackles the story of Alexander the Great, including a realistic portrayal of sexual attitudes of the times and his relationship with Hephaistion.

I haven’t been able to confirm whether the other two books in the StoryBundle (Pillar of Fire by Judith Tarr and The Orffyreus Wheel by David Niall Wilson) have any significant LGBTQ characters, but the bundle contains plenty to interest historic fantasy readers who wish to stray from the straight path.

(Apologies if I’ve misrepresented any of these characters or their settings. In writing brief sumaries, I may have emphasized aspects differently from what may strike the reader.)

You can buy the Historic Fantasy StoryBundle for as little as $5 for the basic bundle of five titles, or get an additional six titles if you pay more than $15. All details are explained at the website.

(Note: the storybundle offers ends in 10 days, on August 10, 2016)

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