marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Let's see. Today I'm hoping to get someone to come and look at the cracks in the fireplace and say how much it would be to fix. Hopefully not too much. It would be nice to use the fireplace again, and also nice to shut down the wasp highway into the house.

Black Gate did a post on me and the Six by Six Kickstarter. We added some new reward levels, and there's one signed copy of Stories of the Raksura: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud left.

Art link:

* 10 Black Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists
marthawells: (Miko)
Ran a bunch of errands, and finally got the recycling down to the recycling center. (I was driving around with it in the back of the car because it was raining too much to take it in.)

Another new book out:

Royal Airs (An Elemental Blessings Novel)
by Sharon Shinn
I've been really looking forward to this one.

"Filled with vivid details of everyday life, a strong and admirable heroine, and a plot with as many twists and turns as the mighty river that threads through the story, Shinn’s latest novel should appeal to her avid readership and to lovers of the genre. Highly recommended."--—Library Journal (starred review)

links: The Status Quo Does Not Need World Building by Kate Elliott

Apex Magazine: The SF/F Community: An Essay by Lynne M. Thomas and Michael Damian Thomas

AsiaObscura: Sifting Through Arthur C. Clarke’s DVD Collection in Colombo

Tumblr: Big Huge List of Some Amazing Women Artists! by Julie Dillon


Oct. 14th, 2013 09:57 am
marthawells: (Default)
We had a huge booming thunderstorm late Saturday night, with more rain on Sunday and this morning. No flooding at our house (though we had a debris line close to the garage door) but there was a lot of bad flooding in other parts of the state. (They were afraid the Colorado River was going to crest over the Congress Avenue bridge in Austin.) More to come later this week, probably.

* A follow-up to the Oatmeal Post: Seriously, Screw The Oatmeal
But again, The Oatmeal continues its habit of lionizing people who don't necessarily deserve it. Bartolomé de las Casas was probably a very good person, but he was also the father of the African slave trade in the Americans.

* Boing Boing: Amazon requires publishers to use Kindle DRM

* Robert Jackson Bennett: On women, and empathy, and con games
How weird it is that I was able to sail through high school and even college without genuinely befriending a single female. How strange it feels that I could be successful at anything without needing to socialize with them in any genuine manner, without making them a part of my life, social or professional or what have you.
I was never asked, I feel like, to consider them an equal, a peer. It certainly never occurred to me to do so.

* Austin writer Steve Niles needs help: Steve Niles House Flooded – Paypal Account Set Up To Help

* Elementary school needs help after Colorado floods: Fundraiser for Lyons Elementary School
I've heard that Red Cross donations for the flooding recovery in Colorado are 6 million below what was expected -- there's still people without power, water, etc there who need a lot of help. Red Cross

* Fantasy Art: Lauren K. Cannon
marthawells: (John and Ronon)
So the work on the house to repair the plumbing disaster is finally finished. :knock on wood: That's one source of stress gone. Now I can concentrate on the other sources of stress. But at least last night I was able to get some real sleep. I still had an anxiety dream, but I did sleep past 4:00 am.

TV Rec:

The Bletchley Circle has been airing on Sunday night on PBS, and it's awesome. There are only three episodes, about a group of women who were counter-intelligence code-breakers in WWII, solving a serial killer mystery after the war. They had to sign the official secrets act, and can't tell anyone what they did, and have to say they just did clerical work.

Book rec:

The Lives of Tao by Wesley Chu
When out-of-shape IT technician Roen woke up and started hearing voices in his head, he naturally assumed he was losing it.

He wasn't.

He now has a passenger in his brain – an ancient alien life-form called Tao, whose race crash-landed on Earth before the first fish crawled out of the oceans.


* This is going around on Tumblr and I thought it was enormously cool: Concept art for Janelle Monáe’s The ArchAndroid by Chad Weatherford

* The Nation: My So-Called 'Post-Feminist' Life in Arts and Letters
It's career suicide, colleagues tell me, to speak out against the literary establishment; they'll smear you. But never mind. I'm too old and too invisible to said establishment to care.

* Sarah Rees Brennan: On writers getting paid to write
I think it is interesting that they *are* both guys, and they both got a lot of good press for saying: my work is worth something. Because when a woman says that, people argue with her.

* 20 of the world's most beautiful World Heritage Sites

* Bill Crider reviews Emilie and the Hollow World
Wells is excellent, as always, at world-building, and the societies that Emilie and the others encounter are interesting and believable. There's plenty of intrigue, danger, and action, too, and Emilie proves herself more than capable of dealing with just about any emergency. If you read YA fiction, this one is great fun and should be on your list.
marthawells: (Miko)
I realized this weekend that this year will be my 20th anniversary as a published author. The Element of Fire came out 20 years ago in July, 1993. That's 20 years, twelve books out with three more on the way.

I should probably do something for it, but I'm not sure what yet.


Since Hugo PIN numbers are going out, another reminder: the Hugo Nomination period is open. The Serpent Sea and The Siren Depths are both eligible. You can nominate if you are: Members of LoneStarCon 3 and Loncon 3 (the 2014 Worldcon) who join by January 31, 2013, and all members of Chicon 7, the prior year’s Worldcon, are invited to submit nominating ballots. If you didn't get the email with your PIN, you need to email the Hugo PIN email address on the front page of the Lone Star Con site.

Places I'll be going so far this year:

February 15-17, 2013. ConDFW, in Dallas, Texas.

May 4-5, 2013. DFW Writers Conference, in Hurst, Texas.

August 29-September 2, 2013. LoneStarCon 3, the World Science Fiction Convention, in San Antonio, Texas.


Book rec: The Kobold Guide to Worldbuilding

Art sites: Fantasy of Color tumblr.
We're here to share art, pictures and stories of people of color in fantasy or steampunk settings.

Book rec: A post on the Booksmugglers site about The Other Half of the Sky an anthology I have a Raksura story in, which will be coming out in April.

Book rec: Hurricane Sandy Benefit Anthology
marthawells: (Reading)
We had a cold front come in last night with some rain, and now it's in the 40s, though it should warm up to the 60s this afternoon. I really hate cold weather, this is why I live in a temperate swamp-desert.


If you missed it last week, Amazon says The Siren Depths is shipping early. I haven't heard any reports of it showing up in bookstores yet, and the ebooks will not be out until December, the original publication date. Not sure about the audiobook yet.

I also posted about great food I had over the weekend and upcoming appearances yesterday.

Other books:

* A round-up of guest posts on the anthology Outlaw Bodies an anthology of feminist, queer, disability and cyberpunk themed SF. Now on sale in print and e-book.

* art site: Jacquline Hurlbert. This is just cool.

* Black Gate book recs: What I Found at Hoole Jeffrey E. Barlough’s Western Lights series may be the best fantasy books you don’t know about and Carrie Vaughn Steals the Show on paranormal mystery Kitty Steals the Show by Carrie Vaughn.

* Black Gate free fiction: Godmother Lizard by C.S.E. Cooney
A young woman makes a dangerous journey across a fantastic desert landscape in a desperate attempt to save her childhood friend.
marthawells: (Default)
We have a heavy mist this morning, like a gothic novel is happening in the neighborhood. I hope it comes back tomorrow, when we're going to the Renfair with friends. Also finally got a good night's sleep last night. The bottle of hard cider probably helped.

Cheap Book thing:

Night Shade Books has put the Kindle US version of The Cloud Roads on sale for $1.99. (Down from normal price of $7.99) Probably a promo for The Siren Depths, which will be out next month. (You can read the first two chapters on my web site here.)

Hurricane links:

* How to help in New York City after Hurricane Sandy A list of organizations to donate to is at the bottom of the post.

* The donation page for the Red Cross.

* My agent, Jennifer Jackson, is doing a charity auction for hurricane Sandy relief: You can bid on a critique of a partial manuscript.

* Solar Water Disinfection I keep a collection of empty plastic soda bottles as part of our hurricane kit.

* Writer Marie Brennan has an autographed book sale to benefit disaster relief.

Fun things:

* Kickstarter for The 2013 John Picacio Calendar This would make a great Christmas gift.

Book Recs

Sep. 13th, 2012 07:31 am
marthawells: (Reading)
The Shadowed Sun by N.K. Jemisin
This is the sequel to The Killing Moon, set in a fantasy world loosely based on ancient Egypt. I don't want to say too much and spoil it, but I really enjoyed both these books. They're both very different, original fantasies with compelling characters.

Dandy Gilver and the Proper Treatment of Bloodstains by Catriona McPherson
This is one of a mystery series set in 1920s Scotland. I loved the funny, self-deprecating tone of the prose, and I loved the main character, a forty-something married-with-kids-and-stuffy-husband upper class woman who finds new life and purpose as a detective. I've been tracking down the earlier books in the series, but had no trouble starting with this one. This book is funny but also gets into some serious issues, like the labor strikes at that time in Scotland, and how horrible conditions were for coal miners.

Luther: The Calling by Neil Cross. This is an original novel from the TV show Luther, with Idris Elba, written by the show's creator. I haven't gotten it yet but as soon as I take care of some bills and have spare money, I am so there.

Guest post on Kari Sperring's LJ for Morgan Keyes' new middle grade fantasy Darkbeast
In Darkbeast, twelve-year-old Keara runs away from home rather than sacrifice Caw, the raven darkbeast that she has been magically bound to all her life. Pursued by Inquisitors who would punish her for heresy, Keara joins a performing troupe of Travelers and tries to find a safe haven for herself and her companion.


Hugo winner John Picacio and all around great person does a retrospective of the Best Artist Hugo Awards


Some jewelry - barter for aid towards medical emergency Buy some lovely jewelry and help pay for emergency dental surgery.
marthawells: (Teyla)
First an announcement:

I have a story in this anthology The Other Half of the Sky, with a TOC-full of great authors. The theme is SF with female main characters, and the link has the first few lines of the stories as a sample. My story is set in the Cloud Roads world, about Jade. I'll post when the anthology is ready for preorder.

WorldCon Last Day:

Sunday was a long day too. We got up, did breakfast at the Corner Baker Cafe, and then I did my signing in the dealers room. After that I had two hour writers workshop session run by me and Gregory Wilson. We had three participants who had all submitted novel chapters that were all so good it was a pleasure to read them. After that I went back to the dealers room with my roommate and we shopped until it was time to go to my last panel. I got three t-shirts, one for me and two for gifts, an art book with some of Donato Giancola's art, and a couple of books: a Dandy Gliver mystery by Catriona McPherson, and from the Black Gate table I got the second Tekumel Book by Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker (the man who created Empire of the Petal Throne).

Oh, I meant to mention, in the art show we saw this Donato Giancola triptych Eric Bright-Eyes Triptych and it was incredibly striking. I'd seen it online, but the impact in person is huge.

My last panel was on writing workshops, and we had a pretty small audience, since the pre-Hugo reception was going on in the room across the way, and a lot of people were already lining up to get a seat in the auditorium for the Hugos. But the panel went well though and I think the people who were there enjoyed it. Afterward we went to the Irish Pub in the hotel for dinner (Guiness stew, yummy) and then wandered back up to the hotel to collapse in the room. I think I managed to stay up until 10:00, but that was it. I didn't hear the full Hugo results until I got home on Monday.


Aug. 20th, 2012 08:31 am
marthawells: (Teyla)
Had a very good weekend. A friend came in from out of town, we went to the Antique Rose Emporium, had barbeque, then watched the first three seasons of The Guild, which she had never seen before. It also rained Friday evening, and threatened rain all day Saturday, so the Rose Emporium was deserted and there were no weddings in progress, so we could wander around the gardens with no people in the way.

And she had never seen The Guild before and loved it. It's free online and you should watch it too:

Watch the Guild


Also, artist Stephanie Pui-Mun Law has redone her web site and added new stuff.


My big news last week was that my YA fantasy, Emilie and the Hollow World, that is coming out in April 2013, is now up for preorder: Barnes and Noble, Powell's, Mysterious Galaxy, The Tattered Cover, Chapters, Book, Book Depository UK, Books-a-Million,, Amazon UK,,,
marthawells: (John Sheppard)
ArmadilloCon is going to be this month, July 27-29. The major guests are: Guest of Honor: Anne Bishop, Special Guest: Chloe Neill, Editor Guest: Liz Gorinsky, Artist Guest: Julie Dillon. I'll be on panels, and will be one of the teachers at the writers workshop.

I hadn't seen Julie Dillon's art before. Her site is here and there's some gorgeous work on it. I really love the piece that the con is using for its poster: Planetary Alignment (also because it's a fully dressed female character). Also like this one.

Todd Lockwood did the cover for the new shared world fantasy anthology I have a story in: Tales of the Emerald Serpent (that's the ebook, the paperback is available here). Todd Lockwood's site is here. Some of my favorite pieces are this one and this one


The Atlantic: How Good Books Can Change You

Black Gate: Comment on this post at the Black Gate Blog for a chance to win a free ebook or paperback of The Crow God's Girl by Patrice Sarath

The Book Smugglers: On the Smugglers' Radar Upcoming SF/F and YA books!
marthawells: (Default)
Today is Juneteenth!

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

From its Galveston, Texas origin in 1865, the observance of June 19th as the African American Emancipation Day has spread across the United States and beyond.

There are some events going on in Galveston, Texas, one of my absolutely favorite places, where it was first celebrated.


The Chesley Award Nominees for SF/F art were announced and Matthew Stewart was nominated for the cover of The Cloud Roads! Yay! That link has the list of all nominees, plus the nominated artwork. IO9 listed their favorite pieces here.

Kitten report:

The kitten's name is now Jack. He has to go to the vet this morning to get the rest of his shots, then I have to do all the errands I didn't do this weekend.

I signed up for the Clarion West Write-a-thon to support the Clarion West Writers Workshop, and my sponsor page is here. I'll try to write up a post with my progress and post of snippet of something when I get a chance.

I also really need to do a book rec post.


Malinda Lo: YA Pride: Change Without Blame
Over Memorial Day weekend, I attended WisCon, the feminist science fiction convention, in Madison, Wisconsin. I did a couple of panels there, including one called "De-Gaying and Whitewashing: What Publishing Trends Mean for Writers."
marthawells: (Zoe)
I've been trying to teach the land piranha/kitten that no means no, and to not eat the other cats' food, and not to eat my food. This is going sort of the way you might expect, but it's got to be done.

I can see a distinct difference between Tasha, who we got as a kitten from a friend and who was born in their house and had already lived with other people and cats for a while, and this kitten, who was a stray and then was picked up by the animal shelter. Tasha already knew how houses worked, and understood bathtubs, showers, etc, and had good food manners. To this kitten, everything is something new, and all food belongs to him.


New music vid by Felicia Day! Gamer Girl, Country Boy - Felicia Day & Jason Charles Miller


World SF Blog: The Western Cultural Imperialism Bingo Card

The Book Smugglers: Book Expo America and BEA Bloggers Conference 2012: A Recap
We have mixed feelings about this year’s BEA “Bloggers” Conference (on a side note, why are there quotation marks around “bloggers” in the logo for the conference? SO. WEIRD.). This is the third time we have attended the conference, but in many ways this year was a first as it was the first time that BEA officially organized and ran the con after purchasing it from the hardworking bloggers that founded and ran the show in prior years.

Michelle Harrison: Michelle Harrison: Five things I wish I had known before I was published
I always imagined that upon completing a novel there would be some kind of revelation, some secret I’d unlock that could make it easier the next time round. There’s no such thing.

A.E. Bogdan: Sweet Pains: Headaches, Fatigue and Brain Fog
In 2008 I started having bouts of fatigue and brain fog. The brain fog became so bad that I stopped reading and writing. I simply couldn’t maintain my thoughts from paragraph to paragraph. Sometimes I’d feel better for a while, but it never lasted.

The fatigue increased over the years, along with body aches and back pains. After a few years of this I started getting full-on dizzy spells. A few times on work gigs I felt so groggy and out-of-it I feared my clients would think I was stoned.

Beautiful sand paintings: Incredible Sand Drawings by Andres Amador If I can ever get logged in to my Pinterest again, I'm going to pin one of these.
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
The book giveaway winners were: [personal profile] naryrising, [personal profile] donaithnen, and [personal profile] julieandrews!

Thanks to everyone who entered!


SF/F artist and children's book illustrator Leo Dillon has passed away. Illustration has lost another giant. Leo Dillon, husband and life-long collaborator of Diane Dillon, passed away on May 26th. Together they created a remarkable array children's books and book covers.


Book Rec:

Casket of Souls by Lynn Flewelling is out now!
The Nightrunners are back in this gripping novel full of Lynn Flewelling’s trademark action, intrigue, and richly imagined characters.

More than the dissolute noblemen they appear to be, Alec and Seregil are skillful spies, dedicated to serving queen and country. But when they stumble across evidence of a plot pitting Queen Phoria against Princess Klia, the two Nightrunners will find their loyalties torn as never before. Even at the best of times, the royal court at Rhíminee is a serpents’ nest of intrigue, but with the war against Plenimar going badly, treason simmers just below the surface.

SF Signal: [GUEST POST] Writing About Race in Science Fiction and Fantasy (Part 1 of a Roundtable Interview)
A Roundtable Interview with David Anthony Durham, Aliette de Bodard, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Ken Liu


Mar. 11th, 2012 09:06 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Awesome good thing yesterday:

Jessica Peffer sent me this lovely fan art of Moon from The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea:

This absolutely made my weekend! I love his expression, and that he's wearing the consort bracelet Jade gave him. This is part of the Three Worlds Compendium now, and you can see Jessica's other artwork on her web site at

I posted about this on Twitter first, and N.K. Jemisin linked to some of the fan art she's gotten for The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms here (click on the "Fan Fun" tag for more) and Kate Elliott got one of Andevai from Cold Magic and Cold Fire here. (You can see the artist's other work at Spiral Knot.)


The artist Moebius (Jean Giraud) passed away yesterday, and John Picacio has a memory of him here. This Tumblr has a collection of his work.
marthawells: (Zoe)
We are covered by fog again this morning. It's after 8:00 here now and it still hasn't burned off yet. I'm really glad I don't have to drive in it, as there are some low spots between here and the university, and it seems to collect in those and get even thicker.


* I can't remember who posted this. It's Retronaut, Photos from the World Fair, Paris 1900.

* Book View Cafe just released: Practical Meerkat’s 52 Bits of Useful Info for Young (and Old) Writers by Laura Anne Gilman. Writing is a craft. Publishing is a business. Today’s world requires you to understand both. It's $2.99 for the ebook.

* Weird Fiction Review: The Strangest of Neverlands: Ray Caesar’s Luminous, Defiant Lost Girls by Nancy Hightower
I was first introduced to Ray Caesar’s work when writing the catalogue essay for Carrie Ann Baade’s Cute and Creepy show, which was exhibited at Florida State University’s Fine Art Museum this past October. I haven’t been able to shake the images of his haunting, and haunted, beauties ever since. Trapped forever between woman and girl, human and creature, these lovelies radiate a strength and light amid the perils that threaten their very existence.

* The Book Smugglers: Celebrating 50 Years of A Wrinkle In Time
Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time – rejected by countless publishers before finally finding a home with FSG in 1962, was a formative novel for me as a young girl. With its sympathetic heroine, the socially awkward (but mathematically savvy) Meg, the exceptionally empathetic Charles, the admittedly crushworthy Calvin, and the slew of strange immortals, science fictional dimension-jumping aspects of the novel, and, most importantly, the message of love conquering all won over my twelve-year-old heart.

* Also on Book View Cafe: An Article by Linda Nagata on The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea She says nice things about them, and talks about the way magic is used in the books.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Does anybody have an idea for a cute (or grotesque, whatever floats your boat) promotional item I could do for the Books of the Raksura? I don't think these kind of things help sell the book to new people, but they are fun to give out free to people who have already read the book.

Usually these things are some kind of paper item, but that doesn't lend itself well to the world of the books. ([profile] falzalot came up with the idea for a plushie fledgling Raksura which would be awesome, but since the budget is hovering around zero, it wouldn't be practical.)

In other news, it did rain yesterday (finally) but now I have an allergy headache the size of my head.

I started a Pinterest page for inspirations a while back, so there's a link to it.


The Books for Boobs Auction
The Books for Boobs auctions end TOMORROW MORNING. We're currently at $950 in bids, and 12 of 26 auctions have no bids yet! Can we hit $1,000? Let's make it happen! Bid if you can, and spread the word!

Autographed books and charity donations make fantastic holiday gifts. Here's a great opportunity to give both together! All books are autographed, and nearly all auctions include a photo of the author with an Avon bear. All profits go to the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
We were talking last night about a writer who said her characters felt so real to her that she bought them Christmas gifts. [personal profile] morfin turned to me and said "Moon wants an iPad."

Cynthia Leitich Smith has more photos from the Austin ComicCon.

More links that I forgot where I found them. Probably on Twitter:

45 Incredible Futuristic Scifi 3D City Illustrations

Diversity in YA: The Power of Diverse Science Fiction by Deva Fagan
marthawells: (Default)
It looks like some of the biggest fires are finally under control, and the fire map looks better this morning: There's a slight chance of rain on Friday, but I'm not holding my breath. They've said the drought is probably going to continue through next spring.

I may have jury duty tomorrow, bleh. I woke up at 2:00 am congested, and couldn't get back to sleep, so I don't know how productive this day is going to be.

Someone on Google+ had asked me a couple of questions:

If you care to answer, how has it changed your life, getting published? Being an author is full-time for you?

My first novel was published in 1993, but I didn't become a full-time author until 2004. That's 18 years as a professional author, 7 years as a full-time professional author. I had my career crash in 2006, so 2004 was a very bad time for me to go full-time. But a friend had just passed away of cancer, and I realized my day-job situation had gone from unpleasant to toxic and borderline abusive, and I decided that life was too short to wait for better times.

It changed my life in that it made my paychecks extremely irregular and makes me prey to all sorts of anxiety and insecurity, but I don't want to do anything else.

Speaking of which, the friends of writer Ed Bryant are asking for donations for his health care and so he can keep his house. The long-term plan is for Ed to sell the house and move into managed housing, but for the moment, he needs help to keep it. This is one of those situations where if a lot of people give a small amount, $5.00 even, you could really help a lot. There's a paypal donation button at the bottom of the site.

CoolVibe has some neat Stargate art

Courtney Schafer was on Suvudu: Booked!
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
This morning I need to go to the library and then the grocery store. Oh the giddy round of an author's life! Then I'm going to come back and write a bunch more.

The full WorldCon schedule is now online. My schedule is here.

ETA: Oh, meant to say, I have a post coming up this Sunday on The Night Bazaar, on favorite SF/F worlds and cultures, and I'm having trouble narrowing it down to just a few.

[personal profile] tingler linked me to this on Inhabitat: Vegetated Floating Island In The Sky Goes Missing From UK Music Festival
Two things occur to me: 1) I want it and 2) I hope it doesn't kill anybody when it falls down.

Here's the web site of the artist doing the cover of The Serpent Sea: Steve Argyle

[personal profile] kateelliott links to the second round of Clarkesworld Magazine Part Two of its Epic Fantasy Roundtable
"If you've not grown up being told you shouldn't be who you are"


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