marthawells: (SGA Team)
How is everyone who's writing for Yuletide doing? I hope it's going well! (especially if you're writing fanfic for my books)

The masonry guy didn't show up yesterday, so I'll just sit here with my wasps.

I've seen the almost finished cover for Stories of the Raksura II: The Dark Earth Below and The Dead City, and it's gorgeous. It's by Matthew Stewart, who won a Chesley Award for the cover of The Cloud Roads.

I'm 79,000 words into (with about 40,000-50,000 to go) on a new novel, which I can tell you about when the contract is finalized.

Book recs

* N.K. Jemisin: Launch Day for the Inheritance Trilogy Omnibus which includes a new novella "The Awakened Kingdom."

* Fantasy For Good Featuring brand new fiction from Piers Anthony, Michael Moorcock, Carrie Vaughn, Kelley Armstrong, Alan Dean Foster, Katharine Kerr, David Farland, Jane Lindskold, Nnedi Okorafor, Todd McCaffrey and many more, alongside classic tales from George R.R. Martin, Jay Lake, Kevin J Anderson & Rebecca Moesta, and Neil Gaiman.
All proceeds from the sale of this anthology go directly to The Colon Cancer Alliance, a charity dedicated to the prevention of this deadly disease, as well as funding research and supporting patients who suffer from it.


Nov. 12th, 2014 07:40 am
marthawells: (SGA Team)
We have a freeze warning tonight, and we haven't even had Fall yet. This is worrying.

I'm not doing much right now but being stressed out and anxious about a lot of things, and trying to hit some writing goals before Thanksgiving.


I have a guest post this morning on author's John Marco's blog:
Power in the World of the Raksura, talking about the structure of a Raksuran court. Thanks to John for letting me post on his blog!

It might be a help to anyone writing Raksura fanfic for Yuletide. Also, there's some handy info on my web site if you haven't already seen it.


Judith Tarr is having a writing mentoring sale: November NaNo Sale and Writing Classes

Also for people who are Nanoing, I have a links and information on publishing section on my web site.


Book signing in Austin this Saturday

* I'll be doing a signing for Blade Singer with Aaron de Orive, at the Barnes & Noble Arboretum in Austin, Texas, on Saturday November 15 at 2:00. So far it looks like they have Stories of the Raksura I and Star Wars: Razor's Edge in paperback, too.

* Murder by the Book has signed copies of Stories of the Raksura I and Star Wars: Razor's Edge in paperback if you wanted to get someone a signed book as a gift this year.
marthawells: (Default)
This is a link to an article I wrote for Black Gate on how I found fanfic and early Star Wars fanzines: Fanfiction and Me:

The editor's young daughter is very much into fanfiction and he was getting tired of seeing negative articles about it.

Excerpt: I was introduced to fanfiction after The Empire Strikes Back came out in 1980, when I was around fifteen. This was long before the internet, and fanfic was printed in fanzines, fan-produced magazines that were mimeographed or xeroxed, or if the editor could afford it, offset printed. But finding them, if you didn’t already know someone who knew about them, was nearly impossible.

As a lonely, feral, anxiety-ridden, teenage fan, my only connection to the fandom world at all was Starlog magazine. Back then, Starlog was a lifeline for me, and it not only featured articles and news about TV shows, movies, and books, but also fan groups and conventions. (I chose the university I went to because Starlog had an article that mentioned its student SF/F club and convention, but that’s another story.)

The magazine also had a section of small cheap personal ads in the back for fan-related merchandise. One issue a fanzine called Facets, dedicated to fanfic about Harrison Ford’s various characters (mostly Han Solo and Indiana Jones) bought an ad, and I sent my money in (I don’t remember how much, probably less than $10) and bought a couple of small fanzines.

I was hooked. The back of each fanzine was filled with ads and flyers for other Star Wars fanzines, and I dived in and ordered more.
marthawells: (Default)
I have a couple of questions people posted to answer, but I wanted to put this in its own post. These are some links about the q&a session after the preview of the new Sherlock episode hosted by Caitlin Moran, and how she took the opportunity to slam the fans of the show, and embarrassed the two main actors by making them read aloud slash fanfic she took off the internet, and tried to humiliate the author of the fanfic. I say "tried" because I think Moran mostly humiliated herself.

* This is a description of what happened at the Q&A by a reviewer who was there. Sherlock Season 3 preview @ BFI – The Empty Hearse

No spoilers, but site does have a video ad that plays automatically, at least for me.

I had wanted to write a little about the Q&A, but quite frankly it was awful. I’m not the biggest Caitlin Moran fan, but she did the last Sherlock Q&A really well and I know she really likes Benedict and Sherlock, so I was happy that it would be someone who knew what they were talking about. Boy was I wrong. Nothing she asked had anything to do with the episode, showing how crap she is at interviewing on the fly. And what made that worse was that she clearly hadn’t prepared properly either because her jokes and what she thought was funny really were not and clearly not well thought through.

and later:

You could say that Caitlin misjudged the humour in her questions. She went into the Q&A to take the piss out of the fans, the show and the whole phenomenon in general. Not, mind you, maliciously. Just in a mocking way. But that was bad judgement. The people in the room were the cast and crew, journos and fans that are well known for taking the show seriously. We had waited for 2 years for the episode.

* Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch and fanfic: don't mess with these women (and men)
It’s entirely possible that thanks to Sherlock fanfic, someone who never before considered writing professionally might decide to give it a try. It’s also possible that some who considered doing so may now be scared to, fearing the long memory of the internet and the ridicule they might receive. And to those authors I say: forget the haters, sally forth and conquer all worlds. There is nothing shameful about stretching your wings.

* I can’t stop thinking about what Caitlin Moran did to humiliate a fanfic writer. by savvyliterate
This is what Caitlin Moran caused. It’s not just humiliating an author, making the actors and creators of “Sherlock” uncomfortable or going against her own words about feminism. It’s because what she did could influence someone to stop writing. What if we have lost out on some amazing work because a budding, insecure writer was scared off by Moran’s actions?

They're both right, there are a lot of pro writers (and other publishing professionals) who started out writing fanfic, either from writing fanfic on the internet or from way back in print fanzine days. There are pro writers who wrote for the first Star Trek fanzines in the 60s and 70s. I started out writing Star Wars fanfic for fanzines back in the 80s. It gave me feedback, it gave me confidence in my writing, and it gave me a way to connect with people who loved the same things I did and kept me from feeling alone.

* My Thoughts on Fanfic by Mary Robinette Kowal
This is my position too. I don’t link to fanfic the way I do to fan art, because I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable or inhibit them in any way. Seriously, the more fanfic the better, as far as I’m concerned.
(Though usually I can only see it if it’s on a public platform, I try to check with the artist before I link to fan art — I just feel more comfortable that way. Sometimes I get so enthusiastic though, I forget, so if I link or reblog your art and you want me to delete it, just let me know.)
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
Just posted some new fan music by [personal profile] petercline for the Books of the Raksura on the Three Worlds Compendium.

The Compendium section has extras for the Raksura books, including short stories, fan art, and other fun stuff. There is Raksura fanfic out there, though I don't link to it on the Compendium. You can find some of it by searching on Archive of Our Own.
marthawells: (Miko)
Questions: Ask me questions in the comments of this post, about writing in general, about publishing in general, about my books, about whatever, and I'll try to make some coherent answers, either here or in a later post.

Good news: Emilie and the Hollow World is now scheduled for May 2013 instead of August 2013!

Bad news: Two parts of my childhood died this month: Jean Craighead George, author of ‘My Side of the Mountain’ and ‘Julie of the Wolves,’ dies at 92 and Donna Summer.

If you're new here and missed it: I have a free short story, a prequel to The Cloud Roads on my web site: Adaptation. It's the story of how Chime turned into a warrior.

Other short stories set in the Three Worlds on my site are: The Almost Last Voyage of the Wind-ship Escarpment, which is about a different set of characters, and The Forest Boy, which is another prequel, about Moon as a young boy. And there's Three World Compendium with extras, fan art, resources for fanfic writers, etc.


If you haven't seen it yet: List of Non-European Fantasy by Women Writers

Locus Online: 2012 SF&F Translation Award Finalists

Kickstarter: Crossed Genres Publications: over a year of indie publishing

Kate Elliott: World Building: The Map Is Not The Territory
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
We had some great rain yesterday afternoon and last night, and looks like more today. It's such a relief. I made it to the grocery store this morning, since we were pretty much out of food. I also got vinegar since I need to do a vinegar and baking soda drain volcano on the kitchen sink.

I have new people on my friends' lists in various places, so thought I'd mention again the Three Worlds Compendium on my web site. It's got the short stories set in the same world as The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea, information about the world for fun and as a resource for fanfic writers, and a link to some great fan art, which I'm hoping to have more of.


The kickstarter for the Tales of the Emerald Serpent Shared World Anthology is really starting to take off. You can buy in at $5.00 for an ebook copy of the anthology, but some of the more expensive buy-ins have cool rewards. Like for $140.00 you get all the previous rewards listed, plus Juliet McKenna will make you a cross-stitch smart phone cover with an image from the anthology's art.

Also, the big reward at $350.00 is all the previous awards listed, plus you receive a physical copy of one of the book’s nine short stories, personally signed to you by the author AND the original artwork for that short story. This is a first come, first serve basis, so please check updates to see what authors have already been pledged.

My story is still up for grabs. It's about two characters, Jelith and Kryranen, who are archeologists/pot hunters in the lower levels of the city. Here's a short bit from the beginning of the story:

Snippet of Revenants by Martha Wells )
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
Ralph McQuarrie has died. I was a huge Star Wars fan when I was growing up. I was a very lonely kid, living in a neighborhood where there weren't any other kids living nearby, let alone kids my age, and a busy street and my parents kept me from venturing up the hill to the kid paradise neighborhood that was about a ten minute walk away. I lived a lot in my own head, and it was long time before I found people who shared my interest in SF/F books and movies and TV. When Star Wars came out, there was a huge amount of hype, and it proved to me that there were other people out there who liked the same things I did. (I'd been told that I was the only one, never mind all those SF/F books in the library and bookstore.) Later I stumbled on Star Wars fanzines, wrote fanfic, finally escaped to college to meet other fans in person at SF/F conventions. But for a long time there, it was just me and the books and fuzzy Star Trek reruns on the TV channel that was just slightly out of range, and Star Wars' promise that there were others out there like me, lots of them.

One of the products that was released after Star Wars was the portfolio of original concept drawings by Ralph McQuarrie. (They're pictured here, on the Star Wars wiki) If Star Wars set my imagination on fire, those drawings were like jet fuel. Star Wars was awesome, but the vision of it in McQuarrie's head was something else, something that to this day has defined "sense of wonder" for me.

Some of my favorites: the Massassi Temple, Mos Eisley, Grand Audience Chamber I pinned them up all over my walls and poured over the descriptions in the portfolio. They gave fascinating glimpses of some the previous versions of the story and the world; for example, there's one where Luke is a girl.

There's no telling how many creative imaginations that Ralph McQuarrie's drawings sparked. J.R.R. Tolkien has a quote about fantasy as escapism, to the effect that if we value freedom of the mind and soul, we have a duty to escape and to take as many people with us as we can; if that's true, Ralph McQuarrie was sure as hell one of the people digging the tunnel under the barbed wire.

ETA: (more images from The Art of Ralph McQuarrie)


I found out about a couple of neat reviews late last week:

Diary of a Text Addict: The Cloud Roads So, remember the “sense of wonder” that science fiction is supposed to have? This has got that. Plus a sympathetic protagonist, various interesting other characters, some hard-won battles, creepy evil folks, and lots of neat stuff to explore.

Publishers Weekly: The Serpent Sea Wells makes it work, powering through on sheer creativity and characterization. Using its alien protagonist to explore the politics of gender and belonging, this is a fascinating read for SF readers looking for something out of the ordinary.
This one was a huge relief to see, since hopefully now more libraries will know the book is out and order it. When PW didn't review it in January when it came out, I was afraid they weren't going to review it at all.

marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
The third Raksura book finally has a title: it's going to be The Siren Depths. As of now, publication date is still January or February of 2013.

Besides digging dead bushes out of my yard, I've been working on the extras section for my web site for the Raksura books. It's going to be called The Three Worlds Compendium. Among other things, it's going to have the material in the appendices in the back of the books, plus a little new material. Hopefully that will help people write fanfiction. (As I've said before, I think fanfiction for my books is awesome, I'm just not supposed to read it.) One thing I can link to from the compendium is fan art, so if anybody does some or runs across some, let me know and I'll add a link.


Con or Bust has memberships available for Lunacon, Balticon, Odyssey Con.

Juliet E. McKenna has a blog post on Darkening Skies So if Darkening Skies, the second book of The Hadrumal Crisis trilogy is published in the US on 28th February and in the UK on the 1st of March, what happens on this leap year day of 29th February?

Well, for a start, you can go and read the opening chapter, wherever you might be, over on the Solaris Editors’ Blog.

I’ve also done an interview with the Solaris chaps talking about this book and trilogy as well as what I write and read more generally.
marthawells: (Miko)
As of yesterday I'm about 105,000 words into the third Books of the Raksura, the one set after The Serpent Sea, probably with about 15,000 words to go. It's been going very slowly, but I really want to finish it by Christmas. Then I'd be on track for finishing a book a year since 2007. Not all of those books have sold to publishers, but still, they're finished. :)

Coming up on the end of this year, I'm in a much better place in my career/life than I've been since about 2004. I had a book come out, I had the audio version of that book come out (something that never happened before), and I have another book coming out in a month or so. There's no way to tell at this point whether it will continue, but I sure hope so. :fingers crossed: :knock on wood:


A few links:

Fanfiction: Brief article in the Guardian about something I feel very strongly about, since I was in the original Star Wars generation and first wrote fanfic back before the internet and we had to walk both ways uphill through the snow and fight woolly mammoths: Fanfiction can be an eloquent tribute – it deserves more respect
I've said it before on here, but again: if you want to write fanfic about any of my books, go for it, have fun. I can't say I'll read it, but I consider it an incredible compliment.

From Writer Beware: Lies, Damned Lies, and Statistics: How Relying on Numbers Can Get You Into Trouble
I've seen these sorts of statistics (most of which appear to be plucked from thin air, and few of which are ever linked to actual sources of information) used again and again to justify bad decisions--from settling for fee-charging agents, to paying huge amounts of money to deceptive "publishers," to defaulting directly to self-publishing (there are good reasons to self-publish, but believing that it's impossible for a new writer to find an agent or a commercial publishing deal isn't one of them). It's unfortunately very easy for writers to buy into these faux numbers--whether out of fear, or inexperience, or simply because they vindicate writers' own frustration with rejection. But if you look at the numbers closely, they don't hold up.

Magick For Terri: The [profile] magick4terri fundraiser auction for writer/editor/artist Terri Windling is still going on, and there are some seriously incredible items up for sale, including jewelry, art, fanfic, original stories, signed books, knitted goods, delicious food items, and much more.

Terri and her family have been dealing with health issues that have drained financial resources, so if you can't bid, consider putting up an item for sale, or linking to the auction. But if you have money to spend this is also a great spot to find one of a kind holiday presents. (Those original drawings by Alan Lee could be once in a lifetime holiday presents.)

I entered signed copies of The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea The current bid is $150.00, which I am pretty thrilled with, because I would never have been able to donate that much on my own.

More places to do good things:

* Bastrop Public Library still needs Children's and YA book donations to replace books destroyed by wildfires. The Austin SCBWI is taking mailed books and donations up to December 8.

* There are a few days left in the GuysLitWire Book Fair for Ballou Senior High School. These books will go to the school library and there is still some SF/F and graphic novels on the school's wish list.
marthawells: (Miko)
I'm still getting massively congested every other night. Makes getting anything done in the evening problematic. I need to get a lot done today to make up for not getting much done yesterday.

I'm thinking of doing a new section of my website, a compendium for the characters, places, etc in The Cloud Roads and The Serpent Sea, and hopefully for the third book. Mostly because it would be fun for me, and make it easier for people who want to do fanfiction for the books.

It would be kind of like what someone did on Wikipedia for the Ile Rien books. (That's totally someone else's project, I don't know who's doing it.)

Book rec: Cold Fire by Kate Elliott is showing up as in stock in the US, a couple weeks early. This is the sequel to Cold Magic, which I loved, and I can't wait to get it.

Also looking forward to Sup with the Devil by Barbara Hamilton (Barbara Hambly), Whispers Underground by Ben Aaronovitch, The Daemon Prism by Carol Berg, The Kingdom of the Gods by N.K. Jemisin, Ganymede by Cherie Priest, and Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed.
marthawells: (John Green Trees)
Got the car back, which is a big relief.

* Hair For Oil Spills Something I did not know and you probably didn't either: human hair and shed animal fur can be used to clean up oil spills, and this site tells how to collect it and where to send it. Quick, start brushing your cats! Seriously, the Gulf needs this now.

* Do the Write Thing For Nashville This is a writing-related auction for flood relief for the Nashville area. From the descriptions, critiques from editors and agents will be up for auction.

* Machette Whatever your feelings about Arizona's recently passed immigration law, one filmmaker has a clear position: Predators producer Robert Rodriguez, who has posted a special R-rated Cinco de Mayo trailer for his upcoming Machete This is Machete from the faux-trailer in Grindhouse: Planet Terror!

On the issue of fanfic, which I don't actually consider an issue, I'm just going to copy what I said in a comment yesterday: I read and wrote movie and TV show fanfic for twenty years, since The Empire Strikes Back came out when I was in high school. I had a huge fanzine collection, went to Mediawest (a big media fanzine convention), and later ran online archives for fanfic. It was always for play, for the sense of fun and community. Like Janni said, for most people it's not writing practice, it's writing for fun, writing for its own sake.

I've never been big on reading fanfic for books, though, because for me that's always been something where only the original could satisfy. But I think it's awesome when people have written fanfic for my books, because I know how hard it is to get it right, and it's pure joy to me that somebody would go to that much trouble because they liked my work so much. I know some writers really dislike fanfic, but it's not an attitude that I have any understanding of at all.
marthawells: (Default)
Okay, I know we've been having a run of bad luck, but this is getting crazy. The water pump on Troyce's nineteen year old pick-up broke yesterday, so we dropped it off at the garage early this morning, and I took him to work. Coming back, not far from home, I was at a light behind a van with a trailer, with a small pick-up behind me, and a large SUV behind the pick-up. Then a car came along, didn't stop, and hit the SUV. The bang was huge, and I looked up into the mirror into time to see the SUV jolt forward and hear the second huge bang, and anticipate the next huge bang which was the pick up slamming into me. Nobody was hurt, though the airbag went off in the pick-up behind me. I have an imprint of a Green landscaping company trailer in the front of my Prius. The back has a loose slightly mushed panel but was not near as bad as it seemed like it was going to be.

Anyway, I want a redo on this day. And possibly on this year.

Post I was planning to make before all the fun:

SF/F Symposium at Texas A&M Cushing Memorial Library & Archives will host both local and visiting “scholars of the fantastic” in a science fiction studies symposium on April 15 from 1 to 5 p.m. Following on the heels of the popular exhibit “One Hundred Years Hence: Science Fiction & Fantasy at Texas A&M,” which opened this past March, “Amazing, Fantastic, Weird: Science Fiction Studies in Texas” will feature nine speakers discussing such topics as race in science fiction fandom, the roles and rhetoric of fan fiction, pulp magazines, Islamic and Hispanic science fiction and more. “Amazing, Fantastic, Weird: Science Fiction Studies in Texas” will take place in the Mayo-Thomas Room of Cushing Library. The event is free and open to the public.

From [profile] rclementmoore: The Wind up and the Pitch: Conference Season Begins on pitching to agents at conferences.


Aug. 3rd, 2009 11:55 am
marthawells: Atlantis in fog (Atlantis)
The trip to Minneapolis went pretty smoothly. The rain stopped outside of College Station, started again in Conroe but didn't last long, and I got to the airport in plenty of time. The flight was fine and [profile] mezzibelle found me at the baggage claim immediately, found [personal profile] chrisjournal who had also just gotten in, and went to the hotel.

the chemical plant fire )

The con was awesome, ran very smoothly and was very well organized and everybody I talked to was having a fantastic time. The con suite was very well stocked with real food (sandwiches! Fruit! Potatoes and sausage and eggs for breakfast! These things are important for people who have been talking about writing for hours and also may have hangovers.)

WriterCon is focused on fanfiction as literature and writing workshops, seminars, panels on writing, etc.

Program: Writing as a Career Choice )

Program: Inner Lives: Discovering Story Through Exploring Character )

Panel: Cage Match: Science vs. Magic )

I really want to thank the whole con committee for having me there. It was a wonderful con and I had a fantastic time!


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