marthawells: (SGA Team)
It was below freezing last night and we had some icy overpasses and I didn't go to aerobics class this morning and now I already feel like a bad person.


As usual, ConDFW was a lot of fun. It was in a new hotel, which had a moat, and was arc-shaped, and disliked 90 degree angles, and was vaguely non-Euclidean. But the restaurant was pretty good, and the bar was right next to con registration and the dealers room and art show, so it was convenient and easy to find people.

I did almost have a blood sugar crash on Friday but managed to realize what was happening and avoid it. Saturday people kept giving me cookies and candy randomly, so I didn't have any trouble.

I read a section of a new Raksura story (it was actually this section) with Kristi Hutson, and she read a really scary horror story, and a neat military SF section. I also did a couple of panels, and talked to a lot of people.

New Books:

* Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Moreno-Garcia takes readers back to the age of mixtapes and records in this sweet debut. In 1988 Mexico City, 15-year-old Meche and her only friends, book-loving Sebastian and dreamer Daniela, discover literal magic in Meche’s record collection. They use their newfound powers to raise their social status, but the emotional stresses of magic and adolescence test their friendships to the breaking point. In 2009, Meche returns to Mexico City for the funeral of her father, a radio deejay and washout performer who fed her love of music, and confronts her estranged friends, reopening old wounds. This accurate depiction of outcast teenage life cycles effortlessly between eras. Meche, Sebastian, and Daniela are deeply believable characters, and numerous ’80s musical references make this unusual story a welcome blast from the past. Publishers Weekly

* Bud the Bunny by Heidi Berthiaume (Author), Travis Hanson (Illustrator)
Bud the Bunny is a children's picture book that starts with simple sentences and builds into a tongue-twisting alliterative adventure. The repetition encourages vocabulary building and the joyful illustrations by Eisner nominated Travis Hanson bring to life Bud's journey and all he encounters along the way.
This was written by a friend of mine, and she's awesome, and this is awesome too.

* The Very Best of Kate Elliott
Strong heroines and riveting storytelling are the hallmark of groundbreaking fantasy author Kate Elliott (Crown of Stars, Crossroads). Elliott is a highly-compelling voice in genre fiction, an innovative author of historically-based narratives set in imaginary worlds. This first, retrospective collection of her short fiction is the essential guide to Elliott’s shorter works. Here her bold adventuresses, complex quests, noble sacrifices, and hard-won victories shine in classic, compact legends.
marthawells: (Miko)
We're in the last ten hours of the Six By Six Kickstarter and we've funded, made two stretch goals, and are close to a third. So I thought I'd post the first scene of my new story for the collection, "Night at the Opera," a Nicholas and Reynard story set before The Death of the Necromancer

Night at the Opera (first scene)
by Martha Wells

Reynard Morane was at his usual table in the Cafe Baudy, a somewhat risqué establishment built on a barge floating on the Deval Forest pleasure garden lake, when a beautiful man approached his table. This wasn't an unusual occurrence, especially in this cafe, but this beautiful man was a stranger. He said, "Captain Morane?"

From his features and dark skin, the man was Parscian, a little younger than Reynard but not by much, tall and well-built and dressed in an elegant but understated way that suggested some professional occupation in the city. The coat was too expensive for the man to be from a university. For some reason, Reynard attracted a high percentage of men of academic persuasions. "Yes." Reynard smiled warmly. "Please join me."

The man hesitated, then drew out the opposite chair. "A friend told me about you."

"And which friend is this?" Reynard caught the waiter's attention and lifted his brows. The waiter sized up the situation professionally, then went to the bar for a fresh bottle of wine and glasses.

"A man named Biendare." The man lowered his voice. "I believe he is known in some circles as 'Binny.'"

"Binny?" Reynard frowned. This was not encouraging. Binny was not someone who would have recommended Reynard for an assignation. At least not the kind of assignation Reynard had hoped for. To make sure this man had really met Binny, he said, "At the roasted nut kiosk on the Street of Flowers?"

"No, it was in March Street, at a wine bar that also sells fried fish."

"Right." Reynard sat up, adjusting his attitude from invitingly indolent to business-like and alert.

The waiter arrived at the table with the bottle and glasses. Reynard sighed and told him, "No."

"No?" The waiter looked startled, then disappointed. "Oh. Coffee, perhaps?"

"Coffee," Reynard agreed.

The man cast a puzzled look at the retreating waiter's back, and Reynard admitted, "I was hoping it was an assignation." He waved a hand. "It's the Cafe Baudy, you know. There are often assignations."

"Oh, yes, I..." The man obviously decided to drop that subject and pursue his objective. "My name is Amadel. I am the confidential secretary for the Lady Shankir-Clare. She needs assistance of a...particular sort."

Reynard held up a hand as the waiter approached. He waited until the man had arranged the coffee service and departed, then said, "She's being troubled by someone but feels unable to confide the details to the Prefecture?"

"Yes, exactly." Amadel added cream and sugar to his cup with the relief of a man who had been searching for help and was finally in the right place.

This was odd. The Shankir-Clares were a family a rather famous diplomats, wealthy and well-respected in both Parscia and Ile-Rien, where the different branches of the family had originated. Reynard had never met any of them because they were the sort of people who were invited to the palace, not the sort who traveled in demi monde circles. No wonder Amadel hadn't been familiar with the Cafe Baudy. "How did you ever run across Binny?"

"Lady Shankir-Clare's hairdresser knew him," Amadel said. "She said he was the best way to contact people who could help with...sensitive problems."

"Is it blackmail?" Reynard asked. If one of the Shankir-Clare ladies had trusted her affections to the wrong man, and it wasn't someone associated with the infamous Count Montesq, Reynard could probably have it taken care of before dinner. "I quite like dealing with blackmailers. I have some experience at it."

"It isn't an ordinary blackmailer. It's a sorcerer." Amadel's brow furrowed as if he was trying to control a wince of anticipation. He thought Reynard would refuse the commission now. Most of the people who did this sort of thing wouldn't tangle with a sorcerer.

Reynard smiled. "Then Binny sent you to the right place." He lifted a hand to signal the waiter to bring the bill.

marthawells: (Default)
Okay, because it's Friday, here's a Raksura snippet. This is the scene I said I was writing the other day: Moon and Stone go into a dive bar.

Note, this is from something that hasn't been sold yet, but the scene is sort of almost complete in itself, so I think it makes a nice little story.

Also Note, Kalam and the other people they are with know they are Raksura and know what Raksura are, etc, but the people in the port don't, and would probably mistake them for Fell if they shifted.

Moon and Stone snippet )
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
This is a short snippet from the second Raksura novella that I'm writing. (Don't know yet when the first ebook novella will be published, or about print versions, but I'll post when I do. I'm excited about these!)

note: novellas are not full-length novels, they are basically longish short stories.

Raksura novella snippet )
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
I want to post pictures from the group signing at Murder by the Book on Friday, but I haven't downloaded them yet and a cat is preventing me from getting up to get the camera.

So here's a snippet from the Raksura novella I'm working on.


1) Remember this is a novella, not a novel, so the whole thing will be around 30,000 words long, about a fourth the length of one of the Raksura novels. The good news is, it is the first of four.

2) They will be ebooks, and I don't know yet when they will be published or if there will ever be a paper version. I'll post as soon as I know.

3) If you're coming to the San Antonio WorldCon, and I get to do a reading, I'll be reading a longer section there.

4) If you're new and you don't know what Raksura are, the site for information on the books, the free short stories, the world, the fan art, etc is


With the hunters in charge, the minimal camp went together fast, including a dirt hearth and shelters constructed from stretches of fabric made water resistant with tree sap. There weren't any rocks handy, so Merit used chunks of mountain tree wood that was too old and hard to burn, spelling them for fireless heat.

Moon sent River, Drift, and Briar with two of the hunters, Plum and Salt, to take a kill from the grasseater herd on a lower platform. He wanted to keep them all fed at every opportunity, to be prepared for anything. Once they were gone, Moon shifted to groundling, but he was so tense it didn't help much to lose the weight of his wings.

He paced on the flattened grass near the hearth. The other warriors distributed themselves around the camp, stretching and talking quietly. Floret stayed near Moon, as if waiting for instructions. He wished he could think of some.

Bramble brought the water kettle and set it on the wood to heat. Then Venture strolled up. She said, "You've done well today, consort."

There was no rational response to that, so Moon didn't make one. Bramble, crouched near his feet, hissed deep in her throat.

Venture asked Floret, "Are we waiting here for the line-grandfather?"

Floret, rather pointedly, asked Moon, "Moon, are we to wait here for Stone?"

Moon nodded, still lost in thought.

Floret told Venture, "Yes, we're waiting for the line-grandfather."

Venture gave her an ironic nod. "The consort spoke freely at the court, with a reigning queen present. Why not now?"

Floret tilted her head, annoyance turning to something more dangerous. That's it, Moon thought. He said, "Venture, why are you with Cerise?"

A flicker of surprise and something else crossed Venture's expression. She said, "Queens are always accompanied by female warriors. Maybe with your background you haven't had that explained to you--"

"Queens are accompanied by their clutchmates. You're supposedly the clutchmate of the reigning queen of Ocean Winter. Did she not want you? Or does she not trust Cerise?"

Venture stiffened in offense. Floret and Bramble watched her with fixed expressions. Bramble, in groundling form, flexed her shoulders as if raising spines she didn't have at the moment; under her sleeveless shirt her muscles rippled.

Venture showed her teeth briefly. "I was sent to Cerise as an honor to her," she said, and walked away.

Floret and Bramble both relaxed. Floret muttered, "If I said something that idiotic, Pearl would slap me so hard my fangs would fly out."

Bramble, dipping the metal travel cups into the tea, snorted. "I guess it's no fun for her to scratch when someone scratches back. Why did she ask you about Stone, Floret?"

Floret sat beside the hearth. "She's pretending she thinks I'm in charge to make us angry."

Bramble took Moon's wrist and put a cup in his hand. "Oh, wonderful. It's lovely enough having her along without that."

"I know. It's not as if we can't argue and fight on our own, we don't need an outsider poking us."

She was right about that.

Merit came to the hearth, carrying his pack, and Moon asked him, "Can you do an augury?"

Merit nodded. "I'll get started right away."
marthawells: (Teyla)
[personal profile] beth_bernobich has a post here: Consent is Sexy More than once, I've come across the complaint that the need to ask for consent isn't sexy. I disagree, and in my current story-in-progress, I wrote a scene that is all about consent:

I loved her scene, and thought I'd post one too. This is from The Cloud Roads:

Jade has wanted Moon for a long time by this point in the book, and they've just fought a Fell ruler, and Moon has confessed about his past to her, and he's in a very vulnerable state. Even though the Raksura aren't human, and their reactions and behavior aren't the same as ours, I still felt she would take a moment to make sure Moon knew what he was doing:
snippet )

ETA: And N.K. Jemisin continues the meme on her blog here and J. Kathleen Cheney here and Lane Robins here.



* Publication Process: Edit Letters and Stuff J. Kathleen Cheney talks about the editorial process that her book went through on the way to publication.

* Another post from Beth Bernobich on suppressing women's writing: My answer was that our biggest obstacles are silence and obscurity. Women's works get ignored all the time. Our work is seen as less valuable. Less important. Invisible. It might not be conscious, but it happens. A lot.


The Siren Depths is finally available at Kobo. It's available at a bunch of other places, too, and the list of links is here on the book page on my web site. (The ebook is cheapest and DRM-free at Baen.)


Jun. 7th, 2012 04:33 pm
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
The rules:

1. Go to page 77 (or 7th) of your current ms
2. Go to line 7
3. Copy down the next 7 lines – sentences or paragraphs – and post them as they’re written. No cheating.

This is from the fourth Books of the Raksura: not really spoilery at all )


I'll be doing the Clarion West Write-a-thon again this year and my page is here. Last year when I tried this, LJ came under a denial of service attack and I couldn't post snippets, and all these other things started to happen, and I probably got less writing done than at any other time of year, but I'm still trying it again. This time I'll get it right!
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: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
Chuck Wendig: Terrible Minds: 25 Things Writers Should Stop Doing 1. Stop Running Away

Malinda Lo: A Year of Thinking About Diversity I wanted to make “diversity” on this site mean something that was just plain awesome. I wanted to position these books as stories you’d want to dive into because they were about a great character, or had a fascinating premise, or were written beautifully. I wanted the books to be celebrated on their own merits. A year later, my concept of diversity in middle grade and young adult books has been challenged and reshaped in many ways.

Book rec: new fantasy Leaves of Flame by Benjamin Tate is out now. This is the sequel to Well of Sorrows


Someone asked for another snippet from the third Books of the Raksura, so I thought, what the hell. This book is not under contract or sold, so I have no idea when/if it will be published.

This is from the first chapter, and is not very spoilery at all. (If you've already read The Serpent Sea, it's not spoilery at all.)

Raksura snippet )
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
I was doing snippet posts of The Serpent Sea and various older books in July, for the Clarion Write-a-thon, then there was a DDoS attack and that got a bit sunk.

So I thought I'd post a couple of snippets below, in honor of the fact that I finally broke the 100,000 word mark in the third Cloud Roads (Books of the Raksura) novel. I've got probably aroung 20,000 words to go.

And I'm getting ready to leave for the Austin ComicCon tonight. (I will be trapped at a table all day Saturday so come say hi. I don't normally sell books but I will have a few there to sell, plus I don't (never ever) charge for signatures if you want to sneak in a book for me to sign.)

First a couple of links about the recent plagiarism scandal: James Bond's words live twice in plagiarised novel and more detail from the writer who originally blurbed the book: Assassin of Secrets
There's been a lot of speculation about the motives of people who plagiarize, do they actually feel pride or satisfaction in getting praise for other people's work, are they delusional, are they like compulsive liars, do they just see no value in the way words are put together and so think no one will notice that they are using other people's prose. I dunno, it's baffling. But the guy in the articles above even plagiarized the answers to a q&a about his books. Freaky.


A snippet with Moon and Jade, from The Serpent Sea (Night Shade Books, January 2012)

A little spoilery, and rated PG13ish for mild sexy stuff.

The Serpent Sea snippet )


This is very long for a snippet, but it's a section of the third untitled Cloud Roads book. It's spoilery, but I know some people don't mind that, so I thought I'd include it. Also, it can function a bit as a little story in itself, so if you haven't read the first book, don't mind spoilers, and want to check out what the series will be like in general, this is for you.

It's rated PG13ish, again for some mild sexy stuff.

long spoilery snippet from third Books of the Raksura )
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
We actually got rain yesterday! Not a lot, but enough to make puddles. And it's 70 now and only supposed to get up to 92! This is a huge cold front, I may need a sweater. Actually, after months of 100+ days broken up only by killer-low humidity which helped spark gigantic fires, this is a huge relief.

I'm mostly writing and have nothing interesting to report.

[personal profile] tingler asked for more snippets, so here's a very short one from The Serpent Sea (coming out in January)

The Serpent Sea snippet )


Marie Brennan: Followup on "Say Yes to Gay YA" This is a complicated situation, but this post explains it very well.
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
The DDoS attack sort of sank the whole Clarion-Write-a-Thon snippet thing I was doing, and I did not actually finish my writing goal as I had to stop work on the third book to do revisions on The Serpent Sea. (Thanks very much to everyone who donated! I know Clarion appreciates your donations a lot.)

I finished the revision off yesterday, and it is a much better book with over 4000 words added and a lot of corrections made. We went to a new local brewpub to celebrate, and I had a mixed berry cider which was delicious, and tasty fish tacos.

The Serpent Sea snippet )

Oh, and Got to see a scan of the great review that The Cloud Roads got in the July/Aug issue of Interzone by Juliet E. McKenna. Very much improved last week for me. Here's a quote:

Thus the world is made all the more convincing for the reader, and all the more alien, by Wells's finely tuned instinct for what to explain, and how, always in keeping with Moon's viewpoint, and what to simply show without further clarification; other species with blue skin or horns, treelings, skylings, and waterlings, some sentient, some not, some with magic... It reminds me of the SF/F fantasy I read as a teen, long before YA was categorized. Those books explored adult concepts without 'adult content'; the complexity of morality and the potential, uncaring harshness of life. This story's conclusion satisfies on all those counts as well as leaving me eager for the sequel.
marthawells: (Stargate)
New post by me on The Night Bazaar: Don't Be That Guy, about arguing with reviews.

Some people get addicted very quickly to internet attention and sympathy, and are prepared to kill and eat just about anybody to get that attention and sympathy. Don’t be one of those people. And don’t play into the hands of one of those people by responding to their effort to kill and eat you.

I'm about to start working on the last revision for The Serpent Sea, so here are:


Another snippet post for the Clarion West Write-a-thon. And thanks very much to the people who donated so far!

The Serpent Sea )

And a long one from Wheel of the Infinite:

Wheel of the Infinite )
marthawells: (Ardeth Bey)
I'm still behind on comments, but here's some things:

Please, please, please pass this on:

The Romance Relief auction on ebay for for writer L.A. Banks ends on the 13th. L.A. Banks has late stage adrenal cancer and donations to help are badly needed.

The items being offered include signed books, ads for books on popular web sites, critiques for writers, etc. And there is a signed copy of The Cloud Roads by me.



This is another snippet post for the Clarion West Write-a-thon. And thanks very much to the people who donated so far!

Here's one from The Serpent Sea

The Serpent Sea )

A snippet from Wheel of the Infinite:

Wheel of the Infinite )
marthawells: (Stargate)
From [personal profile] kateelliott: Something Greater: An Epic Discussion of Epic Fantasy, Part 1 by Jeremy L. C. Jones He did interviews with 26 writers, 13 male and 13 female, on why they write epic fantasy.

Common Dreams: The Movement to Abolish Corporate Personhood


This is another snippet post for the Clarion West Write-a-thon:

From The Serpent Sea, second book in The Cloud Roads series. Moon meets a queen that's even bigger and scarier than Pearl.

The Serpent Sea )

This one is from The Wizard Hunters, with Tremaine being Tremaine, with Florian realizing for the first time that her friend is a little different. Again, 2003 was not a good time to publish a steampunkish novel. And the cover was beautiful art, but looked a bit more SF than fantasy.

The Wizard Hunters )
marthawells: (Reading)
I spent most of yesterday with a friend at the doctor's office, waiting for appointments that went unexpectedly long. It's weird how tiring it is to sit around in a waiting room. I brought my laptop and worked, but it didn't exactly involve heavy lifting or ditch digging, so I have no idea why it wore me out.


I did a guest post on SF Signal on my NASA tour: Martha Wells: NASA Up Close and Personal, for SF/F Writers and Editors

Diversity in YA Fiction: the Diversify Your Summer Reading Challenge!


This is another longish snippet post for the Clarion West Write-a-thon:

One from The Serpent Sea, second book in The Cloud Roads series. More Raksuran gender politics:

The Serpent Sea )

And one from City of Bones:

City of Bones )
marthawells: Cover for the Cloud Roads, Art by Matthew Stewart (The Cloud Roads 2)
This is another longish snippet post for the Clarion West Write-a-thon:

One from The Serpent Sea, second book in The Cloud Roads series. This is a bit of Raksuran gender politics:

The Serpent Sea )

And one from The Ships of Air. This is aboard the Queen Ravenna, a giant steam ocean liner carrying refugees across the sea in another dimension.

The Ships of Air )
marthawells: (pic#)
This is from The Serpent Sea, a sexy bit:

The Serpent Sea )

and from The Gate of Gods, one of my favorite bits. This is a long snippet, because I like the whole sequence so much. There's a lot of stuff in this last novel of the trilogy that I had so much fun with and really loved writing. It's too bad the three books were too early for the steampunk surge.

The Gate of Gods )
marthawells: (pic#)
I picked fairly long snippets, since I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post for the rest of the week.

One from the first chapter of The Serpent Sea, which should be coming out from Night Shade Books early next year:

The Serpent Sea )

And one for the people who wanted random bits from my other books: This is from The Death of the Necromancer, which came out from Avon Eos in 1998, before steampunk was popular, and was a Nebula-nominee.

The Death of the Necromancer )


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