Book of the Week: Northanger Abbey.

I am starting to feel that the single most egregious thing that was done to me in college was to omit explaining just how entertaining Jane Austen was as a writer. I mean, sheesh, it turns out that Northanger Abbey is a meta-fiction parody that snarks out on the excesses of the genre fiction of the day… and written by somebody who was good at said genre, too.  I would have happily read that.  Shoot: if Jane Austen was around today I’d probably be signed up for her Patreon and her Twitter feed. She’d certainly be writing books in the genres that I read.

And so, adieu to Red Storm Rising. Heh.  A Jane Austen technothriller.  The mind reels…

In the Mail: Charlie Stross’s gingerly-tap-dancing ‘Empire Games.’

Come, I will conceal nothing from you: one major reason why I bought Empire Games was for the amusement of watching Charlie Stross extricate this particular story line from the morass of pseudoscience and conspiracy theory that he originally drove it into.  ‘Peak oil.’ ‘Aspartame causes brain damage in children.’ ‘Secret US nukes set up for domestic false-flag operations.’ ‘President Rumsfeld, master manipulator and Destroyer of Worlds*.’  It’s not nearly as bad as David Gerrold’s continuing inability to figure out how to get humanity to win the War Against the Chtorr**, but neither is it trivial.  Fortunately, ‘alternate history’ can handle this sort of problem…

Moe Lane

Continue reading In the Mail: Charlie Stross’s gingerly-tap-dancing ‘Empire Games.’

I have plans.

Mostly, they involve watching my wife take my kids to the pool, then grabbing my Chromebook and retreating to a Panera Bread or something so that I can get some writing done. I have, like, three short stories that need finishing and this weekend has been not great when it comes to my larger productivity. A couple of hours writing in peace and quiet sounds like a great idea…

Book of the Week: Red Storm Rising.

OK, look.

I picked Red Storm Rising because I was trying to remember a passage from it the other day, looked it up, and ended up reading half the book at one sitting. When Tom Clancy was on, he was on – and this was classic ‘conventional WWIII against the Soviet Union’ stuff. But: it is not a goram ‘Jack Ryan novel.’


And so, adieu to Fugue State.

Remember: Deadline for the Unspeakable Oath is tomorrow, kinda.

Details here: I need to double-check whether they want the pitches for fiction tomorrow, or the actual submission. I have finally written it out (been thinking about it for a week), so I’m good either way. Still, the sooner it’s submitted the sooner I can get it either accepted, or rejected and thus ready to go out into the great wild world of the submissions merry-go-round.  This one’s never been published, too, so it’s nice and fresh and has a better per-word rate.

Book of the Week: Fugue State.

Fugue State is a John M. Ford novel that I’ve never heard of before!  …It’s probably a novella, at that.  Which means: Fugue State is a John M. Ford novella that I’ve never heard of, before.  Really, the only real difference here will be how long it’ll take me to read it.

And so, adieu to The Maker of Men and His Formula, which was frankly a little too disappointingly weird for my tastes.


From TV Tropes:

  • Interestingly, the surgical team who treated Terry Pratchett for a minor procedure – which after patient questioning on his part, turned out to have become somewhat more complicated and turned into a more urgent Situation – told him afterwards that he’d sat up during the operation, demonstrating the anaesthesia wasn’t quite working, and had a one-sided conversation with an unseen Other in the operating theatre. Pratchett had apparently asked that if he had to go at this point, could a packed lunch be provided? Ham sandwiches with mustard would be appreciated. Apparently he was only offered plain ham with no condiments, and had expressed dissappointment. Terry was both perplexed and oddly reassure by this, and this account of his own NDE – which he didn’t remember at all save through the doctor’s recollection – ended up in a Discworld novel as a discourse between an elderly witch and Death. This is recollected in A Blink Of The Screen, a collection of his non-fiction writings. Hopefully Death remembered the mustard, when the time did arrive.

There is apparently RAMPANT skulduggery going on with All Romance eBooks.

It’s the kind of skulduggery that, a hundred and fifty years ago, would have ended with somebody getting stabbed during a dinner party.  I’m not entirely joking.  Writers can get really intense over getting screwed over their publication rights:

On Wednesday, December 28, All Romance eBooks–a romance-specific ebook distributor and publisher that also distributes general fiction and nonfiction through its OmniLit imprint–dropped a bombshell. In mass emails to customers and authors, ARe’s owner, Lori James, revealed that her company was closing, and that in lieu of full payment, authors and publishers would be offered a fraction of what they were owed.

Continue reading There is apparently RAMPANT skulduggery going on with All Romance eBooks.