Players generally don't have practical knowledge of military or skirmish tactics, yet are expected to be able to play such encounters with a modicum of intelligence. Fortunately games tend to have more or less abstracted rules that let you just announce an intention to damage a target and then roll dice to see if your character can do it. But adding some roleplaying into a combat encounter can be additional fun and give you the chance to try out some unconventional tactics in a situation which isn't going to be dangerous as it would be in real life.
Rather than just say, "I hit the goblin with my sword", you can try, "I point behind the goblin and yell 'What's that?!', then use the end of my sword to tip the oil lamp hanging on the wall on to the pile of straw bedding." Or something to that effect. Much more interesting!
Bits and pieces of me, flung into the dark of night…
1. A week or so ago, I turned in the third Gabe and Delia book, Against A Brightening Sky. This is what they call one of those bittersweet moments. I’ve lived with these characters since 2009. Saying goodbye and getting them to vacate my head is hard. Really hard.
And how do I put this? I know I’m biased, but I felt that each book in this series got better than the one before. They are all good books, but the third book may be the best of them all.
2. I’ve been thinking, a lot, about a line from an article I read that included the line “You can be a feminist and still want to fall in love.”
That struck such a cord for me.
There is a constant undercurrent of criticism that boils down to a strong female character can’t fall in love or engage in anything resembling a healthy romantic relationship, mostly because doing so renders that character “weak”. We all know weak characters are the downfall and ruination of any book, right?
What is truly interesting about this is that the exact polar opposite kind of criticism also exists. Any female character who is able to fully function and get on with her life, with or without a man, is one of those women. Oh, and a woman who doesn’t need a man to make decisions for her or tell her which side to part her hair on is also a tired old trope.
So to sum up, women who fall in love and have relationships are weak, and women who are autonomous, in or outside of a relationship, aren’t strong, they are a tired, over used cliche.
The most interesting part of this dichotomy, for me at least, is that when I see this comment, it is almost always directed at women authors. Like 99 out of a 100 times.
Wow. How did we get to that state of affairs? I really wish I knew.
I’m not the only one to make this observation. I might be the only one silly enough to say so outside of a tweet.
3. Long time readers may remember the novel formerly known as Reasons. Josh and Lori have been patiently waiting their turn, and waiting for me to be skilled enough to do their story justice.
After years of sitting in the back of my head while I wrote Gabe and Delia books, the novel has a real name–A War For Philadelphia (book 1&2). It has a coherent plot, a story arc, and lots of complications.
It is, however, still the Rocks Fall, Everybody Dies novel. That isn’t changing.
When I wrote the original draft of Reasons I did over 103k in five months. That was kind of boggling at the time, and still dazzles me. This book wanted to be written almost faster than I could write. The major problem is that there was two books worth of story crammed into that 103k.
So I’m starting from the top and, with luck, doing this story justice. Expect snippets now and then. I like posting darlings.
Now to bed, perchance not to have stress dreams about work. I’d like that.
I will be in Austin, TX this weekend for Webcomics Rampage! You should come say hi.
Read by Kate Baker.
In the straitened circumstances after the big fall, the local community leader takes a dim view of the protagonist's girl friend's interest in useless astronomy. He also frowns on anything that would make them significantly less poor, seeing that as tempting fate.
Distressing but if he'd gone after the two lesbians with a hammer instead of the telescope, that would have been worse.
It's not clear to me how Toma got picked to be leader or how the powerful regional committees get selected but I bet it does not involve voting by the likes of Andi and Stella. Also, this is one of those post-boom worlds where everyone seems to live like an Old Order Mennonite but somewhere there's a place that can make birth control implants and the government controls the birth rate.
Reminded me a little of A Gift Upon the Shore but not as downbeat.
That's the end of Folder 7! On to Folder 8!
Finalist: 2013 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction
Also posted at Dreamwidth, where there are comment(s); comment here or there.
An unarmed, emotionally disturbed man shot by the police as he was lurching around traffic near Times Square in September has been charged with assault, on the theory that he was responsible for bullet wounds suffered by two bystanders, according to an indictment unsealed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan on Wednesday.No, really:
Initially Mr. Broadnax was arrested on misdemeanor charges of menacing, drug possession and resisting arrest. But the Manhattan district attorney's office persuaded a grand jury to charge Mr. Broadnax with assault, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of 25 years. Specifically, the nine-count indictment unsealed on Wednesday said Mr. Broadnax "recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death."Administrative duty! An internal Police Department inquiry! Well, that's all right, then.
"The defendant is the one that created the situation that injured innocent bystanders," said an assistant district attorney, Shannon Lucey.
The two police officers, who have not been identified, have been placed on administrative duty and their actions are still under investigation by the district attorney's office, law enforcement officials said. They also face an internal Police Department inquiry.
I mean, all the cops did was shoot someone. It's not like they "recklessly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of death." Definitely, who you want to prosecute is the mentally ill guy who wandered out into traffic. Perish forbid you should prosecute any police.
Really! Hooray for brave prosecutors like ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY SHANNON LUCEY who identify and target the real threat: pathetic losers who make otherwise fine and upstanding police officers lose their shit. Look what you made me do. Excellent moral discernment, ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY SHANNON LUCEY.
Our descendants will marvel at what we put up with.
Here are five links plus this week's car chase...
1) John Landis On Studios Today.
2) 300 Screenplays Analyzed.
3) Should You Upload To Blacklist?
4) Should You Write A Novel Instead?
5) Who Has The Real Greenlighting Power?
And the car chase of the week...
As may be obvious by the lack of updating I am on hiatus and will remain on hiatus until January. I’m working on deadline and am OFF-LINE except to check email.
Feel free to email me or leave a comment on this site (here or on another post) if you have something to say! I am genuinely happy to hear from readers, seriously. At the moment I need to stay away from the timesink of on-line however in order to get two major projects completed.
Blogging should resume in January 2014 with answers to the wonderful questions I was asked back in the Cold Steel Giveaway of May 2013.
Meanwhile, in other news, COLD STEEL is a finalist for the RT Award for Best Fantasy Novel of 2013 (together with novels by Paul Cornell, Mary Robinette Kowal, Stella Gemmell, and E.C. Blake). The contenders answer two questions here on their favorite fantasy novel of 2013 and how they think the field is changing.
As always, thank you for reading.
Mirrored from I Make Up Worlds.
NPR Books has released a new web app designed to help readers discover what they might like to read among NPR’s best 200 books of the year. The Book Concierge lets you mix and match from 21 different categories of reading. You can combine your moods to come up with what will fit.
When you launch the app, you are greeted with view a visual feed of book covers for all of NPR’s top books of the year. Then on the left hand side bar you can pick and choose tags. For instance, mix “Cookbooks & Food” with “Comis & Graphic Novels” will result in the recommendation that you check out Relish by Lucy Knisley. If you mix “Seriously Great Writing,” with “Memoir & Biography” and Men We Reaped by Jesmyn Ward, Fosse by Sam Wasson, I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place by Howard Norman are among the recommendations. You can link to reviews of the books after you’ve made your choices and see who at NPR recommends the book.
Try it out, it’s a fun way to browse the “best books of the year.”
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
For over a decade, Barnes & Noble buyer Jim Killen has been a driving force behind Barnes & Noble’s science fiction and fantasy sections. Each month on Tor.com, Mr. Killen curates a list of science fiction & fantasy titles, sometimes focused on upcoming titles and sometimes focused on a theme.
Here are the Barnes & Noble science fiction and fantasy picks for December!
Set in 79 A.D., Pompeii tells the epic story of how I forced everyone to go see Pompeii for my birthday so we could thrill to the story of Milo (Kit Harington), a slave turned invincible gladiator who finds himself in a race against time to save his true love Cassia (Emily Browning), the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman Senator. As Mount Vesuvius notices Jon Snow’s RIDICULOUS ABS it gets...it’s just too much...and it erupts in a torrent of blazing lava. Jon Snow must fight his way out of the arena while Keifer Sutherland continually raises his goblet crying, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, how silly you all look running! What a marvelous show. I think I shall have some more wine! Hubris!”
[Watch the trailer for Pompeii.]
Who thought that the first 300 film was severely lacking in Eva Green’s dulcet-toned villainy? We definitely did, which is probably why this 300: Rise of an Empire trailer appealed to us.
Seventeen releases fill the shelves with our favorite new genre-defying category in December, from cozy supernatural mysteries to alternate history. Look for series additions from Harry Turtledove (Supervolcano), Mike Resnick (Weird West Tales), Roberto Calas (The Scourge), Emma Jane Holloway (The Baskerville Affair), Gareth L. Powell (Ack-Ack Macaque), and Guy Adams (Heaven’s Gate). Looking for a good new anthology? Check out Dangerous Women, edited by George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois.
Fiction Affliction details releases in science fiction, fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and “genre-benders.” Keep track of them all here.
Note: All title summaries are taken and/or summarized from copy provided by the publisher.
[Read about this month’s releases.]
SFWA has named Samuel R. Delany, Jr. (1942– ) as the 2013 DAMON KNIGHT MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER for his contributions to the literature of Science Fiction and Fantasy.
Samuel R. Delany is the author of numerous books of science fiction, including Nova, Dhalgren, Stars in My Pockets Like Grains of Sand, and most recently Through the Valley of the Nest of Spiders. Two of his classic works of science fiction criticism, The Jewel-Hinged Jaw and Starboard Wine, have just been brought back into print by Wesleyan University Press, who will reissue a third, The American Shore, in the summer of 2014.
After winning four Nebula awards and two Hugo awards over the course of his career, Delany was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame in 2002. Since 2001 he has been a professor of English and Creative Writing at Temple University in Philadelphia, where for three years he was Director of the Graduate Creative Writing Program. In 2010 he won the third J. Lloyd Eaton Lifetime Achievement Award in Science Fiction from the academic Eaton Science Fiction Conference at UCR Libraries. He is also a recipient of the William Whitehead Memorial Award for a lifetime’s contribution to lesbian and gay literature.
SFWA PRESIDENT, STEVEN GOULD:
One of the perks of being SFWA president is the option of selecting the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America’s next Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master. One of the tragedies is we only get to select one a year. That said, from the grains of sand in my pocket, I am delighted to pull this star.
Samuel R. Delany is one of science fiction’s most influential authors, critics, and teachers and it is my great honor to announce his selection. When discussing him as this year’s choice with the board, past-presidents, and members, the most frequent response I received was, “He’s not already?”
Well he is now.
IN HIS OWN WORDS:
This award astonishes me, humbles me, and I am honored by it. It recalls to me–with the awareness of mortality age ushers up–the extraordinary writers who did not live to receive it: Roger Zelazny, Joanna Russ, Thomas M. Disch, Octavia E. Butler–as well, from the generation before me, Katherine MacLean, very much alive. I accept the award for them, too: they are the stellar practitioners without whom my own work, dim enough, would have been still dimmer. ~Samuel R. Delany
The DAMON KNIGHT MEMORIAL GRAND MASTER is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fiction and/or fantasy.’ Delany joins the Grand Master ranks alongside such legends as Isaac Asimov, Alfred Bester, Harlan Ellison, Ursula K. Le Guin, Connie Willis, and Gene Wolfe. The award will be presented at the 49th Annual Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose, CA, May 16-18, 2014.
More information on the award’s history and the Nebula Award Weekend can be found at: http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/nebula-w
To request interviews, or for questions concerning SFWA, the award’s history or the Nebula Award Weekend, please contact publicist Jaym Gates at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by David Peckinpah, directed by Kate Woods
Season 4, episode 14
1st UK Transmission Date: 13 January 2002
1st US Transmission Date: 24 January 2003
Guest Cast: Raelee Hill (Sikozu), Melissa Jaffer (Noranti), Paula Arundell (Talikaa), Chris Pitman (Nazradu), Walter Grkovic (Outurak)
Synopsis: After negotiating with traders for maps of Tormented Space, Chiana buys what seems to be a slave girl, Talikaa, from the traders in order to free her. Unfortunately Talikaa is a Walaxian Arachnid—a shapeshifting spider who screws with the crew. She finds out what a good idea this was when she gets blown up and turned into a tasty soup.
Written by Christian Ford & Roger Soffer and Ronald D. Moore
Directed by Reza Badiyi
Season 3, Episode 13
Production episode 40512-459
Original air date: January 30, 1995
Station log: Jake makes a date with a woman named Leanne, an old friend who had moved to Bajor. She recently a) returned to the station and b) broke up with her boyfriend, which makes Jake a very happy person.
A Bajoran transport has an accident en route to the station. Among the wounded on board are Winn and Bareil—the latter very badly injured. Bashir and Jabara work feverishly on the vedek, but the radiation damaged his neural pathways too severely and he dies on the table.
According to O’Brien there was a molecular fracture in a plasma conduit. Winn asks if it was sabotage, which surprises O’Brien, Kira, and Sisko, but she will only elaborate with the Emissary in private. She and Bareil were en route to a secret meeting with Legate Turrel of Cardassian Central Command. Bareil and Turrel have been talking for five months about a treaty between Bajor and Cardassia, and this was to be their first face-to-face meeting. Winn gives full credit to Bareil for starting the talks, and she fears that they won’t resume without him.
[I guess we’ll have to deal with the rest of our disgusting habits as they come up.]
The saga of the Imager Quaeryt, Commander in the forces of Lord Bhayar, reaches a new climax as the great struggle to unify the continent of Lydar enters its final phase in L.E. Modesitt’s Rex Regis, available January 7th, 2014 from Tor Books. Check out an excerpt below!
Only the land of Khel remains uncommitted to Bhayar’s rule. Their decision could mean a lasting peace, or more conflict across an already war-ravaged realm.
While the conqueror of Bovaria awaits emissaries to arrive with news of Khel’s decision, other weighty matters occupy Bhayar, his sister Velora, and her husband Quaeryt—not the least of which is the fulfillment of Quaeryt’s dream to create the world’s first Imager academy, where the magical abilities of these powerful casters may be honed, managed, and put to the service of the common good.
[Read an Excerpt]
In this third book in Marissa Meyer's bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
Want to know more? Cress isn't out until February 24th, but you can download the first five chapters here, and then enter to win one of our five galleys of the book!
Comment in the post to enter!
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States and D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec). To enter, comment on this post beginning at 2:30 PM Eastern Time (ET) on December 4. Sweepstakes ends at 12:00 PM ET on December 8. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Tor.com, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.
And the latest tidbit leaked from the Secret Masters of Fandom mailing list of science fiction convention runners is
“Instead of insulting us, [Jim Hines] could be using whatever influence he has in social media to help recruit more PoC into our circles. They need to know they’d probably be much more welcome here than they might be elsewhere. (After all, many of us would love to befriend extra terrestrials or anthromorphs.)”
Australian writer Krista Brennan hopes to raise $6,600 on Kickstarter for a steampunk version of Kenneth Grahame’s beloved novel, The Wind in the Willows. The funds will be used to produce an eBook, a black-and-white paperback book, and a full-colour hardcover edition.
Brennan’s project, Steam in the Willows, will contain forty illustrations. In the past, she has worked on steampunk versions of The Holy Bible. We’ve embedded a video about the project above. Here’s more from the Kickstarter page:
“One of the key messages of Wind in the Willows and the modern maker movement is the same: Yes, it is very shiny and new, but do you really have to buy another mass-produced, gas-guzzling SUV, Mr. Toad? Steam in the Willows is about celebrating and weaving both of these fine things together. “
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
This week, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt is hiring a senior publicist, while Cavendish Square Publishing is seeking a book designer. John Wiley & Sons needs a marketing manager, and Academic Press is on the hunt for an acquisitions editor for LGBTQ studies. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.
- Senior Publicist Quirk Books (Philadelphia, PA)
- Book Designer DC Comics (New York, NY)
- Marketing Manager Brightline (New York, NY)
- Acquisitions Editor, LGBTQ Studies Interweave/F+W Media (Loveland, CO)
- Assistant Director of Publicity John Wiley & Sons Inc. (Hoboken, NJ)
Find more great publishing jobs on the GalleyCat job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented GalleyCat pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.
New Career Opportunities Daily: The best jobs in media.
My own writing comes out of two distinctly different literary traditions: fantasy and noir. Of the latter, I claim red-headed-stepchild kinship with both the classic (Chandler and Hammett) and the modern (Robert B. Parker) in my Eddie LaCrosse novels.
But a deeper influence, and one of my favorite living authors, Andrew Vachss, caught me with a single sentence, the first line of his third novel, 1988's Blue Belle:
“Spring comes hard down here.”