Friday, March 25, 2011

Site Update

Switched on the new stuff to support the premiere of Drumlin Circus/On Gossamer Wings on Sunday at AnomalyCon.

Please note that (obviously) the final art for the Drumlin Circus side of the double isn't in place - that's an artist's sketch that I labeled with the Dymo label fonts. :)

Oh, I also fixed the book reviews section - replaced it, really, with a javascript one from Goodreads. They somehow changed the feed and broke the magpie scripting that fed my bookshelf to my desktop. Hopefully they'll refrain from doing the same to their own API.

See you at the con.


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Anomaly Con

Anomaly Con is this weekend! Yay! The premiere is on!

For those playing the home game, For the last couple months, I've been working with Jeff Duntemann on a double novel. We're premiering it at Anomaly Con here in Denver on Sunday, March 27th, at 1:00pm in Panel Room 1.

Well, this week, the organizers of the con emailed me to ask if we could do a panel on Saturday as well, to fill in for someone who got sick at the last minute and had to cancel.

We said "Sure." :) So now we also have a panel on Saturday at noon in Panel room 1 called "The Evolution of Steampunk in Post Modern Worlds". As we've worked on the double novel, and indeed as Jeff worked on the previous stories in the Drumlin world, it became obvious that we were writing steampunk, whether we set out to or not. So Jeff suggested we take a step back for this panel and look at what forces produced the original Victorian era, and how many of them were replicated in the Drumlin world, and how those elements came together again to form the second Victorian era on that far-away, distant future planet. And once we started talking about it, we realized that's a good topic for a panel.

This is also a good time to give a quick shout-out to Wild West Mercantile for not only getting my order to me extremely quickly, but for going above and beyond by /measuring/ the vest in the store while I was on the phone with them, so we could make sure it would fit.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Some Perspective

Some perspective on Japan's nuclear plant problems, courtesy of XKCD's Randall Monroe

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Finally, a decent epub reader for Mac

Epub is an open standard for ebooks. It's very popular, used in iBooks and by the Barnes and Noble Nook, and it's fast emerging as the lingua franca of ebook systems - even some versions of Sony's e-reader are said to read them. Why, then, are there so few epub reader options for Mac users? I've talked about this before, in this very blog, and I'll not rehash that whole discussion here. The point I'm making here is that I think I've finally found a decent epub reader for mac. It's called Lucifox and it's a plugin for Firefox. All the details you'd want are here. There appears to be a standalone version as well (dependent on the Mozilla XUI runner) which I've not played with yet.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My new favorite font

Gputeks has two major things going for it. First, it's an attractive font at almost any scale, and just what I was looking for for the title page of On Gossamer Wings. Second, it's OFL licensed. That's Open Font License. As in Open Source. Free as in Freedom, and all that. You can get both here: What gputeks means, I have no earthly clue. Nor do I particularly care. :)



For those in the Denver metro area, I will be appearing at Anomaly Con on the 26th and 27th of this month, in support of Cooperwood Press's Copperwood Double #1. This book contains two stories set in Jeff Duntemann's Drumlin world, which I've talked about before. On Side one is Jeff's novella Drumlin Circus and side two of the double-book is my novella On Gossamer Wings.

If you've never seen one of the old Ace doubles, double novels work like this:
On side one of the book, you have cover art, and a short-ish novel. Flip the book so the spine printing is now upside down, and instead of the back cover, you have different cover art, and a different novel. The two novels meet in the middle, one upside down from the other so you know where one ends and the other begins. Page numbers go from the side you started on toward the center. In the center was a catalog of other titles from the same publisher. Double novels often contained abridged versions of the novels within, so they'd both fit in the relatively small number of pages allowed. (Neither Drumlin Circus nor On Gossamer Wings has been abridged in any fashion, as they were written with this format in mind.)

Novellas run, according to Wikipedia, somewhere in the huge span between 10,000 words and 70,000 words. Novellas are fun to write. They're middle-length stories where you can experiment with writing style, with story lines, with characters, without the screamingly tight word constraints of short fiction, and yet without committing the time and intricate story telling of a novel. They're fun to read too, since you can read them at one sitting and still have time to do other things the same day.

Unfortunately, novella length fiction is typically impossible to sell. Publishers usually want either short fiction of less than 7000 words for print in magazines, or they want 90,000 to 110,000 word novels - or longer if you're Stephen King. Double Novels give you /two/ novella length pieces in one cover. If you've never read a novella before, you're in for a treat.

As for working with Jeff on this one, it's been a pleasure. Jeff's an old hand at Science Fiction, and a damn good one. He's been on the final ballot for a Hugo (twice) and he's been selling short science fiction since 1974. His first novel, The Cunning Blood came out in 2006. He's also a good friend. You've seen his name in my blog before.

We're still hammering out the final details of the book, and the deadline is tight, but we should have copies in hand to sell at the con. Look for the guys in the top hats. Our panel reading is Sunday, the 27th, at 1:00pm. I'll put up another posting here when I know where in the con the reading will be.


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