[syndicated profile] kameron_hurley_feed

Posted by Aidan Moher

long-way-to-a-small-angry-planet-by-becky-chambers

Via their blog, Harper Voyager announced today that Becky Chambers’ critically-acclaimed science fiction novel, The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet will be coming to the United States this year. It was acquired by Kelly O’Connor, Assistant Editor at HarperCollins Publishers. Chambers initially self-published The Long Way after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and eventually saw the novel nominated for a Kitschie Award. After that, traditional publishers began to take notice. In addition to Voyager, Hodder & Stoughton is publishing Chambers’ novel in the UK.

“We can’t wait to get this into readers’ hands,” O’Connor told me. “We’ve had The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet on our radar for some time, and jumped at the chance to publish it again in the US. This story is space opera at its finest, but also so much more! Becky does a fabulous job of touching on important themes like family, diversity, and identity.”

I’m disappointed to see Voyager re-using cover art assets from the self-published release, rather than following Hodder & Stoughton’s lead and producing a new, original cover for the book (I mean, check out the UK cover! Gorgeous!), but a tight production schedule and (initial) digital-only release necessitate some concessions.

Coinciding with Hodder & Stoughton’s hardcover release in the UK, Voyager will release a digital edition of The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet on August 13th, just a few weeks from now, followed by a paperback release in Summer 2016.

The post Voyager bringing Becky Chambers’ The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet stateside in 2015 appeared first on A Dribble of Ink.

Corbyn and electability

Jul. 31st, 2015 06:33 pm
marnanel: (Default)
[personal profile] marnanel
I don't give a damn whether Labour is electable under Corbyn-- the next election's too far off to worry about. What I *do* care about is having an effective Opposition, and that's something I'm certain he can provide. Six PM's questions a week, the chance to choose who's on the front benches, and a guaranteed place in almost every political TV show-- given a year or two, he'll move the Overton window enough that today's estimations of who's electable will be irrelevant.

I don't believe for a moment that Labour can't gain power with Corbyn as leader-- we can't know, because there hasn't been a Labour Party that was much distinguishable from the Tories since the nineties.

No, I don't think Corbyn is the second coming of Marx. I don't think the Labour party is going to do a great deal of good for ordinary people any time soon. I don't believe electoral politics will deliver enough change to fix the system. But I do believe that the parliamentary Labour Party can do more good in the world than they're doing right now.
jesse_the_k: Cartoon of white male drowning in storm, right hand reaching out desperately, with text "Someone tweeted" (death by tweet)
[personal profile] jesse_the_k
When a web page address (“URL”) appears as-is in the text, it’s a “bare link.”

For example, this URL:
http://jesse-the-k.dreamwidth.org/profile
takes you to my profile page.
two ways to make links )
In Dreamwidth and most other online writing spaces, a bare link automatically becomes clickable. I prefer bare links because
  • They’re easier to type, test, and proofread.

  • They simplify working around link rot.[2]
more details details details )

The gasmen cameth!!!

Jul. 31st, 2015 01:54 pm
oursin: Pciture of hedgehog labelled domestic hedgehog (domestic hedgehog)
[personal profile] oursin

Okay, the time-slot was supposed to be 9-13 and it was approx 13.05 when they turned up.

But, hey, NEW COOKER!!!!

The old one had been getting particularly recalcitrant over the past week or so, needing several goes and much waiting to get the oven lit. Clearly it knew that it was about to be dumped.

Dear Abby: Class Reunion

Jul. 31st, 2015 07:08 am
cereta: Veronica Mars Fights Like a Girl (Veronica Fights Like a Girl)
[personal profile] cereta posting in [community profile] agonyaunt
DEAR ABBY: I am the treasurer for my high school's upcoming 50th reunion. My senior class was large -- more than 550 students. My problem is, 280 students have not responded to our monthly emails or newsletters.

It takes a lot of time and effort to put on a reunion. We have been working on it for two years. I realize some classmates hated their senior year. Not all of us had a perfect time. But would you remind people that a simple yes or no works well?

Frankly, I don't know why anyone would say no, unless medical or financial issues prevented them from attending. I don't look like I did at 18, and neither does anyone else. The clique clubs are gone, and the captain of the football team looks just like any other guy. Can you comment? -- READY FOR THE REUNION

DEAR READY: Yes. There may be other reasons why some graduates don't wish to attend their high school reunion. They live far away, or there is no one they particularly want to see.

Rather than work yourself into a lather, in your next communication to the graduates, specify that only those who have responded to the invitation can be accommodated "because the committee is making arrangements for which they need an exact head count." If you don't hear from someone, do not plan on seeing him or her.

eggplants and dragon's eggs

Jul. 30th, 2015 08:59 pm
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[personal profile] heresluck
For [personal profile] lilacsigil and [personal profile] st_aurafina: These are the eggplants (and peas and beans) mentioned in my previous post:

07-27 harvest

From the left, the varieties are Rosa Bianca, Clara, and Ping Tung.

more veggies under the cut )

As [personal profile] renenet has observed more than once this summer, my penchant for preposterous vegetables continues unabated. :D

oh my

Jul. 30th, 2015 09:14 pm
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[personal profile] twistedchick
I don't suppose any of you remember back to Season 4 of Buffy, with The Initiative, and Riley's buddy Graham? Bailey Chase, who played Graham, now plays the deputy on Longmire. I watched all three seasons of that on Netflix in the last three days -- and it is *well worth watching.* It has a long long roster of very good actors -- including most of the award-winning native actors in the US (you will recognize faces) -- excellent writing and plotlines and characters that stay with you.

Bailey plays deputy sheriff Branch Connally. He starts out running against Walt Longmire, the sheriff and title character, for sheriff in the next election. But he's also involved with Walt's daughter, for a while. Katee Sackoff is another deputy. Lou Diamond Phillips runs a local bar. Bailey's father, a ruthless rich guy, is played by Gerald MacRaney, late of Simon & Simon. Do I really need to go on and list all the other players? You will recognize actors from Due South and Dances With Wolves and Powwow Highway and so many other places.

And all of them are playing solid characters and having a good time with it.

Myself, I've fallen for half the cast, just on the basis of really wonderful acting and season-long story arcs and dialogue to die for.

One other thing: there is respect for the Cheyenne people. There is respect for nature, and for animals. There is respect for women here. How often do you see that?

(Three seasons are on Netflix. Season 4 starts soon.)

"Never Laid Open" is now complete!

Jul. 30th, 2015 05:02 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to an anonymous donation, "Never Laid Open" is now complete.  Watch Shiv flounder his way through new coping skills.  

This means that the sequel "As We Grasp Them" is unlocked and available to be sponsored and posted.

Very high levels of cannot even

Jul. 30th, 2015 08:35 pm
oursin: Photograph of Stella Gibbons, overwritten IM IN UR WOODSHED SEEING SOMETHIN NASTY (woodshed)
[personal profile] oursin

Honestly, where do I begin with the museum that was pitched as being about the suffrage movement and women's history in the East End, and turns out, just before opening, to be about Jack the Ripper? I think I will just direct you to [personal profile] londonkds's evisceration of its claims to be a serious contribution to, well, just about anything, really (not even ripperology, pretty much).

Also, word on the street is that there is a 'gritty' remake of Little Women in the works which seems to have very little to do with the work except, presumably, ripping off the name in the hopes that that will pull in the March family fans?? I would put LW quite high upon any list of 'works which do not cry out for a "gritty" reboot'. I'm on board with a reasonable degree of realism about the shabby gentility of their home, the darned clothes, etc, but, really, NO. STOPPIT.

Some while ago, when there was a spate of sexed-up classics of EngLit, I suggested the production of versions of novels famous in the annals of one-handed reading with the just the non-sexy bits left in ('Walter rambles the night-time streets of London', e.g.) I am now thinking that there is a case for the cuddly-bunny versions of works famed for their gritty and grimdark version, as this is only fair.

(Okay, I do think that headline I saw about 'Five in Hospital After Indulging In Legal High', with attached allusions to Blyton going grimdark and relevant were amusing. But I don't think anyone's actually going to write it.)

M’s visit

Jul. 30th, 2015 08:15 pm
nanila: (kusanagi: aww)
[personal profile] nanila
Recently, [personal profile] emelbe came to visit us, bringing glorious weather with her. She spent six days with us, lounging in the garden, going for runs and generally being a very relaxed hoopy frood. (She’s definitely the sort of hitchhiker who really knows where her towel is.)

She also took some pictures, which I’m sharing here with permission and much glee.

+8, Hanging in the garden on hot days )

We took M to a nearby Country Fair, because if you’re going to visit rural Worcestershire you might as well have a properly agricultural experience. With locally brewed cider. And a “guess the weight of the pregnant pig” contest.

+8, Pony ride, bouncy castle )

And finally, because M was here during 4 July, which perhaps understandably is not quite as big a deal in Britain as it is in the United States, we had a Revolting Colonial Day barbecue. The bloke retaliated by inviting a bunch of Brits to come over and help celebrate. We may have been outnumbered, but I think we made up for it with attitude. :D
ysabetwordsmith: Victor Frankenstein in his fancy clothes (Frankenstein)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Thanks to a donation from Anthony & Shirley Barrette, there are 12 new verses in "These Tiny Little Steps." Victor struggles with surrender; Kálmán tries to help.

Good News

Jul. 29th, 2015 11:17 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Good news includes all the things which make us happy or otherwise feel good.  It can be personal or public.  We never know when something wonderful will happen, and when it does, most people want to share it with someone.  It's disappointing when nobody is there to appreciate it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our joys and pat each other on the back.

What good news have you had recently?

I go, you go, we all go where Hugo

Jul. 29th, 2015 09:01 pm
desperance: (Default)
[personal profile] desperance
There. I have done my duty by the Party, and recorded my Hugo votes. Or in many cases my non-votes, but there you have it. At least I had one friend to vote for (because she's awesome, not because she's my friend), and a few other people I admire.

(Karen's on the phone, which is why I allowed Hugo voting to interrupt our evening. I processed a couple of loads of laundry also. 'Tis all one.)

In memory of Nóirín Plunkett

Jul. 29th, 2015 08:17 pm
tim: Solid black square (black)
[personal profile] tim
I learned today that Nóirín Plunkett died suddenly (Ada Initiative memorial post) (Sumana Harihareswara's memorial post) (geekfeminism.org memorial post). Nóirín was my friend, and was too young.

It's hard to know what to say about a friend's death when you haven't been in close contact with that friend for some time. Internet-based relationships tend to ebb and flow, but you always assume that there's going to be another flow. I met Nóirín at least once but maybe not more than three times offline -- I always took it for granted that of course I'd see them at a conference again someday. The online community in which we interacted the most ceased to exist in its current form sometime last year, and as a result, the only notable exchange we had recently was an email I sent to Nóirín last fall, in which I introduced them to a college friend of mine who was starting a tech nonprofit. Nóirín became the operations manager for that nonprofit, Simply Secure, and my friend wrote today, "they consistently impressed me with their wisdom, kindness, pragmatic capacity, and intricate vision for what our organization could become. They were not just a colleague but a professional partner & a rapidly-growing friend. I learned much from them, and will always treasure time we got to spend together."

Nóirín made the world a better place by being in it, both locally and globally. They were enthusiastic about technology and about social justice. In a short lifetime, they repeatedly demonstrated acts of courage, calling out oppressive acts at great personal cost.

I will miss them.
[syndicated profile] kameron_hurley_feed

Posted by Aidan Moher

Gary Whitta might best be known as a screenwriter–penning popular science fiction films such as The Book of Eli and the upcoming Star Wars spin-off, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, but the former EIC of PC Gamer magazine is a novelist, too. His first book, Abomination, officially hit store shelves today. “[It’s a] bloody, unapologetic fantasy,” says Chuck Wendig, popular SFF blogger and author of Aftermath: Star Wars, this is history twisted by the hands of a master storyteller.”

But Abomination is remarkable for more than just the words between its pages, but also its road to publication, via Inkshares, a new publisher who offer authors a unique way to engage with their audience.

I caught up with Whitta to chat about his new novels, Inkshares, and what he learned from writing a Star Wars film.

The Interview

gary-whitta

Aidan Moher: Hello, Gary! Abomination is a weird, horror-filled medieval fantasy set in an alternate history version of England where magic still lives in the open. What can readers expect from Whitta’s England?

Gary Whitta: A big part of the fun of writing this book came from mashing up real history and fantasy. The Dark Ages is just such a fascinating period in history, and it’s fertile territory for a little bending and re-shaping because the historical record during that period is really spotty, there’s so much historians still don’t really know for sure. So I thought it was a fun opportunity to say, “Well, who’s to say there weren’t insane wizards and abominable monsters running around back then?” But even without the fantastical elements, it’s just such a rich backdrop. We’re talking about a time when England didn’t even formally exist yet as a unified nation, it was a bunch of different kingdoms and a huge swath of territory known as the Danelaw which is where the Vikings who had been invading England for centuries eventually settled. If you look at a map of the British Isles around that time — we have one at the front of Abomination — you recognize the shape of the country, but the borders are so different, the country essentially split into two halves occupied by the native Anglo-Saxons and the Nordic invaders, that it almost seems like a fantasy kingdom.

Aidan Moher: Since its early days with Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, to the enormous uproar in the ’80s, Modern Fantasy has been enamoured with Medieval England as a backdrop. Why is it such an appealing setting for fantasy writers?

Gary Whitta:I think because it allows us to create these fantasy worlds that don’t really seem like they’re that far removed from our actual history, and so they seem more believable in a sense. You can watch a few minutes of a movie like Excalibur or Kingdom of Heaven and not know right away if you’re watching a fantasy story or a historical tale. And the medieval era has become such a romanticized period of history — even though it was thoroughly miserable for the great majority of people who lived through it — that it’s been attracting both fantastical and historical storytellers ever since.

Aidan Moher: The Abomination Inkshares campaign included this wonderful hook: “Some believe that the true history of this dark age was deliberately concealed by its surviving scholars.” How does Abomination play with the idea of history being rewritten and concealed by victors and biased scholars?

abomination-by-gary-whitta

Gary Whitta: Yeah, that’s a little passage we have at the front of the book, kind of like the introductory crawl of text you sometimes see at the beginning of the movie. The idea was to plant the idea that this is a story set during a real historical time and place, but an alternate version of that history where you don’t really know what might be possible. The Dark Ages are called that not just because they were very grim — although they certainly were — but because they’re kind of a dark page in history where a lot of information has been lost forever because so much of the written word was destroyed during that time and illiteracy was rampant. People were too busy just trying to survive the aftermath of the fall of the Roman Empire to worry about writing much down. So the idea that this story took place in one of those gaps in history, and that it was so horrible that the scholars and historians of that time had made a deliberate choice not to record it, felt like a compelling hook.

Aidan Moher: Abomination is your first novel, but you’ve written several screenplays that fantasy and science fiction fans will be familiar with, including The Book of Eli and Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, and been involved with narrative-drive videogames, including writing an episode of Telltale’s Walking Dead series. How has working across various narrative mediums helped you to develop as a writer and storyteller?

Gary Whitta: I think each time you change mediums you have to go back to the beginning, to some extent. I don’t think the fundamentals of what makes a good story change too much from one medium to another, but how that story gets told is vastly different in a movie than it is in a book or vice versa. That’s why adapting one into the other is often so difficult. Originally my plan was to write Abomination as a film because that’s where I have the most experience, but the demands of the story took me down this other road instead, and so I found myself kind of having to kind of learn a second language, because that’s really how it feels when you move from one medium you’re familiar with to another where you’re a complete neophyte. While I knew that writing in this different form would give me the freedom to tell the story outside of the constraints of a typical screenplay structure, it also meant that so much of what I spent years learning about screenplay structure no longer applied. So it was scary, but I think it worked out in the end.

Wulfric_Indra_Final

Aidan Moher: Your screenplays, including After Earth and The Book of Eli, tend to be science fiction epics. What drew you to fantasy for your first novel?

Gary Whitta: It’s more a question of fantasy drawing me to my first novel. I’ve always wanted to tell a big fantasy story. The problem is that while sci-fi is a tremendously popular genre in the movie industry I work in, fantasy is a much, much tougher sell. Think about it: how many big fantasy movies are there really these days, other than those that are based on bestselling books? The idea of trying to sell Abomination to Hollywood as an original fantasy film just felt like a non-starter commercially. But I knew that I could write it as a novel and self-publish it if need be, and that it had a chance of finding an audience that way.

Aidan Moher: One of the most interesting things about Abomination is that it’s being published by Inkshares, a service that uses a Kickstarter-like pre-order system to determine which books they’re going to pick up for publication. Inkshares seems like it’s a great place for writers who already have a built-in fanbase. As someone who’d never written or published a novel before, can you describe your experience with Inkshares?

Gary Whitta: The Inkshares experience has been brilliant. I originally got some resistance from the traditional publishing houses, who told me that they liked Abomination but didn’t quite know where it would fit in their catalog, I guess because it is this kind of gnarly mashup of different genres; a bit of fantasy, a bit of historical fiction, a bit of horror. Okay, a lot of horror. So I was looking into self-publishing it via Amazon when I heard about Inkshares and I really loved their approach, it combines, I think, a lot of the freedom and autonomy of self-publishing with the benefits of a traditional publisher.

Aidan Moher: Would you recommend Inkshares to other first-time novelists?

Gary Whitta: Yeah, definitely. When I was first looking at Inkshares, I asked Daniel Wallace, who wrote Big Fish and had just published a children’s book with Inkshares, what his experience was like and he was just gushing with praise. If they’re good enough for Dan Wallace they’re good enough for me. I’ve since had other authors ask me about Inkshares and I’ve been happy to tell them the same thing Dan told me.

Aidan Moher: Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One is coming out next year, which is certain to be a big year for you as a screenwriter. Any more novels planned?

Gary Whitta: Yeah, I’d love to write another one, whether it’s another book in the Abomination universe or something totally different. I’ve got ideas for both. My main reason for hoping that Abomination is successful is that it would grant me the opportunity to write another book and perhaps open up a second front as an author beyond screenwriting. Writing for Hollywood is always a thrill but it’s also a business that is often brutally indifferent toward writers, and so the idea of having another avenue to tell stories where you perhaps have more creative autonomy is very appealing.

Aidan Moher: How do you balance being a novelist and a screenwriter?

Gary Whitta: I’m still figuring that out! Ask me again in a year or so.

Aidan Moher: Can you recommend any books or movies that readers might enjoy once they’ve devoured Abomination? Any particularly influential works?

Gary Whitta: I think if there’s any one author that really inspired me to give this a try, it’s Patrick Rothfuss. His two books, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear just blew me away. If you haven’t read those books yet, go do that now.

Aidan Moher: Thanks so much, Gary!

Gary Whitta: Thanks to you! If anyone out there reads Abomination and wants to let me know what they thought of it, I can be found on Twitter at @garywhitta.

Abomination is available to purchase on Amazon and directly through Inkshares.

The post Interview with Gary Whitta, author of Abomination and Star Wars: Rogue One appeared first on A Dribble of Ink.

Today on what I was supposed to hear

Jul. 29th, 2015 05:26 pm
sine_nomine: (Default)
[personal profile] sine_nomine
Thanks to [personal profile] wordweaverlynn for posting this!

"Start now. Start where you are. Start with fear. Start with pain. Start with doubt. Start with hands shaking. Start with voice trembling but start. Start and don’t stop. Start where you are, with what you have. Just … start."
-- Ijeoma Umebinyuo
emceeaich: A close-up of a pair of cats-eye glasses (Default)
[personal profile] emceeaich

In response to this bit where a libertarian lawyer chortles over a terrible Supreme Court decision, which includes this banality:

“[E]nsure that the position exercising those oversight powers believe in free market ideals.”

I must wonder whatever became of the no-religious-test clause of the Constitution?

oursin: Photograph of small impressionistic metal figurine seated reading a book (Reader)
[personal profile] oursin

What I read

Margery Sharp, Britannia Mews (1946). I find Sharp's work interesting enough that I look out for it to acquire in a haphazard way, but I find it sufficiently uneven that I'm hesitant to go out and deliberately expand my collection. This is sort of midwayish - it's not for me one of her really amazing books, but it doesn't plumb the depths of the one about the dog-photographer (looking it up, this was Something Light).

Colin Cotterill, The Coroner's Lunch (2004), first in a series which someone or other recommended to me ages ago. Quite good, would read another, think the comparisons with McCall Smith are entirely about setting it in a culture which can be presumed strange to the intended readership, as it comes over a good deal less twee (though that was really something that developed as that series continued). I think I have another one in the series around somewhere but there has been a great deal of reshuffling of book piles with recent domestic upheavals.

Hercule Poirot's Christmas (1938), or, the one in which the Spanish Civil War contributes a plot point... Also, perhaps too many people pretending to be someone they're not? Feel that one instance per book should be enough.

On the go

As it turns out that my e-reader is an ex-reader and has joined the heavenly library, and I am still waiting for the replacement I ordered, The Corner That Held Them is still on the go.

Kate O'Brien, That Lady (1948) - this is the historical novel about the Princess d'Eboli and Philip II of Spain, and I am slightly bogging down in the mid-sections as people endlessly discuss various intrigues going on involving Philip II's advisors and powerful families in the kingdom and how they impact on our heroine. Prefer her more contemporary, or at least, more recent history in Ireland, works. Daresay I shall persist because I do have some desire to know what happens, it's just moving very slowly.

Jane Smiley, Secret Horse (2010, aka A Good Horse) because I had some interest in reading at least one of Smiley's YA books about geegees, and I found this one in a charity shop.

Up Next

The new Barbara Hambly is on order.

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