swan_tower: (Default)

1) I sold a short story! “From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review will be up at Tor.com some time next spring. As the title suggests, this is a Lady Trent story — the one I wrote while on tour this past May, in fact, and some of you may have heard me read it at BayCon.

2) I sold another short story! Continuing my unbroken streak, I will have a piece in the fifth Clockwork Phoenix anthology: “The Mirror-City,” which takes place in a Venice-like setting. Did I come up with it while in Venice? Nope; the idea is years old, and deadlines meant I actually had to write and submit the thing before I ever left for the real place. :-)

3) If you prefer to get your novels in audiobook form, you’re in luck: Warrior and Witch are both now available on Audible. With shiny new covers, no less!

And with that, I’m off to World Fantasy tomorrow. See some of you there!

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

Remember that novella I wrote while on tour earlier this year?

Coming soon to a Tor.com near you: Cold-Forged Flame, the first of at least two, possibly more, novellas about Ree Varekai.

Yep, I’ve done it again; I’m turning another piece of RPG material into professional fiction. This one will be very different from the Onyx Court series, though. No faeries. I’ve instead run with the more epic tone fostered by the LARP where I played Ree, and turned her into an archon — a fallen demigod-like creature that humans can summon and bind to serve them. Cold-Forged Flame begins a particular “lifetime” for Ree, when a certain group of people bound her to retrieve something on their behalf . . . and more than that, I cannot (yet) say without spoilers.

I’m ridiculously pleased that this is a thing which is actually happening. While I was on tour and working on this, I commented to Mary Robinette Kowal that I was trying to write twenty thousand words about an angry, pessimistic amnesiac with no name who spends half the story on an island all by herself. How exactly did I think I was going to make this work? But apparently I succeeded, because Lee Harris has picked up both it and a sequel for Tor.com’s novella line. I’ll be trying to write the second before I buckle down to draft the last of the Memoirs, and we’ll see what happens after that.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (Default)

Apropos of complaining about reading The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus, I’m pleased to say it was not in vain; I have sold “The Damnation of St. Teresa of Ávila” to the anthology Shared Nightmares, edited by Steve Diamond. I’ll post the TOC and so forth once I have it.

Also, if you’re a Bay Area local, I’ll be at Convolution in Burlingame the weekend of September 26th-28th. My tentative schedule is:

  • Friday 2-4 — You Got Your Science in My Fantasy (M)
  • Saturday 10-12 — Reading
  • Saturday 12-2 — Steaming Outside Victorian England
  • Sunday 12-2 — Social Worldbuilding
  • Sunday 2-4 — Dice on the Page

That last is a panel I proposed, focusing not on who has adapted an RPG into fiction, but what the craft-oriented challenges of doing so are. Not sure what I’m going pick for the reading. Probably a short story, since I rarely get to do those; I’ll have to see what seems good. Not “The Damnation of St. Teresa of Ávila” — there’s no way I’m inflicting sixteenth-century Catholic mystical theology on people at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. :-P

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (Default)

Five updates make a post . . . .

1) The Chains and Memory Kickstarter is a bit over halfway to the first stretch goal. The pace of progress has (unsurprisingly) slowed down; I welcome any signal boosting, and/or suggestions for other things I could do to spread the word.

2) While Mary and I were on tour earlier this month, Tor sent a camera crew to film our Portland event and interview us afterward. It was a fascinating experience; this wasn’t the “sit and have a conversation in front of the camera” kind of thing, but rather raw material for the following video:

If you’d like a sense of what our events were like, check it out!

3) Driftwood fans take note: I’ve sold the audio rights for “The Ascent of Unreason” to Podcastle.

4) My SF Novelists post for this month was “Pleaser Don’t Doed Thising”, in which I take aim at Bad Fantasy Latin, Bad Fantasy Japanese, and other such linguistic sins.

5) WisCon! I went. It was a thing.

Sorry, that’s just the tiredness talking. Going to WisCon was a good idea; going right after being on tour, less so. I feel like I didn’t take full advantage of the experience, partly because I was going easy on myself, partly because I’m new to the con’s culture and therefore didn’t know in advance about things like the Floomp. It was fun, though: lots of interesting people, some good panels (and some I really wish had dug further into their topics), some &@#$! awesome GoH speeches, etc. The good news is, now I know what to expect and can get more out of it in future years. Will I be back in 2015? Dunno; I’ll have to look at my schedule. But I do intend to be back eventually.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.


May. 7th, 2014 09:13 pm
swan_tower: (Default)

I guess the work I did filing off the footnotes was worth it: “Comparison of Efficacy Rates for Seven Antipathetics As Employed Against Lycanthropes” is going to be recorded for Pseudopod.

In other news, the tour is going splendidly. I will have a fuller report next Monday or thereabouts, after I’m home.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (*writing)

“Keep Calm and Carry On” — my SF Novelists post for the month; a brief reflection on some of the recent trouble regarding gender and such.

Interview at SF Signal — in which they ask me about a variety of things, including photography.

“What Happens When Fantasy Novels Get Scientific?” — Me at io9, talking about the impulse to treat dragons scientifically.

Finally, not something you can read just yet, but: I’ve sold another story to Tor.com! “Daughter of Necessity,” which I read at FogCon after revising it half an hour before the reading. :-P It will be out some time in the fall, most likely.

Originally published at Swan Tower. You can comment here or there.

swan_tower: (natural history)
Because late on a Friday is the best time to put out pieces of major news. :-) Many of you know that my intent has always been for the Memoirs of Lady Trent to be a five-book series, of which Tor had already purchased the first three. Well, as of today I am allowed to tell you that now we're set for all five: they have offered a contract for the remaining two, ensuring that the entirety of Lady Trent's story will be told. And! Bonus! They have also made an offer for a third, unrelated book. That won't be coming out until after this series is done, so it's years off yet; don't look for me to be talking about it all that much here. (Especially since it's entirely possible that three or four years from now, we'll decide that it ought to be something else than what we're planning on right now.) But if you want a teaser, well, let's just say it might be inspired by this song and involve a few weeks of research here. ^_^ So yeah, I'm bouncing over here. How about you?
swan_tower: (*writing)
1) Sure, I'll be kind and put the big one first. I've sold a story to Tor.com! "Mad Maudlin," a novelette based on the folksong variously known as "Bedlam Boys" and "Tom o'Bedlam." It won't be published until late this year or early next, but I'm extremely pleased nonetheless.

2) One straggler from the ANHoD blog tour: an interview with me at LibraryThing, wherein (among other things) I divulge how [profile] kniedzw and I approached the most important question one must consider upon moving in together: whether to combine libraries or not.

3) Latest post at BVC is on superstitions.

Edited to add:
4) A Natural History of Dragons is #8 on the Locus bestseller list for May. Go, little book, go!
swan_tower: (Fizzgig)
I'm drowning in revisions right now (due Monday; I'm almost done; I just need my brain to keep working a few days more), but I'm surfacing long enough to share a few things.

First: YOU GUYS YOU GUYS YOU GUYS I FINALLY HAVE A TITLE. The sequel to A Natural History of Dragons will be called The Tropic of Serpents.

(Now I just need to go put that phrase in the book somewhere.)

Next, story sale! To the charity anthology Neverland's Library, which will be funded through Kickstarter, and 50% of whose profits will go to First Book. The story in question is "Centuries of Kings," based on several Chinese and Japanese folktales.

Finally, I have a couple of posts up in different places, that I hadn't yet linked here. One is over at Darkeva's blog, talking about how I developed the habit of choosing music for a story while working on the original draft of Lies and Prophecy. The other is my biweekly post at BVC, talking about how folklore adds another later to the world around you.

Time for me to go work some more on revising The Tropic of Serpents. (I am going to be using the title incessantly for a little while, now that I have it to use.)


Jan. 24th, 2013 03:43 pm
swan_tower: (*writing)
I still have to revise the book, of course -- or I should say, finish revising; I've been working on that as I go along -- but I have enough brain and breathing room now to catch up on a few things that slipped through the cracks while I was busy.

First up! I sold a story! To Mike Allen! For Clockwork Phoenix 4! (Maintaining my streak: Tanith Lee and I are the only ones with a story in every CP anthology to date.) You may remember this as a Kickstarter project a while ago; well, the project was a success, and now the anthology is underway. The finished TOC consists of:

  • Yves Meynard, “Our Lady of the Thylacines”
  • Ian McHugh, “The Canal Barge Magician’s Number Nine
  • Nicole Kornher-Stace, “On the Leitmotif of the Trickster Constellation in Northern Hemispheric Star Charts, Post-Apocalypse”
  • Richard Parks, “Beach Bum and the Drowned Girl”
  • Gemma Files, “Trap-Weed”
  • Yukimi Ogawa, “Icicle”
  • A.C. Wise, “Lesser Creek: A Love Story, A Ghost Story”
  • Marie Brennan, “What Still Abides”
  • Alisa Alering, “The Wanderer King”
  • Tanith Lee, “A Little of the Night”
  • Cat Rambo, “I Come from the Dark Universe”
  • Shira Lipkin, “Happy Hour at the Tooth and Claw”
  • Corinne Duyvis, “Lilo Is”
  • Kenneth Schneyer, “Selected Program Notes from the Retrospective Exhibition of Theresa Rosenberg Latimer”
  • Camille Alexa, “Three Times”
  • Benjanun Sriduangkaew, “The Bees Her Heart, the Hive Her Belly”
  • Patricia Russo, “The Old Woman with No Teeth”
  • Barbara Krasnoff, “The History of Soul 2065″

Mike Allen has more to say about it here. My story, "What Still Abides", is the one I was complaining about before, saying that it was trying to kill me; well, it failed, and then it sold, so at least I got something for my suffering. :-)
swan_tower: (Kenshin sword)
It's no secret that I'm a gamer. RPGS, both tabletop and LARP, are one of my main hobbies; they're also what I studied in graduate school. I've written academic papers on the subject, and grew a novel series out of one of the games I've run. From time to time I come up with system hacks for running games in particular settings; when I was playing Changeling, I wrote an entire splatbook's worth of material for Mesoamerican fae.

Some of you may recall that a while ago, I started messing around with an alternate history for the game Legend of the Five Rings. I stopped posting about that because shortly after I began, the guys at AEG announced that they would be taking submissions for Imperial Histories 2 -- that is, proposals for chapters on various eras of Rokugan's past.

Including alternate histories.

Last night, I got an e-mail telling me that my proposal for "The Togashi Dynasty" has been accepted, and will be included in the volume.

This pleases me greatly not only because, hey, sale, but because I love the chance to broaden my horizons and publish something in a new field. And L5R is a great game, with a rich setting and a devoted player base -- as evidenced by the dozens of submissions they got for IH2. I think writing this chapter is going to be a lot of fun, and I look forward to seeing what's in the rest of the book.
swan_tower: (*writing)
And one of them is to a new (for me) market! Apex Magazine has picked up "Waiting for Beauty" (another one of my twisted fairy-tale retellings), and Beneath Ceaseless Skies has bought "The Ascent of Unreason" -- a new Driftwood story!

No pub dates yet for either of those, but I'll let you know when they go live.
swan_tower: (Fizzgig)
Ladies and gentlemen, please join me in a hearty round of applause for [livejournal.com profile] ninja_turbo, who has just sold his first novel(s):
Michael Underwood’s GEEKOMANCY, discovered at the Book Country website and pitched as Buffy The Vampire Slayer meets Clerks, to Adam Wilson at Pocket Star, in a two-book deal, in a nice deal, for publication in 2012, by Sara Megibow of Nelson Literary Agency (World).

He was a member of my crit group way back when he was an undergrad, so pardon me while I have a bit of a "he's all growed up!" reaction over here. :-)

(Not too growed up to do a public Kermit flail, though.)
swan_tower: (ship)
I've worked with Ekaterina Sedia ([livejournal.com profile] squirrel_monkey) twice before, on "Comparison of Efficacy Rates for Seven Antipathetics As Employed Against Lycanthropes" (in Running with the Pack) and "Coyotaje" (in Bewere the Night). Now that I have the go-ahead, I'm delighted to say that I have sold her a third story, this one without any shapeshifters in it whatsoever: "False Colours," a novelette in her upcoming anthology of YA Victorian romance, Wilful Impropriety: 13 Tales of Society and Scandal.

You can read more about the anthology here. The table of contents looks pretty awesome:

  • THE DANCING MASTER by Genevieve Valentine
  • AT WILL by Leanna Renee Hieber
  • RESURRECTION by Tiffany Trent
  • THE GARDEN OF ENGLAND by Sandra McDonald
  • FALSE COLOURS by Marie Brennan
  • THE COLONEL'S DAUGHTER by Barbara Roden
  • MERCURY RETROGRADE by Mary Robinette Kowal
  • THE LANGUAGE OF FLOWERS by Caroline Stevermer

As for "False Colours"? Well, a select few among you may recall a certain character named Lt. Ravenswood . . . yeah, this is that story. The rest of you will have to wait and read it for yourself -- I wouldn't want to spoil anything!

I'll post a release date when I have one.
swan_tower: (*writing)
. . . or those who didn't hear me announce it there:

I have a new book deal.

Three books for certain; the series may run as long as five; title of either the first book or the entire series -- haven't decided yet which one -- is A Natural History of Dragons. They are the memoirs of Isabella Trent, Scirland's foremost lady adventurer and dragon naturalist, and cover her illustrious career traveling the world to study dragons (and getting into large amounts of trouble along the way).

As you might guess from the "Scirland" bit, this is a secondary-world fantasy, albeit one based on the real-world nineteenth century. Hallelujah, I get to make stuff up. There will still be research, of course -- there is always research -- but it will be of a more compost-y sort; I'll read stuff, get the flavor in my head, and then make up something in an appropriate vein. You have no idea how much I'm looking forward to that part.

I came up with the idea for this series just before the first round of Novel in 90, several years ago, and it should tell you something that I wrote about thirty thousand words of it in a rather short space of time, before stalling out on account of not having figured out my metaplot. In the interim, I've made progress on that problem, and am very eager to get back to the story. The narrative voice is just a delight to play with. In celebration of the deal, here's an excerpt, from the foreword to the first volume of Isabella's memoirs:
Not a day goes by that the post does not bring me at least one letter from a young person (or sometimes one not so young) who wishes to follow in my footsteps and become a dragon naturalist. Nowadays, of course, the field is quite respectable, with university courses and intellectual societies putting out fat volumes titled Proceedings of some meeting or other. Those interested in respectable things, however, attend my lectures. The ones who write to me invariably want to hear about my adventures: my escape from captivity in the swamps of Mouleen, or my role in the great Battle of Keonga, or (most frequently) my flight to the inhospitable heights of the Mrtyahaima peaks, the only place on earth where the secrets of the ancient world could be unlocked.

Even the most dedicated of letter-writers could not hope to answer all these queries personally. I have therefore accepted the offer from Messrs. Carrigdon & Rudge to publish a series of memoirs, chronicling the more interesting portions of my life. By and large these shall focus on those expeditions which led to the discovery for which I have become so famous, but there shall also be occasional digressions into matters more entertaining, personal, or even (yes) salacious. One benefit of being an old woman now, and moreover one who has been called a "national treasure," is that there are very few who can tell me what I may and may not write.

Beyond this point, therefore, lie foetid swamps, society gossip, disfiguring diseases, familial conflicts, hostile foreigners, and a plenitude of mud. You, dear reader, continue on at your own risk. It is not for the faint of heart -- no more so than the study of dragons itself. But such study offers rewards beyond compare: to stand in a dragon's presence, even for the briefest of moments -- even at the risk of one's life -- is a delight that, once experienced, can never be forgotten. If my humble words convey even a fraction of that wonder, I will rest content.

Expect much babbling over the next few months about Darwin and Stanley and Isabella Bird, who actually wasn't the source of my protagonist's name, but it's a nice coincidence nonetheless.
swan_tower: (Default)
The coyotes of Mexicali were bold. They did their business in cantinas, in the middle of the afternoon; the police, well-fed with bribes, looked the other way. Day by day, week by week, people came into Mexicali, carrying backpacks and bundles and small children, and day by day, week by week, they went away again, vanishing while the back of the police was obligingly turned.

The short story I was having so much angst over was "Coyotaje," and it's been sold to Ekaterina Sedia's anthology Bewere the Night. (A sequel anthology of sorts to Running with the Pack, but there's no connection between my two stories.)

It just goes to illustrate what every writer figures out eventually: that the ease with which a story comes out of your head has no particular relationship to its quality. I'm actually quite proud of "Coyotaje," even if writing it was like pulling my teeth out one by one with rusty pliers. Not that the difficulty automatically implies quality, either; I've had stories that just raced from my fingers which I was also extremely proud of. The two things just don't correlate at all.

Release date is April, if Amazon can be believed; I'll keep you updated.
swan_tower: (A Star Shall Fall)
If you've looked at the Onyx Court charity auction, you've seen my note about how I may end up writing a short story from the historical prompt the winner chooses. That was, in fact, the outcome of the original auction, for the Haitian earthquake relief; in writing a summary for the winner, I thought of a way to frame it as a short story. So I wrote it, and I sent it out, and now Beneath Ceaseless Skies has bought it! The story is "Two Pretenders," and I count it as Onyx Court continuity, though it's a bit different in period and tone from the rest of the series. The winner got to read it a while ago, long before the rest of you, so if you want a backstage pass like that (and the pleasure of knowing you were a part of the process), head over there and put your bid in.

Along with that, the last round of book discussion is up over on [livejournal.com profile] sirenscon, asking about urban fantasy in a historical context. Previous questions about mortal and faerie love, pov and non-linear time, and the interrelationship of the Onyx Hall with London are still open.

And y'know, yesterday I got this big honkin' box of author copies of A Star Shall Fall, which need to go to good homes. So I'm thinking I might select a random commenter from the [livejournal.com profile] sirenscon discussion posts to receive a copy. Add your two cents' worth on one of those four posts (or more, if you feel so inspired), and you might be the lucky winner!


Jul. 29th, 2010 11:28 am
swan_tower: (*writing)
One of the odd perks of my sleep schedule (going to bed circa 2 or 3 a.m. West Coast time, waking up circa 10 or 11 a.m.) is that most U.S.-based people have started their business day before I get up. And that means a disproportionate number of the e-mails I get saying "I'd like to buy your story!" are in my inbox by the time I shuffle into my office, starting my day with a smile.

Which is by way of saying that Pseudopod will be doing an audio reprint of "The Snow-White Heart," which originally came out in the final issue of Talebones.
swan_tower: (A Star Shall Fall)
It's now sixty days until A Star Shall Fall reaches shelves, so you know what that means: more excerpt! This time we introduce the book's faerie protagonist, Irrith, first seen in Ashes. Or, if you've missed the excerpts so far, you can start at the beginning.

In honor of that -- and of the fact that the Science Fiction Book Club will be printing Star as a featured selection, which is the news that greeted me when I woke up this morning -- and of the fact that I've joined Goodreads -- I'm doing another ARC giveaway, this time over on their site. You have until the twelfth to toss your name into the hat for a copy.

Edited to add: Sorry, the Goodreads giveaway is US and Canada only. If you live elsewhere, stay tuned in this space for other opportunities.
swan_tower: (*writing)
Proof I have gotten way too pale: I managed to pick up a bit of a tan in freaking London.

Anyway, onto actual news, of the writing-related sort. Various bits and pieces accumulated while I was gone, so in no particular order . . .

1) I've sold an audio reprint of "Kingspeaker" to Podcastle.

2) Go here for another chance to win an ARC of A Star Shall Fall (scroll down for details). Author Stephanie Burgis is, with permission, re-gifting the copy I sent her.

3) Clockwork Phoenix 3 has gotten a starred review from Publishers Weekly, with this to say about my own contribution: "Marie Brennan sets the bar high with 'The Gospel of Nachash,' a fine reinterpretation of the Adam and Eve legend from a fresh perspective." Also, finalized cover art.

4) An interesting post about "Remembering Light" and Driftwood more generally. I remain faintly boggled by how strongly people react to the setting -- boggled, and flattered. I really do need to get more Driftwood stories written.

5) My remaining bit of news will get its own post in a bit, so instead I'll use this spot to mention that I'm still seeking a title for the Victorian book. For those not aware or in need of a refresher, my requirements are here and here; you can leave suggestions on one of those posts, in the comments to this post, or send them to my e-mail (marie dot brennan at gmail dot com).


swan_tower: (Default)

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