swan_tower: (*writing)
In ye olden days of publishing, short fiction tended to have a half-life of about .17 seconds. If you didn't read it in the magazine issue where it was published, too bad; the issue went off the shelves, and unless you stumbled across it later or the story was reprinted in a "best of" or single-author collection, you might never see it again.

cover art for ARS HISTORICA by Marie BrennanBut with ebooks, that doesn't have to happen, because collections are so much easier to do now. I'm pleased to say that Maps to Nowhere has been selling splendidly since it came out last month; next month it will be joined by Ars Historica, which collects my historical fiction and historical fantasy. I have more of these planned, too, but they'll take a while -- I have a wordcount range I'm aiming for in each collection, in order to make them roughly novella-sized, and the other three I've got planned all require me to sell another two stories or so (and then wait for those stories' exclusivity periods to expire).

In the meanwhile, here's the Table of Contents for Ars Historica, which you can pre-order from a variety of places here!

Table of Contents


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cover art for MAPS TO NOWHERE by Marie Brennan

Follow the map to another world . . .

Two cities joined by their reflections. A realm of feathered serpents and jaguar-men. A desert where a former goddess seeks the ultimate truth. In this collection, award-winning author Marie Brennan takes you to ten different fantastical lands, including the world of her famed scholar-heroine Lady Trent. Journey with her to places rich and strange: here there be more than just dragons.

The pre-order wait is over! Maps to Nowhere is now on sale at all the following fine retailers:

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

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cover art for Nevertheless, She Persisted; ed. Mindy KlaskyYesterday saw the release of Nevertheless, She Persisted. There are many things with that title these days, but this one is mine — well, mine and that of eighteen other authors from Book View Cafe. It is, as you might expect, a collection themed around female persistence in the face of adversity. If you feel like you need that sort of encouragement right now, or you know someone who might, or you want to support the general idea, or you just think that sounds like something you would like to read, you can get the ebook directly from Book View Cafe, or from Amazon, Nook, iTunes, Kobo, or Amazon UK; if you want a print edition, those are available too, from Amazon US or UK.

My contribution to the anthology is “Daughter of Necessity”, which is one of the stories I’m proudest of having written. It was inspired by an essay of Diana Wynne Jones’, and of course she herself is the woman whose work inspired me to become a writer in the first place.

It’s been six months since Elizabeth Warren was silenced on the floor of the Senate. Keep on speaking out. Persist. We will stand strong.

    Table of Contents
  • “Daughter of Necessity” by Marie Brennan
  • “Sisters” by Leah Cutter
  • “Unmasking the Ancient Light” by Deborah J. Ross
  • “Alea Iacta Est” by Marissa Doyle
  • “How Best to Serve” from A Call to Arms by P.G. Nagle
  • “After Eden” by Gillian Polack
  • “Reset” by Sara Stamey
  • “A Very, Wary Christmas” by Katharine Eliska Kimbriel
  • “Making Love” by Brenda Clough
  • “Den of Iniquity” by Irene Radford
  • “Digger Lady” by Amy Sterling Casil
  • “Tumbling Blocks” by Mindy Klasky
  • “The Purge” by Jennifer Stevenson
  • “If It Ain’t Broke” by Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff
  • “Chatauqua” by Nancy Jane Moore
  • “Bearing Shadows” by Dave Smeds
  • “In Search of Laria” by Doranna Durgin
  • “Tax Season” by Judith Tarr
  • “Little Faces” by Vonda N. McIntyre

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

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Last week I solicited title suggestions and promised to give away a signed copy of Cold-Forged Flame to one person.

In the usual way of my brain, it did not settle on any of the proposed titles — but receiving all those possibilities finally provoked it into getting off its posterior and coming up with something that it liked. (This really is how my brain works. When I was in junior high and got the Elfquest roleplaying game book, which I used to make up characters to tell stories with instead of for use in the game, the entire section on generating your character’s appearance never got used the intended way. I would roll the dice, decide I didn’t like the suggested result, roll again, reject the second result, rinse and repeat until I made up my mind what I wanted to pick off the list.)

But I promised a giveaway, and a giveaway you shall have! Our lucky winner is Joshua of The Rabbit Hole. Drop me a line and claim your prize!

. . . what’s that you ask? You want to know what the title I settled on is?

You’ll find out next spring, when I intend to release the collection in question. 🙂 Until then, you must live in suspense!

(But I’ll give you this hint. I wound up deciding that I liked it because of an unexpected echo of something in Diana Wynne Jones’ novel Fire and Hemlock, which is the book that made me a writer.)

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

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I’ve got all these copies of Cold-Forged Flame sitting around, and I’ve got a conundrum I’ve been stuck on for, uh, more than a year.

So, in the great tradition of the game Unexploded Cow, let’s use the one problem to solve the other!

Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to suggest to me a title that would be suitable for a collection of my secondary-world fantasy short stories. I know I don’t want to call it “[Reasonably Well-Known Item from the Table of Contents] and Other Stories”; I know that every quotation I’ve unearthed and phrase I’ve come up with that implies secondary-world-ness sounds trite; I know that I’m perfectly willing to use a random evocative-sounding phrase, but I haven’t thought of one I like for this purpose. Therefore I put it to you, the Great Internets, to help me figure out what to call a collection that will probably be putting out in 2017.

You have one week: from now until this time next Tuesday (or Wednesday, if you’re on that side of the planet), suggest titles to me. You can suggest more than one. You can suggest them on any version of this post, on Twitter, or by email. I will take them all into account. If I choose your title, you get a signed copy of Cold-Forged Flame! If I don’t find a title that clicks, I will choose one recipient at random! If I choose a title from someone who already has a copy of Cold-Forged Flame, I’ll choose a recipient at random anyway!

Lay ’em on me! Because I am well and truly stuck. >_<

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

swan_tower: (*writing)

I have survived our housewarming party, and with that in my tail-lights, let me catch up on a few things. And by a few, I mean a lot.

Like my newest Onyx Court story! “To Rise No More” is the tale of Ada Lovelace’s childhood friendship with faeries, and also her ambition to build herself a pair of wings to fly with. No seriously, I didn’t even make that part up. (The wings, not the faeries. But she did also refer to herself as “Babbage’s fairy helper,” so, y’know. Maybe not that part, either.) It went up at Beneath Ceaseless Skies on my birthday, which I found to be excellent timing.

Shifting gears to a different series, the Barnes and Noble blog has just revealed the cover to Lightning in the Blood, which is the upcoming sequel to the still-upcoming-but-will-be-out-next-Tuesday Cold-Forged Flame. As I said on Twitter, I didn’t know until I saw it that one of my life goals was to get a Giant Hunting Cat onto a book cover, but I can check that off my list now!

And while I’m at it, I’ve finally gotten an excerpt from Cold-Forged Flame posted to my site. One week — one week and it will finally be out . . . .

Also, I’ve been busy with the Roundtable Podcast, hosted by Dave Robison and Marie Bilodeau. And I do mean busy, as I’m in not one but two episodes. The first is part of their “Twenty Minutes With” series . . . which, with the introduction and everything else, wound up being more like Fifty Minutes With. But dear god, the introduction alone is worth it: Dave Robison has a habit of describing his guests in epic terms. I have never heard my own life sound so much like a superhero origin story.

So that’s the first episode; the second is part of their “Workshop” series, wherein a writer (or in this case, a writing pair) describe a project they’re working on and then get feedback from the assembled hosts. We dug into an urban fantasy premise for this one, a setting where a new drug is causing people to develop magical powers, and had lots of thinky thoughts on both the way the drug fits into the world and how to write the “psycho ex-girlfriend” trope in a sympathetic and complex manner.

And finally, I’ve got myself a brand-new setup on Imzy. Where by “brand-new,” I mean “there’s basically nothing there yet” — but I figured I should mention, for those who are busy exploring this new site. Then, having done that, I decided to spend my other community-creation slot on putting together one called Dice Tales, which is a spin-off of the blog posts I’ve been doing at Book View Cafe. Speaking of which: the most recent installments there are “Keeping Up with the Joneses,” on power escalation over the course of a campaign; “With Great Power,” on the GM’s ability to screw players over and responsibility to use that wisely; “GNS,” on Ron Edwards’ old Gamism-Narrativism-Simulationism framework; and then a two-parter that consists of “Game Planning I – Arcs, Acts, and Chapters” and “Game Planning II – Sessions and Scenes,” which are pretty much what it says on the tin. But the Imzy community is not just a place to reblog those posts; I’m hoping it will become a great discussion of storytelling in RPGs more broadly. So if you’re on Imzy and you find that kind of thing interesting, come on over!

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

swan_tower: (natural history)

Ladies and gentlemen and other courteous people, it’s finally here, the day you’ve been waiting for —

— the day Clockwork Phoenix 5 goes on sale!

What? That’s not the day you’ve been waiting for? But it has my short story “The Mirror-City”! Oh, wait, I know, short stories —

— today is the day you can read “From the Editorial Page of the Falchester Weekly Review”!

What? Not what you were thinking of, either? But it’s a Lady Trent short story! Surely you want to read her infamous dispute with Benjamin Talbot, about his —

— oh. Ohhhhhhhh.

You’ve been waiting for the publication of In the Labyrinth of Drakes.

Well, I have good news for you, ladies and gentlemen and other courteous people. Today it goes on sale in both the U.S. and the U.K. A part of me does not quite believe this; surely you had it in your hot little hands ages ago? I mean, I finished writing the thing more than a year ago — how is it possible that it hasn’t hit the street before now? But such is the way of the publishing world. It’s out at very long last, and I heartily encourage you all to run out and buy it from your nearest respectable bookseller.

With this, we conclude our Five Days of Fiction. But of course I have one more question for you all . . . and one more prize to give.

In honor of the day, the question is this: if you could spend the rest of your life studying one type of creature (be it mythical or real), what would you choose?

I’d probably go for faeries — which is a bit of a cheat, since that’s a flexible enough term that it encompasses a huge variety of creatures. But it’s the folklorist in me; I’d love to see the entities behind all those legends. A part of me wants to say dragons (if mythical) or cats (if real) . . . but I know the truth; I don’t deal well enough with the biological realities of an obligate carnivore to really want to follow them in person. On the page is good enough for me. :-) Faeries, though: that’s more of an anthropologist’s job. That, I can do. (Assuming I don’t accidentally step wrong and find a hundred years have vanished or I’ve turned into a tree.)

And yes: one lucky respondent will receive a signed copy of In the Labyrinth of Drakes. :-) Let us see what menagerie our guests have assembled for us!

Read the rest of this entry  )

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

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There’s a page set up now for pre-ordering Clockwork Phoenix 5, which will be available for sale on April 5th. For those who may not recall, this is the anthology that contains my story “The Mirror-City.”

I got my contributor’s copy of CP5 in the mail the other day, and I have to say, I think it’s the prettiest Clockwork Phoenix yet. I love the new cover. :-D

Also, one day left in which to get Lies and Prophecy at a discounted price!

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

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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)

There’s a certain margin of error in this, because the word counts I record are for final drafts (when I remember to go back and update them from the original number), and sometimes final drafts don’t happen in the same calendar year as first drafts. But I just crunched the numbers, and while last year was my worst for short fiction* since I started actually writing short fiction — only 7700 words in two stories, one of which is a Bad Draft that needs a complete rewrite — it was my best year for total wordcount since 2001 . . . which was, not coincidentally, the last time I wrote two novels in one year. (I also wrote ten short stories that year. It was not long after I figured out how to write them, and I was on a roll.)

I like crunching these numbers occasionally because it puts things in perspective. My default tendency would be to mope and castigate myself for not writing more short stories in 2014; ergo, it is useful to be able to look at the number 192,700 and tell myself that no, actually, that was a pretty good year. I will never be one of those people who cranks out half a million words a year: trying would kill both my hands and my brain. But that’s two full-length novels and some short fiction. It ain’t bad.

. . . of course, it also makes me ambitious to top both of those metrics this year. I’ve already written two pieces of short fiction, so it’ll only take one more to cross that threshold. And with one of those “short” pieces being a novella, and a novel already under my belt with another one planned for this summer, I might actually make it. Depends on how long this second novel turns out to be . . . .

*not counting fanfiction

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

swan_tower: (*writing)

I have this novella I’m trying to title, and the search . . . isn’t going well.

In the course of hunting for a suitable title, I’ve been thinking about the structure of such things. And, of course, having thought about that, the next thing to do is look at my own ouevre and investigate what sorts of patterns I use more or less frequently.

(What? I may not be a biologist, but Isabella gets her scientific turn of mind from somewhere. Also, procrastination.)

The material below the cut is a breakdown of every title I’ve put on a piece of fiction — and in one case, a piece of nonfiction — since I produced my first piece of theoretically professional work, leaving out those where the title was not wholly up to me. (Mostly pieces that amount to work-for-hire.) I’ve included unpublished works and fanfiction in the mix, since that expands the data set by quite a bit, but not titles that ended up being discarded along the way.

Data below the cut )

***

Despite my general allergy to the “Noun of Noun” structure (which I consider to be the most overused thing in fantasy), it’s hanging in there in second place. Ah well: at least I do what I can to liven it up, either by complicating the structure, or by picking unusual components to plug into it. I’m also somewhat started to find that I’ve got that many simple “Noun” titles; I would not have guessed it was so common in my work. I’m not surprised to find “Adjective Noun” leading the pack, though. When I first learned to write short stories, there was a stretch of time where pretty much everything I wrote had a title in that format, until I kicked myself into thinking up other possibilities. On the flip side, I’ve made remarkably little use of the “Noun’s Noun” format, which most of the time is just “Noun of Noun” doing a do-si-do.

The two I find particularly noteworthy are the “Phrase/Quotation” catch-all category, and “X Prep X.” I hadn’t realized I used the latter so frequently, though I knew it was a structure I liked. As for the former, the Onyx Court novels and stories notwithstanding, a lot of the examples there are from fanfiction. That suggests I feel more freedom to play around with fanfic, as opposed to my professional work. Given that back in 2005, a part of me was concerned that “Nine Sketches, in Charcoal and Blood” was too overwrought to use, I suspect I could stand to loosen up more with my titles in general — though maybe not to the extent of the “Ridiculous” category. ;-)

(Actually, that’s exactly the kind of thing I want to do with this novella title. The problem is, my brain has latched onto “In Your Heart Shall Burn,” which would be perfect except for the fact that it’s the name of a main plot quest in Dragon Age: Inquisition.)

Does this get me any closer to having a title for the novella? Nope. But it’s interesting to look at anyway. I’d be curious to hear what patterns exist in other people’s work, and what titles — of your work or others’ — you find particularly striking.

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

swan_tower: (*writing)

Good timing: I read “Comparison of Efficacy Rates for Seven Antipathetics As Employed Against Lycanthropes” at BayCon last weekend, and it turns out Pseudopod put up their recording of it at the same time! So if you weren’t there to hear me read it, now you can go hear Amanda Fitzwater do so instead.

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

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Final guesses on the novella I finished last week included “Haitian loa” and “kitsune” — both incorrect. But then two people guessed correctly! So when I get home, tooth_and_claw and sarcastibich, I’ll send you a list of what books I have on hand, and you can tell me which ones you want signed and mailed to you.

This was actually even harder of a question than I thought, because it turns out that one of the giveaway details has never been mentioned on this incarnation of my LJ. If you conducted a search (which wshaffer almost did), you would have had to do so on my old blog, the one I was using up until 2006. The number of people who have been following me since all the way back then is quite small . . . hence admitting this was a difficult challenge, one I didn’t necessarily expect anybody to get. The best chance for the rest of you was to have a good enough memory to remember that I linked to one of those songs last year — in fact, precisely one year to the day before I posted it again as part of this series. That, I believe, was the last time I said anything on here about Ree Varekai.

I mentioned her before and during my tour last year, because music had put her back into my head, and I found that the core of the concept still held a lot of power for me. Enough power that I started poking at it . . . and coming up with a cosmology where she could exist without copy-pasting the game world she came from . . . and then working out a plot for a novella that I really need a title for, so I can stop thinking of it as the “proof of concept” story where I’m test-driving my idea to see if it works. And then during this tour I decided to buckle down and try, and now I have a draft of the novella and this is a thing that might actually happen.

So what were the clues? Well, that fourth song was from the Cirque du Soleil show Varekai — that’s why it wound up on Ree’s game soundtrack, because of her name. (I didn’t realize I hadn’t posted her full name since the old journal. Mea culpa.) The third one, as I said, I linked to precisely one year previously; it’s also from her soundtrack, and stood for the moment when she hit utter rock bottom, just before the transformation that made her whole once more. The other two are recent additions to her score: “Bad Moon Rising” for the way her fatalist aspect is linked to the lunar cycle, and “I Will Not Bow” just because it fits. That’s what she sounds like when her fatalist aspect is dominant over her survivor aspect, when a pragmatic understanding of the obstacles has become “fuck everything; I’ll just take you all down with me.”

If you didn’t guess, don’t feel bad — you basically have to know Ree to guess most of those songs are pointing at her. (Both of the people who did guess were players in that game.) But hey: the bright side is, now I have all kinds of other things that apparently you all think I should write about! :-)

As for the novella, I don’t know what will happen with it. I need to revise it, and then see about trying to sell it somewhere. News on that when I have any to share.

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

swan_tower: (Default)

I’ve had two more guesses, one non-serious (but it made me think I should write a Medusa story someday); the other was “werewolves” — which is amply suggested by “Bad Moon Rising,” but alas, is not correct.

So: last shot! This is about as obvious as it’s possible for me to get — which means still not that obvious, but enough that there’s a fighting chance:

A change of pace from the three depressing songs I posted before. :-) It isn’t all grimdark over here at Swan Tower . . . .

Any takers? There’s a signed book in it for you, if you guess right . . . .

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

swan_tower: (Default)

I’ve had two more people take a stab at guessing, but no successes. One was in email, and wasn’t so much a guess as “I feel like I should know the answer based on X context” — which was, sadly, off-target — and the other was a tongue-in-cheek guess of “Lune,” made by someone who knows exactly what I’m writing about. :-P A third person said the songs would be appropriate to Supernatural, but they don’t think I’m writing fanfic; indeed I am not. This is a piece of original fiction, written in the hope of selling it, and not for an official tie-in anthology or anything like that.

Since nobody has nailed it yet, it’s time for a third hint! If you missed the first two, they are here and here.

Getting less subtle as we go along; if this doesn’t do it, I have one more I’ll post on Monday, that’s about as blatant as I can get (at least as far as musically-based hints go). Which still isn’t that blatant: you need a pretty good memory to recall the pertinent details and think “oh, so that’s what she’s writing.” But there are people reading this blog who might be able to pull it off — and besides, I’m entertaining myself posting these songs. And isn’t that what really matters? ^_^

Remember that I’ll give a signed book away to the first person (if any) who correctly guesses what I’m working on. You don’t need to guess the exact plot, just a general description of who or what I’m writing about.

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

swan_tower: (Default)

I finished a draft of the story in question last night. It’s officially a novella: 18,100 words. I need to add in a few bits, but I also need to tighten up other bits, so I expect the word count will stay in that general ballpark.

Someone on the previous post said that “I Will Not Bow” made them think of Julian, which was eye-opening for me: I firmly associate that song with a different character, but upon listening to it in that frame of mind, I can see where there’s a resemblance. But no, the story in question is not about Julian, which means you get a second musical hint!

This is less subtle than the first one, though still obscure enough that the list of people who could spot the connection is pretty short. (And several of the people on that list are disqualified on the grounds of too much insider knowledge.) I will say, though, that if anybody manages to guess what I’m working on before I run out of hints, I will send that person an autographed book of their choice out of my pile of author copies — subject to availability, of course.

If you still can’t guess, never fear — there are more hints to come . . . .

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

swan_tower: (*writing)

While I’m on tour, I’m taking a crack at drafting something new. I’m pretty sure it’ll be either a novelette or a novella, but if this piece works, it might also be a launching-point for something bigger. And I figure, to keep you all entertained while I bounce from city to city, I’ll give you a chance to guess at what it is!

Here’s your first hint:

Ignore the visuals; it’s the song itself that’s the clue. It rather perfectly encapsulates the character this story is about. Mind you, it’s a bit of a long shot that anybody might guess this one; you kind of need insider knowledge to put it together with things I’ve said before and realize there’s a connection. But don’t worry; if nobody guesses it from this, I’ll provide another hint to make it easier.

(If you’re one of the people I’ve talked to in person about wanting to do this story, then you are disqualified from guessing, for obvious reasons.)

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

swan_tower: (*writing)

Clockwork Phoenix, the anthology series edited by Mike Allen, is back for a fifth round. Kickstarter page is here.

I have a particularly fond relationship with this series, because I’m one of two authors (Tanith Lee being the other) who has had a story in every volume so far. Previous installments have included “A Mask of Flesh,” “Once a Goddess,” “The Gospel of Nachash,” and “What Still Abides.” Mike is the guy who will buy a fake book of the Bible from me, complete with King James-era prose; he bought a piece written entirely in Anglish. Clockwork Phoenix is where I can cut loose stylistically, or explore weird philosophical concepts in story form. I know what I want to write for this volume — in fact, I’ve started writing it already — but of course the anthology needs to happen before I can sell anything to it.

So go forth and Kickstart! The CP books have been great so far, with a wide range of really weird and beautiful stories, and I’d love to see the series continue.

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

swan_tower: (*writing)

Edmund R. Schubert, editor of Intergalactic Medicine Show, has withdrawn himself for consideration in the category of Best Editor, Short Form.

My understanding is that it’s too late at this point to actually withdraw; his name will be on the printed ballots. But he no longer wishes to be in the running, and therefore would prefer people not vote for him.

Why am I posting about this? Because he’s put together a free sampler of material from IGMS — basically the stuff he might have put into the Hugo Voters’ Packet had he stayed in. And there’s a story of mine in there: “A Heretic by Degrees,” the first Driftwood story I ever published.

Schubert approached me ahead of time and asked whether I would be willing to let him reprint that story in the sampler, given the controversy around the Hugos. I told him I was fine with that, and in turn, I asked and received his blessing to talk about my relationship with IGMS.

As many (but possibly not all) of you know, the full name of IGMS is Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show. And Card, as many (but possibly not all) of you know, has become increasingly vocal over the years about his homophobia. This is, to put it mildly, not a position I support — which makes my relationship with the magazine complicated.

When I sold “Heretic” to IGMS, Card’s homophobia and other offensive behaviors were not fully on my radar, and I had not yet begun to think through such matters to the extent that I do today. I was just looking for a place to sell the story, that would pay me a decent rate. Later on, that changed: I knew full well what he was like when I sold them “Love, Cayce,” which is the other story of mine they’ve run. By then, my decision hinged on two things:

1) Card’s name is on the magazine, but he isn’t the editor. He hasn’t been the editor since 2006, and while he has occasionally selected a story for the magazine, this is rare. The vast majority of what you read in IGMS is there because of Schubert, who is not taking his marching orders from Card.

2) It pleased me to take money from a magazine bearing Card’s name for a story that has a lesbian relationship in it. (It’s a small detail, not the focus of the story — which is part of why Schubert didn’t pick “Love, Cayce” for the sampler. But it’s there, and it’s treated as both positive and unremarkable.)

And this brings us back to the sampler. Schubert told me his reason for putting it together was, he wanted to showcase what IGMS stands for, under his leadership. Because he is not Orson Scott Card, and he is not running a magazine that stands for homophobia, racism, misogyny, or any other kind of bigotry. I’m not claiming IGMS is a flawless paragon of diversity and progressive ideals; to be honest, I don’t read it regularly. (These days I don’t read any magazines regularly, not even BCS: most of my fiction consumption has been novels.) But it is not a microphone for Card’s views. Nor is it the kind of straight white male conservative bastion the Puppies seem to love so much. Schubert was not asked if he wanted to be on the Puppy slate; he does not applaud their tactics. And he does not agree with their bigotry.

Jim Hines posted recently against the polarization of the field, the sense that you have to “take sides” (and of course in that view there are only two sides, with no crossover or nuance or conflicting agendas). In the end, I think of my stories in IGMS, and my professional interactions with Schubert, as being a rejection of the notion of “sides.” As I told Schubert in email, I have no idea what his politics are, and I don’t care. Or perhaps it would be better to say: what matters to me about his politics is how they influence his professional behavior. I have seen no sign that he’s using his editorial position to promote bigotry; on the contrary, he deliberately crafted the sampler to be 50/50 men/women, and a quick glance shows me at least four non-white writers on the TOC. Nor has he been so publicly hateful that I can’t avoid knowing about it, a la Card. Could I judge him for keeping company with Card, for being willing to run a magazine that bears the name of a man who is so interested in hurting gay people? Sure. And I’m sure there are people out there who judge him in precisely that way. I can’t really fault them for that. But if I’d let that stop me back in 2011, IGMS wouldn’t have run a story about a bunch of second-generation D&D-style adventurers, one of whom happens to be a lesbian, getting into all kinds of trouble.

I don’t want to help build the echo chamber. I’d rather tear the walls down.

So that is where I stand. I haven’t sold IGMS anything since 2011, though I did send them one piece in 2012. Whether or not I send them anything else will depend on how much short fiction I manage to write, whether I think any of it fits with the magazine, and whether think I can sell it somewhere else that will pay me more — no offense to Mr. Schubert. :-) They aren’t my top market, but they aren’t off the list, either. And I’m happy to see “A Heretic by Degrees” included in the sampler, because I’m happy to be an example of what Schubert wants IGMS to stand for.

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

swan_tower: (*writing)

It’s that time of year, when authors round up what they did in the previous year for your consideration in awards.

Novel-wise, I had The Tropic of Serpents, the second of the Memoirs of Lady Trent. It made NPR’s “best of” list, in three different categories: Science Fiction Fantasy, Science and Society, and It’s All Geek to Me. The third book in the series is coming out in March — which is irrelevant to awards for 2014, but may be of interest to you all in other respects. :-)

Short fiction, I had four pieces:

“Mad Maudlin on Tor.com (read it online)

“Centuries of Kings” in Neverland’s Library, ed. Rebecca Lovatt and Roger Bellini

“Daughter of Necessity on Tor.com (read it online)

“The Damnation of St. Teresa of Avila” in Shared Nightmares, ed. Steve Diamond

The latter three are short stories, while the first one is a novelette, as such things get counted.

I also published Monstrous Beauty, but that’s a reprint collection of previously published work, so it isn’t eligible for anything that I’m aware of.

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

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