Archive for February, 2012
SFFWRTCHT has always been a community thing and always an open forum. Unfortunately, I’ve had a couple of bad experiences in the past six months and been beaten up over moderation decisions I felt were necessary, so I feel a need to post a policy. I put in 20 hours a week or more unpaid to host and run and organize chat. I love doing it. But I don’t appreciate being disrespected. You don’t have to agree with me. But if you treat me like a bad guy for making decisions I need to make in best the interests of SFFWRTCHT, make no mistake about it, I am not going to tolerate it.
1) All SFFWRTCHT guests will be treated like honored guests in a personal home. You may express contrary opinions respectfully but if it turns into an argument or seems to be headed that way, I will feel free to ask you to cease and desist. I will nip it in the bud. If a guest misbehaves, I will also deal with that. They will probably not be invited back, but it is my place to deal with it.
2) SFFWRTCHT is for discussion of any and all interesting topics which are not going to involve bashing other people inside or outside the SFF community. This is NOT a forum for accusing people of racism, bigotry or other forms of stupidity. I will reserve the right to edit out objectionable material from transcripts, comments, etc. I will not apologize for this. As host, I have potential legal liability for anything you say and, more importantly, I will be held into account by others who may refuse to come on as guests or send me books, etc. in the future. They always have a right to say no but I don’t want to create an environment which encourages it.
3) SFFWRTCHT is a positive place. We can discuss tough issues but we are about encouraging and helping one another, not tearing one another down. Everything we do will be done with this goal in mind and I will deliberately push things in that direction as needed. Being guest-friendly is a big part of our success. There are plenty of other forums for the negative stuff. This isn’t one of them.
4) SFFWRTCHT will be family friendly. If cursing slips out, I won’t jump down your throat. I may edit the transcript or pull it from the culled interview when doing a Column. I reserve this right. Family friendliness also limits how we talk about certain topics. Sorry, but I have a broad audience of friends, followers and others who want to participate. I don’t want to chase them off. This doesn’t mean we can’t discuss difficult things but it does mean we need some policies for it.
5) SFFWRTCHT is not a democracy. But I welcome your input. As long as you respect that I founded this, I own the brand and I have the right to make ultimate decisions, fire away.
6) When SFFWRTCHT is live, it moves very quickly. I don’t always catch everything until I go back over transcripts. I miss nuances. If I feel things are getting out of hand, I reserve the right to ask people to tone it down or stop without explanation. I do not want to argue and I do not want to be beaten up. Understand that I may get it wrong or misread things sometimes but I am doing the best I can and I have listed the reasons for it here, so please respect that.
If we can all respect these policies (and each other), we should be able to get along swimmingly. Most of my regulars will recognize that I bend over backwards to make chat fun. This includes implementing a monthly round table at their request. It also includes organizing and even buying items for giveaways, finding interesting guests, etc. It also includes playing parent when I need to. I shouldn’t need to. We’re all adults. But I will if I have to. I don’t enjoy it.
Thanks for taking time to read. I hope articulating all of this helps you better understand my expectations and decisions and will help us avoid uncomfortable situations in the future.
Laura Kreitzer is a published fiction author who hails from western Kentucky. She once worked 9-5 in a lab devoted to water dye-tracing investigations at Western Kentucky University, but her passion was always writing.
The author of eight books in the Timeless and Summer Chronicles series, she also is a publisher working with both Revolution Publishing and Obsidian Mountain Publishing. Based in Kentucky, Laura is a big supporter of new and fellow authors. She can be found online at http://laurakreitzer.com on Twitter as @laurakreitzer or on Facebook.
Laura Kreitzer: From reading it. It’s always been my preferred genre in reading, movies, and TV. Writing is no different.
SFFWRTCHT: Who were some writers who inspired you as you discovered the genre?
LK: I’ve said this many times before, and it might seem silly or cliche, but J.K. Rowling has always been a huge inspiration for me. Not just her writing, but her life story. She is someone to look up to in more than one way.
SFFWRTCHT: It’s not silly. I’m sure lots of people admire her for her success and perserverance. When did you start writing seriously and how long until your first sale?
LK: I started writing original fiction I planned to publish in late 2009. Shadow of the Sun was that book. It was released in February 2010.
SFFWRTCHT: Did you study creative writing at all in school? How’d you learn your craft? View full article »
Congratulations to all the deserving Nebula Nominees from SFFWRTCHT!
Here’s the official SFWA release:
2011 Nebula Awards Nominees Announced
Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America is proud to announce the nominees for the 2011 Nebula Awards (presented 2012), the nominees for the Ray Bradbury Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation, and the nominees for the Andre Norton Award for Young Adult Science Fiction and Fantasy Book.
- Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)
- Embassytown, China Miéville (Macmillan UK; Del Rey; Subterranean Press)
- Firebird, Jack McDevitt (Ace Books)
- God’s War, Kameron Hurley (Night Shade Books)
- Mechanique: A Taleof the Circus Tresaulti, Genevieve Valentine (Prime Books)
- The Kingdom of Gods, N.K. Jemisin (Orbit US; Orbit UK)
- “Kiss Me Twice,” Mary Robinette Kowal (Asimov’s Science Fiction, June 2011)
- “Silently and Very Fast,” Catherynne M. Valente (WFSA Press; Clarkesworld Magazine, October 2011)
- “The Ice Owl,” Carolyn Ives Gilman (The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, November/December 2011)
- “The Man Who Bridged the Mist,” Kij Johnson (Asimov’s Science Fiction, October/November 2011)
- “The Man Who Ended History: A Documentary,” Ken Liu (Panverse Three, Panverse Publishing)
- “With Unclean Hands,” Adam-Troy Castro (Analog Science Fiction and Fact, November 2011)
Novelette View full article »
by Patty Jansen
Great. Another how-to post. The internet is full of them. Judging by the popularity of books like Novel-writing for Dummies and 12 Things Not To Include in Your Novel’s First Chapter, people seem to love being told what to do. As if writing a book is a paint-by-numbers thing that guarantees success once you’ve ticked all the boxes.
Let me describe my novel-writing process.
Stage 1: I write random crap into a file. Anything goes. It doesn’t have to follow the previous scene. I can be a rewrite of the previous scene. As soon as I hit a block, I press control-enter and start a new page. I set myself an arbitrary goal, usually 1000 words a day that I must add to the novel. Usually, I write a lot more than that, but I find that higher limits actually discourage production.
Stage 2: I sort out all these scenes and half-scenes into storyline order. This would be the stage at which I’d write a synopsis, if I needed one. I may end up having several goes and versions of the storyline, but in the end, I’ll have a file that has the scenes more or less in order, albeit sometimes written in the wrong POV character or in the wrong setting.
Stage 3: polish, polish, polish.
It’s chaotic, and in the middle I may not see the wood for the trees. Now, what is so unusual about this method?
Nothing. It’s chaotic. I has a let’s-throw-wet-spaghetti-at-the-wall-and-see-what-sticks element about it. It’s not particularly efficient, but it’s mine. It cannot be found in any how-to books, but it is how my process has developed in the course of writing many novels, and it works. I’m a pantser at heart, and rigid outlines written prior to the storytelling bore to death. I also recognise that at some stage, you need to bring structure into a novel, and adhere to it, or the novel will forever meander between directions you could possibly take with it. Say after me: there are a thousand different things I could still do with my novel, but does that mean I have to do them? View full article »
The bold beginning told me every thing I needed to know about why I was going to like this book. Myers quickly immerses us in the characters, who in turn usher us through an increasingly complex and fast-paced plot. We learn soon enough that the so-called magic coin is actually a device created to transport its users through the multiverse of “Fair Coin,” meaning that each alternate reality that Ephraim has seen has remained behind him in his selfish quest for a more perfect life. This revelation plunges us into a cold sea of consequences, where problems cannot be wished away, death is still permanent, and the mere flip of a coin may be the difference between reparation and destruction.
“Fair Coin” reminds me why it is that I have a soft spot for multiverses. Rather than just a convenient plot device, the multiverse concept in “Fair Coin” explores its characters and their choices by contrasting each character against other versions of themselves. These foils within foils bring out a nature versus nurture issue with a slight focus on the nurture aspect. “Fair Coin” shows how a hard life changes people, yet at the same time, each character has that thread of personality in common with all their selves to round out the nature side of the equation. The result is that each character, rather than being diminished by the existence of endless copies of themselves, is instead held to a higher standard of uniqueness. It is, after all, their divergent choices which separate each from his or her other selves.
I recommend this book to any one interested in a character-driven science fiction young adult novel. The science is not overly technical because Myers does an excellent job explaining the Many Worlds Interpretation, which I was pleased to see included universes where time is slower or faster than in our own, as well as a hint of worlds even more divergent. The plot also will not disappoint. Taking advantage of the endless landscape of a multiverse, “Fair Coin” will make you feel like you are following the white rabbit to a particularly dangerous game of croquet.
Visit E. C. Myers’ website at http://ecmyers.net/ to find out more about “Fair Coin,” the upcoming sequel Quantum Coin, and his impressive array of published short fiction. You can also find him on twitter @ecmyers . Star Trek fans should check out his OS re-watch reviews at http://www.theviewscreen.com/
Michelle writes short fiction of all speculative fiction genres in between chasing her toddler from tree to tree. The shorter the work, the better, because 200 words looks very long on her cellphone and that keypad is very, very small. You can find out more about her rabid love of Star Trek, podcasting, and raising future geeklings at her blog, wakingdreamsblog.blogspot.com
Reviewed by Bryan Thomas Schmidt
An amazing debut with fun, well drawn characters, strong plotting and well written action sequences, good use of culture and invention. A delightful read, but not one of those fantasies that’s so long or involved anyone would hesitate to make the investment.
The story of a ghul hunter, his dervish apprentice and their friends taking on a gruesome magical threat to the Crescent Moon kingdoms, this is tightly, concisely written with a good flow and very enjoyable as a gateway to a new writer or into sword and sorcery or Arabic fantasy for anyone new to it.
The magical elements and themes fit well within the Arabic cultural fantasy world, Ahmed weaves together seemlessly with a blend of fact and fiction. His switches POV characters flawlessly as well for such a short novel and therefore develops all of his major characters more richly and deeply than many other novelists might even for such a short book.
His transitions between chapters and characters are seamless and they often provide just the right insight to keep the story moving forward in both pace, plot and character arc.