From the Mailbag: The Unbearable Baggage of Orcing

Awhile back I got an email from a reader which asked, “When are you going to write some real fantasy, y’know, with orcs?” This is a paraphrase, because I didn’t get the reader’s permission to quote (I asked, no reply). But I’d say it’s pretty accurate as to its tone and implications, since the email went on to explain that the reader really really liked me and thought I was a good writer, but hated the fact that the stuff I write is labeled “epic fantasy” when it doesn’t resemble Tolkien much. In fact, the reader felt that this was …

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Gamefail bluescreen

Apologies, ya’ll. I know you haven’t heard much from me lately. Partly it’s that I’ve been busy; this is the time of year when my day job ratchets up, and since I’m still plowing full speed ahead on the UMSP, I don’t have a ton of spare brain. What little I’ve got has mostly been channeled into stress relief — hanging out with local folks, long meditative walks on snowy evenings, and among other things, gaming. But lately the gaming has been… shall we say, less than fun?

Tis the Season

Awards season, that is. Now that 2012 has passed into honored and unlamented history — happy New Year, everybody — people are looking back and thinking about what was best in the year, what was worst, and everything in between. And because I keep getting asked about it, here’s what I’ve got that’s eligible for awards consideration this year. It’s not much, alas; writing novels on deadline plus working a full time job has made me a much less prolific woman of late. Short Story Although I had a lot of reprints published this year, there was only one truly …

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Consent is Sexy

Writer Beth Bernobich started this, after hearing complaints that it’s somehow unsexy to seek or confirm consent during sex (or during fictional sex). So far she and Martha Wells have posted examples of sex scenes showing clear consent, so I figured I’d join in. Three posts make a meme, and all that. This one’s probably familiar to many of you; it’s from The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms. Consent was an ongoing theme of the relationship between Yeine and the god Nahadoth, in part because Nahadoth actually can’t do anything to her without her consent, and in part because Yeine is effectively …

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Holiday Gifts for Publishers

This is something I didn’t know about before I became a published author: it’s kind of traditional to give your publishers a gift at the holidays. I followed tradition unknowingly that first year after the Inheritance Trilogy was contracted, because in my day job life I’m a career counselor and I know it’s always a good idea to give gifts to people you’re doing business with, or who are professionally valuable to you. But lest this sound mercenary, I also just genuinely liked the folks at Orbit, and wanted to show them how pleased I was to be working with …

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“The Next Big Thing” Meme

Last week I got tagged by buddy Kate Elliott to participate in The Next Big Thing, a meme that’s been going around. I’m slow, so only just now doing it (d’oh). But this looks fun, so here goes. I think it’s meant to be filled out by someone who’s got a soon-forthcoming novel, but I’m going to treat this as a between-series snack and just talk about everything I’ve ever written. Cutting for brevity!

Fantastic Profanity

So today I’d like to talk about fantastic profanity — by which I mean not “really good” profanity, but “made up for fantasy and science fiction” profanity. Therefore this post will contain quite a bit of cussin’. FOR ART AND SCIENCE. You are warned. There are some words that are universally vulgar, in my opinion. I only speak 1.25 languages — English and just enough of a few other languages to mangle them all magnificently — but in my vast experience I haven’t yet found a language that doesn’t treat either the act or the product of defecation as something …

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Assorted Awesomeness

Sorry for the silence lately; holidays, travel, the usual. Back now and getting into the swing of things again, so here’s a little of what I’ve been up to: The folks at Open Road Media have created a series of advertisements for Octavia Butler’s novels, which are being released in ebook form at last now that it’s the 25th anniversary of Dawn — not her first novel, but arguably her first hit. (If you haven’t read the Lilith’s Brood books, read them. They’re my favorites of hers.) The first one came out a few months ago, showcasing Butler’s agent, some …

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Predators, the GOP, and you

People sick of American politics and American media, you might want to look away from this one. Or not. Also, I reserve the right to use copious profanity throughout this post… because it involves American politics and media. For various reasons on Sunday night — mostly having to do with the fact that I can’t beat that one hidden boss in the Dragon Age 2: Legacy DLC wtf why doesn’t Anders heal faster he’s so damn useless and seriously why is Sebastian even in this game — I found myself watching Predators (2010) on TV. I’d been vaguely interested in …

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More Awesome Compilations I’m In

I’ve been remiss in not talking about this one here, but I have to admit I’m a little disorganized and frankly I just forgot about it — until editor and anthologist extraordinaire John Joseph Adams reminded the world that this baby is out now: EPIC, the ultimate anthology of short-form epic fantasy, from some of the biggest names in the genre and also newbies like li’l ol’ me. Here’s the Table of Contents. Yeah, just bask in that for awhile. Then if you’re interested, it’s shipping already from Amazon and B&N in the US, and I suspect other retailers will …

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