Tuesday, December 31, 2013

"The Bridge of Lok-Altor" in SQ Magazine

One last short story publication to round out 2013. "The Bridge of Lok-Altor" is quite an older story, one I initially wrote almost a decade ago. In fact, I believe it was around the same time that I wrote "Scolyard's 'The Constructs Foresee Their Doom,'" which was published this past summer and has an entirely different aesthetic.

When I was an undergrad, a local publisher came to a writing class I was taking, and one of the things she said stuck with me. She said that every story begins with a stranger--either the stranger is our main character or the stranger comes to disrupt things where our character is. That stranger need not be human--it could just as well be an idea or a technology or whatever, but it's always the stranger that begins things.

So I remember that being at the front of my mind when I started writing this (several years later). Where would a stranger be the last thing you'd expect? This island that has deliberately removed itself from the world was what came of that question, and the story came from that, very traditional fantasy feel in some ways with glimmers and hints of deeper oddness.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Faux ad #3

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all who celebrate any or all of them. Spire City has its own celebrations, of course, at different times of the year, including this one:

(See the earlier posts for an explanation of these pretend ads)

Friday, December 20, 2013

The Electro-Addictive Moth-Flame release day!

Today is the release day for my Darkside Codex novella

"Addiction and mad science come together beneath the poisonous Dark Cloud of Southwatch"

 The city of Southwatch is plagued by a poisonous cloud that cuts the city in two, vertically. Beneath the Cloud, Mellia fixes the gas masks and filters that are necessary to survive the foul air.

There should be an interview coming up sometime on the Darkside Codex blog, as well as other little tidbits about the story and about working in a shared world in future posts here.

Note that this is not a Spire City story at all. It's secondary world, fantasy steampunk, which does tie them together in a way, but it stands completely alone separate from that. And quite separate from the other Darkside Codex stories that will continue to be released, though hopefully there's some good synergy there among them all.

In addition to the publisher, you can purchase this ebook from Barnes & NobleAmazon, and Smashwords (and likely others to be added later).

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My post at Nyki's blog

In our blog swapping, my post has now appeared over at Nyki's blog as well.

What's in a Genre - The Treason of Memory

Today my friend Nyki Blatchely is guest blogging with us. He's the author of, among many things, the novella "The Treason of Memory," published by Musa. He has a blog where he frequently posts in depth pieces about writing in general and secondary world fantasies in particular.

What's in a Genre? The Treason of Memory
Nyki Blatchley

There are certain very predictable questions writers get asked about their stories. The top one has to be "What's it about?" and I sometimes succumb to the temptation to give that one to the traditional answer — "It's about three hundred pages." Another common question, though, especially from fellow-writers, is "What genre is it?"

Genres are both useless and essential. Ideally, every story that makes any attempt to be original (whatever precisely that means) should be its own unique genre, a blend of concepts and techniques that no-one's ever achieved before in the history of fiction. It should climb out of the well-worn rut and strike off down the road less travelled by. It should be the story by which later, lesser stories define themselves.

Even if this is actually possible, though, a story like that could have difficulty getting published. While editors and agents, not to mention readers, don't normally want clich├ęd fiction, it's better if they can define what a story is. Even if it's not simple, they want to be able to say, "This is a blend of sword & sorcery and urban fantasy, with a touch of steampunk in the middle. Ah, yes, I have just the place for that."

This means that, in practice, an author needs to put thought into what it is they're writing — or, preferably, what it is they've just written. I had this issue with The Treason of Memory, published last December by Musa Publishing. I didn't have any preconception, when I started writing, "what kind of story" it would be. This was partly because it started as a one-hour writing exercise, so I was just writing what came into my head as quickly as I could. In fact, the scene I wrote in that hour ended up "on the cutting-room floor", though it's referenced in conversation, but it set the tone and plot for the whole long piece I eventually wrote.

It wasn't till I'd finished that I started trying to define it. One way of describing a story is to compare it to something else — most fantasy novels used to be "in the tradition of Lord of the Rings", although publishers have found other models to play with now. Consequently, I came up with the description that The Treason of Memory is a cross between Conan, The Three Musketeers and The Bourne Identity.

But what exactly does that mean in terms of genre? It has a hero fighting against ancient evil, as in sword & sorcery. It has intrigue, rapiers and flintlocks, like a historical swashbuckler (though have you noticed how rarely the Musketeers actually fire muskets?). And it has the twists and turns, the paranoia and the low-life of a modern spy thriller whose hero doesn't drink martinis shaken, not stirred.

It's broadly part of a genre usually called flintlock fantasy, but this tends to refer particularly to a more epic style of fantasy, with seventeenth century technology being used for quests and major wars. Not to a more intimate, single-adventure approach, nor to a dark, urban feel. So what would be a more precise genre for this?

My first thought was flintlockpunk. The story certainly has a lot of the "punk" aspects (the paranoia, and the blend of high politics and low-life) but it lacks the retro-futuristic aspect. The pistols are just pistols, not some super-developed form of flintlock weapon, and the society isn't a historical one anyway, but an other-world culture that shares many features with late-seventeenth or early-eighteenth century Europe.

I abandoned that label, although it did more recently inspire me to write a "flintpunk" story, perhaps best described as a dystopian equivalent of the Flintstones. I thought I might actually have invented a genre there, but a bit of research showed that there's a similar, though rare, genre called stonepunk.

What I've settled on for The Treason of Memory is flintlock and sorcery. While this doesn't quite cover the gritty, urban aspect of the story, it does suggest that the story is essentially a traditional piece of adventure fantasy, but in a setting and a stage of civilisation not usually associated with that kind of fiction.

That's an approach I'm increasingly coming to enjoy, by the way, applying traditional fantasy styles to a less explored period of my fantasy world's development, although I still enjoy writing in my "comfort zone" (roughly resembling a cross between Classical Greece and Renaissance Europe). Besides the flintlock period, I've covered a Victorian-style era, an early twentieth century equivalent, and even "contemporary" other-world fantasy, complete with computers and mobile phones. Maybe someday I'll take my fantasy world into space.

So what does this genre-defining actually achieve, besides giving me one difficult question I'm able to answer about The Treason of Memory? Most importantly, I suppose, it helps me to define what I was trying to do with this story, and to measure to what extent I've succeeded.

It could also help me if I try this particular approach again — which I might. Although The Treason of Memory ends conclusively enough, it's set up so that a sequel (or even a series) isn't entirely out of the question. I may not ever write them, but if I do, at least I'll know what I'm supposed to be writing. Flintlock and sorcery.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Episode 2, Batan's Caper

Episode 2 is available today!

There's a bit of an episode-1 spoiler in the description of episode 2. So fair warning if that kind of thing bothers you, make sure you finish reading episode 1 first. Not much of a spoiler--the title of episode 1 always made it clear that someone was going to get infected. So now as the band deals with this new infection, Batan realizes they need some sort of distraction, and two wealthy brothers who are looking for workers in the neighborhood prove just the right kind of distraction. With Williver's help, he comes up with a con game that could earn the band a good deal of money, if all goes well. All never goes well...

Available again from Musa, Amazon, and B&N. I'm told there are more online bookstores coming, but because of how they work, some take longer to post, and some will have to wait until the full season is available.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Seven Ways of Bringing Down the Regime

As I mentioned yesterday, the new (and final) issue of Electric Velocipede is out now and available from Amazon, B&N, and Weightless.

There will be a mini interview of sorts showing up online at some point where I talk about the story a bit. I mention the painting The Third of May by Goya as an inspiration for the story. Here's that painting:

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A second faux ad from Spire City

In honor of Electric Velocipede's final issue coming out today (more on that in another post later today or else tomorrow), here's a Spire City velocipede.
This is the second in a series of in-world ads I designed for fun a few years ago, using grunge fonts and free-to-use clip art. So picture this running in the center of the column of a cheaply printed newspaper. It's the scene break between when Chels leaves the train-yard and newly arrived beetles and when she arrives in the dark room of the Weave to speak with Marrel. Or perhaps one of the scene breaks in episode 2, which comes out on Friday, when we go from Batan's scheming to Williver's acting out his role in the group's latest caper.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The first Darkside Codex novel

My Darkside Codex novella doesn't come out until the end of next week, but remember that it's a shared world, so there are other novels and novellas coming out as well that flesh out the city and the surrounding land. Being among the first writers to play in the Southwatch playground, my story will help define the setting for future writers, which is a lot of fun to imagine.

But I can say more about that later. For now, the thing I wanted to mention is that the first novel has come out, Storm Angel by C. A. Chevault. It looks like it takes a very different look at the city, which is of course the idea with a shared world like this. You can check out updates on the Darkside Codex blog, including information on the first book and an interview with the author.

My novella will be the second release, and I know of one more that's currently in the editing process. So those three will form the first wave of stories with future releases building on them. It will be fun to watch how it goes from there.

Friday, December 06, 2013

Meet Orgood, the Wizard of Piley Court

We're at the midpoint between episode 1's release and episode 2's. "Batan's Caper" comes out next, but in the meantime, here's another introduction to a character within the story.

Orgood isn't mentioned in episode 1. He hovers in the background, but his name isn't mentioned until episode 2, and he becomes a larger presence throughout the course of the series.

Orgood is first an inventor, a Thomas Edison sort of person, but with a strongly amoral streak to his pursuit of new inventions. His work has had a huge impact on Spire City over the past decades, with new steam engines and clockwork constructs transforming life for many in the city. He's seen as a wonder worker, called the Wizard of Piley Court because of the location of his laboratory. He isn't as wealthy as he maybe could be, but he's certainly wealthy by the standards of Chels & gang, and he moves among high society and is welcomed even by the most exclusive, old-wealth sorts who live on the bluff overlooking Spire City's harbor.

Twenty years or so before the story begins, some of those super wealthy people were fretting about the numbers of poor people coming to live in the city. The industrial revolution, not least because of Orgood's own inventions that allowed for rapid changes in the factories of the city, drew in many people from the countryside inland from Spire City and from other nations as well. From what these rich people saw, though, too many of them weren't working. The numbers of beggars and immigrants were too much. What could you do, though? You couldn't just go around shipping them off somewhere.

That was when Orgood had his idea. When rats became a problem, no one complained that you couldn't kill them. They just hired more rat catchers. What if he could find a way to target those people who weren't working in the factories or other productive jobs, and simply turn them into common pests? The rat catchers and other vermin hunters would have more work, and the infestation would ease up quickly. In theory. A dozen years after the first infections, the serum he created has never worked perfectly, so Chels and those like her might survive for years after infection instead of turning quickly into animals. And no matter how many people they cleared off the streets, factory closings and the realities of the industrial revolution mean there are always more people who end up on the streets, offending the senses of the wealthy elite.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Faux ads from Spire City

One of the images I've always had in mind as I worked on the Spire City episodes is of them actually appearing in period newspapers or magazines, like Dickens' novels. So, several years ago, as I was working on initial edits for season 2 of Spire City, I amused myself by throwing together ads that would appear in the same newspaper as the episodes. They were supposed to look hastily designed and somewhat distressed, so it was fun to combine various grunge fonts and free clip art, sometimes admittedly haphazardly, into period ads.

Over the coming weeks, I'll be posting a bunch of them, perhaps one a week. There's already been the PSA warning from the city over at the Spire City page ever since I put that up. Here's a second one:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Spire City unleashed on the world!

Today is release day! Series premiere!

You can order it in pdf, epub, or mobi straight from the publisher, or from Amazon or Barnes & Noble. It's possible there will be other online bookstores added later, but those are the ones I've found so far. So put it on that new Nook you got for cheap or read it on your phone while you wait in line for some crazy deal. But no need to brawl to get this $.99 price.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Meet Chels

Next in our series of posts about Spire City is the protagonist Chels. I see the Spire City characters as an ensemble cast in many ways. Each has his or her own reaction to being infected (or in some cases to the infections of others), and each has her or his own arc over the course of the seasons...or as long as they survive. If there's one central character, though, it's Chels. Her arc is central to the story as a whole, even when others dominate a given episode.

At the beginning of the first season, Chels is a young teen orphan. Her mother immigrated to Spire City from another country, so Chels grew up among the Neshini immigrants. Whether her father was also Neshini or not, Chels never knew, though she overheard enough to suspect he wasn't. Her mother was always coy on the matter. Like many of the Neshini women, Chels's mother worked as a seamstress, worked herself to death in fact, trying to fill the never-ending orders for needlework.

The one man she's known as a sort of father figure is Derran, a spire singer. His entire life he spends chained to his spire, yet somehow her mother knew him and had become his friend. She's never quite dared to come out and ask him directly if he is her father or not.

After her mother's death, Chels could have stayed among the Neshini and been cared for, but she didn't feel like she belonged there. She'd never seen Nesh and didn't even really speak the language well. She tried to make it on her own for a while, afraid of a rumored new serum that was infecting people like her and nearly starving. After a few months, she joined up with a group of people, most of them infected with the deadly serum, who'd banded together and lived in an abandoned shop they called the Weave.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

An introduction to the city

We are traveling for a few days here. (A book tour? Sure, we'll call it that, if there were any sense in doing a book tour during the week before our release date.) While I'm away I'm hoping to post a couple of things about the people and places of Spire City.

The city itself is the place to begin. As far as most people believe, Spire City takes its name from its architecture, with a spire towering over every few blocks. True as far as it goes, but the spires themselves were inspired by a natural formation that predates the first people to settle here. On the north side of the river, five towers of stone and metal ore rise even over the human-built spires, like the fingers of some vast subterranean being.

Spire City is a city of steam-powered wonders. Steamships fill the harbor, and clockwork factories construct the city's goods. In the streets, steam cars vie with the traditional carriages, pulled by teams of giant beetles. In the skies, winged beetles pull taxis in and out among the spires.

These wonders are built on darker secrets. Factory work destroys many lives, not least the children forced to work among the pipes and presses. Immigrants from the countryside and other lands find that the industrial promise of the city doesn't hold true for them. Trained singers are chained to the peaks of the spires, forced to live above the city and sing all day long. Their voices guide the beetle teams. And the newest threat is the one of infection, a deadly serum invented by a scientist in the city that turns those infected with it into animals.

This is the nature of the city in which Chels and he rest of our cast of characters struggle to survive. Next time I will introduce Chels herself.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cover art for Darkside Codex novella too!

In all the focus on Spire City, it's easy to lose track of the upcoming release of the novella I wrote for the Darkside Codex shared world, "The Electro-Addictive Moth Flame." But that's coming out in just over a month as well, and now we have cover art:

Looks great, in my admittedly biased opinion. I'm working through the edits on this right now, and looking forward to it coming out on December 20.

Spire City blurb

We are getting ever closer to the release of episode 1. Episodes 1 and 2 are completely ready with cover art and blurbs and all that, and episode 3 should be finalized fairly soon. There is one scheduling change. We had originally planned to release an episode every 3 weeks, but Musa had so many things scheduled for December 20th that we bumped up the release date for episode 2 to December 13. So the wait between episodes 1 and 2 won't be quite as long. After that, we'll return to the every-three-week schedule we'd been planning on.

I'm hoping over the next week or so to get some more posts up about the characters and about Spire City itself. For now, here's the blurb for the full season:

Spire City is home to mighty machines of steam power and clockwork, and giant beetles pull picturesque carriages over cobbled streets, but there is a darker secret behind these wonders. A deadly infection, created by a mad scientist, is spreading through the city, targeting the poor and powerless, turning them slowly into animals. A group of those infected by the serum join together to survive, to trick the wealthy out of their money, and to fight back.

And specific to episode 1, "A New Infection":

Chels is an immigrant girl who has found a home among the infected, though she is still healthy. She watches new beetles arrive by train and does her part to help the band find food and allies within the city. Infection, though, is always a danger...for her and every one who chooses to help.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cover art!

Our cover art has been finalized, and here it is:

Figuring out where to put all the info--season title, episode title, etc.--made for a lot of back and forth. We've thrown around both using the same exact art and using subtle shifts in the art over the course of the season, so I'm not sure which direction we'll be going with that, but regardless it will all maintain a similar feel throughout.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Finessing the pilot episode

By which I mean, we've been working on the edits for the first episode of Spire City, Infected. The first few episodes already, actually. The plan is to stay at least a full month ahead on the final edits, and we're working on pace to stay well ahead of that target for now. The process is going great--I'm thrilled with the suggestions and edits I'm getting to really make these episodes shine (in their grungy, Victorian-era street-orphan way). (Note to self: grungy, Victorian-era street-orphan [whatever] is a great phrase I ought to use more often.) The pilot episode will pack its punch in a much more polished and immersive way.

On a tangent of interest only to some of you...but for the record, when switching between Open Office (which I use) and Microsoft Office (which the various editors at Musa have been using), .rtf formats aren't ideal. They work fine with track changes, but Open Office apparently doesn't play nicely with comments in .rtf files. But as long as we save our documents in .doc format, then we're good to go. So if collaborating with others is why you've hesitated to dump Microsoft Office or other program suites you have to buy, here's my plug for switching to open source Open Office.

Of more interest, we have cover art! Not finalized, so I can't share it here quite yet. Soon, though, we should be able to reveal the cover for Spire City, Infected; Season one; episode 1: "A New Infection." It's getting close, folks!

Sunday, November 03, 2013

"The Immigrant Looks Back" in Songs of Eretz

Part of having a poem in this zine is writing up a bit about the poem itself, so I won't add any more about it here. But go check out the third issue of Songs of Eretz for my poem and a bunch of others.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

"The Letter Hidden in the Alphabet" published

The new issue of Bourbon Penn has just gone live, including my story "The Letter Hidden in the Alphabet."

I can pinpoint two inspirations for this story. The first is a kids book I saw at the library called There's a Monster in the Alphabet by James Rumford. As soon as I saw the title, the opening of this story came to me--of course there's a monster hidden in the alphabet! What a perfect image. Then I opened the book and found it was one of those times when you think you know what the book will be about, and when it turns out to be something quite different, you're glad because then it can mean you get to write that story instead.

The other point of inspiration is Italo Calvino, and especially his stories in t-zero and Cosmicomics. The narrator of those takes scientific and historical facts and theories and then recounts those events literally, often with a wide-eyed yet matter-of-fact tone. So I took that image of a hidden something within the alphabet and made that hidden letter into a narrator who recounts the history of the alphabet from a similar viewpoint.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Reposting my #WorldAsh serial

Several years ago I had great fun crafting a story in Twitter-sized chunks. There's a puzzle-solving sort of fun to trying to tweak each tweet so that it's interesting in itself while also moving the overall story along. The story, #WorldAsh, appeared in the wonderful (if short-lived) Twitter zine Thaumatrope, appearing one to two tweets each day for a month.

Now admittedly, Twitter is not something I use a lot, but looking back through my bibliography as I was updating in the other week, I decided it would be fun to repost the story, this time to my own Twitter account, @ausema. Now when I originally wrote the story, I used a few opening tweets to establish the character as a picaresque sort of person: young, somewhat naive, a bit of a rogue, overestimating his own talents. The editor didn't think those were necessary, so we ran the story without. Those aspects were in my mind throughout the story, and I think they come through to a certain extent in the rest of the tweets, but I'm not sure how clearly.

Maybe it was the right choice anyway, but I decided to incorporate those original opening tweets this time. So for the past few days I've been adding one tweet each day. Feel free to follow me, or just read only the #WorldAsh ones without actually following. There are just a few days to catch up on, and then you can follow along throughout the next month or so as the story develops.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Short story in Perihelion SF

My story "To Hunt a Sky Eel" is in the latest issue of Perihelion SF, which went live this past weekend.

This story really started inside another story. A couple of years ago I set myself a challenge of writing a far future, interplanetary sort of science fiction story. I had some thoughts, but it really stalled out for a while, until I read a few works by Samuel R. Delaney. Something in those stories made me decide to take a different approach, and the story unfolded beautifully. Or at least, I thought so...though that story hasn't been accepted anywhere yet.

In working through that story, I had at one point come up with the image of these sky eels, floating gracefully and in their full sense-of-wonder-ness through the air. I loved the image and some of the ideas I had to build on that...but it just didn't end up fitting in that story. All that remained was a single reference to them as a part of the planet where the story ends up. So last year I came back and decided to write a sort of companion piece to that, taking place on the same distant world but giving the sky eels more space and development.

On a tangential note, I've now fully updated my bibliography page here on the blog, including the link to this story and all the stories and poems that have been published since I last updated it (probably a year and a half ago or so...). It will be out of date again within a few weeks, unless I manage to actually continue updating it...

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

"Winter on Mars" poem in the current issue of Space & Time

Just what the heading says: "Winter on Mars" in issue #119 of this long-running magazine. Until the next issue comes out, the link is here.

It's fun timing to reread this poem (and another that should be coming out shortly) right now: I'm reading Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars, which fits in perfectly with these two poems that are both set on Mars.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spire City to be published by Musa

This has been brewing for a little while now, but with all the contracts signed and plans starting to take shape, I can announce that Musa will be publishing my serial fiction project, Spire City. I blogged about this project in very general terms several years ago when I first started working on it, and even as I've set it aside to work on other novels, I've often found my mind wandering back to its streets. So a couple of weeks ago I decided to pitch it to Musa, and now here we are.

So what's it about? I'll have plenty more about it in the coming weeks, but basically Spire City is a steampunk city with beetle-drawn carriages and singers chained to the tops of the ubiquitous spires. A mad scientist invents a serum that targets the city's poor and indigent, turning them slowly into animals. I'll write more in the future about Chels and the other characters who live here, most of them infected and without hope of healing, but determined nonetheless to fight back against the mad scientist and all those who support him, as long as their bodies let them.

Look for Spire City: Infected, season 1, episode 1 to be published in late November.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Simon Says and Hometown Hero

Poking my head out of the bunker to mention a pair of recent stories that were published.

First, in July Every Day Fiction published my flash story "Hometown Hero, Gone for Good." This was, like many of my stories, one that began as a one-hour writing exercise. I forget the exact prompt, though I think whoever posted it used the words "gone for good" somehow within the prompt (whether or not that was intended as the actual prompt). So it was fun to riff on those words for a bit.

Second, just a couple of days ago, Unlikely Stories published its archaeology-themed issue, the Journal of Unlikely Archaeology, including my story "Three Adventures of Simon Says, the Elder." It's one of those stories I find great fun to reread, even after all the writing and revising that's gone into it. An oddball story, no doubt. I wrote it back when I had some vague ideas in mind for the novel that would be Descent of Balloons. Not quite ready to dive into the novel, I decided to try a short story, to help establish some things and give the setting some more time to bop around my subconscious. At the same time I was reading some old Uncle Wiggly stories from the library to my kids, and each of the stories ended with these little refrain-sort of things ("and if the skeesix hasn't found him, I expect he's there still" or something). So I took the narrative tone of those children stories and found that it added just the right touch to the mixture of whimsy and darkness that was in the story. It would be another year before I started writing that novel, and it takes place several centuries after the time of Simon Says.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Scolyard's "The Constructs Foresee Their Doom" in Three-Lobed Burning Eye

A bit late with this, but the new issue of Three-Lobed Burning Eye went live last week, and includes this story, set in the city of Boskrea. This story was a long time in seeing print. I wrote the initial draft when I was still living in Michigan, as I realized when I was going through some old papers recently, which makes it early 2005. It was my first story set in Boskrea (a much more recently written story that takes place long after "Scolyard" appeared in Penumbra's dreams issue last summer, "A Dream of the City's Future" and a Boskrea poem is forthcoming in Nameless, and there are quite a few others awaiting a home). It was frequently praised by editors...but always "not quite right for our publication" or something along those lines.

So naturally, I'm thrilled to see it in print, and if you take a look at that table of contents, I feel like it's in very good company. You can read the issue for free online or order a .pdf from the site. Enjoy!

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Dissolution of Society

So apparently, according to Fox News commentators yesterday, my lifestyle is a contributing factor in the decline of civilization.

Why is this, you ask? Something to do with sexual orientation? No. Religious beliefs or practices? Criminal activity? Illicit drugs? No, no, no. Politics? No...well, probably that too, from their perspective, but that's not the point here. It's that as a stay-at-home dad, I am part of the 40% of US households in which the primary breadwinner is a female.


There's a video clip and a transcription of part of the exchange at TPM.

I mean, who knew? A healthy, egalitarian relationship based on mutual respect, one in which our roles are complementary not based on some pseudo-science of what roles gender is supposed to play but based on our actual, individual talents, abilities, and interests...what kind of message are we sending here? How awful.

Is my situation not what they have in mind in their screeds? It's possible that for some of them, they're picturing something different, with uninvolved dads or something they are equally opposed to. If so, the fact that they base their outrage on those other images without even having the imagination to recognize that there might be perfectly healthy and positive reasons in many of those families...well, it should call into question their ability to analyze things in general. That's clearly not the case with this Erickson guy, though. He's incensed that anyone would challenge traditional gender roles and not accept his interpretation of how families ought to be. By his estimation, I'm anti-science and according to his later update, have my panties in a wad. Well...no, my boxers are perfectly comfy, and while I'm definitely anti-pseudo-science and anti-false-science and anti-nonsense, I am not anti-science at all. If your goal is to create another 40% block of people from across the political spectrum who would hesitate to support a candidate that you support, though, well done.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Story in Miscellanea Library

My story (ish) "The Delicacies and Delights of Boskrean Cuisine" is up today at Miscellanea. If you dig around the Library a bit (something I definitely recommend doing), it'll be clear that this was written specifically for the Library. The concept of Miscellanea is that these are excerpts from books that you can imagine existing, which leads to great Borges-tinted whimsy. So I took the Boskrea setting--which I've used for a number of stories, including "A Dream of the City's Future" in last summer's Penumbra and the forthcoming story in 3LBE and poem in Nameless--and just did something fun and whimsical to go in the Library.

(Probably worth apologizing for no posts for a while, though I don't want to make a habit of blogging about blogging... Suffice it to say that our now-four-month-old is demanding more of my time than either of his siblings did at this age. I expect posts to continue to be highly sporadic for the time being.)