Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Cons, Cake, and Amphibious Cartography

Am I dead?  Is this... is this the afterlife?

Well, if I am, the heavenly gates look an awful lot like the hotel bar at the Heathrow Park Inn, and if I'm not, I should probably post an update.

So I just finished having a ruinously great time at EasterCon in London, where I met up with some of my very favorite people, found some new-favorite people, nominally contributed to the furtherance of SFF literature by mentoring at the writers' workshop, and blew through a month's worth of serotonin in four days.  It was just catastrophically fun.  Anybody want to spot me a couple grand so I can come back for FantasyCon in October?  Anyone?

Well, let's put a bookmark in that.  In the meantime, I am very happy to say that Medicine for the Dead is launching on Thursday here in the UK, and it is already doing great out on the World Wide Web!  Here are some of the online highlights from the past couple of weeks:

Mary Robinette Kowal's My FAVORITE BIT

The fantastic Mary Robinette Kowal has graciously hosted me for a full-on geek-out session at her blog, and this one's all about maps.  This is me nerding out about how we arrived at the inside map for the book, and all the cool epiphanies and neat worldbuilding that that project inspired.  (If you want to know what DIDN'T make the final version, or were wondering what that "Il On Échappe" label means, check this out!)


SFsignal Guest Post: Language Barriers in SFF

Okay, so this is the guest post I was most nervous about writing, and the topic I'm easily the most excited about.  Over at SFsignal, I've got a guest blog about all the awesomesweet stuff you can do with language barriers and translator characters in sci-fi and fantasy, and if you have any interest in that (or are just curious about how a Bulgarian interpreter can help you navigate your next erotic encounter with an alien buffalo-squid), you should definitely go see!


Ally Bishop's Upgrade Your Story Podcast - Episode 64

This was SUCH a fun time, y'all.  If you don't know, Ally is basically the Arch-Magus of Editing and the Supreme Queen of Online Socializing, and we had a total gas talking about the different paths to publication and what I've learned about how to promote and present yourself out in the real world (or at least as close as SFF conventions get to reality).  Definitely, definitely get on board with Ally - she is fun in a can, and the host with the most!


Heartfield Fiction: What I Learned About Writing From Cake

My friend and agency-sibling Kate Heartfield has a fantastic blog series called "Unlikely Influences", and I was so happy when she invited me to contribute. And let me tell you: in raw quantities of of love, fear, toil, and genius, writing is second only to cake. I put the piping bag down a few years ago, but all those sleep-deprived, frosting-smeared nights became retroactively worthwhile when it came time to spend a few thousand hours trying to prove that I had a story worth telling.

IndieReview Behind the Scenes - Weekend Edition!

The thing about Michelle Cornwall-Jordan and Jamie White is that they're basically drift-compatible Jaeger pilots, but for a kickass indie podcast instead of a giant kaiju-destroying robot.  (And they graciously let me in under the fence, even though I'm not technically indie :) )  We had an awesome time chatting about everything from fishmen feeding-frenzies to writing inspiration/advice, ostrich ragout, and oh god, I actually did tell the ketchup packet story.  Sorry, Mom.


GCE: It's 3:10 to Yuma Meets Fantasy

Okay, this last one's not any of my doing, but GeekChicElite put up SUCH an awesome review of Medicine for the Dead that I can't not share it with you.  GCE was where I got my very first review, back when Sixes came out last year: they have been so enthusiastic about the series from day one, and I've been so nervous about whether this second book would live up to the first, and it's just wonderful to see it so well received.

Actually, that goes for all of you guys, too.  Thank so you, so much for the reviews you've written, the Facebook updates you've posted, the books you've bought and the people you've told. Every lasting success is made up of hundreds or thousands of small, singular acts, and I so appreciate you acting on my behalf.

SIXES was like riding a new ride at the theme park. MEDICINE was like riding the same ride but at the front with your hair on fire.


  1. This was my third EasterCon and my fourth convention outside Norway (been going to cons in Norway since the 90's). For me they just get better, as I know more people for every year. I had a wonderful time! :-)

    1. ME TOO! I'm so glad I'm not the only one! If they do Helsinki in 2017, will you go to that one? Better question: are there any Norwegian cons that are Englishy enough for a monolingual slob like me?