AMAZING NEWS: 3/7/21

New releases; Batman infographic, Worldcon Bids and – MONSTERS UNLEASHED! Plus MD Jackson art and Hagfish Slime!

WORLDCON 2023 BIDS ANNOUNCED.  Do not vote for Chengdu

DUST offers a documentary on Afrofuturism (which is distinct from African Futurism)

Space Hotel!

Jane Yolen:  400 Books

Who needs CGI when Nature does THIS?

If it had been a prequel, would it have been titled District 8?  Script writing of District 10 announced.

…and we think we have troubles finding original pulp magazine issues:  Why there is no original camera negative of Citizen Kane 

Thank Goodness!   “Lab Grown” black holes “behave the way they should”

Re-writing the history of women scientists

A Quiet Revolution komes to Kindle

Scifiradio reports that two SF properties have been nominated for Visual Effects.  (Ummm, ok?)

A cartoon aptly capturing convention panel hell

I ranted about this the other day:  A Mathematical Model for a Real Warp Drive

Boycott of Amazon in support of Unionizing workers starts today

Crystal Lake Publishing announces the anthology Classic Monsters Unleashed and a Kickstarter project to support it

Martian Landing Zone names for Octavia Butler

New Gods War chapter from Ryk E. Spoor

Michael Dean Jackson Art Gallery

Yes, it IS Canon:  Star Trek:  TAS

Warning for readers:  Do Not read prior to eating:  Hagfish Slime

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FROM OVER THE TRANSOM

Here’s what you’ll find in this month’s newsletter:

Your feedback and questions are welcome. Just reply to any newsletter.

Free February Read: Radio Nowhere

Radio Nowhere coverValentine’s Day is past, but we’re still in February, so this month’s free ebook is a love story, albeit a very different one.

“Radio Nowhere” (yes, another Springsteen title) first appeared in the anthology, Campus Chills, way back in 2009. My friend and fellow writer, Mark Leslie (aka Mark Lefebvre) was editing the antho and invited me to submit a story.

The book was a joint effort by four Canadian universities: McMaster, the University of Alberta, Dalhousie, and my own alma mater, the University of Waterloo. The antho’s theme was simple: scary stories set on Canadian university campuses (although my tale is more weird than scary).

The other contributors included Kelly Armstrong, Julie Czerneda, James Alan Gardner, and Nancy Kilpatrick, and I was thrilled to be included with this array of Canadian talent. The antho did well, and “Radio Nowhere” was a finalist for Canada’s Aurora Award.

Not only that, but Campus Chills became required reading in a third-year English course “Horror in Literature” at Hilbert College in New York state, along with DraculaFrankenstein, and the works of Poe. Pretty good company!

Researching “Radio Nowhere” let me get access to some cool places at U of Waterloo, including a tour of the campus radio station and a walk-through of the infamous steam tunnels that run beneath the campus from one end to the other. Here’s a blog I did at the time about some of that research, complete with photos.

Perhaps for this one, some trigger warnings are in order. The story contains a fair bit of the f-word by one character as well as the consumption of large amounts of marijuana. Hey, I wanted “campus authentic.”

If you want, you can listen to the audio version of this story while you read along in the ebook, as this story was featured on the excellent podcast magazine, Escape Pod, back in 2011.

The story: On the anniversary of his wife’s death, Liam makes a startling discovery. The particle accelerator experiments he is conducting for the university are capable of opening a window back in time.

Can he tune that window to the night his wife died? Can he actually go back in time to save her?

But what of the strange radio broadcasts he keeps hearing? Broadcasts warning that changing the past could produce a very dark future for the world—or no future at all.

How much will Liam risk to bring back the only woman he ever loved?

“A very human story of a man hung up on the past for far too long, and a woman who can’t make him realize her true feelings. … The resolution is a key moment of personal growth for our protagonist, and that’s really what I ask for in a story.” —Scientifically Bookish

“A great story, that connects [the reader} with the emotional pain and trauma [of the characters].” —Contemplating the Cosmos

Download your free ebook copy of the story here.

REVIEWS HELP AUTHORS!
These free stories are my “thank you” for subscribing. If you enjoyed this story, please post a review for this story on Amazon or Goodreads.

Writing News

Drawn image of a quill Update on The Dream Rider trilogy: I’ve found a story level editor for my work-in-progress urban fantasy trilogy, and book 1 is out for their review. And I’m now closer to the end of the final act in the final book than to the start of that act. I think.

In the past two weeks, I’ve been invited to give several (virtual) writing workshops and talks in 2021. I’ll be presenting my “Playing the Short Game” workshops to the New England chapter of the “Sisters in Crime” writing community, as well as a condensed version of the same as part of a seminar series hosted by the Canadian Authors Association and SF Canada, and also as part of the 2021 Indie Author Project “Expert Session” series. Finally, I’ll be discussing the craft of writing short fiction with a local writers’ community group.

Some of the above may be available to the general public. I’ll post details on my website and in these newsletters ahead of each event, in case anyone here is interested in attending.

Book Recommendation

 

We Have Always Lived in the Castle coverHere’s another personal reading recommendation, drawn from some of my favourite books, both recent and past.

This month’s pick is We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, a writer best known for The Haunting of Hill House and her short story, “The Lottery.” I discovered Jackson relatively late, but after reading this book, I chased down everything I could find by her.

Years later, this remains one of the most stunning pieces of fiction I’ve ever read. The prose is hypnotic and, similar to Hill House, Jackson’s presents us with a point of view character we slowly realize is both  unbalanced and an unreliable (but fascinating) narrator of a very strange family history.

It is a testimony to Jackson’s abilities that she makes both Mary Katherine and Constance such sympathetic characters to the reader. Highly recommended.

Do you have a book you’d like to recommend to me? Email me with the title and author, and I’ll enter your name in a draw for a free full-length ebook.

February Ebook Bundles

Just one ebook bundle promotion this month, but the books in this one are free:

You’ll need to sign up for the author’s newsletter but you can always unsubscribe later if you’re not interested.

Your Monthly Store Discount Code

Heroka bundle coverRemember, as a subscriber, you receive a 25% discount for all titles on my online store. This includes the Heroka bundle, pictured to the right, available only from my store.

This month’s code: FEB2021-63TAJ (expires Mar 31)

The store offers ebook editions of all my books, but also signed, personalized print copies of my full-length titles. Scroll down through the titles, or use the filters at the top to narrow your search.

You can also get more discounts:

  • another 15% off if you use the “Share” button to share any title on social media
  • another15% off if you refer a friend (and they’ll receive 15% off, too)
  • Additional discounts for select combinations (e.g., buy one of my collections, get the other for 20% off)

Ebooks can be downloaded directly, but you’ll also receive a BookFunnel link. If you’ve downloaded my monthly ebooks, you know how BookFunnel simplifies getting your ebook onto your reader.

Note: You can also shop my other storefront and buy directly from a retailer of your choice in your own country, including Amazon, Apple, Kobo, B&N, Google Play, Indigo, and many many more.

Want to Be a VIP Subscriber?

It’s easy. Show me you’re a fan. Buy my books (here or here). Post reviews (on Amazon, Goodreads, Kobo, B&N, iTunes, or wherever) and point me to them. Read these newsletters. Reply with comments, questions, or suggestions. Follow me on Twitter or Goodreads or BookBub. Simply put, VIPs are my fans. I hope you’ll become one.

Your Moment of Zen

Maybe it’s just me, but I found this oddly soothing: a live web cam of jelly fish floating by in the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Not fun to swim with, but cool to watch. Complete with soundtrack.

~~~

As always, thanks for listening and for your interest in my writing!
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Spring Break XR
Research Experience
We are soliciting UC San Diego student participation in a set of VR-facilitated design activities and field studies from March 22-26 to support XR/AR projects at the Swartz Center for Computational Neuroscience, the Arthur C. Clarke Center for Human Imagination, and the Human-Centered and Ubiquitous Computing Lab.
Participating students will have access to a Quest 2 for the week of Spring Break. Through design activities (10-15 minutes each) offered remotely (e.g. in their residence), students will contribute to the design of a programming platform in 3D space and of assistive health care technologies. Participant responses and performance will inform the development of our platforms.
We will conduct Zoom-led focus groups/check-in meetings during the week and introduce VR worldbuilding methods.
If you are an interested UC San Diego student or know one who would enjoy being a part of this program, please reach out to Tommy Sharkey at tsharkey@ucsd.edu.
Clarion Workshop
Winter Writers Series
The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop is pleased to host the Winter Writers Series, a monthly series of conversations between Clarion alumni and instructors about the art of speculative fiction and their writing careers. These conversations, co-hosted by Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore, are presented via Zoom Webinars and are free and open to the public. Each conversation will include time for Q&A with the audience.
Make sure to RSVP to each event individually via the links below:
Science Fiction: Balancing Worldbuilding and Narrative
March 24, 2021, 5pm PT / 8pm ET (register here)
Join us for a conversation about the art of creating science fictional worlds and the stories that bring them to life with Cory Doctorow, Karen Osborne, and Kali Wallace, three incredible writers and Clarion alumni.
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, and journalist. His latest book is ATTACK SURFACE, a standalone adult sequel to LITTLE BROTHER. He is also the author HOW TO DESTROY SURVEILLANCE CAPITALISM, nonfiction about conspiracies and monopolies; and of RADICALIZED and WALKAWAY, science fiction for adults, a YA graphic novel called IN REAL LIFE; and young adult novels like HOMELANDPIRATE CINEMA and LITTLE BROTHER. His first picture book was POESY THE MONSTER SLAYER (Aug 2020). He maintains a daily blog at Pluralistic.net. He works for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, is a MIT Media Lab Research Affiliate, is a Visiting Professor of Computer Science at Open University, a Visiting Professor of Practice at the University of North Carolina’s School of Library and Information Science and co-founded the UK Open Rights Group. Born in Toronto, Canada, he now lives in Los Angeles.
Karen Osborne is a speculative fiction writer and visual storyteller living in Baltimore. She is a Nebula finalist and graduate of Viable Paradise as well the Clarion Writers’ Workshop. Osborne has won awards for her news & opinion writing, and her short fiction appears in Uncanny, Fireside, Escape Pod, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and more. Architects of Memory is her debut sf novel and its sequel, Engines of Oblivion, will be released on 2/9/21.
For most of her life Kali Wallace was going to be a scientist when she grew up. She studied geology in college, partly because she could get course credit for hiking and camping, and eventually earned a PhD in geophysics researching earthquakes in India and the Himalayas. Only after she had her shiny new doctorate in hand did she admit that she loved inventing imaginary worlds as much as she liked exploring the real one. Her latest novel for adults, the science fiction mystery-thriller Dead Space, is now available from Berkley. She is also the author of novels for teens and children, and her short fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, F&SF, Asimov’s, Lightspeed, and Tor.com.
Other News from the Clarke Center
Worldbuilding in Virtual Reality with Origami Air
We have been continuing to experiment with bringing the tools of worldbuilding, speculative design, and remote collaboration into virtual reality with our partners at Origami Air. To preview what has been happening (and more to come!), we invite you to read Origami Air’s inaugural zine, ZEPHYR, here.
As a preview, here is Clarke Center Assistant Director Patrick Coleman’s contribution to the issue:
Into the Impossible:
Carlo Rovelli
Loop Quantum Gravity and the Order of Time
Carlo Rovelli (born 3 May 1956) is an Italian theoretical physicist and writer who has worked in Italy, the United States and since 2000, in France. His work is mainly in the field of quantum gravity, where he is among the founders of the loop quantum gravity theory.
He has also worked in the history and philosophy of science. He collaborates with several Italian newspapers, in particular the cultural supplements of the Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24 Ore and La Repubblica. His popular science book Seven Brief Lessons on Physics has been translated in 41 languages and has sold over a million copies worldwide.
In 2019 he has been included by the Foreign Policy magazine in the list of the 100 most influential global thinkers.
He is author of the international bestseller Seven Brief Lessons on PhysicsReality Is Not What It Seems, and The Order of Time. Rovelli lives in Marseille, France.
Already a bestseller in Italy, and written with the poetic vitality that made Seven Brief Lessons on Physics so appealing, The Order of Time offers a profoundly intelligent, culturally rich, novel appreciation of the mysteries of time.
For more information, follow host Brian Keating:
Carlo Rovelli: Loop Quantum Gravity & The Order of Time
We are grateful to all of our supporters, including:

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The recently released Batwoman, the soon-to-be-released Snyder cut of Justice League and other projects have put the limelight on DC again so we made an infographic with our favourite members of the Bat Family –The Batman Family – Crime Fighters of Gotham Infographic

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Dear Reader,

A very short email this month, but it has the link to the all-important ebook of the month.

I would like to remind everyone that when the book is added to the cart it has a suggested price. You may change that price to anything you want, including zero dollars (get it for free).

Here’s what Newday had to say about the book when it was first published:”Hogan skillfully draws the reader into a fascinating philosophical and theological debate, without ever forgetting he’s supposed to entertain and tell a good story.”

I hope all of you are doing well.

Thank You and Good Evening,

Shahid

Twitter
Facebook
Website

 

***

MONSTERS

OF SAIPAN

A Web Series by Brian Keene and Weston Ochse

This is a primer for Monsters of Saipan

What is it? A web series written by Brian Keene and Weston Ochse.

 

What’s it about? Five old army buddies travel to Saipan to rescue the sister of one of their own based on a promise made 30 years ago during Desert Storm, only to get crossed with the island mafia, a drug investigation, a CIA operation, island tradition, no shit monsters, and their own realization that they aren’t as bad ass as they once were… in fact they might never have been.

 

Who the hell is Brian Keene?  Brian Keene is an American author and podcaster, primarily known  for his work in horror, dark fantasy, crime fiction, and comic books. He  has won the 2014 World Horror Grandmaster Award and two Bram Stoker Awards. He is also the author of Ghoul, which was made into major motion picture by Chiller Films.

 

Who the hell is Weston Ochse? Weston Ochse (oaks) is an American author, primarily known for his work in horror, dark fantasy, and thriller fiction. He has won a Bram Stoker Award and Four Arizona-New Mexico Book Awards. His book SEAL Team 666 has been optioned by 7 Bucks Productions to become a  major motion picture.

 

Where and what is Saipan? Saipan is the largest island of the Northern Mariana Islands, a commonwealth of the United States in the western Pacific Ocean. It has been continuously inhabited for more than 4,000 years. Saipan is also due east of the Pacific Proving Grounds.

 

In 1914, Saipan was captured by Imperial Japan, who then held the island for several decades. Japan considered Saipan to be part of the last line of defenses for the Japanese homeland, and thus had strongly committed to defending it. The Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy garrisoned Saipan heavily from the late 1930s, building numerous coastal artillery batteries, shore defenses, underground fortifications and an airstrip. In mid-1944, nearly 30,000 troops were based on the island.

 

The Battle of Saipan, from 15 June to 9 July 1944, was one of the major campaigns of World War II. The United States Marine Corps and United States Army landed on the beaches of the south-western side of the island and, after more than three weeks in heavy fighting, captured the island from the Japanese. The battle cost the Americans 3,426 killed and 10,364 wounded. Of the estimated 30,000 Japanese defenders, only 921 were taken prisoner. The weapons used, and the tactics of close quarter fighting, also resulted in high civilian casualties. Some 20,000 Japanese civilians perished during the battle, including over 1,000 who jumped from “Suicide Cliff” and “Banzai Cliff” rather than be taken prisoner.

 

What are the inspirations for Monsters of Saipan?  Friendship. How many times have you made a promise to a friend that seemed extraordinary. I have your back. Call me if you ever need me. I’ll be there for you. What if that call finally came? This is that story. A story of friendship and how elastic it can be.

 

We were also inspired by Cleaners on Crackle, Mad Dogs on Amazon, and The Patriot, on Amazon. Watch them and enjoy yourself and remember that friendships are supposed to be forever.

 

Did you say monsters? The Pacific Proving Grounds was a nuclear weapon testing area west of the Mariana Islands in the Bikini Atolls of the Marshall Islands. From 1946 to 1962, the United States detonated 105 atmospheric and underwater bombs over an area of three million square miles, encompassing more than two thousand islands. Currents from this area move circular from west to east and back again. The detonations forever changed what lived beneath the ocean, creating wonders that should have never seen the light of day. These wonders have many names, but most of us known them as kaiju.

 

When is Monsters of Saipan to be published? Right now, a new episode will be published every Wednesday on the Patreon site of Weston Ochse with re-runs posted on the Patreon site of Brian Keene. Both authors will make Monsters of Saipan available at the $5 per month level. The Prologue will be available for free.

 

For more information, please contact either Brian Keene or Weston Ochse.

 

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