Monthly Archives: April 2012

Weekly Roundup

Happy Easter long weekend to those of you who are lucky enough to have one! Here’s the best of what I found online this week…

Book News

Toronto writer Leah Bobet is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Above, featured as a Big Idea piece on John Scalzi’s blog.

General Geekery

The Mary Sue has found art of dapper dinosaurs in top hats.

For the aspiring Companions among us, Doctor Who sticky notes (also via The Mary Sue).


If Narnia is more your style, go forth and ogle this Dawn Treader concept art.

For Writers (and Interested Third Parties)

Adam Roberts has a fascinating post about the importance of monsters as myth and how bigger is not always better (via Juliette Wade).

John Scalzi points out that the identity of the bad guys in science fiction movies often depends on one’s point of view.


That’s all for this round. Have a wonderful long weekend!

Serendipity: The Thrill of Discovery

Right Turn

Image: ntwowe /

Have you ever gone exploring in your own city?

We tend to get into ruts in our movements — go to work, go home, run errands or at our usual places. When we go out, we visit the same restaurants and coffee shops. I’m as guilty of this as anybody. But when I do venture out of those ruts, I remember how I crave new experiences.

After I’d been at my current workplace for several years, I discovered a lovely tree-lined walking route almost directly on the way home. True serendipity. Another time, I discovered a quiet street lined with townhouses, smack dab in the middle of downtown — that was such a shock I felt like I’d stepped into another dimension, as if I’d found Diagon Alley or a door to Neverwhere.

I’d been going for walks in a park for years before I realized that if I just continued a little farther, I could get right out to the lake and the beach. There are gardens hidden behind high-rises downtown. There’s a real cannon in front of one of the government buildings. It’s possible to walk along the waterfront or up the banks of one of the city rivers for far longer than I would have believed before I tried it.

I make a point of going to local festivals and other cultural events. There are a lot of them here in Toronto, and I miss most of them, but at various times I’ve been to Pride Week, arts festivals, music festivals, Greek and Caribbean festivals, science fiction and fantasy conventions, concerts, and so on. Each time, I see or hear or taste something new to soak up.

The best part? Most of what I’ve mentioned is free. It doesn’t take a lot of time, either. I’ve headed out on my lunch hour, or on my commute home via public transit, and made new discoveries within easy walking distance of my usual routes. And the thrill of discovery never gets old. It feels like a mini-vacation.

Last weekend I was in an unfamiliar neighbourhood, where I got to eat at a diner I’d never seen before (the food was mediocre and the place was freezing, but that’s not the point) and watch a whole new collection of people going through their own ruts. I was there because of another new experience — the Old Book and Paper Show, which was just as cool as it sounds. If you want to read more, hop on over to my write-up on the Turtleduck Press blog.

What unexpected local discoveries have you made? What’s your favourite way to explore your city or hometown?

New Book: Queen’s Man by KD Sarge

Meet Joss Ravid: security goon, Galactic citizen, chaser of men, and reluctant hero…

ebook cover for Queen's Man by KD Sarge

The redhead with the smirk is Joss; the tall, dark, handsome one is Zeke.

This week we’re celebrating the launch of Queen’s Man by KD Sarge, a science fiction novel from Turtleduck Press.

Full disclosure: Turtleduck Press is an indie publisher running on a co-op model. All the members are both authors and part of the business — I’m the editor, KD is the webmistress, Kit Campbell runs the business end, and Erin Zarro is the marketing guru.

So I’m not exactly unbiased. But I’m a member because I believe in the quality of what we publish. KD’s strength is her characters — to say her writing is character-driven is a serious understatement. They’re people, plain and simple. But she’s also kick-ass at dialogue, humour, and action, and her writing has made me cry more than once (and that’s not easy). And…well, rather than continuing to tell you about her writing, I’ll just show you instead. Here’s what Queen’s Man is all about…

Joss Ravid works security for a major tribe on Kari’s Star, but he’ll tell anyone that he doesn’t actually care if the ruling families kill each other off. He’s not interested in politics; he just likes getting paid to hit jerks, and also the many opportunities for hitting on straight men. The Galactic-imposed Interdiction may keep Kari citizens stuck on their war-torn world, but Joss has connections. If the situation gets too messy, he can leave whenever he wants.

He’ll also tell anyone he doesn’t care about girls, but that doesn’t stop him from rescuing 12-year-old Paige Carlyle, newly arrived on the planet and newly orphaned by tribe violence.

If Joss were making a “don’t care” list, though, at the very top would be Zeke Cayden, Heir to powerful Tribe Cayden. Never mind that he and Joss were lovers; that’s long gone. Saving Zeke’s life when the shooting starts is just business. Some tribes don’t want peace, and killing a Galactic citizen like Paige—or controlling Cayden through the Heir—would serve them well.

So Joss is on the run, risking his life, his pretty face, and his precious liberty to keep Paige and Zeke alive and the peace plan that can lift the Interdiction on track. Why? Because…how often does a guy get to piss off half a planet while displaying his talents for woodcraft, cross-dressing, and scaring straight men?

When Paige is kidnapped, though, the lives of Paige and Zeke, the leadership of Cayden and the future of Kari’s Star all ride on the wrinkled shoulders of Joss’ work suit and he has to decide—does he care, or not?

You can read the first three chapters for free here, and buy it at for your Kindle or at Smashwords in your e-format of choice. Read more about KD on her Turtleduck Press author page, or check out her previous novels, Knight Errant and His Faithful Squire.