Monthly Archives: April 2012

Weekly Roundup

As we head into the weekend, here’s what I found on the Interwebs for your reading pleasure…

Book News

I’m not sure how I feel about this, but A Wrinkle in Time is being made into a graphic novel (via The Mary Sue).

Geekery

For those who are watching Game of Thrones or are interested in conlanging, here’s an interview with the guy who created the Dothraki language (via Juliette Wade’s worldbuilding blog).

Inspiration

If you’ve ever beaten yourself up (as I do, all the time), you might need to read this:

My inner dialogue sounded like “come on, you idiot. You were stupid enough to say you could do this, so you effing well do it. Now. No, you’re not going to bed till you freaking get it done.” Now it’s more “come on, girl. You can do this. You’re smart and awesome, and you can do this.” Guess which works better to get things done?

Sing it, sistah! Read the rest at KD Sarge’s blog.

 

That’s it for the week. Go forth and be merry! Me, I’ll be dancing all weekend.

A Love Letter to Our Future House

Somewhere in a big city sits an old house.

Its current occupant lives lightly, her world condensed into four rooms on the ground floor. The dining table is covered with a lace tablecloth and then plastic to protect it, the wood well hidden. In the enclosed front porch, tiny green shoots grow in long planters. A statue of Jesus overlooks the dim living room, where she watches television, alone. Continue reading

Movie Nostalgia: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

In this installment of the Nostalgia series, we’re looking at a classic science fiction movie — Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (or TWOK).

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan cover, 2009 reissueI will admit up front that I’m biased. Star Trek is not something I can be objective about — I have too long a history with Kirk, Spock, and McCoy, as well as the crew of Star Trek: The Next Generation. But hey, that’s why it made the Nostalgia list.

Still, it’s been a very long time since I saw TWOK. I’d been worried about whether it would hold up over time, but on watching it again this weekend, I was surprised. True, I got a certain amount of warm fuzzies from seeing the familiar characters and the Star Trek universe again. Okay, maybe a lot of warm fuzzies. But all that aside…turns out it’s an excellent movie. What exactly makes it good? Read on…

Continue reading

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).

Inspiration

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 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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 Amazon.com 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.