8.29.2011

Explaining History Backwards

This is a reboot of a blog I did back in September of 2009 when I was first launching Soulless into the world.

Back in my days as a practicing archaeologist, I was constantly distressed by history. This was, as you may well imagine, professionally terribly embarrassing, but the logic of history all-too-often defeated me. (Of course, this is because history isn't logical.) One has only to look at the British Empire. I mean really, how did they manage it ~ one tiny island taking over the world (as Eddy Izzard has it) through the cunning use of flags?

My initial theory was that the British were on the hunt for better cuisine and simply occupied other countries as an afterthought. This is rather close to my theory on the Vikings. Why all that raping, pillaging, and slicing people open from the back to eat out their hearts? Clearly, the Vikings were suffering from a bad case of nose envy. Ever visited a Scandinavian country? Big tall strapping blonds ~ teeny-tiny noses. There they were and they just got jealous. "Look at all those other European countries, Urk! Nicer weather, more sun, AND better noses. Get 'em!" Plus all they had to drink was mead, terribly girly drink for big strapping blonds with horned helmets. "Nicer weather, more sun, better noses, AND ale!"

The thing was, that as I poodled about through my daily job, I constantly encountered some new form of oddball historical behavior. I visited Machu Picchu, an enormous "ritual" center perched atop a mountain no sane person would ever want to climb. I'm holding forth that it's a Peruvian attempt to compensate for certain deficiencies in the stature arena. And before you slag me off for bias, many of my closest friends are short. And I keep threatening to take them to Peru to go shopping.


Now, back to England. It seems to me that another perfectly valid explanation for the success of the British Empire is that Queen Victoria had vampires (with all their years of knowledge) helping her strategize, and werewolves fighting in her armies, while the other European countries didn't. At which point it became patently obvious that any such entirely absurd idea (yet nicely logical) would have to become a book. After all, I couldn't very well write about the Viking nose issue, now could I?

Gail's Daily Dose
Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .



Timeless: Galleys done, Timeless now in production. The release date on Amazon has been corrected.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book the First: First run passes in.
Secret Project PPA: Announced at WorldCon . . . coming soon.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
Civilian reader reviews both Changeless and Blameless together. "These two novels have all the charm and humour of Carriger’s first, but with more emotional depth."

Quote of the Day:
"A book reads the better which is our own, and has been so long known to us, that we know the topography of its blots, and dog's ears, and can trace the dirt in it to having read it at tea with buttered muffins."
~ Charles Lamb, Last Essays of Elia, 1833
Daisypath Graduation tickers

8.25.2011

Cover Launch: Parasol Protectorate Omnibus

SF Book Club's Parasol Protectorate Omnibus Edition.


In case you missed it buried in the con report last entry, the SF Book Club will be bringing out an omnibus edition of Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless this September. There is a little forward writen by self. I think she looks a lot like Gillian Anderson in Bleak House. Of course, I love the teal. I am a fan of the color as you will know if you see me a any steampunk events.

Gail's Daily Dose
Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
Weird Tales no longer to be edited by Ann VanderMeer.

Timeless: Galleys done, Timeless now in production. The release date on Amazon has been corrected.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book the First: First run passes in.
Secret Project PPA: Announced at WorldCon . . . coming soon.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
Demons Read Too reviews Soulless.

Quote of the Day:
"As soon as you are helped, begin to eat: or, if the viands are too hot for your palate, take up your knife and fork and appear to begin. To wait for others is now not only old-fashioned, but ill-bread."
~ Etiquette for Gentlemen, 1850
Daisypath Graduation tickers

8.23.2011

Reno WorldCon 2011 Renovation Convention Report

Gentle Reader, I understand from previous surveys that convention reports are not your favorite, but I am in need of processing, and being a writer I do that best in print. I have endeavored to be as amusing as possible while also stretching my very foggy brain back over the events of the past few days. Truly my brain is not the steel trap it once was, well, honestly, it was always more a soft squishy kind of trap but I digress.

Reno, Reno, Reno.

A strange place in the middle of the desert where the lights go flashy-flashy, the cigarette smoke wafts in some pale reminiscence of the 1940s, the food is banal, the service is excellent, the heat unacceptable, and (for the last week) the Geeks were At Play.

 
The funniest thing about this WorldCon was all my friends who's first WorldCon was Melbourne last year or had never been to one before. In the case of the first party, they compared the one to the other, and in the case of the second, they compared the one to other SF conventions.

WorldCon is different. It's different each location, that's part of it's charm, and it's different from a regular convention. AussieCon 2010 was fun, but universally admitted a nightmare in many regards. It was disorganized to the point of inattentiveness and chaos and, because it was all the way in Australia had about half the average attendance. This year, being in Reno (driving distance from the fannish enthusiasm of the left coast) attendance was up to about 4000.

I planned my outfits with much attention to the ability to pack any number of shoes (generally sacrificed on the alter of flight) and the certain knowledge that there would be a pool! I am proud to report I made it to bed by midnight every night save one and that I made it for a swim every morning save the one after the night I stayed up after midnight. Starting the day with a little light exercise and a soak in the hot tub turned my brain on much earlier than normal and keep my poor feet from going entirely bonkers.

I lost my voice but did not pick up Con Crud, and I should far rather one over the other. There meetings and reunions with friends and business associates, lovely dinners out, and an excellent Greenroom providing me with enough healthy nibbles I didn’t have to do breakfast or lunch which was good as I wouldn't have had the time. The parties were up to snuff. A dear friend won a Hugo. My outfits went over well, and I'll be bloging more about them on Retro Rack as photos come in. The drive was mainly painless. I meet the editors I was supposed to meet, and chatted with the authors I wanted to chat with, and renewed old acquaintances near and dear to my heart. All in all, a successful con.

The Nitty Gritty

Thursday, Futuristic Fashion and Wearable Art. Moderated by Cory Doctorow Himself. A pleasant start and a pleasing topic well moderated before an engaged and attentive audience. Can't ask for more.


Thursday, Presentation on Experimental Ceramic Archaeology. Since this was at 7 pm dinner time I thought no one would come,and I was in one of the double sized room. It was very well attended and people seemed to really enjoy themselves, I was so pleased to exhibit the other side of my career path. It was like teaching students who were actually interested, a nice change. I need to righten the presentation though if I plan on doing it again for a convention audience.

After that I changed for the Girl Genius Ball and put in an appearance with the Locus-ites but quickly drifted away to the parties instead.


Friday, Urbane vrs Urban Fantasy with such heavy hitters as Patricia Briggs and Carrie Vaughan and newcomer Dale Ivan Smith. Carrie moderated beautifully and was as sweet and lovely a ever, we have meet before. This seems to have been a useful pannel for me th author as a numebr of people came up to say they bought the first book in my series in the Dealer's Room later as a result.

On Friday I also worked the SFWA table and visited the Orbit book panel where we made a Very Big Announcement. I haven't had the go ahead to talk online about it, yet, and so far as I can tell the info hasn't been leaked so I'm keeping mum for the time being.

However I did an interview with Rome and he gave me permission to announce that the SF Book Club will be bringing out an omnibus edition of Soulless, Changeless, and Blameless this September.


Hit the parties that night and stayed up way too late.

Saturday I had a KaffeeKlatsch and a TeaTalk. I basically ran the second just like the first since the KaffeeKlatsch was so small. However the TeaLounge was very very loud right next to the stage and it was at this point I started to loose my voice.


Nevertheless, I went off and out to very loud parties that night and ruined the rest of it. The life of an author does not prepare one for short bouts of public speakign at high volumes.

Sunday, I was up for autographing. I had a nice line, always complimentary, and many well dressed fans. I am proud to say mine are the best dressed in fandom, if you ask me. Report from the dealer's rom was most favorable, I mainly sold out, which made them happy.


I made the acquaintance of Jean Johnson who interdicted me to Decent Exposures, a custom cotton bra maker. I intend to give them a try, expect a report in Retro Rack.




Then I wandered about the Dealers Room delighted to discover a very plain steel ring that fit (I have a 5.25 size ring finger) and the first Schlock Mercenary book. After that, I snuck off for some Timeless galley work by the pool (and perhaps a little comic book reading) and hit the Dead Dog party later that night.


At some point I was interviewed for the Short Story Geeks podcast, photographed by Lincoln Peters, introduced by the ever entertaining Kollin brothers to David Boop, ran into Amy & NASA Paul, and encountered the face that thereis a new convention coming to the Bay Area, Convolution. I also gained a roommate, the lovely Unwoman's cello took up residence in my room for the duration of the con. Definitely the nicest quietest tidiest roommate I've ever had.

Gail's Daily Dose
Your Moment of Parasol . . .

Your Infusion of Cute . . .

Fan Art Alexia by Rebecca Nandi
Your Tisane of Smart . . .

Your Writerly Tinctures . . .
I have a long interview with the Airship Ambassador that recently dropped.

Timeless: Working galleys. The release date on Amazon is WRONG. Scheduled release March 1, 2012.
Etiquette & Espionage: The Finishing School Book the First: First run passes in.
Secret Project PPA: Announced at WorldCon . . . coming soon.


BIG FAT SPOILER ALERT! Really, DON'T READ THE BLURB ON AMAZON if you haven't read the other books first!

Book News:
School Library Review discusses Heartless and a little about my Finishing School series. "These books just keep getting better and better." ~ Caroline Bartels

Quote of the Day:
"If you present a book to a friend, do not write his or her name in it, unless requested. You have no right to presume that it will be rendered any the more valuable for that addition; and you ought not to conclude beforehand that you gift will be accepted."
~ Etiquette for Gentlemen, 1850
Daisypath Graduation tickers

A quick final note. I LOATHE what LJ is doing to my code and their image handlers. I'm planning on making the switch permanently to Blogspot by the end of the year.