Tag Archive for Speculative Fiction

The One and Only Peggy Rae


My friend Peggy Rae died.

I just got the news last night. I got home from the mountains super late, and I couldn’t really process it until today.

The first con I ever went to (Capclave) is one of the cons Peggy was always heavily involved in. Capclave set the bar high (it still does), and I have compared every con I have attended to that standard. Every con I went to that had Peggy Rae working behind the scenes met that bar, or set it higher.

Read more

A Post In Which I Take A Fruit Metaphor Way Too Far

This is a picture of the Searching for Super Women logo, which is a woman dressed up as a super hero with Princess Leia hair, a Xena weapon, and a cape. Outfit is not complete without the cape.I did another post for Searching for Superwomen. I’m not 100% confident that the argument came out as coherently as I did in my head. Plus, my mind hooked onto the fruit thing and possibly ran with it farther than a metaphor should go. The upside is that more people will be exposed to the excellent nerdy artwork of Ursula Vernon. By the way, she sells pins of that freaky pear that is featured in the post.

You ask, “What freaky pear?”

I say, “Check out the blog post.”

“Oh,” You will say. “That IS a freaky pear…”


I Got Blurbed

While I was at Contemporal, I went to the Baen Traveling Road Show. For folks who are familiar with it, one of the editors of Baen Books generally gives a Powerpoint presentation about their upcoming releases. And folks who ask questions during the presentation get a free book.

Knowing this, I ask the first question so that I could get my hands on the Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Larry Correia’s new book, Warbound. ARCs are printed so that they can be sent to reviewers as well as other folks in the business who might be interested in purchasing the book. So ARCs typically have a summary of the promotion plan for the book either printed on one of the covers or on a piece of paper slipped inside the book. It looks like this:

This a picture of the inside cover for the Warbound ARC. It includes a description of the promotion plan for the book, including advertising in relevant magazines and an author book tour.

As I was reading the blurbs, I thought that the third one looked quite familiar.

Then I realized I wrote it. Baen quoted MY review of Hard Magic from SFRevu.com.

My disgruntled cats can testify that I did a jig on my bed. I know marketing folks will use any favorable quotes they can find to sell books, but it’s still flattering to have a publisher choose your words to promote a series you enjoy.

Plus, Baen didn’t skew my intent at all. I If you aren’t reading Larry Correia, you’re missing out on some of the smartest, most entertaining urban fantasy on the market.

You can see the full quote here:

This is a photo of the quote Baen Books pulled from my review. It reads "I found myself pulled into a story that cleverly blended together alternate history, magic, and the grit of a 1930s gangster film. Stylish and slick, Larry Correia's Hard Magic is a story no fantasy fan will want to miss.


Man of Steel: Bloated Backstory, But Still Awesome

This is a picture of Henry Cavill, who played Superman in Man of Steel.I’ve never been much of a Superman fan. I’ve always preferred superheroes with more, erm, humanity, which is probably why I largely gravitate toward the Bat family and the X-men. Despite their superhero powers, they have Earthly origins that I can relate too.

This film did a better job of making Henry Cavill’s Superman more relatable than any of the previous attempts. This journey to find truth made him more human-like than any of Superman’s previous film incarnations. Cavill’s performance was also anything but stiff, which is always a danger when playing an embodied American ideal in tights.

Read more

Acceptance Doesn’t Always Mean Being Nice

I wrote a post earlier this week on acceptance, a virtue that I believe is a necessary facet of geekdom, the Golden Rule, the Prime Directive even. Yet I imagine there are some trolly geeks out there who are thinking that acceptance = you must listen my horrid bigotry disguised as “opinion” until I have worked up a lather and left a trail of boiling troll froth all over your blog.

Yeah, no.

Acceptance has more nuance than most people realize, and I think that it deserves further exploration if only so that I don’t have type the phrase “boiling troll froth” ever again.

Read more

Pardon My Fansquee

Video streaming by Ustream

There was an interview with Brian K. Vaughan yesterday for a SuperMOOC course on gender in comics that I’ve been keeping tabs on. For those of you who aren’t aware, BKV is the author of Saga, which is a comic gushing with so much awesome I’m surprised it hasn’t flooded comic shops nationwide. My respect for BKV knows no bounds.

I tossed a question in via Twitter, not expecting a reply at all because there were so many thoughtful questions being asked. I put my headphones on and started tackling some boring re-formatting tasks, thus justifying why I allowed myself to tune into this interview at work.

Read more

FCBD: Fun, Folly, and Free Stuff

I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that I only discovered the wicked awesome that is comics and comic fandom last year. Better late than never I suppose.

What that means is that this was my first Free Comic Book Day (FCBD). Ever. And it totally wasn’t what I was expecting.

Okay, perhaps part of it was. I anticipated the line outside the comic shop, but I wasn’t expecting it to be only five people long (a testament to the incredible service provided by Chapel Hill Comics). I was also envisioning a single table of comics in which geeks scrambled to get their hands on a coveted book while a miserly employee stood behind the table, slapping hands with a toy lightsaber if someone tried to take more than one.

Instead, we were allowed to take one of each book, which meant that instead of going home with one free book, I went home with a pile of reading material and a nifty R2D2 patch that says “May the 4th Be With You.”

This is a picture of my stack of comic books from Free Comic Book Day.

The haul.

Read more

Seeking Balance, Finding Chaos

This is a picture of justice holding balanced scales.Crafting a daily routine that involves exercise, writing, and eating food that doesn’t come out of  a microwave box shouldn’t be hard. But it is.

I kind of let myself go when I first moved back to North Carolina because the environment at my last job was so stressful and drama-filled that I just wanted to coast for a while.

I was ready to stop coasting two weeks ago, but then the whole women-plan-Fate-laughs thing happened and I woke up with a fever the day after I wrote that post. These delightful surprises are what tend to happen anytime I start finding some semblance of balance in my life. Like many people, I sometimes imagine Fate as an Indian Empress lounging on a silk-covered chaise next to a pool that shows her the world at large, being fanned and fed by devoted slaves as she concocts nefarious plots to mess with my life.

Read more


This is a picture of a roller coaster.Many people like to use a roller coaster metaphor when they’re talking about life. One of the problems I’ve always had with that metaphor is that roller coasters have chains that pull them up hills. In life, there really isn’t anything or anyone who can yank you up a hill but yourself. There may be things that are out of your control, yet that doesn’t change the fact that the only one who can power the climb up that hill is you.

The part of the metaphor I do like though is the idea of letting go at the top of the hill and just seeing where the tracks take you.

Read more

A Banana And A Lobster Stealing Art: Not the Most Ridiculous Thing I’ve Heard Today

This is a picture of the cover art for Saga Volume One

Art by Fiona Staples

Honestly, I thought nothing could top the utter ridiculity that is today’s Daily Tar Heel story “Banana, lobster may have stolen ‘critter.’ “ Then I heard that Apple Comixology has given their PR team a royal headache after someone made the ever-so-wise decision to ban Brian K. Vaughan’s latest issue of Saga from being sold through digital iOS apps.

Now I have no problem with businesses choosing what products they want to sell. And I understand that business decisions regarding mature content are a balancing act, and the tightrope businesses walk can easily morph into a noose.

That being said, Apple’s Comixology’s decision is downright Orwellian. Also, the only decision I could imagine being more hypocritical is a drug company hiring the Joker as a spokesperson for neuroleptics.

Read more