January Newsletter

Well, it’s halfway through February when I’m writing this. At least it’s not next week, right?

The problem is that the biggest thing that happened to me in January isn’t my story. I can’t tell it, but it wouldn’t be honest to say anything else important happened to me in January. So, you get nothing 😛

Tune in next time for more tales of agony and ecstasy. And in the mean time, here’s some other news:

I spent the month working on my submission for the Tales from Alternate Earths 3 anthology. It’ll be called “Levski’s Boots,” and it’s the most difficult thing I’ve written so far. Here’s the playlist 😉

I started putting up short stories on the website again. In January there were three: an experiment with aspirational fiction, an exploration of the potential of haunted houses as a source of clean energy, and my understanding of general relativity (as an ill-conceived marketing gimmick). Enjoy!

And of course, Interchange is now available for pre-order. This is the sequel to Junction, in which Anne and Daisuke go back to that planet to poke more alien beasts and work through their issues. Tell me if you want to write a review and I’ll put your name down for an eARC.

The launch is July 22, so I’ll be planning for that. I’ve got a podcast appearance lined up and I might be part of programming at Flights of Foundry, and of course there will be a virtual launch party like the one I did for First Knife. Other than that…do any of you have any ideas about how I can tell people about my new book?

And without further ado, stuff I liked in January:

How to Build Meaningful Relationships through Conversations by Carol Ann Lloyd – A good general introduction, referencing a lot of Stephen Covey. As usual with these things, the best part was the stories about people. I didn’t need the Shakespeare references.

Caesar’s Bicycle by John Barnes – As I liked the timeline wars books, the flaws in the premise were beginning to get hard to ignore. So this is a fitting conclusion to the series. A little lighter on the shoot-em-up (for good, character-psychology reasons) and heavier on the “so this is life, huh?” philosophical moments. Maybe it was just my life when I read the book, but I appreciated the many times when the characters have to shrug and say “welp, that didn’t work.” There’s an especially good scene on a hot air balloon. I would have liked a bit more gee-whiz technology, though.

The Mortal Passage Trilogy by Roger Williams – This series is explicitly set up as scifi stories in which there is no strong AI, superluminal flight, or alien life. Science fiction, but not speculative fiction, you might say. The result is a more melancholy version of I am Bob. It’s got its moments.

Ballad of the Whiskey Robber by Julian Rubinstein – The true story about post-communism Hungary’s most successful bank robber. I think it captures the gonzo spirit of the transition period (at least when I told my wife about it, she says “yup, that’s what it was like”) and if you had a cast of characters this colorful in fiction, nobody would believe it. It dragged a bit toward the end, though. Real life doesn’t give us a clean three-act story. And the authorial voice was a bit too much “isn’t eastern Europe wacky?”

Borders of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold – This was a compilation of excellent short stories tied together by a framing story that was actually pretty good too. “Labyrinth” is cute, “The Mountains of Mourning” is heart-piecing, and “Borders of Infinity” itself is the best metaphor I have seen for the human condition.


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