Your “Hey I’m Traveling” Pimp Thread

I’ll be heading inching toward Toronto most of the way, so while I’m away, why not take the opportunity to suggest something cool to the rest of the folks around here? Could be a book, some music, a Web site or Whatever; could be something you are doing, a friend is doing, or something someone utterly unrelated to you is doing. Whatever it is, tell people about in the comments.

One note: As always, I suggest that you do one link per comment, because the site’s moderation software will automatically boot you into moderation with three or more links, and sometimes does it with two. As I’m traveling most of the day, I won’t be able to do get into the moderation queue frequently, so single link comments are best. You can make more than one comment, however.

If you do get punted into the moderation thread, don’t panic; I will get to it by late afternoon or early evening.

So: I’m out of here. What cool thing do you want to point everyone else to?

112 thoughts on “Your “Hey I’m Traveling” Pimp Thread

  1. This is fairly local to me, but what the hell: I’ve gotten back on the boards, as they say, and am acting in a community theatre production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple (I play one of the poker buddies). If you happen to be in the vicinity of Biddeford, Maine (about 20-25 minutes south of Portland) on the weekends of May 7-9 and May 14-16, and want to come see the classic funny, we’d love to have you drop in.

    Click on http://www.citytheater.org for more info, tickets, etc.

  2. I am looking to spread awareness for an amazing charity called Operation Ebook Drop. It was started by author Ed Patterson, as a means to give back to our troops who sacrifice so much fighting for us.

    Since its inception on September 11th, 2009, over 350 authors have chosen to offer one or more of their books for free and over 100 service members are currently participating. This number is growing everyday, and we are working to actively get the word out. See the Operation Ebook Drop Website at (www.operationebookdrop.com) for more information.

  3. The Sword in the Stone, by T. H. White. Not the rewritten version that forms the first part of The Once and Future King, but the original (and far superior) 1938 version.

  4. If you’re in the Massachusetts area and like steampunk, come by the Steampunk Festival being held at the Charles River Museum of Industry in Waltham, MA on May 1st! It’s the perfect venue for this sort of event.
    http://www.crmi.org/

  5. I know John mentioned it a few weeks ago, but I just started reading Joe Hill’s Horns. So far pretty funny, in a creepy way. I can’t wait to see where this is headed…

  6. This is probably even further afield, but a friend of mine (originally from Ohio as well) is in the midst of launching her pop music career. It’s a bit surreal for me, but people seem to like her stuff, since one of her music videos got over a million hits within a week or so of posting, and she’s getting radio play and such.

    So, check her out on YouTube here if you’re interested. Thanks!

  7. I have the most generic blog in the universe! I rarely do anything other than link other (hopefully interesting) content. And I’m a young(ish) white computer nerd who likes macs! On the internet, where my kind is so scarce!

    Sigh.

  8. Well, of course I want you to check out my own novel, THE FALLEN.

    But I’m going to point out my friend Stephen Parrish’s first novel, THE TAVERNIER STONES. And get this–he’s hosting a worldwide online treasure hunt and the winner gets a real, genuine, one-carat diamond. Check it out.http://www.tavernierstones.com/

  9. Anthony Peruzzo and I are doing The Assignment weekly over at R and R Comics.

    http://rnrproductionsonline.com/wordpress/?p=330

    It’s about, amongst other things, assassination targets that won’t stay dead, snake worshiping inbred telepathic red necks, ancient conspiracies, something big, mean and hungry living under the South Pole and, of course, whether rock and roll can save the world.

    Enjoy!

  10. I’ll put in a plug for my fellow Tenners (authors debuting in 2010) with speculative fiction novels out in the past few weeks: Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey (fantasy based on Maori mythology), Birthmarked by Caragh O’Brien (dystopia featuring a scarred midwife), and Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken (quest-style fantasy about a young weaver and a mysterious magician). Have either read and loved or am eagerly waiting to get my hands on each of these.

  11. I’m getting ready to livewrite my next book, “The New Real: Blast Radius”, starting tomorrow morning at noon ET. It’s a sci fi adventure about intergalactic drug enforcement, starring a suicidal cop and a frisky alien insect with a thing for bipeds. I let the readers influence the story as I go, so I’m never 100% sure what’ll happen. It should be done by Sunday night, barring any major outline errors or mental collapse after sleeping 4 hours a night. Fingers crossed.

    It’s free and fun and if nothing else, it stands a decent chance of being a train wreck, so check it out at http://1889.ca/tnr

  12. Eric Whitacre conducts a virtual choir!

    He asked people to submit video of themselves singing one of the parts to his Lux Arumque, then edited it together. There is also a link on that page to the “How we did it”, which is more of a “How and why we did it”.

    I love living in the future.

  13. Over at Drollerie Press, we’re all going to be having us a month-long virtual writers’ convention in the month of May! We’ll be hosting a bunch of organized chats on various topics, including some with visiting SF/F and romance pros. Registration is free but you do need to register so that you can access the chat rooms for whatever sessions you’re interested in on the schedule.

    Please go to http://coyotecon.com for details!

  14. The Literary Underworld is spotlighting author Steven Shrewsbury this week, with his fantastic and brutal horror novels HAWG and TORMENTOR. If there’s such a thing as Midwestern gothic, Shrews has mastered it. I strongly recommend his stuff, though it’s definitely not for the fainthearted. Check it out at http://www.literaryunderworld.com – Shrews’ titles are 10 percent off this week only.

  15. I’m excited I’m getting my hair cut (I know what everyone is thinking but keep reading) which hasn’t been cut for years!! The Parkinson Society of Canada is having it’s annual Cut-A-Thon in which you pay $35 and get your hair cut at a high end salon AND get a bag of products :)

    Getting my hair cut is like going to the dentist I just never like it and beacuse of a medical condition I have it usually means if I go somewhere cheap I get what I pay for so I usually just don’t get it done!

    I’m also getting my backyard ready for BBQ season going and buying a new BBQ and gazbo it’s going to be a GOOD weekend only downfall is I live SO close to Toronto and I’m going to miss you at the Toronto Public Libary… boo… :(

  16. I would like to recommend ORAL HISTORY by Lee Smith. It is not a science fiction book, but it is a good Southern fiction book that deals with the history of a Appalachian family that have dealings with witches and ghosts and goes into the folklore and history of the rural Appalachians that are fast disappearing. Oral History is alot better than her other book, Black Mountain Breakdown. If yoy like books that take place in the South I think you will like Oral History. :)

  17. I was convinced by some crazy people to help write a super hero/horror web series thing called Deathless.

    It’s been exhausting, frustrating, and pretty wonderful; we got the help of a directing class at Humboldt State University, and the end result is something I’m pretty proud of.

    Our website is http://watchdeathless.com

  18. Shameless Self Promotion: I just posted a new article about submitting my first story to a new a magazine: since my mother is a writer it was oddly familiar.
    I also recently posted a flash fiction story about what it would be like if we really did have transporters. Hint: Not Good. Comments welcome.

    http://www.nadyaduke.com

  19. Shameless Self Promotion:
    I just posted two things on my web site:
    http://www.nadyaduke.com

    The first is a post about the strange familiarity of sending off my first short story submission. Hint: my mother is a writer.

    The second is a flash fiction about what the world would be like if we really had transporters. Hint: not good.

  20. A website I’ve created:

    http://www.querytest.com

    It’s only been live for a few days. It’s a virtual slush pile for query letters. You submit your query letter and read other people’s query letters, responding to them the way an agent or editor would–simply responding YES or NO as to whether you’d request pages. All feedback is anonymous and private.

    For those who submit a query, the feedback you get is a percentage–how many people said YES to your query. This allows you to test multiple queries head-to-head and see which one gets the best response. Reviewers also have the option of saying why they rejected the query, and about half of them take the time to do this.

    The site’s in beta test, but I’d very much welcome some more people to give it a workout, especially if you have a query letter or two to submit, as we’ve only got 8 in the system right now, not enough for a real slush pile.

    The site is free and non-commercial.

  21. My friend recently made a short platformer game called Varvid: http://lijik.aisites.com/varvid/.

    See, there are all these smiling spheres lying around the game, and the only way to get to all of them is by flipping the colors of the world. Missing a platform? Flip the colors and one appears. Spikes in the way? Flip the colors and they’re gone.

    Might be a good ten-minute time sink.

  22. Whatever readers are cool people. Cool people like roller derby. Ergo, I thought you’d be interested in hearing about the Fourth Annual Honky Tonk Stomp, which is the Tennessee State Roller Derby Championship. It’s being held on June 12th in Nashville TN; all of the info is at http://www.nashvillerollergirls.com/honky_tonk_stomp_4/index.php . If you’re within reasonable driving distance of Nashville, come join us and spend the day drinking beer and watching ladies slam each other into the walls. We’re family friendly too, so bring the kids (really!) It’s a good time, I promise!

  23. Hi, fellow readers! If you’re fans of music, you should check out the Capital City Ringers, a community hanbell choir from Lansing, MI. We’ll be performing this weekend in Ohio, Indiana and Michigan…selections from stage and screen: Phantom of the Opera, Les Miz, Lion King, Little Mermaid, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean (nope, not kidding) and more. We also have two concerts in the local Lansing area on April 30 and May 1. All concerts are free. If you’ve never heard handbells you’re in for a treat…and even if you have, you’ve probably never heard them quite like this.

    http://www.capitalcityringers.com/events.html

  24. I’ve you’ve ever wanted to do something to help out a respected member of the science fiction and horror community, please consider visiting the Friends of Ed Bryant website and making a donation. Ed has ongoing financial and medical needs, and every little bit helps.

    All funds go directly to a PayPal account managed by the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities, which then disburses funds to Ed on an as-needed basis.

    http://www.friendsofed.org/

    Thanks in advance.

  25. Y’all saw James Cameron opine on the state of science fiction literature, right?

    I probably spend more time writing than reading science fiction. I find that science-fiction literature is so reactive to all the literature that’s gone before that it’s sort of like a fractal. It’s gone to a level of detail that the average person could not possibly follow unless you’re a fan. It iterates upon many prior generations of iterations.

  26. First I’ll shamelessly promote my own blog, Blizkrieg Babies, about my experiences getting twin baby girls to adopt from foster care. I compare the experience to an episode of Battlestar Galactica in a recent post, so it’s even got a tiny bit of SF to draw you in.

  27. On May 16th I’ll be teaching an all-day “Creative Research for Writers” class in Seattle. Here’s the description:

    Learn how creative research can help writers of fiction and nonfiction, get practical tips and advice on doing research and incorporating it into your writing, and discover how and where to find useful and unusual sources of information on the Web, in books, and in unexpected places.

    Details and registration information are on my blog:
    http://lisagoldresearch.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/register-for-my-may-16th-creative-research-for-writers-class/

  28. Secondly, I was going to email John and ask him to comment on this L.A. Times interview with James Cameron. The part I wanted John’s comment on I’ll quote here: “I find that science-fiction literature is so reactive to all the literature that’s gone before that it’s sort of like a fractal. It’s gone to a level of detail that the average person could not possibly follow unless you’re a fan. It iterates upon many prior generations of iterations. The literature now is so opaque to the average person that you couldn’t take a science-fiction short story that’s published now and turn it into a movie. There’d be way too much ground work you’d have to lay. It’s OK to have detail and density, but if you rely on being a lifelong science-fiction fan to understand what the story is about, then it’s not going to translate to a broader audience.”
    I don’t really agree with Cameron, but then I thought about John’s recent announcement about his Fuzzy book, which might well qualify as something that non-SF fans might not get. But for the most part, it doesn’t seem to me that most of the SF I read fits Cameron’s gripe. (I just finished The Windup Girl and thought it would make a fantastic movie.) So what books is Cameron talking about?

  29. Two offshoots of the splendid Warren Ellis-founded community of Whitechapel (http://freakangels.com/whitechapel/) for you good people:

    Weaponizer – group-blog of disparate writers mostly in the field of ‘flash fiction’ – short, punchy works in a range of genres. Also some non-fic pieces. (Disclaimer – I’m a staff writer there, on the Fortean-occult beat). http://www.weaponizer.co.uk/index2.php

    Space Shark – webcomic with an open-ended, almost Aeon Flux feel – except it’s about a shark. In space. ’nuff said.
    http://spacesharkcomic.livejournal.com/

    (If you’re not familiar with Whitechapel… simply one of the smartest, least flamey boards around. Primarily an offshoot of the webcomic Freakangels, all manner of things are discussd there. My primary online hangout.)

  30. #23 – Ellie
    Sorry – I didn’t notice you’d already added Sam’s blog!

    Waving Hello from Spadina and Adelaide.

  31. Hrm, I just released an all-new version of my novel-planning and writing software (being a software developer, I procrastinate by writing tools to help me write books. It’s lovely).

    It’s called Storyblue, and lets you drag and drop things, and create little electronic index-card-like things with character and scene and note notes, and write your chapters. Hopefully one day it will take the world over and find the perfect balance between staying out of the way and providing more than a reg’lar ol’ word processor.

    http://storyblue.com

  32. If you’re into travelling, my partner and I have quit our jobs, sold everything and left the UK to travel the world indefinitely.

    We’re seven weeks in and we’re documenting it all over at Never Ending Voyage.

    @Elizabeth – The Alot is awesome, good call.

  33. In relation to Josh Jasper’s comment @6 If you are ever in Phoenix, stop by the Desert Ridge Barnes & Noble. We like to style ourselves as James Owen’s home store, and we frequently have many autographed copies of his books on the shelf. He comes to visit all the time and if you happen to be there on a lucky day he will sign and do a fantastic drawing in your book! He is one of our store’s favorite authors.

  34. Thanks for the opportunity, John!

    On May 2nd, Constellation Books (aka me)
    is hosting a book launch party for SHADE by
    Jeri Smith-Ready.

    Guys, this is a seriously good book.

    In Baltimore in a world where kids 16 and under can see/hear ghosts, Aura spends her time hanging with her folk-rocker boyfriend, working for her Aunt-the-lawyer and investigating henges in an Astronomy project for school. She is forced to re-evaluate her relationship with ghosts when her boyfriend dies. More here, including the first chapter:
    http://www.jerismithready.com/

    If you can’t get to Constellation Books in Reisterstown, MD on 5/2, check out the book at your local library or bookstore.

  35. I’ve been working on making my molto groovy photos available online as prints/posters, postage, cards, binders and other delightful oddities. Please check them out:

    http://www.zazzle.com/claireskinnerphotos*

    If you’re interested in buying something, cards are 20% off and binders are 15% off with code ZAZZLEMOMDAY until April 26, 11:59 PT. All customizable. Use the Product Type links in the sidebar for Cards or Binders to see all the options.

  36. I wanted to alert the masses to a really cool art poster by Children’s Book Author extraordinaire, Mo Willems*. It’s being sold to raise money for a much needed spruce up of the Children’s department at the Northampton, MA Public Library.

    http://www.forbeslibrary.org/cartoonapalooza/index.shtml#poster

    You can get a signed art poster mailed right to your door for $30 thru the magic of paypal. It makes a lovely end of the year gift for that special teacher or librarian!

    *author of Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and Knuffle Bunny, among others.

  37. Modesty doesn’t quite prevent me from recommending Morrigan Press’s ‘The Phantom Queen Awakes’ – stories of the Celtic goddess, the Morrigan (including one by me)

    Seriously, though, have a look at my friend Mike Cobley’s ‘Seeds of Earth’ trilogy, book 2 ‘Orphaned Planets’ out now. Grand Scale space opera.

  38. If you’ve never checked out our podcast, I think this is the perfect time to give try it. (It’s not like pimp thread’s come around every day).

    The Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine is a story podcast. We do fullcast renditions of speculative fiction stories. We work really hard on the production, so they’re worth listening to. Afterwards, the hosts discuss various and sundry geek related topics. Hey, free stories, that can’t be bad, right?

    http://www.dunesteef.com is the url. Hope you check it out. Thanks.

  39. I am a visual artist in various media, and some of my work is currently for sale on Etsy.

    In the interest of “one link per comment” here is The Floating Market:

    http://TheFloatingMarket.etsy.com

    The Floating Market is mostly jewelry and accessories with a recycled/found object, ubran fantasy bent. I make cuff links and earrings from transit tokens, scarves from neckties, and the like.

    I must admit, I am fairly proud of the work I do, and think it is also reasonable priced. Please take a look.

  40. My other Etsy store is Irving Place Photography:

    http://irvingplace.etsy.com

    Again, I am really proud of the work I do, and would be very, very happy to make a few more sales (with which to then fund more work).

    You can also get to my blog via the link under my name.

    Thanks!

    kjo

  41. I suggest everyone tie down the kitchen sink sprayer so that the next person who uses it gets a good spray to the face.

  42. For those in Central Florida OASIS 23 (a local science fiction convention) will be held on Memorial Day Weekend (May 28-30).

    Guest of Honor: Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (writers), Richard C. Livingston (art), Michael Hinman (fan), Rob Balder (filk).

    For more info: oasfis.org/oasis

  43. Crossed Genres is doing a new group blog called Science in My Fiction featuring essays on sciency topics as they relate to fiction. New posts go up twice a week (MF). I’m providing tomorrow’s, on worldbuilding with real worlds. Other topics: convergent evolution, piezoelectrics, medical nanotech, and cooking in space.

    There’s an associated fiction contest for stories based on new scientific discoveries (research is required) with nice prizes, and a Kickstarter project to get the winners printed.

    Please take a look.

  44. OOOO! The timing of this is perfect!

    May 10 is World Lupus Day. As a lupus sufferer, I wanted to do something big-ish and art and media related in honour of this day. Something people from all over the world can participate it. And thus:

    http://lupus.juliasherred.com was born.

    Since I came up with the idea a few nights ago, the feedback and participation has been great. The Lupus Foundation of America has even come on board to help. It would be wonderful if more people would participate. This is to raise awareness and not funds and there are many ways to help out. So please take a few minutes to check it out.

  45. I’m sorry to say this, but the highlight of my day was watching my physics teacher go bald for Haiti in front of my entire high school; as you can see my social life is pretty pathetic.

    For good reads, I can suggest two amazing books. R. A. Salvatore’s The Highwayman is truly spectacular, and this is a great novel to begin with since his Legends of Drizzt series is over twenty books long (all of which are fantastic!). Also, Ed Greenwwod’s latest series begins with the Dark Lord, which I have had to set aside for a while while I prepare for my AP English test.

  46. A pimp for voting, and for helping.

    This is a good time to check and make sure you are registered at your current address and with your current party choice. Avoid unpleasant surprises on your primary and/or general election day.

    Also, this is a good time to check with the county clerk, town clerk, or whoever runs the polls where you live, to see if they could use your services on election day.

  47. Am I allowed to pimp something of my own?

    Survival By Storytelling Magazine is open to subs of steampunk stories by young writers (25 and under). And the first issue is currently out (not steampunk, but folks seem to like the first issue, so, yeah): http://sbsmag.wordpress.com/ <–

    In case anyone is interested. It is a paying market, and yes, we are hoping to increase payment rates in the future. Hopefully semi-pro next year…

    Okay, I'll shut up now.

  48. My sister-in-law’s web shop, The Copper Poppy. She was looking for a dogtag, but was shocked at the prices and decided to make her own. From the website:

    Named in honor of our squirrel-crazy terrier, The Copper Poppy started from a creative desire to make unique, personalized pet id tags without the crazy pricetag! Each piece you see in the shop is completely handstamped with love, personalized to your specifications.

    Each piece is handmade for you with high quality metals, with your (or your pet’s!) style and comfort in mind. Metal gauge is always listed in the postings, along with the most accurate description possible. Recycled materials are used as we’re able.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/theCopperPoppy

    Check it out!

  49. I’ll plug a friend’s project: Cheapjack Shakespeare, a serialized downloadable graphic novel that’s “a college comedy set in an outdoor summer Shakespeare festival.” It’s written by Shaun McLaughlin, the producer of the WB animated cartoons Batman Beyond, Justice League and Static Shock.

    http://www.cheapjackshakespeare.com

  50. We are now taking preorders for the anthology, The Worlds of Philip José Farmer: http://www.pjfarmer.com/forth.htm

    Featuring Paul Malmont, Rhys Hughes, Chris Roberson, David Bischoff, Randall Garrett, James Gunn, Win Scott Eckert and more…

    Oh yea, and previously unpublished material by Philip José Farmer himself!

  51. I may be a little late to the party, but I’d be remiss in not pointing out that the new issue of Abyss & Apex is live at abyssandapex.com with another slate of outstanding stories and poems.

  52. I’ll return the favor and do what SPY called “Logrolling in Our Time”.

    Tom Mason’s got a great blog on comics and pop culture at:

    comics.gearlive.com

    It’s always great to read about comics and pop culture from a guy who has a point of view and isn’t afraid to use it.

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