Monthly Archives: March 2010

In Some Ways Admirable, In Some Ways Delusional

One of the moderately interesting things I’ve noticed about the rhetoric of those who have badgers in their pants about Obama and/or the Democrats in Congress and/or the new health care laws is how everything that happened or has happened during the passage of the health care bills into law has invariably meant doom for […]

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In Exile

The re-finishing and recarpeting of the house continues apace, and it looks great, which is good, but it means that I’m generally on the move in the house while the carpet layers go from room to room. Which is bad. Today for example, I am exiled to my daughter’s room, because they’re moving furniture out […]

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Today’s Strangely Compelling Silliness

Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon, redone as the soundtrack to a Nintendo 8-bit game. Somewhere Roger Waters is shivering uncontrollably. Here’s “Time”: Enjoy it before the lawyers get to it.

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Final Nebula Vote Reminder

Hey, if you’re an active member of SFWA and you haven’t voted for the Nebula Awards, you have until 11:59:59 tonight, Pacific Time, to do it. So why not do it? Voting is fun. All the cool SFWA kids are doing it. Seriously, SFWA members: this is your chance to have your voice heard on […]

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The Big Idea: Dan Wells

Sociopaths are not easy people to love, almost by definition. Naturally, that makes them an interesting literary challenge for authors, a challenge author Dan Wells happily takes on in I Am Not a Serial Killer, which introduces us to a character who says he’s not a serial killer… but knows that he easily could be. […]

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Just Arrived, 3/29/10

And here’s what publishers have sent me recently: * Kraken, by China Mieville (Tor UK/Del Rey (US): This was sent along by China’s UK publisher, and bless them for it; I’ve been hankering after it for a while, since I’m a big sloppy fan of China’s writing. This book features mysteriously disappearing cephalopods, squid cults, […]

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Engaging in w00tstockery, June 7 in Minneapolis

Paul and Storm just announced it on their Twitter feed so I’ll note it here, too: I’m going to be a special guest at the w00tstock concert in Minneapolis, this June 7th. I’ll be joining headliners Paul & Storm, Wil Wheaton and Mythbusters’ Adam Savage, along with fellow special guests Bill Corbett, Kevin Murphy and […]

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This Week’s Geek

Artist and podcaster Len Peralta has started a project called “Geek a Week,” in which he interviews — and then makes a playing card of — a notable geek. Geeks profiled so far include Jonathan Coulton, Fred Seibert and Veronica Belmont. Who is this week’s geek? Why, I am. Go to the Geek a Week […]

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Reader Request Week 2010 #8: Short Bits

And now to wrap up another Reader Request Week, short answers to a bunch of questions. Because I don’t always have to be wordy, you know. Logan: What kind of “perfect storm” of rights, permissions, or people would have to come together for you to consider making a movie out of one of your books? […]

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Reader Request Week 2010 #7: Writery Bits

In which I answer some of the writing-related questions: MacBlaze: Do authors (SF especially) ever use any of the massive over-functionality built into modern word processors? Or would they be just as happy with a typewriter that erased words and saved files? Or, in other words, how much has the tool changed the trade? Or, […]

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Reader Request Week 2010 #6: Depression

Womyn2me asks: Have you ever been depressed or introspective in a way that was harmful to your relationships or way of life? What did you do to find your way out of it? Do you think people would be surprised or motivated by the depths that you have experienced and come out of? I’ve been […]

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The Big Idea: Kelly O’Connor McNees

Louisa May Alcott is the noted author of a beloved work in the American canon… and what else do we know about her? As it turns out, not as much as we might, despite the public and active life the author led in her time. So when Kelly O’Connor McNees chose to make Alcott the […]

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Why Obama Scares Me (In A Good, Non-Tea Baggery Sort of Way)

Obama, personally making, oh, just a few notes on a speech. Hank Steuver, of the Washington Post, notes on his own blog: A photo like this is thrilling, gratifying and also terribly frightening to anyone who delivers his or her own writing to an editor. (Or a group of editors.) I wonder how this picture […]

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Reader Request Week 2010 #5: Rural Ohio, Revisited

One of the most popular topic requests this year involves me talking about where I live and how it affects me, in terms of writing, personal life and so on. This was actually a topic in the very first Reader Request Week that I did, but that was something like seven years ago, so it’s […]

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Column Moves; Living in Science Fiction Film Universes

Big change with my AMC column this week: It’s moved to a new site, FilmCritic.com (owned by AMC), where it will stay for the foreseeable future. And for the moment the comments to the column are off, although that might be a temporary thing (they’re still in the “shaking down” portion of the move). Otherwise, […]

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Reader Request Week 2010 #4: Quitting Writing

Dave H asks: What would it take to convince you to quit writing? Not that I want you to quit, but I’m curious what you’d find compelling enough to make you want to change careers (in a “greener pastures” way, not an “offer you can’t refuse” way). Well, in the sense of writing as a […]

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Reader Request Week 2010 #3: How I Think

DeCadmus asks: John, I’m consistently impressed with how you break topical issues of the day down into their constituent parts; how you reason and make your points (and take apart others’) in your comments. I see some of the same at play in your novels; your storytelling and character building. I’d like to know how […]

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Ooooh, Pretty

Cover art for the upcoming Tor edition of METAtropolis: The artist: Peter Lutjen. And as it happens I received my ARCs for this version just yesterday. The release date for this edition: June 8. So now you know what you’re doing on that day.

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The Big Idea: Tom Fowler

Here at The Big Idea, we’re used to hearing from the authors of books, but in the case of graphic novels, there are two creators: the writer and the artist (and here we tip our hats also to inkers and colorers and letterers…). So in the case of Mysterius, the graphic novel from Jeff Parker […]

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Reader Request Week 2010 #2: Rewriting the Constitution

Fletcher asks: From the posts where you veer into politics, I know you’re a big fan of the US Constitution. So; Early next year a previously unknown addendum to the Constitution is discovered, and the legal repercussions mean that the entire document must be rewritten, or the US of A will become a département of […]

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