1. To celebrate the arrival of the author copies of Shades of Milk and Honey, and the book’s imminent release (as in, next Tuesday), Mary Robinette Kowal is having a caption contest to give away two signed copies of the novel. Yes! Signed! To you, even! That is, if you win. But I totally know you’re going to win. Because you’re creative like that. Remember that one time, when you said that thing, and I said “wow, that was really creative?” It’ll be just like that all over again. Only with a signed book at the end.
2. Congratulations to my fellow Viable Paradise instructors Debra Doyle and Jim Macdonald, whose new alt-history novel, Lincoln’s Sword, hits bookstores today. Fans of alternative history will be all over this, and if you’re not a fan of alternative history, you know what? Maybe in another time line, you are. And maybe that version of you is a much happier person. Think about that. And speaking of the general subject of alternate history, Debra Doyle has a great guest post on Making Light talking about alternate history, the Civil War and why people get spiky about it, and her and Jim’s new novel. Meaty food for thought.
3. You know who else is having deep thoughts today? Cat Rambo, that’s who. Specifically, she’s having smart and cogent thoughts on print and electronic publishing, how they differ and how they’re the same, and what it all means. She’s doing it on a guest post at the SFWA blog, and you should all go now to read it because I don’t know that you’ve thought about traditional versus electronic publishing enough today. Really, how you get through your day not thinking about it, I just don’t know.
4. But, John, you say. What about you? Aren’t you going to link to something about you? Because how can you call yourself a venal, grasping egotist if you don’t? Those are some excellent questions, my friend, and in response let me present you with this essay on METAtropolis, in which the author posits that the near-future anthology I edited and contributed to is, in fact, a work of “outsider anarchism.” And once you’ve read that, check out this response to the essay at Futurismic, which discusses the role of outsider anarchism in science fiction more generally. I’m not personally going to address the topic at this point, since I think it’ll be more interesting to let other people bat it around, and anyway, what does the editor/co-author know about such things? I am merely a vessel. (Note for the irony impaired: I am not merely a vessel.) I will say I do enjoy people taking the work seriously. We aimed to entertain, but quite a lot of thought went into the construction.