Big Idea Update + Notice to Authors Re: Upcoming Promo Thread

Question from e-mail:

What’s happened with the Big Idea pieces? I miss them.

Sorry, this is all down to me. I had them on a break in November, simply for time and travel reasons, and then they just sort of got away from me for this month as well, because I’m burrowing into other work.

So, two things:

1. No new Big Idea pieces until January. Sorry about that. To the authors who had asked for Big idea pieces in November/December, my apologies for letting that slip by me. It happens sometimes, but I should have been more responsive about it. That’s my mistake. Sorry again.

Authors who have books coming out in January/February may send me Big Idea queries, and I’ll get that schedule built up over the rest of the month. Here’s how to send queries. If you’ve already sent Jan/Feb queries, you don’t need to resend; I have them.

2. To in some way ameliorate for my sins, tomorrow at ten am I will post an Author Awareness Thread, in which authors (and authors only, please) may post about their books, in order to delight and inform Whatever readers, who will then no doubt run out to their nearest book store this very weekend to purchase said delights. Perfect for making readers aware of your books this holiday shopping season! And I’ll peg a link to the thread in the sidebar through the rest of December. That should help.

So authors, come ’round about Ten AM tomorrow (Eastern time). I’ll set you up right.

Clarion Submission Period Open

Most of you know that next year I will be teaching a week at Clarion, the intensive six-week science fiction and fantasy workshop, along with Nina Kiriki Hoffman, Elizabeth Bear, David Anthony Durham, John Kessel and Kij Johnson. If you want to be one of those who gets to drink from our veritable firehose of speculative fiction knowledge, now is the time to get your applications in order: The submission period for Clarion 2011 is now open, and runs through March 1, 2011.

What do you need to apply? From the Clarion site:

[Y]ou must submit a workshop application form,  two short stories, a scholarship application (if applicable), and the application fee. All are submitted online using a registration service called RegOnline.

The application form asks for contact information, a brief summary of your educational background, and a few details about your writing habits and goals. You may submit a scholarship  application along with your workshop application if you wish.

Admission to the workshop is based on the promise of the applicant’s writing at its present stage. In addition to the application you must submit two complete short stories, each between 2,500 words and 6,000 words in length. The stories should represent your best fiction work to date.¬† Although skills acquired or developed at Clarion are useful in other kinds of writing, Clarion is a short-story writing workshop, so please do not send screenplays, poetry, essays, or portions of a novel.

Other questions you might have are probably covered in the Application FAQ.

There are 18 spots, and Clarion is highly competitive, so the part about your submission representing your best work to date isn’t just there for show. Get in there and wow ’em, and hopefully I’ll see you in San Diego this summer.

Zoe’s Tale Limited Cover Art

So, I thought you folks might like a look at the cover to the upcoming Subterranean Press limited edition of Zoe’s Tale, created by the estimable Vincent Chong, who has done the cover and interior art for all the SubPress editions of the Old Man’s War books so far. I’m quite pleased with this one: it’s nice to have Hickory and Dickory in there, looking all alien and stuff. Why Vincent Chong has no Best Artist Hugo nomination at this point is really beyond me; he’s doing great work, and not just for me (he’s won three British Fantasy Awards, you know).

For those of you who follow the link above to the SubPress order page for the Zoe’s Tale limited edition, I’ll note to you a small update, which is that the publishing date is likely Spring of 2011 (it currently says it’ll be published in “fall”). Whenever you get it, however, it will look fantastic.



Here, Have a Jonathan Coulton Video

I KNOW HIM. We’re, like, buds. I once saved him from choking on a whole lobster claw. At Red Lobster. So there’s irony there. Yeah.

I’m lying, by the way. Not about knowing him. But about saving him from choking. Yeah, he’s dead now. He died in a Red Lobster. Last Tuesday.

Oh, for heaven’s sake. Stop looking at me like that. I’m lying again. He didn’t die at a Red Lobster! It was a Ruby Tuesday’s. On Tuesday.

Jesus. I’m kidding, people. He’s not dead. He’s just in a coma. At Ruby Tuesday. Where he lies encased in a large styrofoam take-home box, surrounded by cheddar fries. Awaiting only the kiss of a major label A&R man to bring him back to life.

What a sweet day that will be. For all of us. But especially for Jonathan Coulton. Until then, sleep well, you prince of nerd rock, you king of geeks.

(Also, Happy Birthday, Jonathan (yesterday). I don’t doubt it was the best Birthday in a Coma ever!)

(Also, you should write a song called “Birthday in a Coma.” After you get out of your coma, that is. Because if you write it while you’re in your coma, well. That won’t do any of us any good, now, will it.)

(Also, folks, he’s not really in a coma. He’s just refusing to move until there’s justice. Or until the waitress comes with his check. Seriously, what the hell is up with the waitress? We’ve been waiting here since Tuesday. Next time, we’re going to Red Lobster.)