Bandwidth Boosting

A couple of things that people have sent me in the last week that I’m happy to boost the signal for:

First, this message from my pal Jesi Lipp, about the teen writing workshop called Alpha:

I was wondering if you would be so kind as to mention Alpha on your blog again. Here’s a short paragraph about it, composed by our lovely head of publicity: “The Alpha SF/F/H Workshop for Young Writers (ages 14-19) will be held July 13-22, 2011 in Pittsburgh, PA. At Alpha, students can meet others who share their interest in writing science fiction, fantasy, and horror. They can learn about writing and publishing from guest authors, including Tamora Pierce, Ellen Kushner, and David Levine. Also, they will write and revise a short story during the workshop. Applications are due March 1, 2011.” The website is

Also, we’re currently trying to raise money for the Alpha Scholarship Fund. Going to Alpha isn’t cheap, and we don’t want great young writers to miss this chance because they couldn’t afford it. Last year, we raised almost $2000 by selling copies of “Ned and Jane,” a book written at Alpha 2008. We don’t have an awesome gimmick this year like last year, but we’re hoping that some of your readers might be willing to donate $5 or $10 to help fund two full and two partial scholarships this year. If you could also link to, that would be amazing.

I’m a fan of the Alpha workshop — I visited it a couple years ago and was impressed at all the very smart young writers who will soon run me out of the business with their cleverness — so if you have a teen who wants to learn more about writing science fiction and fantasy, it’s a good place to start.

Moving on, this from Jeff VanderMeer, who is trying to raise $1,000 to hire translators for a book project, and is willing to put his feet where his mouth is (er, so to speak):

IF we reach the $1,000 goal, I will do an interpretative dance based on the title story in my story collection, “The Third Bear,” which will be taped and put up on YouTube for your enjoyment. Trust me when I say that…I am a terrible dancer…and very bad at interpretative dance…and, um, a dance based on The Third Bear…I could do myself an injury on accident…

Jeff’s currently at $425, so we’re not too far off from spastic flailing. It’s probably worth donating just for the comedy value alone.

For everyone else who has stuff they want to promote, I’ll be doing a pimp thread a little later in the week. Probably Thursday or Friday. Try to hold on until then.


And Now, My Thoughts On the AOL-Huffington Post Thing

Looks like AOL is still spending too much to replace me.

(Context, for those of you who lack it: For two years in the mid-90s I was AOL’s in-house writer/editor and did all sorts of various writing and editing gig for them. Then I was laid off and shortly thereafter AOL bought Time Warner. I liked to joke that AOL realized it still needed content, so Time Warner was what they got to replace me.)

(And for the record: I totally would have been willing to let AOL buy out Whatever for only $250 million. Think of the savings! Well, maybe next time.)

(No, I don’t know why I’m still using parenthesis at this point. Just go with it, please. Thanks.)


Hey, Look: Fanties!

In case you were wondering what those creatures, featured in both The Last Colony and Zoe’s Tale, might look like.

Those of you familiar with the Subterranean Press limited editions of my Old Man’s War series will recognize the artwork as Vincent Chong’s, and a terrific job he’s done of it. This will be one of the interior illustrations for the upcoming SubPress edition of Zoe’s Tale, whose cover I’ve already burbled about here. The other interior decorations are similarly awesome. You can nominate him for a Hugo, you know. I’m just saying.

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