The End of a Tree

I mentioned before that the crabapple in front of our house had reached the end of its life this year; today brings the actual end as its (mostly already-dead) body is taken out and a new tree is brought in to take its place. I’m sad to see the crabapple go because for many years it was a lovely tree and a joy to see blossom and thrive; nevertheless its time had come and there was no way to save it. I’ll remember it in its beauty and wish it well in whatever afterlife awaits a good tree. The new tree has a lot to live up to, I’ll say that much.

— JS


Get Signed, Personalized Copies of “Kaiju” Through Subterranean Press

First: Hey, look, I got an ARC of The Kaiju Preservation Society today. Here it is with cat for scale. It’s always cool to get ARCs of one’s book, because it’s a nice physical representation of it. It’s convincing proof it doesn’t just exist in your head anymore. And yes, I’ll probably do an ARC giveaway soon. Just not this very second. Give me a few days.

Second: I’m working with my pals at Subterranean Press to get signed, personalized copies of Kaiju to folks when it comes out in March. Order the book through Subterranean, let them know what personalization you want if any (if you don’t it personalized, it will still be signed), and then just before the book comes out, I’ll go to the SubPress warehouse and sign all the things. Then they’ll ship them and they’ll show up at your door. Easy. Also, for those of you not in the US, SubPress will ship to your country, provided it’s currently accepting mail from the US (some places are not due to the pandemic or other reasons; check with your country about that).

This is, at the moment, the best and only way to get signed/personalized copies of Kaiju. In the future, and world events permitting, I’ll likely tour and/or do convention events, so there will probably be other opportunities. But then, we thought we’d be able to tour in 2020, too, and look where that got us. So, if you really want a signed/personalized copy of Kaiju, here you go. Get to it!

Here’s that link again. It’s to the SubPress announcement of the signing; the pre-order link is on that page.

More Kaiju news as it happens —

— JS

Big Idea

The Big Idea: Stephanie Burgis

With a title like Scales and Sensibility, you might be forgiven if you thought that you knew the primary influence on Stephanie Burgis’ new novel. But, as it turns out, you’d only be scratching the surface. Burgis is here today to help you dig deeper.


It is a truth universally acknowledged that Regency romances are even better with pet dragons involved…or at least, I had an awful lot of fun mixing up those ingredients in Scales and Sensibility, my new Regency fantasy rom-com! But it all began a very long time ago with my parents’ wonderfully over-full bookcases.

There are so many advantages to being raised by voracious readers. For one thing, every time I ran out of books from the library (despite our weekly visits!), I had a whole house-full of interesting options to devour. I discovered SO MANY major f/sf writers on those bookshelves, from Roger Zelazny and Lord Dunsany to Emma Bull, Terry Pratchett, and Ellen Kushner.

Maybe best of all, though, before I had even hit the age of ten, my dad had already read me The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and Pride and Prejudice as bedtime stories – and really, that statement explains so much about all of the books that I’ve written as an adult!

I’ve been a huge fan of dragons, fantasy novels, and comedy-of-manners historical romances ever since. Scales and Sensibility combines all of those personal obsessions into one sparkly Regency romp. Despite the title, it’s as much an homage to Mansfield Park as it is to Sense and Sensibility (with my poor heroine – the sensible oldest sister – stuck in the home of thoroughly unpleasant wealthy relatives) – but it was also heavily influenced by my love for Terry Pratchett’s Guards, Guards, for all of Ellen Kushner’s Riverside books, and even for J.R.R. Tolkien’s Smaug, who first made me love dragons with all my heart (even though Smaug would look with disdain upon all of the tiny – but surprisingly magical – dragons in this book).

There are some books that break my heart as I write them – and then there are the books that fill me up with joy just when I most need it. I laughed so much as I wrote this story, throwing my perfectly sensible and practical heroine into the most outrageously impractical and desperate situations. I loved forcing pragmatic Elinor into a dangerous magical masquerade at a house party of doom, with the perilously unpredictable “help” of her mischievous new dragon causing even more trouble along the way. But I also loved writing Elinor’s way through all of those challenges to discover just how bold, strong, and daring she could be. I had so much fun as I surrounded her with an eccentric cast of characters that pushed her to her limits.

Then I had even more fun sharing this novel, week by week, with my subscribers on Patreon as I serialized it across 2021 in what turned out to be the sweetest part of my year. Every week, my patrons’ comments and reactions – and even, from time to time, their passionate arguments over the ethics of different characters’ actions! – filled me with the delight of a truly shared adventure. In a year where our family was dealing in real life with long covid and other hard, draining health issues, I really can’t over-emphasize just what a difference it made to be able to escape into that frothy world of fun and magic and share that kind of reading joy every week.

Now, Scales and Sensibility is officially out – today! – as both an ebook and a paperback, so I’m looking forward to sharing it far more widely. Nearing the end of another pandemic year, I think we can all use some frothy escape-reading and comfort – and let’s face it: dragons just make everything better. :)

Scales and Sensibility: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Apple Books|Kobo

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.

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