Mar 22 2018

Nicole Kimberling lays it on the line! (And quotes the StoryBundle authors)

Rosemary

In a nifty article in The Mary Sue, Nicole Kimberling reminds us why we still need feminist science fiction — and the different forms it can take.

 

“Happy Snak is about a woman who owns a dinky snack bar in space. She fraternizes with aliens and refuses to comply with arbitrary regulations but is otherwise largely apolitical. Why, I wondered, would anybody consider this feminist? Then, thinking further, I realized that for many women, just being themselves and making (and spending) their own money is still considered a threatening and subversive act. (I’ve got my eye you, Quiverfull.)”

Nicole goes on to explore the whole question of  how a non-political story can be “feminist,” with lots of quotes from the other authors in the bundle.

The books in the Feminist Futures bundle really do show a wide range of styles, points of view, content — but what I see common among them is that they show women being themselves, and not a sidekick in someone else’s adventure.  Western society at large formally accepts the idea of women’s autonomy, but when it comes down to some of the folks you meet in life — well, let’s just say that there are significant holdouts.

We need lots more good examples, lots more engaging tales to be read and loved for their own sake.  And when they also promote the idea that a woman as protagonist is perfectly acceptable, even normal — well, that’s helping us create the future, right?

The Feminist Futures StoryBundle is still available for one more week — and then it will be gone!

It includes:

Starfarers Quartet Omnibus – Books 1-4 by Vonda N. McIntyre
The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein
Happy Snak by Nicole Kimberling
Spots the Space Marine by M.C.A. Hogarth
The Terrorists of Irustan by Louise Marley
Alanya to Alanya by L. Timmel Duchamp
Code of Conduct by Kristine Smith
Queen & Commander by Janine A. Southard
The Birthday Problem by Caren Gussoff
To Shape the Dark by Athena Andreadis

 

I am a bonus.


Mar 19 2018

Nicole Kimberling and Happy Snak

Rosemary

Ten days left on the Feminist Futures Storybundle (which includes The Steerswoman), and curator Cat Rambo has uploaded another interview.  This one is with Nicole Kimblerling, talking about her novel Happy Snak, and how research can lead you to a whole unexpected second career…

 

Don’t forget that you can sample the books in the bundle by clicking on the cover images to read an excerpt. And that the bundle includes 10 authors.

In non-bundle news: My plan of keeping my non-writing commitments to a minimum for the month of March is paying off.  My brain seems to have much more room in it!  This is especially useful when the structure of the plot on hand can only be visualized as a multilevel, three-dimensional, construct.  This sounds more complicated than it actually is, as I realized when I got enough of the thing in place to enable me to infer the rest.

Also, clearing away the debris of previous attempts helped…


Mar 13 2018

Cat Rambo interviews Athena Andreadis about To Shape the Dark

Rosemary

More on the Feminist Futures StoryBundle (of which I am a part), with StoryBundle curator Cat Rambo talking to Athena Andreadis about the anthology To Shape the Dark.  The theme was women in science, and Andreadis discusses approaching writers whose work she especially likes, hoping they’d contribute a story.  Hearing her reminded me of the stories I particularly liked, myself, and I really must say that this anthology is well worth acquiring!

And you can acquire it easily by acquiring the StoryBundle.  Easy!

 

Also, here’s an especially neat anecdote about Vonda McIntyre’s Starfarer series (also in the bundle) and the unusual way by which it came to existence at all…

In completely unrelated news, the latest snowstorm wasn’t so very bad after all, and the new accumulation around here has already turned into melted water, for the most part, — and treacherously turning into ice on all surfaces.  Luckily, this was one of my at-home days, taking care of my non-creative, general-life chores, so no driving was neccessary.  Back to the office tomorrow…


Mar 8 2018

The Feminist Futures Story Bundle

Rosemary

Last month, much to my surprise, I discovered an email in my inbox from Cat Rambo, the current president of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (aka SFWA), of which I am a member.

Oh, says I.  Look at that. Whatever can this mean?  SFWA business?  In arrears on my dues?  Zombie apocolypse? (Because, when that happens, you know we’ll be the first to know.)

Nope.  It turned out to be a request to participate in the Feminist Futures Story Bundle, curated by none other than Cat herself.   I replied, as quickly as possible: “Yes, please.”

Do you not know what a story bundle is?  Here’s how it works.

They take a selection of ebooks, often with a common theme, package them together, and offer them for sale… with these interesting differences:

  • You pay as much as you like (above the minimum of $5) and get four titles.
  • If you decide to pay $15 or more, you get an extra six titles.
  • You, the buyer, decide what proportion of your payment goes to the authors, and what proportion goes to keep StoryBundle.com alive.
  • You can choose to give some of the proceeds to charities that encourage young writers.
  • All the ebooks are DRM-free.

Cat pulled this collection together just in time for Woman’s History Month — and I think it rather neat to celebrate history by looking at the future — as written by women.   All these books are by women, and all of them feature women in the starring roles.

Here’s what you get for a mere $5:

That’s $1.25 apeice, folks…

And if you decide to pay $15 or more, you also get these:

I am a bonus.

Personally, I’m especially looking forward to reading Vonda McIntyre’s Starfarer’s Quartet Omnibus which, I must point out, is actually four books in one.  So really, for $15 you’d get the equivalent of thirteen books.

And you can, if you wish, pay more than $15… which does mean more for the authors.  At a proportion that you choose yourself.

Really, it’s a neat concept.

Here’s what Cat Rambo herself has to say about the bundle.

And yes, you probably already have The Steerswoman.  Possibly in more than one format.  I suspect this, because you’re here!  You must have read something by me.

But here’s a chance to try some new books, new female authors, some of whom you may come to love.

Nervous about taking a chance?  Fortunately, you can check out excerpts from each of these.  Just go to the StoryBundle website. click on any cover, and read the sample.

I think this is amazing fun, and I’m thrilled to be part of it.   You should check it out. The Feminist Futures StoryBundle is only available until March 29th.

(StoryBundle is also currently running a bundle of Sorcery & Steam ebooks, curated by Kristine Kathryn Rusch,  and a variety pack of Young Adult novels, curated by Nick Harlow. Those are ending sooner — March 14, I believe.)

And that’s what I’ve been doing for the last week  — because although I heard about it last month, it wasn’t until last Tuesday that I learned exactly what I had to provide (epub version, mobi version, both with covers attached, a separate cover image, blurbs, exerpts, etc) and I had to hand it all in by the Friday.  Much dashing about ensued.

That done, I shall go back to what I was doing: cooling off from the heated production of the paperback steerswoman books, updating my website links (all out of date, now that the paperbacks exist), cogitating deeply, and writing.

Also, playing some guitar.  Just because.


Mar 5 2018

If it’s not one thing, it’s another…

Rosemary

… which, of course, is a true statement about existence in general, really.  Because if it’s not one thing, it pretty much has to be another.  Those are the only actual alternatives.

But in this case it’s : just when you think you’re completed some specific task that’s been taking up all your time for, oh, a couple of months, causing you to neglect all sorts of stuff, and you can now catch your breath, catch up on sleep, catch up up on people, relax, reconfigure, settle in and get things  on an even keel —

— just then something else pops up that needs your attention and action Right Now.

Not a bad thing; no, no, quite the opposite.   A nice thing.  And one that needs being done immediately.

Well.  Do the thing, of course.  And glad to do it!

But, it means that the people you want to catch up with, and respond to (and apologize to!) have to wait a bit longer.  Which, fact, of course, merits its own apology…

Anyway, more about the Sudden Thing shortly (she said mysteriously).


Feb 23 2018

Whew.

Rosemary

Okay, just got the latest proof copy of The Language of Power from CreateSpace, and I’m calling it.  DONE!

That dragon looks almost real to me…

That’s it — all four now in paperback.

Createspace said it would take a day or so for it to appear on Amazon.com… but I see that it’s up right now!

However, it’s not yet linked to the reviews made for previous editions.  I’ll have to tell them to do that, again.

I’ve ordered a bunch of copies, including those for my five valiant volunteers, who made proofing this book so much more pleasant than the previous.  Once they get here (in a couple of weeks, looks like) I’ll be asking for your street addresses so I can mail you your copy.  You are angels.

Thing that I’m not going to do (yet): I’m not going to go back and do another version of The Steerswoman in a size to match the other three books.  Because — I’ve sorta had it for now.  Really.   Spent a lot of time doing this, and I have other stuff that needs getting done!

Except, right now, I plan to nap.  ‘Cause, I’m beat.

 


Feb 16 2018

The Lost Steersman is up, but oddly not linked

Rosemary

Apparently Amazon did not recognize that the new paperback version of The Lost Steersman is a new paperback version of the previously-existing Kindle version, and I had to go tell them!  If you’ve been looking for it, you might not have found it merely by asking Amazon to show you all the books by Rosemary Kirstein.   The fix should take in a day or so, but in the meatime, here’s a handy link!

 

Also, searching for “The Lost Steersman” will get you there.  Apparently this linking process is less automatic than I had assumed.   I do believe I had to do that for The Outskirter’s Secret as well.

Meanwhile, I’m waiting for the physical proof copy of The Language of Power.  It should be here on Wednesday, and I’m almost certain that there will be no issues, and I’ll be able to approve it to go live that day!  The assistance of my voluteers has made working on that book far less angst-ridden than on the previous.  Many errors that would have slipped by my bleary eyes were spotted by the volunteers.

Yikes, I’m beat.  That’s way too much time spent publishing and not enough time spent writing!  But it’s done.

In celebration I’m heading to Boskone tomorrow — not as a participant but as a mere attendant, where I shall delight in hearing fascinating panels, and engaging in conversations with intelligent people.  I’ve been sort of locked in a box lately, and I must get out into the world!

I did get out last weekend for a day, when Sabine and I, with our pals Rob and Jan Walker, participated in an escape room adventure at Mystified in Mystic, CT.  It was great fun!  This particular outfit has a real steam-punk mentality that we appreciated.

Also: in between iterations of corrections and cover-creation, I’ve diverted and amused myself with Jo Walton’s latest book, a collection of her short works.

Starlings by [Walton, Jo]

I have written exactly two short stories, but have ambitions to write more of them.  I find Jo’s collection to be a particularly nice set of examples of the different forms that short works can take.  There are linked vingnettes, structured stories, short-shorts, fictional musings, fictional correspondences, and my personal favorite, “Escape to Other Worlds with Science Fiction,” (read it for free on Tor.com) which I have no idea what to call, but which is deeply clever and well-executed.

In the introduction, she does some explaining about what she believes does and does not contsitute an actual story, and when an idea is best for a story rather than an novel — but I’m going to have to have some deep discussions with her when I see her next, because I don’t quite agree, I think…  I love her idea of “mode”, but the “weight” of the ending… ?  Hm.  She might be using “weight” not to mean importance, but something else…

Must go now or I’ll be up too late to get out early to hit the road!


Feb 10 2018

Cover for The Language of Power paperback

Rosemary

A few tweaks left to do, but I thought you might like to see…

 

Sure, embiggen — why not?

Takin’ tomorrow off!  Beause I have to see other human beings.  I know they’re out there…


Feb 7 2018

Volunteers found! Thanks to all of you who wanted to help.

Rosemary

Almost immediately, folks stepped forward, and within an hour or so I had five volunteers to help find typos.   Problem solved!

So… I’d also like to thank all those who wanted to help too, but missed the window.  It was a really short window.

You are all very nice people!  Thanks.


Feb 5 2018

Okay, who wants to play “Spot the Typo?”

Rosemary

(UPDATE: Five volunteers found!  Thanks, all — you’ll be hearing from me soon.)

I’m down to the last book in my paperback-reissue of the series so far…

As you know, The Lost Steersman required several iterations, as I kept missing typos, fixing ’em, finding more, fixing ’em again… but then the cover gave me grief by reproducing in somewhat different colors than appeared on my screen, requiring multiple cover fixes, as well.

And now I’m into the proofing of The Language of Power, and creating a cover to match the style of the other new paperback versions —

Frankly, I had so much back-and-forth with The Lost Steersman, that I’m now very suspicious of myself.   I kept thinking I was done, almost letting it go to print, and at the last minute saying: “Let’s just check one more time” — and finding even more that I’d missed.  This happened over and over!

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Either The Lost Steersman had an inordinate number of typos, or my brain was completely curdled by repeated previous proofing and cover-creating.   And these two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.

One of you (Hi, Charlie!) had offered to help with the proofing on that book — but I was close to done by then, so with many thanks, I declined.

Also, that’s a great big task to drop on someone!  Yow.

But then, it occurred to me… what if it were a littler task?

Here’s what I’ve done for the next book (The Langauge of Power):  I’ve split it into five chunks of 45 to 65 pages.  I’m looking for five people —  noble volunteers! — willing to take a section and run their eyes over their bit, looking for typos.   And willing to tell me their findings by midnight Eastern Time on Friday.

True, that’s only a couple of days… but it’s only a few pages, too!  You are people who read a lot, right?  ‘Course you are.  Should be a breeze.

And, as a token of my gratitude, you get… an autographed copy of the new paperback version of The Language of Power, when it’s done.

Any takers?  If you’re up for it, drop me an email (rosemary.kirstein@gmail.com).  I’ll email a PDF for you to peruse (or an MSWord Doc file).

And for reasons of shipping costs, I’m looking for people in North America only.   (Australia, I love you, but any time I have to snail-mail a book to you I have to pawn a guitar to cover the postage.  I only have so many guitars.)

Well.  Drop a line, if you’re interested.

(I feel a little like Zenna in the Annex, asking people to put just five books on the right shelf…)

In other news:

He’s way up there. Embiggening won’t help.

My eyes caught more than my iPhone could… and there is no doubt that that is a BALD EAGLE.

I watched him for a long time,  soaring in circles, all the way along the Quinnipiac River, which is mere steps away from my office.

And a few days later, he was there again.  I do believe he’s here to stay.