So, there I was…


It was the end of my working day on Friday (that would be ’round about 2AM Saturday morning), and I was just checking in on my various social media accounts before heading home…

I like to check in every now and then, since I ABSOLUTELY DO NOT ALLOW my accounts to send me beeps and pings and notifications at will!   I have other things to do!  Don’t need to be interrupted randomly, thank you!  Did you know that if you’re deep into something, and you even glance at your email or social media, it takes you about 20 minutes to get back on track?

So, if I want to see what’s going on, I have decide to stop what I’m doing, and  go and look of my own free will.

Which I do.  Because my pals are wonderful, and my fans are the best (yes you are), and I follow some really interesting people. Always glad to hear what they’re up to.

This time, X-Twitter had a little note for me saying Cory Doctorow followed you.

So, I thought: Really?  Cory Doctorow? Well, that’s cool!  I’m ‘a follow him right back.  And I did.  But I also thought: I wonder what brought that on?

And when I checked in again this morning, I found out:

Pluralistic: Daily links from Cory Doctorow

Rosemary Kirstein's cover for her novel 'The Steerswoman.'

Rosemary Kirstein’s “The Steerswoman” (permalink)


Doctorow is — how do I describe it? — one of the voices of the Internet Age: SF author, journalist, blogger (starting back when it cutting-edge), tech advocate, copyright activist. A commentator on the intersection between society and technology.   As an old techno-nerd myself, I’ve had him on my radar for quite a while.

And he says some really nice things about my work:

Holy moly is this a good novel! And yeah, there’s a super interesting puzzle in it that I won’t even hint at, except to say that even the book’s genre is a riddle that you’ll have enormous great fun solving.

…This book is such an unexpected marvel, a stunner of a novel filled with brilliant world-building, deft characterizations, a hard-driving plot and a bunch of great surprises.

Well.  I am, as the Brits say, chuffed.

But come to think of it, the idea of the Steerswomen really is right up Doctorow’s alley.  Heh.

Apparently it was Randall Munroe (of XKCD comics fame) who got the word to Doctorow.



And it was linguist Gretchen McCulloch who told Munroe about the books… I wonder if she’s going to be at Scintillation this year? (I am!)

You know, my friends who don’t do social media (other than Facebook), sometimes ask me what the point is.  Where else would I find out what Cory Doctorow’s up to lately (he’s on a tour for his latest book, The Bezzle) or Gretchen (new episode of her podcast “Lingthusiasm” with Lauren Gawne) , or Daniel Pinkwater (he’s put out an open call for an illustrator to collaborate with)?

One does have to be careful not to drown in it– especially if you’re a teen.   And some people get toxic comments, sad to say (and it’s mostly women who seem to be the targets).

But so far, it’s allowed me to stay in touch with writers, scientists, musicians, artists — all sorts of people who I would not run into in the course of my normal day.  It’s worth it.

I’m on X-Twitter: @rkirstein

Blue Sky:

and Facebook: Rosemary Kirstein — writer

(There’s a second Facebook account, but non-public, for family and close friends.)

14 Responses to “So, there I was…”

  • Richard Says:

    Always glad to hear of another Steerswoman convert!

  • Harry Says:

    Very cool. I’d love to see a “day in the life” post, to get some insight. It’s always fascinating to see the inside of a writer’s day.

  • Kate Says:

    Not sure if you know about the steerswoman reference in an xkcd comic?

    Search this page for the word steerswoman

  • Matt Says:

    I learned about your books from comments on last year, and poured them straight into my brain. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t heard of them before, so I guess I’m slightly comforted that Doctorow hadn’t either. Here’s to the grapevine!

  • Dennis Wise Says:

    Hi! By a massive coincidence, I happened to read Doctorow’s post just as I myself was reading *Steerswoman*, and I’d picked it up because I learned it had alliterative verse in it (a subject I study and just published a book on last December). I just ordered the other books in the series, but if sometimes in the new few weeks if you’d be willing to talk, I’d love to ask you about both alliterative verse and Del Rey books in particular …

    • Rosemary Says:

      Heh. All I know about alliterative verse is… well, Beowulf. That’s it. I had no idea that there was a revival going on.

      I went and found your book on Amazon (Speculative Poetry and the Modern Alliterative Revival: A Critical Anthology) (, and plonked down my hard-earned bucks. Let’s see what that revival is all about!

      • Dennis Wis Says:

        Well hey, wow, that’s very kind of you! I hope you find it interesting.

        And it’s intriguing that all you know about AV is Beowulf. So no Tolkien? In any case, you make a pretty good approximation, including caesuras and three-alliterating lifts per line. If I may ask, did you take courses in medieval lit in college, or have a special interest in Beowulf, or use a translation that emphasized meter?

  • Jeremy Wakeman Says:

    Anything Cory Doctorow enjoys enough to blog about is worth trying, so I got your series from smashwords. I’m especially glad there’s a non-DRM method to buy. I still read on my Kindle, but I’m trying to escape Amazon’s clutches.

    Enjoying so far!

    • Rosemary Says:

      Actually, NONE of my ebooks have DRM — including those sold on Amazon.

      I think that if you use Amazon as your actual publisher, they’ll slap on a DRM. But I’m my own publisher; I just sell through them, same as any other publisher. I get to decide, and no way I was going to go DRM.

      And by the way, not all “trad” publishers use DRM. Notably, Tor Books publishes their ebooks DRM-free.

  • Elly Says:

    OMG that is amazing! I knew Cory Doctorow had good taste. I found your books last year and was absolutely enchanted; it might be about time for a re-read. I was wondering–I just read Gene Wolfe’s The Book of the New Sun for the first time–did that perhaps have any influence on the Steerswoman universe? I had that same feeling of slow realization that–oh wow–this is a far future science fiction masquerading as a fantasy.

    • Rosemary Says:

      Sorry about the delay in replying! WordPress seems not to alert me when someone posts a comment… it used to.

      But to answer: Nope, Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun was not an influence. I actually (and am embarrassed to admit) have never read that series at all!