Nov 8 2017

The Return of the Return of


My pal Geary Gravel is continuing the re-release of his early novels, so you can keep catching up on what you’ve missed of his ourvre so far.

The latest title to return is Return of the Breakneck Boys, Book 2 of the Fading Worlds series.  The tale picks up where A Key for the Nonesuch left off, with our  protagonist, unheroic normal-guy  Howard Bell (previously dropped willy-nilly into the middle of deadly alien war-games), now the leader of his very own battle-gang, and planning an insurrection against the mysterious organizers of the forced wars.  And in pursuit of that end, Howard and his warrior-woman partner Alaya must leave the Burroughs-esque enviroments of the Fading Worlds wars, and head to —

Um. Earth.

The Fading Worlds series is a lot of fun, and a good turnaround of genre tropes about mighty Earthmen battling foes on barbaric alien worlds.  Things are not quite what they seem, and Geary handles it all with wit and grace. And  I really do enjoy Howard Bell as a character — I always sort of envision him played by Tom Hanks.

Return of the Breakneck Boys: Book Two of the Fading Worlds by [Gravel, Geary]

Cover by illustrator Cortney Skinner, who has known Geary for nearly as long as they’ve both been alive.

In other news not about me…

The World Fantasy Awards were announced last week.

Check out the newly redesigned award!

The winners were:

Novel: The Sudden Appearance of Hope, Claire North (Redhook; Orbit UK)

Long fiction: The Dream-Quest of Vellitt Boe, Kij Johnson ( Publishing)

Short Fiction: “Das Steingeschöpf,” G.V. Anderson (Strange Horizons 12/12/16)

Anthology:  Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, ed. (PS Australia)

Collection: A Natural History of Hell, Jeffrey Ford (Small Beer)

For the full list, pop over to (an excellent source for SF/F news, info and free reads).  Or go right to the World Fantasy Convention website.

(I’ll get to the post about my local library next — but I wanted to get the news out about Geary’s book ASAP.  To allow you that much more time before Christmas to buy it.  You’re welcome.)

Sep 22 2013

A thing I will not do


Hot news in the SFF world:  the 2013  World Fantasy Convention in Brighton England has decided to charge people extra to attend Kaffeeklatsches.

I frankly find this appalling!

I have been at many, many kaffeeklatsches.   I remember when they were invented.  They’re a great idea that spread from Readercon to pretty much every SFF convention around, and are now a staple of the convention experience.

No other convention has charged for them.

WFC claim that they need the money to provide the coffee and biscuits (or cookies, as we call them in the States).   Very few klatsches I’ve been at have provided any cookies.   Occasionally, they don’t even provide coffee.   We grab some from the Con Suite, or the Green Room, or Starbucks and bring it, in those cases; and I’ve been known to buy something at the Tiptree Bake Sale and bring it to my klatsch for the fans.  Cookies and coffee are not the point.

The point is: hang out and converse with an author you like.   Sign up –  because there’s limited space, and there’s a limit to the number of fans an author can coherently interact with all at once — but no charge, for heaven’s sake!

So, here’s my promise:

If I am ever attending a convention as a professional, and they ask me to do a kaffeeklatsch, and they try to charge the fans, not only will I turn down participation in the kaffeeklatsch…

…I will also pick a time and a locale — like a nearby actual coffee-shop, a corner in the hotel bar, or one of the hotel rooms — and be there, available to meet and hang out with at the specified time.  We can bring our own coffee, as we would if we were just naturally hanging out together.    I’ll announce the time and location on my blog, on twitter, on any other social media I can think of, or the convention newsletter if there is one and they’ll let me.  A sign on the party board, whatever!

Honestly, what are they thinking?

Fortunately, I’ve heard that Worldcon 2014 in London (where I definitely will be going), won’t charge for kaffeeklatsches.

Here’s what John Scalzi says on the subject, because he’s a sensible man and a nice guy, and my favorte former SFWA president.

PS: to add injury to insult, WFC is holding their kaffeeklatsches in non-handicapped-accessible room.  That’s just mean!