July 15th, 2014
…and speaking of War Stories (which I was speaking of in the last post) there is a Goodreads Giveaway in progress. Enter to win. Deadline to enter is August 1.
I have a story in this anthology — “Light and Shadow” — that takes place in the story world of The Red, although it’s not directly related to those books.
July 14th, 2014
It’s still a long way off — not due to publish until next April — but since this blog hasn’t been overwhelmingly busy lately, I thought I’d share the just-released cover of Operation Arcana in which I will have a story.
Operation Arcana is an anthology of military fantasy stories edited by John Joseph Adams. My contribution is a short story called “The Way Home” — and it’s the last story of mine still to be published!** After this summer, I hope to write a few more.
To see a larger version of the cover, and to review the list of contributors,
** I have a story in the anthology War Stories, the ebook of which has just been released to Kickstarter contributors, and will be generally available later in the year.
June 26th, 2014
One Bullet Away: The Making of a Marine Officer
This book was recommended to me. It’s the memoir of Nathaniel C. Fick as he recounts his experiences training as a marine officer and then deploying for the first time — just before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Fick soon found himself in Afghanistan, and later at the “tip of the spear” during the invasion of Iraq. It’s a fascinating recounting of both war and the incredible challenges of becoming a successful “recon” marine.
In One Bullet Away Nathaniel C. Fick mentions a reporter who was embedded with his platoon during the Iraq invasion. That reporter was Evan Wright, the author of Generation Kill — an account of Wright’s experiences riding with one of the teams in Fick’s platoon. Generation Kill is a compelling and very graphic narrative that passes over none of the less savory aspects of infantry life during the invasion of a foreign country. It also explores the personalities of a fascinating assemblage of marines, good guys and bad guys.
Reading these two books back to back was an interesting experience. I was intrigued by the differences between Wright’s and Fick’s versions of events. Not in the raw recounting of events — both were in agreement on the facts so far as I could tell — but there were often significant differences between what each author chose to describe and discuss, and in the tone in which their recollections are presented. The rawest version of the invasion has to go to Evan Wright.
June 24th, 2014
So this is kind of cool…
As I mentioned last month, The Red: First Light was included as one of fifteen nominees for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, a juried award presented for the best science-fiction novel of the year. It didn’t win the award — that enviable honor went to Strange Bodies by Marcel Theroux — but as it turns out, it placed third, behind Paul McAuley’s Evening’s Empires. I’m happy with that.
The link above will fall out of date as time passes, so here’s a link to a PDF announcement detailing both the John W. Campbell Memorial Award results, and the associated Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best short science fiction.
June 23rd, 2014
I enjoyed a very short trip to Kauai at the end of last week. One of the adventures I went on with my husband, Ron, was a short hike on the Pihea Trail in Koke’e State Park.
If you’ve visited Kauai, you’ve almost certainly been to Koke’e. I’ll bet the photo below looks familiar…this is a view into Kalalau Valley — it’s a standard stop for island visitors.
Nearly everyone who visits walks out along the eroded ridge that is the back wall of Kalalau Valley. That is the start of Pihea Trail, which continues along the ridge to a peak on the opposite side of the valley. It’s not very far — maybe 1.5 to two miles? — but there is some interesting terrain along the way. It’s good to remember, this is called a rainforest for a reason.
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June 22nd, 2014
I think I was sixteen when I flew from Oahu to Kauai with a group from the Hawaii Sierra Club, to participate in a two-week “Hawaii Service Trip Program” project — a volunteer work project, in this case devoted to building new trail in the bottom of Waimea Canyon. I participated in several other HSTP projects over the years, but this was my first.
Waimea Canyon — often called the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific” — is an amazing feature that seems entirely out of place on a small island like Kauai. Wikipedia puts its size as about ten miles long and as deep as 3,000 feet. The geology alone is striking, but there is also an abundance of streams and waterfalls which exist in sharp contrast to the generally dry terrain. In Hawaii, rainfall patterns change radically over very short distances. Just to the east of the canyon is a high elevation region dominated by Waiʻaleʻale, the highest peak on the island at 5,100 feet. Rainfall records from Waiʻaleʻale indicate it’s one of the wettest places on Earth. Between the peak and the canyon is the Alakai Swamp, which drains into the canyon, feeding those amazing waterfalls.
Unfortunately for me, I haven’t been back in the canyon since that first expedition. One of these days I’ll need to make a serious effort to go again, but for now photos from the canyon rim will have to do. These were taken on Friday, June 20 — an absolutely gorgeous summer day.
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June 3rd, 2014
Reach For Infinity is a just-released anthology of hard science fiction edited by Jonathan Strahan, that includes my original short story** “Attitude.”
Reach is the third volume of the “Infinity Project,” following on the first two books, Engineering Infinity and Edge of Infinity. The subject is “that period when we’re trying to get off Earth and into space.”
I am honored to be part of a contributor list that includes Pat Cadigan, Aliette de Bodard, Greg Egan, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Ellen Klages, Karen Lord, Ken Macleod, Ian McDonald, Hannu Rajaniemi, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Karl Schroeder, and Peter Watts.
You can find Reach For Infinity in both print and ebook editions at all the usual book-selling locations and websites. If you get a chance to read “Attitude,” please let me know what you think.
** “Attitude” is 7,900 words. By the standards of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, that makes it 400 words too long to be a short story. Technically, it’s a novelette … if anyone happens to be keeping track.
May 31st, 2014
As mentioned in my brief report on the Nebula Awards Weekend, I wanted to post a picture of the dress I wore to the banquet, so here it is at last.
After some consideration, I decided my husband and I would represent our home state and go “Hawaiian-style.” He wore a quietly tasteful aloha shirt, and I wore a dress from Iolani Sportswear, that just happened to be red. (Get it? The Red…?)
Iolani Sportswear has a wonderful store in Honolulu that’s located in the same building as their factory. They have a wide range of gorgeous dresses and some aloha shirts. I included a link to their website above, but there is a lot more to see at the store. Highly recommended if you’re shopping for aloha attire.
Photo © Ronald J. Nagata
May 31st, 2014
The Incomparable is a podcast hosted by Jason Snell that won the 2012 Parsec Award for best fan podcast. Episode #196, released today, features panelist Scott McNulty and special guest panelists Fred Kiesche, Paul Weimer, and Shaun Duke, discussing the eight novels nominated for this year’s Nebula Awards. Yes, that includes my own The Red: First Light. Interesting opinions from a set of panelists who read a lot of books…
Find the podcast here.
May 28th, 2014
A few weeks ago I got to do a Google Hangout with Patrick Hester and John Anealio of The Functional Nerds. (Love that name!)
That chat is now a podcast, available here. I haven’t had a chance to listen to it yet. I have a suspicion I may have said a few silly things — but that’s the hazard of an unedited existence.
At any rate, it was a lot of fun. My thanks go out to Patrick and John — and I hope y’all will check it out.