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Photo credit: Dim Horizons Studio

Everything Changes

While this won’t be much of a surprised to the more experienced, time moves slowly in the publishing world. Right up until time moves fast. And that was last month. A few weeks ago I signed with an agent, and I assumed–given the time it’s taken to get to this point, the years of work–that it would probably be months before I had any real news, that it would be a slow but steady knocking on doors as he tried to find a good fit for my manuscript. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. Today, I have a book deal. Now, to give you a little bit of background on this, if you had asked me to name the one publishing company that I wanted to work with the most, my answer would have been Tor. I wouldn’t have hesitated. Tor. And if you had sat me down with a list of editors that I could work with, and let me chose (and I admit that I didn’t really follow editors before this, so I would have had …

Why Momma Needs Her Stories

Anyone who doubts that the worlds we create in fiction can have a profound effect on the reality around us should go read this article on world-wide fertility rates. If you’re anything like me, you grew up being told several unassailable facts: one, that the world-wide population was booming to unsustainable levels and two, this was because  third world countries were having too many kids. I remember hearing incredible numbers: the population of the planet would be at 10 billion by 2010, which would of course lead to everyone starving and killing each other over that last piece of broccoli  Except this hasn’t quite panned out. The chaotic system turns out to be just a little self-adjusting, and it’s not necessarily for the reasons you’d think — certainly for no reason Darwin would have suggested. Population growth has slowed radically in the last twenty years. Virtually every part of the world but Africa is now operating at near ‘replacement’ levels of population growth — i.e. populations that are either self-sustaining or shrinking. Africa is still seeing …

The Right Way to Begin

I’m not usually one for affirmations, but this. Every time I doubt myself: this. I’ve finished the first draft of Blood Chimera. Once I’m finished with the first draft proofing and removing of all that passive voice (god oh god, why is it so damn easy for me to write in passive voice?) I’ll send the manuscript out for beta reading and, hopefully, walk away from it for a while. While people are reading, I told myself I was going to do a lot more blog writing, but honestly, I may just jump into the rewrite of Marduk’s Rebellion. As the imitable zefrank says: Let’s start this shit up. [Added: Doesn’t he look like Alan Tudyk above? Weird.]

The Best School

Last year this article started making the rounds on facebook and social media. Various other sources have picked it up because…well go on, read it. It’s amazing, isn’t it? The core idea is like Lord of the Flies with knowledge instead of blood as the punchline. They took one thousand tablet PCs, still in boxes, dropped them off at two villages, and left. No instructions. No lesson plans. Then…they let kids do what kids do best: get into shit they’re not supposed to be messing with. Six months later, those kids had not only figured out how to use the computer to teach themselves, their parents, and everyone around them to read and write but had taught themselves hacking in order to turn back on some of the tablet features (like the camera and internet access) that had been turned off originally. Would those kids have done all that if they’d been forced to? Marched into a school, sat down and given a strict lesson plan with at least three hours of homework? Maybe…I’m open …