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2017-05-18 03:22 pm

Queries and Plot Synopses!

Every writer knows that a query letter and plot synopsis accompany the partial manuscript sent to most agents and editors to see if they're interested in a project. But there aren't many resources out there for how to write such things (more now than before). Ages and ages ago, I ran a few projects to help new writers with these unwieldy beasts, called the Query Project and Plot Synopsis Projects I and II. Those links got lost when I abandoned LiveJournal and created this new account at DreamWidth. So, here are links to my posts in those projects, now here on DreamWidth. There are also links to other participants in the projects at that time, although many of those links are probably now broken. In any case, it might be a resource if you're trying to write a query letter or plot synopsis for your book. Check it out.

I'm considering doing another such project or two, perhaps another Query Letter Project, another Plot Synopsis Project, and an Elevator Pitch Project? Hmm. Must consider. Let me know if you think another round of these projects would be helpful.

Query Project: Click Here
Plot Synopsis I Project: Click Here
Plot Synopsis II Project: Click Here
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2017-05-17 10:30 am

Table of Contents: THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS

Zombies Needs Brains is proud to announce the Table of Contents for the upcoming anthology THE DEATH OF ALL THINGS, edited by Laura Anne Gilman and Kat Richardson! For those who backed the Kickstarter, thanks! None of this would have happened without your support. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still get in on the action and get the Kickstarter edition by preordering at the ZNB online store (https://squareup.com/market/zombies-need-brains-llc). You'll get the Kickstarter edition of the anthology before the general public release of the trade edition. Here's the ToC, with the anchor authors and those selected from the open call:

Table of Contents:

“Raveling” by K. M. Laney
“Death and Mrs. Morrison” by Andrea Mullen
“Death and the Fashionista” by Faith Hunter
“Awake, Awake” by Kendra Leigh Speedling
“The End” by Jason M. Hough
“The Dance” by Julie Pitzel
“The Legend of John Barrett” by Shaun Avery
“The Wolves of Lady Death” by Christie Golden
“Wedding Vows” by Leah Cutter
“Cicada Song, in a Country Long-Gone” by Aliette de Bodard
“Dying on Stage” by Andrew Dunlop
“A Constant Companion” by Juliet E. McKenna
“Thrice Remembered” by A. Merc Rustad
“Charnel House” by Ville Meriläinen
“How Death Came By His Soul” by Amanda Kespohl
“The Tab” by Mack Moyer
“Death and My Mentions” by Fran Wilde
“A Shift in Mood” by Kathryn McBride
“Finding the Dancer” by Andrija Popovic
“The Fallow Grave of Dream” by Jim C. Hines
“What Happens in Vegas” by Stephen Blackmoore
“Delayed Exchange Deferred” by Kiya Nicoll



jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-05-03 03:53 pm

Table of Contents: SUBMERGED

We have the official Table of Contents for Zombies Need Brains' upcoming anthology SUBMERGED! For those who backed the Kickstarter, thanks! None of this would have happened without your support. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still get in on the action and get the Kickstarter edition by preordering at the ZNB online store (https://squareup.com/market/zombies-need-brains-llc). You'll get the Kickstarter edition of the anthology before the general public release of the trade edition. Here's the ToC, with the anchor authors and those selected from the open call:

"Rust in Peace" by Seanan McGuire
"Another Dream to Europa" by Michael Robertson
"Go With the Flow" by Esther Friesner
"The Deep End" by F. Brett Cox
"Through Milkweed and Gloom" by Wendy Nikel
"Son of Blob" by Marsheila Rockwell & Jeffrey J. Mariotte
"Under Pressure" by Jody Lynn Nye
"The Last of the Real Good Days" by Bill Kte’pi
"The Windlost" by Jenna Rhodes
"Tamatori" by Susan Jett
"High Sulfur Hot Springs and Camping Park" by James Van Pelt
"The City Under the Sea" by J.C. Koch
"Pen’s Bracer" by Misty Massey
"Fathoms Deep and Fathoms Cold" by A. Merc Rustad
"River of Stars" by David Farland
"The Byssus Woman" by Sara M. Harvey
"The Seven Nights of Squidmas" by Nicky Drayden



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2017-04-27 06:23 pm

Table of Contents: ALL HAIL OUR ROBOT CONQUERORS!

And we have a finalized Table of Contents for our first new anthology from Zombies Need Brains this year, titled ALL HAIL OUR ROBOT CONQUERORS! For those who backed the Kickstarter, thanks! None of this would have happened without your support. If you missed the Kickstarter, you can still get in on the action and get the Kickstarter edition by preordering at the ZNB online store (https://squareup.com/market/zombies-need-brains-llc). You'll get the Kickstarter edition of the anthology before the general public release of the trade edition. Here's the ToC, with the anchor authors and those selected from the open call:

Introduction by Patricia Bray
"Road Rage" by Julie E. Czerneda
"A Vague Inclination to Please" by Brandon Daubs
"Oh, the Humanity" by Tanya Huff
"Director X and the Thrilling Wonders of Outer Space" by Brian Trent
"Gold and Glory" by L.E. Modesitt, Jr.
"Zorlar the Terrible" by Jason Palmatier
"Box, Set" by Jez Patterson
"A Kitty-Bot’s Tale" by Gini Koch
"Rosie Cleans House" by Lauren Fox
"The Dawn’s Early Light" by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
"Iron Hail" by Philip Brian Hall
"Schematic Diagram of a Murder-Bot" by R. Overwater
"Pensacola Wagner and the Robot Invasion" by Rosemary Edghill
"The Headspace Database" by Helen French
"Heroes Never Die" by Seanan McGuire



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2017-03-19 03:13 pm

Book Review: "Mechanical Failure" by Joe Zieja



This is the first book of a series of humorous SF novels. Sort of a spoof of serious military SF.

Premise: Roger Wilson Rogers has managed to get out of the military and start up a smuggling career, but unfortunately one of his runs goes horribly wrong and rather than get sent to a labor camp for prisoners, he agrees to rejoin the fleet ... as an officer! But once on the ship, he realizes that things have changed since he was last here. Droids appear everywhere, along with inspirational posters, not to mention that everyone has been transferred to jobs they aren't qualified to do. Where's the beer hour? Where's the shuffleboard? And what's all this talk about preparing for war? Rogers is afraid he's bitten off more than he can handle, like, actual work. But can he figure out what's going on before the enemy fleet attacks?

This was a fun read, although it does take a while to get things set up for the humorous ending. I'd say about half to two thirds of the book is Rogers exploring the ship, meeting people, and setting up the plot elements that make the last half to a third so much fun. But once the action starts, the book speeds along at a fast clip. The main character is fun to follow and the side characters are a blast as well. A few of the plot elements are too over the top, but it's really just a rollercoaster ride throughout.

If you're into humorous SF with a military slant, definitely check this out.
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-03-14 03:00 pm

ZNB Hugo Eligible Stories!

The last day to nominate for the HUGOs this year is almost here! You must get your nominations in by March 17th. I'd like to point out what is eligible for a nomination from Zombies Need Brains this year. Basically, it's everything from the ALIEN ARTIFACTS and WERE- anthologies, but since we don't print the word counts of each story in the anthology, I've conveniently broken down the stories into which category they belong in below. Also note that Patricia Bray and I are eligible for an Editor Short Form award. If you do consider us for the editor award, please nominate us separately, rather than as a single entry, since the HUGO nominations rules in particular don’t seem to allow for dual nominations. Here’s the breakdown of eligibility:

Hugo Eligibility:

Best Editor, Short Form:

Joshua Palmatier
Patricia Bray

Best Short Story:

“Best in Show” by Seanan McGuire
“We Dig” by Ashley McConnell
“Eyes Like Pearls” by Susan Jett
“Among the Grapevines, Growing” by Eliora Smith
“A Party for Bailey” by David B. Coe
“Cry Murder” by April Steenburgh
“Paper Wasp” by Mike Barretta
“Point Five” by Elizabeth Kite
“The Promise of Death” by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
“Witness Report” by Katharine Kerr
“Attack of the Were-Zombie Friendship with Benefits” by Sarah Brand
“The Whale” by Anneliese Belmond
“Shiftr” by Patricia Bray
“Radio Silence” by Walter H. Hunt
“The Familiar” by David Farland
“Me and Alice” by Angela Penrose
“The Other Side” by S.C. Butler
“The Sphere” by Juliet E. McKenna
“Shame the Devil” by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
“The Captain’s Throne” by Andrija Popovic
“Weird is the New Normal” by Jacey Bedford
“And We Have No Words to Tell You” by Sofie Bird
“Titan Descanso” by James Van Pelt
“Music of the Stars” by Jennifer Dunne
“The Night You Were a Comet” by Coral Moore
“The God Emperor of Lassie Point” by Daniel J. Davis
“Pandora” by C.S. Friedman
“Round and Round We Ride the Carousel of Time” by Seanan McGuire

Best Novelette:

“Missy the Were-Pomeranian vs. the Masters of Mediocre Doom” by Gini Koch
“Anzu, Duba, Beast” by Faith Hunter
“The Five Bean Solution” by Jean Marie Ward
“The Hunt” by Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin
“Alien Epilogue” by Gini Koch
“The Haint of Sweetwater River” by Anthony Lowe
“The Nightside” by Julie Novakova



Alien Artifacts Ebook



Were- Ebook
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2017-03-14 02:28 pm

Book Review: "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline



I'd heard many people talking about this book when it first came out and finally broke down at a book signing and bought it. Mostly, I'd heard that if you grew up in the 80s, you'd love it. And I have to say, that's the case.

Premise: In the near future, a gigajillionaire who built his fortune by creating a virtual reality system that's used by the entire world--a world slowly decaying because more people prefer to live online than unplugged--dies and bequeaths his entire fortune to whoever can find and defeat the three gates he's hidden inside the virtual world. Wade, a teenager, is one of those desperately searching for the gates. But it's been years and no one has even found the first one, let alone come close to finding all three. And then Wade figures out the first clue and finds the first gate ... setting of a worldwide hunt for control of everything, a hunt that turns deadly almost immediately, both for Wade and for those he finds as allies on the way.

This is a great concept for an SF novel, and tapping into the 80s nostalgia is spectacular. I have to admit that I didn't get all of the 80s references, even though I grew up during that time, but I certainly got enough of them to get thoroughly involved in the story. Wade is a character that you can sympathize with immediately and root for throughout the entire book. And the puzzles and clues are sufficiently twisted that I couldn't figure them out on my own; I had to live through the story along with Wade as he figured them out.

If the novel had been only about the puzzles and their solutions, it wouldn't have been that great, but it transcends that initial plot structure and makes the story more about the characters and, to a lesser extent, the world as it has become. You get involved in Wade's relationships with some of the others searching for the gates, and you hate the corporations attempting to find the gates for their own gain just as much as Wade does, setting up the perfect antagonist. And throughout, you get a strong glimpse of what the world is like outside the virtual reality setting. My only complaint about the novel is that, at some point, I expected the novel to somehow address the world and its problems more directly. Instead, the real world ends up being shifted off stage and is only marginally addressed as a "commentary" on our society. More could have been done here, without it shifting into railing against evils in society.

In the end, though, this was a spectacular book. A definite read for those who grew up in the 80s and enjoyed SF&F when they were younger. And if you look deep enough, there's even some commentary and warnings about society and where we might be headed.
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2017-03-14 02:02 pm

Book Review: "The Operative" by Gerald Brandt



The Operative is the second book in Gerald Brandt's San Angeles sci-fi thriller series and it continues the story of Kris Merrill.

Premise: In The Courier, Kris finds herself caught up in the politics of the corporations that rule a near future Earth, as well as the heavens above, when she accidentally witnesses a murder while delivering a package. She survives--because she's a survivor--but she can't return to life as a courier now. Instead, she's become involved in the resistance, training to be one of their operatives. But the Meridian corporation still wants her dead, as well as certain elements within the resistance itself. And they're willing to do anything--even use her mentor and lover Ian Miller--to get to her. As the city descends into civil unrest, she must find a way to rescue Ian ... but she doesn't know who she can trust.

I enjoyed this continuing story and thought it moved in a believable direction for Kris herself. She isn't really the kind of personality you'd think of as being an "operative," and that's clearly a drawback for her in the novel, giving it an immediate sense of tension. So while she has the training to be an operative, her heart isn't really in it, causing all kinds of problems throughout the novel as she searches for Ian and discovers who she can and cannot trust. This being a second novel in a series, there is a transitional nature to the novel, with not only Kris shifting from her courier days to something else, but the entire city and political shape of the world shifting as well. I'm looking forward to the third installment in this series.

If you like SF thrillers, I'd definitely recommend this series.
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-03-03 11:26 am

Signal Boost: REBEL FLIGHT by Mindy Klasky

Today we have a signal boost for a new book from Mindy Klasky called REBEL FLIGHT. Check it out!



Back Cover Copy: Sometimes, rebellion is the only option.

In the sheltered village of Silver Hollow, Keara knows exactly what is expected of her: Worship the twelve gods, pay the Primate his head tax, and follow her mother’s unreasonably strict rules. But Keara’s twelfth birthday is looming, along with an obligation she dares not meet. Keara must sacrifice her darkbeast on a holy altar or be branded a heretic forever.

Other children despise their bonded scapegoat animals. But Keara loves her raven, Caw. He’s the only creature in Silver Hollow who truly understands her headstrong ways.

When a traveling theater troupe passes through the village, Keara glimpses a way to escape. But the Great Road comes with its own dangers, including dread Inquisitor priests who hunt down infidels.

Will Keara find the strength to flee the only home she’s ever known? Or will she be forced to slay her closest friend on the altar of the gods?

***************

To find out more about the book, check out these blog posts:

REBEL FLIGHT's star-crossed path to publication
REBEL FLIGHT's Star Wars debacle
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2017-02-09 08:07 pm

Author Guest: E.C. Ambrose & "Elisha Mancer"

Hey, all! Today we have a guest blog from E.C. Ambrose, author of the "Dark Apostle" series from DAW Books. She's here to talk about the joys of medieval surgery! Oh, and to point your attention to the fourth book in her series, Elisha Mancer. To give her a warm welcome and then check out her newest book! (My review of the first book in the series, Elisha Barber, is here.

Elisha Mancer cover

The course of writing about medieval surgery has been fascinating, though I would not recommend it to the faint of heart or weak of stomach. My series, The Dark Apostle, continues this month with volume 4, Elisha Mancer. While it includes all the adventure, magic and intrigue that readers look for in a fantasy series, The Dark Apostle developed from research into surgery during the Middle Ages, and continues to focus on medical practice—including Elisha's arrival at medical school in the fifth and final volume. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I started writing this series while looking for a bit of information about medieval wound care for a scene in a different book entirely—but I immediately fell down the Research Rabbit-hole. Instead of googling an article or two, I ended up with a shelf full of books about the history of medicine, ranging from the delightful Devils, Drugs and Doctors by Howard W. Haggard, MD, to a translation of 14th century surgeon Guy De Chauliac's Chirurgia Magna.

I usually start with secondary sources: academic references and historical surveys, then drill down through their footnotes and bibliographies to find ever more specialized sources and primary sources as well. The odyssey of my research on these books became an epic all by itself. I consulted doctors and medical students for a clearer view on the implications of leg amputation, and corresponded with a medical maggot breeder (yes, they're still being used today). I had the chance to visit the Mary Rose museum in Porstmouth, UK, to see the barber-surgeon's chest recovered from that 16th century shipwreck, and hired a guide in London to view sites like the Old Operating Theater Museum and the original location of the Barber-Surgeon's Hall.

I even started collecting medieval-style surgical tools. Some of these are from a reproduction set made for medieval recreators, including large and small bone saws, hooks for drawing back the flesh from a wound, and wrought-iron scalpels. And cautering irons, of course. I augmented this set with items found at my local flea market, like a parting blade made for severing limbs, a mallet and chisel for removal of fingers or toes, and a small hand drill. Trepanation, anyone? No one? Yeah, nobody at my signings ever volunteers either.

Medieval Surgical Tools

One recreationist I spoke to described how to use a slab of beef, a length of PVC pipe and a large amount of ketchup to simulate an amputation. They don't let me use that one in bookstores. . .

Part of the challenge of the series has been to carry this obsession, er, focus through multiple volumes, always adding to Elisha's knowledge, and the reader's, while delivering all the action and intrigue a fantasy reader enjoys. Book one, Elisha Barber, finds the protagonist working in Coppice Alley—the street of prostitutes—and confronting his sister-in-law's difficult pregnancy. He must pull arrows, deal with the nation's first gunshot victims, care for amputees and create poultices, all the while navigating the politics of both battle and medicine during the Middle Ages.

Want to know more? For sample chapters, historical research and some nifty extras, like a scroll-over image describing the medical tools on the cover of Elisha Barber, visit Dark Apostle Website

E. C. Ambrose blogs about the intersections between fantasy and history at E.C. Ambrose Blog

E.C. Ambrose Twitter

E.C. Ambrose Facebook

Buy Links for volume one, Elisha Barber:

Indiebound: Elisha Barber

Barnes & Noble: Elisha Barber

Amazon: Elisha Barber
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2017-01-20 11:49 am

Zombies Need Brains HUGO and Other Award Eligibility

So, we're coming up on award nomination season, in particular for the HUGOs and Nebulas. I'd like to point out what is eligible for a nomination from Zombies Need Brains this year. Basically, it's everything from the ALIEN ARTIFACTS and WERE- anthologies, but since we don't print the word counts of each story in the anthology, I've conveniently broken down the stories into which category they belong in below. Also note that Patricia Bray and I are eligible for an Editor Short Form award. If you do consider us for the editor award, please nominate us separately, rather than as a single entry, since the HUGO nominations rules in particular don’t seem to allow for dual nominations. Here’s the breakdown of eligibility:

Hugo Eligibility:

Best Editor, Short Form:


Joshua Palmatier
Patricia Bray

Best Short Story:

“Best in Show” by Seanan McGuire
“We Dig” by Ashley McConnell
“Eyes Like Pearls” by Susan Jett
“Among the Grapevines, Growing” by Eliora Smith
“A Party for Bailey” by David B. Coe
“Cry Murder” by April Steenburgh
“Paper Wasp” by Mike Barretta
“Point Five” by Elizabeth Kite
“The Promise of Death” by Danielle Ackley-McPhail
“Witness Report” by Katharine Kerr
“Attack of the Were-Zombie Friendship with Benefits” by Sarah Brand
“The Whale” by Anneliese Belmond
“Shiftr” by Patricia Bray
“Radio Silence” by Walter H. Hunt
“The Familiar” by David Farland
“Me and Alice” by Angela Penrose
“The Other Side” by S.C. Butler
“The Sphere” by Juliet E. McKenna
“Shame the Devil” by Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
“The Captain’s Throne” by Andrija Popovic
“Weird is the New Normal” by Jacey Bedford
“And We Have No Words to Tell You” by Sofie Bird
“Titan Descanso” by James Van Pelt
“Music of the Stars” by Jennifer Dunne
“The Night You Were a Comet” by Coral Moore
“The God Emperor of Lassie Point” by Daniel J. Davis
“Pandora” by C.S. Friedman
“Round and Round We Ride the Carousel of Time” by Seanan McGuire

Best Novelette:

“Missy the Were-Pomeranian vs. the Masters of Mediocre Doom” by Gini Koch
“Anzu, Duba, Beast” by Faith Hunter
“The Five Bean Solution” by Jean Marie Ward
“The Hunt” by Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin
“Alien Epilogue” by Gini Koch
“The Haint of Sweetwater River” by Anthony Lowe
“The Nightside” by Julie Novakova

https://smile.amazon.com/Alien-Artifacts-Seanan-McGuire-ebook/dp/B01JK5WB34

https://smile.amazon.com/Were-Seanan-McGuire-ebook/dp/B01JK2QIJK
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2017-01-13 05:32 pm

Anthology Highlight: WERE-

And our last anthology highlight (until later this year) will be for WERE-! This anthology was funded along with ALIEN ARTIFACTS in Zombies Need Brains' first dual Kickstarter. The concept--were-creatures other than werewolves--obviously captured the imagination of many writers, not just our anchors. There were tons of submission to the open call, which made picking out the few we needed to flesh out this anthology difficult.

Here's the back cover description and the Table of Contents for WERE-!

Werewolves rule the night in urban fantasy, but everyone knows there are other were-creatures out there just as dangerous and deadly, if not as common, each with their own issues as they struggle to fit into—or prey upon—society. What about the were-goats? The were-crows and were-wasps?

Here are seventeen stories of urban fantasy by today’s leading science fiction and fantasy authors that introduce you to some of those other were-creatures, the ones hiding in the dark background shadows, waiting to bite. Join Seanan McGuire, Ashley McConnell, Susan Jett, Eliora Smith, David B. Coe, April Steenburgh, Gini Koch, Mike Barretta, Elizabeth Kite, Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Jean Marie Ward, Katharine Kerr, Sarah Brand, Anneliese Belmond, Faith Hunter, Patricia Bray, and Phyllis Ames as they take you into the hidden corners of our world to see some lesser known were-creatures. You may want to bring along some silver...just in case.

“Best In Show” by Seanan McGuire
“We Dig” by Ashley McConnell
“Eyes Like Pearls” by Susan Jett
“Among the Grapevines, Growing” by Eliora Smith
“A Party For Bailey” by David B. Coe
“Cry Murder” by April Steenburgh
“Missy the Were-Pomeranian vs the Masters of Mediocre Doom”
by Gini Koch
“Paper Wasp” by Mike Barretta
“Point Five” by Elizabeth Kite
“The Promise of Death” by Danielle Ackley-Danielle Ackley-Mcphail
“The Five Bean Solution” by Jean Marie Ward
“Witness Report” by Katharine Kit Kerr
“Attack of the Were-Zombie Friendship With Benefits” by Sarah Brand
“The Whale” by Anneliese Belmond

“Anzu, Duba, Beast” by Faith Hunterr

“Shiftr” by Patricia Bray

“Sniff For Your Life” by Phyllis Ames

https://smile.amazon.com/Were-Seanan-McGuire-ebook/dp/B01JK2QIJK


WERE- Cover Art
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-01-11 01:05 pm

Anthology Highlight: ALIEN ARTIFACTS

Today's anthology highlight is ALIEN ARTIFACTS, one of the two anthologies that Zombies Need Brains kickstarted last year. The kickstarter was a wild ride, with it funding within the first few days and then growing from there. This is mainly due to the core group of strong followers ZNB has managed to gather during the first two Kickstarters, and of course the stellar group of authors we've got for out Table of Contents. Patricia Bray and I were a little overwhelmed with the open call submissions as well, since we got far more than we expected. It was difficult to narrow those down to ones that fit into the limited space in the two anthologies.

Here's the rundown the theme and the Table of Contents. As usual, this anthology is available in trade paperback and ebook formats in all the usual places, and of course at the ZNB online store (visit www.zombiesneedbrains.com and click on "store").

What might we run into as we expand beyond Earth and into the stars? As we explore our own solar system and beyond, it seems inevitable that we’ll run into aliens…and what they’ve left behind. Alien artifacts: what might they reveal about us as we try to unlock their secrets? What might they reveal about the universe?

In this anthology, nineteen of today’s leading science fiction and fantasy authors explore how discovering long lost relics of alien civilizations might change humanity. Join Walter H. Hunt, Julie Novakova, David Farland, Angela Penrose, S.C. Butler, Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin, Juliet E. McKenna, Sharon Lee & Steve Miller, Andrija Popovic, Jacey Bedford, Sofie Bird, James Van Pelt, Gini Koch, Anthony Lowe, Jennifer Dunne, Coral Moore, Daniel J. Davis, C.S. Friedman, and Seanan McGuire as they discover the stars and the secrets they may hold—both dark and deadly and awe-inspiring.

“Radio Silence” by Walter H. Hunt

“The Nightside” by Julie Novakova

“The Familiar” by Dave David Farland

“Me and Alice” by Angela Penrose

“The Other Side” by SC Butler

“The Hunt” by Gail Martin & Larry N. Martin

“The Sphere” by Juliet E McKennaa

“Shame the Devil” by Sharon Lee & Steve Millerr
“The Captain’s Throne” by Andrija Popovic

“Weird is the New Normal” by Jacey Bedford

“And We Have No Words to Tell You” by Sofie Bird
“Titan Descanso” by James Van Pelt

“Alien Epilogue” by Gini Koch
“The Haint of Sweetwater River” by Anthony Lowe
“Music of the Stars” by Jennifer Dunne

“The Night You Were a Comet” by Coral Moore

“The God Emperor of Lassie Point” by Daniel J. Davis
“Pandora” by C.S. Friedman
“Round and Round We Ride the Carousel of Time” by Seanan McGuire

https://smile.amazon.com/Alien-Artifacts-Seanan-McGuire-ebook/dp/B01JK5WB34


jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-01-10 07:00 pm

HUGO Nomination Ballots Are Out

Hmm, I've gotten my Hugo nomination ballot for this year. Just FYI, Patricia Bray and I are eligible for a Hugo as Best Editor, Short Fiction, since we had 2 anthologies released last year (ALIEN ARTIFACTS and WERE-) and we've had more than four anthologies released so far overall. If you're eligible to nominate for the Hugo's, consider adding us to your Editor Short Form nomination list.

Also, all of the stories in ALIEN ARTIFACTS and WERE- are eligible in either the short story or novella categories. I'll get a better write-up for these (indicating which are short stories and which are novellas) later, but you can start thinking about whether any of those stories are worthy of nomination now.
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-01-10 06:50 pm

Anthology Highlight: TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER

Today I'm highlighting Zombies Need Brains' second anthology project, TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER. This was a fun project, mostly just because of the topic: gadgets acting "temporally" out of order, rather than "temporarily" out of order. Patricia Bray and I had a blast reading the stories and putting this one together, and since I'd already run a Kickstarter, I wasn't pulling my hair out in frustration (as much) while trying to get the funding. The Kickstarter ran smoother and funded much quicker than the first, which is always nice. It was obvious that ZNB had gained a little ground in the "awareness" area; people were beginning to notice us.

Here's the run-down of the theme and the Table of Contents. This anthology is available in many ebook formats and also as a trade paperback. And remember you can always get it through the ZNB online store (www.zombiesneedbrains.com and click "store").

It’s frustrating when a gadget stops working. But what if the gadget is working fine, it’s just “temporally” out of order? What would you do if you discovered your cell phone linked you to a different time? Or that your camera took pictures of the past?

In this collection, seventeen leading science fiction authors share their take on what happens when gadgets run temporally amok. From past to future, humor to horror, there’s something for everyone.

Join Seanan McGuire, Elektra Hammond, David B. Coe, Chuck Rothman, Faith Hunter, Edmund R. Schubert, Steve Ruskin, Sofie Bird, Laura Resnick, Amy Griswold, Laura Anne Gilman, Susan Jett, Gini Koch, Christopher Barili, Stephen Leigh, Juliet E. McKenna, and Jeremy Sim as they investigate how ordinary objects behaving temporally out of order can change our everyday lives.

“Reading Lists” by Seanan McGuire
“Salamandar Bites” by Elektra Hammond
“Black and White” by David B. Coe
“Dinosaur Stew” by Chuck Rothman
“Not All Is As It Seems” by Faith Hunter
“Batting Out of Order” by Edmund Schubert
“Grand Tour” by Steve Ruskin
“A is for Alacrity, Astronauts, and Grief” by Sofie Bird
“The Spiel of the Glocken” by Laura Resnick
“The Passing Bell” by Amy Griswold
“Destination Ahead” by Laura Anne Gilman
“Where There’s Smoke” by Susan Jett
“Alien Time Warp” by Gini Koch
“Cell Service” by Chris Barili
“Temporally Full” by Stephen Leigh
“Notes and Queries” by Juliet E McKenna
“Temporally Out of Odor: A Fragrant Fable” by Jeremy Sim

https://smile.amazon.com/Temporally-Out-Order-Seanan-McGuire-ebook/dp/B011W96IB2


TEMPORALLY OUT OF ORDER Cover
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-01-06 01:58 pm

Anthology Highlight: CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK VS ALIENS

I'd like to highlight the very first release from Zombies Need Brains today, the anthology CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE: STEAMPUNK VS ALIENS, edited by Patricia Bray and myself. This was our third outing as editors, but it was a particular fun and harrowing ride, because it was our first attempt to fund an anthology using a Kickstarter and then produce the anthology ourselves. There was a steep learning curve for me as a "virgin" publisher. While I knew in some sense how publishing worked (having published multiple books through DAW by then), it was still a walk through the dark with a pen-light. This anthology was the result. Here's a description of the theme (although that's kind of obvious in the subtitle) and the Table of Contents. Plus a link to the paperback if you're so inclined. Again, you can get this at Zombies Need Brains' online store as well, among other things.
When aliens reach Earth, they encounter the clockwork mechanisms and Victorian sensibilities of a full-blown steampunk civilization. Inspired by the classic science fiction adventure tales of the nineteenth century, leading fantasy and science fiction authors bring us tales of first contact with a twist, as steam power meets laser cannons...and dirigibles face off against flying saucers.
Clockwork Universe contains fourteen stories from some of the genre's top authors, including: Ian Tregillis, Leah Cutter, Bradley P. Beaulieu, J.R. Hargenrader, Gini Koch, Jason Palmatier, C.B. Pratt, Jean Marie Ward, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Gail Z. Martin & Larry N. Martin, David J. Fortier, Brad Hafford, S.C. Butler, and Seanan McGuire.
"The Cavorite Job" by Ian Tregillis
"Gracie's Fire" by Leah Cutter
"Quinta Essentia" by Bradley P. Beaulieu
"When Comrade Ekaterina Died for the Motherland" by J.R. Hargenrader
"A Clockwork Alien" by Gini Koch
"Heart of the Empire" by Jason Palmatier
"The Red Queen and the White" by Cynthia Pratt
"The Wizard of Woodrow Park" by Jean Marie Ward
"Of Wings and War" by Tansy Rayner Roberts
"Airship Down: A Sound and Fury Adventure"
by Gail Martin & Larry N. Martin
"Steamsuit" by David J Fortier
"Fingers of Steam, Veins of Gold" by Brad Hafford
"Heart of Clockwork" by SC Butler
"Lady Antheia's Guide to Horticultural Warfare" by Seanan McGuire

https://smile.amazon.com/Clockwork-Universe-Steampunk-vs-Aliens/dp/1940709008


CLOCKWORK UNIVERSE Cover
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-01-06 01:54 pm

Anthology Highlight: AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR

I thought I'd highlight each of the anthologies that Patricia Bray and I have edited over the years, both those published by DAW Books and by Zombies Need Brains. First up is our first outing, AFTER HOURS: TALES FROM THE UR-BAR! Here's the description, Table of Contents, and a link to the Kindle edition. It's also available in other ebook formats and in paperback. If you'd like it in paperback, it looks like you might have to get it from the ZNB online store now (https://squareup.com/market/zombies-need-brains-llc), which means it's probably going out of print shortly. (I may have to get ZNB more copies, if that's the case.)

The first bar, created by the Sumerians after they were given the gift of beer by the gods, was known as the Ur-Bar. Although it has since been destroyed, its spirit lives on—in each age there is one bar that captures the essence of the original Ur-Bar, where drinks are mixed with magic and served with a side of destiny and intrigue.

“An Alewife In Kish” by Benjamin Tate
“Why the Vikings Had No Bars” by SC Butler
“The Emperor’s New God” by Jennifer Dunne
“The Tale That Wagged the Dog” by Barbara Ashford
“Sake and Other Spirits” by Maria V. Snyder
“The Fortune-Teller Makes Her Will” by Kari Sperring
“The Tavern Fire” by Db Jackson
“Last Call” by Patricia Bray
“The Alchemy of Alcohol” by Seanan McGuire
“The Grand Tour” by Juliet E McKenna
“Paris 24” by Laura Anne Gilman
“Steady Hands and a Heart of Oak” by Ian Tregillis
“Forbidden” by Avery Shade
“Where We Are Is Hell” by Jackie Kessler
“Izdu-Bar” by Anton Strout

https://smile.amazon.com/After-Hours-Ur-Bar-Jo…/…/B00475AXEM


AFTER HOURS Cover
jpskewedthrone: (Default)
2017-01-03 09:36 am

Anthology Highlight: THE MODERN FAE'S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY

Today, I'm going to highlight another of the SF&F themed anthologies that Patricia Bray and I have edited. THE MODERN FAE'S GUIDE TO SURVIVING HUMANITY was published by DAW Books and was our second outing with editing. Here's the description and Table of Contents, with a link to the paperback edition on Amazon. It's also available as an ebook and of course you can get it from the Zombies Need Brains online store in paperback.

What if the fae were still here, living among us? Perhaps living in secret, doing their best to pass for human. Or perhaps their existence is acknowledged, but they're still struggling to fit in. How have they survived? Are they outcasts clinging to the edges of society, or do their powers ensure success in the mortal realm?

Here are fourteen fabulous tales--ranging from humor to dark fantasy--that explore how the creatures of the fae realm are fitting into the modern world.

From a mortal who offers to do internet marketing for Oberon...to a woman bent on reclaiming her baby from the Queen of the fae...to a dryad grove menaced by urban expansion...to a Selkie in need of a new home and career...these are original looks at how the world of the imagination can survive and perhaps even thrive in the everyday mortal lands.

“We Will Not Be Undersold” by Seanan McGuire
“Changeling” by Susan Jett
“Water-Called” by Kari Sperring
“The Roots of Aston Quercus” by Juliet E. McKenna
“To Scratch an Itch” by Avery Shade
“Continuing Education” by Kristine Smith
“How To Be Human™” by Barbara Ashford
“How Much Salt” by April Steenburgh
“Hooked” by Anton Strout
“Crash” by S.C. Butler
“Fixed” by Jean Marie Ward
“A People Who Always Know” by Shannon Page & Jay Lake
“The Slaughtered Lamb” by Elizabeth Bear
“Corrupted” by Jim C. Hines

https://smile.amazon.com/Modern-Guide-Surviving-Humanity-Collectors/dp/0756407192



jpskewedthrone: (Shattering)
2016-12-13 05:38 pm

Support This Charity: Literacy Volunteers of Broome/Tioga Counties!

Are you planning on buying anything at Barnes & Noble online or at a store in the next week? If so, PLEASE CONSIDER WAITING UNTIL FRIDAY and then use Bookfair ID #11816873 at checkout (either enter the ID online under bookfair OR have the check-out person at the register in the store enter the ID). A percentage of your purchase will be donated to Literacy Volunteers of Broome/Tioga Counties. *The Bookfair ID code will be valid between December 16th-21st.* They will also be holding an event at our local Barnes & Noble in Vestal, NY this coming Friday, December 16th all day. Free gift wrapping and a chance to win some prizes if you enter the drawing. I'll also be there signing my own books from 3pm-7pm (this will include all of the ZNB books as well). Help support this local charity! More details about how you can help through the link below:

http://www.sff.net/people/jpalmatier/LVBTCNewsletterInsert.pdf
jpskewedthrone: (Shattering)
2016-10-10 10:55 pm
Entry tags:

Bullying: A #HoldOnToTheLight Blog Post



Bullying

I’ve been struggling with what I wanted to write for Hold Onto the Light. Not because I didn’t have anything to say—I knew I wanted to talk about bullying; that’s why I volunteered to participate—but because I wasn’t certain exactly what I wanted to say about bullying. I’ve decided I should just tell my own story and leave it out there for the readers to interpret on their own.

I was bullied in school. Not to the point where I considered suicide or became depressed (I don’t think) or anything like that, but it definitely shaped me and my life. I’m a military brat—meaning my dad was in the military and so I moved repeatedly throughout school and passed through many communities with various levels of support for the military families in the area. Some were extremely supportive, others … not so much. I ended up going to three different high schools, spread across the US—Washington State, Virginia, and Texas. It was great to see and experience such a wide and diverse cross-section of the US—something that likely helps me create different, realistic cultures and worlds in my fantasy novels—but it had a significant disadvantage as well: no stability, which meant it was difficult to form lasting friendships. Not impossible, but difficult.

I was bullied at each school. It wasn’t physical bullying, it was more subtle than that. Because I was military and new and got good grades, I was shunned by almost everyone. The first time someone said they wouldn’t talk to me because my dad was in the Navy was a slap in the face. Somehow, that made me different, and as we all know, being different is what draws the bullies in. What it did to me was turn me inwards. I escaped into books, found my friends inside words and pages. In essence, I shunned nearly everything and everyone throughout high school. I was a “loner” that participated in band and other activities, but I never became part of any of the social cliques at any of the high schools I attended. I was always the outsider, and in some sense I accepted it and embraced it. It shielded me from the teasing, which was constant, but thankfully never escalated into violence. Possibly because I became so self-involved that I simply didn’t react to anything they said or did to me. If the person you’re torturing isn’t reacting, the “fun” of bullying gets old fast.

But the point is, without that bullying throughout high school, what might I have done? I’d likely have been part of the theater club, perhaps some of the other more social clubs as well. I might have done more with the band, rather than jumping from one instrument to another. It probably wouldn’t have taken me 28 years to finally come out as being gay. Granted, I may not have become a fantasy writer without the bullying, because I probably wouldn’t have spent so much time reading fantasy and sci-fi novels to “escape.” And I wouldn’t have spent so much time creating my own worlds, with characters that I consider friends, because all of the books I’ve written so far started there in high school.

And all of the books I’ve written so far have had some form of bullying that has shaped the main character. In the “Throne” series, Varis is bullied or abused by nearly everyone she meets in the slums. In particular, she’s bullied psychologically by Bloodmark. In the “Well” series (originally published under the pseudonym Benjamin Tate), the books start out with Colin being physically beaten by a group of kids his own age, and that bullying continues throughout the series, even into their adulthood. And in the new “Ley” series, Kara gathers around her friends who are being bullied by others, because she’s been bullied herself and sees herself as a protector. I even have an unpublished novel called FEVER that, after reaching the halfway point, I suddenly discovered dealt with physical abuse/bullying in the first half, and psychological abuse/bullying in the second half, all unplanned. It simply wrote itself into the story.

So obviously the bullying I experienced throughout school affected me. I tend to tell myself that it didn’t, but obviously it’s coming out in my writing. Obviously, it left a more lasting mark than I’d like to admit. I’m not consciously trying to make my novels or stories about bullying, but it’s certainly there. It’s coming from the subconscious, which does most of my writing in the first place. I wouldn’t be who I am today without the bullying—most likely I wouldn’t be a writer at all, perhaps not even a sci-fi fan—but I have to ask myself, was that really necessary? I know I didn’t experience an extreme form of bullying, but it still had lasting effects. The fact that even this mild emotional bullying altered me to such an extent only emphasizes that the more severe bullying can be devastating.

********************

About the campaign:
#HoldOnToTheLight is a blog campaign encompassing blog posts by fantasy and science fiction authors around the world in an effort to raise awareness around treatment for depression, suicide prevention, domestic violence intervention, PTSD initiatives, bullying prevention and other mental health-related issues. We believe fandom should be supportive, welcoming and inclusive, in the long tradition of fandom taking care of its own. We encourage readers and fans to seek the help they or their loved ones need without shame or embarrassment.

Please consider donating to or volunteering for organizations dedicated to treatment and prevention such as: American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Home for the Warriors (PTSD), National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Canadian Mental Health Association, MIND (UK), SANE (UK), BeyondBlue (Australia), To Write Love On Her Arms and the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.

To find out more about #HoldOnToTheLight, find a list of participating authors and blog posts, or reach a media contact, go to
https://www.facebook.com/groups/276745236033627/