You May Start Pre-Ordering Now


LIGHTBREAKER is on Nightshade Books’ Fall Schedule. September-ish. Like, in six months. I am giddy with delight, and probably will be for some time. The cover art hasn’t been posted yet, but the sales blurb is (You should go over there and read it, as it might tempt you enough to click that “I WANT ONE!” button). I am going to slurp up the news brief from the front page, though.

“Also coming in September is newcomer Mark Teppo’s Lightbreaker, an explosive, action-packed occult thriller combining Western magick, Hermetic traditions, and shamanism. Fans of Liz Williams’ Detective Inspector Chen novels are going to be blown away by this one. Beyond good . . . beyond evil . . . Lightbreaker.”

(And I do love the fact that I’m the “also” in the paragraph where they reveal the upcoming Vandermeer-edited Fast Ships, Black Sails pirate anthology.)

Up for Air, Having Finished a Draft


I finished a massive rewrite of the poker novella tonight. When asked to trim some of its 12.5K size, I removed two characters, replaced them with two others who were more pertinent to the story, and tweaked damn never every line. What did I end up with? 13,000 words. 500 more than I started with. That’s what “trimming the fat” means around my house.

And I’ve got a bad case of the post story ennui tonight from saying goodbye to all these kids who I just got to know. Good thing none of them died. They can come visit again.

(To be fair, all of them have places in RABBITS FOOT and GEARS, so there is a plan to see them again. And yes, RABBITS FOOT, as a prequel to INSTRUMENT, is me dodging that book, and yes, the poker story as a prequel to RABBITS FOOT is, yet again, me dodging the other . . . dodgy . . . thingie . . . Ah, world-building.)

(That would be RABBITS FOOT -> INSTRUMENT -> GEARS for those who are trying to keep track of the project creep.)

Jonathan Wood rocks my house and some thoughts on short fiction profitability


Jonathan Wood takes over Behind the Wainscot for a bit of cross-linked insanity entitled “The Evidence.” His four plus part piece is the sort of hybridized mind fuckery that I love to read, and I’m thrilled that he’s done something over there that gives me a massive word-to-brain kick. You should go check it out and lose yourself in its misdirection. I really like the way the stories keep getting away from the reader, until you don’t really know where you are and if you are reading fiction any more. Wood has tickled something that is numinous about the Internet: reality is thin and subjective out there in the tubeland. “The Evidence” is a ‘Arthur Gordon Pym meets Mistah Kurtz and they both go hunt the White Whale’ narrative mashed up in that 21st century hypertext/alternate reality fiction sort of way.

Speaking of word-brain kicking, this leads into a discussion point or two about the whole profitability of ezines conversation that has been floating around. It started with Simon Owens’ article at Bloggasm about the history of the ezine and the profitability thereof (link), wandered through a good portion of my daily reading list, had a good question posed by Neil Clarke in the comments of a post by Paul Jessup (the question, to save you the trouble, was: what’s the criteria for success?), and ends with an answer offered by Dr. Bradley in the comments of a topical post by John Klima (to wit, referencing Farrago’s Wainscot: “Success for us isn’t cash—it’s every completed issue.”)

Two things from all this: (1) Chasing advertising is the wrong game because advertising isn’t part of the book reading model (and ezines and online fiction and all that are a variation of that model, and not the internet model which is what successful advertising compensation is tied to); and (2) who is the ezine for, really? The editor or the authors? Or the audience?

Short fiction is transitory. For me, and this is the opinion of a writer who has a full-time day job that eclipses any financial gain via short fiction, the shorties are marketing tools. It is a means of finding and engaging an audience. It is a moment of time, a fleeting instant of “yes, here I am, and here you are too.” It passes and we move on, but connected now, ready to see each other again in that splendid frisson of mutual discovery.

Jonathan Wood’s fiction has, over the last few weeks, given me more than a few moments. He makes me want to go home and write. If’n’when he has a book out, I’m buying a copy. I’m part of his audience. In which case, his investment in short fiction has netted him a return. If you look over the responses to the question posed by SF Signal on the purpose of short fiction, you’ll see that Mr. Wood’s effort have proven “profitable.”

No Longer Shiny


Personal technology shifts happen these days because of the “killer app.” For most of us. If we’re not the type who are chasing the bleeding edge of tech, then it’s the little things that will make us drop Old Reliable and get on with the New Shiny. We’ll put up with things that almost work because they are familiar, and we’re just waiting for the real excuse to move on.

My phone? Functional. Even takes pictures of my pocket at random times, just so I can be sure nothing is hiding in there. But it’s not fully .mp3 compatible for ringtones. Eh, that’s okay. I ponied up three dollars a while back and got a little Ennio Morricone, and I’ll live. It’s “reliable.”

Today, I see Free .mp3 based ringtones. From a wealth of sexy electronic acts–Thomas Brinkmann, Pan*American, Alvo Noto, Andrew Lilies, Andrey Kiritchenko, Deru, Jason Forrest, Loscil, Ontayso, Pole (and I’m just cherry picking names I like there; there’s a ton of others). Yeah, this is the “killer app” moment for me. Now, Old Reliable is definitely Not Shiny.