Rats and Books

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:21 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
We've been hearing noises in the wall between our house and the garage for a while, and got confirmation today that it was rats. Apparently they chewed their way in through a hole at the end of a rain gutter and got in the garage attic, then got in and have been hanging out under the bathtub. So, not fun. But someone at the university recommended a wildlife removal company that specializes in rodents, and I think that's exactly what we need. (We're also infested with geckos, but that's actually a good thing.) Anyway, it's going to be expensive, but not nearly as bad as I thought.

***

Fireside Fiction has set up an ebook Hurricane Relief Bookstore. 100% of the profits go to hurricane relief funds in Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean. My book Wheel of the Infinite is available there, with lots of other cool SF/F novels, magazines, and anthologies:

http://www.hurricanebookstore.com/

Random Monday Writing Thinks

Sep. 18th, 2017 07:47 am
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
[personal profile] lagilman

One of the interesting joys of the current story-series is that I'm NOT writing a broken or restricted character - I'm writing a character who has gotten his shit together & is taking on a new, out-of-comfort-zone challenge because he chooses to.

Because the story doesn't end when the broken bits of a POV character are repaired/justified.  Interesting stuff happens after, too. And we don't have to break them a second or third time to make it interesting.

Kintsugi is about the repaired form as a whole, not just the golden seams.

This post possibly brought to you by reading too damn many "hero/ine is broken in order to BE the hero/ine" story.  Which are good and necessary stories, but not the only ones we should be telling.

marthawells: (Atlantis)
[personal profile] marthawells



Now that the cover (by Jaime Jones) has been revealed, more preorder links are available. (I really, really appreciate preorders, wherever you shop, not just the links here.)


Note: Artificial Condition is a novella, around 160 pages. It's a direct sequel to All Systems Red and begins not long after that novella ends.


Description: It has a dark past -- one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot." But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks...

Available at:
Barnes & Noble, Amazon US and all other Amazons, Mysterious Galaxy, BooksaMillion, Book Depository, and from a local independent bookseller through Indiebound.

ebook (DRM-free): Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kindle UK, Kindle Canada, Kindle France, Kindle Germany, Kindle Spain, and all other Kindle retailers.




Excerpt:


SECUNITS DON'T CARE ABOUT the news. Even after I hacked my governor module and got access to the feeds, I never paid much attention to it. Partly because downloading the entertainment media was less likely to trigger any alarms that might be set up on satellite and station networks; political and economic news was carried on different levels, closer to the protected data exchanges. But mostly because the news was boring and I didn't care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn't have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.

more )

how earning rewards works for me

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:14 pm
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

Me: I will watch s5 Orphan Black when I have launched BEWITCHING BENEDICT

Me: I will watch s5 Orphan Black when I’ve got REDEEMER sorted

Me: I will watch s5 Orphan Black when I have this unexpected thing sent off

Me: I will watch s5 Orphan Black when KISS OF ANGELS is written

Dear Me: when the fuck am I really going to be allowed to watch s5 Orphan Black?

Apparently Me: when the entire 22 book to-do list is done.

Sometimes I hate me.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

OTW Chat

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:59 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Here's the transcript for the Organization for Transformative Works 10th Anniversary chat: https://www.transformativeworks.org/transcript-for-otw-10th-anniversary-chat-with-seanan-mcguire-martha-wells/
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells



* Excerpt: http://www.marthawells.com/murderbot2.htm


* Interview on The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16315474/science-fiction-author-martha-wells-murderbot-robots-interview


* And we're coming up on the time for the OTW Chat: Today 9/17 noon to 2 EST, me and Seanan Mcguire will do a guest chat for the Organization For Transformative Works 10th Anniversary https://www.transformativeworks.org/today-is-the-otws-10th-anniversary/
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
The cover reveal for The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition, plus an interview with me, is on The Verge:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16315474/science-fiction-author-martha-wells-murderbot-robots-interview

Couple of Things

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:00 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
* On Sunday, September 17, Seanan McGuire and I will be doing a guest chat for the Organization for Transformative Works 10th Anniversary. The topic is "fandom and fantasy."

https://www.transformativeworks.org/today-is-the-otws-10th-anniversary/


* I have a story out in a new anthology: Mech: Age of Steel Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

My story is "Birthright" and it's set in the Three Worlds, about the crew of the wind-ship Escarpment.


lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
[personal profile] lagilman
Watching "Some Kind of Spark" on PBS, and it is having the multiple effect of a) making me homesick, b) making me thoughtful about the ideas of passion, practice and perfection, and c) wishing once again that I were capable of reading music.

Watching kids realize that what they want is going to be a lifetime of hard work, internalize that knowledge, and then go after it, is a lovely thing.



(before anyone offers advice on c, don't. Dyscalculia makes reading music an exercise in nothing but frustration for me)

Blackberries: from bramble to bread

Sep. 14th, 2017 09:24 pm
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

I went blackberry picking this morning, which I’ve been feeling torn up about having had no time to do. (I genuinely feel better for having gone.) I’d found a good run of them a couple weeks ago and went to check it out, to great success:

That’s over a kilo of berries picked in about 45 minutes, which I felt was a pretty good haul. While I was picking, one woman walking by said, “Good day for picking!” and another one who had been out picking yesterday actually stopped to talk to me (Her: I always feel SO GUILTY when I drive by these berries! Me: YOU UNDERSTAND ME!!!!), and that was really nice because almost everybody who’s spoken to me about picking at all thinks I’m bonkers.

So I came home and washed the berries

and got them into the pot

and made jam



and three hours after I started picking blackberries, I had homemade blackberry jam on fresh homemade bread.


Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful. :)

I then made PEAR JAM because we have STUPID NUMBERS of pears on our pear trees (there are by far more pears fallen to the ground than we have had at all, in previous years at this house), and it is wonderful. I had no idea if it’d be any good because I’ve never had it, much less made it, but it’s pretty splendid. It starts out sweet and kind of apple-y and then suddenly it’s like NO WAIT THIS IS *PEAR* JAM!!! and it’s really good! And Ted, who likes pears (or at least processed pears) thought it was wonderful, so I’m very pleased with myself.

Tomorrow I have ambitions of making pear jelly, because I have An Awful Lot Of Pears here, and I bet that’ll be really nice too. And I gotta start doing something with the crabapples and the appleapples and…*despair*

(I mean, I gather other people can just walk on by fruits of the trees and whatnot without even flinching, but me and that lady from this morning, WE JUST CAN’T DO IT.)

(We’re gonna get a pressure cooker. That way I can make applesauce and canned (or at least jarred) pears and…other stuff…that will last if pressure-cooked but won’t otherwise.)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

Murderbot Update

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:24 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
I've finally finished a final draft of the fourth Murderbot Diaries novella. It's due on Friday, and for a while there I didn't think I was going to make it. All Systems Red was written pretty quickly, in about a month, including a few days I had to take off because I had a back injury and fell in the bathtub. Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol were both difficult and each took about two months, including many false starts and complete plot-ectomies, but with this one I probably wrote more than 60,000 words to finally come up with the final 35,000.

Part of the reason it took so long was stress from that monstrous thing inhabiting the White House and everything he's brought with him, part of it was just wanting to get the story right.

I've seen the covers for Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol and they're gorgeous. And I've heard the narrator for the audiobooks, and I'm pretty excited about who they picked. I can't say anything more about all that yet, but hopefully there can be official announcements soon.

In other news, we got a new dishwasher because the plastic parts rotted out of the old one, and we think squirrels have somehow tunneled into one of the walls of the house. So, nothing particularly unusual there.

This day, this day.

Sep. 11th, 2017 07:11 am
lagilman: (Seattle Wheel)
[personal profile] lagilman

Still I remember. Until I am no more, I will remember. 
Absent friends, and the friends we never got a chance to meet. The world that ended, and the world that became.

“Bear Witness”

Years pass, decades,
The revising measure of a lifetime
Entire; I stand here still,
Not stone not metal not fire but flesh
To bear the weight, to not fail nor fall some greater trust.
Rise into the skies and ne’er come down again.

© 2012, Laura Anne Gilman

(originally posted on http://www.lauraannegilman.net/this-day-this-day/)


and for those for whom it may help, I write about dealing with the emotional and psychological aftermath for #Holdontothelight: http://www.lauraannegilman.net/gaslighting-myself-a-holdontothelight-post/

A third of the way into September....

Sep. 10th, 2017 07:13 pm
lagilman: coffee or die (Default)
[personal profile] lagilman
 The West is still burning.  Texas is wringing out, but Florida is underwater.  Mexico is rattled.  The Northeast, I am told, is bracing for locusts.

(Joking.  Mostly.  Kinda.  Maybe.)

I'm writing again, after a summer of seemingly endless interruptions, but not as quickly as I'd like.  On the plus side, the Patreon story-series is flowing like crazy.  I guess it's true: sometimes you have to walk away from people (characters) to want to come back to them...

and ...Pietr, you spent way too much time in NYC.

"Nobody needed that kind of tsurus, without they were working off a lot of bad karma."






Picoreview: Inhumans

Sep. 10th, 2017 12:52 pm
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

Picoreview: Inhumans: not *as* bad as the reviews said. To further illuminate that comment, I also went to see Rough Night this week, and of the two, Inhumans is not the one I wanted to walk out of.

That said, you should not in any way mistake it for *good*.

I went because I was sort of horrifiedly fascinated to see just how bad it was, after all the scathing reviews. The result may be that my expectations were SO LOW that I could not actually be disappointed. Also, there were only four people in the entire Imax theatre (I was the only woman), so I sat in the back row and livetweeted the whole thing, which may have added considerably to my enjoyment of the whole thing, because, I mean, it was awful, but I genuinely had a good time.

The inhuman special effects are unforgiveably bad. Medusa’s hair is embarrassing and her costume is dreadful. Gorgon is wearing plush boots with hooves glued to the bottoms and they must have told him “just walk on your toes, it’ll be fine.” Lockjaw–okay, actually, Lockjaw’s teleportation looks pretty cool, so presumably that’s where they spent all the budget. Although it doesn’t look like an expensive effect.

The writing is *appalling*, especially in the first twenty minutes. I mean, my *God*, it’s bad. Iwan Rheon is not only saddled with truly awful lines throughout, but is also, I think, badly miscast as Maximus, which is saying something, because the writing is so terrible for everyone that it’d be pretty easy to feel that the entire show was badly miscast. But he really stood out. *None* of it is well-written, though. Somebody somewhere said “Inhumans should have been treated as a family drama like The Tudors, only with superpowers,” and that really is what they should have done and instead they…have done this awful stilted thing with a painfully tropey creepy charmless bad guy and…I mean, honestly, I don’t even know how they made it this bad.

Ken Leung, playing Karnak (whose name I never caught in the show, and whom I referred to as Tattooed Attitude), was trying really hard with really bad material. (So was Crystal’s hair. Crystal, played by Isabelle Cornish herself seemed…pretty Crystal-like, really. Not good, but I thought she had potential.) Serinda Swan’s Medusa was…*sigh* Yeah. Anson Mount managed to be utterly awful without having to say a word as Black Bolt, and then he got a little better and I thought perhaps he could pull it off with time and practice, and by the end he’d won me over and I was really enjoying him.

(As an aside, though, these people have *moronic* communications systems for a people with a silent king. I mean, Black Bolt ACTUALLY USES SIGN LANGUAGE in this film. Which is AWESOME, because silent king! Except…Medusa…is the only person…in the entire Inhumans family…who has bothered to learn it, and thus is the only person who actually knows for sure what Bolt is saying. WHAT KIND OF DUMBASSERY IS THAT?! And also they have a, you know, like, Star Trek communicators system, WHICH THE KING CAN’T USE. BECAUSE THEY’RE MORONS. I mean, for God’s sake, if nothing else they’ve been watching Earth for ages, HASN’T SOMEBODY NOTICED HUMANS USE PHONES TO TEXT NOW? Do the Inhumans not have a writing system which THEIR KING could communicate with? OMFG!!!!)

Ahem. Back to the main post:

Gorgon is WONDERFUL. Despite the plush boots and bad writing, Eme Ikwuakor *radiates* charm and presence, and dominated the screen whenever he was on it. I loved him and I want him to have awesome SFX instead of humiliating ones.

There were three twists I didn’t expect in the show, two of which improved their characters (one improved the affected character so dramatically that I completely reassessed the performer’s ability) and one of which made me go OH YAY. And my final verdict?

I’ll watch more. It’s not good, but it’s not as bad as I expected from the reviews. I think its most unforgiveable flaw is that it’s not much *fun*, but honestly I do not think it’s noticeably worse than the first 2/3rds of season one Agents of Shield, which I thought was really grimly bad but watched all of. It’s not worse than Legends of Tomorrow, except Legends knew it was bonkers from the outset and just ran with it, which gave it a higher feet-kicking outrageous entertainment value. But ultimately, yeah, I’ll give Inhumans a chance.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

unplanned day

Sep. 8th, 2017 06:23 pm
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

Today has not really gone as expected.

Poor Indy has a quite awful cold, and woke up around 4am miserable with it, so that pretty well shut down my night’s sleep. I spent most of the morning sure I would still manage to get some work done somehow anyway, and then the poor kid fell asleep on me after throwing up a few times, so I gave up on that and had a small nap myself. Which I really needed, with the 4am wakeup call, so that was all good. :)

And then he woke up and I actually did manage to get a bit of work done after all, but due to the arrival of a needs-attention-now email, it mostly wasn’t really the work I expected to do. Still, something may eventually come of it, so it’s good to have done it. And I did get a bit of the work I meant to be doing done, and I’m feeling like I’m saying a lot of nothing as I write all this. TL;DR: sick kid, work accomplished.

In between that, Dad got the notification of his Canadian citizenship’s verification, which was AWESOME, and I made banana nut muffins which were also very good but not nearly the same level of AWESOME and also this week I got a box of BEWITCHING BENEDICT books which is also AWESOME but I haven’t taken a picture of them yet so I’ll just have to leave it at that.

Also I did not go to the gym today.

Also Wednesday I made a very brief jaunt to England and bought makeup and booze on the way home. This is very unlike me. :) (I’m slowly replacing the makeup I almost never wear with MUCH NICER makeup I will almost never wear. The lady who helped me decide what color foundation to buy said I had very nice skin. I’m sure she says that to all the girls, but it was nice anyway. And I did not buy dark blue sparkly lipstick although I was tempted!)

Also if you have to choose between seeing Rough Night and Girls Trip, choose Girls Trip every day and twice on Sundays. I might do a picoreview about that, if I remember.

Also, per a conversation with somebody the other day, the first thing I ever saw Idris Elba in was Thor, and I genuinely thought he had gold eyes. To the degree that the next time I saw him in something I was like “oh they must have given him brown contacts, that’s too bad,” and then I was like “…or…maybe…not….”

I’m going to stop now. :)

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

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