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Where's Seanan? The Marcon edition!

It's almost time for Marcon, Columbus, Ohio's own genre extravaganza! I'm their Author Guest of Honor this year...but where can you find me? Well.

Friday.

5:30PM, Union C: "Writing Non-Human Characters."

7:00PM, Union E: "You Got Your Song in My Book! You Got Your Book in My Song!"

Saturday.

1:00PM, Battelle South: Seanan McGuire in concert, featuring Dead Sexy! This is one of my favorite iterations of my ever-shifting backing band, and we are going to blow your socks off. Like, seriously, if you only come to one of my events this weekend, this should be the one.

5:30PM, Fairfield: "In Conversation With Seanan McGuire." It's the usual gig: you ask me questions and I will answer them, which means the quality of the event is entirely up to you. Show up, ask me stuff, and find out what kind of ridiculous reptile stories I'll tell while in the grips of an adrenaline crash after my concert.

Sunday.

11:30AM, Regency Ballroom: Autograph Session.

ISFIC will have copies of the new Velveteen book for sale, along with everything else they have to offer; we'll have CDs and some of the remaining T-shirt stock (rarities all!) at the concert merchandise table.

Hope to see you there!
...I'll take a deep, deep breath, but I'll come back to haunt you if I drown.

Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the never-ending parade of ongoing projects, keeping me from losing track of what I'm doing and dissolving into a weeping pile of insecurities and confusion. Hooray!

Publications

"Ye Highlands and Ye Lowlands," May 3, 2016 (Uncanny).
Velveteen vs. The Seasons, May 6, 2016.
"Regulation," June 7, 2016 (Galactic Games).
Rise, June 21, 2016.
"Tailed," July 26, 2016 (Urban Allies).
"Full of Briars," August 3, 2016 (DAW Books e-original).
"Forbidden Texts," August 26, 2016 (What the #@&% Is That?).
Once Broken Faith, September 6, 2016.
Feedback, September 27, 2016.
"Sleepover," November 1, 2016 (Shadowed Souls).

"Long Way Down," unknown (Genius Loci).
"Opening Band," unknown (The Paul and Storminomicon).

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

Marcon, May 6-8 2016, Columbus OH.
Superhero Team-Up Urban Fantasy Edition, July 5, Mysterious Galaxy, San Diego CA.
Superhero Team-Up Urban Fantasy Edition, July 6, Skylight Books, Los Angeles CA.
Superhero Team-Up Urban Fantasy Edition/RISE release party, July 9, Borderlands Books, San Francisco CA.
Superhero Team-Up Urban Fantasy Edition, July 12, Powell's Books, Beaverton OR.
ConQuest 47, May 27-29 2016, Kansas City MO.
CrossingsCon, June 24-26 2016, New York NY.
San Diego International Comic-Con, July 21-24 2016, San Diego CA.
ICON, October 28-30 2016, Cedar Rapids IA.

Worldcon, August 8-13 2017, Helsinki Finland.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

"Threnody for Little Girl, With Tuna"
"With Graveyard Weeds and Hemlock Seeds"
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"Sentence Like a Saturday"
"Beneath the Sugar Sky"
"Stage of Fools"
Echo

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

In the case of stories listed with a publication note of "website," these are approximate dates only, and should not be viewed as binding. If the story does not appear on that date, it has been delayed, and will be posted when I can.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

Today is Administrative Professionals Day, which means today is the day we celebrate all those people without whom the printer would never have any paper, the mailing would never get done, and we would probably never know where our keys were. Truly, they are the unsung heroes of our world.

Well, today, we sing them.

I was a receptionist and a secretary and a clerical assistant when I was getting started in my career, before life led me into customer service, and that shit is harder than people give it credit for being. All my admiration, and all my love, to the administrative professionals in my life.

Y'all rock.

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY at Borderlands!

I will be appearing at Borderlands Books in San Francisco, California tomorrow at 6pm, to celebrate the release of Every Heart a Doorway! Le gasp!

I will have the last of the lovely promo postcards Tor.com did for the book, in case you missed them before; I will also have a special surprise reading that no one has heard before.

If you are unable to attend, remember that Borderlands does mail order, and would be happy to send you a signed (and even personalized, if you so desire) copy. They ship all over the world, and have very reasonable postage rates.

I hope to see you there!
If you're in the San Francisco area and looking for an adventure, may I suggest you spend tomorrow night, Thursday, April 21st, at the downstairs room of the Armory Club, enjoying a delightful evening with Inside Storytime? Where else can you get me, Charlie Jane Anders, Daryl Gregory, and other people who I don't know but who are probably incredibly cool, all in the same place?

The event begins at 7:00pm at the Armory Club (1799 Mission St.). There is a five dollar cover. Come for the stories, stay because the building is surrounded by terrifying wasps the size of puppies and no one who goes outside comes back again.

Current projects, April 2016.

Every month I make a post to tell folks what I'm working on, a) because it seems polite, b) because it keeps me accountable, if only to myself, and c) so you will understand why I do not have a social life. This is the April 2016 post. It is the shortest month of the year, which means it's already almost over, which is horrifying to me. Where does the time go?

To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Feedback, Once Broken Faith). The Nativity of Chance, "Down Among the Sticks and Bones," and Magic For Nothing are off the list because they're finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.

What is Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )

State of the blonde.

Well, here we go.

As many of you have no doubt heard, through one channel or another, I'm getting ready to move to the Seattle area. The move is becoming increasingly, terrifyingly real, and at this point, I'm not sure I could slow down the process if I tried. (Which is probably a good thing, because let's be honest here: if I thought I could slow down something this stressful, I very well might.)

As part of my prep, I am opening a short-term Patreon called The Toaster Project, which you can read about here. The formal launch will happen in late May/early June, but as physical rewards are limited, I wanted to give all y'all the first crack at claiming them. A banner image and welcome video and all that good stuff will be forthcoming. In the meantime, Tara made me some snazzy welcome images, and also there are cat pictures.

Hooray for cat pictures.
Hello, happy people! It's time for Emerald City Comic-con, Seattle's largest gathering of pop culture nerds in one building! Like, if the alien invasion comes this weekend, we're screwed. Anyway, if your boots are on the ground in Seattle, and you want to know where to find me, have I got the schedule for you.

Thursday.

I have no official programming! Hooray! So I will be wandering the show floor, seeing people, spending money, and remembering that I am a fan first, and an unstoppable alien terror second.

Friday.

The Orbit Books Panel. 2:45 PM, Room W603. Come join me and a host of other Orbit authors as we talk about the company, our works, and our plans for the future. Also whether harvesting the humans of Earth for food is really a sustainable invasion practice.

Saturday.

Signing at University Books. 3:00 PM, Booth 5100. Come get things signed! I like signing things.

Sunday.

Crafting Characters in Science Fiction and Fantasy. 12:00 PM, Room W603. A good story is nothing without great characters, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to the tales woven in science fiction and fantasy books. Come and hear authors Peter Orullian (Trial of Intentions), Seanan McGuire (October Daye, InCryptid), Patrick Rothfuss (The Kingkiller Chronicles), Peter Brett (The Demon Cycle), and Bob Proehl (A Hundred Thousand Worlds) talk about what goes into creating a great literary character. Moderated by Paul Constant of the Seattle Review of Books. Y'all, I am super excited about this: Bob Proehl's A Hundred Thousand Worlds is one of the best books I've read so far in 2016.

Signing. 1:15 PM, Autographing Table 29. We'll sign things!

Hope to see you at the con!

EVERY HEART A DOORWAY...

...every word a prayer.

Every Heart a Doorway is in the wild and in the world today. It's a beautiful book. Saying nothing about its contents, only about the book as a physical object, it's a beautiful book. The cover, the heft, the whole design, it's just gorgeous. And I made this. Me. This book exists because Lee Harris said "write me a thing," and my response when someone says "write me a thing" is to write a thing. This book exists because Irene Gallo designed it with love and care and attention to detail that takes my breath away.

It's so beautiful. It's something that will exist in libraries and on bookshelves forever. A hundred years from now, someone will still own this book. They will have this beautiful thing. That is just...it's amazing.

I feel like this is some of my best work. It's short and it's elegant and it's important in a way that's hard for me to fully articulate. It's about teenagers and trauma and magical doors and the things we are and the things our parents want us to be, and the things that we become.

If you already have your copy, thank you so very, very much. Thank you for helping me to get this book out into the world, thank you for helping me to convince Tor.com that I'm a good bet, and thank you for letting this story live. Stories need to be read to be real.

If you don't have your copy yet, that's absolutely okay. The world is big and has many things in it. If you were thinking of buying one, signed copies can be purchased now from Borderlands Books and The Booksmith, both in San Francisco (both do mail orders). I will also be signing copies for the University Bookstore in Seattle this coming weekend at Emerald City Comic Con.

Thank you all again, so, so much.

This will also serve as your discussion post.

Oh, the things you can find!

I am cleaning, packing, and purging my house, and I am finding things! So many things. Today's finds:

1. I have found three copies of my second chapbook. These are hand-stitched books of poetry, and were originally limited to a run of one hundred. I have my file copy, so I don't need three extra. If you would like to purchase one, please email me through my website contact form and make what you consider to be a reasonable offer, given their rarity and the fact that after this, there aren't any more. Or, you know, offer to bake me a million cookies. I am can often be bribed with baked goods.

I won't decide instantly who gets them, so it's not "first come first served"; I'm about to head for a book event, and Kate doesn't always forward things to me in exactly the order in which they were received. Please be patient with me.

2. I have found two sealed envelopes, presumably from the most recent T-shirt run, both marked "return to sender." I have not opened them, so I don't know exactly what's inside. One of the people has already contacted me, so Sarah Hubbard, if you see this, I think I have something that belongs to you. Please email me through my website contact form to arrange for delivery.

Yay getting things out of my house!
I am excited and ecstatic and overjoyed to remind you all that I will be appearing at San Francisco's own Booksmith on Monday, April 4th for the launch party of my newest novella, Every Heart a Doorway.

The story of what happens on the other side of the portal fantasy, Every Heart a Doorway follows the students of Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children as they try to deal with the reality of their pasts, presents, and futures. And a little bit of murder, naturally.

The fun begins at 7:30pm; RSVPs are appreciated but not required. There will be books for sale. Signed, personalized books can also be ordered through the Booksmith website.

It all begins with a doorway...

Too sick to die: please show mercy.

I am currently too sick to die. I picked up a cold in Minnesota, which slammed down on me hard enough and fast enough that I thought it might be strep (it's not strep). I currently have a bone-rattling cough, so much snot in my head that I think my brain may be liquefying, and a general sense of full-body malaise.

This is where you come in.

Please, please, do not prod at me for the next few days unless you have something that absolutely will not wait. Let me rest and recover, because this is slaughtering me, and I have a book release next week, which means I need to rest more than I can say.

Thank you.
Title: Velveteen vs. The Consequences of Her Actions.
Summary: What happens when a former child superhero returns from her travels in the seasonal lands, only to discover that things have changed, possibly forever? Velveteen is home. Home is not the same.

The transition between the real world and the Crystal Glitter Unicorn Cloud Castle was usually smooth and easy, accompanied by rainbows, sparkles, and sometimes a thematic musical number...Collapse )

Where's Seanan? The Minicon edition!

It's time for Minicon, the annual convention of the Minnesota Science Fiction Society! I am this year's Guest of Honor, and I'm feeling fancy. So where can you find me?

Thursday.

Guest of Honor Reception, 8:00 PM, Ballroom. Come and meet the guests! Including me! Except a lot of blank smiling and hand-shaking, since I will still be all turned around after my flight from California. It's a party!

Friday.

It's Tough To Be An Introvert These Days: Promotion in the Days of Social Media, 5:30 PM, Ver 3/4. Ahem: "Artists in many fields and are notoriously introverted, but must be able to promote themselves on social media. How has social media changed the promotion of a creator's work? What are some effective strategies for self-promotion that don't feel like self-aggrandizement? What's so bad about self-aggrandizement?" So basically, it's the "how to talk about yourself when it makes you uncomfortable" panel. Yay!

Opening Ceremonies, 7:00 PM, Ballroom. LET THE WILD RUMPUS BEGIN.

How to Survive a Horror Movie, 10:00 PM, Krushenko's. "Well now you've gone and done it, or somebody in your Scooby gang has ... you're now in the middle of a monster movie plot. How do you avoid doing something incredibly stupid that is going to result in making you a tasty, late-night snack? What gear do you need to scrounge up to be able to make it until daybreak? Should you split up (duh)?" Apparently, no one told these nice folks that the best way not to survive a horror movie was to refuse to let me sleep.

Saturday.

Seanan McGuire's Kaffee Klatsch, 10:00 AM, Bar. Okay. The blurb I have for this says "in conversation." Around here, "in conversation" means something specific, and this is not that. This is a Kaffee Klatsch. Sign up if you want to talk to me, in the company of a small group of people, for about an hour. Please do not sign up if you want to attend an "In Conversation...", as this is not that. I'm sorry.

GoH Interview, 11:30AM, Ver 3/4. I dunno who's interviewing me.

Psi Phy - Mental-Based Superpowers in Comics, 2:30 PM, Krushenko's. Quote: "Psionics used to be huge in written SF, but appeared to drop in popularity in the late 20th century. However, in graphic media such as X-Men, psionic concepts such as Professor Xavier's telepathy and Psylocke's psychokinesis are readily accepted. Was this due to the counterculture of the 1960s when such stories originated, rites of passage for teens, or something else?" Thrill as I try to make people's heads explode with my mind.

Parasitology, 5:30 PM, Krushenko's. "Parasites! Parasites! Parasites! Micro-organisms! What are the pros and cons of having a microbial symbiont in a person? What defines a parasites? How much knowledge do we not have about parasites? What's the difference between a parasite, a virus, a symbiote, and bacteria? Probiotics and Antibiotics fight it out! Two microbes enter! One parasite leaves!" I...what?

What's to Love About Horror?, 10:00 PM, Krushenko's. "It can be argued that horror is one of the more maligned sub-genres of SF. Why is it so underloved? What do horror fans enjoy about a scary story? What makes a good horror story? Why is dark fantasy still relevant, and how do the monsters of an era reflect culture? Which tropes still work, and which tropes need to be bludgeoned with an ax?" I'm not sure if this is "let's give them lots of room in the panel topic," or whether it's "let's see who hits who with a chair first."

Sunday.

Mermaids, Sirens, Selkies, and Other Water Creatures and Spirits, 10:30 AM, Krushenko's. "Oceanic water creatures have captured the imagination of humans since antiquity, as well as fresh lake mythological creatures. What are the differences between types of water spririts, such as Naiads, Nereids, and Rusalka? Why have some been portrayed as benign and others as dangerous?" Does it live in the ocean? Yes? THEN IT CAN DROWN YOU DO NOT ANNOY IT.

Interact with the Fae? Lord, What Fools These Mortals Be!, 1:30 PM, Krushenko's. "What are faeries? What are the rules of proper interaction with members of the Fae, especially the Seelie and Unseelie Courts? What types of behavior are especially condemned by the Fair Folk? What means of protection can mere mortals use? How does a creator make meaningful interactions for fae?" I am not responsible if you come to this panel and then get yourself turned into a donkey.

Closing Ceremonies, 3:00 PM, Ballroom. I'mma nap on stage.
All right, y'all: shit's about to get real busy from here on in.

March was the first of four months in a row in which I have a book release. I have a Library Gala tonight, and tomorrow I start traveling. My cats are going to kill and eat me, assuming the stress doesn't get there first. I haven't talked about it much, because I'm not in a place to answer questions yet, but I'm prepping to move from California to Washington, with all the house-selling, house-buying, packing-and-cleaning that entails. (Please, please do not ask me about the move. This topic is actively embargoed, unless you are someone I have brought the topic up with directly.)

As you can guess, I'm a little underwater right now. And so I am asking you for a favor.

You know I love interacting with people: I wouldn't maintain this blog if I didn't. LJ is largely abandoned these days, and it's not like I'd be giving up a huge and thriving community (as I would have done if I'd left LJ ten years ago). I adore comments, and enjoy answering them. But--and this is a pretty big "but" here--I am really, really outnumbered.

So please. If you have a question for me, check my website before you ask it. There are FAQs, which are pretty detailed and self-explanatory. There are landing pages for the individual series. If the answer to your question isn't there, there's a good chance I'd be happy to answer it. But please, please, check the FAQs first.

I understand that we all prefer to get our answers in a "one stop shopping" sort of way. I do it too. But I don't have time to answer the comments that aren't answered on my website and keep answering "what is the release date of _______," "will you be at _______," "why aren't you coming to_______," over and over and over again.

I try to keep the website as up-to-date and informative as possible. So many of your answers are there. Please check there first.

Thank you.

Current projects, March 2016.

Every month I make a post to tell folks what I'm working on, a) because it seems polite, b) because it keeps me accountable, if only to myself, and c) so you will understand why I do not have a social life. This is the February 2016 post. It is the shortest month of the year, which means it's already almost over, which is horrifying to me. Where does the time go?

To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Every Heart a Doorway, Feedback, Once Broken Faith). The Nativity of Chance, "Down Among the Sticks and Bones," and Magic For Nothing are off the list because they're finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.

What is Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )
...it's what they say, from day to day, then what do the poor do with their lives on Judgement Day?

Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the never-ending parade of ongoing projects, keeping me from losing track of what I'm doing and dissolving into a weeping pile of insecurities and confusion. Hooray!

Publications

Every Heart a Doorway, April 5, 2016.
"The Jaws That Bite, the Claws That Catch," May 1, 2016 (Lightspeed).
Velveteen vs. The Seasons, May 6, 2016.
"Regulation," June 7, 2016 (Galactic Games).
Rise, June 21, 2016.
"Tailed," July 26, 2016 (Urban Allies).
"Forbidden Texts," August 26, 2016 (What the #@&% Is That?).
Once Broken Faith, September 6, 2016.
Feedback, September 27, 2016.
"Sleepover," November 1, 2016 (Shadowed Souls).

"Long Way Down," unknown (Genius Loci).
"Opening Band," unknown (The Paul and Storminomicon).

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

Chaos Choreography and Borderline release party with Mishell Baker, March 12 2016, Borderlands Books, San Francisco CA.
San Francisco Library Laureates Gala, March 18 2016, San Francisco CA.
Minicon, March 25-27 2016, Minneapolis MN.
Every Heart a Doorway at the Booksmith, April 4 2016, San Francisco CA.
Emerald City Comic-Con, April 7-10 2016, Seattle WA.
Inside Storytime at the Makeout Room, April 21 2016, San Francisco CA.
Every Heart a Doorway release party, April 23 2016, Borderlands Books, San Francisco CA.
Marcon, May 6-8 2016, Columbus OH.
ConQuest 47, May 27-29 2016, Kansas City MO.
CrossingsCon, June 24-26 2016, New York NY.
San Diego International Comic-Con, July 21-24 2016, San Diego CA.
ICON, October 28-30 2016, Cedar Rapids IA.

Worldcon, August 8-13 2017, Helsinki Finland.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
"vs. SPOILERS"
"Sentence Like a Sa
Echo

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

In the case of stories listed with a publication note of "website," these are approximate dates only, and should not be viewed as binding. If the story does not appear on that date, it has been delayed, and will be posted when I can.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!

The periodic welcome post.

Hello, everyone, and welcome to my journal. I'm pretty sure you know who I am, my name being in the URL and all, but just in case, I'm Seanan McGuire (also known as Mira Grant), and you're probably not on Candid Camera. This post exists to answer a few of the questions I get asked on a semi-hemi-demi-regular basis. It may look familiar; that's because it gets updated and re-posted roughly every two months, to let folks who've just wandered in know how things work around here. Also, sometimes I change the questions. Because I can.

If you've read this before, feel free to skip, although there may be interesting new things to discover and know beyond the cut.

Anyway, here you go:

This way lies a lot of information you may or may not need about the person whose LJ you may or may not be reading right at this moment. Also, I may or may not be the King of Rain, which may or may not explain why it"s drizzling right now. Essentially, this is Schrodinger"s cut-tag.Collapse )
Sometimes sitting on news is hard.

I mean, part of my job involves not telling people things until I'm given permission. I'm bad at remembering who I've said what to, and so usually, I just tell people everything, sometimes eleven times; that isn't always an option these days. I have to accept that it's not lying when I refuse to talk about embargoed information. Sometimes I have to accept that it's not lying even when it is, when people go "hey, do you know anything about ________?" and then respond to "I'm not allowed to say" with a smug grin and a "that means yes!"

Silence doesn't always mean "yes," but sometimes people thinking they've tricked me into saying something one way or another can mean that the thing doesn't happen, because now I've run my mouth off and can't be trusted and so I'm off the project. So I sit on news, and I say nothing whenever possible, and I tell absence of information lies when I'm backed into a corner, and I twitch a lot.

Here's my latest point of twitchy goodness:

HOLY SHIT Y'ALL I'M A SPECIAL GUEST AT THE 2016 SAN DIEGO INTERNATIONAL COMIC-CON!!!!!!!!

Me! A Special Guest! At the con I've been attending since I was sixteen! Me! I AM A FANCY LADY AND I AM MAKING A NOISE THAT ONLY BATS CAN HEAR!!!

Sitting on this one was hard. But wow, was it worth it.
Lo and behold, on March 12th, we will be returning to Borderlands Books to get our Traveling Circus and Snake-Handling Show on, this time with special guest and debut author Mishell Baker joining the fun! As always, this means cupcakes during the break, and that's when you come in. Specifically...

If you are planning to attend the book event, have a dietary restriction (vegan, gluten-free, specific allergies), and would like to enjoy a cupcake, please let me know before Tuesday, March 8th. Not all dietary restrictions can be accounted for (for example, if you're gluten-sensitive to parts-per-million, the cross-contamination risk is too high for me to tell you that the cupcakes are safe; there's wheat flour in the bakery), but I can at least try. Comment here to notify me of a dietary issue.

Because there is an increased charge for vegan, dairy-free, etc., I only order cupcakes to account for dietary restrictions I have been informed of. Please do not assume that because you came to the last event, and there were vegan cupcakes, that I will automatically have vegan cupcakes. You need to tell me before I place the order if it's going to happen. (In a related note, please do not request special cupcakes if you're not sure that you're going to be there. Again, there is an increased charge for "non standard" cupcakes, and while I want to accommodate everyone, I can only afford to take care of people who will actually be attending the event.)

See you very soon!
Come see me this Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Concord, California Half-Price Books! I'll be signing (and selling author's copies) until the cows come home!

...yeah, this is a short post. Oh, well. Hope to see you there.

CHAOS CHOREOGRAPHY open thread!

To celebrate the release of Chaos Choreography, here. Have an open thread to discuss the book. Judging by the comments I'm seeing, some of you have had time, and I'd really, really rather book discussion (sometimes including spoilers) didn't crop up on other posts.

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS.

Seriously. If anyone comments here at all, THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. So please don't read and then yell at me because you encountered spoilers. You were warned. (I will not reply to every comment; I call partial comment amnesty. But I may well join some of the discussion, or answer questions or whatnot.) I will be DELETING all comments containing spoilers which have been left on other posts. No one gets to spoil people here without a label.

You can also start a discussion at my website forums, with less need to be concerned that I will see everything you say! In case you wanted, you know, discussion free of authorial influence, since I always wind up getting involved in these things.

Have fun, and try not to bleed on the carpet.

It's my bookday! Happy bookday!

Today, March 1st, is my bookday! Happy bookday to me! Chaos Choreography is available now from bookstores all over North America , and from import stores all over the world. It has been spotted in the wild from New York to California, so I figure we're good. Hooray!

Since it's release week, that means it's time to once again answer the wonderful people asking how they can help. So here are a few dos and don'ts for making this book launch awesome. (If you have not asked how you can help, on account of already knowing or not being all that interested, that's fine. Not every post has to apply to every person!)

DO buy the book as soon as you can. Sales during the first week are very important—think of it as "opening weekend" for a movie—but they're not the end-all be-all. If you can get the book in the next few days, get the book; if you can get it at my book release party at Borderlands on March 12th, get it at my book release party. Whatever works for you. Brick-and-mortar store purchases are best, as they encourage reordering. If you've already bought the book, consider buying the book again during release week, as a single copy might get lonely. They make great gifts!

DON'T yell at other people who haven't bought the book yet. I know, that's sort of a "why are you saying this?" statement, but I got a very sad email from a teenager who'd been yelled at for not buying A Local Habitation the week that it came out, and I have never forgotten it. So just be chill. Unless you want to buy books for people who don't have them, in which case, don't yell, just buy.

DO ask your local bookstore if they have it on order. If your local store is part of a large chain, such as Barnes and Noble, the odds are good that the answer will be "yes," and that they'll be more than happy to hold one for you. If your local store is small, and does not focus specifically on science fiction/fantasy, they may have been waiting to see signs of interest before placing an order. Get interested! Interest is awesome!

DON'T berate your local bookseller if they say "no." Telling people they're overlooking something awesome doesn't make them go "gosh, I see the error of my ways." It makes them go "well, I guess it can be awesome without me." Suggest. Ask if you can special-order a copy. But don't be nasty to people just because their shelves can't hold every book ever written.

DO post reviews on your blog or on Amazon.com. Reviews are fantastic! Reviews make everything better! Please, write and post a review, even if it's just "I liked it." Honestly, even if it's just "this wasn't really my thing." As long as you're being fair and reasoned in your commentary, I'm thrilled. (I like to believe you won't all race right out to post one-star reviews, but if that's what you really think, I promise that I won't be mad.)

DON'T get nasty at people who post negative reviews. You are all people. You all have a right to the ball. That includes people who don't like my work. Please don't argue with negative reviewers on my behalf. It just makes everybody sad. If you really think someone's being unfair, why don't you post your own review, to present an alternate perspective? (Also, please don't email me my Amazon reviews. I don't read them, I don't want to read them, and I definitely don't want to be surprised with them. Please have mercy.)

DO feel free to get multiple copies. No, you probably don't need eight copies for your permanent collection, but remember that bibliophile friends, school libraries, and shelters are always in need of books. I'm donating a few of my author's copies to a local women's shelter, because they get a lot of women there who really need the escape. There are also people who just can't afford their own copies, and would be delighted. I wouldn't have had half the library I did as a teenager if it weren't for the kindness of the people around me.

DON'T feel obligated to get multiple copies, or pressure other people to do so. Seriously, we're all on budgets, and too much aggressive press can actually turn people off on a good thing. Let people make their own choices. Have faith.

DO check with your local library to be sure they have a copy of on order. If they don't, you can fill out a library request form. Spread the paperback love!

DON'T forget that libraries need books. Many libraries, especially on the high school level, are really strapped for cash right now, and book donations are frequently tax deductible. If you have a few bucks to spare, you can improve the world on multiple levels by donating books to your local public and high school libraries. Ask first if they're taking donations; they may tell you that donated books go straight to the Friends of the Library book sale. Consider doing it anyway. FOTL benefits both the library and local low-income people looking for a way to read new books on a budget.

DO suggest the book to bookstore employees who like urban fantasy. Nothing boosts sales like having people in the stores who really like a project. If your Cousin D. works at a bookstore, say "Hey, why don't you give this a try?" It just might help.

DON'T rearrange bookstore displays. If the staff of my local bookstore is constantly being forced to deal with fixing the shelves after someone "helpfully" rearranged things to give their chosen favorites a better position, they're unlikely to feel well inclined toward that book—or author. It's not a good thing to piss off the bookstores. Let's just not.

So those are some things. I'm sure there are lots of other things to consider; this is, at least, a start. Finally, a few things that don't help the book, but do help the me:

Please don't expect immediate email response from me for anything short of "you promised us this interview, it runs tomorrow, where are your answers?" I normally make an effort to be a semi-competent correspondent, but with a new book on shelves and me racing to finish Deadlands: Boneyard, a lot of things are falling by the wayside. Like sleep.

Whee!
Title: Velveteen Presents Action Dude vs. Doing the Right Thing.
Summary: And now for something completely different. Velveteen is gone, and Action Dude has found himself in situations his training never prepared him for.

It felt like Aaron Frank had become a luxury...Collapse )
I'm getting ready for some pretty major life changes, and part of that process involves reducing the amount of stuff currently in my house. I have poster tubes; I have posters; let's see about combining them. So:

Behold the poster thumbnail!



You can't really read the text at this size, but it's the full lyrics of "Wicked Girls Saving Ourselves." You can tell that the posters are absolutely gorgeous, thanks to the ever-wonderful graphic skills of my lovely lady Tara. They're 10" by 26", and I couldn't be happier with them.

The posters have a limited run of 500, which sounds like a lot, and yet is shrinking at a truly impressive rate. They aren't programmed into the ordering system on my website, and that's a good thing, since it gives me flow control and allows me to refuse orders when I'm not in a position to take care of mailing. If you wanted to order a poster, here's what to do:

1) Send me an email via my website contact form, telling me how many posters you want. Posters are $20, plus $7 for shipping and handling within the United States ($18 shipping and handling internationally, for which I apologize, but the postage costs are obscene).

2) I can fit up to three posters in a tube, going to the same place. So three to one location is cost of posters + $7/$18, while three going to three locations would be cost of posters + $21/$54.

3) I will email you to confirm the request, and to provide my PayPal information. We can discuss payment by check.

The posters are printed on sturdy, acid-free, recycled paper, and again, gorgeous. They also frame really, really nicely, as my living room wall can attest. I'm not currently planning to reprint this design; when they're gone, they're gone, and will be replaced by something else (probably a poster based on either "Follow Me Down" or "Stars Fall Home").

Yay for pretty things!
A few months ago now, I made a trip to my local Half-Price Books and found one of my favorite re-reads in a shiny new paperback. Oh, the joy of finding an out-of-print book for a reasonable cost! Oh, the glee of having a fresh copy for the loaner shelf! (I passionately adore a bunch of 1980s science fiction that isn't widely available, and often thrust it on people.) I snapped it up.

When I got home, I commented on Twitter that I'd found the book, and @-checked the author, who I thought might be pleased by my delight. It's nice when someone reads something I realized a while ago, and my clock only goes back 2009 (unless you have some of the ElfQuest 'zines I did in high school). The author, someone I have adored since middle school, responded.

"Trigger warning: dangerous ideas."

I sat there for a little while, stunned.

I am simultaneously very sensitive and very thick-skinned. Most of the people I know are. There are things that lance right past my armor and knock me on my ass, and then there are things that I can take for a long time. In the third category are the things I just need to be warned about, so I can choose whether I'm in the mood to deal with them. But here's the thing:

Most stories come with their own trigger warnings. They just aren't called out blatantly as such.

When I pick up a Jack Ketchum book, there will be language on the back about "horrible things" and "terrible crimes" and other coded comments that don't come right out and say "this book has rape in it," but which absolutely say that to someone who has been reading in the genre for a little while. And when I was getting started in the horror genre, I was largely operating on recommendations from friends and librarians--people who would say, when they handed me something, "this may be disturbing." They called out the things that might make the book difficult to read.

Movies are rated. PG, PG-13, R. I've seen a screenshot of a Facebook post going around recently, with a mother saying they had to leave Deadpool with their nine year old, and "why don't we have a labeling system?" Well, we do. It's called "this movie had an R rating." But R-rated movies get edited for television, and we don't think about that when we ask ourselves whether Little Bee enjoyed that film. "Oh, they've seen _________, and it was rated R, so they're ready for Deadpool." Movies get rated R for different reasons. Maybe it's language, maybe it's sex, maybe it's violence. When I was a kid, I tended to just tune out sex: you could take me to a lot of movies rated R for sexy innuendo and mild nudity, and I'd just be bored. But violence could still scare me.

(Note that this is "rated R," not "rated XXX." The fact that I saw a lot of boobies as a kid does not mean I was ready for a bunch of actual porn.)

Video games are rated. T for Teen, M for Mature. Yet everyone I know who works at a video game store has had the angry parent demanding to know why their kids have violent video games. Be...cause...someone didn't want to look at the ratings? Which are also, in some ways, the trigger warnings? Look at what's listed after a rating: those are the triggers. Maybe they're not intended for the person actually consuming the media, but once they're there, they're for everybody. I know people who only play T games, because they got tired of the casual misogyny and violence of M games. Why is that bad?

In the case of books, you're less likely to have a direct rating or label (although Angry Robot does a decent job). At the same time, if the back cover text is halfway decent, you should know what you're getting into. And yes, I am angry when a book promises me one thing and gives me something else. It's not a fun surprise, especially when the "something else" is a nice big bucket of rape and murder.

People who say they want trigger warnings are not necessarily asking to be coddled. They're asking for warning. They're asking for the courtesy that good fanfic writers afford to their readers. They're asking to be allowed to relax into the story. But saying "trigger warning: dangerous ideas" doesn't help anyone. My not wanting to read romanticized, eroticized rape in the middle of my zombie fiction doesn't mean I don't want to read exciting, complex, interesting books; saying that your book is just as triggering as something about child abuse or rape or graphic animal death does a disservice to both your work and your readers.

It can go too far: anything can go too far. I met a reader who told me that they refuse to read any books which include descriptions of food that they are allergic to, and that there should be food trigger warnings (I'm still not sure whether they were trolling me, but they seemed serious). If my book is called Spider Attack, I shouldn't need to warn people about the spiders. But common sense still gets to come to the party.

I have rarely felt so dismissed or talked down to by an author I admired, especially since I had not said or done anything to indicate that I was seeking a trigger warning; I had actually referenced reading the book before. It was a failure of kindness.

We have got to be kinder.

Sometimes the mice sing...bad songs.

It's time for some free fiction, and for checking in on Verity and Dominic as they continue their trip from New York to Oregon, with plenty of stops along the way. They've weathered their time at the Carmichael Hotel with no fatalities. So where to next?

Why, back to Buckley Township, Michigan.

No tour of the history of the American Price family would be complete without a stop in Buckley. That's where Enid and Alexander settled down; where Jonathan brought home the Fabulous Fran, Star of New Mexico; where Alice Healy met Thomas Price. That's where it began.

It isn't where it ended.

You can download the new story now from the InCryptid short fiction page. Please download and save to read locally, rather than trying to read on my poor server.

This also serves as your discussion post.

Current projects, February 2016.

Every month I make a post to tell folks what I'm working on, a) because it seems polite, b) because it keeps me accountable, if only to myself, and c) so you will understand why I do not have a social life. This is the February 2016 post. It is the shortest month of the year, which means it's already almost over, which is horrifying to me. Where does the time go?

To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Chaos Choreography, Every Heart a Doorway, Feedback, Once Broken Faith). The Nativity of Chance, "Down Among the Sticks and Bones," and Magic For Nothing are off the list because they're finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.

What is Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )
Hey, y'all.

I try not to post too often about things for sale: given that the majority of my blogging is about books or conventions, I already feel a little more like a billboard than I like, and I never want you to feel like you're just being shilled to. That being said, when something has a limited period of availability, there's a little more urgency to the repeated reminders. So:

The Unicorn Empire pre-sale for the current Sparrow Hill Road shirts is currently scheduled to end tomorrow. There's a small chance it will be extended, depending on order volume, but that's never something to count on. If you were waffling over whether or not to get a shirt, now is the time.

If you are also a Steven Universe fan, be aware that there is also a pre-sale going for an amazing two-color Garnet design, and that ordering it means you can use a code for free shipping (US orders only, I'm afraid).

I am so excited about these shirts, and about supporting an amazing fan-owned business doing incredible, unique art. I hope you're excited too, and I can't wait to work with Amber and Unicorn Empire again!

Where's Seanan?: The ConDFW edition.

Next weekend will find me in Dallas, Texas, where I'll be appearing alongside my beloved John Scalzi as Guest of Honor at ConDFW! Updates to the schedule will appear on the website (and may not appear here, depending on my internet access), but here's my basic plan:

Friday.

3:00PM, Madison: "Google Maps is Your Urban Fantasy Guide." Join me, along with Gloria Oliver (M), Paul Black, Sue Sinor, and Bradley H. Sinor, as we talk about finding the perfect location for an urban fantasy story. I know none of these people, and I'll still be adjusting to a new time zone, so this should be fun!

5:00PM, Jefferson: "Reading." Right. Apparently, I'm going to "treat" people with a reading from my work. Given how much I hate readings, this is unlikely to actually happen; show up and see what I do instead!

7:00PM, Jefferson: "Opening Ceremonies!" John Scalzi and I get into a slap fight while the con chair tries in vain to control us.

Saturday.

10:00AM, Jefferson: "Don't Quit Your Day Job!" This is a con that loves its exclamation points. Join me, Marshall Ryan Maresca (M), Kathy Turski, Rachael Acks, Melia Newman, and Sue Sinor as we talk about what actually goes into earning a living in a creative field, and what's necessary to survive until that happens.

12:00PM, The Gallery: Signing. I will just be signing. Things. If there's not a filk dealer, this will also be where I sell CDs out of my backpack.

2:00PM, Jefferson: "Q&A with Seanan McGuire." Someone I have never met is going to ask me questions! Because that never goes poorly for anyone!

4:00PM, Jefferson: "Magic vs Technology II: Exploring Technology in Urban Fantasy." This is part two of a panel where part one happened last year, so I'm going to, I don't know, horn in on the party and maybe take a nap beneath the table? Or build a rocket out of paperclips, I guess. Come see me get confused.

6:00PM, Jackson: "Celebrity Artemis." I get to drive a spaceship. Hopefully I can be the science officer. We'll find out!

Sunday.

12:00PM, Hamilton: "The Wand of Deus Ex Machina." Join me, Kristi Hutson (M), Michael Ashleigh Finn, Paul Black, and Bradley H. Sinor as we talk about that time one of my high school GMs wouldn't let my character have a machete, even though you could totally buy one at the local flea market for five dollars, so he was just being a jerk because I wouldn't go out with him.

2:00PM, Hamilton: "Location, Location, Location: House of Horrors." Join me, Katherine Sanger (M), Michelle Muenzler, Aaron de Orive, and Jeff Dawson as we talk about scary places. Like that awesome abandoned slaughterhouse in Tuscon, AZ, where I made my GoH handler take me before dinner.

3:00PM, Jefferson: "Intelligence is Overrated." Thrill as I probably miss what sounds like a really interesting panel about protagonist psychology to run for the airport!

Will I see you at the con?

SPARROW HILL ROAD shirts available now!

You may remember that back in December, I ran a poll to determine the level of interest in Sparrow Hill Road shirts printed and sold by Unicorn Empire. The end result was a definite level of interest: enough that we decided to go ahead and open up the pre-sale! Woo hoo!

Now, this a pre-sale, not a sale. Why does this matter? Because before I give you the link for the shirts, I'm going to give you the link for how Unicorn Empire pre-sales work. Please, take a moment to read it. Amber, who runs Unicorn Empire, is a fan running a business for fans, out of her garage. She has help, but she's not a huge operation, and her timelines are thus longer than they would be for, say, Hot Topic. She's being awesome doing this for us, and I don't want to cause her any trouble.

Without further ado...

The Pre-Sale Is Now Live!

Based on your votes, we made both one and two-color versions of the design, available on T-shirts and tank tops. There is no extra charge for plus sizes, because Unicorn Empire is awesome that way. The pre-sale is only open until February 9th, so get your orders in soon! (We know international shipping is expensive, so if you wanted to coordinate a group order for Australia or whatnot, this would be a great place to do it!)

I'm so excited!

And then Seanan began to sell her belongings.

I have been living in the same house for over fifteen years. Understandably, this has led to a lot of stuff building up in closets and in corners. Sometimes I know it's there. Other times, it just sort of...happened, and I am constantly surprised by turning around and finding it looking at me.

As referenced in the BPAL post, I'm about to start selling stuff, both because I need to declutter and because I need the money. I'm not selling stuff that is a daily part of my life: I am not so desperate for cash that I'm even looking at my Pokemon, for example. I just need to have less stuff that I don't care about, and more liquid funds.

(Some of you know why this is. For the rest of you, please don't ask: I assure you, all will be made clear in the very near future. It's just one of those things where the foundation work is visible in advance, whether I want it to be or not, and as I am not a subtle beast, I'm admitting it up front. It's not major medical or Disney related. Yay on one, sad on the other.)

Figuring out how to sell my stuff is a fascinating exercise in chaos, convenience, and laziness. I'm actively bad at mailing things, as many of you know; selling in any way that requires mailing is just not a good plan until I'm desperate. I don't have enough for a yard sale, and I'd rather avoid going Craigslist for right now. So at least for a little while, I'm just going to be popping up with "make me an offer and either pick it up or be somewhere I'm already planning to be" things on various sites.

(It's working out okay so far. I sold a pair of bongos.)

So...

If you'd like to make me an offer on the 2011 San Diego Exclusive My Little Pony, mint in box, or on either the Teen Titans Go! or Gotham vinyl bags from San Diego Comic-Con 2015, drop me a line. Must be able to either pick up from me directly, or be planning to be somewhere I'm already going to be.

The random number generator has spoken!

The random number generator has spoken, and the winners of an ARC (one each) of Chaos Choreography are...

djonn, for Team Screaming Yam!
Simmi Agarwal, for Team Tailypo!
kyttiekait for Team Church Griffin!

If you have won, please comment here to indicate that you are claiming your prize and submit an email via my website contact form before 12PM PST on Friday, January 29th. I will get your books in the mail ASAP.

Thanks everyone, for playing!

Mailing perfume domestically.

Basically what it says on the tin.

I am about to embark on a huge and terrifying purge of my belongings, in part because I need to have less stuff (because reasons), in part because I need to have more money (because related reasons). One of the things I have a startling supply of is BPAL (Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab) perfume.

Does anyone know, from "I have done it and here's how" experience, how to mail perfume/essential oil within the US? I've found both "it's a hazardous material and you can't" and "it's possible, just hard." Well, I need to know how.

Help?
Welcome to the forty-ninth essay in my fifty-essay series on the art, craft, business, and occasional weirdness that is writing. All fifty of the essays in this series are based around my original fifty thoughts on writing, which means I only have two more essays to go. Almost there! Our thought for today:

Thoughts on Writing #49: Leave Reviewers Alone.

And now, because context is king, our expanded thought:

Try not to argue with reviewers in public places. It makes you look petty and it makes them feel attacked, and that's going to start a vicious spiral leading all the way down into the deepest, darkest depths of Hell. Feel free to whine at your friends if that makes you feel better, but don't make public scenes, and don't make huffy comments where other people are going to find them. Also, if everyone who's known to be a friend of yours starts attacking the reviewer? People are maybe gonna catch on. Play nice.

This one isn't very complicated on the surface: reviews are for readers. Now, most of us are readers. Sometimes, reviews are for us. When are the reviews not for us? When they're reviews of our books, or of books written by our friends. When those reviews come to the party, we're not invited. And sure, it can seem like we're invited, especially when those reviews are posted publicly on the internet; after all, it wouldn't be public if everyone wasn't allowed to comment, right?

Wrong. Today we're going to be talking about reviews, why they're not for us, and why you don't want to know what happens when you engage.

Ready? Good. Let's begin.

My thoughts are not your thoughts; my process is not your process; my ideas are not your ideas; my method is not your method. All these things are totally right for me, and may be just as totally wrong for you. So please don"t stress if the things I"m saying don"t apply to you -- I promise, there is no One True Way. This way for my thoughts on reviews.Collapse )

Everybody loves a road trip.

Just in case any of y'all managed to miss it:

There is a new Fighting Pumpkins story in the world! Read "Fiber" now at Tor.com.

For those of you keeping track, this is the same iteration of the Fighting Pumpkins as appeared in "Gimme a 'Z'!" and "Turn the Year Around" ("Dying With Her Cheer Pants On" ended in a total party-kill). This takes us to four published stories about everyone's favorite genre-savvy cheer squad. (I estimate we need ten for a Fighting Pumpkins story collection.)

Gimme an "F"!
Gimme a "U"!
Gimme a OH SHIT RUN THEY'RE AFTER US GO GO GOOOOOOO--

If you want to support more Fighting Pumpkins in the future, "Fiber" also appears in the anthology Unbound, which is fine and swanky and would look great on your shelf!
If you're at all aware of the U.S. musical theater scene (and there's a sentence), you've probably heard of a show called Hamilton. In case you haven't: it is, quite literally, a musical about the life, career, and death of Alexander Hamilton, the first United States Secretary of the Treasury. I...yeah. If you were to make a list of "historical figures about whom a musical should be written," Alexander Hamilton probably wouldn't make the top fifty. He is, sadly, too obscure (or was until very recently); most people think of him as "the dude on the ten-dollar bill," if they even know that dude's name.

So it was a bit of a shock to basically everyone when suddenly Hamilton became the hottest ticket on Broadway. Written by Lin Manuel-Miranda, who had previously written In the Heights and contributed to Bring It On: The Musical, the show seemed to go from zero to ABSOLUTELY FUCKING EVERYWHERE. Several of my friends became obsessed. As is often the case with the people I tend to surround myself with, they began talking about it constantly.

Have I told you about the power of my irritation?

See, when something starts to annoy me, I have a very narrow window to learn to like it or wind up hating it forever. As I was about to go to New York, I declared my intent to see Hamilton, so as to keep myself from hating it. Several people pointed out that it was, you know, sold out until next year. Whatever, I replied. I was going to see it.

Come the day we had reserved for Hamilton-going, Diana and I went to the theater, where she already had a friend at the front of the cancellation line. Said friend was able to get us three tickets at face value (one for each of us, one for herself). Sarah and Katie joined us, and put their names in for the lottery. Now, when you do a show lottery, the popularity of the show pretty much decides your chances. A show like Hamilton means they're not...good. So we're standing there as the names are being drawn, and name after name does not belong to any member of our party.

"This is our last draw for the night," announces Daveed Diggs (Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson)...and reads Sarah's name. Our entire group makes a terrifying, drawn-out screeching noise, like we have been possessed by the spirits of every velociraptor currently in residence at the Museum of Natural History.

The five of us proceed to a local Italian place for dinner, bolt our spaghetti, and meet up with Josh in line. Josh has secured a ticket through the simple, if nerve-wracking expedient of waiting for the StubHub prices to drop back to "just trying to recoup my investment" levels, and then running from their last-minute ticket office to meet us. So yes. The power of my spite* got six people into a completely sold-out show at the last minute, all with good seats, no one paying scalper prices. Behold the power of spite.

(*Odd as this may seem as an ordinary superpower, I have never lost a ticket lottery. Either I or someone in my immediate group has always won. It's weird, but useful.)

Hamilton is very simply staged: there are few props, even fewer sets. It's mostly just stark wood and people implying their surroundings through context. The cast is intentionally diverse, representing America as it is today through the faces on the stage. And it never stops. Not for one second. Even the slow moments are fast by the standards of most shows.

I hoped to like Hamilton. I didn't expect to love it. I certainly didn't expect to sob through great swaths of it. The soundtrack is available now, and there is so little speech in the show that just listening to it is more than enough; you'll get basically the whole show.

But I am so glad I got to be in the room where it happens.
Today is January 15th, 2016. My last day of full-time employment for someone other than myself was January 15th, 2014. The last time I set an alarm for anything other than a trip to the airport or a convention was two years ago.

Two years. Where does the time go?

Two years ago today, I came home from work and crawled pretty much directly into bed. I wanted to be overjoyed. I wanted to be elated. I wanted to feel like I was free at last, finally free to write all the books I wanted to write and see all the places I wanted to see. Instead, I went straight to bed. I stayed there for about three weeks.

That sort of marathon of sleep usually indicates depression, at least for me. Not then. That was the sleep of being broken, of trying to fix myself. This last weekend Brooke said to me, sincerely, that my job--which had been a reasonable desk job, with reasonable people--had been killing me, and she wasn't wrong. I needed to either stop writing or stop working, and since there was no chance I was going to stop writing, I needed to stop working for someone other than myself. Or I was going to die.

(This is not hyperbole. I was sick constantly. I was stressed to the point of panic constantly, trying to figure out how to get enough money to let me quit so I could stop working all the time and actually get some sleep. I was miserable constantly. If my body hadn't broken and killed me, the thin line in my brain over which I usually manage not to step would have shifted, and I would have done something stupid.)

It's been two years of self-employment. I'm still learning. Budgets aren't easy, either of time or money. I'm still figuring things out. But I'm still moving, and I'm still not bored.

Saying "I quit" was the smartest thing I ever did.

Current projects, January 2016.

Every month I make a post to tell folks what I'm working on, a) because it seems polite, b) because it keeps me accountable, if only to myself, and c) so you will understand why I do not have a social life. This is the January 2016 post. I am already making posts for 2016. This is faintly awesome and faintly horrifying, all at the same time. Hooray for contradictions!

To quote myself, being too harried to say something new: "These posts are labeled with the month and year, in case somebody eventually gets the bizarre urge to timeline my work cycles (it'll probably be me). Behold the proof that I don't actually sleep; I just whimper and keep writing."

Please note that all books currently in print are off the list, as are those that have been turned in but not yet printed (Chaos Choreography, Every Heart a Doorway, Feedback). Once Broken Faith, The Nativity of Chance, and Magic For Nothing are off the list because they're finished and in revisions with the Machete Squad. The cut-tag is here to stay, because no matter what I do, it seems like this list just keeps on getting longer. But that's okay, because at least it means I'm never actively bored. I have horror movies and terrible things from the swamp to keep me company.

Not everything on this list has been sold. I will not discuss the sale status of anything which has not been publicly announced. If you can't remember whether I've announced something, check the relevant tag, or go to my website, at www.seananmcguire.com. Please do not ask why project X is no longer on the list. I will not answer you.

What is Seanan working on now? Click to find out!Collapse )

In which Seanan sees FUN HOME.

Some of you may remember that I went to New York for, essentially, the month of November. This is not an unheard-of occurrence, me going out of town for an entire month: when it works out, logistically, it's easier on me to go, stay, get everything I need to done, and then come home to sleep for a few weeks. I recognize that this is a privileged way of doing things, predicated on my a) having a job I can do from anywhere, b) being able to actually do that job while traveling, and c) having someone to feed the cats while I'm away.

Some of you may also remember that I adore musical theater. It's customary for me to try to catch a show with my editor from DAW while I'm in town; for this trip, I had selected Fun Home. Fun Home is based on the memoir of the same name, written by Alison Bechdel, chronicling both her relationship with her father and the process of her own coming out. I had read the book once, years ago; I knew the author mostly from her work on Dykes to Watch Out For; and I had seen one of the musical numbers, "Ring of Keys," performed at the Tonys. That alone had been enough to make me want to see the show.

Originally, it was going to be me, Sheila (my editor), and Betsy (also from DAW). Sadly, Betsy couldn't join us, for personal reasons. Thankfully, Josh (also also from DAW) was able to take her place, so her ticket wasn't going wanting (not that we would ever have a problem finding someone to come with us to a good show). We met up at the office and proceeded from there to Sushi Zen, aka, "the place we seem to keep winding up before we go to a show." I had the sashimi boat. I always have the sashimi boat. If you ever have the chance, have the sashimi boat.

I also had the edamame and the steamed mushrooms. Both were excellent, although not as good as the sashimi boat. Mmmm, sashimi boat.

Ahem.

We decided to skip dessert and head straight for the theater, which turned out to be a good thing, as the show started in twenty minutes and was performed without an intermission. I am so grateful to be walking better. I was able to bolt for the bathroom, pee, and meet up with Sheila and Josh with five minutes to spare (no small trick in a theater with only one girls' bathroom).

Fun Home is performed in a theater in the round. Our seats were front row, right on the "stage," so that the actors would be passing only inches away at certain points. It was amazing. Like, genuinely amazing. We got settled. I started reading my Playbill, and squealed when I realized that Bruce Bechdel, the male lead, was played by Michael Cerveris, aka, "September from Fringe." Sometimes I am twelve.

All I really knew about the show as a show was the song "Ring of Keys." Even after seeing it live, I feel like all I really know is "Ring of Keys," because that's where I started sobbing and didn't stop.

Alison (there are three Alisons in the show, portraying the author in various stages of her life: small, medium, and large) and her father are at the diner, having breakfast. A woman walks in. And Alison, small, tomboy, brilliantly rebellious Alison, looks at her, and sees her, and knows her. Knows her for being the same as she is; knows her for being alike. There's this feeling of glorious recognition in the song, of "if you are, then I can be too, and if I am, then we are, and neither of us is alone," that I recognize from my own clumsy, confused process of coming out.

The whole show is glorious. It's confusing and confounding and brilliantly staged, and I hope it goes on tour so I can take my sisters. But that moment, that song...

I would take the whole show for just that song.
In early 2015, Borderlands Books announced that they were going to close for financial reasons, and I was heartbroken. I cried. A lot. So did quite a few people I know. We fumbled, we flailed, we prayed for a miracle, and a miracle came along, in the form of the sponsorship program, by which patrons of the store could buy a one-year sponsorship and, if enough were sold, the store would stay open.

It's time for sponsorships again.

Alan (the owner) has worked his tail off making sure that Borderlands sponsorships would carry some value apart from "we still have a bookstore." There are events for local and visiting sponsors, special merchandise, panel events, and more. But best of all, we keep a bookstore in the world, and it's a bookstore the world really needs.

Please, consider taking a look at the sponsorship program, and maybe helping my local bookstore continue to be a force for good in the world.

Thank you.

INDEXING: REFLECTIONS is finished today!

If you've been following the serial from the start, episode #12, "Never After," is available today! If you've been waiting for the whole story to drop, then you're in luck, because the serial is complete and the full season is available for purchase now, in either e-book or physical form!

This is your talkpost and discussion zone for the full serial, including episode #12. There will be spoilers in the comments here. As always on talkposts, I have partial comment amnesty, and will not be responding to everything.

"Never After" takes us home. Thank you for making this journey with me.

Once upon a time...
We have successfully weathered both the release of A Red-Rose Chain and the start of a new year, complete with my birthday (it's my birthday!), which means you deserve a treat. And here it is:

A brand-new story about Patrick and Dianda's first meeting! "Heaps of Pearl" has been posted on the Toby Daye short fiction page. It is available in ePub, MOBI, and PDF formats, and is free for download. Please download rather than trying to read locally; my server will thank you. (It's at the bottom of the page; scroll down.)

This story is best read after The Winter Long if possible, as it contains relationship spoilers through that point in the series. It is a story about meetings, and mermaids, and the terrible strain of living up to expectations. It is narrated by Patrick, because he's less likely to punch people for funsies.

Cover graphics are by Tara O'Shea. All short story electronic conversion thus far has been done by scifantasy. As both of them are awesome, we applaud them now.

Go forth, read, and please feel free to use this as a discussion post, which means there may be spoilers in the comments. Tread carefully.

Enjoy.
It's time for a Chaos Choreography giveaway! Hooray! This giveaway is going to be US addresses only; I'm still mailing Hogswatch prizes and other such items, and my post office workers are starting to mysteriously go on break when I show up, because of all the international packages. I know it's not fair, but I can't add more customs forms to the pile or they're going to close completely.

I will do open-to-international giveaways before the book is released, and I'm hoping to clear out more of the pending packages in the next week or so.

So, the rules for this one:

1. Leave a comment.
2. Indicate that you have a US address I can ship to. (You don't have to live in the US. You just have to have a US address.)
3. Name your favorite cryptid and why.

I will use the RNG to choose three winners on Tuesday, January 26th. But there's a twist! Only one person can win for each cryptid. So be honest! Name your favorite! Just be aware that the odds are lower for the Aeslin mice than for, say, the swamp bromeliads.

The field guide is here, if you need some help.

Game on!

What did I publish in 2015?

Welp. That was sure a year. And it sure is over. And I sure did come out with a lot of stuff. Here's what I published during 2015.

Novels.

Pocket Apocalypse
A Red-Rose Chain
Chimera

Novellas.

"Rolling in the Deep"
"Please Do Not Taunt the Octopus"

Novelettes.

"The Way Home"
"Down, Deep Down, Below the Waves"

Short stories.

"No Sooner Met"
"Broken Paper Hearts"
"There is No Room For Sorrow in the Kingdom of the Cold"
"In Skeleton Leaves"
"The Happiest Place..."
"Resistance"
"The Myth of Rain"
"The Star of New Mexico"
"The Moon Inside"
"Survival Horror"
"Reading Lists"
"Something Lost, Something Gained"
"Into the Green"
"Hello, Hello"
"Fiber"
"Snake in the Glass"

Non-fiction.

"That Nitro-9 That You're Not Carrying: Violence and the Companion" in Companion Piece

I also edited Queers Destroy Science Fiction, which I am choosing to believe explains why my output was down from 2014 (well, that, and I was sort of scary depressed for most of the year, and when I'm depressed, I write less). And even with the decrease, that is...that's a lot when I put it all in one place like that. I'm going to back away slowly, and maybe go drink something fizzy and faintly alcoholic.

Yes.

Tags:

What did Seanan write in 2015?

It's the end of year review! (This is not the same as my awards eligibility post, which will come later.)

Short stories...so many short stories. Like, I am actually not sure how many short stories, because there are the ones that were written in 2014 and came out in 2015, and so are firmly fixed in my head as "2015 stories," and then there are the ones that were written in 2015 and haven't come out yet, and anyway. Short stories. So many, many short stories. My head hurts if I think too hard about the short stories.

Novellas, only really six to speak of. "Every Heart a Doorway" was written in 2015, as was "Dawn or Dusk or Dark or Day," my first two Tor.com novellas. I wrote a Limbus, Inc. novella. I wrote the last two novellas that will be included in Rise. I also wrote an unannounced October Daye-universe novella, which I am listing here for the sake ofcompleteness, but please do not ask me about it or comment saying how you can't wait. You'll get more details when I can give them, and anything before that will just make me feel bad.

Novels! This is where I get a little head-cocked-and-contemplative, because, well. On the one hand, I think I only wrote four novels this year: Once Broken Faith, Magic For Nothing, The Nativity of Chance, and a fourth, as yet unannounced Mira Grant novel (I finished it yesterday, so I'm still feeling all fancy about it). On the other hand, two of those books (Nativty and the new Mira Grant project) were in excess of 150,000 words. That's their "I have written a book, look at it, look at how shiny it is" length, not their "put this baby in the printer machine, it's gonna be a book now" length. I have no idea how publication-long they're actually going to wind up being.

So that's six novellas, or roughly a book and a half's-worth of words, and four novels, two of which were a book and a half long. Which gives me, sans short stories, roughly the number of words that you would find in seven and a half books of average (101,000 to 120,000 words) length. If I look at it this way, I feel less like I spent 2015 slacking off.

This is why I sometimes need a nap.

Verity Price, not a subtle rabbit.

It's time for some free fiction, and for checking in on Verity and Dominic as they continue their trip from New York to Oregon, with plenty of stops along the way. They've weathered their meeting with Rose Marshall remarkably well. So where to next?

The Carmichael Hotel, of course.

"Snake in the Glass" takes us back to Chicago, where Dominic is going to continue meeting the family...whether he likes it or not. Let's just hope Verity can keep him from getting himself into too much trouble.

You can download the new story now from the InCryptid short fiction page. There is currently a problem with the cover graphic on the page: it is smaller than the others. I am aware, and am working to get it fixed, but didn't want to make you wait any longer over something so (relatively) trivial. (ETA: Fixed.)

Big thanks to Will, for emergency last-second eBook conversion, and to Tara, for getting me the replacement cover so quickly.

This also serves as your discussion post.
The penultimate episode of Indexing: Reflections is available today! This is your talkpost and discussion zone. There will be spoilers in the comments here. As always on talkposts, I have partial comment amnesty, and will not be responding to everything.

"Mirror's Face" takes us back to familiar places and familiar faces, as the inevitable continues to unspool all around them. Only one episode remains in this season. Shit is getting vicious, and there are no more second chances.

Once upon a time...

Velveteen vs. Trick or Treat.

Title: Velveteen vs. Trick or Treat.
Summary: The trials of a formerly retired superheroine are destined never to be done, especially when the heroine in question was foolish enough to agree to serve the seasonal lands...

Time did not pass in the Seasonal Lands the way it did in the Calendar Country...Collapse )
...if you're the Queen of California, then baby, I'm the King of the Rain.

Inchworm, inchworm, measuring the never-ending parade of ongoing projects, keeping me from losing track of what I'm doing and dissolving into a weeping pile of insecurities and confusion. Hooray!

Publications

Indexing: Reflections, episode eleven, December 29, 2015 (47North).

"Heaps of Pearl," January 5, 2016 (website).
Indexing: Reflections, episode twelve, January 12, 2016 (47North).
Indexing: Reflections collected edition, January 12, 2016 (47North).
Chaos Choreography, March 1, 2016.
Every Heart a Doorway, April 5, 2016.
"Regulation," June 7, 2016 (Galactic Games).
Rise, June 21, 2016.
"Tailed," July 26, 2016 (Urban Allies).
"Forbidden Texts," August 26, 2016 (What the #@&% Is That?).
Once Broken Faith, September 6, 2016.

"Long Way Down," unknown (Genius Loci).
"Opening Band," unknown (The Paul and Storminomicon).

Conventions/Appearances/Travel

ConDFW, February 12-14 2016, Dallas TX.
Chaos Choreography and Borderline release party with Mishell Baker, March 12 2016, Borderlands Books, San Francisco CA.
Minicon, March 25-27 2016, Minneapolis MN.
Emerald City Comic-Con, April 7-10 2016, Seattle WA.
Marcon, May 6-8 2016, Columbus OH.
ConQuest 47, May 27-29 2016, Kansas City MO.
CrossingsCon, June 24-26 2016, New York NY.
San Diego International Comic-Con, July 21-24 2016, San Diego CA.

Worldcon, August 8-13 2017, Helsinki Finland.

No fixed deadline/being written/unsold:

The Best Thing
"Carry Me Home"
"Pixie Season"
"These Antique Fables"
"Best in Show"
Down Among the Sticks and Bones
"Dreams and Slumbers"
"vs. Going Home Again"
"vs. Everything You Ever Wanted"
"vs. SPOILERS"
Echo

Again, to clarify some recent confusion: some things, especially novel-length things, may appear more than once, on both the "publication date" and "being written" lists. This is because the "being written" list is an aggregate, which also includes "no fixed deadline" (IE, being written on spec or for the website) and "unsold" (IE, being written because I can). So new books will appear there for a long time before they vanish, since books take a long time to write, but may also have pub dates listed higher up.

In the case of stories listed with a publication note of "website," these are approximate dates only, and should not be viewed as binding. If the story does not appear on that date, it has been delayed, and will be posted when I can.

Look at that list. It's so shiny!

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