June 2nd, 2009


Tanya Huff! Now at a bookstore near you!

...well, Tanya Huff's new book, anyway. Today is the release of The Enchantment Emporium [Amazon]|[Mysterious Galaxies], the latest awesome adventure in awesome adventuring from Tanya Huff, the woman who basically woke up one day and said "hmmm, I think I'll create a genre." (Seriously, if you like books about vampires, or anything in the urban paranormal class of books, you should buy this book just to say thank you.) Better, she and I share a publisher, which means I had the opportunity to find out early just how awesome The Enchantment Emporium really is.

How awesome?

Damn awesome. I've been reading and loving Tanya's work for years, but I haven't enjoyed one of her books this much since Summon the Keeper (which I read about eight or nine times over the course of a single summer, because I loved it that much). The Gale family is enthralling, their mysteries just mysterious enough to keep me reading, and just clear enough not to become annoying. The language is gorgeous, and the story is a hell of a lot of fun. If I have any complaints, it's that this isn't a series yet, so I can't promise more. Then again, sometimes the best stories are the ones that stand all by themselves.

The Enchantment Emporium: because while we can't be absolutely certain WalMart is ripping holes in the fabric of space and time, who wants to take the chance?

Available now from a bookstore near you, assuming you live somewhere where there are actually bookstores. If not, it's available from Amazon and Mysterious Galaxies (here, have the links again: [Amazon]|[Mysterious Galaxies]), and there's even a Kindle edition if you live in an atmosphere hostile toward paper.


The tragic death of Mr. Happy Dangle Fish, Esq.

The pumpkin-fucker orange* cat tree in my bedroom comes equipped with a little loop from which dangly toys can be suspended, allowing the cats to amuse themselves once in a while. I treasure the dangly toy loop, as without it, I would have serious difficulty ever being allowed to do anything that didn't involve feather toys and claws. Since the cat tree's installation, the dangly toy on the tree has been Mr. Happy Dangle Fish, Esq. Pictures of Mr. Happy Dangle Fish have been posted here, generally showing him locked in mortal combat with Alice, who seemed endlessly game to battle her piscean rival. Until last night.

Last night, she killed Mr. Happy Dangle Fish.

(*This is a technical term.)

I wasn't home to witness the actual murder. I returned to the house to find Mr. Happy Dangle Fish lying in the hallway, his string cruelly sundered (in a way which made repair impractical), the plush flesh of his belly rent along one of the seams from what I can only imagine was a cataclysmic collision with the floor. Weep for Mr. Happy Dangle Fish, who will never more dangle his happy way among us.

Alice was initially confused by Mr. Happy Dangle Fish's sudden failure to dangle, and then, as she realized he wasn't coming back, became more and more distraught. We're talking "full-out mourning for the plush fish on a string." She worked herself into a lather worthy of a contestant on America's Next Top Model. After climbing to the top of the cat tree, she would wail mournfully, bat at the inch-and-a-half of string that remained, wail again, bat again, look to make sure I was watching, flop over on her side, moan like she was dying, and then—surprise, surprise—start over from the beginning. It was my very own personal soap opera. Complete with fluff.

Eventually, I got tired of listening to Alice's Shakespearean monologue mourning the death of her dangle, and went searching for the backup dangle (the tree came with two, because the manufacturers are smart). I eventually found it cunningly hidden on the stuffed animal shelf, and began trying to install it. Issue: installing the new dangle meant touching the sacred string. I was profaning the memory of Mr. Happy Dangle Fish! I was a heathen! Alice promptly attacked my fingers. Vigorously.

It took roughly five minutes to remove the broken string and get Ms. Happy Dangle Mouse tied to the cat tree...at which point Alice immediately forgot her grief in the ecstasy of having a new enemy to attack. She and Ms. Happy Dangle Mouse were still engaged in the dance of death when I put in my earplugs and went to bed.

Ah, cats. Because apparently, our lives contained too much sane before.

Second review of GRANTS PASS.

Look! People are enjoying our pandemic!

Seeing the early reviews come in for Grants Pass is incredibly exciting for me, because while this may be my second anthology by publication (Ravens in the Library was first), it's my first anthology by invitation, acceptance, and—most importantly of all—"normal" publication process. Ravens was slammed together in an incredibly short amount of time, and never had the normal cycle of ARCs, reviews, and nail-biting. Grants Pass is letting me experience the process in all its glory.

This is the second review I've seen. It's also the second review to point out my story, "Animal Husbandry," as being made of win. So that's a pretty encouraging sign that perhaps my compulsive neurosis has served my short fiction well. I'm really excited to see this book. The editors were amazingly cool to work with, the entire process has been a joy, and the author list is super-exciting. I'm still a little stunned to be on it.

Grants Pass is so gonna rule, I swear.