dr_phil_physics: (Default)
Those five of you who read my blog know that I love good food. And good stories.

Lawrence Schoen does a weekly blog entry every Monday called Eating Authors, where he gets authors to discuss some memorable meal. I also recently reviewed Ferrett Steinmetz's debut novel Flex (DW). So today's entry is a confluence of all that is good and wonderful.

Ferrett Steinmetz on Eating Authors.
(NOTE: Because I am a gourmand, I do not describe myself as chubby. I am, rather, Ferrett confit.)

So when I discuss the best meal I’ve ever had, should I talk about eating the gold-encrusted salad I had at the two-Michelin star restaurant Sixteen? Or the life-changing agnolotti I had at Joe Bastianich’s Babbo? Or even the greasiest, cheapest, most delicious egg-and-bacon sandwich you can get at Cleveland’s very own Old Fashion Hot Dogs, where you can stuff three people full of perfectly-grilled “dawgs” for under ten dollars?

No. The first fine meal I had was the greatest fine meal, and cannot be surpassed. Because of my Uncle Tommy.
Come for the food, stay for the good cry.

Dr. Phil
Posted on Dreamwidth
Crossposted on LiveJournal
dr_phil_physics: (pleased-to-meet-you)
The Magic of Books

Michigan writer Jim C. Hines [personal profile] jimhines launched his first DAW hardcover book, Libriomancer, this week. Since first seeing him at ConFusion years ago, I've attended quite a number of Jim's book launch/tour/events (DW) across the width of Michigan. So making a run up to Schuler's Books on Alpine in Grand Rapids at 7pm tonight was pretty much a no-brainer. Especially when you have a book about a Yooper librarian!

The basic idea is of a class of wizards who are libriomancers -- people who can reach into a book and pull out an object from the book. Of course it can't be bigger than the book in width and some books are locked by the Guild -- no One Ring To Rule Them All -- but swords and other things are fair game. And it sounds like our hero not only loves books, but loves being able to do magic with books. Who wouldn't?

A Bite To Eat and Then On With The Show

I drove up from WMU in Kalamazoo to Schuler's in a steady rain -- the temps were running in the mid- to upper 60s! -- in plenty of time to buy some books and then hit the Chapbook Cafe to get "my usual":

English Roast Beef with Aged Cheddar and Fresh Horseradish Cream, and Caesar salad. Plus the inevitable Coke. (Click on photo for larger.)

Saw Jim arrive while I was eating, later gave him a hard time because he's been busy the last couple of days updating the Amazon sales figures and watching the book fly off the shelves. Needless to say, it hasn't been a productive writing week for him. (grin)

Waiting for the clock to strike seven. (Click on photo for larger.)

Oops -- false start. The rep from Schuler's had to come in and properly introduce Jim. And remind every one that Schuler's is celebrating their 30th anniversary. Yay, Schuler's! (Click on photo for larger.)

About my new book... You don't just listen to Jim, you get to watch, too. (Click on photo for larger.)

In the Q&A part, of course Jim's recent postings about the poses of women (and men) in urban fantasy covers. Here we are demonstrating the bare midriff reveal, including Jim's insulin pump. (grin) (Click on photo for larger.)

Some of the crowd of about two dozen at Schuler's. Say, isn't that SF/F writer Mary Robinette Kowal in my row? (Click on photo for larger.)

Dave Klecha (center), who will be handling Programming for ConFusion in January and indeed that is Mary Robinette Kowal, who was in the area doing audio recordings. Both Jim and Mary Robinette are up for Hugos at WorldCon in Chicago in a couple of weeks. (Click on photo for larger.)

And on to the task of signing books... (Click on photo for larger.)

Congratulations, Jim! Great launch week and now we have a copy to read.

Dr. Phil

500 / 10 Years

Friday, 1 June 2012 22:54
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
The Long Haul Burn To Space

Earlier this evening I sent in my 500th submission to any market. I thought it was my 499th, but my log sheets don't lie. 500. Friday 1 June 2012. And just eight days shy of ten years since I made my first submission.

It took 1427 days after 9 June 2002 to get to the first hundred submissions on 6 May 2006, 725 days for my second hundred on 30 April 2008 and 689 days to the third hundred on 20 March 2010 and 532 days to the fourth hundred on 3 September 2011. And now, largely due to last year's sabbatical, just 272 days for the fifth hundred.

75 completed stories sent out 500 times, with 19 publications including two reprints. One recent sale awaiting publication.


Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
In The Time Honored Traditions Of April The Oncest

We give you the April Fool's Collection for 2012:

LocusOnline had two stories:

"Dirtiest Nebula Campaign since 2015," says SFWA President
-- Sunday 1 April 2012 @ 11:20 am PDT by Paoli du Flippi -- DATELINE: Hollywood, March 1, 2018 -- This year's campaigning for the coveted Nebula Award given by the Super Fantastika Writers of America has been marked by "lies, disinformation, nasty tricks, vicious personal slurs, impossible promises, bribes and actual physical assaults," says SFWA President Jennifer Lawrence, in a recent interview conducted during a bit of downtime on the Tinseltown set where she is finishing the filming of The Hunger Games VI: Daughter of Katniss versus the Borg: The Mashup Reboot, based on the polymath star's own novel that earned her admission to SFWA and its presidency in the first place...

Margaret Atwood Launches New SF Magazine
-- Sunday 1 April 2012 @ 11:09 am PDT by L. Ron Creepweans -- Toronto: Today Booker Prize-winning novelist Margaret Atwood announced that she was launching a new science fiction magazine, Loquacious Cephalopod...

And Tor.com had two as well:
Mary Robinette Kowal pens an exhaustive essay
-- Sword and Sensibility: Conan Creator Robert E. Howard's Lesser Known Collaboration...

Covers Revealed for John Scalzi’s Manga Fantasy Trilogy
-- The Shadow War of the Night Dragon series by John Scalzi...
(Truly inspired artwork -- John rhapsodizes here.)

And then there's the British Library:
Unicorn Cookbook Found at the British Library
-- 01 April 2012 A long-lost medieval cookbook, containing recipes for hedgehogs, blackbirds and even unicorns, has been discovered at the British Library. Professor Brian Trump of the British Medieval Cookbook Project described the find as near-miraculous. "We've been hunting for this book for years. The moment I first set my eyes on it was spine-tingling." ...

And other assorted writerly personnel:

My favorite Roman comic artist has an Exciting new project in the works
-- 1st-Apr-2012 01:40 pm Your humble artist fell off the thrice-weekly schedule, and even the sketch-of-the-day updates, because of intense work on a new Great Big Project. All those pages and character designs from Big Project have to be put to some sort of use, and it's such an easy step from the genteel plantations of the south to the humid jungles of South America-just add more water and alligators and/or crocodiles. So those pages are being recycled into a completely genteel story about a young lady explorer of the alternate-steampunk 19th century travelling through monster-infested swampland who encounters a hidden tribe of love-starved octopus-men, as one does. True romance ensues...

Jay Lake goes for A change of direction
-- 2012-04-01 07:46 I'm redirecting my efforts toward something that better reflects the current circumstances of my life, and offers me a greater shot at economic success. From now on, I'm going to be writing nurse romances...

Mary Robinette Kowal is a pen name
-- Sun 1 Apr '12 My actual name is Stephen Harrison. I teach history at Vanderbilt and am getting my PhD, and yes, I am a man. The woman that you have met at some conventions is my sister. I hired her to be "Mary the writer." ...

Diana Rowland is "utterly thrilled to announce that my agent has sold stage rights to Andrew Lloyd Webber for my White Trash Zombie series!"
-- Facebook Yesterday at 6:20am My Life as a White Trash Zombie: The Musical! will be produced and directed by Webber, with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, of Wicked fame. Current casting includes Kristin Chenoweth as Angel, Hugh Jackman as Marcus Ivanov, and Tom Wopat as Angel’s dad...

And the March 32nd Review would not be complete without some newfangled can't-live-without-it invention
-- Apr. 1st, 2012 at 11:07 AM As readers of this blog know, I'm a great believer in technological innovation. So great is my belief, in fact, that I dabble in inventions for the betterment of mankind. And now I've found it. The ultimate tool for authors with writer's cramp! Bow down in awe as I introduce: The self-signing book...

And, of course, Google had their piece on the Google Autonomous Driving NASCAR racing car. (snert!)

I'm sure there are others, and I'll update when I run across them. But these have been archived by Yours Truly so that the guilty cannot claim innocence later -- and these are certainly enough to entertain you for now. (grin)

Oh, And Dammit:

My posting on 1 April 2012 is totally legitimate (DW)! There really is a new and proper military SF story up on GigaNotoSaurus for you to read.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Sabbatical 1.36 Report -- December 2011

In the last month since I reported on my sabbatical progress (DW), I managed just 10 submissions. All told I made 112 submissions since the 29th of July. 1 sale (DW) to the Rocket Science anthology. Plus an Honorable Mention and a Silver Honorable Mention (DW) from Writers of the Future.

I had five new stories to add to my Invenstory in 2011 -- three of them during my sabbatical. Though that's not a record for new stories, but it is a huge record for total new submissions. I even added fourteen new markets to the mix.

Did I accomplish my goals for not quite half a year? We-elllll, no. Not really. But there were a lot of extenuating circumstances -- things that I could take the time to deal with without leaving either students or job in the lurch. I came up with a new workflow for getting stories out. I'm going to call this a win.

And you know? I may be teaching two classes this winter, but I manage to find time to write. And I have a lot of notes for new stories and I have that new novel to work on.

It's 2012 and I already have three new submissions. And no new rejections. Not bad considering how many editors and slush readers were working over the holidays. (grin) Can't sell if don't submit. (double-grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Sabbatical 1.35 Report -- November 2011

In the last month since I reported on my sabbatical progress, I've made only 19 submissions -- 102 since I officially started Sabbatical 1.3 -- including ONE SALE! I have to say, that given the unexpected death of my sister and a long trip to Atlanta, I got more done on the writing front that I'd thought. Currently, a week into December, I still have 27 stories out to market. And I'm getting more rejections with positive comments, instead of just "No".

The End is Nigh

Can't believe it's December already. In a month my classes will be starting up. Haven't done nearly as much groundwork on the new class as I thought a month ago. While the sabbatical as a whole hasn't gone as planned, what six month plan ever goes as planned? (grin) Currently fighting an infection -- feeling better but I knew I was in trouble Monday evening when my teeth were chattering and my temp was 102.0°F. Dammit, in the past year I've had too many things that required a course of antibiotics. We'll get over this, too.

Hope y'all had a happy Thanksgiving... and on to the Big Name Holidays.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (dr-phil-in-person)
Alas... Atlanta Bound Soon

This weekend is WindyCon 38 in Chicago (Lombard IL) -- 11-13 November 2011. Unfortunately, I shall not be able to make my panel:
How Not To Get Published
Sunday, 11:00 am–Noon, Lilac D
Mike Resnick, Bill Fawcett, Phil Kaldon, Jim Hines, Steven Silver

Hope everyone at WindyCon has a good time -- and eat a good steak for me.

I'll be there next year. They've already rolled over my membership. Winder if that means I get Badge #1? (grin)

Dr. Phil

PS -- You know that story I mentioned the other day? The Version 1.00 sent in at the last minute? It sold. More details anon...
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Sabbatical 1.34 Report -- October 2011

In the last month since I reported on my sabbatical progress, I've made 27 submissions -- 83 since I officially started Sabbatical 1.3. Currently, two days into November, I have a staggering 30 stories out to market -- a new personal record -- including 1 new story. If editors aren't reading it, they can't buy it.

Working on some new writing, of course, but though the conceptualizing phase is going great on all these things, I wish I had more words written. Still, I know of at least two or three stories under consideration. And actually, I've been getting more rejections with comments, even from markets which haven't sent comments before. So this massive sending of stories is certainly not a wasted effort, even though nothing's sold. Yet. (grin)

Next weekend is WindyCon 38 in Chicago (Lombard IL) -- 11-13 November 2011. As of right now, I'm on one panel:
How Not To Get Published
Sunday, 11:00 am–Noon, Lilac D
Mike Resnick, Bill Fawcett, Phil Kaldon, Jim Hines, Steven Silver

This should be a great panel, and if you're a new writer, or have thought about writing, you need to come to this one. Mike Resnick is a powerhouse and tells excellent stories and knows the publishing business. Jim C. Hines is a wise, wise man, who is also a terrific writer.

The Double-Edged Sword of New Stories

I mentioned above that I churned out one new story in October. I wanted to get in one more submission to an anthology which closed in the U.K. on Monday, but I needed another near-term SF story. The good news is that between Clarion and the WOTF workshop's 24-hour story challenge, writing 4600 words in a little over a day is quite doable. The downside is that it was pretty much one writing and one editing session. The danger in shipping a Version 1.00 of a story, is that I always feel like it's 80% there. That is all the major components are there, but surely it would benefit from a rewrite or two, pumping up the conflict, etc. On the other hand I've sold first versions of stories, so what do I know? Mrs. Dr. Phil is just now reading it, so it didn't get the benefit of my first reader/copy editor. (grin)

We'll see.

Classes Looming

I've picked up a second class starting in January -- so I'll have PHYS-1000 for the 1st time and PHYS-1070 for the 24th time. Something old and something new.

I've been printing out worksheets of my sabbatical progress about once a week. Just printed out the 13th set. Hard to believe that there's just two months left.

Dr. Phil

A Busy September

Saturday, 1 October 2011 22:43
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
October Already?

September ended cold and rainy and gusty. October dawned with blue skies and sunshine and cold. Sweater and jacket weather.

Sabbatical 1.33 Report -- September 2011

In the last month since I reported on my sabbatical progress, I've made 22 submissions -- 56 since I officially started Sabbatical 1.3. Currently I have 25 stories out to market. For a brief time I had an insane 28 -- a new record of sorts. One new story shipped. At least two stories are in the second round.

My plan is to spend a bunch of October-November working on a new novel. I've had several projects lying around, both new ideas and taking some novellas to novels. Well, Monday I attended a nice colloquium on the Crab Nebula -- funny how most semesters I'm teaching or have to leave at colloquium time -- and now I have started my new novel. And it's definitely a novel, because the complexity doesn't easily lend itself to pull an episode out for a short story or write it in 20,000 words. Ex-cellent.

And future planning for Chicago. Registered for WindyCon in November. And caught next year's Chicago WorldCon attending registration before it went up. Should be a couple of really great events.

Spring 2012

Also this week I received my contract letter for next semester. And a new course for me: PHYS-1000 How Things Work. Yay.

This was also the first time I made it down to my office since August. I'd planned on missing the first week of class, because the students always count on not getting ticketed for filling up the faculty spaces for the first week. Then we had the flu, then I had an allergy to an antibiotic... Thank goodness I wasn't teaching! (grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (WOTF XXIV)
All Those Years, All Those Entries

I was on a friend's blog the other day and happened to notice a sidebar mentioning their successes -- Honorable Mentions, Semi- and Finalists -- in the Writers of the Future contest. And I realized that I should do more than just provide stats. So I created a webpage of Dr. Phil's WOTF Results Summary. And it's a lot -- might even be some sort of a record, certainly in the "modern" era of the contest.
Since June 2002, I've submitted a story to the Writers of the Future contest every quarter. But Dr. Phil, if you were published in WOTF Volume XXIV, from the 2007 Q3 contest, why are you still submitting? Excellent question! My story, "A Man in the Moon" was a Published Finalist and not a winner -- and as I currentlt only have two SFWA-eligible pro sales, I still have contest eligibility left. With 30 out of 37 submissions receiving some level of recognition, WOTF Contest Director Joni Labaqui thinks this may be some sort of a record, although there don't appear to be complete stats over the lifetime of the contest.

Someone else might consider my lack of winning as beating my head against the wall. But I don't see it that way. After all, if you just consider WOTF as a market, it pays better and has higher visibility than most. Why wouldn't you send new work to them?

Every ninety days.

The Results:
Rejected 6
No Call  1
Finalist 3 (1 published in WOTF XXIV, 2 in one year)
Semi     2
Quarter 10
H-M     15 (Quarter+H-M = 25)
Total   37
Subs    38 (WOTF Q4 2011 in)

Published    6
Readings     3
Website      1

It might seem strange that only six stories from all these have been published. But only about half of my finished stories have gone to WOTF -- and often these were the first versions. It is, after all, a numbers game. For WOTF stories the publication rate is 1 in 5.5 stories, for all my stories it's 1 in 4.5. Pretty close. And whether any story fits what an editor -- or a judge -- wants at any time, is a matter of preference. And yes, I rewrite everything when it comes back.
Me? I'm pleased.
You can see all the stories and what happened to them on the webpage It's complicated enough that I even missed a publication in my first iteration. Now if I could just win this damn thing. (grin)

Dr. Phil


Saturday, 3 September 2011 18:04
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Milestones Continue To Accumulate

Today, Saturday 3 September 2011, I shipped my 400th submission to any market. 72 completed stories sent out 400 times, with 16 publications including one reprint. Not bad for just over nine years of sending things out, if I do say so myself.

It took 1427 days after 9 June 2002 to get to the first hundred submissions on 6 May 2006, 725 days for my second hundred on 30 April 2008 and 689 days to the third hundred on 20 March 2010 and 532 days to the fourth hundred. Clearly I'm continuing to decrease the average time between subs.

Sabbatical 1.32 Report -- August 2011 (and into September)

August was the first full month of my Sabbatical 1.3. Back on August 19th I had a record 26 submissions out to market. With rejections, that dropped down to 18. But with #400 -- sabbatical submission #41 -- I am back to 26 stories out to market. In 3373 days of sending stories out into the world I have never let the number of subs drop to zero. It's been a motivator, that's for sure.

[livejournal.com profile] jakobdrud wrote about Writer, Take Heart. I commented:
Just before I started submitting stories in June 2002, I'd read some authors talking on the order of 600 rejections before they made it. Closing in on submission 400 with two pro sales and 13 others, so I suppose I could argue that at 2/3 the way to SFWA pro status I'm right on track.

That and enduring 300+ rejections for my post-Ph.D. job search, had already toughened me. (grin)

oh, and average and typical results mean nothing in specific cases. (big-grin)

Dr. Phil


I'm full of new stories right now and I need to get back to novels. But I'm still working back into getting sufficient Time In Chair. Still, the amount of work I've gotten done on my Fujitsu U810 UMPC since the end of July is astonishing.

Go me. (grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (cinderella-fabletown)

For those who saw a raw version of this post which accidentally got posted before it had any text...

Chased Across The State

Michigan author [livejournal.com profile] jimhines was having a reading of his latest "kick-ass princesses" novel at the Schuler Books at Meridian Mall in Okemos MI (east of East Lansing). I'd been to his reading for the last book at Schuler's on Alpine in Grand Rapids MI in October 2009. It being summer, it would be easy enough to run from work in Kalamazoo and get back just as it got dark. Well, that was the plan.

Instead there was an ugly furball of severe thunderstorms coming our way. I managed to get off campus and onto US-131 south and thence to I-94, driving east at 70 mph while the storm was coming at 50 mph. It threw off a possible tornado at Battle Creek, but shortly after that I was heading north on I-69 and by the time I got to Schuler's it wasn't raining.

Also ran into this Jim C. Hines fellow in the parking lot. Told him there was going to be a Big Name Author at Schuler's tonight -- he hoped to get some books signed. I told him these big swelled head BNA's don't sign books for the little people any more. He said that what was worse was authors featured in big coffee table books -- which would be both of us. (grin)

Just In Time For The Show

We got there at 5:50pm, just as the guy from Dominos was arriving with the pizzas for the party. (grin) Not wanting for the pizza to get cold, food came first. Then the good sized crowd, which had to be in the 20-30 range, settled in as Jim read the original James Bond-like opening to the next/fourth Princesses book -- which he's decided to cut, so we may have been the only public airing of that scene. (grin) You wouldn't have liked it. It has humor, fighting, crowds, and a spy running as fast as he can who turned out to be a golem made from a dark spicy cookie... (double-trouble-grin)

The reading and signing was a great success for Jim, as far as I could tell. He posted on Facebook tonight that: "Bookstore ordered 50 copies of RED HOOD'S REVENGE for tonight's signing. When I left, I believe they had two copies left. Victory!" Huh, I only saw one left. Someone must've been holding one back at the bookstore. (triple-word-score-grin)

The Many Reading Faces of Jim C. Hines

Just part of the line to get books signed, interspersed with Q&A with the crowd.

Note how the well-prepared book signer has (1) multiple pens, (2) a big stack of special Red Hood's Revenge bookmarks and (3) a sheet of paper to write down names before you sign the book. Just in case you try to spell "Linda" with a "Th". (evil-grin)

Anyway, I got home before the next storm came to Allendale -- and at that hour northern Kalamazoo County was getting clobbered. So I pretty much managed to make the triangle drive of Allendale-Kalamazoo-East Lansing-Allendale without getting blown, flooded or hailed off the road. Definitely a good summer outing.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (WOTF XXIV)
Writers of the Future Volume XXV

Diabolical Plots posted a review of the most recent WOTF XXV anthology. Frank Dutkiewicz also reviewed "our" WOTF XXIV back in September, just about the time I posted my review of WOTF XXV. Both the volume XXIV and XXV reviews cover all the stories and are pretty thorough.

First Rule Of Reviews

"Do not argue with reviews." Nope, that's not my issue here. Frank is entitled to his opinion and I appreciate the thoroughness of his work. No, what I wanted to talk about was the fact that (a) Frank disagreed with the WOTF XXV Gold Award decision and (b) then went back and analyzed his own thinking about it. In particular he felt that another story was much more amazing and stayed with him longer... in his opinion. But in reading his meta-reviewing, I think that the very aspect of the winning story which he didn't like, was probably the feature which bowled over the judges. When I looked back at my own, less thorough, review of WOTF XXV, I noted that I didn't find the Gold Award story the best either -- but that takes nothing away from Emery Huang's achievement. Personal opinions are just that -- personal and opinions.

We see this all the time with our stories. You may belong to a crit group where some of the writers "don't get" your stories. That doesn't make either you or them wrong, or right. An editor rejects a story you're sure would be a good fit to their market. But you're neither right or wrong. The editor is using a larger metric in deciding whether to buy your work. It's why we accumulate hundreds of rejections, because it takes a confluence of events and an alignment of the stars for a good story to get sold. That 12 or 13 stories show up in the Writers of the Future anthology each year, after they've slogged through thousands of entries, means that the judges have labeled these the best at a particular time with a particular set of judges.

And I'm okay with that.

I would rather hate living in a world in which there WAS a standard for writing. A website where you could submit your work and it could be run through a computer or passed in front of a committee and get a score. And then that score would determine when and where it was sold. Which stories would be "better" than others for all time. Because such a score would be arbitrary and subjective from the get-go.

Also Rans

Indeed, it is the very subjectiveness of the process which I believe is the reason that Writers of the Future bothers to let people know that they are Honorable Mentions (and Silver Honorable Mentions), Semi-Finalists and Finalists. These are the good stories, the better stories. This is where the real competition rests, between these stories. Winning is great. But in the end I don't envy the judges each quarter, or for the Gold Award, having to decide which stories are "better" and "best".

As for reviews, they serve their purpose when people use them to buy -- or not -- a work. The very things that one reviewer might not like, I find myself saying sometimes, "gee, I think that might work -- I'd like to read that story". And Your Mileage May Vary.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
Finally Seeing The Light Of Day?

Over on Tor.com, Jo Walton has a review of the finally published Harlan Ellison's The Last Dangerous Visions. The history of this anthology is already legend, even if it didn't involve Harlan. Now you can read about the stories and find out what all the fuss is about.

A really "important" review of an "important" work -- and you know I don't use pretentious words like "important" just willy-nilly. The comments are really worth reading, too.

Dr. Phil

April 1st, 2010

Thursday, 1 April 2010 13:37
dr_phil_physics: (Default)
The March 32nd Report -- Yet Again

Who schedules a major test on April 1st? Why Dr. Phil does! As my noon class was struggling with Exam 3, I did a quick check to see if LocusOnline had their news stories up yet. They did!

-- 2010: News Summary of the Year To Date
Thu 1 Apr 12:01 am Cory Doctorow has had a busy year. First there was his ill-fated attempt to write in real-time on the Internet...
-- Google to Digitize Lost Library of Alexandria
Thu 1 Apr 12:01 am Google Books Exec Dan Clancy: "Google simply had to invent a practical means of time travel, which we can now reveal to the public..."
-- Doctorow and Stross to Write Authorized Sequel to Atlas Shrugged
Thu 1 Apr 12:01 am "We realized that both of us shared one important trait with Ayn Rand: all three of us really, really like money..."
-- Tachyon Publications Announces First Annual Make-a-Genre Contest
Thu 1 Apr 12:01 am Contestants must submit a table of contents and a persuasive essay to be used as their anthology's introduction...

And Speaking Of, Uh, Google

If it's still today, fire up Google. Otherwise, you can always jump to the story.

Also there's this link, to Google Labs latest update to Google Maps, where we learn that "Today our esteemed team of physicists from Google are proud to announce that they have discovered an extra dimension in our universe." And, why Yes, I did have a pair of "cutting-edge red-cyan glasses" in my technology bag. Why wouldn't I? (And they DID work, so there. Pthhhbt!)

Dr. Phil


Sunday, 21 March 2010 20:29
dr_phil_physics: (writing-winslet-2)
Yet Another Milestone

Yesterday, Saturday 20 March 2010, I shipped my 300th submission to any market. Like my 200th submission, this was to Writers of the Future -- I believe my 32nd submission to that contest. Still have a little eligibility left. 62 completed stories sent out 300 times, with 14 publications and one more pending. Not bad for not even eight years of sending things out, if I do say so myself.

It took 1427 days after 9 June 2002 to get to the first hundred submissions on 6 May 2006, 725 days for my second hundred on 30 April 2008 and 689 days to the third hundred. #301 is already shipped and #302 should go out sometime in the next few days.

Hopefully I'll be able to do some more work on novels as well this year -- perhaps work on getting an agent. (double-grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (cinderella-fabletown)
Both Funny And Full Of Good Points

After Sunday's post on revisionist fairy tales, I note that Jay Lake was going on about politics in fantasy on his blog and managed to gather a response which reanalyses Hansel and Gretel.

It's really quite good.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (xmas-plot-bunny)
The End Of The Year Rush

Don't know what's getting into everybody in the SF short fiction biz, but after months and months of quiet, I've gotten 13 results in the last 30 days. To put this in perspective, today I sent out my 285th submission (off to Asimov's in case you were wondering, and I received my 275th decision yesterday (it was a rejection -- you didn't even have to ask). I started submitting stories to markets in June 2002, so that was 90 months ago. That translates into a little over 3 submissions and 3 results a month on average. So you can see that 13 results in 30 days is a bit over the average.

Maybe the markets are trying to make up end-of-the-year quotas or something. You know, pad the statistics. Whatever. So far I've completed 60 stories *** and have managed to keep things juggled in the air so I always have something out there. Right now I have 10 stories out to market -- which makes mathematical sense, as 285 - 275 = 10. (whew) And in the last 30 days I've sent out 10 submissions. So... if I hadn't been able to keep sending things out, I'd have nothing out right now. (ouch!)

*** Of course 13 stories have been published, two in Greek, so I have 60 - 13 + 2 = 49, so actually I still have 49 stories to select from for particular markets. Less the ones which actually suck and I haven't sent them out in a while. (grin)


I'm in the middle of the Fall 2009 Grade-a-thon and something is making me miserable regarding post-nasal drip and so I don't have time to be writing right now. And yet I'm filling up bunches of notes with ideas. Frustrating? Not really. I'm still making progress plotting out the GRG Project. Better that than a complete dry spell. (grin) In fact, when I'm super busy I often get lots and lots of ideas, faster than I can write them down. (double-grin)

Nuts And Bolts

Yup, the glorious, glamorous life of the SF writer. Keeping track of what stories have gone to what markets -- my "Invenstory" -- and which stories can or cannot be sent to particular markets. No wonder one sometimes gets a little nuts about stats. In lieu of selling everything or working on spending a big seven-figure book advance, one has to be a little bit creative in figuring out how well one is doing.

Actually, I'm doing pretty well, thank you very much.

And if I wasn't a bit creative, I'd not be able to write anything worth buying. (grin)

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (tiger-eye-videogame)
Clarion Classmate Marjorie M. Liu In A New League

Well this is definitely a first for the 2004 Clarion class' world domination through SF/F: Marjorie's first Paranormal Romance novel Tiger Eye is being made into a video game.

Here's the press release -- go to Marjorie's site to get all the links. (grin)
New gaming company, PassionFruit Games, launches with first of its kind romance casual game based on bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu’s Tiger Eye novel.

PassionFruit Games today announced the creation of a new romance-themed casual game, Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box, based on the novel Tiger Eye (A Dorchester Love Spell paperback) by New York Times bestselling author Marjorie M. Liu.

Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box also officially marks the launch of PassionFruit Games and represents a unique moment in the history of gaming. Although a market for romance themed video games has existed abroad for years, these games are essentially unknown in the U.S. Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box will be one of the first romance casual games to hit the U.S. market when it goes on-sale in April 2010.

In discussing PassionFruit Games’ decision to launch their company with Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box, Melissa Heidrich, Studio Director, expressed her enthusiasm for reaching out to romance readers: “The majority of casual gamers are women aged 25-65, who report they play casual games mainly to escape. Interestingly, those same attributes apply to romance novel readers – so it’s surprising that there are currently so few romance casual games on the market. That’s why we’re excited to bring Tiger Eye to life as interactive entertainment.”

For Marjorie M. Liu’s fans, it will be a great chance for them to experience a game written by, designed by, and created for women. Mari Tokuda, one of the designers translating Marjorie’s novel into game form, says: “There just aren’t many romance games in today’s market. And, for many women, romance novels are not interactive enough. That’s where we come in - we are giving players a chance to experience the romance through fun gameplay and sensual cut scenes that further the relationship. This game will really appeal to players who want a storyline and those who want to BE the smart, down-to-earth romance novel heroine. And of course, we’ll have a sexy leading man heavily featured in the game. A game like Tiger Eye is one of the most engaging ways for readers to experience characters’ relationships.”

Fans will also be able to experience things that weren’t in the book and to search for hidden objects, play minigames, listen to a film quality soundtrack, and solve puzzles, all the while following the storyline as the main characters’ relationship deepens emotionally and grows in intimacy, though there will not be explicit sex scenes.

PassionFruit Games acknowledges the challenges of turning a popular book into digital entertainment and of adhering closely to the book’s storyline. In their quest to stay true to the novel, all members of the team—from artist to programmer—read Tiger Eye, as well as other novels in the Dirk & Steele universe, to get a feel for the “essence” of the game. The producer and lead designer held regular video conferences with Marjorie to go over the latest design ideas and Marjorie herself wrote the script for the game and is involved with the game every step of the way, giving input on scene art, character design, and voice actor selection.

Says Marjorie, who is well known for her New York Times bestselling Dirk & Steele and Hunter Kiss series and for co-authoring the hugely popular Dark Wolverine Marvel comic book series, about playing the game’s early build: “I was amazed by the beautiful cinematic cut scenes and the way players could actually experience things my characters had done. It’s an incredible feeling to not only see favorite characters brought to life but to experience life through their eyes as you progress through the game.”

The Tiger Eye novel, which Publishers Weekly praised as a “first-rate debut” and “a striking paranormal romance,” tells the story of Dela, a woman with psychic abilities who buys a riddle box in Beijing’s Dirt Market and opens it to find an ancient warrior, Hari, bound to serve as a slave to the person who has opened the box. The action moves between China and the U.S. and PassionFruit Games will mirror this international scope through two games, the first to take place in China and the second in the U.S. PassionFruit games also plans to involve readers in the release of Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box with the chance for a select few fans to be Beta testers and with fan voting on looks for the character, Long Nu.

Order Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box now at holiday e-cards are available at http://www.passionfruitgames.com. The game will be available in both Mac and PC versions.

PassionFruit Games was founded by a group of individuals who had created several critically-acclaimed casual games together before establishing their own independent studio. Their mission is to bring stories and characters to life through lushly-painted interactive environments and captivating cinematics, while providing engaging, entertaining gameplay. The PassionFruit Games team members also worked on the critically acclaimed Nancy Drew Dossier game when they were at Her Interactive; the game was just chosen as the “Best Hidden Object Game of 2009” by Yahoo! Games.

It'd be tacky of me to wonder aloud how one scores in a romance video game, but the pic of Dela above sure is cute. (grin)

Anyway, Dr. Phil does not buy or play video games -- but a video game tie-in to a friend's book? I might have to check this out.

Dr. Phil
dr_phil_physics: (wary-winslet)
In Case, Like Me, You Don't Know What's Going On

In my previous post, I talked about the huge midnight success of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, the second movie based on the series of books by Stephenie Meyer.

Now as I said, I haven't read the books and I haven't seen either movie. But online friend [livejournal.com profile] jeffsoesbe provided a link to [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine's post on New Moon and I think it very worthwhile for all to read. Now I don't know Genevieve Valentine, but this review (with spoilers) is hilarious and very educational. (grin)

Okay, so it's an outrageous snarkfest and sure to irritate anyone who is a Twilight fan. (evil-grin) The one saving grace is that [livejournal.com profile] glvalentine felt that the audience laughed at some of the ineptitude of the film and wonders whether the appeal is more one of camp than Serious Love. Otherwise, one worries for the self-image and sanity for a whole generation of young women...

My job, I think, is done here.

Dr. Phil


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