Friday, September 30, 2011


Don't tell anyone, but the October issue of eFiction Magazine is live at  Marcin Wrona, whom you may have read about here, heads up the short stories with #Baphomet, and there is lots more.  Check it out.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Win A Kindle

Already got one?  There are Amazon gift cards, too.  It's all at the Red Tash Halloween Bash.  Discover new books, new blogs, and win swag.  Enter as many times as you'd like up until October 16.

The Kindle comes with a pile of free books, including one of mine.  Check out the details at: is the site, which may be down. is the mirror site.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Nathan Lowell Wins Parsec Award

I'd like to congratulate Nathan Lowell on winning a 2011 Parsec Award for his podcast of Owner's Share, latest novel in his series The Golden Age of the Solar Clipper.  The Parsec awards recognize excellence in speculative ficition podcasts.

You can also find Nathan's work in e-book form.  It's understated, beautifully-written, captivating stuff about ordinary men and women behind the scenes in interstellar spaceships.  I've blogged before about Quarter Share, the first book in the series.  Check it out if you get the chance.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

I've got me an ad!

I was so pleased with this I had to share it.  I'd like to mention my cover artist and eFiction Magazine, where I hope the ad will appear in the rockin' October issue.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Interview with Phoebe Wray

In the Plowshare, the crew and the civilians were in the galley, watching the live feed from the cameras in Renn’s helmet. No one talked. Her voice was piped in, but she wasn’t doing much talking, either. Leaving the sled for a careening object was one of the most dangerous steps, and she concentrated on it.

“Okay, there’s something here...” They could hear her breathing a little faster but they couldn’t see what she was doing.

“Renn?” Harry’s voice was quiet. “Talk to us.”

She scoffed and everyone relaxed a little. “I’m busy! It’s a—I dunno what—a control box, I think.”

Today's special treat is an interview with Phoebe Wray, who has a short story in an anthology of military SF by all female authors.  Take it away, Wray:

Tell us a little bit about Trashing.

It’s a short story in the anthology “No Man’s Land” from Dark Quest Books; Volume 4 of the “Defending the Future” series edited by Mike McPhail. They are futurist, military science fiction tales, all written by women. I’m very proud to have a story in it. They’re whopping good yarns.

Trashing has an unusual premise. How did you come up with the idea?

It was a story sitting half-done when I heard about “No Man’s Land.” I dug it out and polished it up. My heroine is a Lieutenant in the Targus Navy, a specialist identifying, assessing and retrieving the debris and odds and ends of satellites, booster rockets and the like, tumbling around in her galaxy. She makes a splendid find just as the Bad Guys show up.

I’ve been collecting news stories and NASA reports about space junk for a long time. That stuff, and there’s a lot of it up there, is a navigation hazard, among other things. Even a paint chip traveling 17,000 mph can do a lot of damage. And then, of course, there’s the glove that a Gemini10 crew member lost, still orbiting.

Oddly, the week after the book was released this past May, the International Space Station was on alert because a piece of junk was heading straight for it. Fortunately, it missed; but the crew had already identified their “Safe places,” in case it didn’t.

By the way, I got the planet name “Targus” from the online NASA list of named space objects. There are a gazillion of them!

You're the president of Broad Universe. Tell us about the organization.

Broad Universe is a support and information organization for women who write genre fiction. It was founded in 1999 at the Feminist Convention, WisCon. I’m one of the “mothers” and have served on the Boards from the beginning.

We ask: Why don’t women get more genre fiction published? Why don’t we get as many reviews as the boys do? Why do some stick-in-muds still say we can’t write those tales? Just read what’s out there and your mind will change.

BU is supports and encourages, and through our website ( and several online lists, we provide a sounding board/tip board/information. We’re a non-profit and all-volunteer group, with members around the world. It’s an amazingly congenial place. There hasn't been a flame war ever, since the beginning.

I stepped down as the Prez in August, having served on the Motherboard for a number of years. It was time to pass the torch. I remain on the Advisory Board.

There was a time when science fiction seemed mostly like a club for boys. You're challenging that notion by writing successfully in the genre, and you create characters who fly in the face of conventional genre stereotypes. Has it been an extra challenge to be a woman writing military science fiction?

It’s getting better. Women still aren’t taken as seriously as men in some of the subgenres, military sci fi being one. The sheer number of women who are willing to put their thoughts out there helps. For new writers, it’s challenging. And, trust me, there are still men—writers, reviewers, editors—who scoff and/or sneer.

It’s a slippery fish to land. Right now, Broad Universe has two members who are professional number-crunchers, and they are undertaking a systematic (scientific) look at the stats so we will have more meaningful data. I’ve been working on that particular issue for years. Their findings are starting to go up on our website. They are sobering.

I normally blog about indie e-books, but I have a soft spot for Edge Publishing, since they're here in Calgary, my home town. Tell us a bit about Jemma7729.

That’s my first novel, and it was a delight to work with the genial Brian Hades at EDGE. He’s a savvy, enthusiastic person, and very encouraging. EDGE continues to grow and is publishing excellent work.

The “elevator” on Jemma is that it’s “a futurist, feminist, dystopian, action-adventure novel.” Whew! It continues to get great reviews. Jemma is a rebel in North America in the 23rd century. She’s a skilled saboteur (saboteuse?), who joins with an underground movement to bring a constitutional government back to the Northern continent. She’s smart and compassionate, and the odds are totally stacked against her. She fights for freedom—for herself and everyone—no matter what.

There is a sequel—called J2—which will be out this fall from Dark Quest. It’s a bit odd, perhaps, because the heroine is Jemma’s clone. She looks like Jemma, and there are certain personality quirks that they share, but J2’s a lab rat and a thinking machine. It was fun to write.

It can be tough for a writer, sitting safely in a comfortable chair, to write credibly about the terror inherent in an action scene. You have an advantage, though. You've done things that would scare a veteran soldier green. What did you find more terrifying: standup comedy or live theatre? Do you draw on those experiences when you write?

Oh, yeah! Stand-up can be very daunting. Especially if the jokes don’t work. I loved, especially, acting Shakespeare. He never misses, if you trust him, for one thing. If you tell the truth. You have to do that in stand-up, too. Audiences know when you’re faking.

I DO use my theatre background, mainly in two places: character development and dialogue. My stories and books are loaded with dialogue. Jemma is written in first-person, so it’s one long monologue. J2 is not first person, and that allows me more character development of secondary characters. There are some people from the first book in the second. I have to be extra aware of their voices.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

eFiction Magazine

Someone besides me is bringing you the best of indie fiction.  Check out eFiction Magazine, The premier indie fiction magazine, at

Quality short fiction from indie authors, book reviews, and more, at eFiction Magazine they "push the boundaries of fiction on a monthly basis."  The September issue is currently live.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Recommended Reading - Golden Feathers Falling

Alit was no stranger to the city after dark. She knew where the worst dangers could be found and how to evade them, and could run far and fast. When escape proved impossible, she was perfectly willing to strike with the iron pin that held back her hair. It had already been bloodied, once, inside a too-insistent hand.

Such thoughts always came when deliveries took her far away from the tablet house. They were a litany, a preparation for very real possibilities. Alit had been orphaned by murder. She had no illusions about what the gods could bring down in their ugly moments.

Marcin Wrona is at it again.

I recommended Pale Queen's Courtyard before.  It's beautifully written and full of action and general coolness, and I still recommend it.  Now he's followed it up with Golden Feathers Falling, another book set in the same world.  It's not exactly a sequel, and you'll have no trouble with Golden Feathers if you haven't read Pale Queen's Courtyard.  Golden Feathers is an adventure story set in ancient Mesopotamia, and it has the same top-notch writing and pulse-pounding action.  Here is the author's description:

By night, Alit wards off clumsy advances from boring scribes and functionaries. By day, she carries letters across dangerous Numush to add coins to her dowry. After her tablet house is attacked, she hires a band of mercenaries to find out why, and is drawn into an Ekka she has only glimpsed: a land built on vengeance, crime for coin, and simmering revolution.

Read Golden Feathers Falling on Smashwords