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Periods, and how to write them

Periods, and how to write them

No, not the punctuation mark. Yes, the other thing. Periods tend not to show up in fiction, probably for the same reasons that urine and shit don’t show up in fiction. They’re quotidian elements that don’t really add anything to narrative unless they’re indicating sickness or a dramatic turn — pregnancy, miscarriage, sudden reproductive potential, and so on. But the fact is that unless your novel or short story takes place in a span of less than 28 days, your…

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iD has a cover!

iD has a cover!

And it has Javier on it! This cover was created by the talented Martin Bland, who also created the cover for vN. This time, we chose to focus on Javier, since he’s the protagonist of this book. I really love how warm and soft he seems in contrast to the machine elements on this cover, and how warm the colours are compared to the cooler tones on the cover for vN. Seen together, I’m sure they complement each other (just…

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About my next Tomorrow Project story, “Permacultures.”

About my next Tomorrow Project story, “Permacultures.”

This month, I finished work on a story called “Permacultures,” which I wrote for the Tomorrow Project. This one’s pretty special, because it was inspired by the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy Grand Challenges. Here’s an introduction I wrote (which may not make it into the final book): I focused on the food-security Grand Challenge because I know that the issues of food production, nutrition, and health are important to the Obama Administration, and the Obama family….

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“vN” is on the Kitschies shortlist

“vN” is on the Kitschies shortlist

No, really. The 2012 finalists for the Golden Tentacle: Madeline Ashby’s vN (Angry Robot) Jenni Fagan’s The Panopticon (William Heinemann) Rachel Hartman’s Seraphina (Doubleday) Karen Lord’s Redemption in Indigo (Jo Fletcher Books) Tom Pollock’s The City’s Son (Jo Fletcher Books) I really should have blogged this earlier, but, to my credit, I did share it on Twitter. The Kitschies (which I had never heard of, until this point), “reward the year’s most progressive, intelligent and entertaining works that contain elements…

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I wouldn’t be a writer without Ursula K. LeGuin.

I wouldn’t be a writer without Ursula K. LeGuin.

A while back, my Twitter pal Damien G. Walter wrote a Guardian column on Ursula K. LeGuin’s upcoming short story collections. He takes a very specific perspective on LeGuin’s stories in context, situating LeGuin within the speculative literary canon as a disquieting moralist, a shit-disturber of the highest order who tricks the brain into thinking by first twisting the heart into feeling. I agree with that sentiment, but I don’t think that’s the whole of LeGuin’s genius or her technique….

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Excerpt of vN up at Tor.com

Excerpt of vN up at Tor.com

I read from this chapter at the Augusta House earlier this year. Enjoy! The sign on the door read: PORTIA’S WANTED. Amy’s teacher had let her skip ahead to the third grade unit on contractions and possessives, but she remained uncertain whether the sign was a joke or just a typo. Amy had not eaten in five days. She saw everything in greyscale, now, even the maps on Rick’s reader. She had searched frantically for news about her parents before…

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vN is out, today.

vN is out, today.

How this day began Me: Your coffee mugs are self-replicating. Him: Sorry, I missed them. Me: (Blinking sleep out of my eyes, noting the surprising lack of pain in my knees, considering a skirt, suddenly realizing why I made that joke) Hey, doesn’t my book come out, today? Him: (smiling) Why yes, yes it does. So yes. vN: The First Machine Dynasty is out, today. It’s been available in some stores for a few days now, but that’s because they’re…

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If you’re feeling generous…

If you’re feeling generous…

The nominations for the Hugo Awards are open, and if you like, you could nominate my work for a couple of things: Best Novelette: The Education of Junior Number 12 Best Fan Writer: For my work at Tor.com Naturally, it goes without saying that I think you should nominate Eutopia: A Novel of Terrible Optimism, by David Nickle, for Best Novel. But I’m biased.

Story: “The Education of Junior Number 12”

Story: “The Education of Junior Number 12”

I apologize for the lack of posts, lately. I’m wrapping up edits on vN, a process that’s been complicated by a 1.5-week-long battle with the flu, bronchitis, and an allergic reaction to meds. (Thankfully, I was well cared-for throughout all of it.) But to make up for it, I have a new story available (for free!) for you: The Education of Junior Number 12. Here’s a taste: It started with a meal. It usually did. From silent prison guards in…

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