Travel meme

Here’s a summary of the nights I spent away from home in 2012:

Guadalajara, Mexico (4)
Lake Quinault, WA (4)
Walnut Creek, CA (4)
Venice, Italy (5)
Bologna, Italy (2)
Vienna, Austria (5)
Znojmo, Czech Republic (1)
Jindřichův Hradec, Czech Republic (2)
České Budějovice, Czech Republic (2)
Prague, Czech Republic (5)
Dresden, Germany (2)
Berlin, Germany (6)
Madison, WI (7)
Vancouver, BC (7)
San Jose, CA (1)
Snoqualmie, WA (2)
Portland, OR (3)
Ashland, OR (4)
Chicago, IL (6)
Milwaukee, WI (2)
Denver, CO (4)
Chattanooga, TN (6)
Toronto, ON (5)

Plus 12 trips to Seattle to visit with Janna and other friends, for a total of 116 nights away from home.


Sale! (Retroactive.)

Back in August I learned that my story “Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely” had been translated into Hungarian and published in Galaktika magazine without permission or payment. Furthermore, they had done the same back in 2006 with “Tk’Tk’Tk.” I tracked down an email address and sent them a note politely requesting payment and author copies.

Somewhat to my surprise, I received a rapid and apologetic response — “It seems my colleagues who should clear the rights slipped up big time” — and a request for wire transfer information for payment. Some of my writer friends thought this sounded like a phishing scam, but I contacted them in the first place, and I also know that in Eastern Europe they use wire transfers the way we use credit cards, so I sent them the information as requested.

Wonder of wonders, the payment came through earlier this month!

So now I have added two Hungarian translations to my roster of foreign sales.

Galaktika 199 Galaktika 262

I think our tree may have been abused as a sapling

I think we left it too late to get our tree this year. Our first choice tree lot was gone; the second choice was unattended and had a sign “any tree $10, put bills in slot;” the third had some decent-looking trees, but when we got ours home it started dropping needles like a butterfingered knitter. Since then it’s been sucking down water at a furious rate, a half-gallon a day or more. Thirstiest tree we’ve ever had, by far. But still, it’s up and decorated and looks lovely. Happy solstice, all!


Happy Apocalypse Day!

Woke up bright and early this morning and ran downstairs in eager anticipation… only to find myself in the basement because our bedroom is on the ground floor. Hope everyone is enjoying their first day of continued existence. Happy solstice, too!

Seeking ebook reviewers

Who are your favorite ebook reviewers for science fiction and fantasy? Someone who, perhaps, might be interested in reviewing a new ebook release of an award-winning SF/Fantasy short story collection that’s coming out early next year?

Why? Oh, no reason.

Announcing the all-new

Effective immediately, my home page has changed to, an all-new URL and an all-new website designed by the fabulous Jeremiah Tolbert of Clockpunk Studios!

My blog there is at and its RSS feed is

The old URLs will redirect to the new ones, but this is currently only partially implemented, so please update your bookmarks, blogroll, and links.

Go on over and check the place out. Make yourself at home, kick the tires, leave a comment if you like. Please do let me know if you find anything that’s broken!

SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series for 2013

We have now nailed down the dates and hosts and some of the readers for all the SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series events in 2013, so mark your calendars:

Portland readings:

  • Wed Jan 30, 2013: James Patrick Kelly (host), Felicity Shoulders, Grá Linnaea
  • Wed Apr 24, 2013: Mary Robinette Kowal (host), Tina Connolly, Nisi Shawl
  • Wed Aug 14, 2013: Laura Anne Gilman (host)
  • Wed Oct 16, 2013: Peter Orullian (host)

The Portland events are held at McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 NE 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97211, and run from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

Seattle-area readings:

  • Tue Jan 29, 2013: Cat Rambo (host), Felicity Shoulders, Grá Linnaea
  • Tue Apr 23, 2013: Mary Robinette Kowal (host), Tina Connolly, Nisi Shawl
  • Tue Aug 13, 2013: Laura Anne Gilman (host)
  • Tue Oct 15, 2013: Peter Orullian (host)

The Seattle-area events are held at the Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, 111 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033, and run from 7:00 to 8:30 PM.

All events are free and open to the public. We’ll have booksellers on hand and all the authors will be available to sign.

I hope you can join us! It should be a lot of fun.

See for more information and to RSVP (not required, but encouraged).

How Not to Spam

This morning I found a message in my spam folder from an aspiring science fiction author, offering a free ebook and requesting feedback, “Likes,” and blogs. It was a nice enough letter, but clearly bulk mail, not personalized in any way. This was my response:

Thought you might like to know that your email landed in my spam trap. And, well, technically it is spam, because it’s a commercial email from someone I’ve never done business with before. As spams go, it’s pretty pleasant and inoffensive. However, I’m not likely to read your book (not a fan of the subgenre, sorry) or help you publicize it (I already have dozens of real-world friends who are making the same “please help me publicize my book” request on a weekly basis). Good luck!

He replied with a nice email thanking me for the pleasant reply, having received some nasty ones. I responded:

Alas, I’m not really surprised about the nasty responses. We are all so overwhelmed by uninvited commercial messages — they’re on our TV, every web site, email, Twitter, Facebook… — that when we actually have a chance to yell back at the source of one I can see that some people would really let fly, not caring that the source was an individual who’s just trying to make a buck. So, even though I think this campaign is probably not a good idea, I’m sympathetic.

You probably would have done better to approach people you actually know. If you don’t know any prominent writers, maybe some of the less-prominent writers you know do, and you could ask them to introduce you. If you don’t know anyone in the SF writing community (and if that’s the case, you really should have started doing this long before your book was ready for release, but it’s never too late to start) you can attend science fiction conventions, join a local writing group, maybe join SFWA. Participating in social media — mailing lists, joining Facebook groups, leaving comments on blogs — is a pretty good way to form online relationships. But when I say “participate,” I mean to hang out like you would at a party, don’t be all “buy my book!” all the time… maybe even ANY of the time. Keep doing this until you have created actual relationships, to the point that asking your prominent writer friend “hey, my book’s out, would you mind mentioning it on your blog?” is seen as a natural request rather than an imposition. Yes, this does take time, by which I mean years, but a) it’s fun, and b) building a career is not the same thing as selling one book.

Thanks for asking, and good luck!

After I wrote that I realized that other people might like to read it as well. So here it is!