Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Jon Armstrong interviews... me

My first talking interview (yikes!) with Jon Armstrong, fellow Philip K Dick nominee - is up on his blog If You're Just Joining Us. Jon is doing a special series and interviewing all the nominees over the next few weeks.

Go on, laugh at my funny accent.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Made-up words

Been meaning to do this for a while - I've just uploaded a wordlist for Song of Scarabaeus to my website.

I tend to get a little disheartened to find a glossary in the back of novels. Even worse, a cast of characters, which is just a warning there are too many to keep track of. So I'm glad this list doesn't appear in my book. I would hope that the words I use are either self-explanatory in context or that I give sufficient explanation. This is just for reference.

It seems the words fall into four categories:

Words that sound made-up but aren't (lag, shiv, slater)

Real words that I've appropriated or redefined - consider them futuristic mutations (such as spur, drub, leash, the Reach)

Classic sci-fi words that someone else made up, or made up something similar (gravplating, magkey, nodespace, wet-teck, medfac)

Invented words (biocyph, nanofinds, neuroxin)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Firefly returns

Firefly is airing on the Science Channel starting March 6th. EW has a brief interview with star Nathan Fillion, who says "yes, yes" he would make more Firefly goodness if he could. The series will air with science comments by physicist Dr. Michio Kaku... Not sure that's really necessary. I mean, come on, how is Dr. Kaku going to explain Kaylee's super-duper twisty-turny engine thingy in scientific terms? In fact, the last thing Firefly had going for it was science. It had gritty ambience and lovable characters. It had Nathan Fillion. It had funky props and an actual dining room table - on a spaceship, for god's sake. It had life. Did I mention it had Nathan Fillion? Once, it even had naked Nathan Fillion.

If you've never seen Firefly, you must watch it now. No excuses. It's that shiny. Standout episodes are "Serenity" (created as the first episode, although it aired out of order), "Out of Gas", and "Ariel". Then of course there's the movie Serenity. It's a real shame this show belonged to Fox instead of a minor channel that would've accepted its lower ratings and given it a chance. When he should've been writing season six of Firefly, Joss Whedon was instead writing Dollhouse, which was kind of nasty.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

How crazy is this?

Fishpond, a book, toy and game online store in Australia, is selling Song of Scarabaeus for only $7.95. That's 4 cents cheaper than Amazon (well, it's actually only 1.3 cents cheaper, taking into account today's exchange rate). And Fishpond has free shipping with no minimum purchase. They say free shipping is for a limited time, but it's been free since before Christmas.

They have to order the book from America so shipping time is 2 weeks, but as you can't even buy the book in Australian stores (other than, allegedly, a couple of city stores), it's a good trade-off.

No idea how long this will last, but their list price is $22.99. Yes, that's outrageous, but we Aussies are used to paying ridiculous prices for our books and CDs. (My sister used to order text books from the UK because it was cheaper than buying them here, even after paying shipping.) Actually, you can get it cheaper from some of the other online stores listed in my blog post here, anywhere from $10-$16, but you may have to pay extra for shipping.

Also, if you're the first person to review the book on Fishpond and write 50+ words, you get 20 cents store credit.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Thrice upon a time

I'm in idea-overload mode this week. It should be a good place to be, and it certainly feels good because I love this stage of the writing process. But it doesn't increase word count. I already had four completely different stories in three genres competing for my attention. Now I have a fifth. There's a chance I can merge a couple of the older ones with this new one, which takes me back to three.

Still two too many.

And how does one write with a baby anyway? I haven't figured that one out.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Up

For geeks like me who are into futuristic technology, io9 has an article on space elevators. I only mention it because Children of Scarabaeus features a space elevator, as a minor plot point.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Marketing departments need editors too

Ooh, here's HarperCollins's marketing department's description of Children of Scarabaeus:

Sara Creasy burst onto the sf scene with The Song of Scarabeaus—prompting Publishers Weekly to praise her as, “a significant new talent,” and her novel as, “a brilliantly conceived debut,” in a starred rave review. With Children of Scarabeaus she returns us to her boldly imagined universe for another ingenious blending of rich characterization, breathtaking science fiction adventure, fascinating speculation, and engrossing romance in the vein of Linnea Sinclair and Ann Aguirre. Children of Scarabeaus cements Creasy’s reputation as one of sf’s most exciting new practitioners—as cypherteck Edie Sha’nim and her bodyguard lover Finn uncover an insidious scheme by the tyrannical Crib empire that involves the enslavement of children and the destruction of worlds.

OTT or what! :) Guess I should write to them about the spelling errors in the books' titles.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Who's Hans Gruber anyway?

AB Keuser, a formerly fellow Arizonan who has an interesting blog about her writing life, has interviewed me. Find out why I love Hans Gruber and why I almost didn't answer the phone when agent Kristin Nelson called to offer representation.

(Meanwhile, who would interrupt a feeding newborn to answer the phone? Um, me. That was two years later, and it was Kristin again, this time offering my husband representation.)

Sunday, February 6, 2011

My first podcast - coming soon

Yarn author Jon Armstrong is doing a series of Podcast interviews with his fellow PKD Award nominees for his blog If You're Just Joining Us. This morning he interviewed me! I think I worked my way around the technology, recording my voice with my webcam while speaking on the phone, while he did the same at his end. He edits the two halves together so it sounds like we're in the same room. That's cheating, huh? He has an lurvly "radio voice" and put me at ease for my first ever voice interview.

Check out his other podcast interviews - some really interesting people in there from across the publishing industry. My interview will be up in a month or so.

Friday, February 4, 2011

The singularity

io9, my favorite site for all things sciencey and science ficitonal, has an article on the singularity - not the gravitational singularity that created space-time, but the technological one, the future event beyond which technology becomes incomprehensible to our current selves. The example they give is trying to explain the internet to a medieval peasant. Imagine a future technology so unthinkable that it can't be explained to you and me. Hmm, if it can't be thought of it can't be imagined, but of course that's what SF writers try to do.

The typical hypothetical event is the emergence of artificial intelligence - not because we can't imagine it, but because we can't really predict what effects it will have on society and, Star Trek TNG notwithstanding, on our very definition of what it means to be human.  What would self-programing intelligence that surpasses human intelligence get up to in its spare time? Would it rather take over the world or play with Lego?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Children of Scarabaeus giveaway

Want to read Children of Scarabaeus early? Harper Voyager is giving away advance reader copies (presumably e-books) to those willing to write a short review. For your chance to grab a copy, see this blog post and email them toot sweet: Eos Blog Giveaway