Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Diversity In The 'Pocalypse

I swear, lately these days I've been beaming non-stop with pride--and I must admit, just a tad bit of jealousy--at the wonderful success a lot of my writer friends have been receiving this year. It seems everywhere I turn now someone I know is being published, re-published, or about to be published. And I couldn't be happier for them!

But what happens when many of those friends end up in the same sci-fi anthology alongside highly admired established authors in the field, I ask you? An explosion of AWESOMENESS, that's what! Awesomeness that all the squee'ing in the world can't adequately exhaust. Trust me, I've tried. It just doesn't work.

But such is the case with Diverse Energies, a new anthology being released by Tu Books later this Fall. This is a collection of short stories taking place in a future dystopia, written by some of the most diverse writers in the industry not just in terms of background, but writing styles as well. And trust me, these are good writers. Really, really good! For a wannabe like myself who just eats this stuff up, the anthology's TOC is a real who's who of hot talent around today. And believe me, it's even better when I can call some of these names friends. Names such as Cindy Pon, Tempest Bradford, and Rajan Khanna to name just a few.

In addition, there's Paolo Bacigalupi and Ursula K. Le Guin also contributing short stories, among others. Mr. Bacigalupi is perhaps my favorite new writer in SF. His novel, The Windup Girl, had me raving like some fried-out street preacher to any who would hear my glowing recommendations of this amazing near-future tale. While Le Guin's The Left Hand of Darkness is perhaps the most influential, seminal and important piece of fiction I hold near and dear to my heart! Yes sir! It's right up there with A Canticle For Leibowitz and The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress as having the most profound influence on my desire to become a writer.

So, needless to say Diverse Energies is going to be a must-buy for this fan. I swear, short-story collections don't get more full of WIN than this! Oh, and the whole shebang is edited by Tobias Buckell, whom some of you may remember me praising a while back here.

So tell me, what are you waiting for? Pre-order this gem, like, RIGHT NOW!!!

Unless that is, like me, you want to try and snag a free copy of the book before it's even released? Yes, that's right, my good friend Cindy Pon is actually GIVING AWAY a free ARC of the anthology to any who will play by her nefarious rules. And what might those rules entail? Well, hop on over to her wonderful blog for more details by clicking here.

In the meantime, I'm going to get back to writing. Being surrounded by all this insane talent has GOT to rub off, right? I mean, RIIIIGHT???

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Earliest Scaries

Hi. This is me, age 4. So for those counting, circa 1980 or thereabouts. Around this time, I was afraid of a great many things. The dark. Thunder 'n' lightning. Warm milk (yeah, don't ask). I was just thinking about this today, the crazy things that would frighten me as a boy. Some of it, like the warm milk mentioned above, doesn't make much sense to me now as an adult. It's an interesting reflection into the mind of a child, though, don't you think? I mean, it explains how we adults sometimes don't understand why kids wake up screaming in the middle of the night. All sorts of silly things scare them, and sometimes as a parent you can only try your best to understand. I'm not a parent, but I know parents. And, also, I remember my mother's reaction to my own "scaries" growing up. Unlike most people, however, I actually do recall many examples of my fears when I was child. Below are just a handful of the more entertaining ones. They revolved mostly around sound, oddly enough. And while some you'll just have to take my word for, others should be more obvious in their horrifying elements. I'm sure you share a few of these terrors yourself. Or, at least, the little version of you probably did, once upon a when.

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...