Clarkesworld & Forever in PDF

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    Good news for fans of the portable document format: both Clarkesworld & Forever magazines are now available in PDF. Get your own fixed formatted files here:

    Forever Magazine Issue 16 cover - click to view full size Clarkesworld Magazine – Issue 116 cover - click to view full size

    Uncanny Magazine Author Interview: Jim C. Hines

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    uncanny-magazine-issue-9-cover-400x600Weightless Books interviews Jim C. Hines, author of twelve fantasy novels and blogger about topics ranging from sexism and harassment to zombie-themed Christmas carols.

    Q: In a break from your novel-writing, you took some time to write an insightful essay about racism in science fiction and fantasy for Uncanny Magazine. Your starting point in the essay was the November 2015 decision that the World Fantasy Awards would no longer use a statue of H.P. Lovecraft as a trophy. Have you ever had to explain racism in SF/F to a child?

    Hines: I’ve had conversations about racism with children before – most notably my own children – but it wasn’t specific to SF/F. It’s a challenging conversation, and depends a lot on the age and experiences of the child. My son has a very straightforward view that “treating people differently because of their skin color is dumb.” But then the question becomes how to talk about the historical and systemic roots of racism, the power structures that perpetuate it, the less obvious ways it plays out in day to day life, and so on.

    So we talk about power and greed and fear. We talk about cultural misunderstandings and miscommunications. (We’ve been reading Janet Kagan’s Hellspark, which is a great book for discussing culture and taboo and miscommunication.) We talk about how things that happened decades or centuries ago still have a very real impact on people today, whether it’s housing segregation or the United States’ attempts to wipe out Native Americans.

    Q: In the Uncanny essay, you ask “When we think about ‘prevailing attitudes on race,’ are we limiting our thinking to the prevailing attitudes of white people?” Why do you think this concept of “prevailing attitudes” has been allowed to persist for so long, and what can people do to rewrite the narrative?

    Hines: History is shaped by those in power. Here in the U.S., that means our history has been taught through a dominantly white lens. While there are exceptions, we generally learn to focus on white figures and white voices, to the exclusion of other perspectives and attitudes.

    As a white man in 2016, I think one of the most important things is to recognize those omissions in my own education and understanding, and to actively seek out other voices to start to fill those gaps.

    Q: Your books and short stories are filled with protagonists and villains who are strong, smart, and funny regardless of their race, gender, or sexual identity. When did you first notice the gap between the portrayal of male protagonists versus female ones in the work of other authors?

    Hines: Thank you. I don’t think there was a particular time or date when awareness switched on in my brain. Even today there are books I’ll read where someone else later calls out instances of sexism or racism or other problems that I completely missed in my own reading.

    It’s something I try to be aware of, because when you’re flooded with representation in stories, it’s so easy not to notice when others aren’t. It’s an ongoing process, one that for me, required conscious effort.

    It also helps a lot if you actively try to broaden the stories and authors you read. The more you read books that do a good job of portraying a range of well-written female characters, for example, the more it stands out when other stories fail to do so.

    Q: Wealth and rights disparities can be a key component of science fiction and fantasy storylines nowadays. How do you think the future will judge those story lines and their authors?

    Hines: That depends on the future, and whether we end up in the Darkest Timeline.

    Realistically, the future will probably be as contentious as the present, with just as wide a range of opinions. I suspect people will look at our literature in the context of our times, just as we do to past works. And just as in previous eras, there will be areas where we fall short, where our own prejudices and assumptions shine through in our stories.

    My hope is that the future judges authors and our stories honestly. Recognize the good without ignoring the bad.

    Of course, this will all become moot when the ant people invade and put us to work in their vast sugar mines…

    Q: “Rape Resources” isn’t a prominent link most SF/F authors have on their websites, but yours has that. Is it hard for you to move from talking with fans one moment about SF/F and the next about sexual assault resources?

    Hines: Not really, no. Sexual assault issues are really important to me, and have been for more than half my life at this point. Statistically, we have so many people who have been sexually assaulted, and given the scope of the problem, we don’t do a fraction of the work we should be doing to combat that problem, and to support survivors. Posting those resources and writing about rape are small ways I try to change things.

    Most of the time when I’m talking about rape with someone from the SF/F community, it’s either someone who wants to argue about it, or someone who’s been assaulted. The former can be frustrating, but I’ve done enough research and work to be able to present the facts for those willing to listen. The latter can be painful, but I do my best to listen and be supportive. It’s never easy, but it’s important.

    Q: You’ve written more than a dozen novels, and you have a wide fan base that you stay in contact with through the internet, conventions, and other events. How do you keep life in balance?

    Jim C. HinesHines: By falling down a lot. Balance is a daily struggle. Sometimes it depends on my deadlines. If I have a book due, I need to make sure I hit that deadline, which might mean neglecting the internet and not getting as much time with my family as I want. Other times, when I start to feel burnt out, I have to walk away from the writing and play video games with my kids. Going to conventions and chatting with people online can take up a lot of time and energy, but it can also give energy back and help to refuel my excitement about the genre or a particular project.

    Lately, I’ve had to say no to more projects, which is painful. I’ve turned down events and writing opportunities that I’d love to do, but there are only so many hours in the day, and I’ve got to prioritize.

    If anyone ever figures out an easy way to maintain that life balance, please let me know!

    Jim C. Hines is the author of twelve fantasy novels, including the Magic ex Libris series, the Princess series of fairy tale retellings, the humorous Goblin Quest trilogy, and the Fable Legends tie-in Blood of Heroes. He’s an active blogger at www.jimchines.com, and won the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fan Writer. He lives in mid-Michigan with his family.

    Uncanny Magazine is an online Science Fiction and Fantasy magazine featuring passionate SF/F fiction and poetry, gorgeous prose, provocative nonfiction, and a deep investment in the diverse SF/F culture.  Each issue contains intricate, experimental stories and poems with verve and imagination that elicit strong emotions and challenge beliefs from writers from every conceivable background. Uncanny is available DRM-free from Weightless in single issues and as a 12-month subscription.

     

    Interview: Ken Liu

    LONTAR: The Journal of Southeast Asian Speculative Fiction – Issue 6 cover - click to view full sizeTo celebrate the sixth issue of LONTAR, we have an exclusive short interview by editor Jason Erik Lundberg with Ken Liu, whose “Running Shoes” is the lead-off story. Liu is the multi-award winning author of The Grace of Kings and The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, and Hugo-winning translator of Liu Cixin’s novel The Three-Body Problem.

    Jason Lundberg: Your story “Running Shoes” initially takes place at a sweatshop in rural Vietnam, and then moves to an American suburb. What relationship were you aiming to show between these two locales?

    First, thank you very much for the interview, Jason! I’m honored to be part of LONTAR.

    I don’t know if I had a specific aim in this story with the contrasting settings. We live on a planet that is not flat. Some of us are born through the veil of ignorance into conditions of great privilege; some of us are not. Is it moral to tolerate the world the way it is? Is it moral to seek to reshape it the way we want it to be? Is it moral to depict the world as it is? Is it moral to ignore the world the way it is? Is it moral to ask questions and have no answers?

    I don’t have any answers. Only questions.

    Q. The fantastical element employed here is an unusual one, that of haunting a pair of running shoes. What was the inspiration behind using this particular technique?

    This story actually began as an entry in a writing contest based on a prompt. If I recall correctly, the prompt was a photograph of a pair of running shoes dangling from a wire, the sort of thing you see all over America. I looked at the photograph and wondered where the shoes had come from and how they had gotten there, and the story simply followed.

    Q. Giang’s fate is heartbreaking and then uplifting. I’m currently reading your collection The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories, and I’ve noticed that you’re quite adept at turning a plot in a very unexpected (and typically compassionate) direction. Is this a conscious decision when you’re crafting a short story, to subvert your readers’ expectations?

    The only reader I have in mind when I write is myself. Every story I write, in some sense, is an argument with myself: about what is beautiful; what is true; what is the point of being alive and aware and thinking and moving; what is a story; what is a good story; what is a good story that makes me care and makes me weep.

    I don’t think I try to subvert reader expectations. I work hard to satisfy my own expectations.

    Q. Which authors either from Southeast Asia or writing about Southeast Asia do you enjoy reading? Could you give examples of particular works?

    Space limitation means that I can’t list everyone I should, so I’ll just give a few examples. I’m reading through S.P. Somtow’s Dragon’s Fin Soup right now, and it’s fantastic. Colorful images and musical prose weave tales that are at once lush and stark in their beauty. I also really like the works of many Singaporean or Singapore-based writers like J.Y. Yang, Joyce Chng, Stephanie Ye, Victor Fernando R. Ocampo, and others. LONTAR is a great venue for getting a sense of the exciting work being done by Southeast Asian writers.

    Q. Shameless self-promotion time: what is next on the publication horizon for Ken Liu?

    The biggest project I’m working on right now is the third book in the Dandelion Dynasty series. I have lots of ideas that still need to be distilled into a manageable plot. The second book in that series (and the first sequel to The Grace of Kings), titled The Wall of Storms, will be coming out from Saga Press in October of 2016 (and it’s bigger and better in every way, with even more intrigue and silkpunk technology!).

    In August, Death’s End, my translation of the third and concluding volume in Liu Cixin’s Three-Body trilogy, will be released by Tor Books. Fans of the series will then see why this is my favorite volume in the series.

    Finally, in November, Tor Books will publish my collection of translated Chinese SF, Invisible Planets. This, the first English-language commercial anthology focused on contemporary short-form Chinese SF, will contain award-winning stories by such luminaries as Liu Cixin, Chen Qiufan, Xia Jia, Hao Jingfang, and others.

    I also have a few stories in anthologies edited by Jonathan Strahan, Gardner Dozois, and others coming out later this year.

    To find out more about my plans, readers can go to my web site and/or sign up for my newsletter.

    Apex Magazine and Apex Publications Editor Interview: Jason Sizemore

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    apex-magazine-issue-82-coverWeightless Books interviews Jason Sizemore, Editor of Apex Magazine and Managing Editor of Apex Publications.

    Q: In June 2015, you announced that you quit your day job to work on Apex Magazine and Apex Publications full time. From all appearances, that seems to be going quite well, but tell the truth – is your household eating more Ramen noodles as a result?

    Sizemore: In college, I once bought a crate of Ramen noodles at the local Costco. 144 little packets of delight.

    After I ate the last one, I vowed NEVER AGAIN.

    Your question has made me ill with memories!

    Q: Apex Magazine and Apex Publications continue to win awards as do the stories, novels, and collections you publish. Most recently, “This is Horror” named Apex Magazine the fiction magazine of the year and Apex Publication’s Sing Me Your Scars by Damien Angelica Walters as the short story collection of the year. What other awards would you most like to win?

    Sizemore: Although I covet and desire any and all awards, the two that I would most like to win are a Hugo rocket and a Stoker haunted house. Most visitors to my house know squat about literary awards, but when you have a big silver rocket or an awesome scary house on your mantle, those will draw notice.

    I would love to see Sing Me Your Scars win an award. Damien Angelica Walters’ fiction is widely respected and liked, and I think she is deserving of the recognition.

    Q: In August 2015, you published For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher, your collection of semi-true and sometimes humorous essays about how you became the Apex Overlord. Six of the 13 chapters contain eyewitness rebuttals of your statements, and one chapter includes a separate fact-check. Are you a forgiving Overlord, or will those who disagree with you learn the errors of their ways?

    Sizemore: Forgiving? Not at all. I remember every slight and askew glance cast my direction!

    That said, I do recognize that my perception of events is open to interpretation. Those I wrote about the most—Maurice Broaddus, Sara M. Harvey, and Monica Valentinelli (to name a few)—I felt it only fair to give them an opportunity to have their side of the tale be told. Do I agree with their versions? Mostly, no.

    Q: In February 2016, you kickstarted Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling Anthology. Congratulations on exceeding your funding goal! What can the backers and other readers expect to find in this collection?

    jason sizemoreSizemore: Jaym Gates and Monica Valentinelli are dynamic and hardworking editors. They’re also perfectionists. I think you’ll find Upside Down reflects that attention to quality.

    Here is a free word association I did for Upside Down in preparation for this question: fun, diverse, thoughtful, subversive, Galen Dara art.

    Apex Magazine, a three-time Hugo Award finalist and World Fantasy Award-winning online magazine publishing the best horror and science fiction, is available DRM-free from Weightless in single issues and as a 12-month subscription.

    Raised in the Appalachian hills of southeastern Kentucky, Jason Sizemore is a three-time Hugo Award-nominated editor, a writer, and operates the science fiction, fantasy, and horror press Apex Publications. He is the author of the collection of dark science fiction and horror shorts Irredeemable and the tell-all creative fiction For Exposure: The Life and Times of a Small Press Publisher. He currently lives in Lexington, KY.

    March 2016 Bestsellers

    March was a hard month as we helped distribute the New York Review of Science Fiction’s free special issue that memorialized David G. Hartwell with “memories, conversations, appreciations, poetry, arguments, and outpourings from friends, family, fellow travelers, clients, coworkers, and others whose lives David touched.”

    And science fiction — and radical politics — lost another strong proponent in February, Jef Smith, who I first met at WisCon more years ago than I can remember. PM Press, who he used to table for at conventions, has a memorial by Berianne Bramman and there is a GoFundMe for his partner.

    Maybe it was the weird warm (at least in the Northern Hemisphere) weather but March was an odd month here at Weightless: nothing quite took off, instead everything rose up a little and overall everyone did very well. Which is all thanks to you, readers, who choose to buy your DRM-free ebooks here, thank you. Please do keep spreading the word, it is much appreciated!

    It is snowing now in Massachusetts, because of course snow happens in April instead of in February, bah!, but the driveway is shoveled and maybe I won’t have to do it again. After this I’m going to finish the Robert Jackson Bennett novel I’m reading (City of Blades) and maybe catch up on the new issue of Locus.

    March 2016 Bestsellers

    1. Galaxy’s Edge Subscription
    2. Uncanny Magazine Subscription
    3. Beneath Ceaseless Skies Subscription
    4. Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories
    5. Locus March 2016 (#662)

    Locus March 2016 (#662) cover - click to view full size Uncanny Magazine Issue 9 cover - click to view full size Galaxys Edge Magazine: Issue 19, March 2016 cover - click to view full size Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #196 cover - click to view full size The Winged Histories cover - click to view full size

     

    Half a Dozen New PM Press Books

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    It’s always a good day when we get a new batch of books from PM Press. This lot includes a couple of books that spring from punk (The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band and Going Underground: American Punk 1979–1989, Second Edition), mothering, and a folklorish exploration of “what it means to be a peacemaker in the midst of violence” — A Wolf at the Gate, which received a starred review from Kirkus and looks very tempting:

    “Van Steenwyk writes in sharp, muscular prose highly suitable for the fabulistic subject matter, deftly navigating both the darker and lighter segments of the story. The true standouts of the book, however, are the illustrations by Joel Hedstrom . . . full-page illustrations in brilliant colors that feel simultaneously ancient and stylishly contemporary. The result is a book out of time: a coupling of narrative and illustration that should stoke the imagination of any young modern reader. A visually stunning work addressing themes of peace, generosity, and forgiveness.”

    The Big Red Songbook: 250+ IWW Songs! cover - click to view full size A Wolf at the Gate cover - click to view full size Revolutionary Mothering: Love on the Front Lines cover - click to view full size Going Underground: American Punk 1979–1989, Second Edition cover - click to view full size Birth Work as Care Work: Stories from Activist Birth Communities cover - click to view full size The Spitboy Rule: Tales of a Xicana in a Female Punk Band cover - click to view full size

    Special Free Memorial Issue of NYRSF

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    New York Review of Science Fiction #330 cover - click to view full sizeThere’s a new free issue of the New York Review of Science Fiction that memorializes David G. Hartwell with “memories, conversations, appreciations, poetry, arguments, and outpourings from friends, family, fellow travelers, clients, coworkers, and others whose lives David touched.”

    You can download it or add it to your Library in the format of your choice here.

    Letters to Tiptree wins an Aurealis Award!

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    Letters to Tiptree cover - click to view full size

    aurealis2016

    Twelfth Planet Press’s anthology Letters to Tiptree goes from strength to strength: last night it received the Conveners’ Award for Excellence at the Aurealis Awards. Other winners include Meg McKinley, Shaun Tan, Joanne Anderton, and Garth Nix and Trent Jamieson who both won two awards!

    Three of the letters from Letters to Tiptree can be read online (links below) and it’s still available here for just 99 cents!

    Nicola Griffith – read online at LA Review of Books

    Gwyneth Jones – read online at Strange Horizons

    Brit Mandelo – read online at Tor.com

    See the full list of winners.

    Award Season

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    If you are into voting for awards you are in, well, you pick you happy metaphor: pig in clover? bear with the honey pot? a reader who likes to vote with many ballots open to them? Here are three that you could potentially vote for. All are for fiction and so on first published in 2015:

    1. The Locus Awards.
      Voter eligibility: open to all! Many stories in the Recommended Reading list is linked here.
      Vote by April 15, 2016 here.
    2. The Hugo Awards.
      Eligibility: open to members of Worldcon — here’s the actual eligibility post.
      Vote by 11:59pm Pacific Daylight Time on Thursday March 31, 2016 here.
    3. The Nebula Awards.
      Eligibility: open to active members of SFWA — here’s the How to Vote info.
      The 2015 nominees have already been announced and members have until 3/30 to vote.
      Vote here.

    Of the sf&f I read in 2015, I like a lot of the stuff on the Locus Recommended Reading List, but there’s obviously a ton of things that are eligible. One easy way: here’s what we released in 2015 on Weightless (look at all these magazines and editors):

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Luna Station Quarterly, LCRW, Archivist Wasp, Uncanny, Space & Time, Locus, Shimmer, Flash Fiction Online, Apex, Interzone, Galaxy’s Edge, The Dark, Forever, NYRSF, On Spec, and so many more.

    As ever, the more people who vote, the better!

    Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #195, Special Double-Issue for BCS Science-Fantasy Month 3     Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 33 PreorderGalaxys Edge Magazine: Issue 19, March 2016 Lightspeed Magazine, Issue 70 (March 2016) Uncanny Magazine Issue 9 Apex Magazine Issue 82 Clarkesworld Magazine – Issue 114 Locus March 2016 (#662) Interzone #262 Flash Fiction Online Issue #30 March 2016 Space and Time Magazine Issue #124

    SBP Ebook Updates

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    Today we 1) post a new forthcoming ebook, 2) publish a(n e)book, and 3) update a 10-year-old ebook!

    1. Next February we will publish Juan Martinez’s debut Best Worst American. It is great, well, obviously. Curious? Read a story:
      Domokun in Fremont” (TriQuarterly)
      The Spooky Japanese Girl is There for You” (McSweeney’s)
      The Coca-Cola Executive in the Zapatoca Outhouse” (Conjunctions)
    2. Today is publication day for The Winged Histories, Sofia Samatar’s second novel. It is immersive, overwhelming, beautiful. If you are piloting a plane and have a few minutes to read, do not pick this book!
      Also, if you’re in LA or going to the AWP conference, come join us at a reading.
    3. We just added epub and mobi editions of Kate Wilhelm’s Storyteller:Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop.
      Storyteller came out in 2005 and won both the Hugo and Locus awards!

    Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More from 27 Years of the Clarion Writers’ Workshop cover - click to view full size The Winged Histories cover Best Worst American Preorder cover

    29 Days of Bestsellers

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    The Winged Histories coverWe had a fun time in February with some sale titles (hello Letters to Tiptree) doing extremely well and everything getting a boost from our bonus LCRW subscription — which Michael went ahead and added to hundreds of readers’ libraries on Wednesday! I’m very happy that some of the people getting that bonus picked up an LCRW sub, basically doubling their subscriptions.

    The bestselling ebook was Sofia Samatar’s novel The Winged Histories. The pub date is March 15 and we have a reading in LA at the Last Bookstore on March 30 with Kelly Link, Maureen F. McHugh, and Ayize Jama-Everett (come along!) but certain online behemoths released the ebook earlier than expected so to be fair to the legion of preordering Weightless readers, out it went. Sofia’s first novel, the multi-award winning A Stranger in Olondria, got a boost from The Winged Histories and jumped back up onto the charts.

    Magazines had a(nother) strong month: the February Locus is always popular — all those year end numbers and lists and the Recommended Reading — and Lightspeed’s heavyweight author line up (Sarah Pinsker, Paul McAuley, Karin Tidbeck, Christopher Barzak, & more) certainly brought in the readers:

    Ebook Bestsellers

    1. Sofia Samatar, The Winged Histories
    2. Locus February 2016 (#661)
    3. Mothership Zeta Issue 1
    4. Sofia Samatar, A Stranger in Olondria
    5. Lightspeed Issue 69 (February 2016)

    Wait, didn’t I miss something above? Yes! Mothership Zeta which is building up a great head of steam as the first issue is still finding happy readers and the second issue just came out. Lookit that #1 spot!

    Subscription Bestsellers

    1. Mothership Zeta
    2. New York Review of Science Fiction
    3. Galaxy’s Edge
    4. Clarkesworld Magazine
    5. Beneath Ceaseless Skies
      Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet

    Locus February 2016 (#661) cover Mothership Zeta Magazine – Issue 2 cover A Stranger in Olondria cover Lightspeed Magazine Issue 69 (February 2016) cover

    Last Day to get a Free LCRW Subscription

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    This is it: the last day to get a free 4-issue LCRW subscription. If you’re an LCRW subscriber (hello lovely readers!), you’ll receive a 4-issue subscription extension. The subscription will be added to your Library in the first week of March.

    Why? Answer here.

    Any ebook? Even a 99c ebook? Yes! And here are some 99c ebooks as well as the rest of this month’s bestsellers, so far!

    Locus February 2016 (#661) Mothership Zeta Magazine – Issue 2 Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet No. 26 Letters to Tiptree

    4 more days to get a free LCRW sub!

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    Furnace cover - click to view full sizeWe really don’t want you to miss this offer: Buy any ebook on Weightless this month and get a free 4-issue LCRW subscription. (More here. Why? Here.)

    Here’s today’s rec: Livia Llewellyn’s new collection Furnace. My own wife says about this book:

    6 more days to get a free LCRW Subscription!

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    The Winged Histories cover - click to view full sizeBuy any ebook on Weightless during the month of February and you will receive a free 4-issue LCRW subscription (worth $9.95!). If you’re already a subscriber, you will receive a 4-issue subscription extension. If you buy an LCRW subscription, this will double it, but this offer applies to any ebook bought from this store this month.The bonus LCRW subscription will be added to your Library in the first week of March.

    Why? Answer here.

    Here’s today’s rec.: Sofia Samatar’s second novel, The Winged Histories. The pub date is March 15 but the book has started going out and today this coming Sunday’s New York Times Book Review dropped including this:

    “. . . All of it is harrowing — and written in such heart-stoppingly beautiful language there’s a good chance readers will ignore the plot and spend a few hours just chewing on the words, slowly, to draw out the flavor. Then they’ll need to read it again. Fortunately, this is a short book; also fortunately, there’s a lot of novel packed into relatively few pages. A highly recommended indulgence.”

    Four Questions for Ginn Hale

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    Champion of the Scarlet Wolf Book TwoWe asked Blind Eye Books publisher Nicole Kimberling to catch up with award-winning author Ginn Hale:

    Compared to the slew graphomaniacs currently populating the internets, Ginn Hale is a slow writer. She only releases a book every few years, so each time I get a manuscript from her I’m overcome with excitement. Ginn has a big imagination and a great knack for writing a nail-biter with LGBT protagonists.  As I’m fascinated with the way writers think, I wanted to ask her a few questions.

    1. One of the things you seem to enjoy most is breaking rules (for example, Blind Eye Books Guidelines!) and reimagining tropes. What about that do you find so pleasing?

    I don’t go out of my way to break rules, really! I actually try to stick as close to guidelines as possible. But every now and then I find myself thinking about a fictional subject or situation that strikes me as absurd, annoying or cliché and wondering if there is ANY circumstance that could make it seem reasonable, clever or new.  Rarely I come up with something and then I feel like, after putting in all that time and thought I really have to write about it.Rifter 1: The Shattered Gates

    In fact it was my own annoyance at fantasy books overflowing with egalitarian talking animals that led me to write the character of Ji in the Rifter books.

    I think on some level I just enjoy challenging my own assumptions.

    2. Your recent book, Champion of the Scarlet Wolf is a sequel to Lord of the White Hell Books One and Two, yet you’ve chosen to follow a secondary character rather than stick with the original protagonists. Why is that?

    Lord of the White Hell Book OneLord of the White Hell is written from the point of view of Kiram Kir-zaki, a mathematically gifted seventeen year old, who’s a little spoiled by his wealthy parents and widely accepted by his own minority community. The first two books follow his adventures in the less open-minded society of an elite boys-school, where he builds machines, battles a curse, and wins the devotion of a duke! It was all very fun and I loved writing Kiram’s youthful insights as well as his snarky, teen-age thoughts.

    But for the next two books I really wanted to show the world from a different point of view.  The events of the war I planned to write about didn’t really suit Kiram’s voice or character. For that I needed some one physically stronger, more politically involved and way less likely to solve the whole conflict with a slide rule!

    Lord of the White Hell Book TwoFortunately I tend to massively overbuild the worlds and characters I write about. While the majority of details and backstories never make it into a manuscript, this once I realized that I’d already created the perfect character to carry the second set of books. Elezar, with his mysteriously scarred thigh, immense physical courage and internal conflict was like a small war in himself. His complex relationship with both Javier and Kiram allowed me to write about the two of them from a new perspective and perhaps most importantly, he’s the one character who’d shelter a filthy, emaciated mutt in a city of witches and wily shapeshifters.

    3. Lord of the White Hell Books One and Two were picked up for Japanese release by Chuokoron Shinsha. What was it like working with a Japanese translator?

    I was fortunate enough to work with a really delightful translator — Fumiyo Harashima.  Not only did she know the details of my books better than I did, but she took great care in weighing what should be translated directly and what ideas, jokes and turns of phrase needed more idiomatic equivalents. Our discussions ranged from which words to write in katakana — such as the characters names — to Spanish J’s, and Arabic R’s.

    She even dedicated serious thought to the many goofy puns I slipped into the manuscript. I particularly remember feeling embarrassed when she approached me about the  “Goldenrod Inn”, which was the name of a brothel catering to wealthy students. When I confessed that the name was a childish play on words — Goldenrods=rich dicks — I half-expected her to roll her eyes or quit, but instead she seemed delighted, as she’d suspected something of that sort. And she set to work preserving my puerile humor.

    I couldn’t have wished for a better translator!

    4. What’s next for Ginn Hale?

    This is a really hard question to field… I have an idea about a semi-aquatic 1920’s world rolling around in my head but I never know until I start really plotting out a story . . . There’s always a chance that I’ll see some new prohibition on a publisher’s guideline and be inspired in my usual contradictory manner!

    January 2016 Bestsellers

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    9/10 January bestsellers were subscriptions! The one individual magazine on the list was the January Locus, which had interviews with Mary Rickert and Charlie Jane Anders — so no wonder that was popular. The February issue is always a big seller too since it includes the Recommended Reading lists and has all the many and varied wide-ranging year-end reviews in it. Remember: anyone can vote in the Locus poll.

    Otherwise the list is a fascinating look at the current expansion in the range and type of (mostly sf&f) magazines available. Mothership Zeta, from the very popular Escape Artists podcast publisher, is the newest magazine to quickly hit our bestseller list. Between them, Galaxy’s Edge, Flash Fiction Online, Uncanny, and Forever, fully half of January’s top ten bestsellers didn’t exist 3-4 years ago! Even Clarkesworld is only 10 years old and Beneath Ceaseless Skies is coming on eight which shows, at least on this indie ebookstore, the scope of editorial visions available now at the click of a button.

    Somewhat related to the above: the full range of what is published is not always reflected by reviewers, sometimes purposefully, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies editor and publisher Scott H. Andrews had a great series of storified tweets on that subject (as Storified by Michael):

    January 2016 Weightless Bestseller List

    1. New York Review of Science Fiction
    2. Mothership Zeta Magazine
    3. Galaxy’s Edge Magazine
    4. Uncanny Magazine
    5. Clarkesworld Magazine
    6. Beneath Ceaseless Skies
    7. Flash Fiction Online
    8. Interzone
    9. Locus January 2015 (#660)
    10. Forever Magazine

    Flash Fiction Online Issue #29 February 2016 cover - click to view full size Forever Magazine Issue 13 cover - click to view full size Mothership Zeta Magazine – Issue 2 cover - click to view full size Uncanny Magazine Issue 8 cover - click to view full size

    Galaxy’s Edge Magazine: Issue 18, January 2016 – Featuring Leigh Bracket (scriptwriter for Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back) cover - click to view full size Locus January 2016 (#660) cover - click to view full size Interzone #262 cover - click to view full size