Morning Cuppa – 03/12/13 – Game of Thrones! Terry Brooks! Elizabeth Bear!

Twice in a week! Okay, my apologies once again for my absence to those of you who check in daily here. I had some family in town for the weekend and I should have anticipated that I wouldn’t be writing much at all while they were here. This should hopefully be the end of interruptions, at least for the foreseeable future. On to the links then…

  • There’s an advanced review of Elizabeth Bear’s forthcoming book, Shattered Pillars, her second from the Eternal Sky series which is set in a fictionalized version of the 12th-13th century Asian Steppes. 
  • Terry Brooks, author of the Shannara series, among others, did an AMA yesterday on Reddit. The conversation is now closed but you can still read through it. Some interesting tidbits about the annotated Shannara that recently came out.
  • In just 9 days, season 3 of Game of Thrones will begin! The Mary Sue has a quick 14 minute roundup from HBO that has the actors and executive producer recounting what happens in season 2. Watch it and prepare to loose the dragons!
  • And, if you’re still following the SFWA/Random House tiff that’s going on, John Scalzi rounds up his own posts on the matter for you here.

Morning Cuppa returns! 03/08/13 – International Women’s Day! Mike Stackpole! SFWA vs. Hydra!

For the handful of people who visit me daily, I want to apologize for my site being down yesterday. According to my web host, there was a DDoS attack being launched from the same IP cluster that my blog sits on. So they had to isolate my DNS cluster and figure out which one of us that sits on that block was behaving badly. If that’s too technical for you, just nod and smile at me, it’s over now and hopefully won’t happen again.

In other news, hey, it’s Friday em effers! While you’re counting down the hours until your no-pants-dance can begin, please enjoy some links from me.

  • Today is International Women’s Day, in honor of the accomplishments of women’s struggles everywhere for basic human rights, I’d like to share this short video about women in science fiction and fantasy:

  • Michael Stackpole, he of the astoundingly awesome writing classes, offers up his 7 Traits of Enduring Characters. Mike has an astounding ability to take all of the writing questions you never even knew you had and answer them, leaving you with that delighted, AHA! expression on your face. 
  • For those of you who haven’t been watching the back-and-forth between Random House’s new Hydra imprint and the Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA), the SFWA has deemed that Hydra is not an eligible market for membership within the SFWA after examining the terms of the standard contract they offer authors. Hydra doesn’t offer an advance and puts the burden of editing and artwork on the author, which goes against the traditional reasons anyone would choose to partner with a publisher. Random House quickly responded that they were viewing this as a new type of partnership, that was “potentially lucrative”. Finally, the board of the SFWA responded that they had delisted Hydra and another Random House ebook only imprint, Alibi. As of today, that’s where it sits. It should be noted that what Random House is toying with is removing all of the risk from their publishing model by forcing authors to pay for everything up front. This is very similar to what is known as the “vanity publishing” model.