Morning Cuppa – 06/03/13 – WTF: Turkey! SFWA! GoT!

It was a weekend of wtf’s of varying shapes and sizes. The most troubling of course was the news out of Turkey, which I round up a bit for you below. Then there was the kerfuffle within the ranks of the SFWA and finally, last night’s episode of GoT (no spoilers, promise).

  • What started as a peaceful protest to prevent the razing of a public park has turned into a fight for the soul of a country. Neil Gaiman’s tumblr has some harrowing photos of what’s happening in Turkey right now. Note: there have been no confirmed deaths at this point, in spite of what those photos say.
    Washington Post roundup of events here, from Friday.
    There are a number of social media angles you can follow, a Facebook page, the #occupygezi hashtag on twitter and this page on tumblr.
  • The latest issue of the SFWA member’s magazine, Bulletin has raised some hackles with a couple of arguably sexist pieces that ran. The first thing that brought it to my attention was E. Catherine Tobler’s blog post where she announced that she was leaving the organization. Not being a subscriber, I found this excellent, well thought out sum-up on Kate Milford’s blog with quotes from the article in question:

    Our Warrior Woman protesters and enemies of the adjective (who unlike Ms. Dworkin will not identify themselves) fall into the category of what Right Wing radio talkers call “liberal fascists,” and I cannot disagree with that description.

    Liberal fascists, huh? Fuck’s sake you guys know how to clear a room. This, of course, is the response to reader complaints about an article by long time SFWA members Barry Malzberg and Mike Resnick by the same.
    Jim C. Hines rounded up responses from sites near and far if you want to get more into the nitty gritty.
    And finally, the SFWA responded quickly with a task force headed up by VP Rachel Swirsky as well as issuing a formal apology from President John Scalzi.

  • Finally, fans of the Game of Thrones television show finally made it to the Red Wedding scene. For those who haven’t read the books, you poor, poor people.

Morning Cuppa – 04/15/13 – Scalzi speaks on sexism! Vampires! Werewolves!

Spring has come and change is in the air… I’m going to try to release some blog posts that I’ve been working on some time this week about the state of my novel(s) and another about the state of geek culture vs consumerism. Until then, here’s your cuppa…

  • John Scalzi responds to a commenter on his blog who asks, “Women in Geekdom. Why is this all exploding now? Where is it going?” While the questioner is perhaps sincere it still speaks to the actual subtext, which is: what’s up with the raging debate on sexism in geek culture right now? He does his best to answer the question and says that he feels it’s becoming such a talked about thing because it’s on its way out. I hope he’s right, but I think there’s a lot of work left to be done, especially by the folks like he and I, the white male geeks.
  • This couple are desperately looking for a vampire willing to turn them both into vampires before the end of the year so that they can share their love for eternity. If you’re a vampire, maybe consider helping them?
  • Horror shows get a bad rep, and Netflix’s foray into the genre, Hemlock Grove, is no exception. It’s not even been released yet the Hollywood Reporter has already taken a pass on the show. The reviewer watched two episodes and had to call it quits. I’m hopeful that this person was just not a genre fan but we’ll find out when it’s released this Friday.
    I’d love to see something that evokes the quality of American Horror Story (season 1… season 2 totally lost me). Anyways, if you’d like to get a taste for what the show might hold you can check out Brian McGreevy’s novel of the same name, which the show is based upon.

Morning Cuppa – 04/09/13 – Night Shade! Scott Turow tin foil hat! Human Division season 2!

  • The negotiations continue with the Night Shade Books authors and Skyhorse/Start. After continuing talks, phone calls and conversations with authors, agents and the SFWA, Skyhorse/Start have amended the terms of their original offer as detailed on io9. John Scalzi, president of the SFWA, said of the new deal,

    “After continuing talks with Skyhorse/Start, SFWA is pleased that the companies have decided to adjust the royalty terms in their author agreement to be more in line with industry standards for Science Fiction and Fantasy. We see this as a positive sign that they are listening to authors and are responsive to their concerns, and we hope that continues. SFWA has remained in close communication with our members who are directly affected by the sale of Night Shade Books assets and will continue to provide them with information and support.”

  • On Sunday author and president of the Author’s Guild, Scott Turow, published an op-ed with the New York Times called, “The Slow Death of the American Author.” He detailed a very grim view of the state of publishing where authors, especially mid-list authors, are under attack from all sides. Google, Amazon and pirates are on the doorstep, ready to batter their way into the homes of authors and steal everything of value. As a person who is new to the publishing industry, his article raised my hackles and had me second guessing any possible future I might have.
    Thankfully cooler, and much more experienced, heads prevail. I asked Tobias Buckell what the deal was and he told me to hang tight, some good counterpoints were on their way. And so they were.
    Mike Masnick at Tech Dirt said of Turow that he’s, “a brilliant author, but an absolute disaster as the Luddite-driven head of the Authors’ Guild. During his tenure, he’s done a disservice to authors around the globe by basically attacking everything new and modern — despite any opportunities it might provide — and talked up the importance of going back to physical books and bookstores.” The counterpoints in that article are pretty strong and they helped to put a lot of my fears to rest.
  • Good news for fans of the Human Division by John Scalzi, it has been renewed for a second ‘season,’ as in, another serialized novel has been contracted.

Morning Cuppa – 04/07/13 – Joe Hill! Roger Ebert! The One Ring!


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.