Morning Cuppa – 05/01/13 – GoodReads! New SFWA site design! Tor piracy!

Happy May Day! This is the original Labor Day as well as the day of many pagan festivals in celebration of spring and fertility. So take the day off work and get your groove on!

  • Are you an author who is not taking advantage of GoodReads? Have you been too intimidated to take the plunge or just feel like you don’t have time? Or maybe you’re feeling grumpy about Amazon buying them… As Joanna Penn writes, you can either take control of your account or risk readers entering your information for you. Which might not be all bad as long as they love your work, right? Fortunately for you, she’s got a guest blog post by Mayor A. Lan that takes a deep dive into the site and teaches you everything you need to know about it.
  • After years of dedicated service, the old website design for the SFWA has been replaced by a new WordPress design. Go check it out, ooh and aah over how pretty it looks now.
  • So how’s that whole DRM-free thing going for you Tor? How precipitously have sales dropped?
    Oh… not at all? Well, okay, I’ll just continue about my work then.

Morning Cuppa – 04/06/13 – Short Fiction Saturday

Hope you all have a wonderful Saturday, enjoy these little treats as you head into your weekend.

  • Tor.com shares Backscatter by Gregory Benford
    • She was cold, hurt, and doomed, but otherwise reasonably cheery.
      Erma said, Your suit indices are nominal but declining.
      “Seems a bit nippy out,” Claire said. She could feel the metabolism booster rippling through her, keeping pain at bay. Maybe it would help with the cold, too.
      Her helmet spotlight swept over the rough rock and the deep black glittered with tiny minerals. She killed the spot and looked up the steep incline. A frosty splendor of stars glimmered, outlining the peak she was climbing. Her breath huffed as she said, “Twenty-five meters to go.”
  • Beneath Ceaseless Skies released a new issue on Thursday, here’s The Crows Her Dragon’s Gate by Benjanun Sriduangkaew
    • Before the end there would be love-songs to a passion so fierce that the offspring of my body turned into suns; tales of our courtship a wildfire that scorched the world.
      The annals of heavens may not always be trusted. They were texts carefully edited, passed to chosen scholars; it did well to remind the warlords—and once empire dreams had come true, the monarchs calling themselves heaven’s sons—that above them reigned paradise, and above paradise an everlasting emperor.
      Much was elided and confused. But in the beginning, it was mostly that I was young.
  • Likewise, Apex Magazine also released a new issue this week. Here’s Dawn and the Maiden by Sofia Samatar.
    • My love is a river. My love is a brink. My love is the brink of an underground river. My love’s arms ripple like rivers in the moonlight when he unlocks the garden gate. He lifts the great beam and sets it in place. He bows to the Lady’s guests. These are three men, filthy with travel. Each has only one eye.
      My love has eyes of brown agate, eyes that flicker like hanging crystal. In the dark they are black, but their brownness glints when he stands beneath the lantern in the garden. My love waits for me beneath the lantern. He waits while I serve wine to the Lady’s guests. On my way to join him, I leave an offering of bracelets at the entrance to the Lady’s corridor.

Morning Cuppa – 03/02/13 – Short Fiction Saturday

This week’s short fiction features a trio of stories, sci-fi and horror, full steam ahead. So grab a cuppa something warm and prepare to be delighted!

  • The Memory Coder by Jessica Brody from Tor.com’s free fiction this week.
    • When a security breach is detected, the Memory Restoration Department is called upon to do what they do best: make you forget. But with every memory that’s taken out, a new one must be installed in its place. It’s a job that requires skill, artistry, discretion, and flawless proficiency in the language of memories. That’s why only the best programmers in the world are recruited to work for the department. But diving too far into another person’s memories is a dangerous endeavor. And for some, the temptation is just too strong.
  • Nightmare Magazine pulls one from the crypt with Norman Partridge’s Blackbirds
    • On an August morning in the summer of 1960, a man dressed in black shattered the kitchen window at the Peterson home. The house was empty.
      Major Peterson was at the base, writing a report on the importance of preparedness in the peacetime army. Mrs. Peterson was shopping for groceries. Their daughter Tracy was doing volunteer work at the local hospital.
  • Zebulon Vance Sings the Alphabet Songs of Love by Merrie Haskell is up to peruse from the fine folks at Apex Magazine
    • The noon show is the three-hour 1858 Booth production. The most fashionable historical war remains the First American Civil. Whenever FACfans discover that Lincoln’s assassin played Horatio, they simply must come and gawk at this titillating replica of their favorite villain playing no one’s favorite character.

Morning Cuppa – 02/16/13 – Short Fiction Saturday

Round two of the Short Fiction Saturday is a go, I hope these stories find you snuggled up warm in your bed looking for a good read.

  • Kristine Kathryn Rusch shared The Flower Man:
    • Talia and Max seldom work together at a crime scene, but on this one they must, not just because of the lives lost or the way they died, but because of the memories the crime brings up. Now, Talia must employ her best forensics skills to solve the murder—and salvage her own memories in the process.
  • Nightmare Magazine has The Goosle by Margo Lanagan:
    • “There,” said Grinnan as we cleared the trees. “Now, you keep your counsel, Hanny-boy.” Why, that is the mudwife’s house, I thought. Dread thudded in me. Since two days ago among the older trees when I knew we were in my father’s forest, I’d feared this.
  • Angel Season by J.T. Petty:
    • Jeremy’s girlfriend is pregnant, and he returns home to the mountains to tell his drunken, ne’er-do-well father. The only thing Jeremy’s dad was ever good at was hunting angels, a dangerous pursuit but a profitable one, often netting thousands of dollars to the hunter for the sale of a single “rack,” (the wings.) Since the angel hunt was outlawed more than a decade ago, Jeremy’s dad has slid steadily downhill. With the news of Jeremy’s impending fatherhood, he and his dad engage in one final hunt.
  • A very ‘adult’ fairy tale by Robert E. Stutts, Hungry:
    • Even in high summer, paths through these woods are difficult to find, let alone follow, overrun as they are with brambles and briars and bracken. But in summer there is the sun above you to warm your head, and the green of trees to cheer your heart.

If you’re an author and would like me to purchase a copy of your book, leave a comment on this blog post.

Morning Cuppa – 02/09/13 – Short Fiction Saturday!

Today I’m doing something a little different and if you all behave, maybe I’ll do it again. For all you folks snowbound in the northeast today, I’ve pulled together something special for you! It’s short fiction Saturday!

  • Tor.com announced this week that every Wednesday through 2013 they’ll be releasing a new short story. Here’s their first entry: Last Train to Jubilee Bay by Kali Wallace.
    • After the sickness and quarantine almost destroyed the city, the traders arrived creeping out from the sea to live off the memories of those people left behind; getting them addicted to the serum these strange creatures manufacture in return. But now it’s been more than five days since they have come for their daily visit. And Lucy is determined to find out why.
  • Substitutes by Colin P. Davies is available over on Daily Science Fiction
    • Sometime after sunset on a blustery evening in late summer, with the offworlders’ orbital station a small bright misshapen moon over the choppy water of the river and the glittering barges of the loyal rich fighting at their moorings, a slim girl came skipping over Westminster Bridge like a leaf carried on the wind. She danced down Belvedere Road, her pale face bobbing though the crowds, and ducked into the alley beside the bookies.
  • Patricia C. Reade shares Mad Hamlet’s Mother over on Apex Magazine.
    • Her son was mad. She had been certain of it since the cursed night when he turned the players’ play against her husband, killed old Polonius in her chamber, bespoke his father’s ghost, and at last set off for England. 
  • Nightmare Magazine features Sacred Cows by Sarah Langan
    • Clara Maloney peered down the long Brooklyn block. She and baby Sally had been waiting in the cold for twenty minutes, and still no sign of Pop. Figured. Even to pick out his wife’s casket, the old man was late.
  • And Nightmare’s sister publication, Lightspeed Magazine has Prolegomenon to the Adventures of Chílde Phoenix by Marly Youmans.
    • Perhaps you’ve heard an anecdote about a child named Cresencio who was skipping barefoot between hills of corn when a shallow bowl in the field, long turbulent with mutterings, broke into pieces. Cresencio spied a tongue of smoke, like the mockings of a demon; he bent, staring into the jagged mouth that was about to spatter the nearby trees with sparks and set his childhood on fire.

Finally, don’t forget my February offer: if you’re an author and would like me to purchase a copy of your book, leave a comment on this blog post.