Category: free stuff

Brief reminder

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Just a reminder that you have until Nov. 1st to enter the Master of the House of Darts competition, which comes with lots of neat prizes . You can enter via a comment or a repost, but for the best chance to win, don’t forget you can make up an Aztec recipe! So far, we’ve had prickly pear juice, chicken mixiotes, Aztec brownies, poultry with spicy fruit sauce, and gummy hearts that look like real hearts (not a recipe per se, but good enough as Aztec food :) ). Come and join in the fun, either here or here!

(the less experiences cooks can also tell me who their favourite character in Obsidian and Blood is :) )

D-1: Master of the House of Darts trailer

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Yup, once again, I have way too much time on my hands…

Let me know what you think, and I’d be very grateful if you shared/RTed/etc.
(sorry about the preview–I’ve tried to pick the best image I could, but youtube’s automatic choices aren’t excellent, to say the least…)

ETA: sorry, the competition is coming a bit later today, when I’ve finished with the various picture uploads…

“Harbinger of the Storm” featured on Speculate!

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Over at Speculate!, Brad Beaulieu and Gregory A Wilson are running a three-week special on Harbinger of the Storm: this week is the review of the book; next week will be an interview with me, and the following week will focus on writing techniques used within Harbinger.

Many thanks to Brad and Greg for the opportunity–not only did they read and dissect the book from cover to cover, they also arranged a three-way chat on Skype across three different time zones on a weekday, which is nothing short of heroic.

The podcast has featured authors such as K.J. Anderson, Patrick Rothfuss and N.K. Jemisin, and Brad and Greg have a palpable and infectious enthusiasm for all things genre. Go listen here, and check out past episodes, too!

In other shameless news, I opened my copy of Interzone 234 to discover that “The Shipmaker” had taken 4th place in the Readers’ Poll (behind Nina Allan’s “Flying in the Face of God” and two neat Jason Sanford stories), and that the illustration by Richard Wagner had tied for 1st place. Wow…

Yes, more drooling over covers…

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If you fancy neat wallpapers, my French publisher has put up the one for the French edition of Servant of the Underworld:

Wallpaper Obsidienne
Available in 1024 x 768, 1280 x 768 and 1920 x 1200 here (scroll down, it’s under “Fantasy”, at the very bottom of the category)

And you can check out the wallpapers for their other neat covers, too!

(yes, yes, I will stop displaying the awesome cover at some point… Trust me. If only because my publisher is going to run out of ideas on how to display it in new forms…)

Harbinger of the Storm giveaway

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By the way, I’m giving away five copies of Harbinger of the Storm via goodreads–if you happen to be interested, you can hop on over there and check it out. It’s open worldwide.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Harbinger of the Storm by Aliette de Bodard

Harbinger of the Storm

by Aliette de Bodard

Giveaway ends May 15, 2011.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

“It’s a crime” on Salon Futura

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Check out the new Salon Futura, in which Cheryl Morgan, Mike Carey, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and I talk about crossovers between crime and speculative fiction. On my end, I found the discussion and breadth of knowledge fascinating–thanks to Cheryl for thinking of me, and to Mike and Jon for being such awesome people.
(there were some technical glitches which resulted in much swearing at BT, but nothing that should spoil your enjoyment of the show).

The rest of the issue is equally intriguing, with looks at new crime/spec fic merges, interviews with Ian McDonald and C.E Murphy, and lots of other appetising features.

Meanwhile, I shall go back to my stir-fried beef with onions (lots of onions leftover after a rather disastrous buy, had to do something with them…)

The Shipmaker online

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Wow, that was fast. Courtesy of Andy Cox and the Interzone editorial team, you can now find “The Shipmaker” online, over at the TTA press website. Do feel free to come back here and comment on it after you’ve read it–any and all feedback appreciated.

(while you’re at it, you can read another shortlisted story, Nina Allan’s “Flying in the Face of God”, which is definitely worth spending some time with)

I swear there will be actual content on this blog soon, and not shameless self-promotion–but for that, my %%% fever is going to have to come down (`tis the season to be sick, apparently. 39°C and counting…)

Linky linky

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So, not up to much that I can safely admit (sekrit projects, plus speaking about the novel in progress on this blog seems to curse me to a halt in the writing of the manuscript). To tide you over until the weekend, a few links:

-I’m guessing by now most people will have seen the Amy Chua piece on the Washington Post, about why Chinese mothers are superior. I don’t have much to say about it other than “batshit crazy Asian mother”–and yes, I have an Asian mother, so I can speak from my (admittedly limited) experience. I can see some of the points, and some things Amy Chua mentions are certainly familiar from my own childhood, though not pushed quite this far. My TV time was limited; so was my video game time; neither of my parents were particularly happy when I brought home bad grades, and yes, both of them always pushed me to go further because they believed I could do better. And I’m glad they did it; I’m glad they placed a higher value on education than on sparing my feelings, and nurtured my ambition and drive–to the point where I thought of doing something as crazy as writing in a second language and getting away with it.
But, seriously, not allowing your children to be in school plays, forcing them to play a musical instrument and tormenting your daughter until she gets the piano piece right? Wow. That’s some serious going south here.
Allow me to dig up quintessential Chinese wisdom here, in the person of Confucius: “To go beyond is as wrong as to fall short.” Ie, balance and perspective. Something that seems to be missing from all the horror stories about Asian moms (there were quite a few flying around on the internet in the wake of that article).

-And, in a lighter vein: Mature people truths (via Cat Rambo). Some of these are oh-so-painfully true.

-Finally, I’ve posted (with permission) on the SFWA forums “Alternate Girl’s Expatriate Life”, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz’s awesome story about expatriation, identity and what it means to be an immigrant in a strange land. Recommended by Richard Horton in his year-end summary of Interzone, and generally quite made of awesome. (and I’m not only saying that because Rochita is my friend). Well worth a read if you have forum access.

EDIT: apparently, the Amy Chua thing is only an excerpt from a larger book, which is intended to deal with the problems of her education system as well. Mea culpa.
EDIT #2: and, apparently, the WJS just quoted the most controversial part of Chua’s book without bothering to add a corrective, because controversy makes for more readers. Great. As I said on LJ, I feel like hitting something, preferably a WJS editor.

The Jaguar House in Shadow online

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For those who might be interested: my novelette “The Jaguar House, in Shadow”, first published in Asimov’s, July 2010, is now available for free on my website for your reading pleasure. (and, of course, if you happen to be in the right fraction of the population, it’s eligible for the Hugos/Nebulas/Locus Awards/Asimov’s Awards etc.).

Jason Sanford listed it as one of the three best novelettes in Asimov’s for 2010; so did Richard Horton; and it’s already received at least one Nebula nomination.

Go here to read it, and don’t hesitate to pop back here and tell me what you thought!