Stargate Monuments

The Very Weird Freaky Sunday

Okay, so if you saw on Facebook, you know we had a very strange time on Sunday.

We live at the back of a 60s-era cul-de-sac with four other houses. While we were still trying to sleep Sunday morning we realized that the next door neighbor's dogs had been barking for a while and there was a lot of light outside. But we thought it was some combination of a possum/the college students across the street leaving early for somewhere and having their car lights on. Then about 5:30 we realized there were at least seven, maybe more police and DPS cars outside and they were focused on the house next door.

We were really worried, but that neighbor is an older man who lives alone now that his wife has passed away. (He's had a really hard time because they had two sons, and several years ago one murdered two older women and is now in prison.) So we were afraid the house had been robbed or he had been murdered or some combination. After a bit some of the cars started to leave but they were still guarding the house, like it was a crime scene. One of the cops told us they were waiting for a search warrant to go in. By noon things had calmed down to the point where there was only two cars.

Then the SWAT van showed up. That was freaky enough, but then they knocked on the door and asked if they could look out our upstairs window. So we had a SWAT sniper in our upstairs bathroom for most of the afternoon.

They tried to get someone in the house to answer them, but there wasn't a peep. I think by that point they were figuring that nobody was inside. They brought a robot out (someone pointed out from he photo that it was a bomb-finding robot but it's a small town and there's only one robot) and used it to search the house, then the SWAT guys finally went in. No one was inside, which was a relief. Then our SWAT guy and all the others left, then the regular cops came back but eventually left. They told us they had finally located the neighbor and he was out of town for the weekend.

The whole thing took from about 5:30 in the morning to around 4:00 in the afternoon. I was starving because I ended up skipping lunch because I was too nervous. I don't think we were in any real danger. They had the access street blocked off, but we saw they did let two of the college students across the street go to their house when they came back.

We talked to a reporter afterward and she confirmed it was about this

All these pictures were taken from our living room or bedroom windows:


Books! and other stuff

Sorry I haven't been keeping up with posting here. I've been both busy and lethargic.


I've posted the next Raksura snippet in the Patreon! If you're a Patreon person and didn't get the email, please check to make sure your subscription is okay. Patreon doesn't let people know when something's wrong, if your charge to your card didn't go through, etc.


I'm past 75,000 words in the sequel to the next Raksura book The Edge of Worlds (which is coming out April 5.) Still trying to figure out a title.


* Warrior Women edited by Paula Guran
"Each story contains strength and compassion, even when the personal cost is high. The depictions of battle and trauma are rarely graphic, but they're as hard-hitting as the subject demands. This is a truly impressive accomplishment for Guran and her contributors." - Publishers Weekly (STARRED)

* The Seer's Choice by J. Kathleen Cheney
Genoveva Jardim's father was a monster—a defrocked priest who used his healer's gift to murder instead. Determined to make amends for the deaths her father brought to the Golden City, she turned her back on her life among the aristocracy. She's chosen to work for the Special Police, learning how to use the healer's gift she'd never even known she had. She wants to save lives instead of killing like her father.

* The Assassin's Mask by Sarah Zettel
Things are turning around for seventeen-year-old Peggy Fitzroy, a once-orphaned spy. Her father is back from the dead, and her unwanted engagement has been called off for good. But when a mysterious veiled woman shows up, Peggy uncovers a fresh slew of questions about her past, present, and future.

* Short Story: Queers Destory Fantasy Special Issue: Christopher Raven by Theodora Goss

* Short Story: Waters of Versailles by Kelly Robson

* Short Story: Variations on an Apple by Yoon Ha Lee

* Short Story: The Glass Galago by A.M. Dellamonica

* The Drowning Eyes by Emily Foster
When the Dragon Ships began to tear through the trade lanes and ravage coastal towns, the hopes of the arichipelago turned to the Windspeakers on Tash. The solemn weather-shapers with their eyes of stone can steal the breeze from raiders' sails and save the islands from their wrath. But the Windspeakers' magic has been stolen, and only their young apprentice Shina can bring their power back and save her people.

* Kingfisher by Patricia McKillip
In the new fantasy from the award-winning author of the Riddle-Master Trilogy, a young man comes of age amid family secrets and revelations, and transformative magic.


Patreon Note

If you're a Patreon person and didn't get an email last week with the new Raksura snippet (a Jade and Balm story), log in to make sure your subscription is okay. Apparently Patreon doesn't tell you if something's wrong, it just quietly unsubscribes you.


Late holiday post

Christmas was a lot of fun. We had a friend come to stay with us, and two more friends come into town for Christmas dinner.

I made a bigger dinner this year than I ever had before, and it turned out really well, which I was very proud of. I made the roast leg of lamb again, with gravy, mushrooms in a wine sauce, the Moroccan carrots from this recipe, collard greens with leek, bacon, and garlic, curry potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings. I'd never done Yorkshire pudding before so that was a tense moment but it worked just like it was supposed to. Also one friend brought a delicious Yule Log cake from l'Madeline in Houston for dessert.

Two of my friends helped a lot, first with helping prep the giant pile of produce at 9:00 am Christmas morning, and then at the end, when the lamb was suddenly done twenty minutes early and the gravy, the carrots, and the Yorkshire pudding all needed to be done simultaneously. (The reason I like collard greens as a Christmas vegetable is that it takes about two hours for them to cook but they don't need a lot of attention once they start, and they can be done early in the day because the longer they sit in their braising liquid the better they taste.)

And there was a lot of food but it all got eaten. We had enough leftovers for open lamb and gravy sandwiches over the weekend, and on Monday I combined the last of the lamb, gravy, and potatoes for a hash and we finished off the last of the vegetables when another friend came over to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special.

Other news: I loved Star Wars. I love Rey and Finn and Poe. Love, love, love.

Here's a few food photos:


Quickie Book Post

New Books

* Barsk: the Elephants' Graveyard by Lawrence Schoen
The Sixth Sense meets Planet of the Apes in a moving science fiction novel set so far in the future, humanity is gone and forgotten in Lawrence M. Schoen's Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard

* Rules of Conflict (The Jani Kilian Chronicles Book 2) by Kristine Smith
After eighteen years, Captain Jani Kilian's life as a fugitive has ended. Captured by the Service, she now faces court martial. It will surely lead to her execution. But relations with the idomeni have deteriorated. Jani's knowledge of that alien race and her friendship with Nema, their ambassador, earn her a reprieve. And if she is able to help stabilize the crisis, she may be in line for a pardon.

* Downfall Tide by Alexis Glynn Latner
It has been twenty-four years since Planet Green was colonized by the starship Aeon. In that time much has changed, thanks to unremitting hard work by the first generation of astronauts, scientists and explorers. They have built the beginning of a new civilization on that distant world with its ocean-covered hurricane moon. Unknown to them and their children, everything is about to change.

* Fantasy Medley 3
The third installment in Yanni Kuznia's much lauded anthology series is in stock and shipping. A Fantasy Medley 3 shows off the talents of Jacqueline Carey, Kevin Hearne, Laura Bickle, and Aliette de Bodard, with suitably wonderful dust jacket art by J. K. Drummond.

* C.S.E. Cooney's album The Headless Bride is now available on Bandcamp

News of Me:

Podcastle will be doing a full cast recording of "Night at the Opera," the Reynard and Nicholas story from Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories. It's scheduled to air on January 26.


Books I really liked this year

I didn't get a ton of reading done because I've been really busy writing, plus I didn't have much money for new books so was relying heavily on the public library. (So some of these didn't necessarily come out this year, but this is when I read them.) But here's some favorites:

Crimson Angel by Barbara Hambly
New book in the Benjamin January series, about a black surgeon/musician in 18th cent New Orleans, solving mysteries. This was excellent, and this is one of my favorite mystery series ever.

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
A proud and reserved alien society finds its homeland destroyed in an unprovoked act of aggression, and the survivors have no choice but to reach out to the indigenous humanoids of their adopted world, to whom they are distantly related. They wish to preserve their cherished way of life but come to discover that in order to preserve their culture, they may have to change it forever. This book is a lot more fun than this description makes it sound. I absolutely loved it and rec it to everybody.

Aunty Lee's Deadly Specials by Ovidia Yu
Also a rec for the whole Aunty Lee series. Rosie "Aunty" Lee, the feisty widow and amateur sleuth and proprietor of Singapore's best-loved home-cooking restaurant, is back in another delectable, witty mystery involving scandal and murder among the city's elite

The Ghost Bride by Yangsze Choo
Malaya, 1893 Li Lan, the daughter of a genteel but bankrupt Chinese family, has few prospects. But fate intervenes when she receives a proposal from the wealthy and powerful Lim family. They want her to become a ghost bride for the family's only son, who died under mysterious circumstances. Rarely practiced, ghost marriages are often meant to placate a restless spirit. Such a union would guarantee Li Lan a comfortable home for the rest of her days, but at what cost? This was a great adventure fantasy novel, and I hope the author writes more books.

The Book of Phoenix by Nnedi Okorafor
This was awesome. But Phoenix's escape, and her destruction of Tower 7, is just the beginning of her story. Before her story ends, Phoenix will travel from the United States to Africa and back, changing the entire course of humanity's future.

Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold
I got the ARC from Baen, and loved it. Three years after her famous husband's death, Cordelia Vorkosigan, widowed Vicereine of Sergyar, stands ready to spin her life in a new direction. Oliver Jole, Admiral, Sergyar Fleet, finds himself caught up in her web of plans in ways he’d never imagined, bringing him to an unexpected crossroads in his career.

The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
I got to read the ARC way early and give it a blurb, but it came out this year so I'm including it. I said "This is an intense, exciting novel, where survival is always on the line, set in a fascinating, original and dangerous world with an intriguing mystery at the heart of it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!"

The Sorcerer of the Wildeeps by Kai Ashante Wilson
The worldbuilding and magic in this absolutely blew me away. It should win all the awards. Since leaving his homeland, the earthbound demigod Demane has been labeled a sorcerer. With his ancestors' artifacts in hand, the Sorcerer follows the Captain, a beautiful man with song for a voice and hair that drinks the sunlight.

Element of Fire cover

Audio Story

I have a story on Episode 86 of the podcast Far Fetched Fables! "Remembering the Dragon" by Aidan Doyle, read by Eric Luke; and "The Potter's Daughter" by Martha Wells, read by Diane Sieverson:

This story was originally published in the anthology Elemental in May 2006, and is available in ebook in the collection Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories

The potter’s daughter sat in the late afternoon sun outside the stone cottage, making clay figures and setting them out to dry on the flat slate doorstep. A gentle summer breeze stirred the oak and ash leaves and the dirty grey kerchief around her dirty blond hair.

Someone was coming up the path.

She could hear that he was without horse, cart, or company, and as he came toward her through the trees she saw that he was tall, with dark curly hair and a beard, with a pack and a leather case slung over one shoulder. He was unarmed, and dressed in a blue woolen doublet, faded and threadbare, brown breeches and brown top boots. The broad-brimmed hat he wore had seen better days, but the feathers in it were gaily colored. Brief disappointment colored her expression; she could tell already he wasn’t her quarry.

Boots crunched on the pebbles in the yard, then his shadow fell over her and he said, "Good day. Is this the way to Riversee?"

She continued shaping the wet clay, not looking up at him. "Just follow this road to the ford."

"Thank you, my lady Kade."

Now she did look up at him, in astonishment. Part of the astonishment was at herself, that she could still be so taken by surprise. She dropped the clay and stood, drawing a spell from the air.

Stargate Monuments

Raksura Snippet

For the holidays, I'm leaving the most recent Raksura Patreon post open to everybody:

It's Moon and Stone, set during The Cloud Roads, crossing the great grass sea.

SGA Maps


I'm sorry I haven't posted more lately. I was meaning to post more book recs, and do a favorite books of the year post, and more about the holidays, and just none of it happened. I've been trying to keep up a good word count on the sequel to The Edge of Worlds, plus get the next Rasura Patreon snippet ready, as well as give the house its holiday cleaning (shampooing our ancient carpets, etc) and buy presents and wrap them and etc, and I'm just running out of functional time.

I'm also trying to avoid the internet to a large extent until I see Star Wars on Tuesday evening.

* I'm going to post the next Raksura Patreon snippet on Dec 22, and since it's Christmas, I'll leave the post open so non-Patreon people can see it. It's a Moon and Stone snippet, set during The Cloud Roads, before they get to Sky Copper.

* I hope everybody had a good time writing their stories for Yuletide!

* ETA: I get to talk about Razor's Edge in the last installment of this great history of the Star Wars expanded universe books:

I had other stuff but of course now I've forgotten what it was.

Anyway, I hope everyone has a good holiday, whatever you're celebrating!

Stargate Monuments


The ARC of The Edge of Worlds came in the mail last night!


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