Stargate Monuments


Martha Wells

The Invisible Woman


Friday Thinking

A twitter conversation made me think about my last day job. It started out great, and gradually spiraled down to a point where I would come home and be too depressed and angry to write. (I had gone part time with it because I was currently trying to finish the Ile-Rien trilogy.) It would take me a couple of hours of playing a game (we're talking Zoo Tycoon or Sim City) before I could do anything but replay the awful day in my head. (Anxiety issues and OCD really don't help with situations like that.)

Then one day after a particularly nasty berating for something I didn't do, I got the news that a friend had died. That weekend, going to the funeral, I decided life was too short, came back on Monday, and quit. This was bad timing because I was already having my first career crash at that point. (Though I had no idea the crash had started -- I had two books coming out that year, three short stories, and a non-fiction article, the most I'd ever published in one year since my first book sold. This is often the way with career crashes, you're face-planted on the floor before you even know you're falling. A friend compared it to having a job where you get fired, and no one tells you. You just keep coming in every day and working, and only gradually realize that they aren't paying you anymore and no one wants you there.)

But I didn't know then that it would be four years before I sold another novel, so I quit. I was lucky because my husband had a good job and I was able to quit without starving when my sales dried up. (He's been laid off more times than I remember, but his superpower is literally interviewing and finding a new job. He should teach a class but I'm not sure he has any idea how he does it. His superpower has made my writing career possible. I just wish I had a better career so I could pay him back.)

Anyway, not sure what the point of this is, other then wow am I glad I quit that job.


Mystery Guide Part IV

See Mystery Guide Part III

Martha's Guide to TV Mysteries Part IV

Happy Valley this is a new one now available on Netflix. It's an older woman police sergeant in a rural town in the UK, raising her grandson with the help of her sister, a recovering addict, and dealing with a lot of family issues. It's gritty and grim and deals with a lot of dark subjects, including sexual violence etc. None of that made me want to turn it off, though. There's something about the pacing or the emphasis or the viewpoint that kept it away from a woman-in-jep feel, at least for me. It's six episodes telling one complete story, and I meant to watch one episode on Sunday and ended up inhaling the whole thing in one go. (And at one point there was a fight scene that was so tense I may have yelled "NOW FINISH HIM" at the TV.)

Blue Murder I've seen the first episode of this on and will watch more this week. It's a woman DCI with three kids, pregnant, and a cheating husband she has divorced. It had a somewhat lighter tone in that while the crime they were dealing with was horrible, the detectives were generally good people that I liked.

Trial and Retribution this is also on The first few episodes were really good, and do have a lot of the feel of the original Law and Order, and you can tell it's by the same writer who did Prime Suspect. Later episodes got away from that and more into character relationships and there was lots of stalking and I started to really dislike the male main character. (Not as much as the first season of Murder Investigation Team, where I was actively rooting for them all to die. The second season of MIT was better, first season right out.)

Okay, Murder Investigation Team: There is a scene in one of the first season episodes where one of the detectives perves on the bare breasts of a murder victim whose face has been smashed to keep anyone from identifying her and who has been in the Thames for a few days. You know who thinks that look is attractive? Serial killers. Serial killers think that. And this character is supposed to be a protagonist. I mean, I thought all the characters in Waking the Dead were way too shouty, but they were all basically good people and I didn't want any of them to die in a woodchipper.

Above Suspicion I haven't seen the first episode, but saw the other two, and enjoyed them. It veers off into unrealistic in a couple of noticeable ways. I mean, they're all unrealistic; TV mysteries require suspension of disbelief just like SF/F, but this was unrealistic enough it knocked me a bit out of the stories.

I watched the final season of Poirot and was a bit disappointed. I think it must have been different writers from the previous twelve seasons, because the plots were not as complex, there were not as many characters, not as many subplots. Just disappointing all around, even with the return of Japp and Hastings, and Ariadne Oliver. I did think Hastings was great in the last episode, though. Its worth it for the longterm fans, I think, but would be a very bad place for a new viewer to start. If I was a new viewer, I think I'd start with season 9, Death on the Nile, and work my way backwards and forwards, leaving season 13 for last.

I'll try to do some more when I get a chance. I want to talk about Touching Evil but I wanted to rewatch it first, and now I can't find it anywhere. And I'm waiting for Sleepy Hollow and Elementary to start back up again.


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The iBooks glitch is fixed and Stories of the Raksura I is finally showing up as available. It looks like they didn't lose the preorders, either. That's a big relief!

It's here: Ignore the two single-novella versions, those aren't supposed to be there and won't do anything. The real one has the actual cover and is listed as Stories of the Raksura Volume I: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud

I guess this is release day #2. We're still waiting for release #3, the trade paperback. Which I still hope will be next week.

Stargate Monuments

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Ardeth Bey


* We went to see Chef on Saturday night, and really loved it. There's a lot in there that will apply to any creative artistic fields, and it shows food as an art form, a hard demanding job, and a way to make people happy. It's a bit slow at the beginning, as he's working up to his fall and his realization that he is really unhappy and needs a drastic change. But once they get to Miami it's a huge amount of fun. And I really wanted Cuban sandwiches afterward and I think the closest non-home-cooked ones are in Houston. Scarlett Johansson is in it, and Robert Downey Jr had a hilarious cameo. (We watched to the end of the credits, hoping there would be a scene with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, eating a Cuban sandwich.)

* Today is Literacy Day, a good day to do some reading, or read to someone.

* I dreamed last night that my dog hadn't died but was just living with friends for some reason. They brought him to visit and I decided to keep him. One of those dreams where you wake up happy and then remember it was a dream and is not actually going to happen. I have recurring dreams like this off and on, but I think this one was sparked by friends online who lost animals this weekend. Very depressing.

* If you missed it, Stories of the Raksura came out in ebook and audiobook on September 2, and the trade paperback should be out next week on September 16.

The Cloud Roads

Review of Stories of the Raksura I

Here's a review of Stories of the Raksura I on the Finnish SF/F blog Rising Shadow:

Ever since I read The Cloud Roads, I've been fascinated by the Raksura and also by the biology of the Raksura, because they're totally different from other species and races found in modern fantasy novels. Their different forms still continue to amaze and thrill me, because it's genuinely interesting to read about them, their lives and their fates. Although they're shapeshifting beings, there's something humane about them that makes it easy for the reader to care about them.


The characters in these stories are just as complex, diverse and sympathetic as in the novels. Their gender roles are explored believably, their actions are also believable and they have realistic problems. In my opinion the character interaction in these stories works perfectly. The author has managed to write about the characters in a realistic way that gives depth to them and fleshes out their different traits and feelings. The relationships and tensions between the characters are handled admirably.


Raksura Notes

Thanks to everybody who has already left reviews on Stories of the Raksura vol. I - I really appreciate this.


* As far as I know at this moment, the paperback release is still supposed to be on Sept 16.

* As people have noticed, something is catastrophically wrong with the Stories of the Raksura listing on iBooks. It was up for preorder there, and fine on Monday, but on Tuesday it disappeared. Looking at the listing for the audiobook on iTunes, I'm starting to wonder if the two listings were combined or one overwrote the other, or something. I'll post when it hopefully gets straightened out.

There are still listings for the individual novellas on iBooks -- those are incorrect, and should have been removed months ago.

I'm going to have one of those days that involved errands and running around and waiting and then more running around. (I hope -- if I can't do this first errand, I can't do any of the others.) So this is not going to be a fun day.


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Other people's books:

* From Left Field Book 7 of Diamond Brides Series by Mindy Klasky

* The novella The Awakened Kingdom by N.K. Jemisin (set after the Inheritance trilogy) is up for preorder.

* You can now order ebooks directly from Panverse Publishing like The Bone Flower Throne by T.L. Morganfield.

My Book

If you missed it, Stories of the Raksura I came out in ebook and audiobook yesterday. The trade paperback is due out Sept 16.


Raksura Release Day

Today (Sept 2) Stories of the Raksura Vol. I: The Falling World & The Tale of Indigo and Cloud is available today in ebook and audiobook, yay!

The trade paperback is scheduled for September 16.

"The Falling World"
Jade, sister queen of the Indigo Cloud Court, has traveled with Chime and Balm to another Raksuran court. When she fails to return, her consort Moon, along with Stone and a party of warriors and hunters, must track them down. Finding them turns out to be the easy part; freeing them from an ancient trap hidden in the depths of the Reaches is much more difficult.

"The Tale of Indigo and Cloud"
This novella explores the history of the Indigo Cloud Court, long before Moon was born. In the distant past, Indigo stole Cloud from Emerald Twilight. But in doing so, the reigning Queen Cerise and Indigo are now poised for a conflict that could spark war throughout all the courts of the Reaches.

* Please, if you liked the book or didn't like it, leave reviews. This is especially important on Amazon where the number of reviews control how often the book shows up in searches and suggestions. Reviews on Barnes and Noble, other retailers, and GoodReads and LibraryThing, or just on your own blog, twitter, FB, tumblr, etc help too.

* You can also look for it at your local library, and if they don't have it, request that they buy it for their collection. (Remember that some libraries have ebook loaning services now too.)

* I felt like I had a long list, but that's pretty much it. I hope you enjoy the novellas!


I did go see Guardians of the Galaxy for my birthday yesterday and loved it. The theater was crowded (I went to the smaller 2d version because it was earlier, instead of the 3d version) but I got a good seat.

The Cloud Roads

Various Sunday Things

I did get an early birthday surprise yesterday - my husband had arranged a birthday tea at a nice hotel in Houston with some friends, so that was a pretty awesome surprise. There were fancy little sandwiches and fancy little cakes. (The hotel was extremely nice. It had actual pool cabanas which I had seen on TV but never in real life.) So that was a lot of fun.


Judith Tarr is doing online writing classes in October.


This is the second-to-last-day to preorder the ebook (and audiobook, narrated by Christopher Kipiniak) of Stories of the Raksura vol. I, which still looks like it will be out on Tuesday. The trade paperback is delayed a couple of weeks, so you have lots of time to preorder it.

It's available on Amazon Kindle US, Barnes and Noble Nook US, Kobo, iTunes, Kindle Canada, Amazon UK, Kindle Germany, Kindle Spain, Kindle France and all the other Amazons in Mexico, Australia, Brazil, India, Japan, etc. I don't know yet if there will be a DRM-free edition on Baen, I still need to find that out.