A bit of Culture’s Skeleton

With Culture’s Skeleton (you can buy the book here) coming out, I thought I Would share about a thousand words of it, to, hopefully, help explain the city the novel takes place in: Mur. So here you go: ——————— We were, earlier, talking about Mur. Mur, the original city. Mur, the mighty and timeless. The city itself spun around space and time like a child’s toy kicked by the family dog on a bender. A word not often used to describe Mur: simple. Words often used to describe Mur: annoying, desperate, and “Where the fuck am I and where are my shoes?” That last isn’t, strictly, a word, but allow for a bit of license. If you’re going to understand Mur, you need to know that this is true. Pure truth, uncut by niceness and concern for the established structures…

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Pronouns

Last year I started wearing a very pretty pin on my con lanyards. It said “He/Him” and I wish I could remember the artist who did it, because it is pretty. I saw, I think it was a Google conference, where they offered stickers with your pronouns for attendees to put on their badges. Also cool. But for me I felt this needed to be bigger, in a literal sense. I mean I love my pin, and stickers are cool – but they are small. And in a con environment when you’re meeting people and remembering them, you also want to know their pronouns so you can be a decent person. Making that easy to see, so you don’t have to lean in and look at all the pins and buttons and stickers on a badge or lanyard to find…

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Five Across

My office has a cut-out for what should be a closet. Instead it’s just a space set back from the rest of the room. Except for the fact that the fronting hides some hidden internal vertical space and there’s a bit of molding along the bottom edge of the upper drop. You can see it in the header image, and I am sure there are smart terms for what it is. Whatever. It is a space I had nothing hanging in. Oddly sized I considered what I might want to hang there since I can see it from my desk all day. Finally, a while back, I did some quick measuring and realized I could fit five comics up there if I wanted. But what five? I ended up choosing five comics that were special to me for various reasons….

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The Convention Bag Detailed

I’ve been doing conventions for a while now, selling books. Running a con table takes a lot of stuff and a bunch of thought and so I found myself needing to prepare more and more every show. Eventually I decided on gathering up a con bag. One bag that I could put everything, except stock (and now except one other thing I’ll get to), into and just grab and go. I used to use a giant diaper bag from Target for it, as it was big enough, and sturdy enough for the job but over the time the fact that it didn’t have a rigid shape started to cause problems. It was hard to load onto the hand truck, it was a pain to carry, and it sort of flopped enough to take up too much extra room under tables….

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Networking

So I feel the need to talk about networking. You know, just did ECCC and a lot of ppl go in about “Well it’s a great show to network at, I don’t know how to network, aaaa” and really there are two schools of thought to it I know of. ONLY ONE WORKS. There are some people that see “networking” to mean going back and forth between any group you think will be an advantage to you, or your career. It’s raw opportunistic hunting. It can look like it works. It 100% doesn’t, though. See, everyone knows who that person is, and that they will only be your friend for exactly as long as they think you are of value to them. No one will tell them, to their face, that we all know. But we all talk, and names…

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Pavlov’s Idiot

Back in the dark ages of 2012/2013 the Pebble watch came out. I jumped on the idea quickly. I was, after all, the guy who had email on his phone back when that meant using a Sidekick and making sure it could load telnet so I could check my mail via pine while I was on the road. I liked being in touch. Being that connected way back then (good ol’ 2002) paid off, too. I sold at least one story because I could submit it when asked, and there was a time crunch going on. That was how I justified allowing myself to tether to the world that hard. Recently, however, I’ve felt the need to step back in tiny ways. I find myself longing for the days of a pager, really. I mean I want to be in…

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The Once and Future Queen’s Future

Hey! I heard you have some really important news about The Once and Future Queen? We do. We do. What has happened? Issues #3–#5 of The Once and Future Queen have been cancelled, in print and digital. But there will still be a trade collection of the full series released in November. You can order it by clicking here, right now, in fact. Why did this happen? The comic industry is a fickle thing. The Once and Future Queen was well received by press and its readers, and while it was growing in market awareness, print efforts have been shifted to the book market so we can grow and reach our target audience.  So you guys failed then? The hell you say! We crafted a story that we are deeply proud of, that everyone involved is deeply proud of, and that will see the…

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Publishing news

A few months ago my first novel in quite some time, THIS STARRY DEEP, was published. In the back of the book it had a small teaser for the sequel THE ENDLESS SKY, to come in 2017. Well that date might slip by a few months into 2018 but to make up for it 2017 will see the first ever ebook version of my novella CRAZY LITTLE THING. CLT is one of my all-time fave things I’ve written. So I am super excited to be able to share it with you guys again. It’s a love story. I mean a love story the way I do them, which…look it’s a love story, all right? But that’s not all! Along with those two bits of news I can officially announce that around (roughly) a year after THE ENDLESS SKY another novel…

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Toy store!

Grey sky hung overcast, a damp chill radiating right through my jacket as I walked across the parking lot toward the rich blue-framed glass doors. Toys ‘R Us. My old enemy. I thought back to every Toys ‘R Us whose doors I’d ever darkened. The pattern fit. Every single damned one of these stores, one thing remained true: They’re all depressing. There is nothing joyful about a toy store. Not really. At least not a big giant toy store. Until I stopped and looked directly at the issue I couldn’t see it, it merely lingered in the back of my head. An abscess growing in my subconscious until it burst wetly into my stream of consciousness. The only thing I know about, for 100% certain, about the chain of stores is that every trip there you will witness someone crying….

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Anti-Life

It’s not a mistake that Jack Kirby was the person who invented Darkseid. It’s not an accident, ya know? Darkseid is the character created by a man who fought fascists, in person, and wanted to make sure we understood why we needed to never go there again. Darkseid is after the Anti-Life Equation, and it might not be what you think. This isn’t a formula that will kill people. It will, instead, kill all free will. That is the opposite of life, in Kirby’s mind. I can’t say he’s wrong. Grant Morrison was the first person to write out the equation itself, and it showed how deeply he understood it: loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷ condemnation ÷ misunderstanding × guilt × shame × failure × judgment n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death,…

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