In which I ask the hivemind

I need some more conventions, y’all.  Right now I think the next con I’m actually signed up to attend is the next Indy Pop Con in June.  I’m registered for Kokomo-Con again.  And … I think that’s it?  I’ve had a little bit of a run of being turned down by juried cons (I tried to get into both ConFusion in Detroit this January and a February comic convention) and I’ve decided to not apply to the Fort Wayne PopCon in between Christmas and New Year’s, mostly because … well, it’s between Christmas and New Year’s, and it’s a first-year con, and that strikes me as vaguely insane.  I hope they’re successful, don’t get me wrong, and if they are I’ll be there next year, but they’re charging PopCon prices for what I’m pretty certain isn’t gonna be close to PopCon attendance and right now it’s not worth the risk.  

Plus, well, check the posts at the end of December around here for any of the last six years.  The weather tends to not lend itself to long road trips.

So.  Anyway.  If you happen to know of any science fiction conventions, comic book shows, or genre/author events in the next six months within, say, a three- or four- hour drive of northern Indiana, let me know.  I’m looking at one in Louisville over Easter weekend, too, but it’s over Easter, which has its own set of complications to it.  


I’ve finished a story over at Patreon, called The Caretaker, and I’m really fond of it.  The story is posted in five parts and in first-draft form (I literally wrote it straight into the Patreon website; it’s not copy-pasted) and it will be posted again in .mobi and .epub form once it’s cleaned up a touch, but I like it and I think you will too.  Just $1 a month gets you access to a bunch of microfictions and three or four short stories, and $2 a month gets you an entire exclusive novel.  Next Patron is #15!  That’s a great number!  Join us!


Two weeks to winter break, y’all.  There will be Christmas shopping this weekend.  I can do this.  

New short story at Patreon!

There’s a new downloadable short story, The Forgotten One’s Prayer, over at my Patreon! Those of you who are already Patrons should click here, and those of you who are not Patrons should also click here and become one!  Access to an ever-growing group of new stories, for as little as $1 a month!

On Patreon

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BEFORE WE GET STARTED: I’m taking a shot at Audible and audiobooks again at the moment; Skylights is currently open for auditions over there.  Are you an audiobook narrator?  Do you want to share revenue 50/50 with me on audio?  Go audition!

I got asked in comments a few days ago if I’d ever considered launching a Patreon.  And the answer is yeah, I have, and until really recently all such considerations were brief and unsystematic at best. I’ve been thinking about the idea a little harder lately and …

… well, I’m probably still not doing a Patreon, but I’m thinking about it a little bit harder.

Here’s the thing, right?  My books sell for crap.  It is true that there are a lot of other books out there that sell even worse than mine, but they sell for crap.  Balremesh and other stories and Tales: The Benevolence Archives, Vol. 3 have been out for months and probably haven’t sold fifty copies yet between the two of them.  A month with a half-dozen digital sales is a good month.  I do okay when I’m selling physical copies to people who are right in front of me, but the fact is the books aren’t moving online.

Well, okay, you say, but there are people who have bought all of those books and don’t have any more to buy right now.  Maybe they might like to have a way to support you in the meantime?

Well, okay.  First, being completely honest (none of this is to elicit sympathy,) I’m not convinced there are all that many of those people, and a lot of them are relatives, and a good chunk of those who aren’t are not, shall we say, Patreon’s typical demographic.

The other problem, of course, is what I can do for my Patrons, were I to actually acquire any.  To wit: in case it’s not clear, I write fiction sporadically at best, and I write slow.  I’m working on a short story right now for an open submissions window that is going to close for good in two weeks.  I have been working on that five thousand word story, a story that essentially sprung into my head fully written from the moment I had the idea, for something like six weeks.  I might get another 400-500 words of it written today.  I might not.  And I know which way I’d bet, were I betting.  It’s an open question as to whether I’ll get it done in time.  I have two more weeks for three thousand words more.

Most authors I’m aware of don’t use a monthly auto-pay model, they use a send me money when I create something and then you can have it sort of model.  But I sell entire books online for a damn dollar; are there people who will send me a dollar every time I send them a 5000 word short story?  Okay, what if it was a 500 word microfiction?  What if it was shorter than that?  How many of those might I be able to crank out in a month?

So, yeah, let’s try an experiment: Would you be willing to support me, at whatever minimal level you want, were I to create a Patreon?  What sorts of reward tiers might be interesting?

I mean, if I don’t get any comments here, before I’ve even created the thing, it sort of answers my question, right?

#REVIEW: The Prey of Gods, by Nicky Drayden

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Every so often I go back and forth on whether I should ever be posting book reviews here.  I follow a lot of Real Author blogs, and most of them don’t do book reviews– or, if they do, they mostly let the authors talk themselves.  This is actually how I encountered The Prey of Gods, a book I first found in a Big Idea post over at John Scalzi’s blog.

Honestly, I’d have ordered the thing based on the cover alone.  Look at that.   It’s awesome.

The book’s completely goddamned out of control, though.  Completely.  Out.  Of.  Control.  There are at least two more main POV characters than there need to be, probably half-a-dozen unnecessary subplots, and the story itself has so many things mashed together– a runaway dik-dik invasion (and if you’re thinking “will there be jokes about dik-diks?” right now?  Yes there will.), a species-jumping gene-altered virus that turns people into gods, actual gods, AIs gaining sentience, adult circumcision, 37,000 people being murdered by the main character in a fit of rage that we’re all supposed to forget about because she’s supposed to be sympathetic, a number of other brutal murders, a character with mind-control powers who has sex (? Maybe?) with his best friend then wipes his memory of the event, which is more than a little rapey, a pop musician who also has healing powers, a politician tasked with eliminating the dik-dik invasion who is also a cross-dressing singer who wants to open for the previous singer, his mother who is some sort of tree goddess, and jesus christ it never stops.

Here’s the thing, y’all: I stopped reading this with like 20 pages left because I just couldn’t take the crazy any longer– right around the time when mind-control dude swapped his boy/friend’s brain into his, then downloaded his own brain into his pet robot, then had several pages of stressing out about available hard drive space while he was trying to find room in the robot’s hard drive for his entire brain and the robot’s personality, but only after preventing his boy/friend, who may or may not have been dead at the time, from becoming a tree.

That’s not an exaggeration.  

I couldn’t do it any longer.  But if you read the GoodReads reviews, there are a lot of people who really like this book, and I wouldn’t even really argue with someone who did?  Nicky Drayden is an impressive writer, and I want to see more from her.  But I couldn’t take this book.  So… check it out, maybe?  But caveat emptor, or something?

Oh wait what’s this

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Coming soon.