Contemporary and epic fantasy with unforgettable characters, complicated families, and music in the sentences.

E-book Edition Of The Anthology, And Other Newsy Things

Some of you have been champing at the bit, asking when it would happen. You can now find the Trafficking in Magic, Magicking in Traffic anthology at Amazon here, at B&N here, and at Smashwords here. (Smashwords apparently doesn’t know how to list multiple names as authors or editors for fiction, so you’ll only see my illustrious coeditor credited there.) And, just in case any of you have experienced a news blackout like the one I’ve been in for the past month, you may have missed October’s announcement that Tales from Rugosa Coven is now available as an e-book, too, in all the places you’d go to buy one.

Last month’s concussion continues to mess with me. The docs told me to expect a long recovery, weeks for certain and months probably. The work-related problems are bad enough — my reading speed isn’t back yet, and I get too tired to write about an hour earlier in the evening than I’m accustomed to — but the human problems are worse. My temper’s shorter, I’m more impulsive. In those ways, it’s as if I’ve reverted to the person I was in my 20’s; she had her good points, but I wouldn’t want to be her again. I have cursed like a Jersey girl in front of my kids, and a couple of times at them, because the customs inspection station between my mind and my mouth is closed until further notice.

The whole experience is giving me a bad case of compassion for football players. I never really wanted to feel compassion for football players. Is this how it feels to get over a long-held bias? If so, no wonder progress toward social justice takes so long. This is kind of awful. Some days I don’t know whether I’m more embarrassed about my former contempt for the football-playing demographic, or about watching that comfortable contempt fade away.

So it’s hard to tell whether the concussion has, on balance, made me a better person or a worse one so far. The docs say I’ll get all my impulse control, patience, and multitasking ability back eventually. Eventually.

Despite all that, I’ve written a couple of book reviews for Black Gate.

Garth Nix’s new novel of the Old Kingdom, Clariel, tries to be a stand-alone story. I think it succeeds as a novel, but not so well as a stand-alone. It’s still worth any fantasy reader’s while to go back to the beginning and start with Sabriel. (Here’s why.)

Tom Doyle’s debut novel, American Craftsmen, knocked my socks off. It’s a delightfully multilayered book. It hits a lot of the same sweet spots that early Tom Clancy novels hit, yet it’s also a family saga about rival magical lineages struggling to direct America’s national occult defense. And then there are the little metalevel in-jokes Doyle has nestled into the details of his fast-paced plot, waiting for readers who remember enough of American history and American literature to spot them.

Weirdest accomplishment of my immediately post-concussion period: During the early days, when I was not only supposed to refrain from reading, but in fact had been advised to avert my eyes if I happened to glance accidentally at text (!), I knitted a cowl almost entirely by touch in full darkness. Admittedly, for casting on and binding off, I had to cheat on the full darkness part and work in low light, but otherwise I knitted like a blind person. Never dropped a single stitch.

Most striking change in my writing voice, post-concussion: Adverbs seem more essential than they used to. I try to cut them, but they cling to their sentences, and, ineluctably, I put them right back in. I really look forward to recovering from that part. Really. Intensely. Avidly.
Source: Dr Pretentious

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