It’s June

This year has been disappearing fast, and I wish I could say that the piles of work in my inbox were disappearing just as quickly, but everything I’m working on seems to be moving in slow motion. I have made progress on some of my writing projects, but I’ve stalled out on a couple of things.

Behind the scenes at Corrugated Sky, we’re putting together our fourth anthology, which should be available in the fall. It’s the first one that we’ve opened to outside submissions, so we’ll be finalizing the selections this week and sending out emails to authors. I’m working on my own entry, which involves fireflies and fairies.

What’s more fun is that we’re going to be doing the Shore Leave event in Baltimore this year, and we’ll have at least eight titles on display at our table. If you’re in the area, come on by and say hello. I’ll post more information about the event as it gets near (the date is in the events box on the right of the page).

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Off to a Conference!

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This Friday I’ll be attending the Northeast Modern Language Association’s meeting at the Gaylord National Resort Center. I was invited to be part of a roundtable discussion on teaching science fiction and I’ll be talking about Ray Bradbury and censorship. I’m both excited by and a little intimidated by the event, but I’ve presented papers at conferences before so I have some experience to fall back on.

My event isn’t until 3 in the afternoon, so while I could sleep in I’m going to make an early day of it and take in as much of the conference as possible. The hotel has a pretty good breakfast, so at o-dark-thirty I’ll be dragging myself from bed with the promise of pancakes and bacon.

Smoke and Steam Free Ebook

We’re running a promotion for our second anthology, Smoke and Steam. Beginning at midnight, Pacific Daylight Time, you can get a copy of the ebook from Amazon for free. The promotion runs through March 19 and ends at 11:59 PDT.

Smoke and Steam contains four Steampunk novellas from Corrugated Sky‘s authors. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, the Steampunk genre is a type of science fiction/fantasy/alternative history based on Victorian-era technology. Sometimes it includes magic, or werewolves, or man/machine hybrids. And airships and trains are pretty much de rigueur.

The adventures in Smoke and Steam include “Wings over Staria,” by JC Rock;
“Hekatite,” by Karen Garvin; “Heart of the Matter,” by Michelle Schad; and “Freedom for a Foster,” by Cathryn Leigh.

Head on over to Amazon during the promotion and download a free copy of the ebook. While you’re there, why not pick up a paperback, too? After all, it’s how the Victorians would have read their books!

Ray Bradbury and Me

I have two chapters in this book about Ray Bradbury. The book is part of Salem Press’s Critical Insights series.

Toward the end of last year I was invited to write a biography and a critical context entry about Ray Bradbury for inclusion in Salem Press’s Critical Insights: Ray Bradbury. The book has been published and I received my author’s copy last week, just in time for the holidays. It’s a lot of work to research and write these kind of articles, but it’s always a pleasure to see them in print and to see what kind of other articles there are in the book.

Last summer my husband and I attended the Maine Astronomy Retreat for the first time. One day we left camp and drove to Belfast, Maine, and spent the afternoon strolling around. I saw a paperback copy of The Martian Chronicles in the window of an independent bookstore, and I was drawn to it, but in the end I didn’t buy it. About a month after vacation I received an email about this book project and all I could think was “Why didn’t I buy that book when I was on vacation?”

Odd things like that seem to happen to me fairly often. I suppose I could claim to have had an intuition about the book, but I think I was drawn to it because I’ve been thinking about rereading some of the books I read as a teenager, and The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 were both on that reread list. I read both while working on the articles, and in fact I devoured them each in a day or two, staying up way too late because I just could not put the books down. I don’t remember that fascination the first time I read the books, and in fact I found The Martian Chronicles a bit hard because I’m more of a novel reader and less of a short-story reader. I always wanted to stay with Bradbury’s characters longer than he did!

My essays are a short biography, “Ray Douglas Bradbury,” and a longer piece, “Big Brother, Little Sister: Ray Bradbury, Social Pressure, and the Challenges to Free Speech.” You can work out from the title what it’s about, so I won’t go into details here. But, I would recommend reading Bradbury’s work, especially if you’ve only seen the movies. His word choices, the characters, the pacing of the stories — those are part and parcel of the atmosphere he brought to the worlds he created. You won’t go wrong spending an evening, or a few days, immersed in his work.