In need of a pick-me-up this Tuesday…

Been groggy all morning, and on my first cup I was reminded of this delightful mantra…

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This parody of “The Mentat Mantra” (first heard in the 1984 film version of Dune) called “The Programmer’s Mantra” apparently was originated by Mark Stein at Sunday morning at Boston’s Arisia in 1993.

Words to live by, I’m telling you.

May Madness: From RT to Balticon

Memorial Day weekend. You know what that means?

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Grill time.

It also means showing respect for those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice so that we could have cookouts in the Land of the Free, Home of the Brave. Sometimes, you can forget why we enjoy the extended weekend. This particular one comes with a pretty powerful price tag, regardless of what the sales at Macy’s and Bed, Bath, & Beyond advertise.

But I digress…

AWARDThis May, as you saw in my previous post, has been pretty eventful. Pip made it home safely Monday morning, and when I got home Monday from the day job I was presented with the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Steampunk of 2014. Wellington, Eliza, Dr. Sound, Professor Axelrod & Dr. Blackwell, Tesla & Edison, and new friends Wild Bill Wheatley and Felicity Lovelace brought home the gold (or in this case, the crystal) with Dawn’s Early Light. It doesn’t feel quite real, you know? Two of the finalists have written for me and Pip, and another was a New York Times Bestseller; but we were presented with honors. It’s a little humbling and immensely rewarding.

The best part? No puppies of any demeanor were involved with this distinction. We earned this award. I’m more than good with that. Continue reading

Balticon 48: The Return to Hunt Valley and Revenge of #GymCon

Last year, Pip and I were not in attendance at Balticon, the premier weekend of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. We had been given Featured Guest status at Up in the Æther (now called Steamtopia) so we figured after years (a decade for me!) of attending Balticon, it was time for a change of pace. Detroit was a fantastic town with awesome people, and it was a good weekend all around…

…but yes, it was weird not being in Hunt Valley, Maryland, on Memorial Day Weekend.

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This year, Pip and I are excited to be returning. Unlike other literary events, Balticon offers a track specific to New Media (blogging, podcasting, Facebook, etc.), originally started up by Paul Fischer back in 2005. From that single panel on what a podcast is, the New Media track (which covers production, fan discussions, and live recordings) grew, even earning the nickname “The Other Balticon” which I think is a bit unfair as some of the most talented people — not just the writers, but the creative artists that also speak on the track — I’ve met are all on this track. Over the years, though, Balticon’s amazing staff have integrated the New Media track with other tracks; and this year’s 48th incarnation of the event promises to be a fantastic time!

Here’s where you can find me this weekend… Continue reading

The Janus Affair: A Sneak Peek and a Balticon Bash!


Hey, everyone!

Well, here we are — the week it all happens! Balticon!

Before I forget, I do want to give you all a little something to enjoy, audio-wise…

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James Langton, you might recall, gave his voice to us for Harper Audio’s kicking production of Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel. He’s back for The Janus Affair, and we could not be happier about it. Harper Audio gave us this preview for our podcast (you DO know about the steampunk podcast anthology Pip and I do, right?), and after hearing it, Pip and I can’t wait to hear what James comes up with next! We are so stoked to have him bringing Wellington and Eliza to life, and hopefully we will hear him again when Book Three is green-lit for production.

Now, onward to Balticon… Continue reading

New York ComicCon: The Details

First, I want to give a huge shout-out to Stephanie Kim, Assistant Publicist at Harper Collins. She has made this happen along with the crew of New York ComicCon, and with i’s dotted and t’s crossed I am now here with the details on what will be happening in the Big Apple this October!

DATE: Friday, October 14
PANEL: Steampunk in Comics and Literature

TIME: 9:00PM-10:00PM
LOCATION: 1A01

Steampunk traces its origins back to the science fiction of the 19th century, and the term itself was coined to describe a genre of Victorian sci-fi being written by modern authors. At the same time,  steampunk and Victorian industrial age aesthetics have long held a  great fascination for comic and manga artists of various backgrounds. Continue reading

Kia Ora from the Future!

Hi, everyone!

It’s been a week and what a week it has been. Sonic Boom, fresh off her first-ever plane ride, walked the now-working set of Hobbiton, settled in Rotorua for the night, got up close and personal with Ella the Lion Cub at the Paradise Valley Reserve, and then worked the Poi Dancing as the youngest in attendance at Te Puia. Safe to say, we’re having a blast! There will be YouTube videos coming.

This week, we’re looking ahead to WorldCon 68, also known as AussieCon 4. Pip Ballantine, Sonic Boom, and I arrive in Melbourne, Australia (Yes, her second country in two weeks. Pretty impressive for a six year old!) and alongside familiar friends John Cmar, Laura Burns, Mur Laffery, and Gail Carriger, we’ll be taking part in good geekery from the Southern Hemisphere. This is my first WorldCon, and the Australians have handed me a rather robust schedule: Continue reading

Tee Morris (that naughty boy!) on Erotica ala Carte

Back in December, you might recall a blogpost proclaiming my love for New Zealand smut. Well, Chef Ballantine appreciated my kind words so much concerning the podcast too hot for iTunes, Erotica ala Carte, that she invited me to cook in her kitchen. The ingredients this naughty Gordon Ramsey (with help from her listeners) threw at me were:

  • Alternative History
  • Government Bureau
  • Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

The end result is the short story (borderline novella) “Release Me” which dropped just before Balticon. As I mentioned, the story seemed to write itself and really took on some serious momentum, surprising (if not, disturbing) me. The end result, though, I am quite happy with:

In an alternative America a superhero learns a lesson in control.

Inspired by my favorite film of the year so far, Watchmen, I went with a government bureau of superheroes instead of something along the lines of The X-Files. (I think that is what folks were expecting.) There are also a few nods to the Twitter community and a homage to one of my Geek Chic heroines. This was a lot of fun, and a terrific exercise for me as a writer. So as it stands, J.C. Hutchins has challenged me with writing a thriller and Pip has tapped me for erotica. What’s next? Horror?

Scott Sigler? Phil Rossi? Any of you guys wanna throw the gauntlet?

Have a listen, and let me (and Pip) know what you think.

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