Rats and Books

Sep. 18th, 2017 08:21 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
We've been hearing noises in the wall between our house and the garage for a while, and got confirmation today that it was rats. Apparently they chewed their way in through a hole at the end of a rain gutter and got in the garage attic, then got in and have been hanging out under the bathtub. So, not fun. But someone at the university recommended a wildlife removal company that specializes in rodents, and I think that's exactly what we need. (We're also infested with geckos, but that's actually a good thing.) Anyway, it's going to be expensive, but not nearly as bad as I thought.

***

Fireside Fiction has set up an ebook Hurricane Relief Bookstore. 100% of the profits go to hurricane relief funds in Houston, Florida, and the Caribbean. My book Wheel of the Infinite is available there, with lots of other cool SF/F novels, magazines, and anthologies:

http://www.hurricanebookstore.com/
marthawells: (Atlantis)
[personal profile] marthawells



Now that the cover (by Jaime Jones) has been revealed, more preorder links are available. (I really, really appreciate preorders, wherever you shop, not just the links here.)


Note: Artificial Condition is a novella, around 160 pages. It's a direct sequel to All Systems Red and begins not long after that novella ends.


Description: It has a dark past -- one in which a number of humans were killed. A past that caused it to christen itself "Murderbot." But it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more. Teaming up with a Research Transport vessel named ART (you don't want to know what the "A" stands for), Murderbot heads to the mining facility where it went rogue. What it discovers will forever change the way it thinks...

Available at:
Barnes & Noble, Amazon US and all other Amazons, Mysterious Galaxy, BooksaMillion, Book Depository, and from a local independent bookseller through Indiebound.

ebook (DRM-free): Barnes & Noble Nook, Kobo, iBooks, Amazon Kindle, Kindle UK, Kindle Canada, Kindle France, Kindle Germany, Kindle Spain, and all other Kindle retailers.




Excerpt:


SECUNITS DON'T CARE ABOUT the news. Even after I hacked my governor module and got access to the feeds, I never paid much attention to it. Partly because downloading the entertainment media was less likely to trigger any alarms that might be set up on satellite and station networks; political and economic news was carried on different levels, closer to the protected data exchanges. But mostly because the news was boring and I didn't care what humans were doing to each other as long as I didn't have to a) stop it or b) clean up after it.

more )

remix! and fic update

Sep. 17th, 2017 09:45 pm
celli: a pixellated version of the Star Trek crew on the bridge of the Enterprise (Star Trek)
[personal profile] celli
Someone did an awesome remix of one of my stories - and since I know for a fact I was a pinch hit I am extra impressed!

Transparent (1734 words) by Anonymous
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Star Trek: Alternate Original Series (Movies)
Rating: General Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: James T. Kirk/Leonard "Bones" McCoy, past Leonard "Bones" McCoy/Jocelyn McCoy - Relationship
Characters: James T. Kirk, Joanna McCoy, Leonard "Bones" McCoy, Jocelyn McCoy, Winona Kirk (mentions)
Additional Tags: James T. Kirk & Joanna McCoy - Freeform, Overbearing Parents, Heart-to-Heart Conversations, Divorced parents, Starfleet Academy
Summary:
The one where Joanna and Uncle Jim have a heart-to-heart, and Joanna realises there are much worse things in life than an overbearing parent.

Written for Remix Revival 2017.


I cried, ngl.

Done:
* Coursera Style week 2 story (600/600 on the dot)
* Coursera Style week 3 story, cutting the prior week's story in half (300/300)
* PODSA/SGA crossover:
The Ninth Space Wedding (Is the Charm) (3579 words) by celli
Chapters: 1/1
Fandom: Pod Save America (RPF), Stargate Atlantis
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: No Archive Warnings Apply
Relationships: Jon Favreau/Jon Lovett
Characters: Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, Tommy Vietor, DeRay Mckesson
Additional Tags: Crossover, Alternate Universe - Fusion, space weddings, Soulmates, Tropes
Summary:
Weddings have consequences. Especially space weddings.


New:
* Coursera Style week 4 story (0/600)

Progress made:
* PODSA gift story (1069/whatever)

Other:
* basic income contest story (124/5000)
* PODSA mpreg (2062/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic, two scenes left (704/1000+)
* AIRPF AU with [personal profile] rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)

OTW Chat

Sep. 17th, 2017 03:59 pm
marthawells: (Reading)
[personal profile] marthawells
Here's the transcript for the Organization for Transformative Works 10th Anniversary chat: https://www.transformativeworks.org/transcript-for-otw-10th-anniversary-chat-with-seanan-mcguire-martha-wells/
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells



* Excerpt: http://www.marthawells.com/murderbot2.htm


* Interview on The Verge: https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16315474/science-fiction-author-martha-wells-murderbot-robots-interview


* And we're coming up on the time for the OTW Chat: Today 9/17 noon to 2 EST, me and Seanan Mcguire will do a guest chat for the Organization For Transformative Works 10th Anniversary https://www.transformativeworks.org/today-is-the-otws-10th-anniversary/
marthawells: (Miko)
[personal profile] marthawells
The cover reveal for The Murderbot Diaries: Artificial Condition, plus an interview with me, is on The Verge:

https://www.theverge.com/2017/9/16/16315474/science-fiction-author-martha-wells-murderbot-robots-interview

Couple of Things

Sep. 15th, 2017 09:00 am
marthawells: (Stargate)
[personal profile] marthawells
* On Sunday, September 17, Seanan McGuire and I will be doing a guest chat for the Organization for Transformative Works 10th Anniversary. The topic is "fandom and fantasy."

https://www.transformativeworks.org/today-is-the-otws-10th-anniversary/


* I have a story out in a new anthology: Mech: Age of Steel Amazon, Barnes & Noble.

My story is "Birthright" and it's set in the Three Worlds, about the crew of the wind-ship Escarpment.


Yuletide noms!

Sep. 14th, 2017 06:24 pm
astolat: lady of shalott weaving in black and white (Default)
[personal profile] astolat
They close tomorrow so hurry and get your nominations in!

Mine are:

Witcher: Geralt, Emhyr, Ciri, Dandelion (duh)

Dragonriders of Pern: Menolly, Robinton (I totally want Menolly/Robinton NOT SORRY)

Dune (the book): Paul, Jessica, Stilgar, Feyd -- I don't know exactly what I want here, I think I want some outsider POV on Paul maybe?

My runners-up were:

Rome: Pullo, Vorenus, maybe Octavian -- man, I would love a story that undid what the show did to Octavian in S2 so much

Gladiator: Maximus, Commodus

Brimstone: Ezekiel, The Devil

Dungeons and Dragons Cartoon: Eric, Hank, Sheila, Venger

Battle of the Planets: Mark, Jason

and my perennial hope-springs-eternal Dracula: the Series: Lucard (hope doesn't really spring very far lol)

I am totally not mentioning these here in hopes that someone has a spare nom they wouldn't mind using on one of these. ;)
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times: Selected Haiku of Basho, by Bashō Matsuo, translated by David Young: A delightful collection. David Young's introduction is informative and easy to read, which is a rarity in poetry collections and must be praised, though you won't learn a thing about Bashō from it. Young says you can get that everywhere else; instead, the introduction addresses Young's approach to translating these poems, and I was quite surprised at the amount of latitude Young gave himself. Due to the differences between the number of syllables in English and Japanese, he disregards the West's belief that haiku must conform to a 5-7-5 arrangement, which is fine by me, but he also elides cultural references he thought would be lost on English-speaking audiences, reorders the lines themselves, and even removes the occasional question mark, and I don't know how I feel about that. The result is lovely, but is it an honest reflection of Bashō's words?

In Young's hands, Bashō's poetry is clear and simple, each haiku a meditation on life and nature. They are, by turns, longing, playful, soothing, and contemplative, and it's remarkable how many sensory details they include. So much is packed into these little sentences, giving you brief glimpses of another life, transporting you to where Bashō was three hundred years ago, listening to the rain, gardening, or:
Big white leeks
washing them off
feeling how cold
The poetry is transcendent, in that it moved me to a different place. Once I came back, though, I wondered a lot about the choices Young made. I really would have liked some translator's notes (outside of those in the introduction), but instead I'll have to content myself with reading Jane Reichhold's Basho: The Complete Haiku and go over her notes to see how their translations differ. This is actually Young's idea, and he helpfully includes an appendix that correlates his page numbers with Reichhold's numbering system for easy comparison.

Really accessible, and highly recommended.

Murderbot Update

Sep. 13th, 2017 11:24 am
marthawells: (Default)
[personal profile] marthawells
I've finally finished a final draft of the fourth Murderbot Diaries novella. It's due on Friday, and for a while there I didn't think I was going to make it. All Systems Red was written pretty quickly, in about a month, including a few days I had to take off because I had a back injury and fell in the bathtub. Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol were both difficult and each took about two months, including many false starts and complete plot-ectomies, but with this one I probably wrote more than 60,000 words to finally come up with the final 35,000.

Part of the reason it took so long was stress from that monstrous thing inhabiting the White House and everything he's brought with him, part of it was just wanting to get the story right.

I've seen the covers for Artificial Condition and Rogue Protocol and they're gorgeous. And I've heard the narrator for the audiobooks, and I'm pretty excited about who they picked. I can't say anything more about all that yet, but hopefully there can be official announcements soon.

In other news, we got a new dishwasher because the plastic parts rotted out of the old one, and we think squirrels have somehow tunneled into one of the walls of the house. So, nothing particularly unusual there.

(no subject)

Sep. 11th, 2017 04:38 pm
nestra: (Seth)
[personal profile] nestra
We were watching "The Grinder" on Netflix, and it's funny enough. Silly, but I am totally okay with silly these days. Rob Lowe is Rob Lowe-ing all over everything.

But now Timothy Olyphant has shown up as a villain. I am ON BOARD.

Fic update

Sep. 10th, 2017 10:36 pm
celli: the dark outline of a cow on a gree background, with a speech bubble saying "holy cow!" (holy cow!)
[personal profile] celli
Last week was a difficult writing week. I had a hypomanic episode, and while for some people that's a creative time it's not for me. I am glad I got done what I got done. This week - well, I have a big work project, but I'll do my best.

Done:
* Remix is POSTED YAYE. :D

New:
* short story for this 'basic income' story contest (124/5000)

Progress made:
* story, vaguely plotted and partly written, for a Coursera course I'm now WAY behind on (160/600)

Other (sigh):
* PODSA gift story (340/whatever)
* PODSA/SGA crossover which needs two scenes fixed, er, still (3439/whatever)
* PODSA mpreg (2062/whatever)
* Star Wars auction fic, two scenes left (704/1000+)
* AIRPF AU with [personal profile] rajkumari905 (3316/whatever)
* AIRPF auction fic (0/1000+)
runpunkrun: dana scully reading jose chung's From Outer Space, text: read (reading)
[personal profile] runpunkrun
Let Them Eat Cake: Classic, Decadent Desserts with Vegan, Gluten-Free & Healthy Variations, by Gesine Bullock-Prado: If this cookbook were an animal, it'd be a platypus. Male platypuses have venomous spurs on their hind feet. Did you know that? But they only produce venom during breeding season, which is between June and October. Their venom isn't lethal to humans, but its effects have been described as "excruciatingly painful."

This cookbook isn't venomous, and instead of excruciatingly painful, it's actually quite delightful. The author's funny, able to admit when she's made a mistake, and is capable of pointing out the problems of palm oil in a non-confrontational way. The book, though, is like if you started out with a beaver, and then someone was like, oh, but what if I can't do buck teeth? And someone else was like, my daughter only likes animals with duckbills. And then suddenly it's laying eggs and has venomous spurs on his heels.

BECAUSE—I swear this made sense when I started out—this book takes a standard, traditional muffin, quick bread, cake, pie, tart, or cookie recipe, and THEN it gives you a vegan variation, a gluten-free variation, and a "healthier" variation, which in this case means a version with a lower glycemic index and more fiber and nutrients. So, like, grapeseed oil instead of butter, and whole wheat or spelt flour rather than white flour.

It's unwieldy. As someone who is currently cooking gluten-free, I'm fine with checking this out of the library, but I'm not going to buy it. I guess if you were experimenting with your diet, or you bake with wheat at home, but need to make things vegan for the people at work, or gluten-free for your in-laws, or more nutritious for the school bake sale—then maybe. The focus is definitely on the traditional recipe, with little boxes afterwards (or on the pages before, the book's not picky or well organized) that explain how to make it vegan, or GF, or healthier by adding egg substitutes or switching out the flours. Sometimes the vegan variation will require an entirely different recipe, which is actually easier to deal with than a paragraph of text about substitutions, so while I might try making the biscuits and scones, I'm going to photocopy the recipe and write in the GF changes myself. Using this as a book would require a lot of flipping back and forth between the main recipe and the variations. I imagine it'd be very easy to make a mistake and put in the wrong amount of something.

So the layout is kind of baroque, but the colors are nice, and almost every recipe has a photo, even if they're sometimes a few pages away from the recipe. I suspect that the photos are of the traditional recipes, though, rather than any of the variants, because I'm a suspicious person by nature, and we all know vegan or gluten-free baked goods don't always look as nice as the traditional versions. Oh, can you merge two variants together and make a vegan gluten-free whatever? Never once brought up by the author. So I'm guessing...try that at your own risk.

If you're interested in cutting down on wheat or animal products, or if you cook for several groups of people with different dietary restrictions, then maybe this is the book for you. If you're straight up vegan and/or gluten-free, I don't see the point. The recipes are pretty standard fare, except for the cake section which is full-on bananas; they involve a lot of layers, if you have the time for that. Measurements are by volume and weight (grams), and there's a helpful introduction to each recipe, but no storage advice, and the index isn't thorough enough for me.

The Leftovers

Sep. 9th, 2017 10:46 am
sheafrotherdon: (Default)
[personal profile] sheafrotherdon
Who among us has seen the HBO show The Leftovers? My friend, M, got me hooked - or rather, she wouldn't stop talking about the show, and introduced me to the achingly lovely score, and then earlier in the week I figured hey, why not watch the pilot and see how it is? And now it's ten episodes later and I am hooked.

If you haven't seen the show, the premise is that, without warning, 2% of the world's population disappears one October 14th. The show picks up the story three years later as everyone's still grappling with their loss. (The premise might sound sort of like the rapture, but it's not - it's never handled as that in the show, and ultimately you get the suggestion of other reasons why people disappeared.) The main protagonist is Kevin Garvey, the chief of police in a small, upstate NY town. He appears not to have lost anyone in the event, but he loses everyone just the same. His wife is in a cult-like group in town. His son is with a charismatic religious figure in the southwest. His daughter is deeply fucked up and remote. His dad is committed to a psychiatric hospital.

And then there's Matt, a local preacher, who lost one version of his wife, Mary. And Nora, who lost her husband and two children in the event. There's Patti, who's in charge of the cult, and Meg, who wants to join, and the town's mayor, Lucy, who is trying to chart a path through increasingly turbulent waters.

It's a slow burn of a show - I wasn't bowled over by it, but rather won over by it. Every episode the writers would drop a nugget of information about a character and I'd realize that meant X or Y, and then have to keep watching to see how that impacted everyone else, and before you knew it, it was episode ten and every, damn, thing in the show tied together. It was gorgeous.

Fair warning - in the first couple of episodes, as well as episode seven or eight, a dog (or dogs) are shot. If that's a deal-breaker, this wouldn't be the show for you. There's also some pretty graphic violence.

If you've seen it, talk to me about it!

(no subject)

Sep. 7th, 2017 07:10 pm
nestra: Lyrics from the Sondheim show "Company" (Company)
[personal profile] nestra
Driving to physical therapy, listening to "Seventy-Six Trombones":

Seventy-six trombones caught the morning sun,.
With a hundred and ten cornets right behind.
There were more than a thousand reeds
Springing up like weeds.
There were horns of every shape and kind.


Me: How come there were more than a thousand reeds but only seventy-six trombones?

Also me: Would you really want any more than seventy-six trombones? Or trombone players?

Me: You make a good point.