May 27th, 2016
Greetings, fellow adventurers! At long last, that time has rolled around again – Clockwork Alchemy, the Bay Area’s premiere steampunk convention. I’ll be here this weekend, most importantly for the launch of THIRTY DAYS LATER!
SO this year blogging every day was supposed to be a thing, but life is more important, and after taking care of my mom after her knee surgery, being there for my wife, and doing a good job at that thing I do that keeps a roof over our heads and food in the cats’ bellies, the next most important thing was … well, not 30DL, it was THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE!
But that ain’t out yet, as it is still in copyedit. We may go another round on this one. Whatever. I want this book to win the Hugo and I trust my editor, so we’re going to work on it and Get It Right. But AFTER making sure my editor did not send ninjas to have me killed, the next most important thing was launching THIRTY DAYS LATER on time!
THIRTY DAYS LATER is Thinking Ink’s first full length fiction anthology, and we wanted to get this one right, or at least not so wrong that all the books were gone. Now that I am at the con with a giant pile of books, at last, I can breathe easy.
Oh, and I can finish my slides for Saturday’s presentation. Aaaa!
May 20th, 2016
Hooray! Thinking Ink Press has a new book out, BEYOND THE FENCE, a collection of short stories by Marilyn Horn! We’ve just got the proof now, but the proof was approved, and we’ll be putting the book into distribution SOON! Also, the art’s by my wife, Sandi Billingsley, and we got a very nice print from Fracture Me of the front cover art:
May 19th, 2016
Wow, something awesome just happened. Our publishing company, Thinking Ink Press, independently invented the idea of a postcard short – a flash fiction story on a postcard – and a new one has just been published which really ups the ante in the genre with its postmodern take on a postmodern book, illustrated with a mashup of The Book of Kells and a Nook!
Finnegan’s Firewall: Awesome art by my wife Sandi Billingsley, great design by Keiko O’Leary, cool story by David Colby, all in a postcard! Right now you need to get this in person from Thinking Ink, but we’re working on making it possible for you to check it out!
May 19th, 2016
THIRTY DAYS LATER was reviewed on Publisher’s Weekly, and my two stories got a great review:
Each [story in THIRTY DAYS LATER] is broken into two separately titled parts, with events in the second part unfolding 30 days after those in the first. Anthony Francis, in “The Fall of the Falcon/The Rise of the Dragonfly,” uses that interval to work a crafty time-travel paradox into a futuristic tale of “infectious Foreign gearwork” run amok.
THIRTY DAYS LATER officially comes out June 1st, but you can order it now on Amazon! Check it out!
May 16th, 2016
Hey, everyone! I’m reading my flash fiction story “Solomon’s Baby” at the Flash Fiction Forum this Wednesday at 7PM at the Works Gallery in downtown San Jose, which is conveniently located at 365 Market Street underneath the Market Street side of the Convention Center garage (so you will almost certainly be able to find parking!)
“Solomon’s Baby” is a nice little flash of science fiction located at the intersection of Larry Niven and the Twilight Zone, and was previously published online at 365 Tomorrows (if you want spoilers) and hopefully will be released as a Flashcard (short story on a postcard) from Thinking Ink Press later this year. We’ll likely have a variety of short Flashcards and Snapbooks from Thinking Ink Press on hand, as well as some of the fine books put out by this very centaur. Drop by and hear some cool short short fiction!
May 13th, 2016
I think it’s in the contract of a guy called “the Centaur” to support the Kickstarter for the HOTBLOOD! comic – “A Centaur in the Old West!” This quirky centaur-themed comic with a “Brokeback Mountain” vibe – about a centaur secretary, his criminally minded boss, their romance, and exploding trains – completed earlier this year, and has already hit its first goal, so the HOTBLOOD! print omnibus will be, well, printed. But now the project’s just 18 hours – and 5 thousand dollars – away from the “stretch goal” which will enable Toril Orlesky to offer for free the sequel comic, Zarco, about the centaur sheriff who will track our two heroes (or villains?) down.
Toril’s art has been becoming increasingly accomplished and ambitious, and I hope you’ll all consider supporting the Kickstarter to bring the sequel to this great project to life!
May 13th, 2016
It is with an enormous sigh of relief that I can announce that THIRTY DAYS LATER will indeed be available by Clockwork Alchemy!
Above is the stack of books as they arrived at my house today, and below is my smile when I inspected the shipment!
I don’t even want to start to go into the snafus which happened at the last minute, because they are OVER! I can at last add this to the stack, and move on. More later on how THIRTY DAYS LATER is Thinking Ink Press’s first fiction anthology, how it features the next of the Jeremiah Willstone stories, and why you want to watch out for yaks and Sasquatch … but for now … they’re here!
May 4th, 2016
So if I haven’t posted here in the past few days it’s because I’ve been FREAKING OUT about an unexpected problem with a project, where two separate contributors had computer failures and travel disruptions. What seemed like a nice, on-time, if tight project became a total freakout O.M.G.-we-may-miss-the-date over the course of a week and a half.
That slow slide off the cliff was halted today and it looks like we’re back on track, but it was touch and go for a while – I woke up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat and sent a round of emails trying to get things on track, which worked – but I found out a more experienced coworker had been worried about this last month, and had been trying to say so.
Ah well. Hard lessons. I think it will be fine … but I was motivated to take this picture for this blogpost as I sat here and worked on it, and after a bit, I realized why: it’s another example of unexpected complications. What you see is a giant pile of cat bedding, which didn’t work … because why sleep on something warm, fuzzy, and sheltered when hard shingles will do just fine.
And who could have anticipated that, but a cat. Sigh.
April 30th, 2016
Viiictory! I successfully completed Nanowrimo for the fourteenth time – adding 50,000 words to PHANTOM SILVER, Dakota Frost #5. And, by working hard, I did it!
Because of work, life, and other writing, I got behind early this month, and had to press hard to really make it. But I successfully got it off my plate one day early. Because Nano’s site counts words differently than Microsoft Word, I had to push a bit past my Word word count, and so saw something I rarely see on this graph: a negative velocity debt, meaning I could write backwards and still end up finishing the count (at least the Word count) exactly on time.
For a bit late in the month, especially around the 26th, it was as bad as I’ve ever gotten it: 6000+ words behind only 5 days from the end of the month. But somehow I managed to pull it out, setting a couple of daily records on writing … though I never even came close to my absolute max writing rate of 7,000 words a day.
Strangely, even though Camp Nano doesn’t have November’s holidays, it still works out that most of the writing gets done near the end of the month. Go figure.
Alright, late, tired, going to bed, more commentary later.
April 29th, 2016
So after catching up for a while on Camp Nano, I fell behind again … because I and my wife traveled back to Greenville, South Carolina to assist my mother’s rehab from knee surgery, and frankly that’ more important than any amount of word count. The good news is, she’s doing very well, and came home from the hospital yesterday … the even better news is, that my wife and my mom patched it up after eight years of not speaking to each other, a feat which I didn’t think was even possible. What a wonderful trip!
I lost my momentum the moment I hopped on that plane, and after that it was tough to get it back when I was caring for Mom – you can see the dent in the schedule around the 20th – and getting back on track after that required a full court press. But, in the past several days, I was able to do just that, and managed to pump out 2000+ words on all of the past five days, and double that on three of those. As of tonight, I am caught up.
As for now, there’s two days left, which I could tackle at a normal pace—though I’ll likely try to finish by Friday so that I can chill out on Saturday and have a nice relaxing weekend.
Wish me luck.