Posts Tagged ‘Gaslights and Rayguns’

Announcing 30 DAYS LATER, a Steampunk Anthology

Thursday, January 28th, 2016

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The small press I’m associated with, Thinking Ink Press, has just announced its first anthology, 30 DAYS LATER, edited by A.J. Sikes, B.J. Sikes, and Dover Whitecliff of the Treehouse Writers’ Group! Check out the Thinking Ink Press announcement for more details, but it should be coming out around the time of the Clockwork Alchemy conference this May.

-the Centaur

Pictured: A clock, image credit: Deutsche Fotothek, downloaded from Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license. Not the cover or anything, just something I liked – we’re saving the cover reveal.

Excuse Me, I Ordered the Large Cat

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

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Busy catching up on writing today, trying to get Chapter 1 of the rewrite of THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE done, plus various small press tasks, plus writing documentation at work, plus getting new tires for my car … aaaa! So here’s a picture of a cat. Also, apropos, of a tire … but that made me think. I used to take a lot of notes – I still do, but I used to too – but a lot of the time a quick snapshot of something with your cell phone can do you one better.

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I took a few pictures of tires and of the label on the inside of my door without having to write down any numbers. I then went back to my desk, found some highly rated tires on a web site, found a local tire store online, found the models they had in stock, looked up the old tires I bought for the car to confirm the numbers made sense, and made an appointment. Bam. No paper involved.

It’s amazing to me what can be done with storing information in the cloud, as much as I am a skeptic about it. (And even my complaints about how hard it is to take notes on computers are getting addressed – a fellow author just got a Windows 10 book and claims he now prefers its tablet mode for editing because he can use it like real paper).

But it amazes me even more that when I showed up early for my tire appointment, they fit me in so quickly I had my car and was on my way to work at essentially the time I would have normally have gotten in. As a colleague said, “how many times does THAT happen?” My answer? “ONCE. Just today.” America’s Tire, Mountain View, California. Go check them out.

-the Centaur

Welcome to 2016

Friday, January 1st, 2016

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Hi, I’m Anthony! I love to write books and eat food, activities that I power by fiddling with computers. Welcome to 2016! It’s a year. I hope it’s a good one, but hope is not a strategy, so here’s what I’m going to do to make 2016 better for you.

First, I’m writing books. I’ve got a nearly-complete manuscript of a steampunk novel JEREMIAH WILLSTONE AND THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE which I’m wrangling with the very excellent editor Debra Dixon at Bell Bridge Books. God willing, you’ll see this come out this year. Jeremiah appears in a lot of short stories in the anthologies UnCONventional, 12 HOURS LATER, and 30 DAYS LATER – more on that one in a bit.

I also have completed drafts of the urban fantasy novels SPECTRAL IRON and HEX CODE, starring Dakota Frost and her adopted daughter Cinnamon Frost, respectively. If you like magical tattoos, precocious weretigers, and the trouble they can get into, look for these books coming soon – or check out FROST MOON, BLOOD ROCK and LIQUID FIRE, the first three Dakota books. (They’re all still on sale, by the way).

Second, I’m publishing books. I and some author/artist friends in the Bay Area founded Thinking Ink Press, and we are publishing the steampunk anthology 30 DAYS LATER edited by Belinda Sikes, AJ Sikes and Dover Whitecliff. We’re hoping to also re-release their earlier anthology 12 HOURS LATER; both of these were done for the Clockwork Alchemy conference, and we’re proud to have them.

We’re also publishing a lot more – FlashCards and InstantBooks and SnapBooks and possibly even a reprint of a novel which recently went out of print. Go to Thinking Ink Press for more news; for things I’m an editor/author on I’ll also announce them here.

Third, I’m doing more computing. Cinnamon Frost is supposed to be a mathematical genius, so to simulate her thought process I write computer programs (no joke). I’ve written up some few articles on this for publication on this blog, and hope to do more over the year to come.

Fourth, I’m going to keep doing art. Most of my art is done in preparation for either book frontispieces or for 24-Hour Comics Day, but I’m going to step that up a bit this year – I have to, if I’m going to get (ulp) three frontispieces done over the next year. Must draw faster!

Finally, I’m going to blog more. I’m already doing it, right now, but one way I’m trying to get ahead is to write two blog posts at a time, publishing one and saving one in reserve. This way I can keep getting ahead, but if I fall behind I’ve got some backlog to fall back on. I feel hounded by all the ideas in my head, so I’m going to loose them on all of you.

As for New Year’s Resolutions? Fah. I could say “exercise more, blog every day, and clean up the piles of papers” but we all know New Year’s Resolution’s are a joke, unless your name is Jim Davies, in which case they’re performance art.

SO ANYWAY, 2016. It’s going to be a year. I hope we can make it a great one!

-the Centaur

Pictured: The bookshelves of Cafe Intermezzo in the Atlanta airport, one place where I like to write books and eat food.

The Centaur at Dragon Con

Wednesday, August 5th, 2015

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So I’ll be at Dragon Con this year, the convention I’ve attended the longest. It’s where I sold my first book, it’s where I’ve served on endless panels, it’s where I’m an Eternal Member, of course, but this year, I’m a bit more: I’m an attending professional, which means I finally rate my own tiny, tiny little space in the program:

By day, Anthony Francis works on search engines and robots; by night, he writes science fiction and draws comic books. He’s the author of the Dakota Frost, Skindancer series including Frost Moon, Blood Rock, and Liquid Fire, and is the co-author of the 24 Hour Comic Day Survival Guide.

And the really good news is, I’ll be having a reading to celebrate the release of my latest novel, LIQUID FIRE, on Friday at 2:30PM! If you’re a fan of Dakota Frost, you should definitely come by, because I’ll read selections from LIQUID FIRE, answer questions, give away swag, and read preview versions of other future books in the series!

Title: Reading: Anthony Francis
Time: Fri 02:30 pm Location: Edgewood – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)

From my perspective, however, what’s even more important is that because I’m an attending professional, I actually get to know my schedule in advance! (At least most of it!) That means I can not only show up at my panels with more than a minute’s preparation, I can actually, like, tell you all about them! I’m tentatively scheduled to appear on three panels:

Title: Steampunk/Magepunk/Dieselpunk?
Description: Steampunk branches out! Tips for the market for the Punk genres.
Time: Sat 08:30 pm Location: Embassy D-F – Hyatt (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Lisa Mantchev, Stephen L. Antczak, Gail Z. Martin, Anthony Francis)

Title: Steampunk and the TARDIS
Description: Victoriana and retrofuturist Steampunk themes are popular in Doctor Who.
Time: Sun 05:30 pm Location: Augusta 1-2 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Dr. Scott Viguié, Anthony Francis, That Darling DJ Duo, Ken Spivey)

Title: World Building, Part 2: The Multicultural Multiverse
Description: This Q&A covers the wide world beyond Britannia.
Time: Sun 07:00 pm Location: Augusta 3 – Westin (Length: 1 Hour)
(Tentative Panelists: Michael J. Martinez, Milton J Davis, Anthony Francis)

There’s a chance I may be on a few more, but for that, stay tuned. Otherwise, I look forward to seeing you at my reading!

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-the Centaur

Thinking Ink Press Instant Books at the Arsenal

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

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It’s amazing how things come together! Several of the Instant Books created by Thinking Ink Press, the small press of which I’m a part, are now on display as part of the local book section of the Arsenal artist-owned art store in San Jose!

One of the great things about Instant Books is that they seem to be opening new doors. I really enjoy working with traditional publishers and editors like Debra Dixon at Bell Bridge Books, and all my novels are published that way, but working with the writers and artists at the Write to the End group has really opened my eyes to the physical joy of handmade books.

Sure, I’ve done a couple printed chapbooks for my own amusement, but author and paper artist Keiko O’Leary introduced us to this folded format. Fellow flash fiction author Betsy Miller and I started thinking about the stories we had that fit the format. Writer and editor Liza Olmsted helped us prepare them for publication. Keiko, my wife Sandi, and I provided the art. And creative barrier-buster Nathan Vargas gave us important feedback that helped us push the project home – telling us how the prototype books had an awesome feel, like “snack books” that you can read in a single sitting but still get the feel of reading a traditional book.

Except on much, much nicer paper. It matters. It really matters.

My two titles are the flash fiction collection “Jagged Fragments” and the steampunk chapbook “Jeremiah Willstone and the Sorting of the Secret Post“, and Betsy has the flash short “Bees.

So drop in on the Arsenal and check them out, or stay tuned to Thinking Ink Press for more awesome books!

-Anthony

Clockwork Alchemy in Transit

Monday, May 25th, 2015

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No time to blog this proper – things are moving too fast. But here’s a flyover of Clockwork Alchemy in pictures.

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There’s an awesome dealer’s room … with droolworthy clothes (not my size, or it would be mine):

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There’s an awesome art show, with epic props and artwork:

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And I do mean epic:

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There are amazing costumes of all kinds …

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… with bleedover from Fanime and Baycon:

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There’s an awesome Author’s Salon organized by the redoubtable volcano lady, T.E. MacArthur …

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… and featuring alternate historian Harry Turtledove, Madeline Holly-Rosing of the Boston Metaphysical Society, Kaja & Phil Foglio of Girl Genius …

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… and me!

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Many people at Thinking Ink Press helped out, either getting materials together prior to the con or helping out at the table …

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… and we managed to make many fans happy by bringing them LIQUID FIRE!

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… and much more! For the very first time … someone bought the first Skindancer trilogy as a bundle!

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Let’s end on that happy note, and I’ll have more tales of the con soon! One more day to go…

-the Centaur

Jeremiah Willstone and the Sorting of the Secret Post

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

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If you love steampunk, flash fiction, or cool things printed on paper, come by Clockwork Alchemy this weekend. I’m pleased to announce that Thinking Ink Press is printing two pieces of ephemera for the con – the flash fiction Instant Book “Jagged Fragments” and the short story Snapbook “Jeremiah Willstone and the Sorting of the Secret Post.”

I had hoped we’d have JEREMIAH WILLSTONE AND THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE ready for Clockwork Alchemy, but Debra, my editor at Bell Bridge Books, thought we should focus on getting Dakota Frost #3, LIQUID FIRE, out first – and she was right. That’s out right now, in fact, just in time for the con – I got the books early this week.

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But Betsy Miller of Thinking Ink Press suggested that I put something together for the con, thinking of three pieces I already had – the flash fiction pieces “The Secret of the T-Rex’s Arms” and “If Looks Could Kill” and the essay “The Rules Disease“. Not to be daunted by taking on too much, I decided I wanted a piece teasing THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE.

So I wrote a brand new short story just for the occasion, “The Sorting of the Secret Post”.

Hand-printed copies of these books will be available at the con. We aren’t sure what we’ll do with these in the future – the beauty of instant books (books printed on a single sheet of paper) and snap books (chapbooks printed on conventional printers) is that they can be printed on demand for an event. We call them “ephemera” and they enable us to experiment with the printed word.

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Here you see Keiko O’Leary of TIP folding instant books (and Liza Olmsted of TIP scowling at a tax form). The editions we’ve produced this time just came together in time for the con. You can’t even have the first ones – Nathan Vargas of TIP bought the very first copies of both books, one-of-a-kinds that will never come around again.

“The Sorting of the Secret Post” in particular is a direct prequel to THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE, but it isn’t clear whether we’ll reprint it once the book from Bell Bridge is out (though I hope we will, we haven’t decided). So come on down and get your copies … because whatever they become in the future, they’ll be something different.

-the Centaur

At Clockwork Alchemy this Memorial Day

Monday, May 18th, 2015

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This Memorial Day weekend, I’ll be at the Clockwork Alchemy conference in the Author’s Salon. I’ll have on hand the new steampunk anthology TWELVE HOURS LATER, plus of course the newly released third Dakota Frost, Skindancer book LIQUID FIRE, which, despite the presence of an airship, is firmly an urban fantasy novel.

If I’m not at my table, I will likely be appearing at:

  • The Science of Airships Saturday, May 23 from 2pm – 3pm in the San Juan Workshop Room
  • Steampunk Comics Saturday, May 23 from 6pm to 7pm in the Author’s Salon.
  • Writing Steampunk: Sunday, May 24 from 2pm to 3 pm in the Carmel Fashion Room

In addition to TWELVE HOURS LATER and LIQUID FIRE … I may have something else at the table. Stay tuned.

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-the Centaur

LIQUID FIRE and TWELVE HOURS LATER

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

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I think I’ll be posting this everywhere for a while … LIQUID FIRE, my third novel, is now available for preorder on Amazon. I talk a bit more about this on the Dakota Frost blog, but after a lot of work with beta readers, editing, and my editor, I’m very proud of this book, which takes Dakota out of her comfort zone in Atlanta and brings her to the San Francisco Bay, where she encounters romance, danger, magic, science, art, mathematics, vampires, werewolves, and the fae. It comes out May 22, but you can preorder it now on Amazon! Go get it! You’ll have a blast.

And, almost at the same time, I found out this is coming out on May 22 as well…

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TWELVE HOURS LATER is also available for preorder on Amazon Kindle and CreateSpace. Put together by the Treehouse Writers, TWELVE HOURS LATER is a collection of 24 steampunk stories, one for every hour in the day – many of them in linked pairs, half a day apart … hence “Twelve Hours Later”. My two stories in the anthology, “The Hour of the Wolf” and “The Time of Ghosts”, feature Jeremiah Willstone, the protagonist of “Steampunk Fairy Chick” in the UnCONventional anthology … and also the protagonist of the forthcoming novel THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE from Bell Bridge Books. (It’s also set in the same universe as “The Doorway to Extra Time” from the anthology of the almost identical name).

And, believe it or not, I may have something else coming out soon … stay tuned. :-)

-the Centaur

Hustle and Bustle at the Library

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

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I’ve felt quite harried over the past few weeks … and talking with another author, I realized why.

In April, I finally finished my part of Dakota Frost #3, LIQUID FIRE – sending comments to the publisher Bell Bridge Books on the galley proofs, reviewing cover ideas, contributing to the back cover copy, writing blogposts. I also as part of Camp Nanowrimo finished a rough rough draft of Dakota Frost #4, SPECTRAL IRON. But at the same time, I had recently finished a short story, “Vogler’s Garden”, and have been sending it out to quite a few places.

In May, we expect LIQUID FIRE will be out, I have two stories in the anthology TWELVE HOURS LATER, and I have three guest blog posts coming out, one on “Science is Story: Science, Magic, and the Thin Line Between” on the National Novel Writing Month blog which has gotten some traction. And I’ll be speaking at the Clockwork Alchemy conference. Oh, and I’m about to start responding to Bell Bridge’s feedback on my fourth novel, THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE.

Holy cow. No wonder I feel so harried! But it’s all for a good cause.

-the Centaur

Pictured: a friend at work shattered his monitor and inadvertently made art.