Posts Tagged ‘Gaslights and Rayguns’

Thrown off the horse and back into the saddle

Friday, June 10th, 2016

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I have not yet finished dealing with the aftermath of Clockwork Alchemy, and yet I already find myself dealing with the prepwork for Dragon Con! But the good news is, once again, I’m a guest (well, technically, an “attending professional”):

Anthony Francis By day, Anthony Francis is a roboticist; by night, he’s an author and comic book artist. He wrote the Dakota Frost, Skindancer urban fantasy series including Frost Moon, Blood Rock, and Liquid Fire; edited the Doorways to Extra Time anthology; and published the steampunk anthology Thirty Days Later.

Yaay! Oh wait, that means I have to do panels. Aaaa!

Watch this space.

-the Centaur

At Clockwork Alchemy 2016!

Friday, May 27th, 2016

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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.

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Oh, and I can finish my slides for Saturday’s presentation. Aaaa!

-the Centaur

Two Jeremiah stories reviewed on Publisher’s Weekly

Thursday, 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!

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They’re Heeere…

Friday, May 13th, 2016

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It is with an enormous sigh of relief that I can announce that THIRTY DAYS LATER will indeed be available by Clockwork Alchemy!

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Above is the stack of books as they arrived at my house today, and below is my smile when I inspected the shipment!

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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!

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-the Centaur

THIRTY DAYS LATER reviewed by the Punkettes

Saturday, April 23rd, 2016

Excellent news – THIRTY DAYS LATER has been reviewed by the Punkettes!

Need help steaming up your Summer? The other day I made myself a cup of tea and sat down to read the THIRTY DAYS LATER anthology put on by Thinking Ink Press. I wasn’t expecting the soirée of steam/clock infusion. I soon found my tea turning cold and me turning the next page. Thirty Days Later is full of interesting diverse stories that will appeal to a wide variety of readers with sightings of Royals, ghosts, dragons, Japanese folklore, spies, and even a Sasquatch(?!).

Very cool! Go check the review out, and remember, THIRTY DAYS LATER comes out in a couple of months!

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Not Ducking Questions, Just Working

Monday, March 28th, 2016

Between a crash course in learning deep learning and full court press on THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE, I’m far behind on far too many questions. So even though my good buddy Jim Davies just hit me with a comment on a post which I want to riff on in at least five blog posts, I’m afraid for the next few days I need to focus on getting caught up on THIRTY DAYS LATER.

Back to work.

-the Centaur

She is Sent

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

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Also on the note of resurrections, the latest version of JEREMIAH WILLSTONE AND THE CLOCKWORK TIME MACHINE is winging its way back to the publisher. Apropos, that I sent this back at Easter: this book has been through so many drafts that I’m starting to feel dizzy. I expect there will be at least one more, though, so I’m prepared.

Lots more work to do. For now, though, back to SPECTRAL IRON.

-the Centaur

All the Transitions of Tic-Tac-Toe, Redux

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

What was supposed to be a quick exercise to help me visualize a reinforcement learning problem has turned into a much larger project, one which I’m reluctantly calling a temporary halt to: a visualization of all the states of Tic-Tac-Toe.

What I found is that it’s surprisingly hard to make this work: all the states want to pile on top of each other, and there are a few subtleties to representing it correctly. To make it work, I had to separately represent board positions – the typical X’es and Oh’s used in play – from game states, such as Start, X Wins, O Wins, and Stalemate.

The Mathematica for this is gnarly and a total hack; it probably could be made more efficient to process all 17,000+ transitions of the game, and I definitely need to think of a way to make each state appear in its own, non-overlapping position. But that will require more thought than my crude jitter function above, the time it takes to run each render is way too long to quickly iterate, and I have a novel to finish. I don’t want to get stuck in a grind against a game known for its stalemate.

Ugh. You can see the jumble there; it’s hard to see which transitions lead to X’s or O’s victory and which lead to stalemate. I have ideas on how to fix this, but I want my novel done more and first, dag nab it. So let me give you all the transitions of Tic-Tac-Toe in their full glory (22.8mb). I could say more about this problem – or I can say what I have, call it victory, and move on.

On to the novel. It’s going well.

-the Centaur

Thirty Days Later on SF Signal

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

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So THIRTY DAYS LATER, Thinking Ink’s first and latest steampunk anthology, has been announced on the Hugo Award-winning blog SF Signal! The post details the table of contents, which I won’t duplicate here, so go check it out!

-the Centaur

Priorities

Monday, February 29th, 2016

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Wow, the Vegan New Orleans and Vegan Las Vegas posts are taking a lot longer than expected – I didn’t get them out yesterday like I wanted. But that’s OK, because even more important stuff happened: Thinking Ink Press received the print proofs of THIRTY DAYS LATER, our first fiction anthology, which happens to feature Harry Turtledove. Woot! Here’s Betsy Miller, the author and publisher who did much of the work making the physical copy of this happen:

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I’m normally a hermit, working on my projects, but this past week has been almost totally focused on people: coffee with my thesis advisor talking about the Google, interviews, office moves with my team, coffechats with friends about the mathematical underpinnings of deep learning, dinner with my buddy Nathan Vargas, dinner with my buddy Derek Reubish planning a friends and family trip, and dinner with Derek and our buddy autocross racer Fred Zust catching up after Fred’s wife participated in a big race. No pics of that – I let Derek and Fred handle that chore – so instead I give you pics of the farmer’s wrap I had at Barnes and Noble while waiting for the call that Fred had finally hit town.

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Work is important – I spent the morning working on math and writing prior to meeting Betsy to talk about the page proofs, which itself was another kind of working; and as you see above, I worked while waiting for Fred to arrive.

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But there’s more to life than work. As another buddy, Gene Forrer, just pointed out, THIRTY DAYS LATER wouldn’t exist except for the strong camaraderie of all the authors at Clockwork Alchemy, and as Belinda Messenger-Sikes pointed out, that level of camaraderie among writers is unusual for such a small genre convention.

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But that camaraderie does more than just produce books; it also produces communities, long-lasting friendships, durable associations that pass the test of time. I’m happy to have all the friends I have, and even though I love being a hermit and just working on my work, I enjoy all the time I get to spend with all my friends building and building upon our friendships.

-the Centaur