Applied Plotonium at Clockwork Alchemy

Boosting the signal … I’ll be joining my friend David Colby’s panel APPLIED PLOTONIUM at 10am on Sunday at Clockwork Alchemy:

Applied Plotonium
Monterey – Sunday 10:00 AM

Applied Plotonium is a discussion and series of examples of worlds that are, in general, 100% scientifically accurate save for a SINGLE element of applied plotonium – a single element or feature that is downright fantastical. Eagerly explores extrapolation ending in exposition!
Presenter: David Colby

Moderator: Roger Que
Panelists: Anthony Francis, Michael Tierney

David Colby is the author of the hard science fiction young adult novel DEBRIS DREAMS (think “The Hunger Games meets Gravity“) and proposed the panel to explore his love of making the science in science fiction not suck.

In addition to David and me, we’ve also shanghaied, er, convinced two of our  mutual friends to join in: writer and chemist Michael Tierney from the Treehouse Writers will join as a panelist, and the writer and computer scientist Roger Que from Write to the End will serve as our moderator.

Drop in – you’ll enjoy yourself!

-the Centaur

The Centaur Interviewed on Sage and Savant!

One more interview with Sage and Savant … me!

Anthony Francis talks about Jeremiah Willstone

Q: In your story “The Fall of the Falcon” the main character is female, but she has a male name, Jeremiah Willstone. Why is that?

AF: It’s more than just gender bending: it’s an outward sign of their society’s aggressive approach to women’s liberation. I wanted to tell a steampunk story about a young Victorian female soldier, but the Victorians didn’t have women soldiers – we’ve only recently started to allow them in our military. So I imagined a world where that wasn’t just a little bit different, but comprehensively different – a world where women’s liberation came a century early, and with twice as many brains working on hard problems, they were more advanced in 1908 than we are today. But I needed a way to communicate that in the story, and decided that the women in Jeremiah’s family took male names to try to achieve gender equality. With her history written into her name, I now had the storytelling power to discuss that issue as much as I wanted to – or let it slide into the background until someone innocently asks the question, “So, Jeremiah is female, but has a male name. Why is that?”

To read more, check out my interview, and also check out the podcast on Sage and Savant!

-the Centaur

 

Book Giveaway with TIP and S&S

Holy cow, I almost missed this, and I helped organize it – we’re giving away some anthologies in partnership between Thinking Ink Press and steampunk podcast Sage and Savant!

Book Giveaway with Sage and Savant!

I have stories in three of the four books we’re giving away – Jeremiah Willstone stories in the full-length anthologies TWELVE HOURS LATER and THIRTY DAYS LATER, and flash fiction in the Instant Book “Jagged Fragments”.

Sign up, best of luck, and I hope you enjoy it!

-the Centaur

Dover Whitecliff on Sage and Savant

Yet one more of my friends from Clockwork Alchemy, Dover Whitecliff, is interviewed on Sage and Savant! A visit to her sometimes witty, often wacky, occasionally wryly satirical alternate world always makes a fun read!

Down and Dirty with Dover Whitecliff, author and editor at Thinking Ink Press

Q: How did you come up with the theme for the Later anthologies?

DW: The Treehouse Authors met for tea at Linde Lane Tea Room in Dixon and decided that we wanted to do a project together for literacy; an anthology was the obvious choice. But the theme is all down to Kiefer Sutherland. The news story of the day was the comeback of 24 and we had never seen an anthology with hour long stories before (though that doesn’t mean there might not be one out there that we missed). The paired stories came about to fill up a twenty-four-hour day, plus it offered the perfect tag line “You can find out what happens twelve hours later.”

Penelope DreadfulleQ: Yak? Giant Chicken? Trebuchet? What gives?

DW: It started with a dare in our email planning with the authors for Thirty Days Later. One author found a picture of a clockwork yak and threw down the gauntlet: “Bet you can’t fit a yak in.” Challenge accepted. Rumor has it that there are multiple yak sightings (bonus points if you can find them all). Since that was deemed “Way too easy,” the chieftess of shenanigans, Sparky McTrowell, raised the yak ante for Some Time Later with a trebuchet, and somehow a chicken was thrown in, possibly due to an excess of caffeine and chocolate. And Yes. I fit them all in.

To read more, check out her interview on Sage and Savant!

-the Centaur

BJ Sikes on Sage and Savant!

And yet another! Friend and fellow author / editor BJ Sikes is now interviewed on Sage and Savant!

About Alternate History with Author and Editor BJ Sikes

Q: Is herding authors for an anthology indeed like herding cats? Why do you do it?

Some Time LaterBJS: Absolutely. As chief cat wrangler for all three of the Later anthologies, I had to coordinate deadlines and revisions for not just the fifteen or so authors, but also our publisher’s staff. Why do I do it? The power, obviously. But in all seriousness, it’s the satisfaction of being an integral part of a fantastic collection of stories.

Q: What was your favorite story to edit/write for the anthologies?

BJ SikesBJS: That’s a tough one. There are so many great stories and they vary so much in theme, style, and content. I had a great time writing my own stories, especially the first one in Some Time Later, “The Descent.” That one allowed me to get my mycological geek on. I’m partial to Lillian Csernica’s Japanese mythology-inspired stories because they are unique but still feel steampunk.

To read more, check out her interview on Sage and Savant!

Sharon Cathcart on Sage and Savant

Another of my author friends, Sharon Cathcart, was interviewed on Sage and Savant!

A Candid Conversation with Author Sharon E. Cathcart


Twelve Hours Later - Sharon E Cathcart

 Q: What excited you about Twelve Hours Later and the other anthologies in which you’ve participated?

Sharon E CathcartSEC: Short fiction is an art form in and of itself.  Expressing a full story in a little bit of space, means distilling the true essence of your message in a way that someone can read on their lunch hour and still feel like they got a complete picture.  Having the opportunity to challenge myself within the framework of the anthologies’ themes made me work hard to present fully developed characters and concepts within those constraints, and it was a lot of fun!  That the anthologies benefited literacy programs was the icing on the cake.

To read more, check out Sharon’s interview on Sage and Savant!

-the Centaur

AJ Sikes on Sage and Savant

Check it out – my friend and fellow author / editor / publisher AJ Sikes is interviewed on Sage and Savant!

Getting to Know Author and Editor AJ Sikes

Some Time LaterQ: So, these anthologies, what’s the story behind these collections of stories?

AJS: Beginning with Twelve Hours Later, the anthologies have been an effort at showcasing the authors who attend Clockwork Alchemy each year. We wanted to have a way of introducing the whole crew to new readers in one swoop, and we also wanted to give back to the community that attends the event. The charity component has seen over $400 donated to the San Jose Public Library system in the past two years, all of which is intended for literacy programs. We’ve been really pleased with the reception of both Twelve Hours Later and Thirty Days Later. This year’s anthology Some Time Later will round out the trilogy, and we think it’s the best one yet.

To read more, check out the article at Sage and Savant!

-the Centaur

Kirsten Weiss on Sage and Savant

Boosting the signal … my friend and fellow author Kirsten Weiss is on Sage and Savant talking about her writing!

Catching Up With Author Kirsten Weiss

Kirsten Weiss writes genre-blending cozy mystery, urban fantasy, and steampunk suspense, mixing her experiences and imagination to create a vivid world of magic and mayhem.

Pressed to Death Kirsten WeissQ: Tell us about your latest book.

KW: Pressed to Death is a cozy mystery set in a wine country paranormal museum. It’s the second book in my Perfectly Proper Paranormal Museum series…

To read more, check out the full interview at Sage and Savant!

-the Centaur

North, South, East, West … and Wonder

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Has it only been 3 days? Since 1:37AM on Friday morning and now, I’ve written about 10,000 words. And I’m hoping to get 1,000 to 2,000 more words done tonight – ideally, 3,300 which will put me up to date on Camp Nanowrimo, so I can start to RELAX at last. But it’s left me a bit loopy, especially with static at work and from neighbors and with my wife’s art show coming up rapidly.

Oh hey, a quick aside on that:

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You all should go to the Color Me Free show by my wife Sandi Billingsley, which starts this Friday at Kaleid Gallery in downtown San Jose – opening reception from 7 to 11, this Friday, May 1st.

Okay, back to procrastinating on these three thousand words. That looniness has been very, very creative! The story is really fleshing itself out in strange and unexpected ways. I quote a discussion with a fellow writer who’s helping me research the science of the magic of the faery kingdom. Looking it over … hmm … seems pretty spoiler-free. So here is what I told her:

I discovered something about the fae in the Dakota Frost universe which I totally think you will appreciate because you also design faerie worlds. I can explain to you more the next time I see you on Tuesday [at the Write to the End group], but I figured out where they’re from, why they left, how they got here, why they’re so weird about names and fates and everything, and even why faerie is strange and pathless!

Ok, the last one I got from that crocheting book [Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes]: faerie has hyperbolic geometry … and hyperbolic geometry cannot be contained in normal three dimensional space. It’s like having a map with north, south, east, west and one more direction – the map folds up, wrinkles up like those crocheted hyperbolic planes – and the worst part will be the boundary of the human and faerie worlds, where, forced into a place where it won’t fit, it ultimately wrinkles over and starts crossing over itself! Neat, eh?

Well, at least I think it’s neat. Faerie has five cardinal directions: North, South, East, West … and Wonder! How inspirational! Onward! Only … a whole normal day’s writing ahead of me. Aaa!

Still … onward, into wonder!

-the Centaur

The Doorway Cracks Open

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At last! DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME is available for preorder on Amazon! The book’s out August 13 … that makes it almost exactly two years from conception to publication. For your amusement, I thought I’d dredge up the original call for submissions that I sent to the Write to the End and Dragon Writers groups way back in September of 2011:

DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME

In our busy world of meetings and microwaves, car radios and cellphones, you always hear people wishing they could get an extra hour in the day.

But what if you could?

DOORWAYS TO EXTRA TIME is an anthology that explores ways to get extra time (be it an hour, a day, or a decade) and the impact it would have (whether upon a single life, a family or an entire world).

We’re looking for stories with a touch of the fantastic—whether mystical, magical, mechanical, or just plain mysterious—but they can be set in any time or any genre: contemporary or historical, science fiction or fantasy, horror or magic realism. We could even find a place for a nonfiction essay if it was truly exceptional.

In short, show us something showstopping, and we’ll make time for you.

Suggested Length: full stories from 3,000 to 7,000 words and flash fiction under 1,000 words. We will accept good stories up to 10,000 words but it’s a hard sell.

Due Date: January 31st, 2012

Editors: Anthony Francis and TBD

The theme’s still the same, but due date January 31st, 2012? Really? HAHAHAHA no. As you all probably know, the estimable Trisha J. Wooldridge signed on as my coeditor and helped me make this a much stronger (and more diverse!) book. Thank you, Trisha, for helping make DOORWAYS possible!

So, please, everyone, preorder and enjoy!

-the Centaur