Really, just a small set of updates.
Second, a new snippet for Trial By Fire (Schooled In Magic VII) is up now.
Third, we had a good time at EASTERCON. I bought books (and, in other news, water is wet, the Pope is Catholic and bears poop in the woods.) More importantly, I sold a number of my books, assisted at a writing workshop, launched Bookworm III: The Best Laid Plans and, for the first time, sat on a panel. We may have drifted off-topic a little, but we had a nice time and no one threw things. (Either we did a good job or we put them to sleep <grin>)
Things nearly went off the rails a couple of times. I sent my collection of books via courier and, when they arrived, the boxes were badly damaged. Luckily, the books themselves were largely intact and only a handful had to be held back. Pete Buck – editor and publisher of ELSEWHEN PRESS – deserves credit for selling my books (and not just the ones he publishes himself).
Eric had a good time too – lots of people stopped to admire him, even if they didn’t know me personally. One person did ask if he was a real baby (yes, I know they can do remarkable things with dolls these days, but he is real) and lots of other people wanted to hold him. He was surprisingly well-behaved in the day, but made up for it by keeping us up late at night. I made up a song for him while I was wheeling him around …
…Well, let’s just say it’s a good thing I’m not trying to earn money by writing music. And after the third or fourth repetition people were starting to give me odd looks.
On the downside, I went to a signing and … well, I didn’t have many people waiting for me to sign their books. (In hindsight, I should probably have asked people who bought the earlier books to come let me sign them there.) If anyone ever feels my ego is getting too big, just mention the EASTERCON signing to me and my ego will deflate back to galaxy-size.
Fourth, while I was at EASTERCON the Hugo Award nominees were announced.
I really kept planning to write a post on the Hugo Awards, and Sad Puppies, and suchlike before time ran out. It floundered on the lack of anything substantial to say, so what I WILL say is this.
I’ve checked the list of Hugo winners and runners-up on wiki and quite a few of the more recent novels were not what I considered to be entertaining. A book can have vast concepts and sweeping vision, but would it really be a decent story if it wasn’t entertaining? Furthermore, just who decides on which novel is actually a winner? If the rules say that anyone who purchases a membership can nominate or vote as they see fit, how can anyone complain about the result? There are quite a few books on the list I don’t think deserved awards. Does that make the voters wrong?
I cannot say that I am amused by the vitriol being thrown around by both sides of the dispute. Like Gamer Gate, the original issue (however valid or not it may be) is being buried under a mass of abusive screaming. None of this is helpful. Call me an idealist if you like, but I have always thought that civil arguments were the way to greater understanding – or at least agreeing to disagree. But then, it only takes one person to turn a reasonable debate into a flame war.
If you intend to vote, here’s my advice. Ignore everything you hear about the books, just read them and make up your own mind. If you like Book A, vote for Book A; if you like Book B, vote for Book B.
It’s as simple as that, really.
Finally, we should be going to RAVENCON later in the month, then New York. Does anyone reading this blog live in New York? If so, I’d love to meet. More importantly, this is the last chance to pre-order any signed copies of my work. Let me know by Sunday or I may not be able to obtain a copy in time.