Episode 56 of my science fiction podcast is now up at Wired.com. In this show we interview author and futurist Vernor Vinge about living to be 100,000, how the space program could endanger Earth, and how the Technological Singularity might unfold. Then stick around after the interview as Dave chats with his old buddy Caribbean-born science fiction author Tobias S. Buckell.
I’ve been alerted to the fact that the website Spreading Santorum has been knocked out of the top spot when you google the word Santorum. Glad I have a blog, so I can help make that right.
Episode 55 of my science fiction podcast is now up at Wired.com. In this show Michael Chabon, author of Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, joins us to discuss working with Disney, his dislike of genre snobs, and why circumcision makes him think of Barsoom. Then stick around after the interview as John Joseph Adams and I review the new movie John Carter.
A nice story, one that takes us along a familiar path, but takes the time to point out some new features along the way. I loved the conversational style Kirtley used to tell the story. The more modern sensibility in both presentation and setting really work to carry the reader along on the journey of discovery. Fables are time-tested stories of the impossible. “Beauty” is a nice continuation of that tradition, one that’s well worth your time.
Ghar Han is a memorable character as he tries to redeem himself in battle. David Barr Kirtley takes the situation and avoids a pulp story with a resolution that is both satisfying and has something to say.
And Robert E. Waters adds:
Kirtley works it out very nicely and shows us how someone classified as a “freak” might be treated in a very rigid place like Barsoom (and through Ghar Han’s eyes, we get a glimpse of how John Carter himself must have felt when he first appeared on Barsoom).
The March 2012 issue of Lightspeed includes my short story “Beauty,” a twisted, modern-day retelling of “Beauty and the Beast.”
WTF is wrong with Rhode Island? High school student Jessica Ahlquist shows incredible class and poise here while local students, parents, and even her state representative act like thugs and hooligans.
Here are some photos from last night’s event at powerHouse Arena in Brooklyn to promote the anthology Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom. The book is edited by John Joseph Adams and includes my story “Three Deaths.”
I recently took over managing the feed for my Geek’s Guide to the Galaxy podcast, and was able to rewrite the episode descriptions to make them more iTunes-friendly. iTunes is by far the most common way that people subscribe to podcasts, so it’s important to think about how your podcast is going to be displayed there. Each episode of my podcast features an interview, usually focused around the guest’s latest book, followed by a discussion between me and my co-host John Joseph Adams (and recently we’ve been having on a rotating cast of “guest geeks” to join us for the discussion). I tried to format our episode descriptions to make that information available at a glance:
Compare that to, say, the Suvudu On Air podcast:
Not that useful, right? You can actually find out who the guests are here by hovering your cursor over each episode, but I suspect that most listeners don’t have the time or patience for that.
Another thing I see a lot is that the podcast description will start out listing the names of the hosts, which means that more useful information such as the guest or topic is obscured in iTunes. Here’s an example from the Writing Excuses podcast:
Obviously I think it would be better to just put the guest or topic here, especially since the host names should already be listed at the top of the page, and in any event are somewhat redundant since they’re mostly the same from episode to episode.
Getting people to listen to any podcast in the first place is a huge hurdle, and I think descriptions that convey the relevant info as clearly and succinctly as possible can make a big difference in your number of listeners. Hope that helps.
Episde 54 of my science fiction podcast is now up at Wired.com. In this show we interview bestselling author Robin Hobb about the personalities of sailing ships, why putting roadkill in your mouth might be good for you, and whether or not Alaska is a writerly utopia. Then stick around after the interview as guest geek Saladin Ahmed, author of Throne of the Crescent Moon, joins us to discuss the epic fantasy genre.
|I make another appearance as a science fiction expert in Episode 125 of the Read It And Weep podcast, in which we discuss Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card.|
I now have an author page over on Facebook. “Like” it to receive updates about my fiction, interviews, etc.
Got my contributor’s copies of Under the Moons of Mars: New Adventures on Barsoom, edited by John Joseph Adams. This book includes my story “Three Deaths.”
Here’s a review from Bookhound. Reviewer Mel Odom writes:
I hadn’t heard of David Barr Kirtley before, but he’s hit my radar now with “Three Deaths.” His story of one of the Tharks first defeated by John Carter shortly after his advent on the Red Planet touched my heart in ways that I just hadn’t expected. Truly awesome stuff, and instantly more vulnerable than anything Burroughs had ever written.
The book is absolutely beautiful and well laid out. I sat down and devoured the first three stories, trudging once more through the sands of Mars with a sword in my fist … David Barr Kirtley (whom I’ve never before heard of) has written a truly elegant and emotional story full of wonder and honor in “Three Deaths.”
Emily Mah Tippets interviews me about writing and podcasting for Black Gate magazine:
Just got word that my cat Hobbes has died. She was perfectly healthy up until two days ago, when she went into kidney failure. Her sister Kzin died back in August. Both times while I was away. In her youth Hobbes was the proverbial fraidy-cat, spooked by loud noises, and she spent a lot of time hiding in the farthest reaches of the basement, where a small gap afforded her vantage of a narrow stretch of backyard, but in recent years she’d become extremely friendly, following me from room to room and clambering up on my hip and purring constantly. I’ll miss her terribly. For basically the first time in my life I’m without a cat.
Reading a lot of the angry fan reactions to the years-long wait between George R. R. Martin books, it struck me that a lot of readers seem to feel that by publishing a few books in a series, an author is entering into an unwritten contract with readers to produce more books in that series at a particular pace, and that if an author doesn’t do that he’s going back on his word or not doing his job. I suspect many authors don’t feel that by writing one or more books they’re entering into any sort of unwritten agreement with their readers to produce more books, let alone at a particular pace. Maybe it would help if everybody’s expectations were spelled out from the start. I wonder if books will start carrying software-style disclaimers:
THIS WORK OF FICTION IS PROVIDED “AS IS” AND ANY EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES OF TIMELY SEQUELS OR A SERIES CONCLUSION ARE DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL THE AUTHOR OR PUBLISHER BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DISAPPOINTMENT (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DISAPPOINTMENT OVER UNRESOLVED MYSTERIES; DISAPPOINTMENT OVER THE AUTHOR’S TIME-WASTING HOBBIES; DISAPPOINTMENT OVER THE AUTHOR’S DEMISE) HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT OF THE READING OF THIS NOVEL, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DISAPPOINTMENT.