Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category


Monday, January 30th, 2012

Chapter 6 of Grim Tides is live! “A Mother’s Love.” In which Marla talks to someone from her past in an attempt to save her future.

I finished revising a novel over the weekend, and sent it off to the editor. So: whee! (This is a pseudonymous book, so no further details available at this time. I hope the editor likes it, though. I’m pleased with how it turned out.)

Now I have a story/novelette to write in the next two weeks, and then, most likely, I leap into a short-deadline work-for-hire gig I just got last week. I have to produce a 70K novel (and some ancillary material) in about 2.5 months. Doable? Certainly. Fun? Well, we’ll see. It’ll be a lot of work, but the pay is pretty good, so I’m happy to have it.

I have another novel due on June 15 as well. So, basically, for the next five and a half months, I will be a whirling machine of unceasing labors. (Actually, I have some anthology work to do in June/July/August too, though that’s less strenuous than writing books.) At least the back half of my year is relatively uncluttered. I may just sit around and play video games for the last five months of 2012. Or write a spec novel for fun.

I did some family funtime stuff over the weekend, notably a trip to Yerba Buena Gardens with the wife and kid, so the boy could madly run around, climbing up things and sliding down other things and riding a carousel. The weather was gorgeous. Nice to spend time with them while I can, as I’ll likely be spending most of my weekends in the near future buried in writing/editing/etc.


Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Clarion in San Diego and Clarion West in Seattle are now accepting applications. If you’re serious about this whole writing-science-fiction-short-stories thing, you should consider applying to these programs. (And the instructor line-ups for both workshops this year feature people with some insane literary and commercial chops.)

I would literally not be where I am in my life today without Clarion. I went in the summer of ’99, when Clarion was in East Lansing MI. I got my brain turned inside out, and my learning process accelerated mightily. I made friends who are still among the most important people in my life. I’m not sure I would have met my wife if I hadn’t gone to Clarion, and I probably wouldn’t have the day job I have today if not for Clarion (both of those are the result of chains of personal connection that I can trace back to the workshop, at least partly).

Now, I don’t promise attending a Clarion will lead you to both a person and a job you love… but it will give you six weeks to think about nothing except getting better at writing science fiction and fantasy, which should be draw enough on its own, I’d think.

Twenty Books

Monday, January 16th, 2012

On Friday evening, I finished the first draft of a novel. My 20th finished novel since 1997! I’m a little staggered by that. (For one thing, you’d think it would be easier by now.)

Now, that’s not twenty published novels. There are some trunk books in there, and a book that’s still out on submission (I have hopes it’ll see print someday.)

I thought I’d do a little walk down memory lane. This’ll be self-indulgent. Skip if you like.

  1. Shannon’s God. I wrote this in the summer of 1997, after my sophomore year of college. It was my first attempt to write a novel since some failures in high school. It’s a contemporary fantasy about a woman in college who begins to see monsters, and meets a man who claims to be God. I finished the thing, miraculously, and there are still elements I like about it, but it’s pretty broken. It should have been a short story. It did feature an assassin named Walker, who was a sort of prototype for my later character Mr. Zealand.
  2. Raveling. I wrote this in 1998, and it was insanely ambitious, way beyond my capabilities back then, a multi-viewpoint novel about a dark god returning to the world and the efforts of his half-human daughters to prevent him from destroying reality. Again, it had some good bits, but wow, was it a mess. A total structural disaster.
  3. Infants and Tyrants, or, Kootchie-Kootchie-Coup. Written over Christmas break in 1998 — took me only three weeks! It’s a superhero novel, set in the 1950s, in the same universe as my stories “Captain Fantasy and the Secret Masters” and “Dr. Nefarious and the Lazarus Project.” It concerns a child born with superhuman intelligence and telekinesis… but all the absolute self-centeredness of any six-month-old. (Good villain, huh?) It’s mostly about his mom discovering her own powers to alter reality to stop her son from conquering the world. It sucks. I kept it as backstory for the later stories set in that world, though…
  4. The Genius of Deceit. Written in September 1999, immediately after Clarion. (My attempt to avoid a post-Clarion writing slump: writing a 96,000 word novel in a single month, destroying any chance for writer’s block to get a grip on me. Well, it worked!) It’s a contemporary fantasy about the tenth incarnation of Vishnu, destined to save the world… but he’s beset by demons who are doing their best to drive him insane before he realizes his own power. The main character was an Indian American woman who may or may not be an avatar of Lakshmi. It has some awesome scenes… and some hideous issues with cultural appropriation I was too dumb to recognize at the time. (Making the incarnation of Vishnu a whiny white kid was maybe a mistake.) It does kind of work as a novel, though it’s not good enough to publish. I tried rewriting it as a YA, but without any success.
  5. The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl, written mostly in 2000-2001, largely in Cafe Pergolesi around the corner from my house in Santa Cruz. (Before that I tried to write a Marla Mason novel called Ferocious Dreamers, but it went off the rails 60,000 words in. I did pillage bits of it for later books though.) My weird Western novel, and my love song to Santa Cruz, and my debut novel, and the fifth book I ever finished. (I’m a slow learner.)
  6. Blood Engines, written in 2003 and 2004, mostly. The first Marla Mason novel, intended to be a standalone, and not the start of a series. I sold it while I was at the Blue Heaven workshop in 2006, along with a then-unwritten sequel.
  7. Briarpatch, which back then was called The Light of a Better World, written 2005/6 in Oakland. Took me a while to sell that one — or even to try to sell it, for tedious contractual reasons. But a mere five years after finishing it, it saw print last year. Probably my most ambitious book, and I think one of my more successful. Bridges! Alternate worlds! People who turn into bears! Magical cars!
  8. Poison Sleep, written in 2006. The second Marla novel, and the one where I really started thinking of it in terms of an ongoing series.
  9. Dead Reign, written in 2007. (Oh, for those bygone days of writing one book a year. And I had no kid! What did I do with all that free time?) Sold as part of another two-book deal to Bantam, which also included…
  10. Spell Games, written in 2007/8. Originally had the much better title Grift Sense, but Random House had published another novel with that title some years before, so I couldn’t use it. The fourth Marla novel, and the last one from a major publisher. After that, my career cratered, I got dumped by Random House, etc. And yet, somehow, I kept on working…
  11. The Nex, 2008. My first attempt at a book for kids, a gonzo science-fantasy adventure set in the world of my story “Dream Engine.” Nobody wanted to publish it, but I still liked it, so I later self-published it as an e-book and serialized it online. By far my least-read novel, alas.
  12. Bone Shop, 2009. Meant to be a novella, this prequel to the Marla Mason series eventually edged well into short-novel territory. This was my first attempt at a reader-funded serialization, and it worked out extremely well, giving me the confidence to write…
  13. Broken Mirrors, 2010, the fifth full-length Marla book, resolving the cliffhangers from Spell Games. Also serialized, and self-published as an e-book. Including royalties from e-book sales, audio sales, etc., it’s been as lucrative financially for me as the ones I published with Random House.
  14. Pseudonymous novel #1, 2010. A work-for-hire book, based on an idea by the publisher. Appeared later that year. Got better reviews than most of my books under my own name. Sigh.
  15. Venom In Her Veins, 2010. Also a work-for-hire book, a roleplaying game tie-in set in the world of Forgotten Realms, but this one’s under my own name, and was vast quantities of fun. It’s about insane subterranean monsters, a trade princess who’s wickedly good with a bow, addictive flowers, and other weird wonders. Coming out in March 2012.
  16. The Deep Woods, 2010. My second attempt at a middle-grade novel, this one about creatures from Celtic folklore (mostly), a Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game, and the power of friendship (which is maybe just slightly weaker than the power of iron-toothed giants). I wrote this one in 18 days, because after two work-for-hire books in a row, I wanted to write something that was utterly and entirely for me… but I didn’t have much time. So, yeah, 2010 was a four-book year, but Deep Woods is only about 45000 words long. It’s still out on submission. Somebody buy it, please?
  17. Pseudonymous novel #2, 2011. Work-for-hire again, published in late 2011, also to pretty good reviews, and I love the main character. And the narrator. Who is a different character.
  18. City of the Fallen Sky, 2011. Another RPG tie-in, this one set in the world of Pathfinder Tales. It’s about an alchemist/artificer who gets roped into going on a dangerous expedition to the legendary ruined flying city of Kho… all while being pursued by a relentless thug who wants to retrieve the things our hero stole on a previous expedition.  Coming out in May 2012.
  19. Grim Tides, 2011. The sixth full-length Marla Mason novel, currently being serialized. This whole alternative-publishing-model thing seems to be working out for me.
  20. Pseudonymous novel #3, 2011/12. (This is the one I finished on Friday.) This book actually is an original novel, based on my own idea, and not work-for-hire, but the publisher wanted to put it out under a pseudonym. I can probably claim it as my own a while after it’s published. 2011 wasn’t quite a four-book year, but it was a near thing.

So what’s next? I’ve got another work-for-hire book due this summer, but I can’t announce it yet. (It’ll be under my own name.) I also plan to write a contemporary fantasy novel, Heirs of Grace, for my own amusement. I’ve got a proposal for an epic(ish) fantasy novel called The Emperor of Owls, which I may just write even without selling it, because I’m excited about the characters and the world. And if there’s interest, I could do another Marla Mason novel for next year, assuming my readers want to support me again.

In other words… I expect I’ll keep busy. I’m fortunate this year in that I sold an anthology with my friend Melissa Marr, and that’s bringing in enough money that I don’t have to hustle up quite as much work as usual. That means I can write some spec books that may never sell. I’ve enjoyed all the work-for-hire stuff, actually, and a couple of them are among my very best books, but there’s something to be said for writing books that don’t have any deadlines or expectations attached. Like the old days, before I succeeded (and then failed, and then kept going anyway) as a novelist.

2011 Was

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I am a great fan of the symbolic. For whatever reason, the symbolism of New Year’s — an arbitrary moment chosen to begin anew — is profoundly powerful for me. A year is a good unit of time: short enough to be measurable and memorable, but long enough to get a sense of trends and developments. It’s a time to make course-corrections, and to see if my life is where I’d like it to be — and, if not, to figure out what actions are within my power to bring my dream life into line with my real life. (Of course, there’s no fighting the external and the unexpected, and conversely, no use fretting over such things: I do my best these days to worry about things I can, loosely speaking, actually control. Or at least influence.) It’s also a time to celebrate achievements, assuming I had any.

So, as always, a look back at my past year, with a particular emphasis on writing stuff, because that’s where most of my energy goes.

I wrote about 370,000 words of fiction and non-fiction (that doesn’t count blog posts, e-mails, or the thousands of words I write monthly at my day job — just books, stories, articles, reviews, etc.).

Most of those words went toward novels. I completed a pseudonymous work-for-hire novel in the spring; wrote the entirety of my roleplaying game tie-in City of the Fallen Sky over the summer; completed my new Marla Mason novel Grim Tides this fall; and have written about 50,000 words of another pseudonymous book this winter (though this one is original, not a tie-in or work-for-hire). I didn’t quite manage to write four entire novels this year, but it was a near thing. I also did revisions and copyedits and so on for various novels written previously, including Venom In Her Veins and Briarpatch.

I wrote some short stories which I subsequently sold: “The Carved Forest” (forthcoming in an anthology); “We Go Back” (an original commissioned by Escape Pod); “The Secret Beach” (published in Fantasy Magazine); “Ill Met in Ulthar” (forthcoming in an anthology); and “A Fairy Tale of Oakland” (an audio original commissioned by Drabblecast.) With my wife Heather Shaw I co-wrote “The Ghost of Christmas Possible” (audio original commissioned by Podcastle.) I also wrote “The Haunted Mech Suit,” which isn’t sold yet, but is out on submission.

I sold other books, too, most notably an anthology called Rags and Bones, co-edited with the marvelous Melissa Marr, which should be in bookstores in 2013. I also sold audio rights to my self-published novels Broken Mirrors and Bone Shop to Audible, which is awesome — especially since they commissioned original covers by Daniel Dos Santos! Also sold a couple of those work-for-hire books. Maybe my best year ever in terms of books sold. (I tell you, my career has really taken off ever since it crashed and burned after I got dumped by Random House. I’ve been really busy since I became a failure.)

I published a few things this year. The big one was my novel Briarpatch, which has been very well-received critically, to my great pleasure. (The book means a lot to me.) In addition to the stories mentioned above, I also published “A Void Wrapped in a Smile” in Basement Stories; “Antiquities and Tangibles” in Subterranean; “The Alphabet Quartet” (suite of 26 flash stories in collaboration with Jenn Reese, Heather Shaw, and Greg van Eekhout) in Daily Science Fiction, published one per week from January – June 2011; “Hell’s Lottery” in Bull Spec; “Little Better than a Beast” in Those Who Fight Monsters; “Shark’s Teeth” in Daily Science Fiction; and “Our Stars, Our Selves” in Welcome to Bordertown (that was kind of a dream come true, as I loved the Bordertown series as a teen). My poem “Lion Heart” appeared at Apex magazine — the first poem I’ve published in ages.

A bunch of my stories were reprinted (or rather published in audio form) at assorted podcasts — “Terrible Ones,” “On a Blade of Grass,” “Hart and Boot”, “From Around Here”… others I’m forgetting, too, I suspect. Podcasts have become a huge part of my career, and many of them reach audiences larger than those of the major genre magazines. The future is an odd and wonderful place. I sold some print reprints, too, though not as many.

Remarkably, there were even developments at my day job (I’m senior editor at A Certain Magazine). I wrote a few book reviews, after a couple of years of not reading much SF/Fantasy at all. I conducted a couple of interviews for A Certain Magazine, solo, which I’d never done before — I sat down with Nick Mamatas, and with Sarah Pinborough. (You’ll be able to read both interviews next year.)

I ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund my Marla Mason novel Grim Tides, with a goal of raising $6,000. I raised over $11,000. My fans are the greatest people in the world.

I got into self-publishing some more, putting up a bunch of single stories for sale in various e-book formats, mostly. Thanks to Jenn Reese of Tiger Bright Studios for doing a bunch of awesome e-book covers for me. Keep her in mind for your cover designing needs; she rocks. At my agent’s prompting, I looked into the ACX audiobook exchange, where authors can connect with producers and narrators to create audiobooks, and we made a deal with the amazing Mary Robinette Kowal to narrate an audiobook of my debut novel The Strange Adventures of Rangergirl. With luck, it’ll be available next year.

I got to see the first film adaptation of my work, a short film by Israeli director Shir Comay, based on my story “Impossible Dreams” (it’s fantastic). I optioned my short story “Morris and the Machine” to an indie filmmaker. My beloved producer and friend Anne Rodman renewed her option on the Marla Mason series (and those wheels are still turning, though Hollywood is a strange and vast place full of dangers, so I expect nothing).

Okay, okay, non-writing things!

My three-year-old became a four-year-old. Fatherhood continues to be pretty awesome. His glaucoma is under control — and he’s old enough now that he doesn’t have to be anesthetized in order to have his eye pressures checked, which is huge and good. He got stitches for the first time, after getting a cut over his eye. (He’s precocious; I was seven years old before I got stitches.) The kid swam with dolphins! He learned to count to 100! He can spell his name! He is generally fantastic. Such a great kid. One of the best parts of my life.

My wife started working full-time at A Certain Magazine (as a bookkeeper, mostly, though like everyone there, she does various things). Having her at my workplace is awesome, and our financial terror has gone from constant to intermittent (mostly around quarterly tax payment time), which is a nice change.

I did a bit of traveling. I went with my wife and kid to Southern California, as I was invited to be on a panel at the Literary Orange festival at UC Irvine. (The opportunity to take the boy to Disneyland, accompanied by our dear friend Jenn, may also have been a factor in our decision to make the trip.) I went to Worldcon in Reno, and later to the World Fantasy Convention in San Diego, both with my wife and kid. I got to meet a few of my editors (James Sutter and Fleetwood Robbins and Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi) in person, which was great.

I took a week-long family vacation to the Big Island of Hawai’i (though it was partly a research trip for Grim Tides), and it was marvelous, except for my kid’s ear infection and my wife’s strep throat…. Other fun things that involved leaving my house: the Solano Stroll (my kid loves a street fair); the Eat Real Festival (my favorite annual excuse to wander around eating everything that looks yummy); reading at the LitCrawl portion of LitQuake; doing a talk about self-publishing and crowdfunding for a college class; a couple of memorable special occasion dinners with my adorable wife.

I sure like video games. I started the year playing a ton of The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion, and the end of the year playing lots of The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim. It’s pretty much the perfect series for my tastes as a gamer. Portal 2 was also super fun.

I got seriously into making popsicles over the summer. Both boozy popsicles and non-boozy. My chocolate popsicles are awesome. This is not arrogance; this is merely fact.

I read around 175 books (that’s approximate — I lost my list of books read when my computer hard drive dramatically died. Didn’t have a backup of that file for some reason, so I’m reconstructing from my library account history, etc.) That sounds like a lot, but it includes a ton of comic collections/graphic novels, which I read fast, and more re-reads than usual…. I had some nostalgia for old favorite books this year, and dipped back into some Stephen King and Terry Pratchett favorites.

All in all: a pretty great year. Too much work, and not enough play, but I’ll keep adjusting the ratios.

Lately, my kid has been talking a lot about what he wants to be when he grows up. He’s asked me what I wanted to be when I was a kid, and I told him: a writer. Which is what I am, despite taking a few knocks along the way. I really am living my dream life. Oh, there are bad particulars — I’ve had some unpleasant experiences this year in the publishing business (some at least partly my fault, some the fault of others), and there have been illnesses I could have done without, and certainly a fair share of simply bad days — but the overall arc of my life is moving in a good direction. My usual wish at the beginning of a new year is a line from that old Counting Crows song: “Maybe this year will be better than the last.” But this time, I’d be happy if this year is merely as good as the last.

Hark! Christmas Stories!

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

I have two holiday stories for your holiday listenings! In audio even! The first, “The Ghost of Christmas Possible,” is co-written with my lovely wife Heather Shaw, and is online at PodCastle. This is our “A Christmas Carol”/Ghost-finder mash-up, in which Ebenezer Scrooge seeks the assistance of a young occultist to save him from the Three Spirits.

The second is “A Fairy Tale of Oakland,” written solo, and online now at The Drabblecast. Technically, it is not a Xmas story. It’s actually a Krampusnacht story.

Go, listen, may your hearts be merry and bright!

Light in Dark Places

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

NaNo: Nothing on Monday, nothing on Tuesday. On that book, I mean. I did actually complete revisions to City of the Fallen Sky, which included writing another 2500 words or so of new and bridging material, but it’s not on the NaNo book, so it doesn’t count. And the next couple/few days will be devoted to line-editing Grim Tides so I can send it to my copyeditor before I leave town on Sunday. Sigh and sigh and sigh…

Skyrim: Joined the Thieves’ Guild. Oddly, while I feel no qualms about burglary, or even just straight-up assassinating people, I do feel guilty shaking down shopkeepers and mugging people and running protection schemes. This is probably indicative of some profound derangement. I mean, that kind of stuff just seems petty. But I need a fence to buy all the stuff I steal, so there you go. The game is generally impressing me a lot. Leveling is less tedious than it was in Oblivion, and there’s more variety in the dungeons — I went into a cavern last night that had a hole in the roof, allowing in enough sunlight for a small forest to grow in its depths, and it was beautiful. And I enjoy sniping car-sized spiders and then, when they chase me, tricking them into flame traps. Super fun.

Real life: Hanging out with the kid, of course. He’s been especially sweet lately, and is so excited about Thanksgiving and our vacation that he’s pretty much vibrating at all times. It’s great to see him happy.

How do you like those apples?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

NaNo Update: Wrote 2,500 words or so yesterday — a bit on my lunch break, the rest in the evening. A creepy pathologist has given his creepy opinion on a creepy medical mystery, and the subject of necromancy has been broached. Today I get to write someone running for her life and kicking robots. (Kicking robots is a futile thing; it hurts your foot, and doesn’t much bother the robot.)

Last night I started reading King’s 11/22/63, and it’s totally engaging so far. I’m not particularly interested in the Kennedy assassination, but that doesn’t matter; it’s weird time travel! And more importantly, it’s Stephen King. I’m pretty much a wholly non-critical reader when it comes to King, maybe because I started reading him so young. I just fall into his books completely and bob happily along. Even his books that didn’t make a huge impression on me, that I wouldn’t bother to re-read (Dolores Claiborne, Gerald’s Game) are entirely engrossing on my first time through. I could easily do nothing else today but read that book… except my to-do list involves going grocery shopping, going to the library, cleaning house, playing with my kid, writing more, etc. etc. etc.

I have deemed things autumnal enough to make my famous apple onion parsnip carrot soup. Here is the “recipe” (keeping in mind that, with soups, I just kinda put stuff in until it tastes good):

Brown a pound or so of sliced sweet italian sausage in olive oil. Add chopped peeled carrots, peeled apples, onion, and parsnips, and saute until the onions are translucent. Add maybe half a dark beer and a generous splash of apple cider vinegar. Bring to a boil and let some of the liquid evaporate. Add chicken or veggie broth until it’s as soupy as you like. Simmer a while. Season with rosemary. Serve with crusty bread or even sandwiches of sharp cheddar cheese. (How many of each veggie and what kind of apple to use is a matter of personal taste — I’d do maybe two carrots, a couple parsnips, a couple of Granny Smith apples, one good-sized onion.)


Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

NaNo Update: I wrote about 1650 words on my Secret Forbidden Mystery Project of Mystery (hereafter “SFMPM”) last night, bringing my total word count to 11,500ish out of an estimated 90-100K total. Hey, it’s a tenth of a book! (Of course, it was pretty much a tenth of a book already.) It took me a few hours to generate those words, because I was reading through the existing chapters, making tweaks, cutting bits and adding bits, expanding scenes, and etc. Nothing truly new was written, but many things were clarified, and I started doing foreshadowing for some of the last-third reveals I have in mind. Given that I first wrote the proposal for this book in 2009 (it took a while to sell), I couldn’t just dive right in to writing new scenes — I needed to immerse myself in the voice of the book again, and revising the first 10K was a good way to go about it. I’m going to try to set aside an hour a day, every day, to work on this book. If I can do that, the deadline may not kill me.

On an unrelated note, my poem “Lion Heart” is up at Apex magazine, in the first issue under the editorship of Lynne M. Thomas, who asked me to write a poem. (The poem is kind of super depressing, though there’s a gleam of hope too, I think. Ever since I had a kid, the thought of losing a child has shot to the top of my nightmare list, and for poetry, well — sometimes you have to consider your nightmares.) It’s a great issue overall. If you like what you read, support the magazine by subscribing and so on.

Not Exactly NaNoWriMo

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I’m not really doing NaNoWriMo, I mean, officially, for a few reasons. For one, I already wrote 10,000 words or so of the book for the proposal, so it’s not really the “fresh start” that NaNoWriMo encourages. For another, it’s a pseudonymous book and I’m supposed to keep my authorship under wraps for now. So I can’t talk too much about it, or be as public as I might be otherwise.

BUT! I am going to endeavor to write 50K new words on the book this month, so I’m NaNoWriMoing in spirit, y’all, and will try to post here with daily with updates, at least until I go on vacation on November 27 — I will have little to no internet access that week, though I’ll keep writing a bit, if I haven’t hit 50K by then.

Good luck to everyone embarking on this crazy novel-writing extravaganza!


Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Busy times. My wife Heather Shaw and I are collaborating on a Christmas story, tentatively titled “The Curious Case of A Christmas Carol” — it’s our “Christmas Carol/Ghost Finder” mash-up. (We couldn’t actually use Hodgson’s Carnacki the Ghost Finder as a character, since the events of A Christmas Carol take place too early, but we have a Carnacki-esque occultist). It’s pretty much done — we just need to add a couple of scenes to the middle and tweak the ending a bit. The story was commissioned as an audio original, but I’ll hold off on further details until it’s turned in and accepted! Heather and I haven’t collaborated in a few years, so it’s fun to be working together on a project again.

I’m doing the LitCrawl portion of LitQuake this Saturday night, so come to the Borderlands Cafe at 8:30 to hear me read, along with other exciting people like Seanan McGuire (in her Mira Grant guise) and Steven Boyett and Kirsten Imani Kasai. I’ll probably be there early, to hear the previous batch of readers next door in the bookstore itself. (And earlier that afternoon I’ll be on a panel talking about crowdfunding to a group of graduate students just a few blocks away. It will be a busy Saturday.)

I’m told Briarpatch is on front tables at at least some Barnes & Noble locations this month (whoo!), though I haven’t been to the local B&N yet to see for myself. Very nice to see the publisher getting behind the title with that kind of promotion, though. If you haven’t bought it yet, please do! It has a magical car and a weird ghost and a chrome shotgun and philosophical underpinnings and a guy who is magically granted a sense of smell! Also bears.

Order from Amazon, or from Barnes and Noble, or from Powell’s