Tim Pratt
SF and Fantasy Writer

Archive for the ‘Exhortations to BUY’ Category

Start Your Morning with a Giant Eel

Monday, January 9th, 2012

It’s Monday, and that means: a new chapter of Grim Tides! Chapter 3: “A Conversation with Koona.” It’s about Marla and Rondeau visiting an oracle. I love oracles. Go, read, tell your friends if you like it, etc.

One nice thing about doing a serial novel is it encourages me to update here at least weekly.

In other linkages:

I tend to link mostly to book or magazine-related Kickstarter projects, but I do have other passions, like gourmet popsicles: so consider supporting the Little Bee Pops kickstarter. A delicious small business!

My wife Heather Shaw, who used to edit erotica magazine Fishnet, tells me that one of the authors she frequently published there has an erotica e-book collection for sale: Four Fantasies by Matthew Addison. (The cover features, like, stockings and part of a butt, so don’t click if you’re someplace where viewing such things is a problem.) Apparently it’s hardcore and literary with some fantasy elements, so if that’s your boat, go float it.

Writing:

I broke 75K on my current novel-in-progress on Sunday. (I can’t tell you much about the book; it’s pseudonymous, but I may be able to out myself as the author in the future.) Another eight (or maybe ten or twelve) thousand words will finish off the first draft, I think, so it should be a book this week! Of course, it’s an unusually messy book, but I’ll have the rest of the month to clean it up.

Life:

A wonderful weekend! Our friend Anne came over and hung out with us on Saturday, out in the back yard (the weather is essentially summer-like here, it’s bizarre), then stayed for dinner. That was great fun. On Sunday morning, I took the kid out to a playground, where he rode his tricycle in furious Mister Toad style, and we played chase (which is like tag but less, uh, formal?) and played in the sandbox. Afterward we encountered some local kids with a lemonade stand. (Yeah, in January. See above re: summerlike.) The boy was just captivated by the notion of having a lemonade stand, so his mom helped him make lemonade in the afternoon, and we played lemonade stand in the kitchen. (Me: “Can I have some lemonade?” Him: “It costs money.” Me: “Here’s a nickel.” Him: “No. 75 cents.”)

Beautiful weather, good friends, time with my wife and kid, and about 9,000 words of writing. That’s pretty much all I want out of any weekend ever.

Stories. For your buyings.

Friday, November 18th, 2011

NaNo: Another late writing session last night netted me about 1450 words. It’s deadline week at my day job, and the last couple of days in the schedule are always rough, and tend to turn my brain to mush by the time I get home. It’s remarkable I got any writing done at all, and since this is deadline day itself, tonight I may accomplish nothing. (I would not be surprised to work an 11 or 12 hour day today, though I hope we finish before that.)

Last night I… sat around a bit, in a mush-brained state. Played some Skyrim, walking up 7,000 steps to the top of a mountain and killing an ice troll along the way. (There’s something satisfying about spraying torrents of flame from each hand into the face of some virtual indigenous wildlife.)

I have posted some e-books to the Amazon Kindle store (BN.com will follow shortly). Some 99-cent stories for your reading pleasure:

“Little Better than a Beast,” a Marla Mason story, featuring time-traveling monsters and sexist jerks.

“Mommy Issues of the Dead,” another Marla story, this one set early in her career, when a semi-evil sorcerer hires her to plant a bomb inside a rival… who happens to be his brother. Soon Marla gets entangled in a truly dysfunctional family feud.

“The Christmas Mummy,” by Heather Shaw and I, a heartwarming holiday tale of mummies, ninjas, and other things.

“Rangifer Volans,” a very cryptozoological Christmas story, about the quest for that most elusive of all cryptids: the flying reindeer.

LitCrawling

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

Reasons To Be Generous

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Some of you gave to my Kickstarter. Isn’t kickstartering addictive? Here are some interesting projects by wonderful people you might consider supporting:

North Carolina-based SF magazine Bull Spec has just three days left in their fundraiser to pay for their third year. (I’ve published work there, and hope to again!) They do great work, and are worthy of your support.

Tobias S. Buckell is doing a Kickstarter for The Apocalypse Ocean, latest novel in his Xenowealth series. Toby’s in kind of the same situation I was — he had a series from a major publisher, and though that publisher has declined to do further books, he still has stories to tell set in that universe, and fans who want to read them. He’s got 22 days to go.

Mary Anne Mohanraj is running a Kickstarter for Demi-Monde, an erotic SF story suite, which has a couple of weeks to go. Mary Anne’s a legend, writer of one of the first blogs on the ‘net (back when they were called online journals or diaries), author of SF and erotica and literary fiction, and founder of more magazines and literary organizations than you’d believe. (Also a hell of a cook, but that’s not really relevant here.)

Speaking of Mary Anne… she was the founder and original editor-in-chief of online magazine Strange Horizons, which published some of my earliest stories. (And has published me more recently too. I should send ’em more stories.) SH is running their fall fundraiser right now. (Not on Kickstarter, but hey: giving is giving.) They’ve been publishing great fiction, poetry, and reviews for over a decade — but they can’t keep doing it without your help.

Take a look, and help put the “fun” in “crowdfunding!” (And also the “fund.” That part’s important too.)

Antiquation

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

My novelette “Antiquities and Tangibles” is up at Subterranean. This is the “happiness story” I’ve mentioned before, and I think it’s one of the better things I’ve written in a while. Read it, please. I hope you like it.

There’s a good review of Welcome to Bordertown at Strange Horizons. Nice words:

Tim Pratt rocks the hell out of “Our Stars, Our Selves,” wherein Allie Land, lesbian lead singer of the outfit “Allison Wonderland” is hilariously pursued by a poser elf-lord… Pratt’s prose sizzles.

Yeah, I’ll take that.

Briarpatch is available in e-book form! In assorted delicious formats!

The Big Day

Thursday, September 15th, 2011

This is a big day:

The Kickstarter for Grim Tides ends at a minute before midnight tonight. This is it. Now or never time. (Well, okay, I’m sure I’ll have a PayPal button up when it’s serialized, for anyone who wants to give then. But why wait?)

And: My new book Briarpatch is out today (in theory; it’s still listed as pre-order status at some sites, but order it anyway, and it oughta be along soon). You can order a copy at Amazon or Powell’s or a bunch of other places. Please do. This is my baby. Most ambitious thing I’ve ever published. I want people to read it.

And: Quarterly estimated taxes are due today. Farewell, savings account! Nice knowing you!

Gettin’ My Stroll On

Monday, September 12th, 2011

Busy weekend. I had lunch with Nick Mamatas on Saturday, then interviewed him for a future issue of A Certain Magazine. It was my first time interviewing an author (though I’ve sat in on a few interviews), and I think it went all right. Nick doesn’t hesitate to voice strong opinions (I know! You’re shocked!), which helps.

Heather took our son to the circus that morning, so when they got back in the afternoon, I gave her a reprieve from parenting, and the boy and I went for a long walk, stopping for ice cream cones and then trekking to Totland in North Berkeley, where he played with appropriate frenzy. (I realized later that, with the trip to lunch and back, and to Totland and back, I walked seven miles on Saturday. I like walking.)

We went to the Solano Stroll on Sunday. (It’s a fairly epic street fair.) The kid rode lots of rides, and rode his first pony, and we all ate the sort of food that one generally enjoys in the moment and only later comes to regret — garlic fries, Italian sausage, greasy pizza slices, etc. Heather’s Aikido school was there, so she and the kid did a fair amount of flipping around and somersaulting on the mat while I finished reading Hunter S. Thompson’s The Curse of Lono. (I might have to give his Samoan war club a cameo in my next novel.) A pleasant afternoon all ’round.

Didn’t write a ton (obviously, being busy), but I managed to finish chapter four of Grim Tides. This book has my favorite villain ever.

And speaking of: only three days left for the Grim Tides Kickstarter. Prizes, people! You can get prizes!

New Marla Mason Audiobooks Available Today!

Tuesday, September 6th, 2011

You can now download the audiobook versions of Bone Shop and Broken Mirrors at Audible.com! Go forth and buy! (If enough people do, maybe they’ll publish Grim Tides too when the time comes…)

Bone Shop Audible Cover

Broken Mirrors Audible Cover

Grim Tides Kickstarter Launched (and Funded)

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

This entry is going to have a slightly different tone than I’d anticipated…

Yesterday I launched a Kickstarter fundraiser for Grim Tides, the proposed sixth full-length Marla Mason novel. I didn’t do an entry about it yesterday because I just didn’t have time — I was at the doctor with the kid until early afternoon (he got a checkup for his glaucoma, and everything looks great), then playing catch-up at work. I figured I’d tweet about the fundraiser and write to my mailing list of past donors on the first day, and just do a journal entry on day two.

The fundraising goal was $6,000. (Not an entirely arbitrary number; it’s about what I could get for doing another work-for-hire book or pseudonymous novel, so it was the amount I needed to justify writing a Marla book instead of chasing down another job.)

I got fully funded in just about 13 hours. So the book is definitely happening; I hope to begin serializing chapters very early in the new year.

The fundraiser is running until September 15. (I did not expect to meet my goal in a single day.) I am still happy to accept donations, of course, and there are various neat prizes to be had, as you’ll see if you check out the Kickstarter page. So while I’ll still exhort you to tell your friends, and donate if you can, it doesn’t have quite the sense of urgency I’ve anticipated.

I get to write this book. It will be awesome. Full of monsters and heroism and betrayal and sand and sharks and lava and resort hotels and possessed people and dispossessed gods. Thanks to everyone who made it — who are currently making it! — possible for me to continue this series. I couldn’t be happier.

Voids and Briars

Friday, August 5th, 2011

It’s been a busy year. I’ve written 210,000 words since January 1 — that’s two full novels (City of the Fallen Sky and a pseudonymous book), plus a story or two and some miscellaneous non-fiction. I can take off most of August without needed to feel guilty about it. Though in practice I don’t think I’ll actually be lazy for more than another week at most. I like writing; once my brain is less exhausted, it’ll start generating ideas again, whether I want it to or not.

Let’s see, some things on the horizon. I signed the sig sheets for the limited edition of Briarpatch — the most times I’ve consecutively signed my name in my life. The limited is no longer available, I understand, but the trade paperback is available for pre-order: you can get it at Amazon, or via Powell’s, or from a whole slew of places listed at the publisher’s website.

I also have a story coming out in newish online magazine Basement Stories at the end of the month. “A Void Wrapped in a Smile” is a standalone story, but it’s also sort of a Marla Mason story (though Marla appears in only one scene, and is a very minor character here). It’s a story about the villainous lovetalker Joshua Kindler. “Void” doesn’t necessarily make him seem any less villainous, but it does, I hope, make his villainy more understandable. (This story was originally written for a very generous Broken Mirrors donor who gave me a lot of money in exchange for writing a story about a character of their choice. They got a limited-edition-of-one chapbook containing the story. We were both pretty pleased with how it came out, and I’m glad the rest of you will get to read it soon!)