I’m Going To Be A Text Book!

In quite possibly some of the coolest news to happen to me in the last year, Michael Cichon, professor of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance Studies at the University of Saskatchewan, will be using Thunder Road in his “Beowulf and Tales of Northern Heroes” class.

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I am absolutely thrilled by this unexpected turn (let’s hope Mike’s students are also). I’d write more, but I’m still kind of speechless.

Academic respectability…whoda thunk it?

 

Last Recommended Reading Post For A While…

Aside

My previous recommended reading post featured all Canadian authors, but I did read a bit outside of my nation in 2012. In the spirit of fairness, here is some work I really enjoyed by American and U.K. writers.

  • Folly of the World, Jesse Bullington. Orbit Books, December 2012
  • The Steel Seraglio, Mike Carey, Linda Carey, Louise Carey. CZP, April 2012
  • Silver, Rhiannon Held. Tor Books, June 2012
  • Libriomancer, Jim C. Hines. DAW, August 2012
  • The Warlock’s Curse, M.K. Hobson. Tesla, October 2012
  • Soul Trade, Caitlin Kittredge. St. Martin’s Press, September 2012
  • Greatshadow, James Maxey. Solaris Books, January 2012.
  • Discount Armageddon, Seanan McGuire. DAW Books, March 2012
  • Forged in Fire, J.A. Pitts. Tor Books, June 2012
  • This is Why You Fear Me, Robert Shearman. CZP, November 2012
  • A Pretty Mouth, Molly Tanzer. Lazy Fascist September 2012

Most of the short fiction I read in 2012 was Canadian, but here’s a couple of American standouts from Fungi:

  • “Last Bloom on the Sage”, Andrew Penn Romine, Fungi, Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Orrin Grey eds., Innsmouth Free Press, December 2012
  • “Tubby McMungus, Fat From Fungus”, Molly Tanzer & Jesse Bullington, Fungi, Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Orrin Grey eds., Innsmouth Free Press, December 2012

Some Prix Aurora Award Recommendations

The Prix Aurora Awards are Canada’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Awards. They’ve been celebrating Canada’s literature of the fantastic for over thirty years. They are administered by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association (CSFFA). I’ve been behind these things as long as I’ve been aware of them, encouraging people to nominate and vote.

More to the point, the Auroras deserve to be broadly known, as they celebrate the best of Canadian Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror, and Canada’s practitioners of such are among the best in the world. Best, is of course subjective, but in the case of the Auroras, we’re talking about the books, stories, poems that readers and fans felt were the best.

Here is a list of eligible works. If there’s a story you love that’s Canadian and not on the list, please add it, so that other readers might find it too.

I’m still undecided on my final nominations, I still have a lot of reading to do! But here is a list of works from 2012 that I’ve really enjoyed so far:

Novels:

  • Gethsemane Hall, David Annandale. Dundurn, August 2012
  • Thirteen, Kelley Armstrong. Random House Canada, July 2012
  • Something Secret This Way Comes, Sierra Dean, Samhain, April 2012
  • Blue Magic, A.M. Dellamonica. Tor Books, April 2012
  • Food for the Gods, Karen Dudley. Ravenstone Books, October 2012
  • A Tree of Bones, Gemma Files. CZP, May 2012
  • Queen of Thorns, Dave Gross. Paizo, October 2012
  • Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombies, James Marshall. CZP, May 2012
  • Rasputin’s Bastards, David Nickle, CZP, June 2012
  • Husk, Corey Redekop. ECW, October 2012
  • Triggers, Robert J. Sawyer. Penguin, April 2012

Short Fiction:

  • “Spirits Rising”, Krista D. Ball. Amazon Digital Services, January 2012
  • “Mistress of the Pearl Dragon”, Shen Braun, Shanghai Steam, Ace Jordyn, Calvin D. JIm & Rennee Bennett, eds., EDGE, October 2012
  • “Village of Good Fortune”, Shen Braun, On Spec #89, Summer 2012
  • “Synch Me, Kiss Me, Drop”, Suzanne Church, Clarkesworld, Issue #68, May 2012
  • “To Go Home to Leal”, Susan Forest, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue #94, May 2012
  • “Blink”, Michael Kelly, Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, Mark Leslie ed., EDGE, September 2012
  • “Fingernails”, J.Y.T. Kenneydy, Danse Macabre, Nancy Kilpatrick ed., EDGE, October 2012
  • “Big Guy and Little Guy’s Survivalist Adventure”, Claude Lalumière, Fungi (Hardcover Edition Only), Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Orrin Grey, eds., Innsmouth Free Press, December 2012
  • “Old Soul”, Adria Laycraft, Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, Mark Leslie ed., EDGE, September 2012
  • “The Day the Music Died”, Randy McCharles, Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, Mark Leslie ed., EDGE, September 2012
  • ”Blessed“, Helen Marshall, Hair Side, Flesh Side, CZP, November 2012
  • “Blue-Black Night”, Tim Reynolds, Danse Macabre, Nancy Kilpatrick ed., EDGE, October 2012
  • “Out of the Blue”, Ian Rogers, Fungi, Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Orrin Grey, eds., Innsmouth Free Press, December 2012
  • “Where Dead Men Go to Dream”, A.C. Wise, Fungi, Silvia Moreno-Garcia & Orrin Grey, eds., Innsmouth Free Press, December 2012
  • “The Hill Where Thorvald Slew Ten Skraelings”, Regan WolfromOn Spec #88, Spring 2012

Poetry:

  • “Zombie Descartes Writes a Personal Ad”, Carolyn Clink, Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, Mark Leslie ed., EDGE, September 2012
  • “Zombie Poet”, Carolyn Clink, Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, Mark Leslie ed., EDGE, September 2012
  • “Leda’s Daughter”, Helen MarshallAbyss & Apex, Issue 41, January 2012
  • “Roc”, Sandra Kasturi, Come Late to the Love of Birds, Tightrope Books, November 2012
  • “Svartálfar Rising”, Barry KingIdeomancer Speculative Fiction, 11.3, September 2012

Graphic Novels:

  • Frankenstein Agent of S.H.A.D.E. Volume 1 War of the Monsters, Jeff Lemire & Alberto Ponticelli, DC Comics, June 2012
  • Green Wake Volume 2 Lost Children, Kurtis J. Wiebe & Riley Rossmo, Image Comics, May 2012
  • Peter Panzerfaust Volume 1 The Great Escape, By Kurtis J. Wiebe & Tyler Jenkins, Image Comics, September 2012
  • Raygun Gothic, GMB Chomichuk, Alchemical Press, November 2012

The Best Related Work category is a pretty big catch-all, including (amongst other things) Magazines, Anthologies, Single Author collections and Critical works.

Magazines:

  • ChiZine (Chiaroscuro: Treatments of Light and Shade in Words), Brett Alexander Savory, ed.CZP
  • Ideomancer Speculative FictionLeah Bobet, ed.
  • Innsmouth MagazineSilvia Moreno-Garcia & Paula R. Stiles, eds., Innsmouth Free Press
  • Neo-Opsis Science Fiction Magazine, Karl Johanson, ed.
  • On Spec, Diane Walton, ed., Copper Pig Writer’s Society
  • Shadows & Tall TreesMichael Kelly, ed., Undertow Publications

Anthologies:

  • Blood and Water, Hayden Trenholm ed., Bundoran Press, August 2012
  • FungiSilvia Moreno-Garcia & Orrin Grey, eds., Innsmouth Free Press, December 2012
  • Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing, Sandra Kasturi & Halli Villegas, eds., CZP, July 2012
  • Shanghai SteamAce Jordyn, Calvin D. Jim & Renee Bennett, eds., EDGE, November 2012
  • Tesseracts Sixteen: Parnassus Unbound, Mark Leslie ed., EDGE, September 2012
  • The 3rd Circle – Election: Volume Three of the Tenth Circle Project, Eileen Bell & Ryan T. McFadden, eds., The 10th Circle Project, February 2012
  • The 4th Cricle – Course Correction: Volume Four of the Tenth Circle Project, Eileen Bell & Ryan T. McFadden, eds., The 10th Circle Project, July 2012

Single Author collections:

  • Sandra Kasturi, Come Late to the Love of Birds, Tightrope Books, November 2012
  • Helen Marshall, Hair Side, Flesh Side, CZP, November 2012
  • Ian Rogers, Every House is Haunted, CZP, October 2012

Artists:

  • GMB Chomichuk, Raygun Gothic
  • Erik Mohr, Cover Art, Chizine Publications

I’d like to give a big shout out in the Fan Organizational category to Peter Halasz for an amazing World Fantasy Convention, and to Randy McCharles for the continuing excellence of When Words Collide. Both Derek Newman-Stille’s Speculating Canada blog (Best Fan Publication) and Michael Matheson’s, compilation and maintenance of the Can Spec Fiction List (Best Fan Related) made huge contributions to Canadian speculative fiction in 2012.

And if you’ve read this far, and are so inclined to keep reading, here’s a post about my eligible works from 2012.

For Your Consideration: AKA The Inevitable January Awards Eligibility Post

I have totally snurched the body of this post from writing pal Karen Dudley (with her permission, of course).

January 1st marked the start of the Aurora Awards nominations and the Hugo Award nominations. The Nebula Award nominations are already underway (for members of SFWA) as are the World Fantasy Award nominations. If you are one of those nominating or thinking about nominating works for science fiction/fantasy-related awards, I ask you to consider the following for Best Novel:

Thunder Road, Ravenstone, September 2012

Some reviews:

“Ginther handles both the mythic and human aspects of Thunder Road with considerable skill… Thunder Road is a fast-paced, thoughtful novel, and news that it’s the first in a trilogy is welcome indeed.” – Quill and Quire

“…delivers fast-paced action and witty dialogue as our heroic trio battle unnatural and vulgar forces.” – Winnipeg Free Press:

“Unique and brilliantly crafted, Thunder Road leaves the reader salivating for the next book in this trilogy…” – The Winnipeg Review:

“In Thunder Road, Chadwick Ginther opens a doorway to the mythical in the modern world, letting his reader almost believe that at the edges of our reality, in the most mundane of places, there lurks the remnants and lingering presence of the Otherworld….” – Speculating Canada

You can read the prologue of Thunder Road on the excerpts page of my website.

I also published two short stories in 2012:

“First They Came for the Pigs,” FungiInnsmouth Free Press, Silvia Moreno-Garcia and Orrin Grey, editors. December 2012

“Back in Black,” Tesseracts 16: Parnassus UnboundEDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy, Mark Leslie, editor. September 2012

So, who can nominate a work?

Well, for the Aurora Awards, you must be a member of CSFFA in order nominate. To be a member of CSFFA there is now a $10 membership fee. Memberships are good for the calendar year no matter when they are purchased. Nominations must be submitted by April 15, 2013. Look here for more information on the Auroras:  http://www.prixaurorawards.ca/Membership//  And do read Michael Matheson’s (of the Friends of the Merrill Library Short Story Contest) blog post, he has some interesting words on the “no award” option of the Aurora ballot.

For the World Fantasy Award, all registered members of the 2011 World Fantasy Convention in California, the 2012 World Fantasy Convention in Toronto and the 2013 event in Brighton are eligible to vote before the deadline (which is May 31, 2013).  For more information, go to http://www.wfc2013.org/wfballot01.html

For the Hugo Award, any person who was or is a member of the 2012, 2013, or 2014 Worldcons as of January 31, 2013, is eligible to nominate for the 2013 Hugo Awards. If you are not a member of any of those conventions, you can join LoneStarCon 3 or Loncon 3, the 2014 Worldcon, before January 31, 2013 to become eligible. You can find more information at http://www.thehugoawards.org/

For the Nebula Award, you must be a member of the SFWA, and you must nominate the work before February 15, 2013. Check out http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/how-to-vote/ for more information

Coming soon, a post full of works I’ve read and loved over the last year, so this site isn’t all about me (for once).

Write on!

Guest Post: Clare C. Marshall on Writing the Bad Guy

Please welcome back to the blog, Clare Marshall!

It’s been a year since her first YA novel, Within, was published, and I’m a part of her celebratory blog tour. Today, Clare talks about writing the bad guy:

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It’s not every story that we get to hear from the bad guy.

If you’ve never heard of my book before, here’s a brief synopsis. It’s about a girl named Trinity who gets in a car accident, and as a result, has brain damage. But then she starts uncontrollably writing a novel, streamlining the consciousness of a murderer who turns out to be very real. It’s up to Trinity’s boyfriend Zack, and Trinity’s best friend Ellie to determine who the murderer is before he finds them—and he’s closer to home than they realize. Plus, the book takes place in the very real city of Halifax.

Within is written in third person with multiple POVs, and one of those POVs is the psychotic murderer, named Edmund. Now, Edmund fancies himself a clever man, and in many ways, he is quite clever. He likes to prey upon the weak-minded to help him with his schemes–aka, murdering those he considers to be impure–ethnic minorities and homeless people especially. He makes up a fake god named Omnus, who demands sacrifice, and grants power to his followers for each kill. In reality, during the convoluted killing ritual that Edmund has concocted, he serves wine laced with a powerful hallucinogenic to his followers.

But why, you might be asking, why would it be necessary to have Edmund go through all this song and dance just to kill people? Why can’t he just stab his victims in an alleyway? A couple of reasons: first of all, that would be too boring for him. It’s about the chase: picking out his victims according to his specific code of twisted ethics, and capturing them, taking them to his secret lair beneath the Halifax Common. The Commons (as it’s locally known) is a park in Halifax that you really don’t want to go around at night. Or at least, when I lived in Halifax, it wasn’t a place you wanted to be after dark, alone.

It’s also about the control Edmund has over the people gullible enough to buy into his charade. His followers become addicted to the feeling of power that he gives them. His dark rituals take place in caverns beneath the Commons, so he can hide his face from the public and practice his guilty pleasures. The more involved his devotees become, the more they have to lose.

And because Edmund prefers this kind of chase, this kind of control, he needs his followers to help him kidnap his victims and get rid of their remains. The more complicated the scheme, the more loose ends there are.

Will these loose ends be Edmund’s undoing? Well, you’re just going to have to read it and find out!

Read more about Within at Faery Ink Press (http://www.faeryinkpress.com), and enter the giveaway to win a physical copy (open internationally!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Clare Marshall grew up in rural Nova Scotia with very little television and dial up internet, and yet, she turned out okay. She has a combined honours degree in journalism and psychology from the University of King’s College, and is a graduate from Humber College’s Creative Book Publishing Program. She is a freelance editor, designer and website manager, and enjoys publishing books through her publishing imprint, Faery Ink Press. When she’s not writing, she enjoys playing the fiddle and making silly noises at cats.

Reviewed And Interviewed

I’ve been reviewing books for Quill and Quire since 2008. In fact, a Quill and Quire review was the first piece of writing I was ever paid for. As I was reading old issues of the magazine to get a handle on their style, a few reviews stood out to me, and still do, done by author/bookseller Robert J. Wiersema. So it was a thrill when I saw that he had reviewed Thunder Road (and even more of a thrill that he liked the book!).

Here’s an excerpt:

Ginther handles both the mythic and human aspects of Thunder Road with considerable skill… Thunder Road is a fast-paced, thoughtful novel, and news that it’s the first in a trilogy is welcome indeed.

I’ll post a link to the full article as soon as I have it.

In other news, kicking around bookstores, libraries and other places where the arts matter in Western Canada, you’ll find the Winter 2012 issue of Prairie books NOW (it’s free, and full of awesome prairie books, snag one if you can!) in which I am interviewed by the indomitable Perry Grosshans of THIN AIR fame (infamy?). This was actually the first interview I did as an author, so, another thrill.

Write on!

Resolve

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions.

Not to make any more resolutions was the last resolution I ever made, and it’s the only one that I’ve actually kept for any length of time. It’s not that I’ve given up trying to improve or setting goals for myself, but I’ve found (for myself, at least) that there’s a huge difference in making a wild or life changing “resolution” and setting a goal.

Readers seemed to respond to my last (and ridiculously unrealistic) writing goal post back in September, so I think I’ll make it a monthly feature on the blog. It’ll help give me some structure for my writing month, and hopefully help to keep me honest.

So, first up, January:

  • Finish my submission for Sword and Mythos. I helped fund this anthology on IndieGogo, so I damn well better send them something.
  • Send at least one short story to On Spec.
  • Write a blog post at least once a week.

Writing Goals for the Year:

  • Finish Tombstone Blues
  • Start writing the as-yet nebulously titled book 3 in the Thunder Road Trilogy (I’m thinking this will be a good year to return to NaNoWriMo).
  • Attend at least one SF&F convention in a city that I’ve never been to.
  • Revise at least one of the three drafted novel manuscripts I’ve been letting lie fallow until it is in submission shape and then send it out.
  • Start a new writing project, just for the fun of it.

How is this different from a New Year’s resolution, you ask?

Well, one of these things need to be done. It’s not a question of maybe, or want. If I don’t do the substantive and copy edits for Tombstone Blues, I don’t have a book coming out in the fall. But they’re also all achievable, and at least some of them, while also being work, are also going to be fun.

Write on.