Guest Post: Nicola Griffith: Who Owns SF?

Book View Cafe is delighted to present a guest post from Nicola Griffith, who is on a blog tour in honor (honour?) of the UK release of her book Hild.

Hildby Nicola Griffith

[This first went up on Charlie Stross's blog a few days ago. It's an essay in the old sense of the word. I'm not here to pick fights or bludgeon anyone with my point of view on SF1. I want to explore, to wander a little. I've used footnotes not as a scholarly buttress but in an attempt to keep this exploration from becoming a hopeless tangle.]

I’m English. I’ve lived in the US a long time (in fact last year I got my US citizenship) but I’m still English. You can tell: all I have to do is speak. There’s no hiding that accent. In England, I belong. I visit often; I feel at home; I just don’t live there anymore.

A few years ago, when William Gibson was inducted into the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, he said: I am a native of science fiction but no longer a resident.2 I understood exactly what he meant.

My most recent novel, Hild, has no fantastical elements whatsoever. It’s not set in a secondary world, there are no dragons, no wizards casting spells, no special swords or magic rings. Yet the book has been nominated for three SF awards3. Why? Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, historical novels, science fiction | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

WWW Wednesday – July 30, 2014

WWW Wednesday. This meme is from shouldbereading.


• What did you recently finish reading?

Middlemarch, by George Eliot. A somewhat longish review here.

Prisoner, by Lia Silver.

This is the first volume in what will be a longer series, but doesn’t drop you off a cliff. It takes its time setting up the characters and situation. All characters are complicated, especially the main two. Both have serious emotional damage as a cost of becoming supremely badass. We begin in Afghanistan with DJ Torres having to turn his best Marine buddy into a werewolf to save his life, in spite of the extreme danger of so doing. Their helicopter has just crashed, and they are waiting to be medivac lifted out.

DJ is put under, and wakes up in a lab. He finds out very soon that it is a secret lab, and he runs . . . and nearly dies. Echo, the emotionally distant, hyper efficient assassin, is sent to bring him back, and she does. The evil lab holds them both by their loyalties to others, and DJ has terrible trouble adjusting; then he meets a very messed up bunch of made-wolves, and mayhem ensues.

Continue reading

Posted in Books and Reading, Uncategorized | Tagged | 14 Comments

BVC Eats: Welsh cakes a la Venusienne

 This recipe comes all the way from Venus.

This recipe comes all the way from Venus.

This recipe was given to me by our landlords in New Haven. They were odd folk. Mark was a pagan, once the Pursuivant of Arms for the New London Barony of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and Becca was into EST and the Hunger Project. My husband and I called them the Venusians. We pretended that their pickup truck, which was red and named Fafnir, was really a spaceship, and that when they disappeared for the weekend it was because they were phoning home. They were by far the coolest landlords we ever had, and they were also into good food.


2 c flour
1/2 c sugar
1 t baking powder
1 t ground allspice
1/4 t salt

Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Food and Cooking | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Aliens in Hell

ET_1600369cAs a writer of science fiction, I found creationist Ken Ham’s commentary on alien life and the space program absurd and thought provoking.

For those of you who missed it, in response to NASA’s expectation of finding alien life in the not too distant future, he wrote on his Sunday blog: “You see, the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe. This means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation.”

Ham’s logic is flawed even within his own cosmology. If Adam’s sin here on earth damned all sentient life in the universe (which, by extension must also be created in God’s image, spiritually) then by virtue of the nature of God as revealed by Christ, they must also be eligible for salvation. Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Faith and Religion, science fiction, Worldbuilding, Writers on Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Avast, Ye Lubbers

A ripple ran through the otherwise serene waters of the Book View Café last week when a pirate site–or rather, a directory site with links to all sorts of pirated material, including vast quantities of members’ fiction, some of it very likely published here at BVC–came to our collective attention.  There was a flurry of activity as we all contacted our publishers, or started writing Takedown Letters, or reported the site to the FBI.  It is, at very least, time sink and an annoyance.

And then I got into an electronic conversation with an acquaintance who wondered why we bothered.  “It’s not like many people are going to find the site, is it?  So you lose half a dozen sales–you’re still getting royalties on books you sell elsewhere.  Wouldn’t you do better to spend all that time writing?”

Oy. Where to start? Continue reading

Posted in Publishing | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

BVC Announces DAUGHTER OF LIR by Judith Tarr

Book 3 of The Epona Sequence
by Judith Tarr

Long years after the White Mare came to the people of the Mothers, bringing the wild horsemen from the sea of grass and changing the world forever, the world is changing again. The Mother of Lir is dead, her heir cast out amid dire omens. War is coming–such a war as the people have never seen, fought with a new and terrible weapon: the chariot.

Rhian, potter’s child and White Mare’s chosen, ventures with Emry the prince of Lir into the sea of grass and undertakes to steal the enemy’s weapon. But that enemy is not at all what they expected. In Minas, prince and maker of chariots, and his mother Aera, they find a remarkable and deadly kinship–and forge an alliance that will be both the destruction and the salvation of Lir.

Continue reading

Posted in Book View Cafe publications, eBooks, historical novels, horses, New Releases, romance, Series | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bright Sparkling Sun Drops

As it turns out, I haven’t been much on blogging this past month or more–not since I lost Rena Beagle. Actually, almost two months now–but I had some blogs saved up, so it hasn’t been truly evident.

Some things just take the wind out of you.

But the monsoons have briefly visited our neck of the southwestern woods, bringing with them some spectacular views as well as boy Beagles who are no longer entirely dusty. And it brought to mind a blog I wrote last year at this time, because…well, pretty much the same views! So here you are, and I hope you enjoy the rain as much as I did. Continue reading

Posted in dogs, Lifestyle, paranormal romance | Tagged | 1 Comment

Story Excerpt Sunday: from Islands by Sara Stamey


by Sara Stamey

I stood at the edge of the sea, squinting against sun dazzles, waves rolling in to fret at the blazing white sand. I was rooted there, sucked back into my nightmare and waiting for the shadow man to stride out of the waves and drag me into the depths –

A piercing shriek. A pigtailed little native girl ran past, laughing and chasing a beachball.

I shook my head, slapped on some sunscreen, pulled fins and mask from my carryall. I’d taken the Scuba course after receiving John’s letter and the photo of the underwater petroglyph rock.

If only I’d taken him up on his invitations to visit the islands for some diving, hadn’t kept putting it off. Maybe everything would have changed, that would have been the key random event that forked into a whole different set of possibilities. Maybe he wouldn’t have died. Continue reading

Posted in romance | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog Hop with Cat Kimbriel–Four Questions for the Writer

Writer Katharine Eliska KimbrielThis is all writer Laura Anne Gilman’s fault. After being tagged herself by Mindy Klasky in an ongoing blog hop, she generously spread the love. She tagged me to answer the following questions:

1) What am I working on?

I have several things going on right now. I am editing Spiral Path, which is the working title for the next Alfreda Sorensson novel. It has been peered at by first readers, and I am now slaying hydras and clarifying everything I rolled through on my way to the end. Plus–I have been charged to put in everything I just planted, intentionally or not, and planned to use later. No, no, use it NOW my first reader said. So, I will.

There’s a short Nuala piece waiting for me to return to it, about a character who would show up in the third Darame book, should that ever come to pass. Next will be an urban/rural fantasy I’ve been researching for years. And there’s a completed first draft of a cozy mystery that I think needs its ghost put back in. (Some mystery houses dislike ghost stories. Imagine that.)

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Continue reading

Posted in Writers on Writing | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

The Tajji Diaries: “Cats and Dogs Living Together…”

Shakir invites Tajji to play

Shakir invites Tajji to play

In recent blog posts, Dave and I have discussed Tajji’s progress in dealing with other dogs. Tajji is our newly (5 months) adopted retired seeing eye dog, a 10 year old German Shepherd female who had major reactivity issues, especially with small dogs. The extraction of a fractured tooth has resolved her chronic pain, and enrollment in a reactive dog class (“Reactive Rover” taught by Sandi Pensinger of Living With Dogs, using only positive techniques, never punishment) has given us all tools to continue progress.

It’s time for an update on Tajji’s adventures in Living With Cats. For the 8 years of her working life, she did not live with cats, although we assume she was exposed to them as part of her early socialization and training. We introduced her to our two dog-savvy cats in stages, beginning with barriers and progressing to escape-places for the cats and lots of human supervision. After some initial confusion on the part of the dog, because cats and dogs interprets many body-language signals in different ways, communication was established and détente soon followed.

The next phase was entirely the doing of Shakir, our black male cat who has a history of being extremely fond of large dogs. He adored our previous German Shepherd Dog, who was too intimidated to let Shakir cuddle with him. Tajji is of a much more phlegmatic temperament than our previous dog, and it wasn’t too long before she would curl up at our feet at the dining table and Shakir would come over, approaching her politely (no direct eye contact, curved path, looking away, soft eyes). A sniff became a rub, and soon he was polishing her feet, her muzzle, and the sides of her head with his jaw. Purring loudly, he’d pass under her head, turn and repeat, and I’m sure the banquet of kitty-butt smells was delightful to the dog. Continue reading

Posted in cats, dogs | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments