The Aurealis Australian Genre Fiction Awards – 2

aurealis-cover-bvc

So, the Event – the Aurealis Award Gala Ceremony, to give the full title – is over; eight or ten authors or illustrators are feeling very happy, four times that number are feeling disappointed, or at the very least, slightly let down. Have to say that I’m among the disappointed crew. Yes, needless to say, my novel Amberlight didn’t get the cigar for best Autralian fantasy novel of 2008.

That said, it was quite an evening. The program book, as you can see from the cover, was quite spectacular. The theatre was sold out (the free drinks  had already run out when my mates and I arrived half an hour before the start,  though they lasted better at the post-awards cocktail party. ) The light show and Continue reading

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Science Fiction: The Future is Now

Here’s a horrible thought:

All that technophobic science fiction is happening:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/12/31/60minutes/main4694713.shtml

All I can say is: why? Do we really need to so egregiously sacrifice privacy for safety? This is not just going through your bags at the airport here. This is preemptive strike on a personal level. Who should have the power to command such tech? We just spent eight years losing all kinds of rights and privacy due to unnecessary paranoia (and quite possibly greed on the part of powerful people I might add). There’s no guarantee Obama’s going to get them back for us. By the time the next reactionary gets to wreak havoc in the U.S. administration, they’re going to have all this tech to help them. RFID pales in comparison to this.

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The Downside to the Change in U.S. Administrations

President ObamaIt probably won’t surprise anyone to learn that I thoroughly enjoyed Inauguration Day. I began supporting President Obama early on, attracted both by his obvious intelligence and his ability to take strong stands while still keeping a door open to the other side. And even though I am too old to put all my faith in any politician, I do have some hope that he’ll be able to get the U.S. back on a positive track.

I confess I got up in my living room and danced a jig when they announced that Bush was no longer president. I was depressed when the Supreme Court gave him the election in 2000, but back then I had no idea how much harm he could really do. As a citizen, I’m relieved to see him go.

But as a writer, I feel a little like the editorial cartoonists and stand up comics: There goes some of my best material! Continue reading

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Agogwe, Bigfoot and Hobbits

One of my current favorite books is Bigfoot, I Not Dead by Graham Roumieu. Of course Bigfoot not dead. Bigfoot stomp paparazzi face every day. Then Bigfoot visit with crack-smoking pigeons.

I have to say that before today, I hadn’t heard of Agogwe or “the Agogwe,” a modest-sized East African hominid who’s been sighted every-so-often by hunters, and who is obviously well-known among native African peoples. Continue reading

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Throwing Books Against The Wall

A few booksNot every book published will appeal to every reader. That is a given. I have a terrible time reading bestsellers. The genre rarely appeals to me. I find them too full of Gary Sue or Mary Sue protagonists. They know too many esoteric disciplines, have access to arcane trivia, and unlimited funds to track down a villain we already know who wants to destroy the world for motives we also know. The adventure alone is not enough to engage me. Too often I find the author has fallen into the trap of telling everything and showing only fights and chases.

So the question arises: at what point do we abandoned a book we have purchased on the recommendation of a friend, a stunning review, or even because the title, cover art, and back cover blurb entice us? I know I’ve been suckered in by books that don’t live up to the opening paragraph. Continue reading

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BIRDS OF PREY # 126, JUSTICE LEAGUE OF AMERICA #29, SUPERMAN/BATMAN ANNUAL #3: A Very Short Review

bofpCrossovers and mega-crossovers, shall we never be rid of them?  Two of these issues are part of the uninteresting “Faces of Evil” event from DC, and although it is not billed as such the Superman/Batman annual fits exactly in.

All three stories are distressingly similar, as well.  An old and hopefully classic villain is hauled up out of oblivion.  His backstory and interaction with the title characters is rapidly recapped or recounted.    It is not a spoiler to tell you that the title characters do prevail. Continue reading

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Everything tastes better with music

How’s the saying go? Everything tases better with Bluebonnet on it? That’s just 70s hype and pretty dang stupid. The truth is everything tastes better with music on it. On it, in it, about it, around it, through it, after it, under it, and behind it. The soundtrack of our lives contains a long list of greatest hits annotated, indexed, and personalized to carry us through to our senility, when everything will finally one day make sense. We’ll be happy then, thanks to the music playing in our heads.

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The Contenders Head for the Finish Line

Droomslang -- Dutch cover of DREAMSNAKEA few last contenders for the Bad Cover Contest, including the only cover I consider a true match, to beat or tie Droomslang.

I’m going to disqualify Gate of Ivriel through no fault of its own but just because I’m tired of bad covers with naked women. If anybody has any bad covers with naked men on them, I’ll consider them, but, jeez, enough already.

I once saw a cover that was said to have been for Dreamsnake, till cooler heads at the publishing company prevailed. It wasn’t a bad cover. It was kind of cool, to tell you the truth. But the naked woman with the serpent was so Not Snake that the cover would have driven away anybody who might have liked the book, and caused people to buy it who would have (justifiably) felt ripped off. Continue reading

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Sarah Meets a Vampire

Okay, this is cheating. I know this is cheating, but it’s late, and I’m brain dead, and I’m supposed to be posting and…

But, my column “Things That Don’t Go Away,” is up on BookSpot Central. Today’s episode: “Hanging With a Vampire:”
[In which the author is discovered standing at her front door behind a pile of rice, holding her crucifix and holy water and calling out sacred names. Soundlessly, a silhouette slips up to the window, a pale hand is laid on the glass, and a rich voice, impossibly old and dangerously young at the same time begins to speak]

“Hey, can I come in? ‘Cause, like, the sun’s comin’ up and I’m gonna start sparkling any minute here.”

Edward?”

“Yeah. Can you let me in, please?”

“Holy cow! Get in here. Edward! I thought maybe…”

“Maybe, what? That I was like, a real vampire?”

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More Bead Creatures

Bead Creature

I’ve mentioned my bead creatures now and again. Recently I sent some to The Institute for Figuring for their Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibit at Track16 in Los Angeles. (Picture #41 is my creature.)

I put some other pictures of them on my website.

I’m ridiculously pleased to be in the exhibit.

— Vonda


You can find The Moon and the Sun at Book View Cafe, and new signed hardcovers at the Basement Full of Books section of my website.

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