Gothic Steampunk Gaslamp Fantasy. Bringing you uncanny heroines in shilling shockers and adventuress tales.
( It's giving me a little more to connect to, here! )
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Doing *All The Things* for upcoming shows!
And I started a new Dark Victorian penny dread idea. (side-eye). This is GREAT. I like it. It's very cool, and there are already words written. However, I need to get back to Everlife and all the other stories in progress. (sigh)
Whilst ICE DEMON is still with the editor, I have these . . .
. . . sitting on back burners:
• I've had Charm School's first novella, Body Chase: The Fall of Fairer Than, still awaiting my attention after returning from the editor back in March-May. :-o
• I really need to get Charm School Graphique Vol 2 going.
• Dark Victorian: Everlife (third in the Dark Victorian series) needs to be started.
• Poison Garden: An Elle Black Penny Dread (second in that series), is still in pieces.
• my YA novel, Wit's World: Never Was really needs to be a book in 2015 (manuscript needs a re-write).
So instead of all that I start a new story. YAY ME.
Back to event-type things, I love my new standing banner and I hope it'll survive the next 5 events until --- well, let's see if I actually get accepted into World Con 2015, in Spokane, WA, but yes, until World Con. :) In anticipation of having more and more books in print to take to happenings, I'm trying digital download cards. What are they, you may ask? In my case, I use Bands On A Budget's Indiecards. You purchase the card with a download code in back to a website given. At the website may be stored music (hence the hosting company, Bands On A Budget), e-books, video, digital comics, and so forth for you to download.
The card pictured is for PDFs of Charm School, as you can see. My next card will be for the Dark Victorian books, both epub and kindle. And so on, AS SOON AS I finish all the great manuscripts and graphic novels in progress!
This weekend: I will be at San Diego Comic Fest, my mind Everywhere.
BookLikes fixed my Author's Page! THANK YOU BOOKLIKES. :) I just need to upload new editions that show the new photo covers for Dark Victorian: Risen and Bones. And Sundark.
Because soon the cover for ICE DEMON: A Dark Victorian Penny Dread Vol 1 will be revealed, and it really is smashing. As soon as I get the edits back from the editor (make changes, lay it out for ebook, lay it out for print book, etc), it will be a for real, smelling spanking brand new BOOOOK.
I have to go to San Diego Comic Fest next week, where I'm steampunk guest, then do Comikaze Expo 2014 the week after that. It would be ideal to have ICE DEMON ready for sale by Comikaze but realistically, there's barely time to get it printed to download cards, much less have printing approved and shipped that fast. :-/
I swear, events are necessary, but . . . I just want to stay home and make stuff!!! ;)
Today, hopefully I'll get to the (going to be Really Cool) cover for Dark Victorian: EVERLIFE, and maybe this weekend I'll get to merchandise.
Happy Autumn to All!
Thanks to Merry Meerkat for reviewing Charm School Digital here, I really appreciate it! All 8 issues ( #9 still has to be set up for Kindle ), are not showing up in Search despite her posts. And not on my Author's Page. I think I added these via the 'Shelve it!' BookLikes app.
The new Dark Victorian covers and the 'new' Sundark cover aren't showing either. :-/ Bwah.
A reviewer on BookLikes referred to Annihilation's story as having an overall quality of uneasiness and the reader possibly being intentionally misinformed about what was true or not (at least that was the gist I got). Something my beta-reader referred to as "the unreliable narrator". A so-so rating was given, but boy it had me intrigued. I added this title to my want list and it kept calling to me---usually an infatuation with a novel's premise dies away after a few days, but not this one. Four female team members known only by their job titles go into an isolated place called Area X to research it. They are the 12th team and are made up of an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist, and a biologist, who is our narrator. Previous teams have committed suicide, killed each other, or just plain failed. The storytelling is described by reviewers as surreal or dreamlike. Could this end up a frustrating read? Possibly.
I'll have to say it fits my sensibilities perfectly. Yes, it is indeed creepy. Yes, there's ambiguity and unexplained moments and things present, but the biologist acts as our clear-eyed guide. One wonders why these sensible characters decide to join a team with a high risk factor and then we learn why. But that inability to know more is what contributes to the unease. The biologist knows only so much and like a very good scientist, observes as truthfully as possible. However, she might withhold some information (until later). And she has to discover when she has been misinformed herself. I admit, I had a tolerance for the anxiety/unease possibly because of films like Cube 2: Hypercube, where several strangers are trapped in a dangerous environment with no memory of how they got there. What a stressful film. This is nearly the same situation. The use of language or phrasing is also meant to throw us off, like the line from the psychologist that I've screenshot from my Kindle.
"Paralysis is not a cogent analysis?"---what the heck is that supposed to mean? After realising later that it didn't really mean anything (I think), but like the biologist says, was meant to be a hypnotic command only, I've decided it was a bit of deliberate misdirection on the writer's part. It's a very nice illusionist trick and it works. Make us take that literally and unsettle us, do a David Lynch. Make us watch the words on the wall just as something grabs our ankle.
The ending: no spoiler, but I got the answer needed, I accept the theory given. It's still rather surreal, and it may not satisfy. I can't say that the physical resolution gave me the wow-pow in the gut and brain I'd hoped for, but it will do. Maybe Jeff VandeMeer does it in the next books. I'm not that interested in following up, but I could be missing out.
I am really looking forward to this. I just read the free Gutenberg version and boy, is this a great Gothic and romantic ;), if you will, female vampire tale. And heck, it's rather sensual in a proper, Victorian fashion. Though Stoker's Dracula launched a thousand vampire tales 'cross time, space, and mediums, it wouldn't have happened without Sheridan Le Fanu's Carmilla (published 1871).
I've piles of non-fiction books set aside to research old revenant lore, because I like going all the way back to when these creatures of superstition were either more insidious (capable of returning to villages after rising from the grave and marrying and having children, yet responsible for horrible deaths at night), or grotesquely dead, like the Norse draugr. But Carmilla describes something about vampires that makes me wonder where Le Fanu's particular tradition of interpretation comes from---if he originated it, this interesting, sensual aspect of vampiric 'romantic' obsession. It's that aspect that influences Stoker's vampire, and of course gives us sensual vampires from Anne Rice's to Joss Whedon's to Stephenie Meyer's. I'm certain there's a scholarly (I'd hope) book out there already having traced this question!
From Carmilla :
"The vampire is prone to be fascinated with an engrossing vehemence,
resembling the passion of love, by particular persons. In pursuit of
these it will exercise inexhaustible patience and stratagem, for access
to a particular object may be obstructed in a hundred ways. It will
never desist until it has satiated its passion, and drained the very
life of its coveted victim. But it will, in these cases, husband and
protract its murderous enjoyment with the refinement of an epicure, and
heighten it by the gradual approaches of an artful courtship. In these
cases it seems to yearn for something like sympathy and consent. In
ordinary ones it goes direct to its object, overpowers with violence,
and strangles and exhausts often at a single feast."
~Sheridan Le Fanu, Carmilla
It yearns for something like sympathy and consent. *That* is evil, fascinating, and hot. :D
( . . . I think! Felicity Kates may have written the first. I also could not help writing a review in Stan Lee's voice. It should start: "TRUE BELIEVERS--" )
The nerd-verse would implode if it had hot bodies and hot minds like Casey and Lucas. A fantasy nerd’rotica sex romp: drop into the geek world of cosplay and pop culture conventions but dial it up to a super-sexy muse vs. her Alpha-sexy artist. Marriage is not what Casey wants in a relationship and her guy is not happy. Who will win in this hot-tempered match amidst high stake deals and speculations about the future of their wildly successful book, Steam Bunny? Casey and Lucas battle it out, heart to heart, body to body, in this romance-clash that’s an enjoyable sex-fest between two talented equals.
Now, straight erotica is not quite my thing---the fact that I prefer girlz probably dampens my ability to get turned on by hot male/female sex games. But I won't rate a story based on my personal needs (or ignorance). I figure Steam Bunny is a worthy addition to a certain type of popular romance-combo.
THESE BLASTED LANDS, By Amelia Mangan © 2014. From the After The Fall anthology, published by Boo Books.
You can read this short in its entirety, here:
I love this. It's like if the apocalypse came to Charm School. :D
Dark Victorian: RISEN is now up at Netgalley! Go forth and enjoy! :)
Well, M. Bonneau has done it, she wrote a story I wish I'd written. "Writer of feminist romances", indeed! This has to be a genre! Because this sort of story is exactly what I want to read and tell (though more woman/woman rather than woman/man ;) ). Her Cecilia and Anthony in "Statue in Moonlight" show all the turns of character and individualism--and uniqueness--I love in strong women and their men. :D So heartening to see such independence and will in a woman and such metamorphosis in a man, for all the best reasons. Hard to mention any story particulars without giving away reveals, but Bonneau had me going with the mystery that is Cecilia and how that worthless rake Anthony would come to discover her, understand her, and then understand himself. In a very refreshing, lustful manner. I'm happy! I've subscribed to her Authors page in anticipation of the next in this Regency series. And I'm going to try her other titles because I'm confident I'll enjoy more of the kind. Very well written. Brava Bonneau, and thank you!
Ok, SPOILER of sorts----
I couldn't help imagining Cecilia as Tilda Swinton. rroaw. I mean really, woo, I am jealous Bonneau wrote Cecilia. Complexity!
Blue Highway, by Amelia Mangan, Yen Short Story Winner, 2013. I'm late in the game of finally reading Amelia's stuff. She knew of my Charm School, I didn't yet know of her horror and short story writing. I really enjoy her way with words and her voices, (now that I've read three of her works). Am looking for more of her stuff, especially for the occasion of October. ^v^
Read it, here:
Five Were Missing, by Lois Duncan was republished as Ransom. I'm reading the 1972 Signet version (yeah, a first printing that was lovingly preserved in someone's used bookstore/collection but highly acidified with age). Bought so that I could throw myself back into the Kodachrome slide of far flung childhood with mini-dresses and the impeachment of Nixon :-p. I'd missed books like these the first time around, I was probably busy reading about Norse gods or whatever. I'm also glad to read this version because typesetting-wise, it does nothing following the present Chicago Manual Of Style. No breaks for point-of-view, no italics for thoughts, and so on. I only know these things because I let the editor suss out those "do's and dont's" and then she tells me. It's refreshing. It's like reading the story in a rather raw fashion.
I'm reading it because my beta-reader had as a kid, and not only am I catching up with her knowledge-pool but because a project I may be attached to (or not), had her picking its particulars apart and then giving Five Were Missing as comparison. The depth in characterisations is making me miss the kinds of young people portrayed before YA formula.
"I met myself the other day, in quiet mouth, in eyes of gray–"
I'm only a third of the way through, but there is this poem fragment, and it doesn't come up anywhere on the net so perhaps the answer to its origin (or not), will come later.
"The Eyes", by Edith Wharton.
"A Clean, Well-Lighted Place", by Ernest Hemmingway
#amwriting : Dark Victorian: ICE DEMON, now weighing in at 24,900K+ words. :D Say, we're 'done'! Vodka tyme! It needs read-throughs and tweaks, then 'tis orf to the beta-reader. It ends on a fyne, stormy note, much like this gorgeous painting with blue-ice water. I think you'll really like it. :) (collapses, exhausted).
I need to write an actual synopsis of the thing. And plan the cover.
This painting is: "Ship on a Stormy Sea," by Ivan Konstantinovich Aivazovsky (1817-1900)