Blog Without A Name

Hexapuma Needs a Roomba

Hexapuma has lost the last of his hearing.  Mostly, he seems good with this, but every so often, he’ll set in to declaiming and when he hears no response, he tends to get a little crazy.  So Steve was suggesting that we get him a robot playmate — maybe a robotic tank.  I don’t mind the idea, as long as we can get one that charges off of house power, but wonder how the treads would function on the carpeting.  Since the lack of hearing makes Hex utterly fearless in terms of Cat Eating Machines, maybe a Roomba is the answer.  Does anybody have a Roomba?  What can you tell me, good and bad?  Also, how much to get this upgrade?

The first day of Mouse Tweets is done.  Tomorrow, we start up again where we left off, and so on and so forth, until Friday sees an end.

On my way home today, I stopped by the shoe store and am now the proud owner of a pair of Skecher’s men’s sport shoes.  I am Very Tall.  Also, bouncy.  There on the shelf were Skecher’s “Shape Ups” guaranteed to help me tone and lose weight just by walking.  Allll right, then.  Hunnert buck shoes are not in this week’s budget.  Neither, to tell the truth were the forty dollar pair, but one needs must…

Shoes accomplished, I stopped at Day’s Jewelers to perform a commission on behalf of the day-job, and while I was there arranged to have my wedding ring resized.  I can pick it up tomorrow after work.  In the meantime, my hand feels weird.

And suddenly!  It’s almost time to leave for Oasis!  Um, eek.

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Mouse and Dragon: Tweets for the Tweetless Day One

Mouse and Dragon, the long-awaited sequel to Lee & Miller’s beloved Scout’s Progress hits stores June 1 from Baen Books. Snippets follow.

Daav: I am her copilot in a hostile port. Her brother did his utmost to murder her, and nothing to his credit, that he failed. If he failed.

Aelliana: But. . .Am I damaged?

Daav: She was his destined lifemate. They were to have shared…everything. She had been hurt, grievously, and no one called to aid her.

Aelliana: The door opened. I knew it was Daav before I turned, and nothing more natural than to walk into his arms.

Daav: “Your pardon, Pilot. It will not happen again.” Aelliana shook back her hair. “Now THAT was not the correct answer.”

Aelliana: If it must be said before Korval to be true, then I say that I wish, very much, to come under Korval’s care.

* * *

The above are the snippets for Monday, May 17, 2010.  Snippeting resumes tomorrow at a Really Unfortunate Hour.  Please join us then.

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Liaden Universe® Infodump No. 83

Mouse and Dragon on the Nets and in the News

Starting early Monday morning (that’s Maine, USA, time) May 17 Sharon will be tweeting short snippets from Mouse and Dragon through the BaenBooks Twitter feed; those tweets should also be reflected on Sharon’s Facebook page and on her blog.

Please feel free to retweet or otherwise share the information about the snippets – and the book! – as appropriate. Why is this happening? Because Mouse and Dragon should be in stores real soon now – officially June 1 according to a bunch of places – and is already available to pre-order from most quality independent bookstores. Where should you look? Try the list lower in this newsletter for hints or visit Indiebound, as well as Barnes and Noble, Books-A-Million, Borders, Powells, Amazon.com, and your local science fiction convention.

Author Travel Notes:  Oasis 23 and DucKon 19

Time for you to tune old plans or make sudden new plans to join Lee & Miller in Orlando, Florida for Oasis on your Memorial Day break, or catch them several weeks later in Naperville, IL at Duckon. The authors will be Guests of Honor for both of these events, and welcome the opportunity to meet with as many Friends of Liad as possible. Be there!

Saltation Subscribers Take Note!

As reported previously by Infodumpling, by the time Baen Management had put in the “transfer inventory” order that would send 1200 pre-ordered Saltations truckin’ to Maine, to be signed by the authors and shipped to supporters, the warehouse was, essentially, empty. A rash of just-in-time orders from bookstores meant that there were not nearly enough books remaining to fill the authorial pre-orders.

Baen ordered an immediate new printing; the books will be in the warehouse by the end of May and will arrive in Maine soon after. However, also as previously advertised, Lee & Miller will be RSN leaving Maine for Oasis, a convention in Orlando, and thus may be unable to sign and ship 1200 books in a timely fashion even if they arrive before we leave; handling that many books with care takes time.

We will do our best to get the books out quickly and as soon as we can.

We will let you know when the pre-ordered Saltations hit Maine, and keep you informed of our progress in signing and mailing them. We are sorry to have to ask to wait even longer for your books.  This event is unprecedented and utterly beyond our control, but who expected Saltation to end up on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, after all?

Carousel Tides Website Launches

In support of her Maine-based contemporary fantasy, Carousel Tides, Sharon has built a website, here.  There are several sections on geographies in and around Archers Beach, for completists, some information about the novel, comments from advance readers, as well as two sample chapters. Content (and samples) will be added between now and the book’s release date in early November, so be sure to bookmark and check back often!

And Now for Something Completely Different

As many of you know, SRM Publisher from time includes fliers or postcards from other publishers in mailings and orders. Of all the inclusions added over the years, one stood out in reaction from readers – the news that Thunderbirds™ had found a home at FTL Publications. We’re happy to pass on the following message from Joan Marie Verba, publisher at FTL Publications:

On Tuesday, May 18, 2010, FTL Publications is having a Virtual (Re)Launch Party for its Thunderbirds™ titles: Countdown to Action, Action Alert, and Deadly Danger. These are the officially licensed, approved, and sanctioned novels based on the 1960s Thunderbirds™ television series, set in the decade of the 2060s. Buy any Thunderbirds™ book from any source on that day, and you can download free bonus gifts. Details at the website: http://www.countdowntoaction.com.

Countdown to Action is a Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Recipient, a finalist in the National Best Books Awards, and a finalist in the Foreword Magazine Book of the Year Awards. Action Alert is also a Mom’s Choice Awards Silver Recipient. Deadly Danger is a finalist in the 2010 Scribe Awards.

Where in the World are Lee and Miller?

Sharon and Steve will be Writer Guests of Honor at Oasis 23 (http://www.oasfis.org/oasis/) May 28 – 30, 2010 in Orlando, Florida*! In addition to stellar programming, planning is going forth for a Friends of Liad breakfast!

June 18 – 20, 2010, Steve and Sharon will be Literary Guests of Honor at DucKon 19 (http://www.duckon.org/) in Naperville, Illinois!

Please tell the registration folks that we sent you!

We will also be attending ReConStruction, the 10th Occassional North American Science Fiction Convention, in Raleigh, NC, August 5-8, 2010.

Yes, You Can Read Lee and Miller on Your Ebook Reader!

All of the published Liaden Universe® books, the Fey Duology, and The Tomorrow Log are available from Baen Webscriptions .

There are instructions on the Webscription site for downloading their books to your Kindle, iPhone, iTouch, Sony EReader, and other devices (just click the link on the upper left-hand side of the page)

Several Sharon Lee short stories, and the Jennifer Pierce Maine novels, Barnburner and Gunshy, are available from Fictionwise.

Support Your Local Bookstore

Uncle Hugo’s: http://www.unclehugo.com/

University Bookstore: http://www.bookstore.washington.edu/services.taf?dept=about&category=loca

Pandemonium Books: http://www.pandemoniumbooks.com/

Missing Volume: http://www.themissingvolume.com/

Borderlands: http://www.borderlands-books.com/

Dream Haven: http://www.dreamhavenbooks.com/

Flights of Fantasy: http://www.fof.net/

Mysterious Galaxy: http://mysteriousgalaxy.booksense.com/

Constellation Books: http://www.constellationbooks.com/NASApp/store/IndexJsp

Children’s Book Cellar: http://www.indiebound.org/stores/childrens-book-cellar

All of the above folks do mail order and take want lists.

Blogs of Note

Theo_Waitley is the discussion group for readers of Fledgling and Saltation: http://community.livejournal.com/theo_waitley/

Where Dragons Rest: http://community.livejournal.com/liaden_readers/

Steve Miller’s blog, Journeyman: http://kinzel.livejournal.com/

Sharon Lee’s blog, Eagles over the Kennebec: http://rolanni.livejournal.com/

SRM Publisher blog: http://srmpublisher.livejournal.com/

Sharon Lee’s “Professional” blog: http://sharonleewriter.com

Facebook Connections — please feel free to add us!

http://facebook.com/kinzel — Steve Miller

http://facebook.com/rolanni — Sharon Lee

Liaden Interest Groups on Facebook

Clan Korval: http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38719490864&ref=ts

Friends of Liad: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=16280839259&ref=ts

Flaran chamenthi: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=2213414696&ref=ts

GoodReads

Sharon’s Author Page:http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/57980.Sharon_Lee

*Steve’s on Twitter*: http://twitter.com/bechimo

*Sharon’s on Twitter, too*: http://twitter.com/ClanKorval

DISCLAIMER STUFF

This InfoDump is a product of the Liaden Universe®, accept no imitations. You have received this message because you asked for it. If you wish to subscribe to the Liaden Universe(R) email list, go here:

http://www.fireopal.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/liadenuniversenews

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Ain’t no beauty queens in this locality

So, a couple of upcoming events.

Event the First

Aelliana Caylon and Daav yos’Phelium will be Guest Tweeting at BaenBooks all next week, starting on Monday morning, May 17, and going straight through until Friday night, May 21.  Unless I screw something up.  But!  That’s the plan.  I will try to post the day’s content in this space for those who are Tweetless.   For them as indulges, may I ask you to please boost the signal (reTweet?) if it amuses you to do so.  We’d like to get the pilots as wide an audience as possible.

Event the Second

Less exciting, yet still worthy of note — Sharon Lee will be speaking at the Fairfield Public Library in beautiful downtown Fairfield, Maine on Tuesday evening, May 18, starting at 7 p.m.  The local cable television company will be there to record.  I will be speaking on the topic “Sharon Lee and Books” and will therefore be addressing such Dark Topics as How an idea becomes a book, as well as How a manuscript becomes a book.  Do come by if you can!  If you can’t — how about some on-topic questions to get me warmed up?  What did you always want to know about how a book gets written and/or published that no one has ever told you?  C’mon, folks; I’m supposed to talk for half-an-hour.  My last gig, I was supposed to talk for 15 minutes and managed eight.  Obviously, I need all the help I can get!

Event the Third

And! Don’t forget, as I nearly did, that on Monday, May 17, the May issue of Geek Speak magazine will hit the web, featuring an interview with Sharon Lee and Steve Miller!

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Books Read in 2010

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson

Half Magic, Edward Eager

Unknown, Rachel Caine

The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson

Sunshine, Robin McKinley

Bone Crossed, Patricia Briggs

‘Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis

The Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield

The Ten-Cent Plague, David Hajdu

Bridge of Birds, Barry Hughart

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Here’s your problem, right here

The background to today’s adventure is that I have a day-job as a secretary in a private college. Dorm damage is something of a hot topic among the students of said college, since the cost of repairing any damage done to a dorm is shared equally among the residents of that dorm, whether or not they had anything to do with the breakage. This is, I gather, supposed to teach people to “police themselves.”

For the last couple weeks, as graduation — and the semester damage invoices loom — there has been an increasingly frantic discussion on the student list about damage, the people who do it, why people do it, and how people go about “policing themselves.” These are useful questions, and following this afternoon, I am in the position to provide some insights.

I work inside a library building. Normally, it’s a quiet place. There are occasional loud noises and the acoustics of the stairwell are really interesting, so that some conversations kind of waft up three flights and directly into my office, but, hey, it’s an old building and I like the stairwell, which is kind of Escher-esque. You can stand on the landing of the third floor and have a (loud) discussion with someone standing on the ground floor, aka The Street.

So, my office, around about 2:30. It’s quiet on my hall, with a slight buzz of voices rising from The Street, where many students are studying for exams.

Suddenly! A metallic bang rang out!

Followed by more bangs, and laughter, and even more bangs. This goes on for a couple minutes before I decide to see what the devil’s going on and walk down two flights of stairs to the point where I can overlook the vending machines.

As I’m walking down the stairs — two flights, now, and I’m walking briskly, but not running — I see students coming out of the library, looking over the rail to the vending area, obviously curious about the noise, and move on. There is from time to time still some laughter at the banging, which is continuing at a goodly pace.

I arrive at last at the proper landing, and look down into the vending area, where one young man is whaling the hell out of vending machine, while another young man is calmly purchasing a drink from the machine beside it.

Since I’m obviously the only adult in range, I lean over the rail and ask a leading question: “What the hotel are you doin’?”

The boy — I’m supposed to refer to students as “students” “men” “women,” but in this case I’m making an exception for truth in reporting — the boy who’s whaling on the machine looks up at me.

“What?”

Since I now have his attention, I decide to cut to the chase.

“Leave,” I tell him.

He blinks and pulls the sound plugs out of his ears.

“Are you serious?”

“Yes, I’m serious. Leave.”

“No — wait, just listen. I swiped my card twice and the machine deducted the money and my Doritos are still stuck in there!”

“Leave,” I said.

“You’re really serious.” Said with a look of utter disbelief that I could find his explanation anything but reasonable and his actions objectionable in any way.

“Yes, I am really serious. Leave.”

At which point the guy who had been buying the drink, and who had remained by that machine, muttered, “She said leave, man,” and so the boy did that.

I went back up to my office and fumed.

But I promised an insight, and here it is: The way to police yourselves is not to laugh when some fool is breaking something. The way to police yourselves is not to walk away, because it’s somebody else’s problem. The way to police yourselves is to do something, to speak up. If you’re little and they’re big, or you’re sober and they’re drunk, take a friend or three to help your present your case. Call Security for ghod’s sake! But don’t do nothing.

That’s it. No, that’s not it. One more thing — If that vending machine is broken, every person sitting in The Street, laughing, or pretending not to notice, has earned a piece of the repair bill.

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The incredible shrinking book

When last seen, sometime in mid-April, Ghost Ship stood at just seven words over 40 grand — or 40 percent completed, assuming that the projected finished word count of 100,000 is more or less on-mark.

This evening, we see before us a much reduced, but I believe stronger, manuscript, weighing in at 20,064 words — 20 percent completed.

I have printed out this New! IhopetoGHODimproved! manuscript. Tomorrow, immediately after breakfast, I will read it. Then I will Stare Into Space(tm) for awhile. It would be nice if Monday held off a day or two, so I could really get the stare mojo working, but we all know how likely that is.

In any case, after I have Stared Sufficient Unto the Task, I’ll begin writing again.

And this, my children, is the Glamorous Creative Life of an Author. Is it not grand?

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In which Rolanni realizes that she can’t read

Yesterday, I had an email from someone who wished me to give them the One True Reading Order for the Liaden Universe® novels.  Usually, I don’t answer emails like this, because it never ends well, but I was thinking that maybe I ought to be a Better Person and answer my email instead of letting it pile up until it gets oppressive.

So I answered my email, explaining that, no, I really couldn’t give them the One True Reading Order by reason of the fact that there isn’t one, and suggested a couple of starting points.  You can see the gist of what I said over here.

My reward was a grumpy note indicating that my correspondent wished to read the books in the order that would avoid spoilers and maintain the rush of reading for discovery as opposed to the chore of reading to fill in the gaps.

Now. . .I don’t mind, myself, personally, reading to “fill in the gaps.”  In fact, if I’m to be brutally honest, I’m not sure I have ever experienced the rush of “reading for discovery.”  Some books are more engaging than others, sure, and I certainly like some novels better than others.  And there is absolutely a difference between a first read and a re-read.  But I make no such fine distinctions, when I’m reading fiction, between the sensation of “gap filling” and “discovery.”

Obviously, I lack the ability to savor nuance, which is possessed by other readers.  For some reason, this depresses me, perhaps only because I was slightly depressed anyway.  But, I don’t think I’ll be answering my email for a while.

Round the house news includes the fact that earlier in the week Mozart conspired to help Steve fracture his toe.  And they say cats don’t Care.

On the plus side of the injury, Deceiver arrived yesterday, and Steve got first dibs, since he has to sit in the comfy chair and ice his foot.  He’s getting to be Quite the Expert in icing-the-foot.

My aged and much-beloved boombox (radio, CD, and a cassette player!) died the True Death, leaving me without a cassette player, which, yes, is a problem.  A minor problem, in the scheme of things, but, still…

Also, yes, I know that both this website and the Carousel Tides site are suddenly and without warning Thoroughly Borked for Mac users using Safari.  I’m sorry about that.  No, I don’t know what happened, and, no, I don’t know how to fix it.

I did do something vaguely useful today on the writing side, and tomorrow I intend to sit down at this computer and rip the guts out of the manuscript in process, which’ll be, yanno, fun.

For those who Ebay, remember that there’s an auction going on until Sunday.  Go ahead, indulge yourself.

Hope everybody has a relaxing and uplifting weekend.

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