Tag Archives: Guest Post

[GUEST POST] Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Alex Bledsoe on Creating The Firefly Witch

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Alex Bledsoe! – Sarah Chorn

Alex Bledsoe grew up in west Tennessee an hour north of Graceland (home of Elvis) and twenty minutes from Nutbush (birthplace of Tina Turner). He has been a reporter, editor, photographer and door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. He now live in a Wisconsin town famous for trolls, write before six in the morning and try to teach his three kids to act like they’ve been to town before. If you want to keep up with Alex in real time, follow him on Twitter as @AlexBledsoe, on Facebook, and/or on Google+.


by Alex Bledsoe

When I first had the idea for Tanna Tully, the Firefly Witch, it was a totally different time.  I wrote a novel manuscript* in the late 80s/early 90s that established the character and her world, and that conception remained essentially unchanged going forward.  When I started writing short stories about her in the mid-90s and continuing through today, I saw it as a continuity with those original ideas.
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[GUEST POST] Judith Tarr on The Life Equestrian (And Horses in Spaaace!)

Judith Tarr‘s first historical fantasy novel, The Isle of Glass, appeared in 1985. Her YA time-travel science fiction/fantasy/historical novel, Living in Threes, appeared as an ebook from Book View Café in 2012, and is now in print. Her new novel, a space opera (with horses, of course), will be published by Book View Cafe in 2015; a prequel, “Fool’s Errand,” appeared in Analog in January/February 2015. She’s currently running a Kickstarter for a series of novellas about horses and magic in contemporary Arizona. In between, she’s written historicals and historical fantasies and epic fantasies, some of which have been reborn as ebooks from Book View Café. She lives in Arizona with an assortment of cats, two dogs, and a herd of Lipizzan horses.

The Life Equestrian

by Judith Tarr

When you think about it, horses are as integral to fantasy as magic or invented worlds. As long as fantasy tends to be set in pre-mechanical-transport cultures, there has to be some means of getting people and goods from place to place. And horses, or horselike beings, are just the thing. They’re the transport, the war machines, and, often, the magical companions.
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[GUEST POST] A.C. Wise on Women to Read: Where to Start: December 2014 Edition

A.C. Wise is the author of numerous short stories appearing in print and online in publications such as Clarkesworld, Apex, Lightspeed, and the Best Horror of the Year Vol. 4. In addition to her fiction, she co-edits Unlikely Story, an online magazine publishing three issues of fiction per year with various unlikely themes. Follow her on twitter as @ac_wise.

SF Signal welcomes back A.C. Wise and her continuing series of essays on Women To Read!

Women to Read: Where to Start – December 2014

by A.C. Wise

Welcome to the December edition of Women to Read: Where to Start. There’s no particular theme this time around, just some fantastic works to keep you company during the long winter nights. Or, if you’re the type who departs for warmer climes as the temperature drops, some excellent reads to stretch out with on the beach.
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[GUEST POST] Catherine Lundoff on LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy 2000-2010 (Part 1)

Catherine Lundoff lives in Minneapolis with her wife, two cats and a huge number of unfinished projects. She writes, edits, toils in IT and is currently on the brink of a grand new adventure. Follow her on Twitter at @clundoff or via her website at www.catherinelundoff.com.

LGBT Science Fiction and Fantasy 2000-2010 (Part 1)

by Catherine Lundoff

The dawn of the 21st century brought massive changes to the publishing industry, fueled in part by a surge in epublishing. More efficient and portable e-readers enabled readers to access an increasing number of ebook publications, fueling ebook sales. Larger print publishers, many of which were unprepared for the shift, responded by consolidating or closing their doors. There were additional impacts to brick-and-mortar stores as well as to print distribution of books and magazines. Many authors responded to these changes by releasing their own books in a variety of formats, sometimes by starting their own small and medium-sized presses.

Alongside the shifting landscape of publishing, there were significant changes in the visibility and legal status of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. LGBT people and their allies pushed for, and in many cases, won recognition of their relationships, equal employment protection, the opportunity to serve openly in the military and other opportunities that they had been heretofore barred from. This increased visibility was reflected in science fiction and fantasy fandom as well as published works, genre TV, comics and elsewhere.
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[GUEST POST] Glenn Cooper on The Story Behind NEAR DEATH (Plus: Giveaway)

Glenn Cooper has a degree in archaeology from Harvard and practiced medicine as an infectious diseases specialist. He was the CEO of a biotechnology company for almost twenty years, has written numerous screenplays and has produced three independent feature films. His novels have sold six million copies in thirty-one languages. He lives in Gilford, New Hampshire.

The Story Behind NEAR DEATH

by Glenn Cooper

I had long been aware of the phenomenon of near death experiences (NDEs) when, as a young doctor, I took care of a very ill patient who had one. She was a teenager with advanced leukemia which was resistant to therapy and one day on the wards, she had a cardiac arrest. We got her heart going again and revived her and when she was stabilized she tearfully recounted her experience, replete with many of the iconic references to floating above the bed, tunnels of light, meeting a deceased family member, a grandparent, if I recall. In those days I was too busy and strung out with exhaustion to study the phenomenon but I tucked the memory of that day away, remembering it the day the girl died and again, many years later when I thought I might want to write a film script about near death experiences.
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[GUEST POST] Storm Constantine Offers a Glimpse into The Working Life of a Writer

Storm Constantine‘s first novel, The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit, was published in 1987 and is the opening book in her internationally best-selling Wraeththu trilogy. It was followed by The Bewitchments of Love and Hate and The Fulfilments of Fate and Desire. Storm’s work has always crossed boundaries, broken taboos and ventured into territory not normally encountered in the fantasy and science fiction genres. Her androgynous Wraeththu, with their hermaphroditic sexual magic, were certainly a shock to the genre. She has since written twenty three novels in genres ranging from fantasy, dark fantasy and horror to science fiction and slipstream. Immanion Press is bringing all of Storm’s back catalogue back into print. Storm’s new novel is The Moonshawl, a new Wraeththu story.

The Working Life of a Writer

by Storm Constantine

One of the things I get asked about a lot is what comprises my ‘working day’. For people with 9 to 5 jobs this is easy to answer. Get up, dressed, go to work, slave, come home, relax. If you work for yourself at home, imposing that kind of discipline is difficult.
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[GUEST POST] Erin Lindsey on Sex and Explosions (Or, the Key to a Great Action Romance)

Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. THE BLOODBOUND is her first effort. She lives and works in Bujumbura, Burundi, with her husband and a pair of half-domesticated cats.
She also writes fantasy mysteries as E.L. Tettensor.

SEX AND EXPLOSIONS – Or, the Key to a Great Action Romance

by Erin Lindsey

If Hollywood has taught us anything, it’s that the two most exciting things in the world are sex and explosions. Any genuine blockbuster must have both of these things, or at least, some very near cousin. Sex and swordfighting, say, or sex and car chases. If possible, a blockbuster should have sex, explosions, swordfighting, car chases, and a hint of sci-fi/fantasy, like shape-shifting aliens. This is known.

But combining sex and swordfighting – okay, action and romance – is tougher than it looks, as I discovered not so long ago while writing THE BLOODBOUND, a fantasy novel about love and war, or war and love, depending on how you look at it.
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[GUEST POST] Julie E. Czerneda on A Biologist’s Approach to Imaginary Creations

Since 1997, Canadian author/editor Julie Czerneda has poured her love of biology into SF novels published by DAW Books NY. Her debut fantasy A Turn of Light, won the 2014 Prix Aurora Award for Best Novel. There are house toads as well as dragons, and not all is what it seems. Out in Fall 2014: Species Imperative, the 10th anniversary omnibus edition of her acclaimed SF trilogy, and A Play of Shadow, sequel to Turn and next in what is now the Night’s Edge series. Julie’s currently hard at work on This Gulf of Time and Stars, first volume of the concluding trilogy to her Clan Chronicles series (Reunification), between breaks to admire all that snow.

Almost Real – A Biologist’s Approach to Imaginary Creations

by Julie E. Czerneda

I make up aliens. It’s my job. I make up magical creatures too. (I should mention I love my job.)

Be it for my science fiction or my fantasy, I draw from what I know of real organisms. Mostly, that’s because my background is in biology and I’m an ardent old-school naturalist. I adore this stuff. My reasons for starting from real life, however, differ.
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[GUEST POST] Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Jacey Bedford on Creating Daniel Lorient in EMPIRE OF DUST

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Jacey Bedford! – Sarah Chorn

Jacey Bedford is a British author who lives behind a keyboard in Pennine Yorkshire with her songwriter husband, Brian, and a long-haired black German Shepherd dog called Eska. She’s had short stories published on both sides of the Atlantic and her first novel, Empire of Dust was just released from DAW. You can learn more about her on her website, blog, Facebook, and Twitter (@jaceybedford) as well as on her Artisan page.

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[GUEST POST] We Are the Worlds by Alex Hughes (Plus: Worldwide Giveaway!)

Alex Hughes, the author of the award-winning Mindspace Investigations series from Roc (the latest of which is Vacant), has lived in the Atlanta area since the age of eight. She is a graduate of the prestigious Odyssey Writing Workshop, and a member of the Science Fiction Writers of America and the International Thriller Writers. Her short fiction has been published in several markets including EveryDay Fiction, Thunder on the Battlefield and White Cat Magazine. She is an avid cook and foodie, a trivia buff, and a science geek, and loves to talk about neuroscience, the Food Network, and writing craft—but not necessarily all at the same time! You can visit her at Twitter at @ahugheswriter or on the web at www.ahugheswriter.com.

We Are the Worlds

by Alex Hughes

A friend came to me about a year ago, and told me that she’d been hearing a lot about this Doctor Who thing. She and I had been roommates years ago, and she respected my opinion on TV shows. Now, even though she didn’t like “the whole aliens thing” she wanted me to show her a few Doctor Who episodes so she could understand what it was all about. I said sure, and we watched the first weeping angel episode, the Pompeii episode, and one set in Victorian England. She had a very skeptical look on her face when we finished, and I assumed that was that.

Two months later, she came back, and she told me that she’d been binge watching Doctor Who on Netflix for weeks. I was surprised, and asked why. She told me that while she still wasn’t crazy about “the alien thing” that the show wasn’t really about the aliens. It was about us, about humanity. And that it gave her hope at the end of the day that we might yet work things out. I smiled. I had just converted one more poor unsuspecting soul into the world of geekdom.

What my friend realized on her own was something us geeks have known for a very long time. Science fiction and fantasy aren’t about the aliens, or at least not often. Most of the time the stories we tell are stories about us, about our hopes and our fears, and our choices to embrace the very best of humanity, the very worst, or anything else in between.
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[GUEST POST] Special Needs in Strange Worlds – Anne Leonard on THE DANCERS OF ARUN by Elizabeth A. Lynn

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Anne Leonard! – Sarah Chorn

Anne Leonard has been writing fantasy and other fiction since she was fourteen and finally, after a career with as many detours as Odysseus, published her first novel, Moth and Spark, in February. She has a lot of letters after her name that are useful when trying to impress someone. She has worked in libraries, academia, and the legal field, and before becoming a full-time writer was a practicing attorney. She lives in Northern California with her husband, teenage son, and two black cats.

THE DANCERS OF ARUN by Elizabeth A. Lynn

by Anne Leonard
Most of the sci-fi and fantasy books that I read over and over as a teenager have long since vanished from my bookshelves. One set which has not, however, is a trilogy collectively called The Chronicles of Tornor, by Elizabeth A. Lynn. The first two books, Watchtower and The Dancers of Arun were published in 1979; the third, The Northern Girl, was published in 1980. All three of the paperbacks that I have are blurbed with a quotation from Joanna Russ, “An adventure story for humanists and feminists.”
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[GUEST POST] Nick Mamatas Asks: Why Write Lovecraftian Fiction?

Nick Mamatas is the author of several novels, including Love is the Law, The Last Weekend, and the forthcoming mystery novel I Am Providence. His short fiction has appeared in Asimov’s Science Fiction, Weird Tales, Tor.com, Best American Mystery Stories, and many other magazines and anthologies. A significant number of his short stories are Lovecraftian—in addition to the ones collected in The Nickronomicon, he has pieces forthcoming in the anthologies Letters to Lovecraft and Shadows Over Main Street. After that, Nick will probably be done.

The Outsider and the Other: Why Write Lovecraftian Fiction?

by Nick Mamatas

Why would anyone write Lovecraftian fiction? is a question that goes unasked in these days of renewed attention for H. P. Lovecraft. Perennially popular within the field of speculative fiction, Lovecraft has been, over the last decade and a half, canonized. He’s been published by both the Library of America and Penguin Classics, and derivations are ubiquitous. Throw a few tentacles into a short story, or the final boss of a video game, and a significant fraction of Lovecraft fandom will materialize and consume. They’ll kibitz and complain, mind you, but with a mouthful of suckers. Writing about Cthulhu or cosmic horror generally is in essence like writing about sensual vampires, or generation starships that have been adrift so long that their inhabitants no longer realize that their home is an ark and not a planet-it’s a set of tropes. And here I am, with a collection of my own tropey and ropey Lovecraftian fictions, The Nickronomicon, just as the issue of H. P. Lovecraft’s racism and anti-Semitism are again coming to the fore.
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[GUEST POST] Special Needs in Strange Worlds – R. Leigh Hennig on Coping with a Loved One’s Disability

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author/editor R. Leigh Hennig! – Sarah Chorn

R. Leigh Hennig recently moved with his wife and three young children from Rura Penthe, er, Rochester, NY to Seattle. Leigh works as a network engineer by day, and when he’s not working on Bastion Magazine in the night, he’s writing his own short stories as well. He’s also an avid soccer fanatic (center back for his Tuesday night team — a defensive rock, and about as fast as one as well) and is probably more dedicated to Arsenal than the Pope is to Jesus.

Coping with a Loved One’s Disability

by R. Leigh Hennig

It’s a cool, sunny fall afternoon in Seattle. I’m in my backyard enjoying a Founder’s Breakfast Stout, grilling burgers, while my children—five, six, and eight (the youngest is a girl)—run about and play. The youngest two are chasing each other through the grass blindly, their shirts pulled over their faces. They laugh and squeal and carry on like the wonderful lunatics that all five and six-year-old children are. I smile. Behind them labors my eight-year-old, trying to keep up. He wobbles awkwardly as he swings his arms far out to his sides, attempting to maintain his balance. His left foot turns in sharply while the other struggles to compensate, despite the corrective action of braces and seven surgeries. More are planned. I still smile, but it’s a burdened smile.
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[GUEST POST] Bryan Thomas Schmidt on 5 Fantasy Series Military Fantasy Fans Don’t Want To Miss

Bryan Thomas Schmidt is an author and editor of adult and children’s speculative fiction. His debut novel, The Worker Prince received Honorable Mention on Barnes & Noble Book Club’s Year’s Best Science Fiction Releases for 2011. His short stories have appeared in magazines, anthologies and online. His anthologies as editor include Shattered Shields with co-editor Jennifer Brozek for Baen, Mission: Tomorrow and Galactic Games (both forthcoming), also for Baen, Choices and Gaslamp Terrors (forthcoming), Space Battles: Full Throttle Space Tales #6, Beyond The Sun and Raygun Chronicles: Space Opera For a New Age. He hosts #sffwrtcht (Science Fiction & Fantasy Writer’s Chat) Wednesdays at 9 pm ET on Twitter as @SFFWRTCHT.

5 Fantasy Series Military Fantasy Fans Don’t Want To Miss

by Bryan Thomas Schmidt

As the co-editor of Baen’s new anthology of high fantasy with a military feel, Shattered Shields, I have spent a lot of time reading and researching military fantasy. But unlike military science fiction, it’s not a clearly defined subgenre, so most of the books falling into the category must be discovered within other categories. Everyone’s heard of big series like Martin’s Song of Ice and Fire, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, Erickson’s Malazan, and Cook’s Black Company, but there are other high fantasy series with great military elements. So here are a few recommendations for military fantasy fans of series they might want to discover.
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[GUEST POST] Michaele Jordan on The Beautiful Anime of Michel Ocelot

Michaele Jordan is the author of the period occult thriller Mirror Maze and her stories have appeared in Redstone Science Fiction, Buzzy Mag, The Crimson Pact, Volumes 4 and 5 and Fantasy and Science Fiction. You can visit her website at MichaeleJordan.com while waiting for the upcoming steampunk adventure Jocasta and the Indians.

Animé Can Be Art

by Michaele Jordan

I’ve talked about French animation before. But I left out one very important name. This wasn’t an accident or an oversight. I felt that Michel Ocelot had to have his own column, if only for his revolutionary work in cut-out and silhouette animation.
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[GUEST POST] A.C. Wise on Women to Read: Where to Start: November 2014 Edition

A.C. Wise is the author of numerous short stories appearing in print and online in publications such as Clarkesworld, Apex, Lightspeed, and the Best Horror of the Year Vol. 4. In addition to her fiction, she co-edits Unlikely Story, an online magazine publishing three issues of fiction per year with various unlikely themes. Follow her on twitter as @ac_wise.

SF Signal welcomes back A.C. Wise and her continuing series of essays on Women To Read!
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[GUEST POST] Special Needs in Strange Worlds: Erin Lindsey on Why Disabilities are Hard to Write

NOTE: This installment of Special Needs In Strange Worlds features a guest post from author Erin Lindsey! – Sarah Chorn

Erin Lindsey is on a quest to write the perfect summer vacation novel, with just the right blend of action, heartbreak, and triumph. The Bloodbound is her first effort. She lives and works in Bujumbura, Burundi, with her husband and a pair of half-domesticated cats.

Why Disabilities are Hard to Write

by Erin Lindsey

Disabilities make people uncomfortable.

Did you cringe just a little bit reading that sentence? I certainly cringed writing it. It’s not even true, strictly speaking. A more accurate version would be: Some disabilities make some people uncomfortable sometimes. But I’m making a point here, so indulge me.

It’s a very common, very human reaction to be just a little a bit on your heels in the presence of a disability. There are a lot of reasons for this, some understandable, others less so. For many, it’s the struggle to respond correctly, without any idea what that really means. Should you talk about it? Not talk about it? Ignore it entirely? What kind of reaction, if any, would be welcomed by the person with the disability? It’s nearly impossible to guess, and that can cause anxiety. In a certain way, I think the people who want most to respond correctly are the ones who work themselves into the tightest knots, because they’re so worried about inadvertently giving offense.

Why am I banging on about this? Because I think it goes a long way toward explaining why we don’t see more of disabilities in fiction, and especially in speculative fiction.

Writers like me are, quite simply, chicken.
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[GUEST POST] Jennifer Marie Brissett on The Inspiration for Her Novel ELYSIUM

Jennifer Marie Brissett is a Jamaican-British American who came to the U.S. when she was four and grew up in Cambridge, MA. For three and a half years, she owned and operated the Brooklyn indie bookstore, Indigo Café & Books. She has a Masters’ from the Stonecoast MFA Program in Creative Writing and has published stories in The Future Fire, Morpheus Tales, Warrior Wisewoman 2, and Halfway Down the Stairs. Her work has been short-listed for the 2013 storySouth Million Writers Award. Elysium, her debut novel, will be published by Aqueduct Press in December 2014. She currently lives in NYC. Her website can be found at www.jennbrissett.com.

The Inspiration for the novel ELYSIUM

by Jennifer Marie Brissett

As I worked on the first few chapters of Elysium—not knowing exactly where I was going except that I had a seed idea of gender swapping—my grad school mentor suggested that I consider using a theme. I thought about that for a little bit and then it came to me, I mean the whole book came to me, not word for word or even chapter for chapter, but the story and even the structure of the book all flowed from the theme that appeared in my mind: the story of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his lover Antinous.
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[GUEST POST] Guy Hasson’s Impressions from the Con

Guy Hasson is the CEO and head writer of New Worlds Comics. His sci-fi series, Wynter, was called by many reviewers “The best science fiction series on the shelves today.” He is also the author of The Emoticon Generation and Secret Thoughts. You can follow him on Twitter here.

Impressions from the Con

by Guy Hasson

We just got back from our first convention, in which we had a booth and sold our first trade paperback ever, the Goof TBP.

Here are some of the thoughts and experiences we had at the con.
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[GUEST POST] Scarlett Amaris & Melissa St. Hilaire on The Pros and Cons of Co-Writing

Scarlett Amaris likes playing devil’s advocate on the dark side of the moon. She spends a large amount of time tracking through ancient ruins and decoding old texts in the Pyrenees. Her more esoteric work can be found at www.shadowtheatre13.com and www.terraumbra13.blogspot.com. She’s also co-written scripts for the infamous horror anthology, The Theatre Bizarre (2011), the award winning, critically acclaimed documentary The Otherworld (2013) and the upcoming feature films, H.P. Lovecraft’s The Colour Out of Space (director: Richard Stanley), and Replace (director: Norbert Keil). Saurimonde is her first novel and she’s currently finishing up Saurimonde II before getting started on Demon Priest – The Misadventures of Abbe Sauniere, her next erotic horror endeavor.

Melissa St. Hilaire likes to bask in the center of chaos watching supernova explosions. She spends most of her time daydreaming, researching, and scribbling. She wrote film and music reviews for The Heights Inc. Her poetry has appeared in the periodicals Shards, The Outer Fringe, and The Laughing Medusa. She co-authored several scripts for Tone-East Productions. Her debut book, a memoir titled In The Now, was released in 2012. In 2013 she released Saurimonde, a dark fantasy novel, with co-author Scarlett Amaris. After finishing up Saurimonde II, her next projects will include a follow-up to In the Now called Medicated and a sci-fi epic called Xodus.

The Pros and Cons of Co-Writing

by Scarlett Amaris and Melissa St. Hilaire

The Pros

Scarlett: Collaborating is a tricky beast. Especially on a writing project.
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