Tag Archives: Vera Nazarian

[GUEST ROUNDTABLE] Deborah J. Ross on Marion Zimmer Bradley and Darkover: Inspiring a Generation of Writers


Deborah J. Ross writes and edits fantasy and science fiction. She’s a former SFWA Secretary and member of Book View Café. Her short fiction has appeared in F&SF, Asimov’s, Star Wars: Tales From Jabba’s Palace, Realms of Fantasy, Sword & Sorceress, and various other anthologies and magazines. Her most recent books include the Darkover novel, The Children of Kings (with Marion Zimmer Bradley); Lambda Literary Award Finalist Collaborators, an occupation-and-resistance story with a gender-fluid alien race (as Deborah Wheeler); and The Seven-Petaled Shield, an epic fantasy trilogy. She has just signed contracts for three more Darkover novels and another Darkover anthology.

Marion Zimmer Bradley was legendary not only for her own literary creations, including the Darkover series and The Mists of Avalon, but for inspiring and nurturing new writers. One of the joys of editing Stars of Darkover was discovering authors who sold their first stories to Marion’s anthologies and went on to notable careers. Even when Marion didn’t buy a story, she would often send a letter explaining why, suggest resources for the young writer, and offer encouragement. Here’s what some of the authors in this stellar new Darkover anthology have to say about how Marion influenced their careers…

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MIND MELD: What Crowd Funding SF/F Novels Means for Authors and Publishers

[Do you have an idea for a future Mind Meld? Let us know!]
Crowd funding sites such as Kickstarter and IndieGoGo are enabling authors and editors to reach out directly to fans and ask for help in producing novels and anthologies. However, with crowd sourcing being a fairly recent phenomena, the authors and editors who have put their works in front of the public are blazing a new trail for others to follow.

We asked our panelists this question:

Q: What effect will crowd funding have on SF/F publishing in general and how will it affect the mid-list and self-published authors/editors?

Here’s what they said:

Allen Stroud
Allen Stroud is a University Lecturer from Bucks New University in High Wycombe. He runs the successful, Film and TV Production degree and also teaches Creative Writing, specialising in Writing Fantasy, a module he has taught for nine years. He has a Masters Degree in Science Fiction and Fantasy world-building and also writes music, composing work that has featured in award winning short films.

So you want to write a book? Or, you’ve already written a book and you want to publish it?

For some time now, the e-book publication method has been a source of hope to prospective authors attempting to gain recognition for their writing. The proliferation of e-book readers and the ease of constructing a professional looking copy has brought a new form of democratization to the differing processes of publication.

However, this process doesn’t bring a writer a guaranteed audience. Success amidst the e-book revolution is hard. With so many titles to choose from, readers seldom unite behind individual texts. Yet, we do see occasional stratospheric achievements. Although often these are as much to do with capturing the mood of the times as the quality of the writing.

Writing Science Fiction or Fantasy helps a bit. Genre readers have more identifiable interests in what they like from a book, so potentially, carving out an audience for your own work is a clearer objective in that you can write a book that appeals to this market.
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Free Kindle eBook: ‘Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons’ by Jane Austen and Vera Nazarian

Vera Nazarian informs us that her book Northanger Abbey and Angels and Dragons is availabe for free in Kindle format until Midnight, Friday 27th. Here’s what it’s about:

From the author of Mansfield Park and Mummies…

NORTHANGER ABBEY AND ANGELS AND DRAGONS

Dragons in the skies of Regency England!

Gothic horrors collide with high satire in this elegant, hilarious, witty, insane, and unexpectedly romantic supernatural parody of Jane Austen’s classic novel.

Young and naive Catherine Morland is constantly surrounded by angels only she alone can see. Leaving her country home for the first time, to embark on a grand adventure that begins in fashionable Bath, our romantic heroine must not only decrypt the mystery of the Udolpho Code but win her true love Henry Tilney.

Meanwhile she is beset by all the Gothic horrors known to Impressionable Young Ladies — odious demons, Regency balls, elusive ghosts, pleasure excursions, temperature-changing nephilim, secret clues, ogre suitors, and a terrifying ancient Dragon who has very likely hidden a secret treasure hoard somewhere in the depths of Northanger Abbey.

Gentle Reader — this Delightful Illustrated Edition includes Scholarly Footnotes and Appendices.

MIND MELD: Behind the Scenes…How the Hottest Short Fiction Anthologies Are Created (Part 1)

Short fiction anthologies come in many flavors: some contain original fiction and some are comprised of reprints; they can be themed or non-themed; they may restrict themselves to a certain sub-genre of speculative fiction… But one thing they all have in common is that it’s Editors that put them together.

This week, we asked a handful of Editors the following question:

Q: Can you describe what goes on behind the scenes – from conception to publication — when creating a short fiction anthology?

Read on to see their illuminating responses…

(See also Part 2 and Part 3)

Jeff VanderMeer
World Fantasy Award winner Jeff VanderMeer grew up in the Fiji Islands and has had fiction published in over 20 countries. His books, including the bestselling City of Saints & Madmen, have made the year’s best lists of Publishers Weekly, LA Weekly, Amazon, the San Francisco Chronicle, and many more. He reviews books for, among others, the New York Times Book Review, the Washington Post Book World, and the Barnes & Noble Review, as well as being a regular columnist for the Omnivoracious book blog. Current projects include Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st-Century Writer, the noir fantasy novel Finch, and the forthcoming definitive Steampunk Bible from Abrams Books. He maintains a blog at http://www.jeffvandermeer.com.

This is a tough question, because almost every anthology I’ve done with Ann or by myself or with someone else has been different from the others. Even Steampunk and New Weird involved completely different methodologies–in the case of the former, we were trying to identify iconic stories and in the case of the latter we were mapping/documenting the legitimacy of a “movement” that I’d been around to witness the inception of. Our current project, Last Drink Bird Head, is a flash fiction antho for literacy charities with over 80 contributors. Fast Ships, Black Sails was a straightforward commercial pirate story anthology. The Thackery T. Lambshead Pocket Guide to Eccentric & Discredited Diseases played around with the whole idea of what’s fiction versus nonfiction and indirectly charted the life of its titular character. The Leviathan anthologies focused on surreal and proto-New Weird or post-New Wave fiction, but each with a different theme and focus. Album Zutique was unabashed Decadent and Surrealist-inspired fiction. Being guest editors for Best American Fantasy was another kind of challenge, because we’d never done a year’s best before, and that carries with it a different set of responsibilities. Our upcoming Clarion charity anthology, The Leonardo Variations, is both an anthology of fiction and a teaching anthology that, through its stories and nonfiction in the back, should be of great use to beginning writers. That poses its own challenges. I guess the point is, behind the scenes each of these books has gone through a different process, both in terms of its creation and in terms of the process of preparation. This keeps things fresh and interesting–I’m not particularly interested in repeating myself with regard to books, whether my own fiction or the anthologies I create with Ann, and I don’t think Ann is, either.

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SF Tidbits for 8/7/09

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