Three Hines Books On Sale!

Jul. 24th, 2017 12:56 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I checked Amazon today and was surprised to see that three of my books are on sale in electronic format. Barnes and Noble doesn’t appear to have price-matched the sale yet (they have now!), and I don’t know if this is limited to North America, but here’s what I do know:

Libriomancer is on sale for $1.99.

Goblin Quest is on sale for $2.99.

The Stepsister Scheme is on sale for $2.99.

That’s book one of all three of my fantasy series. If you’ve been waiting to check out my stuff, this is the perfect time.

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
In spite of all their bureaucratic overhead and so forth:

They aren't there just for the big-ticket, wide-screen, 24/7-news-coverage kind of disasters, the ones that wake people up and make them open their pocketbooks. When somebody's house burns down to the ground in a tiny rural town, it's the local Red Cross who get called on for the pillows and blankets to get them through the night, and the spare clothes to get them through the next few days. And those pillows and blankets and spare clothes don't collect and store and distribute themselves.

(This post brought to you by the structure fire today over in Dummer -- Dummer being a small town near Milan, which is a small town near Berlin, NH. And by "small" I mean tiny: population 304 as of the last census. Not exactly the sort of place that makes the national news, or particularly wants to.)
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[personal profile] malkingrey
One: Why do forms meant to be filled out by hand always have spaces far smaller than the length of the information to be entered in them?

And two: Why does my handwriting -- which was perfectly dreadful even back in the days when I was using it regularly for something besides signing my name to checks and official documents -- inevitably deteriorate, when tasked with filling out a form in a legible manner, into something which makes chicken scratches look good, and which furthermore suggests that the writer is more than a little deranged?

(I know, I know. Self-consciousness strikes again. But it is annoying.)

And three: Why has Plushy Grey Basement Cat taken to walking heavily across my keyboard and causing my screen to fill up with typos and weird commands, when she has never exhibited this behavior before in gtykl?:†all the time she's been living with us?
Like that.

Trailer Roundup

Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:36 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

It’s movie trailer season!

1. Thor: Ragnarok – I love the banter between Thor and Hulk/Banner. Everything I’ve seen about this movie looks like fun.

2. Star Trek: Discovery – I’m intrigued enough to want to see more, and it will be nice to have some new television-style Star Trek. We don’t have CBS All Access, but I’m sure it will be available on Blu-ray eventually.

3. Ready Player One – I know a lot of people loved this one, but for some reason, the book just didn’t work for me, and the trailer seems to be following suit. The trailer looks pretty, but it doesn’t grab me.

4. Justice League – I don’t know. DC’s cinematic universe has let me down again and again…but then they did Wonder Woman, and I started to hope again. This looks like it could be fun. Or it could be a mess. I’m withholding judgement for the moment.

Which ones, if any, are you looking forward to?

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Sigh.

Jul. 22nd, 2017 09:46 pm
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[personal profile] malkingrey
The phone company guy finally showed up at 7:30, and said he'd tested the outside connections and the problem was inside the house.

We paid last December for a guy to come check inside the house when the phone line was acting wonky, and all he could come up with was recommending that we replace the jack and the splitter and the rest of the connecting stuff. Which we got the material to do, and then the problem went away on its own before Himself got around to it, so the material stayed in the bag we brought it home from the store in for the last six months. Then we had this latest round of dead phone line and yo-yo internet, and Himself finally did all the replacing, but it did no good.

If this keeps up, I'm giving serious thought to going to fiber-optic for internet and cell phone service for the telephone, and the hell with a landline.

Grumble.

Jul. 22nd, 2017 04:44 pm
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[personal profile] malkingrey
The phone company said that the repair guy would come around today before 6PM to check the line from the street to the house (yes, the one that gets blown loose, if not down, in just the right conditions of heavy wind and rain/snow.) It is now 4:44, so they aren't liars yet.

I'm not holding my breath, though. And if he hasn't shown up by 6:30, I'm calling them again to complain.

Cool Stuff Friday

Jul. 21st, 2017 12:22 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Friday still hasn’t seen the new Spider-Man movie 🙁

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Well, Dammit.

Jul. 21st, 2017 11:55 am
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[personal profile] malkingrey
Jordin Kare has died.

He liked the SCA songs that Peregrynne Wyndryder and I wrote together, and filked a couple of them, which was an honor.

This is not being a good year for fandom.
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[personal profile] jimhines

“There is a common poor attempt at a joke … that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it … as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.”

Invisible 3 CoverAlliah is one of the contributors to Invisible 3, which came out on June 27 and includes 18 essays and poems about representation in science fiction and fantasy. You can order the collection at:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks | Smashwords | Google Play

Any profits from the sale of the collection go to Con or Bust, helping fans of color to attend SF/F conventions.

As with Invisible and Invisible 2, the contributors to this third volume have shared work that’s heartfelt, eye-opening, honest, thoughtful, and important…not to mention relevant to so much of what we see happening in the genre today.

#

Our Hyperdimensional Mesh of Identities

Growing up in the 90s and early 00s in the south-east of Brazil, all I saw in mainstream media were the same repetitive, harmful and offensive stereotypes about travestis in telenovelas and badly written comedy TV shows, and the effeminate gay men and macho lesbian women token characters whose non-conforming gender expression was grossly caricatured for cheap laughs.

As an openly queer young girl in school, I learned that I could be queer, but not too much, not too visibly. I’ve heard those laughs, and I internalized through bullying and ridicule that I should change how I presented myself to the world—which I did really fast by becoming the stock image of a non-threatening feminine girl, although I never hid my sexuality. My first awkward attempts at a masculine gender expression didn’t have time to blossom. I shoved it down some unreachable recess of my mind and avoided it for 10 years, which (along with compulsive heterosexuality and a binary cisnormative culture) is why it took me so long to understand my bisexuality and figure out my transmasculine non-binary gender identity.

Once I did, I uncovered a gender euphoria I’ve been cultivating ever since.

It took me years to understand the ways in which I inhabit my queer transmasculine genderfluid neuroatypical body, and my most powerful illumination came unexpectedly through the stories of a queer non-binary neuroatypical green witch: Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West.

Wicked: Cover ArtI first met her in the book series The Wicked Years by Gregory Maguire, where most aspects about her gender and sexuality were ambiguous or obscured between the lines, and later in fan fiction, where the depths of Elphaba’s intersectional identities (canon or not) could be explored to the fullest by writers that shared those same identities.

Despite being an avid reader of speculative fiction since childhood, it was only after these encounters with trans and non-binary characters in fan fiction during the first half of my twenties that I started researching these topics, that I found out where I belonged. I discovered a thriving community of authors from marginalized groups creating astonishing rebellious versions of every world I’ve ever dreamed of and countless others I couldn’t imagine would be paramount to my process of liberation.

I owe it mostly to the fictional characters and their creators that illuminated me—from early readings like Virginia Woolf’s Orlando to the most recent fan fiction stories about a non-binary autistic Elphaba, a genderfluid bisexual Korra (from The Legend of Korra), and an agender transhumanist Root (from Person of Interest). I wish I could’ve met them sooner. Along the way to self-discovery, I had to collect all sorts of missing pieces with jagged edges and weird fractal shapes, and figure out a way to put them together myself. I was lucky to stumble upon the stories that I did and then to be able to find the communities that I needed. That’s why representation is vital. You cannot search for something you don’t even know exists.

There is a common poor attempt at a joke (that I’ve seen in both Anglophone and Brazilian online spaces), often directed at dehumanizing non-binary people and mocking activists working at the multidimensional core of intersections, that consists purely in stringing together a series of marginalized identities and calling attention to it, using the accumulation of these identities as a joke in and of itself, as if the mere existence of someone like that would be so absurd it could only be laughable.

One of the things fantasy author Jim Anotsu and I wanted to acknowledge when we wrote the Manifesto Irradiativo—our call to diversity and representation in Brazilian speculative fiction—is that our lives cannot be reduced to an isolated shelf in a bookstore or a niche market, thus we cannot be constrained to discussing the realities of our identities in those compartmentalized terms. We’re so much more than single-issue stories, than the same old one-dimensional narratives constructed to serve the gaze of the oppressor without making them examine their privileges and dismantle their systems of violence.

Those single-issue stories exist and persist for several reasons concerning the maintenance of racial, economic, and social power, amongst them because there is a fear of “too much” diversity. As if a book about a bipolar asexual bigender Afro-Brazilian person, for example, would scare away or alienate the common reader—who is always presumed to be the neurotypical cis straight white default that can handle only one unit of diversity at a time, served lukewarm, unseasoned. But as Audre Lorde said in a 1982 speech at Harvard University: “There is no such thing as a single-issue struggle because we do not live single-issue lives.”

Stories matter. And we shouldn’t have the full extent of our existences cut, segregated, and dimmed in them. We deserve to live as a hyperdimensional mesh of identities when they want to flatten us, to be loud when they want to silence us, to occupy the spaces that have been negated to us, and to be wonderfully written and represented as such.

***

Alliah/Vic is a bisexual non-binary Brazilian writer and visual artist working in the realms of the weird and pop culture. They’re the author of Metanfetaedro and have various short stories published in themed collections and on the web. They’re currently building too many independent projects, working on their first novel, and haunting your internet cables. Find them tweeting at alliahverso and newslettering in Glitch Lung. Or buy them a coffee at ko-fi!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Weather. Ugh.

Jul. 17th, 2017 07:15 pm
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[personal profile] malkingrey
So we had a good time down in Peabody MA at the Granite State Magicians' magic contest -- I suppose I can now honestly call it the First Annual Granite State Magicians' Magic Contest, because they're already planning to do it again next year -- and had dinner out afterward at the Cheesecake Factory on the GSM's dime because we were part of the contest crew. (I was the timekeeper, with signs for 5 minutes left, 1 minute left, and Stop, and my handy countdown timer.) Then we crashed for the night in Lyndeborough with another member of the GSM who has an air-conditioned house with a spare bedroom, and drove north again in the morning.

It was a good expedition, and mostly funded in one way or another by Himself's stage-magic work. But now I'm back up here in Colebrook, where the humidity is higher than the temperature and the temperature is high enough by itself to be uncomfortable -- nothing like it was down below, but as always, it's what you're used to. We had a thunderstorm and a downpour earlier, but it was one of the ones that don't leave cooler and drier air behind them, just more humidity. (On the other hand, it did lay some of the pollen, so that helps a bit.)

Tomorrow I have to phone the car people and make an appointment to get the brakes fixed, because they are making a Bad Noise. We also need to get the exhaust manifold fixed, but the brakes need to come first.

Such excitement.

Mazes and Monsters: The LiveTweeting

Jul. 15th, 2017 08:29 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

A couple of weeks ago, I asked people to share an announcement about Invisible 3, saying that if we got at least 100 retweets, I’d do a livetweeting of the 1982 made-for-TV film Mazes and Monsters.

Mazes and Monsters movie posterThe film is based on the novel of the same name, by Rona Jaffe, and warns of the dangers of fantasy role-playing games. It’s based at least in part on rumors and legends of students sneaking into the Michigan State University steam tunnels to play Dungeons and Dragons and disappearing.

Most of this background is, as you might imagine, complete bugbear twaddle.

On the other hand, this was a chance to see Tom Hanks in his first starring role for film.

You’ve got Robbie (Hanks), a troubled kid whose brother vanished years ago. He comes to a new school after failing out of the last one for playing too much Mazes & Monsters. He tries to avoid M&M’s siren song, but because he’s “Level Nine,” Kate, Daniel, and JJ really need him to join their game.

When Robbie and Kate hook up, JJ gets depressed and talks about suicide, but instead decides to run a live-action version of M&M in the local caverns. Robbie promptly has some sort of mental break and “becomes” his character, on a quest that takes him to New York City to find the Two Towers.

All four kids seem to come from rich families (I’m not 100% sure about Kate), because the film is so much more powerful if it shows that even rich white kids can be broken and destroyed by the evils of role-playing game.

Invisible 3 CoverThere’s also a bird, a lot of hats, a mother who likes to redecorate her son’s room, and a skeleton having inappropriate relations with a flashlight.

I’m embedding the Storify of my tweets below. If any of this makes you laugh, or if you just want to show your support or sympathy, please consider checking out Invisible 3 and/or leaving a review. Thanks!

And now I’m off to try to recover some of my SAN points…

###

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Why on Earth...

Jul. 14th, 2017 01:08 pm
malkingrey: ((default))
[personal profile] malkingrey
...do I keep getting spam phone calls from The Brace Hotline?

I know the answer, I suspect. My age has put me into their target group, and they think that I'm stupid. Or rather, they know that enough people in the world in the target group are stupid that if they call a sufficient number of them at random, they'll pull in enough fish to make their quota.

Fortunately, they use a robo-caller, so as soon as I hear the words "Brace Hotline" I can press "END" and make them go away.

The pollsters, on the other hand . . . either the Republicans are getting nervous or the Democrats are already beginning to rev up their engines for 2018, because we're starting to get those again.

Arthritis? Thanks, Mom…

Jul. 13th, 2017 04:14 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

You know those autoplay ads that sometimes run before an online video? Here’s the text version. Libriomancer is still on sale for $1.99 at Amazon, B&N, etc! (I believe this is limited to North America, though.) No idea how much longer this will last, so if you’ve been thinking about checking out one of my books, now’s a great time.

#

Anyway, I had a checkup with my doctor this afternoon, which confirmed something I’d suspected for a few months now. I’m starting to develop arthritis in the middle knuckles of my index fingers.

For the moment, this is a minimal annoyance. It doesn’t interfere with my writing. I notice it mostly when I’m trying to make a tight fist for karate. Or when I bump one of the knuckles against something. But it’s the first sign of what’s likely to be a progressive problem.

(Please note that I’m not asking for medical advice, thanks!)

I mentioned this to my father, and he was happy to tell me I inherited this particular problem from my mother. Which seems fair, considering the diabetes comes from his genes.

Mostly right now, it’s a worry for the future. I mean, I’m a writer. I spend way too much time typing at a keyboard. I know dictation is an option, but for the moment, I rely on my hands. And between some tendons tightening up in my hands (Dupuytren’s contracture) and now this, I’m not sure what’s going to happen as I get older.

Hopefully I’ll just get some bionic hands or something. Maybe I’ll be able to moonlight as a superhero. I could write a noir-style bestseller about my first case: The Hand Job.

Okay, maybe not…

In the meantime, I guess the best thing to do is write as many stories as I can. Just in case 😉

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

Post-Vacation To Do List

Jul. 11th, 2017 04:59 pm
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

✔ Unpack.

✔ Process ALL THE PHOTOS!

✔ Page proofs for Death of All Things story.

✔ Page proofs for Unidentified Funny Objects 6 story.

✔ Groceries.

✖ Clean the gutters.

✔ Pet ALL THE ANIMALS! (With the exception of the fish and my son’s frog.)

✖ Page proofs for Terminal Alliance.

✖ Dedication and Author’s Note for Terminal Alliance.

✖ Plan and write Terminal Uprising.

Catch up on email.

✖ Livetweet Mazes & Monsters viewing as part of Invisible 3 promo.

✖ Figure out what to do with secret 15K-word novelette, finished last week.

✔ Write blog post to procrastinate working on those incomplete items…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

No Readercon This Year

Jul. 11th, 2017 02:01 pm
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[personal profile] malkingrey
We don't have the spare cash to spend on a convention where we aren't on programming and where most of the people we used to go there to see don't attend it any more.

Also, we have the Granite State Magicians' magic contest in Peabody starting at 1 PM on Sunday, so we'd only have had about three-quarters of a convention at most.

Just not worth it. Even if the Good Fairy Department were to drop a large sum of money on us at the last minute, said large sum would go to car repairs and the winter electric bill.

(Oil heat, goddamit. It's currently beating out permanent, as opposed to tarp-and-board, repairs for the roof in the when-we-get-money fantasies.)
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