Comicpalooza is Here!

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My Comicpalooza Schedule:

Comicpalooza will be held at the George R Brown Convention Center in glorious downtown Houston, Friday May 22 through Monday May 25th, and it’s ALL ABOUT ME! Well, no. It’s not. Not at all. Not really. But I will be there, and you can come see me, and we can connect as human beings, or cyborgs, you know, as the case may be.

So here’s where to find me:

  • Friday at 4: Star Trek vs Star Wars. Rm21 352A w/ P. J. Hoover, Wayne Basta, Dom. D’Aunno.
  • Sunday 1-4: Signing and jawjacking at the Skipjack Publishing table.
  • Sunday at 4: Evolution of the Star Trek Franchise, w/ Rebecca Shwartz, Wayne Basta, Diana Dru Botsford, Marshal Ryan Maresca. Rm 3, 350B
  • Monday 1-4: Signing and Flamenco dancing at the Skipjack Publishing table (There will be no dancing).
  • Monday at 4: Scifi Writing on TV, w/ C.D. Lewis, Rick Klaw, Wayne Basta, Diana Dru Botsford. Rm 1, 350A

I’ll have copies of the Writers of the Future anthology and Galaxy’s Edge Issue 14 with Robert Heinlein on the cover. Skipjack will have copies of the two Tides anthologies, one scifi with a story of mine in it, one fantasy which I co-edited. Come by and ask us stuff. Cuz we like that. And bring a camera. And a smile. ;-)

Tangent Online Review: “Very Well Done”

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My first review in Tanget Online is in. The verdict? Well done!

“Behold the lowly copper penny! Stuart Hardwick, in his story “Luck of the Chieftain’s Arrow,” gives us the unlikeliest of heroes—the penny. Having been arrowhead, jewelry, bell, and then finally a penny, the narrator of this tale is an immortal entity trapped in copper by a shaman’s ignorance. Wanting nothing more than to be set free, it endeavors to educate its owners just enough to do so, but eventually comes to care for humanity in a way humans never seem to do for themselves. This bit of spirit-infused metal travels through history—Forrest Gump-like—mostly observing, but sometimes influencing that history. The ending is left to the reader, but satisfying nonetheless. Very well done.”

Read the entire review here.

What did YOU think of my story? Leave a comment and let me know or better yet, share with the world online. As of this writing, the issue is still free to read on the website at www.GalaxysEdge.com

A Galaxy of Scifi Talent – And Me!

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I am elated to announce that Galaxy’s Edge #14 is free to read on the website.

http://www.GalaxysEdge.com

GalaxysEdge14-320My story, “Luck of the Chieftain’s Arrow,” appears in this issue alongside stories by Rebert Heinlein, Larry Niven, Nancy Kress, Greg Benford, Alan Dean Foster & more. Yeah. This stellar lineup is a testament to the work that Mike Resnick and his editorial partners are doing, and a reminder to me to keep up my efforts.

I am particularly proud to see my name right next to Heinlein’s. It was his short story, “A Tenderfoot In Space,” that I remember as one of my earliest literary experiences.

Please be sure to share and spread the word, and if you are a WorldCon attendee, remember me at nomination time.

Meanhile on Twitter….

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tom follows meThis, seen on Twitter today, tickles me for a couple of reasons.

I’m a big fan of Hugh Laurie since way back, since long before he became Dr. House, from back when he and Stephen Fry were ubiquitous funny men on the BBC. I’m also a big fan of Tom Hall since way back, since we worked together at Softdisk and used to eat pizza and play cards together with a collection of kids at the dawn of an industry and all with their lives before them.

Tom, a co-founder of id Software who recently had one of his level designs from the original Doom game voted an all time favorite of fans, probably saw my recent publication in Galaxy’s Edge Magazine. But what has Hugh done lately?

I kid.

Cheers.

Ten Quick Grammar Lessons From The West Wing

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C Stuart Hardwick:

I think I feel a blog series coming on…

Originally posted on Graham's Crackers:

If you want to write well in any capacity, professional or otherwise, you should watch The West Wing.  Hell, you should watch it over and over again, scrutinize, memorize, take copious notes and write countless essays on its tropes and its impact on the human psyche.  Rarely, if ever, has there been a series so in love with the peculiarities of the English language.  Truly – few writers can turn arguing over grammatical construction into entertaining television.  Not lost is the irony that if Aaron Sorkin were inclined to participate on Internet message boards, he’d definitely be considered a grammar Nazi – in the best sense of the word of course.  Presented then for your perusal, ten useful takeaways to pin to the office wall for reference whenever needed:

  1. Unique means one of a kind.  Something cannot be “very unique.”
  2. Nor can something be “extremely historic.”
  3. Alliteration can make a reader need an avalanche…

View original 114 more words

My Hugo Euro’s Worth

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Sad puppies. Yeah.sad_puppies_3_patch

When I bought this house, there was…an agitator… in the neighborhood trying to get the government to buy his house because of a tiny quantity of hydrocarbons found in a bit of pipe left buried when the land was cleared. The state had come, the EPA had come, an independent testing company had come, and they all agreed the solution was simple: fill in the hole and get on with life.

But no. This chap kept making noises and getting the media out and convincing the ladies in the bridge club that fumes and leachate from the cypress bark mulch used here was actually a dangerous CHEMICAL that was going to turn the place into three mile island. Or something.

This guy wanted a buyout. Never mind that in the absence of any actual problem, houses were already selling at market value, and that a government cleanup is never going pay you more than market value and that if you shovel shit at the neighbors loudly and long enough, you might actually succeed in driving the market prices down. For everyone.

So I killed him. Not really. I think he died of old age or finally moved to Antarctica where there are no petrochemicals at all, or he got wrapped up watching Gossip Girl and forgot all about it.

But I digress.

I’ve yet to meet (in person) a scifi or fantasy author I didn’t like. I certainly haven’t met them all, but I have met a couple who’ve been embroiled in certain recent controversies. And we’ll just leave it at that.

Look. We all wade in this little pool together. And we all need each other’s help and support. We can each try to fill ‘er up with clean and clear bright water, or we can be the kid with the stinky diaper. And get hoisted by it.

I do not have an axe to grind with regard to the Hugos. To be honest, I kind of skimmed over the early SP3 posts with the graphs and the analysis showing how the whole system has apparently collapsed into a shameless sham of anti-meritocratic crapulence. Partly that’s because those posts had, you know, math and stuff. Partly it’s because there are others far better positioned then I to worry about such things and because I never really expected the Hugos to be any different from any other part of human experience.

It seems clear to me that both principal sides in this debate have, or at least started from, reasoned positions that they genuinely believe to have validity and merit. And that’s fine. Opinions are free. Debate, exposition, analysis, and yes, even argument are all critical to society. But to criticize an action, a process, an outcome, is one thing. To demonize a person or group based on supposition is quite another.

This year I have watched as a bunch of writers, most of whom I know to be talented, some of whom I consider friends, have heaped on one another a crap heap of vitriol to high and so deep, it was bound to come crashing down. And now, for some of them, it has. And we all stand here spattered in poo.

It’s time to change the water. It’s time to stop and recall that before it became about selling tickets to Worldcon, boosting careers, assuaging egos, and anointing the best of the best, the Hugo was about honoring Hugo Gernsbach, a man who committed his life to evangelizing science for the lay public.

We live in a world running short of petroleum, fresh water, habitat, and–you know–fish. Where both sides of the political spectrum operate by insult, distraction, and obfuscation, so they can keep the onr percent of their constituency that pays all the money making more and more and more. And we’re worried about whether one group of another is biasing the distribution of little plastic rocket.

I humbly suggest that we are all better served by resolving our procedural disputes through respectful discourse and leaving the exploration of political ideas to our fiction. That’s what it’s there for, after all.

========================================================================

Here read some more about the kerfuffle, if your want to, I guess. I have a novel to write.

Are Sad Puppies Sad Gits?
Jennifer Cambpbell-Hicks on the nominations.
John Sclazi’s Take

You can also Google Brad Torgersen, who launch the opening salvo in this year’s campaign, but who I’m not going to link to, because…he’d done himself enough harm this week.

Meet The Winners – Daniel J Davis

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As we start this year’s Writers of the Future workshop week, join me in welcoming third quarter winner, Daniel Davis.

Stuart: Welcome Daniel, and congratulations! So who are you, sir?

Daniel: I’m a veteran of the Marine Corps and the Army, with a combined total of almost nine years of service.

Stuart: Well thank you, sir (snaps out crisp salute).

Daniel: I’m still not sure how I managed to sign two different sets of enlistment papers without either one of them saying “Air Force” at the top. I think I’m just a slow learner.

Stuart: Yes, well, where would we be without you? ;-)

Daniel: I’ve also been a machinist’s apprentice, a security guard, and a building maintenance worker. I spent most of my life in Massachusetts, but I currently live in North Carolina.

Stuart: Well Mr. Hubbard always said a variety of jobs can be good for the writer’s soul. And what led you into writing?

Daniel: I’ve always had an interest in it. I used to create a lot of stories in my head when I was a kid. Most of them were inspired by movies or TV shows. I think the first one I ever actually wrote down was a knock-off of Jaws, which I banged out on my mother’s electric typewriter.

Stuart: Oh electric huh? Swanky. My mother insisted she could type 60 WPM on an Underwood. To this day, I think she was making it up.

Daniel: In high school, I tried to write science fiction stories during study periods. They were violent, nihilistic, and poorly written. I was heavily into things like Mad Max and Escape from New York at the time, so I ended up with pages and pages of gunfights and flaming ruins that were recognizably local places.

Stuart: Well you know. Hormones.

Daniel: I can only imagine what would happen if I tried to write something like that on school grounds nowadays.

Ultimately, though, writing was just another pastime. I was never especially serious about it. Publication was something I’d never even considered.

That all changed when I read Heroes Die by Matthew Woodring Stover. It was exciting. It was full of twists and turns, realistic characters, and vivid imagery. It was a story that had an honest, emotional impact on me. Even better, it was a thrill ride from start to finish.

I knew right away that I wanted to give someone else that same experience some day. Never mind great art. My ambition is to write a great piece of entertainment.

Stuart: And nothing wrong with that. In my opinion, the one is of diminished value without the other. Describe your “writer’s cave” your preferred writing location.

Daniel: The spare bedroom doubles as my office. I have bookshelves in there filled with my favorite SF/F titles, and a Japanese incense bag hanging next to the bed. The bag was a gift from my brother-in-law, who teaches English in Yokkaichi. They’re traditionally hung in a workspace for good luck at the beginning of the New Year.

I tend to write on the bed, with the dogs curled up next to me, and a pair of headphones to cancel out the rest of the world.

Stuart: Do you have any unusual talents or hobbies?

Daniel: I sing even worse than I dance.

Stuart: I like that as a talent. Like a superhero who stuns the bad guys with his dancing and then drops them with a blood curdling yodel.

Daniel: Fortunately, the only person who’s ever had to deal with that for any prolonged period is my wife.

Stuart: My condolences to her. Man, the military, bad singing, and writing. She should get a medal.

Daniel: I’ve also dabbled in various martial arts over the years, including judo, kempo karate, and kung-fu. I’m not especially good at any of them, but I have learned how to fall down, and how to laugh when someone breaks my nose. I’ve done a bit of fencing, too, which means I know at least a dozen ways to die on the end of a sword.

Stuart: Ha ha! I took Korean Kuk-Sul-Wan for a while. I really enjoyed it, but the owner gave free lessons to this very nice chap named Jose in exchange for tiling the bathroom. Jose had biceps the size of redwoods and a low center of mass, and I’m pretty sure he could have taken all of us on, black-belts included, without putting down his drink bottle.

How long have you been entering WotF? Is this your first contest win?

Daniel: This is my very first time entering. I didn’t know much about the contest until recently. I always saw the book on shelf at Barnes and Noble, but for some reason I just assumed it was an “Annual Best of” anthology showcasing previously published works. I never knew it was all original, never-before-seen work.

Stuart: Well all right! You da man!

Star Trek or Star Wars?

Daniel: One of my earliest memories is of my parents letting me stay up late to watch Star Wars on basic cable. My older sister gave me the picture book with all of the still photos from the movie, which I read until it fell apart.

Stuart: I remember my cousins had these big newsprint comic books before we ever saw the movie. I remember sitting in this ancient bed in my grandmom’s house, escaping to Tatooine. My dad didn’t understand the concept of going to see a film if you already knew the story.

Daniel: I also still absolutely love the first three Star Trek movies. I just never got too into the TV series. It was always running opposite reruns of Lost in Space when I was a kid. And Lost in Space had cooler monsters and a robot.

Stuart: Fair enough!

Pantser or Plotter?

Daniel: I’ve been a pantser for the past several years. Since I’m not fabulously rich and famous yet, I might have to re-think that strategy.

Jokes aside, I only started to learn about plot and story structure within the last year, after I picked up a copy of Writing to Sell by Scott Meredith.

Stuart: Excellent book, though some chapters are better than others.

Daniel: Now I’m working to become a bit more methodical in my writing. Learning how to plot ahead of time is definitely a big part of that. But there’s also an undeniable thrill that goes along with discovering the story as I write.

I suspect that by the time I find my “sweet spot,” it’s going to be a little bit of both.

Stuart: I think you’re right.

What’s the nuttiest thing that ever happened to you?

Daniel: I took part in a blindfolded sparring match when I was twenty. Naturally, I got my posterior parts handed to me in a pillowcase, but I was still happy that I got to push and challenge myself like that.

Later on, I found out that I was the only one who was blindfolded. The moral of the story is that you should never trust your friends. Especially when those friends are a bunch of jackasses looking for a cheap laugh.

Stuart: Yeah…I kinda saw that coming. Don’t feel bad, we all get duped my our so-called friends at some point.

If you had a superpower, what would it be?

The power to give witty, interesting answers in interviews.

Stuart: Not bad. Not bad at all.

Daniel: And Wolverine claws.

Stuart: I, um…ah….

What was your favorite toy growing up?

Daniel: I grew up in the golden age of action figures. I had G.I. Joe, Transformers, He-Man, Thundercats, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Voltron, and Rambo. How do you pick a favorite?

Stuart: I actually thought they made up Voltron for Jimmy Neutron.

Daniel: And of course, most of the TV shows I watched were basically half-hour toy commercials (I can’t be the only one who remembers that kid-friendly Rambo cartoon).

Stuart: Well thanks Daniel. I’ll be watching to see who brings home the Golden Pen. Regardless, I know we’ll be seeing more of each other.