Monthly Archives: December 2017

Reading Doc Savage: The Czar of Fear

This is number twenty-two of the Bantam Reprints. On the green-toned cover, Doc is menaced by several figures in black hoods with glowing green eyes. A trick of the light makes it appear that the middle figure actually has three glowing green eyes, but the text does not support this, alas. This figure also has a shape half-obscured on its chest that will turn out to be a green bell but in this looks more like one of those things you put over food to keep them warm. Doc is posed very awkwardly, head turned towards the men and stepping toward them while wrenching his chest towards us in order to display rippling muscles half-obscured by the customary ripped shirt.

The narrative begins with a radio squawking and a man in a lunch-room: “pale fright rode his face”. He’s gulping his fourth mug of coffee, accompanied by two women, one “a striking beauty” in her twenties and the other “a pleasant-faced grandmother type.” We learn their respective names are Jim, Alice, and Aunt Nora and they’re in search of Doc Savage.
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Yearly Recap Plus What’s Ahead in 2018

Among the things I’ve done in 2017:

  • In writing, I did: the writing listed here and turned Hearts of Tabat into the publisher and started book #3, which I’ve got about 30k on so far. I didn’t publish any book-length work, but I’d had two in late 2016 (to the point where I was thinking one had come out this year) and will have at least two in 2018, so I guess it all evens out.
  • In skill acquisition, I added how to cook sous vide, coffee roasting, basic lockpicking and (even more basic) scuba to my overall character sheet. I also learned how to load and shoot a pistol, along with basic gun safety.
  • In fear conquering, I swam with sharks (twice) and took a self defense class.
  • In travel, I visited Orlando, New York City, Indianapolis, and Pocatello (ID) in the US and Dominical and surrounding areas in Costa Rica.

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My Award Eligible Stuff for 2017

If you’re looking for my roundup of F&SF posts by other writers, it’s here. Most of my stories appeared privately for Patreon. Those Patreon stories included: PATREON, October, 2017. A Restless World, co-written with Rachel Swirsky. (flash) PATREON, October, 2017. … Continue reading

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2017 Award-Eligible Work Blog Posts & Roundups for F&SF

Hello! I’m posting my yearly round-up of eligibility posts. If you’ve got one, let me know by commenting here, e-mailing me, or messaging on social media.
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Nattering Social Justice Cook: This Is Not A Review

So I read a book recently and I loved some parts of it and other parts…not so much. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since because there was one part of it I just adored but I don’t feel like I could tell anyone to read the book without a big “hey and you should watch out for this” addendum. I’d bounced off a previous book by this author with what was supposed to be grimdark but had a big ol’ weirdly ungrimdark gendered cliché early on that made me think so hard about it that I couldn’t pay attention to the rest of the book.

I’ve talked before about reading when the protagonist is markedly not you, and how used to it women — and other members of the vast majority the mainstream media calls Other — become. And this was a good example of a very young, very male, very heterosexual book. Which God knows I’m not opposed to. I remain a huge fan of the Warren Murphy and Richard Sapir Destroyer series and Doc Savage was a big influence on me, growing up.

So why did this book hit me so hard in an unhappy place? Because it was so smart and funny and beautifully written and involved connected stories about a favorite city and magic, which are three of my favorite things. And because it had a chapter that was one of the best short stories about addiction that I’ve read, and that left me thinking about it in a way that will probably shape at least one future story.

And yet. And yet. And yet… Continue reading

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Stay the Course

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