Announcing The Reinvented Detective!

I’m pleased to announce that we have final cover, release date, and table of contents!

December 12, 2023, The Reinvented Detective, the second installment of the Reinvented Anthology series from Jennifer Brozek and Cat Rambo, appears from Arc Manor.

The evolution of crime, punishment, and justice in the future.

What happens when time and technology change the definition of crime and punishment?

Science fiction often focuses on future technology without considering the society housing it. Social norms may change as tech changes — or not. What will criminals, investigators, judges, and juries look like in a complicated future of clones, uploaded intelligences, artificial brains, or body augmentation? What stories emerge when we acknowledge the possibilities of new laws, new police methods, and the birth of sentient Artificial Intelligence, as well as all the ways they can clash or combine?

The Reinvented Detective presents stories that complicate law and order as well as the concept of criminals, detectives, punishment, and justice for all by showing how shifting technology, the rise of sentient AIs, and shifting social attitudes may affect what is not only acceptable, but expected, within both real world and digital communities—and everything in-between. These stories reinvent detective and true crime tropes, recasting them for the 21st century, and above all, experimenting, astonishing, and entertaining.

Table of Contents

Foreword – Jennifer Brozek

REPORTS
Poem: That Missing C: Police Report #1 – Jane Yolen
The Best Justice Money Can Buy – C.C. Finlay
The Gardener’s Mystery: Notes from a Journal – Lisa Morton
Someone Else’s Device – AnaMaria Curtis
Coded Out – Frog and Esther Jones
Murder at the Westminster Dino Show – Rosemary Claire Smith
The Unassembled Victims – Peter Clines

ARTIFACTS
Poem: Ghosts – Seanan McGuire
Agents Provocateur – Lazarus Black
Great Detective in a Box – Jennifer R. Povey
Color Me Dead – E. J. Delaney
The Unremembered Paradox – Maurice Broaddus and Bethany K. Warner
Go Ask A.L.I.C.E. – Lyda Morehouse
Request to Vanish – Lauren Ring
Overclocked Holmes – Sarah Day and Tim Pratt

JUDGMENTS
Poem: Final Judgement – Jane Yolen
Dead Witness – Marie Bilodeau
We Are All Ourselves Inside Our Skins – Sam Fleming
Inside, Outside, Above, Below – Premee Mohamed
To Every Seed Their Own Body – Guan Un
In the Shadow of the Great Days – Harry Turtledove
Gum5hoe – Carrie Harris

Afterword – Cat Rambo

Buy from Amazon
Buy from Barnes & Noble
Buy from Powells Books

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Wormhole Lite Changes – Because You Asked For Them! (And Other Recent Stuff)

Making Wormhole Lite More Accessible

People told me the way we had Wormhole Lite configured didn’t work so well, because of time differences. So I’ve swapped things around and made it so you can get the recordings and not worry about time zones, but instead watch them at your leisure, because I’ve also extended the amount of time they’ll be available from 30 days to three months.

You can take them individually or as a group – and best of all, we implemented sliding scale so more people can afford it. Please check out what’s available and spread the word if you know people who might be interested.

Details. Registration Link.

Who’s teaching what?

  • Sarah Pinsker – Beginnings and Endings
  • Cat Rambo – Conflicts in Short Stories
  • Tobias Buckell – Plot Your Way to Amazing Characters
  • Ann Leckie – Setting & World Building

Results of Our First Pitch Session
Based on a suggestion, The Rambo Academy hosted a special practice pitch session. People submitted their pitches ahead of time and I read each one out loud, then we took 5 minutes or so to discuss each one after it had been read. We had an amazing time with this, and people found that having their pitch read out loud and being able to discuss it without people knowing it was there was comfortable and productive. Speaking as a teacher, it was a great session, full of good energy.

I plan to do one of these every other month going forward, so keep it in mind when you’re getting ready to develop a pitch for your novel.

If you’re a Patreon supporter, remember that this month we’re discussing Karen Joy Fowler’s “Standing Room Only.” There’s a Wednesday session and a Saturday one; both will be recorded for people that can’t make it.

Also for Patreon supporters, we have a special talk this month with Michael R. Underwood discussing American writers and unions – why we can’t unionize, and what we can do about it. The date had to get moved, and it’s now October 24th at 12 PM Eastern time.

Want to join us? Details here.

This weekend’s classes are:

  1. Hitting the Road: How To Send Your Characters on a Road Trip with A.T. Greenblatt, Saturday, October 14th, 9:30-11:30 Pacific time.
  2. Power and Politics in Worldbuilding: Schemes, Factions, and Culture with Michael R. Underwood, Saturday, October 14, 1-3 PM Pacific time.
  3. Crimson Peaks and Menacing Mansions: Writing Gothic Horror with Catherine Lundoff, Sunday, October 15, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time.
  4. Twenty Types of Terror: Exploring Horror Subgenres with Cat Rambo, Sunday, October 15, 1-3 PM Pacific time.

Sign up for both of Sunday’s classes for a total cost of $99! All class recordings are available to Patreon supporters for $40 or $50 for non-supporters.

Find the full list of upcoming classes here.

Find the list of available videos here.

In November, Jennifer Brozek will be leading the Wednesday Writing Games session. Come play and write for an hour in a comfortable and enjoyable session designed to kickstart your creativity! See the Patreon schedule to find out how to join.

Want to find me on your favorite social network? Here’s all the places I have a presence, along with other pertinent links.

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Heading Into the 2nd Half of the Year

This edition of the newsletter contains:

  • Where I’m at with current projects and upcoming appearances
  • Some new classes for August and September
  • Join the street team for Devil’s Gun!
  • Wayward Wormhole Progress Report
  • Lots and lots of links
  • Moving away from Twitter? Here’s where to find me on other social media platforms.

Where I’m At. Figuratively and Literally

Hello! It’s almost August and time has certainly flown by this year! I’m working on the dev edits for RUMOR HAS IT, the third space opera book and finishing up writing WINGS OF TABAT, the last book in the Tabat Quartet. That’ll make two books delivered this year, along with at least a handful of story sales, several of which I’m really looking forward to announcing!

A non-writing project has been the reclamation of my backyard, including planting lots of insect-friendly flowers and herbs. I harvested my first (but surely not last) summer squash this morning, and spent a few minutes watching a variety of bees enjoying both the newly-blooming sunflowers as well as the (by design) unmowed clover patch that has been christened “Beelandia.”

I will be at GenCon next week and Chicago FanCon the following weekend. After that, my next appearance will be in early September at DragonCon, followed by a reading in NYC mid-September.

 New Classes for August and September

How to Give Great Interviews with Randee Dawn, August 26th, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time

Got a passion project you want people to notice or buy? Then you’ll want to know how to speak to professionals with big megaphones out there: reporters! Veteran entertainment journalist and author Randee Dawn has been on both sides of the microphone, and in this class you’ll learn how to pitch, to prepare for your interviews, and become the kind of expert reporters want to call back.

Join Randee Dawn for a workshop in which she teaches you how to get and make the most of interview opportunities.

Dial Up Your Dialogue with Cat Rambo, August 26th, 1-   3 PM Pacific time

Want to make your dialogue more interesting, intriguing, and indicative of character behavior? How do you know to leave in and leave out? How can you use dialogue to successfully deliver vital information? How do you make characters distinctive through their voices?

Join Cat Rambo for a workshop in which they teach you the ins and outs of dialogue.

How Not To Shoot Yourself In The Foot with Mur Lafferty, August 27th, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time

You’ve mastered submission guidelines and cover letters! But that’s just the outskirts of the wild land of the pro author. This class offers advice on how to avoid some common early career mistakes, from how to choose the right agent to dealing with procrastination, self doubt, and more. We will also run a successful author “LARP” to illustrate some points. It may get silly. Bring dice. F&SF author Mur Lafferty will help you navigate the various pitfalls you may stumble upon in your journey.

Join Mur Lafferty for a session filled with practical, irreverent advice designed to give you practical, applicable skills on planning your career and then executing that plan.

The First Draft Novel Blues with Cat Rambo, August 27th, 1-3 PM Pacific time

You’ve got a first draft of your novel now, in all its messy glory. How do you go about revising it and getting it to the point where you’re ready to give it to your beta readers? How do you track the changes and account for the fact that a change to a first chapter can bubble all the way through to the end. Find out how to create a road map to guide you through the process.

Join Cat Rambo for a workshop in which they teach you what to do next.

Keep Your Reader on The Edge of Their Seat: Creating Tension in Your Writing with Cat Rambo, September 17, 9:30-11:30 AM Pacific time

How do you keep your reader wondering what’s happening next, and eagerly racing through your pages to find out? How do you create suspense and tension in a scene, and how tense is TOO tense? What factors remove tension from a situation? Find out how to dial up the tension and keep your reader eager to find out what happens next.

Join Cat Rambo for a workshop in which they teach you how to be more tense. 😉

Prosthetic Dreaming: How to Use ChatGPT, Meditation, and Surrealism To Unlock Your Creativity with Henry Lien and Jerry Lee Davis, September 17, 1-4 PM Pacific time.

AI represents an existential crisis for humans, forcing us to face the question of whether there are more of us than needed. This question is particularly confronting for artists, many of whom already question the value of their own creations and themselves.

This workshop embraces AI as an art supply by recognizing that an artist’s contribution is not just to create something out of thin air, but to observe the startling connections between seemingly unconnected things that no one else has noticed. AI, specifically ChatGPT, can be a remarkable tool to bombard your brain, help you enter your creativity sideways, and give you the “x-ray specs” to see those unseen connections.

The workshop uses meditation and Surrealistic parlour games to bridge between ChatGPT’s sometimes spooky, sometimes hollow responses and your own subconscious. The workshop uses AI ethically, consulting it not to create anything but simply as a lens to see connections in the artist’s mind and the world. This workshop is structured to help all artists, but is particularly useful to those working in narrative mediums (fiction, non-fiction, drama, film/tv).

This workshop is taught by author Henry Lien, who has nearly 20 years’ experience as a Surrealist art dealer, and author/playwright Jerry Lee Davis, who has over 20 years’ experience teaching meditation.

“You will need access to ChatGPT for the workshop. You will need to create a free account to do so. Here is the link. Note that there is also an iOS app for iPhone and iPad. Here is the link. Please make sure you are downloading the official ChatGPT app by OpenAI, and not downloading one of the many copy-cats.

Here is a partial list of countries where ChatGPT is available and not available. https://www.mlyearning.org/what-countries-is-chat-gpt-available/ ”

Cost of classes is $99, or $79 for former Rambo Academy students and Patreon supporters. To register for a class or classes, mail the name(s) of the class, and how you would like to pay (Paypal, Venmo, or other means.)

Looking for something else? Here’s the list of available class videos as well as the portal for the Rambo Academy’s on-demand classes.

The school will be on hiatus for the month of November, while the Wayward Wormhole Intensive Writing Workshop is taking place. The resident Wayward Wormhole students have been selected. We’re excited to congratulate M Levine, Beston Barnett, Cryus Fisher, Sarah Grey, Gio Clairval, Em Dupre, Madhu Guruprasad, Marissa James, Rosemary Smith, Stephanie Johnson, and Auden Patrick. Want in on the virtual version? You can find the details here.

Join the Disco Space Opera Street Team!

Check out the cool buttons I just got for RUMOR HAS IT! Want to join the street team for the book and get a pair of these buttons for yourself? Mail me at cat@kittywumpus.net with the subject line Street Team and I’ll stick them in the mail to you. (I have a limited amount for overseas fans, so mail fast if that’s your situation.) Optional street team activities include: posting pics wearing the buttons or of the book in a bookstore, requesting the book via your local library system, posting reviews or recommendations, and the most active promoters will be getting a follow-up thank you!

Lotsa Links

Cat-Related Links

Community Links

Market News and Related Links

Leaving Twitter and want to find me on other social media? Check the list here.

That’s it for now! Take care and keep writing!  -Cat

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Wayward Wormhole: The Instructors

Janet writes again:

There’s only one thing more exciting than writing in a 10th-century castle, and that’s spending quality time—in person—with exceptional writing instructors. If you’re one of the lucky people who has taken classes with Cat Rambo, Ann Leckie, Sarah Pinsker, or Tobias Buckell, you know I’m not exaggerating when I say these kind, brilliant people have dug into the prose-psyche and discovered truths about communication that can change how I write with a single sentence.

At the castle, they’ll discuss beginnings and endings, setting, character, and conflict. If you’re like me, you’ve taken numerous classes about these fundamental topics, but in the hands of these master crafters, each is elevated to that special something publishers seek from today’s writers.

Have you ever wondered where Sarah Pinsker came up with an idea for one of her popular short stories? She’ll lead a short story discussion group one night after dinner. What niche topic is important to Tobias Buckell? He’ll give a talk during his spare day. What’s Ann Leckie reading, and how did those books catch her interest? How does promoting others lead to a successful writing career? Cat Rambo knows the answer.

What I want most from my time in the castle is to hear their stories. They’ve all worked incredibly hard to get where they are today. Nothing came easy, yet they didn’t give up writing. They’re all serious yet friendly, dedicated yet generous with their knowledge. I want to be like them when I grow up.

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Wayward Wormhole: Carousing in the Castle

The latest dispatch from Janet:

This is the Castell de Llaes courtyard. The building on the right is the entrance area I wrote about a few weeks back, and the main castle is straight ahead, with the cemetery past the entrance, but also on the right.

The courtyard is walled in by 10th-century blocks of stone and surrounded by trees, shrubs, and flowers that grow along the hilltop’s edge. At night it’s going to be pitch-fricken-black out there! I can’t wait to see the stars from this amazing dark-spot. My travel telescope should fit into my suitcase—if you see me wearing the same clothes over and over, you’ll know I made a difficult choice when packing.

And yes, it’s nice during the day, too. You can expect daily temperatures around 66F or 19C, with lows down to 44F or 7C at night. Now, I’m Canadian, so this means a light sweater in the evening, but whatever it means to you, day or night, I think spending time in this protected courtyard may be a highlight of the trip. There are private benches along the outer edge, a large, long-table for meals or drinks, and several shady tree spots for notes, story-catching, or plain old zoning out.

Cat and I are planning several BBQ nights, so bring your appetite.

THE APPLICATION WINDOW ENDS ON MAY 31 AT MIDNIGHT EST – THAT’S IN 15 DAYS!!

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Wayward Wormhole: Writing in a Cemetery

Our latest dispatch from Janet:

I’ve never written in a cemetery, but I’m drawn to the idea, especially after reading Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book.” So why haven’t I done it?

I admit I’m a bit intimidated to write amongst the dead. Even walking through a graveyard in the daytime calls up the imagined lives of the buried and their surviving families (even if those families passed on centuries ago).

Are there stories there? Sure. Are there distractions? Absolutely. Still, I imagine sitting in the shade with my notebook, absorbing the peace broken only by the chirrup of small birds and the far-off drone of a lawnmower. At least, I thought that scene was peaceful, until some scientist revealed that the lovely fresh-cut grass smell resulted from millions of grass blades screaming in agony as a thresher whacked them down to size.

This cemetery seems peaceful, though.

I’m going to write there.

Maybe one of the residents will tell me their story.

PS. Don’t be surprised by the bones you see poking from the cliff next to this graveyard. That’s where cannonballs hit the castle during the Revolt of Catalonia from 1640 to 1652. Attackers destroyed a small section of the castle along with the original cemetery. Unfortunately, any excavation work could undermine the castle’s foundation, so recovery and reburial is not easy.

ONLY ONE MORE DAY FOR THE OPEN EARLY BIRD SUBMISSION!

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Wayward Wormhole: Getting to the Castle

An update from Janet, who has been working away at answering questions.

The Wayward Wormhole just made getting to the castle a (w)hole lot easier by meeting you at the airport! Cat and I will head to Barcelona Airport and wait for your flight. We’ll both help with luggage and get you to the shuttle that takes us to the train station. I’ll make the trip to Vic with you and then drive you to the castle. Cat Rambo will stay at the airport, greet the next group of students, and escort them to Vic, where I’ll be waiting to drive back to the castle.

Why would we do this?

1. You are important to us plus the trip is long and generally annoying—we can help make it easier.

2. Your visit will cover a minimum of twenty-two days. That’s a lot of underwear. Yes, the castle has two washing machines, but you’ll want a few changes of clothes and other stuff, so you’ll most likely travel with more than a carry-on bag. We can help with that.

3. Traveling with someone familiar with the trip reduces anxiety, and who doesn’t need a little less anxiety these days?

Do you need to get to the castle this way? No.

Will we provide detailed instructions if you want to travel on your own? Of course, we will.

What does the trip from the airport to the castle entail? To travel the 75 miles (121 km) you’ll need to do the following:

– Take the shuttle bus from the main airport to Terminal B. They travel back and forth constantly.

31 minutes.

– Terminal B has a large train station. A train to Vic leaves every ten min. or so from 4:20 am to 10 pm. By a ticket (approx. 14 euros), catch a train.

1 h 20 minutes.

– At Vic, a car will meet you at the train station and drive you to the castle. 45 minutes.

It’s a long day, so we hope you arrive a day or two early and rest up before Sarah Pinsker gets a hold of you on November 1st.

Got any questions? Email me at janetwaywardwormhole@gmail.com

PUBLIC EARLY BIRD ENDS SOON!

Addendum from Cat: When Janet suggested this, I immediately agreed. I’m happy to be there to greet people. There’s a great little cafe there and I plan to bring a notebook and enjoy a bocadilla and some coffee while hanging out. The airport is mid-sized, and well-marked. I’ll have my cellphone handy should you need to ping me for guidance. The train ride is pretty easy and pleasant – so much to look at!

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Glimpses from the Wayward Wormhole: Castle Refuges

Here’s another moment from Janet:

A month in a castle in Spain sounds lovely. But add the idea of talking and being around fifteen other people 24/7. It’s enough to make the more introverted reconsider their need to write in a castle—if—it weren’t for the multitude of balconies, cubby holes, and garden (or graveyard) spaces where one can go to read or write in private. Writers need time to think. So on our preview of Castell de Llaés, we looked for those special places where a person could reflect and recharge.

You can find a quiet place inside or outside at castle level or discover the perfect balcony that balances both. Every side of the castle offers views to satisfy every mood and the tranquility to mellow even the most angst-ridden muse. Being from British Columbia, I like seeing the Pyrenees mountains, and I can’t help but imagine the people who marched from France and attacked Castell de Llaés in 1635.

Below the castle, there’s ground cover and grasses, perfect for tucking in with a good book or capturing one of the stories that swirl through the air above us.

Join us and stake out your own private nook.

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Wayward Wormhole– A Castle in Spain – REMINDER: Patreon Early Bird Fees end April 20!!

Bedrooms. That quiet, cozy sanctuary where all things heavy can be folded away, tucked into a corner and laid down for a while. My quiet time is important to me. I work alone 90 percent of the time and find it hard to talk to others without taking breaks.

When I saw the size and comfort of the bedrooms at Castell de Llaes, I was not only charmed, but tremendously relieved. They’re as big as any standard hotel room, yet built with stone blocks carved back in 998 AD. Here’s four of the eight rooms. The owners have moved the two beds close together, but there’s lot of room to move them apart.

There is at least one outlet in every room, so you can charge your phones and computers, as well as use any medical devices, such as a CPAP machine. Linens are changed weekly.

Plus, every room has stunning views of the Spanish countryside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Since we’re reaching the end of the Patreon Early Bird submission, I want to address one other concern I’ve heard from applicants. Bathrooms.

There are four full bathrooms at the Castle. Two in the tower, and two in the main area. They are modern, with a shower, toilet, and bidet. Bathrooms are thoroughly cleaned weekly, or as needed. We hope to see you there!

Check out http://www.kittywumpus.net/blog/how-to-apply-for-the-wayward-wormhole-regular-and-virtual-versions/ for more information.

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Wayward Wormhole: Stepping Into the Castle

Up a set of rugged stone steps, the doors of the castle opened and we entered. I’d been awed by its structure, by its historical significance, and its position in the Catalonia countryside. Now I was nervous. So much could go wrong in the next half hour. We had criteria regarding comfort, workspaces, relaxation areas, kitchens, and modern plumbing. After all, sixteen people living for three weeks in a drafty castle with tiny rooms and narrow hallways could end up being memorable for all the wrong reasons.

Plus, we wanted a private lounge for Ann Leckie, Tobias Buckell, Sarah Pinsker, and Cat Rambo, along with intimate indoor and outdoor spaces for students to read, chat, and think. Could the reality inside this 10th century castle possibly meet our needs? Our lifelong dream of writing in a castle depended on it.

With a mind set on problem-solving, I passed through my first ever castle doors and found myself in a spacious semi-furnished room with a storage area off to one side. My list covered a lot of rooms, a check for onsite supplies, and other areas requiring scrutiny. The entrance room wasn’t on the list, but it had a good air about it and my nerves dropped to a manageable level. With that, I grew confident that this experience was about to get awesome.

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