Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Signing in Oslo Tomorrow

Today my flight out of Strasbourg was delayed, so I missed my connecting flight to Oslo in Amsterdam. The result of that was an eight-hour wait in Amsterdam before the next flight, so I got to hang out with some of the local fans while eating pancakes and fries. If you're in Amsterdam and you missed it, that's probably because you don't follow me on Twitter or Facebook. Sorry for the really short notice, everyone, but you can't really plan missing a flight like that. I do hope to return to the Netherlands sometime in the future, but it could be a few years.

Tomorrow I'll be signing in Oslo, Norway. The Outland Kirkegata bookstore is flying me out, so I hope a ton of Norwegian fans can show up at the signing and make it worth their while. That's the major reason I sent out another newsletter today, but I also talked about my progress on A MEMORY OF LIGHT and about the THE WAY OF KINGS paperback release (it's out now!). If you're not on the mailing list, you can request to be added here. Also tell me your city and state if you want email reminders when I'm appearing nearby.

This week's Writing Excuses episode covers a bit of a different topic from usual. Howard and I sat down with Tom Smith at Penguicon to discuss filking and writing music. Don't know what filking is? Check out the podcast.

We did manage to get a WARBREAKER annotation put up last week. It's the one for chapter 52, and covers a lot of spoilerific things leading into the climax.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I'm going to France, Norway, the UK, and France again

This morning my plane took off for the first leg of my European tour. The flight was delayed, but I have a long layover in Cincinnati, so I'll still get there in time for my connection. Anyway, here is my schedule of events.

Les Imaginales, Épinal, France, May 26–29

3:00 p.m. panel "Brandon Sanderson contre les infâmes bibliothécaires" ("Brandon Sanderson vs the Evil Librarians") followed by book signing.

11:00 a.m. panel "La Fantasy" followed by book signing.
2:00 p.m. panel "L’état de la fantasy aux USA" ("How is fantasy today in US?") followed by book signing.

10:00 a.m. panel "Dieux vivants, aventuriers, filles du people" ("Living Gods, adventurers, common girls") followed by book signing.

3:00 p.m. panel "Meeting Brandon Sanderson" followed by book signing.

Outland Kirkegata, Oslo, Norway, June 1

Time: 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.
Address: Kirkegata 23
0153 Oslo
Phone: 22 33 04 10
Type: Signing

Forbidden Planet Megastore, London, UK, June 4

Time: 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m.
Address: 179 Shaftesbury Avenue
London WC2H 8JR
Phone: 0207 420 3666
Type: Signing

Waterstone's, Guildford, UK, June 6

Time: 12:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
Address: 71-73 High Street
Guildford GU1 3DY
Phone: 01483 536366
Type: Signing

Fantasy Tavern, Paris, France, June 8

Time: 7:30 p.m.–8:15 p.m.
Address: 38 rue de la Bienfaisance
75008 Paris
Email to RSVP: tavern@fantasy.fr
Type: Radio show and signing

Another signing in Paris?, June 10

Not sure at the moment if this will happen. I'll keep you updated.

Etonnants Voyageurs, Saint-Malo, France, June 11–13

The panel and signing schedule for these three days isn't yet clear, but I'll post it when I know more.

I finally get back home on the 15th. I've wanted to meet readers in Europe for quite a while, but this is going to be exhausting. Pemberly will be joining me for the second half, starting in the UK, and we'll be able to get some sightseeing in.

I'm sorry if I'm not appearing anywhere near you this time. I'm sure I'll be back in Europe again in the future, but it could be a few years. Next April I'm going to Australia.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Updates + Hugo Voter Packet

We've got a few more parts of the website working. The percentage bars on the left column are now functional again, and my assistant was able to put up another Twitter posts collection. New annotations and library items will have to wait for later though.

There are two new Writing Excuses episodes up. First, Howard and I sat down with Jim Hines to discuss parody and satire. Then we talked with John Scalzi about dialogue. Both episodes were recorded at Penguicon.

This past weekend at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America Nebula Awards banquet, my friend and past Writing Excuses guest Eric James Stone was presented with the award for Best Novelette of 2010 for his story "That Leviathan, Whom Thou Hast Made." Congratulations, Eric, and congrats to all the Nebula winners! If you want to read the story, Eric has posted it on his site. It has also been nominated for a Hugo Award in the same category.

I want to talk a little more about the Hugo Awards. I've mentioned before how anyone who registers for Worldcon can vote for the Hugos, and a little about how voting works. I haven't said much before about how there is a cheaper membership you can get that basically allows you to vote but not to attend the convention. The Supporting Membership goes for $50, which is well worth it especially if you consider the value of the following: the Hugo Voter Packet.

The Hugo Voter Packet came out at the end of last week, and it's an ebook package containing ebooks for every single work nominated for a Hugo. Most are available in ePub, mobi (for Kindle), pdf, and rtf files so you can convert them to work on the device of your choice.

Now, I should mention here that the $50 Supporting Membership fee, the $100 Young Adult Attending Membership fee, and the $195 Attending Membership fee (prices good until July 17, 2011) do not actually pay for these ebooks. The ebooks are free for registered members, like the DVD screeners sent to members of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences when they're deciding what to vote on for the Oscars. So to support the authors whose works appear in the Hugo Voter Packet, you should still buy the physical books or the commercial ebooks, since the authors do not get any royalties from this packet. (By the way, membership fees only support the running of the convention and are not used for profit.) But the Hugo Voter Packet is a great way to check out works that you wouldn't otherwise have read, so that you may make an educated choice when you fill out your ballot.

The packet contains the full text of eight novels:

  • Blackout by Connie Willis (All Clear, the second half of the story, is not included)
  • Cryoburn by Lois McMaster Bujold
  • The Dervish House by Ian McDonald
  • Feed by Mira Grant (pen name of Seanan McGuire)
  • The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin
  • I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells (Campbell nominee)
  • Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia (Campbell nominee)
  • Moxyland by Lauren Beukes (Campbell nominee)
(There are also excerpts of other novels by Lauren Beukes and Lev Grossman.)

Four complete graphic novels:

  • Fables: Witches by Bill Willingham and Mark Buckingham
  • Girl Genius, Volume 10: Agatha Heterodyne and the Guardian Muse by Phil and Kaja Foglio with colors by Cheyenne Wright
  • Grandville Mon Amour by Bryan Talbot
  • Schlock Mercenary: Massively Parallel by Howard Tayler with some colors by Travis Walton
  • The Unwritten, Volume 2: Inside Man by Mike Carey and Peter Gross
(For those who measure their graphic novels in megabytes, that's 685 megabytes of sequential art.)

Two complete nonfiction books:

  • The Business of Science Fiction: Two Insiders Discuss Writing and Publishing by Mike Resnick and Barry N. Malzberg
  • Chicks Dig Time Lords: A Celebration of Doctor Who by the Women Who Love It edited by Lynne M. Thomas and Tara O’Shea
(There are also excerpts from the two other Best Related Work nominee books and links to all the episodes of Writing Excuses Season Four.)

Dozens of short fiction pieces, including every story in the November/December 2010 issue of Fantasy & Science Fiction, the September 2010 issue of Asimov's Science Fiction, the September 2010 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, the anthology The Way of the Wizard, and the anthology Godlike Machines (all in the Best Editor, Short Form section). In the Campbell (Not a Hugo), Short Story, Novelette, and Novella sections, short fiction is from nominated authors Lev Grossman, Saladin Ahmed, Rachel Swirsky, Ted Chiang, Elizabeth Hand, Geoffrey A. Landis, Alastair Reynolds, Sean McMullen, Allen M. Steele, Aliette de Bodard, James Patrick Kelly, Eric James Stone, Carrie Vaughn, Mary Robinette Kowal, Kij Johnson, and Peter Watts.

Plus samples of work from nominated artists Daniel Dos Santos, Bob Eggleton, Stephan Martiniere, John Picacio, Shaun Tan, Brad W. Foster, Maurine Starkey, Steve Stiles, Taral Wayne, and Randall Munroe. And I haven't looked in detail at the contents of the sections for Best Semiprozine, Best Fanzine, and Best Fan Writer, but it looks like they also contain tons of complete stories and articles.

This is a very large amount of high-quality award-nominated reading material (some of the works are already award-winners, those that picked up Nebulas this past weekend). If you've been waffling on whether to buy a membership to Worldcon, the existence of this packet is something you should consider. And Worldcon members who are already registered, now's the time to get reading and get ready to vote! (The ballot closes July 31st, 2011.)

Monday, May 09, 2011

Gemmell Award Nominations + Updates

The short list of six nominees for the David Gemmell Legend Award is out, and for the second year in a row I have two books on the list. Towers of Midnight and The Way of Kings join Brent Weeks's The Black Prism, Pierre Pevel's The Alchemist in the Shadows, Peter V. Brett's The Desert Spear, and Markus Heitz's The War of the Dwarves.

Once again I'm honored to have two books nominated for the award named for David Gemmell, as he was such a fantastic author. (My favorite of Mr. Gemmell's titles is Knights of Dark Renown.) Because this is a reader-voted award, that means you all took the time to stop by and give my books a nominating vote. That means a lot to me. Thank you so much!

I do find it amusing that I've now managed to lose the award more times than it's been offered. But did you know that the winner gets a battleaxe?

I definitely want to hang that battleaxe on my wall one of these days, but as always there's stiff competition from a set of very worthy nominees. All of these books deserve a read.

You can vote for the 2011 David Gemmell Legend Award here. If you already voted earlier in the year and are wondering what happened to your vote then, that's how the field was narrowed down to these six finalists. All vote totals were reset when the short list was announced, so you should vote again if you have a preference on what book wins. (Voting for the 2011 David Gemmell Morningstar Award and Ravenheart Award for best fantasy debut and best fantasy book jacket is also now open.)

In other award news, this past weekend I went to the Whitney Awards ceremony at the LDStorymakers conference. The Way of Kings won the Best Speculative Fiction award, and it also tied with Dan Wells's Mr. Monster for Novel of the Year. I'm happy the book has been so well received, and sharing an award with Dan is awesome. (See the following links for a complete listing of the nominees and winners.)

There are a couple episodes of Writing Excuses up that I have not yet mentioned. First Dan, Howard, and I did another braingstorming episode covering urban fantasy. Then at Penguicon, Howard and I sat down to record an episode with Nebula and Campbell nominee Saladin Ahmed to talk about non-traditional settings. Check them out.

Things are mostly working on my website after its recent server move—the library, annotation, and store pages are all accessible and functioning—but there's still some work to be done in the site's backend. The upshot is that I can't yet add new annotations or library items. So the WARBREAKER annotations are on hiatus until that gets fixed, as are the WARBRAKER html chapters, and the expanded "I Hate Dragons" short will also have a delayed posting in the library.

Friday, May 06, 2011

More of "I Hate Dragons"

Thank you all for helping me out with the Delta situation (and for helping my brother win his goofy contest.) I wanted to do something nice, so I dredged up the chapters I wrote of "I Hate Dragons" as a writing exercise a few months back.

I had originally written these as part of a dialogue exercise, writing no narrative. After I finished them, as a second part of the exercise, I went back and added narrative to fill them out. (Though they're still heavily dialogue.)


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Anyone out there work for Delta Air Lines?

Two big updates for today. The first is related to a tweet I made last night. I'm scheduled to fly to France later this month, and that trip is going to be smack-dab in the middle of working on the last WoT book. I worry that the trip is going to throw me out of my momentum writing the book. I was really hoping to be able to spend my skymiles to get myself a business class seat, where I could work the entire way and not worry about my laptop running dry or the seating keeping me from working.

Unfortunately, we're running into some snags getting me upgraded. I have the skymiles, I have an upgradable ticket (which my French publisher bought at considerable cost) but things just aren't working. So, I'm looking for someone at Delta who can somehow make this happen for me. It would not only help get AMoL out faster, but would make me very grateful. So, if you work for Delta in the right division (or know someone who does) and you think you can make this happen, drop me an email. I'll owe you a big favor, and I can make some cool things happen for WoT fans whom I owe a favor.

It's probably a long shot, but I thought I'd ask. Who knows. Maybe it will work out.

The second issue is that our website is having hiccups as we move to a new hosting plan. (You guys visit way too much; not that I'm complaining.) Our new server has php 5 instead of 4, so a number of things are broken, and Producer Jordo is away on a business trip so things probably won't be back to normal until next week.

Right now most of the section pages on the site don't work, but the individual pages still do—e.g. you can go to WARBREAKER chapter 51 using this link or the link in the sidebar, but the section links on the library page don't work. The same goes for the annotations and the store pages. Links to individual items or annotations function, but the section links are broken. You can manually visit any other library item, annotation, or store item by changing the number in the URL. Anyway, this should be fixed next week.