Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Forum move, ALLOY preview, Worldcon costumes + Updates

The site that has hosted my forums for years, the Official Time-Waster's Guide, has now officially gone offline. The front page hadn't really been updated in years as staff members moved on to other projects, and few areas of the forum were still active, so it's not a big loss. My official forums will now be hosted by the official Brandon Sanderson fansite, 17th Shard. (They also just posted a writeup of the Q&A from my recent West Jordan signing, covering both my books and the Wheel of Time.) Dan Wells is also moving his forum over there, and the Reading Excuses forum is also there. The admins are currently looking into moving over a read-only archive of relevant TWG posts, so we'll see if that happens.

The catalyst for TWG going offline now rather than some other time is that the old forum software it was running was vulnerable, and a hacker exploited that vulnerability to harvest email addresses and salted/hashed passwords. That means that if you had an account there, you may see an uptick in spam, and if your password was an easily crackable one that you used elsewhere (especially if it was the same password you use for your email account), someone may break in to your accounts elsewhere. So it's a very good idea to change the passwords you use on any other site that shared the login you used at TWG. Because the passwords were salted and hashed they should still be fairly secure if you picked a robust password in the first place, but it's a good idea to err on the side of caution and change your passwords anyway. (If you're wondering, the forum also used a lot of custom code which made updating it difficult, and we decided the effort it would take to secure everything again wasn't worthwhile in the face of its diminished activity and the other available options.)

Remember when I said last fall on Twitter that I had just written the most awesome Allomantic gunfight ever? (Okay, it was also the first Allomantic gunfight ever written.) Well, that gunfight appears in THE ALLOY OF LAW chapter six, now up on Tor.com. This marks the end of the short story that I originally planned, which turned into the new Mistborn novel coming out on November 8th. If you read the six preview chapters that have been released, you'll understand why this really was the only good place to end the preview. I wanted you to get a comprehensive sample of what this novel was really about, and with this chapter all the elements come together. But now the book doesn't come out for more than two months, and there won't be any more preview chapters. Please try to be patient. Anyway, to find out how to get signed copies of the book when it does come out, see here.

I'm very pleased with how THE ALLOY OF LAW turned out. On the other hand, I'm very displeased with how my draft of MYTHWALKER turned out way back in 2001, which is why I stopped writing it. But if you're a glutton for punishment you can check out chapter one. Some of its elements will look familiar, since I cannibalized them into later books.

The newest episode of Writing Excuses is up, and it covers revision focusing on description. This past weekend at the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, Writing Excuses was beaten in the Hugo voting for the Best Related Work category by a fine book called CHICKS DIG TIME LORDS. Mary contributed one of its essays (among many great women authors). She also won a Hugo for her short story, "For Want of a Nail." (Dan lost the Campbell to Lev Grossman, author of THE MAGICIANS.)

Also at Worldcon a group of us attended the Girl Genius Steampunk Ball in costume. Here's a sample photo, taken by Pemberly's assistant Kathy. I'm dressed as an Elendel Allomancer and my assistant Peter is Allomancer Jak from the Elendel Daily broadsheet. Pemberly and Peter's wife Karen are dressed to accompany us to the wedding dinner in chapter four of THE ALLOY OF LAW. (Not that Allomancer Jak was there.)

You can see a few more photos on Facebook. I'll try to get more tagged soon.

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