truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: virtu (Judy York))
So remember a while back, I said I had an awesome piece of bad news?

I can tell you about it now.

The bad news is, Mélusine and The Virtu are out of print.

The AWESOME news is, Ace has officially returned the rights to me.

Which means I can finally finally finally do something about getting them BACK in print.

Plan A is to find a small press that would be interested in publishing them, either separately or in an omnibus edition. (Although there is the whole second half of the series, I think the first two books actually stand together very nicely, so it's not as crazy as it sounds.)

If that fails, Plan B is to self-publish them, through or some such POD service, so that at least people who want to read them can get ahold of them. Yes, obviously, I would vastly prefer it if there were a way for these books to continue to contribute to (a.) my career and (b.) my income, which is why we're going with Plan A first, but if Plan A fails, I'm not going to sit on them like a dragon with a very small hoard, but will find a way to make them available.

In any event, I've been frustrated and unhappy about the situation, particularly wrt The Virtu, for a long time, and I am extremely happy that I finally have the ability to do something constructive about it.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: melusine (Judy York))
I should probably mention that Corambis is out in paperback. Official release date, according to Amazon (which knows these things) was March 30, and an alert reader has testified that in this instance free market capitalism is working.

While I'm on the subject of the Doctrine of Labyrinths and publication, an update for everyone who is wondering: I am still trying to get The Virtu back in print. My agent has made the formal request to Ace Books either to reprint it or return the rights to me, and we are (still) waiting for Ace's response. Publishing works by Newtonian physics: an object at rest tends to remain at rest.

Yes (in case you were wondering about this, too), the waiting is DRIVING ME UP THE WALL. I badly want this book to be available again before Ace decides to take The Mirador and Corambis out of print (not to mention Mélusine), and I hate the inexorably vicious circle I can feel lurking somewhere over the horizon, wherein people don't buy books 3 and 4 because they can't get book 2 (because book 2 was out of print before book 4 was published), and therefore Ace not only feels justified in having taken book 2 out of print (because the numbers on books 3 and 4 are terrible--obviously we made the right decision about book 2), but also uses that as justification to take books 3 and 4 out of print as well. And there I am, with a series I love and am deeply proud of, which becomes unavailable, and therefore unread. And therefore forgotten. The thought makes me want to sit down in the middle of the floor and howl.

And there's nothing I can do about any of it except what I am doing. Which is sit and wait and gnaw my fingernails back to the elbow.

And, I think, go outside and take out some of this frustrated aggression on the weeds. [ETA: "Rain," said Eeyore. "I expected as much."]
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Megan Arkenberg and [ profile] cheloya, things for you are In The Mail.

The [ profile] con_or_bust auctions close Saturday, March 13, 2010 (11:59 p.m. Eastern). This includes (among a lot of other cool stuff) the auction for a signed hardback of The Virtu, in which the bidding has reached $65.

Corambis will be out in paperback (according to Amazon) at the end of this month.

Tomorrow, I'm doing a Friends of the NIU Libraries/Friends of DeKalb Public Library event. Info here. Also, yes, I will sign things after the discussion, and yes, I will sign things other than The Bone Key.

Sunday, I'm leaving for a week in Arizona with [ profile] matociquala, [ profile] cristalia, [ profile] stillsostrange, [ profile] coffeeem, and [ profile] willshetterly, which culminates in a Shadow Unit panel at the Tucson Festival of Books. I believe we're also doing a signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth.

Other planned appearances for 2010 include:

There's probably something else, but I forget what it is.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: virtu (Judy York))
Over at [ profile] con_or_bust, I am offering a signed hardback of The Virtu. Minimum bid is $15. (N.b., The Virtu is the one that is out of print in both hardback and paperback.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
[ETA: all copies of The Virtu and The Queen in Winter have been spoken for.]

Previously, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer ...

No, wait. That's something else.

Buttercup is marry Humperdinck ...

No, that's something else, too.


As many of you know, The Virtu is out of print. Back when I first posted about it, the unbelievably awesome [ profile] sleary said she knew where to get remaindered copies and volunteered to act as a buying agent; I have just received an update from her, as follows:

After the first round of comments, I had more requests than books. The manager promised to find more. It took him a month to get back to me instead of the few days he'd estimated, but when he did call, he had scrounged an entire box from his other stores! I've taken care of everyone on the waiting list from the first round, and I have eleven copies left.

When I went to pick those up, I discovered a stack of The Queen in Winter, so I grabbed those too. I have six left.

I've set up a page on my site with shipping info and costs:

The situation with Ace is still up in the air, so I do suggest that if you want The Virtu, you take shameless advantage of [ profile] sleary's good nature. Personally, I am deeply grateful to her.

Thank you, [ profile] sleary!

[ETA: The Queen in Winter is a romance/fantasy anthology which includes a novella of mine, A Gift of Wings, set in the same world as the Doctrine of Labyrinths. No characters, plot devices, or other impedimenta from the books appear in the novella, and vice versa. And it is, in fact, het romance. The other stories in the anthology are by Sharon Shinn, Claire Delacroix, and Lynn Kurland.]

Q&A 32

May. 27th, 2009 12:56 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Because people keep asking plaintively, let me make the announcement again:

The Virtu is out of print in both hardback and paperback. My agent has made a formal protest on my behalf with Ace, and we are now waiting to see what Ace decides to do. I am just as frustrated by this state of affairs as you are.

Q: What is the difference between the obligation de sang and the obligation d'ame? i get that the first is the 'binding by blood' and the second is the 'binding by forms.'

Also, the part of me that likes to analyze words and their origins and meanings to death wants to know what 'forms' the latter specifically refers to.

A: You want this Q&A, in which I say, essentially, that you the readers know as much as I the writer do.

And I'm not sure I can explain what "binding-by-forms" refers to. It doesn't seem to be something I can articulate, even though I do know what I mean by it.

spoilers for Corambis )

Q: You said that you created Mildmay to rescue Felix in Hermione. Did Mildmay spring full formed into your brain as Felix did or did you construct him to fulfill Felix's needs?

A: He did not spring full-formed, but evolved to fill the needs of the book and of his own character.

Q: Now that it's been out for a bit, what do you think of Vienna Teng's new album?

A: Although it is not to my credit, I do not listen to Vienna Teng.

Q: Why was Felix the only "hocus" who could see the Mirador's curse on Mildmay? Was it due to his being crazy?

A: Yes.

Q: Was there any specific reason that Felix was so dead set against "doing" women? I know he was molly - but it seems he has a really strong aversion to any thought of females and I was wondering if something in his past led to that?

A: I don't know. He would never explain it.

Q: Why, while the boys were in Troia, was no mention made of the fact that Mildmay was also a child of Methony? Was it because Felix's father was someone from the Gardens? Or because of his power as a wizard and Mildmay's complete lack of magic?

A: The Troians preferred not to consider Mildmay as Methony's child. Their animus against him was specifically because he had been an assassin.

[Ask your question(s) here.]
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
The dreams about failing high school calculus HAVE GOT TO STOP. Especially like the one I had last night, in which I dreamed I was failing high school calculus and then woke up to discover it was true. ARGH.

Made progress on the new wolf book yesterday. Let's be generous and call it 500 words. Which is 500 more words than I've written in a kind of appallingly long time.

The indefatigable [ profile] fidelioscabinet has found an awesome photo-reference for Mehitabel. This is Natalia Alexandrova Pushkina, the younger daughter of Aleksandr Pushkin, and if I could have had her on the cover of The Mirador, I would have been a very happy Mole. (No, it isn't an exact match, but it's really startlingly close.)

I'm not bothering with segues today, but if I were, this would be a good one to my first Q&A question:

Q: I am super interested in what you told the cover artists of ACE. From the previous posts, I am inclined to believe that you had very little input in the whole cover art business, but you did mention that you described the tattoos and they listened. Would you have wanted the cover art done any other way? If you had said you weren't satisfied, what would have happened?

A: My input extended only so far as the artist and the production team decided to listen to me. (I did object to the cover of The Mirador because I found--and, honestly, still find--the size and shape of Mehitabel's head disturbing. It did me no good.) When they asked me questions, I answered them and was delighted when my answers showed up in the cover art: Felix's tattoos, the cityscape behind Mildmay--the cover of The Virtu is probably my favorite for precisely that reason--Mehitabel's dress. In three of four cases, my descriptions of the characters were followed: Kay, for instance, does look like David McCallum on the cover, and that's exactly how I described him for the artist. Mehitabel is the exception there.

Okay, that's an honest answer to your question, but I want to be clear that it isn't a complaint. I think the covers for these books are fantastic. They're compositionally strong--which many fantasy covers aren't--they have coherent color schemes, they give an impression of lush baroquerie which is exactly what's called for. Most importantly from the purely mercenary point of view, they do exactly what they're supposed to do, which is catch people's attention. I've gotten emails from several people who have confessed to picking up Mélusine on the strength of the cover alone. The fact that devoted readers (and the neurotic pink circus poodle of an author) can list everything the covers get wrong is, well, par for the course.

Q: How did you choose the titles of the individual books of DoL? The main reason that I can think of is because most of them are the places all the events which transpire in, but then Virtu throws a wrench right at that reasoning, and it's really gnawing at me like a rat.

A: I did not choose the titles. Ace did. My titles were Strange Labyrinths, The Labyrinth's Heart, Labyrinths Within, and The Labyrinth of Summerdown. (I've mentioned before that I suck at titles, right?) And even after they'd explained their single-word evocative-of-fantasy title theory, I wanted to call the second book Kekropia and the fourth book Summerdown, and got vetoed again.

Q: spoilers for Corambis )

Q: I have been trying to find a paperback copy of The Virtu, and nobody seems to have one. Do you happen to know where I could find one? All the others in the series are available, but that seems to have disappeared...

A: The Virtu is out of print in both hardback and paperback. I am really really sorry. My agent is making a formal protest on my behalf to Ace, and if/when the situation changes, I will definitely make an announcement.

Q: I have a question more about one of your short stories than about your books (which I liked a lot, but I can't think of any question that has not been asked yet): I enjoyed "A night in Electric Squidland" very much and remember faintly that you said you wrote or planned on writing more short stories with Mick and Jamie. If you have written and published them, is there a way for this fan from beyond the sea (Great Britain) to buy or read them?

A: I have not managed to publish any more stories about Mick and Jamie. (I have one written that no one will buy, and something else that seems to be the first chapter of a novella, and then three or four other ideas that are thus far obstinately refusing to be phrased in the form of a story.) Hopefully, this situation will change for the better.

Q: What's your preferred baseball team, if any? I only ask this because of, well, I suppose an auxiliary reference question--the writer Ynge, is it a reference to Brandon Inge?

A: I forget where I got Ynge's name, but no. It wasn't that.

I was raised an Atlanta Braves fan. Now, [ profile] mirrorthaw and I follow the Milwaukee Brewers on the radio. But I'm more a baseball fan than I am a fan of any particular team.

[You can still ask your question(s) here.]

ETA: The Sekrit Origin of the Virtu revealed! (Hint: it isn't the toaster.)

FYI: Virtu

Apr. 28th, 2009 11:17 am
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: virtu (Judy York))
[ETA For those of you who would, in fact, like to own The Virtu in hardback, [ profile] sleary is the Hero of the Revolution to whom you should apply.]

Right now, The Virtu is out of print in both hardback and paperback. My editor is trying to get it into the POD program Ace is starting up, and my agent is making a formal protest on my behalf to Ace Books. But unless and until Ace changes their mind (or the rights revert to me and I figure out what to do to make the book available), you're going to have to look for it used or remaindered.

Yes, this also means the Google Book Settlement is, hello, extremely concrete and personal right at the moment, and I have to say, for a company whose motto is, "Don't be evil," Google is and has been behaving like, well, serious evil on this subject. Essentially, as I understand it, what Google's position boils down to is, We aren't going to respect your copyright and you can't make us respect your copyright. If you want ANY say in what we do with your copyrighted material, you have to agree that it's ours to begin with. [That would be opting in to the settlement. And please notice that this involves agreeing to Google's false premise that they can ignore your copyright in the first place.] And if you don't agree [i.e., if you opt out], well, we're going to do it anyway unless you sue us. And if you sue us, we can squash you like a BUG, little author, because we're Google and you're not. Neener neener. Opting out of the settlement doesn't actually protect your copyrights from Google, it just means that you don't agree with the deal the Authors Guild worked out. Which I don't, because it looks pretty much like signing away your birthright for a mess of pottage.

So, yeah. Dear Google, what happened to "Don't be evil"?

[ETA: And opting in ALSO tacitly agrees to the false assumption that the Authors Guild has the right to represent me. As someone pointed out on a mailing list I'm on, Google is not the only entity behaving like an asshat here.]
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec-working)
[ profile] icetome reviews Mélusine and The Virtu and generally thinks I don't know what I'm doing.

Lighthearted Librarian has some advice about reading The Doctrine of Labyrinths.

[ profile] jess_ka thinks Bear and I together are greater than the sum of our parts (A Companion to Wolves).

[ profile] 2ce also likes the wolf book. (Favorite line from the review: "you need to show up to the party prepared for the viking gang bang.")

I know, I promised to shut up, didn't I? But, see, something happened* this morning, and I need to give it time to settle.

"It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards," the Queen remarked.

I've had the experience more than once while writing these books of putting something in, basically because it seemed like a good idea at the time, and only much later, like a book or two later, finding out what it was for. Today that happened with something in the first book. In the first fifty pages of the first book, no less.

Yeah. Three books later, I know why I did that and what it means.

This is a completely unnerving thing to have happen, even while at the same time it is tremendously cool and shiny. Because it gives me the heebie-jeebies. What if I'd taken that thing in book one out? (I almost did take out something in book one that turned out to be incredibly important in book three and is going to come back again in book four. I needed to cut a hell of a lot of words, and my editor said, "This scene doesn't seem to be doing anything." And I stood my ground, even though at the time, she was completely right.) What about all the things I did take out (because they didn't seem to be doing anything)? In other words, this is a part of the creative process that not only does my rational mind not control, it doesn't even know about it except as a fait accompli.

I'm not at all a fan of mysticizing creativity--in fact, quite the reverse. I don't think the Romantics did any of us any favors in trying to divorce art from craft, or in suggesting that artists are like geese who lay golden eggs and any attempt on their part to examine what they do or think critically about how they do it will only kill the goose. But, honest to Pete, as far as I'm concerned, my mind has just done a magic trick. I don't know how it works. I don't know what just happened.

But here it is, a golden egg and a very startled goose.

And now that I know what I'm doing, I need to pause and think about how to do it better.

*Events that take place entirely in thought also "happen," even if it feels weird to describe them as such.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
Jeff VanderMeer ambushed me yesterday.

And speaking of Jeff, his and Ann's anthology, The New Weird, in which I participated, got a starred review from Publishers Weekly. w00t!

[ profile] orrin likes The Bone Key, as does Sam over at Whatta Fiasco. (I'm both pleased and amused that no one can agree on what the best/worst stories in the collection are, although, yeah, "Listening to Bone" is the slightest. I could explain what it is I think the story is doing and why I still think it belongs where it is, but, you know, that defeats the purpose of telling the story in the first place.)

[ profile] tangeriner likes The Virtu, [ profile] ethereal_lad gets the nutcase mishmash of genres, and [ profile] schnaucl thinks the series should be longer (an idea which, I have to confess, fills me with terror and ennui in roughly equal measures--I love these guys, but I am done).

Poodlerat has a review of A Companion to Wolves.

I've no idea exactly what this is (oh the wonders of the internet and its daily doses of wtf?), but some of you may know and/or be interested in it.

Shadow Unit will be updating regularly Thursday night and Sunday night; the first full story will be posted in exactly one month (February 18). There's an RSS feed for updates, also a message board, so I'm not going to mention updates here after this, except as the spirit moves me. It's my blog; I can be capricious like that.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: actw)
(I'm really sorry. It's just, there is no brain here. All there is is ego-Googling.)

Fantasy Book Critic reviews A Companion to Wolves.

FerretBrain reviews The Virtu.

sillybean has quick reviews of me and Bear and me-and-Bear.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: demon)
--FerretBrain enjoyed Mélusine more than they meant to. (Have I posted that link before? Mind like a steel wossname.)

--The Dragon Page is unimpressed by The Mirador.

--Curled Up with a Good Book reviews Best New Romantic Fantasy and likes "A Light in Troy."

--[ profile] temporus has a lovely review of A Companion to Wolves.

--The Gaylactic Spectrum Awards have been announced. The Virtu made the Short List. As did Carnival. Vellum won--congratulations, Hal!
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec-working)
Deep in the throes of book hate. Have some links.

My second monthly essay for Storytellers Unplugged is up.

[ profile] rivkat reviews Mélusine and The Virtu. (Also The Queen in Winter.)

[ profile] strangecreature also reviews Mélusine and The Virtu.

The Time Traveler Show #20 is the podcast of the panel John Scalzi, Nick Sagan, and I did at Penguicon 5.0 about lost SF Grandmaster Godfrey Winton.

Speaking of John, he reminds us that the voting for the Hugo closes Midnight (2359 hours) Pacific Daylight Time, Tuesday, July 31, 2007. John's up for Best Fan Writer. I my own self, as you may recall, am in my second second year of eligibility for the Campbell.

Enough about me. How are you?
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (writing: fennec)
2,120 words.

Lo, this is the chapter of exposition, in which everyone explains everything to everybody.

Found via I CAN HAS CHEEZBURGER?, these stunning photographs of a fox. (Yes, her human-friendliness is worrisome--as the photographer is clearly aware--but that doesn't detract from the photographs.)

There's a review of The Virtu over here.
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (cats: problem)
Added 175 words to Chapter 12, in the finest tradition of the feline I meant to do that.

And a handful of reviews:

The MIT Science Fiction Society's review of Mélusine and The Virtu.

Poodlerat on Mélusine and The Virtu. (Poodlerat reads fast!)

[ profile] dreamyraven really likes the Introduction to Mélusine.

As does, serendipitously enough, [ profile] kate_nepveu. (Review of both Mélusine and The Virtu.)

[ profile] selectedreading reviews Mélusine and then reviews reviews of Mélusine. (I'm not linking because I agree or disagree, but just because I love the fact that somebody's doing the metawork.)

And, on The Mirador front, Harriet strikes again.

(Good god, I've got a Wikipedia entry. Which is incorrect. Oooooops.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)


(N.b., that's their opinion of me, not my opinion of them.)
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
A review of The Virtu. And another, since I can't remember if I've linked to this one before or not. offers a quite lovely explanation of what I was doing in "The Ones Who Walk Away from the West and the Sea."
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
So, Wednesday night our furnace died.

Our oil-burning, asbestos-swaddled furnace.

Thursday (starting at a quarter after midnight) and Friday, when not gallivanting about with [ profile] heresluck, were spent largely on the phone, calling people to come look at the furnace, to come look at the asbestos, to deal with the asbestos, to install a new furnace, etc. etc. etc. I'm in fact still trying to find someone to come pump out the fuel tank. On the other hand, the new gas furnace should be arriving with its entourage in about half an hour, and that's good, because we have space heaters and the house holds its heat remarkably well, all things considered, but the thermostat says 54 this morning, and I'm cold.

You will not be surprised to learn that we had four-cat bed-and-heater detente most of yesterday afternoon.

Short review of The Virtu, and ditto of Mélusine.

Review of The Virtu at

A thoughtful review of Mélusine.

[ profile] oldcharliebrown quotes the IROSF review of Clarkesworld Magazine 1.

The Bone Key is available for preorder from Clarkesworld.


Dec. 3rd, 2006 12:23 pm
truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)
I'm still sick. So here are some people talking about my books.

Linda at Hippoi Athanatoi reviews Mélusine and The Virtu.

[ profile] fiction_theory reviews Mélusine.


truepenny: artist's rendering of Sidneyia inexpectans (Default)

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