November 2nd, 2010

prester john

Some Habitation Links

There aren't too many reviews out yet--hopefully that will change, but it often takes a bit for them to start springing up. However, there are some and some more fun things:

Over at Scalzi's Whatever, I explain why The Habitation of the Blessed is actually a science fiction novel
. (Not a joke.)

Rosemary Kirstein hosts a particularly lovely book discussion--a lot of the chewy stuff is in the comments.

popelizbet  has a long and spoiler-free and awesome review.

seanan_mcguire  likes it! (It is always dodgy when your friends read your books--what if they hate it oh noz)

kat_with_sword says beautiful things and is a medievalist so she knows whereof.

mirrorshard  has a really solid review and pretty spoiler-free summary.

We still dwell within the grace period where no one hates it yet! Or at least hasn't said so. Remember the contest goes through the end of the week, and there are five free chapters available so you can see what you're getting into. I now return to twiddling my thumbs and refreshing Amazon like a monkey with a shock button. It's an author's life.

Wave Your Antennae in the Air!

All through out the World Fantasy Convention, people kept asking me: why are you leaving so early on Sunday?

And I said: because my island does Halloween like crazy, and I've never gotten to go.

And they were like whatever, because it didn't sound particularly awesome when set next to a convention of cool kids.

To be honest, I didn't really know what to expect, but I knew I had to be there. One couple does a super-elaborate themed house every year and everyone talks about it. The theme is always secret until the day of, and much speculation buzzes over it. This year it was common wisdom that they could never outdo last year, which featured candy vs. teeth--a bloody dentist chair, a full "holy molar" gospel choir, pro-candy protesters...we could not miss this year.

We raced home and jumped into costumes as soon as we could, running down to the Lions' Club first, which also does a haunted house. It was dark, and that was when I first realized things were...different here.

Because in every other town I've been in in the last many years, kids are no longer allowed to trick or treat after dark. The cities have municipal trick or treating hours, and everyone has to be inside by full dark. For their safety, obviously.

But here, it was pitch black and starry and windy and all the kids were out. In the most amazing costumes--there was a trio of 12 year old girls dressed as WWI soldiers, and an 8 year old Athena in full battle gear. Every shop had their doors open and candy out (and flashing electric necklaces, which will be important later). At the Lions' Club, there was a pumpkin path leading to the haunted house--which was actually scary. No toning it down for kids. Arms and legs and lobsters in a boiling pot, a dead miner predicting our deaths, an old woman guarding a withered skeleton who would not let us leave until we paid her tribute. And the kids? Went back again and again, thrilled and excited, like you're supposed to be on Halloween.

And then we walked up the hill to the House in Question. We heard music, and for a moment I thought: aw, man, they've done a dumb disco theme. Sigh.

And then we saw it. A HUGE lighted disco floor, yes--with an enormous sign over it that read ROBO A GO GO.

The lawn was covered with giant robots.

One reached out a clamp-hand to me with candy in it and said in a digital voice-converter tone: YOUR LIGHTS ARE VERY ATTRACTIVE PLEASE TAKE CANDY. (Remember the flashing electric necklace?)

There was an Elvis-bot, a broken-heart bot, a ROBOT MONKEY DJ, a robot with a digital readout on his chest that said HEY BABY, dry ice and disco balls and even a dog dressed as a many robots! All in incredibly elaborate high-tech costumes, all dancing like mad to robot-themed music. There were robot pumpkins with orange lights in their mouths, silver arms waving in the air, and the priceless sight of a tiny fairy princess reaching up worriedly to touch a giant robo-hand. I have seriously never seen anything like this, how loud and bright and awesome, how much joy and crazy commitment to a holiday.

To understand what this really meant to us you have to know that sometimes we feel a little at sea on the island. As much as we love it and are happy here, there are not so many geeks or people of our particular interests around. We make weird jokes sometimes and have this whole SF culture we're part of that most everyone we know here is not. And to come up over a hill and see a throng of robots beeping and bumping and grinding and being just so gorgeous--it made my heart sing. What extraordinary chance that this was the theme on our first year at home for Halloween.

It was real Halloween. Like it never seems to be anymore. Scary and dark and balls-out and crazy. (Some of the kids were definitely alarmed by the pretty damn realistic robots) I would have killed to dance with robots as a kid on Halloween. And this year, I got to. My sleepy little island can rock the fuck out when it wants to. It is really the best place ever.

And that's why I had to leave early.

A couple of pics under the cut. A little dark, but what can you do.

Collapse )
c is for cat


So there's this big steampunk event the same night as my NYC Prester John launch in Brooklyn--November 21.

We were contacted by them, though really, all that was said is that we should think about rescheduling or joining their event in some fashion, (they were super nice about it though, I will say) which I didn't want to do because PJ is not steampunk and we've had this planned for a very long time now.

But people are asking if I know about it and yes, I do. This is what I will say.

There is no night in New York that will not have some conflict. Surely I cannot draw the same number of people that a Hot!Subgenre!Event! can. Which is good because the space cannot hold them. However, I hope that you will come to our evening of music and dance and books rather than to yet another steampunk event. There will be another steampunk event along presently--not so me spangled and bright with Brian Slattery playing a violin, accordions, belly dancers, and a beautiful book. This is not to malign the event that's conflicting with us--only to say, hey. Steampunk nights are thick on the ground these days, we can't reschedule and don't really want to, and I hope y'all will come see me regardless.

And dude, you can go to both events. Theirs goes past midnight, ours will be over by 8. Easy peasy.

And if you sneak out part way through, I won't be mad.