This one time at Writer's Camp…
Tag Archives: SF
The inaugural Dragon Awards (hosted by Dragoncon, the biggest party for nerds in the entire southeastern U.S.) went off smashingly. I can’t wait for them to release the results numbers so we can see just how many people actually voted. I’m going to throw out a number and say… hmm… 10,000. While that may seem like a high number, I’m guestimating and lowballing the potential voters by comparing them to the Hugo Awards and Worldcon 2016.
Worldcon had 7,338 members (supporting and attending) and 2,903 voters for the Hugo Awards in 2016. That’s roughly 39.56% of members voting.
Dragoncon had 75,000+ attendees this 2016, but I seriously doubt the voter turnout was equivalent to the Worldcon voting participation. I dropped about 20% of the prospective votes due to general apathy to awards on a whole by Dragoncon attendees, guessing that the amount of Dragon Award voters was about a measly 17%. That would make the vote total about… uhh… math sucks… I write books not equations… 11,250. This number is probably high, but still… that’s a hell of a lot of votes.
I’ll be honest. I did not nominate anyone for the Dragon Award. Not because I didn’t feel any books weren’t deserving, but because I’d read about 450+ books so far this year, so I felt limited in what I could nominate because my options were too numerous. So I decided to wait and see who the nominees were and then vote.
So what I’ll do is post my pick in italics, and the winner in bold.
- Best Science Fiction Novel:
my pick — Raising Caine, Charles E. Gannon (Baen)
winner — Somewhither: A Tale of the Unwithering Realm, John C. Wright (Castalia House)
Thoughts: This was a tough category, because I thought both books had solid merits. I went with Charles as my winner due to past experiences working with him in Eric Flint’s 1632 universe. Still, Wright’s work is top-notch and there is no shame in losing out to him.
- Best Fantasy Novel:
my pick — Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia (Baen)
winner — Son of the Black Sword, Larry Correia (Baen)
Thoughts: I had pegged this book back when it first came out as Larry’s best work to date. I never really imagined him as a high fantasy author, and this book blew any preconceived notions of Larry being a “monsters and guns” guy away. This is one of the rare fantasy books I’ve reread multiple times where the authors name on the cover isn’t Weis or Hickman. Plus, while I love Butcher, I just didn’t feel the same about this new steampunk series as I did his Codex Alera one.
- Best YA/ Middle School Novel
my pick — Changeling’s Island, Dave Freer (Baen)
winner — The Shepard’s Crown, Terry Pratchett (Harper)
Thoughts: no shame here. Pratchett is the greatest, and even though I secretly hoped that Freer could pull off the upset, I knew deep down that Pratchett had this one locked up. If Freer hadn’t been nominated, my vote would have gone to Alethea Kontis’ “Trix and Faerie Queen”. I don’t do YA/teen romance normally but Kontis is a terrific writer who makes “the kissy parts” not too over the top. 😛
- Best Military Science Fiction or Fantasy Novel
my pick — Hell’s Foundations Quiver, David Weber (Tor)
winner — Hell’s Foundations Quiver, David Weber (Tor)
Thoughts: Not a huge surprise here, though Django Wexler’s “The Price of Valor” was pretty good. Matched up against Weber’s SF/Fantasy mashup, though, it pales in comparison. This series is better than Weber’s Honor Harrington one.
- Best Alternate History Novel
my pick — Germanica, Robert Conroy (Baen)
winner — League of Dragons, Naomi Novik (Del Rey)
Thoughts: For a voter, this category sucked. I had to choose between Novik, two separate 1632 novels, and Robert Conroy’s “Germanica”. There was no way I could put one above the other, so I pretty much dismissed the 1632 novels out of hand due to what I termed in my head a “vote split”, leaving “League of Dragons” and “Germanica”. I then pretty much flipped a coin 13 times (superstitious) and “Germanica” came out on top, 8-5.
Voting in this category, as previously stated, sucked. I hate when the decision is damn near impossible.
- Best Apocalyptic Novel
my pick — A Time to Die, Mark Wandrey (Henchman)
winner — Ctrl Alt Revolt!, Nick Cole (Castalia House)
Thoughts: I have a vested interest in seeing a good friend win, so I picked Wandrey over Cole, even though I enjoyed both books equally. Considering how little press or push there was behind Wandrey’s latest, I was proud of how well he did to even make the short list. Cole’s novel was a tremendous piece of work and I’m glad that it was picked up.
- Best Horror Novel
my pick — Honor at Stake, Declan Finn (Caliburn)
winner — Souldancer, Brian Niemeier (self-published)
Thoughts: This is the only category where I disagree with the process, primarily because I felt that “Souldancer” should have been in the Best Fantasy list. Still though, Niemeier’s “Souldancer” was an amazing (if slow-paced) work. I felt that “Honor at Stake” should have won, but I can’t fault them for sticking Souldancer in this category. It’s a weird freaking book!
- Best Comic Book
my pick — Daredevil
winner — Ms Marvel
Thoughts: I don’t really have an opinion on this one, because the most recent Daredevil is the only comic I’d read of those on the short list. Can’t vote for something I hadn’t read.
- Best Graphic Novel
my pick — The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman (Vertigo)
winner — The Sandman: Overture, Neil Gaiman (Vertigo)
Thoughts: This one was a no brainer. An excellent book that is part of an excellent universe. I only wish that Gaiman wrote faster.
- Best Science Fiction or Fantasy TV Series
my pick — The Flash (CW)
winner — Game of Thrones (HBO)
Thought: Penis! Floppy Penis! God damn you, Trey Parker! I can NEVER get that South Park song out of my head whenever I hear the GoT theme song come on and it’s ALL YOUR FAULT!
In all seriousness, Dragoncon was made for something like Game of Thrones. I love The Flash, though, and with the series setting up the FlashPoint universe, the writing and series is going to be headed in a new and exciting direction. Unlike Game of Thrones, where it seems to be a long and predictable chess game where it’s Daenerys/Snow vs the White Walkers for control of the Seven Kingdoms.
- Best Science Fiction or Fantasy Movie
my pick — Deadpool
winner — The Martian
Thoughts: I knew The Martian was going to win, so my Deadpool vote was a defiant vote in the face of conformity or some crap. I would have LOVED to see the hundreds of Deadpools at Dragoncon race up there to accept “their” award. Alas, it was not meant to be. A terrific movie beat out a hilariously fun one.
I don’t remember any of the games I voted for, which is a bad sign. I might have missed them.
So thoughts? How did your vote compare to the winners? Any surprises?
(I was tagged in this by Amanda S. Green. She introduced her favorite character, Ashlyn Shaw, star of Vengeance From Ashes, here.)
As I walked into the bar, I began to wonder just what the hell I was getting myself into this time. Sure, I’m the author, and I create these people, but some of them seem to be able to slip the reins and run around without proper supervision. Vincente Huerta, the main character from Murder World: Kaiju Dawn, ship captain, smuggler, and all around pain in the ass, was one of those characters. He was brash, arrogant, and really needed to be smacked in the mouth. Unfortunately, this interview called for just one character, so there was no Jasmine to help me keep him in check. Which was a shame, really. I could use some backup when dealing with guys like him. It keeps me from killing them.
I spotted him fairly easily. He looks just as I figured he would: slightly overweight, thinning hair, in dire need of a shave. Taller than I expected, though, and much bluer eyes than any man with that Hispanic-sounding of a name should have. Contacts, perhaps? I wouldn’t put it past him.
He looked up as I approached. I almost grabbed a nearby bar stool and hit him right there. I have no idea why, I just did. He had this… smugness about him that I desperately wanted to beat out of him. I mean, seriously. He gives off that “I’m an ass, beat me with a baseball bat” vibe. For once I understand what a Charisma roll of 8 is really like.
“You’re late,” he told me. I looked at my phone, confused.
“No, I’m right on time,” I countered.
“In my line of work, if you’re on time, then Customs gets you. Always be early.”
What a load of crap. I’m being lectured to by my own creation. I seriously need to kill this asshole off.
I joined him in the booth and watched him pound back a shot of bourbon. Cheap bourbon, I’ll add. The man hasn’t found much work lately, and times were lean, even for the most effusive of alcoholics. I ordered water from the passing waitress, who nodded in my direction before sending a scalding look at Vincente. I smiled. Nice to know that I wasn’t the only one who wanted to smash his face in.
“So what did you want to talk to me about?” he asked.
“Well, for starters, tell me about your past.”
“Nothing interesting there.”
I pull out my notepad and look it over. “Considering I have your life story right here, I’d say that you were lying.”
“If you have everything, then why are you bugging me about this stupid interview?”
I swear to God I’m going to break his nose.
“Look, Vincente… I just want to hear it from you. For instance, I have you being married twice. That caused some consternation with me, since I don’t think that was meant to be.”
“Tell me about it. We managed to null that marriage less than ten hours after it happened. Glad that woman agreed.”
“Which woman?” I asked. “Mooney?”
“No, not her,” he growled. “The other.”
“Come on Vincente,” I prodded. “What’s her name?”
“You’re the damned writer, you spoil the sequel.”
He had me there. I hated spoilers. Especially when they were my fault.
“Okay fine. We’ll try talking about something else then. Tell me about your ship.”
For the first time, he takes an extreme interest in the interview. “My ship? She’s beautiful. I converted the interior holds into airtight, individual storage bays and added an armored personnel carrier for those smuggling rendezvous where I might get shot at. She’s got the best communications ‘net on the market, and that includes the black market, and my engineer can get her into skip space with hardly a bump. She’s the real deal. You looking to rent her out?”
“No, not really.” I was sort of confused by his response though. I was pretty sure that he no longer had the Fancy and was, in fact, in the market. But then again, the guy is a born liar.
“A shame. I need the money,” he said as he began to slide out of the booth. I looked at him, surprised.
“Where are you going? I have a few more questions to ask you.”
“Sorry chief, gotta run. My permit’s about to expire and this here rock doesn’t do credit the way they used to. Plus, I think I owe the dockmaster money.”
I watched him walk away and I couldn’t help feeling that I’d gotten the shaft. Sure, he answered a few questions, but this wasn’t what I had been hoping for. I wanted to have my readers get to know him, and instead–
“Here’s his tab, sir,” the waitress slipped me Vincente’s bill as she passed by. “He said you’d take care of it.”
Son of a bitch. I hate that guy.
My brain couldn’t get into the mood for writing Kaiju Apocalypse III today, since this flu thingy has been kicking my butt this week. Instead of calling it a lost day, though, I decided to work on this fantasy idea my Muse has been beating me over the head with the past two weeks. I mean, I’d kinda outlined it before (okay, I drew up some geographical maps and created an 8 pointed magic system) and talked a bit about it, but I’d never actually tried writing it. I think because I was fighting my Muse again and trying to make it an urban fantasy thing when it needed to be a classic fantasy piece.
So I started I, Godslayer today and immediately put down 2,000 words. It sort of surprised me at just how much my Muse apparently wanted to write this story. So hooray for my foray into humorous high fantasy?
I see that quite a few people have purchased Murder World: Kaiju Dawn but very few of you have actually written a review up on Amazon for it. Is it really too difficult to say “This book sucked” or something else (preferably, “This book rocked!”). Everyone has been in shock over the fact that some Kardashian wrote a book and lamenting the fact that they had it ghost-written as well, and that this hurts “real” authors. No, that doesn’t hurt real authors, actually. The fact that people call it a piece of crap and managed to write 61 one-star reviews is what hurt “real” authors. I mean, people say the book sucks and jeer the fact that they can’t write, and yet they still push the sales up and give it reviews. You want to keep sh*t like this from happening, every day reader? Give a book your enjoyed a rating on amazon. It helps and also validates to the author that people have, you know, read the book.
I would love for there to be 30 reviews on Murder World: Kaiju Dawn by the end of the day. That would be awesome. It’s not going to happen, though, and I believe this is because the average reader would much rather tear down a novel they hate instead of talking up a novel they enjoyed.
And before you cough and say “Jason, what about your review of Catching Fire?” you should recall that I was practically gushing over The Hunger Games. So hold on a second before calling me a hypocrite, mmkay?
And write a damn review.
Similar in appearance to Kaiju Apocalypse (but a different universe and story altogether, I promise) here is the rough draft cover for Murder World: Kaiju Dawn. Co-authored with Eric S. Brown again (we make quite the team — this is the third book we’ve collaborated on in the past 8 months), it should see a release over the next few weeks.
I’ll be out all day, but I woke up to something wonderful this morning.
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,009 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Yeah, totally made my day/year. If I ever have kids, the first one may be named “Kaiju”. Don’t forget to review it after you buy it.
This is one of those military SF novels that grabs you and won’t let go. I’ve taken my time reading it these past few days, savoring every page. It’s a good book, and reminds me quite a bit of Robert Heinlein’s The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress. You should go and buy this book on Amazon right now. Really. Right now.
Consider this book pimped.
Big news today!
Kaiju Apocalypse is out and available via ebook over on Amazon. Best part about this? Amazon Prime members get it for free!
Yeah, thought that would get your attention.
So go forth, buy it, pay for my kitties’ kibble (and Sophie’s treats).
If you don’t, you probably don’t love kitties and puppies and, more than likely, hate rainbows and jelly beans too.
Shhh… don’t tell anyone right now, but I’m supposed to be writing. I was informed that updating the website doesn’t constitute writing. I call bunk.
The temperature’s been dropping here the last few days, with last night actually freezing (I know it was, because I had to walk Sophie in it while she did her business). The cats are loving it, because it means that their little internal furnaces are needed and I won’t kick them off the bed when I’m sleeping. I mean, my bedroom is the coldest room in the house, but that was nice… in the summer, when I had no AC, and slept with the windows open.
I need a fireplace. For some reason, this house doesn’t have one anymore. Judging by the roof, it used to have two. *grumble grumble*
I’ve been outlining a book with another author, one that’s doing the modern dystopia correctly. We both watch Revolution (I may have mentioned the show previously) and we both complain about how that show has jumped the shark. Instead of just couch-complaining, however, I’ve decided to be proactive. I’ve read so many dystopian fantasies/novels lately, and every single one of them have only a small handful of survivors (say, a few hundred) due to the breakdown of society. My collaborator and I both agree that something other than “the government is falling” needs to occur for there to be that few survivors. Even then, I did some math and, killing off 95% of America, there’s still 15 million people or so left.
So we’re breaking it down and we started wondering just how many little “nations” and such would pop up. I figured 19, because there are some isolated areas out west (hell, even my little nook in the mountains is fairly isolated, and I’m only 4.5 hours from DC) and there is bound to be at least a few “strongmen” who think that might makes right (and, honestly, it does… initially. Then everyone’s gunning for you, because you’ve given them a common enemy, and now you’re up a creek). So now I’m looking at getting a large map of the US with no state lines, only geographic markings, and drawing “territories”.
So we’re still outlining and drawing things up, but I can tell you right now that this series is going to be like nothing you’ve seen before. I’m hoping that the agent likes it.
Okay… I think they’re on to me. I need to get back to writing. Here’s a picture. I told you it was cold.