This one time at Writer's Camp…
Tag Archives: Writing
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?
So apparently it’s Hugo season again (didn’t we just do this?), though this year I’m thinking “Yeah, I lost a lot of time and energy last year dealing with that public smear campaign. I’m not even going to pay attention this year.”
Seriously. In 2014 I managed to get a ton of writing done. 2015? Jack squat. Oh, I wrapped up a few short stories, and got most of Kraken Mare done, but when it’s compared to 2014? Nada. Zilch. Zero. Zip.
I liked it better when I was beneath the radar of the most virulent Defenders of Justice and collecting many royalty checks. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciated being included on so many ballots for the Campbell Award. Yes, this is my second and final year of eligibility, but I really don’t care at this point. As I said earlier, too much energy was expended trying to defend myself and my friends from random attacks and accusations of racism (which still makes me laugh).
I hope my friends do well again this year. I truly do. When I get my voter packet, I’ll read all the works and vote, as I usually do. But getting involved? No thanks. Being nominated? No thanks.
I’d rather just continue to get paid.
My post over at the Mad Genius Club is now live. I went to an interesting place during my thought process and delved into sociological change throughout history. I probably could have written about 4,000 more words on the topic but I have a book due.
I finished Best Laid Plans last night and managed to get it in to the editor with 90 minutes to spare. I normally don’t cut deadlines that close, but yeah, it was touch and go there for awhile. Heard back some positive comments of Chosen of the Red God and that makes me happy. Now, to finish Kraken Mare before Libertycon rolls around.
I also got The Rise of the Automated Aristocrats in the mail a few days ago, the advanced reader copy of Mark Hodder’s final novel in his Spring-Heeled Jack series. I’m interested in seeing how he ties this series up. I’ve enjoyed it immensely, even though I haven’t reviewed any of the books over at Shiny Book Review. Part of it was that another reviewer was supposed to review them, and never gave me back the books when she decided not to. Another is that I just haven’t had the time lately, as evidenced by my barely making my deadlines.
Hugo voting is now open. I’m sending Murder World: Kaiju Dawn and Hill 142 for the voter packet. Since they are two of my favorite things that were published in 2014 I figured they would both be good representatives of my writing style. I just have to remember to do it this weekend. I’ve been forgetting dates and such lately since my new daytime job has been slowly devouring my usual writing time.
I really want to go see Age of Ultron tonight but I have an early day tomorrow. Maybe I can go Sunday? I don’t know. We’ll see.
Isn’t it pretty? It’s so pretty!
For this cover I managed to land the freakishly talented J. F. Posthumus to do the cover of the upcoming historical zombie story, The Dead of Babylon. It will be released on December 18th, just in time to satisfy your holiday horrorific cravings (even though it’s set about 3000 years ago and sometime in fall, and has nothing to do with Christmas whatsoever, but don’t bother me with details right now…).
Edit: I should probably add that despite my initial “It’s gonna be free!” statement, I was reminded that I am paying a mortgage now and really need to make more money as a writer. So it’ll be available for $0.99. Huzzah.
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.
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.
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.
Wraithkin is with the agent now. I have two weeks to complete my Dark Corners anthology story (Collectibles). I should have written it months ago, but life kept getting in the way. Okay, life and other novels. And other short stories. Okay, okay, I just suck as a human being. I’ll get it done before the deadline, even if I have to pull an all–nighter again (like I did for Wake… uh, nobody tell the publisher that I wrote Wake in two days).
Sorry that my last post got so political. I typically stay out of politics on here, but something inside me snapped this past week. So now that I’m on some government watch list (well, I probably am… they won’t confirm it) I’ll be, uh, probably doing the same thing I always do on here. *scratches head* Huh.
I’m reading Cedar Sanderson’s Pixie Noir right now for Shiny Book Review. Just starting, so I don’t really have an impression of it yet. I’ve also been rereading the entire Honor Harrington series, and am currently on Ashes of Victory. I forgot how freaking long these books are, though, so this may take longer than I thought. My buddy Johnny-Minion is letting me borrow his copy of House of Steel, which I really, really wanted to read. I think that and A Rising Thunder are the only two books in the series I haven’t read yet.
Yes, I read a lot. I think all writers should read more than they write. It keeps your brain from atrophying.
Anyone else reading anything interesting right now?
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.