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May. 24th, 2016

The Dragon in Exile

Lee & Miller BaltiCon Schedule

Scheduling seems to be a little fluid yet, so I'm posting what we know, as of now.

BaltiCon 50 is being held at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, 202 East Pratt Street, in my old hometown of Baltimore, Maryland.  Here's your link for more information.

So, the Lee-and-Miller general con schedule, as it is currently configured.*

FRIDAY
7-9 pm Opening Ceremonies, Renaissance Ballroom
9-10:30 Friday Face Time, Renaissance Ballroom

SATURDAY
Time and place TBD: Friends of Liad Breakfast**
2-3:45 Baen Traveling Roadshow Salon B

SUNDAY

9-9:50 Do We Need Old Age Homes for SF Practitioners?  Kent
Steve Miller (M), Todd Brugmans, Robert Chase, Mur Lafferty, Gay Haldeman

10-11:50 Story and Song  Kent
Many works of science fiction and fantasy have inspired songs both serious and funny. In this session, we highlight a few of these songs and works. Each song will be preceded by a short reading from the work that inspired it.  Lee & Miller will be reading a selection from Agent of Change, followed by a performance of Lee Gold's "Agent of Change."

11-11:50 A Ride on the Carousel***
Sharon Lee talks about the merry-go-round that is the writing life. After, perhaps we can convince her to give us a reading from her Carousel fantasy series.

4-4:45 Scout's Eye View of the Liaden Universe®  Parlor 11029
Sharon and Steve offer a tour of the Liaden Universe, as only those who spend much of their life there can give us!

MONDAY
8-8:25 Steve Miller reading  Pride
9:30-9:55 Sharon Lee reading Pride

This is what we know as of This Minute, which is 2:45 pm on Tuesday May 24.  Check the program schedule when you get to the con for up-to-the-date info.  That's what we'll be doing.

Footnotes:
*If neither name is listed, both of us will be at the event

**If somebody local would like to help us find a venue for the FoL Breakfast, please drop me a note at rolanniATgmailDOTcom.  Thanks!

***Yes, I'm aware that the Story and Song session is scheduled for 110 minutes, from 10-11:50, in Kent, and that the Carousel panel is scheduled from 11-11:50, in Kent, but that's the information I have in hand.  Doubtless, my talk will be relocated.  It's much easier to relocate one writer and a couple books than it is to evacuate a whole room full of filkers, their instruments, and their audience.  Check the program schedule when you get to the con.

Almost asleep Sprite and Belle May 23 2016

May. 23rd, 2016

Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

Some days I feel like my shadow's casting me

So!  Last night we turned The Gathering Edge in to Madame the Editor.  It weighs in at just about 111,800 words, and is All Theo, All the Time, which makes Edge the direct sequel to Dragon Ship, with the action taking place concurrently with that described in Dragon in Exile and Alliance of Equals.

No, we don't know when the book will be published.
UPDATE:  Madame has let us know that Edge is tentatively scheduled for publication in May 2017.

Turning in a book, of course, means that I Never Have to Write Again.  That being so, I took some time this morning to update a few webpages.

At sharonleewriter.com, these pages have been updated: Which Book is Which; Publications List; Reading Order.

At korval.com, these pages have been updated: Which Book is Which, and Correct Reading Order.  Still to go -- the publication list, which I'll get to, bye-n-bye.

Also, while I was not-writing, I vacuumed the house, including! taking the vacuum cleaner completely apart to find out why it wasn't suctioning.  I never did find a blockage, but apparently the mere act of taking it apart and putting it back together again was sufficient to fix whatever the problem was.

What else?  Oh.  Of possible interest, and as reported elsewhere:

Fun facts!
The Gathering Edge is the. . .
72nd collaborative work by Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
20th novel-length Liaden Universe® Adventure
24th collaborative Lee & Miller novel
29th novel by Sharon Lee

The rest of the day involves some more cleaning of the actual house.  I don't know how it is that writing a book in the back of the house results in the front of the house looking like a bomb hit it, but there it is.  I've seen it many times.  Also, I should probably get all this. . .stuff off of my desk before the cats clear it for me.

Oh!  As a reward for having fought Theo to a standstill and handed in the book, Steve and I this morning Ceremonially De-Boxed Visitor, which we may now read together.

And that?  Is all I've got.

Today's blog post title brought to you by Warren Zevon, "My Dirty Life and Times."  Here's your link.

Belle and Sharon edited May 21 2016 by Steve Miller

May. 22nd, 2016

Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

Black and white and red all over

The Baltimore Sun has done a nice piece on BaltiCon, for its 50th anniversary.  Here's your link.

We do also have a very preliminary schedule.  We're awaiting confirmation from Programming before posting details.  So!

Watch this space.

Cats prepare to print manuscript May 21 2016

May. 20th, 2016

Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

They're growing mechanical trees. They grow to their full height; then they chop themselves down

So lately, most of the energy around the Cat Farm and Confusion Factory has been focused on The Gathering Edge, and I would just like to say that, by my stars and garters, I am never, ever again participating in a Theo book!

<deep breath>

I feel so much better.

Even if it is an empty threat.  Sigh.  Theo is, I fear, going to have to be in the next book.  But!  The next book is not going to be a Theo book.

*glares at Theo*

*Theo glares back*

Yeah, well. . .

In other news, and in addition to the deadline we're racing -- there is a deadline approaching for you!  Yes, you, too, over there in the corner.

What deadline you ask?  Why, the deadline to pre-order a personalized hardcover copy of Alliance of Equals from Uncle Hugo's SF Bookstore in Minneapolis.  If you want a signed-and-personalized book, you have until June 1 to preorder.

Here's your link.

This will be the last reminder you'll get from me on this topic, because -- BaltiCon.

Yes, we will be at BaltiCon.  Will you?  Here's the link.

This morning, I took a break from glaring at Theo to go into town and have my hair cut, mail a package at the post office, get rid of some old meds at the police station, and to take on groceries.  Because I had cleverly (sigh) made the appointment for my haircut for nine o'clock a.m., I ate breakfast in town, after, at Toast Xpress.  If you're ever in the area, I recommend the blueberry crepes, though there many, many delicious things to choose from.

I came home to find that my new corset had arrived.  I asked Belle if she'd model it for y'all, but she's busy, so you'll just have to wait 'til BaltiCon to see it.

And that?  Is all I've got.  It bodes well to be a Crazy Few Days here on the Confusion Factory side of things, so I'll just wish everybody a pleasant weekend.

Today's blog title comes to you courtesy of Laurie Anderson, "Sharkey's Day."  Here's your link.

Scrabble May 13 2016

May. 15th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

22.  War for the Oaks, Emma Bull (re-re-re-re-read)
21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

May. 13th, 2016

Reading is sexy

(no subject)

21. Wheel of the Infinite, Martha Wells (e)
20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson

May. 10th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

20.  Algonquin Cat, Val Schaffner, illustrated by Hilary Knight
19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

(no subject)

Hey, look!  Publishers Weekly has reviewed Alliance of Equals, to wit:

". . .this space opera continues to delight with genteel interactions between mild-spoken characters who are capable of great passions and swift actions, and its immense scope encompasses a well-realized and comfortable universe."

So, yay! good review!

Which leads nicely into this reminder to them as wish to have signed copies of the hard cover edition of Alliance (coming to a bookstore near you, in July).

Uncle Hugo's SF Bookstore is handling the pre-orders of personalized and/or signed books.  Here's what you need to know:

A. There is a deadline for pre-ordering personalized books (where “personalized” means the authors, in addition to their signatures, write something specifically requested by the person buying the book.  Fair warning:  If the authors feel, in their sole judgment, that the requested personalization is too long, or offendeth them in some other way, they will not -- that's not -- personalize the book, though they will sign it.  This is in the authors' sole judgment, and there is no appeal.  Thank you.).  Deadline for pre-ordering personalized books is June 1.

B.  If you do not want your book personalized, but you do want a signed copy, there is no deadline.  Typically, Uncle has us sign an extra few books to have in the store.  However!  It's best to pre-order to ensure that you will receive a signed book, as our signed editions have been known to sell out.

C. Here’s your link.

Here at the Confusion Factory, today encompasses vampires and an annual medical check-up, as well as a trip to the grocery store.  Also, having now written the story (still untitled, alas, and I don't think a Marx Bros. title if going to work for this one; may have to resort to Shakespeare.  Or Tiny Tim.), and taken Steve's input, I need to edit it, and bring it into shape to go to the editor.

A typical day, really.

Hope your day is relaxing and productive, wherever you may be.

Cats are my copilot May 4 2016

May. 8th, 2016

Reading is sexy

Books read in 2016

19.  Karen Memory, Elizabeth Bear
18.  Ancillary Mercy, Ann Leckie
17. When Falcons Fall, C.S. Harris
16.  Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Winifred Watson (re-re-re-&c-read)
15.  Uprooted, Naomi Novik
14.  Strong Poison, Dorothy L. Sayers
13.  Written in Red, Anne Bishop
12.  Andy & Don, Daniel de Visé
11.  The Thief of Time, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
10.  Foxglove Summer, Ben Aaronovitch
9.   Broken Homes, Ben Aaronovitch
8.   Soul Music, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
7.   Whispers Underground, Ben Aaronovitch
6.   Moon Over Soho, Ben Aaronovitch
5.   Reaper Man, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
4.   Conflict of Honors, Sharon Lee and Steve Miller (e) (re-read)
3.   Mort, Terry Pratchett (read aloud with Steve)
2.   The Sculptor, Scott McCloud
1.   A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
Illusionist

I ain't been, but I been tole, streets of Heaven're paved with gold

So, that?  Was a learning experience.  I can understand why some younger voters are frustrated by the system, and according to yesterday's narrative, the Democrats are the good guys.

I (and thousands of my fellow delegates) sat in a cramped space that Steve characterized as "steerage" for hours, listening to some folks speak sensibly, while other folk blathered, and one guy had a screaming argument with the chair of the convention.  Why he wasn't evicted, I don't know.  Perhaps the convention had failed to appoint a sergeant-at-arms, or the facility's bouncer was busy elsewhere.

Despite truly awe-inspiring levels of incompetence and general confusion, the convention did manage to get some work done.  You'll have perhaps seen in media that the Maine Democrats have "abolished" their super-delegates,  which is kinda yes and kinda no.  For one thing, the super-delegate system remains in place for this election, as the majority of the convention could see no benefit to changing horses in mid-stream.  The new system, which does not abolish super-delegates, but requires them to cast their votes in accordance with the will of the popular vote, will not go into effect until the next presidential election, in 2020.

Two of Maine's five super-delegates, in the spirit of this resolution, have said that they will vote the will of the convention. The other three remain committed to Mrs. Clinton, though Mr. Sanders won the popular vote in the state of Maine handily.

The people trying to sell the super-delegate system as a Good Thing took a Very Strange Path, IMHO.  They kept telling the members of the convention that the super-delegates were the check on the popular vote.  They are  political insiders with experience gained by years of being in the biz, and it is their job to be sure that the election goes "properly" -- which I gather to mean "by the numbers" -- thus they are apparently a force to prevent the nomination of a Democratic Donald Trump.  This was a bizarre strategy, given the tenor of the convention as a whole, and the presence of Very Many people who are just so very tired of establishment politics.

Mr. Barney Frank spoke for Mrs. Clinton, and he spoke well.  Sadly, he was heckled by boors, and again! the convention felt the lack of a sergeant-at-arms.  Mr. Frank's purpose was clearly to persuade supporters of Mr. Sanders to vote for Mrs. Clinton when she secures the nomination, and once again his reason for knowing that Mrs. Clinton would win the nomination was "numbers."  Which leads one to ask, "If this is Only a Numbers Game, why the freaking hell are we going through these shenanigans?" -- but that could be Just Me.

Apparently, the convention also gained a delegate for Mr. Sanders from Mrs. Clinton's side.  Maine will be sending 19 delegates in support of Mr. Sanders to the national convention; and 11 in support of Mrs. Clinton.

There was other work to be done -- a list of amendments to the party platform was tabled earlier in the day and was picked up again in the evening session.  I, however, had collapsed into a quivering heap of jelly long, long before 7 pm, so the amendments had to make do without me.

So, as I said, a learning experience.  I will, I think, be joining the new Progressive Party when it is formed because, my ghod, the present system is. . .archaic and opaque, at best.

And now I am going to follow the advice of a trio of Very Wise Cats, and take a nap.

Today's blog post brought to you by Bruce Springsteen, "Keep Your Eye on the Prize."  Here's your link.




Let no box be discarded. Sprite asserting her royal dominion. Photo by Sharon LeeLet no box be discarded. Sprite asserting her royal dominion. Photo by Sharon Lee



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Alliance of Equals art by David Mattingl

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