Category: Uncategorized


Dusting off the blog

I hear from reliable sources (to wit, some guys on the internet) that blogging is dead.  Once the sort of thing every gran with a knitting fixation did (judging by Janet’s favorites list), it’s now being taken over by social media like Facebook.  And I get that, I really do.  Looking at this blog, which I’m told I ought to be keeping up for professional reasons (see earlier “reliable sources), I haven’t posted a blessed thing since Leviathans came out.  I’ve done a bunch of stuff since then, both writing wise and in my other lives, but haven’t seen fit to blabble about it here.  I chatter away on social media, though, as any of you who haven’t blocked my on Facebook are all too acutely aware of.

So what’s the deal?  Two fold, I think.  Social media feels a lot more like a conversation to me, whereas this blog is more of a stage.  I’m sitting here tapping the microphone nervously whilst the imagined eyes of thousands (well, four or five, but tell that to my subconcious) are upon me, waiting for me to say something vaguely interesting.  To wit, performance anxiety.

Point two, I’ve thought of this a bit too much as my “professional space”, I think.  And that ends up with a bit too much “pushing the product”.  Since I hate being on both the giving and receiving end of that sort of thing, I end up just not posting stuff.  Oh, I figure that many of you do in fact want to hear about some of the upcoming stuff (if so:  go read the latest 1889 stories!  They’re like, really good and stuff.  I helped on the editing!  Whee!!!)(See, told you I’m terrible at ad-blogging).  But if for nothing else than my own personal gratification, I’m going to prate about other stuff here.  I’ll try to be good about tagging so visitors can find stuff they actually care about.  All seven of you, that is.

Speaking of tags, that is probably point two and a half:  God, but I find this interface clunky.  Social media has a point and shoot quality to it that WordPress and other blogging platforms I’ve looked at don’t.  On the other hand, it’s probably more flexible in the end.  Practice makes perfect, I guess–  here goes me trying to put a picture up.  

Up here in Spokane on a thirty hour overnight on Christmas.  Yep, that’s “snow” on the ground.  But managed a riverwalk without slipping.  Too badly.

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Leviathans in the Clouds

It’s out! Fly, float or flap your way over to the Untreed Reads store to pick up your copy of steamy steampunk goodness. Also available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

http://store.untreedreads.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=7_49_399&products_id=948

http://www.bagofgames.com/2013/04/a-response-to-anita-sarkeesians-tropes-vs-women-in-video-games/

My review of the first Tropes vs Women in Videogames video is up at Bag of Games.  It was something I tried to approach with caution.  The series creator, Anita Sarkeesian, had to deal with over the top harassment for the crime of being a woman with something to say that was somewhat critical of the industry status quo.  But I have to be honest and say that so far the series isn’t a particular deep analysis of the very real issues about gender portrayal in videogames.  That said, she deserves credit for at being willing to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous dweebdom in order to bring the subject to the discussion table.

1889 Season Pass

From Andy Frankham-Allen, editor for the Space 1889 series:

We’ve noticed a few people asking if we’d be doing a season-pass for the second series of Space: 1889 & Beyond. Originally the answer was ‘no’, due to the initial behind-the-scenes chaos with getting the series together. However, we’ve found a way to change that. And so, we’re very pleased to announce that ‘yes!’ we are now doing a season-pass. But there is a catch!

It’s a good one, mind.

The season-pass is only available until August 15th – so if you fancy saving £3.20 ($5) off the entire second series, then run along now and pick up the season-pass for only £10.87 ($17). Yes, that’s just over a tenner for six books! Who can pass up such a deal? But hurry, this only lasts for two weeks.

Available at the Untreed Reads store here

Everything H.G. Wells could have written.

Everything Arthur Conan Doyle thought of,

but never published – because it was too fantastic!

Space 1889 Series Two is here!

http://frankhamallen.com/2012/07/30/space-1889-beyond-series-two-press-release/

http://www.bagofgames.com/2012/07/bientot-lete-first-impressions/

A sneak peek at the alpha for the newest release from Tale of Tales, creators of such “art games” as The Path and The Graveyard.

 

More Space 1889 Art

More Space 1889 Art

More cover art by the amazingly talented Adam Burn, this for the first book in season two.

Bag of Games

I’ve started writing over at Bag of Games (www.bagofgames.com)  I’m going to be doing videogame review and analyses.  First article just came out–  an overview of “art games” in the industry.  Aimed more at aesthetics than gameplay, art games are something of a niche market, but one I truly hope we see more of in the future.

(click the link to read):

I Don’t Know Much About Art, But I Know What I Like

 

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That Whole Alpha Thing…

We are family

 

Okay, pet peeve of mine in werewolf literature (and dog training, but that’s another topic)–  there really is no such thing as “Alpha male/female” in wolf hierarchies, at least not as we think of it in popular culture.  Wolf packs are basically just nuclear families.  Yes, the breeding pair is dominant, in the same sense that Mom and Dad are dominant (literally so, because that’s what they are).  Generally speaking, in a typical wolf pack, you’ve got the breeding pair and the various offspring ranging up to three years old.  Typically, the kids get anxy at around 12-24 months old, then “disperse” away from the pack in order to find a mate.

What does a wolf pack do when they meet a random adult?  Typically, warn it off, and if that doesn’t work, kill it.  Occasionally, they will adopt a non-threatening wolf of up to three years old.  The only time we see fighting for dominance is in the occasional super pack of up to forty odd wolves.  These are comprised of multiple families, and the breeding pairs will fight among themselves for dominance.  I suppose a human analogy might be a church social.

So where did this whole alpha dominance meme come from?  Zoo studies.  Think about it–  we’re talking about unrelated animals thrown in together in an unfamiliar environment from which they can’t escape.  In these populations, we do see fighting for the top, betas who can’t be arsed about the whole thing, and omega scapegoats (who would disperse in the wild, given a chance).  That, coupled with our own monkey prejudices about group dynamics (Chimps  have a very linear dominance hierarchy) is where all this comes from.

But really, it makes as much sense as trying to base our perceptions of family dynamics on prison yard behaviors.  “If Dad won’t let me borrow the car, I’m going to shiv him…”

A good study on actual wolf social hierarchy here:

http://www.npwrc.usgs.gov/resource/mammals/alstat/alpst.htm

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone, just wanted to give a shout out to all my werewolf loving readers (and anyone else who’s dropped in, of course!).  2012 will be bringing a planned novel length sequel to Legacy, where we’ll get to find out more about the ancient world of the Vargr.  Are Marissa and Antoine going to stay together?  And does anyone think that a tough old vet like Mike is really going to shrug when the girl he loves disappears in the middle of the night?  Stay tuned!

But in the meantime, let’s start the year off with a wolf puppy.  Everything is better with puppies.

 

Howling in the New Year