THE CASQUETTE GIRLS by Alys Arden Cover Reveal

Hi, today I’m helping out my local writer buddy Alys Arden by sharing in teh reveal of the new cover to the revised edition of her book, THE CASQUETTE GIRLS.

Here’s the cover, ta-da!

The Casquette Girls

And here’s the dope on the book:

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden
Published by: Skyscape
Publication date: November 17th 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Synopsis:

After the storm of the century rips apart New Orleans, sixteen-year-old Adele Le Moyne and her father are among the first to return. Adele wants nothing more than to resume her normal life, but with the silent city resembling a war zone, a parish-wide curfew, and mysterious new faces lurking in the abandoned French Quarter, normal needs a new definition.

Strange events—even for New Orleans—lead Adele to an attic that has been sealed for three hundred years. The chaos she accidentally unleashes threatens not only her but also everyone she knows.

Caught in a hurricane of myths and monsters, Adele must untangle a web of magic that weaves the climbing murder rate back to her own ancestors. But who can you trust in a city where everyone has secrets and keeping them can mean life or death? Unless…you’re immortal.

Revised edition: This edition of The Casquette Girls includes editorial revisions.

I’m reading the book now.  It’s hard reading about the aftermath of Katrina (just called “the Storm” in the book) but it’s certainly a dramatic milieu in which to set a story.  You can tell Alys really lived it.  Or, we survivors can.
Here’s Alys:
Alys Arden
AUTHOR BIO:
ALYS ARDEN grew up in the Vieux Carré, cut her teeth on the streets of New York, and has worked all around the world since. She still plans to run away with the circus one day.

www.facebook.com/TheCasquetteGirls
www.thecasquettegirls.com
www.alysarden.com

Hey, if you happen to be attending the Writers for New Orleans Conference this weekend, sat hello to Alys and myself.  We are both attending.  I’ll write more about that later.
Congratulations, Alys, on the new edition of the book, and good luck!

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My Thoughts on the Hugo Puppies Fiasco

I was delighted when I first heard about the results of the Hugo Awards, last Sunday.  But after a several days of reading the reactions within fandom on Twitter and blogs, I just feel kind of sad and tainted.  There’s so much bad blood on both sides.  And the Puppies/Gamergate people tend to be such tiresome, grandiose blowhards, it’s really hard to slog through their shit.  I suppose there could maybe, possibly be something to their view that withholding so many awards is like destroying the Hugos to save them, but I still think this was the best possible outcome of the whole sad affair.

Briefly, if you’re not aware, there were two groups of people, called the Sad Puppies and the Rabid Puppies, who rallied movements to get slates of works that meet their aesthetic and ideological preferences onto the Hugo Award nominating ballot.  The Hugo Award is nominated and voted on by the members of the World Science Fiction Convention, so it is a very inside-baseball, old-school fandom thing, a very small voting group, and it takes a very small number of votes indeed to get nominated, a couple hundred.  The Sad Puppies, led by authors Larry Correia and Brad Torgerson, had the putative stated goal of returning tales that were fun and pulpy to the Hugo ballot — spaceships, lasers, dragonslayers and derring-do.  They felt the Hugos had been “hijacked” in recent years by “the left,” and only rewarded works that were literary, excessively stylistic, and politically correct.

The Sad Puppies have fielded slates for the past couple of years, but only this year were they successful — helped it seems in large part by splinter group the Rabid Puppies, led by absolute piece of human garbage Theodore Beale AKA “Vox Day,” who fielded a slate with a more explicitly racist and chauvinist purpose — to return the White Man to his place of honor on the Hugo award stage.  So, together, the Puppies, campaigning by web and social media, managed to ram their slates of chosen nominees through the balloting process of the Hugos, leading to nominee rosters that were dominated, or in some cases, completely composed of the Puppies nominees.

IO9.com has a pretty good overview of the controversy here.

Leaving the quality of the Puppies’ arguments aside, the real problem I saw here, as a marginal writer and member of fandom, was the process of slate voting.  It is explicitly not against the rules of the Hugo nominations process, but it is certainly against the spirit of them, for the Hugo awards are supposed to represent the critical acclaim of best work by fandom as a whole, not the opinion of a vocal minority.  (The Nebula Awards, by contrast, are voted on by the members of the Science Fiction Writers of America.)  If you can’t win on your own merits, trying to win by rigging the elections is a douchebag move.  It totally corrupts the whole process.  To counter your slate, fans of other writers will have to organize slates of their own, and then the awards would just become another tiresome arena in the “culture wars,” or worse, some kind of high school student body popularity contest.

The Puppies have always vigorously maintained that there already were secret, left-wing cabals drawing up secret slates of nominees and shutting “their” type of authors out of the awards.  But there has never been any real evidence that that is the case.  And even if it were, two wrongs don’t make a right, now do they?  If the Puppies think the “SJWs” (Social Justice Warriors, a charmless term they seem to have co-opted from Gamergate) are so evil and corrupt, how does it behoove them to adopt their tactics?

No, slate voting is bogus and done in bad faith.  And really, anything that follows the lead of Vox Day is nothing I can support.  (The guy wants to strip women of the right to vote.  How could I put any truck in someone who wants to disenfranchise me?)  So in my own mind, I’ve been against the Puppies from the get-go.

That’s why I think the results of the Hugo vote are the best outcome of this whole wretched affair.  The Puppies were soundly thwacked with a rolled-up newspaper.  Far more fans bought a membership in Worldcon than ever had before, and more chose to vote in the Hugos, by a factor of 65 percent.  Any category of award that was wholly dominated by the Puppies slate nominees presented No Award (which has always been a viable Hugo option, by the rules.)  The only real exceptions were the Best Dramatic Presentation awards (film and TV, mostly) — where it was understood by all that the Puppies could have no real influence over the powerful Hollywood types who create those things, and where the winners, Guardians of the Galaxy and Orphan Black, were popular enough and good enough to have been nominated, and won, even without the Puppies.

Awards that had one non-slate nominee went to that work.  Any award that did not have a clearly Puppy-rigged slate seems to have been judged on its own merits.  The Best Novel Award went to The Three-Body Problem, written by Cixin Liu and translated from the Chinese by Ken Liu — the first time a translated work has won that award.  Take that, Puppies!

The Puppies’ gambit was a total failure.  With the increased membership and attention, fandom as a whole stepped up and said, No, you’re not going to game this award.  This is ours and we won’t allow it.  

Recriminations by the Puppies across social media have been intense.  They’re claiming now that this was their plan all along, that this was their victory condition, that No Award proves that the SJWs are totalitarian and McCarthyist.  But I don’t think even they really believe that.  No, this was a defeat, and they have to choke it down.

Efforts are in place to rewrite the Hugo rules to circumvent slate voting.  But any such rules changes have to be ratified by the memberships of two Worldcons, meaning this year and next year.  So the Puppies have a whole ‘nother year to continue their mischief.  But I think they will be able to inflict much less damage.  People are on to them now.  Authors who might have this year idly rode the slates to nomination will probably recuse themselves next year, knowing that the slate nominees will be forever tainted.  Who wants to be forever allied with the people who tried to burn down the Hugo Awards?  And fandom is much more aware now, and will be watching, and reading, and nominating the books, comics, and movies they love.

TL; DR — trying to rig the Hugo nominations was a stupid, counterproductive move.  The Puppies, are a tiny, reactionary, and not well liked subculture within science fiction fandom.  And fandom will work to protect that which it loves — SF, and the Hugos — from being destroyed by haters.

Thank the gods.  And thank you, fandom.

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Infographic: How we’ll live on Mars

 

Not sure how this WordPress Sharing thing works.  But this is cool.  I’d love to wrote a book about Mars colonization one day.

Infographic: How we’ll live on Mars.

via Infographic: How we’ll live on Mars.

 

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Fear

So I have a problem.  Fear of success I think it is.  My novel is complete, ready to be prepared for publication.  There’s no reason I couldn’t throw it up on Amazon as an e-book next week.  But I find myself procrastinating.  As much as I want to write, there is a part of me, equally as large — perhaps larger  — that doesn’t want to. After everything I’ve done, I’m scared to take that last step. Actually publish it.  I don’t really know why, but I am.

So I have conceived the idea of serializing my novel on one of those amateur writer websites, Wattpad or Jukepop or such, as an intermediate step between  … nothing …  and fully, publicly publishing..  It’s complete, so I would be able to upload chapters rapidly, and maintain interest among the readership.  I’ve long since given up any idea of earning a living by writing.  I just want people to read what I write. On one of these sites, I could get some feedback, have some interaction with the reading public, maybe get over some of my fear.  Gain some experience, however half-assed, at publishing and being in the public eye.

What would be better would be for me to bite the bullet, and just publish it.  But for whatever reason, I can’t bring myself to do this right now.  So, going the website route—would this be a productive recognition of my limitations and an attempt to work within them, or a bullshit, craven move that is really just procrastinating?

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New Orleans Genre Writers Conference

This weekend I went to the New Orleans Genre Writers Conference.  This was the first, inaugural one. Man, I’m tired.  I don’t know why, but these sort of conferences really take it out of me.

One of my fellow attendees suggests its because you are concentrating so hard, listening to the speakers, taking notes.  This makes sense to me.  Your brain is only five percent of your body weight, but consumers twenty percent of your body’s resources. A very energy-intensive organ.

Well, as the first conference, it was a bit ragged. A lot of the programming went over time, and some of the presenters really rambled, saying little of value.  But any conference is like that, I’ve found, whether a professional conclave or a science fiction convention – some panels are great, some are terrible, most are mediocre.

I also wish it was, as advertised, a little more genre-specific. Like, how to create voice in science fiction, instead of just voice in general.  Or a panel on what, if anything, joining the genre professional associations like RWA or SFWA can do for you.

I also expected somewhat bigger names for the price, than just the local crowd.  Its good to get to know your local writers, but I can meet them at more reasonable venues. Well, it is just the first year.  I imagine a busy New York editor doesn’t want to commit to a newbie local con.

It would be good to have some programming about “independent publishing,” as they call it these days.  Its a viable alternative for people now.

But since it was the first year of local people bootstrapping a conference from nothing, I think it was a good effort.  The venue at the Courtyard Marriott in the Warehouse District was quite convenient for me.  I hope to be back next year. Maybe I’ll even be on the other side of the table.

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My Blog Tour Entry

My guest post for the Dirty Magick blog tour is up at the ParaYourNormal blog.  Check it out:

https://parayournormal.wordpress.com/2015/06/05/the-magic-of-new-orleans/

I was asked to write about “the magic of New Orleans.”  There are also exceprpts from several stories in the book, including mine.  I hope you’ll take a look.

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Dirty Magick Blog Tour Begins

So, this is cool.  Charlie Brown, my editor for the Dirty Magick: New Orleans anthology that I recently placed a story in, has organized a blog tour to celebrate the publication of the book.

The first stop is at book review blog Mythical Books,  with a guest post by editor Charlie, and excerpts from several of the stories in the anthology, including my story, “The Sacred Marriage of Etienne McCray.”

There is also a giveaway of five paperback copies (US only) and five Kindle copies of Dirty Magick: New Orleans.  You can follow me on Twitter @kmcorby in the Rafflecopter there for an extra chance to win!

I’ll follow along with the blog tour as it progresses.  I’m writing a guest post in the tour later on in the month, and I’ll link to that blog when it goes live.

This is my first blog tour ever. I’m psyched!

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