Clue the First: Where am I?

by wjw on January 22, 2019

IMG_0022As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m away from home in an Undisclosed Location.

It is up to you, however, to disclose it.  I’m not saying anything.

I’ll post a series of lovely pictures containing clues to my whereabouts.  Anyone who unmasks my secret location will get a free signed copy of The Accidental War, or (if you already possess one) any other book that’s currently in my archives.

The clues will get less subtle as the week goes on, but here’s the first.

I also feel obliged to point out that you are not eligible for the competition if I’ver actually told you where I was going.  You may think this goes without saying, but with some of my friends, it’s best to be clear.


Hyper Lupine Bloody Gobbet Moon

by wjw on January 21, 2019


Here are my two best photos of the Hyper Lupine Bloody Gobbet Moon, or whatever they’re calling a lunar eclipse this time.

It was very pleasant lying back on a lawn chair and watching the moon slowly devoured by the ravenous talons of the cosmic beast.  But with the moon gone, who will I sacrifice to now?

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by wjw on January 19, 2019

Here I go, breaking the fourth wall again.


Now that I’ve changed my frame of reference, I’m on my way to an Undisclosed Location, so I may not be posting for a few days.

If you’re looking for something to read, Locus has put the always-perceptive Russell Letson’s review of The Accidental War online for your edification.


Purple Gin and Pink Martini

by wjw on January 18, 2019

Gotta say, last night had a lot to recommend it.

I took the train up to Albuquerque to meet Kathy downtown, and then we went to the Apothecary Bar atop the Parq Central Hotel to watch the sunset turn the mountains pink, which it did right on schedule.  We had cocktails and ate high-end bar food.  My drink choice, called Metamorphosis, turned out to be appropriate for a place called Apothecary, because it performed a transformation before our very eyes.  We start with gin and ice in a crystal goblet, and into this pour a pea flower and tea reduction.  Give it a stir, and the drink turns a brilliant violet color.  (Pea flower changes color in the presence of acid.)

The drink was so smooth I couldn’t really tell it had alcohol in it until I tried to stand up.  Better living through chemistry!

After sunset we made our way to the Kimo, the world’s only art deco pueblo revival theater, for a concert by Pink Martini.

Pink Martini is for all intents and purposes the house band for the imaginary kingdom of Portlandia.  As one might expect from Portlandians, they are pangenre, panethnic, panlingual, and pansexual.  They performed songs in French, Spanish, Japanese, Mandarin, Turkish, and . . . wait for it . . . English.  With 11 musicians (not counting special guests), including brass and a lot of percussion, they can really do that big band sound, and that’s when they don’t have a symphony as their backup band, which they often do.

I have to say, the Kimo was perfect for them— not only an intimate theater, but one with cow skulls with red lights in their eyes, giant kachinas, a house ghost, and big round shields with clouds, rain, and swastikas.  (Click the link and check out the photos.  I’m not exaggerating here.)

The concert ended with maybe 300 people in a conga line.  I’m currently a little too gimped to join in, but I was there in spirit.

The evening was full of joy, chemistry, good sounds, and just enough chaos to make it interesting.  It made me want be a citizen of Portlandia, if it weren’t for the weather.


Toolbox Time

by wjw on January 16, 2019

taos-logosmallHey, it’s 2019!  If your New Year resolution included working to become a professional author, you should consider applying to Taos Toolbox, the master class for writers of science fiction and fantasy.  This year’s workshop, held in the deluxe Angel Fire resort in New Mexico, will be run by Nancy Kress and Walter Jon Williams, with contributions from speakers George RR Martin and indiepub guru EM Tippetts.

George has once again kindly offered the Terran Prize, providing full tuition and lodging for a deserving writer from a non-English speaking country.

As you might guess from December’s recommended reading list, we do make authors!

If you want to be one, you should apply.




January 12, 2019

There follow some thoughts on setting, inspired by the earlier discussion on corridors. Setting is a character in fantasy and SF, or should be if the author knows what he’s doing.  This is particularly true in fantasy, where the setting can become this big, unwieldy character with which the protagonists have to wrestle in practically […]

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January 3, 2019

On the first of January I celebrated my fortieth year as an author, the period in which I have supported myself solely on writing and related professions. I would have mentioned this on the day, but you know what?  I forgot. It was early on January 1, forty years ago, that I got a phone […]

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New Horizons Meets the Kuiper Belt

January 2, 2019

“I have reached these lands but newly From an ultimate dim Thule- From a wild clime that lieth, sublime, Out of SPACE- out of TIME.”  

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Ring Out the Old

December 31, 2018

It’s New Year’s Eve, which is a chance to celebrate the old as well as ring in the new. To that end, let’s party like it’s 1973! (Just watch the video for now, I’ll tell you about it later.) This is two examples of Seventies excess mashed together.  The tune is “Nutbush City Limits” by […]

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December 29, 2018

I’m well into the as-yet-untitled second volume of the second series of Praxis novels— now that would make a poor title— and I’ve come to realize that I’m really missing having at least some of the action set on a planet, where there are things like wind and plants and pretty scenery. Every scene is either […]

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