"kathe koja"

Fantastic fiction needs your help

Fantastic Fiction at KGB is a monthly reading series hosted by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel, held on the third Wednesday of every month at the famous KGB Bar in Manhattan. They are looking to fund several more years of their popular reading series via a Kickstarter fundraiser, running from May 17th through June 14th, 2017. Read the rest

Clarion Workshop now accepting applications for sf writers to learn with Lynda Barry, Nalo Hopkinson, CC Finlay...and me!

The instructors for this summer's Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy writers' workshop are Dan Chaon, Lynda Barry, Nalo Hopkinson, Andrea Hairston, Cory Doctorow, C.C. Finlay and Rae Carson: the workshop runs from Jun 25-Aug 5 at UCSD in La Jolla, California. Read the rest

Among a Thousand Fireflies: children's book shows the sweet, alien love stories unfolding in our own backyards

Rick Lieder -- painter, illustrator, photographer, husband of the brilliant novelist/playwright Kathe Koja -- waits ever-so-patiently in his suburban Detroit back-yard with his camera, capturing candid, lively photos of bees, birds, bugs, and now, in a new book of photos with a beautiful accompanying poem by Helen Frost, fireflies.

Get inside Kathe Koja's Christopher Marlowe novel with a "bespoke edition" like no other

Kathe Koja is one of literature's most versatile writers -- once the doyenne of "splatterpunk"; then the author a run of brilliant, touching YA novels; then the author of a darkly erotic war-trilogy -- and now she's doing something new and amazing. Read the rest

Name your price for 11 (!) Philip K Dick award-winning novels

The PKD Award is given for the best paperback original this year, and has been awarded to such classics as Neuromancer. Storybundle's DRM-free collection of name-your-price ebooks includes some of my favorite books of all time: Walter Jon Williams's Knight Moves, Kathe Koja's The Cipher, Lewis Shiner's Frontera, Lisa Mason's Summer of Love, Elizabeth Hand's Aestival Time, and more. Read the rest

Ian McDonald's "Luna: New Moon" - the moon is a much, much harsher mistress

We've projected our political and spiritual longings on the Moon since antiquity, and it's been a talismanic home to science fiction's most ambitious dreams for generations. But no one writes like Ian McDonald, and no one's Moon is nearly so beautiful and terrible as Luna: New Moon.

Podcast: Ian McDonald talks about Luna: New Moon (also coming to CBS!)

Science fiction titan Ian McDonald's forthcoming novel Luna: New Moon is the subject of the latest installment of the always-great Coode Street podcast (MP3). Read the rest

Announcing the instructors for the 2014 Clarion Writers' Workshop

The Clarion Writers' Workshop at UC San Diego has announced its lineup of instructors for the 2014 session, and it's pretty spectacular: this year's writer-instructors are Gregory Frost, Geoff Ryman, Catherynne Valente, N.K. Jemisin, Ann VanderMeer, and Jeff VanderMeer.

Clarion is a six-week, intensive boot-camp for science fiction, fantasy and speculative fiction writers. It counts among its graduates some of the very greatest writers in the field, from Octavia Butler to Bruce Sterling, as well as Lucius Sheppard, Kathe Koja, Nalo Hopkinson, Eileen Gunn, James Patrick Kelly, Ted Chiang, Tim Pratt, Tobias Buckell, and many others.

I'm an alumnus myself, as well as a frequent instructor and a member of the volunteer board of the Clarion Foundation, the nonprofit 501(c)3 that oversees the workshop. Clarion isn't the only way to become a better writer and to learn about the industry and how to earn a living in it, but it is absolutely one of the best. My own experience in 1992 was life-changing for me, and has left me committed to the workshop for life.

Applications close on March 1, 2014. Read the rest

Mercury Waltz, a sequel to Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy

It's been nearly four years since Kathe Koja's amazing novel "Under the Poppy" was published, plunging readers into a dark world of eros, war, and puppetry (seriously). Koja is a chameleon of a writer, whose career began with grotesque, lascivious, splatterpunk horror novels like The Cipher, then transitioned into spare, quietly brilliant YA novels like Buddha Boy, and then emerged in the entirely indescribable territory of Under the Poppy, to which she has now returned with a new novel called The Mercury Waltz.

Koja stopped in at John Scalzi's blog Whatever for an online interview about the book: Read the rest

Crowdfunding a science fiction pinup calendar to fund the Clarion workshop

The Clarion Writing Workshop at UC San Diego is the oldest science fiction writing workshop in the world, and it's graduated distinguished alumni from Bruce Sterling and Nalo Hokinson to Kathe Koja and Ted Chiang (and me, for the record). I'm on the board of the Clarion Foundation, the charitable 501(c)3 that oversees the workshop and fundraises to keep tuition as low as possible.

This year, we've partnered with Lee Moyers, who's done a series of very successful pinup calendars featuring characters from science fiction and fantasy, and we're raising money on Indiegogo to fund the initial print run. The calendar, when produced, will feature characters from Neil Gaiman, Kelly Link, Mary Robinette Kowal, Pat Murphy, Kate Wilhelm, Damon Knight, Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Frost, Karen Joy Fowler, Mary Anne Mohanraj, and me (!). Read the rest

My favorite young-adult book reviews

In the tradition of August's book-review roundup, I've pulled together a collection of my favorite young adult reviews from the past decade. Hope you -- and the young adults in your life -- enjoy these as much as I did!

Planesrunner: Ian McDonald's YA debut is full of action-packed multidimensional cool, airships, electropunk and quantum physics: Planesrunner is the story of Everett Singh, a moderately unhappy schoolboy in London whose divorced, quantum physicist dad is kidnapped before his eyes one night. Everett embarks on an epic quest to find out what happened to his dad, a quest that is complicated by his mother's hostility to her ex-husband, a police cover-up, sinister visits from the head of the Imperial College physics department, and mysterious, threatening strangers who tail him through the streets of London.

[Buy it]

Read the rest

Gift Guide 2012

Welcome to this year's Boing Boing Gift Guide, a piling-high of our most loved stuff from 2012 and beyond. There are books, comics, games, gadgets and much else besides: click the categories at the top to filter what you're most interested in—and add your suggestions and links in the comments.

Honors for Under the Poppy:

Many congratulations to author Kathe Koja on winning the Gaylactic Spectrum award (a prize given to queer-friendly science fiction and fantasy) for her stellar novel Under the Poppy. Read the rest

Clarion 2011 open for submissions: boot-camp for SF writers

The Clarion 2011 workshop at UCSD La Jolla has just opened up for submissions from writers. Clarion is the original boot-camp-style writing program for science fiction, fantasy and horror writers, with alumni as diverse as Bruce Sterling, Nalo Hopkinson, Jeff VanderMeer, Octavia Butler, Kathe Koja, James Patrick Kelly -- and me! The workshop runs for six weeks, and most students write a story every week; all student work is critiqued by the other students and the in-residence instructors, who also meet with each student one-on-one.

Clarion is widely recognized as a premier training ground for aspiring writers of fantasy and science fiction short stories. The 2011 writers in residence are Nina Kiriki Hoffman, John Scalzi, Elizabeth Bear, David Anthony Durham, John Kessel and Kij Johnson. Each year 18 students, ranging in age from late teens to those in mid-career, are selected from applicants who have the potential for highly successful writing careers. Students are expected to write several new short stories during the six-week workshop, and to give and receive constructive criticism. Instructors and students reside together in UCSD campus apartments throughout the intensive six-week program.

Application period: December 1 - March 1. Applicants must submit two short stories with their application.

Workshop: June 26 - August 6, 2011. http://clarion.ucsd.edu

Only 18 students are accepted each year. Here's the FAQ.

Clarion 2011

(Disclosure: I am an unpaid, volunteer member of the board of directors of the Clarion Foundation, a 501(c)3 charity that oversees Clarion; I am also a sometime Clarion instructor) Read the rest

Paolo Bacigalupi's SHIP BREAKER: YA adventure story in a post-peak-oil world

Paolo Bacigalupi's remarkable debut novel The Windup Girl won the Nebula Award and tied for the Hugo award, so of course, I knew that his first young adult novel, Ship Breaker, would be great. And it was. But what I wasn't prepared for was how different Bacigalupi's young adult fiction would be from his adult work.

Ship Breaker is set in a degraded, post-peak-oil world where the drowned coastlines are littered with the smashed wrecks of old sea-freighters, all acrawl with desperately poor "ship breakers" -- scavengers who get paid a starvation wage to extract the steel, copper, and oil reserves from the hulks of the old world. Nailer is a young boy, 14 or 15, on a "light duty" crew, and he's skinny enough to eel his way into the ducts of the ships and tear loose the copper wire; if he gets enough out to make quota, his crew eats. If not, they risk being fired, and turned loose to sell their bodies (or parts of them -- kidneys and eggs and eyes), beg, or steal.

Even for a light duty scavenger, Nailer has it hard; his drunken, amphetamine addled father has grown more and more vicious since the day his mother died, and is so brutal that he even beats Nailer after he is badly injured (and nearly killed) in a mishap on one of the freighters. But still, Nailer rescues him when a "city killer" storm sweeps the Gulf Coast, finding a sympathetic adult to carry his unconscious, amphetamine-drained father to high ground, because despite it all, Nailer is fundamentally good. Read the rest

THE UNIDENTIFIED: dystopian YA about education tranformed into a giant, heavily sponsored game

Rae Mariz's debut YA The Unidentified is a thrilling, engaging polemic about the corporatization of kids' lives in the guise of a mystery story.

In the future, the US education system has gone bankrupt, and has been rescued by the private sector, who convert giant malls into heavily surveilled school buildings in which all education takes place as a series of sponsored games that, on the one hand, deliver tailored, creative curriculum, but, on the other, commodify all learning, social intercourse and creativity, turning it all into trends and products that are sold back to the students and the wider world.

Our plucky heroine is a girl named Kid. Kid likes mixing her own music, is a moderately successful student, but isn't anywhere near the top of the social ladder. Far from it; she's hardly got any friends at all on her profile, and is skeptical of the whole enterprise.

This makes her an ideal candidate for the school's corporate sponsors, who are anxious to reach the disaffected outsiders who are the last remaining target market. So when Kid discovers a gruesome, anti-corporatist prank and begins to investigate it, it's only natural that the sponsors would swoop in to underwrite her mystery and use it to sell a whole new package of anti-sponsor sponsored goods.

Subversive, cleverly written, challenging, and surprising, The Unidentified is a great book for young adults and the grownups who care about them, in the tradition of Scott Westerfeld's Uglies. Highly recommended.

The Unidentified

Scott Westerfeld's ass-kicking, bestselling YA novel UGLIES as a ... Read the rest

Rick Lieder, AKA Wild Light, in the Boing Boing Bazaar

Science fiction illustrator and nature photographer Rick Lieder has started offering some of his gorgeous prints in the Boing Boing Bazaar/Maker's Market. One of Rick's specialties is macro photography, and this image, "Firefly," blends a painterly sensibility with that up-close back-yard nature photography I love. Rick is also husband of the hugely talented novelist Kathe Koja and the two are an unbeatably wonderful combination.

Wild Light

Rick Lieder's fantastic backyard bird photos -- new book Detroit Zoo exhibits Rick Lieder's extraordinary bug pix Rick Lieder is a spectacular Macrofocus bug photos for sale Insect photos in naturalistic macro-focus Macrofocus photos of bees Read the rest

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