Koja's UNDER THE POPPY: dark, epic and erotic novel of war and intrigue

Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy is a novel unlike any other — even unlike any other of Kathe Koja's books, which are a marvellous genre unto themselves. In some ways, Poppy marks a return to the early-period Koja, the purveyor of dark, erotic poesie, horror novels that dripped blood and fluids and explored the way that art and love and eros twine around themselves, in bottomless tragedy from which joy and beauty shine like pennies in the sewer. — Read the rest

THE UNIDENTIFIED: dystopian YA about education transformed 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. — 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. — Read the rest

Flurb 9: more Rudy Rucker fiction picks

Hurrah! It's time for another issue of Rudy Rucker's absolutely ass-kicking free sf zine, Flurb. The new ish has stories by Paul Di Filippo, Rudy Rucker, Richard A. Lupoff, Danny Rubin, and Kathe Koja and Carter Scholz (incidentally, I've been reading Koja's new book in manuscript form and I am agog at its brilliance — watch this space in the months to come for a review of Under the Poppy). — Read the rest

New ebook publisher from publishing veterans with novel ideas

John Oakes sez, "Article in New York Business describing OR Books, a new sort of publishing house being started up by two longtime indy publishers. We plan to take existing tech and apply it to old-fashioned publishing values–and to commit to massive marketing for our authors, and to do so within a progressive framework, releasing fiction and nonfiction." — Read the rest

In Praise of the Sales Force: the stuff a publisher does for an author that the Internet can't replace

Locus Magazine's just posted my latest column for them, "In Praise of the Sales Force," a look at the things that publishers can do for authors that the Internet can't replace (yet, anyway!).

Hardly a day goes by that I don't get an e-mail from someone who's ready to reinvent publishing using the Internet, and the ideas are often good ones, but they lack a key element: a sales force.

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Rick Lieder's fantastic backyard bird photos — new book

Rick Lieder, the talented sf/f artist whose backyard nature photographs have stunned me for years, has released a new book of photos of small birds on the wing, shot in his own backyard in south Michigan. Rick doesn't use fancy fast film or other high-tech treats — instead, he just uses patience and care to capture these remarkable images. — Read the rest

Clarion science fiction/fantasy workshop instructors announced

The Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Workshop at the University of California at San Diego has announced its 2009 instructor lineup: Holly Black, Larissa Lai, Robert Crais, and Kim Stanley Robinson with Elizabeth Hand and Paul Park. Clarion is the oldest science fiction writing workshop, a legendary boot-camp for writers (I'm a proud graduate, instructor, and director of the charitable Clarion Foundation). — Read the rest

Nina Kiriki Hoffman chat next Thursday

Next Thursday at 9PM Pacific, the magnificent fantasy writer Nina Kiriki Hoffman will host a live chat on the Clarion Foundation Website, open to Clarion Circle members. The Clarion Foundation oversees the Clarion science fiction/fantasy writers' workshop at UCSD (I'm a Clarion grad, and I'm in good company: Bruce Sterling, Octavia Butler, Lucius Sheppard, Kathe Koja, Jeff VanderMeer and many other writers are also grads). — Read the rest

Going Under: moving kids' novel

I've just finished Kathe Koja's moving new young adult novel Going Under, and I continue to be deeply moved by Koja's work.

Going Under is the story of a bright, home-schooled brother-sister pair who struggle with their love and resentment for one another, under the hapless gaze of their clueless parents. — Read the rest

Insect photos in naturalistic macro-focus

My pal Rick Lieder is one of the best science fiction and fantasy artists in the field today (he's also the husband of fantastic splatterpunk turned young-adult author Kathe Koja), but he got his start as a photographer. He's returned to his roots, and has taken his camera to his Michigan backyard to shoot intense, macro-focused pictures of insects walking on leaves and twigs, using natural light, without a tripod. — Read the rest

Cory at PenguiCon near Detroit next weekend

Just a reminder that I'll be appearing as the Guest of Honor at PenguiCon, a Linux and Science Fiction convention being held in Detroit next weekend, from April 22-24. I'll be giving talks on I, Robot, copyleft, folk art, open source licensing and open spectrum, and I'll be doing a reading and conducting the charity auction. — Read the rest