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Baen's mass market paperback edition of Gentleman Jole and the Red Queen is coming up next week. Official launch date is next Tuesday, Sept. 26th. However, I don't think this one has a hard don't-sell-before date, so it will probably start trickling into brick-and-mortar bookstores whenever they get around to opening the boxes in the back room.

My box of author's copies arrived. Front looks like this, more or less -- Baen's shiny foil does not scan well.




The back looks like this:



They somehow got the first draft of the cover copy onto this one, and not the final one as it appears on the hardcover jacket flap. That last line was not supposed to be, misleadingly, All About Miles, but rather to put the focus on the book's actual protagonists and plot, and read, "...the impact of galactic technology on the range of the possible changes all the old rules, and Oliver and Cordelia must work together to reconcile the past, the present, and the future."

Ah, well. Most readers (who bother to read the back at all) will figure it out, I expect. Those that don't will be no more confused than usual.

Ta, L.

posted by Lois McMaster Bujold on September, 20
[syndicated profile] theyoungprotectors_feed

Posted by Alex Woolfson

May I?

Y’all have been amazing over on the Patreon page. We’ve added 38 new Patrons since the beginning of the month, and are now at over $5,575/month in support! That’s less than $425 away from me breaking even after paying my artists, rent, etc. Thank you so much!

And last week, I posted a special treat for Patrons! A few months back, I asked Henrique of Inkstand Studios to create a special romantic pin-up involving Kyle and Spooky. He wanted me to come up with an idea, so I said “Let’s have them kissing on top of a monster they defeated.” Well, he (and Alex Sollazzo who did the colors) just knocked it out of the park!

Comments from Patrons have included: “VICTORY KISS. I’m loving this. One of my fave ‘extra art’ so far. This IS a hoot. This is sexy and funny.”, “What a Great ‘pin-up’. This is another great piece of art in The Young Protectors series!”, and  “This is awesome! The colors, the details, the expressions…everything is wonderful. But what I mostly love, is that in that moment, surrounded by smoke, dead monsters, falling buildings, firefighters, etc., they only have eyes for each other. This might be my favorite drawing to date!”

Here’s a sneak preview:

$5+ Patrons can download the full Safe-For-Work pin-up immediately. And $10+ Patrons will be sent a high-res version with over double the resolution on the 10th of October!

There are lots of great benefits to being a Patron (you can see them all here along with an explanation of what the heck Patreon is), and you’d really be helping me out if you became one too. If you’re enjoying our work here and would like to see it continue (and would like to get access to all kinds of special benefits),

please take a moment to watch the video on my Patreon page and consider becoming a Patron.

So, our heroes are rolling in bed! There’s neck kissing! There’s oo-ing! And now Spooky’s tugging on Kyle’s shirt! What does that mean?! Is Spooky curious about the fabric? The quality? The fit? Will Kyle be willing to tell him those things after Spooky tried to take a bite out of his neck? And when do I get my ninja robot attack?!

Tune in this Saturday to find out! Hope to see you there! 😀

The Young Protectors: Legendary Chapter One—Page 10

   

Difference of Mind

Sep. 19th, 2017 04:02 pm
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Posted by Editor

A Reading List of SF/F Books with Mentally Ill Characters

by Erica Satifka

According to the World Health Organization, one out of every four people will be affected by mental illness at some point in their lives. Considering this, it’s important that when characters with mental illness are featured in one’s writing, the subject is treated with sensitivity and accuracy. Novels that portray such disorders well can make a huge difference.

Em Kalberg, the protagonist of my debut novel Stay Crazy, has paranoid schizophrenia. As I researched the novel, I found that there were very few positive representations of people with schizophrenia, and not just in speculative fiction, but everywhere. The vast majority of the time, characters with psychotic disorders are monsters or killers. These negative depictions have real-world consequences for people with schizophrenia, leading to fear and marginalization. In Stay Crazy, Em deals with the horror of the dimension-eating alien creature that dwells underneath her workplace, which she can’t even be sure is real due to her condition. On top of this, she has the social stigma of being “crazy”, which is enhanced by living in a small town where everyone knows each other’s business. Em can’t rebuild her life until she can be sure of her own mind, and the pressure of the aliens and stereotypes nearly destroys her. While I’m pretty sure there aren’t any aliens, Em’s struggle against the stigma of mental illness is all too real, and I did my best to reflect that respectfully throughout the text.

Here are fourteen other novels, novellas, or short story collections that prominently feature characters with mental illnesses or trauma:

Borderline by Mishell Baker

In this debut urban fantasy novel, Baker mines her personal experience to provide the story of Millie Roper, a woman with borderline personality disorder who gets drafted into a secret organization. The Arcadia Project acts as liaisons between the Faerie world and the equally glittering land of Hollywood, and each member of the group has a mental illness. Baker deftly shows the ways Millie, who in addition to BPD is a double-leg amputee from a suicide attempt, finds that her mental illness both interferes with and enhances her work with the organization.

Bullettime by Nick Mamatas

Dave Holbrook, victim of school bullying and bad parenting, is headed down a dark path. Tempted by the idea of shooting up his school, he receives divine intervention in the form of Eris, the Greek goddess of discord. She shows him the various routes his life could take, and Dave must decide for himself whether or not mass murder is the solution to his problems. Mamatas’s intriguing novel explores the ramifications of abuse and neglect, but it is no Afterschool Special.

The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan

Reality blends with fantasy in this story of India Morgan Phelps, a young woman with schizophrenia. Through use of a non-linear timeline and stream-of-consciousness passages, Kiernan intimately shows the struggles going on through Imp’s mind as she tries to uncover the story behind a mysterious woman she encountered late one night. Imp’s circling thought patterns and hallucinations make this both an effective horror/fantasy novel and a fascinating glimpse into psychotic disorders.

Emissaries from the Dead by Adam-Troy Castro

After being branded as a child-murderer, detective Andrea Cort is drafted into investigating a homicide in an artificial ecosystem called One One One. Due to her trauma, Cort is brusque and unwilling to make friends, but she must work through her issues to uncover the culprit… and maybe get to the bottom of the incident that led to her case of PTSD. Castro paints a realistic picture of the effects major trauma can have on a person, and the ways in which they can use their mission to overcome it.

Martian Time-Slip by Philip K. Dick

In an alternate 1994, Mars has been colonized, but corporations care more about the profit found in its land than the mysteries of the planet itself. Jack Bohlen is a handyman, who fled to Mars after a breakdown on Earth made living in its crowded cities intolerable. Jack meets up with a troubled little boy named Manfred, who forces him to reexamine his own demons. While many of Dick’s novels delve into the topic of mental illness, this one more than any other illustrates a neuroatypical character with stunning sensitivity and three-dimensionality. Much of the medical information in this book is outdated, but the themes still shine.

I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

John Wayne Cleaver, a teenage sociopath with a serial killer fixation, creates rules to keep himself on the straight and narrow. When a real killer emerges close to home, John uses his instincts to hunt down the culprit, with his therapist a much-needed stabilizing force. Wells’ supernatural crime novel explores the seemingly contradictory idea of a sympathetic sociopath, and explores how John’s mental differences keep him from connecting with other human beings.

An Oath of Dogs by Wendy N. Wagner

In this science fiction mystery, an agoraphobic corporate worker named Kate Standish travels with her service dog Hattie to the lush, fertile world of Huginn. But a murder has been committed in the colony right before her arrival, and Standish and her colleagues must get to the bottom of things. Wagner handles her protagonist’s agoraphobia with sensitivity, vividly describing the anxiety Standish feels in the open spaces of Huginn. Her service dog is also an integral part of the plot, showing how their bond allows Standish to function even in a tightly-wound situation.

Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

In a dystopian America, Lauren Olamina develops a new religion called Earthseed, its goal the evolution of humanity through space travel. Lauren also lives with a condition called hyper-empathy, which causes her to literally feel the pain of others, which is instrumental in her development of Earthseed. Lauren and a motley band of refugees travel from the ruins of Los Angeles, seeking safety, and Lauren becomes a leader despite – or maybe because of – her hyper-empathy.

Planetfall by Emma Newman

The newly born colony in which Ren Ghali has spent most of her adult life is thriving, but she isn’t. Unbeknownst to her fellow colonists, Ren suffers from hoarding, a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder. When a stranger enters the colony, everyone’s life is thrown into disarray, especially hers. As she tries to keep her secret, Ren is confronted with the secrets from her past that led her to start hoarding, and the fate of the colony itself hangs in the balance. Newman treats her character’s mental illness with sensitivity, and the anxiety Ren feels in her everyday life feels all too real.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness

In a typical YA fantasy novel, a group of quirky teens battle monsters and save the day. But Ness’s clever inversion of this trope instead focuses on a group of “normal” high school seniors who have to deal with the fallout of the supernatural happenings around them, while helping each other get through the last days until graduation. Narrator Mikey Mitchell is one of them, but his final weeks are interrupted by a flare-up of his obsessive-compulsive disorder. Funny and touching, this novel perfectly balances a realistic depiction of anxiety with a meta-take on genre literature itself.

Shelter by Susan Palwick

A sort of near-future family drama, this novel takes place in a world where altruism is medicalized, AI are demanding human rights, and much of the population has been wiped out by a devastating virus. One of the protagonists, Roberta, spends a lot of time in therapy to overcome her extreme altruism. The other major character, Meredith, has some “issues” of her own, largely stemming from her father being the first human to be uploaded into a computer. Palwick expertly shows the way these two troubled women’s lives intersect, and how people live in a uniquely structured futuristic world.

Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts edited by Susan Forest

This Canadian short story anthology features nineteen stories about neuroatypical characters, covering a wide range of mental differences. Though many stories are set in the far future or in a secondary world, their problems still ring true, and show a wide diversity of disabilities. While some of the stories focus more tightly on the theme of mental illness, others simply show the protagonist surviving in their world. No two stories in Strangers Among Us are too much alike, and the anthology features well-known authors such as Kelley Armstrong, A.M. Dellamonica, Gemma Files, and many others.

We Are All Completely Fine by Daryl Gregory

A group of troubled outcasts are brought together for group therapy – but their demons aren’t done with them yet. All five members of the group carry trauma from various brushes with the supernatural: cannibal killers, a creepy cult, and a serial killer who carves messages into his victim’s bones. Gregory explores the ways in which trauma can shape one’s present, such as drug addiction and an escape into virtual reality. The group therapy itself is also a focus of this novella, showing the ways in which these five survivors help one another to grow and change, and defeat the revived monsters of their respective pasts.

Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy

Connie Ramos, a Mexican-American woman in 1970s New York City, has been recently institutionalized and threatened with psychosurgery. But her hallucinations are actually visions of the year 2137, where racial and sexual equality have been achieved, and mankind lives in harmony with the Earth. Flipping back and forth from a utopic future and a painful present – and a third nightmare future – Connie must decide whether to take steps to make the paradise come to pass, while living with her own demons and avoiding the medical establishment that isn’t on her side.

Mental illness is a fact of life for millions of people in the United States alone, and it’s important that fiction reflects this reality. By reading books that show mentally ill characters in a sympathetic light, readers can expand their ideas of what these characters are capable of, and make the world more welcoming. Likewise, writers who wish to write about a disorder they don’t have (or even one they do) would do well to seek out both fiction and non-fiction about it, and remember that their characters aren’t just defined by their mental health. Happy reading!

•••

Erica L. Satifka is a writer and/or friendly artificial construct, forged in a heady mix of iced coffee and sarcasm. She enjoys rainy days, questioning reality, ignoring her to-do list, and adding to her collection of tattoos. Her British Fantasy Award-nominated debut novel Stay Crazy was released in August 2016 by Apex Publications, and her short fiction has appeared in ClarkesworldShimmerInterzone, and The Dark. She lives in Portland, Oregon with her spouse Rob and an indeterminate number of cats. Visit her online at www.ericasatifka.com.

 

[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
As some of our commenters continually remind us, it’s important to keep straight the distinction between the Global South and GAFCON. They are two separate, albeit overlapping, groupings. Global South Primates’ Communique, September 9, 2017 (Cairo) [GAFCON] Chairman’s September 2017...

Voting in the July General Synod

Sep. 19th, 2017 02:52 pm
[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
The Bishop of Coventry, Christopher Cocksworth has written to explain his vote last July,when he was the only member of the House of Bishops to vote against the PMM on Conversion Therapy, as finally amended. His letter is available here....

Living Ministry study

Sep. 19th, 2017 12:49 pm
[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
Last Friday’s Church Times carried a news item by Madeleine Davies headlined Clergy living comfortably, long-term Living Ministry study suggests. This was based on “the first fruits of a large-scale Ministry Division survey”. The report “Mapping the Wellbeing of Church...

Dean of Exeter

Sep. 19th, 2017 09:07 am
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Press release from the Prime Minister’s Office Dean of Exeter: Jonathan Greener From: Prime Minister’s Office, 10 Downing Street and The Rt Hon Theresa May MP Published: 19 September 2017 Reverend Jonathan Desmond Francis Greener has been appointed Dean of...

Two scenes

Sep. 18th, 2017 03:40 pm
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Posted by Irina

Tempted as I am to do a chapter-by-chapter readalong of The Fire Rose, I know I’m likely to run out of steam before the end so I won’t. Especially as both scenes I want to highlight by way of synecdoche (see! I know what the word means now!) are near the end.

Warning: spoilers. Knowing a story has never spoiled it for me, but if it does for you, go and read the book first if you can bear it. Another warning: infant (and adult) murder and strongly implied cannibalism in the first quote.

First, the villain’s household:

Beltaire had told him the history of each of his new servants, and Paul had found it fascinating that Beltaire had managed to locate three such amazing felons and see to it that they had employment that would satisfy their cravings and the needs of their employer without drawing the attention of the law. Smith was a former jockey and a horse-owner-the horse Paul used now had been one of his own racehorses. Both had been banned from the track for drug use, and Paul suspected that Smith was still doping the horse as well as himself. Those were the sins that Smith had been caught at; according to Beltaire, he had also made a habit of sabotaging other horses and jockeys-one or two with fatal results, though he had never been charged with the fatalities.
The maid was a pretty case-she had gotten pregnant by a married man, given birth to and smothered the baby, and left it on its father’s doorstep in that condition-with a note, made public, naming him as the parent. This had had the desired effect of not only destroying the man’s reputation and ruining his business as a consequence, but of driving his wife into the divorce court. Then, with his life in tatters, the man mysteriously died. Some said it was because of the burden of his sins, and some even claimed he might have killed himself-but other women sometimes came to visit the maid, and men in their lives had a high mortality rate as well….
And as for the cook-Beltaire had cautioned Paul always to specify the kind of meat he wanted, and never, ever to share what the cook made for himself. And du Mond had noted that when Smith disposed of one of the used-up slaves, he always paid a visit first to the cook….
Still, they were all perfectly satisfactory servants in every way that involved du Mond, and that was all that mattered.

This is so typical of that villain’s over-the-top evilness. He attracts it wherever he goes. I wrote earlier about the “sexual depravity as shorthand for evil” trope that Mercedes Lackey uses too often for my taste (well, once would already be too often, I suppose), but this is … fascinating, I suppose. Not long after, the villain himself will come to a bad end. (I did warn of spoilers, though it’s probably hardly a surprise.)

Next, the heroine almost but not quite making the only sensible decision for her life:

Well, the brave heroines of quite a few fairy tales sacrificed everything for the happiness of the one they loved. She thought about the Little Mermaid, dying so that her prince would never know that it was she who had rescued him, and not the princess he had come to love. Or the half-human, immortal Firebird, giving up Ivan so that the mortal Tsarina could have him. The thought of Beauty and the Beast occurred to her, but she was no Beauty, and her love for him would be no cure for his condition.
Very well, then. I shall be the Little Mermaid, and walk upon legs that stab me with a thousand pains, and in the end, fling myself into the ocean with a smile so that he can have his life again. I will still have my work, I will have a lovely wardrobe, and I shall have the financial means to complete my degree and pursue an academic career. I believe that I will make a fine Professor of Literature in a women’s college somewhere. I shall attempt to wake the intellect of silly young girls, most of whom will be occupying space until they marry men like Jason, and I will treasure and nurture the intelligence of those few who are different. I will be mysterious and enigmatic, respected, if not loved, perhaps a little eccentric, and I will continue to have Magick.
She practiced the bright smile in the mirror, until she was certain that she had gotten it right. At least she would do better than the poor Mermaid out of this. In the end, she would have a well-fattened bank-account and someplace to go.
And she would have Magick. Perhaps among those silly young girls, she would find another with a spirit like her own, to pass the Magick on to.
Jason’s Master had never needed anything more than the Magick to make his life complete. Perhaps she could learn to feel the same.
Her throat closed over tears she refused to shed. And pigs will surely fly the day I do….

I wish she’d gone through with this. The traditionally happy ending she did have is okay, but I’m craving books in which everything gets resolved and the heroine doesn’t need to marry the hero, having them continue as friends instead. Partners, soulmates, best buddies, whatever. In some stories, romance only distracts.

 

Food Poverty in Britain

Sep. 18th, 2017 12:57 pm
[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
The Church Urban Fund has issued a report, introduced by its Executive Director, Canon Paul Hackwood … … that sheds light on the extent of food poverty in the UK. It shows that 1 in 50 British adults used a...

Opinion - 16 September 2017

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:00 am
[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
Andrew Lightbown Theore0 Speaking of faith in the public square Rosie Harper ViaMedia.News Is “Sorry” Too Easy a Word? Archdruid Eileen The Beaker Folk of Husborne Crawley Troubles with Trebles Colin Coward Unadulterated Love The unconditional and the insistence of...
[syndicated profile] theyoungprotectors_feed

Posted by Alex Woolfson

Hello!

Look at that—a kiss! Three even! And those are not the only Kyle/Spooky kisses I have for y’all today.  Y’all have continued to be amazing over at the Patreon page. A bunch more of you joined in the past couple weeks, and you’ve now brought our support to over $6500! That means I’m now less than $500 away from breaking even after paying my artists, rent, etc.

You are superheroes!

And I have a special treat for you! A few months back, I asked Henrique of Inkstand Studios to create a special romantic pin-up involving Kyle and Spooky. He wanted me to come up with an idea, so I said “Let’s have them kissing on top of a monster they defeated.” Well, he (and Alex Sollazzo who did the colors) just knocked it out of the park!

Comments from Patrons have included: “VICTORY KISS. I’m loving this. One of my fave ‘extra art’ so far. This IS a hoot. This is sexy and funny.”, “What a Great ‘pin-up’. This is another great piece of art in The Young Protectors series!”, and  “This is awesome! The colors, the details, the expressions…everything is wonderful. But what I mostly love, is that in that moment, surrounded by smoke, dead monsters, falling buildings, firefighters, etc., they only have eyes for each other. This might be my favorite drawing to date!”

Here’s a sneak preview:

$5+ Patrons can download the full Safe-For-Work pin-up immediately. And $10+ Patrons will be sent a high-res version with over double the resolution on the 10th of October!

There are lots of great benefits to being a Patron (you can see them all here along with an explanation of what the heck Patreon is), and you’d really be helping me out if you became one too. If you’re enjoying our work here and would like to see it continue (and would like to get access to all kinds of special benefits),

please take a moment to watch the video on my Patreon page and consider becoming a Patron.

So! Kyle’s response to Spooky’s question was to pull his friend into a big kiss! And then Spooky kissed back! Where’s this going to go? Will there be more kissing? More talking? A sudden alien attack? (Or ninja robots! Please let there be ninja robots!)

Tune in this Wednesday to find out! Hope to see you there! 😀

 

The Young Protectors: Legendary Chapter One—Page 9

   
[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
Updated again Tuesday The Church Times has this report by Paul Handley The Philip North Sheffield fiasco — and the question that simply wasn’t asked. And this further report: Theology and pastoral practice need further work, Mawer review into Philip...
[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
Church of England press release Independent Reviewer’s report on See of Sheffield published 15 September 2017 A report of the review of nomination to the See of Sheffield by the independent reviewer Sir Philip Mawer has been published today. The...
[syndicated profile] thinkinganglicans_feed
The Church of England’s College of Bishops (ie all serving bishops) held its annual meeting this week, following which they issued this press release. College of Bishops residential meeting September 2017 14 September 2017 The annual meeting of the College...

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