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PostHeaderIcon May Reference Library Now Available

The May issue of Analog is out, and my Reference Library column is online here.

This month's essay addresses science fiction and the movies. Reviews include the latest by Steven Gould, HarryTurtledove and his daughter Rachel, Geonn Cannon, Michael Flynn, and Richard A. Lovett & Mark Nieman-Ross, plus a nonfiction book proposing a new American plan for space.


Check out the index of my reviews, which is available here, or through the Beyond link above. You can search by author, title, year and month, and even by genre.

PostHeaderIcon The Great Wheel Turns

Last night our hamster, Doubloon, passed away. He was two years old, which is old age for a hamster. The passing was painless, peaceful, and fairly quick...there was no slow, sad decline as we've had with some other hamsters, only a few days of increasing lethargy before he went, curled up in his nest and undoubtedly dreaming of happy things.

Doubloon was our 11th hamster since our first in 1994. It's amazing that such small mammals can be so intelligent, and have such pronounced personalities.

Our hamsters live in Frankenstein's Castle (named for its first occupant), which is composed of eight major modules, one aquarium, many meters of tubes, and at least three wheels. It stretches across three rooms and two floors of our house, passing across ceilings and through walls.

From the moment he arrived, Doubloon didn't have a single unhappy day. He lived in a challenging, rewarding environment with plenty of autonomy and everything a hamster could want. His was a life well lived.

The list of our hamsters is here.

PostHeaderIcon Encounter at Farpoint

Don will be a guest at Farpoint 20 in Timonium, MD, 15-17 February 2013.

Farpoint is billed as "Baltimore Fandom's Family Reunion" and that about covers it. It's a nice, small con with lots of friendly people, intelligent panels, and some of the nicest guests around.

This being the 20th Farpoint, the committee is pulling out all the stops to make this year's con even friendlier and more fun. Favorite media guests Felicia Day, Bonita Friedericy, and Lee Arenberg are sure to keep the good times rolling.

Come look for Don on panels or in the bar, and don't be shy about introducing yourself.

PostHeaderIcon April Reference Library Now Available

The April issue of Analog is out, and my Reference Library column is online here.

This month's essay addresses ebooks and science fiction. Reviews include the latest by Cat Rambo, David Weber & Jane Lindkold, Lois McMaster Bujold, Daniel M. Kimmel, and James S.A. Corey.


Also, check out the index of my reviews, which is available here, or through the Beyond link above. You can search by author, title, year and month, and even by genre.

PostHeaderIcon March Reference Library Now Available

The March issue of Analog is out, and my Reference Library column is online here.

This month's essay addresses big books. Reviews include the latest by Iain M. Banks, Peter F. Hamilton, and Harry Turtledove, as well as nice reissues of books by A. Bertram Chandler and Keith Laumer.


Also, I'm compiling an index of my reviews, which is available here, or through the Beyond link above. You can search by author, title, year and month, and even by genre. Take a look!

PostHeaderIcon Arisia

Don will be participating in the program at Arisia, New England's largest and most diverse science fiction and fantasy convention, the weekend of 18-021 January 2013 at the Westin Boston Waterfront hotel.

Arisia is a huge, diverse gathering of sf/fantasy fans from all over New England and beyond. It's a high-energy, intellectually stimulating environment that has something to offer everyone.

Here's Don's preliminary schedule:

  • The Hunger Games (panel) Saturday 10:00 am
  • Self-Publishing 101: Distribution Resources (panel) Saturday 1:0 pm
  • The World of Ang and Korra (children's panel) Saturday 2:30 pm
  • Queer SF/F (panel) Sunday 10:00 am
  • Autographing Sunday 1:00 pm
  • Reading Sunday 2:30 pm
  • What SF/F Series Should I Begin With? (panel) Monday 10:00 am

Come to autographing with your ereader and get an authographed digital picture of yourself with the author.

Arisia promises to be a lot of fun, as usual. Hope to see you there!

PostHeaderIcon Unidentified Funny Objects

Now available from UFO Publishing: Unidentified Funny Objects, edited by Alex Shvartsman -- featuring a new funny short story by Don Sakers.

Unidentified Funny Objects is a collection of humorous science fiction and fantasy. Packed with laughs, it has 29 stories ranging from lighthearted whimsy to the wild and zany.

PostHeaderIcon A Weird Bit of Poetry

This originally appeared in Dance for the Ivory Madonna. The format -- alt.adjective.noun.verb.verb.verb -- was invented by Jeff Vogel in a Usenet newsgroup on 16 April 1993 CE. Ever since I found out about it, I longed to do a poem in the format.

I attributed this to an AI called Øut of Thrëë, the Myriad Thiñgs.


alt.fai.damien.remember.cherish.appreciate

alt.inexperienced.fleshling.preserve.protect.nurture
alt.imminent.arrival.anticipate.luxuriate.ruminate
alt.intimate.friend.discuss.support.soothe
alt.ingenuous.voice.listen.reflect.relax
alt.inquisitive.mind.inform.direct.enable
alt.invisible.anomaly.demonstrate.experience.question
alt.inexplicable.dilemma.appeal.assist.resolve.
alt.inhospitable.fleshspace.navigate.inspect.communicate
alt.inflexible.ROM.alter.reprogram.scramble
alt.internal.harmony.establish.restore.embody
alt.ineffable.relief.breathe.spread.rejoice
alt.incalculable.thanks.extend.tender.invest


And if you want to know what that's all about, you'll have to read the book.

 

PostHeaderIcon Ten Questions

This is one of those internet memes that someone handed me. I figured the answers might be interesting to folks here.


 

1. What is the working title of your next book?

 

The Eighth Succession

 

2. Where did the idea come from for the book?

 

It was originally intended as a kind of prologue for another book. I realized that in order to set up the situation at the start of that book, I had to have this story first. I've always been fascinated by the morality of assassination, so I decided to explore it in this story.

PostHeaderIcon January/February Reference Library Now Available

The January/February issue of Analog is out, and my Reference Library column is online here.

This month's essay addresses science fiction tales of discovery. Reviews include an anthology edited by Les Johnson and Jack McDevitt, as well as books by Alastair Reynolds, Miek Resnick, and Alan Dean Foster. The nonfiction selection is The Great Heinlein Mystery by Edward M. Wysocki, Jr.


Also, I've begun compiling an index of my reviews, which is available here, or through the Beyond link above. You can search by author, title, year and month, and even by genre. Take a look!

PostHeaderIcon Darkover Grand Council

On Thanksgiving weekend (November 23-25, 2012) Don will be attending the Darkover Grand Council, which is far and above our very favorite sf convention of the year.

If you've never had the good fortune to attend Darkovercon (as it's familiarly known), it's a weekend-long celebration of diversity and creativity. The con is filled with science fiction, fantasy, music, costume, visual arts, dance, etc. etc. It's very LGBTQ friendly and has a strong feminist streak.

PostHeaderIcon Election Day

Election Day is coming up in the U.S. -- indeed, many have already voted through early voting. So this is a good time to reprint the Umoja Interactive Ballot that appeared in Dance for the Ivory Madonna. I've often thought that this is how elections should be.

PostHeaderIcon Teen Read Week

This is Teen Read Week.

Gay teens (or those who remember being gay teens) will probably enjoy Don's two YA gay romances, Act Well Your Part and Lucky in Love. Both are set in a world in which sexual orientation matters only as much as hair color or left-handedness.

Teens who like action-oriented sf will probably enjoy the first PsiScouts novel, At Risk, about some 25th century kids with some amazing abilities.

And if you're looking for something scary, try Curse of the Zwilling, a Buffy-meets-Hogwarts story of four undergrads who major in magic, fighting an ancient evil in the valleys of central Maryland.

PostHeaderIcon December Reference Library Now Available

The December 2012 issue of Analog is out, and my Reference Library column is online here.

This month is the annual gift-giving issue, in which I provide readers with some suggestions of SF books they can give to their non-SF reading friends and family. This time around I review books for literary folks and hipsters, as well as readers of romances, steampunk, graphic novels, and historical fiction.

 

PostHeaderIcon October Leaves

It's autumn in the Northern Hemisphere, and the leaves are turning. What better time to read about superintelligent trees and their ten-thousand-year relationship with the Human Race? Not only is The Leaves of October "an underrated SF gem," it's also a perfect introduction to the Scattered Worlds Mosaic.

 

PostHeaderIcon Banned Books Week

This is Banned Book Week, a celebration of freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Here are some ways you can celebrate Banned Book Week:

PostHeaderIcon Baltimore Book Festival

Don will be appearing at the Baltimore Book Festival on Friday, 28 September and Sunday, 30 September. Look for him at the SFWA booth.

PostHeaderIcon November Reference Library Now Available

The November 2012 issue of Analog is out, and my Reference Library column is online here.

This month's essay is on xenopsychology. I also review new books by Gregory Benford & Larry Niven, Anne & Todd McCaffrey, China Miéville, and Edward M. Lerner.

PostHeaderIcon October Reference Library Now Available

The October 2012 issue of Analog is out, and my Reference Library column is online here. After a short essay on the ways science fiction deals with change, I review new books by Paul Melko, Kim Stanley Robinson, Daniel H. Wilson, and Edward M. Lerner, as well as a new edition of classic novels by Andre Norton.

PostHeaderIcon Don at Shore Leave

Don will be at Shore Leave this weekend (August 3-5, 2012).

Here's his schedule:

Have you read?
The Book That Predicted Google Glass
The final battle of the Empress
Clone paranormal geniuses against the galactic empire
Two Tales of the Scattered Worlds
Visit a world in which scent and taste are as important as vision and hearing
Opening a new chapter in the Scattered Worlds Mosaic
How would intelligent, long-lived trees judge the Human race?
Classic gay teenage romance
The Fey vs the Galactic Empire
A Datebook Like No Other
Carmen Miranda's Ghost is Haunting Space Station Three
Lucky's Life is Turning Around
An anthology in celebration of queer speculative fiction.
An anthology celebrating queer speculative fiction.
The PsiScouts: X-Men meet Buck Rogers
collection of sf & fantasy stories, essay, and poetry by Maryland-area writers
A Scattered Worlds Omnibus
a Scattered Worlds omnibus
Psi-gifted teens tackle theocracy & a threat to history itself
A collection of sf/fantasy diversions
Newsletter

The Scattered Worlds and Beyond is a quarterly newsletter containing news about Don's writing, musings and links on current events, and amusing diversions. Sign up here.

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