Oddly Familiar is at 40K words. I know where the story is going and how to get there. So I’m going to set that aside and work on revisions and edits on Imperial Magic, so I can start preparing that for release.

For those who wondering, Shoshana and her art play a major role, and you finally get to see what a hard-core sorcerer can do when he has to. Do not mess with Uncle Leopard.


Too Few Girls?

Howdy, Instapunderati and other guests! Thanks for stopping by. I apologize if I am slow releasing comments from moderation. I have limited internet while at work.

Are there too few girls in pop-culture and sci-fi fandom? How many is too few? Is someone to blame? Should society push more girls into sci-fi and pop-culture fandoms? Is the internet really out to demean and harass fangirls?

I have no idea, because I don’t hang out on (anti)social media. I know lots of women who are interested in sci-fi and fantasy, who write, paint, game, and do other stuff, who attend cons or wear cool tee-shirts and accessories. And some who are very ordinary looking and who have encyclopedic knowledge of certain pop-culture things. But is this too few women? We are still less than half of the crowd at the con, but hey, that means more guys per capita! What’s not to like? 🙂 Continue reading

Thou Foster Child of Silence and Slow Time

Thou still unravish’d bride of quietness,
Thou foster-child of silence and slow time,
Sylvan historian, who canst thus express
A flowery tale more sweetly than our rhyme:
What leaf-fring’d legend haunt about thy shape
Of deities or mortals, or of both,
In Tempe or the dales of Arcady?
What men or gods are these? What maidens loth?
What mad pursuit? What struggle to escape?
What pipes and timbrels? What wild ecstasy?
Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard
Are sweeter: therefore, ye soft pipes, play on;
Not to the sensual ear, but, more endear’d,
Pipe to the spirit ditties of no tone:
Fair youth, beneath the trees, thou canst not leave
Thy song, nor ever can those trees be bare;
Bold lover, never, never canst thou kiss,
Though winning near the goal – yet, do not grieve;
She cannot fade, though thou hast not thy bliss,
For ever wilt thou love, and she be fair! Continue reading

Definitions: Cat Fishing and Catfishing (Older Definitions)

Cat fishing – n. 1) a feline attempting to catch fish (or frogs). v. 2) Using a string on a stick to entertain/wear out a domestic cat.

Catfishin’ – v. what politicians do when they cannot tap dance – squirm, twist, slide backwards as fast as possible to escape. [Regional dialect usage] “Man, Senator Blowhard sure was catfishin’ after Miss Rebecka asked him why he voted against that bill.”

Creeds and Strength

Can a religion last long without a set of firm beliefs? At the moment, personal observation suggests that the answer is a firm “no.” There’s a lot of truth in the saw about “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.”

The topic has been on my mind because of some comparisons between congregation and denomination sizes in the local area. The congregations – even within a denomination – that are either holding their own or growing are those that have a firm core belief and that stick with it. “This, this, and this is what we believe and do. If you don’t agree, the Lord be with you and go in peace.” No, they don’t toss people out the door, but they are strict about following a certain core doctrine. Continue reading

As the Pages Turn…

Ok, I’ll wait for those of you of a Certain Age to stop having flashbacks to the opening credits of a certain soap opera.

Inservice already!?!

Yep, it’s that time of year. Students are hiding, parents are rubbing their hands with glee, or will once they recover from buying school supplies, and teachers are looking at the school IT specialist and wondering why the electronic gradebook had to be “updated and improved.” Continue reading

Two Blisters on the Continents: The Harz and the Black Hills

We tend to think of the middles of continents as dull, stable places. There’s a reason John McPhee’s essay about the Great Plains focuses on the term “Stable Interior Craton.” Nothing of great geologic excitement happens mid-continent. Neither does much of cultural excitement, either. When was the last time you heard wild breaking news of earth-shaking excitement from, oh, Dessau, Germany? Or Pierre, South Dakota? The vertical relief tends to be gradual with a few exceptions, and those exceptions promptly got turned into parks. No earthquakes add moments of interest. It’s all wheat fields, beet fields, and gently rolling land.

Looking east from the Hexentanzplatz at the edge of the Harz Mountains. Flaaaaaaaaaat.

Looking east from the Black Hills.

Until a lump appears.

Continue reading

Book Review: Making the Monster

Harkup, Kathryn. Making the Monster: The Science Behind Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. (New York: Bloomsbury Sigma, 2018)

We all know Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein’s Monster: or The Modern Prometheus as 1) a Romantic argument against the Enlightenment, 2) proof that women invented science-fiction, 3) a feminist parable of the evils of men ignoring the need for emotion and love, 4)a powerful argument against overly-rational science, 5) the origins of several monster and mad-scientist tropes, 6) the origins of various movies and TV shows, 7) all of the above.

It is also a study in what science at the time thought was possible, and how it might have been achieved. Continue reading

Call for Alpha Readers

Howdy! I’m looking for a few brave souls to alpha read Imperial Magic, the sequel to Merchant and Magic. I need comments back by the end of August, if possible.

If you are interested in reading the draft and flagging things that don’t make sense, or truly outstanding tyops, er, typos, please contact me at AlmaTCBoykin AT aol DOT com.

Many thanks!