How I Spent August 2017

AugustWell, two thirds of the year are gone forever. Time to look back on the last few weeks…

I’ve been beavering away on quite a few things this month.  Between researching for my book,tinkering on a couple of new comic projects, fleshing out a few short stories and wrapping up my Hugo coverage for Women Write About Comics, I’ve had plenty to keep me occupied during this month of weird temperature changes.

At the cinema, I took in the mostly enjoyable selection that was Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, War for the Planet of the Apes, Atomic Blonde, The Dark Tower and Annabelle: Creation.

Articles of mine published elsewhere in August:

I’ll be honest, looking back I’m disappointed by the general lack of blogging I’ve done this month. I’m going to have to step up my game…

Article topics for September and beyond:


August 2017 Belladonna Issue Now Available!

BelladonnaAugust2017It’s the middle of the month, which means that the latest issue of Belladonna is available from the digital newsstands!

This month, Chass looks at the social commentary of The Ice Cream Truck, Brittany is utterly unimpressed by America Has Fallen, Samantha resists the classic 1932 version of The Mummy, Addison celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Chicago Zombie March, Kim takes us to one of the eeriest real-life locations in Seattle, Sarah puts in a plea for the defence of the original Buffy film, Katie reports back from Sinister Creature Con, cover star Sussanne Wuest (as seen in Goodnight Mommy and Iceman) puts in an interview, and LinnieSarah lets us in on her personal favourite disaster movies.


All of this can be yours.

As always, my job was filling up the comics section. This month I’ve given you reviews of Mother Panic and The Circle, while The Last Halloween creator Abby Howard is our interviewee for 666 Sketchbook.

Plus! My comic Midnight Widows reaches its fourth instalment, which involves the introduction of the third member of the team…


He’s thinking of the Widows! Are you thinking of the Widows…?

Wanna read it? Then pick up your issue from the official site or MagCloud, according to taste.

The 2017 Hugos and the Last Three Stories

Well, that’s the Hugo Awards done with. I wrote a report for WWAC, covering not only the winners but some in-fighting that occurred within Puppy circles, and then promptly collapsed into bed. A good night’s sleep and here I am!

This year’s Hugo winners weren’t my personal choices, by and large – I’m pretty sure Arrival was the only one I voted for – but there was some great work being honoured. And I couldn’t help but notice that WWAC was longlisted for Best Fanzine:


When I saw that I felt tempted to break into a “U-S-A, U-S-A” chant, only with “USA” replaced with “WWAC”, but then I quickly realised that the disparity in syllables would render this a fool’s errand.

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The Dragon Awards: A Peek Behind the Scenes


If you’ve been paying attention to the Dragon Awards, you’ll probably know that two of the finalists – John Scalzi and Alison Littlewood – asked for their novels to be withdrawn from the ballot.

More recently, Alison has posted the response she received from DragonCon president Pat Henry:

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Tanya Huff, Blood Price and the Formulation of Urban Fantasy

I’ve been reading Tanya Huff’s book Blood Price, published back in 1991. Or, more accurately, I’ve been reading the 2006 omnibus edition that also includes the sequel, Blood Trail, and a new introduction by the author. Here, Tanya Huff states that she had the idea for the novel back in 1989, and gives the commercially-minded decision behind its conception:

BloodPriceWhy a vampire book?

Well, at the time I was working at Bakka—a science fiction bookstore in Toronto—and I noticed that vampire readers are very loyal. In a desperate search for something decent to read they’ll cross their fingers and pick up just about anything with fangs on the cover. We were thinking of buying a house in the country and so would need a mortgage and vampire books came with a large—and, as I mentioned, loyal—fanbase built in.

So I wrote the first chapter of my “vampire book” and it just wasn’t working. The beloved read it and said, “You know, instead of writing a vampire book, why don’t you write a Tanya Huff book with a vampire in it.” And so that’s what I did.

Continue reading “Tanya Huff, Blood Price and the Formulation of Urban Fantasy”

Dragon Awards 2017: Which Finalists to Write About?

Dragon_Award-221x300So yeah, I’ve been working on a book called Monster Hunters, Dinosaur Lovers, about the stories caught up in the whole Puppies-versus-Hugos kerfuffle. I’m planning to cover every single Hugo-nominated prose story published from 2013 to 2016 (the years of the Sad Puppies campaign). I’m also going to look at the nominees for other SF/F awards from the same period – but in those cases I’ll be a little more discriminating about what gets covered and what doesn’t.

With the ballot for the second Dragon Awards announced, my main concern is figuring out which finalists are worth looking at in my book. So here goes…

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