January 31: two books! Huge giveaway!

Six Wakes Cover

Six Wakes

TL;DR: Send me receipts in email and get signed books. Details at bottom.

This January 31, I am in the wonderfully strange situation of having TWO books coming out at once.

First, from Orbit books, I have Six Wakes, my clone murder mystery in space, the book that made James Patrick Kelly say, “Lafferty does for clones what Asimov did for robots.”

Six Wakes also got starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Library Journal and has appeared on several “January books to look for” lists.

Then from Saga and Serial Box comes my collaboration (with Max Gladstone, Brian Francis Slattery, and Margaret Dunlap) Bookburners. It’s a horror/urban fantasy story about a Vatican team who chase down magical books and contain them before terrible things happen. (Usually right when terrible things are happening, otherwise the story wouldn’t be interesting.) Naomi Novik says “Bookburners is sheer enormous fun!” It’s also appeared on several “January books to look for” lists!

While this is SUPER exciting, I was wondering how I could promote two books at once. I don’t want my readers/listeners to get Lafferty fatigue at me saying, “Buy my book! Now buy my other book! Did you buy the first one yet? Well, go do that!” And so on.

So I figured out a plan: the first five people to send me their receipts for Six Wakes will receive signed (by me) copies of the Bookburners ARC, and the first five to send me copies of their Bookburners receipts will receive signed copies of Six Wakes. 

UPDATE: All books spoken for! Thanks!

Now, my die hard fans who’ve already bought both should get some kind of reward too. If you show such dedication, then I will reward you with a secret letter and a present. (You may want to indicate which of my books you do not own, that will help me decide presents.)

To sum up! Starting today:

  • Send me your Six Wakes preorder receipt and your address: get a copy of Bookburners (ARC). (Limit 5 people)
  • Send me your Bookburners preorder receipt and your address: get a copy of Six Wakes. (Limit 5 people)
  • Send me the receipt for both and your address, and you’ll get a secret letter and a present. (Limit 5 people)
  • And yes, I will ship worldwide. Gawd help me.
  • My email address is mightymur at gmail dot com.

PLEASE put “GIVEAWAY” in your subject line so I will spot the entries. I will edit this blog post and mention on twitter when all of the books are spoken for.

ISBW #370: Gamification // Jason Chabot and Kylie Chan Interviews

I discuss how I try to get work done using Habitica and 4thewords.com. Then talk to Jason Chabot and Kylie Chan!

New books! Coming out January 31! Preorder now!

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ISBW #369: Feedback // Interviews with David D. Levine and Stephen Aryan

I am getting through the last of my interviews that have been here, and I’m sorry to everyone who has had to wait. Today we go through feedback and talk to David D. Levine and Stephen Aryan.

New books! Coming out January 31! Preorder now!

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The Dread Award Eligibility Post!

hugo_award_logoI made stuff in 2016! I’m going to tell you about it!

My Season 2 Bookburners novelette was Debtor’s Prison, published in July.

I wrote the short story “Voice of the Empire” for Star Wars Insider magazine that came out December 27, just under the wire.

Regarding the Hugos, my podcasts I Should Be Writing and Ditch Diggers (with co-host Matt Wallace) are both eligible for fancast this year, and we would love your consideration.

The magazine I edit, Mothership Zeta, is eligible for best semiprozine, which makes me eligible for best editor (Short).

I think that’s all I’m eligible for; last year was a lot of work on stuff that hasn’t seen the light of day (yet). For example, my novel SIX WAKES didn’t make it out in time to be a 2016 book, but you can get it this month (make it safe and preorder now!) and then consider it for next year.

2016: Reading

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For the record, I took this screen shot before the year was up. So I still have time to win…

Yesterday I was looking for pictures of myself I’d posted in this blog. Aside from the fact that it was very hard to find any, it meant that I read several old blog posts. I got to the end of year 2015 post on reading and was astonished. I’d forgotten that I’d made a pledge to read as many of the books that I already owned (aka from my existing To Be Read pile). I’d reduced my Audible subscriptions to 1 credit a month. I had a Plan.

After a few months of buying more Audible credits so I could get more audiobooks, I finally turned my subscription back where it was.I didn’t just fail at this. I completely forgot I’d created the goal in the first place. That’s impressive.

Of course, the year was a shit fire, and I find comfort in buying books. And I like to support my friends. And publishers often send me ARCs from people I interview. So the books kept coming in.

I don’t know if I can try to make the same attempt this year. Too many good books are coming out, such as The Stars Are Legion by Kameron Hurley, Seven Surrenders by Ada Palmer, The Stone Sky by N.K. Jemisin. I think I will, however, start keeping track on Goodreads of books I already own as opposed to books I purchased. Or I could totally cheat and just preorder all of the above today. That could work…

If you don’t know, I track my reading on Goodreads, but I neither engage with any of the flame wars there, nor do I often review books. I know several authors review books professionally, but I don’t find it something I want to do. I don’t want to harm a friend’s sales, but I don’t want to just throw around 5 star reviews either. So I just mark that I read it. (I may be more honest with books outside my field, such as nonfiction or graphic novels.)

This year I nearly made my goal of 80 books read. I re-read some of them, which didn’t make Goodreads’ official tally of books read, since you can’t list that you read a book on different dates (you can make a separate shelf for rereads, but the official Goodreads number comes from the date you read the book. If you mark a book as read but don’t give it a date, then it doesn’t go into the tally.)

Favorite books? Nah. I know how shitty I feel when I’m left off a blog post of “Best Books/Podcasts of the year!” so I try not to make my own. If you want to see what I read, check out my Goodreads shelves.

Ditch Diggers #34: End of Year Special with Kameron Hurley

We are joined by ugly Christmas sweaters, booze, and Kameron Hurley. Happy New Year! Fuck you, 2016!

Until Matt gets the show notes done, I think the only thing we have to say about the end of the year was said best by Lalo Alcaraz:

Cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

 


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Ditch Diggers #33 – Etiquette and Protocol

  • Mur and Matt come to you live from Morgan Freeman’s holiday decorations vault, after Mur cracked said vault (we didn’t know Mur was a safecracker).
  • Mur talks about her brief absence from podcasting during the holidays, during which she recorded the audiobook for her new novel, SIX WAKES (Orbit, Jan. 31st), which also received a starred review from Publishers Weekly in that time.
  • All the books Matt and Mur have coming out in the beginning of 2017, including SIX WAKES, IDLE INGREDIENTS, and Bookburners.
  • Matt still sucks at segues.
  • Matt and Mur discuss professional ethics for freelancers, more specifically the choices you’ll make for your career and your brand as a creator. Matt names names.
  • A brief interlude to catch up with Mur’s dog and also her Orson Welles-voiced husband, Jim.
  • Matt talks about his experiences with advertisers paying for space on his platform, both refusing money and regretting having taken it, and what he’s learned from both.
  • Mur talks about being paid to personally endorse ad content vs. selling advertising time on her podcasts, and the difference between doing both, as well as click-bait ads on personal blogs.
  • Matt offers a positive example of using your platform for advertising and monetary gain.
  • Mur talks about ethical blurbing for authors.
  • Matt and Mur switch gears and talk about professional ethics from the side of those who hire freelance writers and creators, focusing on the internet.
  • Matt offers an example of markets with no morals or ethics via his recent, very public brawl with movie news and low-grade paparazzi stalker porn website JoBlo.com
  • Mur talks about her experiences with unscrupulous games publishers.
  • Twitter Q&A! Matt and Mur answer questions about Brexit’s effect on the publishing industry, foreign editions of author’s books, and more.
  • Finally, it’s awards season and Ditch Diggers is again eligible for the Best Fancast Hugo! Hugo voters, take note.

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ISBW #368: Post-depression writing // Leanna Renee Hieber and Brooke Johnson interviews

Where I’ve been for the last two months, and two more interviews with Leanna Renee Hieber and Brooke Johnson!

(And I hadn’t recorded in a while, so the wrong mic is grabbing the audio and I didn’t realize till afterwards.)

And I’ve been podcasting 12 years! WOW!

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Too much gamification make Mur something something

Note- I recorded BOTH a Ditch Diggers with Matt today and an I Should Be Writing on my own. Those will go up soon.

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That’s me.

I have been using Habitica (previously Habit RPG) to try to keep track of (or change) my habits and to-do list for a few years now, to varying success. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes when it doesn’t work, I kill my friends in my party. (Sorry, Jim, John, and Laura.)

We have an I Should Be Writing guild there, but it’s not very active. I’m not too good at doing challenges. I will work on that TONIGHT.

I’m a level 77 mage, with a candy cane cactus as my familiar and a white unicorn as my mount. I also have candy cane armor. My 8th grade self just felt a goose walk over her grave. A GOOSE OF AWESOME.

Is that enough gamification? I discovered no, Virginia, it is not.

Through Habitica I found 4thewords, a site in beta. This is like a visual RPG version of the magic spreadsheet. You “fight monsters” by writing a certain number of words within a certain time limit. If you do this, you “win” and get loot, level up, etc. And of course you get bonuses if you write a certain number of words every day to make a chain (444 for this site.)

I’ve only played it for one day, and gained one whole level, so I don’t have much to report. The site is a little too cute for my tastes, and the avatars have one skin shade, so that likely leaves a number of writers feeling a little left out. I’m still eager to check out what the gamification does to my productivity. It has leaderboards for longest chain, most words, and number of battles.

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I think the biggest problem (which I wouldn’t know how to fix) is the same problem I had with Write or Die: you have to write within a web browser. So if you’re used to Scrivener or Word or Pages, you write in the browser and when you’re done, you take your words and paste it into the program, which is slightly inconvenient. But like I said, I wouldn’t know how to fix this, since the site is designed to see how fast you’re getting writing done and doesn’t work on the honor system like NaNoWriMo does.

The site does have one more feature that I probably won’t be using unless I write fanfic or something, and that’s the opportunity to read what people are writing. I’ve discovered some use this site for fiction, but others use it for blogging. Kind of myopic for me to think it was only for fiction, or at the craziest, nonfic.

Anyway I’ll be trying this out too. I think the biggest problem I have with these sites is there doesn’t seem to be any way to friend people. On Habitica, you can have up to eight people in a party to fight bosses (and when you don’t do your daily habits, everyone in the party suffers health hits) but I can’t friend people specifically. And I haven’t found a way to do it in 4thwords, although I don’t know anyone else there anyway.

My party in Habitica. Don't they look awesome?

My party in Habitica. Don’t they look awesome? Note the flying pig and a dinosaur mounts.

I must run back to 4thewords so I can get another day and take my streak to two days.

STORIUM, News, and Skyrim tales

The amazing storytelling site I’ve been involved with, Storium, has launched an awesome interactive demo to help new players. It’s free and doesn’t require a signup. You literally have nothing to lose except for 5 minutes of your time. Check it out!


Library Journal just gave Six Wakes and Bookburners some love as well! And Six Wakes got a star! (You DO know that you can really help a book out by pre-ordering, right? Get Bookburners here. Get Six Wakes here.


We’ve gotten the new shiny Skyrim with mod support and better graphics and we’re all playing it with great glee. It helped to kill things during the month when we saw our nation crumble in a dumpster fire.

There are still interesting bugs with a game so intricate. The latest one I encountered had my adopted son begging for a present when I got home. I had a shirt for him, so I gave it to him. He was then immediately naked (with undies, natch) and ran around playing in the rain. Then he went to sit under a tree. In the rain. With no clothes on.

I followed him and tried to talk to him, but “get your damn clothes back on, you fool child” was nowhere in the dialogue tree. So I decided it was my housecarl’s problem and went on adventuring. (I just discovered others have noticed this bug.)

Then there was the time I was being chased by a wolf, ran into a bear, and then a dragon landed on all of us. But that’s another tale.