Ditch Diggers is on August hiatus

Matt and I are taking a break, with so much travel and moving this month. We will be back in September, and you’ll have the Worldcon episode to tide you over before then. See you in a month!

Where is Mur at WorldCon?

I haven’t posted my schedule yet! Yikes!

Anyway, next week (!!!) I will be at WorldCon in Helsinki, Finland, and doing panels and signings (ok, signing singluar, I aint GRRM after all) and a LIVE Ditch Diggers and game shows and the Hugo Ceremonies, where I am totally prepared to lose and just have a good time.

Since I’m nominated and it’s my first Hugo nomination, I am bowing out of the official liveblogging of the Hugos this year, but I’ll be back next year! Cheryl and Kevin will be there doing their usual awesome job.

Here’s my schedule. Come say hi!

(My GOD I hate wordpress. I tried very hard to make this look good and then WordPress said, “Mmm, nah, you want it this way instead.” I give up. Here’s the schedule, haphazard large text and all)


Signing: Mur Lafferty

Thursday 12:00 – 13:00, Signing area (Messukeskus)

Ditch Diggers
Thursday 17:00 – 18:00, 101 a & b (Messukeskus)

A live recording of the Hugo Finalist Fancast, Ditch Diggers. Host Mur Lafferty and special guest host Alasdair Stuart will have games and interviews designed to navigate the tricky business of publishing.

I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue
Thursday 21:00 – 22:00, 102 (Messukeskus)

The classic British radio gameshow – basically an excuse for 4 panelists and the host to play childish games for an hour.

Sports in Fiction and How to Write Them
Friday 11:00 – 12:00, 204 (Messukeskus)

Sports appear in one form or another in quite a lot of many genre stories. There are fictional sports from Quidditch to Pyramid, as well as non-fictional sports such as football (Unseen Academicals) or baseball (Summer Country). The panelists talk about how to make sports appealing, especially when read from the pages of a book.

Hugo Ceremony
Friday 19:30 – 22:30, Hall 1

!!!!!!
You may or may not see me. There’s no guarantee I will be on stage.

On the Care and Feeding of Secondary Characters
Saturday 18:00 – 19:00, 205 (Messukeskus)

Your protagonists are fully fleshed out and fully realized but your other characters could use some work. How do you bring life to the rest of the people in your story without taking the spotlight from your main characters?

ISBW #380: Coming up for air // Every book is your first

I recover from the latest depression cloud and enter into pre-vacation frenzy. This one is late, and the next one will be two weeks from this one. (August 14)

Ditch Diggers will be on hiatus for most of August, as I’m traveling and Matt is moving, and we’re both super frantic busy.

But here I recover from my latest short depressive period, and talk about why writing my new book is hard. Every book is your first, according to Gene Wolfe and Neil Gaiman.

If you’re going to WorldCon, let me know! And come to the live Ditch Diggers show on Thursday!

And HEY preorder my book cause it’s awesome!


Affiliate Links:

[P1] Bell the Cat

The Page One Project / June 29, 2017


Bell the Cat“Maybe we can use prisoners.”

The eager-faced private was probably a little older than most recruits, but carried herself well as she refilled water glasses in the war room.

Admiral Kang looked around slowly, murder in her eyes. “Did someone ask your opinion?”

“Er, no ma’am, I just thought if you can’t find someone to risk their lives in the barrel, then you could perhaps send a prisoner in there to do it.” The private swallowed nervously and her hand tightened on the water jug.

“The weapon will probably kill them during the test fire. That’s what happens when you’re in a barrel of a giant weapon. If they face death on the outside why would they face death on the inside?”

“Well, you said it would ‘probably’ kill them. If the weapon doesn’t kill them, then you can promise to release them?” the private said, her voice dry.

Admiral Kang briefly considered this. Then she shook her head.

“The problem, I think, is the weapon’s design,” Captain Folda said, leaning back in his chair his feet lifting slightly off the floor. “Test fires are suicide. Who thought it was a good idea to place the diagnostic computer inside the actual barrel of the weapon?”

Kang glared at the short man. She hated the way he spoke, unsure and hesitant, always saying “I think” when it was bloody obvious that when he spoke, he was thinking the words that came out of his mouth.

“Of course it’s in the design. That’s why we can’t fix it. That’s why we need a workaround,” she said. “I wish I could put the actual design team in there to fire the weapon. That would be fitting punishment.”

“All are dead but one,” said Dr. Wu, the physicist who oversaw the project. He looked at a tablet and scrolled through some names. “One of the designers: an Aleksandra Zielinski. A prodigy, it seems.”

The private had begun to slink from the room, obviously hoping to escape now that the focus was elsewhere.

“Private,” Admiral Kang barked. “What did you say your name was?”


What happens next? That’s up to you.

Read more about The Page One Project here.

Creative Commons License
The Page One Project by Mur Lafferty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Links are affiliate.

 

Site Housekeeping

I was on vacation last week and missed posting the latest ISBW. So there will be a new Ditch Diggers later today, ISBW later this week, and ISBW next Monday to make sure we’re caught up. Then a live DD the following Monday cause I’m seeing Matt in person soon.

And I’m cooking up something cool for the live DD at WorldCon! And I will NOT mess up the recording this time! Cross my heart and all that.

I am working on a redesign to my site (OK, Pablo Defendini is working on the redesign, I’m just watching) and in cleaning some things up, I have broken others (mainly the Ditch Diggers site). This will be fixed when the new site launches.

Simpsons- old man yells at cloudSpeaking of things that I broke: many of you have told me that the Ditch Diggers feed isn’t updating, and I’m sorry about that. I have gone into iTunes and put a new feed for ITunes to grab, and it should be fixed within 24 hours or so.

<— Aside- BACK IN MY DAY fixing your feed within iTunes was nigh-impossible. Once you told iTunes what your feed was, you were stuck. I wasn’t too optimistic about this fix, but then found out iTunes has changed in the past 10 years. Who would have thought?

So the Ditch Diggers feed should be fixed shortly. Crossing fingers.


HEY did you know that you can win a copy of Bookburners from Goodreads? It’s true! Enter the giveaway here to win the glorious doorstop of a book with stories by me, Max Gladstone, Margaret Dunlap, and Brian Francis Slattery.


I hate to toot my own horn, but who’s gonna toot it if I don’t? Last week Six Wakes got awesome coverage in Popular Mechanics! They listed Six Wakes as one of the best SF books of 2017 (so far). Seriously.

[P1] The Mediterranean Song*

The Page One Project / June 16, 2017


alarm clock with quoteThe clock was already going to tell him he’d lost the spot, wasn’t it? He hated the thing, it was small, beeping, and insistent. It had no personality, but Michael hated it as if it had told him his mother was dead.

His mother was dead, actually, but the alarm couldn’t know that. It knew nothing except the time, and the time was Too Late.

He reached over the stained mattress and felt along the floor until he found the cheap digital clock. He’d bought it at the pawn shop while trying not to think of what poor bastard was so down on their luck that they got value from pawning a piece of shit clock. He had punched SNOOZE three times and was now ready to yank the cord from the wall. His hangover assailed him from behind his eyes and somewhere in the back of his throat. Something had to die, and it was going to be that wretched clock.

The sound stopped right before his hand fell on the clock. He blinked slowly, unable to process. Then it started again, and he grabbed the clock and threw it.

It gave no resistance at all, trailing its cord behind it. He’d already yanked it out of the wall.
He searched for the source of the noise, which continued to blare like a siren. His phone. It was underneath his clothes from last night. He squinted at it, and a dim memory appeared from the night before. He’d been drinking with other musicians and had laughed and changed his conductor’s ringtone to be the most obnoxious siren his phone could provide. It had seemed funny.

The ringing stopped abruptly, and then the phone began to ping as texts rolled in. They had different levels of profanity and threats, but they all said essentially the same thing:

Where the hell are you?

We’re practicing The Mediterranean Song today and we can’t do it without you.


What happens next? That’s up to you.

Read more about The Page One Project here.

Creative Commons License
The Page One Project by Mur Lafferty is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Links are affiliate.

* Title supplied by Paul Byford – thanks, Paul!

Update on Wake Cty. Author Tea

I previously stated I would be at the Wake County Author Tea this weekend but I posted the WRONG LIBRARY. So here’s the update:

This Sunday, October 2, at 2:00pm, I will be at the Wake County Library Author Tea at Northeast Regional Library, Raleigh, NC.

I had a lot of fun at last weekend’s tea, talked to a lot of different people and drank a lot of tea. I hope to repeat the performance this weekend. Hope to see you there!

Don’t reject yourself

People, marginalized groups most of all, tend to do their own rejecting. They don’t see a lot of people like themselves in anthologies or magazines. They don’t see themselves so they don’t think people like themselves should even try.

Been there.

There are several times we tell ourselves no when it’s not really our job. Before we write the story. Before we submit the story. Before we accept the acceptance of the story. Before we tell people that we have work eligible for awards. Before we accept the nomination for the award.

We are convinced that if we do get acceptance, or we do get a nomination, or we do win an award, then something has gone wrong. We forget that it’s not our job to accept, nominate, and award.

Last week, Lifehacker published “It’s Not Your Job To Tell Yourself “No.”

Of course, if you really want to, then you can dream up reasons for why now isn’t the right time, this isn’t the right place, and you’re not quite ready… but I don’t think that’s your job.

It’s not your job to tell yourself no. It’s not your job to deny yourself opportunities. It’s not your job to prevent your own progress. There are enough people in the world who will do those things for you.

Your job is to embrace rather than ignore. Your job is to pursue rather than prevent. Your job is to tell yourself “yes” instead of “no.”

That’s your job.

Exactly this. It IS your job to write, to submit, to keep writing.

It is NOT your job to decide who goes into the magazine, who gets their book published, and who gets nominated or wins awards.

It sounds like you’re helpless. You’re not. You are only helpless if you try to control the stuff you don’t control at all, and it feels like the way to control that is to say NO to yourself before anyone else does.

But you don’t have that control. If you focus on what you do control – writing and sending that thing off, then you will be happy.

Happier, anyway.

Reminder- Wake Library Teas

As I mentioned earlier this month, I’m working with the Wake County Library to participate in two of their Author Tea events this fall! All info is in this post, but the tl;dr (and visually accessible) info is: 2pm on September 25 and October 2 I will be at Southeast Regional and West libraries, respectively. Hope you can make it!

Upcoming NC Appearances!

I’m working with the Wake County Library to participate in two of their Author Tea events this fall! All info is below, but the tl;dr (and visually accessible) info is: 2pm on September 25 and October 2 I will be at Southeast Regional and West libraries, respectively. Hope you can make it!

NC_Author_Tea_NER_UPDATED