The Maine House

Month: March 2016

2 Out of 3 Aint Bad

Over at SF Bluestocking, Bridget McKinney is reviewing all the stories in the collection Up and Coming, which was put together in spectacularly quick fashion by Lisa Huang and Kurt Hunt. And by “all,” I mean 230 stories by 120 author who are eligible for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2016. The collection has 1.1 million words, which isn’t far off the word count of the first five Game of Thrones books. It’s a crazy task that she’s doing at a lightning pace, but her reviews betray no haste. They are thoughtful and precise and they’ll be my guide to the book when I get a chance to read it.

Here’s what she says about the three stories I contributed:

“Stripped to Zero” is a solidly well-written and timely story about the steady creep of technology into our lives and the ways in which we’re always being watched, analyzed, and advertised to. It’s somewhat pessimistic, but not crushingly so. In “Wire Paladin,” Stephen S. Power continues to examine some of these same big ideas, but with a darkly funny twist at the end. I was glad to have read these two stories together, as they complement each other well. I didn’t like “Automatic Sky”—about a pair of somewhat star-crossed lovers—at all, but I expect your mileage may vary with it.

For the first public review ever of anything I’ve written, I’ll take 2 out of 3, especially with the third being left for others to judge for themselves. Totally fair analysis.

You can download Up and Coming for free here until March 31. If you want to read the best minds breaking out in SF/F today, this is the place to start.

OK, I know you’re hearing it in your head. Here’s Meatloaf.


As an editor I’ve requested, revised and compiled hundreds of blurbs for my authors’ books. Today, for instance,  two different people asked me for the blurbs for The 10 Laws of Trust by Joel Peterson and David A. Kaplan. But to get blurbs of my own? That’s wild.

And the two I got are great–and gratifying. If Dragon Round can please these authors, maybe I can start to think I know what I’m doing.

The first is from Marie Brennan:

“In The Dragon Round, Power takes his tale of revenge in unexpected and refreshing directions. Think you know where this story is going? Think again.  He paints his scenes with vivid and meticulous detail, lending real force to the struggles his characters face. And his dragons are compelling beasts — neither wholly vicious nor wholly trustworthy. They may not speak, but this story belongs to them every bit as much as it does to the human characters.”

And the second is from K.M. McKinley:

“A brilliant story of dragons, trade, treachery, and the sea, told with scintillating immediacy—the best fantasy I’ve read in years.”

Both authors were kinds enough to point out stuff they liked in particular, including that I made them laugh, which is the highest compliment that I could get, in my opinion.

I finished drafting chapter one of Dragon Tower the other day and started revising this morning. I forgot how tough first chapters are. Marie and Kay’s praise, however, definitely helps push me forward.


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