New Worlds: Before (and After) Money

I don’t know if it’s tax season that made the Topic Backers from the New Worlds Patreon vote for an economics theme this month — but voted they have, and so they shall receive! After all, that’s the trade we’ve agreed to. And certain kinds of trade are the subject of today’s essay: specifically, barter. Including how I previously said a wrong thing about it, and need to walk that statement back.

Comment over there!

More like a joke on myself?

The other day I commented on Twitter that I’d written 6000 words that day: 2500 words of what I needed to be working on (Night Parade), and 3500 of surprise!fanfic for one of my own damn novels.

And I do mean fanfic, in the sense that the story I produced isn’t trying to do the things an independent short story would do. It will mean very little if you haven’t read the novel (and contain egregious spoilers to boot), and the conflict it’s resolving — at least in part — starts well outside the bounds of the story itself. So it’s not the kind of thing I could ever attempt to sell.

Ergo, the natural thing to do is post it online as a freebie.

And if I’m going to do that, I might as well post it on April Fool’s Day. Not because it’s some kind of bait-and-switch on you guys, but because what better day to share Oops, Accidental Fanfic?

So in congratulations for surviving March, and to provide a bit of entertainment as we go into April, I give you “The Long Fall,” a post-canon fic for Turning Darkness Into Light. WARNING: CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS.

(Also, side question for people who know fannish etiquette better than I do: would it be weird for me to post this to AO3? I haven’t made any secret of the connection between my pseud there and my professional identity, and I don’t know whether having me show up in my own fandom would feel out of place. It might be one thing if there were a hundred fics for the Memoirs, but as of now, there’s a whopping eighteen.)

about the Clarion West workshops

My apologies to everyone who wasn’t able to get into any of the free workshops Clarion West is offering. There was an initial delay, and then some technical difficulties that appear to mean people on certain browsers could see the registration links but others couldn’t, plus the overall demand was so high that courses filled up more or less instantaneously. I know a lot of people are disappointed.

The good news is, the CW staff are now aware of how much interest there is in this stuff, and are working to both set up future options and make sure it runs more smoothly next time. Apparently they were already intending to start offering more online options (since not everybody can travel in-person to their one-day workshops); the current situation just made them step up their timetable, is all. So if you weren’t able to register for the things that interested you, there will be more opportunities in the future — including my own workshops, because like CW, this is something I was thinking about doing anyway.

FREE Clarion workshops!

The Clarion West Writers’ Workshop is taking the extraordinary step of offering free online writing workshops for the next several weeks. (Extraordinary because they’re still paying the instructors, but not charging the students.) I had a splendid time teaching an in-person workshop for them last month, so I’m diving in to do a series of worldbuilding workshops inspired by the New Worlds Patreon. There will be four of them, each independent of the others, meaning that you only need to sign up for the one(s) that interest you. It’ll be first come, first served, with registration opening on Friday, March 27 at 12pm PST. The current list of workshops is here, so if any of them pique your interest, mark your calendars now!

I know that isolation is hard . . .

. . . but early data shows encouraging signs that it makes a substantial dent in the spread of the virus.

Not just that, but the Washington Post’s outbreak simulator visually demonstrates that a strong “social distancing” policy is the most effective strategy we’ve got.

So keep it up, y’all. I know it’s difficult, and I know there are knock-on problems for the economy and so forth, and none of us really know yet how all of this will end — at what point we’ll be able to go back to normal life. But right now, it’s doing good. It’s saving lives. It’s buying time for us to test antivirals and develop vaccines and manufacture more needed gear like masks, sanitizer, and medical equipment. It is doing exactly what it’s supposed to: flattening the curve, so that the impact of this gets spread out, and we don’t buckle entirely under the hit.

Stay safe, and keep others safe, too.

Need some distraction?

Following in the footsteps of a number of other authors, I’m offering a free ebook to anybody who wants one, because we’re going to need a lot of entertainment in the next few weeks of quarantine. To get one, all you have to do is drop me a line through this form and let me know which book you want EDIT and tell me which format! (Epub, for most readers, or mobi, for Kindle.) Nota bene: I can only provide books that are actually under my control, which is to say, my solo Book View Cafe titles. Those are as follows:

And now for something completely different

I could talk about how the Bay Area is officially going under a “shelter in place” order for the next three weeks, and the surreal sight of my local grocery store completely denuded of flour, rice, chicken, and other staples . . . but you know what? My brain is desperate for other material right now.

So! Please recommend to me what you consider to be the best recorded performances of each of Shakespeare’s plays. I do mean each: not just the ones that have been done a bunch of times, like Hamlet or Romeo and Juliet, but anything for which Shakespeare’s authorship is moderately certain. Cymbeline? The Winter’s Tale? Movies, TV miniseries, filmed stage performances, any of those are fine, but not adaptations that use the plot without the script (e.g. 10 Things I Hate About You).

This question brought to you by me thinking, hmmmm, I’ve written some Shakespeare fanfic for Yuletide — I wonder if I could sell some short stories in that vein? I need grist for the mill, basically.

(And feel free to pass the link to this post along to anybody who might have recommendations.)

Beware the Night Parade!

Hey, remember when I wrote a novella for Legend of the Five Rings?

Now I’m writing a novel for them. ๐Ÿ˜€

To my great surprise, despite the abundant evidence that some of the past writers for L5R had read extensively in Japanese culture and folklore, nobody seems to have ever done anything with the Night Parade of One Hundred Demons. So when I was told that Asmodee, the parent company for L5R, was starting up a fiction imprint for (among other things) game-related titles, and that they were interested in having me write a novel for them, my mind gravitated more or less instantly toward this concept. (Me? Make a beeline for the folklore thing? Strange.)

This is actually what I’m drafting right now, so it’s nice to be able to talk about it! The book is currently slated to come out in January of next year, so you won’t have to wait too long . . .