c:\> romance.exe_

At this point in my literary career, I doubt that there will be such a thing as a ‘romantic subplot’ in my cyberpunk/future noir fiction that doesn’t end up being poisonous or otherwise utterly destructive to my characters.  I mean I’ve already had two books where a ‘romance’ happens, and one is a hormone-fueled crisis fling that dies hard before the story even gets started and the other turns out to be the product of heartless chemical manipulations via implants.

I really should just be nice, but it’s so…boring, otherwise.  Doomed affection is just more fun to write.

Unless of course, the act of having a healthy romance would be subversive to the environment as a whole.  Having a totally chill and stable romance in the worst dystopian conditions is pretty punk rock.

I don’t know what a therapist would say about this…these are the thoughts that keep me out of the good schools.

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GATHERING ASHES, Book Three of the Wonderland Cycle, is complete and all chapters will be distributed to the beta readers today. It will be off to the publisher soon. All my love to you for the support which you have shown, the interest, and – or so I hope – the evangelical loudness you will show in helping spread word about the book once it is released later this year. I’m confident that you will love it, and while you might get angry with me toward the end, know that there’s one more book in the kitty and all mysteries have yet to be revealed.

On that note, work on Book Four, THE DISFIGURED CITY, begins today.

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About the Hugo Awards…

Given the announcement of the ballot, I’ve been hearing a lot of things today.  With my mix of friends, you can imagine.  Most of all, I’ve heard many people say with surprise that the Hugos have become ‘only’ political at this point, thanks to the back-and-forth between the progressive and conservative elements of the SF writing community.  A lot of people seem shocked by this, which surprises me.

Awards like the Hugos have always been political.  What we’ve seen with the changes of the roster between this last year and this year is the threat to the status quo; to me, art is inherently political. You cannot disentangle the two. Thus the awards are a political barometer, challenge and response.  That last year there was a sweeping shift in the established flow has only brought that fact to light once more.

So to those of you voting this year: vote as you like, but know that you -are- voting on something more than simply what book you like the best this year.  You’re casting a vote on a ballot that is just as clear and valid about your belief in the direction that our society should take as any other kind of election.

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