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congrats to the Hugo nominees

Congratulations to good eggs and folks whom I consider either friends or buddies or at least really nifty acquaintances: Charles Stross, Seanan Maguire (in her secret identity as Mira Grant), Catherynne L. Valente, Mary Robinette Kowal, Paul Cornell, George R.R. Martin, Ellen Datlow, Sheila Williams, Ginjer Buchanan, Liz Gorinsky, Toni Weisskopf, and John Picacio, all of whom got well-deserved nominations. The full list of nominations is here.

I don't have much to say about the Vox Day kerfluffle. Folks more eloquent than me have already done so, and I can't bring myself to be arsed about it. By their very nature, awards are spectacularly flawed constructs, Day's getting his minions to nominate his novelette just shines a light on it.

No, the comment I find myself nodding my head in agreement most with is from my friend Peter David:
So I’ve been a full time writer for nearly three decades and never so much as been nominated for a Hugo. Yet a racist, homophobic asshole is up for a Hugo this year because apparently he understands how to game the social network system. Because the Hugos will accept people who despise gays but draw the line at “Star Trek” novels.

Yeah. Nice to know where us tie-in writers fall in the pecking order....

Of course, I've also seen that a great way to get nominated for a Hugo is to have your short fiction published by Tor.com, since four of the fourteen short fiction nominees were published on that site. By a startling coinky-dink, I submitted a Cassie Zukav story to Tor.com........

two reviews of The Zoo Job

Found two reviews of my Leverage novel The Zoo Job online, one on Sean the Party Man's blog, and the other by TomCat on the Beneath the Stains of Time blog. Both of them liked it! Yay me!

Money quote, from TomCat:
If there was one drawback, it was the lack of a clear and proper villain for the crew to target, and as a result, we were deprived of a long con full of fun, but dangerous, pitfalls – which were represented here by Interpol's James Sterling ("The Antagonist") and Malani's finance minister, Aloysius Mbenga, with his armed goons. They've to figure out whom to zoom in on and what the game of their opponent is, before they can put a stop it. And that full picture doesn't emerge until quite late into the book. Leverage was known for trying different approaches of telling the story, but there was always a mark or goal (e.g. beating an unbeatable security system) and it felt a little bit like watching Columbo stumbling around without knowing himself who he's suppose to be hounding.

But that's a minor, fan boyish complaint on an excellent job at translating the characters and atmosphere of the show to paper and weaving a good story around it. I hope these novels do well enough that they commission more of them and perhaps open a new avenue to re-launch the TV series. Here's hoping!

on the radio, whoa whoa whoa, on the radio

I will be appearing on TrekRadio TONIGHT at 7pm EST to discuss The Klingon Art of War. If you can't listen to the podcast tonight, it'll be archived, and if you have questions for me about TKAOW, please submit them to questions at trekradio dot net.

This is the first of (at least) three podcasts I'm doing to pimp the book, and I've also got two bookstore signings in NYC set up. Oh, and I'll be debuting the book at TrekTrax Atlanta 2014 next weekend..................

Что случилось в Женеве?

Стон стоит сегодня в Сети и плач, пишет marina_yudenich. albiel, miguel_kud и многие другие удивляются, как Россия могла подписать соглашение в Женеве, которое вроде бы явно ущемляет интересы поддерживаемого ею Юго-Востока Украины. Которому, подписывая такое соглашение, Россия вроде бы даёт сигнал разоружиться и освободить занятые помещения.

Не считаю, что женевское соглашение даёт такой сигнал Юго-Востоку. И тем более это не накладывает на него ни каких обязательств. От Юго-Востока никто соглашение не подписывал.

Для России важно, что в соглашении практически исключено не имеющее смысла обсуждение проблемы Крыма, возможной агрессии или просто разговоры о вооружённых силах России. Территориальная целостность Украины в соглашении уже даже не упоминается. То есть в обсуждении всеми сторонами кризиса на Украине акценты очевидно смещены.

А главный смысл получившегося соглашения - обязать освободить незаконно занятые здания, отказаться от насильственных действий, разоружить незаконные формирования и по сути сдать незаконно взятую власть. Россия, США и ЕС своими подписями только подтвердили, что они эти требования поддерживают, одобряют и будут отслеживать их выполнение. Исполнять их из подписавших сторон может и должна только центральная киевская власть.

Россия считает киевскую власть незаконной и недееспособной. США - наоборот. Если Киев обеспечит выполнение соглашения, он продемонстрирует свою дееспособность. Если же не обеспечит - продемонстрирует свою недееспособность. Какой из вариантов будет иметь место, думаю, очевидно.

Принятые в Женеве решения выполнены не будут. Тем самым Киев продемонстрирует свою недееспособность. И правоту России, именно это утверждавшей. Соответственно, уже в ближайшие дни позиции Юго-Востока значительно усилятся. Возможности для активности со стороны России - тоже.

Удивляет, как такое соглашение вообще было подписано всеми сторонами. А Россия уже в очередной раз проявила себя очень профессионально. В отличие от остальных. Так мне кажется.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Rewatch: "Body Parts"

Quark gets a death sentence -- OR DOES HE? Plus Keiko's pregnancy gets weird, as the DS9 Rewatch assembles some "Body Parts."

An excerpt:
When O’Brien complains about how active Keiko has been during pregnancy and declares, “It’s as if I have to remind her she’s pregnant!” Dax—who has been pregnant while in previous female hosts—has a magnificently sarcastic response: “Yeah, I guess the extra weight, the morning sickness, the mood swings, the medical examinations—they aren’t reminders enough.”

my TrekTrax Atlanta schedule

One week from today, I will be jetting into Georgia for TrekTrax Atlanta where, among other things, I'll be launching The Klingon Art of War. As with last year, I'll have a table where I'll be selling books, including copies of KAOW and other books of mine as well.

Plus I'll be doing the following program items:

Friday
8-10pm: "VIP Champagne Reception," a gathering with the guests of honor including self, Arlene Martel, Felix Silla, and Jeremy Roberts -- tickets are $30 and can be purchased here (The Marketplace)
10.45-11.45pm: "The Klingon Art of War," discussing the new book (Salon B)

Saturday
4.15-5.15pm: "TrekTrax Atlanta Presents: Keith R.A. DeCandido," a one-hour Q&A and reading by me (Salon B)
8-9pm: "The 2014 Miss Klingon Empire Beauty Pageant," the 15th annual pageant that is unique among pageants to say the least, for which I am likely to be a judge (Salon B)

I don't have anything specific scheduled for Sunday, but I'll be around, selling books and stuff....

Friday fanfare: "Birthday"

What better song to post on my birthday than this classic from the Beatles?

I say it's my birthday....

Today I'm 45. I'm a hit single, with a B-side, and that little yellow thing in the middle that prevents sliding around the turntable.

Or I'm half a right angle.

Or something.

Anyhow, most of my birthday will be spent writing because deadlines don't give a shit that it's my birthday, but I will be festivizing at one of my favorite restaurants -- Mario's on Arthur Avenue -- with family this evening.

Thanks to everyone who has wished me well on Facebook and Twitter and in private messages. I have the best friends, family, and fans in the world, and I wouldn't trade any of you for anything. *big-ass group hug*

triple play and triples

Almost exactly a year ago, the Yankees turned a very bizarre triple play against the Orioles with CC Sabathia pitching.

Tonight, against the Rays, with CC pitching once again, the Yanks turned a more traditional triple play. It was started by Yangervis Solarte, a 26-year-old rookie who came out of nowhere in spring training to take over the everyday third base job, and finished by Scott Sizemore in his first-ever professional game at first base. Gotta love it...



Not only that, but in the top of the inning, the Yanks hit two triples. It's triple day!
Back in 1987, Paul Simon promoted his Graceland album -- much of which was a celebration of South African music -- by touring with several South African musicians, among them the a cappella group Ladysmith Black Mambazo, guitarist Ray Phiri, and the great performers Miriam Makeba and Hugh Masekela. One of the songs Masekela (a great trumpeter) did was "Bring Him Back Home (Nelson Mandela)," a song urging the release from prison of Nelson Mandela.

The song is, of course, dated, which is what's so awesome about it -- the song actually worked, Mandela was released, apartheid ended, and Mandela became the leader of the South African nation.

I was thinking of this song yesterday when the Yankees, as part of the annual Jackie Robinson Day festivities (normally held on the 15th of April, but the game was rained out, so they did it last night), they put a plaque in Monument Park honoring Mandela, partly in honor of his visit to Yankee Stadium in 1990.

Anyhow, here's the great Hugh Masekela. Just listen to that trumpet.......

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