The print versions of Wyrdverse turned out all right for a first go with Indesign, I reckon.
… sometimes the bot is prescient.
I’m also kinda miffed that this is one of the last posts from the old version of wyrd_ebooks, before I had to move it off botsin.space due to its script just… not playing nice that server’s oAuth. Oh well. At least I got a screenshot!
(Related: I need to find a better Markov chain generating script, too. The current one is a bit too random…)
Oh no. It’s That Time of the Year again, the time when… (looks around nervously) … things happen.
I formatted a book! Wyrdverse: Tales of the Wyrd is an anthology of short stories from the, well. Wyrdverse. These aren’t new—you may have previously read them on my website—they’re just now… collated better.
Wyrdverse is currently available super-cheap from Amazon, although if you’d like to snag yourself a free copy you can do so from the princely sum of your email address, by signing up to my book news mailing list.
Oh, and because the whole purpose of this exercise was to practice using Indesign, a print version of the book (in all its extensive, 80-page glory) should be available sometime in the next few weeks. So… keep an eye out for that.
Speaking of awesome books you should buy (or, rather, back) right now, Crossed Genres’ Resist Fascism speculative fiction anthology is in the final days of its Kickstarter. From the official description:
RESIST. ANY WAY YOU CAN.
The world is in turmoil. The world is always in turmoil, but in recent years, people have seen violence and hatred become proud instead of ashamed. What meager rights we’ve fought for are being deliberately eroded. And the vulnerable have any help stripped away. All of this is happening openly and without fear of reprisal. And the worst perpetrators are some of the largest governments of the world.
Resisting the spread of fascism is as important now as it was 75 years ago. And there are many effective ways to resist.
For full disclosure, friend-and-all-round-awesome-person Rivqa has a story in this anthology, and I have read it and it is boss. So if you, too, would like to read a boss story about found family and Jewish jujitsu IN SPACE, then you should go smash that pledge button, as the kids on teh YouTubes say.
Knit robots, build spaceships, and shape the future.
Extraordinary short stories about gender, artificial intelligence and the art of building something new. Mother of Invention features the work of Seanan McGuire, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Nisi Shawl, John Chu, Justina Robson and more.
Awesome? Yes. So what are you waiting for? Buy like a hundred copies and you’re set for presents to give out to all your friends, enemies, and loved ones at every birthday, anniversary, and culturally appropriate religious celebration for the indefinite future. Let’s all knit a softer, warmer robotic future together.
Finally… Thing #5.
Conflux! It’s coming, and I will be there. You can even come hear me blather on about narrative in the panel Play to write: what tabletop and video games can teach writers of fiction. And by “me” I mean “Rivqa and Elizabeth“, and by “blather” I mean “make interesting and intelligent points while trying to ignore their drooling co-panellist (i.e. me).”
Sound great? Of course it does! See you there.
- … I know, I know. ^
Well, there’s something to tick off that I’ve had sitting on the todo list for, er, ahem. Years. I have finally compiled a page of my random short fiction. It’s taken me so long to get around to this, mostly because I kept telling myself I was going to To Something with these stories and then… never did. So, failing that, here they are.
Almost everything here counts as backstory to Liesmith, and scratches my Sigyn/Loki OTP itch. In rough chronological order, the stories are:
- “Fairytale”, Sigyn’s meet cute. Sort of. Also a rewrite of the original introduction to what would eventually become Liesmith (and at the time was called CORNER, because titles, what even are they?), and thus technically the Very First Piece of the Wyrd.
- “Vartari”, a.k.a. the aftermath of Loki’s lip-stitching incident.
- “Vow”, in which Sigyn and Loki are obnoxious tourists in the Abbasid Caliphate.
- “Mothers”, because I can’t get enough of Sigyn and Angrboða (and their kids) conspiring against Ásgarðr.
There are also two contemporary stories:
- “Blue Sky Mine”, set before Liesmith, and in which Travis is trying to launch a tablet, has an unplanned visit to the Pilbara, and Lain gets named.
- “Focus Group”, set a little bit after Liesmith, and in which Sigmund learns the secret of LB’s success (and I show I can predict the tech industry).
Of these, “Mothers” and “Blue Sky Mine” are probably my favorites.
Finally, “My friend Vic was a weird kid.” is the non-Wyrdverse story. I went through a phase about a year ago of obsessively reading
r/nosleep, and this story was the result. It was originally posted anonymously to that community, but the copy archived here is the slightly edited and cleaned version as opposed to the “I wrote this on my phone in one sitting then posted it straight away” version.
All-in-all, I think that’s something like 20k+ of free words to keep you amused so… enjoy!
Hey Alis! I just found your book Liesmith the other day and as of about an hour ago I have devoured both of your books. I absolutely loved the hel out of them and wanted to let you know you’ve inspired me to start writing. THANK YOU
Aw, thank you so much! I’m glad you enjoyed it!
And even better, it’s an amazing and humbling thing to be able to inspire art in other people. I wish you all the blessings from the creativity muses going forward! ❤
Confused about the Naglfar? Never quite sure what a goði was?
Then never fear, dear reader! The Wyrdverse Glossary is (finally) here!
The glossary is a list of terms used in the Books of the Wyrd, Liesmith and Stormbringer. It previously appeared at the end of Stormbringer, but now it’s here, for all your delicious internet goodness!
For bonus points, it also features some super-badass illustrations from the mega-talented Neogeen. I will not lie: Neogeen was my number one monster design influence when writing the Books, so it was an amazing experience to work with her to bring characters like Lain and Hrímgrímnir (pictured above, and as seen in Stormbringer) to life.
What are the Books of the Wyrd, you ask? Why, they’re a post-Ragnarøkkr, Norse Mythology-inspired, queer urban fantasy, set in modern-day Australia and featuring more geeky pop-culture references than you can poke a stick at.
Queer? Geeky? Sound like your cup-of-tea-with-Tim-Tam-slams? Then you are in luck, my friend, because the first Book of the Wyrd, Liesmith, is on sale for 99c for a limited time only.
Not sure? Then no worries! Because an opening excerpt is available, as well as an extended outtake of one of the book’s chapters. Still not convinced? Well, here’s the beginning of the second book, Stormbringer, while you’re at it.
Seriously, though: Queer. Geeky. Australian. Urban fantasy. Oh, and there are anthropomorphic feathered dinosaurs. I mean, really. What more could you ask for?
So. Liesmith. 99c. Get it. Boom!
Crane Hana on the state of diversity in publishing.
I haven’t really spoken about it much, because I’ve essentially been putting off making an “official announcement” for the last six months, but this is effectively what happened to BAD MEME, the third Wyrdverse book. It exists and is written, but didn’t push the Lain/Sigmund m/m hard enough for the publisher. BAD MEME is more of a supernatural thriller (I guess?) set in Melbourne, and while Lain is the lens through which the story is told, it’s mostly about a group of three friends–Roxx, Bich (a.k.a. Brianna), and Taylor–who make a creeypasta YouTube series called vicwalks. The antagonist of vicwalks is a monster called the Tooth Girl who, because this is the Wyrdverse, is summoned into reality by the show (hence Lain’s involvement).
The problem with the BAD MEME is that the entire conflict revolves around the different things Roxx, Bich, and Taylor want to get out of vicwalks. Roxx, an abuse survivor, uses the story as a way to deal with her past pain. Bich wants to be “internet famous” and get movie deals in Hollywood. Taylor is a young tans boy at an all-girls school, who’s looking for a hobby away from the suffocating femininity of his home life. Meanwhile, Lain spends most of the book as “Elle” after Bich reads his gender as female when they first meet.
So on the scale of “queer urban fantasy”, BAD MEME still fits into that box. The box it doesn’t fit into is “m/m romance”: Sigmund only appears as a cameo character in a few scenes, and the few hints of romance that do exist mostly come from Bich crushing on “Elle”.
Unfortunately for yours truly, the publishing contract for the Wyrd series was more on the “m/m paranormal” side of the scale than the “urban fantasy with queer protagonists” side. The publisher didn’t want BAD MEME as-is, and requested I rewrite large sections of the book to include Lain/Sig. I ultimately decided I didn’t want to do this; BAD MEME deals with some heavy themes (i.e. abuse survival, gender dysphoria) that I felt it would be inappropriate to sideline in favour of writing relationship melodrama between two dudes. My other option was to write another book entirely; essentially selling the fourth Wyrd book in place of the third. I outlined something (codename: TRUTHTELLER) that ended up being like 95% love triangle. The problem was it didn’t really have a villain. Because, yeah. The other thing BAD MEME did was establish the long-term antagonist for the Wyrd series.
So TRUTHTELLER got trunked alongside BAD MEME, and that was the end of that: for the foreseeable future, the Books of the Wyrd will number two.
… That turned out into much more of an update than I intended. Oh well.
Finally, for anyone who’s interested: have an excerpt from BAD MEME, in which Bich and Elle encounter the Tooth Girl. Enjoy!
Quick head’s up: Liesmith is currently on sale for the low-low price of 99c!
Do you like feathered dinosaurs? Queer urban fantasy? Geeky pop culture? Incomprehensible Australian in-jokes? Then this is the book for you, my friends! 99c. Dooooo eeeeeeet!
Messing around with drawing on the iPad. It’s Lain with a cricket bat. Because Reasons.
Incidentally, if you’re curious about what those Reasons are, Stormbringer is currently on sale for the low-low price of $1.03. Just in case you need more cricket-bat wielding anthropomorphic archaeopteryx gods in your life.