Mastodon and My Happy “Project”

I just joined Mastodon. I'm also on the wandering.shop "instance," too. Yup, you can follow me in two places. So what the heck is Mastodon? It's sort of like Twitter, but it allows people to create their own "instances" (or sub-communities) with their own guidelines, etc., effectively making it an answer to the hellhole of infinity that is Twitter. From what I can tell, a lot of creative types, especially from marginalized communities, have joined to escape Twitter's endlessly disappointing reaction to rampant abuse and bigotry on its platform. Whether they're leaving permanently or just taking more of their energy elsewhere, the vibe seems pretty clear:  it's kind of a joyful zone. Read More

My NASFiC / San Juan 2017 Schedule and Podcast Interviews

I'm going to Puerto Rico! I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it... [embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iwBM_YB1sE[/embed] OK, enough of that... I've got good reason to be, too. I've never been to Puerto Rico, so the second I found out about it, I bought a membership and began planning. The crazy thing:  they gave me a TON to do while I'm there, including running an interview panel with one of my favorite authors:  Tobias Buckell! Before I give you my schedule, I do want to remind potential readers and attendees that I'm a podcaster. I run The Skiffy and Fanty Show, and I will be open to recording discussions and interviews at NASFiC. So, if you're an author, fan, creative type, or whatever and you'd like to be interviewed, hit me up! Alright. Here's my schedule: Read More

Space Opera Course Update

A few months ago, I asked for input from folks interested in the online space opera course I planned to teach/run at some point during the summer. Many of you gave me some excellent feedback about the form the course should take, the readings, cost, and so on, and so I set out to try to put something together in time for summer 2017. Well, it's officially summer, and as should be obvious right now, things aren't exactly put together. And there's good reason for that. Read More

2016 Hugo Awards Recommendations: What should I read/watch?

It's that time again:  time to ask for recommendations for the Hugo Awards.  The nomination period will open up soon, and I haven't done as much reading/watching as I would have liked this year.  The only categories I feel comfortable voting in at the moment are Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form), Best Novel, and Best Podcast.  That means, as always, there are a lot of gaps. So, this is your chance to let me know what you loved reading or watching this year.  To make things a bit more organized, I've created a Google form with options for every category.  You don't have to fill the whole thing out to suggest a work.  In fact, you can come back to the form as many times as you like.  If you want to let me know what you loved in the comments below, you're free to do that, too. Thanks in advance for your suggestions!

Shaun’s Rambles: RSS Feed / iTunes / Stitcher Ahoy!

Just a quick update for folks who have been listening to the Shaun's Rambles stuff and would like to point their podcatcher to an appropriate feed.  You can now subscriber directly to Shaun's Rambles via the following links (also shown in the sidebar): As with the previous message, regular programming should begin on Friday.  Expect one or two more non-regular posts between now and then!

This is a Test of the Duke Broadcast System

If you are receiving this post, then you are either directly subscribed to my new RSS Feed or Feedburner is correctly redirecting its feed to my new RSS feed.  Either way, if you're seeing this post, everything should be good to go. In the next few days, you may see some old posts pop up.  These are hangovers from the move. I'll delete this post once I'm satisfied that the feeds are working correctly.

On the Hugo Awards: Two Scholarly-ish Projects to Come

As you may well be aware, I am currently working on two projects related to the Hugo Awards.  I know I've mentioned both of these at some point, though the second is certainly the most visible of these projects.  I'm also sure you know that the Hugo Awards have been enormously controversial this year, earning mainstream attention in major newspapers and entertainment sites such as The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, Entertainment Weekly, NPR, Boing Boing, and so on.  That conversation is still happening; one need only look at File 770 to see it. Read More

Patreon Update: Ch-ch-ch-changes and a Question

My Patreon page has been updated to reflect the changes to my blogging/writing efforts.  If you'd like to support what I do, please become a patron! Patreon+Image On a related note: I've had some difficulty thinking about how to change the patron levels to better reflect what folks would want from such a thing.  In principle, folks support a Patreon because they like what a person does, but I also like the idea of adding something additional to the pot.  Thus far, that "addition" has been varying levels of voting ability and/or topic suggestion ability.  Now, I wonder if it might make more sense to make topic suggestions and votes a public function and replace the current levels with something else. The question:  what would I replace those things with? Some things I've considered:
  • Quirky handwritten letters w/ handwritten maps and other weirdness (I love drawing maps)
  • The Encyclopedia Obscura entries (absurd, quirky alternate history entries to an encyclopedia)
  • Access to fiction (which some said I shouldn't offer)
  • No idea...
I suppose what this comes down to is a confusion over what works for something like Patreon, especially when what you're offering is written content that isn't fiction.  So if you have any ideas, do let me know.  Otherwise, I'll just leave the page as it is for the time being.
Anywho!  Thanks for the support!

The Reboot: New Schedule, the Focus, and New Beginnings

Here we go.  I've been thinking about this for the past month.  A number of people have offered their thoughts on what I should do about this blog and my various blogging efforts (thanks!).  The following list is a far more compact set of regular (in italics) and irregular features, with the former having a set schedule.  I think it's more focused and better tuned to what I want to be doing in each space.  Having a set (but reasonable) schedule is also good for me, since it gives me a structure that isn't too cumbersome. Here it is: Read More

Speculative Fiction 2014: It’s Here!

That's right.  The anthology of online reviews, media and fan criticism that I edited with Renee Williams has officially been released by The Book Smugglers.  You can read all about it here.

The collection includes works by a whole lot of amazing people,:
Abigail Nussbaum, Adam Roberts, Aidan Moher, Aja Romano, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Amal El-Mohtar, Ana Grilo, Andrew Lapin, Annalee Newitz, Anne C. Perry, Bertha Chin, Betty, Charles Tan, Chinelo Onwualu, Clare McBride, Corinne Duyvis, Daniel José Older, Deborah Pless, Ebony Elizabeth Thomas, Erika Jelinek, Foz Meadows, Gavia Baker-Whitelaw, Joe Sherry, Jonathan McCalmont, Juliet Kahn, Justin Landon, Kameron Hurley, Kari Sperring, Ken Neth, Mahvesh Murad, Martin Petto, Matthew Cheney, Memory Scarlett, Mieneke van der Salm, N.K. Jemisin, Natalie Luhrs, Ng Suat Tong, Nina Allan, Olivia Waite, Paul Weimer, Rachael Acks, Rebecca Pahle, Renay, Rose Lemberg, Saathi Press, Sara L. Sumpter, Shaun Duke, Tade Thompson, Tasha Robinson, The G, thingswithwings, and Vandana Singh.
The book is currently available in print via Amazon US and Amazon UK.  An ebook version can be purchased on the The Book Smugglers announcement page (scroll down a bit); ebooks should become available on other sites soon.

The Book Smugs are also running a giveaway for 5 copies of the book; the giveaway closes on May 9th.
A big thanks goes to my co-editor, Renee Williams, for being so organized and putting in so much work on this anthology.  I feel like we did an amazing job together, and I am truly proud and honored to have worked with you.

Also:  a huge thanks to The Book Smugglers (Ana and Thea) for their hard work, their prompt responses to our questions and concerns, and for keeping us (mostly) on track.

Lastly, a huge thanks must go to the contributors, who brought so much to the community in 2014, to the fine folks on the Internet for suggesting essays and reviews for us to consider, many of which we might have otherwise missed, and to anyone else who helped me or Renee throughout this process.

Now it's official.  I'm an editor person thing.  Cool.