In celebration of the release of Carrie Vaughn’s final Kitty Norville book KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, Tachyon presents glimpses from the book that is “comfort food for the urban fantasy soul.” (Seanan McGuire, author of Come Tumbling Down and Every Heart a Doorway)
In celebration of the release of Carrie Vaughn’s final Kitty Norville book KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, Tachyon presents glimpses from the book that “is a delightful read.” (Booklist)
Kitty Learns the Ropes
I hit play on the laptop DVD software and sat back to watch.
This was a recording of a boxing match in Las Vegas last year. The Heavyweight World Championships, the caption read. I was glad it did, because I knew nothing about boxing, nothing about who these guys were. Two beefy, sweaty men—one white, with a dark buzz cut and heavy brow, the other black, bald, snarling—were pounding on each other in rage. I winced as their blows sent sweat and spit flying. As sports went, this was more unappealing than most, in my opinion.
Then the white boxer, Ian Jacobson, the defending champion, laid one into his opponent, Jerome Macy. The punch came in like a pile driver, snapped Macy’s head around, and sent the big man spinning. He crashed into the mat headfirst. The crack of bone carried over the roars and cheers of the crowd. I resisted an urge to look away, sure I was witnessing the boxer’s death.
The arena fell silent, watching Macy lie still. Jacobson had retreated to an empty corner of the ring, looking agitated, while the referee counted down over Macy. Ringside officials leaned in, uncertain whether to rush in to help or wait for the count to end. Macy lay with his head twisted, his body crumpled, clearly badly injured. Blood leaked out his nose.
Then, he moved. First a hand, then an arm. He levered himself up, shaking his head, shaking it again, stretching his neck back into alignment. Slowly, he regained his feet.
He turned, looking for his opponent with fire blazing in his eyes. Jacobson stared back, eyes wide, fearful. Obviously, he hadn’t wanted Macy to be seriously hurt. But this—rising from the dead almost—must have seemed worse.
The roar of the crowd at the apparent resurrection was visceral thunder.
They returned to the fight, and Macy knocked out Jacobson a minute later, winning the title.
A hand reached over me and hit the pause button on the laptop.
“That wasn’t normal,” said Jenna Larson, the woman who had brought me the recording of the match. She was a rarity, a female sports reporter with national standing, known for hunting down the big stories, breaking the big news, from drug scandals to criminal records. “Tell me that wasn’t human. Jerome Macy isn’t human.”
Which was why Larson was here, showing me this video. She wanted to know if I could tell Macy was a werewolf or some other supernatural/superhuman creature with rapid healing, or the kind of invulnerability that would let him not only stand back up after a blow like that, but go on to beat up his opponent. I couldn’t tell, not by just watching the clip. But it wouldn’t be hard for me to find out, if I could get close enough to smell him. I’d know if he was a werewolf by his scent, because I was one.
She’d brought her laptop to my office. I sat at my desk, staring at the frozen image of Macy, shoulders slouched, looming over his fallen opponent. Larson stood over me—a position of dominance, my Wolf side noted testily—waiting for my reaction.
I pushed my chair away from the desk so I was out from under her, looking at her eye to eye without craning my neck. “I can’t say one way or the other without meeting him.”
“I can arrange that,” she said. “His next bout is here in Denver this weekend. You come meet him, and if there is something going on, we share the scoop on the story.”
This was making me nervous. “Jenna. Here’s the thing: Even if he is a werewolf, he probably doesn’t want to advertise the fact. He’s kept it hidden for a reason.”
“If he is a werewolf, do you think it’s fair that he’s competing against normal human beings in feats of strength and endurance?”
I shrugged, because she was right on some level. However talented a boxer he was, did Macy have an unfair advantage?
It also begged the question, in this modern age when werewolves, vampires, witches, and other things that went bump in the night were emerging from shadows and announcing themselves—like hosting talk radio shows that delved into this secret world—how many other people had hidden identities? How many actors, politicians, and athletes weren’t entirely human?
Larson was in her thirties, her shoulder-length brown hair shining and perfectly arranged around her face, her makeup calculated to look stunning and natural, like she wasn’t wearing any. She wore a pantsuit with high heels and never missed a step. She was a woman in a man’s profession, driven to make a name for herself. I had to respect that. The territorial side of me couldn’t help but see an alpha female on the prowl.
She was brusque, busy, and clearly didn’t have time to hang around because she shut down the laptop and started packing it into her sleek black shoulder bag.
“I know you’re interested in this,” she said. “If you don’t help me, I’ll get someone else. One way or another, with or without your help, I’m going to break this story. How about it?”
There wasn’t even a question. She called me pretty well: I wouldn’t let a story like this get away from me.
“I’m in,” I said.
In celebration of the release of Carrie Vaughn’s final Kitty Norville book KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, Tachyon presents glimpses from “one of the best collections I’ve read this year—and maybe for a good chunk of last year, too.” (The Irresponsible Reader)
Kitty and Cormac’s Excellent Adventure
“I need your help.”
I leaned back in my office chair and stared at the phone for a moment. Cormac never asked for help. “Are you feeling all right?”
He blew out a breath of what sounded like frustration, as if he was just as surprised as I was by this conversation. “Yeah, I’m fine. I just need a favor.” His tone was curt. He didn’t want a discussion.
“What can I do?”
Each word sounded forced out against his will. “I need to see Rick.”
Rick, the Master Vampire of Denver. My brow furrowed, confused. “Why do you need to see Rick?”
“Just a message. Not a big deal.”
It was probably a big deal. “You could call him yourself—”
“But he’ll actually talk to you.”
“Come on, what’s this about? You hate vampires.”
“Just five minutes.”
“He’s going to want to know what this is about. He won’t open the door to you just because I ask.” Cormac was a bounty hunter specializing in supernatural creatures. Vampires, werewolves, a lot of other crazy stuff. At least, he used to be, before he went to prison for manslaughter. Now, he was more of a paranormal investigator, along with the ghost of a Victorian magician who lived in his mind. Long story there. He’d mellowed quite a bit under Amelia’s influence, or so I liked to think. But yeah, Rick didn’t exactly trust him. It sometimes seemed kind of weird that I did.
“That’s why I need to you to ask. Convince him.”
I was dying of curiosity. At this point I’d make the meeting happen just to see what it was about. And of course I would be there. “Am I going to regret this?”
The pause told me that yes, there was a good possibility that I would in fact regret this. “It’ll be fine.”
“Sure,” I drawled. “I won’t be able to talk to him until nightfall.”
“The sooner the better.”
“Seriously, Cormac, are you in trouble?”
“It’ll be fine. Call me when it’s set up.” He hung up.
What the hell had he gotten into, and why was I just going to dive in after him? I’d better get a good story out of this.
“Kitty Busts the Feds”
“I’m just saying if anybody should know about this, it oughta be you, right?”
Putting my elbows on the desk, I rubbed my scalp and winced at the microphone. “Yes, you’re right, of course. If anyone ought to know the effects of recreational marijuana on lycanthropes it should be me, even though I’ve never actually tried the stuff, even though I live in Colorado. I’m so sorry to disappoint you.”
I wasn’t sorry, and I seemed to be completely unable to steer the show off this topic.
“All right, checking the monitor . . . and all the calls are about pot. Okay. Fine. Matt, are we violating any FCC regulations by talking about pot on the air this much?” Pot might have been legal in Colorado, but the show was syndicated all over the country and I didn’t want to get any affiliate stations in trouble. On the other side of the booth window, Matt, my engineer, gave me a big shrug. I figured if I was in trouble, Ozzie, the station manager, would have called by now to ax this whole line of discussion. “What the hell, NPR has done a million news stories on pot, right? It’s not like we’re telling people how to get the stuff. Next caller, you’re on the air.”
“I mean, if you don’t live in Colorado how do you get the stuff—”
“I cannot help you with this. Next call, please. Linda, what’s your question?”
“Hi, Kitty, thanks so much for taking my call. There really are so many medical applications for cannabis, especially in terms of reducing anxiety and alleviating chronic pain, it seems that if we wanted to look anywhere for a cure for lycanthropy it would be with CBD oil.”
For John Scalzi’s WHATEVER, Vaughn contributes THE BIG IDEA.
Sometimes a big idea is the culmination of a lot of other ideas. Sometimes, it happens toward the end of a process rather than at the start.
I wrapped up my series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty five years ago. . .but I had some loose ends. A handful of short stories connected to the series that hadn’t yet been collected anywhere, some crazy rough drafts that needed finishing. . . I wanted to pull them all together and get them out in the world.
Collecting a decade’s worth of material is a chance to reflect on characters and a world I’ve lived with for quite a long time now (the first Kitty short story appeared in Weird Tales in 2001). How did I do? What did I miss? Would I change anything? Is there anything left to mine?
Heck, there’s always something left to mine! These are ideas, not molybdenum. They propagate. Short stories are the perfect form in which to explore maybe not big earth-shattering plots. But ideas. Weird ideas that don’t fit in a novel outline, that might not work stretched out over three hundred pages but might pack a punch at 30 pages. For example: What happens when a werewolf goes to her 10 year high school reunion? I don’t know, let’s find out!
If you missed the October 9 Book Bar virtual event with Vaughn and Kevin Hearne, the full video of the conversation can be found on the event site.
In celebration of the release of Carrie Vaughn’s final Kitty Norville book KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, Tachyon presents glimpses from the book that “is a guarantee of quality entertainment and a night of no sleep as I stay up late to devour it!” (Patricia Briggs, bestselling author of the Mercy Thompson series)
The Arcane Art of Misdirection
The cards had rules, but they could be made to lie.
The rules said that a player with a pile of chips that big was probably cheating. Not definitely—luck, unlike cards, didn’t follow any rules. The guy could just be lucky. But the prickling of the hairs on the back of Julie’s neck made her think otherwise.
He was middle-aged, aggressively nondescript. When he sat down at her table, Julie pegged him as a middle-management type from flyover country—cheap gray suit, unimaginative tie, chubby face, greasy hair clumsily combed over a bald spot. Now that she thought about it, his look was so cliché it might have been a disguise designed to make sure people dismissed him out of hand. Underestimated him.
She’d seen card-counting rings in action—groups of people who prowled the casino, scouted tables, signaled when a deck was hot, and sent in a big bettor to clean up. They could win a ridiculous amount of money in a short amount of time. Security kept tabs on most of the well-known rings and barred them from the casino. This guy was alone. He wasn’t signaling. No one else was lingering nearby.
He could still be counting cards. She’d dealt blackjack for five years now and could usually spot it. Players tapped a finger, or sometimes their lips moved. If they were that obvious, they probably weren’t winning anyway. The good ones knew to cut out before the casino noticed and ejected them. Even the best card counters lost some of the time. Counting cards didn’t beat the system, it was just an attempt to push the odds in your favor. This guy hadn’t lost a single hand of blackjack in forty minutes of play.
For the last ten minutes, the pit boss had been watching over Julie’s shoulder as she dealt. Her table was full, as others had drifted over, maybe hoping some of the guy’s luck would rub off on them. She slipped cards out of the shoe for her players, then herself. Most of them only had a chip or two—minimum bid was twenty-five. Not exactly high rolling, but enough to make Vegas’s middle-America audience sweat a little.
Two players stood. Three others hit; two of them busted. Dealer drew fifteen, then drew an eight—so she was out. Her chubby winner had a stack of chips on his square. Probably five hundred dollars. He hit on eighteen—and who in their right mind ever hit on eighteen? But he drew a three. Won, just like that. His expression never budged, like he expected to win. He merely glanced at the others when they offered him congratulations.
Julie slid over yet another stack of chips; the guy herded it together with his already impressive haul. Left the previous stack right where it was, and folded his hands to wait for the next deal. He seemed bored.
Blackjack wasn’t supposed to be boring.
She looked at Ryan, her pit boss, a slim man in his fifties who’d worked Vegas casinos his whole life. He’d seen it all, and he was on his radio. Good. Security could review the video and spot whatever this guy was doing. Palming cards, probably—though she couldn’t guess how he was managing it.
She was about to deal the next hand when the man in question looked at her, looked at Ryan, then scooped his chips up, putting stack after stack in his jacket pockets, then walked away from the table, wearing a small, satisfied grin.
He didn’t leave a tip. Even the losers left tips.
“Right. He’s gone, probably heading for the cashiers. Thanks.” Ryan put his radio down.
“Well?” Julie asked.
“They can’t find anything to nail him with, but they’ll keep an eye on him,” Ryan said. He was frowning, and seemed suddenly worn under the casino’s lights.
“He’s got to be doing something, if we could just spot it.”
“Never mind, Julie. Get back to your game.”
He was right. Not her problem.
Cards slipped under her fingers and across the felt like water. The remaining players won and lost at exactly the rate they should, and she collected more chips than she gave out. She could tell when her shift was close to ending by the ache that entered her lower back from standing. Just another half hour and Ryan would close out her table, and she could leave. Run to the store, drag herself home, cobble together a meal that wouldn’t taste quite right because she was eating it at midnight, but that was dinnertime when she worked this shift. Take a shower, watch a half hour of bad TV and finally, finally fall asleep. Wake up late in the morning and do it all again.
That was her life. As predictable as house odds.
In celebration of the release of Carrie Vaughn’s final Kitty Norville book KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, Tachyon presents glimpses from the book that is “a delicious final taste of Kitty’s complicated life.” (Publishers Weekly)
The Beaux Wilde
Much speculation went on among her parents and their friends about what could make a girl like Elizabeth so quiet and withdrawn. Mrs. Weston had decided that her dear girl by some accident of birth was simply too sensitive to withstand the rigors of society and the world. Likewise, Mr. Weston declared that the fineness of her disposition made her superior, but also vulnerable. Those outside the immediate family were sure that the girl had obviously been too coddled, too sheltered, and so would always be weak and sniveling. A gentleman who aspired to marrying her fortune would first have to persuade Miss Weston that she was strong enough to accept a firm proposal. But the more forceful a suitor appeared, the more timid Miss Weston became. Another paradox.
These speculations never happened within earshot of Elizabeth. She knew of them, just the same.
In truth, Mrs. Weston nearly had the right of it: Elizabeth felt everything. The thousand petty dramas of the typical gathering were as shouting in her ear. She felt the prides and hurts of others as pains in her own heart. She knew what she shouldn’t: which young gentlemen carried on affairs with their mother’s maids, which young ladies were so desperate to escape indifferent families they were prepared to throw themselves into unsuitable marriages. Men who worried over debts, coachmen nursing lame horses—she knew. She could not say how, but she did. She knew that one of the brusque suitors she’d refused, Mr. Rackham, would be cruel if he succeeded in winning her; another, Mr. Carroll, would simply ignore her. From the ladies, she felt the gossip about how Elizabeth was proud and odd and would die an old maid if she were not careful. The old men wondered what was wrong with her, that she should turn up her nose at their sons.
She felt herself to be like the ancient Greek oracles, caught up in the torture of ecstatic revelation. Empathy was the word she found—profound, damaging empathy. And she could not tell a soul.
At last, finally, the music ended, and Elizabeth curtseyed with a sigh of relief. Mr. Forester insisted on seeing her to a chair, when all she wanted was to flee.
“Miss Weston, you seem quite flush, do let me bring you a sherry,” he said, but he was not concerned with her well-being, only with flattering her so that she might fall in love with him.
“No, I thank you, I only need to sit—”
“Elizabeth! How long since you arrived? I did not see you! Here, come with me, I’ve been longing to speak with you—oh, pardon me, Mr. Forester, but I must steal Miss Weston away from you, I’m sure you understand.” Without further explanation, Amy Brannock swept between them, hooked her arm around Elizabeth’s, and pulled her into the next room, leaving Forester staring.
“Thank you,” Elizabeth breathed.
“Richard Forester is such a bore, I’m sure you have had quite enough of him. I knew my mother was going to waylay you. I had wanted to be there, I was watching for you, but then she sent me off to see that Emma knew to fill the punch bowl—Mother can’t leave well enough alone.”
Amy looked very well, as she always did, with roses in her cheeks, wearing a pink muslin gown that complemented her light hair and creamy features. Elizabeth wore a gown of blue with lace—it suited her because Amy had helped choose it, and her friend beamed at the compliment Elizabeth paid by wearing it.
In the drawing room they settled on a pair of chairs. Elizabeth could listen contentedly for hours while Amy gossiped. She might not move for the rest of the afternoon.
And then three strange gentlemen entered the drawing room.
In celebration of the release of Carrie Vaughn’s final Kitty Norville book KITTY’S MIX-TAPE, Tachyon presents glimpses from the book that is “comfort food for the urban fantasy soul.” (Seanan McGuire, author of Come Tumbling Down and Every Heart a Doorway)
Kitty Walks On By, Calls Your Name (aka Kitty’s Class Reunion)
“So, Sadie, you have any embarrassing pictures of Kitty I should know about?” Ben asked.
I blanched. “We don’t really need to go looking—”
She grinned. “They’ve got some old yearbooks at the front table if we want to go check.”
The place filled up, and I recognized more and more people, and somehow we all looked completely different than we had, and we hadn’t changed a bit, both at the same time.
“Hi, Kitty?” An upbeat woman with her dark hair in a ponytail, wearing a silky pantsuit, came up to me. “I don’t know if you remember me—”
“Amanda, we worked on yearbook together,” I said and accepted a quick hug. We did the one-minute update of the last ten years of our lives, and I repeated the same exchange with a dozen other people. Wolf slowly settled; these weren’t strangers, we weren’t in danger, even though this definitely didn’t feel like our territory. It helped that Ben was looking out for us. He patiently let himself be introduced over and over. This is my husband, Ben. And what do you do, Ben? Lawyer, criminal defense. Yeah, that got a couple of stares. And a raised eyebrow when one of the old marching band crowd asked him for a business card.
“You were on yearbook?” Ben asked, incredulous.
“I had no idea. I’m learning all kinds of things about you. I suppose you were all over spirit week and went to all the football games?”
“I was practically normal, back in the day.”
“Before,” he said.
He squeezed my hand and kissed my cheek.
“Sadie?” A tough-looking guy with an expensive-looking haircut and dark jacket came up to our table, and Sadie’s eyes widened. “Trevor?”
Trevor Ames? He’d changed. He hadn’t just put on that filling-out weight that everyone else had, he’d put on muscle, and moved with a practiced efficiency. He was a fighter. Back in school he’d been one of our crowd, Sadie and Jesse and me and the rest of us who weren’t cool enough to be in the cool crowd but weren’t goth or jocks or nerds enough to be in any other clique so we just made our own. He’d joined the army right after graduation, and was another one I’d completely lost track of when I lost track of everybody.
“He’s got a gun under that jacket,” Ben whispered in my ear.
I looked sharply at him. “Silver bullets?”
He smiled wryly as Sadie insisted on hugging him. They separated, then he looked right at me, a challenging stare, and his smile thinned.
“Kitty. You really are a werewolf.”
“You saw the YouTube video, just like everyone else,” I said drily.
He looked me up and down. “I could just tell.” He looked Ben up and down the same way, meaning he’d spotted both of us. We usually didn’t tell people about Ben being a werewolf too.
You could spot a werewolf just by looking, if you knew what to look for. This meant Trevor knew what to look for. And how, exactly?
“That a problem?” I asked.
“No,” he said. “No, it isn’t.”
I wondered . . . what would make it a problem?
“This is making me so happy,” Sadie said, beaming. “All of us together again—”
“Do you know if Jesse’s coming?” Trevor asked me.
“I don’t,” I said. “I kind of lost touch with everybody.”
“I figured if anyone knew . . .” He trailed off and shrugged.
Ben said brightly, “I really want to meet Jesse. I hope he shows up.”
“He’s not going to show up,” I said.
The guy who’d been class president went to a podium at the front of the room and tapped on the microphone, which was indeed on and screeched in disapproval. I winced—what had that poor mic ever done to him? He gave a speech about how happy he was, how great it was to see everyone, and how happy he was again, and so on. Then he announced that there were prizes. Prizes? Shouldn’t we all get a prize just for being here?
Former class president went down the list. Who had traveled the farthest to be here? Someone had come from Amsterdam, and why would anyone leave Amsterdam to come back to freaking Aurora, Colorado? Who had the most kids—four. Well, someone had been busy. The prizes were gift certificates to local restaurants for the most part, which was kind of ironic for the guy who’d come from Amsterdam. A few more categories followed, and I started to tune them out.
“And who has the most interesting job?” the guy asked. “The winner is . . . Kitty Norville!”
With the help of the fine folks at GOODREADS, we’re giving away Carrie Vaughn’s wise, kind, and always entertaining KITTY’S MIX-TAPE.
“Comfort food for the urban fantasy soul. Carrie Vaughn never disappoints. It was so nice to see my friends again! If you’ve loved Kitty’s adventures, you have been waiting for this book!”—Seanan McGuire, author of Come Tumbling Down and Every Heart a Doorway
The final installment of the bestselling Kitty Norville series showcases the paranormal escapades of Carrie Vaughn’s fan-favorite werewolf talk-show host. This engaging short fiction collection—with its own soundtrack for each tale—is sure to delight both existing Kitty fans and anyone who enjoys urban fantasy at its grittiest and best.
“Like the rest of the Kitty Norville series, these stories are wise, kind, and always entertaining. I loved returning to Kitty’s world and enjoying these new adventures.”—Kevin Hearne, author of The Iron Druid Chronicles
Kitty Norville still can’t stay away from trouble—of the supernatural kind.
Everyone’s favorite werewolf DJ is here to mix it up just one last time. Here you will find, or even newly discover, the irrepressible Kitty Norville with friends and enemies alike: Rick the vampire; Jessi Hardin, paranormal detective; Kitty’s husband Ben; Cormac, the bounty hunter; and the villainous Dux Bellorum. These irresistible tales are full of unpredictable twists and turns: lupines experimenting with astronomy, a cheating boxer with preternatural strength, vampires arriving from the Philippines.
As a special treat, author Carrie Vaughn (Bannerless) has provided her own selections for a mix-tape: story notes and songs dedicated to each tale.
So whatever you do, don’t miss Kitty before she is gone. . . .
“It’s one of the best collections I’ve read this year—and maybe for a good chunk of last year, too.”—The Irresponsible Reader
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Introduction by Emma Bull
- Kitty Walks on By, Calls Your Name
- It’s Still the Same Old Story
- The Island of Beasts
- The Beaux Wilde
- Unternehmen Werwolf
- Kitty and the Full Super Bloodmoon Thing
- Kitty and Cormac’s Excellent Adventure
- The Arcane Art of Misdirection
- What Happened to Ben in Vegas
- Kitty and the Super Blue Blood or Whatever Moon Thing
- Defining Shadows
- Bellum Romanum
- Kitty Learns the Ropes
- Kitty Busts the Feds
Rick Klaw blog, Events after the fall before the fall during the fall, capclave, Carrie Vaughn, James Morrow, kitty's mix tape, Nancy Kress, sea change, shambling towards hiroshima, the asylum of dr caligari, the immortal conquistador, the madonna and the starship, virtual event, yesterday's kin
Sponsored by the Washington Science Fiction Association, Capclave is a small relaxed literary convention with a program that usually focuses on the short fiction form. Guests of Honor and other notable authors, editors, artists, and fans of the short fiction form will explore the creation and enjoyment of short fantasy and science fiction genre stories.
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Due to the novel coronavirus, the Capclave team has made the decision to be virtual this year. We will be holding Capclave October 17-18. Yes, this is two days, but we will run longer on Sunday than is typical. We will be focused on presentations, panels, and small group activities such as author readings or discussions.Bill Lawhorn
Going virtual does present the opportunity to include people who would likely not be able to participate in a normal year. Keep an eye on our website and social media for news regarding new participants.
We plan to use Zoom for most activities, but we are looking at adding a text chat area via Discord as well. We will be updating our Code of Conduct to reflect the online nature of the convention. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact email@example.com.
As a special deal, if you purchase a full membership for $55, you will be able to attend both Virtual Capclave 2020 and next year’s Capclave, to be held October 1-3, 2021. For those of you who can’t attend in 2021, we are offering a $10 Capclave 2020 only membership as well. Memberships can be purchased on our registration page.
Capclave 2020 Chair
Capclave offers a large selection of readings, signings, and panels including several with the Tachyon authors.
Saturday, October 17
10:30 am ET
Overused Mistakes in Hard SF (Ends at: 11:25 am)
Participants: Charles Gannon, Inge Heyer (M), Nancy Kress, Bud Sparhawk
Hard SF is all about accurate science. So why do authors frequently fall into clichés and outright errors. The same writer who works out elaborate orbits can have FTL drives, lag-free interstellar communications, temperatures below absolute zero, and so on. How can writers tell their story without without breaking the laws of physics along the way? Are some exceptions to scientific plausibility “grandfathered” into hard sf? What can be done to encourage greater plausibility?
Carrie Vaughn discussion with Connie Willis (Ends at: 12:55 pm)
Participants: Carrie Vaughn, Connie Willis
Two of Colorado’s finest authors, Carrie Vaughn and Connie Willis, discuss anything and everything.
Laughter with Bite: Satire and Other Funny Stuff (Ends at: 12:55 pm)
Participants: Charlotte Honigman, James Morrow, Alex Shvartsman (M), Michael Alan Ventrella
What is the difference between satire and other forms of humor? Is satire just humor with a purpose? Is all political humor satire? What is the difference between satire and mocking something? What can you do in satire that you cannot do in other humor? Is satire always funny (or at least trying to be funny)? Why or why not? What are some satires that worked and ones that have failed?
1:30 pm ET
Connie Willis and Nancy Kress Discussion (Ends at: 2:25 pm)
Participants: Nancy Kress, Connie Willis
Past Guests of honor Connie Willis and Nancy Kress discuss a little bit of everything.
Magic – Obvious or Mysterious? (Ends at: 2:25 pm)
Participants: Sarah Beth Durst, Charlotte Honigman, Jon Skovron, Carrie Vaughn, Jean Marie Ward (M)
Some modern fantasy settings have the existence of magic and magical creatures known to the public – think True Blood, or Poul Anderson’s Operation Chaos. Others have the magic secret, such as Incryptid or Supernatural. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each approach? Why might an author choose one or the other? Are some authors better at one than the other?
3:00 pm ET
Writing Time Travel and Paradoxes (Ends at: 3:55 pm)
Participants: Iver Cooper, Aliza Greenblatt, James Morrow, Ian Randal Strock
Time travel stories date to the 19th century. How can you make your type of time travel unique, or have all the twists already been mined? How do writers keep everything (relatively) straight for the writer and readers, even while the characters are facing convolutions? How can you explain worldbuilding challenges, such as why time travellers don’t mob every historical event? Panelists will discuss what makes some time travel stories work and which ones do not.
4:30 pm ET
Author Reading – Carrie Vaughn (Ends at: 4:55 pm)
Participants: Carrie Vaughn (M)
Author Carrie Vaughn reads from their recent and upcoming work.
7:30 pm ET
Sharing a Universe (Ends at: 8:25 pm)
Participants: Iver Cooper, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Carrie Vaughn, Jean Marie Ward
Shared universes have been around years. 1632 is its own cottage industry these days and WildCards has experienced rebirth. Panelists will discuss the advantage, disadvantages and what it take to work in this type of writing. What is the appeal to authors and readers? Why do some shared universes work while others produced a handful of volumes and vanished? What caused Thieves’ World to turn dark and toxic and how can other shared worlds escape this?
Sunday, October 18
10:30 am ET
Biology – the other hard SF (Ends at: 11:25 am)
Participants: Charles Gannon, Nancy Kress, Seanan McGuire, Ted Weber (M)
It’s not all spaceships and physics. Where’s the love for the genetically altered and the killer viruses? Why is biology seen as less hard than FTL drives? Which stories rigorously explore the science of biology and its implications? Where can writers go to get good insights on using biology in their stories?
Book Launch – Carrie Vaughn (Ends at: 1:55 pm)
Participants: Carrie Vaughn
Join Carrie Vaughn to celebrate the launch of her collection KITTY’S MIX-TAPE from Tachyon Publications.
James Morrow Returning GoH Interview (Ends at: 12:55 pm)
Participants: Jim Freund, James Morrow
James Morrow interviewed by Jim Freund.
It’s the End of the World and I Feel Fine (Ends at: 12:55 pm)
Participants: Sarah Avery, Tom Doyle (M), Juliet Kemp, Nancy Kress
Alien invasions, giant meteors, nuclear war, global pandemics. The end of the world usually does not sound like a fun time. But in fiction, and real history too, there are frequently people who want to cause the Apocalypse or bring on the end of days. Others want anarchy so they can punish everyone who looks at them funny. What works does this the best and what falls short? What are some humorous approaches to the end of everything?
1:30 pm ET
Kaffeeklatsch – Nancy Kress (Ends at: 2:25 pm)
Participants: Nancy Kress (M)
Join Nancy Kress for a small-group discussion on anything of interest. Limited spaces, advanced sign-up required.
3:00 pm ET
Kaffeeklatsch – Carrie Vaughn (Ends at: 3:55 pm)
Participants: Carrie Vaughn (M)
Join Carrie Vaughn for a small-group discussion on anything of interest. Limited spaces, advanced sign-up required.
Carrie Vaughn’s KITTY’S MIX-TAPE will remind fans of the fun they have with Kitty Norville, while those new to Kitty, will find this a decent way to make their acquaintance
Rick Klaw blog ashley sapp, Carrie Vaughn, essay, joe sherry, kitty norville, kitty's mix tape, nerds of feather flock together, sam lubell, sfrevu, tachyon publications channel, the rustic reading gal, the world remains mysterious, unboxing, youtube 0
This collection has seventeen stories with author notes and a music playlist for each. Fellow urban fantasy writer Emma Bull contributes a nice introduction. Four stories are original to this collection and two previously appeared on Vaughn’s website. The others originally appeared in magazines and anthologies. Six stories feature Kitty.
Fans of Kitty will welcome her reappearance here especially since the author had said the series was finished. Readers new to Kitty and her adventures will find this book a decent way to start their acquaintance, although they will miss some aspects of the stories if they do not know who these characters are and what their connection is to Kitty. Still, some of the stories are about the early history of the characters, before they meet Kitty, and Vaughn successfully provides information about the major characters in Kitty’s life.
Reading this book caused me to remember how much fun is in the Kitty books and I’ve started re-reading them, which considering the size of my to-be-read pile is a strong endorsement for this book.
Joe Sherry for NERDS OF A FEATHER, FLOCK TOGETHER is excited about the book.
One of my greatest discoveries was winning an online contest that I don’t remember entering and receiving copies of Kitty and the Midnight Hour and Kitty Goes to Washington in the mail. After giving them the side eye for no good reason, I started to read and Kitty Norville quickly became one of my favorite characters and I could not get enough of the series – and then it ended and Carrie Vaughn moved on. But wait! Here’s a story collection and even though I’ve likely read at least half of the stories in it, there are two brand new Kitty stories! I’m here for this!
As is Ashley Sapp, THE RUSTIC READING GAL.
This week I’m featuring KITTY’S MIX-TAPE by Carrie Vaughn releasing October 16. I love this series and am so happy to be getting some more stories set in this world!
On the Tachyon Publications Channel, Zeppo (with a little help from Jacob) unboxes the book.
Vaughn contributes a guest post for Cat Rambo’s THE WORLD REMAINS MYSTERIOUS.
So, “voice” is the thing that makes us want to read the story. To spend time with the characters and their story. How, then, does one learn to write in a “voice” that makes readers want more?
Nobody’s quite figured that out, near as I can tell. But I can share how I finally started getting a handle on the concept: I wrote fourteen novels about the same character.
Kitty is a werewolf who hosts a talk radio advice show for supernatural creatures. She first appeared in a short story in Weird Tales in 2001. The final novel in her series, Kitty Saves the World, was published in 2015, and this year a collection, Kitty’s Mix-Tape, pulls together short stories set in the world, plus a few brand-new stories. So I’ve been writing this character for more than twenty years. “Voice” was key to getting her right.
Kitty’s identity as a radio DJ was instrumental in her development. In a very early (abandoned) draft, Kitty was passive. Other characters argued while she stood there observing and thinking snarky thoughts. This wasn’t going to work—as clever as her snark seemed at the time, she wasn’t an active participant in what was happening, which is sort of a requirement for the protagonist, yes? (There’s another lesson and blog post there, I think—you’d be surprised how often I tell people in critiques: your protagonist needs to do something.