seanan_mcguire: (wicked)
The 2017 Hugo Awards ballot is now live, and I am stunned and honored and delighted to announce that I am on it not once, but twice.

Every Heart a Doorway has been nominated for Best Novella. This is the book of my heart: this is the one I look at and dare to hope for, because I want it so badly, and I am so touched by its inclusion. Thank you to everyone who has looked at this little book and thought "how far can we help it go?" We have gone so far.

But that's not the stunner.

The stunner is that this year is the first time the Hugos have featured a category for Best Series. It's a trial run, a test, for a way to honor books and settings that work best in the context they create for themselves. Book eleven of something ongoing may not be the best candidate for Best Novel, but it may be part of something that, overall, is just as glorious.

And October Daye is up for Best Series.

I am stunned. I am overjoyed. I am not going to win--but winning isn't always the point. I have been given this honor, and I am not giving it back.

Thank you all so very, very much.

I will do my best not to let you down.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
Are you a gamer? Do you like things that are fun? Are you planning to attend Emerald City Comic-Con?

I am anchoring a table for this year's Worldbuilder's Charity Party, and there are four seats left for the adventurous.

Come play with me! It'll be a good time. We all need a good time about now.

Yes. Play.

Good.
seanan_mcguire: (marilyn)
I usually start these posts with "I am pleased...". I'm not pleased right now. I'm not sure I'll ever be pleased again. Like so many of us, I am sick and scared and sad. I'm wishing I weren't getting so many random apologies from people who found the villain in Feed cartoony and unrealistic, but now find him horrifyingly plausible. I'm wishing a lot of things.

But time passes; the Turtle moves; the work goes on, and my fear and my sadness do not mean I can let y'all miss things you might want to know about. So:

It is my privilege to announce that I (as Mira Grant) am doing another novella with Subterranean Press. Final Girls is a story about virtual reality, psychotherapy, corporate espionage, and figuring out exactly who you are. According to the website...

What if you could fix the worst parts of yourself by confronting your worst fears?

Dr. Jennifer Webb has invented proprietary virtual reality technology that purports to heal psychological wounds by running clients through scenarios straight out of horror movies and nightmares. In a carefully controlled environment, with a medical cocktail running through their veins, sisters might develop a bond they've been missing their whole lives—while running from the bogeyman through a simulated forest. But...can real change come so easily?

Esther Hoffman doubts it. Esther has spent her entire journalism career debunking pseudoscience, after phony regression therapy ruined her father’s life. She's determined to unearth the truth about Dr. Webb’s budding company. Dr. Webb’s willing to let her, of course, for reasons of her own. What better advertisement could she get than that of a convinced skeptic? But Esther's not the only one curious about how this technology works. Enter real-world threats just as frightening as those created in the lab. Dr. Webb and Esther are at odds, but they may also be each other's only hope of survival.


Limited to 1,250 signed, numbered copies, Final Girls is available for pre-order now, and will be shipping in April. This is going to be a gorgeous book. Julie Dillon, who did the cover for Rolling in the Deep, is doing the cover for this one too, and I am so excited. Remember that Rolling in the Deep sold out fast, and is now virtually unattainable unless you're lucky or have a book budget I really envy, and order yours today!
seanan_mcguire: (marilyn)
I am awed, honored, and a little staggered to be able to announce that I will be the Guest of Honor at OVFF 2017, to be held over the weekend of October 20th to 22nd.

For those of you in the filk community, I'm sure you understand what a huge honor this is, and why it means so much to me. For those of you not in the filk community, allow me to endeavor to explain.

Filk--science fiction and fantasy folk music, essentially--is a small slice of fandom that enjoys sitting up and singing songs late into the night. We sing about myths and legends and TV shows and comic books and each other (oh, how we sing about each other). It's not a huge community, with maybe a few thousand people worldwide (at best), but it's a tightly-knit one, and we take care of our own. We have the numbers and the ambition to hold multiple conventions throughout the year, in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Germany.

And the biggest of all these conventions is OVFF, the Ohio Valley Filk Festival, in Columbus, Ohio. It is the Worldcon of filk. It is the brass ring. It is the goal. I was already honored to be their Toastmistress in 2005, and to be asked back is...

Well, it's everything.

I am beyond excited, and I am hoping to see so many of you there. I'm going to try to explain a bit more of what filk is over the course of the next year: let's see if I can't make filkers of all of you yet.

I'm Guest of Honor.

It's a dream come true.
seanan_mcguire: (indexing2)
What: Post-NYCC Author Coffee Klatsch

When: Monday, October 10 at 11:00AM-1:00PM (revolving door event; guests do not need to arrive at a particular time)

Where: Random House offices—1745 Broadway, NYC 10019 (between 55th and 56th streets)

RSVP: Please RSVP to delrey@randomhouse.com with “RSVP” in the subject line and the full names of everyone in your party in the e-mail body.

Details: Guests will sign in at the front desk upon arrival and security will direct them to the 2nd floor Club Room for coffee and mingling with authors. PRH will be stocking the first-in-series book for every attending author to sign and give away. Books will not be sold at this event. Readers are encouraged to bring any books they wish to be signed as there will be a limited supply of giveaway copies.

If you're in or around New York, I hope to see you there!
seanan_mcguire: (rosemary2)
With only five days remaining in the pre-order, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to post here. I AM SOMETIMES A VERY DISTRACTED BUNNY, OKAY?!

Ahem. Presenting:

The very first ever October Daye T-shirt design, by Unicorn Empire.

These shirts are spectacularly gorgeous, and I am over the moon delighted with how beautifully they've come out. They're available in rust and rose gold (both so appropriate), and on the off chance--far from guaranteed--that the design is added to the shop on a longer term basis, only one of the colors will be available for order. So if one color speaks to you more than the other, you should absolutely order it now.

This a pre-sale, not a sale. Why does this matter? Because before I give you the link for the shirts, I'm going to give you the link for how Unicorn Empire pre-sales work. Please, take a moment to read it. Amber, who runs Unicorn Empire, is a fan running a business for fans, out of her garage. She has help, but she's not a huge operation, and her timelines are thus longer than they would be for, say, Hot Topic. She's being awesome doing this for us, and I don't want to cause her any trouble.

There is no extra charge for plus sizes, because Unicorn Empire is awesome that way. The pre-sale is only open until June 20th, so get your orders in soon! (We know international shipping is expensive, so if you wanted to coordinate a group order for Australia or whatnot, this would be a great place to do it!)

Those of you who snagged a Sparrow Hill Road shirt know how good the quality is, and I hope you're all as pleased as I am.

I'm so excited!
seanan_mcguire: (sparrow hill)
You may remember that back in December, I ran a poll to determine the level of interest in Sparrow Hill Road shirts printed and sold by Unicorn Empire. The end result was a definite level of interest: enough that we decided to go ahead and open up the pre-sale! Woo hoo!

Now, this a pre-sale, not a sale. Why does this matter? Because before I give you the link for the shirts, I'm going to give you the link for how Unicorn Empire pre-sales work. Please, take a moment to read it. Amber, who runs Unicorn Empire, is a fan running a business for fans, out of her garage. She has help, but she's not a huge operation, and her timelines are thus longer than they would be for, say, Hot Topic. She's being awesome doing this for us, and I don't want to cause her any trouble.

Without further ado...

The Pre-Sale Is Now Live!

Based on your votes, we made both one and two-color versions of the design, available on T-shirts and tank tops. There is no extra charge for plus sizes, because Unicorn Empire is awesome that way. The pre-sale is only open until February 9th, so get your orders in soon! (We know international shipping is expensive, so if you wanted to coordinate a group order for Australia or whatnot, this would be a great place to do it!)

I'm so excited!
seanan_mcguire: (pony)
Some of you may remember that I went to New York for, essentially, the month of November. This is not an unheard-of occurrence, me going out of town for an entire month: when it works out, logistically, it's easier on me to go, stay, get everything I need to done, and then come home to sleep for a few weeks. I recognize that this is a privileged way of doing things, predicated on my a) having a job I can do from anywhere, b) being able to actually do that job while traveling, and c) having someone to feed the cats while I'm away.

Some of you may also remember that I adore musical theater. It's customary for me to try to catch a show with my editor from DAW while I'm in town; for this trip, I had selected Fun Home. Fun Home is based on the memoir of the same name, written by Alison Bechdel, chronicling both her relationship with her father and the process of her own coming out. I had read the book once, years ago; I knew the author mostly from her work on Dykes to Watch Out For; and I had seen one of the musical numbers, "Ring of Keys," performed at the Tonys. That alone had been enough to make me want to see the show.

Originally, it was going to be me, Sheila (my editor), and Betsy (also from DAW). Sadly, Betsy couldn't join us, for personal reasons. Thankfully, Josh (also also from DAW) was able to take her place, so her ticket wasn't going wanting (not that we would ever have a problem finding someone to come with us to a good show). We met up at the office and proceeded from there to Sushi Zen, aka, "the place we seem to keep winding up before we go to a show." I had the sashimi boat. I always have the sashimi boat. If you ever have the chance, have the sashimi boat.

I also had the edamame and the steamed mushrooms. Both were excellent, although not as good as the sashimi boat. Mmmm, sashimi boat.

Ahem.

We decided to skip dessert and head straight for the theater, which turned out to be a good thing, as the show started in twenty minutes and was performed without an intermission. I am so grateful to be walking better. I was able to bolt for the bathroom, pee, and meet up with Sheila and Josh with five minutes to spare (no small trick in a theater with only one girls' bathroom).

Fun Home is performed in a theater in the round. Our seats were front row, right on the "stage," so that the actors would be passing only inches away at certain points. It was amazing. Like, genuinely amazing. We got settled. I started reading my Playbill, and squealed when I realized that Bruce Bechdel, the male lead, was played by Michael Cerveris, aka, "September from Fringe." Sometimes I am twelve.

All I really knew about the show as a show was the song "Ring of Keys." Even after seeing it live, I feel like all I really know is "Ring of Keys," because that's where I started sobbing and didn't stop.

Alison (there are three Alisons in the show, portraying the author in various stages of her life: small, medium, and large) and her father are at the diner, having breakfast. A woman walks in. And Alison, small, tomboy, brilliantly rebellious Alison, looks at her, and sees her, and knows her. Knows her for being the same as she is; knows her for being alike. There's this feeling of glorious recognition in the song, of "if you are, then I can be too, and if I am, then we are, and neither of us is alone," that I recognize from my own clumsy, confused process of coming out.

The whole show is glorious. It's confusing and confounding and brilliantly staged, and I hope it goes on tour so I can take my sisters. But that moment, that song...

I would take the whole show for just that song.
seanan_mcguire: (marilyn)
You will need:

1/2 pound of good, fatty bacon
2 pints of heavy whipping cream/1 pint heavy whipping cream, 2 cups of whole milk
2 1-lb. bags of frozen corn
4 tbs. of sugar
2 tsp. of salt
1/4 cup of quick polenta

A deep skillet
A spoon

Take your corn out to thaw (you want it as non-frozen as possible). Cut your bacon into 1/4" to 1/2" squares (I find that using meat scissors works really well for this). Put the bacon into your skillet, and cook until you want to just eat it.

Add your thawed corn to the skillet, pouring it on top of the bacon, and mix thoroughly before adding your first pint of cream. Mix again. If the cream does not cover the bulk of your corn-and-bacon mixture, add more cream (or milk, if that's how you're rolling). Reserve half the remaining cream/milk for later.

Bring your heat up to medium-high. Stir your mixture until the cream begins to warm. Taste it. You should find that you need sugar to balance the richness of the cream. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, until the sweetness is to your liking (you can leave some of the sugar out). Sprinkle your polenta evenly over the mixture, stirring thoroughly after each pass.

Turn the heat down to medium-low, and give the mixture about four minutes to cook, stirring occasionally. As the polenta cooks, it will thicken more and more, creating a paste. You may wish to add more cream/milk at this stage, to render the cream more, well, creamy. I like my creamed corn to be thick but still a little bit runny.

Taste the mix. You should find that you need salt. Add salt to taste. Stir thoroughly. Bring back up to medium-high and stir for another three to five minutes, while your polenta finishes cooking. Be careful not to burn your cream (burnt cream is unpleasant).

Serves eight, reheats beautifully.

I will be modifying this recipe to begin with an onion cooked alongside the bacon, and will report back.
seanan_mcguire: (me)
10. It's December! That is...terrifying and amazing and lots of other things, but mostly, it's a huge relief, because I don't have anywhere to go for the rest of the year. Oh, I have a lot of local commitments, parties and appearances and a doll meet-up, but nothing that requires travel. I get to sleep in my own bed, snuggle my cats, and clean my house for an entire month. I am ridiculously excited about this.

9. A lot of folks are doing their holiday shopping right now, which is swell! I posted the holiday book buying reminder yesterday. You can also contact Mysterious Galaxy, in San Diego, for signed copies of Out of Tune, and for copies of Dead But Not Forgotten signed by Charlaine Harris, Toni Kelner, and a bunch of the authors (myself included). Support independent bookstores this holiday season.

8. Or maybe you're buying stuff from me, posters and T-shirts and the like. If you are, please use the PayPal option for sending money to friends and family. There are a few reasons for this. First off, I am still not a store: I am literally pricing things to cover cost of item + cost of postage. Having huge whacks of money vanish into PayPal fees makes this a loss, and means I have to start charging more to be able to afford to ship things. Secondly, you know how I always say "please send me your shipping info via this other channel"? I have found that people who chose "goods and services" are more likely to ignore that request, because they've already provided a shipping address, and if I were a store, I'd be able to access that data. Not a store. Cannot access easily. Please don't.

7. The new Pokemon game is not making me as happy as I wanted it to. I am sure I will enjoy the post-game, where it's apparently LEGENDARYPALOOZA, but I am not enjoying my Pokemon journey, and that makes me sad.

6. Thomas, who has always been an asshole, has taken his assholing to new heights in his glee that I am home. Lots of purring, lots of cuddling, lots of knocking things off shelves to demonstrate that he is still the boss of all he surveys. Thomas is going to be mittens if he doesn't cut this shit out.

5. I will be doing the Thirteen Days of Hogswatch again this year, beginning on December 12th and continuing until December 24th. The introductory post will go up on December 11th. The prizes, drawing times, response times, and requirements for each day are not negotiable; if I say "I must hear from you by X time for you to win," and you think you might not be able to check your email on, say, Christmas, I am very sorry, but I do mean it. I can't have people claiming prizes weeks after the drawing. I'm just not set up for that. But hey, I am giving away so much stuff.

4. I missed the October tip jar, which means we're running out of prioritized free fiction. I don't want to open a tip jar in December (holidays), but I may go ahead and do it in January. (Or we may have to pay for all the bodywork on Mom's car, in which case, I will not only open the tip jar, I will dance on freeways if that's what it takes.)

3. Oh, yeah: some asshole hit Mom's car on Thanksgiving night. The damage isn't massive, but she was parked at the time, and we didn't see it happen. Now we need to get the bodywork done to fix the dent on the side of her car, before rust sets in and everything gets buckets more expensive. Whee. (Yes, she has insurance, but the deductible is huge, especially if we can't produce another driver.)

2. I'm going to see The Ghost Brothers of Darkland County on Friday! I'm so excited!

1. Jean Grey is not dead right now and it's making me cranky.

That's my list. What's new with you?
seanan_mcguire: (me)
10. For some reason, people have been sending me Livejournal messages a lot recently. You are totally welcome to do this, but please be aware that I may take months to answer, even years, as they are a lower priority than messages which come in through my website contact form. If you want to contact me for any reason, your best channel is my website, which has a lovely and easy-to-use contact form. These emails go to my PA, who answers some questions herself and forwards the rest on to me. Where they appear in my inbox, impossible to ignore. Where they get answered.

9. Seriously, just use the contact form. I don't really answer messages received through any other channel in any sort of a reasonable time (and I don't answer Facebook messages at all).

8. I am making cioppino tomorrow night! I am so excited about that! Except...

7. ...I'm making it for me and Olivia to eat while we watch "The Quarterback" and cry. I know Glee is a frequently terrible show, but I am genuinely saddened by Cory's death, and this is going to be emotionally devastating.

6. The tip jar is remaining open until tomorrow morning, largely because I forgot to post this reminder yesterday. Thanks to everyone who's chipped in so far, and to everyone who hasn't, too, because sometimes life says "not this time." Y'all are awesome.

5. So awesome, in fact, that I am compelled to make sure you've seen the incredible videos on SymboGen.net. Seriously, this is some of the best marketing ever, and it's for my book. I am overcome with squee.

4. The field of Alice's fucks lies fallow, and I support this.

3. Carrie: The Musical is really fantastic. If you're in the Bay Area, I recommend the Ray of Light production, now playing in San Francisco. If you're not, look around; there are a lot of productions going right now, due to the rights opening up.

2. Zombies are love.

1. HAPPY OCTOBER HALLOWEEN IS COMING.
seanan_mcguire: (rosemary2)
Today is the last day of September, 2013.

The first October Daye book—Rosemary and Rue—was published in September, 2009. It was not my first publication, thanks to a few anthologies that managed to speed through the publishing process (Ravens in the Library and Grant's Pass), but it was my first real sale, and it was the book that opened the door that led to those anthologies. Without Toby, I don't know that I'd be in either book, even though both were edited by friends of mine, because no one really thought of me that way. Not yet.

Since September 2009, I have published fifteen books, ranging from Toby to Velveteen. I have appeared in enough anthologies that I honestly can't tell you how many; not without counting them. I have experienced the soul-crushing terror of the Hugo Awards as viewed from the front row (which is a flavor of fear that I never truly appreciated until it was wrapping its arms around me and squeezing me tight). I have written more than a million words of fiction. Possibly more than two million words. And while I have been stressed and strained and stretched too thin, I have never lost sight of how incredibly lucky I am. I get to tell these stories. I get to see my name in bookstores, which is an honor and joy beyond compare. It's never not exciting. I hope it never will be.

Thank you. Thank you so much, for reading, for talking, for reviewing, for helping, by your very presence, because without people, there would be no publication. A book that is unread is a book that falls into obscurity, and has no sequels, and has no future.

I am very tired, but I am very grateful. The last four years have been amazing. I wouldn't trade them for the world.

Now let's go steal me four more.
seanan_mcguire: (zombie)
My friend Chris came up yesterday, since we hadn't seen each other in way too long, and we spent most of the day doing what we do best: sitting on the couch, petting the cats, and watching fuck-awful SyFy Channel Original Movies that had been clogging up my DVR waiting for our next watch-a-thon. Movies watched over the course of the party included Shark Week, Boogeyman, Two-Headed Shark Attack, and Haunted High (note that for purposes of "watching," we "watched" it if we stared aghast at the screen for ten minutes before skipping to the next film because OH GOD LIFE IS TOO SHORT FOR THIS CRAP). We finished the night with Notting Hill, because we needed our faith in cinema restored.

I feel good about my life choices.

There's something incredibly pure about a terrible horror movie. When I was in high school, one of my favorite pick-up RPGs was called It Came From the Late, Late, Late Show, in which you played, yes, the lead in a terrible genre movie. I "invented" combat cheerleading (which would show up from my PCs for years to follow) during a session titled "Teenage Zombie High School." I learned about setting tarantulas on fire in "Leeeeeeeegs!!!! The Crawling Terror." And I always had a wonderful time.

Authors have this tendency to write "deconstructive works" about the genres and media that they love. Scalzi's Redshirts, Stephen King's The Dark Half, and so on. I am deeply afraid that one day, I am going to write my deconstructive work, and it's going to be like Night Vale meets the Care Bear Cousins.

That day is coming.
seanan_mcguire: (knives)
I love the SyFy Channel Saturday night movies. The goofy effects, the giant monsters, the sometimes wooden acting, it's all a delicious cheese sandwich to help me relax into the one night of the week where I don't feel rushed to accomplish ALL THE THINGS before I go to bed. I try to judge them by what they are, and not by what I want them to be: silly, shitty movies that accomplish what they set out to accomplish, no more, and no less. Sometimes they're even pretty good.

This past week, the Saturday night movie was The End of the World. It was about a group of geeks who owned/worked at a video store specializing in disaster movies, the judgmental SO of the geek who actually owned the store, the faintly evil cousin of the geek who actually owned the store, the disapproving parent of one of the geeks who worked at the store, the disaster guru idol of all the geeks, and a bunch of extras. The extras fell into three categories: evil looters who wanted to take stuff from our heroic geeks, assholes at the mental hospital where the disaster guru had been committed, and people at the military base.

Now. Looking only at what I've written above, how many of these characters were female? If you guessed "judgmental SO" and "disapproving parent," then ding ding ding! We have a winner!

None of the geeks were women. The SO even knowing what the Death Star was called was treated as a virtual miracle, and something so hot as to make the alpha geek temporarily forget about saving the planet, because she was speaking Forbidden Knowledge, yo. She was saying things that implied girls could be geeks too, and man, that was so impossible it was like she was demonstrating super powers! The mother figure was literally introduced calling one of the secondary geeks at work and asking him how the job search was going, because it was time for him to get a real job, in the real world, amirite girls? (The SO had a similar speech.) That's how we should interact with geeks! We should drag them kicking and screaming into respectability, because no one can ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever be happy and fulfilled just being a professional fan of things. And women can't even start being fans of things. It's not allowed.

None of the extras were female. None of the secondary characters, apart from the two listed above, were female. One of the female characters was there to nag and be a burden; the other was there to be a prize and to be enlightened about how Geek Things = Man Things and Man Things = Awesome.

And here's the thing. None of these characters—not a single fucking one—had such a gendered role that their character could not have been played by a member of the opposite sex. Testosterone did not unlock the key to saving the world. Estrogen did not cause the cataclysm. You could have literally flipped a fucking coin for every single role, and cast accordingly. "Whoops, female lead, male antagonist, female love interest..." Better yet, make it a d10, and if you roll a ten, roll again for assigned birth gender, and then go from there. "Female lead, male antagonist, ftm love interest..." It would have been the same damn movie.

But they didn't do that. They went with boys and boys and boys, and an exclusionist narrative that had me saying sadly "I like disaster movies. I exist, too."

I wound up stopping the movie halfway through because the lack of female voices had become so alienating to me that I needed to wait a while before I came back and finished watching. It was an okay movie. I won't be watching it again. There's no one for me there.

Men can identify with women, and should. Women can identify with men, and should. But there's a big difference between saying "Seanan, you should have been able to identify with the struggles of the protagonist, regardless of gender," and saying "Seanan, you should have been able to accept a world that cast your gender into the role of harpy and martinet, and not felt objectified or rejected by this setting." I did identify with Owen. I did care about his story.

It was everything around him that lost me. And honestly, I'm still lost, and I've been lost too many times.

Sometimes it would be nice to be found.
seanan_mcguire: (princess)
I have been doing stuff! On the internet! With people!

Have you ever wondered whether I had guilty pleasures? Well, I don't actually believe in being guilty about the things that bring me joy, but that didn't stop me from appearing on My Countless Lives to talk about my not-so-guilty pleasures. Looking at this list, I believe I can say, without reservations, that I'm a little weird. But I'm also super-fun to go to Disneyland with, so it all balances out.

Orbit asked me to write a thing about fictional politicians. So I wrote a thing about fictional politicians. Being as I am me, it's a pretty eclectic list. I kept it short by leaving off people who inherited their titles and became kick-ass royals, because yes, Neo-Queen Serenity is awesome, but that would have been the point at which things got completely out of control.

Oh, hey, I did an interview (as Mira Grant) for the Examiner. So that's a thing and you should totally read it.

Oh! Also! I did a sort of micro-interview with Romantic Times, also as Mira Grant. Not many questions, but the ones they asked were fun, so that works out.

Also, this one time, at band camp, I interviewed Mira Grant, and things quickly got really weird. So that's a thing which I have done on the internet.

And those are things and stuff what I have done on the internet.

Doobie-doo.
seanan_mcguire: (coyote)
I became a geek when I was four years old. That's when my grandmother handed me my first My Little Pony (Cotton Candy) and told me that if I liked her, I could have more. That was also the year when I first really and truly understood that Doctor Who had an ongoing storyline that could be followed and thought about, even when the TV wasn't on. I don't remember much about the year when I was four, but I remember those two moments of epiphany.

But wait, some people would have said (and did say), as recently as three years ago: being into My Little Pony doesn't make you a geek. It makes you a girl. And to them I said, every time, that if being into My Little Pony didn't make me a geek, then they had to turn in their Transformers street cred. Science fiction and fantasy got tickets to the geek-out party, and if teleporting unicorns who live on the other side of the rainbow and fight darkness with magic and thumbs doesn't count as fantasy in your world, you are not relevant to my interests. You don't gotta like it. You do gotta admit that not only the boys' cartoons of the 1980s contained the seeds of geekdom.

He-Man? She-Ra. Both were epic fantasy adventures. The Care Bears were basically friendly aliens who just wanted us to stop blowing shit up all the damn time. The Littles lived inside your walls. How is any of this not genre? But if you asked the boys in my neighborhood, it was girly, and hence it wasn't good enough. I saw proto-geek after proto-geek give up and drop out after she'd been told, yet again, that Transformers were serious and My Little Pony was stupid. I very quickly found myself in the unenviable position of being the only girl geek in my neighborhood.

I played with the boys pretty much exclusively (after I'd beaten respect for My Little Pony through their thick skulls), at least until we got to middle school, and my being a nerd became a problem. (Note: I'm using "geek" to mean "obsessed with geeky things and very open about liking them" and "nerd" to mean "thick glasses, read constantly, did math for fun.") The boys scattered. The girls, who had been socialized that geeks were icky, wanted nothing to do with me. I nested in my interests, and waited for the world to be fair.

Then, like a shining beacon: high school. Access to conventions. Access to that new miracle, the internet. I was no longer going to be a girl geek. I was just going to be a geek! I could be interested in ANYTHING I wanted, FOREVER, and my people would understand me, because they'd been through the same thing! FOREVER!

...only My Little Pony wasn't really fantasy, because it was "too pink," and Amethyst Princess of Gemworld wasn't a real comic book, and I had to be lying when I said I loved Warren Magazines because girls don't like horror, and Stephen King? Ugh so lame. In order to be a geek, I had to conform to the shape that others defined for my geekiness, hiding the things I really loved behind a veneer of Star Trek and learning the names of all the members of the Justice League (even though I had zero fucks to give). During that period, I guess I was a "fake geek girl" in some ways, because the people I perceived as having power over me had informed me, in no uncertain terms, that loving the things I genuinely loved, following my true geeky passion down the dark corridors it so temptingly offered, would mean I wasn't a geek.

It would just mean that I was lonely.

I learned to fake it. I can name multiple incarnations of the Flash, even though I am not and never have been a DC girl. No one who's ever asked me to do this has been able to explain the entire Summers family tree, but I've known since I was fourteen that if I confused Wally West with Barry Allen, I would be decried as a faker who didn't really like comics. I learned to quote Monty Python without ever seeing the show, and made at least a stab at all the big popular epic fantasy series of the day. My geek cred was unquestioned.

And it got better. I discovered fanfic, where people were a lot more willing to tolerate whatever I wanted to get excited about, as long as I didn't expect them to read my novel-length fixfic for a Disney Channel Original Movie. My Little Ponies became "retro" and "vintage," and my collection was suddenly "ironic" in the eyes of the people I allowed to judge me. I learned to roll my eyes at moments of judgement that would previously have reduced me to snotty tears. And somewhere in the middle of all that, I stopped giving two fucks about what other people thought of my geekiness. I stopped trying to be a gender-neutral geek and became a geek girl.

But you know what? I wish I hadn't been forced to go through that particular evolution. I wish I'd been able to walk in and say "My Little Pony is as good as Transformers" without needing a sudden surge in male My Little Pony fandom to make that opinion acceptable. (I love all My Little Pony fans. Friendship is magic. But as a girl who grew up with Megan and Firefly, it really does feel a lot like "okay, girls, we've finally decided your sparkly unicorns are cool, so they qualify for membership in the genre now.")

I've been watching the "fake geek girl" mess go around, and it feels like middle school. It feels like people going "your passions don't match my passions, ergo your passions must be invalid." And I say fuck. That. Noise. Geeks like things. That's why we exist. If what someone likes is costuming, or Twilight, or SETI, or looking for Bigfoot, why the fuck should I care? If you like something enough to shape your life around it, you're a geek. Period. You do not need to prove anything. Ever.

I look at geek culture now, and we're primed to allow a whole generation of little girls to grow up without that horrible middle stage that I had to live through. But they can only have that freedom if we stop pretending that unicorns are inferior to robots, or that girls can't like zombies, or that boys can't like talking bears with hearts on their stomachs.

Now if you'll all excuse me, I'm going to go to Target and buy some Monster High dolls, which I will unbox, redress, and play with, like a boss.

LIKE A GEEK BOSS.
seanan_mcguire: (zombie)
So Friday night, I will be appearing at The Booksmith in damp, drizzly San Francisco, California, as part of their Read Until the World Ends Halloween Bookswap. I've never done one of these before, so I turn to their website for details:

"$25 gets you dinner and an open bar, a bookstore all to yourself and forty of your new best friends, discounts and swag, a chance to rub elbows with amazing authors, and tons of surprises. Amy Stephenson hosts."

$25 to share a room with me and an open bar. Oh, the drinks that we'll drink! Oh, the thinks that we'll think! Oh, the giggling as I slowly list gently onto my side and go to sleep! I...okay, that last part wouldn't be very professional of me. So I won't do that. But if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area and looking for a fun way to spend a Friday night, come and spend it it with me in my guise as Mira Grant, and with all the boozimohol the bookstore can provide.

Whee!
seanan_mcguire: (me)
T-shirt update.

Shirts are being mailed! But in the interests of not being stoned to death by the other people who use my small local post office, they're being mailed in batches of twenty to thirty at a time. What does this mean? It means that if you have not yet received your shirt, it probably hasn't been mailed, but is instead sitting in a large sack in my living room. If you ordered three or more shirts, there is a good chance that your order is coming in more than one envelope. Breathe deeply, and it will be with you soon.

CDs and stuff.

I have sent a restock of both Wicked Girls and Red Roses and Dead Things to CD Baby. I estimate that I have roughly a hundred copies of Red Roses left, after which the CD will be out of print. I'm not currently planning a reprint, so, y'know, get it while it's available.

My cats are weird.

This morning, Thomas decided that he was going to accompany me to work, and attempted to accomplish this by stuffing himself into my backpack. It astonishes and terrifies me that he can fit inside my backpack; he's a lot of cat, and there are other things inside that bag. But he did it! And if he'd remembered to pull his tail inside, he might have made my day a lot more exciting than I ever wanted it to be.

The Pirates of Emerson.

Just a reminder to my Bay Area friends: the Pirates of Emerson have opened their annual haunted theme park at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. Five awesome haunted houses, two mazes, the Bumpkin Patch, live entertainment, games, and more, all presented by spooky-ass pirates who leer and go "arrrrrrr" whenever provoked. It's a lot of fun, it's super reasonably priced for what you get, and I highly recommend it.

(I do not, however, recommend it for kids under twelve, or even for easily frightened kids under thirteen. You can still take them if you want, but you can't blame me for the night terrors and bedwetting that may follow.)

Best shirt ever.

My friend Craig sent me an official CDC Zombie Preparedness Task Force shirt, and it is the best shirt ever. I am the happiest disease/zombie fangirl in the whole wide world right now.

One con more...

I have only one convention left in 2012: WindyCon in Chicago, this coming November. After that, I am blissfully home free for the (admittedly short) remainder of the year. Which means a) if you wanted to catch me at a con, Windy is your last chance this year, and b) I might actually take a nap.

Although that's unlikely.
seanan_mcguire: (marilyn)
At last it is October, the month I spend the rest of the year yearning for. When it's October, everything is wonderful, even when it's not. When it's not October, I'm wishing that it were October again. There's a reason that Marnie Piper and the Cromwell witches are some of my favorite Disney (semi) icons.

After a weird two-day heatwave, we've settled into sweet fall, with foggy skies and color-changing leaves and everything. The Maine Coons are growing their winter coats, and thumping around the house like the tiny yeti that they secretly are. (Okay, local definition of "tiny." Thomas has hit the size where even I can't pretend that he's anything but massive. It's just that he still has kitten-face, and I fear what this says about his next growth spurt. He's going to eat me.)

The season's first treat has already been mentioned: Feed is still $1.99, and will be for the next two weeks. Yay! We're currently hovering in the Kindle 600s, which isn't bad for a book that's been out for two years. More treats will be forthcoming, once I know what they are. And of course, at the end of the month, When Will You Rise comes out from Subterranean, and that's sort of the ultimate treat. I cannot wait to see this book with my own eyes!

I'm hosting the SFWA Pacific Northwest Readings for this month, and I'm going to Disneyland with my fairy tale girls immediately afterward, so it's going to be a busy October, and that's just fine. I have a lot of work to do and a lot of experience at doing it, so I'm going to rock it.

Welcome to the month of my heart!
seanan_mcguire: (coyote)
I am home.

I am recovered.

I am well-rested.

I am the proud owner of the 2012 Hugo Award for Best Fancast.

YES. YES, I WON A FUCKING HUGO AND IT'S IN MY HOUSE AND IT'S BEAUTIFUL AND IT HAS MY NAME ON IT AND I THINK IT STARTED OUT AS CAT'S (I'M PRETTY SURE WE TRADED AT LEAST ONCE) AND I DON'T CARE BECAUSE IT'S MY HUGO!!!! I HAVE A HUGO!!!! I AM A HUGO-AWARD WINNER!!!!!!!!

...be really glad you can't see my uncoordinated geek dance. You might go blind.

Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who voted. This truly means the world to me. Y'all gave me a Hugo for never shutting up.

Message received.

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