Tag: book 3

Three good things made a post


-Behold, the final draft of Master of the House of Darts has been delivered to the Angry Robot overlords. Which should leave me time to catch up on a number of things I owed people (blog posts…), and to start work on the Xuya novella. Which in turn involves reading Dream of Red Mansions again. Cool.
Servant of the Underworld has been longlisted for a British Fantasy award, which is making me all tingly. And, what’s more, I see lots of familiar names in that list, including Patrick Samphire, Stephanie Burgis (twice!), Lauren Beukes, Dave Gullen, Chaz Brenchley/Daniel Fox, Martin Owton, Rosanne Rabi­nowitz, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Adam Christopher, Beth Bernobich… Many thanks to my nominator(s).
-I have tandoori chicken, naan, and I am running water for a bath. With bubbles.

The submarine


I have two weeks, one (English) manuscript to rewrite, and one (French) manuscript to read through. And er, large amount of stupid administrative stuff to do.
So I’m going into submarine mode: this blog may be updated occasionally, but it certainly won’t be my priority. Same for twitter, LJ, FB, and also for emails. Do poke me again if it’s urgent and I don’t answer you.

Current mood:


Quick weekend update


(yes, lest you wonder why I’m online so early: I’ve taken my Friday afternoon off, and am currently in a train, headed for a weekend break. Ah, holidays…)

So, what’s up. Not been doing much: writing Master of the House of Darts pretty much wiped me out; so I took a 2-3-week post-novel break, wherein I did nothing much but read Agatha Christie novels. Which, incidentally, are wonderful things. Very relaxing–purely intellectual puzzles with very little violence. I hadn’t appreciated till now the need for a quiet space, and if you’d told me a few years ago that I was going to read Christie for fun and relaxation I’d have laughed at you. But there’s something infinitely soothing about her books–partly, I guess, because they’re about an idealised bygone time that cannot possibly concern me except in the remotest of senses; and partly because they’re puzzles more than thrillers, which means there is little stress and little incentive to GET THE ENDING NOW. Now I know where my tendency for dialogue-and-interviews-as-plot comes from…

I also read Elizabeth Bear’s Dust, the first volume of her Jacob’s Ladder trilogy, and fell in love all over again. It’s a blend of Arthurian mythos, Zelazny’s Amber, and Bear’s awesomely lyrical and mythic language. Think backstabbing family politics, on a generation ship. With swords and knights and angels, except everything is slightly askew, and there’s a peculiar weight to having all that mythology–a generation ship is pretty much a self-contained universe, and it’s interesting to see how the inhabitants are shaped by their ancestors’ belief systems and foibles (in many ways, it also reminded me of Zelazny’s Lord of Light, which also has SF with mythic tropes, the tropes having been set by the original colonists/passengers in order to establish a system by which they could profit). Very good, with cool characters. I thought two of them were under-used; but then I got my copy of Chill aka book 2, and I saw they were going to be the protagonists in that book. What more could a girl ask for? 🙂

Next up is revising MHD, and starting up work on the next project, on which I have very vague ideas–thinking of a Chinese/Vietnamese generation tale on a space station, but it’s all very nebulous. Before I commit to any plot, I need to reread Dream of Red Mansions, which I intend to use as my model for this. Should be interesting.

Cooking-wise, not much–it was a decidedly Vietnamese week, with phở, green mango salad (gotta work on the salad dressing though), and xá xíu (what can I say, I had 1.1 kg of pork, a big oven dish, and rather too much time on my hands. Good thing the thing freezes easily. Also, the H likes xá xíu). I really need to get down with the caramel recipe and work out how not to fail dismally at it, but the week was rather too busy for that…

In which I make much progress


The first draft of Master of the House of Darts is complete (well, almost. I need to fill in a number of gaping holes. But I made it to the end, and the plot basically holds together). Now for a round of edits before uploading it to my crit group.


I’d be off for a liedown, but it’s party night.

Darkness notice


Blog’s going dark–will respond to comments and other pending stuff in a bit. I’m off to finish drafting that %%% book before the internet can terminally distract me.

In the meantime, the Codex blog tour is under way, and you can find me over at Nancy Fulda’s blog, Suite101 (courtesy of fellow AR author Colin Harvey), and Lawrence M. Schoen’s blog. Many thanks to my wonderful interviewers for lending me a bit of space on the internet–and stay tuned for more guest posts on this blog (after the novel is done, of course…)

Also, my short story “After the Fire”, originally published in Apex, has been reprinted in Descended from Darkness Vol 2, a compilation of Apex short stories for the past year. (a sneaky way for me to share a TOC with the always awesome Rochita Loenen-Ruiz).

That’s all. I’m off to usher in the Apocalypse….

Can haz title


I completely forgot to post about this, but book 3 now has an official title: Master of the House of Darts (yes, I know. It looks kind of the old unsuitable title, but after thinking it over AR feel that the coolness of it offsets the, er, sheer length of the thing). Release date: November 2011.

I’m currently around 75% of the way in, entering the big ugly climax with a ton of dangling plot threads. The H assures me this is business as usual 🙂

Well, what do you know…


I’ve just submitted two short stories. Been a long time since I haven’t done that.
In other news, my 2011 schedule is filling up (can’t say anything yet, but some sekrit event is definitely on the cards)

And 1,000 additional words on the novel, bringing me to 30k or something like that (right now, the novel’s in two pieces, of which one is on a computer and one on my neo). I was complaining to the H about feeling bored with the whole thing, and he looked at me and said, “yup, that seems like the right time for you to say so.” Guess it’s official: we have entered the Terrible Middles.

Still trying to select which stories to pimp for the Nebulas. The novelette’s pretty much self-explanatory (“The Jaguar House in Shadow” got good reviews, a mention in Rich Horton’s year-end summation, and high visibility); the novel’s easy, as I only published one this year. The short story… I’d want to plump for “The Shipmaker”, but the odds are it won’t be eligible for the Nebulas (it’s been published in the paper edition of Interzone, but not in e-version, and I’m not sure fictionwise will have the e-version up by the end of December). So it’s a choice between “Memories in Bronze, Feathers and Blood” (how can you not like Aztec steampunk, plus it got a number of good reviews), and “As the Wheel Turns” (my Chinese reincarnation short story published in GUD, which has a more original structure, more lyrical language and who’s left a lasting impression on the couple of people who’ve read it).

Decisions, decisions…



Wordcount: 24,000/100,000

Awesome title ideas: no further ones.

Body count: 1, 3 in progress. Oh, and 1 owl and 1 jaguar.

Best moment of the day: Everything appeared normal: a dead body was being carried back through the gates, followed by a procession of priests in grey cloaks.

Unexpected moment of the day: the jaguar’s death. Seriously. Some characters are just made of awesome.

Research: used the fact I owed my French publisher maps of the city to replace everything into a coherent system. Also found out about Tlatelolco via the Spanish version of Wikipedia.

Research awesomeness, part N


Re-discovery of the day: speaking Spanish definitely helps when researching the Aztecs.
(was looking for information about an important city in the narration, and couldn’t find it on the English version of Wikipedia. The Spanish Wikipedia, however, has a detailed map of the centre of the city. With numbered temples and religious structures)