Posts Tagged: Aidan Moher

sword-and-laserI’m proud to announce the sale of A Night for Spirits and Snowflakes to the Sword & Laser Anthology. This is my first fiction sale, and I’m ecstatic that it is going to become a part of a project that will (hopefully) be widely read and embraced by the SFF community.

A Night for Spirits and Snowflakes is a 7,500 word story about a young soldier caught on the losing side of a meaningless war. Soldier-turned-gravedigger, he buries his fallen comrades in shallows graves, their last moments whispering in his head. Audience to this sojourn are the spirits of those dead men, drifting like snowflakes around the boy as he lays them to rest.

If you are unfamiliar with Sword & Laser, the second largest book club on Goodreads, I wrote about my excitement the Sword & Laser Anthology last year when it was first announced. I have immense respect for Veronica and Tom and am flattered to be involved with the project.

I will have more details about the project, including the release date and a table of contents, as those details are announced.

Jo Fletcher BJo Fletcher BooksooksThere used to be a time, way back when, that I used to run interviews with authors. They were fun, challenging and people liked to read them. Then I stopped for some reason. Well, today, the interviews are back, but the tables are turned. I was asked by Jo Fletcher Books, a great genre imprint from the UK, to be subject to an interview. Mostly, we talk about blogging, but there is also discussion about some of the novels that really opened my eyes to the world of Fantasy literature. Since its terribly topical and popular, here’s a taste from the interview that discusses one of my favourite novels, The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien:

What are your all-time favourite reads?

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

As I grew from childhood and into adolescence, I veered away from Fantasy, magic and adventure, replacing them instead with laser guns, time portals and spacefaring. Science Fiction ruled much of my pre-adolescence. I still remember being in grade four, I was nine, and getting gruff from my teacher because I wasn’t reading the assigned novel during silent reading. It was The Cay by Theodore Taylor, appropriate for most readers my age. Instead of reading The Cay, I was reading Jurassic Park. I lost touch with Fantasy because, well . . . I was a boy and Fantasy was full of princesses, unicorns and other such girly stuff. I don’t know where I got such ideas, certainly not from my parents, but there they were.

At age eleven, however, my mom finally convinced me to give The Hobbit a shot. She was an avid reader of both Fantasy and Science Fiction, and rarely steered me wrong. I expect the only reason I gave The Hobbit a shot, however, was because of the languorous, fiery Smaug, stretched out atop his pile of gold, scrolls of gold-etched dwarfish runes capped the top and bottom of the book’s cover. It was pretty cool. I still own that copy of The Hobbit I read it, and fell in love. The rest, if you’ll pardon the expression, is history.

You can read the rest of the interview on Jo Fletcher Books’ website. I hope you enjoy it.

MeOne of my favourite weekly features in the blogosphere in Mieneke Van Der Salm’s Blogger Query interviews. Every Wednesday, she pulls one blogger or reviewer and puts them to question. It’s a fun way to get to know some of the personalities in SFF fandom. And, well, this week was my turn.

A little snippet:

You’ve been quite outspoken about the lack of regard for blogs as fan publications and bloggers as fan writers, mostly in regard to the Hugos. Do you think regard for blogs as fan publications from awards and the way the publishing industry regards blogs are intertwined? Would increased respect from the publishing industry also increase respect for blogs and bloggers from awards committees or are awards too insular for such cross-pollination?

Yeah, I’ve raised a stink or two, and been successful at opening at least a small dialogue about the matter between the incumbent fan publications (fanzines) and the up-and-coming ones (blogs). It’s something I feel very strongly about.

To be honest, I wouldn’t be so quick to link the perception of blogs and online fan writers by the publishing industry to the struggles they’ve had in being recognized by the award committees and voters. Conversely, I’d say that publishers, large and small, pay a heck of a lot more attention to blogs and the online space than they do to the traditionally published fanzines. This is keeping in the tradition and origins of fanzines, which by their nature are independent and often focus more on exploring the natures and issues of fandom, than in being a part of the PR circle that runs the publishing industry, a pitfall that blogs have to be sure to avoid. Instead, you have a new generation of writers, many of them a bit younger, in their mid-twenties to late-thirties, that is trying to break into an area that is often run and heavily influenced by an older generation that has long been entrenched in their ideals and tendencies.

Whether they’re older men or not (and, in the case of the Hugo Awards, there are over a 1,000 eligible voters, so they’re not all old men, of course), old ideas and habits still exist. It’s always been a challenge for the young whipper-snappers to push against the older generation, trying to promote new ideas and the fast-moving world that has grown up around the original foundations of awards like the traditional awards. Right now, bloggers are those young whipper-snappers, and we just need to make enough noise to ensure that, when the time comes, voters take us as seriously as we deserve.

With all that said, I think the addition of SF Signal, which I’ve contributed to on occasion, on the recent Hugo ballot is a huge step for online fan writing and blogs in general. I hope to see a continued drive in that direction. Not at the expense of great fanzines and fan writers working in more traditional mediums, but as a joining of the two, recognizing the best writing, period.

If you want to hear a bit about my thoughts on reading, writing, the Hugos and blogging, I encourage you to read the whole interview.