Spock was half human and half Vulcan. Humans took one look at him and  ‘saw’ Vulcan, and coded as such. And Vulcans ‘knew’ he wasn’t really Vulcan because of his invisible human-ness. Spock was bi-racial. But he didn’t look like a half-human half Vulcan. He coded as Vulcan. For someone who looked white, but was bi-racial, that had a huge impact on me. Spock was the closest thing I had ever seen in my life, even to this day, to a role model. As a kid, it blew my mind. There was Spock and that was it as far as ‘light not white’ me.
Eight Facts About Writing That Surprise Prospective Novelists
by B. McKenzie

1. Even if you get published, you will get paid much, much less than you can imagine. A 75,000 word manuscript takes 2000+ hours and typically sells for around $5000. That’s not even closeto minimum wage, particularly when you consider the work you put in after getting published. If you plan on eating food more expensive than Kibbles and Bits, get a day job.

2. Most novelists don’t get their first novels published. According to a Tobias Buckell survey, only 35% of published authors broke out with their first novel.  This shouldn’t be too surprising–look at what you were writing 2-3 years ago. You’ve gotten a lot better, right? You’ll probably feel the same way about what you’re writing now in 2-3 years. It may take a novel manuscript or two to develop professional-grade writing skills.  (Keep practicing and you’ll get there!)

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Miranda was studying the battle from various angles, rewinding it, and had alternate simulations of it running in different sections of the apartment.

Keyes set his luggage down inside the door, walked over to her, and grabbed her tight for a long hug.

“Geez, what’s that all about?” she asked. “You’re not normally that clingy.”

He let her go. “Nothing. Just glad to see you.”

He realised he was a bit of a cold Navy father figure, urging her to study, keeping her on the straight and narrow. So much so that a hug caught her off guard, even though he’d been away for weeks.

“Is this homework?” Keyes asked, looking at the battle.

Miranda froze it all. “No, just something I’m playing with.”

“I was hoping to tear you away, walk down Armstrong Alley, get an ice-cream cone.”


Your NYFW Style Guide

The do’s and don'ts of Spring 2015 Fashion Week

New York Fashion Week starts in two days and we’re super excited to see what’s trending on the runway for next year, as well as street style for this fall. With non-stop shows and countless parties to attend, outfit planning is a must! 

See our biggest NYFW do’s and don'ts here, and make overnight shipping your new BFF and shop the trendiest pieces for fall below.

Burberry Prorsum’s Milverton Velvet and Leather Bowling Bag

Ryan Storer’s Silver-Plated, Swarovski Crystal and Pearl Ear Cuff

Chloé’s Triple Buckel Leather Slingback

Which lust-worthy accessory is your favorite? 

The New York I knew was a co-mingling, a transcultural hybrid, of classes, races, religions, genders and generations. It was an open space without borders. A place of possibility. That space has been erased. Avarice has turned the heart and mind of Manhattan into a simulacrum of itself. It has become a phantom city replicated on the Broadway stage—the Theater of No Surprise. It was no longer a matter of recognizing the shifting planes and queer angles in the urban sprawl—the flâneur turning corners in the psychic cityscape; discovering strange new worlds. Those worlds—those psychic worlds—don’t exist in Manhattan anymore. There are only ghosts. Ghosts on the landscape. Ghosts fishhooked in the mind. This is why I left the U.S. My house was haunted. Money dissolved in my mouth.

Rather than waiting around for JJ Abrams and his crew to leak plot details, we asked some of our favorite science fiction writers to tell us what they’d do with the new Star Wars movie.

We Ask 10 Sci-Fi Authors to Write Star Wars: Episode VII

The description for Halo: Envoy, Tobias Buckell’s next Halo novel coming April 25th next year, has been revealed:

It has been six years since the end of the Covenant War…and yet on the planet Carrow, a world on the edge of the Joint Occupation Zone, a decisive new battle suddenly erupts.

Human colonists and the alien Sangheili have already been living a tension-filled co-existence in this place, with Unified Earth Government envoy Melody Azikiwe attempting to broker a lasting peace between their two species. But as civil war now engulfs the Sangheili settlers, Melody must act on an additional covert assignment courtesy of the Office of Naval Intelligence: find a way to free the SPARTAN-IIs known as Gray Team, held in stasis since the end of the war by a cunning Elite fleetmaster consumed with vengeance.

And none can anticipate the ongoing violence leading to the discovery of an even greater, unstoppable threat, hidden for eons below the surface of the planet…


(But it sounds like this is going to tie into the Created as well, as the final sentence almost certainly refers to a Guardian…)

October library book haul: Conjured by Sarah Beth Durst, Far From You by Tess Sharpe, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Diverse Energies by Tobias S. Buckell & Joe Monti (ed.), The Raven Boys & The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, Raging Star by Moira Young, and The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness.

Science Confirms: Internet Trolls Really Are Narcissistic, Psychopathic, and Sadistic

Feb. 14 2014

In the past few years, the science of Internet trollology has made some strides. Last year, for instance, we learned that by hurling insults and inciting discord in online comment sections, so-called Internet trolls (who are frequently anonymous) have a polarizing effect on audiences, leading to politicization, rather than deeper understanding of scientific topics.

That’s bad, but it’s nothing compared with what a new psychology paper has to say about the personalities of trolls themselves. The research, conducted by Erin Buckels of the University of Manitoba and two colleagues, sought to directly investigate whether people who engage in trolling are characterized by personality traits that fall in the so-called Dark Tetrad: Machiavellianism (willingness to manipulate and deceive others), narcissism (egotism and self-obsession), psychopathy (the lack of remorse and empathy), and sadism (pleasure in the suffering of others).

It is hard to underplay the results: The study found correlations, sometimes quite significant, between these traits and trolling behavior. What’s more, it also found a relationship between all Dark Tetrad traits (except for narcissism) and the overall time that an individual spent, per day, commenting on the Internet.

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Raccoon (Procyon lotor), Central MI, USA

This little raccoon was hanging on a tree limb along side the road.  This one was in a small tree while another was sleeping on top of a telephone pole next to the tree. I was always under the impression that raccoons slept most of the winter but I was informed that this is their breeding season and they will not be out more.

photograph/text by Gerry Buckel


Matt Forbeck tweeted this yesterday, revealing the names of the stories and their authors in Halo: Fractures - which releases 10 days from now.

Lessons Learned - Matt Forbeck (31 pages)

What Remains - Morgan Lockhart (13 pages)

Breaking Strain - James Swallow (36 pages)

Promises to Keep - Christie Golden (45 pages)

Shadow of Intent - Joseph Staten (91 pages)

The Ballad of Hamish Beamish - Frank O’Connor (5 pages)

Defender of the Storm - John Jackson Miller (30 pages)

A Necessary Truth - Troy Denning (37 pages)

Into the Fire - Kelly Gay (27 pages)

Saint’s Testimony - Frank O’Connor (28 pages)

Rossbach’s World - Brian Reed (13 pages)

Oasis - Tobias Buckell (36 pages)

Anarosa - Kevin Grace (23 pages)

Lessons from an author who switched from a commercial publisher to an audience-funded Kickstarter book

Tobias Buckell’s “How I used Kickstarter to reboot a book series, and my career (and maybe my life?)” is a fantastic, detailed postmortem on his experiment with continuing his commercially flagging science fiction series by raising money directly from his fans on Kickstarter. As always, the most important part is the mistakes made/lessons learned:

I launched the project at noon. Because I was writing and fixing things that morning. So I set it to go live. Rookie. That meant I missed four hours of first day, the biggest day, of word-of-mouth and fundraising. The momentum was slow from day one. People love piling onto a winning project. Mine did not come out the gate strong for The Apocalypse Ocean. Next time, I set it to go live at 7am.

I set the eBook price too high. $25. It worked, because fans backed the project and jumped aboard. I think I could risk focusing harder on a $10 eBook. Then maybe a $25 trade paper, and then move up.

While I got backers their eBooks as fast as I could, roughly by the deadline, I vastly underestimated how long the project management of creating a print book would take. Physical copies had to be mailed around. Proofed. Schedules had to be lined up. It was all… fiddly. I thought August/September I would have books delivered. Instead, it ended up being early December.

This is a must-read for anyone contemplating a similar audience-funded artistic project. Here’s the book, which, knowing Toby’s work, is bound to be excellent.

How I used Kickstarter to reboot a book series, and my career (and maybe my life?)

  • Scary godmother: I love your dress Ruby!
  • Ruby: 'dis old thing? I was practically buried in it.
  • Count Maxwell: HM. New fangled fashions! I remember when the queen used to look like a queen! *hisses*
  • Skully: Me too
  • Ruby: Oh Max, It's just a modern little fashion.
  • Maxwell: Too modern and too little for my tastes.You can practically see her ankles! *shelds eyes*
  • Scary godmother: Don't freak out Max, After all. You can see my ankles! *lifts leg*
  • Skully: *pulls off leg and shows it* mine too~
  • Scary godmother: I think she looks nice!
  • Maxwell: Ohhh. Ravishing, yes! Beautiful, of course!. BUT HER ANKLES. REALLY?! ONE CENTURY IT IS CORSETS AND BUCKELS NEXT THING YOU KNOW-
  • Maxwell: *snaps fingers* EXACTLY