Jules Jones

Yog's Law: Money flows *towards* the author

Happy Gauda Prime Day!
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julesjones
And a festive Gauda Prime Day greeting to my fellow members of the Church of Boucher. :-)

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Loose Id closing
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julesjones
My primary publisher Loose Id has announced they're closing, with the current timescale being final closure in early May 2018.

That means all of my books still with them will be out of print by then at the latest, as will all the other titles in their catalogue. The LI contract is a periodic one generally renewed every year or two years, and any contracts which expire before May will not be renewed and the title will go out of print at that point. I can't remember off-hand which of my contracts might expire before then, so no guarantees that all of my books will still be available after the end of the year. Skimming last year's contract renewal emails suggests that they'll start to fall out of print around February/March.

I gather the usual Boxing Day sale will be going ahead.

I'd like to say that I'll self-publish to get them back in print, but realistically that's not likely to happen for quite a while, given my current health issues. OTOH, if I do self-publish I'll do so at a significantly lower cover price. In the unlikely event you'd like to buy any of my Loose Id titles and haven't got around to it yet, you'll need to weigh up those options.

I know some of the other authors aren't planning to do new editions of some of their titles, or have put it at the back of a very long "when I have time and energy" queue, so you might want to check out what any favourite authors are planning to do if there are any books you hadn't got to yet and would be sorry to miss out on.

Make sure you have copies of all your purchases downloaded, and that you have cashed in any Id Points, gift certificates etc and claimed any prizes before shutdown.

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NanoWrimo update
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julesjones
I ended up with a new and exciting medical excuse for staying away from the computer and thus not posting anything online during NaNoWriMo. However, I have several fountain pens, a stack of paper, and an edition of Dragon Naturally Speaking that will do transcription from a digital recording. Last time I dumped a batch of text into the computer it was up to 20 kwords, and I've probably added another couple of thousand since then. I have also experimented with Scrivener, which was one of my goals, and decided that it is not the gift from the gods many of my peers believe it to be, but it does do most of the things I found I missed on moving from Lotus Word Pro to Microsoft Word. I have *also* done something else on my to-do list, which is to track down a free speech recording utility for Windows 10 (it's part of Windows and is called Sound Recorder for those who may want to know this) and try it with Dragon's transcription module, as it would be useful the next time I mangled my wrist tendons. I hadn't really anticipated finding myself *needing* to use it for PicoWriMo, but at least I now know this system works.

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NanoWrimo update
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julesjones
Been keeping off the computer because of a new and exciting medical reason not to look at backlit screens, but I've been working on the fountain pen story anyway. Just dumped the last few days' worth of manuscript into Windows Sound Recorder and thence to Dragon's transcription function, and imported the resulting text files into Scrivener. I hit the 20 kword point in the manuscript today. :-) Still less than half the official Nano target, but so far I have achieved my personal target of writing something every day in November.

Er... This was supposed to be a short story. I had a bright idea while talking to [personal profile] jacey  and carl_allery  at Worldcon 75 in early August, and scribbled down the first 100 or so words then and there. I was writing on and off over the rest of Worldcon. I thought I'd get a draft finished and give it to Carl if I saw him over the August bank holiday. That... has not happened. :-)

It also provided a certain amount of amusement to the Lyst silver anniversary meet in London at the beginning of this month, because I was busy scribbling my daily word count at one point...
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NanoWrimo Day 1
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julesjones
And reporting a day late, because I got home very, very tired last night. Word counts will be guesstimates this year, because I am currently writing with fountain pen and ink on dead tree and not transcribing to electrons yet, for Reasons. Anyway, 3 notebook pages yesterday of the fountain pen story, or about 300-400 words.

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been shopping for pen and ink
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julesjones
In lieu of actual content, I shall record what arrived in the post today. I carefully put in my order to Cult Pens in Thursday night, safe in the knowledge that it would appear in my letterbox on Saturday when I'd be in to receive it from the postie. The bubblepack duly arrived, containing the thing I was primarily ordering for, namely a bottle of Diamine Shimmer Golden Oasis fountain pen ink, plus a selection of other goodies on special offer that I do not need but they are so shiny. Literally, in the case of the Pental dual metallic gel pens. :-)

As always, there was something else in the envelope as a promo or general "thanks for ordering". This time it was a Uniball Signo erasable rollerball sample and a fun size pack of Haribo. The warehouse has obviously stocked up on the Halloween sweets...

The other thing that arrived was more of the fruits of a spending spree on Chinese fountain pens. This time it was a pair of Baoer 801s, which I was interested in after reading on one of the pen forums that they were basically a knock-off of my first and best beloved fountain pen, the Parker Vector. They do look suspiciously like a Vector, although I think they're a bit heavier. Alas, the really pretty one of the pair has the barrel jammed on the nib unit, to the point where I'm wondering if it's a fake of a knock-off. :-/

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Hello world
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julesjones
Not posted since before Worldcon, in part because I came back from Worldcon happy but very tired, and then things went to hell in a handbasket at work in terms of work/workers ratio and I was doing a lot of extra flexitime, and then I paid for that healthwise... Also, computer was being Annoying again. I do have some book reviews written on dead trees which I have been meaning to transcribe. It may even happen before the end of the year. Anyay, I aintnet dead, and neither is my computer even if it did take me all weekend to crowbar the latest Windows update onto it.

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Worldcon
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julesjones
Planning to arrive in Helsinki late Wednesday afternoon, and leave late Sunday afternoon. I don't have any panels. I'm also not officially signed up for any gophering, but depending on spoon balance I'll probably head over to Access and/or Green Room at some point to see if they need another warm-if-not-very-mobile body.

In theory I have portable net access. In practice this is on a new phone, and I am not sure I have got everything set up yet. Best bet if you're looking for me is probably Twitter, where I am bookfetishist and where I can actually remember my password should I need to go in via the website. My primary mobile phone number hasn't changed and is on a tiny and ancient Nokia from before the dawn of time, so even if the smartphone is stolen or runs out of battery I should be contactable on that.

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Out now: Stormy Nights
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julesjones
Release day for my new book. :-) This is a collection of short stories, some reprints and some new to publication. It's available now from all good ebook sellers (and you would not believe how long I spent at the weekend tracking down All The Amazons). Full details including all those buy links are on the page for Stormy Nights on the Storm Duffy site, and you can see the cover below. I don't have an approved-by-publisher excerpt as yet, but will endeavour to provide some snippets over the next few days.

Sex and love, lies and truth, shades in between. Happy endings and might-have-beens. Nine tales of these things between men.

Stormy Nights contemporary gay romance

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Book log - Hugo 2017 short stories
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julesjones
I wrote some notes as I went along with the Hugo short story nominees, which I then failed to post soon enough to be of any help to anyone else. Never mind. Here they are anyway...

Given in the order in which I read them. I'd be happy to vote for any of these, and picking an order is going to be difficult.

A Fist of Permutations in Lightning and Wildflowers by Alyssa Wong

Two sisters, both weather workers, both capable of bending time back on itself and trying another timeline. It starts with one burning up in her own flame; it ends with the other still searching for a timeline in which her sister can live. In between we learn much about them and the different paths they have taken. It's raw emotion delivered in skillful prose, and not only supports but demands a second reading to understand the layers. The idea of a fan or network of timelines spreading out and being able to step from one strand to another is not new; but this use of the concept is an emotionally wrenching read.

Published by Tor.com and available free online, or for purchase as a DRM-free ebook. Kobo, Amazon UK, Amazon US


Seasons of Glass and Iron by Amal El-Mohtar

One woman is required to wear out seven pairs of iron shoes. Another sits atop a glass hill too slippery to climb. El-Mohtar considers what might happen when the woman of one fairy tale walks into the other story, and subverts the subtext of both. "Subverts" is rather too weak a word here - it dances on the subtext with hobnailed boots. Possibly too much so, but then there's a lot of subtext in fairy stories that needs to be dragged into the light and examined. This particular happy ending is one that I can believe has a chance at being happy ever after. It's sweet but not saccharine.

There's a lot to like in this story, but I was especially taken with the short scene in which the women run a scientific experiment with the golden apples meant to be a reward for the Hero who manages to climb the mountain. It left me wanting to buy the anthology it was originally published in.

First published in the anthology "The Starlit Wood" . Reprinted in Uncanny Tales (available free online). There's an interesting discussion of it at Short Story Squee and Snark.


Our Talons Can Crush Galaxies by Brooke Bolander

A short tale of a harpy's sweet revenge. Too short to review without giving away too much, but fabulous use of language that brings the narrator to vivid life in a commentary on modern media's portrayal of women.

Published in Uncanny Tales (available free online)


That Game We Played During the War by Carrie Vaughn

"The people of Gaant are telepaths. The people of Enith are not. The two countries have been at war for decades, but now peace has fallen, and Calla of Enith seeks to renew an unlikely friendship with Gaantish officer Valk over an even more unlikely game of chess."

A short story that explores some of the ramifications of full telepathy, and does so through a pair of fascinating characters and their unfolding friendship. The chess game is indeed a metaphor for the war, and gives some idea of how a non-telepathic nation could have held its own against an army of telepaths, but it's the characterisation that makes this story shine. Calla and and Valk have each been a prisoner under the control of the other as fortunes have shifted over the war; Calla working as a nurse in her own side's military hospital treating prisoners of war that include Valk, and then as a trustee prisoner in a Gaantish hospital desperately in need of nursing staff. The chess game starts as a way to pass time, a way to take their minds off the situation they're in, and becomes much more.

Published by Tor.com and available free online, or for purchase as a DRM-free ebook. Kobo, Amazon UK, Amazon US


The City Born Great by NK Jemesin

Great cities come alive, and in this short story they do so in a most literal fashion. But there are things out there that feed on new life, and a city needs a midwife to guard it as it struggles to birth itself. Our protaganist is a young black man in New York who half believes, half disbelieves a new friend's tales of living cities and his role in New York's story - right up until the monsters try to come for him. Stunning fantasy story deeply rooted in a deftly depicted metropolis.

Published by Tor.com and available free online, or for purchase as a DRM-free ebook. Kobo, Amazon UK, Amazon US

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