Books

embarrassingly late review of the original nexus 7

I’ve been promising to write up my thoughts on the original Google Nexus 7 tablet since it was released last July, but it always took a backseat to blogging about other things. With the Nexus 7 Mark II coming out this week, this post is as outdated as it could be, but I like to finish what I start (this post has been in draft form for at least six months). And if you’re considering getting the new Nexus 7, some of this may still be relevant.

The Nexus… From Star Trek VII

So when the original Nexus 7 was announced, I had been considering the Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 7.0 as a birthday present to myself, primarily for use as a non-proprietary eReader. The prices and specifications were roughly equal for a picky but not-obsessive media consumer like me, but the Nexus 7 had a few other things going for it:

  • It was a Google device running the latest version of Google’s Android OS, with the promise of superior support and not needing to wait long for future updates.
  • The Nexus 7 was designed in partnership with Asus, which had produced my very first netbook (and perhaps the first true netbook), the Asus 7, which I was very happy with. I think I wrote a couple of novels on little Zim. (What? Don’t you name your devices?)
  • The Nexus 7 uses a standard micro-USB port for charging and connecting to a computer vs. a proprietary port for the Samsung.
  • The Nexus 7 had a slightly higher screen resolution, which was important since I intended to read on it.

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heading to princeton

Part of Quantum Coin is set in Princeton, N.J., so I’m looking forward to bringing the book there this Friday for an event called Buzz Pop: Connecting Teens with Books, Pop Culture, and Young Adult Authors.

liblogo2This program series at the West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library System is described as an informal discussion with teens and YA authors about books, music, movies, and TV shows — with snacks! I approve of all of these.

I’ll be joined by several other authors: Kit Grindstaff (The Flame in the Mist), Alissa Grosso (Shallow PondFerocity SummerPopular), and Evan Roskos (Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets). Books will be for sale! We will happily sign our names on things! Fun will be had!

I hope many teens in the area will be there. The event is free, but you should register here now to make sure there are enough snacks.

West Windsor Branch of the Mercer County Library
333 North Post Road
Princeton Junction, NJ 08550

Friday, July 19, 2013
3–4:30 p.m.

Many thanks to YA librarian Carolyn Aversano and the Friends of the West Windsor Library for inviting us! And thanks to K.M. Walton for connecting us. I’m looking forward to it!

celebrating two great things today!

As I mentioned in my post this week at the League of Extraordinary Writers, today is World Amateur Radio Day. I hope all you hammies are taking to the airwaves and celebrating in style! The Kim family’s old ham radio ended up being a much bigger plot point in Quantum Coin than I’d originally planned, and I think the novel was better for it.

April 18 also marks the 75th anniversary (observed) of Superman, my favorite superhero. He first appeared in Action Comics #1, which bears the date June 1938 on its iconic cover. All these years, I’d thought that was the month the magazine was published, but that’s actually the “sell by” date–when it was supposed to be taken off the newsstands. Find out more about the history of it at Bleeding Cool.

Superman was such an important, formative part of my childhood, it’s very likely that I wouldn’t be the person I am today if he didn’t exist. Growing up without a father, I think Superman sort of became a role model for me and helped provide some of the moral guidance that I needed to become a decent human being.

I wrote about what Superman means to me in a very personal letter that originally appeared in a collection called Talking Back: Epistolary Fantasies (ed. L. Timmel Duchamp, Aqueduct Press, 2006). Writer/Editor Cat Rambo was kind enough to reprint it in Fantasy Magazine three years later, and it’s still online, so if you have a couple of minutes, please feel free to check out “Dear Superman.”

And to bring it all together, I snuck a quote from one of my favorite films, Superman: The Movie (1978), into Quantum Coin. I didn’t expect anyone to notice, but if you’re a fan of the film, see if you can spot it on pages 265-66!

SPJO_10.1

think younger

hugo-logo*climbs onto soapbox* *teeters*

I don’t usually get on soapboxes. I have poor balance and I don’t like it when everyone looks at me like that… Yeah, like that. But I just noticed that the deadline for voting for the Hugo Awards is approaching–March 10th!

If you attended Worldcon last year or have a membership for this or next year’s Worldcon, you are eligible to vote for the Hugo Awards. Please do! The good news is that even if you can’t make it to the convention, anyone can buy a non-attending membership for $60 which will let them vote for the awards, but I don’t actually know who does that.

Anyway, I love books for children. Probably 90% of my leisure reading consists of middle grade and young adult books. I write young adult books. So I was very pleased when I heard last year that there was a proposal to add a new award category for Best Children’s/Young Adult Book.

And I was shocked when it was voted down.

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a year ago today

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_ImageWow, has it really been a whole year since my first novel was published? The official release date for Fair Coin was March 6, 2012; sometimes it seemed like that day would never come, and now it’s hard to believe my debut year is over :)

It was an amazing year though. In some ways, being an author was exactly the way I imagined it, and in other ways, it was very surprising. Fortunately, the unexpected things were mostly good! It has been wonderful meeting so many people who love books and young adult fiction: the readers, bloggers, librarians, book sellers, other writers, agents, publicists, editors…

Most of all, it’s always humbling and thrilling to realize that people are reading Fair Coin and Quantum Coin. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing reviews, e-mails, drawings, and tweets about the books. No, really—even the lukewarm or “bad” reviews. Thank you, all!

There have been a lot of high points, some even quite recent. I usually mention squee-worthy reviews on the Facebook page and Twitter, and archive them on my website, instead of blogging about them. But I think a few of them are worth highlighting, if you’ll indulge me for another moment:

“(Fair Coin) is fabulous from start to finish… …I recommend it to you highly.”
Charles de Lint, F&SF, Mar/Apr 2013

“I really liked Fair Coin, and the smart universe the author created.”
— Felicia Day, Goodreads

And of course, an oldie but a goodie:

“Tired of cookie-cutter young-adult novels? The cure awaits, in the shape of E.C. Myers’ astounding Fair Coin — a book which, among other things, achieves the feat of seeming like a dark fairy tale and a clever science fiction epic, rolled into one.”
Charlie Jane Anders, io9 (2012 Summer Reading List pick!)

Happy anniversary, Fair Coin! You’ve done me proud.