Tag Archive for 'quantum coin'

halloween book trail

HBT14-The-CemeteryHappy Halloween! Welcome to my stop on the Halloween Book Trail: the Cemetery Trail!

Although I don’t usually have the time or talent to make elaborate costumes, I love the spirit of Halloween; it’s an opportunity to become someone else for a night and collect free candy. If you go to a lot of conventions, you’re probably familiar with “cosplaying” — dressing up as a favorite character from fandom — so maybe the holiday doesn’t seem all that special. But it’s the one day in the year when almost everyone is a cosplayer, plus don’t forget the free candy. As a fan of horror and mysteries, I like the spooky, creepy focus of Halloween, and it’s always fun to see how people express their interests and creativity through their costumes.

Hexadecimal shows Bob one of her many faces. (ReBoot)

Hexadecimal shows Bob one of her many faces. (ReBoot)

I am an especially big fan of masks. (No wonder, since a mask is a perfect costume for a lazy/busy guy like me.) When I was a kid, I used to cut cardboard face masks out of the backs of cereal boxes. That was all it took to pretend you I was a cartoon superhero. Of course, many superheroes are big on masks, which make them particularly fun subjects for dress up. One year I put more effort in than usual for a Halloween party and recreated Spider-Man’s wrestling costume from the first Sam Raimi film — the mask, a red balaclava, was the easiest (and most expensive) part. Even a pair of glasses can amount to a mask of sorts, the only thing differentiating Clark Kent from Superman.

Data's mask turns him into a waking god on ST:TNG.

Data’s mask turns him into a waking god. (ST:TNG)

Masks are fascinating to me because they can be used to disguise your identity, to assume a new identity, or perhaps to make you look more like yourself. Batman’s cowl protects Bruce Wayne’s secret, but the cowl doesn’t make him Batman: It gives him the freedom to express that part of his personality.

There’s an interactive theater performance in Manhattan called Sleep No More, a loose retelling of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in which hundreds of guests wander around the set of an old hotel wearing masks. Behind that plastic face, you are completely anonymous, and so is everyone else. It adds an eerily voyeuristic quality to the show, making you into a part of it while also providing a safe distance. If you can make it, I highly recommend you attend.

Somebody stop him...before they make a sequel. (The Mask)

Somebody stop him…before they make a sequel. (The Mask)

That show gave me an idea of how empowering it must be for members of the hacktivist group Anonymous to don their iconic Guy Fawkes masks and rally in public in support of justice. Hackers thrive on anonymity, but the masks also unite them in a common cause and remove individual ambitions and egos. (At least, in theory.) Because protecting your privacy on the internet is vitally important, especially for hackers and activists, identity is a strong theme in my new book, The Silence of Six. (It even comes out on Guy Fawkes Day, November 5th.)

In the Twilight Zone, masks reveal your true face.

In the Twilight Zone, masks reveal your true face.

In The Silence of Six, hackers are my contemporary online superheroes. Masks are featured in particular, most notably at a big masquerade event that showcases my favorite part of Halloween and fan conventions: the costumes. I had fun fitting in some of my favorite masks from film and television, and I think you’ll recognize a lot of them!

If you make it to the end of the Halloween Book Trail, you’ll have a chance to win a signed advance reader’s copy of The Silence of Six and some bookmarks. But before I send you on your way to the next stop, you can also enter a contest here. All you have to do is leave a comment below and tell me either what you’re dressing up as for Halloween or what your favorite mask is. Make sure to leave a contact e-mail; I’ll randomly select one winner to receive free Audible audiobooks of my first two YA novels, Fair Coin and Quantum Coin.

Ready to move on? Your next stop on the Cemetery Trail is the blog of Dianne Salerni, author of The Eighth Day!

v_for_vendetta

Remember, remember, the fifth of November. (V for Vendetta)

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hey! listen!

Audible

Good news, everyone! We’ve just sold the audio book rights to Fair Coin and Quantum Coin to Audible! Special thanks to my fab agents at JABberwocky who made this possible, Eddie Schneider and Lisa Rodgers.

I’m thrilled because I basically want anyone who might be interested in my books to be able to enjoy them in whatever format they like, and I know lots of people prefer audio books over paper. I also love being read to, and I’m excited to see another interpretation of the stories I wrote. But this deal is especially nice because the duology will finally be available in the UK!

I don’t have any details yet on who will be narrating the books or when they’ll be available, because this pretty much just happened. I doubt I’ll have any input on who the reader will be, but hey, I’d get a kick out of it if Tom Welling or Dean Cain read them.

Who do you think would be the best reader for the audio book versions of Fair Coin and Quantum Coin? And what’s your favorite audio book?

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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!

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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

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links to the past

Apologies for the lack of my Alternate Wednesday posts of late; oddly enough, it’s a matter of not having enough time for them. I thought the biweekly schedule would be manageable, but with a novel to revise and multiple deadlines for various projects (including several other blogs I contribute to–see below), it has been the easiest thing to put aside. But I enjoy writing them, and I hope some of you enjoy reading them, so they will continue–but perhaps on a sporadic basis for the moment.

"Yesterday's Enterprise"That said, I’m double-dipping this week. It’s no surprise that many of my favorite episodes of Star Trek (in all its incarnations) involve time travel and/or alternate realities. So last week I was happy to cover one of the very best of these in the ongoing Star Trek: The Next Generation Re-Watch at The Viewscreen: “Yesterday’s Enterprise“. Here’s an excerpt:

But I tell you, this episode is exciting, not least because it fills in some of the time between Kirk’s era and the TNG years, with the introduction of the Enterprise-C. (It hits some of the same buttons for me that “Babylon Squared” on Babylon 5 does, my favorite episode of the first season in which the Babylon 4 station reappears due to a temporal anomaly…) And I love this vessel, a beautiful melding of the best features of the Constitution-class and Galaxy-class designs. “Yesterday’s Enterprise” also has high stakes, gruesome deaths, and it looks and sounds more cinematic than anything on the show previously. I’m also a sucker for stories in which one ship or one person makes a huge impact for others–even in failure; we always root for the Enterprise to survive, but the idea that one crew’s sacrifice could still be a victory of sorts is gratifying.

Pop over there to see my episode recap and read reviews by me, Torie Atkinson, and our fine commenters.

I also had two other guest blog posts this week, if you haven’t had enough of me:

And finally, here’s a link to download a free PDF of Sybil’s Garage No. 7, which among many fantastic pieces includes one of my favorite short stories that I’ve written, “My Father’s Eyes”. It’s even kind of YA-ish, though with a slightly older main character, a photographer named Ambrose. And here’s the editor talking about the issue, Anne Frank, Justin Bieber, and the band Neutral Milk Hotel.

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