Authors Behaving badly: Baycon edition

For those of you who don’t know what BayCon is, it’s a sci-fi fantasy convention held in the San Francisco Bay Area that is mainly focused on writing and writers. There’s also gaming and other fun things, but the panels tend to center on more literary topics. Every year, they have a writer Guest of Honor, and this year it was David Brin.

Full disclosure: I was not at BayCon this year, and in fact haven’t been for the past couple of years. The con had a change of venue, and I really didn’t like where they ended up. So, I can’t speak from first-hand experience about what happened this weekend, but an account is going around from people who were there.

Apparently, David Brin is well-known in sci-fi and fantasy circles for being a racist, misogynistic asshole, and these qualities were on full display in a panel which he was moderating. You can read about it in more detail in this Facebook post from one of the attendees.

I find it baffling in the extreme that authors who work in a genre that features stories of inclusion and explores social issues can be the exact opposite as a person. And yet, we see it time and again at cons: a big-name author is invited to speak and makes a significant portion of the attendees feel uncomfortable or unsafe. I think we all need to take the responsibility to call out this behavior when we see it, and we should all stand up for those who feel unsafe in the environment created by these types of people.

We’re supposed to be better than this. Let’s work to do so.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Fandom

“Cosplay ready, Violet and her friends are at Comic-Con.

They can’t wait to meet the fandom of mega movie, The Gallows Dance. What they’re not expecting is to be catapulted by freak accident into their favourite world – for real. Fuelled by love, guilt and fear, can the friends put the plot back on track and get out? The fate of the story is in their hands …”

This one is getting mixed reviews on Goodreads, but I do like the premise–it reminds me of some of the books I read as a kid, where young people fall into magical worlds.  I’ll give it a try and hope that it’s not as bad as some reviewers are making it out to be.

This book will be published on April 24, 2018.

(Description nicked from Goodreads.com.)

Waiting on Wednesday: Now is Everything

(Description nicked from Goodreads.com.)

“The McCauleys look perfect on the outside. But nothing is ever as it seems, and this family is hiding a dark secret.

Hadley McCauley will do anything to keep her sister safe from their father. But when Hadley’s forbidden relationship with Charlie Simmons deepens, the violence at home escalates, culminating in an explosive accident that will leave everyone changed.

When Hadley attempts to take her own life at the hospital post-accident, her friends, doctors, family, and the investigator on the case want to know why. Only Hadley knows what really happened that day, and she’s not talking.”

So, here’s the thing: I’m totally susceptible to a teaser like this one.  I want to know what happened!  But I also like reading books that are challenging and tackle tough issues.  That’s why I’m looking forward to this one.

This book will be published on November 7, 2017.

Waiting on Wednesday: Children of the Fleet

Children of the Fleet is a new angle on Card’s bestselling series, telling the story of the Fleet in space, parallel to the story on Earth told in the Ender’s Shadow series.

Ender Wiggin won the Third Formic war, ending the alien threat to Earth. Afterwards, all the terraformed Formic worlds were open to settlement by humans, and the International Fleet became the arm of the Ministry of Colonization, run by Hirum Graff. MinCol now runs Fleet School on the old Battle School station, and still recruits very smart kids to train as leaders of colony ships, and colonies.

Dabeet Ochoa is a very smart kid. Top of his class in every school. But he doesn’t think he has a chance at Fleet School, because he has no connections to the Fleet. That he knows of. At least until the day that Colonel Graff arrives at his school for an interview.”

I’ve been following Card’s Enderverse since I was a teenager and was introduced to the author’s works.  I’ve since been shaken by Card’s politics, and I’ve been reluctant to support him for that reason, but his science fiction is a model of how people can work in harmony.  Because of that, I keep reading his books, and although I’ll get them from the library rather than buy them, I do still think his novels have merit.

This book will be published on October 10, 2017.

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Waiting on Wednesday: That Inevitable Victorian Thing

“Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage like her mother before her, but before she does her duty, she’ll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an unusual bond and maybe a one in a million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process —just like the first Queen Victoria.”

I’m eager to read this one because it’s an alternate history of Victorian times, and as you probably know if you read this blog enough, I’m kind of an Anglophile.  I also loved the other book of Johnston’s that I’ve read, Exit, Pursued by a Bear, so I want to read something else that she’s written.

This book will be published on October 3, 2017.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Grave Keepers

“Lately, Athena Windham has been spending all her spare time in her grave.

Her parents—owners of a cemetery in Upstate New York—are proud of her devoutness, but her younger sister, Laurel, would rather spend her time exploring the forest that surrounds the Windham’s’ property than in her own grave.

The Windham girls lead secluded lives—their older sister died in a tragic accident and their parents’ protectiveness has made the family semi-infamous.

As the new school year begins, the outside world comes creeping in through encounters with mean girls, a new friend, and a runaway boy hiding out in the cemetery. Meanwhile, a ghost hangs around the Windham property—the only grave keeper never to cross over—plotting how to keep the sisters close to home and close to her . . . forever.”

This book will be published on September 12, 2017.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Warcross

“For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.”

This book will be published on September 12, 2017.

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Waiting on Wednesday: Playing to the Gods

“In this final volume of Rawn’s acclaimed series Glass Thorns, the boys are at the top of their theatrical game. Their only real competition for the hearts and gold of the public are the Shadowshapers. Nevertheless, the past years of financial struggle, since their manager proved to have been embezzling, have taken a toll on the group’s creativity.

A shocking event brings all that to an end and brings Touchstone back together to create a play that will rattle the ceilings and shatter all the glass in palaces and theaters alike. An ancient conflict will come to a violent conclusion on stage, and all the gods will be watching.”

This book will be published on August 29, 2017.

(Description nicked from Goodreads.com.)

Waiting on Wednesday: The Stone Sky

“THIS IS THE WAY THE WORLD ENDS… FOR THE LAST TIME.

The Moon will soon return. Whether this heralds the destruction of humankind or something worse will depend on two women.

Essun has inherited the power of Alabaster Tenring. With it, she hopes to find her daughter Nassun and forge a world in which every orogene child can grow up safe.

For Nassun, her mother’s mastery of the Obelisk Gate comes too late. She has seen the evil of the world, and accepted what her mother will not admit: that sometimes what is corrupt cannot be cleansed, only destroyed.”

This book will be published on August 15, 2017.

(Description nicked from Goodreads.com.)

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