Music Night Happened!

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A while ago I backed this KickStarter for Strangely, a musician who is a friend of friends of friends. The reward was that Strangely would come to your house (or workplace, or whatever) and perform a song for you. Hooray! Carol over at Cheapass Games was also a backer, and we decided to combine our rewards into one event…and then things kind of snowballed.

Seriously, we just thought he’d come over, we’d give him some drinks, maybe feed him, and he’d play a song for each of us. Instead, we wound up having a full evening of music featuring Strangely, the Nathaniel Johnstone Band (Nathaniel, Kate and Dogwood), Sarah Shay, her brother Aaron Shay, and even Xanthea, an artist visiting all the way from Perth. It was so much fun! These people have incredible talent, and we were ridiculously lucky to be able to experience so much of it in our own living room.

January can be a hard time of year, when the twinkly lights go down but the nights are still long and dark.  I love the way everything looks, with the silver weather and the beautiful dark nights, but it still hits me hard emotionally. It’s probably chemical. I do a lot with full-spectrum lights. My point is, an evening of wild, cheerful, live music was so very much just the thing for a dark winter’s night. I had no idea. Clearly, I need to get out more.

All of these folks have websites, CDs and/or Patreons and do all kinds of traveling to festivals and events, and are well worth looking up online, and keeping an eye out for local sightings!

 

THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN…

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The Time of Judgement! That’s right, it’s nominating time for the Hugo Awards®, which is the big award given out by the World Science Fiction Convention every year. This year, Worldcon (as we world-weary sci-fi sophisticates call it) AKA MidAmericon 2, is being held August 17-21 in beautiful Kansas City, Missouri. If you’ve never been to a Worldcon, this should be a good one, so give it a shot. (http://midamericon2.org/) There will be barbeque!

If you are already signed up as a Worldcon member, then you can nominate for the Hugos. Naturally, we creative types expect you, the public, to take this very seriously, and to carefully look at everything before you make your all-important nominations…HA ha! I laugh. There is so much amazing stuff coming out in every conceivable medium that no one can possibly be expected to examine it all—but despair not! I am here to bring you up to speed on some worthy material in the highly-coveted and glamorous field of Best Graphic Story.

Now, I will admit that there are many fine comic books worthy of consideration that can be found in today’s comic book shops—but examining those would involve leaving my house. So I will deal with what I know, and talk about this year’s crop of science fiction/fantasywebcomics. This is where you will find some of the most interesting and different comics currently being made, and even better; they’re free!

In the following list, I’ll give you the name, the publisher (if known), the creators, and the website info, which should be all you need to go out and experience these works. Let me start with a completely random example—which just happens to be a webcomic I read almost every day—just to show you how it’s done:

1. Girl Genius: The Second Journey of Agatha Heterodyne Book Two: The City of Lightning. Published by Airship Entertainment. Art & Story by Kaja and Phil Foglio, Colors by Cheyenne Wright. http://www.girlgeniusonline.com

See? Like that. Just as an example. To show how it’s done. Continuing the list:

2. Stand Still Stay Silent: Book One. Published by SSSSComic. Art & Story by Minna Sundberg.  http://www.sssscomic.com/

3. Drive: Book 3: Such A Lovely Species.  Art & Story by Dave Kellett. http://www.drivecomic.com/

Now, the examples above actually got a printed book out in 2015. There are many fine webcomics that did not get a physical, made-of-paper book onto the shelves, but I think they can still be nominated. It’s a bit of a grey area, actually, but Science demands that we experiment! At the very least, you’re in for some good reading;

4. Kill 6 Billion Demons. Art & Story by Abbadon.  http://killsixbilliondemons.com/

5. Prague Race. Art & Story by Petra Erika Nordlund.  http://www.praguerace.com/comic/start

6. Schlock Mercenary. Art & Story by Howard Taylor.  http://www.schlockmercenary.com/

7. Bird Boy. Art & Story by Anne Szabla.  http://bird-boy.com/

Well, there you go. Nominations close March 31. Happy reading!

Hamsters of Yore

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Yesterday I mentioned my love of black cats. Today I thought I’d show you this old picture of one of our poor departed hamsters whose name I can’t even remember. (It was a while ago.) When we had this hamster, we also had black goldfish. All our pets were black. It was very goth.

My favorite hamster was “Cow.” Cow was a black and white spotted hamster who did indeed look like a little Holstein, and my daughter named him when she was in kindergarten.  I actually hate having hamsters. I try to take good care of them, but they die, as such things do, and I wind up with a terrible sick guilty feeling that it’s all my fault. Every time. Fortunately, my daughter seems to have got the wanting of them out of her system.

Our Latest Paperback is Here!

paperback_catsYes, the paperback edition of the third Girl Genius prose novel Agatha H and the Voice of the Castle can be had at your favorite bookshop, here at Amazon or here at Barnes & Noble. It is also available in audio and digital formats. I am so happy!

Late last week, we were surprised by a big box that came in the mail. It looks like our wonderful publisher has decided to give us a paperback edition! Hooray! I took pictures of Phil with the box, but none of them came out well. Then I noticed that pictures with our cats in them seem to get seen more than other pictures, and, well, the conclusion is obvious. Here are our cats with the new book.

You may notice they’ve lost their kittenish tabby stripes. All the black cats I’ve had start out with black-on-black tabby patterns but they lose them as they get bigger. And bigger. And BIGGER. Somehow all my cats get huge. I go for black cats when I can, because I think they’re gorgeous. Also because I’m told they’re harder to adopt out. Also because, although I’m not particularly into the occult, I enjoy the cartoon Halloween association. Yes, check out the goofball who just fell off the table. Isn’t he spoooooky?! Hee hee.

The Legendary Showdown is Here!

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Well! Killer Robot’s Legendary Showdown: Machines and Magic game featuring Girl Genius and the wonderful  Gunnerkrigg Court has now shipped! Our copies arrived a little while ago, and we’re very pleased with them. Even if you missed the preorder window, they of course still have the game for sale on the Killer Robot Games web site…and I imagine also at all the lovely game shops out there in this “Real World” that I’ve heard so much about.

There are also gorgeous challenge coins and fun magnet sets associated with the project, also on the Killer Robot store site. I don’t know how many they have left, so I have to make sure to get a handful of them for future use before they’re gone. I am beyond thrilled at how the coins came out!

Washing the Dog

midna_bathHere is Midna, who has just been washed. This means that everything in the bathroom now has black fuzz on it. I’m lucky, she seems to have figured out that the skin on her rump is less itchy when she’s been in the shower. She’ll walk right in. I won’t say she loves it, but she’s up for it. The shampoo the vet gives us has to sit on her skin for ten minutes! This means that I have to stay in the shower with a big wet dog for ten minutes. I use the time to condition my own hair, which is dry and horrible and really needs it.

The thing she really loves is the dog dryer, which is nice and warm and comes with lots of smelly treats.

For the record, Midna never sits on my books.