catvalente: (pic#941394)
2017-03-08 06:06 pm

Nevertheless, She Persisted

Today is International Women’s Day. Today, we commemorate the movement for women’s rights and bring awareness to the ongoing struggle for those rights – globally, nationally, personally.

Cat is honored to raise her voice as a part of Tor.com’s Nevertheless She Persisted anthology, an online series of flashfiction written by some of the best writers today in SF/F. Here’s what Tor.com had to say:

“Nevertheless She Persisted” has become a galvanizing cry for people of all genders in recognition of the struggles that women have faced throughout history.

This sci-fi/fantasy flash fiction collection features sharing unique visions of women inventing, playing, loving, surviving, and – of course – dreaming of themselves beyond their circumstances.

In this amazing collection, you will find “The Ordinary Woman and the Unquiet Emperor” by Catherynne M. Valente – and maybe too much reality for comfort. Discomfort is okay. Discomfort reminds us to fight.

Read it now, and then read all the other marvelous tales from Seanan McGuire, Alyssa Wong, Amal El-Mohtar, Nisi Shawl, and more.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2017-02-27 09:50 am

Now on Patreon!

We’re excited to announce that Cat is now a Patreon creator, offering you exclusive content and goodies via Patreon’s flexible crowdfunding platform!

As our resident Mad Fiction Scientist puts it on her landing page, “… I want to put more fiction into the world. And I don’t just mean my own fiction. I want to help you guys write awesome books and stunning stories!”

Cat’s doing this by offering professional writing advice every month – in the form of comedic essays on the craft and business of writing. You’ll learn about characterization, dialogue, how to get a writing agent, and so much more. Beyond signing up to receive these exclusive Cat Valente essays, there are plenty of additional fantastic benefits you can score: sneak peeks at Cat’s works-in-progress, personal Skype calls, virtual writing dates, Tuckerizations, acknowledgements, and – well, see for yourself:

To get involved with Cat’s latest project and to support her work directly, just head over to Patreon: you can sign up for recurring donations, get access to the patron-only stream, interact with the Mad Fiction Scientist herself, and edit your pledge at any time. And remember: your support means the world to Cat, especially in these trying times. You get huge thanks from everyone at the lab, and we promise it’s pathogen-free. (Probably.)

Hurry on over! The Mad Fiction Laboratory awaits!

And, please – do hit the share buttons and spread the Patreon page on Twitter, Facebook, and your other social media platforms of choice. The Laboratory Denizens appreciate all you do!

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2017-02-14 06:17 pm

The Refrigerator Monologues

In case you missed it, we’re excited to announce CMV’s forthcoming book, The Refrigerator Monologues. Cat wrote an introductory meditation on the project over at The Mary Sue, which you should absolutely check out for insight into this fierce takedown and ruthless interrogation of the point and place of women in superhero comics:

It all started because The Amazing Spider-Man 2 pissed me off.

Oh, I know it pissed everyone off for one reason or another. But when something pisses me off badly enough, I throw art in its face. And after Spider-Man, I walked out of the theater in actual, real life tears, and not the single tear flowing down a single cheek in mourning for the passing of the elegance of the world or something—big sobs like a big baby.

Let me explain.

Click this link to keep reading “The Refrigerator Strikes Back: The Refrigerator Monologues” at The Mary Sue.

The Refrigerator Monologues owes a particular debt to Gail Simone, who coined the termWomen in Refrigerators.” The book is dedicated to her.

Caught your interest yet? Read on for Saga Press’s description:

The lives of six female superheroes and the girlfriends of superheroes. A ferocious riff on women in superhero comics.

From the New York Times bestselling author Catherynne Valente comes a series of linked stories from the points of view of the wives and girlfriends of superheroes, female heroes, and anyone who’s ever been “refrigerated”: comic book women who are killed, raped, brainwashed, driven mad, disabled, or had their powers taken so that a male superhero’s storyline will progress.

In an entirely new and original superhero universe, Valente subversively explores these ideas and themes in the superhero genre, treating them with the same love, gravity, and humor as her fairy tales. After all, superheroes are our new fairy tales and these six women have their own stories to share.

The Refrigerator Monologues will be released on June 6, 2017. Pre-order it now from your favorite retailer! 

IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon | Powell’s

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2017-01-09 08:00 am

Traditional Awards Eligibility Post

Happy New Year, all, and welcome to Awards Season! It’s that time when every author should share what they’ve written that’s eligible for any of the SFF genre’s awards – there are so many great stories being shared every year, and it can be hard to remember them all. These eligibility posts are welcome reminders, and don’t let anyone tell you differently.

For those in the SFWA, Nebula Awards nominations are open until February 15th. The Hugo Award nominations should open soon, any you can nominate if you were or are a member of the 2016, 2017, or 2018 Worldcons. The rules for nominating for the World Fantasy Award should be similar, but you might want to check with the World Fantasy Convention.

Here’s what I wrote that’s eligible this year:

NOVEL

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (Feiwel and Friends)

NOVELETTE

The Future Is Blue (in Drowned Worlds: Tales from the Anthropocene and Beyond)

The Limitless Perspective of Master Peek, or, the Luminescence of Debauchery (in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Issue 200)

Snow Day (in Uncanny Magazine, Issue 11)

SHORT STORY

Badgirl, the Deadman, and the Wheel of Fortune (in The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales)

The Beasts Who Fought for Fairyland Until the Very End and Further Still

Thanks for your consideration! Remember: nominate early, vote often, and read always.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-11-28 10:24 am

Go Back to Fairyland

Ever since the election, people have been telling me to shut up and go back to Fairyland. Be silent. Be good. Accept. Submit. Stop talking about politics. Stick to fairy tales. (As if fairy tales have ever not been about politics.) Go back to Fairyland. Go back to Fairyland.

So I did.

I have struggled since November 8th with everything I thought I understood about the world, and with what I could possibly do to help anyone. I certainly can’t stop talking. I can never do that. But for once, the Internet trolls had the answer.

I have written a new Fairyland short story. It does what fairy tales do, I hope. Explain the awful to the young. Explain the awful to the old. Explain the awful to myself. After all, once you know you’re in a fairy tale, you know how to get out, how to survive, how to stand tall and even dance at the end of it all.

This story may be read, reprinted, excerpted, exchanged, and otherwise disseminated for free, forever.

The Beasts Who Fought for Fairyland Until the Very End and Further Still.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-11-02 04:59 pm

A Careening Roller Coaster Through My Head, My Memory, and Kitchens I Have Known

The mind is a strange thing. I cannot even say if it’s the mind of a writer that I mean, or the mind of a human. I have always had the mind I have; it is impossible to say whether my habits conform to those of any group–writers, women, those of an age neither Generation X nor Millennial, Americans, artists, and so on–or whether it is just the strange little music box of a brain I carry around in the cage of my bones.

When I am writing a story or a book or even a poem, I see the environment I render in words completely, as though on a movie screen. I change what I see internally until it feels right, then describe it on the page. But there is always a Version 1.0, a ground zero, a basic template for various objects and geographies. Often I fight against that entry-level image. Contort it into something better, different, more unusual, more striking. But I find it fascinating what set-pieces are so fully-formed in my mind that I must always consciously jettison them, or else ever house I write would be the same, every road, every forest, every school, every shop.

The example I started writing about on Twitter before deciding that it was absurd to try to say all this in a series of 140 character confetti-cannons is the Kitchen of My Mind.

When I think of a kitchen–and by that I mean any kitchen, simply the idea of “kitchen,” if I require a kitchen as a set for any scene–the image that comes instantly into my head, fully-realized, in Technicolor and 3-D sensory surround, is the kitchen of a house my mother briefly rented in Seattle around (by my math) 1985. The tiles are white with small black diamonds between the squares. The walls are white with black window frames. There is a small kitchen table in the corner where my infant brother and I have breakfast on the weekends when I stay with her instead of my dad. The corner has a bench built into one side where I always sit and is dominated by tall windows with cross-hatch sashes on both sides of the seam. Next to the corner on the rear wall is the back door leading into the yard. In this kitchen Ray Lynch’s album Deep Breakfast is always playing. My mother loved it and loved playing it at the thematically-appropriate time of the day.

Why the kitchen in this house, quickly rented and quickly moved out of, and not the one on Queen Anne Hill where my father and my stepmother and I lived until I was 7? Or the one in the house in Woodinville where I spent almost every morning of my adolescence? Or the one in Davis, California, where I cooked after-school snacks with my brother every day through junior high and high school? Of course I remember these places, but when I think of the pure, ontologically complete idea of a kitchen, it is always this one I return to.

But it gets stranger than that.

I cannot picture the rest of that house. Or even the rest of that kitchen. I see the table, the windows, the back door, the colors; I hear the music. I am there. But if I turn around to glance into the kitchen or the hall, where an oven and a refrigerator and a mother presumably is, the house I see is absolutely not the one that belongs to the cross-hatch windows and the built-in bench and Deep Breakfast. This kitchen does not go with this house. I know it isn’t, because I know that house, and it’s not even my house! It’s the house of my childhood best friend, Jessamyn, where I used to visit and sleep over all the time when we lived on the same street on Queen Anne Hill. I sit in the corner with the black and white cross-hatched windows and turn my head and I look down another narrow kitchen where a woman is standing at the stove who is not my mother but my best friend’s, with her strange German name and so utterly apart from the plain short suburban names of my family, with short slick bobbed hair nothing like my actual mother’s long, long black mop, into the living room to the front door with the chestnut tree growing outside, whose spiky nuts we used to collect for spells and fairy money in case we ever got whisked away like the girls in books.

I can walk through Jessamyn’s house like a virtual reality environment. I know all the nooks and crannies–because it was a great house, full of nooks and crannies and hiding places and dark, dark old wood that was so different than the bright houses both sets of my parents always lived in–in fact, at the time, the only hardwood floors I’d ever seen, since everyone in the mid-eighties was mad for carpet. That house that always seemed magic to me because it had a cellar and an attic, because Jessamyn’s stepfather let us watch tons of horror movies and always asked me a riddle when I first arrived and told me I had to have the answer by the next sleepover, and because Jessamyn’s mother was a professional harpist with the Seattle Orchestra who had told me the first time I came over that she kept her non-concert harps in a storage area under the floors. I used to creep around on tiptoe so as not to disturb the harps. I’m sure there were only one or two spares and they were in some kind of special temperature-safe space in the basement, but in my head, they were right under the floorboards, hundreds of them, each one with carved elaborate golden shoulders like the ones in paintings, crowded up an inch under my toes, sleeping, waiting, dreaming.

When I think about places where I spent time as a child, I remember, as clearly as the colors of the wood and the patterns of the wallpaper, the things I imagined, (quietly, to myself, without telling anyone) the things I believed, about those places while I was there. It’s a kind of synesthesia, which I have in many ways. For me, numbers and letters and months and days and even smells have colors, but places have ideas.

Belief has an architecture.

Dark hardwood floors have harps underneath them. Thin, tall curtains have ghosts (because I used to keep my button collection pinned to my tall, thin bedroom curtains, and my stepmother would add new ones while I was at school without saying anything, so I logically thought ghosts were giving me buttons. One day one appeared that said DON’T PANIC and I knew they were just trying to tell me not to be afraid). Split level houses have hungry bears hiding on their bottom floors (because my aunt had a split-level and in the downstairs living room she had a bearskin rug with teeth and claws and it scared me so bad I thought it was alive and freezing in place to fool me, and everywhere I went upstairs it was crawling along the downstairs ceiling and sniffling for me, lying in wait.)

These imaginings come instantly to mind, sewn into the simpler memories of furniture and house layouts and all those endless spaces of childhood. For my brain, they are inseparable, the way the smell of a turkey roasting is inseparable from the roasting turkey itself. And when I remember them, it’s so strong that, for a moment, the total belief that they were true flares up again before guttering away.

So this is what I see when I imagine a simply, archetypal kitchen: that table, those windows in a house my mother probably doesn’t even remember, attached to another house I never lived in, with another girl’s mother in it, a house of ancient wood and riddles and a tree full of fairy money hundreds upon hundreds of sentient sleeping harps snuggled up underneath it. Where the music my mother loved is always playing. Where my brother is always a baby sitting in a high chair next to me but my childhood friend is not. My brain has made a house that never existed out of remembered houses I only sometimes stayed in, and that, that is what it uses to represent the notion of any kitchen, anywhere.

This can’t be normal.

Do I even remember that kitchen accurately? I have reason to think I do–I have an extraordinarily good memory, and I remember events and places and phrases from my childhood so well it often startles and unsettles people who were adults then. But I can’t know. There is a flaw already embedded–the Two Houses Problem. Maybe the kitchen I think of when I think of kitchens never existed. Maybe the diamonds in the tile were blue. Maybe there were three windows, not two. But it’s scratched in iron in my head and I imagine that, if I somehow went to that house we rented again, and saw that it was different, that I had it wrong, in a day or two I wouldn’t remember the real kitchen anymore. It would go back to this image my brain loves and needs, clearly.

This sort of thing has happened before. I misremember the ending of The Purple Rose of Cairo so profoundly that I recall, and have quoted in company, full scenes of dialogue that do not exist in the film and never did. And every time I watch the real ending, my brain refuses to accept it, re-writes it again, and if you asked me how it ended right now, I could only give you my ending, even though I know it’s wrong.

I don’t know what the purpose of this surgery of associative memory is. I don’t know if anyone else thinks and remembers and imagines this way. I don’t even know the purpose of this little mini-memoir. I only sat down to work on a scene that takes place in a kitchen and the same ancient geography unfolded in my head. That kitchen always wants to be real again, even though it was never real in the first place.

Sometimes I think all of those beloved post-modernist tricks and flares and perhaps even all of non-realist fiction simply tells the factual truth of memory: it is unknowable, it is iterative, it is non-linear, it lies, it skips and jumps, it over-writes and re-writes itself, it has gaps and holes and unexplainable gulfs, it insists upon its own reality even when confronted with contradictory evidence, it lines the drawers of adult action with the magical thinking of childhood beliefs, all the beliefs we have, not because children are more innocent or marvelous, but because we simply did not know what was or was not possible yet in this world, it cobbles itself out of whatever it finds lying around in a vain attempt to create a cohesive narrative which can only ever be fully true to the rememberer, and perhaps not even then, and it strives, at all costs and against all odds, to make themes and motifs and sense and order and logic and certainty out of the utter howling void.

In that void, there is a kitchen. It is always the same kitchen. I am always there, and even though it’s only a story I told myself and remembering it serves no purpose, confers no meaning, and has nothing at all to do with kitchens in the first damn place, I am always going to be eating eggs at that table and waiting for the harps to wake up.

How strange and bright are the things brains do in their dark nests, with all the chestnuts falling.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-09-12 05:18 pm

Brooklyn Book Festival

Calling all fans in NYC! CMV will be attending the Brooklyn Book Festival next weekend. If you’d like to come out and see her (admission is free!), get the details below:

Brooklyn Book Festival
Sunday, September 18 (10am-6pm)

The location is downtown Brooklyn, and the festival will be held rain or shine. Also, seating at panels is on a first come, first served basis.

Cat will specifically be doing a Bookend Event with the Center for Fiction on Gender in Science Fiction and Fantasy:

This event brings together celebrated voices from science fiction and fantasy whose work explores gender constructs and/or notions of sexuality, to talk about the current state and representation of these themes in the field. Multi-award winner Catherynne M. Valente (The Labyrinth(2004), Deathless (2011), Radiance (2015)) joins Seth Dickinson (The Traitor Baru Cormorant, 2014), 2015 Nebula Award-winner Alyssa Wong, and Whiting Award-winner Alice Sola Kim.

This event will take place at 5:00 PM at the Brooklyn Borough Hall Court Room in downtown Brooklyn.

While you wait for next weekend, check out CMV’s fairy tale noir short story “The Consultant,” now featured at the Center for Fiction’s website!

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-07-05 04:38 pm

Where to Find CMV at Readercon!

Readercon is nearly here, and Cat Valente is a Guest of Honor at the 2016 con alongside Tim Powers!  The convention takes place in Quincy, Massachusetts, and is running from Thursday, July 7th to Sunday, July 10th. If you plan to be in attendance and wish to find Cat for autographs, readings, or panels – well, this is the post for you! Her schedule is handily provided below:

THURSDAY, JULY 7

8:00 PM / 6 / SF in Classical Tradition.
John Crowley, Haris Durrani, Ada Palmer, Catherynne M. Valente, Jo Walton (leader). Whatever your definition of science fiction, there’s no disputing that there were centuries of proto-science fiction published before the modern stuff began appearing. More than 1600 years before Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, Lucian of Samosata wrote The True History, featuring perhaps the first fictional trip to the moon, the first fictional trip into outer space, and the first fictional space opera. Cicero, in 51 B.C.E. published “The Dream of Scipio,” in which the narrator and his grandfather, Scipio Africanus, take an astral journey through the solar system. Greek mythology, plays, and tragedies have science fictional elements in them as well. Our panelists will discuss the fantastical and science fictional in the classical (Greek and Roman) tradition.

FRIDAY, JULY 8

11:00 AM / C / The Politics of Food.
Liz Gorinsky, Geoff Hart, David Shaw (mod), Vinnie Tesla, Catherynne M. Valente.
The recipe for lembas is a closely guarded secret—it’s made by the elves, we’re told, but which of them, and how? Why are restaurants lauded for meticulously recreating the humblest foods of people who now can’t afford it? And what becomes of authenticity when all our food is replicated, from the database of some culinary streaming service? Armies march on their stomachs, and empires are built as often to seek out new appetites as sate them. How does food shape our stories, and what are the stories we can tell about our food?

2:00 PM / 5 / Reading Works from Long Ago.
Phenderson Clark, Michael Dirda, Delia Sherman (mod), Catherynne M. Valente, Jacob Weisman.
“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.” So L.P. Hartley wrote. But they don’t just do things differently there, they believe and feel things differently as well. Human motivations may remain the same, but how those motivations are expressed and felt vary widely. Is it possible for modern readers to understand the motivations and actions of people of different times and places? How effectively can we understand the inhabitants of 16th century Japan, 1810s England, or pre-historic Europe? What tools can writers use to make that understanding easier for readers?

3:00 PM / CL / Kaffeeklatsch.
Ben Francisco, Catherynne M. Valente.

4:00 PM / 6 / Speculative Retellings.
C.S.E. Cooney, Ben Francisco, Gwynne Garfinkle, Kathleen Howard, Catherynne M. Valente.
Speculative elements in fiction are not limited to robots and ghosts and dragons. For ages, the stories that get told have almost always been by told straight white able rich men, and there may be no way of separating those stories from the culture of writing today. In stories like “Travels With the Snow Queen” by Kelly Link, or “Shift” by Nalo Hopkinson, retelling old stories written by white men becomes an inherent challenge to those narratives, and that challenge itself becomes a speculative element. What other elements can we bring to these stories, and will we ever get to a point where challenging the status quo is not seen as speculative?

5:00 PM / E / Autographs.
Catherynne M. Valente, Fran Wilde.

6:00 PM / A / Reading: Catherynne M. Valente.
Catherynne M. Valente.
Catherynne M. Valente reads From The Refrigerator Monologues, a novella out next year from Simon & Schuster.

SATURDAY, JULY 9

1:00 PM / C / My Character Ate What?.
John Chu, Mary Robinette Kowal, Ada Palmer, Lauren Roy, Catherynne M. Valente, Fran Wilde (leader).
“My Character Ate What?,” based loosely on Hollywood Squares, that uses food in SF as the subject matter for questions. You are signing up to be a contestant in Fran Wilde’s game.

4:00 PM / 5 / Catherynne M. Valente Interviewed by John Clute and Elizabeth Hand.
John Clute, Elizabeth Hand, Catherynne M. Valente.

SUNDAY, JULY 10

11:00 AM / 6 / Shirley Jackson Awards.
John Langan, Tim Powers, Catherynne M. Valente.
In recognition of the legacy of Shirley Jackson’s writing, and with permission of the author’s estate, the Shirley Jackson Awards have been established for outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. Jackson (1916–1965) wrote classic novels such as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle, as well as one of the most famous short stories in the English language, “The Lottery.” Her work continues to be a major influence on writers of every kind of fiction, from the most traditional genre offerings to the most innovative literary work. The awards given in her name have been voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors, for the best work published in the calendar year of 2014 in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.

12:00 PM / 5 / A Dark and Golden Age.
Sioban Krzywicki (leader), Darrell Schweitzer, J.M. Sidorova, Catherynne M. Valente, Walter Williams.
We frequently refer to the Dark Ages, Middle Ages, or Medieval Period to describe the time between the fall of Rome and the beginning of the Renaissance. However, these terms primarily refer to the conditions in Western Europe. The Eastern Roman Empire didn’t fall until 1453. The Muslim world considered this a golden age with many innovations and scientific advances. China, India, Africa, Eastern Europe, and many other regions have their own eras, empires, “rises,” and “declines” that have nothing to do with this demarcation. How can we better use this history in fantasy and historical fiction? How has our obsession with the tiny, western part of Europe colored our writing to this day?

1:00 PM / C / Keytars in Science Fiction!  
John Chu, Yves Meynard, Sarah Pinsker (leader), David Shaw, Catherynne M. Valente. Alien or futuristic music can play a large role in SF, but how is it best conveyed? Music has evolved to encompass a vast array of styles, instrumentation, and sound. How can we make something seem alien or futuristic instead of just “experimental”? Is it unusual instruments, ranges of sound, different scales, some combination of these or something else altogether? On TV and movies new instruments can be shown, like Spock’s lute, but how do we make sure the sound isn’t just ours? How would alien instruments be different? Would we be able to make sense of it? The soundtrack to Forbidden Planet was created with entirely original, electronic instruments to make a seemingly alien sound, but how often can something like this be done before it becomes generic? Are we stuck with making sure the lyrics convey the alienness or futuristicness?

Also, for those interested in all things CMV, there’s a “The Works of Catherynne M. Valente” panel happening on Friday at 12 PM. Here are the details:

FRIDAY, JULY 8
12:00 PM / C / The Works of Catherynne M. Valente.
Jonathan Crowe, Gillian Daniels, Liz Gorinsky (leader), Kathleen Howard.
Catherynne Valente has been a professional fortune teller, telemarketer, private tutor, librarian, waitress, bartender, actress, and statistician, but she is best known as a novelist and poet, having published over two dozen novels and poetry collections. She has been nominated for or won every major award in science fiction and fantasy: the Hugo (2010, 2012, 2013, 2014), the Nebula (2013, 2014), Locus (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014), and the World Fantasy Award (2007, 2009, 2011, 2014). In the Night Garden (2006) won the James Tiptree Jr. Award; The Orphan’s Tales (2006-2007) won the Mythopoeic Award; “The Seven Devils of Central California” won the Rhysling Award (2008); Palimpsest won the Lambda Award (2010). In 2010, The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making became the first self-published work to win a major literary award, winning the Andre Norton Award. The sequel, The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, was listed by Time Magazine and NPR as one of the ten best books of 2012. The New York Times has called her “an incandescent young star.” Join our panelists in a discussion of her work.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-06-29 02:28 pm

Where to Find CMV at Finncon!

This weekend, CMV is at Finncon 2016 in Tampere, Finland! The convention runs from Friday, July 1st, to Sunday, July 3rd. If you are attending, read on – we’ve put together a “Where’s Cat at Finncon?” list of appearances for you. And, remember! If you want to join the Kaffeeklatch with Cat on Sunday, be sure to sign up early – space is limited.

FRIDAY

16:00 at Luentosali A1: On Writing
Guests of Honor Catherynne M. Valente, Jasper Fforde and Anne Leinonen talk about their work, inspiration and methods. Chair: Saara Henriksson.

SATURDAY

10:00 at Juhlasali: Opening Ceremonies
Welcome to Finncon 2016! The convention and our Guests of Honor are introduced.

12:00 at Juhlasali: Guest of Honor interview: Catherynne M. Valente

13:00 at Signeeraukset: Signing
Guest of Honor Catherynne M. Valente signs her works at the main lobby.

16:00 at Luentosali D10a: Sex, drugs and Puss ‘n’ Boots
Beneath the sweet, Disney exterior of fairy tales often lies a roiling underbelly of lust, abuse and unfulfilled desire. Modern reincarnations often put the subtext of the originals out for anyone to see. In a panel moderated by Nina Niskanen, Anne Leinonen and Catherynne M. Valente discuss the topic of sex in the context of fairy tales. CW: may contain discussion of sexual abuse.

SUNDAY

11:00 at Kaffeeklatch: Catherynne M. Valente
Come have a drink and chat with the GoH. Limited number of participants, sign up at the info!

13:00 at Juhlasali: Guest of Honor Reading: Catherynne M. Valente
Cat Valente will read from a new, unpublished work.

14:00 at Luentosali A3: Music in Science Fiction and Fantasy: Bowie & Prince
The music panel is back, and with good reason. 2016 is the year in which David Bowie and Prince left us, and returned to their homes among the stars. Our panel looks back on their work and influence. There may be tears.

Also, for those interested, there’s a paper on Cat’s Fairyland series being presented on Finncon’s academic track. You can see Fodor András present his paper “The Nature of Heroism in Catherynne M. Valente’s Fairyland Series” at 10:00 in Luentosali D11 on Sunday.

Enjoy Finncon, everyone!

 

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-06-14 10:42 pm

Fairyland in the New Yorker!

Last week, the Fairyland series received a wonderful review in the New Yorker Magazine, an absolute dream come true for me! I still can hardly believe it happened. Radiance got a fabulous paragraph all its own as well.

Nothing I can say will be better than reading the review itself, so here it is! I’M A REAL WRITER YOU GUYS!

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-03-18 02:37 pm

When Is a Slate Not a Slate? or Why Is the Puppy Sad?

Last night I was made aware of two things: that the Sad Puppy 4 Recommendation List has been released and that I am on it, for my novella Speak Easy.

Yes, these are the same Sad Puppies that dominated fandom conversation through most of last year, and whose slates resulted in so much ink spilt, and so many No Awards given out. Yes, I am still the evil SJW Queen Bee Persian Cat Who the Hell Does She Think She Is that I was last year in the eyes of this group. I am absolutely not going to re-hash the arguments on Sad or Rabid Puppies right now. You guys know how to Google. I suggest File770 for excellent coverage.

My first reaction–and perhaps not my best reaction–was anger and confusion. I genuinely do apologize for posting my first reaction to the internet–I should know better by now. This is me, a good sleep later, trying to sort it all out logically.

I was upset because I wasn’t asked whether I was okay with being put on this list. I had thought I remembered SP saying they would ask authors for permission in the future, but it’s since been pointed out to me that my memory, as with all human cognition, is faulty, and the truth is the opposite–they, in fact, pledged not to ask permission or remove names on request.

I was immediately attacked on Twitter for this anger and confusion–aren’t I an ungrateful, horrible person for not being happy and honored that people liked my work? Aren’t I insulting my readers? Aren’t I trying to exclude certain opinions because I don’t agree with them politically? Aren’t the Puppies showing good faith by including such obviously SJW authors as myself, John Scalzi, Alyssa Wong, Nnedi Okorafor, and Ann Leckie? Shouldn’t I just sit down and shut up? Aren’t I actually the worst?

And it occurs to me that I would feel far less anger and confusion if one single person had calmly and without rancor said to me: “Hey, last year was a clusterfuck all around. This year we’re trying to put all that behind us and do a straight recommendation list. That’s all that’s going on.” But instead, it was the same instant name-calling and attacks that went down last time.

So I spent the night trying to get my thoughts in order on this. Because, yes, if you strip away all the context of the Sad Puppies campaigns, it’s just a recommendation list, and I was happy enough to be on the Locus List (which doesn’t ask permission), so I should simply be joyful that people liked Speak Easy enough to recommend others take a look at it. A recommendation list, as we have been saying all along, is not a slate.

But you can’t strip away the context. Context is content. Context is everything.

I promised last year not to allow my name on any slate, for any reason, in perpetuity. Which means that if SP4 is, somehow, a slate, it would be hypocritical of me to shrug and say I’m cool with it just because my name happens to be on it. This is where I get stuck, because I feel there is a moral morass here. Call me old-fashioned: when I give my word, it still means something to me. This puts me in an incredibly difficult position, from which there is no easy extrication.

The problem is, I spent a year listening to how the Puppies are Master Strategists. You can’t blame me for doing a Perception Roll and looking for traps. And that is my fear. That, with apologies to Admiral Akbar, it’s a trap.

I don’t want to be anyone’s shield. I want any nomination to be about my work and my work alone. I don’t want to be used to add legitimacy to a slate, I don’t want to be used to whitewash the history of a movement that, at the very minimum, has behaved poorly and rudely toward a large number of people, including me, my loved ones, and my colleagues. I don’t want to be fodder for a “we all know the first five are the real slate” strategy. I don’t want to be used as a gotcha!, forced to withdraw in order to keep my moral house in order and make room for more works along the lines of “Safe Space as Rape Room” and “Sad Puppies Bite Back” or remain on the list and force a conversation about No Awarding so that the Puppies can watch the people they targeted last year get No Awarded or call us all hypocrites at large for not doing it–victory declared at any result.

I don’t want to be used. Hashtag Not Your Shield. I want my work to be my work, and that’s it. If I get nominated, I want to know it happened fairly. That it was only about people liking my work.

And maybe, just maybe, that’s what’s happening. They seem to have done everything people said they should do to make it a recommendation list and not a slate. It’s democratic, it’s open, there are either more or less than five recs for every slot. The Rabid Puppy list has almost nothing in common with the Sad Puppy list.

But it’s absurd to get angry at someone for thinking there might be something more to it. After all the talk about manipulation and strategy, all the insults flung and accusations levied, this is the result. It is hard to trust. And it is impossible to just pull the tablecloth out from under the Sad Puppies and leave the flowers and the silver still standing. The Puppies are a political group. They specifically did what they did last year to make “SJW heads explode.” Members have engaged in racists, homophobic, and sexist rhetoric. They have stated that the last several years of Hugos, during which I won and was nominated, were a lie and a farce, only existing due to affirmative action.

But many members did not engage in that rhetoric. The relationship between Sad and Rabid was always fluid, strange, and half-obscured. Many people simply wanted more populist work on the ballot, and they had every right to want that. Every right to have their voice heard–just not to the exclusion of all other voices. No group is monolithic.

But the Sad Puppy name is inextricably entwined with that history. Remember why the Puppy was Sad in the first place. You can’t just separate that past and say it’s all fine now. You certainly can’t, as some have in messages to me, say there was never anything wrong with it and everyone else was evil. At least in terms of what I’ve seen on social media in the last 24 hours, Puppies still want to fight, still want to accuse, still don’t want to say anything in the ball park of “Hey, it’s not like that” and explain things in a non-inflammatory way. This worries me. This makes me think about Admiral Akbar.

So what do I do? Honestly, I still don’t know. My stomach hurts. At the moment, it really does look like people just liked my book. Anyone could recommend something, after all. Locus doesn’t need my permission and neither does anyone else, so requiring it from the Puppies alone, as long as it is not a slate, would be strange. I’ve been on some WEIRD rec lists in my time, I tell you what. And I will absolutely not dismiss readers because of the URL where their desires are expressed.

It all comes down to whether this recommendation list is a list or a slate.

Right now, it doesn’t look like a slate. Right now, it looks like a list complied by people with extremely wide-ranging tastes and interests. Right now, I’m inclined to try to mend fences across fandom in whatever little way I can by giving them the benefit of the doubt that this is all in good faith–because I want to be given the benefit of the doubt that I act in good faith. So for right now, that’s what I’m going to do. I am going to believe in the better angels of our–and Puppy–nature. I’m going to choose to believe that they looked at the thousand suggestions of ways to recommend books that would not run afoul of the spirit of the Hugos and adjusted their methods accordingly. I’m going to choose to believe that the political rhetoric of the Puppy movement is a thing of the past, and from here on out, it will be about what each and every one of us said it should be about–good books. Nothing else.

If this changes, if all that ugliness comes roaring back and it becomes about something other than the content of books, I will change my mind and very quickly. But for right now, I have to try to believe that things can get better. This is my Pollyanna moment. I sincerely hope I don’t regret it.

If you take anything away from all of this it should be merely that Hugo nominations close on March 31st. Nominate what you love, don’t think about anything else. Love is all that matters, in the end.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-03-01 09:15 am

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Book of Your Own Making

The last book in the Fairyland series, The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home, comes out today.

And I’ll be talking about my book a lot over the next week while I tour the eastern half of the country. Doing the authorial dance, trying to talk people into buying this funny orange thing with a wyvern on the cover. You know the drill by now–if you like the book, tell people about it. Any way you can. That’s really all there is to it.

But I wanted to take a minute out of the publicity waltz to say something with all my heart.

Thank you.

Thank you to everyone who made this book real. Everyone who read Palimpsest and asked where they could find that Fairyland book I mentioned. Everyone who read and linked and donated when Fairyland was just a baby story, posted on this website every Monday. Everyone who fell in love with September and Ell and Saturday and wanted the best for them. Everyone who has ever bought a copy, come to a reading, sent me a note telling me how much the stories meant to them. Everyone who ever brought me coffee or a cross-stitch or a necklace or a hug. My family and my friends and my readers, who are both.

You are my Green Wind and my Leopard of Little Breezes. You took me to Fairyland. Gratitude doesn’t begin to cover it.

 

Fairyland is the real and true piece of magic in my life. It has made everything else possible. I am beyond lucky to have spent these years with September and with you. Nothing is the same as it was before the Green Wind came to that little girl’s window. I owe my whole life to those who have believed in me and my stories, to you.

I say it’s the last book in the series. But I would be shocked if I never return to this world I love so much. This is September’s story finishing–but never really finishing. Nothing ever does, you know. The curtain closes but the play never even slows down. Fairyland doesn’t stop. She just catnaps.

I hope to continue writing for a long time yet, and hopefully I’ll manage to make something else half as wonderful as a Wyverary. I hope to meet every single one of you, somehow. I’ve got a good fifty or sixty years left. It’s doable.

But in the meantime–thank you. Thank you for reading, for caring, for loving, for dreaming along with me. For being the magic in Fairyland.

 

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-03-01 12:29 am

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way HomeIt’s that time, friends. We’ve come to September’s last adventure in Fairyland – as of March 1, 2016, you can purchase The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home wherever books are sold!

All the lost Queens and Kings of Fairyland are back, and there’s to be a race to decide who gets the crown (and all attendant duties). All of our friends are back as well – our best wyverary A-Through-L, the dear Marid Saturday, the changelings Hawthorne and Tamburlaine, and, of course, the wombat Blunderbuss and the gramophone Scratch. September’s parents are even invited to this last mad dash through the wonders of Fairyland!

All they’re waiting for is you.

Before reading this last Fairyland novel, be sure to check out the prequel story “The Girl Who Ruled Fairyland — For a Little While,” courtesy of Tor.com.

We also have a press kit that you can download – it even includes a bookmark-making activity! Bookstore having an event? Parent with a need for an afternoon diversion? Download the PDF here: Press kit for The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home.

(To download: right-click the download link above and choose “Save link as…” to save the file to your computer.)

Be sure to share all your thoughts and excitement over The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home on social media using the official hashtag: #LastFairyland. We can’t wait to see what you think!

And be sure to follow CMV on tour – her first stop’s in Lexington, KY at Joseph-Beth Booksellers on Tuesday, March 1. There will be a Velocipede Migration (bring your bike!), a costume contest, scavenger hunt, and more! You can find the rest of her tour dates on her Appearances page.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-01-18 09:55 pm

Exclusive Fairyland Chapter at EW!

The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way HomeHello, friends of Fairyland! The last volume of September’s adventures in Fairyland will be coming to a bookstore (or device!) near you on March 1st. I know that may seem like too soon to say goodbye to September, Saturday, A-Through-L, Hawthorne, Tamerlaine, or any of the other friends we’ve made over the years… But I also recognize the eager and wicked gleam in your eye, wanting to take just one peek behind the cover before the official release.

Well, you’re in luck! Entertainment Weekly has scored an exclusive excerpt from The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home. Click on the link below to read the first chapter:

Read an excerpt from Catherynne Valente’s final Fairyland novel.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2016-01-04 05:15 pm

The Way of the Tinder Warrior

You know, I’ve gotten away from long form blogging in the last few years. Gotten used to saying what I need to say in 140 characters or less. But sometimes, the Internet gives you a thing so beautiful, so perfect, so precious, that you just have to stretch out on your online yoga mat and get ready to hold your goddamned warrior pose.

Today, I am going to translate this essay from Think Piece to English for you. As far as I can tell, it is written by a woman, from the point of view of a hypothetical man, in first person, to a different hypothetical lonely heart woman. It’s some kind of online dating profile Inception. It’s the distilled essence of a hundred thousand Marilyn Monroe quotations on Tinder mated with a million dudes who can’t handle you at your worst but also cannot handle Taco Bell’s dollar menu.

Are you ready for some football weird quasi-medieval unrealistic dating advice?

To my sweet wild woman, I know why it hasn’t worked out with anyone else—you don’t need a man, but a goddamn warrior.

Your previous relationships have not been successful because you have refrained from dating members of the active military and/or domestic abusers. Bad female! No biscuit.

You are the strength of Turkish coffee at sunrise, darlin’, and don’t try to pretend that you’re not. You are one of the wild ones, and no matter how you tried to hide that fact, you can’t be anything other than what you are—and that’s okay. 

You taste like the bin at a cigar club and have severe insomnia. Also no one can stand to be around you due to diagnosed Severe Manic Pixie Dream Girlism and probably all those one-martini lunches to prove to yourself that you’re “one of the wild ones” while working in a mid-level PR firm. AM I DOING NEGGING RIGHT?

You are just as you are supposed to be, magnificently wild in all of your chaotic beauty.

Your make-up skills could use some work.

I know you’ve had your heart broken and I know that you don’t understand why it always seems to never work out, but I’ve finally figured it out:

You don’t need a man, you need a goddamn warrior.

I KNOW WHY YOUR RELATIONSHIPS DON’T WORK OUT IT IS BECAUSE THEY WERE NOT RELATIONSHIPS WITH ME.

P.S. I am not a warrior by any definition of the word.

It doesn’t matter if this warrior drives a Jeep or a shiny sports car, and it won’t matter if he wears silk or cotton—it will not even matter if he works in a high-rise, or on the night shift.

This is an excellent deal for “the warrior.” The Warrior doesn’t need a job, a car, or even a shirt. Unlike all those non-warrior suckers you’ve been dating. You’re one of the wild ones! Wild ones like dates to the Hostess aisle at the convenience store, right? ETHAN HAWKE REALITY BITES IS MY FAVORITE FICTIONAL CHARACTER.

What is going to matter is that when it comes to taking bets on your heart, he is going to be high stakes—all the way.

I am definitely going to stalk you. Like, before, during, and after any interaction we have. I will uncomfortably over-commit on every level. Coffee or tea? COFFEE IS THE ONLY BEVERAGE TEA IS FOR COMMUNISTS. BOOM. I AM A WARRIOR.

Also, when it comes to taking bets on your heart, I would put all your money on “This guy played Vampire: The Masquerade way too much in the 90s and seriously thinks his spirit animal is a “lone wolf.” Someday I will find him on all fours in my kitchen snarling at my pug over a piece of bacon that fell off the counter.”

This warrior of yours will crave your strength, and your intensity. He’s going to look at you and not see something to tame, but something to just fuckin’ admire.

Whoa, whoa, whoa, who brought up taming? It’s like we all went to a nice dinner party together and this guy brought a live antelope. What’s the matter, you SQUARES? Don’t you like my fuckin’ antelope? Only losers refuse to acknowledge where their food comes from! Look at your goddamned jello salad! What’s that, Jeanine? SOUP? Jesus Christ, just get a knife out of the drawer and do what I do! This will bond us all together as an IT Department, I swear.

Also, the warrior drops his g’s because g’s are the wussiest letter. Fuck G’s, man!

This warrior of yours won’t be someone that you can manipulate or play with as you have in the past, so honey, don’t even try—and trust me, you’re going to love him even more because of it.

He is a Men’s Rights Activist and active Redditor.

Because you aren’t just a woman, you’re a goddamn goddess.

Let’s just take a minute to admire “goddamned” as an adjective modifying “goddess.”

Pretty much the only way I can make sense of this is: “You are a super terrible goddess who really pissed off your Olympian co-workers and will definitely not be invited to Secret Santa this year. GOD, Jeanine!”

Your fierceness is going to bring him to his knees every single time he looks into your gorgeous eyes 

This is going to make going to the movies super awkward. Every time he accidentally looks you in the eye he will fall to his knees uncontrollably, and probably uncontrollably weeping, while the kid shoveling popcorn stares, open-mouthed, silently praying for death.

But the difference is, unlike the others, he isn’t going to be scared off. 

By looking you in the eye. SUPER WARRIOR TIME.

No, this time, you will have finally met your match—because a simple man for you just won’t do. You need someone to match the fire in your eyes with his own. Not only that, my little wild thing, but this warrior of yours is going to want to encourage the flames instead of trying to douse them with his own insecurities.

But he will definitely be the kind of condescending XBox Live poweruser who calls you “my little wild thing.” Nope, no insecurities there! His wildness is WARRIOR STRONG ROAR YES. Yours is adorable. He will encourage you to commit arson without trying to douse your flames with nagging bullshit like: “That’s not your house” or “Help I am on fire.”

Because for you, a warrior is the only man who will ever live in the wild with you.

The Warrior is homeless.

He may not have to slay any dragons to earn your love, but he would still walk through fire if it meant seeing that amazing smile that you hold in reserve for only him.

NO SMILING AT ANYONE ELSE. SMILES ARE ONLY FOR THE WARRIOR. HE EARNED THOSE SMILES! BY NOT SLAYING DRAGONS AND NOT CALLING YOU BACK!

This is the thing, free spirit, this warrior you seek….he’s seeking you too.

The Warrior swipes right on everyone, just in case.

For he’s had failed relationships that have left him wondering if maybe he was meant to be alone for the rest of his journey

The Warrior is an MGTOW.

…and you’re going to change all of that for him. You both have been travelling along on your separate journeys and have been doing an okay job at it, but that about to change too.

THAT’S RIGHT, LADIES! YOU CAN CHANGE HIM! Good thing we’re still running datingin1955.exe You’re gonna FIX him! It always works out!

Because baby, when you and this warrior of yours meet and collide—it’s going to be a love set on fire.

This is not your house. Help, I am on fire.

Don’t try to run this time—I know your heart has been broken before, and that you’re not used to things working out, but this time it’s different. Give yourself time to see that.

*Jabba tongue* You will learn to appreciate me. Don’t try to run. No, seriously. The yard is full of mines.

This warrior of yours needs to see that it’s possible for someone to see all of his wild, and still be there when he craves his freedom and ventures off into this world for a bit. 

He normally lives in a timeshare in an alternate dimension where the Loch Ness Monster rules Britain with gentle benevolence. He just saunters by every once in awhile to do laundry and post to his blog.

You won’t always need to follow him, just as he won’t always follow you. 

You will lose each other in shopping malls for weeks at a time.

Let yourself stay wild, even when all you want to do is curl up in that spot along his side and forget the rest of the world exists.

He is a Tauntaun. Curl up in that spot along his side and keep warm.

Let yourself still wander naked under the full moon

Don’t do that.

Drink moonshine with the stars. 

Stars will burn you to death and also they have been sober for one million days so fucking have a little respect, lady.

Let yourself feel the pull of the wind on your heart

The Warrior has sacrificed you on a pyramid of skulls because that is the only way you can feel the blue-corn moon pull of the wind on your still-beating heart.

…and the sun toward a new journey. Because this warrior is going to love you because of your wild—and he’ll want you to keep it.

Swipe left on grammar.

Also the Warrior gets to decide which of your personality traits you get to keep! The others he will BATTLE TO THE DEATH.

You’ll be in this together now, this amazing, crazy, chaotic, wonderfully heartbreaking life

Wait, what? I did not order the heartbreaking life. I want the other one.

Because it takes a warrior to love a goddess. And it takes a goddess to show a warrior what real love is.

Look, the Warrior. You’re like 35. If you don’t know what real love is yet, this whole Red Sonja schtick isn’t gonna help. At best you are a Thumb Warrior, so settle down.

So pack up your insecurities and your ideas about picket fences

We will not be able to afford a home with you supporting me ha ha.

Because that was never you anyway. You were born knowing that you were destined for more, and now is the time for you to see what all those dreams look like.

More = the Warrior. Your dreams look like the Warrior. Your destiny is a dude with facial tattoos and an extensive vinyl collection. That’s it. Not painting or writing or politics or coding. Just this guy right here. Aw, yeah.

There is no stopping a love like this, so promise me you’ll hold out just a little bit longer.

There is no stopping the Warrior. Consent is funny! Love means never getting to say no! WARRIOR.

Have a little bit of hope, and always give love just one more try, because I promise you my sweet wild woman—the love that you seek is seeking you as well.

The call is coming from inside the house.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2015-12-24 03:16 pm

Christmas Cracker 2015

For the last couple of years, we’ve been doing a little audio surprise around Christmas time, which we call our Christmas Cracker. In lieu of thousands of holiday cards, it’s a gift from our house to all of you.

This year, actor Heath Miller and I recorded the Callowhale PSA from Radiance in all it’s 1930s glory! Listen here.

Our last Cracker was a recording of my story 25 Facts About Santa Claus, which you can still listen to here.

Happy holidays to everyone!

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2015-11-18 10:23 am

End of the Year Awards Eligibility Post

I usually wait until January 1st to post this, but it all seems to be happening a little early this year, so I will bump up my Annual Obligatory Awards Eligibility Post.

As a note, no matter the nonsense tossed about like the world’s worst and slimiest beach ball by the Puppies last year, I believe in the value of authors posting what they have that’s eligible and will keep doing it. I am so often reminded of a story or book that I had forgotten about by such posts. There’s simply too much out there to keep up with on one’s own. So without further throat-clearing, here’s what I did in 2015.

Novel

Radiance

The Boy Who Lost Fairyland (eligible for the Andre Norton Award as well as Best Novel in Nebula World)

Novella

Speak Easy

Novelette

The Long Goodnight of Violet Wild

Short Story

Planet Lion
The Lily and the Horn

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2015-10-20 09:24 am

Happy Birthday, Radiance! (With Exciting Presents!)

You may have heard a distant rumor that I have a book coming out today–well, it is rumor no longer, but gorgeous, tentacled, decopunk TRUTH.

Radiance is wild and woolly and brand new and in the world today!

I’m so excited and biting my nails and can’t believe it’s really out–a book seven years in the making, that began with a Clarkesworld short story and somehow turned into a big fat novel full of everything that lives in my heart. I’ve been saying for years that Radiance is a decopunk alt-history Hollywood space opera mystery thriller with space whales–well, now you can find out what the hell all that means.

If you are the kind of blessed, beautiful soul who is inclined to help out authors with novels in swaddling clothes, there’s lots you can do. Obviously, you know, buy the book so that I can continue to heat my house which is full of cantankerous carnivorous animals. Online or in bookstores, ebook or in print. Leave reviews on Amazon or Goodreads or what have you–people often think these don’t matter but they do, enormously. Come to my readings over the next couple of weeks for I am touring the nation (each stop is themed after a different planet!) and may come somewhat near you! (Big splashy flapper launch party at WORD Bookstore in Brooklyn tonight, Seattle at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park on Thursday, Powell’s at Cedar Hills Crossing in Portland, OR Friday, The Last Bookstore in LA on Saturday!) And spread the word.

In fact, if you do spread the word, I have something pretty cool waiting in the wings.

Any time over the next week (ending Wednesday October 28th), if you post, tweet, Instagram, or leave a review (positive or negative! You can hate the thing, it’s okay!) about Radiance, you’ll be entered in a drawing to win Mr. Bergamot and his stack of books. Who is Mr. Bergamot? Well, he’s this fine fellow:

FullSizeRender (1)

 

IMG_7526In the world of Radiance, Mr. Bergamot, the gentleman octopus, was the star of Percival Unck’s first series of children’s films, beginning with The Majestic Mystery of Mr. Bergamot in 1924. Unck is the most powerful filmmaker on the Moon, and he made the Bergamot movies for his mostly unimpressed daughter, Severin, who would one day grow up and disappear on Venus. Mr. Bergamot is in black and white, naturally, as he never made the transition to color. He is also quite a beefy fellow, coming in at 24 inches tall, including tentacles and top hat. He enjoys long slithers on the beach, horrors from beyond the depths of space, comforting lost children, and signed limited editions–along with Mr. Bergamot you’ll get signed and personalized copies of Radiance, Speak Easy, The Boy Who Lost Fairyland, and the rare hardcover of The Bread We Eat in Dreams.

How do you let me know you’ve entered the drawing? Use @catvalente or #Radiancenovel on Twitter, tag me on Facebook or Instagram, or leave a link in the comments to this entry.

Also, you can listen to the INCREDIBLE audiobook, read by Heath Miller, who has turned the book into a veritable radio play of voices, songs, and assorted pyrotechnics. (It’ll be out on Audible in a day or two.)

And that’s all! Here are excerpts, an interview or two, and here are places where you can get a copy of my funny intimate little tale about silent films, space whales, and the end of the universe for yourself.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2015-08-19 02:18 pm

My Worldcon Schedule!

Here are the places where I will be doing things at Sasquan over the weekend. Come to some of them! Also I will have a copy of Radiance and a copy of Speak Easy to give away to lucky attenders of my first reading on Thursday. (Yes, I have two readings! One is for kids and one is for grown-ups but you can come/bring either to either.)

Improv Acting for Kids

Thursday 15:00 – 15:45, 207 (CC)

Improv with the best

Reading – Catherynne Valente

Thursday 16:30 – 17:00, 301 (CC)

Exploring Orientation and Gender in Fiction

Thursday 20:00 – 20:45, Bays 111B (CC)

Fiction has evolved from presenting all characters born with a specific gender and sexual orientation to presenting a broad spectrum of genders and sexual orientations.  What are some of the early works to explore these areas? Who are some of the best authors exploring them now?  Does the gender/orientation of the author matter?

Stroll with the Stars

Friday 09:00 – 09:45, Breezeway/Statue (CC)

Signing

Friday 14:00-14:45 Exhibit Hall B

The Future of Video Games

Saturday 13:00 – 13:45, 401C (CC)

Video games continue to evolve in many ways: sophistication, emersion of the player, story telling, graphics, and platforms, to name just a few.  What’s next in the evolution of video games.

Fantasy Tales

Saturday 14:00 – 14:45, 206BCD (CC)

A special reading for children and children in big bodies–bring cookies and stuffed animals and curl up for an afternoon story!

Kaffee Klatche – Catherynne M. Valente

Saturday 17:00 – 17:45, 202A-KK1 (CC)

Fanwriting from Twiltone to Facebook: Zines, Blogs, Social Media — What’s the Diff?

Sunday 14:00 – 14:45, Bays 111C (CC)

From fandom’s earliest days, fen have written to one other. We write about our favorite sf, chronicle the cons we go to, gossip about clubs and the fans we know and detail what’s happening in our lives. Fanwriting began with letters to prozines and then evolved into styles suitable for fanzines and apas. Now, we have blogs and social media. Is there any real difference in the fanwriting? Does one medium require more discipline or skill? Is one more revealing or more relevant? Which generates the most egoboo (positive feedback)?

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.

catvalente: (pic#941394)
2015-08-10 12:26 pm

The Ecstasy of Pre-Orders, the Agony of Not Having a Book Right This Very Second

Hello, everyone! It is summer in Maine, which means sticky air, sticky food, and sticky brains. I’m getting ready to go to Worldcon in Spokane next week and working on a million and four projects, as well as hiding from the heat, watching The Wire in an improbably short amount of time, and chasing my German Shepherd with a furminator brush because apparently she thinks gently plucking a single loose hair from her constantly shedding body is tantamount to murder.

I’m also Guest of Honor at Bubonicon in New Mexico the week after Worldcon, so I hope to see lots of you in the very near future!

Lastly, should you be into the whole pre-ordering thing, you should know that at this very moment you can pre-order my new novella, Speak Easy, which is a very loose retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses involving Zelda Fitzgerald, prohibition, the Ansonia Building, a giant pelican, and Al Capone as the King of the Fairies. AND you can pre-order my newest adult novel, Radiance, which has been pushed back to October 20th. That would be my decopunk alt-history Hollywood pulp SF space opera mystery with space whales and silent movies. It also has a totally amazing cover.

ALSO, Saga Press is reprinting Six-Gun Snow White in a beautiful illustrated edition in November! Good lord, this year is gonna break my bookshelf.

I’ll be touring for Radiance in the fall, and again in the spring for the final book in the Fairyland series, The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home (which, coincidentally, is also available for pre-order). It is a busy time for this sleepy creature.

SO MANY PRE-ORDERS. And I will get to see so many people so soon! GO GO LAST THIRD OF 2015 OH GOD HOW DID THE YEAR GET TO BE THIS FAR ALONG THIS FAST.

Mirrored from cmv.com. Also appearing on @LJ and @DW. Read anywhere, comment anywhere.