Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pirates and more pirates!

“Papa, are you going to blow them out of the water? Will you put burning fuses in your hair like Blackbeard to scare them?”
Fuller looked down at the tyke, then back at his captain.
“I told you reading Captain Johnson to her was a bad idea.”
--The Pirate's Secret Baby, March 2014

This month's Smithsonian Magazine features an excellent cover story on Blackbeard by renowned pirate scholar Colin Woodard. 2014 is shaping up to be a good year for all things piratical. Last night was the premier of Black Sails on Starz, which had some real pirate history along with the nekkid ladies and violence we've come to expect from cable productions. Later this year NBC will offer Crossbones, starring John Malkovich as Blackbeard and using Woodard's The Republic of Pirates as its source.

And, of course, the very best news of all is the publication of Darlene Marshall's The Pirate's Secret Baby in March. You'll be hearing more about this as the release date nears.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Review--The Story Guy

The Story GuyThe Story Guy by Mary Ann Rivers
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A quirky and different novella, and I really enjoyed it. It's about taking chances, and moving out of your comfort zone, and sacrifice.

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Monday, January 13, 2014

My Boskone 51 Schedule

Here's my schedule for Boskone 51. There aren't many occasions that would lure me out of sunny Florida to Boston in February, but this will be my 11th year at one of my favorite science fiction conventions. Good program items, good friends, and I always come away from it with new ideas and information.

Where you see an (M) next to my name, I'm the moderator of that panel.

Bleeding Hearts
Friday 18:00 - 18:50
A Valentine's Day panel about romance in science fiction, fantasy, and horror. What are some of our great love stories for the ages? What stories turned out to be tragedies -- or worse? Panelists will discuss how love can turn a character’s world upside-down.
Darlene Marshall (M) , Ellen Asher, Leigh Perry, Steve Miller

Reading -- Darlene Marshall
Saturday 14:00 - 14:25

Reduced William Shakespeare Star Wars Reading
Saturday 21:15 - 22:45
A reading of Ian Doescher's Shakespearian Star Wars mashup with droids, heroes, heroines, villains -- and rhyming couplets. Abridged and directed by Laurie Mann.
Laurie Mann (M) , Darlene Marshall, Bob Kuhn, David Palumbo, Kate Baker, Bruce Coville , Mary Crowell, Jane Yolen, David G. Grubbs

Humor in SF
Sunday 10:00 - 10:50
Comedy is hard. Trying to write humorously in science fiction, fantasy, or horror takes iron nerve but a light touch. You run risks ranging from committing self-parody to simply (horribly) falling flat. How can it be done skillfully (situations, characters, plot, etc.)? Who’s writing funny right now?
Janice Gelb (M), Darlene Marshall, Ian Randal Strock, Jennifer Pelland, Bruce Coville

Wicked Good Villains!
Sunday 13:00 - 13:50
A look at the awesome antagonists who make their stories come alive. What makes a good bad guy or girl? From Maleficent to Sauron, magic-wielding villains have been a staple of the fantasy tradition. But what makes them tick? Why do we find them so compelling? And when do they cross over the wicked good line to join the best villains in fantasy literature?
Daniel P. Dern (M), Myke Cole, Darlene Marshall, Rosemary Kirstein, Scott Lynch

Writers on Writing: Sex Versus Romance
Sunday 14:00 - 14:50
Writers share their ideas and experiences on the difference between writing sex and writing romance. How do you do it? It is difficult? How much should you reveal? How do you distinguish between the two? And does that line between the two shift from YA to adult novels, or between male and female protagonists?
Darlene Marshall (M), Charlaine Harris, Nancy Holder, Anna Davis

Friday, January 10, 2014

Review--Carry On, Mr. Bowditch

Carry On, Mr. BowditchCarry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent seafaring novel for young readers. I'm keeping this copy to pass along to one of the youngsters I tutor in reading. Who knows? Maybe she'll grow up to write novels about pirates!

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