Stone of Remembrance

September 30, 2008

Albacon Schedule

Filed under: A Song In Stone, Commentary, Travel, Writing — admin @ 20:56

I’ll be attending Albacon during Columbus Day Weekend. Here’s my tentative schedule:

Saturday, October 11

  • 1 PM: “Write What You Know” or “Use What You Know When You Write”? with Butler, Arthen, Pamela Sargent, Jennifer Dunne, and K.T. Pinto.
  • 3 PM: Autographing, with Sharon Lee and Steve Miller.
  • 5 PM: Why Write? with K.A. Laity, Sandy Grotta, Ryk E. Spoor, Carl Frederick, and Eric Flint..

There will also be a Song In Stone prelaunch event sometime Saturday night. I should know more by next week and will update this post.

Sunday, October 12

  • 10.30 AM: Reading.
  • 12:00 PM: Believable Evil, with Debra Doyle, Joshua Palmatier, David Sklar, Ryk E. Spoor, and Patricia Bray.
  • 2 PM: The Role of the Afterlife In Fantasy Fiction, with Melissa Mead, David Sklar, Joshua Palmatier, Brilliant.

See you there!

Update October 5: We’ve learned that Anne McCaffrey will not be in attendance at Albacon, due to ill health. This is a major disappointment for the convention (and for me – I’ve never met the grand lady, and don’t know when there will be another chance. I will be there in any case, and will make the best of it.

September 29, 2008

Walter Hunt Author Newsletter, Volume 5, Issue 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — admin @ 20:42

September, 2008

Welcome to the third issue of my mailing list newsletter for 2008, intended to provide you with information about my work, my website www.walterhunt.com, and my activities and appearances.

Books Update

The Dark Wing is now in its fourth printing in paperback.

The Dark Wing is out of print from Tor Books at present.

It has also appeared in Russian language and is available at Ozon and Books.ru. Thanks to vorchun for passing this information on to me.

The Dark Wing is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Die Dunkle Schwinge”, and can be ordered from amazon.de.

The Dark Path is now in its second printing in paperback.

The Dark Path is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Der Dunkle Pfad”, and can be ordered from amazon.de.

The Dark Ascent is out in mass-market paperback.

The Dark Ascent is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Der Dunkle Stern”, and can be ordered from amazon.de.

The Dark Crusade is out in mass-market paperback.

The Dark Crusade is now out in Taschenbuch-Format (paperback) in Germany under the title “Der Dunkle Kreuzzug”. It can be ordered from amazon.de.

A Song In Stone will appear in hardcover in November 2008.


A Song In Stone can be preordered from amazon.com.

Madness In Harmony has been postponed indefinitely.

I would like to be talking about this upcoming book, but it has lost its “upcoming” status. I cannot provide more information except to note my disappointment. I still hope to bring it to my readers sometime soon; in the meanwhile it remains on the shelf at Wizards of the Coast.

The Website

By the time this newsletter appears, we will have given walterhunt.com a major facelift. In addition to reviews and a revised bookstore and reading list, there’s some new content that may interest you. Still no guest book: it got so heavily spammed that we haven’t been able to bring one back online. But please take a look at the new stuff. There’ll be more on the way.

What’s Been Happening

Since the last newsletter I’ve been to Denver Worldcon, which was a blast, as I reported on the blog. I’ve also been to Bangor, Maine for BangPop, which was huge fun.

Over the course of the last month, I have been working on some short(er) fiction. This is the direct fault of my old buddy Lawrence Schoen and my new buddy Howard Tayler. We got to talking at Worldcon, late at night in the SFWA suite, about the structure and presentation of stories from the short to the novella length, and I offered the idea that I might like to do something in my alternate history timeline using Andrew Jackson. Schoen, the literatus that he is, mistook Andrew Jackson for Stonewall Jackson, thus seeming to validate an offered comment that alternate-history stories do best when they don’t impose too much prior knowledge on the reader (because, you know, caring about the history is a fetish of the author and not the reader – and sometimes s/he can’t tell that it’s alternate history because s/he doesn’t know the period). After looking at the draft, Howard told me not to worry – it’s clearly alt-hist from the first page. I was sufficiently enthusiastic that I went and wrote another one, even longer, set in the same milieu, and I have yet a third story in my head. I hope to have them all ready by Philcon.

I’d like to make particular mention of the recent sad death of my former Tor editor, Brian Thomsen. See this blog entry for details on it.

I’m still looking into the possibility of releasing a podcast version of Sword and Sun, but that project is in a preliminary stage. I’ll keep you informed of progress through the newsletter and on the blog.

My blog also shows the current top ten games in my Boardgamegeek collection; I’ve gone through the process of entering it into the Geek – it’s fairly accurate now and in excess of 600 games. We have been playing Race For The Galaxy a lot as well as Agricola, which finally arrived in August.

Projects in the Dark Wing Universe

We’re still on hiatus, and my creative energies have been focused elsewhere. Still, I appreciate the mail I receive – especially when folks say, “where’s the next book?” I have to answer that it’s in the hands of Tor Books to decide, but that I’ve not abandoned it. Thank you for all of your support and input. I’ve added some of those comments – without attributions – on the main web site. Thank you all for your support.

I’m looking into the possibility of releasing a podcast version of Sword and Sun, but that project is in a preliminary stage. I’ll keep you informed of progress through the newsletter and on the blog.

A Song In Stone

“A Song In Stone”, my new novel to be published in November 2008, begins with a premise that was suggested by the guide who showed me Rosslyn Chapel. This structure, a confection of sculpture and artistry, is an unfinished part of a larger church originally built in the fifteenth century. It has fascinated historians and mystics for centuries; it is even the final location in “The DaVinci Code”. When my guide showed it to me, he pointed to a part of the interior and told me that the sculpture there was a complex, undecoded piece of music. The light went on . . . and now it’s a novel. The majority of the book is set in Middle Ages France and Spain, and (among other things) reveals the linkage between Gothic architecture and polyphonic music. I believe that it is a significant piece of writing for me, worthy of my readers.

Here’s the final cover blurb:

Friday the 13th of October 1307: a fateful day for the powerful Order of the Temple. Arrested by the King of France, betrayed by the Holy Father, the Templars will cease to exist. And Ian Graham, twenty-first century television personality, has just found himself in 1307 – and an initiate of the Order.

He has ten weeks to escape death or torture – if he can find his way home.

A Song in Stone begins with the premise that Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland is part of an unfinished larger church – and that it contains a mystery, one clue of which is found in the intricate stonework of the chapel. It goes from there to the Middle Ages, taking Ian Graham, currently-unemployed television personality, with it, literally, as he tries to learn the chapel’s secret before it is too late to return to his own time, his own life.

The Colonial Project

This has come to the top of the list. More information on the background on the main site. Your entree into this world may be through shorter fiction, some of which is already written.

Upcoming Appearances

2008

I have been invited to Albacon at the Crowne Plaza City Center in Albany, New York, October 10-12, 2008. My good friend Wombat offered to help with a launch party – though the book will still be three weeks away. My publisher has offered to have some ARCs available, and Anne McCaffrey will be Guest of Honor: how cool is that?

I will be on Hour of the Wolf on Pacifica Radio in New York City on November 8. Really excited about the opportunity to sit down with Jim Freund to do this program.

I will be at Philcon at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, November 21-23, 2008. This is a few weeks after the publication of A Song In Stone. (I proposed to my wife in Cherry Hill in July 1981, on the morning we found out our rental car had been stolen. Fond memories indeed.)

2009

I will be the Author Guest of Honor at Arisia in January 2009. I’m already up on the 2009 Arisia website – I’m really looking forward to it.

I will be the International Guest of Honor at Dortcon in Dortmund, Germany in March 2009. This invitation was something of a surprise, but since my books are out in German (and I speak the language), it should be a good con for me. Hope some of my German fans (which I do seem to have!) will come.

Montréal won the 2009 bid during the Worldcon in Yokahama. We will be in attendance, as we presupported the bid.

Worldcon Bids

I need to sell a lot of books to be able to attend the proposed Australia Worldcon in 2010, but would really like to go. This bid will be stepping it up at regional conventions, and I expect that there’ll be some competition on planet. We’ll see.

According to Chaz Baden’s page there are two announced bids for 2011 – Seattle, which announced some time ago, and Reno (which was announced at BayCon when I was there last month.) We have presupported both bids.

There is only one bid announced for 2012, Chicago (as I reported on my blog several months ago.) There is a bid in the works for somewhere in Texas in 2013, but it doesn’t have a web site yet. At LA Con I recall seeing a table for a Worldcon bid for Washington, DC for 2010 or later, but can’t find any information on it.

Yahoo Mailing List

Some local fans have set up a Yahoo mailing list for my writing. As I say at public appearances – you can ask any question you like (just be prepared for me to answer as I please.) I hope you’ll join the list and be a part of an interactive discussion.

What I’m Reading

I read the Economist, a weekly news magazine. You should too.

As reported earlier, I’ve just joined the jury for the Philip K. Dick Award, which makes me a Dick Judge. So I’ll be reading quite a lot over the next several months.

Because research never sleeps, my most current read is biographies: one of Dorothea, Princess Lieven, and another two of Martin Van Buren. In speculative fiction, my favorite recent read is a submission for the Dick Award, so I’ll comment on it in a later newsletter.

Final Thoughts

Thanks to everyone for their continued encouragement and support. Having a chance to write professionally means I get to do what I truly love, and I hope you will always feel that your confidence in me is well-placed. Keep reading, and keep in touch.

Feel free to forward this to anyone who might be interested.

Content © 2008, Walter H. Hunt.

September 27, 2008

Brian M. Thomsen

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 10:37

On a somber note, the publishing world lost a fine man a few days ago. My Tor editor Brian Thomsen died suddenly. His memorial service was yesterday. I could not attend but passed my condolences to his family. He was 48, which gives all of us who are older than 48 pause, and probably doesn’t do much for people younger than 48 either.

(Note: this was originally included in another post with other stuff. I decided that Brian deserved better than that.)

This is Tor’s obituary.

This is the obit on Locus Magazine.

The Nielsen-Hayden’s blog has a wonderful set of tributes to Brian.

Kris Rusch also had a nice tribute. Her thoughts are similar to mine – though we didn’t always view my writing the same way, Brian was always a great person to talk to and be with. We had lunch in New York four or five years ago; we ate Thai and talked about books.

I looked for a good picture of Brian online. Not to be found. I’ll remember his written word and his voice anyway.

September 26, 2008

Quick Update, Cool Map

Filed under: A Song In Stone, Commentary, Travel, Writing — admin @ 22:17

We’ve been busy trying to revise the web site. There’ll be a newer look shortly, and more information on current and future projects. In the meanwhile we’re just a few weeks away from A Song In Stone. Here’s the new cover:

It will not be out for Albacon, but there will be a pre-launch party there – details to follow.

Check out this map:


I’m in Soda Nation. How about you?

We actually used to be Tonic Nation. I remember that from when I was a kid – as I tell my daughter, the earth was cooling then, and dinosaurs roamed the open plain.

Newsletter will be out before Albacon, probably on the site itself with a link there from here.

September 21, 2008

Cranking Out An Answer

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 23:33

Well, my buddy Chris has broken through again. Here’s something I’d never heard of: the Curta mechanical calculator, first invented in 1938 and perfected after its inventor was freed from Buchenwald. There’s a cool page about these things, and even a VRML simulator that shows it in action.

We live in the age of electronic calculators that more or less render these things irrelevant, short of an EMP, but I suspect we’d be doing things other than playing with mechanical calculators if we got hit with one of those.

Still, very cool. Steampunkers take notice.

September 17, 2008

Star Trek Meets Monty Python

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 16:49

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luVjkTEIoJc&hl=en&fs=1]

I always knew there was some commonality there.

BangPop Good.

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 13:48

So my brief jaunt to Maine for BangPop! went very well. It was more enthusiastic than slick – after seven years of conventions, I’ve seen everything from college-based cons to Worldcons, and it was none of those, but it was a nice job by Gibran Graham and the BangPop! committee.


With The Master of Ceremonies (note he’s holding some of my books!)

There were a lot of comic-book vendors, artists and fans on hand, but I felt more at home than I might have done. First, my work (and that of fellow writers Mark Sehestedt, Joe Hill, Kristen Britain, Alex Irvine and Mark LaFlamme) generated lots of interest.

The programming was very light, and the participants seemed to be mostly unaccustomed to doing things that have become part of my life – particularly panels. With characteristic lack of inhibition, I jumped in and appointed myself moderator of the one panel we did (about writing genre fiction). Everyone got to talk, and everyone had interesting things to say. I think it went very well.

I really enjoyed shooting the breeze with Mark LaFlamme, who was on hand along with the guy who was photographed for the cover (and title role) in his new novel Dirt. LaFlamme is a baseball fan – specifically, a Kansas City Royals fan – and that means he knows about pain and suffering. In his day job he’s a crime journalist in Lewiston, Maine, so he knows about weird and depressing ***t as well. But at BangPop! he was just having fun.


Just Havin’ Fun.

I will be glad to come up to BangPop! again if possible, and I hope there’s more programming next year. Good job by the organizers.

Update September 17. One of the things that happens when writers meet is that they swap books. LaFlamme and I gave each other a signed copy of a book – I got his new one Dirt, mentioned above. I starting reading it Monday night and finished it this afternoon. There are some issues with technique and style – which, as I mentioned in the panel we did at BangPop, sometimes get ironed out when you write more and more – but it’s a great story, with compelling aspects and surprises right up to the end. I liked it a lot and recommend it to you. I look forward to my next LaFlamme read.

Star Wars Parodied, and TV Tropes

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 07:56

Because I don’t already have enough stuff that wastes my time, I was recently introduced to Darths and Droids, which does for Star Wars what DM of the Rings did for Tolkien. It’s just as silly, and at times unbelievably funny, particularly when the PCs use their techie knowledge to manipulate the GM into letting them do all kinds of crazy stuff, and when they (frequently) offer absurd definitions for words they don’t know (reminiscent of this scene in the aforementioned saga). So, check it out.

Which leads me to this site, often referenced by Darths & Droids, which contains a vast amount of information about tropes used in movies, anime, and even video games. For instance, I didn’t know that Toblerone was a trope. I always thought it was a tasty treat.

September 12, 2008

Is This Necessary?

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 07:22

Now, come on – is this necessary? Especially at Harvard University, Mr. Obama’s alma mater. You can dislike Mrs. Palin (many do); you can doubt her ability, or qualifications, to be Vice-President (as opposed to doubting Mr. Obama’s ability, or qualifications, to be President); you can oppose her stands on social, fiscal, or political issues. But – depicting her as Miss Piggy?

It’s good to see that the high-minded left will stop at nothing to insult the narrow-minded right.

September 11, 2008

September 11

Filed under: Commentary — admin @ 00:20

Seven years have elapsed since the most frightening day in my adult life. I have not forgotten; I have not succumbed to foolish conspiracy theories. I still believe that this was a vicious, unprovoked, evil deed by the enemies of our country and our society, whose punishment will come – at our hands, or at others’.

Ground Zero remains an expensive construction site; the field in Pennsylvania has become a battleground for competing interests, instead of a fit remembrance and a monument to selfless heroism. Only outside the Pentagon is there a proper memorial – 184 benches bearing the names of those that died that day. But we must not forget the people who died that day, as victims of this foul act or as public servants who tried to rescue them.

Those who wish to call themselves true and patriotic Americans will never forget. Enemies of the United States should keep in mind that Americans have a long memory.

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