Writing Update, 7/25

Writing Update pic
How’s It Going?
Eh.

Well, Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is out of Amazon pre-pub review jail. I needed to remove a couple stories and I’ve since restructured it. I rewrote the pertinent intro materials, but now I’m not totally satisfied with the formatting (unrelated to the restructuring). So, I’m sitting on it for the moment.

I did reformat Bounded in a Nutshell, my anthology of short fiction. I’m really pleased with how it looks now. (And I realize now that I hadn’t “finished” the publishing process last night and my changes aren’t live. That might be my current state summed up in, well, a nutshell.) [Edit: But it’s updated now! If you want to toss a dollar my way for some (hopefully) entertaining fiction: Bounded in a Nutshell @ Amazon.]

I’m going to hit all our current books with formatting updates. Next up: Luck for Hire.

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Writing Update, 7/11

Writing Update pic
How’s It Going?
Or rather, “Hey, Katherine, wasn’t some sort of anthology that you edited supposed to come out last week or something? What’s up with that?”

Reader, it’s been a rough couple of weeks…

Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is stuck in Amazon review jail. This is a good deal my fault. I don’t want to go into the whole story; I haven’t decided what the ultimate fate of the book is. This happened after I completely reformatted the manuscript in one day due to a problem with an embedded image. (These things are unrelated.)

But I’ve learned two things:

  1. Publishing public domain works through Amazon might be more work than it’s worth.
  2. I rather enjoy formatting ebooks. Maybe something should/will come of that.

So, I spent last week moping, building a palazzo in Minecraft, and deciding what to do next. I need to get back to work.

But it’s such nice place to hang out while my ms is in review jail.
(Created with Lord of the Rings Minecraft mod.)

Writing Update, 6/26

Writing Update pic
How’s It Going?
Good! I’m set to publish Our Past in the Uncanny Valley by Monday. Why Monday? July 2nd is the anniversary of its inception. The idea of an anthology of automata fiction came during a WesterCon panel on Victorian sci-fi. And below is the cover and table of contents:

“The Sand-man” by E. T. A. Hoffmann
“Automatons” by E. T. A. Hoffmann
“Maelzel’s Chess-Player” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Man that Was Used Up” by Edgar Allan Poe
“The Artist of the Beautiful” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
“The Bell Tower” by Herman Melville
“The Automaton of Dobello” by H. D. Jenkins
“The Mullenville Mystery” by Julian Hawthorne
“In Love with an Automaton” by anonymous
“The Ablest Man in the World” by Edward Page Mitchell
“The Artificial Man: A Semi-Scientific Story” by Don Quichotte
“The Automatic Maid-of-All-Work” by M. L. Campbell
“Ely’s Automatic Housemaid” by Elizabeth W. Bellamy
“Mr. Corndropper’s Hired Man” by W. M. Stannard
“The Dancing Partner” by Jerome K. Jerome
“The Automaton Lady” by E. E. Kellett
“Moxon’s Master” by Ambrose Bierce
“Mr. Broadbent’s Information” by Henry A. Hering
“How I Won the Derby” by E. E. Kellett

About This WIP

Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is a collection of automaton stories from 1810-1910. From E. T. A. Hoffmann’s nightmarish Olimpia to the enigma of the mechanical chess-playing Turk to a plethora of humorous later-century robot maids, these stories show that our current fears about artificial intelligences aren’t new at all.

Anything Else?

I’m also working on the second Entangled Tome. Entangled Tomes will feature newly formatted versions of lost classics and curated anthologies of works from the 19th and early 20th centuries. The first is Our Past in the Uncanny Valley. The second will be a reformatting of “Mephisto” the Marvellous Automaton which is a pamphlet about a chess-playing automaton—that isn’t the Turk.

Mephisto is putting me though my paces, formatting-wise, with images and tables and all sort of things. This is the first book I’m doing from the beginning in HTML. I’m enjoying the challenge.

Five Word Story Challenge

Balsamo
Balsalmo, from John Gaughan’s collection, Photo courtesy Michael Carbonaro

Lori @ Betwined Reads tagged me a couple weeks ago for this fun little writing challenge. I meant to get it done last week in place of my Wednesday writing update, but I’m not the best at keeping to a blogging schedule. Witness! this will be a Tuesday post.

The “Rules”

  • Thank the person who tagged you.
  • Close your eyes, open to random pages, and point your finger on a random word in the last book you have read. Articles do not count.
  • Repeat the above rule 5 times.
  • List the 5 random words you have.
  • Create a 5 sentence flash fiction using your 5 random words. Each sentence must contain at least one word from your list. You can change the tense of the word as needed.
  • Tag 3 people.

The Stuff

Thanks, Lori!

Okay, I actually picked my words last week from the book I had just finished:  The Doctor and the Kid by Mike Resnick.

The Doctor and the Kid (Weird West Tales, #2)

My words: twisted, strange, justified, credibility, always.

My five sentences:

While the mainstay of his magic act was a talking skull, she had never thought of him as particularly twisted. Oh, sure, he was a little strange. Geniuses were justified in their eccentricities. But the contents of his workshop certainly lent some…credibility…to his reputation.

“He knows to always give any audience what they want,” grinned the skull.

My five sentences are somewhat inspired by the source material and the stories of automata that I’ve been reading and editing, but are mostly me reverting to a fanciful version of Joseffy and his marvelous creations, subjects I haven’t written about in a while.

I am terrible at tagging people. If you’re a writer, take some time out to do this exercise. It’s fun! And if you’re a reader, give it go too. Stories are everywhere!

Writing Update, 5/23


How’s It Going?
It’s going pretty well.

All the stories for Our Past in the Uncanny Valley are formatted. The introductory matter is drafted. Acknowledgements are done.

What’s left:

  • Front matter
  • Additional back matter
  • Table of contents
  • Introductions need to be polished and proofed.
  • Ticky-tack pass on the story formatting.
  • Finalize the cover.

That’s still quite a list, but I have decided on a release date: July 2nd. That’s the year anniversary of the WesterCon panel that inspired the anthology.

About This WIP
Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is a collection of automaton stories from 1810-1910. From the E. T. A. Hoffmann’s nightmarish Olimpia to the enigma of the mechanical chess-playing Turk to the plethora of humorous later-century robot maids, these stories show that our current fears about artificial intelligences aren’t new at all.

 

Writing Update, 4/11

Our Past in the Uncanny Valley

How’s It Going?
I’ve ended up with 19 stories by 16 different authors. I finished formatting the stories on Saturday. A good thing too because by about Thursday of last week I had completely run out of formatting juice. I worked on the cover a little last week for a break.

This week: I’ve gathered biographical materials. I’ll start writing introductions of some sort tomorrow.

About This WIP
Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is a collection of automaton stories from 1810-1910. From the E. T. A. Hoffmann’s nightmarish Olimpia to the enigma of the mechanical chess-playing Turk to the plethora of humorous later-century robot maids, these stories show that our current fears about artificial intelligences aren’t new at all.

Wicked Witch, Retired

Wait, you’ve been working on this?
I miss Kelvaro and Agatha and Orther and Hanna and, yes, Horatio the mechanical duck. I’ve been brainstorming some more specific endings during my morning writings. Which got me thinking about some of the narrative’s current weaknesses. So, I’m going to work my way through The Story Toolkit and see if I can tighten up WWR‘s saggy bits.

About This WIP
Wicked Witch, Retired is the sort-of sequel to a flash story I wrote, “Wicked Witch for Hire,” which is currently available in the anthology Bounded in a Nutshell.

Writing Update, 3/28


How’s It Going?
It’s going well. I’ve done my first cull of stories I want to include in Our Past in the Uncanny Valley. I’m left with 19 stories which fall into roughly eight thematic periods. I’ve already formatted six of the stories. I’m still thinking about what I want to do for introductions. I also have a bit of supplementary reading that I’d like to do.

I’m going to do Camp NaNoWriMo in April in an effort to get at least the manuscript formatted by the end of April.

About This WIP
Our Past in the Uncanny Valley is a collection of automaton stories from 1810-1910. From the E. T. A. Hoffmann’s nightmarish Olimpia to the enigma of the mechanical chess-playing Turk and the plethora of humorous later-century robot maids, these stories show that our current fears about artificial intelligences—especially human-looking ones—aren’t that new at all.