View From a Hotel Window 4/26/17: San Francisco

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/04/26/view-from-a-hotel-window-42617-san-francisco/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=29412

Behold, the penultimate hotel window view for this tour! It’s also the view from the highest floor (I think). Hello, San Francisco.

Tonight! If you’re in Santa Cruz, come see Cory and me at the Santa Cruz High Theater at 7, sponsored by Bookshop Santa Cruz. It’ll be my first time in Santa Cruz ever. I’m very excited.

Tomorrow! Borderlands Books here in San Francisco! That’ll be at 6. Come see us there if you’re in the Bay Area.

It’s coming to a close, this tour. It’s been great so far, but I’ll be happy to be home soon.


The Big Idea: Maurice Broaddus

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/04/25/the-big-idea-maurice-broaddus-2/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=29410

April has been light on Big Idea posts because I’m on tour (don’t worry, May’s gonna be packed), but let’s make sure we don’t get through this last week of the month without a fine piece of work for you to consider. Today: Maurice Broaddus brings you all the details on his new novella Buffal0 Soldier, including who the work is a love letter for.

MAURICE BROADDUS:

My novella, Buffalo Soldier–in fact the entire saga of its hero, Desmond Coke–is essentially one long love letter to my mother.

Growing up, my mother would take any opportunity to regale us with stories from her homeland of Jamaica. ANY opportunity: during family meals, before bedtime, Saturday mornings, during our favorite television shows (not hers though: she had what could only be described as an unhealthy fascination with the show, Hee Haw). She spun all manner of duppy (ghost) stories, even a long running tale of the duppy that haunted our family (which, as it turned out, was the spirit of her grandmother looking out for us).

For some reason she still found it surprising that I grew up to be a writer.

One of the genres I fell in love with was steampunk. Yet many times whenever I read steampunk stories, with their Victorian ethos and imperialist bent, I usually ended up wondering where the black folks were. All of my steamfunk stories (a term for steampunk stories seen through an Afrocentric lens), beginning with “Pimp My Airship,” all take place in the same universe, one where America lost the Revolutionary War and remained a colony of Albion. And my stories follow what some of the black folks might be up to.

My mother has since retired to Jamaica. During one of her visits here, she began telling me about her trip to a part of the island, governed by the Maroon people, only open once a year to outsiders. The British weren’t able to conquer them, so they had agreed allow the Maroon to have a separate government, and the British would colonize the rest of the island. I grew fascinated with the idea of a Maroon-run Jamaica and started playing with the alt-history repercussions of them totally keeping the British out of Jamaica. Leaving the island in control of its resources, its culture, its wealth, and its technology.

Of course Jamaica would become a superpower. Because, well, that’s what my mom would want.

In this Jamaica, undercover agent, Desmond Coke, gets drawn into a web of political intrigue when he stumbles across a young boy, Lij Tafari. As it turns out, Lij is a clone of Haile Selassie, a messiah figure to the Rastafarians, who the government plans to raise as their puppet to control the people. Desmond frees the boy and goes on the run. This is where the story of Buffalo Soldier begins.

In Buffalo Soldier, Desmond Coke and Lij are chased through the nation state of Tejas and into the First Nations territory. As they hide from Jamaican intelligence, they are pursued by business and political interests. As they search for a place to call home, Desmond tells Lij stories. The heart of the novella is about the power of story and how it helps us create a sense of home wherever we go.

Plus shoot outs, giant robots, assassins, and sword fights because that’s what else my mom would want.

Well … probably.

—-

Buffalo Soldier: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. Visit the author’s site. Follow him on Twitter.


Checking In on Monday

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/04/24/checking-in-on-monday/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=29408

O hai, Whatever readers! Here’s me and Cory Doctorow just hanging out, as we do.

For those of you in the LA area, remember that he and I are going to be a Vroman’s Bookstore in Pasadena tomorrow at 7pm, talking about our new books and life, the universe, and everything. And then on Wednesday, we’ll do it again at Bookshop Santa Cruz! And then on Thursday, we’ll do it YET AGAIN at Borderlands books in San Francisco! We got a thing going, is what I’m saying, and you can be part of it, if you want.

Otherwise: Hey, how’s it going?


View From a Hotel Window, 4/21/17: Los Angeles

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/04/21/view-from-a-hotel-window-42117-los-angeles/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=29406

Look, it’s LA, being LA. 

I’m here for a few days! I get to catch up on my sleep! Wheee!

No event today, but tomorrow I am signing books at the Mysterious Galaxy booth at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books (3pm-4pm booth 368), and then on Sunday at 1:30, Cory Doctorow and I talk about life, the universe and everything, also at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books. Come to the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books! And see me! And also, you know. Other authors too, I guess.


View From a Hotel Window, 4/20/17: San Diego

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/04/20/view-from-a-hotel-window-42017-san-diego/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=29404

Parking lot in there. Just barely.

Tonight: San Diego! Mysterious Galaxy bookstore! 7pm! Be there or be somewhere else!

Tomorrow: Nothing! I have a travel day and a break. BUT Saturday and Sunday I’ll be at the LA Times Festival of Books. I’m signing at the Mysterious Galaxy booth an Saturday at 3, and on Sunday have a panel with Cory Doctorow, followed by another signing. Come see us!


View From a Hotel Window, 4/19/17: Seattle

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/04/19/view-from-a-hotel-window-41917-seattle/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=29402

Not a parking lot, but there is street parking, so that maybe counts?

Tonight: I’m at University Temple United Methodist Church for an event sponsored by the University Bookstore (if memory serves the church is across the street from the bookstore). That’s at 7. Come see me then (but remember it’s a ticketed event)!

Tomorrow: I’m all the down in San Diego for an event at another of my favorite bookstores, Mysterious Galaxy. Also at 7. See you soon, San Diego!


View From a Hotel Window 4/18/17: Aurora, CO

http://whatever.scalzi.com/2017/04/18/view-from-a-hotel-window-41817-aurora-co/

http://whatever.scalzi.com/?p=29400

That’s almost the Platonic ideal of the hotel parking lot photo.

Tonight: I’m visiting Boulder for the first time ever! My event is at the Boulder Bookstore at 7:30. Hope to see you there if you’re in the area!

Tomorrow: Seattle — one of my favorite stops — and University Bookstore (actually it will be at the University Temple United Methodist Church). Remember this is a ticketed event, so if you still need tickets (they admit two people each), you can still get them here.


Reader Request Week 2017 Wrapup