Jean Marie Ward

fiction, nonfiction and all points in between

My first annual awards suggestion post

Tuesday, February 10th, 2015 | Author: jmward14 | anthology, jean marie ward, short stories, short story | Comments Off

Yeah, I’m late to the awards nomination party. Surprise! But if you’ve still got space on your Hugo or Nebula ballots–or are looking forward to the 2015 World Fantasy Awards–have I got some suggestions for you.

First the writing. This year I had three eligible stories published. How you classify them depends on the award, so I’ll give you all the relevant details. In ascending order of size, they are:

“The Wizard of Woodrow Park” published in The Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens (Zombies Need Brains, LLC)
Hunting for a rogue anthropologist, Aviann Special Agent Hreaak Meekram finds himself confronting a wizard.
(7,000 words)

“The Gap in the Fence” published in Athena’s Daughters (Silence in the Library Publishing)
Ten-year-old Ana will do anything to save her best friend’s dog–even challenge the fairies who live beyond “The Gap in the Fence”.
(9,600 words)

“Glass Transit” in Hellfire Lounge 4: Reflections of Evil (Bold Venture Press)
Bumbling sorcerers Eddie Woodhouse and Ducky “Duke” Orr get more than they bargain for when they leap from a magical bottle into the skies over Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 6, 1937.
(13,500 words)

And don’t forget all those anthologies are eligible for Best Anthology or Best Related Work, depending on the award. But honestly, one 2014 anthology knocks them and every other potential contender out of the park: Unconventional Fantasy, a celebration of 40 years of World Fantasy Cons published by the Baltimore Washington Area Worldcon Association.

Go ahead, accuse me of favoritism. I’m one of the editors, along with Peggy Rae Sapienza, Sam Lubell and Bill Campbell. But look at the stats.

The six (yep, six!) volumes of Unconventional Fantasy comprise over 250 short stories, essays and poems by best-selling, award-winning authors and amazing new talent. We’re talking writers like Neil Gaiman, Hideyuki Kikuchi, Guy Gavriel Kay, Patricia McKillip and Joyce Carol Oates. Then there’s the art. In addition to the catalogue of the Virgil Finlay exhibit hosted by World Fantasy Con 2014 and the fifty-image gallery of WFC 2014 Artist Guest of Honor Les Edwards, the collection features over two hundred images of artists from around the world–artists like Alicia Austin, Kathleen Jennings, Dr. Moro and Mahendra Singh. To cap it off, there’s a 100-image pictorial gallery of World Fantasy Cons past. Taken together it’s over 3,200 pages of text.

The anthology was formatted in PDF, MOBI and EPUB on a souvenir thumb drive given away (yep, as free!) to all members of WFC2014. As publications go, it was a very limited edition, but thanks to the generosity of our contributors, we just might be able to offer an electronic version to 2015 Worldcon and World Fantasy Con members if the collection makes it to the final awards ballots.

And if that’s not a reason to vote it on every major ballot, I don’t know what is.

Happy voting!

Posted 2 years, 3 months ago at 10:02 am.

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Ah, that new paint smell!

Saturday, June 14th, 2014 | Author: jmward14 | jean marie ward, jeanmarieward.com, short stories | Comments Off

Earlier this year, I got disgusted with the duplication of effort involved in maintaining a blog (which, I admit, I use more as a newsletter than a daily/weekly journal) and a “News” page on my website. Techno-dummy that I am, I wasn’t sure I could rectify the problem on my own. The header needed to be changed and that entailed reconstructing the accidental combination of typeface and format I blundered into three versions of image/photo software ago. But I did it–I did it!–without breaking the site.

Tonight’s blog is something of a shakedown cruise for the refreshed site. The basic organization remains the same. The pages don’t look noticeably different. But instead of the redundant “News” in the header, there’s a shiny new “Articles” tab, which links to my web-based nonfiction. At the moment you’ll find about fifty links to interviews on Buzzy Mag, a global link to Crescent Blues, and links to two YouTube features I did for personal research and entertainment.

My ultimate goal is to resurrect the articles I did for SciFi Weekly back in the day, and post them on the site. Whether I can will depend on the copyright status of the articles. Resolving that will involve buttonholing my former editor at a con, because naturally the program where the electronic contracts were stored crashed and wiped all the data. Lesson to remember, folks, paper is still god.

I’m also experimenting with a subscription button to provide email updates when I blog, but the first version I tried doesn’t appear to work. Obviously, this calls for more experimentation. I’ll let you know when it’s operational. Until then, you can try, but don’t expect the email they keep promising you. Mine has yet to arrive.

On a more writerly note, The Mammoth Book of Tales from the Vatican Vaults has accepted my equally mammoth retelling of the 1814 Burning of Washington, “Cooking up a Storm”. When I say “mammoth” I mean effing HUGE. I turned in over seventeen thousand words on a call for six. And, oh yeah, the editor and publisher are British, so of course, I made the Brits my villains. The saga of its acceptance is a textbook example of how not to get published. The only thing missing was the typo in the first paragraph (which I managed to do in another submission earlier this year–oops!) Needless to say there was much mad flailing and ecstatic happy dancing when the contract appeared in my inbox.

I’ll post more on the anthology as details become available. But for now just let me say I’ll be sharing page space with my good friends John Grant and Dave Hutchinson, as well as folks like Mary Gentle and Storm Constantine. Release is set for spring 2015.

As you might have gathered from the sidebar, I’ve got a lot of stories appearing in pixels and print this year. “District Coincidental” made it to the Akashic Books website in February. The link will take you to all 750 words of noir-ish goodness (badness? Who knows with noir?)

Hellfire Lounge 4: Reflections of Evil hit the stands at the end of May. In it you’ll find the latest adventures of Eddie “WOOD LOUSE!” Woodhouse and Ducky “Duc” Orr. The two hapless sorcerers were last seen at the bottom of a jinni’s bottle stinking of absinthe. “Glass Transit”, my story in HF4 tells the tale of how they escape that predicament only to land in a mirror on the Hindenburg on May 6, 1937. Oh the humanity! Oh, the teeny tiny excerpt!

Speaking of Eddie and Ducky, their first adventure (“Burning down the House” from Hellfire Lounge 3: Jinn Rummy) will be reprinted with added monkey and Tuckerization in Dance Like a Monkey, the charity anthology to support the inimitable C.J. Henderson during his cancer treatments. That anthology is scheduled for release in a month or two.

It should appear on the shelves about the same time as The Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, the first anthology from Zombies Need Brains, Joshua Palmatier’s new publishing venture. Joshua and Patricia Bray were the editors of The Modern Fae’s Guide to Surviving Humanity. They had so much fun with that anthology and After Hours: Tales from the Ur Bar they decided to create their own press to publish more.

My contribution to The Clockwork Universe, “The Wizard of Woodrow Park”, involved stuffing a sentient chicken into the head of a Daniel Craig clone and sending him after an anthropologist missing for seventeen years in a steam-powered world. I also punked out a Chihuahua. Imagine my consternation when I discovered people really are putting titanium crowns on the teeth of dogs attached to Special Forces teams. DUDES! I was trying for ABSURD! Though I suppose the secret agent chicken probably has that covered…

Finally, this entry would not be complete without mentioning Athena’s Daughters, the record-busting Kickstarter literary anthology. The anthology’s tag line is: Stories about strong women by strong women. To which I should add: Introduced and illustrated by strong women, too. Both the print and electronic versions are now available from Silence in the Library Publishing and should be available from online and bricks-and-mortar retailers soon.

Given the company–Mary Robinette Kowal, Sherwood Smith, Gail Z. Martin, Diana Peterfreund, Jean Rabe, Janine Spendlove and so many more–I can’t tell you how honored I was to be included. But it gets better. My story, “A Gap in the Fence”, closes the collection. I still can’t believe it. It’s a gentle story, but one that means a lot to me. I hope readers will feel the same.

That’s it for now. Happy reading!

Posted 2 years, 11 months ago at 8:05 pm.

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New Pinterest Boards & a Little Light Housekeeping

Saturday, August 17th, 2013 | Author: jmward14 | Blog, jean marie ward | Comments Off

The scene on the bridge

Eddie on the bridge...with Luftwaffe. Art by Edd Coutts.

Most of the summer has been spent writing and prepping for Dragon Con. But tonight I decided to take a break and add a couple new Pinterest Boards.

The first new board, Glass Transit, celebrates the latest adventure of Eddie Woodhouse and Ducky Orr. Our hapless sorcerers were last sighted being sucked into a bottle on the dance floor of Ducky’s club. “Glass Transit” recounts what happens next. Yes, the Hindenburg is involved. As you can see on the sidebar, the story will appear in Hellfire Lounge 4: Reflections of Evil sometime this fall.

“The Wizard of Woodward Park” is the tentative title of the story I’ll be working on when I return from Dragon Con. Here’s hoping it makes the cut for The Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens. I admit, I’m doing my best to stack the deck. The editors have this thing for Daniel Craig. Okay, I can write that–and enjoy the description while I’m at it.

Already on the page are my pins for “The Clockwork Nightingale”, the story for Gaslight and Grimm. Today I finally finished revisions on the draft–the 16,000-word draft. Oops! Now I have perfect faith my critique partner will slash it to ribbons, but that won’t make it shorter. Here’s hoping Danielle Ackley McPhail, the editor on the anthology wasn’t kidding when she said there was “No such thing as too long.”

Finally, you may have noticed that the Twitter widget in the sidebar isn’t working as advertised. I am tweeting several times a day at @Jean_Marie_Ward, and all the tweets are public, but the widget refuses to register the fact. I think it’s time for Twitter Widget and I to have a little talk.

We’ll see how that works out. Meanwhile, happy August!

Posted 3 years, 9 months ago at 11:29 pm.

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Picturespicturespictures!

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013 | Author: jmward14 | con photos, cons, conventions, cover art, jean marie ward, ravencon | Comments Off

I’m back, with a first look at Ben Fogletto’s amazing cover art for Hellfire Lounge 4: Reflections of Evil, coming in August to a bricks-and-mortar and online bookseller near you.

Hellfire Lounge 4 Painting

And if that weren’t enough, Edd Coutts has done a stunning job of capturing the moment when Eddie Woodhouse meets the Luftwaffe on the Hindenburg. Yep, “Glass Transit”, my contribution to the anthology, features Eddie and Ducky “Duke D’Or” Orr, everybody’s favorite hard luck sorcerers, on Nazi Germany’s biggest flying bomb. Don’t say you weren’t warned. ;-)

The scene on the bridge

And I’ve posted pictures of RavenCon! The short version can be found in my Thursday Thirteen for Beyond the Veil. But there’s more, lots more, on my Flickr page. Enjoy!

Posted 4 years ago at 12:59 pm.

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