Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert, among others. The post is called “A Very Personal Post About Word Processing” and it’s . . . well, I was having some fun. I hope you enjoy it.

Today’s post can be found at http://www.sfnovelists.com, the group blog on speculative fiction that I maintain along with a group of over one hundred published authors of fantasy and science fiction.  The post is called “A Good Day,” and it’s about enjoying what we do.  I hope you enjoy it.

A Post About Book Contracts

September 20, 2010

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, Stuart Jaffe, and Edmund Schubert,  among others. The post is called “Writing Your Book, part XIII: Anatomy of a Contract” and it’s a detailed breakdown of what you might find in a typical book contract. I hope you enjoy it.

Breaking Waves:  An Anthology for Gulf Coast ReliefI am happy to announce that my short story, “The Christmas Count,” which first appeared at the SciFiction site in 2005, has been reprinted in a new online anthology.  The anthology is called Breaking Waves:  An Anthology for Gulf Coast Relief, and it’s edited by Phyllis Irene Radford and Tiffany Trent.  Best of all, all proceeds from sales of the anthology, which costs only $4.99 in epub, .pdf, mobi, and prc formats, will be donated to the Gulf Coast Oil Spill Fund of the Greater New Orleans Foundation.  The anthology is being sold by Book View Cafe.  It features stories, poems, essays, and photography by a diverse roster of writers, including Ursula K. LeGuin, Vonda N. McIntyre, David D. Levine, Laura Ann Gilman, Rachel Carson, Judith Tarr, and many others.

So get yourself a copy.  It’s for a good cause.

A Political Obituary

September 15, 2010

“Republican Party Dead at Age 156:  Party of Lincoln Succumbs to Palinitis After Lengthy Battle for Soul”

After last night’s primary results, a part of me truly expected to see a headline of this sort in this morning’s newspaper.  For those of you who haven’t yet heard the news, Tea Party activist Christine O’Donnell has apparently won the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Delaware, completing a remarkable run of Tea Party insurgencies that had already toppled party establishment candidates in several states, including Kentucky, Nevada, Alaska, and Florida.  That Joe Miller, Rand Paul, Mark Rubio, and Sharron Angle are actually in position to claim seats in the United States Senate is enough to boggle the mind.  But as far as I’m concerned, the victory of Christine O’Donnell over Mike Castle in the Delaware race truly signals the end of the GOP as we know it.

Mike Castle has served the people of Delaware for more than two decades.  In a state that revels in its small-scale retail politics, Castle was nearly as much of an icon as Vice President Joe Biden.  He was first elected to the State Assembly in 1966, served as Lieutenant Governor and then Governor during the 1980s and early 1990s, and has represented the state in the U.S. House of Representatives since 1993, making him the longest serving Congressman in Delaware’s history.  As Delaware has trended more and more toward the Democratic Party (the state used to be a bellweather, voting with the winner of every Presidential election between 1948 and 1996; but it has become a reliably blue state since then), Castle has remained one of its most popular politicians.  When he announced that he would give up his House seat to run for Joe Biden’s Senate seat this year, everyone assumed that he would coast to victory in the primaries and the general election.

But Tea Party activism and Sarah Palin’s late endorsement lifted Christine O’Donnell to a surprising victory last night, confounding those expectations.  Who is O’Donnell?  Well, she’s a young, telegenic, Christian fundamentalist, who has been accused by one of her former campaign managers of misusing campaign funds for personal expenses.  More to the point, she is utterly out of step with rank and file voters in Delaware on most major issues.  And really this is the point.

The decision Delaware’s Republican voters made last night defies explanation.  Before last night, Republicans still had a chance to win back control of the Senate, and Mike Castle was a key player in their strategy.  He was as close to a sure win as the GOP had in any Blue state.  O’Donnell, on the other hand, has virtually no chance of winning the general election.  But Castle is one of the last of a dying breed.  He is a moderate Republican.  And we know how Tea party activists feel about them.  O’Donnell’s defeat of Castle was a triumph of ideological purity over political pragmatism, a vote for political confrontation and continued gridlock, and a rejection of responsible governance.

As a partisan Democrat, I welcome O’Donnell’s victory.  She will be beaten in November.  Mark Rubio will, I believe, lose the three-way race in Florida.  Rand Paul may well lose the Kentucky race, which should have been a lock for Republicans, and Sharron Angle may well lose to Harry Reid in Nevada, in another race that should have been an easy GOP win.  The partisan in me celebrates every Tea Party win, because each one improves the chances of Democrat success in November.  But as an American, and a believer in the two party system, I find the implosion of the Republican Party alarming.

Don’t get me wrong.  I look forward to seeing the Democrats ascendant for the next generation or two.  But American democracy works best when there are two viable, big-tent parties governing in Washington.  Right now there is only one.  I am sometimes driven up the wall by so-called moderate Democrats — the Blanche Lincolns and Mary Landrieuxs and Ben Nelsons — who vote against the party line almost as often as they vote with it.  But I recognize that by making themselves the big-tent party, the Democrats have positioned themselves for decades of electoral success. But while Democrats have expanded their base, conservative activists in the GOP have purged the party of nearly all its moderates.  Mike Castle might be the last of them, and after last night, he’s through.  Once upon a time the party was home to some truly great public servants — Everett Dirksen and Margaret Chase Smith, Howard Baker and Mark Hatfield, Lowell Weicker, Nancy Kassebaum, and Chuck Hagel.  These were men and women who were willing to set aside partisanship in order to pass meaningful legislation.  They were pragmatists rather than ideologues.  Today, they would have no home in the GOP.  I probably wouldn’t have voted for them, but I always respected them, and I respected many of their more conservative colleagues, who were also willing to work with political opponents in order to get things done.

I’m not saying that Republicans won’t do well in November.  No doubt they’ll take back handfuls of House seats, perhaps enough to put the Speaker’s gavel in John Boehner’s hand for a couple of years.  And they’ll cut into the Democratic Senate majority.  Going forward they’ll have a few good election cycles; they’ll still win the Presidency now and again.  But by embracing the Tea Party, by allowing themselves to be hijacked by Sarah Palin and her followers, they have limited themselves ideologically, racially, socially, and electorally.  Between 1896 and 1928, the Democrats won two Presidential elections (Woodrow Wilson’s election and reelection).  Two out of nine.  Between 1932 and 1964, Republicans won two elections (Eisenhower’s two victories).  Two out of nine.  Between 1968 and 2004, Democrats won three elections (Carter, Clinton twice).  Three out of ten.

This is what the Republicans have in store for the next generation.  They are about to embark on a long, tortuous trek through the political wilderness, and they have no one to blame but themselves.

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, and Stuart Jaffe, among others. The post is called “Writing Your Book, part XII: Stepping Into the Business” and it’s about the business realities of trying to sell your first novel. I hope you enjoy it.

A Fun Post for Labor Day

September 6, 2010

Today’s post can be found at http://magicalwords.net, the group blog on the business and craft of writing fantasy that I maintain with fellow authors Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, A.J. Hartley, and Stuart Jaffe, among others. The post is called “Favorites: Some Labor Day Dun” and it’s about some of my favorite books, titles, villains, heroes, and more. I hope you enjoy it.

Seeds of Betrayal, by David B. Coe (Book II of Winds of the Forelands)As many of you know, Seeds of Betrayal, the second volume in my Winds of the Forelands series, briefly went out of print this summer.  Readers who were trying to get their hands on a paperback copy of the book contacted me and told me that new copies of the book were no longer available from bookstores and online sellers.  I, in turn, contacted my agent and editor and we talked to people at Tor.

Well, this story has a very happy ending.  Tor graciously agreed to put the book back in print and according to MPS, the distribution arm of MacMillan publishing, the book should be available for purchase in the next few days.  For more about the book and series, please visit my website — http://www.DavidBCoe.com.  If you know enough already and just want to buy the darn thing, go ahead and visit your local bookstore and favorite online seller.  You should be able to get your hands on it very soon.

Thanks to all of you for your patience and your help in alerting me to the problem in the first place.

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