Hi, there! I am trying out Charlie's testbed for the first time. Here's some text. In a moment, I hope to include a link. So, here is a link So far, so good. Next up, an image, like this one.Elisha Mancer front cover.jpg and now, to see how it looks. Wish me luck!

In order to test my ability to post, this is a short scene which got cut out of book three and is unlikely to be put back in.

image Something I noticed recently while wearing my (completely invisible but highly attractive) writing teacher chapeau is that the welter of SF subgenres and categories of fiction generally are terra incognita to a fair number of newer writers.

I’m okay with this. We begin as readers and viewers, after all. Many people coming into my UCLA courses are curious about speculative fiction. They aren't necessarily book-collecting, con-going, award-nominating fans. They've watched a fair chunk of genre TV and film offerings; they're up on the MCU, they can tell a spaceship from a unicorn and they even usually know which is the fantasy construct. They might have read a certain amount of fiction within their one or two favorite genres, or at least have read Harry Potter and his ilk to their kids.

A. M. Dellamonica

Hi, everyone! My name is Alyx and I'll be posting the occasional note here over the next few weeks, because Charlie was kind enough to hand me the mic. I thought I'd start with a long, musing whimsical thing about mincing subgenres and the nature of ecofantasy, because my upcoming book A Daughter of No Nation lies within that particular subgenre--when it's not passing for portal fantasy or a pirate story or crime fiction with magic.

Sadly, the opening of that essay is wayyyy too stuffy, at present, and needs to be beaten with a sack of oranges. Don't worry, I'll fix it before you see it. Anyway, I should introduce myself first, right?

So--official details: I'm in Toronto, I have gobs of stories out along with the four ecofantasy novels, the first two of which, Indigo Springs and Blue Magic, are chock fulla magically mutated animals, magical objects and queer folk. Seriously. I mention this last because a) I have the exceptional good fortune to be incredibly gay married to author Kelly Robson; b) my most recent book, Child of a Hidden Sea, was to my utter delight and astonishment nominated for a Lambda Award this year. The above-mentioned A Daughter of No Nation is its sequel. There will be a third; its current title is The Nature of a Pirate.

I do all the social media things, of course: Twitter, Instagram, Book of Face, Pinterest, all under the name alyxdellamonica.

Unofficially, here are five random medium-known facts about me:
  1. The last four albums I bought were by Charlie Brand, Lord Huron, Corb Lund, and The Kills. The one before that was the Across the Universe soundtrack.
  2. In person, I have a severe case of potty mouth and tend to use the Effbomb, as it's charmingly euphemized by the parents of preschoolers, in place of a comma.
  3. I will alwaysAlwaysALWAYS click on the kitten video. Even if I was the one who uploaded it.
  4. I will never click on the current news story, unless it is about climate change or other green stuff. I am not following the U.S. election. That war? No clue. Worrying too much about the state of the world, you see, makes it impossible for me to write. (I did try following the recent Canadian election and that was bearable, on a par with eating cold polenta because it let you get through a particularly trying day without having to cook, but I don't think it's an experiment I'll repeat anytime soon.)
  5. Perhaps as evidenced by the polenta comment, I have occasionally been accused of committing surrealism.
  6. I am, nevertheless, a kick-ass story doctor and teacher.
  7. I am easily distracted. If you hate the idea of an ecofantasy essay, wave something shiny under my nose, preferably in the form of a question.
  8. It's possible that counting to five may not be my strong suit.
Put another way, I'm happy to be here and look forward to talking to you all!




OK trying to see how this works so I don't screw up.

O for a muse of fire that would...

Fuck it, forget the muse. Let's have the fire. Lots of it. Spewing from the pulsating nozzle of my plasma pistol.

O for a muse of fire that would... Fuck it, forget the muse. Let's have the fire. Lots of it. Spewing from the pulsating nozzle of my plasma pistol.

Now watch me try to test this one to...

I wanted to post a picture of my cat and call it 'I am your new overlord' but couldn't find a picture of the cat, which is a disturbing thought. This is the only picture I could quickly find:

schrodinger's equation Small Web view.jpg

Testing testing, nothing to see here. Lorem ipsum blah thingumy etc etc.

I am not Charlie. Nor am I the very model of a modern major general. (As anybody who has ever heard me sing or seen me dance can attest.)

Even the update lacks patter.

No matter how many 'graphs I add, it's unlikely they'll ever contain patter.

And so it goes.

What happens when I paste from a document? Let's see:

(Jon Ronson touches on the Uri Geller connection in his novel The Men Who Stare at Goats. Said novel being an entertaining story of The First Earth Battalion, itself another unfortunate foray by the military and intelligence world into the paranormal. First Earth and Stargate are siblings, I think, grown from some of the same seeds and peripherally sharing some of the same characters.)

A couple years ago, a good friend of mine named Sondra took me to a rally track for the first time. (She was close friends with the track owner.) She asked him to use her boyfriend’s Porsche to show me the basics of rally racing. The track owner drove slowly at first, explaining as he went. Once I was familiar enough with the track and the basics of rally driving, he warned me that things might get scary and then let loose. Being a bit of an adrenaline addict, I couldn’t do anything but laugh. It was the best thing EVER. When we were done Sondra handed me the keys and said, “Have a great time.” Me being me, I couldn’t bring myself to go over 50mph. I was terrified I’d wreck it, you see. So, I took it around the track a few times and then tried to hand over the keys. Sondra folded her arms across her chest. “Oh, no you don't. I said drive it. I was watching. You didn’t drive," she said. "I don’t want to see you back here until you fucking drive that thing.” I told her that I’d lived in houses that had cost as much as that car. She still wouldn’t take the keys back. “Have you seen Jack drive?” She knew I’d seen him slide off the track into the dirt and up a hill sideways at least once. However, I told her it’s Jack’s car. He can wreck it if he wants to. I can't replace it. She just grinned at me. “Jack loaned that Porsche to his 16 year-old niece last month, Stina. I promise you won’t do anything to it she didn’t do already.” And with that, I drove.

I have to say, I’ve been a big fan of Charlie’s work since my husband handed me a copy of The Atrocity Archives. And I’m trying very hard right now not to feel as if Mo has just handed me her violin and told me to play a scale...


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