Thursday, April 30th, 2009

Balticon, Here I Come…

It’s official! Today I received my final scheduling update for Balticon. I’m participating in four events:

  • A Rapid-Fire-Reading with Some Other Members of Broad Universe
  • “High Noon in Fantasyland” Panel (Did Fantasy Kill the Western?)
  • What is Social Media? Panel
  • Developing One-Liners to Pitch Your Book to Media Panel
  • I’m really looking forward to the Rapid Fire Reading. This is where I, and several other members of Broad Universe, get to read from something we’ve published or from works-in-progress. Because it’s “rapid fire,” the audience will hear only 5-7 minutes from each author. It gives several of us an opportunity to showcase our work and keeps listeners attentive because the subject matter changes frequently. All of the RFRs I’ve attended or participated in have played to packed rooms.

    At first I was leery about participated in the “High Noon” panel…but after doing a little research and giving myself a chance to think about it…I’ve decided I do have an opinion on the matter. I’m really looking forward to the discussion.

    I work with Social Media a lot with my day job — especially lately…but there are some very talented people on the panel who live and breathe by social media. It should be very informative for all who attend.

    The One-Liners panel should be very good, too. I’m hoping to learn as much during the panel as I’m able to contribute.

    Here’s my Balticon schedule. Click on the Index to poke around for more information….or go to the Balticon Home Page.

Thursday, April 30th, 2009

e-book Reading on the Rise

Dispelling Myths about e-books

I just came across a study about e-book usage in UK universities and it’s made me very excited, particularly because I’ve recently signed a contract with Eternal Press for my novella, Blood Soup, to be published in both print and e-format this September.

More than 48,000 people answered the 2-part survey, making it the world’s largest e-book survey. (Wow!)

Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) conducted the survey.

JISC “supports education and research by promoting innovation in new technologies.” (And I suspect sells textbooks, but I don’t know that for certain…)

According to their report (PDF), responses “point to a growing acceptance of e-books by the academic community, with both teaching staff and students making greater use of e-books…”

I realize that academic usage doesn’t often correlate to recreational usage of books, but I can’t help thinking that at least some of those university students reading their texts on-line, and enjoying the experience, will find themselves picking up other reading materials (read: fiction) in electronic format.

Some of the survey questions were general enough to relate to non-academic use:

Q: Do you use e-books?
  2008 2009 Index
Students in a JISC Discipline 63.2% 65.5% 103.6
All other Students 61.4% 64.2% 104.6
Teachers in a JISC Discipline 57.0% 63.5% 111.4
All other teachers 58.9% 64.9% 110.2

Also, according the survey, “well over one-third of students (42.2 percent) had consulted at least three eBook titles in the month prior to the survey.”

Here are a few other interesting findings:

  • Books were available 24/7, but were most often read at lunchtime. (The one o’clock hour showed the most usage at 9%.)
  • One-fifth (1/5) of all usage took place over the weekend.
  • Students spent more time reading (as opposed to browsing information) over the weekend.

Sounds like a lot of recreational reading! These students might have been reading text-books for school, but it seems to me like they’re also building their non-school e-book reading habits.

You can read more about the survey at the JISC National e-books observatory project.

Saturday, April 25th, 2009


I just got word that my story, On the Path, has been accepted for publication in the ParsecInk publication, Triangulation: Dark Glass.

The anthology coincides with Confluence, Pittsburgh’s Science Fiction convention, July 24-26, 2009, so even though I’ve had some earlier acceptances this year…this story will be in print the soonest!

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Good Reviews for Black Dragon, White Dragon

“San Marino and the Dragon” by Kelly A. Harmon is about one city’s bargain with a dragon and how forgetfulness can lead to destruction. Set in 1600s Italy, the dragon’s bargain with the city is a traditional fairy tale about greed and complacency. A pleasant and entertaining read. – John Ottinger III ⋅ March 10, 2009

Read the full review at The Fixx – Short Fiction Review.

“5.0 out of 5 stars. Some great original stories, especially “An Ordinary Dragon” (Jennifer Schwabach), “The Elephant and the Dragon” (Sean Melican), “I Dreamed of Griffons in Flight” (Jeff Crook), and “The Dragonkeeper’s Wife” (Peter M. Ball). The book would be worth it for these stories alone, but there are many others as well. “A Pet of Her Own” (M.L. Burch) would be a great story to read aloud to a child, even a very young one, and especially to one who’s lobbying for a pet. “San Marino and the Dragon” (Kelly A. Harmon) is one of several light-hearted, positive stories, while others are more grim. They range from at least one story with no characters other than dragons to at least one story in which the dragon is never actually seen. Happy, sad, violent, peaceful — dragons for everyone!. – Naill Renfro at Amazon ⋅ March 31, 2009

“5.0 out of 5 stars. Excellent theme anthology. I really enjoyed the diversity of Black Dragon, White Dragon. So much imagination, so few knights and virgins, and when they appeared, there were interesting twists. I liked most of the stories; my favorites were Herbert and the Wym (great hero), Hardcastle’s Dragon (good dialogue; oh, the paperwork!), An Ordinary Dragon (great twist), Dragon’s Hide (another good twist), Western Front, 1914 ( I’m not an AH fan, but I enjoy it most with magic), and Rip-Snorter (lots of fun; perfectly executed). I love a good theme anthology, but it is rare to find one with all the stories worth reading–or rereading. This anthology is a keeper. – Joy V. Smith at Amazon ⋅ March 12, 2009.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Middlemay Madness!

It seems I’m in good company. I’d started reading George Eliot’s Middlemarch a few days ago for my Project Fill in the Blanks. Moonrat over at Editorial Ass and others at the Project Fill in the Blanks Web site have decided to read it as a group through May and the first part of June.

Join us! Join the Middlemay Madness!

…and I’m off to Project Fill in the Blanks to officially sign up and add my list.

Thursday, April 23rd, 2009

Dollar Store Win!

I stopped at a Dollar Store (Dollar Tree?) over the weekend and couldn’t believe the selection of books they had on the shelf. I picked up Susanna Clarke’s Hugo Winner: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Dava Sorbel’s: The Planets (which I know nothing about…but I LOVED Galileo’s Daughter, so I assume I’ll like this one, too.) I’m looking forward to reading it.

I’ve already started Jonathan Strange…

I’m committed to reading all the Hugo winners…I should probably post that list in addition to my Project Fill in the Blanks list…. In the meantime, I’ll war with my conscience over the fact that I bought two awesome (hard back) books – brand new – for a dollar each. I mean, it’s not like I bought them used, right? Or is it?

Can anyone comment on an author’s earnings from a book purchased at the dollar store?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009

Eternal Press is Great

I signed a contract for my novella Blood Soup with Eternal Press about three weeks ago, but haven’t received a return copy from EP. I’m not worried…It’s coming a long way via snail mail and I live in a location some would deem “rural.” (Others might call it “the sticks.”)

It so happens that on occasion, mail goes astray.

I sent a note off to my contact and had a response almost immediately! I think they’re going to be terrific to work with.

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

San Marino and the Dragon

Here’s the cover of the Ricasso Press Anthology: Black Dragon White Dragon. You’ll find my story, The Dragon and San Marino inside.

Black Draon White Dragon Anthology Cover

You can buy it at Amazon or from me, if you want an autographed copy.