Saturday, September 30, 2006

Market News For Youse and Youse and Youse

Submission – it's good for the soul, hehehe

  • Omega Room wants your full-length novel of any genre, but is really hot for science fiction and fantasy.

  • Triskelion has two new speculative romance imprints waiting for your manuscript: Urban Sorcery and Illusions.

  • Medallion Press re-opens to paranormal romance and science fiction subs.

  • Pitch-Black Books wants your fantasy short story.

  • Asylett Press is looking for pretty much everything in the romance and speculative genres.

  • As always, full listings are at Speculative Romance Online – The Website.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2006

    News 2 Use, Get Yer News 2 Use Here

    Replace Football with Jazz Choir, Damn it!

    A Canadian research study has linked early music training in children with increased memory capacity key to improved literacy skills, math aptitudes and general IQ. After tracking two groups of students aged four through six – one musically trained and the other not – improvements in the musically trained were noted in just four months.

    Reading stuff like this makes me wonder why school districts always have enough funds for sports teams, but are always cutting those expendable music programs. Maybe in a future, or more sensible alternate, human society, we'll have battle of the bands instead of clash of the pigskin titans.

    Have I ever mentioned that I think the only legitimate sports should be competition ballroom dancing, Latin and Standard?

    Those Mirror Neurons are Busy Guys!

    (Last week's News 2 Use showed a link between empathy and mirror neurons. Now...)

    German research suggests that when a human watches sexually arousing images, the brain reacts as if the watcher is actively involved. In other words, seeing and doing elicit the same neurological response.

    This particular study is on visual images. I wonder how the brain reacts when it reads a description of sexual activity. My guess is that the female brain responds to literary stimulation with much the same enthusiasm as the male brain does to visual, and between this post and the last we have enumerated the neuroscience behind romance novels.

    Are We Neurological Hostages?

    Neurosurgery patients have discovered, by accident, that stimulation of certain areas of the brain induces an experience known by schizophrenics as "the shadow self." Those in psychotic states and these stimulated surgery patients experienced the hallucination of shadowy presence linked to their own. However, some people experienced the shadowy presence as positive or neutral, while others felt that the presence was malign and manipulative.

    The more I read about neuroscience, the more I marvel at how we are at the mercy of our brain function. And how we may someday be at the mercy of people who can control our brain function. Psychosis as WMD, anyone?

    Monday, September 25, 2006

    Fess Up Monday!

    Did you write? Did you sell? How many words? Tell, tell tell!

    Humanity remains in no immediate danger of destroying itself, which is always comforting on a Monday:

    The Global Existential Threat Level remains at GUARDED.

    And to inspire you this week, a thought from one of my favorites:

    As for me, prizes mean nothing. My prize is my work. -- Katherine Hepburn

    Saturday, September 23, 2006


    Show our love for speculative short fiction, romantic or otherwise. Apex Digest, a great market, needs financial support. Buy tickets for some really great stuff, like




  • and on September 29th, you may be the winner.

    Tickets cost a buck, you can enter as often as you like for dozens of neat donated prizes.

    I think they might still be taking donations, so if you are a published author who wants to help out, check their site.

    Thursday, September 21, 2006

    READ THIS: Angst in D Minor, by Jenn Reese

    Lone Star Stories features Angst in D Minor, by Jenn Reese: a clever little tale about one young woman's search for a new way of living in an eat-a-man world.

    I've archived the READ THIS links at Speculative Romance Online, the website. There are a few broken links to fix, but otherwise you can find a short specrom fix with one quick click.

    Tuesday, September 19, 2006

    NEWS 2 USE!!!!!

    Lovers of Speculative Historic Romance Take Note

    A history of the Scottish people written in the 1440s contends that an exiled Egyptian Queen, Scota, was the mother of the modern people of Scotland. In his new book, Scota, Egyptian Queen of the Scotts, author Ralph Ellis pulls together various historical documents to back up the claim that ancient Egypt is ultimately responsible for kilts, bagpipes and haggis.

    Considering the paranormal and supernatural elements of ancient Egypt, and that some researchers think that ancient Egypt may also be the source of original vampire lore…

    Just make sure you mention SpecRom in your author notes!

    Pumping Up the Supercomputer

    Intel researchers may have found a way to process information even faster inside computers, using laser lights instead of wires as connections. While technological advances have found fast and relatively cheap ways to communicate data between computers, advancement has stalled around finding a way to increase speed of communication between individual chips in a computer. If the laser light technology develops as hoped, incredible new supercomputers may be the result.

    Supercomputing is the only way we know of to understand complex natural systems like weather and genetic patterns really work. A world where humans better understand neural activity, how tornadoes really work, where hurricanes might go, could be the setting for your speculative romance.

    Empathy Is Neurological Not Emotional

    Our ability to feel empathy or share an experience vicariously depends on "mirror neurons" activating in response to stimuli.

    According to researcher Christian Keysers, “It’s exciting because we can start to look at the diversity of experiences of other people. Some people see others through themselves, and some are more objective about it.”

    With the new supercomputers, will scientists be able to locate and activate those mirror neurons and inducing an empathetic response? How about a voluntary sharing of someone else's sexual experience? How about a nonconensual sharing of someone else's pain?

    Rio Hawks Down

    A pair of hawks nesting in an upscale area of Rio de Janiero have attacked residents, scratching arms and faces, one day reaching a rate of five attacks in a twenty minute span.

    Nature at work, DARPA or Hitchcock: you decide.

    What I Want For Christmas

    From Publisher's Lunch:

    Hannibal for the Holidays
    Bantam announced publication of Thomas Harris's HANNIBAL RISING for December 5, the fourth book featuring Hannibel Lecter. This one focuses on Lecter between ages 6 and 20. A film version of the book, based on a screenplay by Harris, will follow closely with a February release in the US. (When signed in 2004 as part of a two-book deal, the book was originally due for fall 2005. The NYT says Harris completed the manuscript within the last month.) Publisher Irwyn Applebaum says they plan a minimum first printing of 1.5 million copies.

    Monday, September 18, 2006

    Fess Up Monday!

    Did you write? Did you sell? How many words? Tell, tell tell!

    But you can focus on your muse:

    The Global Existential Threat Level remains at GUARDED.

    I know my mind is greatly eased. Yours?

    And our inspiration today:

    Goals are dreams with deadlines -- Diana Scharf Hunt

    Tuesday, September 12, 2006

    Website Updates!

    Market News

    It's a slow month for markets. If you have a tip, email me!

  • Bold Strokes Books looks for speculative lesbian romance.

  • Cobblestone Press wants speculative sensual romance.

  • Mojocastle Press wants speculative romance, whether it be sensual mainstream or hard-core, no-happy-ending.

  • As always, you can find all the markets at Speculative Romance Online's homepage.

    Member News

    Rowena Cherry is thrilled to announce that in September, Dee Gentle’s PNR Paraphernalia and What’s New column features interviews with Science Fiction Romance and Futuristic authors, including Rowena Cherry. Check it out at

    And in the Rowena Cherry author newsletter, look for an excerpt from award winning Aviation Romance author, Susan Grant’s newest release, YOUR PLANET OR MINE, an interview with Cover Model MARK JOHNSON, an excerpt from Historical Romance author Lori Pepio’s HIGHLAND HONOR, and Rowena Cherry’s Ramblings (in this case, about climbing a cliff for a photo opportunity), a new hunky interactive online jigsaw puzzle and a contest.

    Pollyanna Williamson writing as Tambra Kendall announces that her story "Through A Magic Mist" will be featured in the Celtic Love Knots anthology from Whiskey Creek Press Torrid. Watch for it in 2007.

    Ellora's Cave author Nathalie Gray invites you to check out her new releases:

    Bain's Wolf, werewolf/contemporary, 13 Sep 06
    Sinful, historical/medieval, 25 Oct 06
    Timely Defense, medieval/time-travel/humor, 13 Dec 06
    Feral, futuristic/werewolf, 25 Jan 07

    Debbie Mumford's release from Freya's Bower, Sorcha's Heart, gets a great revew!

    Monday, September 11, 2006

    Fess Up Monday!

    Did you write? Did you sell? How many words? Tell, tell tell!

    But first, on a day when my personal existential threat level is high, because I haven't been spelling "existential" correctly...

    The Global Existential Threat Level remains at GUARDED.

    And to assuage my guilt for getting next to nothing done last week, this gentle reminder from Dame Agatha Christie:

    We owe most of our great inventions and most of the achievements of genius to idleness – either enforced or voluntary.

    Tuesday, September 05, 2006

    Fess Up Monday...On Tuesday!

    Did you write? Did you sell? How many words? Tell, tell tell!

    The Global Exististential Threat Level remains at GUARDED.

    Diamonds are only chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs, you see.
    Minnie Richard Smith

    Friday, September 01, 2006

    News 2 Use: Labor on your Writing Edition!

    Scary Science Breeds Sensational Speculative Fiction

    Wired Magazine lists the "Science Projects that Scare the #%@! Out of Us."

    My favorite is The Pain Gun: "a gun that turns people into puppets writhing in a theater of misery."

    A Holiday Weekend Gift from Science Fiction Author Stephen Baxter

    In an article for the Belfast Telegraph, the vice-president of the international H.G. Wells Society thoughtfully provides nine alternative history possibilities to stimulate your creativity.

    My favorite is the Vision of Enduring Rome, which might have included a thriving Native American culture here at home instead of genocide and colonization.

    Negative Emotions Linked to Reduced Lung Function

    A study by the Harvard School of Public Health has demonstrated that the more hostile a middle aged man is, the worse his lung function becomes.

    Previous research links hostility and anger to a host of other physical disorders, including heart disease, asthma and hypertension. Theories suggest that negative emotions disrupt regular hormone function, which in turn causes damage to immune systems.

    Other scientists think that linking emotions, personality and health is a bunch of hooey.

    If it isn't hooey, in your speculative future will we have a new commitment to soothing the angry middle aged male, and everyone else for that matter? Insurance mandated stress reduction strategies? (Erotic, or otherwise…)

    When Religion and Good Sense Don't Mix #1

    A clergyman drowned after trying to show his congregation he could walk on water. According to a witness: "He told churchgoers he'd had a revelation that if he had enough faith, he could walk on water like Jesus."

    Insert your own jokes here. Or in the comments!

    When Religion and Good Sense Don't Mix #2

    The chief exorcist of the Vatican marks Harry Potter books as tools of the devil.

    Stuff like this yacks me off, because it undermines the legitimacy of exorcism. Legitimacy of exorcism: discuss.

    When Science and Religion Meet, It's Interesting!

    Brain scans of Carmelite nuns show increased neural activity in various regions of the brain during their most intense mystical experiences.

    Adding another bit of evidence that the spiritual and the electromagnetic are linked realities.

    We're all aquiver, Jim!

    CBS Paramount is digitally re-mastering all original Star Trek episodes, and plans to re-release them in syndication next month to celebrate the series' 40th anniversary.

    This isn't exactly news, but it certainly is great. Look forward to An Analysis and Celebration Of the Spock Mystique!