Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Hindenburg, again


Well this feels familiar.

I never formally announced that I’d signed a contract with Book Smugglers Publishing to release my serial novella collection Zeppelins are what Dreams are Made of. It was set for publication in 2019.

Unfortunately, the Book Smugglers are scaling back operations and will no longer be publishing novellas.

All rights have reverted back to me.

This is, of course, the same collection I sold to Eggplant Literary Productions back in 2014 shortly before that press shut down.

It is now almost nine years since I wrote the first story. I’ve become so disconnected from this work that I really am not sure what to do with this collection next, if anything.

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Award Nomination


Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories has been nominated for the Shirley Jackson Award for best edited anthology. I’m rather ecstatic.

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There are a lot of books on writing fiction, so many that I wonder just who’s buying them all. They’re either disproportionate to the people who actually sit down and write, or publishers can always count on writers (published and unpublished and self-published) to buy these books to the degree that releasing one is always a safe investment. Or else I’m missing something about the marketplace completely. (more…)

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Random Ink

It appears I’m doing Inktober in January. The pen tools in MyPaint are really fun to use!

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i.e, “This is why I don’t (usually) write fanfiction”, part 2. Also, there be spoilers for the book.

In which my mind drifts while reading Station Eleven.

With apologies to Emily St. John Mandel.

Kirsten found it difficult to concentrate on memorizing her lines with all the noise from the flatbed’s engine, the constant smell of burning gazzoline, not to mention the jostling as the theatre troupe made its way down the cracked and folded asphalt. Her battered Dover Editions paperback of King Lear was bound to make her carsick, but there was no time to brush up on her acting between towns otherwise; you couldn’t stop, not with the roving bands of ne’er-do-wells drawn towards the highways. The flatbed was a stage, a storage place for costumes and instruments, and a moving fortress.


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A Response

In response to recent assertions by certain authors and critics that including warrior women, or indeed strong female characters at all, in fantasy fiction is “anti-civilizational” and will somehow lead to the destruction of the western world, I only have this to say:

…For I would hurl your cities down
And I would break your shrines
And give the site of every town
To thistles and to vines.

Higher the walls of Nineveh
And prouder Babel’s spires-
I bellowed from the desert way-
They crumbled in my fires.

For all the works of cultured man
Must fare and fade and fall
I am the Dark Barbarian
That towers over all.

-From “A Word from the Outer Dark”, by Robert E. Howard

Now excuse me while I go sharpen my axe. And prepare my pen. I’ve got a civilization to destroy.

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I’ve been know to snigger at fan fiction on occasion.  However, seeing as I’ve never written any, it seemed a tad bit unfair, and felt I owed Ralfast the benefit of the doubt.  So I gave it a go today.

This was the result:

The Doctor and his Girl

Her last good memory was of a blue police box blinking out of existence and leaving a cold, dark alley behind.

The three years that followed were nothing but misery and pain. It’s hard to find a job when you’ve got a blank slate of time on your resume where you hadn’t any employment at all. If she tried to talk to others about their petty little lives, her mind would drift to the stars. I’ve met Shakespeare and Gandhi and Genghis Khan, I’ve been on far-off planets where twin moons hang heavy in a pink sky. I don’t care what you made for supper last night. I don’t care.

She’d come back to a world where her mother plugged up the toilet and she’d have to attack it with a plunger, and those times she’d just stare into the toilet bowl and cry.

So much time had passed and he’d never come back. She always hoped he’d come but the whomp, whomp of the emerging TARDIS never touched her ears. He was off with some new girl now, some blonde tart, on a journey across the universe.

And her, he’d left her behind. Left her to the worst of worlds.

She stands in the washroom staring at the mirror, at the lines appearing on her face, at the gaunt, haunted look of her eyes. Because there was that, too. The murders. The wars. The flames. No comfort for those, either.

“You…you bastard,” she whispers at the mirror and hastily rubs the snot from her nose with her wrist. “Why won’t you come back?”

But there’s no answer. Of course there isn’t.

She picks up the razor blade and flicks off the cover. Looks back at the mirror again. Then, with a final sob, draws it across her throat. Left to right.

The blood on the mirror dissolves to reveal an endless field of stars, comets, nebulae. A whole universe spread out before her. She wants to smile, she wants to laugh.

But it’s the last thing she ever sees.

She’s joined them all. Every girl who’s accompanied the Doctor, only to be dumped back at home without warning, and left to never again to venture among the stars.

The End

I…I just ruined Doctor Who for myself.


Not doing this again.  Nope.  NEVER AGAIN.

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ImageI’ve begun listening to the New Books in History Podcast, a series of interviews with historians from a wide range of fields.  I absolutely adore these, seeing as History is my chosen field of study and I’m always happy to hear people enthusiastically discussing the subject (that’s one of the main attractions here–hearing historians enthuse about obscure historical marginalia can be unbearably cute).

My latest listen was the interview with Jay Rubenstein concerning his book Armies of Heaven: The First Crusade and the Quest for Apocalypse.  I was quite surprised to hear Rubenstein started out on the path to this book through studying the works of Guibert de Nogent; I wrote two seminar papers on Guibert’s memoir and history of the first crusade, respectively, in my last year of undergraduate studies at university.  I found Rubenstein’s exploration of crusading discourse(for lack of a better term) and its close connection to the imagery of the Apocalypse utterly fascinating.

Actually, all these interviews are well worth your time.  After getting repeatedly bummed out over the good blogging press surrounding the Hardcore History podcast  (which I do not like one bit), I was pleased to discover a podcast this, well, excellent.

Go thee and listen!   

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Dino sex

Dear Robert J. Sawyer,

Parse this image.  I want you to look at it a very long time, study it, examine it in the minutest detail, and then think very hard about what you’ve done.

Yours truly,

Michal Wojcik

(Some context, for those of you who are wondering)


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I don’t often post with the sole intention of sharing a link, but this is one of those rare occasions when I think it’s worth it.  CBC Radio’s Ideas ran a documentary about the Holy Orders and the concluding segment (aired on June 6th) centred on the Teutonic Knights.  The Story of the Teutonic Knights – The Iron Fist gives an excellent overview of the Teutonic Knights’ establishment in the Holy land, its height during the Baltic Crusades, and the continued significance of the Order to the national identities of Poland and Germany long after its fall.

I have a long…er, history with the Baltic Crusades, starting with watching the Polish film Krzyzacy (1960); my fascination culminated with a paper I wrote for a seminar during the final year of my undergraduate degree.  While the paper focused specifically on Paul Vladimiri’s submission to the Council of Constance (1417) arguing against the continued existence of the Teutonic Knights’ Ordenstaat in Prussia, I devoted a great deal of time to considering the ideological underpinnings of that particular Order.  If you’re interested in my ramblings about the Baltic Crusades, you can find some here.

In 2010 I attended the anniversary of the Battle of Grunwald, fought in 1410 between the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania and the Teutonic Order. So, in lieu of analyzing the importance of Grunwald in Polish historical memory, I provide you with pictures to accompany the documentary (all photographs copyright me &c.):

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