Genius Loci News and a Bunch of Thank Yous

c3d412b1300665e5c5f97169c4517f3d_largeFirst of all, THANK YOU to everyone who has supported the Genius Loci kickstarter!  We are funded – however, we still have some lovely stretch goals that you might want to check out.  Stretch goal up next – additional artwork!  Genius Loci is an anthology of short stories about “spirit of place”.  I contributed an introduction as well as nonfiction supplementary material.  I can’t wait for this anthology to be released – having had a sneak peek at the stories I’m really proud to be involved with the project.

Also thank you to Professor Mondo’s Dangerworks Conclave for a lovely weekend.  This event was a steampunk convention held in tandem with ConQuest, a gaming convention.  It was Dangerworks’ first year and it was tiny, under-programmed, and under-attended – yet I will happily go back to it because it holds so much promise.  Everyone I met there was delightful, the energy was good, and guests Phil and Kaja Folio from Girl Genius and The Aether Brigade  brought the same level of energy and talent to entertaining a small group as they would have brought to an audience of hundreds.  My daughter and I were part of the Girl Genius Radio Show which was incredible fun and also made me fangirl all the hell over the place.  The number of dealers was small, but the ones who were there not only had gorgeous products to offer but really fantastic customer service.  Steamy Tech gave me a discount on a brooch and did some cosplay problem solving for me, Josh Wardrop at ArcKnight helped set my daughter up with a gaming pack that fit her allowance budget, and other vendors helped me pick out a gift for my mom (SHHHH!) and not only sold me jewelry but attached it to my Hat of Bling and fixed up some other jewelry I was already wearing.  Sacramento Steampunk Society was there, of course, and made everyone feel at home.

I’d love to see Dangerworks grow into a more complete convention.  It has the right idea and plenty of great people.  The programming it had was fun but it needs more of it.  I had many moments of frustration but when I wasn’t worrying about my part of programming I had a great time – and my daughter was in steampunk heaven due to a lot of attention from everyone.  So thanks to everyone who attended and who brought their “A” game to a small event – true professionals one and all!



Kid-Friendly Comic (and Other) Books For Summer

Got kids who are looking for summer reading?  My daughter, who insists on being called “Black Widow” in this blog, is an avid comic book reader and she is here to share her summer reading recommendations.  Black Widow is a nine-year old girl, about to start fourth grade.  Here’s what she recommends for young comics fans:

Rapunzel’s Revenge

By Shannon and Dean Hale

By Shannon and Dean Hale, Published by Bloomsbury USA Children’s

Black Widow says:

It’s exciting!  It’s about a girl who wants to get her mother back, and doesn’t like it when people steal stuff.  I like her.

Mom (that would be me) says:

This is an exciting, funny, and at times heart-rending and heart-warming story of Rapunzel’s quest to escape from her tower, save her mother, and defeat the woman who not only imprisoned her but has also oppressed the country.  This re-telling effectively mixes fairy tale tropes with those of the Old West, and Rapunzel is a great heroine – smart, determined, and brave.

The Adventures of Tintin

Written by Georges Remi, Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Written by Georges Remi, Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Black Widow says:  Parts of it are funny, and it has mystery.

Mom says:  Tintin is as exciting and fresh now as when it came out, but watch out for horribly dated prejudices.  Pick your stories with care and your kids will have a great time watching Tintin and his dog use brains and bravery to solve mysteries and get the bad guys.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Written by Jeff, Kinney, Published by Amulet books

Written by Jeff, Kinney, Published by Amulet books

Black Widow says:  This is not a comic, exactly, but it has comics in it.  I like it cause it’s really funny.

Mom says:  I haven’t read this myself (and what a strange feeling to know that my daughter is old enough now that she reads things that I haven’t read to her!).  I can’t say personally how good these books are, but this series seems to be pure reading crack for the third grade set.

Girl Genius

By Phil and Kaja Folio, Published by TOR

By Phil and Kaja Folio, Published by TOR

Black Widow says:  She’s a girl, and she’s a genius!  Also I like the art.

Mom says:  This is definitely PG stuff.  It’s written for adults, and Agatha spends a lot of time in Victorian underwear.  I’d recommend it for ages nine and up, depending on your comfort level with the material.  Girl Genius is available in print or as a free online web comic, and it is one of my favorites.  At our house, we never get enough of Agatha’s brains, the steampunk insanity, the madcap humor and non-stop action, and above all the copious amounts of Mad Science.  Read it your self, and then show it to your kids if you think it’s appropriate.

And here’s a couple of bonus reviews from kids who happened to be hanging out at my house while I was typing.  Mickey Mouse, age 10, recommends:

The Mysterious Benedict Society Series

Mysterious Benedict Society

Written by Trevor Stewart, published by Little, Brown and Company

She says, “They’re long and interesting.  The kids are prodigies and they go on such crazy adventures and its fun to put yourself in their place and think of what I would do in their place.”

Flowergirl , age six, likes:

The Magic Tree House Series

Magic Treehouse Series covers

Written by Mary Pope Osborne, Published by Random House

Flower girl says, “they are fun and exciting.  Like, they go on adventures most of the time and they go to places in books.  It’s cool and that’s why I like them.”