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its a long story that involves a pinata and a gun and a very naughty doggie


Was waiting for confirmation on something. In the meantime doodled this. More HabitRPG shenanigans.

Guest starring Thala and Doramier. Because why not?

sd_HabitRPG_thala-dor map
blasted flying pigs.

Invisible is Live!

InvisibleAs of today, Invisible is officially a thing! In addition to the guest blog posts featured on the blog, the e-book anthology includes bonus material from Alex Dally MacFarlane, Gabriel Cuellar, Nonny Blackthorne, and Ithiliana.

It’s on sale for $2.99 at the following sites, and I’m hoping to add to this list as other retailer links go live. All proceeds will go to the Carl Brandon Society for Con or Bust.

I learned a lot from this project. I think these essays do a marvelous job of answering the question, “Why does representation matter?” and of looking at different types of representation in our genre.

I’m a big believer in the importance and power of story. The contributors to Invisible showed me new aspects of that power, things I hadn’t necessarily considered before.

If you’re a reviewer and would be interested in a copy, please let me know. And if you feel like spreading the word, I’ll send you a tray of fresh-baked karmic brownies (or another imaginary karmic goodie of your choice).

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


Commencing Decade Five

I’ll be turning 40 tomorrow, so I figured I’d take a few minutes today to look back at the decades…


Jim - 10Age 10.

I finished up 4th grade and started 5th. I believe this was the year I broke my arm – the only bone I’ve managed to break so far. This would also be around the time I got published for the very first time, with a joke I stole from my grandfather that appeared in our elementary school newsletter.

I was a big fan of G. I. Joe, Transformers, and He-Man. You know – the classics. At that age, I was probably reading a ton of Peanuts and Garfield collections, along with things like the Hardy Boys, The Great Brain, Encyclopedia Brown … I think I had checked out A Wrinkle in Time and a few other SF/F titles by then as well. I remember being excited about seeing Return of the Jedi, though I missed the scene of Vader throwing the Emperor into the random Death Star pit, because the Emperor’s lightning attack on Luke was too scary, and I wasn’t looking. I played my first D&D games, run by a friend’s father. I was a thief, and the only one to survivor our encounter with a dragon, on account of being invisible and hiding while the rest of the party ran out to get fried. I had also joined Cub Scouts (my mother was our den leader), and would have been working on my Webelos badge.


Jim - 20Age 20.

Sophomore/Junior year at Michigan State University, where I was working on a degree in psychology, fully intending to be a counselor or therapist when I grew up. I was in a not-so-great on-again, off-again relationship with a girl at MSU.

This was around the time I began volunteering at the Listening Ear crisis center in East Lansing. I ended up spending a lot of time and energy with those people over the years. I learned a lot and met some amazing people. I had become a full-on geek by this point, very much into SF/F, Dungeons & Dragons, etc. And right around this time, I sat down and started writing out some backstory for my D&D character … which eventually led to me writing a short novel about said character. At which point I realized, Hey, this writing thing is kind of cool. Maybe I should do more of it.

The picture here is of me and my future wife Amy. We had become friends around age 16. We both attended MSU and volunteered at the Ear, too. But it took me another decade or so to figure out I wanted to spend my life with her. Sometimes I can be a bit slow.


Age 30.

I married Amy six months before my 30th birthday. We were living in a house in Lansing. She was finishing up her Masters degree, and I had been working for the state as a computer tech for about three years. My book Goldfish Dreams, a mainstream novel about rape and recovery, inspired in part by my work at Listening Ear, had come out the year before from a little press called Regal Crest Enterprises. I had 15-20 short stories out as well, most of them in smaller markets, but there were a few pro sales in there. Enough for me to join SFWA as an active member, at least. This was also the year my book about a nearsighted goblin named Jig came out from Five Star Press. I alternated between hope and despair that I would ever sell a book to one of the big publishers.

I was also writing a column for the MSU newspaper about sexual assault issues, and working at MSU Safe Place (a domestic violence shelter) as their male outreach coordinator.

I had built up a nice little library of SF/F titles, and was on a mission to get Amy addicted to this show called Buffy the Vampire Slayer.


Jim - 39Age 40.

Okay, technically this picture is from age 39, but it’s close enough. After 10+ years of marriage, Amy and I have two kids, two dogs, two cats … each of us is technically working two jobs, too. We seem to have a thing for twos.

I’ve got nine books in print from DAW, with three more books under contract. I’ve gone from being a clueless newbie at my first conventions to being Guest of Honor at places like Millennicon, Windycon, Penguicon, and Continuum. I got a freaking Hugo award!

I’ve been working to get my depression under control for the past few years with therapy and medication. There are a few other health issues creeping up on me — I’m now taking pills for cholesterol and to regulate my thyroid function. The body still works pretty well overall, though.

On a sadder note, death has become more of a presence in recent years. Two of my high school classmates passed away in the past year. Some of the actors and celebrities I knew growing up have passed as well. I’m also much more aware of cancer and how many of my friends and colleagues it’s affected. Not liking this trend, but I also recognize it’s part of getting older.

I’m still working at the state, though I’ve switched departments, and somehow ended up in a management position. Life is very busy, but for the most part, very satisfying and rewarding as well.


The Future.

I’m fully expecting to enjoy my 40s. There are aspects of getting older I’m not thrilled about, but in general, life has gotten better with age. I’m in a better space emotionally, financially, authorially, familially, and other made-up words like that.

Bring it on, 40!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)
It's time for me to talk about Invisible Ficathon, because it proved a FONT OF DELIGHTS. There's a ton of amazing stuff in that archive, but for the record a SIGNIFICANT PERCENTAGE of the very best stuff was written for me. >:D

The Hidden Island; or, the Eyebrows of Fate, The Lost Heir - Phoebe Marlowe

"I may," he added, "have the moral fiber of a ravening wolf, but I lack the talent to display it in greenery."

Even before I read the fic I guessed that [personal profile] rymenhild had written it, which meant I had exceedingly high expectations that were NOT AT ALL disappointed. For those of you who remember, The Lost Heir is the novel that causes all the trouble in Heyer's Sylvester; this is the story of what happens when a BEAUTIFUL YOUNG LADY is stranded on EVIL COUNT UGOLINO'S ISLAND, and it is beautiful and perfect and subverts expectations in the best possible way.

First Steps Past the End of the World, Millie Goes to School/Revolutionary Girl Utena

The shadows around Nanami were apt to take on odd shapes as various students bent mirrors or disingenuously brushed against lamp-shades in her presence, and whispers of witchly weirdness found their ways to her on the breeze.

Then Nanami's omelet turned back into an egg one morning at breakfast, and the school realised that something greater than a caper was afoot.

I gave out such a shriek of delight when I found this my inbox; THE PERSON WHO WROTE THIS IS A GENIUS. Nanami Goes to School! Merry pranksters and good-natured abound, except that Nanami came from Ohtori and therefore everything is AWFUL and WEIRD until Nanami is helped by the power of BELIEF and FEMSLASH. I love Nanami so much. I love this fic so much.

Millie Goes On a Date, Millie Goes to School

It didn't matter, in the end, that Millie had received a perfect score on her maths prep, or how many delicious crumpets with lashings of jam had been at breakfast, or how utterly scrumptious Lydia Worthington was when she cornered Millie behind the Infant School dormitories. It only mattered that tonight was the full moon, and last Saturday, Millie had been bitten by a werewolf.

SPEAKING OF FEMSLASH, if what you are looking for is adorable magical boarding school girls going on adorable dates with each other (while combating unfortunate accidental werewolfing) -- and let's be real, who among us is not looking for that -- then this is certainly the ficlet for you. So adorable! I would read SO MUCH of this.

Eating Cookies, Les Mousserables

Look, you're a very selfish monster
Because you don't act fair!

And just for the delightful cherry on my Invisible Ficathon sundae, someone took Sesame Street's Les Mis parody (which is here, if anyone hasn't seen it and would like to) and wrote me a themed ... to Sondheim's "Barcelona." From Company. I'M SORRY, I'M STILL DEAD OF LAUGHTER.

So those were my gifts, and they were all perfect, but there was also a ton of other stuff worth reading in the ficathon. The other great thing about this ficathon is because it's all based around stuff that doesn't exist anyway, in many cases (though not all) zero 'canon' ... metacanon? supercanon? ... knowledge is required.

More recs below the cut!Collapse )

So that was ... like half the ficathon I just linked. I'M SORRY, it was all really good! Also, for completion's sake, I also wrote a thing: Gifts for the Adon, a short Dalemark mythology story about Manialiabrid of the Undying and her uncle. Mostly what happened is I accidentally gave myself Opinions about Manaliabrid's personality while writing it, which I had never particularly had before...

Anyway I had a ton of fun with the whole thing; I hope it happens again next year!

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Cool Stuff Friday

Hail Friday!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)
Some questions raised by Captain America 2...

This is not the meta you are looking for.Collapse )

This entry is cross-posted at Livejournal from Please feel free to comment here or there! There are currently comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth.

Juice box

Sketch Dailies from two days ago. A lil' Dracula happily drinking his juice box, er, bag underneath the moonlight. It comes in pints!

I know better than to use wet media on regular sketch paper but I don't learn.


(no subject)
Debi and I officially into Season Four of Deep Space Nine! ALMOST HALFWAY THROUGH, sort of, kind of, except Season One was short so not really all that close, in fact. BUT SORT OF. Anyway the most important thing is that NOW WE HAVE WORF.

The last four episodes of Season ThreeCollapse )

And the first four episodes of Season Four!Collapse )

This entry is cross-posted at Livejournal from Please feel free to comment here or there! There are currently comment count unavailable comments on Dreamwidth.

Five Days as a Pre-Borg (Diabetes Related)

Last Thursday, I went in to get set up for a five-day run with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM).

Quick overview – with type one diabetes, the pancreas up and quits producing insulin, because it’s a LAZY SLACKER! Therefore, I take insulin via an insulin pump, which delivers a baseline dose throughout the day, and allows me to program additional insulin when I eat. I check my blood sugar about six times a day to help me keep it within a relatively healthy range.

The CGM is a device that automatically checks your blood sugar every five minutes. It automatically sounds an alert if your sugar goes too high or too low. (Sadly, it can’t be programmed to do the red alert klaxon from Star Trek, but some day…)

It works by measuring the interstitial fluid, as opposed to the blood, so the measurements aren’t quite as precise as the ones from my glucose meter. But it does a great job of showing trends (whether your blood sugar is climbing or falling or just chilling and hanging out). It also produces a graph to let you see what your blood sugar is doing over time.

I was hooked up with a Dexcom CGM, which involves a tiny flexible needle that goes into the side of the belly and is hooked up to what may or may not be a T-800 chip from Cyberdyne Systems. This made me a little nervous, since I’ve already got the catheter from my insulin pump stuck to one side of my belly, and the CGM is a little bulkier, as you can see here.

Read the rest of this entry »Collapse )

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.


(no subject)
I love that when I go to the Amazon page for LeGuin's The Dispossessed, the "also-boughts" includes a handful of other LeGuin novels, Russ' The Female Man, and something called Capitalist Realism: Is There No Alternative? HELLO, CENTRAL QUESTION OF THE NOVEL. It's very clear that LeGuin began to write by having a kind of conversation with herself:

LEGUIN: Capitalist realism ... IS THERE NO ALTERNATIVE?
LEGUIN: OK, but what about socialism? What if it really did work?
LEGUIN: Right, right, okay, say there was a functional large-scale socialist society ... I mean, that sounds nice, but people would probably screw something up about it, right? People are people, we screw things up, that's what we do.
LEGUIN: Still better than capitalism, though. God, capitalism. UGH.

Basically, The Dispossessed just sort of flat-out transplants the Cold War to the alien planet of Annares, then throws a slight wrench into the works by positing the existence of a group of anarchist-socialist-separatists who make such a nuisance of themselves that the US-equivalent just kind of gives them a moon and tells them to go away. The socialist-separatists promptly go off and build themselves a giant and reasonably successful kibbutznik society on the moon, cheerfully teach their children about the Evils of Capitalism, and pursue a general policy of NO CONTACT EVER except the occasional trade ship and some scientific radio transmissions.

Enter our protagonist Shevek, a brilliant scientist, who decides he's going to be the first person since the moon settlement to return to Evil Capitalist Annares, For SCIENCE. The book alternates between chapters showing Shevek's experiences on Evil Capitalist Annares, and the life he's led in his anarchist-socialist-separatist moon society that made him think it was a good idea to leave in the first place.

While the book is super, super Cold War -- seriously, EXACT PARALLEL Cold War; kind of hilariously, there's a whole Soviet spy drama going on in the background that is not really a plot point because Shevek doesn't care about it AT ALL -- it's not like it's not ... still relevant? LeGuin has put a lot of thought into how a socialist-anarchist-separatist moon society could actually work, and how the structures instituted by that society would shape the kids who grow up in it, which is one of the most fascinating parts about the novel. The worldbuilding and culture-building is super solid, even aside from the political implications.

I mean, it would be interesting to see the version of Evil Capitalist Anarres she would write now, instead of in the seventies. I bet a lot of the gender stuff, especially, would be extremely different. But it wasn't at all for me like reading Heinlein or even Russ; none of that sense of "I'M TRAPPED IN THE SEVENTIES AND CAN'T GET OUT." The book works. I suspect it will go on working. Also, I need to read more classic LeGuin.

(Although I will say, the culture-building is really strong, but the sense of nonhuman culture, not so much. I kept forgetting the protagonists were not just basically meant to be humans until a character from Earth popped up at the end all "HELLO I AM AN AMBASSADOR FROM EARTH AND YOU ARE NOT HUMANS. JUST IN CASE THE READER HAD FORGOTTEN, WHAT WITH THE FACT THAT THIS IS LITERALLY THE COLD WAR.")

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