Strong Mystery: A new book by Raven Bond


Too much fun. For the past month I’ve been editing, formatting and proofing Raven’s omnibus edition Strong Mystery. The goal was to get it done in time for him to read from it at Gearcon, a Steampunk convention in Portland. He’s a guest author there. I wanted him to have physical copies to sell at the bookshop, along with his other series novel, Wind Dancer.

I’ve been coming home from work, having dinner and then sitting down again with InDesign. Later, once I’d printed it out, there seemed to be a couple weeks of redlining (marking the print out with a red pen) and fixing before it was ready to send to print. Happily, the copies arrived this week.

This week I’ve been transferring all the corrections to the Word files so I can publish to kindle. Just a few pages left and it will likely be up online tomorrow. In reading the three stories together, I realize once more what a terrific writer he is. The plots are tight, the murder mysteries play out well, and the magic system is believable. I can’t wait until he writes the next one.

Marriage equality – happiness for my friends

Today, everyone gets the same rights to marriage equality under the law. This is a grand and good thing in my humble opinion – marriage is a contractual arrangement afforded privileges under the law. Inheritance, mutual property arrangements, visitation, changing countries to join one’s spouse, health insurance¬†are only a few of the cases where matters will be simplified. Of course there are some dinosaurs out there who will be irritated that other people can declare and celebrate their love, however, we all know what happened to the dinosaurs – they became extinct, or rather, turned into birds, depending on how you think about it.

Love and spiritual meaning might be at the heart of marriage; certainly, agreement to make a relationship together and live in accord is part of it, however civil union is a contract that should not be limited to only people of opposite gender, in my view. And now in the view of the United States Supreme Court. Marriage codes are mostly about property in any case. Where it comes from, what happens when people die, separate, decide to no longer join their fortunes together. I’ve been thinking about this in terms of writing science fiction. We’ll look back on this as a peculiar time in history, where the color of someone’s skin or the choice of who to love was a cause for social consternation. I guess we’ll look forward and ask “what now?” when society grows up. We seem to be a species who revels in finding some way of saying “those people are not like me” and causing them difficulty based on perceived differences. Better, I feel to become more empathic socially and ask “how are they like me?” Finding common ground will be important when we make first contact, when we live in other cultures, when we meet people who are outside our immediate families. All good story making fodder.

Before the writing, before the stories, before the future, I celebrate today where marriage equality is enshrined in law in the United States. Huzzah.