Saturday, October 24, 2009

Tome Show Podcast Appearance

The folks at the Tome Show (a Dungeons & Dragons news, reviews, and interview program) where kind enough to review Plague of Spells and City of Torment, then interview me in the bargain.

It turns out reviews and interviews on the Tome Show are in-depth and far-reaching.

In fact, having just listened to the episode in which I appear, I'd liken it to one of those DVD Criterion extra discs, which delves into the material to provide a deeper level of understanding of both the story and the intent, motivations, and inspirations behind the story.

Which means, if you haven't read Plague of Spells or City of Torment yet, I recommend you just let me tell you Will Wong's "short short version" of the review: They're both good books; you should buy them.

On the other hand, if you've read the two novels or you don't mind learning a couple plot points ahead of reading them for yourself, head over to the Tome Show site or iTunes and download the episode. Few interviews have previously pressed me so closely!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

How You Personally can affect Climate Change

Three simple steps -- easier than changing your light bulbs

What can you do today to help push forward climate change legislation which will, in its small way, slow down ocean acidification and the eventual collapse of the civilization you so snugly live in?

Follow these three simple steps, as outlined by Adam Stein here.

Adam says:
Personal conservation is great, but it’s not nearly as great as political activism. Climate change is a global commons problem, and only coordination on a national and international scale will deliver the long-term emissions reductions necessary to avert the worst effects of global warming.

Now is a particularly propitious time to act. Climate change legislation has already passed in the House, and the Senate version is gaining momentum. World governments gather in Copenhagen in little more than a month to lay the groundwork for a new global accord on greenhouse gas emissions. While neither the U.S. climate bill nor the next round of international negotiations represents the end point of this effort, they are both make-or-break moments.

And let’s be clear about this: passage of a climate bill in the Senate is by no means assured. (Neither is a positive outcome in Copenhagen, for that matter.) Until fairly recently, the situation was looking grim, and only recently have the political tides started to turn. Failure of the bill will be a disaster for both the country and the planet.

Fortunately, increasing the political pressure for action is easier than changing your light bulbs, easier than bicycling to work, easier than eating locally — easier than just about anything else you can do. Here’s how:

1. Download this template letter.
2. Find the names and addresses of your senators here.
3. Fill out one copy of the letter for each Senator, print, sign, stuff, stamp, and mail.

[...] Some senators are definitely going to vote no on the bill, and others are definitely going to vote yes. The most important pressure points are the undecided senators. If your senator is on the following list* and you fail to send a letter, then, well, stop complaining about your neighbor’s Hummer.

* Alaska: Mark Begich, Lisa Murkowski
* Arizona: John McCain
* Arkansas: Blanche Lincoln, Mark Pryor
* Florida: George LeMieux
* Indiana: Evan Bayh
* Iowa: Chuck Grassley
* Louisiana: Mary Landrieu
* Maine: Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins
* Missouri: Claire McCaskill
* Montana: Max Baucus, Jon Tester
* Nebraska: Ben Nelson
* New Hampshire: Judd Gregg
* North Carolina: Kay Hagan
* North Dakota: Byron Dorgan, Kent Conrad
* Ohio: Sherrod Brown
* Pennsylvania: Arlen Specter
* South Carolina: Lindsey Graham
* South Dakota: Tim Johnson
* West Virgina: Robert Byrd, John D. Rockefeller

Of course, even if your senator isn’t on this list, you’re not off the hook. You can still write expressing your hope that the Senate passes a bill this year, or that the final bill includes such-and-such a provision. Most of all, just write!

* This is a broad list of undecideds. Some are probable yes votes, some probable no votes, some in the middle. To make this even more confusing, some of these people may vote yes on cloture but no on the final bill. In any case, all of these votes are important.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

City of Torment, Book 2

I have gotten so caught up in my presence in Twitter, Facebook, and even the new Wizards community that I've neglected my touchstone online presence, what should be "Bruce R. Cordell headquarters;" my blog.

Which means I've failed to announce (here on my blog) the release of the 2nd book in my ongoing trilogy, City of Torment.

City of Torment picks up immediately after Plague of Spells. Japheth was forced to make a desperate play, and Raidon Kane is none too happy. But of them all, Anusha has the most to lose; her mind and soul is dragged down to a City of Torment, and baring a miracle will serve as food for the eldest aboleth!

What do others think? Check out this review at Grasping for the Wind, for starters!

Friday, October 9, 2009

USA Honored by Nobel Peace Prize

President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Amazing. Yet a lot people in the USA apparently have an issue with that. Also sort of amazing. I think my friend Marc Carlson best points out how some of us could stand to show a little grace:
Many [peace prizes have been awarded for solid achievements], but many have been more symbolic. Peace prizes are not like the other ones which are often given decades after the accomplishment just to verify the significance of the work. Peace prizes have often been assigned for much more obviously political intentions. Does Arafat really deserve his peace prize? And that makes some sense because how do you actually measure a persons contribution to Peace??? This has never been a rocket science. This has always been politics. The Nobel committee is trying to encourage political developments that they see as ones that contribute to peace.

So this is Europe's way of trying to say they appreciate our recent efforts. And all the griping people are doing is embarrassing. I can understand that some people just don't like Obama and are somehow deeply offended that he would be given a prize. Fine. But can you sit down and shut the hell up while your country is honored for one minute? Is it really so terrible that the USA is being shown some appreciation today? When I was a child, I was taught that if someone gave you a big compliment you should always say "thank you". Even if the compliment was premature. Today the Nobel committee has given our nation a huge compliment. We should show at least a little bit of grace.