Archive for the ‘Writing’ Category

Tor/Forge: The Responsibility of Narrative

The Calculating Stars cover image



I have a post at the Tor/Forge site today about The Calculating Stars and Hidden Figures and internalized bias, go check it out!


Here’s a teaser:

As mainstream culture becomes increasingly vocal about the politics of gender, it makes me aware of all of the damaging narrative that I’ve internalized and which has created internal biases in myself. Those show up in my fiction. So when I sit down to write, I now assume that I have a bias.

Why is this a problem?

Because we are made of narrative.

Read more here.

THE CALCULATING STARS and THE FATED SKY available for pre-order!

The Lady Astronaut books are now available for pre-order!

The Calculating Stars

The Fated Sky

Paired covers for The Calculating Stars, showing a group of women on a blue field, and The Fated Sky, which has a lone astronaut against a red sky.

If you pre-order through these links, which will take you to Mary’s favorite local bookstore, a SIGNED and personalized copy will arrive at your house on release day!

These books are prequels to Mary’s Hugo-award winning story The Lady Astronaut of Mars. You can read the story at that link as you wait for liftoff.

The Calculating Stars – July 3, 2018

A meteor decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth’s efforts to colonize space, as well as an unprecedented opportunity for a much larger share of humanity to take part.

One of these new entrants in the space race is Elma York, whose experience as a WASP pilot and mathematician earns her a place in the International Aerospace Coalition’s attempts to put man on the moon. But with so many skilled and experienced women pilots and scientists involved with the program, it doesn’t take long before Elma begins to wonder why they can’t go into space, too—aside from some pesky barriers like thousands of years of history and a host of expectations about the proper place of the fairer sex. And yet, Elma’s drive to become the first Lady Astronaut is so strong that even the most dearly held conventions may not stand a chance.

The Fated Sky – August 21, 2018

Continuing the grand sweep of alternate history laid out in The Calculating StarsThe Fated Sky looks forward to 1961, when mankind is well-established on the moon and looking forward to its next step: journeying to, and eventually colonizing, Mars.

Of course, the noted Lady Astronaut Elma York would like to go, but could the International Aerospace Coalition ever stand the thought of putting a woman on such a potentially dangerous mission? Could Elma knowingly take the place of other astronauts who have been overlooked because of their race? And could she really leave behind her husband and the chance to start a family? This gripping look at the real conflicts behind a fantastical space race will put a new spin on our visions of what might have been.


The London Branch

Thank heavens — you received my postcard. I was worried that it would fall into the wrong hands. I thought you were clever, though, and I was right.

Here — I have a secret for you. It’s a scene that got deleted from Ghost Talkers. 

Be careful and watch the auras around you. I’m sure there’s a traitor…

For now though, we need a better way to stay in touch. Will this work?


We can communicate through the spirit plane…

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( mm / dd )

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I am not promoting this post, because I’ve been told it’s tacky

If you are reading this post, right now, I have no idea how you found it. I’m glad you stumbled across it. There is another copy of this post on my site, nearly identical in every way, except that I promoted it. It doesn’t take looking at the traffic numbers to figure out which one more people will read.

Part of your job, as an author, is to promote yourself and your work. I wish that it was just to write the words, and it’s true that there are some people who can do that. Very few. The vast majority of the books that you have read, you know about because the author promoted them.

But wait! Some of you will point out that you are here because someone else pointed at this post. Someone else promoted it, not the author. Okay… how do you think they heard about it?

Grassroots, word of mouth, has long been the most effective form of promotion. That starts with the author.

Last year, I published:

And one other. Any idea what that was without me telling you? Do you even know what type of fiction it was?

So when awards season rolls, or when you have a book come out, or a short story, or you win an award… If someone tells you that it’s tacky to tell people about it, they are naive.

You are doing your job.