MONSTERS IN MY MIND is up on Amazon!

It’s a real thing! It’s available for purchase! It’s here! (And, according to the page, has been here since October 2, although I did not notice it until Bogi Takács pointed it out on Twitter.) You can buy it for US $20 paperback or, apparently, $8.01 for the Kindle edition.

It isn’t up yet on the publisher’s website, for some reason, but I expect that this (and perhaps other online retailers) will happen soon.

I had a great book launch party on Friday night with some great loyal readers who were very understanding about the physical books not quite being here yet, and very entertained by the readings. I had a great time at Can*Con this weekend in general, for that matter. More updates soon!

MONSTERS IN MY MIND: TOC reveal

The table of contents for MONSTERS IN MY MIND is now up: here!

Over the next couple of months, I’ll be posting more information about each story and poem, and making the titles in the TOC into links to where you can learn more. (Including links to free versions of the stories/poems, where available – although, if you’re eager, you can already find those links in my general Bibliography.)

Can*Con Schedule

The official schedule for Can*Con is out. Here’s what I’ll be doing in Ottawa this weekend:

7:00 PM, Friday. Book Launch: Monsters In My Mind. (Ada Hoffmann) – Con Suite

Ada Hoffmann’s debut collection, Monsters in My Mind, features non-neurotypical fairies, apocalypse velociraptors, soul-eating lamprey people, and Mothers of All Squid – among many other acclaimed stories and award-nominated poetry. The book launch will include a short reading and signing, delicious home-baked desserts for all, and loads of monstery door prizes.

6:00 PM, Saturday. Benefits and challenges of #ownvoices writing. (Elizabeth Hirst, Ada Hoffmann, Talia Johnson, Tonya Liburd, Waubgeshig Rice,  Dominik Parisien) – Salon F

#Ownvoices fiction was coined by author Corinne Duyvis to describe stories “about diverse characters written by authors from that same diverse group” — and has filled a major gap in the young adult reading landscape. As well as its unique joys and perspectives, writing #ownvoices fiction means working with a unique set of craft and marketing challenges. Join authors writing #ownvoices work for a practical discussion of the creative, personal, and business aspects of writing people like you — and how the process differs from handling other kinds of fiction.

That’s all – just the two events. It should be a nice light convention, which is good, because October this year has become a big travel month. Feel free to catch me anytime at the convention and say hi!

 

Autistic Book Party, Episode 38: Libriomancer

Today’s Book: “Libriomancer” by Jim C. Hines

The Plot: Sparkling vampires are running amok in Michigan, and it’s up to Isaac – a “libriomancer” who can pull fictional items out of books – to stop them. But the vampires may only be the tip of the iceberg…

Autistic Character(s): Nicola Pallas, the Regional Master of the Porters (a magical organization including libriomancers and other magicians).

So, I will say this up front. Nicola Pallas is cool. She’s also hardly in this book at all. She shows up for a few scenes, and they’re good scenes, but that’s about it. Her role in this book is to be the trope of the authority figure who tries to pull Isaac off the case when things get out of hand. She does play that role well, and her decisions are ones that make good logical sense based on the information and concerns that she has.

What we do see of Pallas, in terms of her characterization, is fun. She’s a bard who does magic by using music, and who keeps an inordinate number of magical creatures as pets. She has a rather flat affect, but Hines never confuses this with actually having no feelings; it’s clear that she is, at times, fearful and concerned and having other appropriate emotions about the plot, even if she expresses them differently than others. I will admit I have a weakness for steely, cool-headed women in positions of power, and Pallas’s snarkily logical messages to Isaac play right into that:

“Deb said someone had hacked our communications,” I said warily. “I’ve already had one Porter try to kill me this week.”
“This connection is now secure. We’ve heard nothing further from Mrs. DeGeorge [the Porter who tried to kill Isaac]. Her apartment was empty, and she appears to have gone underground. Perhaps literally. As for myself, either I’ve been turned by our enemy and therefore already know any information you might share, or else I remain human and Regional Master of the Porters, in which case I would appreciate your report.”
That certainly sounded like Pallas.

Aside from this speaking style, Pallas’s autism also comes across in small gestures, such as the fidgeting she constantly does with her jewelry. Isaac as a narrator isn’t very well-informed about autism, but his adventuring partner, Lena, is able to fill him in:

“How exactly did Pallas react when you told her I had found the other libriomancer, and the thing that came through the book after us?”
“I have a harder time reading autistics, but-”
“What?”
She blinked. “You didn’t know?”
“I don’t have access to her files.”
“Neither do I,” Lena said sharply. “But I’ve learned a thing or two living with Nidhi. I’ve been here for four days, long enough to get a sense of Nicola Pallas. She doesn’t express her emotions the same way you or I do. I think she’s frightened, though. When I first described what happened, she walked away from me in midsentence and started making phone calls. When she finished, she was playing with her bracelets and moving around like she wanted to run but didn’t know where.”
“She knows something,” I muttered. “Why wouldn’t she tell me?”
“Maybe because she knows how close you came to dying,” Lena said sharply.
I had no answer to that.

That’s pretty much all that happens, though. “Libriomancer” is a fun book, but readers who want a story specifically about Nicola Pallas should instead read Hines’s short story, “Chupacabra’s Song“.

The Verdict: Marginal

Ethics Statement: I have occasionally corresponded with Jim C. Hines. I read his book by checking out a physical copy from my local library. All opinions expressed here are my own.

This book was chosen by my Patreon backers. If these reviews are valuable to you, consider becoming a backer; for as little as $1, you can help choose the next autistic book.

For a list of past/future/possible Autistic Book Party books, click here.