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Hi, all!

Today is my birthday: if you feel inclined toward it, more reviews at Amazon or GoodReads are always welcome gifts!

This winter has been a combination of travel, tons of freelancing, stupid colds, and writer's block. Wheeeeee! I'm slowly working on more episodes for volume 4, but it's going to be a bit longer before I've gotten the story hammered into the shape I want it to be. I'm hoping to start posting in mid-March.

In other news, my cover artist, the wondrous Alex Heberling, is going to be starting on the cover for the next book, Ephemera (volume #2) soon! I still plan to get that book out this summer -- whether that will be early summer (and in time for WisCon) or late summer remains to be seen. :}

Still, I'm part of the Broad Universe RapidFire Reading at WisCon this year, so if you'll be at WisCon, please include us in your panel/reading plans!

I'm going to haul my butt back into blogging on my author site too, so at least there's that to look forward to? And more volume 4. Hopefully as the weather evens out and improves, my writer's block will start to dissolve!

Hope you all are doing well, and I'll see you soon!




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As last week, this is Ira as presented in the novel. If you haven't checked out the novel yet, see my website at judemclaughlin.com for links for the print and ebooks! The novel could also use some more reviews at Amazon and Good Reads, if you have a few moments to write and/or rate!

Ira Solomon Feldstein



Birthdate: 9 April 1928

Height: 5'10" (in prime)

Weight: about 175 lbs

Race: Hebrew (as they say in the old census records!)

Spandex name: Mister Metropolitan (retired)

Sign: Aries

Blood type: B

College degree: Accounting, Wonder City Business College

Paranormal powers
- Strength: Class 4
- Invulnerability: Class 5

Other notes
In my original timeline, I was married to Elizabeth McCallum, a.k.a Tin Lizzie, and we had one child, Joshua. In this timeline, though, I was originally married to Andrea Prinz, who was Mrs. Metropolitan for a while, and she was the mother of Joshua. Apparently, I cheated on Andrea with Violet Stein, and ended up divorcing Andrea and marrying Violet for a decade or so of misery before we divorced. I don't remember any of the stuff that happened in the current timeline, but everyone else does. As far as I'm concerned, I've been a widower since Lizzie went into the Great Gulf in 1984.
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I'm going to take January to do some catch-up writing, since the holidays tapped my last buffer. In the meantime, I'll cross-post the short character overviews I'm doing over on my blog at here for your amusement. This is Megan as presented in the novel. :)

From Parapedia Staff:
We sent out short surveys to many characters in Wonder City Stories to see what information they might be willing to share. Our first survey came back from Megan Amazon!

Megan Pantariste Amazon



Birthdate: 30 November 1986

Height: 7'11.5"

Weight: None of anyone's business

Race: Biracial at least, your guess is as good as mine

Spandex name: FUCK NO

Sign: "No Trespassing"

Zodiac sign (put "Western" in there, you ethnocentric jerks): Sagittarius

Blood type: O negative (yes, ha ha, let's laugh at the universal donor who can't donate blood)

College degree: BA in Psychology from University of California, Berkeley

Paranormal powers:
- Strength: Class 6
- Invulnerability: Class 6

Other notes: Why am I doing this again?



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Last episode of 2015! Thank you for all your continued support, and the kind reviews I've been seeing around the web! I hope 2016 is kinder to you than 2015, whether you had a great 2015 or a terrible one (or an okay one, like I did).

Print and ebook versions of
Wonder City Stories available! Find links to sites where you can buy them at judemclaughlin.com!



A Man Does What He Can; A Woman Does What a Man Cannot

"Guys," Nereid said into the general hubbub of the Young Cosmics meeting room. The loud conversations—particularly from Mercury holding court—continued unabated. "Guys?" she said again.

Sophie looked over at her and raised her eyebrows. Mercury was playing his boyfriends Gemini and Deflector off against each other in some sort of flex-off. Gemini had just done his power trick, making his two muscular brown arms into four, and Deflector was peeling his shirt off to reveal his pale but muscular chest. Vector was egging them on, to the annoyance of her girlfriend Meridian, who had not just turned away, but turned her entire wheelchair toward a conversation with Tin Lizzie, giving the gayboy display the cut direct. Wildstar, their featureless mask off for a change, revealing their androgynous tan face and short black hair, was chatting with Citizen Pain. Pay was giving Nereid side glances of attentiveness, but was also trying to be polite to Wildstar, their newest member. Wire was leaning back in her chair, arms crossed, one foot braced against the edge of the table, scowling at her boot, with her blue forelock drifting distractingly across her face.

Irritation bloomed and spread inside Nereid, making her feel like her skin was stretched taut with fury. Why did they elect me commander if they had no goddamn intention of paying attention to me? She fumed in silence for a few more moments, until Deflector was reaching for his belt, apparently to drop trou, and the anger exploded into her vision. She came to her feet, slammed both hands on the tabletop, and bellowed, "This meeting of the Young Cosmics will come to order."
Read more... )


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... a review of the novel on Amazon, Good Reads, or your own platform, wherever that might be, would go a long way toward making this season more joyous for me. :)

If you're celebrating holidays, I hope they're lovely to you.

If you're not celebrating holidays, I hope you have a restful several weeks.

If you're transitioning between celebrating and not celebrating, I hope you can do a lot of nice things for yourself.

Best,
Jude
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No offense meant to any Kelly Greens in the reading audience. Tatyana is just being critical of everything.

Print and ebook versions of
Wonder City Stories linked to sites where you can buy them at judemclaughlin.com!



An Entertaining Labyrinth of Side-issues

As she stood near the incident site, waiting for her new Bureau intern, Tatyana kept her face in what she thought of as a neutral expression. Apparently, some of the other Bureau staff referred to her default expression as "resting bitchface." I wonder if they would say that about a white American woman, she thought.

Interns, in Tatyana's experience, were either Bureau spies to keep an eye on agents the higher-ups feared, or they were actual bumblers who she generally had to keep from accidentally ending up dead. Time would tell her which kind of liability this new one—conveniently assigned just as she started this big case—was.

The Wonder City police who were stationed around the site perimeter were beginning to talk amongst themselves while aiming significant glances in her direction. She didn't recognize any of the officers on duty—It has been a few minutes since my last major case—and suspected she was going to have to go ahead and move in without her pet albatross.
Read more... )


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Print and ebook versions of Wonder City Stories linked to sites where you can buy them at judemclaughlin.com!





Names Your Mother Never Called You

"That's… really unfair," Simon said, glowering at Nereid.

"I know!" Nereid exclaimed in her alarmingly deep voice. "Why did it have to happen to me when there are people who want this kind of thing?"

"Have you told your parents?" Simon said.

"They remember me as… a guy, like you do," Nereid said, running her too-large hands over oddly bumpy and hard thighs, remembering her mother fondly calling her "Pace"—short for Pacific, of course. I never got a nickname as a girl, she thought, not-quite-bitterly. "So, no. Though, I mean, it's not like Mom and Dad haven't been through weird para shit before. Not as much as your parents, but still."
Read more... )


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Remember to check the latest on the availability of the Wonder City Stories novel at judemclaughlin.com! We have eBooks up, but the Kindle version is still to come!





All the Secrets and the Mysteries You've Been Selfishly Withholding

Ira sat in the Guardians' waiting room with his coat folded on his lap. Andrea sat on one side of him, slowly and deliberately texting one of her friends with her Starphone. Suzanne sat on his other side, also texting, probably her beau Simon. Ira couldn't help but notice how Suzanne's hands had aged as she'd lost weight on the chemo. Only Andrea's knobby knuckles and age spots differentiated the two women, if he only looked at their hands.

He studied the watercolor landscape prints on the beige wall of the waiting room, and felt very much like he was in a doctor's waiting room. Possibly this had something to do with how often he was in doctors' waiting rooms these days.

The door opened, and a tall man in his 50s with short dark hair showing silver streaks at the temples emerged, wearing a grey pinstriped suit and metallic copper tie. He smiled and said, "Ah, Mr. Feldstein and Mrs. Morgenstern." His smile froze as he added, "Mrs. Feldstein."

Suzanne looked up from her phone and gave him a slow smile that did not reach her eyes. "Hello, Terry. Ira, Andrea, you might remember Terry Fillmore, the Copper Guardian."
Read more... )



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Boston locals and those local for the holiday:

Tomorrow, from 12-5, I'll be at Annie's Book Stop in Worcester, MA, with a number of my Broad Universe colleagues. We'll be reading, answering questions, and hanging out for Small Business Saturday. I'll have some books in hand that you can buy if you haven't gotten around to ordering from Createspace or Amazon.

If you're in the neighborhood, come on out and listen to me overemote in a Nereid kinda way!

ALSO: The ebook distribution has begun! You can get the ebook right now at these distributors:
Kobo | Apple | Scribd | Inktera

The Kindle version is coming. It's just... being a bit more difficult. :)
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Cover reveal AND BOOK LAUNCH!



Buy in print at my Createspace store!
OR
ORDER THROUGH YOUR FAVORITE INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE!
(I hope they can get it -- I'm on expanded distribution.)

Just LOOK at that beautiful cover art by Alex Heberling! (OMG IRA'S GRIN! I've had this image as my desktop for a couple of months now and his grin makes me smile EVERY TIME I SEE IT.) And the amazing cover and interior design by C Victoria Root!

IT'S A REAL LIVE BOOK OMG!

The eBook is coming -- we're having a few technical difficulties with it -- but it will come soon!
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Wasuremono

Megan thought, Someday, I need to just buy my own damn van and quit borrowing Zoltan's, as Watson drove The Divine Sarah, their landlord's Art Deco vintage VW bus, past the Wonder City limits and onto the winding Pennsylvania back roads beyond. Early spring was more visible here on the drizzly day, with the trees just putting out dark red buds and pale yellow-green early leaves, and a few stray daffodils popping yellow onto the landscape. I'm very nearly cleared for driving again; hell, I'm nearly cleared for getting back on public transit. I think I'm tired of being driven everywhere for a while. Since the telepathic mucking about in her head two years earlier, she'd had periodic seizures that prohibited her from driving. Since her super-strength was above Class 5, she also couldn't be on public transit when she might have a seizure—to do so endangered the public. She also couldn't be on ladders at work, and the whole thing had put a serious hitch in her informal carpentry apprenticeship. Aggressive medication and careful telepathic therapy to undo some of the damage had mostly controlled them, finally. It's been nearly six months since the last one. Fingers crossed that was the end.
Read more... )

How about another detail from the novel cover? Angry Project Manager Suzanne!




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New episode for volume 4 tomorrow!

Full cover reveal for Wonder City Stories on Friday!

Did I mention that the novel will have an excerpt from the second novel at the end? YES. The second Wonder City Stories novel, Ephemera, will be out in summer 2016!

Determined Nereid detail from Alex's amazing cover!

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Hi, all!

Yes, the novel is really really happening. Here's a bit of Alex Heberling's fabulous cover -- Megan, looking smug -- to start proving it:



It looks like the ebook will be out before the print book, because we're wrestling with format issues and "helpful" reviewer changes at Createspace. I will certainly link as soon as the ebook is available.

The novelized version of the first story arc is extensively edited and includes at least one totally new episode along with all the updated and reorganized stuff.

Stay tuned for more news as it comes!

Best,
Jude
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The Art of Losing

"The thing is," Madeline Fukuda told us, "I've regenerated the parts of the brain that were damaged by the bullet. Also the bone and skin, both lungs, her liver, and the damage to her leg and hand. Fortunately, there was no intestinal perforation, but she'll still need to be on antibiotics for a while. But she's going to have to reeducate the portion of the brain that was damaged."

Ruth sat in her chair there in the basement of the Gold Stars facility, radiating rage like a dark star, her forehead contracted in a frown. "Can you guess at what kind of therapy she'll need?"
Read more... )




#BLACKLIVESMATTER
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I am, perhaps, still a little bitter about grad school.





Got a Vision That No One Else Sees

Angelica was resolutely writing up her latest experimental results in her lab notebook over her lunch hour when her advisor, Professor Lydia Necessitas, came looking for her.

Lydia had gotten her PhD young, as one might expect from a scion of Mother Necessity's family, so she was only about ten years older than Angelica. Despite that, she already had deep crow's feet around her icy blue eyes and grey in her short black hair. When she sat down next to Angelica at the lab bench, she looked more tired and pale than usual.

Angelica looked up from pasting the printout of results into the notebook and said, "What's wrong?"
Read more... )

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TRIGGER WARNING: Mention of gun violence




Be Firm Till I Return from Hell

My sister Reesy hadn't spoken to me since Mama's funeral late last year, so I was wracking my brain for why she would be calling me now. She'd been pretty clear that if I didn't show at the funeral in person, I was persona non grata for life. I had shown, for five agonizing minutes of enduring everyone's grief—Mama had been the neighborhood matriarch—but apparently that wasn't enough to satisfy her mysterious requirements.

I resolved to be the adult in this situation. I put a smile on my face and answered the video phone, "Reesy, what a nice surprise!"
Read more... )


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TRIGGER WARNING: Cancer




Defying Gravity

Suzanne Feldstein was just putting her book and StarLeaf into her bag on top of her blue cotton blanket and green cardigan when her StarPhone buzzed in her pocket.

Hey you, texted Simon, bringing, as always, a smile to her face.

Hi yourself, she replied.
Read more... )


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Committed to Uneasy Street

Tatyana Azizevna Zhuravleva was stretching at the barre after her morning workout while inspecting the damage she had done to the dummies. One was headless, its artificial skull powdered against the far wall—Gauche, she thought, mentally giving herself a fine of practicing that move the next day—and another one had collapsed to the ground, all its skeleton-like supports neatly snapped. A third was propped against a wall with its plastic and ceramic spine broken in three places. Not terrible, she decided, nodding to her reflection.

Then the tremor shook the room.
Read more... )



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L'illusion des sosies

"Ira!"

Ira Feldstein came into the living room at the best jog a fit 87-year-old could manage. The last time Andrea had used that urgent tone, she'd just fallen and broken her hip. However, this time, she was sitting in her favorite pink overstuffed chair, leaning forward, pointing at the television and staring at him in horror.
Read more... )


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Spare Parts

"Sophie!" Nereid bellowed at her girlfriend in a panic. "Please tell me you didn't do this! You can't still be mad about the noodles!"

From the bedroom, Sophie sleepily said, "I thought we weren't going to discuss the noodle incident again. And do you have a frog in your throat or something, sweetie?"
Read more... )

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