Tuesday, May 23, 2017

VBT + #Giveaway: Behind the Mask by Multiple Authors, Featuring Cat Rambo @Catrambo @GoddessFish

Behind the Mask
by Kelly Link, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Cat Rambo, Lavie Tidhar and others


Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.


Behind the Mask is a multi-author collection with stories by award-winning authors Kelly Link, Cat Rambo, Carrie Vaughn, Seanan McGuire, Lavie Tidhar, Sarah Pinsker, Keith Rosson, Kate Marshall, Chris Large and others. It is partially, a prose nod to the comic world—the bombast, the larger-than-life, the save-the-worlds and the calls-to-adventure. But it’s also a spotlight on the more intimate side of the genre. The hopes and dreams of our cape-clad heroes. The regrets and longings of our cowled villains. That poignant, solitary view of the world that can only be experienced from behind the mask.

Excerpt from “Ms. Liberty Gets a Haircut” by Cat Rambo

The Sphinx and Ms. Liberty are sharing breakfast, the two of them up earlier than the rest for a change.

“I have a question,” the Sphinx says.

“Go ahead.” Ms. Liberty butters her waffle.

“Are we even really an all-female group?”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, Zenith, Charisse, Zanycat, myself, X for sure. But Kilroy’s an alien—do they even have genders like ours?”

“She lays eggs, I believe, but she’s been pretty cagy about it.”

“And X—well, X is a construct. Not even built to be female, she apparently just decided it—but based on what? Attitude? Self-identification? Class? Power relationship to her creator?”

Ms. Liberty has had this conversation before, in the Superb Squadron headquarters.

“If she says she is, who am I to say no?” she says.

“That brings us to you,” the Sphinx says.

Ms. Liberty says, “If I say I am, who are you to say no?”

“You’re a construct too.”

“Constructed to be female.”

“Something you could change or reject as easily as throwing a switch.”

Ms. Liberty says, “I have to be something more than superhuman. I’m female.”

The Sphinx shrugs, drains the last of her coffee, slides from her chair. “Going on patrol,” she says.

Interview with Cat Rambo:

Cat Rambo lives, writes, and teaches atop a hill in the Pacific Northwest. Her 200+ fiction publications include stories in Asimov’s, Clarkesworld Magazine, and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. She is an Endeavour, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award nominee. Her second novel, Hearts of Tabat, appears in early 2017 from Wordfire Press. She is the current President of the Fantasy and Science Fiction Writers of America. For more about her, as well as links to her fiction, on her Website.

What inspired you to write “Ms. Liberty Gets Haircut”?

Cat: My story was inspired by a longtime Champions game - Ms. Liberty was an actual character in the game and she's always fascinated me. She's a created being who originally accepts the programming given to her by her creators but then -- as we all do, I think -- starts to question how the world shapes her and begins experimenting with her own being. Other characters were also game characters, such as X, who has no set shape whatsoever, but firmly and adamantly insists that she's female, or Dr. Arcane, who is my reinvention of Marvel's Doctor Strange.

Can you tell us a little bit about your next books or what you have planned for the future?

Cat: I'm currently working on a middle-grade space opera about five teenagers who are on an intergalactivc cruise that goes horribly awry.  It's based on some of my memories of that era, and I've been having a lot of fun trying to put myself in the head of a young teen. 

I'm just finishing up a nonfiction project, a book called Moving from Idea to Draft, which looks at a couple of dozen ways of starting a story and tries to discuss next steps and pitfalls for each, along with an example drawn from my own fiction.

I'm also producing short stories on an ongoing basis for my Patreon supporters. Those stories range all over the place; the most recent was an urban fantasy and I'm currently working on a weird western. I enjoy the campaign because it keeps me on track making sure I supply material for my community there.

Can you tell us a little bit about the characters in “Ms. Liberty Gets a Haircut”?

Cat: The characters are, for me, a way to get at some of the prescribed and proscribed roles for women in the superhero world. It seems to me many real-life issues get played out in comics in fascinating ways. I spent some of my time in graduate school looking at comics, in particular Tank Girl and Watchmen.

You know I think we all have a favorite author. Who is your favorite author and why?

I have too many favorite authors to count! But if I had to point to one that really shaped me first in terms of reading and later in writing, and whose work I've been going back to in that middle grade project, is Andre Norton. Luckily for me, she produced scads of YA books and I devoured them when I was a teen. Those were pre-Internet days so for fast readers like myself, there was a lot of going back and re-reading multiple times. I've spent so much time in her worlds.

If you could time-travel would you travel to the future or the past? Where would you like to go and why would you like to visit this particular time period?

Cat: The past holds a lot of disadvantages, but there are events and people I'd like to meet/see. I think, though, I'd opt for the future. I am so curious (and cautiously optimistic) about what it holds for us.

Do you have any little fuzzy friends? Like a dog or a cat? Or any pets?

Cat: I recently lost one of my cats, Raven, who was the best cat ever. In his absence, the other, Taco has been working hard at filling the gap. Both cats have stories I've written for them; Raven appears in "Vocobox" (in my collection Near + Far) and Taco can be glimpsed in "Tortoiseshell Cats are Not Refundable", which appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine.

Blog ~ The Rambo Academy ~ Patreon

 Books by Cat Rambo:

Cat Rambo: Amazon

AUTHOR Bios and Links:

Kate Marshall lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and several small agents of chaos disguised as a dog, cat, and child. She works as a cover designer and video game writer. Her fiction has appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Crossed Genres, and other venues, and her YA survival thriller I Am Still Alive is forthcoming from Viking. You can find her online here Website.

Chris Large writes regularly for Aurealis Magazine and has had fiction published in Australian speculative fiction magazines and anthologies. He's a single parent who enjoys writing stories for middle-graders and young adults, and about family life in all its forms. He lives in Tasmania, a small island at the bottom of Australia, where everyone rides Kangaroos and says 'G'day mate!' to utter strangers.

Stuart Suffel's body of work includes stories published by Jurassic London, Evil Girlfriend Media, Enchanted Conversation: A Fairy Tale Magazine, Kraxon Magazine, and Aurora Wolf among others.  He exists in Ireland, lives in the Twilight Zone, and will work for Chocolate Sambuca Ice cream. Twitter

Michael Milne is a writer and teacher originally from Canada, who lived in Korea and China, and is now in Switzerland. Not being from anywhere anymore really helps when writing science fiction. His work has been published in The Sockdolager, Imminent Quarterly, and anthologies on Meerkat Press and Gray Whisper.

Adam R. Shannon is a career firefighter/paramedic, as well as a fiction writer, hiker, and cook. His work has been shortlisted for an Aeon award and appeared in Morpheus Tales and the SFFWorld anthology You Are Here: Tales of Cryptographic Wonders. He and his wife live in Virginia, where they care for an affable German Shepherd, occasional foster dogs, a free-range toad, and a colony of snails who live in an old apothecary jar. His website and blog are at AdamRShannon.com.

Jennifer Pullen received her doctorate from Ohio University and her MFA from Eastern Washington University. She originally hails from Washington State. Her fiction and poetry have appeared or are upcoming in journals including: Going Down Swinging (AU), Cleaver, Off the Coast, Phantom Drift Limited, and Clockhouse

Stephanie Lai is a Chinese-Australian writer and occasional translator. She has published long meandering thinkpieces in Peril Magazine, the Toast, the Lifted Brow and Overland. Of recent, her short fiction has appeared in the Review of Australian Fiction, Cranky Ladies of History, and the In Your Face Anthology. Despite loathing time travel, her defence of Dr Who companion Perpugilliam Brown can be found in Companion Piece (2015). She is an amateur infrastructure nerd and a professional climate change adaptation educator (she's helping you survive our oncoming climate change dystopia). You can find her on Twitter, on her Website, or talking about pop culture and drop bears at No Award

Aimee Ogden is a former biologist, science teacher, and software tester. Now she writes stories about sad astronauts and angry princesses. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Asimov's, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Daily Science Fiction, Baen.com, Persistent Visions, and The Sockdolager.
Nathan Crowder is a Seattle-based fan of little known musicians, unpopular candy, and just happens to write fantasy, horror, and superheroes. His other works include the fantasy novel Ink Calls to Ink, short fiction in anthologies such as Selfies from the End of the World, and Cthulhurotica, and his numerous Cobalt City superhero stories and novels. He is still processing the death of David Bowie.

Sarah Pinsker is the author of the 2015 Nebula Award winning novelette "Our Lady of the Open Road." Her novelette "In Joy, Knowing the Abyss Behind" was the 2014 Sturgeon Award winner and a 2013 Nebula finalist. Her fiction has been published in magazines including Asimov's, Strange Horizons, Lightspeed, Fantasy & Science Fiction, and Uncanny, among others, and numerous anthologies. Her stories have been translated into Chinese, French, Spanish, Italian, and Galician. She is also a singer/songwriter with three albums on various independent labels and a fourth forthcoming. She lives in Baltimore, Maryland with her wife and dog. She can be found online at her Website and Twitter.

Carrie Vaughn is best known for her New York Times bestselling series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty, who hosts a talk radio show for the supernaturally disadvantaged, the fourteenth installment of which is Kitty Saves the World.  She's written several other contemporary fantasy and young adult novels, as well as upwards of 80 short stories.  She's a contributor to the Wild Cards series of shared world superhero books edited by George R. Martin and a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop.  An Air Force brat, she survived her nomadic childhood and managed to put down roots in Boulder, Colorado.  Visit her at her Website.

Keith Frady writes weird short stories in a cluttered apartment in Atlanta. His work has appeared in Love Hurts: A Speculative Fiction Anthology, Literally Stories, The Yellow Chair Review, and The Breakroom Stories.



Giveaway #1:

The Publisher is offering a special contest, separate from the rafflecopter.

Ø One copy of the book winner’s choice of epub or mobi

Ø A randomly drawn commenter at every stop

Ø Drawing will be held 5 days after the stop’s date

Ø To enter leave a comment 

Giveaway #2:

$20 Amazon or B/N GC

Follow the tour and comment; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning.


Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

James Robert said...

I appreciate the interview, excerpt and giveaway, Thank You!

Victoria Alexander said...

Great post & I love the cover - thanks for sharing! :)

Bernie Wallace said...

What books are you looking forward to reading? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(At)hotmail(d0t)com

Mary Preston said...

It takes all kinds of heroes.

Beyond Comps said...

Thanks for the contest!

DanieX said...

thanks for the chance 💚

diannekc said...

Like that this a collection of stories from different authors. I like discovering new authors.

James Robert said...

Happy Hump Day and thanks for the chance at winning.

Bernie Wallace said...

What is the best book that you have read recently? Thanks for the giveaway. I hope that I win. Bernie W BWallace1980(at)hotmail(d0t)com

Nikolina said...

I am really enjoying following this tour, thank you for all the great blog posts and excerpts!

James Robert said...

Not such a nice day here in Michigan today. Hope it's sunny where you are. Thanks for all you do bringing us such terrific giveaways to enter.

James Robert said...

Happy Friday! Hope it's a fun one for you and thanks for the opportunity to win.

James Robert said...

Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Thanks for all you do bringing us such great giveaways.

James Robert said...

Good Morning! Back to thank you for the giveaway and chance to win. Sure appreciate it!

James Robert said...

Thanks so much for the opportunity to win. I appreciate the chance!

James Robert said...

Hope you're not tired of seeing me visit daily. I do appreciate you giving us the chance at winning. Thanks!

Meerkat Press said...

James Robert, you are the winner of our random drawing for an ebook of Behind the Mask. Contact us at info@meerkatpress.com to claim your prize!

James Robert said...

I appreciate the opportunity to win, thank you. Been so busy I have missed some days but still working on entering when I can.

James Robert said...

Hope your day is going great. Thanks once again for the chance at winning.

James Robert said...

I'm back and thanking you again for the chance at winning. I appreciate it!