My heartfelt thanks to the SF/fantasy field

Fundraiser goal met

Screenshot_2015-03-27-13-36-09_mh1427434705549I am feeling so very overwhelmed, happy, and so very thankful. Gofundme donators have now raised the entire $8000 needed for a new and 100% successful cross-linking surgery on my eyes to halt the progression of my Keratoconus !!! I would love to thank my family and friends and the many authors, editors, publishers, artists and readers/fans of the sf/fantasy field for amazingly generous donations made to the surprise fundraiser my boss, Shahid Mahmud (who deserves the most thanks!), created to help me raise the money. Not in my wildest dreams would I have believed I could have had this surgery within the next five years, because it’s not a cheep procedure, and now I can have the procedure done within monthsas soon as I can organise it with the surgeon!

(Here is a link to the fundraiser: https://www.gofundme.com/lezlirobyn.)

cornea-shape-keratoconusI am most moved by the huge swell of support from the sf and fantasy field. While I know my family would donate if they have the means, because I am their loved one, so many other people donated and shared the link (282 times since last check!) just out of the kindness of their heart, or because I was part of the sf/fantasy community. In particular, Robert J. Sawyer‘s sharing of my fundraiser meant a lot of his fans and friends donated, and Marianne Plumridge‘s regular re-sharing kept it in the forefront of people’s minds. Then George R. R. Martin wrote a blog in support of the fundraiser, which meant numerous of his fans and one of the showrunners of the hit Game of Thrones TV show, David Benioff, donated a significant amount towards the total I need. Then File 770 added it to their blog reel here (item 4) and here (item 2), Joe Lansdale shared the email GRRM forwarded him about it online, and SF Site also posted about it, which was reblogged at Parallel State. So many artists, publishers and authors, from Joe Haldeman in the US and Juliet Marillier in Australia, were sharing it on their FB pages…then agent Eleanor Woods and her son, Justin, mailed a generous check after they heard about it via email. (And this is only a fraction of the 162 donators, and does not include the luminaries of the field who wanted their donations to stay anonymous.)

specialist-lenses-06-1200x600I have so many people to thank. I am especially thankful to the readers who donatedthe people who, like me, might not have too much to spare, but still donated anyway. Even one of the first fans of my writing, a voracious reader, donated and left such a lovely message on my fundraiser (I’m looking at you, Jo Van Ekeren) that it moved me to tears.

14886f5a2103c7407c263d4b712257e5In fact, I have been brought to tears several times over the amazing outpouring of generosity of the donations and the lovely messages written by those who have shared the fundraiser all over the web. And, let me tell you, it’s quite the bittersweet experience for me when I cry. My tears fill in the thinned parts of my corneas that the Keratoconus has eroded over the years, creating a more even, rounded, surface. So even if it was sadness that had caused my tears, for that split second my vision sharpens I experience a moment of wonder and surprise as I see how beautiful and vibrant the world really is, until gravity or the blink of an eye causes the tears to fall to my cheeks.

So, I thank you for the tears; I thank you for your generosity. I have always maintained that the sf/fantasy community operates a lot like a family. It might be a sometimes dysfunctional and controversial family at times, but it is a field notorious for paying it forward to the younger generation. Well, you guys have paid it forward this month to give me sight, in a field I like to think is full of vision for the future, and I can’t show my appreciation enough. Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.

Here are what some lovely people said about the fundraiser:

My Aussie friend Lezli Robyn is a talented young writer and editor. She’s a Campbell Award nominee, one of Mike Resnick’s “writer babies” and sometime collaborator with Mike, and the assistant and right-hand-woman to Shahid Mahmud, owner and publisher of Arc Manor Press, the parent company behind GALAXY’S EDGE and a growing line of SF and fantasy classics. Many of you will have met her at the Kansas City worldcon or various regional conventions, manning the Arc Manor table in the huckster’s room, always with a smile on her face.

But now her eyes are failing her, and she needs help if she’s not to lose her sight.

Shahid, her boss and one of the good guys in his own right, has stepped forward to prevent that and established a Go Fund Me to get Lezli the procedure she needs to save her sight. You can find it at https://www.gofundme.com/LezliRobyn All the details are there.

Go. Read. Give.

It’s a terrific cause for a terrific person.George R. R. Martin

Many of my friends will know Lezli Robyn as a lovely person and a highly original writer. I’m sharing this in hopes that some of you will donate to the campaign to fund her very important eye surgery. Every dollar helps!Juliet Marillier

And in response to the inpouring of donations:

Wow! GAME OF THRONES showrunner David Benioff just donated $500meaning the fundraiser for Lezli Robyn‘s eye procedure is now three-quarters of the way to its $8,000 goal after just three days! Lezli is legally blind and needs this procedure. Many thanks to all my friends who have already donated!Robert J. Sawyer

And lastly, to echo my friend’s sentiments, I’ll leave you with this lovely comment:

I know that SF and Fantasy fandom/professional creative industry has its ups and downs, feuds, indifference, effortless nerdy geekdom, sometimes strained, sometimes so much fun…but I do love it when we come together to support one of our own, heedless of personal peccadilloes. Thank you one and all, on behalf of my friend.Marianne Plumridge

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Get Soulmates, by Mike Resnick and Lezli Robyn, for FREE!!!

SOULMATES, by Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn, published by Phoenix Pick. Cover by Juan Miguel Aguilera. (United States, October 2016)
SOULMATES, by Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn, published by Phoenix Pick. Cover by Juan Miguel Aguilera. (United States, December 2016)

It is my pleasure to announce that SOULMATES, by Mike Resnick and myself, is part of a special sale!

From between the 20th of April until the 20th of May, if you purchase the Amazon ebook of SOULMATES for $6.99, you will be reimbursed with a $10 coupon by publisher, Phoenix Pick, to be used on ANY ebook within their online catalogue or put it towards a paperback bundle purchase (when buying it directly from the publisher’s website)!

To find out details about how you can claim your $10 coupon, click on this link or copy and paste the below link into your browser:

http://www.phoenixpick.com/Books/Soulmates.htm

We are starting to get some amazing reviews on Amazon, and if you feel so inclined to buy our book, consider leaving us a review once you’ve finished reading it. It helps raise exposure for SOULMATES, which helps us poor starving authors make even more sales.  *grin*

For more information on the book, including back cover detail, table of contents and reviews, click on my SOULMATES page from my Publications submenu!

Below are pictures of some of the amazing artwork our stories/novelettes have garnered over the years (you can find many more images on my Covers & Illustrations page), the awards we have won, and the book’s first sighting at Worldcon in Kansas last year (2016!). (Yes, that is Robert Silverberg talking to the publisher, Shahid Mahmud in that photo!)

 

 

For those who want to buy SOULMATES–I hope you enjoy it. It means you get a couple extra books for free! What is not to love about this deal?

Readercon: Books, books, songs, and even more books!

IMG_0048Last weekend I went to my  first Readercon, where the Dealers Room was actually labeled The Bookshop, because it only contained–you guessed it–books. (Including two I am in by Baen: Mission: Tomorrow, and Galactic Games!) I absolutely loved seeing so many books in the one large room. 🙂

It was an absolute pleasure to catch up with Neil Clarke, publisher/editor of Clarkesworld, where I sold my first ever short story, and to have dinner with editor/writer, Alex Shvartsman, who is editing the latest Phoenix Pick anthology Humanity 2.0.

2016-07-09 13.01.51.jpgI am proud to say I kept writing throughout the weekend, even managing to complete a 1500 word scene while working our table on Sunday! I was also incredibly chuffed that by the end of the con there was only one copy of our first Arc Double book left, which pairs two novellas by Joe Haldeman and Gregory Benford. (This book series is my first idea for Phoenix Pick to come to fruition, so I want it to sell well!)

While I was too busy 90% of the time to attend any of the panels, I did drop into the I’m Sorry, I Haven’t A Clue panel at just the right time on Saturday night to see the panelists (including GOH Catherynne Valente) sing the lyrics of one song to the melody of a very different type of song, to most hilarious effect. And yes, I recorded it for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! The last song is a real pearler! 😉

Panelists (from left to right):

  • Max Gladstone: Lyrics of Beyoncé’s SINGLE LADIES, sung to the theme of NEVERENDING STORY.
  • Catherynne Valente: Lyrics of Amy Winehouse’s REHAB, sung to the theme of INDIANA JONES.
  • Heath Miller: Lyrics to Taylor Swift’s SHAKE IT OFF, to the tune of Les Misérables’ DO YOU HEAR THE PEOPLE SING!
  • Martin Cahill: Lyrics to Johnny Cash’s HURT to the tune of R.E.M.’s SHINY HAPPY PEOPLE.
  • Maria DahvanaHeadley: Lyrics to Adele’s HELLO to the tune of The Rocky Horror Picture Show’s SWEET TRANSVESTITE.

Sail to Success Workshop Cruise

Norwegian Sky

Did you know I’m going on my first ever cruise on December the 4th-9th this year? At the moment I’m in the middle of deadlines (in the Day Job and as a writer), so I’ve only been sticking my head up out of the water to create this website, work or play at conventions…or rupture eardrums while battling a month-long case of pneumonia (wee!). But I added a page to my website about the cruise (which launches from Miami), and wanted to let my writer friends know, because not only could they bunk with another student to save on costs, bring several guests with them, or simply hang out with meeeeeee on the beautiful beaches of the Bahamas, there is this totally awesome workshop faculty they can learn how to get published and have one-on-one meals with:

Cruise Authors

I already love my job—I mean, I create books. What’s not to love?—but to be able to help run a writing workshop on the Norwegian Sky cruise ship is the icing on the cake. This will be its fifth year running(!!!), and is limited to only 22 students, so it makes for a much more interactive learning environment. Combine that with the chance to make story sales (to Galaxy’s Edge), and being able to network in exotic location.. now wonder it’s called Sail to Success!

I have to get my head out of the clouds and get to some real work, but click here to find out more or learn how to sign yourself up!

Cruise logo

The first Arc Double is here!

Arc Double copyright page
ARC DOUBLE book design by Lezli Robyn

In my role as Assistant Publisher for Arc Manor (which publishes Phoenix Pick books and the Galaxy’s Edge magazine) I have the pleasure of bringing words to life in the form of new books. Well, here is my first project as Concept Designer: Arc Doubles!

This book series brings back a popular format by Ace Books, where two pieces of fiction are paired together, but flipped so that each novella starts on a different side of the book, with its own cover.

Our first book in the series pairs The Mars Girl by Joe Haldeman, and As Big as the Ritz by Gregory Benford. While widely different in style and plot, both novellas tell the story of human who seeks out adventure on a new planet, uncovers a great secret, and ultimately has to make a decision that will irrevocably change the course of their lives (and humanity), forever!

This book was a delight to put together. You can buy the kindle ebook here, the nook ebook here, with links to the paperback edition on both websites! Attached is a photo so you can see how cool the cover is for both versions. Enjoy!

Arc Double: AS BIG AS THE RITZ by Gregory Benford & THE MARS GIRL by Joe Haldeman
Arc Double: THE MARS GIRL by Joe Haldeman & AS BIG AS THE RITZ by Gregory Benford

New website and cover reveal!

Welcome to my first ever blog, on my brand new website!

I am launching my website today, with absolutely stunning artwork by Robert Rogalski! Feel free to click through all the pages and leave comments, when/where inclined. You can see my covers and illustrations, my upcoming convention appearances and books, and there are panel videos to watch and audio files of my stories to listen to!

Aside from setting up my website, I have had a very busy couple of weeks since attending Balticon. I am in the process of getting three of my own books ready to go to press at Phoenix Pick and Hadley Rille Books (with another two to publish soon after!). The first book to be published is Soulmates, which is a collection of short stories and novelettes written with Mike Resnick. Here is the gorgeous cover by Juan Miguel Aguilera:

SOULMATES, by Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn, published by Phoenix Pick. Cover by Juan Miguel Aguilera. (United States, October 2016)
SOULMATES, by Mike Resnick & Lezli Robyn, published by Phoenix Pick. Cover by Juan Miguel Aguilera. (United States, October 2016)

The book is titled after our novelette of the same name, which originally sold to Asimov’s, was sold another dozen times to countries around the world, and was nominated for three SF awards (winning one of them!).

Despite that, we think that the book’s opening piece, “Benchwarmer”, is the better of the two (it also won its own award!). We hope we’re on the right track when our copyeditor says the story made her cry. <grin>

The book is slated to have a pre-launch at MidAmeriConII, in August! I will update with more details once I know. It’s time for tea, chocolate, and more words!