Snuffy Larue's Spy Files


July 7th, 2014

This year’s ArmadilloCon has some fine guest action (Ian McDonald! Ted Chiang!) and looks like it will be fun.

You can find me…

5-6pm in the Dealer’s Room – Autographing…probably nothing much, but you can come talk to me. I’ll be one of the people next to Ian McDonald.

10-11am in Room E – Panel: Watch Out for that Plothole! w/Simmons*, Acks, Bracken, Fung, Reisman –Tips and advice on fixing the plotholes in your works.

4-5pm in Southpark A – Reading, cage-match style, with Amanda Downum. There may be a betting pool. (There may not.)

10-11am in Room F – Panel: Angels or Demons w/de Orive*, Faust, Leicht, Reisman, S. White – Which make the best antagonists?

2-3pm in Room F – Panel: Writing Pulp-Paced Stories w/Reisman*, Finn, Hardy, Johnson, Nevins – In which I moderate a discussion on writing fiction that has heft, depth and aspirations of greatness but the energy and pace of the adventure, mystery, horror, penny dreadful pulp story--a proposition I suggested, based on a Michael Swanwick quote.

...or find me in or near the bar. 

June 25th, 2014

No spoilers beyond what you get in a preview or blurb.

I saw Snowpiercer with an excited crowd of Alamo Drafthouse Rolling Roadshow attendees. We’d all ridden on the Hill Country Flyer steam train (I was in the Silver Pine car and my seat mates turned out to be very fun young women, one of them friends with Genevieve Valentine, whose new book I actually happened to be reading at the time, more about, below*) to the screening site in Burnet.

One of the coolest things about seeing the movie this way, besides the very gracious, funny, and informative presence of director Bong Joon Ho for Q&A, was the way the outdoors managed to augment the film at key moments, with a brief cooling and rise of the wind, a well-timed blowing of train horn, the arc of stars above as the night darkened.

As for the movie, despite the presence of some fairly large and hard to swallow world building and narrative leaps, I very much enjoyed it and was thoroughly engaged throughout. The world of the train is fantastic, and the performances are all around extremely fine--the presence of the two main protagonists from The Host very welcome. The entitled vs. marginalized/have vs. have-nots/grueling struggle with violent, psychopathic social injustice embodied in the film is one that easily finds traction for me, but it’s also one I think Bong Joon Ho dramatizes to devastating effect.

*The Girls at the Kingfisher Club
Very much enjoyed this, and read it compulsively fast. The Twelve Princesses is beautifully transposed to prohibition era New York. It's one of the more compelling fairy tale on its own, but The Girls at the Kingfisher Club makes something much darker, realer, and emotionally truthful of it. It rings true the way the best fairy tales do, while also being historical fiction with a PBS/BBC-like quality costume drama factor.

Child of a Hidden Sea
Just out, this is the first book in A.M. Dellamonica’s Stormwrack series, a very different feeling kind of portal fantasy set, largely, in an age-of-sail world somewhat like ours might be, someday--but then again, not. The world building, on an environmental, natural world scale, is phenomenal, detailed, and endlessly interesting; the magic system, deeply entwined with an equally complex and well-articulated legal system, reveals a great deal about the world and the many cultures inhabiting it. There’s swashbuckling adventure, moral quandaries, and a lot of fun.

(Full disclosure, the author is one of my dearest friends, and I read early drafts of this book, and the next in the series, a while back. The world and its characters have stayed with me, vivid and loved.) 

June 24th, 2014

Clarion West Write-a-Thon

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Have begun work on a new novel, one I’ve been writing around the edges of, and finding the heart of, for years. I have a couple of stories related to it, published here and there. This is exciting, and scary, and, um, exciting. Also, for reasons of dayjob, I am back to writing my first draft longhand—which I have  not done for a long time—and finding it kind of awesome. The words poured out this morning. While who knows how many of those words will ultimately be part of the final draft, the pouring out of words is a splendid thing. They’re even going into some pleasing configurations. Language and story working together is a kind of bliss. It is not always thus.

What should I offer to any possible pledgers to my efforts? I will take suggestions, but for now, sponsor me at three dollars or more and I’ll write you a brief description, with origin, of one of the many strange creatures that will ultimately populate this book (among a number of human creatures). You can even request a characteristic or two.

Par exemplar:
Lemonstone: A rabbit-esque creature the size of a pony, with multiple, replaceable sets of ears. Named for the look and smell of its shit, Lemonstone originated in the dream of a 10th century Persian child who would grow up to be a poet. Lemonstone is getting old now, and often wonders where its flying ears, that could harness the wind, have disappeared to.

Just let me know here or on FB. For my sponsor page, go here or, if that doesn't work, go here and search for Jessica Reisman. (the direct link to my sponsor page wasn't working, but it's there) 

June 3rd, 2014

past lives

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For a little under two years in the latter part of my teens (I dropped out of high school in the 10th grade, obtained a GED, and didn't go to college until I was in my 20s), I lived and worked at Renaissance fairs in northern and southern California, also traveling to the big Texas fair and to trade shows with the woman I worked for and lived with, between fairs, in her truck, at her parents, at friends’ houses, sometimes staying in her father’s import warehouse in Thousand Oaks (that sounds like we were together, but she was het and a fair bit older and it was platonic).

We camped in fairly high style (taking into account the unavoidable port-a-potties and cold showers) in structures temporary and permanent, depending on the fair. The finest was a two-platform, tapestry-walled, branch and sky ceilinged riser going up among the trees behind the booth where we sold the body cream we made in big vats at the import warehouse, along with the edible massage oil we made (glycerin and spice and fruit extracts), and mineral powder eye shadows long before mineral powder eye shadows hit the mainstream.

Set among the trees at the California fairs, our booth was always in what was called the Traders’ Market, because our main product was nominally ‘exotic’ (called—and the business eventually sold it as—Eastern Star Cream and Oriental Spice Cream), unguents in shapely little ceramic pots with richly colored glazes, made for us by a potter. Being in the Traders’ Market meant we were in the same area as places like The Teahouse of the Mullah Nasruddin’s Donkey, where I occasionally also worked (“Turkish coffee gives you wings!”), the belly dancing troupe, and the palmists and readers of cards and past lives, among others.

One reader of past lives was touted by many who had been around the fair a long time as very good at what she did and worth a visit. I didn't particularly believe in past lives—despite having a mother who taught me to read tarot cards (and to be fair to my mother, she always said it was just another kind of map, to show you where you are by what you see in the spread), I've always had a skeptical, analytic turn of mind. Mostly I just thought it would be fun to hear what she had to say, as an imaginative exercise. (Since I had already been a writer for about half my life, everything was kind of an imaginative exercise.)

The reader was, in fact, good at what she did. She was unassuming; among all the sparkly veils, embroidered vests, silks, and anklet bells of the Traders’ Market, she was dressed plain as a sparrow, a little pudgy, an unremarkable looking white woman with tired hollows around her eyes. She only talked in fragments, eyes half closed and hands reaching to shape things in the dim of her fabric-hung booth among the oak trees—“I see a figure, white, maybe early European, very concerned with footwear and keeping her feet warm…” “…a little boy, Native American, sitting on a riverbank fishing, and laughing…” and like that. Nothing grandiose or terribly specific, just little scraps of scene with sense information. There were others, but I have always remembered those two particular things, so that they have in a way become a part of me, as if they were, indeed, buried sense memories from far-flung past lives. As far flung as that time working and living at Renfairs with a woman named Feather now seems, like a past life within my life.

April 2nd, 2014

a book a book a book

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If you haven't read Karen Joy Fowler's WE ARE ALL COMPLETELY BESIDE OURSELVES, which just won the PEN/Faulkner award, you have a truly amazing book waiting for you.

This interview with the author is short, but excellent.

The best takeaway line from KJF, for me: "But mostly I believe that we shouldn’t do things we are unable to look at."

Should be required philisophy for all.

January 17th, 2014

(no subject)

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Over on Terri Windling's blog Myth and Moor, her winter poetry challenge is underway, lots of rich imagery and story to warm and color your winter. Poems from many fingers, among them the most wonderful Jane Yolen:

There's a couple little offerings from me in the mix (in the bear entry and the snowqueen one, so far).

I have been working, slowly, as is per for my me, with dayjob, on a novella, kind of a palate cleanser between novels. It has much strangeness and joy and darkness, so far.

December 30th, 2013

I wish I could use a bullhorn to shout some of these facts into the ears of the wealthy, entitled rightwingers who want to keep slashing the safety net and have no clue what reality is:

Filthy Lucre -

December 24th, 2013

(no subject)

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Hello blog. Nice blog. I'd pet you, but you'd probably bite me because you've gone tosky from neglect.

The posting interface is very wonky on the dayjob computer, over which, in terms of applications and browsers, I have no control. And I have a lot of other stuff to attend to when not at dayjob. That's the story, anyway.

But, I am off the rest of this week! Great sigh of relief and relaxation.

Did you know I'm on FB and Twitter? They're easier to update, so they get more updates. On FB. Twitter.

Some links:
You Can Help Build a Better Future by Majoring in English

Haunted Holidays: Scary Lady Writers forgotten by time, mostly because they weren't men.

Speaking of haunted holidays, a Christmas video card for you, Ho Ho Ho.

And on a different note, a song for Solstice, just passed, Sol Invictus by Thea Gilmore.

November 7th, 2013

When I’m having a rough time, and feel like I must not deserve to be happy because of everything happening or not happening in my life, in my body, these are some things that help:

The music cure
Talking to loved ones who I know love me
Naps with cats
A good meal with friends
Going to a movie in a movie theater, pref the Drafthouse so I can have a nice cocktail, too
A long hot shower
A massage

Crying my heart out; this one’s tricky, though. Helps, but must be followed by some love, some kindness, to soothe the raw and warm the hollow places with light.

October 22nd, 2013

some pics

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Some pics from MexicArte's early Day of the Dead parade, Viva la Vida.


the rest below cut...Collapse )

October 18th, 2013

grumpy linky edition

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What happens when a real journalist fact checks a Fox News story:

"...the best [they] can do is what Hannity did—exploit people’s ignorance and falsely point to imaginary boogeymen."

I am so over the "oh those poor innocent boys," victim-blaming, women and girls have all the responsibility and none of the power, rape appologist wing of this country. Teach your fucking boys not to rape, so this sort of horrible injustice can stop happening. If you can't do that, you shouldn't have children. The end.

eta: what happened in Maryville rape in Daisy Coleman's own words; brave girl

October 9th, 2013


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"...basically the same thing as shooting someone during a robbery and then explaining to the judge that it’s really their fault because if they’d handed over their wallet you wouldn’t have had to shoot them."

The 5 creepiest things about how the Koch brothers engineered the shutdown:

If they truly believed any of the crap they're raining down on the American people was true and fair, congress members who shut down the government over Obamacare would all give up their government paid healthcare right this instant. But they won't. Cause they don't. There's no compassion or reason or respect or care for actual people in them. Or in the Koch brothers.

October 8th, 2013

meanwhile, in my brain

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I’m on the side of animals
I’m on the side of art
I want to live in beauty, echo, laughter, glory, love
Emily’s cathedral heft in tree and arch, pillar and porch
I want to step through days in places full of gorgeous joy
In spaces rare and loved
Lavish palaces of thought and creation
Where nature grows in concert with the best that comes of human heart and mind
Together, twined, hidden, shown, cycling, alive.

In other news, them people all crazy. Cray-zee, I tells ya.

October 2nd, 2013


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No, it's not what the American people want.

Also this:

And this:

And this:

When ideologies become as calcified, as cocooned and as extremist as those galvanizing the GOP, the American system of government cannot work. But I fear this nullification of the last two elections is a deliberate attempt to ensure that the American system of government as we have known it cannot work. It cannot, must not work, in the mindset of these radicals, because they simply do not accept the legitimacy of a President and Congress of the opposing party.

The fact that they get paid while people will go hungry, children are denied cancer care, and many many people suffer, is absolutely unacceptable.  The far right running the GOP are as fanatical and fundamentalist and dangerous, in their way, as any terrorists in the world.

September 9th, 2013

on success

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An Emerson poem, with words that are still wise, and still much to the contrary of the measurement we internalize from our culture.

To Laugh often
and love much;

to win the respect
of intelligent persons
and the affection
of children;

to earn the approbation
of honest citizens and
endure the betrayal
of false friends;

to leave the world a bit
better; whether by a healthy
child, a garden patch or a
redeemed social condition;

to have played and laughed
with enthusiasm and
sung with exultation

to know even one life
has breathed easier
because you have lived...
this is to have succeeded.

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 3rd, 2013


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WorldCon (aka LoneStarCon) was a lot of fun. Exhausting, drunke--er, tipsy--fun. Salient points: conversation with real live astronaut, a really lovely woman; stories of bears eating people; drinks. There was other stuff, too. More seriously, seeing a lot of friends and meeting some new ones, and having rich entertaining conversations with them, filled me full of a stellar sense of community. Thanks, everyone. You're all awesome.

And to recap, you can get a copy of RAYGUNS OVER TEXAS here: It will also apparently be available as an e-book at some point.

Here's an excerpt from my story, "The Chambered Eye":

Our seatrain, an old Doysen maglev skimmer, the distributed neural net of its light, flexible ceram-steel body latticed with manta ray and bowhead whale code, pulled in late the afternoon before, from another sector. It had been some other sector before that, all of them so alike they tended to blur. Most sectors are built on artificial sandbars in the endless sea, pressure sand made from centuries of refuse. Each sector rises out of the sea plains, a proliferation of towering garden-terraced structures. All of them laid out mostly the same, with a water conversion plant and a market at sector’s edge, and then the seatrain yards and docking slips.

Between these hubs of human life, there was only sea and the web of float tracks on an endless beading of amber bladder bubbles, stretching in all directions. The sectors—they had names, but I generally couldn’t remember one from another—were strung like gaudy baubles on the lace ribbon of tracks around the world. Except where there was no sea at all, just dust and the empty; they say there’s towns there, too, and nomad bands, but it’s just what they say.

August 25th, 2013

For those with an interest, my current writing playlist.

Entertainment       Phoenix  
Heavily (feat. Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon)   Joss Whedon    Much Ado About Nothing (Original Score)  
Main Title      Joss Whedon    Much Ado About Nothing (Original Score)  
Cups (Pitch Perfect's “When I’m Gone”) [Pop Version]  
Sigh No More (feat. Maurissa Tancharoen & Jed Whedon)   Joss Whedon    Much Ado About Nothing (Original Score)
Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)  Us3    Hand On The Torch
Enjoy the Ride (feat. Judy Tzuke)     Morcheeba    Dive Deep 
Far from Portland   Lau    Race the Loser
Heartbeat   Kopecky Family Band    Kids Raising Kids
The Woodpile   Frightened Rabbit    Pedestrian Verse (Deluxe Edition)
Cups (Movie Version)   Anna Kendrick    Pitch Perfect (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Apple of My Eye    Big Boi    Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
Black River Killer    Blitzen Trapper    Black River Killer  
Little Talks     Of Monsters and Men    My Head Is an Animal
Let the Light In   Bob Schneider    A Perfect Day
The High Road   Broken Bells    Broken Bells
Once There Was a Hushpuppy    Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin    Beasts of the Southern Wild (Music from the Motion Picture) 
Alice's Theme    Danny Elfman    Alice In Wonderland
From a Window Seat   Dawes    Stories Don't End
Down By the Water   The Decemberists    The King Is Dead
Red & White & Blue & Gold   Aoife O'Donovan    Fossils  
Wear Your Love Like Heaven (Single Version)    Donovan    The Essential Donovan
How to Save a Life   The Fray    How to Save a Life
Half Acre  Hem    Rabbit Songs
Save It for a Rainy Day  The Jayhawks    Rainy Day Music
Song of the Lonely Mountain    Neil Finn    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) 
Simple Song   The Shins    Port of Morrow 
Otherside   Red Hot Chili Peppers    Red Hot Chili Peppers: Greatest Hits
Half of What We Know  Crooked Still    Some Strange Country
Silver Moon    Blitzen Trapper    Black River Killer
Recovery  Frank Turner    Tape Deck Heart (Deluxe Edition)
West End Girls  Pet Shop Boys    Please
A Common Disaster   Cowboy Junkies    Lay It Down
Safe and Sound  Capital Cities    In a Tidal Wave of Mystery
Dance Apocalyptic  Janelle Monáe    The Electric Lady  
Don't Swallow the Cap   The National    Trouble Will Find Me
Your Life Your Call   Junip    Junip 
Same Love (feat. Mary Lambert)  Macklemore & Ryan Lewis    The Heist (Deluxe Edition) 

August 22nd, 2013

WorldCon reading...

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Just an update to my WorldCon scheduling; reading, as part of the RAYGUNS OVER TEXAS reading and signing, will be Saturday 5-7 at the Convention Center, room 007A. I will only be there for the reading portion, as I have a panel at 6. Also, I'm not listed on the program for the reading, but I will be there. I don't have another reading, so it's your only chance to hear my dulcet tones rendering my own immortal prose! ahem. (The reception for the anthology is still Thursday 6:30-8:30 at the San Antonio central library.)

Should be a jam-packed hour of readings.

August 21st, 2013

I have a soft spot for the crazy characters, the ones who are a little mad--too something for the world, cracked and stained and in places broken by it, but with brilliance coming through the cracks. The ones who are outsiders even among the outsiders. River in Firefly, Suzanne (Crazy Eyes) in Orange is the New Black, Parker in Leverage.

Suzanne writes poetry; River--well, River is like a lethal incarnation of a dervish; Parker flies and gets into places no one else can. These particular fictional depictions of mad and crazy, mind you, are--even given difficult childhoods and present pain for the characters--quite romanticized. The whimsy somewhat outweighs the horror and pain. But I love that. The idea that light can come through those cracks, that damage, that someone not quite right in the head, cracked, raised by wolves, whose father once considered putting her in an institution, can come out wonderful, brilliant, crazy awesome; interesting.

August 19th, 2013

The Z Radiant ebook!

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Originally published by Five Star Speculative Fiction back in 2004, my first novel THE Z RADIANT is now available as an ebook! It's been brought out by Biblio Publishing with new cover art and it's available for all formats. You can get it through the Biblio site, or at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

ZRadiantCoverWeb"This is thinking readers' sci-fi."

From the Library Journal review: "Suspense and action combined with four strong and distinct protagonists make this debut a good choice for most sf and mature YA collections."

Here's the first chapter.Read more...Collapse )

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