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Smugglivus 2015 Guest Author (& Giveaway): Fran Wilde

Welcome to Smugglivus 2015! Throughout this month, we will have daily guests – authors and bloggers alike – looking back at their favorite reads of 2015, looking forward to events and upcoming books in 2016, and more.

Who: Fran Wilde, whose short stories have appeared at, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Uncanny Magazine, and in Asimovs’ and Nature Magazine. Fran also interviews authors about food in fiction at Cooking the Books, blogs for GeekMom, and occasionally can be found at the Washington Post,, Terrible Minds, and SFSignal.

Fran’s first novel is Updraft (Tor 2015). Her novella, “A Jewel and Her Lapidary” will be published by Publishing in May 2016, and her 2nd novel, Cloudbound (Tor 2016) will follow in the fall.

smFranWilde_byStevenGould Updraft

Please give it up for Fran!

I’m excited to be part of Smugglivus this year! Since I write & podcast about books a bunch over at Cooking the Books, I decided to reveal some of my favorite book-adjacent guilty pleasures of 2015 for Smugglivus. I made a (very pear-shaped) list of ten things I loved this year from ink to tumblrs, checked it about a dozen times, and hope you find it smugglicious…

Thanks to Ana and Thea for providing such a wonderful home on the interwebs for readers and writers and happy 2016 to everyone!

10 SFF Book-Adjacent Guilty (and not-so guilty) Pleasures for 2015

10. Book Plates – ones that look good enough to eat off of.


I don’t have these, but I covet them. Best book discussion dishes ever, right?

9. Banned Book Socks. Library Socks. All the socks. I am pretty predictable in my sartorial choices (black and white with an occasional blue), but socks in the winter and necklaces year round are a particularly guilty pleasure. My favorites from this year are all from sock dreams with the exception of these banned book socks. Which, being black and white and (defiantly) read all over, win.

8. Ink – Especially this one. And this one. The ink goes in my favorite go-to pen – a TWISBI 580. So here’s the thing about writing by hand – it needs to be fun to keep me away from my friends on the twitter and facebook. Inks, good paper, and a great pen help with that. It’s also potentially an expensive habit, but I’ll tell you the secret: Goulet Pens has an ink-drop subscription that is cheaper than buying by the bottle. And ink lasts a long time.


7. This Shawl, & That Bow Tie – My Etsy habits are … a subject of much discussion in the household, although not when the fine folks at Withencroft Co. made me a wing shawl for the debut of Updraft. Turns out they’re offering to make more of the beautiful things. Meantime… over at Cyberoptix, I found The Chemist a DNA bow tie for the Philly Geek Awards that made him stop bugging me about how much time I spend trawling Etsy. (Cyberoptix is based in Detroid and has great, durable shawls and scarves too – like this typewriter one.)

6. Short fiction magazine subscriptions. Uncanny, Asimov’s, Lightspeed, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, The Book Smugglers, Shimmer, & Clarkesworld for starters… Short fiction, for me, is both an inspiration and an outlet. I love writing and reading it. Even if I don’t get to all of it, I love the NEWNESS that comes through my gate every month. And while much short fiction is free to read online, supporting the publishers with subscriptions means it remains free, and new readers can find it. So, those are a few of my subscriptions above — what are yours?


5. Twelfth Planet Press Year’s Best YA – I loved the Kaleidescope Diverse YA anthology last year, came out last year, and their annual Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction is among my favorite Year’s Best collections. Not quite book adjacent, more like book, but still a regularly-recurring good thing.

4. Ad Astra: The SFWA 50th Anniversary Cookbook


I co-edited this cookbook with Cat Rambo, and it’s one of my favorite things of the year. Recipes from almost 150 SFF authors, editors, and agents. Custom honey badger illustrations from Ursula Vernon and MCA Hogarth. And besides containing great recipes and a wealth of sfnal history, the cookbook benefits the SFWA Legal fund, which helps other authors. Also, the first time I read Esther Friesner’s “At Mountains of Madness” fruitcake recipe, I sneezed coffee through my nose.

3. Ann Leckie’s Peepcillary Justice – Peeps. Ann Leckie. So many things I could say here, but this tumblr peeps for itself with machine-extruded sugary goodness.

2. Genevieve Valentine’s Red Carpet Rundowns. When Genevieve talks fashion, it’s like watching a train wreck and a space opera happen at the same time. She’s (hopefully) gearing up for her Miss Universe coverage, but I love the red carpet rundowns too. (My hands-down favorite this year – the 2015 Met Gala and Genevieve’s chronicle of Fan Bing Bing and Janelle Monae running the sartorial competition into the ground.)

1. The Parable of the Sower opera. Toshi Reagon has long been on my favorite vocalist list, but this year I got to watch her and a powerful cast of colleagues set Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower to music. I know Hamilton is huge right now, and justifiably. But if you have an opportunity to see this one in a small setting on tour, or hear a recording, do.

The Giveaway:

We are giving away a signed copy of Fran Wilde’s Updraft. Use the form below to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • Ju Transcendancing
    January 2, 2016 at 12:29 am

    I have been coveting those book plates for *years* – I love them so much! (Alas, I do not own them).

    Also, I’m so very much looking forward to your book ‘Updraft’ – it’s one of my most anticipated reads for 2016!

  • Margo
    January 2, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I’ve also coveted the book plates! And enjoyed peeps a la Leckie. Especially peepsarwat, who is lilac 🙂

  • Lexi
    January 2, 2016 at 2:06 am

    I really like the book plates. I haven’t seen those before.

  • Jenna O
    January 2, 2016 at 5:38 am

    I´m excited to get to read this book!

  • Mary A
    January 2, 2016 at 8:07 am

    I hadn’t come across the Peepcillary Justice pics until. Thank you for the laugh.

  • Fran
    January 2, 2016 at 10:19 am

    > peepsarwat who is lilac

    Peepsawarat!!! Margo that’s brilliant.

    The book plates I can now vouch for, they (or at least the small platter, which was on sale ::cough::) are pretty brilliant and now I want to host a book salon with tiny book cakes.

  • Gorgeous Gary
    January 2, 2016 at 10:36 am

    Hi Fran! (waves)

    Bookmarking Cyberoptix for the next time I need a tie for a gift…or for myself! 😎

  • Carl
    January 2, 2016 at 10:40 am

    I’ve seen those book plates before, they’re really spectacular if a little impractical. It’s just the sort of thing I’d have if I could buy anything I wanted and had lots of room to store stuff. Thanks

  • Mary Alexandra Agner
    January 2, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Is there a way to get the cookbook that doesn’t involve

  • Kate K.F.
    January 2, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    I love fashion rundowns and her writing, one more thing to read.

  • Fran
    January 2, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    @Mary Alexandra – yes, you can order from SFWA, I believe – double checking now.

    @Kate – YES … you *might* like the Reign recaps too…

    @Gary Hi back!

    @Ju and Jenna – thanks!

  • Maria Haskins
    January 3, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Updraft has been on my reading list since I heard about it last year. Didn’t have time to get to it in 2015, but 2016 will have to do!

  • Vane
    January 4, 2016 at 12:54 pm

    I am a shawl packrat.

  • Sigaloenta
    January 4, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    Ann Leckie almost made me like peeps. Almost…

  • Hebe
    January 5, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks for the Ink Drops recommendation – I know someone who would love that.

  • Gem
    January 5, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    I need those dishes in my life.

    I saw Fran at Borderlands SF and the Writers with Booze event. The book sounds amazing!

  • C.N. Rowen
    January 6, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Updraft was definitely one of my favorite 2015 books. I looks forward to reading Fran Wilde’s new novel.

  • Jessie
    January 6, 2016 at 5:10 pm

    I’ve been meaning to read Updraft for ages (I *almost* got to see Fran at an event in Boston in October, but life was too busy). It’s definitely on my tbr list for 2016!

  • tanita
    January 7, 2016 at 10:16 am

    This book was on my TBR list anyway, but now that I know someone else geeks out over book plates, ink, and allll the socks… well, it has to be bumped up.

    And that SHAWL!!!
    *flails inarticulately*

  • Marian
    January 7, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    I’m going to check out the cookbook. Cool links. Thanks for the chance at the book.

  • Jason
    January 7, 2016 at 5:02 pm

    Sounds like a good read.

  • Jennifer
    January 8, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks for the chance to win Updraft. I am already too much into just books to be really into book-related things though when I look at… no, I won’t be tempted and plan to get some interesting items.

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