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April 2014

OrchidAfter a long, cold winter, I'm starting to believe that one day, maybe, just maybe, my world will no longer be covered in snow. Whew!

I hope we get nice spring weather for C2E2 in Chicago later this month. That whole Windy City thing? Not a joke. Regardless, I’m looking forward to it! I'll be there on Saturday, April 26th discussing urban fantasy with Chloe Neill, Lauren Roy, Kevin Hearne, Kerrelyn Sparks and Mia Garcia, and on Sunday, April 27th Chloe Neill will host a discussion with me and Charlaine Harris.

After writing about why I chose to let my SFWA membership lapse last month, I came across this post which illustrates some of the problems in the world of fandom, as the author draws an unfortunate Us vs. Them distinction between those who have read Robert Heinlein and those who have not, suggesting it may not be worth the effort to try to engage the latter.

It got me thinking about the issue of cultural relevance, and the fact that as writers (or artists of any ilk), we're simply not guaranteed enduring relevance; especially if we choose to write about the future. The future is a moving target. I was made acutely aware of that in the course of writing Santa Olivia and Saints Astray, as smartphone technology and usage was evolving and expanding so rapidly, it was hard to keep my nebulous future tethered to a sense that it was a projection based on our current present.

I've been very aware of it writing the Agent of Hel series, too.  The books are loaded with pop culture references—one reader dubbed the series "Ghoulmore Girls."  It's part of what makes them fun, and allows me to offer some sly metacommentary on the urban fantasy genre; but it also means that those references have an expiration date.  And I’m okay with that.  Although the books are fantasies, they're meant to be grounded in a recognizable reality, a snapshot of a specific place and time.  I certainly hope future generations of readers will enjoy the whimsy, the world-building, the characters and their stories, but I don’t expect the cultural references to resonate with readers who didn't grow up with the Gilmore Girls or Buffy or Twilight or Project Runway or the Spice Girls... like I said, there are a lot of pop culture shout-outs! Oh, and if you're keeping score at home, those last two can be found in Poison Fruit, coming in October.

Being set in a reimagined past, Kushiel's Legacy has a higher immunity to cultural irrelevance, but it still reflects my mindset, which is a product of contemporary culture. Fifty years from now, the sexual diversity and openness of D'Angeline society might make me look prescient; conversely, fifty years from now, the D'Angeline system of prostitution and indentured servitude might seem totally creepy, a reflection of a time when society had an unhealthy fixation on dark sexual fantasies. Maybe neither; maybe both!

There's no way of knowing and no guarantees, and I think the notion that one must be conversant with the entire canon of the genre to be considered a True Fan is a silly one. Fandom is supposed to be fun! And I, for one, welcome everyone in mine.

I hope to see some of you in Chicago! Meanwhile, please enjoy this photo of my most successful orchid re-bloom to date.  I'm very proud.





























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Agent of Hel: Dark Currents, US paperback release, October 2013

Dark Currents by Jacquline Carey
Agent of Hel: Autumn Bones, US hardcover release, October 2013

Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo,
April 26-27, 2014

IllogiCon, Guest of Honor
Raleigh-Durham, NC
January 9-11, 2015

Read the first chapter of Autumn Bones

Read the first chapter of Dark Currents

Read the first chapter of Saints Astray

Read the first chapter of Naamah's Blessing

Read the first chapter of Naamah's Curse

Read the first chapter of Naamah's Kiss

Read the first chapter of Santa Olivia

Read the first chapter of Kushiel's Mercy

Read the second chapter of Kushiel's Justice

Read the first chapter of Kushiel's Justice

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