Kelly McCullough writes fantasy, science fiction, and books for kids of varying ages. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series — Penguin/ACE, and the forthcoming School for Sidekicks — Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star — part of an NSF-funded science curriculum — and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited — funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, ello
This is the first public taste of my School for Sidekicks universe which launches at novel length on August 4th with School for Sidekicks. Here are a couple of reviews for the novel: Kirkus. Publisher’s Weekly.
In related news, I will be doing a number of launch events:
On August 4th at 7pm at the Har Mar Barnes and Noble in Roseville MN, I will be reading and signing.
On August 6th at 2pm EST (3pm CST) I will be doing a reddit Ask Me Anything
On August 8th at 1pm I will be signing books at Uncle Hugo’s in Minneapolis MN. You can order in advance and have me custom things and then they will ship them to you, if you’re so inclined.
I are totally a cat!
No, you are most certainly not.
Now am I cat?
You have got to be kidding.
I don’t even know what that is.
Nope. But this is a cat. I give it the smooch of approval!
Okay, that’s it, I’m leaving!
I would leave, but the thumb-monkeys got me and I’m super happy.
Sucks to be you dude.
Y’all are sooooo strange. Ima hang out here in mah magic box.
I blame Lee Harris…
A couple months ago, Tor.com editor Lee Harris emailed to ask me to be on a game show panel at CONvergence 2015. It was called Ready, Steady, Flsah! and it involved a bunch of professional writers being given themes and five minutes to write a complete flash fiction piece. I was terrified, but agreed to give it a go. Today was the day with Carrie Patel, C. Robert Cargill, Paul Cornel, Melissa Olson, and me. The winner of a round got two points, the second place finisher got 1, the other players got zippo. I went in with the expectation of crashing and burning, but doing it with style. Here are my stories (as they were written, typos and all) and scores for the game. ETA: Carrie Patel has now posted her pieces as well.
1st round. Theme: Reanimation.
There once was a dragon named Fred
Who devored a unicorn undead
Each bit that he ate
He did munch and masticate
Until he finished the undying spread
Then when he finished
He felt dimineshed
Until the unicorn reborn
Came forth from the dragon’s own horn
Unicorn retruned from beyond and within
2nd Round. Theme: Steampunk Romance.
A steampunk romance
All those fancy gears and wheels
Leather and lace- clothes at a fabulous pace
Bronze and brass I’ll take a pass
The real romance of steam comes from the mirror
I’m too pretty for anything that might muss my polish
I’ll keep my romance in the box with my goggles that only look inward
3rd Round. Theme: Little People.
The little people that live in my head write all the stories that fall out of my fingers. Tragically, they work best in the hours of the night when sleeping is on my list. So, when dreaming is my agenda I too often find myself staring at the ceiling and wishing the little people in my head were diurnal rather than nocturnal in their focus and feelings. As a writer my insomnia is my bread and butter. I cannot ask the little people to let me sleep…most of the time.
Score 1 (!)
4th Round. The audience came up with the theme on this: Uncle Sam’s Day Off, and they also supplied us with a word to be used in the story: Cocaine.
Cocaine! Uncle Sam’s favorite firework. There was nothing that the dirty old man liked to do more on the 4th than kick back with his feet up on South America and snort a line that lit his head up like the bombs he exported on his days on.
Score 2 (wiktory!)
I tied for 2nd overall with Paul Cornell at 3 points each. Carrie Patel, the victor had 4.
Look, I iz cat. You can tell by the fact I’m not actually doing anything.
Your thesis sounds interesting, may I subscribe to your podcast?
I iz doing something! This afghan almost blew away before I sat on it.
Dis cushion too! Iz hard job holding down human size cushion.
What are you all on about now?
Brief interlude with a leaf.
I am too noble for this skit. I will simply expose my profile for admiration.
From Hell’s heart I stab at thee!*
Dude, little overdramatic that.
Drama tastes delicious!
Okay, maybe “stab at thee ” was a bit over the top for the catsitters.
Is that food you have? I like food.
Who cares about food, all is woe and weeping.
Speaking of overdramatic…
Trust the dog to bring disrepute on the castle. Sigh.
Y’all disrepute all you want to, I’ll be over here napping.
*With thanks to Matt Kuchta, Mandy Little, and Neil Gaiman for lending me their pets.