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The City: 133: Tereza

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“Welcome, the last survivors,” Underwood shouted, clapping his hands.  “You will forgive me if I don’t come down, but I’m so very busy.  I might look like I’m just here talking, but there is a lot of this running behind the scenes, as it were.”
“What do you think you’re doing?”  Tereza shouted up to him.  “You’re going to crash the world!”  Underwood shrugged.  He just smiled.
“Sometimes painful cuts must be made to improve production.  Or so management said when they fired me.  The real world is of no consequence if I have The City!”  Ingmar got into position.

The City: 132: Hassan

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“Screw this!”  Ingmar rose and fired.  His shot connected, and the police officer vanished like she had never been there.  There was still one sitting behind the wheel of the van, but Ingmar trained his gun on him, and he surrendered.
“We’re sorry about this,” Hassan said.  “We’ve got to stop this guy while we still can.  I hope we can talk it out later.”  They drove the van up to the gates and climbed over.  The house looked like something out of a Hollywood movie.  A sweeping balcony that faced the drive.  Underwood stood waiting for them atop it.

Hugh Likes Podcasts: Ditch Diggers

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Ditch Diggers

Hosted by Mur Lafferty and Matt F. Wallace

www.matt-wallace.com/tag/ditchdiggers

Ditch Diggers

“Ditch Diggers” is a different kind of writing podcast. Hosted by Mur Lafferty and Matt Wallace, with special guests from throughout the SF writing community, this is less a writing podcast and more a writing-adjacent business advice show.

The Campbell award-winning Lafferty is perhaps best known as the host of “I Should Be Writing,” an also excellent podcast featuring encouragement and practical advice for aspiring writers. This is the other show, where she gets more down to earth with business advice for writers who know how to put one word in front of the other. Co-host Matt Wallacer contributes his own expertise as a novelist and screenwriter. The podcast actually springs from a segment on ISBW called “Good Cop, Bad Cop,” in which the pair answered letters, with Mur offering encouragement, and Matt giving over the top criticism.

While they aren’t in character on this podcast, “Ditch Diggers” has the same energy as those old segments, and the banter between the two is a delight. They’ve also featured guest authors, including Kameron Hurley and Chuck Wendig, to talk about their career successes and failures.

While “Ditch Diggers” is geared towards writers looking for career advice, it is still an entertaining listen if you aren’t looking for an agent or an editor. It’s a peek behind the the curtain into the real world of how books get from manuscript to bookstore shelf, with a pair of wry, witty hosts who work well together. “Ditch Diggers” can be found at their website, via Mur Lafferty’s site, or in your favorite podcatcher. It’s all the fun of going to a writer’s convention, without the bar tab.

The City: 131: Rosario

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The Daytrippers dove for cover.  “What the hell are you doing?” Rosario asked.  She was one of the few left.  Ingmar shrugged.
“I didn’t want them to boot Dawn.”  They heard more shots, ringing through the air.  It was almost morning, City time.
The cops moved in.
They heard the sound of tiny padding feet, first one, then more, a herd of cats.  The gunfire stopped.  “What the hell?”  They heard a woman say.  The Cat Lady stood up, hands above her head.
“Those are mine.  They are a prototype AI I’ve been working on.  You see…”  Connie booted her.

The City: 130: Darryl

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Darryl backed up his partner.  “Citizens should find a safe location and shelter in place,” he said.  He left his feelings towards Daytrippers unspoken.  Dawn scowled.
“There aren’t any safe places left.  This is the end of The City.  And it might be the end of the world if we don’t boot this guy!”  The police drew their own guns.  “You will stand down or be booted.”  There was a cry from farther up the hill.  The zombies were coming.  “I will count to three.  One.  Two.”  Ingmar fired first.  Darryl and Victoria were already booted before Connie returned fire.

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The City: 129: Victoria

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The Daytrippers reached the Beach House at just about the same time as the cops did.  Traveling on foot had reduced their numbers, even with Dorothy’s traps and the Cat Lady’s spies.  The original group of fifteen was down to eleven, but they had managed to protect Ingmar and his boot gun.  Victoria practically jumped out of the swat van when she saw them.
“Where did you get that weapon?” she demanded.  Ingmar froze.  Dawn stepped in.
“That’s not important.  The CEO is the cause of the virus.”
“This is a police matter,” Victoria growled.  “You will stand down, now!”

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An open challenge to anyone who doesn’t read diversely

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So you say you don’t judge a book by it’s author, that you don’t ‘notice’ race, gender, or national identity.  Fine.  I’m calling your bluff. Below are ten excellent genre books, listed only by their descriptions.  Each one is a link to amazon.  Some are bestsellers.  Some are classics.  Some are even *gasp* self-published.  But they’re all stories of the highest quality. I challenge you to pick out the one you find most interesting, and read it.  If you aren’t afraid to read something that without checking the cover first, that is.

An aging monster hunter and his young bodyguard stumble across a plot that to bring a kingdom to its knees.

A man with the ability to dream things into being sees a psychologist for a cure, but is manipulated into using his power to ‘improve’ the world instead.

A serial killer stalks 20th century Chicago with the help of a house that allows him to travel through time.

An out of work editor gets more than they bargained for when they take a job creating a travel guide for monsters.

A retelling of the Hades/Persephone myth with Zeus as the villain.

A barbarian gets unwittingly embroiled in court politics when they are named heir to a magical empire.

A man caught in a fight between a scientist and criminals is haunted by his memories of a fantastic city filled with unicorns.

A falsely imprisoned man is consumed by his quest for revenge.

The Son of a Spanish nobleman and a Shoshone woman fights injustice in 18th Century California.

Two members of an order of ghost hunters and a cursed pirate prince fight a mysterious cult in an isolated village.

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