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Jim Cambias
I am a writer, game designer, New Orleanian, cook, parent, and wood-splitter.
Recent Activity
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Went to see the new Nicholas Cage movie Pig. It's . . . unlike anything else. This isn't gonzo Nick Cage, it isn't action-movie Cage, it isn't "I'll do anything for money" Cage. This is Nicholas Cage the by-God actor, in a movie with a real story about people having... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Just The Caffeine Talking
I grew up in an old house with a fireplace, in a city where it is a news-worthy event when the temperature gets below freezing on a winter night. My father would sometimes light a fire, but it was entirely an aesthetic experience. I never paid attention, but I'll bet... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
Don Sakers has a review of The Godel Operation posted in the current issue of Analog. You can see it online here (but only until the next issue comes out). Because of that time limit, I'm going to quote it, especially since the review really is quite favorable. In science... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
Capsule review: it's The Shadow Over Innsmouth re-imagined as a kids' buddy comedy about bicycle racing in 1950s Italy. How can that not be wonderful? Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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The second half of my interview with John Michael Godier is now available on his excellent Event Horizon YouTube channel. You can listen to it here. Hear me pontificate about star-mining, slow-motion interstellar colonization, nuclear war, and how planetary scientists have fallen in love with giant impacts. Continue reading
Posted Jun 17, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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Here's an article on LitHub about pulp-style covers for some very not-pulp novels. I even remember seeing some of these back in the 1970s. Some are silly, but a few are hilariously wrong. Still, I kind of wish publishers still did covers like these. I think my own novels could... Continue reading
Posted Jun 14, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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In European civilization, I think it's a true statement to say that the most famous historical figure, second only to Jesus, is Julius Caesar. He's been hero-worshipped more or less continuously since he led his army into Gaul — except for one unfortunate incident involving sixty or so of his... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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In modern geek culture we've begun to use the term "Universe" to refer to a background setting, particularly one which is shared by multiple creative works. The most famous, right now, is probably the "Marvel Cinematic Universe," which encompasses all the Marvel/Disney superhero films and TV series since Iron Man... Continue reading
Posted Jun 2, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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I have been a fan of John Michael Godier's "Event Horizon" channel on YouTube for more than a year now, so I was particularly pleased when Mr. Godier and his team decided to interview me about my new book The Godel Operation. The interview itself was great fun. Our conversation... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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In the news one constantly hears journalists and government officials referring to "bad actors" when talking about matters of crime and national security. I think that movie reviewers and theater critics are the ones to guard us against bad actors. Soldiers, spies, and policemen should confine themselves to stopping wrongdoers... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
The Godel Operation has been out for three weeks now. I've done interviews and promotion — there's an interview on the "Event Horizon" YouTube channel due to drop Friday the 27th. I'm sending out signed bookplates in lieu of autographings. Reviews have been good: Publishers' Weekly liked it, and Paul... Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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I recently watched the 2002 Disney animated movie Treasure Planet. I am told by my children that we rented it multiple times when they were younger, but I am sure I never actually watched the whole thing. Perhaps I was in the room while they watched it, but my attention... Continue reading
Posted May 16, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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There haven't been any bookstore signing events for The Godel Operation, and I haven't been able to attend any conventions in person. But one of my friends had a brilliant suggestion: signed bookplates! I ordered a batch: they're self-sticking bookplates, about the size of a business card, with original artwork... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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The Baen Free Radio Hour sounds like it should be broadcast from hidden antennas deep in occupied territory, keeping the flame of freedom alive. Actually, it's a podcast. They've got an interview with me up now, about — no surprise — The Godel Operation. You can listen to it or... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
I've got a long guest post up at John Scalzi's 'blog Whatever, part of his ongoing "Big Idea" series for writers to talk about their work. For this post I waded deep into the history of how I came up with the Billion Worlds setting and my future plans for... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
The 'blog The Page 69 Test asks writers to judge their own works on the basis of a single page. Marshal Zeringue, of the Campaign For the American Reader, describes it thus: "This 'test' grows out of an observation attributed to Marshall McLuhan, the guru of The Gutenberg Galaxy (1962),... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
As I mentioned in my last post, I've been doing a lot of interviews and soliciting plenty of reviews for the release week of The Godel Operation. This is to make sure that people who might like the book hear about it — and I think a lot of people... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
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The Godel Operation is officially published today. Which is kind of a weird thing to say. I've had a box of copies sitting in my living room for nearly a month. You've been able to pre-order it on Amazon since last Fall. You've been able to download eARCs from the... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
Eight . . . seven . . . six . . . The promotional juggernaut for The Godel Operation rolls on with one day left before the official release date for the book. If you like you can read Marshal Zeringue's "Q & A" interview with me about it on... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
Counting down now to launch. One early promotional effort: my guest article at the 'blog My Book, The Movie — in which I discuss who would be best to play the characters in The Godel Operation if it ever makes it to the screen. You can read it here. Writing... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
On April 17 I ran a three-hour workshop on science fiction worldbuilding for the Pioneer Valley Writers' Workshop. It was my first time teaching a class of any kind, so I think I learned as much as I hope my students did. The students were great. All ten of them... Continue reading
Posted Apr 30, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
The first reviews of The Godel Operation are starting to trickle in as the release date approaches. Here's what Publishers Weekly had to say. Sounds like their reviewer enjoyed it. I hope everyone else does, too. The Godel Operation James L. Cambias. Baen, $16 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-982125-56-1 With... Continue reading
Posted Apr 27, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
Ten days from now is the official publication date of The Godel Operation. The clocks are running, the pumps are powering up, and the gantry has been rolled back. Be sure to get a copy because this launch is going to be spectacular. If you want to read more about... Continue reading
Posted Apr 24, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
Last year I wrote a nine-part series of 'blog posts about the Drake Equation, the Fermi Paradox, the Great Filter, and how many civilizations are likely to exist in the Milky Way Galaxy. If you want to re-read it, start here. To give away the ending, after a lot of... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking
This Saturday, April 17, I'll be teaching "It Used to Take a Week," an online workshop on worldbuilding in science fiction for the Pioneer Valley Writers' Workshop. This is a new step for me — I've never taught a class before. Except that I've done hundreds of convention panels and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2021 at Just The Caffeine Talking