Pre-order your signed hardcover copy of Bill's forthcoming memoir The Accidental Terrorist today! Act now and get your book at least a month before the official November release!

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Our Dependency on Foreign Keys
Originally published online in two parts in Across the Margin, April 30 and May 1, 2015.

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The Accidental Terrorist: Our book may not be free, but at least it won't cost you 10% of your income.
The publication date for my memoir The Accidental Terrorist inches ever closer. We're a little more than four months away from rolling out the book, and things here at Accidental Army Headquarters (a/k/a my house) are busy as ever.

The most important news to share is that last week I received my final set of editorial notes from the brilliant and insightful Juliet Ulman. I was breathlessly awaiting her verdict on the heavily rewritten draft I turned in at the end of March, and the news was good. Here's a bit of what she said:

This book went exactly where I wanted it to go, and it's so much stronger, not just because of the added historical context, but because of the additional work you put into trimming fat and pulling all of your threads tight. This is the book we were aiming at, its bones and body solid, and all you're doing now with these final edits is stepping back to look it over last time and polish it until the shine is satisfactory to you. I hope you're proud of what you've accomplished with this text, because you certainly should be.
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To Young Men Only by Boyd K. Packer
A handful of links have been accumulating in my to-be-posted queue over the past couple of weeks. Time to toss them out there for consumption.


First, longtime Mormon apostle Boyd K. Packer died last Friday at the age of 90. To many of us who grew up in the church, Packer was the "scary apostle," the one most likely to give talks on uncomfortable topics, and to do it in frightening ways. He was the closest thing we had to an old-fashioned fire-and-brimstone preacher.

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This will be a pretty technical post, so feel free to skip it if you're not interested in Perl coding and things of that nature.

When I started building my Accidental Terrorist Missionary Name Tag Creator, I knew I wanted to use the Perl interface to ImageMagick to overlay a name in bold white text onto the blank space on a name tag image like this one:

What's more, I wanted the name to look like it had actually been drilled out or stamped into the name tag, with maybe a slightly pebbled white surface to give things a nice feeling of texture.

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latest proper manuscript format post

Paragraph formatting box from Microsoft Word 2010
A reader writes to ask:

I want to submit a novel manuscript to a small press in the US and their guidelines say "indented, not tabbed."

What's the difference? Usually I just hit the tab key once. Should I be doing something else?

I have Word Starter 2010, and I can't see any distinction between "indent" and "tab."

How do I make sure I'm indenting and not tabbing? If I'm tabbing, how do I change it to indent?

This is an excellent question, and I'm sure the cause of much confusion among word-processing novices. There is in fact a distinction between tabbing and indenting—or rather, it might be more accurate to say that tabbing is only one way to indent a paragraph. I will try to explain a method for indenting paragraphs that makes your document more portable* and easier for your publisher to use.

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latest perry slaughter post

'Deus ex Machina' by Perry Slaughter
Sigh. Much as I try, I can't keep those crazy kids at Sinister Regard from putting out new ebook editions of my juvenilia. The latest novella to get this pixelation treatment is Deus ex Machina, my ridiculous sci-fi romp about an artificial intelligence who tries to kill God and take the Big I AM's place.

The trade paperback edition of Deus ex Machina was released late last year, but for the ebook release Sinister Regard has given it a spiffily updated cover. And the ebook is available pretty much everywhere! Smashwords, Kobo, Nook, iBooks and Kindle all have it for a measly $1.99, and it's also available for your reading pleasure on such subscription services as Oyster and Scribd. How do you like me now?

But wait! That's not all! Sinister Regard will be bringing out three more of my books in print and electronic editions over the course of the summer, including two that have never before seen the light of day! First, on June 16th, is Whether We Are Mended, my collection of three long sci-fi love stories, which is also getting a cover that's a vast improvement over its original hardback edition.

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William Shunn
Tuesday, November 3, 7:30 pm
Tuesday Funk Reading Series
Hopleaf Bar
5148 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
www.hopleaf.com

About William Shunn

William Shunn is the Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author of over thirty works of short fiction, which have appeared since 1993 everywhere from Asimov's Science Fiction to Salon. A collaboration with Derryl Murphy, Cast a Cold Eye, came out from PS Publishing in 2009. For three years he hosted Tuesday Funk, an eclectic monthly reading series in Chicago, and he occasionally writes in the guise of Perry Slaughter.

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