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Real Life Fantasy: Mirror Spiders

Purple mirror spider on beech leaf; Peter Woodard
Peter Woodard

These stunning spiders may be as close to real-life drafters as we will see in this universe. They have the unique ability to make brilliant reflective plates on their abdomen, using guanine. Even cooler is their ability to make the plates expand and contract at will!

mirror spider, Australia
Nicky Bay

Perhaps it’s appropriate that British entomologist William J Rainbow was the first person to catalogue and describe these surreal, tiny spiders.

We took one look at these clever critters and immediately thought of Andross Guile… Even though they’re kind of the opposite of Andross, in that they’re beautiful and harmless.

Mirror spiders, or Thwaitesia argentiopunctata, live in Australia, and can be found in every state in the country. Ahh, Australia: land of frilled-neck lizards, quokka, and platypus. I mean, where else would they live?

Oh, wait, they’re also in Singapore? UGH, you southern hemisphere folk get all of the fun creatures, don’t you? I suppose it’s a fair trade for having upside-down seasons and your toilets flush backwards.

(I do enjoy a good game of two truths and a lie.)

Most of the images we found were taken by Singapore-based photographer Nicky Bay. For more beautiful images of mirror spiders and other fascinating insects around the world, you can also check out Nicky’s website (link above).

Australia, mirror spider
Robert Whyte

Thank you to our sources, for sharing information about our beautiful world: Australian Geographic, This Is Colossal, & Strange Animals.

mirror spider, Australia
Robert Whyte

The Almighty Johnsons

File this under “Just for Fun”. An eagle-eyed Australian tweeted me telling me that my book had appeared briefly on a TV show over there. The show is The Almighty Johnsons and apparently follows the travails of a family who discover that they are getting the powers of the gods.

Here, apparently, is Rongo, god of food:

The Almighty Johnsons

Fitting that the god of food has good taste, eh?

New marketing tagline: “The Night Angel Trilogy. Good enough for gods, good enough for you.”

I’ll be sending signed and personalized bookplates to the reader who tipped me off. If you see my book in any quirky or fun place, please let me know, and I will do the same for you!

Re-post: Shindig Event TONIGHT

UPDATE: Thanks for a great event! It was a real joy to see you guys, and I hope we get a chance to see non-pixelated versions of each other soon! And thank you to Shindig for putting this together, despite  the early hour and a hurricane!

– Brent



Don’t forget that Brent is coming to a computer screen near you TONIGHT! You can re-read the original post HERE for more details, but here’s the nitty-gritty:

Wednesday, November 7th: The Australia (Virtual) Book Tour Stop (hosted Shindig Events), 7pm Sydney, Australia time, 12am Pacific Standard Time.

Brent will be presenting a reading and then answering questions from participants. The event will last 1 hour.

What time is that for you? Check HERE. (Also has a button to add it to your Microsoft Exchange-Compatible Calendar.) Or add the event to your Google Calendar by clicking below:

P.S. Because Shindig and their servers are located in New York City, we may have extra technical difficulties because of the hurricane problems there. They tell me if your page freezes at any time to just “refresh” and things should be fine. If we run into more significant difficulties, Brent will reschedule for the future.

A (Virtual) Book Tour Stop in Australia

I couldn’t make it Australia for my book tour this time around, but some photons and electrons got together with a great idea to represent–REPRESENT!–me in Australia. Here’s the deal:

Shindig Events hosts live video chats for authors, and we have one scheduled on Wednesday, November 7th at 7pm Sydney, Australia time. (That’s midnight between the 6th and 7th, for me on the Pacific Coast of the U.S.!) All you have to do if you want to see my reading (mostly as seen on my tour, minus the interpretative dance–yes, interpretative dance, can’t do it while in my chair) is tune in at the right time.  You only need a webcam, the latest version of Adobe Flash, and a good internet connection (no download or install required).

Of course, since this is an event on the internet, it isn’t limited to people from Australia. All are welcome. However, because of how time zones work, it will be hideously inconvenient for everyone else. That’s not a bug, that’s a feature. (Having a spherical planet is a good thing.)

After my reading, I will take questions, just like in a real live signing. Shindig is pretty cool in that–just like in a real signing–everyone else can see who’s asking the question, too. (You turn on your webcam, I call on you, everyone sees and hears what you ask. (So actually, a little better than real life, where the guy in the front asks the question and no one else has a clue why the author goes off on mitochondria for a few minutes.)

Because I’ll be reading from an upcoming work, there will be no video for those who miss it–and though I know there’s software out there that would allow others to tape the whole thing, I ask that you don’t. Being untaped gives me freedom to share more and still edit it in the future and change my mind on things, so if this experiment goes badly, in the future I will simply have to share less, both in Q-and-A’s and in internet readings.

Also, given that this is new tech, I can’t promise no glitches. Think of this as experimental. Shindig looks like it has an awesome thing going, but from experience Skyping to Australia, I know to expect small delays as the busy little electrons burrow their way through copper.

Book Reading: 30-ish minutes

Question and Answer: 30-ish minutes

Time: 7PM Sydney/12AM Pacific Standard/3AM New York/8AM London

To participate or to learn more, go HERE.

Repost/Reminder: Halloween Costume Contest!

As inspiration for those of you considering entering our Lightbringer Halloween contest, we would like to show you the previous winner of our Night Angel Costume Contest. Behold the glory:



I think we can all agree: best Kylar Stern costume ever.

Can’t wait to see what you guys dream up! For details/rules/prizes, see the original post HERE.

Also, new poll! —>

Also, later this week, I hope to have a *small* present for my Australian readers. SMALL, people. Low expectations.

Web Chat

This coming Friday (or Saturday, if you’re in Australia), we will be having a live web chat for an hour, or maybe just a smidge more, at 3am GMT. For those of you on the West Coast of America, like I am, that’s 8pm PST on Friday, October 7th. But, good news, this really isn’t for those of you who are on the West Coast! This is for my Australian fans. I will be talking, live, into the video camera, while you guys submit your questions over IM.

Though I scheduled the webchat to be most convenient for my Australian fans, anyone is welcome to come. The internet address is: You can also access it via the Ning Brent Weeks forum here: I envision, first, answering questions about the Night Angel Trilogy, then about The Lightbringer Trilogy, and then about the writing process or getting published.

We’ve never done this before, so we’re kind of pushing the frontiers, so please be patient if there are any technical difficulties. (We have checked it out beforehand, and it looks like everything will work, but being experimental means inviting trouble. 🙂  )

For those of you to whom 3am GMT is actually 3am, we will be doing a second chat, following the same format, 14 hours later for my UK fans at 5pm GMT, Saturday (again, everyone is welcome, I’m just doing my best to make this easy for my fans in other parts of the world).

(As a nod to my fans in South Africa who seem to keep asking, those times are: 5am, Saturday, October 8th and 7pm on Saturday, October 8th). Hope to see you there!


To participate in the chat, you can either submit your questions via the Ning chat system (which we’ll be monitoring) and just watch the video, or you can log-in to the UStream site from Ning with your Facebook or UStream account and chat in the UStream chatroom while watching the video.

Because I Love Australia…

… and the UK, too. (Just in smaller font.)

I am going to be attempting an experiment which I have every reason to believe will have catastrophic results. That’s right: I’m going to invite technology to run amok in my home. For Australians, before anyone else, I will be doing a video chat on Saturday, October 8th at 1pm (Sydney time). Originally, I had hoped to just do one video chat because I have a strong suspicion it will just be me talking to myself. Then I realized that my main fan bases are on three equidistant points around the globe. So if I do a video chat at a reasonable time for me, my fans in either the UK or Australia would be getting screwed (I mean, I’m cool and everything, but I wouldn’t stay up until 3am to hear me talk. So I don’t expect you to do so, either).

So my elegant solution? Risk embarrassment and loneliness twice. Australia, you get the first chat, and possibly the technical difficulties. Then, the next day, I will host another video chat for my brethren across the pond, even if some of your ilk do call people like me “gingers”. The UK chat will be at 6pm, Saturday, October 8th (UK time).

Of course, I won’t be checking your IP address to see where you’re coming from and all are welcome. The chats will be held at:

3AM on Saturday October 8th (Greenwich Mean Time)



5PM on Saturday, October 8th (Greenwich Mean Time)


The video chat will welcome you to send in your questions via  a chat channel. My interviewer will then ask me the questions and we’ll do our best together to keep things organized and flowing. I expect each chat to last about an hour, but if the audience is reasonably small, I will do my best to answer all questions.

I’ll post the link on this page a few days before the chat, and you can always easily find it through my Ning pages here.


Book Tour 2011 Appearances!

Below is the list of my 2011 appearances as well as I know them today. I will update as necessary.

Renovation (WorldCon): Wednesday, August 17, 2011 –Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reno, NV

— Postmodern Fantasy Panel: Friday, September 19, 2011 5pm-6pm

Where: D03 (RSCC) 

–Autographing: Saturday, August 20, 2pm – 3pm

Where: Hall 2 – Autographs (RSCC)

— KaffeeKlatsch: Saturday, August 20, 4pm – 5pm (10 spots open, book now!)

Where: KK1 (RSCC)

Live Streaming Ning Video Chat: Saturday, August 27, 2011 12:00pm PST (Web Post with Details Upcoming) *UPDATE: We will be moving this Video Chat in order to accommodate my Australian fans. Because of the tightness of my schedule, that means the video chat will be put off probably until Saturday, September 10th. I will post the new date and time on the main webpage.*

University Book Store (University of Washington): Monday, August 29th, 2011 7:00pm

Seattle, WA

Dragon*Con: Friday, September 2– Monday, September 5, 2011

Atlanta, GA

— Panel: How much violence is too much/not enough? Friday, September 3, 2011 8:30pm – 10:30 pm

Where: Manila / Singapore / Hong Kong (Hyatt)

—  Dragon*Autographs: Sunday, September 5, 2011 11:30am-12:30pm

Please note that there will be NO books for sale at this signing, so please bring your own copies for me to sign. (I will sign bookplates  for those who forget their books… but let’s be honest, that’s not quite as cool as a signed book, is it?)

Where: M301-M304 (Marriott)

— Possible Signing at nearby bookstore TBA

Powell’s Signing: Thursday, September 8, 2011 7pm

Beaverton, OR

Mysterious Galaxy: Friday, September 23, 2011 7:30-9:30 pm

Redondo Beach CA

Live Twitter Interview with Bryan Thomas Schmidt at #sffwrtcht  — 6pm PST, Wednesday November 2, 2011

OryCon: Friday, November 11, 2011 — Sunday, November 13, 2011

Portland, OR

Powell’s Mass Signing: Sunday, November 13, 2011, 4pm or 5pm

Beaverton, OR



GraphicAudio version of Perfect Shadow coming

Those of you who know and love GraphicAudio’s work on The Night Angel Trilogy and The Black Prism, rejoice:  they’re also producing Perfect Shadow. And here’s the cover art by Jahbulani Ori, who goes by Jahbu:

(Click to embiggen and see without text.) It will be released on June 3rd. And I’m super happy to announce that this will be available to our international brethren as well and on the very same day–so those of you in the UK and Australia should be able to get this very easily, and for no more than Americans pay. (Circus barker’s voice: It’s yours for a low, low price of only a mere, bare, bargain-basement price of $3.99!)

You can go here to listen to samples of GraphicAudio’s work, if you haven’t had a chance to listen before. Americans on June 3rd, you can go HERE to download Perfect Shadow, and international audiences, you can go HERE. (See, I told you guys I was working on getting this out in as many formats and as quickly and cheaply as possible! It’s just that I usually can’t say until the deals are done and the cover art is finished.)

Perfect Shadow Cover & Release Date

Today Orbit has unveiled the cover art and announced the release date for Perfect Shadow. (Hint: June!) You can check out their full post here. We’ve been working hard to make this available to all my fans simultaneously (see, Australia, I’m not forgettin’ you guys) and found out that if we pull it off, this will be the first *ever* simultaneous international e-book release. So my kudos to Orbit for being on the forefront of electronic publishing. (We’re not betting the farm yet that every international vendor will have it up on their servers on June 1, but we’re trying!)

I’m also delighted to announce that Orbit is doing an unabridged audiobook version available for digital download voiced by the incredible James Langton. (You can hear more samples of his work here.) I’ve spoken with James about the work, and he brings a deep experience and keen understanding to this project. The audio book will be available on the same launch date.

*Update* We’ll post the pre-order page for the audio editions–and for all international editions–as soon as those come online. This is publishing happening in overdrive here, and when dealing with multiple online sellers in multiple countries (each with their own laws, taxes, etcetera) and in very different time zones, there are a lot of moving parts.