Eating Authors: Caitlin Seal

No Comments » Written on September 17th, 2018 by
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Caitlin Seal

For those of you who have been paying attention and/or are of the Jewish persuasion, we are nearing the end of the Days of Awe. They started back on the 9th of September, the evening of which was Rosh Hashonah and the start of the year 5779 by that calendar. Today is Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. The ten days between are typically spent in contemplation of one’s past deeds, repentance, and pondering what can be done to rectify past transgressions. Heavy stuff indeed. I’ll be spending the day in quiet reflection, so it’s just as well that I prepped this post back on Friday, especially as I don’t have a clever segue.

This week’s EATING AUTHORS guest is the second of my three mentees from past Nebula Conferences, and I’m very pleased to have Caitlin Seal here to celebrate the launch of her first novel. That novel, Twice Dead, is book one of The Necromancer’s Song, and it comes out tomorrow. Caitlin had a bit of scare a few months back when an Amazon glitch started canceling pre-orders and informing the people who had placed them that the book had been canceled by her publisher. Nope. Never happened. And I don’t want to even imagine the kind of panic that must have caused. Instead, let’s just get right to the meal, shall we?

LMS: Welcome, Caitlin. What stands out as your most memorable meal.

CS: Recently my husband and I celebrated our five year anniversary by eating our way through a two week trip to Japan. Our meals ranged from quick bites grabbed at chain cafés, to multicourse traditional meals at ryokans, to a western-style dinner served by a gregarious American who ran an inn in Nikko.

While every meal was memorable, the one that sticks out most for me was a dinner we ate in Nagoya near the end of our trip. We set out from our hotel that evening hoping to find some good beef. The night was warm and the sidewalks busy with pedestrians. It didn’t take us long to wander past a place advertising exactly what we wanted—thin slices of marbled beef served raw with a hot plate to cook them on. We applauded our good fortune and hurried inside.

Twice Dead

The restaurant was near the top of a narrow high-rise. Once inside, we found the entire place was partitioned into private rooms with windows overlooking the city. Waiters and waitresses in traditional dress darted down the narrow halls to deliver covered dishes to the rooms. Each room had wood paneled walls and a phone for guests to call in their orders.

The food we’d seen go by smelled delicious. The rooms were cozy and comfortable, but as my husband and I opened our menus, we felt our stomachs sink.

We both speak and read some Japanese, and up until this point we hadn’t had any trouble ordering food. Most menus we’d encountered were written in a straightforward fashion with hiragana (phonetic characters) written above or below the more complicated kanji. This menu was more kanji than not, and unfortunately well beyond our reading level. After trying for a few minutes to muddle through, we called up the frond desk and explained the predicament.

When our waitress arrived, she was wonderfully sympathetic. We told her what we were looking for and she helped point out a few options and describe them. With her help we placed our orders for two different steak dishes, some fried potatoes, and a plate of salmon sashimi. When it arrived, the food was exactly what we had hoped for. The beef was tender and expertly seasoned, the sashimi wonderfully fresh and rich, and the potatoes crispy. And, all of it had the added seasoning of victory after overcoming our initial nerves about the language barrier.

Thanks, Caitlin. The best beef I’ve ever had was also in Japan when I was there for the Worldcon (and my wife and I also celebrated a wedding anniversary). I’ve since mostly given up eating meat, and I don’t mind. Nothing in the USA could ever come close to that steak in Yokohama.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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My 2018 Baltimore Book Festival Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 14th, 2018 by
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Baltimore Book Festival

I’ve had most of September to recover from the excesses of the 76th Worldcon, but the end of the month offers a weekend packed with two separate events

I’ve already posted my tentative schedule for Capclave, now it’s time to talk about what I’ll be doing before that at the Baltimore Book Festival.

The BBF is an incredible, free, three-day event that takes place along Baltimore’s scenic inner harbor. Panels, readings, book sellers, food and drink. What’s not to love?

Because I’m due down at Capclave on Saturday and Sunday, I’ll only be on programming at the festival on Friday, and even then only over a three-hour span. Here’s where you can find me:

Friday, September 28th
11:00 a.m. (SFWA Tent) What’s Your Writer Origin Story
Our panel of authors will tell you what led to their chosen career, and which books and stories inspired them along the way.
With Elektra Hammond, Kosoko Jackson, and Kenneth Rogers Jr.

12:00 p.m. (SFWA Tent) Autographing
Come by and I will sign all the things. If you forgot to bring something for me to sign, I’ll have my SF Trading card to give you and The Ivy Bookshop has promised to bring a few copies of The Moons of Barsk for that important impulse buy.

1:00 p.m. (SFWA Tent) Self-Pub, Traditional, and Hybrid, Oh My!
There are many roads to publication in this day and age. Find out which one is right for you, the positives and negatives of each, and the things our authors wish they had known.
With Jonathan P. Brazee, Vera Brook, Kenneth Rogers Jr., and Nancy Schrock.

That’s it for my programming, but all weekend long under the SFWA Tent, you’ll find lots of writers all talking about books. It should be glorious.

I’ll be swinging back by late Sunday afternoon on my way home from Capclave, and I’ll be hanging out in the SFWA tent (no surprise).

See you in Balitmore!

My Tentative Capclave 2018 Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 12th, 2018 by
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Capclave

It’s nearly time once again for one of my favorite small conventions, Capclave, where reading is not extinct.

This year it happens to fall on the same weekend as the awesome Baltimore Book Festival. I”ll be doing the Festival on Friday, and then continuing on to the convention. And on Sunday, after finishing at the convention I’ll pause on the way home for another stop at the festival. This will also be the first road trip in the new car, and joining me on the drive will be my co-author and friend, Jonathan Brazee.

This year’s ConChair has just sent out the schedules. Here’s mine, but keep in mind some of it may change.

Saturday, September 29th
1:00 p.m. | Lincoln | Reading
I’ve been paired with Steven H. Wilson for an hour of reading. I’ll start and hand off to him at 1:30pm. I have no idea what Steven will be reading, but I expect to read to you from a new work in progress.
with Steven H. Wilson

3:00 p.m. | Washington Theater | How to Remember EVERYTHING!
Mnemonics and You! Come hear me explain how memory works and how to enhance yours.

7:30 p.m. | Eisenhower/Jackson | Mass Signing
A double-sized room full of authors armed with pens. Also cake. What could possibly go wrong? Bring your books, we’re hungry to sign all the things. I’ll also have Barsk bookplates and trading cards.
with everyone!

Sunday, September 30th
10:00 a.m. | Eisenhower | Ask Me Anything – Author Edition
Ask the panel of authors absolutely anything about what they do – writing, getting published, elevator pitches, getting an agent, dealing with writers block, writers workshop etc. Includes many non-writer-parts-of-being-a-writer, such as being your own boss, setting schedules, and so on.
with Jonathan Brazee, J. L. Gribble (M), Suzanne Palmer, and Alyssa Wong

2:00 p.m. | Eisenhower | My Characters Have a Life of Their Own
What to do when you meant for character X to be the protagonist, but at some point in the draft character Y took over?
with Sarah Avery (M), Brenda W. Clough, Mark S. LaPorta, and Alan Smale

If you’ve never been to Capclave, you owe it to yourself to come and experience its glory. And if you have, you’ve probably already booked your hotel room and paid your registration. Either way, I look forward to seeing you there.

Eating Authors: T. J. Berry

No Comments » Written on September 10th, 2018 by
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TJ Berry

Words — in this instance culinary words — are losing their meaning. I refer to the cauliflower gnocchi that I am snacking on as I write this week’s installment. Let me be clear, I do not like cauliflower and tend to shy away from gnocchi because of the starch. And yet, this stuff tastes great, has reasonable calories, and is gluten free. What’s next, cocaine with fluoride?

Sorry. If I seem a little testy it’s probably because of the heat, but by the time you read this a massive cold front should have come through, dumped a lot of water on the eastern seaboard, and dropped the daytime temperatures here a good twenty degrees or so. All of which is as close as a segue as I’m going to get to the meal(s) described by T. J. Berry, this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest.

One of the things I like best about TJ is the way her writing ignores marketing demands and fits into that sliver that some times looks to be science fiction and other times is probably fantasy. I like to call it science fantasy myself, and maybe I’m biased but I’m always happy to see other people doing it.

Her first novel, Space Unicorn Blues, is a great example of this. It came out a mere two months ago. If you missed your chance to include it as part of your summer reading, go ahead and add it to the list for autumn.

LMS: Welcome, T.J. So, what’s your most memorable meal?

TJB: My most memorable meal is actually a series of meals from a single long, snowy winter in Vermont. Our family lived on a tiny island in the middle of Lake Champlain with about 400 other people. In the summer, it was a beautiful tourist haven, with rustic country roads you could cycle along, a defunct quarry filled with Ordovician-era fossils, and quiet lake shores perfect for lazy reading days.

In the winter, however, the island’s climate grew cold and desolate. It snowed nearly every day and it wasn’t unusual for the wind chill to dip into double digits below zero. But in Vermont, people are used to long winters and one of their solutions (aside from down coats) is to lean into their community and gather in front of roaring wood fires as often as possible.

In our rural town, we assembled an international dinner club with three other couples. Each month, one couple chose a country and provided the hospitality as well as an appropriately-themed entree. The other three couples brought appetizers, a side dish, and dessert. It turns out that eight is the perfect dinner party number and there was never any shortage of conversation. We often stayed late into the night, solving all of the world’s problems as the pile of empty wine bottles grew.

Space Unicorn Blues

On Greek night, we ate stuffed grape leaves and I stacked dozens of buttery phyllo sheets into a crunchy baklava. But the real magic of that evening occurred when our observant friends noticed I had skipped the wine. They exuberantly declared I was pregnant before I could even make the announcement of our coming second child.

On Hungarian night, we had a creamy mushroom soup, studded with dill and warmed with sweet, smoky paprika. Our host invited us to see his newly-completed sugar shack—a large shed he’d built on the property to boil maple sap into syrup. When sugaring season arrived in a few months, we would spend countless hours in the steamy sugar shack, stoking the fire and stirring the vat of condensing sap.

On our turn, we hosted Indian night, offering an immense platter of butter chicken and basmati rice. Our neighbors brought along a stunning rose-flavored gulab jamun. One couple shyly admitted they had never eaten Indian food, so the rest of us explained the ingredients and set up tasting plates with tiny portions. There were plain chicken breasts at the ready, but our intrepid food explorers loved everything they tried.

Our final dinner was a hodgepodge of countries. Someone brought a comforting and satisfying pasta puttanesca from Italy and another chose an Argentinian chimichurri over steaks, while we brought along a pavlova (which some say is from New Zealand and others claim is from Australia). It was my first time making this crispy, cloud-like dessert, which is incredibly elegant, but is probably the simplest dessert I’ve ever made.

I can think of no better way to mark the passing of the frigid winter months than eating good food in the company of good friends. We’ve since left Vermont, but I still occasionally make a tureen of that warming Hungarian mushroom soup to remind us of cold winters past and dear friends far away.

Thanks, TJ, that sounds like a great diversion during a brutal winter. But… what did you do the other four weeks of each month?

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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Eating Authors: J. D. Moyer

No Comments » Written on September 3rd, 2018 by
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J. D. Moyer

Over the last few years, SFWA has been changing its annual Nebula Conference from a small convention with a banquet and an awards ceremony to a conference offering much more in the way of professional development (and a banquet and an awards ceremony). In addition to bringing in speakers from author relevant concerns like Amazon, Kickstater, and Creative Commons, they’ve also been promoting the tradition of “paying it forward” by pairing newcomers with more experienced mentors. I’m happy to say I’ve taken on a mentee for each of the past three conferences.

This is of course a segue into this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest because last May I had the privilege to play mentor to J. D. Moyer (which means I get to take credit for any all of his accomplishments from here on out, right?).

He’s spent a great deal of time in the music business as variously a producer, label runner, event promoter, and not surprisingly DJ. But he left all that glamor behind to write fiction and has been building up a repertoire of impress short fiction, exploring themes of genetic engineering, the sociological effects of climate change, virtualized consciousness, and evolutionary divergence. You don’t see a lot of this in popular music, and perhaps that’s why he moved to fiction (a much more entertaining explanation than the birth of his daughter). In 2016 he won the Omnidawn Fabulist Fiction contest for his story “The Icelandic Cure.”

J.D.’s first novel, The Sky Woman comes out from Flame Tree Press on Thursday. Keep an eye on him, he’s going places (and I get all the credit).

LMS: Welcome, J.D. Talk to me, please, about your most memorable meal

JDM: My most memorable meal consisted of slightly burnt popcorn cooked in the plaza of a mini-mall on the north coast of Kauai. I was eighteen, and my friend and I had just hiked the entirety of the Napali Coast trail in a day. We were absolutely exhausted and famished, having run out of food (except for popcorn) that morning. It was late, and all the shops and restaurants were closed.

The Sky Woman

Camping at Kalalau beach, at the other end of the trail, we’d overstayed our rations. Kalalua was a paradise of white sand, waterfalls, and footpaths winding between palms and crossing clear brooks, all of it shadowed by soaring cliffs. A loose tribe of hippies lived there year round, evading helicopter patrols by the rangers. Ron, an ex-cab driver from NYC, was their de facto leader. One night he cooked us a delicious soup made from green papaya, local herbs, and crustaceans plucked from the creek.

Back at the mini mall near the trailhead, I cooked our popcorn on a small camp stove while my friend ran an errand. A woman approached me. I wearily looked up. For the next five minutes she berated me for hanging out in a mini mall instead of enjoying the glorious natural sights nearby. Too tired to protest, I meekly endured her admonitions until her breath was spent, all the time worrying if I was overcooking the popcorn.

It’s true that hunger is the best sauce. The burnt popcorn was delicious.

Thanks, J.D. I hope in this case, the sauce was a buttery one.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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Eating Authors: Mareth Griffith

No Comments » Written on August 27th, 2018 by
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Mareth Griffith

I believe I have finally, finally, recovered from the exhaustion produced by the recent Worldcon. Or at least I’ve stopped using that as an excuse and gone back to working on the next writing project. Exhaustion aside, I’m still floating on air from the incredible reaction I received from fans over The Moons of Barsk. And it certainly didn’t hurt that two of the three dealers carrying the book at the convention had completely sold out by the time I made the rounds to sign their stock.

But enough about the Worldcon. To introduce this week’a EATING AUTHORS guest I need to harken back to a previous convention. I first met Mareth Griffith back in May during the Nebula conference when I was hanging out with some folks from Parvus Press. She’d traveled a long way to be there. Mareth lives in Seward, Alaska where she works as a naturalist and wilderness guide. Apparently this involves leading the unwary (she calls them “adventurous souls”) on epic quests involving glaciers, bears, and whales. She assures me she comes by this lifestyle naturally, having lived and worked in Scotland, New Zealand, and Northern Ireland – where she claims her nearest neighbors included two thousand puffins and the ghost of a spectral black horse. Sounds like a writer to me.

Her first novel is Court of Twilight, and it surely won’t be her last,

LMS: Welcome, Mareth. Speak to me of your most memorable meal.

MG: For the last four years, I’ve spent most summers sailing around Southeast Alaska, working as a wilderness guide aboard a tiny cruise ship. Being a naturalist with an interest in wild edibles, I spent a lot of time trying to convince passengers to eat things I find growing in the woods.

On one particular trip, a tour company from Japan had chartered the entire boat for a weeklong trip, and brought along several of their own translators. And lots of their own food – suitcases and suitcases full of food the guides had shipped over with their baggage, or specially ordered from vendors in Juneau, or had air-mailed up from Seattle. Sashimi, wasabi paste, soba noodles… It was apparently part of the charter arrangements that the tour group emphatically did not want to chance American cooking. That was, apparently, one part of the cultural experience these travelers were not interested in experiencing. So, our chef gave up his usual array of king crab and sockeye salmon for a lot of stir fried vegetables, sticky rice, and miso soup.

Court of Twilight

On the last day of the trip, the Japanese tourists and I were spending a full day kayaking around a cluster of islands north of Sitka Sound. For our lunch stop, I decided to head to a particular beach on one of the largest islands of the archipelago. Paddling through a narrow channel, the passage opens up into a small lagoon, where the remains of an old dock sit, crumbling, along the edges of a vast expanse of green. The meadow is carpeted with one of my favorite wild edible plants. Salicornia pacifica, also known as glasswort, or beach asparagus.

Even for someone who loves foraged foods, I will be the first to confess that eating certain wild greens can be about as exciting as the prospect of eating badly cooked kale. Some greens can be bitter and stringy if they’re too old, or watery and bland if picked too young. Not so with beach asparagus. The plant has a thick stalk, as slender as a soda straw, with a crunch to it like a potato chip. Growing as they do on the edges of the tide line, they’re often pre-salted like a potato chip as well. Although stir-frying them cuts down on the crunchiness, I like them best when eaten raw, with that pleasant snap and salty aftertaste intact.

On this particular beach, the asparagus grows like a carpet, covering perhaps an acre altogether. Walking through it reminds me of the scene in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory where the kids are wandering through the park, eating everything they see.

As we sat down on the remnants of the dock, and began to unwrap our lunches, I pointed out the beach asparagus, and encouraged my guests to try some. Their eyebrows went up in surprise. A few of them broke off some stalks. One lady tentatively popped one into her mouth. The eyebrows went up some more. Several more of the group broke off stalks, amidst animated discussion in Japanese.

Then, I partially unwrapped my veggie wrap and added a handful of the raw stalks. I usually do this when I’m eating lunch in the field (have I mentioned the crew food on this particular boat wasn’t the most appetizing?) but I have never had a group adopt the practice as enthusiastically or completely as this group of Japanese kayakers. Eyes lit up. Mouths opened in surprise. Immediately, everyone on the beach started disemboweling their own wraps, salads, and rice concoctions, breaking off handfuls of the beach asparagus to add to their dish.

After a moment, one of the ladies, eyeing the line of shrubbery beyond the beach, asked, through their translator, was there anything else growing here they could eat?

Oh yes!

Leaving our kayaks by the old dock, we prowled the edges of the meadow, coming up with smaller quantities of goose-tongue (salty but bitter, with a crunch almost as good as the beach asparagus), beach green (lettuce-like and mild), and venturing a short way into the forest for the cucumber-like flavors of the leaves of the twisted stalk, topping off the resultant salad with a handful of wild blueberries and crowberries.

I couldn’t understand very much of what my guests were saying amongst themselves (I was staying quite busy making sure that the plants being harvested were, in fact, edible ones) but their expressions told me all I needed to know. Even when someone didn’t like a particular plant, they only seemed even more enthusiastic about getting everyone else to taste it, too.

Eventually, we wandered back to the beach, finished our substantially-altered lunches, and took a short walk into a muskeg – a moss-covered wetland also known as a peat bog. Here, I showed the group the amazingly spicy scent that comes from lightly crumpling the leaves of the Labrador tea. The whole group collapsed into the muskeg, tired from paddling, full with lunch, pillowed on the spongey ground of the muskeg, many with tiny sprigs of crumpled tea leaves sticking out of their nose.

On our way back to the kayaks, both translators continued to forage, filling up one of the now-empty plastic lunch boxes with more impromptu salad. And when we returned to the ship for our last dinner of the trip, the resultant concoction was (in complete disregard of FDA regulations) spread out on the buffet, given a place of pride alongside the bean paste snacks and sashimi rolls. Though the Japanese tourists never did seem to warm up to the idea of caribou sausage or halibut cheeks, the wild greens turned out to be an unexpected window into appreciating Alaskan food.

Thanks, Mareth. Two things stand out for me from this. First, you should definitely go along on any “first contact” mission with aliens. Second, if something like this ever happens again, please send me the unwanted sockeye salmon; I promise to give it a good home.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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Eating Authors: Omar El Akkad

No Comments » Written on August 20th, 2018 by
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Omar El Akkad

The seventy-sixth Worldcon ends today (and boy are my arms tired). If you’re reading this before noon and you’re anywhere near San Jose, you may still have time to make it to my reading in 211A of the Convention Center. If not, oh well. As you probably suspect, I’m writing this post before the convention has even begun, so I can’t yet give you my take on all the amazing things that happened there, nothing about the surprising upset at the Hugos, nor the author who said that thing that has already polarized our community, nor even the rumor that the most serene republic of san marino is staging a coup to take over next year’s convention in Dublin. Sorry, no spoilers.

What I can tell you is that this week here on EATING AUTHORS we have another Canadian writer, Omar El Akkad, who, like last week’s guest, is a finalist for the 2018 Sunburst Awards for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic.

He was born in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in Doha, Qatar, moving to Canada in his teens. As a journalist he’s covered the War in Afghanistan, military trials at Guantanamo Bay, the the Arab Spring in Egypt, and the Black Lives Matter protests in Ferguson, MO.

American War is Omar’s first novel. Odds are good that if you like Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, you’ll enjoy this debut.

LMS: Welcome, Omar. Amidst all your travels, what lingers as your most memorable meal?

OEA: I was born in Cairo. I left when I was a child, but the vast majority of my extended family still lives in Egypt. I go back every few years – to see my relatives, to report on the myriad political and social calamities in which the country seems perpetually embroiled, and to visit my father’s grave in the El Akkad mausoleum within the City of the Dead. Like many immigrants, my relationship with my homeland is one of negative space – I feel a kind of unbelonging everywhere I go, but I feel safest in my unbelonging here.

I remember one night, about ten years ago, my cousins took me out to dinner in a restaurant that, for most of the day, doesn’t exist. I was in Egypt on assignment for my newspaper, working on a story about the wild fluctuations of the country’s burgeoning stock market. I was the one who had pitched the story and yet I was now growing sick of it, sick of the fact that I had come all the way to this place that lives in my marrow only to write a throwaway article about such a quintessentially Western phenomenon – a stupid institutionalized greed whose hallmarks were no different here than in London or New York or anywhere else. I asked my cousins to take me to the most Egyptian place they could think of.

American War

That night they drove me to a wide downtown street, its lanes separated down the middle by a tree-lined median. Old buildings towered over both sides of the street, their bottom floors occupied exclusively by small shops whose signage projected a cascade of gaudy neon into the evening.

But the street itself was empty – no car traffic of any kind. On either side of a two-block stretch, a group of boys and men had just barricaded the intersection. I watched as dozens of people began dragging wooden chairs and tables into the newly made clearing, turning the street into a makeshift restaurant. I couldn’t tell if the people doing this work were employees, volunteers, or folks who were simply walking by and decided to lend a hand. Cairo is the sort of place where, if you look even remotely in need of assistance, half the city will come to your aid. There is no quicker way to make ten new friends in Egypt than to ask one Egyptian for directions.

My cousins and I sat at one of the tables. A few seconds later, a kid came over to take our order. There was no menu, no expectation we would not know exactly what it is we wanted. After all, the place only served one thing – an Arabic dish called Foul (pronounced “Fool”). It’s a dish composed of fava beans, olive oil, diced onions, tomatoes, maybe some lemon juice. In much of the country it is breakfast food: cheap, utilitarian fuel that has been a staple here forever. Poor-people food that, like all poor-people food, is eaten by everyone. With the exception of a gilded kleptocracy and an all-but-vanished middle class, Egyptians wrestle constantly with poverty, and poverty produces food that lasts.

In less than a minute there was no more space on our table. Out came the bowls – this one in the style of the Cairenes, that one cooked the way Alexandrians like it. Plates of pickled beets, carrots and turnips, an endless parade of Arabic bread that doubled as cutlery. In the raucous expanse of this street turned dining room, I ate until I couldn’t breathe.

These are the meals I remember, moments of communion with a culture and a history and a people that are at once mine and distant from me. Food is the most effortless vessel of memory, and to break bread is to eradicate exile.

Thanks, Omar. A little more political than the meals I usually see here, but certainly compelling. Timeless food, to be sure.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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My I-Really-Think-This-Is-Final Worldcon 76 Schedule

No Comments » Written on August 14th, 2018 by
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Worldcon 76

I’m all packed and the dog suspects I’m leaving. I fly out tomorrow morning and the house/dog sitter is awesome. I will be arriving at Fairmont in a shiny Tesla, which short of a personal jetpack has to be one of the best ways to start a World Science Fiction Convention.

Below you’ll find my schedule as I currently understand it to be. It actually looks very much like the last version of the schedule I shared, but some of the other participants on panels have come and gone. Anyway, I hope you’ll use it to stalk me in a good way. The Moons of Barsk came out today, and nothing would please me more than to have you bring me copies to sign.

Thursday, August 16th
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Guadalupe (San Jose Marriott | SFWA Board Meeting
That’s right, people. While you are off enjoying the opening day of the conventions I’ll be in the “Room Where It Happens” making all the sausage.
with Kate Baker, Curtis C. Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Nathan Lowell, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Kelly Robson, and Steven Silver.

Friday, August 17th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | 210DH (San Jose Convention Center) | SFWA Business Meeting
Oh god, another 8am start? Good thing I’ll still (probably) be on east coast time, right? This is a members-only event. Are you a member? C’mon, you know you want to be.
with Cat Rambo (M), Kate Baker, Curtis C Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Terra LeMay, Sarah Pinsker, Steven Silver, Nathan Lowell, Kelly Robson, and lots of other folks!

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | SFWA Autographing (Main Exhibit Hall) | Bonus Autographing Session
The convention has assigned me an official autographing slot on Sunday at 3pm, but if you can’t wait that long I’ll also be spending half an hour at the SFWA autograph table (as distinct from the convention’s autograph table). Please be respectful of other people who want to get things signed and limit yourself to no more than 30 books at a time. Also, signing of body parts will be on a case by case basis.
with me, you, and all those books (and maybe a body part).

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | 210E (San Jose Convention Center) | Trading Card Awards Ceremony
I’m not being put on a trading card (I got mine last July at the NASFiC), but lots of other people are being honored and I will be in the audience cheering them on. Come join us in this ceremony as many famous authors and fandom luminaries receive their Science Fiction Trading Cards. Free packets of cards will be handed out to all attendees.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210F (San Jose Convention Center) | What Can SFWA Offer Me
Learn what SFWA has to offer authors at all stages of their careers, from networking opportunities to sample contracts to the grievance committee. SFWA’s officers will provide an update on what SFWA is doing and where the organization is going and answer questions from potential (or current) members.
with Kate Baker (M), Cat Rambo, Curtis C Chen, Erin M. Hartshorn, and Jeffe Kennedy

Saturday, August 18th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Super Secret Location (shhh!) | Annual Codex Worldcon Breakfast
Every year I organize breakfast for members of the online writing community known as Codex. I don’t pay for it, I only organize it. If you’re in Codex, you know where this is happening. If you’re not, you’ll be able to spot members today because we’ll all be very well fed.
with probably around EIGHTY people. It’s crazy!!

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | 210A (San Jose Convention Center) | Research Rabbit Holes
Sometimes you start researching one thing and wind up six centuries away, on another topic entirely. Sometimes you find facts so bizarre they’re too true to make good fiction. What are some of the best facts you haven’t been able to use? The strangest places your research has led you?
with Sarah Pinsker (M), Andy Duncan, Karen Joy Fowler, Ann Leckie, and Irene Radford.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210E (San Jose Convention Center) | Klingon 101
The popularity of Klingon is on the rise. It’s spoken, correctly, on Star Trek: Discovery, and available to learn on Duolingo. So there’s no better time to break up your Worldcon programming and come around so I can teach you 80% of the grammar in a mere 50 minutes.

Sunday, August 19th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Lower Level Plaza (San Jose Convention Center) | Stroll With The Stars
We’ve been going for days, and we could all use a casual walk around the convention center. I love doing this and you will too. Meet in the Lower Level Plaza area.
with Debra Nickelson (M), Kate Baker, Jeffe Kennedy, Mary Robinette Kowal, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, and lots of other folks.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Autographing (San Jose Convention Center) | Autographing
I’ve been really busy publishing lots o’ stuff. No pressure, but seriously, you should come by and have me sign something. I’ll even have (a limited number) of bookplates for people who show up with newly released copies of The Moons of Barsk. And Barry Mantelo should be there, if you happen to come by with his eponymous and Nebula-nominated novella, Barry’s Deal. I’ll also have copies of my Science Fiction Writers trading card to give you, just for showing up.
with Greg Bear, Robin Gage, Tom Lombardo, Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Larry Niven, and a bunch of your books (I hope)!

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | 211B (San Jose Convention Center) | Kaffeeklatsch
The last time I had one of these was in Kansas City, and it filled up! I know, I was as surprised as anyone. So, if you plan to attend, remember that you need to sign up for this event in advance (which you cannot do before 10am Sunday morning) and seating is limited. Ah, but if you get in, you can ask me anything you like, about Barsk, Buffalitos, Hypnosis, Klingon, most anything you can think of. Also, I’ll have a few prizes to give away.
with whoever signs up!

Monday, August 20th
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 211A (San Jose Convention Center) | Reading
The con is finally winding down. You’re tired, I get it. Me too. So come on by and all you have to do is sit there while I read to you. But wait, there’s more. I’ll be sharing my reading slot with Jonathan Brazee. That’s right, two readings for the price of one. Seriously, can you think of a better way to end your Worldcon experience? Hey, that’s a rhetorical question in case you weren’t sure.
with Jonathan Brazee

And that’s it. See you in San Jose!