Eating Authors: Yoon Ha Lee

No Comments » Written on March 20th, 2017 by
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Yoon Ha Lee

As I write this, it’s been more than two weeks since I’ve had either diet cola or fried chicken. This may not seem especially noteworthy to you, but as I typically consumed about a gallon of soda a day, and ate fried chicken at least five days out of every week, it’s pretty huge. I miss both a bit, but I don’t crave them. Go figure. Instead I’ve been eating more vegetables, fish, and shellfish. All of these changes have been making me look more closely at upcoming EATING AUTHORS installments, including this week’s guest, Yoon Ha Lee‘s meal, and asking myself “hey, can I even eat that now?”

Speaking of Yoon, you should recall his name from his many incredible short stories, which have garnered him multiple nominations for the Sturgeon award, the Locus award, and the WSFA Small Press award. More recently, his first novel Ninefox Gambit — the first volume of his Machineries of Empire series — has been nominated for the Nebula.

There’s an intelligence to his writing, a sense of order that likely either reflects his background in mathematics — he has a Masters in secondary mathematics education from Stanford — or goes back even further and stems from the same source that led him to pursue a mathematics degree at Cornell.

Yoon Ha Lee and I have never met, but I’m hoping to correct that in May during the Nebula Conference, preferably over a fine meal. I hope he likes seafood.

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A Hugo For EATING AUTHORS?

No Comments » Written on March 17th, 2017 by
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EATING AUTHORS

Today is the deadline for Hugo nominations. I spent most of 2016 traveling promoting Barsk so I have no fiction out there for your consideration.

However…

If you’ve enjoyed my weekly blog series, EATING AUTHORS, well then this would be your chance to throw a Hugo nom toward it.

I believe the series, EATING AUTHORS, is eligible in the Best Fanzine category.

And too, that I am therefore eligible in the Best Best Fan Writer category.

I’ve been sharing the results of pestering authors about their most memorable meals every Monday since June 6th, 2011 (with only two exceptions), giving you a peek into the live and minds of world famous writers and brand new authors, because it’s been a vehicle for “paying it forward” too.

So, with that in mind, if you’ve an open slot on your Hugo ballot in either or both categories (and so many of you do!) then please, do your part to either get me a new paperweight for my desk or send me to the Hugo Losers Party in Helsinki. Either way, thanks.

And remember, the deadline to make (or make changes to) your nominations is today, 17 March 2017 at 11:59pm Pacific Daylight Time (2:59am Eastern Daylight Time, 06:59 Greenwich Mean Time, 08:59 in Finland, all on 18 March).

Eating Authors: Kevin Wohler

No Comments » Written on March 13th, 2017 by
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Kevin Wohler

If you’re reading this Monday morning, please know that I am in a state of quantum indeterminacy, which is to say I should be flying home from Vancouver, Canada on a red eye flight that left the west coast on Sunday just before midnight and doesn’t deliver me to Philadelphia until nearly noon today. Of course if you’re reading this after twelve o’clock then someone has already opened the door and knows the health of the cat.

Regular readers of my blog will know that at the beginning of the month I embarked on a dietary journey into the unknown, declaring my new allegiance as a pescetarian. It’s going okay so far, but I mention it now because this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Kevin Wohler, is here to tell you about a revelatory experience involving seafood, and I can relate.

Kevin is the author of The Alchemist’s Notebook, the first book in The Village Alchemist series. The sequel, The Alchemist’s Stone, should be coming your way this spring.

There’s not much else I know to tell you about Kevin. He lives in Lawrence, Kansas, but I don’t hold that against him as I don’t know whether or not he attended KU (I did my grad work at rival school KSU in Manhattan, Kansas) so I’ll just pretend he lives in a city that bears my name. But I’m warning you, Kevin, if I find out you’re secretly a Jayhawk, it’s on!

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Eating Authors: Camilla Ochlan

No Comments » Written on March 6th, 2017 by
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Camilla Ochlan

In just a couple days I’m flying out to the west coast, of Canada, to be the author GoH at VancouFur. It’s my first time at a Furry convention, and that, along with crossing the country, struck me as about as good a setup for this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest as I’m likely to get. Camilla Ochlan lives in the greater L.A. area of southern California, which is about as west coast as you can get. And that’s a good thing because along with co-author Bonita Gutierrez, Camilla is responsible for The Werewolf Whisperer series, which contrary to the late, great Warren Zevon, sets the Werewolf Apocalypse in Los Angeles.

Having established her supernatural cred with werewolves, Camilla is moving on to her next project. She’ll be tapping into her passion for Dungeons and Dragons and drawing on her decades of play to co-author a new YA High Fantasy series.

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Something Fishy Indeed

1 Comment » Written on March 3rd, 2017 by
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My wife has been struggling with a number of health issues, and we’ve been through a wide variety of tests. I had my money on Lyme disease, but no the tests ruled that out. Nor was it Fibromyalgia (and it wasn’t Lupus). Earlier this week we were able to get in to see an Integrative Medicine specialist. He seemed confident that he had an explanation for all of Valerie’s ailments and he was quite convincing. Among the treatments he’s prescribing is a move away from land-based animal protein and a move toward raw vegetables.

Nothing is more important to me than Valerie’s health and happiness, and I know firsthand how difficult such a dramatic change in lifestyle can be, particularly when attempting it by yourself. Which is why I am taking the plunge with her.

I will be easing into the dietary habits of a pescetarian. This is apt to be particularly challenging as I do not like most fruits and vegetables.

Those of you who have followed my exploits and know of my writing “process” are likely aware that most afternoons (after I’ve finished my hours at the DayJob) I plant myself in a corner booth at a local KFC and write. This means that I generally eat fried chicken (in one manifestation or another) at least five days a week. Also, while pounding away on my keyboard at KFC, I will get up and refill my 16oz cup of diet cola numerous times, to the tune of at least half a gallon of the stuff each day (plus whatever I may have consumed in the morning at the DayJob and what I might drink later when I get home). This won’t be happening any more (and my sister Adrienne will likely find the timing of this amusing). No more trips to KFC. Yesterday was my last fried chicken. The poor employees at KFC who know me by name will likely assume I’ve died.

I’ll still drink the occasional Diet Coke, at least for now, but I’ll be transitioning to water or fruit juice and the like for most of my beverages.

We have a lot of other animal protein stocked up (e.g., a case of vacuum-packed, smoked duck breasts!) that I will work my way through in the weeks ahead, but I’ll be transitioning to fish and that’s no hardship for me. Also I’ll be eliminating most sugar and flour from my diet and replacing it with a lot more salad and other vegetables. Terrifying stuff.

I’ll also be saying goodbye to eggs and dairy. Cheese will be particularly missed. Yesterday, I was at a meeting hosted by Temple Hospital and they had a small spread for the attendees. To my own amazement, I bypassed the cheese platter and filled a small plate with some grapes, fresh broccoli, and a carrot slice. I had never previously eaten raw broccoli and I was surprised to find I liked it.

I baked up some swai fillets this morning for tonight’s dinner. And right now instead of sitting and working at a KFC, I’m sitting at Bryn + Dane’s and drinking a “Mo’ Green” smoothie. I’ve never had one before, but allegedly all it contains is kale, wheatgrass, pineapple and mango.

If all these changes don’t kill me, I suspect I’ll be considerably healthier the next time you see me.

My Final VancouFur 2017 Schedule

No Comments » Written on March 1st, 2017 by
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VancouFur

Weeks ago I posted my tentative schedule for this convention, promising to post an update when things firmed up some. That’s what you’re looking at now, and you’ll see that almost nothing has changed (though now I have room assignments for you). That says a lot about the folks handling programming. Well done.

Not content to rest on their laurels, all of a day after I had my initial scheduling information they loaded me up with their online scheduling utility. So, I’ve had this a bit and wanted to wait in case they had any last minute changes. Sorry, that’s not their style, they got it all right the first time. So now, without further ado, here’s were you can find me during my Author GoH gig at VancouFur.

Thursday, March 9th
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom A | Opening Ceremonies

Friday, March 10th
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Boardroom A | Author Meet & Greet
I’ll probably only be at this for the first half hour, because at 1:30 I have to go to…

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Tivoli’s II | Ice Cream Social
And I’ll probably only be at this for the first half hour as well, because at 2:00 I have to go to…

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Fraser | State of Anthropomorphic Writing
with Tony Greyfox and Ocean Tigrox

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Fraser | Klingon Language!
Come by and ask questions or just listen to me tell stories from more than two decades of spreading Klingon around the world.

Saturday, March 11th
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Fraser | Language and SF
I talk about language and linguistics at almost every convention I attend, and it’s never the same thing twice because language is so awesome!

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Fraser | Q&A Reading w/ Lawrence M. Schoen
I’ll read a bit from the sequel to Barsk, and then answer your questions about that book, other stories, novellas, and novels I’ve written, about writing in general, or most anything you want to ask me.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Fraser | Advantages of Small Press Publishing
I’ve sold short stories to a couple dozen small press anthologies. My first two novels came out from a small press. I run a small press of my own. And I’m on the Board of Directors for SFWA where we talk about small press contracts and such. So, come by and let’s kick around some of the pros and cons of small press publishing.

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom A | GOH Dinner
This seems like a good thing for me to attend. I’m a big fan of dinner. What’s portion size like in Canada? If you sit next to me, can I eat off your plate too?

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom A | Variety Show
I expect to be in attendance, likely because I ate too much at the dinner to be able to move yet. (It’s your fault. I can’t believe you let me eat off your plate like that).

Sunday, March 12th
12:00pm – 1:00pm | Boardroom A | SFWA Q&A
The fine folks at VancouFur have graciously provided me some space to hang out and answer questions about the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for anyone who might be interested in what they do, what resources they make available, what the perks of membership include, and what you can avail yourself of without even joining! So come on by.

When I’m not doing programming, I’ll likely be drinking a Diet Coke, wandering around in the public spaces, chilling at the bar, or possibly typing away frantically on a tablet (in either a public space, or the bar). Feel free to come over and say “hi” if you like.

Eating Authors: Darin Kennedy

No Comments » Written on February 27th, 2017 by
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Darin Kennedy

One of the best things about all of last year’s traveling in promotion for Barsk was getting to meet other authors. Lots of local writers came out to my readings and afterwards shared a nosh and sip and the camaraderie that defines being a member of this community. Which, as it happens, is how I met this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Darin Kennedy.

A lot of authors live double lives, and it’s commonplace for a writer to have a day job in academia. We’ve got a lot of professors in our ranks. Less common, but far from unheard of, are physicians. Darin is one of these. Specifically, family medicine. Which begs the question (which, sadly, will not be answered here): do his patients know about his fiction?

Darin’s latest novel, The Stravinksy Intrigue, is due out any day now and is the second volume in his Fugue and Fable series.

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Farewell, Richard

No Comments » Written on February 24th, 2017 by
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Richard Hatch

I only just learned that actor Richard Hatch (shown here as a Klingon in Prelude to Axanar) died on February 7th. He was 71.

Back in March of 1999, I was in Sydney, Australia as the guest of a convention called BEST OF BOTH WORLDS 5. William Shatner was headlining the convention, but also on the bill were Richard, Robin Curtis, and me.

Bill was staying in a separate hotel from the rest of us, but I spent a lot of time hanging out with Richard. Highlights included watching the Oscars in his hotel room and listening to snarky stories about various nominees.

The three actors had been in Sydney for a day doing press, but I only arrived late in the afternoon the day before the convention was to start because I’d just flown in from New Zealand where I’d spent several days opening a Star Trek exhibit at the national museum in Wellington.

Richard, Robin, and I were the honored guests at a special banquet in the hotel. I’d met Robin before at another con and we got along quite well, so our hosts put us at the same table. Richard was oof at another table, holding court. Because of the timing of things, Richard and I hadn’t even been introduced yet, and when Robin and I sat down at our table I remember her telling me “not to start anything” with Richard at dinner.

No one told Richard though, so he started it.

Over the course of the next hour, we took turns playing a series of jokes on one another. He took my dinner away when I wasn’t looking. Then, while he was up from his table and talking to someone across the room, I removed his place setting and chair, and had everyone at his table shift so the round of eight became a round of seven and it was like he’d never been there. In retaliation, he had a member of the hotel staff come up to me to inform me I had phone call from the states, and that I could take it downstairs at the front desk. I rushed down, only to find a note in bad Klingon that basically said “ha ha, we got you.”

When I returned to the banquet room Richard was grinning. I told him how relieved I was that the call was a fake because my father was very ill (which was true) and the only reason someone would be calling me from the US would be to tell me he had died. Richard stopped laughing, and we sat down and began to chat.

I asked him why he’d started in like he had, when we’d never even formally met. I will never forget his answer. He said, “Lawrence, you just looked like someone who would be fun to play with.”

And, on the last night of the con, after everything was over, we went out drinking. I don’t usually drink, but I got drunk that night, and Richard and I wandered around Sydney harbor singing show tunes.

Goodbye, Richard. Thank you for the memories. You were fun to play with.