Eating Authors: Karina Sumner-Smith

No Comments » Written on February 8th, 2016 by
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Karina Sumner-Smith

I’m preparing this week’s post from the road, as I am “touring” with Barsk, which in this instance means I’ve traded in the cold snow drifts of Philadelphia for the warmer climes of North Carolina (though there has been some good bit of rain). This has been a new piece of the writer’s life for me to experience, and I’m coming to appreciate it as being equal parts exhilarating and exhausting.

But less about me and more about this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest, Karina Sumner-Smith, who should perhaps first be identified as one of that class of talented authors who call Toronto home (or rather, she did before moving to a more rural site in Ontario). She’s a Clarion graduate, as well as a past Nebula Award nominee for best short story. But the odds are good that you know her already for her novel-length fiction, specifically her Towers Trilogy.

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Eating Authors: Charlie Jane Anders

No Comments » Written on February 1st, 2016 by
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Charlie Jane Anders

The previous week has been one of revelations, some of which I cannot speak of yet (because reasons), but chief among those which I can share with you is that I’m getting too old to shovel snow. It’s not my heart, it’s not blood pressure; I’ve made significant strides in my health in the past year such that I can shovel for an hour without breathing hard or feeling dizzy or even consider keeling over in a drift to be found come the thaw. No, all that’s fine. Rather, a rigorous round of shoveling leaves me depleted for the rest of the day, utterly without spoons as it were. Ugh.

Worse still, the snow is still mostly there, and though I have nice paths to get where I (or the dog) need to go, it still mocks me.

None of which really has anything to do with this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest (who I’m pretty sure hasn’t been mocking me). Prior to last week, Charlie Jane Anders has probably been best known for her work as the editor of io9.com where her insights on all things SF are an unapologetic delight (full disclosure: I’ve been on the receiving end of some glowing reviews on io9.com). It’s kind of a high-profile gig, and so it’s understandable if that’s what comes to mind when you see her name (as opposed to the many many short stories she’s published), but all of that is changing. Her debut novel, All the Birds in the Sky, was released at the end of January and promises to make you ever after think of her as Charlie Jane Anders, novelist!

That said, a part of me will also always think of her as a recipient of the Emperor Norton Award, because I think we should all aspire to “extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason.” But writing awesome books works too.

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My Tentative 2016 ConDFW Schedule

No Comments » Written on January 31st, 2016 by
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ConDFW

In just a couple weeks, I’ll be returning to Dallas for the first time in decades. When I visited there 40 years ago it was in pursuit of the first girl I ever loved. This trip is much less romantic — despite it occurring over Valentine’s Weekend — but still sure to be enjoyable as I’ll be attending ConDFW.

Here’s the current version of my schedule. It could still change, but I think it’s pretty solid.

Friday, February 12th
03:00 p.m. (Jefferson) That’s No Moon! Designing Space Stations in Space Opera
With the advent of Star Wars VII’s Starkiller Base, we have yet another gigantic space station in space opera. Between a base built into a planet (or vice versa, of course), and more standard space stations such as Bespin, Babylon V or Deep Space Nine, how does an author create a place for a story to revolve around? Our space opera experts debate these and other issues.
With John DeLaughter (M), John Scalzi, Michael Ashleigh Finn, Melanie Fletcher

04:00 p.m. (The Gallery) Autographing
Bring me something to sign. Could be a book, could be a sandwich (okay, maybe not).
With Melanie Fletcher

Saturday, February 13th
11:00 a.m. (Madison) Reading
Come by and listen to me read from Barsk. Stina Licht is also there (though likely reading from something else, but you never know..
With Stina Licht

01:00 p.m. (Madison) What Genre is Batman?
It’s difficult to pigeonhole what genre a book falls into sometimes. But can traditional comic heroes be described in literary genres? Batman, for instance, probably could fit into the cyberpunk genre. Superman could fit into Urban Fantasy (while he is on Earth) or Science Fiction (off Earth). Our panelists attempt to label your favorite superhero, and then defend why they are that genre. With R. Cat Conrad (M), Michael Ashleigh Finn, David Doub, Frances May

Sunday, March 27th
11:00 a.m. (Madison) The Art of the Contract
If you want to try more traditional ways of publishing, you’re going to need to learn how to read fine print. Our publishers talk about contracts, what to look out for and what to hold out for.
With Julia S. Mandala (M), Rhonda Eudaly, T.M. Hunter, David L. Gray

As always, be aware that some of the people listed on the items above may change or disappear. Times and locations of panels may alter.

See you at ConDFW!

My Tentative 2016 NorWesCon Schedule

No Comments » Written on January 27th, 2016 by
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NorWesCon 39

March has me hopping. Early in the month I need to turn in my ballot for the Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, and soon after I’ll be traveling to New Mexico for a visit with a childhood friend, a writers’ retreat, and a reunion of some of alumnae of various Taos Toolbox classes. After that I’m flying to Seattle for my first ever visit to NorWesCon where I’ll enjoy four days of panels and programming and hanging out with some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest authors. I’ll also take a side trip out to the University Bookstore at the U of W to do a signing event because those people need to receive the word of Barsk!

Here’s the current version my schedule. It could still changed, but they seem pretty confident. If there are any alterations, I’ll let you know.

Thursday, March 24th
04:00 – 05:00 p.m. (Cascade 3&4) BIO15 – Alien Communication
With Pat MacEwen (M), Caroline Pate, Arthur Bozlee

07:00 – 08:00 p.m. (University Bookstore) Signing
I’ll be slipping away from the convention to head over to the U of W’s bookshop (4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105) to take a few questions, read a brief scene, and sign copies of Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard.

Friday, March 25th
02:00 – 03:00 p.m. (Cascade 9) EP07 – Fighting Through the 20k Slump
With Rhiannon Held (M), Django Wexler, John (J.A.) Pitts, Carol Berg

03:00 – 04:00 p.m. (Cascade 3&4) BIO14 – The Languages of Speculative Fiction
With Jason Bourget (M), David J. Peterson, Nina Post, Sean Hagle

04:00 – 04:30 p.m. (Cascade 1) R31 – Reading

Saturday, March 26th
12:00 – 01:00 p.m. (Cascade 10) SF08 – A Culture By Any Other Name
With Jason Bourget (M), Caroline M. Yoachim, Kim Ritchie, Luna Lindsey

2:00 – 03:00 p.m. (Evergreen 3&4) POP04 – How Star Trek Changed My Life
With Brooks Peck (M), Rachael Sabotini, Jason Bourget

3:00 – 04:00 p.m. (Grand 2) MISC29 – Autograph Session 2
With Amber Clark, Annie Bellet, Brenda Cooper, Carol Berg, David J. Peterson, H.M. Jones, Jeff Sturgeon, Jude-Marie Green, Julie Dillon, Katie Cord, Megan Kelso, Nina Post, Peter Orullian, Raven Oak, Stephen L. Gillett, Todd Lockwood

Sunday, March 27th
12:00 – 01:00 p.m. (Cascade 10) EP16 – Biggest Mistake I Ever Made
With Paul Constant (M), G. Willow Wilson, Esther Jones, John Lovett

Please note that some of the people listed on the items above may vanish from a particular panel. Times and locations of panels may change (or disappear entirely). I’m posting this schedule on based on what I’ve been told, but it’s all still technically in flux.

See you at Norwescon!

Eating Authors: Maria V. Snyder

No Comments » Written on January 25th, 2016 by
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Maria V. Snyder

I’m writing this the weekend before it’s going to appear, from a hotel room in Michigan. I tell you this as prelude to admitting my meteorological sin (an appropriate kind of transgression give this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest) because while it is below freezing here in Novi, MI, the skies are relatively clear and neither wet stuff nor white stuff is falling down. Which is not true back home where my wife reports she has been busily shoveling thigh-high snow just so the dog could get out into the yard to tend to business. That said, I’m sure there’ll still be plenty of snow awaiting my own shoveling tasks when I return late Sunday (you know, just in time for the airports to have reopened and blissfully return me to Pennsylvania).

Which bring us to Maria V. Snyder, a Philadelphia native whom I first met at a convention in Baltimore (another city which this weekend has been lost to the latest Snowpocalypse) shortly after she’d finished her MFA from Seton Hill. That doesn’t seem that long ago, and yet in that time she’s managed to publish two trilogies in her Chronicles of Ixia (the Study series and the Glass series), and is midway through another trilogy, as Night Study, the second book in her Soulfinders series, comes out tomorrow. These are in addition to another five books making up her Insider series and Healer series, as well a good number of short stories too.

In what is perhaps one of the best examples of “paying it forward,” Maria has returned to Seton Hill University as a teacher and mentor in their MFA program.

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Eating Authors: Bryan Thomas Schmidt

No Comments » Written on January 18th, 2016 by
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Bryan Thomas Schmidt

On any given week, my introductions here at EATING AUTHORS can be more or less coherent. This week’s entry, I fear, is likely to lean toward the lower end of the scale. The explanation for this has something to do with my typing these words while I sit at a desk in a hotel in Boston in the middle of the Arisia convention, as well as the fact that the formal release event for Barsk happens in Philadelphia less than 48 hours after I return home, and that I’m on a plane bound for Detroit and ConFusion about 8 hours after that, where in addition to another four day convention I’m also doing two off-site signings. Or to put it more simply: “Wheeeeee!”

Fortunately, this week’s guest, Bryan Thomas Schmidt has a long history in this wacky business and will understand and (probably) not hold any of this against me. I first met Bryan some year’s back during a Worldcon when he crashed the annual breakfast that I organize for members of the Codex online writing community. I couldn’t blame him for showing up; Bryan is well known as an editor of anthologies, and there assembled in one crowded restaurant were some fifty authors, many of whom had doubtless sold him stories in the past (and plenty more eager to join those ranks). But his editorial skills aside, last autumn saw the release of his novel The Worker Prince from the fine folk at WordFire Press. Let’s hope it’s just the first of many more to come.

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Eating Authors: Jason Gurley

No Comments » Written on January 11th, 2016 by
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Jason Gurley

I’m starting to get a feel for this new year we’re in and I’ll share my prediction that it’s going to be like that description from the film Ghostbusters: “Human sacrifice. Dogs and cats living together. Mass hysteria.” Or so it will seem while we’re in the midst of it. By 2017, I’m sure we’ll all look back on it with fondness, but until then buckle in for a wild ride.

Or maybe it’s just me. Anyway, don’t let that deter you from meeting this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest, Jason Gurley, whose novel, Eleanor comes out tomorrow. Jason actually self-published it back in 2014, and look how that turned out for John Scalzi, so fingers crossed, right?

In fact, he’s self-published four novels, including Greatfall (set in Hugh Howey’s Wool world), and he’s on record as saying some of the most intelligent and cogent things about the whole indie experience that I’ve ever heard from an author. Keep your eye on him, he’s got the real stuff, as evidenced by the following description.

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My 2016 ConFusion Schedule

No Comments » Written on January 6th, 2016 by
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The next couple of weeks are going to be busy. Two days after I return from Arisia, I have my “official” book launch in Philadelphia for Barsk. But I won’t be celebrating long into the night, because I have an early flight to Michigan and this year’s ConFusion, a convention I’ve only attended once before and which I’ve been very eager to return to.

The convention takes place in Novi, MI, just outside of Detroit. I’ll also be doing a book signing in (relatively) nearby Lansing on Thursday,January 21st at Schuler Books, as well as participating in a Tor authors event at the Barnes & Noble in Northville, on Friday night (both of these start at 7pm).

As for the convention itself, here’s my schedule of what I’ll be doing, where and when as part of Life, the Universe, and ConFusion:

Friday, January 22nd
05:00 p.m. Star Wars & Star Trek
With 2016 marking the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, and with the return of Star Wars to the big screen, come talk about the two fan favorite science fiction franchises that have had such a profound and wide-ranging impact on the genre.
With Eric Distad, Christian Klaver, Cindy A. Matthews, and Jeannie Szarama

Saturday, January 23rd
02:00 p.m. Seeing the World Through Different Eyes
Fiction should imagine the entire breadth of human experience. Too often though, it only embraces neurotypical characters. Not every brain works the same. What is neurodiversity? How does it impact story? Who’s doing it well?
With Mari Brighe (M), Jim C. Hines, Megan E. O’Keefe, and Stina Leicht

05:00 p.m. Autograph Session 2
I’m hoping to sign many many copies of Barsk. Please do your part and bring me one. Oh, and I’ll have bookplates. You know you want a bookplate!

07:00 p.m. Researching the Science: Where Do You Find the Science for Your Science Fiction?
Resources for finding good science. Where to go, what to look for and how to cite it.
With Daniel Dugan, Catherine Shaffer, Gordon Smith, and Kristine Smith

Sunday, January 24th
12:00 p.m. Repudiating the Replicator
Driven, perhaps, by Star Trek’s replicator and the utilitarian mush of NASA space travel, food in a science fictional setting has been criminally overlooked and underdeveloped. Why has this become the dominant narrative? How should food be used to world build a science fiction story? What stories have used food effectively?
With Alaya Dawn Johnson, Ann Leckie, and Elizabeth Shack (M)

As with the trip to Boston the week before, I will be at the mercy of the weather gods, coming and going. I have a late flight home on Sunday, and then a week to recover from ten days of travel before I’m on the road again.

See you at ConFusion!