Posts by Lawrence:

My Final NorthAmeriCon’17 Schedule

Written on June 11th, 2017 by
Categories: News
NorthAmeriCon

We’re just under a month away from NorthAmeriCon’17, aka the 2017 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). If you’ve never seen that name before then all you really need to know is that the NASFiC occurs any year the World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon) is scheduled outside North America. Thus, because the WorldCon is happening in Helsinki, Finland in August, we get a NASFiC this year.

And lo, I have received my final schedule (I actually got it a couple days ago!). I have a surprisingly light load, just a reading and three panels. Even more curious, all of the panels are on the same day and I am moderating all three.

Friday, July 7th
12:30 p.m. – 12:55 p.m. | Bahia | Reading
I’ll read a bit from the sequel to Barsk, specifically a scene set on an island. Seems appropriate.

Saturday, July 8th
11:00 a.m. – 11:50 a.m. | San Geronimo | What’s so Funny?
Humor is a coping mechanism, but it’s also a vital mechanic of fiction. Our panelists talk about humor, and it’s sure to be a lark.
with Mel White, Mike Substelny

3:00 p.m. – 3:50 p.m. | San Cristobal | World Building as more than Background
How does an author create a well developed world? Cultures, government, biospheres, religion, social equity, et cetera must be explored.
with Lee French, James Dorr, Ctein

5:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. | San Cristobal | Translation in Space
Understanding alien language is at the heart of the 2016 Hugo-nominated moview Arrival. Our panelists discuss the challenges of talking with aliens in fiction and (potentially) reality.
with Chris Rose, Jonathan Brazee

I’m also hoping to win a spot on the Thursday tour of Arecibo Observatory with Brother Guy Consolmagno. Fingers crossed.

Other times, you’ll likely find me just hanging out around the convention. Come up and say hello.

On Monday, after the convention is over, I’ll be taking advantage of an excursion to visit El Yunque (via Spoon Food tours). Maybe you’ll join me? I’ve written two novels set in rainforests, it seemed like a great time to actually walk around in one.

And I’ve been practicing my Spanish (courtesy of DuoLingo), so I’m sure to embarrass myself over and over.

Eating Authors: Sara M. Harvey

Written on June 5th, 2017 by
Categories: Plugs
Sara Harvey

My wife is traveling this week, having left me and the dog far behind to frolic with an old friend in the wilds of Montréal, Canada. In past times, she would buy her readmittance to our home with gifts of that city’s famed “smoked meat,” but alas, as both of us have forsworn land-based proteins, that won’t be happening.

I’ve been using some of this time alone to double down on some projects. The new Amazing Conroy novella has been completed and shipped off to my editor. I hope to read from it in September when I attend the Baltimore Book Festival (I’ll be there on the 23rd).

I’m also trying to get a bit ahead on write ups and invitations to the EATING AUTHORS blog. I’m doing quite a bit of travel this summer, and past experience has shown that if I don’t get a jump on this now, I’ll end up with gaps and no time to fill them right about the time I’m heading to out of the country.

Which is about as good a segue as I’m going to manage for this week’s guest, Sara M. Harvey. I actually don’t know much more about Sara than you might find on her wikipedia page, details like her expertise as an award-winning costume designer and a peripatetic life that has taken up and down the west coast, to the east coast, and finally down south to Nashville (which probably goes a long way to explaining the setting for her novel Music City, a blend of Irish myth, southern charm, and the music industry).

But two things made me want to have her here. First, she’s an alumna of UC Santa Cruz, a magical place that still haunts my dreams. And second, the pitch she used for her novel The Convent of the Pure, which was “Half-angel, lesbian demon-hunters in a steampunk universe.” Seriously, don’t you want to rush right out and buy that book?

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My Tentative NorthAmeriCon’17 Schedule

Written on May 31st, 2017 by
Categories: News
NorthAmeriCon

In a little over a month, I’ll be traveling to San Juan, Puerto Rico to attend NorthAmeriCon’17, aka the 2017 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC). As you know, Bob, the NASFiC occurs any year the World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon) is scheduled outside North America. As the WorldCon is happening in Helsinki, Finland in August, we get a NASFiC.

I just received my tentative schedule, and apparently I’m moderating all my panels! While some things may change, here’s what it looks like at this moment.

Friday, July 7th
12:30 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | Bahia | Reading
I’ll read a bit from the sequel to Barsk, specifically a scene set on an island. Seems appropriate.

Saturday, July 8th
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | San Cristobal | World Building as more than Background
How does an author create a well developed world? Cultures, government, biospheres, religion, social equity, et cetera must be explored.
with Lee French, James Dorr, Ctein

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | San Cristobal | Translation in Space
Understanding alien language is at the heart of the 2016 Hugo-nominated moview Arrival. Our panelists discuss the challenges of talking with aliens in fiction and (potentially) reality.
with Chris Rose, Jonathan Brazee, William Ledbetter

Sunday, July 9th
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | San Geronimo | What’s so Funny?
Humor is a coping mechanism, but it’s also a vital mechanic of fiction. Our panelists talk about humor, and it’s sure to be a lark.
with Mel White, Mike Substelny

I’m also hoping to go on the tour of Arecibo Observatory with Brother Guy Consolmagno, assuming that fits into my schedule once the convention locks in the particulars.

Other times, you’ll likely find me just hanging out around the convention. Come up and say hello.

On Monday, after the convention is over, I’ll be taking advantage of an excursion to visit El Yunque (via Spoon Food tours). I’ve written two novels set in rainforests, it seemed like a great time to actually walk around in one. Maybe you’ll join me?

Eating Authors: J. Mulrooney (Campbell Award nominee)

Written on May 29th, 2017 by
Categories: Plugs
J. Mulrooney

I’ve spent the past week recovering from the glorious time that I had at this year’s Nebula Conference. I saw a lot of friends, made some new ones, ate the best branzino of my life, had a couple meals with my editor, made sausage with the SFWA Board, successfully resisted the siren song of all the foods in the hospitality suite that were not part of my current dietary regimen, and even got to talk with an astronaut (my third).

Then, in the middle of my recovery I was contacted by this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest. J. Mulrooney had heard through the grapevine that I’d been trying to reach him and while I couldn’t locate him he managed to find me. And so here we are. Still no sign of Laurie Penny, but we’ve seen meals from rest of this year’s cohort of nominees Ada Palmer, Sarah Gailey, Malka Older, and Kelly Robson, and I hope you’ve been inspired to look at their work.

Alas, I’ve never met J. Mulroney and what little I know is just a disjointed collection of particulars: he was born in Canada, is an alunmus of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he’s been a business consultant in the world of the Fortune 1000, worked for many years as a professional musician, and he insists he once found five dollars on the street. Not a lot to go on, biographically speaking, but his writing strikes me as deliciously quirky, and we’re making tentative plans to meet up in San Jose at next year’s WorldCon. But who knows, a lot might happen between now and then.

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Eating Authors: Jeffe Kennedy

Written on May 22nd, 2017 by
Categories: Plugs
Jeffe Kennedy

If you’re reading this on time then you know who won which Nebula Awards over the weekend, something I don’t know yet because I wrote this up prior to the conference and awards banquet. All I know with any certainty is it’s wasn’t me (I had no dogs in this race, thus ending my four year streak of nominations — hey, maybe next year).

What I can tell you, by way of a nice EATING AUTHORS segue, is that this week’s guest Jeffe Kennedy has been elected to the SFWA Board as one of our new Directors-at-Large. She takes office on July 1st, and I’m looking forward to having her join the Board as she continues her history of service.

But let’s talk a bit about her accomplishments as an author. She has dozens of published novels, including her award-winning Fantasy romance series Twelve Kingdoms. Last year she started two new series.Sorcerous Moons has already spawned four volumes in just six months. And her Uncharted Realms series has released a more modest two books in seven months, with a third due out this summer. It’s an impressive — and intimidating — pace, but one that her fans surely appreciate.

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Eating Authors: Paul Levinson

Written on May 15th, 2017 by
Categories: Plugs
Paul Levinson

There’s a hectic week ahead. I’ll be driving out to Pittsburgh for the annual Nebula Conference and spending all day on Thursday in a meeting of the SFWA Board making authorial sausage. Please believe me when I tell you it’s not as glamorous as it sounds (and it doesn’t sound glamorous). But it provides a good segue for this week’s EATING AUTHORS because Paul Levinson is a past president of SFWA.

He’s also a classic example of an author who has split his time between academia and fiction, often blurring the line between them. After earning his doctorate back in 1979, Paul bounced around a bit and taught at half a dozen colleges and universities before settling down at Fordham University in New York, where’s he’s been a professor of communications and media studies since 1998.

Both his novels and his nonfiction (a full shelfload of each) explore concepts and themes not just of communications media, but also space exploration, technology, and philosophy. His work has been nominated multiple times for the Hugo, the Nebula, the Sturgeon, and still other awards, while The Silk Code brought him a Locus Award for Best First Novel.

But my favorite thing about Paul’s fiction can be found in his book The Plot to Save Socrates, a time travel novel that opens with a character in the future reading an unknown Socratic dialogue in which the philosopher is given the chance to escape his own death and flee to the future. How could you not love that?

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My 2017 Nebula Conference Schedule

Written on May 14th, 2017 by
Categories: News

In a few days I’ll be driving (yes, I said driving) to Pittsburgh, PA for the 51st annual Nebula Conference.

2017 Nebula Conference

The event has been transforming itself in the last few years, taking on more of the feel of a professional conference and not simply a showcase for the nominees of the Nebula Award and the banquet during which some of them will go home with a pretty trophy.

Here’s where I currently expect to be found, though of course this could change.

Thursday, May 18th
8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. | TBA | SFWA Board Meeting
Sorry, not a spectator event. This is the room where it happens.

1:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. | Hospitality Suite | Convention Mentor Meet-Up
During the Board’s lunch break I’ll slip away to participate in this meet-up. The SFWA mentor program pairs established writers with early career writers, or people attending the Nebula Award Conference for the first time. Then it’s back to the boardroom.

8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Grand Ballroom | Welcome Reception
The first reception of the conference, with more to come!

Friday, May 19th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Grand Foyer Lobby | Pittsburgh Stroll
Stretch your legs, get your blood flowing, chat with colleagues, or just admire the local architecture.

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 a.m. | Grand Ballroom | Office Hours: Hypnosis!
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.| Grand Ballroom | Office Hours: Hypnosis!
That’s right, two — count ’em, two — opportunities for you to schedule an appointment or just drop in. I’ll answer your questions and concerns about how hypnosis works and how trance is a natural part of daily life. And yes, ignore what you may have been told — everyone can be hypnotized!

7:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom | Nebula Nominee Presentation
Meet this year’s nominees before heading into the Mass Signing

8:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. | Grand Ballroom | Mass Signing
Bring me your copies of Barsk or Calendrical Regression (both past Nebula finalists) to sign!

Saturday, May 20th
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom | SFWA Business Meetin
Cat Rambo and the rest of the Board will entertain you with committee reports, etc., and in the second hour answer the question “what can SFWA do for you?”

6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom | Nebula Reception
We clean up pretty good. Come, mingle, pose for selfies, and wish the nominees luck!

7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. | Grand Ballroom | Nebula Awards Banquet
Chicken or Beef? Neither? Okay, I’ll be having the veggie entree personally. But it’s not about the food. Come celebrate friends and colleagues as we honor the best of our best.

When I’m not otherwise attending programming (I don’t currently have anything scheduled for Sunday), I’ll likely be hanging out in the SFWA Hospitality Suite, chilling at the bar, or typing away frantically on a tablet in the lobby. Drop by and say “howdy.”

Eating Authors: Kelly Robson (Campbell Award nominee)

Written on May 8th, 2017 by
Categories: News, Plugs
Kelly Robson

After a week off, we once again resume our annual tradition of highlighting this year’s Campbell nominees. Already reporting on their most memorable meals: Ada Palmer, Sarah Gailey, and Malka Older. Still no word from either J. Mulrooney or Laurie Penny, but their names are on the ballot so please check them out all the same. Meanwhile, for this week’s EATING AUTHORS entry, let’s focus on Kelly Robson.

You should know Kelly for her short fiction. More to the point, unless you were living under a rock last year, you’ve read her novella Waters of Versailles which appeared at Tor.com and won the Aurora award, as well as picking up nominations for the Nebula, World Fantasy awards. In addition, Kelly also took home a nomination for the Sunburst and Sturgeon awards last year. So, yeah, you kind of get an idea of why she’s up for the Campbell this year.

And, regardless of what happens in Helsinki, Kelly returns to Tor.com in a few months with a brand new novella — heads up, nominators! Gods, Monsters, and the Lucky Peach promises to be a time travel tour du force. Don’t miss it!

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