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More Than Just A Cover Reveal: Barry’s Deal

1 Comment » Written on October 9th, 2017 by
Categories: News

Barry's Deal

Next month, the fine folks at NobleFusion Press will be publishing Barry’s Deal, the fourth novella-length adventure in the ongoing tales of my galaxy-traveling stage hypnotist, the Amazing Conroy, and Reggie, his alien companion animal, a “buffalo dog” who can eat anything and farts oxygen.

This latest story features Conroy traveling to Triton, to a casino hotel with old friend LeftJohn Mocker, a professional gambler with a double Coltrane rating. Why Triton? Well, there’s an illegal auction scheduled there where Conroy hopes to win a bottle of Stonefish liqueur, and the Mocker was on his way there anyway at the request of the Probability Guild to investigate allegations of cheating. It looks like everyone will get what they want except… the cheater turns out to be a Angela Colson, an eleven-year old girl of incredible power! Conroy saved her life five years earlier (back in the Nebula-finalist Barry’s Tale). That’s her pictured on the cover of Buffalito Buffet at the bottom of this page. Somehow she’s back, somehow appears to be in her late teens, and somehow has taken the casino for over ten million bucks!

Throw in an evil psychometrist portmaster with a grudge against LeftJohn Mocker, a stinky alien with a secret, and a terrorist with a suitcase-sized nuke, and the stage is set for hypnotic hijinks and some fine dining as only the Amazing Conroy can command.

NobleFusion Press will be releasing the novella as a Trade Paperback on Thursday, November 9th.

However, they’re giving away a limited number of digital Advanced Reader Copy (ARCs) to readers who pledge to post a review to Amazon.com on the novella’s release day.

If you’d like to jump the queue and get the book for free, all you have to do is click this link.

cover art by Rebecca Wang

#SFWApro

My Tentative Capclave 2017 Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 27th, 2017 by
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Capclave

It’s nearly time once again for one of my favorite small conventions, Capclave.

Even though I was just in Maryland over the weekend (for the awesome Baltimore Book Festival!), I’m very excited to be going back, and not just because it means another stop off at the Elkton Waffle House along the way (though, seriously, that is a huge draw).

For me, Capclave is always a welcome combination of connecting with old friends and enjoying serious conversations with people who want to talk about books. And hey, if the books they’re talking about include one or more of mine, so much the better.

This year’s ConChair has just sent out the schedules. You’ll find mine below (the better to stalk me).

Friday, October 6th
3:00 p.m. | Frederick | “Holy Shuftik!” He Cried.
How does an author create a distinctive language for characters in the future or in a different world and keep it understandable to the reader? What’s the right balance between creating language and making sure the reader can figure it out without a dictionary appendix to the story?
with Jeanne Adams (M) and John Skovron

4:00 p.m. | Seneca | Hypnotism: Reality vs. Fiction
If you’re getting sleeeepy, don’t come to this item. I’ll give a talk on how hypnotism really works vs. how it is portrayed in fiction and on screen.

Saturday, October 7th
12:00 p.m. | Bethesda | Reading
I’ve been paired with the incredible James Morrow for an hour of reading. He’ll start at noon, and hand off to me at 12:30pm. I have no idea what Jim will be reading, but I expect to read to you from the new Amazing Conroy novella, Barry’s Deal (coming out from NobleFusion Press at the end of October).
with James Morrow

4:00 p.m. | Frederick | Anthology Builder
So you want to edit and publish an anthology. How do the stories get picked? How do you come up with a theme? What sells and what doesn’t? How do authors produce readable fiction in the straitjacket of an original themed anthology? How do you properly curate your anthology?
with Neil Clarke, Ron Garner, Joshua Palmatier (M), and Darrell Schweitzer

7:30 p.m. | Rockville/Potomac | Mass Signing and Awards
For many, the highlight of Capclave is the mass autographing session, followed by the awards ceremony to award the WSFA Small Press Award and the BSFS Amateur Writers Contest winners. This is a great chance to get all the things signed and to celebrate some of the best of small press short fiction.
with everyone!

Sunday, October 8th
10:00 a.m. | Rockville/Potomac | Abusing Authors
Panelists answer whatever questions the audience has on writing, editing, character development, agents, and others. Includes many non-writer-parts-of-being-a-writer, such as being your own boss, setting schedules, and so on.
with Sarah Avery, Scott Edelman, Will McIntosh (M), Ian Randal Strock, and Michael Ventrella

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.

My Worldcon 75 Probably Final Schedule

No Comments » Written on July 17th, 2017 by
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Worldcon 75

In August I’ll be flying off to Finland (by way of Iceland) for the 75th annual World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon 75).

In mid-June the organizers were kind enough to send me a tentative schedule, but asked me to wait before posting it as they wanted to firm up some items. We’ve had some back and forth on things (owing in part to my plans to leave Helsinki on Sunday morning and miss the last partial day of the convention), but they have been great to work with.

Today I got the green light to share the schedule. Things could still change, but I’m liking what I see.

Thursday, August 10th
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | 103 Messukeskus | Reading
Reading slots are apparently hard to come by at this convention. I am one of two authors in this hour (the other being the awesome Scott Lynch!). Depending on what people want, I”ll either read the opening chapter from next summer’s BARSquel, or the opening to the next month’s Amazing Conroy novella.

Friday, August 11th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Courtyard Messukeskus | Strolls with Stars
I’m a big fan of the Worldcon strolls. It’s a great opportunity to chat with authors and fans while also taking in some local sights. Plus, I get some of my steps in!
with Eva Elasigue, Walter Jon Williams, and lots of other folks!

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 215 Messukeskus | SF & Education
Science Fiction and Fantasy are interrelated with education in many ways. From the earliest years SF was thought of as a way of sugar coating science – and many young readers have in fact been inspired to go on to study the sciences by their early enthusiasm for SF. But it also goes the other way – many reluctant readers are motivated to learn by the pleasures of genre books. Then there are all the imagined schools – Hogwarts is only one. As well, SF and Fantasy serve as ideal forums for imagining how education could be different – even wildly different – think brain implants or babel fish! This panel will delve into the links between SF and Education – as is only appropriate in a country whose schooling leads the world in the education league tables!
with Charlie (M), Nick Falkner, Diana ben-Aaron, Aidan Doyle

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | 208 Messukeskus | Alien Language in Science Fiction
As easy as a Babel Fish is, usually alien languages are handled differently in science fiction. The panelists discuss various alien languages and how they are understood. I’ll be moderating.
with David J. Peterson, Stephen W. Potts, Cora Buhlert, Heather Rose Jones

Saturday, August 12th
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Signing Area Messukeskus | Autographing
I’ve been given a slot for signing all the things. So, even if you don’t have a copy of Barsk on hand, or a back issue of Spin with one of my Finnish translations, do stop by anyway and I’ll sign one of my new Historical Science Fiction Trading Cards (I’m #158).

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | 205 Messukeskus | Coping strategies for publishing in small markets
Sometimes the publishing markets aren’t that big – perhaps because language reasons. There are different ways writers from smaller countries can and do use to reach a wider audience, however. Getting famous in your own country first, writing in a foreign language, selling straight into translation and other strategies are discussed. And again, I’m moderator.
with Tom Crosshill, Teodor Reljic, Raita Jauhiainen

While it’s possible that some portion of the above will change prior to the start of the Worldcon, it’s unlikely I’ll be in a position to post an update. So, either go with the above or consult the program schedule in Grenadine.

My REALLY-I-MEAN-IT Final NorthAmeriCon’17 Schedule

No Comments » Written on July 1st, 2017 by
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NorthAmeriCon

I’ll be spending Independence Day packing for my trip to NorthAmeriCon’17, aka the 2017 North American Science Fiction Convention (NASFiC).

Now, I know what you’re thinking: didn’t I already post my final schedule a month ago? Well, you’re right, I did. But the Powers That Be decided to move a couple things around and so I’m posting the *new and improved* final schedule, because I’d hate for you to be looking for me at a particular time and place and not be able to find me.

That said, while I have been assured that the times and dates shown below are spot on, the location of things may be wrong. In fact, I’ve noticed that according to the online programming list, the same room has been allocated to different items at the same time. Oops! My advice, ignore the locations listed here and double-check once you’ve arrived on-site.

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

5:00 p.m. – 5:50 p.m. | San Cristobal | 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

Saturday, July 8th
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

4:00 p.m. – 4:50 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

It looks like I’m not going on the Thursday tour of Arecibo Observatory with Brother Guy Consolmagno. I didn’t win that ticket lottery. If you did, and cannot go, and want me to go in your place, hey, why haven’t you told me yet? C’mon, pick up the phone!

Other places I expect to be are Thursday night’s Meet the GoHs Ice Cream Social (8-?). Then on Friday, Tobias Buckell’s and Brother Guy Consolmagno’s readings in the morning (10-10:55), the panel on English Language Caribbean SF (3-3:50), and the Science Fiction Historical Trading Cards presentation (4-4:50). On Saturday I hope to attend the panel on Making the International Move (11-11:50), because hey, you never know.

Elsewise, 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. If you’re a user of this amazing (and free!) language learning service, feel free to follow me.

My Final NorthAmeriCon’17 Schedule

2 comments Written on June 11th, 2017 by
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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.

My Tentative NorthAmeriCon’17 Schedule

No Comments » Written on May 31st, 2017 by
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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?

My 2017 Nebula Conference Schedule

No Comments » Written on May 14th, 2017 by
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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)

No Comments » Written on May 8th, 2017 by
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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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