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My Final NorthAmeriCon’17 Schedule

No 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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Eating Authors: Sarah Gailey (Campbell Award nominee)

No Comments » Written on April 17th, 2017 by
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Sarah Gailey

The Hugo finalists were announced this month, which of course means I immediately began scrambling to continue this blog’s time honored tradition of contacting all the nominees for the Campbell Award for Best New Writer — something I’ve done for seven years now — and invite them to share the telling of their most memorable meal. And, as sometimes happens, one of this year’s nominees, Ada Palmer, has already been here (last May, in fact). I’m still waiting to hear back from nominees J. Mulrooney and Laurie Penny and I hope they can spare the time for us all. Nominees Malka Older and Kelly Robson have already responded to my queries and will be featured here over the next few Mondays (with a possible break for another author with a debut novel), but we start with today’s EATING AUTHOR guest, Sarah Gailey.

You’re more likely to know here for her nonfiction — she’s a frequent essayist for Tor.com and a past nominee for the Best Related Work Hugo Award — but that’s probably going to change when River of Teeth comes out next month. And check out her website where you’ll find links to a wide assortment of her shorter fiction.

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My 2017 Albacon Schedule

No Comments » Written on March 28th, 2017 by
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March has gotten away from me and is almost out the door. But before it’s completely gone, I’ll be taking a roadtrip up to Albacon where my friend, Chuck Gannon is the Guest of Honor. It’s been a few since I’ve been to this convention (the last time I was there it was still being held in October!) and I’m looking forward to a weekend with friends and colleagues. Oh yeah, I’m the convention’s designated “RoastMaster” so I’ve got that going for me.

Here’s my schedule for those of you who wish to find me.

Friday, March 31st
8:00 – 8:55 p.m. | Colonie | Ice Cream Social
I’ve been off most dairy (and sugar and flour and land-based proteins) for the past four weeks. So come by and watch me get a sugar rush like I haven’t experienced since childhood!

Saturday, April 1st
3:00 – 3:25 p.m. | Hotel Bar | Reading
If everyone there has already read Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, I’ll read a snippet from the opening of the sequel (now sitting on my editor’s desk).

4:00 – 4:55 p.m. | Hotel Lobby| Signing
This is your chance to come by and have me sign all the things! And too, I’ll have a few copies of Bars on hand, in case you’ve forgotten to bring one of your own.
with Ryk E. Spoor

8:00 – 8:55 p.m. | Colonie | Charles Gannon Roast
The convention asked me to write the appreciation of Chuck for the program book. Now I have to repudiate all the nice things I said there.
with Alex Shvartsman and Ken Burnside

Sunday, April 2nd
10:00 – 10:55 a.m. | Colonie | Tales of the Less-than-Consolidated Tech Republic
Contributors to the forthcoming Consolidated Tech Republic Anthology will discuss working in Charles Gannon’s world.
with Charles Gannon, Alex Shvartsman, and Robert E. Waters

As you can see, I am not heavily programmed. So look for me in the bar. Better yet, invite me out for a meal!

See you in Albany.

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).

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.