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My Tentative Philcon 2018 Schedule

No Comments » Written on November 8th, 2018 by
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Philcon

As I write this, it’s the last day of the second of four conventions I’m doing this month. I get a week off before heading to my third, which will be Philcon. Alas, I’ll only be there for a single day, Saturday, November the 17th, but it will be a very full and long day. I’m looking forward to visiting with some folks I rarely get to see, and this year’s Principal Speaker is one of my favorite authors, Steven Brust, so I’m especially psyched! Here’s my tentative schedule:

Saturday, November 17th
10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | Crystal Ballroom Three | The Fiction of Steven Brust
Really, the title says it all. What a great panel to get to be on. I’m smiling as I type this!
with Joan Wendland (mod), and Carl Fink

1:00 p.m. – 02:00 p.m. | Executive Suite 623 | Reading
This year the convention is squeezing three readers into an hour. Interesting trick. They’ve listed me as “moderator” which I’m choosing to believe means I get to pick who’s reading first. Just so you know, that will be me. My current plan is to read to you from an exciting new novelette that’s coming out next month from Future SF.
with Gordon Linzner, and Susan Shwartz

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.| Autograph Table | Signing
I’ve been paired with Gordon Linzner again, and since this time he’s listed as “moderator” that probably means he gets to choose who sits on the right and who sits on the left. Either way, come by and I will sign stuff for you.
with Gordon Linzner

That’s pretty much it. Other than the above, I expect to be hanging out in the lobby, or the bar, or the restaurant, or to have slipped off-site for a meal, so your ability to find me may be a matter of luck.

Though, for those who are more into stalking, it’s fair to say that I’ll be spending a good deal of time in Steven Brust’s autograph line from 4:00 to 5:00 pm. I have all his books and somehow most of them have never been signed. Fortunately, I have a suitcase…

Starbase Indy: Preliminary Schedule

No Comments » Written on October 24th, 2018 by
Categories: News

This year I’ll be spending Thanksgiving Weekend as one of the GoHs at Starbase Indy.

The schedule is coming together nicely, and it’s looking to be a great time. I know they have a few more things planned for me, but here’s what and when I know about right now:

Friday, November 23rd:
7:00 – 8:00 pm Opening Ceremonies
I’m flying in this afternoon and should arrive in time to be part of the opening festivities kicking off the party. Shake off that post-turkey lethargy and join us!

Saturday, November 24th

1:00 – 2:00 pm | A Quarter Century of Pushing Klingon
The Klingon Language Institute began in 1992 and it’s been a wild ride of crazy adventures ever since. Join its founder for an hour long Q&A filled with anecdotes and strange tales of pushing the language around the galaxy.

6:00 – 8:00 pm | Dinner with the Stars
The ever incredible Jen Usellis and I will eat food. Possibly even off one another’s plate! Riveting stuff.

Sunday, November 25th
2:00 – 3:00 pm | The Sounds of Klingon
An interactive session (with just a bit of spitting) mastering some of the trickier sounds of the world’s fastest growing language. You’ll learn how to wrap your tongue around the speech sounds of an alien language.

6:00 – 7:00 | Klingon Grammar Panel
I’ll be joined by some other members of the convention to take your questions and tell you all about the grammar of tlhIngan Hol.

Several seniors members of the KLI are expected to be on hand to heckle and correct me when I make mistakes.

I’ll also be bringing an assortment of books, both Klingon and otherwise. Supplies are limited, and you’ll be heartbroken if you don’t get to but them all.

My 2018 Baltimore Book Festival Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 14th, 2018 by
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Baltimore Book Festival

I’ve had most of September to recover from the excesses of the 76th Worldcon, but the end of the month offers a weekend packed with two separate events

I’ve already posted my tentative schedule for Capclave, now it’s time to talk about what I’ll be doing before that at the Baltimore Book Festival.

The BBF is an incredible, free, three-day event that takes place along Baltimore’s scenic inner harbor. Panels, readings, book sellers, food and drink. What’s not to love?

Because I’m due down at Capclave on Saturday and Sunday, I’ll only be on programming at the festival on Friday, and even then only over a three-hour span. Here’s where you can find me:

Friday, September 28th
11:00 a.m. (SFWA Tent) What’s Your Writer Origin Story
Our panel of authors will tell you what led to their chosen career, and which books and stories inspired them along the way.
With Elektra Hammond, Kosoko Jackson, and Kenneth Rogers Jr.

12:00 p.m. (SFWA Tent) Autographing
Come by and I will sign all the things. If you forgot to bring something for me to sign, I’ll have my SF Trading card to give you and The Ivy Bookshop has promised to bring a few copies of The Moons of Barsk for that important impulse buy.

1:00 p.m. (SFWA Tent) Self-Pub, Traditional, and Hybrid, Oh My!
There are many roads to publication in this day and age. Find out which one is right for you, the positives and negatives of each, and the things our authors wish they had known.
With Jonathan P. Brazee, Vera Brook, Kenneth Rogers Jr., and Nancy Schrock.

That’s it for my programming, but all weekend long under the SFWA Tent, you’ll find lots of writers all talking about books. It should be glorious.

I’ll be swinging back by late Sunday afternoon on my way home from Capclave, and I’ll be hanging out in the SFWA tent (no surprise).

See you in Balitmore!

My Tentative Capclave 2018 Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 12th, 2018 by
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Capclave

It’s nearly time once again for one of my favorite small conventions, Capclave, where reading is not extinct.

This year it happens to fall on the same weekend as the awesome Baltimore Book Festival. I”ll be doing the Festival on Friday, and then continuing on to the convention. And on Sunday, after finishing at the convention I’ll pause on the way home for another stop at the festival. This will also be the first road trip in the new car, and joining me on the drive will be my co-author and friend, Jonathan Brazee.

This year’s ConChair has just sent out the schedules. Here’s mine, but keep in mind some of it may change.

Saturday, September 29th
1:00 p.m. | Lincoln | Reading
I’ve been paired with Steven H. Wilson for an hour of reading. I’ll start and hand off to him at 1:30pm. I have no idea what Steven will be reading, but I expect to read to you from a new work in progress.
with Steven H. Wilson

3:00 p.m. | Washington Theater | How to Remember EVERYTHING!
Mnemonics and You! Come hear me explain how memory works and how to enhance yours.

7:30 p.m. | Eisenhower/Jackson | Mass Signing
A double-sized room full of authors armed with pens. Also cake. What could possibly go wrong? Bring your books, we’re hungry to sign all the things. I’ll also have Barsk bookplates and trading cards.
with everyone!

Sunday, September 30th
10:00 a.m. | Eisenhower | Ask Me Anything – Author Edition
Ask the panel of authors absolutely anything about what they do – writing, getting published, elevator pitches, getting an agent, dealing with writers block, writers workshop etc. Includes many non-writer-parts-of-being-a-writer, such as being your own boss, setting schedules, and so on.
with Jonathan Brazee, J. L. Gribble (M), Suzanne Palmer, and Alyssa Wong

2:00 p.m. | Eisenhower | My Characters Have a Life of Their Own
What to do when you meant for character X to be the protagonist, but at some point in the draft character Y took over?
with Sarah Avery (M), Brenda W. Clough, Mark S. LaPorta, and Alan Smale

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 I-Really-Think-This-Is-Final Worldcon 76 Schedule

No Comments » Written on August 14th, 2018 by
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Worldcon 76

I’m all packed and the dog suspects I’m leaving. I fly out tomorrow morning and the house/dog sitter is awesome. I will be arriving at Fairmont in a shiny Tesla, which short of a personal jetpack has to be one of the best ways to start a World Science Fiction Convention.

Below you’ll find my schedule as I currently understand it to be. It actually looks very much like the last version of the schedule I shared, but some of the other participants on panels have come and gone. Anyway, I hope you’ll use it to stalk me in a good way. The Moons of Barsk came out today, and nothing would please me more than to have you bring me copies to sign.

Thursday, August 16th
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Guadalupe (San Jose Marriott | SFWA Board Meeting
That’s right, people. While you are off enjoying the opening day of the conventions I’ll be in the “Room Where It Happens” making all the sausage.
with Kate Baker, Curtis C. Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Nathan Lowell, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Kelly Robson, and Steven Silver.

Friday, August 17th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | 210DH (San Jose Convention Center) | SFWA Business Meeting
Oh god, another 8am start? Good thing I’ll still (probably) be on east coast time, right? This is a members-only event. Are you a member? C’mon, you know you want to be.
with Cat Rambo (M), Kate Baker, Curtis C Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Terra LeMay, Sarah Pinsker, Steven Silver, Nathan Lowell, Kelly Robson, and lots of other folks!

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | SFWA Autographing (Main Exhibit Hall) | Bonus Autographing Session
The convention has assigned me an official autographing slot on Sunday at 3pm, but if you can’t wait that long I’ll also be spending half an hour at the SFWA autograph table (as distinct from the convention’s autograph table). Please be respectful of other people who want to get things signed and limit yourself to no more than 30 books at a time. Also, signing of body parts will be on a case by case basis.
with me, you, and all those books (and maybe a body part).

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. | 210E (San Jose Convention Center) | Trading Card Awards Ceremony
I’m not being put on a trading card (I got mine last July at the NASFiC), but lots of other people are being honored and I will be in the audience cheering them on. Come join us in this ceremony as many famous authors and fandom luminaries receive their Science Fiction Trading Cards. Free packets of cards will be handed out to all attendees.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210F (San Jose Convention Center) | What Can SFWA Offer Me
Learn what SFWA has to offer authors at all stages of their careers, from networking opportunities to sample contracts to the grievance committee. SFWA’s officers will provide an update on what SFWA is doing and where the organization is going and answer questions from potential (or current) members.
with Kate Baker (M), Cat Rambo, Curtis C Chen, Erin M. Hartshorn, and Jeffe Kennedy

Saturday, August 18th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Super Secret Location (shhh!) | Annual Codex Worldcon Breakfast
Every year I organize breakfast for members of the online writing community known as Codex. I don’t pay for it, I only organize it. If you’re in Codex, you know where this is happening. If you’re not, you’ll be able to spot members today because we’ll all be very well fed.
with probably around EIGHTY people. It’s crazy!!

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | 210A (San Jose Convention Center) | Research Rabbit Holes
Sometimes you start researching one thing and wind up six centuries away, on another topic entirely. Sometimes you find facts so bizarre they’re too true to make good fiction. What are some of the best facts you haven’t been able to use? The strangest places your research has led you?
with Sarah Pinsker (M), Andy Duncan, Karen Joy Fowler, Ann Leckie, and Irene Radford.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210E (San Jose Convention Center) | Klingon 101
The popularity of Klingon is on the rise. It’s spoken, correctly, on Star Trek: Discovery, and available to learn on Duolingo. So there’s no better time to break up your Worldcon programming and come around so I can teach you 80% of the grammar in a mere 50 minutes.

Sunday, August 19th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Lower Level Plaza (San Jose Convention Center) | Stroll With The Stars
We’ve been going for days, and we could all use a casual walk around the convention center. I love doing this and you will too. Meet in the Lower Level Plaza area.
with Debra Nickelson (M), Kate Baker, Jeffe Kennedy, Mary Robinette Kowal, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, and lots of other folks.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Autographing (San Jose Convention Center) | Autographing
I’ve been really busy publishing lots o’ stuff. No pressure, but seriously, you should come by and have me sign something. I’ll even have (a limited number) of bookplates for people who show up with newly released copies of The Moons of Barsk. And Barry Mantelo should be there, if you happen to come by with his eponymous and Nebula-nominated novella, Barry’s Deal. I’ll also have copies of my Science Fiction Writers trading card to give you, just for showing up.
with Greg Bear, Robin Gage, Tom Lombardo, Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Larry Niven, and a bunch of your books (I hope)!

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | 211B (San Jose Convention Center) | Kaffeeklatsch
The last time I had one of these was in Kansas City, and it filled up! I know, I was as surprised as anyone. So, if you plan to attend, remember that you need to sign up for this event in advance (which you cannot do before 10am Sunday morning) and seating is limited. Ah, but if you get in, you can ask me anything you like, about Barsk, Buffalitos, Hypnosis, Klingon, most anything you can think of. Also, I’ll have a few prizes to give away.
with whoever signs up!

Monday, August 20th
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 211A (San Jose Convention Center) | Reading
The con is finally winding down. You’re tired, I get it. Me too. So come on by and all you have to do is sit there while I read to you. But wait, there’s more. I’ll be sharing my reading slot with Jonathan Brazee. That’s right, two readings for the price of one. Seriously, can you think of a better way to end your Worldcon experience? Hey, that’s a rhetorical question in case you weren’t sure.
with Jonathan Brazee

And that’s it. See you in San Jose!

My Shiny New What Could Possibly Go Wrong Worldcon 76 FSchedule

No Comments » Written on August 2nd, 2018 by
Categories: News
Worldcon 76

Hi, Welcome to August. If you’re planning on attending the 76th annual World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon 76) in San Jose, CA that’s coming up in about two weeks then you probably already know that scheduling has been… umm… in flux.

Some questionable choices were made in earlier drafts of the program and our community responded with outcry. To their credit, the concom did not double down but rather acknowledged that mistakes had been made and even accepted assistance from some folks outside the committee who had experience, expertise, and the willingness to lend a hand. The result should be more people on programming and broader representation. This makes me happy. I want SF from as wide a swath of the community as possible.

So, here’s my new schedule. It’s not carved in stone but I’m hoping it’s pretty stable. Still, a lot can happen in two weeks, so do check back. If things change, I’ll to post another update.

Thursday, August 16th
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Guadalupe (San Jose Marriott | SFWA Board Meeting
That’s right, people. While you are off enjoying the opening day of the conventions I’ll be in the “Room Where It Happens” making all the sausage.
with Kate Baker, Curtis C. Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Nathan Lowell, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Kelly Robson, and Steven Silver.

Friday, August 17th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | 210DH (San Jose Convention Center) | SFWA Business Meeting
Oh god, another 8am start? Good thing I’ll still (probably) be on east coast time, right? This is a members-only event. Are you a member? C’mon, you know you want to be.
with Cat Rambo (M), Kate Baker, Curtis C Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Terra LeMay, Sarah Pinsker, Steven Silver, Nathan Lowell, Kelly Robson, and lots of other folks!

11:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. | SFWA Autographing (Main Exhibit Hall) | Bonus Autographing Session
The convention has assigned me an official autographing slot on Sunday at 3pm, but if you can’t wait that long I’ll also be spending half an hour at the SFWA autograph table (as distinct from the convention’s autograph table). Please be respectful of other people who want to get things signed and limit yourself to no more than 30 books at a time. Also, signing of body parts will be on a case by case basis.
with me, you, and all those books (and maybe a body part).

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210F (San Jose Convention Center) | What Can SFWA Offer Me
Learn what SFWA has to offer authors at all stages of their careers, from networking opportunities to sample contracts to the grievance committee. SFWA’s officers will provide an update on what SFWA is doing and where the organization is going and answer questions from potential (or current) members.
with Kate Baker (M), Cat Rambo, Curtis C Chen, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, and Sarah Pinsker

Saturday, August 18th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Super Secret Location (shhh!) | Annual Codex Worldcon Breakfast
Every year I organize breakfast for members of the online writing community known as Codex. I don’t pay for it, I only organize it. If you’re in Codex, you know where this is happening. If you’re not, you’ll be able to spot members today because we’ll all be very well fed.
with probably around sixty people. It’s crazy!!

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. | 210A (San Jose Convention Center) | Research Rabbit Holes
Sometimes you start researching one thing and wind up six centuries away, on another topic entirely. Sometimes you find facts so bizarre they’re too true to make good fiction. What are some of the best facts you haven’t been able to use? The strangest places your research has led you?
with Sarah Pinsker, Karen Joy Fowler, and Andy Duncan.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210E (San Jose Convention Center) | Klingon 101
The popularity of Klingon is on the rise. It’s spoken, correctly, on Star Trek: Discovery, and available to learn on Duolingo. So there’s no better time to break up your Worldcon programming and come around so I can teach you 80% of the grammar in a mere 50 minutes.

Sunday, August 19th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Lower Level Plaza (San Jose Convention Center) | Stroll With The Stars
We’ve been going for days, and we could all use a casual walk around the convention center. I love doing this and you will too. Meet in the Lower Level Plaza area.
with Debra Nickelson (M), Kate Baker, Jeffe Kennedy, Mary Robinette Kowal, D. A. Xiaolin Spires, and lots of other folks.

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Autographing (San Jose Convention Center) | Autographing
I’ve been really busy publishing lots o’ stuff. No pressure, but seriously, you should come by and have me sign something. I’ll even have (a limited number) of bookplates for people who show up with newly released copies of The Moons of Barsk. And Barry Mantelo should be there, if you happen to come by with his eponymous and Nebula-nominated novella, Barry’s Deal. I’ll also have copies of my Science Fiction Writers trading card to give you, just for showing up.
with me, you, and a bunch of your books (I hope)!

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | 211B (San Jose Convention Center) | Kaffeeklatsch
The last time I had one of these was in Kansas City, and it filled up! I know, I was as surprised as anyone. So, if you plan to attend, remember that you need to sign up for this event in advance and seating is limited. Ah, but if you get in, you can ask me anything you like, about Barsk, Buffalitos, Hypnosis, Klingon, most anything you can think of. Also, I’ll have a few prizes to give away.
with whoever signs up!

Monday, August 20th
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 211A (San Jose Convention Center) | Reading
The con is finally winding down. You’re tired, I get it. Me too. So come on by and all you have to do is sit there while I read to you. It’s really just that easy. Seriously, can you think of a better way to end your Worldcon experience? Hey, that’s a rhetorical question in case you weren’t sure.

And that’s it.

Other dates that are important around this time:

Sunday, August 12th – World Elephant Day.
Tuesday, August 14th – Tor Books releases The Moons of Barsk.
Tuesday, August 21st – My wedding anniversary!

My Worldcon 76 Far From Final Schedule

No Comments » Written on July 25th, 2018 by
Categories: News
Tags: , , , , , ,
Worldcon 76

In August my wife and I will be traveling to San Jose so I can take part in the 76th annual World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon 76).

I love the Worldcon. I love seeing so many old friends and I love making new ones. I love hanging out with colleagues and chatting with fans. I love signing books and trading cards. I love bloviating on panels and wandering around from party to party until I’m exhausted and just need to crash so I can start all over the next day.

What I don’t love are attention-seeking assholes who try to ruin the convention for everyone else and hide behind false claims and falser ideals. You know who you are, and if I had it in my power to stuff you all in a time machine I’d send you back to the day Baptistina hit the Earth and everything was incinerated. Sounds like a good idea for a Kickstarter campaign to me.

Anyway, as I write this, it’s late July and the schedule is still very much in flux. Here’s what I know now, but keep in mind a lot could change.

Thursday, August 16th
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Guadalupe (San Jose Marriott | SFWA Board Meeting
That’s right, people. While you are off enjoying the opening day of the conventions I’ll be in the “Room Where It Happens” making all the sausage.
with Kate Baker, Curtis C. Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Nathan Lowell, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Kelly Robson, Steven Silver, and lots of other folks!

Friday, August 17th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | 210DH (San Jose Convention Center) | SFWA Business Meeting
Oh god, another 8am start? Good thing I’ll still (probably) be on east coast time, right? This is a members-only event. Are you a member? C’mon, you know you want to be.
with Cat Rambo (M), Kate Baker, Curtis C. Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Terra LeMay, Nathan Lowell, Sarah Pinsker, Kelly Robson, Steven Silver, and lots of other folks!

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | 210F (San Jose Convention Center) | What Can SFWA Offer Me
Learn what SFWA has to offer authors at all stages of their careers, from networking opportunities to sample contracts to the grievance committee. SFWA’s officers will provide an update on what SFWA is doing and where the organization is going and answer questions from potential (or current) members.
with Kate Baker (M), Cat Rambo, Curtis C. Chen, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, and Sarah Pinsker

Saturday, August 18th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Super Secret Location (shhh!) | Annual Codex Worldcon Breakfast
Every year I organize breakfast for members of the online writing community known as Codex. I don’t pay for it, I only organize it. If you’re in Codex, you know where this is happening. If you’re not, you’ll be able to spot members today because we’ll all be very well fed.
with probably around sixty people. It’s crazy!!

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210E (San Jose Convention Center) | Klingon 101
The popularity of Klingon is on the rise. It’s spoken, correctly, on Star Trek: Discovery, and available to learn on Duolingo. So there’s no better time to break up your Worldcon programming and come around so I can teach you 80% of the grammar in a mere 50 minutes.

Sunday, August 19th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Lower Level Plaza (San Jose Convention Center) | Stroll With The Stars
We’ve been going for days, and we could all use a casual walk around the convention center. I love doing this and you will too. Meet in the Lower Level Plaza area.
with Debra Nickelson (M), Mary Robinette Kowal, Kate Baker, Jeffe Kennedy, and lots of other folks.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | 211B (San Jose Convention Center) | Kaffeeklatsch
The last time I had one of these was in Kansas City, and it filled up! You need to sign up for this event in advance and seating is limited. Ah, but if you get in, you can ask me anything you like, about Barsk, Buffalitos, Hypnosis, Klingon, and most anything you can think of. with whoever signs up!

Monday, August 20th
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 211A (San Jose Convention Center) | Reading
The con is finally winding down. You’re tired, I get it. Me too. So come on by and all you have to do is sit there while I read to you. It’s really just that easy.

Anyway, that’s what I know as of right now, and it could all change. Doubtless, some of it will.

Other dates that are important around this time:

Sunday, August 12th – World Elephant Day.
Tuesday, August 14th – Tor Books releases The Moons of Barsk.
Tuesday, August 21st – My wedding anniversary!

Eating Authors: William Ledbetter

No Comments » Written on July 16th, 2018 by
Categories: News
William Ledbetter

I’ve been busily preparing for the publication of the translation of a historic work into the Klingon language. The timing has been tricky because I wanted to have it done in time for the 25th annual Klingon Language Conference that begins on Thursday in Indianapolis. It’s going to be tight, but the plan now is for the printed proof to meet me in Indiana and it should all work out.

As exciting (to some) as that may be, it doesn’t make for a very good segue for introducing this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, William Ledbetter. On the other hand, complaining about not having a good segue isn’t a bad segue, and so here we are.

Bill is a card-carrying geek of the space technology variety. He administers the Jim Baen Memorial Short Story Award contest for Baen Books and the National Space Society, and is also a graduate of the Launch Pad Astronomy workshop.

He mainly writes short fiction. It’s something he does very well (and he has a Nebula Award to prove it), but this blog generally only features authors who are publishing books, and that typically means novels (and more recently novellas). Bill found a loophole in that his first novel, Level Five comes out tomorrow as an audiobook, or as the fine folks at Audible like to call it, an “audible original.”

If you’re not already familiar with his work, this link will serve as a good introduction to it. Check it out, it’s free!

LMS: Welcome, Bill. Talk to me about your most memorable meal.

WL: I’ve had a good life that has been filled with amazing meals shared with fun and interesting people, so narrowing those down for this blog was difficult, but one recent dinner seems to have so many memorable elements that it begged for the honor.

Just before WorldCon last year, I received an email from my friend, writer and editor extraordinaire Eric Choi, inviting me to attend a dinner while in Helsinki. I knew Eric wouldn’t steer us wrong, because he’d set us up with some excellent Chinese cuisine while in Toronto for the International Space Development Conference a few years earlier, and he has a lot of interesting friends, so I eagerly accepted. We went to a Viking themed restaurant called Viikinkiravintola Harald which was only a couple blocks from the central train station. If you are a serious food critic, looking for the finest cuisine in Helsinki, you might be disappointed, because this place is set up to entertain tourists, but I am not so serious about my food and really enjoyed it.

Level Five

Between my own plate and stealing tastes from my wife Denise’s plate, I tried things like reindeer tenderloin in lingonberry and butter sauce (lingonberries are very popular there,) beaver sausage, artichoke mashed potatoes and beer with tar in it (tar in food is very popular here too). Others at the table had things like tarred Baltic herring, cold-smoked salmon, smoked duck, lamb stew, tarred lingonberries, potato cake, fried fennel and cabbage and even tar-flavored ice cream served with tar and caramel sauce. Our host Eric Choi split “The Game Sword of Mimir the Giant” with Ian McDonald which had reindeer tenderloin, wild boar, partridge and vegetables skewered on a sword!

Of course the best part of any big dinner like this is the people. We had a good mix of scientists, writers, artists and various other disciplines, from at least a half-dozen countries, which made for some great stories and a lot of laughter. I sat next to Tony Pi, whom I had previously never met. As one might imagine from reading his work, he’s a fun and interesting guy. In addition to those already mentioned we were joined by Rodney Branch, Gillian Clinton, Asmus Koefoed, Cenk Gökçe, Yves Meynard, Geoff Landis, Mary Turzillo, Chelsea Merriman, Trica Tynan, Julie Novakova and Karen Rylander.

Thanks, Bill. That sounds like the kind of Worldcon meals my wife likes to organize (though yours was on a much bigger scale. And yeah, I had some tar liqueur while in Helsinki. What’s up with that?

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

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