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Farewell, Richard

No Comments » Written on February 24th, 2017 by
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Richard Hatch

I only just learned that actor Richard Hatch (shown here as a Klingon in Prelude to Axanar) died on February 7th. He was 71.

Back in March of 1999, I was in Sydney, Australia as the guest of a convention called BEST OF BOTH WORLDS 5. William Shatner was headlining the convention, but also on the bill were Richard, Robin Curtis, and me.

Bill was staying in a separate hotel from the rest of us, but I spent a lot of time hanging out with Richard. Highlights included watching the Oscars in his hotel room and listening to snarky stories about various nominees.

The three actors had been in Sydney for a day doing press, but I only arrived late in the afternoon the day before the convention was to start because I’d just flown in from New Zealand where I’d spent several days opening a Star Trek exhibit at the national museum in Wellington.

Richard, Robin, and I were the honored guests at a special banquet in the hotel. I’d met Robin before at another con and we got along quite well, so our hosts put us at the same table. Richard was oof at another table, holding court. Because of the timing of things, Richard and I hadn’t even been introduced yet, and when Robin and I sat down at our table I remember her telling me “not to start anything” with Richard at dinner.

No one told Richard though, so he started it.

Over the course of the next hour, we took turns playing a series of jokes on one another. He took my dinner away when I wasn’t looking. Then, while he was up from his table and talking to someone across the room, I removed his place setting and chair, and had everyone at his table shift so the round of eight became a round of seven and it was like he’d never been there. In retaliation, he had a member of the hotel staff come up to me to inform me I had phone call from the states, and that I could take it downstairs at the front desk. I rushed down, only to find a note in bad Klingon that basically said “ha ha, we got you.”

When I returned to the banquet room Richard was grinning. I told him how relieved I was that the call was a fake because my father was very ill (which was true) and the only reason someone would be calling me from the US would be to tell me he had died. Richard stopped laughing, and we sat down and began to chat.

I asked him why he’d started in like he had, when we’d never even formally met. I will never forget his answer. He said, “Lawrence, you just looked like someone who would be fun to play with.”

And, on the last night of the con, after everything was over, we went out drinking. I don’t usually drink, but I got drunk that night, and Richard and I wandered around Sydney harbor singing show tunes.

Goodbye, Richard. Thank you for the memories. You were fun to play with.

My Tentative VancouFur 2017 Schedule

No Comments » Written on February 1st, 2017 by
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VancouFur

In early March, I’ll be traveling to Canada. Specifically to Vacouver, British Columbia, where I have the privilege of being the Author GoH at VancouFur.

I’m especially excited to be going as this will be my first Furry convention!

Earlier today they sent me the details of my schedule. Some of this will change and I’ll post an update when it does. In particular, I’m eager to learn who I’ll be doing panels with. You’ll know when I do. 🙂

Thursday, March 9th
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | Opening Ceremonies

Friday, March 10th
1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. | Author Meet & Greet
I’ll probably only be at this for the first half hour, because at 1:30 I have to go to…

1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. | Ice Cream Social
And I’ll probably only be at this for the first half hour as well, because at 2:00 I have to go to…

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | State of Anthropomorphic Writing
with Tony Greyfox and Ocean Tigrox

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | Klingon Language!
Come by and ask questions or just listen to me tell stories from more than two decades of spreading Klingon around the world.

Saturday, March 11th
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Language and SF
I talk about language and linguistics at almost every convention I attend, and it’s never the same thing twice because language is so awesome!

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Q&A Reading w/ Lawrence M. Schoen
I’ll read a bit from the sequel to Barsk, and then answer your questions about that book, other stories, novellas, and novels I’ve written, about writing in general, or most anything you want to ask me.

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | Advantages of Small Press Publishing
I’ve sold short stories to a couple dozen small press anthologies. My first two novels came out from a small press. I run a small press of my own. And I’m on the Board of Directors for SFWA where we talk about small press contracts and such. So, come by and let’s kick around some of the pros and cons of small press publishing.

5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. | GOH Dinner
This seems like a good thing for me to attend. I’m a big fan of dinner. What’s portion size like in Canada? If you sit next to me, can I eat off your plate too?

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Variety Show
I expect to be in attendance, likely because I ate too much at the dinner to be able to move yet. (It’s your fault. I can’t believe you let me eat off your plate like that).

Sunday, March 12th
Time to be Determined | SFWA Q&A
I’ve asked the convention if they could perhaps find some space for me to hang out and answer questions about the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America for anyone who might be interested in what they do, what resources they make available, what the perks of membership include, and what you can avail yourself of without even joining! So come on by.

When I’m not doing programming, I’ll likely be drinking a Diet Coke, wandering around in the public spaces, chilling at the bar, or possibly typing away frantically on a tablet (in either a public space, or the bar). Feel free to come over and say “hi” if you like.

Win A Copy of BARSK

No Comments » Written on December 22nd, 2016 by
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It’s a been an amazing year and to cap it off Tor Books is releasing Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard in a new, trade paperback edition.

And, as they just sent me a box of author copies, it seemed like a good idea for a giveaway. So, sign up below!

Note: you can increase your chances to win by following me on Twitter and/or signing up for my newsletter.

My Tentative Philcon 2016 Schedule

No Comments » Written on November 7th, 2016 by
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Philcon

Apparently there’s a programming schedule viewable online for this year’s Philcon. I only found out about this because another author let me know that I’m on it (which I expected, though I’ve still not heard a peep from the con about my actual schedule). But, that’s the last bit of complaining you’ll likely hear from me on the topic because I’ve been given a truly wonderful schedule. And here it is:

Saturday, November 19th
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. | Crystal Ballroom Three | Writing For Aliens: Constructing Languages
with Nathan Lilly (mod), James L. Cambias, Barry B. Longyear, Kathleen Bragg, Samuel R. Delany

12:00 p.m. – 01:00 p.m. | Executive Suite 623 | Readings: C. J. Cherryh & Lawrence M. Schoen
So this year the convention is grouping readings in twos. I’ve been paired with Principal Speaker, C. J. Cherryh. And yes, that sound you just heard is my head exploding. She reads at noon, and I’ll go on at 12:30 (or whenever she says I can). Oh, and I’ll be reading an early chapter from the BARSquel.
with C. J. Cherryh

1:00 p.m. – 200 p.m.| Autograph Table | Signing
I’ll be sitting alongside Larry Hodges. He’s Larry. I’m Lawrence. Get it right.
with Larry Hodges

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Plaza II | Generating a Balonium Field: Pseudoscience in SF Storytelling
While we like to keep real science as accurate as possible, sometimes it’s necessary for a writer to just make things up. How do you do so in a way that sits well with your readers?
with John Ashmead (mod), Earl Bennett, Lawrence Kramer, Joan Wendland

7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. | Executive Suite 823 | Launch Party
Danielle Ackley-McPhail (aka the Queen of Launch Parties) is throwing a bash to celebrate the release of The Best of Defending the Future. There will be food, readings, food, signings, food, and who knows what other kinds of distraction. Oh, and you can buy books too, count on it.
with many many talented authors from the series

I’ll likely also be around for a bit on Friday afternoon and evening, and likely not on Sunday. I’ve got to get back to work on the BARSquel

My 2016 Capclave Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 22nd, 2016 by
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Capclave

After a year of far too much travel, things are finally winding down and the remaining stops on my convention schedule are much closer to home and familiar. Next up is Capclave, just down the road a couple hours in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

In addition to the panels and other items. listed below, please note that I’ll be at the awards presentation on Saturday night. Two of the authors up for the WSFS award this year, Beth Cato and Leona Wisoker, were nominated for stories from the anthology Cats in Space, edited by Elektra Hammond and published by Paper Golem. Neither of these authors can attend, and so it will fall to me to accept on their behalf. A happy chore indeed.

Friday, October 7th
8:00 – 8:55 p.m. | Rockville/ Potomac | An Animal World
Animal protagonists need to be a mix of animal nature and human level intelligence, not just people in animal suits. The panel will discuss the joys and pitfalls of working with these characters.
with Alan Loewen (M), Mike McPhail, Bernie Mojzes, and Michelle D. Sonnier

Saturday, October 9th
12:00 – 12:25 a.m. | Seneca | Reading
If everyone in the room has already read Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, I’ll read — for the first time anywhere — the opening chapter or two from the sequel!

12:30 – 12:55 a.m. | Author’s hallway table | Author Table
I’ll be putting in some time showing off some of the things I’ve written and/or published. This is a narrow window in which to pick up some classic Paper Golem titles.

2:00 – 2:55 p.m. | Rockville/ Potomac | Writing Gadgets Well
How do you work technology into your story without boring the reader? You want to make your “inventions” believable, but how much is too much?
with Barbara Krasnoff, Edward M. Lerner, and Darcy Wold

3:00 – 3:55 p.m. | Salon A | World Creation and Maintenance
Authors are gods when it comes to world creation. The panelists will discuss not only how they create a world, but also how it can grow, especially if the story is part of a series.
with Ann Chatham, Sarah Beth Durst, and Victoria Janssen

7:30 – 8:25 p.m. | Salon A | Mass Autograph Session
I’ll be sitting at a table somewhere, with paper name tent in front of me, waiting to sign all the things. Please come by with your share.

8:30 – 10:00 p.m. | Salon A | WSFA Small Press Award
Come join the convention in honoring both short fiction and small presses. Lots of honorable mentions and someone wins the prize. All things being equal, there’s a 2 in 9 chance I’ll be reading someone’s acceptance speech!

I have really been looking forward to this convention. Low key, good conversation, and some truly wonderful Peruvian food.

See you in Gaithersburg!

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My Updated Schedule for MidAmeriCon II

No Comments » Written on August 3rd, 2016 by
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It seems only appropriate that as I head out for a different convention this morning that I update what I’m doing — where and when — during the Worldcon. Here we go:

Wednesday, August 17th:
3:00 – 4:00 (KCCC 2207) Pacing the Novel
How do you intensify a scene, bringing the reader deep into the narrative, and still keep the novel moving? Learn how the three basic types of text (exposition, dialog, and description) affect the pace of your work so you can suspend time or send the story rocketing onward. Panelists share techniques and approaches to balancing intensity and movement in order to draw readers into your characters, allow them to experience key moments in your book, and get them excited about what happens next.
with Melinda Snodgrass (M), Elizabeth Bear, Brooke Johnson, and L. E. Modesitt Jr.

Thursday, August 18th:
9:00 – 5:00 (Marriott 1) SFWA Board Meeting
A long day during which Hamilton‘s “The Room Where It Happens” will be running through my mind nonstop. Maybe.
with Cat Rambo (M), Bud Sparhawk, M.C.A. Hogarth, Susan Forest, Kate Baker, Sarah Pinsker, Matthew Johnson, and Jennifer Brozek

Friday, August 19th:
9:00 – 10:30 (TBA) Codex Breakfast
The annual Worldcon gathering of Codexii and breakfast foods.
with J.W. Alden, Rebecca Birch, Ginny Campen, Tom Carpenter, Beth Cato, J. Kathleen Cheney, Liz Colter, Tina Connolly, Austin DeMarco, SB Divya, Nora Fleischer, Sarah Grey, Amanda Helms, Gary D Henderson, Randy Henderson, Jennifer Hicks, Larry Hodges, Sharon Joss, Anna Kashina, Benjamin C. Kinney, Gary Kloster, William Ledbetter, Fonda Lee, Terra LeMay, Stephanie Loree, Brian K. Lowe, Ronya F. McCool, Rob McMonigal, Mel Melcer, Allison Mulder, Nina Niskanen, Aimee Ogden, Sunil Patel, Laura Pearlman, Sarah Pinsker, Jenny Rae Rappaport, Matt Rotundo, Erica Satifka, Catherine Schaff-Stump, Rebecca Schwarz, Elizabeth Shack, David Steffen, Jeff Stehman, Julie Steinbacher, Andrea G Stewart, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, K.M. Szpara, Beth Tanner, Erin A. Tidwell, David VonAllmen, Tinatsu Wallace, Fran Wilde, Jay Wolf, Caroline M. Yoachim, and some of their guests (holy crap, that’s a lot of pancakes!)

1:00 – 2:00 (Autographing Space) Autographing
I will be signing all the things (yes, I said it, all of them!).
with Jeanette Epps, Alex Jablokow, Lyda Morehouse, and Mary A. Turzillo

4:00 – 5:00 (Literary Beer Space) Literary Beer
Sign up and come by and we will talk about stuff like language and death and why I don’t drink beer.
with Karl Schroeder (who will presumably be at another table talking about other stuff)

Saturday, August 20th:
8:30 – 9:30 (Marriott Lobby) Stroll with the Stars: Farm to Table
Before the city temperatures rise and the humidity takes over join us for a stroll of the The City Market where you can buy fresh fruit, vegetables and baked goods at KC Tradition.
with Eva Elasigue, Esther Friesner, Jennie Goloboy, Mary Robinette Kowal, Geoffrey A. Landis, Perrianne Lurie, Jeff Orth (M), Cat Rambo, Julia Rios, Tex Thompson, Mary A. Turzillo, and Carol Wolf

11:00 – 1:00 (KCCC 2205) SFWA Business Meeting
All members of SFWA are encouraged to attend to hear the latest updates from the board about what SFWA has been doing and what plans are in place for the next year.
with Kate Baker, Jennifer Brozek, M.C.A. Hogarth, Matthew Johnson, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Susan Forest, and Bud Sparhawk

3:00 – 4:00 (KCCC 2210) Ask a Scientist
Do you have a pressing question about the earth’s warming, worm holes, advances in communication technology, cloning? A panel of scientists in varied areas of expertise are here to answer your scientific queries. Answers will be timed out at five minutes each, so don’t ask for a detailed explanation of General Relativity! Please keep questions brief and specific.
with Rachael Acks, Bill Higgins (M), Claire McCague, and Geoffrey A. Landis

5:30 – 6:00 (KCCC 2203) Reading
To absolutely no one’s surprise, I will read a bit from Barsk.

Sunday, August 21st:
8:30 – 9:30 (Marriott Lobby) Stroll with the Stars: The Hugo Hangover
As we recuperate from the pageantry of the Hugo Awards join authors, artists, editors, fans and scientists as we look for the perfect hangover cure.
with David Brin, Eva Elasigue, Gay Haldeman, Joe Haldeman, Perrianne Lurie, Jeff Orth (M), Cat Rambo, Michelle Sagara, Alan Stewart, Tex Thompson, and Carol Wolf

10:00 – 12:00 (KCCC Lester Young B) Writers Workshop 4B
with Kelly Robson and three writer/student/victims

In addition, you’ll find me attending other authors’ readings, popping in at the Hadley Rille Books anniversary celebration, and hanging out in the bar and the SFWA suite.

My Tentative GenCon Writers’ Symposium 2016 Schedule

No Comments » Written on July 27th, 2016 by
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GenCon Writers' Symposium

Huh. Oh well, I thought this had posted to the blog a couple weeks ago, but apparently not. Soo…

And now for something completely different, in a calendar year that has had me bouncing around the country to an unprecedented number of conventions and bookstore signings — and beginning about two weeks before I head off to Kansas City for the Worldcon — I’m going to Indianapolis to take part in the GenCon Writers’ Symposium 2016.

And not just me, but dozens of brilliant authors (as well as some agents and editors) too. And, oh yeah, I think there’s a big gaming convention going on around us at the same time.

Anyway, here’s where you can find me:

Thursday, August 4th
9:00 a.m. (Capital 1) Special Event: Symposium Opening Ceremonies
With Marc Tassin

10:00 a.m. (Chamber) Short Fiction: Plotting Short Stories
With Donald J. Bingle, Gabrielle Harbowy, John Helfers (M), and Sunil Patel

2:00 p.m. (Chamber) Short Fiction: Where to Start the Story
With Marie Brennan, Steve Drew (M), Cat Rambo, and Peter Tieryas

Friday, August 5th
9:00 a.m. (Chamber) Marketing: Social Media 101
With Gwenda Bond, Joshua Alan Doetsch, Steve Drew (M), Melanie R. Meadors

1:00 p.m. (Causus) Writing Novels: Story Arcs that Drive the Reader
With Matt Forbeck, John Helfers (M), Jody Lynn Nye, and Aaron Rosenberg

2:00 p.m. (Capital 1) Character Craft: Characters That Aren’t Reflections of You
With Rachel Dunne, Susan J. Morris (M), Carrie Patel, and Aaron Rosenberg

5:00 p.m. (Cabinet) Writer’s Craft: How to make your alien language alien

Saturday, August 6th
12:00 p.m. (Chamber) Writer’s Craft: Fun Story, Smart Message
With James Lowder, Christoper Rowe, Aaron Rosenberg, and Gregory A. Wilson (M)

5:00 p.m. (Congress II) Reading
With Sunil Patel

As always, all of the above can change, from topics to timing to the people listed. If I become aware of any major changes prior to the event, I’ll do my best to post a “final” schedule.

See you at GenCon!