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Resigning from the SFWA Board of Directors

1 Comment » Written on April 10th, 2019 by
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Effective as of 10am today, April 10th, 2019, I am resigning my position as a member of the SFWA Board of Directors.

We live in a world where appearance often carries more weight than intention. Recent controversies, and my perceived involvement in them, have increasingly made it difficult for me to effectively perform the responsibilities for which I’d been elected. Accordingly, it makes sense for me to step aside and allow someone else to continue the work.

Today’s decision notwithstanding, I remain committed to the ideals and goals of SFWA, perhaps best expressed by the statement the Board composed at last year’s Nebula Conference: “We are genre writers fostering a diverse professional community committed to inclusion, empowerment, and outreach.”

It has been my privilege to be of service to this organization and our community. I encourage you all to pay it forward.

Lawrence M. Schoen, Ph.D.

Congratulations Nebula Nominees!

No Comments » Written on February 20th, 2019 by
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Nebula Conference

The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has released the list of finalists for this year’s Nebula Awards. It’s an especially powerful ballot, bearing a stellar list of incredible work and talented authors.

Congratulations to all of the nominees! I hope you’ll all be able to attend this year’s conference in southern California. All evidence suggests that the Events Team has outdone themselves and we are in for the very best conference yet.

I’ll confess, part of my delight at this year’s list of finalists stems from seeing my own name listed as a nominee for Best Novelette for “The Rule of Three.” I am exceedingly proud of this piece. I believe it’s the best thing I’ve ever written at less than novel length, and it shows the maturation of my abilities as an author over the years.

This is my sixth Nebula nomination in seven years, and my first for novelette. The competition is particular fierce, and as always, win or lose, it really is an honor to find my work listed among such incredible writers.

But I didn’t get there by myself, and I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge and express my gratitude to the people who’s efforts contributed to my nomination.

Zangaogao Terraces

I wrote “The Rule of Three” in response to a visit to Guizhou, China. I was part of the first Danzhai workshop sponsored by the Future Affairs Administration and the Wanda Group. My experiences there will live forever in my memory, as will the incredible conversations I had with Derek Künsken, Kelly Robson, Alyx Dellamonica, Lucia Liu, Bo Jiang, Lucia Liu, Bao Shu, and especially Vera Sun, and FAA co-founder Ji Shaoting, all of which contributed to the shaping of the novelette.

Alex Shvartsman, longtime friend, convention roommate, and editor of Future Science Fiction Digest bought the story and featured it as the premiere piece in the first issue of the online magazine. His backing and belief in the novelette, basically launching the magazine with it, means more to me than I can properly express, and his continuous championing of it has been wonderful. He’s also responsible for catching a glitch in which my software (not me, I tell you, it was the software) deleted one scene and duplicated another in the manuscript. Good catch, Alex!

Elektra Hammond was my copyeditor on this novelette and she’s great. Really, it’s that simple. She’s come to know my voice from her work on other projects of mine (most notably both books in my Barsk series) and I believe that makes a huge difference. Thank you, Elektra.

Wulf Moon produced the podcast version of the novelette, doubtless providing greater saturation and allowing the work to reach more people than the print version could. He asked all the right questions and his results were excellent. Thanks, Wulf.

And finally, 脱团猫 (aka Isaac), has been handling the translation of “The Rule of Three” into Chinese. Like Alex, he also caught the twin problems of a duplicated and missing scene (and thankfully, I had the fix in hand about a day before he did so I could send it to him). His comments have been insightful and helped shaped the final manuscript before Alex published it, and will surely yield a great translation when the novelette is released in China later this year.

So, yes, my name appears on the novelette and the nomination list, but it wasn’t just me. If anyone reading this ever has the opportunity to work with any of the people I’ve listed and thanked here, know that you are in good hands and you’ve involved yourself with people of incredible talent and skill.

And again, congratulations and good luck to all the nominees!

Lawrence

My Official (Accept No Substitutes) Awards Eligibility Post

No Comments » Written on January 15th, 2019 by
Categories: News, Plugs
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In the back of my mind I can hear my 1st grade teacher, Mrs. Golitotti, lecturing me with some variation of “and if all the other children jumped off a cliff, would you too?” which, it should be said, is not necessarily a bad thing for a teacher to be telling her six-year old pupils.

The advice may be less sound when it comes to things like Nebula and Hugo Awards, particularly in a world where authors are expected to do more of their own promotion than in past decades (and this goes quadruple for Indie authors). With that in mind, please pardon this post where I will blow my own horn. The intention here is to inform or remind you of my work from 2018, not to praise it to the moons of barsk. If you’re a member of SFWA, you’re entitled to nominate for the Nebs. If you’re a member of either the previous and/or upcoming Worldcon, you can nominate for the Hugos.

So, with that context, for those among you who nominate in the Hugos, here’s what I’m eligible for:

Best Novel: THE MOONS OF BARSK by Lawrence M. Schoen.

This is the sequel to my Nebula-nominated and Coyotl Award-winning Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard. High-concept anthropomorphic science fantasy, so, yeah, not like much else out there. Arguably the best thing I’ve ever written.

|| Hardcover || Ebook || Audio ||

Best Novella: INVASION (SEEDS OF WAR, VOL. 1) by Jonathan P. Brazee and Lawrence M. Schoen.

My big leap into the life of being a “hybrid author,” this is the first volume of a novella trilogy I co-wrote with military SF veteran and retired Marine colonel Jonathan P. Brazee. One marine battles alien vegetable daikaiju to save a world!

Best Novelette: THE RULE OF THREE by Lawrence M. Schoen.

Last June I traveled to China as part of a workshop sponsored by FAA and the Wanda Group. Along with several Canadian and Chinese authors I toured sites that were part of a poverty abatement program. “Remarkable” doesn’t begin to describe the experience. I came home and wrote this novelette. I sent it to Alex Shvartsman and he published it as the lead story in the premiere issue of Future SF in mid-December, which also means few people may even be aware of it yet. I think that’s a shame because it’s the best novelette I’ve ever written.

Best Fanzine: EATING AUTHORS by Lawrence M. Schoen.

For the past seven and a half years, I’ve spent every Monday interviewing authors and asking them to share their most memorable meals. The intention has been to give fans a glimpse at the writer behind the books they read. Whether it’s Hugo-worthy is up to you to decide.

Note: While the Eating Authors blog makes me technically eligible, please do not consider me for the Best Fan Writer category. I simply produce and edit this series, with my guests doing all the real writing. But do remember to nominate for the fan writer category, as there is plenty of good stuff out there!

Best Related Work: SUNZI’S ART OF WAR translated by Agnieszka Solska

Last summer I published the long awaited Klingon translation of Art of War. But this isn’t just a Klingon translation. It includes a new English translation from the original Chinese is loaded with pages upon pages of scholarly notes about the different versions of previous Chinese translations over the years and the difficulties of bringing them to Klingon. It’s also worth noting that none of these languages —Klingon, Chinese, or Klingon — are Professor Solska’s native language.

Best Professional Artist: VICTO NGAI

And finally, please consider the incredible Victo Ngai when you’re nominating artists. I’m incredibly grateful to have had her do the covers for both of the Barsk novels, and her work has graced so many other fine books.

The Moons of Barsk
Invasion
Future SF #1
Art of War

Eating Authors – 2018 Recap

No Comments » Written on January 11th, 2019 by
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There were fifty-three Mondays in 2018, beginning on January 1st and ending on December 31st, 2018. Which means some fifty-three writers stopped in and shared their most memorable meals here on EATING AUTHORS.

Below you’ll find an alphabetized list of 2018’s authors, with each name linking to the respective meal. My thanks to the many authors who shared their time and tastes last year, and thanks also to all of you who came by to dine with them.

A: Omar El Akkad, Michael Anderle, Dyrk Ashton :A

B: Richard Baker, Josiah Bancroft, Sue Burke, T. J. Berry, Gustavo Bondoni :B

C: Bryan Camp, Ryan Campbell, Gwendolyn Clare,
Russ Colchamiro, Liz Colter, Ellison Cooper :C

D: Indrapramit Das, Delilah S. Dawson, David Demchuk :D

F: Terri Favro, Jeremy Finley, Jason Franks :F

G: Jasmine Gower, Mareth Griffith, Leigh Grossman :G

H: Kate Heartfield, Leanna Renee Hieber :H

K: Christopher Kastensmidt, Chris Kennedy, Sarah Kuhn, Derek Künsken :K

L: William Ledbetter, Henry Lien, Jane Lindskold :L

M: Craig Martelle, J.D. Moyer, Michael Moreci :M

N: Jeannette Ng, Wendy Nikel :N

P: David Pedreira, Vina Prasad :P

R: Jessica Reisman, Rebecca Roanhorse , Kelly Robson, Amber Royer :R

S: S. L. Saboviec, Catherine Schaff-Stump, N. J. Schrock, Caitlin Seal,
Peng Shepherd, Delia Sherman, Andrea G. Stewart :S

T: R. J. Theodore, Brian Trent :T

W: Nick Wood :W


Click this link and sign up for a weekly email to bring you each new author’s meal as soon as it posts.

My Tentative 2019 ConFusion Schedule

No Comments » Written on January 6th, 2019 by
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Despite my insistence that I’m cutting waaaaaay back on my convention travel, later this month I’m treating myself to a trip to Detroit to attend ConFusion, or more properly, Storming ConFusion. Why? Because it’s freaking awesome, okay?

The theme this year is The Princess Bride, so expect swashbuckling, princesses, giants, iocain poisoning at the bar, everyone having Inigo Montoya on their name badges, miracle pills, rats of unusual size, and a creepy guy with six fingers (not that I’m judging).

Here’s my schedule as I currently understand it to be. Which is not to say that it won’t change or that my understanding isn’t horribly, horribly flawed:

Friday, January 18th
04:00 p.m. | Erie | An Author’s Guide To Newsletters
Keeping up with the shifting landscape of social media can me a tall order for busy writers. E-mail newsletters are a simple, effective way to let your most engaged fans know where to find you and your work. Our panelists have tips on how to set up and maintain an effective newsletter.With Angus Watson (M), Marissa Lingen, Natalie Luhrs, and Patrick S. Tomlinson.

Saturday, January 19th
12:00 p.m. | Erie | Showing Your Work: Showcasing Research in Genre Fiction
Authors are often cautioned to avoid info-dumps in our work: lengthy explanations of science and history have fallen out of fashion in favor of subtly weaving in relevant research without drawing attention to it. But William Goldman broke this rule throughout The Princess Bride; most memorably in Wesley’s fight scene with Montoya, where the two spend the entire fight discussing real swordsmen who influenced the theory and practice of renaissance fencing. Panelists will discuss when it’s a good idea to shine a light on your research, and recommend examples of research-dumps that manage to entertain and delight readers.
With A. Carina Spears (M), Michael Cieslak, Nino Cipri, and Lucy A. Snyder.

4:00 p.m. | Erie | Autograph Session
Meet your favorite authors and get your books signed! Limit 3 items per person, please. Bonus points if you bring a copy of The Moons of Barsk for me to sign. Also, I’ll be giving away copies of my trading card. Such a deal!
With E. D. E Bell, Delilah Dawson, T L Greylock, Sarah Hans, Derek Kunsken, Cassandra Morgan, Cherie Priest, John Scalzi, A. Carina Spears, Ferrett Steinmetz, James L. Sutter, and Phil Tucker.

Sunday, January 20th
12:00 p.m. | Rotunda | Reading
Three authors, one hour (well, probably only 50 minutes), and lots of words spoken aloud.
With Jeffrey Chapman, and Cat Rambo.

Flying to Detroit in January is always potentially fraught, but I think it will all work out. Mind you, I’ll still be making an offering to the weather gods.

See you at ConFusion!

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!