Eating Authors: Mike Reeves-McMillan

No Comments » Written on September 4th, 2017 by
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Mike Reeves-McMillan

Here in the USA, today, Labor Day, marks the official end of summer and never mind that the solstice is still more than two weeks away. And yet, where I live autumn is already rearing its head and I’m seeing leaves turning and cool weather. Confusing stuff, but as the fall is my favorite season and usually races by too fast I’m happy to have it arrive.

I’m spending most of September doing novel and novella revisions, with only a single travel exception. For those of you in the greater Baltimore area, you can find me on programming at the Baltimore Book Festival. It’s a great way to spend the weekend, though I’ll only be there on Saturday the 23rd. Come on by.

And speaking of travel, this week EATING AUTHORS heads to the southern hemisphere to introduce you to Mike Reeves-McMillan. No doubt all the opening remarks about summer fading into autumn is a bit confusing to him, but it can’t be helped.

Sadly, I’ve never actually crossed paths with Mike, which is a shame because the number of genre authors who are also hypnotherapists is a very small club indeed and surely we should all go out to eat together. Mike’s popular Gryphon Clerks (the latest volume, Mister Bucket for Assembly features food and food preparation as major political issues) began as a self-published effort but has since been picked up by small press Digital Fiction. He also writes the contemporary urban fantasy series Auckland Allies (proudly set in his hometown) as well as delightful sword-and-sorcery heist capers found in his Hand of the Trickster series.

LMS: Welcome, Mike. Tell me what stands out as your most memorable meal?

MR-M: I’ve had a few memorable meals. Several of them were when I travelled for work to Malaysia, over 20 years ago. I had chili squid on rice for breakfast at the very nice hotel the company had put me up in (because when you’re in Malaysia, why not?), much to the confusion of one of the other westerners staying there. And on the first day, as lunchtime approached, the local guy who I was working with said, hesitantly, “I suppose you’ll want western food for lunch?”

“Oh, no,” I said, “I love Asian food. It’s what I eat at home.”

Hand of the Trickster

Turns out that was exactly the right thing to say, because Malaysians are very proud of their cuisine — rightly so. Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a cultural crossroads, where I could eat a different country’s food each day. We ate at a Japanese place where the food came past on a circular conveyor belt, with the plates colour-coded according to the price, and you just lifted off what you wanted and then took your coloured plates up to the cashier at the end to pay. We ate at a street stall where an extremely elderly Chinese woman was spit-roasting the most delicious chickens I’ve ever tasted with some kind of amazing marinade. We ate at an Indian restaurant in the sort of setting where a stray cat with a broken tail wanders past and stops to beg for food as you eat streetside. It was all delicious (and, despite my occasional qualms, I got away without food poisoning).

But I’ve eaten some memorable meals in Auckland, New Zealand, where I live, as well.

One of them was memorable because I didn’t listen to the Indian waiter when he warned me that ordering vindaloo “hot” was not something he himself would do. That was more of an experience than it was a meal, and taught me an important lesson about listening to your waiter. Also about vindaloo.

Mister Bucket for Assembly

My most memorable recent meal was at the Jervois Steakhouse, a high-end steak restaurant owned by one of the judges on the New Zealand version of Masterchef. We found out about it because my wife is addicted to food shows, especially the Masterchefs. (The Australian one is our favourite, which is almost blasphemy in New Zealand; but the amateur cooks who go on it are just at such a high level of skill, and the judges make it a warm and positive show while still retaining the drama. It makes Masterchef USA look a bit sick, to be honest.)

Anyway, when the company I worked for at the time gave me a budget to go out to dinner and celebrate working for them for 15 years, I took my wife and my oldest friend to Jervois Steakhouse.

If I’d been spending my own money, I wouldn’t have ordered the $32 starter of tempura oysters, but I’m glad I did. Sweet, fresh oysters in a light, delicious batter, and not the least bit greasy. Mmmm. I’d order them again like a shot.

Now I want lunch.

Thanks, Mike. You remind me that one of the best meals in my life was in New Zealand, specially prepared for me by the chef at Te Papa. Glory days.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

#SFWApro

Eating Authors: Nancy Jane Moore

No Comments » Written on August 28th, 2017 by
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Nancy Jane Moore

As August winds down things are starting to get back to normal. Or to put it another way, my whacky sleep cycle has returned and I’m more overwhelmed with projects than ever! But then, these are good problems to have (well, the whole sleep thing, not so much, but the other one, yeah).

To close off this month, EATING AUTHORS returns once more to that amazing author cooperative, Book View Cafe, to feature as this week’s guest one of its founding members, Nancy Jane Moore.

I first discovered Nancy’s work in the pages of Polyphony 5 more than a decade ago, and I continue to delight in it. If you like strong feminist themes in your science fiction you should definitely give her a read!

LMS: Welcome, Nancy. So what stands out as your most memorable meal?

NJM: Coming up with just one memorable meal is quite a challenge. I love to eat. According to my father I came home from the hospital hungry and I’ve been asking what’s for dinner ever since.

The Weave

But a meal last fall on our road trip up the California Coast en (slow) route to Eugene, Oregon, for the Tiptree Symposium honoring Ursula K. Le Guin gets my vote these days.

We left Oakland midday, and took back roads from San Rafael until we were north of Point Reyes National Seashore. Route 1 isn’t so heavily traveled there, so we lazed along up to Jenner, where we splurged on a room that overlooked the water.

Jenner’s not a big town, and most of it is one side or the other of Route 1. We walked up the highway about a half mile to the River’s End restaurant. It was dark by then, but if we looked hard we could see the Russian River flowing into the Pacific out the restaurant window.

Changeling

I ordered oysters on the half shell. I had something else – a nice salad, as I recall – and a glass of wine, but it was the oysters that made this memorable. Fresh caught oysters from Tomales Bay, a few miles to the south. Small oysters, with a deep dusky flavor, not quite smoky, but rich and dark. Without a doubt, they were the best oysters I’ve ever eaten in my life, and I’ve been eating oysters since I was six years old.

There was a special sauce for them, one I’m sure the chef was justifiably proud of, but it wasn’t necessary. You didn’t want to hide that taste; you wanted to savor every bite of it.

My sweetheart doesn’t like oysters. He ate a hamburger. But he really enjoyed watching me eat them.

The rest of our trip up the coast was also memorable – driving through redwoods and staring out at the Pacific. We ate well several times that trip, but the first night was the best.

Thanks, Nancy. You remind me that sometimes the best thing about a meal can be watching how much someone else enjoys it.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

#SFWApro

Eating Authors: Nicky Drayden

No Comments » Written on August 21st, 2017 by
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Nicky Drayden

I’m catching my breath, having just returned home from two weeks of travel that included both the Worldcon in Finland and side trips to Iceland (both before and after) as well as a visit to Sweden that included some research. I think I have three or four competing sets of jetlag — and my sleep cycle is a mess at the best of times.

But it was a great trip, and if I didn’t get to see a few dozen folks I’d intended to I ended up meeting a lot of new faces and that always brings new and exciting possibilities. Travel, after all, is broadening. This is true in both the expanding your mind sense as well as the expanding your waistline interpretation (and my wife found us some incredible restaurants for the trip).

All of which is my official segue into this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, because Nicky Drayden‘s most memorable meal is rooted in travel, and of course eating.

Nicky’s first novel, The Prey of Gods, came out two months ago from the folks at Harper Voyager. It’s got robots, an ancient demigoddess, drugs that tap your inner animal, young love, and so much more. It’s a debut novel that will make you sit up and take notice and ask, “hey, when’s her next novel coming out?”

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Eating Authors: Spencer Ellsworth

No Comments » Written on August 14th, 2017 by
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Spencer Ellsworth

Yes, it’s another Monday, and I know what you’re thinking: time for the latest installment of EATING AUTHORS. And yes, that’s coming, but we get 52 (sometimes 53) of them each year. This past Saturday marked an annual event that needs to be acknowledged. I refer of course to the August 12th celebration known as World Elephant Day.

I observed the day with a signing session as part of the 75th annual World Science Fiction Convention (which just concluded in Helsinki, Finland), pushing Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard.

But that was last week and as already noted it’s a shiny new Monday, so I should get around to introducing Spencer Ellsworth to you. I don’t know him well, but I have known him a good long while, as he’s been a part of the Codex Writers community for more than a decade.

In all that time I’ve only seen him write short fiction, but that’s the past. He’s sold a trio of novels (aka the Starfire trilogy) to the fine folks at Tor Books and the first volume, A Red Peace, comes out next week on August 22nd. It’s a classic space opera written with gigantic insects, an ancient artifact, cyborgs, and a kick-ass heroine. Okay, so it lacks elephants, but you can’t have everything.

LMS: Welcome, Spencer. What do you consider your most memorable meal?

SE: My most memorable meal was three pints of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, not just because it was delicious, but because it came with (deep breath): Head injuries! Butt injuries! Poison ivy! Public urination! A rescue mission!

And hobbits!

Starfire: A Red Peace

In 2002, I worked at a wilderness survival camp for troubled teens. Most of the time, I worked in the teen groups, hiking around the gorgeous Arizona creeks, below massive red rock cliffs near the tiny town of Young. However, I would sometimes take a turn helping out at “backup,” meaning the truck that was parked a few miles from the group’s location at any time. Backup would anticipate emergencies and run supplies into the group.

I was halfway through a three-week shift, with backup, hanging out in the truck when we got news that one of the girls had suffered a serious head injury, falling onto a rock in the creek.

A head injury in a wilderness camp is a huge deal. The kid in question was showing some dangerous signs of head trauma, so we had to get down to the creek and immobilize her head, then carry her out. It was my job to carry the surfboard-sized stretcher from the truck, down any number of cliffs.

I’d been hiking the Arizona backcountry for ten years now, but never with something the size of a surfboard. At top speed. Down steep hills.

Starfire: Shadow Sun Seven

I became aware that I was moving too fast to stop right above a batch of prickly pear cactus. I tried to stop. The surfboard didn’t stop. Wham. Down I went, butt-first into the prickly-pear cactus—and then slid further down the hill, trying to get my footing in the wet, crumbly shale until I ended up in a batch of poison ivy.

I got the stretcher to the group, and staff, students and backup all helped strap the girl down… then all six of us maneuvered her up the cliffs back to the truck. At one point the poor strapped-down girl had to pee, and since there was no way to unstrap her without moving her head, we had to give the classic advice: “just go.”

The pee went everywhere, including all over those of use carrying the stretcher. By then, I cared less about getting pee on me than I did about whether or not the pee might be an effective deterrent to poison ivy.

She was okay! And (important for a kid eating roots and berries for six weeks) she got to visit a hospital and eat Jell-O.

When Stars Are Scattered

I wasn’t okay. Pee doesn’t cure poison ivy (The More You Know!). By the time I got off the trail, I was an itchy mess.

After a baking soda bath, I headed straight to Blockbuster Video to pick up the newly released Extended Edition of The Fellowship of the Ring, and stopped at the grocery store to get two, no, let’s-make-it-three pints of Ben & Jerry’s, including the short-lived flavor Honey I’m Home. (It was good. Like honey and cream on oatmeal.)

I sat down with what was, I’m sure, the only movie in existence that would draw my attention away from the itching. I watched every moment, all the special features, and by 6 in the morning, I had finished the trek to the Argonath, and all three pints of ice cream. I even felt a little bit of solidarity with those hobbits on their dangerous journey, given what I’d gone through, and how much I had eaten.

Thanks, Spencer. I can now cross off “post an Eating Authors meal that references hobbits, urine, and troubled teens” from my bucket list.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

#SFWApro

Eating Authors: Nik Korpon

No Comments » Written on August 7th, 2017 by
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Nik Korpon

Last year was a crazy travel year, and not necessarily in a good way. Which is why I vowed to cut back — way back — on travel in 2017. And yet, these past few weeks have seen me zipping off to first San Juan and then Chicago.

And right now, as this posts, I’m in Reykjavik, soon to be in Helsinki, and then off to Stockholm before heading back to Reykjavik. Also, next month is promising a run up to Montreal. And at least three more out of town (and one more out of country) trips before December.

Not exactly a stellar example of cutting back.

And yet, despite being in Europe, EATING AUTHORS continues and this week’s guest, Nik Korpon, has a nice meal to recount from his own travels in Europe. He lives in Baltimore nowadays so maybe our paths will cross when I’m there next month for the city’s Book Festival).

Nic’s latest novel, The Rebellion’s Last Traitor, came out two months ago. The descripion had me hooked at the phrase “memory thieves.” Seriously, what else do you need?

LMS: Welcome, Nik. Speak to me of your best meal, please.

NK: The best meal I’ve ever had is actually a two-fer. The first was with my then-girlfriend (now wife). I was on break in grad school and flew from London to meet her in Spain for two weeks. We hadn’t seen each other in months. It was a simple meal, just bread, cheese, olives, and apples; we sat on the bank of the river that cuts through Seville, Spain, listening to the chatter of passersby, smelling the ever-present scent of oranges from the naranjos that line the streets.

The Rebellion's Last Traitor

But it was emblematic of our relationship, simple and contented. It didn’t hurt that Spain was the place I’ve ever stepped off the plane and just felt at home, like on a bone-deep level. I can remember the feeling vividly but could never explain it.

The second was four or five months later, another simple meal. I was living in a surf lodge in a small fishing village outside Lisbon, Portugal, editing my thesis (which became my first book). She came to stay with me for a month before starting grad school herself. Every few nights we’d get a pizza from the local pizzeria and a bottle of wine from the mercado, then sit on the rocks and watch the sun go down over the surf. That night I’d talked her into getting shrimp on the pizza, because why not? That’s what a lot of the locals ate. As the sun was going down, I asked her to marry me. She laughed and thought I was joking. Long story short, she said yes, and ten years later I’m still thinking about that day.

Thanks, Nik. Yeah, shrimp pizza and marriage proposals. I’ve seen it a million times. Imagine where you might be if you’d gone with anchovies!

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

#SFWApro

Eating Authors: Michael Johnston

No Comments » Written on July 31st, 2017 by
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Michael Johnston

If things are going according to plan, then I’ve just returned from the 24th annual conference of the Klingon Language Institute, having survived numerous linguist and alien challenges, charted out some of the milestones of the next year for the world’s Klingon speakers, done a couple interviews for television and print, and made some real progress on my edits for the BARSquel.

This week I’ll attempt to log plenty of hours at the DayJob, but also to complete my work on the novel so I can send it to my editor so I can leave for Europe with a clean conscience. The housesitter has been briefed, but I still need to have several long talks with the dog to make sure he understands that I’m going away but that I’ll be coming back too.

The trip is probably the grandest excursion I’ve ever planned, chock full of amazing experiences and unique research opportunities (because these books don’t write themselves). One might almost go so far as to describe the trip as “epic,” which is a nice segue to this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, architect turned novelist Michael Johnston.

I think there’s something sublime about using the grandeur of architecture as a metaphor to inform speculative fiction, and that’s exactly what Michael does in Soleri, his first solo novel (though I’d be remiss not to note that he’s also co-authored several books with Melissa de la Cruz).

Michael says he found inspiration in the history of ancient Egypt and the tragedy of Shakespeare’s Leer, producing an eternal civilization and a family of gods, all described with the clean lines that you’d expect from an architect. What’s not to love? I’d tell you more, but you’ve probably already clicked a link and headed off to buy the book (which came out just last month).

I hope you remember to come back and read his memorable meal below.

LMS: Welcome, Michael. What lingers in your mind as your most memorable meal?

MJ: Without question my most memorable meal was at the Four Season restaurant in the Seagram’s building in New York City. For those who are not familiar with the building and the restaurant, Mies van der Roe, one of the principle figures of minimal modernist architecture, designed the Seagram building. The tower, often dubbed “the brown-booze building” for its bronze façade, was so expensive that it prompted the city of New York to change the way it taxed buildings. The restaurant itself was no exception to this excess. Philip Johnson, who had himself once worked for Mies and was famous for pilfering Mies’s design for the first “glass house” and building it for himself, designed the restaurant.

The Four Seasons was built in two parts, both of which elegantly straddled the office tower’s lobby. The grille occupied the south side and sported a large bar and small seating areas. A fantastic chandelier hung above the bar, hugging its perimeter. The chandelier was less light fixture and more light sculpture, a series of bronze tubes suspended in the air and designed by Richard Lippold. It floated, shimmering amid the buzz of the room. A hallway separated the grille from the other half of the restaurant. I say hallway, but it was more of a gallery, a grand passage between two modernist shrines. A two-story tapestry by Picasso hung on the wall of that hallway and it was breathtaking to behold.

Soleri

In its prime, the Four Seasons was as much a temple to art as it was to architecture. Mark Rothko was famously hired to produce the first murals for the space. He immediately replied that he would create “something that will ruin the appetite of every son-of-a-bitch who ever eats in that room.” He didn’t get the job, but many other famous artists did install their work in the restaurant. The pool room took its name, obviously, from the large body of water at its center. The pool was majestic. So much so that the tables were arranged so that dinners sat side-by-side facing the water.

Now, I’ve provided a little background on the restaurant; so let me explain that I came to all of this as a twenty-two year graduate student of architecture at Columbia. My then girlfriend and now wife had received a rather large Christmas bonus and we were determined to spend the entire thing on this one meal. So I arrived at the Four Seasons as a somewhat financially challenged student, a kid from a nowhere town in the Midwest who had come to one of the most storied and fabulous rooms in New York City. The restaurant itself sits high above street level. So we entered at the street level where my coat was taken, where I admired the walls and floor, all of which were clad in travertine, in traditional modernist fashion, and where a tapestry from Miro hung on the wall, the chairs designed by Mies, the carpet too. From there we were ushered up a switchback set up stairs. Visitors literally ascend into the Grille Room where they first catch sight of that scintillating chandelier. It truly dazzled the eye (I’m not exaggerating, the chandelier is amazing). We had a drink that cost more than most folk expect to pay for a respectable dinner. We waited for our names to be called. Then we were ushered across that gorgeous hallway, past the towering Picasso and into the pool room.

We sat and were immediately set upon by an army of servants. Not only did we have our own waiter but that waiter had a set of subwaiters (probably not a word, is there a word for this?). I don’t recall the food, which might disqualify me for this column. I only recall the experience, the elegance of the place, the pageantry, the size of the bill.

It’s easily my most memorable meal. Sadly the restaurant closed a few years back and much of the art was sold off by ruthless real estate folk. Recently an effort was made to restore the grille, which has now reopened and I understand that the pool room will also reopen. Both are landmarked, so they can’t be destroyed or significantly altered. I’m glad they are both returning to service. After almost twenty years I’d love to go back and perhaps this time I’ll remember if I liked the food.

Thanks, Michael. Despite the passage of more than 30 years, my meal-spending sensibility is still rooted in the poverty of my graduate school years. I dine out nowadays and spend way more than I’m comfortable with, but your meal sounds at least an order of magnitude beyond anything I could relax enough to enjoy. I wouldn’t remember what I ate either.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

author photo by Cathryn Farnsworth

#SFWApro

Eating Authors: Gray Rinehart

No Comments » Written on July 24th, 2017 by
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Gray Rinehart

The NASFiC is barely two weeks in the past, and yet in a couple days I start off on a month of travel and research and writing that threatens to chew me up and spit me out. It should be glorious, and it begins this week with a trip to the greater Chicago area to hang with Klingon speakers, much as I’ve done every summer for the past 24 years. Somewhere in the midst of all that I’ll also celebrate my 58th birthday.

All of this talk of decades is as good a segue as I’m going to get for introducing Gray Rinehart, this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest. I’ve known Gray so long that I don’t remember where or when we actually met, which makes me think it must have been a virtual meet (cute), as he joined the Codex, the online writing community, back in 2004. Our paths don’t cross too often in the physical world as he’s down in North Carolina and I’m here in Pennsylvania. I rarely go south and if he comes north it must be under cover of darkness because I don’t see him.

Gray has a complex and lush background, including a career in the US Air Force that concluded with him retiring as a Lt. Colonel, an ongoing sideline as a musician, a political speech writer, and a contributing editor (a.k.a the slushmaster) for Baen. A few years back he even put his hat in the ring for political office with a campaign of “if I don’t make a promise, I can’t break a promise.”

As long as I’ve known him, Gray has only written short fiction. Then a few weeks ago I learned he’d sold a novel to Kevin J. Anderson’s WordFire Press. Naturally I wasted no time and immediately asked him for his most memorable meal and he quickly responded with the piece you’ll find below. Walking on the Sea of Clouds lands in online bookstores everywhere on Wednesday. Pick up a copy and be prepared to find yourself transported to the moon.

LMS: Welcome, Gray. I’m sure that with your Air Force career you’ve been around a bit more than most. What stands out as your most memorable meal.

GR: I know that other “Eating Authors” have written about “memorable” meals as opposed to “best” meals, and in some respects that might be easier. A number of my most memorable meals have little to do with the quality of the food: for example, the outrageous expense of the steak dinner I had at the Polo Club restaurant in the Marriott in Moscow; the international camaraderie of the multi-course, multi-toast “state dinners” at the Top of the World Club at Thule Air Base, Greenland; the mix of high-class elegance and rocket-themed engineering tomfoolery at the Air Force “Dining In” aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach; and so on.

But the “best” meal, the meal that I hold up as the standard against which I judge all other meals, was our 20th anniversary celebration supper in Baltimore. The memory has dimmed a bit, since that was a dozen years ago, and unfortunately I couldn’t find the restaurant in a Google search so I fear it no longer exists — but, trust me, it was marvelous.

Walking on the Sea of Clouds

It was Memorial Day weekend in 2005 — a couple of days before our anniversary, in fact — and I had taken Jill on an excursion to see Cirque du Soleil. Neither Jill nor I recall now how we ended up at Ray’s for supper (not to be confused with “Roy’s” in Baltimore today): maybe the hotel recommended it, maybe we were referred by friends, maybe we happened across it while we were exploring the harbor area. And I can’t say exactly why I decided to order the lamb chops; I don’t think they were listed as a special, but it was a special night so I think I just wanted to order something I wouldn’t choose on a normal night out.

Being so long ago, all I was equipped with was a camera-less flip-phone, so I have no photographic evidence of the chops arranged artfully on the plate, succulent little bulbs of meat at the ends of slender bones. (Not that I’ve ever gotten into the habit of documenting my meals.) But even if I had pictures, they would not convey how tender and flavorful those lamb chops were. Each one was juicy and robust, and fell off the bone as if they had been slow-roasted for hours.

Of course, it’s possible that my memory of that meal is supercharged because it was, after all, with my beautiful bride as we celebrated two decades of married life. Maybe the romantic atmosphere was less because of the restaurant itself and more because of my dining partner. Maybe those lamb chops were no different than any others, and I’ve just elevated them in my imagination because the occasion warranted it (though Jill says the scallops she had that night were also amazing, and the best she’s ever had). But even if my memory and imagination have enhanced the experience, that’s fine with me.

(One final note: Readers may notice that we were in Baltimore on Memorial Day weekend but I did not mention Balticon. I was still on active duty in the Air Force in those days, so we were not in the habit of attending conventions. However, during our explorations of the Baltimore area we did stop by the hotel and see some con-goers and some displays in the public spaces. And hopefully we can make it back up there one day!)

Thanks, Gray. I’m a big fan of anniversary dinners, not least because my own wedding happened in late August. I’m often celebrating it during the Worldcon, that frequently means fine dining in a restaurant of a city I’ve never visited before, which only adds to the delight.

Next Monday: Another author and another meal!

#SFWApro

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.