My 2016 SFWA Nebula Conference Schedule

No Comments » Written on April 29th, 2016 by
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In less than two weeks I’ll be returning to Chicago for the annual Nebula Awards Conference, and for the fourth time in four years I have the honor of being up for a prize. The previous three times were for Best Novella, but this year I’ve upped my game and am on the ballot for the BIG prize, Best Novel. I have no expectation of winning, mind you, but seriously just being nominated truly is an honor.

The conference has a massive signing session, an award banquet on Saturday night, as well as various outings/fieldtrips, but this year the people working behind the scenes have really outdone themselves in assembling some really great panels that will be of interest and support to professional writers. I encourage you to check out the full list. Meanwhile, here’s where you’ll be able to find me:

Thursday, May 12th
8:00 – 9:30 p.m. (Monroe Ballroom) Welcome Reception
The formal start of the conference as SF/F professional mingle and eat free nibblies.

Friday, May 13th
2:00 – 3:00 p.m. (Clark 3) Ask An Expert – Memory
This year, they’re offering something new and different for those authors (and anyone, really) who want to pick an expert’s brain for ten minutes. In this case, the topic is human memory. Come and aske me how it works (or doesn’t). Sign-up required.

8:00 – 9:30 p.m. (Red Lacquer Room) Mass Autographing
Seriously, this is probably the best opportunity to catch so many authors in one place at one time for free. Dozens and dozens of authors will be there, pen in hand, waiting for you to shove a book in front of them. Don’t have a book? No probably, Dreamhaven Books will be there to sell you a few.>

Saturday, May 14th
10:00 – 12:00 p.m. (TBA) SFWA Business Meeting
For the first time in far too long, I won’t be giving a department report. Instead, I’ll be quivering with anticipation as the results of the Election are announced by the awesome Fran Wilde, the new Chair of the Election Committee. Whether I win a seat on the Board or not, I suspect I’ll be due some solace; I’m thinking breakfast pastry!

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. (Clark 3) Ask An Expert – Hypnosis
Same concept as above, but I’m changing hats. In this session, I’ll answer your questions about hypnosis. How does hypnosis really work (as opposed to the crap that is the public portrayal of it)? What is trance? Can it be used to get a better contract out of a publisher? Once again, sign-up required.

6:00 – 6:30 a.m. (Empire Room) Nebula Reception
Whether or not you’re attending the banquet, come see how nicely I clean up (i.e., before I spill overpriced banquet food all over my tux). I’m told sedatives will be available for all the anxious nominees (but that may not actually be in the budget).

6:30 – 7:30 a.m. (Empire Room) Nebula Banquet
Why do we have a banquet before an awards ceremony? Is it a clever ruse to get people to show up? Wouldn’t renting out a room in a bar be a more effective ploy? It would certainly make for more interesting acceptance speeches, am I right? In any case, we’re having a banquet. You should come too.

7:30 – 9:30 a.m. (Empire Room) Nebula Award Ceremony
This is the big event, and we have John (I’m a PC) Hodgman as our emcee. With luck, the presentation will be a bit more PG than last year’s (c’mon, am I the only one who thought “butt-sex jokes” more than a little inappropriate?), and likely a lot more entertaining. Also awards, at least for some folks.

Sunday, May 15th
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. (LaSalle 1) Language, Dialect, and Code-Switching
Societies are reflected in their language. Looking the common grounds of past and current societies gives a groundwork for developing dialect in future and secondary world settings.
With Juliette Wade (M), Tamara Vardomskaya, and Ellen Wright

The rest of the time I’ll either be sneaking off to some truly fine Chicago restaurants with my wife, sitting in the audience at other panels and soaking up all the brilliant things my colleagues are saying, or just chillaxing in the hospitality suite or the bar (you know, as one does).

See you at the Nebs!

My Tentative 2016 BayCon Schedule

No Comments » Written on April 27th, 2016 by
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One month from today I’ll be back on the west coast (northern California this time), starting my Memorial Day weekend by attending Baycon, where I’ve had the privilege of being named their “Special Language Guest.” We’re still working out a few of the details (like just how much Diet Coke I’ll drink in the course of four and a half days), but here’s the current version of my schedule. Personally, I think it looks pretty fantastic, but I confess I’m slightly biased.

Friday, May 27th
12:00 – 1:00 p.m. (Convene ) Opening Ceremonies
The official start of what you know will be an awesome weekend!
With David Gerrold, Chris Butler, Anastasia Hunter, and The Library Bards

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Connect 4) How to Remember EVERYTHING!
Mnemonics and You! Come here me explain how memory works and how to enhance yours.

2:30 – 4:00 p.m. (Collaborate 2) Star Trek – Why We Still Love It
From The Man Trap to to Star Trek Beyond, the franchise has spanned 50 years and still captures new generations of fans. Our panelists talk about the shows, the movies and the captivating universe that is Roddenberry’s legacy.
With David Gerrold, Wanda Kurtcu, and Irene Radford

7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (Convene) Meet The Guests
All attendees are invited to come meet and mingle with our guests at an informal reception.

Saturday, May 28th
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (The Courtyard) GOH Breakfast
We’ve got to eat, and apparently it’s a spectator event at this convention.
With Chris Butler, David Gerrold, Bonnie Gordon, Anastasia Hunter, and Xander Jeanneret

11:30 – 1:00 p.m. (Collaborate 2) Klingon 101
What’s the point of a convention having a Special Language Guest is you can’t learn some Klingon? In less than an hour I will teach you 80% of Klingon grammar. Believe it!

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Synergy 4) How Can Science Fiction and Fantasy Blend Well?
Yeah, how? Well, I could tell you here, but then you wouldn’t come to the panel. Ha!
Jennifer L. Carson, Jacob Fisk, Todd McCaffrey, and Irene Radford

Sunday, May 29th
12:00 – 12:30 p.m. (The Courtyard) Reading
Come and hear me read from Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard.

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Strategy) A Chat With Lawrence M. Schoen
They tell me there is ***LIMITED SEATING*** for this event. Please visit Prog Ops to sign up and be a part of the small group of attendees with whom I will officially chat.

2:30 – 4:00 p.m. (Convene) GoH Interview: Lawrence M. Schoen
They won’t tell me what the questions are in advance, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be under oath. With luck, they will not be solicited questions from colleagues and family members.

Monday, May 30th
10:00 – 11:30 a.m. (Synergy 4) Second Life’s Second Life
The living world is not enough. Come here us discuss existence in the virtual world of Second Life.
With Chris Butler, David Gerrold, Bonnie Gordon, Anastasia Hunter, and Xander Jeanneret

1:00 – 2:30 p.m. (Engage) How We End
Death – social and personal experiences, in life and literature.
Gregg Castro (M), Colin Fisk, Setsu Uzume, Fred Wiehe, and Randy Smith

As always, be aware that some of the people listed on the items above may change or disappear. Times and locations of panels may alter. All attendees are responsible for their own action verbs.

See you at BayCon!

Eating Authors: Nina Post

No Comments » Written on April 25th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Nina Post

One of the best things about traveling to new conventions is the opportunity to meet new authors. It’s also a great time to seek out fresh meat (so to speak) for EATING AUTHORS. While attending Norwescon, I served on a panel with this week’s guest, Nina Post. The panel was entitled “The Languages of Speculative Fiction” and included famed Dothraki creator, David J. Peterson, whom Nina had brought in to develop a language for one of her novels. What more could I ask for?

Well, it turns out, even without asking, there’s more. In addition to writing novels, Nina also does webcomics that confuse and befuddle. Seriously, it can’t just be me, right?

We didn’t get as much time to chat as I’d have liked, but perhaps our paths will cross again, at another convention or perhaps a restaurant.

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Eating Authors: Ben Reeder

No Comments » Written on April 18th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Ben Reeder

Back in March, I traveled to Seattle to attend Norwescon (my first time at that convention). I did a reading of Barsk and afterwards stood in the hallway outside the room chatting with one of the folks who had attended, an agent I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for a few years. As we leaned against the wall talking, a man hovered nearby, listening in and waiting for an opportune time to insert himself into the conversation. That man turned out to be this week’s guest, Ben Reeder. And make no mistake, he was a welcome addition to the conversation. The three of us ended up abandoning the hallway and finding a small table where we could sit and continue our chat for the better part of an hour.

Ben’s probably best known for his Demon Apprentice series and Zompoc Survivor series, each currently holding steady at three books but given the demand of his readers I don’t doubt he’ll return to one or both of them in time. More recently though he’s been breaking new ground, trading in the undead for nephillim, so he may need a while before going back. It’s a win for us either way!

I should also note that Ben’s appearance here marks a change in policy for EATING AUTHORS. He’s the first of what I’m sure will be many other Indie authors dropping by to share their meals.

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Eating Authors: Rhonda Eudaly

No Comments » Written on April 11th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Rhonda Eudaly

Just a couple months ago I was in Dallas for a convention and I found myself on a panel with this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Rhonda Eudaly, a longtime author with Selina Rosen’s Yard Dog Press, one of the first small presses I ever encountered back in the day. Rhonda was fun and witty and eloquent, and after the panel I asked her if she’d come share a meal with the readers.

Before she does so, I should give you a little background. Although she’s branched out into novel writing with last summer’s Tarbox Station, you’re more apt to recognize her name from her long list of short fiction sales that have spanned an array of markets and anthologies, as well as several compilations. Perhaps most significantly though, she’s one of the The Four Redheads of the Apocalypse, and nothing I add could ever top that.

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Eating Authors: Fonda Lee

No Comments » Written on April 4th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Fonda Lee

Welcome to the first Monday in April, which means that the Nebula voting is all over and now a small group of authors can only sit and wait for the results (well, sure, we can write too, and we should, but you know what I mean). I hate waiting, but in a show of solidarity (or something or other), this week’s guest is Fonda Lee, whose debut novel Zeroboxer put her on the short list for the Norton Award (alongside past EATING AUTHORS visitors like Fran Wilde and Tina Connolly). Presumably, she’s waiting too.

Fonda is a transplanted Canadian who now resides in Portland, OR. She’s following up on the promise of her first novel with a second (still unnamed) YA book in which a teenaged, bio-enhanced soldier attempts to save the world, all while combatting an extremist group striving to overthrow the alien regime governing Earth. You know, as one does. It’s already been acquired by Scholastic; mark it on your calendar to get a copy in 2017.

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Eating Authors: Kevin Hearne

No Comments » Written on March 28th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Kevin Hearne

I’m writing this the weekend before it posts because I’m out in the Pacific Northwest attending Norwescon, and come Monday while I will no longer be in Seattle, I’ll still be out west, having moved some three hours or so south to Portland where I’m doing a book event at Powell’s. We’ll see if I get to sign the sacred pillar (and cross off another square on my author bingo card).

In the meantime, let me tell you about this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Kevin Hearne. I’ve actually been attempting to lure Kevin to this blog for a while now, but it never fit his schedule. Then he went off and read Barsk and began posting very flattering remarks about it to social media. Being no fool, I took advantage of his sudden infatuation to recruit him, and his most memorable meal appears below.

But what else to tell you about Kevin? You surely are already familiar with his Iron Druid Chronicles (number eight in the series, Staked, was released just two months ago), and about this time last year, he also released a well received Star Wars novel, Heir to the Jedi.

I’m pretty certain that Kevin and I have never met. We keep just missing one another as we both bounce around the country for promotional purposes, but if there’s anything to the notion of regression toward the mean it’s only a matter of time until we smack into each other in person. Until that time, here’s his meal.

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Eating Authors: Patrice Sarath

1 Comment » Written on March 21st, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Patrice Sarath

More and more it seems to me that, as I write the introductions for each week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, I’m doing so from the road. That impression is particularly strong today because I recently had dinner with Patrice Sarath a few week’s ago when I was in Dallas, Texas, and because I’m writing this from a hotel room in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Then again, it could all be a side effect of a bit of altitude sickness. Who can say?

But let’s shift focus to more important things, and talk about Patrice. In addition to being a delightful dining companion, she’s the author of the Books of Gordath (Gordath Wood, Red Gold Bridge, and The Crow God’s Girl) trilogy, with a fourth book planned.

Her most recent novel, The Unexpected Miss Bennet, is a solid jump away from the fantasy elements of Gordath and into the romance genre. It’s a sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Taking on such a classic is a pretty daring thing, which probably tells you more about Patrice than I ever could.

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