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!

Eating Authors: Mary E. Lowd

No Comments » Written on July 25th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Mary E. Lowd

As you know, Bob, my novel, Barsk, is anthropomorphic science fiction. And while I bristle when people attempt to describe it as “Babar in space,” the intention behind it is a fair one. It’s drawing on what they already know. After all, people have been reading about talking animals for a very long time. Somewhere along the line the animals started doing more previously human-only things (e.g., using tools, building cities, baking cakes, writing literary criticism), and this inevitable slide turned into what in today’s market constitutes “anthropomorphic” fiction.

This week’s EATING AUTHOR guest, Mary E. Lowd, is a popular writer and editor in a subgenre ghetto that gets very little attention from the daily reader of more traditional science fiction and fantasy. It’s arguably something of a niche market, and primarily served by a handful of very focused small presses. But for all that, it’s a thriving market and Mary’s done quite well there. She’s won the Ursa Major Award as well as two Cóyotl Awards for her own work, and has edited several of the best anthologies in the field. She also put otters in space long before I did.

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My Partial Schedule for MidAmeriCon II

No Comments » Written on July 18th, 2016 by
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The Worldcon is about a month away and while they haven’t yet assigned all the supplemental bits of programming yet (i.e., Literary Beers, Readings, Kaffeeklatsches, Autographing, children’s program, workshops, or demonstrations), I can share my upcoming panels and a few other bits with you. And so I shall.

Wednesday, August 17th:
3:00 – 4:00 (Kansas City Convention Center) 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
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!)

Saturday, August 20th:
11:00 – 1:00 (Kansas City Convention Center) SFWA Business Meeting
with more SFWA members than have been together in one room in KC for a long while

3:00 – 4:00 (Kansas City Convention Center) 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), Dr. Claire McCague, and Dr. Geoffrey A. Landis

Sunday, August 21st:
10:00 – 12:00 (Lester Young B, KCCC) Writers Workshop 4B
with Kelly Robson and three writer/student/victims

In addition, I’m hoping for a reading, a signing, and maybe even a kaffeeklatsche. And if someone is organizing the daily Strolling with the Stars, expect to see me there at least twice. If the con gets around to sharing these details with me, I promise to pass them on to you.

In addition, I’ll probably be attending a lot of other authors’ readins, popping in at the Hadley Rille Books anniversary celebration, as well as hanging out in the bar and the SFWA suite, a lot.

Eating Authors: N. S. Dolkart

No Comments » Written on July 18th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
N. S. Dolkart

A couple days from now my life gets a bit crazy. I’ll be starting a period of time (let’s call it five weeks) in which I attend four conventions (the qep’a’ cha’maHwejDIch, Confluence, GenCon Writer’s Symposium, and after a week’s break, the WorldCon). Or to put it another way, I’m looking at 23 days away from home out of 35, and that’s a bit much for me.

But have no fear, EATING AUTHORS will still be here for you, bright and early each Monday. As proof of that, even though I’m frantically packing and preparing Klingon certification exams, here’s N. S. Dolkart, this week’s guest. His first novel, Silent Hall debuted just last month from Angry Robot. It’s a fantasy that begins with a plague, and goes on to include wizards, gods, and a dragon. Seriously, he had me ay plague. Better still, Noah (yes, that’s what the N stands for) is already at work on a sequel.

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Eating Authors: David D. Levine

No Comments » Written on July 11th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
David D. Levine

I generally attend several conventions a year, and as I’ve been doing this whole writer thing for a while now, I’ve had opportunity to meet a lot of authors. Some I see maybe once a year, on a panel or during a party. Some I manage to enjoy the occasional meal with here or there. And every now and then circumstances come along that involve an extended time with one or more writers. This week’s EATING AUTHORS guest and I took that to new levels last month, as we shared a condo for a week of intense critique and culinary exploration as part of the Rio Hondo writers’ retreat. But, while it was memorable for me, I don’t think that’s something that will be showing up on David D. Levine‘s wikipedia page. And besides, what happens in New Mexico stays in New Mexico, right?

More notably, David’s been shortlisted for the Campbell, Nebula, and Sturgeon Awards for his short fiction, and he’s taken home a Hugo. Ask most anyone, and they’ll tell you he’s an incredible short story writer. Which makes me all the more excited that his first novel, Arabella of Mars, comes out tomorrow from Tor Books. It reminded a great deal of those old Jack Vance planetary romances, updated to modern sensibilities, and then thrust backward into the world of steampunk. So, yeah, go get a copy, you’ll like it.

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Eating Authors: Adrian Tchaikovsky

1 Comment » Written on July 4th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Adrian Tchaikovsky

Welcome to the first Monday in July, which if you’re in the USA you very well may have off from work as it’s what we like to call Independence Day. Which is as good a reason as any that this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest is from the UK.

Adrian Tchaikovsky is known far and wide for his popular (and currently ten volume strong) Shadows of the Apt series, which can be (poorly) described as a universe with assorted human-like races that differ from one another on the basis of various insect properties as well as whether or not they can wield magic. You know, that old trope.

He’s since started a new fantasy series, Echoes of the Fall (which begins with The Tiger and the Wolf), as well as a more traditionally SF novel (Children of Time). Meanwhile, his newest work, Spoils of War, comes out next week, the first book in Tales of the Apt, a companion series which will doubtless thrill fans of the earlier decalogy with a range of short stories addressing questions, events, backstories, and more that weren’t covered in the original novels.

Reaching out to new fans while managing to keep the old ones happy. Does it get any better than that?

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BARSK audio preview

2 comments Written on June 28th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs

The fine folk at Macmillan Audio have kindly given me permission to link you to the first chapter of the audio book version of my novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard. It’s performed by actor and director J. G. Hertzler, well known for his raspy voice and famous for portraying a certain Klingon general (and Chancellor!) on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.

You can click the words audio book in the paragraph above to open the recording in a new window, or simply click on the Play button in the Soundcloud window below. And if after listening to the amazing job J.G. does reading that first chapter, you find yourself possessed of an irresistable need to purchase the whoel thing, here are links for audio, hardcover, and kindle versions. Enjoy!

My Tentative Confluence 2016 Schedule

No Comments » Written on June 28th, 2016 by
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Don’t look for me in the greater Philadelphia area come the end of July. I’ll actually be at the other end of the state. For the first time ever, I’ll be attending Confluence, which this year runs July 29 thru 31st.

Even better, I’m one of the convention’s GOHs — which means someone else is providing me with Diet Coke!

They have lots of things planned for me, and I’m hoping there may even be some Barsk-based hall costumes (with a potential Tuckerization up for grabs), but we’ll have to wait and see. In any case, they sent out tentative schedules with a month to spare, so here’s mine:

Friday, August 29th
4:00 p.m. (Commonwealth East) Invented Languages
Characters need to speak it, but readers need to be able to follow it, too. How to invent a new language for a story, and make it “work.”
With Fred Capp

6:00 p.m. (Ballroom 1) GOHs Gone Wrong
Confluence’s featured author guests discuss the many things in their writerly careers they have done badly, backwards, or just plain wrong. NB: Authors are professionals, do not try this at home.
With Saladin Ahmed

9:00 p.m. (Ballroom 1) Meet the Confluence guests
Emcee Kevin Hayes will introduce the Confluence guests of honor and special guests. There may be singing and tomfoolery.
With Saladin Ahmed, Jeff Bohnhoff, Maya Kaathryn Bohnhoff, Steve Goodie, and Kevin Hayes

Saturday, July 30th
11:00 a.m. (Commonwealth West) Communicating with Aliens
A standard theme in SF is the challenge of communication with an alien intellect. This is often treated as a novel enterprise. But humans have millennia of experience communicating with nonhuman intelligence. We have coevolved and can communicate with domesticants, commensals, prey, and predators. Experts in interspecies communication through shared work can cast insight into the bridges and the barriers with new and newly encountered form of nonhuman intelligence.
With William Keith, Charles Obendorf, Bud Sparhawk

12:00 p.m. (Kaffeeklatsch Room) Anthropomorphic SF: Not Just Furries In Space
What are the pros and cons of bringing in anthropomorphic characters in lieu or in addition to traditional aliens in science fiction? GOH Lawrence M. Schoen discusses how the nonhumans in his novel Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard resonant better than aliens.
Kaffeeklatsch – advance sign-up in Registration required

2:00 p.m. (Solstice) Perhaps It IS A Good Day To Try… Klingon
An introduction to the Klingon language. No one will be admitted during the voiced velar fricative portion.

Sunday, July 31st
10:00 a.m. (Equinox) Reading
Warning: There may be elephants. Oh, who are we kidding, of course there’ll be elephants. Also Q&A if desired.

Of course, we are a month out, and anything above could change. I will likely post a “final” schedule a week or so before the convention.

See you at Confluence!