Eating Authors: David D. Levine

No Comments » Written on July 11th, 2016 by
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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
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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
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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!

Eating Authors: Liz Braswell

1 Comment » Written on June 27th, 2016 by
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Liz Braswell

As you know, Bob, the world is a very small place. In evidence of this fact, I present this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Liz Braswell. I don’t think we’ve ever met, (or if we did, it was amidst the blur of meeting many many people at a convention or room party), but I vividly remember our first email exchanges.

Liz was working at Simon & Schuster Audio, and I was providing support on the world’s first (and I’m pretty sure, only) Klingon Language CD-ROM game. It was a rollicking, complicated thing that involved me flying into Boston to record deliberately mispronounced Klingon phrases (to help train the speech software) and getting stuck there when snow closed the airport, leaving me unable to return to Philadelphia to hand out a final exam.

I don’t think I ever told Liz about this, but I had to phone the assistant to the president of the small, liberal arts, Catholic college, and explain that she needed to have someone else proctor the exam (which I’d left sitting in a neat stack on my office desk). She insisted it was my responsibility to somehow get back. I explained that snow counted as an “act of God” and we were off to the races.

I didn’t get tenure there, but that’s not Liz’s fault.

In any case, it was more than a decade ago, and the game executive I knew back then was secretly (or, okay, maybe not so secretly) writing books. Which is awesome, and I’m really happy to have her here!

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Eating Authors: Micah Joel

1 Comment » Written on June 20th, 2016 by
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Micah Joel

As this week’s installment of EATING AUTHORS goes live, I should be on a plane flying home from a long and amazing week at Rio Hondo, a writers’ retreat which this year was held at an elevation of some 8,400 feet in Angel Fire, NM. Please believe me when I tell you I am eager to get back to sea level.

Meanwhile, because it’s a Monday, I asked Micah Joel to drop by and share a few words about his most memorable meal.

There’s a good chance you’ve not encountered any of Micah’s work yet. Over the past five years or so he’s sold about a dozen stories. Last month he self-published his first novel, Broken Tablet, book one in a proposed series, the Ixion Revolution. Described as “Bronze Age Time Travel,” he had me at the elevator pitch: a Silicon Valley engineer gets trapped in the ancient Sumerian city of Ur. Seriously, what more do you need?

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Eating Authors: Naomi Novik

1 Comment » Written on June 13th, 2016 by
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Naomi Novik

I’m preparing this week’s post from New Mexico, where I am ensconced at a writers’ retreat and working hard to up my craft (while also enjoying great company, fabulous meals, and some truly awesome leisurely walks through nature). But such things cannot stop the juggernaut that is the EATING AUTHORS blog! Which is about as much of a segue as you’re going to get this week by way of an introduction for my latest guest, Naomi Novik, who should already be known to you for her Temeraire series which blends fantasy and alternate history (or, as it’s more commonly described, the Napoleonic Wars with dragons!).

She’s a past Hugo nominee, and has won the Campbell Award as well as the Compton Crook Award. And just last month, Naomi took home the Nebula Award for Uprooted. So, if by some fluke you’ve not already read her work, seriously, what can you possibly be waiting for?

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Eating Authors: Adam Rakunas

No Comments » Written on June 6th, 2016 by
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Adam Rakunas

So there’s this thing, let’s call it “June,” and it’s supposed to be the time when summer begins (I’m writing only for northern hemisphere folks at the moment, sorry). Except… during the last week in May temperatures climbed into the 90’s like, you know, summer. Not surprisingly, June is a little upset with this and it’s anybody’s guess how it will all pan out. As for me, I’ve already turned on the A/C here at home.

As to whether any of this is a problem for Adam Rakunas, this week’s guest here at EATING AUTHORS, I could not say. He lives waaaaay over on the left side of the country in that rainy Pacific Northwest place you keep hearing about. But we do have a couple things in common, as we were both raised and educated in southern California. Yeah, we have that going for us.

Adam also has another thing going his way. His new novel, Like A Boss (the second book in his Windswept series), come out tomorrow from the irascible automatons at Angry Robot Books. Pick up a copy, it might help improve the robots’ mood.

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