Eating Authors: Sonia Orin Lyris

No Comments » Written on February 29th, 2016 by
Categories: News
Sonia Orin Lyris

One of the joys of traveling to the World Science Fiction Convention (and I try to go most years) is seeing old friends. Another is making new ones. This week’s EATING AUTHORS guests falls into that second category. Sonia Orin Lyris lives in Washington state, and somewhere in the midst of last summer’s 73rd WorldCon (aka Sasquan), between doing panels and attending readings and sneaking in some geocaching and enjoying some really fine restaurants — all of this happening under the smoke-filled skies and a bloody red sun that doubled for the eye of Sauron — I met Sonia, and we hit it off quite well as so often happens. And too, as is the way of such things, I’ve managed to forget who introduced us (though maybe someone will remind me in the comments below), but that’s not important. What’s important is that this talented writer who mostly works at shorter length had a novel coming out from Baen early in the new year; specifically, The Seer, tomorrow. So, naturally I invited her to drop by here and regale you with her most memorable meal.

My one regret is that I didn’t talk to her about chocolate. She’s something of an expert on the subject. I’m hoping she’ll be at Kansas City for this summer’s WorldCon and we can address this oversight.

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Eating Authors: V. E. Schwab

No Comments » Written on February 22nd, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
V. E. Schwab

As previously noted on this blog, last month I escaped the winter storms of the northeast by attending Confusion in Novi, Michigan. Among the many folks I met that weekend was this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Victoria (V.E.) Schwab, who is easily among the most delightful of folks you’re likely to encounter at a convention. I’d long since invited her to visit here and shill her next book (A Darker Shade of Magic comes out from Tor Books tomorrow), and our conversations and encounters in Michigan just confirmed what great fun she is.

Victoria leads something of a double life, publishing YA fiction under her full name (e.g., her Archived and Everyday Angel series), while using just her initials to release fantasy works and even the occasional superhero novel (actually, Viscious is a supervillain novel. Have you read it yet?).

If you’re not already familiar with her work, I strongly encourage you to check out her fiction. And not just because you’ll find her on the shelf not far from my own stuff.

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Eating Authors: Melanie Fletcher

1 Comment » Written on February 15th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Melanie Fletcher

As you know, Bob, timing is everything. While this is especially true of comedy, all writers appreciate good pacing in a story, and even in life there’s surely something to be said for being in the right place at the right yadda yadda. I mention this because while you may be reading this on Monday morning when it posts to the intarwebs, on the preceding and lovely Valentine’s weekend I was in Dallas, enjoying my first visit to ConDFW, where this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest, Melanie Fletcher, was also present. That’s not so unusual though, there were dozens of authors at the convention, and she’s from around here. But the convention began with Melanie and I seated next to one another on the opening panel of the day, followed by a shared autographing slot, after which I went off to have dinner with my wife and some friends, and guess who showed up at the same restaurant and crashed the party? Like I said, timing. Melanie’s clearly got it.

She also has a solid history writing speculative fiction, from fantasy to horror to SF to whatever other labels you care to apply, and she’s done it at both short and long lengths. What I didn’t know before inviting her to share a meal here, was that she has a secret life under the name Nicola M. Cameron, where she writes high fantasy erotic romance, such as her popular Olympic Cove series and the recently released Empress of Storms.

It’s probably worth noting as well that Melanie has been a member of the SFWA Musketeers. I have also personally observed her in the act of knitting. And you think you know a person…

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Eating Authors: Karina Sumner-Smith

No Comments » Written on February 8th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Karina Sumner-Smith

I’m preparing this week’s post from the road, as I am “touring” with Barsk, which in this instance means I’ve traded in the cold snow drifts of Philadelphia for the warmer climes of North Carolina (though there has been some good bit of rain). This has been a new piece of the writer’s life for me to experience, and I’m coming to appreciate it as being equal parts exhilarating and exhausting.

But less about me and more about this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest, Karina Sumner-Smith, who should perhaps first be identified as one of that class of talented authors who call Toronto home (or rather, she did before moving to a more rural site in Ontario). She’s a Clarion graduate, as well as a past Nebula Award nominee for best short story. But the odds are good that you know her already for her novel-length fiction, specifically her Towers Trilogy.

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Eating Authors: Charlie Jane Anders

No Comments » Written on February 1st, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Charlie Jane Anders

The previous week has been one of revelations, some of which I cannot speak of yet (because reasons), but chief among those which I can share with you is that I’m getting too old to shovel snow. It’s not my heart, it’s not blood pressure; I’ve made significant strides in my health in the past year such that I can shovel for an hour without breathing hard or feeling dizzy or even consider keeling over in a drift to be found come the thaw. No, all that’s fine. Rather, a rigorous round of shoveling leaves me depleted for the rest of the day, utterly without spoons as it were. Ugh.

Worse still, the snow is still mostly there, and though I have nice paths to get where I (or the dog) need to go, it still mocks me.

None of which really has anything to do with this week’s EATING AUTHOR guest (who I’m pretty sure hasn’t been mocking me). Prior to last week, Charlie Jane Anders has probably been best known for her work as the editor of where her insights on all things SF are an unapologetic delight (full disclosure: I’ve been on the receiving end of some glowing reviews on It’s kind of a high-profile gig, and so it’s understandable if that’s what comes to mind when you see her name (as opposed to the many many short stories she’s published), but all of that is changing. Her debut novel, All the Birds in the Sky, was released at the end of January and promises to make you ever after think of her as Charlie Jane Anders, novelist!

That said, a part of me will also always think of her as a recipient of the Emperor Norton Award, because I think we should all aspire to “extraordinary invention and creativity unhindered by the constraints of paltry reason.” But writing awesome books works too.

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My Tentative 2016 ConDFW Schedule

No Comments » Written on January 31st, 2016 by
Categories: News
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In just a couple weeks, I’ll be returning to Dallas for the first time in decades. When I visited there 40 years ago it was in pursuit of the first girl I ever loved. This trip is much less romantic — despite it occurring over Valentine’s Weekend — but still sure to be enjoyable as I’ll be attending ConDFW.

Here’s the current version of my schedule. It could still change, but I think it’s pretty solid.

Friday, February 12th
03:00 p.m. (Jefferson) That’s No Moon! Designing Space Stations in Space Opera
With the advent of Star Wars VII’s Starkiller Base, we have yet another gigantic space station in space opera. Between a base built into a planet (or vice versa, of course), and more standard space stations such as Bespin, Babylon V or Deep Space Nine, how does an author create a place for a story to revolve around? Our space opera experts debate these and other issues.
With John DeLaughter (M), John Scalzi, Michael Ashleigh Finn, Melanie Fletcher

04:00 p.m. (The Gallery) Autographing
Bring me something to sign. Could be a book, could be a sandwich (okay, maybe not).
With Melanie Fletcher

Saturday, February 13th
11:00 a.m. (Madison) Reading
Come by and listen to me read from Barsk. Stina Licht is also there (though likely reading from something else, but you never know..
With Stina Licht

01:00 p.m. (Madison) What Genre is Batman?
It’s difficult to pigeonhole what genre a book falls into sometimes. But can traditional comic heroes be described in literary genres? Batman, for instance, probably could fit into the cyberpunk genre. Superman could fit into Urban Fantasy (while he is on Earth) or Science Fiction (off Earth). Our panelists attempt to label your favorite superhero, and then defend why they are that genre. With R. Cat Conrad (M), Michael Ashleigh Finn, David Doub, Frances May

Sunday, March 27th
11:00 a.m. (Madison) The Art of the Contract
If you want to try more traditional ways of publishing, you’re going to need to learn how to read fine print. Our publishers talk about contracts, what to look out for and what to hold out for.
With Julia S. Mandala (M), Rhonda Eudaly, T.M. Hunter, David L. Gray

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.

See you at ConDFW!

My Tentative 2016 NorWesCon Schedule

No Comments » Written on January 27th, 2016 by
Categories: News
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NorWesCon 39

March has me hopping. Early in the month I need to turn in my ballot for the Independent Star Trek Fan Film Awards, and soon after I’ll be traveling to New Mexico for a visit with a childhood friend, a writers’ retreat, and a reunion of some of alumnae of various Taos Toolbox classes. After that I’m flying to Seattle for my first ever visit to NorWesCon where I’ll enjoy four days of panels and programming and hanging out with some of the Pacific Northwest’s finest authors. I’ll also take a side trip out to the University Bookstore at the U of W to do a signing event because those people need to receive the word of Barsk!

Here’s the current version my schedule. It could still changed, but they seem pretty confident. If there are any alterations, I’ll let you know.

Thursday, March 24th
04:00 – 05:00 p.m. (Cascade 3&4) BIO15 – Alien Communication
With Pat MacEwen (M), Caroline Pate, Arthur Bozlee

07:00 – 08:00 p.m. (University Bookstore) Signing
I’ll be slipping away from the convention to head over to the U of W’s bookshop (4326 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105) to take a few questions, read a brief scene, and sign copies of Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard.

Friday, March 25th
02:00 – 03:00 p.m. (Cascade 9) EP07 – Fighting Through the 20k Slump
With Rhiannon Held (M), Django Wexler, John (J.A.) Pitts, Carol Berg

03:00 – 04:00 p.m. (Cascade 3&4) BIO14 – The Languages of Speculative Fiction
With Jason Bourget (M), David J. Peterson, Nina Post, Sean Hagle

04:00 – 04:30 p.m. (Cascade 1) R31 – Reading

Saturday, March 26th
12:00 – 01:00 p.m. (Cascade 10) SF08 – A Culture By Any Other Name
With Jason Bourget (M), Caroline M. Yoachim, Kim Ritchie, Luna Lindsey

2:00 – 03:00 p.m. (Evergreen 3&4) POP04 – How Star Trek Changed My Life
With Brooks Peck (M), Rachael Sabotini, Jason Bourget

3:00 – 04:00 p.m. (Grand 2) MISC29 – Autograph Session 2
With Amber Clark, Annie Bellet, Brenda Cooper, Carol Berg, David J. Peterson, H.M. Jones, Jeff Sturgeon, Jude-Marie Green, Julie Dillon, Katie Cord, Megan Kelso, Nina Post, Peter Orullian, Raven Oak, Stephen L. Gillett, Todd Lockwood

Sunday, March 27th
12:00 – 01:00 p.m. (Cascade 10) EP16 – Biggest Mistake I Ever Made
With Paul Constant (M), G. Willow Wilson, Esther Jones, John Lovett

Please note that some of the people listed on the items above may vanish from a particular panel. Times and locations of panels may change (or disappear entirely). I’m posting this schedule on based on what I’ve been told, but it’s all still technically in flux.

See you at Norwescon!

Eating Authors: Maria V. Snyder

No Comments » Written on January 25th, 2016 by
Categories: Plugs
Maria V. Snyder

I’m writing this the weekend before it’s going to appear, from a hotel room in Michigan. I tell you this as prelude to admitting my meteorological sin (an appropriate kind of transgression give this week’s EATING AUTHORS guest) because while it is below freezing here in Novi, MI, the skies are relatively clear and neither wet stuff nor white stuff is falling down. Which is not true back home where my wife reports she has been busily shoveling thigh-high snow just so the dog could get out into the yard to tend to business. That said, I’m sure there’ll still be plenty of snow awaiting my own shoveling tasks when I return late Sunday (you know, just in time for the airports to have reopened and blissfully return me to Pennsylvania).

Which bring us to Maria V. Snyder, a Philadelphia native whom I first met at a convention in Baltimore (another city which this weekend has been lost to the latest Snowpocalypse) shortly after she’d finished her MFA from Seton Hill. That doesn’t seem that long ago, and yet in that time she’s managed to publish two trilogies in her Chronicles of Ixia (the Study series and the Glass series), and is midway through another trilogy, as Night Study, the second book in her Soulfinders series, comes out tomorrow. These are in addition to another five books making up her Insider series and Healer series, as well a good number of short stories too.

In what is perhaps one of the best examples of “paying it forward,” Maria has returned to Seton Hill University as a teacher and mentor in their MFA program.

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