Posts Tagged ‘Books’

My 2016 SFWA Nebula Conference Schedule

No Comments » Written on April 29th, 2016 by
Categories: News
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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!


4 comments Written on February 5th, 2015 by
Categories: News
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Barsk: The Elephants' Graveyard

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet, may I present for your anticipation, gradual build-up of ultimately brain-wrenching desire, and immediate viewing pleasure, the cover of my forthcoming novel, Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard.

My editor informs me that the release doesn’t happen until December, but the way I choose to spin that is it creates an opportunity for a solid ten months of buzz, and a cover reveal is an awesome beginning.

The cover art is by Victo Ngai, a Society of Illustrators NY Gold Medalist (she actually has a stack of gold and silver medals), and depicts her conception of one of the artificial “vents” that occur within the rainforests of the islands of Barsk. Specifically, a shaft visited by Pizlo, a young boy whose very existence is outside the strictures of Barsk culture.

He hung in open air, ruminating, suspended upside down in a well-tended shaft walled on all sides with living green. Seven such chimneys existed on the island of Keslo; every island on Barsk boasted at least one. Fant society created the insubstantial monuments as part memorial and part warning. Few reached all the way to the uppermost limits of the forest, or ran all the way down to its roots.

Barskg is a world of almost constant rain and breaks in the cloud cover are infrequent. Rarer still are the times when the clouds happen to part and allow a glimpse of any of the planet’s moons. In the scene Victo Ngai referenced for the cover, Pizlo has gone to a specific chimney at a specific time, following the urging of the voices in his head, to see his third of Barsk’s seven moons. Pizlo is a weird little kid, and he’s convinced the moon not only speaks to him, but tells him secrets.

So, now that you’ve seen the cover and read a snippet, it’s time to tease you a bit more. How am I going to do that, you ask? Why, by sharing with you some of the remarks from other folks, Big Name Authors all, who have already read the finished book:

“The second you encounter the arboreal uplifted elephants who speak with the dead, you know you’re reading a work of singular imaginative power.  It’s a delight from beginning to end.”

Walter Jon Williams, Nebula Award-winning author of The Green Leopard Plague

“Weird, wise, and worldly, Barsk: The Elephant’s Graveyard is a triumph.”

—Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues

“Grand in scope, yet deeply intimate. Schoen gives anthropomorphism some serious spirituality. It got inside my head in the way that only an exciting new idea can.”

Howard Tayler, Hugo Award-winning creator of Schlock Mercenary

“Combines excellent characters and a fascinating world.  What really makes it work is how he deftly weaves together startling SFnal ideas with character-based intrigue.  You’ll really care for these characters, even as you find them believably alien.”

Karl Schroeder, author of Lockstep

“A heartfelt and wonderfully weird book: a space opera about kindness and memory. Read it. Meet these people. Listen to their dreams, and to their moons.”

Max Gladstone, author of the Craft Sequence

And that’s going to have to hold you for a while, but I promise, there’ll be more hooplah in the weeks and months to come.

Solstice 2014: Celebrate Short Fiction Day

No Comments » Written on December 21st, 2014 by
Categories: Freebies
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Author, Photographer, and all-around selfless person, Sally Wiener Grotta, brought this to my attention, and now I’m bringing it to yours:

Please join us in marking today, December 21st (or as it’s known in the northern hemisphere, the Winter Solstice), as Celebrate Short Fiction Day.

Nancy Christie, the founder of Celebrate Short Fiction Day, says, “The winter solstice marks both the start of winter and the shortest day of the year. So why not take advantage of the long winter night to curl up with a good short story?”

Seriously, like you needed an excuse?

All over the Internet, authors and small presses are making samples of their short fiction available to you for free today. Here’s a link to the freebies from Sally’s Pixel Hall Press, and here’s a link to an updated (i.e., better ebook code than the last version) of a short story over on my Freebie Page.

Please help spread the word, and the fiction!

Novelocity – Favorite College Reads

No Comments » Written on January 15th, 2014 by
Categories: News
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As I think I’ve mentioned before, I’m part of a small group of authors performing various stealth missions under the sobriquet of Novelocity. Each week we kick around a different topic, and various members share their thoughts.

Today’s topic is our favorite books from college.

Here’s how I answered:

My undergrad years were a mess. It took me six years. Along the way I dropped out of university, lost my scholarship, worked on a loading dock, went back to a different school, changed my major three times, and eventually petitioned the university to let me design my own.

I tell you all of this because it provides the background for the book that kept me whole during that time, Roger Zelazny’s Doorways in the Sand. It’s the story of Fred Cassidy, a young man whose uncle wills a healthy stipend to his nephew until he completes an undergraduate degree. Fred chooses never to graduate! As the novel begins he’s been in school more than a decade, always changing majors one class short of a degree. He’s outlasted multiple academic advisors and authored academic papers worthy of dissertations! Fred Cassidy is the perpetual student, and he gets caught up in adventures far beyond his dreams. Friends and strangers try to kill him. Aliens disguised as animals pursue him. A missing artifact on loan from a museum on another planet sends him secret messages. If that’s not enough for you, Fred has every cell in his body rotated into its mirror opposite, which in turn changes the flavor of everything he eats and almost guarantees that he’ll be dying of malnutrition because he can no longer process right-handed proteins.

Through it all, Fred draws on insights and experiences that you’d expect from someone who has nearly completed every major at a modern university. Read this book, you come away with that same feeling. It’s empowering, creating a sense of control at a time in a young adult’s life when everything seems to be chaos.

I reread this book every semester during exam week. It put everything in perspective for me.

If you’d like to see how others in our little group responded, just head on over to Novelocity.

Now Available: WORLD JUMPING

No Comments » Written on December 27th, 2013 by
Categories: News
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World Jumping

Slipping in just under the 2013 wire, I’m pleased to announce the release of World Jumping, a new anthology from the fine folks at Hadley Rille Books.

I bring this to your attention because it contains my most recent novella, “Trial of the Century,” in which the Amazing Conroy must seek out assistance from the Arconi — the same aliens he ripped off in the very beginning by smuggling a fertile buffalo dog to break their monopoly and build his financial empire. They’re his only hope to awaken Reggie from the coma that I left him in at the end of book one.

Oh, and did I happen to mention my novella is eligible for the Nebula Award?

Kickstarter Recommendation: Sandra Tayler – The Strength of Wild Horses

No Comments » Written on December 4th, 2013 by
Categories: Plugs
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The Strength of Wild Horses

Sandra Tayler is a very talented author. She writes brilliant blog posts about parenting. And she’s responsible for the administrative and distribution side of the highly successful Schlock Mercenary comic business.

She’s running a Kickstarter project for her second children’s book, The Strength of Wild Horses, stunningly illustrated by Angela Call. The book is about Amy, a girl who gets into trouble and who learns that the same ideas which causes her troubles can also provide solutions. As Sandra describes it, “It is a book for every child (or adult) who needs to understand that being strong and creative can make the world a better place.”

At the time of my posting this, Sandra’s Kickstarter has barely a day left. I’m delighted to tell you that it’s already funded and the world will get to see this book. So the main goal has been accomplished. But… with a bit more support the project will reach its first Stretch Goal and everyone will win that much more.

Go to the site and check it out. You can even download a complimentary PDF of Sandra’s first book, Hold on to Your Horses.

The Strength of Wild Horses

For a pledge of as little as $5, you will get a PDF Of the new book.

For a pledge of $15, you’ll get a physical copy of the book shipped to you.

For a pledge of $25, you’ll get physical copies of both the previous and the new book, or you can opt for one of the other $25 support choices (there are several to choose among).

If you have more money to throw around, then there are higher pledge levels, and I encourage you to review them and avail yourself of them.

If you have children, and want something wonderful to read to them, then support this kickstarter.

If you have children, and want to inspire and empower them, then support this kickstarter.

And if you just like smart words and pretty pictures, then support this kickstarter.

I did.

Alembical – Limited Time Offer!

No Comments » Written on June 4th, 2013 by
Categories: News
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At the Nebula Awards this year I was having a chat with Jay Lake. We had both been nominated for the prize in the novella category, and he said the best novella he’d ever written was “America, Such As She Is,” published back in November, 2008. I had to agree (and not just because I was his editor for it). The work appeared in Alembical, the second book ever published by Paper Golem and the start of our series of collections of brilliant novellas.

After I returned from San Jose, a quick check of the stock room revealed a surplus of the hardbound edition of Alembical, 50 of them. Recalling my conversation with Jay, I decided it was time for a sale.

The list price on the book is $25.

For a limited time, you can use the PayPal button below to order a copy of the book for $15, which includes the cost of shipping (US residents only).

Again, this is for the hardbound edition of Alembical, which contains the following four novellas:

  • “America, Such As She Is” by Jay Lake
  • “13 Miles to Paradise” by Bruce Taylor
  • “Harvest” by James Van Pelt
  • “Now You See Us” by Ray Vukcevich

As noted above, I have only 50 copies available at this price. When they’re all spoken for, the PayPal button will redirect you to, where you can still buy the book, just not at this sale price.

And now for some pimping, shared universe style

No Comments » Written on April 14th, 2013 by
Categories: News
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As you know (and I’m talking to you, Bob), last year my story “Coca Xocolātl” appeared in the shared universe anthology ReDeus: Divine Tales. I had a lot of fun writing that story, so when the editors decided to do a second volume of future tales set after The Return, I promptly got in line.

That new book is entitled ReDeus: Beyond Borders, and it comes out next month. In the meantime, the fine folks at Crazy8 Press have invited the book’s contributors to yammer a bit, and yours truly is up first.

So now you can follow this link over to their site and read what I have to tell you about the continuing saga of Matlal Alejandro Garcia y Fuentes, professor emeritus and representative of the Aztec God Huehuecoyotl. But I warn you, as soon as you do, you’re going to want to buy the book!