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Posts Tagged ‘Conroyverse’

Planning for November

No Comments » Written on May 13th, 2020 by
Categories: Freebies
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20 Books Vegas

Between battling cancer, recovering from chemo, and oh yeah the whole COVID-19 craze, I haven’t traveled far from home this year and don’t expect that to change any time soon. No appearances, lectures, readings, or coneventions. Obviously, I’m not alone in this.

Lots of people have come up with creative solutions and stopgaps. I’ve participated in Stu Segals’ virtual Strolling with the Stars, both as the designated guest and as a viewer of many others. I spend at least three mornings each week sitting in on live interviews of luminaries within the indie publishing community. To no one’s surprise, various conventions have decided to go virtual (a big example being the Nebula Conference later this month), and even my monthly writers’ workshop group has shifted to meeting on Zoom.

At this point, I suspect the only event I’ll be physically attending this year is the annual 20BooksTo50K conference scheduled for November — assuming that in six more months the world will have stopped burning quite so much. It’s three very full days of brilliant presentations focused on the indie business side of writing — as opposed to other professional writing conferences I’ve attended where the emphasis is on craft — from marketing to managing cash flow, cover design to blurbs, pros and cons of KU vs. going wide, newsletter onboarding and general care & feeding of one’s subscribers, back lists and sell through, and on and on.

Flash Drive

Before those three days of presentations, there’ll be a day of industry professionals making themselves available for conversations and questions. Representatives from Amazon, Apple, Kobo, Microsoft, Podium, Tantor, DreamWorks, Findaway Voices, Publisher’s Weekly, Draft2Digital, PublishDrive, Reedsy, BookFunnel, StoryOrigin, Cover Artists, and so many more. It’s going to be a crazy wonderful opportunity to make some serious connections (and have the following three days to expand on them).

But wait, there’s more. On the fifth day, there will be an Indie Book Fair. I’ve already reserved a table (well, half a table). I’ll be there with a good assortment of my titles, and while I’ll be only too happy to sell them, I’ll naturally sign anything that people bring in. These kinds of events can often be very “hit or miss” bur I’m expecting a huge response because of all the lost opportunities for fans not being able to travel to conventions this year.

Flash Drives

Which is why I wanted to do something special. Something different.

Which is why I arranged for some custom flash drives. What you’re seeing in the images on this page are basically credit card sized (52mm x 83mm) flip drives, the bit that plugs into the USB slot snaps up and unfolds from a hinge and you’re good to go.

I’ve had these made up by the fine folks at usbmemorydirect.com. They feature an image of the Amazing Conroy on one side and the logo of my publishing imprint, Paper Golem, on the other.

My plan is to load up the drives with copies of my books and give them away during the Indie Book Fair on the last day of the 20 Books Vegas conference. Mind you, I have a limited number of these flash drives, and when they’re gone that’s it — unless it’s a huge success, in which case I’ll make more for other conferences in 2021. And… now that I think about it, I’ll probably hold a couple in reserve as a giveaway for the folks on my mailing list.

And that’s my travel plans for the rest of 2020. I hope to see some of you in Las Vegas, and if you are coming out (I should mention the conference is at Sam’s Town) then I hope you’ll come by for a flash drive full of my fiction.

Obligatory Award Eligibility Post (Delayed, But-Not-Too-Late)

No Comments » Written on December 17th, 2019 by
Categories: News
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Hey there. You’ve all seen posts like this before, from both the “cool kids” and those of us with less swag. I suspect that’s because we all suffer from imposter syndrome and award nominations give us a sense of validation, even if we have to go out of our way (with posts like this one) to remind people to love us for what we make.

And yes, I see the irony there.

The second half of 2019 is proving to quite chaotic as unanticipated health issues devour my time and energy. Life? Meh. I’m taking it day by day. Anyway, here we go.

Most of my effort this year was spent relaunching all the titles in my Amazing Conroy series. That said, I did sneak in a few new tales. Two of these, a novelette and a short story, represent the best of my original work this year. I’ve provided links to the appropriate SFWA Forums where members can download them (after first logging in).

Both works were published in obscure books that you’re probably not going to encounter in the normal course of things. Hence this post so you’d learn of their existence and have the option to look them over as your time and interest dictate.

Please note: I am not asking for your nomination or vote. That would just be wrong on so many levels, and even I’m not that crass. But I do hope you’ll choose to read one or both of them because I believe the works will speak to you more eloquently than I can. If either does so, I’d welcome an acknowledgment of it on the Nebula Reading List.

Mind Din

“Mind Din” (approx. 15,675 words)
NOVELETTE (https://www.sfwa.org/forum/topic/14101-mind-din-by-lawrence-m-schoen/)

This novelette appeared in my short story collection Buffalito Bundle in July of 2019. The rest of the pieces in the collection had been published before, but “Mind Din” was new to the collection. This tale is set in the Conroyverse and features the Amazing Conroy and his alien companion animal, Reggie, as well as a deadly virus that causes telepathy, government agents, a possible descendant of a world famous Sri Lankan cricket player, the use of pool balls as brutal projectiles, the Atlanta Zoo, and some very long medical words scattered to your unconscious mind.
Nebula Reading List link: https://www.sfwa.org/forum/reading/work/3945-mind-din/

“Crossing the Line” (approx. 4360 words) SHORT STORY
(https://www.sfwa.org/forum/topic/14314-crossing-the-line-by-lawrence-m-schoen/)

Crossing the Line

This story appeared in The Expanding Universe 5 anthology edited by Craig Martelle, released in September 2019. Some clever commenters have said it “puts the LIT in LitRPG.” Maybe. The story’s about a humanities professor competing as a piece in an alien civilization’s chess game. If she wins, she could gain access to a long lost piece of literature. If she loses, her memories are at risk and her life is over. Much like last year’s Nebula nominee “The Rule of Three,” there’s very much an ‘old school’ feel to this story. I hope you like it.
Nebula Reading List link: https://www.sfwa.org/forum/reading/work/3946-crossing-the-line/

Both works have already received a bit of love on the Nebula Suggested Reading List (indeed, “Crossing the Line” has crept up into double digits!). I hope you find them to your liking as well.

And that’s it. Thanks for reading this far.

Relaunching the Amazing Conroy

2 comments Written on July 23rd, 2019 by
Categories: Plugs
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Three Conroy Covers

Last week, specifically on Monday, June 15th, the relaunch of my AMAZING CONROY series began with the release of “Buffalo Dogs,” the short story that started it all. It’s completely free, no strings attached. And it’s available in both mobi (Kindle) and epub (pretty much everyone else) formats.

The rest of the series (at present) consists of a short story collection, four novellas (each a Nebula Award finalist), and two novels.

One of those novellas, Barry’s Tale, is also available for free when you sign up for my newsletter.

I’m happy to announce that yesterday, Monday, June 22nd, was the release of the new short story collection Buffalito Bundle. Full disclosure: many of the stories in this collection were last seen in the previous (and now out-of-print) collection Buffalito Buffet. The new collection also includes a brand new short story, “Mind Din,” which fans have been awaiting for some time. You can get a copy at Amazon by clicking here.

I hope you’re loving the new covers as much as I am, as well as the timeline material which comes with each title. The next book should come out on August 1st, and then four more, one every four weeks.

The best advertising is always readers telling their friends, so if you enjoy the adventures of Conroy and Reggie please spread the word far and wide (and a 5-star review on Amazon wouldn’t hurt either).

If all goes as planned, once the relaunch is finished, I’ll start releasing a series of short novels in the spin-off series featuring Angela (Gel) Colson.

My Tentative Capclave 2018 Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 12th, 2018 by
Categories: News
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Capclave

It’s nearly time once again for one of my favorite small conventions, Capclave, where reading is not extinct.

This year it happens to fall on the same weekend as the awesome Baltimore Book Festival. I”ll be doing the Festival on Friday, and then continuing on to the convention. And on Sunday, after finishing at the convention I’ll pause on the way home for another stop at the festival. This will also be the first road trip in the new car, and joining me on the drive will be my co-author and friend, Jonathan Brazee.

This year’s ConChair has just sent out the schedules. Here’s mine, but keep in mind some of it may change.

Saturday, September 29th
1:00 p.m. | Lincoln | Reading
I’ve been paired with Steven H. Wilson for an hour of reading. I’ll start and hand off to him at 1:30pm. I have no idea what Steven will be reading, but I expect to read to you from a new work in progress.
with Steven H. Wilson

3:00 p.m. | Washington Theater | How to Remember EVERYTHING!
Mnemonics and You! Come hear me explain how memory works and how to enhance yours.

7:30 p.m. | Eisenhower/Jackson | Mass Signing
A double-sized room full of authors armed with pens. Also cake. What could possibly go wrong? Bring your books, we’re hungry to sign all the things. I’ll also have Barsk bookplates and trading cards.
with everyone!

Sunday, September 30th
10:00 a.m. | Eisenhower | Ask Me Anything – Author Edition
Ask the panel of authors absolutely anything about what they do – writing, getting published, elevator pitches, getting an agent, dealing with writers block, writers workshop etc. Includes many non-writer-parts-of-being-a-writer, such as being your own boss, setting schedules, and so on.
with Jonathan Brazee, J. L. Gribble (M), Suzanne Palmer, and Alyssa Wong

2:00 p.m. | Eisenhower | My Characters Have a Life of Their Own
What to do when you meant for character X to be the protagonist, but at some point in the draft character Y took over?
with Sarah Avery (M), Brenda W. Clough, Mark S. LaPorta, and Alan Smale

If you’ve never been to Capclave, you owe it to yourself to come and experience its glory. And if you have, you’ve probably already booked your hotel room and paid your registration. Either way, I look forward to seeing you there.

My Worldcon 76 Far From Final Schedule

No Comments » Written on July 25th, 2018 by
Categories: News
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Worldcon 76

In August my wife and I will be traveling to San Jose so I can take part in the 76th annual World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon 76).

I love the Worldcon. I love seeing so many old friends and I love making new ones. I love hanging out with colleagues and chatting with fans. I love signing books and trading cards. I love bloviating on panels and wandering around from party to party until I’m exhausted and just need to crash so I can start all over the next day.

What I don’t love are attention-seeking assholes who try to ruin the convention for everyone else and hide behind false claims and falser ideals. You know who you are, and if I had it in my power to stuff you all in a time machine I’d send you back to the day Baptistina hit the Earth and everything was incinerated. Sounds like a good idea for a Kickstarter campaign to me.

Anyway, as I write this, it’s late July and the schedule is still very much in flux. Here’s what I know now, but keep in mind a lot could change.

Thursday, August 16th
8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Guadalupe (San Jose Marriott | SFWA Board Meeting
That’s right, people. While you are off enjoying the opening day of the conventions I’ll be in the “Room Where It Happens” making all the sausage.
with Kate Baker, Curtis C. Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Nathan Lowell, Sarah Pinsker, Cat Rambo, Kelly Robson, Steven Silver, and lots of other folks!

Friday, August 17th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | 210DH (San Jose Convention Center) | SFWA Business Meeting
Oh god, another 8am start? Good thing I’ll still (probably) be on east coast time, right? This is a members-only event. Are you a member? C’mon, you know you want to be.
with Cat Rambo (M), Kate Baker, Curtis C. Chen, Andy Duncan, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, Terra LeMay, Nathan Lowell, Sarah Pinsker, Kelly Robson, Steven Silver, and lots of other folks!

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | 210F (San Jose Convention Center) | What Can SFWA Offer Me
Learn what SFWA has to offer authors at all stages of their careers, from networking opportunities to sample contracts to the grievance committee. SFWA’s officers will provide an update on what SFWA is doing and where the organization is going and answer questions from potential (or current) members.
with Kate Baker (M), Cat Rambo, Curtis C. Chen, Erin M. Hartshorn, Jeffe Kennedy, and Sarah Pinsker

Saturday, August 18th
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Super Secret Location (shhh!) | Annual Codex Worldcon Breakfast
Every year I organize breakfast for members of the online writing community known as Codex. I don’t pay for it, I only organize it. If you’re in Codex, you know where this is happening. If you’re not, you’ll be able to spot members today because we’ll all be very well fed.
with probably around sixty people. It’s crazy!!

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 210E (San Jose Convention Center) | Klingon 101
The popularity of Klingon is on the rise. It’s spoken, correctly, on Star Trek: Discovery, and available to learn on Duolingo. So there’s no better time to break up your Worldcon programming and come around so I can teach you 80% of the grammar in a mere 50 minutes.

Sunday, August 19th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Lower Level Plaza (San Jose Convention Center) | Stroll With The Stars
We’ve been going for days, and we could all use a casual walk around the convention center. I love doing this and you will too. Meet in the Lower Level Plaza area.
with Debra Nickelson (M), Mary Robinette Kowal, Kate Baker, Jeffe Kennedy, and lots of other folks.

5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | 211B (San Jose Convention Center) | Kaffeeklatsch
The last time I had one of these was in Kansas City, and it filled up! You need to sign up for this event in advance and seating is limited. Ah, but if you get in, you can ask me anything you like, about Barsk, Buffalitos, Hypnosis, Klingon, and most anything you can think of. with whoever signs up!

Monday, August 20th
12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m. | 211A (San Jose Convention Center) | Reading
The con is finally winding down. You’re tired, I get it. Me too. So come on by and all you have to do is sit there while I read to you. It’s really just that easy.

Anyway, that’s what I know as of right now, and it could all change. Doubtless, some of it will.

Other dates that are important around this time:

Sunday, August 12th – World Elephant Day.
Tuesday, August 14th – Tor Books releases The Moons of Barsk.
Tuesday, August 21st – My wedding anniversary!

Semi-Obligatory and Late-Arriving Award Eligibility Post

1 Comment » Written on January 13th, 2018 by
Categories: News
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Barry's Deal

I’m deep in the throes of reading, reading, reading so much brilliant fiction from 2017, and making recommendations and notes in preparation for turning in my nominations for the Nebula Awards (including the Norton) and the Hugo Awards (including the Campbell). Along the way, I somehow failed until now to put up a post of which among my own fiction in 2017 I’d hope you might consider as you go through your own process.

I’ll keep it simple, just one thing: My novella, Barry’s Deal.

So here’s there thing. I’m uncomfortable with posts like this. While I like nominations as much as any author (and maybe more than many), and the occasional win too, I don’t want to campaign for them. That’s not my job. My job — and I’d argue, every author’s job — is to write the best fiction that I can, and moreover to write better fiction each year than I did the year before. Also to challenge myself, to try new things, to grow as an author, but yeah, all of that is in service to the main thing: writing the best fiction that I can.

But the world isn’t that simple any more (and maybe it never was), and more and more every author also has to do publicity and marketing. Which is why, I believe, you see more and more posts like this, year after year. And now, here’s mine.

In that light, I’m a bit more comfortable with it because, let me be clear, I’m not asking for your vote or even your nomination. I’m asking you to read my work. Anything beyond that, well, the work itself will either inspire your action or it won’t. That’s as it should be.

Which brings us back to Barry’s Deal. Here’s the irony: while my novels have the backing and distribution of a major press, my shorter fiction continues to come out from a small press. Barry’s Deal, is only the fifth book from NobleFusion Press. It was published in late, in the second week of November. Both of these facts mean you’re unlikely to have heard about it, let alone seen a copy. And yet, I have the audacity to think that if you only read it you’ll like it quite a bit, so I’ve been persuaded to put up this post.

Barry’s Deal is the fourth novella in my ongoing series about the Amazing Conroy and Reggie, a stage hypnotist turned corporate CEO and his alien companion animal that can eat anything and farts oxygen. The novella stands on its own, though if you’ve read some of the other stories you’ll likely recognize returning characters. I’ve been writing about Conroy for 17 years. It appears that writing the more serious Barsk novels has taught me a thing or two, and the early reviews have described this novella as the best thing in the series so far.

Anyway, I hope you’ll read it. And if you do, post a review and let me know what you thought. Thanks.

My Tentative Capclave 2017 Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 27th, 2017 by
Categories: News
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Capclave

It’s nearly time once again for one of my favorite small conventions, Capclave.

Even though I was just in Maryland over the weekend (for the awesome Baltimore Book Festival!), I’m very excited to be going back, and not just because it means another stop off at the Elkton Waffle House along the way (though, seriously, that is a huge draw).

For me, Capclave is always a welcome combination of connecting with old friends and enjoying serious conversations with people who want to talk about books. And hey, if the books they’re talking about include one or more of mine, so much the better.

This year’s ConChair has just sent out the schedules. You’ll find mine below (the better to stalk me).

Friday, October 6th
3:00 p.m. | Frederick | “Holy Shuftik!” He Cried.
How does an author create a distinctive language for characters in the future or in a different world and keep it understandable to the reader? What’s the right balance between creating language and making sure the reader can figure it out without a dictionary appendix to the story?
with Jeanne Adams (M) and John Skovron

4:00 p.m. | Seneca | Hypnotism: Reality vs. Fiction
If you’re getting sleeeepy, don’t come to this item. I’ll give a talk on how hypnotism really works vs. how it is portrayed in fiction and on screen.

Saturday, October 7th
12:00 p.m. | Bethesda | Reading
I’ve been paired with the incredible James Morrow for an hour of reading. He’ll start at noon, and hand off to me at 12:30pm. I have no idea what Jim will be reading, but I expect to read to you from the new Amazing Conroy novella, Barry’s Deal (coming out from NobleFusion Press at the end of October).
with James Morrow

4:00 p.m. | Frederick | Anthology Builder
So you want to edit and publish an anthology. How do the stories get picked? How do you come up with a theme? What sells and what doesn’t? How do authors produce readable fiction in the straitjacket of an original themed anthology? How do you properly curate your anthology?
with Neil Clarke, Ron Garner, Joshua Palmatier (M), and Darrell Schweitzer

7:30 p.m. | Rockville/Potomac | Mass Signing and Awards
For many, the highlight of Capclave is the mass autographing session, followed by the awards ceremony to award the WSFA Small Press Award and the BSFS Amateur Writers Contest winners. This is a great chance to get all the things signed and to celebrate some of the best of small press short fiction.
with everyone!

Sunday, October 8th
10:00 a.m. | Rockville/Potomac | Abusing Authors
Panelists answer whatever questions the audience has on writing, editing, character development, agents, and others. Includes many non-writer-parts-of-being-a-writer, such as being your own boss, setting schedules, and so on.
with Sarah Avery, Scott Edelman, Will McIntosh (M), Ian Randal Strock, and Michael Ventrella

If you’ve never been to Capclave, you owe it to yourself to come and experience its glory. And if you have, you’ve probably already booked your hotel room and paid your registration. Either way, I look forward to seeing you there.

My Worldcon 75 Probably Final Schedule

No Comments » Written on July 17th, 2017 by
Categories: News
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Worldcon 75

In August I’ll be flying off to Finland (by way of Iceland) for the 75th annual World Science Fiction Convention (aka Worldcon 75).

In mid-June the organizers were kind enough to send me a tentative schedule, but asked me to wait before posting it as they wanted to firm up some items. We’ve had some back and forth on things (owing in part to my plans to leave Helsinki on Sunday morning and miss the last partial day of the convention), but they have been great to work with.

Today I got the green light to share the schedule. Things could still change, but I’m liking what I see.

Thursday, August 10th
5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | 103 Messukeskus | Reading
Reading slots are apparently hard to come by at this convention. I am one of two authors in this hour (the other being the awesome Scott Lynch!). Depending on what people want, I”ll either read the opening chapter from next summer’s BARSquel, or the opening to the next month’s Amazing Conroy novella.

Friday, August 11th
9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. | Courtyard Messukeskus | Strolls with Stars
I’m a big fan of the Worldcon strolls. It’s a great opportunity to chat with authors and fans while also taking in some local sights. Plus, I get some of my steps in!
with Eva Elasigue, Walter Jon Williams, and lots of other folks!

3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. | 215 Messukeskus | SF & Education
Science Fiction and Fantasy are interrelated with education in many ways. From the earliest years SF was thought of as a way of sugar coating science – and many young readers have in fact been inspired to go on to study the sciences by their early enthusiasm for SF. But it also goes the other way – many reluctant readers are motivated to learn by the pleasures of genre books. Then there are all the imagined schools – Hogwarts is only one. As well, SF and Fantasy serve as ideal forums for imagining how education could be different – even wildly different – think brain implants or babel fish! This panel will delve into the links between SF and Education – as is only appropriate in a country whose schooling leads the world in the education league tables!
with Charlie (M), Nick Falkner, Diana ben-Aaron, Aidan Doyle

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. | 208 Messukeskus | Alien Language in Science Fiction
As easy as a Babel Fish is, usually alien languages are handled differently in science fiction. The panelists discuss various alien languages and how they are understood. I’ll be moderating.
with David J. Peterson, Stephen W. Potts, Cora Buhlert, Heather Rose Jones

Saturday, August 12th
2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. | Signing Area Messukeskus | Autographing
I’ve been given a slot for signing all the things. So, even if you don’t have a copy of Barsk on hand, or a back issue of Spin with one of my Finnish translations, do stop by anyway and I’ll sign one of my new Historical Science Fiction Trading Cards (I’m #158).

4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. | 205 Messukeskus | Coping strategies for publishing in small markets
Sometimes the publishing markets aren’t that big – perhaps because language reasons. There are different ways writers from smaller countries can and do use to reach a wider audience, however. Getting famous in your own country first, writing in a foreign language, selling straight into translation and other strategies are discussed. And again, I’m moderator.
with Tom Crosshill, Teodor Reljic, Raita Jauhiainen

While it’s possible that some portion of the above will change prior to the start of the Worldcon, it’s unlikely I’ll be in a position to post an update. So, either go with the above or consult the program schedule in Grenadine.