Posts Tagged ‘Conroyverse’

My Worldcon 76 Far From Final Schedule

No Comments » Written on July 25th, 2018 by
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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
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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
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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
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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.

My Shiny One-Day Balticon 2015 Schedule

No Comments » Written on May 19th, 2015 by
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So here’s the deal. I’m doing way too much travel this spring. I just returned from a trip to southern California. Next week I’ll be up in NYC for BEA/Bookcon. Mere days after returning from that, I’m flying out to Chicago for the Nebula Awards Conference. So, while I do realize that the Memorial Day Weekend is traditionally one of the busiest convention weekends for Science Fiction, I just can’t swing it this year.

And that’s a huge shame, because I was looking forward to attending ConQuesT 46 in Kansas City, seeing old friends, hanging out with so many of the Hadley Rille Books authors, playing games like “Story in a Bag” with members of both courts of NobleFusion, and arranging for a cage match between two different publishers of Nebula-nominated Amazing Conroy novellas (sorry, Barbara and Eric). But it is not meant to be.

But I can’t just go cold turkey.

So the folks at a Balticon 49 have generously agreed to let me do a couple panels on Saturday, which means I’ll be making a daytrip that day, showing up at the convention quite early and getting back in my car quite late (okay, technically, it’ll likely be Sunday by the time I reach home again, but this is NOT a technical blog, so shut up).

Here’s we’ll you’ll find me when I’m not in the bar/greenroom/at-breakfast/lunch/dinner/partying:

Saturday, May 23rd

2:00 – 4:50 p.m. | Derby | Targeting Submissions: The Pitch
How do you pick the best publications to send your work to? How do you sell them on your ideas and craft?
Joy Ward, Jennifer R Povey, Aaron Rosenberg, Bud Sparhawk, and me.

6:00 – 4:50 p.m. | Salon B | How Do You Work Technology into your Story
You spent five pages describing the workings of that ray gun. It needed to be credible, you thought. Sorry, but your readers fell asleep after the first paragraph. Hint: your story ain’t about a ray gun. Discover what to keep in and what to leave out in your fiction.
Walt Boyes, Jack McDevitt, Mark L Van Name, and me.

In addition, I’ll have copies of Paper Golem’s purfect new anthology Cats in Space with me and I will let you buy them (because I’m a nice guy like that).

Also, Barry will be with me, and he’ll have a couple copies of Calendrical Regression to sell you (get it before its Nebula fate is decided at week later), as well as free ebook copies.

It’s going to be a wild and very full day, and I’m looking forward to seeing you and you and you (and yes, even you) there.

My (probably) Final Ravencon 10 Schedule

No Comments » Written on April 10th, 2015 by
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RavenCon 10

In two weeks I’ll be heading down to Richmond, VA where I’m among the GOHs for Ravencon.

Here’s the full lineup:

AUTHOR: Allen Steele
ARTIST: Frank Wu
GAMING: Brianna Spacekat Wu
SPECIAL AUTHOR: Jack McDevitt
SPECIAL AUTHOR: Lawrence M. Schoen
PLUSH: Barry Mantelo

That’s right, Barry is a GOH. He has his own room in the hotel (okay, it may be a safe in someone’s closet, but it’s all his!), his own guest liaison, and first class travel to and from Richmond (you wish you could fit in a jiffy mailing bag, don’t you?).

While there’s always the chance that some last minute changes will pop up, here’s what I currently believe is my schedule:

Friday, April 24th

7:00 p.m. | Rooms E & F
Opening Ceremonies

Saturday, April 25th

10:00 a.m. | Anna Writing Dialogue
Panelists discuss writing convincing, interesting dialogue. What about accents, physical quirks, and differing vocabulary from character to character. How can you use physical beats and dialogue tags to pace a conversation?
Lou Antonelli, Noah McBrayer Jones, Karen McCullough (M), Kate Paulk, and me.

11:00 a.m. | Dealers’ Room Signing
That’s right, this is your chance to have me sign a copy of one of my books. What? You don’t have any of my books? Not a problem, I’ll have some at the table to sell you!
Just me (and Barry).

1:00 p.m. | Room G How to Remember ANYTHING!
I’ll discuss some of the kinds of memory that human beings have, and then walk you through the underlying principles that make them work. Then we’ll go through both mnemonic techniques and mnemonic systems, and end by teaching you one of the latter so you can amaze your friends with your incredible memory!
Me (and anyone who remembers to show up).

3:00 p.m. | Board Room Reading
I’ll read a story the opening of my new novel Barsk: The Elephants’ Graveyard, and if there’s time tell talk about a completely different book I’m working on.
Me (and a throng of eager readers!).

6:00 p.m. | Chesterfield Pictionary: Authors vs. Artists
This is going to get ugly, ain’t no doubt. My only hope is that the artists can draw pretty but suffer from aphasia, lockjaw, or are eating peanut butter.
Victim List Still in Progress

Sunday, April 26th

10:00 a.m. | Room E No Right Way To Write: Techniques for New Writers
There is no one correct way to write. One of the challenges for new writers is to find the way that works best for them. Some people need strict outlines. Others require only bullet points. While still others want for nothing more than an idea and a few notes scrawled on a dirty napkin. Panelists will discuss a variety of methods they’ve used, and offer you a range of options for you to try out on your own.
Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Mary Miley, Robert Sommers, Allen Steele, and me as your Sunday morning moderator.

1:00 p.m. | Anna The Best Critique Group For You
Critique groups are a great way for both new and experienced writers to improve their stories, but for many these gatherings may seem mysterious or even intimidating. What do writing groups do? How can you find one? We’ll share our experiences, offer our advice, and then send you loose into the wild.
J.T. Glover, Darin Kennedy, Robert Sommers, Meryl Yourish, and moderator me.

That’s pretty much it. At this point, it’s not clear if there will or will not be a San Marino Worldcon Bid Party (but if there is, it will be Saturday night — unless, um, it’s not).

See you in Richmond!

Novella Nebula Nomination Hat Trick

No Comments » Written on February 20th, 2015 by
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Nebula Awards 2015

I’ve been sitting on this news since Monday and now I can finally share it. I am deliriously happy to announce that for the third consecutive year a story featuring the Amazing Conroy — my stage hypnotist in space — has landed on the Nebula ballot for Best Novella!

My thanks go out to Barbara Hill for giving it a home, and to everyone who took the time to read it and found it worthy of your attention.

Congratulations to the awesome authors sharing this category with me, and who make me look good by allowing me to be counted among them.

Daryl Gregory for We Are All Completely Fine, (Tachyon)
Nancy Kress for Yesterday’s Kin, (Tachyon)
Ken Liu for “The Regular,” (Upgraded)
Mary Rickert for “The Mothers of Voorhisville,” (Tor.com 4/30/14)
Rachel Swirsky for “Grand Jeté (The Great Leap),” (Subterranean Summer ’14)

This also means that you have unlocked the “Tuxedo Gambit” achievement. I’ll be continuing my regimen of exercise and healthful eating so that I can show up at the Nebs at least fifty pounds lighter than in 2014, and create the comparison photo in dueling tuxedos.

See you in Chicago!

B.W.O.P. Update – Catalan, Finnish, Polish, and (Mexican) Spanish now available as free mobi & ePub files

No Comments » Written on February 12th, 2015 by
Categories: Freebies
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As you know, Bob, the Buffalito World Outreach Project (BWOP) is my attempt to use science fiction to reach the entire planet, spreading the first tale of the Amazing Conroy and his buffalo dog, Reggie, to speakers of as many languages as I can.

Toward that end, it gives me great pleasure to announce that shiny, new and improved, and free downloads are now available in both ePub and mobi formats for the following languages: Catalan, Finnish, Polish, and (Mexican) Spanish.

Gossos bufal Puhvelikoirat
Gossos bufal : (mobi) | (ePub) Puhvelikoirat : (mobi) | (ePub)
     
Pieski buffalito Perros bufalo
Pieski buffalito : (mobi) | (ePub) Perros bufalo : (mobi) | (ePub)