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!