Posts Tagged ‘Traveling’

My Preliminary Illogicon III Schedule

No Comments » Written on December 31st, 2013 by
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I like the idea of closing out 2013 by telling you about something I’ll be doing in 2014. In just over a week, my wife and I will be traveling down to Raleigh, NC, where I have the privilege of being on of the Guests of Honor at Illogicon III.

I’m still not clear on who my co-panelists are on some of what follows, but I do feel pretty confident about the topics and times, and that should be enough to get you started. As more information comes in, I’ll update this with the names of actual rooms and people, greatly enhancing your chance of finding me and being ready for whoever else might be there:

Friday, January 10th

2:00 p.m. || Opening Ceremonies
Join us as we kick things off and the convention chair gives Mary Robinette Kowal and I the keys to the city (or something like that).

5:00 p.m. || The Fortunes of Small Press
The standard joke goes like this: Want to make a small fortune with a small press? Easy, start with a large fortune! But once you get past the jokes, what’s involved in actually starting your own press?

9:00 p.m. || Lies With Words
The panelists are given a list of obscure and/or obsolete words in advance. One person has the true meaning and the others compose false definition of each words, long or short, simple or complex, as they please. Can the audience tell which is which? Points are Awarded to each panelist for every audience member who buys into his/her lie.

Saturday, January 11th

10:00 a.m. || Reading
Come and hear me read a tale of the Amazing Conroy. One lucky attendee will leave with his/her/hir own plush buffalito! I’ll also talk a bit about my new book coming from Tor. Also, this would also be a good time to bring me things to sign.

12:00 p.m. || Social Scientists’ Science Fiction
There’s no shortage of science fiction written by authors with Ph.D.s in the “hard sciences” (biology, chemistry, physics), and their expertise show up in everything from world building to alien physiology. But what about authors with doctorates in Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Linguistics, Economics, and so on? Is the SF experience redefined when it comes from social scientists instead?

3:00 p.m. || You Are Getting Sleepy
A few words about common misperceptions of hypnosis (as maintained by media and popular culture), what doesn’t work, and what does, and maybe even a brief demonstration.
This is just me, but soon you too will be part of my army of hypnotized minions.

Sunday, January 12th

1:00 p.m. || Fuck the Universal Translator!
(I can’t believe they let me put “Fuck” in the panel name). A rant about the many reasons why the aliens will not show up speaking perfect English, and other examples of linguistic laziness by science fiction authors.

7:00 p.m. || Closing Ceremonies
A tired (but happy!) con staff gathers to thank everyone for an amazing weekend.

And of course, Barry (my personal, plush buffalito) will be with me. His Facebook page needs more photos, so be sure to pose with him for during the convention.

Big Tree

No Comments » Written on November 26th, 2013 by
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I’ve been spending the last several days on vacation in Mendecito, California (just a minute or so south of Santa Barbara. My wife and I have been spending the t9ime doing a whole lot of nothing, and it’s been great. Alas, all good things must come to an end (who made that rule? and why?) and in the morning we’ll be checking out and driving down the coast in preparation for the big Thanksgivikkah holiday. After that, we’ll drive back to the airport and turn in our rental car. But instead of flying home, I’ll be sneaking down the road a short ways to be a part of Loscon 40.

So, yeah, busy busy Lawrence. In case I don’t get back here any time soon, here’s a photograph of this ginormous fig tree on the grounds where we’ve been staying. Enjoy!


This, by the way is a Moreton Bay Fig (Ficus macrophylla). The lighting really doesn’t let you appreciate the massive gnarl of roots visible above ground, which is my fault as a crappy photographer, but I hope you can see the vast length of some of the nearly horizontal limbs.

The sign in front of the tree states that this Australian native grows to a large size. Apparently, there’s an even larger one in Santa Barbara that was planted in 1877. Personally, I think this one has no reason to feel bad.

My Preliminary Loscon 2013 Schedule

No Comments » Written on November 18th, 2013 by
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As you know, Bob, I’ll soon be heading west to southern California to spend Thanksgivikkah with my family there. It’s a crazy time to travel, particularly in or out of LAX, and rather than hop on a plane on Black Friday (possibly the only worse place to be than a shopping mall) I decided to swoop in and participate in Loscon.

My initial programming assignment arrived in the wee hours of this morning (which would have been a much more reasonable late yesterday evening in California) and since I seem to be reprising my role as the dashing insomniac I figured I’d write it and share it with you now. While my schedule’s a bit sparse, I’m hoping that’s just because they haven’t figured out things like Reading and Signing slots yet. Either that, or I’m just out of luck. In any case, here’s what I know right now:

Saturday, November 30th

11:30 – 12:30 p.m. | Chicago | The Soul of the New Machine: Software Complexity
and the birth of Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial Intelligence is a goal of a great amount of research and development. It promises to either make our lives easier or enslave us all, or perhaps a bit of both. At some point, some endeavor to create Artificial Intelligence will succeed, and the machine will “wake-up” and become self-aware. Is this just a matter of a few more million or billions lines of code, sophisticated neural nets, or advanced hardware / software simulations of the human brain? Or is it something more emergent, out of the sheer complexity and resultant chaos of the ever growing Internet, Big Data analytics, and massive server farms, that AI will come to be? Is it possible that it has already happened, and we just don’t know it yet?
Michael Siladi (m), Timothy Cassidy-Curtis, Amy Sterling Casil, and me.

Sunday, December 1st

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. | Marquis 3 | – Delphic Oracle
Authors answer audience questions one word at a time. Hilarity usually ensues.
Genny Dazzo, S. P. Hendrick, Todd McCaffrey (m), Martin Young, and me.

1:00 – 2:00 p.m. | Atlanta | – Avoiding the Dreaded Info-dump
Sure, you’ve spent years coming up with the history and backstory of your universe; but how do you get that information across to the reader without sounding like, well, a narrator? Creative and immersive ways to give the reader information without a wall of exposition.
Buzz Dixon, Larry Niven, Laurie Tom, Harry Turtledove, and me.

My fierce and fearsome plush buffalito, Barry, will be with me and tweeting during the convention. Follow him at @PlushBarry and you could win valuable prizes!

First Glimpse and Quite Possibly Final Philcon 2013 Schedule

No Comments » Written on October 31st, 2013 by
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The fine folks at Philcon sent out program assignments today, a full eight days before the convention is to start. This may not seem impressive to some of you, but it’s a vast improvement over last year’s state of affairs.

I’ll be day tripping in from my home (which also isn’t exactly in Philadelphia, but is at least in PA) and only showing up on Friday and Saturday. You’re on your own for Sunday. Currently, all of my programming is set for Saturday as follows:

Saturday, November 9th

12:00 – 1:00 p.m. | Executive Suite 623 | Reading
Update! This just in: I will be joined during this hour by the brilliant Fran Wilde. That’s right, people, TWO readings for the price of one!

1:00 – 2:00 p.m.| Autograph Table | Signing
I’ll be sitting alongside Tom Doyle, handing out postcards for a free novella, and signing such things as you bring me

3:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Plaza IV | – Planning to write a series
If you don’t plan, you may come up with a really neat idea in book 5 which is unfortunately inconsistent with the first four books. How can you keep it interesting and not get tied to your outline.
with Tom Doyle (mod), Danielle Ackley-McPhail, D.H. Aire, Gail Z. Martin, and me.

8:00 – 9:00 p.m. | Plaza IV | – Expanding a short story into a novel
How do you turn a short work into a longer work without just simply padding. What are proper ways to expand a story
with Steve Miller (mod), Sharon Lee, Mike McPhail, and me.

And of course, Barry will be with me for much of the convention, eagerly hoping you’ll ask to pose for a photograph with him.

Semi-Final Capclave 2013 Schedule

No Comments » Written on September 16th, 2013 by
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The fine folks at Capclave have posted their program schedule here. Here’s what I know regarding my own small piece of it:

Friday, October 11th
5:00 – 5:25 p.m. | Frederick | Reading
Since it’s up for the WSFS small press award, I’ll probably read from my short story, “Coca Xocalatl.”

Saturday, October 12th
10:00 – 10:55 a.m. | Salon A | Moving Beyond the Small Press
A look at how small presses in the age of the eReaders – where anyone can be a publisher – have their limits, and what to do when you’ve hit them. There is also the additional pressure of performing on a higher level. Listen to panelists describe what to do when you have plateaued with your own independent publisher, and what lies ahead if or when you step up to corporate publishers.
With Philippa Ballantine (M), Ron Garner, and Michael A. Ventrella.

1:00 – 1:55 p.m.| Author’s Hallway | Author’s Table (M)
I’ll be here for nearly an hour, with an assortment of books from Paper Golem, hanging out chatting, signing things if you have things for me to sign, and so forth.
Me and Barry.

3:00 – 3:55 p.m.| Salon A | Life and Death of the Shared Universe
Why did these become so popular? What about Wildcards and others made them survive? Can the Internet revive this form? Or is its demise a victory of art over commercialization?
With Iver Cooper (M), Meriah Lysistrata Crawford, Bob Greenberger, and Annette Klause.

7:30 – 8:25 p.m.| Salon A – E | Mass Signing
The Saturday evening mass autographing session with *everyone*.

8:30 – 9:25 p.m.| Salon A – E | Awards Reception and Presentation
For the second year in a row, I’m up for the WSFS Small Press Award. Will this be my year? Who knows?

Sunday, October 13th
9:00 a.m. – 9:55 a.m. | Rockville/Potomac | Agents and You
Agents are very important to authors. Sometimes you have a great match from the beginning, other times the situation changes. Hear the experiences of authors at different stages in their careers.
With Tom Doyle, Emmie Mears, and Michael Swanwick. Oh, and I’m moderating.

10:00 a.m. – 10:55 a.m. | Salons CDE | Hand Waving or Sci-fantasy?
Many classic Science Fiction authors didn’t spend a lot of time describing the technology or science of their futures. Things worked, but if you look more closely, they may not make sense. Today authors still use this technique. Is this a legitimate form of science fiction or lazy writing? Have the standard furniture of sf — the FTL drive and time machine — become so common the author does not need to explain them, just use them for a story? Do all the details and the scientific equations get in the way?
With David Bartell, D. Douglas Fratz, Inge Heyer, and Jamie Todd Rubin. And again I’ll be moderating.

Of course the convention is still nearly four weeks away, and it’s likely there’ll be some changes to the schedule. I’ll keep you posted.

Final (and I really mean it) LoneStarCon3 Schedule

No Comments » Written on August 21st, 2013 by
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I’ve received confirmation from programming with regard to my participation in Strolling with the Stars. I’ll be strolling on both Thursday and Monday mornings. But because someone screwed up, you won’t see my name listed among the “stars” in the pocket program for those days, as this had already gone to press. I’m told the correction will make it into the program app, the online listing, and the pink sheets. And if you’re reading this here, then you know too.

I’m also very pleased to see that the online version now lists locations, which will make actually showing up for events (both panelists and audience members) much easier. And with that now resolved, here at last is my complete schedule for Lone Star Con 3!

Thursday, August 29th:
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. | Rivercenter Lobby| Stroll with the Stars.
Possibly the only exercise many of us will get all weekend. Come walk and talk (it will be just like an episode of “West Wing”).
with Bobbie DuFault, Phil Foglio, Liz Gorinsky, Hagrid, Jason M. Hough, Stina Leicht, C. J. Mills, Steven Silver, and Catherynne M. Valente.

6:00 – 8:00 p.m. | | Private reception for James Gunn and many of his students.
Shhh… it’s private. Seriously, I’m very happy to get to be a part of honoring this fine writer and teacher.

Friday, August 30th
9:00 – 10:00 a.m. | | Annual Codex Breakfast
Several dozen writers “on the hungry edge of speculative fiction” sate their appetites with breakfast as online acquaintances meet face to face for the first time, and old friends reunite. Also pancakes.

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. | Convention Center | Autographing
I’ll sign most anyting (well… not a blank check), so come on by!
alongside Carol Berg, Lillian Stewart Carl, and Ian Tregillis.

2:00 – 3:00 p.m. | 006B Convention Center | Klingon Language Lecture
For more than 20 years I’ve been promoting the warriors’ tongue around the globe. For WorldCon I’ll present an intense (but fun!) whirlwind through the workings of the galaxy’s fastest growing language. Prepare yourself for 90% of Klingon grammar in a mere 50 minutes!
Just me.

Saturday, August 31st
10:00 – 11:00 a.m. | 008B Convention Center | SFWA Meeting
It’s been a wild year for SFWA, and I’m sure this will be a “lively” business meeting. It is also the 1st meeting for new president Steven Gould. Show up on time and maybe we’ll even finish on time.

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.| 007B Convention Center | First Contact in 3..2..1.. (M)
If First Contact were to happen today, and was an open event, how would the human race react? Would we feel inferior, or just try to steal their technology? Might we even attack them? What is the probability of them being hostile, curious, invading, tourists, game hunters, refugees, or would be gods?
with Liz Argall, Cenk Gokce, and Jeffrey Shanks.

5:30 – 6:00 p.m.| 002B Convention Center | Reading
Author readings are one of my favorite bits of programming to attend, and also to perform. I’ll likely read from my new novella, “Trial of the Century” (Conroy fans, take note!)

Sunday, September 1st
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 pm | Exhibit A – Art Show | Art Show Docent Tour for Klingons
A tour through select pieces of the art show which I feel speak to both the warrior’s heart and the poet’s soul of your typical Klingon. Portions of the tour *will* be in Klingon, but translations will be available as needed. Please do not bring your bat’leth, as it tends to upset the art show staff.

1:00 – 3:00 pm | Conference 4 Rivercenter | Writers’ Workshop – Section Q
In the spirit of “paying it forward,” two professional authors serve up insightful critique to three junior writers. Not a spectator sport, but an important part of the my annual Worldcon experience.
I’m privileged to be working with Matthew Johnson. I’m leaving off the names of the three writers we’ve been assigned, to better facilitate their stalking of me.

500 – 6:00 p.m.| 007B Convention Center | First Contact Without a Universal Translator (M)
How do we establish a common conceptual base to communicate with another species? Sure, we have numbers and the hydrogen atom in common, but how far would that get us in a world of beings who share none of our sensory apparatus?
with Paige E. Ewing and Karl Schroeder.

8:00 p.m. – ??? | | Hugo Awards Ceremony
The voting members of the Worldcon hand out shiny golden rocket ships in a ceremony that’s almost guaranteed to run long. Place your bets early for who will win.

Monday, September 2nd
9:00 – 10:00 p.m. | Rivercenter Lobby| Stroll with the Stars.
The con is almost over, but let’s take one more stroll together, shall we?
with David Boop, James L. Cambias, Bobbie DuFault, Gini Koch, Trina Marie Phillips, Jessica Reisman, Shanna Swendson, Howard Tayler, Toni Weisskopf, and Mel White.

12:00 – 1:00 pm | Exhb A Convention Center | Literary Beer
You have to buy your own beer (and I’ll be drinking Diet Coke), but sign up and come by. We can rehash the convention and I’ll tell you all sorts of lies.

That ought to be enough to keep me busy, especially when you add in the evening parties, the dinners that Valerie is planning, and the handful of panels and readings I’m hoping to attend. There should even be room for a couple business meetings (what you call “lunch”).

Barry will be with me throughout the convention, and there will also be at least two (maybe more?) skilled and beautiful buffalito wranglers wandering around with their own plush buffalitos. Feel free to stop any of us for a postcard that will allow you to download a free copy of the latest Conroy story, “Trial of the Century,” a novella which takes place between the end of the first novel and the start of the second. Did I mention it was free?

That’s it. You’ve got a week to pack. Get to it!

2013 Appearance Schedule Update

No Comments » Written on February 28th, 2013 by
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For those of you out there who are stalking me are wondering when or where our paths may cross, I’ve just done a major overhaul of my 2013 schedule.

Probably the biggest news is that I’ll be spending Memorial Day Weekend in Kansas City, MO, returning the glory that is ConQuesT. What can I tell you, these people know how to throw a friendly, welcoming convention, and I’ve been away for too long.

It’s also worth noting that Kansas City is home both to my publisher, Hadley Rille Books, as well as some of the best beef around. I mention this here, in this oh-so-public-forum, on the off chance that my publisher/editor will realize what a great opportunity this will be for him to take me out to dinner. (I’ll let you all know how that works out).

The other big news is the date of the Klingon Language Institute’s 20th annual conference. Seriously, twenty years of Klingon speakers coming together from all over the world! Dunqu’.

But before any of those (or the subsequent events on the list) happen, you can find me in a couple weeks at Lunacon in Ryebrook, NY, and a month later at TrekTrax in Atlanta, GA.

Winding down another Sunday

No Comments » Written on January 13th, 2013 by
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Valerie and I are home after another Sunday “date night.” She usually works on Sundays, and so we’ve gotten into the habit of my driving out to KoP and picking her up as her shift ends and then heading over to Seasons 52 for dinner. A bit pricey, but the food is always excellent and healthy for us, and incredibly it’s one of the few places where we’re both really happy to dine.

Today’s dinner ran a bit early as Valerie’s shift was cut a couple hours short. Also, I had to drop off my computer at the Apple store (conveniently downstairs from V’s shop) to get a new battery installed. The work was done while we were off at dinner and now the device is as good as new. Well, as new as a three-year old MacBook can be — I have my eye on a lovely 11″ MacAir, but that’s another story (which I need to tell to my accountant).

Anyway, we’re back home and the evening is winding down. This week is done and next week promises to be a whirlwind of daily appointments, doctor visits, project juggling, air travel, and conventioning. Woo!

Fortunately, tomorrow’s installment of EATING AUTHORS is already done. But that may be the only sign of me on this blog next week.