Posts Tagged ‘Traveling’

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.

“Have you tried that new mexican restaurant?…”

1 Comment » Written on October 25th, 2012 by
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In the back of my mind is a joke from WKRP In Cincinnati that has someone asking that question, setting up Les Nessman to respond with something like “The last time I ate at a New Mexican restaurant I was in Albuquerque.”


Valerie and I are toying with the notion of moving to New Mexico. Some folks have recommended Truth or Consequences and others have suggested Albuquerque.

I thought I’d open it up for discussion, since the internet if chock full of varied views just waiting to be expressed (and also because I seem to be awake at 4:00am).


Spokane vs. Helsinki: Cognitive Dissonance and the 2015 Worldcon

15 comments Written on September 17th, 2012 by
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There are three serious bids for the World Science Fiction Convention (i.e., the Worldcon) in 2015. Orlando, Spokane, and Helsinki.

I don’t expect Orlando to win (sorry, Orlando, that’s just my opinion). In fact, it wouldn’t surprise me if they end up being a spoiler for the other two, Spokane and Helsinki. Sigh.

I am torn.

I would very much like to see Spokane win the right to host the 2015 Worldcon. I know some of the talented people working on that bid, and I’m confident they’d do a fine job and it would be a glorious convention. I’ve never been to that part of Washington, and this would be a fine excuse to visit.

And yet… I would also very much like to see Helsinki win the the right to host the 2015 Worldcon. I’ve actually had some of my fiction translated into Finnish, and seriously, when am I likely to get myself (let alone my wife) over to Finland otherwise?

The vote will be taken in about eleven months at the 2013 Worldcon, LoneStarCon 3, in San Antonio, Texas. I suspect that the deciding factor will be economics and the financial burden (from the perspective of US attendees) of taking on two trans-Atlantic Worldcons in a row — for those of you who don’t have this sort of thing in the back of your mind, the 2014 Worldcon, LonCon 3, is in London, England.

And in a lot of ways I think that’s a shame. It’s the world science fiction convention, and I like seeing that aspect represented. I like meeting and doing panels alongside and chatting at parties with people from other countries and cultures.

Of course we have the better part of the year to see what happens with the economy, both here in the USA, and over in Europe. This is far from decided, which just means I need to live with my cognitive dissonance a while longer.

That’s my thoughts on the topic today. What are yours?