Hey, y’all. While I’ve been juggling projects and health issues and not updating here very much, I seem to have gotten involved with a start-up con in Binghamton, NY . Why Binghamton? Because I don’t travel as well as I used to, so cons within about a three-hour drive of me are the only ones I can really consider going to right now. This means I have a vested interest in seeing a new one be successful. :-)
And on that note, I’m helping them connect with some local authors (again, to the tune of being within a few hours’ drive, because nobody’s likely to drive more than that for a one-day con) and trying to put together a literary track of programming. They’re already doing pretty well on gaming and comics, not that that stops me from thinking about those, too.
So I’m brainstorming panel and other programming ideas over the next half a week or a week. I’d love to get some other people’s suggestions and thoughts. Jump on in–anyone can play. I’ll put in an edit line and add people’s suggestions below it as they trickle in. Comment on other people’s suggestions, too, if you like. If you’re interested in knowing more about the con, here’s their webpage and their Facebook page. Both are a little stale right now–I’ve been told there’ll be an update in the next few days, now that the organizers aren’t up to their eyeballs in grant applications. *g*
Here’s a few to get us started:
Narrative shape in storytelling (literary/media)
The do’s and don’ts of crowdfunding
Science for science fiction writers
The changing face of publishing
Diversity in speculative fiction
20/20 hindsight: changing visions of the future
Edited to add:
From magic realism to superheroes: modern myth in SF/F
All about e-books
SF Outsiders: women, people of color, and more writing SF today
Writing Tech: bringing science and technology into fiction
If you’d like to be a guest and participate at RoberCon, let me know, and I’ll get your information to the organizers so they can contact you.
Happy March! And a very happy March it is. I don’t usually get to announce good news again so quickly, but my story “Mother of Waters” is out in the March 2013 issue of Crossed Genres Magazine. Here’s a taste:
She shaped the mud into a tiny manikin, a baby-doll with stubby little legs and arms and a large head. She knelt in the streambed with the dolly in the palm of her hand and pressed her thumb to its forehead and said, “You are Shasa. You are precious water. You are life in the desert. I mark you with the name of God.” Then she swallowed the mud baby.
Eighteen weeks later, she gave birth to me.
Crossed Genres Magazine is kind of fascinating. I already knew their name from some very interesting-sounding anthology calls when they ran a Kickstarter to re-launch their magazine as a monthly release paying SFWA professional rates. But there’s a twist: each issue has a theme. March’s theme is myth.
You can read “Mother of Waters” and the rest of the magazine on the web for free. Each issue is also released in e-book format, and every six months they collect six issues’ worth of stories into an anthology that’s available in both electronic and dead tree formats. So if you like my story or or the magazine or both, consider a donating or subscribing so they can continue as a professionally-paying market after this Kickstarter-funded year is done. They offer two subscription options, one strictly electronic format, the other for both paper anthologies in addition to the monthly e-book issues. It’s kind of a fascinating model and one of the best editing experiences I’ve had with regards to short stories. I’d really love to see them continue it.
“So how do you screw up your karma so badly that you come back as a goldfish?”
“Quick Karma” is now available in FISH
Read “Quick Karma,” by April L’Orange, now available in Dagan Books anthology
FISH, ed. Carrie Cuinn, is now broadly available as an e-book from major online booksellers. If you buy it directly from the publisher, you get a nice clean DRM-free version. You can also get it through Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com if you prefer. The dead tree version should be available soon–I’ll let you know!
In case you’re not familiar with him, Jim C. Hines is a terrific writer of fantasy and an incredibly thoughtful blogger on a variety of issues. A couple days ago, someone drew my attention to a post he titled “SFWA Presidential Election Thoughts” by stating that if you’re a member of SFWA (I’m not, but hope someday to be), you should read this.
I’d go a little farther. If you care about the future of SF/F in the US at all, read the post. It looks like it’s on the long side, but it reads very fast. The supplemental links…read slower. But as someone who requires articles and opinions to be reasonably well-sourced before I trust them, I appreciated having them there.
In a nutshell, Beale may just be a troll. But in a world where there is a men’s rights movement that legitimately believes women are the evil enemy plotting to take everything from morally right and well-deserving [usually white] men and incidentally causing the downfall of Western civilization in the process…he may not.
The most legitimate of his first five platform points is splitting the Nebulas into two categories, with separate awards for science fiction and fantasy. Speculative fiction has been a lot broader than that for some time now, which tells me he’s out of touch at the minimum. Combined with his assertions (which may be tongue-in-cheek, but I really don’t get that vibe) that women either don’t or shouldn’t write science fiction, I find just the fact that he’s seriously running concerning, let alone what he might be able to accomplish if he actually won the position.
You may not personally vote for the SFWA president, but SFWA does have an impact on how SF/F writing and publication are accomplished in the US, and leadership does matter.
So does public opinion. Forewarned is for armed, and I no longer take for granted that absurdity cannot be elected and determine policy in US and state politics. I really don’t trust that SFWA is somehow better than that. *wrygrin*
I’ve been waiting excitedly for this one, both because I have a story, “Quick Karma,” in it and because I want to read it. FISH is now available direct from Dagan Books. It will be available through third-party resellers like Amazon and Barnes & Noble soon, both electronically and in print. I’ll update you when that wider release rolls around.
The publisher describes FISH as “a genre-bending anthology of delightfully fishy tales,” and so far I agree. The very first story sucked me in, which is almost never the case with me and anthologies for some reason. I consider it a positive sign.
Want to win a copy? The publisher is doing a giveaway at Goodreads. The contest is open through February 15.
More good news: I’ve had another sale! I’m never sure how much I really ought to talk about them before the publication actually happens, but it looks like this one will be published within the next couple of months, both on the web and as an EPUB. The story may also become available some months after that in print format, anthologized with other stories from the same online magazine.
“All I want is an education. And I’m afraid of no one.” – Malala Yousafzai
Take a Stand for the Girl Who Stood up: Nominate Malala for the Nobel Peace Prize.
This is how you do it. And these are the potential consequences. Go read about an incredibly determined fifteen-year-old girl agitating for education in Taliban-controlled Pakistan. And if you’re moved to do so, sign the petition.
I wrote Sesame Street as near-future dystopian fiction. I’m sure there’s a special level of hell for this.
In a way, this parody is all Mitt Romney’s fault. He’s the one who started the Big Bird meme. But it’s my brain that came up with it and wouldn’t give me any rest until I wrote it all down.
Please note, this is not a story intended for kids–it might scar them for life. It’s twisted, dark humor and quite grim in places. But if that’s your type of humor, I think you’ll enjoy it.
Can You Tell Me How to Get There?
Please feel free to pimp the link, save copies as an ePub or PDF, etc. Might as well share the brain-breakage. *g*