Chicon 8, Worldcon 2022. In Chicago—ish

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This weekend, science fiction and fantasy fans are gathered for Chicon 8, the 80th annual World Science Fiction Convention, held this year in Chicago. I am participating in a number of panels and similar things, but I am reaching out from home, limiting myself to the virtual portion of the con. There’s actually a pretty impressive virtual portion!

  • I’ve already been on one panel, Thursday morning: “Cats in Science Fiction and Fantasy,” which was quite enjoyable.
  • Friday at 2 p.m. Eastern time, I’ll be part of a panel called “Let Me Tell You About the Very Alien: They Are Different from You and Me.”
  • Saturday at 8 p.m. Eastern time, I’m on a panel called “Claiming Your Online Real Estate: Socials, BookBub, and Beyond.”
  • Sunday at 5 p.m. Eastern time, I’m joining a panel called “The Glories of the Tie-In Novel.”
  • Sunday at 6:30 Eastern time, I’ve got a Virtual Table Talk, which is like a kaffeeklatch or literary beer, except without the beverage and without the table. A chance for a small group of fans or the simply curious to sign up to hang out and chat with me for an hour.

It’s nicely spread out, and I look forward to meeting new people and saying hi to old friends, even if virtually. On Sunday evening, the Hugo Awards ceremony will take place, which many people consider the highlight of the con.

If you’re attending, please come join me at any of the above events!

Say Hello in New Hampshire

If you happen to be in the vicinity of West Lebanon, New Hampshire this Saturday, come visit the Upper Valley Comic Expo between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. You’ll find me there as one of the featured authors, along with some of my colleagues, including V.S. Holmes and Jennifer Anne Gordon, fellow members of the Creative Edge publicity group. Also featured is actress Gigi Edgley, of Farscape fame (she played the mischievous Chiana).

This is more of a book/author/artist/actor fair than a con like the ones I usually go to. (No panels, for example.) It might actually be a better opportunity to meet and chat with authors; I think it will be very relaxing and low key. Also, it’s only $5 admission, and it’s a benefit for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. Brought to you by Sci-fi Saturday Night! Come say hi, and pick up some autographed books while you’re there!

CoNZealand: 78th World Science Fiction Convention

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ConZealand banner

Here we are, in beautiful New Zealand for worldcon! Except, of course, we’re not really, because coronavirus. We’re sitting in our dining room in front of our computers. Virtually, though, we are here! Havin’ a good time—especially when we can navigate the befuddlingly complicated login procedure to get where we’re going. (The price, I guess of running a con on multiple virtual platforms.) We’re learning a new app: Discord. We’re also learning to radically convert time-zones. New Zealand time is 16 hours ahead of us, which means that most of the time, they’re already in tomorrow, while we’re still in today.

Today (my time) was the second day of programming, and I have already been on two of the three panels that I’m participating in, via Zoom. The first was “Staying Closer to Home: Science Fiction in the Solar System,” which I know a little bit about. Just enough to get me into trouble. It was a good panel! The second was “Writers on Writing: The Plot’s the Thing,” which was about, um, plot and character and motivation and story structure, and all that good stuff. It, too, was a good panel! I’ve got one more—on Saturday, America-time—called “Ghosts in the Ships: Sentient Ships in SF and Fantasy.” I hope that one will be good, too. And I’d better do a little research on the subject before showtime.

Wish you could all be here in New Zealand with us! (If you’re sitting at home on your computer, you’re already halfway there.)

Zooming Through the Nebulas

Nebula Awards logo

I’ve been attending this year’s Nebula Conference this weekend—live, via Zoom. Were it not for the coronavirus, I would be attending it in Los Angeles. Instead, some hundreds of sf and fantasy writers are gathered from their homes all over the globe, attending interesting panels, chatting, attending a dance party hosted by John Scalzi, and—just a little while ago—watching on YouTube the awarding of the annual Nebula, Norton, and Bradbury Awards. It’s been surprisingly rewarding, and the technical folk of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), volunteers all, have done an amazing job of putting on a conference in virtual space! (I was surprised to see my own name in the credits at the end, as chair of rules committee. That’s true, but trust me, all the credit for running this show goes to others.)

Added bonus: We even gathered in the virtual grand ballroom to watch the hugely successful SpaceX Dragon launch, to thunderous applause. Panels continue tomorrow. Great conference, cheapest room rates ever.

Congratulations to all of the award-winners:

✬ A Song for a New Day, Sarah Pinsker (Berkley)

✬ This Is How You Lose the Time War, Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone (Saga; Jo Fletcher)

✬ Carpe Glitter, Cat Rambo (Meerkat)

Short Story
✬ “Give the Family My Love”, A.T. Greenblatt (Clarkesworld Magazine 2/19)

Ray Bradbury Nebula Award for Outstanding Dramatic Presentation
✬ Good Omens: “Hard Times”, Neil Gaiman (Amazon Studios/BBC Studios)

Andre Norton Nebula Award for Middle Grade and Young Adult Fiction
✬ Riverland, Fran Wilde (Amulet)

Best Game Writing
✬ The Outer Worlds, Leonard Boyarsky, Kate Dollarhyde, Paul Kirsch, Chris L’Etoile, Daniel McPhee, Carrie Patel, Nitai Poddar, Marc Soskin, Megan Starks (Obsidian Entertainment)

Additional awards and honors presented that evening included the SFWA Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award, presented to Lois McMaster Bujold, the Kate Wilhelm Solstice Award, presented to both John Picacio and David Gaughran, and the Kevin J. O’Donnell, Jr., Service to SFWA Award, presented to Julia Rios*.

*Before she became famous, Julia was one of our star students at the Ultimate SF Writing Workshop. Girl has gone places.

Boskone This Weekend!

Boskone header

This weekend, Boston’s long-running Boskone science fiction convention, will be running in the Westin Hotel on the waterfront—same location as Arisia, a month ago. Where Arisia was somewhat media oriented, Boskone is more focused on the literary end of science fiction. It also usually boasts one of the best art shows among SF cons.

I’ll be there Friday evening, Saturday, and for a little while on Sunday. If you see me, stop and say hello! I’ll also be selling autographed books during the Boskone Book Party, Saturday evening. Come buy some books! (Or just say hello.)

Here’s a link to my schedule.

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I Will Be at Philcon!

Philcon logo

I’ll be attending my first Philcon this weekend. By all accounts, it’s a great convention. I look forward to seeing friends, making friends, and taking a little time to myself for the trip. I’ll be autographing Saturday, and moderating several panels. Here’s my schedule. Please say hi if you see me!

Saturday, November 9

  • 11:00am — Autographs: Daniel Kimmel, Jeffrey Carver, Keith R.A. DeCandido
  • 1:00pm — How to Establish Your Own Imprint
  • 3:00pm — Adapting Novels Into Screenplays

Sunday, November 10

  • 11:00am — Godzilla and the Monsterverse


Heading Off to Dragon Con!

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Thursday I shove off for Atlanta and Dragon Con! This is my first time attending any of the huge media cons. Not entirely sure what I’ve let myself in for. I am given to understand that the SF literary tracks are well attended, but account for a mere sliver of the total programming.

  • Friday at 2:30, I’ll be moderating a panel on Anthologies and Why We Love Them.
  • Friday evening at 8:00, I’ll be joining throngs for the Fantasy Gather. I’ll have a table, where I’ll try to lighten my very heavy suitcase full of copies of Reefs.
  • Saturday evening I’ll join a different throng, for Dragon Con night at the Georgia Aquarium!
  • Sunday at 1 p.m., I’ll be participating on a panel called “Dragons of Science, Dragons of Fantasy.”

I’ll also be meeting up with two stalwart members of my street team, the Starstream Troupers! And with at least a few writer friends, I hope.

If you’re there, please say hi. You won’t find me listed in the program among participants, because I’m such a late entry. But I’ll be the guy wearing T-shirts like sandwich boards: one with Reefs on one side, and Crucible on the other. Or one with dragons all around. Dragon riggers!

Wish me luck, and a light suitcase coming home!