Friday, November 27, 2009

Brenda Cooper - writer, futurist, speaker

I first met Brenda at OryCon last year where she received the Endeavor Award for her novel, The Silver Ship and the Sea, the first volume in a series. She just launched the third in the series on November 10th entitled Wings of Creation. The second volume is Reading the Wind. Brenda has also published numerous short stories which have appeared in major science fiction magazines and a number of anthologies. In addition to her own series, she co-wrote Building Harlequin's Moon with Larry Niven, whom she also collaborated with on some of her short fiction.

In addition to writing science fiction, Brenda is a technology professional currently working as Chief Information Officer for the City of Kirkland, WA., a futurist and board member on the futurist board for the Lifeboat Foundation, and a public speaker.

But this busy lady still had time to drop by SFOO for a chat. (photo by Joe Merkens)

AW: When and how did you first become fascinated with the future?

BC: My father is a rocket scientist – literally. He worked at Douglas Aircraft during the Apollo program, and that got me interested in science and rockets. I’ve always been interested in how the world works, and that led to wanting to understand how we would use science in the future. Then in the mid-90’s, I met the professional futurist Glen Hiemstra, and he has been a bit of a mentor for me on this. He has a site up at with some interesting articles and a great blog if anyone wants to check it out.

AW: What advice can you give to a new writer about producing three-dimensional, complex characters?

BC: Watch people, listen to them. When I get stuck and wonder what a character might do in a situation, I often write a first-person journal entry from their point of view. I don’t keep lists of character traits, but I do imagine my characters in different situations and sometimes I talk like them when I’m writing.

AW: How did your collaborations with Larry Niven come about?

BC: Steven Barnes, who has also collaborated with Larry, has been a strong influence in my life since the 80’s when I met him in California. I met Larry when he came up to work with Steve on Saturn's Race, and had various opportunities to talk with him at other conventions. Eventually I showed him a story and he knew how to fix it. That became “Ice and Mirrors” which was our first published collaboration. Most of our work was in email and from a distance, and a lot of our early email exchanges were captured in the book Scatterbrain. I was truly lucky to have that opportunity.

AW: How do you find the time to write while still holding down a full time job?

BC: Well, I only write about an hour a day most of the time. Sometimes I get whole days or whole weekends, but most of the time an hour is all there is. But that’s two to four pages, and two to four pages a day adds up. I always have my computer with me, and a journal, and usually some pages I can edit, so if any time does show up, I can use it. Lunches, the hour before work, an hour in a coffee shop on the way home (Yes, it’s a cliché, but it works). I don’t let myself sleep until I’ve written at least 500 words a day, which is 2 pages. Most days I do more.

AW: Can you tell us about your involvement with the Lifeboat Foundation?

BC: The Lifeboat foundation is essentially a large group of people gathered from science, science fiction, politics, futuring, and other disciplines that is hoping to stave off the kind of event that might lead to the current movie “The Road.” So the group looks at everything from asteroids to climate change to disease. My part is much smaller than I’d like it to be – primarily because of my time. So mostly I read lists and sometimes comment, but I would like to do more.

AW: I noticed some of your works now have a Kindle version. Do you own a Kindle and find it helpful?

BC: I love my Kindle. I don’t buy everything on it yet, but I like the portability and the idea that I can hear about a book and be reading it five minutes later. It’s very easy to read on, and disappears in my hand the way a book does.

I belong to a reading group (not writers – just readers) and they try to make sure all of the books they choose are on the Kindle. I think the transition to ebooks is happening pretty fast, faster even than the move to digital music (I can’t remember the last time I bought a CD). I still love the physical form of a traditional book, especially a really pretty one. I just got Leviathan and practically swooned over the cover. So I love my Kindle, but I don’t like the idea that we will eventually lose physical books.

AW: Where do you think we're headed with information and media storage?

BC: It’s all going to be on the net, and we’ll make our own backups on our devices, but the net will be the primary. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, Facebook – hard to tell where. Maybe a blend. But we want information to be always available and that’s the place to achieve that.

AW: Is there a dark side to this glut of information at our fingertips?

BC: Yes. That’s a very insightful question, by the way. There are so many inflows of information in my life, that it’s hard to decide where to put my focus. Personally, I find it really seductive to skim along the intertubes and not really think about a problem. I’m easily distracted between Twitter and Facebook and my iPhone and the internet and and and … and so I sometimes don’t focus enough on the hard problems. This scales from me the individual to the society at large. Right now we have a lot of opportunity, but we have problems like climate change and population and nuclear weapons and the pending clean water shortage that take actual focused thinking. They are enriched by the available information, but I feel like we’re an ADD [attention deficit disorder] society right now, and sometimes I’m not sure we’ll find the focused thinking to solve these foundational issues. That’s really scary.

AW: What are you working on now?

BC: I’m having great fun with a new book series based loosely on the life of Eva Peron. I have a strong female character in a generation ship in the far future, and I’m using that closed-loop environment to play with the idea that one person can be so influential, and also so grey. Eva did great things for Argentina, and she also made awful choices. So I’ve created a society with that kind of class divide, a working class, and a certain ripeness for change. This is different than my other series, which is squarely all-ages adventure science fiction, since I’m working with more adult neurosis and politics and sexuality. It feels like a really big and slightly scary project.

Also, I’m gearing up to work on marketing a new book that will be coming out in about a year. If you remember, when I saw you at World Fantasy, I said that I might have some news. I do. Sean Wallace from Prime Books purchased Mayan December. This is a Mayan 2012 book, but very different from the movie that’s out now. The Yucatan Peninsula is one of my favorite places, and I’ve actually set a number of stories there (including one available now in Steampunk Tales #2). I created an adventure in the Yucatan across two timelines, and mixed it up with a little science, a little magic, a little legend, and a lot of research. I’m really excited that Sean liked the book, and so I’m trying to decide how to gear up to tell people about it and help them see it’s different than the apocalyptic 2012 books and movies I’ve seen out so far.

Learn more about Brenda and her works at

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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving grab bag

Calling all Jericho fans! Jericho, the comic is now available. If you're local, go to the Comic Book Box to get yours. Tell Kathy I sent you. :)

I just joined the SF Browncoats. If you don't know what a Browncoat is you're seriously Firefly deprived. Better fix that pronto!

Had a great time at the last Redwood Writers' Odd Month Reading right here in Rohnert Park. Here I am reading from Awesome Lavratt. I also emceed the event and managed to actually introduce myself this time. I keep forgetting to do that. I'll introduce the club and forget to give my own name. Doh! Anyway, I think I've broken that cycle.

Next author interview is with award-winning author, Brenda Cooper.

I'm almost done with In the Courts of the Sun by Brian D'Amato. I'm enjoying it, but I have to admit that these big 700-page books make me wonder if e-readers might not be a bad idea after all. They're hard to hold up when you're horizontal.

This isn't SF, but an excellent book I recommend, especially for women. I read it over my last vacation and it really touched me. It's Anna In-Between by Elizabeth Nunez. You can read the review and interview I wrote last month over at Mostly Fiction.

Now that I'm off-topic ... I discovered Rodrigo Y Gabriella on Friday. Wow! They play acoustic guitar and provide their own percussion with the guitars. Their fingers fly! Here's a clip from the Letterman show a few years ago. Their latest CD is 11:11, and it's amazing.

Now to start those pies. They won't bake themselves. Here's wishing everyone a wonderful holiday. I'm thankful to God for my family, friends, and freedom. Oh, and the food. The four Fs.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

A conversation about SF/F conventions with M.H. Bonham

M.H. Bonham's new book, Howling Dead just came out on Halloween. It's in my TBR pile and will be reviewed eventually. Maggie's had 30 books published and seven of those are speculative fiction novels or anthologies. She's been everything from rocket scientist to animal behaviorist. When she's not sitting at her computer writing, editing or promoting, she's racing sled dogs or hiking in the Montana wilderness where she lives. And she's a ninja!

I met Maggie at a convention this year and we were instant friends. I thought it would be fun to have her share some tips about getting the most out of conventions. We considered collaborating on a full-on little SF convention survival guide, but alas, we're both too swamped for such an endeavor at the moment. This will have to do – for now. Who knows, maybe we'll surprise the world with a Con-going for Dummies book one day. ;)

A conversation about SF conventions

AW: Do you have a special SF convention packing list?

MHB: I used to be pretty haphazard in packing until a friend at another convention told me how to pack for a writing convention (how much clothing, etc). I now know what I need to pack so I have set things I pack. I do about 8-10 cons a year so I have to have everything more or less down to what I need to bring. Basically, I'm there for three or four days. That requires two pairs of jeans, three or four shirts, socks, under things, etc. And my traveling clothes.

AW: What do you put in the suitcase for conventions that you don't for other trips?

MHB: Do I have other trips? (Add maniacal laughter here). I usually bring my costume (the Chi'lan warrior thing) and my con jacket (the red and gold one with the dragons). I drag books along much to the rampers' chagrins.

AW: Do make plans for networking while you're there?

MHB: Yes, but it's not formal.

AW: Do you google other panelists?

MHB: No, I'm too egotistical and too busy.

AW: Other Guests of Honor?

MHB: Half the time, I don't even know who the GOH is unless I know them, and even then, it's a crap shoot if I remember who it is before I get there. Are you sure you really want me to answer this? I sound unprepared, but I'm not. The reality is that I'm not there to run into a particular writer or play fan girl. I know certain people will be at a con and I know I'll have a chance to chat with them, but my number one job is to do my panels, meet with my fan base, and promote my books. If I don't do these things, then I shouldn't be there. This is just part of my job as a professional author.

AW: Do you read books by them? Bring them to get signed?

MHB: I sometimes read books by other authors at the con. Usually, I read them after I meet the person, but yes, there have been books I've read before I met the writer. But I usually won't read their books beforehand just because they're at a particular con. They've got to impress me personally, and then I'll buy their book at a con and read it. As for bringing books to get signed, that's nuts for me. See, I'm carrying my books and I'll buy books at the con, which means I'm going to break my arms lugging books around. So, no. Even if I have a book by an author, unless I buy it there, I don't bring them to get them signed.

AW: Do you make plans for visiting nearby attractions?

MHB: Usually not, but I have gone to the Space Needle and the Science Fiction Museum in Seattle. I've had a fan take me to Pike Place Market too. That was cool.

AW: What about room sharing with convention friends?

MHB: Most of the time I don't, but lately I have to save on costs. I suggest if your readers want to do that, pick some folks you get along with, otherwise you will all go nuts.

AW: Does your husband join you?

MHB: Not out of town. He gets to take care of the pups. He enjoys the local con. I know he has a lot of fun there. He's met the folks around town, and he's taking a class on fencing. He also has a lot of fun going to panels.

MHB: If he did come with me out of town, he'd probably do the con, and we'd probably go see the local attractions.

AW: What about the green room?

MHB: I wish all cons had green rooms. Unfortunately, they don't, but I've dealt with it. It's nice to have a green room just to collapse in and decompress. Norwescon and Radcon have wonderful Green Rooms.

AW: Worst food?

MHB: I would say that the worst was when the green rooms weren't stocked or were under-stocked. Otherwise, I have had no bad experiences with food.

AW: Best food?

MHB: I'm holding out hope someone comes up with really awesome food in a green room. Probably Radcon is the best thus far.

AW: Do you pack energy bars just in case?

MHB: Energy bars are a must for travel in general. So, yeah, I have some 3 year old energy bars rummaging around my bag.

AW: Worst hotel experience?

MHB: The Freddie Krueger sheet episode. I was staying with some friends at a con. Naturally we got in the room at about 2 am. Being the mistrustful sort, I looked in the bed first. I found drops of blood on the sheets. My friends looked at their sheets after they got in bed and found tons of makeup on the sheets. So, we call to the front desk which was totally apathetic. We had to change our own sheets at 2 - 3 a.m. The whole story went around the con and it became known as the Freddie Krueger sheet episode. Yes, we did get a discount on the room at the end.

AW: Best hotel experience?

MHB: Any one I won't remember, because there were no issues!

AW: Do you bring a lap top and write during the convention?

MHB: I bring a laptop but the muse has yet to strike at a con. Usually, I'm using it to get online and feed my damn Hatchlings. (If you don't know what Hatchlings are, join facebook and accept an egg from me). I've known other authors who can sit and write at a con. Not me.

AW: Do you bring money for the dealer's room and art show?

MHB: I bring some money for the dealer's room. As for the art show, I have no idea how to bid and how the auction works so I stay away from that. Plus I don't want to try to bring a piece of art home.

AW: Do you bring costumes? Mending materials just in case?

MHB: Yes, I do bring a costume, but it's for promoting the book.

Mending materials? Ha! I didn't make my costume, so it's unlikely I could mend it.

AW: Do you dress for comfort or to impress?

MHB: Comfort. I can't impress anyone if I look uncomfortable.

AW: Books – do you sell them through the dealer's room, at the signing, both? How do you find out?

MHB: Depends. If my publisher is there, they sell them. I know vendors in the dealer's room at cons I go to, so I bring some copies just in case, but they usually have copies of my books. I'll bring a few books to the signing if the publisher isn't there.

AW: What's the best thing that's happened to you at a con?

MHB: I got to talk to a number of publishers who are interested in my work at World Fantasy.

AW: What was the worst thing that's happened to you at a con?

MHB: A bunch of my books got lost in the mail going to Worldcon. A missed opportunity. Oh well.

AW: Funniest con experience?

MHB: A friend of mine didn't get her badge in time because of glitches and ended up going through panels without it. That evening, we're sitting at a party and con security came up to us and demanded that she leave. I said "Don't you know who she is?" like I meant it. They apologized and scurried off.

AW: Luggage horror stories? How do you avoid them?

MHB: Two words: Carry on. Seriously. If you can't fit everything you need for a con in a carry on, something's wrong. Also consider shipping items via UPS, Fed-Ex or even the US Mail.

Read more about Maggie and Howling Dead, a techno-thriller "with a bite."

Excited about conventions now? Finding one near you is easy. The following websites have searchable databases of regional and world conventions. You might find there are more flavors of speculative fiction conventions than you realized.

Upcoming Cons
Containment Convention Finder

And here are the home pages for World Fantasy and Worldcon (SF).

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Overheard, underheard and misheard absurdities

We've all walked in on a conversation at an inopportune moment, catching a bizarre phrase or sentence out of context. Or maybe we've misheard something that made us laugh.

For instance, at the writing conference I attended in October, I was walking in a group of people all headed for the door to go to the next session and I heard, "She's a cow," said in the most matter of fact tone. I figured out that what she really said was, "She's at Cal." My version was funnier because it was so out of context.

A friend has been adopted by a homeless rooster that wandered into his yard one day and never left. I knew this, yet I didn't know he'd named it. I walked into the room to hear him talking to someone about Chicken Butt.

And kudos to a fellow staff writer, who had just been advised to trick his computer into doing what he wanted. Without skipping a beat, he said, "Computer, look, your shoe's untied." That wasn't half-heard, but it made me chuckle.

I'm seriously considering running a column for people to post their half-heard and misheard snatches of conversation. Go ahead and place your affirmative vote for such a column by adding a misheard or half-heard funny snippet to this post.

And I need to name said column. Suggestions welcome.

What does this have to do with writing or science fiction? Writer's need to be more than people watchers. We should be picking up dialog ideas, too.

In my inbox this week was an email directing me to this article on 15 Inventions Inspired by Science Fiction. See what you think and leave a comment there. Feel free to say Ann Wilkes at SFOO sent you. Unless of course you want to leave a nasty comment.

As I may have said before, I'm now running three interview per month now, with an occasional fourth. This Friday, you'll meet M.H. Bonham, author of Howling Dead, who will give us a sort of sf convention survival guide.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Meet SF authors G. David Nordley & C. Sanford Lowe

I met Gerald and Candy at local SF conventions. I've enjoyed their writing in the pages of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. As I'm about to embark on a collaborative effort of my own, I was anxious to hear what they had to say on the subject. I sent them interview questions separately, but asked them some of the same questions. They even collaborated on this interview at the pub over beers. Gerald is pictured here on a trip to Antarctica. You can read more about his travels on his website.

AW: How much time per week would you say you devote to writing and research?

GDN: Over the course of a year, I probably devote half my time to writing and writing related activity. Of that half, maybe a tenth is given to writing new material. The rest is rewriting, reviewing other people's writing, marketing, follow up. My research time is split between research for specific stories, and general research supporting my future history as well as simple curiosity about the world around me.

In one sense, I'm working just about all the time. In a strict sense, however, I maybe spend 5% of my time drafting new material for publication. I intend to increase this because I have a lot to say and, at 62, not too many years left to say it. I also have time-intensive volunteer activities, which I'm afraid I need to scale back a bit.

AW:What's the most rewarding thing about collaboration?

GDN: Getting the job done! Left to my own devices, I let stories lie around for years before actually sending them out. Having a commitment to another living, breathing person makes me do the work
and get the work out the door.

AW: How much do you rely on writer's groups for feedback?

GDN: Almost entirely. Just about everything I've done since 1991 has gone through my writer's group. I have them pretty well calibrated; I know who I can rely on for what.

AW: What was the strangest convention experience you can safely share with my readers?

GDN: At the last Worldcon in Montreal, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writer's of America's suite was closed down right in the middle of the Asimov's readers award ceremonies. I was in the quiet room in the SFWA suite when a phalanx of Delta Centre-Ville Hotel security personnel burst in and, very impolitely, told our hostess we were making too much noise, to get all but three people out of the suite,
and that we were not allowed to have "parties" on this floor, and so on. They were extremely rude and intransigent, with raised voices, accusations and everything short of baton blows.

The people assembled complied, sort of. After assurances were given, a large number of non-essential people left, including myself. The doors were closed, and the Asimov's rewards were quietly completed.

The next day, SFWA volunteers (including myself) moved the suite to a "party" floor suite, provided courtesy of the convention organization which had made the original arrangements. Needless to say there was a great deal of irritation, bad feelings, and simple wonder that such a thing could occur.

An explanation of sorts emerged; apparently there had been a news article saying that one of the publisher parties on an upper floor was open to everyone, and there was a fear that all the riffraff of Montreal would descend on the hotel. Therefore, the hotel management decided to restrict all party-like activity to two floors and control admittance very strictly. None of this was the fault of the SFWA which had arranged the suite through the convention staff, who had made the arrangements for the non-party floor suites with the full knowledge and understanding of the hotel's marketing staff.

Anyway, this was a very disagreeable, strange, and surreal experience to go through, and unlike anything I've every encountered at a convention before.

AW: Tell me about the Black Hole Project.

GDN: That could take a great deal of space, so I'm just going to give the essential details on the novel and then talk about writing it. If people have more questions, they can start with the "Black Hole
Project" page on my website;

The Black Hole Project is the name of a five part novel that Candy "C. Sanford" Lowe and I wrote about a mammoth interstellar project to make a black hole by accelerating billion ton rods up to relativistic velocities and arranging for them to converge in an implosion that results in a black hole big enough not to vanish through Hawking radiation. The rods are accelerated from five star systems which
happen to form an approximate tetrahedron. Now, that's all I'll say about the plot and background.

Candy and I wrote the novel as five separate novellas, each taking system that sends a billion-ton rod "impactor" to the implosion and at the implosion site itself. This took us eight years from concept and initial notes until publication as a series of five novellas in Analog Science Fiction and Science Fact. During that time, Candy's husband had a serious automobile accident which rendered him paraplegic and Candy a caregiver and sole breadwinner for their family. She fought her way through all that and got the job done!

While she drafted some of the scenes, most of the initial drafting fell to me. After the initial draft, we went back and forth with the material until neither of us can tell who wrote what in its final form. Some reviewers claim to be able to tell, which we find very amusing. What do they know that we don't?

The scientific basis for the story is as good as we could make it, but keep in mind that it takes place a couple centuries plus from now. We didn't throw out any laws of physics that we know today. We do anticipate some new physics discoveries--such will occur--but they aren't game changers and the plot doesn't depend on them. We've made a brave attempt at projecting future engineering developments that can be done with the physics we have. This includes biological developments such as genetic engineering for immortality and ease of communications with the cyber world. These are part of the "furniture" of the story, they aren't what the story is about.

The main theme is the struggle between fear and curiosity, between reactionary politics and vision, between striving to discover and striving to control and suppress. Our people are villains, heroes, and in-between. There is sacrifice, there is cowardice, there is tunnel vision, and even a little humor here and there. We set out to write an epic story about a big dream, and hope we got there.

AW: What are you working on next?

GDN: With Candy Lowe, I'm working on a young adult series that takes place on an artificial space colony in the L4 resonance area of the Moon's orbit.

With my wife's copy-editing help, I'm rewriting a novel based on my novellas, Crossing Chao Meng Fu and Into The Miranda rift.

I'm drafting, when I have time, a novel about a terrorist bombing on a space liner bound for Saturn.

I have a long delayed fourth science fiction detective novella in the Trimus series in work, featuring the whale like detective Drinnil'ib and his human companion, Mary.

I have numerous pieces of short fiction in various stages of completion, which I pull out and work on when I'm sick of working on other stuff. I'm as busy as I want to be, which is a good thing. My resolution is to be more efficient and productive next year!

And for C. Sanford Lowe...

AW: Do you start with a 'what if', a character or a place?

CSL: Generally, I start with a character, usually inspired by someone I have known. I put them into a situation and let the character evolve.

AW: What or who sparked your interest in science fiction?

CSL: It started with Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land. I was in flight school at the time, studying to become a commercial pilot. Our instructor brought in the book and it went through our class like wild fire. Gerald's stories have been a tremendous influence as I've been so inspired by the science and "his world".

AW: Who's your favorite character that you've written and why?

CSL: Every current story is my favorite story and every current main character is my favorite. The one that comes to mind (besides the current main character) is the Scottish professor, Bruce Macready, in the Black Hole Project story "Loki's Realm". He was so charming and self effacing. He was fun to set up against the loud and raucous Dagger especially in the scene where they are abandoned on a half-finished modified Bernal's Sphere talking about sex to stave off the horror of their impossible situation as their little space runabout tumbles away
from them.

AW: Speaking of your collaboration with Gerald (G. David Nordley), if one of you was the right brain and the other the left, which are you?

CSL: I forget which is which. We both have strong creative juices. Gerald's theory of writing is to make an outline and then start the story at the beginning and go until you get to the end. I was born on the cusp of Virgo and Libra, so on even days I write in a logical manner and on odd days I write with abandon - here and there and everywhere in the story. That's the draft version. The rest of the drafts (and there are many) must, of necessity, get seriously left-brained.

AW: Do you argue over plot points, dialog,story arc, etc.? Who wins more of the battles? Why?

CSL: Of course we do! The winner is usually Gerald's wife, Gayle, who settles them. She's our disinterested 3rd party and one hell of a clear-eye reader.

AW: What is the most rewarding thing about collaboration?

CSL: Without a doubt, getting the work finished and sold.

AW: Where can we find more information about your works?

CSL: I'm in a couple of places on the web. As C. Sanford Lowe, I can be found on Gerald's web site that has lots of info on the Black Hole Project. By myself, I write under Candace S. Lowe. I wrote "Dead Metal" and won first place many, many years ago with the New England Science Fiction Writer's Association. I also collaborate with my composer/husband, Ron Alford. We have performed his experimental electro-acoustic music in Europe, Stanford University and most currently at UC Santa Cruz.

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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Writer resource time

Okay, so he's not playing chess. Know why he's on the TV? Why he's covering his mouth?

It's been a while since I've done a writer's resources post. Perhaps you'll find something helpful herein.

Here's a blog post from literary agent, Rachelle Gardner on How Book Royalties Work.

I may have given this one before, but this is chock full of helpful tips: Writer's Advice.

And a write-up on Jeff Vandermeer's, Booklife: Strategies and Survival Tips for the 21st Century Writer - A different kind of guide for writers at Swivet.

I found this blog and added it to my feeds. You might want to as well. The author is former Editor-in-Chief of Writers Digest Magazine, Maria Schneider. Her blog is Editor Unleashed. This post offers a no-fee writing contest.

I have another double interview lined up for Friday. Come back to hear about G. David Nordley and C. Sanford Lowe, aka Gerald and Candy. If you read Asimov's Science Fiction, you're familiar with their fiction.

I'll be boppin' some stories back out the door this weekend and doing LOTS of reading. Many books to review. If I'm lucky, I'll get around to rewriting a story that still hasn't entered the fray.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

New ventures

I'm still digging out from WFC and had an eventful week. I did receive two rejections for stories this week. Ah well. It's all a process. I just have to kick them back out there. I've also rejoined a critique group and met with my new business partner in yet another endeavor. I'll be team teaching workshops on developing an online presence with Jennifer March of JMA Services.

My review of The Owl in Daylight by Philip K Dick's widow, Tessa B. Dick, got posted last month while I wasn't looking. My editor forgot to send me a heads-up. Here it is at Mostly Fiction.

And I received a royalty check for Awesome Lavratt.

Here's a list of humorous sf/f from Jim C. Hines. Hey, if you want to suggest a certain funny sf novel... :)

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Tuesday, November 3, 2009

SF TV - Attack of the remakes

Well, if you're East of the Rockies, you can already tell me how the remake of the series "V" is. If not, check it out with me. ABC 8PM PT.

I received this article link from Christopher Farley, editor of the culture blog for the Wall Street Journal.

Firefly fans will want to take note. Morena Baccarin was Anara on Firefly and the movie Serenity. She was also a nemesis on Stargate SG1.

I also just heard that The Prisoner is getting redone in a miniseries. It's on AMC and begins Nov. 15 starring Jim Caviezel as number 6 and Lennie James (Jericho) as number 147, the content villager who drives a taxi and has a family. It's supposed to have a more satisfying conclusion than the original.

Here's the complete list of the World Fantasy Award winners.

That's it for tonight. I have books to read, shows to watch and interviews to write questions for.

Here are some of the interviewees I've lined up for your reading pleasure:

  • Jeff VanderMeer (2009 WFC award nominee)
  • Ann VanderMeer (2009 WFC award nominee)
  • Kage Baker (2009 WFC award nominee)
  • Tim Powers
  • Jay Lake
  • Ellen Datlow (2009 WFC award nominee)
  • Kij Johnson (2009 WFC award winner)
  • Louise Marley
  • Nisi Shawl (2009 WFC award nominee)
  • M.H. Bonham
  • Madeleine Robins
  • G. David Nordley & C. Sanford Lowe

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Monday, November 2, 2009

World Fantasy Convention report

The Friday post didn't happen for a very good reason. I was at World Fantasy Convention. I didn't have time to blog and I opted to leave the laptop at home. I'm sure all the panels were great and I would love to tell you about them, but my back and the hotel chairs didn't get along. I couldn't sit for more than 30 minutes in them before I had radiating pain down the leg. I only managed to sit through one and a half panels.

Friday night, during the mass book signing, I sat between Shauna Roberts, author of Like Mayflies in a Stream. And Wendy Delmater, managing editor of Abyss & Apex. It was nice to get to know them both. Meanwhile I sent my friends off looking for Dorothy Hearst so I could get Promise of the Wolves signed for my husband, who enjoyed it at least as much as I did. Sue Bolich, my writing buddy from Spokane, WA found her finally. We'd been sitting with our backs to each other that whole time! Too funny.

I got up to stretch my legs for a while and secured many an interviewee. In fact, I came home with commitments from 13 authors and 2 editors!

I enjoyed seeing friends I only see at conventions: Sue Bolich, Felicity Shoulders, Maggie (M.H.) Bonham, Juliette Wade, Andrea Howe and Irene Radford. Sue and I had dinner with two writers whom I shared a spec-fic critique group with years ago: Camille Picott and Stephen Gold. Camille and I will be teaming up for a book signing in Healdsburg, CA next month.

I also made some new friends and met some facebook and Broad Universe friends face to face at last. There were 13 readers for the Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading.

I met Brian Rathbone, who interviewed me about Awesome Lavratt for on BlogTalkRadio. He also interviewed Maggie and one of my new friends, Lizzy Shannon. They both had books launched during the convention: Howling Dead and Time Twist respectively. I'll keep you posted with air dates.

The parties were lively with intelligent conversation, readings and refreshments. Two of them even had single malt scotch. Yum! Locus magazine, Weird Tales and Edge publishing were among those throwing the parties. The most memorable one was in the Corvidian Aeroscaphe Adventures Lounge and featured this fabulous chocolate cake with raspberry filling:

I hung out in the dealers room for a while on Sunday. Apparently, there was a bit of a flood the night before from a crack in the swimming pool above. Really! Con goers sprang into action and moved the books just in time. On the side doors to the banquet room that served as the dealers room, were these signs. Of course, spec-fic writers can come up with all kinds of interesting ways the signs might actually be telling the truth.

Strolling the dealers room was enough for anyone to realize that zombies have not yet displaced werewolves and vampires. I snagged two new books (Like I needed more!): Howling Dead by M. H. Bonham and Soulless by Gail Carriger. You so need to read the jackets of these. That's all it will take. You won't be able to resist the fun.

Meantime, a new Greg Bear novel, City at the End of Time, came in the mail on Saturday.

Sunday, I left the con early to celebrate my grandson's first birthday. I have my priorities. :)

vote it up!