Friday, June 12, 2015

Podcasts, mind melds and bowling balls

Two more little items up in the last couple of days: first, I've done another Mind Meld at SFSignal, this time talking about my favourite SF/F novel that's less than 350 pages. Those who have been around here a while will get no points for guessing what I picked.

Second, I did a very fun podcast to promote The Year's Best Military SF and Space Opera, in which I got to discuss my story along with editor David Afsharirad and fellow contributors Linda Nagata, Michael Z. Williamson, David D. Levine and friend and fellow Ottawan Derek Kunsken. I actually recorded my part during a visit to a bowling alley, which accounts for some of the odd noises in the background.


Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Suns bursting in air

Very cool: Irregular Verbs and Other Stories made the Sunburst Award longlist. Even cooler: the names of the other books on the list, including Pastoral by Andre Alexis, Consumed by David Cronenberg (!), Gifts for the One Who Comes After by friend-and-intro-writer Helen Marshall, Head Full of Mountains Brent Hayward, Knife Fight by David Nickle, The Back of the Turtle  by Thomas King, Lockstep by Karl Schroeder, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, All My Real Children by Jo Walton, Echopraxia by Peter Watts... well, it is a long list!

Of course the quality of those other books mean mine is a lot less likely to be on the short list, never mind win the prize, but all things considered I'd rather be an also-ran on a slate of really great books than, well...


Friday, May 29, 2015

Nebulae aborning

And lo, there came a programming schedule for the Nebulas!

The whole program is here and you should take a look, because it's pretty darn cool. Here's what I'm doing:


2:00 - 3:00

What SFWA Can Do For You— Panelists discuss various programs SFWA has for authors and how you can get the most out of your membership. With Kate Baker, Lee Martindale, Sarah Pinsker, and Bud Sparhawk

Salon 9


Mass Autographing 
Exhibit Hall, (Fourth Floor)


3:00 - 4:00

Disability and Narrative: Disabled characters are often omitted from science fiction and fantasy. Many of those that do appear are characterized through the use of stereotypes and tropes Panelists will discuss existing representations of disability, both positive and negative, and talk about ways to accurately research and engage with disabled characters. With Walt Boyes, Annalee Flower Horne, Lynne Thomas and Lee Martindale

Salon 8


2:00 - 3:00

Colonialism, Cultural Appropriation and Fairy Tales–Before writing begins, a writer can find themselves already in trouble when the idea at the core of their story is problematic. This panel will discuss how to spot trouble before you even begin writing by looking at historical examples of colonialism, cultural appropriation, and fairy tales and the narrative challenges associated with them. With Mary Anne Mohanraj and Rachel Swirsky

Salon 8


Thursday, May 28, 2015

This and that

Not much news about fiction, but I have two short non-fiction pieces up this week: one at SF Signal, where I was part of a Mind Meld about movies that are better than the books they're based on, and one at the SFWA blog, where I wrote about why I'm a member and volunteer.

Next week is that launch date for The Year's Best Military SF and Space Opera, which includes my story "Rules of Engagement." Baen is having a special promotion where readers can vote on which story they like the best, with the winner being awarded at DragonCon.

Next week is also the Nebulas, where I'll be participating at the group autograph session if nothing else (I don't have final word about programming yet.) We're going a few days early to see Chicago, so it should be a good trip in several different ways.


Thursday, April 09, 2015

Update: SFWA events at Ad Astra

As promised, here is the full info about SFWA-related events this weekend at Ad Astra. The regional meeting, for SFWA members, will be at Saturday, April 11th, 2015 at 9:30 AM in the Aurora room. Kelly Robson and Alyx Dellamonica have volunteered to bring goodies from Forno Cultura, and I'll make sure there's coffee available.

At 10 in Richmond B will be the informational meeting about SFWA for people who are interested in joining. We'll be talking about our experiences with SFWA and also about the new paths to membership that have been established under the revised bylaws.


Thursday, March 19, 2015

Where I'll be at Ad Astra, and other stuff

Well, it's been a while since I posted here -- work and SFWA stuff (and, sadly, not that much writing) have been keeping me busy. So here's an update!

First, a terrific audio version of "Irregular Verbs" went up at Podcastle last week -- you can check it out here.

Second, my story "Rules of Engagement" from Asimov's will be included in The Year's Best Military SF and Space Opera from Baen. It's going to be full of great stories from people like Charlie Jane Anders, Linda Nagata and, I think, the first time I've ever shared a table of contents with my friend and fellow Ottawan Derek Kunsken.

Finally, after being unable to attend for a couple of years I'll be back at Ad Astra in Toronto this April 10-12. Here's my schedule:


Predicting the Future: How Wrong Are We Going To Be?

Time: 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Room: Aurora
With David Stephenson, Eric Choi, Neil Jamieson-Williams
Welcome to "Where's my hovercar?" the panel. Discuss the history of predictions that have failed the test of time and make predictions for the predictions in current SF!


SFWA General Meeting 

Time: 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Room: Richmond B
With Derek Kunsken, Eric Choi, Julie Czerneda

This will be an open informational meeting for writers interested in joining SFWA. Information about the new qualification standards will be provided. (There will also be a SFWA regional meeting for members, time and place TBA.)

Agents of Shield and Agent Carter: The MCU on TV 

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Room: Whitchurch
With  David Clink, Dennis Lee
Marvel has proved the superhero team up cross movie continuity not only works, it's one of the biggest hits of our lifetimes. And with the success of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and thew new Agent Carter, and their upcoming Netflix series' Daredevil, A.K.A. Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and The Defenders, Marvel has also broken down the Movie-TV barrier showing that ongoing TV shows and an ongoing movie universe don't have to diverge or live in their own canon.

Time Travel and Alternate Histories: Why You Don't Kill Hitler 

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Room: Whitchurch
With Kari Maaren, Mike Rimar, Neil Jamieson-Williams
Discussing the fine details of how changing the past always seems to make things worse.

The Hand Wave of Deftness 

Time: 8:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Room: Oakridge
With JD DeLuzio, Peter Prellwitz
A lot of SF and Fantasy features handwaves that make the story possible. How many handwaves will you tolerate? Are any particular handwaves deal-breakers for you? Is there a rule for acceptable levels of handwavium in genre fiction? And is it more interesting to revisit old genres minus the standard handwaves, as Karl Schroeder does in Lockstep?

Orphan Black: Send in the (Canadian) Clones 

Time: 9:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Room: Oakridge
With Doug Smith, JD DeLuzio, Kate Heartfield
Filmed right here in Toronto, Orphan Black has become a huge hit. This show about cloning and conspiracies even mentions Scarberia, and correctly. We'll talk about all the stuff we love about it. Did Season 2 fulfill the promise seen in Season 1, and where do we see the various plot-lines headed?

Readings: Doug Smith and Matthew Johnson 

Time: 10:00 PM - 11:00 PM
Room: Whitchurch


Interactive Fiction: No Coding required! 

Time: 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Room: Markham A
With Alice Black, Charlotte Ashley, Leah Bobet
Thanks to tools like Storium and Twine, the ability to make interactive stories is now available to everyone. Find out how to get started without having to write a single line of code.

Russell T. Davis vs, Stephen Moffat - Female Doctors, Story Arcs and the Death of the Doctor 

Time: 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
Room: Aurora
With David Clink, David Lamb, Timothy Carter
Gloves off - Politely. This is BBC after all.

The Terrorists Have Already Won a Place in Canadian SF 

Time: 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Room: Aurora
With Denis McGrath, JD DeLuzio

The landmark, but often unrecognized SF series Charlie Jade showed the perspective of both the terrorists and the mainstream. Continuum has been taking this idea further, and has already had three successful seasons. Orphan Black has both heroes and villains who would draw attention from Homeland Security Significantly, all of these shows are produced and filmed outside the United States. Is SF ahead of the curve here, or just riding the wave? And how should popular SF handle contemporary events?


Friday, November 21, 2014

Toronto International Book Fair report

It's five days since I got home from Inspire!, the Toronto International Book Fair, and I'm just about recovered enough to write about it. This was the first year for the Fair and they were very enthusiastic about having SFWA participate, so Communications Director Jaym Gates and I organized setting up a booth and getting SFWA members involved in the Fair's programming. Lots of members from across Canada and the U.S. sent postcards, bookmarks, buttons and other material to hand out to attendees, and we also had pamphlets about SFWA and Writer Beware, the two most recent issues of the SFWA Bulletin, the 2014 and 2013 Nebula anthologies and volume one of the Grant Masters anthology.

SFWA Showcase reading
Our first item on the program, the SFWA Showcase Reading Series, featured Alyx Dellamonica, Ed Hoornaert, Robin Riopelle and Karina Sumner-Smith all doing short (5-6 minute) readings from their works. It was on Friday, when most of the attendees were kids, parents or teachers, and while it didn't attract a huge crowd the readers were all warmly received.

"The Future Ain't What It Used to Be" panel
On Saturday I got my own six-minute slot in the Put That On Your Bookshelf: Quirky Shorts reading, where I shared the stage with D.D. Miller and Shawn Syms and managed to read all of "When We Have Time". Finally we had our panel, "The Future Ain't What It Used to Be," in which Andrew Barton led a lively discussion between Julie Czerneda, Douglas Smith and Stephanie Bedwell-Grime that started with the question of why we didn't get the future SF promised us and moved on to many interesting places. Saturday was much livelier and we had a standing-room-only crowd for this one.

SFWA wasn't involved in any official programming on Sunday but traffic to our table was still good, and by the end we were out of Writer Beware pamphlets and Bulletins and down to our last copy of each of the anthologies. Then, after many chats with readers, writers, and friends old and new, not to mention witnessing the ChiZine crew descend upon the Piller's booth in a mad frenzy for free lunch meat products, it was time to pack up and head home.

Oh, and Popeye stole my pen.