Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Speculation and Imagination

Two bits of news for now: first, Derek Newman-Stille has posted an episode of his Speculating Canada podcast in which he discusses my collection Irregular Verbs and Other Stories. Derek's got lots of interesting things to say as he examines "cultural interactions, language, aging, and other ideas of change" in the stories.

Second, one of those stories -- "What You Couldn't Leave Behind" -- will be included in Imaginarium 4: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. We were actually discussing which of this year's stories would go in right up to the announcement, eventually picking that one in part because it's the shortest -- it's going to be a massive book:

  • Introduction
    Margaret Atwood 
  • Bamboozled
    Kelley Armstrong 
  • Witch I
    Courtney Bates-Hardy 
  • Witch II
    Courney Bates-Hardy 
  • The Smut Story
    Greg Bechtel 
  • Kafka’s Notebooks
    Jocko Benoit 
  • The Full Lazenby
    Jeremy Butler 
  • Wendigo Nights
    Siobhan Carroll 
  • A Spell for Rebuilding Your Lover Out of Snow
    Peter Chiykowski 
  • Túshūguăn
    Eric Choi 
  • Jelly and the D-Machine
    Suzanne Church 
  • The Perfect Library
    David Clink 
  • The Colour of Paradox
    A.M. Dellamonica 
  • The Man Who Sold the Moon
    Cory Doctorow 
  • Brains, Brains, Brains
    Puneet Dutt 
  • The Lonely Sea in the Sky
    Amal El-Mohtar 
  • A Wish from a Bone
    Gemma Files 
  • We Be Naked
    Zsuzsi Gartner 
  • The God of Lost Things
    Neile Graham 
  • The Lark, The Peat The Star, and Our Time
    Neile Graham 
  • Chant for Summer Darkness in Northwest Climes
    Neile Graham 
  • The Beat that Billie Bore
    Lisa L. Hannett 
  • The Trial of the Beekeeper
    Shivaun Hoad 
  • Self-Portrait as Bilbo Baggins
    Ada Hoffmann 
  • The Parable of the Supervillain
    Ada Hoffmann 
  • The Mermaid at Seaworld
    Ada Hoffmann 
  • Left Foot, Right
    Nalo Hopkinson 
  • Return to Bear Creek
    Louisa Howerow 
  • The Inn of the Seven Blessings
    Matthew Hughes 
  • What You Couldn’t Leave Behind
    Matthew Johnson 
  • Hollywood North
    Michael Libling 
  • Sideshow
    Catherine MacLeod 
  • Aversions
    Helen Marshall 
  • Death and the Girl from Pi Delta Zeta
    Helen Marshall 
  • You’re a Winner
    Matt Moore 
  • Man in Blue Overcoat
    Silvia Moreno-Garcia 
  • The Exorcist: A Love Story
    David Nickle 
  • Hereditary Delusions
    Rhonda Parrish 
  • Marotte
    Tony Pi 
  • Charlemagne and Florent
    Ranylt Richildis 
  • Standard Deviant
    Holly Schofield 
  • The Tun
    Trevor Shikaze 
  • Demoted
    Kate Story 
  • The Snows of Yesteryear
    Jean-Louis Trudel 
  • Giants
    Peter Watts 
  • From Stone and Bone, From Earth and Sky
    A.C. Wise 
  • Outside Heavenly
    Rio Youers

  • I haven't done a "Spoiler Space" in a while, but here -- from almost exactly a year ago -- is the piece I did on "What You Couldn't Leave Behind."


    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?