My CONvergence Schedule

CONvergence British Invasion

I will be attending CONvergence as a guest this year.

Here is my schedule, though you should note that the later the panels get… The more unfiltered I shall be… In part, I think this is a mad conspiracy to access my pure decorum-less state. The later it gets coupled with a serious caffeine addiction. Oh, that’s my Kryptonite. Sure, I start out all nice and well-mannered, but Midnight beckons and my fangs pop out all by their lonesome. It’s quite terrifying, actually. Sharp, pointy teeth.

On that note, I suppose I should say: “Come if you dare?”

Friday, July 5

9:30am
Science Fiction as a Hopeful Future vs. a Cautionary Tale

12:30pm
Gaming in the ‘Verse

2:00pm
Signing – Joseph Scrimshaw/Monica Valentinelli

10:00pm
Writing a Book in Someone Else’s Universe

Saturday, July 6

7:00pm
Reading – Monica Valentinelli

11:30pm
Vampire Literature From Dracula to Edward Cullen

My GenCon Schedule: Round One

This is the first of two posts regarding my GenCon: Indy schedule. This doesn’t include my signings at the DriveThruRPG.com booth, my meetings and social engagements, or any appearances for other publishers. The next update will have more information about what’s happening in the dealer’s hall. Please note that all of the Writer’s Symposium events will be in the convention center and not held at a separate hotel. 🙂

THURSDAY, AUGUST 15

    11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. – Margaret Weis Production booth
    4:00 p.m. – Dealer’s Hall: Signing Tables

FRIDAY, AUGUST 16
Writer’s Symposium

    10:00 a.m. Room 245: Online Presence SEM1345258
    11:00 a.m. Room 245: Promotions, Sales, Publicity, Public Relations SEM1345259
    1:00 p.m. Room 245: Networking, Not Name-Dropping SEM1345261
    2:00 p.m. Room 245: Pitches, Proposals and Promises SEM1345262
    3:00 p.m. Room 245: Signings, Podcasts and More SEM1345263
    5:00 p.m. Room 243: Reading SEM1345279

SATURDAY, AUGUST 17

    1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Margaret Weis Productions booth
    4:00 p.m. Dealer’s Hall – Signing Tables

Writer’s Symposium

    5:00 p.m. Room 245: Genre Blender SEM1345291

SUNDAY, AUGUST 18
Writer’s Symposium

    11:00 a.m. Room 243: VIP Panel Marketing Review WKS1345363


My WorldCon Schedule

Apexology: Science Fiction and Fantasy Cover

I am pleased to announce that I am attending WorldCon this year for the first time in Chicago. This, for me, is mostly vacation, an excuse to hang out with new (and old) friends, and a way to drown myself in awesome stories. Thankfully, Kodama (my netbook) is extraordinarily portable and has a long battery life so I can still write on the road.

This year, I’m two panels and I also have a reading. In addition to these events, I will be spending some time as a booth volunteer for my friend Jason Sizemore from Apex Publications on Friday from Noon to 4 p.m.

Steve Jackson (from Steve Jackson Games) will also be at the convention along with a host of other people from the gaming industry including Matt Forbeck and Kenneth Hite. I’m looking forward to hanging out with some friendly faces.

Should be a great time for all!

Panels and Readings

Saturday, September 1st

6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Grand Suite 3, Conquering Writer

Has your story fizzled out or hit a wall before completion? There are common reasons for this, and common solutions which work for most writers. Pros discuss their tips and tricks for getting a story back on track.

Eldon Thompson (Moderator), Gene Wolfe, Monica Valentinelli, Russell Davis, Tom King


Sunday, September 2nd

11:00 – 11:30 a.m., Dusable, Reading

I’ll be reading excerpts from “Tomorrow’s Precious Lambs” and “Tailfeather,” which were stories published through Apex Publications. I am strongly considering the addition of chocolate or some other confection, because really… what reading shouldn’t have some sugar?!?!

1:30 – 3:00 p.m., Grand Suite 3, The Ethics of Book Reviewing

Discussion on what are the ethics of book reviewing? What biases or conflicts of interests need to be divulged? What kinds of statements are not appropriate? Is it OK to review a book by a personal friend (or an enemy)?

Michael J. Lowrey (Moderator), Jo Walton, Michael Levy, Monica Valentinelli, Roland Green

My GenCon Schedule

This year, for GenCon, I will be working in my capacity as Marketing Director for Steve Jackson Games. We have a giant eye-in-a-pyramid at the top of our booth so you can’t miss us in the Exhibit Hall. If you don’t spot that, we’re listed as Booth #1301 in the program book.

This is my first fan-facing convention for the company and I’m pretty excited about it. I coordinated a Munchkin Apocalypse preview contest on Twitter and the winners will be sitting down with the Munchkin Czar, Andrew Hackard, to play this upcoming release. (Hint: we also have a capsule machine in our booth and the last golden ticket… Er… seat will be won there.) There are also a ton of signings, interviews, and announcements planned.

On Wednesday, I’ll be headed to the Diana Jones Awards and am very anxious to see all my friends. Then, on Friday I’ll be representing our company for the ENnie Awards. Both of our submissions, GURPS Horror Fourth Edition and GURPS Social Engineering, were nominated for a total of four awards. There’s a ton of great games and supplements nominated; I’m sure it was very tough for fans to decide the winners.

And now, I pause for a bit of self-promotional awareness.

My Signings

The first is at the IPR Booth #2120 on Saturday from Noon to 1 pm for Don’t Read This Book, the anthology published by Evil Hat Productions for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG.

My second signing takes place at the DriveThruRPG Booth from 11:00 to Noon on Sunday, August 19th. I’ve been told there’ll be a ton of publications new and old at their booth including print copies of: Strange, Dead Love for Vampire: the Requiem, Falling Scales Part II, Exquisite Replicas, The Queen of Crows, Haunted: 11 Tales of Ghostly Horror, Redwing’s Gambit, and quite a few other stories, games, and supplements!

At the same time, Stone Skin Press, the new publishing arm of Pelgrane Press, will have a signing for their new fiction line. I contributed to the New Hero anthology and The Lion and the Aardvark collection of fables.

Truth be told, there was only so much of me to go around this year. There’ll be other 2012 releases I’ve worked on debuting at GenCon, so be sure to review my latest publications or drop back for a post-GenCon update.

See you there!

Cross-Posted to FlamesRising.com

Back from Balticon

This year, I took the trip to Balticon to promote Redwing’s Gambit on behalf of Galileo Games. My experience with literary conventions has been mixed so I had no idea what to expect.

I don’t want to turn this into a rant, but there were internal glitches that greatly affected my ability to promote myself at this show as an author. So, let me get this business out of the way first. Overall, I felt that the organizer’s attitude was very scattered and in some cases boiled down to: “Well, I don’t know who you are so you’re not as important as our other guests.” E-mail is one thing, but this was reinforced at the show. The organizers admitted there were problems this year, so I don’t hold it against them, as long as it’s fixed. Unfortunately, this was a common theme at this year’s show.

Despite the problems with scheduling, I felt there was a very positive, non-threatening aura at this show toward new guests on the floor. If new media has been suppressed in the past like a shy kid at a dance, here it was the belle of the ball. It’s pretty exciting to see established authors published through traditional media alongside podcasters, podiobook developers, e-book publishers, etc. This, in my mind, is where we can benefit one another as a community.

I was thrilled to run into C.J. Henderson and Keith R. A. DeCandido; both are established authors and have been so supportive and understanding of my work over the years. I really feel like when I connect with authors like these, it’s that little boost that keeps you going. I had the chance to babble incessantly to Brennan R Taylor, my publisher, J.R. Blackwell, my editor and photographer extraordinaire, and author/comic scribe/etc. Jared Axlerod. Many thanks for that, the stories, and the laughter.

New friends, too, were formed out of the clay that is convention hob-nobbing. I’d like to give a special shout-out to Paul Alexander Butler for his great stories and his deep, deep love of games. He’s the store manager over at Games and Stuff and recommended some fun two-player games to try. (I’ll be putting that together in a separate post for all to read.) Secondly, author Simone Caroti who penned The Generation Starship in Science Fiction: A Critical History, 1934-2001, was awesome to chat with, too. The award for friendliest author is split between Guest of Honor (and fellow cat lover, it seems!) Jody Lynne Nye and new media guru Nathan Lowell who made me feel very welcome. There are others who I’m SURE I’m forgetting — such is the way of lost business cards. (Like lost socks, only instead of having a cold foot, I have a missed connection.)

I think the biggest thing for me that came out of this show was a better understanding of where I “fit” within the science fiction and fantasy genres. For me, I’m so heavily focused on story and characters that the details are only important in the service of that tale. Science fiction fans are very well-read and some are hyper-focused on the plausibility of the sciences postured within the context of a tale. I’m more focused on the anthropological aspects because, to me, how a character feels when faced with astronomical wonders, technological feats, and superior explorations into the furthest reaches of space is what shapes a story. If, in the service of a story, I have to sacrifice some scientific particulars? I’ll do that because I feel my job as a storyteller isn’t to relay a precise depiction of “X” — it’s to suspend disbelief. All this means, is that when I write science fiction, I shape my boundaries to hone in on characters and do my absolute due diligence on the subject when required.

That’s not to say the specifics don’t matter at all. I just feel that there’s a certain contingency of fans, in any genre, who get very upset when the details don’t perfectly jive in some beautifully-architected way. Sometimes the lack of detail-jiving is intentional; other times it happens by complete accident. If those bad details break a reader from their love of a tale and stops them from reading that’s one thing, but plots and story arcs and characters are entirely different aliens altogether.

For many reasons, I enjoyed the trip and the experience. I was blown away by scientists like David Allen Batchelor and their seemingly unlimited font of knowledge. I enjoyed being able to talk to people who were way, way, way smarter than me to understand a part of their world. My head is bursting with fresh ideas and optimism. If that doesn’t tell you a small thing about the calibre of the people at this show, then I have failed my job as a wordsmith.

Now, to plan for the next one.

    Mood: YAY! DUCKS!
    Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: I was bad.
    Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Does cat wrestling count?
    In My Ears: Errmm…
    Game Last Played: Battle Nations
    Movie Last Viewed: Indiana Jones as part of a marathon
    Latest Artistic Project: Crystal Cluster bracelet in gold
    Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG
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