Where I’m at Saturday at DragonCon

The-New-Dragon-Con-LogoSo this whole DragonCon thing is intense. It’s easily the biggest con I’ve ever been to, and it rivals the size of both Comdex and the Consumer Electronics Show, both of which I regularly attended in my former life as a technology journalist. This, of course, is much more fun.

Yesterday’s panels were awesome, and I met a ton of folks. I also met writers whom I’ve long admired, which was a real treat. Really, it’s been quite a lot of fun.

Here’s my schedule for today:

  • 11:30 a.m., I’m doing a solo reading! Plus, I may do some giveaways while I’m there. Yes, I’ll probably read from The Enceladus Crisis, and field some questions about my work, writing in general, publishing, you name it. I may also drag out a piece of The Venusian Gambit to read as well. Marietta room, Atlanta Conference Level, Hyatt Regency.
  • 7 p.m., “Race and Gender Issues in Alternate History” panel, which is pretty much as described and should be awesome. Augusta 3, Westin Peachtree Plaza.

I’ll also be manning the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America booth for an hour starting at 5 p.m., though that’s not my official signing time; I’m there to answer questions about the organization and help promote my fellow members’ work. Because that’s always a good thing.

The only other thing I’ve scheduled for myself in the handy-dandy DragonCon app is the “Star Trek TNG: ‘All Good things'” panel, because…well, hell, it’s Patrick Stewart and Gates McFadden. I have no idea whether I’ll even be able to get in the door; maybe my “attending professional” badge will give me some kind of super-powers in that regard.

As always, I’ll be on Twitter regularly through the day, so check out my Twitter feed. It’ll also be the best way to reach me during the madness.

#SFWApro

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Where I’m at Friday at DragonCon

The-New-Dragon-Con-LogoI’m here! And it’s…incredibly hot and humid outside, which is making me wilt. Thankfully, there’s air-conditioning inside the various venues for DragonCon. And other than the heat, Atlanta has been great so far.

Today I’m busy with panels, and I hope to see you there if you’re in attendance. Here’s my official schedule:

  • 2:30 p.m., “Bending Historical Tradition” panel, in which we’ll discuss “everything from blood herbivores, water pistol protection from blood drinkers to vampires herding humans in a post-apocalypse world.” Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
  • 5:30 p.m., “Building Alternate Worlds and Times” panel, in which “creators of alternate worlds discuss their secrets for building brave new worlds in this Q&A. From research to deviations in history and much more.”Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
  • 7 p.m., “Critique Groups and Beta Readers” panel, where we’ll tackle “the pros and cons of critique groups and beta readers – and how to use them to your best advantage.” Embassy D-F, Hyatt Regency.

Yes, I’ll be doing the mad dash from the Westin to the Hyatt to make my last panel of the day. It’s not a bad problem to have.

In addition, I’ll likely stop by the big Alternate HIstory Track introductory panel, “The Wide, Wide World of Alt History” at the Westin at 11:30 a.m., because Doctor Q and the gang have been really good to me with regard to panels, and I want to support them.

Other than that, I’ll probably wander the Westin and check out the exhibitors and vendors next door at AmericasMart. I tend to tweet a lot during these sorts of events, so check out my Twitter feed for photos and info. And if you want to say hi, that’s probably the best way to track me down.

#SFWApro

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My DragonCon schedule

Everyone recovering from LonCon and GenCon? Yeah, I missed those, but I’m very excited about next weekend’s DragonCon down in Atlanta. I’m going to be a busy fellow, which is good. Are you going? I hope you’re going. It’ll be awesome.

Here’s my schedule:

  • Friday, 2:30 p.m., “Bending Historical Tradition” panel, in which we’ll discuss “everything from blood herbivores, water pistol protection from blood drinkers to vampires herding humans in a post-apocalypse world.” Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
  • Friday, 5:30 p.m., “Building Alternate Worlds and Times” panel, in which “creators of alternate worlds discuss their secrets for building brave new worlds in this Q&A. From research to deviations in history and much more.” Augusta 1 & 2, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
  • Friday, 7 p.m., “Critique Groups and Beta Readers” panel, where we’ll tackle “the pros and cons of critique groups and beta readers – and how to use them to your best advantage.” Embassy D-F, Hyatt Regency.
  • Saturday, 11:30 a.m., I’m doing a solo reading! I’ll likely read from The Enceladus Crisis and I may even read something from the final book, The Venusian Gambit, which doesn’t even come out until next May. There will be a Q&A, witty banter, you name it. Come say hello! Marietta room, Atlanta Conference Level, Hyatt Regency.
  • Saturday, 7 p.m., “Race and Gender Issues in Alternate History” panel, which is pretty much as described and should be awesome. Augusta 3, Westin Peachtree Plaza.
  • Sunday, 3 p.m., signings and giveaways at the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) booth. Yes, you could get your hands on free signed copies of The Daedalus Incident and/or The Enceladus Crisis, but only while supplies last. And if you miss that…you get a bookmark. Hey, it’s something. Wherever the booth is, because I’m not entirely sure.

Aside from that, I’ll be in the audience at other panels and occasionally helping to man the SFWA booth. I’ll likely be on Twitter quite a bit, broadcasting where I am and what I’m doing, so you can find me that way. Also, I heartily recommend the DragonCon app, which I’m using for my own scheduling purposes. I’m listed along with all the other presenters, and all you have to do is bookmark the events for them to show up in your own schedule.

This is going to be my first DragonCon and, in fact, my first convention of this size. So if I’m wandering about looking lost, feel free to point me in the right direction or, failing that, have a beer with me.

#SFWApro

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Why I signed the Authors United letter regarding Amazon

So yes, there was this thing where a whole heap of authors got together to sign a letter protesting Amazon’s tactics in its spat with the publisher Hachette. That letter, after circulating on the Internet for quite some time, ran as a two-page ad in The New York Times on Sunday. My name was on it, along with 908 others.

Here’s why I signed it.

While I’m not published with Hachette, I have friends who are. These friends are not best-selling authors, but simply folks trying to make a go of it as a writer. Some are doing it full time. And let me tell you, it’s rough sledding being a full-timer. You rely on those book sales. And you rely on Amazon because it represents – literally – a majority of the sales you’ll make in the United States.

I’m sure it’s not an actual policy, but Amazon customarily discounts nearly every single book in its inventory. The list prices for my novels are $15.99, but on Amazon, they go for less than $12.50 in print and $9.99 in ebook. Those discounts are attractive to a lot of consumers, obviously. They keep my books competitive with other works, both on Amazon and among other vendors.

In its ongoing dramatics with Hachette, Amazon has done a number of things that have directly impacted authors published by Hachette. They’ve also impacted consumers. As the Authors United letter pointed outContinue reading

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“Her Majesty’s Elopus” – A GISHWHES short story

I’ve been slowly getting back to the writing life after several weeks away, and enjoyed a rather unusual jump-start this past week, courtesy of an even more unusual source.

I received an e-mail from someone named Deborah Margarella with the subject line: “Scavenger Hunt!” She was indeed involved in a scavenger hunt, as advertised, and one of the items was:

Get a previously published Sci-Fi author to write an original story (140 words max) about Misha, the Queen of England, and an Elopus.

This was quickly followed by several more e-mails from other hunters, asking for the same thing, which made me believe that this was not simply random weirdness, but a very deliberate weirdness. What was this hunt? Who’s Misha? And what the heck is an Elopus?

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The recent lack of updates on the blog

It’s been a while since I updated the blog here, and my Twitter feed likewise has been unremarkable of late. I feel like I should give folks a heads-up, especially since I’ll likely not be as frequently seen online for a few more weeks yet.

I strive very hard to keep the personal and the professional separate on here, but I’ve had a personal issue over the past few weeks, and will have more stuff to do over the next several before all is calm once more. I’m fine, as are my wife and kid — healthy, solvent, loving, etc. I appreciate any concern, but I’m simply going to choose to leave it at that. Personal stuff is, well, personal, and I’ve never been an Internet over-sharer. My focus and attention are simply needed elsewhere.

Meantime, and most unfortunately, I will not be appearing at the Science Fiction Association of Bergen County meeting on Saturday, August 9 at the Barnes & Noble in Paramus. The association’s been very understanding, and we’ll work on a rescheduled event as soon as possible.

As far as DragonCon goes, I still plan on attending and participating. I have my plane ticket in hand, and I should have enough cleared off my plate to not only make it happen, but to thoroughly enjoy it.

When I’ve had a bit more time to sort through stuff, I’m going to give this site a thorough update and catch people up on the various reviews, articles and podcasts that have come out over the past few weeks. Until then, Google is your friend.

Finally, thank you to all the folks who have still been reading and enjoying The Daedalus Incident and The Enceladus Crisis. And a double thank-you to those who have taken the time to review them on Amazon, Goodreads and other sites, and have been telling folks about them. It means a lot.

#SFWApro

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Signing at Borderlands in San Francisco cancelled

I’ve been off the blog for a bit, and unfortunately there have been some difficult things to contend with of late. I’m pretty private when it comes to such matters, but rest assured that I’m fine, as are my wife and kid.

Unfortunately, I’ve had to cancel my scheduled reading at Borderlands Books, which was to take place on Saturday, July 26. I appreciate the interest folks have had in it, and I’m really disappointed I won’t be able to make it. I’ve rescheduled my trip out west for the first week of December, and I’m going to try to hang at the bookstore on the afternoon of Saturday, Dec. 6.

In the meantime, do go to Borderlands if you’re in the area. It’s a great store, and the folks there are incredibly wonderful.

The rest of my schedule is tentatively OK, but subject to change. I’ll do my best to give you notice in the days and weeks ahead should things change.

Again, we’re OK, but there are others who are going to need my attention in the days and weeks ahead, and I want to be present. So if the blog or Twitter go dark for a bit, don’t worry about it. I’ll be back.

#SFWApro

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