Friday, June 27, 2014

Off to Soonercon

I will be spending most of Saturday and Sunday at the Soonercon in Oklahoma City. Because of time and money constraints, I am leaving East Texas early Saturday morning and getting their and time for my first panel, which will be at 11 AM. I have three panels Saturday — plus book signing — and three panels Sunday. It's a pretty good schedule.

If you're in the neighborhood, stop on by.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

My SoonerCon schedule

Koffee Klatch Saturday 9:00 am
Humorous Horror Saturday 11:00 am
Fantasy and Film: The Language of Dreams Made Visible  Saturday 1:00 pm
Damsels De-Stressed: Women in Steampunk Saturday 3:00 pm
Signing Saturday 5:00 p.m.

Walt Disney 's World of Fantasy Sunday 11:00 am
Pity the Poor Immortal Sunday 1:00 pm
Disclaimers for Daydreams Sunday  3:00 pm

I will not be able to be there at all Friday, I'm driving in from East Texas that evening. (Interesting note: I will have to drive 100 miles further at attend Armadillocon in Austin in July.)

SoonerCon 23 will be June 27-29, 2014. It will be held at the Reed Conference Center in Midwest City, Oklahoma.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

"Letters from Gardner"


I received the galley proof yesterday from John Teehan at Merry Blacksmith Press of my next book "Letters from Gardner", which I've talked about in the past. I love the way John handled the typography; it makes it very clear when we're switching from the original parts of the book to the reprints of the stories that Gardner saw during the time I was submitting to him. If I recall correctly the book has about 16 chapters and is 248 pages long.

John indicates he'd like to issue this book in the fall, which means — "The Clock Struck None" having been published in February — I'd have two collections published in the same year, although "Letters from Gardner" is a bit of a hybrid.

John asked if I could get him some scans of the correspondence between Gardner and I that are featured in the book. I took some pictures and sent them to him.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

"No Body to Beat"

I spent a little time on Sunday updating my submissions list and sending back out a couple of stories. I didn't have a terribly productive week; last weekend I developed sinusitis and by Monday I had a bad cold. It was intense but of short duration, and I've pretty much recovered. It was all I could do not to take a sick day at work.

One thing I'm pleased with is that I finally came up with an ending for a story idea I've been contemplating for a few years. In "No Body to Beat",  a time traveler decides the best thing he can do for the present United States is to take down the concept of "corporate personhood". Specifically, he goes back in time and applies critical pressure in 1886, when in the case case Santa Clara v. Southern Pacific, the Chief Justice Waite of the Supreme Court orally directed the lawyers that the Fourteenth Amendment equal protection clause guarantees constitutional protections to corporations in addition to natural persons.

The problem was, I couldn't come up with a logical extrapolation. It finally came to me this weekend, so I think I will finally be able to whip this one up.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

LonCon, DetCon off

The newspaper where I work changed owners Wednesday; by Thursday I was told the new owners will not recognize accrued vacation time. It's up to the old owners to pay it out - if they can, I suppose. That's ten days I may or may not get paid for. Plus, as of my anniversary date with the company - July 31st - I would have gotten my two weeks again, but the new owners consider everyone a new hire, and no one will get vacation until June 11, 2015. So I've gone from two weeks annual paid vacation to none until a year from now, and then I get one week.

With no paid vacation time now, I notified both the folks in London and Detroit my participation is off. I still plan to go to SoonerCon, ArmadilloCon and Fencon - at the worst, I may only participate on Saturday and Sunday.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Latest story

Finished another short story, just over 2,000 words, but that's all it took. Sent to a magazine via Submittable. "It's called "The Sub-basement".

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Sidewise award finalists

The Sidewise Award judges are pleased to announce this year's nominees for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History.  The winners will be announced at Loncon 3, this year's Worldcon, in London, UK during the weekend of August 14.  The Sidewise Awards have been presented annually since 1995 to recognize excellence in alternate historical fiction. This year's panel of judges was made up of Stephen Baxter, Evelyn Leeper, Jim Rittenhouse, Stu Shiffman, Kurt Sidaway, and Steven H Silver.

Short Form

* Vylar Kaftan, “The Weight of the Sunrise” (Asimov’s, 2/13)
* Ken Liu, “A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel” (F&SF, 1/13)
* Adam Roberts, “Tollund” (The Book of the Dead, Jurassic London)
* Kristine Kathryn Rusch, “Uncertainty” (Asimov’s, 3/13)
* Harry Turtledove, “Cayos in the Stream” (Tor.com, 8/7/13)
* Ian Watson, “Blair’s War” (Asimov’s, 7/12)

Long Form

* Robert Conroy, 1920: America’s Great War (Baen)
* Mark Hodder, The Secret of Abdu el Yezdi (Pyr, Ebury)
* D. J. Taylor, The Windsor Faction (Pegasus, Chatto & Windus)
* Bryce Zabel, Surrounded by Enemies : What If Kennedy Survived Dallas? (Mill City Press)

The Sidewise Awards for Alternate History were conceived in late 1995 to honor the best allohistorical genre publications of the year. The first awards were announced in summer 1996 and honored works from 1995. The award takes its name from Murray Leinster's 1934 short story "Sidewise in Time," in which a strange storm causes portions of Earth to swap places with their analogs from other timelines.

I was honored to be a finalist last year for my story "Great White Ship" that was published in Daily Science Fiction in 2012.

I had predicted earlier in the year that Ken Liu's short story "“A Brief History of the Trans-Pacific Tunnel” would be a finalist, and I was right. Hope it wins, too.

Busy time

It's been a very busy week for me, being the last week of school. My wife is a teacher, and as the local newspaper editor, I've had a ton of events to attend, including graduation Friday night.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

SoonerCon schedule

Got my schedule for SoonerCon. Looks very good.

Friday
2p - Hit or Myth Moviemaking: Mythology Onscreen
4p - Fantasy and its Mythological Roots
5p - Reading

Saturday
9a - Koffee Klatch
11a - Humorous Horror
1p - Fantasy and Film: The Language of Dreams Made Visible
3p - Damsels De-Stressed: Women In Steampunk

Sunday
11a - Walt Disney and the World of Fantasy
1p - Pity the Poor Immortal
3p - Disclaimers for Daydreams

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

In his memory

I thought the best way to honor Jay Lake's memory was to write, and so I spent Sunday finishing up a short story. It's called "the cookie crumbles" and I dropped it into the ether for its first submission Sunday.

I have a total of 18 stories circulating in various slushpiles right now.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Jay Lake is gone

According to his web site, the end has come. Jay Lake died this morning, June 1, at 5:45. Lisa and friends were with him. He will be missed but not forgotten.

I had the opportunity to meet Jay in person on March 6 of last year. I drove to Houston to have dinner with him because he was visiting the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center as part of his ongoing battle with cancer. A group gathered for an open dinner at Dimassi's Mediterranean Buffet, which is on Kirby Street close to both the hospital and Reliant Stadium.
Here's the photo from that dinner. Shown are, from left, Jim Crider, Lisa Costello, Suzan Harden, Trey Palmer, Perry Harden, John DeNardo, Jay, and Leslie Claire Walker. I took the photo, obviously

The dinner lasted about two hours. Jay apologized for being somewhat hazy because of his chemotherapy. I was a bit curdled myself after the five hour drive.

I was happy to have the opportunity to meet Jay in person, and I enjoyed the tall tales and anecdotes told around the dinner table. I everyone had a good time, and we all wished Jay the best as he fought his health battle.

It was very educational to me to actually meet Jay and hear about his background and experience. I feel I understood him a lot better.

If you want to make a contribution in Jay’s name, please make it to:
Clayton Memorial Medical Fund
c/o OSFCI
P.O. Box 5703
Portland, Oregon 97228

Coming soon!

This is one of my best ever alternate histories.