Events Archives

You are invited to join me for a special Live SF Signal Podcast recording on Saturday, October 25th at 4 PM at MileHiCon 46 in the Denver Tech Center.

Guests include:

Stop by, say hello and be part of the podcast!

CONVENTION ATTENTION: Context27 in Columbus, Ohio

Context27 logoLast month I attended Context27, a small and cozy speculative fiction convention in Columbus, OH. Context is a writers convention, and this year’s guests of honor where Jonathan Maberry and Betsy Mitchell. Other guests included Laura Resnick, Jennifer Brozek, Maurice Broaddus, Jerry Gordon, Jason Sizemore, Daniel and Trista Robichaud, Lucy Snyder, Ferrett Steinmetz, Michael West and more. Along with panels and workshops, the convention also had a flash fiction contest, well-appointed dealer room, a live recording of the Funky Werepig podcast, a consuite, and of course, parties! This was also my first time on panels, but more on that later.

For a small additional fee, attendees could sign up for one of the many workshops, which included Writing for Young Adults, Crafting a Compelling Plot, Characterization Through Dialog,Anthology Editing, and Point of View, among many others. The panels were also primarily writer and publishing focused, and included topics such as Busting Writer’s Block, Hot New Writers, Classics You May Have Missed, Getting a Day Job in Publishing, The Care and Feeding of Beta Readers, Skewering the Tropes, The Art of the Short Story, Social Media for Authors and Readers, Homebrewing Science, Podcasting, Publishing Disasters, Tales from the Slushpile, The Future of Magazines and Periodicals, What is an MFA and Do I Want One,and about a bazillion more. I really have no idea how all this incredible programming was jammed into 48 hours.
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Last week, I attended the Austin Comic Con (aka Wizard World Texas). Oddly, the show ran Thursday through Saturday. No Sunday at all. Since Saturday was Yom Kippur, I only went on Thursday evening, which ran from 4:30-9, and Friday, 2 until sundown.

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If you’ve been paying attention to our daily link posts over the past several years, you will recognize the Fantastic Fiction at KGB Readings. This awesome monthly event is a series of author readings held at the KGB Bar in New York City and organized by Ellen Datlow and Matthew Kressel. Each event features two writers reading their work — not only a great way to sample their work, but also a chance to meet them in person.

Up until this week, you had to be in or around New York City at the time of the readings to enjoy them.

Not any more!
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Why You Want to Enter a Writing Contest

MB Partlow is a writer, a cranky optimist, a domestic goddess wannabe, a voracious reader across any genre, and the Director for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference.

Why on Earth (or Any Other Planet) Would You Want to Enter a Writing Contest?

by MB Partlow

If you have a manuscript you’re working on or a finished novel hiding on your hard drive, you might want to expose your brainchild to the world through a writing contest. You could want feedback, fame and/or glory*. Or you could be a masochist.

Step one is to always read the directions carefully. You wouldn’t want to spread your foot-fungus medication on the wrong body part, and you wouldn’t want to submit your manuscript to the wrong contest or in the wrong category. Maximize your results by taking the time to carefully read through what and how to submit. Many contests are open to published or unpublished authors, while others, like the Zebulon, are open to both.

So why enter a writing contest?

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Geeks Doing Good Fundraiser

Worldbuilders is the geeky charity founded by best-selling author Patrick Rothfuss. To date, they’ve raised over $3 million towards Heifer International’s efforts to end world hunger through an annual fundraiser where fans donate directly to Heifer for the chance to win something out of the lottery of thousands of books, games, and other coolness that Worldbuilders offers.

This summer, Worldbuilders is adding a second, mid-year fundraiser, with a different format that might appeal to a wider audience. Rather than have a lottery system where you might win anything, they’ve started an IndieGoGo campaign called Geeks Doing Good where they’re featuring cool new perks and merchandise. Some are exclusive to the campaign, some are pre-orders for future products, and some are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities at something really cool. They’ve pulled out the chance aspect and kept the awesome prizes, so now everyone who contributes will definitely get something.

A few of the cool items are:
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ApolloCon 2014 is This Weekend!

Well this sneaked up on me!

If you are in the Houston area this weekend, you should check out the always-fun ApolloCon convention.

This year’s guests include Guest of Honor David Gerrold, Artist Guest of Honor Theresa Mather, Editor Guest of Honor P.N. Elrod, and Fan Guest of Honor Al Griego as well as many regional guests.

Mythgard Institute is Offering a 12-Week Course on Science Fiction

This Summer, Mythgard Institute is offering a course on Science Fiction (Part I), taught by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis. The 12 week online course covers science fiction from Proto-Science Fiction through to the Golden Age and will run from August to November.

From the course page:

What does it mean to be human? Are we alone? What wonders or terrors will tomorrow hold? Join award-winning scholar Dr. Amy H. Sturgis as she explores the ways in which the literature of science fiction over time has asked the question: “What if?” This course will consider the development of the genre from “proto-SF” writings through the Golden Age, with an eye toward how the great works and movements within science fiction both reflect the concerns and attitudes of their time and imagine beyond them. Discover why author Ray Bradbury called science fiction “the most important literature in the history of the world.”

Here’s a video explaining more…
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Free Comic Book Day 2014: May 3rd

It’s that time of year again.

Saturday May 3rd, 2014 is Free Comic Book Day!

The annual event Free Comic Book Day is when participating comic book shops around the world give away comic books absolutely free to anyone who comes into their stores. (Details provided at each retailer.) The Free Comic Day website has store locations.

There’s no shortage of stuff in this year’s selection. Snatch up some Buck Rogers, Atomic Robo & Friends, Grimm Fairy Tales, The Tick, V-Wars, All You Need Is Kill and many more….

So this weekend, stop by a store near you and grab some free comicy goodness!

Don’t believe me? Let Stan Lee tell you…

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Shared Worlds Turns 7! Announces 2014 Lineup

Congratulations to the fine folks behind the Shared Worlds writing program, which this year turns 7!

This year, they’ve got another spectacular lineup of special guests. read on to see!

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Mythgard Institute’s In-Depth Course on ENDER’S GAME

This Spring, Mythgard Institute is offering a free course on Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, taught by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis. The six week online course will focus on book for the first five weeks, and then the Gavin Hood film in the final session. The course runs from April 1st to May 6.

From the course page:

This spring, the Mythgard Academy explores new frontiers, making its first foray into the genre of science fiction with the much-loved modern classic, Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card. We will discuss the book in five weekly sessions, and then take a sixth session in which to discuss the recent film adaptation of the book. Like all Mythgard Academy classes, this study is free and open to the public. You can download audio or video recordings of the class sessions here from our website, through our Mythgard podcast feed on iTunes, or through our Ender’s Game course on iTunes U. You are also invited to participate in the class live! The first 100 attendees will be able to take part in the interactive class discussions, which will take place on Tuesday evenings at 9:30 pm (EDT), starting on April 1, 2014.

Get more details at the Mythgard Institute course page.

Come See Rudy Rucker in San Francisco on Thursday, March 27th

Are you going to be in the San Francisco area on Thursday, March 27th?

Rudy Rucker and Scribd will be teaming up to give away free books to Rudy’s fans and offer them a chance to meet him in person and hear him speak about The Big Aha. Rudy Rucker is regarded as a contemporary master of science fiction. He is a two-time Philip K. Dick award-winner, futurist, mathematician, and artist.

The orgaziers welcome Rudy’s fans and members of the San Francisco reading & writing community to join them. This is sure to be a fun evening!

Event will include:

  • A talk and reading from his newest novel, The Big Aha, which he kicked off with a Kickstarter campaign
  • An audience Q&A
  • A book signing for all attendees
  • A free copy of Rudy Rucker’s The Big Aha

EVENT DETAILS

  • Event: Rudy Rucker, Cyberpunk Legend
  • Date: Thursday, March 27
  • Doors open at 5:30. Event begins at 6PM sharp.
  • Complimentary coffee, tea, wine, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks
  • Free copies of his new book, The Big Aha. We have a limited number, so please arrive on-time.
  • Use #ScribdAuthors to share with friends on social media.

For location and more info, see the event details Eventbrite, Meetup and/or Facebook

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live Presents: Short Film Friday


“I’m watching the future of art unfold before my eyes!”

—Michael R. Whelan (Said at the inaugural SFAL event)

As part of the promotional content for the upcoming Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event, sculptor Tim Bruckner has created a series of short videos highlighting a handful of the nearly 200 painters, sculptors, and illustrators who will be in attendance May 9-11, 2014, in Kansas City, Missouri.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live is an event you don’t want to miss, and these minute-long teasers are sure to tempt you with their examples of the immense talent of the artists working in the field today. Biographic information on the artists is drawn largely from their respective web pages.

Altogether there is approximately 15 minutes of total viewing time here, but I promise you that they are minutes packed with eye-popping goodness. So sit back, enjoy the show, and let us know if any of the art speaks to you. Spectrum Fantastic Art Live has been described as “The Art Fair with a Sense of Wonder”. This is a mere glimpse of why that is so.

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Hey, Harry Potter fans! The Summer 2014 season of learning at the Mythgard Institute includes the course Taking Harry Seriously, taught by Dr. Amy H. Sturgis. The course is designed to examine the artistry and meanings of the Harry Potter saga.

Here’s the course description and video:
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Feeling Creative? Put Your Artistic Talents to the Test

The Illustration Academy and Spectrum Fantastic Art Live are offering aspiring artists the opportunity to put their illustration skills to the test and compete for a number of valuable prizes.

Spectrum Fantastic Art Live 3 (SFAL) will be held the weekend of May 9-11, 2014, in Kansas City Missouri. SFAL will feature some 200 artists who work in a variety of mediums creating art that falls in the realm of the fantastic. In addition to providing the opportunity for fans to interact with artists and buy great art, SFAL provides the opportunity for budding artists to have their portfolios reviewed by creative directors from some of the prominent SFF publishing houses (including Tor and Orbit) and attend educational opportunities held during the weekend.

The Illustration Academy is offering some tremendously valuable prizes for young people in high school and those continuing education artists aged 18 and above.

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VIDEO: Andy Weir, Author of THE MARTIAN, Talks at Google

I’m almost done reading Andy Weir’s debut novel The Martian and enjoying it quite a bit. (Review soon!) One of the reasons is the realistic science that’s used in the novel.

Here’s the author at a recent talk at Google HQ. It starts with a 11 minute reading from the first chapter, then he discusses the realistic science that went into the novel. Beware! There’s a slight story spoiler when Weir discusses the software he wrote to calculate some of the orbital mechanics used in the novel.

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Sam J. Miller is a writer and a community organizer. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Shimmer, Nightmare Magazine, Strange Horizons, Icarus, The Minnesota Review, and The Rumpus, among others. He is a graduate of the 2012 Clarion Writer’s Workshop, and the co-editor of Horror After 9/11, an anthology published by the University of Texas Press. Visit him at www.samjmiller.com and follow him on Twitter as @sentencebender.

Sitting Shiva for Electric Velocipede

by Sam J. Miller

For twelve years, Electric Velocipede published some of the most exciting genre fiction anywhere. Over 250 authors and artists were featured in its 27 issues, from SFF rock stars to brand new geniuses.When my own story “The Beasts We Want To Be” was accepted into Electric Velocipede, that’s when I felt like I had arrived as a science fiction writer.

Electric Velocipede was not the place where you sent the kind of story you twisted into shape for the Zombies on Medicare themed anthology,” says writer Richard Bowes. “And you didn’t send the stories you created to satisfy the well known kinks and wordcount of a specific market. EV was for the story you wrote because it was so fucking much fun to write. And because you knew that your story would find itself in very good company!”

That’s why it was so devastating when the announcement went out that the 27th issue would be its last.

And that’s why, on February 28th, New York City will be sending the old gal off in style, with an old-fashioned memorial service. Ten writers whose work was published in Electric Velocipede will come together to eulogize, rhapsodize, and read from their EV pieces.

If you’re in or anywhere near NYC, you should definitely consider coming.
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“Fantastic art should never be boring. And no one should ever be ashamed of having a love of–or connection to–genre.” ~Arnie Fenner

For twenty years Cathy and Arnie Fenner have celebrated the love of genre with the annual release of Spectrum: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art. In 2012 the Fenners brought this multiple-award winning art book to life with the first Spectrum Fantastic Art Live event. Held in Kansas City, Missouri, the event featured over 200 artists whose creations fit within the broad definition of genre art.

This incredible interactive event returns to Kansas City for its 3rd outing on May 9-11, 2014 and it promises to be something special.

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Vermont Science Fiction Writer’s Series

Do you live in Vermont? Mark your calendar!

One of my pet projects here in Vermont is working to encourage and network a sort of science fiction scene in my home state. The result was Geek Mountain State, a community blog that focuses on all things Geek happening in the state. Last year, we started to branch out into events with the Vermont SF Writer’s Series. Our next reading will be on February 1st, from 3-5pm in Phoenix Books’ Burlington location: 191 Bank Street in downtown Burlington

The authors reading this time around are Rachel Carter, Rob Friesel, Mike Luoma, Ryan Meath, Rachel Mullis and Dean Whitlock! To RSVP, head over to the event page that we’ve set up on Facebook.

If you’re interested in learning more about the event and to get news on future events, you can ‘like’ it on Facebook here, or follow Geek Mountain State on Twitter at @GeekMtnState.

Author Jay Lake is undergoing an NIH trial to save his life. A fundraiser has been started by Shlomi Harif to help offset the cost of the treatment and associated costs.

Says Jay:

It must be the season or something. I’m back off to NIH on Tuesday for surgery followed by some extensive and fairly brutal immunotherapy. As recently discussed, this is a very expensive process for me and my family. Not the treatments themselves, which are covered by NIH at no cost to me, but the expense of having my caregivers in Maryland for five weeks while I am being treated. Not to mention the expense already incurred during our two-week visit for enrollment.

Premiums are still being organized. There has been some excellent generosity from various donors, and I’ve put a dozen copies of The January Machine in myself. Hopefully by Monday that will all be up on the fundraising site.

I have very mixed feelings about tapping the generosity of my friends and fans again, but this is where we are. Still fighting for my life, slowly losing, but trying everything we can.

Details on the fundraiser are here.

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