Annual Toronto SpecFic Colloquium, run by the Chiaroscuro Reading Series
Tickets for this year’s Annual SpecFic Colloquium went on sale yesterday, with a shiny change of venue to Innis Hall on the U of T campus, and an earlybird offer that expires February 29th. Who’s speaking? Why… I’m speaking! And so are Peter Watts, Peter Chiykowski, Andrew Pyper, Michael Rowe and Margaret Atwood.
I know! You’re losing your mind, right?
The event itself is happening on March 12, 2016, running pretty much all day. Think of it as a convention with single-track programming and endless bags of coolness. Tangent alert: I love single-track cons. Two of my favorite cons ever was The Science of Murder, which stood in for VCon in 1995. Getting back to the point, which is this particular event, I’m given to understand, there will be snacks and some free books.
The Chiascuro Reading Series sponsors this Colloquium each year and I have heard some mind-expanding and thoroughly wonderful talks there, by authors like Nnedi Okorafor, Simon Barry McNeil and Madeline Ashby, and creative thinkers like Alex Leitch. I absolutely promise, with all my heart, that I would tell you to attend this thing even if I wasn’t giving a talk entitled “How We Became LV426.”
With everything lately being so delightfully focused on the A Daughter of No Nation release, I haven’t managed until now to crow about selling Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law a story called “Tribes” to Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts. The TOC is here and includes an introduction from Julie Czerneda as well as stories by Gemma Files, Kelley Armstrong, James Alan Gardner and many other wonderful authors.
The anthology will launch at When Words Collide in Calgary; a portion of the net revenue from the book will go directly to support programs provided by Canadian Mental Health Association.
Meanwhile, here’s what Paul Weimar at SF Signal has to say about the new book:
That wonderous world of Stormwrack itself is convincingly expanded as well. With all of the island nations and the cultures that make up the mosaic of Stormwrack, the author has a wide canvas to go both broadly across the world, as well as deeply within the structures that make the world work. We learn about the island home of Sophie’s father, more about the Fleet of migrating ships, and much more. Courts, law, science, social customs both large and small are revealed, and Stormwrack is as tangled, complex, contradictory and interesting as our own world.
photo by Kelly Robson
Author Fran Wilde (my review of her novel Updraft can be found here!) was kind enough to ask me about food on Stormwrack for her Book Bites feature, and nobody will be surprised to hear that I had plenty to say on that subject. Meanwhile, over at Charlie Stross’s blog, I have a piece called “Confessions of a (half-assed) news avoider“, which would be, indirectly, about how I’m doing everything in my power to protect my brain from toxins like the storm of infuriating factoids on offer, 24/7, about the U.S. Presidential race.
Next week there will be a flurry of other interviews with book bloggers like Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup and The Book Wars. Some of the questions were very cool indeed.
Tor.com, meanwhile, has posted their December-January fiction roster, with stories by Michael Swanwick, David Nickle, and Kim Stanley Robinson. My “The Glass Galago,” third of The Gales, will be out on January 6th.
The slice of my life that is all about helping new authors find and hone their voices has been on fire lately, and I have been burning to tell you about all the nifty upcoming developments. Over at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program, registration is open for “Creating Universes, Building Worlds,” my workshop course in short speculative fiction. This class makes a nice trial run for something like Odyssey, Clarion or Clarion West: you can write in any of the speculative fiction subgenres, and the workshop is run like one of the aforementioned programs (or as close to it as one can get with an online class.) You get to stay home, write one complete work of fiction, workshop it with the group, and make plans for revision and marketing.
Want more? You also get to read and discuss awesome stories by Kij Johnson, Nalo Hopkinson, Harry Turtledove, Tanith Lee and so many other fantastic writers!
But why is that exciting? You may well ask… I’ve been teaching this class for years. But for those of you who’ve taken CUBW and its follow-up, Writing the Fantastic, it does look like there will be a new and more advanced option for you at UCLA come Spring 2016. So that’s one very exciting thing.
The other wildly delightful development is that come January I will be teaching a realtime, face to face, honest-to-deity speculative fiction workshop at the University of Toronto in Scarborough, Ontario. Are there (or do you know) any U of T students who might be interested in that? If so, write me and I will give you the scoop as it develops.
Even as I wend my way toward Saratoga Springs and the World Fantasy Convention, Tor.com is running an excerpt from A Daughter of No Nation. This is your very first chance to get back aboard the sailing vessel Nightjar, captained as always by the impossibly upright Garland Parrish and his intrepid crew.
If you haven’t been to the world of Stormwrack before now, and this taste persuades you to try a little more, Child of a Hidden Sea is on sale for $2.99 in all the major ebook retailers. Or check out the first two of The Gales, “Among the Silvering Herd” and “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti.” (A third Gale story is in the works, folks–it’s called “The Glass Galago” and will be out in early 2016.)
Some of you may also remember that I ran a draw in October, for a copy of CHS or any one of my previous books. I have rolled a many-sided die (once a gamer, always a gamer) and thereby chosen a winner, but contacting her has proven tricky so I’m going to hold off on announcing a name for now.