Cover image for “The Nature of a Pirate,” by Cynthia Sheppard
As I dictate these words, I am sitting on the Go train, headed to UTSC to pick up some things I left in the sessional office. Even though I am teaching in summer, too, they clean out everything between quarters… which makes sense, if they don’t want the shared office to become a cluttered den of crap. It’s a good task for what I hope will be my last day of reduced activity due to the cold. An almost recreational commute, a quick errand, and then back home to see what else I can make of the day.
Next term I will be on campus Thursday afternoons and evenings for the next level of the same speculative fiction class. I am excited about being there, both for the sake of the teaching, which is delightful, but also to see what it is like there in the summer. Fewer icicle photos, more flowers, is my guess.
In other pleasing news, I am currently up for two awards: A Daughter of No Nation is nominated in the Best English Novel category for an Aurora Award, and I am in the running for something called the K.M. Hunter Artist Award. Kelly’s novella “Waters of Versailles,” meanwhile, is in the running for an Aurora too, in the Best English Short Fiction category. If the cool around our house runs any deeper, we will have to issue hip waders at the door.
I am pleased and excited to say that Caitlin Blasdell of the Liza Dawson Associates Literary Agency has taken me on as a client.
My previous agent has been in the process of retiring for some time, and while I knew a change would be good for me both personally and professionally, I was looking forward to seeking out a new agent/author relationship with all the joy one brings to the prospect of a triple root canal, sans anesthetic. I hate transition rather passionately.
In the end–and as such things generally are–the search was nothing like I imagined. And, incidentally, nothing like dental work. In fact, it was a process that yielded up some really good writing, and promises, I think, to inspire still more. That’s an outcome that leaves me very happy indeed.
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.