Tomorrow evening there will be a dual launch for two Exile Editions anthologies: Dead North: Canadian Zombie Fiction, and Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, both edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia. The latter features my story “Snow Angels,” and I’ll be reading a snippet of it there. Other readers for the evening include: David Huebert, John Jantunen, Michael Matheson, Christine Ottoni, Tessa Brown and Frank Westcott.
This will be my third reading this week. I was at Inspire! courtesy of SFWA, on Friday and on Sunday I participated in the SFContario reading series, Hydra’s Hearth, with the gracious support of the Toronto Arts Council.
Child of a Hidden Sea has been getting a bit of press here and there: Kirkus mentioned it in conjunction with Inspire! . I had an interview in The Province with Peter Darbyshire http://blogs.theprovince.com/2014/11/12/catching-up-with-vancouver-er-toronto-writer-alyx-dellamonica/, and the delightful and excellent Nisi Shawl featured it in the Seattle Times, in an article about fictional adventuresses.
Here’s where you can find me at this weekend’s downtown SF convention…
Fan Writing – There and back again
Fanzines, ezines, and blogs come and go, and often return again in altered forms. What is it about fanzines that give them such resiliency? What are the advantages of these forms? What do readers and writers get from them? Friday 8PM – Gardenview
With Warren Buff, Neil Jamieson-Williams, Ed Treijs,
“Eppur Si Muove” (And Yet It Moves)
Charged with heresy for saying the planets orbit the sun, Galileo answered the Inquisition with the famous words that meant that truth could be seen regardless of the preferences of the powers that be. By what methods did Galileo influence both scholars and the wider culture of his time and the generations that followed? What have we learned, and failed to learn, from Galileo’s life and example? Saturday 11 AM – Ballroom B
with Dan Falk, Alex Pantaleev(M), Henry Spencer, David Stephenson
Fantasy and Science
What can the scientific method lend to fantasy? Does the presence of gods and magic exclude the need for science? Whether it leads to technology, or just a scientific understanding of the setting and magic, what can the practice of science add to fantasy? Saturday 1PM – Room 207
with Cenk Gokce (M), Alex Pantaleev, Ed Treijs
Gaining exposure can be a challenge for an author, whether experienced or brand new and shiny. Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Google+ have important tools for reaching an audience. Merely having an account is not sufficient. How do you develop content to attract your target audience while being creative and standing out in the crowd? Can you keep a private social presence separate from your professional persona? Saturday 3 PM – Room 207
With Robin Hobb, An Tran, Peter Watts
It’s often said that some of the most terrifying horror fictions stir fear without ghouls or gore. Is this true? What are the psychological horror tales that stay with us past the final page? Does the greatest terror lie within ourselves? Sunday 12 PM – Ballroom C
With Alisse Lee Goldenberg, David Lamb, David Nickle
I am excited to announce that I am one of a number of local SF authors who will be appearing this weekend in the Hydra’s Hearth Reading Series, at the Ramada Plaza Hotel, 300 Jarvis Street. I’m closing out the series on Sunday, at 1:00 p.m.
These readings are long–an hour long, in fact. This means that for the first time in ages, you can hear me read a whole story instead of just a tantalizing beginning. The piece I’ve chosen is called “The Boy Who Would Not Be Enchanted.” It’s set on Stormwrack, the same world as Child of a Hidden Sea and “Among the Silvering Herd”; like the latter, it features Gale Feliachild, Garland Parrish of the sailing vessel Nightjar, along with the ship’s starry-eyed first mate, Tonio from Erinth. (Tonio’s first appearance is in “The Ugly Woman of Castello di Putti”“)
Though this reading series is tied into SFContario 5 and happening under its umbrella, by the grace of the Toronto Arts Council all readings are free and open to the public. So come, hear us! Here’s the whole schedule.
Fri 7 PM David Nickle
Fri 8 PM Douglas Smith
Fri 9 PM Derwin Mak
Sat 11 AM Madeline Ashby
Sat 12 PM Karl Schroeder
Sat 2 PM Hugh Spencer
Sat 3 PM Eric Choi
Sat 4 PM Robert J. Sawyer
Sat 5 PM Peter Watts
Sun 11 AM Michelle Sagara West
Sun 12 PM Lesley Livingstone
Sun 1 PM Me!
And if you’re wondering about my convention schedule and my Toronto Book Fair events, I’ll be posting those soon too.
I’m ba-aaack! And so happy to be back with my wife and my kittens and all the wonderful things.
I did some terrific things and saw many beloved friends while I was away, and will tell you all about it over the next little while, possibly in lots of short blog posts like this one. Here, for example, is a shot of me and author Don DeBrandt, channeling Charlie’s Angels.
And here is a review of “The Color of Paradox,” and five other short stories, from The Other Side of the Rain.
New York Comic Con was an enormous, delightful, fan-filled spectacle of an experience, and I was thrilled to be able to go there, to meet some readers and get to know all of Team Tor a little better. I got to talk magic systems with Sam Sykes, Ilona and Gordon Andrews, Kim Harrison, George Hagen and Jeff Somers at a standing-room only panel. I signed books, gave out Child of a Hidden Sea buttons, and met a lot of people who had, previously, been e-mail contacts.
In and around the event, Kelly and I visited The Frick Collection, the Met, Chelsea Market and the High Line. We saw Cabaret, with Alan Cummings, at the former Studio 54. I tried on some dresses at the Desigual store, but failed to commit to any of them, and walked through Central Park a couple times. In the process, I got a much much better sense of where things are in Midtown.
What else? We ate many pastries, and actually saw Times Square both by day and by night. (Our decision to skip it on the previous trip was more or less borne out, but I admit I wasn’t entirely immune to the glitter and flash of it all.) We drank much coffee at Gregory’s, and much better coffee at Blue Bottle, and discovered that the Food Network has a fantastically beautiful loading dock of all things:
On Sunday we went to the Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn with Ellen Datlow, Rick Bowes and Terence Taylor, and then we looked around the neighborhood (which includes a superhero supply store!) for a little before going back to our new digs in the West Village.
Then on Monday we flew home to two well-cared for but pleasingly happy to see us kittens. By then we were in such kitteh withdrawal that, despite having been favored with a bit of love from the cats at our Air B&B, we were watching the Greatest Hits of the Kitten Channel on Kelly’s phone during take-off.
Quite a few things that have been in the works for awhile are locking into place now. As some of you already know, I’ll be at the Vancouver Writers Fest, appearing with William Gibson and Sebastien de Castell, on October 25th. Tickets are on sale now – I’d frankly love to have a big hometown turnout.
Afterward, I figure we’ll head somewhere as a mob, grab some decent, affordable food, and hang out. Let me know if you’re in.
On the 28th, I’ll be reading and signing Child of a Hidden Sea at the University Bookstore in Bellevue, Washington. The event’s at 8:00 p.m. and I’m taking the train in that very day, so the get-together window will probably be afternoon/early evening. Once travel logistics have come together, I’ll let you know.
And before all of that happens, I’ll be appearing at the New York City Comicon, on Friday October 10th, with a panel on Friday called Playing with Magic. Here’s the description:
Magic is central to fantasy, whether it takes place in our world or one completely foreign. But there are many different kinds of magic: from shape-shifting to mind-reading to weather control. How does the use of magic affect storytelling? Join A.M. Dellamonica (Child of a Hidden Sea), Ilona and Gordon Andrews (Burn for Me), C.L. Wilson (Winter King), George Hagen (Gabriel Finley and the Raven’s Riddle), Jaclyn Dolamore (Dark Metropolis) and Jeff Somers (We Are Not Good People) as they discuss incorporating magic into the fabric of their worlds with moderator Lev Grossman (The Magicians trilogy).
Kelly will be coming along on this one. We’ll be in Manhattan for a couple of days.
My story “Snow Angels” is now out in Fractured: Tales of the Canadian Post-Apocalypse, edited by Silvia Moreno-Garcia and featuring stories by (among others) Claude Lalumiere, A.C. Wise, and Michael Matheson. The full Table of Contents is here; I looked for reviews, but haven’t found any yet.
“Snow Angels” may be the first story I wrote after I moved East. I had imagined the apocalypse as seen from British Columbia many times, perhaps most notably in stories like “Wild Things,” and as I accommodated to being here in Toronto I made a real effort to imagine something less Pacific Raincoast, more urban. As a result, this story may have more car per column inch than anything I’ve ever written.
I also wanted to play with the image of Canada and Canadians as quiet, low-key, even boring, while also steering clear of some of the standard end of the world hits–zombie infestation, atomic war, global warming. So the apocalypse in “Snow Angels” creeps in like an unrelenting fall of snow: cold, stealthy. A few flakes at first. Then, eventually it’s a silent, windless blizzard, a creeping not-quite-death that covers the world, a chilly colorless smothering blanket.
Here’s the beginning:
Lindy was elbow-deep in window glass when the tech started giving her hell about her Winkles.
“You haven’t been dusting.” He ran a rag over their faces. They were on a stretcher beside Lindy’s varnishing table: a boy, a girl, a something. Not kin, from their looks: the girl had Southeast Asian features and the boy was a mixed-race cherub with honey curls. “This one’s got cobwebs. You gotta take better care.”
“Who’s taking care of me?” Lindy had been fusing scavenged windshield shards, filtering out the surviving smartcrystals and printing a self-charging pane which drew power from the weak northern sun beyond her window.
“Red here’s got an elevated heart rate.” The tech meant the devil child, the one in the cheap Halloween costume.
Last night I read at the regular ChiSeries event, along with Sarah Tolmie, Charlene Challenger, and Errick Nunnally. (I noticed, but forgot to say, that all of us but Errick read pieces that eventually took their characters to big empty rooms with mattresses on the floor, which seems an odd coincidence.)
I wasn’t sure how many people would make it, what with Worldcon just having ended, but a fair number of the usual marvelous suspects were there. Hugs were exchanged, socializing happened, the food and music were good and as usual Kari Maaren and Peter Chiykowski sang original genre-themed songs between the readers.
(This isn’t the song Peter sang last night, but it’s a good representation of what I’ve heard of him.)
Other things that have happened recently…
Two friendly, burly guys came by Monday, took our apartment door right off its hinges, and vanished with it to the parkade for an hour before reinstalling the thing. If you ever want to feel weirdly vulnerable, try out having no front door for awhile. All of this was in service of trimming the bottom of the door so that Kelly and I can get out and in reliably. (I can’t remember if I told you all about some of our recent adventures in having to have the door kicked in, OMG, on one occasion, and on another having our floor installer break in through a window when the door proved too mighty to be kicked.
The repair process isn’t quite complete–the jamb needs some work, too, it turns out. But it should be soon. Friday soon, is the plan. (And then there are other little things – a closet door, the dishwasher… ah, new homes.)
Anyway, it will be nice to not worry about getting trapped inside or outside the house sometime.
I gave in to curiosity and weighed Lorenzo this morning, and he’s 7.8 bristlin’ pounds to CinCin’s still-wide-eyed 4.7. He is all string and muscle and teen boy attitude, with no cush whatsoever. When he comes to me for love, he rolls off my upper body unless I brace him–he’s so taut he can’t melt into me. Imagine having a warm medicine ball, with whiskers, trying to make itself comfortable on your ribcage.
He spent 20 minutes this morning trying out various poses, and eventually discovered that if he lay parallel to my collarbones and braced his weight against my throat, he could hang out for awhile. It was so delightful to be snuggled that I let him do it. What’s a little asphyxia when set against the goal of having cats who are abundantly physically affectionate, right?