If you follow either of us on social media, you could hardly have failed to notice that Kelly and I were guest hosts at the ChiSeries Toronto reading yesterday evening. We got to introduce three readers: E.L. Chen, Tony Pi, and Carsten Stroud. And three musical guests: Kari Maaren, Peter Chiykowsky and the Handsome Devils. It all went swimmingly in both important senses of the phrase–the readings and performances were great, and there were no logistical hiccups.
Tony Pi’s reading, by the way, was from his story “No Sweeter Art.” It’s a Parsec Award finalist for BEST SPECULATIVE FICTION STORY: SMALL CAST (SHORT FORM) and you can hear it here.
Two other things that rocked this week
: Primo, Kelly’s cousin Emilly came to town with her boyfriend Darcy and we deliberately set about showing her Toronto in a way that made Calgary look, well, maybe just a bit ho hum. A spin past the Monets, Van Gogh, and Bernini at the AGO to start, a quick trip to the all hats all the time ballcap store for souvenirs, and a run to Tatyana
to see if Emilly could discover her inner pin-up girl were all part of the agenda. They spent a little time browsing the food and drink choices on Queen Street, and then we all hit YukYuks for a comedy show hosted by Michelle Shaughnessy
Secondo: And Jessica, who’s coming to visit, characterized the weekend as DuaCon. And I like that very much. I like the idea of Kelly and I being a free-roaming science fiction convention ready to break out with programming, reading or whatever just when you least expect it.
Here’s a shot of E.L. Chen’s gorgeous ChiTeen cover.
I will endorse this novel if you give me a live hamster.
One: I was excited to receive my uncorrected bound proofs for the novel this week; they’re, pictured here with Lorenzo the Magnificent. What this means is I encircled him with the stuff and shot a few pictures before he could move on in disgust.
Two: The official announcement that Kelly Robson and I will be hosting this month’s ChiSeries at the Round on August 19th has been made, so I can tell you all too! Readers will be E.L. Chen, Tony Pi, and Carsten Stroud. Kari Maaren will sing, and a good time will be had by all. Come! Watch us stay up past our bedtime! Hear amazing things! Exchange dollars for alcohol, snacks and most importantly books!
Three: A learning module I created a few years ago and haven’t used in awhile proved yesterday that it does, in fact, still have the old magic.
Or you should, anyway. Is my argument.
As I write these words it’s Thursday the 23rd, and I am sitting in Luma, which is the upstairs restaurant at the Tiff Bell Lightbox theater, at King and John Streets in Toronto, having what Kelly and I like to call a Superglam Writing Date. It’s a lovely spot for it–spacious and comfy, with good coffee for me, interesting wines for Kelly and a little plate of cookies and random shards of the dessert menu, made for sharing. The staff are pleasant. The crowd is upbeat and bubbly, pleased with the fact that most of them are dining, drinking, and then heading into a darkened room to share a brainy film experience with strangers. The music is neither too intrusive nor laced with yeeoldey hits of days gone by. (And you never get cuss-laden misogynist rap, which is more than I can say for the Jimmy’s on Gerrard.)
Normally I would be writing fiction and nothing else on an outing like this, but I am taking a little break from The Nature of a Pirate while some trusted writers and readers gnaw on it. The goal is one more pass through the text, starting Monday, working from their comments, and then a submission to my editor by summer’s end. After that, I will probably write some grant applications and short stories while contemplating my next novel-length move.
A few things I’ve been involved in lately:
- SF Signal’s Mindmeld asked what fictional character I (and Kelly, and several other writers) would offer Canadian citizenship to. I chose: the Tick. My argument is that Toronto, while lovely, could use a lot more of the surreal.
- Also on SF Signal, the full ToC for License Expired has been released. It is a wonder to behold. In addition to a gleamingly awesome author line-up, including Kelly, this Ian Fleming inspired anthology has some fantastic story titles: my Moneypenny story is called “Through Your Eyes Only,” for example, James Alan Gardner will be giving us “The Spy who Remembered Me,” and Claude LaLumiere’s story is entitled “You Never Love Once.”
- Finally, I’d like to announce that my Tor.com novelette “The Color of Paradox” has been selected by Sandra Kasturi and Jerome Stueart for the Canadian Best Of antho from ChiZine Publications, Imaginarium 4, where it will appear with stories by So Many People!! Peter Watts and Gemma Files and Kelley Armstrong and Peter Chiykowski and Eric Choi and Cory Doctorow and Helen Marshall and David Nickle and and and… it’s an incredible line-up, and I am lucky to be in it.
All very pleasing things, and I hope to announce another reprint sale soon, once the contract’s in and done. Is the summer being similarly kind to you? I definitely hope so.
I have a post up on Tor.com called “Where to Start with Connie Willis.” The title’s self-explanatory, and there’s a lively conversation in the comments thread about how communications technology does or doesn’t fit into her work, and whether the age of the smartphone has left Willis’s main body of work looking somewhat dated… and also, of course, how much that may or may not matter.
In completely other news, Child of a Hidden Sea is on the Sunburst Award Honorable Mention list, in the YA category. Peter Darbyshire of The Province has a write-up on some of short list folks from B.C. here.
Darbyshire, by the way, also writes as Peter Roman and when wearing that hat he is the author of The Mona Lisa Sacrifice, among other fabulous things.
Kelly and I are heading out tonight to see the National Theater in HD and Helen Mirren broadcast “The Audience.” I tell you this mostly because I am feeling “Three Things make a Post”-y.
I am still a bit behind on e-mail, but catching up bit by bit.
I got up this morning to the news that Child of a Hidden Sea is on the longlist for the Sunburst Award, in the YA category. I’m in good company; in addition to a number of authors whose writing I know but whom I haven’t met personally, the ever-fantastic Caitlin Sweet and Charlene Challenger are on the list.
The full Sunburst 2015 longlist is here.
That’s a very cool thing. So, you know, EEeeee!!!
And here’s another: Kelly and I will be sharing a table of contents together, our first, within the new James Bond anthology coming out from ChiZine Publications
later this year! The anthology is called License Expired and the editors are Madeline Ashby
and David Nickle
My story features Moneypenny and is entitled “Through your Eyes Only”. Kelly’s is called “The Gladiator Lie” and is an alternate ending to From Russia with Love
. She has written on her own blog about why this story makes her obscenely happy
. And she should be. It is a furry, sick, snow-covered, ultra-bizarre thrill ride of a coming of age tale for the lovely honey trap Tatiana Romanova.
And my Moneypenny? I am extremely pleased with it, too! First, because it’s incredibly fun. But also because I’ve done some terribly clever things where voice and point of view are concerned … what this story does is not only nifty for readers, but it was a chance for me to try something new and quite hard and to pull it off.
So, having had our way with the Bond canon, we will be together in smugness between these covers, metaphorically waiting for someone to bring us our dry martinis and all the praise they can heap into an ice bucket.