A Contract, a Convention, and an Interview

Last week, the run-up to Phoenix Comicon was a perfect storm that kept me from making my usual Saturday morning post. That said, this particular storm really was perfect in that it involved some excellent news. I just signed the contract for the ninth novel I wrote, The Astronomer’s Crypt. The timing was such that we were able to announce it publicly for the first time during the “Tension on Every Page” panel. Of course, it’s only been two weeks since I turned in my tenth novel, The Brazen Shark. Neither book has a formal editing/release schedule yet, so it’ll be something of a race to see which one is released first!

The convention itself was a blast. I was on several excellent panels and got to meet lots of great people both at panels and at my table in the exhibitor hall.


One thing different this year from previous years was that all the celebrity autograph sessions and photo-ops happened on the third floor instead of the exhibitor hall, so I’m afraid I never really got to see any of the movie and TV stars who were in attendance. That said, I did get to see some really terrific costumes throughout the weekend. Here we see samurai Batman, a terrific rendition of Wolverine, and Calvin and Hobbes. If you click the photo, you’ll get a larger view.


Finally, one thing I love to do at conventions when I have the opportunity is to give stuff away. I held a drawing for a basket of books, including These Vampires Don’t Sparkle, A Kepler’s Dozen, and Revolution of Air and Rust. All one had to do to enter was sign up for my mailing list. The lucky winner was Edward Pulley. Here we are hamming it up for the camera.


Of course, if you missed me at Phoenix Comicon, or just didn’t get a chance to attend, you can still click this link to sign up for my mail list. You may ask, what’s the fun in that, since the drawing’s over? Well, besides being the first to hear about news, updates, and special offers, you’ll also be among the first to hear about any giveaways that are happening in the future.

Finally, I’ll wrap up this week’s post by mentioning that Jack Tyler, the founder of the Scribbler’s Den group on the Steampunk Empire has interviewed me about Lightning Wolves. Drop by and learn a little more about me and read a short excerpt at: http://www.writing.com/main/books/entry_id/850545-David-Lee-Summers

Phoenix Comicon 2015

Phoenix Comicon will be running from May 28-31 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. As usual, the convention has many amazing guests including Ron Perlman, Alyson Hannigan, Christopher Lloyd, Summer Glau, Edward James Olmos, Katie Sackhoff, and Karl Urban. I’m honored to be one of this year’s author guests. You can learn about all the great things happening at this year’s convention by visiting phoenixcomicon.com


My schedule for the convention is as follows:

Thursday, May 28

  • 4:30pm-5:30pm: Tension on Every Page – North 126A. Good Mysteries, Thrillers, Horror, and Action Adventures hold your attention and each page builds upon the other. How is this done? Is there only one way to build tension in a tale? How does a good book keep you glued to every page? Panelists with me: Alex Gordon, Joseph Nassise, Mel Odom, and Stephen Blackmore
  • 7:30pm-8:30pm: Books and Authors’ Kickoff – Featuring Arizona Authors – North 124. Meet local authors and find out how they plan on spending their time at Comicon. Giveaways and door prize for attendees.

Friday, May 29

  • 10:30am-11:30am: How Evil Should They Be? – North 125. Villains and anti-heroes/heroines. Why have they become so popular? How dark can you go? What is unforgivable? Should the “bad-guy/gal” seek redemption? Interesting thoughts on what makes evil so good to read. On the panel with me are: Aprilynne Pike, Jonathan Mayberry, Saundra Mitchell, and Yvonne Nvarro.
  • 12:00pm-1:00pm: Breaking Those Writers Blocks – North 125. Writers Block: an occupational hazard. Just because it happens doesn’t mean the writing process has to stop or the tale never ends. What do authors do when stumped, where can they find inspiration, and how can writer’s blocks become stepping stones? On the panel with me are: Andrea Phillips, Jamie Wyman, Max Gladstone, and Melissa Marr.

Saturday, May 30

  • 3:00pm-4:00pm: Kepler’s Worlds – North 232 How close are we to finding an Earth-like planet? Learn what alien worlds are like, how we build a habitable world, and how we would actually discover if life is present there! On the panel with me are: Ariel Anbar, Lisa Will, and Ofir Levy.
  • 5:00pm-6:00pm: Steampunk Tea House Café of the Rising Sunset – Renaissance Salon 5-8 Ride into the Rising Sunset for a cuppa brown joy! Meet colorful characters from a past that never was. Learn about Western tea culture from the fabulous Madam Askew. Witness Tea Duelist “The Dirty Weasel” live up to his reputation as the Fastest Nom in the West. Meet the Characters behind the characters as Steampunk and local Small Press authors discuss books, genre writing and Boutique publishers. Also at the tea will be: Hal C F Astell, Khurt Khave, Sean Hoade, and Tanglwyst de Halloway.

Sunday, May 31

  • 10:30am-11:30am: Growing up with Science – North 232. It is well-known that the path from childhood science interest to a career in science is a “leaky pipe”, frequently losing women and minorities. Learn about the challenges that are faced on this pathway and ways we can help everyone engage with science every day. On the panel with me are Karen Knierman, and Dean Frias.
  • 1:30-2:30pm: Space in Science Fiction – North 126A. What is it like out there amongst the stars? Does it truly matter what it’s really like? What do these authors see when they look at space through a science fiction filter? On the panel with me are Bennett Coles, Ann Leckie, Pierce Brown, and Scott Sigler.

Finally, when I’m not on one of these panels, you can find me at booth 14137 in the exhibitor hall. Even if I am on a panel, you can likely find the both operated by my wife or one of my daughters. So, please drop by, check out my books and say “hi.”

Also, while you’re in the exhibit hall, be sure to catch other members of the Amazing Wyked Writers. The group’s main set of tables is 17115, 17117, and 17119. Also, Gini Koch has a table at 14133, just down the row from me and you’ll find Sharon Skinner at 16122.

Phoenix Comicon 2014


Phoenix Comicon will be held June 5-8, 2014 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, Arizona. Guests include Stan Lee, Bruce Campbell, Nathan Fillion, Adam West, Charlaine Harris, Jim Butcher, and many many more. Once again, I’m honored and humbled to be there among such a great lineup. You can get all the details about the event at phoenixcomicon.com.

I’m doing a mix of science, steampunk, and poetry programming. Here’s my schedule as I know it. I’ll update this as it evolves and be sure to check in at the event for any last-minute updates. I expect to be on hand for the entire event. When I’m not at a scheduled event, look for me at booth 2429 in the exhibitor area.

Friday, June 6

  • 1:00-2:30pm – Signing – AZSPS/WWWC Exhibit. I’ll be hanging out with the Arizona Steampunk Society for a little while on Friday to talk about my steampunk books and sign them. I expect to have copies of the new edition of Owl Dance on hand and hopefully some news about Lightning Wolves.
  • 6:00-7:00pm – Celebrity Nerd Poets – North 127ab. Just how does one become a “Celebrity Nerd Poet”? Come on out and ask the Celebrity Nerd Poetry slam judges that very question. They’ll talk about their writing, the history, the local community, and poetry slams.
  • 7:30-8:30pm – Nerd Poetry Slam – North 127ab. Tthe Nerd Poetry Slam provides everyone the opportunity to share their love of pop culture in verse. Hosted by The Klute, everyone is encouraged to write a poem.
  • 9:00-10:00pm – Future Exploration – North 124a. What missions does NASA have planned for the near and far future?

Saturday, June 7

  • 10:30-11:30am – Science Fiction and Fantasy Poets – 127c. Join this panel of science fiction and fantasy poets for some samples of their poetry and discussion of the craft.
  • 1:00-2:30pm – Signing – AZSPS/WWWC Exhibit. I’ll be hanging out with the Arizona Steampunk Society for a little while on Saturday to talk about my steampunk books and sign them.
  • 7:30-8:30pm – Careers in Science – North 122ab. For those aspiring to have a career in science, technology, engineering, or math, advice on schooling, the outlook on career opportunities, and what life in those fields can be like.
  • 8:30-11:00pm – Drinks With Authors – Salon 5-8. Join many of the convention’s author guests for a glass or two in an informal setting. There will be door prizes and other giveaways from our participating publishers.

Sunday, June 8

  • 12:00-1:00pm – Crowdsourced Science – North 124b. Want to search for exoplanets? Discover cures for diseases? Look for alien signals? Believe it or not, these are real scientific endeavors that you can participate in! Learn how!
  • 1:30-2:30pm – Signing – AZSPS/WWWC Exhibit. I’ll be hanging out at the Arizona Steampunk Society Exhibit for a little while on Sunday to talk about my steampunk books and sign them.

A Kepler’s Dozen and Phoenix Comicon

Keplers Dozen

My anthology A Kepler’s Dozen: Thirteen Stories About Distant Worlds That Really Exist has just been released from Hadrosaur Productions. I co-edited the anthology with Steve B. Howell, the project scientist of NASA’s Kepler mission. Our goal was to have a set of astronomers and science fiction writers imagine what future explorers might find on the worlds discovered by the Kepler space probe. The tone of the stories range from light to serious, but the planets are always presented as realistically as possible. Fans of The Pirates of Sufiro will be pleased to know the book features an all new adventure with Captain Firebrandt and the crew of the Legacy. The National Optical Observatory wrote up a nice press release about the anthology which is available at http://www.noao.edu/news/2013/pr1305.php. The anthology is available at Amazon.com, BN.com, and Hadrosaur.com.

Unfortunately, the book is released just as news comes out that the Kepler spacecraft has lost the second of four reaction wheels that allow it to point accurately. There’s a good chance this marks the end of the spacecraft’s ability to collect data. It’s important to remember, though, even if the probe stopped working immediately, there are still two years’ worth of data to sort through and many, many planets likely still to be discovered. The Kepler probe has been a phenomenal success and Steve Howell and I are already thinking about a second book that will explore even more of the Kepler planets!


In the meantime, I’m gearing up for Phoenix Comicon which will be held over Memorial Day Weekend at the Phoenix Convention Center. This event is so big, it’s hard to know how to even begin describing it. All of the surviving cast of Babylon 5 will be there to celebrate the show’s 25th anniversary. There will be many other actors, comic artists, and writers on hand as well. I’m honored to be on several panels over the course of the weekend. Here’s my schedule.

Friday, May 24

  • Noon-1pm – So You Wanna Be a Writer – Room West104A. Learn from the pros about how to get started as an author, how to handle rejection, where to look for guidance, education, and support, and what to do when you’ve started to “make it” but aren’t all the way there yet. On the panel with me are Sharon Skinner, Tom Leveen, Gini Koch, C.J. Hill, and Marcy Rockwell.
  • 9-10pm – Create Your Own Steampunk Poem Workshop – Room 227AB. Poetry lives at the heart of Steampunk music and was a vital part of 19th century literary life. Express yourself in poetry. Free!

Saturday, May 25

  • Noon-1pm – Arizona’s Astronomical Observatories – Room 127C. Arizona features a number of world-class astronomical observatories thanks to our clear skies and high mountaintops. Learn from a panel of experts about our state’s telescope facilities, including research being done there and visitor information. On the panel with me are Karen Knierman and Gerard van Belle.
  • 6-7pm – Strange New Worlds: Extrasolar Planets and the Kepler Mission – Room 126C. Have you ever wondered if there are solar systems other than our own? We now know there are, and with the help of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft, we’ve found hundreds of them. Join us to learn about the surprising diversity of solar systems in our galaxy. On the panel with me are Lisa Will, Gerard van Belle, David Lee Summers, Kevin Healy and Steve Desch.

Sunday, May 26

  • 10:30-11:30am – Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Poetry – Room West104B. Yes, Virginia, SF poetry does exist. Join some of these poets for a look at the field. On the panel with me are Sharon Skinner, Marcy Rockwell, and Larry Hammer.
  • 1:30-2:30pm – Ask the Astronomers – Room 127C. Do you have any astronomy questions? Now is the time to ask! Join a panel of professional astronomers/astrophysicists for a free-flowing Q&A session about the universe. Kids and adults alike are encouraged to attend and ask questions. On the panel with me are David Williams, Patrick Young, Karen Knierman, Kevin Healy, Kenneth Wong, Lisa Will, and Stefan O’Dougherty.

When I’m not on one of these exciting panels, look for me at Booth 2532. I look forward to seeing you there!