CoKoCon 2018

This weekend finds me at Bubonicon in Albuquerque, New Mexico. If you’re in town, I hope you’ll drop by. Next weekend, I’ll be at CoKoCon in Phoenix, Arizona. CoKoCon is the combined CopperCon and Con Kopelli run in tandem by the Central Arizona Speculative Fiction Society and the Western Science Fiction Association. It’s being held at the Doubletree by Hilton Phoenix North. You can find more information at cokocon.org

The author guest of honor is Harry Turtledove. The local author guest of honor is Beth Cato. The artist guest of honor is Steve Rude. Cheshire Moon are the filk guests of honor and Eric Wile is the gaming guest of honor. Because of my observatory schedule, I can only attend two days of CoKoCon. So if you can attend, I hope to see you on Friday or Saturday. Even though I’m only able to be there on Friday and Saturday, I have a pretty full schedule as shown below.

Friday, August 31

  • 5-6pm – Canyon Room 4 – Discovering New Worlds. In a presentation that’s become something of a standby at Arizona conventions, I discuss what we know about planets outside the solar system. How many have we found? What are they like?
  • 6-7pm – Book Signing. I’ll be in the book signing area and available to sign books for you.

Saturday, September 1

  • 9:30-10:30am – Canyon Room 4 – Robots are from Mars, Dinosaurs are from Venus. A look at the astronomy and paleontology of the Victorian era, what people thought life on alien planets was like, what dinosaurs were like, and how they influenced the science fiction of the day.
  • 11am-noon – Canyon Room 3 – Punked. There was cyberpunk, then steampunk (although that’s debatable). Now there’s clockpunk, decopunk, dieselpunk and, most recently, solarpunk. We help you navigate these sub-sub-sub-genres and make sense of all these punks messing up history and the future. On the panel with me are Jenn Czep, Rhonda Parrish, and Cynthia Ward.
  • 2-3pm – Canyon Room 4 – Steampunk in the Round. What is it that makes steampunk a lasting trend? We’ll discuss the evolution of steampunk and ask how we might see it in a few years, the literary and media side of steampunk, the commercial side of Steampunk and the splinter divisions of steampunk. Q&A with audience. On the panel with me are Dirk Folmer, Kurt Khave, Christen Pike, and Gary Sollars.
  • 3:30-4:30pm – Canyon Room 3 – More than Airships. It’s not just flying anachronisms; steampunk is an aesthetic. Beth Cato leads our panel of authors in examining the style and the tropes of this whimsical version of alternate hist
    ory. Joining Beth and me are Cynthia Ward and Ashley Carlson.
  • 5-6pm – Book Signing. I’ll be available to sign my books in the convention signing area before I have to leave for a work week at Kitt Peak National Observatory.
  • If you attend the convention, you can find my books in the dealer’s room at Duncan’s Books and More. I look forward to seeing you there!

LepreCon 44

Next weekend, I’ll be on panels at LepreCon 44, which is being held at the Doubletree Metrocenter Mall in Phoenix, Arizona from June 22-24. LepreCon is a small fan-run general fantasy & science fiction convention. The guests of honor include Chesley-Award-Winning Artist, Lubov, novelist, playwright, and graphic novelist, Maxwell Alexander Drake, and Jon Santaana Proudstar who created the first all Native American comic. Another guest is James C. Glass, a retired physics and astronomy professor who won the Writers of the Future Contest in 1991. LepreCon is a smaller science fiction and fantasy convention, but I’ve often enjoyed these types of events because they provide an opportunity to interact with the guests and the fans attending the convention.

My schedule at the convention is as follows.

Saturday, June 23

    Reading – 1-2pm – Consuite. I’ll present a reading from my newest book, Owl Riders and talk about other projects. I’ll also be available to autograph books.

    Is Everyone White? How Do We Approach Skin Color in Fiction? – 7-8pm – Executive Board Room. Do we assume skin tone when we read? How should we describe skin tone when we write? Is it okay not to? On the panel with me are Ernest Hogan, Emily Devenport, and Maxwell Alexander Drake.

Sunday, June 24

    Habitable Extra-Solar Planets: A Reality Check – 9-10am – Latana Room. Being in the so-called habitable zone where liquid water can exist isn’t enough. What are the hazards? On the panel with me is James C. Glass.

    Researching Pasts that Never Were – 4:30-5:30pm – Executive Board Room. Alternate history, steampunk, and weird westerns are often set in pasts that never existed. The panel discusses researching histories that never were. What details can you change? What details shouldn’t you change? At what point are you including too much of your research? On the panel with me are Ernest Hogan, Jamie Wyman, and Tony Padegimas.

Duncan’s Books and More will be selling books in the dealer’s room and should have a selection of my titles. If you’ll be in Phoenix next weekend, I hope I’ll see you at LepreCon!

Westercon 70

Next weekend, I’ll be a program participant at Westercon 70 in Tempe, Arizona, also known as Conalope and LepreCon 43. Julie Dillon is the artist guest of honor, Connie Willis is the author guest of honor, Bjo and John Trimble are special media guests of honor. Sharing the spotlight with them are local author guest of honor Gini Koch and toastmaster Weston Ochse. Be sure to drop by the Westercon 70 page at westercon70.org to get details about the location, all the guests, and programming.

I will not have a dealer’s table at the event, but Duncan Rittschoff of Duncan’s Books and More will have a selection of my books in the dealer’s room. Also, it sounds like we may have copies of Straight Outta Tombstone in time for the show. I’m keeping my finger’s crossed!

Here’s my schedule for the event, which of course is subject to last minute change. Also, apologies if I missed a fellow panelist in the program grid.

Saturday, July 1

  • 3:30-4:30pm – The Return of Space Opera – Room: Jojake. With the return of Star Wars, the success of The Expanse on TV and Pierce Brown’s Red Rising, the space opera has returned. The panelists look at the appeal of these action-filled adventures where the science doesn’t get too hard and the characters have plenty of drama and romance. On the panel with me are Colette Black, H. Paul Honsinger, and Michael D’Ambrosio.

Sunday, July 2

  • 9:30-10:30am – The Science of Steampunk: What Makes the Gears Go Round? – Room: Jojake. Steampunk style is filled with all sorts of clockwork creatures and fantastical machines. Scientists and authors look at the science and tech behind airships, submarines, and giant mechanical spiders. On the panel with me are Ashley R. Carlson, Bruce Davis, Suzanne Lazear and Steve Howe.
  • 11:00-noon – The Future of Steampunk Writing – Room: Jojake. Vaughn Treude and Arlys Holloway will join me to discuss our thoughts on the future of steampunk writing.
  • 12:30-1:30pm – Autographs – Room: Cloister. Drop by the autograph table and I’ll be happy to sign books for you! Jenn Czep, T.L. Smith, Thomas Watson, and Natalie Wright will also be signing at the same time.
  • 3:30-4:30pm – Jackalopes and Other Cryptids – Room: Sand Lotus. In honor of Conalope’s mascot, authors will pay tribute to the strange creatures that may or may not inhabit the dark corners of the world. On the panel with me are Weston Ochse, Thomas Watson, and Ernest Hogan.
  • 5:00-6:00pm – Alien Autopsy of ET – Room: Dolores. Would it be possible for an alien species which found water poisonous to even land on Earth? How would two hearts work? What does green Vulcan blood say about their circulatory system? Join scientific experts and authors as they get to the guts of creature creation and make sure that “damned alien biology” is more than just a vague explanation. On the panel with me are Syd Logsdon, Bruce Davis, Jacqueline Lichtenberg, and Thomas Watson.

Monday, July 3

  • 9:00-10:00am – Exoplanets – Room: Augustine. In this presentation, I discuss how exoplanets are discovered and present some highlights about the kinds of exoplanets that have been discovered.
  • 3:30-4:30pm – Steampunk Roundtable – Room: Jojake. What is it that makes Steampunk an enduring pop-culture phenomenon? Attend this roundtable discussion of steampunk represented by contributors in a variety of fields. On the panel with me are Katherine Stewart, Dirk Folmer, and Madame Askew.

Tuesday, July 4

  • 9:30-10:30am – Bullets in Space: Putting the “Sci” in “SciFi – Room: Campanile. Hard sci-fi requires intensive research and lots of math to make sure everything adds up. We talk about that process, where to find the scientific answers and how to make sure your story doesn’t get bogged down in physics calculations. On the panel with me are Michael D’Ambrosio, Steve Howe, Amy K. Nichols, and Thomas Watson.
  • 11:00am – noon – Autographs – Room: Cloister. Another opportunity for you to get your wares signed by me and other panelists! Those other panelists would be Michael D’Ambrosio, T.L. Smith, Thomas Watson, Stephine Weippert, and Connie Willis.
  • 3:30-4:30pm – Reading – Room: Boardroom. In honor of release day, I plan to read my short story “Fountains of Blood” from Straight Outta Tombstone. There’s also a good chance, I’ll be able to give attendees a special, early, sneak peak at a very exciting short movie project I’ve been working on. Also reading during this session will be Cynthia Ward and Thomas Watson.

It looks like it’s going to be a busy weekend, but I can’t wait. Also, just for fun, if you come to the convention and cosplay a character from one of my books, I’ll give you a free book from those I have in stock at hadrosaur.com. Since I won’t have a dealer’s table, I may have to send it to you afterwards, but we’ll make it happen!

In the Word Kitchen

I’ll be at LepreCon in Phoenix, Arizona from July 23 through 26. To learn more about this fun science fiction convention, visit the LepreCon website.

This week, several writing and editing projects I’ve been working on have taken major steps forward. I feel like a chef in a kitchen working on several dishes at once, doing my best to make sure they all get the proper amount of attention and go out to my guests in the right order. cook The photo is an old one of me in my chef’s coat. I don’t have pretensions of being a great chef—or at least many pretensions—though I am a pretty darn cook if I do say so myself. My wife was inspired to buy me the coat after watching cooking shows and realizing there must be a practical reason for the coats. Mine has saved my arms from grease splatters and saved a few shirts. It was well worth the investment.

Moving from slinging hash to slinging words, I’m currently working through the final copy edit of The Astronomer’s Crypt. This is my novel about creatures from the beginning of time, drug dealers, ghosts, and astronomers colliding during a cloudy night at an observatory. For those who want to follow the adventures of this novel, be sure to follow my horror fiction blog at http://dlsummers.wordpress.com. In addition to catching last minute grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, my copy editor has done a lot to flag places where the action can be tightened and my use of language can be more effective. It’s been a good experience.

While working through edits of my novel, I’m editing an exciting post-apocalyptic novel called Sector 12 by L.J. Bonham. I’ll be sure to share more information about the novel when it comes out. I think being edited helps me be a better editor. What’s more, editing another author’s work helps me be more receptive to the comments of my editors.

I’ve also started reading stories for the anthology Kepler’s Cowboys which collects stories about those people who will blaze trails to planets discovered by NASA’s Kepler Probe. I’m editing the anthology with Kepler’s Project Scientist, Dr. Steve Howell. So far, I’ve received some great stories, but there’s plenty of room for more submissions. If you’re interested in trying your hand at a submission, be sure to read the guidelines at http://www.hadrosaur.com/antho-gl.html.

As with any good chef, I have a secret recipe and even something a little extra—what a Cajun might call a lagniappe. I actually have two more projects in process. I’m just waiting to formalize a few more things, then I’ll be ready to unveil them as well. Stay tuned. Or, to use a variation of Chef Paul Prudhomme’s catchphrase: Good eating, good reading, good loving!

LepreCon 41

Next weekend, I’ll be a participant at LepreCon 41 in Phoenix, Arizona. The convention will be held from Thursday, June 25 through Sunday, June 28 at the Embassy Suites Phoenix North. This year’s guests include David Gerrold, Jennifer Brozek, and Dayton Ward. It’s especially exciting since I’ve had the chance to work with or alongside each of those people in at least one project. For more information about LepreCon, visit their website at http://leprecon.org

My schedule at the convention is as follows:

Friday, June 26

    3-4pm – Suite E – Discovering New Worlds. A presentation about the techniques used to discover planets beyond the solar system and a look at the kinds of worlds discovered. This presentation will focus more on how new worlds are found. My presentation on Saturday called “Planets Outside the Solar System” will focus more on what kinds of planets are being discovered.

    5-6pm – Suite D – How to Make Your Own Telescope. I show you how you can make a simple and stylish Newtonian telescope from easy-to-find, inexpensive parts that’s easy to transport and set up so you can enjoy the night sky

    7-8pm – Suite C – East Coast Steampunk meets West Coast. How does Steampunk fashion and style differ from the east coast to the west coast? On the panel with me are Dee Astell and Ileana Herrera.

Saturday, June 27

    11-11:30am – Suite E – Autographing. Bring your books for me to autograph. I’ll also have a few of my own wares along to sell.

    2-3pm – Suite E – Planets Outside the Solar System. A look at how we discover planets outside the solar system, what kinds of planets we’ve discovered, what we know about them, and the future of planet hunting. This presentation will focus more on the actual planets discovered.

    10-11pm – Suite C – Steampunk and History. Steampunk blends elements of history, science fiction, and fantasy. How much historical research needs to go into your steampunk story? Can you completely reinvent history for your steampunk story? Does it even have to be set in history to be called steampunk? I envisioned this as a panel with multiple people, but it looks like I’m doing it by myself, so come equipped with questions. I’ll likely do a reading or two to show how I’ve approached issues of steampunk and history.

Sunday, June 28

    10-11a – Suite E – Mars: A Land Across the Aether. A presentation about Mars of the 19th century and how it became a place in the popular imagination. Where did the Martian canals come from? A look at the early debates about Martian life. Listen to Tesla’s recordings of extraterrestrial signals.

If I missed you at Phoenix Comicon, I hope to see you at LepreCon! Also, remember, the Favorite Heroines Blog Hop is still going on. Be sure to drop by my last post and enter to win a copy of Lightning Wolves.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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.