TusCon 44

Next weekend, I’ll be at TusCon 44 which is being held from November 10-12 at the Sheraton Tucson Hotel and Suites in Tucson, Arizona. Timothy Zahn is the Author Guest of Honor, Theresa Mather is the Artist Guest of Honor, Melinda M. Snodgrass is the Media Guest of Honor, Geoff Notkin is the Toastmaster, Madame Askew is the Mistress of Chaos, Hal and Dee Astell are the Fan Guests of Honor. For more information about the convention visit http://www.tusconscificon.com

This year, all of my panels are on Saturday, November 11, but as you’ll see, it’s a busy schedule! I will be at TusCon all weekend and Hadrosaur Productions will be in the dealer’s room. Here’s my event schedule:

Saturday, November 11

  • 12pm-1pm – Autographing – Canyon Theater Foyer. I’ll be signing autographs alongside Jeffrey J. Mariotte, Marsheilla Rockwell, Rick Cook, and Dr. David Williams.

  • 2pm-3pm – The Astronomer’s Crypt: Making a Book and a Trailer – Panel Room 2 (Pima B). Filmmaker Eric Schumacher and I will debut our short film which presents a scene from my novel, The Astronomer’s Crypt. Our goal with this project is to make something that goes beyond the ordinary book trailer and actually brings you inside the world of the book. We’ll discuss how we made the trailer and, if you’re an author, we’ll show you how we can help you get more eyes on your book.
  • 4pm-5pm – Publishing in 2017 – The Options, the Opportunities, the Pitfalls – Ballroom (Sabino). There’s the big press, the small press, the self press, the no press. What to do what to do? On the panel with me are Ron Collins, Julie Verley, Cynthia Ward, Beth Meacham, and Catherine Wells.
  • 5pm-6pm – The Snowball Effect: How to pick up steam on the way to making a low-budget film – Panel Room 1 (Pima A). I’ll join director Marty Ketola, actor Eric Schumacher, and actor Geoff Notkin to discuss the making of the indie film Revenge of Zoe in which screenwriter Billy Shaw must face his inner demons while convincing comic book store owners John and Pete to help him write a sequel to his greatest work; a movie about comic book super heroine Fren-Zee.
  • 7pm-8pm – Why Do Adults Like Young Adult Fiction? – Ballroom (Sabino). What are adults finding in the “kids” shelves that they’re not find in the rest of the bookstore? On the panel with me are Linda Addison, Mary Fan, Jim Doty, Jill Knowles, and Beth Meacham.

Also, I’m planning my annual shared birthday celebration with fellow longtime TusCon dealer Marty Massoglia on Saturday night after all the panels. Check with us at the convention for details. We might even go back in time on Friday night to TusCon 43 to have the party we missed last year!

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TusCon 43

This coming weekend, I’ll be at TusCon, an annual science fiction convention held in Tucson, Arizona from November 11-13 at the Radison Hotel at the Tucson Airport. The writer guest of honor is George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire, which HBO has adapted in to A Game of Thrones. The artist guest of honor is Peri Charlifu, an award winning artist from Colorado with over 30 years experience in the field. The event is already SOLD OUT and I am told there will be no tickets at the door.

tuscon-43

My schedule at TusCon is as follows:

Friday, November 11

  • 6:00pm – 7:00pm. New hotel, same ol TusCon. Panel Room 1 (Valencia). In this panel, we discuss what’s new and what’s the same at TusCon. We even have a recycled Guest of Honor, although chances are only the panelists know that. On the panel with me: Curt Stubbs, Wendy Trakes, Scott Glener, Earl W. Parrish
  • 7:00pm – 9:00pm. Meet the Guests. Ballroom (Seville). Come rub elbows with the convention guests, enjoy the cash bar, be regaled by Toast Master Ed Bryant.
  • 10:00pm – 11:00pm. Discovering New Worlds. Panel Room 2 (Palo Verde). The Kepler Space Telescope along with many ground based surveys have literally found thousands of planets around other stars. What kinds of worlds are we finding and how do we find them?
  • Midnight – 1:00am. The Astronomer’s Crypt. Panel Room 1 (Valencia). I read from my latest horror novel inspired by my work at Kitt Peak National Observatory. In the novel, astronomers, ghosts, drug cartels and monsters from the beginning of time collide at an observatory on a dark and stormy night.

Saturday, November 12

  • 10:00am – 11:00am. Is serialization making writers forget how to write a good, solid, stand alone story? Panel Room 1 (Valencia). Now that everything successful must get a sequel how much time should be devoted to planting the seeds for the series? How much does that impede telling a satisfying single story? On the panel with me are Janie Franz, Jeffe Kennedy, and Van Aaron Hughes.
  • 11:00am – Noon. Autograph Session. Autographs (Upper Terrace). I’ll be autographing my wares alongside such notable folks as Dr. David Williams, Geoff Notkin, and Thomas Watson.
  • 1:00pm – 2:00pm. The physics of sci-fi space battles. Panel Room 1 (Valencia). Most of sci-fi is filled with space battles between giant carriers, or fighters buzzing every which way, firing lasers and missiles at each other. In reality, space battles will be determined almost completely by orbital dynamics. There is little room for surprise attacks, little opportunity to change trajectory once they’ve begun, and their outcomes are probably easy to forecast well in advance. This will change how war is waged in space, and even hard science fiction authors often fail to address these changes. It might be fun to watch a few classic battles, readdress them with physics, figure out the differences, and see what probably should have been different. On the panel with me are Gautham Narayan and David A. Williams.
  • 9:00pm – 10:00pm. Pitch Perfect – You can get published now! Ballroom (Seville). Bob Nelson of Brick Cave Media, Janie Franz of Museit Up Media, and I will take one-minute pitches for projects we’re editing. In my case, I have a spot reserved in the anthology Kepler’s Cowboys. Can you earn one of the last spots in the book. Come along and give it a try, but be sure you read the guidelines first!

Sunday, November 13

  • Noon – 1:00pm. Is conflict overrated? In the age of the antihero, maybe we just need more stories about nice people doing nice things. Ballroom (Seville). Remember when protagonists were… well… protagonists? Why have we left those days behind? On the panel with me are Jill Knowles, Thomas Watson, Earl W. Parrish, and Van Aaron Hughes.

In addition to all these great panels, Hadrosaur Productions will be in the dealer’s room. What’s more, book dealer Marty Massoglia and I will both be celebrating milestone birthdays over the weekend. There will be a celebration at some point. If you’re at TusCon, track us down for details! Hope you have your tickets and we’ll see you there!

TusCon 42

TusCon42

This weekend, I’m in Denver, Colorado at MileHiCon. Next weekend, I’ll be in Tucson, Arizona at TusCon 42. The convention will be held at the Hotel Tucson City Center InnSuites Conference Suite Resort from October 30th through November 1. Spanning Halloween weekend, there’s sure to be lots of fun cosplay and treats. The author guest of honor will be Seanan McGuire and the artist guest of honor will be Bridget E. Wilde. Special guests include Geoff Notkin and Autumn Ivy. Ed Bryant returns as Toastmaster. My schedule is as follows:

Friday, October 30

  • 5-6pm – Is it wrong to be nostalgic about retro? – St. Augustine. Everything old is new again, but is that idea old enough to be new again? On the panel with me will be Paul E. Clinco, Eric Hanson, and Gloria McMillan.
  • 7-8pm – Meet the Guests – Copper Ballroom. Cash bar, bellydancing, buffet food, and stories from toastmaster Ed Bryant, plus a chance to meet the cool people who participate in TusCon.

Saturday, October 31

  • 4-5pm – Mass Autographing – Copper Ballroom. Come get your wares autographed by all the cool TusCon authors.
  • 5-6pm – How to stretch the reader’s mind without breaking the suspension of disbelief – St. Augustine. Where is the line between being crazy and unbelievable? Just how much strange stuff can you throw at your audience before they check out? Is there real stuff that’s so far out you can’t actually put it in a story? On the panel with me are Jill Knowles, Rick Cook, J.L. Doty, and T.M. Williams.
  • 7:30pm-11pm – Marty and Dave’s Birthday/Halloween Party – TBA. Marty Massoglia and David Lee Summers celebrate their respective birthdays a couple of weeks early at their annual room party. Stop by for snacks and good conversation. If I haven’t announced it here, look for Marty or me at the convention and we’ll be able to tell you what room we’ll be in!

Sunday, November 1

  • 10-11am – What happened to our 21st Century? – Copper Ballroom. We were going to have flying cars, and rocket planes, and colonies and all this cool stuff. Unless you were into cyberpunk in which case we were going to have mass homelessness, rebreather and computers in our eye. So why are we living like none of the above? On the panel with me are Earl Billick, Codi Dolenac, and Eric Flint.
  • 1-2pm – Fen as Family – St. Augustine. How do chronically anti-social loners gain geek friends that stay with them for life, or is that just a myth? Do we really pull together in times of trouble? Has this dynamic changed since we took over pop culture and are no longer the insular group we used to be? On the panel with me are Gloria McMillan, Wolf Forrest, Bruce Wiley, and Liz Danforth.

From Wolves to Sharks

I had a wonderful time at TusCon in Tucson, Arizona last weekend. I was on four good panels where we discussed topics as diverse as the benefits of a day job to your writing, whether the future is knowable or not, and the similarities and differences between monsters and megalomaniacs. Here I am in front of the Hadrosaur Productions table with Pimpzilla. I especially love his cane topped with train.

Pimpzilla

Although the dealer’s room at TusCon never seemed especially crowded, we had good sales. Of particular note, Lightning Wolves was quite popular and we sold out. This is especially welcome since my plan for November had been to focus on the novel’s sequel, The Brazen Shark.

If you would like to know a little more about The Brazen Shark and my writing process, I talk about both in a fun mini-interview with Wendy Rathbone.

Unfortunately, my work schedule at the observatory doesn’t really allow me to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. The nights in November get long, and I can’t guarantee I can write on nights I’m at the observatory. That said, two of my co-workers each offered to work a night for me this month. It’s only two nights, but it’s very welcome and gives me hope that I might get a word count similar to what I would if I were participating in NaNoWriMo.

Weeping-Angel

As it turns out, I’m less concerned about word count than I am having quality time to do research. Much of The Brazen Shark is set in Russia and Japan of the nineteenth century. I have a lot of research to do for this novel. Of course, returning to my weekend at TusCon briefly, perhaps I could turn to my daughter for help. She won the costume contest in the science fiction category for her weeping angel costume from Doctor Who. The Weeping Angels send people back in time. Perhaps she can send me to Sakhalin Island of 1877!

TusCon 41 Schedule

TusCon41 TusCon is Tucson, Arizona’s annual science fiction, fantasy, and horror convention. Normally it’s held about mid-November, but this year it’s coming up early, on Halloween weekend. Once again, I’m honored to be invited as one of the guest authors. The Author Guest of Honor is Janni Lee Simner and the Artist Guest of Honor is Sarah Clemmons. You can find all the details at tusconscificon.com. Here’s a look at my schedule:

Friday, October 31

  • 7pm – Ballroom – Mingle with the Guests. This is your chance to learn who’s who at TusCon and chat informally before festivities begin.
  • 9pm – Panel Room 1 – Is It Still TusCon If It’s On Halloween. Normally TusCon happens around my birthday. This year it’s two weeks early. This definitely feels strange to me. Discussing the situation with me are Scott Glener, Bruce Wiley, Carol DePriest, and Curt “Fergie” Booth.

Saturday, November 1

  • 3pm – Panel Room 1 – Has the future become “unknowable”? Was it ever knowable in the first place? I’ll discuss how science and science fiction have changed with Anna Paradox, Cynthia Ward, and Jim Doty.
  • 6pm – Ballroom – Mass Autograph Session Get your wares autographed by any and all of TusCon’s guest authors and artists. If it has mass, I’ll sign it!

Sunday, November 2

  • 11am – Panel Room 1 – Don’t Quit Your Day Job. On this panel, we’ll be discussing the struggles of making a living in this crazy business of science fiction and fantasy writing and storytelling. On the panel with me are Eric Schumacher, Janni Lee Simner, Liz Danforth, and John Vornholt.
  • 1pm – Ballroom – Monsters vs. Megalomaniacs. We’re here to help you figure out how to tell the difference between these two groups. On the panel with me are T.L. Smith, and Paul E. Clinco.

Of course, if you don’t catch up to me in one of these great panels, be sure to stop by the dealer’s room and find the Hadrosaur Productions table where you’ll find many wonderful books, magazines, and anthologies, several of which contain stories and poems by people at TusCon. I look forward to seeing you there!

TusCon 40

My last convention of the year will be TusCon in Tucson, Arizona, which runs from November 8-10 at the Hotel CityCenter. You can get all the details about the convention at tusconscificon.com. Not only will I be a participant at the convention, I’ll be there as a dealer working the Hadrosaur Productions table. Look for us by our nifty new banner!

Hadrosaur Banner

Here’s my schedule for the convention:

Friday, November 8:

  • 9pm – Panel Room 1 – What is this TusCon you speak of? Not sure how you fit in to a little convention you never heard of before? This is the place to learn about your 400 new best friends. On the panel with me are Fred Kurtzweg and Carol De Priest.
  • 11pm – Panel Room 2 – Vampires and Lightning Wolves. Join me for a reading from my recent and upcoming novels.

Saturday, November 9:

  • 11am – Panel Room 2 – Speed Date an Editor. This is your opportunity to pitch me a story for Tales of the Talisman Magazine. I’ll work with you and give you suggestions so you can send me something I won’t be able to resist when we open to submissions in January.
  • 1pm – Panel Room 1 – Fahrenheit 451. If the world were on that path what book would you memorize to save for the ages? On the panel with me are Gloria McMillan, Liz Danforth, and Weston Ochse.
  • 4pm – Ballroom – Mass Autographing. Bring something that has mass and I’ll autograph it! (Of course, we will have plenty such things at the Hadrosaur Productions Table that I’ll be happy to sign.)
  • 9pm – Panel Room 1 – A tale of two ghettos: Is Romance more or less stigmatizing than Science Fiction? Why do the Sharks and the Jets hate each other and who is Maria? On the panel with me are Jordan Summers, Juliet Blackwell, Jennifer Roberson, and Michelle Gates.

Sunday, November 10:

  • 9am – Ballroom – Asimov, Bradbury, & Heinlein. What will be their historical legacy, how is historical legacy determined and why does it matter? On the panel with me are Gloria McMillan, Juliet Blackwell, Eric Schumacher, and Wolf Forrest
  • Noon – Ballroom – How to rewrite right. Not just editing, but knowing which rough edges to polish off and which are integral. And the most important step – when to stop. On the panel with me are Sharon Skinner, Dr. Jennifer Grier, Thomas Watson, and Rick Cook

If you’re in Tucson the weekend of November 8-10, I hope to see you at TusCon!

Remembering Gary Hayes

The dedication to my novel Owl Dance reads:

To
Rebecca Petithory-Hayes
and
Gary Hayes
Whether traveling back in time to the Wild West
or forward in time to an optimistic future,
you are great companions to have on the journey.

I was saddened to learn that my friend Gary Hayes passed away suddenly this week at age 60.

Gary Hayes

I first met Gary nearly twenty years ago at TusCon, a science fiction convention held in Tucson, Arizona. He was dressed as a Klingon and working convention security. Gary was tall—around six-foot-six—with thinning hair, thick sideburns and a mustache. He made a good Klingon. I was at a room party that was getting a little loud and he came by to remind us to quiet down so guests elsewhere in the hotel could sleep. He lingered at the party and our conversation soon turned to Klingons, Star Trek, and costuming. I soon learned that Gary was the artist behind many of the illustrations in the program guide.

Over the years, I continued to see Gary at science fiction conventions around Arizona, and particularly at TusCon. He was often jovial and always enthusiastic about costuming and artwork. It was a delight to see what he would come up with for the next event. Gary and his wife Rebecca loved classic science fiction from such masters as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, and Edgar Rice Burroughs, so it’s not surprising that as the Steampunk movement grew, their interests moved that direction as well. Naturally they also folded in their love of the Wild West.

Festival of Books

In recent years, I often saw Gary at conventions with remarkable devices such as a backpack sporting DaVinci wings or some enormous gun that sported lights. Most recently, I saw Gary at Phoenix Comicon where he had a shoulder mounted Gatling gun that turned. Gary’s enthusiasm for these gadgets helped to inspire such characters as Professor Maravilla and Captain Cisneros in my novel Owl Dance. Enthusiastic as Gary was, he was always willing to lend an ear when I talked about one of my projects.

Although I’m sad to know Gary won’t be there with a gleam in his eye at a future convention, I’m hopeful that he’s now free of the constraints of time and space and that he’s exploring all the possible pasts and delighting in what the future will bring.