Balticon 48: The Return to Hunt Valley and Revenge of #GymCon

Last year, Pip and I were not in attendance at Balticon, the premier weekend of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror. We had been given Featured Guest status at Up in the Æther (now called Steamtopia) so we figured after years (a decade for me!) of attending Balticon, it was time for a change of pace. Detroit was a fantastic town with awesome people, and it was a good weekend all around…

…but yes, it was weird not being in Hunt Valley, Maryland, on Memorial Day Weekend.

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This year, Pip and I are excited to be returning. Unlike other literary events, Balticon offers a track specific to New Media (blogging, podcasting, Facebook, etc.), originally started up by Paul Fischer back in 2005. From that single panel on what a podcast is, the New Media track (which covers production, fan discussions, and live recordings) grew, even earning the nickname “The Other Balticon” which I think is a bit unfair as some of the most talented people — not just the writers, but the creative artists that also speak on the track — I’ve met are all on this track. Over the years, though, Balticon’s amazing staff have integrated the New Media track with other tracks; and this year’s 48th incarnation of the event promises to be a fantastic time!

Here’s where you can find me this weekend… Continue reading

Achievement Unlocked: My First Con (DemiCon 25) as Guest of Honor

IMG_0556So Monday was the snap-back from my return to Richmond — RavenCon. It was a great weekend with an additional bonus of Pip and myself hijacking award-winner Elizabeth Bear to show her a few sights from my hometown. We left the con at 2 o’clock and didn’t return her until 6:15.

What did we do in four hours?

It was not only quality time with a friend, but a good sampling of what Richmond had to offer.

I plan to write about the weekend — especially on the exceptional KidsTrack which followed a S.H.I.E.L.D. Training theme — but presently I am looking ahead to this coming weekend: the Silver Edition of DemiCon. I’m feeling the butterflies kick as I’ll be reuniting with old friends, meeting new ones for the first time, and fulfilling a role I’ve never held before at a convention.

IMG_0271At DemiCon 25, I am being welcomed as the event’s Guest of Honor, or GoH.

Following my first year experiencing the con scene, I made the GoH distinction one of those “That would be cool…” goals in my career. Why? It would have been an indication that to the organizers and staff of a particular convention, my stories held a special place. Not a bad benchmark to reach for, I figured. After a few years of con-hopping, I assumed my first GoH would be an event I frequented. Maybe? Then, on going full time in writing, the notion fell to the bottom of my priorities list, beaten out by other items like new title development and paying bills.

Imagine my surprise when it was DemiCon, an event I attended only once, that would be the first to extend this distinction to me. Imagine my surprise growing when I found out it would be for their 25th anniversary.

No pressure there, Morris. Continue reading

Capclave: A Celebration of Short Stories, Anthologies, and the Business of Books

photo by P.J. Schnyder

Are you in the Washington D.C. are this weekend? Because if you are, Pip and I are going to be out and about at Capclave, on Friday and Saturday at the Hilton of 620 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, Maryland 20877.

Capclave, if you have never attended, is not a bustling event like Balticon or RavenCon; but a more intimate affair that focuses more on the art of short fiction.

And yes, short fiction is an art.  You might not think it with my releases this year, but short stories have always been a challenge for me. It’s only been recently I’ve felt comfortable writing short stories, and Capclave is a rare event indeed as short stories take center stage. Discussions range between  the challenges of the market to the big question “Is there still a market for short stories?”

Oh yeah, and did I mention George R R Martin is the Guest of Honor this year?

Now for anyone who thinks I’m going to corner him, take him down with a Hapkido throw, jam my boot in his throat, and demand that he gets me an audience with Peter Dinklage, I’m just going to say for the record that I’m not going to corner him.

So, yeah, that.

But if you are looking to corner me at Capclave, you’ll get your chance here… Continue reading

A Tribute to Wombat

“It was at Astronomicon I met a character that not only made a heck of an impression on both me and Nat, but also became a good friend for cons to come.  His real name is jan howard finder (yes, spelled in the lower case)…but everyone calls him “Wombat.”  Wombat is a little more than the professional fan.  He’s a published author.  He’s an activist for the preservation of endangered species.  He’s a world traveler.  He’s a Jack of All Trades, known for his mink glove and massage techniques.  Most of all, he is a good guy.  A really solid individual with a good heart and soul to match.”

005_2_0001I wrote those words a decade ago about a guy that I met in my first year (come to think of it — at the time I had met him, MOREVI wasn’t even six months off-the-press…) as a professional author. I was still new to the genre, still new to the Science Fiction convention circuit. I met Wombat entirely at random, stuck up a conversation, and gradually found out that I was in the company of a legend in the circles of fandom. He could be called a true ambassador of the convention scene, but I never really liked to think of jan howard finder — Wombat — as a luminary of fandom. He was far bigger than that, in my eyes. Continue reading

The Janus Affair: A Sneak Peek and a Balticon Bash!


Hey, everyone!

Well, here we are — the week it all happens! Balticon!

Before I forget, I do want to give you all a little something to enjoy, audio-wise…

James Langton, you might recall, gave his voice to us for Harper Audio’s kicking production of Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel. He’s back for The Janus Affair, and we could not be happier about it. Harper Audio gave us this preview for our podcast (you DO know about the steampunk podcast anthology Pip and I do, right?), and after hearing it, Pip and I can’t wait to hear what James comes up with next! We are so stoked to have him bringing Wellington and Eliza to life, and hopefully we will hear him again when Book Three is green-lit for production.

Now, onward to Balticon… Continue reading

FenCon VIII: Where I’ll Be

As mentioned on The Shared Desk, Pip and I are heading to the Lone Star State for FenCon VIII (also the host of DeepSouthCon 49). We’re looking forward to it as the guest list and programming promises to be a fun time. If you are in the Dallas/Fort Worth area between September 23-25, you will be able to find me at FenCon taking part in the following…

Now this is the official FenCon schedule, but there are going to be at least two unofficial events. These events that will include a Friday night tweet up and a “Let’s Crowd into Tee & Pip’s Room” recording of The Shared Desk. Keep tabs on these off-the-clock events at The Captain’s Quarters on Facebook.

Eleven days and counting until we mess with Texas — it’s time for FenCon!!!

The Ministry MAY-hem Wrap-up at Balticon 45!

So, I’m all rested up and recovered from an amazing weekend at the Steampunk World’s Fair (review in the works). What’s next?

Why, another con appearance, of course…

Concluding The Ministry MAY-hem Tour (at least, this part of it) is an old favorite of mine — BALTICON. It was nearly ten years ago when I first arrived at this event with Morevi.  I looked something like this back then…

This was before the time of facial hair, before the days of podcasting, before the days of Facebook, Twitter, and Social Media. Right now, I’d love to go up to that guy and say “You have no idea what’s in store for you, bro.”

What a long strange trip it has been. And with the premiere of Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel, it may just get a wee-bit stranger at Balticon 45 as tea parties, time traveling dances, rock-and-roll courtesy of Ditched by Kate, and panels-panels-panels are all in store! Here’s my schedule for the next few days… Continue reading

Counting down to one wild weekend ahead…

Yes, it has been a little quiet on my blog…but that doesn’t mean I’ve been standing still.

The 2011 Steampunk World's Fair

Our first steampunk exposition, The Steampunk World’s Fair in Somerset, New Jersey, is happening this week; and they are making us feel welcome! The guest list is mind-blowing, and yet we — the steampunk rookies — make their Lovecraftian promotional poster.

I think this is a sign of a FUN weekend ahead!

Both Pip and I will be there as part of “Ministry MAY-hem” and there are more details about the weekend to be found at the Ministry website. Track the weekend on Twitter by following the #SPWF hashtag.

We hope to see you this weekend as we get our steampunk funk on!

The Price of Publicity

I promised myself to work on my blogging skills. It’s a bit like getting back into shape, you know? I’m struggling to get back into a routine, and everyone around me is telling to cut myself a break considering the year I have been facing. The reality is, just like staying in shape, I have to do this. Next year, as many of you know, I will be returning to novel-length fiction with my first mass market paperback novel, Phoenix Rising: A Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences Novel. Me. The Kiwi. Steampunk. The cover is just beautiful, I’m telling you. Stay patient and, as soon as we get approval, we will go live with it.

2011 is a big step for me as a writer; and I’m trying to take everything I have learned since 2002 when Morevi first rolled off the presses, and apply it to the now. One of the hardest lessons I learned over this near-decade of writing professionally is just how easy it is to find yourself in the red. Not the red ink of an editor’s pen, mind you, but the financial red of your bank account telling you in so many words that you — the professional author — are flat broke. Continue reading

Returning to Philcon

It’s been a while, but as I step back into the arena of promotion (alongside Philippa Ballantine), I am planning to get back into the habit of letting people know where I’ll be. This weekend it is Philcon, Philadelphia’s premier Science Fiction convention…held in Cherry Hill, New Jersey.

Blame the Martians. Continue reading