My 2017 Ravencon schedule

Ravencon is a fun little convention that keeps growing — It used to be in my hometown of Richmond but now it’s in Williamsburg, right next to Busch Gardens where I spent many days riding roller coasters when I was younger… This year, the writer Guest of Honor is Mercedes Lackey! Other guests include Chuck Gannon, Philippa Ballantine, Tee Morris, Jack McDevitt, Bud Sparhawk, and me (among many others!)  Here’s where you can find me:

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Opening Ceremony (Friday 7 pm) Wherein guests are introduced and Mike Pederson tells some bad jokes

What Rules to Break and Which Don’t Apply (Friday 9 pm): Many new authors have heard the rules: One POV per scene, don’t use adverbs, limit the POVs to no more than three per story. These “rules” have been taught for over a hundred years, but who came up with them and do they still apply to the modern reader? With Nicole Givens Kurtz, Kelly Lockhart, and Melissa McArthur

The Dystopia is Already Here; It’s Just Not Evenly Distributed (Friday 10 pm): Unable to change abortion laws that have already been decided upon by the Supreme Court at the federal level, many state legislatures have gotten laws approved that effectively ban abortions by curtailing various freedoms for “medical” reasons. Protections for voting rights have eroded in a similar manner, at the state level. While dystopian literature has all but taken over the field of Young Adult SF, the resolutions offered by these narratives are often violent. How could SF/F predict more realistic/more feminist ways to combat local hostile governments? With Nancy Northcott, Carolyn O’Neal, and Gray Rinehart 

Time Travel in Literature (Saturday 1 pm): Many books include time travel, some more successfully than others. How does time travel affect plot lines and history in different ways in different books? What are some of the more creative uses of time travel and ways around the paradoxes? With Lou Antonelli, Darin Kennedy, and Steve White 

Ethics Behind the Story: Moral Dilemmas In SFF (Saturday 2 pm): Science fiction as a genre is rife with future ethical issues. Fantasy is all about the moral choices of heroes and villains. Learn about ethical dilemma, receive a brief overview of Western ethical philosophy including the diverse approaches to resolving moral dilemmas, and discuss what important moral issues we will face in the future. With Charity Ayres and Fabian Rush

Pre-Judging for the Masquerade (Saturday 6 pm): In which I give a pep talk and advise the masquerade participants in how to present themselves for the judges and the audience.

Reading (Saturday 9:25 pm):  I’ll be reading something (audience choice)!

Signing (Sunday 10 am) I’ll be signing anything anyone wants me to sign (preferably my books)

Zombipalooza!

Zombiepalooza radio recently did a five-hour show (!) dedicated to my latest anthology BAKER STREET IRREGULARS. It was great fun, and we took in questions from viewers and had a lot of laughs.

I was the main guest for the first hour, but I stuck around for the entire thing since I was the co-editor of the book. Every hour would be another guest author: First there was Jim Avelli, then Keith DeCandido, Jody Lynn Nye, and Ryk Spoor.

We discussed Sherlock, writing, talent, and many other things, with lots of advice for writers (based on what the authors interviewed said they did to prepare a story).

Please check it out!

My Lunacon 2017 Schedule

Another convention, a week after the last. It’s been a busy month — and now it’s time for Lunacon, featuring Guests of Honor Ben Bova and Bob Eggleton.logo_lunacon

Here’s my schedule:

What Makes it Go, Besides Steam? (Friday 8:30): How do you effectively develop the historical setting for a steam-billowing plot? Research? Reading? Imagination? Exploration? Steampunk writers discuss their methods for determining the time, the place, and the brass to make it all work. With Danielle Ackley-McPhail and Russell J. Handelman.

Writing Social Change in SF (Saturday 2:00): This panel explores how speculative fiction can present the social, environmental and political challenges of our society. What is the best way to discuss these challenges without alienating readers? Is it our responsibility as artists to incorporate these issues in our work, whether overtly or covertly? How can we avoid prejudices and stereotypes in our work? With Marcy Arlin, Richard Herr, and Matthew Kressel.

Sherlock Holmes, From Page to Stage to Screen (Saturday 5:00): A discussion of Sherlock Holmes in all the myriad forms that have come from the works of one man. From stage to screen to games to LARPs and beyond. With Ef Deal, Russell J. Handelman, Debra Lieven, and Terence Taylor.

Masquerade (Saturday 8:00): The annual costume competition, in which I will be hosting (again)! Judges will be Bob Eggleton, Marianne Plumridge, Roberta Rogow, and Carol Salemi. Here’s a video of last year’s Masquerade:

Reading (Sunday 12:30): I’ll be reading from either Bloodsuckers or the short story “Remembering the Future” from Tales of Fortannis: A Bard Act to Follow (audience choice).

Edit Me (Sunday 1:00): Editors chat about today’s and tomorrows challenges in editing genre works. With Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Neil Clarke, Elektra Hammond, Gordon Linzner, and Ian Randal Strock.

My Albacon 2017 Schedule

I’ll be at the Albacon convention this weekend in Albany, New York. The Guest of Honor is Charles Gannon!

Here’s my schedule:

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Chuck Gannon

What Publishers (and Readers) Want (Friday 10 am): A look into what makes a story appealing. With Charles Gannon, Hildy Silverman, Rick Ollerman and Ryk Spoor.  

Writing Techniques — Revising, Editing, Outlining (Friday 1 pm): Some tips on how to work better. The panel will answer questions from the audience about issues that they have problems with. With Charles Gannon,  Melissa Mead, Hildy Silverman, Rick Ollerman and Ryk Spoor.  

Critiquing Panel (Friday 4 pm): Workshop participants will bring their work. The panel will read it and then make suggestions. With Anatoly Belilovsky, James Cambias, Lawrence Connelly, Chuck Rothman, and Ryk Spoor.

Improvisational Storytelling (Friday 10 pm): An old Albacon favorite! Authors create stories from suggestions from the audience. With Don Sakers, Ryk Spoor, and Ian Randal Strock.

Autographing (Saturday noon): Signing books (or anything else you want autographed).

Games Into Fiction (Saturday 3 pm): How does one format enhance the other? With Cameron Calkins, Charles Gannon, Walter Hunt, Ryk Spoor, and Robert Waters.

The Eye of Argon (Saturday 11 pm): The worst story ever, as you’ve never seen it before! With Hildy Silverman and Ian Randal Strock.

Reading (Sunday 10:30 am) I’ll be reading from either Bloodsuckers or my latest Fortannis short story (audience choice).

My Turn to be Interviewed!

The web page Random Chatter has a short interview with me today where I discuss Sherlock Holmes, why I don’t like the Star Wars prequels, and the Monkees. ‘Cause, you know, they’re all so similar.

Baker Street Irregulars

What if Sherlock Holmes was born in a different body in a different time and place? In this new series, New York Times Bestselling Author Jonathan Maberry and I invite others to speculate as to what that might be! It’s officially releasing from Diversion Books on March 21 in paperback, ebook, and an audio book as well. You can pre-order it now on Amazon or Barnes and Nobles or anywhere, really.

Here’s the great Table of Contents:baker-street

“’Locked” by Mike Strauss: Sherlock is the host of a reality show

“Identity” by Keith R. A. DeCandido: Sherlock is a young girl in modern New York City

“The Scent of Truth” by Jody Lynn Nye: Sherlock is a doglike alien

“The Adventure of the Reluctant Detective” by Ryk Spoor: Sherlock is not what he thinks he is

“A Scandal in the Bloodline” by Hildy Silverman: Sherlock is a vampire

“The Fabulous Marble” by David Gerrold: Sherlock is a bio-synthed, augmented, 7 percent human, upgraded, unmortal, consulting extrapoloid

“The Scarlet Study” by Jim Avelli: Sherlock is a worker in a dystopian world

“Delta Phi” by Heidi McLaughlin: Sherlock is an eighteen-year-old female college student

“Beethoven’s Baton” by Austin Farmer: Sherlock is a musician in Beethoven’s orchestra

“The Adventure of the Melted Saint” by Gail Z. Martin: Sherlock is a transgender detective in Charleston

“Automatic Sherlock” by Martin Rose: Sherlock is an automaton in a near-future Russia

“The Hammer of God” by Jonathan Maberry: Sherlock is a nun who works as a field investigator for the Office of Miracles

“Code Cracker” by Beth W. Patterson: Sherlock is a parrot

Here’s what Kirkus Reviews says:

When has Sherlock Holmes changed so much that he’s no longer Sherlock Holmes? In this aptly titled collection, 13 new adventures of Holmes and Watson, more or less, push the envelope far beyond Baker Street.

Not surprisingly, fantasy mavens Ventrella and Maberry (who alone published Kill Switch, 2016, etc.) have one and a half eyes out for outlandish, often futuristic incarnations of Holmes, and so do their contributors. Jody Lynn Nye’s Holmes is a doglike alien “a bit addicted to shag”—carpet, that is. Jim Avelli posits a dystopian world in which Holmes is arrested for shooting his ex-wife, Irene Adler. Martin Rose presents a robotic Holmes, a failure as a medical surgeon, who gets a new lease on nonlife as a nosy detective. Editor Maberry’s reimagining of Holmes as Mother Frey, who investigates miracles for the church, drives perhaps the deepest into fantasy territory. Meanwhile, back in the past, Austin Farmer puts Holmes and Watson to work as violinists in Beethoven’s orchestra. In the present, Gail Z. Martin reinvents Sherlock as Shelley Holmes, a transgender Charleston sleuth who works for store credit at an antiques shop; Hildy Silverman reveals that Holmes and Watson (and Irene and Godfrey Norton) are vampires; Heidi McLaughlin makes Holmes an insecure college coed whose first case leads to her first kiss; Mike Strauss imagines Holmes as a particularly annoying reality show host; and Ryk Spoor dramatizes Holmes and Watson’s painful awakening to their status as fictional characters. In the three most successful stories, Beth W. Patterson makes Holmes an unusually reflective parrot, David Gerrold festoons his cyber-Holmes and -Watson with some hilarious acronyms, and Keith R.A. DeCandido scores with a surprisingly faithful update of one of Conan Doyle’s most treasured tales.

Less notable as independent creations than as provocations to think about Holmes and the Sacred Canon in innovative ways bound to lead to next year’s anthologies.

We had the official book release party at the Heliosphere convention and it was quite successful — we almost sold out of the many advance copies the publisher provided.

If you get a copy, please remember to post your review on Amazon and Goodreads and elsewhere!

The game is afoot!

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Keith DeCandido signs books at the release party. Off to the right, you can see Hildy Silverman and to the left, there’s Jim Avelli. Also in attendance but not in this picture were David Gerrold, Austin Farmer, Ryk Spoor, and me!

 

 

 

 

My Heliosphere 2017 schedule

Heliosphere is a brand new convention I will be attending next weekend (March 10th) and is very special because it will be hosting the book release party for my latest:  Baker Street Irregulars!baker-street

The Guest of Honor at the convention is David Gerrold, who has a story in this new anthology, so this is the perfect place for our release party. Also in attendance will be other contributors to the book, including Keith R.A. DeCandido, Ryk Spoor, Hildy Silverman, and Austin Farmer!

Heliosphere will be held in Tarrytown, New York, just outside of the city. (Also I have to brag a bit: My wife Heidi Hooper is the “Special Guest” artist!)

Here’s my schedule:

Reading (Friday 3:30): I’ll be reading from my work, along with Anthony Balilovsky, Keith DeCandido, Alex Shvartsman, and Grant Carrington.

Books and Brews (Saturday 10:00) Come join me for coffee (no brews at 10 am, unless you want to) and we can talk about anything you want!

Capturing and Changing History in Speculative Fiction (Saturday noon): History is always subjective. Or at least written by the winners. How do you keep it close enough to recognize but different enough to be exciting? Listen to discussions among Pros and Fans. With Charles Gannon and Roberta Rogow.

Baker Street Irregulars book launch party (Saturday 1:30): A celebration for my new book, with prizes!

Elementary, My Dear Watson (Saturday 4:30): Why is Sherlock Holmes still so popular? People are flocking to recent comic releases, films, and plays. Panelists will discuss why Sherlock is still such a popular figure in contemporary culture. With guests Carol Bugge, Elizabeth Crowens, Keith DeCandido, and Marvin Kaye.

Autographing (Sunday 11:15): I’ll be sharing autographing space with David Gerrold and David Harten Watson.

The Biggest Mistakes Made by Beginning Writers (Sunday 2:00): My solo presentation for new writers.

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