Upcoming Discon panels

They have me in for a really well-stacked set of my current central topic panels for DisCon III, this year’s D.C. 79th Worldcon next month in December, 15-19. I love just seeing myself on these program items, and with these other names. These are mine:

1 – Balancing Story and Scientific Authenticity
Many readers love real science, or just the appearance of real science, in their science fiction. It is no small challenge to create compelling literature that also triggers a scientific sense of wonder. Panelists discuss how to do it right.

  • John Ashmead, Seanan McGuire, Derek Kunsken, Eva L. Elasigue, Lezli Robyn, Maquel A. Jacob, Catherine Asaro

2 – The Morphology of Fantasy Creatures
Do elves and pixies have better hearing because their ears are pointed, and if so, why do they need it? Big Bird is eight feet tall, has thumbs, and forward-facing eyes. Does that make him an apex pursuit predator? (No, he’s a charismatic herbivorous megafauna.) And don’t get us started on Cookie Monster…

  • DW “Lemur” Rowlands, Fonda Lee, Rodrigo Juri, Eva L. Elasigue, Benjamin C. Kinney

3 – The Phylogenetic Tree of Space Opera
Cowboy Bebop and Dune are back on screens but it’s not 1965, 1984, or 1998. Is it that everything old is new again, or is space opera just a genre that keeps on giving? If E.E. “Doc” Smith’s The Skylark of Space is the root of the tree and Asimov’s Foundation series is the trunk, where do the branches lead us?

  • John Scalzi, Walter Jon Williams, Leonardo Espinoza Benavides, Arkady, Catherynne Valente, Eva L. Elasigue

WFC 2021 Montreal Wrap-up

This was a sweet return to in-person conventions. It was my first since the pandemic! The hybrid nature of it kept the numbers small, and Covid continues to present challenges that must be met for public safety, but it was so good to keep in touch with each other.

I made a presence in a few different corners of the halls, like the door-switching multitasker from The Phantom Tollbooth: dealer’s table, author’s alley table, mass autographing spot, open mic reading, book bag surprise drop.

I wrote one-line fantasy-style personal depictions for people at the dealer’s table, and at the mass autographing I made three-liner random abstractions from any book in hand (including Joe Haldeman’s journal). A sampling:

I also brought out some rare garb and wore it in interesting places with interesting people – hanging with Artist Guest of Honor John Picacio, sitting in the onstage couches at The Wiggle Room with Liz & Jacob for a birthplace-of-burlesque show (where I was called forth to be showcased), mermaiding the heated rooftop garden pool at Hotel Bonaventure, and at the awards banquet near Shirley Meier in rainbow tie-dye.

Thanks again to WFC for having me in! A beautiful first visit to Montreal & Quebec.

Table of Contents

When you’re scrolled up to the very top, it’s there at the top: tables of contents for the first two complete books and the third book in ongoing serialization. And now the third, Greater Beyond, is updated again after another twenty installments. Time goes on, and so does the story. The third book might already have exceeded the novel-length word count of each of the first two, but there is more to be told until the conclusion, and I’m not counting yet. We’ve just ended the fifth hefty sequence of the third book (25th of the trilogy – coincidentally, Princess Ascendant Soleil is the 25th of the Magus ruling lineage). I tell chapter sections in parts so that I know what I’m doing. Each installment is a small work of prose, like flash fiction; and while they add up to a much larger epic, I want each one to deliver an experience, a complete moment of shifted perspective. Shifting perspective is an ability that, when frequently exercised, can lead to greater connection, deeper sympathy, and new degrees of coordination. But please, don’t read science fiction fantasy for the superpower benefits, or they may not actually come to you. Joy is the key, as foreseen by desire. Do what you want. Read this if you feel like it. Love it if you do.