Confluence, one of the great science fiction conventions, was held last week at the Sheraton Pittsburgh Airport Hotel. As always, it provided an opportunity for fans to connect with professionals in the field and for professionals to get out from behind the desk to spend some real-world time with folks they see all too seldom.
This year I served on a number of panels (see previous post) and got the chance to hang out with some of my favorite writers (see photo at left).
In addition, I took the opportunity to drop in on a panel discussion of science fiction and horror poetry (featuring good friends Michael A. Arnzen and Mary Soon Lee) as well as readings by Jason Jack Miller, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Bud Sparhawk.
Jason read from the soon-to-be-released fourth installment of his Murder Ballads and Whiskey series (from Raw Dog Screaming Press), which is due out this November. Like the other books in the series, it looks to be a fast-paced slice of American gothic.
Heidi’s latest release is Man of War (from Meteor House), a novella that takes place in Philip José Farmer’s Two-Hawks universe. Produced in cooperation with the Farmer estate, the book features the kind of vintage sf action and adventure you’d expect from Philip José Farmer, combined with the kinds of insightful reflections on the human spirit that we’ve come to expect from the author of the Ambasadora series.
Bud Sparhawk, one of sf’s top short story writers, read from his new collection Non-Parallel Universes (Fantastic Books), which collects 19 of his favorite stories from the past decade. At his reading, he shared the book’s lead story, “Astronomical Distance, Geologic Time,” which first appeared in Analog, March 2011. Providing an evocative meditation on how distance in time equates to distance in space, the story’s presentation was one of the high points at this year’s con.
I haven’t been doing much blogging this summer. There’s good reason for that. Other writing projects have been keeping me occupied. Big things are cooking, and I hope to share some details with you soon.
In the meantime, you might enjoy listening to a story from Joe Coluccio, one of this year’s Confluence participants (and president of the organization that made the con possible). In the story, Joe shares a tale from his days as a performance artist. It was recorded live a few years back, when the 21st-Century Scop was running a storytelling night at Riley’s Pour House. Where did I ever find the time?
The link is below. Enjoy the story … and until next time, scop on!
Jason Jack Miller, Heidi Ruby Miller, the 21st-Century Scop, and Joe Coluccio. Photo by Michale A. Arnzen.
Jason Jack Miller and Heidi Ruby Miller. Photo by Karen Yun-Lutz.