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Game On!
Exclusive Preview of a New YA Adventure

February 22nd, 2021

Yes, it’s been a while. But I’m back. Blogging again.

I’ve never been one to balance professional writing and webpage management. When the two compete, the latter goes untended. Not that I’m complaining. The past two months have centered on some exciting projects. And now that most of those deadlines are either met or within reach, I’m hoping to drop a few long-overdue posts.

At left: Concept art by Jeffrey Harris for YA novel Game On! 

First up is the latest news on Game On! – my new YA novel that’s part of a franchise entitled The Minutemen that’s being developed by brother Christopher Connolly and film producers Jonathan Sanger and M. Jones (whose recent film Marshall stars the late Chadwick Boseman). The book is being illustrated by artist Jeffrey Harris, and many of his preliminary drawings are featured in an animated preview to be screened next month at the International Conference for the Fantastic in the Arts.

Although usually held in Orlando, Florida, this year the conference will be an all-virtual event, featuring readings, presentations, and panel discussions hosted by some of the top names in the fantastic. Special guests include Jeff VanderMeer (author of Annihilation) and Stacy Alaimo (professor of English and Environmental Studies at the University of Oregon).

Other participating authors include Tobias Buckell, Ted Chiang, Joe Haldeman, John Kessel, Nancy Kress, James Morrow, Nalo Hopkinson, Sarah Pinsker, and Cat Rambo.

Authors will be presenting works in a variety of formats, including live readings, PowerPoints, and prerecorded video presentations. In addition, the program will feature live Q&A sessions for discussing the works. I’ll be taking part in one of those, where I’ll be joining Dana Chamblee Carpenter, Bryan D. Dietrich, and Rick Wilber in a session moderated by James Patrick Kelly.

Among the conference’s attending scholars will be Gina Whisker of the University of Cambridge, who will be presenting a discussion of “Margaret Atwood’s Feminist Eco-Gothic Challenges to the Anthropocene.” Dr. Whisker also co-edits the literary journal Dissections, where I’ve been honored to serve as a member of the editorial board since 2006.

I’d love to be able to share the video preview of Game On! with you here, but for now, the only way to see it is to become a virtual member of this year’s conference. To that end, I hope you’ll consider joining us next month when ICFA goes live. More information about the event and how to join are available here.

I hope to post additional updates about Game On! and the MinuteMen project in the days ahead … as soon as I report on a few of the other things that have been keeping me offline since November. Among them: the long-awaited English edition of Nightmares from Gauntlet Press, an all-new audio novelette at The Wicked Library, a new book exploring the life and stories of Ambrose Bierce, the upcoming release of Season Two of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre, and pre-production of my new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.  Yeah, I’ve been busy … but I’m blogging again, and I hope to return with a new post tomorrow. Check back then and see if I make it. I’ll hope to meet you here.

Book City

October 2nd, 2013

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAI sometimes get the feeling that we book people are citizens of a kind of portable municipality, a diffused city that reforms around various conventions, conferences, festivals, symposiums, and literary events.

We’re united by the love of story, the feel of books, and the knowledge that vicarious experience can be as meaningful and real as life beyond the covers, and I was reminded of all these things within minutes of arriving at last weekend’s Baltimore Book Festival.

After a five hour drive through two states, passing anonymous drivers and stopping at service plazas inhabited by total strangers, I was at the festival less than a minute before I heard someone calling my name. And that was pretty much how things went the entire day, running into old friends, making new ones, and reconnecting with parts of a community that periodically coalesces around major book events.

And of course there were the books that bind us together, acres of them on display in festival tents and even more (five stories of them!) in the main atrium of the Peabody Library, located adjacent to the festival. (See above.)

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAAdditional highlight were running into the people at Raw Dog Screaming Press, in particular K. Ceres Wright, whose Cog was released under the Raw Dog sf imprint Dog Star Books. Ceres was one of my students at Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction program, a contingent that was well represented at the festival. That’s the 21st Century Scop on the right with three WPF graduates — Jennifer Della Zanna, Heidi Ruby Miller, and Hanna Gribble. (Heidi is also the editor of the book Many Genres, One Craft.)

SAMSUNG DIGITAL CAMERAMy day at the festival centered on the tent run by Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America, where I took part in a well-attended panel titled “Keeping the Future Beat: Music in Fiction.” The panelists were both authors and musicians, and afterward I got to join Catherin Asaro and Sarah Pinsker (pictured at left) in an evening of musical performances that continued until the SFWA reception and a book launch for L. Jagi Lamplighter’s new YA novel The Unexpected Enlightenment of Rachel Griffin.

As always, it passed too quickly.

I’m back home now,  looking forward to rejoining the Book City at PAISTA on October 17 and Word Fantasy at the end of the month. I’ll hope to see some of you at those.

Until then, scop on!