Dublin 2019!

Dublin 2019!

Dublin 2019! That was the other thing I wanted to mention in yesterday’s Loncon blog!

As you know, Bob, Dublin is putting in a bid to host WorldCon in 2019. I got involved with the bid about 18 months ago, and I’m really excited about the prospect.

So, apparently, is everyone else: by Saturday night at Loncon there were apparently about 250 pre-supporters, people who have given 20 quid to help finance the bid itself as well as the convention. There were many others who asked if we would be at Shamrokon in Dublin *this* weekend, so they could place their pre-support payment then.

Furthermore, we had people asking who our guests of honour would be and what weekend we would be holding it. *laughs* Right now, at least, there sure seems to be a lot of positive buzz and enthusiasm, which is just terrific. Moreover, Loncon’s organiser this year, James Bacon, is also the man behind Dublin 2019, and he had the Convention Centre Dublin people over in London this weekend to show them what a Worldcon was. The venue is already secured, but they apparently came away pretty darn enthused about the prospect of having 8000 SFF fans descend upon them in 5 years’ time, which is wonderful. :)

Loncon!

Loncon!

Loncon was pretty amazing.

It was well-run, with the only really visible snafu being that they weren’t prepared for 3000 people to show up at 9am Thursday, imagining, instead, that they’d show up more gradually through the weekend. So Thursday there was a Very Long Line to pick up registration materials, but they handled it super well and kept it moving. A highlight was my friend Kate, after walking from one end of the very long convention centre concourse to the end where Loncon was taking place and then discovering the very long line to stand in, tweeting “Nobody told me I should bring a scooter to Loncon!”

Within seconds Loncon had responded with, “We have scooters. Do you need one? We can get one to you if you need one!”, leaving Kate to say, “No, no, I meant a kick scooter to vroom along with!” Indeed, I saw more than one person over the weekend who had one. :) But they were really on top of their social media and keeping good track of things like that. Kudos!

I will be here the rest of my life if I try to write out the con as I saw it in detail, so to keep it short, my panels all went pretty well (the moderator didn’t show up for one, causing me to take over, and it went–almost as if I’d prepared to be moderator. There were a couple things I failed to pursue that I hopefully would have if I’d actually prepared, but it went pretty well), and I got to meet a variety of people on them (Mur Lafferty! KELLEY FREAKING ARMSTRONG!!! Kate Nepveu!), which was lovely.

I got–perhaps because I was there 4 full days–to actually talk to *nearly* everyone I wanted to, often for a quite respectable amount of time. I caught up with a bunch of writers I’d met at previous Octocons (bless you, Irish fandom, for the access to and subsequent friendships with, so many absolutely fantastic and talented people). That was amazing, since most cons involve shouting, “We must have coffee!” at one another across a crowded room and then never seeing each other again.

I saw my former and current Del Rey editors (and also sat nearby and listened to Scott Lynch talk to said editor about the next Gentlemen Bastards books, all the while thinking, “There are hundreds of people at this con who would flay somebody to be sitting here listening to this,”), which was on both accounts absolutely lovely.

I also, *finally*, got to meet Ursula Vernon. I have known Ursula online for fifteen or more years (“We’ve known each other what, six or seven years?” she said, and I was like, “No, no, we’ve known each other this entire century, Urs,” and she was all WHERE DOES THE TIME GO!?!?!?!?!) and it was freaking. brilliant. to meet her. She’s just like herself. She was also barely inside the door when she saw someone in a Digger Kickstarter t-shirt and went up to the woman and said, “I like your t-shirt.” The woman said, “Oh thank youGLALGDLSIHSGHAGLHGFFFAAAAAH!”

It was awesome. *Lots* of people did things very similar upon realizing that That Was Ursula Vernon, and Ursula was bemused while I was amused. :)

(I did something like that myself, actually, to a woman two people ahead of me on the escalator. She turned to the lady between us and said something like “Are you CE Murphy?” (I have no idea why; I never saw the woman’s badge, so maybe she was a Murphy?) and the woman said, “No,” but happened to be glancing down at me as she said so, and finished, very smoothly, with, “But this is.” The first woman nearly fell off the escalator. :))

On a professional level I made a couple of contacts, one of which was a renewal of an acquaintance and which may prove very fruitful, so I’m so very, very glad I got to go.

On a personal level I GOT TO MEET KIM STANLEY ROBINSON OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG ahem and actually–didn’t quite hang out with him, per se, but on Saturday after a panel he remembered me (like, my actual name, not just CE, as it said on my badge) from his kaffeeklatch thing on Friday and invited me to walk downstairs with him for a brief chat and then Sunday I ran into him and happened to know where he wanted to go and he didn’t, so I walked him there and then let him go, but OMG, I actually got to like spend seven or twelve minutes really chatting with him, which was pretty well #diesofsquee.

Also Lawrence Watt-Evans recognized me (from Twitter) even after having just arrived at the con and being jet-lagged. #diesofsquee

Okay, who are we kidding, I had a lot of total fangirl moments this weekend. :) (Michelle Sagara introduced me to Tanya Huff. “Oh!” I said, delighted, “I love your books!” “And I love yours!” she said. They had to pick me up off the floor after that…)

Although actually I think the tip of the hat goes to Kate, who got to buy Brian Aldiss and his wife a cup of coffee and sit and have a chat with them on Sunday, and also had her picture in the Guardian. Twice! That’s pretty well out-of-this-world awesome. :) (She also said to me yesterday, “I was telling Cory Doctorow that my friend CE Murphy had gone to Kim Stanley Robinson’s climate change panel–” but I had to make her stop after the first ten words I had to make her stop and repeat that, because wut. I’m not sure I’d ever seen her quite so pleased with herself. :))

People I did not know came up to me and asked just how much fudge I was going to have to make. (The fundraiser is down to its last 5 days and 11 pounds of fudge now!) And, as it had been requested, I brought fudge, and was offering it to people. The best one of those (besides the marriage proposal) was when I offered Kate Elliott and my friend Camille a piece.

Kate said no thanks, she didn’t like fudge, and Camille (for whom I found & tweaked until satisfactory last year’s ginger-maple fudge) took one eagerly and said “She makes incredibly good fudge.” I said, “I do make incredibly good fudge,” very matter of factly, and Camille said, “See, she can’t even be modest about it because it’s so good,” and Kate said, “Okay, I have to at least try this,” and she took a piece and had a bite and said “Oh my GOD. That’s like a brownie and fudge mixed together. Oh my God. I don’t even like fudge and that’s good fudge.” So that was cool. :)

Um. There was one other really specific thing I wanted to mention and right now I can’t remember it at all, so I think I’ll go ahead and post this and call it good. (Especially as this is a 1200 word post, which, given it’s the *short* version of a con writeup, seems like possibly more than enough…)

things to say

things to say

I have a lot of political posts warring in my brain to be written and not much actual will to write them right now, it seems. I guess in another couple weeks I’ll see if I still want to say them.

In the meantime, this is a good body image campaign.

Ten days to go on the Fantasy Fudge Fundraiser and $1077 to make me write a story about Joanne attempting to make fudge. :)

After running out of ink and getting a new toner cartridge, my printer has started jamming on hideously wrinkled pages. After consulting the internet, I have taken its guts apart and discovered that the, uh, toner roller, or something, roller is, as the internet suspected, wrinkled. I have not yet concluded whether it can be unwrinkled or if it has to be replaced, but it’s putting a big, uh, wrinkle, in my plan to print up a 200 page manuscript for proofing. Argh, sez I; argh twice.

My MAGIC & MANNERS patrons have caught up to me and I honestly have no idea when I’m going to get ahead again. Not this month, unless a miracle occurs. Probably September, assuming all goes well. Which hardly ever happens. :)

Gabra Zackman starts to record the audio book of SHAMAN RISES today!

Ted and I are watching The 100. The worldbuilding in it is appalling. The story is apparently interesting enough, because we keep watching, but my *God* the worldbuilding is bad. I barely go an episode, HALF an episode, without wincing over it internally and frequently commenting externally. It makes me want to write my own post-apocalyptic dystopian young adult series with *good* worldbui–oh wait, I’m shopping that around right now, I remember. :)

Um. I guess that’s all for now. Except my thinks to do list so I remember the thinks to do on it.

- print up & proof STONE’S THROE
- catch up on M&M
- make many cakes
- go to shamrokon
- finish nephew’s book
- make green tea cupcakes
- go to la fanu birthday party
- type up & post MPOC’s fic

TBR shelf doom

TBR shelf doom

I’m afraid the TBR shelf has gotten totally out of control again, and I have two SFF conventions coming up. This cannot bode well. But it’s not my fault! We went to America, where there are thousands of different titles you can’t find here! I found Barbara HamblyHamilton’s Abigail Adams murder mystery series! I got Michelle Sagara’s CAST IN FLAME (which is my new favourite of the series, OMG, the action! OMG, the end!)! I got new Jack Campbell books (I love them. they do exactly what they say on the tin)! I got a new Lawrence Watt-Evans book, and then I learned he’ll be at Shamrokon so I can get him to SIGN it (and more importantly, also my 25 year old beat up copies of the Misenchanted books!!!!)! I got Carol Berg’s new book (which has a glowing cover quote from some CE Murphy person)! I got–

I got a whole bunch of cosy mysteries (in the name of research, NOT THAT I’M STARTING A COSY MYSTERY SERIES DARN IT) and I took pictures of literally dozens more because I couldn’t possibly buy them all or remember their titles but I might want to later! :)

Also, ever so slightly in my defence, Mom gave me several of her already-read mystery novels so those have been added to the stack too, even though I didn’t technically buy them myself. :)

Next year I really *am* going to have to limit myself to reading only books by people I know personally, just as a way to get through the backlist. The question then becomes whether people I’ve interacted with on Twitter count…

Continue reading

thinks to do in august

thinks to do in august

- print up & proof STONE’S THROE
- make fudge
- go to loncon

Loncon Schedule:

Autographing 1 – CE Murphy
Thursday 13:30 – 15:00, Autographing Space (ExCeL)
THERE MIGHT BE FUDGE. :)

The Superhero-Industrial Complex
Thursday 18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 7+12 (ExCeL)
The creation of the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been one of the most exciting pop culture developments of the last decade — and contradicts the decades-long strategy, followed primarily by DC, of keeping superheroes in their own worlds for their screen incarnations. Now DC have plans to follow Marvel’s lead (and Sony are developing an entire Spider-verse), but will the “Marvel megafranchise model” work for others? Does an interconnected universe imply certain kinds of stories and not others? What are the advantages of solo films? And how are different studios using other media — in particular, TV — to further develop their properties?

thursday: personal: dinner scheduled, 7:15

Kaffeeklatsch w/Suzanne McLeod & CE Murphy
Friday 10:00 – 11:00, London Suite 4 (ExCeL)
THERE WILL BE FUDGE.

saturday: personal: brunch scheduled

Setting Up Your Comic Book Press: New and Old Models Examined
Saturday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)
A discussion on how setting up a comic book press, or web comic, has never been easier – except for all drawbacks. An examination of the various ways to fund, create, and distribute comics books in the 21st century: including Patreon, Kickstarter, ComiXology, web comics, and good old-fashioned print comics.

The New Supers: How Superheroes and Superheroines are Changing in Comics
Saturday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)
The superhero and superheroine have been with us since stories were told around the campfire, and were perhaps first depicted on cave walls long before the emergence of written language. In comic books they appeared as important icons in the twentieth century, yet they have also been open to interpretation, and subversion, since they first began leaping over buildings and lassoing villains. How have these super-powered fictional characters continued to change and develop at the end of the twentieth century and the beginning of the twenty-first? With people dressing up and acting as superhumans on the streets, has reality bled too far into fiction? Will the super-powered person remain with us forever, or will we evolve past it?

The Fantastic Now
Sunday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)
Pseudo-medieval fantasy lands and pie-in-the-sky far future imaginings are all very well, but sometimes the world around us needs a touch of fantastical sparkle. What are the positives and negatives of sf/f in contemporary settings? How do genre tropes mesh with contemporary issues? Can you do the credit crunch with werewolves?

- catch up on M&M
- make many cakes
- go to shamrokon

Shamrokon Schedule:

Cover Art, Writer Input or Lack Thereof
Friday 17:00 – 18:00, C. Munster
How do writers make sure their covers and illustrations match the visions in their heads?

Ruth Long Book Launch
Friday 19:00 – 21:00, D. Ulster

C.E. Murphy’s Let Them Eat Cake Party
Friday 21:00 – 22:00, D. Ulster
The publishing industry is in chaos! The world is changing around us! Cats and dogs, living together! But for one night, abandon all cares and Let Them Eat Cake! — a party hosted by author (& baker) CE Murphy

YA Focus: YA Before The Boom
Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, D. Ulster
The attention YA Speculative Fiction receives has skyrocketed in the last decade. But what of the Young Adult books that were published before this boom? Join us for a discussion of classic works by authors like Anne McCaffrey, Tamora Pierce, Garth Nix, Arthur C Clarke, Diane Duane and Heinlein.

Self-publishing: Crowd Funding 101
Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, C. Munster
Crowd funding has exploded as a financing method in the last few years. Our panel of experts will relive the highs and lows of their practical experiences of the platforms.

Golden Blasters/Judging
Sunday 14:00 – 17:00

- finish nephew’s book
- make green tea cupcakes
- go to la fanu birthday party

september’s plans will be: die, die in a pit, die in a pit while sobbing with exhaustion…

all the luggage

all the luggage

(Note how I carefully did not say “all the baggage.”)

We have acquired an unusually vast amount of stuff to take home, this trip. We had come prepared with an extra suitcase, but we’ve still ended up borrowing one to bring home. Once we’ve dispersed the loot amongst the family it won’t be so dramatic a haul, but there’s still an Unusually Large amount of stuff this time around. Fewer books than usual, mind you, but still not an insignificant number, and an awful lot of clothes and just…stuff!

I did get a spiffy new backpack that has a Media Pocket up at the nape (allowing me to put my phone there, so hopefully it won’t get stolen out of the backpack again, sigh), and, having gotten myself a Media Pocket, got myself some headphones so that perhaps someday I will actually start using my phone as a Media Playing Device (to this end I have also actually, y’know, like, downloaded some music onto it, including the inevitable purchase of the GotG soundtrack :)). Although I’m going to also have to get myself an armband or something so I don’t have to actually lug the backpack around any time I want to go for a Walk With Music. But importantly, the inside of the backpack is kind of water resistant, so if I ever swim again it’ll be good for carrying wet towels in! :)

The Fantasy Fudge Fundraiser has leapt up today. I shall therefore announce that the $5K Walker Papers goal will be my basic fudge recipe, delivered in short story form as Joanne tries to make fudge. (Joanne cannot cook. It practically writes itself!) It will be made available to all backers. :)

If it cracks the $3750 Sampler Box perk level today I’ll do something else cool storywise with it, and by ‘today’ I probably mean ‘before I pack up the computer to fly away home tomorrow morning’. :)

Ah. The dryer has stopped, so now I can get, fold and pack the rest of the clothes, save what we’ll be wearing tomorrow…

highlander on the mind

highlander on the mind

Apparently I’ve got Highlander on the mind. Last week MedievalPOC caused me to write a fic (I’ll post it after I’ve retrieved the third that I was working on when the tablet battery died), last night I got into this big discussion about Methos over on FB with a friend, which caused me to point out IMMORTAL BELOVED to her, and to wist about someday being able to write my other two Methos novels (which, unless Davis/Panzer opens Highlander up to Kindle Worlds, is not something I can ever see happening).

So this morning I had this exceedingly vivid Highlander/vampire mashup dream in which Tom Hiddleston may have been playing Methos, I couldn’t quite tell.

Anyway, I typed up what I cold remember. I wish dreams made as much sense in recollection as they do in the moment, because in the dream it was extremely coherent and I know I’m only remembering bits of it in the writeup. Someday I want to see if hypnotization brings back dream detail.

visiting a foreign country

visiting a foreign country

We’re in America (in Upper Peninsula Michigan, which is full of motels that look like the Winchesters would stay there. We concluded, however, that they would probably be smart enough to avoid the nearby one called ‘Sleepy Hollow’.), and I left my tablet charger at home, so I’ve been offline since it ran out of battery. Oops.

American food seems to all be either very salty or very sweet. Also I have not been here enough since Obama’s election to get used to the fact that commercials now much more regularly feature people of color, particularly African-Americans, than they did before his election so I’m startled and pleased anew every time one comes on.

I am considerably less pleased by the horrific drug ads, and I don’t know what that thing with Paris Hilton and the burgers is except offensive.

When we got here and were collected by the in-laws, we all got into the car and although I *knew* what was going on, I was so tired I couldn’t help saying, “We’re on the wrong side of the road…” as we drove out of the airport. It’s like visiting a foreign country, it really is.

Recent Reads/GGK Book Club: A Song for Arbonne

Recent Reads/GGK Book Club: A Song for Arbonne

I just finished A SONG FOR ARBONNE, which was May’s GGK Book Club book. (I’m working on catching up! I bet I’ll be almost caught up by the end of the year! :))

I’ve been kind of interested in re-reading SONG, because I’ve only read it once and it didn’t, er, sing to me, as it were. It’s the one GGK book I’ve never had any particular interest *in* re-reading, which, in the end, caused me to be interested in re-reading it. I was wondering if it was my callow youth that caused it to not click, or if it was the book itself, or, well, what.

It’s the book.

SONG’s real problem for me—and I can remember, however vaguely, that this was its essential problem 20+ years ago as well—is that it is not TIGANA. Now, this is frankly an unfair assessment, because I don’t like to, and try not to, judge books for not being what I want them to be. Especially when the book it’s failing to be is my favourite book, full stop.

The thing is, I feel like SONG wants to be TIGANA. It has so many of the same themes: love of (complicated) family, love of country, love of music, and all the costs therein. It’s not the same story, not even vaguely, but to me, as a reader, it just feels like thematically it’s already been done, and done more powerfully, in TIGANA.

Maybe I’m reading it as the wrong kind of song. Maybe it’s a ballad to TIGANA’s overture, I don’t know, but it just doesn’t work for me the way TIGANA does. I can even see moments in it where I feel like it *should*, but it doesn’t reach the heights (or the depths). I kind of wish I could step back and read SONG first, just to see if, delivered outside of TIGANA’s shadow, it would hit me more powerfully.

There was also—noticeably to me now—the attitude of the main character, Blaise, toward women. It was progressive for his people, but Arbonne’s society is modeled on Eleanor of Aquitaine’s Court of Love, and is ruled by a woman, which Blaise doesn’t start out thinking very highly of. I suspect that my distaste for his distaste may have colored my reading back then; it *certainly* did this time. (He comes around, and does so in a way and a timeline appropriate to both himself and the book, but starting where he does kind of makes me want to smack him around. Again, not a really fair assessment, but there you go.)

Even so, I think I liked it better this time: I wasn’t so much expecting it to be TIGANA, maybe. It was in most ways a total revelation, as I remembered exactly one thing (the big secret revealed at the end) and it turned out I’d entirely forgotten all the particulars (indeed, remembering the big secret caused me to completely incorrectly assign the secret to someone and I was actually surprised when I turned out to be wrong), so it was a pretty satisfying read in most regards.

5 things make a post

5 things make a post

Thing One: gemmafade_teaser Val is working hard on the GEMMA FADE pages, and gave me permission to post a teaser page. :) I tell you, sending a script out and getting drawings back is one of the niftiest things EVER. :)

Thing Two: A link to some fudge. Just in case you need some. :)

Thing Three: The STONE’S THROE copy edits have been delivered! Soon! SOOOOOOOOOOON! a pulp fiction novel by yours truly will be available to readers everywhere! :)

Thing Four: This is a truly terrific fanvid to Nicki Minoj’s Starship. Really honestly terrific, go watch it.

Thing Five: I’m starving and gonna go find something to eat. (Look, I didn’t say they were 5 *scintillating* things, did I? No!)