Saturday, July 04, 2015

Interviews, Giveaways & Readercon, Oh My

Busy as a bee. . .
Photo by atramos, used under CC license

I've been here and there on the internet for the past few weeks, including a Q&A with Lynn Viehl (where I answer the question: If you could step into a time machine and visit any SF universe (including your own), what would you choose as your destination, and why?) and a guest post on Julianne Douglas' blog on the connections between writing poetry and writing speculative fiction. Julianne is running a giveaway of an eBook and signed paperback copy of ITHAKA RISING, so head over there and leave a comment for your chance to win.

To pique your interest, here is the opening to my guest post on using poetry tools in fiction:

Why is a raven like a writing desk?
. . . or how is writing poetry related to writing science fiction?

According to Lewis Carroll, there actually isn't a true answer to his nonsensical riddle from Alice in Wonderland, but I do have an answer to my question.

Having been a poet for a far longer time than I have been a writer of fiction, I maintain that poetry - or at least the tools of poetry - underlies all effective writing. Not only that, but in writing speculative fiction, those tools can enhance world building and reader immersion in fundamental and crucial ways.

The poetic tools I'm going to focus on are specificity, musicality, and comparisons. All three can heighten the reading experience of your novel, especially novels of speculative fiction.

If you're active on GoodReads, DERELICT (Halcyone Space, book 1) was chosen for one of July's group read picks on the Space Opera group! I have an author interview posted there and will be participating in reader Q&A.

This Thursday is the start of Readercon, where I'm going to be taking part in panels, reading, and signing. If you're in the Boston area, it's a great con, full of thought-provoking panels and great discussions about all things SF/F/H.

Here's my Readercon schedule: (You can also find me at the Broad Universe table in the dealer's room.)

Thursday July 09

9:00 PM    EM    Reading: Lisa Cohen. LJ Cohen. Lisa Cohen reads From ITHAKA RISING

Friday July 10

3:00 PM    IN    How to Read Poetry. Kythryne Aisling, Michael Cisco, LJ Cohen, C.S.E. Cooney, Samuel Delany, Elaine Isaak. Those who have never read poetry for pleasure often aren't sure how or where to start; even a short poem can look arcane and daunting. This workshop will explain how to get the most out of poetry on the page, from humorous doggerel to more complex works.
6:00 PM    E    Autographs. LJ Cohen, A. J. Odasso.

Saturday July 11

9:00 AM    G    Zombies as a Crisis of the Ecosystem: A Holistic Perspective. John Benson, Gwendolyn Clare, LJ Cohen, Meriah Crawford, Catt Kingsgrave. Zombie plagues, like all pandemics, are ecosystem crises. What aspects of the human ecosystem make it possible for such a plague to spread? (Long distance air travel, say, or science fiction conventions.) What would its effects be on agriculture, infrastructure, labor availability, public health (aside from the plague itself), telecommunications, and other elements of human civilization? Where most disaster novels zoom in on the struggles of a few people to survive such a crisis, we will zoom out and consider large-scale, long-term questions.
3:00 PM    G    Beautiful and Terrible as the Morn: Celebrating Spec Fic's Older Women. Beth Bernobich, LJ Cohen, Kelley Eskridge, Eileen Gunn, Diane Weinstein. In a 2014 blog post, Kari Sperring wrote, "Most women who are now over about 40 have been told their whole lives to be good, to keep their heads down, to keep on working away quietly and to wait their turn. And now, within sff, at the point when their male contemporaries are celebrated, these same women are being told, No, it's too late for you, you don't matter enough; that space is needed. Get out of the way." Judith Tarr concurred in a post on Book View CafĂ©, saying, "Our culture makes a cult of youth.... But males as they age manage to stay visible, and even manage to keep matinee-idol status—and if they’re writers, they become literary lions. Females simply drop off the radar." Women over 40 have been shaping the genre since its beginning, as readers, writers, editors, agents, publishers, artists, critics, and more. This panel will celebrate the past, recent, and forthcoming work of older women, and help to put it back on everyone's radar.

Sunday July 12

9:00 AM    F    Wish Fulfillment for Happy Adults. John Benson, LJ Cohen, Betsy Mitchell, Sheila Williams, Ann Tonsor Zeddies. Wish fulfillment for teenagers and wish fulfillment for adults with happy stable lives are necessarily going to be different. Speculative stories are great for navigating the trickiness of coming-of-age, but there's precious little for those who are already of age and have started to prioritize comfort over adventure. Female readers in particular often turn to romance novels for stories about familes and love and kindness, and to mysteries for stories about grown women with agency and purpose. Can speculative fiction draw in those readers by fulfilling different sorts of wishes?

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