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Upcoming appearances - July 2018

2018 Ad Astra Time Travel panel

A little short notice but here are a couple of my appearances happening this coming week, one in person and one online.

  • Wednesday, July 18, 6:00-9:00PM EDT: Pulp Literature issue #19 launch. Along with several other authors, I'll be doing a short reading from my Pulp Literature #12 story, "The Last of a Thing," as well as signing and selling books. Location: Another Bar, 926 Bloor St. W., Toronto. [Correction to first posting: this starts at 6pm, not 7pm.]
  • Saturday, July 21, 12:30-2:30PM EDT: I'll be giving an online workshop hosted by SFWA president, Cat Rambo, on Rights and Reprints for Short Fiction, based on my writer's guide, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction. Full information and registration link here.

Hope to see you at one of these events!

And I neglected to post about this one, but this weekend I was at the annual Toronto (okay, Richmond Hill) genre convention, Ad Astra, doing panels, a reading, and selling and signing. Thanks to all of you who dropped by and said hello. The photo to the right is from a very fun panel on the different ways of writing time travel stories, called appropriately enough "The Timey-Wimey Stuff."  Panelist were (left to right): Kari Maaren, Cameron S. Currie, Jen Frankel (m), Cathy Hird, James Bambury, and me.

Upcoming appearances

In case you're located in Southern Ontario, here are some of my upcoming appearances over the next few months:

May 8, 2018 (new date!): Reading, Toronto Public Library, Parliament Street Branch, 269 Gerrard St. E, Toronto. 6:30-8:00pm. Books will be available for sale and signing.

May 26-27, 2018: Limestone Genre Expo in Kingston. Author Guest. I'll be on panels as well as giving a workshop based on my writer's guide, Playing the Short Game

June 3, 2018: Aurora Street Festival, Aurora. Signing and selling.

Hope to see you at one of them!

Some recent interviews

Write Hot PodcastLaura Powers, Celebrity Psychic, Host, Entertainer, and fellow writer, interviews me on her Write Hot podcast about short fiction and my writer's guide, Playing the Short Game. The podcast is available on iTunesSitcher and Hipcast.

Fellow writer, Sherry D. Ramsey, interviews me on her blog about writing my story "By Her Hand, She Draws You Down," why I love short fiction, my all-time favourite short story, my approach to novel writing, my fascination with shapeshifter stories, what music I listen to while writing, and what I'm working on now.

Convention appearance: Limestone Genre Expo, Kingston

Limestone Genre Expo logoI'll be attending the 2018 Limestone Genre Expo in Kingston, Ontario on May 26-28 (Sat-Sun). I'll be giving a workshop on marketing and selling short fiction, participating on panels, and selling and signing my books. 

Limestone Genre is a fun con that has quickly grown from a part-day event to a full weekend in just a few years. Unlike many genre conventions that focus on visual media, this expo has a clear literary focus and consciously caters to actual (gasp) book readers. Like you, or you wouldn't be here, right? 

From the website: "The Expo is a two-day literary event, celebrating the best in Canadian genre fiction. We offer panel discussions, workshops, readings, pitch sessions, a large vendor area, and many opportunities to interact with our attending authors, editor and publishers.​"

Kingston is a pretty town and this is a great time of year to be there. I hope you'll mark this expo in your calendar. 

Reading in Toronto on May 8: Parliament branch library

I'll be reading as the special guest at the Open Mic programme at the Parliament branch library in Toronto on Tuesday, May 8 in the evening. There will be a number of short readings starting at 6:30p, and then I'll read up to 8pm. I'll also be selling my books at discounted prices and signing. If you're in the area, I hope you'll drop by or tell some friends.

Details:

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
6:30-8:00 pm
Toronto Public Library
269 Gerrard Street E.
Toronto

Writing workshop (short notice)

Playing the Short Game coverFor Toronto-area peeps: I'm giving a 2-hr workshop on marketing & selling short fiction at the Albert Campbell branch library tomorrow from 1-3pm. The workshop is taken from the first part of my Playing the Short Game book and covers the benefits of writing short fiction, rights and licensing, a strategy for marketing your short fiction, how to find markets, how to select the best markets, how to submit, the no-nos of submitting, and much more. 

If you're a short fiction writer or if you know someone who is, please spread the word.

Details:

Friday April 13, 1-3pm
Albert Campbell branch
Toronto Public Libraries
496 Birchmount Road
Toronto
 
Cost: $20, which includes a copy of the book

Thanks.

The Creative Penn interview: How to Make Money Selling Short Fiction

YYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYIf you're a writer as well as a reader, you'll be interested in this. NY Times and USA Today best-selling author, Joanna Penn, recently interviewed me on her webcast / podcast, The Creative Penn, about my guide for writers, Playing the Short Game: How to Market & Sell Short Fiction. Much of the discussion focused on how writers can make money from a short fiction career or by adding short fiction to a novel career.

The interview covers a lot of topics, including:

  • The differences between short stories, novellas, novelettes and novels
  • How to know the ‘size' of an idea – whether it's a novel or a shorter piece
  • Finding good markets for short fiction
  • Submitting short fiction vs. publishing it indie
  • How to track submissions and why it's so important
  • Has the magazine market been disrupted the way the book industry has?
  • On rights, including language and territory
  • The audio market for short fiction

You can watch the video interview, listen to the podcast or read the transcript here

Playing the Short Game is available in both trade paperback and as an ebook from all major retailers

"Out of the Light" reprinted in Black Infinity

Black Infinity #2My urban fantasy shapeshifter story, "Out of the Light," has been reprinted in issue #2 of Black Infinity. The theme for this issue was "Blobs, Globs, Slime, and Spores." Check out the great retro cover at the right.

"Out of the Light" first appeared in Dark Wisdom Magazine (#11) in 2007. It was nominated for an Aurora Award, but as I had another story on the ballot that year, I asked for it to be removed from the ballot so I wouldn't compete with myself. 

Black Infinity #2 is available now on Amazon and will be available shortly on Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and other ebook retailers. From the Amazon page:

Black Infinity #2 features 13 tales of blobs, globs, slime, and spores, plus a brief history of gunk and goo in SF magazines, movies, TV and comics; not to mention science fact, retro movie reviews and comics. 200 pages of slimy fun, with new stories by Rhys Hughes ("Swallowing the Amazon"), Gregory L. Norris ("The Tree Surgeon") and Marc Vun Kannon ("Boarding Party"). Plus Douglas Smith's "Out of the Light" and Kurt Newton's "The Old Mill."

I also had a story in the debut issue and will have a story in issue #3 as well, which will be the first time I've been published in three consecutive issues of any magazine. Very cool.

The Wolf at the End of the World: 50% off at Kobo

The Wolf at the End of the WorldMy novel, The Wolf at the End of the World is on sale Dec 7-11 at Kobo. Use the gift code GIFT50.

The Wolf is set in my Heroka universe and continues the story begun in my award-winning short story, "Spirit Dance." My other Heroka short stories include "A Bird in the Hand" and "Dream Flight." And yes, more Heroka books are planned.

The Wolf at the End of the World is rated 4.5 out of 5 stars on Kobo and 4.3 on Amazon and Goodreads. Yeah, it's good.

So check out the Kobo sale for a chance to pick up The Wolf at a great price. 

Aurora bundle spotlight: Far-Seer by Robert J. Sawyer

Far-Seer CoverThis post wraps up my spotlight series on the current ebook bundle of winners and finalists for Canada's Aurora Award. For this last entry, we have an essay by Canada's Dean of Science Fiction, the multi-award winning, Robert J. Sawyer. In it, Rob discusses how his title in the bundle, Far-Seer, grew from a standalone novel to become the first book in the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy.

(The following essay originally appeared in the premiere issue of The Crystal Tower, the SF newsletter published by New English Library.) 

Copyright © 1995 by Robert J. Sawyer. All Rights Reserved

Far-Seer, which is now volume one of the Quintaglio Ascension trilogy, was originally written as a standalone science-fiction novel, and I sent the manuscript to my agent with trepidation. After all, I was asking him to sell a book that had not one single human being in it. Would an audience identify with the characters I'd created?

To my delight, my agent loved Far-Seer — but said that the milieu I'd created deserved an entire series, not just a single book. All well and good — except I hate series, much preferring to write standalone novels. But my agent kept pushing, and so I set about deciding what I would insist upon in creating a series of my own.

First, I told him I would do no more than three books, with a final, conclusive, overall ending. But more than that, each book would be a legitimate standalone novel (as Far-Seer already was), with its own real conclusion, rather than a cliffhanger ending. And I would use a different narrative technique in each novel, so that they would present fresh creative challenges for me.

Far-Seer was the story of Afsan, an intelligent dinosaur who was his race's counterpart of Galileo. For the second book, I decided to tackle a dinosaurian Darwin, and in the third, a saurian Sigmund Freud. And as I had in Far-Seer, I would up the stakes: for Afsan, discovering the true arrangement of the heavens was not just of scientific interest, but rather a life-or-death issue for his entire world. In the second book (eventually entitled Fossil Hunter), I would make the discovery of evolution much more difficult by positing a fossil record that seemed to prove rather than refute divine creation. And in the final volume (Foreigner), I would make psychoanalysis — of Afsan — key to avoiding the extinction of my dinosaurian race.

I'd done things in Far-Seer I never would have if I'd known it was going to be volume one of a series (most notably, I'd blinded one of my principals and made it impossible for my reptilian characters to lie). But I decided not to go back and change those things: they were appropriate for Far-Seer, and I wouldn't dull its edge simply to make the sequels simpler to write.

The Galileo-Darwin-Freud model suggested moving the action ahead by decades between each volume. Getting to revisit characters I'd first portrayed in their youth again at middle age and then near death appealed to me greatly. As for finding a different narrative voice for each book, the extended timeframe took care of that. As The New York Review of Science Fiction noted:

Sawyer evolves his very style of writing across the trilogy — the first a straight linear exposition, the second alternating story lines between chapters, the third deftly juggling four different story lines within each chapter — a strategy which nicely mirrors the writing styles of the linear Renaissance, dialectic 19th century, and the multi-perspectival 20th, or the milieus of Galileo, Darwin, and Freud on Earth.

Looking back on the finished Quintaglio Ascension trilogy, I am indeed glad that my agent twisted my arm this once. But I do wish I could get him to stop talking about what I should do for my next series...

~~~

And a short bio for Rob:

Robert J. Sawyer — called "the dean of Canadian science fiction" by The Ottawa Citizen and "just about the best science-fiction writer out there these days" by The Denver Rocky Mountain News — is one of only eight writers in history (and the only Canadian) to win all three of the science-fiction field's top honors for best novel of the year:

  • the World Science Fiction Society's Hugo Award, which he won in 2003 for his novel Hominids;

  • the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America'sNebula Award, which he won in 1996 for his novel The Terminal Experiment; and,

  • the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, which he won in 2006 for his novel Mindscan.

Check out the bundle here for more information and details on each of the included titles. And remember, it's available for a very limited time only, from now until November 30 at midnight.

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