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Immortal ConFusion

January 17th, 2013

has nothing to do with either navel-gazing vampires or an opiated Duncan MacLeod. Not much, anyway. It’s the name of a Detroit-area speculative fiction convention I’ll be at this weekend along with suspects such as Saladin Ahmed, Justin Howe, Scott H. Andrews et al. Maybe we’ll see you there.

My schedule is as follows:

Saturday 11:00 AM Reading: Michael J. Deluca & Scott H. Andrews Windsor
Join Michael J. Deluca & Scott H. Andrews as they read from forthcoming work. Michael J. DeLuca, Scott H. Andrews

Saturday 2:00 PM So Your Protagonist Is An Orphan… Southfield
Batman. Luke Skywalker. Cinderella. Frodo Baggins. Dorothy in Wizard of Oz. Harry Potter. James Bond. Superman. One of the few things that heroic characters have in common is that they often have dead parents. While this does sever their ties to past and family, and while this often kick-starts the hero’s journey…can we lay off for a while? What is it about the orphan angle that we can’t seem to leave alone, and what kind of alternatives could provide an equally compelling Batman? Carrie Harris (M), Diana Rowland, Doug Hulick, Mary G. Thompson, Michael J. DeLuca

Sunday 10:00 AM Religion In SF/F Erie
Is there a place for religion in Fantasy and Science Fiction beyond a tool for the villainous? How do we produce fantastical faiths, or imagine a future society that does not lampoon people who believe? Aspects of religious demagoguery are often the go-to model in speculative fiction, for good reason, but what else should authors be looking for from theology? Alastair Reynolds, Brian McClellan, Howard Andrew Jones, Michael J. DeLuca (M), Saladin Ahmed

Sunday 11:00 AM What The Heck Is Literary Fiction? Erie
Literary fiction has cachet. Publishers love it – but what exactly do they mean? When “Literary” works can include post-apocalyptic scenarios, science-bending technology, generation-spanning storylines that run from sword swinging to future technologies, how does one define “Literary”? Should we, as authors or audience, even try,? Is this definition a cover for “serious” writers dipping their toes into our favorite subjects? Kat Howard, Michael J. DeLuca, Myke Cole, Ron Collins (M)

Hoo I signed up for too many of these. If nobody strenuously objects, I shall likely not post panel notes this time. They’re not that interesting, and anyway I’d rather be posting more Guatemala pictures instead.

If you come to just one thing, make it the reading. Saturday at 11 AM. Scott and I will make an effort to have something cool and homemade for (some of) you to taste. First come, first served.

   HM, News | 2 Comments »

World Fantasy 2012

October 29th, 2012

I’ll be at World Fantasy in Toronto this weekend. I’m on a panel Friday at 3 PM about the trope of the mysterious/eldritch tome in fantasy and horror, “Bibliofantasies” (with other clever people from the Bibliotheca Fantastica anthology), for which I have been idly developing a vague theory about Borges, Orbis Tertius and the Necronomicon. I’ll post the notes here later. Aside from that…well, you probably know where to find me (hint: it’s where they pour the beer).

   HM, News | No Comments »

Dear Readercon

July 30th, 2012

You know what this is going to be about.

Readercon is my favorite convention. It’s the one I’ve been to the most, the one where I am least scared of the rest of the attendees and feel least obligated to front. It’s the best-organized con I’ve ever been to. It has my favorite people at it. And it’s the closest con to the place where I was born.

None of the above, I realize, will prevent me from learning to love and rely on some other con as much, if it comes to that, and as a number of ultimata from upstanding pillars of the community have begun to threaten. No, what will prevent me is dread of being forced to undergo all that horrible social conditioning again. To my relief, I am perfectly aware that my threatening the same thing—never to attend Readercon again if you don’t change your tune and follow your own damn rule—would have zero effect. But when your stubborn refusal to follow your own zero-tolerance policy costs you the attendance of Catherynne Valente and Jeffrey Ford, it should be obvious even to you that you’re self-destructing the reputation you’ve built up for your wonderful con over all this time. If this keeps up, you’ll lose everything that made people like me want to come to your con in the first place.

Reverse your ruling. It’s not too late to get back all that credibility you had until two weeks ago. But if you don’t hurry up, it will be.

Update: They did it! Hooray.

   Angry, HM, News | 1 Comment »

Readercon Schedule

July 9th, 2012

Sadly I can only be at Readercon this year for Thursday and Friday. I’m missing a lot of great stuff, including the Odyssey reading on Saturday afternoon at 2. And it looks like there won’t be a Homeless Moon chapbook this time around.

On the other hand, they’ve given me what may be the perfect single day con schedule: on Friday afternoon I have two panels on the intersection of fiction writing and ebook publishing, and in the evening a solo reading where I get to read a story along the same theme. This never happens to me: an excuse to hit my talking points. An excuse to appear as though I have talking points! Huzzah.

Update: I think I’ll put my panel notes up here so people can find the few links I’ve got in there and struggle to follow along if they like. See below.

Read the rest of this entry »

   HM, News, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

SOPA/PIPA Blackout

January 18th, 2012

It’s amazing to see all these huge cultural institutions (Google, Wikpedia) standing up for freedom on the internet. And I’m happy to stand up with them (Weightless is participating too).

However I am more than a little disappointed that there was no such uprising a couple weeks ago when it was time to defend actual individual freedom from the NDAA. I guess when they come to take me away, at least I’ll have the comfort of knowing Google is still out there fighting the good fight. Great.

If I’d given myself a little more time to plan this out you’d see here one of those empty Anonymous suits with a skull floating on top.

Ahh, hell.

   Angry, News | 2 Comments »

Signal Degradation, Small Beer Podcast, HM at WFC, Suchlike

November 10th, 2011

I realize it’s been months since I last posted. My computer HD died sometime in September, causing me to lose a month’s worth of cool mushroom photos, Hen of the Woods, Giant Puffball etc, which I would otherwise totally have put up here otherwise. But it’s cool, no need to pretend like you noticed—who reads blogs anymore?

I’ve been tweeting some, that’s got to count for something. Maybe I should port my tweets over here so the skull doesn’t look so dusty.

Anyhow, I have not been idle in the interim. Weightless Books is tearing right along; this month we’re running an Apex subscription drive, 25% off, plus some freebies for participants and a game of Nook Tablet roulette. The Homeless Moon put out a special edition best-of chapbook for World Fantasy, which you didn’t hear a thing about unless you were there; it was all very hush-hush. We used the space octopus cover castoff from chapbook 4, I thought it came out quite nice.

And, the real reason for this update, Small Beer intern and audiophile Julie Day has started a podcast series, the current episode of which features me, yes me, talking a bit about Weightless, a bit about beer, then reading aloud “The Hour of the Fireflies” by Karen Chacek, one of the stories I translated for the forthcoming SBP anthology Three Messages and a Warning: Contemporary Mexican Stories of the Fantastic. Which is a lovely story, a brief, crisp confection with a darkly bitter center, into the translation of which I put much effort, just so that you, non-Spanish-speaker, could enjoy it. So please go listen. Then in a week or so, I believe there may be another podcast episode wherein Gavin, Julie and I sit around on a late Thursday morning drinking beer and rambling about beer on tape. Fun!

And that’s about it from me. I have another of my own stories upcoming on Pseudopod—I’ll let you know when it happens. In the meantime, be well. Don’t lick any toads you haven’t first positively identified.

   Beer, HM, News | No Comments »

“The Eater” at Pseudopod; Pink Lady’s Slipper

September 9th, 2011

My story “The Eater”, about the guy at the beginning of time whose job it is to taste everything and decide what will kill us and what will keep us alive, (which originally appeared in Apex back in July), is live today at Pseudopod!

Pseudopod, should you have been unaware, is a weekly horror fiction podcast, sister to Escape Pod and Podcastle, a triumvirate I have been struggling to break my way into for quite some time. I love reading fiction aloud, and hearing fiction read aloud, and “the Pods”, as they are affectionately known, are some of the best places to do that. For a reader, I am lucky enough to have netted Laurice White. I haven’t had a chance to listen yet—will do so on my ride home—but I expect it will be great.


Pink Lady’s Slipper orchid, Cypripedium acaule, mixed deciduous woods, Bull Hill, Sunderland, MA
(AKA/e.g., the replenishing pitcher flower of legend.)

   Flowers, HM, Horror, News | No Comments »

Watch Ridler

August 25th, 2011

Jay Ridler’s first novel, a noir wrestling thriller (!), is up now at the Kindle store:

I’ve been waiting for an opportunity like this. Amanda Hocking and Konrath have been made much of (and have made much out of themselves) as the poster/tentpole children of a brave, new, exponentially expanding market for self-published ebooks, raking it in hand over fist, generating buzz and dreams and misconceptions wherever they pass. But they appeared on this stage fully formed. They were already successful, hugely so, before most of us heard anything about them. We can go back and read about how they did it (as much as they’re willing to share), but we won’t be getting the whole story, and what we do get will be all distorted by the rah-rah haze of success. (So, nephew/son/grandson/husband/cousin/brother, when you going to write the next Harry Potter? Bleh!) And by now it’s completely unclear whether what they did will work for anyone else, because the market they’re selling through is so new and changing so rapidly. Nor does it make any sense to compare them to grassroots print self-publishing successes like Christopher Paolini (and certainly not to Rowling), because there was barely any market in place for them to target/advertise to/gladhand.

All of which makes me very excited indeed to watch Jay’s epublishing debut, because it gives me (and you, too!) the great advantage of observing from the ground up, from the inside. Yes, of course, I’m rooting for him because he’s my pal and I’m already vested in the whole ebook thing. But I also know (because I read all that stuff about Hocking and Konrath ad nauseum) he’s got a lot going for him. I know how much thought Jay has put into this. He’s a brilliant, lovable guy who keeps an entertaining blog and knows everybody. He’s incredibly prolific. He knows how to spin a yarn. I know how much heart he puts into his writing, and it shows. I guarantee Death Match will be fast-paced and gritty with a gripping emotional core. Frankly, he’s a better writer than Hocking and Konrath put together. Which may or may not mean a thing in this context. But it will be fascinating to watch. I can’t wait to see what happens–not just in the next couple of weeks, but when he puts out the next book and the one after that.

Should you care to watch him too, Jay’s blog, where I hope he will regale us with further news of his forays, is at ridlerville.wordpress.com.

   Ebooks, HM, News | No Comments »

Chapbook 4, Readercon, Beer, Updatey

July 8th, 2011

Against all odds, there will be a Homeless Moon chapbook number four. I just sent it off to the printer. This year’s theme is a shared world generation ship, though I suspect you’d be hard pressed to guess that from the stories alone. We’re very different writers—it’s our shared hell-bent-ness that holds us together—and it’s awesome. As usual (though likely for the last time), I’ll have 200 copies to hand out at Readercon, and when those are gone, there will be ebooks on the HM site and at Weightless Books.

Here’s a cover we decided not to go with:

Space Octopus!

Readercon, by the way, is next week, and I have a ton of stuff going on. My schedule looks like this:

11:00 AM Friday – What Writing Workshops Do and Don’t Offer.
2:00 PM Saturday – Three Messages and a Warning group reading. This is Small Beer’s Mexican SF anthology, which I hyped up at last year’s Readercon. I translated two stories for it and have read a bunch of others, all fascinating, very different, surprising stuff.
2:30 PM Saturday – Beneath Ceaseless Skies group reading.
3:30 PM Saturday – My solo reading, wherein I shall read my Apex #23 story, “The Eater”.

I’ll also be at the Small Beer table in the dealer’s room quite a bit, and hopefully at Kelly and Gavin’s Kaffeklatsch, where awesome not-so-very-secret things will occur. This summer marks Small Beer’s tenth anniversary. I think there are t-shirts to celebrate the occasion. I have also brewed a beer. O it is an exciting beer I am having to struggle very hard not to crack open and drink. I wrote a Literary Beer entry about it.

And then—even then, after Readercon, it still is not done, because then I’ll be at another reading on Thursday the 21st at the NEIA Library in Brookline for the new LCRW #27, which also happens to be coming out at Readercon.

And then that same day I move.

   HM, News | 4 Comments »

Squirrel Print, Winter, Boskone

February 14th, 2011

Yesterday a guy showed up on Hyde Park Ave with a jackhammer to smash up the two-plus inches of solid ice on the sidewalk.

Boskone this coming weekend. I’ll be at a Beneath Ceaseless Skies reading at 8:30 PM on Friday 12:00 PM on Sunday to read from my forthcoming (non-centaur) story, “The Nine-Tailed Cat”. And who knows what else through the weekend. Pretty likely the Harpoon Brewery tour on Sat. afternoon…. then before dawn Monday morning I’m off for Guatemala again. Lots to do until then. Little time for blog lately, I fear. No doubt there will be insane travel ranting and photography when I get back. See you then. Unless I see you at the con!

   News, Winter | No Comments »

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