Category Archives: Science Fiction & Fantasy

See you in San Jose — Worldcon!

Here’s where to find me at Con Jose Aug. 16-20. Bay Area peeps: this means you!

Ordinary People

16 Aug 2018, Thursday 16:00 – 17:00, 210F (San Jose Convention Center)

Sometimes, main characters in a story are ordinary people – not everyone is extraordinary. Can such a focus make a story more powerful? What makes them appealing? How does such a story differ from a story of heroes and villains?

Panel discussion with Cecilia Tan (M), Nick Mamatas, Christine Taylor-Butler, Rosemary Claire Smith, Sheila Finch

Signing

18 Aug 2018, Saturday 15:30 – 16:00 SFWA Table (San Jose Convention Center)

Stop by and I’ll sign promo materials for T-Rex Time Machine (my interactive fiction game) or any magazines or anthologies you brought with my stories and/or articles.

Clarion 50th Reunion Party

18 Aug 2018, Saturday 20:00 – 23:00

Many, many Clarion classes come together to celebrate fifty years of the boot-camp for writers that launched so many careers. Mine included!

EAT YOUR WORLD (Read Your Food)

19 Aug 2018, Sunday 16:00-17:00 location TBA

Dive into Worldbuilding is throwing a party. Juliette Wade and others will bring foods inspired by fiction. Author attendees will be invited to read food-related snippets from their work.

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PAY THE WRITER

Like me, many science fiction writers and readers are getting word today about the passing of Harlan Ellison. Some who knew him will sit down to summon words to commemorate his brilliance as a writer and an anthologist coupled with his larger-than-life personality. I want to take a minute to pay tribute to his eloquent advocacy on behalf of writers everywhere. I can think of no better way to do so than to repeat the three words he put forward: Pay. The. Writer.

In this age of digital piracy, to say nothing of good old-fashioned scams at every turn, Harlan Ellison articulated as well as anyone that the money should flow to the writer, not away. If any of my readers are new to the business of writing (and yes, always treat it as a business as much as a creative endeavor), you would do well to keep this principle in mind when someone tries to talk you into giving them your property (which is exactly what your written words are) for free. They may say something to the effect of, “It’ll be good exposure.” One response is, “People die from exposure.” Here’s how Harlan Ellison put it.

Where to Catch Me at Balticon

Memorial Day Weekend, come hear me read from one of my dinosaur stories and talk about time travel, shopping at Target in Middle Earth, critiquing, writing methods, predatory business practices, anthropomorphism, and who knows what else! Here is my schedule for Balticon:

Friday, May 25

6pm  Anthropomorphism in SFF

Panel Discussion:  Tom Doyle (moderator), Joy Ward, Walt Boyes, Rosemary Claire Smith, Michelle Sonnier

Learn how to tell stories from an animal’s unique perspective without resorting to writing humans in fursuits.

 

Saturday, May 26

11am  Stopping the Clocks: Time Travel in Writing

Panel Discussion: Andy Love (moderator), Brian Groover, Jack Clemons, Rosemary Claire Smith, Ian Randal Strock

In 1888, H.G. Wells wrote his first time travel story, “The Chronic Argonauts.” 130 years later, the concept is as popular as ever , with people still trying new takes on it. Why is time travel so perennial a theme? What are some of the different rules we’ve seen, and how do they make for good storytelling?

1pm You Can’t Shop at Target in Middle Earth

Panel Discussion: Walt Boyes (moderator), Melissa Scott, Denise Clemons, Ada Palmer, Rosemary Claire Smith

In your original fantasy setting, everything the characters own has to come from somewhere. Let’s talk about how to build a believable material culture for your world.

2pm Recognizing Predatory Business Practices

Panel Discussion: D.H. Aire (moderator), James R. Stratton, Neil Clarke, Rosemary Claire Smith, Lawrence Watt-Evans

How to look for signs that you might not be dealing with a legitimate company – including common tactics such as pay-to-play, signing over derivative works, and others.

 

Sunday, May 27

12pm Readings: Sarah Avery, Rosemary Claire Smith, Carl Paolino

Reading

Authors Sarah Avery, Rosemary Claire Smith, and Carl Paolino read from their work.

5pm  How to Incorporate Critique

Panel Discussion:  Joshua Bilmes (moderator), Day Al-Mohamed, John Appel, Leah Cypess, Rosemary Claire Smith

What do you do when you have two readers giving you different or even contradictory feedback? How much are you willing to let the feedback change your work?

Monday, May 28

10am  Outlining vs. Pantsing

Panel Discussion: Paul E. Cooley, Devin Jackson Randall, Rosemary Claire Smith, Danielle Ackley-McPhail

Some storytellers require a detailed outline to start fleshing out their story, but others prefer to write by the seat of the pants. What are some techniques to help you get better at one when you prefer the other? Authors and gamemasters welcome!

Hope to see lots of you there!

I’ll be at Nebulas Weekend in Pittsburgh

The Nebula Awards

I’ll be part of a panel discussion of what science fiction can learn from archaeology this Saturday at 4 p.m. Also on Sunday from 1-3, I’ll be signing autographs along with a great many other writers. Check out all the events here.

Unreliable Narrators Interview!

Cath, Chris, George & Chia (a/k/a the Unreliable Narrators) interviewed me about T-Rex Time Machine for their podcast! It was great fun talking to these talented writers about dinosaurs, creating an interactive fiction adventure, and much else. Have a listen.

While you’re at it, have a look at my game. It’s your chance to take your best friend back millions of years to see living dinosaurs.

 

Time Machine for Sale!

Starting TODAY, you can buy my dinosaur role playing game. It’s 170,000 words of Cretaceous adventure. You’re invited to switch on the flux navigator and take my time machine for a spin. Oh, and watch out for those triceratops horns! You do want to get home in one piece, don’t you? It’s perfect for anyone who loves interactive fiction and/or dinosaurs. Check out T-Rex Time Machine from Choice of Games.

Beta Testing My Dinosaur Game

T-Rex Time Machine went into beta test this morning. That’s the name of my interactive fiction game in which you will soon get to spend time with the dinosaurs, courtesy of me, Choice of Games, and the raging power of your imagination. The current plan is for the game to be available this upcoming holiday season. In the meantime, you could read some of my other dinosaur stories or check out some other remarkable games from Choice of Games. To say that I am excited about unleashing it upon the world is a vast understatement.

See You at the Baltimore Book Festival!

This weekend, I’ll be at the Baltimore Book Festival (Inner Harbor), in the SFWA tent, talking about human adaptations, science fiction and dinosaurs! Hope you’ll drop by if you’re local and have a listen. Come find out about my forthcoming project: an interactive game featuring dinosaurs and you. Plus there are so many other great panels at this 3-day event (Fri.-Sun.). It’s free!

Here’s my schedule:

Saturday

11 AM Humans, Adapt!: How Humans and Cultures Adapt in Fiction
From the zombie apocalypse to invasive government to zero gravity to uploaded consciousness, our panel discusses humanity’s ability to adapt to new environments in fantasy and science fiction, and the resilience of the body and spirit.
Authors: Carrie DiRisio, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Erin Roberts, Christopher Mark Rose, Rosemary Claire Smith

12 Noon Dinosaurs, Diseases, and Dwarf Stars: Actual Science in Science Fiction
From eclipses to eoraptors, we’ll talk about great science in fiction. May the facts be with you!
Authors: Gwendolyn Clare, Jack Clemons, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Vivian Shaw, Rosemary Claire Smith

Check out the full schedule.

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ANALOG STORY BACK IN PRINT

“Birch Glow,” my first story to be published in Analog, is back in print! You can get it as part of Celestial Beans, a hot new anthology by the marvelous folks at Digital Fiction Publishing. And the good news keeps on coming: For a limited time, the whole anthology is on sale for 99 cents. Check it out!

I’M EATING THE FANTASTIC WITH PODCASTER SCOTT EDELMAN

I was interviewed on today’s episode of the Scott Edelman’s podcast, Eating the Fantastic! That in itself is pretty fantastic. In case you don’t know, Scott’s a writer, editor, foodie, and the driving force behind the podcast, Eating the Fantastic. Over scrumptious meals (and you ALWAYS want to go to restaurants he picks out), Scott interviews science fiction, fantasy, and horror writers, as well as editors and other creative types about how they got their start, what they’re working on now, and whatever else comes up. I’ve been enjoying his interviews for well over a year.

Now it was my turn to be interviewed over lunch at Momofuku. This relatively new restaurant in downtown D.C. has made a big splash. I get what the fuss is about. We’d both highly recommend it. Such fond memories of these pork buns:

But anyway, I hope you’ll listen to the podcast as it was my chance to talk about attending Clarion and Taos Toolbox, writing for Analog, doing readings, and other topics before unveiling my major new writing project involving dinosaurs. I hope you’ll listen. I’ll blog more about my latest project in a few days. Until then, Scott has the exclusive.

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