Category Archives: Writing

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!

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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.

 

POP QUIZ

What stands almost as tall as a giraffe, has hollow bones as thin as a playing card, and a 33-foot wing span?

No, it isn’t some imaginary creature, but rather an extinct pterosaur that lived during the Cretaceous. I feature its relatives in T-Rex Time Machine, my interactive fiction RPG. Soon, you’ll soon get to spend time with this fabulous critter plus a slew of dinosaurs, courtesy of me, Choice of Games, and the raging power of your imagination. 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.

One neat thing about the games produced by Choice of Games is that you can play them again and again by selecting different attributes for your character, even different names and genders.

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.

MARS NEEDS CHILDREN

Calling all Moms and Dads: Would you send your kids to colonize Mars? I tackle this subject in my guest editorial in the July-August issue of Analog. Available now. Hope you’ll give it a read. I’m always happy to hear from my readers what you think.

And while you’re at it, check out some first-rate new fiction by my writing buddies, Martin L. Shoemaker and C. Stuart Hardwick. These hot new writers are ones to keep your eyes on, and to read! Here’s the complete Table of Contents for a terrific double issue:

 

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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I AM AN ANLAB AWARD FINALIST!

Analog Cover APRIL2016web

ZOMG! Look! My novelette, “Diamond Jim and the Dinosaurs,” is a finalist for the AnLab Readers’ Award! It was published in the April/May issue of Analog, the one featuring this gorgeous Bob Eggleton cover. For a short period of time, you can read it for free here. And who wouldn’t want to read about Antarctic dinosaurs?

I want to extend my gratitude to all those Analog readers who thought my story was worthy. I am deeply honored to be among such talented writers including my pal C. Stuart Hardwick, who made the finals with his Analog debut novelette, “Dreams of the Rocket Men” and Effie Seiberg with her Analog debut, “Rocket Surgery.” Also, my thanks go out to astute editor, Trevor Quachri for doing vital behind-the-scenes work to improve stories way more than many readers ever suspect.

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MY YEAR IN REVIEW

To my surprise, several people have asked if I intend to blog about what I’ve had published in 2016. Well, alrighty then, since a few of you asked …

Diamond Jim and the Dinosaurs– This novelette (3rd in the series) appeared in the April issue of Analog. Not only am I rather fond of it, but I’m also totally in love with the Bob Eggleton dinosaur cover on the magazine.

Not With A Bang-My first time travel story featuring Marty and Julianna was reprinted in the anthology Time Travel Tales.

Dino Mate – The sequel to Not With a Bang was reprinted in Ctrl Alt Delight.

Zombie Limbo Master – My sole zombie story was reprinted in Quickfic Anthology 1.

Our Right, Our Duty, Our Privilege was the March Analog guest editorial.

On the Money: Scientist of Inventor Wanted – This guest editorial appeared in the November issue of Analog.

 

All in all, this hasn’t been a bad year by any means. In fact, it’s been a better year for me than this list might lead one to suppose. The reason I say this has to do with several things I’ve written that will be unveiled next year.

MY AWARD-ELIGIBLE FICTION

Analog Cover APRIL2016web

It’s that time of year, once again, when writers set out to gently remind our faithful–but perhaps forgetful–readers as to what we published that is eligible for the Hugo and Nebula awards, as well as for the plethora of other literary awards.

For me, it’s simple: most of my work was either nonfiction, like my 2 Analog guest editorials, or reprints of previously published stories. However, I did have one novelette published in the April 2016 issue of Analog. It’s title is, “Diamond Jim and the Dinosaurs.” I’d be honored if you’d give it a look-see because who doesn’t need to read about dinosaurs roaming around Antarctica?

As for next year, I’ve got a passel of new dinosaurs, with extra ferocity, ready to serve up to my readers!

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