July 10th, 2013

Readercon, where I apparently won’t be. :(

This kind of sucks the worst, but:

I regret to announce I won’t be appearing at Readercon in Burlington, MA, this weekend.

I’m pretty sick, guys. In that “can’t stand up long enough to take a whole shower” and “had to go to the hospital” and “other adults taking whole days off work to caretake me” way. And while it’s getting gradually better, getting on a plane right now would 1) be blatantly irresponsible; 2) worry, badly, the people I love.

I am really sorry to those who were looking forward to spending some time — I was looking forward to spending time with you too! I am snarly at this whole not-doing-that prospect! I just have to focus on getting the body back to doing its job right now. And I promise I’ll make it up to you. And to me.

June 26th, 2013

Readercon schedule!

As promised in my last post!

Readercon (aka, Most Wonderful Time of the Year) goes down in a few weeks in Burlington, MA.  Behold the schedule!

Thursday, July 11

9:00 PM    F    Apocalypse Then. Leah Bobet, Maureen F. McHugh, James Morrow, Romie Stott (moderator), Sabrina Vourvoulias. In a 2012 interview published in the Boston Review, Junot Díaz told Paula Moya, “I always say if people [in the Dominican Republic] know about anything they know about the end of the world. We are after all the eschaton that divided the Old World from the New.” In this sense many worlds have ended, with a bang or a whimper. What can authors of post-apocalyptic stories learn from past apocalypses like the 1994 Rwandan genocide or the fall of Imperial Rome, and why are there so few works that present real-world events in this light?

Friday, July 12

1:00 PM    F    The Silent History: A Killer Serial. Leah Bobet, Samantha Henderson, Maureen F. McHugh, David G. Shaw (leader), Graham Sleight. The Silent History (http://www.thesilenthistory.com) bills itself as “a new kind of novel,” a serialized story told in weekday installments over the course of six months. In addition to the daily first-person narratives there are also “field reports,” reader-created first-person accounts in the story’s universe that are tied to specific locations. Rather than distract, these elements immerse the reader in the world of the story. How can non-standard narrative structure, serialization, geolocation, and audience participation serve as a blueprint for future novels?
4:00 PM    E    Autographs. Leah Bobet, Howard Waldrop.

 

Saturday, July 13

1:00 PM    G    Authorial Metanarrative. Leah Bobet (leader), Lila Garrott, Theodora Goss, Glenn Grant, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Sonya Taaffe. A number of authors build in subtle links between otherwise unconnected works. A link may not be something as literal as a common character or name; perhaps, instead, there’s a repeated trope or event. Leah Bobet, discussing Patricia A. McKillip’s works in a 2011 blog post, described this as writing “epic poetry, and the whole of [McKillip's] output is the poem.” How do such links affect a reader’s interpretation of or approach to a body of work, and what motivates authors to link their works together?

Suggested by Leah Bobet.

3:00 PM    NH    Mythic Poetry Group Reading. Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Gwynne Garfinkle, Andrea Hairston, Samantha Henderson, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Rose Lemberg, Shira Lipkin, Alex Dally MacFarlane, Dominik Parisien, Caitlyn Paxson, Julia Rios, Romie Stott, Sonya Taaffe, JoSelle Vanderhooft. Over the past decade, speculative poetry has increasingly turned toward the mythic in subject matter, with venues such as Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Stone Telling, Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, and the now-defunct Journal of the Mythic Arts showcasing a new generation of poets who’ve redefined what this type of writing can do. This reading will feature new and classic works from speculative poetry’s trend-setters.

9:00 PM    NH    Reading: Leah Bobet. Leah Bobet. Leah Bobet reads from a work to be determined.

So this basically looks to be awesome, and I have more than a little prep to do before the weekend itself hits (ie, what I’m reading, which may be from On Roadstead Farm.)

Do I see you there?

June 13th, 2013

Going Out in Public: June/July edition!

Now that that draft is done, I will be going out places again!  Some of them may be near you!

  • First and foremost, I’ll be reading from Above at the Cat Sass Norwood Literary Night this Saturday, June 15 at 5pm, alongside novelist Shane Joseph and poet Wes Ryan.  If you’re in the area, come by for three writers and a bit of Q&A!
  • Secondly, I’ll be at Readercon in Burlington, MA from July 11-14, 2013.  There will be a panel schedule and possibly a reading attached to this, but it’s still forthcoming.

See you there!

April 24th, 2013

Going Out in Public: April/May edition!

Spring’s finally sticking around here, and I am daring to leave my writer cave.  Which means: A bucket of upcoming public appearances!  Behold the list of them!

  • If you’re interested in hearing about the writing process, Toronto’s underground spaces, and the secrets of cities, I’m doing a Keep Toronto Reading event on just those things on Thursday, April 25, 2013 at 7pm, at the Kennedy/Eglinton branch of the Toronto Public Library.  There will be books for sale at this one, if only a handful!
  • The Apocalypse Tour is riding again, with a few Southern Ontario dates!  On Thursday, May 2, 2013, we’ll be at Essa Public Library’s Angus Branch in Angus, Ontario at 4pm — and by we, we mean Megan Crewe, Adrienne Kress, Maureen McGowan, and Cheryl Rainfield.
  • On May 4 at 2pm, Megan, Maureen, Cheryl, and I will descend upon Chapters South London to answer questions, sign books, and terrorize the populace.  There’s a Facebook event page here if you’re minded to RSVP, and it’ll be Maureen’s birthday, so a good round of the happy birthday song is welcomed and encouraged!
  • On May 5 at 2pm, Megan, Maureen, Cheryl, and Courtney Summers will finish this mini-leg of the Apocalypse Tour without me at Chapters Oshawa, because I am flaking to lead a Jane’s Walk that afternoon.

 

  • Finally, I will be at the Nebula Awards Weekend in San Jose, CA, from May 16-19, 2013.  I plan to have a kicky awards dress and a minimum of jet lag.

And that’s the news!

October 23rd, 2012

World Fantasy in Toronto!

The weekend after next is the 2012 World Fantasy Convention in Richmond Hill, ON, and I’m going to be there!  World Fantasy restricts attendees to one panel or reading, and here’s mine:

Thursday, November 1

2:00 pm – The Windigo and Others– David Nickle (M), Leah Bobet, Robert Knowlton, Ursula Pflug, Hayden Trenholm.

From isolated characters slowly going mad, to sublime nature as the monster, and on through First Nations/Inuit myth and folklore, a distinct northern aspect of the genre has developed. The panel will examine these influences on Northern Gothic.

Friday, November 2

8:00 pm — Autograph Reception

Meet, talk, and get your books signed!

It’s the opening panel, so I’m excited; as for the rest of the time?  I’ll likely be behind the Bakka-Phoenix Books table in the dealer’s room, or floating about the con, seeing some people I haven’t had a chance to talk to for a while now.  Will you be there?  Come say hi!

June 26th, 2012

Readercon!

I’m going to be at Readercon in Burlington, MA, on July 12-15 — probably my favourite convention all year long! — and the program schedule is live today.  If you’re attending, here’s where I’m going to be:

 

Friday, July 13

11:00 AM    NH    Group Reading: Mythic Poetry. Mary Agner, Mike Allen, Erik Amundsen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Gemma Files, Gwynne Garfinkle, April Grant, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Shira Lipkin, Adrienne J. Odasso, Julia Rios, Darrell Schweitzer, Sonya Taaffe. Over the past decade, speculative poetry has increasingly turned toward the mythic in subject matter, with venues such as Strange Horizons, Goblin Fruit, Mythic Delirium, Stone Telling, Cabinet des Fées, Jabberwocky, and the now-defunct Journal of the Mythic Arts showcasing a new generation of poets who’ve redefined what this type of writing can do. Come to the reading and hear new and classic works from speculative poetry’s trend-setters.

1:00 PM    G    Through a Glass, Dystopianly. Leah Bobet, Gwendolyn Clare, Jack Haringa (leader), Alaya Dawn Johnson, Shira Lipkin. Millions of words have been written on the current dystopian trend in young adult literature; the consensus seems to be that dystopias are a reflection of the state of being a modern teenager, feeling trapped and uncertain of who you are. Fair enough. But given that the teen years are often when people first become engaged with wider world concerns—and given that these books are written by adults aware of those concerns—perhaps there are also particular anxieties about the current state of society and the world feeding the popularity of books like Suzanne Collins’s The Hunger Games or Ali Condie’s Matched. The Hunger Games, for example, can be read as commentary on the issues surrounding the Occupy protests, with those in power controlling resources as a way of maintaining order at the cost of tremendous collateral damage to the innocent. Is this a useful way of reading these stories? Are there similar issues we can discern in other recent young adult fictions? And what issues might we expect to see reflected in future YA works?

3:00 PM    CL    Kaffeeklatsch. Leah Bobet, James Morrow.

6:00 PM    F    Speech Patterns. Judith Berman, Leah Bobet, Greer Gilman, Sarah Smith (leader), Vinnie Tesla. Writers can adopt the convention that people in the future (or past) speak just as they do now. Or they can take contemporary speech patterns and tweak them to suggest the different time or place. Or they can go for verisimilitude (historical or imagined). Why do we see more tweaking of speech patterns in stories set in the past than the future? Is altering speech patterns to give a flavor of the future an underused technique, or does it present more difficulties (see Riddley Walker, A Clockwork Orange, or Ambient)? Some writers the altered speech pattern for the aliens reserve, as a way of underscoring their different psychology. What other techniques are available?

8:00 PM    F    Reimagining Protagonist Agency. Nathan Ballingrud, Leah Bobet (leader), John Clute, Scott Lynch, Jo Walton. Historically, the bulk of SF&F has dealt with protagonists taking direct physical (or cognitive) action to solve problems. They were brilliantly competent men and women, or destined healers of a wounded land: their agency in their story was obvious and indisputable. Recently, a number of authors have been depicting protagonists with more subtle types of agency. Many readers and critics have reacted by labeling such protagonists, negatively, as passive. Our panelists discuss why and how they’ve tried to expand the limits of what is popularly considered to be agency, and lessons they’ve learned for effectively communicating these ideas to readers.

Saturday, July 14

12:00 PM    E    Autographs. Leah Bobet, Jo Walton.

2:00 PM    G    The City and the Strange. Leah Bobet, Amanda Downum, Lila Garrott (leader), Stacy Hill, Ellen Kushner, Howard Waldrop. In The Death and Life of Great American Cities, Jane Jacobs writes, “By its nature, the metropolis provides what otherwise could be given only by traveling; namely, the strange.” N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance trilogy demonstrates that epic-feeling fantasy can still take place entirely within the confines of a single city. Fictional metropolises such as Jeff Vandermeer’s Ambergris, China Miéville’s New Crobuzon, and Catherynne M. Valente’s Palimpsest are entire worlds in themselves, and the fantasy cities of Lankmar and Ankh-Morkpork shine as centers of intrigue and adventure. In what other works, and other ways, can cities be stand-ins for the lengthy traveling quest of Tolkienesque fantasy?

3:00 PM    NH    Group Reading: Ideomancer Speculative Fiction. Mike Allen, Leah Bobet, C.S.E. Cooney, Amanda Downum, George Galuschak, Claire Humphrey, Nicole Kornher-Stace, Kenneth Schneyer, Sonya Taaffe. Authors and poets read work from Ideomancer Speculative Fiction, one of the longest-running speculative fiction webzines still publishing.

Sunday, July 15

10:30 AM    NH    Reading. Leah Bobet. Leah Bobet reads from an upcoming novel.

1:00 PM    F    When Non-Fantastic Genres Interrogate Themselves. Leah Bobet, Lila Garrott (leader), Liz Gorinsky, Ed Meskys, Delia Sherman. When other genres interrogate themselves, the results are often fantastika. Works such as China Miéville’s The City & The City, Jedediah Berry’s The Manual of Detection, and Kelly Link’s “The Girl Detective,” for example, are in some ways interrogations of the building blocks of crime fiction: criminals, crimes, detectives. To what extent is it useful to read paranormal romance as a result of traditional romance interrogating itself; or alternate history—or steampunk—as a result of historical fiction interrogating itself? Is this something modern fantasy is especially good at? Is it even part of what modern fantasy is, a space that permits such interrogations? And if so, what happens when fantasy interrogates itself?

It’s a full schedule, and I’m really excited.  So, do I see you there?