I’m back in Brooklyn after a wonderful if exhausting time at the World Fantasy Convention in Columbus, Ohio. I spent most of the con in the bar or at meals, though I did do a reading and see a couple of good panels — one on the evolution of Sword and Sorcery, which included pals and pals-in-the-making Martha Wells, Scott Andrews, and Howard Andrew Jones, and one on the continued viability of epic fantasy, which featured online acquaintance David B. Coe and my new BFF (Bald Fantasist Friend), Blake Charlton. This is the third time I’ve attended WFC, but it was my first time doing so as an agented, award-nominated author with a book deal. It was great. Being feted repeatedly by my excellent editor, Betsy Wollheim of DAW Books, having a good number of people I’d never met come up and tell me they liked my stories, reading an excerpt of THRONE OF THE CRESCENT MOON to a room full of people who weren’t all my friends — these things all made me feel like A Real Author. But mostly WFC was great because I now know a LOT of the people attending from meatspace or online, and, for all of the ‘working vacation’ vibe, it’s really amazing to get to spend a weekend hanging out with them. This is especially welcome these days since work and twin-care keeps me too busy to have anything resembling an IRL social life. I won’t try to list names here, since I’ll invariably leave someone out, but I’ll just say it was great getting to see people I’d met before and shifting so many virtual friendships into flesh-and-blood ones.
But now it’s back to the grindstone. There are some personal life upheavals coming my way that I’ll report on when they become finalized. In the meantime, a couple of bits of short fiction news:
-My semi-dystopian Middle East story, “The Faithful Soldier, Prompted” is up at Apex Magazine. This story is part of a “Special Arab/Muslim Issue” which features a jaw-dropping cover and some EXCELLENT fiction and poetry, including a gorgeously trippy story by Amal El-Mohtar. Props again to editor Cat Valente for having the guts and vision to put this together.
-My short story “Judgment of Swords and Souls,” which is set in the same world as my forthcoming Crescent Moon Kingdoms trilogy, and which had previously appeared in Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, is now available for FREE on this site. What’s more, it — and works by a ton of other superb writers of color working in the speculative fiction field — will be loaded onto a bunch of shiny new eReaders which you, yes you, could WIN as part of the Octavia E. Butler Memorial Scholarship Fund eReader Drawing. The drawing cost a mere dollar to enter and goes to support scholarships to Clarion and Clarion West for writers of color.
Alright, methinks that’s enough blabbery for now. Until next we meet, here’s a gratuitous baby pic: