Short musings on community

Erewhon reading
Left to write (uh, right): Liz Gorinsky, Nicholas Kaufmann, Ilana C. Myer.

Last night, I attended a literary salon sponsored by Erewhon Books, a new independent specfic publishing house headed by Liz Gorinsky. The salon took place in their Manhattan offices, a nice open space that seems to be a combination office and living room. It featured writers Ilana C. Myer and Nicholas Kaufmann (both of whom turned in great readings, by the way; as a result, I have just started reading Last Song Before Night, the first book in Ilana’s trilogy).

About halfway through the reading, while I was listening, I let my eyes wander around the room. There were about 30 or 40 people present, sitting on chairs, couches, and the rug; listening, occasionally nodding, and sometimes laughing at inside jokes that we all got. Everyone seemed comfortable, easy, and happy to listen to some excellent prose by people whom they knew and liked.

cofAnd I realized that I was also enjoying the evening, relaxing despite all the various stresses that I (like so many of today’s adults) deal with. That even though I didn’t talk to many of the attendees on a day-to-day basis, this was my community, the people with whom I felt the most comfortable. And that it was nice to know they were around.

We all need communities, and most of us are lucky to have one — and often, several. It could be a community made up of our families, of neighbors, of college friends, of people at work, of people who share our interests, of the people who we meet every day walking their dogs in the park. These days, very often, these communities can be made up of people whom we never meet in person, but who we know from the back-and-forth of online social groups.

But whether online or in person, communities are important. And I am very grateful for mine.

 

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Next week: The Heliosphere con

Heliosphere is a nice local con that Jim and I have gone to for the past couple of years and enjoyed — and we’re going again this year. If you’re in the NYC / Westchester area on the weekend of April 5-7 and would like to spend a weekend with some science fiction / fantasy fans in Tarrytown, NY, then come over and say hi.

The con starts Friday evening; we’ll be there Saturday and Sunday. Here’s my schedule:

Saturday, April 6th

11: 30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.
The Anniversary Year Panel
Ballroom 1
W/Darrell Schweitzer, Barbara Krasnoff (M), Keith R.A. DeCandido, Ken Gale, Daniel Kimmel
Come and discuss all the movies, books, series, etc. which are enjoying a major (or minor) anniversary this year.

Readings
5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.
Ballroom 4
W/Lorraine Schein, Alex Shvartsman, C.S.E. Cooney, Barbara Krasnoff

Sunday, April 7th

11:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
Can You Succeed As A Writer If You’re A Recluse?
Ballroom 1
W / April Grey, Barbara Krasnoff, Mike McPhail, Russ Colchamiro

Oh, hell, I’ve got a book coming out!

2065_EPUB_Cover_DraftIt’s been a while since I wrote a blog entry in BrooklynWriter, and I realize that this is a Very Bad Thing, especially because my first book is actually within months of being released.

So first, the details so far: The name of the book is The History of Soul 2065. It’s a mosaic novel — a collection of interconnected short stories — based on stories that I’ve written over the years, and which I realized a little while ago were actually about the same two families. It’s being published by an independent press called Mythic Delirium, which is owned and operated by the very talented Mike and Anita Allen. The official publication date is June 11, 2019, and it will be available in a number of online venues (where it’s currently in pre-order). We’ve having a number of events to publicize/celebrate it, including at NYRSF Readings this coming Tuesday (7 p.m. at The Brooklyn Commons, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY) with myself and Theodora Goss (author of Snow White Learns Witchcraft), and at Readercon this July, where the book will be officially launched.

Mike has been working very hard to get word out about the book. And he’ll need to, in order to battle the author’s (in other words, my) natural pessimism, which is even now busily and silently screaming, “nobody will read it” “nobody will like it” “you’ll sell a few copies to your close friends, and that will be it” etc. etc. All my writer friends  know exactly what I’m talking about. Well, most of them, anyway.

So I’d better stop listening to that voice and get to it — keeping this blog updated, keeping this site updated, and perhaps talking a bit about the various stories that make up the book, why they were written, and how. And taking some time to create more stories.

Getting up to date

Greetings all!

It’s been a while since I actually updated this website, and a lot has happened — and is happening. So I thought I’d do a quick rundown of recent and upcoming activities:

  • The Nebula Awards weekend has just ended, and it was a wonderful and inspiring experience. I got to meet and talk to a lot of friends (and writers whom I greatly admire) and sat next to 2017 SFWA Grand Master Jane Yolen, which was definitely one of the highlights of the weekend — she is not only a wonderful writer, but an incredibly nice person. Once again, I would like to congratulate all the Nebula Award winners, and express my thanks for being one of this year’s finalists.
  • There was a large layoff at IDG last Tuesday, May 16th, and unfortunately I was one of those affected. So I am now an ex-Computerworld reviews editor.  I’m going to be looking for freelance and/or full-time editorial work. This is the first day I’m actually dealing with it — I left for the Nebula Awards weekend the day after the layoff — so I’ve got a long list of people to contact and things to do. Thanks to everyone who has offered info and advice thus far.
  • I’ll be reading this Sunday at the Queens Book Festival with Jennifer Marie Brissett, hosted by Jim Freund. It will be at 4 pm on the Resorts Fall Plaza stage. Come on by if you’re free.

Upcoming conventions

Although I don’t attend a lot of conventions, I actually have two coming up within the next couple of months.

First up is next weekend: I’ll be doing a reading and appearing in a panel on women in SF at Heliosphere con on Saturday, March 11th in Tarrytown, NY. Heliosphere is a brand new con that will be taking place over the entire weekend; unfortunately, I’ll only be able to be there on Saturday, but if you’ve got the time, you should definitely check it out.

And then, on April 7-8, I’ll be attending Lunacon 2017, also in Tarrytown (that must be a really hoppin’ community!). Lunacon has been around for a very long time, and Jim & I used to go every year. We’ve neglected it in recent years, but we will be attending it this year at its new digs — only Friday and Saturday, since it is unfortunately scheduled a bit close to Passover. But if you want to come by and spot me wandering in the halls, stop and say hi!

Oh, and a final thank you to Bill Shunn for inviting me to read yesterday (Saturday, March 4th) at the monthly Line Break reading series, which takes place at Q.E.D. in Queens. It was a huge amount of fun.

I’ll be reading at Line Break!

Amid all the political upheavals, some fun news: I’ll be taking part in a reading at the Line Break series in Queens. Here’s the description from the website: “Line Break is the eclectic live literary magazine where poetry meets prose, fact meets fiction, and high-brow meets low-brow.” It’s run by Bill Shunn, a fine writer in his own right.

The reading happens on the first Saturday of every month, and I’ll be appearing there Saturday, March 4, along with Keith R.A. DeCandido, Emily Hockaday, Jonathan Sumpter and Andrew Willett. We each get about 12 minutes; I haven’t decided what to read yet, but it’s gonna be short.

So come if you can! Here are the details:

Line Break Reading Series
Saturday, March 4, 2017, 3:00-4:30 p.m.

Hosted by William Shunn

Q.E.D.: A Place for Show & Tell
27-16 23rd Avenue
Astoria, NY 11105

Admission $7. Beer, wine and snacks available.

 

Upcoming reading at the Twenty-Sided Store

So I’m going to be part of this reading in the highly fashionable neighborhood of Williamsburg in the highly fashionable borough of Brooklyn at the newly fashionable Twenty-Sided Store, where the highly fashionable go to game. (No, really, I understand it’s really a neat place.)
 
I will be reading alongside a bunch of highly talented writers, including Chris Kreuter, Carlos Hernandez, C.S.E. Cooney, and Rob Cameron.
 
It’s all happening this Thursday, December 22nd, at 7 pm. The Twenty-Sided Store is located at 362 Grand Street in Brooklyn. It sounds like it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Drop on by if you can.