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Fun stuff

WFC schedule

WFC has come up with a vaguely acceptable Code of Conduct. Thanks, folks. This is important.

They’ve also updated the program. I’m on two panels! With really cool people!

City Center 2B
Healing in Fantasy

Sometimes you just need a doctor, but in Fantasyland a healer has to do. Magical healing is a surprisingly common and yet complex issue. The panel will discuss the ramifications of magical healing and which texts they feel illustrate some of the more nuanced approaches to getting your heroes and heroines back on their feet.
James Alan Gardner (mod.), Anatoly Belilovsky, J.K. Cheney, Julie Czerneda, Sarah Goslee, Susan MacDonald

Food Fantasy

Beyond the seemingly ubiquitous quest stew, food plays a major role in fantasy. Our panel discusses food in fantasy, and fantasies that revolve around food. Foodies, in fact epicures of all kinds, are welcome.
Kelly Robson (mod.), Esther Friesner, Sarah Goslee, Paul Park, Fran Wilde

I hope to see you there. I’ll also be at the Tor party on Wednesday at Northshire Books, and of course in the bar. Because where else?

Please say hi if you see me.

Food, books, and extraterrestrial activity

Dyson Sphere! Or, well, probably not.

Apprentice to Elves by Sarah Monette and Elizabeth Bear is out today! If you read that excerpt you might be able to figure out why I’m pushing it on all my friends. I mean besides the bit where it’s an excellent book, that is.

The World Fantasy Convention program is out. I’ll be on a food panel with Ellen Kushner and Kelly Robson. Should be fun; as you may have noticed, I have Opinions.

I discovered the Amazon list of 100 Science Fiction & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime from Hot Chick Janiece. I’ve read 78 of the 100, and 7 more are on my to-read stack already. There were a couple I’d never heard of even though I was familiar with the author, and two I was completely unfamiliar with.

The list is 33% by women, and has a few non-white authors. It was more diverse than I expected, but my expectations are rather low. Ursula Le Guin appears three times; Clarke, Bradbury and Heinlein each twice.

Have read:
Frankenstein; Mary Shelley
The Time Machine; HG Wells
Sabriel; Garth Nix
Outlander: A Novel; Diana Gabaldon
The Color of Magic; Terry Pratchett
2001: A Space Odyssey; Arthur C. Clarke
Ringworld; Larry Niven
The Curse of Chalion; Lois McMaster Bujold
Good Omens; Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
The Princess Bride; William Goldman
The Hunger Games; Suzanne Collins
A Game of Thrones; George RR Martin
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; CS Lewis
The Dark Is Rising; Susan Cooper
A Wrinkle in Time; Madeline L’Engle
Howl’s Moving Castle; Diana Wynne Jones
Pawn of Prophecy; David Eddings
Childhood’s End; Arthur C. Clarke
The Stars My Destination; Alfred Bester
Slaughterhouse-Five: A Novel; Kurt Vonnegut
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy; Douglas Adams
I, Robot; Isaac Asimov
Interview with the Vampire; Anne Rice
Hyperion; Dan Simmons
Stories of Your Life: and Others; Ted Chiang
Daughter of the Blood; Anne Bishop
Guilty Pleasures; Laurell K. Hamilton
The Doomsday Book; Connie Willis
Dragonflight; Anne McCaffrey
Neuromancer; William Gibson
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell; Susanna Clarke
The Sword of Shannara; Terry Brooks
Ender’s Game; Orson Scott Card
Lord Foul’s Bane; Stephen R. Donaldson
Assassin’s Apprentice; Robin Hobb
Old Man’s War; John Scalzi
The Golden Compass; Philip Pullman
Red Mars; Kim Stanley Robinson
A Canticle for Leibowitz; Walter M. Miller Jr
The Gunslinger; Stephen King
1984; George Orwell
Stranger in a Strange Land; Robert Heinlein
The Last Unicorn; Peter S. Beagle
A Wizard of Earthsea; Ursula K. Le Guin
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone; J.K. Rowling
The Name of the Wind; Patrick Rothfuss
Kushiel’s Dart; Jacqueline Carey
The Martian: A Novel; Andy Weir
The Way of Kings; Brandon Sanderson
The Golem and the Jinni; Helene Wecker
Starship Troopers; Robert Heinlein
Snow Crash; Neal Stephenson
World War Z; Max Brooks
Ancillary Justice; Ann Leckie
Among Others; Jo Walton
Ready Player One; Ernest Cline
Dune; Frank Herbert
American Gods; Neil Gaiman
The Left Hand of Darkness; Ursula K. Le Guin
The Martian Chronicles; Ray Bradbury
The Handmaid’s Tale; Margaret Atwood
The Windup Girl; Paolo Bacigalupi
The Hobbit; J.R.R. Tolkien
How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe; Charles Yu
Brave New World; Aldous Huxley
Altered Carbon; Richard Morgan
Grass; Sherri Tepper
Fahrenheit 451: A Novel; Ray Bradbury
The Speed of Dark; Elizabeth Moon
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Philip K. Dick
Uprooted; Naomi Novik
Perdido Street Station; China Mieville
The Magicians; Lev Grossman
The Mists of Avalon; Marion Zimmer Bradley
Riddle-Master (Trilogy); Patricia A. McKillip
The Lord of the Rings; J.R.R. Tolkein
Tales; H. P. Lovecraft;
Twenty Thousand Leagues under the Sea; Jules Verne

Own but haven’t read:
The Forever War; Joe Haldeman
Wool; Hugh Howey
Sandman Slim: A Novel; Richard Kadrey
The Eye of the World; Robert Jordan
Annihilation; Jeff VanderMeer
Dhalgren; Samuel R. Delaney
Foreigner; C.J. Cherryh

Haven’t read or not sure:
Solaris; Stanislaw Lem
I Am Legend; Richard Matheson
Kindred; Octavia Butler
Graceling; Kristin Cashore
Blood Music; Greg Bear
The Dispossessed; Ursula K. Le Guin
Uglies; Scott Westerfeld
Red Rising; Pierce Brown
The Rook; Daniel O’Malley
The Dragonbone Chair; Tad Williams
Cloud Atlas; David Mitchell
The Sparrow; Mary Doria Russell
The Road; Cormac McCarthy
Nights at the Circus; Angela Carter
The Time Traveler’s Wife; Audrey Niffenegger

Confluence schedule

Ooops, I still haven’t posted this. I have a busy weekend ahead at Confluence:

Friday, July 24
9pm Evolution and Viruses – Lawrence
10pm Practical Space Colonization – Lawrence
11pm Broad Universe Rapid-Fire Reading – Armstrong

Saturday, July 25
10am Building a Fantasy Culture from the Ground Up – Armstrong
1pm Manley Wade Wellman – Armstrong
4pm Kaffeeklatsch with Chet Gottfried, theme Favorite Monsters – 525

I hope to see some of you there!

So, reading: something new, something old?


Charitable pooches

John Scalzi is collecting happy puppy photos for charity. How can you not want to participate?


Here Trygvi is upside-down in a pillow fort he built himself.


Ad Astra: The 50th Anniversary SFWA Cookbook is now available for pre-order!

Food, beverages, badgers… it’s all there!

I’m in, with the stupidest recipe ever. (What? I’m not telling!) But I know there are some really good recipes to make up for it.

This cookbook is a fundraiser for the SFWA Legal Fund, and should be a great treat for any fan of food and speculative fiction.

Inbound email

From the Middle District Court, received Monday:

We have received the letter from your doctor and you have been excused. I apologize for the delay in granting this excuse as you are going through alot already.

So there’s that.

Chemo continues to suck. A lot. But I’m 4/6 done!

And I’m making plans to do all the things this summer: planning for Sasquan AND World Fantasy, and some other wonderful things: I hope a trip to Portland for work (I love Portland, and have an excellent friend there), some time at Pennsic, and such.

Just have to get through the next two months, and there will be so many self-rewards.

Even though I haven’t been able to eat, I’ve been interested in food during the latter half of chemo week in the abstract sense. Last time I bought a stack of foodie books on baking, pickling, making bitters (new project!), and such. This time I’ve been ordering spices and garden plants. I’ve been wanting dwarf potted citrus for a few years, and they’re research material for novels even. (No, not going to try to deduct them on my taxes.) A nursery sent me a coupon, and voila! Dwarf citrus will be arriving when it’s warm enough to ship them.

Also a dwarf pomegranate, because it was cute and I’m a sucker.

Nick’s out for the evening, so I’m going to go attempt some more toast. Or maybe miso soup? More liquid is definitely a good idea. If I had gyoza in the freezer I’d throw a couple in. Is tortellini cheating?

Holiday cheer

It’s in the 40s and raining here this Christmas week, which makes it a perfect time for these climate change carols.

But here, have one of my favorite holiday carols to cheer you up:

You’re cheered, right?

Wishing you a lovely holiday of whatever sort, with as few fishmen as possible.

Pleasantly boring

My life has been pleasantly boring the past couple of weeks. I’m back at work full-time, I’m eating pretty much whatever I want and as much as I want, a couple weeks of light yoga have left me feeling somewhat less fragile. Most things are straightened out again after two months of ignoring them, and the cats still love me.


I don’t even have any doctor appointments for the entire month of December, except a 10-minute visit to get my oil changed, I mean mediport flushed.

Temporary normality, what a lovely change.

The creative part of my brain is the first thing to go when I’m stressed or sick, and it’s finally starting to come burbling back. I managed to revise a story and come up with a lovely new title. You should, if all goes well, get to read it and admire the title in early 2015.

Oh wait a minute, I am the world’s most horrible medical blogger. Really truly horrible! Because you know what? My CEA cancer marker was 1.5 at my last blood test right before Thanksgiving, but I got involved eating pie and watching Casablanca (and the lethargy involved in recovering from being really sick) and didn’t share the tremendously good news. You see, normal is anything less than 3.5. Fuck yeah! (My personal high was nearly 4000, so this is rather impressive.)

Okay, right. Moving along…

It being December, it’s finally time for Christmas music, but only the best for my loyal readers.

(via BoingBoing)

Here’s another must-see video, this time via Phil Plait at Slate:

Wanderers – a short film by Erik Wernquist from Erik Wernquist on Vimeo.


Confluence, to be held in Pittsburgh on July 25-27, is effectively my home con. I’ve only been going for a few years, but I’ve only been going to cons for a few years, since I started actually selling stories (my first was WFC in Columbus in 2010, immediately after I attended Viable Paradise).

Confluence was also the first con that let me participate in programming, and they’ve done so again this year. I think they may be trying to kill me (five consecutive hours on Friday night??!!), but there are some lovely things here, and some that may be… controversial. I’ll be packing my asbestos overcoat.

I’m quite thrilled to be on a panel with friend and neighbor Daryl Gregory, and very excited about the Saturday worldbuilding panel, as that’s a topic I pitched (and a panel I hope to see happen at WFC in Washington DC this fall as well).

I hope to see some of you in Pittsburgh at the end of the month!

Fri 6:00 PM Marshall Is SFWA Still Relevant? Bud Sparhawk (M), Sarah Goslee, Christie Meierz, Denise Verrico

Fri 7:00 PM ??? Kaffee Klatsch Michael Arnzen, Sarah Goslee

Fri 8:00 PM Pine The White Man in SF – A new look at diversity and alternative lifestyles Sarah Goslee, KT Pinto, Tim Liebe, Denise Verrico (M)

Fri 9:00 PM Pine A Pack of Apocalypse – How realistic are end-of-Civilization scenarios Ken Chiacchia (M), Alan Katerinsky, Daryl Gregory, Sarah Goslee

Fri 10:00 PM Marshall Social Networking – Talking about it really Does make it better Eric Beebe, Jacqueline Druga (M), Sarah Goslee

Sat 2:00 PM Pine Foods, fabrics and Fancies – Other worldbuilding Foundations Sarah Goslee (M), Wiliam H Keith, Tamora Pierce, Cindy Lynn Speer

Nifty things

LEGO is making the LEGO Research Institute, and the scientists are women! There will be an astronomer, a paleontologist, and a chemist.

“When you can’t create you can work.” Writing tips from Henry Miller.

“Women in Science Fiction,” as portrayed in letters from the early SF mags, collected by Justine Larbalestier.