Weird Tales Magazine interviewed me. The focus was on my writing, both science fiction & fantasy and my table tennis writing. I was also able to talk a lot about my new novel, “Sorcerers in Space“! I have a story coming out in Weird Tales in January (“Galahad Returns”), and had another one in 2009 (“Defeating Death“).
I just sold my short story “Head or Heat” to Ares Magazine. They are a “Pro” magazine, and pay professional rates. The story is a dark satire on Halloween with a twist ending. It’s my 68th short story sale.
“Head or Heat, Head or Heat, give us something good to eat!” chant the master race Sizan children on their version of Halloween. But what they want are the heads of the slave race Slabinnac children, or they’ll burn your house down. What’s a slave mother to do?
- My novel has been renamed “Sorcerers in Space.” (Previous title was the boring “The Giant Face in the Sky.”)
- The cover is done!!!
- I did the final edit of the galleys over the weekend, and everything should be ready for the printer in a day or so. I should have copies in about two weeks, perhaps a week before the official Nov. 15 publication date.
I spent Friday night, and about half of Saturday and Sunday at the Capclave Science Fiction Convention in Gaithersburg, MD, held ten minutes from my house. I was on three panels, including two that I moderated, plus I did a reading.
I moderated the infamous “Religion and Politics” panel, which can get rather heated, but we managed to keep it mostly low-key this time around – much of the discussion wasn’t about actual religion or politics, but about famous religious or political novels and movies that influenced the world. This was a good fit for me, as many of my short stories and both of my novels (one coming Nov. 15, the other in a state of flux as I do a rewrite for a possible publisher) are political. I sat next to the famous James Morrow during the panel. It’s the second time I’ve been on a panel at a convention with him.
I also moderated the panel on “Amazon – Good or Bad?” I had to great moments in this panel. At the start, after we introduced the panelists, I said, “I have some disturbing news. Some of us who really hate Amazon have gotten together and formed the Orange Crush Party.” (I held up a can of Orange Crush that I’d just picked up from the con suite.) “We demand that Amazon be closed down immediately. Otherwise, we will defund and close down Capclave. There will be no more panels, the exhibits and dealer’s room will be closed, and all parties are cancelled.” At first many in the audience thought I was serious, but they figured it out and laughed at the end. I also did a stunt where, right there on stage, I bought a book from one of my four fellow panelists on my Kindle (“Baby Boy Blue” from Kathryn Morrow, wife of James Morrow). I also explained my experiences with Amazon in selling my table tennis books. One surprise – I thought most of the people would think Amazon was bad, as they continued to use it, but the general consensus – with a few notable exceptions – was that Amazon was good.
I was also on the “1001 Uses for an Unsold Story” panel where we talked about the possibilities – rewriting it, reusing the central ideas of the story in another story, using it in a novel, or just saving it for the appropriate anthology that might someday come along. Or printing it out to line your parakeet cage.
I did a 25-minute reading on Sunday, where I read an excerpt from my upcoming novel, “The Giant Face in the Sky.” I also had time to read my “cult classic” story, “The Bat Nerd,” about a bat that thinks it’s a superhero.
And I got to meet and shake hands with George R.R. Martin, author of the Game of Thrones novels, now an award-winning HBO series. Plus I attended a number of panels, readings by Lawrence Schoen and Scott Andrews, and spent much time in the dealer’s room, where I ended up buying only two books somehow – “The Mammoth Book of Time Travel,” edited by Mike Ashley, and “Chess with a Dragon,” by David Gerrold. I also bought two anthologies from Lawrence Schoen at his author’s table, “Buffalito Buffet” and “Sweet Potato Pie and Other Surrealities.”
Off to Capclave Science Fiction Convention
This weekend I’ll be at the Capclave SF Convention, held about ten minutes from my house in Gaithersburg, MD. I’m on three panels, two of which I’m moderating. I’m also doing a reading. Below is my schedule. Here’s my Capclave Bio. If you are in the area, come join us!
Friday 4:00-4:55 pm, Salons CDE
God Emperor of Capclave – The Politics and Religion Panel
Panelists: Brenda W. Clough, John G. Hemry, Larry Hodges (M), James Morrow, Brian Shaw
Verboten at the dinner table, but not here. How do authors’ political perspectives and religion influence their writing? And what happens when an author’s politics/religion starts influencing the real world (cue Ayn Rand)
Friday 9:00-9:55 pm, Rockville/Potomac Room
Amazon, Hero or Villain?
Panelists: Marilyn “Mattie” Brahen, Larry Hodges (M), John Edward Lawson, Kathryn Morrow
Debate: Amazon is good for its low prices, Kindle, and ease of shopping. Amazon is evil for killing off bookstores, taking more and more profit/control from writers/publishers, and for being so big
Saturday 12:00-12:55 pm, Rockville/Potomac Room
1001 Uses for an Unpublished Story
Panelists: Laura Anne Gilman, Larry Hodges, Victoria Janssen (M), Craig Alan Loewen, Alan Smale
Sometimes they sell,sometimes they don’t, what do you do with your unsold stories? Do you ever write anything you know can’t be sold? Do you mine the novel in your trunk?
Sunday 3:00-3:25 pm, Frederick Room
Reading: I’ll be reading an excerpt from my upcoming novel, “The Giant Face in the Sky,” a humorous fantasy that parodies the U.S.-Soviet Space race of the 1960s, but with sorcerers instead of astronauts. If there’s time, I’ll also read my “cult classic” short-short story, “Manbat,” about a bat that thinks it’s a superhero.