personal narrative

San Francisco is a science fantasy city

On roller coaster streets that dive into mist shrouded hills crusted with candy colored houses, a one armed guitarist distorts rivers of sound that paints the walls of the old poet’s shop, made weird and etherial it bleeds across the boundary between worlds and above helicopters watch drones play in the park. A wrong turn takes you to an arterial hub of vegetable delivery trucks in insectile ranks, dress white and at attention flanked by forgotten industrial machinery. In the valley the code of pimply faced boys mutates through the real estate like an entitled virus and climate-controlled garages keep self-driving cars waiting for their oncoming disruption. San Francisco is a science fantasy city.

See also: Barcelona is a fantasy city

The Kill Robot Hitler Show is coming...

My story, "The Kill Robot Hitler Show" will appear in Stupefying Stories, a monthly ebook anthology series, in the first quarter of 2013.

This marks my third fiction publication and the first one I'm actually getting paid for. Huzzah!

Off to ReaderCon

Off to ReaderCon once again to hold a Wold Newton Reading Extravaganza. The convention, held in Burlington MA, is dedicated to speculative fiction books, and is full of amazing writers. The Wold Newton event will have music by Brian Francis Slattery and co, and featured Jeff VanderMeer, Veronica Shanoes, Jaym Gates, Daniel Jose Older, Matt Kressel and Jo Walton!

I'll post video of the event here when it's all over.

Why I Haven't Posted Much Lately

JF Quackenbush and I used to joke about how we had plenty of time to get our novels published because if you're published by the time you're 35, you're still a "young writer".

This month I will turn 34.

Being a successful novelist is about all I've ever wanted for a very long time now. I've been struggling at it actively for about 15 years, with a major breakthrough coming about 4 years ago where I felt like I'd finally figured out how I wanted to write.

I just finished my second novel. (My first was a 120,000 word, postmodern monstrosity that consumed most of my 20's and remains an unsalable mess.) It is obviously very important to me to kick this novel into absolute perfect, diamond-hard shape so that it will get published. Doing that and assembling a great submission packet for the book to send to agents has been consuming most of my time lately. This needs to get done and everything else is just going to have to take a back seat.

All apologies.

To keep you busy, here's a video I shot on my recent vacation to Mexico. It's of the inside of a cenote, which is a cave with pure crystal clear water, typical of the Yucatan Peninsula. To get to this cenote you have to climb down a ladder in a hole in the ground and the only light comes from that hole and another, far above the deep pool.

Off to Mexico

For the next two weeks I will be in Mexico. As always, if anything interesting happens to me, I will blog about it.

To keep you busy here's some stuff to read:
This is a brilliant, hilarious comic about a guy so sexually attractive he bends the universe around

Here's a comic adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's short story The Situation, one of my favorites of his work.

And a fascinating article about a short story writer, praised by Borges and many others, and now forgotten.

¡Hasta luego amigos!

ReaderCon Note

Just a quick note to say ReaderCon was fantastic. I should be posting a video later in this week that includes short interviews I conducted with Barry Maltzberg, Samuel Delany, Junot Diaz, Ted Chaing, Charles Stross, Elizabeth Hand and many more...

Going to the Chapel

Getting married tomorrow hence the lack of updates. May not be more updates for the next week, from me at least. Mr. Quackenbush I cannot speak for.

Fan Service

"When I moved here from the west coast," said Marlin May, a black, homosexual SF fan who I met first on Twitter, and who compared "coming out" as an SF fan to "coming out" as gay, "I didn't know a lot of people. But when I started going to con[vention]s here, I felt like I was home. I was back where I belong."

It was a sentiment I heard over and over again from people at Arisia, New England's Largest Science Fiction Convention (attendance: about 3,000). On one panel, the moderator opined that cons are “where we seem to fit. In other places is where we're playing roles,” with the deliberate irony that the convention was full of role playing games. One woman I talked to referred to Arisia specifically as a “lifestyle con”. This was a convention run by fans for fans to come and hang out and play and fuck. Which helped explain the lack of corporate presence that one finds at your average comic book convention. There were no booths for major publishers here, no b-grade sci-fi actors being paid for autographs, no developers giving advanced previews of their latest video game offering. A panel on the future of Doctor Who, which at New York or San Diego Comic-Con would have been made up of writers, producers, and/or stars of the TV show, was instead made up entirely of fans. The moderator began “Well, we've only got fifteen seconds of footage to go on, so I'm not sure what we're going to talk about,” and then the panelists started talking about their favorite episodes of the show instead. Most of the panels were simply manned by other fans, who didn't seem any more qualified to talk about a given subject then those in the audience, which was probably why the audience felt so entitled to give their own opinions at length whenever the mood arose, as if everyone was part of the panel.

Off to Arisia

I'm on a bus (with WiFi!) to Arisia, "New England's largest and most diverse science fiction and fantasy convention". I decided that after the wonderful time I had at ReaderCon, I should take a look at a more traditional SF con. I'm skeptical as to how interesting it will be for me; looking at the schedule, the literary portion of the sf world seems to take a side role to television, films, and role playing games, and there's far fewer names I recognize on the panels. But I'm willing to keep an open mind.

Also, sadly my cell phone is in the shop, which means I probably won't be able to twitter up the storm I normally do at conventions (we'll see if there's any wifi at the con). On the other hand, I now have a video camera, which means there may be some interviews to be had.

Stay tuned.

Halloween parade

For Halloween this year we decided to march in the Greenwich Village Halloween parade
Marina whipped up an awesome Dalek costume, and so in order to do battle with her, I became the Second Doctor. This picture is before the parade, when we invaded the American Museum of Natural History's annual Halloween celebration.