Monthly Archives: May 2014

My Adventures at BEA

Photo by Diana Pho

I’ve got a couple of minutes before I have to head over to the airport to go back home (hooray!), so I thought I would give a brief recap of my Book Expo America for 2014.

The short form was that it was busy. Tor is (I am pleased to say) very excited about Lock In, and I am happy to talk to people endlessly about it, so basically that’s what I did for two days straight, with meetings and interviews and signings and standing on random New York City street corners, just babbling. Thursday in particular was jam-packed; I got into a car at 9:30 to start my day, and then got out of a car at 9:30 to finish it, and in the 12 hours in between I don’t think I stopped moving even once. It was a lot, but I’d honestly rather be busy all day at BEA than not.

Some highlights of BEA for me:

* Doing the appearance with Douglas Preston (pictured above), whose newest novel, The Kraken Project, is a hell of a page-turner. He and I talked about the future, in that way that people who write about the future so often do. Douglas is a genuinely lovely person and great fun to chat with, and our half hour together was a really excellent conversation. Tor.com has a writeup of our event here.

* The other panel event I did was “The Worst Social Media Advice Ever,” in which I, Maureen Johnson, Bill Barnes and Ron Hogan (who graced the stage as the moderator) did our very best to offer ever single person, yes, the worst social media advice ever. I don’t think it’s any surprise that with crew we succeeded. Someone on Twitter suggested that it was probably the most sarcastic panel that has ever happened at BEA, and I wouldn’t doubt it. I look forward to the writeups. In the meantime, know that on the panel I formulated “The Physics of the Straight White Male,” which I will detail at some later time, here on Whatever.

* I attempted to steal a taxidermied fox for Jenny Lawson.

Somehow this later involved William Shatner tweeting to both me and Jenny. My life is odd.

* Stopped by the SFWA booth and got to see all the folks there in a totally refreshing “I don’t have to be responsible for any of this in any way, shape or form” sort of way. There was a lot of traffic there, which was awesome. Later on also hung out with some SFWA folks and caught up on everything, whilst also have Nutella pizza. Yes, it’s a thing.

* Also got to spend lots of time with all my Tor/Macmillan peeps, who are more fun than I think any other publishing peeps anywhere (sorry, all you other publishing peeps). It’s excellent to be able to actually like the people with whom you are selling and promoting a book, and I’m really happy I get to be one of those people who do.

* Crashed Drinklings and had a fine time of that.

* Made my daughter jealous by meeting Rainbow Rowell, the author of Eleanor & Park. She is a delightful person. Also made the acquaintance of Ben Tripp, who is dryly sarcastic.

* Had dinner with Tor folks one night, and Subterranean Press folks the other, and was delighted that Scott Westerfeld crashed the latter meal; he’s one of my favorite people. And, look at this:

I suspect that banner is larger than many NYC apartments.

Plus the delight of seeing so many friends and publishing folks who I like and admire that if I tried to mention them all I would go one forever and still miss some of them. Suffice to say that no matter how busy I was, the fact I got to see so many people I like means that I was never tired.

In short, a truly excellent BEA. I’m glad I came.

The Big Idea Artist Spotlight: John Harris

AO John Harris - Hi-res Cover

If you’ve read science fiction in the last quarter century, then you know the work John Harris: His artwork has graced the covers of writers such as Ben Bova, Allen Steele, Orson Scott Card among others, including, of course, me, specifically on my Old Man’s War series of books.

For those folks who want to get a closer look at his work, there’s The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon, a very handsome collection of covers and other SF-related work, for which I was honored to write the introduction.

As a special treat, Harris has offered up some commentary on a selected covers that he’s created for my work; I’ve put them into a gallery and added some comments on my own.

Click on any picture to begin the slideshow.

The Art of John Harris: Beyond the Horizon: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Signed, limited edition available here.

The Big Idea: Howard Tayler

In today’s Big Idea, Howard Tayler, the brains behind the multiply-Hugo nominated Schlock Mercenary Web comic, tells you how the little things — the really little things — mean a lot for his latest graphic novel compilation, Longshoreman of the Apocalypse.

HOWARD TAYLER:

So, I had this image in my head. Someone was firing artillery inside a rotating space-city, but was missing their targets because the artillery piece wasn’t smart enough to aim correctly within a rotating reference frame. The obvious solution, the soldier’s solution, is not “quick, do the math!” No, the solution is “I’m going to have to walk my shots.”

Rotating space-cities are standard fare in science fiction. This wasn’t really a “big idea,” but it was the awesome moment I found myself aiming for, and as a discovery writer, “aiming for” is an awful lot like “walking my shots.”

The big idea? That was collateral damage, struck by a stray shell as I walked round after round toward the moment I wanted to hit.

See, for somebody to be playing with artillery indoors, something has to already have gone very wrong. The alternatives to using the artillery need to be worse. And more than that, there needs to be some complexity to the problem, something that will justify far more than just the preventative abuse of ballistic rounds.

Have you ever considered just how fortunate we are that nuclear weapons are phenomenally difficult to build? The key materials are rare, and the equipment required to work with those materials is expensive, and when all of the other complications are factored in, it’s far more likely for the back-yard nuclear engineer to die of radiation poisoning than to create anything more potent than a very toxic hand-warmer.

But what if something with nuclear yield was easy to build? What if you could carry it around and it wouldn’t make you sick? What if you could carry it around and nobody could tell you had it, and you could set it off by pulling a pin?

The Schlock Mercenary universe is an energy-rich place. “Annie Plants” convert teency pellets of neutronium into energy (via some black-box handwavium that I introduced back when I sloppier), but those devices are so heavy, and so full of fail-safes, that they don’t fit the bill.

Schlockiverse engineers can, however, create and contain antimatter, one atomic nuclei at a time, inside carbon fullerene buckyballs. And if I let them do that, my story has some ultra-fine black dust in it, a teaspoon of which can level a city.

Schlock Mercenary is, at its heart, comedy. And I suppose it says something about me that when I go looking for a funny story, I arrive at multi-megaton yields being juggled by non-engineers who want to protest the way their clunky, stupid government is handling the food shortage.

Longshoreman of the Apocalypse is a fun title, and it promises an apocalypse. Oh, look! I have antimatter in a brown paper bag…

—-

Longshoreman of the Apocalypse: The Schlock Mercenary store. Orders between now and June 3rd will signed.

Read the story. Visit the author’s site. Follow him on Twitter.

Watch My Friend Wil’s New Show Tonight at 10pm

It is called The Wil Wheaton Project, and it’s on Syfy, and it’s at 10pm tonight (which is Tuesday, May 27th). Wil will be making amusing and snarky observations on science fiction and nerd culture, and speaking as someone who knows him personally, he’s pretty excellent at that. I’m been looking forward to this for a while.

If you can, please watch it live — we want the eyeball-trackers at Syfy to be happy with how it does. I’m proud of my friend and I want his show to do well. Eyeballs will help. Thanks.

The Big Idea: Sarah Lotz

Airplanes make you nervous? You’re not alone — Author Sarah Lotz, for one, feels your pain (or at least, your anxiety). But where Lotz diverges from most people who get twitchy about air travel is that she used that unease as a launching pad, as it were, for creativity — resulting in her new novel, The Three. She’s here now to tell you how this story took flight.

SARAH LOTZ:

I’ve always wanted to write a novel about plane crashes. Part of this is because I’m flight-phobic, so air travel has always held an extra dollop of dread and fascination for me. Those of us who suffer from aerophobia are aware that it’s an irrational fear – we all know that statistically we’re more likely to die in a freak shopping trolley incident than in a plane crash. This doesn’t stop us from mainlining valium and secretly believing, like Charles Grodin’s character in Midnight Run, that planes are just too big to stay in the air.

So that’s where the initial idea came from – a phobia. Then came: but what if there wasn’t just one air accident, but several on the same day? That would send the world’s media into a frenzy. Plane crashes tend to dominate the news – the recent global coverage of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 tragedy is a case in point. Next, I started thinking about survivors. What if they were children? And what if they’d escaped what should have been certain death relatively unscathed? The tabloids would be all over the story with the fervour they’d display if Princess Di rose from the dead. Then came: What if a bunch of conspiracy theorists or religious fundamentalists decided to focus on the ‘miraculous’ child survivors, and began to spread the notion that their survival and the tragedies were signs of alien activity or evidence of the forthcoming apocalypse? How would that play out? And how would it play out if they were right?

I know: So. Many. Questions.

I decided that if I wanted to make this a truly global story, the planes needed to crash on four different continents, which would also feed the conspiracists’ theories. And as it would be lazy to choose cities and countries I was familiar with simply for convenience, I made a shortlist of possible locations. In the final draft, one of the planes crashes into Florida Everglades, another into the heart of the notorious Aokigahara ‘suicide forest’ at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan, the third slams into Khayelitsha, Cape Town’s most populous township, and the fourth, a British low-cost charter flight, falls out of the sky off the coast of Portugal. As the survivors, their guardians, the conspiracists and those investigating the crashes would all be from diverse backgrounds and cultures, I knew I’d have to do a great deal of research to have any hope of making their narratives believable.

Turns out ‘a great deal’ was an understatement. The research took months, and included interrogating commercial pilots and air crash investigators, travelling to Japan to visit the Aokigahara forest, studying NTSB reports, riding along with South African paramedics, delving into eschatology, looking into Japanese economic history, dallying on conspiracy forums chatting to people who believe that aliens really are here, and investigating the influence of the religious right on the US political landscape. I also read several CVR transcripts of pilots’ last words as their planes went down – never do this, it’s incredibly upsetting.

At the end of all this, I had too much material, too many characters and I needed to find a way in to the story that would reflect the global scope of it, but wouldn’t involve 400 pages of exposition and info-dumping. And I’ll be honest, my first three attempts were awful. Taking a leaf out of Max Brooks’s brilliantly structured World War Z, I chose to write it in a way that wasn’t necessarily conventional, marrying first person ‘interview’ narratives with non-fiction accounts and framing it as a book within a book, written by a possibly biased journalist. This also allowed me to play around with potentially unreliable narrators.

Have I pulled it off? I honestly don’t know. But I’m glad I took the risk. Writing a novel about air disasters may have made my aerophobia worse, but stepping way outside my comfort zone has meant that whenever I’m asked for writerly advice (admittedly, this doesn’t happen often), I can now say, with complete honesty, that sometimes it’s best to write what you don’t know.

—-

The Three: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read an excerpt. See the trailer. Visit the author’s site. Follow her on Twitter.

ComicPalooza Check In

And it is:

I’m having a lovely time here in Houston: everyone is friendly, people seem to be happy, and I got to see people I like, including a friend of mine from high school with whom I had a wonderful time catching up on each others’ lives. Plus this:

So I’ve got that going for me.

Today’s schedule includes a panel on Financial Tough Love for Writers at 2pm (room 370E) followed by a signing at the Barnes & Noble booth. If you’re here at ComicPalooza, hope to see you at one or both.

A Note On a Topic of Interest

I’ll be at San Diego Comic-Con this July and I’ve seen some people wondering whether SDCC’s Code of Conduct qualifies as a harassment policy under my personal set of rules, and if not, why I would bend the rules for SDCC.

These are totally fair questions. If I’m going to publicly have a position on harassment policies, then I should be ready to have people ask me if I’m living up to that position. So let me address that.

1. I think the SDCC Code of Conduct policy fulfills two of the three of my requirements unambiguously: It says harassment/offensive behavior will be not tolerated, and tells attendees how to report being harassed. So that’s good. The third thing, being clear on what is unacceptable behavior, I think it falls down on — it says harassing and being offensive are unacceptable, but doesn’t give guidance on what are examples of such behavior. Having that guidance would be helpful.

And giving that guidance is not hard to do — see, as an example, the harassment policy at ComicPalooza, which I am attending at the moment. ComicPalooza notes that its guidance is not an exhaustive list, i.e., someone harassing someone else couldn’t get out of it just by noting they weren’t doing a specific thing noted. But by offering information the convention makes things less ambiguous both for people being harassed and for the people those being harassed go to for help.

Do I think SDCC’s staff would discount someone complaining they are being harassed? I would like to think not, or at the very least that it’s rather less likely than it used to be. This is a topic that’s been on people’s mind, and the SDCC folks have to know as that as “the” comic con, they will be under scrutiny more than most. But liking to think something isn’t the same as knowing something. Having some guidance of what constitutes harassment/unacceptable behavior is useful for everyone.

2. As for whether I am letting SDCC slide on something I wouldn’t let other conventions slide on: not intentionally, at least. SDCC didn’t ask me to attend this year (I was a special guest a couple of years ago, before my policy) and I didn’t approach SDCC to be a guest. I’ll be going because my publisher asked me if I would attend, a conversation which went like this:

Tor folk: Hey, were you planning to go to SDCC?

Me: No, because at this point it’s waaaay too much work. If you want me to go, you have to do everything.

Tor folk: Okay, we’ll get back to you.

And then I didn’t think about it again until my Tor folks told me I was going; I didn’t think they would make it work, because it’s SDCC, so why expend brain cycles on it. So I came into SDCC sideways, which meant I wasn’t paying attention like I should.

This is not me blaming Tor for anything, incidentally; Tor folks know I have my policy with respect to conventions (they know because I told them), but they also quite reasonably assume I pay attention to these things and would have given them heads up if there was a conflict. If there’s a conflict, it’s on me.

3. And is there a conflict? Well, I want to be able to say no — the SDCC’s Code of Conduct is clear harassment won’t be tolerated. But without the code of conduct offering guidance on what harassment is, I’m not going to lie, I’m feeling a bit squidgy about it. That’s something I’d want to see from any convention I am a guest at. It’s something SDCC, and all the conventions under the Comic-Con International umbrella, should have. It’s something I would ask for, if I had been directly asked by SDCC to be a guest. It’s something I should have paid more attention to.

4. With that said, here’s how I’m going to deal with this personally. I made a commitment to my publisher, and one should honor one’s commitments. SDCC says it won’t tolerate harassment, and I expect it will honor that commitment, too — I expect it wants to be seen letting harassment happen on its watch even less than I do. So I’ll be at SDCC this year, and am looking forward to seeing folks there.

With that said, again: providing clear guidance on what is harassing behavior is something SDCC should do — it’s not difficult to do, other comic cons do it, and it would help everyone who has to deal with this crap. So I think SDCC and Comic-Con International should add that into their Codes of Conduct (or even better, break it out under its own heading), and the sooner the better. I think it’s reasonable, and it’s something I look forward to seeing — and it’s something if I don’t see in the future, will matter to me, in terms of attendance.

Two — Yes, Two! — Autographing Sessions at ComicPalooza

This is the Barnes & Noble booth at ComicPalooza, and if you are planning to be at the convention and want to get signed books from me, this will be the place to do it, immediately following my panels on Saturday and Sunday (which is to say, roughly between 3pm and 4pm both days).

I’ll sign books not purchased here but remember it’s always a good thing to support the people who are helping me out, i.e., considering picking up a book here. They have several of my titles available, as well as books from other authors attending ComicPalooza. That’s right! Buy someone else’s book from them! I’m good with that.

See you there!

Two Neil Gaiman Things of More Than Passing Interest

They are thus:

Photograph: Jordi Matas/UNHCR

1. Neil recently went to Jordan to visit a camp of refugees displaced by the Syrian civil war. He’s filed a report on it in the Guardian. It’s here. It’s a tough but worthy read; Neil’s background as a journalist serves him well for this report. Check it out.

2. More cheerfully, Neil is coming to Carnegie Hall on June 27, for an event for “a synchronized multimedia storytelling event,” which means that Neil will read his story “The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains,” with illustrations provided by artist Eddie Campbell, whilst a live underscore is performed by the FourPlay String Quartet. Which sounds like fun. If you’ll be in the NYC metropolitan area at the end of June, you now have something interesting and worthwhile to do. I will not be there, and I am bereft.

View From a Hotel Window: Houston

Aaaaand here I am in Houston, for ComicPalooza. Hope to see some of you folks there over the weekend. I am told that although they have not been scheduled yet, I will be doing some autograph sessions; as soon as I know when those are I will let you all know here.

In the meantime — howdy, y’all.

“Ask the Author” at Goodreads

Goodreads has launched an “Ask the Author” feature on its site, inaugurating the program with 54 participating authors, who include Margaret Atwood, Ayelet Waldman, Holly Black, Jim Butcher, Warren Ellis and, oh, yeah, me.

So if you have a question you want to ask me about writing, publishing, the life of the author or such topics, go here to my Ask the Author page and leave a question or two. I’m answering at least one a day between now and June 1st (I’ve done two a day so far). The responses will be fairly short (i.e., not the long, involved things I do for my Reader Request Week here), so you’ll be able to cruise through them quickly.

If you want to check out some of the other authors participating in the Ask the Author thing, go back to that first link above and scroll down. It’s a pretty good list of authors. I figure you can think of some good questions for them, too.

The Big Idea: Steven S. Drachman

People! I am traveling in time (literally, as I wrote up this entry last night and then scheduled it to go live in the morning) to tell you about Steven S. Drachman’s latest book, Watt O’Hugh Undergroundthe second in his series about a time-traveling adventurer. And here in the present, Drachman is here to tell you what it is about time travel that makes it such a fine subject for fiction (and for his series).

STEVEN DRACHMAN:

Why are time travel books so popular? It really has nothing to do with meeting George Washington. (You wouldn’t get a meeting with him anyway, even if you could time travel!) And the idea of wandering through Paris in 1742, while thrilling, has the same sort of exotic tourist appeal as any locale you will never visit – the mountains of Kazakhstan, for example. Rather, we love the idea of time travel because as human beings, we inevitably try without success to undo the mistakes of the past, or the missed opportunities. The longer we live, the more we have to undo. And for most of us, it all comes down to one foolhardy instant after which everything changed. We are regret machines.

Most people have that moment; does the human race have one too, a split second after which nothing can ever be the same again?

I’ve written a couple of books about a late19th century gunslinger named Watt O’Hugh. Watt is a man who occasionally must (reluctantly) shoot people, and even more occasionally (but less reluctantly) engage in a bit of “pully hawly.” We called hanky-panky “pully hawly” in the 1870s for reasons today remembered only by G-d, and it was more frequent than you might think; note the success of Madame Restelle, abortionist to the children of the wealthy, who earned herself an imposing mansion on 5th Avenue and 58th Street. So: in the 1870s, everyone loved a bit of pully hawly.

My books have demons and oracles, floating silver orbs, a woman who can turn into a swarm of butterflies, a mysterious world with two moons, and flying peacocks. They’re books about shooting, time Roaming, terribly evil villains, valiant but flawed heroes, punching, spitting, dragons and PG-rated sex. They are books about robbing trains and prison breaks. The biggest idea in the series is that pully hawly is more fun than shooting a guy. The shooting makes the yarn more ripping.

When I started the series, its structure – a nonagenarian writing the fantastical story of his life as fast as he can – was an amusing framing device. Now as an older man, I’m more reflective; next to my inevitably comical death, this is what I will be remembered for. And some ideas have slipped in there somewhere.

Thus:

Time Roamers (a group Watt O’Hugh eventually joins) can visit the future and the past, but unless they have an “utterly pure heart” – which the redoubtable Watt certainly does not – they can leave not so much as a footprint, and they float past you like a breeze.

This is, after all, what we all do, Roamer or not. We revisit that moment in the past, and we can change nothing.

For Watt, that day is May 13, 1863, when, still a New York city clerk in his early twenties, he takes the beautiful socialite Lucy Billings on a midnight boat ride across the Upper Bay, docking on a highly fictional towhead with a rocky shore and a couple of trees. While he has asked the glamorous Miss Billings to marry him on many occasions, it should be clear to him that tonight is the night. Still he stays quiet, and two months later, the Draft Riots take Lucy from him forever, and, with her, a life of love and also tremendous wealth.

He will go on to fight in the Civil War and in a now-forgotten battle in the Chinese Hell of the Innocent Dead, run cattle across the plains, roam Time to its very dawn, feud viciously with J.P. Morgan, lead a spectacular Wild West Show and escape a deadling-infested Leadville, Colorado in the company of Oscar Wilde and a Tzadik from Kaifeng. His life will be heroic, but filled with regret over a few words not uttered during one Magic instant. Of course, once he learns to roam Time, Watt will revisit that evening, hiding among the trees, impotently urging his younger self to say the words, just as you or I might revisit such a pivotal moment, just as hopelessly, in our minds.

When did humanity itself jump the shark?

For my novel, I chose a day in October, in the First Century, in China.

In the year 9, upon ascending the throne, Emperor Wang Mang ordered that every peasant should be a landowner; he abolished the slave trade; he decreed that the power of the moneylenders be broken; and he commanded China to begin working as one family, and to grow great together.

The Yangtze overflowed its banks, famine ensued, and not only did Wang Mang lose his throne and his life during the following October’s Red Eyebrow rebellion, but historians repudiated his ideas. They vilified an Emperor whose arrival into this world was heralded by the flight of a thousand dragons in the early morning skies, and whose ideas grew naturally from the Earth, like a lovely blue dragonberry flower.

Without Wang Mang’s murder at that one fateful second, my novels surmise, the peasantry and the aristocracy would have become like brother and sister, and other nations would have sought to emulate China’s success.

We would have been spared Communist revolutions that ended with purges and bloodshed. Spared our corrupt, murderous, extremist, bloody and heartless capitalism, and the quick toxic death from which only roaches and gigantic sheep-sized rats will emerge alive a hundred years from now.

My novels imagine a character named Billy Golden, the one Roamer with an utterly pure heart, who sees a future that could have been and grows obsessed, over thousands and thousands of lifetimes, with undoing Emperor Wang’s murder; and my novels imagine the reincarnated bastard son of the Emperor’s crippled court poet, Yang Hsiung, traveling the 19th century globe to save humanity.

“Here was Wang Mang, the one for whom we’d been waiting,” sadly sighs the Tzadik from Kaifeng. “The one for whom we still wait.”

We all still wait for the past.

Lest my Big Idea sounds too serious, I will assure you again that Watt O’Hugh’s Memoir is mostly a series of weird books about derring do, flitting through time, flying in the clouds, fighting various monstrosities (including a ferocious pond monster), shooting people, and enjoying the occasional pully hawly.

—-

Watt O’Hugh Underground: Amazon|Barnes & Noble|Indiebound|Powell’s

Read excerpts from the series. Visit the author’s blog.

Lock In Chapter One: Now on Tor.com

The headline says it: Tor.com has chapter one of Lock In on its site right now.

But wait, there’s more! If you show up tomorrow on Tor.com, they’ll have chapter two! And so on! For, uh, I think, five days.

And of course, “Unlocked,” the novella set in the world of Lock In, is there in its entirety.

What I’m saying is, hey, have some reading.

Also, if you like it, consider pre-ordering the novel. All those go to my first week sales. Good first week sales make my publisher happy. Making my publisher happy means they continue to give me money! You see how that works. Thanks.

Quick Take: Godzilla

I liked it just fine, although I suspect that I go against the grain of most people in thinking the parts with the humans were reasonably well done, and the parts with Godzilla were mostly an unwieldy reptile banging into things. As recent movies with kaiju go, I’d place it third, below Pacific Rim and Cloverfield, but I really like both of those films (for somewhat different reasons), so the bronze here is not a mark of shame.

And yes, this film is rather better than the 1998 Godzilla film, although I think that film has come in for rather a bit of revisionist history, to wit, that it was some sort of flop. It wasn’t; it made $136 million domestically ($230 million in today’s dollars) and twice that worldwide. Audiences liked it just fine, until they decided they didn’t. In retrospect, Roland Emmerich’s “kind of jokey, kind of dopey” action film approach wasn’t the ticket, which is some irony for a creature that got its start as a dude in a rubber suit, stomping on a clearly cardboard Tokyo. Nevertheless, director Gareth Edwards stealing a page from Christopher Nolan for the “gritty and realistic” approach works pretty well here, or at the very least keeps you from stopping to think about the physical impossibility of it all while you’re watching. I was entertained, and if you like monster movies, I expect you will be too.

Aside from the film itself, what I really want to say is that I’m really happy with how the film did its trailers and other promotional material. It went counter to today’s usual “tell the whole story of the film in two minutes” trailer philosophy, which I hate, and instead evoked what you were going to get in the film without giving away major plot points. Looking at the trailers now, in fact, proves that what’s in the trailers is not quite what’s in the finished film — and that’s a good thing. I don’t want trailers to be a two-minute recap. I want trailers to make me think “wow, I should see that film.”

And in fact that’s what happened here. I wasn’t sold on the idea of a new Godzilla film, and the trailers persuaded me otherwise. And they weren’t wrong. Well done, Godzilla.

ComicPalooza Events

Hey there, folks –

This Memorial Day weekend I will be down in Houston for ComicPalooza, where, in addition to just hangin’ with nerds, as one does at such conventions, I’ll also be be doing two programming items:

Saturday at 2pm: Reading: I’ll be reading from Lock In and also doing a Q&A about whatever people have questions about me, my books, and anything else people might have questions about (although, I suppose, if they asked me how to perform brain surgery, I don’t think I would be able to offer up a very satisfactory answer). This will be in panel room 24

Sunday at 2pm: Financial Tough Love for Writers: In which I take some of my experience as a finance writer and consultant to financial organizations, and my experience of being a professional writer, and talk about some of the realities of finances and writing. Those of you who were at Viable Paradise while I was teaching there will probably remember this particular rant of mine. I’ll be taking questions here, too. This will be in panel room 2.

There may be other events, but I’m still getting information on them. I’ll let folks know when I get it. Also, of course, if you see me wandering about, feel free to come up and say hello. That’s what I’m there for.

See you there!

Update: After both panels I will be signing books at the Barnes & Noble booth, for about an hour (i.e., roughly between 3 and 4pm).