Audio Interview: Editors Talk About Tesseracts Twenty: Compostela

Check out a recent audio interview by Mark Lefebvre with James Alan Gardner and Spider Robinson. The pair worked together to edit the Tesseracts Twenty: Compostela anthology where my short story “Grounded” is featured.  Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing puts out a Tesseracts anthology each year, and it features work by Canadian science fiction, fantasy and horror authors. Gardner and Robinson talk about the meaning of Compostela, what kind of stories they received, and their decision-making process. The audio is on the Kobo Writing Life Podcast; it’s Episode 097 titled James Alan Gardner and Spider Robinson. They also talk about their editing and writing accomplishments and reflect on the changes over the years.

Kobo Writing Life Podcast – Episode 097 – James Alan Gardner & Spider Robinson

 

Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Reviews

Where the Stars Rise anthology

The release of Where the Stars Rise:Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy came at the end of 2017, and I’m happy to see some of the positive reviews of the book in 2018.

“. . . this collection is essential for anyone interested in the diverse and engaging possibilities of fantasy and science fiction.” — Booklist (American Library Association)

“. . . this fascinating collection addresses issues of immigration, dual cultures, and ethnic issues through genre devices such as ghosts, steampunk robots, and planetary exploration. Sf readers looking to discover new voices will enjoy this volume that reflects the eclecticism of Asian culture.” — Library Journal

“This anthology was good, with the majority of the stories being either good or very good page-turners.” — Tangent

For more details, go to http://laksamedia.com/where-the-stars-rise-an-anthology-for-a-cause/

 

Relaxing at VCON Relaxicon (41½)

 

Come chill out with me at VCON Relaxicon (41½) this month. It’s happening from Saturday, October 28th to Sunday, October 29th at the Sheraton Vancouver Guildford Hotel in Surrey.

It will be my first time to attend, and this is how VCON is described on its website, “VCON is the oldest general-interest science fiction, fantasy and games convention in Canada and the Pacific Northwest. The convention has promoted the interests of science fiction and fantasy culture in Vancouver BC and its environs since 1971, offering events and exhibits focused on a variety of Science Fiction and Fantasy fandom interest areas such as literature, art, media, music, costumes, comics, tabletop games, electronic games, etc.”

Swing by the art show to check out my Geisha Girl Survivor artwork. I’ll have framed and unframed prints for sale. Also pay the Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing booth a visit as I will be hanging out there for a bit too. Edge is out to promote a number of books, including Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty. My short story “Grounded” is in this anthology and it is edited by the fabulous Spider Robinson and James Alan Gardener.

Come out and enjoy the chill vibe and hope to see you there.

Tesseracts 20 Book Launch in Vancouver

I had a fabulous time at the “double the fun” book launch for Issue 16 of Pulp Literature and Tesseracts 20 in Vancouver. My short story “Grounded” is in the latter anthology, and it was my first time to read my published work in public. I was nervous to say the least, but had a blast once I got reading.

Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty

The book launch was on September 18, 2017 at the Cottage Bistro, Vancouver. It was a terrific venue, and I enjoyed meeting fellow writers and readers.  As per Pulp Literature’s website, “attending litterati from Pulp Literature include feature author kc dyer, cover artist Akem, Patrick Bollivar, Erin Kirsh, Magpie Poetry Award judges Renée Sarojini Saklikar and Daniel Cowper along with Magpie runner-up Glenn Pape, JM Landels, and Susan Pieters (who has a story in both books).”  The Tesseracts 20 list included Susan Pieters, paulo da costa, Linda DeMeulemeester, Steve Fahnestalk, Catherine Girczyc, Roxanne Gregory, Matthew Hughes, Guy Immega, and Rhea Rose.

Thanks to the folks at Pulp Literature for organizing such a wonderful event.

Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty

Compostela: Tesseracts TwentyI’m on cloud nine that my story “Grounded”  is in the new anthology Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty which is now available exclusively on Amazon.

Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing puts out a Tesseracts anthology each year, and it features work by Canadian science fiction, fantasy and horror authors. According to Edge’s website, “Some of Canada’s best known fiction writers have been published within the pages of these volumes – including Margaret Atwood, Susan Swan, and Hugo and Nebula award winning authors William Gibson, Spider Robinson, and Robert J. Sawyer.” I am happy to say that in this 20th edition, I share the pages with Robert J. Sawyer. How fabulous!

It’s also wonderful to be in an anthology edited by Spider Robinson because he was my first direct connection to the world of science fiction writers. He was a writer in residence in Vancouver awhile back, and I went in to see him about what he thought about my writing. I basically wrote science fiction as a social hermit, as most of my friends don’t read it. I was ever so nervous, and he was ever so kind.  He said to go on and start sending out stories; and that’s what I did. Here I am now!

Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Anthology Official Release

The official release of Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy is set for October 8, 2017. I am excited to say that my story, A Star is Born is one of the 23 stories selected for this anthology. Within these pages, readers will find imaginative science fiction and fantasy tales with an Asian focus that work towards crushing stereotypes and broadening people’s minds.

To find out more, check out the following links:

Where the Stars Rise page: http://laksamedia.com/where-the-stars-rise-an-anthology-for-a-cause/

Author page: http://laksamedia.com/authors-editors/

Below is the official Table of Contents:

Stars Rise table of contents

 

Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories

There is a twinkle in my eye!  I am excited to say that my short story “A Star is Born” will be featured in Where the Stars Rise: Asian Science Fiction and Fantasy Stories. The Laksa Media Groups Inc. is responsible for this anthology, and I am feeling thrilled to be part of an organization that forward focused.  For example, their mission statement is “to create opportunities to ‘pay forward’ and ‘give back’ through our publishing program. Our tag line is Read for a Cause, Write for a Cause, Help a Cause.” Who doesn’t want to be part of something as awesome as that!

To top it off their website states that a “portion of Laksa Media’s net revenue from this anthology will go directly to support Kids Help Phone.” And Laksa Media says it will donate $500 to Kids Help Phone once this anthology is published.

Browsing around their site, I checked out Laksa Media’s current anthology which is Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts where “nineteen science fiction and fantasy authors tackle the division between mental health and mental illness; how the interplay between our minds’ quirks and the diverse societies and cultures we live in can set us apart, or must be concealed, or become unlikely strengths.”

Realizing that not everyone can afford to buy a book, they have a Library Challenge section on their website. They ask that folks suggest their local library request the anthology so that everyone can have access to entertaining yet socially relevant, important stories. If you are interested in getting this anthology at your library, here is the information you need below, and you can do it online in mere minutes.

Title: Strangers Among Us: Tales of the Underdogs and Outcasts
Author: Edited by Susan Forest and Lucas K. Law
ISBN: 9780993969607
Publisher: Laksa Media Groups Inc.
Notes/Comments: The anthology (dealing with mental health/mental illness) has been reviewed by Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, Quill & Quire, and Foreword Reviews.

Creative Ink Festival

I had a fabulous time at the Creative Ink Festival and am sending a big thank you to author Sandra Wickham for bringing this event into existence. It was my first time going and it was so energizing! I ventured out of my midnight writing cave and into the daylight hours to learn new ideas, check out fantastic books, and meet other writers and artists.

I recently had my story “Grounded” accepted into the science fiction anthology Tesseracts Twenty: Compostela. And who did I get to meet at Creative Ink…but Brian Hades, the head of EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing which puts out this Canadian anthology. Writing is a very solitary event for me where sending out stories via the Internet is the closest I come to connecting with others, so it is wonderful to meet the people who are making a “home sweet home” for my stories. “Grounded” will get to be mere pages away from work written by Robert J. Sawyer. In case you don’t know who he is, check out his biography below from EDGE’s website:

“Robert J. Sawyer is one of the most successful Science Fiction authors in Canada and the world. He has written numerous novels which have been translated into several languages, and has contributed to a number of anthologies and publications. He was part of the group that founded Vision TV, the world’s only multi-faith television service, and hosts the Vision series Supernatural Investigator. He has won the Hugo, Nebula, Aurora, Seiun, Galaxy, Audie, Skylark, Homer, Hal Clement, John W. Campbell Memorial, and Arthur Ellis Awards, as well as a number of other prestigious Science Fiction accolades.”

At the conference, I was not only able meet Robert J. Sawyer, I was able to get a blue pencil session (this is where a professional in the field will tell you the good, bad, and ugly truth about your writing) with him. He had a selection of pens neatly lined up like a brain surgeon ready to dissect my short story. I was so nervous to have such an established writer look at my work that I felt like my own personal rain storm. I had prepared myself for a horror flick amount of red slash marks to criss-cross my pages.

I was completely astonished when he had only positive things to say about my writing. He circled things he really liked in my story. He told me I should be writing books and I felt so overwhelmed. It’s like being a Muggle and being told by a Grand Wizard that I do have magic (Can you tell I’ve been reading Harry Potter with my kids?). It was so amazing to meet him, and I feel so inspired and excited to get back into writing more.

If anyone ever wonders if it is worth it to go to conferences, I would definitely say yes. I am already looking forward to the next Creative Ink Festival.

Unicorn Girl

UnicornHow I Got Into Poetry

With an upcoming show and some other painting in the works, I’ve been walking around with bits of acrylic paint in my hair. To keep my brain jogging along the writing path, but finding less time to do so, I decided to try my hand at poetry. I was big on poetry as a teenager (and, yes, there are some scary-funny angst-filled masterpieces that I hope will never see the light of day ever again). On the bright side, I loved writing poetry for English class. One of my teachers asked if I was the really the person who wrote the poems I handed in – and ever the optimist, I instantly took being accused of cheating as a great compliment.

Some Poetry Sprouted into Short Stories

Back to the present day, I have found poetry refreshing and also more difficult than I remembered. Some things I began writing about as poetry, and then I found I was writing in paragraphs. I got on such a roll and wanted to build the world or expand on details that I ended up thinking, “Hey, that would make a good short story!” And so what started off as poetry ended up being more like a seed that I’ve put on hold to grow into something bigger at a later date. Back to the mouse pad, I scribbled away again and brainstormed other ideas that would still tell a story but worked well in brevity…and I maneuvered myself into a poetic frame of mind.

Unicorn Girl

Grievous Angel has recently published my poem called Unicorn Girl. Please go check it out at http://www.urbanfantasist.com/latest-sci-fi–fantasy-poetry–flash-fiction/four-poets-and-four-new-poems and tell me what you think.

Roots of Unicorn Girl

The roots to Unicorn Girl go way back. I knew girls at school who had horses and were horse crazy. I, having no horse, imagined unicorns and was, yes, fairly crazy for them. I still have unicorn earrings somewhere. Usually, there is some negative stereotyping of unicorn girls (think of Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter), so I wanted to write something that had a bit of a bite to it. I wanted a unicorn girl who was not some damsel in distress or ditsy rainbow lover, but rather someone who was secure in her power – someone who could take care of herself. The poem Unicorn Girl is the result. Hope you enjoy it. : )

 

 

Twist of Coil in Analog Blog

Twist of Coil in Analog

I had to put in Analog blog – it rhymed. I’m rhyming because I’m excited like green eggs and ham, oh yes I am! My story ‘Twist of Coil’ is in the December 2014 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. My author’s copies came in the mail, and I ripped open the package like it was the best Christmas gift ever (because it is!).

CXXXIV is 134

There on page 72, in Volume CXXXIV No. 12, is my story. It’s so amazing to see my name and work featured in such an esteemed magazine. I couldn’t be more honored. My story is in the hallowed pages of the great granddaddy of science fiction magazines. Woohoo!

Astound5006A Little Analog History Goes a Long Way

Analog started out back in 1930 and has had a few name changes along the way such as Astounding (which it still is J). On Asimov’s Science Fiction webpage, Analog is listed as “the longest-running (almost)-continuously published science fiction magazine in the world.”

Sci-Fi Big Times

Big names in science fiction like Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, Poul Anderson and Spider Robinson have had their stories in Analog. This magazine was also the first to print classics like Frank Herbert’s Dune and Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. To be associated with such a well-established science-fiction publication is such an amazing privilege. This December issue is definitely Christmas come early for me.