Sceince Fiction for the (Electronic) Throne

A press release from Fantastic Books:

1515410250In July of this year, Fantastic Books was thrilled to publish Science Fiction for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads, an anthology edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial. The anthology was borne of what I can only assume was a joke, which turned into an idea, and then a project, and finally a book. It is filled with fantastic science fiction stories, from some of the biggest names in the field, as well as from some of the newest rising stars.

Since the book’s release this summer, Andrew Andrews at True Review said “I thoroughly enjoyed this premise: supershort stories you can enjoy while taking care of very personal business.” Ira Nayman at Amazing Stories said “The stories are expertly crafted, highly entertaining and perfect for the stated purpose…. Science Fiction for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads is not a book to try and read in one sitting (as I largely did). It is what I sometimes refer to as ‘a dipping book:’ for maximum effect, you should read a story or two here, a story or two there, a story or two somewhere else.”

Now Fantastic Books is excited to announce that Science Fiction for the Throne is available in a variety of electronic formats from your favorite ebook retailers. Same great content, different format, still (as Tom Easton said) “Just remember—one sitting, one read! Others are waiting!”

Science Fiction for the Throne: One-Sitting Reads
edited by Tom Easton and Judith K. Dial
ebook: $7.99
trade paperback: $14.99 (ISBN: 978-1-5154-1025-6)

The authors in this book have earned a combined 10 Nebula Awards (from 60 nominations) and 10 Hugo Awards (from 118 nominations). Stories by: Gregory Benford, Lloyd Biggle, David Brin, Michael A. Burstein, James L. Cambias, Brenda Cooper, Dave Creek, Robert Dawson, Paul Di Filippo, S.B. Divya, Brendan DuBois, Marianne Dyson, Michael F. Flynn, Jeff Hecht, Liam Hogan, Daniel M. Kimmel, Nancy Kress, Edward M. Lerner, Paul Levinson, J. D. MacDonald & Debra Doyle, Leslie Starr O’Hara, Steven Popkes, Cat Rambo, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Don Sakers, James Sallis, Stanley Schmidt, Holly Schofield, H. Paul Shuch, Alex Shvartsman, Steven H Silver, Bud Sparhawk, Douglas Van Belle, James Van Pelt, Jo Walton, Gerald Warfield, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Lee Weinstein & Darrell Schweitzer, Jay Werkheiser, and Fran Wilde.

Convention weekend

This weekend, it’s Capclave, in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which I always enjoy. As usual, you’ll be able to find me much of the weekend at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room (scheduled to be open Friday from 4 to 7pm, Saturday from 10am to 6pm, and Sunday from 11am to 2pm). And I’ll be on programming. At the moment, I’m scheduled for five panels (as always, things may change between now and the convention, so check there for the latest updates):

Friday, 6pm in Salon A: “How Not To Get Published” with Neil Clarke, Mike McPhail, Hildy Silverman, and Michael A. Ventrella.

Saturday, 10am in Frederick: “Does Hard Science Fiction Have to be Opaque to Non-Techies?” with John G. Hemry, Mike McPhail, Nalin A. Ratnayake, and David Walton.

Saturday, 12n in Rockville/ Potomac: “Small Press Publishing in 2018” with Neil Clarke, Shahid Mahmud, Joshua Palmatier, Lezli Robyn, and Sean Wallace.

Saturday, 11pm in Bethesda: “Eye of Argon” with Hildy Silverman, Michael A. Ventrella, and perhaps a special mystery guest. Also, a brand new feature sure to delight even those who’ve suffered through “The Eye of Argon” before.

Sunday, 10am in Rockville/ Potomac: “Abusing Authors” with Sarah Avery, Scott Edelman, Will McIntosh, Lawrence M. Schoen, and Michael A. Ventrella.

Hope to see a bunch of you there.

Upcoming Appearance

On January 20, 2018, I’ll be a presenter at the 5th Annual Pocono Writers’ Conference, sponsored by The Pocono Liars Club, and you’re welcome to attend!

The day-long conference will feature presentations on “Building character” by author Damon Suede, “Why you need an agent” by agent William Reeve, “Marketing made simple” by author Kate Moretti, and my own talk on deciding whether to go the traditional publishing route, seek a small press publisher, or self-publishing your book manuscript. The day will end with a panel discussion featuring all four of us and moderated by author and editor Michael A. Ventrella.

In addition to the presentations, each of the four of us will be holding smaller workshop sessions offering individual critiques and comments.

The conference is free to attend, and will be held at the Hughes Library in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. Advance registration is required. For more information, details, and how to register, see this page: . And for more information on the host Pocono Liars Club, see .


Non-convention appearance

This is a new concept (at least, for this blog, though I’ve done it before I had a blog): I’m leaving town tomorrow morning for the weekend, but not for an actual convention. I’m headed to Texas for an American Mensa Committee meeting (that is, American Mensa’s Board of Directors). So, no panels or lectures, no dealers’ table, no meet-the-pros party. It’ll be a working weekend, but I’ll be traveling to a convention city for it.

Should I vote for someone who typos her own name?

In today’s mail, I received a mailing from Nicole Malliotakis for Mayor. The mailing—an 8.5″ x 11″ letter and a 4″ x 9″ card—was addressed to me as a voter who is not enrolled in a political party, urging me to go to the polls on Tuesday, because unaffiliated voters apparently are allowed to vote in the Reform Party’s primary. Nicole Malliotakis is looking for write-in votes in her campaign to get on the ballot, because it appears that the only candidate currently on the ballot is Sal Albanese.

I applauded the concept of the mailing. I’ve long had a problem with the two-party stranglehold on political power in the United States, since neither the Republicans nor the Democrats completely represent my views, so anything (like this) which may put a wedge into that firmly closed door barring other parties gets my stamp of approval.

Unfortunately, then I actually read the mailing. Toward the bottom of the letter, she urges readers to visit her web site… and then typos the url! Yep, the body of the letter directs me to [sic]. Unfortunately, her name (and the url) are spelled with one “c”, not two.

Then, on the card which shows how to mark my ballot and how to vote, in two separate places (once on each side), she tells me I am “elligible” to vote in the Reform Party Primary. Again, a doubled letter where there shouldn’t be.

Finally, in the instructions for marking my ballot, number 4 reads “Any other mark or writing, or any erasure made on this for voting will void this entire than there are vacancies to be filled, your ballot will be void for that public office or party position.” That’s a letter-for-letter transcription of the card, and yes, there are definitely some words missing in the middle of that sentence.

So what do I do? I really like the idea of a write-in candidate campaigning for votes. (However, in the spirit of full disclosure, she’s also running in the Republican primary against Rocky De La Fuente and someone who didn’t submit any information to the New York City voters’ guide.) On the other hand, I think someone spending this much money for this mailing, who wants me to vote for her for mayor of New York City, ought to have at least hired a freelance editor to look over these few words, to make sure they were correct.

Edited September 9th to add: Credit where credit is due. I emailed the above to Nicole’s campaign headquarters, and received the following response: “Thank you for your feedback, Ian. We now have an opening on the team for a proof reader since we terminated the one who worked on this mailing. I hope you will give us a second chance to make a good impression.”

#malliotakis #election2017 #nycmayor #editing

Newest anthology appearance

71emxibtxnlI had a great time this weekend at Mensa of Northeast New York’s RechaRGe Regional Gathering. And eight hours of sleep is about average, right? I mean when those eight hours were spread out over three nights? (Yeah, I didn’t get much sleep.)

After my talk at the RG (on alternate history), one of my friends was looking at the books I’d brought to show and sell, and commented that I hadn’t said anything about one of my recent anthology appearances. I thought I had, but after that conversation, I realized I couldn’t remember making the announcement, so here it is:

The anthology is TV Gods: Summer Programming, the second book in the series, edited by Jeff Young and Lee C. Hillman. Published by Fortress Publishing, the concept behind the anthology is “Your favorite TV shows done by the gods themselves.”

My story “Godding About and Sleeping Around: Zeus’ Conversation with Tantalus” combines the story of Tantalus with the program How I Met Your Mother. I’d seen the first few episodes of HIMYM when it first aired, but then gave up. For some reason, when I heard the series finale was going to air, I watched it, too. Then I read something about the show, which talked its non-linear form of storytelling, caught a few reruns, and then I was hooked. I watched the whole series through reruns, so I saw bits and pieces of it in completely random order, but really got hooked on it. And when Jeff told me there was a place for me in the anthology, I knew that was the show I had to use.

Among the other authors in the book is the comic writing duo of Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano. I published Brian and Chris’s novel, The Biggest Bounty, in May (actually, it debuted at Balticon, the same weekend that TV Gods debuted, so I may have been distracted from this appearance of mine as a writer).

So, though I didn’t say it earlier, this is my third original anthology appearance in less than a year. It’s available now. And there are some great stories in it for your reading pleasure.

#monny #tvgods #mensa

Amazing Stories likes Science Fiction for the Throne

1515410250Reviewer Ira Nayman writes “The stories are expertly crafted, highly entertaining and perfect for the stated purpose.… Science Fiction for the Throne: One Sitting Reads is not a book to try and read in one sitting (as I largely did). It is what I sometimes refer to as ‘a dipping book:’ for maximum effect, you should read a story or two here, a story or two there, a story or two somewhere else.” For the full review, see this link.

RechaRGe this coming weekend

RechaRGe 2017 has posted the schedule for this weekend’s Regional Gathering in Albany. It’s another convention weekend for me: one of those where I’m not chained to my table in the dealers’ room!

I’m on the schedule twice: at 10am Saturday is the RVC1 Meet and Greet (my first as RVC). We’ll be talking about the business of Mensa, what’s been happening, what may be happening in the future, and all the other stuff involved in keeping our organization viable, exciting, and fun.

At 11am Sunday I’ll be talking about Alternate History. Same title as the talk I gave a fortnight ago at Washington’s RG, but public lecturing is an evolving art form, and the talk will be different, so if you were bleary eyed then, or just couldn’t make it (or weren’t at that RG), here’s your newest chance! Should be fun. (The title of the talk is “CSA wins; Nixon defeats Kennedy; Leonov first man on Moon: Rewriting the World with Alternate History,” although the description has changed between the time the program was finalized and now.)

Hope to see a lot of you up in Albany!

#mensa #monny #recharge

Analog likes these bounty hunters

1515410153In the September/October 2017 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact, reviewer Don Sakers takes a look at The Biggest Bounty by Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano (which Fantastic Books published in May). Don’s review says, in part: “Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano are mad geniuses.… The Biggest Bounty is… something of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Grand Theft Auto, with a good helping of crazy humor thrown in. The best comparison I can think of is some of the wackier works of Ron Goulart or Christopher Moore.Brian Koscienski and Chris Pisano are mad geniuses.… The Biggest Bounty is… something of a cross between Alice in Wonderland and Grand Theft Auto, with a good helping of crazy humor thrown in. The best comparison I can think of is some of the wackier works of Ron Goulart or Christopher Moore.… If you’re in the mood for a madcap ride through the galaxy’s seamy underworld, this is the book for you.”

Pandemic this weekend

I’m ready for an RG. It’s nearly a month since I was last at a convention (that long?), and more than that since the last Mensa convention. So I’m eager for Metropolitan Washington Mensa’s Pandemic (starting tomorrow)! And it occurs to me that, while I usually comment on upcoming science fiction conventions (because in my mind, they’re work — enjoyable work, but work), I usually don’t comment up upcoming Mensa conventions (because they’ve been mostly social). But since I’m now an AMC member, I really ought to give the Mensa conventions equal weight.

So, this weekend: if you’re looking for me, you won’t find me tethered to the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room (no dealers’ room), and I won’t be on a slew of panels, or any other such business things. But I will be giving a lecture: “CSA wins; Nixon defeats Kennedy; Leonov first man on Moon: Rewriting the World With Alternate History.” (It’s my new talk on alternate history.) I’ll be on at 9 in the morning (yes, the other 9 o’clock; the one most of us tend to ignore on the weekends) Saturday in Belmont Ballroom IV. If you’re there (and awake), I hope to see you!