Convention-plus-plus fornight

Yep, this weekend I’m back on the road for another science fiction convention. This time, it’s Capclave, in Rockville, Maryland. If you’re looking for me at the convention (as usual), look for me in the dealers’ room at the Fantastic Books table. The dealers’ room is scheduled to be open from 3 to 6pm on Friday, 10am to 6pm on Saturday, and 10am to 2pm on Sunday.

I’ll also be on programming. Check out:

“Grammar Wars and Pedantry” on Saturday at 1pm in Washington Theater. With K. Ceres Wright, Mary G. Thompson, Morgan Hazelwood, and Sarah Avery. If arguments over the serial comma, split infinitives, or the evolving definition of “literally” gets you riled up, then this is a conversation for you. Panelists discuss their favorite pedantic hills to die on and whether language is evolving too quickly or too slowly for their liking.

“In Defense of the Standalone Novel” on Saturday at 2:30pm in Washington Theater. With A.C. Wise, Craig Laurance Gidney, Irene Gallo, Natalie Luhrs, and Ursula Vernon. In a sea of book series, the standalone novel can be a breath of fresh air. What are the virtues of the standalone novel and what makes for a good one? Might there be a resurgence of the standalone novel in the near future?

As much as I love going to sf conventions, that seems almost a distraction to me at the moment. That’s because there’s a much bigger trip coming very soon.

A few days ago, the Chairman of American Mensa resigned. I’ve been serving the organization as Secretary since last summer, and continue in that position. But I’ve also been an alternate for our national representatives. With the resignation, I move up from alternate to one of the national representatives. And in a bit of calendrical synchrony, the next annual international board of directors meeting (which I’ll be attending in my new role) is October 6–9 in Budva, Montenegro. So I’ve spent this week in a frantic planning for my first international trip this millennium, and my first ever trip out of North America.

I’m pretty much booked from departure here to the end of the meeting and my departure from Montenegro. But on my way home, I’ve got a lay-over in Vienna, Austria. I’m scheduled to land there on Monday, October 10, at 4:20pm. My flight home from Vienna is scheduled to depart on Tuesday, October 11, at 4:30pm. So (other than extra hours in the airport coming and going), I’m going to have most of a day in Vienna (well, other than probably sleeping a few hours at night). Do I know anyone there, or anyone who has been there, who has wonderful suggestions for what to do in those few hours so I can really get a feel for having been there?

In Montenegro, the host group has planned a tour or two, so I’ll get at least a little flavor of the country outside the meeting hotel, but in Vienna, I’m on my own. I’m very excited, and a little trepidatious. Looking for suggestions.

Jewish Futures guidelines

jfc1a Jewish Futures — the anthology Fantastic Books is currently Kickstarting — reached its funding goal in a scant four days. The campaign runs until October 20, but has already unlocked several stretch goals, and as I write this, it’s only $30 from another bit of awesomeness for all backers. $500 beyond that adds two new stories to the book, and opens up another submission slot for all those wonderful authors we didn’t know should be writing for us.

And that’s the point of this post: the writers’ guidelines for Jewish Futures are now available at http://fantasticbooks.biz/fantasticbooks/sf/jewishfutures.html . If you’ve always wanted to appear in a Fantastic Books anthology, now is your chance! Read the guidelines, start writing, and remember to pay attention to the “don’t send before” and “don’t send after” dates.

The cover concept art is by Eli Portman, who’ll be creating the cover for the anthology.

Communal Support

Boy am I bad at this stretch-goals thing. We set them to encourage people to keep contributing to Kickstarter campaigns, even after the initial funding goal has been met. Well, we managed to blow right by the first stretch goal for Jewish Futures before I even said anything about it. That means everyone who is backing the campaign at the $5 level or more will be getting a free story from SM Rosenberg. And now we’re closing in on the second stretch goal: at $7,000, we add more stories to the book, which means more awesome reading for all you readers, and more submission slots for all you authors who we didn’t realize ahead of time we desperately need to have in the book (as I’m writing this, we’re a scant $253 shy of that goal). Remember, even though we reached the initial $6,000 goal to guarantee existence of the book, the campaign continues for the full 30 days, ending October 20.

And while I’m talking about Kickstarter and you awesome people who helped us spread the word, I should also talk about two other campaigns. We joined forces with eSpec Books and IAMTW to cross-promote each other’s campaigns (eSpec is publishing three novels, and has already reached its funding goal; IAMTW is publishing a fascinating-looking anthology that should appeal to those of you who loved our recent Three Time Travelers anthology, but it hasn’t yet reached its funding goal). Assuming all three fund, anyone who supports all three, and adds on the $1 Communal Support add-on, gets a special package of electronic reading. Check out all three, and help our fellow publishers publish too!

communalsupport

Jewish Futures Kickstarter is Live

Basic RGBFantastic Books is Kickstartering a brand-new anthology! Jewish Futures: Science Fiction from the World’s Oldest Diaspora, is now live on the crowd-funding platform for pre-orders. The book will be edited by multiple-award-nominee Michael A. Burstein, and we have a very impressive line-up of authors promised to write stories (though there will be spots for your submissions, too!). For now, please check out the campaign, pledge your support if you will, and by all means, tell your friends!

Time Traveling Publication Day

Today is publication day for Fantastic Books‘s newest anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… You can grab a hardcover, trade paperback, or ebook copy at your favorite retailer. And thanks to our wonderful Kickstarter backers, without whom this book wouldn’t exist. Special thanks, also, to cover artist Lynne Hansen, editor Michael A. Ventrella, and all our incredible authors who wrote the kick-ass stories that make this a great anthology.

ThreeTimeTravelers_Front

Convention Weekend

Once again, convention weekend is upon us! This time, it’s Balticon, in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland, at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel. For more information on the convention, see http://www.balticon.org/wp56/

As usual, I’ll be spending most of the weekend at the Fantastic Books table in the dealers’ room (come see me, even though the dealers’ room is frequently hidden behind something they call Artist Alley, which looks suspiciously like a dealers’ room, in the atrium). UPS-willing, I may have a few advance copies of our new anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… with me (and at least three authors in the book are scheduled to be at the convention: David Gerrold, Gail Z. Martin, and Hildy Silverman). The dealers’ room is scheduled to be open Friday, from 2 to 7pm; Saturday and Sunday, from 10am to 7pm; and Monday, from 10am to 2pm.

I’ll also be on four panels during the convention:

Saturday at 2:30pm, room 7029: “Writing Characters with Agency (In-person)” with Stephanie “Flash” Burke, Gail Z. Martin, and Mark L. Van Name.

Saturday at 4:00pm in the Homeland Room: “What Do Editors Want?” with Rigel Ailur, Scott H. Andrews, Joshua Bilmes, and Nancy Springer.

Sunday at 1:00pm in Room 7029: “Don’t Show Me the Money: Cashless Societies” with Elektra Hammond, Shahid Mahmud, and Christie Meierz.

Sunday at 4:00pm in Room 7029: “Fix that Episode!” with Stephanie “Flash” Burke, Andy Love, Ryan O’Nan, and Hildy Silverman.

I hope to see a lot of you there!

And if you can’t make it to Balticon, the next appearance on my schedule is Freaky Mutant Weirdo 2022: The Steampunk Variant, on June 4, outdoors in Vasa Park in Hackettstown, New Jersey. For more information, see https://www.freakymutantweirdo.com/.

Fantastic Books Cover Reveal: Three Time Travelers Walk Into…

Fantastic Books is thrilled to reveal the cover of our forthcoming anthology, Three Time Travelers Walk Into… edited by Michael A. Ventrella. Cover art/design is by Lynne Hansen.

The book is the result of our latest successful Kickstarter campaign, in which we asked the authors to take three people from history, put them together, and tell us of the adventure that ensues. The authors came through brilliantly.

The back cover text, in case you can’t make it out in the image:

* How many people could you kill to guarantee your happiness?
* Would you follow a stranger into a broom closet at a Grateful Dead concert?
* How many times could you watch your own suicide?
* What would cause you to give away a wish-granting genie?

Those are just a few of the questions eighteen incredible authors answered in response to the call to take three historical figures, throw them together in some situation, and tell us the story that ensues. You’ll be fascinated by those stories featuring Julia Child, Jesus Christ, Michael Jackson, and Vlad the Impaler (well… not all in one story), plus dozens of others.

These marvelous tales of time-traveling adventure flow from the imaginations of Eric Avedissian, Adam-Troy Castro, Peter David, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Gregory Frost, David Gerrold, Henry Herz, Jonathan Maberry, Gail Z. Martin, Heather McKinney, James A. Moore, Jody Lynn Nye, L. Penelope, Louise Piper, Hildy Silverman, S.W. Sondheimer, Allen Steele, and Lawrence Watt-Evans.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

Romance on Four Worlds storybundled

FEB22 Story Final2Fantastic Books is participating in this month’s “Scoundrels in Space” story bundle, in the form of Tom Purdom’s Romance on Four Worlds: A Casanova Quartet. If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of story bundles (as I was), it’s a group sale program: you pay $5 for the four main ebooks, or $20 (or more) for all 12. The money goes to the authors and a little to the sponsor, and you get some great reads for really cheap. The bundle is only available for a limited time (in this case, until February 24). But to grab your cheap reading, follow this link: https://storybundle.com/scifi

Fantastic Books published Romance on Four Worlds a few years back, and when it came out, Publishers Weekly called it “delightful” and “a pleasure from beginning to end.” So now you can get a copy cheaper than ever before, and another 11 wonderful books, too. Check it out!

Philcon, this weekend

philcon_logoIt’s starting to feel like the before-times again. I just got back from a weekend on the road (I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, for Charlotte Blue Ridge Mensa‘s Regional Gathering, which hosted the AMC meeting), and now I’m getting ready to leave Friday for Philcon, my second science fiction convention of the new world.

As a typical science fiction convention, I’ll be spending most of my time in the dealers’ room at the Fantastic Books table. We’ll have many copies of Allen Steele’s brand new novel Sanctuary, and of the non-fiction book On Samuel R. Delany’s Dhalgren (I’m hoping to have Delany himself at the table for some of the time, to sign copies). But I’m also on programming. If you’re looking to catch me there, my scheduled items include:

Friday at 6:00 PM in Plaza 2: “Perils and Pitfalls of Near-Future Scenarios” with Jennifer Povey, Margaret Riley, Michael A. Ventrella, and Joan Wendland

Saturday at 1:00 PM in Plaza 4: “Writing and Publishing in the Digital Age” with Neil Clarke, Gordon Linzner, Margaret Riley, and Ann Stolinsky.

Saturday at 5:00 PM in Plaza 3: “The Future You Imagine is the Future You Get” with Mitchell Gordon, Mark Roth-Whitworth, and Jeff Warner.

Saturday at 7:00 PM in Plaza 3: “Alternate Histories” with Scheherazade Jackson, Roberta Rogow, Mark Roth-Whitworth, and Chuck Rothman.

Sunday at 11:00 AM in Plaza 5: “A New Dune” with Randee Dawn, Barna William Donovan, Robert Hranek, and Lawrence Kramer.

I hope to see a lot of you there!