Books read in 2020

Fall into Spring, Amy Lane (e)
Resurgence, C.J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better…, Rachel Aaron (e)
Unmasked by the Marquess, Cat Sebastian (e)
Jimmy the Kid, Donald E. Westlake (e)
Wanted, A Gentleman, KJ Charles (e) (read aloud with Steve)
The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Patricia McKillip (e) (re-read)
Proper English, KJ Charles (e)

Lee and Miller Boskone Schedule

As previously advertised, Steve and I will be at Boskone.  In addition to our Duties to the Con, listed below, we are pleased to be Guests of Honor at NarniaCon, the convention-within-the-convention, run out of the coat check closet, naturally enough, in the Westin.  This year, NarniaCon will be hosting a scavenger hunt based on the game of Clue.

FRIDAY, February 14

Fandom 2.0: Being a Good Fan
Panel: 4:00 – 4:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Modern fandom has developed a wonderfully interconnected network, with instant access to authors, fellow fans, and fan communities around the world. This instant connectivity is neither good nor bad, but it can be used in ways that harm as well as help. As fans, what responsibility do we have to each other, to our communities, and to the creators who make the work we love? Join us for a constructive conversation to help figure out how to build a stronger, more thoughtful community.
Steve Miller (M), Gerald L. Coleman, Charlaine Harris, Ginjer Buchanan, Erin Underwood

Journalism in Speculative Fiction
Panel: 5:00 – 5:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
From Wells and Orwell to Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow, and Annalee Newitz, there’s a long tradition of reporters becoming writers of SF/F/H. Our veteran newshounds report on what a background in journalism can bring to genre work. Are you already accustomed to research, deadlines, and low wages? Does the drive to get the facts mean it’s harder to make stuff up? Can reporters be written as good genre characters? While pounding out a hot story, must you wear a fedora?
Darlene Marshall (M), Clea Simon, Dan Moren, Daniel P. Dern, Sharon Lee

SATURDAY, February 15

The Future of Libraries
Panel: 10:00 – 10:50, Marina 4 (Westin)
The card catalog is already kaput. How long can stacks, carrels, and tome-laden tables last? How soon till the world’s One Big Library is seamlessly interconnected with everybody’s local, a collaborative sharing space with digital pipes to every seat and a helpful robotic assistant “manning” the “desk”? Any room left for the most systematically refined information storage technology of all: the book?
Fred Lerner, Suzanne Reynolds-Alpert (M), April Grant, Steve Miller, Debra Doyle

Pacing the Novel
Panel: 11:00 – 11:50, Marina 4 (Westin)
It’s crucial to the feel of the novel, but one of the least discussed aspects of fiction. How do you intensify a scene, bringing the reader deep into the narrative — yet still keep the novel moving along? Panelists share techniques for balancing intensity and movement within their work.
Tabitha Lord (M), Melissa Caruso, Steve Miller, Paul Tremblay, Sarah Smith

If you Like This, You’ll Like That
Panel: 12:00 – 12:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
Just like it says! Our panel of experts will suggest new (and classic) reads for you, if you’re looking for a new read and don’t know what to pick next. Audience participation encouraged!
Joseph Siclari (M), Sharon Lee , John Chu, Teresa Nielsen Hayden, Tui Sutherland

Shaping the Genre
Panel: 1:00 – 1:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
With the evolution of print, ebooks, and audiobooks — not to mention other digital media — the speculative genre keeps changing. How has SF shaped and been shaped by society? Past transformational writers included Asimov, Bradbury, Butler, and Le Guin, to name a few. What authors are reshaping the genre today? How much do current technology and delivery media affect the power to mold SF? What role do publishers, large and small, play in the genre’s evolution?
Julia Rios (M), Steve Miller, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Shahid Mahmud

Developing Future Histories
Panel: 1:00 – 1:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Is it still possible to write a future history? Is it still worthwhile? How do you build a future history, anyway? How about alternate futures based on alternate pasts? Let’s dive into the great what-ifs and maybes of tomorrow!
Mark Olson (M), Dr Jonathan McDowell, David B. Coe/ D.B. Jackson, Sharon Lee, Michael Swanwick

Troubleshooting Troublesome Manuscripts
Panel: 3:00 – 3:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
Our intrepid authors come together to share tips and tricks for tackling the most notorious issues that arise when writing and editing their work. Find out how to fix hidden plot holes, dangling loose ends, and the endings that just won’t end!
Joshua Bilmes (M), Matthew Warner, Steve Miller, Sharon Lee, Tabitha Lord

Autographing: Sharon Lee, Steve Miller, Tui Sutherland, Cadwell Turnbull
4:00 – 4:50, Galleria – Autographing (Westin)

SUNDAY, February 16

Friends of Liad Breakfast TBA
Sauciety, off the Westin Lobby, left
This is the traditional winter gathering of the Friends of Liad; think family catch-up time. This is not a convention event. All must be prepared to pay for their own meal (Sharon and Steve expect to pay for their meals; nobody needs to stand us a meal.). All are welcome!

Reading: Sharon Lee and Steve Miller
12:00 – 12:25, Griffin (Westin)

Kaffeeklatsch: Sharon Lee & Steve Miller
1:00 – 1:50, Galleria – Kaffeeklatsch 1 (Westin)

I was raised in the canebreak by an ol’ momma lion

So, suddenly and with only a little bit of warning — we’re busy.

Well.  I’m busy.

Steve was already busy.  Being lead on a novel comes with an “I’m busy” card.  Plus, he’s already recorded a short story for Patreon.  Here’s the link.

Me, though, I had a couple things on my plate — getting the taxes ready for the accountant, a short story that may come under contract a little further down the line, that Archers Beach universe story I’ve been thinking about, the next novel after Steve’s got done with his two.  Also, I’d been thinking about another Liaden story or two, for inclusion in a new chapbook.  So — work, but not a lot of work.

And then?  I started going through the “cope with this after you’ve healed” folder on my desk, and I discovered that I had some splinters for eventual posting on Splinter Universe (there’s one up now, with author commentary, at this link).

The rest of the splinters in hand are Liaden in nature, and the plan is to get them up in a more-or-less leisurely manner.  First, I have to do something about the color scheme at Splinter Universe.

Then, Steve had finished drafting a story that Would Not Be Quiet just before my foot got rebuilt, and I put it aside to read until I was back on both feet.  That story — “The Gate that Locks the Tree In: A Minor Melant’i Play for Snow Season” — is destined to become a chapbook, Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 30.

So, this is what’s lined up, so far:

1  Do the taxes
2  Edit, format, put on sale “The Gate That Locks the Tree In”
3  Write short story
4  Fix Splinter Universe template
5  Plot  and write Archers Beach story
6  Type in Liaden snippets/write author commentary for each
7 Plot and write story(ies) for Adventures in the Liaden Universe® Number 31
8  Post Liaden snippets
9  Plot and write Liaden novel
10 Confer with Steve over producing possible “outtake” chapbook

So, that’ll keep me busy for a while, I guess.

And now you’re up to date.

Today’s blog title brought to you by Tennessee Ernie Ford, “Sixteen Tons.”

Books read in 2020

Resurgence, C.J. Cherryh (read aloud with Steve)
2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better…, Rachel Aaron (e)
Unmasked by the Marquess, Cat Sebastian (e)
Jimmy the Kid, Donald E. Westlake (e)
Wanted, A Gentleman, KJ Charles (e) (read aloud with Steve)
The Book of Atrix Wolfe, Patricia McKillip (e) (re-read)
Proper English, KJ Charles (e)

The Thursday blog post, with footnotes

So, recovery is a strange country.  I’m not in the habit of thinking that I actually do very much of an ordinary day, so it’s a little — no, make that considerably — annoying when I can’t complete what I consider to be a normal day’s to-do list.

Yesterday being a case in point.  I went to the gym, did my strength training, pushing a little, because you’re supposed to challenge yourself, amirite? — walked 1.11 miles in 21 minutes (this includes the cool down), and tried to feel that this was a success*.  Then I went to the grocery store, came home, and — smashed right into a wall. I was exhausted.  Steve made lunch, and after I still couldn’t keep my head up, so I jettisoned the rest of the to-do list and spent the afternoon under a shifting blanket of cats, reading.

Man, I hate hitting walls.

Today, it’s snowing (the Weatherbeans are calling 4-9 inches), and is any way a non-gym day, and here we have the to-do list:

1  Keep front steps accessible

2  Make refrigerator soup for lunch

3  Get with the accountant’s tax packet: at least print it out and get the letter in the mail

4  Strip bed and wash sheets — already in process

5  Hit the Command Chair with the Mead 5-star notebook** and a pen and organize the short story I’ve been working up scenes for while I should be thinking about something else

. . .It seems a very slight list, but the idea is to Hit No Walls, and if that means vacuuming tomorrow, then — the cats get an extra day of peace and quiet.


*(This was after the first treadmill I was on spontaneously leapt from 3 mpg to 14 — I hit the STOP realfast, youbetcha, but wow, what a rush.  The scary part being that the Planet Fitness associate on the spot couldn’t figure out Why It Had Done That.  I hope it doesn’t catch somebody else.)

**Apropos of Nothing Much, I’ve been chewing through the Mead notebook, which is lovely to write on with the fountain pens. Anticipating its final page, I bought a six-pack of Smart Campus “subject notebooks” by Kokuyo, offered by JetPens, which are supposed to be the bee’s knees for fountain pen use. We’ll see, eventually, I guess. Maybe even soon, given the fact that there’s this OTHER short story I really want to write, too, and have been putting it off because its a Maine Coast story, in the Archers Beach universe, but not set in Archers Beach, which no one will want to read, but sometimes you gotta just get stuff out of the way.