mabfan: (book-cover)
As many of you should already be aware, in 2014 a short film of my story "I Remember the Future" was released and shown at a handful of film festivals. The film has won a few awards, and I suspect that many folks (beyond myself) would like the opportunity to consider it for the Hugo Award. Alas, due presumably in part to its limited release (and possible other factors) it did not make it onto the Hugo ballot in 2015. However, Wordcon does allow for a work's elegibility to be extended should the Business Meeting pass a motion to that effect.

Although I will not be present at Sasquan, the Business Meeting will be considering the motion below. I'd like to be able to show that the motion has support by listing members who are willing to sign onto this proposal. If you would like to see the film given a second chance at earning a Hugo nomination and you are a member of Worldcon who is willing to have your name attached to this motion, please let me know and I will add your name. And if you plan to attend Sasquan, if all goes according to plan, you'll have the chance to screen the film there.

You can find out more about the film and watch the trailer here:

I Remember the Future (KAS Creations)

MOTION:

Short Title: I Remember the Future

Moved, to extend the Hugo eligibility for the movie “I Remember the Future” due to extremely limited distribution, as provided for in Section 3.4.3 of the WSFS Constitution.

Proposed by:

[list of names here]

This motion extends eligibility for the Hugo Award and requires a 2/3 vote.

Commentary:

The film “I Remember the Future” (KAS Creations) is a short student film that was directed by Klayton Stainer, an Australian filmmaker. It premiered at the 2014 Worldfest-Houston on April 6, 2014, and in the rest of the calendar year it was screened at only two other venues: the San Jose Short Film Festival (October 12, 2014) and a special meeting of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society (November 15, 2014). Because of its limited release, very few members of Sasquan were actually able to screen the film before the deadline for nominating in the 2015 Hugo Awards. The film won a Grand Remi Award at Worldfest-Houston and has received other accolades since, which serve as testimony to the idea that the film would actually be worthy to be considered for a Hugo nomination.

In 2015, the film was screened at three science-fiction conventions (Arisia, Boskone, and Minicon) and more film festivals, thus giving it more exposure.

Furthermore, as of this writing the film has been submitted to Sasquan for the media program. We would like to give this film the chance it deserves to be considered by the members of MidAmericon II for the Hugo in Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form.

Disclosure: The initial proponent of this motion is the writer whose Nebula-nominated short story served as the basis for this film.
mabfan: (book-cover)
Since a few people have asked and since there's room for confusion:

The KAS Creations film of "I Remember the Future" is in fact eligible to be nominated for the Hugo Award this year in the Best Dramatic Presentation, Short Form category. That is because the film festival showings that began in 2014 started the clock, and so it can be nominated in the Hugos for 2015.

Oddly, though, Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America has different rules for the Bradbury Award. They have ruled that it is not eligible for nomination until it gets a wider release. So if you're a member of SFWA, don't bother considering it for the Bradbury, but don't let that ruling affect how you fill out your Hugo ballot.

If you are a member of last year's, this year's, or next year's Worldcon, you are eligible to fill out a nominating ballot for the Hugos. As it so happens, tomorrow is the deadline to join this year's Worldcon in time to nominate for the Hugos, although the nominating deadline is in March. If you want to join Worldcon, visit https://sasquan.swoc.us/sasquan/reg.php. You can join online; current cost for a Supporting Membership is US$40. (It is likely that besides all Worldcon publications, this year's members will receive a packet of Hugo-nominated ebooks and other works once the ballot is set, well worth the cost of the membership.)

If you want to know more about the film "I Remember the Future," visit http://irtf.kascreations.com.au.
Alas, I will staying home with a sick Squeaker today. But [livejournal.com profile] gnomi should be making it to Boskone today with Muffin in tow. Anyone who wanted to say hi to me, please say hi to them.
Nomi and I haven't managed to attend Arisia since before Muffin and Squeaker came into our lives. We've wanted to, but the logistics seemed rather insurmountable. (We've also mostly missed Boskone and Readercon, although in 2010 we made it to the Sunday of each.)

Arisia is coming up this month, though, and with all the chatter I've been seeing about it, I've become wistful. Nomi and I discussed it, and we're seriously considering trying to attend on the Sunday of the convention. If we day-trip the convention, we'll have to figure out the answers to these questions:

1. Do we take Muffin and Squeaker?
1.a. If not, who takes care of them for the day?
1.b. If so, how do we get them to and from the hotel?

2. If we take Muffin and Squeaker, what costumes should they wear? :-)

Any and all suggestions are welcome.
mabfan: (book-cover)
Last year, Nomi and I made the decision to skip Arisia and Boskone. Our decision was based on a few things, including the cost of attending the convention and the hassle of taking care of the kids in a hotel. As it is, we managed to bring the kids to Boskone for Sunday, and that was nice.

This year, we skipped Arisia again, and this time, we're pretty much sure we're missing Boskone completely, for the first time in many years. The factors are still the same: the cost of going, and the need to care for the kids at the same time, just makes attending the conventions too difficult for us right now. In a few years, we're hoping that will change.

So if you'll be at Boskone this weekend, have a good time on our behalf.
It occurred to me that I have been so busy this week I forgot to let people know that we won't be at Arisia this weekend. Like last year, it would be too much trouble this year trying to go to Arisia with Muffin and Squeaker in tow. (It's even harder this year, as the convention has moved to the Westin Waterfront hotel; a nice space, but an inconvenient location for us.)

Also, although we often use Arisia as an excuse to throw a birthday party for Nomi, we're not doing so this year.

We're sorry we'll be missing out on all the social interaction, but we need the rest.

And did I mention that the eruv is down? Yep, it's down.
mabfan: (book-cover)
Now is that time of year when many writers have posted links to their works online, reminding their fans – and hoping that their fans are members of Worldcon – that they are eligible to be nominated for the Hugo Award.

I've actually been in this racket a little longer than most. It's a little known fact that I was the first person to suggest to a Worldcon that Hugo-nominated works be posted online. The 1993 Worldcon had provided a CD-ROM of nominated works for sale to its members, but in 1996, when I was nominated for a Hugo for the first time, the Worldcon went one step farther. I contacted the Hugo administrator and told him that I wanted to put my nominated short story, "TeleAbsence," up on my website. I suggested that we get other nominated works up on the web as well, to help the voters track down the nominated stories, and I offered to host works on my own website. As a result, I ended up hosting my own competition, which was fine with me. (And I lost to a story that was hosted elsewhere, anyway.)

Of course, things are a little different today. Many, many more writers are posting their works online, and everyone has a greater opportunity to get their signal lost in the noise. That said, it behooves me to add a signal of my own, so here goes.

If you're planning to nominate in the Hugo Awards this year, as far as I can tell, I'm actually eligible in three categories. Here are the categories and how I'm eligible.

1. Best Short Story: "Hope" by Michael A. Burstein

I'm proud of that short story, which appeared in Destination: Future edited by Z. S. Adani and Eric T. Reynolds and was published by Hadley Rille Books in February 2010. Publishers Weekly called my story "sublimely moving." I'm delighted to announce that Hadley Rille has posted a PDF of the story, along with other stories, at Hadley Rille: Read Stories Online. Or you can click on the story title above and download the PDF directly.

2. Best Fan Writer: Michael A. Burstein

I continue to be eligible for Best Fan Writer not just for my writing here, but also for my writing on Apex Blog and for Argentus, among other places. One of my Apex Blog posts even got picked up by io9, so I must be doing something right. If you want to read some of my Apex Blog posts and even a story of mine, click here for my name on the Apex site. Or you could click here for a tagged list of my personal blog posts pointing toward my Apex Blog posts.

3. Best Related Work: Mabfan's Musings

Yeah, technically, this blog is eligible as a Related Work. I doubt it'll have a chance given all the great related books that were published this year, but I thought I'd mention it.

So there you go. I've tried to do a little more than just promote myself in this post; I've also provided a little fannish history and links to some free fiction and nonfiction. If you're so inclined, please go read and consider my works for nomination.

And, as always, thanks for reading.
Quick note to all who might be interested:
Nomi and I will be at Readercon this weekend, but on Sunday only. Our plan is to sit on the sofa in the main corridor most of the day, along with Muffin and Squeaker, so we can see friends and everyone can meet the kids.

Longer note:
Nomi and I had considered attending Readercon for the whole weekend, but decided in the end that the logistics just weren't feasible. This makes Readercon 21 the first Readercon without my being on programming in over a decade.

That said, however, we didn't want to miss the chance to see the many friends of ours who come into town for the convention. So after much pondering, we worked out a plan to attend on Sunday only, with the kids. We'd like to see friends, and give people a chance to meet the kids. This is especially significant, as at last year's Readercon, Nomi was pregnant with the kids, and exactly a week later, they were born. So people who got to see Nomi in her advanced state of pregnancy last year will now get to see how the kids turned out. (Hint: they turned out fine.)

I am sorry I didn't get my act together in time to try to be on programming just on Sunday, but I expect I'll be kept quite busy, and I wouldn't want to leave Nomi alone with the kids just so I could flit away for an hour to pontificate.

Those of you arriving at Readercon tonight, have a great convention, and we'll see you on Sunday.

Michael A. Burstein at the 2007 Nebula Banquet
Michael A. Burstein at the 2007 Nebula Banquet
Photo copyright ©2007 by Nomi S. Burstein. All rights reserved.



This upcoming weekend SFWA hosts the annual Nebula Awards, which are taking place this year in Florida. Sad to say, even though I'm a nominee this year I can't attend. What with the kids factored into the equation, along with all my other responsibilities, attending the Nebulas just wasn't in the cards for me.

But that's not to say that I still can't celebrate being a nominee this week, even as I anticipating not winning the award itself. I've got some interesting stuff in store for people this week all tied into the Nebula Awards.

Here's the first one: John Ottinger interviewed me for the official site of The Nebula Awards. I've been interviewed a few times before, but I have to say that John asked some very good questions, most of them very different from the sort of questions I'd been asked before. I think the interview will give readers a fresh window into the way I approach my work, so even if you've read an interview with me before, you might find something new to read here:

Michael A. Burstein 2010 Interview

Go read, and let me know if you come back thinking, "I didn't know that about Michael."
Yesterday, [livejournal.com profile] gnomi and I spent the day at Boskone with Muffin and Squeaker. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] fynixsoul, who agreed to sit with us in the Con Suite all day and help watch the kids, and [livejournal.com profile] tigerbright, who gave a lift to the hotel and back, things were a lot easier than they might have been otherwise.

For one thing, we actually got to enjoy being at Boskone. We felt sad when we had to miss Arisia, and even though it would have been nice to spend the whole weekend at Boskone, we knew that would be difficult this year for the obvious reasons.

Normally at a convention, Nomi and I take in programming, the dealers room, the art show – anything we can. This time around, all we did was sit in the Con Suite (which was conveniently in the concourse) so people could swing by and meet the kids. We even got an announcement in the con newsletter, letting people know where we were. The kids were troopers during the day; although the mass of people confused them, in the end, they retreated into naps. (Squeaker napped longer than Muffin.) And even though Boskone doesn't encourage hall costumes, we figure it wouldn't hurt to dress them in their NASA astronaut jumpsuits. (For those of you who missed it, don't worry, as Purim is approaching.)

I did leave Nomi alone with friends at 2 pm to do my own panel, "Sequels I Want to Read," with Tom Easton and Paul DiFilippo. It was a lot of fun, and I think the small audience got something out of it. We went a little meta, discussing the concept of sequel and series and writing in one universe as well as the idea of wanting to read sequels that haven't been written.

Below is a list of people we saw at the con, and some commentary. I'll come back and add names as they come to mind, and remind me if we saw you!

People we saw:
Bob Eggleton & Marianne Plumridge
Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin (authors of the novel "The Unincorporated Man," making them Campbell-eligible this year)
Patty Cryan and Frank Raymond Michaels
Bill and Carol Aronoff, Samuel Aronoff, Matthew Aronoff, and Aronoff hangers-on
Zev Sero
Yossi Charpak
Muriel Kanter
Mark & Priscilla Olson
Tony & Suford Lewis
Alice Lewis
Laurie Mann
Jeff Hecht
Jennifer Pelland
Sarah Beth Durst
Bob Leigh & Mabel Liang
Ian Osmond & Lis Riba
Michael Devney
Bob Devney
Lawrence M. Schoen
Miriam DeMarco
Leah Cypess
Navah Wolfe
Darcy Devney & Bob Kuhn
Sheila Perry
Deb Geisler
Claire Anderson
Connie Hirsch
Adina Adler
Meryl Gross
Ellen Brody
Beth Bernobich
Badger
Sarah Smith
Kris Burger
Christopher Davis
Chaiya & Steve Huff
Excellent news! Thanks to the assistance of a former student of mine who has agreed to help us out, Nomi and I will be showing up at Boskone this Sunday at around 11 am and will be bringing the girls, so people can meet them. Our plan is basically just to plop down in the Con Suite or some hallway so folks can come by and see us (since carrying two fifteen-pound babies around will tire us out easily).

I know it's not really attending the con a lot, but this way we do get to see people.

Three notes:

1. If you think you'll want to make sure to see us, be in touch with me and and I'll email you my cell number.

2. As it so happens, I'll be doing one panel item at 2 pm, "Sequels I Want to Read."

3. I still have copies of I Remember the Future that I can sell on consignment from the publisher and personally autograph. However, given everything that we have to carry to the convention for the kids, I can't just drag a box of books along as well. If you know you'll be at Boskone and want a personally signed copy of the book, let me know in advance and I'll bring one. As usual, hardcovers are $35, trade paperbacks $22, and you can give me a check made out to Apex Publications.
There's certainly a lot going on in the Boston area this weekend. As I noted before, Nomi and I would have gone to Arisia this weekend had it not been for the logistics of dealing with the new little ones. We're slightly wistful about missing the convention, but in all honesty, we wouldn't have it any other way.

One thing I wish I could get to this weekend, though, is the ALA Midwinter conference. I attended ALA Midwinter the last time it was in Boston in my role as a Trustee of the Public Library of Brookline. ALA draws a lot of publishers giving away books and selling many more at discounted prices, plus the chance to meet various authors. Again, it's something I would love to attend, but I'm not about to leave Nomi home alone to take care of the kids all day. And, anyway, last time ALA was at the Hynes, which is easier for me to get to. This time around it's at the BCEC, a little harder.

A third thing going on in the area this weekend is the Mystery Hunt. This isn't something I've ever participated in before, nor do I plan to in the future, so I don't mind missing it. However, I do have friends active in Mystery Hunt whom it would be nice to see, and given how busy they all are, it's unlikely I'll have a chance to see any of them.

Say la vee.

A reminder to all: Nomi and I will be celebrating her birthday at our place on Saturday night, if you want to stop by and say hello. And we will be around (but at home) the rest of the weekend if you're so inclined; just get in touch in advance.
Enough people have asked Nomi and me about our Arisia and Boskone plans that it makes sense for me to post a simple announcement here.

Basically, Nomi and I will not be attending either Arisia or Boskone in 2010. These will be the first Arisia and Boskone we have missed since before we got married. However, we're still planning to hold a birthday open house for Nomi at our apartment on Saturday night for those who wish to attend, whether local or in town for Arisia.

The reasons we're not attending are quite simple and obvious. Now that we have the kids, the logistics (and expense) of attending either convention are much more difficult. If Nomi and I wanted to attend the whole convention, we would need to get a hotel room as always due to shabbat, and we would have to bring everything that the kids need for the weekend as well. We briefly considered attending one or both of the conventions on Sunday only, but again that would involve shlepping two infants along. Chances are neither of us would be able to do much programming or anything else at either convention, so in the end, it just made sense to skip this year.

Readercon is also iffy, although we'd really like to get to it if possible. As for Arisia and Boskone in 2011, it's a little early to say, but I will note that the Westin hotels have never made it easy to observe shabbat at a convention. So we'll just have to see.

In the meantime, keep reading here or [livejournal.com profile] gnomi for information on Nomi's party.
I'm desperately trying to find the time to write up a Readercon 20 report. In the meantime, I've managed to label all the photos in my Readercon 2009 gallery, and I've gotten all but two names. So for those of you who are interested, here's the list of people whose pictures appear in the gallery:

Scott Edelman, Kristin Janz, Chris Davis, Mike Allen, Bob Colby, Danielle Friedman, Hildy Silverman, Jennifer Pelland, Vylar Kaftan, Warren Lapine, Gordon Van Gelder, Tom Purdom, John Benson, Lev Grossman, Allen M. Steele, Robert J. Sawyer, Michael Bishop, Barry N. Malzberg, Todd Giles, Art Henderson, John Joseph Adams, Ian Randal Strock, Debra Doyle, James D. Macdonald, Drew Morse, Robert Killheffer, Michaela Roessner, F. Brett Cox, Paul Di Filippo, Stephen Frug, Sara Frug, Joseph Frug, Margaret Ronald, and of course Nomi and me.

And to answer the question posed earlier: my college friend is Lev Grossman, who is just about to publish his third novel, The Magicians. Hopefully, I'll have more to say about him (and others!) later on.


College Friends: Lev Grossman, Michael A. Burstein College Friends: Lev Grossman, Michael A. Burstein
Photo copyright ©2009 by Nomi S. Burstein

Nomi and I spent the weekend at the Readercon 20 science fiction convention, and I'm still catching up from it. I'm hoping to have something of a report as soon as I can; in the meantime, if you want to see some pictures from the convention, as yet unlabeled, check out my Readercon 2009 Photo Gallery. Note that it's three pages of photos.

To make this more fun, one of the pictures shows me posing with a friend from college who was in the same dorm as me freshman year. Guess who it is.
Yes, it's true. Nomi and I will be at Readercon this weekend, although chances are we won't be wandering around a lot. More likely, Nomi will pick a place to sit and stay there, so we'll expect the wandering vortex to come toward her.

I will be bringing hardcover and softcover copies of I Remember the Future for anyone who wishes to purchase an autographed book directly from me. If you know you'll want one, let me know in advance which kind. Copies should be available at the SF Scope table and directly from me at my Sunday 12noon Autographing.

Speaking of which, here's my schedule, including descriptions (let me know if you have any questions):

Friday 6:00 PM, RI: Workshop (60 min.)

Speculative Poetry Workshop.  Mike Allen with participation by Leah Bobet, Michael A. Burstein, Vylar Kaftan, Ernest Lilley

What is speculative poetry? How do you write it, why would you want to, and which editors will buy it? Come prepared to write on the fly.

Saturday 12:00 Noon, ME/ CT: Talk / Discussion (60 min.)

The Genre Roots of the Mainstream Tradition in American Fiction.  C. C. Finlay with discussion by Michael A. Burstein, Helen Collins, F. Brett Cox, Debra Doyle, Chris Nakashima-Brown

The plots of Charles Brockden Brown, America's first novelist, frequently hinged on scientific speculation. Washington Irving and Nathaniel Hawthorne employed fantasy elements, Edgar Allen Poe invented a range of genre tropes, and  James Fenimore Cooper introduced the series character-a staple of modern genre fiction.  In the last century, some of F. Scott Fitzgerald's earliest works depend on fantastic elements.  Mainstream American writers, in fact, have regularly created fiction that would now be considered part of the speculative genre.  Finlay will argue that genre elements are not isolated in a separate branch of the American literary tradition, but are instead at the heart of it.

Sunday 10:00 AM, ME/ CT: Panel

The Future of Speculative Fiction Magazines, Part 1: Introduction / Print Magazines.  John Benson, Michael A. Burstein (L), Warren Lapine, Tom Purdom, Hildy Silverman, Gordon Van Gelder

Are print magazines doomed?  (Heck, if _newspapers_ can't make it ...)  Or will they survive in their tiny niches? Are there ways to make them more viable?  Is that even worth the bother?  After all, online magazines are now easy and relatively inexpensive to start-are they the answer?  Part one of our discussion begins with an overview and then examines the future of print magazines.

Sunday 12:00 Noon, Salon F: Autographing

Sunday 1:00 PM, Salon A: Panel

We Won, We Lost.  John Joseph Adams, Michael A. Burstein, F. Brett Cox (L), Paul Di Filippo, Robert Killheffer, Michaela Roessner

[Greatest Hit from Readercon 12.]  It's an sf world. Our once-visionary iconography is now commonplace. The present turns into the future even before we wear it comfortably, let alone wear it out, and this sense of constant change is now the common currency of our culture  rather than our precious private truth. And yet the sf readership shrinks, or at least gets older, every year; as sf media ascends (and merges with real life), the written sf word seems ever more irrelevant-and certainly wins no greater prestige for its creators than in the past. Maybe this has nothing to do with sf, but just reflects the death of reading (a development we perhaps ironically foresaw). But maybe somehow the contents of sf, the accidents, have conquered mass culture, but some crucial part of the form, the essence, has been left behind. Is it an sf world after all? Or just a holographic simulation of one?

Sunday 2:00 PM, RI: Talk / Discussion (60 min.)

Lasers, Death Rays, and the Quest for the Ultimate Weapon.  Jeff Hecht with discussion by Ian Randal Strock

Nature invented lightning bolts first, but the ancients put them in the hands of their mythical gods, and ever since we've had dreams of destruction in fiction and in fact. H.G. Wells armed his Martian invaders with heat rays; Nikoka Tesla and others tried to build real death rays. In 1958, the director of the then-new DARPA said his agency would be interested in far-out ideas like death rays, and a few months later Gordon Gould arrived at their door with a plan to build the laser. Hecht will talk about the real (and the questionable) science, the fictional visions, the bizarre history, and the quest for the ultimate weapon of directed energy.
Last month, I moderated a panel at Boskone called How Not to Edit Yourself, and [livejournal.com profile] drcpunk was in the audience taking notes. [livejournal.com profile] drcpunk's notes on the panel can be found here, for anyone who would like to read the pearls of wisdom provided by Eleanor Wood, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, David Hartwell, Josepha Sherman, and me. The notes are a little disjointed, which is inevitable, but [livejournal.com profile] drcpunk managed to jot down some of the more important things we said, including advice on turning off your inner editor when writing, and making sure not to over-edit before sending work out into the world.

"If you have imagination enough to be a writer, you should have imagination enough to be an editor." - Michael A. Burstein

Go read: Panel Write Up From Boskone: How Not to Edit Yourself
One of the people I feel very privileged to be friends with is Katherine Bryant (LJ: [livejournal.com profile] saxikath). And this weekend, I have many reasons to wish her good luck.


Katherine Bryant Solves a Sunday Times Puzzle Katherine Bryant Solves a Sunday Times Puzzle
Photo copyright © Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved.



I first met Katherine in my sophomore year of college, when she was in her first year. We met through the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players' production of Princess Ida. We were both in the chorus, and as it so happens, the director chose to make us a G&S couple, so that gave us a chance to talk. Even back in college, I was impressed with her quick wit, her love of wordplay, and her ability to solve puzzles. (Embarrassed yet, Katherine? Be glad I didn't mention your appearance on Jeopardy!)

Our own lives caused us to drift apart for a few years until we found ourselves working together at the same company. During that time, Katherine became very well-known in the puzzling community. For one thing, she spent many years serving as the editor of The Enigma, the monthly magazine of the National Puzzlers' League. And for another...

For the past few years, she's consistently scored in the highest levels at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. The ACPT is known as Stamford to many people, since until last year it was held at a hotel in Stamford, Connecticut. Last year it moved to Brooklyn, where it's being held again this year.

Katherine was already placing in the top ten at the ACPT even before we started working together in December 2005. But after she returned from the 2006 ACPT, I decided that I wanted to help her out. So since March of 2006 or so, I've taken on the role of being Katherine's personal "puzzle trainer." Essentially, every workday morning I've made a copy of that day's New York Times crossword puzzle, and then timed her on it. Katherine routinely finishes the puzzle in anywhere from two to six minutes. On occasion, it's taken her a little longer, but those occasions are few and far between.

This weekend, Katherine will once again be competing in the ACPT, and I'll be staying at home, rooting for her in my "Team Bryant" warm-up jacket. I hope she manages to get to the top three, and then win, because then I'll get to check that off my list of life goals: have a friend who wins the ACPT. But even if she doesn't, I'm still delighted that she's allowed me to be a part of it over the past three years.

Good luck, [livejournal.com profile] saxikath!


Katherine Bryant Solves Andrew Greene's Puzzle Katherine Bryant Solves Andrew Greene's Puzzle
Photo copyright © Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved.

For many years, Nomi and I have gone to the Boskone science fiction convention in February for the whole weekend. We've reserved a hotel room, primarily because we can't commute in on shabbat but also because we like being present at the convention. I tend to feel that you miss out on the experience if you commute in and don't stay at the hotel.

But this year, for the first time, we looked at our finances and realized that we couldn't really afford the hotel room for the weekend. So, sadly, we decided to attend the convention on Sunday only. We knew we'd miss out on a lot, but it seemed better to attend some of the convention than none.

The first part of our weekend, therefore, was typical for us. I went to synagogue on Friday night and brought guests home for dinner; Nomi and I both went to synagogue on shabbat morning and we were guests for lunch at the home of some good friends. On Saturday night, we played Dungeons & Dragons with our frum D&D group.

Sunday morning we ate breakfast and Rubin's and then went to Boskone. A friend gave us a lift. He was supposed to give us and his wife a lift, but their child hadn't yet woken up, so he gave his wife a lift later in the day. We got the hotel around 9:30 am, which gave us time to register, pick up my program packet, and very briefly circulate to talk to people. We had a chance to chat with Bob Eggleton, Allen Steele, Gay Ellen Dennett, Priscilla Olson, Patty Cryan, and a few others; and as we talked with friends, I couldn't help think about how much I missed not "holding court" in the Con Suite on Saturday night as we usually do at a convention. (I know we were missed; one friend called me on my cell phone on Saturday night looking for us. I texted back that we would be around on Sunday.)

Furthermore, since our convention was contracted into Sunday, I was pretty much programmed for the whole day. Not that I'm complaining; the programming committee put me on some perfect panels for me, and I had a lot of fun. But it did mean having to dash around more than usual.

So here's what I did:

10am
How Not to Edit Yourself
Panelists: Michael A. Burstein, David G. Hartwell, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Josepha Sherman, Eleanor Wood

Jim Kelly was originally supposed to be the moderator, but he wasn't on the panel when the final schedule came out. The others deferred to me as moderator, and I threw out a few questions and had them take questions from the audience. I think we gave folks a lot of good advice, and if I could remember any of it, I'd share it here.

11 am
Superheroes
Panelists: Michael A. Burstein, Yvonne Carts-Powell, Daniel P. Dern (moderator), Matthew Jarpe, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley

This panel was a lot of fun, and I'm glad that Matthew suggested it. I'd never been on a panel with Yvonne before, but I'm enjoying her book The Science of Heroes and I highly recommend it. I'd also never met Alisa before, but now that I know who she is, I'm going to be looking for her work. As for the panel discussion itself, we had a lot of fun discussing silly superpowers and what works and what doesn't.

At 12noon I had my autographing. The autographing table was rather out of the way, and the committee knows that and is planning to place it somewhere more central next year. In my case, I did manage to sell a few copies of I Remember the Future, and I got to catch up with my former student Deborah Sacks, a writer in her own right.

1pm
Marketing Your Book
Panelists: Michael A. Burstein, Elaine Isaak, Dani Kollin, Shane Tourtellotte (moderator).

I enjoyed being on this panel for a few reasons. First of all, it's always good to share panel time with Shane. Secondly, all of us had a lot of great stuff to share about marketing. I thought I was going to have a lot to share, what with my BU Certificate in Publishing and my ten-page marketing plan for I Remember the Future. But Dani is an advertising copywriter, and Elaine has done a lot of creative marketing including making jewelry shaped like books (which I recall seeing her hand out a few years ago). Shane had a hard time keeping us quiet, but I think we managed to make the panel flow well. At the end, an audience member came up to us to tell us that this had been the most useful panel she had attended the whole convention.

(By the way, Dani's first book isn't even out yet, and he has a fascinating blog all about the process of selling and promoting his first novel, right here on LiveJournal! See [livejournal.com profile] dkollin to read it.)

Nomi and I had an hour off after that, and we went to the panel on Jewish science fiction.

At 3 pm, I had my reading. As opposed to my reading at Arisia, which attracted no one, this reading filled the room. At least, all the seats at the table were occupied, so we had about twenty people who came to hear me read. And I sold a few more books. It was a good feeling.

Traditionally, Nomi and I end Boskone by having dinner with Bill & Carol Aronoff and their family at Taam China. This year, the tradition was altered slightly because their sons wanted to go to Rubin's instead. And so, Nomi and I opened and closed the day at Rubin's, which was fitting.
Nomi and I will only be at Boskone on Sunday, February 15. Here's my schedule:

Sunday 10am
How Not to Edit Yourself
Panelists: Michael A. Burstein, David G. Hartwell, James Patrick Kelly (moderator), Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Josepha Sherman. Eleanor Wood

Pitfalls. What? Why? How to avoid them.....


Sunday 11am
Superheroes
Panelists: Michael A. Burstein, Yvonne Carts-Powell, Daniel P. Dern (moderator), Matthew Jarpe, Alisa Kwitney Sheckley

Are there any superpowers left that we haven't seen? That we'd rather not see? Participants will explore these themes, and more.


Sunday 12noon
Autographing
I'll have copies of I Remember the Future available for purchase. If anyone knows they'll want to buy one at the con, let me know in advance and I'll reserve one for you.

Sunday 1pm
Marketing Your Book
Panelists: Michael A. Burstein, Elaine Isaak, Dani Kollin, William O'Connor, Steven Popkes, Shane Tourtellotte (moderator)

From business cards to blogging, advertising to authors' tours....what works? What is dismally disappointing (or even definitively damaging)? The panel discusses interesting ways to become famous (OK, well known?......make a living?) that won't turn people off!


Sunday 3pm
Reading
I'll be reading from I Remember the Future.

December 2016

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