Archive for May, 2016

Wiscon Ho!

I’m at the airport again (there is going to be a lot of this over the next few months), heading for Wiscon. Here’s where you can find me at the con:

  • Fri, 9:00 am–12:00 pm: Writers’ Workshop (advance registration required)
  • Sat, 4:00–5:15 pm: Polyamory Won’t Fix Your Love Triangle in Conference 5
    Debbie Notkin, W. L. Bolm, Ariel Franklin-Hudson, David D. Levine. We all get sick of love triangles in our fiction. We often find ourselves wishing the characters in these triangles, and other assorted shapes, would just go poly and love each other freely. But we also know that poly just doesn’t always work like that in reality. Not everyone has the propensity towards polyamory. Sometimes the genders and orientations just don’t match up. And very often, some of the characters who are in love with the same person couldn’t stand to be in the same room together even before they fell for the same person—much less attempt an honest and intimate relationship together. Are there good dramatic (or comedic) reasons to employ love triangles? What other ways could we attempt to fix them? Do they need fixing? How would making them poly change them?
  • Sun, 10:00–11:15 am: Dispatches from the GlitterShip! in Conference 2
    Claire Humphrey, Keffy R. M. Kehrli, Gary Kloster, David D. Levine, Gabriel Murray, Gabriela Santiago. GlitterShip is a podcast and magazine of LGBTQIA+ short fiction. Come listen to a selection of works by authors whose stories have appeared on GlitterShip!
  • Sun, 2:30–3:45 pm: Exposition in SF/F in Conference 5
    Ellen Kushner, Eleanor A. Arnason, Eugene Fischer, Colleen Booker Halverson, David D. Levine. From “infodump” to “the edges of ideas,” readers and writers of science fiction and fantasy have a number of ways to describe exposition. But how do we actually write it? What’s the difference between an “infodump” and a well-written description? What does “show, don’t tell” actually mean? What are the specific exposition challenges that we face as writers of speculative fiction–and how do we solve them?
  • Mon, 11:30 am–12:45 pm: The SignOut in Capitol/Wisconsin
    Come and sign your works, come and get things signed, come and hang out and wind down before you leave.

Arabella publicity news!

Daviddlevine 2016 May 20 bHoly cow, things are really heating up for Arabella of Mars!

I just got back from the Nebula Awards weekend and Book Expo America in Chicago. Although I did not win a Nebula, everything else went great. Between the two conferences I gave out nearly 100 signed ARCs of Arabella to booksellers, librarians, educators, bloggers, writers, and readers, many of whom were very enthusiastic about the book. Best moment of the weekend was when a girl of about 12 came to the SFWA table at BEA looking for an age-appropriate book. None of the books on the table were appropriate for her, but I pulled one of my two remaining copies of Arabella out of my bag and asked if the cover appealed to her. She said it did, very much so, and when I inscribed and signed it and gave it to her she literally squee’d and clutched it to her chest. There was also much excellent programming and hanging out with writer-folk.

Arabella was just named one of “Summer’s Hottest Beach Reads” by supermarket tabloid Woman’s World, circulation 1.6 million. It’s in the current (May 30) issue, available at a check-out stand near you. Arabella was one of 14 titles listed and only two SF/Fantasy! I’ll have to try that Japanese hair breakthrough, just as soon as I’ve beaten stress with a burger.

Tor is also doing a Goodreads Giveaway of nine copies of the book. You can enter here until June 17.

I have also added six new appearances to my Upcoming Appearances page just in the last week: the Locus Awards; a Reddit AMA; readings at Mysterious Galaxy in San Diego, Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island, and SF in SF in San Francisco; and a one-day workshop for Clarion West in Seattle.

Here’s my current list of upcoming appearances for the year:

And there might even be a few more! I just had to turn down an invitation to a library conference in Arkansas due to a conflict.

There are also three more cool things in progress which I cannot yet share with you, but I have seen early drafts of all of them in the past day and they just give me chills.

Arabella of Mars launches July 12! You can pre-order it now from Amazon, Powell’s, or the University Book Store.

Upcoming appearances

I’m at the airport again, heading for the Nebula Conference in Chicago, where I will learn whether or not “Damage” won the Nebula Award. I will also appear on programming:

  • Thursday May 12, 2:00-3:00 pm: Interfacing with Conventions in LaSalle 2 with Lynne Thomas, Dave McCarty, Michael Damian Thomas, and Michi Trota
  • Friday May 13, 8:00-9:30 pm: Mass Autographing in Red Lacquer Room. Free and open to the public. I will have ARCs of Arabella of Mars to give away!
  • Saturday May 14, 8:30-10:00 pm: Nebula Award Ceremony in Empire Room.
  • Saturday May 14, 10:00-11:00 pm: Nebula Alternate Universe Speeches in Empire Room.
  • Sunday May 15, 10:00-11:00 am: When Is It Time for a New Agent? in LaSalle 2 with Kameron Hurley.

As long as I am in Chicago, I will also be appearing at Book Expo America, signing ARCs of Arabella of Mars Friday May 13, 1:00-2:00 pm at autograph table 7.

This trip kicks off a busy, busy summer of travel and appearances. More items are still being added, but you can mark your calendars now for these:

Hope to see you at one or more of these!

Starred review for Arabella!

I had a colonoscopy yesterday. The prep was pretty miserable, but the procedure itself was nothing (literally — I slept through it). Four small polyps were found and removed. I’m awaiting lab results on those, but the doctor said they were of no concern whatsoever.

The other piece of good news I received when I got out of the recovery room was this: Publishers Weekly gave a starred review to Arabella of Mars!

Arabella, a human teenager born on Mars, is catapulted into adventure in a tale that cleverly combines some of the most intriguing elements of steampunk and classic science fiction. In an alternate 1812, Arabella’s mother moves her three daughters to Earth and away from the wild influences of the Martian colony. When the family gets news that Arabella’s father has died on Mars, the headstrong 17-year-old girl disguises herself as a boy and hires on with one of the great ships that sail the solar winds between the planets, planning to protect her brother, who’s still on Mars, from treachery. Along the way, she faces privateers and mutiny, but Arabella is resourceful and courageous, gamely enduring hardship to accomplish her mission. Arabella is a fully realized character, daring and willing to risk everything to protect the brother she loves and the legacy that her father has left them. Her wits and cleverness save the ship and crew more than once in this rousing swashbuckler.

I don’t know what percentage of books get a starred review, but it’s not very large — this was the only one for a Tor book this week.


Kate’s progress: April

Not a lot to report this month, which is good.

Kate just had another MRI and it continues stable, so we have cranked the steroids down another notch. She is now taking 2mg/1mg on alternate days, down from 8mg a day all last year. With luck we will eventually be able to get her off of the steroids and their nasty side effects completely. There is still some aphasia, and memory and cognitive issues, but they vary a lot depending on time of day, energy level, and who she’s talking to, so it’s hard to say whether they are improving or staying the same. I think there’s some improvement, but it’s slow.

Her strength and balance continue to improve; she is now getting around using only a cane, and hasn’t used the walker in over a month. She is now rated as an “independent community ambulator” by the physical therapist and has gone on a few walks by herself. Things are going well enough that she is now only seeing the PT every other week, and the naturopath every other month. As for me, I’m now on a “call me if you need to see me” schedule with my psychologist.

We haven’t had any travel in the last month, but we did see some live theatre (I particularly enjoyed “The Pianist of Willesden Lane” and the lumberjack circus “Timber!”). May will be a busy month, though: we are going to Chicago next week for the Nebula Awards weekend and Book Expo America, then to Madison two weeks after that for Wiscon, followed by a few days in Milwaukee with my dad.

Thanks to Melissa, Teresa, Joyce, Geri, Will, Patty & Sean, John, Shannon, Chip & John, Karen, Robin & Dave, Bo & Don, Marti, Sara, and everyone else who came by for a walk or a visit or shared a meal.