Author Archive


PDX GEAR Con, Portland’s “Gaslight Explorers, Adventurers, & Romantics Convention,” begins tomorrow at the Crowne Plaza hotel in Portland, Oregon. I’ll be appearing on the following program items:

Steampunk Spaceflight, Friday 4PM, Cambridge
GEAR Con Staff, David D. Levine

A discussion among writers and fans. How does an early Industrial-Age civilization climb out of the gravity well? What are your favourite steampunk space vehicles from fiction & film? In more imaginative settings, what do you change about the universe to make spaceflight possible (or more interesting/dangerous/fun)?

The Babbage Question, Friday 6pm, Cambridge
David D. Levine, Rhiannon Louve, Phyllis Irene Radford, & Professor DR Schreiber

In a paper presented to the Royal Astronomical Society in 1822, Charles Babbage proposes building a mechanical “difference engine” to compute astronomical and mathematical tables. Although it was never built, the idea of a mechanical calculator in the early 19th Century provides an interesting field of speculation.

Radio Theater Hour, Saturday 1PM, Bellmont A-B
Katrina Acaster, Camille Alexa, Tina Connolly, M.K. Hobson, David D. Levine, & Phyllis Radford

Theatre of the Mind invites you to sit back, relax and let our stories take you far away. Enjoy two new short plays by local authors! “How Frederika Cassowary-Jones Joined the Ladies’ Society of Benevolent Goings-on” by Tina Connolly and “Industrially Yours” by Camille Alexa. Will be performed as old-time radio plays… just like granddad used to listen to while he was repairing the airship.

David D. Levine Reading and Q&A, Saturday 2pm, Cambridge

Hugo-winning SF writer David D. Levine reads from his alternate-history steampowered power-armor story “The Last Days of the Kelly Gang” and answers your questions.

The Authors En Masse Panel, Saturday 5pm, Bellmont A-B

Authors have so much to say, they have to write it all down. Come see what they’ll say when packed together in a room without their word processors! For Science!

It’s going to be an interesting week

The floor guys arrived this morning at 8am. Carpets have been taken up and the revealed floors look great!

We will be spending much of this week out of the house, at a B&B nearby, due to noise and fumes.

Also, I will be working on Grimm today and tomorrow. I am a stand-in this time, not an extra, which will be a new experience for me. I probably will not wind up on television this time, but I bet I will spend a lot more time on-set than I ever did as an extra.

On Friday, PDX GEAR Con, Portland’s steampunk convention, begins. I will be on a bunch of programming Friday and Saturday, and I’ll post my schedule as soon as it’s finalized.

Somewhere in there I will try to get in at least 500 words of writing a day. It will not be easy…

Leverage, Curiosity, Floor, Tome of Ideas

Sunday’s episode of Leverage, “The First Contact Job,” was the first episode of this series that Kate and I worked as extras, and we both actually appeared on screen! We played “members of the science media” in the press conference at the end of the show. Kate’s in several shots, and I appear briefly walking in front of Timothy Hutton.



It was a very long day of shooting, with a lot of waiting and quite a bit of confusion. (“Why are you standing there?” “The other guy told me to.” “Well, go somewhere else!”) But the episode was directed by Jonathan Frakes and features a lot of science fiction movie references (including a character called Will Riker). I’m very pleased to be in this one.

Immediately after watching Leverage on Sunday night (we watched it as it aired, of course) we headed down to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry to watch Curiosity land on Mars. We had hoped to rendezvous there with Jay Lake, but as we were somewhat late they told us the planetarium was full (even though Jay was saving us seats) and we had to watch from the auditorium next door. A standing-room-only crowd of 900-1000 people gasped and cheered as each milestone was successfully passed… it was an awesome geekly experience. The only thing that could have been improved was that the simulation OMSI showed on a second screen, using NASA’s “Eyes on the Solar System” app, was about four minutes ahead of reality, so we saw simulated Curiosity touch down well before the actual moment. On the other hand, once that happened we could give our full attention to the real telemetry data and not be distracted by the shinier simulation.

The other major news at home is that we have decided, rather suddenly, that it is time to pull up our over-20-year-old wall-to-wall carpet and have the hardwood floors beneath refinished. This is a bit of a gamble, as we don’t know what shape they’re in (the carpet was there when we moved in). The refinishers arrive on Monday.

In order to make this happen, we have to pull every stick of furniture out of the living room, dining room, and parlor (guest and TV room), which means that we are spending this week boxing up all the books, CDs, DVDs, and other stuff from those three rooms. We’ll be renting a container, and all that stuff will be in it (on the street in front of the house) for a week. Also during that week we will have to move to a hotel for a few days because of fumes. It’s a big hassle, but I’m sure we’ll like the result.

This is also an opportunity to reconsider and get rid of Stuff. We’ve reduced our collection of LPs by about one-third, we’re getting rid of all our VHS tapes, and I’ve sold off my LaserDisc player and collection of disks. And we plan to take our CDs out of the jewel boxes and place them in sleeves (probably these), reducing the storage space requirements substantially. (Though most of our music is online, getting rid of the CDs completely is not under consideration.) A few books and papers are going away as well.

We’re also going to lose the LP, cassette, VHS, and DVD players and replace the existing tuner and speakers with a Blu-Ray surround sound setup (any recommendations?). The entertainment center we were given by the previous owners of the house will be replaced by something more suited to the flat-screen era. We’re keeping the TV, for now — it’s only a few years old — though with the new entertainment center we’ll now have room for a bigger one.

Finally, may I direct your attention to the Tome of Ideas for Writers and Roleplayers Kickstarter campaign. If funded, this will be a color illustrated book of writing and story prompts from over twenty professional authors including Elizabeth Bear, Seanan McGuire, Kevin J. Anderson, and me! If you’d like to see this happen, go over there and kick in a few bucks.

Singularity U

So I’m at the airport heading to San Jose, where I will appear tonight as a speaker at Singularity University at NASA Ames (Moffett Field) in California. I’ll be participating in a panel discussion with Pat Murphy (in person) and David Brin, Greg Benford, and Greg Bear (via video conference), talking about the feedback loop between science and science fiction. Whee!

This all came together in the last couple of days when one of the scheduled speakers had to back out at the last minute. It’s a quick one-day visit crammed in between the SFWA reading in Portland and the SFWA reading in Seattle, and it’s really quite insane for me to be doing this, but Singularity U is paying for it and it’s such an honor to be invited that I couldn’t say no.

I will be heading home tomorrow afternoon (Wednesday 7/18), but there is a possibility I might be able to do lunch tomorrow with some Bay Area friends. Drop me an email if you’d like to get involved.

Again, whee!

SFWA Pacific Northwest Reading Series: Portland July 16, Seattle area July 19

This is just a quick reminder that SFWA’s Pacific Northwest Reading Series is having its next events in the coming week!

On Monday, in Portland, we’ll have New York Times best-selling author Daniel H. Wilson, along with Rhiannon Held, whose urban fantasy novel Silver just came out last month, and Isaac Marion, author of Warm Bodies. Wrigley-Cross Books will be on hand again selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Monday, July 16, 2012, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: McMenamins Kennedy School, 5736 N.E. 33rd Ave. Portland, OR 97211

On Thursday, in the Seattle area, we’ll have local favorite Louise Marley, along with Rhiannon Held and Isaac Marion. The University Bookstore will be selling books and all the authors will be available to sign.

When: Thursday, July 19, 2012, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
Where: Wild Rover Restaurant and Pub, 111 Central Way, Kirkland, WA 98033

Both events are free and open to the public.

I hope you can join us! It should be a lot of fun.

See for more information and to RSVP (not required, but encouraged).

Holy cow, I’ve sold over 50 stories!

As you can tell from yesterday’s big catch-up post, I managed to fall several months behind in updating my tracking spreadsheets and my web page. Now that I’m all caught up, I idly counted up the number of sales, and I was astonished to find that I passed 50 some time ago.

Here’s my list of sales, in approximately the order they were written:

1.  Nucleon Interzone, Year’s Best Fantasy 2, New Voices, Retro Spec, Bli-Panika (Hebrew)
2.  Babel Probe Darker Matter, Drabblecast (audio)
3.  Primates Asimov’s
4.  Fair Play Up for Grabs
5.  Rewind Writers of the Future 18
6.  Joy is the Serious Business of Heaven Realms of Fantasy
7.  Fear of Widths Land/Space, Infinity Plus, Infinity Plus Single
8.  A Passion for Art Interzone, StarShipSofa (audio)
9.  Wind from a Dying Star Bones of the World, Escape Pod (audio)
10.  The Last McDougal’s Asimov’s, Escape Pod (audio)
11.  The Tale of the Golden Eagle F&SF, Science Fiction: The Best of 2003, (audio), Bli-Panika (Hebrew), Nova Science Fiction (Swedish), F&SF Czech edition (Czech), Legendes (French, forthcoming)
12.  Zauberschrift Apprentice Fantastic, PodCastle (audio)
13.  A Book is a Journey Tales of the Unanticipated
14.  Written on the Wind Beyond the Last Star, Escape Pod (audio)
15.  Where is the Line Talebones
16.  Legacy Imagination Fully Dilated
17.  I Hold My Father’s Paws Albedo 1, Infinity Plus, Year’s Best SF 24, WRFR (audio)
18.  Tk’Tk’Tk Asimov’s, Escape Pod (audio), Asimov CF (Spanish), Nowy Fantastyka (Polish), Robot (Italian), Portii (Finnish), Bli-Panika (Hebrew), Ikarie (Czech), Helion (Romanian, forthcoming), 21st Century SF (forthcoming)
19.  Charlie the Purple Giraffe Was Acting Strangely Realms of Fantasy, Year’s Best Fantasy 5, Mammoth Book of Extreme Fantasy, Drabblecast (audio)
20.  The Ecology of Fairie Realms of Fantasy
21.  Sun Magic, Earth Magic Beneath Ceaseless Skies (text and audio)
22.  Brotherhood Haunted Holidays
23.  At the Twenty-Fifth Annual Meeting of Uncle Teco’s Homebrew Gravitics Club OryCon Program Book, Infinity Plus
24.  The True Story of Merganther’s Run (novelette) End of an Aeon
25.  The Curse of Beazoel All Hell Breaking Loose
26.  Circle of Compassion Gateways
27.  Love in the Balance All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Gears and Levers
28.  Moonlight on the Carpet Aeon
29.  Falling Off the Unicorn Space Magic
30.  Titanium Mike Saves the Day F&SF, Nebula Awards Showcase 2009, StarShipSofa (audio), The Tenth Dimension (Hebrew), Fiction (French), F&SF Czech edition (Czech)
31.  Second Chance (novella) Alembical
32.  A Little Song, A Little Dance Breaking Waves
33.  Firewall Transhuman, SF King (Chinese, unauthorized), Digital Rapture (forthcoming)
34.  Midnight at the Center Court Witch Way to the Mall
35.  Aggro Radius Gamer Fantastic
36.  Trust Daily Science Fiction
37.  The Tides of the Heart Realms of Fantasy, Heiresses of Russ 2012 (forthcoming)
38.  Meet the Stars: Launch Pad 2008 (non-fiction)
39.  Galactic Stress Diamonds in the Sky
40.  Overnight Moon Strip Mauled
41.  Teaching the Pig to Sing Analog
42.  Family Matters Fangs for the Mammaries
43.  Pupa (novelette) Analog, Into The New Millennium, StarShipSofa (audio, forthcoming), Science Fiction World (Chinese, forthcoming)
44.  Finding Joan Daily Science Fiction
45.  Powers (novelette) Wild Cards I, Wild Cards: L’origine (Italian)
46.  How the Future Predicts Science Fiction (non-fiction) IROSF
47.  horrorhouse DayBreak
48.  The White Raven’s Feather Daily Science Fiction
49.  Letter to the Editor Mad Scientists (forthcoming)
50.  Citizen-Astronaut (novelette) Analog
51.  Into the Nth Dimension Human for a Day
52.  The Last Days of the Kelly Gang Armored, Journey Into (audio, forthcoming)
53.  Liaisons Galantes: A Scientific Romance (novelette) Beneath Ceaseless Skies (forthcoming)
54.  Cry Wolf (novelette) Lowball (forthcoming)
55.  The Wreck of the Mars Adventure (novelette) Old Mars (forthcoming)

Now, not all of these are “stories” (some are non-fiction, some are flash) and not all of them sold to SFWA-qualified paying markets, but they are all SF, Fantasy, or related works, and I did get paid — or at least promised — something for each one, so I’m pretty sure that somewhere in there I’ve sold at least 50 SF and Fantasy stories. But I’m not going to try to declare which one was the 50th.

Still, ::confetti::

Now back to work on that novel…

Extremely belated writing update

I was behind in reporting my writing news even before the trip to Europe, and I got still further behind during that trip, so here’s a massive update.

I have two new sales to report:

  • Science Fantasy novelette “The Wreck of the Mars Adventure,” to anthology Old Mars, edited by Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin, forthcoming from Random House.

  • Fantasy novelette “Liaisons Galantes: A Scientific Romance,” to webzine Beneath Ceaseless Skies, edited by Scott H. Andrews, forthcoming Fall 2012.

(and what is is with me and italicized phrases in titles?)

I also have a bunch of reprint sales:

  • “The Last Days of the Kelly Gang,” from Armored, to podcast Journey Into, edited by Marshal Latham.

  • “The Tides of the Heart,” from Realms of Fantasy, to anthology Heiresses of Russ, edited by Sacchi Green and Steve Berman, forthcoming September 2012 from Lethe Press.

  • “Firewall,” from Transhuman, to anthology Digital Rapture, edited by James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, forthcoming August 2012 from Tachyon Publications.

  • Hugo-winner “Tk’Tk’Tk,” from Asimov’s, to anthology 21st Century SF, edited by David G. Hartwell and Patrick Nielsen Hayden, forthcoming in 2012 from Tor.

And several of my older stories are now available for Kindle:

I was also interviewed on the SF Signal podcast.

I think that’s everything. Whew!

Wiscon ho!

So, now that we’ve been back from Europe for nearly three whole days, it’s time to get on an airplane again: we’ll be leaving tomorrow for Wiscon. Yes, this is rather insane, but it’s one of my favorite conventions and also a chance to visit my father in Milwaukee.

I’ll be appearing on the following programming items:

Fri 9:00 – 10:15PM, Senate A: Coming Out as Queer, Coming Out as a Geek
David D. Levine, Rachel Kronick, Sara Linde, Roxanne Samer
Let’s look at some of the parallels between coming out as GLBT* and coming out as a geek. Some of us have come out both as geeks and as GLBT* people. How have we used our experiences in coming out one way to help our coming out the other way?

Sat 4:00 – 5:15PM, Senate B: Short Stories vs. Novels
David D. Levine, Benjamin Billman, Richard Chwedyk, Gwynne Garfinkle, Carolyn Ives Gilman, Victoria Janssen
Some writers claim they can only write short, others insist they can only go with longer works. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each form? Should you force yourself to try the length that doesn’t seem natural for you? What benefits are there to those who can successfully write both types of story? At one time, authors were told they needed three short story sales (of the pro variety) before they should try to sell a novel. Is this true? If short isn’t your form of choice, are you just screwed?

Sun 10:00 – 11:15AM, room 623: Writing the Singularity
David D. Levine, Ruthanna Emrys, James Frenkel, Lettie Prell, Talks-with-wind
How do we write stories about life when people are no longer human? What would your characters be like? What would their conflicts be? What would their needs (if any) be? Can you write an agglomerated personality? What about a personality that had never been a biological human? Writers already have difficulty keeping up with current technologies (cell phones, for example). Will writing become even harder as technological advances continue accelerating?

Sun 2:30 – 3:45PM, room 634: Theater Improv
David D. Levine, Emily Jones, Benjamin Rosenbaum, Elizabeth Stone, Elena Tabachnick
Fascinated by theater improv? Come learn and play! Beginners will learn basic improv skills; those with experience already know how much fun it is.

Mon 10:00 – 11:15AM, Conference 5: Newly Professional Older Writers: What Helps, What Hinders
Ada Milenkovic Brown, Wendy Bradley, David D. Levine, Catherine M. Schaff-Stump
Newly professional older writers face special challenges. You need to go to cons and workshops to move forward, but it can be emotionally draining to be constantly reminded that the other people your age are the wise women of the forest and the grand viziers, while you’re still the assistant pig keeper trying to figure out how to reforge the broken sword. Your peers, the young newly professional writers, can jump higher, work faster, stay up later, and drink harder than you can. And they can actually hear the conversations in the crowded bar rooms where most writer networking takes place. Let’s discuss what helps and hinders older new writers, and create a space for older new writers at WisCon to connect with each other.

Mon 11:30AM – 12:45PM, Capitol/Wisconsin: The SignOut
Come and sign your works, come and get things signed, come and hang out and wind down before you leave.