Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Getting Caught Up with Things

Folks have asked for an update on the second novel. I'm so bad about posting, I should be punished. Here's some recent and upcoming items:

Writer Con in the Banana Belt
Next month I'm going to be an instructor at Kachemak Bay Writers Conference in sunny Homer, Alaska. It's a great extended weekend of workshops, readings, and panels in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. And during summer solstice! I'm going to give a workshop about the wonders of science fiction and another on how to plot the popular short story. In other words, I'm going to get my genre on.

Philoctetes vs the Alien
Last month I was invited to join a roundtable discussion on Extraterrestrial Life at the Philoctetes Center in NYC. The Philoctetes Center is an organization dedicated to the multi-disciplinary exploration of human imagination. In other words, they get scientists, artists, and experts of all sorts together around a table and let them talk about interesting stuff. You can watch a streaming video of the hour-and-a-half discussion. I, myself, don't hold forth till about an hour into it.

Novel #2 Update
I took advantage of my trip to NYC to visit my editor at Tor, David Hartwell. I had finished the first draft of Mind Over Oship in January, but since then I've changed the book a lot, and I'm happy with the direction I'm taking. For those of you who read Counting Heads, I guess I can tell you that MOO picks up right where CH leaves off. Originally I followed the same three threads, but in the second draft I've cut out pretty much the whole Kodiak thread. Bogdan and crew were just taking up too much space to tell their story. It'll have to be a separate book someday. So, now I'm following the Starke thread, with Meewee and the Oships, and the Mary and Fred thread. M and F, in fact, get about half of the book.

The book was originally due to Tor by mid-September 2007, but I couldn't see how it would be finished and polished by then, and after I gave Hartwell my progress report, I asked if I could have another six months. He agreed, and so I intend to have it in by next March. That means I should be polishing it all winter. Sorry to make everyone wait to see what happens, but these things take time. At least they take me time.

The photo above shows a building under construction wrapping near the Tor offices. Rather SFnal.

Launching my story collection

This week I launch my debut short story collection, Getting to Know You. I'll be at the Fairbanks Barnes & Noble on Friday, May 11, 7-9 pm and then on Thursday May 17, I'll be at the Fairbanks Gulliver's Bookstore from 6-8 pm.

The only story I seem to have of just the right length for a public reading is "Yurek Rutz, Yurek Rutz, Yurek Rutz." But I've read that one a number of times locally and won't subject the public to it again. Instead, I think I'll give a sampler of openings. I'll read the first seven minutes of three separate stories.

Hope to see you there.