Right, after running myself a bit ragged at the Emerging Writers Festival last weekend, the sensible thing would be to rest and recharge for a bit before going onto the next thing.
But ‘sensible’ is a dirty word in The O’Duffy Dictionary, one of several significant errors that have made it almost impossible to sell the damned thing. And because of this I’m jumping back into word action like Batroc the Leaper going to a poetry slam.
First up, Continuum! I have my program details, so here’s where and when you can catch me being on a panel and sounding all clever and writerly despite the fact that I wear shoes with Batman symbols on them.
- 9pm Friday – I Don’t Get It: Why is it that some fans just don’t like what everyone else does? And who better to ask than me, a person who doesn’t like anything? But I don’t hate much either, so rather than just reciting all the things I don’t care about, like Star Wars and Harry Potter, the other panelists (Peter Ball, Alan Stewart, Ian Nichols and Deborah Biancotti) are hopefully also going to talk about fan tribalism, internet belligerence and how silly it is to ‘hate’ a piece of media.
- 9am Saturday – Everything Old is New Again: AH GOD I HATE THE DC COMICS REBOOT SO MUCH AND YES I AM AWARE OF THE IRONY THANK YOU VERY MUCH. I’ll be talking to Ian Mond and Grant Watson (one of whom apparently likes the New DC 52) about just much the DC Reboot has sucked, how reading Geoff Johns’ Justice League made me hate characters I’ve loved for decades and why female, gay and POC readers might think DC’s vaunted ‘diversity’ tastes like a bowl full of lies and dirty hair.
- 4pm Sunday – Readings: I’m doing a reading! From something! I have no idea what, though, since I don’t know if The Obituarist is what folks at a SF convention want to hear. Possibly a story from Godheads, or maybe even some of that first chapter of Raven’s Blood as a work-in-progress. Hmm. Anyway, I’m last in the 4-5pm slot after Louise Cusack, Danny Fahey and Jo Spurrier, so that should be super fun.
- 8pm Sunday – Build it and They Will Come: Talking about RPG setting design with Peter Ball, Hespa and Darren Sanderson. My tack is that game settings are settings, not worlds, and that they need to be constructed and run to revolve around the player characters, a stance that some will agree with and other won’t. Maybe a chair will be thrown! Or perhaps not.
- 11am Monday – Independent Publishing and Speculative Fiction: Pretty much what it says on the tin. Me and my fellow panelists (Jack Dann, Tor Roxburgh and Steven O’Connor) will talk about how Australian spec-fic is moving into ebooks and small/independent presses and what that might mean in the future for writers and readers. I imagine there’ll be less shouting than at the DC Reboot panel.
So that promises to be a pretty busy long weekend. Especially as we also have interstate visitors and at least two parties to go to. Fun! Anyway, if you’re coming to Continuum, feel free to say hi, sit in on a panel or pester me until I admit that alright, Scott Snyder’s Batman is pretty good BUT THAT DOESN’T CHANGE ANYTHING.
The other thing I’ll be doing this weekend? Writing, of course! Having just started my new novella, I’m going to immediately change gears and write a couple of short crime stories.
Why? Because last weekend I happened to discover The Crime Factory, a Melbourne-based publisher putting out both a regular journal and a number of anthologies of local and international crime fiction and criticism. I wandered past their table at the EWF’s Pages Parlour (a gathering of local small presses) for a chat and learned about what they’re up to. As a result, the guys asked me to submit a story for consideration in later projects and I’ve already got underway on a rather nasty piece or two. No promises or anything, but damn, it’s very nice to be asked to submit a story somewhere. Makes me feel like I’ve arrived.
More word on that if/when anything comes of it. And in the meantime, go check out the ludicrously cheap Crime Factory #10 and martial arts-themed Kung-Fu Factory (both just 99c on Amazon) and their anthology The First Shift as well. There’s some really good stuff in there; Kung-Fu Factory is worth it alone for the hilarious psychobilly piece ‘Crotch Rockets’ by Anthony Neil Smith.
Also, before I threw myself down the rabbit hole, I had a chance to talk to Jason Nahrung about crime, spec-fic and where things are going as part of the Australian Speculative Fiction Snapshot 2012 that he and a number of other bloggers and writers are making.
You can find our discussion here, where I try to come off like I know what I’m talking about and occasionally succeed. But don’t stop there – check out the other profiles on Jason’s blog and follow the links to read more on other blogs. It’s a really fascinating look at what’s happening in Australian speculative writing – where we’ve been and where we going – and I think Jason and his fellows deserve huge kudos for it, as does irascible author Ben Peek for starting the ball rolling a few years ago.
(And if you’re at Continuum, don’t miss the launch for Jason’s new novella Salvage at 7pm on Friday night!)
And if that’s not enough, I also plan to do a big analysis of The Obituarist‘s performance in May and go over the details in a weekend (well, Monday) blog post. There will be graphs.
SMELL THE EXCITEMENT.