My 2016 Worldcon Schedule

I’ll be attending Midamericon II (Worldcon) from August 18th through 21st. Here’s my current list of signings, panels, and award ceremonies I’ll be attending. I was originally scheduled to have a Literary Beer, but the time they assigned me didn’t work. I can’t say that they’ll be able to reschedule, so if you planned on going to that, please feel free to catch me after a panel, as I wander the con, or even at the Clarkesworld at Ten panel.

Editing and Crafting the Short Story

Thursday 16:00 – 17:00, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Any writer or editor can tell you that writing a short story and writing a novel require different skills in the writer’s wheelhouse. Writing on the small scale requires precision of detail from concept to completion. What do you need to know about openings, character development, narrative arcs, endings, and more that will make your short fiction pop? How does the process differ from putting the initial draft on paper to editing the text to better reflect the vision in your head? When do you know when that short story is finally ready to go?

Ellen Datlow, Alex Shvartsman, Ms. Lynne M. Thomas, Neil Clarke, Sheila Williams (M)

 

Chesley Awards Ceremony

Thursday 6:00 PM – 7:00 PM, 3501F (Kansas City Convention Center)

Ceremony held by the the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists to recognize individual artistic works and achievements.

Campbell & Sturgeon Awards

Thursday 7:00 PM – 8:50 PM, 2501D(Kansas City Convention Center)

Join us as we honor the winners of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best science fiction novel of the year and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award for the best science fiction short story of the year. These awards are unique in that they are selected by incredibly well read authors and scholars in the field. This process side-steps the politics of other award methods. Tonight we will announce the winners and honor their talent with a brief reception.

Autographing: Neil Clarke, Brenda Cooper, Rebecca Moesta, Martin Shoemaker, Rosemary Claire Smith

Friday 10:00 – 11:00, Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

Rebecca Moesta, Neil Clarke, Brenda Cooper, Martin L. Shoemaker, Ms Rosemary Claire Smith

 

Trends in Magazine Publishing

Friday 14:00 – 15:00, 3501D (Kansas City Convention Center)

A lot of things have changed for magazine publshing. What’s the beat way in, and how do we write for a genre that is moving across media?

MR. Donald Douglas Fratz (M), John Joseph Adams, Neil Clarke, Shahid Mahmud, Dr. Mary Anne Mohanraj, Jason Sanford

 

The State of Short Fiction

Friday 15:00 – 16:00, 3501B (Kansas City Convention Center)

More than just the magazines, short fiction is in a golden age, found in the magazine, online, in anthologies, and chapbooks.  The field’s editors come together to talk about what they are seeing, and debate whether there is a short fiction renaissance.

David Truesdale (M), Neil Clarke, Mr Jonathan Strahan, Sheila Williams, Gordon Van Gelder

 

Magazine Group Reading: Clarkesworld

Friday 17:00 – 18:00, 2504B (Kansas City Convention Center)

Our Magazine Group Reading Series continues with a special group reading that features authors from Clarkesworld Magazine.

Neil Clarke (M), Kelly Robson, Seth Dickinson, Martin L. Shoemaker, Naomi Kritzer, Mary Anne Mohanraj

The Place of Bookstores

Saturday 10:00 – 11:00, 2204 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Rather than failing, bookshops are allegedly on the rise, but is this the case for all kinds or just a special few? Current and former bookstore managers, owners and users discuss the realities of selling books in an online and e-book world.

Lauren Roy, Carrie Vaughn, Cynthia Ward, Neil Clarke (M), Michelle (Sagara) West

HUGO AWARDS REHEARSAL

Saturday 11:30 – 11:55, Grand Ballroom (Kansas City Convention Center)

Clarkesworld at Ten

Saturday 14:00 – 15:00, 3501F (Kansas City Convention Center)

Neil Clarke began publishing Clarkesworld Magazine in October 2006.  He, his staff, and some contributors look back on ten years.

Neil Clarke (M), Kate Baker

Submitting the Short Story

Saturday 15:00 – 16:00, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)

The big secret to getting a short story accepted is to write an amazing story. But are there simple things an author can do to make sure their story isn’t dismissed out of hand?  We’ll also look at some of the best techniques for finding the right market to submit your work and for tracking your submissions.

Sheila Williams, Catherine Krahe, Eric T. Reynolds (M), Betsy Dornbusch, Neil Clarke

Hugo Awards Ceremony

Saturday 18:00 – Whenever, Theater (Kansas City Convention Center)

The annual and most prestigious science fiction awards ceremony comes to Kansas City.

Readercon 2016

This Thursday through Sunday, I’ll be attending Readercon in Quincy, MA. Most of the time, I’ll be sitting at the Clarkesworld table in the dealer’s room, but on Sunday, I have a panel and a signing:

  • 11:00am – Autographing (with Paul Tremblay)
  • 1:00pm – Interstellar Empire in a Post-Scarcity World (panel with John Clute, Robert Killheffer, John O’Neil, Alex Shvartsman)

By the way, Clarkesworld was founded at Readercon ten years ago. We didn’t manage to get a celebratory group reading onto the schedule, but a number of our authors are scheduled for their own readings. Check them out!

Guest of Honor!

Capclave is one of my favorite science fiction conventions. It’s more literary in focus and has a special emphasis on the short form, which gives it something distinctive. It’s also home to the WSFA Small Press Award, which for nine years has recognized some of the best stories being published in the small press. (Full disclosure, Clarkesworld stories have been frequently nominated, but have never won.)

I had already made plans to attend this October, when Tim Powers and Sarah Beth Durst will be the Guests of Honor, but they’ve just made sure that I’ll be back again in 2017…

2017 Capclave Guests of Honor: Ken Liu and Neil Clarke

I’ve been a keynote speaker and participant at other conventions, but this will be my first Guest of Honor appearance. I am very pleased that it will be Capclave and with Ken. (By the way, that’s the big 10th anniversary year for the Small Press Award.) I’m going to be looking forward to this for a while.

A big thank you to WSFA and Capclave 2017 Chair Elizabeth Twitchell.

Nebula Award Weekend and Mass Signing

bulletin-208-250The Wednesday, I’ll be flying to Chicago for the 2016 Nebula Awards weekend. Copies of Clarkesworld #115 will be in some of the attendee book bags, the latest issue of The SFWA Bulletin (which I also edit) will be distributed, and early copies of The Best Science Fiction of the Year will be available (it won’t be in stores until June). If that wasn’t enough, I’ll be attending the Nebula Awards and cheering on our three nominees in the short story category:

bsfoty1If you weren’t planning on being there, but live in the Chicago, you might be interested in the mass signing that will happen on Friday. Just check out the list of participants!

 

I appear to have inspired a panel

A friend suggested I take a look at the program for Mancunicon (2016 Eastercon) and it appears as though I’m responsible for a panel:

Supporting the Short Stuff
Room 7, 1pm – 2pm
Val Nolan, Ruth EJ Booth, Matthew Hughes, Juliet Kemp, E.G. Cosh
In his editorial for the November 2015 issue of Clarkesworld, Neil Clarke warned that the current boom in SF short fiction may be coming to an end: new markets are appearing continuously, but very few have truly viable business models in the sense of being able to sustain themselves and pay their editors and contributors. At the same time, the growth in markets has been a key factor in the increasing diversity of SF short fiction. So is the current landscape healthy or not? Is it realistic to aspire to full sustainability for today’s magazines, or is limited crowdfunding enough (or even advantageous)? Is a crash coming, and if it is what should we do about it?

It’s a bit of a dramatic interpretation of my editorial, but hey, if it gets people talking about building a sustainable future for short fiction then I’m good with that. As I see it, we have two paths (more likely a combination of the two):

  1. The number of magazines self-corrects downward making the marketplace more sustainable
  2. We market better and bring more people into the community, giving the field a bit of a boost

I’ll add some counter-questions to their list:

  • Is it realistic to expect people to continue publishing when they lose money or go unpaid? Most people seem to agree that authors should be paid? Why is it such a stretch to think that editors/publishers also should be?
  • Why assume that loss of a few markets will decrease diversity? If anything, I’m fairly convinced that diversity leads to point #2 above. The field has to stop looking beyond what the traditional borders. We’re publishing globally and need to start thinking that way.
  • When you “save” a magazine via a campaign or some other initiative, have you corrected the problem or merely delayed the inevitable? Time does not solve a failing business and they seldom change.

In the end, I’m pulling for #2 and consider my editorial (and other things I’ve said on this subject) to be a warning flare. Something has to change.

My Boskone Schedule

I’m attending Boskone this weekend and here’s my schedule:

Small Presses & Magazines: Welcoming the Unexpected

Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Griffin (Westin)

Authors in the slipstream, weird, magical realism, or speculative literature categories can have a hard time finding the right home for their work. With stories that aren’t always a good fit for the larger genre markets, it’s still important to find quality publishers. Such homes exist in both the literary and SF/F/H publishing communities. This panel will take a “deep dive” into the world of small presses and magazines, presenting fantastic venues and discussing hard-learned lessons such as publishers that promised more than they could deliver. Whether you’re looking for good work a little off the beaten path or trying to find potential new markets for your writing, this panel is for you.

Julia Rios (M), Kate Baker, Neil Clarke Shahid Mahmud

Kaffeeklatsch 2: Neil Clarke

Friday 18:00 – 18:50, Harbor I-Kaffeeklatsch 2 (Westin)

How Story Works

Saturday 11:00 – 11:50, Marina 2 (Westin)

Pixar filmmaker Andrew Stanton claims in his TedX talk that “the fundamental promise of a story is that this tale will lead somewhere that is worth your time.” Is there more to story than a well-told promise? What is story? How is it constructed? What compels us to consume story in all its forms?

Darrell Schweitzer (M), Neil Clarke, Chris Irvin, Paul G. Tremblay, Gary K. Wolf

 

Autographing: Neil Clarke, E.C. Myers, Charles Stross, E. Lily Yu

Saturday 15:00 – 15:50, Galleria-Autographing (Westin)

The Economics of Magazine Publishing

Sunday 12:00 – 12:50, Marina 4 (Westin)

Many publish for love, others for prestige. Some even manage to turn a profit. From circulation to ad revenue, staff turnover, and content acquisition, what factors are critical to the sustainability of magazines and e-zines? What’s the cold hard truth on the bottom line of your balance sheet?

Julia Rios (M), Neil Clarke, Shahid Mahmud, Steve Davidson

Inside the Editing Process

Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Harbor III (Westin)

How does the editorial process work? Editors must deal with a variety of writers, each with his or her own style, preferences, and agenda — while keeping an eye on management, markets, and much more. How does the revision process proceed? What do editors really do?

John R. Douglas (M), Neil Clarke, Steve Davidson, Stacey Friedberg, Patrick Nielsen Hayden