Aug. 23rd, 2016 08:18 am
marthawells: (SGA Team)
I got back from WorldCon yesterday, and I am dead tired. I don't know that I'll get much done today.

The convention was really big and I enjoyed a lot of it. Especially the writers workshop session I did, and the Queer Star Wars panel on Friday, and my reading. Also really enjoyed the Build a World game show on Friday night. The time and room got moved, so we lost some of our audience, but it was still a lot of fun, and I got to direct some audience members in an interpretive dance to explain the world we created. And the last panel I did, the Urban Fantasy in Transition panel was great.

The exhibit hall was really well done this year, and was full of displays and programming. There was even a big craft area with supplies and classes that were taught there. There was a fake river partitioning off the dealers room, with a twenty foot tall glittery volcano, and when the room closed, the volcano "erupted" and the river turned into lava. (Plastic lava) It was really cool. And we went to some of the bid parties Friday night and swore allegiance to China and San Juan. Also Ireland, I think, but I didn't get a ribbon there.

And the Hugo Award results, and the speeches, were fabulous.

The Verge:

And from the Guardian:

I'm so happy and so relieved the Hugo voters came together to drive off the rabid puppies again. By the organization's charter, it takes two years to change the award rules, and the new rules that were proposed at last year's WorldCon were voted in by the membership this year, so that should be the last time for slate voting by this gang of racist and misogynist assholes.

But it's still incredibly sad to look at the nomination stats, and see the novels and stories and best related work non-fiction that was driven off the list by this bunch of fuckwads. The list of nominees bumped by the puppies slate is at the end of the stats PDF: (Two of the short story nominees would have been "Hungry Daughters of Starving Mothers" by Alyssa Wong and "Wooden Feathers" by Ursula Vernon.)
marthawells: (Reading)
First, our historical fantasy storybundle ends in two days, so last call for a great collection of books.


WorldCon schedule


Workshop 1:00 to 3:00

Reading 6:30 pm 2202 (Readings) (Kansas City Convention Center)
(I'm going to read from The Harbors of the Sun)


Queer Star Wars 11:00 to 12:00 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)
In a galaxy far, far away Juhani, a lesbian character, appeared in 2004 in Knights of the Old Republic. It wasn't until 2013 that we saw a same-sex kiss and numerous bisexual characters appear. Other than that however Star Wars has been decidedly backwards about coming forwards. With JJ Abrams saying there will be at least one gay character in the upcoming movies, and many fans hoping for that to be Poe, we take a look at why it has taken so long to happen and how we expect the public to react, not only in the US and Europe but also China and Russia.
Dr. Amy H. Sturgis, Martha Wells, Dr. Mary A. Turzillo Ph.D., Vivian Trask, Matt Jacobson

Changing the Medium 2:00 to 3:00 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)
A look at what is involved when adapting a property from its original medium to another. How does a movie become a game or a book turn into a television show? What artistic licenses must be taken and how do you remain true to the spirit of the original?
Monica Valentinelli, Gary Kloster, Christopher Kastensmidt, Martha Wells, William Dietz

Autographing 5:00 to 6:00 Autographing Space (Kansas City Convention Center)

The Build a World Game Show 9:00 to 10:00 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)
The Build-a-World Game Show is a live action worldbuilding game designed and run by Monica Valentinelli. Two teams of panelists compete to build a fantastic world in under an hour for fun and prizes. The Build-a-World Game Show incorporates audience participation, takes place in three rounds, and results in a fan-voted winner!
Monica Valentinelli, Catherine Lundoff, David McDonald, Tex Thompson, Martha Wells


Kaffeeklatsch 10:00 am 2211 (KKs) (Kansas City Convention Center)

How Much Do You Worry About Your Own Cannon? 4:00 to 5:00 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)
It seems sometimes that readers are more concerned about maintaining a series' internal consistency than the author is. Authors, you know why things have been changed. When writing a series, how important is it to you to maintain full consistency in what is canon for the story and how do you decide to throw something out for the importance of the narrative?
Mike Resnik, Don Sakers, Diana Rowland, Mike Shepherd Moscoe, Martha Wells


Urban Fantasy in Transition 1:00 to 2:00 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)
Urban fantasy has a long history within fantasy literature, but it's certainly gained new prominence recently. The panels examines how this definition has changed over time, what influences have helped to shape urban fantasy, and it's origins and potential evolution as a literary genre.
Lee Harris, Arthur Chu, Katherine Wynter, Martha Wells


Jul. 27th, 2016 07:35 am
marthawells: (The Serpent Sea)
For people who were asking, The Edge of Worlds will have a paperback edition out in April. (You can preorder it now.) The Harbors of the Sun is turned in and may be scheduled for July, but I'm hoping it moves up a little.

Thanks to everyone who's left comments or ratings on Amazon, B&N, GoodReads, LibraryThing, etc. It really does help. Also, remember you can request that your local library buy it for their collection. (And they may already have it in ebook if they have ebook lending services.)

I'll be at ArmadilloCon in Austin this weekend, and here's my schedule:

Sat 1100DR Autographing
Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Dealers' Room

Sa1300A Career Management for SFF Writers
Sat 1:00 PM-2:00 PM Southpark A
Cheney, Chu, Eudaly, Landon*, McKay, Wells

Sa1500CC Reading
Sat 3:00 PM-3:30 PM Conference Center
Martha Wells
(I'll probably read something from The Harbors of the Sun)

Sa1600A Gender Roles in Fantasy
Sat 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Southpark A
Clarke, Fischer, Moyer, Muenzler*, Wells
From fairy tales, to Tolkien, to today's urban fantasy and dark fantasy, how are authors experimenting (or not experimenting) with gender and gender roles?


Link: How Creating Inclusive Sci-Fi/Fantasy Sparked a Culture War by Lynne M. Thomas

Both Chicks Dig Time Lords and “Dinosaur” are routinely attacked on the Internet by certain people (a parody of “Dinosaur” made it onto this year’s Hugo Award ballot due to a slate and as part of a campaign of ongoing harassment directed at its writer). These works are derided by people who believe inclusive SF/F is bad for the genre, or just plain bad. These works were pointed to as the reasons for creating certain Hugo Award slates over the last few years. A well-known alt-right website weirdly implied that Tor Books was responsible for the Hugo nominations for those two works since they were so bad. (I’ve never worked for Tor.) There have been dozens of articles written about my work and what is wrong with it; most of them don’t mention my name.


Jun. 13th, 2016 08:49 am
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
Well, yesterday was a terrible day. Here's a good info post on the Orlando shooting, and it also includes ways to help and donate.


Catherine Lundoff has reposted her series on LGBT SF and F through the years: Before 1970, In the 70s, In the 80s, In the 90s, 2000-2010 Part 1, and 2000-2010 Part 2


Saturday I spent the day at a friend's house on an ongoing project to sort and unpack and declutter, and again we made huge progress. Sunday I worked on the novella I'm writing.

Later this week is Comicpalooza in Houston, on June 17-19, which is one of my favorite new cons. It's a comiccon, with actors and media guests, and a huge dealer's room and artist's alley plus a small makerfaire, but it also has a full schedule of literary and writing panels (like 50 of them) and a large number of writer guests.

My panel schedule:

- Friday 11:30 to 12:30 Outlandish Others: How Genre Fiction Employs Androids, Elves, and other non-human Races
Carrie Patel, Tex Thompson, Donna Grant, Martha Wells

- Friday 2:30 to 3:30 Young Adult Fantasy
Joy Preble, J.L. Clark, Katherine Catmull, Angela Holder, Martha Wells

- Saturday 11:00 to 12:00 Plotting and Pacing a Short Story
Ken Liu, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, C. Stuart Hardwick, Martha Wells

- NEW: Saturday 1:00 to 2:00 Signing at the Barnes and Noble Booth in the Dealers Room
Last year it was in the artists alley, next to the celeb signing area. Hopefully they'll have copes of The Edge of Worlds
marthawells: (Jack and Teal'c)
Still not doing much besides working, but here's some things I liked recently:

* The Salt Roads by Nalo Hopkinson
This is an incredible book and it's available again in a variety of ebook formats.

* Young Justice: I hadn't seen this when it first came out, but seasons 1 and 2 are on Netflix now. It's an animated show about the younger DC characters forming their own team to support the Justice League. The writing, the characterization, the plot is all fabulous. It takes full advantage of the universe, and I can't believe how much story they pack into 22 minute episodes.

* The new Doctor Who comics by Titan. There are separate comics for Ten, Eleven, and Twelve, and they're all so good. It's everything I want from Doctor Who but with no budget restrictions. And I love the new companions. Ten's companion is Gabi Gonzalez from New York, a Mexican-American girl who wants to go to art school, and Eleven's is Alice Obiefune, a librarian from London.


Plus I'll be going to Comicpalooza in Houston, on June 17-19, which is one of my favorite new cons. It's a comiccon, with actors and media guests, and a huge dealer's room and artist's alley plus a small makerfaire, but it also has a full schedule of literary and writing panels (like 50 of them) and a large number of writer guests.

My panel schedule:

- Friday 11:30 to 12:30 Outlandish Others: How Genre Fiction Employs Androids, Elves, and other non-human Races
Carrie Patel, Tex Thompson, Donna Grant, Martha Wells

- Friday 2:30 to 3:30 Young Adult Fantasy
Joy Preble, J.L. Clark, Katherine Catmull, Angela Holder, Martha Wells

- Saturday 11:00 to 12:00 Plotting and Pacing a Short Story
Ken Liu, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, C. Stuart Hardwick, Martha Wells
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
If you're on Twitter or Tumblr or Facebook, you may have seen yesterday that I finished the first draft of The Harbors of the Sun. It needs a lot of revision, and the first and second chapters may switch places, but the principal photography is done, basically. It's the fifth Raksura novel, and the seventh book, counting the two novella collections. I'd take some time off, but I don't actually have time to take some time off.

Also, yesterday I posted the 14th Raksura story for the Patreon, where Malachite meets the Sky Copper clutch:


Coming up on June 17-19, I'll be at Comicpalooza in Houston. It's a comiccon, with actors and media guests, and a huge dealer's room and artist's alley plus a small makerfaire, but it also has a full schedule of literary and writing panels (like 50 of them) and a large number of writer guests.

I'll be on:

- Friday 11:30 to 12:30 Outlandish Others: How Genre Fiction Employs Androids, Elves, and other non-human Races
Carrie Patel, Tex Thompson, Donna Grant, Martha Wells

- Friday 2:30 to 3:30 Young Adult Fantasy
Joy Preble, J.L. Clark, Katherine Catmull, Angela Holder, Martha Wells

- Saturday 11:00 to 12:00 Plotting and Pacing a Short Story
Ken Liu, Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, C. Stuart Hardwick, Martha Wells


Con or Bust

Today is the first day of the Con or Bust Fundraising Auction to help people of color/non-white people attend SF/F conventions. There are tons of great items to bid on, like signed books, art, jewelry, flash fiction, and critiques.

My items are here. (A signed set of the two Stories of the Raksura books, a signed copy of The Edge of Worlds, and an audiobook CD set of Wheel of the Infinite.
marthawells: (Jack and Teal'c)
I'm sorry I haven't been posting here more often, but I've been working on the last couple chapters of The Harbors of the Sun, plus the Patreon, plus promo stuff for The Edge of Worlds, plus the usual house stuff, plus feeling kind of crappy. Hopefully I can catch up on answering comments and questions soon.

In the meantime, I have a post at on Five Books about Unusual Methods of Travel:

And I'll put my con schedule below. I wish I could afford more than one out of state con, but except for WorldCon (which is fortunately a cheap flight) right now I only have money to get to places I can drive to.

(Unless writers are guests of honor, we don't get paid for or reimbursed for hotel or travel or food during cons, no matter how much programming we do. Usually we do get a free membership to the con, but that's about it. (And for WorldCon and World Fantasy, we have to buy our own memberships, though WorldCon is generally able to reimburse participant memberships a few months after the convention.))

June 16-19, 2016. Comicpalooza in Houston, TX.

July 29-31, 2016. ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX.

August 17-21, 2016. 74th WorldCon - MidAmeriCon II in Kansas City, MO.


Feb. 3rd, 2016 08:02 am
marthawells: (Jack and Teal'c)
I'll be at ConDFW in Dallas, Texas, on February 12-14. This is a great con, and this year the guests of honor are Seanan McGuire and John Scalzi.

Here's my schedule:


READING (ADAMS) Friday, 6pm: Tex Thompson, Martha Wells
(I'll be reading from The Edge of Worlds)


PROGRAMMING 2 (MADISON) Saturday, 12pm:
Creating your Fantasy Hero
Panelists: Marshall Ryan Maresca (M), C. Dean Andersson, Tracy S. Morris, Martha Wells, Bradley H. Sinor, J. Kathleen Cheney
There are many stereotypes of hero out there in Epic Fantasy. The brawny barbarian, the wise wizard, the crafty thief and the pious cleric are all choices. Which hero fits your world that you have built? Or do you want to go counter ‐ trope and build something against the norm? We’ve put together the brains of our fantasy authors and they will give you ideas on how to build the perfect hero for your world.

AUTOGRAPHS (THE GALLERY) Saturday, 1pm: Martha Wells, Stina Leicht, K. B. Bogen

PROGRAMMING 2 (MADISON) Saturday, 4pm:
Broke Down and Out of Gas... in Space
Panelists: Tex Thompson (M), Paul Abell, Martha Wells, KM Tolan, Chris Donahue, T.M. Hunter
Because even Furiosa occasionally gets a flat. Let's talk about all the fun you can have when spaceships break and flux capacitors blow – and how our favorite characters MacGyver their way back into action!


The Wand of Deus Ex Machina
Panelists: Kristi Hutson (M), Seanan McGuire, Michael Ashleigh Finn, Paul Black, Bradley H. Sinor, Martha Wells
Every hero has their emergency bag, or their special revolver, or their hellfire staff, or their wand. It’s as much of a signature as the clothes they wear, or the car they drive. Our writers talk about equipping their heroes, and why you shouldn’t skimp on describing them
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
I don't think I emphasized enough how bad the smoke from the forest fires was on Friday. My friend and I went out to get sandwiches, then had to go to the RiteAid and the streets were almost empty and the sky was brown. Lisa said, "Where's the sun?" and I said, "The sun's gone, Lisa! Get used to it! This is the end!" Fortunately the masquerade was a great mood-lifter.

After the panel on Saturday, I did my Koffe Klatsh, then we did another turn around the dealer's room. We went out to eat and found a Japanese restaurant that turned out to be both cheap and really good. (They had tatami mat rooms and everything.) Then we went back to the room and watched the Hugos on livestream. The beginning where Tananarive Due cosplayed Uhura fighting Death (the giant one from the Terry Pratchett exhibit) for the Hugos was the absolute best. David Gerrold cosplayed three of the Doctors and the bit with the Dalek was also great. We basically cheered a lot throughout the night and probably scared the neighbors.

Sunday Lisa went to spend the day with family in town, and I went back to the con and wandered around a little and caught the end of Ann Leckie's reading. Then I did a panel on Young Adults in Adult Fiction with Steven Gould, Nichole Giles, Shannon Page, and Fran Wilde. Then I went out to a very late lunch with a group, then wandered back to the hotel. It was late in the afternoon by that point, and I was worn out, so I just hung around the room and watched Acorn TV on the iPad. (I know, the excitement, the glamour.)

I also started to see tweets from people who were leaving, and having plane delays due to the smoke. In the morning Lisa had a much earlier flight than me, but I got a ride with her and her brother to the airport. My plane took off on time and everything seemed fine, but apparently there were problems in Seattle. I got to Salt Lake City, changed planes, and then to Houston, losing hours along the way, then had to drive home about an hour and a half.

WorldCon Photos on tumblr: and

Question Time

I noticed I have some new people following me, so hello, new people! Information on my books is here: and I have written fantasy (both not very traditional and very untraditional), YA fantasy, media tie ins (Stargate: Atlantis and Star Wars) plus short stories and non-fiction articles.

If you're interested in my books and want to know where to start, you can ask me here, and it'll help if you tell me what kind of fantasy you like.

If you have a question about publishing in general, or the Raksura books, or the Ile-Rien books, or the media tie-ins, etc, etc, you can ask that here too.
marthawells: (Miko)
I got to the con on Wednesday (drove to Houston on Tuesday, stayed overnight with friends, got up at 5:00 am to get to the airport, flew to Salt Lake City, then on to Spokane) and then Cassandra Clarke and I got a ride with a guy who was a taxi driver but did not have a taxi, and I checked into the lavish but impractical Davenport Grand. Then I went over and got registered at the con, then met up with a group and had dinner at a sushi place. As we were going there, we got our first real look at the smoke from the terrible forest fires in the state. It just filled the air and turned the sky brown, and the sun was a little red dot. (Some people attending the con ended up in the hospital with respiratory problems.)

Main con area, opening to dealer's room, art show, and exhibits.

View with no smoke

View with smoke (this wasn't nearly as bad as it was later)

After dinner I just went back to the room and collapsed. I had two roommates, my friend Lisa who had flown in from CA to go to the con, and awesome writer Tex Thompson.

The con started officially on Wednesday, and just felt huge, with tons of people everywhere and lots of fun costumes. Thursday I had a Doctor Who panel with Jim Mann, Warren Frey, Steven Schapansky, and Charlie Reeves, on overrated and underrated favorite episodes and it was a lot and a good way to start the con for me. (It had already started for a lot of other people.)

Then Lisa and I went to the DC in 2017 barbecue in the park, which had free grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, vegetable skewers, cole slaw and cold macaroni salad, and drinks. It inspired us to look for free food for the rest of the con. Japan in 2017 was also generous with the snacks and candy.

Then I had the writers workshop session for the rest of the afternoon, which went really well, and we had three great stories to critique, and I think we all had a good time. Then Lisa and I met up with Sharon Shinn and went to dinner and Lisa ordered a giant huckleberry daquiri.

Friday I did an autographing in the morning and signed way more books than I was expecting to, then we went to Sharon Shinn's reading, and then hung out and talked to friends in the main con area, and then I had a reading. It was a full room of about 23-25 people, and I read the first chapter of the second book in the new Raksura duology (the one after The Edge of Worlds). It seemed to go really well and I enjoyed it, so I hope everyone else did.

Then we went to Brad Foster's art presentation, and then did the art show. Lisa and I had an early dinner so we could get back in time for the masquerade, which was fabulous. I think the venue made them do assigned seating, so you had to pick up tickets for your party from the volunteers near the doors, but the upshot of that was Lisa and I got better seats than we ever had before. We were in the upper part of the auditorium, dead center, with a fabulous view of the stage. (Having it in a real theater rather than a ballroom with a precariously constructed stage setup made it better too.) There were so many great costumes, including a giant animated snowball person with giant arms, a full size Groot, and more others than I can remember. And the MC was dressed in a formal Centauri outfit, and he rocked it.

The Saturday morning Worldbuilding panel was From Middle Earth to Westeros: Fantasy Worldbuilding with me, Matthew Johnson, Mary Soon Lee, Michael Swanwick, and Pat Cadigan. It turned out to be in the large ballroom that was already set up to film the Hugo Pre-Show, so we were up on a huge stage, with cameras filming us to show on the big screen hanging to the left, and giant stage lights shining on us. (I was the moderator and had to ask them to turn the light down a bit so we could see the audience for questions.) There was a big audience and we got some good questions. I recommended Karen Lord, N.K. Jemisin, Judith Tarr, Kate Elliott, and Aliette de Bodard for various aspects of awesome worldbuilding. (I did more but I lost my notes.)

We got a question that was basically how to avoid writing Tolkien-derivative work when there's so much if it out there, and the answer is to broaden your reading, in both fiction and non-fiction. There's a ton of non-derivative work (both classics and older SF/F and brand new SFF) and it's not hard to find. Mary Soon Lee recommended The Tale of the Genji as a good foundation classic to read. (I have a short presentation on "what is SF/F" I've done where I start with The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter because of the Moon People, just to show how far back SF elements appear in fiction, but I forgot to mention that because brain failure.)

The House of Shattered Wings by Aliette de Bodard got a shout-out in particular by everybody as well as her shorter fiction, and audience members came up afterward to check the spelling of her name so they could get the book.

I'm going to stop here and call this part I, since it's gotten pretty long.

ETA: WorldCon Photos on tumblr: and


Aug. 10th, 2015 08:05 am
marthawells: (Default)
I haven't been doing much but working on the sequel to The Edge of Worlds (there's a section for it now on my site, though there isn't much there yet).

The cover art is done and I've seen the versions with the titles, so I'm hoping to be able to show that to people soon.

This weekend we babysat a friend's dog while she was out of town, and the dog (Lola) ended up having an upset stomach on Friday and Saturday, probably from nerves at being in a strange house. She was better by Saturday night and fine on Sunday. So that was pretty much it for the weekend: working, sitting with sick but very sweet dog, and watching the Ocean's 11 movies.

I am going to be at WorldCon, and will be reading from the new Raksura book The Edge of Worlds. My schedule is here.

Here's a question from the web site:

Wes asked: Is there a possibility of getting "The Edge Of Worlds" as an audio book? If so can you give a general ETA?

Yes, there is a possibility but it depends on whether Audible makes the decision to acquire the audio rights, which depends on how well the previous audio books in the series sell. If they do decide to make it an audio book, hopefully it will come out at the same time as the print and ebook. Hopefully we'll also get the same narrator, Christopher Kipiniak.
marthawells: (Manly Hug)
WorldCon Schedule: WorldCon is in Spokane, WA this year. (It was in London last year.) The program is searchable online, and I think the sign-ups for the Kaffee Klatches are online this year too.

You Like That on Doctor Who? But How Could You Not Like This?
Thursday 13:00 - 13:45, 300C (CC)
Think "The Rings of Akhaten" is better than it gets credit for? Or that "The Caves of Androzoni" is overrated? What episodes of Doctor Who do you like that few others do and why? Which always rank near the top of fan polls but you just don't like? And which are nearly forgotten (and should be)?
Jim Mann (M), Warren Frey, Steven Schapansky, Martha Wells, Charlie Reeves

Writers Workshop section
Thursday 16:00 - 19:00,
All workshop sections are closed to non-participants.

Autographing - Kendare Blake, Randy Henderson, Jason Hough, Lee Moyer, Robert J. Sawyer, Martha Wells
Friday 11:00 - 11:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

Reading - Martha Wells
Friday 14:00 - 14:30, 304 (CC)
Martha Wells

From Middle Earth to Westeros: Fantasy Worldbuilding
Saturday 10:00 - 10:45, Integra Telecom Ballroom 100B (CC)
Building a believable world, with believable geography, culture, and rules, is at least as important in fantasy as it is in SF. The panel looks at how to create fantasy worlds, citing examples of the good (and maybe the not so good).
Martha Wells (M), Matthew Johnson, Mary Soon Lee, Michael Swanwick, Pat Cadigan

Kaffee Klatche - Martha Wells
Saturday 13:00 - 13:45, 202B-KK4 (CC)
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Coffee and snacks available for sale on the 2nd floor.
 Requires advance sign-up.


ArmadilloCon in Austin was a lot of fun this year. It's a small con, with maybe 500-600 people, focused on books and art, but with a lot of authors. Everything seemed to go pretty smoothly, and the all day writers workshop on Friday, run by Marshall Ryan Maresca, went really well. The first half of the day there are two writing-related panels for the workshop participants only, then we break into groups for the rest of the day and do the critiquing. It was neat to see people who had been students in the workshop several years ago now coming back to teach as pros.

Ken Liu was the guest of honor and did a presentation on translating Chinese SF, "Betrayal With Integrity: Conformance and Estrangement in Translating Chinese SF" and a panel on Silkpunk: Asian themes and influences in SF/F.

Most of my panels were on business aspects of writing, and we answered a lot of questions. I also did a reading from the new Raksura book, The Edge of Worlds, and had a pretty good-sized audience of about twelve people.

A lot of the non-panel, non-reading activity took place in the lobby bar area, and it was very noisy and happy down there on Friday and Saturday nights.

And a friend of mine got her nails done in a very cool Raksura pattern: photo on Tumblr
marthawells: (Default)
This weekend (July 24-26) I'll be at ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX. This is one of my favorite ever conventions, and the first one I was ever guest of honor at back in 2002.

I'll be there Friday, but I'll be teaching in the writers workshop all day.

Sa1100D Learning to Write: Recommended Workshops, Books and Classes
Sat 11:00 AM-Noon Ballroom D
Cardin, Catmull*, K. M. Hoover, Maresca, Wells, Yoachim
A look at formal and informal education for beginning writers or those who want to improve their craft

Sa1300B Reading
Sat 1:00 PM-1:30 PM Southpark B
Martha Wells

Sa1500E Career Adjustments for the Writer
Sat 3:00 PM-4:00 PM Ballroom E
Liu, Maresca, Southard, Swendson, Weisman, Wells*,
Knowing when it's time to switch agent, publisher, genre, or even (last resort) your name.

Sa1600DR Autographing
Sat 4:00 PM-5:00 PM Dealers' Room
Cheney, Eudaly, Finn, Latner, Reed, Webb, Wells

Sa2100F Economics and Infrastructure in Worldbuilding
Sat 9:00 PM-10:00 PM Ballroom F
Bakutis, Carl, Dimond*, K. M. Hoover, Stoddard, Wells
Building a fictional world that would actually work

Su1100F Hardcore Business of Writing
Sun 11:00 AM-Noon Ballroom F
Cheney, Jacobs, Maresca, Swendson*, Wells

Book Recs

* Bradley Denton's earlier novels are finally available in ebook: Blackburn and Lunatics

* Linda Nagata's The Trials is coming out in August, sequel to The Red: First Light
Publishers Weekly: Nagata (The Bohr Maker) writes very good action sequences and the book moves well, even when its protagonist is pinned to a bed and relearning how to use his body. Shelley is a nicely developed character with an interesting voice. Fans of thoughtful, cynical, and not particularly jingoistic military SF will love this book.

* Barbara Hambly has put her short fiction and novellas in ebook. These were previously available only on her web site. There are Sherlock Holmes stories, Benjamin January stories, Sunwolf and Starhawk, and Windrose stories.
marthawells: (SGA laughing)
I'm back from ConvergenceCon in Bloomington, MN, and I've posted some photos on the tumblr here and here

I had a great time. It's a huge convention (I think around 7000 people?), with tons of costumes and, as you can see from the photos, some very elaborately decorated party rooms.

My favorite panel this year was the Build-a-World game show panel hosted and designed by Monica Valentinelli, I was on Team Velociraptor with John Heimbuch and Arianne Tex Thompson, and we fought against Catherine Lundoff, Carrie Patel, and Paul Cornell on Team Menopausal Werewolves (we tried to get them to name it Team Vicar but they wouldn't). It was the most fun I'd ever had on a panel. Basically the audience suggests categories and you use them to fill in a large grid in timed segments, and at the end each team as a new world and hopefully a story. The other team came up with a world I heard described as if Ursula Le Guin wrote Warhammer, and ours was more like Game of Thrones meets Fraggle Rock. (We had two alien races in conflict one of which had a smell-based language. Our YA heroine was named Tiny Oily Salt. It was awesome.) I think we had the most points, but at the end we had to pitch the story to the audience, and Paul Cornell's pitch was so good the other team took the win. It was just a huge amount of fun and I want to play it again.
marthawells: (Default)
On July 2-5 I will be at CONvergence in Bloomington, MN.

My schedule is:

Friday, July 3

Evolution of the Publishing Industry
From print to e-books to online publishing, how have these changes affected the industry? How have writers, graphic artists, editors, and others involved in book publishing adapted, and what remains the same no matter what format a book takes? Panelists: Laura Zats, Toni Weisskopf, Dawn Frederick, Michael Merriam, Martha Wells

Saturday, July 4

Reading - Martha Wells

Signing - Martha Wells

Sunday, July 5

Things I Wish I'd Known Before I Started Writing
There are easy ways to write and there are mind-bogglingly difficult ways to write. Wouldn't it be nice if someone told you which is which? Panelists: Wesley Chu, Elizabeth Bear, C. Robert Cargill, Scott Lynch, Martha Wells

Build-A-World with Guests!
Welcome one and all to the Build-a-World game show, with your host Monica Valentinelli! In this panel, two teams of writers will compete against one another to create a brand new world in under an hour. You, the audience, will help judge! Panelists: Monica Valentinelli (mod), Paul Cornell, Elizabeth Bear, Catherine Lundoff, Martha Wells


Jun. 15th, 2015 08:07 am
marthawells: (Miko)
I'll be at ApolloCon in Houston this Saturday, June 20. Just couldn't afford the time and hotel to stay the whole weekend, but this is the programming I'll be on on Saturday:

Saturday 10:00 am What's the Difference?
—How do you make aliens truly alien? Some ideas of where to start and on just
how different they should be.

2:00 pm The Struggle
Professional writers discuss the things they struggle with when writing, including but not
limited to: imposter syndrome and failed story attempts.

5:00 pm Reading
It's a 30 minute slot, and I'll read a new Raksura bit.

Hopefully the weather will cooperate. We're due to have a tropical storm on Tuesday and Wednesday, so hopefully it will be cleared out by then. Fortunately, we got a temporary fix for our roof leak last week. Not so fortunately, it's going to take around $300 to fix it permanently, ugh.

Also annoying this weekend was discovering a pirate was selling The Element of Fire on Kobo, despite the fact that my legitimate copy of The Element of Fire had already been up there since 2012, with my other ebook reprints of out of print titles. It got taken down fairly quickly, but it's frustrating that it was allowed up in the first place. Especially considering that the reprints I've done myself (and the Between Worlds story collection) earn money every month that I use to pay our utility bills.

Book Rec

I just finished The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord and really enjoyed it. I somehow managed to read the sequel, The Galaxy Game first, but it didn't ruin it for me. They're both SF that focus on culture and communication between different human cultures, and they reminded me of what I love about science fiction. I hope there's going to be more in this series. Now I need to read her first book Redemption in Indigo.
marthawells: (Default)
Link to Comicpalooza part I

Saturday started early, with an 8:00 am to 9:00 am mini press junket for bloggers and podcasters and other reporters. I did a bunch of interviews with really fun people that I only got to talk to for five minutes. The Comicpalooza staffers and volunteers were all absolutely great, too.

After that, I went back to the hotel room to get the rest of my group and force them to take me to breakfast because I was starving. (When we were waiting for the hotel restaurant, we saw Stan Lee go by.) Then we headed over to the con, because I had a panel at 11:30, signing at the Barnes and Noble booth at 1:00 (and if you're still at the con, I signed stock for them so they should have signed copies of The Cloud Roads, The Serpent Sea, and The Siren Depths), and then another panel at 2:30.

I didn't say enough yet about how incredible the costumes were. Here's a picture of one:

Those wings actually snapped out when she pushed a button.

The panel at 11:30 was the worldbuilding panel, in a packed room. (The panel programming for the literary track was awesome, and the writing panels were well-attended, often standing room only.) The other panelists were P. J. Hoover, Steve Bein (M), Bonnie Jo Stufflebeam, Rachael Acks, Kerrelyn Sparks and we had a great panel with a lot of good questions from the audience.

The panel at 2:30 was tips for aspiring writers, also in a full room, with Patrice Sarath, Rachael Acks (M), Rachel Caine, Mercedes Lackey, Larry Dixon. We answered a lot of questions and had a fun time. Then I found my husband and our friend and we went to lunch (yes, at 4:00 pm) with Patrice. Between the panel and the lunch I was so tired I thought I was going to die, then after I ate, I had this weird false burst of energy again, so we went back to the con and did a more thorough walk through the Artists' alley section of the room.

Oh, and we got to see Peter Mayhew at his booth, and Henry Winkler. Henry Winkler was kind of awesome. He would walk around and go down the line of people and chat with everyone, and hug people, and generally act like he had invited you to a party he was having in his booth. It was just a fun place to walk by as everybody in line always looked so happy.

By about 7:00 I started to fall over again, so we went to the room and rested a bit, then met up again with Patrice at 8:00 for more food and deserts. We went back to our room at about 11:00 and collapsed.

On Sunday we were leaving in the late afternoon, so we went ahead and packed the car and checked out of the hotel after breakfast. We had a huge bout of bad storms and flooding through the central part of the state, including a bridge washed away, but luckily it wasn't near Houston. Though there was some rain and storms early in the day.

We did the floor for a while (no light sabres, no) and then I did another signing at Barnes and Noble, talked to some friends, and then did my last panel at 2:30. It was business tips for writers, with Jonathan Maberry, Kimberly Frost, and K. M. Tolan. I was the moderator (the program coordinator had emailed me earlier and asked me to do it when the other moderator had to cancel). We answered a ton of questions from a great audience, so it was fun too.

After that, we had to leave. I kind of didn't want to, because we kept running into friends and the con went on to Monday and I didn't get to see robots fight, but we had to go.

We got out of the downtown area without rain or traffic problems, but on highway 59, there was a slowdown merging onto 290, and someone almost rear-ended us. Like, I heard brakes squealing long enough to say twice "Please don't hit us." Looked back and there was a white car with smoke coming from the brakes. I think she must have stopped with inches to spare and I would like to thank her very much for being able to do that, because yeah, I can't afford to get another car. So we were very, very awake at that point and drove the rest of the way home with no problems.
marthawells: (Default)
May 22-25, 2015.
Comicpalooza in Houston, TX.

I went to Comicpalooza for the first time last year and had a blast. It was basically a large SF/F con sitting on top of a comiccon, with great panel programming for writing resources and discussion, books, art, fandom, making films, costuming, gaming, ghost hunting, etc, plus a giant convention floor with dealers and artists of all kinds, plus a maker fair with robots and 3d printing, plus celebrities. If you go, try to buy your pass online and pick it up on Friday to avoid the long lines to get in.

July 2-5, 2015.
CONvergence in Bloomington, MN.

This was another first last year and it was a huge amount of fun, great programming, a huge number of people, and gorgeous costumes.

July 24-26, 2015.
ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX.

ArmadilloCon has been one of my favorite cons for a long time, and it was the first one I ever went to way back when I was in high school, and I was guest of honor in 2002. It's a smaller con with a focus on books and art. There's a day long intensive writers' workshop on Friday, and the big guests this year are Ken Liu and James Morrow.
marthawells: (Jack and Teal'c)
Let's see. I was sick for about a week, which really didn't help much with all the things I needed to get done. I still don't feel great, off and on. The yard is still a swampy mess, but I did get started trying to re-do the edging on the flowerbed to try to keep the garage from flooding and water from undermining that corner of the house.

* I've still been working on the book, doing a revision before I work on the ending. It's about 122,000 words now. It's still going to need another revision before anyone reads it, but it's much less jacked up now than it was before.

* The Between Worlds: the Collected Ile-Rien and Cineth Stories collection (my part of the Six by Six kickstarter) is done and dusted and turned in. The page for it on my web site is here. After the Six by Six is sent out to all the backers, I'll make my collection available to buy as an ebook.

* The next con I'll be at is Comicpalooza in Houston, on May 22-25.

* Emilie and the Hollow World is still $1.99 on US Kindle, Nook, and Kobo

* The Wizard Hunters is supposed to be coming back into print in paperback, but right now there's only one new copy available on Amazon, so I don't know what's going on with that. It is available in ebook and audiobook, and the other two (The Ships of Air and The Gate of Gods) are available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback in the US and Canada. Hoping to get them available in other places at some point too.

Here's some links:

* Please help the only all bird rehab center in North Texas

* Gizmodo: The Great Internet Debate Over Not Reading White Men by Saladin Ahmed
(and my post with a small selection of author suggestions)


Feb. 3rd, 2015 10:18 am
marthawells: (Reading)
The weekend of February 13-15, I'll be at ConDFW in Dallas, TX, one of my favorite conventions.

Major guests will be: Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown and the Artist Guest of Honor is Galen Dara

My schedule. For the reading I'll probably do something from the new book.

FRIDAY: AUTOGRAPHS (DEALERS ROOM) Friday, 6pm: Martha Wells, Paul Black

SATURDAY: READING (ADAMS) Saturday, 10am: K Hutson, Martha Wells

PROGRAMMING 3 (HAMILTON) Saturday, 2pm: Genres of Fantasy Explained Panelists: Larry Atchley Jr. (M), Amy Sisson, Angeline Hawkes, Martha Wells, Chris Donahue Just what is “Fantasy” any more? You have the Mythological Fantasy, “Lost World” Fantasy, Swords and Sorcery, High Fantasy, Urban Fantasy and any number of variations. Our authors and historians talk about the history of the fantasy genre and the reasons for its continued popularity.

MAIN PROGRAMMING (JEFFERSON) Saturday, 4pm: Animals in Science Fiction and Fantasy Panelists: Dusty Rainbolt (M), J. Kathleen Cheney, Martha Wells, Gloria Oliver, Bradley H. Sinor Fear the cute little rabbit. Hear the roar of dragons. Most of all, run really fast if you see the Cheshire Cat. Animals have been present in stories even in Viking sagas. But these cute little critters are often overlooked, and it’s time we rectified this. From David Weber’s treecats to Anne McCaffery’s dragons there are many examples of animals, intelligent or not.


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