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The list in progress!

January:

· Arisia, Boston, MA. Jan. 15-18th. I’m moderating a panel on the Founding Mothers of SFF and helping with the Outer Alliance gathering on Sunday. Otherwise, hanging out and enjoying myself.

· 2016 Lesbian Fiction Appreciation Event – Jan. 21. I’ll be doing a post on things I have pondered while serving as an awards judge for various writing awards.

February:

· DevFest MN 2016February 6th, Minneapolis. I’ll be doing a joint presentation on Accessibility and Aging in IT with Twin Cities Women in Tech founder Valerie Lockhart.

· Inflagranti Delicto: Writing Good Sex Scenes – Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis. February 13, 1-5PM. Class that I’m offering at the Loft; it will need to have 6 or more registrants to carry.

· Lavender Ink: Writing and Selling LGBTQ Fiction - Loft Literary Center, Minneapolis. February 27, 1-4PM. Class that I’m offering at the Loft; it will need to have 6 or more registrants to carry.

March:

Women Author's Event - Tretter Collection at the University of MN Libraries (joint event with Quatrefoil Library).March 26, 1-4PM. Featured authors include Jessie Chandler, Judith Katz, Pat Schmatz, MB Panichi, myself and possibly Rachel Gold.

April:

AlterConf Minneapolis - Lead Pages, Minneapolis, April 9, 11PM - 4PM. Tech conference focused on diversity issues in IT and gaming. Valerie Lockhart and I will be focusing on making IT-related workplaces more accessible on multiple levels.

May:

June:

· Au Contraire! 2016 – Wellington, New Zealand. June 3-5th. No idea if I’ll be on programming but hoping to get on a panel or two. Besides, New Zealand! Whee!

CONvergence 2016 – Minneapolis, MN. June 30th- July 3rd. Panels, perhaps a reading. Got sick and was unable to attend. :-(

 

July:

· Diversicon 24 – Minneapolis, MN (new hotel likely). July 29th-31st. Jessica Amanda Salmonson is GOH this year. Panels.


August:

· MidAmericanCon II – Kansas City, MN. August 17th-21st. Worldcon for 2016. Panels (see tag)

September:
Speculations Reading Series -

DreamHaven Books, Comics and Art, Minneapolis, MN. September 21st, 6:30PM. At which I will be reading stuff of my own composition and suchlike.


October:

· Gaylaxicon 2016Minneapolis, MN. October 7th-9th. Panels and perhaps a reading.

· Arcana 46 – St. Paul, MN. October 21st-23rd. Panels. Alas, no Arcana for me as I have a conflict. But Kathe Koja is GOH and the rest of you should go.

November:

· TeslaCon, hopefully. For the sheer joy of it. Madison, WI. November17th-20th


December:

 

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 I'll be reading at DreamHaven Books, 2301 E. 38th Street, Minneapolis. On tap for tonight, a fantasy mystery short story, a not-quite-high-fantasy short story and a fantasy novel excerpt from novel in progress that I'm finally getting back to. No erotic content, queer protagonists. The fun starts at 6:30PM!

After this, Gaylaxicon 2016, October 7th-9th in St. Louis Park, MN should be fun. I'll be doing panels and such as an Author Guest.


On October 13th, I'll be one of the LGBT and/or Q authors on hand at the Open Book to help Quatrefoil Library celebrate its 30th anniversary. 

A few weeks after that, I'll be speaking to a class on the Politics of Science Fiction at the U. of MN. This won't be open to the public but I'm working on an article proposal on depictions of aging in SF/F/H based on the presentation so there'll be something to checkout.

Otherwise, I'm working hard at getting my new queer sf/f/h short fiction collection pulled together and sent out for progressing and formatting, I'm working on a new novella length retelling of Snow White with a bi female protagonist, novels are back in play and I'm poking at a class proposal for a class on Gothic fiction. More news as I have it!
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Started the planning for next year's events: Worldcon in Helsinki is definite, barring some event preventing it. I'm thinking I'm due for Golden Crown Literary (lesbian fiction conference), seeing as it's in Chicago and I haven't been for a couple of years. I'd like to go to World Fantasy in San Antonio because Martha Wells is Toastmaster and is awesome. I I'm probably not going to do a ton of local cons this year, due to a combination of burnout and some not-great-to-bad experiences in the last year. But bar conning is an option.

If time and money are no obstacles (hah!), I'd love to fit in Sirens in Denver, and depending on dates, Outwrite (new LGBTQ writers conference) in D.C. The latter because I could also fit in a visit to the new African American History Museum! 

What events are you folks going to in 2017?

EDITED: I had originally included Madison area convention, Odyssey Con, on my list of possibilities for next year. I have just learned that the con com has decided to make serial sexual harasser Jim Frenkel their Guest Liason for 2017. There are also several other people on the con com who might best be termed "controversial" (like the dude who was very outspoken against POC Safer Space at WisCon within recent memory) so I would advise caution if you're thinking of attending.

On the bright side, WisCon is now back on the possible list.
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In the way of such things, I heard back from my insurance about my proposed breast reduction surgery. It was affirmative, which is awesome, because so much ouch between the back pain, the headaches, the sundry associated discomforts and such, and because it means they'll cover a big chunk of it. My new surgeon leapt upon the approval with alacrity (which gives one an idea of how bad things are) and scheduled me for the beginning of November. Yay for an end in sight (I really wanted to get this done this year, from both pain and insurance perspectives) But that means that Teslacon has to get dropped from the schedule since I'll still be recovering on physical and financial levels. I'm pretty sure that however quickly I rebound from this, I will not be up for being laced into Victorian-style corsets three weeks after surgery, let along being up for driving 4 hours to get there. Sigh. I like Teslacon and I did want to go this year, but this has to take precedence. So this means that I have 2 tickets at $65 each available for an immersion steampunk convention that is likely to sell out this year. The immersion part is that they "ask that you make an effort"; my wife wore jeans, a bowler with a clockwork pin, a Western-style gentleman's shirt vest and work books and no one batted an eye. She even got complements on the vest. However, we were in some semblance of steampunk dress all weekend, as was everyone else, so it's not like a hall costume, a few hours and you're done, thing. At any rate, there are balls, teas, a banquet, panels, actors playing out a roving story line, a spectacular dealer's room, some good history and costuming panels, craft demos and other kinds of fun. Let me know if you would like to acquire our tickets and I'll get back to you with details.

I've got an upcoming reading at DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis on 9/21 at 6:30PM (website should be updated soon). Everyone I know seems to be working or taking a class or out of town that night, so I'm hoping for the best on attendance, but hey, bribes for folks who do show up: a.I'll be reading from a couple of newish not yet published short stories and one of my novels in progress, all new to a local audience. b. I have Vagenda of Manocide Sparkle Pens to distribute to a limited number interested parties (you know who you are). c. Cookies provided and pizza/beverage/stuff to follow. Come on down!

What else is going? Sekrit Project has cleared the last hurdle, at least for my story so I'm just waiting for other folks to finish up and permission to announce it.
I'm working on a new collection of my sfnal stories (there will be 3 other collections of other stuff), which will be released by Queen of Sword Press, my new publishing effort. So far this week, I've done edits and acquired ISBNs, so hey, progress! I'm also working on a new novella and other projects, announcements to follow.

I'll be going up to Duluth for the First Folio Events and Exhibit in October. Check out the link for the miscellaneous Shakespearian-themed fun times, plus viewing times on the tome itself. Should be fun.

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I'm tidying up my website, so I'm moving some of the lists of my older works out here, for the sake of posterity. Entire list appears below cut for those interested. In order: fiction (nonerotic), fiction(erotic), nonfiction.

Short fiction (non erotic):
"Purple Thumb" in Best Lesbian Romance 2009, edited by Radclyffe. Cleis Press, 2008. IT, gardening, cancer- all the things that normally pop up in romance fiction. (Romance)

"Regency Masquerade" reprinted in Kissed By Venus, May, 2008. Originally published in the Harrington Park Lesbian Fiction Quarterly. Vol. 3 (1), Alice Street Editions, 2002. (Historical Romance).

"Three Views of the Maiden in Peril" in Farrago's Wainscot, edited by Darin Bradley, April, 2008. Cardboard female characters, see my lack of fondness for. (Fantasy).

"Spell, Book and Candle" in Khimairal Ink, edited by Carrie Tierney, January, 2008. Why bespelling your ex usually doesn't work. (Fantasy)

"A Winter's Tale" in Q-Spec Fiction Sampler 2007, compiled by Don Sakers. Speed-of-C Productions, 2007. (Fantasy).

"A Scent of Roses" in So Fey: Queer Faery Stories, edited by Steve Berman. Lethe Press, 2009. (Fantasy). A lesbian sequel to Tam Lin. Originally published by Haworth Press, 2007.

"At the Roots of the World Tree" in Kenoma: Speculative Fiction and Myth, edited b H.F. Gibbard. Vol. 2, December, 2004. 2005 Spectrum Awards short list. (Fantasy).

"The Temporary" in Simulacrum, edited by Lynne Jamneck. Vol.1 (6), November, 2004. Reprint from The Twin Cities Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy. (Fantasy).

"Red Scare" in Simulacrum, edited by Lynne Jamneck. Vol. 1 (2), January, 2004. (Science Fiction/Mystery).

"The Last Tea Party" in the Harrington Park Lesbian Fiction Quarterly. Vol. 4 (3), Alice Street Editions, 2003. (Literary Fiction).

"Vadija" in Such a Pretty Face: Tales of Power and Abundance, edited by Lee Martindale. Meisha Merlin Press, 2000. (Fantasy).

"M. Le Maupin" in Lesbian Short Fiction, edited by Jinx Beers. Vol 3, Fall, 1997. Tantra Publications. Alicia Austin did the cover based on my story. Squee! (Historical Romance).
Read more... )
"Origin Story" in Close to the Ground: A Powderhorn Writer's Anthology, edited by the Powderhorn Writer's Festival Committee. Powderhorn Writer's Festival, 1997. (Fiction).

Erotic Short FIction (reminder that the new stuff is out as Emily L. Byrne, AKA Other Me):

"Wine-dark Kisses" in Girl Crazy, edited by Sacchi Green. Cleis Press, 2009.

"Spoonbridge and Cherry" in Best Erotica 2008, edited by Berbera and Hyde. Mondadori Books, 2008. Italian translation of my story from Crave. My first story in translation!

"Just Another Girl on the Train" in Dirty Girls: Erotica for Women, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Seal Press, 2008.

"Diplomacy" in Periphery: Erotic Lesbian Futures, edited by Lynne Jamneck. Lethe Press, 2008.

"Twilight" in Best Fantastic Erotica, Vol. 1, edited by Cecilia Tan. Circlet Press, 2008.

"Spoonbridge and Cherry" in Best Lesbian Erotica 2008, edited by Tristan Taormino and Ali Liebgott. Cleis Press, 2007. Reprint from Crave.

"Phone, Sex, Chocolate" in Sex and Candy, edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel. Pretty Things Press, 2008.

"The Goddess Within" in The Mammoth Book of Lesbian Erotica, edited by Barbara Cardy. Constable and Robinson, 2007.

"An Incident in Whitechapel" in Best Lesbian Bondage Erotica, edited by Tristan Taormino. Cleis Press, 2007. Reprinted from Night's Kiss and Best Lesbian Erotica 2005.

"Viva Las Vegas" in Best New Erotica, Vol. 6, edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Constable and Robinson Press, 2006. Reprinted from Night's Kiss and Stirring Up a Storm, edited by Marilyn Jaye Lewis, Thunder's Mouth Press 2005.

"The Changing Room" in Caught Looking: Erotic Tales of Voyeurs and Exhibitionists, edited by Alison Tyler and Rachel Kramer Bussel. Cleis Press, 2006.

"The Hands of a Princess" in Amazons: Tall Tales of Strong Women, edited by Sage Vivant and M. Christian. Running Press, 2006. Reprinted in Crave.

"Cowgirls and Science" in Ultimate Lesbian Erotica 2006, edited by Nicole Foster. Alyson Books, 2006. Reprint from Night's Kiss.

"Planet 10" in Best Lesbian Erotica 2006, edited by Tristan Taormino and Eileen Myles. Cleis Press, 2005. Reprint from Night's Kiss.

"Room with a View" in Erotic Travel Tales 2, edited by Mitzi Szereto. Cleis Press, 2005. Reprinted in Night's Kiss.

"The Permanent" in Blood Surrender, edited by Cecilia Tan. Blue Moon Books, 2005. Reprinted from The Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica 4, edited by Maxim Jakubowski. Constable and Robinson Press, 2005 and The Big Book of Hot Women's Erotica 2004 and Hot Women's Erotica, both edited by Marilyn Jaye Lewis. Venus Club and Blue Moon Books, both 2004.

"Thursdays at McKinney's" in The Mammoth Book of Women's Erotic Fantasies, edited by Sonia Florens. Constable and Robins, 2004. Reprinted in Crave.

"Persistence of Memory" in Shameless: Women's Intimate Erotica, edited by Hanne Blank. Seal Press, 2002.

"Black Belt Theater" in Body Check, edited by Nicole Foster. Alyson Books, 2002.

"She Who Waits" in Best Lesbian Erotica 2001, edited by Tristan Taormino and Pat Califia. Cleis Press, 2001. Reprinted from Taste of Midnight, edited by Cecilia Tan. Circlet Press, 2000. Reprinted in Night's Kiss.

"Down at Shug's" in Electric: Best Lesbian Erotica, edited by Nicole Foster. Alyson Books, 1999. Reprint from Pillow Talk, edited by Leslea Newman. Alyson Books, 1998.

"El Tigre" in Best Lesbian Erotica 1999, edited by Tristan Taormino and Chrystos. Cleis Press, 1999. Reprint from Cherished Blood, edited by Cecilia Tan. Circlet Press, 1998. Reprinted in Night's Kiss.

"The Party" in Lip Service, edited by Jess Wells. Alyson Books, 1999. Reprinted in Crave.

Erotic Horror:
"Emily Says" in Lust for Life, edited by Claude Lalumière and Elise Moser. Véhicule Press, 2006. Reprinted in Crave.

"L'Heure Verte" (The Green Hour) in Eternally Noir, edited by Captivatex, 2005.

Erotic Romance:
"Beauty" in Zowie! It's Yaoi!: Western Girls Write Stories of Boy Love, edited by Marilyn Jaye Lewis. Running Press, 2006.

"Her Guy Friday" in That's Amore! Four Romance Novellas, edited by Marilyn Jaye Lewis. Magic Carpet Books, 2004.

Nonfiction:
"Setting the Scene, Lights, Camera...You Know the Rest." Guest blog post out on Oh, Get a Grip! 2009

"Grassroots Books" in Booking in Iowa: The Book Trade in and Around Iowa City by Joseph Michaud. Camp Pope Bookshop, 2009.

"Melissa Scott" and "Women's Bookstores" in Women in Science Fiction and Fantasy: An Encyclopedia, edited by Dr. Robin Anne Reid, Greenwood Press, 2008.

"An Interview with Bryan Thao Worra" in Tales of the Unanticipated, edited by Eric Heideman. Vol. 29, November 2008.

"A Science Fiction Convention of Our Own" at Gay Lifestyle Monthly, edited by Ellen Tevault. GayLifestyleMonthly.com, January 2008.

"Writing and Selling Erotic Fiction" at Today's Woman.net, edited by Rose DesRochers. www.todays-woman.net, 2006.

"Nuts and Bolts: Building a Better Story" was my bimonthly erotic writing column at the Erotica Writers and Readers Association website from 2005-2006.

"Historical Research for Fiction Writers" at Writing-World.com, edited by Moira Allen. www.writing-world.com.

"An Interview with Melissa Scott" in the Specficme Writer's Newsletter, edited by Doyle Wilmoth. January, 2004.

"A Field Guide to Genre Fiction Writers' Organizations" in Speculations: for Writers Who Want to be Read. April, 2003.

"Minnesota Center for the Book Arts" in Hand Papermaking Magazine (Vol. 15, No. 1. Winter, 2000).

"Tattoo Me" in Looking Queer: Body Image and Identity in Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgender Communities, edited by Dawn Atkins. Haworth Press, 1998.

"Chain Reaction: Indy Bookstores Shutting Down" in American Writer: Journal of the National Writer's Union. Summer, 1997.

1996-1997 - various articles and a semi-regular column for ICON: Iowa City's Independent Newspaper.

"Feminists Reconstruct El Salvador" in Off Our Backs, Vol.22, No.4, 1992.



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I'll be back at DreamHaven Books in Minneapolis for the Speculations Reading Series sponsored by SF Minnesota on September 21st at 6:30 PM. I'll be reading from stuff, recent stuff, audience requests and so forth. C'mon down for a chat and a listen! I hear there'll be cookies too.
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This isn’t about any one con or event, but rather about alcohol-fueled work culture as we know and love it in the U.S. and elsewhere and what it looks like to not participate in it. It’s about me, my relationship to alcohol and the relationship that a lot of my colleagues, friends, acquaintances and so forth have with it, based on what I’ve seen and experienced. It may or may not apply to you. Whether or not it does apply to you, it is not a personal attack/judgment; many pros and fans drink responsibly at cons. But, at the same time, it is also often considered perfectly okay within fannish cultures to justify bad behavior with “I had too much to drink,” and that needs to change. It is also often considered “weird” to not drink and that too needs to change.
 
I am sober (I also describe it as “Elderly Straight Edge”). This does not mean that I have gone through treatment or a 12 Step program or counseling or any of the other options many people use to try and give up alcohol, narcotics and other substances and/or behaviors that they wish to stop using or engaging in. This is important in that I don’t have access to a 12 Step or equivalent community. This is important because many other folks don’t either, possibly because they choose to use another approach or because those programs didn’t work for them or for a wide variety of other reasons. Why do I call myself sober? Well, I don’t drink or do drugs or other intoxicants any more, which is the standard definition. I apply the term to myself both to describe my behavior and to help make a safer space for other folks who have made a decision to abstain from drinking or equivalent in social situations. It can make it easier for them to fend off social pressure to drink or may just give them someone to talk to or give folks who are big “social drinkers’ someone to focus on who can handle the social pressure to drink because “everyone else is” or because “it will make you feel more relaxed.”
 
Why do people never drink or stop drinking alcohol? All kinds of reasons, including, but not limited to:
·        Religious practice
·        Personal preference
·        Addiction recovery
·        Physical reaction
·        Any combination of these and/or additional reasons.

None of these reasons is intended to be invalid or better than any other; they are not listed in any sort of order. Personally, I stopped drinking and choose to not resume drinking due to a combination of personal preference and physical reaction. I grew up with alcoholics and I used to drink, quite heavily at times. I did some very injudicious things, particularly in my early twenties, and one morning when I sobered up, I realized that some of my activities of the night before could have easily hurt or potentially killed someone. So I put myself on a self-imposed drink limit. Then I started to roll that back – no more than 3 drinks at a sitting to no more than 3 drinks a week to no more than 2 drinks a week to 1 drink once a month or so, to the point where I eventually got diagnosed with an alcohol allergy (also known as “alcohol intolerance”) in my mid-thirties. I used to have a glass of wine once or twice a year, when we  found a vintage I could tolerate, but I gave that up about 5 years ago. Do I miss it? Sometimes. Do I miss it enough to want to deal with the physical symptoms? Hell, no.
 
At various points in my life, I have been an archeologist doing CRM work on construction sites, a college student,  a graduate student. I used to work at a bar. I have had many of the standard relationship crises and a few of the more unusual ones. I used to hang out with friends who drank a lot. Now, I work in IT and hang out with writers and science fiction fans. Being queer, being female, being all of these things shape what I know about drinking and how and why I did it and why the people I hung out with did it. I drank because I was unhappy, because my friends were doing it and I wanted to fit in, because I was shy and awkward, because it was force of habit, because I wanted to forget, because it was expected of me. Notice I didn’t say that I was an addict or that I am an alcoholic. I have conflicted feelings about the addiction model that is most commonly used; I wasn’t too addicted to walk away, so I tend to not apply it to myself and my own behaviors. Others might view it differently under the same circumstances. The point is that I have at one point or another internalized all of the various justifications for why I or someone like me or in my circumstances would be drinking a lot and using it for social glue in heavy drinking work/social cultures.
 
Since my Great Tapering Off, I’ve noticed things, like the folks who host parties where they don’t stock any nonalcoholic options. Or the folks who respond to being told that I don’t drink by suggesting I try just one. Or the folks who need to talk at me a lot about how they don’t drink that much or don’t need it or don’t think about it that often so it’s not a problem for them. I can pretty much tell you that if you’re someone who feels a need to do or say any of this, it’s probably a good idea to do something about your level of consumption. Those comments are a red flag to anyone familiar with dealing with people with drinking problems and they tend to make the more sober and cautious members of your audience pretty wary.

Drinking helps lower inhibitions, which in turn can lead to everything from violence to sex to saying dumb crap to falling asleep on the couch. In general, the more extreme end of the scale tapers off as you get older but not always and not for everyone. From the standpoint of things that happen at cons (or tech events, for that matter), there’s more harassment of various kinds, sexual and otherwise if alcohol is readily available in quantity. Inappropriate humor, unwanted touching, unwanted proposals – all this goes up when people drink more (yes, some folks can manage this stone-cold sober, but an open bar  definitely doesn’t help). The social excuses range from variations on “it doesn’t count if you’re drinking” to “I don’t remember doing that so it didn’t happen.” None of this is considered to be particularly extreme or even rare, which is what I mean when I say that it is normalized.

Generally speaking, most people at work events like happy hours have a drink or two and call it quits, particularly if they have other events, families, etc. But if you’re already staying at the event venue or within walking distance, that control disappears. I’ve gotten in the habit of arriving early at convention parties/Bar Con and bailing early, before the people who are going to drink enough to behave badly or just be super annoying really hit their stride. Are they the majority? Depends on the con and the party, really, but the fact that I’m saying that based on personal experience says something about how well you have to know conventions and their attendees and what’s condoned and what isn’t. It’s a lot more challenging for someone new to those events to know who to avoid and when. And the “come early/leave early” approach means that sometimes I miss seeing people I want to see or having conversations that may be helpful to my career or me personally. So there are definite trade-offs between the culture and what I need to feel comfortable (and occasionally, safe) and I would like to stop having to make those trade-offs and I would like other people who aren’t drinking to stop having to make those trade-offs.
 
So what do I suggest as alternatives?
  • Always and absolutely the following: if someone isn’t drinking alcohol and say they don’t drink at all or don’t want to at that moment or whatever their particular truth may be, don’t attempt to pressure them to drink for any reason.
  • If you’re hosting a party or buying a round, provide nonalcoholic alternatives.
  • Do your networking somewhere that serves food and encourage people to eat, since food often helps things stay a bit more even keel.
  • Don’t rationalize away bad behavior, drunk or sober. Alcohol doesn't "make" anyone behave like an asshole and it shouldn't justify it.
  • Cut people off if it’s your party and they’re getting drunk and/or problematic.
  • Encourage sober space at cons to support folks who are in recovery or have other issues with alcohol consumption; I'm starting to see a bit more of this, but it's still pretty rare.
  • Designate someone to be your Sober Party Pal to keep an eye on folks who might be getting pressured to drink, or are otherwise vulnerable or who simply want to enjoy a pop or a glass of water and a chat.
  • If you want to drink and your friend doesn’t, ask if you having a drink bothers them. If it does, maybe hold off until they leave or try joining them in pop or juice or water for the evening. You might like it and they almost certainly will.
  •  If you’re drinking in moderation and having fun and not bothering anyone, that’s great; be cool and let your nondrinking friends and colleagues be cool in their own ways. it’ll make for a much better time for everyone.
And finally, if we're at a con together and you could use some support being sober on whatever level you want to maintain, you can come find me and I'll do what I can to help.
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So where I have I been for the last week and a half? Worldcon prep, and then Worldcon. Word to the wise: the Kansas City Convention Center is big. Like space and time big. Like walking forever big. My calves have not yet forgiven me.

I headed out to Kansas City with my pal, Jody Wurl (awesome fan and local librarian) at more or less the crack of dawn. Only later because there were cats to be wrangled and stuff. 6 or 7 hours of glorious chatting about everything and listening to music, we rolled into Kansas City (at rush hour, inevitably). Our hotel, the Aladdin, was all kinds of historical charming, including a tiny charming room with no space for the air mattress so we moved directly into the “first time road trip together to  first time sharing a room to  first time sharing a bed” phase of our friendship! Fortunately, neither of us is a night owl and we’re both relatively quiet sleepers so it worked out just fine. And author Martha Wells and her roomie Felicia were also in the same hotel, so we had amiable dining companions the first night.
 
Thursday arrived with a lively breakfast at the hotel restaurant, which featured sundry hijinks that were clearly the result of being short-staffed (it got better after this). But it also featured the charming company of Martha, Felicia, Jody, Steven Gould and Heather Rose Jones, so that made up for the other issues. After breakfast, Jody and I headed over and got our registration stuff taken care of, then I was off to the Dealer’s Room to drop off books at the DreamHaven table and help Elise Matthesen set up her jewelry both. I hung out there for a bit, generating good sales vibes (or so I’m told) before wandering the room. Then I was off to meet up with Jody and my friend Muffie for lunch. Muffie is a writer pal who I met at Sirens last year and we had a grand time chatting and hanging out. Then I was off, more or less, for my first panel of the weekend, "Knock on Wood, from Squirrel Girl to Lumberjanes."

You know, it was fun to do two YA panels at a con (I had an LGBT YA panel on Saturday too). I never get asked to do these, as a rule, so I hadn't given them much thought, but the discussions were lively and the panelists polite and enthusiastic. The audiences were pretty engaged too so the energy level was really good. For the comics one, we geeked about stuff we liked: Squirrel Girl, Ms. Marvel, Courtney Crumrin, Bone, My Little Pony, Lumberjanes, Nimona and such. Good times! I don't think we broke any new ground, but it was a fun, energetic chat. After that, Jody and I joined Martha and Felicia and another friend of theirs for dinner, which was even more fun than the night before, what with everyone having slept and all.

Thursday morning was two panels in a row, "The Joys of Running a Small Press," followed by "Living in a Cyberpunk Society." The small press panel was arguably my least favorite of the weekend. The moderator hadn't checked in beforehand and didn't seem to quite know what to do with me (the press is still in start up mode, rather than running) so she tried skipping me a few times on questions, which didn't go over well. I snagged the mike and started talking, which put an end to that issue, but it was annoying to have to fight for the space. She also added someone from the audience since one publisher was later, which also cut into the remaining panelist time. And to add to that, I was rushing to get to the cyberpunk panel at the end because I was moderating and it was not close by and people wanted to ask questions (and I needed to pee) so it ended fairly abruptly. The other panelists were fine though, so I didn't think it was a complete loss.

As for the Cyberpunk panel, when I say Pat Cadigan was a panelist and she opened with, "I'm Pat Cadigan, bitches.", do I need to say more? :-) 
Panelists Lyda Morehouse, Allan Dyen-Shapiro and Professor  Takayuki Tatsumi also got in some comments and thoughts (I need to go track down, Dr. Tatsumi's book on cyberpunk), but it was pretty much the P. Cadigan show everyone had come for. And it was a pretty entertaining one. It's easy to forget that when she and Gibson and Stirling and so forth were creating what we now think of as a genre, they were working largely independently of each other, without the benefits or burden of internet connections and so forth. She's also pretty funny so I recommend going to hear her if the opportunity presents itself.

I met with my former editor, Evan Peterson, and some of his Clarion classmates for lunch, then went tot he Art Show, then cruised the Dealer's Room buying sundry books (Japanese sf in translations! Art books! Sundry stuff) before helping Monica Valentinelli do prep stuff fro Build A World. Then I was off to dinner with editor and writer Julia Rios and her mom, where we were joined by one of Julia's former colleagues at Strange Horizons and her fiance. A jolly conversation about books and reading and Iowa and travel and stuff ensued before we had to to head back for evening programs. In my case, that was Build a World, the gameshow featuring writers attempting to do world building with audience participation. Unfortunately, we had been moved in both time and space and didn't draw a big crowd. But the folks who were there seemed to have fun, we had fun and we raised money for charity so a generally good time all around. we stopped by a few bid parties afterwards before crashing.

I missed both the Masquerade (which I was sorry to miss) and the Tor Party, which I was less bummed about. We had done some bar conning the night before and it had been as fun as bar conning gets for me (I'm working up a post on what it's like to be a sober pro in con culture to follow this one) so I felt like I'd had that particular experience for the weekend. In any, case, I was up the next morning for a surprise (as in unplanned) breakfast with author Jeannette Kathleen Cheney, who I'd met at Chicon, before going off to moderate the
"Complexity of Character: Coming Out in Teen SpecFic" panel. This was one of the two best panels of my con - great panelists, lively discussion, good suggestions, enthusiastic audience. Big thumbs up, all around.

Then I got to meet up with Dr. Nick Wood, who's been doing some great critical and promotional work on African science fiction and fantasy as well as writing his own stories. Really enjoyed our lunch and hope to repeat it again at a future con. There followed a moment of truth in which I had to go sign at a table next to Pat Cadigan. Which involved some thumb-twiddling, some chatting with friends, the signing of the following: one poster, two book plates, three actual books, and some impromptu bonding with my table mate, Star Trek (and other works) author David Dvorkin and his amiable spouse. Pat also signed my copy of Patterns with a massive flourishing, informing me that I was "cool." :-D

I went on to do a panel on Aging in SF/F with Connie Willis, James Patrick Kelly, Eleanor Arnason and Bud Sparhawk after that. My second favorite panel, in part because the panelists, particularly Willis and Kelly were entertaining, and Kelly was a good moderator. I mentioned my bibliography project briefly, as well as some of my other projects on aging in tech and so forth but I think those may have gotten lost in the shuffle.
But from there, Jody and I went off to catch the trolley and get barbecue at Jack Stack Barbecue, which was a fun trip off site. We wandered back and went to the SFWA Suite for the Hugos (which we ended up watching on line anyway). Lots of cheering and enthusiasm for the various winners and speeches (particularly Nnedi, Nora and Michi), which was lovely. Then it was farewells at bar con and sleep.

Somewhere in there, I caught readings by Martha Wells, Amanda Downum and Rosemary Kirstein, talked to a bunch more people than I remembered to note above, briefly met Ken Liu and the folks from China organizing another Worldcon bid via the redoubtable Crystal Huff, chatted with Jason Sizemore of Apex. chatted with book dealers, artists and a number of total strangers, chatted with Jason Sanford, Naomi Kritzer and Pamela Dean and missed connecting with dozens of people I had hoped to see at the con. Overall, I had a fine time though and am glad I got to go, exhausting drive, lengthy walks, occasional weirdness and all!.

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 is off to a nice start!
FYI, I just dropped my books and several copies of Queers Destroy Horror (includes essays by me, Sigrid Ellis and and a bunch of great fiction and nonfiction including Alyssa Wong's acclaimed and Nebula Award-winning story "Starving Daughters of Hungry Mothers" :-) at the DreamHaven table. I'll be autographing at 1PM on Saturday and will have bookplates to sign too.
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Comics, aging, cyberpunk, small presses, queer YA, a game show and autographing! They're going to keep me hopping.

Knock on Wood. From Squirrel Girl to Lumberjanes
Thursday 5:00 PM, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)
What the junk?! In the last couple of years we've seen the growth of comics that might superficially appear to be aimed at a YA audience, however these titles are hitting the mainstream with a vengeance. Marvel are leading the pack with Squirrel Girl, Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel, but there's also a vast amount of Indie work coming through such as Lumberjanes, Space Dumplin', Kaos Komics and Footloose. Our panel discuss why these titles are so popular, and what they have to offer both new and established audiences.
Tom Galloway, Jason Sanford, Adam Rakunas, Rebecca Schwarz (M), Catherine Lundoff


The Joys of Running a Small Press
Friday 10:00 - 11:00, 2205 - A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)
The old joke is that the way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start out with a large fortune.  Small publishers fill an important niche in the world of science fiction, even in this era of self-publishing.  Some of the foremost small publishers talk about the trials and tribulations of finding their place and surviving.
Eric T. Reynolds, Catherine Lundoff, Beth Meacham (M), Mr Paul Starr, Jason Sizemore

Living in a Cyberpunk Society
Friday 11:00 - 12:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)
We may not be able to jack in directly, but we are part of the Cyberfuture. When technology thrives but society decays, seemingly dystopic worlds arise. To what extent is our world a cyberpunk universe and what more can we expect to happen to take us there?
Ms Pat Cadigan, Lyda Morehouse, Allan Dyen-Shapiro, Takayuki Tatsumi, Catherine Lundoff (M)

The Build-A-World Game Show
Friday 9PM-10PM, 2503A - A/V (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! This year, Martha Wells, David McDonald, Catherine Lundoff, and Tex Thompson will be competing.
 Ms. Monica Valentinelli (M), Tex Thompson, Mr David McDonald, Martha Wells, Catherine Lundoff

Complexity of Character: Coming Out in Teen SpecFic
Saturday 10-11AM, 3501B (Kansas City Convention Center)
Young adult speculative fiction is doing a fairly good job of featuring a diverse and varied cast of characters, but books that feature LGBT, asexual, and nonbinary characters are still not always easy to find. Let’s talk about what books and characters are out there, and what themes and identities are still underrepresented in YA SF? What challenges do spec fic authors face when writing and publishing books about teen sexuality and love? Beyond the main characters, what roles do the secondary and tertiary characters play in helping to advance the conversation about teen sexuality?
Catherine Lundoff (M), Mark Oshiro (Mark Does Stuff), Lyda Morehouse, Jaylee James

Autographing: Pat Cadigan, David Dvorkin, James Gunn, Catherine Lundoff, Megan O'Keefe, John Picacio
Saturday 1PM -2PM Kansas City Convention (Autographing Space)

Aging in Speculative Fiction
Saturday 3:00PM-4PM, 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)
One day you wake up with a new ache, another day you notice you have more grey hairs than brown, another you realise people on the bus ask if you would like their seat. Despite all of this you are still 30 inside and just as lively as ever (well, almost). Is the process of aging ever covered in science fiction and fantasy or is it one of the last great taboos?
Eleanor Arnason, Catherine Lundoff, James Patrick Kelly (M), Connie Willis, Bud Sparhawk


midamericon2.org/
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It's Give Out Day today - give to your favorite LGBTQ+ nonprofits so they can grow and thrive (and be eligible for matching funds and such). The Give Out site is here. And I have a two part list of LGBTQ+ organizations, many of which are participating today, over here
Please boost and give what you can.

I just donated to LGBT Refugee Services, the Third Wave Fund (grants to young queer activists), PFund (upper Midwest arts and community grants to LGBTQ orgs) and Charis Circle (arts and community events and funding for queer women of color and other folks in Atlanta and surrounding region). I like to donate to funds to make my donations go further, but there's a bunch of other great options out there on the site and my list.
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Sekrit Project Edits turned in! Early! Now we sort of celebrate while we hope the migraine clears.

Also, added a new Queer Ya panel at World Con - see previous entry for description.

Cool things seen today. The Comic-Con Wonder Woman trailer. Though I wish it was set during World War II instead of World War 1 as a reminder that the Nazis were supposed to be bad guys.



For a real life Wonder Woman, check out this awesome
video and gif of American track and field champion Kendra Harrison breaking a world record in the 100m today.

And just because it makes me giggle every time. "There be no WiFi in Osgiliath"





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So, my Worldcon schedule is so very full of awesome. Everything looks so interesting! Squirrel Girl! Build a World! A panel on aging! A panel on building a small press (and yes, starting to get back on track with stuff. Again)! And OMG, I'm moderating a panel on cyberpunk with Pat Cadigan on it. She's justifiably considered to be one of the great cyberpunk writers, for those just tuning in, and she's one of the GoHs this year. I'm going to be doing a fair amount of prep work for this con, that much is clear.

So who's going to be there?



Knock on Wood. From Squirrel Girl to Lumberjanes

Thursday 18:00 - 19:00, 2206 (Kansas City Convention Center)

What the junk?! In the last couple of years we've seen the growth of comics that might superficially appear to be aimed at a YA audience, however these titles are hitting the mainstream with a vengeance. Marvel are leading the pack with Squirrel Girl, Ms Marvel and Captain Marvel, but there's also a vast amount of Indie work coming through such as Lumberjanes, Space Dumplin', Kaos Komics and Footloose. Our panel discuss why these titles are so popular, and what they have to offer both new and established audiences. 

Tom Galloway, Jason Sanford, Adam Rakunas, Rebecca Schwarz (M), Catherine Lundoff

The Joys of Running a Small Press

Friday 10:00 - 11:00, 2205 - A/V (Kansas City Convention Center)

The old joke is that the way to make a small fortune in publishing is to start out with a large fortune.  Small publishers fill an important niche in the world of science fiction, even in this era of self-publishing.  Some of the foremost small publishers talk about the trials and tribulations of finding their place and surviving.

Eric Reynolds, Catherine Lundoff, Beth Meacham (M), Mr Paul Starr, Jason Sizemore

 

Living in a Cyberpunk Society

Friday 11:00 - 12:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

We may not be able to jack in directly, but we are part of the Cyberfuture. When technology thrives but society decays, seemingly dystopic worlds arise. To what extent is our world a cyberpunk universe and what more can we expect to happen to take us there?

Ms Pat Cadigan, Lyda Morehouse, Allan Dyen-Shapiro, Takayuki Tatsumi, Catherine Lundoff (M)

The Build-A-World Game Show

Friday 21:00 - 22:00, 2503A - A/V (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! This year, Martha Wells, David McDonald, Catherine Lundoff, and Tex Thompson will be competing.
 

Ms. Monica Valentinelli (M), Tex Thompson, Mr David McDonald, Martha Wells, Catherine Lundoff

Complexity of Character: Coming Out in Teen Spec Fic

Young adult speculative fiction is doing a fairly good job of featuring a diverse and varied cast of characters, but books that feature LGBT, asexual, and nonbinary characters are still not always easy to find. Let’s talk about what books and characters are out there, and what themes and identities are still underrepresented in YA SF? What challenges do spec fic authors face when writing and publishing books about teen sexuality and love? Beyond the main characters, what roles do the secondary and tertiary characters play in helping to advance the conversation about teen sexuality?

Saturday, 10:00 am. Catherine Lundoff (M) - last minute addition, will add panelists when I know who they are

Aging in Speculative Fiction

Saturday 15:00 - 16:00, 3501H (Kansas City Convention Center)

One day you wake up with a new ache, another day you notice you have more grey hairs than brown, another you realise people on the bus ask if you would like their seat. Despite all of this you are still 30 inside and just as lively as ever (well, almost). Is the process of aging ever covered in science fiction and fantasy or is it one of the last great taboos?

Eleanor Arnason, Catherine Lundoff, James Patrick Kelly (M), Connie Willis, Bud Sparhawk

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  • Progress made on Sekrit Project. I'm liking it much better on the third rewrite and I think I have my thaumaturgy issues resolved. No, I can't tell you what they are yet. Hoping to get it done and turned in early to the editor to see if she concurs.
  • Progress made on pulling together 4 short fiction collections, two for Emily L. Byrne (Other Me) and two for me. Hoping to get that pulled together in the next few weeks and follow up on the covers I optimistically selected months ago, thinking it wouldn't take that long.
  • Planning on getting back on to making progress with the Queen of Swords Press website. I've done some work on related stuff, but need to really dig in.
  • I just signed on to moderate a panel at Midamericon II on queer YA. This is not a core competency of mine but I'm a decent moderator so there we have it. Suggestions on blogs and titles welcome! For those keeping score at home, I'm now on 5 programming items barring changes: cyberpunk (suggestions also welcome), aging in SF/F, queer YA, indie comics (see note re: suggestions) and running a small press. Whee! It's cramming time!
  • Diversicon is coming up real soon now (a week and one half away), GOH is acclaimed and queer SFnal ground-breaking editor and author Jessica Amanda Salmonson. She is also one of the first transwomen to come out as trans in science fiction, fantasy or horror. Special Guest is multi-award nominated and winning author Naomi Kritzer. My tentative schedule there includes panels on Shirley Jackson, fairy tales, ghost stories and women warriors and perhaps some queer SF/F/H stuff. Should be interesting.
  • Still have giant gaping holes in the office wall with a stunning view of new copper plumbing. Hoping to get that fixed up before Kansas City.
  • Having hit a wall of sorts with a lot of things, am now engaged in a massive reorganization and cleanout of the house, possessions, backlog on stuff like will updates and watching a lot less telebvision and it's beginning to help. I think. Less clutter, more productivity.
Back to avoiding the RNC for as long as possible!
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2016 is pretty much fired. I'm struggling with the murders and hate and various things going to hell in the proverbial hand basket and everything that a lot of other people are struggling with. So I'm dealing with it by organizing my space, trying to get projects done and trying to get back into the rhythm of writing while supporting all of the good things that I can support. I'm going to a MN Lynx game in a week and will be there  early for the Black Lives Matter pre-game minirally to support the Lynx after the head of the police union attacked them. I'm going to go hear Malala Yousafzai speak in a week. I'm supporting various folks in various ways to keep doing the work that they're doing. And so we keep on keeping on, doing what we can do, making things better where we can. Hang in there and take care of yourselves.

Edited to add: Because small joys help, just met with a work colleague who's coming out as a transwoman at my day job. My area is very Xtian, very conservative and I'm the only out queer (probably the only queer period, but hey, hope springs eternal). Her area, on the other hand, has stepped up to the plate and been pretty supportive, up and including making our LGBTQ employee's food drive for the Aliveness Project a pretty big success on their donations alone. And that's pretty damn cool. :-)

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See yesterday's post for the first part of the list. As noted there, I picked three LGBTQ organizations a day to plug; it's not an exhaustive list by any means, but I tried for a broad range of topics and for organizations that are less high profile and/or which are doing good work for folks who are otherwise not in the spotlight. Hope that this proves useful!

Aging

  • #prideorgs #24 SAGE @sageusa - national organization providing support and advocacy for LGBTQ elders - http://www.sageusa.org
  •  #prideorgs #25 National Center on LGBT Aging @lgbtagingcntr - technical assistance and training for caregivers, etc. http://www.lgbtagingcenter.org 
  •  #prideorgs #26 Zami Nobla @ZAMINOBLA support and programs for black lesbians and queer women on aging - zaminobla.org

Living with Disabilities

  • #prideorgs #27 Rainbow Alliance for the Deaf - Advocacy, support, biennial conference - http://www.deafrad.org
  •  #prideorgs #28 Blind LGBT Pride @blindprideintl - Advocacy, networking, support, conference - http://blindlgbtpride.org 
  • #prideorgs #29 Disability Visibility Project @DisVisibility - oral histories, social media campaigns, #CripTheVote - https://disabilityvisibilityproject.com 

Suicide Counseling and Prevention

  • #prideorgs #30 The Trevor Project @TrevorProject - crisis intervention and suicide prevention for LGBTQ youth http://www.thetrevorproject.org
  •  #prideorgs #31 Trans Lifeline @Translifeline - support hotline for trans folks -http://www.translifeline.org 
  •  #prideorgs #32 GLBT National Helpline @glbtNatlHelpCtr: coming out, family counseling, local resource referral, etc. http://www.glbthotline.org 

Writing While Queer

Native American Two Spirit and LGBTQ+

  • #Prideorgs #36 NativeOut @nativeout - resources for and about Native American Two Spirit people - http://nativeout.com
  •  #prideorgs #37 Dancing to the Eagle Spirit Society - Canada, healing/empowerment of Two Spirit aboriginal people - http://www.dancingtoeaglespiritsociety.org 
  •  #prideorgs #38 Transformative Media Project @tmorganizers - media organizing projects, incl. Two Spirit and LGBTQ - https://www.alliedmedia.org/tmo

Refugees

Religion and Humanism

  • #prideorgs #42 Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity @TheMASGD - support and networking - http://www.muslimalliance.org
  •   #prideorgs #43 Institute for Welcoming Resources @ShowerofStoles - welcoming Christian and Jewish congregations - http://www.welcomingresources.org 
  •    #prideorgs #44 LGBTQ Humanist Alliance @LGBTQHumanists - resources/community for LGBTQ+ humanists and allies - http://lgbthumanists.org 

Some Regional Organizations that Could Really Use a Hand

  •     #prideorgs #45 Equality Mississippi @EqualityMiss - advocacy and support - equalitymississippi.org/about/
  •    #prideorgs #46 Equality North Carolina @equalitync - lobbying, advocacy and support - equalitync.org/who/mission/
  •   #prideorgs #47 Tennessee Equality Project @tnequality - education and legal and political - advocacy tnep.nationbuilder.com

Finishing out the list with theaters, because I love live theater and everybody should get to see themselves on stage:

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I'd been thinking about this project for Pride Month anyway, but Orlando made it feel a lot more necessary. As a rule, most nonprofit and/or advocacy organizations that focus on LGBTQ+ people are generally underfunded and understaffed. They don't have the resources to deal with huge demands, like the aftermath of a massacre or fighting the continuing onslaught of bathroom bills or equivalent disasters. They operate on a shoestring to support everything from suicide counseling to coming out to refugee assistance to legal aid to training the next generation of LGBTQ folks to be elected to public office. My hope is that people will donate where they can, volunteer and otherwise support these groups and others like them. I started this on June 14th and will be wrapping up on June 30th, but I thought I'd start compiling the list out here. I've been boosting 3 organizations a day which provide some sort of support to LGBTQ+ folks. Each three are more or less thematically linked, at last in my head. If you follow me on Twitter (@clundoff), you can follow along daily on the #prideorgs, but you can also see the list on a browser without logging in. It is U.S.-focused but there are some Canadian and international organizations included as well. Most site have additional resources and links to other groups.

Onsite assistance to Orlando shooting victims, their loved ones and their communities.
LGBTQ Legal Assistance (National)
Grants and Community Funding

LGBTQ Archives and Libraries

Political Advocacy
Bisexual and Trans Organizing and Advocacy
Queer Youth HomelessnessQueer People of Color
 
 
 
 
 
 

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 Briefly, at any rate. :-)
I was on a "Gender Diversity and Sexuality" panel at Au Contraire, New Zealand's national sf con, a few weeks ago, with moderator Andi Buchanan, GOH Amanda Fitzwater and other interesting folks. We had a lively discussion and part of it was recorded for New Zealand radio. We start at about 14 minutes in on the 19.06.2016 show.
http://http://accessradio.org.nz/Programmes+and+Podcasts/Writer's+Island#.V2_QMcg8LCT

And happy and safe Pride to everyone celebrating this weekend!

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The trolls from The Hobbit outside the Weta Workshop - no pictures inside but we got to handle a replica of Sting, Bilbo's sword, and touch the armor of the King of Angmar and see a bunch of other props up close and personal.



Random gorgeousness in Rotorua:



Gandalf and the Eagles at the Wellington Airport:


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Wanted to get this posted while I still remembered everything we did. FYI, for those interested, most of my reactions to recent atrocities and political events are on Twitter under @clundoff and on Facebook as myself. It’s easier for me to respond to things there and what with so many things going on at once, I don’t always get out here for a more detail response. But still here, just in different context.
 
So, New Zealand. We toured around the North island, went to Auckland, Hobbiton (the site for the Shire in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies), the Waitomo Caves, Rotorua and Wellington. We took in several museums, a lot of bookstores, several tours, including the WETA Workshop in Wellington when the props and special effects for LOTR, Hobbit, the various Avenger movies, Avatar, Fury Road and a bunch of other films were created. We got to meet a bunch of writers, some of whom I originally met online like AJ Fitzwater, Andi Buchanan, OJ Cade and Darusha Wehm, and they were lovely. I went to Au Contraire, New Zealand’s national science fiction convention and did a panel on gender and sexuality in SFF and had an excellent time. We did not rent a car, choosing instead to fly or bus around, which worked just fine. We took a tour bus between Auckland and Rotorua and got bus cards in Auckland and Wellington. Cabs and van rides to the airports and other locations were easy to get and set up so if you’re thinking about visiting, there are definitely other options besides car rentals. Meals were pretty healthy and straightforward – it was easier to find gluten-free foods than dairy free ones, but both were available. Most places take chipped cards and some machines will give you the option of paying in U.S. dollars.
 
And it was gorgeous. But really the main thing was how pleasant and helpful folks generally were. We were offered directions and suggestions and assistance and all that good stuff in a genuinely friendly way and it really made the trip (not that people are not usually helpful, but this was the extra kilometer). I’m not surprised that some of my friends have fallen in love with the country. I’m halfway there myself.

Some highlights:
1. The Waitomo Caves, all gorgeous with glow worms. Waitomo Caves
2. Maori woodcarving.



3. Visiting Bag End in Hobbiton.
 


4. Weta Workshop


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