pameladlloyd: icon from <lj comm=musesrealm> (Not All Who Wander Are Lost)
A young writer, whom I'll call Jaylin, recently asked me an interesting question: "Who are the best new science fiction writers of the decade?" Jaylin mused about the issue of literary versus genre fiction and their different writing goals, and we discussed the fact that there are some authors whose work crosses the great divide between these two. But, the focus of our conversation was really about what makes writing really good, and the difficulty of knowing which current and contemporary writers are likely to stand the test of time.

One thing that became very clear to me over the course of the conversation is that my awareness of what is current in science fiction, who our most respected authors are, is very outdated. So, I'm hoping that my readers (if I have any left) will help out by sharing their thoughts on the new and emerging writers of this century, by answering this question:

Who would you nominate to be on the list of the best science fiction authors of this century? Please explain, if you can, why they should be on this list.

Thank you!
pameladlloyd: Alya, an original character by Ian L. Powell (the lady or the tiger)
As mentioned in a previous post, the local library is sponsoring workshops on "The Fantastic in Word and Image."

Here's the library's description of tomorrow's workshop:

This is the second of three workshops where you'll hear trade secrets from veteran fantasy, science-fiction and comic book writers and artists.

In this half-day workshop, authors Will Shetterly and Robert E. Vardeman will talk about how they work, what inspires them, big mistakes they've made along the way, and any other insider tips you can get out of them! They'll fill you in on their latest books and upcoming projects, and of course, there will be a Q & A session afterward.

This session is great for fans as well as would-be writers.

Light refreshments will be served.

Call 594-5357 to register and for more information.

You can find Will Shetterly on LiveJournal as [ profile] willshetterly. Bob Vardeman doesn't seem to have a LiveJournal, so we have to make do with his website. I doubt he'll remember me, but I met Bob back in 1990, when I attended my first SF con as an adult. His story, "Eating Vacuum," is the lead story in Space Pirates and the story I wrote with Karl is the last, which facts seem significant to me, in a very small way. :)

I'm planning on showing up, as well, although only as a participant, since with one and a half published stories, I don't get asked to tell secrets of the trade. However, this rarely stops me from speaking up. ;>

ETA: The location of the event is the Miller Golf Links Library branch at:
9640 E. Golf Links Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85730
Google map
pameladlloyd: Alya, an original character by Ian L. Powell (UFO over desert)
If you're local to the Tucson area, you might be interested in the series of three workshops hosted by the Pima County Public Library that starts tomorrow (Saturday, September 20, 2008), with the theme: Fantastic in Word and Image: Author and Artist Workshops and Contests.

The first workshop will be held tomorrow at the Himmel Park library from noon until 4 p.m.

Details behind the cut )

What amazes me is that I actually learned about this before it happened.
pameladlloyd: Alya, an original character by Ian L. Powell (tell me a story)
Today's post on [ profile] kazdreamer's journal is Guest Blog & Contest: Suzanne McLeod. Suzanne McLeod ([ profile] suzannemcleod), a writer from the UK, discusses her decision to include real people as characters in her first novel, The Sweet Scent of Blood, and provides a link to chapter one, so you can get a taste of her work. The Sweet Scent of Blood is a vampire (and other creatures that go bump in the night) novel, what is now called urban fantasy,* and I found chapter one, along with Ms. McLeod's guest blog, a fun read.

Oh, and by the way, by leaving a comment on the post in [ profile] kazdreamer's journal before this Sunday, September 7th, you enter a contest to win a signed copy of the book.

So, stroll on over and take a peek.

* I'm still reeling from the realignment of my understanding of the term to what is sometimes also called Paranormal Romance, as to me it was the Fae (which show up in chapter one of TSSoB, btw), and magic in general, in an urban setting, more in line with what deLint does, or Emma Bull in War for the Oaks, but which now, if I've got my terminology straight, is called mythic fiction, or mythic fantasy. (If I didn't confuse you with that sentence you're doing better than I am. *g*)
pameladlloyd: Alya, an original character by Ian L. Powell (world travel)
Attending the Conflux 5 minicon was almost like being in Australia. I got to meet, virtually, many authors, members of the con committee, and other guests. The blurb for each session mentioned that they were "hosting guests from four continents," so as you can imagine, it was quite an international event.

The convention format, aside from being an online forum, was as a series of "Meet the Author/Editor/Expert" sessions, with each of twenty-four guests (if I counted correctly) available in individual hour-long blocks of time. This format meant that the whole thing was driven by questions from the peanut gallery, so nutty people like myself were quick to take advantage of the chance to ask plenty of questions.

I loved the intimate feeling of the con--I didn't get to meet any of the participants directly of course, but I didn't have to worry about whether I could hear, or missing something if I had to sneak out for a few minutes. I'd love to see more online minicons like this one. Although the Internet, email, and social networking/blogging sites such as LiveJournal offer us far more opportunity to be in contact with each other, I found this a wonderful opportunity to learn about a group of people interested in and creating speculative fiction that I would never otherwise have gotten to know. I've got a long list of authors whose works I now want to read (far more than my budget can handle, at the moment, alas), and a sense of friendship (or at least acquaintanceship) with people in a distant part of the world. Australia is one of those dream vacation destinations for us Americans, so now I feel I have even more reason to visit one day, and I hope that when I do I will feel less a tourist, and more a visitor.

The minicon forum is still up, as is the forum from last year, so even if you missed the sessions, you can still head over and check it out. I really enjoyed "meeting" everyone there and hope that more people from around the world will participate in the next minicon. Oh, and don't forget to visit the Speakeasy, where much fun, food, and virtual-alcoholic frolicking was had by all.


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