Category Archives: con

September Shenanigans (and Beyond!)

This fall is going to be a busy one. Catfish Lullaby officially comes out on September 3, and I’m super excited for it to be out in the world! It’s my first foray into longer fiction, and deals with monsters and family – both found and blood – which are two of my favorite things to write and read about. I’ll be posting more about the novella after the official release, and doing a giveaway at some point. I’ll also be participating in several events this fall, many of which will include readings from, and signings of, Catfish Lullaby.

Sunday, September 8 at 2 p.m. the wonderful Anna Kashina and I will be hosting a joint event at Main Point Books in Wayne, PA. We’ll be reading from our work, interviewing each other, and signing copies of our books. We’ll also be providing tasty treats and alcohol. We’d love for you to join us!

Story FestThe last weekend of September, I’ll be participating in the 2019 Saugatuck StoryFest in Westport, CT.  Saturday, September 28 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. I’ll be part of the Echoes: A Saga Anthology of Ghost Stories panel, along with Stephen Graham Jones, Ellen Datlow, Seanan McGuire, Paul Tremblay, Bracken McLeod, and Rick Bowes. We’ll be talking about our stories, and discussing ghosts in general and why stories about them have such staying power. Following the panel, we’ll be signing copies of the anthology, along with our own work. I understand there’s also some sort of mixer event that evening, and the line-up for StoryFest in general is wonderful. R.L. Stine is the keynote speaker!

October 18-20, I’ll be attending Capclave in Rockville, MD. Schedule TBD at the moment, but I’m hoping to do a reading and participate on some panels. Capclave is a lovely, laid-back con focused on books and reading. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it.

A Song for a New Day CoverOctober 30 from 6 – 8 p.m., I’ll be at the Penn Book Center with the wonderful Sarah Pinsker as part of the All But True reading series. She’ll be talking about her debut novel, A Song for a New Day, I’ll be talking about Catfish Lullaby, and we’ll both be reading and signing and chatting with the audience.

I’m also attending the Baltimore Book Festival from November 1 – 3. TBD whether I’ll be participating on any programming, but even if not, it’s a wonderful festival to wander around and soak in all the literary goodness. The Festival brings together tons of fantastic authors each year, and of course there are always plenty of books for sale. It’s definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area!

I’ll update this post as more links and schedule information becomes available, or if any other events pop up. I hope to see you at one of the above-mentioned theres!


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World Fantasy Convention 2018

Next week (Nov 1-4), I’ll be heading to the World Fantasy Convention in Baltimore. I’m looking forward to seeing folks I don’t get to see often enough, and finally meeting in person with some people I’ve only interacted with online. I’m also hoping for some good meals along with time spent in the dealer’s room failing to resist the urge to buy books. There are so many fantastic authors attending, and I look forward to going to readings, and listening to smart people say smart things on panels. I even have two programming items of my own.

Friday – 12:30 p.m. – Reading
I haven’t quite figured out what I’ll be reading yet, but I’m sure I’ll have it figured out by the time I get there.

Sunday – 12:00 p.m. Optimism in the New Dark Age
Panelists: Michael J. Deluca, Sarah Beth Durst, Matthew Kressel, James A. Moore, A.C. Wise

The ’00s brought us a glut of dystopian fiction, but in this new dark political era, what value or function can positive or so-called “hope-punk” fiction bring? Is optimistic fiction head-in-the-sand denialism, or is it mindfully visionary? Who are some of the writers creating this type of fiction? #HopePunk

The full schedule for the convention can be found here. I hope to see you there!

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Capclave 2018

At the end of the month, I’m headed to Capclave, which this year is taking place September 28-30 in Rockville, MD. Nancy Kress and Alyssa Wong are the guests of honor, and as always, it promises to be a good time. I’m arriving Saturday morning, and my schedule is pretty packed from there. Here’s where I’ll be and when. Come say hi!

Saturday – 11 a.m. – The Best Fiction of 2018

Jonathan Edelstein, Jim Freund, and I will be discussing our favorite short fiction of 2018 thus far. (I’m really looking forward to this one!)

Saturday – 4 p.m. – Stalker vs. Love Interest

Alyssa Wong, Jeanne Adams, Craig L. Gidney, and Sherin Nicole, with yours truly as the humble moderator, will explore the line between creepy and romantic across various forms of media and fiction.

Saturday – 5:30 p.m. – Reading

I’ll be reading something. Who knows what? Stay tuned to find out. I may even read it out loud…

Saturday – 6 p.m. – Use of Mythology in SFF

Once again, yours truly will be serving as the humble moderator as Tom Doyle, Michelle D. Sonnier, Jean Marie Ward, and Steven H. Wilson discuss using mythology as source material for genre fiction.

Sunday – 12 p.m. – Writing Better Villains

Alyssa Wong, Bernie Mojzes, Allan L. Wold and I will be chatting about what makes a great villain. Mustache twirling may or may not be involved.

Sunday – 1 p.m. – Regionalism

With Sarah Avery and Andrew Fox, I’ll be talking about how authors give their story local flavor and convey a certain sense of place and time.

Sunday – 2 p.m. – So You Want to Be a Writer

I will be leading Suzanne Palmer, Jack Skillingstead, and Yosef Lindell as they share how they became writers, the triumphs and trip ups along the way, and the dos and don’ts of becoming a professional writer.

Sunday – 3 p.m. – Superheroine to Wise Woman: Creating Powerful Female Characters

Cerece Rennie Murphy, Jean Marie Ward, Michelle D. Sonnier, and I will talk about our favorite female characters and what makes them so wonderful.

For all full list of all the programming going on over the weekend, check out the schedule on Capclave’s website. Hope to see you there!

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Capclave & Children of Lovecraft Reading

Next weekend I’ll be attending Capclave, the DC-area convention run by the Washington Science Fiction Association. It’s a lovely, laid-back convention primarily focused on the literature of science fiction, fantasy, and horror. Here’s my schedule for the weekend.

Saturday – 12:00 pm – Writing and Selling Your Story
Panelists:Scott H. Andrews, Lezli Robyn, Hildy Silverman, David Walton, A.C. Wise (M)
What are the elements that capture a reader’s, editor’s or publisher’s attention? How do you get them to pick up the story, and keep turning the pages?

Saturday – 2:00 pm – Reading
I haven’t quite decided what I’ll be reading yet. Maybe some military-esque weird fiction? Maybe some eco-punk? Maybe a ghost story? Suggestions and/or votes welcome.

Sunday – 10:00 am – Cthulhu Wants You! For Breakfast!
Panelists:Alan Loewen (M), Tim Powers, Darrell Schweitzer, A.C. Wise
Love it or hate it, the Cthulhu Mythos and its related arcs are a literary phenomenon here to stay. Whether it be the Dreamlands, the Carcosa Cycle, the related King in Yellow, as well as other sub-genres, many a writer has cut their teeth on cosmic alienation and horror. Discuss the best and the worst of the lot as well as its future.

Sunday – 11:00 am – Feeding Off Fairy Tales
Panelists:Deidre Dykes, Bernie Mojzes, A.C. Wise
Many authors use fairy tales as an inspiration or even the basis of a new novel. The panelists will discuss why we keep going back to these stories, which ones are the most popular and which ones are ripe for use.

When I’m not on programming, I’ll be attending other people’s panels and readings, hanging out in the dealer’s room, hanging out in the bar, and catching up with friends. I’ll even have the corgi with me. He’s rather partial to people making a fuss over him and telling him he’s a good boy. If you see us, say hi!

The weekend after Capclave, I’ll be in NYC at Lovecraft Bar along with several other authors from Ellen Datlow’s latest anthology, Children of Lovecraft. I’ll be reading from my story When the Stitches Come Undone. Siobhan Carroll, Livia Llewellyn, Maria Dahvana Headley, David Nickel, Laird Barron, and Richard Kadrey will be reading from their stories. More details on the event here. Come join us!


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Philcon 2015

Next weekend, I’ll be attending Philcon, the local Philadelphia science fiction convention (which actually takes place in New Jersey). I’ll only be there on Saturday, but I am participating on programming. This is where you can find me.

Sat 3:00 PM – Executive Suite 623 – Reading

I’ll be reading something from The Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron Saves the World Again. There will be glittery cookies, maybe alcohol, and as far as I know, I’ll be sharing a reading slot with one of my critique-mates, Anna Kashina.


Panelists: John Ashmead (mod), Darrell Schweitzer, A.C. Wise, Walt Ciechanowski

Exploring how the Cthulhu mythos has evolved beyond its creator.


Panelists: Andi O’Connor (mod), Wen Spencer, A.C. Wise

SF&F has been more accepting of LGBTQA individuals for some time, even if it wasn’t discussed publicly. As more works have been developed, LGBTQA fans have become more open and accepted. Genre literature feature characters of all races, genders, sexes, and species…but is that enough? What more can be done to incorporate LGBTQA characters and LGBTQA fans?


Panelists: April Grey (mod), A.C. Wise, Siobhan Carroll

How do they differ? Has the current crop of writers spawned a new Lovecraft yet?

When I’m not paneling, I’ll be attending other readings and panels, hanging out in the dealers’ room, and hanging out at the bar. Hope to see you there!

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Going to Capclave…

…and I’m gonna be on panels, and, yes, I intended to get Going to the Chapel stuck in your head!

Ahem. That is to say, from October 10th to 12th, I will be attending Capclave in Gaithersburg, MD, and participating in the programming taking place there. My schedule, should you be interested, is as follows:

Friday – 10:00 p.m. – Reading – Frederick
Cuz what people want to at 10pm on the first day of a con is going to a reading by some jerk they’ve never heard of, right? But, hey, I’ll bring chocolate and alcohol. You like those things, don’t you?

Saturday – 10:00 a.m. – Alternative Sexualities in SF/F – Bethesda
Panelists: Shira Lipkin, Emmie Mears, Sarah Pinsker, A.C. Wise
How well are alternative sexualities (or sexuality of any kind) portrayed in science fiction and fantasy?

Saturday – 3:00 p.m. – Best Short Fiction of 2014 – Bethesda
Panelists: Scott H. Andrews, D. Douglas Fratz, Sarah Pinsker (M), Norm Sherman, A.C. Wise
Which novellas, novelettes, and short stories published this year were your favorites? Which do you think deserve to be nominated for the Hugo/Nebula/Tiptree/World Fantasy etc? Which short fiction pieces deserve to be nominated but won’t and why not?

Saturday – 10:00 p.m. – A Whiter Shade of Pale – Bethesda
Panelists: Day Al-Mohamed, Shahid Mahmud, Emmie Mears, Sherin Nicole (M), A.C. Wise
The worlds of many fantasy/SF novels seem to be overwhelmingly white and European. It wasn’t that long ago that Justine Larbalestier had to protest the use of a white cover model to depict her mixed race protagonist. Why do writers (and cover artists) do this? How can we bring diversity into our genres? Is it getting better? Are non-white authors and hero(ines) still rarities? Is the fear of getting it wrong overwhelming the desire to portray more diverse protagonists and non-Western settings?

Sunday – 1:00 p.m. – Non-Binary Gender in SF/F – Bethesda
Panelists: Shira Lipkin, Emmie Mears, Sarah Pinsker, Benjamin Rosenbaum, A.C. Wise (M)
Alex Dally McFarland’s post-binary gender series at has caused the occasional bit of controversy. However, there is no reason why science fiction and fantasy should have characters that don’t conveniently split into male and female, especially when dealing with alien life forms.

Sunday – 3:00 p.m. – When Did Fangirl Become a Dirty Word? – Rockville/Potomac
Panelists: Emmie Mears, Sunny Moraine, Sherin Nicole, Janine Spendlove, A.C. Wise
It used to connote enthusiasm, now it implies contempt. Why is this? What can be done to combat this attitude?

The full Capclave schedule can be found here.

When I’m not on panels, I’ll be attending other people’s panels, hanging out in the bar, or hanging out in the dealers’ room lusting after the pretty, pretty books. If you’ll be in any of those places, say hi. I look forward to seeing you there.

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There and Back Again: Readercon 2014

Fair warning, a lot of this post will be me squeeing about things you can’t read yet, but which you will be able to some day, and on that day you will want to squee about them, too.

Getting to Readercon was an epic adventure in its own right. Perhaps there weren’t dragons to slay, or mines to traverse, but there was a heck of a lot of traffic. At every single turn. What should have been a six and a half(ish) hour drive became a ten hour drive. Luckily I had stalwart companions – A.T. Greenblatt and Shveta Thakrar – and together, we prevailed.

Readercon has firmly established itself as my favorite con in the three years I’ve been attending, and this year was no exception. I attended more readings than panels this time around, and each was incredibly enjoyable.

The first of my highlights was listening to Shira Lipkin read her swamp witch story. It doesn’t have a home yet, but I have no doubt it will find one in a flash. Another highlight was listening to Maria Davhana Headley read her supernatural Bonnie and Clyde Story. It’s also homeless at the moment, as I understand it, but it won’t stay that way long. Other highlights included the Fearful Symmetries group reading, the Latin@ Writers group reading, The Booty Don’t Lie: A Cheeky Discussion of Butts in Literature panel, (so many puns! so much twerking!), and The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours performance. There were other wonderful things throughout the weekend of course, but those were few that stood out.

Outside of official programming, Readercon is always a fantastic opportunity to see people I only get to see once or twice a year, and to meet new people. So much of the con is hanging out in hallways, the dealers’ room, and elsewhere, just chatting. The one downside to this is there are so many wonderful people, I feel like I never get enough time to talk to any one person.

This year, I once again participated in programming, both official and unofficial. The Circlet Press group reading went over well, and the Unlikely Cartography panel was surprisingly well attended for being lateish on Sunday afternoon. The panelists were brilliant, talking about unlikely maps and imaginary geography. Thank you again to everyone who attended! On the unofficial side, I recorded a podcast for Circlet Press, and sneakily tacked a reading on to the end of a real and proper reading by Danielle Friedman. Despite having a hard act to follow, I read Doctor Blood and the Ultra Fabulous Glitter Squadron, because it’s short and because glitter is never the wrong answer.

Can I gush again about something you can’t read yet? I’m going to anyway. Danielle read from her novel in progress, and I love it. I’ve heard two excerpts so far, and I can’t wait for it to be a real physical thing I can hold in my hands, because it is fabulous.

The drive home was much less obnoxious than the drive there. I was once again privileged to get a preview of an awesome story you can’t read yet, but which you will be able to read very soon. Shveta read her story, “Krishna Blue” from the upcoming anthology, Kaleidoscope, due out in just a few weeks. The story is beautiful and brilliant, and you should all run out and buy the anthology as soon as you can. I’ve been lucky enough to hear an except of another story, by E.C. Meyers, which will be appearing in the anthology as well, and based on these two stories, I can promise you this anthology will kick ass.

So that’s it. Readercon was fantastic as usual, and I’m already looking forward to next year. In the meantime, I’ll be off to Capclave in October and World Fantasy in November. Hopefully with less traffic to fight along the way.


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To Readercon I Go!

In just over a week, I will once again be headed to Readercon in Burlington, MA. For those of you who don’t know, Readercon is a wonderful, magical place full of books and people talking about books. This will be my third year attending, and I’ve been consistently impressed with the insightful panels, lovely people, and generally positive atmosphere.

As I have in the past, I’m unofficially and sneakily taking part in programming. On Friday, I’ll be participating in the Circlet Press Group Reading. I haven’t quite decided what I’ll be reading yet, but I’m leaning toward erotica about spies. On Sunday, I’ll be par of the Unlikely Cartography panel, which appropriately enough celebrates the publication of Unlikely Story #9: The Journal of Unlikely Cartography. I’ll be moderating, so my participation will mostly consist of gently prodding the authors of the Unlikely Cartography issue, then sitting back and listening to them say smart stuff. The program descriptions for these two panels appear below, and the full Readercon Program can be found here.

Friday – 9:00 PM – EM – Circlet Press Group Reading. Cecilia Tan (leader). For over twenty years, Circlet Press has been the only publisher specializing in erotic science fiction and fantasy. Contributors to the recent best-of collection Fantastic Erotica and other Circlet books will read excerpts from their work.

Sunday – 1:00 PM – G – Unlikely Cartography. Shira Lipkin, Sarah Pinsker, Carrie Cuinn. This summer, Unlikely Story will publish their Unlikely Cartography issue, featuring stories by Shira Lipkin, Kat Howard, Sarah Pinsker, Carrie Cuinn, and others. Together with editor A.C. Wise, these authors will discuss their stories, and other authors (historical and modern) who similarly explored the cartography of the fantastic. Influences and discussion topics may include Calvino’s Invisible Cities, Eco’s Legendary Lands, Post’s Atlas of Fantasy, Mieville’s The City and the City, and more.

When I’m not actively participating, I’ll be attending panels. I’ve already spotted several I’m excited about, and I suspect I will lament my inability to be in two places at once on multiple occasions over the course of the convention. Aside from panels, I’ll like be hanging out in the bar, hanging out in the dealers’ room, or wandering around in a daze, my head swimming with all the smart things people have been saying about books and speculative fiction. If you see me wandering in such a daze, say hi! I hope to see you there.

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Philcon 2013 Schedule

Next weekend, I’ll be headed to Philcon, Philadelphia’s local(ish) SF/F/H convention. My official schedule is as follows:

Sat 2:00 PM in Plaza III (Three) (1 hour)

[Panelists: Brenda W. Clough (mod), A.C. Wise, Orenthal Hawkins,
Jeff Warner, Michael A. Ventrella]

No writer wants to be considered bigoted or prejudiced, but at the
same time, no writer wants to be censored, either. And, if certain
topics can’t be discussed, does that mean that they can’t be
properly discarded, either? What are the limits on proper
discourse, and who gets to set them

Sat 9:00 PM in Crystal Ballroom Two (1 hour)

[Panelists: Judith Moffett (mod), Gordon Linzner, KT Pinto, A.C.
Wise, Alex Lidell]

What are writers afraid to write about? And why? What keeps them
from writing about something?

ETA: I’ll also be hijacking…er, joining a reading by the wonderful Gregory Frost on Sunday at 1:00 PM in Executive Suite 623. In addition to reading words we wrote, we plan to bribe you into attending with booze and brownies. You know you wanna be there. (Thanks to Greg for letting me join in the fun!)

The rest of the time, I’ll be attending other panels, spending far too much money in the dealers’ room, and, I’ve heard rumors the hotel may have a bar…

I hope to see you there!

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Adventures in Being an Evil Minion or Readercon 2013

Like all good origin stories, it started long ago and far away. By which I mean last year at Readercon 23. I was innocently sitting in the audience, waiting for a panel to begin, and a stray tweet from Carrie Cuinn to Fran Wilde unleashed an epic battle between the forces of Good and Evil. Caught in the crossfire, I found myself sudden collateral to this struggle, the kind that usually winds up tied to train tracks. But the vagaries of Good and Evil being what they are, everything changed this year. Evil became Good, Good became Evil, and I was upgraded to Evil Minion status and bestowed with my very own mustache to twirl. mustache

And so it came to pass that the forces of Evil boarded a train from Philadelphia, to descend upon Readercon 24 in Burlington, MA, there to clash with the forces of Good. Lo there were epic deeds done, and much thwarting, plots most dastardly hatched and just as swiftly foiled. Or, there would have been were it not for the fact that both the forces of Good and Evil are easily distracted by shiny objects like liquor bottles, breakfast buffets, panels full of smart people saying intelligent things, and a dealers’ room stuffed with piles and and piles of books.

Much of the con was spent running from one shiny thing to the next. I was only involved in one official bit of programming, the Clockwork Phoenix 4 group reading, which went splendidly. It was lovely meeting some of my fellow contributors and hearing them read their work. Beyond that, I spent the majority of my time attending other people’s panels and readings and thoroughly enjoying what they had to say. A few of the highlights were:

The Latino Speculative Fiction Writers Collective Group Reading with Daniel Jose Older, Julia Rios, and Sabrina Vourvoulias

Writing the Other I & II with Michael J. Deluca, Andrea Hairston, Rose Lemberg, Maureen F. McHugh, Daniel Jose Older, Joan Slonczewski, Sabrina Vourvoulais, and Sarah Smith

A New Mythology of the Civil War with Dennis Danvers, Mikki Kendall, Scott Lynch, Romie Stott, and Howard Waldrop

Friendship is Magic with E.C. Ambrose, Rose Lemberg, Kathryn Morrow, JoSelle Vanderhooft, and Sabrina Vourvoulais

The Altered Fluid Group Reading with Paul Berger, Rajan Khanna, Sam J. Miller, E.C. Myers, Devin Poore, and Mercurio D. Rivera

Gender and Power in Literature and Life lead by Daniel Jose Older

There were other panels and other readings I very much enjoyed, but those were the ones that stood out. Between panels there was much running around and brief, flying conversations in the halls, since there wasn’t a common gathering space this year due to hotel renovations. I got the chance to see a lot of people I only see once a year, which was lovely, meet wonderful new people (including several stealth Canadians), and meet folks I’ve only interacted with online. I was especially pleased that to finally meet Barry King in person. We’ve been workshopping and critique swapping off and on since 2009 without ever having met in person. It’s good to finally put a face to the name! It was also great meeting some of the editors who have published my work and who I’ve only interacted with via email, and meeting at least one author whose work we’ll be publishing in the upcoming Journal of Unlikely Architecture. There were other people I was hoping to meet but didn’t get the chance, and of course I don’t feel like I got to spend enough time with the people I did meet, but such is the nature of cons.

And, of course, there was the buying of books, because no con is complete without several trips through the dealers’ room. I managed to be somewhat restrained and not buy everything in sight, but I can’t wait to dive into what I did buy: Fat Girl in a Strange Land edited by Kay T. Holt and Bart R. Leib; Where Thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe and Suffered from the Night: Queering Stoker’s Dracula both Edited by Steve Berman, and Before and Afterlives: Stories by Christopher Barzak all from Lethe Press (in case you couldn’t tell, I’m a fan of their work); and Imaginarium 2013: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing. I also picked up contributors’ copies of two Clarkesworld chapbooks, and, of course, Clockwork Phoenix 4. So really only half my suitcase was filled with books on the way home. That’s reasonable, right?

A huge thanks to Rose Fox, the Con Comm, all the volunteers, panelists, and other attendees for making this year’s Readercon such a wonderful one.

Thus concludes this epic tale of villainy and heroism. But wait! All is not told yet! In a grand ceremony involving coffee and bacon on the final day of the con, before everyone went their separate ways home, the fearless leaders of Team Good and Team Evil once again switched allegiances and passed the twirlable mustache of dastardliness and the fluttering cape of justice off to new leaders for the coming year. It seems that in 2014, I will be the Champion of the Forces of Good, a job that comes complete with my very own nemesis, whose plans I must dedicate myself to thwarting. You’ll never get away with this, Pizarro! (Whatever it is you’re up to.) Never, I say!

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