Category Archives: con

WorldCon/DisCon III

The 79th World Science Fiction Convention (aka WorldCon, aka DisCon III, aka the Hugo Awards Weekend) is coming up next month. Programming will be both virtual and in-person, and barring any disaster I plan to be there in-person and participating in said programming. Here’s a schedule of where I’ll be throughout the weekend.

Author Reading – Thursday, December 16 at 1pm – Capitol Room

I will be reading along with Chris Panatier. I haven’t decided exactly what I’ll be reading yet, but I do intend to come well-supplied with chocolate!

Autograph Session – Thursday, December 16 at 2pm – SFWA Table/Dealer’s Room

I’ll be hanging out at the SFWA Table in the Dealer’s Room immediately following my reading to sign stuff in case anyone has stuff they want signed! Brenda Clough will be signing at the same time – come say hi to us!

Reviewing: Widely or Deeply? – Thursday, December 16 at 4pm – Virtual

Arley Sorg; Karlo Yeager Rodriguez (M); Jake Casella Brookins; Gary K Wolfe; Penelope Flynn; A.C. Wise

Presented with all of SFF to review, how does a reviewer determine their beat? Should they read widely, and address work as a knowledgeable generalist, or read deeply within their specialty, and bring that specialty to bear? Reviewers will discuss their practices of how they choose what to review or not to review, their path to their current specialty, if any, and their intentions for future work.

Holding Superheroes Accountable – Friday, December 17 at 11:30am – Empire Ballroom

Brenda W. Clough; James Bacon; Jenn Lyons; A.C. Wise (M); Peter Adrian Behravesh; Hildy Silverman

For superheroes to feel heroic, we want them to fight evil while remaining above the moral fray. But in many comics and comic book films, superheroes cross moral lines. How do we ethically evaluate heroes who act immorally, like Batman torturing villains, Wanda holding an entire town hostage, or Wonder Woman sexually assaulting a mind-controlled bystander? How can we talk about these stories in a way that holds heroes accountable for their immoral actions?

Short Fiction, Expanded – Saturday, December 18 at 11:30am – Diplomat Ballroom

Dana L. Little; Jenny Rae Rappaport; Michael Swanwick; A.C. Wise (M); Sarah Pinsker

Sometimes an excellent short story or novella demands to be fleshed out and republished as a novel. How can you do this successfully, and what are some of the pitfalls to avoid? When is the expansion an enhancement, and when is it just a marketing necessity?

Worldbuilding in Speculative Horror – Saturday, December 18 at 1pm – Virtual

Erika T. Wurth; Nino Cipri; A.C. Wise (M); Usman T. Malik; L. Marie Wood; KD Edwards

A horror setting generally starts with a safe and familiar world, and then introduces strange and frightening elements. But what if you don’t want to use the real world as your setting? How do you construct a horror novel that takes place in an entirely speculative world? What techniques can make the unfamiliar a safe starting point on which to build your horror?

Why Won’t You Stay Dead?!? – Saturday, December 18 at 5:30pm – Forum Room

Carrie Vaughn; Jennifer R. Povey; Jenny Rae Rappaport; A.C. Wise (M); Mari Ness; AJ Odasso; Ada Palmer

Characters have come back from the dead so often in superhero comics that it’s become a running joke, sometimes cheapening the impact of the death in the story. Creators have come up with a wide variety of tricks to resurrect or otherwise return “dead” characters to life. Is it just lazy storytelling, editorial decisions driven by commercial reasons, or is it something inherent to the storytelling form and round-robin method of collaborative authorship of comics?

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World Fantasy Convention Montreal

After much back and forth, giving up, cancelling plans, and re-making plans, I will actually be at the World Fantasy Convention in Montreal in person! Unless something dramatic happens between now and the weekend, of course, but otherwise, I will be there Friday and Saturday and looking forward to seeing other folks who are attending in person. I have two programming items scheduled, so if you happen to be there as well, here is where you can find me!

Reading – Friday – 5:30 p.m. – Outremont 5

My current plan is to read an excerpt from Hooked, which is coming out next year. This will be my first time reading any part of it aloud for other humans, so if you’re into exclusive sneak previews, come join me!

The Power of Speculative Non-Fiction Essays – Saturday – 5p.m. – Virtual
Eugen Bacon, A.C. Wise, F. Brett Cox, Sean Dowey, Angela Keely (M)

We’ll be discussing non-fiction essays and their contribution to the genre. Hope to see you there!

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Capclave 2021

Capclave is coming up the weekend of October 1-3. It’s being held in person this year, which is both a weird feeling – the return to in-person cons! – and exciting as I’m really looking forward to seeing several people I haven’t seen in far too long.

The tentative schedule is up on the convention website, so this is where you should be able to find me throughout the weekend.

Saturday 12:30 pm – Author Reading – Monroe

I haven’t fully decided what I’ll be reading yet. An excerpt from Wendy, Darling? Something from The Ghost Sequences? Something else entirely new? You’ll just have to show up to find out! I will quite possibly have chocolate with me to bribe/thank you if you do.

Saturday 2:00 pm – All Writing is Political – Truman

Participants: Natalie Luhrs, Michael Swanwick, Caias Ward, Joy Ward, A.C. Wise (M)

Some critics say SF, Fantasy, and Comics have become too political. Has there been a change in the political content from the days of Brave New World, 1984, and Starship Troopers? Should entertainment be free from politics? Is it even possible? When something claims to be apolitical, what is it actually supporting? How can we be more conscious of the political implications of our own work?

Saturday 3:00 pm – Ghost Stories – Truman

Participants: Tom Doyle, Dina Leacock, Darrell Schweitzer (M), Michael Swanwick, A.C. Wise

Humans have been telling ghost stories since the first campfire. Peter S. Beagle has ghosts in ‘A Fine and Private Place’ and ‘Tamsin’. What is so attractive about ghosts? How are ghosts used in fiction – both in scary stories and non-horror fantasies? Are ghosts more important in cultures with religions focused on the afterlife? What are some of the best ghost stories in fiction? Do you believe in ghosts and if so why?

Sunday 1:00 pm – Twice Upon a Time – Revisiting Classic Tales – Washington Theater

Participants: Leah Cypess, Mark Huston, Jean Marie Ward, A.C. Wise

Disney was not the first to redo fairy tales. As part of an oral tradition, they were never static but were altered by every storyteller. Re-tellers have remixed archetypes and traditional elements down to the present day. So how can writers give new life to these old stories? How can they preserve the archtypes while providing fresh insight into familiar stories? And, given that everyone knows how the original stories went, what can authors do to make their version stand out?

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March and April Virtual Events

Just over a year ago, I was planning to attend my first ICFA Conference. As the date of the conference grew closer, messages between attendees and emails from the organizers flew thick and fast as everyone tried to figure out whether the event would proceed safely. Ultimately, ICFA was cancelled, and this year, like so many other events over the past year, the conference will be entirely virtual. Even though there won’t be any of the famed poolside gatherings I’ve heard so much about, the line up of presentations, panels, and authors readings look wonderful, and I’m excited to be participating in the conference for the first time. I’ll be participating in a few other virtual events this month and next as well. I’m looking forward to all of them. If you’re so inclined, I hope you’ll check them out!

International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts Conference – March 18-21, 2021

Author Reading – March 20, 2021 – 11 a.m. EST

Host: John Kessel

Sofia Samtar
Greg Bechtel
A.C. Wise

I’m thrilled to be reading alongside two such wonderful authors. As mentioned, there are a ton of other incredible program items scheduled throughout the weekend, all around the theme of Climate Change and the Anthropocene.

Penguin Random House Spring Book & Author Festival – April 6, 2021

Fairy Tale Retellings Panel

Heather Walter
Olga Grushin
A.C. Wise
Renée Ahdieh

The festival is aimed primarily at librarians, but it’s free for anyone to register and attend. I look forward to discussing re-told fairy tales with this wonderful group of authors!

Skeleton Hour Panel FlyerHWA Skeleton Hour – April 8, 2021

Writing Horror in a Post-Covid World – April 8, 2021 – 6p.m. PST/9p.m. EST

Hosted by Kathryn E. McGee

Panelists: Richard Thomas (Moderator), Sarah Langan, Usman T. Malik, Josh Malerman, A.C. Wise, and Lucy A. Snyder

This promises to be a great conversation with an excellent group of people. The event is free and the link to register can be found via the facebook page above.

Flights of Foundry - April 16-19, 2021

Author Reading – April 16, 2021 – 8p.m. EST

Panel – April 17, 2021 – 4 p.m. EST

What Makes Your Skin Crawl? Modern Horror Beyond Borders

Moderator: A.C. Wise; Panelists: Eugenia Triantafyllou, Clara Madrigano, Nibedita Sen, and Nelly Geraldine García-Rosas
This panel will look at recent horror fiction across a variety of media including novels, short stories, and film with a particular focus on stories and authors from outside the US. What trends do we see emerging in modern horror fiction? What do we want to see more of, and which stories still aren’t being told?

The panels and readings look fabulous this year! The full schedule for Flights of Foundry can be found here.

Second Life Book Club – April 28, 2021

A Conversation with A.C. Wise – April 28, 2021 – 12 p.m. SLT/3p.m. EST

The Second Life Book Club is a long-running, popular series taking place within Second Life. I’m delighted to be taking part, reading from my upcoming novel, Wendy, Darling, and chatting about writing and books in general. Earlier in the month, Sam J. Miller and Nino Cipri will be participating in the Book Club as well, on April 14 and April 21 respectively. The whole series is well-worth checking out!

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Philcon 2020

Like so many events this year, Philcon 2020 will be entirely virtual. The con will run from November 20-22, and it’s free to attend with a suggested donation to help the organizers cover costs. Even though we can’t all gather in person, it promises to be a lot of fun, with panels, readings, a virtual dealers room, and an art show. Here’s where you’ll be able find me. I hope to see you there!

Not-So-Epic Fantasy – Saturday November 21, 11:30 a.m. EST – Plaza 3

A.C. Wise (moderator), Miriam Seidel, Anthony Dobranski, Aaron Rosenberg

Not all fantasies are epics. Novels such as Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman and The Goblin Emperor by Catherine Addison get away from the usual tropes and cliches. Are there new fantasy subgenres arising? What is interesting when an epic is not involved?

Cosmic Horror’s Recent Growths – Saturday November 21, 2:30 p.m. EST – Plaza 3

A.C. Wise (moderator), Miriam Seidel, James Chambers, Premee Mohamed

Works such as The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValle, N. K. Jemisin’s The City We Became, and Matt Ruff’s Lovecraft Country invoke Lovecraftian elements in intriguing new ways. How have the perspectives of these creators affected their choices as to how to use, expand upon or modify the original lore?

Science Fiction Horror – Sunday November 22, 2:30 p.m. EST – Plaza 2

Barna William Donovan (moderator), Darrell Schweitzer, James Chambers, Hildy Silverman, A.C. Wise

What are the best works in this subgenre? Which authors manage to nail down *both* the Science and the Horror elements? Why do they succeed (or fail)?

Reading – Sunday November 22, 4:30 p.m. EST

I haven’t quite decided what I’ll read yet. Space pirates? Exploding women? Something else? You’ll have to tune in to find out!

The full schedule for the con can be found here.

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Capclave 2020

Like many cons, Capclave is going virtual this year. While I will miss running into friends in the halls, and making the annual pilgrimage to Dogfish for ridiculous grilled cheese and delicious beer, I am looking forward to running into friends in the virtual halls and attending the con from the comfort of my own home. Back when Capclave was held in a dog-friendly hotel, the elder corgi used to attend with me. Now, both dogs, and the cat can attend again – hopefully quietly.

Capclave is coming to a computer screen/smart device near you October 17-18, 2020. Here is my official schedule for the weekend. All times are EST. The full schedule for the con can be found here. Hope to see you there!

Breaking the Genre Boundaries – Saturday – 10:30 a.m.
Participants: Kenneth Altabef, Scott Edelman, B. Sharise Moore, Joshua Palmatier, A.C. Wise (M)
What is the purpose of genres? How do they help and hinder authors and readers? How do bookstores know how to shelves slipstream or multi-genre books? How do some authors intersect SF/Fantasy with Horror, Romance, Erotica, Literary fiction, young protagonists, Mystery, Thriller, and other elements? Who does this well and who tries to overload a book?

Author Reading – Saturday – 12 p.m.
Do you like ghosts? How about pirates? And what if they were all in space? I’ll be reading an excerpt from my forthcoming novelette, To Sail the Black. Ghost pirates in spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

Best Fiction 2020 – Sunday – 3 p.m.
Participants: Beth Cato, Andy Duncan, Sarah Pinsker, A.C. Wise (M)
Best Novels & Short fiction of 2020. What is the best new fiction you read (or heard about) in 2020. Suggestions for what should be nominated for various awards.

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Virtual Cons and Readings in May

The world sure as heck looks different these days, doesn’t it? In the midst of all the changes, it’s wonderful to see the creative solutions people are coming up with to stay together, even while far apart. Several SFF conventions and reading series have gone  virtual, including events at The Free Library of Philadelphia, Flights of Foundry, and the Nebula Conference all happening this month. I’ll be participating in the Free Library’s local author reading series, and programming for both conferences, which will also offer virtual social hangouts, dealers rooms, the opportunity for shared meals, and more. It may not be quite the same as getting together in person, but it’s bound to be a lot of fun. I hope to virtually see you there!

Note, all times below are given in Eastern Standard Time (EST) therefore may differ from program schedules on the individual conference websites.

Free Library Reading Series ImageFree Library of Philadelphia Local Author Series – Jon McGoran and A.C. Wise – Friday, May 15 at 7 p.m.

Starting in mid-May, the Free Library of Philadelphia will be Crowdcasting a pair of local authors reading from their work every Friday night at 7 p.m. Jon McGoran and I will be kicking off the series this Friday May 15. Jon will read from his latest YA novel, Spiked, and I will read from my novella Catfish Lullaby. We’d be delighted to have you join us! Links to the reading on Facebook and Crowdcast can be found here.

The Free Library has lots of other virtual programming to offer as well, and the Local Author Reading Series includes upcoming readings by wonderful folks like Fran Wilde, Siobhan Carroll, A.T. Greenblatt, Sally Weiner Grotta, and more.

Flights of Foundry – May 16-17

Flights of Foundry is offering a free (with suggested donation) virtual conference with 24-hour-a-day programming May 16 and 17. I’ll be doing an author reading and moderating two panels. There’s tons of great stuff going on throughout the weekend, including a virtual dealers room, and a virtual con suite with delicious-looking menus. The full programming schedule can be found here and consuite information can be found here. Mmm. Second breakfast.

Author Reading – Saturday, May 16 – 6 p.m – 7 p.m.

I’m planning to read from my upcoming novel, Wendy, Darling, due to be published by Titan Books next year. This will be my first time reading from the novel, which is both exciting and scary. Want a sneak peek at what happened to Wendy after  her adventures with Peter in Neverland? Join me for the very first look at my debut novel!

Building Characters – Sunday, May 17 – 12 p.m. – 1 p.m.
Ken Liu, Rachel Hartman, S.L. Huang, Suzanne Walker, A.C. Wise (moderator)

You have your plot, you’ve built your world, but what about your characters? Authors share their tips, tricks, and process for building well-rounded characters in both short and long fiction. Panelists will discuss how they go about creating engaging protagonists, antagonists, and supporting characters whose stories readers care about.

Queer Representation in YA – Sunday, May 17 – 3 p.m. – 4p.m.
Marieke Nijkamp, Rosiee Thor, Suzanne Walker, Trace Kerr, A.C. Wise (moderator)

YA is a booming genre, but is everyone getting the chance to see their own experiences reflected in the stories being told? How do we help younger readers find queer content? Join panelists for a discussion of queer representation in YA – who is doing it well, what are the best resources for finding queer YA, and what stories aren’t being told yet that we want to see more of in books for young adults?

Nebula Conference 2020 BannerNebula Conference – May 29 – 31

The Nebula Conference organized by the Science Fiction Writers of America is a professional conference offering panels, workshops, mentoring, networking ,and socializing. It’s also where the Nebula Awards are presented each year. I’ll be taking part in the conference as a panelist, and in the awards ceremony as a finalist. I’ve updated this post with my schedule below. The full schedule of events can be found here. It’s going to be a fantastic conference. I can’t wait!

Nebula Awards Ceremony – Saturday, May 30 – 8 p.m.

Forming and Sustaining a Successful Writing Group or Critique Group – Sunday, May 31 – 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Rebecca Gomez Farrell (moderator), A.T. Greenblatt, A.C. Wise, Vylar Kaftan, and Curtis Chen

Writing is often a solitary endeavor–and with the current pandemic, it has become even more so. Writing and critique groups don’t eliminate the aspects of writing that can only be done solo, but a good group can serve as both a social support net as well as providing trusted feedback. The panelists will discuss the factors that go into building a successful group, both online and in-person, and what they’ve learned about keeping one going.

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ICFA 41

March 18 – 21, I will be attending the 41st International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts (aka ICFA). I’ve heard nothing but good things about the conference, and I’m looking forward to finally experiencing it for myself. This year’s theme is Climate Change and the Anthropocene, which promises to be a rich and fascinating topic. I’m moderating one panel:

Ripped from the Headlines: Using Speculative Fiction to Address Contemporary Issues
Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 2:00 – 3:30 p.m. in Vista B

Panelists: Akbar Shahzad, Erin Roberts, Agnes Gomillion, Nick Wolven, Erica L. Satifka, A.C. Wise (M)

Other than that, I plan on taking in the conference, attending other panels and readings, and spending time with friends. If you see me around, please say hi! The full schedule for the conference can be found here. Given the wide range of topics and presentations, and the smart people delivering them, I look forward to learning new things!

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Baltimore Book Festival 2019

I’ll be at the Baltimore Book Festival next weekend. This will be my first year participating on programming, and I’m really looking forward to it. Here’s where I’ll be when. If you’re in the area, stop by and say hi!

Saturday, November 2 at 1 p.m.  Books That Renew My Love of Reading – SFWA Stage – UMS Columbus Center

Lara Elena Donnelly, Andy Duncan, Elektra Hammond, LH Moore, AC Wise

Saturday, November 2 at 5 p.m.  All Fiction in a Day: The Beauty and Brilliance of Commute-Length Reads – SFWA Stage – UMS Columbus Center

Nino Cipri, AT Greenblatt, Barbara Krasnoff, LH Moore, Karlo Yeager Rodriguez, Nibedita Sen, AC Wise

Saturday, November 2 at 7 p.m. With the Lights on It’s Less Dangerous – SFWA Stage – UMS Columbus Center

Nino Cipri, Scott Edelman, Craig Laurence Gidney, Micah Dean Hicks, AC Wise

This year the Book Festival is being combined with Baltimore’s week-long Light City Festival, which sounds really cool. Tons of books, and beautiful lights to read them by. What more could you want? More information about the festival can be found here. Hope to see you there!

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Capclave 2019

October 18-20, I’ll be at Capclave in Rockville, MD. It’s a wonderful book/reading focused con, and while other things do get discussed, the main focus is on literature. I’ll be doing a reading and participating on panels throughout the con. If you’re attending, here’s where you can find me. Stop by and say hi!

Friday – 9 p.m. – Wilson

Author reading. I haven’t 100% decided what I’ll read yet. Maybe two shorter excerpts, or one whole story, depending on my mood. I do know, since it’s 9 p.m. on the first night of the con, I’ll be armed with baked goods and chocolates to lure/bribe folks into hanging out!

Saturday – 11 a.m. – Truman

Genre Elements in Mainstream Work

Beth Brenner, Kelly E. Dwyer (M), Craig L. Gidney, Victoria Janssen, A.C. Wise
We are continually seeing sf/fantasy elements in books not published/labeled as sf/fantasy. Why? How much from a genre is needed before a book moves from mainstream to genre? Or does it depend on the author? Why are mainstream authors stealing from sf/fantasy? Are ghosts (Beloved, Lincoln in the Bardo) no longer considered genre?

Saturday – 1:00 p.m. – Washington Theater

A Matter of Style
T. Eric Bakutis, Sunny Moraine, James Morrow (M), Lawrence M. Schoen, A.C. Wise
Some writers have a poetic flow to their writing, others do not, both work. They can include it from the first word on paper or insert it later. How flashy should your prose be? How can writers prevent the language from hurting the story? Which writers in the field have the most interesting styles?

Saturday – 3:00 p.m. – Washington Theater

Are Novellas Just Very Short Novels?
Danielle Ackley-McPhail, Day Al-Mohamed, Meriah Lysistrata Crawford, Carolyn Ives Gilman, A.C. Wise (M)
Novellas are often defined by what they are not. They are not a short story but not a novel. The Hugo Awards define Novellas as between 17000 and 40,000 words. What, aside from length, make novellas different from novels? Or are they short stories that got out of hand? What happens when a writer expands a novella into a novel? Why has the number of novellas published expanded recently?

Saturday – 7:00 p.m. – Truman

Writing Nonhumans
Panelists:LH Moore, Sunny Moraine, Jamie Todd Rubin, A.C. Wise (M), Karlo Yeager Rodriguez
TBA

Sunday – 2:00 p.m. – Eisenhower

Female Villainy in fiction and Media
Beth Brenner (M), J. L. Gribble, Shahid Mahmud, A.C. Wise
How can SF/Fantasy move beyond hypersexualization, Fem Fatale clichés, and abuse-related motivations and write better binary and non-binary villains. What can readers do to encourage this?

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