Dear Readers, The marvelous Catherine Schaff-Stump prodded me into revealing a few of my tricks for bringing dinosaurs to life in your imaginations. Hears hoping the writers among you may find something useful in creating wonders of your own. Oh, and hey, if you’ve never checked out Cath’s Abigail Rath series, you are in for a treat!
There I was, chatting with writers, readers, editors spanning the globe: Vancouver, Virginia, Poland, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Thailand…the list goes on! I’m talking, of course, about the very first Amazing Con, brought to you by the terrific folks who write for, edit, and publish Amazing Stories.
What a kick! With the talented and enthusiastic Frank Wu, I got to update con-goers on new developments involving dinosaurs. Plus, like any author, I had a great time reading a soon-to-be-published short story involving…dinosaurs. Then I switched hats to moderate a panel of short-fiction and novel and game writers talking about world-building.
For everyone who thinks virtual events are but a pale imitation of the face-to-face gatherings those in our field prize, I assure you they are not! Despite the time differences, virtual conventions facilitate participation by people around the globe-literally. This includes
- those who don’t have the financial means to transportation and hotel rooms
- those who have physical conditions making such attendance difficult or impossible
- those whose time constraints and/or family situations preclude in-person events
The first Amazing Con was such a success that plans are already afoot for the second one next year. I hope everyone will check out the Amazing kickstarter to keep this esteemed publication going!
There’s still time to sign up for three fun days watching your favorite SF authors talk, sing, and read their works next weekend. There’s even an art show! Hope you’ll all come hang out with me (virtually) at Amazing Con. Find out more and register here.
I’m super excited to be invited to be a guest star at Amazing Con June 12 – 14! Want to hear me talk about new developments in old dinosaurs? Or how to go about designing a fantasy or science fiction world? Or read a new story before it’s even published?
Come one, come all! Registration is free.
Check out all the Amazing Guest Stars.
I’m thrilled to say that my interactive fiction game, T-Rex Time Machine is but one of a double handful of science fiction and fantasy works written by Taos Toolbox alums in the past year or so. Hope you’ll check out the wealth of reading featured on Walter Jon Williams’ blog. They all make great last-minute gifts for yourself or someone else!
Memorial Day Weekend, come hear me read from one of my dinosaur stories and talk about time travel, shopping at Target in Middle Earth, critiquing, writing methods, predatory business practices, anthropomorphism, and who knows what else! Here is my schedule for Balticon:
Friday, May 25
6pm Anthropomorphism in SFF
Learn how to tell stories from an animal’s unique perspective without resorting to writing humans in fursuits.
Saturday, May 26
11am Stopping the Clocks: Time Travel in Writing
In 1888, H.G. Wells wrote his first time travel story, “The Chronic Argonauts.” 130 years later, the concept is as popular as ever , with people still trying new takes on it. Why is time travel so perennial a theme? What are some of the different rules we’ve seen, and how do they make for good storytelling?
1pm You Can’t Shop at Target in Middle Earth
In your original fantasy setting, everything the characters own has to come from somewhere. Let’s talk about how to build a believable material culture for your world.
2pm Recognizing Predatory Business Practices
How to look for signs that you might not be dealing with a legitimate company – including common tactics such as pay-to-play, signing over derivative works, and others.
Sunday, May 27
12pm Readings: Sarah Avery, Rosemary Claire Smith, Carl Paolino
Authors Sarah Avery, Rosemary Claire Smith, and Carl Paolino read from their work.
5pm How to Incorporate Critique
What do you do when you have two readers giving you different or even contradictory feedback? How much are you willing to let the feedback change your work?
Monday, May 28
10am Outlining vs. Pantsing
Some storytellers require a detailed outline to start fleshing out their story, but others prefer to write by the seat of the pants. What are some techniques to help you get better at one when you prefer the other? Authors and gamemasters welcome!
Hope to see lots of you there!
Cath, Chris, George & Chia (a/k/a the Unreliable Narrators) interviewed me about T-Rex Time Machine for their podcast! It was great fun talking to these talented writers about dinosaurs, creating an interactive fiction adventure, and much else. Have a listen.
While you’re at it, have a look at my game. It’s your chance to take your best friend back millions of years to see living dinosaurs.
What stands almost as tall as a giraffe, has hollow bones as thin as a playing card, and a 33-foot wing span?
No, it isn’t some imaginary creature, but rather an extinct pterosaur that lived during the Cretaceous. I feature its relatives in T-Rex Time Machine, my interactive fiction RPG. Soon, you’ll soon get to spend time with this fabulous critter plus a slew of dinosaurs, courtesy of me, Choice of Games, and the raging power of your imagination. In the meantime, you could read some of my other dinosaur stories or check out some other remarkable games from Choice of Games. To say that I am excited about unleashing it upon the world is a vast understatement.
One neat thing about the games produced by Choice of Games is that you can play them again and again by selecting different attributes for your character, even different names and genders.
Look! Look what a terrific cover for my interactive fiction RPG to be released soon. I don’t think the talented folks at Choice of Games could have gotten me a better cover for my game! I do hope you’ll all take my time machine out for a spin when it’s gassed up and ready to go. Oh, and when you get to the Cretaceous, keep your eyes out for that T rex.