Visible in the wilds

I’m done with professional travel for this year, but I still have at least one more public appearance for fiction-related stuff: a week from today–that is, Thursday, November 21–at 7:00 p.m., I’ll be doing a reading at Magers & Quinn Booksellers, 3038 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis, with Naomi Kritzer and Sue Burke.

Naomi and Sue and I each plan to read a short selection, and then we’ll have conversation and questions from the audience (if any). Should be a good time! Come on out if you’re around!

Where to find me: the Montreal and New York edition

Like many other totally normal non-mutant human beings, I often choose to be in one place at one time, a superpower known as unilocation. In October I’ll be unilocating in various places in Montreal and New York! Here’s a guide to that.

At 7 p.m. on October 10, I will be doing a reading with several other authors at Argo Bookstore on 1915 Ste. Catherine St. W. in Montreal. It should be a lovely time and followed by a trip to Juliette et Chocolat for the eponymous chocolat. Mmm.

The weekend immediately following that I will be appearing on the panels and events at Scintillation convention in Montreal. Here are the four things for which I’m on program for that, Saturday October 12 and Sunday October 13.

Saturday 13:00, The Reading Room: Marissa Lingen and Tim Boerger Reading. I will read something different at this from what I will read at the Argo reading. What will it be? You’ll have to see it to believe it. Wait, no, I mean: you’ll have to be there to find out. (Or, I suppose, ask me nicely the day before.)

Sunday 11:15, The Big Room: Friends and Family in the Future: Ada Palmer, Marissa Lingen (M), Rosemary Kirstein, Karl Schroeder, Naomi Kritzer. We’re still going to have them, but the patterns will change. How might they change, and why don’t we see more of this?

Sunday 15:15, The Reading Room: Sherwood Smith and Marissa Lingen in Conversation.

Sunday 16:30, The Big Room: Futures Worth Having: Maria Farrell, Ada Palmer (M), Karl Schroeder, Ruthanna Emrys, William Alexander, Marissa Lingen. What kind of future do we want to live in?

Then I will get on a plane to New York! Because life is full of complication and interest. The NYRSF sponsors a reading at the Brooklyn Commons Cafe, 388 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, at 6:45 on Monday October 14. It will also appear on Hour of the Wolf on 99.5 FM, hosted by Jim Freund. This reading is authors from Reckoning magazine, hosted by editor Michael J. DeLuca, featuring myself and several others.

I have not listed the full complement of authors for either non-convention reading because I’m not sure whether everyone who’s doing it has been arranged, and I don’t want to leave anybody out. But there are lovely awesome people, not just me, and it will be a good time.

Readercon programming schedule

Classic Nonfiction Essay Club: “Estrangement and Cognition” by Darko Suvin
Meg Elison (mod), Tom Greene, Alexander Jablokov, Marissa Lingen, Graham Sleight
Fri 1:00 PM, Salon B
Darko Suvin’s preferred edition of his essay “Estrangement and Cognition,” coining the oft-repeated statement that SF is the literature of cognitive estrangement, first appeared in 1979. (Strange Horizons later reprinted it online.) It was a decade in the making, and the world and SF both changed quite a bit from 1969 to 1979. We’ll consider “Estrangement and Cognition” in the context of SF’s New Wave, the political upheavals of the 1960s and ’70s, and the subsequent shifts in speculative genres.

17776 and All That: The Crumbling of the Jock-Nerd Divide
Susan Bigelow, Keffy R.M. Kehrli, Robert Killheffer, Marissa Lingen (mod), Cecilia Tan
Fri 6:00 PM, Salon B
Jon Bois’s wild digital narrative “17776: What Football Will Look Like in the Future” appeared on SB Nation, a sports news website, and aimed straight at the commonalities of sports and SF fandoms: rules and ways around the rules, glorious absurdity, tragedy alongside heroism. The jock-nerd divide has crumbled. What does that mean for nerd lit? Will cerebral SF embrace sweaty physicality? Will epic hockey games replace epic battlefields? This panel of sports-fan fans will discuss these possibilities and more.

Reading: Marissa Lingen
Sat 11:00 AM, Salon C

You Know, It Kinda Grows on You
James Patrick Kelly (mod), Marissa Lingen, Arkady Martine, Eric Schaller, David G. Shaw
Sat 3:00 PM, Salon B
Spaceships that are giant plants, humans whose brains rival supercomputers, lizards bred to function as flying flamethrowers—these are just a few science-fictional examples of how humans might manipulate their bodies and environments to support the human race’s spread throughout the universe. This panel will examine imagined technology that lives and breathes, and how human life might change and grow alongside it.

Lloyd Alexander, Existentialist
C.S.E. Cooney, Andrea Martinez Corbin, Chris Gerwel, Marissa Lingen (mod), Sonya Taaffe
Sun 11:00 AM, Salon 3
Lloyd Alexander, translator of Jean-Paul Sartre, wrote an existentialist epic fantasy series. As Jesse Schotter writes on Full Stop, “The end of The High King, and Taran’s choice to remain in Prydain… salvage[s] the idea of free will within the deterministic framework of the genre.” How did existentialism influence Alexander’s other work (Time Cat, the Westmark trilogy)? What are other examples of existentialist speculative fiction epics? With the present deconstruction of prophecy-driven epics, how can writers learn from Alexander’s work?

Fourth Street Fantasy schedule

You already know that I am one of the workshop leaders for this year, and if that is relevant to your life, you have signed up for it already!

In addition, I am on one panel this single-track convention, and that is:

Saturday 8:00 PM – The Role of Narratology in Adaptation

Casey Blair, Kent Davis, Seth Dickinson, Marissa Lingen, Arkady Martine (M)

All art is in conversation with other art, and nowhere is that more clear than in adaptation. Transforming works of art is a fundamentally creative process that, done well, keeps core pieces of the story familiar while also shifting the narrative focus to appeal and make sense to new audiences with different perspectives. Fanfiction and the act of retelling tales are as old as stories and equally worthy creative pursuits, giving us opportunities to center the experiences of other identities, to explore issues previous story iterations didn’t. Applying concepts of narratology as they pertain to how we transform stories so their meaning makes sense to a different audience, this panel will discuss the artistic challenges and pitfalls in adapting stories as well as why this kind of narrative iteration is culturally critical.

Looking forward to seeing so many people there!

We’re getting the band back together!

Arkady Martine, Django Wexler, John Chu, and I had so much fun teaching the workshop at 4th St. Fantasy convention last year that we’re doing it again this year…but with a twist! This year’s theme is “Getting Unstuck.” Participants in the workshop should submit pieces they’re stuck on–not outlines but some prose written–and we’ll use tactics both usual and zany to get through the block. We’ll work on identifying patterns that contribute to getting stuck as well as ways out.

The deadline for signing up for the workshop is May 20, but it’s first-come first-served–AND convention membership rates go up on March 1–so now is a great time to sign up!

ConFusion schedule

Hurrah, the schedule is available! Here’s your closer look at where you can find me:

An Author’s Guide to Newsletters. Friday, 2:00, Erie. Angus Watson (M), Lawrence M. Schoen, Marissa Lingen, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Natalie Luhrs. Keeping up with the shifting landscape of social media can be a tall order for busy writers. E-mail newsletters are a simple, effective way to let your most engaged fans know where to find you and your work. Our panelists have tips on how to set up and maintain an effective newsletter.

The Trouble With Susan (and Donna and…). Saturday, 10:00, Ontario. Marissa Lingen (M), Navah Wolfe, Karen Osborne, K. Lynne O’Connor, Cat Rambo. Many beloved genre stories don’t treat their female characters well. Our genre is full of stories that punish female heroes with debasement and tragedy and unhappy endings, either implying or stating outright that the heroines with whom we identify were too ambitious for their own good. How do we reconcile our love for these stories and characters with the poison pills that come with them? Can we keep loving stories that don’t love us back?

Reading. Saturday, 11:00, Rotunda. A. Merc Rustad, Marissa Lingen, Annalee Flower Horne. I will probably be reading from the story that will have just come out in BCS that week, but who knows. There is no way to find out but to be there. (Or to ask me nicely. That…is often a way actually.)

New Trends in Post-Collapse Fiction. Saturday, 5:00, Dearborn. Marissa Lingen (M), Andrea Johnson, Michael J. DeLuca, Petra Kuppers, Anaea Lay. The prospect of a world where the march of social and technological progress has drastically reversed course seems a lot closer than it used to be. What has changed in the way we imagine post-collapse futures? How do post-collapse futures of the past and present exist in conversation with the social and political worlds in which they were written?

Writing Humor in Science Fiction and Fantasy. Saturday, 4:00, Southfield. Steve Buchheit (M), Tim Boerger, Marissa Lingen, Clif Flynt, Joe R. Lansdale. The Princess Bride is a classic of fantasy humor. What makes humor in speculative fiction work? What “funny books” really aren’t? Let’s look at American vs. British humor, which topics have aged well (or not so well!), short form vs. novels, and all the other things that make speculative humor more than pies in the face for elves.

Murder, Meanness, and Other Solutions from Deep in the Edit Mines: How to Help Fix Each Other’s Work Without Taking Over. Saturday, 8:00, Allen Park. Marissa Lingen (M), Jennifer Mace, K.A. Doore. How can we best use creative teamwork in solo projects? When your writing friends are stuck, where’s the line between helpful and pushy? Is murder really the answer to every problem–and is it sometimes helpful to have a friend come through the door of your manuscript with a gun in hand when you don’t know what to do next? (Spoiler: yes.) (Spoiler: that friend is Kai.) (This is an Armada extravaganza and by my fifth programming item of the day I expect to be at least a little goofy. Which of course Macey and Kai and I would never be otherwise….)

This has been edited since I first posted it because of times changing. I have no idea whether they will change again. If there’s something you want to see particularly, please check the schedule when you get there to make sure it’s all where and when you thought.

World Fantasy Convention schedule

This one is much simpler than some cons: one panel. Plans for ice cream and fountain pens and many other lovely things aside from formal programming! but for programming there’s this:

Strength Isn’t Just For the Strong

Time: Saturday – 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM 
Category: Panel
Track: Panel
Location: WaterTable BC
Panelists: Carole Cummings, David Anthony Durham, Rhiannon Held, Fonda Lee, Marissa Lingen (M)
Description: Fantasy stories w/ ordinary, non-magical people, both humans and others, as protagonists. #StrongCharacters

Watch me scintillate!

In ten days I leave for Montreal, for the new convention Scintillation. Here’s where you can find me there if you’re a member! (Memberships have been sold out for the year, but I’m almost certainly going next year too.)

Friday 20:00 Time Travel and Teens
Why do these things go together so well?
Jo Walton (M), Kari Maaren, Marissa Lingen, Suzanna Hersey

Saturday 10:00 Good and Evil
Ada Palmer has offered the thought experiment of a universe where the morally worst act ever was that somebody bought a flavour of ice cream they knew their friend didn’t like. Conversely, the Vikings ask the theodicy question backwards: why is there good? Let’s consider the space of good and evil and what interesting things we can do with them.
Yves Meynard (M), Ada Palmer, Maria Farrell, Jo Walton, Marissa Lingen

Saturday 11:00 Reading from selected works. With Tim Boerger.

Saturday 14:00 Why you should be reading John M. Ford
World Fantasy award winning author of The Dragon Waiting, Growing Up Weightless, and many other stories and poems and gaming material.
Marissa Lingen (M), Emmet O’Brien, Andrew Plotkin, Lila Garrott, Sarah Emrys

Sunday 17:00 Imagining the Future
How can we write science fiction when it’s so difficult to imagine the future?
Yves Meynard, Dennis Clark, Ada Palmer, Maria Farrell, Marissa Lingen (M), Jim Cambias


Readercon schedule!

I have my schedule for Readercon, which is in two and a half weeks! (July 12-15 in Quincy, Mass.) Here’s what I’ll be up to and where you can find me:

Defying the Pigeonhole Marissa Lingen (m), Stephanie Feldman, Chandler Klang Smith, Ellen Datlow, Michael Dirda. Thursday, 9:00 p.m., Blue Hills. This panel of readers will celebrate favorite authors who can’t be contained by a single genre—some exploring multiple genres within one work, some dipping in and out of them throughout their careers—and talk about the ways they break free of expectations to soar.

Rethinking the Dangerous Victim Marissa Lingen (m), Noah Beit-Aharon, Yanni Kuznia, Walt Williams, Tom Greene. Friday, 10:00 a.m., Salon 5. Many SF stories hinge on distress calls that turn out to be scams. In the real world, under 10% of felony reports are false; the number is even lower for false reports of general distress. Why do we return to the dangerous victim story—the story in which the person who claims to need help is not only lying but actively malicious—again and again? What exciting adventure stories can we tell about helping those who are genuinely in need?

Group Reading: Reckoning 2 Reckoning contributors including Jess Barber, Michael J. DeLuca, and Marissa Lingen. Friday, 3:00 p.m., Salon A. Contributors to Reckoning 2, the second annual nonprofit journal of creative writing on environmental justice, read from their work.

Nesbit and Eager: Works in Conversation Marissa Lingen (m), Lila Garrott, Nisi Shawl, Julia Rios, Veronica Schanoes. Friday, 6:00 p.m., Salon 6. Edward Eager deliberately modeled his work on MGOH E. Nesbit’s; to what extent did he perpetuate her politics, including her socialism? How do her early-20th-century English work and his mid-20th-century American work encapsulate and challenge the attitudes of their times and places?

Feminist Socialism in Fantastika Veronica Schanoes (m), Tamara Vardomskaya, Gwynne Garfinkle, Marissa Lingen, Robert Killheffer. Friday, 8:00 p.m., Salon 6. MGOH E. Nesbit was a noted feminist and socialist. In her honor, this panel will celebrate classic and recent speculative works that challenge readers to imagine worlds and futures of gender and class equality, and explore how those concepts have changed through the 20th and early 21st centuries.

Reading: Marissa Lingen Sunday, 10:30 a.m., Salon B.

Solarpunk for Everyone Michael J. DeLuca (m), Tom Greene, T.X. Watson, Marissa Lingen, Darcie Little Badger. Sunday, noon, Blue Hills. Solarpunk has become established as a progressive, proactive, optimistic, climate-aware, politically aware field of speculative fiction. As solarpunk authors imagine the future, how can they make sure that future includes everyone? How can solarpunk develop and showcase remedies not only the climatological errors of the present and past but the social flaws of oppression, bias, and exclusion?

Our Bodies, Our Elves: Sexual Awakening in Epic Fantasy Josh Jasper (m), Steve Berman, Marissa Lingen, Sonya Taaffe, Noah Beit-Aharon. Sunday, 1:00 p.m., Salon 6. Starting in the later 20th century, the bildungsromans of epic fantasy began to include sexual awakenings. Some are raunchy, some are awkward, and almost all are self-directed; the wise elders of the genre are mysteriously silent on this crucial topic. When authors can imagine elves and dragons, why is it so hard to also imagine decent fantastical sex ed? How do today’s writers and readers approach this aspect of adolescent self-discovery stories?

Fourth Street panel schedule (mine)

Fourth Street Fantasy convention’s schedule is up! and on it the specific panels I’ll be participating in. In addition, I’ll be one of the workshop leaders for Friday morning, but if you’ve signed up for that, you’re already stuck with me, and if you haven’t, it’s too late. Otherwise, here’s where you can see me on panels:

Saturday 2:00 PM: You Don’t Own Me: Concepts of Freedom in the Work of John M. Ford

Pamela Dean, Marissa Lingen, Elise Matthesen (M), Teresa Nielsen Hayden

Distilling the work of the late John M. Ford down to a few key points is a mind-bending and questionably plausible endeavor, but there are some recurring themes we can at least pretend to conclusively discuss in our too-short time together. One subject that peeks out from the fog of invention over and over again is that of freedom in multiple aspects. Whether it’s freedom of identity and freedom from imperial conquest (The Dragon Waiting), freedom from erroneous stereotypes and cultural traps (The Final Reflection), freedom from colonization and from the boundaries of parental control (Growing Up Weightless), or even authorial freedom from every established constraint on the demeanor of a franchise (How Much for Just the Planet?), Ford was on the case. We miss him and it’s been awhile since we talked about him deliberately. Let’s fix that.

(Note: I think that this discussion will actually be a really good intro to Mike Ford’s work if you haven’t had one–it’s a deep dive, but on theme rather than plotting. I think everyone on it will be motivated to try to make it a conversation everyone can understand rather than going into the weeds with details that will lose you unless you’re a hard-core Mike fan.)

Saturday 5:00 PM: Talking Across Ten Thousand Years

John Appel, Elizabeth Bear, Casey Blair, Marissa Lingen (M), Patrick Nielsen Hayden

Time is big. Really, really big. You might think it’s a long anxious wait to get to the bathroom after a 4th Street panel, but what about gulfs of time longer than the recorded history of our civilization? SF/F deals frequently with the concept of Deep Time, but how astutely? Can a human society really hold a consensus cosmogeny together for a million centuries? Can a wall of ice really be manned by the same order of guards for 8,000 years? We already look at the people of just a century or two ago as something akin to aliens. This panel will also address the essential challenges of communication and interpretation across vast spans of years— for example, the U.S. Department of Energy has a mandate for the permanent warning signs and symbols in place at its deep bedrock nuclear waste storage facilities. They need to somehow work ten thousand years from now, when the assumption is that our culture, languages, histories, and data will be gone… but our hazardous atomic waste will still be dangerous. How can we talk when only our words are left, and even the words have no context?

Useful Reading: This Place Is Not a Place of Honor by Alan Bellows