Capclave 2014 Schedule

capclave-dodo

Hey so this weekend is Capclave. This is this closest thing I have to a home convention, so I’m pretty excited to be on programming there this year.  It’ll be a fun time.

Here’s my schedule (subject to change, but it’s been this for the last couple of weeks, so I think it’s good):

Friday 8:00 pm: No Means No
Panelists: Inge Heyer, Natalie Luhrs, Emmie Mears, Jon Skovron, Jean Marie Ward (M)
There is a great disturbance in science fiction and fantasy. As fans and writers you have the right to expect respect.

Saturday 5:00 pm: I Hate His/Her Politics But I Love His/Her Books
Panelists: Day Al-Mohamed, Paolo Bacigalupi, David G. Hartwell, Larry Hodges, Natalie Luhrs, Sunny Moraine (M)
Should a personal evaluation of an author be separated from how you view his/her politics? Many people refused to see the movie Ender’s Game because of Orson Scott Card’s statements on homosexuality and other writers charge that political views influence award nominations and who is picked for con programming. Is this true and if so, is it a good thing or a bad thing?

Saturday 6:00 pm: The Suck Fairy and Feet of Clay
Panelists: Barbara Krasnoff (M), Natalie Luhrs, James Maxey, Sunny Moraine
What do you do when you reread your beloved childhood classics and find they have been visited by the suck fairy and are now sexist, racist, etc? What do you do when you find out that that author that got you through junior high turns out to have giant size 30 clod-hopping feet of clay or was actually kind of evil? How do we deal with problematic works and authors?

Sunday 11:00 am: Romance and SF/F
Panelists: Victoria Janssen (M), Pamela K. Kinney, Natalie Luhrs, Sunny Moraine
A significant number of science fiction and fantasy books are reviewed in publications such as Romance Times and nominated for awards in the romance genre. Were the genre line distinctions always artificial? What are romance readers’ expectations with respect to the plot and its resolution? HEA vs. the tragic romance. Is romance handled better or worse in YA SF/F? Are certain types of romance plots (such as first love) more likely to show up in YA?

Sunday 3:00 pm: Reviews vs Literary Criticism
Panelists: D. Douglas Fratz, David G. Hartwell, Natalie Luhrs, Darrell Schweitzer, Gayle Surrette (M)
There are many different levels of reviewing. Publications such as Publishers Weekly and Romantic Times typically want only a couple hundred words, in SFRevu 500-1000 words is pretty standard, and the New York Review of Science Fiction publishes 3000+ word reviews. There are reviews that exist primarily to give readers a general idea as to whether they want to buy the newly published book without spoiling the book, and there are longer more academically oriented reviews which attempt to engage with the novel in a broader context to put the book in its place within the genre and which generally assume the reader of the review has already read the book. Do you write the review from the head or from the heart? How much of the plot should you discuss?

As always–if I’m in the public space of the convention hotel, that means I’m willing and happy to chat with people as I can. If I’m feeling anti-social, I’ll be in my room. Alone.

Three Quick (Happy) Things!

I don’t generally do promotional posts here, but I would like to take a minute to mention three things that I think are pretty awesome. I’m not being financially compensated for these mentions but I did receive a review copy of a book.

In For a Penny

First, Rose Lerner’s In For a Penny is being re-released today!  I loved this book and am so happy it’s found a new publisher.  Lerner’s having a pretty spiffy looking giveaway to celebrate, too. I’m also looking forward to getting my hands on A Lily Among Thorns when it’s re-released in September, as well.

Sweet Disorder

I also recently read Lerner’s newest book, Sweet Disorder, and liked it quite a bit (disclosure: I received a review copy from the author and we are friendly on social media)–I love Phoebe and Nick so much and, much like In For a Penny, this book deals with class differences and how the protagonists have to work their way through that–and some other conflicts–on their way to what I hope is a happily ever after.  The secondary characters are also wonderful.  I’m just thrilled that Lerner’s books are all going to be available again. And with such pretty covers, too!

52WeeksBetterBodyEver

The second thing is that my friend Hanne Blank is raising money for a project called 52 Weeks to Your Best Body Ever! It’s not a diet or exercise program (although there may be recipes and interesting ways to move one’s body involved) but instead it’s a weekly newsletter for an entire year about radical body acceptance and it’s going to be awesome.  Hanne is a tremendous force for good in this world and I’m really excited about it.  Way more info to be found on the Indiegogo page!

And finally! My dear friend Fran Wilde has a delightfully creepy story about food and love in Daily Science Fiction today: “Nine Dishes on the Cusp of Love”. I love this story so much and I’m so glad it found a home. Go read!

Reading Block

Massive reading block here. Haven’t read anything all month.

Any recommendations? I’m in the mood for fluff, so let that be your guide.

Tell me what to read!

2013 in Review

It’s been a heck of a year, hasn’t it?

This year at the Radish, I wrote 122 posts–half of these were linkspam, the other half opinion or book reviews.

The most popular posts of the year were:

Goals for next year include writing more substantive essays that, perhaps, do not involve me yelling at anyone.  I’d also like to write better reviews; I feel like my reviews are often carried more by enthusiasm than craft and I’d like to balance those things out.  I have a couple of story ideas that I’d like to work on as well.  And an idea for a new web project, too.

In a lot of ways, 2013 was not a good year.  I had upheaval at my day job with a contract change that required me to change employers so I could keep my job.  A friendship of many years which was very important to me ended, not with a bang but with a whimper.

2013 wasn’t entirely bad. There were good things, too. All the books that Masque put out this year.  I met new people and made new friends. I feel like I am part of a community and less isolated.  I started to learn to draw and make other kinds of visual art. All those are wonderful and I am hoping for more of the good in 2014 and less of the bad.

Most of all, I’m hoping for focus.

Best Christmas Song Ever

If you celebrate Christmas, I hope you have a wonderful holiday and that no one breaks your kneecaps.  If it’s not your thing, I hope you’re having a great Wednesday (and that your kneecaps are intact).  

No linkspam this week, I’ll see you all next year.