Sasquan Highlights

Last week, I traveled to Spokane, WA for Sasquan, the 73th WorldCon.

A lot of cool things happened that week – I got to hand-sell a bunch of Angry Robot books, hang out with our authors, and meet wonderful writers, readers, and fans. There were parties, publishing dinners, giveaways, and much more.

Here’s a quick Storify of highlights from the con, which is far easier than writing out a long con wrapup blog post.

What are your favorite memories of WorldCon? Share the joy in the comments below.

GenCon Recap + CELEBROMANCY deal!

My fellow Geekomancers and Genrenauts,

I write you from a airport brewery restaurant in Indianapolis, having been stranded overnight by weather in Chicago (cancelled the first leg of my flight).

GenCon was, as expected, a glorious time. I was very pleased with my panels and the  Writers Symposium, from the crowds to their questions to my excellent moderators. It was a great experience. I even got to do a tiny bit of gaming, leading me to put a few on my wish (Fortune & Glory, Star Wars: Imperial Assault, Fantasy Age, and others).

I was Angry Roboting most of the weekend, but I did get to hand out sampler chapbooks for Genrenauts: The Shootout Solution to spread the word, and met several fans that came up after panels or found me at the AR booth. W00t!

During the weekend, I was a guest/guest host on no fewer than five podcast episodes, which you’ll hear about in the coming weeks.

Another fun discovery during the weekend was that Celebromancy, the second Ree Reyes novel, is on discount right now on Kindle, just $1.99! If you enjoyed Geekomancy  but haven’t moved on with the series, now’s your chance to do so and save some $ along the way. Remember, Hexomancy is just over a month (!) away.

Hermes permitting, I’ll be home tonight and then taking a couple of rest days to recover from the con and wrap up edits on my second Tor.com Publishing novella – Genrenauts: The Absconded Ambassador.

Catch you on the flip-side,
Mike

CONvergence schedule

Hello, all! I’m headed out to the Twin Cities this week for CONvergence, a large fan-run con that’s been running for more than 15 years. I first attended two years ago as part of an Angry Robot expedition with Lee Harris and Emma Newman, and was completely bowled over by how fun and well-run the convention is.

This year, I’m on four panels and an off-site event. Here’s where to find me!

July 2nd

2pm The Smurfette Principle in Marketing (DoubleTree Atrium 6)

3:30 pm Ebooks and the Marketplace (DoubleTree Atrium 7)

July 3rd

11:00 am Storytelling in Comics and TV (DoubleTree Plaza 3)

July 4th

11:00 am The Skiffy and Fanty Show Live: Space Travel and Its Discontents (Crowne Plaza A-E-I-O)

8-9 pm:  “The Skiffy and Fanty Hangout” in the Doubletree Bar Area! — come play games (Sabacc, Koi Koi, and more!), hang with various members of the crew, and have a drink!

And – on Thursday, July 2nd, I’ll be at Source Comics & Games with several other writers for ‘Gaming with Authors’ – as fine an event idea as I’ve ever seen.

 

I also have a few other ideas up my sleeve, so keep an eye on Twitter.

ConFusion 2015

This weekend, I’ll be joining some of my favorite authors and hundreds of cool fans at ConFusion, an excellent SF/F convention in Michigan.

Here’s my schedule:

Friday, January 16th

8:00 PM (Southfield) — Urban Fantasy Authors Interview

Jackie Morgan interviews Courtney Allison Moulton, Susan Dennard, Michael R. Underwood, and Diana Rowland

10:00 PM (Model T Boardroom) — Bradley P. Beaulieu and Michael R. Underwood Reading

Brad and I will read things. It will be awesome. Brad is a great reader, and I’d like to think I’m no slouch, either. 🙂

Saturday, January 17th

4:00 PM (Huron-Ontario-Erie) — Autographing session

Saladin Ahmed, Bradley P. Beaulieu, Robert J. Bennett, Tobias Buckell, Cinda Williams Chima, Wesley Chu, Monte Cook, Delilah S. Dawson, Seleste deLaney, Michael J. DeLuca, Susan Dennard, Shanna Germain, Merrie Haskell, Douglas Hulick, Christian Klaver, Mary Robinette Kowal, Courtney Allison Moulton, Laura Resnick, Jason Sanford, John Scalzi, Catherine Shaffer, Patrick S. Tomlinson, Michael R. Underwood, Doselle Young

Come meet your favorite authors, artists and musicians and have them sign things! (Please limit your signing requests to
3 items per person.)

5:00 PM (Dearborn) — Where the $@# Are All My Bookstores?

Michael R. Underwood (M), Christine Purcell, Douglas Hulick, Rowena Cherry

Ah, the good old days when you could just drive down the street to pick up your favorite book. Or is it easier now to just click a “Buy” button? How has the book selling industry changed in the last 20 years, and are bookstores going to quietly
disappear?

9:00 PM (Southfield) — A Glimpse Behind the Curtain: The Business Side to Writing and Publishing

Michael R. Underwood (M), Tobias Buckell, Kameron Hurley, Whitney Ross

There are many resources available about developing the craft of writing, but many writers enter the business without knowing the nuts and bolts of how the industry works – query letters, agents, advances, contracts, and more. This roundtable with established authors and publishing professionals will cover these topics and more, tailored to audience
questions.

Sunday, January 18th

11:00 AM (Huron) — The Comics Code

Saladin Ahmed (M), Michael R. Underwood, Doselle Young, Peter V. Brett

Where have all the diverse, feminist comics gone? How about the 1930s and 40s, in the days before the Comics Code?

12:00 PM (Huron) — Time Travel TV

Michael R. Underwood (M), Whitney Ross, Michael Marcus, David M. Stein

From Doctor Who to Outlander, what’s going on with time travel on TV?

 

And outside of these panels, you’ll be able to find me in the common room or the bar, most likely. It is a convention, after all.

See you there!

 

 

World Fantasy 2014

This weekend I’ll be down in DC for the World Fantasy Convention (abbreviated WFC).

WFC was the second F/SF convention I ever attended, back in 2006 in Austin. I knew almost no one, but was very helpfully schmoozed around the convention by my friends. I’ve been several times since then, and it’s become one of my favorite cons. Being small, it’s not so great for meeting readers – instead, it’s more like the summer camp reunion – a relax atmosphere, but with a lot of colleagues and friends all in one place at one time, without the bustle of WorldCon or a Comic-Con or all of that jazz.

Programming is very light at WFC, with each person usually only on one panel or reading slot. I tend to go for the readings, and to then hit a lot of other readings. I’m a sucker for that live experience.

My reading slot this year is on Thursday at 4PM (in the Fairfax room), so I hope that folks will have settled in enough to come and say hello.

Otherwise, you’ll be able to find me wandering around, at the bar or cafe, and many places between. I’ll be at the banquet on Sunday, cheering on the nominees, especially my dear friend Marie Brennan, up for Best Novel with her excellent book A Natural History of Dragons. Otherwise, hit me up on Twitter to say hello.

NYCC After-action Part One

I have survived yet another New York Comic Con. The biggest ever, by current reporting.

This year, I had an extra mission, a driving interest behind my presence, thanks to my decision to get into comics writing.

Most years, I graze the fields of NYCC, drinking in the geekdom and following the tides of my interests.

This year, I spent a *lot* more time in Artists’ Alley, talking with creators, making acquaintances and friends. If I’m going to work in the comics community, I need to be a *part* of the comics community, and in a much greater way than I have been happily reading on my own and talking with people about it intermittently.

Which means that I came back from the con with my suitcase *completely full* of comics. And a few clothes, I guess. Mostly comics.

I had several really cool conversations with creators, and got to hang out a lot more with some folks I’d met at cons earlier in the year. It’s an odd thing to be operating in a new professional world, where I don’t recognize people by sight like I do in SF/F prose.

Here’s a quick round-up of some of the swag I acquired during my trip. It…was a lot. My bank account took a not-insubstantial hit thanks to my love of Cool Stuff.

  • The Dare Detectives “The Snow-Pea Plot” (Ben Caldwell)
  • Monomyth #1 (Siike Donnelly, Eric Ninaltowski)
  • “Comics” a collection of work by students in the SVA Illustration Department and Cartooning Department.
  • Shadowman Vol. 1-5
  • Skull Kickers “Treasure Trove Vol. 1” (Jim Zub, Edwin Huang, Chris Stevens)
  • Sleepy Hollow #1 (Marguerite Bennett, Jorge Coelho, Noelle Stevenson)
  • Artful Daggers “Fifty Years Later” (Adam P. Knave, Sean E. Williams, Andrew Losq)

And…more where that came from. I may have gone a little overboard. I also bought some art, which I will show off in a separate post.

Baltimore Book Festival

Baltimore Book Festival

This weekend is the Baltimore Book Festival! Normally held in the Historic Mt. Vernon district, this year the festival is happening in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, which should lead to even more foot traffic, assuming the weather holds.

I’ll be participating in events over the weekend, mostly at the SFWA tent. Here’s my schedule!

Saturday, September 27th

12PM-2PM — Dangerous Voices Variety Hour with Marissa Meyer and Charles Gannon

The Dangerous Voices Variety Hour takes its cues from NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’T Tell Me” quiz show and Orson Welles’ original War of the Worlds broadcast. It features readings, trivia, great prizes, irreverent author interviews, and more fun than you thought you could have at a reading.”

Participants: Marissa Meyer and Charles Gannon. Co-hosted by Sarah Pinsker and Michael Underwood.

4PM-5PM — How can I get my writing noticed? A Must-Do Panel for Writers in the Modern Age

You’ve finished a story or book and now you’d like to get it published and start buzz about your work. But in this modern age, the avenues for publication and promotion are dizzying, and they often tangle together. What are your options? What will bring you the most word of mouth? The most reviews? The best pay? Should you go it alone or seek a major publisher? Come talk with publishers, editors, con organizers, and reviewers about your options.

Panelists: Scott Edelman, Elektra Hammond, Don Sakers, Peggy Rae Sapienza, Mike Underwood, Jean Marie Ward

Sunday September 28th

12 PM — Jeff VanderMeer — The Southern Reach Trilogy

I’ll be introducing Jeff VanderMeer as he speaks on the Ivy Bookshop stage.

LonCon schedule

LonCon 3 logo

Hi folks,

I hope to see many of you at LonCon 3 this week, where I’ll be supporting participating in panels, Angry Robot Authors, and having my first ever Literary Beer event at a very British hour of 11 AM. Expect publishing gossip, geekery, and/or marketing secrets.

On Wednesday at 6PM, I’ll be at Forbidden Planet for the Angry Robot/Titan event.

My LonCon schedule:

Thursday

Tolkien Society Presents: The Unpayable Debt?
18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 13 (ExCeL)

Friday

Diversity in Comic Books: The Good, The Bad, and the Missing
12:00 – 13:30, Capital Suite 8 (ExCeL)

Cities: Where, Who, Why? (Moderating)
18:00 – 19:00, Capital Suite 10 (ExCeL)

Saturday

Literary Beer
11:00 – 12:00, The Bar (ExCeL)

Autographing 1 – Michael R. Underwood
15:00 – 16:30, Autographing Space (ExCeL)

Sunday

The Fantastic Now
13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 16 (ExCeL)

I’ll also be attending the Hugo Awards as a part of the Skiffy and Fanty Show, nominated for Best Fancast! I will treasure my rocket pin for all time.

All signs are pointing toward a huge, exciting convention, and I look forward to seeing many of you there!

CONvergence is coming!

Dear all,

CONvergence banner

I’ll be at CONvergence this week, a marvelous all-fandoms SF/F convention in Bloomington, MN. Lee Harris, Emma Newman and I took an Angry Robot scouting mission last year, and this year we’re bringing a bunch of authors for a full advance guard.

In addition to my Angry Robot song-and-dance in the dealer hall, I’ll be on some panels. Here’s my schedule:

Thursday, July 3rd

Mainstreaming of Geekdom – Atrium 6 – 12:30-1:30 PM

Lots of popular movies are based on geek stuff. How do you handle being a geek hipster – or feeling like you don’t fit in? Many people were geeks before it was cool. Let’s stop feeling bad. Let’s celebrate that geeks are cool!
Panelists: Jaqueline Stoner, Hal Bichel, Kara Redding, Michael R. Underwood, Holley McLellan

Skiffy & Fanty Show: Live at CONvergence! – Edina – 2:00-3:00

A live episode of the Skiffy & Fanty Show (skiffyandfanty.com) with guest authors CL Patel and Martha Wells. We’ll discuss influences on SF/F lit from gaming, comics, etc. with authors who write SF/F fiction but have experience writing for other formats.
Panelists: Michael R. Underwood (mod), Carrie Patel, Martha Wells, David Annandale, Shaun Duke, Paul Weimer

Saturday, July 5th

Gender in Urban Fantasy – Edina – 2:00-3:00

This genre tends to have more female protagonists and writers. Is it marketing, or something else?
Panelists: Melissa Olson, Emma Bull, Paul Cornell, Laura Zats, Michael R. Underwood

Is there Life after Dark and Gritty? – Edina – 5:00-6:00

How did we get from Adam West to the Dark Knight? Can we reboot a series and make it more optimistic?
Panelists: Scott Lynch, Sarah Prentice, Michael R. Underwood, Tabitha Anderson, Michael Damian Thomas

Sunday, July 6th

From Gaming to Writing – Atrium 7 – 2:00-3:00

Many novels started life as roleplaying games. Are you a GM using a game to figure out the world for your novel? Or have you had such a great time running or playing in a game that you’re working on making it into a book? What are the perils and pitfalls?
Panelists: Elizabeth Bear, David Annandale, Ozgur K. Sahin, Michael R. Underwood, Emmy Jackson

Phoenix Comic-Con Schedule

I will be attending the Phoenix Comic Con this week, working the Angry Robot Books booth and appearing as an author. I’ve been to New York Comic-Con twice, and I love seeing and participating in these huge celebrations of popular culture.

Aside from basking in the geekitude, here’s where you can find me:

Friday

Angry Robot Preview Panel – 12:00-1:00, North 128a

Urban Fantasy and the Real World – 1:30-2:30, North 126bc

Saturday

Drinks With Authors – 8-11PM, Renaissance Salon 5-8

 

And the rest of the con, I’ll mostly be at the Angry Robot Booth, #2410-2412.