Coming to Town: Christopher J Garcia for illogiCon, interviewed by M. David Blake

Introduction and interview by M. David Blake:

Christopher J Garcia, who bears the dubious distinction of having delivered the only Hugo Award acceptance to ever subsequently receive its own nomination for a Hugo Award in a different category, is the fan guest of honor at this weekend’s illogiCon at the Embassy Suites RDU. His schedule includes speculation upon the future, spacefaring worth of contemporary, earthbound culture; steampunk, and the “Weird West”; Thunderbirds, Bone-Sharps, and their kin (think Jim Ottaviani’s comic novel, Bone Sharps, Cowboys, and Thunder Lizards, rather than anything having to do with Gerry Anderson’s Supermarionation); Greek sports; and a star-studded, far-ranging, extemporaneous exploration of “The History of Anything You Wanna Know”.

Christopher J Garcia

Q: You’ve had an interesting relationship with fandom, from a very early age. Arguably, any of us who ventured into editing did so because it was cheaper than therapy… but it takes a special type of insanity to assemble a fanzine. What made you want to do so? Was it simply a matter of exposure, or were there deeper influences at play?

A: I’ve always loved writing. That’s really my passion, and I foolishly majored in it at Emerson College. I was taught to read from copies of Granfalloon and Niekas, so maybe it was pre-determined, but for years, I just had no interest. I guess it was a combination of turning 30 and having my first mid-life crisis, followed by basically deciding to give up on fiction writing that led me to look for an outlet for my own words. It also helped that made it very easy to get a zine out to a wide swatch of people, and that I was reading Earl Kemp’s eI regularly, which is enough to inspire anyone to go out and try their hand at it!

Q: Seems to have worked out well, because the last time I saw you was only a few hours after your memorable acceptance of the 2011 Hugo Award for Best Fanzine. At that point you told me about your big plans for the 300th issue of The Drink Tank. Now, a few minutes ago I glanced at, and realized you are fast approaching another milestone. So, more big plans? How do you top the post-Hugo extravaganza with which you celebrated, a little over three years ago? Read the rest of this entry »

Coming to Town: Jacqueline Carey for illogiCon, interviewed by Sharon Stogner

NY Times bestselling author Jacqueline Carey is the author of 16 novels, from her 2001 epic fantasy debut Kushiel’s Dart (in the Top 10 of’s Best of the Decade poll) to her current urban fantasy series, Agent of Hel, most recently Poison Fruit. She’s the author guest of honor at this weekend’s illogiCon at the Embassy Suites RDU, and along with panels on “Contemporary Culture Influences on Dystopian Futures”, “Diversity and Representation in Genre Fiction”, “Religion and Mythology in Science Fiction and Fantasy”, “Sexuality in Science Fiction and Fantasy”, and “That Which Yields Is Not Always Weak: Feminism and Submission”, and Worldbuilding, she also has a reading (Saturday at 1 pm), and will surely be signing books sometime in the dealer room. I’m looking forward to meeting Carey, and thank her for her time via email for this interview by Sharon Stogner.

Poison Fruit (Agent of Hel, Book 3) published November 2014 by Roc Hardcover

Interiew by Sharon Stogner

Q: Hello Jacqueline, and congratulations on being the Illogicon 2015 guest of honor. Have you ever been to our state? If you had the time, where/what would you like to visit most in NC?

Thank you! This is my first visit, and I’m looking forward to exploring the Raleigh-Durham area insofar as time permits. I’ve read that there’s a vibrant food and wine culture, and as a huge foodie, I’ll spend my holidays researching restaurants to put on my wish list.

Q: I saw all the picture of tattoos inspired by your books on your website. How does that feel, knowing people want to wear your words on their bodies…forever? Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Quick Updates: illogiCon is here!

Friday, January 10, 2014: I’m likely the last to post my own illogiCon panel schedule, so let me get that out of the way first:

  • FRIDAY 3 PM — The Things About Thieves — SMITH
  • FRIDAY 4 PM — The Fortunes of Small Press — REYNOLDS [moderator]
  • SATURDAY 11 AM — A Million Nations — REYNOLDS
  • SATURDAY 12 PM — Social Scientists’ Science Fiction — SMITH
  • SATURDAY 4 PM — Best F&SF Novels of 2013 — SMITH

Second, hey, illogiCon starts today! In a few hours! I’m very pleased to have been able to have a few of the incoming guests on “Coming to Town” — thanks to a roster of guest interviewers — so let me recap those as well:

And what this doesn’t tell you at all is how many other authors are coming into Raleigh for the convention, and! how many of the Triangle area’s authors and writers and fans will be there as well. Which will shortly include me, and I’ve got plenty to do before then, so: see you!

Coming to Town: Misty Massey for illogiCon, interviewed by Edmund R. Schubert

Misty Massey is the author of Mad Kestrel (Tor Books), a rollicking adventure of magic on the high seas which was nominated for the 2010 SCASL Book Award. Misty is one of the featured writers on the blog, along with David B. Coe and Faith Hunter. When she’s not writing, she studies Middle Eastern dance. Misty’s short fiction has recently appeared in the Rum and Runestones anthology (Dragon Moon Press) and the Dragon’s Lure anthology (Dark Quest Books). A sequel to Mad Kestrel, Kestrel’s Dance, is in the works. I’m delighted to have fellow NC author Edmund R. Schubert on to interview Massey for “Coming to Town” ahead of the both of them appearing at illogiCon this weekend. I should have thought to ask Massey to interview Schubert as well, turnabout being fair play and all… though, of course, pirates don’t play fair.

How to Write Magical Words: A Writer's Companion

Interview by Edmund R. Schubert

Your novel Mad Kestrel was a wonderful, magical (both literally and figuratively) romp through the world of high piracy. I know you’ve published a number of short stories and contributed to the non-fiction book How To Write Magical Words since M” came out. What are you working on now?

Right this minute I’m finishing a short story for The Big Bad II, a wonderful anthology planned for a late summer release. I’ve written the second book in Kestrel’s adventures, “Kestrel’s Dance”, and had an editor friend read and critique it for me. As soon as the story’s done, I’ll be diving into that rewrite. I’m also working on a fantasy western involving lost love, faerie hunters, a little bit of voodoo and a lot of electricity showing up in all the most dangerous and inconvenient places. The hardest part is trying to write one thing at a time, because all the ideas keep crying for my attention at once.

Speaking of Magical Words, how are things going over at It’s one of the most helpful writer’s websites I’ve ever visited and I’ve seen a lot of new folks have been writing there in the recent months. Read the rest of this entry »

Coming to Town: Lawrence M. Schoen for illogiCon, interviewed by Ada Milenkovic Brown

Author, Klingon expert, and certified hypnotist Lawrence M. Schoen is one of the guests of honor at illogiCon this weekend (Jan 10-12) in Raleigh. He holds a Ph.D. in cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. He spent ten years as a college professor, and has done extensive research in the areas of human memory and language. This background provides a principal metaphor for his fiction, for which he was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer in 2007. He received a Hugo Award nomination for Best Short Story in 2010 and a Nebula Award nomination for Best Novella in 2013. He currently works as the director of research and analytics for a series of mental health and addiction recovery facilities in Philadelphia. And now, thanks to a short interview with Durham author Ada Milenkovic Brown, he’s part of the “Coming to Town” interviews family. Welcome!

Interview by Ada Milenkovic Brown

What is your reaction as an expert on the Klingon language to NC Councilman David Waddell from Indian Trial, NC who tendered his resignation in Klingon?

With respect to the Klingon in his resignation, I’m told he made use of Microsoft’s BING translation package. It’s an amazing piece of software that only gets better and better as it learns. Some of the world’s best Klingon speakers have been working with BING’s engineers to teach the system the warriors’ tongue, but it still has a ways to go. As such, there were several places in the councilman’s resignation letter that weren’t quite right. When it happened, my email box filled up, pretty evenly split between friends who wanted to be sure I’d seen it and members of the press who wanted some comment. I’m assuming Waddell did it as a publicity stunt, one last hurrah in the lime light as it were. But let’s assume for the sake of argument that the Indian Trail city council is made up of Klingons. If so, and if they believe Waddell’s resignation was honorable, than their response would have simply been “pItlh” which is a Klingon expression that basically means “done!” and the matter would be closed. In an interview, Waddell had indicated that his reason for resigning had to do with various council policies that he felt stood in the way of him getting anything done. If so, a better bit of Klingon might have been to cite the popular Klingon aphorism: “meQtaHbogh qachDaq Suv qoH neH” or in English, “Only a fool fights in a burning house.”

How do you feel about William Shatner mentioning you in a recent interview? Read the rest of this entry »

Coming to Town: Laura Anne Gilman for illogiCon, interviewed by Jaym Gates

Author Laura Anne Gilman joined the illogiCon guest roster a few months back, and now I’m very happy to have her on’s “Coming to Town” series, the first of hopefully a few features on the incoming illogiCon guests and other panelists. Gilman is the author of multiple fantasy series including Retrievers, Paranormal Scene Investigators, Grail Quest, and The Vineart War, along with media tie-in and other novels, non-fiction books, not to mention a long list of short stories, on and on. She’ll be at illogiCon this weekend, January 10-12, at the Embassy Suites RDU, and I for one am looking forward to hearing more about her work. Enjoy!


Interview by Jaym Gates:

Your books touch on a number of subgenres, from your Nebula-nominated fantasy, to the more recent urban fantasy/detective novellas. What are the best and worst things about genre-hopping?

The worst thing is that you know you’re going to lose readers when you switch  – I have some fans who adore the urban fantasy but really dislike historical/high fantasy, and vice versa, and when I wander into the darker areas (as with DRAGON VIRUS), it happens again.  My publishers get twitchy about that – they want me to build my readership, not confuse it.  And I do understand their point – I was on their side of the desk for a long time, and I can hear the sales force saying “for god’s sake, Gilman, be consistent!” Read the rest of this entry »

Day one of illogiCon is here! Also: Gail Z. Martin starts a new fantasy series with Ice Forged

With registration opening at noon, and opening ceremonies and programming (and the dealer’s room) getting started at 3, illogiCon ii: Schrodington’s Revenge is finally here:

There are readings, panels (I’m moderating one on “The Local Scene” at 5 pm) and then later this evening, a dance, more panels (Liars’ Panel, SF as Covert Commentary on the Real World, etc.) and filk gets going as well. There are day passes available, as well as (of course!) weekend-long registrations, so come on by the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham/Research Triangle at 201 Harrison Oaks Blvd in Cary (just off of I-40 at the Harrison exit). Meet: Writer Guest of Honor Tim Powers! Webcomic Guest of Honor Garth Graham! Toastmaster Mark L. Van Name! And a long, long line of guests including legendary Analog editor Stanley Schmidt.

Also, I want to take the time to highlight a regional author book release this week:

Ice Forged

Ice Forged by Gail Z. Martin (Orbit) starts a new fantasy series, Ascendant Kingdoms, for the author of the Chronicles of the Necromancer series: “Condemned as a murderer for killing the man who dishonored his sister, Blaine “Mick” McFadden has spent the last six years in Velant, a penal colony in the frigid northern wastelands of Edgeland. Harsh military discipline and the oppressive magic of the governor’s mages keep a fragile peace as colonists struggle against a hostile environment. But the supply ships from Dondareth have stopped coming, boding ill for the kingdom that banished the colonists.”

So! Head to your local bookstore and support your local authors! Also, you can read an interview in which Martin describes how the series came about.


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