Here’s my schedule for Balticon 45 starting Friday, May 26 to May 30 in Marriott’s Hunt Valley Inn, Baltimore, MD.

Fri. 6:00 PM: Salon B, Luddites of Fandom
Fri. 9:00 PM: Belmont, Fantasy Motifs in SF Literature

Sat. 1:00 PM: Belmont: Favorite Shared Worlds.
Sat. 4:00 PM: Salon C: How Plausible is Today’s Hard SF?

Sun. 9:00 AM: Salon B: Writers We Don’t Understand.

There may or may not be another panel — it was on one list I got and not on the others but I don’t have the final, final list yet. Anyway, I expect to have a good time and hope to meet many of SFRevu’s readers while I’m there.

I’ll also be spending some time at the Capclave fan table, so check there for me. Capclave is Washington D.C.’s local annual science fiction and fantasy convention held in October. Check the website for details. This year’s guests are Catherynne Valente and Carrie Vaughn.

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Can you believe that after noting here that Earth Hour was coming up and getting all excited about it — well, I never got a chance to do anything about it. We had a planning meeting that day, and it was in DC. After the meeting, because we were there and it was supposed to snow, this years Capclave Chair and Hyperion and I met to discuss strategies for the Capclave website and Blog and online publicity.

Once that was done it was about an hour Metro back to the car and then we had to do the weekly shopping in Waldorf. By the time we headed home it was nearly 8:30 and by the time we got home it was nearly 9:30 p.m. We kept light to a minimum but in the past we’ve turned them all off and either read by candle light or oil lamp. So, we’ve been very careful the past few days to turn lights off when we leave a room and not use one if not necessary. Okay, we do that anyway but I’m being compulsive about it now.

Meanwhile, SFRevu and Gumshoe Review go live with the new issues on April 1st so I’ve been working steadily on getting things ready.

What’s making everything more difficult is the lack of energy. I’ve got problems with energy levels anyway and after fighting the flu for the past 3 1/2 to 4 weeks — I feel like walking across the room is the equivalent to running a quarter-mile. It’s weird when you stand up and suddenly all our energy drains out and all you want to do is curl up on the floor and sleep. I find myself looking down to see if I can see the energy leaking out of my heel. I’ve taken to wearing shoes and socks instead of going around in just my socks in case that will help hold in the energy. Haven’t seen anything leaking out of my heel — but really it feels like it should be visible.

But, the good news is that while I was sick, Spring sprung. One day last week — I think it was Wednesday — I looked out the window and the pear trees had flowers, the forsythia was blooming, the daffodils along the woodland path were in bloom, and the chives and some other herbs were showing signs of growth. Spring happened. I just sat with my coffee and contemplated how nice it was to just wake up and see such signs of spring all around me. It’s a great change from all the grey dreariness that came before with rain, overcast skies, and blah days.

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The Capclave Mascot -- A dodo for reading is not extinctAs those of you who read this blog regularly know, I’m the chairperson of Capclave 2010. Capclave is the Washington Science Fiction Association’s annual convention, held this year in Rockville, Maryland. Our guests of honor this year are Connie Willis, Ann VanderMeer, and Jeff VanderMeer. There will also be many other guests — writers, editors, publishers, and of course fans of speculative fiction in all its various designations.

One of the things that we’re very proud of this year is the number and quality of the workshops we’ll be offering to participants. If you are registered to attend Capclave, there is no extra charge for being in a workshop, but space is limited and some have requirements (homework that’s due at the time of the workshop or before you arrive in the case of the VanderMeer workshop).

If you are already a member of Capclave and wish to sign up for one or more of these workshops, send email to workshops at capclave dot org (you know how to parse that email address I’m sure). If you haven’t signed up for the convention yet, check out the website and sign up then send your email asking listing the workshop you wish to be in.

Here’s the full list of workshops:

Workshops at Capclave:
Capclave 2010 is pleased to once again host a number of interesting workshops. Space is still available. If you are interested, send an e-mail to our workshop coordinator.

Online Content Workshop
Putting your comics, music, video, and fiction online is easy. Making it pay is harder, but it can be done. Join webcomic creator and comedy musician Rob Balder as he talks about making a living with the free content model. Get practical advice (feel free to bring a laptop/tablet and samples of your stuff) and work out a specific strategy for growing and monetizing an audience around your work. Two hour workshop.

Plotting Workshop
What makes a story a story? How do you construct a viable plot from a bare (naked) idea? We’ll start at the beginning, and by the end, you should have everything you need to know to plot your story. Allen Wold will lead this 2 hour session.

Reviewer’s workshop
A good reviewer does more then read free books and say “I like that”. Peter Heck, a regular reviewer for Asimov’s Science Fiction will demonstrate the hallmarks of a good review and how to create one. Bring a at least 10 copies of a review you’ve written and are proud of.

Wordsmith’s Workshop
Danny Birt will guide you through looking at writing from the perspective of the single word, and then work up from there, making sure that every word counts. This 1.5 hour workshop is good for beginners to professionals and is limited to 16 participants.

Writer’s Workshop
Allen Wold will lead a panel of authors in a hands on workshop. Learn many skills as you work on a short story. Session will be for 2 hours on Sat. and for those interested, a 1 hour follow-up on Sunday. Number of Participants is limited to 12.

Writer’s Workshop
Jeff and Ann VanderMeer will critique short stories of 12 participants. Each participant must write and submit a story of no more than 7500 words at least 2 months before Capclave (by August 22nd) to the workshop email address (workshops at capclave dot org). The story will be shared with the VanderMeers and the other participants. This will be a 2 hour workshop.

Hope your as excited about these opportunities to learn as we are to be able to offer them to our convention attendees.

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It seems that the old saying, “the faster I go, the behinder I get” is getting a workout in my life.  The zines go live on June 1st.  But then you probably knew that.  But, I’m going to be at Balticon from May 28th to 31st — I think you begin to see the problem. Now add to the mix that I’m going to be on a couple of panels and will need to prepare for that. Then add that I’ll be helping a bit with the WSFA/Capclave table at the convention. My time is being eaten away and I still have things to do, reviews to edit, books to finish, my own reviews to finish writing. I love it when those deadlines come upon me like a tsunami of ginormous proportions — well I should learn to love them it happens so often in my life.

Meanwhile, the cat has been vaccinated, dewormed, chipped, and treated for ear mites. He needs to go back to the vet again next week to get his ears checked out again. I’m not sure how we’ll get him in the cat carrier this time. We had to pick him up and push him in last time getting all four paws into the opening. I understand that they had just as much of a fight getting him out at the vets. They turned the cage so the door was at the bottom and he still didn’t come out. The assistant held the carrier while Hyperion reached in to disengage paws.  After treatment though he couldn’t get in the carrier fast enough. It’s been a few days and he doesn’t take off when we both come out of the house at the same time anymore. It takes two of us to get him in the carrier so he’s very cautious of the two of us together.

Jali Cardigan from Interweave KnitsI got the yarn for a sweater from the new Interweave Knits; the Jali Cardigan. I had to order the yarn from Lion Brand since none of the stores near me had it. I’m making the sweater in Hyacinth — which is a sort of light many times washed denim shade and no where near as dark as the swatch on the website. Now I just have to find my circular No. 6 needle long enough for the sweater. Heck I even did a swatch and washed and dried it. Love the feel of the yarn — soft and nicely drappy.

I’m really hoping I can finish this sweater in time for Readercon. It’s nice to have deadlines they make such a nice breeze as the pass you by. Who knows maybe I will figure out a way to knit in my sleep and I will finish it. I’ll try to post updates as I move along on this project.

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Capclave Dodo -- where reading is not extinctJust today the last fiddlybits on the new Capclave 2010 website got finished up and the site is live. We even have a registration link so you can sign up for the convention on line.

The Guests of Honor for Capclave, which will be held October 22-24th, 2010 at the Rockville Hilton (1750 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852), will be

    Connie Willis
    Ann VanderMeer
    Jeff VanderMeer

All these guests are standouts and the convention should be great.

Capclave is the Washington, DC areas literary science fiction convention and in the past the convention has had kaffeklatches; readings by authors; a dealers’ room (lots and lots of books); space science presentations from NASA scientists; workshops on writing, reviewing, contracts & negotiating basics for writers, publicity for writers, and getting an agent; a hospitality suite, room parties, filking, and board gaming. The WSFA Small Press Award Ceremony is traditionally presented during a Saturday night event.

The membership will be capped at 500 this year. So, check out the website — bookmark it and check back often because we’ll be adding details as we delve into planning the programming schedule and invite participants. The website also has a link to the Capclave blog which will have the most recent news about what’s going on. And since I’m the chair of Capclave 2010, you’ll probably hearing a lot about Capclave here in my blog too.

Right now membership rates are the lowest they are going to be — $35 per person. Membership prices will go up on January 1st to $45 and raise again on July 1st and October 1st. Capclave does offer special rates for active military and students with proof of their status.

So, if you enjoy science fiction, fantasy, and related writings or you are an aspiring writer, or you’re a professional (author, editor, publisher, reviewer, etc.) in the genre — join us in October 2010 for a great convention.

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I spent most of today trying to catch up on all the TODO notes I have hanging about my workspace. Tomorrow is our last day to get stuff done for the November issues of SFRevu and Gumshoe Review before leaving for San Jose, CA and the World Fantasy Convention.

We leave in the middle of the night on, or early Thursday morning, depending on your point of view. We’ll be posting about the convention because we’re attending specifically to cover it and to talk with other people in the field (and hopefully get a chance to get to know the Capclave 2010 Guests of Honor).

I’m really looking forward to the convention but dreading the ordeal of airport security. I don’t do really well standing in lines and not being able to pace. For some reason I get dizzy and feeling weird if I have to stand in one spot for any length of time. It would be easier to face if I actually believed that all their security theater actually made me safer but let’s face it, most of us know it doesn’t make us safer, it just is so inconvenient that we start to believe it must have some positive result. Anyway, that’s just my opinion and I haven’t seen any thing to make me change it lately.

So, now I have to decide what to bring to read on the plane/in the airport/while waiting in long lines. I’ll most likely end up with the books that I haven’t gotten to yet and I’m supposed to review by November 1st. This month has been unreal in its ability to gobble up my time. More about time in another post.

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http://www.wsfapressbooks.org/index.php?image_id=10&width=115&height=160As regular readers of this blog will know, I’m a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association (WSFA) and also one of the members of the publications committee that is responsible WSFA Press publications. So, I’m posting a plug for WSFA Press here (this is really needed since my basement is the storage area for WSFA Press–please, help me get my basement back).

At Capclave 2009 WSFA Press released it’s newest publication Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove with introduction and story notes by Sheila Williams. If you missed buying a copy at Capclave or didn’t attend Capclave, there are still books available:

Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove (signed hardcover, 2009)
Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove (trade hardcover)

The Washington Science Fiction Association’s WSFA Press is trying to clear out inventory to make room for planned future releases, and to scare up monies to further support Capclave, our annual convention, for future years. So we’re selling some of our older, limited edition publications. Available are:

The Edge of Things by Lewis Shiner (75 copies, signed hardcover; published 1991)
Home by the Sea by Pat Cadigan (50 copies, slipcased/signed hardcover, 1992)
Future Washington edited by Ernest Lilley (200 copies, trade papereback, 2005)
Future Washington edited by Ernest Lilley (40 copies, trade hardcover)

The Edges of ThingsFuture WashingtonHome by the SeaWSFA Press Historical set

They’re also offering “special sets (or bundles), representing a slice of WSFA Press history, comprised of five hardcovers, for just $100: The Edge of Things, Through Darkest Resnick with Gun and Camera by Mike Resnick (1990, unsigned), Home by the Sea, Future Washington, and Reincarnations.” (Only 5 bundles left as of 23 October 2009).

The books (individuals and sets/bundles) are available on a first-come first-served. WSFA Press is offering dealer discounts (for more information, contact Gayle Surrette or Paul Haggerty at webmaster@wsfapressbooks.org) or to purchase go to WSFAPress.org

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Capclave DodoCapclave starts tomorrow. Today, we had to drive in to deliver the boxes of books filled with Reincarnations by Harry Turtledove (foreward by Sheila Williams). The book debuts at Capclave.

We also helped stuff the registration packets so they’ll be ready when registrations opens. We didn’t stay at the hotel tonight (or should I say this morning) since we have to drive back in tomorrow with the car filled with the SFRevu stuff for our table in the Dealers’ Room. It was a busy and active day but satisfying in that we got to talk to people and catch up on what’s happening in people’s lives, discuss Capclave items and what still needs to be done and what has been done, make some plans for next year based on this years experience, and to just appreciate being with friends.

If you’re in the DC area and enjoy science fiction and fantasy, check out Capclave. Conventions are a great place to meet people who enjoy the same reading material that you do. I’ll be posting daily coverage of the convention here — or as much coverage as I can and still manage a few hours sleep each night.

If you do come to Capclave — say hello if you spot my name tag or see the SFRevu table in the dealers’ room stop and say Hi.

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