Category Archives: Events
Just digging myself out of the writing mines long enough to let you all know I’ll be at Boskone 60, this February 17th-19th, 2023 in my home town of Boston, MA. I’ll be there on Friday afternoon/evening, all day Saturday, and on Sunday morning, and I hope to see you all there!
For those of you unaware, Boskone is the convention organized each year by the New England Science Fiction Association. It draw a lot of top talent from across the country and even from Europe, usually features a good number of top shelf agents and editors from New York City, all while being an intimate and very personable convention. It’s especially good for people trying to break into the business or for folks from around the Boston/New England area who want to go to a con but don’t want to be overwhelmed. I’ve been going for years now and I always have a good time, and I strongly recommend coming down and checking it out.
As for myself, here’s my schedule for the weekend:
Panel: The Villain Protagonist in Speculative Fiction (Friday, 2/17, 2:30pm)
Big bads can be fun to write and fun to read. As moral ambiguity grows in fiction, we see the line begin to blur for characters who were traditionally cast as villains. How are villains evolving and where do we see them crossing over into the protagonist role? These are characters who often have immoral goals and who use immoral means to achieve their goals … and yet, we root for them. (Think of Breaking Bad.) Let’s dig into why these protagonists are compelling, and what makes them work.
Group Reading: Science Fiction (Saturday, 2/18, 1:00pm)
Our group reading will feature up to five science fiction authors who will each read from one of their published or in-process works. They will also host an author Q&A as time permits.
Panel: Andor, Hope, and the Galactic Rebellion (Sunday, 2/19, 11:30am)
Andor, the series, is many things: a prequel, an epic dystopian series, and an origin story for many-many people and story lines within the Star Wars universe. Oddly, it has no Jedi, no magic, no traditionally “Star Wars-y” trappings. So, why does this series work so well? How does it continue to feel fresh and new? Does it really fit into the Star Wars mythology that has been constructed? Is the series really about the character Cassian Andor or something else? And why did the three words “I can’t swim” hit us so hard? We discuss all of these questions and more as we dissect the series.
Panel: Shining a Light on Humor (Sunday, 2/19, 1:00pm)
Humorous SF/F is a much loved subgenre, but it doesn’t get the same respect as its serious peers. But why? This has long been a touchy subject among authors and fans of funny fiction. We look at the role of humor in SF/F, some of the best stories, and how a brilliant writer like the late Sir Terry Pratchett can earn a knighthood but never a major award in the field. What will it take for the powers that be to take humor seriously?
There you have it! Looking forward to seeing some old friend and meeting some new ones down on the Boston Waterfront! Hope to see you there!
I’m headed to Worldcon later this week in Chicago! There will be fun! Thrills! Hijinks! A non-zero chance of derring do!
And me, sitting off by the side somewhere, trying to make eye-contact with somebody I know so I don’t feel like I’m alone. This post is my official invitation to make eye contact.
Actually, no – scratch that – that would be weird. This is my official invitation to introduce yourself like a regular person and we can have a nice conversation about science fiction and stuff.
Barring that, if you’d rather observe me from afar or find me in a predetermined place, here is where I’ll be:
Panel: The Care and Feeding of Your Tabletop Game Group
Friday, 9/2, 1pm, in McCormick
Successful and enduring game groups don’t happen by accident, they require careful thought and regular maintenance. In this panel we draw on our decades of experience to give you advice on setting the tone, picking games, cultivating good sportsmanship, picking the ideal location, and establishing ground rules—to ensure that fun is had by all!
Table Talk: Auston Habershaw
Friday, 9/2, 4pm, in Crystal Foyer
Auston Habershaw is the author of over 25 short stories in places like Analog, F&SF, and ZNB Anthologies. He has published four fantasy novels with Harper Voyager and is a longtime presenter at PAX East about storytelling in TTRPGs.
This is just me, at a table, with a small group of people having a conversation about…well…anything at all! To sign up for this Table Talk, visit https://chicon.org/tabletalks All sign up are available starting Wednesday August 31st at Noon central, and you will be notified at least 12 hours before the Table Talk time if you were chosen for a spot. More details available at https://chicon.org/tabletalks.
I really hope people sign up for this, because sitting at one of these tables by yourself is a trifle demoralizing. Come talk to me! I promise I’m nice!
Group Reading: Zombies Need Brains Authors
Saturday, 9/3, 10am, in Roosevelt 1
Join Auston Habershaw, Elektra Hammond, and Joshua Palmatier as they read from works published through Zombies Need Brains.
I have no idea what I’m reading yet, but this should be fun! There may be more of us there than just us 3, too, so who knows who you might run into? Check it out!
Online Panel: One Hero to Save Them All
Saturday, 9/3, 2:30pm (CDT), in Airmeet 3
Many stories set in dystopias or featuring a revolution focus the narrative on a single, solitary hero. But is this realistic? Is it fair, either to the hero who must do all the work or to the secondary characters? Is it fair to readers, looking to effect changes in their own societies, to read about hyper-competent characters who can do it all? Come join the panelists as they explore and question examples of solitary heroes.
So, there you have it – I’ve got one of everything, here. Take your pick! And if you see me in the dealers hall or wherever, say hi!
Looking forward to meeting you!
Well, Graphic Audio keeps rolling along, releasing further books in The Saga of the Redeemed! Right now you can get your hands on both No Good Deed and Dead But Once (books 2 and 3) and I have on good authority that the final book in the series – The Far Far Better Thing – will be releasing soon (in two parts).
Zombies Need Brains has asked me to be an “anchor author” for their new and upcoming anthology, When Worlds Collide. Here’s the skinny on that one:
Throughout history, different cultures have collided in different ways, whether it be the peaceful contact between Rome and Han China in the second century that established the Silk Road, or the more violent interactions between Europe and the Americas thirteen hundred years later. Such first contact stories have long been a staple of speculative fiction. The stories featured in WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE will continue this long tradition as the authors explore the myriad ways in which two cultures—alien or fae, machine or human—can clash. Will the colliding societies manage to peacefully coexist after they finally meet? Or will they embark instead on a path of mutual self-destruction? Find out—WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE.
Edited by S.C. Butler & Joshua Palmatier, WHEN WORLDS COLLIDE will contain approximately fourteen stories with an average length of 6,000 words each. Anchor authors include:
- S.C. Butler,
- Esther Friesner,
- Auston Habershaw,
- Steven Harper,
- Nancy Holzner,
- Howard Andrew Jones,
- Stephen Leigh,
- Violette Malan, and
- Alan Smale
They will be running a Kickstarter soon to fund the project – I’ll of course be promoting it here. In the meantime, you writers out there should start sharpening your short fiction game and submit to this and the other anthologies that ZNB has coming up. I’d love to share a table of contents with you all!
Thanks, and I’ll be posting again soon!
Back when my books first got published, a bunch of people told me that they’d love to read them, but that they really only “read” audiobooks and when would the audiobook be coming out. Well, the answer is RIGHT NOW!
Graphic Audio has released the first part of the first book of The Saga of the Redeemed in audiobook as of yesterday. And, what’s even cooler is that this isn’t your regular, average audiobook – this is a full cast audio production, with sound-effects, music, a full cast of voice actors! Like podcasts? Like radio dramas? Man, have I got a treat for you!
They’ve also committed to producing the whole series, too! The second part of The Oldest Trick will be released in the coming months, and the rest of the series will follow after that. Hours and hours and hours of Tyvian, Artus, Hool, Myreon, and the rest of them, coming to life in a movie in your mind!
New to the Saga of the Redeemed? Well, check this out:
Tyvian Reldamar—criminal mastermind, rogue mage, and smuggler of sorcerous goods—has just been betrayed by his longtime partner and left for dead in a freezing river. To add insult to injury, his mysterious rescuer took it upon himself to affix Tyvian with an iron ring that prevents the wearer from any evildoing.
Revenge just got complicated.
On his quest to get even, Tyvian navigates dark international conspiracies, dodges midnight assassins, and uncovers the plans of the ruthless warlord Banric Sahand—all while running from a Mage-Defender determined to lock him up. Tyvian will need to use every dirty trick in the book to avoid a painful and ignominious end, even as he discovers that sometimes even the world’s most devious man needs a shoulder to lean on.
It’s got swordfights and magical duels, monsters and wizards, assassins and bounty-hunters, antiheroes and found families – what more could you ask for? Go and check it out right now! There’s even a 7-minute sample of the book for free on their website. (and, as always, if you’d just rather read the books, I know somewhere you can do that, too.)
Okay! You’ve got your mission – go!
I’m at Boskone this weekend!
I’ll be attending Boskone in downtown Boston this weekend as a guest! This is a great convention, conveniently located, and really really fun. I hope to see you there!
Here’s my schedule:
Are Superheroes Dying?
14 Feb 2020, Friday 16:00 – 16:50, Harbor I (Westin)
You can’t keep a good (or bad) superhero down for long … because they always seem to come back in the next scene, chapter, or film. That’s their essential nature: They defy death! But is that really a good thing? Should we let superheroes fade gently into that good night? Are we finally tiring of these endlessly buoyant characters?
Josh Dahl (MakeBetterComics.com) (M), Auston Habershaw, Melinda Snodgrass (Stealing Fire Productions Inc.), John Langan, Jim Infantino (Jim’s Big Ego)
Great Gamemasters as Storytellers
14 Feb 2020, Friday 20:00 – 20:50, Marina 2 (Westin)
A great GM (gamemaster) can make or break the experience. Learn about what makes a good GM, tips for running your own table, and lessons learned along the way. Also, discover how running a game can encourage creativity and lead to ideas that can then be infused into a (written) story!
Trisha J. Wooldridge (M), Christopher Irvin, Melissa Caruso, Auston Habershaw, Gregory Wilson
Reading: Auston Habershaw
15 Feb 2020, Saturday 12:30 – 12:55, Independence (Westin)
A Muster of MFAs and Workshop Writers
15 Feb 2020, Saturday 15:00 – 15:50, Marina 4 (Westin)
Thinking about attending a Master of Fine Arts program or writing workshop? Wondering how to choose between a week-long workshop and a multi-year MFA, or a low-residency versus an onsite program? How do you determine what fits your needs? And once you’re done, how do you measure personal success and deal with the writing highs and lows that are coming? Join us for an in-depth discussion on how to choose what’s “write” for you.
David Anthony Durham (M), John Kessel (North Carolina State University), Auston Habershaw, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (Tor Books), Isabel Yap
Building Worlds Within LitRPG and Games
15 Feb 2020, Saturday 17:00 – 17:50, Marina 3 (Westin)
Literature, litRPG, and games all share a common worldbuilding process, but at what point do those processes diverge? How do the specific genres drive the narrative, which in turn drives the worldbuilding template for these different types of stories? What key elements distinguish litRPG and gaming fiction from their speculative fiction peers?
Auston Habershaw (M), Christopher Irvin, Mur Lafferty, M. C. DeMarco, Erin Roberts
Game to Fiction/Fiction to Game
15 Feb 2020, Saturday 20:00 – 20:50, Burroughs (Westin)
Game designers have to come up with an interesting world and compelling story in much the same way as authors who write fiction. So, what does it take to adapt a game to fiction or fiction to game? What new opportunities does the process create? What obstacles need to be overcome?
Gregory Wilson, Dan Moren (M), Joshua Bilmes (JABberwocky Literary Agency), Auston Habershaw, Mur Lafferty
Readercon is THIS WEEK – located just outside Boston, it will be a weekend full of good times, interesting panels, and a fun mix of everyone involved in the speculative fiction world. It’s this particular convention’s 30th anniversary, which means it’s as good a time as any to come on down if you haven’t before.
I’ll be there myself (primarily on Saturday, but possibly making an appearance on Friday evening), and I look forward to connecting with old friends and making new ones. Memberships for the full weekend are still available at their website, so check it out!
Here’s my schedule for the weekend, if you were hoping to find me:
Panel: The Worst Job You’ve Ever Had – Saturday, 7/13, 12:00 noon, Salon B
Bring your best stories of terrible jobs outside the literary world to this story circle of anti-nostalgia. Whether they inspired your writing or left you blocked for years, share the pain and get some validating cries of horror, peals of laughter, and grimaces of sympathy.
Reading – Saturday, 7/13, 7:00 PM, Sylvanus Thayer
Not sure what I’m reading yet (possibly something totally new!), but it should be a good time! Please come – the more the merrier!
That’s about it for me at the moment. I’m looking forward to this weekend! See you there!
Hi, folks! I have survived the end of yet another grueling semester and come out the other side with news! I, as in my very person, will be signing copies of The Far Far Better Thing at Pandemonium Books and Games in Cambridge, MA from 7pm to 9pm! I’ll do a reading, too, and probably sign anything you shove at me, so please come down and say hello!
If you’ve never been to Pandemonium, it is one of my favorite bookstores in the Boston area, catering specifically to science fiction and fantasy books and with a vast, vast selection of board games, role-playing games, and models and miniatures, to boot. They are great people down there and I’m delighted that they’re having me back.
So, mark your calendars! One week from today – Thursday, May 9th, 7-9pm. I’m really, really hoping for a good crowd, so bring friends! The event is free! It’s easily T-accessible (Central Square off the Red Line)!
See you all there!
Hey, any of you nerds going to PAX East this year? If so, I think you should know that I and a select group of alpha nerds (Bobby Smithney, John Perich, John Serpico, and Samantha LeVangie) – authors, improvisors, directors, and teachers – will be heading up a panel on Roleplaying in the Now – how to use Improv skills in tabletop RPGs.
Have you ever wanted to break out of the monotony of killing things and taking their stuff? Have you ever wished there was a way to give your players more autonomy in a game without it driving you up the wall? Well, Improvisation in Roleplaying: How to Run a Game in the Now is the panel for you! A panel of experts (including me) who collectively have over 90 YEARS of tabletop gaming experience are going to tell you all about it. Oh, and here’s the kicker: PAX East (as of this posting) isn’t sold out for Thursday yet, so you can still go! There’s time!
So be there, or be a rhombus!
This is it! The Far Far Better Thing, Book 4 of The Saga of the Redeemed, is available today from all e-book retailers! In other words, the fantasy series that I imagined and started writing almost ten years ago has finally culminated in this epic work!
Auston Habershaw’s epic fantasy series, The Saga of the Redeemed, which began with The Oldest Trick, comes to a powerful conclusion in The Far Far Better Thing.
War has come to Eretheria.
With Tyvian Reldamar feigning his death, the forces that still carry his banner are left to fight a vicious battle against the warlord Banric Sahand and the noble houses that flock to his side.
Led by Myreon and Artus, this band of freedom fighters and angry rebels is faced with an enemy the likes of which they’ve never faced before: one who will do anything, no matter how brutal, to secure victory.
Having had his fill of death, Tyvian tries to run away from the war fought in his name, but it just isn’t that simple. With his mother held prisoner, Artus and Myreon in grave danger, and Xahlven pulling the strings in the background, the ring drags Tyvian to return and set things right.
But how can one man fix a world this broken? And what will be left behind when the smoke clears? No one can say for sure.
Least of all Tyvian.
I’ll have more to say about this at another time, when I can gather my thoughts, but I’d like to at this point offer a massive, heartfelt thank you to those fans of mine who have stuck with Tyvian through all his trials and tribulations – you are the absolute best, and this absolutely would not have been possible without you.
I’d also like to thank my wonderful beta readers – Katie, Brandon, and Jason – for keeping me sane and pointed in the right direction.
And, of course, my agent Joshua and editor David, also without whom there would be no book.
Now get out there and get reading!
Boskone is upon us! New England’s longest running science fiction and fantasy convention hits the Westin Waterfront Hotel this weekend in my home town, Boston! Not only will I be there, but many, many really interesting writers, editors, agents, artists, fans, and more! If you’re in the area, you really should swing by – it’s a really good con. For those already coming, I hope I’ll see you there! Also, check out my mini-interview here, on Boskone’s blog!
Here’s my schedule:
Editing Your Manuscript for Submission
Format: Discussion Group
15 Feb 2019, Friday 17:00 – 17:50, Griffin (Westin)
Join our panel of editors and agents for a discussion on what they look for in a submission. Is submitting to an agent different from submitting to an editor? Are they seeking the same or different things on first reads? Do you submit a precis, a chapter or chapters, the whole manuscript, or other material and, if so, to whom and when? How do you prepare your novel for submission? What are some tips and tricks on how to cut, embellish, or shape a manuscript?
Joshua Bilmes (JABberwocky Literary Agency) (M), Auston Habershaw (M)
The Trouble with Time Travel
15 Feb 2019, Friday 19:00 – 19:50, Harbor II (Westin)
Let’s consider the difficulties of time travel in the ever-changing multiverse. Can we change the past or not? What other interesting difficulties might real time travel present to real time travelers?
Ellen Asher, Kenneth Rogers Jr. (Lost Imaginations), Auston Habershaw, William Hayashi (M), Clarence Young (Zig Zag Claybourne)
Reading by Auston Habershaw
16 Feb 2019, Saturday 14:30 – 14:55, Independence (Westin)
Breaking Joseph Campbell’s Monomyth
17 Feb 2019, Sunday 10:00 – 10:50, Marina 4 (Westin)
Mythographer Joseph Campbell’s formula of the “hero’s journey” — an oh-so-familiar sequence of questing, crises, victory, and return — may not provide the only way to construct a story. But can narratives that don’t use this structure reach us as deeply? Is the hero’s journey applicable also to non-Western storytelling? Our panelists discuss Campbell’s “monomyth,” and whether and how to deviate from it. (For helpful graphics and resources, see http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/Workshop-stuff/Joseph-Campbell-Hero-Journey.htm)
Auston Habershaw (M), John Clute, Teresa Nielsen Hayden (Tor Books), F. Brett Cox (Norwich University), Faye Ringel
Gimme That Old-Time Space Adventure
17 Feb 2019, Sunday 13:00 – 13:50, Harbor II (Westin)
The subgenre has been around a long time — but people still love a good space adventure story. Why? What are the greatest space sagas of the past, and what are the new classics of the field? How are they similar or different from each other? Do the new ones still have that good old goshwow sensawunda?
Brendan DuBois, John P. Murphy (M), MR Richardson (Room 10 Publishing), Auston Habershaw, Dan Moren
There you have it! See you all there!
Last weekend I had the immense pleasure of traveling to Charm City for the 2018 World Fantasy Convention! I had a blast. Unfortunately, this meant I barely took any pictures, so I guess a lot of what I’m about to relate you’re going to have to take my word as having happened. One of these days I’ll go to one of these things are remember to document stuff. Anyway:
The Con was held in the Renaissance Harborside Hotel. It was a nice hotel with a fairly sizeable convention space so that, if I hadn’t wanted to, I could have never left the hotel. As it stood, I barely did anyway – one dinner trip a five or ten minute drive away, a couple trips across the street. It does look like I was missing a lot, given the view out my window: dockside attractions, wooden tall ships, and naval vessel, etc..
Also, just by luck of my arrival, got upgraded to a suite for free since they didn’t have any rooms with king-size beds. I hadn’t really needed a king size (it was just me, after all) and had only selected that so that people who were sharing rooms could have one with two beds, but the hotel seemed to think they had made a grave error and so gave me a room with a slightly smaller bed, but with about three or four times the amount of floor space, for which I had absolutely no need whatsoever. It was weird, sleeping alone in a room that big. I don’t know how the crowned heads of Europe managed it without getting fat heads. (is handed note) Oh.
Oh, I see.
Most of my convention was full of professional meetings with my agent and others, so I didn’t attend as many panels as I usually do. I went to three:
You Got SciFi in My Fantasy! You Got Fantasy in My Scifi!
This was a panel about genre bending. It was evidently set up to be a fight, but nobody felt much like fighting – everyone basically agreed that bending genres was fun and exciting. The issue, it seemed, was only one of marketing: how does one get the powers-that-be in publishing to buy a manuscript they can’t figure out how to label and sell. Judging that Aliette de Bodard was on the panel as well as Scott Edelman, I think it’s safe to say doing so is very possible.
The Future of Fantasy
This panel was a discussion on what the Fantasy genre has in store for the future. It was, in essence, a panel about representation of marginalized groups in the genre, in which a panel of women and persons of color trumpeted their arrival as key players in the future. This is, of course, excellent news for the health and diversity of fantasy fiction, though the panel didn’t much delve into speculating what kinds of stories or conventions would be popular so much as the authors’ identities. They did name a wide number of antiquated, colonialist, and male-centered tropes that they wish would go away forever (fridging the girlfriend, for instance, or anything having to do with rape), to which I add a hearty hear-hear. We can all do better.
Monsters in Fantasy
This panel discussed the role of the monstrous in fantasy fiction and was my favorite panel of the convention. The discussion circled around monster-as-metaphor (“we want the monster to represent the terrible things in the world as that makes the story, ironically, safer for us”) versus monster-as-actual (war, fascism, humanity as monster). Line of the panel goes to my friend, Teresa Frohock:
People want to humanize Hitler by saying he liked dogs. Hitler only liked dogs because they were something he could control and dominate and train. Liking dogs didn’t make him less of a monster.
Like I said, it was a fun one.
Then I had my own reading! Previously, such readings have been, shall we say, sparsely attended, but this time I had
a pretty full house! Maybe 20 people (15 at least!) showed up to hear me read “The Lord of the Cul-de-sac,” a short story I published in the May 2016 issue of Galaxy’s Edge. It really went over well! People were laughing and enjoying my performance (I do voices, by the way. Weird, I know, but I can’t help it) and the rest of the con I had people coming up to me to shake my hand and tell me how good they thought my reading was. It was great!
I also got to meet another writing friend of mine, Ruth Vincent. Unfortunately she had only come out for the day and we were headed in opposite directions at the end of the reading, but at least she got a photo of me, Teresa, and her!
This, of course, leads me to the best part of the convention: the people. I ran into so many people I knew and had so many good conversations with new friends that this was one of the best conventions I’ve been to thus far, and certainly the best World Fantasy since I started going about three years ago. I saw Sarah Beth Durst several times (and got her to sign my daughters’ copy of The Girl Who Could Not Dream, which they loved). I chatted Dungeons and Dragons with BCS editor Scott Andrews. I met Mike Mammay and introduced him and his wife to the wonders of the Cheesecake Factory. I was taken to dinner by my agency, where I talked with a lot of very interesting people, including Neil Clarke and Aliette de Bodard. I hung out with my editor a bit and got to sit at the Harper Voyager table with SA Chakraborty and her family while we waited to hear if she’d won the World Fantasy Award (she didn’t, but we all had such a great time it scarcely mattered). If making friends and connections are what conventions are about (and that is what I think, anyway), this one was a resounding success.
I also met a lot of new and upcoming authors and a lot of people trying to get published or who are just fans. I had a lot of good conversations with them (at the Beneath Ceaseless Skies 10th anniversary party, for instance, we talked about race and gender in fantasy and it got pretty heavy) and walked away feeling like my world was a little larger and me a little less alone. I hope they felt the same way, and I look forward to seeing them at the next con.
See you all at Boskone this February!